Category: Chessed

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A Lesson for the Month of Eeyore

You may have seen the Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet, but have you thought about the Selflessness of Eeyore? Eeyore is most famous for being depressed. If there is something wrong with the situation, he’ll find it. And Ralph Wright (the first actor to play him for Disney) gave him that constant mournful singsong speaking voice.  When...

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Stan Wortman a”h

I thought I should write something about my late father-in-law. In truth, I am pretty unqualified — me, a boy who grew up in the yeshiva system and never fully left the bubble, “Pop-pop” Stan Wortman, who in his heyday belonged to such biker clubs as the “Chai Riders” and “Hillel’s Angels”. Philanthropic clubs to be sure, but still… My...

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Who fed the Egyptians?

During the second 3 days of choshekh in which the darkness was tangible and the Mitzriim could not move, how did they eat? After all, an oath not to eat for 3 days is considered suspect, and we wait in expectation that the person will need to violate it. (Which is less suspect than if the oath were three days...

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Choosing Chumeros

As I write this, it’s a few hours before Rosh Chodesh Elul. For many people, a time for choosing chumeros, stringencies in those areas of our lives that could use that extra attention. The Daf Yerushalmi Yomi recently learned Shevi’is 20a (in the Vilna edition) 7:20. The gemara is citing a Tosefta (Maaseros 1:2): התני הסיאה והאיזוב והקורנס שהובילו לחצר...

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Shavuos Reading

I just wanted to share some of what I came across this Shavuos… 1- From YU’s “Shavuos-to-Go”, R’ Mordechai Torczyner writes about the connection between Shavuos and chessed. Often cited is the idea that Rus, a book about chessed, is read on Shavuos to highlight this connection. R’ Torczyner opens with a different point of connection: [A] midrash describing the...

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Rights, Duties and Covenants

אמר רבא: כל המעביר על מדותיו מעבירין לו על כל פשעיו Rava said: Whomever is “maavir al midosav“, they [the heavenly court] passes [ma’avirin] over all his sins for him. — Shabbos 17b What is this “maavir al midosav“? As we saw earlier: The first definition will look at is provided by Rashi (ad loc). It’s one who does not...