Saturday, 19 October 2019

Mussar: Speech as a form of Tzedakah

 originally posted July 29, 2012

I just received this beautiful story about RMF using speech as a form of Tzedakah from "Derech Emet"


Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (born 1895, died 1986) was on his way to an important meeting, and was about to enter a car when a. beggar stopped him and asked him for charity.

The Rabbi took out his wallet and gave the man some money, but the poor man was not done yet.

He began talking to the Rabbi, who despite his lack of spare time, listened patiently to the beggar. Eventually,
the poor man left and the Rabbi stepped into the car.

Later on, a student asked him:

"Rabbi, when the man asked you for a donation, could you have just given him one and left? We know how precious your time is to you".

The Rabbi explained:
"On the contrary: My talking to that man was far more important to him. than the money I gave him."

The mitzvah of charity also includes showing the recipient that you are not too busy to listen to him.

SOURCE: Ateres HaShavua, 2008 May 2, Parshat Kedoshim


Shalom and Regards,

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Sukkot & Kohellet

Originally published on 9/30/07, 1:26 PM, Eastern Daylight Time.
Our Founding Director, Rabbi B. Hecht, wrote in the latest insight:
The difficulty with this answer, though, is that it still does not explain how Kohelet connects with the theme of Succot,
There is a really simple approach to this.

  1. Why is King Shlomoh Called Kohelet?
  2. Why is Kohelet read on Sukkot?
To answer this - I had come up with 2 points years ago. One point had already been published in Midrash Rabba on Kohelet **. [Baruch shkivanti.] Further embellished points emerged in a discussion based upon this model; see below.

Shlomoh was the FIRST king in the Temple. He was thus the FIRST King to perform Mitzvat Hakhel - hence the TITLE Kohelet. When is Hakhel Done? Sukkot. Hence the association with Sukkot. Ad Kahn my contribution

A fellow informed me during a recent conversation that the various parts of Kohellet [apparently he posits that the book is structured in 3 divisions] is that these were Drashot of Shlomoh WHILST conducting Hakhel during his career. [Hence the title of the BOOK.] Eventually, the redactors pasted them together as a single unit and became canonized later one -despite the controversial nature of these drashot.

Of course Rabbi Hecht will note that this post avoid all kinds of complexity. But this leaves the complexities to those addressed by Shlomoh/Kohellet himself.

Hag Sameyach,

** MY Cyber-chaver - R. Gershon Dubin pointed this out to me on the Avodah list MANY years ago! Then I pointed out that the name was explained, but the timing aspect originated with me.