Saturday, November 03, 2012

Never Take The Short End

7:02 PM - Just back from neighbors   I had Shaloshudes there and then we went to an in-house Maariv.  Then we benched and havdalah-ed.

The question came up at the meal - why (according to Rashi) did Avraham assume that Sdom wouldn't be saved for less than 10 people based on the amount of righteous people (Noach and his family) needed to save the world?  To me this is one of those "the question is the answer situations.  The fact must be that a city/community is a world. I think that's a thought one could take and run with. Though, for the moment, I won't.

After ten days or so of feeling flu-ish I got the diagnosis of strep yesterday and began on antibiotics.  Thankfully I haven't had a cold like this since around this time last year. Please G-d let's keep it at bay.  For many, including me, this week will be remembered as the week of a tremendous hurricane.  For me it's also a weird week of no work and fever and cold symptoms and and and.

8:14 PM - Circa 1986 I went to Rav Elyashuv twice with shailos.  Once I asked him about tevilat keilim.  The other time I asked two questions: 1 - Is it allowed to learn hilchot aveilut, or is it ayin harah.  He said that it was totally fine to learn it, adding - "Zeh lo yazik klum."  2 - I asked him about a (naive/youthful) conviction I had at the time that it was wrong to have health insurance. He asked me (as you might be wondering) what the problem might be. I said that I thought it was a problem in bitachon.  He said it's fine and added with a twinkle in his eye that you just need bitachon after you get the insurance.

9 PM - Trying to navigate the difficult line of figuring out how ill I am.  Does my ear hurt? Is it/am I getting better?

Velo neivosh ki bechah batachnu - I'm never sure which of two ways to understand this makes more sense to me (though I think one is the conventional approach):

1 - We are stating that our faith in G-d will protect us from ever being embarrassed in any way.

2 - We are paying that our being part of the faith community not lead us to be embarrassed by association.

9:17 PM - "Gabe Kaplan was a comic who insisted on getting respect, even if it was only in a token way... Kaplan asked the club manager how much the comic was usually paid for the three shows a day, seven days a week.

"Fifty dollars."

Gabe said, "Then if you want me, it will cost you $51."

(Dyn-o-mite!:Good Times, Bad Times, Our Times - A Memoir, Jimmie Walker, page 60)

9:18 PM - I want to be from somewhere, be going somewhere, and be somewhere now.

9:37 PM - My G-d, my G-d, mine
Also G-d of my fathers
I need to own You

So close yet so far
We pray to and about You
Switching positions

Life's way too short
That's what we say as we act
Like it's way too long

One day we will die
Will we live before that time?
Life before death?

10:33 PM - I read a question today - We learn from Avraham that gedolah hachnasat orchim yoter mikabalat pnei hashechinah - it is better to cater to the needs of guests than to receive the spirit of G-d.  Avraham taught us this by setting the example and walking out on G-d (so to speak) and greeting 3 men passing by - but how did he know? The one answer I read that struck me was that Avraham was so holy that his body always did the right thing.  When he saw his legs take him to the men in need and away from his sick-visit from G-d he knew that was the way to go.

I saw another, more in the box, straightforward, question:

Why does Avraham get high praise for seeing angels pass by and taking them in, while Lot seems to do the same thing and doesn't score points - so to speak.  The answer is in the text itself: Avraham saw simple stray people walking by and invited them in.  Lot saw angels.  it's no big deal to invite an angel in when you can see that they're an angel.

11:59 PM - After Sandy
By Neil Fleischmann

Never take
the short end
of being a friend;
you never know
what you send
or can tell how
much you mend
with your
unique blend
of being
a friend


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