Monday, July 28, 2014

Humility in the Household

Hi,

"Teach your household humility, for when a person is humble and his household members are humble, then when a pauper comes to his gate and asks, ‘Is your father here,’ they will say, ‘Yes, come in.’ Before he even enters the table will be set before him, and he will enter and eat and drink and bless Gd, and he will have great satisfaction. When a person is not humble and the members of his household are demanding people, when a pauper comes to his gate and asks, ‘Is your father here,’ they will say, ‘No,’ and they will rebuke him and remove him sharply.

"Alternatively: Teach your household humility. How so? When a person is humble and the members of his household are humble and he travels overseas, he says, ‘Thank You, my Gd, that my spouse does not fight with others and my children do not fight with others,’ and his heart is not afraid and his mind is settled until he returns.


"When a person is not humble and the members of his household are demanding people and he travels overseas, he says, ‘May it be Your will, my Gd, that my spouse not fight with others and my children not fight with others,’ and his heart is afraid and his mind is not settled until he returns."

(Midrash, Avot d'Rabbi Natan 7:2)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The hospitality of Iyov

Hi,

"Paupers should be members of your household. Not literally the members of your household; rather, this means that paupers should speak of what they eat and drink in your home, as paupers would speak of what they ate and drank in Iyov's home. When they encountered each other, one would say to another, 'From where did you come?' 'From Iyov's home. Where are you going?' 'To Iyov's home.' And when Iyov experienced the great suffering, he said before Gd: 'Master of the Universe! Did I not feed the hungry and give drinks to the thirsty?' As in Iyov 31:16, 'Did I eat my bread alone, without an orphan eating therefrom?' 'And did I not clothe the unclothed?' As in Iyov 31:20, 'Did he not warm himself with the shearing from my sheep?'

"Nonetheless, Gd replied to Iyov: Iyov! You did not reach even half of Avraham's measure. You sit and wait in your home and guests enter to you. You feed wheat bread to one who normally eats wheat bread. You feed meat to one who normally eats meat. You give wine to one who normally drinks wine. Avraham did not do this; rather, he went out into the world and circulated, and when he found guests he brought them into his home. He gave wheat bread to those who did not normally eat wheat bread, he gave meat to those who did not normally eat meat. He gave wine to those who did not normally drink wine. Not only that, but he built great halls near the roads, and placed there food and drink. Anyone who entered ate and drank and blessed Gd. Therefore, I gave him nachat ruach. And anything the mouth requested was found in Avraham's house, as it is written, 'And he planted an eshel in Beer Sheva.'"

(Midrash, Avot d'Rabbi Natan 7:1)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The tent with four doors

Hi,

"Your house should be open wide. How so? This teaches that one’s house should be open wide to the south, east, north and west, as Job prepared four entrances to his house. Why did Job prepare four entrances to his house? So that the needy would not pain themselves to circumnavigate the entire house. One who came from the north could enter normally, one who came from the south could enter normally, and so from each direction. Therefore Job prepared four entrances to his home."

(Midrash, Avot d'Rabbi Natan 7:1)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The reward for community service

Hi,

"Rabbi Shimon ben  Lakish taught: Shaul merited to take the throne only because his grandfather lit lamps for the community.

"Thus he was named Ner [lamp] – Divrei haYamim I 8:33 says, "Ner fathered Kish", but Shemuel I 9:1 says "Kish the son of Aviel" – Shaul's grandfather's name was Aviel, but because he lit lamps for the community, he was also called Ner."

(Talmud Yerushalmi Sheviit 3:7)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Praying with our eyes and hearts

Hi,

"One sage said: One who prays must turn his eyes downward, as Kings I 9:3 says, 'My eyes and My heart will be there forever.' A second said: His eyes should be upward, as Lamentations 3:41 says, 'We will raise our hearts in our hands.'

"Rabbi Yishmael son of Rabbi Yosi joined them; he asked, 'What are you discussing?' They said, 'Prayer.' He said, 'My father said: One who prays must turn his eyes downward and his heart upward, to satisfy these two verses.'" 

(Talmud, Yevamot 105b)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Monday, July 21, 2014

Numerology in the Amidah?

Hi,

"The Ashkenazi sages have said that in the first three blessings [of the Amidah] there are 107 words, because they are based on Psalm 29 which contains 91 words, and Isaiah 29:23 [16 words]."

(Tur Orach Chaim 113)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Our Three Names

Hi,

"A person is called three names: One that his father and mother call him, one that others call him, and one that he is called in the chronicle of his life."

(Midrash, Kohelet Rabbah 7:3)

Alternatively:


A person is called three names: One that his father and mother call him, one that others call him, and one that he acquires for himself. The best of them is the one that he acquires for himself.

(Midrash Tanchuma, Vayyakhel 1)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai