Thursday, August 25, 2011


Exactly twenty four months after my marriage, and eighteen after Yossi Shomer's, I attended the nuptials of my dear chavrusa and partner in argument, Michoel (Moo) Rose. Not only did I teach him the proper role of aircraft carriers in WWII, but I also helped him develop a lot of character. You're welcome Mrs. Rose. 


Sunday, August 21, 2011


I recently attended a non-Lubavitch Shul for Shabbos Davening, which was pretty much the same thing as a Lubavitch Shul for Davening, except that they started at the obscene time of 8:30. Ridiculous.

Anyway, the Kiddush was in honor of a family that is leaving the community after a decade to move to Israel. One of the locals made a speech, which went something like this:

There are many communities which have the minhag to make a "seudas preidah," a separation meal, when people leave. It's interesting to note that the word, "preidah," separation, is also the same word for mule. Why is this? Well, a mule is a strange animal. On the one hand, it's sterile, it can never have progeny. On the other hand, it's a very hard worker. So a mule is bittersweet. So too is a separation: we're taking leave of one another, and it's very sad. At the same time though, it's a new start, a new beginning, and we're happy that they'll be moving on to greater things. So a separation, just like a mule, is bittersweet. Sure, we hope we'll keep in touch, but at the end of the day, this is it.

During this speech I started thinking, "Hmm, I've never heard of this whole seudas preidah thing." And then it occurred to me- this is exactly why, in the immortal words of the brothers Marcus, "Chassidim don't say goodbye." We don't have a separation, we don't leave one another. Sure, there may be a temporary parting, but we know we'll see each other again.

As a Lubavitcher, we hear things like C. D.S.G all the time, and it sounds trite and common and obvious. Then you hear things from another perspective, and all of a sudden, you realize that we really are better than everyone else. Ok, maybe not. But we do have the right idea.

Monday, August 1, 2011

UnKosher Questions

In today's Chumash (specifically, verse 13) we read about a question asked of the R' Yosi by the Bishop Arius. There's a very interesting comment in the Sapirstein edition of the Chumash (page 12, note 9) which says, "Nothing other than what is mentioned here is known about this person. His name appears nowhere else in Torah literature." Funny that there's an entire Sicha (volume 34, page 9) about this guy's question, but that's neither here nor there. Of course, this is the Artscroll volume which famously quotes from Likkutei Sichos in the notes (quoted as "Beiurim LePeirush Rashi Al HaTorah" [notice the lack of a bibliography in the volume]), but again, take that as you will. My real question for you tonight is whether this Bishop Arius we are dealing with here is the same one who became famous for Arianism? It does seem possible, because Arianism is more monotheistic than Christianity, so it seems altogether possible that Arius was talking with famous Rabbis. What say you?