Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Causing Problems But Still Doing Your Job

The gemara (brachos 28a) brings two opinions from R' Yochanan.
  1. One who delays davening musaf is a wanton sinner (poshei'a).
  2. Faced with needing to daven both mincha and musaf, one should first daven mincha and then daven musaf.
Rashi explains the second opinion is because since one has already wantonly sinned by delaying musaf, better to daven mincha right away rather than become a wanton sinner a second time because of delaying mincha.  The question is, where is the sin?  Everyone agrees that the person has fulfilled his obligation to daven musaf (and mincha).  First a story.

I was riding my bicycle to work this morning and my left contact was really bothering me.  Apparently an eyelash or tiny bit of dust had gotten stuck under the contact.  I had absolutely no intention of removing the contact, of course; I needed it to see, after all!  So the contact was doing it job very well.  It was also causing me a fair amount of grief.

So R' Yochanan is not saying that the person would, chas v'shalom, be better off just disregarindg prayer all together.  He is simply pointing out that when a person delays davening musaf, he is a wantonly disregarding "zrizim makdimim l'mitzvos" -- being alert to do Ratzon HaShem with enthusiasm.  On the other hand, he is still serving HaShem... just also (according to R' Yochanan) causing a fair amount of irritation.  Generally speaking, I think it is good counsel to strive not to irritate HaShem.  I'm just saying.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Thanking HaShem Each and Every Day for Solid Land Near Water

Each and every morning, a Jew is supposed to view himself as a new/renewed creation, ready for a new day of building his eternal self through Torah and mitzvos.  We begin the day with 16 brachos to praise/thank/acknowledge HaShem for giving us all the tools we need to succeed.  We have a body, soul, and intellect.  We have vision, mobility, and protection from the elements.  Among those brachos, we have one that perhaps seems a bit out of place: רוקע הארץ על המים/Who spreads out the land on/over the water.  After all, it's nice to have a dry place to walk, but does that compare to the gratitude I have for a working body and vision?  As it turns out, I should; as explained by the R' Rajchenbach, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Eliyahu (aka, Peterson Park Kollel).  Your best bet is to listen to the shiur; very distant second is to continue, which I hope will whet your appetite for the real thing.

First... since we have dry land, I don't have to slog to work through even a foot…

Thought for the Day: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Hydroponically Grown Humans... I Feel Sick

I am quite openly not at all objective about abortion in particular and the treatment of human embryos and fetuses in general.  I am, after all, the survivor of a failed abortion attempt.  Not "thought about it, but couldn't go through with it"; not "made appointment, but then chickened out at the lost moment"; but, "tried a procedure, but was unsuccessful in attempt to abort".  Nonetheless, I try very hard to listen to the liberal arguments (which I also used to chant as part of the general liberal catechism), and am genuinely empathetic to the plight of women who find themselves in that difficult position.

What I heard on NPR this morning, however, has left me feeling physically ill.  You can read about it, if you like, but here's the bottom line:  Scientists in Cambridge have achieved a new record, they fertilized a human ova and then kept it alive in vitro (that is, in a test tube/petri dish in a laboratory) for 14 days.  The scientist involve…