Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Mobile Bais Medrash

Chazal tell us (Makkos 10b): "b'derech sh'adam rotze leilech, molichim oso" -- the way a person wants to go, they guide him that way.  Who guides him?  The Maharsha says that a persons actions, thoughts, and even desires create malachim.  Those malachim provide a spiritual "bubble/shroud/whatever-you-want-to-call-it" around the person that makes certain choices easier to pursue than others.  Chazal also tell us that Yosef told the brothers not to get involved in halachic discussions on their way back to Eretz Canaan to bring their father down.  Why?  Because he wanted them to come back quickly and didn't want them delaying on the way.

I like to learn.  So does Baruch Weinberg.  We both ride our bicycles downtown to work.  We do not arrange to meet, but we often end up biking along the same route at the same time.  I find this happens most often when I am mulling over some idea or other on which I don't have clarity.  Baruch is a perfect chavrusa for me, as he freely disagrees with almost everything I say.  That's works out great, because I tend to disagree with him also.  So we fight the whole way downtown.  It's not so easy to talk while riding along Lincoln, so we prefer intersections while waiting for the lights to change.  Baruch HaShem, b'derech sh'adam rotze leilech, molichim oso", and we tend to get stopped at a lot of red lights.  (Ok, ok... so we help out the malachim by slowing down appropriately to be forced to stop; just trying to do our bit to make their job easier.)  We get to work a few minutes later than we would otherwise, but that helps to assuage the pain we felt in leaving the bais medrash before jumping on our bikes.

We had a great fight this morning that should yield several days of thoughts.  I just wanted to begin by giving credit where credit is due.


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

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: 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…