Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Personal and Communal Spirituality

Two related, very cool, questions.  First, suppose the mashiach were to come this Monday.  (That's the soonest I could manage to fit all shitos.  Eliyahu can't come on Friday because we are busy preparing for Shabbos and there is a machlokes if he can come on Sunday because of t'chum issues.  Even so, one can still  worry about who will do the avoda since we are all tamei l'meis; kasha af a hypothetical ma'aseh.)  In that case, would bring a tashlumin for Shavuous?  Second question: Suppose someone became an avel today or tomorrow, but doesn't celebrate Shavuos.  In that case would he still sit shiva on Friday?  (How do you have someone who didn't celebrate Shavuos, but is makpid on shiva?  First of all, I don't have to answer that question because is doesn't have any bearing on the question itself.  Second of all, maybe he will decide to become a ba'al t'shuva right after Shavuos.  Third of all, we are all hopelessly inconsistent in our observance, so what's the question anyway?)  Once we understand the two sides of each question, we'll see how they are related.

On the tashlumin issue: Tashlumin allows us to bring a korban as a make up for a korban that it was not possible to bring.  Perhaps, then, the fact that (assuming the Mashiach does not come before Friday) we don't bring a korban chagiga on Shavuos is no different than if Shavuous were to fall on Shabbos.  Perhaps, however, when we have the Beis HaMikdash (may it be rebuilt soon and in our days) the spiritual level of the world is so elevated that the tashlumin is needed to maintain that level.  If that is the case, then we would not bring a tashlumin for the missed korban.

On the shiva issue:  Shiva brings a level of spiritual comfort to the avel who has just lost the the spiritual radiance of one of his seven close relatives for whom one sit shiva.  (Shiva has nothing to do with psychological comfort, as evidenced by the fact that a ger does not sit shiva, while a Jew who never even met his father would sit shiva.)  Perhaps, then, it is the celebration of Shavuos that brings a spiritual elevation to the person and so someone who didn't celebrate Shavuos would still need to sit the full shiva.  Perhaps, however, the spiritual level of the entire world is elevated just by going through a Shavuos and so even his shiva would be truncated.

Im Yirtzeh HaShem, the mashiach will come before Shavuos this year and the questions can remain hypothetical.

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…