Audio Roundup 2017:21

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by Joel Rich

Not a maaseh shehaya but I’d appreciate your thoughts: Reuvain is a Modern Orthodox senior citizen. In his community, presumed social negiah restrictions are generally not observed (e.g., hello includes a social hug), although Reuvain is meticulous in his observance of them. He is in his office in a conference with two colleagues when Miriam, the wife of a third tier social friend, also well past childbearing age, comes to the office door and says with a tear in her eye, “Reuvain, I hate to do this to you.” Reuvain quickly asks his colleagues to excuse them, and Miriam blurts out, “David (her husband) just passed away,” and she begins to slump, crying. Reuvain quickly gets up and walks to her and hugs her to comfort her and keep her upright. As he does so, he realizes she did not make any request or action alluding to any need prior to his action, but she did seem to very much appreciate it. She also belonged to the portion of the community which did not presume a social negiah restriction. Was Reuvain’s action preferred, acceptable, or prohibited? If not preferred, what should he have done?

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When you see the abbreviation va’v apostrophe daled vav kuf: how do you read it? I was surprised at the Bar Ilan expansion.

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  • Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].

    About Joel Rich

    Joel Rich is a frequent local lecturer on various Torah topics in West Orange, NJ and supports his Torah listening habits by working as a consulting actuary.

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