Audio Roundup 2024:1

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by Joel Rich

My study of the Aruch Hashulchan choshen mishpat has made me realize more than ever that while every society needs to have a set of rules to settle financial disputes and damages, one really sees how there is an overarching redemptive element to in Jewish “commercial “ law.
Two recent examples I came across are in 163:1 and 157:1

In 157:1 while halacha generally recognizes the concept of communal practice which can establish a right to a continued use (chazaka), when it comes to hezek riah, even the existence of such a pre-existing practice is not enforceable, and in fact, the practice needs to be changed. To me, the overriding value of tzniut means that halacha presumes that nobody would (or should) ever waive their right (really obligation) to privacy. In some ways this mirrors the presumption that “no one” would waive their right not to have an open cesspool on their property boundary.

163:1 lists the communal requirements that community members can force each other to contribute towards. In addition to city walls and gates, there is an extensive list of priorities including a minimum library, synagogues, mikveh, rabbi, chazen, shvitz and charitable institutions which those support needy citizens, visitors, children and hospitals.

Back when I worked for a living I would tell clients their organization always has a value proposition – show me your actions and I’ll tell you what it is. Or as Emerson said, “What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary”

Simple pshat in Stairway to Heaven?

There’s a feeling I get
When I look to the west (The shechina is kabbalistically believed to be in the west)
And my spirit is crying for leaving (from galus)
In my thoughts I have seen
Rings of smoke through the trees (tzipita lshua – eagerly awaiting redemption and seeing the smoke rise straight up in my minds eye of the beit mikdash)
And the voices of those who stand looking (the Leviim saying shira in the beit mikdash)

Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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