Weekly Jewish Wisdom
February 16, 2017
ow that I have your attention...This is a classic case of bait-and-switch. You were probably misled by the title into thinking that we were going to discuss the sharing of cannabis (which would go nicely with The Forward's recent recipe for weed-infused matza balls, called affectionately, potza balls). But no. We are actually going to discuss a shared pot as in the kind that used to be the only kind of pot: a utensil or "a container, typically rounded or cylindrical and of ceramic ware or metal, used for storage or cooking."
But before that we are going to talk about e-mails. Ever put a lot of people on an email with a specific request and wonder why no one responds? In the psychological literature, this behavior has a name: the diffusion of responsibility. If it is not clear that one individual is singled out for a task, then the others automatically assume that someone else is doing it or, better yet, has already done it. This apparently grows stronger when the people included number three or more. If only one person is identified as responsible, chances are much higher that the reply button will be pressed and that the work will get done.
Tweets on the Today's Page of Talmud (Daf Yomi)
"I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?" Mother Teresa.
Bava Batra 29a: "Neighbors know who is (in another neighbor's house) in the day and in the night." We've all had neighbors like that.
Bava Batra 27b: If your tree is nourished by a neighbor's field, and the neighbor is a robber, you "do not bring first fruits from it."
Bava Batra 28b: How do you get a protest started? "Your friend has a friend, and the friend of your friend has a friend..."
"From a little spark may burst a flame," Dante Alighieri.
Bava Batra 26a: You are obligated to pay damages "from a spark that flies from a hammer." Indirect damage is still damage.