Weekly Jewish Wisdom
October 27, 2016
Peter Pan hated goodbyes: “Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” He assumed that with our farewell, a piece of memory dies. The images, the special moments, the feelings wane and then disappear as we move forward into a new reality. In Jewish life, we try to extend that reality by walking a guest out of our homes minimally the span of four cubits, about six feet. It’s a small gesture of tenderness that we are not anxious to let our guests leave us. We linger a little with them.
Four cubits is a Jewish legal measurement of personal space. By walking four cubits out of our homes, we are, in effect, leaving our personal space to be in the space of those we have just entertained for a little bit longer. One of my earliest childhood memories is seeing my grandparents out of our car window. They hated saying goodbye and would always stand on the road waving and waving until they were no longer in view. It was a powerful way they communicated how important we were to them.
Tweets on the Today's Page of Talmud (Daf Yomi)
“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men," Immanuel Kant.
Bava Metzia 31a: When an animal is overburdened, "There is suffering of its owner and suffering of the animal itself."
Bava Metzia 32b: "The requirement to prevent suffering to animals is by Torah law." Humans cause suffering to animals but can relieve it.
Bava Metzia 28b: "A person does not condemn himself." There are enough other people who are willing to do that.
Bava Metzia 29b: "One who borrows a Torah scroll from another cannot lend it to another" because "a borrower is not allowed to lend."
Bava Metzia 30a: "A priest is not obligated to return a lost item in a graveyard" since he is not allowed to enter a cemetery.