TalmuDigest

For the week ending 14 May 2005 / 5 Iyyar 5765

Shabbat 9 - 15

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
  • Status of the doorway
  • Activities forbidden before Mincha
  • Proper dress and posture for prayer
  • Schedule of the court
  • Times of meals
  • Prayer in the bathhouse
  • Shabbat and other gifts
  • Danger of favoritism
  • Where to live
  • Synagogue height
  • Observations on health, authority and fasting
  • Activities forbidden to safeguard Shabbat observance
  • Searching for lice and killing them
  • Visiting sick and consoling mourners
  • Reading by lamplight
  • Safeguarding family purity
  • The 18 decrees *Megillat Taanit - a history of troubles
  • Communication of spiritual impurity
  • Disputes of Hillel and Shammai

The Purpose of a Gift

Shabbat is a precious gift which the Creator gave to the Jewish People. In order to let them know that this gift was an expression of His love for them, He instructed Moshe to relay to them the great reward they would receive for properly observing Shabbat. This is how our Sages understood the meaning of what G-d said to Moshe about the gift of Shabbat that they shall know that I, G-d, sanctify them. (Shmot 31:13)

The Sage Rav extended this concept of informing the recipient of the gift of the identity of the giver to gifts given from one human to another. Rashi explains that the purpose of such revelation is that it creates affectionate relationships by expressing the honor one shows to another. Even if one gives some food to anothers child, adds Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel, he should inform the parent that he did so for the same reason.

Letting the recipient know who his benefactor is, notes Tosefot, is limited to gifts. In regard to charity, where there is a danger that the needy recipient will be ashamed if he is aware who is helping him, it is preferable for the benefactor to hide his identity in the spirit of what King Shlomo taught us a secret gift subdues the wrath of Heaven. (Mishlei 21:14)

  • Shabbat 10b

What the Sages Say

A man is obligated to check his clothes on Erev Shabbat before nightfall (so that there should be nothing in them which he may involuntarily carry on Shabbat into the public domain - Rashi).

  • The Sage Chananya

The above is an important rule for Shabbat observance.

  • Rabbi Yossef

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