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November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
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Q & A: ‘The Scepter Shall Not Depart From Judah’ – Redux (Part II)

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“After him [i.e., after Rabban Yochanan b. Zakai’s passing], Rabban Gamliel son of Rabbi Shimon b. Gamliel [the elder] who was executed [with the 10 martyrs – this Rabban Gamliel was his son] served as the Prince in Yavneh and R. Yehoshua served as av beit din. It happened that Rabban Gamliel humiliated R. Yehoshua on three different occasions; [thus] he was removed as prince and R. Elezer b. Azaryah, who was rich, was placed in his stead. R. Elezer was also a tenth generation from Ezra the Scribe. [One of the official functions of the Prince was to deliver the lecture in the academy every Sabbath, and as a result of his removal, Rabban Gamliel no longer would deliver that lecture.] Afterward they [sought to appease him and] restored Rabban Gamliel to his position, but they did not remove R. Elezer b. Azaryah; thus [they established a compromise:] Rabban Gamliel would lecture for two [consecutive] Sabbaths and R. Elezer b. Azaryah would lecture for one Sabbath, as the Gemara in perek Tefillat HaShachar (Berachot 28a) explains.”

(To be continued)

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


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Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

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Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

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