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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Maseches Berachos’

Profitable Ticket

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Excitement was in the air as the 12th Siyum HaShas of the Daf Yomi cycle approached. Mendy, who had joined the Daf seven and-a-half years earlier, eagerly anticipated taking part in this major event at MetLife Stadium along with 93,000 other participants.

Mendy’s wife was due the following week, but he didn’t expect this would affect the Siyum. That morning, however, as Mendy got ready to go to shul, his wife said: “Things have been happeningI’ve been having a lot of contractions throughout during the night. I know you hoped to be at the Siyum this evening, but plan to go to the hospital laterI’d like you to be available today.”

In shul, at the Daf group, Mendy told his neighbor, Ezra: “I bought a yellow $180 ticket to the Siyum tonight, but will not be able to make it. Do you know of anyone who is still looking for a ticket?”

“I have a business associate who is looking for an extra ticket,” said Ezra. “He might be happy to buy it from you.”

“If you can sell it for me, I would very much appreciate it,” said Mendy, “It cost $180, but I’ll sell it for $150, or even $120.”

Ezra called his associate, Mr. Kurz. “Someone in our Daf group has a $180 ticket available ticket,” he said. “Are you interested?”

“Absolutley!” exclaimed Mr. Kurz. “Bring the ticket to the office and I’ll give you the $180.” Ezra decided not to mention that Mendy had only asked for $150.

Ezra took the ticket to work and received the $180. He put aside $150 for Mendy and kept $30 for himself.

“All’s well that ends well,” thought Ezra with satisfaction. “Mr. Kurz got his ticket to the Siyum; Mendy recouped the $150 he wanted; and I earned $30 in the process!”

While driving to the Siyum, Ezra told his chavrusah, who learned regularly in a Business Halacha shiur, what happened with the ticket. “I’m not sure that what you did was right,” said his chavrusah. “Mendy told you to sell the ticket for $150. You had no right to charge Mr. Kurz the extra $30 and should return it to him!”

A lively discussion erupted in the car. Another person said: “Since you sold the ticket for Mendy, whatever you got for it is his! You have to give him the full $180.”

A third passenger said: “I don’t see any problem in what you did. Mendy got his price, and the rest was given to you. You earned it!”

A fourth person suggested: “You and Mendy should split the $30, since you both had a share in it.”

For twenty minutes, they debated the issue back and forth. Finally, Ezra said: “Why don’t we ask Rabbi Dayan at tomorrow’s Daf?”

The following morning, the Daf group assembled, with strengthened numbers, to begin learning Maseches Berachos. Everyone was red-eyed from the previous night’s Siyum but exhilarated from the experience.

When the shiur finished, Ezra said: “A fascinating monetary case came up yesterday, which we debated in the car on the way to the Siyum.” He related the story to Rabbi Dayan.

“What happens with the extra $30?” Ezra asked.

“This question was posed to the Rosh 700 years ago,” Rabbi Dayan replied. “The Rosh [Responsa 105:1], cited by the Tur and Shulchan Aruch [C.M. 185:1], ruled that if the seller stated a certain price and the agent sold for more, the additional money belongs to the seller. Thus, you should give the remaining $30 to Mendy.”

“But why?” asked Ezra. “How is this different from any other business, where the middleman buys and sells for a profit?”

“The reason is because Mendy never sold you the ticket,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “You were simply his agent, or representative to sell. When Mr. Kurz gave you the $180 for the ticket, it was on behalf of Mendy.”

“And why not give the $30 back to Mr. Kurz?” asked Ezra.

“There was no mistake on his part,” said Rabbi Dayan. “He was aware of the item he was buying and of the price he was paying. You were a diligent agent in getting the full price for the seller.”

“But why shouldn’t I be entitled to the $30 difference as a brokerage fee?” asked Ezra.

Tens Of Thousands Celebrate Historic Siyum HaShas

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Neither the threat of rain nor heavy traffic prevented the huge throng of enthusiastic participants from attending the 12th Siyum HaShas last Wednesday, August 1 at MetLife Stadium. The event, which attracted more than 90,000 people, was in celebration of the conclusion of the seven-and-a-half year learning cycle of the Babylonian Talmud.

It was 36-year-old Rabbi Meir Shapiro who introduced the learning of Daf Yomi at the first Knessia Gedolah two weeks before Rosh Hashanah 5684 (1923). The Daf Yomi program requires one to learn one daf (a two-sided page) of the Talmud’s 2,711 pages each day.

Several speakers heaped accolades on Daf Yomi teachers and students alike, the former for preparing their sessions thoroughly and the latter for balancing their busy schedules to ensure early morning or late night learning. Wives of both teachers and students were commended for supporting their husbands’ dedication in this Torah-learning challenge.

Siyum HaShas Chairman Elly Kleinman spoke about Rabbi Shapiro’s vision – uniting Klal Yisrael through the learning of Torah. Rabbi Shapiro visualized a scenario whereby a traveler would enter a shul in another village and find fellow Jews studying the same Talmud page that he was learning. Rabbi Shapiro’s goal has become reality as thousands of Jews from diverse backgrounds and various locations throughout the world learn the same page of Gemara daily. This unity of purpose and achievement was on display at MetLife Stadium, as Jews from all walks of life joined together to partake in the Siyum HaShas.

Rabbi Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz of Los Angeles, the evening’s MC, mentioned the August 1 date of this Torah-learning accomplishment – 76 years to the day after Adolf Hitler addressed tens of thousands of people at the 1936 Olympics. Rabbi Rechnitz spoke of the sweet revenge the Jewish people could feel on this night with their answer – learning Torah – to Hitler’s barbarism.

The Novominsker Rebbe, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, said that it is Torah that defines the Jewish people as a nation, adding that Torah is the only ingredient that can explain our existence throughout the generations while the world’s evil superpowers have perished over time.

Rabbi Yissocher Frand
(Photo courtesy of Menachem Adelman/Agudath Israel)

Noted author Rabbi Yissocher Frand, the senior lecturer at Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, urged Jews to formulate a plan that aims higher in their Torah study. He pointed to American-born Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, zt”l, who despite the handicap of Parkinson’s disease, grew to become a gadol b’Yisrael. Rabbi Finkel never let his debilitating illness interfere with running the largest yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Frand said that this should be a reminder that it is never too hard to accomplish great things in life, and what seems to be out of one’s reach is in fact in the person’s grasp.

Rabbi Yitzchok Scheiner, rosh yeshiva of Kaminetz Yeshiva in Jerusalem, withstood his advanced age of 90 to make the trip. Impressed with Rabbi Frand’s moving words, Rabbi Scheiner substituted his planned message by taking up Rabbi Frand’s suggestion to devise a plan of action to aim higher in Torah study. Rabbi Scheiner’s two-fold plan was a call for those who have yet to learn Daf Yomi to begin now, and that everyone should learn the Chofetz Chaim’s Sefer Shemiras Halashon. He also spoke briefly about his rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, whose recent passing is still fresh in our minds.

Rabbi Yitzchok Scheiner
(Photo courtesy of Menachem Adelman/Agudath Israel)

For his part, Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, a former Ashkenazic chief rabbi of Israel, stressed the importance of chazarah, reviewing what one has learned. Rabbi Lau emphasized that one who learns 100 times cannot be compared to one who has learned 101 times.

Yechiel Eisenstadt, Shrage Goldschmidt and Moshe Hass spearheaded the groundbreaking Masmidei Hasiyum youth program, whereby thousands of elementary and junior high school boys have completed one-and-a-half million mishnayos in memory of the same number of children murdered in the Holocaust, and six million lines of Gemara in memory of the six million martyrs of the Holocaust.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/feautures-on-jewish-world/tens-of-thousands-celebrate-historic-siyum-hashas/2012/08/08/

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