Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Shortly after we got married, my wife and I were in Rome and had the chance to meet the Pope. When I mentioned that we were newly married, the Pope remarked, jokingly, that he didn’t remember seeing an invitation to our wedding.

I told the Pope that the question of whether or not to invite him to the wedding was something we debated in our home, but out of respect, we decided not to invite him.


Puzzled, he asked me to explain.

I explained that my father is a rabbi and that I wanted my father to officiate at our marriage. We decided that it would be better not to invite you, the preeminent Pope, than to invite you and risk slighting or insulting you by not asking you to officiate.

The Pope smiled and asked me if I study Talmud.

I answered in the affirmative.

He said, “I knew it! Only someone who studies Talmud could ever answer me like that!”

Since I took on studying Daf Yomi, I’ve seen incredible improvement in my creativity and my analytical skills. Gemara is something everyone should spend time learning. If not for the right reasons, it’ll do wonders for you, and, good intentions will follow good actions.


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Israel "Yummy" Schachter is the co-founder and CEO of Charity Bids, which provides unique trips and experiences on a no-risk consignment basis to more than 1,200 charities each year. He is also a co-founder of Inturn, the leading technology platform that connects brands and retailers to buy and sell off-price fashion and apparel inventory. In his “spare” time, he is involved with various Jewish organizations including Chai Lifeline, United Hatzalah of Israel, Leket Israel, and NCSY, and has raised over $30 million for various charities he supports as a volunteer fundraiser.