Who’s Doing the Favor?

Rabbi Y. Perr shlit”a relates a personal story about two of his father’s cousins, Gittel and Faigel. Gittel was around ten years older than Faigel and was elderly and needed care. Faigel took Gittel into her home where she faithfully took care of Gittel day and night. After a few years of this arrangement, Gittel …

Getting or Giving?

Parasitism (social offense) Social parasitism is a pejorative that is leveled against a group or class which is considered to be detrimental to society. The term comes from the ancient Greek παράσιτος (parásitos), “one who lives at another’s expense, person who eats at the table of another,” used to label the social offender. (The English …

A Fat Chicken and Old Wine

A guest once arrived at Rava’s home. Rava wanted his visitor to feel at home so he asked his guest, “What are you accustomed to eat?” “A fattened chicken and old wine,” was the reply. Expensive delicacies. Rava was taken aback. “Aren’t you concerned that you’re being a burden on the tzibbur with such a …

Don’t Follow the Stars

The Yerushalmi (Shabbos 6:9) brings an interesting story: There was once an astrologer who became a ger. One day he had to travel someplace. Before he left, he calculated through astrology that this was an inauspicious time for travel. He thought to himself, “How can I travel in such a time?!” But then the astrologer …

Enjoy What You Have

Shlomo Hamelech describes the difference between a ba’al bitachon and someone without. צדיק אוכל לשבע נפשו, ובטן רשעים תחסר – A righteous person eats to satiation, but the belly of a wicked person is lacking. (Mishlei 13:25) A tzaddik who has food for today doesn’t worry about tomorrow. He eats what he has now until …