Sunday, November 21, 2010


My shul is a Modern Orthodox one. So why is the vort du veek at shalosh se'udot and/or se'udah shelishit given by haredi yeshiva bokherlakh? No clue.

A few weeks ago I had an argument with them. If the rabbi hadn't been out of town, I might have been better behaved. Maybe not. At any rate, they didn't show up for the next two or three weeks. Did I scare them away, or were they otherwise engaged? Again, I don't know.

But anyhow, they were back yesterday. Jacob told Esau he stayed observant in Laban's home. The point was to let Esau know that he was a proud Jew. And that's what we have to do. We might sometimes interact with non-Jews, and we have to let them know we're proud Jews. For example, you might be applying for a job. You let them know up front that because you're a Jew, you work six days a week, but you're not available on the Sabbath. You don't wait until after they've hired you.

I didn't say anything this time because I felt bad about having scared them away (if indeed I did so). So you good reader get to hear my reactions. Two reactions, the less important one first. We interact with non-Jews all the time. We don't need to be given an example in order to see that the very idea isn't far-fetched.

Much more importantly, I thought we told potential employers up front that we can't work on Saturdays because we're honest in our business dealings. Naive.