A sage asked, the Mishna teaches: It is prohibited to clap hands, keep beat on your hips, and to dance on a festival. Yet in our time we see people do so, and we do not say to them anything. Why do we remain silent?

He answered: And according to your theory, come and see the women who take their cans and go and stand at the gates of the entry, which is also prohibited, and we say nothing to them (Would you also blame us for this?).

This is not so (because it is a rule). Let Israel do things unintentionally rather than intentionally (i.e., they were sure that if it was told to them, they would not listen, and to preserve them from conscious transgression, they keep silence).

There is no difference in such a case between a biblical and a rabbinical prohibition. Because the adding from the eve of the Day of Atonement to the Day of Atonement (about half an hour) is biblical, nevertheless we see women eating and drinking till dark, and we say nothing.

Beitzah Chapter 4


14 February in History

Today in 1961, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, accused the government of Morocco of bias against Jews and appealed to the Human Rights Commission of the United States to urge the Moroccan Government to stop what it termed “repressive action” including police brutality.

10 Adar in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Alexander Moshe Lapidus (1819-1906). A talmid of Rav Yisrael Salanter, he authored Divrei Emes.