“One may place vessels to receive rain.”

A Boraitha taught: When the vessel was full, he might empty it, and put it in its former place again; and so repeatedly. The handmill of Abayi was exposed to the rain (and he had not enough vessels to protect it).

He came to Rabba his Master, and asked; and he answered: Go and place your bed in that room (where the handmill was), and then the handmill will be considered as a night chamber, which may be removed from a bedroom (and then he can remove the bed again).

Abayi himself considered the law and said to himself: May one turn a clean thing into an objectionable thing intentionally?

While he sat and thought thus, the handmill cracked. Said he: I deserve this punishment because I was disobeying my Master.

Beitzah Chapter 4

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17 February in History

In 1929, today was the birthday of the author Chaim Potok. A graduate of Yeshiva University, Potok was ordained as a Conservative Rabbi after studying at The Jewish Theological Society. He earned a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. He decided to become a writer after reading Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited in 1945. He was fourteen years old, and all he had read were magazines and pulp fiction. He wanted to read a serious adult book, and he chose Brideshead Revisited at random from the public library.

He later said about reading it, “I found myself inside a world the merest existence of which I had known nothing about. I lived more deeply inside the world in that book than I lived inside my own world.”

13 Adar in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Moshe Feinstein (1895-1986). Born in Uzda (near Minsk), Belorussia, he was the son of R’ Dovid Feinstein, who was a grandchild of the Be’er Hagolah. His mother was Feige Gittel, daughter of R’ Yechiel, rov of Kopolia. He joined the yeshiva of R’ Isser Zalman Meltzer in Slutzk at the age of twelve.

At the age of sixteen, R’ Moshe completed Shas and Shulchan Oruch. He was rabbi of Lyuban from 1921 to 1936. He escaped the Stalinist regime in 1936 and settled in New York as rosh yeshiva of Tiferes Yerushalayim. He authored Igros Moshe, Darash Moshe, and Dibros Moshe.

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