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From the Mishnah:
“A sick person is fed on Yom Kippur according to the decision of a medical doctor”

Rabbi Yanai said, “When a sick person says, ‘I must eat,’ and the physician says he does not need to eat, the patient is obeyed. Why? Because it is written [Prov. xiv. 10]: “The heart knows its own bitterness.'”

Is this not self-evident? No, it is not, since we might think the physician has a better comprehension of the patient’s needs.

What if the case is reversed? Then the physician is obeyed, because the patient only wishes he does not need to eat.

Yoma Chapter 8


16 August in History

In 1933, three hundred Polish Jews including a group of 140 chalutzim leave for Palestine.

6 Elul in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Gershon Shaul Yom Tov Lipman Heller (1579-1654). Born several days after the death of his father, Nosson, he was raised by his grandfather, Moshe Wallerstein HaLevi Heller in Vienna. At the age of 13, he was sent to study in Prague with the MaHaRaL. At 18, he was appointed to the MaHaRaL’s judicial court in Prague, a position he held for 27 years. In 1622, he left Prague for Nicholsburg where he served as Rav and Av Beis Din. However, after 6 months he was called to serve in Vienna, as Av Beis Din.

In 1627, he was chosen to head the Beis Din of Prague. However, after only 6 months, he was imprisoned for 40 days after which he was released penniless. He was forbidden to practice his profession as well. By 1630 the ban was lifted and in 1631, he was asked to take a position in Nimerov. In 1634 he was elected rabbi in Ludmir where he remained for a total of 7 years.

In 1641 he became Av Beis Din and Rav of the Jewish community in Crakow where he died 13 years later. He is buried in the Crakow cemetery along the fence in the area devoted to the poor and the needy.

In addition to his famous Tosefos Yom Tov, one of the most important commentaries on Misha, he authored the Sefer “Tzuras HaBayis,” a detailed explanation of Rashi’s view of the Third Temple as described by Ezekiel (chapters 40-43).

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May 2020