Career Choices: Kiddushin 82

One of the most important life decisions we make is the choice of a career. As Judaism is most concerned with so many of the minor decisions we make - how to farm, what to eat, what to wear - surely it has much to say about what will occupy many, perhaps most, of our waking hours. So it may appear somewhat surprising that we find next to nothing, neither in the Torah nor in the vast corpus of the Talmud about career choices.

The Rabbi Who Wanted to Sin: Kiddushin 81


"Do not judge a person until you are in his place." (Avot 2:5) We unfortunately live in a very judgmental (Jewish) world where people are judged and looked down upon for all kinds of reasons - generally without even bothering to check if the "facts" are true. In a society where the thirty second sound bite - or shall we say 140 character tweet - is king is it any surprise there is little time or interest to develop nuance allowing views, often mistaken ones at that, to be formed much too quickly.

I Love Converts: Kiddushin 70

One of the rules of Rashi's commentary to the chumash, made famous by Nehama Leibowitz z"l, is that Rashi brings a second explanation to a verse only if he is not fully satisfied with his first explanation. While the second explanation may answer one problem it creates others and it is only the combination of the two that gives a satisfactory explanation of the verse at hand. When we see three, four or five explanations to a verse we can be certain that the verse is most ambiguous.

What a Story: Kiddushin 66

One of the fascinating, exciting even suspenseful aspects of learning Gemara is how a detailed discussion on the minutiae of Jewish law can without notice transition into philosophical, historical or theological issues and transition right back without missing a beat. Each facet of the discussion is deemed no less or more important than the other. Theory and practice, law and story, philosophy and history, theology and science all blend in seamlessly finding their place in the sea of Talmud.

Becoming a Tzadik: Kiddushin 49

"The signature of G-d is truth." (Shabbat 55b) As beings created in the image of G-d we too are expected to be the epitome of integrity. Lying or misrepresenting oneself earns one not only moral opprobrium but has legal implications as well. 
"Be betrothed to me with this cup of wine yet it is honey, with honey but it is wine...on condition that I am wealthy yet he is poor, on condition that I am poor yet he is wealthy she is not betrothed." (Kiddushin 48b) 

Delegate It Yourself: Kiddushin 41

"If you want something done right do it yourself" is a nice idea in theory but one with limited applications. It is not possible for any successful institution to run without delegation of authority. And the bigger and more successful the organization the more partners that are needed and the more work that needs to be delegated. Many a potentially great organization withered and failed due to a 'do it yourself person' at the top who thought that only they could do it right. Even if true that they can do it better than others it is often better to let others do it.


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