Goodbye and Good Luck: Kiddushin 82

Today, (June 1, 2016) is the last day of the daf yomi learning tractate Kiddushin and the completion of the Order of Nashim (Seder Nashim). This means all the Mishna’s and Talmuds dealing with womens issues is completed today. It took about two years (approximately). For any of you history buffs, it is also the 100th anniversary of a famous sea battle known as Battle of the Jutland in World War I. To this point, page 82 says that “sailors are pious” because they must pray for good weather and good conditions. Crazy how the daf and history intersect today.

But wait,there’s more.

Page 82 dealt with a Mishna warning men to stay away from certain professions as they would become too involved with women and lead to “mixed dancing” – a euphimism for inappropriate behavior. The Talmud goes on a tangent and then discusses lots of professions. The Talmud then says: Don’t think the success of your work is in your control, rather it is dependent on your “merit.” Recognizing that pious people with Merit often are unsuccessful, Tosfos states- really it is Mazel (luck) dependent. A complicated Marhasha brings in Abraham , looking above the stars or beyond his mazel to teaches us that good deeds can sway our Mazel. Mazel is the untangible. Can we sway or Mazel with good deeds, compassion,charity?

To conclude Seder Nashim, the Shikkerdovid says “Goodbye.” To all you people out there, trying to do the right thing, stay the on the skinny, straight and narrow-the Shikkerdovid says Good luck (Mazel)

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