A Rosh HaShanna message from Beitzah 6

Fortuitiously, today’s daf which falls on Erev Rosh Hashaana discusses the holiday. The top of page 6 ask what happens when someone dies on the first day of Rosh Hashana. Then we allow non jews to bury, but if someone dies on the second day, then Jews bury him. The implication is the second day of Rosh Hashana is a doubt.

The Talmud then says, now, when we are concerned with “Chavrei, ” Jews do not bury even on the second day. Who are the chavrei? Rashi tells us they are Persians who persecute Jews. However, despite the persecution, the Jews can withstand the Persian desire for them to work on shabbat and holidays. Rashi tells us that the Jews were concerned that if the Persians saw them burying dead on Yom Tov, they will say..The Jews can work on Yom Tov and push us to work.

What is the Rosh Hashanna lesson?. A Jew who is observant is being observed. A Jew wearing a kepah or a baseball hat at a bar is being watched. Frankly, it is easy to pick out the Jew. People are always ready to point out the Jew in the bar or the street. We are under scrutiny. Our behavior or statements our always being judged. Besides the non-jews, even Gd is watching us. Therefore, the lesson is that we should behave all the time. Be careful how loud we are speaking, what we are saying, how we are dressing. We must be sensitive to how people see us. Even more so we must behave because Hashem sees all.

Have a Happy and Healthy New Year from the SD.

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