A Yom Kippur Message from Beitzah 15

eToday is Erev Yom Kippur. Todays daf, Beitzah 15 has a funny tangent. It has a message clearly belongs to the days before Yom Kippur. The discussion is regards to one who finds tefillin in a field during shabbat or yom tov. Normally, one does not wear them on shabbat or yom tov so what should one do with them if found lying around unattended on those days?

The Talmud first proposes to cover them with your hands and bring them home. The second opinion is to bring them to the closest house. The reconciliation is kind of nutty. Whether the first house is protected or not protected from thieves and whether they are Jewish thieves.

The Talmud says if they are Jewish thieves who would not desecrate tfillin they can be left at the nearest house.

How crazy: Jewish Thieves? Despite being professional thieves we can rely on their fear of heaven not to desecrate tfillin.

Maybe there is a SD Yom Kippur lesson?

The SD thinks that the lesson is that our respect for others, our respect for our fellow man should at least equal our fear of heaven. The SD does not think for one second that the Talmud here is really being serious, rather is taking a shot at the hypocrisy of many who are diligent and scrupulous is their heavenly observance and lax in their interpersonal relations. Clearly Yom Kippur is about improving our character and most importantly being a kinder, nicer, more thoughtful person than the year before.

May this year bring us all to respect, care and be mindful of others.

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