Monday, May 10, 2004

Well, Arbel got her seat on the court, which should put to rest any thoughts that these things are based on the merits. I predict that this will be a major turning point in the struggle to democratize Israel's judiciary.

But Thursday was not a lost day. Reb Usher's shiur was brilliant as usual. Two nuggets: Rav Shloime Kluger held that if you miscount sefirah by counting too high a number, you can continue counting the next day with a bracha since 'yesh bichlal maasayim mana' (?!). Another item: Rav Vosner told a rav who forgot to count one night but was mortified at the thought of 'fessing up to his kehillah that he could continue counting with a bracha 'mishum kvod habrios'. This once happened to Reb Pinchos mi-Kuritz and he considered the humiliation and debasement one of the best experiences of his life. (The same thing happened to the Beis Halevy but no similar reaction has been reported.)

Which brings me to another chosid/Litvak story. My wife's uncle, a decent man who helped a lot of people and a true blue Litvak active in Agudah circles in New York, was just niftar and the kvurah was here in the Holy Land. The crowd of a few dozen melavim was evenly split between Mizrachnikim and Hungarian Rebbishe einiklach (he married badly) belonging to one of those 'dynasties' that's all chiefs and no Indians. Listening to their boilerplate hespedim (everything sounds boilerplate when you've got a vocabulary of a few hundred words), I couldn't help but wonder why they bother. They're not even kidding themselves any more. I hope they don't disappear, though, because I love imitating them. Zol er taka zayn a maylitz yoisher...

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