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The Music of Halacha: Loving Others

The first entry in my Service of God Notebooks in which I realized that there is Music to Halacha: “Everything that is brought to people who are having a meal that has a particularly wonderful aroma and thereby adds to the craving to eat the food; those who are eating must offer some of that food immediately to the person serving them. Offering some of every one of the dishes is a particularly fine way of doing this religious act (Shulchan Aruch; Orach Chaim 169:1).”


My father zt”l applied this law to any time I was eating a snack that looked particularly delicious, and insisted that I share it with my sister. He also insisted that when I was having a special joy in my learning, joy that was obvious to people around me, that I offer to study with anyone I would see who was not deriving joy from his learning. “Perhaps,” he said, “this is the meaning of what the Sages described as happening just before the destruction of the Second Temple: people were studying Torah even at a time of baseless hatred. People were soaring with joy in their learning and did not think to share that joy with others.” (Shabbat Devarim 5728 – 1968)

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