Wednesday, April 08, 2009

We work and they work. . . .

This morning I attended the traditional siyum for firstborn males. We are supposed to fast the day before Pesah in commemmoration of God sparing us when he struck down all Egyptian human and animal firstborn males in the final plague. Attending a siyum, when a tractate of Talmud is finished, and partaking of the se'udat mitzva, the festive meal marking this happy occasion, absolves us of the obligation to fast.
The rabbinic intern at Kingsway Jewish Center in Brooklyn expounded on the final paragraph in Masekhet Megilla, then read the traditional prayer that says in part: We work and they [those who do not study Torah] work; we work and receive a reward, they work and do not receive a reward. We run and they run; we run to eternal life and they run to the pit. . . .

A while ago I stumbled on a gay-oriented sport site featuring a photo they call "Leather Fighter." Brooklyn has its own favorite son, boxer Dmitry Salita, who happens to be an observant Jew. He davens in a Habad shul in the Midwood section. He refuses to fight on Shabbat, forfeiting paydays from popular Friday night fights. As he puts it, "Anyone who wants a whupping from me has to wait till after sundown [on Saturday]."

Dmitry may look like a wimpy Jewish kid, but don't mess with him. His right arm is naturally strong. His left is fortified with tefilin.

Salita pursues an opponent that he has
cornered up against the ropes

We wear black leather and they wear black leather. . . .


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