Tuesday, November 1, 2016


One of the great rules of life is boundaries. In all of our relationships we need to know what the proper boundaries are. We want to be close to our spouses but everybody needs space. On the other hand allowing for too much space creates an unnecessary distance. We want to be good parents but we have to know that children ALSO need space. The older they get, the more space they need. On the other hand, having a lassiez faire attitude and letting everything go and letting the child live as he or she pleases is also harmful. Boundaries are crucial.

Goyim are not allowed to keep Shabbos. If they do then they are חייב מיתה!! Why? If Shabbos is so good then why don't we allow the Goyim to enjoy it also?? All they have is Sunday which is a pathetic day of watching ballgames and engaging in other leisure activities. Doesn't compare to Shabbos - not even close. 

The answer the Maharal gives is that we have borders and when a Goy keeps Shabbos he enters into our domain. As the sign goes "Trespassers will be shot upon sight...." [I thank Rabbi Elie Schwartz, my overseas Maharal chavrusa with whom I clarified ideas about boundaries in life and Avodas Hashem]. 


Here is an article written by a Goya who appreciates this idea. 

From the blog First Things

It has been some time since I gave thought to the day my soon-to-be husband and I bought our wedding rings.....

Our wedding date was set. It was time to pick a ring. But where to look for one? How to shop? The two of us were young, broke, and scrappy. It would be some years yet before we could afford to pay retail. Besides, my intended was a combative shopper, born to hondel. He did not believe in fixed prices. There were only asking prices begging to be negotiated.

We started in Manhattan’s diamond district in the west Forties. No diamonds were on our shopping list. But 47th Street was a place to haggle, draw swords, dicker away until the doomed asking price dropped in exhaustion. His ring was easy. A plain gold band was all. It was mine that took hunting for. I wanted something chaste and spare, low keyed but rich with symbolism. No glitz. Modest but not severe. It had to be unembellished but eloquent.

I had no idea what my adjectives might look like in the concrete. So we trooped from stall to stall in the Exchange scouting for . . . what, exactly? Then, finally, there it was. In the showcase of an older jeweler, forearm tattooed with his identification number from a concentration camp, were simple gold bands embossed with phrases from the Tanakh.

The graphic beauty of the Hebrew characters—heightened by our inability to read them—seemed a visible link to Him in Whom we would marry. One square letter followed another, spacing calculated to encircle the band with no marked beginning or end. The indissolubility of marriage seemed imprinted in the very design. Add the romance of indecipherability. This was my ring!
Next came the contest over cost. The groom-to-be went into gladiatorial mode. The seller was good at the game. It was a lengthy, spirited match. Eventually the two settled on a price. All that was left was to decide on the phrase from a sheet of suggested lines. My heart set on a passage from the Book of Ruth that reads in full:

Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest I will go, where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people and thy God my God. Only the central portion (“whither thou goest . . .”) could fit around the ring but the entire antiphon is implicit in the fragment. Ruth’s pledge to Naomi is the purest and most stirring statement of friendship I have ever known. I ached to claim it for myself and wear it for the rest of my life. 
Was one of us Jewish? The jeweler wanted to know. Was either of us leaving another religion to become Jewish? No, we were not. Well then, he was sorry but he would not give us that particular quotation. The point was non-negotiable. [See Rashi and Malbim on the pasuk - E.E.]. 

The rebuff was a sore let-down but we did not press. We deferred to his prohibition because, in some unspoken way, we understood. The story of Ruth is one of conversion that affirms the Jewish nation. It testifies to peoplehood. The intensity of this man’s concern to honor the sacred core of the text moved us. Here was a man who had suffered the unspeakable for no other reason than he was part of the people Ruth pledged herself to.

There was grace in his refusal. Had he granted me the words I craved, he would, in conscience, have violated the grandeur of them. Ruth’s commitment was not simply to another person but to a covenanted community bound together since the call of Abraham. Her words were his inheritance; he was not free to extend them to us.

Disappointed, I settled for words from the Song of Songs: “I found him whom my soul loveth.” Over the years, my second choice proved to be the better one. The ring is dearer to me than anything else I possess. But I did not feel that then.

What innocents we were. It never entered our minds to challenge the denial. We took for granted the man’s moral right to refuse us; any legal issue, then, was irrelevant. But by today’s lights, we gave in too readily. We could have raised a stink. Demanded our rights as consumers. Bullied the vendor with accusations of anti-Christian bigotry. We did not have to submit to the discomfort of being told we were ineligible for what we desired.

“Something there is that does not love a wall, / That wants it down.” Pace Frost, not every barrier should be cleared away. Not everything is permeable. A nation cannot survive without borders; no culture endures without limits. Walls provide a bulwark against chaos and dissolution. That day in the Diamond Exchange, we stumbled against the very wall a man had clung to in the camps. It was the same one that had kept Jewry from disappearing centuries before modern nation states existed. 
Had we been noisy enough, I might have gotten the thing I wanted at the time. But at what price to the commonweal?


What this Gentile woman understands - many Jews, sadly, do not...