A Little Mysticism Is A Dangerous Thing

Rav Yosef Messas, following in the footsteps of the נודע ביהודה, whom he cites, has a fascinating, scathing critique of the recitation of לשם יחוד. He begins by confessing that he, too, used to recite it in his youth, as per the custom of his community, but only as a matter of habit, without understanding: […]

Canes and Coins

The first part of this post is an elaboration of this אישים ושיטות post. From Don Quixote: At this instant there came into court two old men, one carrying a cane by way of a walking-stick, and the one who had no stick said, “Senor, some time ago I lent this good man ten gold-crowns […]

Wine, Beer and the Pierian Spring

For Andy, who is fond of Pope’s maxim,. and who first drew my attention to the נר מצוה. Alexander Pope enjoins: A little Learning is a dang’rous Thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring: There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain, And drinking largely sobers us again.1 The fascinating, great Moroccan Rabbi, Rav Yosef […]