Sunday, May 15, 2005

"Help Wanted"

Do you know anyone who can help this person out?

Dear Rabbi Bechhofer:

I have read some of your writing on the web and am impressed. I wonder if you can help me.

I am a middle-aged ba'al-habayit and professional. I was raised modern Orthodox, but was yeshiva-educated only through high school. I have learned only a few blatt of Gemara in my life. My Hebrew is poor, and my Aramaic worse.

I have, nevertheless, embarked on some research into the sections of Vayikra and Devarim dealing with kosher animals, as well as relevant sections of Chulin (via Artscroll). I am in the process of writing a paper for publication, and am close to completion. (I believe that, despite my ignorance, I have some valuable insights, as my mind works fairly well.) I have, however, encountered a few questions that I cannot find answers to, which I would like to resolve. I am sure that rishonim or achronim have noticed the same issues I have, and may have addressed them, but I am unable to access the seforim or understand them. Just reading two lines of Tosafos takes me 5-10 minutes, and this with the help of Hebrew and Aramaic dictionaries.

I am looking for a very bright young rabbi or kollel student with whom I can correspond on these questions by phone or e-mail, and who can research sources to look for answers to my questions, and otherwise guide me. He would have to be fluent in English, be able to use e-mail, have some basic knowledge of Chulin, and know how to search for and understand commentators on Chumash and Gemara who have commented on the specific questions I have. It also would be helpful if he had a good idea about how the Gemara interprets Chumash, and the relationship between p'shat and d'rash; and, ideally, access to a talmud chacham who might be able to provide leads and guidance if needed.

I could pay this person up to $15 an hour, and he would have the freedom to do the research at his own convenience. Having spent a good deal of time in this area, my insights might also prove useful to him.

My own children have all attended yeshivos and mesivtos, but they are busy with their own lives and don't have the time to work with me.

Do you have any idea how I can find someone to assist me? The person need not be in the US. I would appreciate any help you could give me.


  1. Dear Rabbi,

    I found your very interesting blog because someone went from your blog to mine. That could have been you or it could have been anyone.

    First, I wanted to say that while it is currently very late/early but late for me I found your discussion of Science and Torah very interesting, and while I come from a later tradition, I do find studies of the Torah revealing and worth reading for their insights on my own beliefs.

    Second, one reason a Jewish person might be drawn in a search to my site is that I updated a story I did awhile back about's new Animated Short Matzah! I do not have the education to know if most Jewish people would find it funny or offensive (the video) but if there is a general feeling that it is offensive among your community please let me know by leaving a comment on any page on my blog and I will turn off the page.

    I probably should have asked someone about that before posting it, but my audience is pretty darn small these days.

    Hope your week is a good one.



  2. It seems we might have made a "shidduch" for this "position" through Areivim.


  3. If you are still lookng for someone for this "position", and the "shidduch" from `Areivim did not work out, please contact me at