Thursday, December 09, 2010

Ari Shatkin's Pirkei Avos Presentation

Ari Shatkin is a talmid at MTA in the 1oth grade class to which I teach Tanach. Recently, one of my talmidim from last year, Yaakov Schonzeit, has begun giving a chaburah in Pirkei Avos to some boys in the Tanach class. They are required to make presentations to the entire class. Ari typed up his presentation, so I am pleased to share it:

The following terms that I chose to interpret for you today is the terms to “love work”, “despise lordliness”, and to “remove yourself from uncertainty”. All of these topics or terms interest me because I feel like they mean something to me.

The way I interpret the term “love work” is to mean that you should simply love the thing you do. This term affects me because I feel it everyday. I take school as my “job”. On days I like it I feel a lot better about myself than days that I hate it. It’s teaching us a life long lesson, which is “If you hate what you do, then what’s the point of living?” If one doesn’t like the thing they do daily, such as work, then it can lead to many bad things, like being depressed or other bad things that can effect you for your life.

The way I interpret the term “despise lordliness” to mean that you should not get into politics. This term does not affect me as much but I can understand the term. People who are in politics have such a huge responsibility. If we look back at the last term “love work” I feel like people who are politicians will be lead to not loving work because of the stress of the job.

The way I interpret the final term “remove yourself from uncertainty” is to not get into stuff you don’t know the result to. This affects me because I do invest some money in the stock market. I also find that as a small job that I have right now. When I put my hard earned money into the market I will always consult with my uncle or another person who is a stock broker before putting it in the market. If you mean this as a job I feel like it goes back to the first thing to “love work” If someone doesn’t remove themselves from uncertainty then they may not be successful in there job which can make them hate it. It doesn’t even have to do with the market or a job. It can also do with something like school. You should go into a test knowing you will get a good grade. If you don’t then you are not ready.

In conclusion you see that the 3 terms I use not only affect me a little bit but you also see how they connect to each other. I believe that we are trying to learn life long lessons to make us live better and have a peaceful and happy life.


  1. I had written the following question on a previous post, but I assume you did not see it:

    Rav Bechhofer Shlita,

    A question that I fear has no relevance to the posting above (but I hope will be responded to):

    There is an article circulating on the web (it seems due to one of the "popular yeshiva blogs" finding it) regarding the queens/kgh eruv


    Being that you have written a respected sefer on the topic of eruvin, I was wondering if you could explain whether the chnages made impact the halachic standing of the eruv in any way? In your sefer, you write about Reb Moshe Zt"l's psak heter for the kgh eruv. Does that psak still stand with the changes that have been made (or must one no longer state that they are relying on "reb moshe," but instead on whoever the Rabbonim are that made the changes)?

    If you could give a extensive explanation/answer it will be most appreciated!

  2. I don't want to get into specifics. However, it is unclear whether Reb Moshe's heter for KGH had to do with physical separations between it and surrounding areas, or the differentiation, unique to Queens, between "towns" in the borough. If the former, then the eruv would no longer be subject to the heter; if the latter, then the heter would still apply.

  3. You should just know this about the OU. The OU shul in New Orleans is led by a so called rabbi named Uri Topolosky even though the OU poskim said that graduates from Avi Weiss's yeshiva cannot be mara d'atra. Young Israel is listening to the psak but the OU does not listen to their own poskim. Topolosky gives hashgacha on restaurants and started a joint beit din where he sits with Reform and Conservative rabbis to do conversions. Since Chabad does not let Reform and Conservative use their mikva for conversion, Topolosky is raising money to build another mikva. Topolosky attends kabbalat Shabbat services at the Reform to show solidarity with them and trades pulpits on Shabbat mornings with the Reform rabbi. This goes against everything in the OU constitution but the OU doesn't care. Some rabbis from out of town were shocked when they were apprised and even more shocked that the OU is giving them the runaround. There are people working under OU VP Rabbi Steven Weil and the OU president Mr. Savitsky who seem to be Avi Weiss sympathizers. They will not let you reach the presidium and argue to defend Topolosky. They pass you off to David Olivestone the OU media spokesman who gives you a bunch of patronizing hogwash that he is appalled but that the OU cannot intervene in member synagogue affairs.

    Someone at a national Jewish organization told me off the record that I should reach out to Rabbi Shain. After I commented there the readers suggested I also venture on over to this website.

  4. OU's head of shechita, Dokter Rabbiner Seth Mandel and his motley crew of mumar and apikoress shochtim are back in the news.

    One of his shochtim, Naftali Hanau, calls himself a "post-modern orthodox" Jew & publicly admits he has no problem eating vegetarian food from a treif cafeteria, in kelim contaminated with treif meat. Hanau has opened his own OU-approved operation called Grow & Behold whose meat is starting to appear on the menu of kosher restaurants.

    This website run by a left wing journalist at the Forward did a huge favor for Hanau and the OU who have desperately tried to cover up by removing only one of many stories about Hanau, the one where he is moydeh eating treif. Too bad for them that a copy of the text was saved:

    Learning and doing: I ate my lunch in 5 minutes flat

    The Bowl

    Keeping Kosher on the Claremont Campus

    by Naf Hanau
    January 24, 2007

    I spent this past weekend on the campus of Claremont Colleges, a group of 5 schools located an hour outside of Los Angeles, visiting & eating with my old friend Hal. Food was literally everywhere: salads, burgers, omelets, deli meats, pizzas, lasagna, beans & rice, vegan, vegetarian, and of course, the dessert bar. As I wandered around the cafeteria of Pomona College I found myself stopping for pizza & eating it on my way over to the salad bar. On the way to the salad bar, maybe the French fries caught my eyes, or the garlic bread, inducing me to pull over to load up my tray a bit more.

    I overate. Being presented with mountains of free, delicious & varied food led me to put anything that looked good & was labeled vegetarian on my plate. As a Post-Modern-Orthodox Jew (we can talk about what that means later), I’m liberal enough with my observance of Kashrut that I’ll eat vegetarian food in the dining hall or restaurants, even though they serve non-kosher meat. As I forced myself to finish my meals rather than throw out unfinished food, Hal laughed mirthfully ...

  5. You favorite Point
    do you agree with the conclusion about organized sports

  6. The gemarah in Yevamous suggest using ants to heal a sris and hear it is