Friday, January 04, 2013


We are thrilled and honored to sponsor Rabbi Bechhofer's lecture series entitled “Topics in Talmud Yerushalmi (Jerusalem Talmud)”. The lecture series delves into exciting, thought provoking and day-to-day relevant topics uniquely addressed in the Talmud Yerushalmi:

This is the email that was sent out this week:

"Through the Eyes of the Talmud Yerushalmi" is a new series which presents day to day relevant teachings unique to the Talmud Yerushalmi" in a brief and easily palatable form. The series has already begun its distribution in synagogues.

The attached is the inaugural issue which discusses the Talmud Yerushalmi's unique view on the importance of Kiddush Hashem. If you would like to receive the series in your email please send an email to:

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Shabbath Shalom!

Through the eyes of the Talmud Yerushalmi
The series is made possible by  a grant from 
     The Torat Eretz Yisrael Fund              
    Give a grant to your peers! ( 

Also, sponsored by:
Talmud Yerushalmi Institute (
Email: to get this in your mailbox.

Kiddush Hashem in the Talmud Yerushalmi

Kiddush  Hashem,  sanctifying  God’s  name,  specifically  before  a
gentile  is  something  we  popularly  practice  by  conducting  ourselves
in  a  way  that  will  not  fuel  the  gentile’s  prejudices.  All  too  often,
Kiddush  Hashem  is  not  even  about  the  gentile  at  all.  We  use  it  to
 to proper conduct, the gentile being a stand-in for our
own conscience. We’ll tell our children to be on their best behavior in
a  mall  to  make  a  Kiddush  Hashem  when  it  is  really  good  behavior
that we want and not the Kiddush Hashem itself.  
The  Talmud  Yerushalmi  (Bava  Metzi’ah  2:5)  impresses  upon  us  that
performing  Kiddush  Hashem  is  in  fact  imperative  and  possibly  even
compulsory,  outweighing  even  the  Halakhah.  It  tells  us  stories  of
great Sages that went to extreme lengths in order to sanctify God’s
name before a gentile. 
Rabbi Shimon Ben Shetach orders his students to return a jewel to a
gentile even though by Jewish Law they were entitled to keep it. Let
us add that the gentile was apparently an idol worshipper and a thief,
yet no gentile is too lowly or corrupt to invoke the effect of Kiddush
Hashem. How important it was for Rabbi Shimon Ben Shetach to hear
a  gentile  exclaim  the  great  the  words  “Blessed  is  the  Merciful  the
God of the Jews”!
Nothing detered the Rabbis from sanctifying God’s name. Even when
dealing  with  an  enemy  such  as  the  Romans  or  when  the  gentile
exhonorated  the  Jew  --  where  moral  and  ethical  argument  could  be
made not to return the object, still, for the Rabbis, sanctifying God’s
name was of paramount importance!   
The  Talmud  Yerushalmi  teaches  us  of  the  imperative  nature  of
Kiddush Hashem, so imperative in fact, that the Rabbis even risked
their  own  lives  to  make  it  happen.  In  their  mind,  Kiddush  Hashem
must  be  impactful,  persistent  and  even  heroic.  May  we  hear  more
gentiles  proclaim  the  greatness  of  our  Master!  (Adapted  from  Rabbi  Y.G.
Bechhofer’s lecture: Kiddush Hashem :


\This issue was sponsored in part by  Teliapp Corp .  Download virtually for free their  IBox App
( which lets you view your desktop computer files/shiurim on the run.


  1. Blessed is the God of the Jews, Rabbi Bechhoffer.

    -a gentile

  2. (^ did not intend to omit Merciful)