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"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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Through the eyes of the Talmud Yerushalmi
The series is made possible by a grant from
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Talmud Yerushalmi Institute (www.talmudyerushalmi.org)
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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 : www.talmudyerushalmi.org/ectures)
SHABBATH SHALOM TO ALL OUR READERS!
\This issue was sponsored in part by Teliapp Corp . Download virtually for free their IBox App
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