Reading Assignment - Class #13

Please read mitzvot 237 – 243.  Try to articulate the main idea for each mitzvah.  Then consider the following cases:

1.  You are on a committee to plan a fundraising dinner.  Another member of the committee has worked with you on other committees, and has a habit of promising to do things and then not doing them.  The person volunteers to produce the journal in association with the dinner.  What do you say, if anything, and to whom do you say it?

2.     a.  An officer of a synagogue learns that the rabbi has impregnated a college student.  The officer arrives home, very upset.  What does the officer say to his or her spouse.

        b. The following Shabbat, the rabbi announces his resignation, saying he wants more time for Jewish study than his position as congregational rabbi allows.  Thereafter, the rabbi’s resignation was the hot topic of discussion among synagogue members.  What may the officer say, and to whom?

        c.  Some members want to do something for their revered rabbi, so they start a fundraising campaign to raise money to pay off the rabbi’s mortgage.  What may the officer say, and to whom?  (Based on a case in Joseph Telushkin’s You Shall be Holy, Bell Towers, 2006.) 

3.  A close friend routinely disciplines his children by telling them to get away from him because he can’t stand having them around.  How should you respond?  What if the friend disciplines his children by telling them they are no good and worthless? 

4.  A married woman gives birth to a son, the couple’s first child.  The father sets about preparing for a pidyon haben.  The father does not know that his wife became pregnant when she was in college; she gave birth and put the baby up for adoption, but she never told her current husband.  Since the wife had a child previously, there would not normally be a pidyon haben.   What should she do? 

5.  At Kiddush one Shabbat, you are cornered by an acquaintance who likes to fill you in on all the “news” about other members of the congregation:  who is ill; who is in the process of leaving his wife; who takes too long to lead the prayers.  How do you respond?