Rich and Poor
Poor isn't about being homeless.
Poor is standing at the free samples 'cause you can't afford to take any home.
Poor is beggin for the landlady to hold off just a few more days.
Poor is wondering if you will have milk this week.
Poor isn't about threadbare clothes.
Poor is about worn out soles.
Poor is about wonderin if it's worth turning on the heat or if there's another blanket.
Poor is worry.
Poor is unsure.
Rich is relaxing with a coffee, with a doughnut, with a cookie.
Rich is knowing that there's more if you want seconds.
Rich isn't a yacht.
Rich is money for a cab when you're running late for dinner.
Rich is having a vacation day, just to stay in bed.
Rich is being at your child's party - on time.
Rich is knowing.
Rich is surety.
Watching people in a bakery. Some would come in eat through the sample box and then buy something small to "justify". Scary.
Snowy in Jerusalem
Wind chill at -5C - Check. Real temp bouncing around 0C - Check. Staying inside with the heater -Double Check.
The exam of the day has been canceled due to the city shutting down. I was at an early minyan and then toured through the shuk to see what was open. Nothing. Out of all Machane Yehuda there were 2 veggie shops, 2 bakeries, and 2 butchers. Snow drifts everywhere. Quite nice. I have a bit of time so I think I'm going to post a few things that have been sitting and gathering dust.
In halachic discussion the intellectual truth is what holds sway. History is irrelevant. Which of the parties in the discussion lived when and under what circumstance is all irrelevant. Rava says... Rashi says... Rav Gifter says... Alive or dead the truth is the only thing that matters. We in learning the opinions and the sides of the debate are the arbitrators. Our arbitration may lead us to a different conclusion than that of the arbitrator from 100 years ago and that's OK.
Also, regarding the need for a historical truth to Jewish historical events. Do we need to answer the question of "What if it didn't happen"? A first reaction might be "of course we do!". If it didn't happen why would keep to the religion? On the other hand if Shmuel HaNavi made up the character of Gideon to tell us a moral lesson of leadership pre-monarchy would it shake our faith in God and Torah?
So why study history?
For halachic discussions, history may give a better understanding of each theory. By knowing when and how each debtor lived we can better understand their statements. Knowing medieval French may help us understand an explanation of Rashi. Understanding Arabic may reveal fine distinction in Rambam's writings that we were previously unaware of.
Regarding historical truth of events I feel there is a difference between the historical accuracy of Sinai vs the historical accuracy of Gideon's battles.