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February 4, 2011 / 30 Shevat, 577
Unravelling the Mishnah of Tractate Avodah Zarah
Week 2 - The following mishna provides guidance to those who do business with non-Jews in the Roman world.
Avodah Zarah Perek 1, Mishnah 1

Chapter 1, Mishnah 1
For three days before the idolatrous festivals it is prohibited to have business dealings with them, neither to loan or borrow or to make or accept a payment from them. Rabbi Judah says,” One may be repaid by them since this causes them grief”. The Sages said to him, “Even though it grieves them at the time they will nevertheless rejoice afterwards”

The author of the Mishnah discourages business prior to a festival because a successful business dealing might, in the author’s eyes, be attributed to the benefience of an idol. Rabbi Judah attempts to modify this statement because he believes that if a person repays a loan it will not be viewed as a joyous action and it will not be attributed to the benificence of a god. The closing statement distinguishes between a a loan made by a document where the repayment might not be recovered during the three day period and a verbal promise to repay where the repayment may be accepted if offered, otherwise there is a risk of losing it altogether.

It doesn’t appear that a great deal of trust existed between the various cultures and our rabbis were hesitant to have our people engage in any action that might lead someone of another faith to attribute good fortune to a deity. If a moral exists in this instance would it be don’t re-enforce the negative?

The complete Hebrew text for Avodah Zarah may be found online at http://www.bmv.org.il/shiurim/az/az-h.html

This week's Mishnah lesson was written by
Rabbi Charles Simon,
Executive Director of the FJMC and author of
"Building A Successful Volunteer Culture: Finding Meaning in Service in the Jewish" Jewish Lights Publishing

The opinions expressed in this Unraveller are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the FJMC.


Register here for the 11th World Wide Wrap
Registration closes Friday, February 4, 2011!
The 2011 World Wide Wrap is expanding the four walls of the synagogue, we want you to partner with other groups in the community who may not participate in the mitzvot of tefillin and help send tefillin and mezuzot to our brothers in South America. Please register now and tell us your plans, All clubs registered will receive extra help from Wrap Central to enhance your wrap.
Join groups from all over the world in this celebration of tefillin. Register today!

FJMC Yom HaShoah Yellow Candles
For those who do not know the original concept, the Yellow Candle is just another Holocaust observance among the many that exist.  But the FJMC Yellow Candles™ Yellow Candlesare different.  They relate directly to Jewish religious life and to memory.  We are commanded to remember.  This program cannot be dismissed as an afterthought.  Every home should be given the opportunity to “Light a Candle and Preserve a Memory”.  We remember, so that our children and future generations will know and understand their past, so that each will declare “Hineni, here am I, a survivor”.
FJMC Yom HaShoah Yellow Candles

No Limits: In Motion

Amazing Israel & Canada Israel Experience is happy to announce the return of our No Limits: In Motion trip for the Summer of 2011. This unique Taglit-Birthright Israel program is designed for people who use wheelchairs. Go rappelling in the North of Israel, visit a winery in the Golan heights, experience Shabbat In Jerusalem, go sailing in Tel Aviv, see the magic of the desert in the South of the country – all while participating on an accessible Taglit-Birthright Israel trip!
Appropriate for: All Jewish Backgrounds
Ages: 18-26
Tour Specifically designed for participants who use a wheelchair
Departing from both New York and Toronto
For more information contact: Nicole@routestravel.com  

No Limits: Seeing Possibilities

Amazing Israel, Canada Israel Experience and the Perkins school for the Blind are excited to announce a unique Taglit-Birthright Israel trip for Summer 2011. No Limits: Seeing possibilities is a trip that has been specially designed for participants with visibility limitations. Experience all of Israel- from the lush north to the desert oasis’s in the south. Enjoy the excitement of Tel Aviv and the uniqueness of Jerusalem – all on this accessible Taglit-Birthright Israel trip!
Appropriate for: All Jewish Backgrounds
Ages: 18-26
Tour Specifically designed for participants with visibility limitations
Departing from both New York and Toronto
For more information contact: Nicole@routestravel.com

Please forward these Taglit-Birthright trips to anyone who wishes to attend. Open to residents of USA, Canada. Other countries please contact Nicole@routestravel.com for availability.

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