One People

Achdus is Hebrish for “unity”.

Eating on the Bus

I don’t want to brag, but I consider my S-O a modern day version of a good man, maybe even a holy man, but for sure good. He really does extend himself to others (he’s in a profession that lends itself to that, medicine) and doesn’t generally say no to people in need.

In fact, he’s up before the sun, prays, learns, the whole nine yards AND works. No big deal, it’s what we’re here to do most people would say, and seriously, I’m not bragging as much as to introduce the story.

So that our one car would be available if anyone needed it yesterday (we woke up to storms) he took the bus to work, about a 15 mile bus ride. I dutifully packed him breakfast. He sat on the bus eating his sandwich. There is no time between patients for him to stop and eat lunch. He’s a 2 meal a day person, breakfast and late dinner.

He’s a very neat eater and relatively thin.

Someone came up to him and said, “You know it’s against the rules to eat on the bus. You can’t eat on the bus.”

I’m not sure how the conversation went from there, but he came home and it was the first thing he told me. Facetiously he said, “Of the greater evils out there, make sure you warn people about those of us who eat on the bus.”

So the questions for me are

Should he have given the spoiler the benefit of the doubt some how?

Was the spoiler really putting him down?

Should a person musar (rhymes with goose-er, means to correct) another person on such rules?

Should the doc have stopped eating?

I’m sure these are all related to derech eretz (common decency, manners, see other posts. To me, ifthere’s a chance you’ll insult someone saying what you’re about to say, probably it’s best to keep the mouth shut.

Remember: Elul is derech eretz month. EVERY Jew has to work on this, not just those who can pronounce derech eretz. Maybe especially those who can pronounce derech eretz.

Respectfully your,


August 8, 2007 Posted by | Derech Eretz Month, lashon harah | Leave a comment

Upgrading to Cohen

Today I took a look at office space in a new location. The realtor was a nice Jewish guy, about my age, who had a dozen ways to flatter me. Can you imagine having a repertoire that includes,

You can’t possibly have been in practice for 30 years. That would mean you started working at 10!

Stuff like that.

Anyway, one of the ways sales guys try to reel you in is by talking culture, and it was me that got the ball rolling.

He said, “I just want you to know that I’m presenting this exactly as I’m presenting it to Dr. K.”

“Well,” I say with a laugh,”she’s more chashuv (rhymes with duh shoes), “the K’s are Cohanim (meaning from the priestly family of Israel). My father says he’s a Cohain, but who really knows, you know?”

“Oh but you know what they did, our grandfathers, when they came to the new country.”

“No, what?” I asked.

“They did what every immigrant does who has an opportunity to make himself look better, to earn more respect.”

“Oh, I see where you’re going.”

“Yeah, when asked, Are you a Cohain, a Levy, or a Yisraeli, many of them chose to be Cohanim.”

“An upgrade,” I said.

“Uh, huh.”

We talked a bit about rent, but I reflected on our talk and wondered if he even thought back on it.  It’s not exactly a complementary thing he said about us, really.

I don’t think he knew what he did there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he replayed that conversation back and decided he shouldn’t have said what he said. Just like when he started telling me a few of his personal problems and I told him my fee, not thinking that he’d be sorry he hadn’t charged more per square foot.

Loosely yours,


June 14, 2007 Posted by | cohanim, immigrants, lashon harah, levy's, opportunity, renting, yisraelim | 1 Comment