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  • Sarah-Kate Leibowitz

Mishmar With Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz

This past Thursday, November 17th, the North Shore Hebrew Academy hosted its second Mishmar of the Year! Mishmar provides students with a unique opportunity to tap into the wisdom and knowledge of our rabbis outside of the classroom. The Mishmar program at North Shore meets after school once a month, and in addition to the fantastic divrei torah, students are provided with a lavish dinner. Most recently, we had the honor of hearing from YU's Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz. In addition to serving as the rabbi of the Beis Haknesses of North Woodmere, Rabbi Lebowitz also occupies the role of Director of Semicha at Yeshiva University. Rabbi Lebowitz did an amazing job of engaging students by taking basic halachic principles and applying them to modern-day situations that we may encounter today.

One specific scenario he discussed was a case involving a sushi restaurant that had been offering a "buy 2 rolls, get 1 free" deal. After hearing about this promotion, one clever customer asked two of his friends if they wanted to order sushi rolls through him. After putting in their respective orders, he took the free roll for himself without saying a word. When his friends finally found out about the promotion, they demanded that he pay them back the value of all the sushi rolls he had "stolen" from them. Meanwhile, he argued that his actions had been completely justified, as his friends had paid for their rolls, and they'd received exactly what they'd paid for; he had just happened to benefit from their purchases. That being said, while the man in this story did not directly cheat his friends, he omitted information that was relevant to them. After navigating through the Talmudic sources relevant to the case at hand, Rabbi Lebowitz highlighted the contemporary halachic sources that discuss such a case. All the while, he emphasized the values of honesty and humility. He reminded us to always be our best selves.

Thank you to Rabbi Lebowitz for sharing his wisdom with us, as well as to Rabbi Braun for organizing this wonderful event! We can’t wait for the next Mishmar on December 15th.

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