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Rabbi Raymond Beyda

"How come you arrived so late at the company's social function last night?" Abraham asked his co- worker Joseph.

"Well", Joseph replied slightly embarrassed, "I took a new road that I assumed had been completed on time by the projected date that was last month. Unfortunately after driving 25 minutes on the new super-highway I hit a dead end and had to turn back to catch the old road."

"Why do you look so troubled?" Miriam inquired of her neighbor Sarah.

"I just received some more bills from our builder and my husband is going to go through the roof when he sees them", Sarah responded.

"What's the problem?" Miriam asked.

"I assumed I would be able to get a lot of interior materials at better prices but I was wrong and now we are way over budget and not close to completion", Sarah revealed.

Assumptions are conclusions reached without facts or logic. Very often they are shortcuts that replace the long, tedious research a person may have to make to do the right thing. The mental laziness that prompt one to make assumptions lead one away from happy conclusions toward new problems.

There are many assumptions one makes in a day that make life easier and help society function. We assume that when we flip a light switch the electricity needed from the source will flow to the bulbs and the lights will go on. We assume that the flow of traffic will stop when the light turns red. We assume yesterday's success can be repeated without any adjustment to our approach.

Assumptions may provide a mental shortcut to completion of a task but more often than not they create disasters. A good approach is to challenge the validity of assumptions before acting. You might not get all the way through the thought process but you will be better at making calculated guesses that may keep you moving forward. Avoid a wrong turn ­ question your assumptions ­ keep on moving ahead -- you will reach your goal successfully with the least possible obstacles.


If someone put a liquid in his or her mouth without saying the blessing, one should swallow the drink and does not say a blessing. One should do so even if they are not in great need of the drink.

However, while the drink is still in his or her mouth, one should think the words of the appropriate blessing without saying the words. If one drank a revi-eet [apprx. 3.3 ounces or some say approx. 5.5 ounces] then one is required to recite the blessing "Boreh Nefashot" after drinking even though he or she did not say the blessing before drinking.

If one wants to drink more than the one gulp taken by mistake without a blessing -- then one must say a blessing before continuing to drink even though one "thought" the words of the blessing before swallowing. That silent blessing is only good for the first sip taken in error not for any further drinking one might want.

These laws apply only to liquids. Solid foods taken into the mouth without a blessing have their own rules. [Source Yalkut Yosef, Vol. 3, Siman 172:1]


"If you have the knowledge, answer your neighbor; if not ­ put your hand over your mouth."

Wisdom Each Day

Text Copyright © 2003 Rabbi Raymond Beyda and



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