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By Rabbi Raymond Beyda

Gifts are fun. Gifts are a pain. What do you think? Some people just love to buy gifts. A wedding, anniversaries, birthdays and bridal showers ­ every occasion serves as an opportunity to go out and shop for that special do-dad for that special someone. Others, to the contrary, dread the thought of having to find something appropriate ­ that “something” ­ that will be received with approval by the recipient.

Giving is an art. Its purpose is to acknowledge the other person’s worth in your eyes. It is a sign of love, or appreciation or congratulations. But so often the problem is that with all the effort and all the expense invested in giving another a gift we leave out the key element ­ ourselves. Giving of yourself is a gift that always succeeds in making the recipient feel important. It lifts his or her spirits and makes one happy.

Soon you will have to make that choice again. “What should I give?” Before you answer the question and invest time and money in acquiring the “toy” ask yourself, “How can I add a little of myself to the gift ­ how can I personalize it?” By investing some care and thought you will get what you want out of your gift.


A person who serves as shaliah tsiboor [Hazan] must wear a shirt whose sleeves cover the upper arm down to the elbows as a sign of respect to the congregation he is representing before G-d.{If he does not have a shirt that has sleeves that reach down to his elbows he should cover his arms with a taleet].

{Source: Yehaveh Daat, vol. 4, responsa 8}


A person must know his or her strength and abilities, but must also recognize his or her limitations.

Raymond J Beyda

Text Copyright © 2004 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and



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