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Keeping the Faith

The attorney on the other side of the transaction was an Orthodox Jew. It seemed like many of the holiday observances that autumn were falling on Thursdays and Fridays (a two-day observance is often the norm). This meant that I could only converse with him about resolving the multiple issues that arose Monday – Wednesday, and my client was far from a patient person.

One day, she told me she thought the other attorney was “milking it,” as her friend said that “only the first day is important.” Though far from an expert, I said that I knew that the second day of observance was decreed in the Talmud, based on some ancient limitations on information sharing.

She was irate now. "So you’re telling me that this guy takes off from late afternoon Wednesday to Monday morning because of some dead people’s problems with knowing when things were happening? And that’s supposed to be OK with me?”

I ventured that I wasn’t prone to mess with ancient rabbinical rulings, and that we’re stuck with the choices people make for their own counsel. I know that’s not what she wanted to hear, but in the scheme of things, I doubt that a religious observer will suddenly throw off the cloak of faith and declare, “I’ll no longer let archaic rules interfere with real estate deals!”

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