Don’t Play No Games That I Can’t Win

Thinking about nedarim (vows) in this parashah brought to mind a song from my favorite band, The Beastie Boys, dubbed, “Don’t Play No Games That I Can’t Win,” featuring Santigold. It’s one of the main singles off their album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. (They never intended to make a Part One. Maybe any piece of art that’s actually released is actually Part Two, as Part One is only known to its creator.) The song title came to mind because I was thinking about how often people say that they will do things “bli neder”, without vowing to do them. It’s a way for people to say “I do intend to do this, but without the weight of a vow”. It’s a way to play the game and ensure that you never lose. The verse that opens our double parashah …

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Light of Infinite is a book series (coming soon), a podcast, and a weekly Dvar (digital + pamphlets distributed to shull’s in LA). Erez Safar acts as Your Spiritual DJ, curating insights into the weekly Torah portion and the infinite light of Kabbalah.

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