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By Rabbi Raymond Beyda

The New York City subway system is one of the most traveled means of public transportation in the world. The stations and the trains are filled with colorful billboards screaming the praises of a variety of products and services as well as entertainment vehicles seeking public recognition and patronage. An experiment is underway that can revolutionize subway advertising. It is an innovation unheard of in advertising circles until now. The Transit Authority personnel noticed that the vast majority of people who walk through subway stations are in such a hurry to catch the train that they look down as they navigate from fare booth to train platform. Based on this consumer behavior, the Authority has begun to sell advertising space on the floors of subway platforms and passageways, which lead from the street to the train.

The idea is novel and its simplicity is brilliant. If the customer won’t look at where I’ve placed my advertising then I will place my advertising where the consumer is looking! Sometimes one stubbornly attempts to get someone to stop paying attention to what he or she is doing in order to get that individual to listen to what one wants to convey. It is much easier, however, to customize one’s presentation to the line of sight of the other person. A picture is really worth a thousand words but only if one’s target audience looks at the picture.

Today when you are frustrated by the lack of attention you are getting – stop. Think for a moment about what will interest and attract the attention of the person whose attention you would like to attract. Don’t ask that he or she look your way but instead put the proposal in front of them in terms that will interest them. It only takes a minute but it will get your message seen rather than ignored.


There is a difference between a man and a woman who ate to satisfaction but who is not sure whether he or she has said the Grace After Meals – Bircat Hamazon. If a man can’t remember if he has said Bircat Hamazon he must say the blessing. A woman who is not sure that she has said Bircat Hamazon should not repeat the blessing. She should say the blessing in her mind without verbalizing the words because the Rambam says that –b’diavad— after the fact this is a fulfillment of the requirement and repetition – according to Maimonides—is not necessary. The man does not have this option of saying the blessing without verbalizing. [Source Yehave Daat, vol. 6, responsa 10]


Rebbi Yohanan said, “Anyone who enjoys Shabbat will be given blessing without limit”. [Shabbat 117b]

Raymond J Beyda

Text Copyright © 2004 Rabbi Raymond Beyda and



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