Saturday, August 31, 2013
Friday, August 30, 2013
S"A SIMAN 631 SIF 4 MISHNA BERURA SIF KATAN 6 The Acharonim write that, nevertheless, if /the roofing/ is so thick that the rain will be incapable of falling into /the sukkah/ even when heavy rain falls, in which case /the sukkah/ resembles a house, one should be stringent and invalidate /the sukkah. MISHNA BERURA DIRSHU CHELEK 6 Q:IF THE RAIN DOES NOT COME IN YOUR SUKKAH WHEN ITS FALLING BUT RATHER LATER TIME WHEN ITS ON THE SCHACH IS YOUR SUKKAH KOSHER? A:THE BIKURA YAAKOV WRITES THAT YOUR SUKKAH IS KOSHER(FOR MORE SEE NOTE 5).
S"A SIMAN 630 DIF 10 MISHNA BERURA SIF KATAN 50 However, it is implied by several Acharonim that one should not make even a single partition of sheets unless one meshes /additionally/ partitions of bars within three handbreadths /of one another/. MISHNA BERURA DIRSHU CHELEK 6 Q:IS THEIR A DIFFERENCE IN HALACHA BETWEEN SHEETS OF A MECHITZA AND YOUR SUKKAH? A:YES BY MECHITZA WE ARE NOT WORRIED ABOUT WIND CAUSING IT TO FALL DOWN. BUT BY YOUR SUKKAH SAYS RAV SHLOMO ZALMAN AURBACH WE ARE WORRIED B/C SUKKOS IS 7 DAYS LONG AND WE ARE WORRIED IT MIGHT FALL DOWN ONE OF THOSE DAYS(FOR MORE SEE NOTE 44)
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Please daven for Chicagoan, Esther bas Rochel who was admitted to the hospitaltoday with a blood clot in her brain. She will be having brain surgery on Wednesday.Psalms Chapter 6 תְּהִלִּיםא לַמְנַצֵּחַ בִּנְגִינוֹת, עַל-הַשְּׁמִינִית; מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד.1 For the Leader; with string-music; on the Sheminith. A Psalm of David.ב יְהוָה, אַל-בְּאַפְּךָ תוֹכִיחֵנִי; וְאַל-בַּחֲמָתְךָ תְיַסְּרֵנִי.2 O LORD, rebuke me not in Thine anger, neither chasten me in Thy wrath.ג חָנֵּנִי יְהוָה, כִּי אֻמְלַל-אָנִי: רְפָאֵנִי יְהוָה--כִּי נִבְהֲלוּ עֲצָמָי.3 Be gracious unto me, O LORD, for I languish away; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are affrighted.ד וְנַפְשִׁי, נִבְהֲלָה מְאֹד; ואת (וְאַתָּה) יְהוָה, עַד-מָתָי.4 My soul also is sore affrighted; and Thou, O LORD, how long?ה שׁוּבָה יְהוָה, חַלְּצָה נַפְשִׁי; הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי, לְמַעַן חַסְדֶּךָ.5 Return, O LORD, deliver my soul; save me for Thy mercy's sake.ו כִּי אֵין בַּמָּוֶת זִכְרֶךָ; בִּשְׁאוֹל, מִי יוֹדֶה-לָּךְ.6 For in death there is no remembrance of Thee; in the nether-world who will give Thee thanks?ז יָגַעְתִּי, בְּאַנְחָתִי--אַשְׂחֶה בְכָל-לַיְלָה, מִטָּתִי; בְּדִמְעָתִי, עַרְשִׂי אַמְסֶה.7 I am weary with my groaning; every night make I my bed to swim; I melt away my couch with my tears.ח עָשְׁשָׁה מִכַּעַס עֵינִי; עָתְקָה, בְּכָל-צוֹרְרָי.8 Mine eye is dimmed because of vexation; it waxeth old because of all mine adversaries.ט סוּרוּ מִמֶּנִּי, כָּל-פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן: כִּי-שָׁמַע יְהוָה, קוֹל בִּכְיִי.9 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.י שָׁמַע יְהוָה, תְּחִנָּתִי; יְהוָה, תְּפִלָּתִי יִקָּח.10 The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD receiveth my prayer.יא יֵבֹשׁוּ, וְיִבָּהֲלוּ מְאֹד--כָּל-אֹיְבָי; יָשֻׁבוּ, יֵבֹשׁוּ רָגַע.11 All mine enemies shall be ashamed and sore affrighted; they shall turn back, they shall be ashamed suddenly. . -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "chicago-aneinu" group. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- To respond or post new messages to this group, please insure that your email is sent toMyysbyy@aol.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------- To unsubscribe from this group, send email to email@example.com For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/chicago-aneinu?hl=en --- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "chicago-aneinu" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.
S"A SIMAN 630 SIF 2 MISHNA BERURA SIF KATAN 13 /This is because/ it could be that this /device/ is only valid when it is a small sukkah /that is being rectified/, but in a large sukkah, where the third /wall/ is very far from /the end of the side/, even /the use of/ the form of an entrance will be of no benefit. MISHNA BERURA DIRSHU CHELEK 6 Q:IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO MAKE 1 SUKKAH AND THEN DIVIDE IT IN TO TWO SUKKAHS? A:RAV NISSIM KARELITZ SAYS ITS NOT A GOOD IDEA(FOR MORE SEE NOTE 15)
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
The talented boys from Six13 are back with an all new parody song/video just in time for Rosh Hashana! Six13 brings the high energy and unsinkable positive vibe of the Macklemore megahit “Can’t Hold Us” into the celebration the Jewish new year — from shul to tashlich to a apples-and-honey feast with some colorful New Yorkers.
In this week's parsha, the Torah relates the twelve curses that were applied for the transgression of certain prohibitions. One of these curses applied to one who moves the boundary line between him and his neighbor, essentially stealing his land. The meforshim (see Shu"t Maharshal 89 and Shu"t Yichal Yisrael 110) explain that this curse includes violators of unlawful encroachment. It is actually somewhat odd that the curse, a rather severe measure, applies to one who merely steals money. Usually we find that violators of monetary law are simply required to repay - they are not subject to a curse! This can be explained with the words of Ibn Ezra (Devarim 19:14) who explains that this violation is so severe because it leads to arguments, which further leads to injury, and could potentially lead to murder. PRINT VERSION CLICK HERE.
This week’s parsha describes the two very different situations in Jewish life that have been present throughout our long history as a people. One situation is when we inhabited and controlled our own land – the Land of Israel. That is clearly indicated in the opening words of the parsha – ki tavo – when you will come into your land. The second much more difficult situation is outlined again in the parsha in the bitter, lengthy and detailed description of the lot of the Jewish people in exile, scattered amongst hostile nations and violent hatreds. Over the many millennia of the Jewish story, we have been in exile far longer than we were at home in the Land of Israel. It is significant that the recounting of the troubles and persecutions of the exile of Israel from its land occupies greater space (and perhaps even greater notice) in the parsha than does the section relating to our living in the Land of Israel.
This summer, as usual, Destiny Foundation conducted its annual weekend retreat at Kibbutz Lavi in the Lower Galilee section of Israel. Being the city dweller that I currently am, I must admit that I rarely leave Jerusalem and thus do not get to see and appreciate the natural beauty and wonders of our wondrous country. But the journey to and from Jerusalem-Lavi-Jerusalem (and by different routes) afforded me the opportunity to again witness the innate natural beauty of Israel. The Land of Israel is basically a land of desert and rocky ground. And that is what it appeared to be for many centuries of neglect and barrenness. As recently as the beginning of the twentieth century visitors always commented upon the country’s desolation, poverty and drabness. Yet today, from the northern and parts of the central Negev to the northern and eastern reaches of Israel’s current borders, the country is green, forested and verdant. This was accomplished by intensive, even sacrificial human labor and the ability to distribute water plentifully and efficiently to all parts of the country.
The Torah portion opens and closes with the same theme: simchah (joy). It begins with the mitzvah of offering bikurim (first-fruits) in the Temple, an exercise in appreciating what God has given us, as it says, "You shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has granted you and your family" (Deut. 26:11). Afterwards, the Torah describes the terrible trials that will befall the Jewish people if they are unfaithful to the Torah's teachings. This section concludes with the root cause for these punishments: "Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy (simchah) and contentment ("tuv leivav")." (Deut. 28:47) Not only does God expect us to keep the mitzvot, but we are to perform them with joy and contentment. What is the difference between these two emotions?
In this week's parsha we find many mitzvos. One of these mitzvos is to build a gate around our rooftops or any other raised -and therefore dangerous- place on our property. The Shulchan Aruch (CM 427:7) based on the Sifri adds that the Torah also prohibits having any potentially dangerous structure on one's property. Indeed, the Shulchan Aruch lists a number of things that our sages prohibited because of their danger. So too, one who violates the words of our sages is subject to the punishment of makas mardus - rabbinically decreed lashes. In contrast, one who is careful and keeps away from theses dangers will be blessed. The Taz comments that we are so lucky that for simply protecting ourselves we are rewarded with blessings. It should have been sufficient to simply have been saved from danger; instead we are actually rewarded! PRINT VERSION HERE.
Jewish homiletical tradition has dealt with the “enemy,” who is being warred against in the opening verse of the parsha, as being the evil instinct of the “warrior” itself. In the immortal words of the famous cartoon character Pogo, “we have met the enemy and they are us!” This is in consonance with the words of the Talmud that the opening topic of the parsha – marriage to the attractive woman, a non-Jewish captive – has specific reference to one’s own struggle with the basic desires and evil instincts that bedevil us all. The true struggle in life is therefore not really against others who may not wish us well as much as it is against our own conflict-torn nature. Temptations, both physical and monetary, and power-driven ambitions abound in our everyday existence. Falsehoods, lame excuses, or the feeling that “everyone does it” and that one will never get caught up and publicly exposed in the scam or scandal are the weapons of the enemy that lurk within us, preying on our built-in weaknesses. Unless one truly realizes how vulnerable each and every one of us is regarding our internal enemy, there is little hope of creating effective defensive strategies to combat it. The haughty arrogance of unwarranted self-righteousness is one of the most serious moral and personal defects that a person may possess. This is the message that the Talmud delivers to us when it states that one who sins and yet remains confident that one will later be able to repent and cancel the sin, is never able to truly repent of that sin. One should not underestimate the enemy that lies within us.
Charisma – the ability to attract others and make them believe in your persona, abilities and charm – is a much sought after commodity in today’s society. In the famous fable regarding the tortoise and the hare, even though the tortoise eventually wins the race, we would still, in the main, wish to be the hare. We love the flash of brilliant insight, the devastating quip, the broad permanent smile, the warm embrace and the hero worship that characterize the person who possesses that elusive quality of charisma. Charisma, unlike scholarship and moral values, cannot be taught. One either has it or one does not. Yet, like all other seeming blessings, charisma carries within it seeds of self-destruction. The charismatic personality is likely to succumb to the temptation of believing all of the adulation showered upon him or her. In the triumphant parades of the Roman emperors, a servant rode along in the emperor’s chariot and whispered to him amidst the din of the cheering throngs a reminder of his past failings and future mortality.
In Deuteronomy 24, we encounter for the first time the explicit statement of a law of far-reaching significance: “Parents shall not be put to death for children, nor children who put to death for parents: a person shall be put to death only for his own crime. (Deut. 24:16)” We have strong historical evidence as to what this law was excluding, namely vicarious punishment, the idea that someone else may be punished for my crime: For example, in the Middle Assyrian Laws, the rape of unbetrothed virgin who lives in her father’s house is punished by the ravishing of the rapist’s wife, who also remains thereafter with the father of the victim. Hammurabi decrees that if a man struck a pregnant woman, thereby causing her to miscarry and die, it is the assailant’s daughter who is put to death. If a builder erected a house which collapsed, killing the owner’s son, then the builder’s son, not the builder, is put to death. (Nahum Sarna, Exploring Exodus, p. 176)
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness . . . Martin Luther King I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain. James Arthur Baldwin There is a verse in Ki Teitzei momentous in its implications. It is easy to miss, appearing as it does in the midst of a series of miscellaneous laws about inheritance, rebellious sons, overladen oxen, marriage violations and escaping slaves. Without any special emphasis or preamble, Moses delivers a command so counterintuitive that we have to read it twice to make sure we have heard it correctly: Do not hate an Edomite, because he is your brother. Do not hate an Egyptian, because you were a stranger in his land.1 What does this mean in its biblical context?
If you seek to understand Judaism’s social vision, look at its anti-poverty legislation. “If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tight-fisted toward your poor brother. Rather be open-handed and freely lend him sufficient for his needs in that which he lacks. Be careful not to harbour this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for cancelling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open-handed toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.” (Deut 15: 7-11)
"You shall not have in your pocket a weight and a weight" (Devarim 25:13). Before the age of the digital and mechanical scales, people conducted their business with balance scales, where an exact predetermined weight was placed on one side, and the goods were placed on the other side. So, when a storeowner put a one-pound weight on one side of the scale, and six tomatoes on the other side of scale, if the sides of the scale stood perfectly balanced, then the owner and the customer both knew that they were conducting a transaction over one pound of tomatoes. Dishonest merchants used to walk around with two sets of weights in their pockets. For selling, they'd use a deficient weight; for example, their one-pound weight might have weighed only fifteen ounces instead of the prescribed sixteen. The average customer wouldn't discern the deficient ounce and would be cheated by six percent, paying for sixteen ounces, but receiving only fifteen. On the other hand, for buying, the dishonest merchant would have a one-pound weight that weighed seventeen ounces. When he'd buy tomatoes from a local gardener, he'd pay for sixteen ounces, or one pound, but by using a false weighing stone, he'd get seventeen ounces of tomatoes thereby cheating the gardener out of an ounce. Such dishonesty is not only a blatant violation of Torah law punishable by lashes, but it is also called an abomination. Two sets of stones not only refer to cheating in commerce, but symbolize a double standard between the way we judge ourselves and the way we judge others. Naturally, human beings are subjective – lenient with themselves but stringent with others. We have fifty four reasons why we neglected to return another person's greeting – we were preoccupied with pressing matters, we were guarding our eyes, we were reviewing the day's learning in our mind – the list goes on and on. Yet, if someone else fails to return our greeting, we're devastated. We accuse the other person of arrogance, of snobbery, and are ready to throw the book at him or her. The double standard is downright dangerous. Notice that the subject of two weights – the overweight and the underweight – appear in Parshat Ki Tetzei which always comes out in the middle of Elul when we're preparing for Rosh Hashanah. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev writes (Likutei Moharan II: 1.14), "When a person speaks about another person, it resembles Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment. Therefore, one must look carefully at himself if he has the right to judge the other person." Rebbe Nachman explains that no one has Hashem's measure of mercy, and therefore no one can judge his fellow man as mercifully as Hashem. What's worse is that when we judge others stringently, according to our non-merciful standards, we forfeit – heaven forbid – Hashem's loving mercy, for a person is judged the same way as he or she judges others. Either we should judge others with at least the same leniency that we judge ourselves, or refrain from judging them altogether. Sometimes, even learned people fall into the trap of judging others on a different standard as they'd judge themselves,
Sapphire from the Land of Israel A New Light on the Weekly Torah Portion From the Writings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook by Rabbi Chanan Morrison Now available!
ON AMAZON IN BOOK AND KINDLE FORM. DONT OWN A KINDLE DONT WORRY THEIR A KINDLE APP OUT THEIR FOR YOU CLICK HERE.
"When you wage a war against your enemies, and God will give you victory over them ..." (Deut. 21:10) War is perhaps the most tragic and horrific aspect of the human condition. Our most fervent wish is for peace. Peace is the final blessing of birkat kohanim. The closing statement of the Talmud also extols the unsurpassed importance of peace: 'The Holy One found no vessel more capable of holding blessing for Israel than peace' (Oktzin 3:12). So why does Jewish law include such concepts as compulsory and optional wars – milchemet mitzvah and milchemet reshut?
Mega producer Yochi Briskman is back this week with the release of composer/singer/rebbe Baruch Levin‘s fourth studio album which feature ten amazing songs full of emotion and rhythm composed by Baruch himself and featuring arrangements by Yanki Briskman and Levin himself. The soul stirring slow hits include songs; Umocho, Acheinu, Modim, Hasheveinu and Shifchi. The rythmic fast songs include the titles Eleh, Taamu, Uforatzto and Toda a hebrew with original hewbew lyrics and Tiferes a middle eastern hit from Levine. The album features the stunning vocals of the Sheer Vshevach boy’s choir conducted by Chaim Meir Fligman, and the best musicians including Avi Singolda, Aryeh Berkowitz, Misha Gutenberg, Jim Hynes, Gadi Seri, and of course the talented Yochi Briskman on drums.
S"A SIMAN 629 SIF 19 MISHNA BERURA SIF KATAN 58 It is preferable /for him/ to spread a sheet under the roofing, within four handbreadths 8 /of it/, rather than to eat outside a sukkah. MISHNA BERURA DIRSHU CHELEK 6 Q:CAN YOU COVER YOUR SCACH ON YOUR SUKKAH WITH A PLASTIC COVER? A:THE SHEVET HALEVEI AND RAV MOSHE IN IGROS MOSHE SAY ITS FINE EVEN IF NOT ALL THE RAIN CAN COME IN ITS NOT MORE CHAMUR THEN A SHEET.THE M"A SAYS IT IS NOT REFERING TO WHEN RAIN IS ACTUALLY COMING DOWNAND THE CHACMAS SHLOMO AND PISCHA ZUTA ARE MIDIEK FROM THIS THAT WHEN RAIN IS COMING DOWN YOU ARE NOT MIKIEM THE MITZVA OF SUKKAH(FOR MORE SEE NOTE 41).
S"A SIMAN 629 SIF 18 MISHNA BERURA SIF KATAN 49 /However,/ it has become the custom not, etc. /The reason for not roofing the sukkah with planks is/ in case one would come to roof /the sukkah/ in such a way that rain would be unable to fall /through/ there. MISHN BERURA DIRSHU CHELEK 6 Q:CAN YOU USE 2 PLANKS ON TOP OF EACH OTHER FOR YOUR SECHACH? A:RAV ELYASHIV SAYS NOT TO USE THEM B/C RAIN CAN NOT GET IN YOUR SUKKKAH(FOR MORE SEEE NOTE 36).
S"A SIMAN 629 SIF 6 MISHNA BERURA SIF KATAN 18 The same ruling /applies/ if the custom of that locality is /to make matting/ for being lain on, as it is /regarded/ as if he himself made /the matting/ to be lain on. MISHNA BERURA DIRSHU CHEEK 6 Q:WHAT IF THE MATTING WAS MADE FOR SCACH? A:RAV ELYASHIV SAYS IT IS STILL PASUL(FOR MORE SEE NOTES 9 AND 10).
S"A SIMAN 628 SIF 2 MISHN BERURA SIF KATAN 10 On the top of a wagon. MISHNA BERURA DIRSHU CHELEK 6 Q:WHATS THE HALACHA ABOUT A SUKKAH ON TOP OF A CAR? A:ITS LIKE A WAGON.RAV ELYASHIV SAYS AS LOMG AS THEIR IS NO MUKTZA ISSUE BY OPENING THE DOOR IT IS MUTER TO GO UP IN IT ON SUKKOS(FOR MORE SEEE NOTE 5).
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Please daven for HaRav Dovid Shalom ben Victoria Rav Batzri Shlita Collapses While Giving a Shiur (Tuesday, August 27th, 2013) Mekubal Rav David Batzri Shlita, Rosh Yeshivat HaShalom in Yerushalayim, collapsed while giving a shiur on Monday, 20 Elul 5773. The rav was giving a shiur on Techakmuni Street in the capital when he collapsed. The rav did not continue the shiur. Magen David Adom was summoned but the rav refused transport to the hospital. The rav decided to go home to rest. Kav HaChashifut reports the rav began feeling pain, which intensified, leading to the family’s decision to take him to Shaare Zedek Medical Center. GI testing revealed an abdominal problem. There are conflicting reports regarding the rav after the tests were completed. Some reports state he signed himself out of the hospital. (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)The tzibur is asked to be mispallel for רב דוד שלום בן ויקטוריה בתוך חולי עם ישראל.
Rabbi Yudin’s warm personality and divrei Torah have inspired tens of thousands of his community members, students and radio listeners for over three decades. In this volume- his first book – readers will be intrigued by original, fascinating questions and inspired by deep and uplifting explanations. Crafted over thirty years of popular radio drashos and beloved by listeners both old and young, these thoughts are ideal to being to your Shabbos table. Rabbi Benjamin Yudin has been Rav of Congregation Shomrei Torah in Fair Lawn, New Jersey since 1969 and has taught at Yeshiva University for decades. Most famously, Rabbi Yudin gives a popular weekly radio drasha on JM in the AM.(FELDHEIM)
Yiddish, Ah Yiddish! You will agree that Yiddish, spoken or sung, has a certain geshmak, chein and Yiddish taam that just can't be captured in any other language. So it is with thanks to The Ribono Shel Olam that I present to you, dear listener, 13 Yiddish songs, that I hope will inspire and uplift you like only a Yiddish song can. I was reminded of the Chasid who would often translate the words of davening into Yiddish. When asked on what basis does he take the liberty to do so, he responded: "Mein yetzer hara farshteit besser oif Yiddish" (my yetzer hara understands better in Yiddish)! Also, I felt that after my previous CD "Keep Climbing," the time was right for a musical change. So Yiddish it is. All Yiddish! In preparing this album, I rediscovered some old Yiddish favorites, added several new compositions, and after months of recording and tweaking, you can now hold the final product in your hand. --- A message from Avraham Fried, Chai (18th day) Elul 5773 Almost two years since his last album, "Keep Climbing," Fried proudly presents his third Yiddish CD entitled "Ah Mechayeh!" Avraham Fried's first two Yiddish albums, with songs composed by R' Yom Tov Ehrlich went on to become iconic albums, which touched the hearts and souls of so many. Songs like Yakov, My Little Leaf, Dee Torah, and Yosef Moker Shabbos went on to become worldwide staples. This new Yiddish album features 13 tracks including new songs written and composed especially for him, along with familiar songs. The world's finest musicians took part in the production of the new album and include Pinky Weber, Lipa Schmeltzer, Avremi G, Naftali Schnitzler, Yuval Stoppel, Yitzy Waldner, Eli Lashinsky and more. (SAMEACH).PRINT DISCOUNT HERE.
Each year on Yom Kippur, fast days, and the days leading up to the High Holidays, Jews around the world recite the Thirteen Midot: "HaShem, HaShem, El Rahum veHanun, Erekh Apayim, veRav Hesed veEmet, Notzer Hesed laAlafim, Noseh Avon vaFesha veHata'a veNakeh." In His Mercy examines the Thirteen Midot and their philosophical underpinnings through the lenses of the Talmud, the Midrash and major commentaries. It offers an insightful introduction, and concise, illuminating essays on each Mida. Based on a series of lectures given over twenty years by Rabbi Ezra Bick, a leading scholar at Israel's Yeshivat Har Etzion, In His Mercy is the first English edition of this special work.
Nachum and Rabbi Ezra Bick Explore “In His Mercy,” the Book that Helps us Understand the Thirteen Midot
In preparation for the High Holy Days, Nachum welcomed Rabbi Ezra Bick to JM in the AM to discuss the new English edition of his fascinating book “In His Mercy – Understanding the Thirteen Midot .” Nachum and Rabbi Bick explored the book at length to help emphasize the importance of understanding this most important part of our upcoming prayers. “In His Mercy examines the Thirteen Midot and their philosophical underpinnings through the lenses of the Talmud, the Midrash and major commentaries. It offers an insightful introduction, and concise, illuminating essays on each Mida. Based on a series of lectures given over twenty years by Rabbi Ezra Bick, a leading scholar at Israel’s Yeshivat Har Etzion, In His Mercy is the first English edition of this special work.”
Monday, August 26, 2013
Please daven for the release of Allan Gross, Abba Chona ben Chava Chana. May he return to his family b'karov in good health.much.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Friday, August 23, 2013
Visa / MasterCard FRAUD Just a heads up for everyone regarding the latest in Visa fraud. Royal Bank received this communication about the newest scam. This is happening in the Midwest right now and moving. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself. One of our employees was called on Wednesday from 'VISA', and I was called on Thursday from 'MasterCard'. The scam works like this: Person calling says - 'This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460, Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona ?' When you say 'No', the caller continues with, 'Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?' You say 'yes'. The caller continues - 'I will be starting a Fraud Investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. 'Do you need me to read it again?' Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works - The caller then says, 'I need to verify you are in possession of your card'. He'll ask you to 'turn your card over and look for some numbers'. There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the last 3 are the Security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the last 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, 'That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card Do you have any other questions?' After you say no, the caller then thanks you and states, 'Don't hesitate to call back if you do', and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back. Within 20 minutes to ask a question. And we were glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card. We made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number.. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or Master Card directly for verification of their conversation.. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit; however, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report. What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a 'Jason Richardson of MasterCard' with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA Scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening. I dealt with a similar situation this morning, with the caller telling me that $3,097 had been charged to my account for plane tickets to Spain , and so on through the above routine.. It appears that this Is a very active scam, and evidently quite successful. Pass this on to all your family and friends
Thursday, August 22, 2013
S"A SIMAN 627 SIF 4 MISHNA BERURA SIF KATAN 15 Accordingly, one should not hang fruit or utensils or comparable objects, which are invalid /to be used/ for the roofing /of a sukkah/, even for decoration, except within four handbreadths of the roofing. MISHNA BERURA DIRSHU CHELEK 6 Q:CAN YOU HANG DECORATIONS IN YOUR SUKKAH WITHIN 4 TEFACHIM OF THE SECHACH? A:THE CHAZONISH SAYS YES YOU CAN LICATCILA BUT THE STEIPLER WAS NOEE NOT TO AND RAV SHLOMO ZALMAN AURBACH SAYS YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE MACHMIR MIN HADIN ITS MUTER LICATCILA(FOR MORE SEE NOTE 12).
S"A SIMAN 627 SIF 3 MISHNA BERURA SIF KATAN 8 Although a bed is also securely /made/ it nevertheless /has a different ruling/. /This is because/ one is not meant to sleep under /a bed/ but on top of it. Therefore, it is not considered a tent which interrupts /between the sleeper and the roofing of the sukkah/ unless it has a height of ten /handbreadths/. MISHNA BERURA DIRSHU CHELEK 6 Q:CAN YOU SLEEP IN THE BOTTOM BUNK OF A BUNK BED IN YOUR SUKKAH? A:THE SHEVET HALEVEI SAYS AS LONG AS THEIR IS NOT TEN TEFACHIM BETWEEN THE BEDS YOU CAN SLEEP IN THE BOTTOM BUNK IN YOUR SUKKAH LICATCILA(FOR MORE SEE NOTE 9).
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
This Torah class by Mrs.Shira Smiles is describes the unique relationship between Hashem and the Jewish people in the Chodesh of Elul. Available online in streaming video, and for dowload in mp3 or m4v (ipod video) format.
In this week's parsha we are told "u'vishmo tishave'ah" - and in His name you shall swear. The Ramban (6:13) explains this to mean that we are commanded to only swear in His name and not in the name of idols. According to this approach, even swearing truthfully in Hashem's name isn't a fulfillment of a command, but, rather, the inhibition of a violation.This week's parsha contains many mitzvos. One of these mitzvos is the mitzvah of appointing a king. As the Torah states: "when you will say I will appoint upon myself (singular tense) a king.you shall appoint upon yourself a king." One might wonder why the Torah mentions this mitzvah in singular tense when appointing a king always involves the population at large. In fact, in the times of Shmuel Hanavi, when the Jews said that they wanted a king, the passuk says "Let us appoint upon ourselves (in plural tense!) a king." (Shmuel 8:5) R' Levy Yitzchak Greenwald Zt"l (son of the "Arugas Habosem") explains that the public must be united as one when it comes to bringing honor to Hashem. This is why the Torah lists the mitzvah of appointing a king in the singular- because the nation must be united as one in order to fulfill this mitzvah. In the days of Shmuel Hanavi, however, the nation wasn't united in their request and therefore they were reprimanded for asking for a king. FOR PRINT VERSION CLICK HERE.
Halachic Considerations of Firing Employees By: Rav Dovid Grossman Over the past few years we were Matzliach in building up a successful business and we currently have over 20 employees. Unfortunately, due to the economic reality, our company is suffering to the point that we can no longer take a distribution adequate to live on the standard we were living on in the past. All our employees are working with an “at-will” agreement as our contract does not specify a term and allows us to fire them at any time.
In this week's parsha we are told "u'vishmo tishave'ah" - and in His name you shall swear. The Ramban (6:13) explains this to mean that we are commanded to only swear in His name and not in the name of idols. According to this approach, even swearing truthfully in Hashem's name isn't a fulfillment of a command, but, rather, the inhibition of a violation. The Rambam (Sefer Hamitzvos 7), on the other hand, understands this to be a positive command to swear to perform mitzvos. Nevertheless, swearing -even truthfully- is not a good habit to accustom oneself to. We see this from the Midrash (quoted in Tur OC 156) which relates that Yanai Hamelech had 1000 cities which were all destroyed because people were swearing truthfully. PRINT VERSION CLICK HERE.
Learning in Kollel By: Rabbi Yitzchok Basser ”And it will be that you will listen to my commandments… and you will bring in your grain, wine and oil.” The Torah assures us that if we adhere to the word of Hashem there will be a plentiful crop, enabling us to bring in a bountiful harvest. However, implied in the Torah’s words are that we ourselves will be the ones doing the gathering. Indeed, that is how the Gemara (Brochos 35b) understands the intent of the Torah. The Gemara (ibid.) notes that at first glance this seems to run counter to the imperative mentioned in Sefer Yehoshua, “The [words of] this Torah shall not be removed from your mouth; you shall engage in it day and night”; one should constantly be learning Torah, to the exclusion of all other activities. The Gemara brings two approaches to resolve this apparent contradiction. Rabbi Yishmael answers that the possuk in Sefer Yehoshua is not intended to be understood literally. Rather, one should engage in a livelihood in addition to his main occupation, which is the study of Torah. Rabbi Shimon finds this concept difficult to accept. “Is it possible to plow, plant, harvest, thresh, and winnow, all at the appropriate times of the year? What will become of one’s Torah?” Therefore, Rabbi Shimon asserts that if the Jewish people truly fulfill the Will of Hashem, then others (i.e. the non Jews) will engage in commerce on their behalf. Accordingly, the possuk that we quoted earlier “and you will bring in your grain, wine and oil” is referring to an era that the Jewish nation is not properly fulfilling Hashem’s desire. The Gemara then quotes Abaye as saying that many tried to follow the view of Rabbi Shimon but were unsuccessful; many followed the view of Rabbi Yishmael and succeeded. Rava would implore his students to spend the months of Nissan and Tishrei (the time of harvest and wine production) providing for their families, so that the rest of the year they can be free to study properly. The Gemara seems to side with Rabbi Yishmael. Indeed, the Rambam (Laws of Talmud Torah 3:10) rules, “anyone who imagines that he will study Torah exclusively, not engaging in a livelihood, rather he will be sustained by Tzedaka, has thereby desecrated Hashem’s name, disgraced the Torah, extinguished the light of religion, caused himself bad, and removed himself from the world to come.”
In this week's parsha, we read the Ten Commandments for a second time. One of the commandments is not to testify falsely against another Jew. The Yerushalmi (Brachos 1:5) teaches that one who testifies falsely about a fellow Jew is as if he testifies that Hashem didn't create the world. Why is testifying falsely about a monetary issue so severe that it is comparable to denying Hashem as Creator of the world? Perhaps we can explain this with the words of the Chinuch. The Chinuch (Mitzvah 74) explains that the root of the mitzvah of not testifying falsely is in order for us to conduct ourselves in the same manner that God conducts Himself. Just as Hashem is truthful, so too, must we be truthful, as well. It follows, therefore, that one who claims to be a Torah observant Jew, yet testifies falsely, disgraces His name and makes it appear as if God also conducts Himself falsely. This week's journal will focus on the laws of not testifying falsely.(PRINT VERSION HERE) FOR AUDIO CLICK HERE.
In his enumeration of the various leadership roles within the nation that would take shape after his death, Moses mentions not only the priest/judge and king but also the prophet: “The Lord your G‑d will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.” Moses would not be the last of the prophets. He would have successors. Historically this was so. From the days of Samuel to the Second Temple period, each generation gave rise to men – and sometimes women – who spoke G‑d’s word with immense courage, unafraid to censure kings, criticize priests, or rebuke an entire generation for its lack of faith and moral integrity. There was, however, an obvious question: How does one tell a true prophet from a false one? Unlike kings or priests, prophets did not derive authority from formal office. Their authority lay in their personality, their ability to give voice to the word of G‑d, their self-evident inspiration. ButHow does one tell a true prophet from a false one? precisely because a prophet has privileged access to the word others cannot hear, the visions others cannot see, the real possibility existed of false prophets – like those of Baal in the days of King Ahab. Charismatic authority is inherently destabilizing. What was there to prevent a fraudulent, or even a sincere but mistaken, figure, able to perform signs and wonders and move the people by the power of his words, from taking the nation in a wrong direction, misleading others and perhaps even himself?
Having set out the broad principles of the covenant, Moses now turns to the details, which extend over many chapters and several portions. The long review of the laws that will govern Israel in its land begin and end with Moses posing a momentous choice. Here is how he frames it in this week’s Parshah: See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse—the blessing if you obey the commands of the L‑rd your G‑d that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the L‑rd your G‑d and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.1
A sequence of verses in this week’s sedra gave rise to a beautiful Talmudic passage – one that has found a place in the siddur. It is among the readings we say after the Evening Service on Saturday night as Shabbat comes to an end. Here is the text on which it is based: “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty and awe-inspiring God, who shows no favouritism and accepts no bribe. He upholds the cause of the orphan and widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.” (Deut. 10: 17-18)
The Torah is in favor of a lawful, peaceful, ordered and fair society. In order to begin to achieve this lofty goal, the Torah commands us to have a competent legal system of judges and courts and also having police able to monitor and enforce the courts’ decisions and policies. The Torah demands this not only of Jewish society but of all of human society as well.
Prayer, in its most formal sense, comprises an important part of daily Jewish life and ritual. Daily morning, afternoon and evening services are the staple rhythm of activities in every synagogue and home throughout the Jewish world. There are many dimensions of prayer in Jewish tradition and thought. And perhaps no subject has been explained and scrutinized as closely in the writings of the great Jewish scholars of the ages as has been prayer.
Moshe seemingly interrupts his long oration to the Jewish people about their history and destiny with a surprising review of the year’s calendar holidays. The calendar has always been central to Jewish life and survival. Under the dark regime of Stalin, Soviet Jewry was forbidden from owning or possessing a Jewish calendar. The depths of loyalty of Soviet Jewry, to their inner faith, is seen in the fact that somehow millions of Soviet Jews still knew when the Jewish holidays – especially Simchat Torah – would occur. For the calendar is the rhythm of our lives and evokes with it memory, hope and a feeling of the timelessness of Jewish life and its traditions.
Though Thomas Jefferson was undoubtedly a great intellect and a skilled political leader, I have never been given to carefully dissect his writings in order to discover subtle philosophical nuances and deeply hidden meanings. Usually, for me, only Torah contents are worthy of such scrutiny, for their messages are eternal and relevant for all times, circumstances and every generation - and indeed every individual must fathom deep meaning from them for one’s time and place.
Ekev – the word itself and the parsha generally – stresses the cause and effect equation that governs all human and Jewish history. Blessings and sadder events are conditioned on previous human behavior, attitudes and actions. Life eventually teaches us that there is no free lunch. The rabbis stated it succinctly in Avot: “According to the effort and sacrifice, so too will be the reward.” There are really no shortcuts in life. All attempts to accommodate eternal Jewish practices and values to fit current fads and societal norms, have ended in abysmal failure. The road of Jewish history is littered with the remains of people and movements who looked to reform and improve Judaism and instead only succeeded in making it irrelevant to their followers.
One of the impossible tasks in human life is undoing the past. Perhaps even more tragic, and even unfair, is judging the past by current norms and standards. Yet no matter what we attempt, the past always rises up to bite us. Since all of us make mistakes in our lifetimes, the past is always a danger to us. In the scheme of things we are always remembered for our past failings rather than for our enormous later accomplishments.
S'A SIMAN 627 SIF 1 MISHNA BERURA SIF KATAN 3 Even if the walls /surrounding/ the bed are very narrow, so that they are not even a handbreadth wide, /the space underneath the bed/ is nevertheless regarded as /the space of/ a tent. MISHNA BERURA DIRSHU CHELEK 6 QףIF YOU HAVE A TABLE LIKE THIS SHOULD YOU SLEEP UNDER IT IN YOUR SUKKAH? A:(THE BEN ISH CHAI YORTZEIT WAS MONDAY)THE KAF HACHAIM SAYS IN THE NAME OF THE BEN ISH CHAI THAT YOU SHOULD NOT SLEEP UNDER THIS TABLE IN YOUR SUKKAH IF IT IS HIGHER THEN 10 TEFACHIM.RAV NISSIM KARELITZ ALSO SAYS THIS.(SEE NOTE 3)