Friday, May 30, 2014
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
RABBI ELEFANT BRINGS THE POSKIM WHO SAY YOU CAN MAKE BIRCHAS ELONOS ON HYDROPONICS.THE WHOLE POINT OF BIRCHAS ELONOS IS TO SHOW SHEVACH VIHODA TO HASHEM.THE M"B SAYS IF YOU DID NOT MAKE THE BRACHA THE 1ST TIME YOU SAW IT YOU CAN MAKE IT LATER.LICATCILLA YOU SHOULD MAKE THE BRACHA IS NISSAN ON BLOSSMING TREES THE 1ST TIME AND OUTSIDE.LICATCILLA AT LEAST 2 TREES WITH A MINYAN BIDIEVED YOU DID NOT DO IT NISSAN TREES BLOSSOM LATE IN OUR PART OF THE WORLD OR THE OTHER LICATCILLAS ITS OK.BIRKAS ELONOS IS ABOUT EMUNAH IN HASHEM HASHGACA PARATIS.WE MAKE A DECLARATION ANUALLY THE WORLD CONTINUES BY HSHEM HASHGACA PRATIS.CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE SHIUR.
In this week's Parsha we learn how the Bnei Yisrael were arranged when encamped and while travelling in the desert. The Kli Yakar explains that it was through this precise arrangement that Hashem's shechina was made to dwell upon each and every tribe. Similarly, in Parshas Balak, Rashi tells us of yet another special arrangement which added to the kedusha of the Bnei Yisrael. This was the manner in which they arranged the entrances to their tents. Although everyone was encamped in close proximity to one another, their tents were arranged in such a way that no one's entrance faced the entrance of anyone else. This was done in order to better protect everyone's privacy which added to their kedusha and tznius. According to halacha, privacy isn't merely a suggestion or good ethics, but rather, it is a legal right that is enforceable in Beis Din. Indeed, there are many laws intended to protect our privacy and contribute to our overall comfort. These halachos are known as nizkei shecheinim.(AUDIO HERE) CLICK HERE FOR PRINT VERSION.
THE BAIS HAVAAD'S PARSHA PERSPECTIVES Parshas Bamidbar:The Tents of Yaakov, Circa 2010: Respecting Your Neighbor’s Privacy By: Rabbi Baruch Meir Levin
In recent years conservationists, urban planners, and politicians have teamed up to fight a common enemy. They have declared war on urban sprawl, that shopping-mall-producing, gas-guzzling phenomenon in which an urban area spreads outward through the low-density development of rural lands. Decrying the detrimental effects it has on the environment, the economy, and society in general, they have passed zoning laws, imposed fines, and funded projects under the banner of what is dubbed ‘Smart Growth.’
The count of the Jewish people as it appears in this week’s parsha is always a difficult issue to appreciate and understand. What are we to learn from all of the detailed descriptions and seemingly exact numbers? The general lesson that every Jew counts – and is to be counted, is most apparent. But that lesson can be learned from a much more concise précis of the population of the Jews than the long description that appears in the parsha.
Part of the fallout from the ill-starred negotiations that recently ended in failure is that somehow blame for this failure cannot be laid at the door of the facilitator, the American State Department and its Secretary of State, but rather it must be assigned to the participants themselves. Originally, President Obama seemed to be even- handed in blaming both participants for the failure of this fool’s errand, but as the recent interviews with “senior” American officials have indicated, it is now clear that Israel is to be held to be at fault for the failed negotiations.
With the Mishkan, the Tabernacle now complete, Hashem commands a new census be taken of Bnei Yisroel. The census is then followed by instructions on the pattern for the formation of the encampment around the Mishkan, a pattern that would carry through for all their travels and sojourn of forty years in the desert. With the Mishkan in the center, surrounded by the priests and the Levites, Bnei Yisroel were divided into four groups of three tribes each, each tribe under its own flag and banner under the leadership of one of the tribes of the group, and each group encamped on a designated side of the Mishkan. This order was very specific, but it behooves us to trace its origins, first to investigate the idea of traveling under flags, and second to understand the specific order of encampment around the Tabernacle. click here for Summary by Channie Koplowitz Stein.
The book of Bamidbar begins with a census of the Israelites. That is why it is known in English as Numbers. What is the significance of this act of counting? And why here, at the beginning of the book? Besides which, there have already been two previous censuses of the people, and this is the third within the space of a single year. Surely, one would have been sufficient. And does counting have anything to do with leadership?
On the face of it, the connections between the sedra and the haftarah of Bamidbar are slender. The first has to do with demography. Bamidbar begins with a census of the people. The haftarah begins with Hosea’s vision of a time when “the number of the children of Israel will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or numbered.” There was a time when the Israelites could be counted; the day will come when they will be countless. That is one contrast between the future and the past.
Transient Holiness Our sense of holiness and closeness to God is not constant; there are times when we experience a heightened spiritual awareness. These moments reflect a transient holiness — kedushat sha'ah. Also in the life of the nation, there are special times of kedushat sha'ah. This is the central theme of Sefer Bamidbar (the Book of Numbers), which recounts Israel's unique experiences during their forty-year sojourn in the Sinai desert - a time when bread fell from the heavens and water spouted from rocks, a time of Divine protection and unparalleled prophetic revelation. The book of Bamidbar opens with the words: "God spoke to Moses in the Sinai Desert in the Communion Tent." (Num. 1:1) The terms 'Sinai Desert' and 'Ohel Mo'ed' (Communion Tent) are motifs repeated throughout Sefer Bamidbar. They call our attention to the special kedushat sha'ah of that generation.
hroughout their travels in the desert, the Israelites were commanded to set up their tents around tribal flags: "The Israelites shall encamp with each person near the banner carrying his paternal family's insignia. They shall encamp at a distance around the Communion Tent." (Num. 2:2) What is the significance of these banners?
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
Please forward to your contacts in New York: The New York City and Princeton Police Departments are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 22-year-old Aaron Berger, a former Yeshiva University student, who has been missing since Monday, May 19. He is 6’ 2, weighs 180 lbs and was last seen at 559 West 188th Street in Washington Heights. Anyone with information regarding Berger’s whereabouts is urged to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or the Princeton PD at 609-921-2100.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
This CD features Avraham Fried, accompanied by his brothers, sons and nephews, singing a collection of heartwarming zemiros sung at his father's (Reb Yaakov Moshe Friedman a"h) table, in acappella. All proceeds from the sale of this CD go to Yad L'Shliach, an innovative fund which grants shluchim personal financial gifts. Print discount here.
BS"D If you have received this more than once I apologize. They tried unsuccessfully to bring him out of the coma. Please continue to daven. debby mayer This is a 15 year old who had a terrible allergic reaction and is in a coma. Please take a moment and go to http://tehilimyahad.com/mr.jsp?r=nXKUi7GXCa as soon as you receive this and say as many perakim as you can for a refua schlemah--So we can say the sefer tehillim as many times as possible. He is in desperate need of a Yeshua/Refua. Thank you in advance for your care, consideration and participation. debby mayer
Please daven for Rabbi Price, of Yeshiva Neveh Tzion, Shlomo Yoel ben Chaya Leah who has been in Hadassah Ein Kerem for a week – they are not very sure what is wrong but he is having difficulty breathing and he may need a respirator today. Rabbi Price’s Shacharis davening is extremely long because he has a long list of people that he davens for a refuah sheleimah. He has been davening for alumni of Neveh Tzion for the past 35 years and may our cry for a speedy refuah sheleimah reach the Heavens and be quickly answered.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Following the success of the bestselling first volume Portraits of Greatness, Rabbi Mattis Y. Goldberg provides us with yet another fascinating pictorial glimpse into the lives of Gedolei Yisroel. With a keen artistic eye and astute observations, the well-known photographer has produced another wonderful collection of photographs and inspiring stories of Ashkenazic, Sephardic and Chassidic gedolim. The whole family will enjoy this coffee-table sized book, as they fulfill the teaching, “And your eyes shall see your Torah teachers." (Yeshayahu 30:20) Profiled Gedolim included in this volume: The Baba Sali Rabbi Dovid Barkin Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum Rabbi Meir Tzvi Bergman The Bobover Rebbe The Boyaner Rebbe Rabbi Shmuel Darzi Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dunner The Dushinsky Rebbe Rabbi Gershon Edelstein Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Rabbi Yitzchok Ezrachi Rabbi Reuven Elbaz Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel Rabbi Moshe Halberstam Rabbi Nissim Karelitz Rabbi Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz The Pinsk-Karlin Rebbe Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz Rabbi Yissochar Meir The Munkatcher Rebbe The Radziner Rebbe The Satmar Rebbe Rabbi Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg Rabbi Chaim Schmelczer Rabbi Yitzchok Sheiner Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz Rabbi Dovid Soloveichik Rabbi Yitzchok Sorotzkin Rabbi Chaim Stein Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman Rabbi Avrohom Yitzchok Ulman Rabbi Yitzchok Shlomo Unger Rabbi Elya Ber Wachtfogel Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (FROM FELDHEIM)print discount here 20% off
Rabbi Berel Wein – rabbi and historian, writer and lecturer, kashrut supervisor and rosh yeshiva – looks back at the dramatic events of his life. From religious controversies and educational dilemmas, through challenges of community building and synagogue politics, to encounters with great rabbis and travels throughout the Jewish world, Rabbi Wein’s tale is one of Jewish leadership in twentieth-century America, at once highly public and deeply personal. With great humor and disarming honesty, Teach Them Diligently tells the story of the trials and the triumphs, the struggles and the joys of a life devoted to Jewish community service.PRINT DISCOUNT HERE 20% OFF.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Yisroel Levi Yitzchok HaLevi ben Sarah Rivkah Boruch Dayan Haemes
RABBI ELEFANT BRINGS RAV MOSHE WHO SAYS COUNT THE OMER WITH A MINYAN B/C 1 ROV AM AND 2 THERE A LESS CHANCE YOU WILL FORGET. RAV SHEINBERG SAYS COUNTING OF DAYS COUNT TOWARDS KABALAS HATORAH ITS PREPARING FOR KABALAS HATORAH AND THEREFORE SHOMIA KIONE DOES NOT WORK.IF YOU COUNT THE OMER IN LASHON HAKODESH YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND IT THATS PREPARING FOR KABALAS HATORAH.WHEN THE SHLIACH TZIBUR MAKES A MISTAKE IN THE COUNTING OF THE OMER DO NOT SAY THE RIGHT DAY B/C THEN YOU CAN NOT COUNT WITH A BERACHA.CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE SHIUR.
At the end of this week's Parsha the Torah discusses. various types of tithes, sanctifications, and charities, known as hekdesh and ma'aser. The Torah tells us which ones are redeemable, which ones aren't, and how any such redemption is to be performed. Although many of these sanctifications are no longer applicable today, nevertheless, the obligation to give charity to the poor exists today as it always did (AUDIO HERE). CLICK HERE FOR PRINT VERSION.
NAALEH.COM and YU TORAH PARSHAS BECHUKOSAI 5774 Haphazardness and Happenstance By: Mrs. Shira Smiles
While Parshat Bechukotai begins with blessings im bechukotai telechu, if you walk/follow My decrees … , most of the parsha is devoted to a rebuke with a list of negative and horrific consequences if you do not follow My words. All this will be a result of asher holchu imI b’keri, that you walked/followed Me with casualness. click here for Summary by Channie Koplowitz Stein.
The Torah completes the book of Vayikra in a very stark and disturbing manner. It describes in great detail the negative face of Jewish uniqueness and its special role in human affairs. The Jewish nation is blessed beyond all others but it is also held to a very rigorous standard. Though it is difficult for us ordinary mortals to justify logically in our minds the events of a 1900 year exile of torment and persecution, somehow in Heaven everything that has occurred to us is justified and necessary. It is certainly not pleasant to have to recall the difficulties of our history. Perhaps that is why Jewish history remains a relatively ignored subject in so many Jewish schools today. But the inclusion of the prediction of what would happen to the Jewish people, as detailed in this week’s parsha, remains very instructive.
This article is being written while I am still in the United States on my extended May visit. At this time of the year the attention of many Americans is diverted from such minor issues such as Iran, North Korea, Ukraine and a very sluggish job market to concentrating on the major spring-summer-fall sport of baseball.
In Bechukotai, in the midst of one of the most searing curses ever to have been uttered to a nation by way of warning, the sages found a fleck of pure gold. Moses is describing a nation in flight from its enemies: I will bring despair into the hearts of those of you who survive in enemy territory. Just the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to running, and they will run scared as if running from a sword! They will fall even when no one is chasing them! They will stumble over each other as they would before a sword, even though no one is chasing them! You will have no power to stand before your enemies.1
The parashah describes terrible calamities — disease, war, famine, and exile — that occur when the Jewish people abandon the Torah. According to Talmudic tradition, a primary cause for punishment is one particular offense: judicial corruption. "As a punishment for [unnecessary] delay in executing judgment, perversion of judgment, and neglect of Torah — sword and plunder increase, pestilence and famine ensue. People eat, yet remain hungry; and they eat their bread by weight." (Shabbat 33a) Uprooting Corruption Why does judicial abuse bring about such harsh punishments?
The Torah warns us that if we fail to listen to God and keep His mitzvot, we will be punished with famine, war, and ultimately, exile. "I will scatter you among the nations, and keep the sword drawn against you. Your land will remain desolate, and your cities in ruins." (Lev. 26:33) The Purpose of Israel in their Land Why should the Jewish people be punished with exile? To answer this question, we must first understand the true significance of residing in the Land of Israel. If the goal of the Jewish people is to bring ethical monotheism to the world, would their mission not be more effectively fulfilled when they are scattered among the nations?
Leaving the Cave With the death of the Roman emperor, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai could finally leave the cave where he and his son had hidden for thirteen years, studying Torah as they lay buried in the sand. But the long years of deprivation and harsh physical conditions had taken a terrible toll on Rabbi Shimon's body. The Talmud in Shabbat 33b relates that Rabbi Shimon's son-in-law, Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair, went to greet them. Rabbi Pinchas brought his father-in-law to the bathhouse and treated his skin. When Rabbi Pinchas saw the deep cuts in Rabbi Shimon's skin, he began to weep. His salty tears fell onto Rabbi Shimon — and Rabbi Shimon cried out from the pain. "Woe is me to have seen you in such a state," Rabbi Pinchas lamented. "On the contrary, you are fortunate to have seen me so," replied Rabbi Shimon. "For if you had not seen me so, you would not have found in me that which you have found." What did Rabbi Shimon mean by this response? What benefit was there in the scholar's deteriorated state of health?
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Please daven that they find Tehilla safe and well. Tehillim below. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Queens Hatzolah has just launched a search for a missing girl. The following is her description: Her name is Tehillah, and she is 14-years-old. She was last seen around 7:00PM, at Liberty Avenue and the Van Wyck Expressway. She is wearing a purple pull-over vest, black shirt, and a long black skirt. She has braces on her top teeth, and has blond shoulder-length hair. She is approximately 5 foot 4, and is very thin. She had a silver purse over her shoulder. She can be afraid of police. Dozens of Hatzolah volunteers are currently searching the area where she was last seen. Please contact Hatzolah if you have any information which can assist in finding her.FOUND: Queens Hatzolah Has B”H Found The Missing 14-Year-Old Girl [9:15PM] The search for the 14-year-old missing girl has ended. Hatzolah has Boruch Hashem found her in good condition. Please pass this along to anyone who you may have told about the search. All personal details have been removed from this article for obvious reasons. Queens Hatzolah thanks all the volunteers who assisted, including Chaveirim, and Shomrim. (Chaim Shapiro – YWN)
Monday, May 19, 2014
He had a mind big enough to master all of Torah. A spirit big enough to lead his people. And a heart big enough to contain all of Klal Yisrael. Maran Harav Ovadia Yosef met with Prime Ministers, Presidents, great rabbis — and the humblest Jew seeking advice or a berachah. He inspired and led a revolution in Sephardic society. But whether he was the ten-year old son of a poor grocer pleading to study Torah constantly, or an ailing man in his '90s keeping a schedule that would have tired someone half his age, Harav Ovadia Yosef had only one agenda: Torah. Always Torah. And everyday life according to the Torah. The brilliant gaon was an unyielding warrior for Torah. As a young rabbi in Cairo, he courageously stood firm for halachah even as a gun was pointed at his head. In the early days of the State of Israel, he struggled to bring his Sephardic brethren back to the magnificent Torah traditions that many were abandoning with terrifying haste. His encyclopedic knowledge was breathtaking and unparalleled. In his scores of brilliant sefarim he "restored the crown to its glory," fighting the battles of Torah and maintaining the preeminence of Maran Beit Yosef. As unyielding as he was in defense of Torah, so was he compassionate in personal encounters. He loved all Jews, and they loved him. When there were hundreds of agunot after Israel's wars, it was to him that all turned to find the keys to their chains. So multifaceted a leader needs a multifaceted biography. In Maran Harav Ovadia we meet the sage, the leader, the visionary, the loving father of all in distress. Rabbi Yehudah Heimowitz, author of the bestselling biographies Rav Elyashiv and Rav Nosson Tzvi, brings us Maran Harav Ovadia Yosef's rich and historic life and includes hundreds of stories and vignettes based on recollections of his family, friends, and colleagues. Generous excerpts from Harav Ovadia's personal writings give us a first-hand glimpse of his encounters and achievements, while hundreds of photos and historical documents offer a visual history of his extraordinary life. This book is the story of a great shaper of our era, a man who brought the Torah to hundreds of thousands.(FROM ARTSCROLL)
Sunday, May 18, 2014
For Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Torah is at once the oldest and the most contemporary document directing human lives. In this highly acclaimed, five-volume parashat hashavua series, Rabbi Riskin helps each reader extract deeply personal, contemporary lessons from the traditional biblical accounts. As Rabbi Riskin writes in the introduction to Torah Lights, the struggle with Torah reflects the struggle with life itself. The ability of the Torah to speak to every generation and every individual at the same time is the greatest testimony to its divinity.(FROM KOREN).
Leadership in the Wilderness: Authority and Anarchy in the Book of Numbers Hardcover by Erica Brown IS ON AMAZON
Confidently navigating the ancient wilderness, master educator Erica Brown guides readers through the tumultuous events of the book of Numbers in search of the key to successful leadership. How might a leader overcome unrest? How to contend with external challenges and internal doubts? And how to rekindle the faith of a people who have all but given up? Bringing together Bible and commentary, literature and philosophy, travelogues and corporate manuals, Leadership in the Wilderness presents a guide to good government, as relevant today as it was three thousand years ago.(FROM KOREN). Nachum Segal Features Dr. Erica Brown and Her New Book “Leadership in the Wilderness”
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Its finally here! The longly awaited 6th album for Eli Gerstner & Yossi Newman‘s famed Yeshiva Boys Choir will be in stores everywhere Sunday May 18th, 2014. Just six short weeks ago YBC released a single and music video off the new album entitled “YI-HA-LI-LU.” After debuting the song on Nachum Segal’s JM in the AM, YBC fans went nuts for the new single and the video already has over 50,000 hits. The new album titled YBC 6 – Modeh Ani features ten amazing new songs composed, arranged and produced by Eli Gerstner with the choir conducted by the super talented Yossi Newman. A few surprises on the album include guest appearances by Yaakov Mordechai Gerstner, Eli Gerstner himself and superstar OHAD!. The album features arrangements by Eli, Shai Barak and one of the biggest names in dance/techno music Itay Kalderon. For the first time ever, the title track of the YBC album will not be the first song on the CD! Instead, the name “Modeh Ani – Thank You,” was derived from a beautiful ballad that was written by Eli Gerstner with lyrics by the incomparable Country Yossi. Following the astounding success of his powerfully poignant tearjerker “Daddy Come Home,” Eli composed yet another melody that will strike a chord on our heartstrings and pluck at our every emotion. Such is the masterful creation of “Modeh Ani.” Wanting to give this touching and tender English track all the attention it deserves, Eli named the album after its eloquent message of gratitude to Hashem.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
In this week's Parsha the mitzva of "Lo Sonu", the prohibition of causing pain to another person, is mentioned twice. Our sages derive from here that one mention refers to cheating another person while the other refers to insulting another person or otherwise hurting someone through words, also known as onaas devarim. In fact, these two prohibitions are counted separately in the list of the 613 mitzvos(AUDIO HERE). CLICK HERE FOR PRINT VERSION.
BAIS HAVAAD'S PARSHA PERSPECTIVES PARSHAS BEHAR The Mitzvah to ‘Buy Jewish’:Who Needs Scrip When You Have Scripture? By: Rabbi Tzvi Price
Due to the recent recession, numerous communities across America have tried to find new and innovative ways to help their members. One novel idea implemented in many cities and towns has been the printing of local currency called ‘scrip.’ The idea is simple. A community creates its own money which can be purchased at local banks at a five percent discount. The owner of this scrip can then use it at participating businesses. Those businesses will then further circulate the money through the local economy by purchasing goods and services at other participating businesses. Eventually, someone might decide to cash in his scrip at the bank, but hopefully not until the scrip has succeeded in conserving the wealth of the community. In essence, everyone who participates in the local scrip system has agreed to preferentially treat the local businesses that honor the currency, giving those businesses an economic edge over their non-local competitors. This idea might sound new, but we Jews have been doing business under a similar system for a very long time. However, our system does not need a five percent incentive to keep it operating. Nor does it require the printing of any ‘funny money.’ It works because of one thing and one thing only – our desire to promote each other’s financial success by buying from and selling to our fellow Jew whenever possible. Taking everything into consideration, we do a pretty good job of turning that desire into action, and it gives us a real economic advantage. But it’s not just a desire, it’s a pasuk in this week’s Parshah.
Parshat Behar is completely occupied with the laws that pertain to yovel, the jubilee year, the fiftieth year in the cycle of counting the years in Eretz Yisroel, from the basic laws to the tangential laws. The Parsha begins with instructions on calculating the jubilee year, “Seven cycles of sabbatical years, seven times seven, the years of the seven cycles of sabbatical years shall be for you forty nine years.” Then the Torah continues with instructions that on Yom Kippur “you shall sound the shofar throughout the land … You shall proclaim freedom throughout the land for all its inhabitants. … You shall return each man to his ancestral heritage and you shall return each man to his family.” What a complex, seemingly convoluted and, for the Torah, an extraordinarily wordy calculation. Would it not have been equally effective to say, “After seven sabbatical cycles, the jubilee year will begin in the fiftieth year? Sound the shofar on Yom Kippur of that year.” click here for Summary by Channie Koplowitz Stein.
The Mountain of Sinai occupies a most central place in Jewish history. The actual geographical location of the mountain itself is somewhat in doubt but its place in human civilization is cemented in memory. The Mountain of Sinai is no longer a definite place as much as it is a symbol of God’s revelation to humans and the granting of a moral code to humanity. And the conduit for the transference of that message of Sinai to the world was and still is the people of Israel.
Among the many positive attributes that my great-grandchildren possess is that many of them have unusually beautiful eyes. This is especially true of the female branch of our family. And that is truly fortunate, for the Talmud teaches us that a woman who possesses beautiful eyes needs no further inspection – one can be assured that she is of exceptional quality. The Torah points out that our mother Leah had dim or weak eyes in contradistinction to the beauty of her sister Rachel. But the idea of beautiful eyes is not limited to physical beauty alone. The Torah demands of us, eyes that have a sense of vision that can see from afar - even see the otherwise unseen.