Pirkei Avot, First Perek
Chutz LaAretz: Shabbat is their 2nd day
Shavuot. No Pirkei Avot
With the Molad of Sivan early Sunday morning Rosh Chodesh day (May 12), the first oppor- tunity for Kiddush L’vana (according to Minhag Yerushalayim - GR”A) is Wednesday night, eve of the 5th of Sivan (May 15). Many people wait during Sivan for Motza’ei Shavuot, or in this year’s case, Motza’ei Shabbat. That means that hardline GR”A people will go for Wednesday night. Most people will wait for Motza’ei Shabbat. Even many 7-day after the molad people will say K.L. on Motza’ei Shabbat (which is only hours before a full 7 days).
On another note... Shavuot, being only
one day, has 6 days of MILU’IM (fill-in) that follow it to even it up with
Sukkot and Pesach. This has a practical korbanot-related application in the
time of the Beit HaMikdash. Today it means no Tachanun through the 12th of
Eretz Yisrael without Torah is like a body without a soul. That’s not an original way of putting it. It is a song I remember from childhood. That’s exactly one of the reasons (religious) Jews should come to Israel. There is an amazing amount of Torah being learned and practiced in Eretz Yisrael today. And this will continue to grow in quantity and quality with more sensitive, serious, sincere Jews in Israel.
Perhaps, the reason Shavuot is mostly associated with Torah is due to its all- encompassing nature. Remember that the Torah does not identify Shavuot as the time of the receiving of the Torah. It does refer to the Two Loaves offering at the culmination of the counting of the Omer. It relates Shavuot to the bringing of Bikurim (Shavuot is actually the beginning of “Bikurim season”). It gives Shavuot the agricultural aspect of Chag HaKatzir.
But for us, Shavuot is primarily the
anniversary of our receiving the Torah, receiving the purpose of our nation-
hood. The purpose of our Judaism.
Kohen - First Aliya - 17 p'sukim -
Note: The starting age for a Levi's service is 30. In the Beit HaMikdash, there is no maximum age. In the Mishkan, however, since a Levi's work required carrying Mishkan components in addition to singing and guarding, there was a mandatory retirement age of 50.
Also note that the family-branch of K'hat was counted and their tasks were enumerated at the end of Bamidbar.
[Speculation: 20 p'sukim earlier looks like it might have been the originally intended beginning of Naso. Although Naso would be even larger than it is, Bamidbar would end on a "proper" note, rather than how it ends now.]
Gershon's tasks include: the three coverings of the Mishkan - the Mishkan (intricately woven, multi-colored, first layer), the Ohel (goat's hair, woven middle covering), and the Michseh (outer covering of skins - ram & tachash); the curtain at the entrance of Ohel Moed (same weave as the Mishkan); the linen curtain material that surrounded the courtyard and the entrance curtain of the courtyard; the securing stakes and other related tools. Leviyim were to function only as instructed by the kohanim. The supervisor of family Gershon is Aharon's son Itamar.
Family-branch Merari was also counted - males between 30 and 50 years of age. They were in charge of the wall-boards of the Mishkan, beams, posts, and foundations. Similarly, the courtyard posts, stakes, foundation sockets, and related tools. Itamar was their supervisor too. (Merari used 4 of the 6 wagons - see towards the end of the sedra - and Gerson used the other 2. K'hat used their shoulders.)
The counts of the work-forces of Levi
came to: 2,750 for K'hat...
SDT] ...LA'AVOD AVODAT AVODA VA'AVODAT
MASA... Note the four words in a row with the same root. Rashi says the
Avodat Avoda (kind of a strange phrase) refers to playing musical
instruments. As far as Avodat Masa is concerned - the Gemara in Chulim
comments that only when there is heavy manual labor involved, then there is
an age limit for the Leviyim (as was mentioned above). And it seems that the
age limit of 50 was only for the carrying. In other words, a Levi was able
to continue serving in the Mishkan after 50, but only for SHIRA and SH'MIRA.
A person who sins is required to verbally confess (when repenting) . He/she must also make restitution (if money was involved) and pay a penalty to the victim.
[SDT] Take a close look at the portion in
the sedra dealing with repentance. It speaks of a man or a woman sinning and
of THEIR (not his) requirement to confess and do T'shuva. It is often the
case that when an individual sins, others are somewhat responsible. Perhaps
a parent who did not educate the child properly. Maybe someone who made
stealing (for example) too easy and/or tempting. Does the society bear some
of the responsibility for a sinner's actions, because of misplaced emphasis
on the wrong values? A person is primarily accountable for his actions. But
the Torah's use of the plural, reminds us of our duty to develop an
environment of Torah values that will be conducive for all members of
society to enthusiastically follow a Torah way of life. This is part of KOL
YISRAEL AREIVIM ZEH BAZEH.
So too, the fact that the death of a Kohen Gadol releases "inadvertent killers" from their cities of refuge, implies responsibility on the part of the spiritual leader of the people for the carelessness that leads to SHOGEG deaths.)
Another way to explain why the mitzva of
T'shuva is not on Rambam's list of 613 is because it spans all mitzvot,
rather than being a specific mitzva on its own. In other words... The Torah
forbids eating non-kosher meat. If one violates these prohibition, he is
required to repent. Repentance is part of the mitzva prohibiting non-kosher
meat. So too for all mitzvot, positive as well as prohibitions. Bench after
a meal; if you don't, repent your non-fulfillment of this mitzva. T'shuva
can be viewed as a Value Added Tax tacked on to every other mitzva. As such,
it does not get counted on its own among the Taryag mitzvot. (The specific
command to verbally confess as part of the T'shuva process does get counted
among the 613, because it is specific). On the other hand, others disagree
with Rambam and DO count T'shuva as one of the 613. Some include VIDUI in
the mitzva of T'shuva and some count it separately.
If a wife is unfaithful to her husband, and there is no proof of her adultery, or if a man suspects his wife of unfaithfulness and it be unwarranted, he may formally warn her in front of witnesses not to be seen in the company of a particular man. This warning is a precondition to the whole topic of Sota. Suspicion alone, or even adultery per se, do not produce the conditions for Sota without a formal warning by the husband. Once the warning is issued, it is a mitzva (requirement) to proceed with the Sota-process . The husband must bring his wife to the kohen at the Beit HaMikdash. A barley-meal offering is brought. No oil  or spice  is used with it since the issue at hand is so serious and unpleasant before G-d.
The kohen prepares a potion consisting of
water from the Kiyor (the washing basin in the courtyard of the Beit
HaMikdash), earth from the floor, and the dissolved writing of this portion
of the Torah. The kohen administers an oath to the woman asking her to swear
to her innocence, if that be the case, or to admit her guilt. The woman is
warned of serious adverse effects of the potion which she will be given to
drink, if in fact she has committed adultery, and of the favorable
consequences of the potion if she is innocent.
There are many details, too numerous to include here, concerning the conditions necessary for the Sota-process to go though to its end. In other words, there would be many situations when the oath and potion would not be used.
One interesting and serious warning for today. The first part of Sota, namely the warning in front of witnesses, applies today, even without a Beit HaMikdash. If a man were to give the Sota-warning in front of witnesses today, and his wife subsequently is seen alone with the man named in the warning, he would be duty-bound to bring his wife to the Beit HaMikdash (a slight problem today, unfortunately) and he would be prohibited from having relations with her until then. Big problem. Easy solution: don't do the first part, no matter what the situation.
This is one of several examples of a mitzva that can only partially be fulfilled today, but nevertheless, the part that can be done, does apply. And creates problems in the inability to follow through.
A man or a woman may make a Nazirite vow to G-d. This is usually, but not always, for a period of one month. A Nazir is forbidden to drink wine , eat grapes , raisins , grape seeds , and grape skins . A Nazir may not cut his hair , but rather must let his hair grow long . A Nazir may not come into contact with a dead body , nor become ritually defiled even from the bodies of a close relative .
The Chinuch explains that since a regular Kohen is born with restrictions of ritual purity, it would be unfair to forbid him to be in contact with the body of one of his close relatives. His grief might be too great to handle that level of prohibition. But a Nazir voluntarily accepts his restrictions, knows what he is getting himself into (as would a candidate for Kohen Gadol), and therefore he can be restricted from contact with the body of even his own mother.
If a Nazir does become defiled, he must purify himself (following 7 days of defilement), shave his hair, bring 2 doves and a lamb as korbanot, and begin his period of Nazir anew. When a Nazir successfully concludes the term of his vow, he brings 2 lambs and a ram plus various types of flour-oil offerings and wine for libation . Included with these korbanot is a sin offering. (This implies that it is not entirely proper for one to accept upon himself a Nazirite vow. The Torah often provides extreme measures for one who feels he must live a stricter life in order to correct certain shortcomings, but still reminds us that it is not a preferable way of life.) Part of this mitzva is for the Nazir to shave off his hair, which is put into the fire under his korban. Afterwards, he may drink wine.
Next, the Torah presents the "three-fold
blessing" which forms the text of "Birkat Kohanim". (We also say these
p'sukim every morning as part of Birchot HaTorah, and we "borrow" the bracha
for our children on Leil Shabbat, even though we are not all Kohanim.) When
the kohanim pronounce this blessing, G-d will bless them and the people of
Israel. Birkat Kohanim is a mitzva upon kohanim, daily .
On the day the Mishkan was completed, it and its furnishings, altar and its utensils, were anointed and sanctified. The tribal leaders gave to the Mishkan 6 wagons and 12 oxen, two to pull each wagon. The wagons were to be distributed to the Leviyim proportional to the tasks of the different families. Gershon received two wagons and four oxen. Merari received four wagons and eight oxen (because their loads were consider ably heavier and bulkier). No wagons were given to K'hat, since they were responsible for the sacred articles which had to be carried by shoulder. That the Aron was to be carried on the shoulders of Leviyim from family K'hat is a mitzva .
Next follows 12 portions of 6 p'sukim each, which are practically identical. Each portion contains the name of a tribal leader and a description of the gifts of gold and silver vessels and animals for sacrifices that were presented on one of the twelve days of dedication of the Mishkan.
Nachshon b. Aminadav of Yehuda was the
first to present his gifts. The leaders of Yissachar, Zevulun, Reuven, and
Shimon presented their gifts on the 4 following days. Although the gifts are
identical, there are sources that teach that each leader brought his gifts
with special kavanot and symbolisms unique to his tribe.
From this point, contact by G-d to Moshe
emanated from between the two cherubs atop the (kaporet of the) Aron.
Side point. The angel instructs
Shimshon's mother (wife of Mano'ach of the tribe of Dan) as to how she must
behave when she becomes pregnant. She must not drink wine or any other
alcoholic beverages, nor eat anything Tamei. Interesting how long ago it was
known that alcohol intake of a pregnant woman affects her child.
Lesson # 136 (part seven - last part) •
Right of First Refusal
Many of the readers raised the following question. Throughout these lessons I have been writing about one contiguous (touching) neighbor. I have been asked since most parcels of land usually have more than one neighbor, how is he right of first refusal exercised?
There are four neighbors who own land contiguous to the land being sold by Reuven. Shimon on the east, Issachar on the west, Zevulun on the north, and Gad on the south. They may all exercise the right of first refusal and the land being sold by Reuven will be divided along its diagonals so that each will purchase a quarter of the field being sold by Reuven, and contiguous to his own field.
Assuming five contiguous neighbors, one each on the north, east, and west sides of the field being sold and two contiguous neighbors on the south side, the two neighbors on the south side are considered as one neighbor and they may exercise their right of first refusal by dividing the quarter of the field being sold on the south side. The other three neighbors may exercise the right of first refusal by each purchasing a quarter of the field contiguous to his own field.
Neighbors share in the right of first
refusal if they exercise their right at the same time or close enough to be
deemed contemporaneous. Also, Reuven and Levi should try to accommodate all
of the neighbors in doing that which is right, and if they all came
simultaneously neither Reuven nor Levi may sell to less than all the
neighbors who have exercised their right of first refusal.
If any of the neighbors are not in the community when they have to exercise the right of first refusal, then this is not an act of God excusing the immediate exercising of the right of first refusal, and the neighbors who are present may exercise the right of first refusal to the exclusion of those who are out of town.
If the neighbor's field on the east is jointly owned by Shimon and Pinchas, and the field on the west is owned by Shlomo, and Pinchas exercises the right of first refusal, Shlomo cannot object that Pinchas's right is not yet established. Shlomo cannot plead that perhaps Pinchas and Shimon will partition their field and Pinchas will end up with a part of their jointly owned field that is not contiguous to the field of Reuven being sold. Similarly, if Levi purchases Reuven's field he cannot defend against Pinchas when Pinchas exercises his right of first refusal. Similarly, the field being sold is jointly owned by Reuven and Isaac, and Reuven sells his interest to Levi, a noncontiguous owner, and Isaac waives his right of first refusal. Levi cannot defend against Shimon, a contiguous owner, by pleading that perhaps when the field being sold is partitioned the part that will be received by Levi will not be contiguous to the field owned by Shimon.
The question arises, can Shimon partially exercise his right of first refusal? Levi purchases the field from Reuven. Shimon wishes to exercise his right of first refusal, but not to purchase the entire field that Levi purchased from Reuven, but only to purchase part of such field. Levi can refuse to sell to Shimon unless Shimon purchases all of the field; Shimon must elect to purchase all or none of the field.
Levi purchased one field from two owners. Levi may still insist that Shimon purchase all or none of the field. Shimon is not doing the right thing by depriving Levi of half of his field. However, if Levi and Dan purchased the field from Reuven, Shimon can purchase the ownership of both Levi and Dan or the ownership of Levi only.
If Levi purchases two fields from Reuven. Shimon can exercise his right of first refusal for one or both fields. However, if Levi purchases parcel #1 from Reuven and Shimon did not exercise his right of first refusal regarding parcel # 1 and then Levi purchased parcel #2 from Reuven, Shimon cannot exercise his right of first refusal regarding parcel #2 since Levi is now also a contiguous landowner resulting from his purchase of parcel #1. This may not hold if Beth Din determines that the two transactions were merely an attempt to defraud Shimon.
There are situations where the right of first refusal does not apply. Shimon, the contiguous landowner, does not want to purchase the land Reuven is offering for sale. Joshua and David, who are not contiguous landowners, each wants to purchase the land from Reuven. Joshua resides in the same city where the land is located and David resides in another city. If all of the facts are similar as to price and purpose of the purchase, Beth Din will grant priority to Joshua since he resides in the same city as the land. If both Joshua and David reside in the city and Joshua is a Torah scholar and David is not, priority will be given to Joshua.
If Joshua is a neighbor of Reuven (but not a contiguous landowner) and David is not a neighbor, priority will be given to Joshua.
In all of these situations. if David
purchased the land from Reuven before Joshua went to beth din. the sale to
David will not be rescinded.
But if we don’t know what is correct, how
can we act in a better way?
The subject matter of this lesson is more
fully discussed in Volume V Chapter 175 of A Restatement of Rabbinic Civil
Law byE. Quint, published by Jason Aronson, Inc. and on sale at local
Judaica bookstores. Questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hair Covering for Women We learn in our parsha that part of the ordeal of the woman suspected of adultery is that the Kohen uncovers her hair (Bamidbar 5:18). The gemara infers from this that hair covering for a married woman is a Torah obligation (Ketubot 72a). However, a fascinating aggada implies that this obligation has a much older origin.
"Rav Yitzchak bar Avdimi said: Chava was cursed with ten curses". In addition to the explicit ones such as the discomfort of pregnancy and the pain of childbirth, the gemara counts that she is "wrapped up like a mourner" (Eiruvin 100b). Rashi explains that she is ashamed to go about with her hair uncovered.
If we examine the obligation for a mourner to be "wrapped up" and cover the hair (SA YD 386), we could easily connect it to another aspect of mourning: The mourner is unkempt, as cutting the hair and other grooming is forbidden (SA YD 390); covering the head may diminish the loss of dignity due to the disorderly appearance.
This relates to Chava's predicament. As a result of the sin of Adam and Chava, the romantic attraction between man and woman was admixed with an impure, bestial element. The very attractiveness of the human body now became a potential source of shame! For this reason they were ashamed to be naked after the sin, and made themselves clothes (Bereshit 3:7). For Chava this included covering her hair, for hair is part of a married woman's special attractiveness (Berakhot 24a).
However, this explanation is still incom- plete. After all, both men and women began to cover themselves after the sin; why was hair covering required only of women?
Rav Kook provides an interesting explanation. The gemara in Berakhot counts three distractions which prevent a man from saying Shema with the required purity of thought: a woman's leg, her singing voice, and her exposed hair (Berakhot 24a). Rav Kook explains that these three examples represent three different aspects of feminine attraction to men: One aspect is the inherent, defining difference between the sexes. The second is a merely perceptual difference. A woman naturally has a higher and softer voice than a man, but this is not inherently related to her femininity; rather, a man perceives the difference in a woman's voice and for this reason finds it attractive.
The third kind of difference is one that
is purely conventional. Unlike a woman's physique or her voice, women's hair
is physically completely identical to that of men. However, since hair is
uniquely amenable to being styled and adorned, women have traditionally
personalized it to augment their beauty. It is for this cultural reason that
women, but not men, are required to cover their hair when it constitutes an
inappropriate attraction, as in the case of a married woman. (Based on Ein
Ayah on Berakhot 24a)
Rabbi Meir authors a popular weekly
on-line Q&A column, "The Jewish Ethicist", which gives Jewish guidance on
everyday ethical dilemmas in the workplace. The column is a joint project of
the JCT Center for Business Ethics, Jerusalem College of Technology - Machon
Lev; and Aish HaTorah. You can see the Jewish Ethicist, and submit your own
Qs — www.jewishethicist.com or www. aish.com
A Let's first assume that you will miss Parshat Naso. To what extent is that a problem? The original and main institution of kri'at hatorah on Shabbat is to publicly read from the Torah, with at least seven aliyot and and 21 p'sukim (Megillah 21a; 23a). In fact, the original, Torah reading cycle in Eretz Yisrael was three years long. A later institution was made to complete the Torah reading every year. If you hear Parshat B'ha'alotcha in Israel and miss Naso, you have fulfilled the main mitzva of taking part in a public Torah reading on Shabbat. Regarding the need to complete the Torah, some posit that it is an obligation only of the community, not the individual, and it is not an issue (see Yom Tov Sheni K'hilchata 9:41) in the name of Rav S.Z. Orbach zt”l and others). It may be proper and sufficient to learn Naso (in addition to B'ha'alotcha) that week in “shnayim mikra v'eched targum”, which is a personal obligation, which might have an annual element to it (see Ishei Yisrael 38:(88) in the name of Rav Neuvirt).
On the other hand, most poskim assume that it is at least worthwhile to make up the missing parasha, if possible. The week you are coming is a good one to "hitch a ride" with many others who are in a similar predicament and will arrange to hear Naso, as well. Those b'nei chutz la'aretz who keep two days of Shavuot in Israel will also be in a quandary about Naso. One solution, which many will use, is to read both Naso and B'ha'alotcha on the Shabbat after Shavuot. This is based on the Rama's ruling (Orach Chayim 135:2) in the similar case of a community which was unable to preform kri'at hatorah one week, that they read the old and new parshiot the next week. Some poskim prefer splitting the aliyot between the two parshiyot in the manner of a regular double parasha (B'tzeil Hachuchma VI,58), while others suggest the first aliyah should include the entire first parasha and the first aliyah of the second (YTSK 9:(42), in the name of Rav Elyashiv).
Do not assume, though, that all large
concentrations of b'nei chutz la'aretz will have such a minyan. Some may
justifiably consider a separate minyan unnecessary or even improper. There
are also two more solutions (with pluses and minuses, which are beyond our
scope). They can read all of Naso at Mincha of Shabbat/Shavuot (similar to
Dagul Meir'vava, 175; see article by Rav E. Bluth in YTSK 14)
In any case, you may lain or get an aliyah on Parashat B'ha'alotcha without a problem (YTSK 9:100).
Ask the Rabbi Q&A is part of Hemdat Yamim, the weekly parsha sheet published by Eretz Hemdah. You can read this section or the entire Hemdat Yamim at www.ou.org or www.eretzhemdah.org. And/or you can receive Hemdat Yamim by email weekly, by sending an email to email@example.com with the message: Join Hemdatya - Please leave the subject blank.
Ask the Vebbe Rebbe is partially funded
by the Jewish Agency for Israel
Reason: Shavuot possesses no special mitzvot like Pesach and Sukkot. So the hallmark of the Festival is abstaining from melacha. Hence the appellation ATZERET, which is similar to “Behold, Hashem has restrained (ATZARANI) from giving birth” (B’reishit 16:2)
It is customary not to recite Tachanun on
the first twelve days of Sivan.
When R’ Yechiel Michel of Gustinin was a
young man, he begged a friend to teach him how to play chess. Almost
immediately, however, he stopped his lessons. “I
learned”, said R’ Yechiel Michel, “that one of the rules of chess is that
once a person makes a move he is not permitted to take it back. That is
against everything we believe. For Jews, no act is absolutely final. It is
never too late for a person to do T’shuva, to repent.
“Ours is not an age of expiring faith. Far from dethroning G-d in the affairs of man, the World War demonstrated man’s commanding need of an abiding faith in the ancient verities that must form the spiritual aliment of all generations. Where a short while ago death seemed to hold court, abundant life is yet to reign supreme…
“Faith is asserting itself in the very bankruptcy of a vaunted godless civilization. Out of this horrid welter of cruelty and destruction there emerges the recognition that the roots of humanity’s misery lie, not in outward circumstances, but in humanity itself: Only a change in itself will put an end to its wretchedness.
“The awareness of G-d keeps its mystic grip upon the spirit of man; a godless morality cannot endure because it has no constraining sanction. Pragmatic morality kills the nobler instincts, debases the ethical currency and lowers the standard of human striving and effort. Utilitarianism in the realm of virtue allows for the exercise of that perverse casuistry which is able to call good evil and evil good.
“Man’s one elementary and imperishable need is to come in contact with G-d and to acknowledge Him as the source of all moral duty. The first of the Aseret Hadibrot – “I am the Lord your G-d” – is thus particularly counted as one of the commandments because the concept embodied in this verse is the spring from which all ethical conduct proceeds.”
Chag Same’ach and Shabbat Shalom,
Menachem Persoff, Director, Israel Center
Prefixes incle BET, HEI, VAV, KAF, LAMED, MEM, and SHIN (and DALET in Aramaic text). They are divided into two categories (not without exceptions that complicate matters).
MEM SHIN and HEI (mnemonic: MOSHE), as in HA-YI-PA-LEI MEI-HASHEM DAVAR (why did Sara laugh? Is anything too difficult for G-d?). ASHREI HA’AM SHE-HASHEM ELOKAV (T’hilim 144:15, Fortunate are those for whom G-d is their G-d). ELOKEI HA-ELOHIM (the ultimate Supreme Being - The Living Torah’s rendering of the phrase, which literally would translate as God of Gods). With these three prefix-letters, the name/word that they attach to is left intact. MEI-ADONOI, SHE-ADONOI, HA-ELOHIM.
An exception is found in Yirmiyahu 8:19, HADONOI EIN B’TZIYON, Is not G-d in Zion. This is so because the HEI is not the definite article, but the interrogatory HEI.
As opposed to the letters VAV, KAF, LAMED, BET (mnemonic: V’KALEV) which cause the initial ALEF of the name/word to go silent. VA-DO-NI ZAKEN. Sara doubts her ability to conceive a child - and my husband is old! Here, the word ADONI is not sacred, but it has the same root of ADNUT, Mastery, as the ALEF-DALET-NUN-YUD name of G-d. The Prefixed VAV causes the ALEF to lose its vowel and go silent. VADONI, not V’ADONI. Similarly, Dvarim 4:7, What nation is so great that they have G-d close to them, as HaShem our G-d is, whenever we call Him. KA-DO-NOI, not K’ADO... HODU LADO..., not L’ADO... In Bamidbar 21:5, And the people spoke out against G-d and Moshe, BEI-LOHIM U’V’MOSHE, not B’ELOKIM.
An Aramaic example of this can be found in U’VA L’TZIYON. B’RICH Y’KARA DADONOI (not D’ADO...)
An exception (among others) is the word ADON which is too small to have its ALEF go silent. So we say, ALEINU L’SHABEI’ACH LA-ADON HAKOL, not LADON.
R’ Sharoni also lists seven exceptions
found in Tanach, including VA-ADONEI HA-ADONIM (D’varim 10:17), LA-ADONEIHEM
L’MELECH MITZRAYIM (B’reishit 40:1), KI KADOSH HAYOM LA-ADONEINU (Nechemya
8:10, and not LADO- NEINU as the rule would have it).
Which brings us to the unusual form in Haazinu, Dvarim 32:6. In a Torah scroll, there is a large-size HEI, a bit of a separation, then LAMED-HASHEM. Although it appears (in written form) as HA L’HASHEM, it should not be read that way. According to a majority of authorities, it should be read HAL-ADONOI. Some Yemenites read it HAL-DONOI, with a SH’VA NACH under the LAMED and a silent ALEF.
Notwithstanding all of the above, there
is an opinion that G-d’s “main” name (YUD-HEI-VAV- HEI) does not change
because of prefixes. It always stands intact. So, “all the gods of the
nations are idols, V’ADO...” (rather then VADO... as above). But with Sara,
VADONI ZAKEIN stays as above, because G-d’s name is not involved.
Sometime before Yom Tov, one takes a Challah or Matza and a cooked food (hard boiled egg, piece of gefilte fish, piece of chicken, etc.) which will be eaten on Shabbat (many eat the Eiruv up at Seuda Shlishit, but it only must last until Shabbat to be effective).
With baked and cooked items in hand, one
recites the following bracha...
Permission to cook is limited to the
needs of the day itself. One is not allowed to cook on Yom Tov for any other
MACHLOKET. Dispute in the Gemara.
If this were the end of the story, we’d be allowed to cook on Friday for Shabbat and there would not be such a thing as ET. But the Sages came along and expressed a fear that people would make a mistake and cook on Yom Tov for a regular weekday, if they had permission to cook on Yom Tov for Shabbat. And they banned the cooking on Yom Tov for the following day EVEN when it is Shabbat.
If this were the end of the story, then there still would be no ET, and we would not be allowed to cook on Friday-Yom Tov for Shabbat (nor even light candles for Shabbat).
Since the rabbinic ban on cooking on Friday-Yom Tov for Shabbat was meant to protect Yom Tov from misuse, it is ironic that the effect of the ban is to slight Shabbat by not allowing cooking for Shabbat except “way back” on Erev Yom Tov. And remember, the Torah (according to this opinion, permits the cooking for Shabbat on Yom Tov.
So the Sages said the following: Since it is really permitted to cook on Friday-Yom Tov for Shabbat, we will relax our ban if one performs the Eiruv Tavshilin ceremony thereby officially beginning Shabbat cooking on Erev Yom Tov and “only” continuing it on Friday. The Eiruv (as the word means) merges the cooking of Erev Yom Tov with the cooking of Yom Tov in honor of the Shabbat. Remembering that this was allowed in the first place without an Eiruv, the Eiruv serves as a clear reminder that cooking on Yom Tov for the next day is permitted ONLY when that day is Shabbat. The Sages are no longer worried, so to speak, that people will make a mistake on a Yom Tov that is not on Friday, because the Eiruv distinguishes the Friday-Yom Tov from Yom Tov on other days of the week.
All this is fine according to this first opinion in the Gemara that cooking from Yom Tov to Shabbat is really permitted.
But there is another opinion. That opinion says that the Torah gave us permission to cook on Yom Tov for that day only. Period. (Or full stop if you are from you know where.) Even if the next day is Shabbat, with its higher K’dusha, cooking on Friday-Yom Tov is not permitted. According to this opinion, an Eiruv, which is a rabbinic mitzva/procedure would have no effect on a Torah prohibition. Rabbinic authority does not extend that far. So this opinion needs a different understanding of Eiruv.
We first answer a related question before we get to Eiruv. You finished lunch on Friday-Yom Tov at 1:00pm. Can you cook food at 2:00pm for Shabbat? No. Answered that already. Can you cook food at 2:00pm for guests who unexpectedly knocked on your door and said they were very hungry? Yes, of course. It’s Yom Tov and cooking on Yom Tov is permitted for consumption on the day itself.
May I cook on Yom Tov more food than I need for the day and eat the leftovers on the next day, Shabbat? Yes. (There are some limits to this, such as cooking all the food - for Yom Tov and leftovers - in the same pot. And more. But we’ll leave that discussion for another time.)
Easy questions so far.Here’s the clincher. Can I cook at 2:00pm on Friday-Yom Tov for company that MIGHT unexpectedly drop by, or do I have to wait until they are in front of me? Well, the Torah would no longer forbid that cooking, because maybe hungry company will come on Yom Tov. But the Sages would still not allow that cooking... unless you made an ET on Erev Yom Tov.
And there you have it. The ET according to the first opinion, allows cooking on Friday-Yom Tov for Shabbat (which is really allowed by the Torah in the first place).
The ET according to the second opinion allows cooking on Yom Tov for company that may or may not drop by, and the left- overs (which is all the food, if no company actually showed up) are there for Shabbat. (This too is really permitted by the Torah.)
According to both opinions, one may cook food on Friday-Yom Tov afternoon and that food may be eaten on Shabbat. So the ET works for both opinions.
But there is a difference in practice between the two opinions. According to the first opinion, one is allowed to cook on Friday late afternoon, right up to candle lighting time. But according to the second opinion, there has to be enough time after the cooking for the potential unexpected company to eat the food.
It is therefore a good practice not to go down to the wire with the cooking on Friday, but to finish with a solid hour (suggestion) before candle lighting. This will satisfy both opinions.
And there is one more technical
difference. According to the first opinion, lighting Shabbat candles (which
is essentially for Shabbat) can be done, courtesy of an ET, with no problem
(other than remembering not to strike a match, not to extinguish the fire
you use to light the candles). According to the second opinion, the lighting
should be for some use on Yom Tov itself, since transferring of fire on Yom
Tov is permitted only for the benefit of the day itself, not the next day,
even when it is Shabbat. Reading by the light of the candles or examining
something that needs the extra light can satisfy the second opinion.
Immediately prior to and during Matan Torah, people ANd their cattle and flocks were strictly forbidden to touch Har Sinai. The inclusion of animals in the ban indicates that Har Sinai was nicely adorned with vegetation, and the implication is that this was so in honor of its function as the venue for Matan Torah.
Decorating with tree branches is a reminder that the world is judged by G-d on Shavuot concerning the fruit of the tree. It is appropriate to pray on Shavuot for bountiful yields of fruit.
Moshe Rabeinu was born on 7 Adar and hidden for three months. He was placed in a waterproof basket, floated on the Nile, hidden among the reeds on the future Shavuot.
Bikurim baskets were adorned and
decorated in various ways. Shavuot is Yom HaBikurim.
(Note for veggies and others who prefer not eating meat: Meat as Simcha is subjective - if you don't like meat, then you need not have it on Yom Tov; if you enjoy eating meat dishes, THEN it is proper to honor and enjoy Yom Tov in that way. This is when we have no Beit HaMikdash. In the time of the Beit HaMikdash, Simcha is associated with the korban called Shalmei Simcha.)
Additionally, we all know of the custom of eating dairy foods on Shavuot. Some people will have a dairy meal on Yom Tov night and a meat meal for lunch. This has a certain logic, since the nighttime is "more specifically Shavuot" and the day is "more generically Yom Tov". Other families will have meat at night and dairy during the day.
Still others will make Kiddush and HaMotzi, have some dairy dish (blintzes, perhaps), then bench. Following a short break and a change in table covering, they will wash again, this time for a meat meal.
Everyone according to their custom.
There are many “reasons” for the custom of dairy dishes on Shavuot. Keep in mind that some of the reasons might have produced the custom, while others might be merely additional symbolisms after the fact. Furthermore, some reasons explain why we eat dairy, while others make sense only in the context of having BOTH dairy and meat dishes.
The pasuk in Shir HaShirim (4:11) alludes to Torah as “honey and milk shall be under your tongue”. (Some mix honey and milk - yogurt or sour cream do well - to match the pasuk.)
To commemorate the first Shavuot celebrated in the Midbar when our ancestors ate only dairy dishes. This is because eating kosher meat after receiving the Torah requires much preparation...
Mount Sinai is also called Har Gavnunim (T'hilim 68:16) and the word GAVNUNIM is similar to G'VINA (cheese).
The numeric value of the word CHALAV (milk) is 40, alluding to the forty days and nights Moshe spent on Har Sinai receiving the Torah.
Having both dairy and meat dishes as mentioned above requires strict attention to the laws of separation of milk and meat. These laws, of course, are based on the Torah's prohibition of "meat in milk" as presented by the phrase "Do not cook a goat in its mother's milk". This phrase (twice) follows, in the same pasuk, the command to bring Bikurim to the Beit HaMikdash. Shavuot is Yom HaBikurim. Therefore, we eat both dairy and meat dishes, with proper attention to the strictures of halacha, specifically on Shavuot.
Halachically (especially when handling food with our hands), it is improper to use the same loaf of bread for both meat and dairy meals because of the food residue that might adhere to the bread. Therefore, a dairy meal and a meat meal will require two loaves of bread, reminiscent of the Two Loaves offering of Shavuot.
Some suggest that having a dairy dish and a meat dish is like the "two cooked foods" of the Pesach Seder. Shavuot is not only its own Holiday; it is also the culmination of Pesach - hence, "two foods" on Shavuot as well as Pesach.
According to tradition, Moshe Rabeinu was born on the seventh of Adar and was successfully hidden by his parents for three months. It was on the future Shavuot that baby Moshe was placed in the basket on the river and found by the daughter of Par'o. We are taught that Moshe refused to nurse from an Egyptian wetnurse. This led to Miriam's suggestion that Yocheved, Moshe's mother, be asked to nurse him. He, who was to teach all of Israel the Torah, could not drink "mother's milk" from a non-Jew. We commemorate this with dairy dishes on the day of Matan Torah.
It might also be suggested that the day of the receiving of the Torah is like the birth of the Nation of Israel, and we have milk to symbolize the spiritual infancy of the People of Israel.
The Torah commands us to bring in the Beit HaMikdash a Mincha Chadasha LaShem B'Shavuoteichem. The initial letters of this phrase spell the word MICHALAV - "from milk". This, too, is considered one of the origins of the custom.
How about this one? Sources tell us that
Bnei Yisrael refused to drink milk or eat dairy at all, fearing that milk
was EIVER MIN HACHAI, limb from a living animal (which is forbidden to all
people). It was receiving the Torah and its explanations that clarified the
issue and taught them that milk was permitted. We celebrate this discovery
of our ancestors with dairy dishes on Shavuot.
Several varied reasons combine to make Ruth the perfect reading for Shavuot.
The text itself tells us that its story takes place at the time of the "cutting of the wheat". Shavuot is CHAG HAKATZIR.
One of the major purposes of the Book of Ruth is to show us of the lineage of David HaMelech and the Davidic line leading to Moshiach. Tradition tells us that David HaMelech died on Shavuot.
Perhaps most significantly, the story of
Ruth is the inspiring story of Kabbalat HaTorah of an individual level, just
as Shavuot is the commemoration of Kabbalat HaTorah on a national level. All
of Israel were like converts at Sinai.
Each line of Akdamut ends with the syllable TA, which is spelled TAV-ALEF, the last and first letters of the Alef-bet. Some see this as a reminder of the nature of the Torah itself - as soon as we complete reading or learning the Torah, we immediately begin it again.
S'faradim do not read Akdamut, but they
have the custom of reading a poem called the KETUBA, celebrating the
marriage, so to speak, of G-d and Bnei Yisrael, or the Torah and Bnei
Yisrael. They read the KETUBA when the Ark is opened, before the Torahs are
taken out. The KETUBA was composed by Rabbi Yosef Najara.
The reading begins with the famous pasuk:
“In the third month since the Exodus, on THIS day, they (Bnei Yisrael) came
to Midbar Sinai.”
This is such an important concept that it bears constant repeating and constant attention and effort to actualize. Especially when there are so many detractors who proclaim the Torah and its Mitzvot as antiquated, out-dated, and irrelevant, we must be living examples to the opposite. EITZ CHAYIM HI... the Torah is the living, fresh, vibrant, and complete source of the way of life that allows us to live in this world and to invest everything we do and are with spirituality and value.
The second pasuk is no less famous. VAYICHAN SHAM YISRAEL... Israel, as one being with one heart and a singular purpose, camped opposite the mountain. The unparalleled experience of Jewish Unity that gave standing at the foot of Mt. Sinai its everlasting sig- nificance becomes one of our special goals of Jewish Life.
The ASERET HADIBROT are contained in the Shavuot morning Torah reading. The section of both Yitro and Va’et- chanan of the 10 Commandments each have two sets of Torah notes, known at TAAMEI HA’ELYON and TAAMEI HA- TACHTON, the upper and lower notes. The lower notes relate to the portion as a sequence of p’sukim among the many others of the Torah. Yitro’s ASERET HADIBROT are 13 of 5846 p’sukim in the Torah. None are more or less than any others; all are part of the Torah.
The upper notes, on the other hand, treat the ASERET HADIBROT as the special statements that were heard at Har Sinai and were engraved on the LUCHOT. Most communities around the world and in Israel use TAAMEI HA’ELYON on all three occasions that we read the ASERET HADIBROT. Minhag Yerushalayim is to read then with the lower notes in the cycle of Parshat HaShavua, and to highlight them on Shavuot, when we relive the Sinai Experience.
Maftir is the Musaf of Shavuot from
Parshat Pinchas (Bamidbar 28:26-31).
When Shavuot falls on Friday, in Chutz
LaAretz, the second day is Shabbat. We in Israel read Parshat HaShavua (Naso)
and go one week ahead of Chu"L. They combine Chukat & Balak to catch up. For
6 Shabbatot we're off each other In addition to
the various names and nicknames of Shavuot, it is significant to point out
that in the main presentation of the cycle of holy days of the year, Vayikra
23, Shavuot has no name of its own, but is presented as the culmination of
Last week’s (BAMIDBAR) TTriddle:
And the envelope please...
We began Friday Night with Tefilla in Yeshurun Synagogue - they were having a Carlebach special - the highlights of the tefilla were definitely when the boys got to dance around the Bima! After Dinner full of singing in beat and a wonderful Dvar Torah from Moshe, we spent an hour dealing with the question of Ahavat Chinam, the peulot were pretty funny especially the mooing game and crossing the room on paper plates all the while looking out for the sharks. Sleep was clearly not at the top of our agenda, however after a couple of hours - less or less!
We happily welcomed in the next morning, this time Tefilla was in Bet Gesher, we all took part in the Tefilla Thanks go to Yehuda and Amir for their beautiful Davening, and Rafi kept us all on our toes during Kri’at Hatorah with his bizarre and wonderful trivia questions.
After a quick Kiddush, we made our way back into our peula teams to continue with our Ahavat Yisrael theme, this time we had half a cup of water between each pair and we discussed debated and argued over Rabbi Akiva’s dilemma - If there is enough water for only one of us to make it alive to civilization, who gets to drink it?
Lunch - the highlight of which was definitely Raanan’s Dvar Torah - was followed by Menucha, and then a leisurely walk to Yemin Moshe where we learnt some interesting history from Chaim, we then ran in the park and let off some steam and watched in awe as Naomi beat us all in the belts championship.
We came back to Bet Gesher and fell about laughing as we watched the madrichim make a complete goose of themselves in a crazy drama champion- ship we are still not sure who won but they deserve a big hand for good sportedly thoroughly entertaining us for over an hour.
Mincha was followed by Seuda Shlishit, we finally got to hear the country song from Rafi and a beautiful story from Chaim, the message this time was that Ahavat Chinam is not just something we extend to our friends but something that ultimately starts in our family.
In a word the Shabbaton was terrific. It was enjoyed by Madrich and Chanich alike.
A Word From Chaim
What do they do?
In the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, your life
takes precedence over that of your friend, this opinion is the one generally
accepted, we should at least save one Jewish body than let both die, and so
we Pasken for Halacha.
In this vein of Mesirat Nefesh for each
other, for the Torah and for the Land we will try to draw the Children in
these difficult days we find ourselves in.
Looks as if a week of summer camp in the month of August is a strong possibility if your child would be interested in attending. Please give a call to Chave on 050-444-401.
In anticipation of the Geula,
THE TRAVEL DESK The TRAVEL DESK of the Israel Center exists... to make registration and detail-receiving for Israel Center tiyulim more efficient and less head- achy for you. To help you - whether you live in Israel or are visiting - plan private tiyulim and make in-Israel travel arrangements Sarah will be happy to assist you on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Call Sarah at the Center, 566-7787 ext. 249.
Note: When a tiyul says "Bring your own
lunch", you can do that... or this: Call the TRAVEL DESK or the TIYUL
HOTLINE up to the day before the TIYUL and order a box lunch from the Israel
Center Cafe. 18 shekel will get you a delicious sandwich, a refreshing drink
(specify regular or diet) and a dessert. Your box lunch willbe ready for you
when you board the bus.
Depart Sunday 8:00am - return Wednesday,
6:00pm 1200NIS per person double occupancy (non members add NIS 100)
includes suite, bus, guard, entrance fees Meals at Mehadrin Royal Class
Restaurants •H/B RESERVE IMMEDIATELY BEFORE WE ARE SOLD OUT Sea World
Oceanarium, Underwater Observatory, Jules Verne Glass Boat, Aerodium, Mt.
Hizkiyahu, Yotvata Complex, Texas Ranch, Tour the borders, Solar Energy
Systems, Ramon Crater Visitors’ Center, Hai Ramon Animal Observatory, Dead
Sea Works... and more Air-conditioned luxurious bus accompanies us
throughout the entire trip Shulamit's tiyulim are always treats; Come!
You'll also enjoy her delicious sweets Come into the Center or call with
your credit card number and make your reservations TODAY! • Program subject
OU ISRAEL CENTER Seymour J.
Abrams Orthodox Union Jerusalem World Center