Q I am an architect, who routinely hires consultants (structural engi- neers, etc.) in order to draw up safe, complete plans. I did a rather small plan on a structure that required, as stated in the client's contract, consultation with engineers. It happened that the engi- neers' work, which turned out to be crucial, cost close to my own charge for the plans. The client has refused to pay for their work, saying that he doesn't accept that a simple job should require such elaborate consultation and that he suspects we are "sticking him" unjustifiably.
Usually, an architect does not pay his consultants until the money comes in, a practice about which I have some qualms. Should I pay the engineers out of my own pocket? They (devout, ethical non-Jews) have kindly told me that they want me to get paid before they do, but I want to do the right thing. On the other hand, at this stage in my career, the loss I would incur by paying would be a sizable chunk of my earnings, money I can use for family needs.
We need to clarify the following before answering.
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Some follow the practice of covering their eyes with the tips of their fingers (as opposed to the palm of their hand) when reciting the first pasuk of K’ri’at Sh’ma and then kissing them (prevelant among s’faradim) (Keter Shem Tov).
Reason: Flexing the three fingers - forefinger, middle finger, and ring finger - onto the forehead, forms the letter SHIN. Bending the thumb forms the letter DALET and the little finger symbolizes the letter YUD. Hence, all five fingers form the image of the Divine Name, SHAKAI. (Thumb and pinky tips usually touch the corners of the closed eyes.)
[The G’matriya of BOHEN (57) + ETZBA (163) + AMA (46) + K’MITZA (245) + ZERET (607) = 1118, which is the G’matriya of the first pasuk of
WORDS OF WISDOM WORDS OF WIT by Shmuel Himelstein
When a noted Rumanian Rabbi to settle in Eretz Yisrael, he was asked why he did not wait for Mashiach to bring all Jews to Eretz Yisrael.
Just as the fighter must punch again and again to achieve victory, so must a thought be constantly regenerated if it is to achieve the desired result. From A Candle by Day by Rabbi Shraga Silverstein
Rav Aryeh Kalpan z”l in The Living Torah brings several opinions in his footnotes, the first of which is that we are not talking about an animal, but rather a dyeing processes or special kind of leather work. In the text, he renders Orot T’chashim as “blue- processed skins”. He sites R’ Yehuda in Talmud Yerushalmi and several other sources.
He then says that “other sources identify TACHASH as a species of animal. Some say that it is the ermine ...a member of the weasel family. Others state that it is a member of the badger family. Others say that it is a colorful one-horned animal known as a keresh. Some say that this is a species of wild ram, possibly an antelope, okapi, or giraffe. Some see the one-horned creature as the narwhal which has its left tooth developed into a single long horn-like appendage. This animal, which can grow to be over 16 feet long, is ocassionally found on the Southern Sinai shores... the sea cow or dugong, an aquatic mammal which is found on the shores of the Sinai. Some thus say that the tachash is a type of seal, since its skins were used for the Tabernacle’s roof, and sealskins were often used for this purpose.”
Type of leather, skin of an aquatic mammal, a land mammal, kosher, non-kosher, miraculous one-time crea- tion to provide for the Mishkan. ?????
According to Jewish tradition, every father is obligated to circumcise his child. Since the majority of us prefer not to personally circumcise our own children, we choose a mohel to serve as our shaliach, our agent in performing the brit milah.
In Israel, there are three types of mohalim: Certified, uncertified, and physicians who also perform circumcisions.
Certified mohels are mohels who were licensed by the inter-ministry committee that supervises circumcision, a joint committee of the Health Ministry, Ministry of Religious Affairs, and the Chief Rabbinate. This committee monitors the training of the mohels - in both the practical-surgical aspects and the halachic- theoretical ones, their apprenticeship to certified mohels, and their practical and theoretical exams.
Uncertified mohels are found in Israel and around the world. They are not included in the official list of mohalim and they are unsupervised. According to the regulations of the Ministry of Health, hospitals may not employ uncertified mohels or permit them to advertise on their premises.
Whichever type of mohel you choose to use, make sure to meet with him before and that you feel comfortable with him. You can't argue with parental instincts.
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Parshat Terumah opens a series of five parshiot that deal with the construction of the Mishkan. This was the structure in which Divine service was performed on a daily basis in the desert, and which was the forerunner of the Beit Hamikdash. Since the Mishkan was to last less than forty years, it seems out of all proportion for the Torah, where every word is measured, to devote so much space to teaching and repeating the details of its construction.
The Midrash teaches us that when G-d created the world He yearned to have a dwelling place in man's material world, to complement the one He has in the spiritual world. To that end, G-d commanded "And make for me a mikdash and I will dwell among them." The commentators are bothered by the deviation from the expected "and I will dwell in it" referring to the mishkan. They explain that G-d's intention was that every Jew should create an environment in the material world that would be conducive to housing the Divine Presence. The Mishkan, and after it the Beit Hamikdash, housed this presence on an ongoing basis. The environment that is conducive to housing the Divine Presence is one where material possessions and mundane activities are sanctified by their focus on the service of G-d.
This sanctification can be replicated both in time and place. Shabbat Kodesh is the time when physical activities and pleasures can be transformed into holy acts. Eretz Yisrael is the place where every Jew can sanctify worldly activities. The exile has deprived us of the Beit Hamikdash. But G-d is now providing us with the opportunity to sanctify our daily activities, by doing them in Eretz Yisrael. The Torah teaches us that every Jew is called upon to satisfy G-d's desire for a dwelling place in the physical world. This can be done most effectively in Eretz Yisrael. - Rabbi Shaya Karlinsky, Jerusalem
TORAH THOUGHTS as contributed by Aloh Naaleh members for publication in the Orthodox Union's 'Torah Insights', a weekly Torah publication on Parshat Ha'Shavuah
Why, the rabbis ask, was it necessary for Hashem to proclaim, "They shall make a Sanctuary for Me so that I may dwell among them" (25:8)? Ideally, argues the Sforno, since the entire nation reached the level of prophecy at Har Sinai, there was no need for such a sanctuary. However, it appears that Israel's lapse into virtual idolatry at the incident of the Golden Calf made its construction necessary (cf. Rashi 31:18).
For Ramban, the Mishkan anchored into the hearts of the people that pinnacle of spirituality achieved temporarily at Sinai. Just as Hashem spoke to Moshe from atop the mount, so now Hashem spoke to him from the Holy Ark of the Mishkan. The Sanctuary thus became the central rallying point of the nation, ringed by the tribes and topped by the cloud of G-d's presence.