Shabbat Parshat SH'MOT -
TT #602 - January 16-17,
'04, 23 Tevet 5764
This Shabbat is the 113th day (of 355); the 17th (of 51) Shabbat of
...KO A'MAR HASHEM B'NI B'CHORI YISRAEL
(...Thus says Hashem, Yisrael is my son, my firstborn)
Halachic Times for Jerusalem
Israel Standard (Winter) Time
Correct for TT #602 • Ranges are for THU-THU, 21-28 Tevet, January
Candle lighting - 4:23pm
Havdala - 5:38pm (Rabbeinu Tam - 6:16pm)
Earliest Shacharit 5:46-5:45am
Sunrise - 6:40-6:38am
Sof Z'man Kri'at Sh'ma - 9:13-9:14am (8:26-8:27am)
Sof Z'man Shacharit - 10:05-10:06am (9:34-9:35am)
Chatzot (halachic noon) - 11:48½ -11:50½pm
Mincha Gedola (earliest Mincha) - 12:18-12:21pm
Plag Mincha - 3:53 - 3:58pm
Sunset - 5:02 - 5:08½pm (4:57-5:03½pm)
Shabbat times for other cities: (Sh'mot)
Candles city Havdala
4:39pm Raanana 5:39pm
4:39pm Beit Shemesh 5:39pm
4:38pm Netanya 5:39pm
4:39pm Rehovot 5:40pm
4:19pm Petach Tikva 5:39pm
4:38pm Modi'in area 5:37pm
4:41pm Be'er Sheva 5:41pm
4:38pm Gush Etzion 5:38pm
4:38pm Ginot Shomron 5:38pm
4:23pm Maale Adumim 5:38pm
4:30pm Tzfat 5:35m
4:39pm K4 & Hevron 5:39pm
Jerusalem lights candles 40 minutes before sunset. (Except for those
who don’t follow that custom.) Which sunset? Important question. The
standard practice is to count 40 minutes before “sunset of
elevation”. Jerusalem is a little over 800m above sea level. If one
could see the sun set over a horizon at sea level (which
done from some
parts of J’lem), it would set about
5 minutes later than someone watching from sea level, or seeing the
sun set beyond mountains that are approx. the same height as
Jerusalem is. Since the sunset on the same plane is 5 minutes
earlier, and for Shabbat purposes is the sunset we would have to
Shabbat, then J’lem candle lighting time
is really only 35 minutes before “the other” sunset.
All other places at some height
above sea level have similar problems.
Tzfat lights candles 30 minutes
before sunset. Official candle lighting for Petach Tikva is 40
minutes before sunset, just like Jerusalem. Not everybody holds by
Some communities calculate
Shabbat out at 33 minutes after sunset. Some use the angle of the
sun below the horizon to “end Shabbat” (8.5 deg).
Bottom line for now: until we get the chart running smoothly, don’t
rely on it exclusively. Cross-check times with calendars and charts.
Please report discrepancies to us, so that we can improve our time
Also realize that Sfardim and
Ashkenazim often has differences in minhag.
Explanation of the Z'manim
Sunrise for Jerusalem does not take into account elevation, since
the eastern horizon (where the sun rises) consists of the Hills of
Moav across the Jordan River, which are approx. at the same
elevation as Jerusalem
Sunset, on the other hand, is
given for an elevation of 825m and, in parentheses, as if at sea
level. There are different opinions as to which sunset time should
be used for halachic purposes. We present both times.
The deadlines for the SH'MA and
the Shacharit Amida can be calculated in two ways. Either
considering the day to be from sunrise to sunset or from dawn to
stars out. The first way of reckoning is known as the opinion of the
GR"A, and is the first time given in each case. The second method is
known as the Magen Avraham, and
Aside from candle lighting and
havdala, the times are presented as a range, from the current
Thursday of the issue of Torah Tidbits until the coming Thursday, a
span of 8 days. Days between the two Thursdays can be determined by
interpolation (which means: a method by which to estimate a value of
between two known values-this is something
that people above a certain age
might remember from high school trigonometry and logarithms, but
younger people who went to school during the calculator era might
not be familiar with).
It is usually wise to "pad" the
times with a minute or two in the "play it safe" direction. E.g.
Plag Mincha. Better to finish Mincha a minute or two before the
given time. But, better to not light candles until a minute or two
after the given time.
WORD OF THE MONTH
A weekly feature of Torah Tidbits to help clarify practical and
conceptual aspects of the Jewish Calendar, thereby better fulfilling
the mitzva of HaChodesh HaZeh Lachem...
This Shabbat, we bench Rosh
Chodesh Sh'vat, which will be on the following Shabbat. Rosh Chodesh
Shvat is one day (in our fixed calen- dar) since Tevet has only 29
ROSH CHODESH SH'VAT YIH-YEH B'YOM SHABBAT KODESH HABA ALEINU V'AL
KOL YISRA'EL L'TOVA
The Molad will be on Thu (Jan.22), 7:03am
HAMOLAD YIH-YEH B'YOM CHAMISHI, ESRIM V'SHALOSH DAKOT V'TISH'A
CHALAKIM ACHAREI SHEVA BA'BOKER [THU 7h 23m 9p]
In Rambam notation: HEI 13:423
The HEI is Thursday; 13 is the hours from 6:00pm the night before
(that's the 7 hours of the molad plus 6 hours from 6:00pm until
midnight, which is where the "regular" molad notation counts from),
423 is CHALAKIM of an hour, which is 23 minutes times 18 chalakim
per minute (that's 414 chalakim) plus the 9 chalakim for a total of
The actual (astronomical) molad isWED 21 JAN 23:05 (more than 8
hours before the announced molad)
Remember that the clock time of the molad (Thu. 7:03am) and the
astronomical molad (Wed. 11:05pm) are adjustable for your local
time, but the announced molad and Rambam's notation thereof stay as
they are regardless of where you are.
In other words: for Israel, the molad is THU 7h 23m 9p which is
7:03am on Thursday. For New York, the molad is 7h 23m 9p which is
12:03am on Thursday. Actual molad is 11:05pm on Wednesday for Israel
and 4:05pm Wednesday for New York.
G-d was Totally Up Front
The term UP FRONT indicates both "before hand, in advance" and
"straight-forward, frank". G-d was both of those things when He
chose Moshe to go before Par'o and "start the Exodus-ball rolling".
Moshe sees the Bush burning but
not being consumed and his curiosity draws him near to investigate.
G-d calls to Moshe from the Bush and tells him to remove his shoes
because of the holiness of the place. G-d introduces Himself (so to
speak) as the G-d of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, and He tells
Moshe that He has seen, heard, and knows
the plight and pain of His nation in Egypt. And, G-d says that He is
going down into Egypt to save the people from the hands of Egypt,
take the people out of the land, AND TO BRING THEM TO A GOOD AND
EXPANSIVE LAND, A LAND FLOWING WITH MILK AND HONEY. Right up front,
G-d tells us that the land to which He had
sent Avraham, the land in which Yitzchak lived all his life, the
land where Yaakov was born, to where he returned after exile in
Lavan's house, the land that Yaakov reluctantly left in order to see
his long-lost son... that's the land He will be taking us to.
Then, when Moshe questions the
validity of his (Moshe) being sent to Par'o, G-d tells him the other
thing that will be happening after they leave Egypt - they will
return to the very location of the Bush - namely, Chorev, Har Sinai
- and "serve G-d on this mountain". This is understood to be the
commitment to the Torah made at Har Sinai.
When G-d sent Avraham Avinu to Eretz Yisrael, Avraham did not say,
No thanks, I think I've make a life for myself here (or anywhere
else, for that matter). When offered the Torah, our ancestors did
not say, No thank you.
Every Jew, in every generation is
given the Torah and sent to Eretz Yisrael. We know what G-d wants of
us, we need only embrace the Torah with enthusiasm and commitment,
live our lives in Eretz Yisrael, and thereby hasten the Complete
Geula, BIMHEIRA B'YAMEINU, AMEN.
13th of the 54 sedras; 1st of 11 in Sh'mot
Written on 215.2 lines in a Sefer Torah; rank: 18th
7 parshiot; 6 open, 1 closed
124 p'sukim - 15th (tied with Emor)
1763 words - 14th (Emor is 22nd)
6762 letters - 16th (Emor is 23rd)
Parshat Sh'mot ranks 2nd in the Book of Sh'mot in all three
Its p'sukim are above average in length(number of words and letters)
Mitzvot: none of the TARYAG (613)
Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary
[P> X:Y (Z)] and [S> X:Y (Z)] indicate start of a parsha p’tucha or
s’tuma respectively. X:Y is Perek:Pasuk of the beginning of the
parsha; (Z) is the number of p'sukim in the parsha.
Kohen - First Aliya - 17 p'sukim - 1:1-17
[P> 1:1 (7)] Sh'mot begins with the conjunctive VAV to link the
birth of the Jewish Nation to the foundation laid by the Patriarchs
and "Sh'vatim" in the book of B'reishit. The sons of Yaakov are
lovingly enumerated once again. The starting number of "70 souls" is
repeated to impress upon us the tremendous growth of thepeople even
(or especially) under the oppression of Egypt, as described in the
SDT The opening words of the
sedra/book of Shmot form the initial letters of (V'chayav Adam
Lilmod Sh'nayim Mikra V'echad Targum) - And a person is obligated to
review the Torah text twice and once in translation. Baal HaTurim
extends this acronym to the next two words. His whole statement is:
"One who learns the sedra 2+1, singing it pleasantly, shall merit
SDT The final letters of the
opening words (sofei teivot) rearrange to spell the word T'HILIM.
When the People of Israel are in trouble (a play-on-words on Egypt -
MITZRAYIM - MEITZARIM), they shall use T'hilim to help them focus
their prayers to G-d, thereby meriting redemption.
SDT Our first exile was
associated with the number 70, the number assigned the members of
Yaakov's family who went down to Egypt. The exile following the
destruction of the first Beit HaMikdash lasted 70 years. The
termination of the final exile will be associated with our dominance
over, or recognition and respect by the70 nations of the world.
[P> 1:8 (15)] A new king "who
does not know Yosef" considers the Jewish people a threat and takes
measures to enslave and demoralize them. (Ironically, he is the
first one to refer to us as a nation - "Am Bnei Yisrael" - sometimes
it is our enemies who tell us who we really are.) Par'o called us
the Jewish Nation even before we felt that
and knew that ourselves.
He even instructs the midwives to
kill the baby boys at birth to prevent the development of his
"potential enemies" (and to kill off the potential redeemer of the
People). They refuse to do his bidding and save the lives of the
SDT VA'T'CHAYENA ET HAY'LADIM
...and they gave life to the boys". The Midrash says that not only
did the midwives defy Par'o by not killing the boys, they also were
responsible for saving those that might have died during childbirth.
It is natural that some babies do not survive birth. The midwives
were concerned that ifthey happened to deliver a stillborn, that it
might appear as if they had carried out Par'o's orders. Their
prayers were answered, and miraculously none of the babies died.
Thus they are credited, not just with assisting in the births, but
also with giving life to some of the babies.
There is a parallel idea
concerning the night of the Exodus. It is said that even the normal
deaths that might be expected in a large population did not occur on
the night of the Exodus, lest it detract from the miraculous nature
of the Night. Thus, we have then similar miracles at either end of
the Mitzrayim experience.
SDT AND THEY EMBITTERED THEIR
LIVES... The trup (Torah notes) on these words seem unduly happy for
such sad words. The GR"A points out the "happy" result of the
unusually harsh oppression, namely, that G-d reacted to Egypt's
excess by cutting down our time in bondage to 210 years from the
original prophecy of 400, by countingfrom the birth of Yitzchak,
rather than from Yaakov's descent into Egypt. Understand that this
is not just an exchange of 210 years of extra harsh conditions for
400 years of regular slavery. Commentaries say that if we did not
get out when we did, we would not have made it to Nationhood.
Levi - Second Aliya - 15 p'sukim - 1:18-2:10
When Par'o sees that his goal is not being accomplished, he orders
that all male babies (Jew & non-Jew alike) be drowned. The People of
Israel miracu- lously flourish under these adverse conditions.
[P> 2:1 (22)] Amram reunites with
Yocheved and a baby boy is born. When he is no longer able to be
hidden (some say that Moshe was three months premature; that the
Egyptians knew when Yocheved was due; therefore she was able to hide
him only for those three months), Yocheved prepares a water-proof
basket and sets him on the river under the
watchful eye of his sister.
Bat-Par'o finds Moshe and sends
Miriam to bring a wetnurse for the crying infant who apparently will
not nurse from an Egyptian breast. Miriam brings Yocheved, Moshe's
mother, who takes Moshe until he is weaned. From that point on,
Moshe is raised in the royal palace by Bat Par'o (Batya). She names
SDT Egyptian astrologers read in
the stars that Israel's redeemer was soon to be born. They
recommended the systematic drowning of all baby boys (including
non-Jews, since they were not sure from what nation this redeemer
would come). When Moshe was floated on the Nile, the astrologers
reported to Par'o that Israel's redeemerwas indeed "cast into the
river". As a result of this not quite accurate reading of the stars,
Par'o withdrew the decree to drown the boys.
SDT On the phrase: VAYEILECH ISH...
And a man (from the house of Levi) went... the Baal HaTurim points
out the only other occurrence of that phrase, in the book of Ruth:
VAYEILECH ISH MI'BEIT LECHEM YEHUDA... In both cases, a redeemer of
Israel results. In our case, Moshe. In Megilat Ruth, the progenitor
of David HaMelech,his line, to Mashiach ben David.
"And she called his name Moses,
for from the water he was drawn."
Does not quite make it in
English. This is one of the demonstrations that the Torah was
written in Hebrew. Similarly, ADAM was made from the ADAMA. Try that
in English. Copper snake? No, N'CHASH NECHOSHET.
Shlishi - Third Aliya - 15 p'sukim - 2:11-25
It is amazing how many significant events are packed into these 15
p'sukim. Moshe goes out to see what is happening with the Jewish
People. He kills an Egyptian who was beating a Jew. He breaks up a
fight between two Jews (Datan & Aviram). They had seen him kill the
Egyptian and report him to Par'o. Moshe flees to Midyanwhere he
saves Yitro's daughters from danger. He takes Tzipora as a wife. She
gives birth to son Gershom.
[P> 2:23 (3)] Meanwhile, after
much time passes, the king of Egypt dies (or maybe got so sick that
it was like he died) and the oppression in Egypt is greatly
intensified. The People react by calling out to G-d. He too,
SDT Yosef was identified by the
Wine Steward as a NAAR IVRI, a Jewish lad. Moshe was identified by
Yitro's daughters as ISH MITZRI, an Egyptian man. Yosef was
privileged to have his remains buried in the Land of Israel. Moshe
did not have that same "z'chut", although it was mainly Moshe who
brought Yosef's remains fromEgypt to the threshold of Eretz Yisrael.
SDT When Moshe realized that
Datan and Aviram informed on him to Par’o, the Torah tells us that
Moshe was afraid. Rashi says that we can understand that literally,
and also on a deeper level. With Jews like Datan and Aviram, Moshe
feared that the people of Israel might not merit redemption.
(Note that Rashi includes the
p’shat (plain) meaning as well as the additional meaning. Both apply
in this case. It isn't always so that the plain meaning is retained
when there is a drash that is "favored".)
R'vi'i - Fourth Aliya - 15 p'sukim - 3:1-15
[S> 3:1 (39)] Moshe is tending Yitro's sheep. An angel appears to
him from a "burning bush that is not consumed". Moshe turns aside;
G-d calls to him. He tells Moshe that He has heard the people's
screams and that he is going to take them out of Egypt and bring
them to a Land of Milk and Honey.
Moshe asks "why me?". G-d assures
Moshe that He will be with him and that as proof of the Divine
nature of his mission, Moshe will be bringing the people back to
"this spot" (Sinai) to "serve G-d" (and receive the Torah).
Furthermore, Moshe is to
"reintroduce" G-d to the People.
Moshe asks G-d what he should
tell the People when he comes to them at G-d command. G-d's answer
spans nine p'sukim (3:14-22). G-d identifies Himself as E-H’YEH
ASHER E-H’YEH (Alef- Hei-Yud-Hei is one of the 7 names of G-d that
may not be erased. Probably the least known of the list of seven.)
This name of G-d's has the meaning: I will be with you (Bnei Yisrael)
in your time of trouble (in Egypt) as I will be with you in future
situations of enslavement and oppression.
SDT Baal HaTurim points out that
the letters of this unusual name of G-d total 21. The initial
letters of the first three names of G-d in the Thirteen Divine
Attributes are YUD, YUD, ALEF = 21 (HaShem, HaShem, Keil...). The
initials of the Patriarchs are ALEF, YUD, YUD = 21. The initials of
the Five Books of the Torah areBET, VAV, VAV, VAV, and ALEF = 21.
At Moshe's suggestion, so to
speak, G-d agreed to be identified to the people as E-H’YEH, with
the more comforting connotation of "I will be with you", without the
implication that there will be other periods of oppression in the
future. (based on Rashi).
G-d gives Moshe detailed
instructions as to what to say to the people. He tells Moshe how the
people will react and how Par'o will react. He tells him about the
plagues and about the "friendly" reaction of the Egyptian people.
Chamishi - Fifth Aliya - 24 p'sukim - 3:16-4:17
The prophecy at the Bush continues... G-d tells Moshe: (a) to gather
the elders of Israel and tell them that G-d will be taking them out
of Egypt and bringing them to the Land of Israel, (b) the elders
will accompany Moshe to present the demand for release before Par'o,
(c) Par'o will not acquiesce, (d) I will smite Egypt
and then they will send you out, (e) the Egyptians will
"lend" the People of Israel many belongings.
Moshe asks "on what basis will
they believe me?" G-d gives Moshe 3 signs to perform for Par'o and
The three signs are the staff
becoming a snake and then back to a staff. His hand inserted into
his cloak and emerging stricken with TZORAAT and then being
restored. Taking water from the river and spilling it on the ground
and it turns to blood.
SDT Rashi says that the first two
signs were also reprimands to Moshe for
speaking against the people and doubting in advance their potential
to believe what he would tell them. This is Lashon HaRa, and both
the snake and the Tzoraat are associated with Lashon HaRa. The third
sign seems to have been specifically selected
by G-d (so to speak) to be a bridge and intro- duction to the
MAKOT (plagues), the first of which was an extension, shall we say,
of the third sign.
Moshe still questions G-d as to "why me"; G-d gets angry at Moshe
for doubting His choice of leader. G-d informs Moshe that Aharon
will assist in these matters. Moshe is instructed to have his
special staff with him when he presents himself to the People and
SDT The Staff, HaMateh. Baal
HaTurim says that there is/was a scribal custom to put Torah crowns
on the TET in the word THE STAFF. This, to say that Moshe was the
ninth (numeric value of TET) righteous individual who had the
miraculous staff in hand. (Pirkei Avot tells us that the Staff was
one of the items created in theinstant between the Six Days of
Creation and the first Shabbat B'reishit.) The previous 8 are: Adam,
Chanoch, No'ach, Shem, Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Yosef.
SDT The Midrash says that Moshe
had several names - Yered, Chever, Y'kutiel, Avigdor, Avi-Socho,
Avi-Zanu'ach, Tovia, Heiman, Sh'maya. The Midrash further tells us
that of all his names, he is only called Moshe - even by G-d - to
give honor to the acts of kindness of the one who found him and
saved him from the water -BatPar'o
Rashi says that Moshe's
experience at the Burning Bush and his communi- cation with G-d
there lasted for SEVEN DAYS! All during that time, G-d was trying
(so to speak) to convince Moshe to undertake his mission.
Try this on your kids and/or
Shabbat guests. Ask them how to say MATEH (staff) in Aramaic. If
they don't know, give them a hint: Pesach Seder. The answer is found
in CHAD GADYA - CHUTRA.
Shishi - Sixth Aliya -14 p'sukim - 4:18-31
[P> 4:18 (9)] Moshe returns to Yitro and tells him that he must go
to his brethren. Yitro sends Moshe on his way. G-d tells Moshe that
it is safe for him to do so. Moshe takes his wife and sons and
returns to Egypt. G-d reminds Moshe about the signs he is to use
before Par'o, that Par'o will not listen, and that he (Moshe)is to
say to Par'o that if he does not release the People, G-d will kill
his firstborn. (Thus the last Plague was really the first warning to
Par'o. All the other Plagues served their purposes, but all pointed
to MAKAT B'CHOROT.)
On the way, Tzipora circumcises
her son. Commentaries explain that Moshe had neither circumcised his
son Eliezer because of the danger in traveling when recently
circumcised, nor did he postpone his return to Egypt, which would
have been in defiance of G-d's command. It seems that he was in
error in not having circumcised him, hence
his life was in jeopardy until Tzipora performed the circumcision.
[P> 4:27 (29)] G-d tells Aharon
to greet Moshe. Moshe tells Aharon all that has happened. They
gather the elders and Aharon tells them what will occur. The People
believe what they hear and bow to G-d.
SDT Rashi says that the donkey
that Moshe used to bring his family to Mitzrayim was the same one
that Avraham took to the Akeida and the one that the Mashiach will
ride upon. Why not a regular donkey? To tell us that these
monumental events were not haphazard, but rather specially prepared
parts of G-d's master plan forthe world.
Sh'vi'i - Seventh Aliya - 6 p'sukim - 50:21-26
"And then, Moshe & Aharon go" to Par'o and say to him "Thus says G-d
- Let my People go..."
SDT Notice that the elders are
not mentioned. Rashi tells us that one-by-one, the elders
"disappeared" (in fear of Par'o) as the entourage was going to Par'o,
until only Moshe and Aharon were left. Because of this, it was to be
this way at Sinai also. The elders were left at the foot of the
mountain and Aharon and Mosheascended. (Then Aharon stopped and
Moshe proceeded to the top alone.)
Par'o refuses, questioning who
this G-d of Israel is. He then increases the burden on the People
(who obviously have too much free time because they ask for a 3-day
release). The leaders of the People bear the brunt of the new edicts
and complain to Par'o. Par'o blames Moshe; the People react with
anger and disappointment. Moshe tells G-d
that his efforts were counter- productive. G-d says that NOW you
(Moshe) will see what G-d will do to Par'o...
Maftir is the last 3 p'sukim.
Haftara - 23 p'sukim -Yeshayahu 27:6-28:13 and 29:22-23
As the sedra tells of the family of Yaakov in exile, so does the
prophet tell of the exiles of the People of Israel. The sedra
contains G-d's prophecy to Moshe Rabeinu at the Burning Bush of the
redemption of Israel, the subsequent Standing at Sinai, and the
entrance into the Land flowing with Milk and Honey. The Haftara
contains the prophecy that there will come a day when the
Great Shofar will sound, and the exiles will come from their places
of dispersion, and they will come to serve HaShem and bow to Him in
Jerusalem. The sedra speaks of the First Redemption; the haftara
refers to the Complete Redemption.
THE JERUSALEM INSTITUTE OF JEWISH LAW - Rabbi Emanuel Quint, Dean
Lesson # 218 (part one) • Lost & Found
In many Yeshivot, the first chapter of Gemara that is taught to the
beginner student is the second perek of Baba Metzia, Eilu Metztiot,
dealing with the laws of lost and found property. We now embark an a
long series of lessons dealing with this topic.
The Torah requires every Jew, man
or woman, who sees an object lost by a fellow Jew in a public place,
to stop, pick up the object, to care for it until it is restored to
the owner, and to restore it to its rightful owner. These Torah
requirements are only present when all of the criteria listed in the
Introductory lessons are present.
The Torah command appears as
follows in Deuteronomy 22:1-3,5: "You shall not see the ox of your
brother or his sheep or goat cast off, and hide yourself from
(ignore) them; you shall surely return them to your brother. If your
brother is not near you and you do not know him, then gather it
inside your house, and it shallremain with you until your brother
inquires after it, and you shall return it to him. So shall you do
for his donkey so shall you do for his garment, and so shall you do
for any lost article of your brother that may become lost from him
and you find it; you shall not hide yourself."
What emerges from these verses
are two commandments: (1) the negative commandment "not to turn
aside" when one sees a lost object, and (2) the positive commandment
to restore the lost object to its rightful owner.
There are also circumstances
under which the additional transgression of "not to rob" may be
The laws that follow assume that
all of the criteria are present. The mere turning aside and not
bothering to pick up the lost object is a transgression of the
negative com- mandment of not to turn aside, and also a
transgression of the positive commandment to restore the found
object to its owner. Thus if one sees a lostobject, and the criteria
listed below are met, he cannot ignore the object; he must pick it
up and then seek out the owner and restore it him.
Assume the finder picks up the
object with the intent of not restoring it to the owner. The finder
transgresses the positive command "to restore the object," and two
negative commandments: "not to turn aside" and "not to rob:' If this
finder, in a spirit of contrition, decides to restore the object to
the owner, he has still transgressed the
negative commandment of "not to turn aside." The other two
transgressions, of restoring the object and not robbing, have been
rectified. Once there was the original intent not to restore the
object, the three transgressions are violated and cannot be undone
by the return of the object. If the finder
returns the object before the loser abandons hope of its being
restored, then the finder transgresses only the negative commandment
not to turn aside. The commandment not to turn aside can only be
performed when the finder spies the object. His intent then, to keep
the object for himself by not restoring it to the ownercannot be
undone. The Torah commandment "not to turn aside" and to restore the
object to the owner is present whether the person who lost the
object is known or not known to the finder, and whether the owner is
close or far away from the finder. It does not matter whether the
found object is animate or inanimate. The personwho finds the lost
object must make every attempt to restore it to its owner, as
described in these lessons.
Assume one picks up an object
with the intent of restoring it to the owner. After- ward, the
finder decides not to restore the object to the owner. The finder
transgresses two commandments: the positive commandment of restoring
the lost object and the negative commandment not to rob.
Assume the finder originally picked up the object with the intention
to restore it to the owner. The finder delayed in restoring the
object to the owner. The owner thereafter abandoned hope of
recovering the object. The abandonment of hope of recovering the
object breaks the unity of all of the criteria being present, and
there is no longer an obligation to restore the object to the
owner. Then the finder decides to keep the object. He has
nevertheless transgressed the commandment to restore the object, and
the object still does not belong to him because he picked it up
before the owner abandoned hope of the object being restored to him.
Assume Shimon saw the object and
did not pick it up. After Reuven, the owner, abandoned hope of the
object being restored to him, Shimon went and picked up the object.
He has transgressed the commandment not to turn aside from lost
The law of restoring lost objects
is not limited to objects that are literally lost, but applies to
other situations as well. For example, if someone's animal is sick,
a veterinarian must attempt to cure that animal. The veterinarian
has the role of the finder and the owner of the animal has the role
of the loser. Or if Shimon sees a river
surging and threatening to overrun Reuven's real estate and/or house
and Shimon has the ability to place a barrier in the way of the
river and save Reuven's property; Shimon is under the same
obligation to help save Reuven's real estate as he is to restore
Reuven's lost object.
If one finds a cow grazing in
vineyards or farms, he must remove the cow from the vineyard because
of the damage that it can cause and must restore the cow to its
owner. This holds true even if the cow is found in the vineyards or
farm of a Gentile if the finder thinks that the Gentile may kill the
cow for trespassing and causing damage to
his fields. There is an opinion that if a person is wandering around
aimlessly and as if lost, he must be taken to a place where he can
be cared for. There is an opinion that the obligation of a doctor to
heal the sick is part of restoring that which the owner has lost,
his health in this case.
As stated above, it is not every object that the finder spies that
he is obligated to pick up. There are certain criteria that have to
be present and if any of them are missing, the finder is not under
any obligation to pick up the object:
(1) The owner has not abandoned
hope (or, under the circumstances, is not presumed to have abandoned
hope) of the object being restored to him by a Jew who will find the
(2) The object must be identifiable.
(3) The object must be found in a place where the obligation exists
to restore the found object.
(4) The object is a lost object.
(5) The object must be worth at least a peruta.
(6) To restore the object must be consistent with the finder's
(7) The object must belong to someone to whom the finder owes a duty
to pick up his lost object.
If all of the criteria are present, the finder must pick up the
object so as to restore it to the owner. If any of these seven
criteria are not present, the obligations under the Torah
commandments to stop to pick up the object and to restore it to its
owner are not applicable.
Criteria (1), the owner has not abandoned hope, and criteria (2),
the object must be identifiable, are closely interlinked. If the
object is identifiable, the owner will usually not abandon hope; if
the object is not identifiable, the owner will usually abandon hope.
These criteria will be discussed in the next lessons.
The subject matter of this lesson is more fully discussed in Volume
VIII Chapter 259 of A Restatement of Rabbinic Civil Law by E. Quint.
Copies of all volumes can be purchased via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
and via website: www.israelbooks.com and at local Judaica
Questions to email@example.com
MEANING IN MITZVOT by Rabbi Asher Meir
Each week we discuss one familiar halakhic practice and try to show
its beauty and meaning. The columns are based on Rabbi Meir's
Meaning in Mitzvot on Kitzur Shulchan Arukh
Thanksgiving for a Miracle
The Shulchan Arukh states that we should make a blessing after any
Divine salvation (OC 219). However, we also find that it is proper
after such salvation to make some kind of practical contribution to
the community after- wards. We learn this from Yaakov Avinu; when he
was saved from Esav and arrived at the outskirts ofShechem "whole in
his body, whole in his posses- sions, and whole in his Torah", he
decided to "grace" the face of the city; the gemara tells us that
this was done with practical steps to improve the inhabitants:
according to one opinion he established a system of coinage;
alternatively, he established a market- placeor a bathhouse (Shabbat
The gemara states that Rebbe
Shimon concluded from this that when he was miraculously saved from
the Romans by hiding in a cave, he also should engage in some
practical step to helping the inhabitants of his town. The
Yerushalmi goes farther and states that Rebbe Shimon said, "We are
obliged to make an improvement, as ourfathers did" (Yerushalmi
What is the special significance
of the three examples brought in the story - coinage, markets, and
bathhouses? The Maharal gives a fascinating answer, pointing out an
essential difference in the type of improvement.
The Maharal points out that the
benefit of coinage is completely conventional. A particular
substance or symbol is accepted by one person as money only because
he knows that it will be accepted by others as money. (In our day,
money has no inherent value at all, yet it is not any less useful.)
This improvement is basically in the
social organization of the people.
Marketplaces have both a
conventional as well as an inherent benefit. The very fact that
people trade with each other is an inherent benefit, yet
marketplaces typically have extensive rules (the Maharal gives the
example of market days) which advance commerce if everyone holds by
them; this is the conventional dimension.
Bathhouses, finally, provide a
completely inherent benefit. Any individual can benefit from one,
whatever his relationship is with others (Chidushei Aggadot).
Extending the Maharal's idea, perhaps we can discern a significance
in the order mentioned in the story. Since coinage is mentioned
first, the message seems to be that the most important
"improvements" of all are not physical improvements per se, but
rather improvements in social organization, which serve as a
foundation for all other types of
“Meaning in Mitzvot” is
undergoing intensive editing, and BE"H and the help of loyal
supporters, we hope to have the book out soon. If you would be
interested in helping with publication, please contact Rabbi Meir
about making a dedication or subscription (advance purchase): firstname.lastname@example.org,
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, andsubmit your
own Qs — www.jewishethicist.com or www. aish.com
Spiritual and Ethical Issues in the Historical Books of Tanach;
JOSHUA, JUDGES, SAMUEL, KINGS (Nevi’im
Rishonim) by Dr. Meir Tamari
“Generation to Generation - A King's Inheritance”(Melachim Alef
In this chapter David settles the transmission of the material,
military and political aspects of kingship, to guarantee a peaceful
transition of power.
Adoniyah could not wait for his
father's death before making his legal claim as the oldest son. It
is clear that the revolt is aimed not only at Solomon but also at
David. This generational conflict is compounded by the political
divisiveness and potential for civil war, inherent in the fragile
unification, so recently achieved, of what
was basically a tribal system. It was a replay of the tragic events
of the revolt of Absalom, another son of David's, which had earlier
threatened the stability of the young monarchy of Israel (Shmuel bet
15). The challenge by Adoniyah, however, was from the outset a
public one, enunciated by the demonstrative
gathering that included his father's chief of staff, Joav and
the High Priest Evyatar as well as all the other sons of David. All
these political actions of the sons are in fact, the results of
spiritual shortcomings. Adoniyah is a son whom his father never saw
fit to reprimand irrespective of his actions, becoming the
personification of the verse in Proverbs, "Spare the rod and
spoil the child". Absalom who had shared this type of education, had
acted in exactly the same manner.
David, although only in his
middle 60's, nevertheless is frail. He lacks bodily warmth and seems
to be only reacting to the actions of all the other players.
Adoniyah, seeking to force the
issue, initiates the gathering at Ein Rogel, a suburb of present day
Yerushalayim, where he is acclaimed publicly as king; and "thelord
my king knows it not". Nathan the Prophet has to rush to inform
Batsheva, and the two actually have to plan a strategy simply to
bring the matter to the notice of the king. They also have to spell
out the danger to the lives of Batsheva and of Solomon unless the
king acts quickly. It seems to require their joint actionsto force
the king to accept his obligation to make official the succession of
Solomon, as promised to Batsheva and foretold by the prophet.
Instead of mentioning his actual
age, the text tells us that he was 'zaken ba bayamim', literally old
and full of days. "There are some people who have years [age] and
some who have days [filled with content]" (Avot 6:7). "You shall
rise up before the hoary head [this obligates us to rise in respect
before old people, irrespective of their
knowledge or religion; simply because they have earned this gift
from G-d]; you shall give respect to the aged [one who is full of
Torah, irrespective of their age] (Vayikra 19:32).
David's actions are not the
results of weariness, of old age or of physical weakness. On the
contrary, only years later do we read, "and the days of David to die
drew close" (Melachim alef 2:1). This is the language used with
regard to Moses at the end of the Torah and yet there the text goes
on to tell us that, "his eye had not
dimmed and his natural-physical power had not abated" (Dvarim 34:7)
Throughout his life David is immersed in the spiritual and the
mystical, seemingly so divorced from the political and military
turmoil that constantly surrounds him. Perhaps it is that which
creates the atmosphere of physical or political weariness
that appears often in the Davidic stories.
The reality is, however,
different; always there is the significant and meaningful balance
between the physical and the spiritual that lies at the essence of
Torah living. In our story, the text tells us regarding Avishag the
virgin brought to keep David warm, "the girl was exceedingly
beautiful, and she became his attendant
and she served him but the king knew her not [the biblical term for
sexual relationships]." Our rabbis taught that at this very period
David and Batsheva had full and normal sexual relations, so that his
behavior with Avishag cannot be construed as the result of any
physical weakness (Sanhedrin 22a). Rabbi Yonatan Eibshitz
explained that this was his penance for the sin with Batsheva,
in accordance with the concept that authentic Teshuva is achieved
only when the penitent is faced with the same challenge and is able
to overcome it (Ahavat Yonatan). David is not only the founder of
our Royal House but is also the Sweet Singer of Israel; his
Psalms have been a spiritual bridge between human beings and
their G-d over the centuries. David is a man of war, yet replies to
the taunts of the Philistine giant, not that G-d will grant David
victory but rather that, the victory in battle is only decided by
G-d. Accepting that he is unworthy of building the House ofG-d
through which will pass all the prayers of mankind, David
nevertheless provides the place and the funds for that House which
will not bear his name. It is David who recognizes that by their
treatment of the family of Saul, his erstwhile personal persecutor,
the Gibeonites showed ingratitude for the kindness shown to
them by Saul. David, rather than rewarding them, places them
outside the Jewish society, since ingratitude is a fault that has no
place in that society.
Of David's life we are told, " He
[David] did justice and righteousness to all of Israel" (Shmuel bet
8:15). This echoes the Divine words regarding Abraham, "He will
teach his household and those who come after him, to do
righteousness and justice' (B'reishit 18:19). Because of that
inheritance bequeathed by Abraham andDavid to their heirs, 2000
years after David, Maimonides can write, "all the nations know that
our laws and our judges are the most just and the most truthful". So
1000 years after Maimonides Rabbi S, R.Hirsch can attest that "every
measure owned and any material measured by a Jew become Jewish acts
of honesty, symbolic of the Jewish respect
for justice and fairness (Vayikra 19:35-36)".
This is the twenty-first
installment in Dr. Tamari’s series on “Tanach and its messages for
MISC section - contents:
 Vebbe Rebbe
 Words of Wisdom; Words of Wit
 Candle by Day
 G'matriya Match
 Letters to the Editor
 From Aloh Naaleh
 From the desk of the director
 From the virtual desk of the OU VEBBE REBBE
The Orthodox Union – via its website – fields questions of all types
in areas of kashrut, Jewish law and values. Some of them are
answered by Eretz Hemdah, the Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies,
Jerusalem, headed by Rav Yosef Carmel and Rav Moshe Ehrenreich,
founded by HaRav Shaul Yisraeli zt"l, to prepare rabbanim
the National Religious community in Israel
and abroad. Ask the Rabbi is a joint venture of the OU, Yerushalayim
Network, Eretz Hemdah... and the Israel Center.
The following is a Q&A from Eretz Hemdah...
Q May I give my baby a rattle to
play with on Shabbat?
A We will start with an assumption that it is forbidden for an adult
to use an instrument such as a rattle that is used to make noise and
then see what the halacha is in regard to a baby. Before we proceed
we also need to determine the nature of the prohibition for adults,
as this may affect the answer to your question.
The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 338:1) forbids use of musical
instruments on Shabbat. The Rama (ad loc.) claims that this
prohibition applies to all instruments that are intended for making
noise, not necessarily music. The Biur Halacha (ad loc.) accepts
this more stringent opinion and brings those who explain that this
type of noise making is prohibited because it is a
weekday-like activity. Clearly, according to all opinions, any
prohibition in this matter is at most rabbinic.
Is it permitted to let babies
perform rabbinic prohibitions? Certainly, it is permitted to allow a
baby, who is too young to understand the significance of his
actions, to violate Shabbat or other prohibitions. (Regarding older
children, see Orach Chayim 343). However, it is forbidden to "feed"
prohibited things to children of any age (Yevamot
114a), and this is likely forbidden even from the Torah (see Beit
Yosef, Orach Chayim 343). This applies to all types of Torah
prohibitions, whether or not related to food, and it is forbidden
even to tell children to perform prohibitions, even without actually
feeding (Mishna Berura 343:1,5). However,
the Ran (on the Rif, Yoma 1a) says that it is permitted to give
children things which are prohibited only rabbinically when it is
done for the welfare of the child. For that reason, he explains, the
gemara (Yoma 78b) permits washing a child on Yom Kippur. Thus, as
many babies enjoy and, thus, benefit from a rattle, the
Ran would permit giving it to them on Shabbat. However, it is
not altogether clear to what extent we accept the opinion of the
Ran, as the Shulchan Aruch appears not to, and the matter may depend
on how acute or mitzva-related the need is (see Biur Halacha,
343:1). Usually, rattles are not needed so acutely by babies,
except those who are significantly calmed by them.
However, if we put the two issues
that we have discussed together, it is logical to be lenient. After
all, we saw that a rattle used to make noise, not music, is
permitted even for adults according to the Shulchan Aruch. Even if
it is for- bidden, it is likely only because it is a mundane
activity, a category of prohibition which
likely does not apply to the activities of an infant. For this
reason, the Shemirat Shabbat K'hilchata (16:3) permits giving a
rattle to a baby (see also Shema Beni, siman 34). On the other hand,
he does not allow the adult to shake the rattle for the infant
unless the baby is very upset and the rattle calms him,
in which case he permits shaking in an unusual manner (ibid.
and footnote 11). The adult should hand it to the baby gently
without shaking it (faint scratching sounds inside the rattle are
not considered noise making).
We should note that some do
prohibit giving a rattle to a baby on Shabbat (see Tiltulei Shabbat,
pg. 26, who forbids and implies in footnote 29 that Rav Moshe
Feinstein was of that opinion). Even if one is to be strict on the
matter, the rattle is not muktzeh, as it serves the baby, who
certainly may independently use the rattle
(ibid., footnote 28 in the name of Rav Feinstein). All should also
agree that it is permitted to put the rattle in a place where he
expects the child to find and use it (based on the story of R. Pedat,
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: Subscribe/English (fortheEnglishversion)orSubscribe/Hebrew(for
the hebrew version). Please leave the subject blank. Ask the Vebbe
Rebbe is partially funded by the Jewish Agency for Israel
 ArtScroll Series • Mesorah Publications Ltd.
A TOUCH OF WISDOM A TOUCH OF WIT by Shmuel Himelstein
R' Shmelki of Nikolsburg once came to Cracow. While he was there, a
poor woman came to him weeping, holding her infant child in her
"Rabbi," she said through her tears, "this is my only child, and he
is very ill."
R' Shmelki took a cloth, wrapped some- thing in it, and gave it to
the woman, with instructions to hand the cloth to the town rabbi.
The woman went to the rabbi, R' Yitzchak Landau, and gave him the
When the rabbi unwrapped it, he did not find any note. All that
there was inside was a gold coin. He didn't understand what R'
Shmelki meant by this. Until it dawned on him - there was a famous
children's doctor, a professor of the university, in the city, who
charged a gold coin for consultations. He told the woman:
"Take the coin and go to the professor."
Shmuel Himelstein has written a wonderful series for ArtScroll:
Words of Wisdom, Words of Wit; A Touch of Wisdom, A Touch of Wit;,
and"Wisdom and Wit" — available at your local Jewish bookstore (or
 Candle by Day
Man's greatest errors proceed from his hastiness to conclude that he
is either all right or all wrong; and his most difficult, yet most
necessary task becomes one of detecting the wrong in his right and
the right in his wrong...- From A Candle by Day by Rabbi Shraga
 G'Matriya Match
V'YAMAT YOSEF V'CHOL ECHAV V'CHOL HA'DOR HA'HU
Vaychi ended and Sh'mot begins with the same facts: Yosef and all
his brothers (and Yaakov before them) died. They are gone.
But only physically. Righteous people - including, of course, the
Avot and Imahot, and Shivtei Kah, the Tribes of Israel, live on in
our consciousness and continue to influence and inspire us
throughout our lifetimes.
The pasuk that epitomizes this concept is found in Va'etchanan:
V'ATEM HADVEIKIM B'HASHEM ELOKEICHEM CHAIM KULCHEM HAYOM
These p'sukim have the same G'matriya (981)
 Letter to the Editor
Three or four times in recent past issues, we carried a column
called, "Health and Medicine in Judaism", with a perspective that
would fit under the category of "Alternative Medicine". In last
week's issue we had a Letter to the Editor challenging the use of
limited space in Torah Tidbits to present one side of any medical
issues, especially when "conventional medicine" is more
mainstream. Here is one more Letter to the Editor in reaction to
last week's letter. The matter will probably rest after this, and we
have decided to stay away from this sensitive issue rather than do
the equivalent of givng (or implying) advice that does not include
"the whole story".
I want to comment on the letter to the editor you received in
response to articles that you are printing in TT by Dr. Yehuda Ben
First of all, Avraham's suggestion that a person who has a
persistent sore throat lasting several days should have a throat
culture taken to be sure that it is not strep is good advice. I am
not very well acquainted with Dr. Ben Asher personally, but having
read his articles, he shows himself to be a very knowledgeable
and caring medical doctor. Therefore, I feel sure that Dr Ben
Asher would give this same advice to someone whose sore throat did
not respond to the treatment he was suggesting in his article. The
reality is that when one follows the advice of the Rambam, of
blessed memory, they will find that almost without exception the
sore throat disappears within a day.
I can understand and sympathize
with Avraham's frustration over his relative whose heart was damaged
when he feels that it could have been prevented if it was treated
earlier. However, He is making a great mistake to relate this
unfortunate incident in any way whatsoever to what Dr. Ben Asher is
saying in his article. Insaying, "Let the illness run its course",
he is in no way speaking of neglecting or ignoring the illness. On
the contrary, he gives us positive steps we can take to assist the
body's own power to heal itself. By making us to understand the
natural process that the body goes through to ward off illness, he
is helping usto understand the importance of our patiently doing our
part by taking those steps.
I could give countless examples
of people whose health was destroyed, many prematurely dying,
through relying on radical surgery and drugs. While the advice of
the Rambam as Dr. Ben Asher has shared it with us is gentle and
sensitive - working with the laws of HaShem according to the way He
has created us. Any illness isbound to improve if not disappear
completely. There is no possibility whatsoever for someone to "harm
themselves irreparably" through following Dr. Ben Asher's advice
which he has drawn from the timeless wisdom of the Rambam.
TT has for 11+ years offered us a
great service in sharing with us about every aspect of Jewish life,
whether as it relates to the Halacha, our davening, the calendar,
our way of speaking, politics or rhinoceroses. In all that you have
shared with us, the source and foundation has been the Torah and the
wisdom of our Sages.In printing the very enlightening and helpful
articles of Dr Ben Asher you are continuing in your traditional
faithful service to us. Thank you.
 Micro Ulpan - a word (or two) from HaAcademiya LaLashon Ha-Ivrit
Consultants indicate that this word might not stump NHS (native
Hebrew speakers), so don't take any bets. Measuring cup in Hebrew is
M'SURA. But what do you call the scratches or lines marked on the
cup? SHENET, plural: SH'NATOT.
 CHIZUK and IDUD (for Olim & not-yet-Olim respectively)
In Devarim Rabba 5, Rabbi Levi por- trays Moshe as arguing with God
to allow him to enter the Land of Israel, just as He has allowed
Yosef's bones to enter. God replies that Yosef's bones will enter
because when Yosef stood before Pharaoh, he "acknowledged the Land
of Israel" as his land, declaring that he was from the land of the
Hebrews (Bereishit 40:15). Moshe, however, will not be buried in the
Land of Israel, because when he escaped from Egypt to Midian, he
allowed Yitro's daughters to present him to Yitro as an "Egyptian
man" (Shemot 2:19).
This Midrash is difficult. Yosef
could, indeed, say that he was from the "land of the Hebrews." But
Moshe could not make such a statement. He was an "Egyptian man". He
traveled on an Egyptian passport. He had never set foot in the "land
of the Hebrews". Moshe could perhaps have said that he was a Hebrew,
but not that he was from the land of the Hebrews. Why then was he
denied entry into the Land?
In the eyes of R. Levi, to
declare you are a Jew is equivalent to acknowledging the Land of
Israel as your land. The connection between the Jewish people and
the Land is an intrinsic, essential one. Therefore, had Moshe said,
"I am a Jew," his declaration would have been an acknowledgment of
the Land of Israel as his land. This he could very well have said,
even though he traveled on an Egyptian passport. His failure to make
such a statement reflected a weakness in Moshe' connection to the
land. R. Nachman of Breslav said: "Wherever I go, I am going to
Prof. Yehuda Gelman, 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
 Divrei Menachem
We read parshat Shemot and our thoughts wander back to the distant,
heavy past when our ancestors were slaves in Egypt. We often tend to
downplay the gloomy side of this story in favor of the happy ending.
But, in truth, the lessons of Pharoah's treatment of the Jews are as
relevant today as in biblical times.
For the new Pharoah who did not know Yosef - and preferred to ignore
the critical contribution of the Jew to Egypt's survival (Sota 11a)
- expresses the all-too-familiar paranoia of the anti-Semite:
"Behold… the Children of Israel are more numerous and stronger than
we." However, Par'o's ultimate pernicious intent is craftily
disguised as he argues that while the Jews are too dangerous
to keep, they are too important to lose.
Like latter-day tyrants, Par'o forced the wretched slaves to show
their "patriotism" by building cities to safeguard the country's
wealth. And anticipating future oppression, the Jewish captives were
forced to work in inhuman conditions that would become increasingly
intolerable. Degradation was the goal as the marsh
lands' soil caused monuments to
sink and crumble over and over again (ibid).
Like Hitler, Par'o proceeded in
stages towards his aim of extermination, from labor tax to orders to
secretly kill babies to house searches (Ramban). Now, as the true
face of anti-Semitism rears its ugly head in our times we might do
well to remember these stark and bitter lessons.
Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff
SHEYIBANEH BEIT HAMIKDASH...
A series of articles on Beit HaMikdash-related topics by Catriel
Sugarman intended to increase the knowledge, interest,and
anticipation of the reader, thereby hasteningthe realization of our
hopes and prayers for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Beit
In Defense of Leviyim
In last week's column, I speculated that perhaps the Leviyim's
musical proclivities "made them particular susceptible to the...
lure of Greek civilization" and maybe even paved the way for their
collaboration with the apostate High Priest Menelaus. And, as I
pointed out, nowhere in the sources, not in the books of the
Maccabees,not in the Gemara and not in Josephus, are the Leviyim
(unlike the Kohanim, "scribes" and Sages) mentioned as actually
offering resistance. Torah Tidbits reader Reuven HaLeivi Brauner of
Ra'anana did not permit this hypothesis to go unchallenged.
"I am writing in response to the
latter part of your article entitled: The Post Chanuka Mikdash -
Beginning Anew. Therein you discuss the apparent 'non-role' of the
Leviyim in the Chanuka story. After your fine description of their
traditional activities and duties in the Temple, you present a sad
picture of the Leviyim being
'conspicuously' absent and not contributing to the Hasmonean
victory. You speculate that the Leviyim may have, themselves, fallen
to the 'lure of the aesthetical, sensuous, mellifluous Greek
civilization' and that they may have 'collaborated in unseemly ways
with the apostate High Priest Menelaus, thus forever compromising
themselves'. I wish to suggest several points you may want to
consider before reaching a conclusion on this matter.
• The historically relevant
documentation we have regarding the Chanuka story is limited (e.g. a
bit in the Talmud, the Books of the Maccabees, etc.), and even the
information therein should be taken as incomplete or not necessarily
accurate. Remember, Chazal did not canonize any book or scroll which
would have been consideredthe 'authentic Jewish' accounting of these
events. Thus, little is really known regarding details of names,
dates, places, etc. That there is no mention of the role of the
Leviyim may not be proof of anything other than the fact that their
participation was secondary to that of the Kohanim.
• This aside, may it not have
been possible that, by this time, the Leviyim were not particularly
distinct as a tribe and would not have been recognized as being
different from any other 'Jew'? They no longer lived in separate
geographic areas or cities and, excepting for their receiving the
Levitical-due tithes by farmersand their occasional 'vacations' to
go up to Jerusalem to sing and gate-keep, they may not have been
readily identified as Leviyim by the man in the street. Already by
the time of Mordecai who lived centuries earlier, all Israelites
were called Jews, e.g. Mordecai HaYehudi, even though he was
tribally a Benjaminite. Unlikethe Kohanim who had to maintain
themselves in near perpetual ritual purity in order to eat of the
Terumah and sacrifices, something which would have required them to
set themselves apart from their Jewish brethren, the Leviyim had no
such separatist obligations.
• Let us not forget that the
Kohanim were Leviyim too. The Kohanim certainly distinguished
themselves by their heroism and righteousness, but that does not
mean that their fellow Leviyim, with whom they shared much in
history, family relations, and cooperative service in the Temple
over the years, also did not join the
Kohanim-led revolt. But this point is mere conjecture, as are your
musings. One can imagine that numerous Leviyim and Kohanim crossed
paths many times during their Temple careers and probably got to
know each other quite well.
Finally your castigating the
Leviyim for having been 'lured' by Hellenism or being Greek
'collaborators' is, for you, an uncharacteristic far-fetched
hypothesis. I am unfamiliar with any source that supports such
allegations. And given Chazal's later characterization of the
Leviyim as 'never having worshipped idols', should
we not actually assume the opposite, and that in fact, the
majority of that illustrious and, probably, pious tribe would not
have fallen victim to blatant paganistic and hedonistic Hellenism?
Kudos to D.C. of K. Mattisdorf -
You are absolutely correct! There is a chronological difficulty with
the sealed ring of Beit Bilga! The Mishna reads, "To the north of
the Mizbei'ach were 'rings', six rows of four each… at which they
slaughtered the animal offerings" (Midot 3:5, note Tif'eret Yisrael
50 for general background). These
adjustable iron rings, embedded into the stone floor of the Azara,
were "ordained" by Yochanan Kohein Gadol. The function of these
rings was to hold and immobilize the sacrificial animals before
slaughter and they were a considerable improvement over previously
used methods (Sota 48a). One ring was assigned to each
of the twenty-four Mishmarot ('companies') of Kohanim but the
ring allotted to Beit Bilga was sealed, rendering it useless (Suka
56b). These rings were positioned north of the Mizbei'ach because
the Kodshei Kodashim, the sacrifices of a higher level of sanctity,
were slaughtered there (Zevachim 5:1). And why was the ring
of Beit Bilga sealed? "Our rabbis taught, 'It happened that
Miriam, a daughter of Bilga became an apostate and married a Greek
officer. When the Greeks entered the Sanctuary, she entered with
them, stamped with her sandal on the altar and cried out, 'Wolf,
wolf, how long will you consume the money of Israel but not standby
them in their hour of need?' When the Sages heard that, they sealed
up Bilga's ring. (Suka 56b). One possibly could infer from a cursory
reading of the text that, immediately after the liberation and
purification of the Mikdash, the Sages ordered the sealing of an
already existing ring. If that were actually the case,it would
indeed cause a serious chronological difficulty. Yochanan Kohein
Gadol - i.e. John Hyrcanus, son of Simon, the last Maccabean brother
- the man who "ordained" these rings - assumed the Kehuna Gedola
(the High Priesthood) only in 135BCE. So when Yehuda HaMaccabee and
his men liberated Jerusalem and rededicatedthe Mikdash in 165BCE
(164?), thirty years earlier, these rings were not yet in existence!
And the Talmudic reference to Miriam's sacrilegious behavior, of
necessity, would have to be dated perhaps three years earlier. After
the rout of the Syrian Hellenists and their Jewish collaborators,
the apostasy of Menelaus andhis coterie, Kohanim of Beit Bilga, was
not forgotten and the entire Mishmeret was in disgrace.
Nevertheless, the Mishmeret could not be abolished and thirty years
later when Yochanan became Kohein Gadol, Beit Bilga was still under
a cloud. When he "ordained" the rings, he assigned one to every
Mishmeret including BeitBilga. However the stern Sages immediately
ordered Beit Bilga's ring to be sealed as a sign of their ignominy
and shame thus forcing them to use the rings of other Mishmarot.
Catriel Sugarman gives
illustrated lectures on the Beit HaMikdash and related topics. He
can be reached at(02) 652-7531 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Catriel is in the process of writing a book entitled: The Temple of
Jerusalem, A Pilgrims Prospective; A Guided Tour through the Temple
and the Divine Service
Towards Better Davening and Torah Reading
Column #101. Contents of this weekly column are (mostly) based on
the sefer: EIM LAMIKRA HASHALEIM, by R' Nissan Sharoni, Ashdod, a
guide to correct pronunciation of Hebrew, specifically in davening
and Torah reading.
You see, it's like this. After
insisting at length in last week's column that the first YUD (second
letter) of VAI-CHI was part of a diphthong with the PATACH under the
VAV, and had none of the consonant sound of the English letter Y, we
received an email from one of our favorite TBDATR correspondents.
And so we are reopening the issue.
Here's what DL has to say...
In last week’s TBDATR column you explained your spelling of VAI-CHI,
in the course of which you wrote that “The YUD does not have a
A few months ago you published in TBDATR an email I sent to you
about when a YUD at the end of a word is a consonant (following a
PATACH, KAMATZ, CHOLAM or SHURUK) and when it is not (following a
CHIRIK, SEGOL or TZEIREI). I proved the rule by examples in the
Torah showing when there is a DAGESH KAL in a following
BGDKF”Tletter and when not...
The rule is similar for a YUD with a SH'VA NACH in the middle of a
word. In fact there is a simpler rule that any letter in the middle
of a word with a vowel sign, even a SH'VA, is a consonant, and it is
silent only if it has no vowel sign at all. Thus by both rules the
YUD here is a consonant, not (part of) a diphthong.Although the
difference in sound between VAI-CHI and VAY-CHI is barely
discernable, technically speaking the latter is correct. According
to the rule that any letter in the middle of a word with a vowel
sign is a consonant, even a YUD with a SH'VA NACH following a CHIRIK,
SEGOL, or TZEIREI would not be silent in the middleof a word.
However, as far as I know, there are no examples anywhere of a YUD
with a SHVA NACH following a CHIRIK or TZEIREI (although this is
theoretically possible in an accented syllable). I know of only one
occurrence in Tanach of a consonantal YUD with a SH'VA NACH
following a SEGOL – SHEYSHALLEM (T’hilim 137:8) –the SH'VA there is
NACH because there is no DAGESH in the YUD.
I (Phil) consider myself an informed amateur compared to the DIKDUK
pros who periodically write in about this column, and am content to
sit at the dust of their feet and learn more about our holy
I accept DL's comments and will change back to VAYCHI, with the
reminder that the name of last week's sedra (and its first word) is
not VA-Y'CHI. I also agree that it is very hard to distinguish
between VAI-CHI and VAY-CHI, giving the first YUD a little
consonant-Y sound, but not enough to sound like it has a SH'VA NA
underit... which it doesn't. Thank you, DL.
EIM LAMIKRA HASHALEIM, the flagship source of this column, has a
section called EIM LAMA- SORET, which we've looked at several times
in past columns. The section covers the Chumash, sedra by sedra, and
Megilat Esther, and "flags" words that tend to be misread by
well-meaning BAALEI KRI'A (BAAL KOREIs). A couple of sedrasin Sh'mot,
this week's sedra of Sh'mot included. begin with a list of words
that we have examined well in the past. These are verbs that are in
past tense format, but a "flipping" VAV at the beginning, switches
their tense to future (or command). AMARTI means I said. Accent on
the MAR. MIL'EIL. V'AMARTI means "(and) I
will say". The tense flip is accompanied by an accent flip to MILRA.
v'a-mar-TI, not v'a-MAR-ti. Mis-accenting these words often change
their meaning (which is a more serious mistake than just sloppy
One of the 10 words flagged for Sh'mot is v'sam- TA, and you shall
put. The word appears 21 times in Tanach, 20 of them are "and you
shall put", accented v'sam-TA. Only once (but that's enough to show
the contrast), it is past tense. The pasuk is in Nechemya, and most
people wouldn't be aware of it, except for the fact
that the pasuk is quoted in P'sukei D'Zimra of our daily
Shacharit. You are HaShem, the G-d, Who chose Abram, took him our of
Ur Kasdim, and gave (past tense) him the name Avraham. Anyone named
Avraham who says his pasuk at the end of each Amida, knows this
pasuk even better than the rest of us. Here's the only case
ofv'SAM-ta. The other 20 are v'sam-TA. 2
One more Sh'mot word...
When she was no longer able to hide baby Moshe, Yocheved took a reed
basket, and she water-proofed it... VATACH-M'RA, she coated it with
tar and pitch (or other "stuff"). The word should have a MAPIK-HEI
indicating that she coated IT (the teiva). There is no dot in the
HEI. This is a Tradition, which goes against the expectedform of the
word. Without that dot, the DAGESH in the following word's first
letter also drops out. It "should be" VATACH-M'RAH BA- CHEIMAR.
Instead, it is VATACH-M'RA VACHEI- MAR. No difference in meaning,
not a serious "mistake" if read "the other way", but that's the way
it works, sometimes.
Think of a stamp collector, a serious stamp collector. Picture him
taking his tweezers and magnifying glass and lovingly examining one
stamp of his collection. He notes the color, the style of printing,
the design, the... who knows what? Am I a philatelist?
There are almost 80,000 words in the Torah, and every one is holy
and special. What this column tries to do sometimes - a lot of the
time - is use those tweezers and magnifying glass and lovingly
examine the words of the Torah. It is by no means picayune or
trivial what we try to do. Together with learning the weekly sedra
and its commentaries, these examinations and clarifications
of the grammar and pronunciation, etc. hopefully en- hance our
appreciation and love of the Torah.
Pyramids, of course, represent our descent into Egypt.
The head of lettuce is MAROR from the Seder table. It relates to the
pasuk in the beginning of the sedra which describes the Egyptian’s
embittering the lives of Bnei Yisrael.
That pasuk continues to specify the work with bricks (see the trowel
and bricks) and the fieldwork (see the planting of the seedling).
The ball and chain represents enslavement in Egypt.
Davka Graphics of baby Moshe floating on the Nile with sister Miriam
watching over him.
Another Davka Graphics of Moshe at the Bush.
Point the sheep out to your children and ask them if they know any
of the stories about sheep.Don’t restrict the discussion to Moshe;
extend it back to the Avot.
Along the left side of the Pix is the MATEH, Moshe’s staff.
Now along the bottom, from the left. You find the three signs that
G-d gave Moshe to catch Paro’s attention. The snake, the hand that
turned leprous like snow (that’s a snowflake on the back ofthe
hand), and the turning of water into blood (symbolized by the 4
common bloodtypes: A, B, AB, and O).
The goal of the Exodus: the land flowing with milk and honey (hence
the cow and bee with the outline map of Israel). Har Sinai. Brit
are Torah Tidbits-style riddles on Parshat HaShavua (sometimes on
the calendar). They are found in the hard-copy of TT scattered
throughout, usually at the bottom of different columns. In the
electronic versions of TT, they are found all together at the end of
the ParshaPix-TTriddles section. Some TTriddles are also
Torah Tidbits Audio (Arutz-7,
Thursday night). The best solution set submitted each week (there
isn't always a best) wins a double prize a CD from Noam Productions
and/or a gift (game, puzzle, book, etc.) from Big Deal
Last issue’s (VAI-CHI) TTriddles:
 Finzi, Karo, Kluger
 anagrams in the closed opener
 1 thru 19, skip 2, 22 & 23 plus only two more in NACH
 His grandson and his servant, but his Master is The Master
 In the first's ultimate, Slytherin; in the last's ultimate,
Gryffindor. Who? (separate prize for this one)
And the envelope, please...
 FINZI An ancient Italian family, which probably derived its name
from PINCHAS through the Latin "Finea"... Gur Aryeh ha-Levi ben
Benjamin Finzi, rabbi at Mantua about 1680, composed and collected
additions to the Shulchan Aruch... Gur Aryeh Finzi, grandson of the
preceding, edited and wrote an introduction to "GUR ARYEH"...He was
rabbi at Casale in 1711.
KARO as in Rav Yosef Karo, author of the Shulchan Aruch. Born in
Toledo... exiled from Spain at 4 years old... At age 25 wrote his
commentary to the Tur Shulchan Aruch, known as BEIT YOSEF...
Rabbi Shlomo KLUGER was chief dayyan and preacher of Brody, Galicia
for over 50 years... During his long life he wrote a great number of
works (160 volumes) including IMREI SHEFER on the Torah.
The phrases GUR ARYEH, BEIT YOSEF, and IMREI SHEFER are all found in
 The closed opener refers to the first pasuk of VAI-CHI, which is
the "closed" sedra. The word CHAYAV, his life, referring to the
years of Yaakov's life (147) is an anagram of VAI-CHI.
 This TTriddle came about as a result of a computer search of
Tanach for the word VAI-CHI. There are 47 occurrences of
VAV-YUD-CHET-YUD in Tanach. Eliminating a bunch of VAYECHIs and a
couple of VI-CHIs, and even a couple of VAI-CHIs that weren't
followed by a person's name, left 36 VAI-CHI someone. Among the 36
are23 different peopel (allowing for many doubles). The people are
the first 19 generations of the world - Adam (once), twice each for
Sheit, Enosh, Keinan, Mehalaleil, Yered, once for Chanoch, twice for
Metushelach and Lemech, once each for No'ach, Sheim, Arpachshad, and
Shelach, twice for Eiver, Peleg, R'u, S'rug, and Nachor,and once for
Terach. Skip two generations - Avraham and Yitzchak, and then we
find Vai-chi Yaakov and Vai-chi Yosef - both appropriately in
Parshat Vai-chi. Only two more people in Tanach share the VAI-CHI
phase: twice for AMATZYAHU b. Yo'ash, king of Yehuda, and once for
 The phrase CHESED VE-EMET appears 13 times in Tanach - only
three times in the Torah. Eliezer asks Betu'el and Lavan for Chesed
and Emet in telling him if he can take Rivka with him or not. Yaakov
asks Yosef for Chesed and Emet to be buried in Eretz Yisrael. In the
YUD-GIMEL MIDOT, the 13 Divine Attributes, G-d is describedas RAV
CHESED VE-EMET. His servant and grandson refers to Avraham Avinu -
Eliezer and Yaakov fitting that des- cription respectively. His
Master is G-d, Avraham being the first to call G-d Master. The
Master is RAV CHESED VE-EMET. By the way (btw), the whole TTriddle
was in uppercase letters so the word Master whould notobviously
refer to G-d.
 In the first's - i.e. B'reishit's - ultimate, i.e. ultimate
sedra, i.e. Vai-Chi, DAN is blessed/described as "Dan shall be a
serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that bites the horse
heels, so that his rider shall fall backward." The snake is the
symbol of Slytherin (MIMA-NAFSHACH, if you know this is a Harry
PotterTTriddle, then it is not necessary to explain what Slytherin
and Gryffindor mean. And if you don't know it's HP-related, then...)
In D'varim's (the last book's) ultimate sedra, V'zot HaB'racha, Dan
shares the title of GUR ARYEH, moving him into Gryffindor House.
So far (as of Sunday afternoon), three people have submitted
solutions to  - SS/Canada, the Falk family, and RHM with an
This week's TTriddles:
 Borrowers include: RHM, PA, and R' Yaakov b. Asher
 He returned there 80 years later. Who was there first?
 Chayei Sara, Vayishlach, Vayigash, Va-eira, Bamidbar (3),
 What did each of the three (f) open?
 His 2 sons, 5 of his sons, and Moshe - what, who and whom else?
 Moshe grew, no king, they gathered
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Shira, Long weekend, mini-vacation, YOU
Thursday, Friday, Shabbat • February 5-7, '04 at the 4* Shalom Plaza
Hotel in Eilat(Mehadrin for our group): On the way to Eilat, we will
stop at the Ein Gedi Guest House for a Grand Tour of the Botanical
Gardens and their unusual Cactus Garden, followed by a Mehadrin
Lunch. We will arrive in Eilat in the afternoon at thehotel where
will have a special program for your entertainment after dinner.
Friday morning we will have a guided tour in Eilat.
During Shabbat we will participate in the 20th year celebration
ofthe Acceleration of the Torah Roots of the Gar'in Torani of Eilat.
On Shabbat there will be shiurim and a guided walking tour.
Leaving Israel Center at 8:00am Thursday and returning IY"H Sat.
Cost of the Weekend including a bus which will be with us at all
times.Lunch on Friday is the only thing not included in the cost.
800NIS (840NIS for non-members) • Program subject to change, Limited
space - Sign up soon by calling Batya 5667787 ext # 249, Shulamit’s
Tiyulim are always Treats; Come! You will enjoy her delicious sweets
EIN GEDI: 4 days - 3 nights: MON-THU, February 23-26, '04, (Leaving
Monday 9:30am • returning Thursday afternoon): Free bathing at the
Spa including mineral & mud baths, Magnificent Magical Botanical
gardens on premises, Indoor Sweet Water Pool, Full and varied
program – Tiyulim - shiurim incl. tour of
the cactus garden, health
lectures, exercising, Mehadrin with Eida Chareidis and Rav
Landau products and a full-time Mashgiach
on the premises •249NIS p.p. per night (if you stay 3 nights),
269NIS p.p. per night (for 2 nights), 279NIS p.p. for a one night
stay, Exclusive beautiful deluxe room 299NIS p.p. per night, Prices
are for double occupancy–half board (breakfast and dinner - lunch
30NIS extra) • For Monday’s lunch, you must order this meal when you
sign up, or it will cost 35NIS. One person in a room: 400NIS per
night (480NIS Deluxe), Round-trip transportation (J'lem-Ein Gedi on
Monday and Ein Gedi-J'lem on Thursday only) - 70NIS p.p.
Cancellation fees:60NISp.p. before February 19th noon, 149NIS p.p.
after that day and time, Rooms have fridge, "kumkum", coffee, tea,
cookies, crackers • Ein Gedi Botanical Gardens are the only national
botanical gardens in the world that have
people living in them! • Shulamit’s tiyulim are always treats; Come!
You will surely enjoy her delicious sweets
TRAVEL DESK SPECIALS
For reservations at the hotels listed below or any other Israeli
hotels, please call Batya directly at the Travel Desk 566 7787, ext.
249. She'll be happy to accommodate you with any of your requests.
Holiday Inn, Tiberias, valid January 16-18
THIS SHABBAT 2-night package: 1355NIS per couple, F/B
Holiday Inn, Haifa, valid January 16-17, 23-24
This and Next SHABBAT: 980NIS per couple, F/B
Sheraton-Moriah, Tiberias, valid January 16-18
This Shabbat ... plus 2-night package: 1300NIS per couple, F/B
(Shabbat) + B/B (other day)
Hyatt, Dead Sea, valid thru Feb. 26
2-night MIDWEEK package: 1100nis per couple, H/B
Holiday Inn, Tiberias, valid January 18-22
MIDWEEK: 435NIS per couple, B/B
Crowne Plaza, Dead Sea, valid January 18-22
MIDWEEK: 720NIS per couple per night, H/B
Princess, Eilat, valid January 18-22, 25-29
MIDWEEK: 485NIS per couple per night, B/B
Sheraton-Moriah, Eilat, valid January 18-22
MIDWEEK: 340NIS per couple per night, B/B
Jerusalem Pearl, valid January 30-31
SHABBAT: 1095NIS per couple, F/B
Shizen Spa, Herzliya, valid January 19-22
MIDWEEK: 875NIS per couple per night, B/B
Havat HaBaron, Zichron, valid January 19-22
MIDWEEK: 350NIS per couple per night, B/B
Kinar Classic, valid January 18-22
MIDWEEK: 630NIS per couple per night, H/B
Garden room... plus free entrance to the Hermon
Eden, Zichron, valid January 23-24, 30-31
SHABBAT: 675nis per couple, F/B
Renaissance, Jerusalem, valid thru Feb. 26
2-night MIDWEEK package: 800nis per couple, B/B
incl. FREE entrance to pool, Jacuzzi, and sauna
Sheraton Moriah, Dead Sea, valid thru January 28
Midweek: 670NIS per couple per night, F/B
Kfar Giladi Hotel, valid thru February 26
2 night midweek package: 870NIS per couple B/B
B/B = Bed & Breakfast • H/B = Half Board (breakfast + one meal) •
F/B (3 meals a day)
Midweek = SUN, MON, TUE, WED nights • Weekends = THU, FRI, Motza"Sh
nights (some, not all hotels)
The Back Page of TT602
The Avrom Silver Jerusalem College for Adults is the educational
component of the Seymour J. Abrams • Orthodox Union • Jerusalem
World Center and incorporates classes & lecturesof the OU Israel
Center's Project Yedid, JCA, and the Jewish Values Education
"Regular" classes & lectures -
20NIS members, 25NIS non- members. Life members, 5NIS (except for
programs of/with other organizations). No one will be turned away
for inability to pay. Membership 250NIS couple, 180NIS single.
Programs of the Center are partially funded by the Jewish Agency for
Israel or the UJC
Schedule for Erev Shabbat to Erev Shabbat (Fri-Fri), 22-29 Tevet
9:00am: Parsha Previews with Rabbi Binyamin Wolff, Rabbi Eisen's
shiur will resume IY"H on Friday the 23rd
In-House Shabbaton - people within walking distance are invited to
join us for davening and shiurim...
4:30pm - Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Dvar Torah, Maariv
9:00pm (approx.) Shiur by Rabbi Natan Lopes-Cardozo on Spinoza,
David Nieto, and Monotheism • Oneg Shabbat
7:30am - Mini-shiur by Phil
8:00am - Shacharit... Drasha by Rabbi Cardozo
11:30am (approx.) Shiur by Rabbi Francis Nataf on When East Doesn't
Meet West: Judaism & Sensuality
3:15pm - Shiur by Rabbi Cardozo on Chewing the Cud, Splitting the
Hooves and the Jewish Future
5:30pm - Maariv & Havdala
MOTZA'EI SHABBAT SH'MOT January 17, 8:00pm• Those were the Days, An
Evening of Music, Trivia,and Comedy with HOWIE KAHN (Ruach
Revival/producer, composer, keyboards, vocals... and a lot more
since) Join us for a nostalgic trip down memory lane via Jewish
music of the 60's & 70's, Broadway favorites, period trivia, and
popular hits 35/40NIS
SUNday thru Thursday
10:00am: The Weekly Mitzvot and Concepts from Minchat Chinuch by
Rabbi Dovid Zitter
11:00am: Wednesday & Thursday mornings (Masechet Avoda Zara), Gemara
Shiur with Rabbi Moshe Gorelik
1:20pm Mincha (this time stays the same throughout the year)
3:00pm Daf Yomi by Rabbi Shmuel Halpern
4:30pm Shiur in Masechet Beitza by Rabbi Hillel Ruvel
5:30pm Maariv (this time stays through Tevet)
SUNday N'SHEI LIBRARY 10:30am-12:45pm
9:30am: (women) Mystical Insights into the Months of the Year with
10:30am (women) Let's learn Chumash with Tonia Frowein
1130am: (men & women): Parshat HaShavua with Shprintzee Herskovits
Sunday, 2:00pm • Healing & the 10 S'firot: "Kabbalastic Psycotherapy"
by Yaakov Gerlitz Dipl. Ac, Practitioner of Chinese Medicine,
Shaarei Zedek Hospital
INTERMARRIAGE UPDATE:...and How to deal with it this "touchy"
subject: Sunday Jan 18th, 2003 at 8pm, by Intermarriage ExpertRabbi
Doron Kornbluth author of the acclaimed WHY MARRY JEWISH? SURPRISING
REASONS FOR JEWS TO MARRY JEWS
Resumes IY"HJan. 25 • Jewish Thought as it
emerges from the Torah with the help of Ramban's Commentary by Rabbi
MoNday, N'SHEI LIBRARY - 10:00-12:30
9:15am • (men & women) Eexcursions into the World of Nnevi'im with
Mrs. Pearl Borow
10:30am (men &women): Rambam's 13 Principles with Rabbi Zev Leff
11:36am (men & women), Jewish History series: Emperor Hadrian -
Early Hopes Dashed, part II with Dr. Henry Goldblum
11:36am (women) Releasing the Sparks of Simcha from the teachings of
Rav Yaacov Meir Vallach, author of “The Palace Gates” with Aviva
SLIM FOR LIFE Group weight-loss program for women, No obligation for
the first session • Qualified nutritional advisor on hand Mondays
from 11:35am, Elisheva999-6479
Monday, January 19th, Video and Lunch, 12:30pm: “End of Life Issue"
by HaRav Hershel Schachter
Fit Forever: Look & Feel your Best! Exercise class for women of all
ages at the Israel Center, Gentle exercises to improve your
flexibility, circulation, posture, etc.
Breathing and relaxation skills to use every day. Satisfaction
guaranteed! Mondays, 12:45-1:45pm Call Sura Faecher, 9932524
Mondays (and Wednesdays) 2:00pm: Hebrew-reading Ulpan
Women's Beit Midrash: Acquire study skills and knowledge crucial to
your life as a Jew - join us! Guided Chavruta study with Pearl Borow,
In-Depth study of Chumash B’reishit with Rashi, - Shiur by Rabbi
Pri Chadash Women's Writing Workshop: Mondays: 5:20-7:20pm with Ruth
Fogelman (628-7359) & Mindy Aber Barad (643-5276)
7 week course beginning January 19: How to talk so Kids will listen
with Sherrie Miller. Call 5667787 x261 to register
Mondays at 7:30pm (and Wednesdays at 9:00am) • Parshat HaShavua with
Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
Jewish Values Education Institute of the
OU Israel Center presents... Stalemate, 'A position in which neither
contestant can derive a winning advantage' (Webster's 3rd Int'l
Dictionary) Join Dr. Joel Fishman as he examines the different
manifestations of the stalemate Israel has been experiencing over
the last decade and the
extent to which this condition has
been aggravated by forces from within and without: Monday, January
19, 8:00pm, Partially funded by the Jewish Agency for Israel
MON, 8:30pm •AM SEGULA: “Curing the Jewish Heart” series, Lectures
by Eli Yosef
MASK - Mothers & Fathers Aligned Saving Kids, J'lem Chapter at the
OU Israel Center • Dr. Judy Belsky, PhD - Group Facilitator, Join us
at our next bi-weekly meeting - MONDAY, Jan. 26, 7:30-9:30pm,
http://maskjerusalem.cjb.net • Also in Ramat Beit Shemesh: Call (02)
999-6686 or 999-6162
The Israel Center and the Old City Free Loan Association, 14th year
• over 3000 loans granted Gemach - Free Loan Society to provide
interest-free loans for people in financial distress (living in the
Jerusalem area). Interviews at the Center on Tuesdays from
10:00-12:00 • Please bring ID
Yad Yaakov Center for Jewish Education classes at the Israel Center,
Tuesdays, 9:00-10:30am Call 054-690-330 for further information
9:00am: (men &women) The World of Mishna: Halacha, Hashkafa, and
History with RabbiAharon Adler
10:15am (men &women): Parshat HaShavua with RabbiSholom Gold
9:00am: From Month to Month, From Shabbat to Shabbat with Dr. Hayim
9:55am: Following the Temple Vessels with Dr. Hayim Abramson
10:50am: Parshat HaShavua with Rabbi Mordechai Spiegelman
11:00am: New experiment - shiur in Hebrew: The Chafetz Chayim's
Sefer HaMitzvot haKatzar with Dr. Hayim Abramson
11:55am: Chabad insights into Parshat HaShavua and the Actualia of
Our Time (women only) with Raizel Zisk
Tuesday, January 20th, 12:30pm (lunch and video) “The Order of
Brachot" by Rabbi Aharon Adler
January 17, 8:00pm • Tuesday, Jan. 20th, 8:00pm: The truth about the
real problem here (How to solve it) by Rabbi Naftali WeinbergMachon
As Good as You Are We Can Help You Be Even Better: The Effectiveness
Training Institute of Israel is offering Training and Certification
to therapists and health field professionals in some of the most
powerful, transformative techniques to emotional and physical
well-being available today. Open house presentation of techniques
such as EFT, TAT and Emo-Trans will be held on Tuesday, January,
20th, at 8:00pm For information, please callIlan Feldman at 02
930-9884 or Eliezer Spetter at 055 340155
9:30am: Towards More Meaningful Davening with Dr. Joel Luber
Wednesdays at 9:00am (and Mondays at 7:30pm) • Parshat HaShavua with
Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
9:15am • From Tribes to Nations by Rabbi Macy Gordon
10:45am (men &women) Kuzari - An Adventure in Jewish Thought with
Rabbi Sholom Gold
Wednesday, January 21st, 12:30pm, lunch and video: “The Miracle of
Am Yisrael" by Rabbi Berel Wein and Rabbi Chaim Brovender
(Mondays and) Wednesdays 2:00pm: Hebrew-reading Ulpan with Chani
Women's Beit Midrash: Acquire study skills and knowledge crucial to
your life as a Jew - join us! Women in Tanach (see next box), Guided
Chavruta study with Pearl Borow
3:00pm(men & women) Women in Tanach with Pearl Borow
7:30pm • Jewish Philosophy, Road Map to the Prophets - Rambam's
Guide for the Perplexed by Rabbi Chaim Eisen
Wednesday, January 21, 9:00pm • Tofa'ah, Great Traditional and
Original Jewish Music - for women, by women, 25/30NIS
Wed. Jan.21, 19:00: "Separation vs. Integration: The Chances for
Peace with the Palestinians" Ambassador Dr. Ovadia Soffer
8-10pm: Aliya Counseling with Miriam Bass
10:30am: Shiur while you fold...Chassidut with Rabbi David J.
Shmooze while you fold: Divrei Torah, verbal tidbits, Q&A,
and...with Phil, Some time IY”H sometimes B”N
resumes Jan. 29: Legends from the Gemara with Reb Yosef Schreiber
9:00am: In Depth Pirkei Avot with Rabbi Chaim Eisen
UPCOMINGS at the Center
Monday, January 26, 8:00pm • OU Kashrut Update with Rabbi Menachem
Genack, Rabbinic Administrator, OU Kashrut
Wed., Jan.28, 19:00: "The End of Days: Under- standing Events Today
through the Hidden and Revealed Torah", Rabbi Pinchas Winston
Tuesday, January 27, Prayer Workshop with Rabbi David Aaron,
Save this date: Tuesday, May 18, '04 - Leil Yom Yerushalayim; OU
Israel Center Dinner
Chosen People to the Chosen Land, Aloh Na'aleh in conjunction with
the OU Israel Center, Editor: Batsheva Pomeranzt
CPCL #21 • Sh'mot (M'vorchim) 5764, contact: email@example.com
This monthly feature is geared towards encouraging Aliyah... AND
encouraging veteran and new Olim to become more involved in
encouraging and easing the Aliyah of others.
No Matter. Just Come. by Ilene Bloch-Levy
My Israeli husband, who has a particularly fine ear for language,
said he finally realized why English speakers use the phrase "to
make Aliyah". There's an enormous amount of work involved in Aliyah,
he remarked as we hosted Marc, Florence and their five kids in the
summer. Coming to Israel from California, Marc had been
on Tehilla pilot trip #89 last February when I was the
Marc and his family spent most of
the day with us learning about the block of settlements where we
reside, considering whether any of these communities reflected the
lifestyle they wanted to lead when they make Aliyah. Within each
community they delved into questions regarding the athletic,
cultural and educational facilities, youth
groups, transportation, Rabbinic services, shiurim, and chessed
activities. Every query was designed to help work out the Aliyah
The choice to make Aliyah had
already been made. Making it a successful one was a process that
Marc, like many others before him, had to undergo. The more data,
the better the chances of easing into Israeli society - a primary
sign of success.
For my husband, Aliyah was not
really an intellectual, emotional or ideological choice of his - he
was six months old when his parents, survivors of the Nazi
concentration camps, boarded a boat from Cyprus, with two suitcases
in hand and headed for the newly formed State of Israel. Now, many
years later, with 4 generationsin Israel, his parent's Aliyah would
no doubt be considered on the plus side of the statement sheet.
Marc's visit to our yishuv
dovetailed with the departure of Tehilla pilot trip #91. The group
visited 16 communities and heard lectures on practical issues.
Tehilla provided them with packets of information and staff
assisting them with whatever their needs.
They came from well-heeled Jewish
communities, where they enjoyed a rich community life, had a
multitude of Jewish facilities at their fingertips, and excellent
employment opportunities. Their trenchant questions prodded detailed
answers. Polite, inquisitive, a little nervous, but mostly filled
with a burning in their hearts that they
were closing in on the answers they were seeking. The participants
were busy with job interviews, networking and gathering employment
Having helped with the logistics
of two Tehilla pilot trips does not make me an Aliyah expert. Yet, I
am becoming an expert on recognizing when a family's Aliyah
statement sheet has reached an overwhelming credit balance. I know
it because I can sense when a particular community we have visited
has touched a chord in their hearts, when
they can envision their lives intertwine with those already living
Through their eyes I see them
watch their children babbling in Hebrew with other children, and
them filling their Shabbat table with their newfound friends. I can
see them plant the first tree in their garden, and argue with a
repairman in Hebrew. Regardless of the balance sheet, Israel has
grabbed their hearts in a way that makes
all future questions and concerns superfluous.
I watched this on both Tehilla
pilot trips that I facilitated. I see it in Marc's face now, and I
see it in the eyes of those from my summer trip who will come back
and beckon their children, family and friends to enter their home in
No matter that they arrive with
more than the first two suitcases of my husband's parents. No matter
that they will arrive by plane and not by boat. And no matter that
their home will be more substantial than the first tent that my
husband shared with his parents. What matters is that they will
come. And, they will bringtheir hearts with them to this Land. Like
so many before them… and so many after them.
Tehilla has already had Pilot Trip #93!
Eretz Yisrael in Our Sources
One who rents a house abroad - for 30 days he is exempt from a
mezuzah [in case he regrets renting], from then on he is obligated.
But one who rents in Eretz Yisrael puts up a mezuzah immediately,
because of yishuv Eretz Yisrael. Menachot 44
Assisting the Oleh
It's hard enough for Israelis to choose a high school for their
children, especially with the choice in areas like Greater
Jerusalem, all the more so for new olim. Michelle Berkowitz, an
educational consultant, specializing as a Madricha L'tichnun
Chinuchi (MaLaCH), helps children and parents search for the right
school, especially preteens/teens. She
organizes high school fairs and advises parents considering Aliyah
on educational issues, explains Bagrut exams' requirements and
For the past 15 years, Michelle has been involved in Jewish
education in four continents. She studied as a fellow in the ATID
Fellowship Program and researched Dati Leumi Oleh Teens in High
Schools. Upon completing the program, she began working as an
Educational Consultant. Most recently, she coordinated high school
fairsin Bet Shemesh and Jerusalem, publishing handbooks about
schools. Her educational counseling services are also in conjunction
with AACI, Tehilla and Nefesh B'Nefesh.
Some of the services Michelle provides includes: Discussing the
issues olim teens and their families face, emotional transition
process of teens and providing parents with preparation tips to help
ease their teens' difficult transitional points. Michelle believes
in the importance of involving teens in all aspects of the
decision making process in searching for a high school.
For more information: phone: 02-991-9283, fax: 02-992-2367,
cellular: 055-485-476, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here to Stay: Inspiring stories of olim from different periods of
aliya are welcome. The essay should be up to 450 words long and
emphasize one of the following: motives for aliya, contributions to
Israel, how Israel contributed to the oleh, the main challenge in
aliya and overcoming it. Send the essay to: email@example.com.
Writer Dvora Waysman of Bet HaKerem, J'lem, has written 9 books
including "The Pomegranate Pendant" and "Woman of Jerusalem",
inspiring books concerning Jerusalem.
Finding My Home
Israel, like life, is something that happened to me when I wasn't
It is hard for family and friends from my birthplace to understand
why "home" for me now means Israel. I was born, as were my parents,
in Australia, always known as "the lucky country". It is a
beautiful, spacious, sunburned land much praised in poetry and song,
and thousands of tourists flock there yearly. I was happy
there, and will always nurture fond memories and warm
feelings for it.
Then I lived for a few years in London, and that too captured my
heart. It represented the best of all I knew in literature - a
pulsating, vibrant city to live in, steeped in dignity and history.
So why Israel? It is a mystery that I still haven't solved. It was
certainly not my idea to come, but my husband's who wanted our four
children to know that they had a homeland. I fought it vigorously.
When resentment is festering in your heart, nothing is beautiful or
welcoming and I was probably the most reluctant immigrant ever to
make Aliyah. Of course I knew enough Jewish history to understand
about Abraham, who responded to the Divine urge to leave the land of
his birth to travel to an unknown Promised Land. And
I also know that for 2,000 years Jews through the ages have
sought ways to return from the lands of their dispersion to their
ancient homeland Eretz Yisrael.
But what did that have to do with me? At the time, in 1971, religion
was on the fringe of my life, Zionism was just a word and I
certainly wasn't living in a country of distress, or had personally
experienced any real anti-Semitism. "Aliyah" meaning "ascension" was
actually a big step down in quality of life and living
standards, but at the time I had no choice in the matter.
You don't fall in love with Israel easily. It doesn't "grab" at your
senses, like the boulevards of Paris, the enchantment of Tuscany or
the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland. It is much more subtle. I
lived in Jerusalem for years before one day I realized it had
captured my heart. And after that, it never let go.
I suppose it began with the people - with the ordinary people, whose
lives add up to the extraordinary story of modern Israel. Most of
them were born abroad, and they bring to the State the culture of
half the world - a human, ethnic mosaic. Even when you go to
Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market, among the shoppers you still
see old ladies shuffling along wearing the faded costumes of
their forgotten communities. It is a place where everyone rubs
elbows... saints, sinners, philosophers, cobblers, spice merchants,
professors, nuns, holy men, doctors and housewives.
Eventually I discovered the Kotel, the Western Wall. Judaism's
holiest site, I was unmoved when I first saw it. But once when I
really needed to pray, I went there and communed one-to-One with the
Creator. I can never explain the sense of peace and serenity that
washed over me like a blessing. They say G-d's presence has
never departed from there, and now it is where I go for
comfort and guidance. I have never been dis- appointed.
They say that if you live in Israel and don't believe in miracles,
then you are not a realist. We expect them all the time - we even
rely on them. The State of Israel, that has survived for 55 years
despite never-ceasing efforts to destroy it, is a miracle; just as
the Six-Day-War and the Entebbe rescue were miracles. "Ye'hiyeb'seder"...
it will be OK, is one of the most common sentences heard here,
covering everything from financial to marital to health problems. We
don't say it for comfort, but because we really believe it.
When we travel anywhere in Israel, our hearts lift up at the unique
beauty of the land... Eilat in the south with its turquoise waters,
palm trees and flamboyant coral reefs; the loneliness and stark
symmetry of the Negev desert; the lunar landscape of the Dead Sea
area, and the ibex silhouetted against the skyline of EinGedi; the
inspiration of Masada; the sparkling waters of Lake Kinneret; the
lushness of the Galilee and the Jezreel Valley; the majesty of the
Golan Heights. And everywhere - holy sites and archaeological ruins
that prove the authenticity of the Bible and let our history enter
every pore of our bodies, until we become
saturated with its weight and solemnity.
I have lived in Jerusalem for 32 years. It has not always been easy.
But I know that every time I leave, it is like an amputation. If one
day I am granted a place in Paradise, I am convinced it will look
just like Jerusalem.
Bet HaKerem, Jerusalem by David Magence Licensed Tour Guide
Bet HaKerem was established in 1922 and is named for the Biblical
town (Yirmiyahu 6:1), identified by some as being Ein Kerem. When it
was founded, Bet HaKerem was so isolated its charter stated the goal
of "building a Hebrew neighborhood near Jerusalem"!
Among its founders were many teachers. Since 1929, Bet HaKerem is
home to the David Yellin Teachers' College, Israel's largest secular
teachers' college. The College was established in 1913 by David
Yellin in response to the "war of languages". Yellin led the fight
to use Hebrew as the exclusive language of learning, instead of
The Gan HaEsrim park in the center of Bet HaKerem commemorates its
20 residents who gave their lives fighting in the War of
Kikar Denya (Denmark Square) honors the Danish people who rescued
80% of its Jewish population during the Holocaust. When it became
clear that the Nazis intended to send the Danish Jews to
concentration camps, the Danish underground smuggled Jews to Sweden,
a neutral country. The monument in the square is shaped like a boat,
like those used to take Jews to nearby Sweden. Not only did the
Danes save their Jews - no one stole from the Jews during their
Bet HaKerem has a central synagogue and a yeshiva.
OU ISRAEL CENTER
Seymour J. Abrams Orthodox Union Jerusalem World Center
Yitzchak Fund, President
Rabbi Emanuel Quint, Senior Vice President
Prof. Meni Koslowsky, Vice President
Sandy Kestenbaum, Vaad member
Rabbi Dovid Cohen, Vaad Member
Menachem Persoff, Director, Israel Center
Phil Chernofsky, Educational Director and TT editor
Ita Rochel Russek, Production Assistant and Advertising Manager,
22 Keren Ha'Yesod POB 37015 Jerusalem 91370
Phone: (02) 566 7787 Fax: (02) 561-7432 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
websites: www.ou.org/torah/tt and www.ou.org/israel/ic
Orthodox Union • National Conference of Synagogue Youth
This publication and many of the programs of the Israel Center and
NCSY b'Yisrael are assisted by grants from The Jewish Agency for
TT is published and printed "in house" at the Israel Center
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