Shabbat Parshat MISHPATIM -
TT #654 - February
4-5,26 Shvat 5765
This Shabbat is the 143rd day (of 383); the 21st Shabbat (of 55) of
...V'ETNA L'CHA ET LUCHOT HA'EVEN V'HATORAH V'HAMITZVA... (SH'MOT
Z'MANIM - HALACHIC TIMES -
Correct for TT #654
Ranges are THU-THU 24 Shvat - 1 Adar A (Feb 3-10)
Earliest Shacharit - 5:39-5:35am
Sunrise - 6:31-6:26am
Sof Z'man Kri'at Sh'ma - 9:12-9:09am (8:26-8:24am)
Sof Z'man T'fila - 10:05-10:04am (9:35-9:33am)
Chatzot (halachic noon) - 11:53-11:53am
Mincha Gedola (earliest Mincha) - 12:23-12:24pm
Plag Mincha - 4:08-4:13pm
Sunset - 5:20-5:26pm (5:15-5:21½pm)
*Concerning "Earliest Shacharit", the time is actually the earliest time for
Tallit & T'fillin. In extenuating circumstances, one may daven earlier than
T&T time, but will have to do so without T&T, until their later time. A fast
begins earlier than T&T time, namely Olot HaShachar.
Correct for TT 654 • Rabbeinu Tam (J'm) - 6:34pm
4:41pm Jerusalem 5:55pm
5:00pm Gush Katif 5:59pm
4:57pm Raanana 5:56pm
4:57pm Beit Shemesh 5:56pm
4:56pm Netanya 5:56pm
4:58pm Rehovot 5:56pm
4:37pm Petach Tikva 5:56pm
4:56pm Modi'in 5:56pm
4:58pm Be'er Sheva 5:57pm
4:56pm Gush Etzion 5:55pm
4:56pm Ginot Shomron 5:55pm
4:41pm Maale Adumim 5:54pm
4:48pm Tzfat 5:53pm
4:57pm K4 & Hevron 5:56pm
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 can be 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 consider because of the strictness
of 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 that timing. 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 table. 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 is
presented in parentheses.
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 Adar Alef. In the time of Sanhedrin (past & future), the month is
called ADAR and if the year is to be intercalated, then the following month
is also called ADAR. The designation of ALEF & BET and RISHON & SHENI is a
fixed calendar convention.
ROSH CHODESH ADAR RISHON YIH-YEH B'YOM R'VI'I UV'YOM CHAMISHI HABA ALEINU
V'AL KOL YISRA'EL L'TOVA
The molad is WED 4h 56m 4p (4:35am)
HAMOLAD YIH-YEH B'YOM R'VI'I, CHAMISHIM VASHESH DAKOT V'ARBA'A CHALAKIM
ACHAREI ARBA BABOKER
In Rambam notation: 14:1012
The actual (astronomical) molad is WED 9 FEB 00:28 (4 hrs. earlier)
When there is Rosh Chodesh Adar Rishon, it is Sun-Mon 28½% of the time;
Tue-Wed, 27%; Wed-Thu (this year), 10½%; Fri-SHA, 34%
Matan Torah - Second Look
Right after the account of Creation of the World in Parshat B'reishit, we
find another presentation of the account of Creation. It is by no means
merely a repeat of the first account; it allows us a different perspective
on Creation in general and of human beings in particular.
So too do we find, shortly
after the account of Maamad Har Sinai and Matan Torah, a second description,
which offers us a different perspective on the events as significant to us
as is Creation to the world (including us).
There are different suggestions
as to why the account of Matan Torah is presented twice. One simple idea is
that it becomes clear that all the laws and details of Mishpatim can be seen
as part of Revelation at Sinai. This idea is supported by the VAV of V'EILEH
HAMISHPATIM, upon which Rashi comments that it comes to state: Just as the
mitzvot of the Aseret HaDibrot were given at Sinai, so too were all of the
mitzvot of Mishpatim.
Regardless of why, though, let
us look at the "what" of this second description of Matan Torah.
First, let's just go back one
notch. After the main mitzva-content of Mishpatim, the Torah tells us that
we will be escorted into the Land that HaShem has prepared for us - Eretz
Yisrael. Two more mitzvot are included for that experience.
Then the Torah takes us back to
shortly before Matan Torah. G-d had told Moshe to ascend the mountain...
This, says Rashi was on 4 Sivan. On that same day, Moshe told the people of
G-d's commands concerning the restrictions during the days before Matan
Torah, and reviewed with them the Seven Noahide laws, Shabbat, Honoring
Parents, Para Aduma, and other topics that had been presented at Mara (Rashi
quoting the Gemara). Moshe then wrote down the part of the Torah from
B'reishit until Matan Torah, in addition to the mitzvot from Mara. A
Mizbei'ach was built at the foot of Har Sinai. This was on the following
morning (5 Sivan). He also erected 12 pillars - one for each Tribe.
Firstborns from among the people (they had not yet lost their "kohein-like"
status) offered bulls as Olah and Shlamim sacrifices. The blood from the
korbanot was sprinkled, half on the Mizbei'ach and half over the people. The
Book of the Covenant (as mentioned earlier, containing from B'reishit until
Matan Torah and the mitzvot presented at Mara) was read to the people. That
was when they (we) responded NAASEH V'MISHMA. Aharon, his sons, and the
Elders accompanied Moshe (part way up the mountain?) where they had a holy
"pre-Matan Torah" vision.
The Torah then skips to right
after Matan Torah, when G-d asks Moshe to ascend the Mountain and remain
there to receive the stone Luchot, the Torah, and the Mitzvot that I (G-d)
have written to teach the people. When Moshe reached the top of Har Sinai, a
cloud enveloped the Mountain. The cloud remained for six days, and on the
seventh day G-d called to Moshe. Moshe was to remain there for 40 days and
Among other things, a very
significant message from this second account of Matan Torah at the end of
Mishpatim is to connect the Aseret HaDibrot with the rest of Torah and
Mitzvot, and to connect the experience of Revelation at Sinai with the 40
days/nights that followed. All of Torah is from Sinai.
18th of 54 sedras; 6th of 11 in Sh'mot
Written on 185 lines in a Sefer Torah, ranks 31st
33 parshiyot; 6 open and 27 closed 3rd most in the Torah; 2nd most S’tumot
118 p'sukim - ranks 22nd (5th in Sh’mot)
1462 words - ranks 31st (7th in Sh’mot)
5313 letters - ranks 37th (8th in Sh’mot)
The noticeable drop in ranking from p’sukim to words indicates short p’sukim;
in fact, Mishpatim’s p'sukim are among the shortest in the Torah.
The large number of Parshiyot makes the sedra look larger (in number of
lines) than it actually is (see rank for letters)
MISHPATIM has 53 mitzvot; 23 positive and 30 prohibitions. Only 3 sedras
have more mitzvot.
Mishpatim has 8.65% of the Torah's mitzvot (1.85% is average); 48% of the
mitzvot in Sh'mot
Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary
Numbers in [square brackets] are the Mitzva-count of Sefer HaChinuch AND
Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvot. A=ASEI (positive mitzva); L=LAV (prohibition). X:Y
is the perek and pasuk from which the mitzva comes.
[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
When a mitzva is mentioned and
no numbers are indicated, it means that the mitzva is counted elsewhere, but
is still found in Mishpatim. This being the case, it makes Mishpatim even
more mitzva-filled than its already high count indicates.
Kohen - First Aliya -19 p'sukim - 21:1-19
[P> 21:1 (6)] EVED IVRI, a Jewish male indentured servant, works for 6 years
and goes free in the 7th year. He leaves as he entered, i.e. if he had a
wife and children previously, they, of course, leave with him. If, on the
other hand, his master had given him a SHIFCHA CANAANIT as a wife, she and
any children he fathered remain the possessions of the master - they are
halachically not his wife or children.
[By the way, if the SHIFCHA
and/or the children are subsequently freed, they become Jews - unrelated to
their "husband" or biological father, the former EVED IVRI. The process is
analogous to conversion. It's more complicated than presented, does not
apply in our time, but that's the idea.]
If the EVED IVRI wants to
remain in his master's service, his ear is pierced (a symbolic rebuke: "The
ear that heard at Sinai that we are G-d's servants, should not want to be a
servant to a servant.") and now he serves "forever" (until Yovel). The
details of EVED IVRI constitute a positive commandment [42,A232 21:1].
SDT Of all the topics to begin
this mitzva-filled sedra, we see a significance in the Torah's choice of
SERVITUDE. This is part of the definition of Belief in G-d, the first
Commandment. G-d puts Himself in the context of He Who freed us from
slavery. We should not be slaves anymore; we probably shouldn't have any.
Butat a time when it was still practiced, we are duty-bound to treat the
EVED in the manner commanded by the Torah, thus reflecting our belief in
As you can tell by the large
number of parshiyot, the many topics and mitzvot are subdivided well in this
sedra. This indicates not only many mitzvot, but many different types and
categories of mitzvot. The first parsha deals with EVED IVRI, as just
explained, and is introduced by the opening pasuk of this entire mitzva-filled
sedra - And these are the laws that you shall place before them...
[S> 21:7 (5)] A man can arrange
for his daughter to be "in service". She, the AMA IVRIYA, does not have the
same rules as an EVED IVRI. Either her master, master's son, or someone
else, takes her as a wife [43,A233 21:8] with the full rights and respect
accorded a Jewish wife - NOT LESS [46,L262 21:10], or she is to be redeemed
or returned to her family [44,A234 21:8], but she may not be sold to anyone
else [45,L261 21:8] or belittled or disgraced.
The alternative to the above
options is to free her completely. (Apparently, the purpose of AMA IVRIYA is
to help the young girl improve her status in society.)
It is interesting and important to note that mitzva #46 includes giving ALL
wives (not just the former maid- servant) their rights under Jewish Law.
This is an example (there are others) of a mitzva whose context in the
Written Torah is narrow, but whose scope, as taught to us by the Oral Torah,
is much broader. Please note that this is NOT a case of Rabbinic extension
of Torah Law, nor of Rabbinic legislation. It is a DEFINITION of the Torah's
intent, as transmitted to us via the Oral Tradition. Our Sages did both -
transmit G-d's law and legislate their laws... and tell us which is which.
[S> 21:12 (2)] Murder is
punishable by beheading, known as HEREG or SAYIF. This is an example of the
Torah's presenting both a warning - LO TIRTZACH, Thou shalt not murder, and
a punishment - He who strikes a man and he dies, he shall be put to death.
There are 4 capital
punishments, each fitting particular crimes and sins. Rambam counts four
separate mitzvot commanding the courts to carry out executions when someone
is thus sentenced. At this point in Mishpatim, Rambam counts the mitzva to
execute by strangulation he who is tried, convicted, and sentenced for a sin
whose punishment is strangulation [47,A227 21:12]. (It seems that this
mitzva was meant to link to 21:16 below, because the punishment fits that
Unintentional killers are provided with a place of refuge.
[S> 21:14 (1)] A intentional
murderer who flees to a city of refuge is forcibly returned to stand
[S> 21:15 (1)] Striking one's
parents (and drawing blood) is a capital offense [48,L319 21:15].
[S> 21:16 (1)] Kidnapping
(which was prohibited by LO TIGNOV, Commandment #8) is a capital offense if
the kidnapper sells the victim into slavery. (Rashi explains the seeming
anomaly in the text.)
[S> 21:17 (1)] Cursing one's
parent (even after death) is a capital offense.
[S> 21:18 (2)] If one inflicts
a non-fatal injury upon another, he must pay full compensation based on five
factors: damage, pain, insult, expenses, and lost earning potential [49,A236
Implied in this concluding
portion of the first Aliya is our Jewish and human obligation and challenge
to heal the sick. This derives from the double wording of V'RAPO Y'RAPEI. We
do not see G-d as the only healer, so to speak. Of course, everything
depends upon G-d, but He expects us, so to speak, to do our share of the
task of healing. He supervises that, and takes over when we've done all we
Levi - Second Aliya - 21 p'sukim - 21:20-22:3
[S> 21:20 (2)] Next we have the command to the courts to carry out the
punishment for murder, namely, execution by beheading [50,A226 21:20]. It is
significant that the Torah "chose" as the context for this mitzva, the
situation of one who beat his EVED CANAANI to death. This is considered an
act of murder, the world's attitude and mistreatment of slaves throughout
history notwithstanding. In Jewish law, one may not mistreat his slaves. On
the other hand, corporal punishment which does not result in death or even
the loss of limb, is within the prerogative of the slave's owner. (But even
causing a tooth to fall out is considered excessive and results in the slave
[S> 21:22 (4)] The Torah next
elaborates on the rules of personal injuries requiring the guilty party to
pay compensatory damages. The famous "an eye for an eye..." passage has
stimulated much slander against the Torah and Judaism by being construed
literally. Our Oral Tradition explains the passage as requiring a thorough
evaluation by the court to determine the proper amounts to be paid to the
[S> 21:26 (2)] A few p'sukim
back, the Torah was discussing killing a slave or just injuring him mildly.
Here the Torah teaches that if striking a slave causes the loss of an eye...
or even a tooth, the slave acquires his freedom.
[P> 21:28 (5)] The next passage
of the Torah deals with damages caused by one's ox (all animals are
included; the Torah uses a practical example) [51,A237 21:28]. We
distinguish between damages that can, and therefore must be foreseen by the
owner (for which he is held completely responsible), as opposed to an
unexpected and unusual action by the animal that causes damage, for which
the owner is held only partially responsible.
An animal that kills a human,
is to be destroyed by stoning and its carcass may not benefit anyone
[S> 21:33 (2)] The Torah then
discusses damages caused by a pit dug in the ground and negligently left
uncovered [53,A238 21:33].
The Gemara enumerates various
categories of damages. Each case is to be examined on its own merits, so
that the fairest treatment of the parties will result. For example...
[S> 21:35 (2)] If an ox owned
by one person gores the ox of another person and kills it, then the two
owners share the responsibility and each gets 50% of the value of both the
live ox and the dead one. But if the ox that gored had developed a
reputation for violent attacks, then its owner is held more accountable. He
gives his live ox to the other owner and takes the carcass of the dead ox.
It has value, but not as much as a live ox.
[S> 21:37 (4)] Stealing an
animal for slaughter or sale is punished by compensation of 4-5 times market
value. This reflects the seriousness of stealing another person's
If a thief is caught
"red-handed" and is killed by the home-owner, there are certain
circumstances for which the killing would be justified, and other cases
where it would be considered criminal. This is the very sensitive passage
that deals with self-defense and preemptive action to protect oneself. The
Torah presents both possibilities; it is the Court (of 23) that would have
to rule on specific cases and perhaps provide us with rough guidelines to
distinguish between cases. This is the Torah source of "He who comes to kill
you, beat him to the draw (so to speak) and kill him first."
A thief who voluntarily turns
himself in repays that which he stole. (In certain cases where a false oath
compounded a theft, there can be an added penalty of “one fifth - 25% more
than the principal.) If a thief is caught, he pays double [54,A239 22:2], or
4-5 times in the case of livestock, as mentioned above.
A thief (male, not female) who cannot make full restitution can be sold by
the court as an Eved Ivri in order to pay off his debts.
Shlishi - Third Aliya - 23 p'sukim - 22:4-26
[S> 22:4 (1)] Compensation must be made for damages caused by one's animal's
grazing on another's property [55, A240 22:4]
[S> 22:5 (1)] So too, if
damages result from a fire that one carelessly caused, he must pay damages.
[S> 22:6 (4)] Next, the Torah
presents the responsibilities of guardianship - when one is watching that
which belongs to someone else without being paid for the service, then the
guardian is responsible if something happens to that which he is watching,
only if he was negligent in his guardianship. Properly carrying out the laws
of the SHOMEIR CHINAM are a positive mitzva [57,A242 22:6].
[S> 22:9 (4)] There are
differences in the rules in the case that the guardian is being paid for his
services. E.g. paying someone to house-sit while one is on vacation. Because
the guardian is being compensated for his watching, he is held responsible
for some situations besides his own negligence. These rules also constitute
a mitzva [59,A243 22:9]. Included in the rules for SHOMEIR SACHAR are the
rules for renting.
The courts are charged [58,A246
22:8] with careful handling all of these types of cases.
[P> 22:13 (2)] The fourth
"guardian" is the borrower who is responsible for all losses except the
death of a work animal in the normal course of work [60,A244 22:13], (and by
extension, the ruin of an object from "normal wear & tear").
[S> 22:15 (2)] A man who
seduces an unmarried woman is required to pay punitive damages to her &/or
her father. And he must marry her, if she insists [61,A220 22:15].
[S> 22:17 (2)] Sorcery is a
capital offense, and it is forbidden for the courts not to judge and execute
its practitioners [62,L310 22:17].
Bestiality is a capital offense.
[S> 22:19 (8)] Sacrificing to a
god other than HaShem is condemned (to death).
A convert to Judaism must not
be embarrassed or taken advantage of with words [63,L252 22:20] or in money
matters [64,L253 22:20]. These rules vis a vis the Ger are in addition to
the "regular" prohibitions of embarrassing and taking advantage of any Jew.
Thus the Torah sensitizes us to the plight of the more vulnerable members of
our society. The Torah spells this out vis a vis the orphan and widow
With so many different
parshiyot to handle so many different mitzvot, it is instructive to notice
which mitzvot find themselves in a single parsha. Here we find the
requirements of sensitive behavior towards the convert, widow and orphan
sharing a parsha with sacrificing to idolatry. One can imagine G-d saying to
us, be very careful, I take this as seriously as that. Mistreat a GER? That
to Me is as serious as if you mistreated Me, so to speak.
[P> 22:24 (3)] It is a mitzva
to lend money to a poor person [66,A197 22:24] and not demand repayment when
none is reasonably forthcoming [67,L234 22:24]. Included in this passage is
the prohibition of charging interest on personal loans or having any part in
such a loan [68,L237 22:20].
If one took a poor person's
bedding as security for a loan, it must be returned each evening for his
use. This is but one of the many lesson's in the Torah in G'milut Chasadim.
Note that the Torah requires a
behavior of us that is far above the standards of the world, even the
civilized world. The rest of the world recognizes that taking advantage of
people by charging exorbitant interest is wrong. Usury or loan-sharking is
understood to be improper by most societies. Charging a "reasonable" amount
of interest is universally accepted as okay. Except within the Jewish
community. People might not always live up to G-d's expectations of us, but
we are sup- posed to. This is our raison d'etre.
R'vi'i - Fourth Aliya - 9 p'sukim - 22:27-23:5
[S> 22:27 (4)] Do not curse judges [69,L315 22:27] nor The Judge (i.e.
blasphemy) [70,L60 22:27], nor may we curse our leaders [71,L316 22:27].
Note that 69 & 70 are counted as two separate mitzvot (prohibitions)
although they share the very same words in the verse - ELOHIM LO T'KALEIL.
Here, Elokim is taken as referring to G-d, as well as Elohim, meaning
Do not withhold the gifts of
the produce - T'ruma, Maaser, etc. - nor confuse the order in which these
gifts should be taken from produce [72, L154 22:28].
Firstborn sons are to "be given to G-d" (i.e. redeemed, Pidyon HaBen).
First- born cows, goats, and sheep are sanctified and require special
The Torah here briefly mentions the prohibition of taking an animal for a
korban from its mother before it is eight days old. Such a korban would be
automatically invalid, a M'CHUSAR Z'MAN, lacking in time.
TREIFA, literally an animal
torn up by a predator and left to die, is forbidden to eat (even though the
animal was actually killed by sh'chita, ritual slaughter), but other
benefits may be derived from it. Included in the laws of TREIFA are animals
found, upon post-mortem examination, to have specific defects [73,L181
22:30]. Note that the term TREIF is also used for all non-kosher
How's that for an interesting
collection of mitzvot to be contained within one parsha!
[S> 23:1 (3)] Courts many not
hear one side of a dispute without the other party being present [74,L281
23:1]. Included in this prohibition is not being influenced by rumors.
Judges may not accept testimony from unworthy witnesses [75,L286 23:1]. A
majority of one is not sufficient to convict in a capital or corporal cases
[76,L282 23:2]. In their deliberations, judges must be careful not to do
anything that might pervert justice or unfairly shift the feelings of the
court against the accused [77, L283 23:2]. Generally, rules of law are
determined by majority vote of the judges [78,A175 23:2]. Judges may not
show favoritism, even towards the less fortunate [79,L277 23:3].
SDT A judge's heart might go
out to a poor person who stands before him in a dispute with a wealthy man.
Would it not be an act of kindness, of Chessed, to see to it that the poor
person wins the dispute? NO! Not at the expense of justice. A judge wants to
give charity? Fine. He wants to convince the rich guy to help the poor guy
out? Good. But justice must be fairly meted out. Every bent case shakes the
whole society's confidence in the justice system.
[S> 23:4 (1)] If one finds a
stray animal, he shall return it to its rightful owner (even if it involves
personal expense). This command is related to Lost & Found whose "primary"
place is Ki Teitzei.
[S> 23:5 (1)] One must help
even his enemy unload his beast of burden [80,A202 23:5]. This mitzva is one
of several that are considered the sources of the concept of TZAAR BAALEI
SDT The Sefer HaChinuch says
that if this mitzva applies to a donkey, how much more so does it apply to
humans. If one sees a fellow person loaded down with bundles, it is a Torah
mitzva to help him with them.
And what might follow from that
idea is that when someone offers to help you with packages, don't
immediately say "no thank you". It is a nice thing to be gracious and accept
the help - good for you and a merit for the other.
By the way, when someone does a
mitzva that is also helpful to you, it is proper to say THANK YOU and TIZKEH
L'MITZVOT. Thank you addresses the BEIN ADAM L'CHAVEIRO aspect of what was
done, and Tizkeh L'Mitzvot relates to the BEIN ADAM LAMAKOM.
Chamishi - Fifth Aliya - 14 p'sukim - 23:6-19
[S> 23:6 (14)] One must not pervert justice even by slanting a case against
a wicked person [81,L278 23:6]. Keep far away from falsehood and be careful
not to build a case on circumstantial evidence and supposition [82,L290
23:7]. Do not take bribes, even if they won't affect the outcome of a case
[83,L274 23:8]. Do not oppress a stranger (convert?); this is a lesson of
the Egyptian experience. One's fields are to be worked for six years and
rested during the seventh, so that the poor and even the wildlife will be
able to enjoy the land [84,A134 23:11]. One must abstain from all manner of
creative Melacha on Shabbat [85, A154 23:12].(This mitzva is the positive
counterpart of the prohibition of melacha on Shabbat from Commandment #4. It
gives a positive slant to the restrictions of Shabbat. As Dayan Grunfeld z"l
puts it, we lay at the feet of G-d in homage to Him the Creator, the various
gifts and skills He gave us for our workaday week. This partially explains
the significance of the distinction between “abstain from” and “do not do”.)
Swearing in the name of (and
sometimes even just mentioning) a deity is forbidden [96,L14 23:13]. One
should avoid popular interjections whose origins are associated with other
religions - Gee!, Holy cow! Etc.
Inciting others to idolatry
(even with- out worshiping) is forbidden [87,L15 23:13]. Chagiga offerings
in the Mikdash are to be brought on each of the Three Festivals [88,A52
23:14]. Matzot are to be eaten during the 7 days of Pesach. It marks the
Spring season during which we left Egypt. We must not appear empty- handed
at the Temple (but rather bring specific Festival sacrifices). Shavuot is
the Festival of the First Harvest and Sukkot marks the final harvest at "the
turn of the year". We are expected to go to Jerusalem for the Three
Festivals. The Korban Pesach may not be brought while we are in possession
of Chametz [89,L115 23:18] nor may its fats be left over for the morning
[90,L116 23:18]. Bikurim are to be brought to the Mikdash from Shavuot time
and on [91,A125 23:19]; it is forbidden to cook meat with milk [92,L186
Shishi - Sixth Aliya -6 p'sukim - 23:20-25
[P> 23:20 (6)] G-d will send an angel (a prophet?) to lead and protect the
People upon our entrance into the Promised Land. We must heed his words so
that our enemies will fall before us. We may not bow to idols, nor worship
them, nor learn from the deeds of pagans; we must destroy their idols. We
must serve G-d and He will bless us with wealth and health.
Sh'vi'i - Seventh Aliya - 26 p'sukim - 23:26-24:18
[S> 23:26 (8)] G-d promises that we will live full satisfying lives and that
our enemies will panic before us and will be driven out of the Land - not
quickly, but slowly, so that the People of Israel may properly populate the
SDT Wait a minute! Miracles,
laws of nature turned upside down. Plagues. Splitting of the Sea. Manna.
Water from this and that. MA PITOM that we will only take over the Land of
Israel slowly? What about a couple of miracles to handle the problem? The
answer is that miracles are nice, but we don't live by them. We get them
when we need them. But if the purpose of going (coming) to Eretz Yisrael is
to live a Torah life in the place it was made for, then we have to do it
naturally. This is the difference between the suspended animation experience
of the Midbar and the down to earth, practical life in Eretz Yisrael.
We may not make treaties with
the 7 Nations nor with other idolaters [93, L48 23:32], nor shall we permit
idolaters a foothold in the Land [94,L51 23:33], so that we will not be
entrapped by them.
[P> 24:1 (11)] The sedra
concludes with a description of Matan Torah, including the famous NAASEH
V'NISHMA response of the People to the offer of a Torah way of Life. Some of
the things described in this portion "confuse" commentaries as to when they
exactly happened. (See Lead Tidbit)
[S> 24:12 (7)] This final
parsha of Mishpatim seems to be the immediate aftermath of Matan Torah. G-d
tells Moshe that He will be giving him the Luchot And the Torah and the
mitzvot. After six days of "cloud-cover", which prevented Moshe from
ascending Har Sinai, he is then welcomed on the 7th day. He remains on the
mountain for 40 days and 40 nights.
The last 4 p'sukim are reread
Haftara - 17 p'sukim - Yirmiyahu 34:8-22, 33:25-26
A very unusual haftara for at least 2 reasons. Look at the perek:pasuk
description of the haftara. After reading 15 p'sukim, we go BACK and finish
with another 2 p'sukim. There are other haftarot with skipping, but none
that finish with an earlier text.
Secondly, this "regular"
haftara for Mishpatim is preempted often. 60% of the time, Mishpatim is
Shabbat Parshat Sh'kalim and the Sh'kalim haftara is read.
Another 5.8% of the time,
Mishpatim is Rosh Chodesh (which also can happen with Mishpatim-Sh'kalim).
Another 10½% of the time, Mishpatim is Machar Chodesh, with its special
haftara. The regular haftara of Mishtim is read only 23.8% of the time.
Although that means a little less often than once in four years, the
distribution of the different year-types are not "neat" The last time we
read the regular haftara of Mishpatim was 10 years ago - 5755 ('95). And
before that - a year earlier. So far, only TT #93 and #144 had the regular
haftara. And now, TT #654 as well.
The sedra talks about proper
treatment of Jewish servants (slaves) and Yirmiyahu decries the fact that
the ruling class at his time reneged on their oath to free their Jewish
slaves. In a more general sense, the sedra has many mitzvot that teach us
sensitivity and proper treatment of the less fortunate in society. The
haftara highlights a lack of that sensitivity and the punishment of
destruction because of it.
The last two p'sukim allow us
to end the haftara on a good note, with G-d's promise of Redemption, as sure
as G-d created the world.
THE JERUSALEM INSTITUTE OF JEWISH LAW - Rabbi Emanuel Quint, Dean
Lesson # 270 (part three) •Labor Law
Wages Rise or Fall in the Community
The employer hires employees to work for him as watchmen for $5 an hour,
which is the standard community wage for such a job. The average wages paid
to watchmen in the community fall to $4 an hour. The employer appears before
his employees looking upset and the employees assuage the employer's
feelings with words, but nothing is mentioned about a cut in wages. The
employer must pay the employees the agreed-upon wage of $5 an hour.
Similarly if the average wages paid to watchmen in the community rise to $6
and the watchmen appear upset and the employer assuages the employees with
words, he need not pay them more than the $5 an hour agreed upon at the
However, if there are
conversations held regarding the new average wages, whether higher or lower,
and the one party tells the other party to continue working or they would
continue to work, it is taken as an indication that the other party agreed
to the change in the wage, although not specifically expressed.
The average wage for watchmen when the employer hires the employee is $5 an
hour, but they agree that the employee will receive $4 an hour. The wages
for watchmen in the community fall to $4 an hour. The employer demands that
the employee take a proportionate cut in wages. His plea is dismissed by
Beth Din. Similarly if the average wage rises to $6 an hour, and the
employee demands that his wages be raised proportionately, his plea is
dismissed. However, if the wages to be paid were linked to the average wage,
such as the employee is to be paid $1 an hour more than the average wage,
and the average wage rises or falls, then his wages rise or fall.
Early termination of
In the area of labor law, as in many other areas of the law, there are
usually govern- mental laws and regulations, as well as local customs that
will govern. Also there are many collective bargaining agreements between
employers and unions and other large or small groupings of workers, or very
often between an employer and just one or a few employees. Assuming these
agreements do not contravene halacha, they will usually control the
employer-employee relationship. There may, however, be employers who hire
only a few employees who may not be governed by the laws of the land or by
labor agreements that take in large groups of workers. Or they do not want
to be governed by such laws and specifically want to be governed by halacha
free of any laws or agreements. Not subject to any laws or formal
agreements, the employer and the employee enter into an employment
"understanding" for a day or for a longer period of time and one of the
parties wishes to terminate the under- standing prior to its completion. In
these lessons, I use the term agreement to mean a formal arrangement,
usually entered into by a kinyan or other formal method, or any other method
recognized by the govern- mental authorities, and understanding to indicate
a less formal arrangement between the parties, usually oral, and not
spelling out all of the terms and conditions. Most of the laws were first
developed when there were few, if any, skilled workers.
Those who were skilled were
generally independent contractors. Most of the workers were farm workers
hired on a day-to-day basis to plow, plant, irrigate, or harvest crops. Most
such workers were paid a trifle above the acceptable minimum wage; the
minimum wage was what an unemployed worker, such as a watchman or delivery
man, would accept if someone offered him work. Thus, very often the
difference between the minimum wage and the agreed-upon wage was small, but
this small amount very often also represented the difference between being
able or not being able to buy food and clothing.
How long is the term of the
understanding? May one side terminate the understanding without the approval
of the other side, and if he does, what are the rights of the parties?
Halacha sometimes makes distinctions as to when one side disappoints the
other. The employee disappoints the employer when the employee resigns his
position; the employer disappoints the employee when the employer fires the
employee or otherwise terminates the employment sooner than expected. I have
designated the party who reneges on his part of the understanding to be the
"disappointing party" and the other person to be the “disappointed party."
Did the disappointment occur before the work was supposed to commence,
before the worker showed up at the place of employment, or after the worker
had commenced to perform? Will the other party bear an irreparable loss as a
result of the disappointment by the other party? Many of the laws are
reciprocal regarding one party disappointing the other by not fulfilling the
understanding between them.
The laws of the land governing
labor relations will usually govern, such as to minimum wages, hours to be
worked, retirement and pensions, vacations, health care, seniority, other
perks and any other matters known as labor relations.
There is a difference of
opinion as to whether Halacha permits a person to enter into a formal
agreement of employment, thereby implicitly waiving his rights under Torah
law to leave his employment at any time. The accepted present view seems to
be that an employee can enter into an employment agreement and it will be
binding upon him. Such contracts or agreements are made binding by a kinyan
being performed by the party who is to be bound, usually both the employee
and employer. In the contracts between the employer and the employee,
whether an individual or a large group in a geographic area, an industry, or
certain types of workers or members of unions, the many other facets of
labor relations will govern in addition to the laws of the land.
There are also times that the
parties may bind themselves by an oath to carry out the terms of their
understanding or by a handshake if that is a method recognized by the
customs of the community to be the equivalent to an oath.
Coming next week: The
Employee's Right to Terminate the Employment and more, on Early Termination
The subject matter of this lesson is more fully discussed in volume IX
chapter 332-333 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 bookstores. Questions
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
We learn in the Mishna that a person should be prompt to greet others: "Rebbe
Matia ben Charash says, be first to greet [literally, say Shalom to] all
people" (Avot 4:16). The reason for this is elaborated in the gemara in
Berakhot (17a): "A pearl [valuable adage] in the mouth of Abaye: A person
should always be sly inreverence, for 'A soft reply turns away wrath' (Mishlei
15:1), and increase peace among his brothers and his relatives and with
every man, and even a stranger in the marketplace, so that he may be beloved
on high and esteemed below, and should be accepted among human beings. It
was said of Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai that no one ever preceded him in a
greeting [of Shalom], even a stranger in the marketplace."
We see that the reason for
trying to be the first to greet others is simply in order to be friendly to
others and accepted among them. (A passage with a parallel message is found
in Kiddushin 33a.)
The Shulchan Arukh brings an
almost identical halakha, but with a very different message: "It is at all
times forbidden to double a greeting [literally, Shalom] to a pagan.
Therefore it is best to precede to greet him, so that the pagan won't
precede him and obligate him to double the greeting" (SA YD 148:10).
(It seems that the custom in
the time of the Mishna was that when greeted, a person would reply with a
double greeting. This is similar to the custom in Yiddish, where when a
person says "gut morgan" good morning, the standard reply is "gut morgan,
gut yahr" good morning and a good year. See Derishah YD 148:6.)
Here it seems like greeting the
stranger is in itself a negative thing. However, since delaying the greeting
would obligate us to say an even more elaborate one, we compromise by being
the first to say Shalom. This halakha is based on the gemara in Gittin (62a)
which forbids doubling Shalom to a pagan, and relates that Rav Chisda used
to precede saying Shalom; evidently this was in order to avoid having to
double the greeting.
A number of Rishonim resolve
this paradox by explaining that the gemara in Gittin is talking about a
greeting which refers to Hashem. (This makes sense in the context of the
passage there, which previously stated that we may encourage non-Jews in
their agricultural work in the Sabbatical year, but only by directly urging
them on without saying "Shalom" which is a name of Hashem.) Whereas the
passage in Berakhot refers to an ordinary polite greeting.
We should always be eager to
show our desire for friendly relations with all people by being the first to
greet them. We seek partnership with other nations in everything relating to
creating an orderly and enlightened society. This was the custom of Rabban
Yochanan ben Zakkai who was always the first to greet others.
However, when the greeting has religious overtones, we need to be more
careful. It is not possible for us to establish a true religious partnership
with members of other religions; at most we can relate to a certain
foundational level of belief in God. In this case it would really be better
to avoid any greeting with religious overtones. Even so, if we are
confronted with such a greeting, we need to acknowledge the level of common
belief that does exist, and would be obligated to reinforce it "to double
Shalom". Therefore, the best course is to preempt such an "ecumenical"
invitation with a simple non-committal greeting of Shalom.
Publication Update: Both
volumes of the book have already been through page design, type-setting, and
proof reading. It won't be long now, IY"H, that we will see it IN PRINT.
Rabbi Meir authors a popular
weekly on-line Q&A column, "The Jewish Ethicist", which gives Jewish
guidance on everyday ethical dilemmas in the workplace. The column is a
joint project of the JCT Center for Business Ethics, Jerusalem College of
Technology - Machon Lev; and Aish HaTorah. You can see the Jewish Ethicist,
and submit your own Qs — www.jewishethicist.com or www. aish.com
Spiritual and Ethical Issues in the Historical Books of Tanach; JOSHUA,
SAMUEL, KINGS (Nevi'im Rishonim) by Dr. Meir Tamari
The First Tish'a b'Av Melachim Bet 25
Tzidkiyahu, the last king of Israel, ascended the throne in Yerushalayim of
his nephew Yehoyachin when the latter was exiled to Bavel, after reigning
for only 3 months. His reign of 11 years saw the destruction not only of the
puppet monarchy, but of Yerushalayim and the Beit HaMikdash at the hands of
Nevuchadnetzar, king of Babylon.
Nevuchadnetzar came to
Yerushalayim as a reaction to the revolt of Tzidkiyahu. It is difficult to
understand this revolt and what made the king do it. After all, he knew that
Nevuchadnetzar was the most powerful king in the Middle East and neither
Egypt nor Assyria could be serious allies. His own country had been
impoverished by taxes levied on it in the previous king's reign, together
with the exile to Bavel of the ruling class of the country, its intellectual
and spiritual leadership and most of its skilled artisans.
There was no logical or
reasonable political, military or economic justification for the revolt
against Bavel. Shall we ascribe the revolt to royal stupidity, political
miscalculation or egoism? Similar reasons have often, in world history, led
to political and military phenomena. Our sources, however, attribute
spiritual and religious reasons for this revolt, as they do for all events
and acts. "For through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Yerushalayim
and Yehuda until He cast them out from His Presence, that Tzidkiyahu
rebelled against the king of Babylon (Melachim Bet 24:20). Hashem put in his
heart to rebel so that thereby His punishment of the exile could be
fulfilled (Rashi). Hashem caused his heart to lead him to revolt, so that
the king of Bavel should have an excuse to destroy everything (Radak)".
Our text tells us that Tzidkiyahu did evil, without presenting details of
his sins, as was done usually in the case of the other evil kings. Moreover,
in Divrei HaYamim Bet 36:12-13 we read, "In that he did not follow the words
of G-d as spoken through Yirmiyahu and also revolted against Nevuchadnetzar
to whom he had sworn in G-d's name, [an oath of subservience]". Hashem in
His Mercy sends us warnings and signs; if we in our Free Will choose not to
listen, we have to bear the results.
In accordance with this text we
get a more complicated and involved summary of his wrong doing. From the
prophet Yechezkel's words we see that his sin lay in not keeping his oath to
the Babylonian king (Yechezkel 17:15-16). Since he had taken the oath in G-d's
Name, the non-observance became a Chilul Hashem, and therefore Hashem was no
longer bound by His promise to protect Israel. We remember that because of
the enormity of this sin of Chilul Hashem that would result from not keeping
their vow, Israel had kept their word to the Giv'onites even though it had
been obtained through Giv'onite fraud (Yehoshua 9:18-19). Halakhically,
non-fulfillment of promises in the market-place is considered to be a lack
of faith in G-d. In the Talmud there are conflicting opinions of Tzidkiyahu:
"He was perfect in his actions" (Horiyot 11b; Rashi "He was a Tzadik)."
Whereas we read elsewhere that, "He did only one mitzva; that of releasing
Yirmiyahu from prison" (Moed Katan 28b).Josephus Flavius considered the king
to be noble and aristocratic, not given to anger; yet he gave rein to the
people to do evil as they wished.
Be that as it may, in the 9th year of Tzidkiyahu's reign, Nevuchadnetzar
laid siege to Yerushalayim; this was on Asara B'Tevet. The siege took a
whole year with a short break when Pharaoh, as Israel's ally, tried
unsuccessfully to attack Babylonian forces. Finally, on the 17th of Tammuz
the Babylonians breached the walls and entered Yerushalayim. Tzidkiyahu fled
in the night with his senior officers, towards the Arava to try to reach
Trans-Jordan where many Jews had taken refuge during the first exile 11
years earlier. However, the Chaldean- Bavli troops caught him in the plain
of Jericho, north of Yam HaMelach, and took him prisoner to the Babylonian
king who had set up his command post in Rivlat in Southern Syria. There,
before the king and his nobles, Tzidkiyahu was tried, found guilty and
sentenced for not keeping his oath of loyalty. They slew his sons in front
of him, blinded him and then Nevuchadnetzar took him in chains of brass down
Yirmiyahu's whole book of
prophecy was one of warning and foretelling this end result of Israel's
sinning. Indeed, his very name has become synonymous in the English language
with the bearer of messages of doom and destruction. Despite his words, the
people and their king seemed bent on their own destruction. They built
alliances and coalitions with a ruined Egypt and a defeated Assyria to
revolt against Babylon; even imprisoning Yirmiyahu in Yerushalayim for
treachery, when he dared to point out the futility of their trying to
reverse G-d's plan for a victorious Babylon.
They could not imagine that
Hashem would destroy His own House and so relied blindly on the building to
save them even though they had for years denuded it of any sanctity. They
had turned what was supposed to become a House for G-d, one that they would
fill with sanctity and holiness so that it would be filled with His Divine
Presence, into a mere House of G-d, an edifice that technically went through
ritualistic procedures. They arrogantly believed that the mere ritual of
sacrifices and their prescribed appearances within its walls could outweigh
their immorality and idolatry. After all, were they not G-d's Chosen People?
Was that not their insurance against punishment and exile?
Despite the people's false
belief in protection because of their Temple, its destruction loomed. A mere
three weeks after Nevuchadnetzar had breached the walls of Yerushalayim, on
the 7th of Av, the general Nevuzaradan, described in our text as The
Butcher, acting for Nevuchadnetzar, started to destroy the Temple Mount. On
Tish'a b'Av, the Temple was destroyed by fire which continued into the
following day. In these three weeks, now marked as our 3 weeks of mourning,
ein hameitzarim, we lost our national independence, our capital and our Bet
This is the 70th installment in Dr. Tamari’s series on “Tanach and its
messages for our times”
MISC section - contents:
 Vebbe Rebbe
 Candle by Day
 From Aloh Naaleh
 A Touch of Wisdom, A Touch of Wit
 ADAR ALEF
 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 and dayanim to serve 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
In honor of our parasha, which
is full of monetary issues, including those discussed below, we share a
question that arose in an informal din Torah that came before us.
Q: Reuven and Shimon traveled
together. Reuven allowed Shimon to put valuables, which, Shimon is sure
included a 50NIS bill, in one of the compartments of his backpack. Before
getting on a bus, Shimon ripped the zipper while opening up the compartment
but left his items inside. (Reuven was able to fix the zipper on the bus).
When they reached their destination, Shimon found all of his items except
the 50NIS bill. Suggested versions of what might have happened to the money
include that Shimon did not put in the money or took it out, it fell out, or
it was stolen. The two disagree only on interpretation of events, and do not
accuse each other of lying. Is Reuven responsible to pay for losing the
A: A SHOMER CHINAM (an unpaid
watchmen) is exempt when the object is lost or stolen but is liable if that
occurred due to P'SHIYA (negligence). There are two main points of
contention to clarify. [We had to omit other, smaller issues in this forum].
One is whether Reuven was a SHOMER or just a "carrier," a matter they had
not discussed. The second is whether the money's disappearance was due to
P'SHIYA after the zipper opened, as Shimon claims, or whether Reuven watched
it reasonably. Only if both points are decided to Reuven's detriment will he
have to pay.
Status as SHOMER - There is a
dispute among Tana'im (mishna in Bava Kama 47b) whether when one allows his
friend to put his animal in the former's pen without further stipulation,
the former accepts responsibility for the animal or whether he just gives
permission without accepting responsibility. The gemara (Bava Metzia81b)
suggests that this is a global MACHLOKET whether one who agrees to receive
control over another's property becomes obligated as a SHOMER without
explicit agreement to that status. It concludes that more local,
psychological factors may explain the various positions in their specific
To skip to the bottom line of
the halacha, Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 291:2) rules that when the
wording of the agreement is "plain", the one who ends up with the object
does not receive the responsibilities of a SHOMER. However, he continues
that if Levi agreed for Yehuda to place his shoes on Levi's donkey before
Levi went alone to another city, then, since the shoes are in a precarious
situation if not cared for, we presume that Levi accepted responsibility and
did not only give permission to put the shoes on his donkey. Despite
similarities to our case, the rationale of the Rosh, the source of this
halacha, shows differences. Since our Shimon accompanies Reuven, Reuven
likely intended that Shimon retain responsibility that his items not be
lost, especially since, at the time he put them in the knapsack, it seemed
unnecessary for Reuven to give them further thought. Although the situation
became more complex when the zipper broke, the parties' accounts indicate
that Reuven did not intend to accept a new status of SHOMER as a result.
Was there P'SHIYA? - Reuven is
adamant that he was sufficiently careful under the circumstances that arose,
whereas Shimon feels that he was apparently not. Ordinarily, a SHOMER has to
take a Torah-level oath that he was not negligent and since we avoid oaths,
this may be grounds for monetary compromise.
However, in this case, neither
friend accuses the other of lying, but sees the apparently borderline case
differently. (Had there been clear P'SHIYA, Shimon would have taken back his
items and/or checked earlier if they were still there, as he generally saw
Reuven's actions during the time in question.) Regarding a doubt whether
there was P'SHIYA, a SHOMER is exempt from paying (see K'tzotz HaChoshen
Based on indications (albeit
not fully conclusive ones) on both issues, and certainly given the
convergence of the two, there are not grounds to require Reuven to pay.
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
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sending an email to email@example.com with the message: Subscribe/English
(for the English version) or Subscribe/Hebrew (for the hebrew version).
Please leave the subject blank. Ask the Vebbe Rebbe is partially funded by
the Jewish Agency for Israel
 Candle by Day
How much more beauty a believing person sees in the world, in his
realization that what he sees is INTENDED as beauty, and is not merely an
accident of atoms. - From A Candle by Day by Rabbi Shraga Silverstein
 CHIZUK and IDUD (for Olim & not-yet-Olim respectively)
At the end of this week's sedra, God informs the Jewish people about their
entry into the Land of Israel. He tells them that the nations inhabiting the
land will be chased out gradually, so as to ensure that the land doesn't
turn desolate as it becomes populated by the Jews. God then forbids the
Jewish people to worship the idols that they will find in the land, and
commands them to refrain from replicating the actions of its current
inhabitants. A number of questions may be raised: Since all idol worship is
prohibited, what is the significance of these additional warnings? And since
this worship is so repugnant to God, one would have thought that the quicker
these nations are removed from the land, the better! Why do it slowly?
In answer to the first question, the Or Hachaim Hakadosh explains that the
Torah comes here to prohibit activities that are not actually idolatrous,
but nevertheless part of the culture of an idolatrous society. The Netziv
explains further that there was a special danger of following a system that
had been in place and had worked for the inhabitants of the land which the
Jews would now take over. After their victory, they might find it
appropriate to imitate the local forms of worship, redirecting those
activities towards God. The Torah comes to teach us that in the Land of
Israel, no foreign influences should taint the purity of Jewish life.
And yet, God allows these people, corrupt as they may be, to remain until
they are replaced by Jews behaving in accordance with the Torah, since
desolation and abandonment of the Land of Israel create such an undesirable
It appears that God does not allow a vacuum in the Land of Israel. Foreign
inhabitants of the land are only removed as their place is filled by Jews.
And those Jews should be populating the land with lives and a society that
are built on authentic service to God.
Rabbi Shaya Karlinsky, Jerusalem
How do you say FICTION in Hebrew?
Literature = SAFRUT
Fiction = SIPORET
without vowels, SIPHORET
Science Fiction = SIPORET MADA
What do you call the dish made of noodles, rice, vegetables, fruit, meat or
cheese and whipped eggs that rises during baking to a delicate, fluffy
consistency? SOUFFLÉ. In Hebrew? T'FICHA
 A Touch of Wisdom, A Touch of Wit
R' Menachem David of Amshinov came to a rich man to persuade him to help a
relative who was deeply in debt. The rich man turned him down. "What do I
have to do with him?" he asked. "We are only distant relatives."
"Excuse me," R' Menachem-David asked, "Do you pray every day?"
"What? Do you think that I am not observant?"
"Well, if you do pray," R' Menachem David went on, "could you tell me how
the Shemoneh Esrei prayer begins?"
The man bristled. "A school child can answer that", he said. "It begins with
'Hashem of Avraham, Hashem of Yitzchak and Hashem of Yaakov.'"
"Well, who are Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov?" persisted R' Menachem-David.
Now the man was really angry: "Those are obviously our forefathers!"
"When did our forefathers live?" went on R' Menachem-David.
"Thousands of years ago," said the man.
"Let's see now," said R' Menachem David. "They are extremely distant
relatives of yours, yet you mention them three times a day and ask to
benefit from their good deeds."
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 should be).
Excerpted with the permission of the copyright holder
 WILL THE REAL ADAR PLEASE STAND UP
MISHENICHNAS ADAR (ALEF) MARBIN B'SIMCHA?
An important question. Even with MITZVA GEDOLA to be B'SIMCHA always, we
still have to know in which months to increase our JOY.
Rav Yoel Schwartz in his ADAR UPU- RIM suggests that based on the statement
in the Mishna Megila - the only difference between the first Adar and the
second Adar is Megila Reading and the Four Parshiyot - it would seem that
increasing our joy belongs in the first Adar as well as the one containing
Purim. In fact, the existence of Purim Katan and Shushan Purim Katan in Adar
Alef, even though they are extremely low key, indicates that Purim's joy
belongs to both Adars.
Rav Schwartz does bring one opinion that MISHENICHNAS only goes for the
Let us suggest that we be
strict with ourselves and increase our joy in the first Adar as well.
Aside from the issue of
increased joy, there are other reasons to decide which Adar is the "real"
one. Bar/Bat Mitzva and L'havdil, yahrzeit are halachic issues in need of an
The yahrzeit of a person who
died in either of two Adars, is observed in the specific Adar when there are
two, and in the one Adar in a 12-month year.
For the yahrzeit of a person
who died in a regular Adar, there are different opinions and the Ashkenazi
practice is to observe the yahrzeit in both Adars. This includes fasting
twice IF that is one's custom and IF one is able enough to fast in both
Adars. A Rav should be consulted for a personal P'sak - not the generic one
A boy who was born in a single
Adar and reaches the age of mitzvot in a 2-Adar year, should not read the
Torah for the kahal until the date in the second Adar, but probably has to
be strict with T'filin, Nedarim, et al from the date in the first Adar.
More IY"H next week
 Divrei Menachem
Parshat Mishpatim is essentially a collection of commands (Mishpatim) in the
realm of Mitzvot Bein Adam LeChavero - laws that relate to a Man and his
fellow. On reflection, we might think that we could have deduced many of
these through our own sense of right and wrong.
Thus when our parsha opens with
the statement from Hashem to Moshe declaring: "And these are the ordinances
that you shall place before them", we are instantly con- fronted with the
question as to the degree of authority invested in the laws. So we need
Rashi to step in, as it were, to instruct us that the word "And" binds these
laws to the previous commands: Just as they were given at Sinai so were
Now our inclination would be to
play down human reason: what matters is that we fulfill the will of G-d.
Indeed, we declare daily: "You have taught us Torah and mitzvot, statutes
and ordinances", whereby we band these "logical" Mishpatim with the
unfathomable Chukim (statutes).
Nevertheless, G-d insisted that Moshe place the laws before the people,
teaching their underlying principles so that they would better apply them
according to circumstances (cf. Rashi). It seems then that the challenge in
our rational age is how to observe the Mishpatim unconditionally, even when
we claim to understand their rationale.
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 hastening the realization of our hopes and prayers for the
rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Beit HaMikdash.
Sermons in Stone and a
Just because you've lived in the center of the universe - i.e. in Jerusalem
- for over thirty years does not mean that you have visited, are familiar
with, or are even aware of all the ancient historical sites, even the famous
ones which make the news. One of the most fascinating places in Jerusalem is
the archeological excavations which uncovered the entire 488m length of the
Kotel HaMa'aravi, the so-called "Western Wall Tunnels". The Kotel was not
part of the actual Beit HaMikdash; it was a retaining wall of Har HaBayit,
the "Temple Mount" upon which the Mikdash was constructed. Har HaBayit,
originally built by Shlomo HaMelech, destroyed by the Babylonians, restored
by Zerubavel and Sheshbatzar under good King Cyrus of Persia, extended by
the Chasmona'im, reached the height of its earthly glory in the days of
After Herod's renovations, Har
HaBayit became the largest religious site in the entire ancient world, bar
none, and this enormous project took decades to complete. In fact, the final
embellishments were completed only a few short years before the Churban. To
the east of the Kotel was "Kotel Drive", the main commercial street of
Herodian Jerusalem. Lined with shops and other places of business, the Olei
Regel could exchange foreign money for locally accepted coin, buy
sacrificial animals and birds for Korbanot as well as other things required
during their stay in Jerusalem. After the Six Day War teams of archeologists
and volunteers from all over the world laboriously removed by hand thousands
of tons of refuse which had accumulated on Kotel Drive since the Churban.
Included in the rubble were stones from the upper courses of the Kotel
bringing to mind the lament from Eicha, "...the sacred stones (of Bayit
Rishon at the times of its destruction) were 'poured' all over the main
streets..." One of the most spectacular finds was a stone with the engraved
inscription "to the place of blowing". This recalls the Gemara which
describes how a Kohein standing on the wall would blow a series of trumpet
blasts as Shabbat approached.
Near the southern retaining
wall further to the east, the remains of Robinson's Arch are visible. Most
archeologists surmise that Robinson's Arch is a remnant of a bridge that
once led from Har HaBayit to the adjacent residential areas located on the
other side of Kotel Drive. Constructed as part of the extant eastern pier of
the "Robinson overpass", are four well preserved shops. Below the protrusion
jutting out of the wall is a scratched Pasuk from Yeshyahu 66:14, "And when
you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like
young grass..." Some historians conjecture that an enthusiastic Jew etched
this passage into the wall in the days of the Roman Emperor Julian.
Christians call Julian the "Apostate" because he abandoned Christianity in
363ce. When the enthusiast heard of the emperor's announced intention to
permit the Jews to rebuild the Beit HaMikdash, he was moved to cite Yeshyahu.
Behind the four shops is an
even more spectacular find: a Mikveh dating from the time of the Mikdash.
The Mishna in Shekalim 8:2 reads, "In Jerusalem, all vessels found on the
side going down (Derech Yerida) to the Mikveh are impure, all vessels found
on the side going up (Derech Aliya) are pure because the way leading down is
not the same as the way leading up." The Mikveh behind the four shops has a
wide stairway divided by a partition, "the way leading down is not the same
as the way leading up".
There are two sealed gates in
the southern wall, one double, and one triple. There are tunnels leading
from these sealed entrances to Har HaBayit which pass under the Al Aqsa. The
tunnels, constructed by Herod, until very recently, had decorations and
embellishments which were carved by his workmen. Olei Regel passed under
them on their way to the Mikdash. At the end of the 19th century, French
archeologists made copies of fabulous engravings on the ceiling. A good
thing too; some 80 years ago, these treasures were covered with concrete.
Subsequently, florescent lights and hanging wires were added. In almost
perfect condition until want only destroyed, the engravings were a marvelous
panoply of rosettes, stylized leaves, grapes, and geometric forms. As
befitting Mikdash decorations, there were no animal or human forms. The
desecrators covered the magnificent columns with stone slabs and the ancient
Herodian floor with rugs.
When I recently entered the "Western Wall Tunnels", located on the western
side of the enclosed area of the Kotel plaza, where the men daven, I saw a
road dating back to the Bayit Sheini. I saw a pool and water conduit built
by the Chasmona'im, walkways, rooms and storage chambers which were probably
used by Kohanim, and a carved isolated stone weighing 570 tons. (A geologist
told me that this particular stone was carved so as to reduce the effects of
a possible earthquake, but I must confess that I did not understand his
There in the tunnels, opposite
the site of the Kodesh HaKodashim, I met an interesting woman. She was very
intelligent and was educated in one of the finest universities in America.
Articulate, intellectual and urbane, this Jewish woman proceeded to explain
to me that all that I had seen and had written about had actually been built
by the Umayyads, the early Muslim conquerors of Eretz Yisrael in the
beginning of the seventh century. She explained to me that various
academics, many of them Israeli, had "proved" that there were never Jewish
temples built on Har HaBayit and that there never was a noticeable Jewish
presence here. She concluded by giving me a whole lecture about the
pernicious "invention of ancient Israel". So what was she doing here? She
had come to noticeable Jewish presence here. She concluded by giving me a
whole lecture about the pernicious "invention of ancient Israel". So what
was she doing here? She had come to atone for the sins of the Jewish people
by picking olives in Ramallah!
What can I say? There is none
so blind as he (or she) who will not see.
Catriel's book in progress: The Temple of Jerusalem, A Pilgrims Prospective;
A Guided Tour through the Temple and the Divine Service
Towards Better Davening and Torah Reading
Having written in last week's column that the PASHTA/KADMA business was
relatively new to me, DL wrote:
• The Kadma/Pashta distinction
was previously discussed in the 5764 Emor issue of TT (better davening
section). Just thought I'd point it out.
What's remarkable about that - and a little embarrassing, is that I wrote
that column, as well as all the TBDATR columns. So the topic should not have
been "relatively new" to me. What I discovered, is that not only do students
need to hear things more than once before it penetrates, so do teachers. I
can only say that the first time I wrote about it, it just didn't sink in
well enough. Maybe I've got it now.
BTW, the Tikun that was published by Koren has two slightly different
symbols for these notes. The PASHTA is thick on top and thin on the bottom
and the KADMA is thin on top and thick on the bottom.
Thanks DL for your email and interest.
• More than one reader has
asked about a DAGESH in a letter at the beginning of a word, that letter not
being one of BG"D KF"T.
Let's start to address this issue by backing up a bit, and looking at BG"D
We start with the basic rule:
BG"D KF"T (BET, GIMEL, DALET, KAF, PEI, TAV - the letters that have two
different sounds - or should have two different sounds - depending upon
whether there is a DAGESH in the letter or not) at the beginning of a word
get a DAGESH KAL. (We're not interested in the rest of the DAGESH KAL rules
at the moment.) Next comes the major exception to that rule. If a word
beginning with BG"D KF"T follows a word that ends with ALEF, HEI, VAV, or
YUD, or a HEI/KAMATZ, CHAF SOFIT/KAMATZ, NUN SOFIT/KAMATZ, or TAV/KAMATZ
(all four of which are the equivalent of having a silent HEI after them -
even though the HEI isn't actually there). In these cases, the DAGESH KAL
drops out of the BG"D KF"T in the first letter of the following word.
There are five exceptions to
this, where the DAGESH stays. We are not really interested here in three of
the five. (They are MAFSIK - if the previous word is followed by a pause and
the BG"D KF"T word begins a new phrase, the DAGESH stays. MAPIK - when the
HEI, VAV, or YUD at the end of the earlier word has a consonant alsound,
then the DAGESH does not drop. OTIYOT DOMOT - when the BG"D KF"T word starts
with two the same letters and the first has a SH'VA NA, the DAGESH stays -
if the first letter is a prefix-type. B'SHIVTCHA B'VEITECHA.)
The two we are interested in
are DACHIK - two words joined with a MAKAF (upper hyphen), the first word
ends with a silent HEI and the letter before the HEI is voweled by a PATACH,
SEGOL, or KAMATZ (or a KAMATZ-ed letter equivalent, as mentioned above),
then the DAGESH stays in the BG"D KF"T that starts the second word. That
DAGESH is not a regular DAGESH KAL, but it is a DAGESH CHAZAL, and it will
appear in letters other than BG"D KF"T - which begins to answer the original
question. The angel that wrestled with Yaakov, ask MA-SH'MECHA, what is your
Notice the DAGESH in the SHIN
The other situation is called ATI MEIRACHIK. Two words, both MIL'EIL, first
one ending in SEGOL-HEI or KAMATZ-HEI or KAMATZ and a virtual HEI. The
DAGESH will not drop from the second word's first letter and the DAGESH will
be CHAZAK. And it too can "happen" to letters other than BG"D KF"T. Here are
ARTZA K'NAAN V'ASITA PESACH LAMA ZEH (DAGESHes in the KAF, PEI, and ZAYIN,
none of which we would expect)
There are exceptions to the exceptions. And there is also the DAGESH in the
LAMED of LEIMOR... MTC
Upper-left is really the starting point, the scales representing JUSTICE. In
this case, MISHPATIM. In addition to the broad idea of justice, see what
else can be found in the sedra, for which the scales of justice would be an
Upper-right is the "fist" referred to as one of the weapons that can injure
An eye for an eye, literally, an eye UNDER an eye, is depicted here as money
under an eye, based on Rashi and all other commentaries. The Vilna Gaon
pointed out that the letters of the word AYIN are each followed in the ALEF-BET
by the letters of the word KESEF. AYIN-PEI, YUD-KAF, NUN-SAMACH. A very nice
graphical representation of the fact that monetary compensation on several
levels is the correct understanding of an Eye for an Eye.
The bull and the fire are two potential causes of damages - one of the many
key topics of the sedra.
The pit is missing from this ParshaPix. But we have the bull with horns, the
tooth, the feet of the bull, the fire.
The sneaking thief was caught in the cellar. Under what circumstances is one
held blameless for killing him? Under what circumstances would one be held
accountable? And how much does the caught thief pay to the victim?
The guard at his post represents the whole topic of the FOUR SHOMRIM.
The hands pulling the money out of the wallet are about to lend money at 0%
interest. Or, perhaps, they are about to offer a bribe. Which will blind the
judge receiving it, as in the image of the blindfolded head.
The witch on the broomstick stands for the 3-word pasuk which requires
Sanhedrin to rid society of witches.
Down the lower-left side are images of the Three Regalim, Pesach, Shavuot,
The Har Sinai pix for Shavuot also corresponds to the end of Mishpatim where
the events of Matan Torah are presented with other details not presented in
The quill and scroll is for Moshe writing down "all of G-d's words" (Shmot
There is milk & meat for the first of the three occurrences of LO T'VASHEIL
Lower-right is the TZIR'A (wasp) that G-d will send into the Land to help
slowly drive out some of the nations there.
The cloud is covering Har Sinai (end of the sedra).
The tooth is referred to in the mitzvot related to injuring an EVED K'NAANI
and being required to free him. It is also one of the forms of damages.
Also, there is a tooth for a tooth.
The knitting reminds us of the prohibitions of Shabbat, as commanded with a
positive mitzva in Mishpatim.
That leaves two unexplained elements in the Parsha- Pix which become visual
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.
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 (YITRO) TTriddles:
 What else besides what's in 10?
 Usually 5 on a Shabbat; this Shabbat - 6
 Brit, Birthdays, Shavuot, dirty guy with torn clothes, Pesach
 747 + dove + hockey team
 Describes part of the Sinai Experience, as well as a Plague Ender and an
 Initial upper/lower mirror-image marks
 plus one element from the ParshaPix
And the envelope, please...
 Tricky, but someone got it. The TTriddle does not say "The 10", just 10.
It was referring to the 10th commandment, not the whole Ten. LO TACHMOD,
Thou shalt not covet. The phrase appears twice in #10. Your fellow's home,
his wife... The phrase occurs only one other time, in D'varim 7:25, and it
refers to silver and gold (that we might find in Eretz Yisrael during
 In the course of a Shabbat, we say KADOSH, KADOSH, KADOSH... 5 times.
Shacharit: first bracha before Sh'ma and in the Kedusha. Musaf: Kedusha.
Mincha: U'VA L'TZIYON and Kedusha. On Shabbat Parshat Yitro we also read it
in the haftara. 6 times.
 Could have been worded more cleverly. VAI-HI BAYOM HASH'LISHI... And it
came to pass on the third day... The phrase only occurs 6 times in Tanach.
So it had to be a TTriddle. Brit of the people of Sh'chem, when they were
weak... Paro's birthday, Matan Torah (Shavuot), after Shaul was killed in
battle and someone arrived from the battlefield to report to David, one of
the women before Shlomo HaMelech told that the other had a baby on the third
day after she (the teller) had given birth (this makes the Birthdays in the
TTriddle plural), and Esther appeared before the king... it was on Pesach.
 A 747 has two wings. A dove has two wings. A hockey team has two wings.
Angels are described in the haftara as having six wings, specifically 2+2+2.
 The sound of the Shofar at Har Sinai is described as CHAZAK ME'OD, very
strong. So is the wind that removed the ARBEH (locust) from Egypt, and so is
the illness of the son of the BAALAT HABAYIT (Melachim Alef 17).
 Several people got this one. The initial word of Aseret HaDibrot -
ANOCHI - has a TIPCHA under it in TAAMEI HATACHTON and a PASHTA above it in
TAAMEI HA-ELYON. These two TROP-notes are mirror images of each other.
 This is another ASERET HADIBROT TTriddle, specifically an UPPER/LOWER
TROP-notes issue. The single pasuk with the four short commandments has
slight differences in the two formats. The differences are 4 TAVs (with
dots) instead of 4 TAVs (without dots), and TIRTZACH instead of SIRTAWCH.
The differences are 4 dots and a |
This week's TTriddles:
 Not only the product, but its holiday too
 V1-2-3 • V2-1-3
 The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.
 Egyptian, no money, slaughtered the ox
 Before you...and before what?
 ... 7/5 • 3/1 6/4 9/7 12/10 • 3/1 6/4 9/7
 The connection between 2319 and 3426
 plus 2 elements from the ParshaPix
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NESTO Native English-Speaking Teen Olim
Every person has his ups and downs in life. Even as a nation we share times
when we're on top - we have peace in the world, peace amongst us etc.
Unfortunately we also share bad times; when we fight between ourselves, we
don't follow Hashem's Will as we should.
In our Parsha, when given the Torah, Am Yisrael says NAASEH V'NISHMA we will
keep your commandments and then we will hear their reasons and explanations.
As the Midrash says, KAFA ALEIHEM HAKADOSH BARUCH HU HAR K'GIGIT. We
understand that the Jews were forced to accept the Torah.
So what was so special about that saying?! According to the "Netivot
Shalom", written by Rav Shalom Noah Berzovski, the greatness of that saying
is in the fact that Bnei Yisrael got to the understanding that no matter
when, what or where, in better times and in worse, when we don't understand
why Hashem works His world the way He does and in times when we see the
meanings and purposes of our fate, we must still follow his requests and
stay committed to him. NAASEH without the NISHMA. Only then will Hashem
decide if to actually show us the reasons and give us the ability to also
Nowadays, when our people aren't always so united, our country is in times
of crisis and it's very hard to understand Hashem's way of running His
world, we MUST keep our faith in Him and follow his rules NAASEH, so that
when the time comes, we will also get to see the light and to understand why
He did what He had done, and to see that it was all meant to be V'NISHMA,
because that's the greatest quality in the Jewish nation, and that's what
makes us so special and different from the others.
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See you there!!
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In loving memory of Malka Chana Roth HY"D murdered in the Sbarro bombing, 9
Aug. ‘01, Donations are tax-deductible. Please check our website or call for
THE TRAVEL DESK for making reservations and receiving info of Israel Center
tiyulim. And, to help you - whether you live in Israel or are visiting -
plan private tiyulim and make in-Israel travel arrangements. At your service
9:00am-1:00pm, Sundays to Thursdays. Call the Israel Center Travel Desk,
566-7787 ext. 244;
LUNCH? When a tiyul says “bring
your own lunch”, you can order one instead from the Israel Center Cafe. When
you make your reservation for the tiyul, request a box lunch, or call the
CAFE (ext. 257) up to the day before the TIYUL.
18nis will get you a sandwich (your choice), a refreshing drink (regular or
diet) and a dessert. Your lunch will be ready for you when you board the
CANCELLATION POLICIES We
reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee in case of last-minute
cancellations. Also... Price of tiyul is based on a minimum number of
Students from Abroad Parents
visiting you some time this year? If so, you want to speak to us! (566-7787
ext. 244). We have many attractive deals for them... and you. Let us turn an
ordinary “been there, did it” visit into an unforgettable, special one!
KASHRUT POLICY Food for Israel
Center In-House programs is supervised by OU in Israel - Mehadrin. Israel
Center sponsored trips and programs are Mehadrin. Hotels, restaurants, and
tiyulim advertised by the Travel Desk or by outside parties are not
necessarily Mehadrin and are not endorsed by the OU or the Israel Center.
Calls from abroad: People from
abroad should fax 972-2-5660156 for the attention of The Travel Desk or
email to email@example.com
Israel Center tiyulim are partially subsidized by the Jewish Agency for
Announcing the next Israel Center In-House Shabbaton: to take place IY"H on
Shabbat Parshat Tetzaveh (10 Adar Alef), February 18-19, Scholar-in-Residence:Rabbi
Yosef Wolicki, Guest shiur by Rabbi Chanoch Yeres, Shiurim on Purim Katan,
Jewish Identity, Parshat HaShavua, Mini-shiurim, Drasha, Divrei Torah,
Tidbits, New friends... and old ones • Meals by Schocketino, 250NIS p.p.
(non-members 275NIS), Let us know your housing needs or arrangements,
dietary needs, seating requests, etc. when you reserve your places, Partial
schedule: Candle lighting 4:53pm • Mincha at 5:00pm Oneg Shabbat & Shiur by
Rabbi Wolicki 9:00pm, Pre-davening mini-shiur 7:30am • Shacharit
8:00amKiddush • Shiur by Rabbi Wolicki 11:20am • Mincha Gedola Shiur by
Rabbi Yeres 3:45pm • Maariv 6:00pm, Filling up. Don't miss out. Reserve NOW,
Reservations for Shabbaton should be made with Ita Rochel, ext. 204, (rather
than with the Travel Desk)
Wishing those who are going on theKibbutz Ein Gedi Mini-Vacation a wonderful
time! Scholar-in-Residence: Menachem Persoff
Tour of the Israel Museum: Monday, February 14, 1:00pm, The newly reopened
Shrine of the Book containing the Dead Sea Scrolls featuring the Aleppo
Codex which is the oldest Hebrew Bible in Book Form in existence, Japanese
Exhibition featuring master pieces of the MEIJI period, Both guided by Iris
Spero, limited to 25 participants, 40 NIS/50 NIS, Register at the Travel
Desk 566 7787 x 244/261, Shulamit's tiyulim are always treats; Come - You
will surely enjoy her delicious sweets!
Motherpath in the Land, Empower your prayer on 7 Adar, For women only - A
unique educational experience combining prayer at holy sites with the
teachings of our biblical fore mothers, At the resting places of: Yocheved
ben Levi, mother of Moshe Rabeinu, Tzipora wife of Moshe Rabeinu, Elisheva
bat Aminadav, wife of Aaron HaKohen Plus... Bilha and Zilpa, and Rochel,
wife of Rebbi Akiva, Incorporate lessons of our righteous ancestors into
your life, see pages of Torah and Jewish history come alive, join us for a
rich, full, unforgettable day. Additional attraction: Enjoy a boat ride on
the Kinneret, Wednesday, February 16, 7 Adar Alef • 8:00am-7:00pm • bring
your own lunch, 120/130 • Sign up immediately at the Travel Desk, Approved
by HaRav Pinchas Sheinberg Shlita
A Pretty Purim Katan Holiday Happening, Wednesday, February 23, 14 Adar Alef,
8:00am-6:30pm (approx.), Guided tour of the Ein Gedi Botanical Gardens,
Festive Mehadrin Buffet Luncheon at the Ein Gedi Guest House, Afternoon of
bathing at the famous En Gedi Spa (sulphur) mineral baths,mud, and separate
pools and holiday surprises scattered thru the day, 160/175NIS • Register at
the Travel Desk 566 7787 x 244/261, Shulamit's tiyulim are always treats;
Come - You will surely enjoy her delicious sweets!
Mark your calendar - 2 days at the Nir Etzion hotel, TUE-WED, March 1-2,
guided by David Magence, We hope to tour many exciting sites in the
northwestern part of our country. Wait till you see the itinerary
Sussia and the Alon Center for Bedouin Culture, Wednesday, March 9 – 28 Adar
Alef, Check-in 8:15am • Leave Center PROMPTLY at 8:30am • Return 5:30 pm
(approx.) with Nachman Kupietzky, In the morning relive the daily life of
the Jews during the time of the Mishna by visiting & touring this 1500 year
old Mishnaic town, In the afternoon a Bedouin experience: experience Bedouin
hospitality, visit a museum to learn about unusual Bedouin customs and
ceremonies, & see a video, 100NIS members (115NIS non-members)
For reservations at the hotels listed below or any other Israeli hotels,
please call the Travel Desk 566 7787, ext. 244.
Please note: Hotels are sometimes booked by the time you respond to the
deals on this page. Or sometimes they make last minute changes in their
deals. It is frustrating to both you & us. We ask for your understanding. We
will do our best to help out.
Renaissance, Jerusalem, valid until March 31st
2-night MIDWEEK package880 NIS per couple, B/B
Inbal, Jerusalem, valid until February 28th
605NIS per couple, per night, B/B or 1020NIS F/B
Eden Inn, Zichron Yaakov, valid Feb. 10-12, 17-19
2-night minimum, 410NIS per couple, per night, B/B
King David Hotel, Jerusalem, valid Fevruary 4-15
Midweek, 1350NIS per couple, per night, H/B
Dan Accadia, Herzliya, valid February 4-26
Shabbat 735NIS 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 TT654
The Avrom Silver Jerusalem College for Adults is the educational component
of the Seymour J.Abrams • Orthodox Union • Jerusalem World Center and
incorporates all the classes & lectures of the OU Israel Center. "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
Schedule for Erev Shabbat to Erev Shabbat (Fri-Fri), 25 Shvat - 2 Adar Alef
9:00am (men & women) Overview of Pirkei Avot with Rabbi Chaim Eisen
Shabbat afternoon Shiur, 3:30pm, Mincha at 4:30pm: Is Mishpatim part of the
10 Commandments? Overview of what sections of the Torah Moshe received at
Sinai with Rabbi Efraim Sprecher
Motza'ei Shabbat, Leil 27 Shvat, February 5th, 8:30pm: Judaic Justice and
Jethro's, A shiur by Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Poupko
SUN-Thu in the Ganchrow Beis Medrash (first floor)
10:00am Rabbi Pesach (Paul) Greenman is now teaching Gemara Masechet
1:20pm Mincha (this time stays the same throughout the year)
call to verify 3:30pm Daf Yomi by Rabbi Shmuel Halpern
4:30pm Shiur in Masechet Sanhedrin by Rabbi Hillel Ruvel
N'SHEI LIBRARY - 10:30-12:45
9:30am (men & women) WHAT IS ADAR ALEF with Phil Chernofsky, Golda
Warhaftig's shiur will resume IY"H next week
10:30am (women) Let's Learn Chumash with Tonia Frohwein
11:30am (M&W) Parshat HaShavua with Shprintzee Herskovits
Sundays 12:30pm and Wed. 8:00pm: Creative Life Education in cooperation with
the Israel Center presents: This Golden Age We Live In, Alternating
presenters, including: Dr Vivienne Damelin, Aharon Romm
7:30pm (men & women) Issues in Jewish Thought as they emerges from the Torah
with the help of Ramban's Commentary - Now studying: Does G-d have Second
Thoughts? How are we to understand expressions in Tanach of G-d's
reconsidering and G-d's remorse in light of His Omniscience with Rabbi Chaim
Sunday, February 6th, 8:00pm: LET MY PEOPLE KNOW: Launching Abu Mazen
Watch...To counter the spin and let the world know what the new PLO leader
is really up to..., David Bedein, www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
N'SHEI LIBRARY - 10:00-12:30
9:15am (men & women) Excursions into the World of Nvi'im with Mrs. Pearl
on sale: Jewish Books for Adults and Children by Simcha Publishing • Mondays
10:30am (men &women) Rambam’s 13 Principles with Rabbi Zev Leff'
Monday, February 7th, 11:35am (after Rabbi Leff's shiur): Jewish History
Series Just restarting...This week: Destruction of the First Beit HaMikdash
(586bce): Facing the Empires
Fit Forever: Look & Feel your Best! Exercise for women of all ages, Mondays
11:35-12:35pm, Gentle exercises to improve flexibility, circulation,
posture, etc. Breathing and relaxation skills to use every day.
Monday, FEB 7th, 12:30pm, in the Library (free), Lunch and Video
Understanding Halacha by Rabbi Natan Lopes Cardozo
3:00-5:00pm - Women's Beit Midrash, Acquire study skills and knowledge
crucial to your life as a Jew - join us! Guided Chavruta study with Pearl
Borow, Fine Tuning Shabbat (with text) - Phil Chernofsky
Pri Chadash Women's Writing Workshop with Ruth Fogelman (628-7359) & Mindy
Aber Barad (643-5276)
MON 8:30pm • AM SEGULA “Curing the Jewish Heart” lecture series with Eli
MASK - Mothers & Fathers Aligned Saving Kids, J'lem Chapter at the OU Israel
Center • www.maskjerusalem.cjb.net • 050-754-2717, NEXT MEETING: Monday,
February 14th, 7:30-9:30pm
Monday, Leil 29 Sh'vat, February 7th, 8:00pm, To Give or Not to Give That is
the Question, A halacha & medicine shiur/lecture on Organ Donating &
Allen J. Bennett, MD, FACP, Dr. Bennett is in the private practice of
Internal Medicine, Hematology, Medical Oncology, Geriatrics, and Medical
Ethics in New York City. He is President of the Association of Orthodox
Jewish Scientists, Chairman of the Committee on Medical Ethics of the
Medical Society of the State of New York... He is on the Faculties of the
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, the Mount Sinai
School of Medicine in New York, as well as Touro College... has published
forty articles to date and lectures extensively... in May 1996, Dr. Bennett
was one of four physicians recommended by the Medical Society of the State
of New York to Governor Pataki's Task Force on the Life and the Law, Dr.
Bennett's talk is in memory of his father Aharon ben Yissachar z"l on his
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 -
New additional hours for the Gemach - Tue. 7:00-9:00pm
Please note: Neither Rabbi Adler nor Rabbi Gold will be giving shiur on
Tuesday, February 8th. Both will resume IY"H on the 15th
Tuesday, February 8th, 9:45am: Two Adars - Then, Now, and IY"H Soon with
Phil Chernofsky, Followed by Rabbi Spiegelman on Parshat HaShavua - see
9:00am & 9:55am: The Secrets of Trees and Grass with Dr. Hayim Abramson
11:00am: Kindness from Hashem with Dr. Hayim Abramson (in Hebrew)
10:50am: Parshat HaShavua with Rabbi Mordechai Spiegelman
11:45am (women) Review of the weekly Farbrengens of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
with Raizel Zisk
Tuesdays, 12:00-1:30pm - Journeys and Journals, exploratory creative writing
inspired by the weekly Torah portion with Mrs. Esther Sutton freelance
author, certified counselor, women only
Tuesday, FEB 8th, 12:30pm, in the Library (free) lunch and video, DOUBLE
FEATURE - Two short videos: ASHKENAZ • THE CORRIDOR
"ASHKENAZ" - The music of Eastern European Jewry. Klezmer, Yiddish
folksongs, liturgical music, and theater tunes - spirited, sad, sacred, and
secular! (28 mins.)
"THE CORRIDOR"- Is there life after death? - the eternal question. A young
girl, injured in a car accident, seems to die. When she miraculously
recovers, doctors are baffled by what she experienced. Exploring the
mysterious realm between life and death, this intriguing drama provokes
thought about the traditional Jewishapproach to death and life in the world
to come. (24 mins.)
Tuesday, February 8th - LEIL ROSH CHODESH ADAR ALEF - 8:00pm: The Mikdash-Shabbat
Connection with Rabbi Binyamin Wolff, Rosh Chodesh Refreshments
Wednesdays, 9:10am • Current Issues in Halacha with Rabbi Macy Gordon, When
Wednesdays, 10:30am: Rabbi Yosef Wolicki on Parshat HaShavua
Wednesdays, 10:30am (women only): Songs from the Siddur - Meaning &
Melodies, Chani Abramson
Wednesdays, 11:30am (men & women): More Upbeat Chesed Projects with Jackie
Lowenstein, YOU have the power to make a positive difference in people's
lives! Come & join us ?
Wed. FEB. 9th, 12:30pm, in the Library (free), lunch and video: The World
thru the Eyes of Chazal by Rabbi Berel Wein
3:00pm: (men & women) Women in Tanach with Pearl Borow
3:00-5:00pm - Women's Beit Midrash: Acquire study skills and knowledge
crucial to your life as a Jew - join us! Guided Chavruta study with Pearl
7:30pm (Men & Women) Jewish Philosophy, Rambam's Guide for the Perplexed -
Now studying: Ta’amei Mitzvot: Ta’amei Mitzvot: Understanding the Torah's
Approach to Sex with Rabbi Chaim Eisen
Wednesdays, 8:00pm (also Sun. 12:30pm) Creative Life Education: Introduction
to Mentoring with Dr. Vivienne Damelin
7:30pm: Enduring and Enjoying a Second Family, A support group for women who
want to share their experiences in a blended family with Devorah Saslow
Weinberger, (02) 651-9216
in recess: Aliya Counseling: watch for announcement - If you would like to
speak with Miriam Bass (Aliya Counselor),call 566-7787 ext. 204, leave a
message, and she will call you back
THU: Dvar Torah by Menachem Persoff
time varies: Shiur while you fold with Phil
Art Workshop: Thursdays, 10:00-12:00 Weekly drawing class at the Center...or
perhaps a different medium...please all Rachael at (02) 627-1577to discuss
8:00: Legends from the Gemara with Reb Yosef Schreiber
Root & Branch Association in cooperation with the Israel Center: Thursday,
February 10th • 19:00, Vus ist a Galgo: The New U.S. Military Base in
Israelby Shmuel HaLeviwww.radiofreeisrael.com, Senior Engineer for the U.S.
Department of Defense Avionic ProgramsA (seldom used) Consultant for the
Israeli Ministry of Defense..., Info: firstname.lastname@example.org • NIS25 per person,
members NIS20, students NIS10
9:00 (men & women) Overview of Pirkei Avot with Rabbi Chaim Eisen
Upcoming at the Israel Center
UPCOMING Shabbat afternoon speaker (at 3:45pm):
T'RUMA (3 Adar Alef - Feb. 12) - Phil Chernofsky, Mincha follows at 4:45pm
Center for Mind Body Medicine (Washington DC) - Monday, February 14 -
8:15pm, Trauma GROUP WORK Training Course, Rabbi Immanuel Yosef Legomsky MA
Neurotherapist, Director of Israel Trauma Care, shares this systematic and
experiential GROUP APPROACH to mind body trauma healing which enables
individual and group feelings to emerge and develop, in a Jewish context.
Tuesday, February 15, 7:00 pm in the library: SUSPICION The Alfred Hitchcock
classic with Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine. A wealthy woman believes her
handsome, gambler husband is trying to kill her.
Please save the date: Monday, February 21, ’05, 13 Adar Alef, 7:30pm, for
the First Yahrzeit of Rabbi Dr. Ephraim R. Wolf, zt"l, of Great Neck at the
Israel Center. Featured speaker will be his grandson, R. Yair Moshe Wolf,
Siyum Mishnayot in honor of the Yahrzeit by his sons and grandsons on both
sides of the ocean (simultaneous commemoration at the Great Neck Synagogue),
email@example.com or call Leah at 052-2719875
What do we want to know about Bush in his second term,the new Secretary of
State, and the latest congress with Dr. David Luchins Tuesday, February
Pearl Borow is just completing a successful Mother-Daughter Bat Mitzva
program and has been asked to do another. This will happen if there are
enough serious candidates. The series will begin IY"H around Rosh Chodesh
Adar Sheni. Please call for details and to express your interest. Please
call Mrs. Borow at (02) 671-3567
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
Rabbi Dovid Cohen, Vaad member
Stuart Hershkowitz, Vaad Member
Moshe Kempinski, Vaad member
Sandy Kestenbaum, Vaad member
Simcha Rock, Vaad member
Zvi Sand, Vaad member
Harvey Wolinetz, Vaad Member
Menachem Persoff, Director, Israel Center
Phil Chernofsky, Educational Director and TT editor
Ita Rochel Russek, Production Assistant and Advertising Manager, Torah
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 Israel
TT is published and printed "in house" at the Israel Center
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