Z'MANIM - HALACHIC
TIMES - Correct for TT #656
Ranges are THU-THU 8-15 Adar Alef (Feb 17-24)
Earliest Talit & T'filin - 5:29-5:22am
Sunrise - 6:19-6:12am
Sof Z'man Kri'at Sh'ma - 9:06-9:02am (8:21-8:17am)
Sof Z'man T'fila - 10:01-9:58am (9:31-9:29am)
Chatzot (halachic noon) - 11:53-11:52am
Mincha Gedola (earliest Mincha) - 12:24-12:23pm
Plag Mincha - 4:18-4:22pm
Sunset - 5:32-5:38pm (5:27-5:33pm)
*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
Correct for TT 656 • Rabbeinu Tam (J'm) - 6:45pm
4:53pm Jerusalem 6:06pm
5:12pm Gush Katif 6:10pm
5:09pm Raanana 6:07pm
5:09pm Beit Shemesh 6:07pm
5:09pm Netanya 6:07pm
5:09pm Rehovot 6:08pm
4:49pm Petach Tikva 6:07pm
5:09pm Modi'in 6:07pm
5:10pm Be'er Sheva 6:08pm
5:08pm Gush Etzion 6:06pm
5:08pm Ginot Shomron 6:06pm
4:53pm Maale Adumim 6:06pm
5:00pm Tzfat 6:04pm
5:09pm K4 & Hevron 6:07pm
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...
First opportunity for
KL was last Motza'Sh (Feb. 12). It was cloudy right after Maariv (in
many places) and many people probably didn't check later in the
evening when there were breaks in the clouds. On subsequent nights,
there were many chances to say KL, but many people are not tuned in
to KL except on Motza"Sh. If that is the case, this Motza"Sh is a
good opportunity, weather permitting. Last op for KL this month is
next Wed. night at 10:50pm.
This coming Wednesday
and Thursday are Purim Katan and Shushan Purim Katan. We do not say
Tachanun or Lamenatzei'ach. Some say to add a little to your regular
meal in honor of the days that would have been Purim had this year
not been a SHANA M'UBERET, a 2-Adar year. No eulogies and no
fasting. Fasting is optional for a Chatan & Kallah.
Both Means and Goal
Last week's Lead Tidbit developed over Shabbat into a major theme,
and I would like to keep it going one more time (at least). In the
beginning of T'ruma, we had the command to Make a Sanctuary for G-d,
and (so that) He will dwell among us. Not "in it", but among us.
Last week's haftara spelled that out very clearly, and this week's
sedra does also. G-d says: And I will dwell among Bnei Yisrael and I
will be G-d (Elokim) for them. And they will know that I am HaShem
their G-d Who took them out of the Land of Egypt IN ORDER to dwell
IF the whole point of
building a Mikdash, with its myriad of details, is to bring the
Divine Presence among us, then it would seem to follow that if we
can accomplish that, we might not need a Mikdash. Remember the IF
that started this paragraph. If the premise of an argument is not
correct, then the conclusions drawn from it will be fallacious. But
let's carry this erroneous argument further.
For the last almost two
thousand years, we have been without a Beit Mikdash. We have coped
with this situation - even thrived - with our Mikdash Me'at - our
shuls and Jewish homes. We have been davening and letting our lips
replace the animals of korbanot. We have done a lot of K'ILU (as if)
in the hope that we have succeeded in bringing the Divine Presence
among us. Our Batei Medrash and Yeshivot, our various Chessed
activities, our Mitzva- observance have all done their share to
attract the Sh'china (so to speak). And even if we have fallen
short, we seem to be doing better than other generations who were
castigated by G-d via prophets for meaningless Temple service
without proper personal and communal behavior.
So maybe we don't
really need an actual Mikdash. G-d doesn't need a physical dwelling.
We want Him among us. WRONG! All of the above - Torah and Mitzvot,
Chessed, etc. PLUS the fulfillment of V'ASU LI MIKDASH, speedily in
our time. Our means are goals in and of themselves.
20th of 54 sedras; 8th of 11 in Sh'mot
Written on 179.2 lines in a Sefer Torah, rank: 33rd
10 Parshiot; 2 open, 8 closed
101 p'sukim - ranks 35th (8th in Sh’mot)
1412 words - ranks 35th (8th in Sh’mot)
5430 letters - ranks 32st (7th in Sh’mot)
Contains 7 mitzvot; 4 positive and 3 prohibitions
As often happens in the Torah, there are other mitzvot in a sedra
besides the ones that are counted among the Taryag. This is so in
T’tzaveh. The numbers don't always give us an accurate "Mitzva-Picture"
of a particular sedra
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
[P> X:Y (Z)] and [S>
X:Y (Z)] indicate start of a parsha p’tucha or s’tuma respectively.
X:Y is Perek:Pasuk of the beginning of the parsha; (Z) is the number
of p'sukim in the parsha.
Kohen - First Aliya -14 p'sukim - 27:20-28:12
[S> 27:20 (2)] Moshe (his name conspicuously missing from this sedra)
is told by G-d to command the people to take pure olive oil in order
to light the Menora's lamps. The Menora, to be located in the main
section of the Mishkan, outside the Parochet, shall be tended and
kindled on a daily basis [98,A25 27:21]. The lights shall shine from
evening until morning, this being a perpetual law throughout the
SDT The People of
Israel are likened to the Olive - just as the olive shows its
greatness (its oil) only after being crushed and squeezed, so too
does Israel show its special qualities after being subjected to the
trials and tribulations of Jewish History. And Israel is compared to
the oil of the olive - just as oil does not mix with other liquids,
but rather floats above them, so too Israel does not (should not)
mix with the nations of the world. And if we remain faithful to G-d,
we will rise above the nations (or groups) who seek to hurt us.
[S> 28:1 (5)] Moshe is
next told to bring Aharon and his sons "front and center" to serve
G-d as Kohanim. Special garments are to be made for the Kohen
Gadol's glory and honor [99,A33 28:2].
Some say that glory and
honor refer to G-d's and the People's, not (just) the Kohen Gadol's.
Talented artisans are
to do the work. The garments are: the CHOSHEN (Breastplate), EIFOD
(decorative apron or cloak), ME’IL (robe or poncho), KUTONET (linen
tunic), MITZNEFET (turban), and the AVNEIT (belt or sash).
Note: the TZITZ
(forehead plate) and MICHNASAYIM (short pants worn under the Kutonet)
are among the garments but are not mentioned at this point in the
This can be explained.
The pants are for modesty, not glory and honor. And, perhaps, the
Tzitz is for G-d's honor and to humble the Kohen Gadol, so it too
isn't part of the list of the garments that are for the K.G.'s honor
The artisans were to
take the gold, dyed wools, and linen (for the purpose of making the
SDT There are different
meanings to the Torah's phrase "for honor and splendor". Ramban
gives it a straight- forward meaning - that the garments of the
Kohen Gadol were for his glory. They were royal garments befitting
the position of the Kohen Gadol, who was like royalty. With his
special garments, the Kohen Gadol projected a perfect image. The
garments helped present the Kohen Gadol to the People with great and
appropriate dignity. This would help the People understand and
relate to the Kohen Gadol as the vehicle of the Divine Presence
On a different level,
we can say that the objects of glory were G-d and the People
themselves. When the Kohen Gadol wore his special garments, and the
people see him in his splendor, then there is an increase in honor
to G-d. The special garments also increase our awareness of the
Sanctity of the Beit HaMikdash, and we are inspired to repent.
"Clothes make the man."
In the context of the Beit HaMikdash, the Kohen in general, and the
Kohen Gadol in particular, is himself filled with awe and will take
his responsibilities more seriously. In addition, each specific
garment reminds the Kohen (Gadol), and us, of a different aspect of
Jewish Law and Life. Thus the Kohen's thoughts and intentions
increase in purity.
Even without a Beit
HaMikdash, we are affected by the lessons of many Mikdash-related
mitzvot. One should dress especially nicely for Shabbat and Yom Tov.
One's own clothes, even during the week, should reflect the dignity
of a Torah way of life. Modesty and neatness, plus the positive
message we project to others are all part of our daily deportment.
[P> 28:6 (7)] The Eifod
is to be woven from yarn made of threads of gold, three colors of
dyed wool (blue, purple, crimson - the colors and shades are the
subject of centuries of debate) and linen in an intricate style. The
Eifod has two shoulder straps. The belt of the Eifod is made in the
same manner as the Eifod itself, and is an integral part of it (not
a separate piece that was attached).
It is interesting to
note that some of the furnishings of the Mishkan and some of the
garments were explicitly to be "of a single piece", rather than
attached. Not all the items of the Mishkan, nor all the garments,
but the point is emphasized in the Torah for those items to which
the rule must apply.
Two onyx stones (Shoham)
were set on the shoulders, upon which were engraved the names of the
tribes. These stones with the names serve as an eternal reminder for
the Kohen Gadol.
SDT Talmud Yerushalmi
states that the name of Binyamin was engraved on both
shoulder-stones, BIN on one and YAMIN on the other. This idea is
supported by the language of the Torah - "From six of their
names..." rather than "six of their names". In V'ZOT HABRACHA, when
Moshe is blessing the tribes, the Torah says of Binyamin that "he
will dwell between the shoulders, "U'Vein K'teifav Shachen".
Levi - Second Aliya - 18 p'sukim - 28:13-30
[S> 28:13 (2)] Gold settings and chains are to be made for the Eifod.
[S> 28:15 (16)] The
Choshen is made in the same intricate style and manner of the Eifod.
It is rectangular (double square) which when folded (which was the
way it was worn) made a square measuring 1 ZERET (a span, which is
half an Ama) on a side. Gold settings were woven into the Choshen to
receive the twelve precious stones in four rows of three stones
each. Straps and fasteners were made to firmly attach the Choshen to
the Eifod. They must not be detached from each other [100,L87
28:28]. The Urim V'Tumim (parchment with the Divine Names on it) was
inserted into the fold of the Choshen, and gave the Choshen its
SDT The letters of
CHOSHEN rearrange to spell NACHASH, meaning "snake" but also meaning
divination through the occult and black magic, powers in this world
which are anathma to Torah and Judaism. L'havdil, the Choshen is one
of our legitimate tools for revealing hidden things. Significant
that these opposite "forces" are actually two sides of the same
CLARIFICATION: The yarn
for the Eifod and Choshen was produced as follows: Six stands of
T'cheilet-dyed wool (blue, opinions vary as to the shade) were
twisted with a strand of gold to produce a thread. The same was done
with Argaman-dyed wool (purple, blue- purple, other opinions) and
gold, Shani-dyed wool (red, crimson) and gold, Sheish (white linen)
and gold. Each thread was made of 7 strands - 6+1 of gold. Then the
four threads were twisted together to form the yarn from which the
Eifod and the Choshen were woven.
Note that these garments (and some of the others) were Shaatnez. Yet
rather than be forbidden, it was a mitzva for the Kohen Gadol to
wear these garments. No contradiction here. He Who said not to wear
Shaatnez, commanded the K.G. to wear these garments. He who said
that it is forbidden to slaughter an animal on Shabbat, commanded
that the daily korbanot and the Musaf be done on Shabbat. He is the
Boss. Forbidding something in general and commanding the same thing
in a specific situation underscores the idea of G-d's mastery of
Here's an idea about
Shaatnez in general, and its use in the Kohen's garments in
particular. This is not a reason for the prohibition of Shaatnez,
nor for its use in Bigdei K'huna. It's just a point to ponder. Wool
is the chief fiber from the animal kingdom. Flax is (or at least
was) the chief fiber from the plant kingdom. Garments are the chief
use of fibers. If so, we can say that one of the manifestations of
human dominance over nature is our ability to take fibers from both
plants and animals, process them and use them for our own benefit,
comfort, and adornment. And taking the most prestigious of each
kingdom, and weaving them together, and wearing garments made from
the combination of wool and linen is one of the ultimate signs of
our top position on the nature pyramid. Comes the Torah and tells us
that we have limits. Yes, we may take from nature to clothe
ourselves. But not limitlessly. Not the ultimate demonstration of
complete dominance. Because WE do not completely dominate. Only G-d
does. Perhaps, the prohibition of Shaatnez is a mitzva meant to
humble us, and rein us in, if just a little.
But when G-d commands
us to fashion garments for the Kohen Gadol for G-d's (and the KG's)
splendor, then the opposite is seen. G-d told us to purposely go
"all the way".
It might be similar to
not building a private dwelling that matches or surpasses the beauty
of the Beit HaMikdash. It might be similar in message to giving
Bikurim and T'ruma, etc. Think about it.
There are different
opinions as to how the names of the tribes (really, it's the sons of
Yaakov, rather than the tribes, since Levi and Yosef appear, rather
than Efrayim and Menashe) were engraved on the Choshen (and the
Eifod’s shoulder stones).
REUVEN ALEF SHIMON BET LEVI REISH HEI MEM
YEHUDA YUD YISSACHAR TZADIK ZEVULUN CHET
DAN KUF YUD AYIN KUF NAFTALI BET GAD SHIVTEI
ASHER YASHAR YOSEF VAV NUN BINYAMIN
This arrangement is the opinion of Chizkuni, a Rishon from France
who lived more than 700 years ago. He wrote a commentary on the
Torah based on Rashi. He says that all of Leah’s sons were first,
then Bilha’s, then Zilpa’s, and finally Rachel’s. Rashi, however
arranges the names in order of birth, so Reuven, Shimon, Levi, and
Yehuda are on the same stones as Chizkuni has them, as are Yosef and
Binyamin. Rashi puts Dan, Naftali, Gad, and Asher before Yissachar
Rambam has the same
arrangement as Chizkuni, but he puts the names Avraham, Yitzchak,
and Yaakov on the Reuven stone, and the words Shivtei Kah on the
Note that in addition
to the names of the tribes, there are additional letters that spell
the names Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, & Shivtei Yeshurun (another
name for Bnei Yisrael). These additional letters are added to each
successive stone so that each stone will end up with six letters
engraved on it (according to Chizkuni).
Furthermore, all letters of the Alef-Bet are now represented, so
that the Kohen Gadol can receive Divine communication via the Urim
V'Tumim and the letters on the stones of the Choshen, which were
illuminated and then interpreted by the K.G.
Shlishi - Third Aliya - 14 p'sukim - 28:31-43
[S> 28:31 (5)] The Me'il was made of T'cheilet wool (some shade of
sky blue). Its neck was especially reinforced to prevent tearing,
which is prohibited [101,L88 28:32]. This prohibition applies to all
Kohen garments, but is commanded in the context of the Me'il. [The
neck of the Me'il was reinforced, to prevent its tearing.] The hem
of the Me'il was adorned with gold bells and multi-colored
pomegranates of wool and linen.
[S> 28:36 (8)] The
TZITZ was to be made of pure gold with the words KODESH LASHEM, Holy
unto G-d, hammered out as raised letters from the Tzitz. The Tzitz
was secured to the Kohen Gadol's head by bands of T'cheilet wool.
The Kutonet - tunic and
the Mitznefet (or Migba'at) - turban - were made of pure linen.
The Avneit, belt was
woven from the wools and linen. There is a dispute as to whether
only the Kohen Gadol's belt was Sha'atnez or those of all Kohanim as
SDT The Avneit was 32
Amot long, approx. 16m of belt. It took a long time to put on and it
produced a large bulge that the Kohen always felt when he put his
arms at his sides. Similarly, the Kohen's turban was wound from 16
Amot of linen strip and probably "sat heavy" on the kohen's head.
Sources say that a kohen saw his turban whenever he raised his eyes.
Similarly, the Kutonet was long sleeved and almost floor length, so
the kohen always noticed his garments during Avoda. This
"guaranteed" that the kohen would have proper Kavana during his
For Aharon's sons (and
all active kohanim), there were four garments - tunic, turban, belt,
pants. The regular kohen's garments were also for honor and glory.
Aharon and his sons were to be dressed in their garments and
anointed to serve as kohanim. The linen pants of the kohanim, from
waist to knees, was for modesty. Rambam says there were loops at the
waist for a rope-belt. Rashi says the Michnasayim resembled boxer
shorts in that they were not tight-fitting.
R'vi'i - Fourth Aliya - 18 p'sukim - 29:1-18
[S> 29:1 (37)] The consecration ceremony for Aharon and his sons is
described in this portion. Sacrificial offerings included a bull
(this very first offering in the Mikdash is the symbolic father of
the Golden Calf and came as an atonement for that sin) and two rams,
various types of matza-crackers made from flour and oil (and water -
almost always an ingredient, but not mentioned in the text). The
kohanim- to-be immersed in a mikve and were dressed in their special
garments. They were anointed with special oil.
The Torah goes to
considerable detail in describing the dressing of Aharon and his
sons for the Kehuna. Earlier in the sedra was the command to make
the garments - and that was counted as a mitzva among the 613. Here
is the command to follow through with the garments by dressing the
kohanim in them. Although this is also a command, it is NOT numbered
among the Taryag Mitzvot. And neither is the command to anoint the
kohanim. Sometimes, certain commands and the acts that follow when
the commands are complied with, are considered to be part of the
main mitzva to follow. Here, that might be the service in the
Mishkan. The command to make the garments, on the other hand, stands
on its own in such a way that it is numbered among the 613.
Chamishi - Fifth Aliya - 19 p'sukim - 29:19-37
The intricate details of the seven-day ceremony for the Mishkan are
presented. The Kohanim are required to eat the meat of the
sin-offering and guilt-offering (Chatat and Asham). This command
applies not only during the consecration ceremony, but is a mitzva
for regular Temple service [102,A89 29:33]. Many of the procedures
of the first week of offerings were "one-shot- deals". Other
practices became standard operating procedure in the Mikdash.
Shishi - Sixth Aliya -8 p'sukim - 29:38-46
[S> 29:38 (9)] Daily procedures on the Altar are to include the
sacrificing of two lambs as Burnt-Offerings, one in the morning and
the second one in the late afternoon. These daily sacrifices are
accompanied by flour and oil "mincha" and wine for libation. [The
mitzva of the T'midim is #401 from Parshat Pinchas.]
In response to our
consecration of the Kohanim, HaShem Himself will sanctify the
Mishkan, Altar, and Kohanim. "And I will dwell among the People of
Israel and be their G-d" (29:45). This pasuk is the companion of the
pasuk that began the whole portion of Mikdash. In that first pasuk,
the idea of G-d living among us, so to speak, and not merely in the
Sanctuary that we construct for Him, is alluded to by the grammar of
the word in the pasuk - B'TOCHAM. In this pasuk at the end (almost)
of the instructions for making the Mikdash and everything in it and
about it, the matter is spelled out.
Rabbi Yaakov Auerbach
z"l points out that the G'matriya of that whole pasuk is 2449, the
year from Creation in which the Mishkan was first dedicated.
Sh'vi'i - Seventh Aliya - 10 p'sukim - 30:1-10
[P> 30:1 (10)] The Incense Altar is to be constructed of acacia
wood, 1 ama wide by 1 ama long by 2 amot tall. It is to be plated
with gold and adorned by a decorative border of gold. Two gold rings
were attached to opposite edges for the carrying poles, themselves
made of wood covered with gold. This Altar was placed in front of
the Parochet and was used primarily for the daily offering of
incense [103,A28 30:7] (and for part of the Yom Kippur Avoda), in
the morning when the Menora was tended. Incense was offered towards
evening too. No other use of the Golden Altar was permitted [104,L82
There is a dispute as
to whether the Golden Mizbei'ach was hollow or solid. All agree that
the Copper Mizbei'ach was hollow. It was filled with earth each time
the people encamped. Not so, the Gold Altar. Some say that it was a
solid block of acacia wood, covered with gold. This gave it a
stability and strength it would not otherwise have. Others insist
that the description of the top of the Mizbei'ach as a GAG, roof,
implies it was hollow.
The final three p’sukim of T’ruma are reread for the Maftir.
Haftara - 18 p'sukim - Yechezkeil 43:10-27
On first glance, the haftara is well suited to partner with the
sedra, the one speaks of Mishkan and the other of the Beit HaMikdash
of the future. (Possibly the second Beit HaMikdash is intended,
possibly the third.) There is also the common feature of the
consecration of the kohanim and the bringing of korbanot during a
7-day inaugural period that the two have in common.
There is an interesting
non-parallelism between sedra and haftara. The opening pasuk of the
haftara carries a rebuke to the people for sins that caused the
destruction of the first Beit HaMikdash. This becomes the context of
the presentation of the future Mikdash. The sedra does not carry
such a rebuke, but we know it is coming in the form of the Golden
Calf and the subsequent focus on the building of the Mishkan. The
Torah first presents the mitzva of Mikdash without the taint of the
EIGEL HAZAHAV. Then comes Ki Tisa and the episode of the Calf. And
then the detailed carrying out of the command to construct the
Mishkan. Before we get to Ki Tisa, we can almost forget about the
Golden Calf and its place in the "psychology of the Mishkan". The
haftara's opening pasuk reminds us of what's to come.
THE JERUSALEM INSTITUTE OF JEWISH LAW - Rabbi Emanuel Quint, Dean
Lesson # 272 (part five) •Labor Law
We continue with the sub-topic:
Employer Will Suffer an Irreparable Monetary Loss by the Employee's
However, if the employee, in spite of the fact that halacha compels
him to continue in the employment, insists on resigning his
position, there are several possibilities:
1. The employer may
resort to trickery to retain the services of the original employee.
For example, he may offer the original, employee a higher wage to
induce him not to resign, and the employer may then renege and not
pay the higher wage. Or if he has paid it before the employee agrees
to continue in the employ and complete the work, the employer can
bring a law-suit to recover the money that he paid. The employer can
recover the excess money he paid since it is in the nature of robbed
funds in the hands of the employee.
2. The employer may
hire a substitute worker at the expense of the resigning employee,
even if it means not paying the original employee anything and
paying the substitute employee all of the wages allocated for the
3. The employer may
hire a substitute worker and if necessary pay him more than he
agreed to pay the original employee. The excess funds may be sued
for. Also if the employer happens to have any of the assets of the
original employee in his possession, he may apply such amount to pay
the substitute employee the amount in excess of the agreed amount
with the original employee. There is also an opinion that the
employer can only levy on tools of the original employee that he,
the employee, was to use on the job.
4. If there were other
workers to substitute for the resigning employee and the employer
did not hire a substitute worker, the resigning employee is not
liable for any losses suffered by the employer.
5. If there are no
workers found to substitute for the resigning employee, then the
employee must pay to the employer all of the losses suffered by the
employer resulting from the resignation of the employee.
There is an opinion
that the liability of the resigning employee is limited to those
situations where there were other workers available when the
employer hired the employee. But if there were no other workers
available at that time, and the employer cannot find any substitute
worker at this time, the resigning employee is not liable. If there
is no loss of money but rather inconvenience, as, for example, not
delivering the band to a wedding, the resigning employee is not
liable to the employer.
If the employee works
without compensation, he may resign at any time, even if the
employer will suffer irreparable loss by the resignation and demand
to be paid from this time forward. But he may not resign even when
he is offered wages if the employer cannot obtain any other worker
to take his place. If he does resign and if there were other workers
available when he commenced work, the employee is liable for full
damages to the employer.
The Employer Fires the
The employer fires the employee, as for example, the employer tells
the employee to leave the work area, the employee may consider
himself fired whether or not there were witnesses to the firing, if
both sides admit the foregoing facts. If the statement was made in
anger it may not be deemed to be a notice of firing the employee. If
it is obvious that the firing was done in anger, the employee may
not rely on this and leave the job.
When the employer fires
the employee, there is a difference in the compensation, if any; to
be paid to the employee, depending on whether the firing was before
he showed up for work, or after he showed up for work, which is
equivalent to his commencing work. Once the employee shows up for
work he is deemed to have commenced the employment whether it was
for a single day or as long as many years; the results are the same.
I shall first discuss the applicable halacha where the employer
fires the employee before he shows up for work and then the
applicable halacha where the employer fires the employee after he
shows up for work.
If the worker is hired to work on a specific day; and before the
employee shows up for work, the employer notifies the employee that
he does not have any work for him, the employee has only a
"grievance" against the employer, for the employer can tell the
employee that he can seek other work. Such grievances are not
compensated in money damages. The grievance is that the employee
must now go through the trouble of seeking other employment. Thus,
if the employee can find other employment with- out much bother, he
does not even have a grievance against the employer. There is
authority that the employer can be designated one who is lacking
These laws apply only
if the employee does not suffer monetary loss by the employer
canceling the work. But if he suffers monetary loss, the employer
must pay damages suffered by the employee as herein set forth:
1. When the employer
hired the employee, the employee could have gotten other jobs, and
now; when the employer reneges, the employee does not find anyone
who will hire him. The compensation to be paid is the minimum wage
for the term of the employment, or the period for which the employee
cannot find work, whichever is shorter.
2. If the employee does
find other employment but at a lower wage, and when he was hired
there were other employers who would have paid the wage for which
the employer hired him, the employer must make up the difference.
3. If the work at the
second employer is more difficult physically and when the employer
hired him there was other comparable work available and now there is
only more difficult work available, the employee has several
options: he may accept such other work if he receives additional
compensation from the new employer, he may refuse such more
difficult work even with extra compensation, or the first employer
may consent to pay the employee the extra wages to do such more
4. If there were no
other work available to the employee when the employer hired him,
then the employee does not suffer monetary loss when the employer
reneges on the employment. The burden of proof is on the employee to
show that such work was available. Should the employee fail to so
prove, the employer takes a HESSETH oath and is free of obligation
to the employee. MTC
We will continue next
week with the situation of the employee being considered to have
started work and is THEN fired.
The subject matter of this lesson is more fully discussed in volume
IX chapter 333 of A Restatement of Rabbinic Civil Law by E. Quint.
Copies of all volumes can be purchased via email: email@example.com
and via website: www.israelbooks.com and at local Judaica
bookstores. Questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Bringing Disputes to
One of the most notable features of the Torah system of
jurisprudence is its far-reaching insistence on exclusivity. The
Torah tells us that disputes should be brought "before them",
meaning the judges; as Rashi writes, we infer from this "before them
- and not before a non-Jewish court". Voluntarily bringing a case to
a non-Jewish court is considered a desecration of G^d's name. (Shemot
21:1 and Rashi's commentary)
Rav Nachman of Breslav gives the following explanation of the
importance of judging according to Torah law:
Of course all of our business dealings should be carried out
according to Torah, and not in violation of its laws. But Rav
Nachman goes further and writes that these dealings, properly
carried out, are actually Torah!
"In truth, all business dealings are Torah. For the rule that "one
who exchanges a cow for a donkey [the transaction is complete as
soon as one side performs an acquisition] is Torah, so much the more
must the actual act be Torah."
One way of explaining this is to contrast it with the approach of
the Sefer HaChinukh. In the rules of monetary judgment, the Chinukh
generally states that the mitzva is to judge according to the rule.
For example, in mitzva 53 he writes that the mitzva is "to
adjudicate the laws of one who opens a pit where it constitutes a
hazard", and that the law applies to those "on whom it is incumbent
Rav Nachman's understanding of the Torah commandment is that a
certain outcome should actually obtain - it is a mitzva that the
tort feasor should be obligated to pay damages, whether or not any
court actually discusses the case.
Therefore, whenever we engage in commerce, buying and selling with
integrity and according to the Torah's mandates, we are actually
carrying out the Torah and living it, just as we do when we perform
Conversely, when a person does not fulfill his obligations he has
severed his behavior from the realm of Torah. "He has uprooted the
statutes which are clothed in commerce, and fallen into commerce
itself [without any element of holiness], as if there is no Torah in
our business dealings".
When this happens, the transgressor's punishment - as well as his
rectification - is to bring the case to a Beit Din. The factual
inquiry made by the judges is not just a necessary precondition for
reaching a just verdict; it serves as a symbolic reenactment of the
original transaction, but this time under the auspices of Torah.
"Now, it is all transformed into a Torah judgment, for he will
certainly have to bring all the details, and even all the thoughts,
before the judges... and from this they compose the Torah judgment.
Thus he has gone back and made Torah out of his transaction."
This can help us
understand a seemingly cryptic aspect of the laws of Torah judgment
- the prohibition to bring a case to a non-Jewish court even if this
court judges according to the same rule used by Beit Din (SA CM
26:1). This court may reach the same just outcome that the Beit Din
would reach, but without the aspect of actively applying the Torah
to the details of our business dealings.
The gemara states that
we are judged on whether we have dealt "in faith" (Shabbat 31a). One
understanding is that we have to be honest; another is that we have
to have faith in G^d. For Rav Nachman these two aspects are
essentially the same. When we conduct our business dealings with
faith in Hashem, we will be certain to carry them out according to
the rules of honesty and fairness which He revealed to us through
our Prophets and Sages.
Based on Likutei Moharan I:280
Rabbi Meir's book on Jewish business ethics, The Jewish Ethicist, is
now in print! It has also just been named "Book of the Month" on the
shamash.org website. It is available through Ktav publishing house,
or ask your local bookseller.
We are also in the final stages of preparing Meaning in Mitzvot for
print; revisions and proofreading are completed and we are now
putting together the index and other front and end matter.
Spiritual and Ethical Issues in the Historical Books of Tanach;
SAMUEL, KINGS (Nevi'im Rishonim) by Dr. Meir Tamari
Is There a Black Horse of Jewish History?
There is a mistaken view of our history as one long story of
suffering and persecution; indeed Jewishess has been defined as
whoever is the subject of persecution, discrimination and genocide.
In 'The Fixer', a novel about the Beilis blood libel, Malamud
characterized this as the Black Horse of Jewish History. The
destruction of Jewish statehood described at the end of Melachim Bet
and the subsequent exile and wandering, is surely the place to start
an unbiased analysis and evaluation of this picture of a nation
destined to suffer.
In actual fact, for
long periods of history the Jews have dwelt free of persecution and
suffering, and have lost relatively more people to assimilation than
to pogroms. We lived as free people in our own land for an
uninterrupted 1000 years and 70 years later for another 400. In
exile, there were almost 1000 years of self rule in Babylon and a
shorter period in Egypt. Franco-Germany, our sojourn of almost 2000
years, saw long periods of peace interspersed with religious
persecution, pogroms and regional expulsions that coincided
primarily with the fluctuations in the success of Christianity. In
Spain we lived for over 1000 years in peace;even in Eastern Europe
the Jews lived comfortably for almost 400 years. We should remember
that in our long history we have created great spiritual treasures
from which the whole world continues to benefit in a way that cannot
be measured: Nach, Mishna , two Talmuds, Midrashim, Mysticism,
Halahkic literature, poetry and philosophy and a social-communal
structure of autonomous communities that retained a semblance of
statehood, with independent taxation and legal system. All in all,
this is a far cry from an eternally oppressed and massacred people.
Tanachic sources, as
well as those of the Oral Law and traditional Jewish sources, when
dealing not only with the latest destruction and exile, but also to
all the subsequent tragedies of our people down to modern times,
constantly refer to the internal causes for the calamity and equally
to its effect on Judaism. There is little literature on the degree
of suffering and almost no reference to the personal histories of
the tragedy, except for our times with its streams of secularism.
There were children who were orphaned of both or one parent at an
early age, husband and wife separated and in ignorance of each
others fates, and there was rape and plundering. There were
traumatic experiences from which many never recovered. There were
wanderings and refugees, and far distant exiles. In Rome after the
Churban, the slave markets were so over flooded that there were no
buyers; after Bar Kochva they ploughed and sowed Yerushalayim with
salt, changed its name and forbade Jews to live there. In the
Rhineland the Crusaders waded their horses through rivers of Jewish
blood, in York fathers killed their own families and then themselves
rather than be converted, and in Spain there was the Inquisition. So
in every tragedy of our people there was suffering, poverty and
death of Jews; but that is something different from the effect of
tragedy, destruction and exile on Judaism and its nation. Yirmiyahu,
whose whole book is replete with prophecies of destruction, left
only the few chapters of Eicha as evidence of the suffering and the
mourning. After the exile to Bavel, Yechezkeil ignored the personal
sufferings and tragedies and taught Israel the faith that Hashem
exists all over the world, even though our natural place to keep His
Torah is Eretz Yisrael, to which we were destined to return.
Churban Bayit Sheini
did give rise to the 'Mourners of Israel' who tried to introduce far
reaching rites of mourning and despair, but mainstream halakhic
rulings limited them and concentrated on the codification of the
Oral Law and Jewish life in exile. Even the massacres in Eastern
Europe by Chimelnitski in the mid 17thcentury, that saw the
impoverishment of Eastern European Jewry and the beginning of its
spiritual and social decline, has not left us a literature of
personal individual suffering, but rather important religious
movements and achievements.
As unpleasant as it is
for us to somehow accept the idea of Divine punishment these same
sources saw in our sins and in the failure to keep our obligations
to G-d, the sole reason for all the tragedies that have afflicted
our people. There is no place for the argument that they were beyond
G-d's control or knowledge. Hashem is All Powerful and All Knowing
but also the Zealous Judge. In the Torah Moshe warned quite clearly
and graphically the stages of economic suffering, foreign invasions,
destruction and exile that would be the price for non-observance of
Torah (Vayikra 26:14-44; and D'varim 28:15-68). The prophets
likewise enumerated our behavior that would lead to the destruction
of Yerushalayim and the Temple, and the Galut; idolatry, sexual
immorality and social injustice, murder and robbery (Yeshayahu
1-24). According to Yirmiyahu's prophecy, the teshuva of Zedkiyahu
was not enough to prevent the Churban because he and Israel, after
freeing the slaves in accordance with Torah Law in Sh'mot (21:1-11),
simply enslaved them immediately afterwards (Yirmiyahu 34:8-22:
haftara of Mishpatim). Amos too, saw the social sins as the final
cause of the destruction and exile of the 10 Tribes (2:6-16). Chazal
likewise saw the social sins - needless hatred or insistence on
their legal rights or simply an inordinate love of money - as the
reasons for the destruction of the Second Beit HaMikdash, even
though that was a generation that was learned and otherwise
observant. In Sodom, even Avraham understood that if there were only
a few tzaddikim, then they too had to suffer when Divine Justice
demanded that the city be destroyed.
Indeed, "By reason of
our sins we have been exiled" (Musaf Chagim and Yamim Nora'im). We
have no reason to doubt that what was true in one generation was
true in all generations, including our own.
In our own days we have
witnessed a chance to atone for this long history of sin and
punishment. HaRav Kook taught that our living in exile had become in
itself a sin. As the prophet said, "I do not this for you sake but
for the sake of My Holy Name which was profaned among the nations
whither you went. I will sanctify My Great Name, and the nations
shall know that I am Hashem, for I will take you from amongst the
nations and gather you out of all the countries and I will bring you
to your own Land" (Yechezkel 36:16-38). May we never make the
mistakes made by our ancestors.
This is the 72nd 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
 More SDTs
 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 Eretz Hemdah...
Q: We hired a
Philippine care giver to live with my mother, who is barely mobile.
Until now, others have cooked most of her food. Can the care giver
now cook or at least reheat the food?
A: We hope that the
care giver will give your mother the help she needs. Most Philippine
care givers are kind and cooperative about following the home's
rules, including kashrut. It is best for all when the rules avoid
creating undue pressure, and a good relation- ship is crucial for
the welfare of an infirmed dear one. On the other hand, halacha
requires precautions and not relying on general impressions. Some-
times more restrictive rules that are simpler to follow work better
than following more complex leniencies, which can cause mistakes and
the tensions that come with subsequent scrutinizing and perceived
recriminations. While we hope to find a golden mean for your
situation, there is room for adjustments and further allowances if
the situation warrants them.
The basic rules of
bishul akum (cooking done by a non-Jew) can be said in a sentence. A
non-Jew may not cook food that is not eaten raw, turning it into
first-class food, without a Jew's involvement in the process. Let's
deal very briefly with each component.
Cooking - Smoking food
is permitted (Shulchan Aruch, YD 113:13). Poskim discuss if
microwaving is permitted. While few permit it, it can be a
mitigating factor (see Yabia Omer V, YD 9).
Not eaten raw - If a
non-Jew cooks food that is sometimes eaten raw, even if it is
usually cooked, the food is permitted (ibid.:1). A non-Jew may
reheat food that a Jew already rendered edible. Not only are boiled
milk and water permitted for this reason, but so are coffee and tea,
whose principle ingredient is water (YechaveDa'at IV:42). Carrots
are another classic example.
First-class food - Only
food that nobility would serve is included in the prohibition (Shulchan
Aruch, ibid.). This subjective criterion likely excludes farina,
oatmeal, french-fries and more.
The latter categories
are society based; many cases are borderline or based on machloket.
Thus, we gave few details and warn about over-use. The next category
enables developing a reliable plan.
Involvement of a Jew -
Regarding the related prohibition of bread baked by a non-Jew, the
gemara (Avoda Zara 38b) says that it is sufficient for a Jew to
light the oven's fire. Shulchan Aruch (ibid.: 7) and Sefardic
practice, regarding the more stringent laws of bishul akum, require
a Jew to put the food on the fire (or light the fire after the food
was put there) or stir the food as it cooks. The Rama (ad loc.) and
Ashkenazic practice say that a Jew may light a flame, even at the
beginning of the day, and have the non-Jew do all of the actual
cooking. Furthermore, the Rama suggests having a Jew light the flame
used to light the stove. Some apply this leniency to ovens with
pilot lights. We can also use it to have a Jew light a "yahrtzeit
candle" to light (the match that lights) a gas stove. The Aruch
HaShulchan (113:44) says that one should rely on this last opinion
only in a case of acute need and in the home of a Jew, but both
lenient factors are present here. The significance of it being in a
Jewish house is two-fold. Firstly, it is likely that a Jew will do
some stirring (Rama 113:4) and also there is an opinion (Tosafot
Avoda Zara 37a) that bishul akum applies only to cooking in a
non-Jew's house. Although we do not accept that opinion
independently, poskim sometimes use it as a supporting leniency,
especially if the one cooking is a hired worker (see Shach 113:7). (Yechave
Da'at V, 54 uses that leniency as support regarding Sefardim relying
on a Jew lighting the fire in a Jewish-owned restaurant). A Jew
would have to turn on electrical appliances.
Due to a few kashrut
considerations, it is best that the caregiver brings home only
kosher food. For cooking, there are two preferable systems. If your
mother can be in or around the kitchen, she can supervise its proper
use (especially milk-meat) and light the fire. If she rarely gets
out of bed, it is best if the food is cooked by a Jew, when one is
around. If the care giver demands freedom to cook for herself, she
should have her own clearly marked utensils, which she must clean
Ask the Rabbi Q&A is
part of Hemdat Yamim, the weekly parsha sheet published by Eretz
Hemdah. You can read this section or the entire Hemdat Yamim at
www.ou.org or www.eretzhemdah.org. And/or you can receive Hemdat
Yamim by email weekly, by sending an email to email@example.com
with the message: Subscribe/English (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
 Candle by Day
We are sometimes so anxious to get away with things that it never
occurs to us that we might enjoy doing them. - From A Candle by Day
by Rabbi Shraga Silverstein
 CHIZUK and IDUD (for Olim & not-yet-Olim respectively)
And you shall make holy garments for Aharon your brother for honor
and for beauty (lekhavod ul-tif'eret)...
Ramban asks: How does one make garments that satisfy the imperative
of "lekhavod ul-tif'eret"? He answers that we copy the sartorial
style of kings, especially the kings of Persia.
We know a Persian king, Achashverosh. He threw a party: "He made a
feast... He showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and yakar
tif'eret gedulato - his excellent majesty" (Esther 1:3-5). We
translate tif'eret here as "majesty". Still, what at the party
Regarding tif'eret gedulato, Rabbi Yose the son of Hanina said:
"This teaches that he wore priestly garments" (Megila 12a). "Tif'eret"
alludes to "priestly garments" based on the words "lekhavod
ul-tif'eret" found in our parsha.
So, what can this mean? In Ramban, Persia's kings suggest the design
for the priests' sacral clothing; in our oral tradition, a Persian
king puts on the priestly garments as a special honor for himself.
The Torah states clearly that there must be a High Priest. Not so a
king. "Kingship" can be assimilated to the High Priest who will
exercise a combined authority described by the term "Eved Hashem -
God's servant". In practice, only Moshe succeeded in combining the
two roles. From Moshe, religious authority passed to the priests;
kingship went on to have a complicated subsequent history.
Achashverosh would not have desired the priestly dress for its faux
Persian style. The sacral dress suggested to him instead the unique
role of God's servant, of political and religious leadership
combined. He coveted this double-leadership. For that glory, he
dressed himself in priestly garb.
In Israel we have achieved a kind of malkhut (kingship). That
leadership exercises authority in the political realm but does not
inspire devotion to God. Perhaps, this is the enterprise of another
Rabbi Chaim Brovender, Jerusalem
TORAH THOUGHTS as contributed by Aloh Naaleh members for publication
in the Orthodox Union's 'Torah Insights', a weekly Torah publication
on Parshat Ha'Shavuah
NEEDLE THREADER. The thin wire loop goes through the eye of the
needle, put the end of the thread into the loop, and pull the loop
and thread back through the eye. In Hebrew? MASHCHELET
 A Touch of Wisdom, A Touch of Wit
While R' Yoshe Ber was the Rav of Slutsk, he visited Minsk. All the
great Torah sages of the city came to meet the distinguished rav and
hear him speak in learning. One of them was a former student of his,
now a wealthy merchant in Minsk. When R' Yoshe Ber saw the man, he
greeted him very warmly and asked him, "How are you doing?"
"Thanks to Hashem," the former student replied, "I am well, and I
have a decent income."
They talked about this and that, and a few moments later R' Yoshe
Ber again asked, "How are you doing?"
""Thanks to Hashem," the man answered, "my family is well and I am
Again they talked about this and that, until a short while later R'
Yoshe Ber again asked, "How are you doing?"
"Excuse me, Rebbe," the merchant said, "but that is the third time
you're asking me the same question. Thanks to Hashem we are well."
"You have not been answering my question," R' Yoshe Ber told him. "I
asked you, 'How are you doing?' and you answered that you are well
and are doing well. That is not your doing, but Hashem's doing. I
want to know what you are doing: Do you have fixed times for Torah
study? Do you help others through charity? How are you doing as a
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
Excerpted with the permission of the copyright holder
Nachalas Chamisha (?) gives a possible source to the printers'
practice of writing G-d's name as two YUDs. Towards the end of
T'tzaveh, G-d says: V'SHACHANTI B'TOCH BNEI YISRA'EL, and I will
dwell amongst the Children of Israel. Note that the last letter of
BNEI and the first letter of YISRAEL are YUDs. If G-d dwells amongst
BNEI YISRAEL, then His name can be represented by those two YUDs.
Shulchan Aruch Orech Chayim sec. 580 lists dates on the Jewish
Calendar that various tragic events occurred and one can take upon
himself to fast on such dates. The last date on the list is the 9th
of Adar, when the first (?) dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit
Hillel took place. Although the Mishna praises both "Houses" for the
integrity of their disputes and the exemplary behavior vis a vis
each other, it is still considered a tragedy of Jewish History that
Machloket exists. We're not recommending fasting; just pondering.
 Divrei Menachem
Parshat Tezaveh introduces us to the various clothes to be worn by
the kohanim in the Mikdash. Besides setting the kohen apart from
ordinary people, each article of clothing represented a different
aspect of spiritual symbolism. And only when these special vestments
were worn could the kohen participate in the holy ritual.
Indeed, the priestly garments were the only dress allowed to be worn
when kohanim performed the Service. These garments were to be made
of materials that were the property of the nation and that had been
specifically contributed by the people for the Temple service. This
symbolized the overriding concept that the kohanim were
representatives of the people.
The breastplate worn by
the Kohen Gadol, which bore the names of the twelve tribes on
individualized precious stones, also served the nation through the
luminous letters that lit up in response to questions of national
import. "Urim " denotes that light while "Tumim" indicates the
completeness or truth of the responses to the question.
The Vilna Gaon asserted
that the lit-up letters could be misread as when the Kohen Gadol in
Shilo misinterpreted Chana's behavior as SH-I-K-O-R-A (drunk)
instead of K-E-SH-E-R-A (worthy woman) (cf. Samuel Alef 1:13).
Clearly, representing the national interest is not only a matter of
asking the right questions: it is also a matter of possessing the
Divine Spirit to recognize the correct answers.
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
We frequently wonder how exactly Bayit Shlishi, the Third Temple,
will be rebuilt. Our sages are not of one mind as to the
chronological sequence. We recall the famous Rashi in Sukka 41a,
"The Mikdash of the future - which we anticipate built and complete
(Banui Um-shuchlal) will be revealed and come down from heaven."Not
surprisingly, the Zohar agrees. "Binyana Dekudsha Brich Hu" - The
Holy One Blessed be He will build the Third Temple (Chelek 3:121,1).
One Midrash even says that "Mashiach will stand on the roof of the
Beit HaMikdash and announce 'Humble ones, the time of your
redemption has arrived", i.e., The Beit HaMikdash will be built even
before the redemption. But Rambam rules, "Melech HaMashiach will
arise and reestablish the Kingdom of David as it was in former
times. He will build the Beit HaMikdash and gather in the dispersed
of Israel. All the earlier statues will be restored as they were.
Sacrifices will be offered… (Hilchot Melachim11:1). Besides, as
Rambam emphasizes in the beginning of Hilchot Beit HaBechirah,
building the Beit HaMikdash is a great Mitzva. If the Beit HaMikdash
descended from heaven "built and complete", would not the Jewish
people be deprived of that great Mitzva? Over the centuries, many
attempts have been made by Rishonim and Acharonim alike to bridge
the gap. Devorah Ahavah Gerszoff of Cherry Hill, N.J. - who
obviously belongs to the same school of thought as Rashi and the
Zohar - sent me an original poem envisioning her conception of
Binyan Bayit Shlishi, the building of the Third Temple. I want to
share it with TT readers.
Picture clouds that,
instead of floating by,
begin to form a preconceived pattern in the sky.
Opalescent, luminescent mountains of moisture lit by the sun...
See them start to descend to earth, one by one.
As they make their way downward, lower and lower,
they solidify into special stone, gradually, slower and slower.
The Creator-Choreographer does nothing by chance.
This is heaven and earth united in most glorious dance!
These white-clouds-turned-stone, with each taking its place,
are the architect's building blocks for His own special space.
This is final fulfillment, promised and planned!
This is the THIRD TEMPLE - come NOW to take its stand!
G-d does not depend on man. It is the other way around;
Who builds His House on earth, alone, constructs His building on
The only human possession made to last
is trust in G-d and faith that is held unto fast.
G-d gives and gives. The only thing we can give Him
is the light of love and praise that refuses to dim.
As sunlit clouds call our eyes to gaze up and above,
look towards His future House internally lit with supernal love!
Though man has groped in darkness, flirting with chaos, destruction
there will soon exist a Palace of Peace that will never be
This is a an email (slightly condensed) pertaining to my column
“Sermons in Stone” (TT 654, Mishpatim, Feb. 4-5, '05) which I
received from Josh Even-chen, a guide who works in both the Kotel
Tunnels and the Davidson Center.
(1) There seems to be some confusion as to what is east and what is
west in your article. Here are some examples: The main commercial
street is located to the west, not the east of the Kotel HaMa'aravi.
The eastern side of the Kotel is Har Habayit! The remains of
Robinson's Arch are to be found both as an integral part of the
southern side of the Herodian western wall, and the area due west of
it. The shops of the street are the western pier of Robinson’s arch.
(2) I’m sure you’re
aware of the partiality of the inscription found on the uppermost
corner stone "L'BAYIT HATEKIAH KAHAV/KOF" Although I too assume that
your interpretation is correct, it is still not the full
(3) Most archeologists
do not “surmise that Robinson’s arch is a remnant of a bridge…” –
this is the description most would give to the great bridge that
ends with Wilson’s arch. Although Robinson believed he discovered
the remains of a bridge, it was Wilson, 30 years later, who proved…
that this was the remains of a great staircase, or overpass, a
theory that has been proven beyond doubt by excavations carried out
(I wrote, “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”, my name for the Herodian
Street immediately to the west of the Kotel. I did not intend to
give the impression that I was describing a bridge to the Upper
City. That theory, as Josh Even-chen correctly notes, has been
disproved. TT reader Avraham Greenhaus more accurately describes it
as “a mammoth staircase which led up to Har HaBayit” passing over
Kotel Drive. However its lower starting point, as I noted, was
adjacent to residential areas located on the western side of Kotel
Drive”, and on the same level. C.S.)
(4) “…spectacular find:
a Mikveh from the time of the Mikdash” – spectacular, true, just
like some 50 other mikvaot uncovered in the area of the southern
excavations. In my humble opinion, the more amazing discovery is the
abundance of mikvaot.
(The discovery of more
than 50 Mikva’ot in the area of the southern excavations is indeed
amazing. The importance of these Mikva’ot is that they are a
monumental demonstration that Am Yisrael strictly observed the
injunction of immersing in a Mikveh before entering Mikdash grounds
(Yoma 3:3). But what impressed me about this particular Mikveh was
the partition on the stairs “because” as the Mishna says, “the way
leading down is not the same as the way leading up.” I “saw”
Shekalim 8:2 right in front of my eyes! C.S.)
(5) There are “two
sealed gates, double and triple in the southern wall” – there is
another lesser-known gate as well – known as the single gate.
(6) The “pool and water conduit built by the Chashmona’im in the
Kotel Tunnels” – not quite. The conduit is Hasmonian. The pool is
Herodian, part of the moat around the Antonia fortress, roofed by
Hadrian in the end century.
(7) Last thing, what
you call “Kotel Drive” - because of the commercial nature of the
street adjacent to the Western Wall, is sometimes called “Wall
(Excellent. I thank Josh Even-chen for his cogent comments. Mikol
Melamdai Hiskalti. C.S.)
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
A review of a topic we've presented in the past. Native English
speakers are more likely to need this review - so please read on.
Let's start with the opening word of the Sh'ma.
SH'MA. Simple no? The SHIN has a SH'VA NA under it. That is a
semi-vowel. A short vowel. As opposed to a SH'VA NACH which does not
contribute sound to the letter it is under.
It is very common in English to have two consonants merge sounds
without a vowel between them. The S and M of SMART melt together in
English. Not so in Hebrew when the first letter has a SH'VA NA. This
is why we transliterate SH'MA with the apostrophe, not SHMA. SH'MOT,
not SHMOT. (Of course, some- times a word will appear without the
apostrophe, but if the SH'VA is NA (which it almost always is in
these kinds of situations), it needs to be heard.
Blending the SHIN and MEM of SH'MA does not change the meaning of
the word, but it is a sloppy pronunciation. And with SH'MA, we are
dealing with the fulfillment of a MITZVA D'ORAITA.
[Personal: I know that YL will take me to task for not talking AYIN
vs. ALEF. This is mentioned in halachic sources as a warning for
SH'MA in particular, not to interchange ALEFs and AYINs. On the
other hand, whereas some will argue that the Ashkenazi pronunciation
(actually, non-pronunciation) of an AYIN is simply WRONG,I am still
clinging to the view that it is the Ashkenazi way to consider an
AYIN silent - even though it really isn't. So I'm still not ready to
get into the ALEF-AYIN and CHET-CHAF issues, and the like, I feel it
is okay to talk about merged letters. - PC]
Not all first-letter-of-the-word-with-a-SH'VA are going to give
English speakers this problem. Only the one's that blend easily.
V'SHINANTAM - the V sound and the SHIN are not going to blend, and
we'll have no problem with this word. D'GANE- CHA, no problem.
Wall-boards of the Mishkan - K'RASHIM. We are used to words like
CRASH and will often blend the KUF and REISH. K' and then RA-SHIM.
Not KRA-SHIM. Get the point? Ice cream? Not GLIDA. G'LIDA.
English has consonant blends or clusters; Hebrew doesn't. We should
practice keeping them out of our Hebrew pronunciation. <more to
The sedra begins with the command to take pure olive oil and use it
to light the Menora daily in the Mikdash, so that it will burn (at
least) from evening until morning. (Upper-left and center.)
The shell in the upper right-hand corner is Murex Trunculus, the
snail which is thought, by a growing number of scholars and rabbis,
to be the source of T'CHEILET, mentioned often in our sedra in
connection to the garments of the Kohen Gadol. (It might also be the
source of ARGAMAN, the different colors resulting from the exposure
to light and air during the dye-making process.)
The gemstones under MT are for the CHOSHEN. 3 of the 12 are shown
The chain is for connecting the CHOSHEN to the EIFOD.
Of course, that's the Kohen Gadol on the bottom-left. This is one of
Davka's Judaica Graphics.
The silhouettes of the bull and two adult male sheep (a.k.a. rams)
are the inaugural korbanot of the kohanim. The matza represents the
Mincha offerings that accompanied the animal sacrifices. Most, but
not all, Menachot were halachically matza.
At the bottom are two lambs for the twice-daily T'MIDIM. Although
the mitzva to bring the T'midim is learned from Parshat Pinchas, the
T'midim are also mentioned here in T'tzaveh.
Above the lambs is the Golden Altar, a.k.a. the Incense Mizbei'ach
and the Inner Altar. The command to make this Mizbei'ach does not
appear in T'rumah with the rest of the main items of the Mishkan,
but rather in T'tzaveh.
The heart with the graduation cap represents the CHACHMEI LEIV, the
skilled weavers, etc. who did the work on the garments and other
The pomegranate and bell are for the bottom of the ME’IL of the
Book 4 (of Shulchan Aruch) is CHOSHEN MISHPAT.
That leaves two unexplained items
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
Last issue’s (T'RUMA) TTriddles:
 In G'matriya, A is 374 more than B.In area, B is 200 more than
 What was the score of the Do-Panels game?
 It's also the Torah reading schedule
 P=3A+B What is AÇB?
 8 times with gold; twice with copper
 Thunder & hail, people's favor, wisdom, voice, fear, great army
 Pair of pelvic fins and a pair of what for two similar sounding
 Group 11's first three, bread, the Jordan
 One element in the ParshaPix
And the envelope, please...
 Two of the three coverings of the Mishkan were the MISHKAN and
the OHEL, A and B respectively. G'matriya of MISHKAN is 410 (number
of years the First Beit HaMikdash stood, by the way). Ohel is 36. A
- B = 374. The MISHKAN was made of 10 panels measuring 4 x 28 amot
each. Total area: 10x4x28= 1120 sq. amot. The OHEL was made of 11
panels, each measuring 4 x 30 amot. That's 1320 sq. amot - 200 more
than the MISHKAN.
 This TTriddle was inspired by an old George Carlin routine. Plus
the warped path that thoughts take sometimes, in the TTriddle-making
process. The answer is 10-6. We know this from Sh'mot 26:1 which
says ...TAASEH ESER Y'RI'OT SHEISH MOSHZOR... TAASEH 10, Y'RI'OT 6.
DO vs. PANELS.
 The simple answer is the word ZAHAV, which is spelled ZAYIN
(Shabbat) HEI (Thursday) BET (Monday) - the Torah reading schedule.
A more elaborate version includes KESEF and NECHOSHET. KAF = (Yom)
KIPPUR; SAMACH = SSUKKOT; PEI = PESACH and PURIM. NUN = NEIROT (Chanuka);
CHET = CHODESH (Rosh Chodesh and Rosh HaShana, which is also a Rosh
Chodesh); SHIN = SHAVUOT; TAV = TAANIT (fast days).
 P stands for PASUK, specifically Sh'mot 25:35, a most unusual
pasuk. V'CHAFTOR TACHAT SH'NEI HAKANIM MIMENA, and a decorative orb
at the bottom of two branches (of the Menora)... This phrase appears
three times in a row (with different TROP, but identical words).
Call the set of the words in this repeated phrase A. And the words
of the rest of the pasuk is B. The intersection of set A and set B
is the word that belongs to both sets, HAKANIM.
 V'TZIPITA and you shall plate it or them. The word appears 10
times in all of Tanach - all 10 in Sh'mot, describing the
construction of the Mishkan. 8 times, the command is to plate with
gold. Twice it is with copper.
 And G-d gave... VASHEM NATAN appears only 6 times in Tanach. The
first in the TTriddle's list is from the plague of Hail. The second,
when the Egyptians gave gifts to the Jews on their way out of Egypt.
G-d gave Wisdom to Shlomo HaMelech (in the haftara of T'ruma - this
TTriddle's connection), and so on (check a Concordance or computer
 A shark - KARISH in Hebrew, has a pair of pelvic fins under its
body. Each KERESH (wall board of the Mishkan) had a pair of silver
ADANIM under it.
 Group 11 refers to the Periodic Table of Elements. The first
three elements in this group are Copper (Cu), Silver (Ag), and Gold
(Au). [In simpler days not that long gone, there were no other
elements in Group 11. But that was when there were 103 elements
total. Today there are 118 elements, and number 111 is the fourth
element in Group 11. Roentgenium (Rg). It was discovered in 1994 and
so far, only a few atoms of it have been made. And get this:
"Isolation of an observable quantity has never been achieved, and
may well never be."] In addition to ZAHAV, KESEF, and NECHOSHET, two
other words are found in Tanach that follow the word KIKAR: LECHEM
and HAYARDEIN, as in what Lot chose when Avraham offered him to
choose a direction.
 Which brings us to one unexplained item in the ParshaPix. It is
inside the frame. It's a mortarboard - graduation cap, a.k.a. in
England as a trencher. It is a symbol of wisdom (despite the fact
that a university education does not guarantee that the graduate
will possess wisdom) and is a reference to the haftara - And G-d
gave wisdom to Shlomo...
This week's TTriddles:
 HaB'gadim: 5-2, who & who?
 one of 12, one of 7, prophet's port
 Besides this week's sedra...who to whom and what?
 Three that share this unit of length
 A label on a pot you want to tovel is like what stone?
 plus two elements from the Parsha Pix
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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
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 Eisen
Sunday, February 20th, eve of 12 Adar Alef, 8:00pm: The Shofar of
Mashiach, Guest lecture/shiur by Rabbi Jacob Rabinowitz, Former
administrator, Yeshiva University
N'SHEI LIBRARY - 10:00-12:30
9:15am (men & women) Excursions into the World of Nvi'im with Mrs.
on sale: Jewish Books for Adults and Children by Simcha Publishing •
10:30am (men & women) Rambam’s 13 Principles with Rabbi Zev Leff'
Monday, February 21st, 11:35am (after Rabbi Leff's shiur): Jewish
History Series by Dr. Henry Goldblum, This week: Cyrus the Persian
King - Great for the Jews?
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
Monday, FEB 21st, 12:30pm, in the Library (free), Lunch and Video
Food Week at TorahVideo: "CHALAV YISRAEL" by Rabbi Mordechai Kuber
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
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
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 28th, 7:30-9:30pm
Monday, February 21, ‘05 • 13 Adar Alef for the first Yahrzeit of
Rabbi Dr. Ephraim R. Wolf, zt"l at the Israel Center • Maariv at
7:15pm, Program will begin at 7:30pm: 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. (Yahrzeit
commemoration & Siyum on same evening at Great Neck Synagogue),
Messages from Rabbi Dr. Aaron Adler; Rabbi Menachem Porush; Rabbi S.
Stern of Bayit Lepletot, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Rabbi Meyer Fendel and
Rabbi Dr. Ephraim D. Becker., We hope the evening will serve as an
Aliya for Rabbi Wolf's Neshama and as an inspiration to us all. We
plan to finish by 9:00pm IY'H. Light Refreshments
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
Tuesdays, 9:00am: The Meaning of Mitzvot • Rabbi Aharon Adler
Tuesdays, 10:15am: The Parsha thru the Eyes of the Haftara with
Rabbi Sholom Gold
9:00am & 9:55am: I will send My angel before you with Dr. Hayim
11:00am: I will call Him and He will answer with Dr. Hayim Abramson
10:50am: Parshat HaShavua with Rabbi Mordechai Spiegelman
11:45am (women) Review of the weekly Farbrengens of the Lubavitcher
Rebbe with Raizel Zisk
Tuesday, Feb. 22nd, 12:30pm, in the Library (free): Food Week:
"CHOPPED LIVER, CHEERIOS, & CHOCOLATE" by Phil Chernofsky
The Art of Simcha Tuesdays, 12:00-1:30pm: 5-week pre-Purim
innovative workshop, Mrs. Esther Sutton freelance author, certified
counselor women only
Educational event about the coaching and concepts of Creative Life
Education’s Worskhops: English: Tuesday, February 22nd •
8:00-9:30pm, Hebrew: Thursday February 24th • 8:00-9:30pm
What do we want to know about Bush in his second term, the new
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, New York's senator whose name
is being mentioned as potential presidential candidate, the latest
congress, Update on the American polical scene in general and its
implications for Israel in particular, Dr. David Luchins Tuesday,
February 22nd, 8:00pm
Wednesdays, 9:10am • Current Issues in Halacha with Rabbi Macy
Gordon, When Can One Take Life?
Wednesdays, 10:30am: Rabbi Yosef Wolicki on Parshat HaShavua
Wednesdays, 10:30am (women only): Songs from the Siddur - Meaning &
Melodies, Chani Abramson
Not this week: 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 ?
New: Melabev Support Group for Family Members of People Suffering
from Cognitive Decline with Rabbi Yosef Wolicki • Call 655-5198 for
Wed. FEB. 23rd, 12:30pm, in the Library (free), lunch and video:
Food Week at TorahVideo: "CHALLAH: THE BREAD OF LIFE" by Rabbi David
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 Borow
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
UPCOMING: Sunday, March 6th, 8:00pm: Blended Families, Then and Now,
A Special Shiur by Rabbi Zev Leff onStep-Parenting, Second
Marriages, and Blended Families
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)
627-1577 to discuss details
8:00: Legends from the Gemara with Reb Yosef Schreiber
Root & Branch Association in cooperation with the Israel Center
Thursday, February 24th • 19:00: Dancing with the Messiah: When? by
Rabbi Dr. Daniel Stolper
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
Investment Seminars with Financial Educator Mark van Gelderen and
SUN/MON/TUE March 6-8 • 7:30pm
The Israeli Tax reforms updated and how to legally minimize tax
Outstanding investments for difficult times – in Israel, and world
The Ultimate Israeli Real Estate Investment
20NIS per class, 3 classes for 40NIS, Call the Financial Resource
Network for details: (02) 622-3065, 054-769-2329, 052-893-3634, The
Israel Center is not responsible for the content or any outcome of
Israel Center Video Club (No charge) Tuesday, March 1, 2:00pm: "CAST
A GIANT SHADOW": Kirk Douglas as Mickey Marcus, the US army officer
who came to Israel in '48 to help form and to lead an army for the
fledgling state. Also with John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Yul Brynner.
Tuesday, March 15, 7:00 pm: "CROSSING DELANCEY": A single woman
whose work and life is the NY book shop in which she works, meets a
man through her Jewish grandmother's matchmaker. A funny movie about
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
Save the Date: Gala Dinner of the Seymour J. Abrams • Orthodox Union
Jerusalem World Center, Keter Torah Award: Phil Chernofsky, Sunday,
June 5, 2005, Leil Yom Yerushalayim, at the Renaissance Hotel
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
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,
22 Keren Ha'Yesod POB 37015 Jerusalem 91370
Phone: (02) 566 7787 Fax: (02) 561-7432 email: email@example.com
websites: www.ou.org/torah/tt and www.ou.org/israel/ic
Orthodox Union • National Conference of Synagogue Youth
This publication and many of the programs of the Israel Center and
NCSY b'Yisrael are assisted by grants from The Jewish Agency for
TT is published and printed "in house" at the Israel Center
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