MISC section - contents:
Q : I want to walk to my synagogue, which is 4 kilometers away (within city limits) on Shabbat, but I learned that one may not walk beyond 2,000 amot [almost a kilometer, assuming an ama is 48 cm. / 19 in.]. Do I need an eiruv or multiple eiruvin, and how do I make it?
A Not many people understand the laws of eiruv techumin (=ET; the halachic device that allows one to walk where he otherwise could not). Let us summarize the basics, based primarily on Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 396,398, and 408.
The Torah forbids one to "leave his place on the seventh day" (Shemot 16:29). A person's place is defined as the area of a city, which, regarding the laws of Shabbat, is based on Bnei Yisrael's encampment in the desert (24,000 amot, squared). Based on smaller city-areas found elsewhere in the Torah, the Rabbis forbade walking more than 2,000 amot (=2Kam) in any direction from his place of inhabitation or base (Rambam, Shabbat 27:1). An ET does not increase the distance one is allowed to walk. Rather, it redetermines a person's base for Shabbat, from which we count the 2Kam that he can walk. (We "draw a box", north-south/east-west, whose closest points are 2Kam from the end of the base on each side. "Walking diagonally" one can exceed 2Kam.)
Let us investigate what a person's base is. Every person's minimum base is the 4 amot around him. However, if a person is in an area that is fully enclosed for the purpose of human inhabitation, that whole area is his base from which we count 2Kam. When an area is surrounded by a valid eiruv chatzerot (which allows carrying in the streets) the whole area is the minimum base of all within. Even without one, a string of continuous inhabitation is considered a city and is the base of those who start Shabbat within it. They can walk throughout the area and "make the box" outside its boundaries. The complicated things are determining whether someplace is an uninterrupted area and determining its boundaries. The local rabbi(s) should make this determination after studying the area's layout, as the geometric/ halachic rules are difficult.
We will mention a couple of rules, after pointing out that conventional halachic wisdom is that within built up, residential areas of cities, one can usually walk to wherever he has occasion. An adjacent area of 70l amot rings every house, and counts as its extension. Where the extensions of two houses overlap (i.e. they are separated by less than 223 ft.), they create a link that expands the city. After determining a block of inhabitation, one encloses it (assuming its boundaries are jagged) in a north-south/east-west rectangle. This usually increases the block's size significantly (and, according to some, connects it to other areas). An "outer box" is "drawn" 2Kam around the rectangle. Even if the "outer box" extends into a new block, one cannot walk further.
It may be advantageous for one to make his "place," from where we determine his personal "outer box," somewhere other than the location where he lives. This can be done either by being physically present in the place he wants when Shabbat begins or by placing food there and making a proper proclamation of intent. The latter is the ET. One can be based in only one place for Shabbat, and therefore, multiple eiruvin do not work concurrently. The person must be physically within the 2Kam radius of his ET-created base, or else he cannot walk anywhere. If he puts the ET, say, 1500 amot west of his location, he will be able to walk 3,500 amot to the west but only 500 to the east. In your case, if you put an ET in a block that extends within 2Kam of your location on one side and 2Kam of the synagogue on another, you can walk more than 4,000 amot, as the entire middle block, no matter how large it is, is the base that "does not take up space."
Your local rabbi will tell you whether an eiruv is needed and will work in your situation. If so, he will teach you where and how to place it.
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Rabbi Simai said: The verse says: "And I will take you unto me as a nation," and it says: "And I will bring you to the land.' This connects their exodus from Egypt with their arrival in Israel. Just as only two men out of 600,000 ultimately arrived in Israel [Yehoshua and Calev], so too their departure from Egypt actually concerned only two out of 600,000.
How can this be correct? We certainly know that more than two Jews were taken out of Egypt? Rabbi Simai is not rewriting history. Instead, he is telescoping it to teach us a powerful lesson about the merit of Eretz Israel. If the final stage of redemption was the delivery of the Jews to Israel, then technically God performed all of His miracles for only two (out of 600,000) people - the two that left Egypt and actually entered Israel 40 years later. God changed the world's natural and political order so that two men would enter the land. Just think then how much He must cherish all those who have chosen to live in Eretz Israel in our day.
Rabbi Steven Ettinger, Hashmona'im
A Please accept my condolences on the loss of your very close friend. Your are what comes under the category of what we call: “a disenfranchised mourner”, i.e. although the death of your friend has affected your life in a very real sense you are not able to mourn her in any religious or socially acceptable way. (Other such losses include: the death of an ex-husband or wife , death of a pet , loss of a Rabbi, teacher, co-worker etc.) You may even have felt closer to her than some members of her family who sat shiva. It can be almost devastating.
Your feelings are legitimate. You are sad because you have lost something special and important to you and it is irretrievable. You are missing your friend very much and as of now you have no one or nothing to fill the vacuum her death has cased in your life.
You are probably depressed because you have no way to vent your anger at the fact that she has left you and that no one understands how much it hurts. Depression is usually anger that we turn inward when we feel unable to do act on our feelings and the anger at feeling helpless can be debilitating. You may be angry at her family that they didn’t invite you to “be with them” or at your own family for not accepting how you feel, or your mutual friends who don’t feel like you do. But a little examination will reveal its source. Often time itself can help, but not always.
I would say that you should give yourself time to mourn. Feel the sadness. Feel the loss. Don’t try to fight it. You can cry or write her a goodbye letter or share memories with members of her family or whatever feels good to you. (A few sessions with a bereavement counselor could be very helpful in moving the process along. )
As the pain begins to subside I suggest that you find some way to memorialize her; whether it be a regular shiur in her memory or by donating money or the like to a charity you both would have supported. It could be to get a group of your mutual friends together and take on some project in her memory. The act of doing will relieve some of the helplessness that we all feel in the face of death.
NECHAMA is a non-profit organization that
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Most of the commentators concur that this lack of response was not an indication of unfaithfulness. Rather, the Jews did not, could not, respond favorably because of the extreme pressures that they faced. For the Sforno, however, Bnei Yisra'el displayed an insufficiency of spirit that cost them the privilege of their generation entering Eretz Yisra'el.
Moshe, for his part, rationalized yet again that his own speech defect was at fault, for despite his having presented his case, there was nothing to show for it (ibid 6:12).
No wonder then that the Torah stresses the Divine imperative that propelled Moshe and Aharon forward: "Hashem commanded them regarding Bnei Yisrael and Pharaoh… [and] they were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh" (ibid 6:13;27). It seems that not only Moshe and Aharon needed to internalize this principle; but so did Pharaoh and Bnei Yisrael and their offspring - until the present day.
Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff