TT #647 - December 17-18, 6 Tevet 5765
This Shabbat is the 94th day (of 383); the 14th Shabbat (of 55) of
...ANI YOSEF; HA'OD AVI CHAI... (B'reishit 45:3)
Z'MANIM - HALACHIC
TIMES - Correct for TT #647
Ranges are THU-THU 4-11 Tevet (Dec. 16-23)
Earliest Shacharit - 5:38-5:42am
Sunrise - 6:32-6:36am
Sof Z'man Kri'at Sh'ma - 9:03-9:07am (8:15-8:18am)
Sof Z'man T'fila - 9:54-9:57am (9:22-9:25am)
Chatzot (halachic noon) - 11:35-11:38am
Mincha Gedola (earliest Mincha) - 12:05-12:09pm
Plag Mincha - 3:34-3:37½pm
Sunset - 4:42-4:46pm (4:37-4:40½pm)
Candle Lighting & Havdala Times (Standard Winter time)
Correct for TT 647 • Rabbeinu Tam (J'm) - 5:55pm
4:03pm Jerusalem 5:18pm
4:22pm Gush Katif 5:23pm
4:18pm Raanana 5:19pm
4:18pm Beit Shemesh 5:19pm
4:17pm Netanya 5:19pm
4:19pm Rehovot 5:20pm
3:58pm Petach Tikva 5:19pm
4:18pm Modi'in 5:19pm
4:20pm Be'er Sheva 5:21pm
4:18pm Gush Etzion 5:19pm
4:17pm Ginot Shomron 5:18pm
4:02pm Maale Adumim 5:18pm
4:09pm Tzfat 5:15pm
4:18pm K4 & Hevron 5:19pm
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...
With the molad of Tevet
being this past Sunday at 3:07am, we count 3 full days for the
earliest time for Kiddush L'vana this month. That brings us to early
Wednesday morning. Although it is still nighttime, with dawn still a
couple of hours away, there is no moon then; the moon had set on
Tuesday night at 7:12. Therefore, the first opportunity for KL is
Wednesday evening after dark.
Many people will say KL
on Motza"Sh (weather-permitting), including people who usually wait
for 7 days after the molad, but accept the practice of taking the
opportunity a bit early during the winter, when that op is Motza"Sh.
Others hold a strict
7-day rule, no matter what. Their first op this month is Sunday
night, December 19th.
Last op is Sun. Dec. 26, until 9:29pm.
In Every Generation
Remember what we said in Al HaNisim - 26 times in davening and a
bunch more in Birkat HaMazon. The wicked Greek empire attempted to
make us forget the Torah and foresake mitzvot. But we had victories
and miracles that brought us out from under the Greek thumb and we
were delivered from Greek oppression and free to learn Torah and
The Pesach concept of
B'chol Dor vaDor is applicable for Chanuka too. In the Hagada, there
are two "in every generation" reminders. In every generation,
someone arises to vanquish us. And in every generation, we must see
ourselves as if we came out of Egypt. This is no less true of
Chanuka. In every generation, some people, nation, culture arises
and attempts to assimilate us and enlighten us. Sometimes they want
to physically destroy us, and sometimes they "just" want us to be
like them, not so different all the time.
And because bad things
happen - or try to happen - in every generation, therefore it is
very important that we personalize the Pesachs, Purims, and Chanukas
of Jewish History. Just as we must see ourselves as having come out
of Egypt, we must also see ourselves as having lived through Greek
oppression, struggles and Divinely assisted victories and the
miracles of Chanuka.
As Jews who lived in
the time of Chanuka (k'ilu), we rededicate our- selves to Torah and
Mitzvot, help others do the same, and proceed towards the Geula
Sh'leima, or we can (G-d forbid) make some of the same mistakes that
lead to the destruction of the second Beit HaMikdash. It seems that
they (ah, but it is "we", since we are taking "In every generation"
seriously) had the possibility of the Complete Geula.
Or maybe they didn't.
We are taught that the second Beit HaMikdash had a shaky foundation,
so to speak, because so few Jews answered the call to return to
Eretz Yisrael. We hear that call in our time. We have the potential
to build the solid foundation upon which the third Beit HaMikdash
can and will be built. Commitment to Torah and Eretz Yisrael.
Parshat HaShavua and
the Calendar provide us with tools to work on the post-Chanuka
challenge. We see how Yehuda and Yosef, and the other brothers
handled to reunion, and the tense time leading up to it. We should
see the value and the way to unifying the Jewish People and find
ways to handle the many differences and splits within our society.
We have the 8th, 9th, and 10th of Tevet coming up with their lessons
about the Written and Oral Law (8 Tevet - Translation of the Torah
into Greek), the return to Eretz Yisrael after exile (9 Tevet -
yahrzeits of Ezra and Nechemya), and the many lessons of the Churban
(first and second). Let's learn from it all and help bring the Geula,
BIMHEIRA B'YAMEINU, AMEN.
11th of 54 sedras; 11 of 12 in B'reishit
Written on 178.07 lines in a Sefer Torah, ranks 34
Vayigash is composed of 3 parshiot, all closed, one VERY closed.
Actually, it's 2.89 parshiot; Vayigash is the only sedra that does
not end with a parsha break.
106 p'sukim - ranks 28th; tied with To'l'dot and Bo. Actually it is
considerably smaller than Bo, and a bit larger than To'l'dot
1480 words - 30th; 5680 letters - 29th
9th (of 12) in B'reishit in all 3 categories
Mitzvot: none of the TARYAG (613)
Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary
[P> X:Y (Z)] and [S> X:Y (Z)] indicate start of a parsha p’tucha or
s’tuma respectively. X:Y is Perek:Pasuk of the beginning of the
parsha; (Z) is the number of p'sukim in the parsha.
Kohen - First Aliya - 13 p'sukim - 44:18-30
[S> 44:18 (52)] The sedra begins with the dramatic confrontation
between Yehuda and Yosef. Yehuda risks his life when he approaches
the "Egyptian leader" in an attempt to save Binyamin. The first
Aliya ends with the emotion-filled Yehuda's description of the
feelings between Yaakov and Binyamin — "V'nafsho k'shura v'nafsho",
and his soul is bound with his soul.
SDT Yehuda confronted
the as-yet- unrevealed Yosef as an equal, It can be said, that
whenever one approaches a confrontational situation, it is best to
think in terms of facing one's adversary on equal footing. Thinking
oneself inferior will often create a self-fulfilling disadvantage.
One will tend not to fight with sufficient determination because of
the expectation of defeat. Feeling superior to one's adversary will
often lead to over-confidence. Remember not to underestimate your
enemy... or yourself.
The Torah notes on the
opening words of the sedra explain what was going on. KADMA V'AZLA
R'VI'I, ZARKA MUNACH SEGOL (see top row of the ParshaPix, above).
The 4th (son) went forward (to confront Yosef), because he had
thrown away his place among the Chosen (Nation) (by guaranteeing
Binyamin's safe return) - attributed to the GR"A
SDT The Alshich asks:
At the end of Parshat Mikeitz, Yehuda is completely resolved to his
(and his brothers') fate. The Egyptian ruler has accused them of
stealing his special chalice. Yehuda offers that the one in whose
possession the cup is found shall be put to death and that the
others would be slaves. When the cup is "found" in Binyamin's
possession, Yehuda meekly submits (to the slavery suggestion). Yosef
(as yet unrevealed) nobly refuses Yehuda's offer and announces that
he will take only the "culprit" as a slave - the rest are free to
return in peace to their father. That is the "cliff-hanger" ending
of Mikeitz. At the beginning of Vayigash, Yehuda changes from the
lamb awaiting slaughter, to the lion which becomes the hallmark of
his tribe, risking his life in his confrontation with the enigmatic
Egyptian leader. What caused the change in Yehuda's demeanor?
As long as Yehuda
expected all the brothers to be enslaved, he viewed the events as G-d's
punishment for the sale of Yosef. This he could accept. When it
turned out that only Binyamin would be enslaved - the only one not
involved in Mechirat Yosef, Yehuda realized that this was not
punishment for what they had done. Now his protective instincts and
his promise to Yaakov take over. Yehuda boldly faces this "Egyptian"
and is prepared to risk all to save Binyamin.
Besides the Alshich's
comment above, some commentaries see Yehuda's change in attitude
(from the end of Mikeitz to now) as the proper Jewish attitude of
not despairing, but facing adversity.
SDT Yosef heard his
father referred to as "your servant - my father" ten times (5 from
Yehuda and another 5 from the interpreter) and he did not object
and/or reveal his identity to prevent the humiliation of his father.
For this, commentators say, Yosef lost 10 years of life and died at
110, before any of his brothers.
SDT Chassdic masters
see a "layer of messages" for us beneath the wording of Yehuda's
plea. "...and (if) he leaves his father, he will die." If a person
abandons his Father (G-d), forsakes the Torah, then he will die a
Did you ever notice
that when Yosef interrogated the Brothers, he asked them if they had
a father or brother. Not if they had a mother. Baal HaTurim says it
was because he knew that their (and his) mother had already died.
Let's call this even a subconscious omission. The Torah tells us of
Rachel's passing. According to Tradition, Leah died about six years
after Rachel did. By the time of the sale of Yosef, both were long
Here's a thought...
When they were younger, and when they perceived that Yaakov loved
Yosef above all, the brothers were dangerously jealous. Here, Yehuda
speaks of the special love bond between Yaakov and Binyamin, and
does not seem to be jealous, but rather protective (and fond) of the
other son of Rachel - Yehuda's mother's rival. T'shuva? Maturity?
Some of both?
Levi - Second Aliya - 11 p'sukim - 44:31-45:7
Yehuda tells Yosef that Yaakov is likely to die if the brothers
return without Binyamin. He adds that he has personally guaranteed
Binyamin's return and "how can I return to my father without the
lad..." (Remember that Yehuda had previously returned to his father
without the other lad, Yosef. The current situation with Binyamin is
Yehuda's opportunity for complete repentance for what he had done to
Yosef cannot contain
himself any longer and orders the room cleared of all "outsiders".
He bursts with emotion and announces to his dumb-struck brothers
that he is Yosef. Immediately, Yosef asks, "Is my father still
alive?" Yosef repeats his shocking revelation, with details, so the
brothers will believe what they are hearing. He then admonishes them
not to be angry with each other, since it was G-d's plan that should
be properly positioned to save his family from the famine.
SDT Torah T'mima brings
the Gemara in Chagiga in the name of Rabbi Elazar who makes the
following powerful observation: If the children of Israel were not
able to respond to Yosef's short statement of reproach, imagine how
more so it will be difficult for us to respond to G-d's reproach for
the myriad wrong- doings as individuals and as a community.
The sale of Yosef was a
monstrous sin, regardless of how G-d planned things to turn out. We
were slaves to Par'o because of it. So says the Midrash.
SDT When Yosef finally
reveals himself to his brothers, he makes the following compound
statement: "I am Yosef - Is my father still alive?" Many
commentaries ask why Yosef would ask that question at this dramatic
moment - especially since he has been hearing about Yaakov from the
brothers all along.
Some see in it a short
but powerful reproach to the brothers, as if to say, "is it possible
that my father can still be alive after what you've put him
through?" If this is indeed the meaning of his question, then Yosef
too must bear some of the burden and shame, since he also caused
Yaakov suffering by not having communicated with him that he was
alive during his years as prime minister in Egypt. (Although there
are various reasons given in the sources as to why Yosef did not
inform Yaakov of his well-being, it is difficult not to throw some
criticism in Yosef's direction.)
suggests that Yosef might have assumed that his brothers had been
lying to him about their father. They might have told him that
Yaakov was alive to elicit sympathy, but he might have been dead.
Therefore, now that he has told his brothers who he really is, Yosef
asks the most important question on his mind - Is my father really
Shlishi - Third Aliya - 20 p'sukim - 45:8-27
Yosef again tells the brothers that it wasn't they who sent him to
Egypt, but rather it was G-d. He then sends them to bring their
father down to Egypt (to Goshen) where the family will be well cared
for during the remaining years of the famine. The brothers embrace
and cry. Only then are the brothers able to talk to Yosef.
becomes aware of the reunion and offers his generous hospitality to
the family. Yosef gives his brothers clothing, but gives Binyamin
even more (specifically, 5 sets of clothing and 300 silver pieces).
that once again a son of Rachel is being favored by being given a
special garment. The first time, the results were disastrous for
Yosef and his brothers. Why would Yosef even consider doing this?
The "solution" to the
problem of the brothers is not reached by avoiding difficult
situations. If there is true repentance, then the brothers can be
given the exact circumstances to show their change of heart. Seeing
things in a proper perspective, the extra gifts to Binyamin do not
evoke the jealousy of the brothers; they have repented.
This same idea can be
seen in Vaychi. Yaakov favors Efrayim over Menashe. Yosef gets very
upset. Again we can say that the idea is not to avoid anything that
would make one brother jealous, the other arrogant. Menashe and
Efrayim showed praiseworthy characteristics in the way they handled
their different statuses. This is one of the reasons that we bless
our sons "may G-d make you like Efrayim and like Menashe..."
Yosef sends his
brothers back to Yaakov with wagons (which is a personal coded
message between son & father based on the topic they were studying
at the time of the Sale of Yosef) and gifts. The brothers tell
Yaakov all that has happened. He refuses to believe that Yosef is
really alive, until he sees the wagons. Yaakov's spirit is revived.
R'vi'i - Fourth Aliya - 8 p'sukim - 45:28-46:7
Yaakov tells his sons to hurry with their preparations so that he
can get to see Yosef before he (Yaakov) dies. On the way to Egypt,
they stop at Be'er Sheva where Yaakov offers sacrifices to G-d. G-d
appears to him and assures him that He will protect him and
accompany him on his sojourn. The family continues its trip and
arrives in Goshen.
Rashi also points out
that G-d promised that Yaakov would be brought back to Eretz Yisrael
for burial. The promise of becoming a great nation was not enough to
[SDT] In explanation of
why Yosef never communicated with his father in all the years of
separation, one commentary suggests that had Yaakov known about the
sale of Yosef, he would have considered his sons in violation of the
Torah's prohibition against kidnapping. Therefore, Yosef had not
told his father what had happened.
Chamishi - Fifth Aliya - 20 p'sukim - 46:8-27
[S> 46:8 (20)] The Torah now lists the names of the "70 souls"
(including Yosef and his sons) who went down to Egypt with Yaakov.
(The seed is planted; the harvest many years hence will be the
Nation of Israel.)
THE SEVENTY SOULS...
Note the atypical mention (and counting) of female offspring - Dina
and Serach the daughter of Asher. Tradition attributes to Serach
great longevity - she was the oldest person to leave Egypt, giving
her the unique status as an eyewitness to the entire Egyptian
experience. (Yocheved too, perhaps.)
Notice the label of B'CHOR (firstborn) for Reuven, here and in other
places in the Torah. Although Levi, Yehuda, and Yosef each ended up
with a "feature" that we would identify with the first born, these
roles being taken away from Reuven because of his shortcomings, he
nonetheless is repeatedly identified as Yaakov's B'CHOR.
Reuven (1) and his sons
Chanoch (2), Palu (3), Chetzron (4), Carmi (5);
Shimon (6) and his sons Y'mu'el (7), Yamin (8), Ohad (9), Yachin
(10), Tzochar (11), Shaul (12); (Rashi says that Shaul was Dina's
child from Sh'chem, raised by Shimon as his own);
Levi (13) and his sons Gershon (14), K'hat (15), M'rari (16);
Yehuda (17) and his sons Eir and Onan (both of whom who died in
Canaan, but are mentioned here, though not counted among the 70),
Sheila (18), Peretz (19), Zerach (20), and Peretz's sons Chetzron
(21), Chamul (22);
Yissachar (23) and his sons Tola (24), Puva (25), Yov (26), Shimron
Z'vulun (28) and his sons Sered (29), Eilon (30), Yachl'eil (31);
These are Leah's children plus Dina (32).
The Torah says the total from Leah is 33. Rashi says that the 33rd
of Leah's "children" is Yocheved (33), daughter of Levi, who was
born as they entered Egypt. That's 33 souls from Leah.
Gad (34) and his sons Tzifyon (35), Chagi (36), Shuni (37), Etzbon
(38), Eiri (39), Arodi (40), Areili (41);
Asher (42) and his children Yimna (43), Yishva (44), Yishvi (45),
B'ri'a (46), their sister Serach (47), and the sons of B'ri'a,
Chever (48), Malki'el (49);
The souls from Zilpa are 16.
Yosef (50) and Binyamin (51);
Yosef's sons who were born in Egypt (they are nonetheless included
in the Seventy Souls) from A-s’nat - Menashe (52), Efrayim (53);
Binyamin's sons Bela (54), Becher (55), Ashbel (56), Geira (57),
Naaman (58), Eichi (59), Rosh (60), Mupim (61), Chupim (62), Ard
Souls descendant from Rachel are 14.
Dan (64) and his son(s) Chushim (65);
Naftali (66) and his sons Yachtz'eil (67), Guni (68), Yeitzer (69),
Those descendant from Bilha are 7.
The Torah's total is 66 who went down to Egypt (actually 67 counting
Yocheved) and Yosef and his sons who were already in Egypt, bring
the total - not counting daughters-in-law - to 70.
Remember that the "whole world" that came from No'ach was 70
(nations). We now find the same number in Yaakov's descendants.
Their 70 became the Nations of the World. Our 70 became the Jewish
People. Think about it.
Alternate suggestion: Count Yaakov among the 70 souls and not
Yocheved? Total is still 70 with all the names actually mentioned in
Shishi - Sixth Aliya -17 p'sukim - 46:28-47:10
[S> 46:28 (34)] Yaakov sends Yehuda ahead, to complete preparations.
Yosef sends a royal chariot for his father.
When Yaakov and Yosef meet, Yosef embraces Yaakov and cries.
Yosef then prepares (some of) his brothers to meet Par'o. It is a
sensitive issue because Yaakov and family are shepherds (sheep being
the deity of Egypt). Yosef presents his father and five of his
brothers to Par'o. Par'o again offers the best of the land to
Yosef's family. Par'o asks Yaakov how old he is. Yaakov replies that
he has lived 130 bitter years and that he does not expect to live as
long as his father or grandfather. Yaakov blesses Par'o (having done
so when first presented to Par'o - Rashi says that these were
courtesy greetings to royalty) and Yaakov takes his leave.
Rashi brings a Midrash that says that Yaakov’s bracha to Par’o was
that the Nile should rise above its banks when he approaches it. And
so it was, from then on.
Sh'vi'i - Seventh Aliya - 17 p'sukim - 47:11-27
Yosef sets up his family with the best the land has to offer.
Meanwhile, the famine intensifies in Egypt. Yosef carefully controls
the food supplies and before long has amassed for Par'o all the
wealth, possessions and land (except for that of the clergy) of the
people. Finally, the peoples of Egypt become slaves to Par'o in
exchange for sustenance.
Yaakov's family flourishes greatly.
As mentioned earlier, this is the only sedra that does not end with
a parsha break (in a printed Chumash, that means no PEI-PEI-PEI or
SAMACH- SAMACH-SAMACH. The significance of this is explained by the
commentaries of the opening pasuk of next week’s sedra. 3 p'sukim
are reread for Maftir.
Haftara - 14 p'sukim -Yechezkeil 37:15-28
The antagonism in the beginning of Parshat Vayigash between Yehuda
and Yosef is the forerunner of the split of the Jewish People into
the kingdoms of Judah and Israel (represented by Efrayim, Yosef's
son). In this portion from the Prophets, G-d tells Yechezkeil to
take two sticks - one marked for Yehuda and one for Efrayim-and hold
them together until they merge into one. When the people ask the
meaning of this, the prophet is to tell them about the reunification
of the tribes. This reconciliation, which is also the theme of the
sedra, will produce the One Nation that will once again be the
"dwelling place" of G-d. We will know that, as will the nations of
the world. As happy as is the reconciliation of the brothers in the
sedra, both the sedra and haftara reminds us of rough times to come,
throughout Jewish History.
THE JERUSALEM INSTITUTE OF JEWISH LAW - Rabbi Emanuel Quint, Dean
Lesson # 263 (part one) •Laws of the Lessee
Beginning with this lesson and continuing for several more lessons,
the laws of the lessee are discussed. A lessee (tenant) is one who
rents property, personal property or real estate from the owner
(landlord). As seen in previous lessons, there are four classes of
bailees (1) the borrower; (2) the lessee; (3) the paid bailee; and
(4) the unpaid bailee. However, there are only three sets of laws
regarding some of the aspects of liability; the paid bailee and the
lessee are to a great extent governed by the same laws regarding
their liability for negligence, loss, or theft of the object. The
fundamental difference between a paid bailee and the lessee is that
the paid bailee must not use the object, while the lessee rents the
object for use.
(1) is liable for any loss, damage, destruction, or any other non
return of the object as it was delivered to him, if it was due to
his negligence. (This is close to destroying the object willfully;
for which he is liable, since the owner is relying upon him for the
normal protection of the object.)
(2) is liable if the object was lost by him or if it was stolen from
him. (This holds true even if he guarded the object in a normal
manner and was not negligent.)
(3) is not liable for the non return of the object if it was lost
through force majeure (circumstances way beyond his control).
(4) is not liable for its non return if the object "dies" while he
uses the object in the manner in which lessees use that particular
rented object. (The purpose of renting the object was to use it.)
(5) is not liable to the owner for not returning the object to him
if the owner was working for the lessee (even in an unrelated job)
when the lessee took possession of the object. This is true even if
the owner was not working for the lessee at the actual time when the
object was lost even by the negligence of the lessee. However, the
lessee is liable if he intentionally loses, damages, or destroys the
There is a case that
has been included in the major codes since the 13th century: The
owner rented a house to the lessee. The lessee placed wheat in the
house, and when the wheat remained there for several days the walls
were damaged. The owner requested that Beth Din issue a warning to
the lessee to remove the wheat since it was damaging the walls. Beth
Din issued the warning and he failed to do so. Thereafter the walls
collapsed, causing damage to the owner and to the immediate
neighbor. It was held that the lessee was liable for all of the
damages including damage to the underlying land. It was more than
negligence; it was as if he caused the damage with his own hands.
The lessee rents a car
from the owner and the car is damaged through the negligence of the
lessee. The damage can be repaired in a few days' work. The only
monetary damages incurred by the owner is that he cannot rent the
car to any other lessee until the car is repaired. There is a
holding that the lessee is not liable for the damages suffered by
the owner for such loss of income; there is also a contrary holding
that the lessee is responsible. The halacha seems to follow the
former holding. There is an opinion that the former holding applies
only if the damage first became apparent after the lessee returned
the car to the owner. However, if the damage was manifest prior to
the return of the car to the owner, the lessee is liable for the
loss of rental income to the owner. For example, the rental is for
the month of January. The car is damaged by the negligence of the
lessee during January, and the car is returned to the owner and
cannot be used during the first week of February. The lessee must
pay for another week's rent since what occurred was the equivalent
of returning the car at the end of the first week of February. The
lessee also has to pay for the repair of the car.
The owner may not rent
out an automobile if it has been driven an extraordinary amount of
miles without having been serviced.
Either the owner or the
lessee can terminate the proposed relationship before the lessee
performs an act that constitutes the beginning of the rental
relationship. It would be the type of act that he would perform to
acquire the property by purchase. There is an opinion that although
the lessee may terminate the proposed relationship before he
performs such an act, he is responsible for the theft or loss of the
object if the owner, with the consent of the lessee leaves the
object with him and departs.
The lessee is not
permitted to entrust the rented object to a third person without the
express consent of the owner. If he does, and the third person
loses, damages, or destroys the object or is unable to return it
because it was stolen or even as a result of force majeure, the
lessee is liable to the owner. For example, the lessee loans the
object, such as a car, to a third person (borrower). The car is
damaged when it is struck by lightning while parked in front of the
house of the third person. (I have used “struck by lightening” as an
example of force majeure.)
A borrower is liable
for any type of loss, except if the loss occurs when the borrower
uses the borrowed object for the purpose for which it was borrowed.
For example, if the borrower borrows a cow to pull a plow and the
cow dies while pulling a plow the borrower is not liable; if the cow
dies while walking, the borrower is liable.
If the owner gives
permission to the lessee to lend the car to a third party then the
lessee has the same liabilities that he had absent the loan of the
car to the borrower. That is, the lessee will have to prove that the
car was damaged as a result of force majeure and not because of his
negligence or that of the borrower, or because the loss or theft
while in his custody or that of the borrower. A lessee is liable if
the object was negligently damaged or lost as a result of loss or
theft and it does not matter in whose custody such losses occurred,
in the lessee or the borrower, even with the permission of the
The subject matter of
this lesson is more fully discussed in volume IX chapters 307 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
Windows in Shul
"A person should pray only in a house with windows, as it is written
(Daniel 6:11), 'and his windows opened from his loft towards
Yerushalayim'" (Berakhot 34b). While there is an opinion that this
applies only to prayers in a private house, most Rishonim and the
Shulchan Arukh (OC 90:4) learn from this that a shul should have
windows, preferably in the direction of Yerushalayim.
The Beit Yosef brings a
number of explanations for this law. Rashi's explanation is that the
window exposes the sky, reminding us of our subordination to Heaven.
The Rambam writes that
we should in effect gaze towards Yerushalayim. One explanation in
Rabbenu Yonah is that one's intention is better when there is light.
variation on this theme stems from a story told about Rav Yehuda
Amital. The story goes that when the Beit Midrash for his yeshiva
was first built, the architect wanted to make it without windows
with a view of the surrounding landscape. The rationale was that
this design made the building fit in better with the environment.
Rav Amital's response was typical of his perpetual emphasis on the
human element in serving G^d: It is the students, rather than the
building, who must fit in with the environment! In other words, the
place of Torah study is not meant to be a place where students are
completely isolated from the outside world; it is a refuge but one
that retains a constant awareness of the life of the nation and the
A similar insight can
be applied to a place of prayer. While prayer is a private
confrontation between the individual and G^d, the subject of our
prayers include earthly matters such as health and livelihood.
Having windows reminds us that our prayers are not meant to be
isolated from the world outside. (Of course it is critical that the
view should not be of anything distracting or immodest.)
The Beit Yosef gives an
additional source for the need for a window, the Zohar (Pikudei
II:251a). The Zohar gives a remarkable explanation of a verse from
Shir HaShirim: "Behold, one stands behind our wall, gazing through
the windows, peeping through the lattice" (Shir HaShirim 2:9).
These two kinds of
vision represent two different levels of Divine Providence. "Peeping
through the lattice" is a narrow level of supervision in which not
all is seen; "gazing through the window" is a broader level which
reveals all of a person's acts.
The Yedid Nefesh
commentary of Rabbi Yechiel Bar Lev explains that the narrow
supervision is focused on our acts, while the broader view
encompasses also our prayers. It is significant that "gazing through
the window" precedes "peeping through the lattice"; this means that
G^d judges us on our actions, but He does so in the broader context
of our desires and our turning towards Hashem. This leads to a
lenient judgment; acts which narrowly perceived would seem improper
can be justified or excused when seen in context.
According to this
approach, the windows in a shul correspond to the "windows" of
Divine supervision. We put windows in the place of prayer to
symbolize Hashem's window on our prayers. The opening reminds us of
the opening to heaven through which G^d perceives our true inner
desires and our reliance on Him. When we remember that He will judge
our acts in the context of the content of our prayers, our prayers
should be deeper and more sincere.
Publication Update: The book is now in fully designed page proofs
and is being proofread. Proofreading is about two weeks, then
Feldheim has to look it over which will take at least a week, then
IY"H we can go to 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;
SAMUEL, KINGS (Nevi'im Rishonim) by Dr. Meir Tamari
Three Kings Do Not Have a Share in the World To Come (Melachim Bet
21; Divrei HaYamim Bet 33)
"All of Israel has a share in the World to Come [The mishna does not
come to exclude righteous gentiles but teaches us that even the
sinners of Israel do not forfeit their share]. However, the
following Israelites do not have a share: One who denies that there
is reference to the Resurrection of the Dead in the Torah, or says
that the Torah [both Written Torah and the Oral Law that is its
application] is not from Heaven] or an apikoros. Three kings have no
share in the World to Come. They are Yeravam ben Navat, Achav and
Menashe. Rabbi Yehuda says, 'Menashe has a portion as it is stated:
"And he prayed to Him and He heard his plea and He returned him to
Yerushalayim to his kingdom" (33:13). The Sages said to Rabbi Yehuda,
G-d returned him to his kingdom but not to the World To Come"
(Sanhedrin 7:1). Many others also do not have a share yet the Mishna
singled out only these these, since although they had great Torah
learning, nevertheless they had notions that were contrary to basic
teachings of Judaism (Rambam, Peirush HaMishnayot).
From the discussion in
the Talmud (Sanhedrin 101b-102b) regarding this mishna, we gain
important insights not only into the evil actions of these three
kings but also into the ways of teshuva.
Rambam in Hilkhot
Teshuva teaches that teshuva requires confession of ones sins,
acknowledgement that the action was wrong and an undertaking not to
repeat it. Sometimes teshuva does not always mean freedom from
punishment; that may require a sacrifice [in Temple days], a
monetary fine, or some social action such as charity, suffering, or
even death. The sins between man and man, social sins, require that
the injured party must first be compensated for loss or injury
before teshuva can be effective. Where there is no way of
compensating the injured party, we have only an imperfect form of
teshuva. “The punishment for incorrect weights and measures is very
severe” (Choshen Mishpat 131: 19). Rambam, bringing the same din,
teaches that that is because the latter is only a sin between man
and G-d whereas the former is a sin between man and man and
therefore requires a double form of teshuva. The Tur Shulchan Arukh
explains that in those cases where a person defrauded many people
through using false weights and measures [as in sales to many
consumers in share market scandals or pyramid schemes or through
public sector corruption], he is unable to make compensation to all,
if any of them, even if he wishes to do so. Then we would have
people who were unable to do teshuva. Out of pity for such people's
spiritual dilemma, our Sages opened a way and said they should give
charity and do acts of righteousness; this is only second grade
teshuva not meant as a gimmick for fraud and then giving charity. In
this spirit we have a teshuva concerning an employer whose salesman
was killed while traveling on his behalf. There were no legal
grounds for making the employer liable in any way for the death as
there was no coercion on his part nor was there any negligence nor
were there any prior indications of any danger. Nevertheless, since
he was involved in some way, the employer was told to give charity
to the dead man's children, pay for their education etc; if there
were none he should support orphans (Teshuvot Maharil Weil, section
Although the Rambam
writes that if one of the types listed in the mishna does teshuva,
he has a share in the World to Come since there is nothing that
stands in the way of teshuva, we will see from the three kings that
there are actions and attitudes that prevent full atonement for sin.
Originally Yeravam ben
Nevat, the earliest of these kings, merited kingship because he had
rebuked Shlomo HaMelech in the difficulties he placed in the path of
those coming to worship in the Temple. “And this was the matter that
he raised a hand against the king: Shlomo had built up the Milo and
closed up the breach of the City of David” (Melachim Alef 11:27).
Whereas David had breached the city walls in order to facilitate
entry of the masses into the Temple, Yeravam accused Shlomo of
closing that breach in order to thereby levy a toll on those coming
to the Temple, for Pharaoh’s daughter whom Shlomo had married. That
was meritorious, however, Yeravam’s arrogance led him to rebuke
Shlomo in public, thereby showing that that pious act was only a
pretext for rebellion; as was later shown by the Calves that he set
up in order to prevent the people from pilgrimage to Yerushalayim,
the seat of the Davidic dynasty. Until the time of Yeravam, Israel
suffered the consequences of the one Calf that they made in the
desert, from then onwards they suffered also from the two that he
made. Hashem had said at the first one: "Your nation has sinned",
reminding Moshe that he had, in opposition to Hashem's advice,
allowed the mixed multitude to join Israel in their Exodus. Now that
mixture had led the Jews to make the idol. Moshe replied that it was
all the wealth that G-d gave to the Israelites that caused them to
make a Calf of Gold. "At the sea, G-d gave Israel much treasure and
at Sinai He gave them a Torah to teach them how to use it" (S.R.
Hirsch, Ex.3:12). Despite Yervam's misleading of Israel, he was
given a chance to repent but his arrogance prevented him from doing
so. "After this thing Yeravam, did not turn back from his evil way (Melachim
Alef 13:33). R' Abba said, 'What is the meaning of ‘after this
thing’? Hashem said, return from your evil ways and then I, you and
the son of David will walk together in Gan Eiden. Who will lead,
asked Yeravam? The son of Yishai, answered Hashem. If so, said
Yeravam, I do not desire it." So he has no share in the World to
Come, since he did not repent.
This is the 63rd installment in Dr. Tamari’s series on “Tanach and
its messages for our times”
MISC section - contents:
 Vebbe Rebbe
 Touch of Wisdom; Touch of Wit
 Candle by Day
 From Aloh Naaleh
 From the desk of the director
 From the virtual desk of the OU VEBBE REBBE
The Orthodox Union – via its website – fields questions of all types
in areas of kashrut, Jewish law and values. Some of them are
answered by Eretz Hemdah, the Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies,
Jerusalem, headed by Rav Yosef Carmel and Rav Moshe Ehrenreich,
founded by HaRav Shaul Yisraeli zt"l, to prepare rabbanim 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 My digital camera
enables me to make a picture that puts A's head on B's body. I did
that at a family wedding with permission from all of the subjects of
the "split" pictures to share with family members in an electronic
wedding album. Included was a picture of a 23 year-old male's head
on his 17 year-old sister's body. Their father (a relative) has
suggested that under Jewish law it is improper to include these
photos. He says that the sacredness of the human body is a basic
value in Judaism, based on the B'reishit 1 comment that G-d created
humans in His image, and that deliberately distorting the body in
such a manner deviates from that value. 1) Is he really right? 2)
Does his opinion matter, considering that the pictures are mine, and
they were taken with consent?
A As far as strict
halacha (Jewish law) is concerned, we are not aware of a specific
ruling which would forbid the type of split pictures you describe.
On the other hand, we must understand what halacha is. The Torah
discusses and hints and the Rabbis over the ages have derived many
values, which are manifested in thousands of specific, binding
commandments and regulations. Once there is a specific regulation,
the matter takes on a life of its own, and we apply halachic rules,
which are semi-independent of the original value. Certain cases,
especially subjective ones, are not included in a specific
regulation but may still offend a certain value. While treatment of
such cases has somewhat more flexibility, it is inaccurate to say
that Judaism has no objection to them. Rather, the pros and cons of
the situation need to be weighed, and the matter may be viewed
differently by different beholders and in different contexts. Your
case is such an example.
Whether you ascribe the Divinely related nature of humanity to the
body or just the soul (a broad topic in itself), the dignity of the
human body is an unquestionably serious Torah value with
far-reaching halachic applications. There are times when one can
compromise certain laws in order to protect a person's body from
disgrace, during life (Yoreh Deah 303- see this week's Moreshet
Shaul) or after death (ibid. 374). The body is the Divinely ordained
home of the pure soul He granted us and it represents the person.
Disgracing the body disgraces the person as a whole.
You would surely agree
that it is disgraceful to display such "split" pictures of a
deceased person at his funeral. Your relative would presumably not
object to using such pictures in the frivolity of a Purim party.
Context is crucial. A wedding album is a borderline case, as things
wedding-related have a formal side, but people are encouraged to do
"wild and crazy" things to increase the sense of excitement (Ketubot
17a). It is most appropriate to consider the tastes of the bride and
groom (without dragging them into a family squabble).
relative's involvement in his children's affair, there is limited
precedent for his right to raise a moral protest. The gemara (Bava
Kamma 86b) discusses one who disgraced a sleeping person who
subsequently died without becoming aware of his disgrace and suffer
damage from the affair. The gemara leaves it as an unsolved question
whether the family can demand payment for the vicarious disgrace to
them. This likely implies that before the fact, relatives have a
right to prevent the act from being done (see Bava Batra 22b). There
are many distinctions that can separate your case from that of the
gemara, but it is important to see that the father's feelings have
some grounds in Jewish ethics and should be taken into account.
If this question would
come to a religious court for adjudication, there could be some
fascinating twists and complicated issues to hammer out. However,
neither side of this hopefully friendly disagreement on this
subjective, borderline matter has moral grounds to turn it into a
quarrel. Neither your desire to include the picture nor his
objection appear to be of cardinal importance (as family
relationships are). You must reach a meeting of the minds on the
matter of "split" bodies.
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
 ArtScroll Series • Mesorah Publications Ltd.
A TOUCH OF WISDOM A TOUCH OF WIT by Shmuel Himelstein
The Vilna Gaon had an agreement with the leaders of the Vilna
community that he was not to be summoned from his learning unless
there was a discussion about a new regulation.
The leaders of the
community once wished to pass a regulation that would only allow the
poor of Vilna to beg in the city, and would exclude the poor of
other areas from doing so. The leaders thus convened a meeting and
invited the Gaon.
After the Gaon had
heard the proposed regulation, he told the leaders, "Didn't I say
that I was only to be called when you are discussing a new
"Yes, Rebbe", they
replied, "this is a new regulation."
"Nothing of the sort",
said the Gaon, "It's an old regulation passed by the Council of Four
Lands." (The Council of Four Lands was a quasi-governmental
organization which controlled the major aspects of Jewish life in
Poland and Lithuania, until late in the 18th century.)
The Council of Four
Lands, Rabbi?" they asked. "We've gone through all the minutes of
the Council and find no mention of such a regulation."
"You misunderstood me",
said the Gaon. I was referring to the four lands of Sodom, Amora,
Adma and Tzevoyim. They too enacted laws forbidding the poor to beg.
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
 Candle by Day
What strikes us as a profoundly complex conception, may, in the mind
of the thinker, be nothing more than an orderly progression from one
thought to another. We, presented with the whole, get the impression
that it was conceived whole in the thinker's mind. - From A Candle
by Day by Rabbi Shraga Silverstein
 CHIZUK and IDUD (for Olim & not-yet-Olim respectively)
Based on Parshat Vayigash, one might conclude that there are two
Ya'akov Avinus. The first Ya'akov, when given the chance to see his
long-lost son in Egypt, goes off with great enthusiasm and zeal. The
second Ya'akov, while on the way to see Yosef, stops in Be'er Sheva,
and only continues on his journey after God says to him: "Do not be
afraid to go down to Egypt" (Bereishit 46:3). But the reality is
that there is only one Ya'akov, whose enthusiasm about going to
Egypt changes from high to hesitant.
Why so? Ya'akov's
hesitation begins in Be'er Sheva. There, many years earlier,
Ya'akov's parents had ordered him to leave the country for two
important reasons - to save his life and to find a wife. Now Ya'akov
once again wants to leave the country, but this time for the purely
personal desire to see his lost son. Is this trip justified? Ya'akov
interrupts his journey until he receives confirmation that God
approves of his actions.
There are two types of
Jews who do not yet live in the land of Israel. Some, like the
youthful Ya'akov, have issues that clearly justify their living
outside of the land. Others, like Ya'akov in his old age, live in
the Diaspora because of a personal preference. Ya'akov teaches us to
distinguish between the two reasons, and, in the latter case, to
engage in self-reflection in order to determine whether the personal
gain truly justifies the spiritual loss of not living in the land
promised by God to our forefathers.
Rabbi Avraham Norin,
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
A runner in a short distance race (who runs at top speed) is a
sprinter. Popular Hebrew term for sprinter is ATZAN The "official"
 Divrei Menachem
As we read Vayigash we become aware of how Binyamin continues to
occupy a central but perplexing role in the unfolding drama, even
after Yosef reveals himself to his brothers.
For now, when he sends
the brothers back to Ya’akov, Yosef purposefully singles out
Binyamin for favored treatment: Whereas the other brothers each
received one change of clothes, Binyamin received 5 changes of
clothes and 300 silver coins.
The Talmud indicates
that the five changes of clothes allude to Mordechai, a descendant
of Binyamin, who wore that number of royal raiments (Esther 8:15).
But how do we justify Yosef’s overt act of favoring Binyamin
financially and falling into the trap of yet again arousing his
Citing Rabbenu Bachya,
Rabbi M. Miller explains that each of the guilty brothers was
legally due to redeem the servant Yosef for 30 pieces of silver.
However, Yosef did not demand this sum from the culpable brothers;
rather he bestowed the equivalent total amount to Binyamin (who was
not involved in Yosef’s demise). Thus, the honor awarded to the
innocent Binyamin divested the brothers of their guilt. In the same
way, generations later, Mordechai’s apparel would confer upon his
brethren collective honor and salvation. It seems that when honors
are earned for endeavors that bring about brotherhood, jealousy is
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
The death of Alexander precipitated a long period of wars between
the Diadochi (his successors) and it was many years before the
political situation more or less stabilized. Finally four kingdoms
emerged. One of them, Thrace, soon disappeared. Another, a
considerably reduced Macedonia, had very little direct affect on the
Jews. One of the more important of Alexander's generals, Ptolemy,
eventually founded a dynasty in Egypt with its capital in the new
city of Alexandria. Another general, Seleucus, called "Nicator" -
the victor - created an enormous unwieldy empire which included most
of Alexander's conquests in Asia. Seleucus' dominion covered: Asia
Minor, Phoenicia, Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia. The scholar, F. E.
Peters aptly wrote (Harvest of Hellenism), "The successor states of
Alexander's empire present a dreary historical chronicle of endless
wars provoked by the burgeoning ambitions of enfeebled men and their
armies." In wars lasting over a 20 year period, Jerusalem and Judea
changed masters no less than seven times - in 320BCE, twice in 318,
once in 315, once in 312 and again in 302BCE. The accompanying
rapine, pillage, devastation and suffering caused to the civilian
population and to the city by the various rampaging armies can only
be imagined. Once during an Egyptian invasion, when the Jews would
not defend Jerusalem on Shabbat, the invaders sacked the city and
many Jerusalemites were exiled to Egypt. A contemporary historian
noted with disdain that Jerusalem "by its folly had acquired a harsh
master". Ptolemy was finally victorious and succeeded in occupying
Eretz Yisrael. Judea and Jerusalem became part of the Ptolemaic
kingdom for over a century (312-198BCE). There are very few sources
of information about Eretz Yisrael under the Ptolmies.
Administratively it was part of the province of "Syria and
Phoenicia". The period of Ptolemaic suzerainty was remarkable for
one thing; the Jewish population of Judea enjoyed an unprecedented
four generations of peace. Major technological advances that
increased agricultural production and the introduction of coined
money for use by the masses were probably the most important
Ptolemaic economic innovations. The Ptolemaic kings integrated the
economy of Judea with that of Egypt, and Eretz Yisrael shared in the
general prosperity despite heavy taxation administered by corrupt
It is estimated that
the population of Judea doubled and perhaps even tripled during
these four generations, causing many Jews to move out of the narrow
Jewish enclave around Jerusalem into other parts of Eretz Yisrael.
But these Jews were not ordinary immigrants and it was well known
that they had no intention of assimilating into the local population
which occupied these areas. It was common knowledge that the Jews
had once ruled all of Eretz Yisrael (at least theoretically) and
that they considered the entire country as their divine patrimony,
thereby raising irredentist fears among the non-Jewish population.
In addition, following the practice of Alexander, the Ptolemies,
established numerous Greek cities throughout their kingdom including
Eretz Yisrael - particularly on the Mediterranean coast and in the
area east of the Jordan River. Other older cities were also
Hellenized and received the same privileges as the new Greek cities.
Some cities were given Greek names; Acco was renamed Ptolemais, Beit
She'an became Scythopolis, and Rabbat-Ammon, became Philadelphia.
Many Greek cities in this area - including Damascus - were included
in the group of ten cities termed 'the Decopolis'. Nine out of ten
cities of 'the Decopolis' were east of the Jordan, the tenth Beit
She'an- now Scythopolis - was to the west. Extensive excavations in
Beit She'an and Jerash - the 'City of a Thousand Pillars' attest to
the magnificence of these cities. It has been estimated that no less
than 31 Greek cities were founded in Lilliputian Eretz Yisrael. The
Jewish community, hemmed in on all sides, became completely
"enmeshed" in the political, economic and social reality of the
local version of the greater oikoumene. The new Greek cities
radiated Greek mores, culture, thought and philosophy; the Greeks
were the world's best architects, artists and sculptors. They wrote
magnificent plays, composed melodious music. They were philosophers,
scientists, mathematicians and debaters. In many ways, the Greek
civilization was one of the most brilliant in history. Planted in
Eretz Yisrael by generations of Hellenistic rulers and strengthened
by their Roman successors, these Greek cities were to become serious
economic, political and demographic barriers to Jewish expansion.
Demographically on the defensive, the Greek cities always actively
supported the Seleucids and later the Romans in their constant
battles with Am Yisrael over the future of Eretz Yisrael. And when
they had the opportunity, they frequently massacred the Jews living
in their midst.
F.E. Peters (Harvest of
Hellenism pg. 226) notes, "What came out of the association was …an
open-ended society in that the ruling class, the Hellenes permitted,
if they did not encourage, additions to their ranks by the process
of cultural assimilation. From the moment Alexander came to Asia,
down to the Arab invasion, Hellenism provided the single operative
criterion of caste in the east. …the (Greek) cultural liaisons were
splendidly promiscuous, and the acculturated easterner, had no
trouble in the oikoumene…" Many members of the "native" upper
classes and literati in Judea and elsewhere in the oikoumene were
fascinated by the glitter of this new cosmopolitan civilization and
wondered how they might participate. Many did and the resultant
"brain drain" of the "best and the brightest" over generations and
centuries caused many local cultures through- out the oikoumene to
atrophy and die. We can see how the process began. II Mac. 4:12
describes how young Kohanim, "despising the Temple, and neglecting
the sacrifices, hastened to be partakers of the unlawful allowance
in the place of exercise …not setting by the honors of their
fathers, but liking the glory of the Grecians best of all." Josephus
notes how the aristocratic Tobiads and their "cultured" friends
"retired to King Antiochus (IV) and informed him that they were
desirous to leave the laws of their country (i.e. the Torah), and
the Jewish way of living… and to follow… the Grecian way of living."
High priests from all over the oikoumene hasted to "modernize" their
temple rites and over the centuries, even the venerable Egyptian and
Babylonian cults were largely Hellenized. The erudite Professor
Fergus Millar (The Roman Near East pg.505) comments, that by Roman
times, "We might be tempted to suppose that a 'Syrian' identity will
best have been preserved in the context of 'native' temples and
cults, perhaps attended by a traditional or hereditary priesthood.
But no dynasties of 'Syrian' priests are traceable at all; and in
the most remote of rural or mountain-top locations, the temples that
we can find, are built in the Graeco-Roman style and marked with
Greek inscriptions … The only priesthood known from the Near East
under Roman rule which represented both an actual and a conscious
inheritance from a distant, pre-Hellenist past, was the Jewish High
Priesthood in Jerusalem…"
Catriel is in the
process of writing a book: The Temple of Jerusalem, A Pilgrims
Prospective; A Guided Tour through the Temple and the Divine Service
Towards Better Davening and Torah Reading
• On ANA HASHEM HOSHI'A and HATZLICHA NA, we wrote last week that
ho-SHI'a is MIL'EIL and hatz-li-CHA is MILRA. This was mostly meant
to get people to stop saying hatz-LI-cha (MILRA). We heard from a TT
reader that ho-shi-A should also be MILRA. This is based on a fully
explained comment by Rav Breuer, whose Tanach is considered very
authoritative by those "in the know". Many siddurim mark ho-SHI-a as
MIL'EIL. We'll look into this issue further.
• Another TT reader
sent feedback on Y'RU, the first word of the last paragraph of
Birkat HaMazon. Last week we wrote that the word should be
pronounced as if there is no ALEF in the word and that the SHURUK
belongs to the REISH. This is correct, but, according to YL, the
word was originally, and should have remained YIR'U, which would
mean both "they will see" and "you (plural) shall fear". Which
meaning would depend upon context. YL's conclusion is that
mispronoouncing Y'RU would not change its meaning, but just be a
mispronunciation of the word. As we have mentioned often, there is a
qualitative difference between mispronouoncing a word and thereby
changing the meaning, and "just" mispronouncing the word.
• Vayigash. Look in
45:20. First word is V'EI-N'CHEM, which literally means, your
(plural) eye (singular). In context, the phrase means that Yosef was
telling the brothers not to be concerned with their belongings back
in Canaan, because they will have the best Egypt has to offer. The
more common word it looks like, at first glance, is V'EI-NEI-CHEM.
With a TZEIREI under the NUN and a YUD after it. That word means
your eyes (plural, plural). In fact, in Yechezkeil (9:5) there is a
KRI/K'TIV with the word spelled with the second YUD, but pronounced
EI-N'CHEM. Anyway, the points here are (1) that the NUN has a SH'VA
NA and therefore does not belong to the AYIN in its syllable, but
belongs to the second syllable N'CHEM. EI - N'CHEM. Not, EIN-CHEM.
(That sounds like another word altogether, the way Ashkenazim don't
give a sound to the AYIN - but that's another issue.) And (2),
because the SH'VA of the NUN is NA and gets a short vowel sound, one
should be careful to keep the SH'VA very short so the word won't
sound like EI-NEI-CHEM.
• To Goshen, GOSHNA.
The SH'VA under the SHIN is NACH, even though the GIMEL's vowel is a
CHOLOM, which would usually stand on its own and the SH'VA following
it would be NA and belong to the next syllable. In this kind of
word, the strong vowel of the GIMEL is further strengthened by the
fact that the accent is on the GIMEL/CHOLOM, and if pulls the SHIN/SH'VA
to it. GOSH. Leaving NA as the second syllable. Had the accent been
MILRA (which it isn't), the word would have been pronounced go-SH'NA
(which it isn't). It is GOSH-na. Got it? Hope so.
Across the top of the ParshaPix, from right to left, are the TRUP
marks for the first six words of Vayigash. See the comment in the
If you’ve got U.S. sports fans among your Shabbat guests and/or
household, you might want to challenge them with the Pix before they
read the solution.
The basketball player is labeled CHI for Chicago, as in the Bulls.
The football player is labeled DET, for the Detroit Lions. Together
they represent the clash between Yehuda (Lion) and Yosef (Shor).
See the diagram of a
square knot? It stands for V’NAFSHO K’SHURA V’NAF-SHO, and his soul
was tied up with his soul (Yaakov and Binyamin).
To the right of the
knot are five shirts, standing for the five changes of clothes that
Yosef gave to Binyamin.
He also gave him 300
silver pieces, represented by the money sack marked with... with
There are two of the
wagons that Yosef sent to Yaakov, to bring the family down to
Egypt... and to remind him of the Torah topic they last studied
The noble steed, a.k.a.
Donkey with 10+10 above him stands for the donkeys (10 CHAMORIM and
10 ATONOT) that Yosef sent to Yaakov with provisions for their trip
See the dreidel?
Purposely a Chutz LaAretz one, with SHIN. The letters of the dreidel
rearrange to spell GOSHNA, to Goshen. This, from Vayigash, which is
almost always the post-Chanuka Shabbat.
Next we have the number
70, marked with an asterisk, and an arrow pointing downward. This
represents the 70 souls who went down to Egypt. The asterisk reminds
us that one had gone down much earlier (Yosef) and two others were
born in Egypt (Efrayim and Menashe), but are still counted among the
That leaves three
visual TTriddles (in addition to the markings on the money sacks).
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 (Mikeitz-Chanuka) TTriddles:
 Mazal Tov Andy & Ayalah
 The ace TTriddle solver is...?
 This is a connection between Sukkot & Chanuka
 What a google was invented for
 Peleg and S'rug ___ at the same age that ___
 plus one element from the ParshaPix
And the envelope, please...
 In addition to the real mazal tov to Andy & Ayalah on BackPage
B, we used them in a simple TTriddle. Their family name is Haas, a
word that appears in the haftara of Shabbat Chanuka.
 Yosef, of course. Par'o declared him Tza'f'nat Pa'nei'ach. Rashi,
following Targum Onkeles, explains this unique phrase as the one who
explains the hidden (mysteries). If Yosef was that, then he
certainly would have been the ace TTriddle solver.
 Obviously, if this was a TTriddle (which it was), then the
answers are NOT the 8 days each, or Hallel, or ascending and
descending numbers of candles and bulls in Musaf, or any of the
other real connections between Sukkot and Chanuka. In fact, the
answer to this TTriddle was stated in the TTriddle itself. The word
THIS is a connection. The 8th day of Chanuka is called ZOT CHANUKA,
this is Chanuka. On the 8th day of Sukkot, i.e. Sh'mini Atzeret,
a.k.a. (in Israel) as Simchat Torah, the Torah reading is V'ZOT
HABRACHA. So "this" is a connection between Sukkot and Chanuka.
 Actually, googol was spelled wrong. But using the google
spelling allowed several readers to find a solution different from
the one originally intended, and one solver got solutions for both
spellings. First, Google is an internet search program, which people
connected to Yosef searching the belongings of the brothers to find
his special Cup. The other googol is a mathematical term for 10 to
the 100th power, or a 1 followed by 100 zeroes. That number is so
unimaginably large that nothing in the known universe would need a
number that large to count it. So it might have been invented (in
TTriddle terms) for the grain Yosef collected during the years of
plenty. The Torah tells us that they stopped counting it because
there were no numbers large enough.
 Fill in the blanks: [Peleg and S'rug] each had their first sons
[at the same age (30 years old) that] Yosef was when he stood before
 In the lower-right corner of the ParshaPix was the logo for Club
365, which is the special card of the department store chain in
Israel, HaMashbir. Yosef is described as HaMashbir, the sustainer of
all the people of the land.
Yes, as several readers pointed out, the solution to TTriddle number
3 was left out of the report last week. Thank you for that
observation. We were hoping to get away with ignoring , since
after working for 45 minutes on trying to solve it (having forgotten
the solution), we gave up.
This week, prizes to RHM and MM/Bklyn.
This week's TTriddles:
 As one, in hand, I will bring, a fish (separate prize)
 When reading of redeeming one's house, the pasuk reminds you of
something in Vayigash
 money, arrows, gourds
 Yosef, Avimelech, David, Achashveirosh, Ochu
 Whose son has to watch out for whose son, if he is an early
 Hey, Ma Nishma?
 E:C = Y:D • How many?
 That leaves three visual TTriddles (in addition to the markings
on the money sacks).
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Israel Center In House Shabbaton, Shabbat Parshat Sh'mot, December
31 - January 1, Guest speaker: Rabbi Macy Gordon,Shiurim, mini-shiurim,
Divrei Torah, Tidbits, Old friends, new friends, Members: Post
Chanuka price for members: 250NIS, non-members: 280NIS
The Palmach Museum tiyul for Monday, December 20th is BOOKED
(reserve early next time)
What is the largest shul in the World? In what shul is the largest
Aron Kodesh in the World? What shul has the largest seating capacity
of any shul in the World? What shul has chandeliers and
accouterments the likes of which you have never seen? Join us for a
tour of the World-famous Belz Synagogue Monday, December 27th - 15
Tevet - 1:00pm, 18NIS members, (26NIS non-members), Advance
registration and payment required., Participants will be informed of
the meeting place upon registration
Tour of Begin Center with Nachman Kupietzky featuring a lecture by
Yehuda Avner, former Ambassador to England and personal confidant to
Menachem Begin, also included: Overview of Jerusalem and First
Temple Archeological Finds, Thursday, December 28, 2:45pm, Check in
at Begin Center, tour begins promptly at 3:00pm, finish 6:00pm
(approx.), 36NIS/50NIS, must pay in advance • Space limited
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
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in their deals. It is frustrating to both you & us. We ask for your
understanding. We will do our best to help out.
Regency, Jerusalem, valid December 24-25
Shabbat, 1010NIS per couple, F/B
Sheraton-Plaza, Jerusalem, valid January 7-8
Shabbat, 1539NIS per couple, F/B
Crowne Plaza, Dead Sea, valid December 30 - January 1
Shabbat plus, 1190NIS per couple, per night, H/B (2 nights)
Dan Gardens, Ashkelon, valid January 6-8, 13-15, 20-22
960NIS per couple, per night, F/B
Stay for both nights, pay only 330NIS for the 2nd night (1 B/B, 1
Ask about our great family deals
Herod's Forum, Eilat, valid January 23-27
3-night min., 630NIS per couple, per night, B/B
valid January 27-29 (2-night min.), 920NIS per couple, per night,
The hotel will be Glatt-Mehadrin during these dates
Havat HaBaron, valid January 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29
2-night package, 1299NIS per couple, H/B
Eden Inn, Zichron, valid January 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29
2-night package, 1000NIS per couple, H/B
B/B = Bed & Breakfast • H/B = Half Board (breakfast + one meal) •
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= THU, FRI, Motza"Sh nights (some, not all hotels)\
The Back Page of TT647
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), 5-12 Tevet
9:00am: (men & women) Overview of Pirkei Avot with Rabbi Chaim Eisen
Shabbat afternoon Shiur, 3:00pm, Mincha at 4:00pm - Vayigash with
Rabbi Natan Lobel
Motzaei Shabbat, December 18th, 8:30pm: Asara B'Tevet: Review of
concepts and details including Written and Oral Law; Responsa from
the Holocaust; and more with Phil Chernofsky
SUN-Thu in the Ganchrow Beis Medrash (first floor)
Hopefully, there will be a shiur in the morning in the Beis Medrash
in the near future. Keep watching this space for details
1:20pm Mincha (this time stays the same throughout the year)
3:00pm (on hold) Daf Yomi by Rabbi Shmuel Halpern
4:30pm Shiur in Masechet Sanhedrin by Rabbi Hillel Ruvel
5:30pm Maariv (at this time until end of January '05)
N'SHEI LIBRARY - 10:30-12:45
9:30am (women) Mystical Insights into the Months of the Year with
Tonia Frohwein's class resumes IY"H on December 26th
10:30am (M&W) Parshat HaShavua with Shprintzee Herskovits
Sundays 12:30pm and Wed. 8:00pm: Creative Life Education in
cooperation with the Israel Center presents: Awaken Your Latent
Potential, and experience personal achievement, It's a Big Wonderful
World!, Alternating presenters, including: Dr Vivienne Damelin,
Sunday, December 19th • 2:00-4:00pm: Achieving Your Purpose in Life
Through Your Inner-Divine Guidance, A practical class with exercises
with Yaakov Gerlitz
Pri Chadash Women's Writing Workshop has moved back to Mondays - see
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? with Rabbi Chaim Eisen
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'
11:35am (men & women) Jewish History series: In the 7th Century: 3
Revolutions and for Jewry, 3 Betrayals with Dr. Henry Goldblum
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, DEC 20th, 12:30pm, in the Library (free), Lunch and Video
From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China (2 hrs)
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, December 20th, 7:30-9:30pm
Tofaah: Dynamic, Inspirational, Enjoyable Music, Song, and Dance,
Monday, Dec. 20, 8:30pm at the Israel Center, music by women, for
women, 25NNIS students & members; others 30NIS
Monday, December 20th, 8:00pm: KISS your fears, anxieties, sadness,
physical pains, and overeating/smoking and other addiction behaviors
GOODBYE! AND, IMPROVE marital communication or find your match! Also
-- Registration tonight for Practitioner Training Course! Practical
Emotional Freedom Techniques demonstration by Rabbi Legomsky, AMT
Licensed Trainer; Director: www.IsraelTraumaCare.org Immediate
results - this is not talking psychology!
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 with Rabbi Aharon Adler
Tuesdays, 10:15am •The Parsha thru the Eyes of the Haftara with
Rabbi Sholom Gold
9:00am & 9:55am: Money with Dr. Hayim Abramson
11:00am: Birkat HaMazon 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
Jewish Values Education Institute presents: 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, DEC 21st, 12:30pm, in the Library (free) lunch and video,
Parshat Vaychi (90 minutes) by Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
Tuesday, December 21st, 8:00pm: Torah Codes with Rabbi Meir Kahane,
Explore the hidden codes of the Torah with Aish HaTorah's Discovery
Seminar's popular lecturer, Lecture in memory of Avraham ben Shlomo
& Batya Berman z"l(father of Shulamit Neaman)
Wednesdays, 9:10am • Current Issues in Halacha with Rabbi Macy
Gordon, (Asara b'Tevet) is "Minor" Fasts: Who Fasts? Topic for Dec.
29 is Modern Hellenism and Modern Orthodoxy
Wednesday, December 22nd, 9:30am: Guardian Issues for the Elderly,
Special talk by Renat Weigler Esq. Legal Dept. Min. of Social
Affairs - To attend this special session, you must call Miriam
Wednesdays, 10:30am: Rabbi Yosef Wolicki on Parshat HaShavua
The classes of Chani Abramson and Jackie Lowenstein will not take
place next Wednesday, Asara b'Tevet. They will IY"H resume on the
Wed. December 22nd, 12:30pm, in the Library (free), lunch and video:
YIZKOR - - Rabbi Zev Leff
Women's Beit Midrash will not take place on Asara b'Tevet - See
below for special Asara b'Tevet program, Wednesday, December 22nd,
2:30pm: The Mystical Link of the Luz Bone to Luz (Temple Mount),
Shiur by Rabbi Efraim Sprecher
3:35pm: Mincha for Asara b'Tevet, Mini-shiur for Yom Kaddish K'lali
5:00: Maariv • Fast-breaking Refreshments
7:30pm (Men & Women) Jewish Philosophy, Rambam's Guide for the
Perplexed - Now studying: Ta’amei Mitzvot: The Philosophy of
Gastronomic Commandments with Rabbi Chaim Eisen
Wednesday, December 22nd, 7:30-9:30pm: Seminar on Experiential Torah
Teaching conducted by Rabbi Mitch Heifetz, The seminar is free, will
be conducted in English, and is open to young men and women
preparing for careers in Jewish education. A delicious dessert
buffet will follow the seminar for those who pre-registered. To
register or for more information: 02-567-1719 or email@example.com
Wednesdays, 8:00pm (also Sundays, 12:30pm): Creative Life Education
in cooperation with the Israel Center presents: Awaken Your Latent
Potential, Alternating presenters, including: Dr Vivienne Damelin,
Aharon Romm - Shidduch Solutions
WED, 8-10pm: Aliya Counseling with Miriam Bass
THU: Dvar Torah by Menachem Persoff
time varies: Shiur while you fold with Phil
IY"H in January: Legends from the Gemara with Reb Yosef Schreiber
Root & Branch Association in cooperation with the Jewish Values
Education Institute of the Israel Center: Thursday, December 23rd •
19:00: Anousim (Crypto Jews) by Yaffa da Costa Anousim Rescue in
Israel, Introduction on "Jewish Law and Anousim" by Rabbi Zalman
Cohen, Info: firstname.lastname@example.org • NIS25 per person, members NIS20,
Hebrew Grammar course with Yosef Orkin takes place on Thursday
evenings If you are interested in a future series, call 992-2833
9:00am (men & women) Overview of Pirkei Avot with Rabbi Chaim Eisen
Upcoming at the Israel Center
Motza'ei Shabbat, December 25th, 8:30pm: Prof. Ed Simon on Jewish
Dreams, Don't miss this entertaining and educational presentation by
one of the Israel Center's favorite and more colorful visiting
lecturers, Prof. Simon will aslo be speaking on Gambling (Tue. Dec.
Sunday, December 26th, 8:00pm: Celebration of the competition of A
Restatement of Rabbinic Civil Law by Rabbi Emanuel Quint, Guest
speaker: Mrs. Menucha Chwat, Refreshments • No charge
For Parents of Teens and Adult Singles: How To Prepare For and
Survive Your Child's Shidduch Parsha, Featuring: Devorah Fellman,
Rosie Einhorn, L.C.S.W. and Sherry Zimmerman, Esq. One of
Jerusalem's leading matchmakers and two internationally known dating
advisors and best-selling authors advise how to help your teen and
young adult prepare to date for marriage, how to best facilitate
your adult child's dating, and how to survive the entire process,
Monday, December 27, 8:00pmat the Israel Center, Admission 30NIS, A
project of Sasson V-SimchaThe Center For Jewish Marriage, Inc.
We are pleased to announce the initiation of the Israel Center Video
Club (ICVC). Twice a month, we will present videos for your viewing
pleasure. These will include classics, recent releases, animated
features, and other popular movies. The videos will be shown in the
library on the first Tuesday of every month at 2:00pm and the third
Tuesday of every month at 7:00pm. Holidays and other considerations
might necessitate schedule changes. Please watch Torah Tidbits for
details. The first video will be presented at 2:00pm on Tuesday,
January 4. It will be the classic, "CASABLANCA", with Humphrey
Bogart and Ingrid Bergman (not to mention the brilliant Hungarian
Jewish character actor, Laszlo Loewenstein/Peter Lorre). It is
considered by many critics, film buffs, and just plain folk as one
of the greatest movies of all time. Hope to see you "at the movies".
Here's looking at you!
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
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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