Ranges are WED-WED 9-30 Tishrei (Oct 12 - Nov 2) (22-day range,
Earliest Talit & T'filin - 4:50-5:05am
Sunrise - 5:40-5:56am
Sof Z'man Kri'at Sh'ma - 8:32-8:39am (7:48-7:53am)
Sof Z'man T'fila - 9:30-9:33am (9:00-9:03am)
Chatzot (halachic noon) - 11:25½-11:23am
Mincha Gedola (earliest Mincha) - 11:56-11:53am
Plag Mincha - 3:59-3:41pm
Sunset - 5:15-4:54pm (5:10½-4:49pm)
Candle Lighting & Havdala
(times are: Yom Kippur in and out, Haazinu in and out, 1st day
Sukkot in and out, Shabbat Chol Hamoed in and out, Simchat Torah in
and out, Shabbat B'reishit in and out)
Jerusalem 4:35 5:46 4:32 5:44 4:29 5:41 4:25 5:36 4:22 5:34 4:18
Raanana 4:51 5:48 4:49 5:45 4:45 5:42 4:41 5:38 4:38 5:35 4:34 5:31
Beit Shemesh 4:51 5:47 4:49 5:45 4:45 5:42 4:41 5:37 4:38 5:34 4:34
Netanya 4:51 5:47 4:49 5:45 4:45 5:42 4:41 5:38 4:38 5:35 4:34 5:31
Rehovot 4:52 5:48 4:49 5:45 4:46 5:42 4:41 5:38 4:38 5:35 4:34 5:31
Petach Tikva 4:31 5:47 4:29 5:45 4:25 5:42 4:21 5:38 4:18 5:35 4:14
Modi'in 4:51 5:47 4:49 5:45 4:45 5:41 4:41 5:37 4:38 5:34 4:34 5:31
Be'er Sheva 4:52 5:48 4:50 5:46 4:46 5:43 4:42 5:39 4:39 5:36 4:35
Gush Etzion 4:50 5:46 4:48 5:44 4:44 5:41 4:40 5:37 4:37 5:34 4:33
Ginot Shomron 4:50 5:47 4:48 5:44 4:44 5:41 4:40 5:37 4:37 5:34 4:33
Maale Adumim 4:35 5:46 4:32 5:44 4:29 5:40 4:25 5:36 4:22 5:33 4:18
K4 & Hevron 4:51 5:47 4:48 5:44 4:45 5:41 4:41 5:37 4:38 5:34 4:34
Tzfat 4:43 5:45 4:41 5:42 4:37 5:39 4:33 5:35 4:29 5:32 4:25 5:28
Notes: All times above are Israel Standard (Winter) Time. For the
Fridays and Motza'ei Shabbatot, procedures for candle lighting and
havdala are as usual. (See Pull-Out section for further Sukka
Before lighting Yom
Kippur candles, it is customary to light memorial candles for
parents (and others) who are no longer in this world, and one
additional 24-hour candle "for the living" and to provide NER
SHESHAVAT, the candle to be used for havdala or to light the havdala
candle from. See Pull-Out of TT 687 for details. Yom Kippur candles
are lit like Shabbat candles are: light, cover eyes, make b'rachot,
The brachot for Yom Tov
candles should preferably be said immediately before lighting the
candles (not after lighting, as is standard for Shabbat candles).
Covering the eyes is not necessary for Yom Tov candles, if the
brachot are said first. A woman may choose to light Yom Tov candles
the same way she lights Shabbat candles.
Havdala for Yom Kippur:
No intro p'sukim. Wine bracha. No b'samim. Candle lit from flame
that "rested" over Yom Kippur. Havdala bracha.
Havdala for Yom Tov is Wine and Havdala brachot only.
See Pull-Out section for Havdala-in-the-Sukka details.
Further explanations and notes on Z'manim are available on the
website www.ou.org/torah/tt - click on Halachic times
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...
Some sources write that
Kiddush L'vana for Tishrei is to be said SPECIFICALLY on Motza'ei
Yom Kippur. Others say to specifically say KL before Yom Kippur.
Minhag Yerushalayim is to say KL at the first opportunity after 3
full days following the announced molad - even during Tishrei,
Sivan, and Av when other customs wait until after YK, Shavuot, and
The most (?) common
practice is to say KL upon emerging from shul following Maariv of
Motza'ei Yom Kippur, prefer- ably still wearing kittel & tallit and
in the joyous mood that YK engenders. Most hold that it can be said
before havdala and breaking one's fast.
Last opportunity for KL
this month is Sunday night, Oct. 16th, all night. In extenuating
circumstances, one can say KL on Leil Sukkot until 4:49am, Oct. 18.
There are at least two calendar issues presented in recent issues of
TT that need clarification, according to TTreader feedback. Here
The current year (by the time you red these words) 5766 is a PEI-GIMEl-KAF
type of year. PEI - Shana P'shuta, regular year, 12 months, one
Adar. GIMEL - Tuesday, Rosh HaShana is Tuesday (and Wednesday). KAF
- K'Seder (or K'Sidran), in order, meaning that Cheshvan has its
"regular" 29 days and Kislev has its "regular" 30 days.
Cheshvan and Kislev are
the only two variable months in our Fixed Calendar. When they are
K'seder, the year has 354 days, or 384 in the case of a Shana
M'uberet (13-month, two Adar year). When the year is CHASEIR,
"missing" a day, it is Kislev that only has 29 days and the year has
353 or 383 days. A SHALEIM year has an extra day, namely 30 Cheshvan,
and the year has 355 or 385 days.
5766 has 354 days. 5765
had 383, being a M'UBERET and a CHASEIR. RH 5765 was on THU (and
MEM-GIMEL-KAF years occur, on average, 11½% of the time. In those
types of years, Yom Kippur falls on Thursday, as it does this year.
Recent Thursday Yom Kippurs occurred in 5762 (2001), 5755 (1994),
Most years that begin
on Tuesday, do so because the molad of Tishrei is on Tuesday before
noon or on Monday after noon. 5766 is a rare case of the molad of
Tishrei being on Monday morning (and after 9h 32m 13p) and being a
year that follows a M'UBERET, thereby being subject to D'CHIYA 4
(the fourth and rarest rule for postponement of RH beyond the day of
the molad), which fixes RH on TUE (and WED). Whereas RH on TUE & WED
and YK on THU is not so uncommon, what is rare about 5766 is that it
became a RH on TUE year by D'chiya 4. That happens only a bit more
than ½% of the time. The last time that happened (a D'chiya 4, not a
THU YK) was 5688. Someone born on that RH would be 78 years old on
RH this year, until 120. The time before that was 5519 (1758) when
the Vilna Gaon was in his late 30s, George Washington in his late
20s, and Motzart was 2½ years old.
The other issue was the
fact that the last 17 p'sukim were not read during 5765. The first
weekly sedra of a year is either Vayeilech (as it is this year,
5766) or Haazinu. The last weekly sedra of a year is either Nitzavim
by itself (as it was in 5765) or Nitzavim and Vayeilech combined.
A year beginning on MON
or TUE will begin with Vayeilech on Shabbat Shuva. A year beginning
on THU or SHABBAT will begin with Haazinu on Shabbat Shuva. In the
same vein, a year preceding a MON or TUE RH, will end with Nitzavim
alone. A year that preceeds a THU or SHABBAT RH will end with
Since 5765 began on
THU, its first weekly sedra was Haazinu. Since 5766 begins on TUE,
5765's last weekly sedra was Nitzavim. Therefore, Vayeilech was not
read in 5765, except for the first 13 p'sukim on Shabbat afternoon
and on Monday morning, Erev Rosh HaShana. The remaining 17 p'sukim
of Vayeilech's total of 30 (shortest in the Torah) were not read
Significance? No. Good
trivia though. And more importantly, all of the above gives us more
knowledge of our calendar, which is part of the spirit of the mitzva
of HACHODESH HAZEH LACHEM...
Through a Wide-Angle Lens
This is the first time in over 13 years that an issue of Torah
Tidbits spans so many days. This is due to a combination of the
Holiday schedule this year, the size of Torah Tidbits, and the
availability of our wonderful volunteers, without whom, you would
probably not be reading these words.
Usually, the Lead
Tidbit presents a picture with a close-up or zoom lens, or
occasionally with a "regular" lens. This time, as the title
announces, we have the opportunity to use a wide angle lens.
Within a relatively
short period of time - we can measure it as the range of this
"monster" issue #688 - we complete the 40 day period designated for
intensive introspection, T'shuva, and turning over many new leaves.
The period intensified as Elul approached Rosh HaShana, and then
yielded to Tishrei and the Aseret Y'mei T'shuva. The culmination, of
course is Yom Kippur, a serious, somber, but amazingly joyous day,
as only can happen when one feels a close relationship with G-d,
that includes YIR'A (fear and reverence) and hopefully a large
amount of AHAVA - love of G-d, love of Torah and Mitzvot, and love
of others, as well.
The mood of Yom Kippur
is not allowed to cool, as we are immediately caught up in
preparations for the particularly busy holiday of Sukkot. With Sukka
to build and decorate, Abra'a Minim to buy and bind, festive meals
to prepare for family and guests, perhaps some new clothes for Yom
Tov -- we are able to translate our new resolve and commitment to
Torah Life from words, thought, and feelings, into action. The fact
that the mitzva of Sukka is to Live in it, a mitzva performed with
our entire beings, is most significant. Then we celebrate Torah,
which is the bottom line of it all. And then, on Shabbat B'reishit,
we start to get back to normal, but a better and improved normal,
that brings us to new heights.
Yom Kippur Torah & Haftara
Torah reading for YK comes mostly from Parshat Acharei - 34 p'sukim
of Vayikra 16 for Shacharit (first Torah) and 30 p'sukim of Vayikra
18 for Mincha. The Maftir (second Torah in the morning) is from
Parshat Pinchas. Here's a quick rundown.
Yom Kippur Morning - Two Sifrei Torah, 6 people in the first Torah
The Torah's portion dealing with the Kohen Gadol and the Yom Kippur
service in the Beit HaMikdash. It is "repeated" (sort of) in the
repetition of the Musaf Amida. Mixed in with the Beit HaMikdash
service are some aspects of "our" Yom Kippur — especially the aspect
Kohen - First Aliya 6 p'sukim - 16:1-6
An emotional element is introduced when the Torah tells us that G-d
gave the command of Yom Kippur service "after the deaths of Aharon's
two sons". We cannot help but be struck by the combination of the
Kohen Gadol performing the loftiest of spiritual tasks with the
background of personal grief. These feelings are especially powerful
as we hear this reading on Yom Kippur morning. Before the Service is
described, kohanim in general are warned not to enter the Beit
HaMikdash other than when they have tasks to perform there. (It is
hard to miss the additional connection to Nadav and Avihu, who
entered the Mikdash for the performance of an "improper" task.)
The entire Yom Kippur
service, with all of its details, constitutes one mitzva. Aharon is
to take a bull as a sin- offering and a ram as a burnt-offering. He
is to wear his special garments (the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur
alternates between his full set of eight garments and a special set
of four pure white garments which he wore when he entered the Holy
of Holies and does other YK-specific Avoda).
The Kohen Gadol washes
his hands and feet ten times throughout the day and immerses in a
mikveh five times. "From the People", Aharon takes two goats for
sin-offerings and a ram as an Olah. The bull is an atonement for
Aharon and the kohanim.
Levi - Second Aliya - 5 p'sukim - 16:7-11
Lots were cast to determine which of the two (identical) goats was
to be offered as a korban and which was sent out alive into the
wilderness as the scapegoat.
SDT There are two very
different styles of sin - rejecting what G-d says and distancing
oneself from the Divine, and violating His commands in an attempt to
get closer to Him. Most sin is of the former type; that of Nadav and
Avihu was of the latter kind. Corresponding to these two opposite
motivations for sin, we have two special offerings on Yom Kippur -
one that was offered inside the Beit HaMikdash, its blood actually
being brought into the Kodshei Kodashim, and the other being sent
completely away from the Beit HaMikdash. Ponder this: Both goats
Shlishi - Third Aliya - 6 p'sukim - 16:12-17
The Kohen Gadol performs all of the duties of the Day, with minimal
assistance from other kohanim. The Holy of Holies filled with smoke
from the incense offering when the Kohen Gadol entered. The service
of Yom Kippur is complex; it is detailed in the repetition of the
Musaf Amida on Yom Kippur as well as in the Torah reading.
This next portion
continues to describe the complex service of Yom Kippur. Among the
many tasks of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur, is VIDUI on behalf of
all the people of Israel.
His confession of sin
must be accompanied by that of each Jew, if complete atonement is to
be achieved. Rambam says that there is "communal forgiveness" for
"minor" offenses, but major sins require that the individual do his
own T'shuva. Even when there is "communal forgiveness", an
individual still has to be part of the community in order to benefit
from it. He who distances himself from the community does not
receive the benefits of communal prayer, repentance, and atonement.
(Oversimplified, to be sure, but there is a point here.)
R'vi'i - Fourth Aliya - 7 p'sukim - 16:18-24
The description of the Avoda of Yom Kippur continues. The Kohen
Gadol continues to process the bloods of the bull and the goat. He
then leans on the "scapegoat" and says VIDUI on behalf of all of
Israel. There is another change of garments, washing of hands and
feet, immersion in a mikve.
Chamishi - Fifth Aliya - 6 p'sukim - 16:25-30
The Torah continues detailing the Yom Kippur service. It concludes
with a reiteration of the nature of Yom Kippur day and its rules.
The Avoda is an eternal CHOK; on the 10th day of the seventh month
we fast (and practice other abstensions) and refrain from Melacha
(creative activity, as is forbidden on Shabbat).
For this day will atone
for you, to purify yourself from all your sins - before G-d will you
One commentary took the
phrase LIFNEI HASHEM and defined it as it is defined in a different
context (specifically with the Arba'a Minim of Sukkot, and other
verses). The result is the following statement. If we use this day
of Yom Kippur properly, and repent well the sins we have, then we
will be purified, AND this will lead to being purified before G-d,
meaning in the Beit HaMikdash that will be rebuilt when we "earn"
it, so to speak, by proper T'shuva.
Shishi - 6th Aliya - 4 p'sukim - 16:31-34
This last portion of chapter 16 continues with a statement of Yom
Kippur. It is the supreme Shabbat for you (us), and you shall
"afflict your souls" (i.e. you shall fast) - this is the law for
always. (In the time of the Beit HaMikdash - past and future), the
process of atonement is facilitated by the Kohen Gadol... this will
be a one time a year practice... And he (Aharon) did as G-d had
There is a well-known
correlation between the number of Aliyot and the sanctity of the day
we read the Torah. Minimum number of people called to a Torah
reading is three. This is the number for weekdays (Monday and
Thursday), public fast days, even Purim and Chanuka. True they are
special days, but they are not elevated in sanctity by restrictions
of Melacha. Rosh Chodesh and Chol HaMoed are a rung up the Kedusha
ladder, as demonstrated by calling four people to the Torah on those
days. Yom Tov is higher in Kedusha and we call five people (plus a
Maftir). Yom Kippur is higher still, and its regular number of
Aliyot is six (plus Maftir). Shabbat has the highest Kedusha and
seven are called to the Torah (in addition to the Maftir).
Maftir (2nd Torah) 5 p'sukim, Bamidbar 29:7-11
About the Musaf of Yom Kippur. The other korbanot of YK were dealt
with in the reading from the first Torah.
Haftara - 22 p'sukim Yeshayahu 57:14-58:14
The Haftara makes the point that fasting is a hollow observance
without it being accompanied by (or leading to) a change for the
better in individuals and society. The last two p'sukim of the
Haftara are the basis of the "flavor" of Shabbat as shaped by
Rabbinic law and custom.
Yom Kippur Mincha
All other Mincha readings are either the "preview" of the coming
Parshat HaShavua - Shabbat afternoon - or Va'y'chal - fast day
afternoons. This one’s unique.
This last portion of Acharei Mot deals with the forbidden sexual
relations and activities. Avoidance of these prohibitions is an
essential part of that which is to make the Jew and the Jewish
People holy. Thus, an appropriate reading for Yom Kippur.
Kohen - First Aliya - 5 p'sukim - 18:1-5
Levi - Second Aliya 16 p'sukim - 18:6-21 - (longest Aliya of the
Shlishi (Maftir) - 9 p'sukim - 18:22-30
Haftara - 48 p'sukim The entire Book of Yonah
Plus... some communities add Micha 7:18-20
The haftara teaches us the famous lesson that repentance is
universal, not only Jewish. But the story of non- Jewish T'shuva of
the people of Ninvei is meant to inspire us towards our own T'shuva
in a meaningful way. We also get a a glimpse into the conflicts felt
by the Navi Yonah in his desire to protect the Jewish people from G-d's
BARUCH SHEM K'VOD MALCHUTO VA'ED
The well-known custom on Yom Kippur is to say Baruch Sheim K'vod
Malchuto L'Olam Va'ed aloud in the SH'MA, whereas it is usually said
First of all, the sentence is the only part of Sh'ma that is not
from the Torah. For that reason, it is generally said quietly, to
distinguish it from the rest of the Biblical passages.
There are two origins
attributed to Baruch Sheim. One says that it was Yaakov Avinu's
whispered response of thanks to G-d when his sons proclaimed their
complete faith and loyalty to G-d with the words: Hear Yisrael, G-d,
our G-d, G-d is One.
The other source says
that Moshe Rabbeinu "borrowed" it from the angels and taught us to
say it. Because the sentence is not originally ours, we modestly
whisper it throughout the year. On Yom Kippur, however, when the
nature of the day and its prohibitions elevate us spiritually, we
resemble angels and only then do we "dare" (so to speak) say Baruch
This second origin for
Baruch Sheim... seems to fit well with the Yom Kippur practice.
There is, perhaps,
another reason why we say Baruch Sheim aloud on Yom Kippur. In the
Beit HaMikdash, the sentence Baruch Sheim... was used as the
response to a bracha, rather than AMEN. On YK, with its focus on the
service in the Beit HaMikdash, we say the sentence aloud. In the
repetition of Musaf, we find the description of the response of the
people in the Azara (courtyard) to the Explicit Divine Name - they
fell to the ground, prostrated themselves and said Baruch Sheim
K'vod Mal'chuto L'Olam Va'ed.
One should say Baruch
Sheim with deepfelt Kavana, especially at Ne'ila. It is a very
powerful six-word statement.
The High & the Low
The repetition of the Yom Kippur Musaf Amida contains two very
powerful sections that are said back-to-back. The two sections
describe diametrically opposite states of Jewish experience.
The first is the
beautiful and detailed description of the Yom Kippur service in the
Beit HaMikdash by the Kohein Gadol. Elaborating upon that which was
read in the Torah a bit earlier, the Chazan movingly describes the
"order of the day", including the multitudes who packed into the
courtyard of the Beit HaMikdash to witness the events of the day.
The blessing of the Kohen Gadol for a good year for all, the
description of his counterance upon emerging from the Holy of
Holies, the celebration that followed - all portray the most
glorious period of Jewish History.
the text plunges us into a drastically different scene. We read of
the Ten Martyrs who died sanctifying G-d's Name. The details are
heart-breaking, especially when seen on the backdrop of the previous
Why are these two
opposite pictures of Jewish History presented side by side?
On Yom Kippur, says the
Rambam, one should picture himself as precariously balanced, so that
one mitzva will tip the scale to the good - for himself, his
community, all the world. And one sin can, G-d forbid, tip the scale
the other way.
The repetition of the
Musaf Amida gives us two glimpses into history, but also shows us
the possible scenarios of the future. Do we remain faithful to G-d,
do we do more mitzvot, do we do the mitzvot better, do we improve
the inter- personal relations among Jews. Do we do T'shuva. If so,
we will soon reap the benefits of a complete spiritual and physical
Jewish Life in Eretz Yisrael. If we take the other path, tragedy and
horror await us. The Choice is ours.
53rd of the 54 sedras; 10th of 11 in D'varim
Written on 92 lines in a Sefer Torah, ranks 51st
3 Parshiyot; all open (extra open!)
52 p'sukim - ranks 51st (8th in D'varim)
614 words - ranks 52nd (9th in D'varim)
2326 letters - ranks 52nd (9th in D'varim)
P'sukim are among the shortest in the Torah
The Chinuch does not count any mitzvot in Ha'azinu; Rambam counts 1
- YAYIN NESECH. This is the only mitzva on Rambam's whole list of
613 mitzvot that the Chinuch does not count
Kohen - First Aliya - 6 p'sukim - 32:1-6
[P>32:1 (43)] Moshe Rabeinu begins his farewell "song" to the People
by calling upon the heavens and the earth to be witnesses to what he
will be saying. He asks the people (in a very poetic way) to listen
well to his words. Moshe tells us that G-d is completely fair and
just; it is we who are responsible for "messing things up"
"When I (singluar) call
G-d's Name, you (plural, min. 2) praise G-d for His Greatness." From
this pasuk we learn that when three people eat together, one calls
to the other two to "bless G-d" - ZIMUN (benching m'zuman).
This pasuk is borrowed from here to introduce the Musaf, Mincha, and
Levi - Second Aliya - 6 p'sukim - 32:7-12
Moshe asks us again to remember the "early history" of this unique
nation of Israel and the special ancestors who established for us
our close relationship with G-d.
There is no generation
gap in real Jewish life; the older generation teaches the new one,
the new generation gains by asking questions of their elders and
learning from them.
G-d structured the
world in parallel to the developing nation of Israel, and granted us
special protection and guidance - "like an eagle protects its
SDT The lessons of
Torah are compared to dew, rain showers, and down- pours. All water,
but different intensities and speeds. So too Torah, for different
people. The analogy between Torah and water has many levels.
Shlishi - Third Aliya - 6 p'sukim - 32:13-18
Notwithstanding the protection and nurturing that G-d provided us in
the Wilderness, we rebelled. This happened and continues to happen.
Moshe's words can be seen as a description of Dor HaMidbar as well
as being a poetic prophecy of the people becoming too complacent in
Eretz Yisrael and abandoning G-d from their positions of opulence
R'VI'I - Fourth Aliya - 10 p'sukim - 32:19-28
Much of the content of Haazinu is a poetic formulation of ideas
previously presented in the book of D'varim.
Moshe tells us that G-d's
reaction to our disloyalty is HESTEIR PANIM - the hiding of "G-d's
Face", so to speak. He also tell us that there have been several
times when G-d had wanted to destroy the People of Israel but did
not, so as not to give the nations of the world cause to doubt the
power of the "G-d of Israel".
It is striking how
similar are the words of reproach and how different the
Chamishi - Fifth Aliya - 11 p'sukim - 32:29-39
Our challenge is to contemplate the above and understand the many
lessons contained in G-d's (and Moshe's) words. The bottom line is
that although Israel strays from the proper path, G-d will not
abandon us, and He will rally to our side in the face of our
enemies. If we would only realize this and appreciate the awesome
power of G-d.
Shishi - Sixth Aliya - 4 p'sukim - 32:40-43
In this concluding portion of the song part of Haazinu, we see G-d’s
oath and Moshe assurances of G-d's eternal nature and His promise to
avenge Israel against the other nations.
Sh'vi'i - Seventh Aliya - 9 p'sukim - 32:-44-52
[P>32:44 (4)] The Torah goes back to the regular columnar format for
this last portion of Haazinu.
Moshe, in front of
Yehoshua, tells the people to heed the warning of this SHIRA and to
keep the Torah, which in turn, will keep them.
An important point that
has been oft- repeated in the book of D'varim is this: We did not
receive the Land of Israel with "no strings attached". We must
always be worthy of holding on to E. Yisrael. Sometimes that
reminder is subtle; sometimes it is heavy-handed. Here it's: Take
the Torah seriously, because it is the basis upon which we will have
a long tenure in the land.
[P>32:48 (5)] G-d then
tells Moshe to ascend Har Aravim-Nevo, see the Land from there, and
die there, as Aharon had done earlier (the Torah reiterates the
reason that both Moshe and Aharon couldn't enter Eretz Yisrael -
namely, the incident when Moshe hit the rock rather than speak to
it, missing an opportunity to sanctify G-d's name), rather than
enter the Land which the People of Israel will enter.
Haftara - 51 p'sukim Shmuel bet 22:1-51
When Haazinu is between Yom Kippur and Sukkot, then this long
passage is its haftara. This happens 39.4% of the time. (In other
words, more than 60% of the time, Haazinu is Shabbat Shuva and has a
different haftara.) This chapter in Shmuel bet is known as the song
of David and this is its claim to be matched with the Torah's Song
of Haazinu. It is a song of thanksgiving to G-d by David, upon being
saved from his enemies and from the hands of Sha'ul. Interestingly,
it is one of the rare passages from the Navi that does double duty -
it is the haftara of the seventh day of Pesach, when the Torah
reading contains the Song of the Sea in B'shalach. (The other time
the Song of the Sea is read - Shabbat Parshat B'shalach - the
haftara is the other "song" in Navi, the song of Devorah.) In
addition to being identified as Songs, these four portions (Shirat
HaYam, Haazinu, Shirat D'vorah and Shirat David) are each written in
an unusual manner.
Jacobs (in his "A Haftara Companion) points to a few parallels in
the texts of Haazinu and its haftara, e.g. the use of the term TZUR
(Rock) for G-d.
Sukkot Torah Readings
On the first day of Sukkot we read from Parshat Emor, Vayikra 23,
the portion of the Festivals. We actually start the reading several
p'sukim earlier with the mitzvot of not taking an animal from its
mother to use it as a korban before it is 8 days old. And the
prohibition of slaughtering an animal and its offspring on the same
day. This second mitzva applies to korbanot and to "personal" use of
animals for food. The first mitzva is specifically for korbanot (but
its spirit belongs to "regular" animals too).
Next the Torah teaches
us the mitzvot of Kiddush HaShem and its opposite.
[Perhaps we can
understand why Chazal "backed us up" these 8 p'sukim, rather than
leaving us just with the portion of the cycle of the Chagim.
First of all, on Chag
there are many animals used both for Korbanot and for the dinner
table. The two mitzvot included in this opening portion of the Torah
reading serve as a reminder that we have rules and regulations that
go along with our commandments and permission to use the animals for
our own purposes. The "reminder" of Kiddush HaShem and Chilul HaShem,
serves us well to focus our SIMCHA in the proper direction and not
allow ourselves to get carried away by improper joyful behavior. The
final pasuk before the presentation of the Chagim reminds us that
all the Holidays are commemorative of the Exodus from Egypt. Now, we
are ready to continue with the reading about the Holidays
The Torah begins with
Shabbat, followed by Pesach, the Omer, Shavuot, Rosh HaShana, Yom
Kippur, and Sukkot. This 52-pasuk portion is read for 5 people, the
number of Aliyot assigned to Yom Tov.
Maftir is read from a second Torah, from Parshat Pinchas. It is a
5-pasuk presentation of the Korban Musaf of the first day of Sukkot.
It is significant to
note that because the number of bulls in the Musaf of the days of
Sukkot change - 13 on the first day, then 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, and 7 on
the seventh day - the Torah identifies each day of Sukkot as its
own. In other words, there is mention of "And on the second day",
"and on the third day", etc. This is not the case with Pesach. The
Musaf of each day was the same as the first, and the Torah does not
announce, "and on the second day of Pesach..." It could have, but it
doesn't. Consequently, we view each day of Sukkot as a separate Chag
(sort of) and each day gets full Hallel. Days 2 thru 7 of Pesach are
not considered distinct from the first day and as a result Hallel is
required only on the first day. What subsequently began as a custom
to recite Hallel throughout Pesach has now become a requirement, but
the essential difference of that Hallel is preserved by our practice
of skipping the first 11 p'sukim in each of two of the chapters
among the six that make up Hallel.
Haftara of the first day of Sukkot comes from Zecharya and contains
the famous prophesy of the time in the future when other nations
will recognize the One G-d and those nations that persecuted Israel
will be severely punished. There is a universal message of Sukkot in
that people from other nations will also be challenged with the
mitzva of Sukka. The universal nature of Sukkot can also be seen by
the 70 bulls of the Musafs of the seven days, which correspond to
the 70 nations of the ancient world (that descend from No'ach). So
too, the fact that the world is judged for rainfall on Sukkot gives
the holiday a universal flavor, since rain is not just for the
Chol HaMoed Torah reading Wednesday (day 2), Thursday (day 3),
Friday (day 4), Sunday (day 6), and Monday (day 7, Hoshana Rabba),
have the "same" Torah reading. One Torah is taken out (in contrast
to the two Torahs read from on each day of Chol HaMoed Pesach). Four
people are called to the Torah and the same set of p'sukim is read
for each of the Aliyot. Each Aliya consists of three p'sukim (the
minimum length for an Aliya), comes from Parshat Pinchas, and deals
with the Musaf offering of each day.
(In Chutz LaAretz, the
Chol HaMoed reading is a bit different, reflecting the concept of
S'FEIKA D'YOMA, doubt as to the actual date of a given day.)
No haftara on Chol
HaMoed (except on Shabbat). Our Sages did not want to burden the
people who had to work during Chol HaMoed with extra shul-time.
Shabbat Chol HaMoed We take out two Torahs. We call seven people to
the first Torah, reading from Parshat Ki Tisa, specifically Shmot
33:12 through 34:26, a total of 38 p'sukim. It is the portion
following the sin of the golden calf, after Moshe pleads on behalf
of the People, after G-d agrees to forgive the People, and after
Moshe smashes the Luchot, destroys the Eigel, and castigates the
people (and kills off the 3000 primary violators). Moshe Rabeinu
asks for a greater knowledge and intimacy with G-d. G-d gives Moshe
a greater glimpes of His Essence than He had previously shown Moshe,
but only a glimpse. Then G-d commands Moshe tohew a new set of
Luchot, which He will engrave as He had previously done with the
first set. Then we read about the 13 Divine Attributes, which is
followed by a summary of the SHALOSH REGALIM. The portion ends with
the prohibition of eating meat & milk mixtures.
Maftir is read from a second Torah, from Parshat Pinchas. It is a
5-pasuk presentation of the Korban Musaf of the fifth (this year)
day of Sukkot.
Haftara of Shabbat Chol HaMoed comes from Yechezkeil (38:18-39:16),
a total of 21 p'sukim. Yechezkel describes a battle in the end of
time (before the coming of the mashiach) when armies hostile to the
Jewish People will attack and be thwarted by G-d. The defeat of what
has become known as GOG UMAGOG, will result in the worldwide
acknowledgement of the greatness of the G-d of Israel as the One
G-d. There is a tradition that this war will occur on Sukkot, hence
its choice as the haftara.
Simchat Torah On the night of Simchat Torah, after HAKAFOT (see
special sheet in the Pull-Out section of this Torah Tidbits), we
read the beginning of VZOT HABRACHA. This is the only night of the
year that we read from the Torah, after joyously dancing with the
Torahs and making Hakafot around the Bima. It reflects the joy and
love we feel towards the Torah on this day of its celebration. The
Old Minhag Yerushalayim (GR"A) is not to read the Torah on Simchat
Torah night. And, just for your knowledge, Shulchan Aruch does
mention Torah reading on Leil Simchat Torah, but not from V'zot
HaBracha. Rather different Parshiyot are read for each Aliya.
On Simchat Torah
morning, after Hakafot, we read the sedra of V'Zot HaBracha. This is
the only "Parshat HaShavua" that is not read on Shabbat (except in
Eretz Yisrael when Simchat Torah falls on Shabbat). Five people are
called to the Torah, as on all Yamim Tovim. The sedra is not
completed with these 5 Aliyot.
These five portions are
reread over and over again, many times with several Torahs being
read simultaneously at different locations in shul. This allows
everyone to receive an Aliya on Simchat Torah.
Following this, the
Chatan Torah is called for the last Aliya in the Torah. A chupa is
often made over the Bima by four tall guys with a talit, as the
Torah is completed. There is a custom that the last Aliya before
Chatan Torah is given to one of the oldest men in shul, and with
him, all young boys (who cannot take their own Aliya) are invited to
share this KOL HA'NE'ARIM Aliya.
After V'zot HaBracha
(and the Book of D'varim, and the whole Torah) is completed, the
Torah is lifted, closed, and "dressed" and a second Torah is read
This time, the honor of
the Aliya goes to the Chatan B'reishit, for whom will be read the
beginning of the Torah. We never finish with the Torah; we begin it
as soon as we get to the end. This is the “real” reason for our
great joy. We celebrate, not the conclusion of the Torah, but the
wonderful feeling of beginning again and of being the people to whom
the Torah was given and for whom the Torah is our way of life. Again
a Chupa is made for this Aliya (customs might vary from shul to shul).
The whole first chapter
of B'reishit is read, plus the first four p'sukim of the 2nd
chapter, which describes the first Shabbat.
Maftir is read from a
third Sefer Torah. It comes from Parshat Pinchas and presents the
Musaf of Shmini Atzeret.
Finally, the Haftara of
Simchat Torah picks up where the Torah left off - with the beginning
of the Book of Yehoshua. Aside from it being the natural choice for
Haftara of V'zot HaBracha because it is its continuation, it also
contains G-d's encouragement to Yehoshua to cling to the Torah and
immerse himself in it day and night. This portion is particularly
suited for Simchat Torah.
What does Sukkot commemorate?
All holidays - Biblical, Rabbinic, Modern - mark events that
occurred on the dates we celebrate the holidays. So too for fast
days. Dates are significant. What happened on the 15th of Tishrei?
If something (GR"A) then okay, but if not, then what is Sukkot doing
specifically at this time of the year and on that date?
Tur says that had the
mitzva of Sukka been commanded at Pesach-time (because of its
connection to the Exodus), it would not be noticeable that we are
performing a mitzva; it would seem that we are merely seeking
comfort in the warming springtime. On the other hand, when we leave
our homes as others are returning to theirs in anticipation of
cooler and wetter weather, the mitzva aspect of Sukka is manifest.
Rambam seems to take an
opposite view, namely that the timing of Sukkot is a kind gesture by
G-d - we dwell in the Sukka when it is neither too hot nor to cold
to do so in an enjoyable manner. (A lot depends upon where you live
- Eretz Yisrael is highly recommended.)
Ramban says that Sukkot
is set at the other side of the year from Pesach to emphasize that
we must appreciate G-d's having taken us out of Egypt and protecting
us in the Wilderness - ALL YEAR ROUND. Pesach and Sukkot are each a
7-day commemoration of the Exodus, each begins on the 15th day of
the first month of the year (both Nissan and Tishrei are first
According to the Vilna
Gaon, after the Sin of the Golden Calf, the Heavenly Clouds left the
people. Only after the command to build the Mishkan, and after the
materials were collected and the construction was about to begin,
did the Clouds return. The GR"A says that this happened on 15
Tishrei, hence that date for Sukkot, the Sukka reminding us of the
Menorat HaMaor says
that Sukka is a humbling experience perfect for the Jew who has just
brought in the harvest and is about to tuck himself comfortably into
his home for the winter. He would usually burst with pride at what
he accomplished. Sukka brings the Jew out of his complacency and
remind him - in the frail Sukka- of G-d's dominion over nature.
Chidushei HaRim says
that the reason given by the Torah for Sukka - In order that your
generations shall KNOW... KNOWLEDGE can be achieved best (or only)
in a sin-free atmosphere, only right after the Yamim Nora'im. A
person does not sin unless he is overcome by foolishness. Thus, we
are capable of fulfilling the mitzva of Sukka best during the days
following Yom Kippur.
Take Rain Seriously
In the box to the right is the text (in the hard copy of TT) of the
second bracha of the Amida - every Amida, weekday, Shabbat, Chag. It
is known as the bracha of G'VUROT, strengths or powers (of G-d). It
is in this bracha that we mention G-d as the Rainmaker, during the
From Musaf of Shmini
Atzeret (a.k.a. Simchat Torah in Israel, but that might confuse
readers in Chutz LaAretz - and even some from here) until Musaf of
the first day of Pesach, we say that G-d is (among other things),
the MASHIV HARU'ACH UMORID HAGASHEM (MHUH).
An Amida during the
rainy season (Shmini Atzeret to Pesach) without any reference to G-d’s
role in making the weather is considered fatally flawed, and must be
Specifically, if one
omits MHUH from the second bracha of the Amida, AND does not say
MORID HATAL either, the Amida must be repeated. In Israel (and in
many communities in the Diaspora), where MORID HATAL is said when
MHUH is not said, it is considered that G-d’s role as Weather Maker
is acknowledged throughout the year.Therefore, if one forgets MHUH,
he can assume that he said MORID HATAL and his Amida is not invalid.
Let’s do some
fine-tuning. The rule for repeating or not repeating, as above, has
another application. If one continues the Amida beyond the second
bracha, and then realizes he hadn’t said MHUH, nor MORID HATAL, the
person stops cold and starts the Amida over. Not saying MHUH but
saying MORID HATAL (by mistake), the person just continues the Amida
to its conclusion and “ignores” the omission.
If you remember within
the second bracha that you did not say MHUH, then there are two
opinions. One opinion is that as soon as one realizes the omission
(remember, within the second bracha), he goes back to ATA GIBOR and
says from there. Some say that it is only necessary to go back to
MHUH, the ATA GIBOR part was said and untainted by the omission.
The other opinion is
that one says MHUH wherever the omission was realized, without going
back to the beginning of the bracha. But one should say MHUH between
phrases, not within one. For example, one can say SOMEICH NOFLIM,
MHUH, V’ROFEI CHOLIM, but should not say SOMEICH MHUH NOFLIM. See
the phrase-by-phrase layout of the bracha (box).
Furthermore, the last
phrase before the ending of the bracha - V’NE-EMAN... must precede
the ending, without MHUH interceding. So if one has already said the
V’NE-EMAN phrase and then realizes he forgot MHUH, he says MHUH,
then repeats V’NE-EMAN... and then concludes with BARUCH...
First of the 54 sedras; first of 12 sedras in B'reishit
Written on 241 lines in a Sefer Torah, ranks 9th
23 Parshiyot; 10 open, 13 closed, ranks 6th
146 p'sukim - ranks 8th (5th in B'reishit), same as Mikeitz; but
Miketz is longer in lines, words, letters
1931 words - ranks 8th (5th in B'reishit)
7235 letters - ranks 11th (5th in B'reishit)
One (positive) mitzva in B'reishit
Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary
Kohen - First Aliya - 34 p'sukim - 1:1-2:3
This Aliya contains the first account of Creation.
[P>1:1 (5)] The first parsha contains the "summary" statement of
Creation (or the first phase of Creation - see further) and the
account of Day One.
SDT Baal HaTurim points out that the G'matriya of B'REISHIT BARA is
1116, as is the numeric value of the phrase: B'ROSH HASHANA NIV'RA -
on R.H. it (the world) was created. Furthermore, the letters of
B'reishit rearrange to spell ALEF B'TISHREI, the first of the month
of Tishrei (or B'ALEF TISHREI - on the first of Tishrei- same
thing), "confirming" the opinion that the world was created in
Tishrei (R. Eliezer), rather than in Nissan, as the other opinion
holds (R. Yehoshua).
If we could prove
things with G'matriyas and anagrams, then maybe R. Eliezer would
“win” the dispute, but as is, the dispute as to when the world was
“In the beginning, G-d
created the Heavens and the Earth. And the Earth...”
Did that happen on day
1 of Creation? Or is something before Day 1 being described? Here is
one possible answer. The first two p'sukim of B’reishit describe the
totally, exclusively Divine aspect of Creation of Something from
Nothing — YEISH MEI'AYIN. Before “B'reishit”, perhaps nothing
existed — except G-d. With the Divine Command of B'reishit,
everything that now exists came into existence for the first time.
All matter, all energy, thoughts, concepts, time — everything.
According to this point of view, SHAMAYIM and ARETZ mean everything
in the universe.
The first form that all
of Creation had was TOHU VAVOHU, chaos. That's the second pasuk.
And, this stage of Creation occurred BEFORE Day One. Not on the
first day - before the first day. And not a day before, not an
instant before nor and eon before. It is pointless speculation to
attempt to give a time-frame for the first two p'sukim, because TIME
has meaning only in the context of the ordered world that began to
take shape on Day 1. No wonder we are not supposed to concern
ourselves with what had happened before the world was created!
“And G-d said: Let
there be light...”
Thus begins the Torah’s description of Days 1,2,3,4,5,6. And what
happened on those days? G-d put everything in order, distinguished
one thing from another. It was creation of Something from Something.
YEISH MI'YEISH. Forming, shaping. The kind of Creation that we
emulate in our lives.
Shabbat B'reishit is a time of rediscovery and re-creation. just
like on Pesach and Shavuot when we read of the events of Egyptian
slavery and the Exodus on the one and the events of Matan Torah on
the other, and we try to put ourselves into the events, to make them
fresh, as if today we came out of Egypt, as if the Torahwere given
today, so too should we enthusiastically read and hear the
description of Creation and put ourselves into the position of
discovering G-d through the world and nature that He brought into
existence for us. Don't just see things as "once upon a time..." —
get excited, because G-d “renews with His Goodness, everyday and
always, the Acts of B’reishit”.
Without going into
detail, here is a breakdown of the first Aliya for your
2 p’sukim, as mentioned
above, for the first phase of creation. Notwithstanding the argument
above that broke these two p’sukim off of the description of the
first day (so to speak), they are part of the first PARSHA, together
with the creation of Light, etc.
3 p’sukim for Day 1,
creation of light, separation of light and darkness, and their being
identified as day and night. One KI TOV. The day is called YOM ECHAD
rather than RISHON, because RISHON has meaning only if there is a
SHENI, which there wasn’t yet.
[P>1:6 (3)] Second Day
of Creation. The creation of the Heavens and the separation of the
Upper and Lower waters.
[P>1:9 (5)] Third day
of Creation which consists of two “sections”. First, two p’sukim for
the “gathering of the lower waters” into different areas and the
formation of dry land. And the “naming” of Land and Seas. KI TOV.
And then the Divine command to the Land to spring forth with
vegetation. 3 p’sukim with another KITOV introduce us to the Plant
[P>1:14 (6)] Creation
on the 4th day. The Sun, Moon and stars (and other “heavenly
bodies”) are placed in their appointed positions and orbits. KI TOV.
Continuing... Next comes the Fifth Day, with its account of Animal
Kingdom, part one. Swarming insects, fish, birds. KI TOV. And P’RU
[P>1:24 (8)] Next the
largest parsha yet, with the formation of Animal Kingdom, part two.
Land animals (most mammals). “Creepy things” probably includes most
reptiles as well. KI TOV.
Then comes the
formation of human beings, first as a single being both male and
female (one explanation of the wording in the parsha) and then
separated into two different beings, male and female (but with some
“crossing” of characteristics). P’RU URVU. TOV ME’OD. THE sixth day.
[P>2:1 (3)] This
relatively long first Aliya concludes with the 3-pasuk parsha
introducing us to Shabbat B’reishit, the day that G-d blessed and
sanctified because He “rested” from Creation. We say this parsha in
the Friday night Amida, right after the Friday night Amida, and at
the Friday night table as the first part of Kiddush. This should
tell us how important it is that we learn well (as best as we can)
the Torah's account of Creation.
Levi - Second Aliya - 16 p'sukim - 2:4-19
[P>2:4 (37)] Restatement of Creation, focusing on Gan Eden, the
formation of Adam, Adam's dominance over Nature, and his first
prohibition - eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil.
"It is not good that
man shall be alone" is explained in different ways, including that
only G-d is singular. Man needs to know that as great as he can
become, as much as he can accomplish, he is not a god.
All creatures were
brought before Adam as "candidates" for partner- to-Adam. None was
found suitable, but Adam named them all (as people have done
throughout the ages).
In the first account of
Creation, Man was the final act of Creation, but not so much the
purpose and focus of creation. In this second account, Man is
presented as the focus of creation. We must see things both ways in
order to maintain a healthy perspective on this world, our role in
it, and our responsibilities towards it and all elements of nature.
Shlishi - Third Aliya - 27 p'sukim - 2:20-3:21
The Torah's wording implies that Adam was first created as a
combined male-female being, then (still on Day Six) he was
physically separated as Adam and Chava, with the command and
challenge of recombining spiritually, emotionally, and physically -
"and they shall become one flesh".
Next the Torah tells us cryptically of the episodes of the Serpent's
enticement of Chava, the eating from the Tree, the punishments for
the Serpent, Chava, and finally, Adam. The sin(s) of Adam and Chava
are not just personal sins, but more significantly, they help us
define and understand (some of) human nature.
[S>3:16 (1)] This one-pasuk
parsha consists of G-d's "punishment" (can we call it "redefining")
of Chava (woman- kind.
[S>3:17 (5)] And this
parsha consists of Adam's "punishment" and G-d's act of Chesed, in
clothing the naked. This act is one of the many pointed to in our
challenge to emulate G-d's qualities.
Note that the "story"
parts of Shlishi and most of R'vi'i are part of one large parsha,
but G-d's statements to Adam and Chava, and His kindness to them are
slightly isolated in the form of two parshiyot S'tumot, thus calling
specific attention to them and the lessons we learn from them.
R'VI'I - Fourth Aliya - 21 p'sukim - 3:22-4:18
[p>3:22 (3)] Expulsion from Gan Eden, also seen as a metaphor for a
re-definition of the role of humans in this world and of their (our)
relationship with G-d.
[S>4:1 (26)] "Births"
of Kayin and Hevel and Kayin's killing of Hevel following the
attempt of each to make an offering before G-d. Kayin's punishment
and fate. His lineage.
Chamishi - Fifth Aliya - 8 p'sukim - 4:19-26
Story of Lemech, the great-great-great- grand-son of Kayin and his
accidental killer. Lemech's two wives were Ada and Tzila.
The Torah mentions more
descendants of Kayin and their roles as the "firsts" in various
fields of human activity. Yaval (son of Lemech and Ada) was the
“first” tent-dwelling animal raiser. His brother Yuval was a
musician. Tuval- Kayin (son of Tzila) worked with iron and copper.
His sister was Na’ama.
B'reishit Rabba) says that she was the wife of No'ach. What is
significant about that is that Kayin's line was not completely
severed by the Flood. Although we refer to all of man- kind as Bnei
No'ach, who descended from Adam through Sheit, on the mother's side
there is Na'ama and before her, Kayin.
This portion also
contains Lemech's lament for having killed Kayin.
Aliya breakdowns differ
from Chumash to Chumash
Shishi - Sixth Aliya - 24 p'sukim - 5:1-24
The lineage from Adam through Sheit (Seth) to No'ach (into the next
Aliya) is set down, with the age of the father at the birth of the
son, and each person's age at his death. These numbers help us
construct the first part of our timeline. Although many sons and
daughters are born to this list of patriarchs of the world, only one
representative of each generation is named. Some say that only the
named individual had the longevity that is recorded; the "average
man and woman in the street" lived much shorter lives. Others say
that the lifespan of the human was generally much longer before the
[S>5:1 (5)] This is the
Book of the Chronicles of Mankind... Adam and Chava were created.
Adam was 130 years old when Sheit was born. He lived another 800
years after Sheit was born, during which time he fathered many sons
and daughters. He lived 930 years and then he died.
The wording seems strange, and is repeated with each generation.
[S>5:6 (3)] Sheit was 105 when Enosh was born. He lived another 807
years for a total of 912. Sons and daughters. And he died.
[S>5:9 (3)] Enosh, 90, Keinan + 815 = 905...
[S>5:12 (3)] Keinan, 70, Mahalal'eil, + 840 = 910...
[S>5:15 (3)] Mahalal'eil, 65, Yered, + 830 = 895...
[S>5:18 (3)] Yered, 162, Chanoch, + 800 = 962...
(Yered is the Avis, K2, Buzz Aldrin... of longevity.)
[S>5:21 (4)] Chanoch, 65, M'tushelach, + 300 = 365... Shishi
concludes with mention of Chanoch, who was taken from this world
(possibly not by death) at the relatively young age of 365.
Sh'vi'i - Seventh Aliya - 16 p'sukim - 5:25-6:8
[S>5:25 (3)] M'tushelach, 187, Lemech, + 782 = 969, the oldest age
recorded in the Tanach. According to Tradition, he died immediately
prior to the Flood, which was held up for 7 days of mourning.
[S>5:28 (4)] Lemech 182, a son. He named him No'ach (note the
different wording for the birth of No'ach)... + 595 = 777.
[S>5:32 (5)] No'ach, 500 (note how much older than previous
generations), Sheim, Cham, Yefet.
The Torah now describes the deterioration of society...
[P>6:5 (4)] and G-d's "regret" for having created Man, His decision
to destroy the world (almost). No'ach alone found favor in G-d's
eyes. Stay tuned for the continuation, next week.
This last 4-pasuk parsha is reread for the Maftir.
Haftara - 31 p'sukim -Yeshayahu 42:5-43:10
Taken from the chapters of Yeshayahu from 40 and up, this haftara is
like those of the Seven Haftarot of Consolation read between Tish'a
b'Av and Rosh HaShana, and like the haftara of public fast days, as
we recently read on Tzom Gedalya. This whole section of Yeshaya
contain prophecies of redemption addressed to the Jews in Babylonian
exile, but speaking to us today as well.
The haftara speaks of Creation of heavens and earth, just as the
sedra does. There are many words and phrases in common.
Here's a thought. Adam and Chava are exiled from Gan Eden, as the
people of Israel are exiled from Eretz Yisrael. G-d did not abandon
Adam and Chava even in their punishment, nor does He abandon Israel
in its disgrace and exile.
Adam's hope for a brighter future was his 10th generation Noi'ach -
the sedra ends with, and No'ach found favor in G-d's eyes. The
haftara's bright future is echoed by the pasuk, HaShem chafeitz
l'maan tzidko, yagdil Torah v'yadir.
THE JERUSALEM INSTITUTE OF JEWISH LAW - Rabbi Emanuel Quint, Dean
Lesson # 304 (part one) •TORTS
It is stated in Baba Kama 30a, “He who wishes to be pious must
fulfill the laws of [the tractates] Nezikin [Damages]. The
seriousness with which the halacha views injury to a fellow human
being can be observed from the law that states that the Day of
Atonement forgives sins committed by man against G-d, but not sins
that man commits against his fellow man. The only penance is when
the wrongdoer asks the victim for forgiveness and makes adequate
compensation. In these lessons I have designated “injury” to mean
something done to harm a person; “damage” to mean something done to
harm property. I have designated Reuven as the person who causes the
injuries and/or damages by himself and/or through his property to
Shimon, the person who is injured and/or his property damaged,
whether caused intentionally, inadvertently, or accidentally.
Maimonides lists five
Torah commandments as the source of the laws of torts. There are
thus five types of torts described in these commandments. (1)
Commandment #236: Reuven causes the damage or injury; (2)
Commandment #237; Reuven’s ox causes damage or injury by goring: (3)
Commandment #238: Reuven causes injury by digging a pit into which
Shimon and/or his property falls; (4) Commandment #240: Reuven’s ox
causes damage “with its tooth” or “with its foot”; (5) Commandment
#241: Reuven causes damage by kindling a fire.
In types (2) and (4),
it is Reuven’s ox that causes the injury and/or damage. The domain
in which the damages are causes is often crucial to ascertain if
Reuven is liable to Shimon for the injuries and/or damage.
The Talmud was redacted
when people were primarily engaged in agriculture. Therefore one’s
animal became the basis for many of the laws of torts caused by
one’s property. Reuven’s actions are classified into three
categories: (1) the direct cause of the injuries or damages; (2) the
indirect cause of the injuries or damages; and (3) the remote cause
of the injuries or damages. The domain in which the tort was
committed may determine liability. The halacha speaks of riding a
horse in public streets. This formulation was used in most Western
countries until just a few years ago and is still used in many
places in third world countries.
exceptions, halacha presumes that a person is always responsible and
liable for his tortuous actions, whether awake or asleep, when they
are committed. There may be an exception to the statement that the
tortfeasor, Reuven is always responsible for his actions and liable
for all injuries and damages caused by him, including accidents.
There are two major views as to this exception, one more liberal in
construing liability against Reuven and the second holding him
strictly liable in most circumstances with only a limited scope of
exception. These views follow with a few examples. At times the
distinction between the views is blurred and some of the codifiers
present overlapping views. Some commentators hold that all intents
and purposes the views are essentially the same.
View (I). The first
view of exception to liability for causing injury or damages asserts
that if the tort was committed entirely accidentally, without any
negligence on Reuven’s part in causing the occurrence, then he is
not liable. Beth Din will assess each case to determine if there was
such an accident. The assessment is carried out as follows: Was
Reuven’s conduct similar to that of a person from whom an object was
stolen? If Reuven’s conduct did not lead to the theft then he will
not be liable if the accident was entirely out of his control. This
view does admit that if Reuven’s manner when the accidental
occurrence took place was similar to the conduct of a person who
loses another’s object, then he is liable since he was somewhat
negligent. According to this view Reuven is free of liability only
if he did not intend the act that caused the injury or damage. If
the act was done intentionally then he is liable even if the damage
occurred by accident. Of the classical examples, several deal with
Reuven tripping while carrying a jug. Depending on the facts,
tripping can be sometimes termed an accident and sometimes almost an
Example (1) Reuven lay
down to sleep next to Shimon’s vase that was on the floor and, while
sleeping, stretched out his hand and broke the vase; Reuven is
liable. If he lay down to sleep next to Shimon who was sleeping and
in his sleep Reuven struck Shimon and injured him; Reuven is liable.
However, if Reuven fell asleep first and then Shimon lay down next
to Reuven, placed his jug there and Reuven while asleep, injured
Shimon and broke Shimon’s jug, Reuven is not liable. This is because
Shimon’s conduct can be considered negligent while Reuven’s
unintended action while sleeping does not subject Reuven to
Example (2) If Shimon
sets his jug down in a public street and Reuven, while walking trips
over the jug and breaks it. Reuven is not liable for breaking the
Example (3) Reuven
trips while carrying a jug and when he is falling with the jug, it
falls on Shimon and injures him. Reuven is not liable. Although
tripping is somewhat negligent, Shimon might have been more careful
to avoid the result.
Example (4) Reuven
trips while carrying a jug and when he is falling with the jug it
falls on Shimon’s object and damages the object. Reuven is liable.
The reason for this is that tripping is a somewhat negligent act.
The consequential liability from this differs from the preceding
example because in the preceding case Shimon might have been more
careful to avoid the result.
Example (5) Reuven
falls from a high place such as a roof and lands on Shimon and
injures him. Reuven is liable. This holds true only if Reuven falls
while an ordinary wind is blowing. However, if Reuven was blown off
the roof by an extraordinary strong wind then Reuven is not liable.
IYH we shall discuss View (II) next lesson.
The subject matter of
this lesson is more fully discussed in volume X chapter 378 of A
Restatement of Rabbinic Civil Law by E. Quint. Copies of all volumes
can be purchased via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and via
website: www.israelbooks.com and at local Judaica bookstores.
Questions to email@example.com
Meaning in Mitzvot
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 by Rabbi Asher Meir
Discomfort in the Sukka
The mishna states that if it is raining hard enough to spoil the
food, one should leave the sukka (Mishna Sukka 2:9). This is one
example of the general rule that one who suffers discomfort in the
sukka is exempt, for if the dwelling causes discomfort it is no
longer likened to an ordinary dwelling. (See Arukh
Hashulchan639:20.) The mishna adds: "This is likened to a servant
who comes to pour a drink for his master, and [his master] pours the
pitcher in his face."
explain the likeness as follows: We fulfill the mitzva of sukka as
servants who come to do the bidding of our Master, the Holy One
blessed be He. If it is raining, we should feel rebuked as though
are service is some- how lacking. We should be concerned that we are
not performing the mitzva properly and therefore Hashem is not
interested in obliging us.
While the mishna only
claims a "likeness", the Maharil (a late Rishon) enunciated it as a
halakhic rule: one who is compelled to leave the sukka because of
untoward weather "shouldn't resent the sukka as he leaves, rather he
should leave in a state of subjection like a servant who poured a
cup for his master and he poured it in his face," and this ruling is
brought down by the Rema on the Shulchan Arukh (OC 639:7).
According to the
Maharil, the feeling of subjection of the rejected servant is to be
contrasted with resentment. This is not obvious from the mishna; it
is just as possible to understand that the natural feeling would be
relief at being exempt from the obligation as if the master gave us
a day off. However, we do find one other place in the Talmud which
condemns resentment at the exemption from sukka.
The gemara at the
beginning of Avoda Zara describes how Israel will be favored at the
final judgment because of our performance of the mitzvot.
The nations then complain that they weren't given mitzvot to enable
them to acquire merit, so Hashem will give them the mitzva of sukka.
Yet then He will "take the sun out of its sheath", bringing searing
heat on the world; this causes them to leave the sukka in disgust
and contempt (ba'at), thus forfeiting their merit.
The gemara objects that
they are correct in leaving the sukka, for (as we have just learned)
extreme discomfort exempts us from this mitzva! The gemara replies
that even when we are exempt, we do not resent the exemption (Avoda
From this we can see
that the ideal way to view the performance of the mitzvot is as a
unique privilege granted us by God. If we are unable to carry them
out we should feel a sense of disappointment and loss. But among
lesser attitudes there are two levels:
Many people acknowledge
their obligation in the commandments, but view them as a difficult
burden. "Es is shver tzu zein a yid", "It's hard to be a Jew". This
is an unfortunate attitude (it is said that Rav Moshe Feinstein was
very critical of this common expression), but at the very least it
captures the idea that we are servants of Hashem.
But some people view
the commandments as a right, not a privilege. Like the rebellious
nations described in Avoda Zara, they believe they have a right to a
favorable judgment and a divine reward. They are willing to exert
themselves a bit to obtain this reward, but ultimately they consider
it an entitlement. If for some reason they aren't provided an
opportunity to earn their reward they respond with resentment and
contempt. This is a far worse attitude, for ultimately it makes man
into a kind of master, as if the Creator "owes us". With their
ruling on rain in the sukka, the Maharil and the Rema remind us that
this is the attitude that we must above all avoid.
Rabbi Asher Meir has two wonderful books in print - Meaning in
Mitzvot (ask for it at your local s'farim store) and The Jewish
Ethicist, available at some bookstores and through the Business
Ethics Center of Jerusalem, (02) 632-0222. Both works are highly
SPIRITUAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE BEREISHIT STORIES by Dr. Meir
Lot Rejects the Abrahamic Way 
"Separate from me please", is Avraham's solution to the quarrel
between his herds men and those of Lot. The land was wide open for
them and it would have been possible for the wealthy men, uncle and
nephew to merely have parted, yet Avraham wants this to be a
separation and not merely a parting for technical reasons like the
scarcity of water and grazing. Neither was it merely an act of anger
or a reaction to an unpleasantness; after all Avraham stresses that
they are brothers. This is in keeping with the idea that only where
love exists can a rebuke exist; the admonitions, 'tochachot', were
administered by Moshe, Israel's shepherd, while Bilaam uttered
blessings. There was to be a separation of two life philosophies:
the doing of righteousness and justice that is to be the Abrahamic
Nation, and Lot's free choice of Sodom. In this final realization of
Hashem's command to Avraham, "Go from your country, your birthplace
and the home of your father", he separated himself from Lot, the
remnant of his father's home. "This behavior is especially to
Avraham's credit in view of his constant humility as shown by his
words, 'I am only dust and ashes'. Despite his humility, we see that
whenever it is necessary to protest against wrong- doing or sin,
Avraham speaks out" (Haketav ve Hakabbala). "When one looks to rent
or buy a home, one should first investigate the future neighbors and
to distance ourselves from the evil ones while drawing close to the
righteous" (Rabbeinu Yona, Avot 1:7).
Lot did not do this.
Instead he took his flocks and herds and made his way to the cities
of the plain of the Jordan, that was then as well watered and as
fertile as the trees planted in Gan Eiden and like Egypt the granary
of the world. The verse in B'reishit (13: 11) "and Lot traveled
East", is usually translated as East from Ai and Bet El where he and
Avraham were encamped to Sodom and Gomorrah that lay on the Eastern
banks of the Jordan. Chazal teach that he journeyed away from Kedem
that is from the Eternal One, by separating himself from Avraham,
the beloved of Hashem, saying, "I want neither Avraham nor his G-d".
This is not semantics but clearly spelt out by the text. "And Lot
lifted up his eyes and saw", this is lust for sexual immorality,
even as it is written regarding Potiphar's wife "And she lifted up
her eyes upon Yosef", or "And Shechem saw Dinah and took her" (Nazir
23a)]. What did Lot see? He saw Sodom and its people about who the
Torah writes that they were evil and sinful before G-d, exceedingly;
yet he used the right of first choice given to him by Avraham, to
"They were evil to each
other, [bein adam l'chavero] and sinful sexually [bein adam la Makom]"
(Yerushalmi, Sanhedrin 10:3). The people of the generation of the
Tower of Bavel were evil against Hashem but loved one another and
were kind to each other; therefore they were only punished with
dispersion, whereas the people of the cities of the plain had to be
totally destroyed. "Rabbi Yehuda says that when the verse mentions
'before G-d', this refers to idolatry and 'exceedingly' refers to
their bloodshed and murders. The Rabbis taught, they were evil in
monetary dealings, as it is written referring to a lender who is
reluctant to lend because of the impending annulment of debts in the
impending Shmita year, " And you look with evil on your poor
brethren" (D'varim 15:9); furthermore they were sinful sexually, as
it is written [Yosef's words of rejection to Potiphars wife], "lest
I sin before G-d" (B'reishit 39:9). However, Rabbi Yehuda refers
evil to sexual immorality and sin to money, as it is written
regarding delayed payment of oaths, "and you will sin" (D'varim 23:
22)" (Sanhedrin 109a).
"One who says, 'What's
mine is mine and what's yours is yours, this is a mediocre nature;
others say this is the characteristic of Sodom (Avot 5:10). At first
glance, this does not seem such a particularly terrible attitude
that it should be the nature of Sodom. Such a person is not stealing
or damaging others property, all they want is to have what is
legally theirs while expecting others to do the same. However, in
Judaism that is not sufficient, it is only a mediocre nature or
alternatively a midat Sodom. The moral problem lies in their refusal
to use their wealth to help others or to shoulder the social costs
of assisting the poor, the weak, the old and strangers.
Since Judaism is action
orientated, its way of militating against the egoism of Sodom is not
left to preaching and moralizing but rather made halakhically
mandatory. Furthermore, like in other areas of life it is not left
to the individual's choice to be practiced according to his or hers
kindness and good nature. Rather, the Bet Din has the obligation to
prevent a person from this midat Sodom. "The Gemara has a number of
ways of enforcing anti-Sodom behavior. For instance, according to
the halakhic dictum of one has a benefit and the other does not have
a loss, anyone may fish in the Kinneret even though it belongs to
the tribe of Naftali,since the removal of a fish does not constitute
a loss to them and is a favor to the others. Similarly, Reuven can
use Shimon's empty courtyard or dwelling that he is not in the habit
of renting out, provided it is not thereby damaged in any way. There
are some opinions that the owner can force him to leave, without
being able to claim payment. However, even they agree that to do so
is a midat S'dom and Chazal expelled such a person from the camp.
One who is able to wave his legal rights in cases of 'one has a
benefit while he has no loss', is righteous like the Chafetz Chaim
but unlike the people of Sodom" (Daat Torah, Harav Levovitch,
Masgiach Yeshivat Mir).
Egoism is the
antithesis of the Abrahamic nation: "One who refuses to do his
fellow a favor with his wealth, it is doubtful that he is of the
descendants of Avraham". Yet Lot settled in Sodom.
This is the 100th
installment in Dr. Tamari’s series on “Tanach and its messages for
MISC section - contents:
 Vebbe Rebbe
 Candle by Day
 From Aloh Naaleh
 A Touch of Wisdom, A Touch of Wit
 Guest Dvar Torah for Yom Kippur
 Parsha Points to Ponder
 Micro Ulpan
 Portion from the Portion
 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: When, how, and why
do we have to put something between the floor and us when performing
the special "korim" (bowing) on Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur?
A: The gemara (Megila
22b) tells that when Rav arrived in Bavel, he refrained from
"falling on his face" during Tachanun as the locals did. One of the
gemara's explanations is that there was stone on the floor next to
Rav, and, therefore, he was forbidden to fall on his face. (In those
days, they bowed down on the floor during Tachanun (see Rivash
#412)). The prohibition is found in Vayikra (26:1): "…you shall not
place an EVEN MASKIT in your land to prostrate on it." This
practice, which was used by idol worshippers, is forbidden (outside
the Beit HaMikdash) even when one does so in service of Hashem.
Commentaries differ widely on the exact meaning and etymology of
EVEN MASKIT, but it applies to any stone floor (Rambam, Avoda Zara
6:6-7). The gemara continues that only Rav had a problem, because he
used to prostrate his body fully during Tachanun.
The Mishna Berura
(131:40) summarizes the Rama (OC 131:8) and earlier authorities'
opinions as follows. The Torah prohibition is only when one is
totally prostrated (pishut yadayim v'raglayim = PYR) on a stone
floor. The Rabbis instituted prohibitions in situations that are
once removed from the Torah prohibition. Thus,one may not do PYR
even on a non-stone floor. One may not do KIDA (having one's knees
and head on the floor in a crouched position) on a stone floor. Each
of these rabbinic prohibitions can be remedied by adding another
element of leniency. One is to lean on the side when bowing down.
(Many explain that this is the origin of our practice of leaning on
our arm during Tachanun (see Beit Yosef, beginning of Orach Chayim
131)). Another is to place something in between the body and the
The Rivash (ibid.)
cites R. Sherira, who says that the reason we forbid PYR on any
floor is the fear that there is stone underneath. Magen Avraham
(131:22) leans toward the following claim: Covering a stone floor
with cut grass, as was customary for bowing on Yom Kippur, solves
even the Torah-level prohibition. Yet, stone covered by earth is a
problem according to R. Sherira, because the connected earth merges
with the stone.
Thus, it is not a
halachic separation, and PYR is forbidden. In contrast, loose grass
is a separate layer, and PYR is permitted. (According to many, any
material that is fastened to the floor, e.g. carpet, is not a
separation - see Machatzit Hashekel 131:22). However, not all agree
that a covering allows one to bow in a way that would otherwise be a
Torah prohibition (Sha'ar Hatziyun 131: 44). Note that this concern,
which troubled poskim such as the Mishna Berura, no longer applies
in our communities. This is because (in places we know of) we do
KIDA, not PYR, even on Yom Kippur. Therefore, a separation suffices
and no separation is needed for a non-stone floor (see Magen Avraham
What counts as stone?
Bricks are not considered like stone (Mishna Berura 131:41).
However, Shevet HaLevi (I,23) says that marble is like stone.
Although one can claim that cement is closer to brick than to stone,
Piskei Teshuvot (131:27) cites Rav Elyashiv as saying that it is
like stone because of the small rocks it contains.There seems to be
ample room for leniency if one does KIDA on a carpet or linoleum
that is on top of concrete. However, most people use towels or
papers anyway. (Who wants to risk violating a prohibition during Yom
Let us end with some further practical notes. The most crucial part
of the body to separate from the floor is the head (Rambam, Avoda
Zara 6:7; see Piskei Teshuvot, ibid.) If one cannot find something
to separate, he can lean to the side on his hand (Mishna Berura
131:40) or spread his talit beneath him (Sha'ar Hatziyun,ibid.)
May we spend Yom Kippur
in the Beit Hamikdash, where one may bow even on stone.
Q: Which of the problems with the ARBA'AT HAMINIM (Lulav and Etrog"
= 4M) are problems after the first day and which are not?
A: The gemara (Sukka 29b) comments that the mishna implies that each
p'sul (disqualification) it lists for a Lulav applies even on "the
second day of Yom Tov". It says that a dry Lulav is a problem on the
second day because it lacks HADAR (Rashi - doing the mitzva in a
sufficiently aesthetic way). But, asks the gemara, why is a stolen
Lulav pasul, since the Torah writes the requirement that the 4M be
owned by the one performing the mitzva only in regard to the first
day? It responds that stolen 4M are pasul because of mitzva haba'a
b'aveira (a mitzva that was facilitated by the violation of a
transgression). The apparent conclusion from this gemara is that
lack of HADAR is a problem throughout Sukkot, whereas matters of
ownership are not, when it does not involve an aveira such as
A later gemara tries to
reconcile one Amora's ruling with another's action. According to one
account, Rav said that an Etrog that mice nibbled on is pasul. Yet,
R. Chanina (believe it or not) bit from an etrog and then used it
for 4M, which should be a problem of an etrog that is missing a
piece (CHASEIR). The gemara explains that R. Chanina did so on the
second day of Sukkot. Regarding the mice, there are two contrary
suggestions. One is that Rav said it was pasul because it is
particularly unseemly and unfit even on the second day. The other is
that the nibbled etrog is sufficiently HADAR and is fit on the
second day. From this gemara we see that CHASEIR does not make 4M
unfit beyond the first day of Sukkot.
Rambam (Lulav 8:9) seems to posit that the latter gemara supersedes
the former and states broadly that any p'sul that is based on a
blemish disqualifies 4M only on the first day. The Magid Mishneh (ad
loc.) comments that problems related to the identification of the
species (e.g. grafted Etrog, Hadas without tripled leaves)or its
size item remain a problem. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 649:5),
whose rulings are accepted by the Sephardic community, accepts the
The Rosh (Sukka 3:3)
incorporates both gemarot and says that the only differences between
the first day of Sukkot and the rest are borrowed 4M and CHASEIR.
Lack of HADAR always renders 4M pasul. He explains that the rabbis
extended the p'sul of more central flaws of the species' status even
to the days when the mitzva of 4M is only rabbinic. (Why HADAR,
which the Torah mentions only in reference to Etrog, is more central
than CHASEIR for all species is a good question. However, it is a
fact, according to this approach.) The Rama (649:5), who reflects
Ashkenazic practice, accepts the Rosh's opinion and disqualifies dry
or blighted 4M.The Rama says that in the famous case where the PITAM
(the Etrog's "flower") falls off, it is an example of CHASEIR.
However, the Mishna Berura (ad loc. :35) cites an opinion that a
removed PITAM is a matter of HADAR and is a p'sul throughout Sukkot.
He suggests being stringent except where another Etrog is not
available.Then one can rely on the combination of the opinions of
Rambam, who permits even a non-HADAR, and Rama, who says it a fallen
PITAM is only a problem of CHASEIR.
machloket is the status of the second day of Sukkot, outside Israel.
On one hand, the mitzva of 4M is only rabbinic that day. On the
other hand, in most ways we treat the second day as if it might be
the first day (most classically, by treating it like Yom Tov). Once
again, Rambam is lenient regarding the p'sulim that do not apply on
the rest of Sukkot and the Rosh gives it all of the first day's
requirements. The Shulchan Aruch and Rama treat it as a doubt
(ibid.) and say that if that is all one has, he should take those 4M
without a beracha.
Ed. note: Something not
covered in this Vebbe Rebbe piece is the distinction between HADAR
and M'HUDAR. HADAR, as mentioned in the VR Q&A is part of the
definition of an Etrog, and extends to the other three MINIM as
well. If an Etrog or Lulav or Hadas or Arava is not a HADAR, it is
invalid for the mitzva.
M'HUDAR describes the
extra beauty of the Etrog, etc. A M'HUDR is desire- able for the
mitzva, but its lack does not disqualify the species in question.
Very often, a Rav should be consulted to determine whether an Etrog
(or the other MINIM) is kosher or not. An additional question,
beyond whether it is acceptable for the mitzva is whether it is a
M'HUDAR, or does it lack features that make it M'HUDAR.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Advice is like a drug. We cannot think only in terms of giving it,
as most people do; we must consider also how it will be taken by the
particular person to whom we are giving it, something which most
givers of advice never consider.
From A Candle by Day by Rabbi Shraga Silverstein
 CHIZUK and IDUD (for Olim & not-yet-Olim respectively)
Sefer haChinukh enumerates 2 mitzvot in Vayeilekh. First is Hak-hel,
the once- in-7-year gathering of the entire nation, including women
and children, in the Temple courtyard, where the King reads the book
of D'varim to them. The mitzva of Hak-hel applies only when all Jews
are living in their land. The second, the writing of a Sefer Torah,
applies only to adult males regardless of where they live.
At first glance, it
would appear that both mitzvot derive from the general mitzva of
Torah study. This would explain why women are exempt from writing a
Torah scroll, as they are, according to most authorities, exempt
from Torah study (for its own sake). Why then are they included in
the mitzva of Hak-hel which also appears to derive from the mitzva
of Torah study? Furthermore, Hak-hel is a time-bound positive mitzva,
from which women are generally exempt. On the other hand, the
mitzvot of Torah study and, by extension, writing a Torah scroll are
not time-bound and yet women are exempt (Kiddushin 34a).
Perhaps there is a
connection between a woman's obligation in Hak-hel and the fact that
Hak-hel applies only in Eretz Israel. Sefer haChinukh says that
failure to participate in Hak-hel carries a very serious punishment
since it is a "powerful pillar" of Judaism. Women are unquestionably
integral members of the Jewish nation. The Torah is the foundation
of all national life in Eretz Israel. It is, therefore, incumbent
upon all members of the nation to participate in Hak-hel, which
underscores the responsibility and privilege given to Am Israel to
practice the Torah in its most natural environment, in Eretz Israel.
Hak-hel includes the personal requirement of Torah learning for men
(Chagiga 3a), but goes beyond to include the national attachment to
Torah and Eretz Israel, which applies also to women.
Chaya Passow , Jerusalem
 A Touch of Wisdom, A Touch of Wit
R' Yisrael of Salant was in Vilna when a cholera epidemic swept the
country. During the Ten Days of Penitence between Rosh HaShana and
Yom Kippur, R' Yisrael instructed all the rabbis in Vilna to
announce that no one was to fast that Yom Kippur, because the
fasting might weaken the people and make them more susceptible to
Shacharit on Yom Kippur, the shamash pounded on the table and
announced, "By order of the rabbis, everyone is required to return
home and eat now."
No one moved. Each
looked down, not daring to look his friend in the face. Who could
eat on Yom Kippur?
R' Yisrael tried to
reason with the people, explaining to them that the commandment "to
protect one's life" (D'varim 4:16) was more important than any
other. Still no one moved.
Finally, R' Yisrael
motioned to the shamash, who brought out wine and poured a cup for
the rabbi. In a broken voice R' Yisrael recited the required
blessing and drank the wine in full public view. Everyone answered
"Amen" tearfully, and one by one they slipped away to their own
homes to eat.
 Yom Kippur's Mystical Challenge by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean
of Students, Diaspora Yeshiva, Jerusalem - In Memory of Rav Pesach
Moshe b. Ephraim Sprecher, zt''l • 4 Tishrei
In the common perception, Yom Kippur is the ultimate "don't – can't"
experience. Don't eat… Don't drink… Can't even wash your face. For
most people, Yom Kippur is an ordeal that we have to get through, an
exercise in self-denial that is even more constricting than Shabbat.
The long synagogue service and repeated emphasis on guilt and sin
make Yom Kippur into a day of awe and anxiety, despair and dread. It
certainly does not appear to be a day of celebration. Yet, any
number of Yom Kippur laws seem to contradict the somber mood of the
day; we enter into the fast by eating a festive meal, dressed in our
finest clothes. We recite the "Shehecheyanu" blessing, thanking G-d
for allowing us to reach this unique time in the year. We put on the
kittel, a white robe, that symbolizes purity and innocence, rather
than guilt and punishment. The last Mishna in Ta'anit says: "There
is no more joyous day for Israel than Yom Kippur." How are we to
understand such an apparent contradiction? Furthermore, Yom Kippur,
just like all the other festivals, has the power to cut short, and
even entirely cancel, a period of mourning. In the words of the
Talmud, the rejoicing of the nation pushes aside the mourning of the
It is written in
Vayikra (23:32) "On Yom Kippur, VE'INITEM ET NAFSHOTEICHEM. This is
usually translated as, "You shall afflict your souls." However, the
word also has another meaning, as we find in reference to the mitzva
of bringing the first fruits (Devarim 26:5) "And you shall answer
and sing (V'ANITA) before G-d, when you bring the first fruits to
Therefore, in the
context of Yom Kippur, the phrase VE'INITEM ET NAFSHOTEI- CHEM
doesn't have to be translated only as "You shall afflict your
On the one hand, one
can't hide the fact that Yom Kippur is spent looking deeply into
one's soul, exposing weakness and shortcomings. That certainly
causes one to be afraid of being found guilty on the Day of
Judgment. But Yom Kippur is also the Day of Atonement, when all
sincere Ba'alei T'shuva are guaranteed forgiveness by G-d. It is
this most comforting element of Yom Kippur that allows us to rejoice
during the festival of forgiveness.
The verb V'INITEM, in
addition to meaning that "you shall afflict your souls," can also be
translated, "you shall allow your souls to sing". You shall free
your soul of all of its usual bodily needs and desires and dedicate
a 25-hour period to your soul and to G-d.
Within the comforting
embrace of the G-d of love and forgiveness on Yom Kippur, our bodily
needs become of almost no account, as our souls take over our
bodies, singing to G-d. Yom Kippur is a grand and unique opportunity
for every Jew to receive a new beginning in life, a second chance.
That's why the Talmud in Ta'anittells us that G-d gave us the second
tablets on Yom Kippur, symbolizing that G-d always gives us a second
chance to become better human beings.
Judaism is an
optimistic and forgiving religion that allows for change and the
ability of a person to begin a new relationship with others and with
G-d. The prayers of Yom Kippur reflect this perspective. More than
ten times, we repeat that this day serves to atone for all our sins,
to purify us and restore our holy character, because on Yom Kippur,
by attaining repentance and forgiveness, our bond to the Creator is
restored and renewed. The crucial message of the day is not just
that the opportunity for a clean slate exists, it is how we realize
We do this by
concentrating on our soul. All year long there is tension and
conflict between body and soul, between the physical, material needs
and one's spiritual soul. In virtually all the battles between the
forces of the spiritual and the physical, the physical desires win.
We indulge our physical
cravings, doing that which feels good, and that which brings us
pleasure. On Yom Kippur, the day belongs to the soul, as our
physical activities are diminished if not altogether eliminated. The
soul, freed of its physical bonds, can now soar upwards, ascending
to higher levels of kedusha, where it can express its deepest
feelings and emotions. On Yom Kippur, we become like angels, who
neither sleep, eat, nor have marital relations. So that we can, for
one day out of the year, devote ourselves exclusively to singing the
praises of G-d, dressed in white and confident that our true nature,
the G-dly soul, is being fulfilled. Such an elevation of the spirit
is true inner joy.
The sounding of the
shofar at the end of Yom Kippur is directly linked to the shofar
blast that once was sounded each half century on the jubilee year.
Just as that dramatic shofar blast signaled freedom through a
release from debts and an end to physical slavery, so our own shofar
blast symbolizes the ability of a Jew to rise above material and
physical desires, freeing the soul to bond with G-d. Therefore, let
us all accept the challenge to rejoice on Yom Kippur. G'mar Chatima
 Parsha Points to Ponder - HAAZINU
1) At the end of last week's Parsha, the Torah relates that Moshe
SAID THE WORDS OF THE SONG IN THE EARS OF THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL UNTIL
THEY WERE COMPLETED. (31:30) Why, then, does Parshat Haazinu record
that Moshe related the words of the song to the people (32:44) with
no mention of it being done in its entirety?
2) Moshe compares the
Torah to rain (Matar) in 32:2. What is the symbolism of this
3) Why does the Torah
revert back to Yehoshua's old name, HOSHEA, in this week's Parsha?
THESE ARE THE ANSWERS
1) The Malbim answers that Moshe used great wisdom in relating the
song to the Jewish people. First, he taught them the song at one
time with no breaks, as the Torah recorded at the end of Vayeilech.
This would enable the simple meaning of the song to have its maximum
impact. Then, as related in this week's Parsha, Moshe reviewed the
song again with many breaks to explain the deeper meanings as he
2) The GR"A explains that rain does not always lead to positive
results. If someone were to plant something poisonous, then rain
would cause that poison to grow. Rain cannot transform the essence
of the produce, it just helps it grow. Similarly, Torah can only
help transform someone in a positive way if the person has already
concluded that he wants his Torah study to accomplish this goal.
3) Eben Ezra teaches that Hoshea was the name which most of Israel
was familiar with since Yehoshua was an emergency name given to him
before the mission of the spies. So, in the context of his being
their new leader, his original name, Hoshea, generated a sense of
Parsha Points to Ponder is prepared by Rabbi Dov Lipman Mashgiach
Ruchani,Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah in Bet Shemesh,author of "DISCOVER:
Answers for Teenagers (and adults) to Questions about the Jewish
Faith",soon to be re-published by Feldheim, email@example.com
This session of micro-Ulpan is for music lovers. It's about sharps
and flats. Whatever they are. Okay, a sharp raises a note by a
half-step and a flat lowers a note by a half step. Whatever that
means. In Hebrew, there are official words for sharp and flat, and
other words that just about everyone uses. Surprised? Sharp is
NASEIK (di'ez) and flat is NACHEIT (b'mol).
 Portion for the Portion by Rakel Berenbaum - FEEDback to
The book of YONA begins with G-d commanding Yona to go to Nineveh to
tell them to repent. We would then expect to see Yona going towards
Nineveh to do G-d's command. Instead we see him running away. Why?
MALBIM explains that
Yona was certain that the people of Nineveh, capital of Assyria,
would listen to his prophecy, repent, and then destroy Eretz Yisrael.
He ran away from G-d's mission MILIFNEI HASHEM, in order not to be
an accomplice to this destruction. Yona cared too much for G-d's
nation, Israel, to follow G-d's command.He was willing to sacrifice
himself for his people.
DAAT MIKRA gives a
different answer. Yona ran away because he did not understand
G-d's mercy. For Yona b. AMITAI ( the son of truth) justice
could not go together with forgiveness,
mercy is truth (just). In verse (4:2) he tells G-d the reason he ran
away - "I knew that You are a gracious
G-d, and merciful, slow to anger and great
in love and repents of the evil." Yona
mentions the Divine attributes mentioned in Sh'mot (34:6) but leaves
out the word ,nt (truth) from the list.
Yona disagrees with G-d's idea of justice. He thinks that those who
have sinned should be punished and shouldn't be given an
opportunity to do T'SHUVA.
The lesson from the
book of YONA is that the world could not survive without G-d's
mercy. Even Yona himself is a recipient of G-d's chesed. Yona, a
prophet, should have known better then to run away from Hashem. He
himself should have been punished immediately and yet G-d gave him
many second chances. He sent him many messengers- the wind, the
storm, the sailors, the captain, the GORALOT (lots), the male &
female fish in order to get Yonah to repent.
Why are all four
chapters of the book of Yona read on Yom Kippur at Mincha time? Many
commentators such as the Beit Yosef say that the book's theme is
T'SHUVA and is read to wake us up to do T'SHUVA before Neila, just
before the Gates of Repentance close. But there can be another
reason. This book, which shows how Hashem has mercy even on those
who don't deserve it, is read as a prayer to Hashem asking him to
have mercy on us, and forgive us, even if we don't deserve it.
It is a mitzva to eat
on Erev Yom Kippur. In one of your meals you can serve a big fish
(to remember Yona being swallowed by a big fish). If you want to be
really extravagant you can also serve fish roe (eggs) from salmon or
herring since the midrash says that Yona was spit out of a male fish
DAG into a female fish DAGA. Her belly was full with eggs which made
Yona even more uncomfortable. This is what forced Yona to finally
pray to G-d. This Yom Kippur may we all have the proper atmosphere
to pray and may our prayers be answered.
Marinade for 1 kilo of salmon (6 portions)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 Tbsp. salt & black pepper
3 Tbsp. lemon juice & chopped parsley
Put salmon in baking dish and marinate for one hour in refrigerator.
Bake at 375°F (190°C) 35-45 minutes, until easily flaked with fork.
(don't over or under cook)
 Divrei Menachem
In the Mishna (end of Yoma) Rabbi Akiva declares: "Before whom are
you cleansed and who cleanses you?" The answer, of course, is, "Your
Father in Heaven". For it is said, "I sprinkled pure water over you"
and [it is also said], "G-d is the Mikve (ritual bath) of Israel".
The analogy is then given that just as a Mikve purifies the
individual, so Hashem purifies Israel.
When an individual is
defiled by a dead person, two stages of spiritual purification take
place. The first is a sprinkling procedure conducted by a Kohen. The
second demands of the individual to completely immerse his body in
the Mikve. The first stage is passive. It is as if the impure
individual needs shock treatment to stir him back to life. The
second procedure is active and it begs Rabbi Akiva's question:
"Before whom are you cleansed?"
Rabbi Akiva stresses
the active component of the ritual cleansing, even though it is
technically the second stage. The dipping is the key element in
restoring the individual to his previous state, notes Rabbi Yaakov
Ariel. For here the person is pro- active; here he is completely
surrounded by pure water, a symbol of G-d's living Torah.
In the days leading up
to Yom Kippur, we are called upon, more than ever, to immerse
ourselves in the wellsprings of G-d's Torah. Having done so, we are
ready to let Hashem sprinkle His blessings upon us. May we be
worthy, speedily and in our days.
G'mar Chatima Tova, Menachem Persoff
Towards better Davening and Torah Learning
There is an interesting pronunciation debate on something that
appears in Haazinu. There is a big HEI followed by a space and then
LAMED prefixed to G-d's name. Although the HEI stands alone in the
written text, when read it is considered part of the word.
Minchat Shai (a very
well-respected authority on pronunciation and DIK- DUK) says the HEI/PATACH
and the LAMED/SH'VA NACH form the first syllable of the word - HAL.
the rest of the word is the regular pronunciation of G-d's name,
Another authority says
that the HEI should be pronounced in its own syllable, and then the
LAMED/SH'VA NA is attached to G-d's name. The problem is that a
LAMED/SH'VA cannot be followed by a CHATAF-PATACH which is what is
under the ALEF of the pronunciation of G-d's name. Maybe it would
change to LA, in which case the ALEF falls silent. HA-LADO...
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
Sin-Offerings" - Par Kohein Mashiach
Par Kohein Mashiach - "the bullock of the anointed High Priest" was
brought by an anointed Kohein Gadol, who made a reasoned but
erroneous Halachic decision on the basis of his Torah learning, and
thereby inadvertently transgressed a prohibition, which had he done
so intentionally, would have subjected him to the penalty of Kareit.
The Kohein Gadol's ruling, though mistaken, had to be an honest
mistake; it could not be simple carelessness. The Torah says, "If
the anointed Kohein (i.e. the Kohen Gadol, the only Kohein who was
anointed) will sin, bringing guilt upon the people for the sin that
he committed, he shall offer a young bullock, unblemished, to G-d as
a sin-offering… (Vayikra 4:3-12). Rashi points out why the Kohein
Gadol's sin was so serious. "…when the Kohein Gadol sins, it is the
guilt of (all) the people, because they are dependent upon him to
effectuate atonement and pray for them (and by sinning, his
"atonement-getting ability") became impaired (and therefore he could
not succeed in expiating the sins of Am Yisrael). From the time of
Aaron, the first Kohein Gadol, it was essential for the new Kohanim
Gedolim to be anointed with the Shemen HaMishcha (the holy anointing
oil) upon assuming office (Vayikra 21:10 Its manufacture is
described in Sh'mot 30:22-25 and elaborated on in K'ritot 5a.). The
Gemara reads, "Even a High Priest who is the son of a High Priest
must be anointed. How do we know? It is written, 'And the anointed
priest that shall be in his stead from among his sons' (Vayikra
6:15). The Torah should have said, 'And the priest that shall be in
his stead from among his sons,' why then the 'anointed'?
Consequently, it intends to teach us that even the son of a High
Priest succeeds to his father's office only if he is anointed… (Horayot
11b). The Gemara explains how they anointed the Kohanim Gedolim;
"…in the shape of a chi. R. Menashya ben Gada clarifies, 'In the
shape of a GreekX'… Our rabbis taught, (It is written), 'It is like
the precious oil… coming down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard… (T'hilim
133:2). Two drops (of oil) like pearls hung from Aaron's beard. R.
Papa said, '…when he spoke, they (miraculously) ascended and lodged
at the root of his beard. This made Moshe apprehensive. He said,
'Have I, Heaven forefend, made improper use of the Shemen HaMishcha
("by applying too much"? K'ritot 5b, Rashi). A heavenly voice came
forth and called out, 'Like the precious oil… like the dew of (Mt.)
Hermon… (ibid:3). As the law of improper use of holy objects (Me'ila)
does not apply to the dew of Hermon, so too the law is not
applicable to the oil on Aaron's beard. Nevertheless, Aaron was
still anxious. He said, 'It is possible that Moshe did not sin, but
perhaps I have trespassed.' A heavenly voice came forth and said to
him, "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell
together in unity' (ibid :1). Just as Moshe is not guilty of Me'ila,
you also are not guilty of Me'ila" (Horayot 12a).
"At the time when the
Holy Ark was hidden away, they also hid the Shemen HaMishcha, the
jar of manna, etc." (Horayot 12a). Radak (R. David Kimchi 1160-1235
CE on II Divrei Hayamim 35:3) quotes a no longer extant Midrash.
"Our rabbis of blessed memory said, 'that (Yoshiyahu, the last
righteous king of Judah [639 BCE - 608BCE], realizing that the
destruction of Bayit Rishon was imminent), gave instructions to hide
the Aron (and the oil, the vessel with the manna, etc.)… There was a
stone in the western side of the Kodesh HaKodashim and the Ark
rested on it…. When Solomon built the First Temple, (Ru'ach HaKodesh
revealed to him) that one day it would be destroyed. Therefore, in
anticipation, he excavated a place to hide the Aron in winding,
hidden tunnels deep below the surface of the earth. The stone upon
which the ark rested, covered the opening of that tunnel. Yoshiyahu
ordered that the Aron be hidden in the place that Sh'lomo had
prepared. '(And he said to the Levites that taught all Israel, that
were holy unto the Lord) 'Put the Holy Ark in the (House that
Solomon King of Israel did build)…' And they hid the Aron, the staff
of Aaron, the jar containing the manna and the Shemen HaMishcha."
When the Beit HaMikdash is rebuilt speedily in our time, Eliyahu
HaNavi will restore them to us.
The Mishna refers to
this Korban (and Par He'elam Davar Shel Tzibur, the "bullock offered
for a matter that was hidden from the congregation") as the
"bullocks which are to be burnt". These Korbanot fall into the
category of Chata'ot Penimi'ot - "inner sin-offerings" - because
unlike other Chata'ot, the Kohanim made the blood application inside
the Bayit. The Mishna reads, "The bullock(s)… were slaughtered north
of the Mizbei'ach and their blood was received in a Kli Shareit (a
Mikdash service vessel) in the north and their blood was required to
be sprinkled on the Parochet (between the Heichal and the Kodesh
HaKodashim and on the Mizbach HaZahav, the golden (incense) altar"
inside the Bayit (Z'vachim 5:2).
"…the blood was tossed seven times on the Veil… and (blood) was
dabbed on the four "horns" of the Mizbach HaZahav… he starts in the
northeast, (proceeds to) the northwest, southwest (and finishes in
the) southeast. The anointed Kohein…receives the blood and sprinkles
the blood in (the Heichal) but if (he appointed) a common priest (as
a surrogate, the Korban) is valid" (Hil. Ma'asei Hakorbanot
5:13-15). The Mishna cautions, "(The lack of) one of these
sprinklings impaired (the atonement). The residue of the blood (left
in the Kli Shareit) was spilled over the western base of the outer
(sacrificial) altar…" A common Kohein removed the Eimurim (inner
sacrificial portions) from the animal - salted them and burnt them
on the Mizbei'ach. Then they removed the body of the Par from
Jerusalem but did not flay the animal. They took the Par to the area
where the ashes of the Mizbei'ach were disposed, dismembered it and
burnt the pieces. A Zar (non-Kohein) could burn the Par and it may
be burnt even at night.
Since Shemen HaMishcha
was no longer accessible in the days of Bayit Sheini, they could not
anoint the new Kohanim Gedolim. Instead, they were inaugurated by
simply being invested with the eight garments of the KG. The newly
appointed KG donned the "many garments" and removed them every day
for a week. Rashi comments, "…Iknow that (the KG) anointed with the
Shemen HaMishcha (is eligible to perform the Yom Kippur Avoda).
(However) he who (wears) the "larger number of garments", from
whence do we derive that he also is eligible)? Scripture states 'And
who shall be con- secrated' (Vayikra 16:32) etc. These are the High
Priests who arose from (the time) of Yoshiyahu and afterwards,
because in his days, they concealed the cruse of anointing oil."
After this 7-day investiture, they accepted the legitimacy of the
new Kohein Gadol without question and he could perform all the
Avodot required by his office. The prerogatives of the KG who was
inaugurated by the 'wearing of the many garments' for seven days
differed from those of the anointed KG only in that the Kohanim
Gedolim of Bayit Sheini, not being anointed, were barred from
bringing the Par Kohein Mashiach. While we have no record that this
particular Korban was ever offered, it could not be brought - even
in theory - in Bayit Sheini. <to be continued>
Catriel's book in
progress: The Temple of Jerusalem, A Pilgrim’s Perspective; A Guided
Tour through the Temple and the Divine Service
ParshaPix, regardless of what page(s) they are on are still known as
the ParshaPix from page 3. Because that's where they usually are. In
this issue, there are ParshaPix on page 4 (Yom Kippur), page 9 (Haazinu),
page 10B (Sukkot), and page 46A (B'reishit). [Don't worry too much
about this issue; we'll be back to normal, IY"H for TT 689, No'ach.]
The Yom Kippur ParshaPix has three Davka Judaica Graphics - Kol
Nidrei (some say that taking out two Torah's to join the Chazan
forms a Beit Din for the symbolic nullification of vows that is Kol
Nidrei), the Kohein Gadol, and the Yona & the Fish scene.
Then there are two identical goats for the KG to perform a PAYIS
on.(Lottery, as in the logo of Mif'al HaPayis.)
Scales weighed down by mitzvot, no wearing leather shoes, a candle
that rests over YK for havdala, 5 davenings, 5 prohibitions, and the
second set of Luchot which we received on the first YK.
Haazinu has the sky and ground with ears, as in Haazinu HaShamayim
and v'tishma HaAretz.
The note is for the Song (Haazinu).
Rain compared to lessons of Torah.
Father answering his son's questions (Ask your father and he will
Like an eagle...
Apple of the eye (K'ISHON EINO).
Prohibition of consecrated wine.
Megila for Hester Panim.
Milk and butter, mentioned in the sedra.
OTO V'ET B'NO (from the Torah reading of the first day).
Symbols of the holidays, but the Shofar is Xed out because in
Vayikra 23 we find Zichron T'ru'a, which we take to refer to Shabbat
RH when we do not blow the Shofar.
The stork is delivering baby cow, goat, and sheep.
Agricultural scene in lower right for reminders of Pe'ah and Leket
which are sandwiched between Shavuot and Rosh HaShana.
And that brings us to the B'reishit ParshaPix.
ON and OFF switches are for Light and Dark. Day 1.
Cloud and wave are for the upper and lower waters. Day 2.
The trees on piece of land. Day 3.
Sun, moon, stars. Day 4.
Lady bug, octopus, fish, bird. Day 5.
Beaver, cat, kangaroo, hippo, boy and girl.
Day 6. Shabbat candles.Shabbat.
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 (NITZ·RH·VAYEILECH) TTriddles:
 Moshe, Yehoshua, David, Yehu, Baruch, Yirmiyahu, and who?
 Dalet, Ayin, Mem - only 3 of 16 (in a 4WS) without what?
 Please my tears in their mouths to us
 What mood is 6? (backwards 6)
 Bottom of the first, they are repeatedly called upon
 Opens with important advice for a happy RH
 When a piece of myocard replaces the gastrocnemius
 Rain on it would produce oil of vitriol
And the envelope, please...
 The key word for this TTriddle's solution is VAYICHTOV, and he
wrote. Of the 24 times the word occurs in Tanach, it is followed by
the name of a person 10 times. The TTriddle narrowed down to these
10 times to produce a list of the "writers" in the Tanach. Moshe's
name occurs 4 times, making him the most prolific writer in Tanach.
The other names in the TTriddle occur once each, as does the answer
to the TTriddle, MORDECHAI. Notable writers not on this list,
because their names do not follow the word VAYICHTOV, include G-d,
Who wrote the Aseret HaDibrot on the first set of Luchot.
 4WS (four-word sequence) in this TTriddle is LANU ULVANEINU AD
OLAM in D'varim 29:28. There are 11 dots written by Sofrim (and
printed in Chumashim) above the letters of LANU ULVANEINU and the
AYIN of AD. The DALET of AD and the AYIN and MEM (sofit) of OLAM are
the only letters of the 16 that don't have dots above them. The VAV
of OLAM is a CHOLAM, so it has a dot above it. And the TROP of OLAM
is a KATON, which is made of two dots, one above the other (like a
colon and a SH'VA), that are above the LAMED of OLAM.
 NA (please), DIM'ATI (my tears), B'FIHEM (in their mouths), LANU
(to us). B'FIHEM is the one from Parshat Vayeilech. And now, write
for yourselves this Song (Torah), and teach it to Bnei Yisrael, SIMA
B'FIHEM - place it in their mouths. The word SIMA occurs only four
times in Tanach.
 In the hard copy of Torah Tidbits, the TTriddle showed a
backwards 6, like this: 6. Apologies for the misleading
"translation" in the electronic versions. The word SAS, spelled
SIN-SIN, looks like a backwards SHEISH, SHIN-SHIN, with the dots on
the letters switching from left to right. So the mood of a backward
6 is HAPPY.
 Bottom of the first is a baseball term... but not in this
TTriddle. Here the term refers to the end of the first pasuk in the
Torah - EIT HASHAMAYIM V'EIT HAARETZ, the Heavens and the Earth.
They are repeatedly called upon to be witnesses, included in Parshat
Nitzavim, with the offering of Choice between Life and Good on the
one hand and Death and Evil on the other.
 Here's the happy word again, this time SOS. Back in TTriddle
, it referred to the occurrences in the sedra. Here it focuses on
the opening of the haftara of Nitzavim - SOS (with a VAV) ASIS
BASHEM... I will rejoice in G-d... Certainly a good formula for a
happy New Year, that our rejoicing should always be L'SHEIM SHAMAYIM,
in G-d, in Torah, in Mitzvot.
 Myocard refers to the heart muscle. Gastrocnemius is the largest
muscle in the calf of the leg. If the former were to replace the
latter, we would have a TTriddles-type play-on-words situation
described in D'varim 29:18 - KI B'SH'RIRUT LIBI EILECH...
 This refers to the description of Sedom-like destruction. GOFRIT
VAMELACH S'REIFA KOL ARTZA - fire and brimstone (sulfur) has burned
all its soil... When sulfur burns, it combines with oxygen to
produce sulfur dioxide (and sulfur oxide). If it rains after the
above fire and brimstone, when water mixes with sulfur dioxide, the
result is sulfuric acid, a.k.a. oil of vitriol.
This week's TTriddles:
 The most significant day for Chag
 The symbol stands apart from what it represents
 Hamantash turnovers
 borrowed by 3 of 5 two days earlier
 They were 766, 636, 531, 441, 371, 306, 144, and 79; two not yet
 Like major, like minor - almost, and one short
 plus two elements from the ParshaPix of Haazinu
Israel Center Miscellany
See website for the "standard" entries of this file.
What follows are the items specific for the current issue.
Place your first day of Yom Tov orders with Schocketino Catering, OU
Israel mehadrin hashgacha
Sweet & Sour Meatballs 10NIS
Stuffed Peppers 10NIS
Stuffed Cabbage 12NIS
Gefilte Fish 10NIS
Poached Salmon 15NIS
Potato Salad 4NIS
Red Cabbage Salad 4.50NIS
3 Bean Salad 4.50NIS
Cucumber Salad 4NIS
Honey Mustard Turkey 16NIS
Sweet & Sour Chicken 15NIS
Chicken in Fruit Sauce 15NIS
Turkey Rolada 18NIS
Italian Style Brisket 22NIS
Stir Fried Vegetables 6NIS
Carrot Tzimis 6NIS
String Beans Almodine 6NIS
Rice w/ mushrooms & onions 4NIS
Yellow Rice 3NIS
Yerushalmi Kugel 4NIS
Potato Kugel 4NIS
Sweet Noodle Kugel 4NIS
Herbal Potatos 4NIS
Prices are per portion with a minimum order of 4 portions per item
Place your orders by Friday morning, October 14, 10:00am with Chaim,
To the Editor of Torah Tidbits...
At least before Yom Kippur, we, the members of the Orthodox
community should express our gratitude to you and your staff for all
that you do for us, both collectively and individually. You have
made and continue make a tremendous impact on the Torah lives of all
May Hashem bless you and your family with a year of good health and
With gratitude, E
...I send you this message from Dresden, Germany. I’m not sure if
you get a lot of messages from Germany, especially from East
Germany, but I want you to know that there are also people here who
are interested in and listen to your show.
...I visited a friend of mine in Frankfort... we spoke about the
Parsha and other topics and I presented thoughts which I had heard
on TTA or read in TT, in every second sentence.
I want to thank you personally for the great piece of work you do.
It sets me in a Shabbat mood and gives me often the possibility to
speak about thoughts you had presented in “Torah Tidbits Audio” or
in the written form of “Torah Tidbits.” So I did last Shabbat as we
had a Bar Mitzva... a boy who was born in Moldavia celebrated his
joyful occasion with his family in the Chabad Synagogue of Dresden.
I spoke to him about a topic which I had heard on TTA last year...
NESTO Native English-Speaking Teen Olim
Dear TTreader, NESTOer, and potential NESTOer,
Firstly we would like to thank all of you who participated and
contributed to the success of our Erev Limud. And especially to
Rabbi David Louis who shared his incredible story and music with us.
In the upcoming chagim and holidays we will invest all of our effort
to unify NESTO, by having personal conversations and meetings among
the madrichim and chanichim.
Our first pe'ula after Sukkot will take place IY"H on
Tuesday 29 Tishrei, November 1st, 6:30pmin the Israel Center's
Teichman Youth Center
May you all have a fulfilling Yom Kippur and a happy Sukkot.
Jr. NESTO is for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders, Sr. NESTO is for 10th,
11th, and 12th graders, BOGRIM is for recent H.S. graduates
The Israel Center's Youth Program for Anglo-Israelis, tel. 566-7787
ext. 247 • fax: 561-7432, Chaim Pelzner, Director, Gili Levanon, Bat
Sherut, Partially funded by the Jewish Agency for Israel
THE TRAVEL DESK...
for making reservations and receiving info of Israel Center tiyulim.
And, to help you - whether you live in Israel or are visiting - plan
private tiyulim and make in-Israel travel arrangements. At your
service 9:00am-1:00pm, Sundays to Thursdays. Call the Israel Center
Travel Desk, 566-7787 ext. 244; fax: 566-0156• firstname.lastname@example.org
LUNCH? When a tiyul says “bring your own lunch”, you can order one
instead from the Israel Center Cafe. When you make your reservation
for the tiyul, request a box lunch, or call the CAFE (ext. 257) up
to the day before the
TIYUL. 18nis will get you a sandwich (your choice), a refreshing
drink (regular or diet) and a dessert. Your lunch will be ready for
you when you board the bus.
CANCELLATION POLICIES We reserve the right to charge a cancellation
fee in case of last-minute cancellations. Also... Price of tiyul is
based on a minimum number of participants.
Students from Abroad Parents visiting you some time this year? If
so, you want to speak to us! (566-7787 ext. 244). We have many
attractive deals for them... and you. Let us turn an ordinary “been
there, did it” visit into an unforgettable, special one!
KASHRUT POLICY Food for Israel Center In-House programs is
supervised by OU in Israel - Mehadrin. Israel Center sponsored trips
and programs are Mehadrin. Hotels, restaurants, and tiyulim
advertised by the Travel Desk or by outside parties are not
necessarily Mehadrin and are not endorsed by the OU or the Israel
Calls from abroad: People from abroad should fax 972-2-5660156 for
the attention of The Travel Desk or email to email@example.com
Israel Center tiyulim are partially subsidized by the Jewish Agency
Please note: When a tiyul is listed as BOOKED - call to be wait
listed, and you call, you will be called back if there is a
cancellation or when we fix a new date for the same tiyul.
BOOKED - The Association for the Welfare of Israel's Soldiers and
the Orthodox Union Israel Center in cooperation with the IDF
Rabbanut of the Central Command present -"V'SA'MACHTA B'CHAGECHA" -
Enjoy a Simchat Beit HaShoei'va at an Army Base:
WED, October 19th - check-in at the Center 9:15am, BUS 1 - Yehuda
Brigade Army Base
WED, October 19th - check-in at the Center 1:15pm, BUS 2 - Etzion
Brigade Army Base
SUN, October 23rd - check-in at the Center 1:45pm, BUS 3 - Binyamin
Music, dancing • Greetings • Light buffet in the Sukka, Distribution
of gift packages to soldiers in the field
There is no charge but you are invited to make a donation to the
Vaad Lemaan Hachayal to be collected on the buses. Book now!
Bookings on a first come first served basis. Call Naomi at the
Israel Center: (02) 566-7787, ext 261, Final day for registration is
Monday October 10 until 2:00pm, An enjoyable AND meaningful outing
for all ages
500 years of Sephardic Life & Culture in the Jewish Quarter - First
day of Chol HaMoed • Wednesday, October 19th, This Succot, add a
special flavor to your visit to the Jewish Quarter with the
Sephardic Educational Center, Program begins at 11:00am at 1 Batey
Machessah, Courtyard of the Center, with a film on the Jews of Spain
followed by a short discussion with Chaim Azses, Refreshments in the
Center's large sukka, Tour the Jewish Quarter and the Sephardic
Synagogues with Rabbi Yoseph Benarroch, Register with the Israel
Center's Travel Desk(02) 566-7787 ext. 261 or 244, 50NIS per person
(non-members 60), People keeping second day can pay in advance and
Hamei Yoav Spa - The last Sunday of each month, the spa will be open
for women only. Mark your calendar, reserve the dates, sign up with
us now. The spa has geyser water that has many pools that flow into
each other. And a larger pool that is a joy to bathe in. Their most
unusual invigorating showers are reason enough to come. Sunday,
October 30th - check in: 3:30pm, leave Center 3:45pmpm, return
approx. 10:00pm, 90NIS for members (non-members add 10NIS), Sign up
immediately with the Travel Desk, 566 7787 x 261 or 244 (minimum 20
BOOKED - YERUSHALAYIM HARIM SAVIV LA
Join us on VAV CHESHVAN (Tuesday, Nov. 8th)1:30 to 3:30pm approx.
(check-in 1:15pm) for a bus tiyul around the Mountains of Jerusalem
with the incomparable guiding of Esther Shlisser - Har Hatzofim, Har
Hazeitim, Har Choma,Armon Hanetziv... and more, 50nis/60nis • Sign
up immediately, limited to 20 participants
Judea on the Coast - Beer - Boat - Philistines - Olive Oil -
Redemption, Guided by Veteran Tour Guide Hughie Auman who
specializes in Recreational Educational Tourism
Leave Jerusalem to travel southwest arriving at Ashkelon's famous
Carlsberg Brewery, learn about beer and taste this ale • Sail along
the coast of Israel's fastest growing city Ashdod Introduce
yourselves to the "Philistine Connection" past and present in the
"Rare Jewel of a Museum" in Ashdod. At Bnei Darom Olive Oil Visitors
Center pick olives to participate in the ancient method of olive oil
production. Visit the modern plant and shop in the outlet store.
Mincha in the Shul where you will see the scroll and hear the
exciting emotional tale of the only Torah to be rescued from Lebanon
during the "Operation Peace in the Galilee". Culminate this
jam-packed touring day at Nir Galim's Beit Edut which is dedicated
to Pre Holocaust Religious Zionism. There, see: Grasping Sho'a-inspired
works of art including the famous miniature models of Pre-Holocaust
European Synagogues reproduced with matchsticks.
150/170NIS • Bring lunch, drinks available for purchase in Bnei
Darom, Weather conditions will determine any changes in itinerary,
Tuesday, November 15th, 7:45am (check in) - 7:00pm (approx.),
Shulamit's Tiyulim are always treats; come, you will surely enjoy
her delicious sweets
MASSA HAMOSHAVOTa unique experience! Following Harav Kook to the
Moshavot, Beit HaRav and the Israel Center invite you to trace HaRav
Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook zt"l and other Rabanim in their visit
to the non-religious Halutzim and Moshavot in the Galil, which took
place in 1914. Its aim was to open their hearts one to another. A
two-day tour to Hadera, Zichron Yaakov, Rosh Pina, Merhavia, Poria,
Kineret, and other Moshavot and an interesting evening panel
discussing Religious and non-religious relations (Tue. evening)
followed by songs of Naomi Shemer, Guide: Yedidya Sinclair, TUE-WED
27-28 Heshvan • 29-30 NOVcheck-in IC 7:45am Tue. - Ret. Wed. 6pm,
Overnight stay in the elegant Mehadrin Kinar Hotel, Tuesday's
supper, breakfast and lunch on Wednesday included, All admissions
included • 670/700NIS, For registration, call the Israel Center
For reservations at the hotels listed below or any other Israeli
hotels, please call the Travel Desk 566 7787, ext. 244.
Please note: Hotels are sometimes booked by the time you respond to
the deals on this page. Or sometimes they make last minute changes
in their deals. It is frustrating to both you & us. We ask for your
understanding. We will do our best to help out.
King Solomon, Jerusalem, valid October 14-27
SUKKOT SPECIAL, 1160NIS per couple, per night, B/B
Weekend - Friday to Sunday - minimum of 2-night stay
Shalom-Plaza Hacienda, valid October 14,15
SHABBAT SPECIALS, 560NIS per couple, per night, H/B
Eden Inn, Zichron Yaakov, valid October 17-26
SUKKOT SPECIAL, 700NIS per couple, per night, H/B
minimum 3 nights
Havat HaBaron, Zichron Yaakov
SUKKOT SPECIAL: Three 3-night packages - Oct. 17-20, 20-23, 23-26
800NIS per couple, per night, H/B
Jerusalem Pearl, valid October 14,15
SHABBAT SPECIAL, 925NIS per couple, F/B
Royal Dead Sea, valid during October
MIDWEEK SPECIAL, 529NIS per couple, per night, H/B
Sheraton, Tiberias, valid October 23-25
SUKKOT 2-night package, 599NIS per couple, per night, B/B
or 799NIS per couple, per night, H/B
B/B = Bed & Breakfast • H/B = Half Board (breakfast + one meal) •
F/B (3 meals a day), Midweek = SUN, MON, TUE, WED nights • Weekends
= THU, FRI, Motza"Sh nights (some, not all hotels)
The Back Page of TT688
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 Yom Kippur through Friday, 2 Cheshvan (WED-FRI,
Oct. 12 to Nov. 4)
The Center will be closed on Wednesday, Erev Yom Kippur and on
Thursday Yom Kippur 5766, The Center will reopen IY"H on Friday,
Oct. 14th with the opening of our annual Arbaa Minim sale - G'MAR
The Center will reopen IY"H on Friday, Oct. 14th with the opening of
our annual Arbaa Minim sale
Israel Center's Annual Arba'a Minim Sale: Friday, Oct.140,
9:00-13:00, Motza"Sh Oct. 15 19:30-22:30, Sunday, Oct. 16
09:00-22:30, Monday Erev Yom Tov 08:30-12:00 in the garden of the
Israel Center, 10% discount for, Israel Center members, Wide
selection of Etrogim, Eida Hashgacha, El Arish Lulavim, and sets of
Shabbat Parshat Haazinu - October 15th, 3:15pm • Mincha 4:15pm,
Rabbi Eddie Abramson on "Sukkot as the Free Space"
Motza'ei Shabbat, October 15th - Arba Minim Sale
SUN-Thu in the Ganchrow Beis Medrash (first floor), Shiurim in the
Beis Medrash will resume IY"H after the Chag. Call to confirm
Sunday, October 16 - N'SHEI LIBRARY 10:30-12:45 - CLOSED
The shiurim of Golda Warhaftig and Tonia Frohwein will resume IY"H
after the Chagim
11:00am (men & women) Note: this shiur will take place IY"H, Sun.
Oct. 16 & 23, Parshat HaShavua with Shprintzee Herskovits
Sundays 12:30pm • Creative Life Education • Presenter: Aharon Romm -
The Master Key to Living (not just Existing)
Note Date and Time of Video Program: Sunday, October 16th, 12:15pm,
in the Library (free) - The Ushpizin by Rabbi David Derovan
9:00am-10:30pm - Arba Minim Sale
Monday, Erev Yom Tov, October 17th, 8:30am to noon - 4 Minim Sale
The Center will be closed on Tuesday, October 18, First day of
Sukkot - Chag Sameach to all
Wednesday OCT 19
Wednesday, Chol HaMoed, 11:00am: Shiur on Chol HaMoed, Shabbat/Yom
Tov, Geshem, Hoshana Raba... with Phil
Wednesday, Chol HaMoed: Two Army Base visits (buses are full), Tiyul
of S'fardic Life and Culture in the Jewish Quarter, See tiyul
section) Advanced registration required
Wednesday, Chol Hamoed, October 19th, 8:30pm - Tofa'ah - Joyous
Sukkot Music & Dancing for women, 25/30NIS - “She who has not been
to a Tofa’Simchat Beit HaShoeiva has not seen JOY in her life”
fractured quote from Mishna Sukkot
Thursday OCT 20
6:30pm: Simcha Publishing - Wine & Cheese, Meet the Authors in the
BUYING A HOME IS ISRAEL…WAS NEVER THIS EASY - Remax Vision
Our vision... fulfilling your dream, Free multi-media presentation,
Thursday, Oct. 20th (Hol HaMoed), 8:00pm at the Israel Center (Keren
Hayesod 22), Kesher Property Management, Israel Homes Program
Coordinator, Financing issues – Bank of Jerusalem
For Presentation in US: Dr. Gary Steinman, Tel. 718-278-7676 • Fax:
718-278-0354, firstname.lastname@example.org, For Presentation in Israel: Alyssa
FriedlandTel. (02) 623-0430 • Cell. email@example.com
Friday, October 21st - The Center will be closed on Friday, Chol
Shabbat day, October 22
Shabbat Chol HaMoed - October 22nd, 3:15pm • Mincha 4:15pm - Rabbi
Binyamin Wolff on "Reflections on Kohelet"
Motza'ei Shabbat Chol HaMoed • October 22nd, 8:30pm
USHPIZIN (the movie)in the SUKKA (of the Israel Center), Festive
refreshments, No charge, but limited seating. First come, first
served. We will not overcrowd, in Hebrew with English subtitles
Sunday, OCT 23
11:00am (men & women) Parshat HaShavua with Shprintzee Herskovits
Note Date and Time of Video Program: Sunday, October 23rd, 12:15pm,
in the Library (free), Sukkot: Regaining Paradise Lost by Rabbi
Sunday, Chol HaMoed: Army Base visit (bus is full)
Leil Hoshana Rabba on Keren HaYesod has never been like this!
The OU Israel Center and Yeshiva University in Israel invite you
(men and women) to join in our Hoshana Rabba All Night Learning -
Sunday-Monday, October 23-24
8:30pm Rabbi Sholom Gold (Israel Center Wolinetz Family Shul)
9:30pm Rabbi Reuven Aberman (IC Wolinetz Family Shul)
10:30pm Rabbi Meyer Fendel (IC Wolinetz Family Shul)
11:30pm Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Poupko (IC Wolinetz Family Shul)
12:30am Rabbi Eddie Abramson (IC Wolinetz Family Shul)
10:00pm Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm (Dan Panorama Hotel)
11:00pm Rabbi Meir Goldvicht (Dan Panorama Hotel)
12:00am Rabbi Hershel Shachter (Dan Panorama Hotel)
1:00am Rabbi Dovid Miller (Dan Panorama Hotel)
2:00am Rabbi Kenneth Brander (Israel Center Levmore Family Sukka)
3:00am Rabbi Asaf Bednarsh (IC Levmore Family Sukka)
4:00am Rabbi Binyamin Wolff (IC Levmore Family Sukka)
Separate seating at the shiurim taking place at the Dan Panorama
Refreshments available in the Dan Panorama Hotel Sukka and the
Israel Center Sukka
Rabbi Wolff will be giving two ½-hour shiurim to accommodat ethose
who will be leaving for the Kotel at 4:30am. Those who remain to
daven at the Center will be able to enjoy both his shiurim
5:00am: Vatikin Davening in the Israel Center's Wolinetz Family Shul
- OHEL SHMUEL
Following davening and refreshments on Hoshana Rabba morning, the
Israel Center will be closed for the remainder of Monday and all day
Tuesday - Shmini Atzeret - Simchat Torah, We will reopen, IY"H on
ISRU CHAG, Wednesday, October 26th
Please call the Center to confirm which shiurim will resume right
after the Chag, and which will come back to life in the following
week. This is especially so for Isru Chag.
Please note: Mincha takes place at 1:20pm sharp throughout the year.
The Torah Video & Lunch (bring your own) takes place on Monday,
Tuesday, and Wednesday at 12:30pm. (Occasional addition/change of
The following is a list of Torah Videos for the period following
WED Oct. 26 Parshat B'reishit - Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg*
MON Oct. 31 Musical Masterpiece at Massada- At the foot of Massada,
the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta,
performed a spectacular concert in honor of Israel's 40th
TUE Nov. 1 TBA
WED Nov. 2 Rabbi David Derovan- "Spiritual Undercurrents in the
Generation of the Flood and the Tower of Babel"
* Although Dr. Zornberg's "appearance" on Oct. 26th is on video, the
Israel Center and the Avram Silver Jerusalem College for Adults is
pleased to announce the return of Parshat HaShavua with Dr. Avivah
Gottlieb Zornberg on Mondays at 7:30pm and Wednesdays at 9:00am
beginning on October 31st and November 2nd respectively
Pri Chadash Women's Writing Workshop with Ruth Fogelman
(628-7359)and Judy Caspi (054-569-0401), 5:20 - 7:20pm
The Israel Center Video Club (ICVC) usually "meets" on the first
Tuesday of the month at 2:00pm and on the third Tuesday at 7:00pm,
to view movies with Jewish and/or moral content. Here are the
offerings for November...
TUE Nov. 1, 2:00pm - "Fiddler on the Roof" (Replay for the day
audience)If you've seen it before... See it again for the first
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 7:00pm - "The Man Who Captured
Eichmann"Dramatization of the story of the brilliant and daring
capture of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960, starring Robert
Duvall as the Nazi war criminal. The film also includes Duvall's
presentation of Eichmann's prison cell "explanation" of the
atrocities he committed.
Shabbat B'reishit - October 29th, 3:15pm • Mincha 4:15pm - Speaker
to be announced, Reminder: We have a shiur EVERY Shabbat afternoon
throughout the year
Partial list of resumed shiurim:
Rabbi Chaim Eisen on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays
Dr. Henry Goldblum rejoins Mrs. Pearl Borow and Rabbi Zev Leff on
Sunday mornings return to normal
Rabbis Adler and Gold return to Tuesday morning, as do Dr. Hayim
Abramson and Rabbi Eddie Abramson
Women's Beit Midrash on Mondays and Wednesdays
Remember - this is a partial list only. No slight is intended to the
teachers not mentioned here. We recommend calling to confirm that a
particular class is indeed taking place for the first week or so
after the Chagim.
After a hectic and difficult production schedule for Torah Tidbits
these last several weeks, we're sort of back to normal on Wednesday
and Thursday, November 2,3.
(Can the word normal really ever be used for the wonderful,
dedicated, foldaholics who give their all week after week, wielding
knives and wearing finger tips to guarantee that over 8200 Torah
Tidbits reach their readers weekly.)
Support Group for Caregivers of the Elderly
Children and spouses of the elderly are often put into the role of
caregiver - few are prepared for the responsibility. A support group
provides a forum to share experiences and feelings, learn how to
manage stress and improve skills, while in the process assisting
others. It helps set realistic goals and expectations, realizing
that certain problems do not have solutions. Our support group will
meet once a week for 8 sessions, beginning Thursday, November 3rd.
The facilitator will be Miriam Kindler, a social worker working in
geriatrics for the past 12 years - both in the US and Israel Call
Miriam to join:(02) 653-5347, 054-5-365-332
The hard copy of TT includes full texts in Hebrew of the following:
PDF files of the Pull-Outs are being sent to those email subscribers
who requested PDFs on a weekly basis.
Others can download the PDFs singly from the website. Click on PDF
1- Seder Netilat Lulav
(That's what it is called, even though Lulav is only one of the Four
Species - it is the most prominent one)
The mitzva of the Four Species (hereafter L&E) is performed while
Following is an optional introductory passage to say before
performing the mitzva of L&E. This can be said before taking L&E in
hand, or while holding the Lulav-Hadasim-Aravot “bundle” (AGUDA) in
your right hand and the Etrog in your left, but not yet joining
them. Or by holding the Etrog pitma pointing down until after the
brachot. Or holding everything and having specific KAVANA to not
(yet) fulfill the mitzva.
The mitzva of L&E is to take the four species in hand together.
Therefore, one gets ready to do the mitzva by taking the Lulav
“bundle” in the right hand and the Etrog in the left, but does not
hold them together, and preferably has specifically in mind NOT to
fulfill the mitzva YET; then says the bracha (AND Shehechyanu the
first time as well), and THEN holds the L&E TOGETHER and UPRIGHT
with the intention of fulfilling the mitzva.
After the bracha/brachot and the joining of the L&E, the mitzva is
done, but the custom is to wave the L&E in six directions. Keep the
L&E upright; hold them close to the chest and then extend your hands
forward. With the L&E in front of you, gently shake them. Bring your
hands back to your chest. Repeat in the same direction two more
times. Now do the same thing three times to the right. Then three
times behind you. Try not to turn too much in the direction of the
NA’ANU’IM (waving); face front as best as possible and move the L&E
in the different directions. Then to the left three times.Then up.
Then down. Extend, shake, retract. Extend, shake, retract. Three
times in each of the six directions. There are different customs as
to the order of these NA'ANU'IM. Another custom is SOUTH, NORTH,
EAST, UP, DOWN, WEST
2- Birkat Al Hamichya
3 - Candle lighting for the first night of Sukkot and Shabbat Chol
Monday, Erev Sukkot, Oct. 17, '05, 4:29pm (J'm)
Ideally, candles should be lit in the Sukka - if it is safe to leave
them there. It is not proper to light in the Sukka and then move the
candles into the house. If the candles cannot be left in the Sukka,
they should be lit in the house.
Candle lighting for Yom Tov really should be done by saying the
brachot first and then lighting, but then the match or helper-candle
should be put down on a safe surface and not extinguished by the
woman who lit candles. Covering the eyes is not necessary when
lighting this way. A woman who prefers to light Yom Tov candles the
same way she lights Shabbat candles (light, cover eyes, brachot) may
do so, when lighting at "candle lighting time", rather than at
night. If one lights at night (before the meal), which is allowed on
Yom Tov that is not Shabbat, then the flame used must be taken from
a pre-existing flame (meaning, no striking a match), brachot should
be said first and then the candles are lit.
Erev Shabbat Chol HaMoed, Oct. 21, 4:25pm - Regular Shabbat candle
lighting procedure. Preferably in the Sukka, as above
4 - Blessing the Children
5 - Kiddush for first night and Daytime of Sukkot
6 - Upon entering the Sukka - full text of what to say to invite the
a general invitation to all seven USHPIZIN (spiritual guests). It is
followed by the specific invitation to the day’s “special guest”,
along with the other six guests. There are two opinions as to the
order of the Ushpizin. Some put them in (almost) chronological
order: Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Yosef, Moshe, Aharon, David.
Others, based on Kabalistic considerations list them as we have,
with Moshe and Aharon before Yosef.
7 - Hoshanot
Except for Shabbat, a Torah is taken from the Aron to the Bima, the
Aron remains open.
For your information...
Because of the LO AD”U ROSH rule of our fixed Calendar, neither the
first day of Rosh Hashana nor the first day of Sukkot (nor Simchat
Torah) can fall on a Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday. Hence, there are
four possible days of the week on which Sukkot can begin.
Each possibility produces a slightly different order and arrangement
of Hoshanot. This sheet is made for 5766 and other years like it -
namely, when Rosh HaShana is Tuesday-Wednesday.
Hoshanot are commemorative of the Hakafot around the Mizbei'ach in
the Beit HaMikdash on the days of Sukkot. Therefore, it might be
suggested that our Hoshanot combine a Korban-like practice with
prayer, as expressed in the pasuk in Hallel (T'hilim 116:17): To You
I will sacrifice a Thanksgiving Offering, and in G-d's name I will
The G'matriya of this pauk is 1176 - the same as: HOSHANA L'MAANCHA
8 - Shir Shel HaYom
According to MINHAG YERUSHALAYIM, which is largely based on the
opinions of the Vilna Gaon, the regular Psalms of the Day are not
said during Sukkot (and other Holidays), but rather there are
special Psalms for each day of the CHAG. Although the Psalm for the
Chag replaces the regular Psalm of the day, the Psalm for Shabbat
supersedes that of Chag.
Here is the set of T'hilim chapters for Sukkot this year. Even if
you (and/or your shul) say the regular SHIR SHEL HAYOM (for the days
of the week), you might want to add the special Psalms of the day.
After the Psalm of the Day (either or both), we say L'DAVID (Psalm
27), as we have been doing since the first of Elul. It is said until
and including Hoshana Rabba (GR"A minhag is not to say it, but many
among those who follow Minhag Yerushalayim, do say it).
For those who follow Minhag Yerushalayim and say only the special
Psalms for each day of Sukkot instead of the "regular" Psalms for
the day of the week, it is recommended that you do the following. At
some point (perhaps right after the Shir for the day of Sukkot), say
aloud, "HaYom Yom _______ b'Shabbat. Fill in the blank with the day
of the week - Rishon, Sheini, Sh'lishi... This is one of the ways we
fulfill the mitzva of ZACHOR ET YOM HASHABBAT L'KAD'SHO, every day
of the week. Since Min.Yer. does not say the Psalm of the day, this
is important to do.
9 - Candle lighting, kiddush & hakafot for Simchat Torah
10 - Kiddush for night and day of Shabbat Chol Hamoed
11 - Havdala for Motzaei Yom Tov and Shabbat
12 - Birkat Hachodesh for the Year 5766
The full handout for the months of 5766 is also sent as a PDF to the
TT-PDF people, and is available under PDF files on the website.
Following is the English text of the Months Chart
We bench Rosh Chodesh as a commemoration of the practice in the time
of the Sanhedrin (past AND future) of proclaiming Rosh Chodesh based
on the testimony of eye-witnesses who saw the “first visibility of
the lunar crescent”. We pray for a good month, announce the Molad
(the instant of the new moon), and announce the day(s) of the
upcoming Rosh Chodesh. The introductory passage is modified for this
monthly use from a prayer composed by RAV, as mentioned in the
Gemara (Brachot 16:), originally intended by its author for daily
Notice that among the requests for a "LIFE OF...", we ask for YIR'AT
SHAMAYIM twice. In the Gemara's version of this prayer, it appears
only once (the second of our two). However, we can explain its
appearance twice. The first time, it is linked with "fear of sin",
fear of punishment. This is the basic level of YIR'AT SHAMAYIM, a
feeling motivated by YIR'A, fear. The second time we ask, it is
paired with AHAVAT TORAH, love of Torah. This is a higher level of
YIR'AT SHAMAYIM, better translated (perhaps) as REVERENCE for G-d,
this time motivated by love. When our YIR'AT SHAMAYIM reaches that
exalted level, then we can ask for a "life that G-d will fulfill the
requests of our hearts to the good".
Another explanation of our asking twice is that after asking the
first time, we ask G-d for wealth and honor. A person so blessed,
would need to ask for YIR'AT SHAMAYIM again, since wealth and honor
are two things that lead a person to the arrogant feeling of
self-accomplishment. It is "easy" to achieve YIR'AT SHAMAYIM when
one is poor; the humility that usually accompanies poverty helps one
achieve Fear of G-d. With wealth and honor, we need to ask for
YIR'AT SHAMAYIM again.
The Tradition is to announce the Molad in Jerusalem Solar Time. In
the chart below you will find the (suggested) wording for the
announcement of the Molad. This time is used by Jews all over the
world for Rosh Chodesh Benching, without adjusting for time zones or
daylight savings time. The chart below has four additional times of
the Molad, for your further edification. From right to left, after
the name of the month is the average Molad in Rambam’s notation.
This is the same time as the one we announce, but it differs in form
in two ways.
Rather than midnight being the “zero hour”, Rambam uses the previous
6:00pm as his starting point for the day. Furthermore, Rambam does
not use minutes in his notation. Rather than an hour having 60
minutes and a minute having 18 chalakim (each cheilek - part - being
33 seconds). Rambam uses 1080 chalakim in an hour (that’s 60x18).
Remember: The announced molad and the Rambam's notation are the same
time, just expressed differently. Let's take Cheshvan below as an
example. The molad is Tuesday night, 23h 32m 13p. 32 minutes is 576
chalakim. Add 13 and the total chalakim is 589 which is
TAV-KUF-PEI-TET in Hebrew letters. 23 hours of Tuesday is 5 hours
into Wednesday, starting at 6:00pm (Tuesday evening). So in Rambam
notation, TUE 23h is DALET (that's Wednesday) 5 hours, or HEI in
Hebrew. Note that what we call TUE night is often referred to as
The next box to the left is the same time, but expressed as D h m p
and (clock time). To convert the Molad to local Israeli time (known
as European time or Cairo horizon), we subtract 21 minutes (on
average) in the winter and add 39 minutes during Summer Time. Unlike
the “Traditional” Molad time and Rambam’s notation (which do not get
adjusted), the clock time in parentheses can (and should) be
adjusted to your time zone (for informational purposes only —
remember that the announcement of the Molad at Rosh Chodesh Benching
is the same all over the Jewish World), by adding or subtracting the
number of hours you are different from Israel. And the time is also
adjusted for Daylight Savings Time. (But don’t change the
The box on the far left is the Actual Molad (astronomical). It
differs from the average time partly because of Kepler’s Second Law
of Planetary Motion (really it’s G-d’s Law of Planetary Motion,
discovered by Kepler), which explains why the length of time from
one Molad to the next is not always the same (as it is in the
calculation of the Molad we use in our fixed calendar). The actual
time of the Molad is not used for any halachic purpose today, but in
the time of the Sanhedrin - may it be restored speedily in our time
- it will be used to help determine the time of the first visibility
of the lunar crescent, which in turn will be used by the Sanhedrin
committee for Kidush HaChodesh, to know if and when to await
Generally, AV HARACHAMIM is not said when we bench Rosh Chodesh, so
continue with ASHREI (in your siddur). On the two SHABBATOT
MEVORCHIM during the OMER (for IYAR and SIVAN) we DO say AV
HARACHAMIM (even if there is a person present who would usually
"knock out" AV HARACHAMIM. And even if there is a BRIT MILA in the
shul on that day.) When we bench Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av, some say
AV HARACHAMIM, some don't say it. The opinion of the GR"A is not to
say AV HARACHAMIM when we bench Rosh Chodesh (even during the Omer),
except for Shabbat M’vorchim Menachem Av.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
websites: www.ou.org/torah/tt and www.ou.org/israel/ic
Orthodox Union • National Conference of Synagogue Youth
This publication and many of the programs of the Israel Center and
NCSY b'Yisrael are assisted by grants from The Jewish Agency for
TT is published and printed "in house" at the Israel Center
Parshat Ha'azinu Homepage]
[The TORAH tidbits Homepage] [How to use TORAH tidbits]
[About The OU/NCSY Israel Center] [About TORAH tidbits]