Shabbat Parshat Vayigash
TT #698 - January 6-7, '06,
7 Tevet 5766
Shabbat Mikeitz is the 96th day (of 354); the 14th Shabbat (of 50) of 5766
VAYNASHEK L'CHOL ECHAV VAYEIVK ALEIHEM... (B'reishit 45:15)
Ranges are FRI-FRI 6-13 Tevet (January 6-13)
Earliest Talit & T'filin - 5:46-5:46am
Sunrise - 6:40-6:40am
Sof Z'man K' Sh'ma - 9:12-9:13am (8:24-8:26am)
Sof Z'man T'fila - 10:03-10:05am (9:31-9:33am)
Chatzot (halachic noon) - 11:45-11:48am
Mincha Gedola (earliest Mincha) - 12:15-12:18pm
Plag Mincha - 3:47-3:52pm
Sunset - 4:55-5:01pm (4:50-4:56pm)
Candle Lighting & Havdala (Israel Winter, Standard time)
Correct for TT 698 • Rabbeinu Tam (J'm) - 6:08pm
4:15pm Jerusalem 5:31pm
4:30pm Raanana 5:31pm
4:31pm Beit Shemesh 5:32pm
4:30pm Netanya 5:31pm
4:31pm Rehovot 5:32pm
4:10pm Petach Tikva 5:31pm
4:30pm Modi'in 5:31pm
4:32pm Be'er Sheva 5:33pm
4:30pm Gush Etzion 5:31pm
4:29pm Ginot Shomron 5:30pm
4:15pm Maale Adumim 5:30pm
4:31pm K4 & Hevron 5:32pm
4:16pm Tzfat 5:27pm
4:30pm Tel Mond 5:31pm
Note about Candle Lighting and Havdala times. Candle lighting times are
rounded down to the minute, in other words, seconds are ignored. E.g. 4:00pm
in Jerusalem this week is really 47 seconds after 4:00pm. The seconds are
ignored. Havdala times, on the other hand, are round up to the next minute.
Even one second after 6:32pm, for example, will be posted as 6:33pm.
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...
Earliest Kiddush L'vana for the
3-day after the Molad opinion was this past Tuesday night. First op and
favored by other opinions is this Motza'ei Shabbat, eve of 8 Tevet, Jan. 7.
Fast of the Tenth (tenth month,
that is - Tevet), a.k.a. ASARA B'TEVET is Tuesday, 10 Tevet/January. Fast
begins at 5:23am and ends at 5:20pm. This is a dawn to dark fast
commemorating the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians
that led to the destruction of the first Beit HaMikdash. Tragedies
associated with the 8th and 9th of Tevet are also included in the thoughts
of the 10th - the Targum Shiv'im (forced translation of the Torah into
Greek) and the yahrzeits of Ezra and Nechemia. In our own time, 10 Tevet has
been declared Yom Kaddish K'lali for victims of the Sho'a whose yahrzeits
FYI: Asara b'Tevet can fall on Sunday (29.9%), Tuesday (27.9%), Friday
(20.1%), Thursday (18.1%), Wednesday (3.9%). And, in our fixed calendar,)
never on Monday or Shabbat. (With the more flexible Kiddush HaChodesh of
Sanhedrin, the stats won't apply then.)
Sometimes, topics for Lead Tidbits are chosen because of the title. Well,
not really, but it is fun sometimes coming up with a catchy title like this
week's. You have to admit that Calendric Proximity has a ring to it.
What the title means is that
events that have nothing to do with each other, that happened centuries
apart, can be viewed almost as related to each other because they are near
each other on the Jewish Calendar. Having just finished with the enjoyable
holiday of Chanuka, with the taste of latkes and/or sufganiyot (or Herby's
Chanuka donuts) still with us, it is hard to approach the commemorations of
the 8th, 9th, and 10th of Tevet with- out making a connection. So too for
the events of Parshat HaShavua, which occurred 1100 years before the
Babylonian siege, 1200 years before Ezra and Nechemia brought the early
Nefesh b'Nefesh groups to Eretz Yisrael, and 1400 before Chanuka happened.
When you put them all together
because of the small part of the calendar they share, a variety of thoughts
pop into your head. How could brothers do what they did to a brother? How
can their tearful reunion in Vayigash not have been the end to strife
between brothers - Jewish history has demonstrated that we are too often our
worst enemy? How can the people sink to such betrayal of G-d that He allowed
the Mikdash to be destroyed? How come so few responded to Ezra's call to
return to Eretz Yisrael?
Chanuka is filled with hope.
Hope that did not bear everlasting fruit at the time, but whose message
continues to give us hope. So too does the reconciliation of the brothers
point us in that good direction, even though we continue to stray from our
goals. We'll get it right one of these days.
This week's haftara gives us
the promise, the hope, and the challenge - Jewish unity, total acceptance of
Torah, return to Israel, everlasting Mikdash.
11th of 54 sedras; 11 of 12 in B'reishit
Written on 178.07 lines in a Sefer Torah, ranks 34
Vayigash is composed of 3 parshiot, all closed, one VERY closed. Actually,
it's 2.89 parshiot; Vayigash is the only sedra that does not end with a
106 p'sukim - ranks 28th; tied with To'l'dot and Bo. Actually it is
considerably smaller than Bo, and a bit larger than To'l'dot
1480 words - 30th; 5680 letters - 29th
9th (of 12) in B'reishit in all 3 categories
contains none of the TARYAG (613) mitzvot
Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary
[P> X:Y (Z)] and [S> X:Y (Z)] indicate start of a parsha p’tucha or s’tuma
respectively. X:Y is Perek:Pasuk of the beginning of the parsha; (Z) is the
number of p'sukim in the parsha.
Kohen - First Aliya - 13 p'sukim - 44:18-30
[S> 44:18 (52)] The sedra begins with the dramatic confrontation between
Yehuda and Yosef. Yehuda risks his life when he approaches the "Egyptian
leader" in an attempt to save Binyamin. The first Aliya ends with the
emotion- filled description by Yehuda of the feelings between Yaakov and
Binyamin — "V'nafsho k'shura v'nafsho", and his soul is bound with his soul.
SDT Yehuda confronted the
as-yet- unrevealed Yosef as an equal, It can be said, that whenever one
approaches a confrontational situation, it is best to think in terms of
facing one's adversary on equal footing. Thinking oneself inferior will
often create a self-fulfilling disadvantage. One will tend not to fight with
sufficient determination because of the expectation of defeat. Feeling
superior to one's adversary will often lead to over-confidence. Remember not
to under-estimate your enemy... or yourself.
The Torah notes on the opening
words of the sedra explain what was going on. KADMA V'AZLA R'VI'I, ZARKA
MUNACH SEGOL (see top row of the ParshaPix, above). The 4th (son) went
forward (to confront Yosef), because he had thrown away his place among the
Chosen (Nation) (by guaranteeing Binyamin's safe return) - attributed to the
SDT The Alshich asks: At the
end of Parshat Mikeitz, Yehuda is completely resolved to his (and his
brothers') fate. The Egyptian ruler has accused them of stealing his special
chalice. Yehuda offers that the one in whose possession the cup is found
shall be put to death and that the others would be slaves. When the cup is
"found" in Binyamin's possession, Yehuda meekly submits (to the slavery
suggestion). Yosef (as yet unrevealed) nobly refuses Yehuda's offer and
announces that he will take only the "culprit" as a slave - the rest are
free to return in peace to their father. That is the "cliff-hanger" ending
of Mikeitz. At the beginning of Vayigash, Yehuda changes from the lamb
awaiting slaughter, to the lion which becomes the hallmark of his tribe,
risking his life in his confrontation with the enigmatic Egyptian leader.
What caused the change in Yehuda's demeanor?
As long as Yehuda expected all
the brothers to be enslaved, he viewed the events as G-d's punishment for
the sale of Yosef. This he could accept. When it turned out that only
Binyamin would be enslaved - the only one not involved in Mechirat Yosef,
Yehuda realized that this was not punishment for what they had done. Now his
protective instincts and his promise to Yaakov take over. Yehuda boldly
faces this "Egyptian" at the beginning of Vayigash and is prepared to risk
all to save Binyamin.
Yosef heard his father referred
to as "your servant - my father" ten times (5 from Yehuda and another 5 from
the interpreter) and he did not object and/or reveal his identity to prevent
the humiliation of his father. For this, commentators say, Yosef lost 10
years of life and died at 110, before any of his brothers.
SDT Chassdic masters see a
"layer of messages" for us beneath the wording of Yehuda's plea. "...and
(if) he leaves his father, he will die." If a person abandons his Father
(G-d), forsakes the Torah, then he will die a spiritual death.
Did you ever notice that when
Yosef interrogated the Brothers, he asked them if they had a father or
brother. Not if they had a mother. Baal HaTurim says it was because he knew
that their (and his) mother had already died. Let's call this even a
subconscious omission. The Torah tells us of Rachel's passing. According to
Tradition, Leah died about six years after Rachel did. By the time of the
sale of Yosef, both were long gone.
Here's a thought... When they
were younger, and when they perceived that Yaakov loved Yosef above all, the
brothers were dangerously jealous. Here, Yehuda speaks of the special love
bond between Yaakov and Binyamin, and does not seem to be jealous, but
rather protective (and fond) of the other son of Rachel - Yehuda's mother's
rival. T'shuva? Maturity? Some of both?
Levi - Second Aliya - 11 p'sukim - 44:31-45:7
Yehuda tells Yosef that Yaakov is likely to die if the brothers return
without Binyamin. He adds that he has personally guaranteed Binyamin's
return and "how can I return to my father without the lad..." (Remember that
Yehuda had previously returned to his father without the other lad, Yosef.
The current situation with Binyamin is Yehuda's opportunity for complete
repentance for what he had done to Yosef.)
Yosef cannot contain himself
any longer and orders the room cleared of all "outsiders". He bursts with
emotion and announces to his dumb-struck brothers that he is Yosef.
Immediately, Yosef asks, "Is my father still alive?" Yosef repeats his
shocking revelation, with details, so the brothers will believe what they
are hearing. He then admonishes them not to be angry with each other, since
it was G-d's plan that should be properly positioned to save his family from
SDT Torah T'mima brings the
Gemara in Chagiga in the name of Rabbi Elazar who makes the following
powerful observation: If the children of Israel were not able to respond to
Yosef's short statement of reproach, imagine how more so it will be
difficult for us to respond to G-d's reproach for the myriad wrong- doings
as individuals and as a community.
The sale of Yosef was a
monstrous sin, regardless of how G-d planned things to turn out. There is a
midrash that says: G-d said - You sold your brother into slavery. I swear by
your lives that every year you will say, AVADIM HAYINU L'FAR'O B'MITZRAYIM,
we were slaves to Par'o in Egypt.
SDT When Yosef finally reveals
himself to his brothers, he makes the following compound statement: "I am
Yosef - Is my father still alive?" Many commentaries ask why Yosef would ask
that question at this dramatic moment - especially since he has been hearing
about Yaakov from the brothers all along.
Some see in it a short but
powerful reproach to the brothers, as if to say, "is it possible that my
father can still be alive after what you've put him through?" If this is
indeed the meaning of his question, then Yosef too must bear some of the
burden and shame, since he also caused Yaakov suffering by not having
communicated with him that he was alive during his years as prime minister
in Egypt. (Although there are various reasons given in the sources as to why
Yosef did not inform Yaakov of his well-being, it is difficult not to throw
some criticism in Yosef's direction.)
Another interpretation suggests
that Yosef might have assumed that his brothers had been lying to him about
their father. They might have told him that Yaakov was alive to elicit
sympathy, but he might have been dead. Therefore, now that he has told his
brothers who he really is, Yosef asks the most important question on his
mind - Is my father really still alive?
Shlishi - Third Aliya - 20 p'sukim - 45:8-27
Yosef again tells the brothers that it wasn't they who sent him to Egypt,
but rather it was G-d. He then sends them to bring their father down to
Egypt (to Goshen) where the family will be well cared for during the
remaining years of the famine. The brothers embrace and cry. Only then are
the brothers able to talk to Yosef.
Meanwhile, Par'o becomes aware
of the reunion and offers his generous hospitality to the family. Yosef
gives his brothers clothing, but gives Binyamin even more (specifically, 5
sets of clothing and 300 silver pieces).
Observation... Notice that once
again a son of Rachel is being favored by being given a special garment. The
first time, the results were disastrous for Yosef and his brothers. Why
would Yosef even consider doing this?
The "solution" to the problem
of the brothers is not reached by avoiding difficult situations. If there is
true repentance, then the brothers can be given the exact circumstances to
show their change of heart. Seeing things in a proper perspective, the extra
gifts to Binyamin do not evoke the jealousy of the brothers; they have
This same idea can be seen in
Vaychi. Yaakov favors Efrayim over Menashe. Yosef gets very upset. Again we
can say that the idea is not to avoid anything that would make one brother
jealous, the other arrogant. Menashe and Efrayim showed praiseworthy
characteristics in the way they handled their different statuses. This is
one of the reasons that we bless our sons "may G-d make you like Efrayim and
Yosef sends his brothers back
to Yaakov with wagons (which is a personal coded message between son &
father based on the topic they were studying at the time of the Sale of
Yosef) and gifts. The brothers tell Yaakov all that has happened. He refuses
to believe that Yosef is really alive, until he sees the wagons. Yaakov's
spirit is revived.
R'vi'i - Fourth Aliya - 8 p'sukim - 45:28-46:7
Yaakov tells his sons to hurry with their preparations so that he can get to
see Yosef before he (Yaakov) dies. On the way to Egypt, they stop at Be'er
Sheva where Yaakov offers sacrifices to G-d. G-d appears to him and assures
him that He will protect him and accompany him on his sojourn. The family
continues its trip and arrives in Goshen.
Rashi also points out that G-d
promised that Yaakov would be brought back to Eretz Yisrael for burial. The
promise of becoming a great nation was not enough to calm Yaakov.
[SDT] In explanation of why
Yosef never communicated with his father in all the years of separation, one
commentary suggests that had Yaakov known about the sale of Yosef, he would
have considered his sons in violation of the Torah's prohibition against
kidnapping. Therefore, Yosef had not told his father what had happened.
Chamishi - Fifth Aliya - 20 p'sukim - 46:8-27
[S> 46:8 (20)] The Torah now lists the names of the "70 souls" (including
Yosef and his sons) who went down to Egypt with Yaakov. (The seed is
planted; the harvest many years hence will be the Nation of Israel.)
THE SEVENTY SOULS...
Note the atypical mention (and counting) of female offspring - Dina and
Serach the daughter of Asher. Tradition attributes to Serach great longevity
- she was the oldest person to leave Egypt, giving her the unique status as
an eyewitness to the entire Egyptian experience. (Yocheved too, perhaps.)
Notice the label of B'CHOR
(firstborn) for Reuven, here and in other places in the Torah. Although
Levi, Yehuda, and Yosef each ended up with a "feature" that we would
identify with the first born, these roles being taken away from Reuven
because of his shortcomings, he nonetheless is repeatedly identified as
Reuven (1) and his sons Chanoch (2), Palu (3), Chetzron (4), Carmi (5);
Shimon (6) and his sons Y'mu'el (7), Yamin (8), Ohad (9), Yachin (10),
Tzochar (11), Shaul (12); (Rashi says that Shaul was Dina's child from
Sh'chem, raised by Shimon as his own);
Levi (13) and his sons Gershon (14), K'hat (15), M'rari (16);
Yehuda (17) and his sons Eir and Onan (both of whom who died in Canaan, but
are mentioned here, though not counted among the 70), Sheila (18), Peretz
(19), Zerach (20), and Peretz's sons Chetzron (21), Chamul (22);
Yissachar (23) and his sons Tola (24), Puva (25), Yov (26), Shimron (27);
Z'vulun (28) and his sons Sered (29), Eilon (30), Yachl'eil (31);
These are Leah's children plus Dina (32).
The Torah says the total from Leah is 33. Rashi says that the 33rd of Leah's
"children" is Yocheved (33), daughter of Levi, who was born as they entered
Egypt. That's 33 souls from Leah.
Gad (34) and his sons Tzifyon (35), Chagi (36), Shuni (37), Etzbon (38),
Eiri (39), Arodi (40), Areili (41);
Asher (42) and his children Yimna (43), Yishva (44), Yishvi (45), B'ri'a
(46), their sister Serach (47), and the sons of B'ri'a, Chever (48),
The souls from Zilpa are 16.
Yosef (50) and Binyamin (51);
Yosef's sons who were born in Egypt (they are nonetheless included in the 70
Souls) from A-s’nat - Menashe (52), Efrayim (53);
Binyamin's sons Bela (54), Becher (55), Ashbel (56), Geira (57), Naaman
(58), Eichi (59), Rosh (60), Mupim (61), Chupim (62), Ard (63)
Souls descendant from Rachel are 14.
Dan (64) and his son(s) Chushim (65);
Naftali (66) and his sons Yachtz'eil (67), Guni (68), Yeitzer (69), Shileim
Those descendant from Bilha are 7.
The Torah's total is 66 who
went down to Egypt (actually 67 counting Yocheved) and Yosef and his sons
who were already in Egypt, bring the total - not counting daughters-in-law -
Remember that the "whole world"
that came from No'ach was 70 (nations). We now find the same number in
Yaakov's descendants. Their 70 became the Nations of the World. Our 70
became the Jewish People. Think about it.
Alternate suggestion: Count
Yaakov among the 70 souls and not Yocheved? Total is still 70 with all the
names actually mentioned in the text.
Shishi - Sixth Aliya - 17 p'sukim - 46:28-47:10
[S> 46:28 (34)] Yaakov sends Yehuda ahead, to complete preparations. Yosef
sends a royal chariot for his father.
When Yaakov and Yosef meet,
Yosef embraces Yaakov and cries.
Yosef then prepares (some of)
his brothers to meet Par'o. It is a sensitive issue because Yaakov and
family are shepherds (sheep being the deity of Egypt). Yosef presents his
father and five of his brothers to Par'o. Par'o again offers the best of the
land to Yosef's family. Par'o asks Yaakov how old he is. Yaakov replies that
he has lived 130 bitter years and that he does not expect to live as long as
his father or grandfather. Yaakov blesses Par'o (having done so when first
presented to Par'o - Rashi says that these were courtesy greetings to
royalty) and Yaakov takes his leave.
Rashi brings a Midrash that
says that Yaakov’s bracha to Par’o was that the Nile should rise above its
banks when he approaches it. And so it was, from then on.
Sh'vi'i - Seventh Aliya - 17 p'sukim - 47:11-27
Yosef sets up his family with the best the land has to offer. Meanwhile, the
famine intensifies in Egypt. Yosef carefully controls the food supplies and
before long has amassed for Par'o all the wealth, possessions and land
(except for that of the clergy) of the people. Finally, the peoples of Egypt
become slaves to Par'o in exchange for sustenance.
Yaakov's family flourishes
As mentioned earlier, this is
the only sedra that does not end with a parsha break (in a printed Chumash,
that means no PEI-PEI-PEI or SAMACH- SAMACH-SAMACH. The significance of this
is explained by the commentaries of the opening pasuk of next week’s sedra.
3 p'sukim are reread for Maftir.
Haftara - 14 p'sukim -Yechezkeil 37:15-28
The antagonism in the beginning of Parshat Vayigash between Yehuda and Yosef
is the forerunner of the split of the Jewish People into the kingdoms of
Judah and Israel (represented by Efrayim, Yosef's son). In this portion from
the Prophets, G-d tells Yechezkeil to take two sticks - one marked for
Yehuda and one for Yosef/Efrayim- and hold them together until they merge
into one. When the people ask the meaning of this, the prophet is to tell
them about the reunification of the tribes. This reconciliation, which is
also the theme of the sedra, will produce the One Nation that will once
again be the "dwelling place" of G-d. We will know that, as will the nations
of the world. As happy as is the reconciliation of the brothers in the sedra,
both the sedra and haftara remind us of rough times to come, throughout
Jewish History. The "pot of gold" is at the end of the perverbial rainbow,
the time of the Complete Geula, when the people will be united, the people
will all keep Torah and mitzvot, the people will return to Eretz Yisrael
from the far-flung places of their dispersion, and the Beit HaMikdash will
stand in Jerusalem forever, BIMHEIRA B'YAMEINU, AMEN.
THE JERUSALEM INSTITUTE OF JEWISH LAW - Rabbi Emanuel Quint, Dean
Lesson # 314 (part two) •The forewarned ox
Up to this point we have been discussing animals that caused damage “with
its foot” or “with its tooth” or “with its horn”. In all of these situations
there was property damage and Reuven, the owner of the ox was liable to
Shimon the owner of the property that was damaged.
We come now to a different
situation where Reuven’s ox gores Shimon. It is stated in the Torah “If an
ox shall gore a man or woman and he shall die, the ox shall be surely
stoned” (Sh'mot 21:28). The verses go on to say that if it was an ox that
gores habitually then the ox is stoned to death and in addition thereto, the
owner makes compensation to the victim of the goring; the payment is called
The place of goring is
1. Assuming that Reuven’s ox is a fore- warned ox and it killed Shimon in
Reuven’s yard, the ox is put to death but Reuven does not pay the ransom and
does not make monetary payments. This holds true if Shimon is in Reuven’s
yard without permission. If Shimon is there with permission, then Reuven is
liable for the goring.
2. If the ox kills Shimon in Shimon’s yard, the ox is put to death and
Reuven makes payment to Shimon’s estate.
3. If the ox kills Shimon in a pubic street, the ox is put to death and
Reuven pays the ransom.
The goring ox is put to death whether the person who is killed by it is an
adult or minor, male or female, slave or freeman.
The method by which the ox
kills is not important. The ox is to be stoned to death whether it has
killed by goring, biting, pushing, kicking or any other method that causes
death. The result is the same whether the ox is innocuous or forewarned - it
is put to death. The question arises, if the ox has already killed a person
and must be put to death, how does it kill a second time and a third time to
become a forewarned ox? Various answers are given including that the ox
after goring a person to death ran away and repeated such fatal injuries
twice again and was finally caught after the last goring.
The defendant in a criminal
case must be present in the courtroom when he is being judged. So too the
owner of the goring ox, whether a man or woman must be present in the
courtroom when Beth Din judges whether or not the ox is put be put to death
and determines the amount of the ransom. If the ox has no private owner,
such as an ox that comes from an uninhabited place, or from the desert; or
an ox that belongs to the Holy Temple (may it be rebuilt, speedily in our
days) or an ox that belongs to a convert who has died without heirs, then
the trial is held without the presence of the owner. (Every Jew has heirs,
except a convert who has yet no child conceived after he converted.) An ox
that belongs to a legally incompetent person, such as a minor, or mentally
deficient, is treated as an ox that has no owner. The ox is put to death
only if caused Shimon’s death by itself without outside intervention. If a
human was also a contributing factor, the ox is not put to death. Thus, if
Reuven provoked the ox to gore Shimon, the ox is not put to death and Reuven
is also free of the death penalty at the hands of Beth Din but is guilty to
the judgments of Heaven. The same holds true if a person provokes a dog to
kill a person. However, if Reuven opens the dog’s mouth and places Shimon's
hand into the dog’s mouth and the dog bites Shimon causing his death, Reuven
is liable to the death penalty for murder. The same holds true if Reuven
shoves the ox and as a result thereof the ox shoves Shimon, causing his
The owner of the killing ox
pays the ransom. If the killing ox belongs to two persons, Reuven and Levi,
each pays the full ransom to Shimon’s heirs, since each requires a full
atonement. Those persons who are deemed to be legally incompetent to be
responsible for their actions or the action of their animal, such as a
minor, or mentally deficient, do not have to pay the ransom even if they
have a guardian. The ransom is for atonement and these persons are not
required to make atonement. If an ox intending to attack another ox instead
killed Shimon, the ox is not put to death. However Reuven must pay the
ransom for the death of Shimon. All that has been said about the forewarned
ox that causes death “with its horn” also applies if the ox that causes
death of a person ”with its foot”. For example, Reuven’s ox enters Shimon’s
yard and while walking, crushes a baby in the yard. Reuven must pay the
ransom to the baby’s heirs. The ox is not put to death since it did not have
intent to injure. If the occurrence was in a public street, there is no
liability for ransom since the owner of the ox has no liability for damage
caused by his ox “with its foot” in a public street.
The ransom is paid to Shimon’s
heirs. If the victim was a married woman, the ransom is paid to her
descendants or to her paternal heirs. This is a departure from the halacha
that holds that a husband is the sole heir of his wife. The woman’s husband
is her heir to the assets on hand at the time of the death but not to
collectibles. (At the time of her death the ransom was not part of her
estate. Beth Din determines the amount of the ransom, taking into account
the earning capacity of the victim, the expenses that the estate has as a
result of his death, and any other factors that Beth Din deems appropriate.
Beth Din has wide latitude in setting the amount. (The ransom that is paid
for killing Shimon’s heathen slave or heathen maidservant, whether a minor
or adult, is always 30 shekels of fine silver, regardless of the actual
value of the slave or maidservant.)
A payment for wrongful death
differs from a ransom in the following ways:
(1) Ransom affords atonement while the monetary payment does not;
(2) If Reuven has no funds he must make every effort to pay the ransom, but
he does not have to make the monetary payment except if he has the funds.
The subject matter of this
lesson is more fully discussed in volume X chapter 405 of A Restatement of
Rabbinic Civil Law by E. Quint. Copies of all volumes can be purchased via
email: email@example.com and via website: www.israelbooks.com and
at local Judaica bookstores. Questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Meaning in Mitzvot
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
Adjoining Geula to T'fila
The gemara tells us that there is special merit in adjoining geula (the
blessing gaal yisrael following the shema) to t'fila (the amida prayer),
meaning that he makes no interruption in between (B'rakhot 4b,9b). And this
is the ruling of the Shulchan Arukh (OC 66:8, 111:1, 235).
The Zohar mentions this rule in
our parsha (I 205b), and while the passage there doesn't connect it to the
events of our parsha, a number of commentators do.
In the commentary cited by
Yedid Nefesh, Yehuda represents geula. This is logical because geula or
redemption is naturally associated with kingship, as the essence of our
redemption is the restoration of Jewish sovereignty. This in turn is
identified with Yehuda, who was promised kingship by Yaakov (B'reshit 49:10)
and was the progenitor of King David, from whose line will arise the
Yehuda's approach to Yosef is
parallel to the approach of the blessing of redemption to prayer. His
appeals and pleadings before Yosef represent the need to justify and defend
the Jewish people prior to standing before Hashem in prayer. The implication
is that this is accomplished by the recitation of shema and its blessings,
which augment and recount the merits of the Jewish people particularly at
the time of the Exodus.
The Sefat Emet has a similar
commentary, but the roles are different. Yehuda and the house of David
represent prayer, which is the service of the heart (as we find in Taanit
2a). This is presumably because we find Yehuda and David being emotional and
open in their actions. By contrast, Yosef represents the brain, or rational
thought. This may be because Yosef appears in the Torah to be more cerebral
and calculating, or perhaps because in the encounter in our parsha Yosef is
in a position of superiority, just as the brain ultimately rules over the
emotions. This in turn corresponds to the recitation of shema, which the
Sefat Emet describes as "hearing in the brain".
The approach of Yehuda to Yosef
is thus understood as follows: The heart or emotions is in some sense
intermediate between the body, or lower faculties, and the brain. On the one
hand we feel emotionally the pains and sorrows of the body. On the other
hand, our emotions are also capable of finding joy in the deeper
understanding of our mental faculties.
As a moral lesson, this means
that while our emotions need to be connected to our material experience, we
also have to elevate them and teach them to appreciate the higher joys which
are detached from our material existence and connected to our higher
faculties, particularly our Torah learning. (While the Sefat Emet doesn't
say this explicitly, it seems clear to me that when he refers to our mental
faculties and identifies them with shema and with "hearing in the brain" he
means our Torah insights.)
In the context of adjoining
geula to t'fila, this would mean that while our prayers have to express our
wants and needs, the many sorrows we feel, it has to approach also our
higher faculties, in particular our Torah learning, represented by kri'at
shema. This will bring us to the highest level of prayer with joy, which we
can particularly attain on Shabbat. (Sefat Emet, Vayigash 5665)
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 recommended
SPIRITUAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE BEREISHIT STORIES by Dr. Meir Tamari
"To Sacrifice Your Son" 
At the very outset Avraham is told: "Get your-self to the Land of Moriah"
(22:2), in order to teach us that the place of the Akeida is of the greatest
significance to the test, and to whole future mission of the Abrahamic
Nation to do acts of Righteousness and Justice. The connection between the
place and the Akeida is a direct consequence of the choosing of the Holy
Land simultaneously with that of the Chosen Nation (B'reishit 12:1-2); both
preceding Hashem's promise to be our G-d (B'reishit 14:7). This connection
is not an accident nor the effect of chance but rather an essential part of
the Land-Nation unity. Everything has a core, a center or a specific inner
point that exemplifies and motivates it to fulfill its special function or
to realize its full potential. So, Har HaMoriah is all of these to the Holy
Land, a Land destined to be the framework within which the Chosen Nation can
become a Holy Nation and a Kingdom of Priests.
"On the 3rd day Avraham saw the
place from afar" (22:4); HaMakom, The designated place. Makom, this is one
of the Names of G-d [symbolic of His Omnipresence]. Avraham saw a cloud of
Glory signifying the Divine Presence" (Pirkei Rabbi Eliezer). "This Cloud of
Glory was not meant as a guide as to which mountain Avraham was to go but
rather as a sign of Avraham's reward for his devotion and love of Hashem. In
the same way, the Clouds of Glory were not meant to guide the Children of
Israel in the desert, since Hashem Himself led them; rather they were the
sign of G-d's reward for the faith that Israel showed by going into an
unknown and uncharted land merely in accordance with His Command" (Shem Mi
Shmuel). "The place known to him (Ramban); he saw that it was the place of
the sacrifice" (Abarbanel). However we explain this verse, to Chazal its
historic connection to sanctity and worship is quite clear. "HaKadosh Baruch
Hu pointed out with a finger to Avraham the place of the Mizbei'ach there.
Hashem said: "On this spot Adam used to sacrifice, here Kayin and Hevel
brought their offerings, and here No'ach and his sons sacrificed" (Pirkei
Rabbi Eliezer 31). Here lived Malki-tzedek, [Shem ben No'ach (N'darim 32b)]
who was king of Salem, and the priest of G-d, the Most High (B'reishit
14:18), in the days of Avraham's war with the 4 kings. "Hashem called it
Yerushalayim in deference to the name YIR'EH which Avraham named it after
the Akeida, and SHALEM which Shem had called it" (B'reishit Rabba 56:16-22).
"He was a "melech" over a place known for its "tzedek" [Ibn Ezra]; as it was
a place that does not tolerate any form of injustice or a lack of holiness (Radak);
because he ruled over the place of the future Bet HaMikdash that was known
even then to be a sacred site (Ramban).
That specific place reflects
the Akeida not only because of its historical connections but because it was
destined to be the realization of Avraham's prophetic words after the Akeida:
"Hashem Yireh as it is said this day, 'on the Mount of G-d Hashem is seen".
This was the place that Yaakov Avinu acknowledged as being none other than
the House of G-d and the Gate to Heaven, when he received there the vision
of the Ladder (B'reishit 28:18). Here "Shlomo HaMelech built a House for G-d
at Yerushalayim, on Har HaMoriah (Divrei HaYamim bet 3:1); at the threshing
field of Arona (Shmuel bet 24:18)" (Ibn Ezra). Chazal taught: "It is named
Moriah since from there teaching - hora'ah goes out to the whole world" (Ta'anit
17a); the seat of the Sanhedrin was in the Lishkat HaGazit of the Temple on
Har HaMoriah (Rashi, there), and "From Zion goes forth Torah and the Word of
G-d from Yerushalayim (Yeshayahu 20:3). "Har HaMoriah, the Land in which
they will worship G-d [as Onkelos translates], with Moriah derived from
Morah - Fear" (Ramban). When Shlomo HaMelech prayed at Chanukat HaBayit, he
first said: "And You Hashem will hearken to the prayers of Your servant and
Your people Israel that they will pray to this place" (Melachim Alef 8:36).
But as that Place is not meant only for the People of Israel, he continued:
"And the nations that are not of Your people shall come from a far land… and
You shall hear all the prayers in order that all the nations shall know and
fear Your name" (8:41). This resonates in our prayers on every fast day and
during the 10 days of T'shuva: "For My House shall be called a House of
prayer for all the nations" (Yeshayahu 56:7).
"In the desert, the Mishkan was
constructed out of materials from the plant and animal worlds; in Shilo they
erected walls of the inanimate world - of stone, using as the roof the
animal and plant materials from the Mishkan while Shlomo HaMelech built the
Bet HaMikdash entirely from stone. Israel in the desert had the spiritual
strength and ability to sanctify only the worlds of plant and animal
kingdoms. Their entry and settlement in the Holy Land gave them the
additional power to partially sanctify even the inanimate world. With
Kingship the People gained the spirituality and holiness that enabled them
to sanctify even the inanimate world, so Shlomo HaMelech was able to build
entirely of stone" (Shem Mi Shmuel).
That the Akeida was in that
special place does not mean that it was the center and innermost point of
the Land-Nation to serve only as a place of altars and Temples, for
pilgrimages and the rituals of priests. Rather that whole Land was intended
as the physical body within which that Nation would perfect all the acts of
life subject to the guidance and law of Hashem; the spiritual, the communal
and national, the political and social, war and economics. Therefore Har
HaMamoriah was to be the core of that life. The inspiration for its
development was to be the integrated Torah that would go forth from Zion and
This is the 110th installment
in Dr. Tamari’s series on “Tanach and its messages for our times”
MISC section - contents:
 Vebbe Rebbe
 Candle by Day
 From Aloh Naaleh
 A Touch of Wisdom, A Touch of Wit
 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
Q: What b'racha should I make
on sprouted grain breads?
A: It is difficult to rule on
this matter for a few reasons. Firstly, we have not found written halachic
rulings on this relatively unknown topic, which hinges on complicated
questions. Also, different people may prepare the bread differently, to the
extent that the halacha may vary. Finally, we should better understand the
botanical, chemical processes that accompany sprouting. We, therefore,
propose a joint project with our readers. We will describe what we know and
ask the public to add their insights. After compiling information and
discussing the matter among ourselves and with other rabbis, we will share
our findings. Let's show how the information age can help further the world
We received the following
information (and samples of grain and bread) from a local producer of
sprouted wheat bread. One soaks organic wheat kernels for several hours in
water, which causes the kernels to sprout (into roots and stalks) over the
next few days.
When the roots are somewhat
longer (but much thinner) than the kernels (which still look much the same),
one grinds the whole thing. One bakes the moist "flour" without water or
yeast. The result is a loaf with a color similar to whole-wheat bread and a
moister and somewhat coarser texture (presumably because of the sprouts). It
tastes quite sweet (like honey cake), to the extent that one would not guess
that it is the product of only wheat and water. This bread is reported to be
extremely healthful because of the chemical processes involved in the
sprouting. We would like to know of significantly different processes that
may be used.
Now let us briefly raise some of the pertinent halachic sources and
The b'racha on edible sprouts
is ha'adama. When one makes bread out of grain-like foods (kitniyot) that
are not from the five, major forms of grain, its beracha is shehakol (Shulchan
Aruch, Orach Chayim 208:8). These halachot should apply even to sprouts
attached to wheat because they in no way resemble wheat's taste. However,
the Shulchan Aruch (ibid.:9) rules that bread made from a mixture of wheat
flour and other flour is halachic bread if it contains a reasonable
percentage of wheat (a sixth or an eighth). Our case easily meets that
The question is as follows.
A wheat kernel, if planted,
breaks down and is replaced by a stalk, formed by the grain and other
nutrients from the ground. There are various opinions on how long it takes
for grain to be considered rooted in the ground, as the beginning of a new
entity. (See T'rumat HaDeshen 191 and Shaagat Aryeh, Chadashot 7, in regard
to stalks that become permitted when the omer is brought, who rule three
days and two weeks, respectively. See also, N'darim 57-59, regarding t'ruma
and other halachic entities that lose their status after being planted.)
However, one can distinguish between being rooted in the ground and
maintaining wheat's characteristics.
At what point of the kernel's
decomposition does it lose the status of wheat? Does it depend on its outer
appearance or perhaps the taste of its product? Is the process uniform
throughout the kernel or do certain sections change chemically more quickly?
If it is not uniform, what is the halacha when part of the kernel is
significantly altered, while other parts remain intact?
There are four arguable
1) The kernel remains wheat, and the bread made from it is regular bread
(including regarding taking challah, which our local producer does);
2) Although the kernel is wheat, its unique taste makes it deserve the
b'racha of mezonot (see Shulchan Aruch, OC 168:7); 3) It is not wheat, but
the bread is a normal use of sprouted grains which warrants ha'adama (see
Mishna Berura 208:33);
4) It is like corn bread, upon which we make shehakol (Shulchan Aruch
208:8). The main choices seem to be #1 and #4; our present inclination is
Our readers' input on any of the related issues is welcome at: email@example.com.
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
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Subscribe/English (for the English version) or Subscribe/Hebrew (for the
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partially funded by the Jewish Agency for Israel
 Candle by Day
We sometimes mistake a statement for the truth because what is said
"applies" so well. We must be aware, however, that almost anything can be
made to apply to anything. Remembering this we might be better able to judge
what is only made to apply, and what, indeed does apply.
From A Candle by Day by Rabbi Shraga Silverstein
A Candle by Day • The Antidote • The World Of Chazal by Rabbi Shraga
Silverstein, Now available at 054-209-9200
 CHIZUK and IDUD (for Olim & not-yet-Olim respectively)
In this week's Haftara, the prophet Yechezkel outlines the stages of the
Geula scenario that has given the Jewish People hope throughout the dark
Galut. He describes the extra- ordinary renewal of our relationship with
God, followed by the climax of this great prophecy - the promise of the
rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash and the return of God's presence: "I will
establish my sanctuary among them in their midst forever."
The process begins, however,
with the in gathering of Klal Yisrael, with Yechezkel's words thundering
forth: "Behold, I will take the children of Israel from amongst the
nations... and I will gather them and bring them home to their Land."
Is it too much to imagine that
the extraordinary influx of Jews from all over the world, fast making Israel
the home of the world's largest Jewish population, is the beginning of the
realization of this prophecy of Kibbutz Galuyot? Is this not the "in
gathering" preceding the Redemption?
In the words of Rav Kook ZT"L
"…It is clear that the eventual Geula is dependent upon the increase of Jews
living in Eretz Yisrael, 'a holy nation in the holy land'."
When God tells us
unequivocally, "I will return them to their Land...", He is revealing His
desire - which is incumbent upon us to carry out by encouraging and
fostering a massive Aliya effort.
As such, we depend upon our
co-religionists to join us and be part of this great process of Geula that
our Prophets have outlined for us and of which we have so long wished to be
a part. L'hitraot b'artzeinu hakedosha.
Rabbi Meyer Fendel, Har Nof, Jerusalem
 A Touch of Wisdom, A Touch of Wit
R' Eliyahu Chaim of Lomza accepted the invitation to become the rabbi of
Lodz. On the day he was expected to arrive in the city, all got dressed up
in their Shabbat clothes and went to the train station to honor their new
rabbi and to escort him to his new home. The train arrived, and a few
passengers descended - but not R' Eliyahu Chaim. People began debating what
had happened: could he have been hurt? But then he would have informed them
of the delay. They finally decided that he must have changed his mind and
remained in Lomza.
The next day, without any
fanfare, R' Eliyahu Chaim got off the train and made his way to the Beis
Medrash. When the community leaders found out that the new rabbi was in
town, all rushed to welcome him; they found him deeply involved in learning.
"Rebbe, why did you act this way?" they asked him. "Yesterday, we all went
out to greet you, and today you arrived without anyone even being present to
"You all went out yesterday in
my honor, although I had done absolutely nothing yet on behalf of the city,"
said R' Eliyahu Chaim. "Honor must be earned, and I don't like being paid in
advance for something I have not done."
Shmuel Himelstein has written a wonderful series for ArtScroll: Words of
Wisdom, Words of Wit; A Touch of Wisdom, A Touch of Wit; and "Wisdom and
Wit" — available at your local Jewish bookstore (or should be). Excerpted
with the permission of the copyright holder
 Parsha Points to Ponder - VAYIGASH
1) Why is the word CHALIFOT referring to the clothing Yosef gave his
brothers written with a VAV while the same word is written without a VAV
regarding the clothing he gave to Binyamin? (See 45:22)
2) Why does the Torah describe
Yaakov's offering in Be'er Sheva as being offered to the G-D OF HIS FATHER
YITZ- CHAK specifically? (46:1)
3) The Torah already
established in a few places that Goshen was in the land of Egypt so so why
does it teach the seemingly superfluous AND ISRAEL SETTLED IN THE LAND OF
EGYPT IN THE LAND OF GOSHEN? (47:27)
THESE ARE THE ANSWERS
Ponder the questions first, then read here
1) The Gemara in Megila (16) questions how Yosef could give Binyamin more
clothing than the other brothers considering that the brother's sold Yosef
because he was favored by Yaakov. The Gemara answers that Yosef gave
Binyamin five articles of clothing to hint that in the future his
descendant, Mordechai, would be blessed to wear five garments of royalty.
The obvious question is that the brothers had no awareness about this hint
so how does this in any way answer the question? The Vilna Gaon answers that
we learn from the missing VAV in the description of Binyamin's clothing that
each of his articles of clothing was less valuable than the ones he gave the
brothers whose clothing includes the VAV in the spelling. All five of what
Binyamin received collectively equaled what each brother was given. Our
Sages mentioned the hint regarding Binyamin to explain why Yosef gave
Binyamin five items and not one but the issue was not a difference in
2) The Meshech Chochma teaches
that Yitzchak brought this offering because of a specific fear that he had.
Yosef was removed from Yaakov for 22 years as a punishment for the fact that
Yaakov stayed away from his father, Yitzchak, for that period of time.
Yaakov was concerned that Yosef would not offer him proper respect as result
as is indicated by the mentioning of his father in connection with this
3) Rav Moshe Feinstein answers
that the Torah is teaching us that while the Jews were geographically within
the borders of Egypt, they remained in the region of Goshen. They were
deliberately isolated to shiled themselves from the decadence of Egyptian
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
republished by Feldheim - email@example.com
How do you say kite-shaped in Hebrew? (In English?) - DALTON
 Portion for the Portion by Rakel Berenbaum - FEEDback to firstname.lastname@example.org
In Parshat Miketz we find Yosef basically running the whole Egyptian empire.
And yet in seven different places in Miketz, VaYigash, and Vayechi (B'reishit
42:24, 43:30, 45:2, 45:15, 45:16, 46:29, 50:17), the Torah makes a point of
telling us that Yosef cried. This doesn't seem to be the behavior we would
expect of such a powerful leader. It doesn't seem so "masculine". What is
the Torah trying to teach us about Yosef and about crying in general?
What are some of the emotions
that Yosef exhibited with his tears? Yosef brought up tears of happiness
(42:24) when he realized that his brothers were on the path of teshuva for
their having sold him into slavery (Rashi).
When Binyamin is brought down
to Egypt and is presented to Yosef (43:30), Rashi says that Yosef asked him
about his family. Binyamin told him that he had a brother who was lost and
he himself had ten children. He gave each of his children a name related to
the story of his lost brother (i.e. 'CHUPIM because my brother never saw my
CHUPA, my wedding). This answer made Yosef cry out of sadness realizing that
his brother and father were never able to stop mourning his disappearance.
All these instances of crying were done privately because he still didn't
want his brothers to know that he was their lost brother Yosef.
When he finally (45:2-3)
revealed himself to his brothers, he was filled with emotion, yet he was
careful not to embarrass his brothers in front of others. Therefore he sent
all the Egyptians out of the room so he could discuss the events of the past
with his brothers freely. Then he was able to shed tears of mercy for his
brothers in front of them and cry so loud that all of Egypt heard him.
Before sending his brothers back to bring Yaakov to Egypt (45:15) he shed
tears of love for his brother, Binyamin. Then he kissed each one of his
brothers and cried on their shoulders as well.
In verse 46:29 we see his tears
of remorse that his father actually bowed down to him. Maybe these tears
were Yosef's own process of repentance for having caused his father anguish
for the 22 years he had been in Egypt and hadn't sent a message to his
Throughout we see Yosef as a
strong ruler, but full of emotions that he is not embarrassed to express.
The underlying feeling we see from his tears is a concern for other people,
in this case, his brothers. He cried because he was able to feel their pain.
Although they had hurt him personally, he still cared for them as a brother
and was able to think about their feelings and treat them with mercy. For
example, his tears on each one of his brother's shoulders helped break the
barrier they might have felt toward him, or they feared he might have toward
them. As Rashi explains after the brothers saw him cry and understood that
Yosef's heart was with them, they were able to talk to him and were no
And how did Yosef develop this
trait of caring for others, putting others before himself? He inherited it
from his mother, Rachel Imenu, who let her sister Leah marry Yaakov before
she herself did. And she is the one who cries for the whole Jewish nation
throughout time - she feels the pain and suffering of all the generations
KOL B'RAMA NISHMA N'HI BE'CHI TAMRURIM RACHEL M'VA'KA AL BA'NEHA.
We should follow in the path of
our ancestors Rachel and Yosef and not be afraid to shed tears if they bring
us closer to other people and awaken G-d's mercy for his people.
You can make a salad with tear
drop tomatoes or make any type of tear shaped cookies. If you use only
yellow or white candies for the following recipe the cookies will really
look like tear drops.
Stained glass teardrop cookies
1 c. margarine (softened)
1¼ c. sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. soymilk
6 ounces hard candies
Big and small tear-shaped cookie cutters
Beat margarine and sugar, until smooth and creamy. Mix in egg and vanilla.
Sift flour and salt together. Add half to margarine mixture. Add soymilk and
remaining flour mixture. Crush the hard candies. Roll dough ¼ inch thick.
Cut out cookie with large cookie cutter, and cut out the center of this
cookie with the small cookie cutter. Use the small piece to make a small
cookie sprinkled with (colored) sugar. Put ½-1 tsp. crushed candy in center
(cut out part) of each big cookie. Bake 13 minutes at 375°F.
Rakel Berenbaum, our Portion from the Portion columnist, will be talking at
the Nefesh conference (Heb.), Jan.18-19 [www.nefeshisrael.com] on Memory
Improvement Techniques: from Jewish sources and professional literature. She
can also give lectures and workshops on memory improvement.
 Divrei Menachem
Parshat Vayigash throws us again into that dramatic moment when Yosef
reveals himself to his brothers in Egypt. Yosef had been consistently acting
to actualize the dreams that he revealed to his family years earlier. And
insofar as he had to extract from his brothers an admission of their
wrongdoing, Yosef dealt with them- and his father - in a harsh way.
While we are perturbed that
during all the years that Yosef was viceroy in Egypt he did not maintain
contact with his grieving father, we are equally surprised that the first
comment he makes after exclaiming to his brothers, "I am Yosef!" is, "Is my
father still alive?" This, especially, since Yehuda had just so eloquently
alluded to Ya'akov in his plea for mercy.
Perhaps Yosef could not believe
that his father survived the pain of so many years. Maybe, as the Ralbag
suggests, he wanted to know if everything said about his father was really
true. Alternatively, Yosef may have been implying that there was a disparity
of sympathy over his disappearance compared with Binyamin's separation from
Whatever the reason, the Chafetz Chaim explains that Yosef's call "I am
Yosef!" is the precursor of the time when G-d will declare, "I am Hashem!"
At that time we will understand the perplexing events that have befallen our
people; at that time all will become clear.
Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff
Towards Better Davening and Torah Reading
Some people follow the GR"A, Aruch Ha- Shulchan and others and say only the
three p'sukim of Kedusha and leave the Chazan's parts to him. Others have
the practice that the KAHAL says the Chazan's parts too, either with him or
right before him. If one says the Chazan's parts, it should be the same
words that the Chazan uses in that particular shul. In other words, if you
personally daven Nusach Ashkenaz and you are in a Nusach S'fard shul, you
should say NAKDISHACH rather than N'KADEISH, M'SHAB'CHIM V'O'M'RIM rather
than BARUCH YOMEIRU. KETER and YACHAD rather than NAARITZ'CHA. And vice
versa. Or just say the p'sukim, which are the same in all Nuscha'ot. Private
prayers can be in your own Nusach, but one should not separate himself from
the TZIBUR for things that require a Minyan.
Watch the Commas
We say it in Korbanot, in U'VA L'TZIYON, in ATA KADOSH, and in Havdala.
HASHEM TZVAKOT I"MANU, MISGAV LANU ELOKEI YAAKOV, SELA.
The statement from T'hilim 46:8 and 12 is made of three parts. HASHEM
T'VAKOT (is a compound name of G-d, written here the way it is referred to
out of the context of prayer or Tanach reading) IMANU - G-d is with us;
MISGAV LANU ELOKEI YAAKOV, a refuge (or stronghold) for us is the G-d of
Yaakov; and SELA, a separate ending word of 70 p'sukim in T'hilim. We should
say it with pauses at the commas, to help our understanding.
SHEYIBANEH BEIT HAMIKDASH...
A series of articles on Beit HaMikdash-related topics by Catriel Sugarman
intended to increase the knowledge, interest, and anticipation of the
reader, thereby hastening the realization of our hopes and prayers for the
rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Beit HaMikdash.
From the Mikdash Mailbag
Chaver Catriel, three points:
1. I think you should be more careful in quoting Josephus. You should be
even more careful in quoting Josephus when he contradicts Chaza"l. You know
that Josephus had contempt for Chazal and did what he could to undermine
their authority and blacken them. It is the equivalent of quoting a traitor
to the Jewish people in our generation and asking him to give his expert
opinion on something Jewish. A traitor always has his own ax to grind and we
should not give him a platform to spread his warped ideas. There is no
reason why should we give a traitor prominence if he supports the enemies of
the Jewish people. I think we need more self-respect, or at the very least,
critically analyze what we quote and not accept everything that Josephus
says as fact just because he lived 2000 years ago. Remember, there were
Meshumadim (apostates) in those generations too...
The credibility of Josephus is a subject that we have touched upon many
times. The brutal truth is that Josephus was a Roman propagandist and
therefore had his own political agenda; i.e. justifying and white- washing
Roman atrocities and blackening the memory of the heroes of his own people.
A quisling, he is even less trustworthy when he talks about himself and his
role in the war against Rome. After deserting to the enemy, the turncoat
proudly boasted, "When the city of Jerusalem was taken by force (and
destroyed), Titus Caesar persuaded me frequently to take what I would of the
ruins of my country." Following his master Titus to Romehe received his
reward; Roman citizenship, a spacious apartment in Vespasian's former
residence in Rome, and a yearly pension for his literary endeavors. In fact,
though it has not been discovered, it is said that a statue of Josephus was
erected in the Roman forum "for services rendered". Josephus was exceedingly
conceited, over-dramatic, credulous, and like most ancient historians,
totally unreliable when it came to numbers. However, when Josephus describes
what he saw, or information that he was able to gather from primary sources
or from reports of eyewitnesses, though his accounts are not free of
discrepancies, he is surprisingly accurate. Scholars have compared his
descriptions of Caesarea, Gamla and in particular the topography of Masada
with the most recent archeological findings and have found him to be
generally reliable. Despite his many faults, when one takes into allowances
for his obvious biases, Josephus is still by far the most authoritative
source of information of the history of Eretz Yisrael and Am Yisrael in that
2. Shelamim: When you discuss
Shelamim, ("Peace-offerings") you should strengthen and complete your
thought process by explaining that this Korban was called Shelamim simply by
quoting Rashi (the second opinion based on Torat Kohanim in Vayikra 3:1).
Rashi writes, "Shalom La-mizbei'ach, Shalom La-kohanim Ve'shalom La-b'alim.
(Shelamim were divided into three parts. The Emurim [the innards of the
sacrificial animal] were burnt on the altar; the Kohanim received some of
the sacrificial meat for their use; and the rest of the sacrificial animal
was given to those who brought the Korban.) According to this Rashi, your
emphasis should have been different: e.g. "There was one Korban that was
unique in that part was burnt on the Mizbei'ach, part given to the Kohanim
to eat and part was eaten by the Ba'alei HaKorban. Because of this
uniqueness, this Korban was called Shelamim - from Shalom and Shaleim -
peace and "completion". The Yisra'el who offered Shelamimin the Mikdash
brought peace and completion into the world. Will do.
3. I have a challenge for you.
Write about the Ta'im ("cells") of the Bayit. They were built in a unique
way and they enveloped the whole Heichal. It seems that it would not have
been too easy to get from one level to the other and yet in size and volume,
they comprised a large percentage of the Heichal building and yet whose full
use is not so clear. How much could there have been to store? - KT - JE -
Okay, I will. Our main source
for information about the Ta'im, the "cells" that surrounded the outer walls
of the Heichal and Kodesh HaKodashim is Mishnat Midot 4:3,4. The Mishna
reads, "And there were 38 Ta'im there (in the Bayit), 15 to the north (of
the Heichal and Kodesh HaKodashim), 15 to the south and 8 to the west. Those
to the north and to the south were built five over five, and five over them
(i.e. three levels of five cells each); and those to the west, three over
three and two over them." The two lower levels in the west had three Ta'im
each and the top level only two. The Mishna goes on to note that the Ta'im
had passages in their ceilings, floors and sides. The Kohanim ascended and
descended between the floors by means of ladders. Tif'eret Yisrael (26)
comments that when the Mishna writes that 'each Ta had three entrances',
that did not mean that they had them in the identical place or direction.
"The Ta'im in the upper level …did not have openings (in their ceilings)
because there were no Ta'im above them." Unlike the upper Ta'im, the lower
Ta'im in the northeast corner and the southeast corner had opening on the
These lower wickets connected
the Ulam (the entrance hall) to the Heichal. When it was time for the
Kohanim to open the Heichal, "The Great Gate (which led from the Ulam to the
Heichal) had two wickets, one to the north and one to the south. No one ever
entered the southern wicket, because Ezekiel expressly said, "And the Lord
said to me, "This gate shall be shut, it shall be not be opened, neither
shall any man enter by it, for the Lord, the G-d of Israel, has entered
through it …" (44:2). He (the ministering Kohein) took the key and opened
the (northern) door. He entered into (the lower northeast) Ta (and by
turning left) entered the Heichal and approaching the Great Gate (from the
inside)" (Tamid 3:7). When he reached the Great Gate, he drew back the bolt
and opened the locks… (Tamid 3:7). The width of the three levels of Ta'im
varied. "The lower level of Ta'im was 5 Amot wide, and the floor above it,
6; and the upper (floor) was 7…" (Midot 4:4). The outer walls of the lower
levels were thinner then that of the lower levels which made excellent
architectural sense. The Mishna does not specify their length, and this over
the years has led to serious disagreements. Our Mekorot do not specify the
precise use of the Ta'im but it is likely that they were used to store
Mikdash treasures. We can picture the Ta'im in the dim light, lined with
rows and rows of shelves right up to the ceiling stacked with gold vessels
and chests of silver half Shekels contributed by all Am Yisrael. The Kohanim
used them for the Avoda as needed.
Catriel's book in progress: The Temple of Jerusalem, A Pilgrim’s
Perspective; A Guided Tour through the Temple and the Divine Service
Across the top of the ParshaPix, from right to left, are the TRUP marks for
the first six words of Vayigash. See the comment in the Sedra Summary
The basketball player is labeled CHI for Chicago, as in the Bulls. The
football player is labeled DET, for the Detroit Lions. Together they
represent the clash between Yehuda(Lion) and Yosef (Shor).
The square knot stands for V’NAFSHO K’SHURA V’NAF- SHO, and his soul was
tied up with his soul (Yaakov and Binyamin).
To the right of the knot are five shirts, standing for the five changes of
clothes that Yosef gave to Binyamin. He also gave him 300 silver pieces,
represented by the money sacks marked with the Egyptian hieroglyphics symbol
for 100. 3 sacks, 300 silver pieces.
There are two of the wagons that Yosef sent to Yaakov, to bring the family
down to Egypt... and to remind him of the Torah topic they last studied
The noble steed, a.k.a. Donkey with 10+10 above him stands for the donkeys
(10 CHAMORIM and 10 ATONOT) that Yosef sent to Yaakov with provisions for
their trip to Mitzrayim. The dreidel, purposely a Chutz LaAretz one, with
SHIN. The letters of the dreidel rearrange to spell GOSHNA, to Goshen. This,
from Vayigash, which is almost always the post-Chanuka Shabbat.
Next we have the number 70, marked with an asterisk, and an arrow pointing
downward. This represents the 70 souls who went down to Egypt. The asterisk
reminds us that one had gone down much earlier (Yosef) and two others were
born in Egypt (Efrayim and Menashe), but are still counted among the 70.
In the lower-left corner is a picture of Orde Wingate, British general,
ardent Zionist, trained Jewish youth military tactics. Was removed from
Palestine when the British decided he was potentially acting against British
interests. Anyway, his first name was Orde, very similar (especially in the
Ashkenazic pronunciation of a KAMATZ) to the name of Binyamin's youngest
Next to Wingate is an albatross, a.k.a. gooney bird. Sounds like GUNI, one
of Naftali's sons.
The two sticks are from the haftara.
This leaves a TTriddle, 25.6 fl. oz.
Have fun with this ParshaPix... and every week.
are Torah Tidbits-style riddles on Parshat HaShavua (sometimes on the
calendar). They are found in the hard-copy of TT scattered throughout,
usually at the bottom of different columns. In the electronic versions of TT,
they are found all together at the end of the ParshaPix-TTriddles section.
The best solution set submitted each week (there isn't always a best) wins a
double prize a CD from Noam Productions and/or a gift (game, puzzle, book,
etc.) from Big Deal
Last issue’s (MIKEITZ-CHANUKA) TTriddles:
 The match, sort of, to Par'o's cows
 How many and what are homographs?
 They achieved strength and (different) royalty at the same age
 3 for 2 and 2 for 3 and it's the sky chair (T-shirt TTriddle)
 Two olive trees, not two women
 Besides Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel, there are two other opinions -
Beit Fibonacci and Beit Lucas. How many more candles does Beit Lucas require
than Beit Fibonacci? Why do Fibonacci candles tilt?
 If the first two nights were the same but the progression were
geometric, how many candles would there be in a box?
 So have another 34/49 of a latke - (Get this one and win a separate
Nachman K's Jewish Trivia Question:
24 words in a row in one of our T'filot ending with the same letter
And the envelope, please...
 The words SHEVA PAROT, 7 cows, occur four times in the Tanach - all in
Parshat Mikeitz. Turns out that there are four occurrences of SHIV'A PARIM,
7 bulls, a match - as in SHIDDUCH - for the 7 cows. Would you not agree? Of
course, half of the cows are thin, emaciated ones, but we can match them to
the bulls of Bil'am and Balak. That is two occurrences; the other two are in
Iyov and Divrei HaYamim. Note that the TTriddle said "sort of". Because the
14 cows of Parshat Mikeitz are from a dream. They aren't real. So there is
no real potential for a match. And the PARIM, for that matter, are
sacrifices - also not suitable for a match.
 Homographs (at least by one definition) are words that are spelled the
same but pronounced differently - like WIND (air that flows) and WIND (as in
to wind a watch - remember when we used to do that regularly?) Borrowing the
term for Hebrew (which really doesn't work the same, because spelling
doesn't include vowels- but this is a TTriddle), we find SHEVA SH'NEI HASAVA.
There were seven years of plenty. How many (SHEVA) and what (SAVA) are
spelled the same - homographs.
 As it says in Pirkei Avot - BEN SH'LOSHIM LAKO'ACH, at the age of 30,
one attains strength. In all of Tanach, the phrase BEN SH'LOSHIM SHANA, 30
years old, is found only twice. In Mikeitz, telling us that Yosef was 30
when he stood before Par'o and achieved royalty - 2nd to Par'o. David
HaMelech began 40 years of reigning as king at the age of 30 (Shmuel Bet).
Different royalty, at the same age of strength. Yosef and David.
 3 for 2 and 2 for 3 refers to mixing up the readings in the second and
third Torah, this past Shabbat. There is a general rule that the haftara
follows the last piece of Torah that was read. The normal order of the three
Torahs was Mikeitz, Rosh Chodesh, Chanuka. Therefore, the haftara is the one
for Shabbat Chanuka. If Rosh Chodesh is read last, the haftara is switched
to the one for Shabbat Rosh Chodesh, which is known as HASHAMAYIM KIS'I, the
heavens are My chair (throne). However, there is another opinion that we
would stay with the CHanuka haftara anyway, because of Pirsumei Nisa,
publicizing the miracle, which would supersede that general rule mentioned
 Two olive trees refers to the special haftara of Shabbat Chanuka. The
two babies of the story with Shlomo HaMelech is in the "regular" haftara of
Mikeitz. Last Shabbat, we read of the two olive trees - not of the two women
and their babies. Mikeitz's haftara is RANI V'SIMCHI (with the Menora and
two olive trees) 71.5% of the time. We read of the two babies only 10.1% of
the time. The other 18.4% of the time, Mikeitz goes along with the haftara
of the second Shabbat Chanuka, VAYAAS CHIROM.
 Chanuka math. The basic Fibonacci series is 1,1, 2,3,5,8,13,21... After
starting with 1 and 1, each successive term in the series is the sum of the
two previous terms. 1+1=2. 1+2=3. 2+3=5. And so on. The 9th term (which we
are not concerned with for the Chanuka question) would be 13+21=34. The sum
of the first 8 terms of the Fibonacci series is 54, to which we add 8 more
candles for the SHAMASH each night for a total of 62 candles. The Lucas
series works the same (since it is a Fibonacci sequence too), but begins
specifically with 1 and 3 as the first two terms. The first 8 terms of the
Lucas series are 1,3,4,7,11,18,29,47. The sum of these 8 terms is 120, plus
8 gives 128 candles, which is 66 more than the 62 for Beit Fibonacci. Why do
the candles of Beit Fibonacci tilt? Because Fibonacci's real name (Fibonacci
was his nickname) was Leonardo of Pisa. (As in the Leaning Tower of.)
Several correct answers were submitted for this one.
 The arithmetic sequence beginning with 1,2, is 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 for the
nights of Chanuka. The geometric sequence beginning with 1,2 is 1,2,4,8,
16,32,64,128, which add up to 255 candles, plus 8 gives 263 candles all
 Based on an old g'matriya joke. We eat kugel on Shabbat because the
g'matriya of KUGEL equals that of SHABBAT. No it doesn't, objects anyone who
takes the time to calculate the g'matriyas. Okay, so eat more kugel, is the
wise-guy answer. Similarly, we eat LATKES on CHANUKA because L'VIVA has the
same g'matriya as Chanuka. No it doesn't. So eat more LATKES. How much more?
L'VIVA is 49. Eating another 34/49 of a latke will bring the total to 83,
the g'matriya of Chanuka.
This week's TTriddles:
 Name of more different people in the Chumash than any other name
 Sad contrast of first and last of Sedra-trio
 number/word play mammal-bird link (A11-D3)
 Useful, strong, reliable, square (in Vayigash);fool's variation (in
 What's the haftara's choice for a snack?
 first cousins • king and successor's father
 plus one element from the ParshaPix
Nachman K's Jewish Trivia Question
Last week's NKJTQ was:
24 words in a row in one of our T'filot ending with the same letter
No one sent in a correct answer to this question. Rather than give you the
answer and ask another question, we are giving a hint and the question
stands for this week. First correct answer wins a CD from Noam Productions.
The hint: We say it monthly
Israel Center Miscellany
See website for the "standard" entries of this file.
Israel Center's Yair Landau Memorial Library, The Librarian Yaakov Rosen is
in the library to assist members and users on the following days and times:
Thursday: 10:00am - 2:00pm
Yaakov is available by phone at other times 054-688-3772
From the Good News section on Arutz-7's website
Religious Zionists Share Chanuka Light with Secular Israelis by Debbie
Berman and Baruch Gordon (Dec.30)
In the wake of the Disengagement, the religious Zionist population is taking
a more active role in outreach activities directed at engaging the secular
Israeli public in an open religious dialogue.
During the holiday of Chanuka,
hundreds of religious volunteers were welcomed into Israeli homes to light
candles together and enhance the celebration of the festival of lights.
Under the auspices of the OU
Israel Center, Israel Outreach Project Manager Meir Schwartz says the
religious Zionist world began developing outreach programs four years ago.
"But," says Schwartz, "the destruction of the Jewish communities of Gush
Katif and northern Samaria this past summer served as a wake up call for
many in the religious Zionist public. People realized after Disengagement
that if we want to connect to the Israeli public, we need to do more than
face the challenge of settling the Land. We need to reach their hearts
through increasing our outreach efforts.”
Schwartz runs training programs
to prepare religious Israeli students and adults to engage in dialogue with
secular Israelis. “We are in the middle of our fourth 10-week course right
now with close to 100 attendees. Participants always arrive thinking that
only when they master the entire Torah can they do outreach work. They think
that to engage in outreach, they must be able to answer any and every
question about Judaism on the fly. What they see is that there is much room
for work on all levels and that they can and must be an integral part of it.
They simply get ignited. It's a new kind of activism,” Schwartz said.
“We have special programs for
all the holidays. During Chanuka we sent hundreds of people out to knock on
doors, armed with menorahs and candles. Many people were happy to open their
homes and let our volunteers in. What was surprising to us was that we
really did not need to send the menorahs because people already had their
own,” Schwartz said.
“You see, secular Israelis are
already celebrating Chanuka without us. What we added was a religious
perspective to a seemingly secularized holiday. We found that people in the
State of Israel are happy to keep commandments that are not forced upon
them. Chanuka is a holiday of light, transcending the rational, and
appealing to the spiritual. With the increased popularity of the Kabbala
trend, there is a greater familiarity with the concepts of external vs.
internal light or black vs. white light,” explained Schwartz.
Meir related a fresh story:
"One of our people who went house to house on Wednesday engaged a
grandfather with his two grandchildren. The man said that they were at a
public Chanuka candle lighting that night and didn't need to do it again.
Our activist, Baruch, explained that in addition to the public lighting,
each person must light the menorah in his home or where he is staying. The
grandfather hesitated, so Baruch kneeled down and asked the kids if they
want to light their very own menorah. Their eyes lit up and a few minutes
later, the menorahs were lit as well, including one for the grandfather.
Baruch chanted the blessings with them, word by word. Then, he danced around
the menorahs singing with his three new friends and spun around the room
with the kids like a dreidel."
Schwartz says that his organization has recently launched several programs
including face to face meetings and the creation of open Jewish homes
throughout the country. He invites people who want to work and help to
contact him [050-794-8613, email@example.com]. The programs are coordinated
with the support and guidance of rabbinic leaders like Rabbi Mordechai
Eliyahu and Rabbi Uri Sharki.
Schwartz explained, “A ‘Bayit
Yehudi’ [Jewish Home] is a vibrant spiritual center where we offer people to
come and encounter Judaism in ways they never have before. There are
lectures, musical events, evenings of singing, one-on-one study, festive
meals, and much more. It's a chance to experience firsthand a taste of
Judaism without having to walk into a shul. The ‘Bayit Yehudi’ is an open
house that invites people.” There are currently Bayit Yehudi homes operating
in Ramat Hasharon near Tel Aviv, Tiberias, Ariel, Moshav Lachish and Kibbutz
Talking about the hareidi-religious
outreach organizations, Schwartz said that they have many successful
programs. "They were the first to deal with outreach work in Israel. Every
hareidi-religious group has their outreach branches, including Belz, Chabad,
Breslov, Arachim etc. I speak with their directors and learn from their
experience,” explained Schwartz.
“Two problems that the hareidi-religious
organizations must deal with is that the black hat and clothes traditionally
worn by them are often perceived as threatening to the secular Israeli.
Also, the hareidi-religious communities tend to associate only amongst
themselves. This creates a situation in which it is more difficult to
connect," Schwartz noted.
“We found that on a practical
level a person wearing a knitted kipa has a greater chance of being received
by the secular population for two reasons: we serve together with them in
the army, and we are involved with them on a day to day level,” Schwartz
Schwartz concluded, “The story
of Chanuka is really about a cultural war against Greek assimilation.
Although secular Israelis associate themselves primarily with secular
culture, most of them are lighting the Chanuka menorah and reciting the
traditional blessings. There seems to be some kind of contradiction. The
truth is that deep inside of the secular Israeli is a Jewish soul guiding
him to light Chanuka candles.”
NESTO - Native English-Speaking Teen Olim
Last week's big event was the annual Chanuka NESTO tiyul! It was fan- tastic.
While we were not sure in the beginning of the week if the weather would
permit it, turns out that the weather was perfect for a tiyul.
The trip started with both
Juniors and Seniors going on a hike in Ein- Avdat south of Be’er Sheva.
During that hike we did a fun ‘build chanukiot from whatever’s around'
activity. We also played ‘pin the branch on Jonathan', who played a lovely
The ibex’s there ran after us after we didn’t leave a tip…
Then it was off to Ben-Gurion’s
gravesite for the Seniors while the Juniors got to go camel riding!
Then while Juniors headed to
the Bedouin tent for a little taste of the Bedouin culture, Senior drove to
In Dimona, Senior enjoyed
lighting the Chanuka candles, singing and delicious sufganiyot with the
local kids at the matnas. It was an uplifting experience.
At this point Junior NESTO
finished their one-day tiyul and headed back to Jerusalem.
Senior went to the Bedouin tent
the Juniors had just been in and had dinner and heard the interesting story
of how Bedouins make coffee and why they play a tune as they're making it
(So that everyone knows that coffee is being made, and that no one thinks
it’s just banging with a hammer. What? Didn’t you know that?).
Then it was off to the Midrasha
in Mitzpe Ramon were Arye gave a lesson on combat techniques and Yo-Yo gave
a peula about leadership.
Bright and early on the second
day of the tiyul, after davening and break- fast, the Seniors did a
mini-hike before going to the Mitzpe Ramon Observatory. The view was
From there the Seniors split up
into three groups for a 4-hour jeep ride! Fun was had by one and all.
To sum things up, the tiyul was fantastic and everyone is bursting to go on
the next one. As always we would like to thank everyone who helped make the
tiyul what it was!
The Israel Center's Youth Program for Anglo-Israelis
Chaim Pelzner, Director • Gili Levanon, Bat Sherut • Chananiel Vogel, Tech.
tel. 566-7787 ext. 247 • fax: 561-7432
Partially funded by the Jewish Agency for Israel
Jr. NESTO for grades 7-9 • Sr. NESTO for 10-12 • BOGRIM recent H.S. grads
NESTO's home is the Israel Center's Teichman Family Youth Center
THE TRAVEL DESK...
Travel Desk: 566-7787 ext. 261
The Fine Print... (note new hours for Travel Desk)
THE TRAVEL DESK is for making
reservations and receiving info about Israel Center tiyulim - Please note
that ALL Israel Center tiyulim require advance registration).
At your service Sunday, Monday,
Wednesday, Thursday - 10:00am-3:00pm. Call Naomi at the Israel Center Travel
Desk, 566-7787 ext. 261; fax: 566-0156 • firstname.lastname@example.org - if you
call outside Travel Desk hours, or if we miss your call for any reason,
please leave a message and we will return your call.
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.
BOOKED? When a tiyul is listed as BOOKED - you can call to be wait-listed;
if you call, you will be called back if there is a cancellation, if we add a
bus, or when we fix a new date for the tiyul.
CANCELLATION POLICIES: We
reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee in case of last-minute
cancellations. Also... Price of tiyul is based on a minimum number of
STUDENTS FROM ABROAD: Parents
visiting you this year? If so, speak to us! (566-7787 ext. 261) to see if we
have any tiyulim or Shabbatonim (call Ita Rochel ext. 204).
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 by outside parties are not necessarily Mehadrin and are not endorsed
by the OU or the Israel Center.
Calls from abroad: Due to time
differences, we recommend that people from abroad fax 972-2-5660156 for
attention of Travel Desk or e-mail email@example.com. Please be sure
to include e-mail or fax number for reply, in addition to phone number.
Israel Center tiyulim are partially subsidized by the Jewish Agency for
IMPORTANT NOTICE -- PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The Israel Center Travel Desk is in the process of re-organizing.
Until further notice, we will not be able to help you with hotel
reservations or car rentals
We will continue to handle reservations and details for Israel Center
Tiyulim, as found on the next pages
Watch further issues of Torah Tidbits for updates and announcements
concerning the Israel Center Travel Desk
Relax and enjoy the luxury of the Herod's Forum in Eilat, the newest wing of
the Sheraton Herod's Complex - Treat yourself to an opulent 5-day vacation,
Sunday-Thursday, January/Tevet 15-19, 1840 p.p. dbl. occ. or 3 days, 2
nights • Tue-Thu, Jan 17-19 for only 920 p.p. dbl. occ., payments & single
supplement available, Mehadrin, Eida Chareidit & Rabbi Rubin Hashgacha, Half
Board plus Coffee & Cake daily, Arrangements for special diets available,
Orthodox atmosphere throughout, Included at no additional cost:visit to
underwater observatory, oceanarium, glass bottom boatride, jeep ride,
fabulous evening entertainment, separate swimming throughout each day, daily
use of spa... and more, Transportation additional • Call for options
New state-of-the-art Historical Pavilion at Yad VaShem, Rena Quint will be
our guide, Wednesday, January 25th (1:00pm), Advanced reservations required,
30NIS p.p. (including headphones), Call the travel desk to reserve and pay
(02) 566-7787 ext. 261
LAST ROOMS: Kibbutz Ein Gedi -the only Botanical Gardens in the world in
which people live; 4 days - 3 nights: Mon-Thu, Jan. 30 - Feb. 2, Leaving
Monday 9:30am • Returning Thursday 2:00pm (approx.) Shorter stay possible,
Half-board (includes sumptuous Breakfast and Evening Meal), Mehadrin-Glatt
by Rabbi Bistritsky, Badatz, Eida, and Rav Landau, Optional Buffet Lunches,
pay as you enter the dining room, Refrigerator and electric kettle in every
room, Free bathing at the Spa including sulfur baths, mud baths, and more
Magnificent Magical Botanical gardens on premises • Full and varied programs
- Tiyulim, lectures and shiurim, evening programs, Prices are per person,
dbl occ - half board (single occ. available), 269NIS per night for a 3-night
stay, regular room (319NIS for deluxe), 279NIS per night for a 2-night stay,
regular room (329NIS for deluxe), 3rd person in same room 250NIS per night -
Deluxe rooms only, Transportation available on Monday and Thursday, extra
charge, Call the Travel Desk (566-7787 ext. 261) to reserve, Shulamit's
tiyulim are always treats; Come - You will surely enjoy her delicious
FOR WOMEN: Hamei Yoav Spa
Sunday, January 29th, Come, enjoy and pamper yourselves - Try each of the
geyser and sulfur mineral pools, the Jacuzzi, invigorating showers, and the
Sauna (for women only), New: Aerobics with Galina, Check-in 3:30pm • Leave
Center 3:45pm, Return approx. 10:00pm, 100NIS for members (non-members add
10NIS) minimum 20 participants, Sign up immediately with the Travel Desk,
566 7787 x 261 or 244
and... NEW - Hamei Yoav Spa for MEN: Sunday, February 5th, Check-in 3:30pm •
Leave Center 3:45pm • Return approx. 10:00pm - Come, enjoy and pamper
yourselves, Try each of the geyser and sulfur mineral pools, the Jacuzzi,
invigorating showers, and the Sauna, 100NIS for members (non-members add
10NIS) MINIMUM 20 PARTICIPANTS, Sign up immediately with the Travel Desk,
The Back Page of TT698
The Avrom Silver Jerusalem College for Adults - Dean, Rabbi Sholom Gold, 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" IC classes & lectures - 5NIS Life members, 20NIS members, 25NIS
No one will be turned away for inability to pay. Membership 250NIS couple,
Programs of the Center are partially funded by the Jewish Agency for Israel
Schedule for Erev Shabbat to Erev Shabbat, 6-13 Tevet (January 6-13)
9:00am (men & women) Overview of Pirkei Avot with Rabbi Chaim Eisen
Shabbat Parshat Vayigash, January 7th, 3:15pm • Mincha at 4:15pm, shiur by
Yaacov Peterseil & Co.
Motza'ei Shabbat Parshat Vayigash, January 7th, 8:30pm: Diets can be
Dangerous to your Health by Dr. Michael Feinerman
SUN-Thu in the Ganchrow Beis Medrash (first floor)
10:00am Masechet Kiddushin with Rabbi Pesach (Paul) Greenman
1:20pm Mincha (this time stays the same throughout the year)
resumes Monday, 3pm Daf Yomi by Rabbi Shmuel Halpern
4:30pm Shiur in Masechet Sanhedrin by Rabbi Hillel Ruvel
5:30pm Maariv will IY"H continue until THU, the 26th of Tevet and Jan.
N'SHEI LIBRARY 10:30-12:45
9:30am (women only) Mystical Insights into the Months of the Year with Golda
10:30am (women only) Let's Learn Chumash with Tonia Frohwein
11:30am (men & women) Parshat HaShavua with Shprintzee Herskovits
Sun. Jan. 8, 12:30pm • Creative Life Education • with Aharon Romm - The
Master Key to Living (not just Existing)
Sunday, Tevet/January 8 • 2:00-9:30pm at the OU Israel Center - The OU
Israel Center and Ezer Kenegdo Matchmaking present: Israel's Second Annual
Jewish Dating Fair; A unique opportunity for single, divorced, and widowed
Jews to meet professional and non-professional matchmakers, Jewish book
authors, and other quality singles
8:30pm Keynote address:RABBI BEREL WEIN on "Family, Home and Values¨, 80NIS
per person all-day • Great raffle prize drawings throughout the day, FREE
BONUS WORKSHOP (2:00pm) - How to make and sustain a great first impression
with Ron Bowman, President, Dale Carnegie Training, Israel
Pri Chadash Women's Writing Workshop with Ruth Fogelman (628-7359) and Judy
Caspi (054-569-0401), 5:20-7:20pm
Sunday 7:30pm (men & women) Issues in Jewish Thought as they emerge from the
Torah with the help of Ramban's Commentary with Rabbi Chaim Eisen
Sunday, January 8th, 8:00pm: Threads from Coat Of Many Colors, Recently
published book of poems on the Book of B'reishit, Poet/author Yakov Azriel
will read selected poems - "...eye-opening and soul-expanding experience to
anyone who reads its words.” - Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, ...radiate a fierce
intelligence, and shimmer with breathtaking tenderness and beauty.”- Charles
Fishman, poetry consultant to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in
Washington, Poetry Editor of New Works Review
N'SHEI LIBRARY - 10:00-12:30
NEW: Israeli Folk Dance Class for Women at the Israel Center, with Naomi
Moss - the next two sessions will be on MONDAY, Jan. 9,16: 8:30 Beginners,
9:30 Advanced • 20NIS, no charge for Gush Katif evacuees, For more info:
Naomi 566-5626, 054-542-6562
9:15am (women) Excursions into the World of the IMAHOT with Mrs. Pearl Borow
Monday, January 9, 10:30am: My Opa: The Diary Of A German Rabbi, Edited by
Dr. Fred Gottlieb (Mazo Publishing), The author tells about the life &
concerns of his grandfather, Rabbi Dr. Isaac Rosenberg z"l (1860-1940), as
culled from diaries written over a period of years, including those of the
Great War (World War I), (Rabbi Leff resumes IY"H Jan. 30)
On sale: Jewish Books for Adults and Children by Simcha Publishing • Mondays
MON 11:35am: Jewish History Series by Dr. Henry Goldblum: The End of the
Second Century B.C.E. - Look Back in Anger?
Fit Forever: Look & Feel your Best! Exercise for women of all ages, Mondays
11:35-12:30pm, Gentle exercises to improve flexibility, circulation,
posture, etc. Breathing and relaxation skills to use every day.
Torah Video and Lunch - Monday, Jan 9th, 12:30pm, in the Library (free) -
"Shalom Y'all" - Documentary on the Jewish experience in the American South
as told through the eyes of a native son. A third generation New Orleans
Jew, in search of his culture, traveled through the South interviewing Jews,
capturing the Jewish way of life in Dixie
and filming Jewish sites - and former sites such as a the hardware store
which had been a synagogue. This film is an absolute treat!
Women's Beit Midrash MON (and WED) 3:00-5:00pm: Acquire study skills and
knowledge crucial to your life as a Jew - join us!, Guided Chavruta study
with Pearl Borow, Fine Tuning Chanuka - Phil Chernofsky
Mondays at 7:30pm (and Wednesdays 9:00am): Parshat HaShavua by Dr. Avivah
Mondays, 8:30pm • AM SEGULA presents: “Curing the Jewish Heart” with Eli
Yosef, The History of the Zionist movement understood through the teachings
of the Maharal of Prague
MASK - Mothers & Fathers Aligned Saving Kids: J'lem Chapter at the Israel
Center • www.maskjerusalem.cjb.net • 050-754-2717, NEXT MEETING: Monday,
January 9th, 7:30-9:30pm with Dr. Judy Belsky
The Israel Center and the Old City Free Loan Association, 16th year • over
4000 loans granted - Gemach - Free Loan Society to provide interest-free
loans for people in financial distress (living in the Jerusalem area).
Interviews at the Center on Tuesdays from 10:00-12:00 and 19:00-20:30 •
Please bring ID
Tuesdays, 9:00am Haftara of the week with Rabbi Aharon Adler
9:00am - YAD YAAKOV - Between Prophets and Kings: When Politics and Religion
Collide with Rabbi Dr. Yosef Leibowitz
Tuesday mornings, 10:15am:Parshat HaShavua with Rabbi Sholom Gold
11:00am (M&W) PARSHAT HASHAVUA with Rabbi Eddie Abramson
resume JAN.17: 12:00pm (women) Review of the weekly Farbrengens of the
Lubavitcher Rebbe with Raizel Zisk
Circles within Circles Tuesdays, 12:00-2:00pm The Growth of the Self within
Avodat HaShem A workshop series combining study, discussion, and writing...
with Mrs. Esther Sutton
Torah Video and Lunch - Tuesday, Jan 10th, 12:30pm, in the Library (free):
ASARA B'TEVET: Dr. Zorach Warhaftig - The Man Behind the Extraordinary
Rescue of Jews to Japan and Shanghai During the Holocaust; Introducing this
dramatic and inspiring documentary and fielding questions after the viewing,
will be Mrs. Golda Warhaftig, daughter-in-law of the late M.K. who was a
co-signer of Israel's Declaration of Independence, Minister of Religious
Affairs, and a co-founder of the NRP.
Tuesday, January 10th - ASARA B'TEVET
1:20pm Mincha ("regular")
3:00pm The Holocaust in Sefardic Communities, Guest speaker: Chaim Azses
4:00pm Slow-paced Mincha, mini-shiur, Maariv, break fast (fast ends 5:22pm)
A Renaissance in Talmud Study - Bet Midrash Ra’ava and the OU Israel Center
present A new lecture series in Mesechet Kiddushin, Our approach to Gemara
aims to uncover the coherence of the Gemara’s discussions, and the deeper
meaning of the issues it raises. Topic: A Deeper Appreciation of Jewish
Marriage and the Jewish Family, Tuesday evenings, 7:00-9:00pm, 1 hour of
chavruta preparation and 1 hour of shiur. For more information contact Rabbi
Mendy Blank – (02) 561-7597 • 052-894-4876
8:00pm: Meet our M'forshim, Using Parshat HaShavua as the base to introduce
shiur participants to different Torah commentaries, spanning the time from
the second Beit HaMikdash through the period of the Geonim, Medieval times,
Rishonim, early Acharonim, up to the end of the 19th century. Given by Rabbi
Calling NCSY Alumni in Israel: Tuesday, Jan. 10 at the Israel Center. All
alumni (from ALL years) who are not currently learning in a post high school
yeshiva or seminary are invited from 7:00-10:30pm. Girls in a post high
school program are invited from 7:00-8:30pm; guys in a post high school
program are invited from 9:00-10:30pm. There will be great food and awesome
speakers (Rabbi Menachem Nissel and more) and guests from North America
(Rabbi Glenn Black, David Wolf, Rabbi Dave Felsenthal and more). Bring your
old pictures and scrapbooks.
Wednesdays 9:00am (and Mondays at 7:30pm): Parshat HaShavua by Dr. Avivah
Wednesdays, 9:20am: Community and Conflict by Rabbi Macy Gordon
Wednesday, 10:45am Rabbi Yosef Wolicki on Parshat HaShavua
WED 10:30am (women only) • Chani Abramson on Songs from the Siddur - Meaning
Wednesdays, 11:30am • (men & women) - Stories of Inspiration & Chesed, Share
these stories and make a difference with Jackie Lowenstein
Fit Forever: Look & Feel your Best! Exercise for women of all ages,
Wednesdays 11:35-12:30pm, Gentle exercises to improve flexibility,
circulation, posture, etc. Breathing and relaxation skills to use every day.
Torah Video and Lunch - Wed. January 11th, "G-d Should Make You Like Efrayim
and Menashe" by Rabbi Zev Leff
Root & Branch Association in cooperation with the Israel Center
Wednesday, January 11th • 12:30, 15:00: "Wahhabi World War III: How the West
Can Win (I)"Sheikh Professor Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Secretary General, Italian
Muslim Assembly, www.amislam.com, Muslim Co-Founder and Co-Chairman,
Islam-Israel Fellowship, Root & Branch Association, Ltd., "Peace is Possible
between Ishmael and Israel According to the Tanach and the Qur'an "Dr. Asher
Eder, Jewish Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Islam-Israel Fellowship, Root &
Branch Association, Ltd.
Opening Remarks: Mr. Aryeh Gallin, Founder and President, Root & Branch •
M.C. Mr. Reuven Kossover, Info: firstname.lastname@example.org/www.rb.org.il, NIS 25 per
person, members NIS 20, students NIS 10
3:00pm (men & women) Women in the Talmud with Pearl Borow, Women's Beit
Midrash MON (and WED) 3:00-5:00pm - Acquire study skills and knowledge
crucial to your life as a Jew - join us!, Guided Chavruta study with Pearl
Wednesday, Jan./Tevet 11, 8:00pm: Rabbi Shmuel Jacobowitz, son of the Late
Chief Rabbi of England, Dean of the Harav Lord Jacobowitz Torah Institute of
Contemporary Issues will deliver a memorial lecture on the 14th yahrzeit of
the father of Shulamit Neeman, Special refreshments • no charge
Wed. 7:30pm (men & women) Jewish Philosophy: Rambam's Guide for the
Perplexed, New Topic: Mussar in the Guide, Rambam's extraordinary conclusion
to his epic work with Rabbi Chaim Eisen
Note new day & time: Thursdays, 11:00-12:50: Readings and discussion based
on the book: Off the Derech - Why Observant Jews leave Judaism, How to
respond to the Challenge by Faranak Margolese with Dr. Hayim Abramson
Shiur/Divrei Torah while you fold by Menachem, Sara, Phil
Root & Branch Association in cooperation with the Israel Center
Thursday, January 12th • 19:00: "Going Up to Jerusalem", Mr. James D. Long
Speaker, B'nai Noach Council; Author, "The Riddle of the Exodus",
Introduction: Dr. Aaron Lichtenstein, City University of New York; Author,
"The Seven Laws of Noah"; Chair: Rabbi Yehoshua Friedman, Yeshivat Ma'alei
Ephraim; Founder and Chairman, Noahide Fellowship, Opening Remarks: Mr.
Aryeh Gallin, Founder and President, Root & Branch • M.C. Mr. Reuven
Info: email@example.com/www.rb.org.il, NIS 25 per person, members NIS 20,
students NIS 10
8:00pm: Legends from the Gemara with Reb Yosef Schreiber
Upcoming at the Israel Center
Sunday, January 15th, 7:00pm • IN HEBREW: Stories of Jewish life before and
after the Holocaust, Guest speaker: Prof. Yaffa Eliach, noted author,
lecturer, President of "The Shtetl", followed by the film HAYA HAYTA AYARA,
25NIS • separate seating • 652-7031
Tuesday, January 17, 7:00pm"Judgment at Nuremberg": The classic depiction of
the Nazi war crime trials with Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard
Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift,
William Shatner, and others. A provocative, revealing, disturbing
portrayal... (more than 3 hrs.)
January 21st, 8:30pm: The Roll of a Lifetime - Performance by Roger Mehl,
call (02) 567 0619 for more information and tickets
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TEACH YOU TO RELIEVE PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL PAINS AND BLOCKAGES QUICKLY AND
EFFECTIVELY! www.emofree.com, Rabbi Legomsky is the most experienced EFT
Trainer in Israel and Our graduates' results are the greatest proof that our
system of teaching, and EFT helps enable you to succeed quickly, even with
problems where nothing else helped! Wednesday January 25th: Men: 7:20-8:50pm
• Women and Couples: 9:00-10:30pm, DISCOVER a PRACTICAL new MODEL and LEARN
HOW TO become unstuck and REALIZE YOUR FULL INNER POTENTIAL, and even BUILD
A NEW CAREER helping others!
Back by popular demand! Friends and relatives of singles! Members of
shidduch committees Matchmakers! People who want to make a difference in
another Jew’s life! The Art of Being a Dating Mentor with tips on How To Be
A Better Shadchan, Wed. Jan. 18 - 6:45-10:00pm, Admission 75NIS, includes
materials and ongoing “technical support” featuring Rosie Einhorn, L.C.S.W.
and Sherry Zimmerman, Esq., authors of Talking Tachlis and In The Beginning,
dating advice columnists and founders of Sasson V’Simcha, a non-profit
organization dedicated to helping Jewish singles marry, RSVP if possible to
Hold this date, Mark your calendars, Watch for developing details - Third
Annual Israel Center Gala Dinner, Leil Yom Yerushalayim, Thursday, May 25th
'06 at the Jerusalem Renaissance
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, Torah
22 Keren Ha'Yesod POB 37015 Jerusalem 91370
Phone: (02) 566 7787 Fax: (02) 561-7432 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
websites: www.ou.org/torah/tt and www.ou.org/israel/ic
Orthodox Union • National Conference of Synagogue Youth
This publication and many of the programs of the Israel Center and NCSY
b'Yisrael are assisted by grants from The Jewish Agency for Israel
TT is published and printed "in house" at the Israel Center
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