Shabbat Parshat Acharei-K'doshim
May 1-2, 2009 - 8 Iyar
This Shabbat is the 215th day (of 354), 31st Shabbat (of 50) of 5769
HARACHAMAN, HU YAKIM LANU ET SUKAT DAVID HANOFALET.
Ranges are 10 days, WED-FRI - 5-14 Iyar (April 29 - May 8)
Earliest Talit & T'filin 5:02-4:53am
Sof Z'man K' Sh'ma 9:16-9:11am
(Magen Avraham: 8:27-8:21am)
Sof Z'man T'fila 10:23-10:19am
(Magen Avraham: 9:50-9:45am)
Mincha Gedola 1:10-1:10pm
Plag Mincha 5:54-5:59pm
(based on sea level: 7:17-7:23pm)
Candle Lighting (Earliest candle lighting - PLAG) and Havdala times - Israel Summer Time
Correct for TT 857 - Rabbeinu Tam (J'm) - 8:39pm
6:43 (5:55) Yerushalayim 7:59pm
7:00 (5:58) S'derot 8:01pm
6:59 (5:56) Gush Etzion 7:59pm
7:01 (5:57) Raanana 8:02pm
6:59 (5:56) Beit Shemesh 8:00pm
7:00 (5:57) Rehovot 8:01pm
7:01 (5:58) Netanya 8:02pm
6:57 (5:57) Be'er Sheva 8:00pm
7:00 (5:56) Modi'in 8:00pm
6:43 (5:57) Petach Tikva 8:01pm
6:43 (5:55) Maale Adumim 7:59pm
7:00 (5:57) Ginot Shomron 8:01pm
6:59 (5:56) Gush Shiloh 7:59pm
6:59 (5:56) K4 & Hevron 7:59pm
6:59 (5:56) Giv'at Ze'ev 8:00pm
7:00 (5:57) Yad Binyamin 8:01pm
7:01 (5:58) Ashkelon 8:02pm
6:49 (5:56) Tzfat 8:01pm
NOTES: Note about Candle Lighting and Havdala times. Candle lighting times are rounded down to the minute, in other words, seconds are ignored. Havdala times, on the other hand, are round up to the next minute.
Further explanations and notes on Z'manim are available on the website www.ou.org/torah/tt - click on Halachic times
* Important clarifications concerning the Candle Lighting times
Petach Tikva officially accepts upon itself to light Shabbat candles according to the Jerusalem custom. (This is due to the fact that the Ashkenazi community of PT was founded by people from Jerusalem who brought their customs with them.) Up until this week, we understood that to mean that in PT one lights candles 40 minutes before sunset, just like we do in Jerusalem. We contacted the Religious Council in PT and found out that the official candle lighting time for PT is the same as Jerusalem's (not 40 min. before sunset, but the same time as J'lem). Petach Tikvians (or whatever they are called) must realize that their sunset is earlier than Jerusalem's and therefore they do NOT have 40 minutes after the posted time until sunset - more like 30-35. So too for Maale Adumim. They light candles at the same time as J'lem too. Sunset is also earlier in Maalei Adumim.
One of the rabbis from Ascent of Safed (that's Tzfat) told us that there are differing opinions concerning when Candle Lighting is there. All say 30 min. before sunset, but some say the sunset that does not take into account the elevation of Tzfat, and some say to use the sunset time that does take elevation into account. We print the earlier time, in case.
Halachic Zmanim and Shabbat times in Torah Tidbits are calculated by CHAZON SHAMAYIM, a computer program by R' Eitan Zakuni of Netivot. The latest version (beta), called HAZON NET is available as a free download on www.sky-view.co.il
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...
Kiddush L'vana from Monday night (April 27) for the 3-day opinion and Motza'ei Shabbat (May 2) for the 7-day opinion.
This month, the earliest night for Minhag Yerushalayim comes with a little bit of a warning (some months, the warning is more serious and practical). The earliest time for KL is 7:46pm. That's almost irrelevant this month, since with sunset at 7:20-ish, it is just starting to get dark enough around 7:45. One should just be careful not to jump the gun and say KL before 7:46pm. a) because it isn't three full days after the molad until that time and b) it is not quite dark enough for ideal KL.
As mentioned, there are months when there is an issue of starting time on the first night, and other months when there is no issue at all because the molad was during the day of later at night than the Moon would be visible. And remember - Hebrew date is not the key factor - it's days after the molad.
The Multi-faceted Super-Mitzva
And G-d spoke to Moshe saying: Speak to the entire community of Bnei Yisrael and say to them: K'DOSHIM TIHYU! Be Holy! - but the Torah doesn't stop there - because holy am I, HaShem your G-d.
Definitely sounds like a command. It is. But neither Rambam nor the Sefer HaChinuch count it as a mitzva among the Torah's 613, among the Taryag. This can be understood by seeing commands like K'doshim tihyu as super- mitzvot, whose scope is inclusive of many or all of the mitzvot in the Torah. Think of K'doshim tihyu as a VAT, valued added tax - or, to be cute, a VAM, value added mitzva which applies to every mitzva we have.
The term is quite appropriate, because in doing mitzvot with the proper attitude, with an enthusiasm which shows a love of Torah and Mitzvot, one does indeed add value to the mitzvot he performs. And to the prohibitions he avoids.
So too does going beyond the "call of duty", LIFNIM MISHURAT HADIN. When a person does more - goes further - than the halacha requires him to go, this too adds value to the person's performance of mitzvot. This is one of the facets of the super-mitzva of K'DOSHIM TIHYU.
It's not Shabbesdik! This is a concept that many of us grew up with. There was no specific statement in Shulchan Aruch to point to and say, this is why we should not do such- and-such. But there was a feeling that certain behavior, certain acts, shouldn't be done on Shabbat. Some Jews scoff at this idea. Sad. Because they are missing something. What are they missing? Is it allowed or is it forbidden? Not enough to ask just that. One has to ask if it is in the spirit of Shabbat to do it. That's what Shabbesdik means and that is part of K'DOSHIM TIHYU.
We are not talking here about Chumra for the sake of Chumra. We are talking about a sense of right and wrong beyond the letter of the law. We are talking about whole generations and/or whole communities that pass on a legacy of what fits the great challenge to be holy - as G-d is holy!
Don't make your davening like a burden, but rather like a heartfelt petition to G-d for mercy. That's a major aspect of the mitzva to daven. But that is also a facet of the super- mitzva of K'doshim Tihyu.
Shabbat can be strictly kept. Or it can be strictly kept and be a beautiful, spiritual experience. The latter is part of K'doshim Tihyu. Etc. Etc. Etc.
STATS Ach K'do A&K
of 54 sedras in Torah 29th 30th -
of 10 Sedras in Vayikra 6th 7th -
lines 154 109 263
rank 44th 49th -
Parshiyot 15 4 19
P'tuchot 3 3 6
S'tumot 12 1 13
P'sukim 80 64 144
rank (Torah/Vayikra) 45/6 49/9 -
Words 1170 868 2038
rank (Torah/Vayikra) 43/6 49/9 -
Letters 4294 3229 7523
rank (Torah/Vayikra) 45/6 49/9 -
MITZVOT (pos/prohib) 2+26 13+38 15+64
K'doshim's 51 mitzvot earn it 5th place on the Mitzva Chart. But if we take into account sedra size, it rises to first place, by far. Let's create a statistic to illustrate this. There are 613 mitzvot in the Torah. The Torah has 245 columns. (Variable, but we'll use 245 columns of 42 lines each.) The average number of Mitzvot per column (M/C) is about 2.5. Vayikra the book has 247 mitzvot, with a Mitzva Density of 6.75 M/C. That's the most for a book. Ki Teitzei with 74 mitvot (the most in a sedra) has 14.6 M/C. That beats Emor and Mishpatim which have 12.3 and 12.0 respectively. B'har is the only other sedra with a M/C greater than 10. K'doshim averages 19.65 M/C! And that's not even the whole story. There are many more mitzvot in K'doshim besides the ones that are counted among Taryag. This further increases K'doshim's hold on its title of the most mitzva-dense sedra. And this gives us a clear answer to the question as to how are we supposed to be holy - the answer is with Mitzvot! Just to compare, here are the M/C for the other Books of the Torah: B'reishit - .05; Sh'mot - 2.2 (close to average for the Torah); Bamidbar - just about 1 mitzva per column. D'varim - 4.4
Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary
Numbers in [square brackets] are the Mitzva-counts of Sefer HaChinuch AND Rambam's Sefer HaMitzvot. A=ASEI (positive mitzva); L=LAV (prohibition). X:Y is the perek and pasuk from which the mitzva is counted.
[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 -17+7 p'sukim - 16:1-24
[P> 16:1 (34)] The first part of the sedra deals with the Yom Kippur service in the Beit HaMikdash - Seder HaAvoda. An emotional element is introduced when the Torah tells us that G-d gave these commands "after the deaths of Aharon's two sons". We cannot help but be struck by the combination of the Kohen Gadol performing the loftiest of spiritual tasks with the background of personal grief. These feelings are especially powerful as we hear this reading on Yom Kippur morning.
Before the Service is described, kohanim in general are warned not to enter the Beit HaMikdash other than when they have tasks to perform there [184,L68 16:2]. (It is hard to miss the additional connection to Nadav and Avihu, who entered the Mikdash for the performance of an "improper" task.)
The entire Yom Kippur service, with all of its details, constitutes one mitzva [185,A49 16:3]. Aharon is to take a bull as a sin-offering and a ram as a burnt-offering. He is to wear his special garments (the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur alternates between his full set of eight garments and a special set of four pure white garments which he wore when he entered the Kod'shei HaKodashim).
The Kohen Gadol washes his hands and feet ten times throughout the day and immerses in a mikveh five times. "From the People", Aharon takes two goats for sin-offerings and a ram as an Olah. The bull is an atonement for Aharon and the kohanim. Lots were cast to determine which of the two (identical) goats was to be offered as a korban and which was taken out into the wilderness as the scapegoat.
SDT: There are two very different styles of sin - rejecting what G-d says and distancing oneself from the Divine, on the one hand, and violating His commands in an attempt to get closer to Him, on the other. Most sins are of the former type; that of Nadav and Avihu was of the latter kind. Corresponding to these two opposite motivations for sin, we have two special offerings on Yom Kippur - one that was offered inside the Beit HaMikdash, its blood actually being brought into the Kodshei Kodoshim, and the other being sent completely away from the Beit HaMikdash. Both goats were identical. (based on a shiur by RYMKO)
The Kohen Gadol performs all of the duties of the Day, with minimal assistance from other kohanim. The Holy of Holies filled with smoke from the incense offering when the Kohen Gadol entered. The service of Yom Kippur is complex; it is detailed in the repetition of the Musaf Amida on Yom Kippur as well as in the Torah reading.
This next portion continues to describe the complex service of Yom Kippur. Among the many tasks of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur, is VIDUI on behalf of all the people of Israel.
His confession of sin must be accompanied by t'shuva and vidui of each Jew, if complete atonement is to be achieved. Rambam says that there is "communal forgiveness" for "minor" offenses, but major sins require that the individual do his own T'shuva. Even when there is "communal forgiveness", an individual still has to be part of the community in order to benefit from it. He who distances himself from the community does not receive the benefits of communal prayer, repentance, and atonement. (Over- simplified, to be sure, but there is a point here.)
Levi - Second Aliya - 10+7 p'sukim - 16:34-17:7
The Torah continues detailing the Yom Kippur service. It concludes with a reiteration of the rules of Yom Kippur for each of us, and the statement that the Day of Yom Kippur helps bring atonement to the People. It is thus the Day itself, the Temple service, communal prayer, AND our individual prayer, T'shuva, and confession that combine to attain true forgiveness for ourselves and all of Israel.
[P> 17:1 (16)] It is forbidden to slaughter an animal that is to be offered as a korban, outside the area of the Beit HaMikdash [186, L90 17:3].
It is similarly forbidden to slaughter an animal for personal use within the precincts of the Temple. A korban slaughtered outside is invalid and must be burned, "personal" meat inside is likewise forbidden. Both are wasteful, hence sinful, acts which the Torah implies are akin to "bloodshed".
Shlishi - Third Aliya - 14+16 p'sukim - 17:8-18:21
The Torah reiterates the prohibition of slaughtering korbanot "outside" and states emphatically that it is forbidden to eat blood. Blood symbolizes life.
When one slaughters a bird or a "wild" animal (e.g. deer, wild goat - as opposed to the domesticated farm animal for which this mitzva does not apply), it is required to cover the first amount of blood with "dust" (sand, sawdust, etc.) [187,A147 17:13]. The prohibitions relating to blood are repeated and stressed. Blood of korbanot goes on the Altar as an atonement; blood of animals that are not eligible for korbanot must be covered.
CLARIFICATION... Mammals divide into two categories: B'HEIMA and CHAYA. All kosher B'HEIMA - cow, goat, and sheep - are "fit for the Altar". They are not included in the mitzva of KISUI DAM, covering the blood. Their blood is "atoning". No CHAYA is fit for the Mizbei'ach. Among the birds, only two types - the dove and the turtledove - are ever used as korbanot. All other birds cannot be korbanot. Therefore, the rule for birds follows the majority, and covering the blood applies to birds (including doves).
In our "everyday" experience, when a cow is slaughtered for food, the blood of the Sh'chita is not covered. When chickens are slaughtered, the additional mitzva of covering the blood (additional to the mitzva of Sh'chita) applies. It is forbidden to slaughter a chicken without covering the first gush of blood with sand or sawdust.
[P> 18:1 (5)] Chapter 18 contains the many forbidden sexual relationships. First there is a general warning against copying the negative practices of Egypt (whence we came) and those of the peoples of Canaan (to where we are going).
Could this be another meaning to Akavya b. M'halaleil's teaching to ponder three things and you would fall into the hands of sin: Know from where you came (Egypt) and to where you are going (Canaan) and before Whom you will eventually give an accounting (of your life). In other words, we are held accountable for not shunning the perverted practices of Egypt and Canaan. Not the p'shat of the mishna, but perhaps an interesting "other" interpretation.
We have only to follow the laws and statues of G-d and live by them.
SDT: From the term V'CHAI BAHEM, "and live by them", we are taught two important concepts. Judaism is not just a religion; it is a way of life. Furthermore, this pasuk is (one of) the source(s) of the concept that many mitzvot are to LIVE by, not to die by, in other words, that for most mitzvot, we may violate them if it means saving a life.
[S> 18:6 (1)] It is prohibited to be intimate with any of the forbidden relations [188,L353 18:6].
[S> 18:7 (1)] Homosexual relations are forbidden with one's father [189, L351 18:7] , (in addition to the general prohibition of homosexual conduct). One may not have sexual relations with his mother [190,L330 18:7]
[S> 18:8 (1)] his father's wife (even if she is not his mother) [191,L331 18:8]
[S> 18:9 (1)] his sister (from same father or mother or both) [192, L332 18:9]
[S> 18:10 (1)] his granddaughter from a son [193,L334 18:10] or from a daughter [194,L335 18:10], his daughter [195,L336 18:10]
This last prohibition is derived by KAL VACHOMER, the logical reasoning that if a man is forbidden to have relations with his granddaughter, how much more so is he forbidden to his daughter. This is significant by being a full-fledged prohibition in the Torah that has no direct wording to point to, but is derived by one of the methods of learning from the Torah. It is as if G-d commanded this mitzva specifically this way, rather than spelling out the prohibition, as all the others are, in order to teach us that this prohibition is in no way less than all the others.
[S> 18:11 (1)] The Torah singles out the daughter of one's father's wife and forbids relations with her [196,L333 18:10] although she is his sister, already being forbidden to him by mitzva #192. (Notice than in Rambam's count, sister and this prohibition, which is also sister, are consecutive.) There are different opinions as to the significance and ramifications of this "seemingly" extraneous prohibition. This prohibition is definitely not a father's wife's daughter that is not a child of the father, what in today's terminology is called a step-sister, because there is no prohibition in that case.
[S> 18:12 (1)] One may not have relations with his paternal aunt [197,L340 18:12],
[S> 18:13 (1)] nor his maternal aunt [198,L341 18:13],
[S> 18:14 (1)] nor may a man have homosexual relations with his uncle [199,L352 18:14] nor may he have relations with his uncle's wife [200, L342 18:14].
[S> 18:15 (1)] One may not have relations with his daughter-in-law [201,L343 18:15],
[S> 18:16 (1)] his brother's wife [202,L344 18:16] (except for the unique circumstances of YIBUM).
[S> 18:17 (14)] A man is forbidden to have relations with his wife's mother or daughter [203,L337 18:17], or her grandmother or granddaughter from son or daughter [204,205; L338,339 18:17]
A man may not have relations with his wife's sister, during the wife's lifetime - even if he divorced his wife first [206, L345 18:18].
Relations with a woman in a state of NIDA is forbidden [207, L346 18:19].
Relations with a married woman is forbidden. (This prohibition is counted elsewhere, but restated here with all the other forbidden relationships.)
It is forbidden to give one's child to the pagan rituals of Molech [208,L7 18:21].
R'vi'i - Fourth Aliya - 9+19 p'sukim - 18:22-19:14
The fourth Aliya is always the bridge Aliya between the two combine sedras
Homosexual acts are forbidden [209,L350 18:22]. Sexual behavior with animals is forbidden for men, women [210,211; L348,349 18:23]
We must not defile ourselves by doing any of the above. These abominable practices defile the Land and result in expulsion therefrom. We must scrupulously shun these practices.
Note: In addition to the Torah's prohibitions, there are many other relations that the Sages forbid in the spirit of the Torah's prohibitions.
[S> 19:1 (22)] BE HOLY! - HOW? In light of the exceptionally large number of mitzvot in this sedra (K'doshim), one can fairly assume that the answer to that question is - by the observance of mitzvot. This means more than "just going through the motions". It means a Torah way of life, mitzvot for the right motives and with the right enthusiasm.
One must revere his parents [212, A211 19:3], yet keep the Shabbat, meaning (among other things) that if one's parents tell him to violate the Shabbat (or any other mitzva - Torah ordained or rabbinic), he may not listen to them. (Neither may he be disrespectful in his refusal to obey.) Parents and their children are all commanded by G-d to keep the Shabbat (and all mitzvot).
We may not "turn towards" idolatry in thought or words [213,L10 19:4] nor may we make idols [214,L3 19:4]. This specifically prohibits making idols for others. Both these mitzvot are among the many that are designed to keep the Jew far away from idol worship.
Korbanot must be offered in the Beit HaMikdash in a proper and pleasing manner. Specifically, one must keep to the time limits presented for eating sacred meat [215,L131 19:8]. Violation carries a death penalty from heaven.
Watch this next set of mitzvot: Leave the corner of your field uncut, so that poor people might come and find grain to reap [216,A120 19:10]; do not reap your entire field [217,A210 19:9]. A positive mitzva and a prohibition that basically say the same thing. Here's another pair: Leave the gleanings of the field for the poor [218,A121 19:10]; do not take the gleanings [219,L211 19:9]. And then these two pairs of mitzvot are doubled again - each pair of mitzvot is counted separately as applied to a vineyard [220-223; A123-124 ,L212-213 19:9-10].
Stealing [224,L244 19:11], denying holding that which belongs to someone else [225,L248 19:11], and swearing to that effect [226,L249 19:11] are all forbidden. Swearing falsely [227,L61 19:12] is forbidden.
Two observations: "A" lent his video camera to "B" and later B denies that he has A's camera, and then swears in Beit Din that he doesn't have it. One might think that there are two violations here - theft and false oath. But actually, there are three. Perhaps it is the misuse of G-d's name in the oath in order to cover up your theft that explains the extra sin in this case.
That the Torah says one who swears falsely disgraces G-d's name by doing so, is echoed by Rambam when he distinguishes between "serious" sins and "light" sins. Rambam puts into the serious category all sins that carry a death penalty... and swearing falsely. So destructive are false and vain oaths to the underpinnings of society, that it is placed with the capital offenses.
Withholding someone's property [228, L247 19:13], robbery [229, L245 19:13], and delaying payment of a laborer [230,L238 19:13] are prohibited. Most people would probably rationalize the situation and not consider delaying payment as a form of theft. The Torah implies that one is (can be?) as serious as the other.
There are many everyday situations for which the prohibition of delaying wages apply: hair-dresser, taxi driver, babysitter...
It is forbidden to curse a fellow Jew [231,L317 19:14]; and one may not place a stumbling block before the blind [232,L299 19:14], mean- ing [not exclusively] that one may not mislead or entrap others. Care must be taken not to mislead anyone, even inadvertently. This can include stretching the truth or saying something that is not actually a lie, but it will convey to others that which is not really so. (Helping someone do the wrong thing is part of this prohibition - even if the other knows what he's doing and wants to do it.)
Chamishi - Fifth Aliya - 8+10 p'sukim - 19:15-32
Do not pervert justice [233,L273 19:15], nor show honor to a prominent person during a trial [234,L275 19:15]. We must always carry out true justice [235,A177 19:15]. Once again, notice that we have a positive mitzva which, in essence, is the "flip side" of several prohibitions, the violation of which results in distorting and perverting justice.
Technically, this positive command is directed to the judges and courts. However, the individual Jew must draw from these mitzvot the importance of being fair and apply some of these rules on an informal basis, to everyday life.
Neither gossip nor slander (regard- less of whether what you say is true or false) [236,L301 19:16]; do not stand by while your fellow is in danger of life, limb, or property [237,L297 19:16]. Do not hate your fellow Jew in your heart [238, L302 19:17]; reproach your fellow SENSITIVELY [239,A205 19:17] being careful to avoid embarrassing him [240,L303 19:17] (even while reproaching him).
Do not take revenge [241,L304 19:18] nor bear a grudge [242, L305 19:18]; "Love thy neighbor..." [243,A206 19:18] Notice the constant reminder: "I am G-d", or words to that effect. Being nice to others is not just nice; it is part of Torah and the fulfillment of G-d's commandments.
It is forbidden to cross-breed animals of different species [244,L217 19:19], to sow mixed seeds [245,L215 19:19], and to wear Shaatnez, mixtures of wool and linen in a garment. Note that in this one pasuk, there is a forbidden animal-animal mix, a plant-plant mix, and an animal/plant mix, making the point (among others) that G-d allows us a dominance over nature that has restrictions and limits.
Next we find the complicated issue of the atonement for improper relations with a maidservant who is partially freed and partially still a slave.
[P> 19:23 (10)] Fruits of the first three years of a tree's life are forbidden, i.e. ORLA [246,L192 19:23]. The fourth year's yield is sacred [247, A119 19:24] and must be eaten only in Yerushalayim, or redeemed and the money used for food and drink in Yerushalayim. From the fifth year on, the fruits are permitted. One may not eat gluttonously [248,L195 19:26]. One may not consult and rely on omens, divination, conjuring, or some aspects of astrology [249,250; L32,33 19:26]. Shaving the temple area of the head is forbidden [251, L43 19:27] as is shaving the face with a razor [252,L44 19:27]. These 2 prohibitions apply to men only. They are unique in that all other prohibitions apply to both men and women. (Actually, there are some other exceptions, but this is the best example.) Permanent tattooing is forbidden [253,L41 19:28]. Protect your daughters from loose behavior. Keep the Shabbat and respect the place of the Mikdash (even when no Beit HaMikdash stands there) [254,A21 19:30]. Ov and Yid'oni (mediums and wizards) are forbidden [255,256; L8,9 19:31]. One must rise and otherwise respect the elderly and Torah scholars [257,A209 19:32].
This last parsha is presented here as one paragraph to give the flavor of the way these mitzvot "fly at you" without the parsha-breaks you might expect. One gets the feeling that there is something holding these diverse mitzvot together. K'doshim Tih'yu, Be Holy, perhaps.
Shishi - Sixth Aliya -5+7 p'sukim - 19:33-20:7
[S> 19:33 (5)] One must not take advantage of the newcomer to the Land (convert and/or stranger). The convert shall be treated with love; we must learn from our Egyptian experience. It is forbidden to cheat with any false measures [258,L271 19:35]; one must be honest in weights and measures [259,A208 19:36]. Keep all of G-d's statutes and laws.
[P> 20:1 (27)] The punishment for Molech (a perverse idolatrous practice involving child-sacrifice) is death by stoning. G-d will cut off the one who serves Molech. If society does not punish the violator, G-d will. So too for the practice of Ov and Yid'oni.
Sanctify yourself and be holy.
Sh'VII - Seventh Aliya - 15+5 p'sukim - 20:8-27
Preserve the statutes and do them, for G-d sanctifies us because of our deeds.
Cursing one's parents, even after their deaths, is forbidden [260, L318 20:9], and is a capital offense.
The Torah reiterates the forbidden relationships that were presented at the end of Acharei. They are all capital offenses. The specific death penalties vary, but it is in this context that Rambam learns the command to Sanhedrin to carry out the punishment of "internal burning" when called for [261,A208 20:14].
Rambam holds that each of the four death penalties is counted separately among the 613 mitzvot. Ramban groups them under one prohibition. This is one of MANY differences between Rambam's and Ramban's way of counting the 613 mitzvot.
Again, the Torah commands us to preserve all of the mitzvot, thus preventing the Land from expelling us.
It is forbidden to follow the practices of the nations amongst whom we find ourselves [262,L30 20:23]. This ISUR applies to idolatrous practices, immoral acts, and that which has no apparent reason. IOW, there is no prohibition of following a non- Jewish practice that is reasonable and constructive.
In order to inherit the land of Israel, we must not behave in the abominable ways of nations who preceded us. We must distinguish between kosher and non-kosher animals (and life-styles); we must be holy and distinct from others. We are not automatically different from anyone else. Torah makes us different. Torah gives us our unique identities.
Every Jew must play a dual role. We are each individuals and we are part of Klal Yisrael. We are exhorted to keep the Torah as individuals, but we are also "advised" to be faithful to G-d so that tragedies will not happen to the People of Israel as a whole.
Ov & Yid'oni are punished by stoning.
Maftir is the final 3 p'sukim. They make a powerful summary of all the mitzvot of Acharei-K'doshim. There is a repeat of the command to be holy, and the reason: that G-d is holy. And we find G-d's promise that He will keep us apart from the other nations, to be His.
Haftara - 9 p'sukim -Amos 9:7-15 Very short haftara
The haftara basically clarifies the "deal part" of the command to be holy. Amos stresses that we will be just like all other of G-d's children on Earth, no different from the Ethiopians, the Philistines, etc. That is, of course, if we don't remain faithful to G-d. Because if we do, and keep the mitzvot sincerely, then the promises of the Torah will be realized and we will be unique among the nations. It's really up to us. That's our challenge.
THE JERUSALEM INSTITUTE OF JEWISH LAW, Rabbi Emanuel Quint, Dean
New series: The Halachot of Women & Men
Lesson # 472 (Based on Shulhan Aruch Eben haEzer 6)
Kohanim and whom they may not marry
Torah law prohibits a kohen from marrying the following women:
1. a divorcee, whether she was divorced after betrothal or after marriage. (there were times and in a few places today, where there may be a time lapse of months between betrothal and marriage (this does not refer to what today we call engagement) and the husband may divorce her although they are only betrothed and not yet married.) A divorce is effected by the prior husband giving the wife a "get" which we can define as a divorce document.
2. a zonah, defined in Shulhan Aruch as a woman who was not born Jewish; or a Jewish girl who had sex with a man who she is not permitted to marry;
3. a profaned woman, generally described as a woman who had relations with a man who is prohibited to marry her.
4. A kohen may not marry a convert
5. A kohen should not marry the daughter of a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father
According to strict halacha, if a kohen married any of the foregoing he must divorce her. Even if there is a "scent of a divorce (get)": that she had from a prior marriage he must divorce her. A "scent of a get" is defined as a woman whose prior marriage has been terminated by her husband giving her a get that stated "you are divorced from me, but you are not permitted to marry any other man." Although such get did not terminate the prior marriage, and her husband died she may not marry a kohen. Even if a man gave a get to a woman based on a rumor that she was married to him, and he thought they were not married, but he gave her the get to end all rumors that they were married, she may not marry a kohen. In these situations a kohen can be compelled to divorce this wife.
Rabbinic law prohibits a kohen from marrying a woman who has undergone the chalitza ritual. If he married a woman who is a doubtful chalutza, he is not compelled to divorce her. Or if he married her not knowing that he may not marry a chalutza, there are cases reported where he was not compelled to divorce her, since so much hinges on his really being a kohen, and sometimes there is a doubt if all those professing to be kohanim are really kohanim.
If a husband gave his wife a conditional get and he died and the condition was not complied with, she may marry a kohen.
The Torah gives a father the right to espouse his minor daughter. If the father died while she is yet a minor, the Rabbis permitted her mother and adult brothers to give her in marriage to a man. The girl may, however, disavow the marriage before she reaches maturity, 12 years and a day. If she was so married and she disavowed the marriage, she may marry a kohen. If while she was so married her husband gave her a get she may not marry a kohen. If after he gave her a get he remarried her and while she was still a minor she disavowed the marriage she may marry a kohen, since the disavowance vitiated the get. If after her husband divorced the minor girl and she married a second man and while she was still a minor she disavowed his second marriage there is an opinion that she may marry a kohen.
There was a rumor that a kohen divorced his wife, but she continued to reside in his residence, he is not compelled to remove her from his residence. But if he then died she may not marry a kohen.
There was a rumor that a kohen wrote a get for his wife. If in that community the term writing a get means the writing and the giving of a get then she cannot marry a kohen.
If there is a rumor in the community that a woman was betrothed and then divorced, she is not permitted to a kohen. This applies only if the rumor has a basis which would prohibit her from marrying a kohen. But if the rumor is based on some facts that would not be the basis to prohibit her to a kohen, no heed is paid to the rumor.
If a kohen divorced his wife he should not live in the same residential complex with her. If they both had apartments in the same residential complex she should be required to move unless she owned her apartment in which event he would be urged to move.
If an unmarried girl was seen having sex with a man and he is no longer here to ascertain his status, and when questioned as to who he was, she answers that the man was someone whom she could have married, she is believed and she can still marry a kohen. Even more than that - if the girl is pregnant and when asked who is the father of the child she states that he is a man she could have married, she is believed and can still marry a kohen. These laws depend upon the makeup of the community, are the majority of men there Jews or Gentiles. If Jews then she is believed as to whom she had relations with.
If a kohen did marry any of those who he is prohibited to marry, Beit Din should put pressure on him to divorce her even to the extent of excommunicating him.
If a kohen marries a woman who is prohibited to him, he does not duchen, nor is he called up for the kohen aliya. It is important to note that this is not a matter of choice. A Kohen may not "abdicate" his kohen status for the woman he loves.
Ed. note: Although such a kohein is not given the honor due a kohein, he is a kohein nonetheless. Prohibitions - such as going to a cemetery - still apply to him.
Rav Betzalel Stern (20th century Hungary) was asked if pressure could be put on a kohen to divorce by prohibiting his wife from immersing in the community mikva, thus rendering her permanently forbidden to him, and he ruled in certain cases this would be effective.
Nowadays where there are so many young people returning to the observance of the Torah and some girls now want to get married to men who may be kohanim, many questions arise regarding some of these young ladies because of their past. There are rabbis who are expert in these areas of halacha and they should be consulted.
Spiritual and Ethical Issues in the Bamidbar Stories by Dr. Meir Tamari
My Servant Moshe 
"And the man Moshe was extremely humble, more than any man upon the face of the earth (Bamidbar 12:3); My servant Moshe, in the whole of My House is he trustworthy" (12:7). Chazal saw in the wording and the construction of these 2 verses concerning Moshe in the story of Miriam and Aharon's words against him, a clear perspective of Moshe's singular status as the prophet of all times.
"There has arisen no prophet in Israel like Moshe (D'varim 34:10) but in the nations of the world there has arisen Bilaam ben Beor" (Sifri). "In order that the nations of the world would not be able to say that they would have accepted the Torah if G-d would only have sent them a prophet like Moshe, there is a long list of prophets that He sent to them, of whom Bil'am is the greatest" (Tanna d'bei Eliyahu). Bil'am and Moshe, is a study in contrasts, highlighting not only the greatness of Moshe but also the radical differences between the prophets of Israel and the others.
Moshe protests his reluctance and unsuitability for prophecy and in every story of our prophets, the very first revelations are likewise accompanied by attempts to evade the calling; prophecy was not a career to be pursued. Our prophets consistently express their sorrow when the punishments they have foretold are imminent or actually occur. Yirmiyahu authors Eicha when his prophecy of the destruction of Yerushalayim comes true. Moshe pleads for the forgiveness of Israel's sins and prays for his own destruction rather than that Israel should suffer the results of their actions. Yeshayahu trembled over the sorrows of Moav (16:11) and Yechezkeil wept over the fall of Tyre. Bil'am, however, arrogantly accepts the designation by Balak of himself as a seer and a prophet. He pursues the prophecy and its material rewards while boasting of his antecedents and spiritual powers. When his aim of cursing Israel is turned by G-d into blessings, he advises Moav to secure their destruction through sexual immorality. "One who has an evil eye, [jealous and stingy], an arrogant spirit and a greedy soul is of the disciples of Bilaam" (Avot 5:21).
The use of the term EVED NE'EMAN, most trusted servant, describing Moshe, is singularly instructive since it highlights two intrinsic and essential traits in Jewish prophets and leaders. We find the same term used to refer to Eliezer when Avraham sends him to find a wife for Yitschak; there it indicates devotion and single minded- ness in carrying out one's mission and adhering faithfully to the wishes of the principal as he himself would do. Moshe was the very personification of such a EVED NE'EMAN, even above all the other prophets of Israel.
Furthermore, there was in Moshe another perspective to EVED NE'EMAN. He never abused or exploited the power that was inherent in his role as prophet and leader; there was never even a hint of self-interest or personal aggrandizement. "Moshe said to the people, 'during all our wanderings in the desert I never asked anyone to erect or dismantle my tent. I never asked anyone to carry my goods for me in their hands. When I brought my family from Midyan, it was on my own donkeys [even though the purpose was the public service of the Exodus]" (Yalkut Shimoni, Korach 12). "Shimshon asked before he was killed together with the Philistines in Gaza, 'Remember, G-d, to my credit that in all the 20 years that I judged Israel, I never once asked anybody to as much pass me my stave from one place to another' [a favor that could hardly have been refused to one in his position]" (Sotah 10a). So too, we read Shmuel HaNavi protesting any abuse of power, even the mere appearance of such abuse: "When I went to ask forgiveness for Israel or when I was sent to anoint a king for them, I took my own sacrificial animals. In performance of my judicial functions, I did not follow the usual practice and force Israel to come to me but made my circuit at my own expense" (Bamidbar Rabba).
Self-made people, who believe that they alone create their wealth, honor and happiness, have no spiritual space for G-d. One of the major human religious problems was created by the Greek, and later Renaissance, idea that nothing exists beyond the human ability, wisdom, and understanding. This form of arrogance always militates against worship and obedience to the Divine. "Haughtiness of the eyes and an immoderate heart are the sinful field of the wicked" (Mishlei 21:4). "Whosoever has proud eyes and a haughty heart, him will I despise" (T'hilim 101:5). "The one MIDA to which the rule of the medium path does not apply is that of pride and arrogance. Regarding this, one should always be extreme in rejecting and avoiding every hint and manifestation (Hilkhot De'ot 2:3).
However, the humility of Moshe should in no way be equated with voluntary poverty, physical weakness, otherworldliness, or monasticism. "G-d calls Moshe His servant; the servant of the king is a king" (Tanchuma, Tzav 13). The Midrash teaches that Moshe was a king in Kush before returning to Egypt and he appears before Par'o as an equal. He is the great lover of Israel yet he is unafraid to stand up against their revolts, sins and murmurings. "Moshe was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye had not dimmed and his vigor had not diminished" (D'varim 14:2). "Should we think that Moshe was a weak man, it is written 'and he slew Sichon, king of the Emori and Og king of the Bashan' (Bamidbar 21:34); should we think that Moshe was poor, it is written 'Israel despoiled Egypt' and 'the man Moshe was extremely great' (Sh'mot 11:3). Should we think that he was not tall, it is written 'and he covered the Mishkan with the tent' (Sh'mot 40:9); the Mishkan was 10 cubits high yet Moshe was able to put the tent over it" (Sifri 101).
"How could Moshe be humble and yet write in the Torah the words, 'and the man Moshe was more humble than any man'; surely that is arrogance'? Remember, however, the verse that says, 'Moshe, the man of G-d'; it is that characteristic that enables Moshe to be a king, a high-priest, father of all the prophets, speak face to face with G-d and yet write in the Torah, 'and Moshe was the most humble of men" (Midrash).
MISC section - contents:
 Vebbe Rebbe
 From the virtual desk of the OU
The Orthodox Union - via its website - fields questions of all types in areas of kashrut, Jewish law and values. Some of them are answered by Eretz Hemdah, the Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, headed by Rav Yosef Carmel and Rav Moshe Ehrenreich, founded by HaRav Shaul Yisraeli zt"l, to prepare rabbanim and dayanim to serve the National Religious community in Israel and abroad. Ask the Rabbi is a joint venture of the OU, Yerushalayim Network, Eretz Hemdah... and the Israel Center. The following is a Q&A from Eretz Hemdah...
Q: I am part of a group of around 10 Jewish prison inmates (some, like me, are studying for conversion). Our cells (5' x 9') have a toilet in them and during the time for Shacharit and Ma'ariv, I am not able to get out. Can I put on my tallit and pray at that time, in a "dirty place", or is it an abomination to Hashem? Our rabbi died a few years ago, and we don't have anyone to answer our questions any more. Also, could you send us some texts to study from?
A: It is a problem to involve oneself in holy things in proximity of excrement, as we will briefly discuss. Those who are not Jewish yet are not bound by those requirements, which are not included in the seven Noahide laws. However, your letter [shortened above] makes it clear that you want to follow the laws like a Jew. Therefore, we will present the laws for your whole group under your difficult circumstances (and this will serve as one of the study materials we will send).
One may not pray or make blessings in or opposite bathrooms (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 83:1). However, not necessarily is every room with a toilet a bathroom. Poskim (halachic authorities) have discussed to what extent rooms with a toilet that are used also for things such as washing hands, shaving, etc. have the status of a bathroom. In your case, the room is as multi-purpose as it gets, which gives grounds for leniency.
The very presence of a toilet, even a cleaned one that is outside a bathroom, raises problems. One may not recite things of sanctity within approximately six feet of a waste receptacle or any distance when one is facing it. There is a distinction regarding whether it is made out of an absorbent material. Absorbent materials that are coated with a glaze, like most modern toilets, are also the subject of dispute (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 87:1 and commentaries). However, this is of limited help when the utensil is used only for the "dirty" purpose (ibid. 83:5). However, if one can cover the toilet all around or get a 30 inch partition in front of it and smell does not emanate from it, this problem is solved (ibid. 76:1).
There is another reason for leniency in modern bathrooms in general. The Talmud (B'rachot 26a) says that Persian bathrooms do not have a status of a bathroom because the hole is built on an incline so that excrement rolls down and away. Poskim compare and contrast our modern toilets, which of course, flush (as opposed to those in Talmudic times) to the Persian ones. On one hand, during most of the day, the toilet is (relatively) clean. On the other hand, the excrement stays put until one gets around to flushing. In general, under normal circumstances (hopefully when you and your friends will be out of prison), we would not allow one to make blessings or pray in such a room. However, under the circumstances, there is room for leniency, if there is not a bathroom smell where one is.
The Rama (the Ashkenazic counterpart of the Shulchan Aruch, ibid. 62:4) says that when one is in a place that is not totally clean, he can and should contemplate the words of the Shema (as an example of all holy texts), rather than to recite them. Although it is generally forbidden even to think of such things in an unclean place (Beit Yosef, OC 25), this is a good solution for borderline places.
Therefore, we suggest the following. When you have to recite a prayer or blessing while in your cell, try to get out of a six foot radius of the toilet (probably possible with the diagonal), face the other way and read the texts without uttering them with your lips. Your tallit is not a matter of holiness, although it is an important thing since it is used for prayer. Therefore, in your cell, which does not have a full status of a bathroom, you may wear it without making a blessing, or as mentioned, by contemplating the blessing.
 Candle by Day
There seems to be a kind of tacit agreement among mankind to approve of one another's mediocrity in order that it not be necessary for anyone to over-exert himself.
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
 Wisdom and Wit by Shmuel Himelstein
R' Mordechai Bennet was already an old man when he met the Chasam Sofer at a summer resort. While they were there, R' Mordechai received an urgent letter regarding a woman who was an aguna - a woman abandoned by her husband - and without a divorce or proof of his death, she could not remarry. New evidence had been found which might permit her to remarry. R' Mordechai was asked to review the case and offer his opinion of it.
Turning to the Chasam Sofer, R' Mordechai said to him, "I am really old and not well, but this matter is an urgent one. Could you review the halacha and answer the writer?"
"Rebbe," said the Chasam Sofer, "while I would be happy to do so, I have absolutely no sefarim here with me. At the very least, I would need to have the Tur with the Beis Yosef's commentary on Even Ha'ezer Section 17, which discusses the entire question at great length."
(That particular section is one of he longest in the entire Tur.)
"Oh, is that your problem?" said R' Mordechai. "Please take a pen and paper and start writing." He then dictated the entire section, word for word, from memory. When the Chasam Sofer finished writing, R' Mordechai told him," Now you have all that you need to be able to answer the letter."
R' Pinchas, the Rav of Frankfurt, was once asked: "Is it true, Rebbe, that when you were younger you traveled to the Maggid of Mezeritch, the famous Chassidic leader?"
"That is true," replied R' Pinchas. "How is it that a person such as you did such a thing without investigating first?" the man persisted.
"You are absolutely right," said R' Pinchas, "and I am indeed to blame. Had I investigated first about the greatness of the Maggid, I would have walked the entire distance to see him, rather than traveling by carriage."
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 permission
 CHIZUK and IDUD for Olim & not-yet-Olim respectively
The result of transgressing the sexual prohibitions of Parshat Achrei Mot is described in Vayikra 18:25 "The land will 'spit out' its inhabitants."
As R. Shimshon Raphael Hirsch (Commentary on the Torah, Vayikra 18:24-28) points out, every person ("adam") who comes from the earth ("adama") is rejected by it, should he defile it. For example, this is what happened in the time of No'ach. However, Eretz Yisrael, the chosen land, has a special relationship with B'nei Yisrael, the chosen people. We were selected by God to educate the people of the world to live moral lives and therefore, unethical behavior is absolutely intolerable. The Land of Israel will not flourish unless its society fulfills the lofty goals that God has set for it. If some individuals are guilty of moral corruption, only they will be punished. However, if the entire society acts unethically, and immorality becomes the national "way of life", the entire nation has betrayed the Torah and God's land. Therefore, it will be expunged from the land just as a foreign object is expunged from the body.
This has happened to us and it is a very frightening. How do we deal with it? Rabbi J. B. Soloveitchik (Divrei Hahkafah, 92-93) suggests that we look to the haftara for consolation. At first blush, it would seem that Chapter 9 of Amos has no connection to the mitzvot and prohibitions of Parshat Achrei Mot or Parashat K'doshim, when it is recited. However, the Rov points out that it is precisely because of the last line in the haftara, where God gives the people of Israel hope, and promises them that galut is temporary and they will return to Eretz Yisrael: "And I will bring my nation Israel back, and they will (re)build destroyed cities and settle in them.. and I will plant them in their land, and they will never again be uprooted from the land that I gave them (Amos 9:14-15) We will be given the chance to repent and return.
B'chasdei shamayim, we have been given the opportunity to return to Eretz Yisrael. We pray that more and more Jews come here and join us in creating the moral society mandated by the Torah, thus hastening the arrival of Mashiach.
Rabbi Aharon Angstreich, Jerusalem
TORAH THOUGHTS as contributed by Aloh Naaleh members for publication in the Orthodox Union's 'Torah Insights', a weekly Torah publication on Parshat HaShavu'a
 Parsha Points to Ponder - Acharei-K'doshim
1) Why does the Torah identify Aharon as Moshe's brother when instructing Moshe to teach the strict laws regarding the kohanim and not entering the holy of holies (16:2)?
2) Why does the Torah teach not to perform acts like the LAND OF EGYPT and THE LAND OF CANAAN instead of focusing on the people who lived in those lands (18:3)?
3) Why does the Torah say USHMARTEM ATEM which essentially means AND YOU SHOULD GUARD YOU when concluding the laws of immoral relationships (18:26)?
Ponder the questions first, then read here
1) The Kli Yakar answers that G-D was emphasizing that Moshe should not think that his close familial relationship with his brother would protect Aharon if he entered the holy of holies at an improper time and/or way.
2) Rav Dovid Feinstein suggests that the Torah is teaching the root cause of the moral depravity of the people in Egypt and Canaan and, by extension, every- where in the world throughout history. It is the land, itself. If the land is very fertile, as it was in Egypt and Canaan at the time, then this tends to lead the people to living self-indulging lives including immorality. Thus, we should not act in the way that the LAND OF EGYPT and the LAND OF CANAAN led its inhabitants to act.
3) The Ohr HaChayim explains that these mitzvot are so important that the Torah wanted to emphasize that we not only should make sure that we observe them but that the Beit Din and the leaders should do whatever they can to make sure that others do so as well. The extra ATEM is directed to them.
Parsha Points to Ponder is prepared by Rabbi Dov Lipman, who teaches at Reishit Yerushalayim, Tiferet, and Machon Maayan in Beit Shemesh and RBS and is the author of "DISCOVER: Answers for Teenagers (and adults) to Questions about the Jewish Faith",just re-published by Feldheim, email@example.com
 Portion from the Portion by Rakel Berenbaum
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FROM K'DOSHIM TO BAVA KAMA
In Parshat MISHPATIM this year, I talked about the connection between the biblical verses from that portion and the page learned at that time by those who learn DAF YOMI - the daily page of Talmud. At that time they were learning the fifth chapter of BAVA KAMA in N'ZIKIN called SHOR SHENAGACH ET HAPARA - an ox that gored a cow.
This week we can bring a similar connection. Last Sunday those who learn in the 12th cycle of DAF HAYOMI finished learning page 119 of the tenth chapter (HAGOZEL UMA'ACHIL) of BAVA KAMA. In so doing they had their first SIYUM in the Order of N'ZIKIN. This chapter deals with laws pertaining to someone who steals.
The verse in our portion of K'DOSHIM (19:11) warns us not to steal - LO TIGNOVU. The word TIGNOV refers to stealing secretly. Some examples include shoplifting, pickpocketing, using an item that someone asked you to watch without getting explicit permission, and using things at work that belong to the employer such as pencils and paper.
And what about getting benefit from stolen merchandise? We are forbidden to buy stolen goods. Meaning, if one is going to buy a used bike he should make sure that it is not stolen. If a thief would know that he is unable to sell his stolen goods, he might not steal anymore.
Page 118 of BAVA KAMA deals with the issue of someone who has had an object stolen from him (let's say Reuven) and then sees that object in someone elses's possesion (Shimon). HAMAKIR KEILAV USFARAV B'YAD ACHER. For example Reuven had a bicycle that was stolen and then he sees Shimon riding it. Reuven goes to Shimon and asks for his bike back. Shimon says that he bought the bike for 500 shekel and he can't just give him the bike. What happens in a case like this?
The Gemara says that actually Reuven should be allowed to take his bike back without having to pay anything for it, but the Rabbis have made a TAKANAT HASHUK. They decided that in order to make sure that people would continue to do business with each other - buying and selling - it must be that we must assume that when we go to a public store the objects there are not stolen and we are permitted to buy them. So in the case with the bike, Shimon must swear that he bought the bike for 500 shekel and if Reuven wants his bike back he must pay for it. Many interesting laws just from one pasuk in the Torah telling us not to steal.
YISHAR KOACH to all those who learn DAF YOMI.
Since the portion talks about stealing, this week's recipe is for cookies that it would be hard not to steal from the cookie jar - because they are so good.
WHO STOLE THE COOKIES FROM THE COOKIE JAR CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1cup ( lb. / 200g) margarine, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp.baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips (12 oz.)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Beat margarine and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
In another bowl, mix dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir or beat into margarine mixture until well mixed. Add chocolate chips (and nuts, if desired).
Drop dough in 2-tablespoon portions, 2 inches apart, onto greased baking sheets.
Bake at 400F (200C) until cookies are lightly browned and no longer wet in the center (you can break one open to check), about 6 to 8 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.
Let stand on pan to firm up, 2 to 5 minutes, then transfer to racks with wide spatula (so they won't break) to cool completely. Then watch out for those cookie thieves!
 from Machon Puah
Saving a Life or Stopping a Pursuer?
Last week we saw the Mishna that states that before the child is born we can abort him in order to save the mother's life, but once he is born or even the majority of the body is out of the mother then we cannot touch him since we do not push off one soul before another.
This suggests that the unborn fetus is not considered alive and only receives the soul at birth. It is clear from the Mishna that the reason that before birth we do all that we can to save the mother's life but after birth we cannot interfere is that before birth he has no soul and only receives that afterwards.
However, the Rambam brings this Mishna in his discussion of the laws of the rodef, the pursuer. It is a mitzva to stop the pursuer and not to be overly merciful. "Therefore" the Rambam writes (Hilchot Rotze'ach 1:9) "the Rabbis taught that when a woman is in danger during childbirth it is permitted to cut up the fetus either by hand or by a drug since he is like a pursuer to kill her. But if his head came out then we cannot touch him since we do not push off one soul for another and this is the nature of the world."
The Rambam adds to the issue another element, namely that of the pursuer, and it is for this reason that we are allowed to kill the fetus. This does not appear in the Mishna and this addition changes both the understanding of the Mishna and the dynamic of the question. Since it now appears that were the fetus not a pursuer it would be forbidden to touch him and thus the Rambam appears to be of the opinion that the fetus is considered alive and only when he is a pursuer can he be killed.
But according to this, the child is a pursuer for the entire time that he endangers the mother. Why then does the Rambam permit killing him prior to his birth but forbid it when the birth has reached a critical point, namely that of the head emerging? If the child is a rodef before the birth since he could kill the mother, then he should remain so even after until any danger has passed.
These questions are not only academic but hold the key to understanding the halachic status of the unborn child.
The Puah Institute for Fertility and Gynecology in Accordance with Halacha is based in Jerusalem and helps couples from all over the world who are experiencing fertility problems. Puah offers free counseling in five languages, halachic supervision, and educational programs. Puah has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Paris. To contact the Puah Institute please call 1-800-071111 in Israel or in the US 718-336-0603. website: www.puahonline.org
 Pirkei Avot
He (R' Chanina b. Dosa) used to say, He in whom the spirit of his fellow-creatures takes delight, in him the Spirit of the All-present takes delight; and he in whom the spirit of his fellow-creatures takes not delight, in him the Spirit of the All-present takes no delight.
We don't say (are not supposed to say) Who cares what other people think of me; I know that G-d knows the truth. It does matter what others think of us and our actions. R' Chanina b. Dosa is teaching us that G-d Himself "appreciates" (so to speak) when a person is well-thought of by his fellows. Obviously, this teaching is not talking about someone who has others fooled. Caring what one's deeds convey to others is learned from the oath that Moshe administered to the tribes of Reuven and Gad - if you keep to the oath, then you will be guiltless in the eyes of G-d and of Israel. How one's behavior is perceived by others is a factor in Kiddush HaShem (and its opposite).
 Guest Article by Eliyahu Schwartzman - Lesson from Yehoshua
Ed. note: The views expressed in the following article are the author's and do not necessarily represent the views of the Orthodox Union, OU Israel, the OU Israel Center, or Torah Tidbits. We welcome reader feedback for possible publication in Torah Tidbits.
HaRav Shlomo Goren z"l told the story of a meeting of army generals with David Ben Gurion, which took place in the early days of the State. One general proposed that there be a separate division of the army for religious soldiers. This division would adhere to the laws of Kashrut, Shabbat, etc. and the "rest of the army" would be able to conduct itself otherwise. It was not Rav Goren who responded; it was Ben Gurion. We are one people and we have one army. And since you do not refuse to eat kosher, but he (pointing to Rav Goren) objects to eating non-kosher, then everyone in the army will eat kosher. The IDF has many rules and regulations that require adherence to halacha. It is against army regulations to violate Shabbat in public. It is forbidden by the army to mix milk and meat utensils. The army must provide adequate davening time for soldiers who request it. And the list goes on and on.
This does not mean that these regulations are always followed in practice. But that can be said for many army regulations. A lot depends upon how many soldiers need and want the religious regulations to be followed. And that is part of the point of this article.
We, the people of Israel - and we, the Jewish People, owe a debt of gratitude to the Israeli Defense Forces for all they have done and will continue to do in defense of this country. To be sure, this debt of gratitude is to G-d for all He has done. And since He works hand-in-hand (so to speak) with the IDF, they share our gratitude and appreciation.
Which brings us to the main point of this article - all Jews in Israel should be doing military service or National Service of some kind, in order to help in the national effort to keep our enemies at bay and to help make our society more secure and productive.
"But what about the fact that someone learning Torah full time is also contributing to betterment of society and the defense of the country?"
This is so, but there are two main problems with this argument.
The State of Israel is at war with its enemies. Sometimes the war is "hotter" than at other times, but it is no less war. And this kind of war can clearly be classified as MILCHEMET MITZVA (defined as an obligatory battle such as those for the original conquest of Eretz Yisrael, and a war defending ourselves from threat of anihilation). There are no exemptions for this kind of war. A Chatan is taken from his Chupa and a yeshiva student from the Beis Medrash. The Torah's exemptions for someone who recently betrothed a woman and has not yet married her, someone who has built a house and not yet started living in it, etc. apply to MILCHEMET R'SHUT (classically defined as a war declared by a king for the purpose of expanding territory), not to a MILCHEMET MITZVA.
If for no other reason, all our children should be taught and encouraged to do national service - either in the army or in a myriad of civilian positions that benefit society. Yes, we have to daven and yes we have to learn Torah. And yes we have to increase the amount and quality of mitzvot and chessed we do. And all of that greatly benefits the Jewish People. But these activities do not necessarily replace military and national service.
How do we know this to be so? Let's learn a lesson from Yehoshua. "Moshe received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Yehoshua..." (Avot 1:1).
"...but his servant Yehoshua bin Nun, a young man, departed not from the Tent." Moshe Rabeinu taught Torah to all of Israel. He was the Rebbi of every single Jew who stood at Har Sinai. Yehoshua was his main Talmid Muvhak. Not only did he learn Torah from Moshe Rabeinu, he was entrusted with being the main force in transmitting Torah to the next generation.
And when Amalek attacked the people, whom did Moshe call upon with the TZAV SHMONEH of the time? Yehoshua. Wait a minute - that was before Matan Torah! And how many battles did he lead and fight after the Torah was given? After he became the one to learn from Moshe and to be the next Gadol HaDor. Yehoshua was the quintessential yeshiva bocher who served in the army. He was the first Hesdernik. Or, perhaps the first Nachal Chareidi soldier.
There are many yeshiva boys who serve in the army. Many distinguish themselves as soldiers and officers.
There should be more. Many more. The more religious fellows there are in the army, the more Jewish and halachic the army is. Many non-religious soldiers respect their dati comrades. Many develop a respect and interest for Torah and mitzvot because of the dedication shown by the religious soldiers. (Of course this isn't always so, unfortunately, but it would increase with more of our young men sharing the responsibility for protecting our nation and our people.)
One more item to add to the above. And no small item it is. Fact: There is a resentment in the non-observant population (and even in the Dati Leumi "camp") towards the "Chareidi" segment who do not serve in the army (or at least participate in some National Service framework) and a lowering of the esteem they have for Torah and Torah Jews. They resent having to do more reserve duty and having their children serve longer in the army because of those who do not serve. Behaving in such a way that lowers the esteem for Torah in the eyes of the beholder is defined as CHILUL HASHEM.
Do I think that there will be more respect for Torah on the part of the not-yet observant if more religious people would serve this country as the rest of society does? ABSOLUTELY, YES. This doesn't mean that non-religious people will "return" to Torah overnight. But it will be a major step in that direction.
Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut are occasions to acknowledge the sacrifice and dedication of thousands of people - those who were killed and those who, B"H, live on - to the survival and growth of the Jewish People in Eretz Yisrael.
May we merit the day when all nations will know HaShem and His relationship to the Jewish People and our enemies will become friendly neighbors. When the Jewish People will lovingly embrace Torah values and practice. When all the Jews will return to Eretz Yisrael, to rebuilt Jerusalem with the Third Beit HaMikdash, BIMHEIRA B''YAMEINU AMEN.
Space Shuttle - MAABORET CHALAL
"IN ORBIT" - BIM'UFA
 Divrei Menachem
After teaching us about the prohibition to eat blood - that seems to touch us to our very core - parshat Acharei instructs us not to perform the practices of the peoples of Egypt and Canaan or to follow their traditions but, "to carry out My laws and safeguard my decrees..(Vayikra 18:1-4).
Of course, the customs of the Egyptians were among the most morally decadent in the world and the deeds of the Canaanites were the most abominable. As if to illustrate the point, the parsha continues to discuss the laws of immorality and forbidden relationships that were the pernicious hallmark of these indigenous cultures.
From the reference to these extreme societies, one may be led to thinking that the imitation of "lesser evils" could be tolerated. However, our rabbis understood the pervading and corrosive effects of assimilation, the damaging results on the national and spiritual psyche of the Jewish people when they begin to emulate the mores of their gentile neighbors.
For example, Rabbi Hirsch cautions that one should not celebrate the holy days of surrounding nations. He adds, however, that one "must [also] not do anything to mar their festive spirit or to parade non-participation in a manner that might arouse animosity." Perhaps there is here also an important lesson in tolerance that we could adopt within our own circles.
Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff
Towards better Davening and Torah Reading
This too, even more so
The initial and mainstay source for this column has been EIM LAMIKRA HASHALEIM by R' Nisan Sharoni of Ashdod. The book is filled mostly with details of grammar and pronunciation, with occasional attention paid to the cantillation notes (TROP) of the Torah. There is a special section for KRI'AT SH'MA and a perek-by-perek survey of items of note throughout the Torah and Megilat Esther. Many people have sought to buy this book; some have succeeded in finding it.
The goal of this column is stated in its title. Mostly, the column attempts to help the reader fine-tune his davening and Torah reading. With all this stated for the record (again), see with what R' Nisan begins his presentation of Acharei. Quoting the Mishna B'rura, who in turn quotes the Zohar: Anyone who feels the pain of Aharon's devastating loss of his two sons (the incident is mentioned at the beginning of the sedra) and sheds tears over it, HaShem will decree for such a person, atonement for his sins. Not only that, he won't lose his children during his lifetime. Mishna B'rura adds to the Zohar that the key is for one to be inspired to repentance by the thought that "if the mighty cedars can fall, what can a lowly hyssop do".
This is followed by pointing out that a certain KAMATZ is KATAN, that a BET should be emphasized in a different word, that there is a TIPCHA under yet another word, that the ALEF in G-d's name falls totally silent when the name is prefixed by a LAMED/PATACH - i.e. LADO-NOI, not LA-ADO... And on and on and on.
The point? Fine-tuning our davening and Torah reading involves the distinction between a SH'VA NACH and a SH'VA NA, knowing where to pause briefly, where to pause longer, and where not to pause at all. But fine-tuning our davening and Torah reading also involves our understanding of the text and using our hearts to daven and layn - not just vocal chords and mouths.
Kohen Gadol and two identical goats, over which lots are drawn (coin flip).
Shabbat candles are reminder to keep the Shabbat, which is attached to Reverence for parents and to Reverence for the Mikdash.
B'samim is for Havdala, not from Shabbat to Chol but between kosher and non-kosher animals and between us and other nations - mentioned at the end of the sedra. [Some hold that this IS the source of the mitzva of havdala on Motza"Sh.]
Mickey Mouse in his famous role as the Sorcerer's Apprentice represents the prohibitions of divination, omens, and other "black arts". (No offense, Mickey)
The heart in the Torah is a pictogram for Love thy fellow being a great Torah rule.
Lifesaver is for the mitzva not to stand by idly while someone is in danger.
Grapes and wheat refer to many agricultural mitzvot in the sedra - PE'AH, LEKET, and others.
Thief is various prohibitions related to theft.
The camel with the monkey-head is a reminder of the prohibition of cross breeding animals.
Scales of justice knocked over are for the prohibitions related to perverting justice.
The scale is weighing a 1 kilo weight, but reads less than one. Either the weight is off or the scale is. Whichever, that would be ASUR, to use false weights and measures or even to possess them.
Razor blade for the prohibition of shaving one's face with one.
The first three trees with fruit stand for ORLA, then the fourth year has an asterisk - the fruit is KADOSH. 5th year's fruit is to eat.
Picture is of the actor Herve Villechaize who played the character Tattoo on Fantasy Island - "De plane, boss, de plane". Here he reminds us of the prohibition of tattooing.
At the top of the ParshaPix is the name of the month IYAR, presented in a way that it represents two special dates in the month: ALEF-YUD is Eretz Yisrael, reminding us of Yom HaAtzmaut, 5 Iyar (or the 6th, this year; or the 3rd or 4th in other years), and YUD-REISH is for Yerushalayim, as in Yom Yerushalayim, the 28th of the month.
And some Unexplaineds
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 (Tazri'a-M'tzora) TTriddles:
 It's not just for Brits
This TTriddle was meant to make the potential solver think that Brits refers to people who come from Britain. The image of Queen Elizabeth II from a coin and the Union Jack were meant to reinforce that impression. In fact, the Brits in the TTriddle refer to BRIT MILA. The answer, then, is simple. UVAYOM HASH'MINI, and on the 8th day... from the beginning of Tazri'a is referring to a Brit Mila. But there are a few other BAYM HASH'MINIs that refer to other things - like the purification of the M'tzora and others. So BAYOM HASH'MINI is not just for B'RITOT. A search of Tanach reveals 16 occurrences of the words BAYOM HASH'MINI. One in Sh'mot refers to an animal being with its mother for seven days and on the 8th day, it can be offered on the Mizbei'ach. Vayikra has 8 occurrences of the phrase. The first, in Parshat Sh'mini, refers to the 8th day of the inauguration of the Mishkan. Then in Tazri'a-M'tzora we find Brit Mila, the korban of a M'tzora (twice mentioned), the Tahara of a ZAV and a ZAVA. And in Emor there are two references to the 8th day of Sukkot (a.k.a. Sh'mini Atzeret). In Bamidar, we find the purification of the Nazir, the 8th day of dedication gifts to the Mishkan, and another reference to Sh'mini Atzeret. There are 4 other occurrences of the phrase in the rest of Tanach.
 3rd gives a feeling of "been there!"
And here's another TTriddle about BAYOM HASH'MINI.. The third pasuk on Tazri'a begins with UVAYOM HASH'MINI. That gives us a feeling of "been there", meaning, having ready VAYHI BAYOM HASH'MINI a week earlier - Parshat Shmini.
 Two Aramaic plaid
The Torah commands the M'tzora to take two birds as part of his purification process. SH'TEI TZIPORIM - Targum: TARTEIN TZIPARIN. The word for two is similar to TARTAN which is a kind of plaid fabric.
 Did this before. Still good TTriddle.
The TTriddle tells us that we've used a similar TTriddle in the past. It further claims that it is still a good TTriddle. The statement of the TTriddle consists of two three-word sentences in a row. There is only one place in the Torah that we find two consecutive three-word p'sukim - Vayikra 14:55 and 56 (in Parshat M'tzora). And for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house. And for a swelling, and for a scab, and for a bright spot. Three-word p'sukim are rare enough; this is the only two such p'sukim in a row.
 Unexplaineds from the ParshaPix
The easy chair and footrest refer to the opening pasuk of the haftara for Shabbat Rosh Chodesh. "Thus says HaShem, The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool; where is the house that you build to Me? and where is the place of My rest?" (Yeshayahu 66:1)
 another Unexplained
This one is also from the haftara. The rack of pool balls (triangle at the top of the ParshaPix) stands for a place mentioned in the haftara - PUL (pool). "...and I will send those who escape to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud..." (Yeshayahu 66:19)
 And one more unexplained
This refers to the string of numbers: 2, .2, 2, 1, 7, .3, 1, 1/5, 1, .1, .1, 1, 1/2, 1/3, .25, 1. These are the numbers mentioned in the Maftir for Shabbat Rosh Chodesh, starting with, "And on Shabbat, 2 lambs of the first year without blemish, and 2 tenths measure of flour... all the way through the Rosh Chodesh Musaf which ends with 1 goat as a communal Chatat offering. 16 numbers in a relatively short portion.
 The MazlPic of the month
As H(S)M pointed out, we seemed to have inadvertently omitted the graphic for the mazal of the month. That, we did. We will remedy that omission this week.
This week's TTriddles:
 demonstration of 5:20:19
 A day with mixed reviews
 another demo (see p.9) (ttriddle #1)
Israel Center Miscellany
See website for the "standard" entries of this file.
Help young couples (evacuees and children of evacuees) from Gush Katif and N. Shomron get ready for the arrival of their babies - Tzedaka - Matan BíSeter; The money collected will be used to buy carriages, cribs, layettes... Make checks out to the Israel Center. Write on the envelope: Gush Katif - Baby Fund, Also collecting good second-hand baby items, For more info. call Sara 0505-444-397
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NESTO Native English-Speaking Teen Olim
Yair Landau Memorial Library
Thank yous and kudos!
A hearty Yashar Ko'ach to Mr. Julie Landau for his ongoing support of this project of the OU Israel Center.
A deep and sincere thank you to the family of the late Rabbi James & Malka Gordon z"l. They were
instrumental in securing Jewish Education for their followers and they willed their entire book collection to the Israel Center's Library for us to enjoy. May their memories be blessings for all.
We continue to insure that all of our readers have updated Torah tapes, musical compact discs, resources aplenty, and videos of interest...
We are always amenable to anyone who would like to volunteer to help out in the library...
Library hours: SUN-THU 10:00am - 4:00pm. Librarian, Yakov Rosen - he is available on SUN/WED/THU 10:00am - 3:00pm. At other times, the library is staffed by volunteers.
Mark Pollack is in charge of the video program that we provide free of charge on M/Tu/W 12:30pm. If you have a special request, please call 560-9100 ext. 135.
Wishing all of you a Shabbat Shalom. The Library Staff
OU Israel's Youth Program for Anglo-Israelis
Chaim Pelzner, Director - Saara Horiwtz Asst. Dir., Shayna Katz, Elisheva Cikk, Bnot Sherut
tel. 560-9100 ext. 138 - fax: 561-7432
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Jr. NESTO for grades 7-8 - Sr. NESTO for 9-12 - Both meeting Tuesdays at 5:00pm
NESTO's home is the Israel Center's Teichman Family Youth Center
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THE TRAVEL DESK is for making reservations and receiving info about Israel Center tiyulim. Please note that ALL Israel Center tiyulim require advance registration.
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A trip to Tel Aviv as in the days of the great HaRav Avraham I. Kook zt"l, Guided by Rabbi Yedidya Sinclair
who is writing his doctorate on the life of the late Chief Rabbi Kook. Thursday, May 7th
Poets, Prophets and Pioneers A Spiritual Biography of Tel Aviv
We shall walk in the footsteps of Rav Kook through the picturesque lanes and alleyways of Neve Zedek and learn of his dialogues with the great poets and authors who were his neighbors. From there we will visit Ben Gurion's House and the beautifully renovated Bialik House in search of answers to the questions: From where did the heroic pioneering spirit of secular Tel Aviv come? Where did it go? FYI - Tel Aviv is now commencing its 100th anniversary celebration. Tiyul begins at 8:00am and concludes approx. 6:00pm 135NIS members / 150NIS non-mem - Call Naomi at the Travel Desk 560-9110 or 050-725-8392, Shulamit's tiyulim are always a treat; Come! You will enjoy her delicious sweets!
Lag LaOmer Mystery Tiyul - Tuesday, May 12th from 9:00am to 5:00pm
An igloo in Gimzu, To bee or not to be, For dessert - a desert plant - You will receive a surprise memento at each station of this secret trip; You will also get coffee and cake more than once - Celebrate with us 2 x CHAI + 1 =?
110NIS non-members add 15NIS
If you're coming for the first time, you won't regret joining this "club", If you've come on previous Mystery Tiyulim, you won't want to Miss This One...
Sign up NOW with Naomi at the Travel Desk 560-9110 or 050-725-8392 - Shulamit's tiyulim are always a treat; Come! You will enjoy her delicious sweets!
Leil Shavuot at the Israel Center
Yom Tov Davening, Festive Leil Shavuot Meal(s) - twin seuda (milky*/mini-shiur/meaty*)
Divrei Torah, Shiurim all night long - Watch for schedule of speakers
Vatikin davening & Kiddush - Thursday evening, May 28 to Friday morning, May 29
Reservations required for the meal - rolled-back price: 100NIS p.p. - The rest of the program is free
(no reservations required) Call Ita Rochel (02) 560-9125
We are planning a shiur and davening late Yom Tov (Friday) afternoon/evening (times to be announced) And we will also have our regular 5:00pm shiur on Shabbat afternoon with Mincha at 6:00pm, Possibly Seuda Sh'lishit too (again, watch for details) and Maariv on Motza"Sh
If you would be interested in co-sponsoring part of the program, please call 560-9124
* a.k.a. milchig & fleishig
SHAVUOT & SHABBAT SPECTACULAR - Wednesday thru Sunday, May 27-31
5 days, 4 nights at the Lavi Hotel; Scholars-in-Residence - Rabbi Aaron & Pearl Borow; Your hosts
Menachem & Chanie Persoff with the assistance of Naomi Liebersohn
Lectures & Shiurim, Tiyulim: Bet Alfa Synagogue Mosaic, Gan Garoo Guided Tour, Guided Boat Ride: Haifa Bay, Rich and varied Shabbat & Yom Tov Menu, Separate swimming, Health Club, Entertainment
2520NIS (member) / 2700NIS (non-member) - Lev wing; 2700NIS (member) / 2980NIS (non-member) - Hod wing per person, dbl. occ. All tips included, Round trip Transportation included in price
Last Day of registration: Monday, May 18th, Non-refundable Registration Fee (incl. in price) - 200NIS p.p.
For further details, call Naomi at the Israel Center Travel Desk (02) 560-9110 or 050-725-8392 - Reservations confirmed only upon payment
The Back Page of TT857
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 - Life members - free, 25NIS members, 30NIS non-members
No one will be turned away for inability to pay. Membership 250NIS couple, 180NIS single.
Programs of the Center are partially funded by the Jewish Agency for Israel
Schedule for WED 5 Iyar (April 29) to Friday, 14 Iyar (May 8)
Wednesday, Yom HaAtzma'ut / April 29th
8:00am Festive Shacharit with the participation of Rabbi Sholom Gold, Rabbi Aharon Adler, Rabbi Neil Winkler, Rabbi Eddie Abramson... and YOU! followed by light brunch buffet
Thursday, 6 Iyar / April 30th
11:00am to 12:30pm Insights into the Omer
12:30-1:00pm Literary Discussion Dr. Hayim Abramson
various times MINI-Shiur/Divrei Torah while you fold
Thursday, April 30th, 8:00pm - The Joy Club with Rabbi Zelig Pliskin - free of charge
Friday 7 Iyar / May 1st
9:00am Rabbi Chaim Eisen: The Weird and Wonderful World of Aggadah Now studying: "What Authority Does Aggadah Have? An Historic Overview (Rishonim)"
11:00am RCA Daf Yomi
EARLY SHABBAT MINYAN - Friday, may 1st - Mincha at 5:43pm
PLAG (which is earliest Candle Lighting time) is 5:55pm, Kabbalat Shabbat right after PLAG
Note: Mincha time for the Early Shabbat Minyan is one hour before the regular candle lighting time. (Approx. 15 minutes before PLAG)
Shabbat day 8 Iyar/May 2nd
5:00pm Shabbat Shiur on Pirkei Avot by Kalman Walker
Motza'ei Shabbat, 9 Iyar/May 2nd
The Center will be closed this Motza'ei Shabbat
Sun-Thu in the Ganchrow Beis Medrash (first floor)
10:00am Rabbi Jeff Bienenfeld - Perek "Arvei P'sachim" (now that Pesach is over, we're going back to the beginning)
11:15am RCA Daf Yomi by Rotation (and Fri. at 11:00am)
1:20pm Mincha (this time stays the same throughout the year)
3:15pm Hilchot Shabbat - Rabbi Chaim Sendic (052-668-0312) Now studying: "HaLosh" (kneading and its applications)
4:30pm Masechet K'tuvot with Rabbi Hillel Ruvell
Sunday 9 Iyar / May 3rd
9:30am Let's Study the Chumash Tonia Frohwein women
10:30am Mystical Insights into the Months of the Year Golda Warhaftig
resumes May 10th "Life: The Fantastic Adventure" Aharon Romm
Financial Freedom Seminars at the Israel Center - Independent Financial Planning with the Israel Resource Network
SUN May 3rd 1:00pm (fee) Preparing for tomorrow: Retirement Planning, Pensions, Healthcare, Financial Transition and Succession, Retirement: it's time to come up with a game plan, Israeli pension plans and systems explained and compared, Health coverage beyond your sick fund and long-term care, Preservation of wealth and its successful transfer to the next generation, recession issues - communicating essential information between generations to ensure that family affairs don't fall apart - Mark van Gelderen and Debbie Sassen with Jonathan Marcus, Licensed Pensions Broker Further sessions in this series on Monday and Tuesday - see there
Call IsReNet for details: (02) 622-3065, 054 8427638, 0775334142
The Israel Center is not responsible for the content or any outcome of these seminars
Rabbi Sprecher's class will not take place on May 3rd. - Will resume IY"H on the 10th with a special topic: Why We Celebrate Shavuot the Day BEFORE G-d Gave Us the Torah
7:30pm Ramban's Commentary on the Torah and Its Wellsprings with Rabbi Chaim Eisen - Now Studying: "Is Nature Just a Figment of Our Imagination?"
Monday 10 Iyar - may 4th
N'SHEI LIBRARY: 10:00-12:30
9:15am Excursions into the Book of Melachim with Pearl Borow
10:30am Rambam's 13 Principles - Rabbi Zev Leff
11:35am Fit Forever: Look & Feel your Best! Exercise for women of all ages- Call Sura Faecher 993-2524
12:30pm VIDEO SCREENING in the LIBRARY - MON MAY 4 Rabbi Sholom Gold - "Ruth and Revelation" (part 1)
Financial Freedom Seminars at the Israel Center - MON May 4th 1:00pm (fee) Financial Diagnostic Workshop, plus Wills and Trusts for Israeli Residents, Watch a financial diagnostic session, which you can emulate at home, Learn how to identify your needs and set financial goals, Will you outlive your savings? Will your inheritance make up for what 's missing?, Wills and Trusts for Israeli Residents, Living Wills - get the kind of care you deserve in the event of terminal illness and incapacitation,Israeli Durable Powers of Attorney, for both health care and finances - ensure that proper decisions will be made for you, Mistakes you don't want to make with your personal documents - Mark van Gelderen and Debbie Sassen, with Attorney Aryeh Litt
Women's Beit Midrash
2:00pm "bring on the Blessings" - Pearl Borow
3:00pm Mishna, Mitzvot, and More - Phil Chernofsky
5:20pm Pri Chadash Women's Writing Workshop 2 hrs. Contact: Ruth Fogelman (628-7359) and Judy Caspi (054-569-0410)
8:30pm Rabbi Dr. Elie Assis a senior lecturer of Tanach at Bar Ilan: SHMUEL (in Hebrew) Details? Call Sam Finkel 052-469-1263
MASK - J'lem Chapter at the Israel Center maskjerusalem.cjb.net 0507542717, NEXT MEETING: Monday, May 4, 7:30-9:30pm with Dr. Judy Belsky
Tuesday 11 Iyar - may 5th
The Israel Center and the Old City Free Loan Association 21st year - well over 5500 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
9:00am Haftara of the Week Rabbi Aharon Adler
10:15am Parshat HaShavua Rabbi Sholom Gold
11:30am Jewish History, 2nd Temple Period - Dr. Henry Goldblum - In the 2nd century BCE - Countdown to Revolution
Workshops for women with Esther Sutton...
11:20am Every Day Counts: Exploring the Secrets of the Omer
1:00 (to 2:30pm) Wellsprings Personal Growth through Creativity
Tue. 12:30pm VIDEO in the LIBRARY - TUE MAY 5 Sderot - The Human Face Behind the Headlines Powerful documentary on the true situation in Sderot, including film footage from the scene and interviews with victims of the bomb attacks. (1 hour)
Financial Freedom Seminars at the Israel Center
TUE May 5th 1:00pm (fee) Investing with the experts, Learn what one of Israel's most seasoned investment managers is doing for his clients, How to evaluate your assets and diversifying your portfolio, what to do with assets that have lost significant value, Five asset classes that make sense in this challenging investment environment - ark van Gelderen and Debbie Sassen, with Moshe Jonas, Portfolio Manager
8:00pm Meet the Meforshim - Rabbi Yonatan Kolatch - This week (May 5th) - "Shabbat as Moed" (for Parshat Emor)
Wednesday 12 Iyar / May 6th
9:20am Rabbi Macy Gordon - Contemporary Halachic Issues
10:45am Parshat HaShavua R' Yosef Wolicki
various times MINI-Shiur/Divrei Torah while you fold including a mini-shiur by Sara Berelowitz in memory of her father, z"l
12:30pm VIDEO SCREENING in the LIBRARY - WED MAY 6 Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher - "How and why did Rabbi Akiva's students die?"
Medical Chi Kong Practice with Avi Hirsch - Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30pm - Call for further details: 050-767-1722
1:30pm Knitting 101 in the library with Verna
2:30pm Women's Beit Midrash - Pearl Borow
First hour: the KUZARI; Second hour on Chumash with Rashi
Wednesday evenings, 7:30-8:30pm: Rabbi Chaim Eisen
"Truth Will Sprout from the Earth": How Many Truths? How Many Legitimate Pathways to G-d? (How Many Right Answers in Jewish Law?"
Current Sub-unit: "From the Period of Prophecy to the Term of Talmudic Scholarship: When (and Why) is the Sage Preferable to the Prophet?"
Thursday, 13 IYAR / May 7th
11:00am to 12:30pm Insights into the Omer
12:30-1:00pm Literary Discussion Dr. Hayim Abramson
various times MINI-Shiur/Divrei Torah while you fold
Thursday, May 7th 8:00pm - SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION: What are the actual new policies of Obama and Netanyahu? What is the status of PLO/Hamas negotiations? Is the US Congress being kept in the dark? What can ordinary citizens do to prevent a terror state? David Bedein Director, The Israel Resource News Agency and The Center for Near East Policy Research www.israelbehindthenews.com
Friday Pesach Sheni / May 8th
9:00am Rabbi Chaim Eisen: "What Authority Does Aggadah Have? An Historic Overview (Rishonim)"
11:00am RCA Daf Yomi
EARLY SHABBAT MINYAN
Mincha at 5:48pm, PLAG (which is earliest Candle Lighting time) is 5:59pm, Kabbalat Shabbat right after PLAG
Upcoming at the Israel Center
Sunday, May 10th - 8:00pm - Saving the Jews of Iran - the time is now! Dr Tzvi Dwolatzky, Head of IJRescue in Israel - The Society for the rescue of Iranian Jews
Monday, May 18th at 11:36am - Kitchen Kulture Workshop with the fabulous Ora Cohen Ora will now show you how to prepare fruits and vegetables in an elegant fashion. Your Shavuot Table centerpiece will be filled with Aura by Ora. Participants will receive a special knife and will be taught how to carve fruits and vegetables into flowers and flora which you will take home with you. Fee: NIS30. Sign up now with the Travel Desk,
(02) 560-9110 (Naomi). The last day for registration is Monday, May 11th
Gala Yom Yerushalayim Dinner at the Ramada - Thursday, May 21st - honoring Rabbi Sholom and Bayla Gold and Charley & Shelly Levine
OU Kashrut ï NCSY ï Jewish Action ï NJCD / Yachad / Our Way ï IPA ï Synagogue Support Services ï OURadio.org ï Young Leadership ï Project Areivim ï OU West Coast
Stephen Savitsky, President, Orthodox Union
Harvey Blitz, Chairman of the Board, Orthodox Union
Stephen Savitsky, President, Orthodox Union
Harvey Blitz, Chairman of the Board, Orthodox Union
Rabbi Steven Weil, Executive Vice President
Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Exec. V.P. Emeritus
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Seymour J. Abrams ï Orthodox Union ï Jerusalem World Center
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OU Israel Center programs ï Makom BaLev ï Lev Yehudi ï Pearl & Harold M. Jacobs ZULA Center ï Machon Maayan ï NESTO ï The Jack Gindi Oraita Program ï Mashiv HaRuach ï OU Kashrut Israel
Yitzchak Fund, President, OU Israel
Rabbi Emanuel Quint, Senior Vice President
Prof. Meni Koslowsky, Vice President
Stuart Hershkowitz, Vaad member
Moshe Kempinski, Vaad member
Sandy Kestenbaum, Vaad member
Zvi Sand, Vaad member
Harvey Wolinetz, Vaad member
Rabbi Avi Berman, Director-General, OU Israel
Menachem Persoff, Director of Programs, Israel Center
Phil Chernofsky, Educational Director and TT editor
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