Shabbat Parshat Chayei Sara (M'vorchim)
November 21-22, 2008 - 24 Cheshvan 5769
This Shabbat is the 54th day (of 354), 8th Shabbat (of 50) of 5769
Y'HI RATZON...SHET'CHADEISH ALEINU ET HACHODESH HAZEH L'TOVA V'LIVRACHA
Ranges are 10 days, WED-FRI 21 Cheshvan - 1 Kislev (Nov. 19-28)
Earliest Talit & T'filin 5:18-5:25am
Sof Z'man K' Sh'ma 8:47-8:53am
(Magen Avraham: 8:01-8:05am)
Sof Z'man T'fila 9:40-9:44am
(Magen Avraham: 9:09-9:13am)
Mincha Gedola 11:55-11:58am
Plag Mincha 3:32º-3:31pm
(based on sea level: 4:37-4:34pm)
Candle lighting and Havdala [Standard Time (a.k.a. Winter Time)]
Correct for TT 836 - Rabbeinu Tam (J'm) - 5:52pm
4:01 Yerushalayim 5:16pm
4:20 S'derot 5:19pm
4:17 Gush Etzion 5:16pm
4:17 Raanana 5:17pm
4:17 Beit Shemesh 5:17pm
4:18 Rehovot 5:17pm
4:17 Netanya 5:16pm
4:17 Be'er Sheva 5:18pm
4:17 Modi'in 5:16pm
4:01 Petach Tikva 5:17pm
4:01 Maale Adumim 5:15pm
4:16 Ginot Shomron 5:16pm
4:15 Gush Shiloh 5:15pm
4:17 K4 & Hevron 5:17pm
4:16 Giv'at Ze'ev 5:16pm
4:18 Yad Binyamin 5:17pm
4:19 Ashkelon 5:19pm
4:03 Tzfat 5:13pm
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...
We bench Rosh Chodesh Kislev this Shabbat. Cheshvan is one of two variable months in our fixed calendar, Cheshvan varies between its regular status of 29 days and its occasional "full" status of 30 days. Regular and occasional are a bit misleading, since Cheshvan's regular 29 days occurs in only 55% of years; its full status occurs 45% of the time.
With 29 days (as in this year), Kislev has only one day of Rosh Chodesh.
Because of Cheshvan's situation, Rosh Chodesh Kislev has many possibilities:
SUN, SUN-MON, TUE, TUE-WED, THU, THU-FRI, FRI.
Notice that neither day of Rosh Chodesh Kislev is ever a Shabbat.
Rosh Chodesh Kislev is Friday
ROSH CHODESH KISLEV YIH-YEH SHISHI HABA ALEINU V'AL KOL YISRA'EL L'TOVA:
The molad is FRI 3h 26m 15p (3:06am Israel Standard Time)
HAMOLAD YIH-YEH B'YOM SHISHI, ESREIM V'SHEISH DAKOT VA'CHAMISHA ASAR CHALAKIM ACHAREI SHALOSH BABOKER
In Rambam's notation - FRI. 9:493
The actual (astronomical) molad for Kislev is THU 6:55pm which is 8 hours earlier than the announced molad
The small but special prayer
In this week's sedra, the Torah tells us (B'reishit 24:63) - And Yitzchak went out to meditate (to converse) in the field toward evening. Connecting this pasuk with T'hilim 102:1 - A Prayer of the poor, when he faints, and pours out his conversation before G-d, the Gemara in the name of R' Yosi b'R' Chanina, concludes that Yitzchak Avinu "established" the prayer of Mincha. The next pasuk is - Hear my prayer, HaShem, and let my cry reach you. SICHA in the context of T'hilim 102 is a term for heartfelt prayer and this connotation is applied to the pasuk with Yitzchak as well.
Earlier, the Gemara quotes R' Chelbo who said in the name of R' Huna - a person should always be careful (particular, meticulous) with T'filat Mincha, because it wasn't until Mincha time that Eliyahu HaNavi was answered (in his confrontation with the 450 false prophets of Baal), as it says in Melachim Alef (18:36) - And it was at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice (Mincha time), that Eliyahu the prophet came near, and said: HaShem...
In various works of Rabbinic Literature throughout the generations - because of the episode of Eliyahu HaNavi on Mt. Carmel, Mincha became associated with the quality of Emunah, faith in G-d. The result of the confrontation with the prophets of Baal resulted in the people of Israel resoundedly proclaiming, HASHEM HU HA'ELOKIM, HASHEM HU HA'ELOKIM. This is considered such an important statement of Emunah in G-d that we conclude NE'ILA on Yom Kippur with a sevenfold emotional declaration that "HaShem is truly The G-d!"
Ironically, the Amida of both Shacharit and Maariv is preceded by the recitation of the Sh'ma - our twice daily (at least) reconfirmation of our belief and acceptance of the Yoke of Heaven. Mincha is not "fortified", shall we say, with the Sh'ma, but it has the dramatic episode with Eliyahu HaNavi as its background.
Because of its small size, and more so because of when we daven Mincha, our Sages have considered there to be a special reward for meticulous attention to Mincha.
Shacharit is part of our morning routine, before we get involved in the day's activities. Maariv is part of our evening routine, usually after the day's activities have been concluded. Mincha, however, usually requires us to make the time in our "busy schedule" for it.
Evidence of our commitment to Mincha are the many Mincha minyanim (services) that one finds around town at various times in the early afternoon - in stores, banks, bus stations, office buildings. In Yerushalayim and other cities, there are Minyan Factories that host countess daveners in many, many minyanim from the earliest time for Mincha (half hour after halachic noon) until sunset (and even a bit beyond).
According to T'fila K'hilchata, most (Ashkenazi) poskim hold that women are required to daven both Shacharit and Mincha - extent and application of this statement should be checked out with your Rav.
Obviously, each of our davenings should be done with seriousness and care. It's not just Mincha. But the others have an easier time of it, so to speak, because of their timings and content.
Mincha is a simpler prayer than the other two. It seems to fit with the personality of Yitzchak Avinu. And the image of conversing with G-d in the field as the day comes to an end, has a more spiritual "flavor" than the corresponding verses and circumstances for Shacharit and Maariv.
If you don't daven Mincha, think about taking it on. If you do, give Yitzchak Avinu a thought and let him help us daven better.
Chayei Sara STATS
5th of the Torah's 54 sedras; 5th of 12 in B'reishit
Written on 171 lines in a Sefer Torah, rank 37th
4 Parshiyot; 3 open, 1 closed
105 p'sukim - ranks 32nd (11th in B'reishit)
same as D'varim (which is longer)
1402 words - ranks 37th (11th in B'reishit)
5314 letters - ranks 36th (11th in B'reishit)
Shorter than average p'sukim in a sedra with slightly below average number of p'sukim means a smallish sedra
none of the 613 mitzvot are in Chayei Sara, however, as mentioned often, there are Midot
and values and other lessons to be learned.
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 - 16 p'sukim - 23:1-16
[P> 23:1 (20)] The parsha begins by telling us that Sara died in Kiryat Arba, which is Hevron. But first it tells us that she lived a full, long life of 127 years.
SDT: With the last theme of Vayeira being the AKEIDA, the juxtaposition of Sara's death supports our Tradition that Sara died as a result of the Akeida. The Midrash says that the Satan informed Sara about what Avraham was intending to do with Yitzchak, when they went towards Har HaMoriah. The shock was too great for an old woman, and she died. Some commentaries give an interesting twist to this. They say that Sara died, not from fear that Avraham would offer Yitzchak as a Korban, but rather that he might not! She remembered Avraham's reaction when she told him to banish Yishmael (and Hagar). She was afraid that Avraham's love and kindness towards Yitzchak would prevent him from carrying out G-d's command, and that Avraham would thus fail this ultimate test of faith. When she saw (or heard) that Avraham was returning with Yitzchak still alive, she thought her fears were realized and she died.
Avraham comes (some say from the Akeida, that is from Har HaMoriah; some say from Be'er Sheva; either way, it was apparently to Hevron that he came) to eulogize Sara and to cry for her.
SDT: V'LIVKOTAH, and to cry for her, is written with a small KAF. Some take this as a reminder that the crying was "small" since Sara had lived such a long life (Baal HaTurim). There is more crying when a person dies young.
Some say that the KAF points to the 20 in the way that the Torah tells us how old she was when she died: 100 years and 20 years and 7 years.
Others say that the small KAF allows us to reread the word with regular-sized letters only to obtain a different understanding, on a REMEZ (hint) level. And Avraham came to eulogize Sara ULVITAH, and for her daughter. This correlates with the opinions that Avraham and Sara had a daughter, but she died when Sara did. (Some even say that her name was BAKOL.)
Avraham next makes the arrangements for providing a suitable place to bury Sara. (There is a Tradition that Avraham was aware of the burial place of Adam and Chava, and that is the piece of land he was interested in.) He turns to the people of CHEIT, one of whom is known as EFRON. They all exchange niceties and the people offer Avraham any land he wants. He insists on paying full price and that is what he does for the field and cave of Machpela.
Pirkei Avot made famous that Avraham was tested 10 times. But the mishna does not enumerate the ten tests. There are different opinions as to which of Avraham's experiences are considered tests of his faith. Most lists of the 10 end with the Akeida, as implied from the p'sukim themselves. Rabeinu Yona finds a test after the Akeida - Avraham's experience in providing a burial place for Sara. The question on this is obvious - What was so difficult about that, that it should qualify as a test of faith - especially after the Akeida? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that after the Akeida, Avraham still had a couple of difficult things to go through. Wasn't the Akeida and everything that preceded it enough? No, not finished yet. This can test a person, sometimes, more than terrible trials and tribulations.
Surviving the Holocaust did not guarantee a person that he would have an easy life from then on. Some were blessed with trouble-free lives after their terrible ordeals, but most had many more difficulties to face in the years to come.
We do not know how G-d works. Why must we suffer trials and tribulations in this world? It has something to do with making us better people. With challenging us. With testing us. With preparing our souls for the World of Truth. And probably a lot more.
There is another approach to answer the same question. Eulogizing his wife, acquiring a burial place, finding a "shiduch" for Yitzchak - even remarrying Hagar (Ketura) are all "regular", mundane experiences. Can one who spoke repeatedly to G-d, ascended Har HaMori'ah, had a special relationship with G-d - can such a person return to being a "normal" human being? This too is a test, and Avraham passed with flying colors. These commentaries point to the pasuk at the end of the Akeida portion, "And Avraham return to the lads..." as an indication that he was able to "come back down to earth".
SDT: If a father insists that his son marry or not marry a particular woman, the son is not duty-bound to listen to his father. Meshech Chochma says that we learn this from the fact that Avraham gave instructions and administered an oath to Eliezer about a wife for Yitzchak, but did not command Yitzchak himself on the matter.
Levi - Second Aliya - 13 p'sukim - 23:17-24:9
The field, cave, trees, etc. become the lawful possessions of Avraham, after which he buries Sara.
[S> 24:1 (67)] Avraham is now at an advanced age and has been blessed greatly by G-d. "And G-d blessed Avraham BAKOL", with everything.
The word BAKOL screams out for explanation. And, sure enough, there are many suggestions as to what this extra blessing of BAKOL is. (Every time we say Birkat HaMazon, we ask G-d to bless us as He blessed our forefathers - BAKOL... Mikol and Kol are terms associated with Yitzchak and Yaakov.)
The numeric value of BAKOL 52, the same as BEN, son. This alludes to the ultimate blessing that Avraham received - his son Yitzchak.
R. Meir says that Avraham was blessed by NOT having a daughter. In Avraham's time and in his unique circumstances, who would she have married? What would have happened to her? In this case it was a bracha not to have had a daughter.
On the other hand... R. Yehuda says that Avraham's extra blessing was that he DID have a daughter. There is even an opinion that his daughter's name was BAKOL.
Rabbi Eliezer HaModai says that Avraham was blessed with the art/skill/power of astrology and that he was consulted by noblemen from far and wide. (Even when G-d told Avraham that he would have a child, Avraham resisted because he had seen in the stars that he was not going to have children. G-d "explained" to Avraham that it is possible to rise above one's "mazal", and in fact, that is the special quality of the nation that will come from him. EIN MAZAL L'YISRAEL. Ibn Ezra says in the name of our Sages z"l, true, but only as long as they keep the Torah.)
R. Shimon bar Yochai says that Avraham had a precious stone with curative powers that would heal all who gazed upon it.
These last two opinions identify BAKOL as Avraham's prominent position in the world. This fits with his role as "father of many nations".
Some suggest that Eisav's not sinning (until Avraham died) and Yishmael's repentance, both during Avraham's lifetime are the extra blessings.
There are still other explanations.
From the variety of explanations of BAKOL, it is quite clear that Avraham's unique status as the one who restored belief in One G-d to the world did not go unrewarded. We can see in this list of blessings, all the different kinds of blessings that can be ours, the spiritual heirs of Avraham Avinu.
The one major task remaining, which will forge the next vital link in what promises to be a great people and a great Chain of Tradition, is finding a suitable "shidduch" for Yitzchak. Everything now will depend upon Yitzchak. However great Avraham was, unless there is "solid" continuity, all will be lost. To this end, Avraham calls upon Eliezer to swear that he will faithfully carry out his task, that he will return to Avraham's family and hometown, and find a wife for Yitzchak there. And that Yitzchak is not to leave Eretz Yisrael (having been consecrated on the Mizbei'ach during the Akeida).
Shlishi - Third Aliya - 17 p'sukim - 24:10-26
Eliezer (who is exclusively referred to as "The Servant" or "The Man", as opposed to by name - his name never appears in Parshat Chayei Sara, where we would have considered him a major personality) takes ten camels laden with a splendid assortment of goods and travels to Avraham's hometown. Upon arrival, he ties the camels up near the well (and spring), towards evening, at the time that the local girls come to draw water. He asks G-d to be kind to his master Avraham. Eliezer asks for a sign - the girl who will offer him drink and also for his camels, she will be the one sent by G-d. Almost before he finished speaking, Rivka bat Betu'el of Avraham's family arrives on the scene with her water container on her shoulder. Eliezer runs to her and asks for a bit of water. She immediately gives him his fill and then draws water for his camels. Anxious to find out whether she was "the one", Eliezer waits until the camels have their drink and then presents Rivka with gifts of jewelry. (On the one hand, he has seen her kind nature and tireless act of chesed; on the other hand, he has not even asked her who she is.) When Rivka tells Eliezer that she is indeed from Avraham's family and invites him to stay at her home, he prostrates himself before G-d in grateful acknowledgment.
The Gemara in Taanit states that Eliezer servant of Avraham did not ask (something of G-d) properly, but he was nonetheless answered in a fine manner. His "sign" could have resulted in an unsuitable shidduch for Yitzchak, but G-d sent Rivka to him instead.
Some sources fault Eliezer for relying on an omen or sign - especially (or specifically) because he did not ask who she was before giving her "gifts".
Although one is supposed to feed his animals before he himself eats, with drinking water it is the opposite. This we learn from Rivka's offer of a drink to Eliezer and then offering to water the camels
R'vi'i - Fourth Aliya - 26 p'sukim - 24:27-52
Eliezer also says a blessing to G-d for not abandoning Avraham or withholding Divine Kindness from him. Rivka runs home to tell her family what has happened. Lavan (filled with ulterior motives, our commentaries tell us) runs to greet Eliezer. The gold jewelry adorning Rivka catches Lavan's eye, and he "graciously" offers Eliezer hospitality. Eliezer is served food but refuses to eat until his "business" is completed.
Eliezer proceeds to tell the story of his mission. He tells of Avraham and Yitzchak and of being sent to find a wife for Yitzchak. When he asks for Rivka's hand on behalf of his master, Lavan and Betu'el (commentaries point to Lavan's pushing himself before his father as an indication of a negative person- ality trait) accept all as G-d's will.
Eliezer again prostrates himself before G-d in grateful acknowledgment of the success of his mission.
Chamishi - Fifth Aliya - 15 p'sukim - 24:53-67
Eliezer gives more gifts to Rivka and her mother and brother, then they all celebrate with food and drink, and Eliezer and his party stay overnight. In the morning, Eliezer asks his leave. Rivka's family asks that she remain for a year, or at least ten months (as was the custom in olden times) but Eliezer insists on leaving immediately. Rivka is consulted and she agrees to leave right away. They send her off with a "maid" (later identified as Devora) and bless her. (This blessing has been repeated countless times to Jewish brides throughout the generations. Ironic, is it not, that we use Lavan's words for such a special occasion.) Finally the entourage leaves for Canaan.
Meanwhile, Yitzchak (having gone to bring Hagar back to Avraham) is in the Negev area and goes "into the field to commune, before evening". (This, we are taught, was the model for Mincha - see Lead Tidbit.) As the Rivka-Eliezer caravan approaches from a distance, Rivka sees Yitzchak, jumps down from her camel, and asks Eliezer who that man is. She covers her face with a veil when she is told that the man is her intended husband.
Eliezer tells Yitzchak everything that has occurred. Yitzchak takes Rivka as his wife and she becomes a comfort to him for the loss of his mother. For us, she later becomes Rivka Imeinu.
Rabbi Sholom Gold speculates as to how a girl growing up in the house of Betuel and Lavan can so quickly step into Sara Imeinu's shoes. His answer (beautifully developed in a shiur) is that it was D'vorah, Rivka's nurse- maid, who was her teacher and influence in the ways of Sara. D'vorah was left behind when Avraham and Sara "made Aliya", for just this purpose.
Eliezer is his name, but in Chayei Sara he is identified only as "the servant" or "the man". Vis-a-vis Avraham and Yitzchak, he is the servant; to others - in Chayei Sara - to Rivka's family, he is "the man".
Furthermore, the number of occurrences of Eliezer being called the one or the other are just about the same. He is both the servant and the man equally - it is a matter of perspective.
Most interesting is B'reishit 24:61 -
Rivka followed the man. Until then, Eliezer was HA-ISH. When she agreed to go with him, she was accepting membership in Avraham's family. We see the status of Eliezer change in the same pasuk - And the EVED took Rivka...
Shishi - Sixth Aliya - 11 p'sukim - 25:1-11
[P> 25:1 (11)] Avraham, having successfully provided for the continuity of what will become the Jewish Nation, now lives out the remainder of his life as a "private citizen", so to speak. He takes for himself a wife named KETURA (which we are taught was HAGAR) and fathers six more children. He gives them gifts, but Yitzchak remains Avraham's exclusive spiritual heir. (We can really say that in some ways, other peoples of the world followed Avraham's lead in living monotheistic lives, but the Torah's definition of Avraham's lineage is Yitzchak.)
On the question of the different treatment of Yishmael (banishment) and the children from Ketura (gifts), it can be explained that there was a crucial difference between Yishmael and Ketura's children. Yishmael challenged Yitzchak's inheritance. He claimed (and in some ways continues to claim) Avraham's legacy. When G-d told Avraham to listen to Sara, He told him to banish them, BECAUSE in Yitzchak will be called your offspring, your descendants. This point had to be made, and a farewell party and lavish provisions for the journey would not have made the point. No such problem with Ketura's children. They made no such claim. They did not dispute Yitzchak's role. They received gifts.
Avraham dies at the "ripe old age" of 175 (actually, this is 5 years short of the complete 180 that Yitzchak achieved - various reasons are given for the "lost" 5 years). His was a graceful, good, and fulfilling life (despite the tough times he had). He is buried in the Cave of Machpela, where he had buried Sara. Both Yitzchak and Yishmael take care of the burial. The Torah implies that Yishmael had repented his ways and had become righteous. What greater "nachas" for a father!
G-d blesses Yitzchak after Avraham's death.
From the fact that Avraham took Ketura only after Yitzchak was married, the Baal HaTurim says that this is the proper thing to do - Marry off your children, before you yourself remarry.
Sh'VII - Seventh Aliya - 7 p'sukim - 25:12-18
[P> 25:12 (7)] The descendants of Yishmael are now enumerated. Yishmael is identified fully as the son of Avraham and Hagar the Egyptian maiden of Sara who bore Yishmael "to Avraham". (This is quite parallel to the description of Yitzchak's connection to Avraham as stated in the beginning of next week's sedra. This might further indicate Yishmael's T'shuva in his later years.) It is noteworthy that Yishmael fathered twelve sons, not like Yitzchak, but like Yaakov. Note that both Nachor and Yishmael had their 12 descendants before we did (so to speak). This indicates a tougher life for the Jewish people (something that has been borne out over and over again in the course of Jewish History, right up to current events).
Yishmael dies at the age of 100 and 30 and 7 years. The wording in the Torah (seems to) purposely parallels that which was used to describe Sara's lifespan, a further indication (perhaps) of the change for the better in Yishmael. Rashi says that the age of Yishmael is included to help us compute the chronology of Yaakov.
Last 3 p'sukim are reread for Maftir.
Haftara - 31 p'sukim - Melachim Alef - 1:1-31
The sedra tells of the aging Avraham and his task of providing for the continuity of his beliefs through his son Yitzchak (even though there were other potential heirs). The Haftara parallels this theme by telling us of the aging King David with many potential heirs, providing that it would be his son Shlomo who would be the next link in the Davidic line. This, fulfillment of a promise made to Shlomo's mother, Batsheva - similar to the promise made to Sara that her son would inherit. The starting points are Avraham Avinu and David Hamelech. But no matter how strong their personalities were, the chain ends with them unless the next generation is as strong as a Yitzchak Avinu and a Shlomo Hamelech.
THE JERUSALEM INSTITUTE OF JEWISH LAW, Rabbi Emanuel Quint, Dean
Lesson # 450 - conclusion
Women as Participants in the Judicial Process
With this lesson we hereby conclude (for now) the topic of women in the Beit Din system. (The role of a person in the Beit Din system is in the person of a litigant, whether the plaintiff or defendant, or in the person of a witness, or in the person of a judge.) We are, in this lesson, discussing the role of a woman as a witness. (The role of the woman as a litigant has been discussed in prior lessons; the role of the woman as a judge in the Beit Din system is left for future lessons, IYH)
In a case that was decided about 40 years ago, Rav Menashe Klein (a prominent decisor of halacha, living in Brooklyn, NewYork), he wrote a responsum in which the question was discussed. (Responsa of Rav Menashe Klein, Mishna Halacha 5:269). He differed with the reasons that some of those who would deny women the right to testify, even in the limited cases where the Rama permits them to testify. Some stated that women could not testify since they were not trustworthy witnesses. R. Klein rejects this by showing that in many areas of ritual law, they were as trustworthy as men (for example, taharat hamishpacha, kashrut, Shabbat). His reasoning is the opposite of the reasoning of the Maimonides school which is based on the same Torah source that also prohibited Moshe and his brother Aharon from acting as witnesses in the same matter, that is a decisive prohibition. As was stated in the prior lessons, there are many personal matters in which a woman may testify; for example, that her husband had died or that the husband of another woman had died. And in either case the woman may remarry. A nurse may testify which twin was born first so if he is the firstborn he will inherit a double portion of the estate. In most ritual matters a woman is believed. That the meal she serves is kosher; that the plates used are dairy or meat etc. There are still questions regarding the eligibility of women testifying in Beit Din regarding monetary matters. There is of course the holding of the Rama and the entire Ashkenazic school that in matters in which only a woman is apt to be present, where there is no time to prepare eligible witnesses, the woman may testify. Thus, in the case of an accident she would be able to testify. (Or what took place in a mikve where a woman was injured when she slipped; was it her fault or the fault of the mikve operator. Or if there was a fight between two women in the women's section of the synagogue, who started the fight?) The foregoing lessons show that some communities have qualified the prohibition against women testifying before Beit Din in certain ways. In some communities women may testify under the status of their declarations in the Beit Din not being direct testimony but informed observations; they tell the Beit Din what they saw rather than what they witnessed. (There is little difference, in essence, between a person testifying and stating what that person saw. The judges of the Beit Din are the ones who should try to make a distinction between the two.) Nowadays, both testimony and stating what a person saw are generally permitted. Another possible approach is by stipulation. There is a general principle that all legal stipulations between the parties regarding monetary matters are given effect by the Beit Din. This principle appears in the Talmud on at least five occasions and in Maimonides in several places as well as the Shulhan Aruch itself. (See T. Bava Metzi'a 51a and 94a; T. Kiddushin 19b; T. Ketuvot 56a; T. Baba Batra 126b; Maimonides, Laws of Sales 19:8; Laws of Marriage 12:9/9.) (See also Rama 16:2; R. Karo 2:5; 206:1 and 225:5.) Thus the judges advise the litigants and their attorneys before the start of the trial that they should stipulate (agree) that women may be called as witnesses by the parties (and by the judges if they are so advised) and their declarations should be treated as testimony the same as that of a man.
In chapter 37 of Choshen Mishpat, R. Karo states that there is another exception. Ineligible witnesses may testify in matters affecting the community at large, since this is the accepted practice. The Rama adds that all these things depend upon the practice of the community. Moreover the entire chapter 22 of Choshen Mishpat deals with individual litigants accepting ineligible witnesses as eligible witnesses. It may be possible that the litigants who come before the Beit Din accept by kinyan women as witnesses in the case before them.
Consider a responsum of a leading respondent R. Shimon ben Zemach Duran who lived in Majorca and Algiers from 1361-1444. He was asked to pass upon a decree that was made by a small community. Most of the citizens of the community were related to each other and thus it would be difficult to find eligible witnesses since related witnesses may not testify in a lawsuit whether they are related to a litigant, to the judges or to one another. They agreed and legislated that henceforth the ineligibility of relatives would not be raised as an issue in Beit Din. In a lengthy responsum in which he cites many of the sources cited in these lessons, he concludes that the decree is valid and binding. And although an individual who has accepted an ineligible witness to testify may change his mind before the Beit Din renders its decision, R. Solomon b. Adret [Rashba] stated that the interests of the community override this right. The majority may compel the minority to accept this procedure. Also R. Meir Rotenburg was asked to decide a similar question and decided the same way. He concluded his responsum by stating that the practice of the community has the force of Torah law.
It is to be remembered that the word halacha means to move forward. In a day and age when women head governments; teach our children; and perform almost all of the tasks performed by men, there is very little rationale for women not being able to participate in the judicial process on the same footing as men. (As was stated at the outset the role of the woman as a judge in the Beit Din system is left for future lessons.)
The subject matter of this lesson is more fully discussed in A Restatement of Rabbinic Civil Law by E. Quint. Copies of all volumes can be purchased at local Judaica bookstores. firstname.lastname@example.org
Spiritual and Ethical Issues in the Bamidbar Stories by Dr. Meir Tamari
"And your camp shall be holy"; The Nazir 
Although the Nazir is seen as a holy person sanctified to G-d, this type of sanctification highlights the difficulties seen by the commentators of achieving a balance between the heightened spirituality and the negative possibilities inherent in such an undertaking. The discussions center round the anomaly of the Nazir, being holy to G-d yet having to bring a sin offering at the completion of the period of his vow. There seems to be an undertone running through all the various concepts of what the sin of the Nazir is. This is the fact of a powerful yetzer hara that can only be overcome by him through the denial of the legitimate enjoyments and satisfaction of normal bodily desires. The anomaly of the Nazir's sin offering is heightened by the comment of S'forno: "In all the cases of purification, the person required a holy person, the Kohen, to accompany him to the Ohel Moed, whereas regarding the Nazir, the Torah writes 'and he shall bring himself'', since we cannot find somebody holier than the Nazir himself."
"And the Kohen shall offer one dove as an olah, elevated offering, and the other dove as a sin offering, and effect atonement for him for having sinned" (Bamidbar 6:11). What can be the sin of men and women whom the Torah itself calls 'holy to G-d'?
Rabbi Elazar taught that if the Torah called somebody 'holy who merely refrained from wine, how much more so would somebody who denies himself the enjoyment of other things, be called 'holy'? The Nazir is called a sinner only because he defiled himself by contact with a dead body" (Ta'anit 11a). "We find that the Torah uses the phrase, 'if a person should die near him with quick suddenness and contaminate him" regarding the Nazir but not regarding a Kohen who also must keep himself from Tum'at Meit. This is because the Nazir who denies himself things that the Torah does not, exposes himself to the dangers of suddenly and unexpectedly transgressing his restrictions in a manner that the Kohen who is only limited by the restrictions of the Torah" (Reb Baruch of Mastuchin). Perhaps the story of Shimshon, exemplifies this approach? Although possessed of great physical strength, nevertheless, he was overcome by unexpectedly transgressing.
"Shmuel taught that whoever indulges in fasting is dubbed a sinner. This is as the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer HaKapar regarding the verse 'and make atonement for him, that he sinned by the soul', by which soul then did he sin? We must conclude that it refers to his denying himself the enjoyment of wine. If one who merely denied himself the enjoyment of wine is called a sinner, how much more so does this apply to a person who denies himself the other pleasures of life" (Ta'anit 11a). "The early Chassidim, when they wanted to make an Olah offering or a Thanks offering, both of which are free-will offerings, they would simply do so. However, they did not volunteer to become a Nazir who also brings such offerings, since they did not want to be called sinners" (Nedarim 10a). "Therefore our Sages commanded one only to deny oneself those thing that the Torah denied him. One should not inflict on oneself oaths or vows of abstinence from those things that the Torah permits. Is it not sufficient for us to refrain from those things that the Torah forbade, that we have to refrain from other things? As it is written (Mishlei 7:16), 'be not righteous overmuch' "(Hilkhot Dei'ot 3: 1). Rambam follows the teaching of Rabbi Eliezer HaKapar in seeing the Torah's defining the Nazir as a sinner a warning against fasting, mortification of the flesh and similar endorsements of a life of denial; the opposite of his famous middle of the road philosophy.
"The Torah writes about the Nazir who sits in his Nezirut that he is one who remains static in a certain religious and spiritual level. This is contrary to the correct way in which a man should always be "mehalech", walking or striding forward, as G-d said to Avraham, arise, "hithalech", walk before and be perfect'. Some additional self-imposed temporary and limited restrictions and abstention can serve as a stimulus to greater spiritual efforts and religiosity, but the sin of the Nazir is that he remains only in his original spirituality" (Chatan Sofer).
Using the plain sense of the verse regarding the need to bring a sin offering, Ramban comments: "This man sins against himself when, at the end of the period of his abstinence he forsakes his vows. He had separated himself to be holy to G-d and is compared to the prophet. He was obligated to remain at the same high spiritual level and now that he decides to defile himself he is considered a sinner".
"In general the Chatat offering precedes the Olah since purity from sin is always the preliminary stage of sanctifying ones actions. However, in some cases, as in the case of Nazir, there is a reversal of this order of sur mi ra, desist from evil, and then asei tov, do good. Where there was an actual sin committed the stress is on the chatat which has to be brought first before there can any elevation of the spiritual symbolized by the olah. But where no actual sin has sin has been committed so that the chatat is only the expression of an undertaking of future firmness in avoiding the sin, then the m the stress is on the olah, the spiritual elevating influence that precedes the chatat. This is the case both with the Nazir and with the Yoledet" (S R. Hirsch).
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 know that if two people want to do a ZIMUN and a third does not want to yet, the two can force the third to answer. What about if there are five or six people? Can two of them pick one to force to join them?
A: The Gemara (B'rachot 45b) says that if three eat together, one stops to answer for two who want to bentch, but two do not stop for one. Rashi explains that one should show proper manners to answer, implying that there is no halachic imperative that he must take a break in his eating to do so. However, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 200:1) rules like the Rishonim who say that it is halachically required for the third to answer, and even if he refuses to answer, the two (only) fulfill the requirement of zimun.
In order to answer your question, regarding two who want to use a third when there are more than three participants in the meal, we need to under- stand the reasoning behind the halacha above. Poskim explain that it is based on the concept of rov (majority) (Birkei Yosef, OC 200:5; Mishna Berura 200:2). The minority that is not yet ready to bentch has to follow the majority of the group that is interested. According to important poskim, this idea of ROV can be extended to other groups. The Eliyah Rabba (OC 200:6), for example, says that six who want to do a zimun with Hashem's Name also create a majority to force four to answer.
If the matter depends on ROV, it does not appear that a minority of a group can force a majority or even two sub-groups of the same number of people cannot force one another to do a zimun. The Birkei Yosef (200:5) assumes simply that which the Eliyah Rabba implies: five cannot make five answer. One could claim that the important thing is to have a majority of the necessary quorum who are ready to bentch and then they can use whomever they want. Thus two could force any one they wanted, while five, which is only half way to the zimun of ten, could not. However, the language of the poskim implies that it is a matter of deciding when the most appropriate time is for the group to do the zimun. There is no reason to assume that two can select one from the main group and turn him into their minority.
The exact definition of what constitutes a ROV in this regard is important for the following common case. One person wants to bentch, and a second is not yet finished but is interested in helping his friend and agrees to be the second. Can those two force the third? The Birkei Yosef (ibid.) (discussing five and five with one of the "non-bentchers" volunteering) leans toward the view that he cannot. The person who volunteers is still not an interested party who creates a ROV who are bentching. On the other hand, Rav Kook (Orach Mishpat, OC 40) leans toward the approach that even when only one of the two is bentching now, the two can force the third. His impression is based on the following Gemara (B'rachot 45b). Rav Papa was eating with his son and a third person. Only his son was ready to bentch, and Rav Papa accommodated him. The Gemara says that Rav Papa had gone beyond the letter of the law in agreeing. Rav Kook understands that once Rav Papa agreed, the third's willingness was irrelevant. (One can deflect the proof and say that, given Rav Papa's stature, it was clear that the third person would not object.) It seems that a majority of poskim accept the Birkei Yosef's approach that only two who are actually bentching can force a third. In practice, most people do accommodate their friends anyway, which is good. (Vaya'an Avraham (OC 16) suggests the possibility that if the second agrees because he is halachically required to respect the person who wants to bentch, it would be considered a ROV; he himself rejects the suggestion).
It is worthwhile to recall that, for Ashkenazim, when someone answers zimun before bentching, he must wait until the end of the first b'racha before resuming eating (Rama, OC 200:2)
 Candle by Day
The very existence of the word "mood" in our vocabulary shows how insensitive we are to our emotions. A feeling whose cause we cannot explain we call a "mood". If its cause were suddenly sensed, it would be a mood no longer. We use the word "mood" as we use the word "virus", not a label for some known causative factor, but as a euphemism for "cause unknown".
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
"Yitzchak went out to (lasu'ach) meditate in the field towards evening..." B'reishit 24:63)
What was Yitzchak thinking about that he felt the need to go out into the field to meditate?
Perhaps the answer can be found in another place where the "field" takes on special importance. When Yosef is sent by Yaacov to look for his brothers, the Torah says, "A person (Gavriel) found him (to'eh) wandering in the field (37:15)- The Kli Yakar points out that the word "to'eh" can also mean "making a mistake". Gavriel told Yosef that he is mistaken if he doesn't believe that his brothers would hurt him, let alone try to kill him because of something as insignificant as his robe. Gavriel tells Yosef that Kayin killed Hevel for a lot less, because jealousy has no rhyme nor reason.
Here too, Yitzchak may have been thinking about the tragedy of Kayin and Hevel as it related to his own brother, Yishmael, wondering how brothers could harm one another without cause.
Perhaps that is why the gimatriya katan for "suach", meditate, is the same as the combination of words, Kayin/Hevel (17).
In Eretz Yisrael there is a special need to be careful of the sin of jealousy. We are brothers and the land cannot broach the pain brothers cause to each other. The punishment for such jealousy is wandering and exile. Now that we are finally on our land, can we afford to be to'eh?
Yaacov Peterseil, 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
 Wisdom & Wit
When R' Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook was the Rav of Yafo, a woman who had a miserable marriage finally left her husband and went back to live with her parents. Both she and her husband were originally from Bialystok. She, of course, wanted a divorce, but her husband simply refused to even consider it. This situation continued for about two years. Finally, after much persuasion, the husband consented to give his wife a get.
Rav Kook, of course, immediately summoned his Beit Din, and checked carefully regarding the couple's exact names. The exact Hebrew names of the couple are a basic requirement for a get, and any error renders the get invalid. Once he had checked the names thoroughly, Rav Kook had the sofer - scribe - write up the get document. Then, just as the husband was about to hand the get to the wife, the final act in a divorce, Rav Kook announced that since there was a minyan of men present, they should first pray the Mincha service. This they did. Rav Kook took an inordinately long time to pray, and by the time he had finished, it was already twilight. To the consternation of all those present, he announced that as it was already after sunset, the get document had the wrong date on it, and the whole procedure would have to be repeated the next day, with a new get written up. Of course, many people were horrified, fearing that the husband might change his mind overnight, but once the Rav had ruled, there was nothing they could do.
That night, Rav Kook had a visitor, who just happened to be from Bialystok. As they were speaking, the Rav mentioned the divorce case he had heard that day. It so happened that the man knew the couple.
"You are referring to Esther Rivka," said the guest.
"No, she told me clearly that her name is Rivel," said Rav Kook.
"That is wrong," said the guest. "Her name is Esther Rivka, although she preferred to be called Rivel."
Rav Kook was astounded, because had the get document have gone through with "Rivel" as the name, the get would not have been valid, and she would have remained a married woman.
The next day, when the proceedings were resumed, Rav Kook questioned the woman carefully about her name, and found out that her name was indeed Esther Rivka. She, however, preferred the name Rivel, and simply thought that that should not make a difference. Finally, a second get document was written up, with the woman's correct name, and she received her get.
The entire city was agog at how Rav Kook's delaying the get had prevented a calamity from occurring. Had the incorrect get have gone through, she might have "married" someone else, and then all the children of her new "marriage" would be mamzerim.
Some people attributed Rav Kook's actions to special Divine inspiration, but he had an entirely different explanation for his actions. "You see," he explained to one of his friends, "I had a very different problem. One of the two witnesses who signed on the get is a man who sent me personal letters on stationery with the letterhead of the company for which he worked. That is theft, and such a person is considered a thief. A thief is not a valid witness to a get. Had the man signed as a witness, the get would not have been valid. I certainly didn't want to do anything in public that would embarrass the man, but I could not let the get go through. Thus I came up with my stratagem of praying Mincha and forcing the get to be written the following day. Of course, the following day I managed to have a different man sign as the witness to the get."
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 - CHAYEI SARA
1) Why does the Torah repeat the fact that Avraham acquired the field from Efron (see 23:17-18 and 23:30)?
2) Why does Rivka trace herself back to her grandmother, Milka, instead of simply saying that she was the daughter of Betuel?
3) Why was Yitzchak not blessed, either by G-D or by Avraham, while Avraham was still alive (see 25:11)?
Ponder the questions first, then read here
1) The Ohr HaChayim explains that there were two steps to the acquisition. In step one, Avraham paid Efron the money (verse 16) which relinquished Efron's rights to the land. However, it still did not completely belong to Avraham until he made a "chazaka" on the land - until he did something with the land. That took place with the burial (verse 19). The Torah recorded each step of the acquisition after each of those steps took place, thus explaining the repetition.
2) Rav Yonatan Eibushitz answers that Milka was apparently older than Sarah since she was written first (11:29 - (AVI MILKA V'AVI YISKA - according to our Sages, Yiska was Sarah). The Torah teaches that right after the Akeida, Avraham heard that Milka gave birth to children. Therefore, Milka probably gave birth shortly before that. Sarah was 127 years old at the time of the Akeida so Milka was clearly older when she gave birth and her births were also miraculous. Rivka figured that referencing Milka would link her to these miraculous births in a positive way since miracle births of this kind would only happen if she was destined to have special offspring.
3) The Kli Yakar teaches that G-D did not want to bless Yitzchak while Avraham was alive since G-D had told Avraham that he would be the one to bestow blessings (see 12:2). Avraham was concerned about blessing Yitzchak since he did not want those blessings to come to fruition for Esav as well. Thus, Yitzchak first received blessing from G-D after Avraham's death.
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
FEEDback to firstname.lastname@example.org
400 SHEKELS WORTH OF LAND
Hevron is again in the news with Arab violence and the Jewish court system evicting Jews from homes they rightfully purchased from their Arab neighbors. They just don't leave us alone to live in Hevron in peace and quiet.
In this week's portion we witness Avraham buying a tomb from the children of Cheit for his wife Sara precisely in Hebron. So many verses are used to cover this transaction (23:1-20). And this is not the only place where we are informed about Avraham's purchase. When Yaakov is on his death bed and asks his children not to bury him in Egypt - but rather to carry his bones to be buried in Hevron - he repeats all the details of the sale of this portion of land. Why the need for all this detail and repetition?
Ramban thinks that this section is one of the ten trials that Avraham had to go through. G-d had promised him that the whole land of Israel would belong to him and here he is forced to pay money to buy a small portion of it.
The Hitites obviously didn't respect the BRIT BEIN HABETARIM, the covenant where G-d promised Avraham the land of Israel. They went out of their way to prevent Avraham and his descendants from acquiring such land. They made a law among their inhabitants not to give or sell him any land - similar to the "White Paper" that was enacted by the British as a reaction to the Balfour declaration (OZNAIM LATORAH). So Avraham had to negotiate with them. He finally paid Efron the overpriced sum of 400 silver shekels for the field and cave of Makhpelah.
For all of you math fans out there, don't miss the Vilna Gaon's commentary on verse (23:15). "400 shekels worth of land." Why this price? A BEIT S'AH - a piece of land large enough to produce a S'AH measure of grain must be 50 x 50 AMA (i.e. 2500 sq. AMOT). If a person wanted a piece of land 600,000 sq. AMA then he would need 240 BEIT S'AH, which is 8 BEIT KUR.
Our Rabbis have said that at the burial of a TZADIK, righteous person, there should be 600,000 people just like at MATAN TORAH, the receiving of the TORAH (Ketuvot 17). And each person needs a sq. AMA of space. Since Avraham wanted to show respect to Sara because she had been a righteous person, he bought a piece of land that would hold 600,000 people - i.e. 8 BEIT KUR.
And the HALACHA teaches us that a person who dedicates a field the size of a BEIT KUR to the Temple, if he wants to redeem it, he must pay 50 shekel (Arachin 25). If you do the calculation based on the value mentioned in ARACHIN the price of 8 BEIT KUR would be (8 x 50 = 400) 400 shekel - and that's how much Avraham paid.
If all that math is too complicated, the main message to remember from all this repetition about the purchase of the cave is that this is the "uncontested property of Abraham" (23:20). The lesson of these verses is no less important for us to remember today as Avraham's descendants as it was in the time of our forefathers.
This week's recipe are cookies that represent the coins that passed hands between Avraham and Efron.
400 (grams) of Silver Cookies
400 gr. filo dough, "batseik Alim"
silver sugar pellets
Cut dough into circles, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and silver sugar pellets decorations. Bake at 180C until lightly brown.
 Micro Ulpan
Matches = GAFRURIM
Matchbox = KUFSAT GAFRURIM
Matchbook = OTFAN GAFRURIM
Friction strip = PAS CHIKUCH (for striking safety matches)
Matchstick = KEISAM (wood or cardboard)
 Torah from Nature
21st century (so far) mammals
We've written about recently discovered mammals in Torah Tidbits from time to time. It continues to amaze people that such a relatively well-studied class of animals will keep presenting the world with new members. Of course, a newly discovered animal is not really new. It's been around for quite a while, but we just never knew about them. In many cases, the animals were known to local peoples, but the world at large was oblivious to their existence. Here is a partial listing of species of mammals discovered since the year 2000.
At least five new species of marsupials (pouched animals) have been discovered since 2000, including the Arfak Pygmy Bandicoot, the Mountain Brush-tailed Possum, and the Red-bellied Gracile Opossum...
The Pygmy Three-toed Sloth was named in 2001... at least 25 new species of primate have been described, including 16 lemurs and nine monkeys... including the Goodman's Mouse Lemur of Madagascar, pictured below...
the Black Pika, the Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit, the Annamite Striped Rabbit
New rodents include the Cypriot mouse and the Laotian rock rat...
At least 30 new species of bat...
And the list goes on...
 Guest Article by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students, Diaspora Yeshiva
How can we escape our worries and fears today when we are confronted by the global financial meltdown and terrorism? The Rambam was asked a similar question in his Sefer, HANHAGAT HaB'RI'UT. In this medical book, the Rambam writes that there are numerous psychosomatic illnesses and there are also organic illnesses which are worsened by mental depression. Those worries and fears, besides being bad for the patient, also cause numerous other problems.
Rambam provides the solution -- the Fear of G-d. When someone fears G-d, he serves Him in joy. As it says, "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright of heart" (T'hilim 97:11). A person derives happiness from serving G-d.
Yet if someone's entire focus in this world is just physical pleasure and acquiring possessions, then when something goes wrong he will plunge into depression and grief.
In "Guide of the Perplexed", Rambam devotes two chapters to IYOV (Job). In verses 3:22-23 of Iyov, Iyov's friends try to calm him down, but in vain. However, by the end of the book Iyov is calmed down. What change has he undergone? Have his troubles ceased? No! Not at all! His troubles are still with him, but his relationship to them has changed.
At the beginning of the book, "Iyov sits among the ashes" (2:8). In other words, he is enveloped in earthly concerns. Yes, he is righteous, but materialism and physical possessions are very important to him. Therefore, when his world collapses, when his wealth is lost, and his children die, he becomes seriously ill. He becomes deeply depressed and broken in spirit.
Later on, however, he says, "I abhor and regret dust and ashes" (4:26), by which he means, "I reject my entire enslavement to worldly concerns."
Ralbag writes in his commentary on Iyov, that all the troubles that befall a person only cause worry and ruin when he is focused on and locked into materialism. If, however, one's world is spiritual, then troubles cannot harm him, for a person's spiritual world is always under his control. In every situation, one has the free choice to do good, whether one is healthy or sick, rich or poor, married with children or alone and childless. Circumstances change, but for every situation there is an appropriate way to serve G-d. If someone's joy derives from serving G-d, it will never be possible to take it away from him!
Therefore, Rambam writes, "If your thoughts are focused only on this world, then there is no solution for your problem, because this world is no paradise."
The righteous person who finds pleasure in mitzvot and good deeds, stands strong and erect in every situation, facing up to all problems. He does not take to heart difficulties arising from the problems in this world. He has a correct perspective on reality. It is true that sadness is an emotional phenomenon, but the individual's conscious universe determines to a large extent the intensity of his emotional experiences.
Even if someone possesses wealth and health, that is not a guarantee of contentment, says Rambam, because it will all be gone when the person dies. "When he dies, he shall carry nothing away. His glory shall not descend with him" (T'hilim 49:18).
Rambam states that when a righteous person suffers, he takes solace in the fact that even such a life is better than death. The main thing is that he is alive. Even at his death he delivers his soul over to G-d joyfully, knowing that even death is all for the best, because it leads one to life in a world to come. Death is the door which leads to a better world without pain and suffering.
Rambam comments regarding our Sages words," A person is obligated to bless G-d for evil that occurs, just as much as for the good" (B'rachot 54a), that one can never know if the evil isn't really a concealed good and the good isn't really a concealed evil. (Perush HaMishnayot)
Well known are the Talmudic sayings, "This too, is for the best", as well as, "Whatever G-d does, He does for the best". There can be a person who loses his wealth and paradoxically this becomes the cause of his contentment. In losing all his wealth and status, he might gain a tranquil life, and even dedicate it to serving G-d, thereby meriting the World to Come.
The Midrash tells about a man walking along the road to the port. A thorn got stuck in his foot. Because he now limped, he missed his ship's departure. The man cursed, but the ship sank. This is what Isaiah (12:1) means when he says, "I will thank G-d for being angry with me."
Rambam makes a fundamental point, that the bounties of this world are secondary and are not our main goal. He also reminds us that we do not know what tomorrow will bring. In this world, good and evil, can each be transformed into the other.
Rambam concluded that there are two possible causes of worry, the past and the future. A person worries about what was and what will be. Rambam writes, "Worrying about the past, has no benefit and someone who sighs and frets over something that has already passed, is senseless and foolish. Bad enough that such a person once had a problem, but he makes things worse by worrying about it after it has passed and gone."
As for worrying about future troubles, that too, says Rambam is nonsense. It is possible that the trouble will come, and it is possible that the trouble will never come. One should gladden his heart with trust in G-d. G-d is all good, and whatever He sends a person, is only for the best even though we don't always understand why.
Therefore, let us rejoice and be glad through trust and faith in G-d, the Source of all rejoicing and gladness.
 Divrei Menachem
Parshat Chayei Sara offers us some fascinating number exercises that throw light on the life of Sara Imeinu. The parsha opens by recording that the span of Sarah's life was 127 years. This is stated in the Hebrew text as, "Vayihyu Chayei Sara Me'a Shana, V'esrim Shana, V'sheva Shanim."
The term for "years" - 'Shanim' - is repeated three times, instructing us that at 100 Sara was as a woman of twenty regarding sin (and according to that source not yet subject to punishment). And, we are told, that she was as beautiful at twenty as she was at seven (Rashi, citing Midrash).
Thus at the age of one hundred, Sarah was sinless. Does that mean that from the age of 100 to 127 she was culpable? The clue is found in the Hebrew for these remaining 27 years, expressed in the letters Zayin + Kaf that spell the word "Zach", which means 'pure'.
The numerical equivalent of the opening word, "Vayihyu" is 37, alluding to Sarah's last meaningful 37 years spent with her son Yitzchak. The Hebrew letters for 37 are Zayin and Lamed for "Zichrona Livracha", the accolade given to a person of worth. The initial letters of "Zecher Tzadik Livracha" - 'the memory of the righteous is a blessing' (Mishle 10:7) - equal 127. So, any way, we see that the sum of Sarah's life was pure of sin, rich and rewarding.
Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff
Towards better Davening and Torah Learning
Every so often, we run across a word like VAYAKAM in B'reishit 23:3 at the beginning of Chayei Sara. A pasuk earlier is VATAMAT and in 24:17 is VAYARATZ. Back in Vayeira, we find VAYAGAR and VAYAMAL. And there are others: Masculine or feminine, third person, singular, past tense that is flipped from the future tense form with a VAV HAHIPUCH.
The Ashkenazic pronunciation is VA- YAwKAwM, with the KAMATZ sounding like the Aw in "SAW" (or like the OUGH in "COUGH").
But the two KAMATZes are not the same. And in the S'fardit pronunciation they are sounded differently. In each case above, the first KAMATZ is a KAMATZ GADOL and is sounded like a PATACH, like the O in HOT. The second KAMATZ is a K. KATAN and sounds like an Ashkenazit KAMATZ or a short CHOLOM... or something in between.
Transliterating the KAMATZ KATAN is hard - let's use the Aw with the understanding that it is not really like the Aw in SAW, but maybe like the OO in foot or good (but not as in food or mood).
VAYAKAwM, VATARAwTZ, VAYA- GAwR... Something like that.
Some Siddurim and Chumashim (and word processors like DavkaWriter) use an exaggerated KAMATZ to mark the KAMATZ KATAN. e.g. VAYAKAM
400 silver pieces that Avraham handed over to EFRON (pencil = IPARON, heteronym of EFRON)
V'LIVKOTAH is written with a small KAF - under the pencil - a small kaf, a.k.a. a demitasse spoon
G-d blessed Avraham BAKOL. There is an opinion that this blessing included a precious gem that had miraculous curative powers. That's it under the B'H
There's a speech-bubble with a chain in it, standing for VAYOMAR, and he (Eliezer) said, which is read with a SHALSHELET (chain)
BARUCH HASHEM was said by Eliezer (Others in Chumash who said B"H are No'ach and Yitro. Lavan got close, by using the phrase B'RUCH HASHEM. So did Avimelech to Yitzchak. Notice the common factor in those who said B"H).
Dakva's scene of Rivka at the well (spring)
One of the gold rings Eliezer gave to Rivka
The Xed out turkey platter is Eliezer's refusal to eat before he had completed "business."
Good thing, too, because Lavan had poisoned the food (poison symbol)
CHUPA is for Yitzchak's marriage to Rivka (also Avraham's to Ketura)
Gift for Rivka and her family, as well as the gifts Avraham gave to the children of the "PILAGSHIM"
The word TEREM appears eight times in the Torah, twice in Chayei Sara. That's the logo of Terem about half-way down the right side of the ParshaPix (it was in last week's ParshaPix too - see elsewhere)
NEVIOT water is for the sound-alike of the first born of Yishma'el
There are two dots forming a SH'VA - this is a sound-alike for a grandson of Avraham's via Ketura
The animals are mentioned in the haftara - In modern Hebrew, a M'RI is a buffalo (bison? or maybe water buffalo). Likely that the haftara is referring to a different member of the bovine family.
The question-marked chair is from the haftara - who will sit on David's throne after his death
The arrow is from CHAVILA to SHOR
The badge is Agent 99's of Control. She was a SOCHENET, a term describing Avishag in the haftara.
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 (VAYEIRA) TTriddles:
Any of various slow-moving, microscopic invertebrates... having four body segments and eight legs and living in water or damp moss. Also called water bear. That's what Answers.com says on first request for information. (Much more follows, but we'll leave it with the short definition - otherwise we'd have to switch it to the MRMH column.)
It is the last words of the definition that created this TTriddle. As many TTriddles work, it started from the answer, which is B'EIR MAYIM (a well of water). Keeping B'EIR almost as is, making it BEAR, and translating MAYIM to WATER, gives us Bear Water or WATER BEAR. A search on the internet came up with the surprising result of a microscopic animal that resembles a bear in form (albeit much, much, much, much... smaller) that lives in water - hence, the nickname for tardigrade.
 Angels to Avraham; S'domites to Lot; Yehuda to Adulamites
This is a reverse MI AMAR EL MI? (who said to whom?) kind of question. Remember them? Well, this TTriddle supplies three of the MI and MI pairs and asks for what was said. In other words, what did the Angels say to Avraham that the S'domites said to Lot, and Yehuda said to the Adulamites (when he was looking for the woman who was as yet unknown to him as Tamar)?. The answer is AYEI - where is. The question (the word) occurs over 20 times in Tanach, but only three times in the Torah, all in the book of B'reishit (twice in Vayeira). The angels asked Avraham where Sara was. The people of S'dom demanded to know where Lot's gusts were. And Yehuda went looking for the woman to whom he owed a goat.
 Angel to Lot; Par'o to M & A
And here is another reverse MI AMAR EL MI? TTriddle. However, there is a mix-up type of mistake, which greatly affects the solvability of the TTriddle. The answer is KUMU TZ'U, get up and go. It was NOT an angel that said it to Lot, it was Lot who said it to his married daughters' husbands. And they mocked him for suggesting that they leave S'dom. Par'o said it to Moshe and Aharon after Makat B'chorot, the tenth and final plague.
 The universal spokesman
Every once in a while, we comment - in Torah Tidbits - about significant words that lose a DAGESH KAL from their first letter. For example, in Megilat Esther we find words to the effect that, "therefore, they called these days (dramatic drumroll), FURIM.
Of course, we know the days as PURIM, but by the rules of Hebrew grammar and pronunciation, the PEI lost its DAGESH because the word PURIM follows the silent HEI of HA-EILEH and is in the same phrase with it. So too, Parshat P'kudei is actually EILEH F'KUDEI. And Moshe is commanded - both in Parshat Chukat and in the Maftir of Shabbat Parshat Para - to take a FARA ADUMA. (In this case, the PEI loses its DAGESH because it follows a final-CHAF voweled with a KAMATZ, which is technically equivalent to having a silent HEI - albeit invisible - after the CHAF/KAMATZ.) In Parshat Vayeira, we meet Avimelech and his captain of the army, PICHOL. The three times we meet this fellow, it is always as, "(Avimelech) AND PICHOL", which comes out as UFICHOL, so his name never occurs in Tanach as PICHOL. Nonetheless, PI (mouth) KOL, all, makes him the generic universal spokesman, the moth of everyone.
 Where is Edith Brina
Lot's wife is identified in the Torah as just that - Lot's wife. However, we find a reference or two in Midrashaim to a name for Mrs. Lot. In one place, she is called IRIS and in another, IDIT. The names as written are very similar, with a REISH and DALET, which are easily interchanged when using block (print) letters. The latter name IDIT, would convert in English to Edith. By virtue of her salty demise, she picked up a second name related to salt or brine - namely (pun intended) BRYNA. So where is Edith Brina? Somewhere near the Dead Sea and the site of ancient S'dom.
 Slightly deceptive TTriddle: YUKACH NA M'AT MAYIM - Based on Daat Moshe as quoted in Even Bochein - not necessary to solve
Daat Moshe (maybe R' Moshe Pinchas Einhorn) comments on the phrase that refers to Avraham's offering the (angelic) guests a little bit of water, that on a DRASH level, using the well-known analogy between water and Torah, that we learn to offer the uneducated and/or uncommitted Jew, just a little bit of Torah, in the hopes of not overwhelming him and being able to give a little more and then a little more... A little bit of Torah is the idea behind the SDTs in Torah Tidbits, the Short Divrei Torah. What makes this a Slightly Deceptive (perhaps devious would have been a better word to use) TTriddle, is that the answer is found in the initial letters of the words Slightly Deceptive TTriddle, SDT.
 When are we chayav patir?
PATIR is the Targum Onkeles rendering of MATZA. Since the word PATIR sounds a little like PATUR (exempt), it made a nice sounding TTriddle to speak of CHAYAV (obligated) PATIR (matza). The answer, of course, is the first night of Pesach. Pesach is when the angels visits to both Avraham and Lot took place.
 One over three and two over one
There are various traditions about the writing of a Sefer Torah - the use of extra big or small letters, a broken letter, etc. One type of these traditions is the placing of dots above certain letters. One example is found in Parshat Vayeira - the angel said to him (Avraham), EILAV, where is your wife Sara. EILAV has a dot above the ALEF, YUD, and VAV. Above the LAMED, we find the TROP-note of the word, a KATON, which looks like a colon and is made of two dots, one above the other. (As Victor Borge points out with a colon, it is hard to tell which dot is above which and which is below which. This comment is unnecessary for this TTriddle, but is included to honor a Danish Jew and musical comedian - or comic musician (born Borge Rosenbaum, Jan 1909 to December 2000) - for mocking and making jokes about Hitler during his rise to power and subsequently, that he was on a Nazi Black List - something of which Borge was proud for the rest of his life.) So it is the word EILAV that has one dot over three of the letters and two dots over one of the letters.
 Avraham, Sara, and Amnon?
In some Chumashim, at the end of each sedra, we find the count of p'sukim in the sedra and a SIMAN, sort of like a mnemonic device, to that number. It is in the form of a word or name with a gimatriya equal to the number of p'sukim. For Vayeira, the sedra which deals mainly with Avraham and Sara (or one of the sedras, at least), the SIMAN for the 147 p'sukim is AMNON. Besides being the name of David HaMelech's first son, Amnon ben Shimon (not Shim-on) is mentioned in Divrei HaYamim as a descendant of Yehuda b. Yaakov.
 See elsewhere for the Unexplaineds...
Unexplained TTriddles will remain unexplained until next week's TT - Prizes for their explanations until then
This week's TTriddles:
 Simonson's namesake's claim to fame
 Avraham, Yehoshua x 2, David
 10 sons of 8, 2 daughters of 8, pieces of 8
 Yaakov gave what Yitzchak established
 not sum, difference, or quotient
 Mixed upcoming election advice
 he, his father, his prophet are?
 Clint ben Yishma'el?
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
Chesed Fund - Times may be hard... but for some, they are even harder; Please help the needy who turn to us for help - Make checks out to "Chesed Fund" and send to: Chesed Fund att. Menachem Persoff, Israel Center / POB 37015 / Jerusalem 91370
NESTO Native English-Speaking Teen Olim
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
Partially funded by the Jewish Agency for Israel
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
OU Israel/NCSY LOOKING for Madrichim/Madrichot for our winter (December-January) Birthright groups
Commitment to Am Yisrael
Previous experience of hadracha
Dynamic, excellent communication skills
Fluent English & working knowledge of Hebrew
Strong knowledge of Israel society
Send CV to email@example.com, Details: Menachem: 050-5701-067
Israel Job Fair in conjunction with the OU National Convention
The OU Job Board and Merkaz Hamagshimim-Hadassah are proud to announce The Israel Job & Aliya Fair; Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday - November 23-25 - FREE! at the OU National Convention, Ramada Hotel, Herzl Blvd, J'lem (buses 13,18,21)
CLOSED - Sunday, November 23rd, 5:00-7:00pm - GUIDANCE - Career counselors will offer guidance on landing a job in Israel. They will help you with your resumes. Printers will be available to print out your newly re-written resume for Tuesday's (Nov. 25) Job Fair.
Monday, November 24th, 5:00-7:00pm - COMMUNITIES ON SHOW - You will have the opportunity to meet community leaders who will show you the strengths of their community and the services provided. Meet real estate personnel, developers and builders, who are in the process of new projects or who can guide you and meet the requirements you are looking for to making yourself at home in Israel.
CLOSED - Tuesday, November 25th, 5:00-9:00pm - FIND A JOB! - For job seekers in all fields (computers, science, medicine, teachers, researchers, PR, admin, engineers, tour guides, translators, etc), as well as students, those who recently completed the army, new and veteran olim, and Israelis. Registration: See below.
The Fair will include companies from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, in a wide variety of fields, including hi-tech, technical writing, bio-tech, marketing/PR, education/ hadracha, law, accounting, non-profits, engineering, etc. as well as career counselors, resume writing assistance, and the Student Authority (to talk about study options for new immigrants and tourists). Information and resources for start-ups, small businesses and entrepreneurs. Job Boards with postings of open positions in a variety of professional fields. Bring your resume! To attend you need to register at: www.ou.org/jobs/signup_israel
Interested companies, please register at: www.ou.org/jobs/jobs_israel_registration
Questions? Call Shira at 561-9165 ext.209 firstname.lastname@example.org
Yair Landau Memorial Library - New Membership Price List
Book Library - Life and regular members of the Israel Center - FREE
Non-members of the Israel Center - 36NIS per year
Students 18NIS per year
All borrowers of books must register and give 50NIS deposit, refundable at end of membership year.
Torah Tape Library - Life and regular members of the Israel Center 40NIS per year
Non-members of the Israel Center - 50NIS per year
Students 25NIS per year
All borrowers of tapes must register and give 50NIS deposit, refundable at end of membership year.
Music Library - CDs - Life and regular members of the Israel Center 25NIS per year
Non-members of the Israel Center 40NIS per year
Students 25NIS per year
All borrowers of discs must register and give 50NIS deposit, refundable at end of membership year.
We look forward to seeing you in the Library! Note: The librarians are available on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm
Travel Desk: 560-9110 direct
THE TRAVEL DESK is for making reservations and receiving info about Israel Center tiyulim. Please note that ALL Israel Center tiyulim require advance registration.
And to help you - whether you live in Israel or abroad -make hotel reservations throughout Israel (thru Travel Deal (02) 659-8916, www.traveldealisrael.com
At your service SUNDAY, MONDAY, TUESDAY 11:00am-4:00pm (other times leave a message and they will be picked up)
Call Naomi at the OU Israel Center Travel Desk, 560-9110; fax: 566-0156; email: email@example.com - Outside Travel Desk hours, please leave a message...
or call 050-725-8392 - Wednesdays and Thursdays between 8-11pm ONLY.
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 participants.
STUDENTS FROM ABROAD: Parents visiting you this year? If so, speak to us! (560-9110) to see if we have any tiyulim or Shabbatonim (call Ita Rochel 560-9125) that they might be interested in.
KASHRUT POLICY: Food for Israel Center In-House programs is supervised by OU-in-Israel-Mehadrin. Israel Center sponsored trips and programs are Mehadrin. Hotels, restaurants, and tiyulim advertised by 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 email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to include email or fax number for reply, in addition to phone number.
Israel Center tiyulim are partially subsidized by the Jewish Agency for Israel
Announcing our next Shabbaton - Shabbat Parshat Vayeishev (m'vorchim), Friday-Shabbat, December 19,20
the Shabbat right before Chanuka, Guest speaker: Rabbi Yosef Wolicki - Shiurim, mini-Shiurim, Divrei Torah, Tidbits, Chanuka quizzes & games...in a warm atmosphere, with new and old friends... three delicious meals
230/250nis, Sign-up is on a first-come-first-served basis - Don't miss out! Call Ita Rochel at 560-9125 to reserve, Earlybird bonus gifts for those who signed up since last issue of TT will be presented IY"H after havdala at the Shabbaton
EIN GEDI WINTER RETREAT - Sunday to Thursday, December 14-18 at the Ein Gedi Guest House in the midst of the only Botanical Garden in the world where people live; Kosher Lemehadrin, Sh'mita strictly observed, Rabbi Bistritsky's Hashgaha and products under Eida Chareidit and Rabbi Landau
The longer u stay - the less u pay (per day)
Rates per night (per person, dbl. occ.) half board
Deluxe rooms New desert rooms
4 nights 4 x 371NIS 4 x 329NIS
3 nights 3 x 390NIS 3 x 358NIS
2 nights 2 x 398NIS 2 x 385NIS
Single supplement available
Register immediately 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!
Palmach Museum Tel Aviv with Nachman Kupietzky - Newest state-of-the-art museum vividly portraying the pre-state defense army of Israel; Wednesday, December 24th (during Chanuka), Check-in 11:00am, leaving: 11:10am, returning 4:00pm - 100NIS members / 115NIS non-members Limited to 25 participants
Register ASAP with Naomi @ Travel Desk 560-9110 or 050-725-8392
BOOKED WITH A WAITING LIST - "In the footsteps of Rav Kook" - Sunday & Monday, January 18-19, 22-23 Tevet 5769 - Overnight stay at the elegant Mehadrin Kibbutz Lavi Hotel; Will the real Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook ZT"L please stand up?! Learn more about the fascinating diverse personality of one of the greatest Rabbis of the 20th Century. "Follow in the Footsteps" of HaRav Kook and other Rabbanim in their visit to the non-religious Halutzim and Moshavot of the Galil in 1914. Their aim was to open their hearts one to another. A 2-day tour to Tzfat, Zichron Yaakov, Rosh Pina, Merchavia, Poria, Kinneret, and other Moshavot. All admission fees covered. Included are: delicious Sunday buffet dinner, delightful Monday morning breakfast and meat lunch. An interesting evening program. The bus remains with us throughout Guide: Rabbi Yedidya Julian Sinclair
Leaving the Center Sunday 8:00am returning Monday evening, 6:30pm - Massa Hamoshavot is a unique experience! Sponsored by the Israel Center and Bet Ha Rav - 3 years ago, the bus for this 2-day tiyul filled up within a short time. So even though the trip is scheduled for mid January - we advise you not to wait
Call Naomi at the Travel Desk; (02) 560-9110 or 050-725-8392 - Shulamit's tiyulim are always treats; Come! You will enjoy her delicious sweets! 770nis p.p. in double room, single supplement available
You're in the Army Now! In your Homeland - You are invited to attend two different great tiyulim both on Tuesdays and both guided by the outstanding licensed tour guide David Magence. On both days we will be visiting many major military museums of the Ministry of Defense in the Greater Tel Aviv area. Tuesdays: Dec. 9th & 30th from 8:00am to 6:00pm, See the next issue of Torah Tidbits for the exciting details But, don't wait - sign up now with Naomi at the Travel Desk 560-9110 or 050-725-8392
Tanach Tiyulim in cooperation with the Israel Center
In the Footsteps of the Avot - A series of 3 half day tiyulim with Shani Taragin
We will follow the paths of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov as they entered and journeyed through Eretz Yisrael... Avraham's entrance into the Land in the northern area of Shechem... trail of mizbachot through Beit-El... stories of Yaakov there as well... the home of the avot in Chevron... understand Avraham's purchase of Ma'arat HaMachpela in a new light... Avraham's wars and challenges as he makes his way to Yerushalayim...
TUE: Nov 25, Dec 9,23 '08 9am-2pm
Between the "Shfeyla" and the "Har" - How Israel's Geography and Topography Affect Biblical History with Menachem Liebtag; Thursday, November 27th , 9:00-3:30
We will study the topography and geography of Eretz Yisrael and thus better understand numerous events and stories in the books of Yehoshua, Shoftim and Shmuel... Tel a Ful (the site of the Biblical town of Giv'ah)... Neve Shmuel (Nebi Samuel)... Neveh Daniel and Gush Etzion area ...first chapters of Yehoshua, "Shemesh B'Givon Dom", Shimshon and Shevet Dan, the travels and travails of the Aron, David and Shaul among others...
For registration and more information: email@example.com, 052-4228601
Orthodox Union National Convention in Jerusalem - Ramada Hotel Jerusalem - WED-SUN, November 26-30
Convention Program Highlights
The following are Convention highlights that are open to the public, Please register for them at the OU desk in the hotel lobby
Wed. 7:00pm Opening Program (Maariv at 8:00pm)
Stephen J. Savitsky, Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, Hon. Nir Barkat
8:30pm Journalists' Roundtable: Identifying the Hot Button Issues
Ethan Bronner, Gil Hoffman, Steve Leibowitz, Ruthie Blum
Thu. 2:30pm Join us at the proposed site of the US Embassy
Representing hundreds of thousands of deeply-caring, committed
American Jews, we will urge President-Elect Barak Obama to
speedily implement the duly-approved will of Congress to
relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
Remarks by Danny Ayalon
Location: Derech Hebron & Yanovsky Street (near Hollandia)
7:30pm Keynote Address by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks
"Our Mission Statement for the 21st Century"
9:15pm Film Premiere: "Hungry to be Heard"
produced by OU Young Leadership Cabinet
Fri. 9:15am Economic Meltdown: Implications for America and Israel
10:30am Israel/Diaspora Relations
Amotz Asa-El, Rebecca Caspi, Daniel Gordis
Highlights of the Shabbat Program (Rooms for Israeli guests are SOLD OUT.)
Shabbat Keynote Address by HaRav Yisrael Meir Lau
Shabbat Shiurim: Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rabbi Menachem Genack,
Rabbi Simcha Hochberg, Rabbi Steven and Yael Weil, Mrs. Shira Smiles
Convention Summation by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks
Motza'ei Shabbat: 6:30pm Debate and Adoption of Resolutions
8:00pm Concert starring Shlomo Katz
For more information, contact the Seymour J. Abrams OU Israel Center at (02) 560-9100 or visit www.ou.org/convention
The Back Page of TT836
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 21 Cheshvan (Nov. 19) to Friday R"CH Kislev (Nov. 28)
WED 21 Cheshvan /Nov. 19th
9:00am Parshat Hashavua Dr. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
9:20am Current Halachic Issues Rabbi Macy Gordon
10:45am Parshat HaShavua with Rabbi Yosef Wolicki
various times Shiur/Divrei Torah while you fold
12:30pm VIDEO / LIBRARY: "A Lot about Lof" - Rabbi David Derovan
Medical Chi Kong Practice with Avi Hirsch - Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30pm - Call for further details: 050-767-1722
Women's Beit Midrash Pearl Borow
2:30pm KUZARI 3:30pm Chumash with Rashi
7:30pm Rabbi Chaim Eisen How many right answers in Jewish Law
8:00pm Dr. Josh Mark "Torah & Self Esteem"
Thursday, 22 Cheshvan/November 20th
11:00am to 12:30pm T'FILA and Emunah
12:30 to 1:00pm Literary Discussion
various times MINI-Shiur/Divrei Torah while you fold
8:00pm For people who say (or think): "I can't come during the day but I'd love to see the videos they show at the Center" Dr. Avivah Zornberg on Chayei Sara / Rabbi David Derovan on Lot
Friday 23 Cheshvan/Nov. 21
9:00am Pirkei Avot - Rabbi Chaim Eisen
11:00am RCA Daf Yomi
Shabbat day 24 Cheshvan/Nov. 22
3:00pm Shabbat afternoon Shiur - Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Poupko on Sara & Rachel - a Grave Comparison
Motza"Sh 25 Cheshvan - Nov 22
8:30pm NLP Workshop in Inter-Personal Communication - "How to Communicate With Almost Anyone" new weekly program with Shlomo Kory (Regular fees) for info: www.nlpjerusalem.com
Motza'ei Shabbat Parshat Chayei Sara, 8:30pm - "Why the conversation of the servants of the Avot
is preferred by G-d to the Torah of the children" by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher
Sun-Thu in the Ganchrow Beis Medrash (first floor)
10:00am SUN/TUE/THU Gemara shiur - Rabbi Jeff Bienenfeld
11:15am RCA Daf Yomi by Rotation (and Fri. at 11:00am)
1:20pm Mincha (this time stays the same throughout the year)
4:30pm Masechet K'tuvot B'rachot with Rabbi Hillel Ruvell - resumes after Rosh Chodesh
5:30pm Maariv (until Parshat Bo, 4 Shívat, January 29th)
Sunday 25 Cheshvan / NOV 23
9:30am Let's Study Chumash Tonia Frohwein women
10:30am Mystical Insights into the Months of the Year Golda Warhaftig women
12:30pm "Lift me up so I can touch the sky" Aharon Romm
2:00pm Ulpan Lite and Parsha Heavy Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher
7:30pm Rabbi Chaim Eisen with Ramban's Commentary on the Torah and Its Wellsprings
(Now Studying: "The Natural and the Supernatural - Connecting with G-d through the Ordinary and the Extraordinary)" "Ramban's View on Divine Providence and its Transformation in the Pre- vs. Post-Exodus Worlds"
Sunday, Nov. 23rd, 8:00pm - Premier video screening of "Israel - Ancient Roots, Modern Miracle" a new production by Shalom Pollack, veteran tour guide. Experience in depth Yerushalayim, Hevron, Gush Etzion, Masada and more, as Shalom "connects the dots" between the Tanach, Eretz Yisrael, the Jewish People, and the miracle that is Israel today. Join us for this virtual tiyul What a country! www.shalompollacktours
Monday 26 Cheshvan - Nov. 24
N'SHEI LIBRARY: 10:00-12:30
9:15am Excursions into the Book of Melachim Pearl Borow
YESHA FAIR 10:00am to 3:00pm in the cafe area - On sale: wines, olive oil, foods, organic products, ceramics, natural cosmetics and health products, music discs, photographs
10:30am Rambam's 13 Principles - Rabbi Zev Leff
Monday, November 24th, 11:45am - Serve Hashem with Joy! Yehudit Kotler will lead us in a Laughter Workshop - Come and learn ways to increase your positive outlook and simcha with laughter - group interaction with laughter activities we all know that laughter is the best medicine - come and experience this unique program! You will discover that: Laughter is a stress buster, Laughter is anti-aging, Laughter is a natural pain reliever, Laughter strengthens the immune system, Laughter is an aerobic exercise, Insert Laughter in you lives forever!
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 NOV 24 Mrs. Linda Derovan - "A Torah Point of View on Interpersonal Relationships"
Monday, NOV 24 - Chug Ayellet/Jerusalem Amit, Meeting at 12:45pm followed at 1:30pm by Rabbi Dr. Seth (Shaul) Farber on "How to Prove You are a Jew" - There will be a mini pre-Chanuka boutique after the meeting
Sponsored by Betty & Harold Neustadter in memory of Betty's parents, Frances & Joseph Freiman a"h
Women's Beit Midrash
2:30pm "Tune in to T'fila" - Pearl Borow
3:30pm The World of Mishna 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)
7:00pm Jews for Judaism Counter-Missionary Seminar (call 622-1926)
7:30pm - Parshat HaShavua - Dr. Avivah Gottlieb-Zornberg
8:30pm Rabbi Dr. Elie Assis a senior lecturer of Tanach at Bar Ilan:
SHOFTIM (in Hebrew) Questions? Call Sam Finkel 052-469-1263
Now studying SHIMSHON
MASK - J'lem Chapter at the Israel Center - maskjerusalem.cjb.net 050 7542717 NEXT MEETING: Monday, DEC 1, 7:30-9:30pm with Dr. Judy Belsky
Tuesday Nov 25 27 Cheshvan
The Israel Center and the Old City Free Loan Association - 20th year - well over 5000 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 Amihud Glazer - "You are in store for an original, colorful presentation
like you've never seen before" (Rabbi Gold will be back IY"H next week)
11:30am Jewish History, 2nd Temple Period - Dr. Henry Goldblum - 538-516BCE: Why a Delayed completion for the Second Temple?
Workshops for women with Esther Sutton...
11:20am (to 12:30pm) Starting a New Year
1:00 (to 2:30pm) Wellsprings Personal Growth through Creativity
12:30pm VIDEO - TUE NOV 25 "A Life Apart - Hasidism in America" - Vivid, insightful documentary on the birth and life of the Hasidic community in the United States. An excellent, very popular film. (1 hour, 40 mins.)
Tuesday, November 25th at 3:00pm (no charge) - The RCA in Israel invites you to hear our guest speaker
Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth, Overseas Dept. Director of Tzohar - He will speak in English on the topic: "Tzohar- A Window between Worlds - A Search for Shared Elements of Identity above the Faultlines of Israeli Society"
8:00pm Meet the Meforshim - Rabbi Yonatan Kolatch This week: Radak on Parshat Toldot
Ed. note: Rabbi Kolatch's shiur is purposely geared towards each session standing on its own. We highly recommend that you give it a try - you will walk away enriched... and you might even come back for more.
Wednesday 28 Cheshvan - Nov 26
9:00am Parshat HaShavua with Dr. Avivah Gottlieb-Zornberg
9:20am Current Halachic Issues Rabbi Macy Gordon
10:45am Parshat HaShavua R' Yosef Wolicki
various Shiur/Divrei Torah while you fold
12:30pm VIDEO SCREENING in the LIBRARY - WED NOV 26 Prof. Nathan Aviezer - "Creation, Kabbalah and Science"
Medical Chi Kong Practice with Avi Hirsch Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30pm - Call for further details: 050-767-1722
2:30pm Women's Beit Midrash - Pearl Borow
First hour: the KUZARI; Second hour on Chumash with Rashi
7:30pm ìTruth Will Sprout from the Earth: ìHow Many Truths? How Many Legitimate Pathways to G-d? (Now Studying: ìHow Many Right Answers in Jewish Law?î
ìReconciling a Human-Mediated Halachic Truth with an Immutable Divine Willî -Rabbi Chaim Eisen
8:00pm "Torah & Self Esteem" with Dr. Josh Mark
A Torah committed life offers us so many opportunities to find strength and joy in every day life. Rabbi Dr Josh, author and psychologist, explores the parsha for practical and fun ways to build self confidence.
Thursday 29 Cheshvan/ Nov 27
11:00am to 12:30pm T'FILA & emunah
12:30 to 1:00pm Literary Discussion
various times Shiur/Divrei Torah while you fold
Thursday, Nov. 27th, 8:00pm Happiness Club with Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
Friday 1 Kislev/Nov 28
9:00am Pirkei Avot - Shi'ur on the final baraita of Chapter 6 followed by the GALA SIYYUM - Rabbi Chaim Eisen
11:00am RCA Daf Yomi
UPCOMING at the Israel Center
Sunday, Nov. 30, 5:00pm - How to develop a systematic plan to mobolize the Knesset , the US Congress, and the European Parliament to stop the formation of a Palestinian terror state. Presenter: David Bedein IsraelBehindTheNews.com tel: (02) 6234556
Sunday, Nov. 30th, 7:30pm - US elections - were they good for the Jews? Dr. David Luchins
Monday, Dec. 1, 11:30am - Special Event: "Do It Now!" A Unique Presentation by multi-talented Tova Silverstein - Create your own Talit or T'filin Bag, T'hilim or Siddur Cover... and more. Discover how easy and enjoyable it is to make these Judaica items as a Hidur Mitzva. See samples of various types and styles... Bring what you have done...
Tuesday, Dec. 2, 8:00pm - First Class Certified NLP Life Coaching and EFT Optimal Performance Skills at our exclusive Jewish Women's Training Center Resort, and be your best! Join NLP and EFT Trainers, Rabbi and Moriah Legomsky for this exciting live demo evening at the OU Israel Center - call 0544-311-711
Motza'ei Shabbat, Dec. 13, 9:15pm at the OU Israel Center - Off The Wall Comedy Empire presents: 3rd Annual Student Competition Host David Kilimnick - Yeshiva, seminary, and college students compete to see who is this year's funniest student... Proceeds go to charity of winner's choice. To compete, contact David at 050-875-5688 by December 8th. Entrance: 30nis - Contact: 050-875-5688
Don't miss this opportunity! OU Israel's Project "Dor Ledor" with Shalshelet Enhancing Relationships invite you to Three Fun, Creative Workshops for Single Women: "SPARE RIBS" - The Way To A Man's Heart:
3 Steps to a More Meaningful Relationship with... Pessy Krausz, PhD (Counselor); Malka Abrahams (Drama); Malka Pine (Facilitator) - Mondays, 7:00-10:00pm December 1, 8, 15, '08 at the Israel Center, Light Supper
35NIS per session - To register and for more information, call Malka: 054-302-6690
OU Kashrut ï Synagogue Support Services ï NCSY ï NJCD / Yachad / Our Way ï OURadio.org ï Kharkov ï Young Leadership ï Jewish Action ï IPA ï Project Areivim ï OU West Coast
Stephen Savitsky, President, Orthodox Union
Harvey Blitz, Chairman of the Board, Orthodox Union
Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Exec. Vice President, OU
Eliezer Edelman, Exec. Dir. Operations and Management
Headquarters: 11 Broadway, New York, NY 10004
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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 Beit Kharkov ï OU Israel Communities ï OU Kashrut in Israel...
Yitzchak Fund, President, OU Israel
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Rabbi Dovid Cohen, Vaad member
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