ID: eb5a6 No.1136[Last 50 Posts]
If a pot or vessel has not been used for over twenty four hours (Eino Ben Yomo), any taste of the food that may have entered the walls of the pot, is considered to have turned rancid. As such, if a meat pot has not been used for twenty four hours (or more), one may cook (non meat or non dairy) food in it and eat that food together with dairy a priori (לכתחילה). For instance, if rice or vegetables were cooked in a meat pot which was clean and unused for 24 hours, that food may be eaten with cheese.
There are those who are of the opinion, however, that this should not be done initially. Indeed, the Ben Ish Hai states that the custom in his home was to have separate vessels and this would seem to be the appropriate course of action.
Even according to the stricter opinion, if the original intention was not to cook the food in a meat pot in order to eat it with dairy, if one later wished to eat some of it with dairy, one may do so. The same applies to food cooked in a dairy pot which was not used for 24 hours, with regards to eating the food with meat.
(See Debar Moshe, Y.D. 70. Hokhmath Adam, 48:2. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Qorah, Oth 13)
ID: eb5a6 No.1138
When I was ten years old, I remember there being a man, Mr. Cohen, who lived in America and started becoming more interested in Judaism. In his progress of learning more about Torah and mitzvos, he had gotten a hold of multiple Torah tapes given by my father, Rabbi Akiva Tatz. Deeply influencing and making an impression on him, he arranged that he would learn once a week with my father over the phone from America. For forty-five minutes, he and my father sat down miles away and discussed various Torah topics.
Now, Mr. Cohen was a very wealthy and influential individual. One of his charities, in fact, included the State of Israel. As such, whenever he would call, all of us children knew we had to be very quiet. “Abba is on the phone with Mr. Cohen!” we would say.
Sometime after he began studying together with my father, he came to Israel for a business trip. At the time, my family, which included myself and six other siblings, lived in Telz-Stone in a three-bedroom apartment. The plan was for Mr. Cohen to meet the Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and afterwards meet my father at our house.
That day, I finished school and headed straight home. As I walked through the front door, I was met by the same state our house was commonly in: disorganized. And this time, it was nothing different than usual. Our house was often quite untidy, to say the least. There was nothing dirty or disgusting lying around, but there were always stray toys and housewares on the floor. My mother with her relaxed and easygoing personality would always say, “As long as the kids are happy, it is fine.” “But isn’t his face and clothing full of chocolate?” I said. But again, with gentleness and love, she would tell me, “I can wash him and his clothes. There is a washing machine. As long as the children are happy.”
It was not uncommon for me to come home and find my mother comfortably sitting on the couch reading a book and undisturbed by a whole mess surrounding her. Her patience and laidback attitude was remarkable and something which enabled our family to function happily and healthily.
ID: eb5a6 No.1139
Personally, I could not tolerate a disorderly house. Yet, there I was standing in our lounge on the day the distinguished Mr. Cohen was going to walk inside and it was a mess. Mr. Cohen was due to arrive very soon, and there was not enough time for me to significantly turn the house around and make it perfectly presentable. And as could be imagined, I was having a hard time coping. And then there was a knock at the door.
My mother, still wearing her apron, opened the soon. “Welcome,” she politely said to Mr. Cohen. “Please come inside; my husband will be with you shortly.” Ushering Mr. Cohen into our home, in walked this very dignified character with a leather briefcase. He looked exactly as we had expected.
My mother then proceeded to grab a chair from the table and lightly pat it down to remove any dust. Placing the chair in front of Mr. Cohen, he took a seat in the lounge. All I could do was cringe. I could not believe my eyes. Here was this extremely well-to-do gentleman sitting in the middle of our unorganized house on a chair that was just seconds before brushed off from its dust.
Thankfully, this scene didn’t last too long. A couple minutes later, in walked my father. Making his way to the nearby closet to hang up his coat as he normally did, I inched my way behind him and whispered, “Why did you marry her?”
ID: eb5a6 No.1140
My father paused. Walking over to Mr. Cohen, he said, “If you don’t mind, I will keep you waiting two more minutes. I will be with your shortly.” He then called me over to the room adjacent to the lounge. At this point, I knew I was in for it. I was only ten years old, but I had clearly crossed the line and acted with chutzpah.
As I entered the room and approached my father, he gently said to me, “You know why I married your mother? Because she is the most remarkable woman I have ever met. And I wanted her to be the mother of my children I would bring up. But you know what, Ruthie? I love it when things are neat and clean. So you know how you can help me? Every day before I come home, you can clean the lounge.”
And with that, my father said, “If you can now excuse me, I have to go see Mr. Cohen.”
To this day, I vividly remember this incident. I even have reminded my father of this occasion, sharing with him how deep an impression he made on me. At a moment when he could have harshly reprimanded me, which I certainly deserved, he taught me an invaluable lesson which lasted much longer than being sent to my room or a week of being grounded. Quickly thinking on his feet, he wisely imparted a message with such simplicity and beauty that said it all. If I was so disturbed about the messiness of the home, I would be the one to take care of that chore. Instead of complaining, I could be accomplishing.
That is how you use your words wisely to achieve wonderful results.
ID: eb5a6 No.1141
ויצא יצחק לשוח בשדה לפנות ערב "And Isaac went out to walk (pray) in the field towards evening" (Bereshith 24:63). Our Rabbis tell us that this is the source for the fact that we say that Isaac instituted the Minha (afternoon) prayer.
As we know, the importance of the Minha prayer is learned out from the fact that Elijah the prophet was only answered during the Minha prayer, in the matter of the prophets of Ba'al, as it says, ענני ה' ענני, ‘Answer me O L-rd, Answer me. He prayed, "Answer me" twice, once so that fire would descend from Heaven, and once so that people would not believe that it was sorcery. The question mentioned in Ben Yehoyada', is how come Elijah was able to make two separate requests in one prayer. We know that we may only pray for one thing at a time.
The holy Ben Ish Hai answers that this is the power of the Minha prayer. Minha time is so propitious, that one is able to make more than one unrelated request and be answered. This is in contrast to the other prayers, where one may only ask for one matter at a time.
(See Ben Yehoyada', Berakhoth 6b. Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, Hayyei Sarah)
ID: 6b38c No.1143
ID: eb5a6 No.1146
The definition of Nothen Ta'am Bar Nothen Ta'am (that of a secondary taste), in the cases where we say it is permitted, is when you have one type of food in a pot and a secondary taste that became absorbed into the walls of the pot. However, if the taste of the other food enters into the food itself, then, it is not permitted. This is because an actual taste of another food is considered as if that other food is actually present.
An example would be if a cake is baked in an oven together with a cheese Pashtida or Quiche. Since they were baked together, the cake will have absorbed some of the dairy taste and, as a result, it is forbidden to eat that cake together with meat.
In this case we do not apply the principle of Nothen Ta'am Bar Nothen Ta'am, since it is not just a secondary taste. Rather, it is the taste of the actual cheese or dairy, and it is considered as if the cake contains actual cheese.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Qorah, Oth 15. Also SH. 'Ar. Yoreh De'ah 95:3)
ID: eb5a6 No.1147
The case of Nothen Ta'am Bar Nothen Ta'am (a secondary taste), that we have mentioned, only apply when both foods are permitted individually. For example, Kasher meat is permitted and Kasher dairy is permitted. What is forbidden is consuming them together.
In such a case, the concept of secondary taste (Nothen Ta'am Bar Nothen Ta'am) applies in the examples we have previously mentioned, and is permitted. This permissibility, however, does not extend itself to forbidden foods.
If a food is forbidden to be eaten on its own, then even a secondary taste of the food is forbidden. In fact, even a secondary taste of the secondary taste (and so on), would remain forbidden. The only way the secondary taste of a forbidden food can be nullified if is there is sixty times the amount of permitted food against the amount of forbidden food that was absorbed in the pot. In the absence of 60 times or more of permitted food, all the food remains forbidden.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Yoreh De'ah, 94:9, 95:1. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Qorah, Oth 16)
ID: eb5a6 No.1148
Pots belonging to non-Jews are not considered to be Ben Yomo (used within the past 24 hours). If one uses a pot belonging to a non-Jew, one must first make it Kasher. If, for whatever reason, the pot was not made Kasher and permitted food was cooked in it, since it was not used for over 24 hours, the food can be permitted after the fact (Bedi'abad), if it is necessary.
A Jew may not request a non-jew to boil any liquid or cook any food (which does not have a problem of Bishul Akum), in the non-Jew's vessels. In this case it would not be considered to be after the fact, but לכתחלה (a priori).
If a pot absorbed forbidden food and subsequently became mixed in together with multiple other Kosher pots and is no longer identifiable, according to Maran, z"l, one does not need to make all the pots Kasher, but is permitted to use any of the pots, though there is an opinion that one should make them all Kasher. This applies both to metal as well as earthenware vessels.
(See Sh. 'A. Yorah De'ah 102:3 and 122:8. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Qorah, Oth 18-29. Be-er Heteb, 102:6)
ID: eb5a6 No.1149
ויאמר עשו הנה אנכי הולך למות ולמה זה לי בכרה "And Esau said, 'Behold, I am going to die, why do I need the birthright?' " (Bereshith 25:32). When Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h, (Jacob), told Esau to sell him his birthright in return for the lentil soup he had made, Esau gave him this response, holding his birthright in contempt.
The Alsheikh HaQadosh, asks how it can be that a 15 year old youth, like Esau, would speak in terms of 'going to die'. Even though every living soul is aware that eventually every person passes on, it is extremely rare that someone in his or her youth even vaguely considers the possibility.
Our main purpose in this world, is to prepare ourselves for the world to come. Through Torah and good deeds, we try to guarantee a good place for ourselves there. Our Rabbis of blessed memory tell us that Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h, and Esau, divided the world between the two of them. Esau took the portion of this world, whereas Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h, took the portion of the world to come.
If so, there was nothing for Esau to look forward to other than his eventual demise, after which there would be nothing. Therefore, his whole purpose would be to benefit to the maximum from this world, since there was nothing for him in the world to come after he died. In view of this, the birthright served him absolutely no purpose.
(See Alsheikh on the Torah, Bereshith 25:32)
ID: eb5a6 No.1156
We mentioned previously that crumbling dry mud, is a derivative of Tohen (grinding). As such, if any mud sticks to one's clothes, one may not break or crumble it off on Shabbath, since the act of crumbling it, puts it in the realm of grinding.
If the mud on the garment is wet, however, it may be removed. It may be scratched off with a fingernail, but should be scratched from the inside of the garment.
Some smokers (thankfully there are far fewer smokers nowadays), sometimes use snuff on Shabbath to help them tolerate their addiction, since they cannot smoke on Shabbath. At times the snuff becomes clumpy. The clumps may be broken up by hand on Shabbath, since the snuff has already been well ground. One may not use a utensil to do it with, however.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, O.H., 321:7. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Mishpatim, 6, 7. Qisur Shulhan 'Arukh [R' Ganzfried] 80:38)
ID: eb5a6 No.1158
When a person desires to do a good deed or make Teshubah (repent), G-d gives him credit for the thought. Just how much of a kindness that is, can be understood from the following story in Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah.
There was a poor man who walked passed a restaurant where they were roasting meat. He happened to be very hungry and the aroma of the roasting meat was overwhelming. He went into the restaurant, but once he saw the price of the portions, he left immediately. Being very hungry, he bought what he could afford, which was a loaf of bread.
He returned to the restaurant and sat on a bench just outside and started eating his bread. He took a bite from the loaf and then inhaled the smell of the meat that was wafting past. He took another bite of bread and again filled his lungs with the smell of the meat and made believe that he was actually eating it. The owner of the restaurant, saw what was going on and demanded that the poor man pay him for the smell of the meat that he was enjoying.
An argument ensued which finally ended up in front of a judge.
ID: eb5a6 No.1161
When a poor man enjoyed the aroma of roasting meat while sitting outside a restaurant, the owner of the restaurant demanded that he pay him for the enjoyment he received by smelling the meat he was cooking. An argument ensued which soon escalated to the point that they both stood in front of a judge.
After the judge heard both sides of the argument, he banged his gavel and ordered the poor man to give the restaurateur a coin in payment. The restaurateur was overjoyed, but became confused when the judge ordered him to throw it on the ground to hear what sound it made. When he did, the judged ordered the poor man to take it back.
The owner of the restaurant objected. "I didn't get anything", he shouted, "he has taken the coin back". The judge replied, "You claimed that he enjoyed the smell of your meat. Well, now you have enjoyed the clink of his money".
In truth, HaQadosh Barukh Hu should not give us any reward for just "desiring" to do a good deed. It is pure Hesed (loving kindness) on His part. He should only reward us if we actually perform a good deed, but He rewards thought while giving much more reward for an action.
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, Wayyesei, Selil Shel Teshubah)
ID: eb5a6 No.1164
Food that was absorbed into the walls of a vessel, once the vessel has been properly cleaned and 24 hours or more have passed, the secondary taste that is emitted when cooking more food in that pot, is considered to be a negative taste. As such, the Torah permits dairy food to be cooked in a clean meat pot that was not used for at least 24 hours, and vice versa. However, the Rabbis forbade it.
In view of this, after the fact (Bedi'abad), if milk was cooked in a clean meat pot, which was not used for at least 24 hours, even though it was forbidden by the Rabbis to do so, the milk is permitted. The pot, however, may not be used again, for dairy or meat, till it has been made Kasher.
The same applies to the lid of the pot. If a clean dairy lid, which had not been used for at least 24 hours, was used to cover a pot of meat, the lid may not be used again till it has been made Kasher. It should be noted that once the pot or the lid have been made Kasher, they may be designated for either meat or dairy use, irrespective of what they were used for previously.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Yoreh De'ah, with Rama, 93:1. Ben Ish Hai 2nd year, Qorah 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1167
ויאמר להם הידעתם את לבן בן נחור "And he asked them, 'Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?" (Bereshith 29:5). There is a difficulty with this question that Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h, (Jacob), asked Laban's kinsmen from Haran. Laban was not the son of Nahor, he was the son of Bethuel. Nahor was Laban's grandfather. So why did he refer to him as Laban the son of Nahor?
The holy Ben Ish Hai writes that Our Hakhamim of blessed memory tell us that when one mentions the name of a Saddiq (one who is righteous), one must bless him. Conversely, when one mentions the name of a Rasha (wicked person), one must curse him. Based on this, when mentioning Laban's name, Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h, had to curse him, but how could he do that in front of Laban's acquaintances and townsfolk?
So Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h, cleverly cursed him in a hidden manner. The name Nahor shares the same root as the word לנוחרו (Lenohro), which our Rabbis use to denote an unpleasant death (Pesahim 54b). This is what Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h, had in mind when he said, "the son of Nahor". Laban's townspeople, on the other hand, assumed he meant his grandfather.
(See 'Od Yosef Hai, Derashoth, Wayyesei)
ID: eb5a6 No.1168
Even though we say that if milk or dairy food had been cooked in a meat pot, which was clean and had not been used for at least 24 hours, although this is forbidden by the Rabbis, it is nevertheless permitted to be eaten, there are a couple of provisos.
One such proviso is that the pot had to have been absolutely clean. If there was any grease visible to the eye on the surface of the pot, then there has to be at least 60 times the amount of that grease in the pot, in order to make the food permitted.
If one does not know if the pot had any grease on it or not, when it was cooked, we can assume that cooking utensils are washed and clean before being put away. The exception is knives which are assumed not to be clean, unless we know for a fact that they were.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 103:5, 122:3. Shakh 103:15. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Qorah 11)
ID: eb5a6 No.1169
We mentioned previously (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2016-08-19
), that one may use a toothbrush on Shabbath, if one knows from beforehand, that one's teeth do not bleed. It is appropriate not to use toothpaste. However, in addition to being able to rinse one's mouth with mouthwash, one may actually brush ones teeth using mouthwash.
When brushing with mouthwash, one should put the mouthwash directly in one's mouth. If that is not possible, one should pour some into a cup first. When doing so, one should not mix the mouthwash with water, because there is an opinion that it falls under the category "Molid Reyah BaMayim" (creating a new smell in the water).
After brushing one's teeth, one should not rinse out the toothbrush so that it will be ready for use after Shabbath, since this is considered preparing on Shabbath for after Shabbath.
(See Derekeh HaTorah, 44:1-4, 26. Iggeroth Moshe 1:112. Ohr LeSion 2, Oth 253)
ID: eb5a6 No.1170
The Kaf Hahayyim writes that we must light the Hanukkah candles and recite the blessing, with happiness. The holy Ben Ish Hai writes in 'Atereth Tifereth that women are on a higher spiritual level and must, therefore, change their clothes and not wear their everyday clothes. If she has gold jewelry, she should wear it on these days, to make known the higher elevation that she has attained (see also http://www.atorahminute.com/2009-12-14
In particular, women should put on fine clothes and jewelry in honor of the lighting of the Hanukkah, since the lighting is what establishes the Miswah (commandment) and the time of lighting is the most essential time.
Men need also to be careful about this and wear clothes that they would wear in honor of guests. If someone would wear a hat and a jacket when important guests come to his house, he should do the same when lighting the Hanukkah. It goes without saying that he should not recite the blessing in a torn shirt or sandals and the like.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 57:4-5. Ben Ish Hai, Wayyesheb [Hilkhoth Hanukkah], Oth 26. Kaf Hahayyim, 676, Oth 8)
ID: eb5a6 No.1171
If someone is cooking rice, or other non dairy and non meat food (parve), in a clean pot that was used to cook meat during the previous 24 hours and put a dairy spoon (which had also been used in the past 24 hours), in the rice, the rice and spoon are permitted. We do not require there to be sixty times the amount of rice vis-a-vis the volume of the spoon. The reason is that the taste in the rice is only "Nothen Ta'am Bar Nothen Ta'am" (a secondary taste) and is permitted.
One proviso, however, is that one must know for a fact that the spoon did not touch any part of the pot itself. If it did touch the walls or the base of the pot, then it is no longer considered to be a secondary taste and becomes forbidden.
Similarly, if a dairy spoon and a meat spoon, which were used during the previous 24 hours, are both put into the rice, the rice is permitted. Here again, however, if the two spoons touched while the rice was cooking, they become forbidden, as does the rice, unless there was 60 times the quantity of rice, vis-a-vis the volume of the spoons.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Yoreh De'ah, 122:6. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Qorah, Oth 17)
ID: eb5a6 No.1172
The blessing of Sheheheyanu is only recited when lighting the Hanukkah on the first night. If one did not say the Berakha (blessing) on the first night, one says it on the following night.
If one forgot on the second night one recites it on the third, and so on. If one forgot to say it but remembered within 30 minutes of lighting, he should say it then.
If the husband was unable to light on the first night and his wife lit the Hanukkah on his behalf, with the blessing of Sheheheyanu, and had him in mind, then when he lights on the second night, he may not recite Sheheheyanu. The fact that he didn't actually say the blessing himself is not a factor.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Orah Hayyim, 676:1. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 58:7-8)
ID: eb5a6 No.1173
If someone did not light on one of the nights of Hanukkah, will not be lighting later that night and no one is lighting on his behalf at home, then, when he sees the Hanukkah lights somewhere, he should recite the blessing. Since he is not actually lighting, he should not recite the blessing of "Lehadliq Ner Hanukkah" (to light the Hanukkah light), but only She'asah Nissim (Who made miracles). If it is the first night, he also recites Sheheheyanu.
If someone did not recite the Berakha (blessing) on the Hanukkah candles on the first seven nights (and was not included in someone else's Berakha), he should endeavor to recite the blessing of Sheheheyanu on the last night. If on the eighth night, he does not have the opportunity to light either, or even to see lit Hanukkah candles on which to recite Sheheheyanu, then, instead of completely forfeiting the opportunity to recite a blessing, he should do the following:
He should recite the blessings of She'asah Nissim as well as Sheheheyanu, without mentioning G-d's Name and Kingdom (Shem Umalkhuth). He should, however, say G-d's Name and Kingdom mentally, without verbalizing them, when he recites the blessings.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Orah Hayyim, 676:3. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., 14. Maamar Mordekha [Eliyahu], Haggim, 58:11-12)
ID: eb5a6 No.1174
ויאמר לא יעקב יאמר עוד שמך כי אם ישראל "And he said, 'No longer will your name be Jacob, but Israel' " (Bereshith 32:29). Let us try to understand what happened here. Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h (Jacob), fought with the protective angel of Esau who asked him to let him go because dawn had broken. Jacob said that he would only let go of him if he blessed him, at which point Esau's angel tells him his name will be changed from Jacob to Israel. This doesn't appear to be a blessing per se.
One explanation of Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, is that the angel said this as a request and prayer. He wanted to curtail the significance of the blessing. What his prayer actually said was, "May it be that your name will no longer be Jacob (Ya'aqob), which has the root of 'Aqab (to supplant)". Jacob supplanted Esau twice, but more significantly, the name is not in the past, but implies that he would continue to supplant Esau repeatedly.
According to this explanation, Esau's angel was trying to protect Esau. His request was that Jacob's name would no longer be Ya'aqob, implying that he would supplant Esau, but that it would be changed to something else.
(See Ben Ish Hai Derushim, Parashath Wayyishlah)
ID: eb5a6 No.1175
The Torah commands us to let our animals rest on Shabbath. It says in Derekh HaTorah that the Ohr LeSion (Rabbi Ben Sion Abba Shaul, 'a"h), was asked if it would be permissible to train a dog to do a specific Melakha (forbidden Shabbath labor), such as turning on or turning off a light on Shabbath.
He would train the dog, for instance, that when he lifted his cane, the dog would do a specific Melakha. Would one be permitted to hint at it in this manner? He replied that this would be forbidden because a man is commanded to allow his animal to rest on Shabbath, as it says, למען ינוח שורך וחמורך, "in order that your ox and donkey rest" (Shemoth 23:12).
The Ohr LeSion was asked on a different occasion, if one may tell animals to do Melakha on Shabbath. He answered that it is forbidden because it comes under the same heading as the prohibition of instructing non-Jews on Shabbath. Even though one of the reasons for the prohibition, the fact that people might think the non-Jew is the agent of the Jew, does not apply in this case, nevertheless, another reason is that one is forbidden to speak about Melakha on Shabbath. This latter reason applies even with respect to animals.
(See Rambam, Shabbath 20:1. Shulhan 'Arukh 305:1. Ohr LeSion 1:23. Derekh HaTorah 44:6-7
ID: eb5a6 No.1176
The Shulhan 'Arukh brings down as Halakha, that the custom is that women do not do any Melakha while the Hanukkah lights are burning (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2009-12-07
for details). He adds that there is an opinion that we cannot be lenient in this matter. The Mishnah Berurah mentions that this applies only to women, but adds that there are places where the men also have this custom.
The Kaf Hahayyim comments that this is something that applies to women, but has no relevance for men. In Birkei Yosef, Rabbenu the Hida, 'a"h is quite unequivocal that there is no one who will say that there is any question of forbidden Melakha (servile work) in this matter, or that men ever adopted such a custom.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 670:1. Birkei Yosef, ibid., Oth 4. Mishnah Berura, ibid., 7. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1177
The Mishnah Berurah is of the opinion that on the last day of the Shib'ah, or of the Sheloshim (7 or 30 days since the burial of an immediate relative), even though one may not go to the grave on Purim to lament, nevertheless, on Hanukkah, one may go there with a Hazan in order to recite the Hashkabah prayer for the deceased. Ashkenazim should consult with their Rabbi for each specific case.
It says in Ben Ish Hai and also in Mo'ed Lekhol Hai, however, that one may not go to the cemetery, even on the Yahrzeit, but should go before. Since the Shib'ah and Sheloshim are even more serious and hard on the mourner, than the Yahrzeit, if those days fall during Hanukkah, they should visit after the holiday. If a Yahrzeit or 12 months falls during Hanukkah, the mourner should visit the cemetery before Hanukkah.
This is the appropriate custom for Sephardim. In all cases, however, one may go to the cemetery on Hanukkah, to visit the graves of the Saddiqim (righteous).
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 670:1. Mishnah Berurah 696:8. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Parashath Wayyesheb, Oth 22. Mo'ed Lekhol Hai, 27:1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1178
During the eight days of Hanukkah as well as on Purim, we recite 'Al HaNissim in the blessing of Modim of the 'Amidah. If a person did not say it, he does not repeat the 'Amidah. This assumes that he has already said G-d's Name in the blessing at the end of Modim. If not, he can go back to 'Al HaNissim and continue from there.
The Shalmei Haghigha quotes the Radbaz who is of the opinion that one may not repeat the blessing in order to say 'Al HaNissim. However, if one wishes to say it between two blessings in the 'Amidah, it is permitted, and there is no problem of saying an unnecessary blessing (Berakha Lebatalah) or even, of an interruption in the prayer. It should be noted that this is not the accepted opinion.
If one forgot 'Al HaNissim and mistakenly repeated the 'Amidah, thinking that it was the correct thing to do, if he suddenly realizes in the middle of the 'Amidah that he is not supposed to repeat, he must stop immediately. He does so, even in the middle of a Berakha. The custom is to say the 'Al HaNissim that one forgot, at the end of the 'Amidah, before taking three steps back.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 682:1. Rama, z"l, 693:2. Shalmei Haghigha, Hanukkah WePurim, 2:2, 3.
ID: eb5a6 No.1179
The Shalmei Haghigha mentions that the 'Al HaNissim prayer – of all the miracles that G-d did for us, that we recite on Hanukkah and Purim – is a prayer of thanksgiving. It comes to thank and praise G-d for the miracles he wrought for our forefathers, at this time, in those days.
That is the reason why this prayer was inserted in the blessing of "Modim", which is a blessing that recognizes Who G-d is and gives thanks to Him for all the good and miracles that He does constantly for us. It is inserted just before ועל כלם יתברך, "And for all these things will His name be blessed".
The Keneseth HaGedolah comments that on Hanukkah, the 'Al HaNissim contains the phrase ועשית עמהם נסים ונפלאות, "You did for them miracles and wonders", in the plural, whereas on Purim it says ועשית עמהם נס ופלא, "You did for them a miracle and a marvel". He writes that this is because on Hanukkah they succeeded in overcoming their enemies and there was also the miracle of the oil. On Purim, however, the only miracle was their success over their enemies.
(See Shalmei Haghigha, Hanuukah and Purim 1:1, 6)
ID: eb5a6 No.1183
ויוספו עוד שנא אתו על חלמתיו ועל דבריו "And they hated him even more on account of his dreams and on account of his words" (Bereshith 37:8). There is a Torah commandment of הוכח תוכיח את עמיתך ולא תשא עליו חטא, "You shall surely rebuke your neighbor and not carry a sin over him" (Wayyiqra 19:17).
The Rishon LeSion, Maran Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, explains that if you see your friend doing something incorrect or inappropriate, you should not mention it to a third party. If your friend hears about it from someone other than yourself, he will hold the fact that you repeated it, against you.
This was the complaint of the brothers against Joseph. What they were effectively saying was, "If you have a criticism of us, tell it to us directly. Why did you have to go and repeat it to our father?" This explains Rashi's comment that this verse refers to the bad reports of them that he would bring to his father.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Wayyesheb, Parparaoth)
ID: eb5a6 No.1188
On Mosei Shabbath (Saturday night), the Hanukkah candles are lit in the Synagogue after the 'Arbith prayer is over, but before Habdalah. In the home the order is reversed.
Since one is making Habdalah after lighting the Hanukkah, one might be tempted to recite the Habdalah over one of the Hanukkah candles, since they are already lit. This is not permitted, however. The reason is that one may not have any benefit from the Hanukkah lights, during the time that they are required to burn and there is a concept (Berakhoth 53b), that we may not recite a Berakha (blessing) over a light on Mosei Shabbath, till it can be utilized (עד שיאותו).
If someone is honored with lighting the Hanukkah candles in Synagogue on Mosei Shabbath, but forgot to say Atta Honantanu in the 'Amidah, to permit him to do Melakha (forbidden Shabbath Labors), or even if he is uncertain if he said it, he should quietly say, "Barukh HaMabdil Ben Qodesh LeHol" (Blessed is the one Who separates from holy to profane) and then light.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 681:1. Derekh HaTorah, 14:52-55)
ID: 11c90 No.1189
i fuck ur yahweh :DDDDDDDDDDD
ID: eb5a6 No.1192
The custom for Ashkenazim concerning a mourner during the Sheloshim (first 30 days of mourning for a relative), or for the full 12 months for a parent, is that they do not light the Hanukkah candles in the Synagogue, on the first night. The reason is because the first night includes the Berakha (blessing) of Sheheheyanu, and that would give the appearance of the mourner actually being happy.
As mentioned, this is the Ashkenazic custom. Sephardim are not concerned about this, except during the Shib'ah. A Sephardi mourner may, therefore, light during the Sheloshim of a relative, or during the year of a parent. This is in keeping with the difference in custom where Ashkenazim do not let a mourner be the Hazzan on Holidays and the like, whereas Sephardim permit it.
Having said this, if a mourner was told to light in a place where it is not the custom, he should not be told to back down once he has gone to light.
(Maamar Mordekh [Eliyahu], Hilkhoth Haggim, 58:31-32)
ID: eb5a6 No.1193
The requirement of lighting Hanukkah candles applies to a permanent dwelling only. Having said that, since the purpose in lighting is to publicize the miracle of Hanukkah, one is permitted to light even while traveling in a car or boat or train and the like. In fact, this helps to spread the knowledge of the miracle to multiple locations.
If one lights in such a location, however, one must not recite a Berakha (blessing). Additionally, one does not fulfill one's obligation of kindling the Hanukkah lights by lighting it in a moving vehicle and one must light in one's permanent dwelling.
Obviously, if lighting in a moving vehicle, one should only light electric lights since a real flame would be a safety hazard.
(See Hilkhoth Haggim, Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 58:41)
ID: eb5a6 No.1194
The Shulhan 'Arukh writes that 'Al HaNissim is said in Birkath HaMazon. As in all cases, if one did not recite it, one does not repeat it. The Yafeh Laleb says that 'Al HaNissim should also be mentioned in the blessing of Me'ein Shalosh ('Al HaMihya etc.).
He adds that even though Maran Yosef Qaro, z"l, says not to say 'Al HaNissim in Me'ein Shalosh, since there is no question of Bal Tosif (unnecessary adding to Miswoth), or of causing an interruption, it is appropriate to add it.
Other Aharonim do not agree with this, however. The accepted practice is not to recite 'Al HaNissim in the Berakha of Me'ein Shalosh because it is not required. Additionally, even though there is a custom to recite it in Birkath HaMazon, there is no established custom to say it in the Me'ein Shalosh
(Shulhan 'Arukh, 208:2, 682:1. Yafeh Laleb 2:1, 5:1. Kaf Hahayyim, 682, Oth 3. Mishnah Berurah, 208:59)
ID: eb5a6 No.1195
lol u mentaly sick. happy hannukah
ID: eb5a6 No.1196
Outside the Land of Israel, in the Diaspora, Jewish holidays are commemorated with one extra day. Why is that not the case with Hanukkah?
One reason given by Rabbenu the Hida, 'a"h, is that before we had a fixed calendar, Rosh Hodesh (the new month) was established by the Sanhedrin, based on the testimony of witnesses. Since it could not always be predicted when the witnesses would appear, those who lived some distance from Jerusalem would get the news later, when the messengers finally arrived. As such, since they did not arrive in time for the Yom Tob (holiday), an extra day was added on account of the doubt.
Hanukkah starts on the 25th of the month, which gave the messengers ample time to get the word out to all locations. As such, there was never a doubt and never any need to add an extra day. An additional reason is that Hanukkah is a Holiday ordained by the Hakhamim and not by the Torah.
(See Birkei Yosef, O.H. 67)
ID: eb5a6 No.1199
ועתה ירא פרעה איש נבון וחכם, Joseph gives advice to Pharaoh saying, "And now let Pharaoh choose a man who has understanding and is wise" (41:33). The Mefarshim are troubled by this statement. Pharaoh asked Joseph for an interpretation to his dreams. He didn't ask him for his opinion as to what to do about his dreams. Why was Joseph so presumptuous as to proffer his advice?
The answer can be explained as follows. The word ועתה (and now), was not said by Joseph, but by Pharaoh. After Joseph had explained the dream, Pharaoh turned to Joseph and said, "And now?", meaning, "So what do you suggest we do next?". Joseph then replied, "Let Pharaoh choose a man who has understanding and is wise".
Pharaoh's follow up question to his servants, "Can we find a man such as this, who has the spirit of G-d in him?", is a rhetorical one. He was already aware, that of all his advisors and those who failed to interpret his dreams, only Joseph minimized his own importance, always deferring to Haqqadosh Barukh Hu.
(See Abihem 'Al Yisrael, Parashath Miqqes)
ID: eb5a6 No.1200
If someone borrows an item from someone on Shabbath, for use on Shabbath, and the lender doesn't trust him to return it, he is permitted to leave something with the lender as security. However, he should simply leave it with him without specifying that it is a deposit as security for the loan. That would make it seem like a weekday transaction.
This refers to borrowing something in the order of food, drink or clothing that is required for use on that Shabbath. If they are not required on Shabbath, then one is forbidden to leave a deposit. Doing so would give the appearance of conducting a transaction on Shabbath.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Wayyishlah, Oth 16)
ID: eb5a6 No.1201
One of the great qualities of the holy Ben Ish Hai, Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, was that he was extremely careful to give honor to Torah scholars and to all people, irrespective of who they were. On one occasion, on a rainy day, there was a man from out of town who was unaware of the local climate and came with a shirt but no jacket or coat. When the Ben Ish Hai saw this, he wanted to give the man money to buy himself a coat.
The man refused, but asked the Ben Ish Hai to give him his own personal coat, promising to return it a little later. While many in his position would have refused, he willingly lent it to him. The Ben Ish Hai waited for the man to return it, till it was almost sunset, but seeing that the man didn't return with his coat, he took an old coat and went to the Synagogue.
There, he saw the man, wearing his coat and sitting in his own personal seat. In his complete humility, the great Ben Ish Hai didn't say a word, but sat somewhere else. This man was under the mistaken impression that, by virtue of the fact that he was wearing the holy Hakham's coat, he would receive extra honor. He was sadly mistaken. He was looked down upon by those who saw him trying to aggrandize himself with honor that he did not deserve and they appreciated the holy Ben Ish Hai even more.
(Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, Huqqath)
ID: eb5a6 No.1202
One must wait six hours after eating meat, including poultry, before consuming any dairy food. This is the most widely accepted custom, but there are those who have accepted traditions to keep lesser amounts of time. The Halakhoth mentioned here are predicated on keeping a full six hours.
According to this, one must keep six hours, irrespective of how long the food takes to be digested. Therefore, one must keep six hours in the summer as well as the winter, even though it takes less time to digest food in the summer than in the winter months.
If there is any meat stuck between one's teeth after eating, one must remove it. However, even if one didn't remove it till a few hours passed after eating, one still counts the six hours from when one finished the meal and not from when one removed the meat stuck between one's teeth.
(See Sh. 'A. Yoeh De'ah, with Rama, 89:1, Shakh, ibid., 1, 2. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Shelah Lekha, Oth 8)
ID: eb5a6 No.1203
The Ahronim write that, only if one finds meat stuck between one's teeth, must one remove it. From this it would appear that there is no obligation to actually check one's teeth for meat that might be stuck between one's teeth, after eating.
Having said that, if a person has cavities or other spaces in his teeth where meat is bound to get stuck, he most certainly must check his teeth, because it it a Hazaqa (presumption) that there will be meat there. Clearly, brushing and flossing one's teeth would be in order.
The same applies to cheese. If a person eats cheese and afterwards wishes to eat meat, he should clean his teeth before eating the meat. In fact, it says in Ben Ish Hai that it is appropriate to get into the habit of cleaning one's teeth after every meal, so as not to stumble in this matter.
(See Sh. 'A. Yoeh De'ah, 89:2. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Shelah Lekha, Oth 8)
ID: eb5a6 No.1204
We mentioned that we keep six hours between meat and dairy, irrespective of how long the food takes to be digested (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-01-02
). In fact, even if one does not eat any meat, per se, but only eats a meaty dish, or even a chicken one, with no actual pieces of meat in it, one must still keep six hours. Not only that, but even if their are no solids, such as if one is drinking a clear meat soup, one must still keep six hours.
If one is not actually eating the meat oneself, but chews it in order to give it to a small child to eat, one must wait six hours before eating any dairy food. The same applies if one chewed fat with no actual meat, that one must wait six hours, because the Hakhamim did not differentiate between the two.
On the other hand, if one merely tasted it with one's tongue and immediately spat it out, one does not need to wait six hours. Even if one put a whole piece of meat in one's mouth but spat it right out whole, one does not need to wait six hours. This is even more true if one tasted fat and spat it right out, that one does not need to wait six hours.
(See SH. 'A., with Rama, Yoreh De'ah 89:1, 3. Taz, ibid., 5. Shakh, ibid., 18. Shiurei Berakha ibid, 30, 31, Zibhei Sedeq, ibid., 4, 5, 0, 32, 33. Ben Ish hai, 2nd year, Shelah Lekha, Oth 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1205
וישלח את אחיו וילכו "And he sent away his brothers and they went" (Bereshith 45:24). Rabbenu Behyayye writes that this means all his brothers, including Reuben and Shim'on and also Binyamin. As a result of this, Yehudah fulfilled his part of the Neder (vow) that he made to his father, that if he did not return them to him, he will have sinned to his father all his days.
If so, why was he punished over this, as Razal (our Rabbis of blessed memory) tell us, that during the 40 years that Israel were in the wilderness, Yehudah's bones rolled in his coffin? The answer is because fulfillment of the vow depended on someone else. That is why he was punished, even though he returned them to his father.
That is why Razal say in Masekhet Makkoth (11b), that we learn from Yehudah, that placing a person under a ban, even if it is made on condition, the ban requires to be annulled.
(See Rabbenu Behayye on the Torah, Wayyiggash)
ID: eb5a6 No.1207
Raw eggs that one has in the refrigerator are not considered to be Muqseh, even though people do not, generally speaking, eat raw eggs. If someone wishes to swallow a raw egg on Shabbath, therefore, he may do so.
What one must not do, however, is break an egg into a plate and stir it, because it gives the appearance of preparing an omelet. We are concerned that a neighbor may stop by and suspect that the person is frying an omelet on Shabbath.
When we say that raw eggs are not Muqseh, this only refers to ones that were laid prior to Shabbath. An egg which was laid on Shabbath is Muqseh on account of "Nolad" (being 'born' on Shabbath).
(See Derekh HaTorah 44:1, quoting Mishnah Berurah 321:68)
ID: eb5a6 No.1208
There is a story in Abihem Shel Yisrael about a couple who were unable to have children. Their relative who was the Rabbi in Kefar Hodayoth in Israel, asked Rabbi Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, for a blessing for them. Maran Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, responded, "Tell the couple to be very particular about all Hilkhoth Niddah (laws of family purity), and they will have children". The Rabbi asked him if this was a blessing, to which Maran Mordekhai, 'a"h, answered that it was not a blessing, but a statement of fact.
The Rabbi hesitated to repeat this to the couple, because his relative was a religious man. He was concerned that his relative would be offended by these words, thinking that he suspected his actions in this area. However, when he repeated the words of Rabbi Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, to him, he responded that he and his wife were not careful about the Halakhoth concerning not passing anything to each other.
He was extremely surprised that Rabbi Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, would know this and say it with such conviction. On the spot he took it upon himself to rectify the matter. Right away they had the merit to have several children, one after another, exactly as the Hakham had said.
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael, 3, זו לא ברכה-זו מציות)
ID: 11c90 No.1209
come /deutsch/ threads in 4chan int
there are jews need saving too
ID: eb5a6 No.1210
If one cooked food which contained no meat, in a vessel which was completely clean, but which had been used to cook meat in it, even if meat had been cooked in it in the past 24 hours, one may eat dairy food immediately after eating the food cooked in that pot. One does not even need to clean or rinse one's mouth or wash one's hands between the two foods.
If, on the other hand, the meat pot had not been cleaned well, after being used to cook meat, then one should clean one's hands and wash one's mouth, but may still eat the dairy food right away. This assumes that there was 60 times the amount of food in the meat pot, against whatever residue there may have been there from before.
If there was less than 60 times the quantity of food that was cooked in the pot, vs. the amount of residue, then washing ones hands and mouth is insufficient. One must wait at least an hour, and if one wishes to wait six hours, he will be blessed.
(See Rama, Sh. 'A. Yoreh De'ah 89:3. Birkei Yosef, ibid., Oth 34. Ben Ish hai, 2nd year, Shelah Lekha, Oth 12)
ID: eb5a6 No.1211
yes i go their too, but iam interested in this jew here.
ID: eb5a6 No.1212
From when can we start calculating six hours before we can eat dairy after eating meat? In fact, there are three requirements. First of all the table cloth or cover where one ate, must be removed or replaced. In the old days, they used to remove the table itself. One must then say Birkath Hammazon and only after that can one count six hours.
In other words, there are three requirements:
1. Removal of the table cloth,
2. Birkath Hammazon, and
3. Waiting six hours.
Reciting Birkath Hammazon assumes, of course, that one ate bread. If one ate meat without bread, one should remove the table cloth, recite the appropriate Berakha Ahronah (after blessing), and then count six hours.
(See Shakh Y.D. 89:5. Keneseth HaGedolah on the Tur, 3. Shiyurei Berakha 9. Ben Ish hai, 2nd year, Shelah Lekha, Oth 12)
ID: eb5a6 No.1213
One may eat meat after dairy food, without waiting (we will speak about hard cheese on a future occasion). In order to do so, however, one must eat bread and then wash one's mouth with water and then wash one's hands. After that, one may eat the meat food right away. Obviously, if one is in a place where one can brush and floss one's teeth, it would be appropriate to do so.
Even if one ate with a fork, one must still wash one's hands, and the washing must be done into a vessel. This rule does not only apply to eating red meat, but even if one intends to eat chicken, one is still required to clean one's mouth and hands before eating it.
If one is in a place where there is no water, one may use other liquids for the washing. If there is no bread, one may use fruits, but not flour, dates or vegetables.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Y.D. 89:2, Orah Hayyim 173:1. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Shelah Lekha, Oth 14)
ID: eb5a6 No.1215
וירא מנוחה כי טוב "And he saw that rest was good" (Bereshith 49:15). This was part of the blessing that Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h, gave Yissakhar. The Ohr Hahayyim writes that the rest referred to here, is that of the world to come.
The way G-d created humans is that food and drink are required for sustenance. Without them, the body is unable to survive. The words "Ki Tob" (was good), come to tell us that the pleasures of eating and drinking have no value other than the fact that they permit us to survive. Once we have satiated ourselves, any more becomes repulsive. From this we see that these so called pleasures of this world, are not the true "good".
Yissakhar was the one who dedicated himself to the study of Torah. Jacob blesses him by telling him that true rest and good can only be found in the world to come, which he will inherit on account of his Torah study.
(See Ohr Hahayyim, 49:15)
ID: 11c90 No.1216
make turks shabbos goy
ID: eb5a6 No.1218
Is one permitted to strain baby milk or formula on Shabbath, in order to remove the lumps so that a child can drink it from a bottle? It says in Ohr LeSion that this depends on the child.
If the child was fed the milk or formula by spoon, but would not be able to drink it if it was somewhat lumpy, then it would be forbidden to strain it on Shabbath to make it smooth so that the child could drink it. If, on the other hand, the child would be able to drink it, with the lumps, if it were fed to him/her by spoon, then it is permitted to strain it on Shabbath so that it could be fed to the child with a bottle.
The basic rule is this. Anything that can be eaten, even if it was not strained, one is permitted to strain with a strainer on Shabbath. Therefore, if the child is able to drink the formula without straining, and the only purpose in straining it is to permit it to be fed to the child using a bottle, it is permitted on Shabbath.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 319:10. Taz, ibid, 9. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Parashath Beshallah, Oth 17. Shemirath Shabbath Kehilkhatha, 3:49,56,125. Ohr LeSion, 2, 31, 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1219
The Halakha on Shabbath is that one may not study by the light of an oil lamp, on one's own, for fear that one may come to tilt the lamp in order to improve the light. The solution is to have someone else stand watch over him to ensure that he doesn't come to do that by accident.
There is a story of the famed Rosh Yeshibah of Porath Yoseph, Hakham 'Ezra 'Attiya, 'a"h, who, in his youth, was once studying with a Habrutha (another young man). In the middle of a heated discussion about the matter that they were studying, the Habrutha got up and took the lamp to go to the library to find the Gemara which would prove his point.
Hakham 'Ezra, 'a"h, shouted, "Shabbath!", to remind the other that it was Shabbath and he mustn't carry the lamp. The Habrutha thought he was referring to the particular Gemara he was going to get and answered him, "No, I didn't say Masekheth Shabbath, but Baba Qamma, which is where you will see that it is like I say.
"No", Hakham 'Ezra shouted at him, "I don't mean the Gemara of Shabbath. I mean that today is Shabbath and you are carrying the lamp". His Habrutha was so shocked at what he had done, that he dropped lamp and it broke.
(See BeOr Panekha, Ribbi 'Ezra 'Attiya, Shabbath HaYom)
ID: eb5a6 No.1220
When one hears another Jew recite a Berakha (blessing), the one who hears is obligated to answer "Amen". However, the one who answers "Amen", must take care not to raise his voice higher than the one reciting the blessing.
The holy Zohar speaks about the punishment of one who hears a blessing and does not answer "Amen". As a result of this, if the one reciting the blessing, senses that those who are present, treat this matter lightly and will not answer "Amen", he should not recite the blessing aloud, but only quietly so that only he, himself, will hear.
In this way, he prevents them from stumbling in this serious matter. However, if the one reciting the blessing is including others in his blessing, he obviously must recite it aloud and they must reply "Amen".
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 124:12, 215:2. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Mas'ei, Oth 14)
ID: d9fe2 No.1222
A sincere question,
why do you continue to post?
I believe nobody have read or will read this, and no one has replied to you yet
then why do this?
ID: eb5a6 No.1226
When one hears a Jew praying something or blessing another Jew (or Jews), one must answer "Amen". This applies even if the blessing was made without mentioning G-d's Name.
As such, one must answer "Amen" after the Harahman's that are recited in Birkath HaMazon. One must, likewise, answer "Amen" when the Shaliyah Sibbur (Hazzan) recites the Misheberakh. When the Hazzan recites the prayer for the dew in Pesah and the prayer for the rain in Shemini 'Asereth, the congregation must also answer "Amen", in the relevant portions.
Similarly, when the Hazzan reads the portion of Elo-henu Shebashamayim in the Sephardi Selihoth, the congregation must answer "Amen". In fact, as we mentioned, in all cases when we hear a Jew blessing others, we must answer "Amen".
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 215:2. Be-er Heteb, ibid., 2. Maghen Abraham, ibid., 3. Hesed La-alafim, ibid., Oth 4. Mishnah Berurah ibid. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Mas'ei, Oth 15)
ID: eb5a6 No.1228
The Rama, z"l, in his gloss to the Shulhan 'Arukh's ruling, that when one hears a Jew praying something or blessing another Jew, one must answer "Amen" (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-01-17
), writes that one also answers "Amen" to the blessing of a non-Jew, if one heard the whole blessing from him.
The Hesed La-alafim writes that if the non-Jew says the blessing with G-d's Name, one should not answer "Amen". The reason is that it is quite likely that he did not have G-d in mind, but rather a god of 'Abodah Zarah (idolatry). If he says the blessing without G-d's Name, then one should answer "Amen".
One must be careful in all cases, however, not to answer "Amen" between the recitation of a Berakha (blessing) and eating, or performing the commandment that one said the blessing over. One must first taste the food or do the Miswah.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 215:2. Hesed La-alafim, ibid., Oth 4)
ID: eb5a6 No.1232
וארד להצילו מיד מצרים ולהעלתו…אל ארץ זבת חלב ודבש "And I have descended to save [the Jewish people] from the hand of Egypt…and to take them up to a land flowing with milk and honey" (Shemoth 3:8). According to the Ramban, G-d praises the Land of Israel on multiple levels. He praises the climate, the spaces and the fertile expanses. He praises the land as being conducive to breeding cattle, and much much more.
In our times, many wish to say that the Jewish people are interlopers and have no rights to this exceedingly good land. It seems to me that this Pasuq makes it abundantly clear that G-d, Himself, is the One Who, not only decided that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews, but Who personally came down to take them there. There can be nothing more powerful than staking one's claim under the leadership and the watchful eye, of HaQadosh Barukh Hu (the Holy One, blessed be He).
The word להעלתו (Leha'alotho - to take them up), in Hebrew, as it is spelled in this verse, is 541 in Gematria (Jewish numerology). The word ישראל (Yisrael - Israel) is also 541 – precisely the same numerical value.
(See Ramban on the Torah, 3:8)
ID: eb5a6 No.1233
Many fruits, such as apples and plums, have a stalk which one normally removes before eating the fruit. The question is whether or not one may remove the stalk from the fruit, before eating it on Shabbath, or whether this would be considered to be "Borer" (the prohibited Shabbath labor of separating).
It says in Ohr LeSion that it would appear that the stalk is similar to the pits of a fruit, which it is permitted to remove. As such, it would be permissible to remove the stalk of the fruit also. However, the condition is that it must be removed at the time that one is eating it, because this is considered to be the normal way that the fruit is eaten.
(See Ohr LeSion 2, 31:6)
ID: eb5a6 No.1236
It was often said that the holy Ben Ish Hai, Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, had Ruwah HaQodesh (Divine inspiration). He denied it, adding that we are told that only children possess it in our times. Several stories abound, however, which seem to indicate the opposite. On one occasion, the Ben Ish Hai was delivering a Hesped (eulogy) for the great Rosh Yeshibah and his teacher, the saintly Hakham 'Abdallah Somekh, 'a"h, author of Zibhei Sedeq. In the course of his eulogy, he quoted the verse, יעלזו חסידים בכבוד ירננו על משכבותם "Let the righteous rejoice in honor, let them sing on their resting places" (Tehillim 149:5).
He said that it was difficult to understand why the word honor was in the singular and the word resting places in the plural. They should have both been either in the singular or in the plural. He continued by saying that the righteous have two honors and two resting places. He then suddenly left the thought incomplete and spoke about other matters, to the great confusion of the multitude present.
One month later, by order of the government, Hakham 'Abdallah's grave was forced to be moved to a different location. Once again the holy Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, delivered a eulogy. "You remember", he said, "that I said that every Saddiq (righteous person) has two honors and two resting places? This is what I was referring to. Hakham 'Abdallah Somekh, 'a"h, had two eulogies and two resting places".
ID: eb5a6 No.1238
It will go into your subconsciousness regardless if you read it or not. It is great torah and the reward is huge if you learn this lil bit.
ID: eb5a6 No.1239
We may not answer "Amen" to the Berakha (blessing) of a child. This only applies when he is learning to recite blessings, because children may be taught to recite blessings in their correct form. This is permitted, even though they are reciting blessings (with G-d's Name) in vain, since it is for the purpose of learning to do it correctly.
When they recite a blessing, however, for the purpose of discharging their obligation of reciting a blessing, then we must answer "Amen" when they have reached the age of instruction.
There is a story about the Lebush who was studying with his Rabbi. A child recited a blessing, but the Lebush, who was engrossed in his thoughts, didn't answer "Amen". His Rabbi was furious and censured him severely. When he asked him what caused this great anger, his Rabbi responded that wherever the Lebush would go to teach Halakha, he must know and make known, how serious it is not to answer "Amen".
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 215:3. Hesed La-alafim, ibid.,5)
ID: eb5a6 No.1241
Maran Yoseph Qaro, 'a"h, writes in the Shulhan 'Arukh, that whoever recites a blessing that isn't required, takes G-d's Name in vain. Additionally, he is considered like one who swore in vain. Maran, z"l, adds, that one is forbidden to answer "Amen" to this blessing.
The question, why simply answering "Amen" is forbidden, is addressed by the Hesed La-alafim. He writes that one can say "Amen" at any time and it is not forbidden, even if it serves no purpose. So one may think that it is permissible to answer "Amen" to a Berakha Lebatala (unnecessary blessing). But our case is different.
When a person answers "Amen" to a blessing, he is concurring with the sentiment expressed in that blessing. By answering "Amen" to a blessing that should not have been recited, it is as if he, himself said that unnecessary blessing, because his "Amen" appears to be his agreement with the mentioning of G-d's holy Name in vain, Heaven forbid.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 215:4. Hesed La-alafim, ibid., 6)
ID: eb5a6 No.1243
(Rabbi Ya'aqob Menashe is currently traveling overseas. During this time, some of the Torah Minutes are by Rabbi Menashe Menashe, son of Rabbi Ya'aqob Menashe and Rabbanith Ruth Menashe, 'a"h.)
Maran the Shulkhan Arukh speaks about a case where a borrower gives the lender more money, when repaying his loan, than the amount he borrowed. Even if there was no stipulation for this when the loan was made, and also at the time of repaying he didn’t say that it was for the loan, this is still forbidden on a Rabbinic level.
There is a dispute between the Shach and the Taz as to whether this is only forbidden when you make it clear you are giving him extra money, such as in a case where he counts the money that is owed then adds more money to it, or whether it is even forbidden when the borrower simply gives the lender a wad of cash, and it isn't obvious that he is giving extra money.
The Rema says that this is only forbidden if you are returning money owed on a loan. However, if one is repaying money which is due to a sale, that would be permitted if there was no prior stipulation made. There are some Posqim who explain this to mean that paying extra cash for merchandise received, is permitted. The Beth Yosef, however, explains that this is only permitted when paying back merchandise. For example, the buyer pays for merchandise one month prior to receiving the merchandise. The seller now gives him additional merchandise.
This is also the opinion of the Ben Ish Hai and many other Posqim. However, all this is only permitted if that which was added was a small amount. Failing that, it would be considered as if it were explicitly stated that it was for the loan, and that would be forbidden.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Yoreh De'ah, siman 160:4. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, WaEth-hannan, Oth 10)
ID: eb5a6 No.1245
It says in Yeshayahu (58:13), וקראת לשבת ענג … וכבדתו מעשות דרכיך ממצוא חפצך ודבר דבר "And you shall call the Sabbath a delight … and honor it by keeping away from your [daily] ways, not going after your weekday interests and speaking of [non Shabbath] matters". From this verse, our Hakhamim of blessed memory learn that one's speech on Shabbath may not be like one's speech during the rest of the week.
Not only does this mean that one may not tell his friend to do something for him the following day, but even if one does not benefit by telling one's friend, such as about a matter that one wishes to take care of oneself after Shabbath, it is forbidden. It is forbidden, even if one does not stipulate that one wishes to do it after Shabbath, if it concerns a matter that is forbidden to be taken care of on Shabbath.
Even if the matter concerned, is not forbidden by the Torah, but by the Rabbis, one may still not mention it on Shabbath. This assumes that the matter being discussed is not for a Miswah and cannot be discussed effectively, at a different time.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 307:1, 8. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Wayyishlah, Oth 1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1246
(Rabbi Ya'aqob Menashe is currently traveling overseas. During this time, some of the Torah Minutes are by Rabbi Menashe Menashe, son of Rabbi Ya'aqob Menashe and Rabbanith Ruth Menashe, 'a"h.)
The prohibition of giving interest applies irrespective of whether it was given prior to the loan, or after it. When one wants to borrow money from someone and sends him a gift in order that the person should give him a loan this is called Ribbith Muqdemeth (early interest), and is forbidden. According to Maran, z"l, in the Shulkhan Arukh, this is forbidden even if he doesn’t state that he is giving the gift in order to receive a loan.
According to the Rama, z"l, however, this is only forbidden if he specified why he is giving the present. Even if he doesn't specify, but it is a substantial gift and/or something he would not normally give this person, since this makes it apparent why he is giving it to him, it is also forbidden. However, even according to the Shulhan 'Arukh, if the borrower didn’t state why he is giving the man a gift, it is only forbidden if he gave the present close to the loan.
If much time elapsed between giving the present and receiving the loan, that would be permitted.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Yoreh De'ah, siman 160:6. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, WaEth-hannan, Oth 10)
ID: eb5a6 No.1248
Ribbith Meuhereth (late interest), is where, after the borrower pays back the loan, he decides to give a gift to the lender. The same laws that apply to Ribbith Muqdemeth (early interest - see http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-01-29
), apply to Ribbith Meuhereth.
There is a dispute amongst the Posqim (deciders of Jewish law), regarding Ribbith Muqdemeth and Meuhereth, as to what the Halakha is. According to the Shulhan 'Arukh, even if your intent was not for it to be Ribbith (interest), it is still forbidden. The Shach is of the opinion that if your intentions were for it to be interest, then it is forbidden even though you didn't specify intent. Ribbi Akiva Eiger and the Ben Ish Hai, among others, rule like the Rama, that if you didn't articulate your intent, then it is permitted.
There is a leniency in both Ribbith Muqdemeth as well as Meuhereth. One who takes Ribbith which is prohibited by our Rabbis of blessed memory, is obligated to return it to be freed by the Heavenly courts. Nevertheless, one who received Ribbith Muqdemeth or Ribbith Meuhereth is not required to return the money, even to free himself from the Heavenly courts.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 160:6. Shakh, ibid., 10. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, WaEth-hannan, Oth 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1249
There are restrictions as to what benefit one may obtain from someone to whom one made a loan. The Shulhan 'Arukh writes that a lender may not benefit from the borrower without the knowledge of the borrower. This applies even if this was a favor that the borrower would have done for the lender, had there not been any loan. Since he is doing it without the knowledge of the borrower, it looks as if the lender is relying on the fact that the borrower will tolerate what was done, on account of the loan.
On the other hand, the lender may benefit from the borrower with the acquiescence of the borrower, assuming that it is a favor the borrower would have done, irrespective of whether or not he lent him money. There is a caveat, however. The Shulhan 'Arukh adds that this is only permitted if the favor is not obvious to the public. For example, allowing the lender to live in one's house would be forbidden, even if the borrower would have done that favor for the lender regardless of the loan.
The Shulhan 'Arukh Harab is of the opinion that the Shulhan 'Arukh's prohibition of benefitting from the borrower without his knowledge, only applies if he had not been doing so before the loan. However if he was benefitting from him without his explicit consent, prior to the loan (for example, he would use his friend's phone without asking permission) then in this type of scenario it would be permitted to do so even after the loan.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Yoreh De'ah, 160:7)
ID: eb5a6 No.1250
The prohibition of Ribbith (charging interest), doesn't only apply to outsiders to whom one lends money, but extends even to one's own family members. As a matter of fact, it is even forbidden to lend money to one's own children who are minors (boys under 13 and girls under 12), with interest. Not only that, but a father is forbidden to borrow from them with interest even though he is giving them the money as a complete gift and not on account of the loan.
The Rama brings a dispute as to whether one is allowed to lend money to his friend, on condition that his friend will lend him money in return. He quotes an opinion that it is forbidden, and an opinion that it is permitted as long as the second loan was not for a longer duration of time than the first, and the Shulhan 'Arukh HaRab writes that it may not be a bigger sum of money. The Rama holds of the latter opinion. However many of the Posqim (deciders of Jewish law, including the Hakham 'Abdallah Somekh, the Zibhei Sedeq and the Gaon from Vilna, disagree with the Rema in this ruling and forbid lending money in this manner.
However the opinion of the Ben Ish Hai, Hakham Yoseph Hayyim, 'a"h and the Shulhan 'Arukh HaRab, is that in a case where there was no stipulation at the time of the original loan, the original borrower may now lend the original lender even though the reason he is lending him the money is to return the favor. However he may not say that he is lending him money now in return for the favor, even though that is the true reason.
(See Sh. 'Ar. Yoreh De'ah, 160:8, 9. Zibhe Sedeq, Siman 160, Oth 26. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, WaEth-hannan, Oth 8)
ID: eb5a6 No.1253
ועברתי בארץ מצרים בלילה הזה והכיתי כל בכור בארץ מצרים "And I will pass through the land of Egypt on this night and I shall strike all the firstborn of Egypt" (Shemoth 12:12). As we know, the striking of the firstborn was done by HaQadosh Barukh Hu (the Holy One, blessed be He), himself, and not through an angel or other intermediary. This is a very great kindness on His part, which shows His immense love for the Jewish people.
Under normal circumstances, in capital judgment cases, one would expect multiple people involved in meting out the sentence. There would be a policeman to make an arrest, a lawyer to fight the case, a judge to pass the sentence and an executioner to carry it out, and so on. In this instance, in honor of the Jewish people, G-d took it upon Himself to be all of them. We say in the Meghillah blessing on Purim:
The One who fights our disputes: this means that He is our attorney.
Who judges our judgments: this means that He is our judge.
Avenges our vengeance: this means that He the arresting officer.
Brings retribution to the enemies of our souls: this means that He is the one who carries out the sentence.
In His infinite mercy, G-d took it upon himself to punish the Egyptians and bring His people out of bondage. What an eternal debt of gratitude we owe Him!
(See Qeren Yeshu'ah
ID: eb5a6 No.1254
If something is forbidden to be done on Shabbath, even if it is not in the category of Melakha (forbidden Sabbath labor) that was forbidden by the Torah, but is something forbidden by the Rabbis, one may not say on Shabbath that one will do it after Shabbath. There is a difference of opinion as to the Halakha, if it concerns the performance of a Miswah.
If, for instance, after Shabbath, someone is planning on writing a Sefer Torah or Tefillin or a Mezuzah, which are items considered to be pertaining to Heaven, then, according to one opinion, it is permitted to mention it on Shabbath. Others are of the opinion that it is forbidden, unless speaking about it serves an actual purpose. However, to simply say, "Tomorrow I will write a Sefer Torah", and whether or not it is said, the person would write it anyway, then this would be forbidden according to the stricter opinion.
The Tosefeth Shabbath writes that if one feels that one will become lax and not actually do it, then it is permitted to mention it. The logic is that having mentioned that one would do it, one feels an obligation to carry it out, in a similar way that a Neder (vow) compels a person to do what he committed to do.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Wayyishlah, Oth 1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1255
Hakham Silman Hugi 'Aboody, 'a"h, was the head of all the Rabbanim in Baghdad (Babel). When he made 'Aliyah to Israel, the people from the Jewish Agency had not heard of him. They asked him if he could write the Israeli script, which is, in fact, the traditional Ashkenazi script. Hakham Silman, 'a"h, wrote the traditional Sephardi Rashi based script, and replied that he could not.
So what did they do? They gave him a broom to sweep the streets, which he did in his extreme humility. When Rab Yis-haq Nissim, the Rishon LeSion and Chief Rabbi of Israel, heard about this, he told them, "Are you crazy, do you know who he is?" Hakham Silman Hugi 'Aboody, 'a"h, eventually became the Ab Beth Din (head of the Jewish ecclesiastic court) in Yerushalayim.
One Yom Kippur, someone whom Hakham Silman, 'a"h, had ruled against in the Beth Din, was called up to the Torah in Synagogue, where Hakham Silman, 'a"h, was present. During the Misheberakh, he asked for the Hashkabah (memorial prayer) to be recited for someone who had passed away. When he was asked for the name, he gave Hakham Silman Hugi 'Aboody's name. Hakham Silman, 'a"h, was also called up. In his incredible humility, he asked for a Misheberakh to bless the person who had just recited the memorial prayer over him.
(See Beor Panekha, Ribbi Silman Hugi 'Aboody. And based on what I heard from my Father, 'a"h, a close friend of Hakham Sasson, 'a"h, son of Hakham Silman, 'a"h)
ID: eb5a6 No.1256
The month of Shebat, together with Tebet, Tammuz and Ab, is considered to be a harsh month. It is a time when it is appropriate to set aside time every day, to beseech G-d to save oneself and one's family from any calamities, Heaven forbid. In fact, one should do so on behalf of the entire Jewish people.
In the way that one is careful in Ab, one should be careful in Shebat. However, one who is particular to do acts of charity and kindness, turns the attribute of judgment into that of mercy, and need not be frightened.
This is also the time of year when some fast every Monday and Thursday during the weeks of the Shobabim (from Parashath Shemoth till Mishpatim). Rabbenu the Ari, z"l, explains the necessity for men to fast these fasts to do a rectification. All this applies till Tu Bishbat (the 15th of Shebat). However. From Tu Bishbat on, the severity of the month becomes substantially lessened, till the month of Adar starts, when we increase our rejoicing.
(See Mo'ed Lekhol Hai, 28, Oth 5, 10)
ID: eb5a6 No.1257
Normally, there are those who fast during the six weeks of the Shobabim (Parashioth Shemoth, Waera, Bo, Beshallah, Yithro and Mishpatim). According to the Lebush, there are places that on a Shanah Me'ubbereth (a year with two months of Adar), they fast Shobabim Tath (שובבים ת"ת). This means that in addition to the Parashioth mentioned, they also fast during the weeks of Terumah and Tesawweh.
The Lebush writes further that the reason is on account of the fact that there are more than six months between the fasts of Bahab (Monday, Thursday and Monday), of the month of Mar Heshwan and of Iyyar, and that is too long. As such, they should fast 2 fasts a week during the extra month, for a total of eight fasts. However, in order not to impose a heavy burden on the people, they only fast on Thursdays, which are spread over this eight week period, and that is the way they make up the eight fasts.
Rabbenu the Hida, 'a"h, also mentions Shobabim Tath. According to the Moe'd Lekhol Hai, this is also only referring to a Shana Me'ubbereth, because elsewhere, the Hida only mentions the fasts of the Shobabim.
(See Lebush 685. Sipporen Shamir 6, Oth 90. Mo'ed Lekhol Hai, 28, Oth 9, 11)
ID: eb5a6 No.1259
Tu Bishbat (the fifteenth of Shebat), can only fall on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Shabbath. Since the Jewish day starts the night before, the night of Tu Bishbat can only fall on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday night.
When Tu Bishbat falls on Shabbath, it is most appropriate to do the Seder of the fruits on Friday night, after one has finished the Shabbath meal and recited Birkath HaMazon. One then recites the blessings before eating the fruits, and the after blessing when one finishes.
There are no changes in the Shabbath prayer on Tu Bishbat, except that Sidqathkha is not recited at Minha, as in all cases when Tahanun would not be said if it were a weekday.
(See Ner Sion 1, Oth 22, 27)
ID: eb5a6 No.1260
ויקח משה את עצמות יוסף עמו "And Moses took Joseph's remains with him" (Shemoth 13:19). When we do kindness for someone who has passed away, it is called Hesed Shel Emeth, true kindness, because the other person cannot do anything in return for us. We must know, however, how highly HaQadosh Barukh Hu values this.
Rabbenu Behayye writes that while the Children of Israel were busy getting silver and gold from the Egyptians, Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, was attending to the matter of transporting the remains of Yoseph HaSaddiq, 'a"h (Joseph), out of Egypt. In what merit did Joseph have the honor that one as great as Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, would occupy himself with the matter of burying him in the Land of Israel? The answer is that it is on account of the fact that he, Joseph, occupied himself with the burial of his father, Jacob, so that he could be buried in the Land of Israel.
Moshe Rabbenu's great kindness of attending to Joseph's remains, even though Moshe Rabbenu was of a higher stature, was not overlooked either. When Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, passed away, someone greater than he attended to his burial. He was buried by the Holy One blessed be He, Himself.
(See Rabbenu Behayye on the Torah, Shemoth 13:19)
ID: eb5a6 No.1261
According to the Mishnah Berurah, even though during the week one recites the appropriate Berakha (blessing) for each kind of scent ('Asei Besamim, 'Isbei Besamim, Minei Besamim), during Habdalah on Mosei Shabbath, one says Minei Besamim, irrespective of what the scent is. This is the custom of Ashkenazim.
The custom of Sephardim is different and they recite the appropriate blessing for each type of scent. If there are two scents, such as Hadas (myrtle) and mint, 'Asei Besamim is recited on the first and then 'Isbei Besamim, on the latter.
It says in Ben IshHai that according to Rabbenu the Ari, z"l, one should take two bunches of myrtle on Mosei Shabbath and smell them, with the blessing of Borei 'Asei Besamim.
(See Mishnah Berurah 297:1. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Wayyesei, Oth 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1263
כל כבודה בת מלך פנימה ממשבצות זהב לבושה: לרקמות תובל למלך בתולות אחריה רעותיה מובאות לך "All the honor of the daughter of the King is within, embroidered gold are her clothes. In embroidered clothes shall she brought to the King, the virgins behind her are her friends, and will be brought to you" (Tehillim 45:14-15).
The Torah is learned on four different levels, referred to as the Pardes (פרד"ס - orchard). It is an acronym for Peshat (פשט - the plain meaning), Remez (רמז - hints), Derash (דרש - extrapolation) and Sod (סוד - secret Qabbalistic understanding). In Hayyim WeShalom, there is an allusion to this from the above-mentioned verse.
"All the honor of the King is within" is the hidden Sod. "Embroidered gold clothes" refers to the Peshat worn on the outside. "In embroidered clothes, brought to the King", is the Remez, and "Virgins behind her are her friends", these are the portion of the Derash. They will all "be brought to you" in the world to come, as it says, "Happy is the one who comes here, with his Torah learning in his hand" (Baba Bathra 10b).
(See Hayyim Weshalom 45:14)
ID: eb5a6 No.1264
In today's day and age, with everyone constantly rushing, and no time to "waste" over meals, we need to remind ourselves about certain rules connected with eating a full meal. The Mishnah Berurah writes that it is a Miswah (מצוה) to study Torah at the table.
He quotes the Shelah who says that one should study Mishna or Halakha or Aggadah or Mussar. Simply relying on Birkath HaMazon (grace after meals), is insufficient. In particular, one must say a Mizmor of Tehillim, and it is good to recite pslam 23 (ה' רועי), after the blessing of HaMosi on the bread, because it is both words of Torah and a prayer for one's food.
There is a list in Ben Ish Hai of many readings that one should be particular to read during the meal. These include the Mizmor (Psalm) of the day, Pitum HaQetoreth, Ezehu Meqoman and Ein Kelo-henu (refer there for full list). Pitum HaQetoreth and Ezehu Meqoman are read during daytime meals only.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Behar Sinai/Behuqqothai, Oth 1. Torah Lishmah 476. Mishnah Berurah, 170:1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1265
We learn from the Gemara of Berakhoth (10b) that when praying the 'Amidah, one's feet must be in the correct position, which is together and level. We stand like the Angels with one leg, as is mentioned by the Prophet Yehazqel (1:7).
The Kaf Hahayyim gives one explanation for why we must stand like this. When we stand in this manner, it is as if our legs are tied together and we are unable to walk or take any steps. As such, we are able to put all our thoughts into praying to G-d, correctly, word by word, without skipping letters or words, and can pray to Him with our full intent.
If one transgressed and did not have one's feet together during the 'Amidah, there is an opinion that he must repeat the 'Amidah. However, in practice we hold that we do not repeat and that we have fulfilled our obligation with the prayer that was prayed.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 95:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth1 and 2)
ID: eb5a6 No.1266
There are several other explanations as to why, when praying the 'Amidah, we must stand with our feet together, resembling Angels with one leg (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-02-14
). It says in Ben Yehoyada' that there is a risk that our transgressions will be brought before G-d when we pray, which would possibly negate our prayers and requests. As such, when we stand before G-d, we try to mirror the Angels, who do not sin, and avoid our sins coming before G-d.
Additionally, it is not easy to move around normally when our feet are placed together. This is an indication to us of our limitations as human beings, and our need to rely on HaQadosh Barukh Hu (the Holy One, blessed be He), at all times.
One of the explanations that the Kaf HaHayyim mentions, is that since we are standing in order to speak with the Shekhinah (G-d's holy presence), we must remove all physical thoughts from our mind and appear as if we are the Malakhei HaShareth (Ministering Angels).
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 95:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth1 and 2)
ID: eb5a6 No.1267
וישמע יתרו כהן מדין חתן משה "And Jethro, the priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moses, heard" (Shemoth 18:1). Rashi asks what it is he heard that caused Yithro (Jethro) to come, and answers that it was the splitting of the sea and the war with 'Amaleq. Maran Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, comments that many ask why was it specifically these two occurrences that caused Yithro to come. He provides the following answer.
He says that he heard from his uncle, the great Rosh Yeshibah of Porath Yoseph, Hakham Yehudah Sadqa, 'a"h, that the splitting of the Red Sea and the war with 'Amaleq were two completely contradictory things. The splitting of the sea was something completely and utterly beyond and contrary to the norms of nature. The battle with 'Amaleq, on the other hand, was a battle in the natural sense of the word.
It is true that the prayers of Moshe Rabbenu were a factor in the battle, and that when he raised his arms the Children of Israel took the upper hand in battle, nevertheless, it was still essentially a battle in accordance with the laws of nature, with armies and weapons of war.
Yithro came to see this special power that the Jewish people had, that they knew how to wage a conventional battle with the sword, as well as to to pray and have miracles occur.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Yithro, Parparaoth, 18:1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1269
The Shulhan 'Arukh writes that if one erases ink from parchment, and the place that it occupied is sufficient to write two letters, one is guilty of transgressing the Shabbath labor of Moheq (erasing).
The Mishnah Berurah comments that this does not mean that if it takes up less space than that, it is permitted. On the contrary, it is still a Torah prohibition to erase even less than that. The only difference is that there is no requirement to bring a sin offering (Hattath). Therefore if ink, or other liquid, spills onto a book, one must not wash it off with water, on account of "Moheq".
The Ben Ish Hai writes that if one has a little ink on one's hand from when one was writing before Shabbath, one may not wash it off on Shabbath. When washing one's hands, one should wrap a cloth around it to prevent water from reaching it. The same applies to any other type of color or paint, that one is forbidden to wash it.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 340:3. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 12-13. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Parashath Pequdei, Oth1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1270
The word "Purim", itself, hints at Haman's downfall. When one rearranges the letters of the word Purim in Hebrew, one gets the word "Piryamo" (פורים - פרימו). This hints at his destruction because in Tehillim (21:11), there is the phrase פרימו מארץ תאבד "You will destroy their fruit (Piryamo), from the Earth".
The name "Purim" also bears an allusion to the two enemies of Israel, who rose against the Jewish people, to consume and destroy them: Haman and 'Amaleq. The Gematria (numeric value), in Hebrew, of the word Purim, is 336. The Gematria of the two names, 'Amaleq and Haman, with the Kolel (adding 1), is also 336.
Purim means [casting] lots. Even though the casting of the lots was a small part of the miracle of Purim, the reason this aspect of the miracle was used as the name of the holiday is because Haman and his descendants are hinted at in the name, as was his ancestor, 'Amaleq. Both of them rose against Israel, and both disappeared from the world.
(See the Hid"a, Debarim Ahadim)
ID: eb5a6 No.1271
The Gemara quotes two opinions as to why Washti refused to come when summoned by the king Ahashuerosh (Meghillah 12b). One is that she became leprous and the other opinion, from a Beraitha, is that she was given a tail (זנב) by the angel Gabriel. In truth, the word זנב (Zanab), may not refer to a tail at all, but to a growth of some sort.
The great Hida (Rabbenu Hayim Yosef Dawid Azoulay), 'a"h, discusses Washti's refusal to come as demanded by the king. He says that the Pasuq (verse) ותמאן המלכה ושתי לבוא בדבר המלך "And the queen, Washti, refused to come as the king commanded" (Esther 1:12), appears to mention Washti's name unnecessarily. We would have understood perfectly had it merely said, "the queen refused to come".
He quotes the Maghen who answers this question by saying that "Washti" in Gematria (Jewish numerology), is the same as the phrase גבריאל עשה לה זנב (Gabriel made her a tail [or growth]). The inclusion of her name in the verse, hints at the reason as to why she refused to come, as the king had commanded.
(See Rab Hid"a, Nahal Eshkol)
ID: eb5a6 No.1272
ומרדכי יצא מלפני המלך בלבוש מלכות "And Mordekhai went out from before the king [dressed] in royal clothes" (Esther 8:15). It says in Qeren Yeshu'ah that the words "from before the king", appear to be superfluous. The meaning would have been fully understood without those words.
He answers that it certainly is not an appropriate manner in which to behave, to clothe a servant of a king in royal clothes in the presence of the king in the hall where he sits on his royal throne. Rather, this would be done outside. One does not hand out honor to a servant in front of his master.
What we see here is the enormous honor that Ahashwerosh paid Mordekhai, in that they clothed Mordekhai in Royal clothes in front of the king. That is why the Meghilla tells us specifically that he went out from the presence of the king, dressed in royal clothes.
(See Qeren Yeshu'ah, 8:15)
ID: eb5a6 No.1273
ליהודים היתה אורה "The Jews had light" (Esther 8:16). What is the light that is referred to here? It is the Torah, as it says in Mishlei (Proverbs - 6:23), כי נר מצוה ותורה אור "For a candle is a commandment and the Torah is light".
It is well known that the study of the Torah is a protection. The study of the Torah is also hinted at in the letter ל (Lamad), because written out in full (למ"ד), it spells the root of the word to study (Torah) in Hebrew. If we take the letters in the Hebrew alphabet which are after the letters למ"ד, we get the letters that form the name Haman (המ"ן).
The fact that the letters that come before Haman's name, allude to the study of Torah, hints to us that through the merit of the study of the Torah, the Jewish people were able to overcome Haman. This is a lesson that we must keep in our hearts at all times.
(See Qeren Yeshu'ah, 8:16)
ID: eb5a6 No.1274
The Shulhan 'Arukh writes that if one erases ink from parchment, and the place that it occupied is sufficient to write two letters, one is guilty of transgressing the Shabbath labor of Moheq (erasing).
The Mishnah Berurah comments that this does not mean that if it takes up less space than that, it is permitted. On the contrary, it is still a Torah prohibition to erase even less than that. The only difference is that there is no requirement to bring a sin offering (Hattath). Therefore if ink, or other liquid, spills onto a book, one must not wash it off with water, on account of "Moheq".
The Ben Ish Hai writes that if one has a little ink on one's hand from when one was writing before Shabbath, one may not wash it off on Shabbath. When washing one's hands, one should wrap a cloth around it to prevent water from reaching it. The same applies to any other type of color or paint, that one is forbidden to wash it.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 340:3. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 12-13. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Parashath Pequdei, Oth1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1275
ויחזו את הא' ויאכלו וישתו "they saw G-d, and they ate and drank" (Shemoth 24:11). Rashi explains that even though they saw G-d, they, nevertheless, had an uncivil heart (גס) while eating and drinking. According to Rashi, the Jewish people reached a tremendously high level, because they were able to perceive G-d. Nevertheless, despite this, they degraded what they saw.
Onkelos, on the other hand, says that Israel reached such a high level, that they ate and drank in holiness, happiness and love of G-d. Significantly, Rashi himself, writes on the Gemara of Berakhoth (17a), that they were satiated by the light of the Shekhinah (G-d's holy presence), as if they ate and drank.
We see from this that eating and drinking can take us into two different directions. The right direction is that it brings a person to holiness and happiness of doing G-d's will. Or, it can bring a person down to a level of denigration and inappropriate behavior. What does it depend on? Us!
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Parashath Mishpatim, Paraparaoth)
ID: eb5a6 No.1276
The first of the four special Parashioth, is Shabbath Sheqalim, which falls on the Shabbath before Rosh Hodesh Adar, or on Rosh Hodesh Adar itself, when it coincides with Shabbath. In a year when there are 2 Adars, it is held on the Shabbath before Rosh Hodesh of the 2nd Adar.
Each of the four special Parashioth have a special Haftarah to go with them. When Shabbath Sheqalim falls on Rosh Hodesh or if Rosh Hodesh is on Sunday, Sephardim add the first and last Pesuqim (verses) of the Haftarah of Rosh Hodesh and/or Mahar Hodesh (tomorrow is Rosh Hodesh) to the Haftarah of Sheqalim.
The Rama is of the opinion that one should not add these verses, based on the Gemara (Meghilla 42a), which mentions that the Haftarah should not be taken from different books. The majority of Ashkenazim do not add the verses of Rosh Hodesh, whereas Sephardim do.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hilkhoth Haggim 62:21, 22)
ID: eb5a6 No.1278
Matanoth LaEbyonim, according to the Shulhan 'Arukh, is an obligation for each person to give at least two gifts to two different poor people on Purim. The Kaf Hahayyim mentions that there is a difference of opinion, whether one fulfills one's obligation of Matanoth LaEbyonim on Purim, if one gives the equivalent of two gifts for two poor people, all to only one poor person.
He says further, however, that a husband and wife are considered to be two people. Therefore, if one is giving to a poor couple, and one gives the required quantity for two poor people, and one's intention is that it is for both of them, then it is considered as if he gave it to each of them individually.
In this manner one does fulfill one's obligation. However, in the previous case, since there is a difference of opinion, one should not give the required amount to just one person.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Orah Hayyim, 694:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 9 & 10)Matanoth LaEbyonim, according to the Shulhan 'Arukh, is an obligation for each person to give at least two gifts to two different poor people on Purim. The Kaf Hahayyim mentions that there is a difference of opinion, whether one fulfills one's obligation of Matanoth LaEbyonim on Purim, if one gives the equivalent of two gifts for two poor people, all to only one poor person.
He says further, however, that a husband and wife are considered to be two people. Therefore, if one is giving to a poor couple, and one gives the required quantity for two poor people, and one's intention is that it is for both of them, then it is considered as if he gave it to each of them individually.
In this manner one does fulfill one's obligation. However, in the previous case, since there is a difference of opinion, one should not give the required amount to just one person.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Orah Hayyim, 694:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 9 & 10)
ID: eb5a6 No.1279
On the day of Purim, before the Meghilla is read, a Sefer Torah is taken out and the portion of Wayabo 'Amaleq (and Amalek came), is read. When a Sefer Torah is read from, the minimum amount of Pesuqim (verses) that one must read, is ten. The portion of Wayyabo 'Amaleq contains only nine. As such, the Shulhan 'Arukh says that the last verse must be repeated, making it ten. This is the custom of Sephardim.
The Rama, z"l, writes in his gloss that it is not the custom to double the last verse. This refers to the custom in Ashkenazi lands, and the custom among Ashkenazim is not to double the last verse. The logic is that the nine verses that are read, complete the subject.
When the 15th of Adar falls on Shabbath (even though the celebration of Purim is postponed till Sunday), the portion of Wayyabo 'Amaleq is read on that Shabbath, from a second Sefer Torah, instead of the normal Maftir. In this case, even Sephardim do not double the last verse, since there was also the reading of the entire Parasha from the first Sefer Torah.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, O.H. 793:4. Kaf Hahayyim ibid., Oth26 & 27. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Haggim, 65:1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1280
At the time when the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple) stood, many sacrifices were offered. In addition to ones brought by individuals, there were sacrifices which were for the entire Jewish people. Included in these were the daily Tamid sacrifices and the sacrifices on Shabbath and Yom Tob.
These sacrifices required donations and the money was raised by the mandatory half Sheqel donation that all Jewish males were required to make. This donation was made annually, and the rich could not give more and the poor could not lessen the amount. This donation of the half Sheqel, or Mahasith HaSheqel, was made in the month of Adar, so that the monies would all be received before Pesah (Passover).
Today, for our sins, the Beth HaMiqdash is not standing and there are no sacrifices. Nevertheless, we still give money in charity in memory of the half Sheqel (Zekher LeMahasith HaSheqel). This is given in the month of Adar, as it was when the Temple stood – may it be rebuilt speedily in our days, Amen.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hilkhoth Haggim, 63, note 1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1281
In order to fulfill one's obligation of giving alms to the poor on Purim, we need to know who can be considered as being poor. According to Rabbi Bension Abba Shaul, 'a"h, Rosh Yeshibah of Porath Yosef, if a person's income is insufficient for his basic requirements, he is considered an Ebyon.
This could be, quite simply, because his income is very low. On the other hand, his income may, ordinarily, be sufficient, but he has many personal debts that have to be repaid, and he is without any savings, and is unable to cover his costs. This person is also considered to be an Ebyon and one fulfills one's obligation through him.
One may also fulfill one's obligation by giving to minors who are poor. The only condition is that the minor can understand, that what he is being given, is for Purim.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 694:1. Ner Sion, p. 216. Kaf Hahayyim, 694, Oth 12. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Tesawweh, Oth 16. Mo'ed Lekhol Hai, 31, Oth 86)
ID: eb5a6 No.1282
לכל כלי המשכן בכל עבדתו … נחשת "All the vessels for the Tabernacle [used] in all its service … shall be of copper" (Shemoth 27:19). All the inner vessels and utensils of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), were made of silver and gold. The Torah commands, however, that all the external vessels must be made of copper.
The Torah tells us that Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h, (Jacob), says to his sons, "למה תתראו" (why do you make yourselves conspicuous?" (Bereshith 42:1). Rashi explains that they should not show the sons of Ishmael that they still had produce, whereas the others didn't. In the same vein, G-d commands that the inner vessels of the Mishkan be opulent, but the external ones should only be made of copper. Similarly, the boards of the Mishkan were covered in gold, but the external sockets were only made of copper.
This comes to teach us an important lesson. If the Beth HaMiqdash had to be concerned about showing its opulence on the outside, how much more so must one who is blessed with material wealth be very careful to enjoy it privately, but be much more modest externally.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Paraparaoth, Parashat Terumah)
ID: eb5a6 No.1283
When we say that a woman takes precedence over a man with regard to lighting the Shabbath candles, this refers to a husband and wife. It says in Meqabsiel, that if the Ba'al HaBayith (man of the house) does not have a wife, he is the one who must light the candles where he will be eating. Even if he has people working in the house, including women, he should not give them this important Miswah (commandment) to do, but should do it himself.
A fundamental rule in the Torah is that it is better to do a Miswah yourself than through an agent.
He comments that there are householders who are widowers, but have [Jewish] men and women employed in his house, and they light the candles for him. They should be told that the householder should be the one to light since he has no wife.
In fact, it is not correct even for his daughter-in-law [who lives with his son in the same house as her father-in-law] to light. She should light where she sleeps and he should light where they eat.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Noah, Oth 5, 7)
ID: eb5a6 No.1284
The Rama, z"l, writes that it is an appropriate custom to wear Shabbath clothes on Purim. The Ben Ish Hai writes that one should wear Shabbath clothes on Purim, or other clothes that are considered important, but one must not wear one's everyday clothes.
When Purim falls mid week, 'Arbith and the first Meghillah reading start after the fast. On account of this, some people do not wear their special clothes at night. Rabbenu Hayyim Wital, z"l, would immerse himself on the eve of Purim, just as he would before any festival. He would then wear his holiday clothes from before the start of Purim and not like those who wait till the morning.
Wearing special clothes is in memory of the fact that Queen Esther wore royal clothes when she went to see the king to plead for her people, after she had been fasting. It is also in memory of the fact that Mordekhai went out in Royal clothes, and how can we read these Pesuqim (verses) in everyday clothes? In view of this, it would seem appropriate for everyone to wear their special clothes before the start of Purim.
(See Rema, 695:2. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Tesawweh, 22. Kaf Hahayyim 695, Oth 13)
ID: eb5a6 No.1285
The Kaf HaHayyim mentions that many Gedolim, including the Rashal, z"l, are of the opinion that if one forgets to say 'Al HaNissim in Birkath HaMazon (Grace after Meals) after the Se'uddah (festive meal) on Purim, one is obligated to repeat Birkath HaMazon. However, the Eliyah Rabba and Rabbenu the Hida, z"l, disagree.
They quote the Maharal MiPrague who is of the opinion that we do not repeat if we forgot 'Al HaNissim, because, even though there is an obligation to eat a festive meal, there is no obligation to eat bread, and if one did not eat bread (or sufficient quantities of Mezonoth), one does not recite Birkath Hammazon. Many Posqim, including the Ben Ish Hai, rule similarly, that one does not repeat Birkath HaMazon.
In any case, since there is a difference of opinion whether or not one should repeat Birkath HaMazon, one should not, but should mention Purim in the "Harahaman" section. Obviously, if one did not mention it in the Harahaman section either, one does not repeat.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 695, Oth 32. Ben Ish Hai, Tesawweh, 1st year Oth 14)
ID: eb5a6 No.1286
The Shulhan 'Arukh writes that one does not fulfill one's obligation of the Purim Se'uddah at night. The Rama, z”l, comments that we fulfill our obligation of Se'uddath Purim with just one meal. He mentions this to discount the opinion that says that there should be two meals, one at night and one in the morning.
Nevertheless, the Rama, the Ba"H (Bayith Hadash) and others, write that one should still eat at night, even when it falls on Mosei Shabbath. In other words, even though we have eaten a substantial meal during Se'uddah Shelishith (the third Shabbath meal), on Shabbath afternoon, we should still eat a little more than we would ordinarily eat on Saturday night, in honor of Purim.
In view of this, one should be careful not to overeat during Se’uddah Shelishith, so that one would be able to eat a little something more on the night of Purim. The main Purim meal, of course, is eaten during the day.
(See Rama 695, Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 695:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 4)
ID: eb5a6 No.1288
Maran Yosef Qaro, z"l, writes in the Shulhan 'Arukh, that one is permitted to marry on Purim. The Rama, z"l, adds that one may marry on the 14th or 15th of Adar. This applies to Purim, but not to other festivals, when marriages are not permitted.
There are opinions, however, that disagree. The Maghen Abraham writes that it is forbidden and the marriage should take place before Purim, on the 13th of Adar. The Hid"a quotes an opinion permitting it and the Sha'arei Teshuba states that the accepted custom in their countries was to permit it.
The Kaf Hahayyim writes that since there are those who forbid it, ideally one should hold the wedding on the 13th and in that way all opinions would be satisfied. In the event that this is not practical, the marriage can take place on Purim itself. However, wherever possible, the Se'uddath Purim (festive meal), should be held before the Huppah.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 696:8. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 51)
ID: eb5a6 No.1289
ועשו את האפד זהב תכלת וארגמן תולעת שני ושש משזר מעשה חשב "And they shall make the Ephod of gold, of blue, of purple, of scarlet wool, and fine twisted linen, with masterful work." It says in the Yerushalmi that the Kohen Gadol had eight vestments in the same way that a Milah is performed on the eighth day. We need to understand the connection between the clothes of the Kohen Gadol and a Milah.
It says in Benayahu that the Midrash explains that Shabbath says to the Milah that it, Shabbath, is the greater of the two. Proof of this is the fact that G-d rested on it after the creation of the world. The Milah responded that it was greater than the Shabbath. Of course, as we know, we set aside some of the laws of Shabbath in order to perform a Milah. This proves that a Milah is greater than Shabbath.
The Kehunnah (Priesthood) also overrides some of the laws of Shabbath, because the Kohanim offered sacrifices in the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple), on Shabbath. From this we see that Milah and serving in the Beth HaMiqdash are on an equal footing. From this we can understand the connection made by our Rabbis of blessed memory that, just like the Milah is on the eighth day, so too, the clothes of the Kohen Gadol are eight.
(See Benayahu, Yerushalmi, ch 7:3)
ID: eb5a6 No.1290
Since a woman accepts Shabbath when she lights the Shabbath candles, if she prays Minha, she must do so before lighting. Once she lights, it is Shabbath for her, and how can she now pray a weekday Minha?
We mentioned previously that she can make a verbal Tenai (stipulation) that she is not accepting Shabbath at the time of lighting ( see http://www.atorahminute.com/2010-11-05
), and that would permit her to pray Minha afterwards. However, this is only in unusual circumstances and should not be relied on as a general rule.
The case for a man is different. If a man lights, he does not accept Shabbath with his lighting. Therefore, there is no problem with him lighting the Shabbath candles, and then going to the Synagogue to pray the Minha of Friday afternoon.
(See Ben Ish Hai Parshath Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Parashath Nowah, Oth 11)
ID: eb5a6 No.1291
On the day of Purim, the men rise early to go to Synagogue and pray with Tefillin. We wear Tefillin, even though it is an important holiday, because it is not one of the major Torah mandated holidays.
The Tefiliin are not removed till after the reading of the Meghillah, because we understand the word ויקר "Weeqar" (and honor), in the Meghillah, to refer to Tefillin. Having said that, we are not supposed to remove our Tefillin, on any day, till after Uba LeSion, which is read after the Meghilla, and the same applies on Purim.
As such, what this means is that if someone already completed his prayer, but hadn't yet heard the Meghillah, he should not remove his Tefillin, but should wait till the reading of the Meghillah is over, and only then remove his Tefillin.
(See Kaf HaHayyim, 693:19)
ID: eb5a6 No.1292
חמץ (Hamess - leaven) is equated to the Yeser Hara' (evil inclination). According to the holy Zohar, one who is concerned about food containing even the smallest amounts of Hamess on Pesah (Passover), is protected physically, his soul is raised and evil is unable to live in him.
Even medical products should not contain Hamess and if one takes medicine with Hamess throughout the year, he should find a Kosher substitute for Pesah. If one has to take a certain medicine which contains Hamess, and no substitute is available, one must minimize any pleasure associated with drinking it.
Pills and capsules are often sugar coated and, in addition to the problem of consuming Hamess, there is an additional problem of deriving pleasure from something which is Hamess. As such, the Rashal, Maran Mordekhai Eliyahu, zs"l, writes that one should purchase empty Kosher capsules and pour or insert the medicine into the capsule. When drinking this capsule, one eliminates the pleasure associated with tasting Hamess.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hilkhoth Haggim, 3:2, 6, 7)
ID: eb5a6 No.1293
Citric acid and alcohol should not be used on Pesah (Passover), without Passover certification. The reason is that both of these may be formulated from grain.
It is true that at some stage in the manufacturing process, both citric acid and alcohol become unfit for consumption by a dog, and we say that if a food has become unfit for consumption by a dog it is no longer considered Hamess (leaven), and thus, it should be permitted.
In this case, however, since the final product is, indeed, edible, they may not be used on Pesah if they were formulated from Hamess.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hilkhoth Haggim, 3:9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1297
Vessels and utensils that were used with Hamess during the year, but which will not be used over Pesah, do not require Hagh'alah (purging), but must, nevertheless, be thoroughly cleaned of Hamess and then put away. This must be done no later than the start of the sixth hour on 'Ereb Pesah (the morning before Passover starts).
If one did not clean the vessels before Pesah, and one did not sell the Hamess that adheres to the pots and pans in a sale of Hamess to a non Jew [note: the sale of Hamess effected by Rabbi Menashe, does include Hamess that adheres to vessels], they must be cleaned on Pesah. If they were not cleaned on Pesah, then they must be cleaned after Pesah.
Nowadays, most people have separate utensils for Pesah. When purchasing new and unused vessels, they obviously do not require Hagh'alah, however, they must be immersed in a Kosher Miqweh, if purchased from a non-Jew, just as all vessels do, throughout the year.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hilkhoth Haggim, 3:16, 18, 20)
ID: eb5a6 No.1298
זה יתנו … מחצית השקל "This they shall give … a half Sheqel" (Shemoth 30:13). The three letters of Moshe Rabbenu's name, 'a"h, hint at the three thing that he had difficulty doing. They were:
"מ", Menorah – he didn't know how to make till G-d showed him.
"ש", Sheqel – he didn't know what it was.
"ה", HaHodesh – he didn't know how to sanctify the new month.
The Sheqel is referred to in Parashath Ki Thissa, the Menorah in Parashath Terumah and the Hodesh is commanded in Parashath Bo. When it came to the Sheqel, Moshe Rabbenu's question was not a simple one about the coin itself. Specifically, he wanted to know how it could be an atonement for their souls.
That is why G-d showed him a coin of fire. This came to explain that if a person does a Miswah (commandment) with fire, i.e., with enthusiasm, this is an atonement for him.
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, Ki Thissa, pg. 201)
ID: eb5a6 No.1299
It says in Sefer Meqabsiel, that even though, on Yom Tob, the women recite the blessing of Lehadliq first and then light the candles, because of the concept that first you bless and then do the action, nevertheless, on Shabbath, they light first and then recite the blessing. However, they should not benefit from the light till after they have recited the blessing.
As such, some have the custom of placing their hands in front of the candles to block the light, till after they have finished the blessing. The holy Ben Ish Hai, Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, considers this to be a tenuous solution. Especially if she is lighting many candles (many Sephardim light seven and they are often suspended in mid air), the light will spread around the room and she will see it from the sides.
In view of that he says that it is preferable for the woman to close her eyes as soon as she finishes lighting. That way she does not benefit from the light, and she should only open her eyes again, after she has finished reciting the blessing. He adds that holding one's hands close to one's eyes is a possibility, but clearly not as effective as closing one's eyes altogether, which is what one should do.
(To be continued)
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Nowah, Oth 14)
ID: eb5a6 No.1303
Rabbenu the Hid"a, 'a"h, explains that there is a very lofty reason as to why our Rabbis of blessed memory instituted the the four cups of wine on Pesah (Passover) and the 4 Kezethoth of Massah (מצה), that we are required to eat at the Seder. He says that Hakhmei Ashkenaz explain that it would have been appropriate for the Children of Israel to be in Egypt for 430 years, which is the numerical equivalent of the holy name Elokim (His Name of judgment), five times.
However, on account of His abundant mercy, seeing the hardship of the slavery, G-d converted four of the Names of Elokim to four times the Shem Hawaya (His ineffable Name of mercy), which reduced the difficult years of actual slavery, to 86. The reason why G-d changed four of His Names of judgment to four of His Names of mercy, is because the Jewish people accepted upon themselves the condition that they would leave Egypt in order to study the Torah, which has four parts: Peshat, Remez, Derash and Sod.
That is why we are commanded to drink four cups and eat four Kezethoth of Massah, because bread and wine represent the written Torah and the Oral law. By eating and drinking them, we provide a reminder that it was in the merit of our commitment to study the Torah that we were redeemed from Egypt.
(See Debarim Ahadim)
ID: eb5a6 No.1304
The Kaf Hahayyim brings different opinions as to why we do not say a Berakha (blessing), prior to performing Hagh'alah (the ritual purging of vessels) to cleanse the vessel of Hamess, so it may be used on Pesah (Passover). The Orhoth Hayyim says that it is because one does not have to do Hagh'alah but can simply use new vessels. As such, it is clearly not a commandment [that we would have to recite a blessing over] to use those vessels.
The Issur WeHeter writes that the reason why we do say a Berakha when immersing vessels (Tebilah), but not when doing Hagh'alah, is because immersing is a positive commandment whereas Hagh'alah is a negative commandment, meaning that it used to purge the vessel from something that we may not eat.
The Kaf HaHayyim adds that another reason would seem to be because whatever is forbidden is only what was absorbed by the pot or vessel, but there is no actual food or substance involved.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 451, Oth 200)
ID: eb5a6 No.1308
During the days of Nissan before Pesah, the custom is to read the portion of the donations of the Nesiim (Princes) of that particular day. The Shelah HaQadosh mentions that each Nasi (Prince) had great secrets which carries the spiritual abundance (of blessings) to the members of his tribe, forever. By reading this portion, the holiness of the day is reawakened.
After the reading, it is appropriate to read the Yehi Rason portion and the request for the souls, after it. The holy Zohar explains that there are three rows of souls that stand on the walls of Gan 'Eden and twitter like birds, and praise G-d and pray for the people in this world. If it were not for their prayers, we would not be able to survive in this world for even half a day.
During the months of Nisan and Tashri, the Jewish people are involved in Miswoth, which make them happy. That is why this is the time to pray for mercy on their behalf, in view of the fact that they did not have the merit to enter Gan 'Eden and it is only during these months that they stand on the walls.
(See Ohr LeSion 3:5:1. Zohar Balaq, 196b. Ner Sion 1:8)
ID: eb5a6 No.1310
Does Bediqath Hamess (the search for leaven), require the blessing of Sheheheyanu? The Posqim are divided on this issue. There is an opinion that it does require Sheheheyanu, since it is a commandment that comes from year to year, as mentioned by the Ba'al Ha'ittur and the Raabad.
The Rosh, the Tur and many others, from the Ba"h to the Birkei Yosef disagree, however, and say that Sheheheyanu is not recited. The opinion of the Rosh is, that since the blessing is on account of the Holiday of Pesah, the Sheheheheyanu that we recite during the Qiddush of the holiday, covers it.
Whenever there is a doubt about a Berakha (blessing), we do not recite it, and this is, in fact, the custom, that we do not recite Sheheheyanu over the Bediqah. The Ben Ish Hai mentions, however, that in order to cover the opinion that we should recite Sheheheyanu, if we have a new fruit or significant new garment, we should recite the Sheheheyanu over it and include the Bediqath Hamess at the same time. The Ohr LeSion quotes the same opinion.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Parashath Saw, Oth 5. Kaf Hahayyim, 432:9. Ohr LeSion, 3:7:2
ID: eb5a6 No.1314
אלה פקודי המשכן משכן העדת אשר פקד על פי משה "These are the calculations of the Tabernacle of Testimony, which were calculated at Moses' request" (Shemoth 38:21). The words, "which were calculated at Moses' request", seem unnecessary. The Ben Ish Hai suggests that the words come to tell us that there was not only no theft involved of the donations, Heaven forfend, but that there was also no error made in the calculation.
The words "Tabernacle of Testimony" tell us that the Tabernacle itself, was testimony to the fact that no error had entered the calculations. Proof of this is that, had there been even a scintilla of stealing, even if by error, G-d's holy Presence would not have been able to rest on the Tabernacle
Furthermore, "calculated at Moses' request", is further proof of this, because Moses verbalized the calculations of the Tabernacle. It is known that the Shekhinah spoke from his throat and that it spoke clearly, which is something that Moses was not able to do by himself on account of his speech impediment. The Shekhinah would obviously not speak anything that was, in any way, incorrect.
(See 'Od Yosef Hai, Parashath Pequdei
ID: eb5a6 No.1318
Closing her eyes after lighting the Shabbath candles and before reciting the Berakha (blessing), on Friday night, has some some support from the Qabbalah. It says in Sefer HaKawwanoth according to the Ari, z"l, that when men accept Shabbath on Friday night, they must close their eyes from the beginning to the end of the Qabbalath Shabbath prayer. (Obviously this assumes that the man knows the prayer by heart).
In Peri 'Es Hayyim it says that the entire prayer [of Qabbalath Shabbath], should be said with the eyes closed, and it gives a Kabbalistic reason for it. A woman's acceptance of Shabbath is at the time of candle lighting. Based on what we have mentioned concerning the men, that when they recite the prayers for accepting Shabbath, their eyes must be closed, so too, when women light and close their eyes, it alludes to this.
Obviously, she cannot close her eyes before lighting, since her eyes must be open to see what she is doing when she lights the candles. However, as soon as she has lit, she should immediately close her eyes, and keep them closed till she has concluded the Berakha.
(To be continued)
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Nowah, Oth 14)
ID: eb5a6 No.1321
Rabbenu the Hida, a"h, writes concerning the degree of care and stringency required to ensure that there is not only no Hamess (leaven) over Pesah, but not even a mixture containing Hamess. As we know, the Posqim write that the Torah was so strict about it, because it is so much part of our lives throughout the year, that it is hard to separate from it.
From this we can learn to what extent a person must separate himself or herself from the Yeser Hara' (evil inclination). Just like we do for Hamess, we must launch a search and destroy mission, looking in every hole, crack and crevice, to seek out and burn our Yeser Hara', even in the minutest amounts and even if it is mixed in with something else. The reason is because, like Hamess, it is hard to separate from it, because once the Yeser Hara' gets its claws into a person, it doesn't want to let go.
A person's body is like the dough and the Yeser Hara' is like the serpent who sinks its venom into the dough, and we must make every effort to distance ourselves from it at all costs. The holy Radbaz said that the only reason that the Torah was so strict about Hamess, is because it alludes to the Yeser Hara'!
ID: eb5a6 No.1324
There were times and places where an entire town followed the same customs. Today, the world has shrunk and multiple and varied communities live in the same cities and towns. Each of the communities have different customs that they follow.
Now that they are all in the same town, should they follow one particular custom (perhaps formulate one that takes something from everybody), or should each one keep to its own?
The Halakha is that each congregation should keep its own customs. The concept of Lo Thithghodedu (לא תתגודדו - not creating factions), does not apply in this case. It is likened to a situation where there are two Bathei Din (ecclesiastical courts) in one town, where one permits something whereas the other forbids it, and 'Lo Thithghodedeu" does not apply in that case.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 468, Oth 65)
ID: eb5a6 No.1325
The Shulhan 'Arukh states that it is a Miswah (מצוה) to try to do Birkath Hammazon on the night of the Seder, with Zimmun (זמון), i.e. with three males present. Care should be taken to read Birkath Hammazon with Kawwanah and concentration.
Even though under normal circumstances, the custom is for a guest to lead the Birkath Hammazon, on the night of Pesah, the custom is that the Ba'al HaBayith (head of the household), is the one who leads it. On the night(s) of the Seder, the portion of Ya'alei WeYabo must be inserted in the Birkath Hammazon.
If one forgot to recite it, one must repeat Birkath Hammazon. There is a difference of opinion as to what one should do on the last Yom Tob nights of Pesah, if one forgot Ya'alei Weyabo. As in all cases where there is a doubt concerning whether a blessing needs to be recited (or repeated), we do not repeat.
As such, one should take great care to insert Ya'alei Weyabo in the Birkath Hammazon, throughout Pesah, Yom Tob and Hol HaMo'ed, but if one forgot, other than the first nights of Yom Tob, one does not repeat.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 479:1. Kaf Hahayyim, 288, Oth 24. Mishnah Berurah 201:1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1327
According to the Rambam (Maimonides), z"l, it is a positive commandment from the Torah, to nullify the leaven (Hamess) in one's homes (Shemoth 12:15), before the time that Hamess becomes forbidden. How exactly the nullification process takes place, is a matter of debate among the Posqim (deciders of Halakha).
This difference of opinion is the reason why we leave over some Hamess, in order to burn it on the morning of 'Ereb Pesah. As such, one must not nullify all of it the night before, by making it Hefqer (ownerless).
The reason is that according to the opinion that the only way to nullify Hamess is by burning it, one would not have fulfilled one's obligation if one had made it all ownerless and had nothing left to burn.
(See Ner Sion, Hilkhoth Pesah, 7:1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1329
כי כל שאר וכל דבש לא תקטירו ממנו אשה לה "For no leaven and no honey may be brought as a fire offering to G-d" (Wayyiqra 2:11). It says in Pitum Haqetoreth, that if even a trace of honey was added to the offering, no man would have been able to withstand its scent. It then asks why we don't mix honey with it, and it answers, "because the Torah says that no leaven and no honey may be brought".
It says in Dibrei Mordekhai that one might think that this is a strange question, since quite obviously the Torah forbade adding honey. He answers that, in truth, a person might think that since it is such a small amount, far less than the recognized minimum quantity of a Kezayith (1 oz), adding just a little would be acceptable. We learn from this that the Torah forbids adding even the smallest amount of honey.
It seems to me that we can learn from this that, as Passover is approaching, and we are trying to rid ourselves of the Yeser HaRa' (evil inclination), together with the Hamess (leaven), that we should not allow ourselves to be fooled into thinking that if we allow just a smidgen of transgression, it is acceptable. On the contrary, if the Torah forbade something, we have to ensure that we do not allow even the minutest amount of it to sully our good deeds.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Wayyiqra, Parparaoth)
ID: eb5a6 No.1331
Whenever there is a necessity to recite the blessing after the action, we need not be concerned about " 'Ober La'asiyathan" (the concept of blessing before the action). In the case of Netilath Yadayim (the ritual washing of hands), we recite the blessing after washing. There is a necessity to do so because, sometimes, a person's hands are unclean and, as such, we are not concerned about it not being 'Ober La'asiyathan.
In the case of a woman lighting Shabbath candles, there is also a necessity to recite the blessing after the lighting. If she would recite the blessing before, it would give the impression that she was accepting the Shabbath upon herself. If so, how could she light after that?
The holy Ben Ish Hai gives us a reason why reciting the blessing after the action is actually considered 'Ober Le'asiyathan (blessing before the action, and not after it), in this particular case. We shall look at that, with the help of Heaven, on a subsequent occasion.
(To be continued)
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Nowah, Oth 14)
ID: eb5a6 No.1333
According to the Midrash, the Jewish people were enslaved in Egypt on account of the fact that they ceased performing the commandment of Milah (circumcision). The first words in the book of Shemoth (Exodus), are an eye opener. They are שמות בני ישראל הבאים מצרימה , (the names of the Children of Israel who came to Egypt).
The acronym of the first letter of the first four words, forms the word Shebiyah (שביה - captivity). The last letters of the last four words, rearranged, form the word Milah (מילה - circumcision). This is a clear hint that the reason why the Jewish people suffered the servitude of Egypt, was for no reason, other than the fact that they ceased performing the commandment of Milah.
Such is the importance of this commandment and, whenever we are blessed with the opportunity to perform it, we should do it in purity, alacrity and gratitude to the Creator of the world for giving us the opportunity.
(See Peninei HaMo'adim on the Hid"a/Lehem Min HaShamayim)
ID: eb5a6 No.1335
Even though we mention the exodus from Egypt every day of our lives, there is a special commandment to do so at the Seder on Pesah, when the Massa (מצה) is placed before us. This is what the verse, "And you shall tell your son on that day", refers to (Shemoth 13:8).
Women are also required to speak about the exodus from Egypt. If a woman does not understand Leshon HaQodesh (the Holy Tongue - Hebrew), then the exodus from Egypt should be explained to her in the language which she understands. In particular, she must understand the portion of "Pesah, Massa Umaror (Passover, Massah and bitter herbs), and when it has been explained to her, she should say the portion over.
Inasmuch as the rest of the Haggadah is concerned, however, she can fulfill her obligation by listening to those who read it.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 472, 14. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid, Oth 88,89. Dibrei Mordekhai [Eliyahu] 11:3, 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1337
Shalom>where are you getting all this from?
Torah it is a Holy Book given to jews by HaShem, it small parts written for secular/idiotic jews because they cant concentrate for hours so it is cut for 1 minute to read.
If medication consists of real Hamess, that's not Nifsal LeAkhilath Adam (i.e. it is in a state in which a person would ordinarily consume it, like food), then only a person who is critically ill (חולה שיש בו סכנה, ל"ע), may consume it on Pesah (Passover). Obviously if there is a non Hamess medication that has the same effect, it should be used instead.
If this particular medication must be used, however, then if it is a pill, it is preferable to wrap it in paper and swallow it. If it is in liquid form, it should be mixed with something bitter, before consuming it. Additionally, one should not have a Kezayith (1 oz.) or a Rebi'ith (3 fluid ozs.) at one time.
One should make the medication ownerless before Pesah, or give it to a non Jew. Then each time some is needed, one should take a little from him. In all cases one should have the clear intent not to take ownership of it.
(See Ner Sion, 8:29, quoting the Ohr LeSion)
ID: eb5a6 No.1341
While some have the mistaken impression that rice is Hamess on Pesah, the discussion in the Gemara clearly indicates that it is not. Nevertheless, there are those who have the custom not to eat it on Pesah, and that includes Ashkenazim and some Sephardim.
The problem was that often times in the past, kernels of wheat would be mixed in with the grains of rice. As a result, the rice had to be checked grain by grain, three times. In fact, the general consensus today, is that it must still be checked three times, eventhough rice is grown separately from wheat nowadays. Those who eat rice should be particular to do so.
The Ner Sion says in the name of the Rosh Yeshibah of Porath Yosef, in Yerushalayim, Rabbi Ben-Sion Abba Shaul, 'a"h, that regular rice which comes in large bags, does not have a fear of being mixed with wheat. However, it is possible that during the packing process some became mixed in. Therefore, he adds, one must [still] check the rice meticulously, three times.
(See Ner Sion 8:40)
ID: eb5a6 No.1344
ביום צותו את בני ישראל להקריב את קרבניהם לה "On the day that He commanded the Children of Israel to bring their offerings to the L-rd" (Wayyiqra, 7:38). The book of Wayyiqra (Leviticus), is filled with details about sacrifices. Since the destruction of the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple), all sacrifices ceased. In today's politically correct atmosphere, some look askance at sacrifices as being primitive. Rabbenu Bahya writes that this is clear proof that the offering of sacrifices is a commandment from G-d.
What we must understand, is that this is a great kindness on G-d's part, to us. Since he knows that one of flesh and blood is prone to sin, He gave us the sacrifices to help us atone. What we must realize, however, is that it is not the sacrifices that G-d desires, but the penitence and atonement that accompanies them.
Shelomo HaMelekh (King Solomon), 'a"h, wrote in Qoheleth (4:17), וקרוב לשמע מתת הכסילים זבח "G-d desires for us to listen to Him, and not the sacrifices of fools". For our sins, the third Beth HaMiqdash has not yet been built, but we can and must still listen to Him, which is all the atonement He desires.
(See Rabbenu Behayye on the Torah, Parashath Saw)
ID: eb5a6 No.1345
We mentioned that in the case of a woman lighting the Shabbath candles, we need not be concerned about the concept that the blessing should precede the Miswah (commandment - see http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-03-31
). The holy Ben Ish Hai says that even though she blesses after she lights, this is still a case of blessing before the Miswah (commandment).
The Shabbath lights are kindled while it is still day. At that time, there is not much benefit to be had from the lights. As such, the Miswah has not yet been fulfilled. In fact, the Miswah is only really fulfilled at night when we can benefit from the light of the candles. As a matter of fact, the blessing that is recited on the candles would be considered to be in vain (Lebatalah), if the candles didn't have enough oil, or were not long enough, to burn into the night.
From this we see that the main performance of the commandment is at night. In view of this, it becomes clear that since the blessing is said while it is still day, and the main aspect of the Miswah does not take place till it is night, it is also a case of the blessing preceding the Miswah ('Ober La'Asiyathan). The Ben Ish Hai adds that despite this, a woman should still close her eyes before reciting the blessing.
(See Meqabsiel, Parashath Nowah, Oth 14)
ID: eb5a6 No.1346
One is not permitted to prepare on the first day of a holiday (Yom Tob), for the second. This includes cooking and baking. If one has frozen food in the freezer that one requires for the second night, one may not remove it during the day so that it adequately thaws out by the night.
In pressing circumstances, however, one may remove it from the freezer during the day, provided two other conditions are met.
1. It must be for the purpose of a Miswah (precept).
2. It must be done early enough in the day that it is not obvious that it is being done for the night.
When we say that preparations may not be made from the first day for the second, this includes the period of Ben Hashemashoth (twilight hours). One needs to wait till it is certain night with the emergence of three stars, or till Qiddush of the night has been made, whichever is earlier.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh Orah Hayyim 503:1. Shemirath Shabbath Kehilkhatha 33:10. Bah, 503:1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1347
When one purchases Massoth for Pesah, one should make the effort to pay for it before the holiday. In that way one fulfills one's obligation according to everybody.
This is in keeping with what Rabbenu the Hid"a, 'a"h, writes concerning Sukkoth, that one should make the effort to pay for one's Lulab and Ethrogh, before Sukkoth, to fulfill one's obligation according to all opinions. He adds that the purchase should be made in accordance with the requirements of the Torah, which means a purchase through money.
The Kaf Hahayyim quotes many opinions that one can fulfill one's obligation with borrowed Massah. However, stolen Massah, is a different matter, and one cannot fulfill one's obligation with it.
(See Shulah 'Arukh, O.H. 454:4. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 41, 31. Kaf Ahath, Sukkoth, Oth 3)
ID: eb5a6 No.1348
One who has a store, must not sell on Hol Hammo'ed (the intermediate days of a Festival). There are exceptions, however. If a person would actually make a loss by not selling, it is permitted. Importantly, however, not making a profit is not considered a loss and one may not sell for that reason.
If one does not sell items in one's store on Hol Hammo'ed and, as a result, there would be a real risk that, after the Festival, the storeowner would not even be able to sell the items for the price he paid for them, this is considered an actual loss on investment and one is permitted to sell them.
If there is a one time opportunity to do an important sale that will bring a large profit, one may conduct the sale, in private. In this case, one should spend more on the holiday than he would ordinarily do. Selling items for use on the holiday, including all food items, is fully permitted.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu' Haggim, 19: 3434, 35, 40)
ID: eb5a6 No.1349
The Rama states in his gloss on the Shulhan 'Arukh, that on Shabbath Hol Hammo'ed of Pesah, we do not mention Pesah in the blessings of the Haftarah, but end the blessings with "Meqaddesh HaShabbath". This appears strange, at first glance, because on Shabbath Hol HaMo'ed of Sukkoth, we do mention the Festival, and end the blessings with "Meqaddesh HaShabbath WeYisrael WeHazzemanim". What is the the difference between the two situations?
The Kaf Hahayyim quotes various opinions. One reason, according to the Derashoth HaMaharil, is that on Sukkoth, there were different offerings every day. On the Festival of Pesah, however, there was no difference in the offerings brought every day.
The Ba"H explains that the reason is because on Sukkoth we recite the full Hallel every day, whereas on Pesah, we recite the partial Hallel after the first two days. The Lebush adds that we mention the Festival on Shabbath Hol Hammo'ed of Sukkoth, because we recite the full Hallel, even on Hol HaMo'ed and because of the fact that there is a different offering every day. Thus, each day of Sukkoth is like a separate Festival unto itself.
(See Rama on Shulhan 'Arukh 490:9. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 78)
ID: eb5a6 No.1350
אז ישיר משה ובני ישראל את השירה הזאת לה "Then sang Moses and the Children of Israel, this song to G-d" (Shemoth 15:1). The word for song is written in the feminine "Shirah", as opposed to the masculine version of "Shir".
At the time of the final Geullah (redemption), the Jewish people will also sing in praise to G-d. However, on that occasion, it will be a song in the masculine form (Shir). This is in keeping with what is written in the book of Isaiah (Yeshayahu 42:10), שירו לה' שיר חדש "Sing to G-d, a new song", where "song" is written in the masculine form.
The reason why the song that was sung at the Red Sea is referred to in the feminine form, is to show us that the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt, was on account of the merit of righteous women (Sotah 11b).
(See Ben Ish Hayil 3, Shabbath HaGadol 2)
ID: eb5a6 No.1354
נתאי הארבלי אומר הרחק משכן רע ואל תתחבר לרשע "Keep your distance from a bad neighbor and don't join together with a wicked person" (Pirqei Aboth 1:7). There is a story of a pious individual who went to the Rambam (Maimonides), on the eve of Yom Kippur and said to him that there were parts of the prayer he felt he couldn't say.
We recite in the confession that we have sinned in the area of idolatry, licentious behavior and spilling blood. The righteous person said that he knew for certain that he had not committed any of these transgressions and that stating that he had, would be tantamount to telling a lie.
The Rambam said to the man that our Hakhamim of blessed memory tell us that one who becomes arrogant is like one who serves idols, one who gets angry is like one who practices idolatry, and one who embarrasses another in public, is as if he actually spilled blood. He added that it was impossible that the man had never committed any of these transgressions and, as such, was obligated to recite the confession.
The Mishnah is telling us that idolatry is an absolute sin. However, it is not sufficient to keep away from it, but we must also distance ourselves from its neighbors. Its neighbors are arrogance, anger and so on. If we keep away from its neighbors, we will automatically keep away from the main transgression which is idolatry, which is considered to be "wicked".
(See Hasdei Aboth 1:7)
ID: eb5a6 No.1355
זה הדבר אשר צוה ה' תעשו וירא אליכם כבוד ה "This is the thing which the L-rd commanded you that you should do and the glory of the L-rd shall appear upon you" (Wayyiqra 9:6). Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, quotes the holy Alshikh who mentions that in monetary disputes, the parties go to the Beth Din (Jewish Religious court), which decides, according to Torah law, who is right and who is wrong. There are those who mistakenly believe that civil courts have the same goal, which is to make peace among parties and, as such, if the civil courts base their judgment on logic that we can accept, then we may go to them if we wish.
He states that they are making a serious error. Torah law is steeped in both that which is revealed and that which is hidden to us. Every Miswah (commandment) that is done on earth, causes great activity in Heaven. Therefore, even monetary decisions, which appear to be logical decisions by the Beth Din, have a great holiness attached to them, which reawaken the root of that Miswah in Heaven. Going to civil courts obviously does not produce any of the holiness attached to the activity.
The Holy Ben Ish Hai says that when the Torah writes, "this is the thing which the L-rd commanded you", it is saying that we must do the commandments because that is what G-d commanded and not because they seem logical. As a result, "the glory of the L-rd shall appear upon you". This means that you will merit to awaken the root of the commandment in Heaven and cause holiness to be continued to be poured on it from G-d.
(See Addereth Eliyahu Parashath Shemini)
ID: eb5a6 No.1356
If on Shabbath, one erroneously read the weekday Yoser (יוצר), and did not realize the error till one said the Berakha (blessing) of Yoser HaMeoroth (יוצר המאורות), one should not go back to read the appropriate Yoser for Shabbath. Rather, one should continue the prayer and say the blessing of Ahabath 'Olam which follows it.
The opinion of the Ben Ish Hai is that, in such circumstances, one should say the correct Yoser, silently to oneself, in one's mind only. Under normal circumstances, saying a prayer in one's mind only, is not considered valid, but in this case the Ben Ish Hai mentions that it does have some benefit and is not considered an interruption in the prayer. One should say the whole portion in one's mind, including the blessings, and since they are said in one's mind only, they are not considered to be recited in vain (Lebatala).
Obviously, if one did not yet recite the blessing, one should go back at that point, and read the Yoser for Shabbath.
(See Ben Ish hai, 2nd year, Toldoth 9. Shalmei Sibbur page 28)
ID: eb5a6 No.1357
עשה רצונו כרצונך, כדי שיעשה רצונך כרצונו, בטל רצונך מפני רצונו, כדי שיבטל רצון אחרים מפני רצונך "Make His desire like your desire, so that He will make your desire like His. Nullify your desire in the face of His desire, so that He will nullify the desire of others to do according to your desire" (Pirqei Aboth 2:4).
Rabbenu Behayye says that "Make His desire like your desire", means that just like you make every effort in order to do your will in order to fulfill your desires, so too, you must make every effort in order to fulfill G-d's desires, so that He will fulfill your desires the way He does His.
"Nullify your desire in the face of His desire", means that if you have the opportunity to sin, nullify your wishes and keep away from the transgression, because it is the Will of the Creator that you separate from it. "So that He will nullify the desire of others", refers to the desires of others who wish to see you do wrong. "Others" also refers to spiritual forces, and tells us that if you nullify your will in the face of His, even if it was decreed that these forces should harm you, they will not be able to.
(See Rabbenu Bahya, Pirqei Aboth 2:4)
ID: eb5a6 No.1358
Wine which was never boiled, becomes forbidden if touched by a non-Jew. However, it is not only wine. The Shulhan 'Arukh states that juice made of unripe grapes (Boser), also becomes forbidden if touched by a non-Jew.
This is true, even if the grapes are exceptionally sour. The reason is that we are not knowledgeable enough to know when the grapes are considered to be Boser, and when not and, as such, their juice is considered to be like wine.
If, however, the juice of unripe grapes was added to food and the taste of the juice changed, it does not become forbidden if touched by a non-Jew. This is especially true if the juice of the sour grapes was actually cooked with other food.
(See Sh. 'A. Yoreh De'ah, 123:5 & 8. Be-er Heteb 123:8. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Balaq, 14)
ID: eb5a6 No.1360
A non-Jew who practices idolatry, causes wine to become forbidden by touching it. In fact, it is not only forbidden to drink it, but it is also forbidden to have any benefit from it. However, if a little child of a family of idolators touches the wine, and the child is so young that it does not understand the concept of serving idols, then the wine becomes forbidden to drink, but it is not forbidden to have benefit from it.
The Ben Ish Hai mentions that Muslims do not practice idolatry. As such, a little child, who is Muslim, and does not yet understand these concepts, does not cause wine to become forbidden if he touches it, even for drinking, since idolatry is not a factor and he has no understanding in this matter.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh Yoreh De'ah, 124:4. Be-er Heteb 124:6 and 7. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Balaq, Oth 2)
ID: eb5a6 No.1366
The reason why there is a difference between a young child of a family that practices idolatry and a young Muslim child, with regard to rendering wine unfit (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-04-25
), is as follows:
The Torah forbids wine that was used for idolatrous purposes to be drunk or for any benefit to be obtained from it (see Abodah Zara 29b). The Hakhamim included in this prohibition wine made by idolator or even touched by one. In this case too, the wine is forbidden both for drinking or gaining any benefit from it. According to the holy Zohar, one who drinks such wine severs the connection with his soul and its holy source and has no portion in the world to come.
The Hakhamim did not include in this prohibition, wine touched by a non-Jew who was not an idolator. While it is still forbidden to drink it, one may derive benefit from it. In the case of little children, the restrictions are lowered one level. In the case of a child of an idolatrous family, the wine may not be drunk, however, one may obtain benefit from it. In the case a small child of a non idolatrous family, such as a Muslim child (Muslims believe in the concept of one G-d), the wine is not forbidden at all.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh Yoreh De'ah, 123:1, 124:4, 6. Be-er Heteb 124:6 and 7. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Balaq, Oth 1 and 2)
ID: eb5a6 No.1367
ורחץ במים וטהר ואחר יבוא אל המחנה וישב מחוץ לאהלו שבעת ימים "[The one who has to be cleansed] will wash himself in water, so that he will be cleansed, and after that he will come to the camp, but will stay outside his tent for seven days" (Wayyiqra 14:8).
In Dibrei Mordekhai, it mentions that the Mesora' (the one afflicted with spiritual leprosy), is not permitted to return to his tent immediately. Instead, he has to undergo a purification process that is mentioned in this verse, which lasts seven days. During this time, his skin gradually returns to how it was before the illness. Only then is he permitted to return to his tent.
We must learn from this that since this affliction comes on account of Lashon Hara' (wicked gossip), one who speaks badly of another, has to thoroughly cleanse himself of this terrible trait. He must cleanse his speech and his tongue and habituate himself to pure speech.
Only then may he return to the camp.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai (Parparaoth), Parashath Taharoth [Mesora'])
ID: eb5a6 No.1369
On Mosei Shabbath, the custom is to mention Eliyahu HaNabi, zl"t, (Elijah the Prophet) and to sing songs of praise about him. The reason is that he doesn't come on Friday night to bring tidings of the redemption. Neither does he come on the day of Shabbath to announce the redemption either.
It is at the conclusion of Shabbath that it is appropriate for him to announce the coming of the redemption. That is why we choose this moment to remember him in a positive manner.
By doing so, we demonstrate that we are constantly yearning and hoping for G-d's salvation at every given moment and will not despair, even for a moment. As it says: לישועתך קוינו כל היום "For Your salvation have we hoped, all the day".
(see Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Wayyesei, Oth 65)
ID: eb5a6 No.1373
ישיבת בתי כנסיות של עמי הארץ מוציאין את האדם מן העולם "Sitting in the gathering places of the ignorant, removes a man from the world" (Aboth 3:14). A man came forlorn to the Rabbi of the town because he had heard one of the most prominent members of the town denigrate the custom of going on Shabbath to the Synagogue to hear a Derasha from the Rabbi. "It would be better", he said, "if they would read to us form the newspapers, so that we would know what is going on in the world, and not force us to waste our time and listen to their sermons".
The Rabbi told him a parable. One beautiful night, the moon was shining radiantly over the river and all the people gathered there to enjoy the beauty of the nature and the fresh air. There were some dogs who saw the reflection of the moon in the river and started barking at it to go away, just as they would bark whenever they felt their territory was being invaded.
The stars turned to the moon and asked it to stop shining so that the dogs would stop barking. "I will not", said the moon. "I am shining my light for the people who are enjoying it. What do I care about a few barking dogs".
The Rabbi told the man that he should not be concerned about the barking dogs, because the Derashoth were being given for the multitude of those who enjoy and benefit from it. "You should know", he said to the man, "that it starts with complaints about the Derasha, then escalates into not 'wasting time' with prayer, and ends with telling people that they should work on Shabbath and not lose money". That is why sitting with the ignorant can remove a man from the world.
(See Hasdei Aboth 1:14 [10 in some editions])
ID: eb5a6 No.1379
בני שמר אמרי ומצותי תצפן אתך "My son, keep my teachings and hold my commandments with you" (Mishlei 7:1). Sometimes people don't take enough care with their Torah study. They hear or read something, but do not make an effort to retain the knowledge they have learned. They are not concerned that they forget the details shortly thereafter. As long as they perform the Miswoth (commandments), they feel they have fulfilled their obligation.
Especially in this day and age, where electronic communication has become so easy, there is a tendency to think that it doesn't matter if one knows the Halakha correctly or not. When the need arises, one can ask any number of Rabbis and Hakhamim, what one should do. That way one has fulfilled one's duty of performing the commandment.
Shelomo HaMelekh, 'a"h, (King Solomon), tells us that this is a serious error. "Remember my teachings" means that you must know them yourself and not rely constantly on asking the Rabbis. Firstly, doing that would be as if the Rabbis, but not you, were keeping the commandments. Secondly, there are times that Rabbis are not available. What if it is Shabbath and you cannot use your electronic device and no one is available? To avoid doing the wrong thing or not perform a Miswah at all, one must make every effort to remember what one has learned.
(See Alshikh, Mishlei 7:1 and 2)
ID: eb5a6 No.1384
שמר מצותי וחיה ותורתי כאישון עיניך "Keep my commandments and live, and my Torah like the pupil of your eye" (Mishlei 7:2). How can we understand what Shelomo HaMelekh, 'a"h, (King Solomon) is saying in this Proverb? Rabbenu the Alsheikh explains it as follows:
One might be tempted to think that once one has learned how to perform Miswoth (commandments), one has no more need to set aside time every day, for Torah study. It would suffice to look over what one has learned, once a year. He comments, that just as one who is blind has difficulty walking without stumbling, so too, one who does not dedicate himself to the study of the Torah stumbles and even sins.
This is precisely what happened to Ribbi 'Aqiba, 'a"h, in his early days of serving Hakhamim (Yerushalmi, Nazir 7:1). He came across an unknown corpse on the way and, thinking that he was doing a big Miswah, carried it a long distance to the cemetery. The Halakha is, however, that when an unidentified body is found somewhere, it must be buried at that place. The Hakhamim told him that what he did was tantamount to spilling blood with each step.
This is the meaning of keeping the Torah like the pupil of an eye. If we don't have full mastery of the Torah, we fumble and stumble in the dark.
(See Alsheikh, Mishlei 7:2)
ID: eb5a6 No.1385
קשרם על אצבעתיך כתבם על לוח לבך "Tie them to your fingers and write them on the tablet of your heart" (Mishlei, 7:3). We often hear people say, "I wish I could do more Miswoth, but my work preoccupies me so much that I don't have the opportunity to do more".
The Yerushalmi (Hallah 1:6) tells us that there is a comparison to be made between the ten fingers and the 10 stages involved in making bread. The ten start with the plowing and end with the separation of the Hallah from the dough. So too, in all the different types of work and labor that we do, we must connect the action with a commandment. If plowing a field, we must think of the prohibition of not plowing with an ox and a donkey together.
When harvesting, one must think of the various commandments associated with it, including leaving the corners for the poor. When making profit in business one must give a percentage to the poor. In other words, one must consciously connect all one's actions to a corresponding commandment. In this way, one ties the Miswoth to one's fingers.
(See Alsheikh, Mishlei 7:3)
ID: eb5a6 No.1386
מפני שיבה תקום "Before [the elderly] shall you rise (Wayyiqra 19:32). The use of the word "Mippenei" (מפני) to mean before or in front of, seems unusual. "Lifnei" means in front of, whereas "Mippenei" usually means on account of.
The Dibrei Mordekhai quotes the Ben Ish Hai as saying that in the matter of the rebellion of Qorah, it says ויקמו לפני משה "And they rose in front of Moses" (BaMidbar 16:2). Even though they were rebelling against him, it was not possible that they would not stand "on account of" (Mippenei) his honor. So what did they do? When they spied him approaching from a distance, they immediately rose, so that when he approached they would already be standing.
In view of this, the Dibrei Mordekhai says that this explains the Torah commandment of rising "on account of" an elderly person. It comes to tell us that you must rise on account of him, when he is close to you, so that it will be apparent to all that your rising was because of him.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Wayyiqra, Parparaoth)
ID: eb5a6 No.1387
The verses of "Weyitten Lekha" should be said on Mosei Shabbath. Rabbenu the Ari, z"l, used to say them at the time that he recited Habdalah, with a cup of wine, in his home. However, the prevalent custom is to recite them after Habdalah.
Those who recite Habdalah in Synagogue, say the verses as soon as they return home. Some Ashkenazim have the custom of reciting them in the Synagogue.
When Mosei Shabbath falls out on Yom Tob, the verses are not recited. The reason is that the essential point of the blessing is for success in one's livelihood and no business is transacted on Yom Tob. Nevertheless, when Mosei Shabbath falls on Hol HaMo'ed (the intermediate days of a Festival), Weyitten Lekha is recited.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Wayyesei, Oth 62)
ID: eb5a6 No.1389
רבי יוחנן הסנדלר אומר כל כנסיה שהיא לשם שמים סופה להתקים ושאינה לשם שמים אין סופה להתקים "Any assembly which is for the sake of Heaven, will eventually exist. One that is not for the sake of Heaven, eventually will not exist" (Pirqei Aboth 4:14 ). What is the need to add the second part of the sentence, when it is understood from the first?
The great Kabbalist, H"R Yehudah Fetaya, 'a"h, writes in 'Atereth Rahel that the Assembly (Kenessiah) which is for the sake of Heaven, is an allusion to Kenesseth Yisrael (the Jewish people), who all assembled together at the foot of Mount Sinai, to receive the Torah. Even though they are currently in exile and the kingdom has left their hands, nevertheless, eventually in the future, they will once again rule.
The assembly that is not for the sake of Heaven, hints at the kingdom of Edom. Even though we might see them sitting tranquilly, ruling the world, we must know that it is temporary. Eventually the baton will be passed to the Assembly which is for the sake of Heaven.
(See 'Atereth Rahel, 4:5)
ID: eb5a6 No.1390
The Rambam writes that if the community collected funds to build a Beth Midrash or Synagogue, or to buy a Tebah or scarves and a case for a Sefer Torah, and then wished to use the funds for a different purpose to what they were collected for, whether or not they are permitted to do so depends on what they wish to use the money for.
If the item they wish to use the donations for is of a higher level of holiness, it is permitted. If not, it is prohibited. If, however, they used the funds for the purpose that they were collected for, but there was money left over, the additional money may be used for whatever they wish.
All the items of a Synagogue are considered to be like the Synagogue itself. The Parokheth (curtain in front of the Ark) is considered to be like the scarves used on the Sifrei Torah. If any condition was attached to the purchase, stipulating that the item could be used for a different purpose, the stipulation is valid.
(See Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilkhoth Tefillah 2, 11:15)
ID: eb5a6 No.1391
Ashkenazim may take hair cuts and get married on Lagh La'Omer. This refers to the daytime and not the night of Lagh La'Omer (the Jewish day begins on the previous night). Under compelling circumstances, hair cuts and marriage may take place on the night of Lagh La'Omer. However this applies only to Ashkenazim.
Sephardim may not take hair cuts till the day of the 34th day of the 'Omer (the day after Lagh La'Omer). It is Maran z"l's opinion that weddings may not be held till that time either. However, Rabbenu Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, mentions in Ben Ish Hai that marriages for Sephardim are permitted from the 33rd day of the 'Omer (Lagh La'Omer). In view of the fact that marriage is a Torah commandment (of Peru Urbu), it would appear appropriate to follow this custom. The weddings should not be held on the night of Lagh La'Omer, but only during the day.
Sephardim may not hold weddings from Pesah till Lagh La'Omer, not even on Rosh Hodesh Iyyar. However, from Lagh La'Omer, they are permitted to be held any day. Ashkenazim have many varying customs in this matter, and each one should follow the custom of his forefathers.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Haggim, 20:42)
ID: eb5a6 No.1392
From the words of the Shulhan 'Arukh it would appear that the prohibition of marrying before Lagh La'Omer (the 33rd day of the 'Omer), applies when marriage is a commandment and even when it is not. It is a commandment when a man is not married and has no children, because he has not fulfilled the Torah commandment of "Go forth and multiply" (Peru Urbu).
Even an elderly widower, however, who has children, and wishes to marry an elderly widow, is not permitted to marry before Lagh La'Omer. The Hakhamim did not make any differentiation when they established their ruling.
There is, nevertheless, an exception. A man who wishes to remarry his wife (after a divorce and assuming that he is not a Kohen and that she never remarried), is permitted to do so at any time, even before Lagh La'Omer. This is in the same way that he is permitted to remarry his wife on Hol HaMo'ed, because the Simha (happiness) in the case of a remarriage, is not at the same level of one who is marrying a woman for the first time.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, O.H. 493:1, 546:2. Kaf Hahayyim, 493, Oth 2, 3)
ID: eb5a6 No.1393
ועל כל נפשת מת לא יבא לאביו ולאמו לא יטמא "He shall not go to any dead person nor defile himself for his father and mother" (Wayyigra 21:11). Unlike a regular Kohen, the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) is not allowed to attend the funeral of his immediate relatives, even his father and mother. The following parable, perhaps, best explains the reasoning.
There were three best friends who had to go separate ways to study for their careers. A few years later they met up together and told each other what they had learned. The first friend said that he had learned to create a telescope which could see from one end of the world to the other. The second said that he had learned to make planes. The third said that he had become a doctor.
The first one produced his telescope and saw that in a distant land, the daughter of the king was critically ill and about to die. "Quick", said the second, "let's get in my plane and get to them right away". As soon as they arrived the third began to heal her and snatched her from the jaws of death. The king was ecstatic and gave them a huge sum of money to be divided between the three of them. Not only that, but he gave them his daughter in marriage and that is where the problems started.
She couldn't marry all three of them so each one argued that she should marry him because without him they would never have succeeded. The king said that each one was equally important, so they should draw lots. His daughter, however, said the following: "It is true that up to this point, I would not have been saved without the intercedence of each of them, but going forward, I only require one of them. I am still not strong and require the doctor, so he is the one I am going to marry".
There are three partners in a person, his father, his mother and the Holy One blessed be He. After a certain point, however, the person is left with only One. It is G-d Who cares for him in all senses after the passing of his father and mother. The High Priest, who is on a higher spiritual level than all the Kohanim, must keep his spiritual purity intact for G-d's holy work.
(See Barukh Ta'am, Parashath Emor)
ID: eb5a6 No.1394
On Mosi Shabbath, it is good to say "Eliyahu HaNabi" (Elijah the prophet), 130 times. It is also good to have in mind that the word "HaNabi" is the same value in Gematria as the word "Hayyim" (life). Eliyahu HaNabi, zl"t, merited to receive eternal life and, in his merit, we should receive a good, long and peaceful life.
In addition to saying 'Eliyahu HaNabi" 130 times, one should add "Zakhur Letob", so that one says "Eliyahu HaNabi, Zakhur LeTob" 130 times, and not just "Eliyahu HaNabi" on its own. The numerical value of the entire phrase "Eliyahu HaNabi Zakhur Letob", is 400. This has the power to subjugate the 400 forces of 'Esau, as it says, והנה עשו בא ועמו ארבע מאות איש "And behold Esau was coming, and with him 400 men" (Bereshith 33:1).
Therefore, one should say "Eliyahu HaNabi, Zakhur LeTob" and have in mind that this has the value of 400. Only saying "Eliyahu HaNabi", would not have this effect.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Wayyesei, Oth 63, 64)
ID: eb5a6 No.1395
לא נמצא פסול בעמר ובשתי הלחם ובלחם הפנים "Never was a blemish found in the 'Omer, the Shetei HaLehem or the Showbread" (Aboth 5:8). Rabbenu the Hida, z"l, asks in the name of the Binyan Yehoshuwa', z"l, how it is that, in all Shas, the 'Omer and Shetei HaLehem (which are the two breads offered on Shabu'oth at the end of the 'Omer), are mentioned before the Lehem HaPanim (the Showbreads). The 'Omer and Shetei HaLehem occurred once a year, whereas the Lehem HaPanim was every Shabbath and we have a concept that what ever occurs regularly, goes first (Tadir WeShe-eino Tadir, Tadir Qodem).
He answers that the 'Omer and Shetei HaLehem have a slight additional holiness vis-a-vis the Lehem HaPanim. As a result, there is somewhat of a reason to mention them before the Lehem HaPanim.
Additionally, there is another significant difference between them. Both the 'Omer and the Shetei HaLehem have an offering connected with them, but the Lehem HaPanim does not require any offering. So, therefore, the 'Omer and the Shetei HaLehem have a reason to be mentioned before the Lehem HaPanim, even though the latter occurred more regularly.
(See Kissei Rahamim, Pirqei Aboth 5:8)
ID: eb5a6 No.1396
Whether one follows the Ari z"l and does not take a haircut throughout the 'Omer till 'Ereb (the eve of) Shabu'oth, or one follows one of the different opinions, a man should get a haircut on the eve of Shabu'oth prior to the Festival.
There is a special Leshem Yihud prayer which can be found in Sefer Leshon Hakhamim, which is good to say before taking the haircut. It mentions, among other things, that one should have the intent to be fulfilling the two commandments of Peoth of one's hair, one for the right side and one for the left. One should also have in mind the five Miswoth which are connected with the five corners of the beard.
There is a portion that refers to using a razor. This obviously applies to the portions of the hair where it is permitted and not to where it is forbidden. It would seem appropriate, that if a razor is not being used, that the portion should be omitted.
We are quoting it here in Hebrew for ease of reference.
ביום ערב שבועות קודם הגילוח יאמר בקשה זו:
ליקבהו וכו', הריני מוכן ומזומן היום הזה שהוא יום ערב חג השבועות לגלח, ולהעביר שערות ראשי (בתער, שהוא מספרו עולה כמספר מׄצׄמׄצׄיׄת, וגם עולה מספר התער כמספר אותיות שם אדנ"י במלואם). והריני מכוין להעביר דינים הקשים, והריני מכוין לקיים שתי מצות בפאת הראש, פאה אחת מצד ימין ופאה אחת מצד שמאל. וחמש מצות בחמש פאות הזקן וא-ל שד-י יהיה בעזרתי תמיד. והריני מכין עצמי להיות מדור וכסא אל אדם הקדוש, וככתוב ויברא אלקים את האדם בצלמו, נאמר כי בצלם אלקים עשה את האדם, ונאמר ויאמר לי עבדי אתה ישראל אשר בך אתפאר!
ויהר"מ ה' או"א שתהיה חשובה ומקובלת ורצויה לפניך מצות תגלחת זו שאני מקיים עתה, כאלו כונתי בכל הכונות הראויות לכוין במצוה זו, ותעשה מצוה, זו פרי למעלה במקום הראוי כרצונך!
רבון עלמא אנן בעינן לאשתדלא ביקרך, יהא רעוא קמך למיהב לן חילא לאתערא ביקרך ולמעבד רעותך ולסדרא כלא כדקא יאות. ואעג דלית אנן ידעין לשוואה, רעותא ולבא לתקנא כלא. יהא רעוא קמך דתתרעי בעובדא דילן ותתקן תיקונא דלעילא :דקא יאות. ותחשב לן כאלו אשתדלנא ביקרך כרעותך לסדרא כלא :דקא יאות. ועל דא אגן מצלין קמך ונאמר, ויהי נועם ה' א-להינו עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננה עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננהו, כוננה אתקין תקונא לעילא כדקא יאות. עלינו אע"ג דלית אנן ידעי לשוואה רעותך אלא בעובדא בלחודוי. מעשה ידינו כוננהו לההוא דרגא דאצטריך לאתתקנא בהאי עובדא כדקא יאות. יהיו לרצון אמרי פי וכו'. ויהי נועם וכו':
ID: eb5a6 No.1397
Many men are accustomed to go the Miqweh before every Yom Tob. Those who are unable, or do not have the custom to do so, should do the following. 9 Kabs of water (approximately 3.6 U.S. gallons or 13.5 liters), need to be poured on a person. If done manually, it must be poured by someone else and there should be no interruption in the flow of the water.
Many, today, use a shower instead. When doing so, one must ensure that the same minimum quantity of 9 Kabs of water flows continuously on the person. Since one doesn't know exactly how much water flows from the shower, one should measure the appropriate amount beforehand, and time how long it takes for the correct amount of water to flow.
It is worth reiterating that this applies only to the subject in hand, that of men immersing themselves before Yom Tob. Women who need to immerse themselves to be permitted to their husbands, may not follow this method under any circumstances. The rules pertaining to that situation are much stricter, and can only be effected in a Kasher Miqweh, together with all the accompanying Halakhoth.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Nisabim, Oth 3. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hagim, 21:17)
ID: eb5a6 No.1399
An offering of barley in prescribed for Pesah (Passover), whereas on Shabu'oth, an offering of wheat is brought. Barley is what we feed to animals, whereas wheat is food for humans. From this we can understand that Pesah symbolizes our physical freedom, inasmuch as our bodies share certain aspects in common with animals. Shabu'oth, on the other hand, represents our spiritual redemption, which was the stage we reached when we received the Torah.
It says in the Shulhan 'Arukh that one will not see any sign of blessing if one does work on 'Ereb Shabbath, from the time of Minha. There are those who are of the opinion that this refers to the earlier time of Minha Gedolah, whereas others opine that it is the later time of Minha Qetanah (nine and a half hours into the day). The Ben Ish Hai states that it is the later time (See http://www.atorahminute.com/2012-09-14
). One should apply the same rule to Yom Tob also. Obviously, this does not apply to work that is needed to be done for the Holiday itself.
On 'Ereb Sukkoth (during the day prior to the start of Sukkoth), one should not eat a full meal after midday, since the Torah commands us to eat at night, and we should do so with a hearty appetite. Even though the requirement to eat a Kezayith (1 oz) of bread on Shabu'oth is not DeOraitha (a Torah obligation), nevertheless, it is appropriate to do so before any Yom Tob. This applies to a meal, but snacks are permitted.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 251:1. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Parashath Lekh Lekha, Oth 20, 1st year, Haazinu, Oth 3. Hilkhoth Haggim, Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 21:6-8)
ID: eb5a6 No.1403
אם בחקתי תלכו ואת מצותי תשמרו … ונתתי גשמיכם בעתם "If you walk in My statutes and keep my commandments … then I will give you rains in their season" (Wayyiqra 26:3-4). Nations have continually tried to make peace among Israel and its neighbors, all to no avail. President after president has made "peace in the Middle East" a priority, with government representatives shuttling back and forth between the various countries, and all have failed. What is the reason?
The answer is in the Torah. G-d tells us that if we follow the path that He has laid out for us, we will be blessed with rains in their season. This is a great blessing indeed, but it doesn't end there. The Torah continues to enumerate a string of blessings that will occur if we keep G-d's commandments. The last one of all, is a promise of peace in the Land of Israel. This is the greatest blessing of all.
In other words, a peaceful existence depends on us and, in particular, on those who dwell in the Land of Israel. As long as we do not follow the teachings of His holy Torah, we should not be surprised if there is strife, Heaven forbid. But if we keep the laws of the Torah correctly, including those of Shemittah (letting the Land lie fallow) and Yobel (jubilee), which are the commandments specifically referenced here, then we can look forward to living in peace and tranquility in our Land.
(See Rabbenu Bahyei, Behuqqothai 26:3, 6)
ID: eb5a6 No.1404
The four Berakhoth (blessings) during Habdalah are a sign for the success of the person during the week. Habdalah starts with the blessing of "Borei Peri HaGefen", on the wine. Wine is the pleasure of the taste in the mouth. The next blessing is " 'Asei Besamim", which is for the pleasure of the aroma, which is the domain of the nose.
After that, the third blessing is on the pleasure received by the eyes when they see the flame of the candle, and we recite "Borei Meorei Ha-Esh". Finally, the fourth Berakha is that of the Habdalah itself. This blessing depends on a person's ability to comprehend the concept of the separations and differences mentioned in it. The ability to comprehend is under the dominion of the brain.
What we see is that the blessings start with the lowest of these four parts of the body, working their way up to the uppermost one. This is all for a good sign for Mosi Shabbath, that a person's weekly matters will rise and grow, and not descend .
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Wayyesei, Oth 61)
ID: eb5a6 No.1405
רבי מאיר אומר כל העוסק בתורה לשמה זוכה לדברים הרבה "Ribbi Meir says, whoever is involved in Torah for its own sake, receives many things" (Pirqei Aboth 6:1). Our Rabbis of blessed memory tell us that it is not appropriate to ask for two or three things at one time, from the Holy One blessed be He. Instead, we should only ask for one thing at a time.
The Mefarshim explain that if the purpose in asking for multiple things is for one reason, so that the person can serve G-d better, this is not considered to be making multiple requests. Even if he asks for several things at a time, they are all considered to be just one request.
This explains the prayer of Rab in the Gemara of Berakhoth. It is a prayer that he always inserted at the end of the 'Amidah, and many also do so today. In it he asks for eleven things, including a long life and a peaceful life and so on. His last request is for a life where G-d would fulfill all one's wishes for the good, in order to serve Him. What he is saying by this is that since the purpose for all the requests is in order to serve G-d correctly, they are all considered to be just one request.
(See Hasdei Aboth, 6:1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1406
According to the Kabbalists, the written Torah (תורה שבכתב) must not be learned at night during the week. The Midrash tells us that the Jewish people willingly accepted the written law at Har Sinai, as it says, "Na'aseh Wenishma' - we will do and we will hear". The Torah SheBe'al Peh (the oral Torah), on the other hand, they had to be forced to accept, when the mountain was hung over them.
As a result, we wish to accept the oral Torah in a preferable manner. As such, since only the oral Torah may be learned at night on regular week days, we consider it the best time to study it. So on the night of Shabu'oth, the men stay up studying the oral Torah and accepting the Torah in a manner that shows that we wish to do so without being forced.
Even though one should not study the written Torah at night during regular week days, this rule does not apply to Shabbath and Holidays. Therefore, portions of the written Torah (Torah, Nebiim, Kethubim), can also be studied as part of the all night Tiqqun.
(See Hilkhoth Haggim, Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 22:11)
ID: eb5a6 No.1407
We must eat bread (Hammosi) on both the night of a Yom Tob (Festival/Holy Day), as well as the morning. In truth, the only Festivals where the Torah obligates us to eat bread, are on the first night of Pesah (Passover) and the first night of Sukkoth. There is no Torah obligation to eat bread on any other day of a Festival.
As a result of this, if one forgot to say Ya'ale Weyabo in the Birkath HaMazon (grace after meals), one does not need to repeat Birkath HaMazon. The only time that we must repeat Birkath HaMazon if we forgot Ya'alei Weyabo on a Yom Tob, is on the first night of Pesah and the first night of Sukkoth (or the first two nights outside the Land of Israel).
Nevertheless, even though we do not repeat Birkath HaMazon, we must still eat bread. The Hakhamim, z"l, instituted that we must eat bread on the other days of the Festivals also, and not just on the first night of Pesah and of Sukkoth, and we are obligated to keep Rabbinical commandments as well.
(See Kaf Hahayyim 529, Oth 7)
ID: eb5a6 No.1408
It is customary to read both the book of Ruth, as well as the book of Tehillim, on Shabu'oth. King David, 'a"h, the author of the majority of the Tehillim, and a descendent of Ruth, 'a"h, died on Shabu'oth and it is an auspicious time to read them.
If one spells King David's name with a Yod (דויד), the way it is spelled in the Nebiim (Prophets), the numerical value in Gematria is 24, or כ"ד (Kad). Since the names of the righteous are calculated twice (as in Moshe Moshe, or Ya'aqob Ya'aqob), King David's name twice would be כדכד (Kadkad).
This hints at the promise that G-d made to the Jewish people, "I will make your windows rubies (Kadkad)" (Yeshayah 54:12). This comes to hint to us that this is referring to King David, 'a"h, who will be the redeemer and will shine for us like the sun.
May the redeemer come quickly and may our eyes see and our hearts be happy over the coming of the Mashiyah Sidqenu, speedily in our days, Amen.
(See Em HaMelekh on Meghillath Ruth, end. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Bammidbar, Oth 6)
ID: eb5a6 No.1411
מנגד סביב לאהל מועד יחנו "Facing, around the Tent of Meeting, they shall encamp" (BaMidbar 2:2). It says in Barukh Ta'am that every Jew should beg G-d to let him acquire four things: wisdom, humility, strength and wealth. Whoever merits to receive these four things, merits to have G-d with him always. This is in keeping with what our Rabbis tell us, that the Shekhinah only rests on one who is wise, humble, strong and rich.
That is why G-d commanded there to be four flags for the twelve tribes, one flag for three tribes. Yehudah, Yissakhar and Zebulun were first, and they represented wisdom, which was the highest of all. The second flag was for Shim'on Reuben and Gad. They represented the trait of humility. The third flag was for Efraim, Binyamin and and Menashe, who merited to have strength.
The fourth flag was for Dan, Asher and Naftali who were all wealthy. This group traveled last, which comes to teach us that wealth is the least of all these virtues. The fact that all four flags were facing the Tent of Meeting, where the Shekhinah was, comes to hint to us that these virtues must all be used for the sake of Heaven.
(See Barukh Ta'am, Parashath Bammidbar)
ID: eb5a6 No.1412
There are three meals which are eaten on Shabbath, and one more after Shabbath is over. It is not appropriate to be involved in any Melakha which is not for the purpose of food, or Torah, till one has eaten the Se'uddah (meal) of Mosi Shabbath (Se'uddah Rebi'ith). This is accordance with what Rabbenu the Hida, z"l, wrote in Mahaziq Berakha.
Additionally, one should eat this meal while still wearing one's Shabbath clothes and should not change out of them till after the meal. In the Birkath HaMazon after the Se'uddah, one should say "Mighdol", like one does on Shabbath, and not "Maghdil", which one says on a regular weekday.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Wayyesei, Oth 71, 72)
ID: eb5a6 No.1413
One who stays awake all night on Shabu'oth, reading the Tiqqun, should recite the Birkhoth Hashahar up to, but not including, the Birkath HaTorah (Torah blessings). The Birkath HaTorah must be recited after dawn.
One who goes to sleep at night, should say all the Birkhoth Hashahar when he wakes up for the day, even if it is before dawn. An example of such a case would be where someone is unable to stay up but wakes up to pray with a Minyan that did.
If someone is up learning the Tiqqun on Shabu'oth night, till past midnight, but is unable to stay up all night, and goes to bed, he should not say the blessings before going to bed. Instead, he should recite them all when he wakes up. If he did recite some of them before going to bed, because he thought he would stay awake all night, then he should only recite the Birkath HaTorah when he wakes up.
(See Hilkhoth Haggim, Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 22:31, 35, 41)
ID: eb5a6 No.1414
וכל העם רֹאים את הקולת "And all the people see the thunder" (Shemoth 20:15). Rabbenu the Hida, z"l, explains that we can see in this a hint to what is written in the Zohar. It says that at the time when Israel stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, they merited to see in the thunder, lights emanating from the letters. In fact, no one other than they, had the merit to see this.
If we look into the word רֹאים ('Ro-im' - see), we find that the letters form the Rashei Teboth (acronym) of the phrase "Rau Yisrael Ohr Mamash" (Israel saw actual light). This provides further support for the explanation of the Zohar.
(See Lehem Min Hashamayim)
ID: eb5a6 No.1416
Most people have the custom of eating dairy on Shabu'oth (see 'Why Eat Dairy on Shabu'oth?' http://www.atorahminute.com/2009-05-22
). Because of the concept of there not being any happiness without meat and wine, one should not only eat dairy but should also have meat on Shabu'oth.
This assumes, however, that a person gets enjoyment from eating meat. Maran Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, writes that if a person does not enjoy eating meat, there is no need to do so.
Additionally, the dairy meal and a meat meal do not have to both be during the day. He writes further, that one may have a meat meal at night and a dairy meal during the day.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hilkhoth Hagim, 23:14, 15)
ID: eb5a6 No.1418
The fourth Shabbath meal (Se'uddah Rebi'ith), is eaten after Shabbath is over. It should be treated with importance. One should eat foods that one particularly likes, even though it is more expensive.
It says in Mahziq Berakha that, if it is possible for a person, it is preferable to make a food specially for Mosi Shabbath. In other words, when one can, one should avoid making the fourth Shabbath meal on just leftovers (from the previous Shabbath meals).
If one does not eat Se'uddah Rebi'ith, then the third meal that one ate on Shabbath does not count. Instead it is considered to have been in place of the fourth meal. This accentuates the importance of eating Se'uddah Rebi'ith.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Wayyesei, Oth 71, 72
ID: eb5a6 No.1421
The Pele Yo'es writes a very clear message on the importance of studying Halakha (Jewish law), daily. He says that a man who has been graced with knowledge, must study Torah for its own sake (Lishmah). In other words, the studying must be for the purpose of keeping and doing that which one learns. Therefore, not a day should go by without learning Halakha, to know what one must do.
He says that those who do not learn Halakha, stumble in the dark and walk in dirt. If they see a crooked path, they consider it to be straight. If they make an error through lack of knowledge, it is considered as if they sinned deliberately, if they were able to study the laws but didn't do so.
The study of Shulhan 'Arukh, Orah Hayyim (the Code of Jewish Law pertaining to everyday matters), on a daily basis, is an obligation. It is an obligation in the same way that a man must pray and wear Tefillin.
(See Pele Yo'es, Dinim)
ID: eb5a6 No.1422
The Pele Yo'es writes that one must study the laws of daily living such as as prayer and Tefillin, as well as the other laws that one needs to follow from the other parts of the Shulhan 'Arukh. Of special importance are the laws of family purity (Niddah), which must be studied from when one is planning to get married.
Lack of knowledge in the area of family purity is particularly serious. Errors are regularly made in these laws, which have a detrimental effect on the soul of the child that is born, Heaven forbid.
One who desires life, should study the laws of Orah Hayyim in the Shulhan 'Arukh, and one who wishes that no evil come to pass, should study the section of Yoreh De'ah.
(See Pele Yo'es, Dinim)
ID: eb5a6 No.1423
Not everybody is able to read and learn Halakha in the original Hebrew works. Especially today, there are numerous works of Halakha that have been translated into English and several other languages. While the original is always better, those who are unable to understand the Hebrew, should learn from the translations. If one has some understanding of the Hebrew, in my experience, there is much to be gained by looking over the original Hebrew version after studying the English.
The Pele Yo'es comments that one should not rely on these texts in order to find leniencies, because, sometimes, the Ahronim (later authorities) felt it prudent to be strict. One may rely on them, however, in order to be strict, because one who is strict will be blessed.
He adds that one should only rely on a leniency if it were told to him by a Hakham who is proficient in the inner workings of the Torah. We learn from King Solomon, 'a"h, (Mishlei 13:20) that one who goes to a Hakham becomes wise (הוֹלֵךְ אֶת חֲכָמִים וֶחְכָּם).
(See Pele Yo'es, Dinim)
ID: eb5a6 No.1424
In connection with choosing leniencies for oneself, without checking with Hakhamim steeped in Torah, the Pele Yo'es says that this is the wickedness of man on earth. (See http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-06-06
). Here the Pele Yo'es is referring to the practice of many of deciding Halakha for themselves.
We often see, unfortunately, people doing something that is clearly incorrect or unacceptable, yet we hear from them detailed arguments as to why it is not only acceptable, but is the preferred way to do it. While the Pele Yo'es is, for the most part, speaking about matters where there is a doubt, we must know that justifying doing something that is incorrect, has no limits.
I have heard people state that it is better to drive to Synagogue on Shabbath, Heaven forbid, than to walk. After all, they say, we are commanded to "call Shabbath a delight" and what could be more "delightful" than to sit in your air-conditioned or heated car, listening to your favorite music, Rahmana Lislan.
(To be continued)
(See Pele Yo'es, Dinim)
ID: eb5a6 No.1425
אל נא תשת עלינו חטאת אשר נואלנו ואשר חטאנו "Please do not place sin upon us, because we have been foolish and because we have sinned" (BaMidbar 12:11). It says in Barukh Ta'am that a man must distance himself from any bad thought, as we say, סוף מעשה במחשבה תחלה "the final outcome was first in thought". A person does not sin, unless a spirit of foolishness enters him first.
This is significant, because one who is considered a fool is exempt and not punished, and it would even seem, therefore, that a person should not be punished for sinning. However, since the sin was preceded by a voluntary bad thought, it is appropriate for the person to receive his punishment. We say that G-d does not join a bad thought together with the deed.
This tells us that a person is not punished for both the thought and the deed, but only for the thought which caused the deed to happen. On the other hand, G-d rewards both a good thought as well as the positive action that it caused. Such is the benevolence of HaQadosh Barukh Hu.
What Aharon HaKohen, 'a"h, is saying to Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, in this Pasuq (verse), in the matter of the discussion between Aharon HaKohen and Miriam HaNebiah, 'a"h, is "Don't think that we did two wrongs. A spirit of foolishness entered us, which is what caused us to sin".
(See Barukh Ta'am, Parashath Beha'alothkha)
ID: eb5a6 No.1426
Why is it, that if one does not eat Se'uddah Rebi'ith (the fourth Shabbath meal, eaten after Shabbath is over), that Se'uddah Shelishith (the third meal) that one ate on Shabbath does not count. Instead it is considered to have been in place of the night time meal. The reason that is given in the name of the holy Zohar, is as follows:
During the week, it is considered the norm to eat two main meals, one during the day and one at night. Shabbath is different. We eat Se'uddah Shelishith (the third meal), which is an additional meal during the day of Shabbath. If one does not eat Se'uddah Rebi'ith later, it will appear as if the third Shabbath meal was actually not an additional Shabbath meal, but simply the regular night time meal, that one eats every day, but eaten a little earlier than usual.
As such, it is considered that one who does not eat the fourth meal, didn't eat Se'uddah Shelishith on Shabbath. It is not clear that the third meal eaten towards the end of Shabbath was in order to show the greatness of Shabbath.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Wayyesei, Oth 73)
ID: eb5a6 No.1428
A question was asked in Torah Lishmah, concerning a man who owed money to several people. He had a specific prayer request that he wished to insert in the 'Amidah and in the Harahaman's of Birkath Hammazon, requesting G-d's assistance in paying off the debts. He wanted to know if this was permitted.
The answer was that a person is absolutely permitted to ask for his needs in the blessing of Shomeya' Tefillah in the 'Amidah, and in the Birkath Hammazon. However, there was a problem with the prayer that the man wished to recite.
Several of the words in his prayer request could have been interpreted in a manner which was different to what he intended. It is very important that any additional request that one makes in the prayers, be very specific and accurate, with no room for any misunderstanding or different interpretation. In addition, it says in Torah Lishmah, that he should add that G-d's Name should not be desecrated on his account, because that will add weight to his request.
(See Torah Lishmah, 51. Shulhan 'Arukh 119:1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1429
One who sets out on a trip should recite Tefillath HaDerekh (the travelers prayer). It doesn't matter how one is traveling, whether by road, ship, plane, or some other means, the blessing is still recited in all cases. There are different opinions about the actual wording and whether one recites it with G-d's Name and Kingdom (Shem Umalkhuth).
The prayer is recited when one is traveling a distance of at least one Parsah out of the city (there are differing opinions from 2.3 miles to 3 miles). Some Posqim maintain that it must be a journey of at least 72 minutes out of the city.
As such, if it is less than that, one should recite the prayer without G-d's Name and Kingdom (Shem Umalkhuth), even if one's custom is ordinarily to include them in the blessing.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Orah hayyim, 110:4. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 13)
ID: eb5a6 No.1431
When a person sets out on a journey it is good to have people accompany him. The Gemara of Sotah (46b) mentions that there is untold reward for accompanying a traveler and gives examples of the positive of accompanying and the negative of not.
How far should those accompanying the traveler, go with him? Even if they accompany him for 4 Ammoth (under 7 ft.) in the city, it protects him from harm. The Darkhei Moshe says that one should accompany one's Rabbi or friend to the gates of the city, or at least for 4 Ammoth.
We learn from the Gemara of Sota, that in addition to accompanying a traveler, it is good to give him food for the way. The Shelah Haqadosh speaks very highly about both Miswoth, that of providing provisions for the way and accompanying the traveler.
(See Kaf Hahayyim 110, Oth 15)
ID: eb5a6 No.1433
When one takes leave of a friend who is traveling, one must be particular to say to him "Lekh Leshalom" (go in peace), that is, Leshalom (לשלום) with a Lahmad (ל). One must not say Beshalom (בשלום), which is what one says to one who has passed away, (ר"ל).
The traveler should not say to those who accompanied him that they should return. While separating, one should not cry because this is considered to be dangerous. If it is very difficult, they should cry before separating from each other.
There are those who say that before traveling, one should go to the Gedolim and ask them for permission to leave. The reason is that the Gedolim will pray for them.
(See Mishnah Berurah, 101:17. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 17, 18, 19)
ID: eb5a6 No.1458
ונהי בעינינו כחגבים וכן היינו בעיניהם "And we were in our eyes like grasshoppers, as we were in their eyes" (BaMidbar 13:33). The intent of this statement of the ten spies is explained in Birkath HaReyah, as follows:
When a person lowers himself in his eyes, and doesn't rely on his wisdom or strength, but considers himself to be like King David, 'a"h, who said, "I am a worm and not a man" (Ani Thola'ath Welo Ish), then he merits to have a miracle performed for him. G-d lifts this person above his enemies and they are unable to harm him, in the same way that it is very difficult to harm a grasshopper that flies in the air above the one trying to harm it.
What the spies are saying here is that since they were so small in their own eyes, they merited to receive the miracle that their enemies saw them fly in the air, above them, like grasshoppers. They are saying, "Since, in their eyes, we were flying above them, even though they were giants, it didn't enter their minds to attack us".
(See Birkath HaReyah, Parashath Shelah Lekha)
ID: eb5a6 No.1465
If a man is unable to eat the fourth Shabbath meal (Se'uddah Rebi'ith), on Saturday night (Mosi Shabbath), he should at least endeavor to eat some Mezonoth or the like. If he is unwell and unable to eat at all, he should, nevertheless, set the table and place on it Mezonoth and fruits, in honor of the fourth meal.
Even though he cannot eat it, the other members of his household should eat it. If he is able to eat just a little of the food on the table, he should do so, and enjoy it to the extent that he is able to eat it. If he cannot eat at all, but can drink a cup of tea or coffee, he should do so, because this is also considered to be a Miswah.
All this refers to one who is unable to eat. But if a person is able, he should, at the very least, have sufficient Mezonoth to allow him to say the Berakha (blessing) of Me'ein Shalosh. Ideally, one should make it a real Se'uddah (festive meal), with bread.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Wayyesei, Oth 74)
ID: eb5a6 No.1467
When going on a trip, one should endeavor to have others make him a Shaliyah Miswah (a messenger to do a good deed). He does this by having them give him money to distribute in charity, when he reaches his destination.
If this is not possible, he should take some money and make a sign on it. He should then say that when he reaches his destination, he will, beli neder, give it in charity, for the 'Illui Neshamah (raising of the soul) of Ribbi Meir Ba'al HaNes.
In addition, one should give charity before leaving on a trip, and it is good to study some Torah also, before leaving. In fact, one should give charity on a daily basis, before leaving on a trip, because giving charity is a great protection.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 110, Oth 24 and 27)
ID: eb5a6 No.1473
The 25th of Siwan is the Hillula (Yahrzeit) of the revered sage Maran Mordekhai Eliyahu, zs"l. He was the Rishon LeSion and Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, who is affectionately known as the "Father of the Jewish People". He was born in 5689 (1929) and passed away in 5770 (2010).
There is a story about a man who sold holy items such as Mezuzoth, who went with someone who checked holy writings, including Mezuzoth, to see Rabbi Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, about various problems. Rabbi Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, told the man to go home and see if he had Mezuzoth in his house. The man was shocked. "Not only do I have Mezuzoth, after all I sell them", he exclaimed, "but I put them up myself".
Nevertheless, when he returned home they checked the Mezuzoth and were shocked to find that all the cases were empty. Rabbi Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, was asked how he knew that the cases were empty. He responded, "Since that is what came out of my mouth, in Heaven they replied 'Amen' ". And so it was.
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael, "Min Hashamayim Amru Amen")
ID: eb5a6 No.1474
According to the Hesed La-alafim one should attempt to set out on one's travels on a Tuesday, because the Torah says כי טוב (Ki Tob - it was good) twice about the third day of Creation (Tuesday). He adds that if one can set out in the morning, before midday, it is even better. If, as often is the case, one's travel plans require traveling on different days and at different times, one need not be concerned about it.
According to the Shebet Mussar (ch. 31), when one goes on a journey, it is good to read the Mizmor of Tehillim למנצח בנגינות מזמור שיר (Lamnaseyah Binghinoth Mizmor Shir) in the shape of the Menorah. One should read it when one sets out and should have the intent that the trip will be a safe and successful one.
He adds that it is good to look at it before setting out as well as to read it while actually traveling.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 110, Oth 30 and 36)
ID: eb5a6 No.1475
The Shulhan 'Arukh writes that the Tefillath HaDerekh (travelers prayer) must be said in the plural. In other words, even though one may be traveling on one's own, one should still recite the prayer in the plural, such as, "You will take US in peace", and so on. The idea is that when a prayer that is established for the people at large (Rabbim) is recited in the plural, it is more effective.
According to the Maghen Abraham, even though a person might be traveling on his own, he should still say the prayer in the plural because it cannot be that there is no one else in the world who is traveling at the same time. However, if for some reason someone recited the prayer in the singular, he will still have fulfilled his obligation.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 110, Oth 38. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 18. Maghen Abraham 565:1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1476
הבדלו מתוך העדה הזאת "Separate yourselves from this congregation" (BaMidbar 16:21). This was said to Moshe Rabbenu and Aharon HaKohen (Moses and Aaron), 'a"h. The Ohr Hahayyim says that the instruction to separate from those who had rebelled, was not intended for Moshe Rabbenu and Aharon HaKohen, 'a"h, because they would not have been harmed by the Attribute of Justice, when it punished the rebels.
We see, for instance, that Aharon HaKohen, 'a"h, was with them when he offered his incense, yet he was not harmed when the earth swallowed up Qorah and his family. Therefore, the Ohr HaHayyim says that this commandment was intended for the other righteous people who were standing there, such as Yehoshuwa' (Joshua) and Caleb, and the other members of the families of Moshe Rabbenu and Aharon HaKohen.
The verse adds the word "Lemor" (to say). This implies that they had to repeat these instructions to others. The reason why the other righteous people had to separate themselves from the others, was to show that they were distancing themselves from Qorah and his followers.
(See Ohr Hahayyim, 16:21)
ID: eb5a6 No.1477
The Qabbalists write that there is a bone in a person, that does not derive benefit from any food. The exception is the food that is eaten on the fourth Shabbath meal on Mosei Shabbath. It is important to eat a meal on Mosei Shabbath because Tehiyyath HaMethim (the revival of the dead), of the whole body, starts with this bone.
Since this bone did not benefit from the fruit of the tree of knowledge, it remains intact after a person passes away, and does not suffer any decay. This bone has several names: Niskoi (נסכוי), Luz (לוז) and Bethuel Ramaah (בתואל רמאה). The acronym of these names is Laban (לבן). This hints at the purification or whitening of the soul.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Wayyesei, Oth 76)
ID: eb5a6 No.1483
The Ba"H writes that when one is traveling on the way and there is a danger for Jews on that journey, more than there would be for non-Jews, the Jew is permitted to change his clothes. What this means is that if there is real danger, specifically for Jews, one does not need to dress in an obviously Jewish manner.
One may not wear non Kosher clothes, such as those containing Sha'atnez. It would seem self evident, that the attire must, nevertheless, be modest. The Shakh writes that (in his time), all travel was deemed dangerous and, as such, that was the custom they followed when traveling.
Obviously today, not all areas are deemed dangerous and one should not apply this across the board. However, when traveling to places where there is a specific danger to Jews, one must take all sensible precautions.
(See Bah, Y.D. 157. Shakh ibid., 19. Kaf Hahayyim, O.H. 110, Oth 41)
ID: eb5a6 No.1485
The Shulhan 'Arukh writes that if one is traveling on foot, one should preferably stop walking when reciting the Tefillath HaDerekh (travelers prayer). Practically speaking, it is very rare today for people to travel great lengths out of the city on foot. What this means for today's forms of travel, is as follows.
If one is able to stop and stand, as in a case where one is driving one's own car, one should do so. Obviously, if one is in an unsafe neighborhood, he should not stop. If one is on a mode of transportation where one can stand, even though one is still traveling, one should do so. If one is on a plane, where one can neither stop the plane nor stand, then one should sit in one's seat and recite the prayer.
Reciting the prayer while seated and traveling is permitted. Nevertheless, even though it is permitted, one should stop and stand wherever possible, since this is the ideal way of reciting the blessing.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 110:4. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 43, 44, 45)
ID: eb5a6 No.1486
According to Maran Yosef Qaro, z"l, in the Shulhan 'Arukh, one should only say Tefillath HaDerekh (the travelers prayer), once a day, even if one rests in a city along the way, in the middle of the day. This assumes that one's intention was to continue the journey that day. In such a case, the prayer that one recited at the start of the journey covers the subsequent leg also.
If, however, the journey lasts multiple days, then each day when one sets out on the continuation of the journey, one must say the blessing again. This is the opinion of the Posqim (deciders of Jewish law). The Peri Hadash disagrees, however, and says that one only says the blessing on the first day that one sets out on one's journey.
The Maamar Mordekhai rejects this last opinion, as does the Mishbesoth Zahab who says that we only follow the ruling of the Mehabber (Maran) of the Shulhan 'Arukh. As such, one recites the blessing, with Shem Umalkhuth (G-d's Name), each day.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 110:5. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 25. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 46)
ID: eb5a6 No.1487
If, when one is traveling, one comes to a city along the way, and has the intention of sleeping there that night, before continuing the journey the next morning, one must say Tefillath HaDerekh (the travelers prayer) when starting out again. This does not only apply if he leaves the following morning, but even if he changes his mind about staying there and continues on his journey the same day, he must recite Tefillath HaDerekh, because, in his mind, he intended to interrupt the journey.
If one travels all night without stopping, one does not repeat the blessing in the morning. If one makes a short stop to catch a nap, he should recite the Tefillath HaDerekh in the morning, but without the blessing at the end.
Rabbenu the Hid"a writes that one who is traveling by sea (on a trip that takes multiple days), should only recite the entire Berakha (blessing) on th
ID: eb5a6 No.1488
ויאמר ה' אל משה ואל אהרן יען לא האמנתם בי "And G-d said (Wayyomer) to Moses and Aaron, 'Since you did not believe me…' " (Bammidbar 20:12). G-d is telling Moshe Rabbenu and Aharon HaKohen, 'a"h, that they would not be taking the Children of Israel into the Land of Israel. What is strange here is the use of the word ויאמר (Wayyomer) instead of וידבר (Waydabber), in this Pasuq (verse), both of which mean "to say". Waydabber is the harsher word, which is more suited to mentioning a punishment, whereas as Wayyomer is the softer more amicable word, which does not seem appropriate in this instance.
The Ohr Hahayyim HaQadosh explains, based on the Midrash (Bereshith Rabba 19:12), that Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, was concerned that the people would think that since he died in the wilderness, as did those who were guilty of believing the ten spies, one would assume that it was because he too was in the same category.
The use, by G-d, of the softer word, was to make it clear to all, that Moshe Rabbenu and Aharon HaKohen, 'a"h, were in no way to be compared to the those who perished on account of the report of the spies. Even though they also died in the wilderness, there was no similarity between these great leaders and the others who perished.
(See Ohr Hahayyim, Bammidbar 20:12)
ID: eb5a6 No.1489
If a mistake is found in a Sefer Torah during the reading, but no other Kasher Sefer Torah is available, they should continue the reading from the same Sefer Torah in which they found the error. However, the Birkoth HaTorah (blessings on the Torah) may not be recited.
If there is a Minyan which has no Kasher Sefer Torah available, they should also read the Torah without any blessings. They should also read the Haftarah, but without any blessings. If an error was found in the reading of the Maftir, what one does depends on the following.
If the Maftir portion is Hobath HaYom, i.e., a special reading from a separate Sefer Torah, as on Holidays and other occasions, a new Sefer Torah must be taken out. If, however, it is a regular Shabbath where the Maftir is a repetition of the end of the Mashlim, then if a mistake was found during the reading of the Maftir, the reading is completed from that Sefer Torah and the final blessing is not recited. The Haftarah, however, is read with all the blessings.
(See Derekh HaTorah, Shabbath, 9:43, 46)
ID: eb5a6 No.1490
Tefillath HaDerekh (the traveler's prayer), should ideally be recited connected to another Berakha (blessing). If the Maharam MiRotenburg left on a journey in the morning, before praying, he would say it after the Yehi Rason, in order to connect it to the blessing of Gomel Hasadim. The reason why we would like to say it together with another Berakha is because Tefillath HaDerekh does not start with "Barukh" as do other blessings.
If one sets out on a trip in the middle of the day, one should connect it to another blessing. For example, one could drink something and connect Tefillath HaDerekh to the Berakha Aharonah (final blessing) on the drink. Alternatively, one could connect it to the blessing of Asher Yasar.
There is an opinion that if one sets out on one's journey after one has prayed, one should not recite the blessing of "Nothen LaSekhwi Binah" with the morning blessings. Instead, one should recite it later together with Tefillath HaDerekh. This opinion is rejected by the Mequbalim, since, according to the Qabbalah, all the Birkhoth HaShahar (morning blessings), must be said before the prayers, together and in order. As such, one should connect it to some other blessing as mentioned above.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 110:6. Kaf HaHayyim, ibid., Oth 49-51)
ID: eb5a6 No.1491
The Shulhan 'Arukh says that one should not say Tefillath HaDerekh (the travelers prayer), till one has started one's journey. There is a difference of opinion as to how one defines "starting one's journey".
The Taz and others are of the opinion that one can say it while one is still in one's city, before one sets out on one's journey. According to this, once it becomes certain that one is leaving, it is considered as having started one's journey. However, others, including the Maamar Mordekhai, are of the opinion that one may not say the prayer till one has left the city limits.
Since there is a difference of opinion about this and since, as long as one has not left the city one may change one's mind about traveling, the Kaf Hahayyim states that one should not recite the prayer till one has left the city limits. After the fact, however, if one did recite the prayer before leaving the city, one will have fulfilled one's obligation and should not bless again.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 110:7. Kaf Hahayyim ibid., 49)
ID: eb5a6 No.1493
In order to recite Tefillath HaDerekh, one should have passed the city limits. This is calculated as 70 Ammah and 4 Tefahim (approx. 110 ft.) after the city. If there is a house within that space outside the city, then the calculation is started again from that house, in order to calculate where "past the city limits" begins.
In fact, as long as there is another house within that distance of the last house, the calculation starts again ad infinitum. However, if within the distance of 70 Ammah and 4 Tefahim one has some type of fear where one will be traveling, then one can say the prayer, even within that distance.
All this refers to the first day that one sets out on one's journey. If the trip takes multiple days, then the subsequent days are all considered to be part of the journey and one can even say Tefillath HaDerekh at the hotel before setting out in the morning.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 110: Oth 52 & 53)
ID: eb5a6 No.1494
For our sins, many people do not take the necessity of regular and fixed daily Torah study seriously. If they hear a Derasha once a week, they feel that they are more than adequately fulfilling their responsibility. In fact, the study of Torah is of such immense importance, that a man must put his mind to making Teshubah (repenting), before he starts his studies.
In addition, depending on the severity of a person's sin, there are four types of capital punishment that a person could be liable to receive, Heaven forbid. When a person sits down to study Torah, he should accept upon himself to give over his life for the sanctification of G-d's holy Name, in these four types of capital punishment of the Beth Din.
The purpose in doing so, is so that the person's sins will be atoned for. When a person receives atonement, his Torah study is able to rise to a high place.
(See Kaf Hahayyim 110, Oth 62)
ID: eb5a6 No.1495
ויעש בלק כאשר דבר בלעם "And Balaq did as Bil'aam said" (BaMidbar 23:2). Bil'aam, the wicked prophet of the nations of the world, is termed 'wicked'. Yet Balaq, who hired him to bring about the downfall of Israel, Heaven forbid, is not given this term.
Surely the most guilty party is the one who hires a person to attempt to destroy someone, and is not less guilty than the one who is paid to carry out the order. An explanation can be found in Dibrei Mordekhai. Balaq's motives were pure from his perspective. He was concerned about his people and wanted to protect them. For this reason he is not called 'wicked'. Bil'aam, on the other hand, acted out of hatred for the Jewish people from the depths of his heart.
Moreover, Balaq's whole purpose was the defense of his people. Bil'aam, in addition to his hatred for the Jewish people, acted out of sheer avarice. When we combine these two reasons, we can clearly understand why it was Bil'aam who was referred to as "wicked".
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, BaMidbar, Balaq, Parparaoth
ID: eb5a6 No.1525
On a day where two Sifrei Torah are taken out (such as Shabbath and Rosh Hodesh, and so on), and a Pesul is found in the first one which renders it unfit to use, and they want to use the second Sefer Torah for the reading of the first Sefer, and then subsequently take out a third Sefer to use in place of the second one, they should not do so.
One should always use a Sefer Torah for the reading for which it was prepared. On a day when three Sifrei Torah are taken out, the same rule applies. One should always use a Sefer Torah for the reading for which it was prepared.
Similarly, if a Sefer Torah was switched and they opened the one that was prepared for the later reading, they should close it and take the other Sefer Torah to read from each one the portion that it was prepared for.
(See Derekh HaTorah, Shabbath, 9:48)
ID: eb5a6 No.1528
Everyone is obligated to fast on the four fasts of Tish'ah BeAb, the 17th of Tammuz, the Fast of Gedaliah and the 10th of Tebeth, on account of the catastrophes that took place on those days. This includes girls from the age of 12 and boys from the age of 13, even if they do not have signs of adulthood.
If someone is unable to fast on one of the three fasts (excluding Tish'ah BeAb), on account of illness, he does not have to do Hattarath Nedarim (annulment of vows). This does not mean that Hattarath Nedarim would be required for one who is unable to fast on Tish'ah BeAb either.
The three fasts are based on Minhagh (custom) and, therefore, one might think that they require Hattarath Nedarim. Tish'ah BeAb is an obligation. As such, the concept of it being considered to be a vow that one made, does not apply, and the question of Hattarath Nedarim is not relevant.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 549:1, 550:1. Kaf Hahayyim 550, Oth 1, 2)
ID: eb5a6 No.1529
Dancing is not permitted during the 22 days between the 17th of Tammuz and Tish'ah BeAb (the 9th of Ab). While it goes without saying that it is not permitted to dance to music, since one may not listen to music during these days, it even applies to dancing without music.
Singing, however, without musical accompaniment, is permitted under certain circumstances. If it is a Se'uddath Miswah (festive meal), on the occasion of a Bar Miswah, Milah, Pidyon HaBen (redemption of the first born), or a Siyyum on the completion of a Gemara, singing without musical accompaniment, is permitted.
It is likewise permitted to hear people sing on Shabbath, Mosei Shabbath, and on Friday afternoon. It goes without saying that these should be songs of praise (Shbahoth) and the like.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hilkhoth Haggim, 25:6, 7)
ID: eb5a6 No.1531
According to the strict letter of the law, at a time when there is no danger, one does not need to fast on the three fasts (this excludes Tish'ah BeAb). Nevertheless, since the whole world has taken on the custom to fast on these days, one is not permitted to change from this custom.
Pregnant and nursing women are exempt. Since there are certain other considerations, a pregnant woman should consult with a Hakham to see whether she should fast or not. However, if she feels weak, in all instances she should not be strict on herself.
The same applies to those who are elderly or weak, and for whom a fast would cause great distress, they would be exempt. However, a person should always consult with his or her doctors and with an Orthodox Rabbi, in these matters.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 550:1. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 4, 5 & 6)
ID: eb5a6 No.1534
The days between the 17th of Tammuz and Tish'ah BeAb are called ימי בין המצרים (Yemei Bein HaMesarim - the days of distress [between the straits]). This is based on the Pasuq (verse) in Eikha (1:3), "כל רדפיה השיגוה בין המצרים" (All those those chasing her, overtook her in her distress).
Our Hakhamim, z"l, tell us that this refers to the days between the 17th of Tammuz and Tish'ah BeAb, which are days of sorrow. The word for 'sorrow' (צער) shares similarities with the word 'straits' (מצרים).
As we are aware, many calamities befell the Jewish people on these days, including the destruction of both the first and second Temples. Those who are particular to say Tiqqun Hasoth at night, say Tiqqun Rahel of the Tiqqun Hasoth after midday. This is in addition to the full Tiqqun Hasoth at night. Indeed, it is appropriate to say Tiqqun Rahel during the day on these days, even if one does not read Tiqqun Hasoth at night.
(See Sefer HaToda'ah, Tammuz. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hilkhoth Haggim, 25:1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1535
ולפני אלעזר הכהן יעמד ושאל לו במשפט האורים לפני ה "He shall stand before El'azar the Priest, who will ask for the judgment from the Urim, before the L-rd" (BaMidbar 27:21). There is a difference of opinion as to how the Urim WeThummim provided the answer to the question asked. Be that as it may, in either case it was something miraculous.
The difference between a pronouncement from the Urim and Thummim and that of a Prophet is that a judgment from the Urim and Thummim could never be revoked. A Prophet's pronouncement, on the other hand, could be revoked, as we see in the case of Yonah (Jonah) and how the prophecy of the destruction of Nineveh was revoked.
The answer is that the response by the Urim and Thummim was a miracle and G-d will not bring miracles in vain. If the judgment by the Urim and Thummim were to be revoked, it would mean that the entire miracle was for nought and, therefore, in vain. Prophecy, on the other hand, has no miracle involved and can, as a result, be revoked, if need be.
(See Ben Yohayada', Yoma 73b)
ID: eb5a6 No.1538
There is an opinion that there is an obligation from the Torah to eat on Shabbath, because it says אכלהו היום כי שבת היום לה "Eat today, because it is a Sabbath to the L-rd" (Shemoth 16:25). Another opinion is that the reason for eating on Shabbath is in order to "delight in the Shabbath" ('Onegh Shabbath). What is the difference between the two reasons?
Once they saw Ribbi 'Aqiba crying on Shabbath. Ordinarily, one must not cry on Shabbath because we have to be happy. They said to him, "Why are you crying? Today is Shabbath". He replied that he was crying in order to ease the pain that he was feeling. The Rama, z"l, writes that one for whom it would be pleasurable to cry, because it would ease his pain, is permitted to do so.
There are those who may have a stomach ache on Shabbath and eating would cause them further discomfort. If not eating would be more of a "delight" for them, then, in such a case they should not eat.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 288:2, 3. Derekh HaTorah, Shabbath7:72)
ID: eb5a6 No.1539
Hazal tell us (Yebamoth 20a), that a person should sanctify himself by abstaining from even that which is permitted (קדש עצמך במותר לך). How do we understand this statement?
It says in the Gemara of Berakhoth (5a) that a man should always incite his good inclination (Yeser HaTob), against his evil inclination (Yeser Hara'). The word 'always' means 'at all times' (See Rashi on Gittin 70a). From this we can derive that the good inclination has to fight the evil inclination, even when the person is doing something permitted.
For example, if one is eating a delectable mouth-watering meal, one should stop eating before being satiated. It is well known, for instance, that when Rabbi Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, was presented with his favorite food, he would eat just a small portion, with obvious delight, and not touch any more.
We can compare this to a person who is upset with someone else. He will not accept anything from him, even if there is nothing wrong with it. Desire is a product of the evil inclination. If a person wishes to sanctify himself, he will detest desire and even limit that which is permitted to him.
ID: eb5a6 No.1540
One might feel that accepting the Torah and Miswoth (commandments) unconditionally, precludes us from attempting to understand their reason. The fact is that the opposite is true. Provided we do accept the Torah and the Miswoth as G-d's commandments, unconditionally, we are certainly permitted to try and fathom out the reason for each Miswah.
We must realize, however, that whatever we do figure out for ourselves is not the actual reason for the commandment, but is the taste of the commandment which, nevertheless, assists us in our comprehension of it.
It is like constructing a building with a deep foundation and strong walls. Once it had been built we can paint it and decorate it. This adds to its attractiveness, but is not the essential part of the building. So too the Miswoth are the solid construction with our understanding being no more than the decoration. If, however, we should find our logical reasoning puts us at odds with the Miswoth, our reasoning must be discarded.
(See 'Od Yosef Hai, Derushim, Pethihah Rishonah)
ID: eb5a6 No.1541
It says in the Gemara of Berakhoth (16b), that Ribbi Yohanan would say at the end of his prayer "May it be Your will, O L-rd G-d, that You peek at our embarrassment and look at our wickedness" (שתציץ בבושתנו ותביט ברעתנו). A Jewish soul always wishes to do that which is right. Therefore, if the Jewish people sin, it is because the Yeser Hara' (evil inclination) caused them to transgress.
Proof of this is that having sinned, they feel immediate pangs of embarrassment and shame over the fact that they transgressed the word of G-d. The fact that they are embarrassed by it and realize that they have, in fact, done something wrong, stands them in good stead to be granted forgiveness.
What Ribbi Yohanan is requesting in his prayer is that G-d should first glance at the embarrassment that we feel over having sinned. This makes us worthy of receiving forgiveness. He then asks that only after that should G-d look at the wickedness of having transgressed.
(See Ben Yehoyada', Berakhoth 16b)
ID: eb5a6 No.1548
It says in Tehillim (2:5), "בך בטחו אבתינו בטחו ותפלטמו" (In You did my fathers trust, they trusted and You saved them). Even among people who believe in G-d, there are many different levels. Some people's belief doesn't extend to trust in Him on a day to day basis, inasmuch as it applies to their everyday dealings.
When they undergo difficulties or suffering, Heaven forbid, and they feel they have no one to turn to, they turn to G-d with increased passion. At that point their faith in Him rises significantly. The trust of our forefathers, that is referred to here, was very different.
When everything was going well for them, on all levels, they had complete and utter trust in G-d. On account of that, when they found themselves in times of difficulty, G-d saved them. This is the level that each of us must strive for. When life is going well for us and our Mazzal is smiling at us, that is the time we must ensure that we have full trust in Him. It is this level of trust that saves us in times of trouble.
(See Hayyim WeHashalom, 22:5)
ID: eb5a6 No.1556
והיה לכם פאת נגב ממדבר צן על ידי אדום והיה לכם גבול נגב מקצה ים המלח קדמה "The quarter of the South (Negheb) shall be from the wilderness of Zin, along Edom, and the southern border shall be from the end of the Dead Sea, to the East" (BaMidbar 34:3).
The Torah is starting to explain here, the perimeters of the southern border. Rashi, in his explanation that this is referring to the Southern side, uses the word "Ruwah", which can also be understood to mean spirit or spiritual.
We can learn from here the spiritual importance of the southern side. Hazal tell us (Baba Bathra 25b), that one who wishes to become wise should go to the south. Wisdom means Torah. The Menorah was placed at the southern wall of the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple). It was responsible for bringing down the blessing of holiness and purity to the Jewish people. It brought abundant blessing of true wisdom, which is the path of Torah.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Mas'ei, Parparaoth)
ID: eb5a6 No.1566
It is forbidden to fast on Shabbath and some say that it is a Torah prohibition. Only a fast on account of a bad dream is permitted if it would cause him sadness on Shabbath not to fast. The purpose of the fast is to rescind any bad decree against the person. However, since one did not perform the commandment of 'Onegh Shabbath (delighting in the Sabbath), one must fast again on Sunday.
If one is unable to fast two days consecutively (even though one eats each night), then one should fast the second fast on later date. If that Sunday happens to be Yom Tob or Hanukkah or any other day when fasting is not permitted, one must fast at a later date, on a day when it is permitted.
It is important to note that one may not fast for just any bad dream, but must ask a Hakham first. For instance, losing a tooth in a dream, might be one of the instances when one would fast. However, if one had a tooth ache which was troubling him on Friday, and he dreamt that he lost a tooth that night, then he should not fast, because the dream was almost certainly as a result of the discomfort he had been feeling.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama 288:4. Derekh HaTorah, Shabbath, 7:73, 74)
ID: eb5a6 No.1571
The severity of the twenty two days (three weeks), increases during the nine days. Jewish musicians who needed to play for non-Jews after the 17th of Tammuz, in order to keep afloat financially, may not do so during the nine days.
Meat and wine may not be consumed from Rosh Hodesh Ab, by Ashkenazim. For Sephardim this applies from right after Rosh Hodesh. Travel for pleasure purposes, should not be undertaken during this time. One should not swim during this time, even in children's camps.
New construction should not be started during the nine days, and even home improvements are to be avoided. If there is a need, however, such as in a case of overcrowding, then it is permitted. Additionally, if the work was started before Rosh Hodesh, the contractor need not be told to stop.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Debarim, Oth 3 & 5. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Haggim, 25:14-15, 27-28. Shulhan 'Arukh, O.H. 551:2)
ID: eb5a6 No.1574
From Rosh Hodesh Ab, we do not purchase any important clothing which requires the Berakha (blessing) of Sheheheyanu, when worn for the first time. This holds true even if one's intention is not to wear the clothing till after Tish'ah BeAb.
Clothing which does not require Sheheheyanu, such as socks and undershirts, which one intends to wear after the 9th of Ab may, nevertheless, be bought during this period of time, although it is preferable to purchase them before the 9th of Ab.
In all cases, as we have mentioned previously, any purchase which one will not be able to make after Tish'ah BeAb, be it because of a lack of time, be it because it will no longer available, or will cost more after Tish'ah BeAb, may be purchased at this time for use after Tish'ah BeAb.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Haggim, 25:34)
ID: eb5a6 No.1576
Someone asked Heaven to judge someone that he felt had wronged him. Not only that, but he also cursed him at the Sefer Torah. Within a month the man he cursed, died. Filled with remorse he asked whether he was in any way responsible and did he have to ask forgiveness at the man's grave and, perhaps, even help the orphans who were in difficult financial straits. Or, since the man was 60, could he simply assume that he died of old age.
The response in Torah Lishmah is that he needs to be concerned that he might have been the cause of the other man's death. 60 is not considered to be a full life, because it says in Tehillim (90:10), "The days of our years are 70 years" (ימי שנותינו בהם שבעים שנה). Putting this aside, he still sinned by asking Heaven to judge his fellow man and by cursing him.
In view of this, it would be appropriate to help the deceased man's children who are in need of assistance. In addition, it is appropriate for him to go the man's grave and confess and ask forgiveness. Moreover, every year, on the date that the man he cursed passed away, he should fast and light a candle for his 'Illui Neshamah (to raise his soul).
(See Torah Lishmah, 508)
ID: eb5a6 No.1584
While Torah study is required at all times, this time of year being a more dangerous one, it provides an additional level of protection. How so?
Rabbenu the Alshikh, 'a"h, tells a parable about the musician of a king, who was an insalubrious person, of very low character. The king, however, closed his eyes to all the man's transgressions, on account of the music that he played, which brought the king untold pleasure.
On one occasion, however, the musician got into a brawl with another person which ended with the the other man severing off the musician's hand. Since he could not play his music anymore, the king focused on the man's crimes and ordered him to be put to death.
When the Jewish people study Torah, it brings G-d untold pleasure. If we should stop our Torah study, we would be causing G-d to focus on our misdeeds. Our study of the holy Torah causes G-d to overlook certain transgressions.
(See Ben Ish Hayil, 1, Shabbath Kallah, Derush 1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1588
אלה הדברים אשר דבר משה אל כל ישראל ב…די זהב "These are the words that Moses spoke in … Di Zahab" (Debarim 1:1). The words Di Zahab, can be read as Dai Zahab, which mean respectively, "enough" and "gold". Rashi tells us that these are words of rebuke and Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, is listing all the places where the Children of Israel sinned.
The Gemara of Berakhoth (32a) tells us that Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, spoke to the Holy One blessed be He and said, "Master of the Universe, the silver and gold (Zahab) which you poured onto Israel, until they said "Enough!" (Dai), that is what caused them to make the golden calf".
This explanation seems to say that Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, was pleading on behalf of the Jewish people. This is the exact opposite of the explanation that it was intended as a reproach. In fact, what is taking place is that when speaking to G-d he used this in the defence of the Jewish people. However, when speaking to the Jewish people he used it as a reproach to indicate to them that they had received so much and responded by turning the gifts they received into sins against G-d.
(See Benayahu, Berakhoth 32a)
ID: eb5a6 No.1589
If one did not prepare sufficient clothes to wear during the week of Tish'ah BeAb, one may not prepare clothes on Shabbath Hazon the way one does during the week. In other words, one may not wear the items for an hour and take them off and then do the same again, until one has prepared enough. This would be preparing on Shabbath for a weekday, which is not permitted.
Instead, one should wear the laundered clothes on Shabbath at night and remove them, and then wear different clothes during the day. Those clothes should not be changed during the day without a reason. If a person wishes to sleep and would, therefore, ordinarily remove his shirt, he may then wear another shirt when he wakes up.
All this applies to the kind of clothes that a person would wear on Shabbath. However, one may not take one's freshly laundered weekday clothes and prepare them in this manner on Shabbath, because this would be considered preparing on Shabbath for a weekday.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Debarim, Oth 6. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Haggim, 25: 82, 83)
ID: eb5a6 No.1593
The final meal before Tish'ah BeAb should be eaten sitting on a mat or the like, but one may still wear one's leather shoes. The reason for sitting low at this meal is not on account of mourning, but to show lowliness.
One should be careful not to have three or more males sit together for this meal, because we do not want there to be an obligation of Zimmun (invitation to say Birkath HaMazon). To do so would imply a permanent situation which is something we do not want.
Provided that one did not accept the fast verbally, if one wishes to eat after this meal, and it is still before sunset, one may do so. From sunset on, one may not eat anymore till after the fast. One may, however, still wash and anoint Bein Hashemashoth (after sunset, but not after the emergence of 3 stars).
There is a difference of opinion as to whether one may still wash (and anoint) if one already accepted the fast verbally. However, since the majority of opinions is to forbid it, one should be strict in this matter.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 552:7, 553:1. Kaf Hahayyim, 552, Oth 37, 553, Oth 1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1599
It used to be that when the night of the Tebilah (ritual immersion), fell on Tish'ah BeAb, that it was permitted to be done then. However, nowadays we do not do so. The preparations of the bathing and washing of the hair, on the other hand, are done before the start of Tish'ah BeAb, and after Tish'ah BeAb the woman should wash her hair lightly, since this is supposed to be done just before immersing.
It goes without saying that if the night of the Tebilah falls on Mosei Tish'ah BeAb, that these preparations are forbidden on Tish'ah BeAb itself. In this case also, she should bathe and wash her hair before Tish'ah BeAb and then wash her again lightly, after the fast, before going to the Miqweh.
If, for some reason, she did not do the preparations before Tish'ah BeAb, she is permitted to do them after the fast, after the fact. However, this is not the correct way to do it.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 554:8. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 41-43)
ID: eb5a6 No.1602
It says in the Shulhan 'Arukh that there is an opinion that one should not go out for a stroll on Tish'ah BeAb, so that one will not come to laughter and lightheaded behavior. Even though it says that "there is an opinion", we should understand that there is no contradictory opinion, and that this is the accepted Minhagh.
It is important to understand that the reason for not taking walks is so that one will not take one's mind off the seriousness of the day. Therefore, when one is sitting in the Synagogue or Beth Midrash, one must also keep the seriousness of the day in mind, and behave appropriately.
One must fight the temptation of the Yeser Hara' to make people stumble whenever there is a group of people assembled together, to make them joke and behave in a lightheaded manner. One must be careful of this at any time, but on Tish'ah BeAb it would be a serious error of judgment.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, O.H. 554:21. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 95, 96)
ID: eb5a6 No.1603
After the destruction of the two Batei Miqdash (Temples) and the long arduous Galuth (exile) that we are in, we wait earnestly for the final redemption. We are commanded to remember the redemption from Egypt, every day.
We do this daily in our prayers. Specifically, it is at the end of the Shema' that we recite daily, where we say, "I am the L-rd your G-d, Who took you out of the land of Egypt, to be your G-d" (BaMidbar 15:41).
We are told that when we recognize a miracle and sing in its praise, we merit to receive another miracle. So, therefore, it is in our interest to mention the redemption from Egypt every day, and G-d, in His infinite mercy, commanded us to do so, in order that this may lead us to the final redemption. May it come speedily in our days, Amen.
(See Ben Ish hai Derushim, Parashath 'Eqeb)
ID: eb5a6 No.1605
כי אנכי מת בארץ הזאת אינני עבר את הירדן "For I [am going to] die in this land; I will not cross the Jordan" (Debarim 4:22). How do we understand what Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h (Moses), is saying? If he dies in the land, then it is obvious that he will not cross the Jordan!
In fact, what Moses is referring to is the prior statement by G-d: כי לא תעבר את הירדן הזה "for you shall not cross this Jordan" (ibid., 3:27). G-d is making it clear that not even his remains would cross the Jordan, but would remain in the wilderness. This also explains the reason why Moses did not make Yehoshua' or the Children of Israel swear to carry his bones with them into the Land of Israel, in the same manner that he had carried the bones of Joseph, throughout the desert.
The fact that Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, is buried outside the Land of Israel is a very great kindness to the Jewish people by HaQadosh Barukh Hu (the Holy One, blessed be He). The fact that Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, will have to be resurrected and returned to the Land of Israel at the time of the final redemption, is a guarantee to all the Jewish people buried in the diaspora, that they will also return at that time.
(See Rabbenu Behayyei on the Torah, Debarim 3:27)
ID: eb5a6 No.1608
If one dreams on Shabbath that a Jewish person is going to die or get ill, one should pray for him, give charity on his account and fast because of the dream. Alternatively, he should mention indirectly to the person he dreamt about, that he is in need of mercy from Heaven and should make Teshubah (repent).
What he must not do, however, is tell his friend specifically, that he dreamt that he would die. The reason is that we are concerned that the friend may take it very much to heart and the fright might cause him to die.
There is an opinion that this only applies if one had this dream three times. There is also the opinion that, nowadays, we do not know what is considered to be a bad dream. Nevertheless, the Aharonim say that when one has what we consider to be a bad dream, it is preferable to pray on Shabbath and read Tehillim on Shabbath, rather than fast, since we are not expert in interpreting dreams. Additionally, on Sunday, one should give charity.
(See Derekh HaTorah, 7:75. 76)
ID: eb5a6 No.1609
The Jewish people, more than any nation in the world, abide by the strictest laws in the area of modesty. The net result is that there is much greater joy in a Jewish marriage as well as longevity, inasmuch as the marriage is concerned.
When our Rabbis tell us that there were no days, in the past, like Yom Kippur and the 15th of Ab, one reason is because on those days the sins of the Jewish people were forgiven. That is why the 15th of Ab was considered to be a particularly auspicious time for weddings.
Since the happiness in a Jewish marriage is greater, on account of the laws of holiness and modesty which accompany it, our Rabbis tell us that the groom is forgiven all his transgressions on his wedding day. In this way, the couple enter into marriage with a clean slate, without the shadow of the past following them.
(See Sefer HaToda'ah)
ID: eb5a6 No.1610
On Yom Kippur, G-d forgave the Children of Israel the transgression of the golden calf. It was the day that the second tablets of stone were given to the Jewish people as a replacement of the first ones that had been broken. As a result of this, Yom Kippur became the day of Teshubah (repentance) and atonement, for all time.
The 15th of Ab was also a day of forgiveness. It was the day when Benei Yisrael (the Children of Israel) received forgiveness over the sin of the spies. That is why the early generations considered the 15th of Ab to be on a par with Yom Kippur.
The reason why it was deemed acceptable, indeed virtuous, for the daughters of Israel to go out and dance in the vineyards is because, since these days were ones of purification and holiness, there was no concern about any lack modesty or of inappropriate behavior. Even the dancing was entirely Leshem Shamayim (for the sake of Heaven).
(See Sefer HaToda'ah)
ID: eb5a6 No.1611
The Mishnah Berurah writes that, when one's fingernails protrude beyond the flesh, one should be careful about keeping them clean under the nails. The dirt that collects under the nails is considered to be a Hasisa (interposition) when doing Netilath Yadayim (the ritual washing of one's hands). He mentions the opinion that one should not allow one's nails to grow long on account of this.
The Ben Ish Hai also writes that one should not grow one's nails because of the problem of Hasisa. However, he adds that there is an additional problem. For Kabbalistic reasons growing one's nails is harmful to the soul. When one has no choice, such as when one is a mourner during the 30 days, one must be particular to clean them daily. Since on Shabbath one may not clean them the usual way, one should wash them with water.
Obviously, for the reasons mentioned above, one should be particular not to let one's nails grow beyond the flesh.
(See Mishnah Berurah 161:3. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Parashath Aharei Moth/Qedoshim, Oth 24)
ID: eb5a6 No.1669
If one's fingernail got partially unattached, one should trim the whole nail, since otherwise it would constitute an interposition (חציצה) when doing Netilath Yadayim (the ritual washing of hands). If this occurs on Shabbath, the situation is as follows:
If the majority of the nail became unattached, one is permitted to remove the nail, by hand, on Shabbath. One should not use any instrument, such as scissors or clippers, however, because it is a Rabbinical prohibition to do so.
If only a small portion of the nail became unattached on Shabbath, one should not remove it, because it is prohibited by the Rabbis. However, if one did remove it by hand, there would be no obligation to bring a sin offering. If one used an instrument, one would have had to bring a sin offering at the time of the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple), because it is considered to be a subset of the Torah prohibition of shearing (Gozez).
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 328:31. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 96-98. Ben Ish Hai, Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Parashath Aharei Moth/Qedoshim, Oth 24)
ID: eb5a6 No.1672
אל תאמר בלבבך … בצדקתי הביאני ה' לרשת את הארץ הזאת "Do not say in your heart … it is on account of my righteousness that the L-rd brought me to inherit this land" (Debarim 9:4). Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, had previously cautioned the people not to think that their success against the kings of Canaan was on account of their strength and the might of their hand (8:17).
Now he cautions them not to think that it was on account of their righteousness either. Rather, it was on account of the wickedness of the other nations. In truth, the wickedness of the nations explains why they were defeated. What it does not explain, however, is why the Jewish people were chosen to inherit their land.
Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, tells them that the reason they are inheriting the land is on account of the fact that G-d made an oath to their forefathers to give it to them. Even though Israel transgressed, G-d still had to give them the land as an inheritance, because He made an oath and it could not be rescinded.
(See Ramban on the Torah, 8:17, 9:4)
ID: eb5a6 No.1674
There is a custom that on Shabbath, children go to the Tebah and read all the Mizmorim out loud for the congregation. They start with "Hodu" and continue till the end of the "Shirath HaYam". The purpose is to train the children.
The children take turns, the first boy reads the first Mizmor, the next one reads the second and they continue like this, in rotation, till they have completed all the Mizmorim. This is a fine custom to follow.
The portions of "Hashem Melekh" and "Barukh Sheamar", however, which are contained within the Mizmorim, should not be read by the boys. Instead, the Hazzan should read them. If the Hazzan has not yet arrived, then another man should read them in his stead.
(See Derekh HaTorah, Shabbath 8:5)
ID: eb5a6 No.1677
There are many laws that do not apply to an individual, be it because they only apply when the Beth HaMiqdash is standing, be it because they don't apply to him personally. Many feel that it serves no purpose to study laws such as these, since they do not have any practical application.
Our Rabbis tell us (See 'Ein Ya'aqob, Yoma 56b), that one should, nevertheless, study them, because we will obtain reward for it. This leads us to ask a different question. We are taught that we should not be like servants serving their master in order to receive a reward (Aboth 1:3). If so, why is the Gemara giving this as a reason?
The answer is that the reward that our Rabbis are speaking about, is the reward of being able to understand and learn laws in other situations, from the Halakhoth that we learned that didn't apply to us. This is in keeping with the dictum of the sages that the reward for a Miswah (commandment) is another Miswah (Aboth 4:2). This kind of reward has nothing to do with obtaining reward in this world or the next, and should always be sought after.
(See Benayahu Yoma 56b)
ID: eb5a6 No.1680
If one inadvertently put water or another drink in one's mouth before reciting the blessing over it, there is a difference of opinion as to what one should do. Maran z"l, is of the opinion that one should swallow it, but not recite the prior blessing (Shehakkol in the case of water), over it at all. Obviously, if one drank the required amount, the after blessing would have to be recited in all cases.
The Rama, z"l, prefers the opinion that says that one should still recite the prior blessing over it after he swallows it. The Mishna Berurah, however, states that the majority of Posqim (deciders of Halakha), say that one should not recite the prior blessing.
The Ben Ish Hai addresses the difficulty with both these opinions, that of not reciting a blessing before consuming the liquid, or saying it after consuming it, which is not how the Birkoth HaNehenin are supposed to be recited. His ruling, which eradicates both problems, is to spit out the liquid in one's mouth and let it go to waste, say the relevant Berakha (blessing) and then drink more of the liquid.
In the event that this was the only liquid available and he needs to drink it, he advises that one should say the blessing in one's mind, because in a situation where one has no other choice, saying a blessing in one's mind does work.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 171:2. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 3-5. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Mattoth, Oth 14)
ID: eb5a6 No.1681
There are differences between when one realizes that one forgot to say the blessing when one puts food in one's mouth and when one puts drink in one's mouth (see 'Putting Liquid in One's Mouth Without Saying a Blessing' http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-08-14
). In the case of food, the ideal option is to remove the food from one's mouth, if it doesn't become disgusting, say the blessing and then eat it again. (If there is unchewed food of the same type available, one should say the blessing on that and then eat what one removed from one's mouth).
If one is repulsed by it, however, one should simply move the food to the side of one's mouth, recite the blessing and move the food back into one's mouth and chew it. It is preferable, however, to remove it, because when reciting the blessing, one's mouth should (only) be filled with G-d's praises.
In the case of liquids, on the other hand, this is not a viable proposition, since it is impossible to speak the blessing while there is liquid in one's mouth.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 172:1-2. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 4)
ID: eb5a6 No.1683
Acting in holiness includes acting with respect for others. For instance, if someone has dirty or smelly water in the house and wishes to throw it out, one should not throw it into the street or any public area where people pass, because they would certainly find it repulsive. It says in Ben Ish Hai that one who does this will have to stand in judgment in the future in Heaven.
The holy Zohar says that those who pour putrid water out in front of their yards, are cursed by the angels. This concept does not only apply to dirty water, but anything that is repulsive in the home, may not be thrown out into public areas.
The Mishnah Berurah comments in a different matter, that it is the will of the Holy One blessed be He that people should behave in a clean and holy manner. The Shekhinah (G-d's holy presence), cannot rest in a place where people behave inappropriately.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Ki Thesei, Oth 14. Mishnah Berurah, 241:1)
ID: eb5a6 No.1684
וכי ירבה ממך הדרך "Should the road be too long for you" (Debarim 14:24). What would a wealthy man respond if one were to ask him why he doesn't devote as much time to the study of the Torah as the poor man? He would, more than likely, respond that the poor man has much more time on his hands being that he is not heavily involved in business matters and other financial affairs. After all, presumably, many people are dependent on him and his ability to make money.
In fact, a righteous person would realize that if he found time to study Torah while he was struggling to make ends meet, it would be much easier for him to study Torah and go to the Beth HaMiqdash in Yerushalayim, now that he is rich. What the Pasuq (verse) is telling us is that one should not feel, all of a sudden, that the road to Jerusalem had become long.
If a person feels this way, it is an indication that he has become distant from what is important in life –the path of the Torah. His preoccupation with the material world and the mundane has obviously taken precedence and he needs to reevaluate his priorities.
(See Alsheikh on the Torah, Debarim 14:24)
ID: eb5a6 No.1685
A Jew who cooks deliberately on Shabbath is never permitted to eat what he cooked, whereas others may eat it after Shabbath is over. The question arises as to whether or not the forbidden food becomes nullified (and thus permitted to be eaten) if it became mixed in with 60 times the amount of permitted food.
There is a concept that when something will become permitted later by itself, it cannot be nullified and from this it would seem that for those who did not cook it, it would remain forbidden on Shabbath, since after Shabbath it would automatically become permitted to them. The one who cooked it, however, would be able to eat it on Shabbath, according to this. The reason is that since the food before it became mixed in with the rest, would have been forbidden to him forever, it can be nullified.
The Mishna Berurah quotes the opinion of the Maghen Abraham who forbids it on Shabbath for the one who cooked it and also mentions the opinion of the Hawwath Da'ath who disagrees. The Mishnah Berurah does not give a clear ruling.
The Ben Ish Hai, however, says that it is ridiculous that the one who transgressed and cooked should be allowed to eat it on Shabbath, but no one else. He rules in accordance with the Maghen Abraham that it remains forbidden, even for the one who did the cooking.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 289:1. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 14. Maghen Abraham 2. Rab Pe'alim 1, OH, 17. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd yr., 2)
ID: eb5a6 No.1686
We know that the body contains 248 limbs and 365 sinews which are perfected through the 613 corresponding Miswoth (commandments). The problem is that no one is able to perform all 613 commandments. Some apply only to Kohanim. Others apply to the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple), and so on.
The holy Pele Yo'es tells us that there is a way, however, that a man can perfect the 613 parts of his body, spirit and soul (Neshamah). The commandment of Sissith (ציצית) is considered to be equal to all the other commandments, and, through this, it is considered as if one performed all the commandments. In order for this to work, he must have this intent, specifically, and it is good for him to mention it before wearing his Sissith.
For this reason, a man must be particular to wear his Tallith Qatan at all times. Additionally, he should ensure that both the Tallith Qatan as well as the Tallith Gadol, are Kasher (ritually fit) in all respects.
(See Pele Yo'es, Sissith)
ID: eb5a6 No.1690
If a man's Talliith Qatan and/or Gadol are not Kasher, it is considered worse than not wearing one at all. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, he has not performed the Miswah of Sissith (commandment of wearing fringes on a four cornered garment). Secondly, he has said a blessing on the garment which is a Berakha Lebatalah (reciting a blessing in vain).
Moreover, he is wearing a four cornered garment which is considered to be without fringes, since they are unfit for use, and this is a transgression. Not only that, but in order to fulfill, "This is my G-d and I will glorify Him", one should wear a Tallith that is of fine quality (and condition).
After all, how can one wear high quality clothes but wear a Tallith (Gadol or Qatan), that is an embarrassment? The holy Pele Yo'es says that this would be a source of embarrassment in this world, and shame in the world to come.
It seems to me that one must pay particular attention to this when it comes to the Tallith Qatan because, since it is worn under the clothes, one might be tempted to overlook its condition.
(See Pele Yo'es, Sissith)
ID: eb5a6 No.1692
Our Rabbis tell us that our misdeeds create a screen that separates between us and HaQadosh Barukh Hu (the Holy One blessed be He). From Elul to Yom Kippur we try to work hard at eradicating that screen. Even though He is there, we cannot see Him on account of the screen that we have placed between us. As a result we neither benefit from His light, nor can we feel His closeness.
This is sometimes a difficult concept to grasp, but when we see an eclipse of the sun, it all makes perfect sense. The sun provides us with incredible light and warmth, every single day of our lives. We just take it for granted. But when something external, not of the same caliber as the sun, gets in the way, it blocks the light and all the benefit we have come to expect from the sun.
It seems to me that we behave in much the same way in our daily lives, be it in matters of holiness such as Torah studies and Miswoth, be it in relationships. We let unimportant and extraneous matters come in the way of that which is truly important and we lose sight of, and indeed give up on, our holy goals. And who is the only one who benefits? The Yeser HaRa' (evil inclination). May HaQadosh Barukh Hu grant us the wisdom to not allow extraneous matters to come between us and Him and all that really matters.
eclipse of the sun, masecha, masekha
ID: eb5a6 No.1693
The obligation to study Torah applies every day of a man's life, but during the 40 days from Elul till Yom Kippur, it is more critical than ever. Rabbenu the Hida, z"l, quotes the Rishonim who say that when a man is rebuked over why he spends the majority of his time pursuing matters pertaining to this world and the futility contained therein, and hardly dedicates any time to the Service of G-d, including Torah and Miswoth (מצות - commandments), he replies as follows.
"What choice do I have? I have little children to look after and have to provide for their needs. I have to take care of their provisions and livelihood. How do you expect me to also find time to study Torah?". The response to that is simply to ask him, that when he has down time when he is not attending to his business and is merely relaxing, why does he spend his time playing cards or in meaningless conversations, (or, might I add, wasting hours on the internet)? Why doesn't he take a Sefer and learn from it?
About this King David, 'a"h" wrote: כי אקח מועד אני מישרים אשפט "When I take a festive day, I shall judge fairly" (Tehillim 75:3). This means that when G-d takes a festive day, on which a man is freed from working, and sees that the man does not dedicate his free time to the study of Torah, He will judge him based on that, because the man will have lost the ability to answer that he could not study because he had no time. It is important to remember that we may fool ourselves, but G-d knows the truth.
(See Debarim Ahadim)
ID: eb5a6 No.1694
ודברו השטרים אל העם לאמר מי האיש "And the officers will speak to the people saying, who is the man…" (Debarim 20:5). We learn from this Parasha that a person must be exceedingly careful not to embarrass another, even if rebuking him over a holy matter. Not embarrassing another person includes not criticizing him in front of others, but one should do so only in private. Or when rebuking, one should include other matters which are not part of the subject in hand.
That is what the Torah does here when calling men up to war. It asks, "who has just built a house" and "who has just married a woman", which are not particularly relevant to the main point of the address, which is, "who is the man who is fearful [of the sins he has committed]". In all cases it adds, "let him return to his house".
Since the Torah includes all manner of people who are exempt from serving, the one who returns to his home on account of his sins, is not embarrassed, because people may feel that he is returning on account of one of the other reasons.
(See Barukh Ta'am, Shoftim)
ID: eb5a6 No.1695
One may not put spices in a Keli Rishon (pot that is on the fire), on Shabbath, even after it was removed from the fire as long as the contents are so hot that the hand would recoil from it (Yad Soledeth Bo). Salt, however, may be added to a Keli Rishon, after it was removed from the fire. Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, comments in Ben Ish Hai, that according to Maran Yosef Qaro, z"l, of the Shulhan 'Arukh, salt may be added once the pot has been removed from the fire, even if the contents are still "Yad Soledeth Bo".
The Rama, z"l, however, is of the opinion that if one can be strict, it is preferable to not add salt to the pot as long as the contents are still "Yad Soledeth Bo" (so hot that one's hand would recoil from it). The Ben Ish Hai comments that even though Sephardim follow the opinion that permits it, it is good to follow the stricter opinion.
According to all opinions, however, if one added salt to the pot, even while it was on the fire and even though this is forbidden, the food may still be eaten on Shabbath. The reason is because the salt is considered to have become nullified when mixed in with the rest of the food.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 318:9. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Bo, 10. Mishnah Berurah, 318: 64)
ID: eb5a6 No.1696
Whenever any trouble comes to a person (may it never happen), the appropriate thing to do is to take note of it and examine one's deeds closely. We must understand that G-d causes troubles to occur so that people will fear Him. This is in keeping with how animals receive prods or are shown a whip, in order to cause them to go in the right direction or obey orders.
Whatever happens, a person who receives any kind of trouble must not say that it is just happenstance or coincidence and, therefore, need not be concerned about it. The Pele Yo'es says that the Torah speaks very harshly about one who does so in the Parasha of BeHuqqothai (בחוקותי).
In view of this, a person who finds himself receiving any kind of troubles, must not fail to accept repentance upon himself for any transgressions that he may have committed. If he does this, G-d will remember him and and heal him.
(See Pele Yo'es, Sarah [צרה])
ID: eb5a6 No.1705
Maran, z"l, writes in the Shulhan 'Arukh that the custom is to wake up in the early hours of the morning to recite Selihoth (the penitential prayes recited in Elul until Yom Kippur). The reason for reading Selihoth at this time is that the Holy One blessed be He travels to 18,000 worlds and at the end of the night He sails to this world. That time of the night is considered 'Eth Rason (עת רצון - an auspicious time).
One who ordinarily says Tiqqun Hasoth (תקון חצות), every night, and wakes up in the early morning hours when the congregation has already started Selihoth and there is no time to read both, must drop one of them. It is better for him to say Tiqqun Hasoth, as laid out by the Ari, z"l, and not say Selihoth, since Tiqqun Hasoth is more important.
The Selihoth and Tahanunim (supplications), must be read in a pleasant manner and with intent (כוונה - Kawwanah). It is forbidden to read the 13 attributes of mercy without intent.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 581:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid, Oth 1, 4, 5)
ID: eb5a6 No.1707
There are those who have the custom of selling who will be the Hazzan for the Selihoth. This is not a good custom. Rather, the Hazzan should be one who is very worthy. Some people rush through portions of the Selihoth, and one should ensure that this is not done.
When the congregation are reciting Selihoth and Tahanunim (Penitential prayers and supplications) during this time of year, it is more important to do the same with them, than to study Torah. There are also those who study the Tiqqqunim of the Zohar, from Rosh Hodesh Elul till Yom Kippur.
The importance of the 40 days from Rosh Hodesh Elul till Yom Kippur (inclusive), is on account of the fact that these are the 40 days when Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, ascended Mount Sinai to bring the second Tablets of Stone. These forty days are considered to be auspicious days, and the end of the 40 days fell on Yom Kippur.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 581:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid, Oth 6, 7, 10, 14)
ID: eb5a6 No.1708
According to the Rama, z"l, a mourner is not permitted to leave his home to go to the Synagogue, to hear the Selihoth being read, except for 'Ereb Rosh Hashanah. The Kaf Hahayyim quotes the opinion that if the mourner does not have a Minyan in his home and has to go to the Synagogue for prayers, anyway, that it might be that he can go earlier, in order to hear the Selihoth, and then remain there for the prayers.
So too, in places where the mourners go to the Synagogue on Mondays and Thursdays, in order to hear the reading from the Sefer Torah, they could go earlier in order to hear the Selihoth.
All this refers to a mourner going to Synagogue to hear the Selihoth. In his home, however, the mourner is permitted to read the Selihoth by himself. Not only that, but he is also permitted to gather a Minyan in his home, in order to read the Selihoth.
(See Rema, 581:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 32, 34)
ID: eb5a6 No.1710
לא יהיה לך בכיסך אבן ואבן גדולה וקטנה "You shall not have in your pouch, a large weight and a small weight" (Debarim 25:13). This is the prohibition of using weights for weighing, which are deliberately inaccurate, so that the seller can mislead the buyer.
There is a story about the Ben Ish Hai, that once the merchants in the marketplace decided that they wanted to appoint someone who would be an inspector of the weights that they all were using. In this way, they felt, he would ensure that all the merchants were using accurate weights. They went to the holy Ben Ish Hai and asked for his permission to appoint such a person. His answer surprised them. He told them that it was unnecessary, since there was already someone in charge of this.
So the merchants left and searched the entire marketplace for the person who was in charge of the weights. They searched, but could not find him. They went back to the Ben Ish Hai and said that they could not find him. He replied that the meaning of the term "Moznai Sedeq" (scales of righteousness), is that if one's scales are "righteous", there will come a blessing. If not, then it will [eventually] cause a loss. This promise of the Holy One blessed be He, is the best inspector of all.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Ki Thesei, Parparaoth)
ID: eb5a6 No.1711
It says that when Ya'aqob Abinu (Jacob), 'a"h, blesssed Ephraim and Menashe he said (Bereshith 48:20), that Israel would bless their sons by saying, ישימך א' כאפרים וכמנשה "May G-d make you like Ephraim and Menashe". The custom on Friday night is for every man to bless his sons and daughters.
The sons come to him and are blessed that they should be like Ephraim and Menashe and the daughters are blessed that they should be like Sara, Ribqa, Rahel and Leah. This is said together with the Birkath Kohanim (priestly blessing).
The father places both hands on the head of the child when blessing them. Some, however, have the custom of only placing the right hand on their heads. There are Kabbalistic reasons for using both hands (10 fingers), however, each person should do it in accordance with his family's custom. While each child is blessed individually, if the family is blessed with very many children, it can be recited for all of them at one time together.
(See Derekh HaTorah, Shabbath, 6:2. Sefer 'Omes 70)
ID: eb5a6 No.1713
The Pele Yo's writes that there are three things that help to nullify the decree whenever troubles come to a person. They are fasting, voice (prayer) and charity. These are not reserved exclusively for Yom Kippur, but are important at any time. In truth, people today are not able to fast like they did in previous generations, but a fast is considered like bringing a sacrifice in the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple).
Concerning 'voice", it says (Bereshith 27:22), והקול קול יעקב "the voice is the voice of Jacob", and it is what helps the Jewish people in their times of trouble. There are two kinds of "voices". One is the voice of Torah and the other is the voice of prayer and supplication.
The voice of Torah is when one is involved in the study of Torah. It is said that reading the book of Tehillim with intent and subjugation, especially with 10 people, is a powerful remedy to save someone from trouble. In fact, there is a Seghullah (סגולה) that if an entire city is affected, it is good to read the Tehillim which begin with the letters of the name of the city. Of course, one must pour one's soul out to G-d while doing so.
(See Pele Yo'es, Sarah [צרה])
ID: eb5a6 No.1714
The 13th of Elul is the Yahrzeit of the Holy Ben Ish Hai, Rabbenu Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h. The date falls in the middle of the month of Elul, when all our thoughts must be on Teshubah (repentance). He writes in Ben Yehoyada' based on the Gemara of Sanhedrin (98b), that we are the works of G-d's hands and, as it says in the Torah (Bereshith 9:2), "the fear and dread of you shall be on every animal of the earth".
This assumes that a person follows the right path and doesn't sin. When a person sins, the holiness attached to a man leaves him, and his limbs are considered lacking. The net result is that the animals no longer have any fear of the person, because, in their eyes, he has now lowered himself to one of them.
The power of Teshubah (repentance), is very great, however. When the Jewish people repent, they once again regain the status they had previously, and once again become the works of G-d's hands.
(See Shabbath 151b. Ben Yehoyada' 98b)
ID: eb5a6 No.1716
Maran Yosef Qaro, z"l, writes in the Shulhan 'Arukh (Code of Jewish Law), that if a Milah (circumcision) is held on Rosh Hashanah, it should be held between the reading of the Torah and the blowing of the Shofar. The Mo'ed Lekhol Hai comments that if there is only one Synagogue in the town, it is appropriate to perform the Milah between the Torah reading and the Shofar.
This assumes that all those who will be attending the Milah will all be present, since there is only one Synagogue in town. The Ruwah Hayyim states that if one has to wait for others, the Milah should be performed after the prayers. In other words, if the congregation has to wait for guests to arrive from other Synagogues in town, or if the Milah will not be in the Synagogue but in someone's home, it should be held after the prayers.
It would seem that, even according to the opinion of the Mo'ed Lekhol Hai, if there is more than one Synagogue in town, but it is clear that they will not wait for anyone to arrive when the time comes to do the Milah, that they should do it between the Torah reading and the blowing of the Shofar.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 584:4. Mo'ed Lekhol Hai 14. Kaf Hahayyim 584 Oth 27, 28)
ID: eb5a6 No.1717
The Shulhan 'Arukh states that the one who is blowing the Shofar must be standing. This is a Rabbinical enactment which is only hinted at by the Torah. In fact, one should not lean against something when blowing, either.
If, however, the person who was blowing sat while blowing, perhaps he is unable to stand, or for any other reason, he still fulfills his obligation. The reason is because this is not a Torah obligation but only an Asmakhta (something hinted at by the Torah). In any case, if the Thoqea' (the one who is blowing the Shofar), already fulfilled his obligation of Shofar, but is now blowing for a friend, he may blow while seated.
The Rama, z"l, adds that it is customary to blow at the Teba, where the reading takes place. The reason for this is so that its merit will protect us to raise our remembrance up to Him for the good.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 585:1. Birkei Yosef, ibid., 2. kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 5. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 2, 3)
ID: eb5a6 No.1718
ארור אשר לא יקים את דברי התורה הזאת לעשות אותם ואמר כל העם אמן "Cursed is the one who does not uphold the words of this Torah, to do them, and all the people said 'Amen' " (Debarim 27:26). According to the Ramban, upholding and doing the words of the Torah, involves accepting them in one's heart as being true and accepting that there is reward and punishment for one who does and does not keep them, respectively.
He disagrees with the explanation of Rashi, that the people accepted the entire Torah upon themselves, with a curse and an oath. According to the Ramban, it is only when one denies any of the commandments or believes that one of them no longer applies, that he is cursed. If one transgresses, however, even by eating pork or other forbidden creature, or if he does not build a Sukkah or take a Lulab and Ethrogh on Sukkoth, because he is too lazy to do so, he is not cursed.
The reason is because the Torah does not say, "the one who does not perform the words of this Torah", but rather, "one who does not uphold and do the words of this Torah". This implies that it is directed at the rebels and deniers of the Torah.
(See Ramban, Parashath Ki Thabo, 27:26)
ID: eb5a6 No.1719
It is a positive precept to sanctify the Sabbath with words, as it says, זכור את יום השבת לקדשו "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" (Shemoth 20:8). This means that it should be remembered in words and sanctified with wine.
The truth is that the Qiddush recited in the 'Arbith prayer of Friday night, does qualify as Qiddush. Nevertheless, the Hakhamim instituted that it should be recited over wine. It should be noted that there are those who are of the opinion that if one has wine, then the Qiddush recited in 'Arbith is not sufficient, but that Qiddush is required to be recited again over the wine. Others are of the opinion that if one does not have the specific intent to fulfill one's obligation during the 'Arbith prayer, it does not work in any case.
The Hatham Sofer is of the opinion that a person does not fulfill his obligation with the 'Arbith prayer. As such, the Qiddush that is recited over the wine is a Torah obligation.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Bereshith, Oth 10. Derekh HaTorah, Shabbath, 6:5)
ID: eb5a6 No.1720
People often comment that they prayed to G-d in times of trouble, but didn't feel that their prayers were answered. The Pele Yo'es comments that before praying to G-d about one's troubles and difficulties, one needs to have thoughts of Teshubah (repentance).
Not only that, but before laying out his earnest requests, he must mention his confession, regret and that fact that he submits himself to G-d. This is the way that one's prayers become accepted by G-d.
Furthermore, it is not sufficient to only pray to G-d when troubles befall a person. One must pray to G-d to be saved from difficulties, before they even occur. We learn this from Abraham Abinu, 'a"h; on account of his prayers, the Jewish people were saved. One should include in one's prayers a request for future generations also.
(See Pele Yo'es, Sarah [צרה])
ID: eb5a6 No.1722
The Rama, z"l, writes that after each time that the Shofar is blown, the custom is to say, "Hayom Harath 'Olam" (today the world was conceived [born]). This applies to the blowings during the 'Amidah. Sephardim blow during the silent 'Amidah as well as the repetition, and say this silently during the silent 'Amidah, but aloud during the repetition. Ashkenazim only blow during the repetition.
Rabbenu the Rashash (Shar'abi), z"l, says that when we read it and say the words, "whether like sons [or] whether like servants), our bones should tremble. This is because G-d will say, if I am a father, where is my honor? If I am a master, where is the fear of me?
As such, it should be said with a broken heart. Because of this, when it is said aloud during the repetition, it should be read aloud by the congregation first, and then repeated by the Hazan, so that everybody says it.
(See Rama, 592:1. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Nisabim, Oth 22)
ID: eb5a6 No.1723
On most Yamim Tobim (Holy Days), we recite Hallel. On Rosh Hashanah we do not, even though it is also a Rosh Hodesh (first of the month), when we would ordinarily recite (the half) Hallel.
It says in the Gemara of Rosh Hashanah (32b), that the angels said before G-d, "Master of the Universe, why is it that Israel does not recite songs to you on Rosh Hashanah and Yom HaKippurim?". He said to them, "Is it possible that the King is sitting on His throne of judgment with the books of who will live and the books of who will die open before Him, and Israel will sing songs?".
In truth, Rosh Hashanah is a time when we eat a festive meal and are happy, because we have full faith in HQB"H, the Holy One, blessed be He, that He will give us a good judgment. Nevertheless, the Halakha, as brought down in the Shulhan 'Arukh is not to recite Hallel on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 584:1. Mahziq Berakha, 422)
ID: eb5a6 No.1724
Despite the awesomeness and seriousness of Rosh Hashanah, and the fact that we must be extremely careful not to indulge in frivolity and silliness, more so than any other time of the year, it is, nevertheless, considered to be a happy day. Even though there is the potential, Heaven forbid, for the opposite, we, nevertheless, have faith that through our understanding of the depth and meaning of the day and our commitment to do that which is right, we will be blessed with a favorable judgment.
Even though we mentioned that we do not recite Hallel on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-09-12
), the Maghen Abraham, who is brought down by the Hid"a, Mishnah Berurah, Kaf Hahayyim and others, writes that if one reads Tehillim (Psalms) on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, including the ones that make up the Hallel, there is no problem, since they are merely being recited as supplications and not as songs to G-d.
(See Maghen Abraham 584:1. Hida, ibid., Oth 1. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 2. Kaf Hahayyim., Oth 2)
ID: eb5a6 No.1725
ולא אתכם לבדכם אנכי כרת את הברית הזאת ואת האלה הזאת "Not with you alone am I forging this covenant and oath" (Debarim 29:13). It says in Dibrei Mordekhai that, from this verse, we learn the importance of unity. When G-d says, "Not with you alone am I forging this covenant", we can understand it to mean that 'when we are alone', G-d will not forge His covenant. It is only when we are together and united that He will forge His covenant with us.
It says in the Torah (Shemoth 17:8), that 'Amaleq came and fought Israel in Refidim. The name Refidim alludes to other similar words. Firstly, Hazal tell us that this was on account of the fact that the hands of Israel were weakened (Rafu) in Torah. Additionally, Refidim can hint at Meforad (separate), and it was when the Jewish people were separate – not united – 'Amaleq came.
That is why we are told, concerning the receiving of the Torah, that Israel encamped against the mountain "like one person, with one heart". The term "against the mountain" teaches us that when 'Am Yisrael (the Jewish people) are united, they have the help of Heaven and they can even stand against a mountain.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Nisabim, Parparaoth)
ID: eb5a6 No.1726
It is a positive commandment to sanctify Shabbath in words (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-09-08
), but there is a difference of opinion as to how this can be effected. The opinion of Ribbi Aqiba Eiger, z"l, is that when one says "Shabbata Taba" (Shabbath Shalom), one is considered to have sanctified Shabbath with words. Many others disagree, however.
Their opinion is that it is done through mentioning praises, and this is the opinion of the majority of the Rishonim. According to this opinion, one fulfills one's obligation by reciting the Qiddush and, as a result, one automaically mentions praises.
If a person does not mention Shabbath in words, but only in his mind, he enters into an area of debate as to whether he has fulfilled his obligation or not. Additionally, if a person did not mention the words זכר לציאת מצרים (Zekher Lesiath Misrayim) in the Qiddush, he enters into another area of debate as to whether or not he has fulfilled his obligation. We see from this, the importance of reciting Qiddush correctly and with intent.
(See Derekh HaTorah, 6:6, 8, 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1727
When Friday is a יום טוב (Yom Tob), one must make an עירוב תבשילין ('Erub Tabshilin), before the start of the Holiday, to permit one to cook on Friday for Shabbath. The 'Erub may be made with a Berakha (blessing), by a man or a woman. The 'Erub consists of one baked and one cooked food. Commonly, one uses at least 2 oz. of bread or מצה (Massa), and an egg. It is preferable for the bread to be a whole loaf.
If no bread is available, one may make it with just the cooked food. However, if no cooked food is available, it may not be made on the bread alone. Ideally, the food should have been prepared specially for the 'Erub, however, if that is not possible, even store bought canned food is permitted.
One should not use leftovers for the 'Erub Tabshilin, because this is not an honorable way in which to perform the commandment. However, if leftovers are the only food available, they may be used.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Haggim, 14: 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1729
On the first day of Rosh Hashanah we read וה' פקד את שרה (And G-d remembered Sara), because it was on Rosh Hashanah that she was 'remembered'. The Haftarah on the first day is that of Hannah, because she was also remembered on Rosh Hashanah. On the second day we read the continuation of the Parashah, which is עקדת יצחק ('Aqedath Yis-haq - the binding of Isaac).
According to the Ran, the reason for reading it on Rosh Hashanah is so that it will be a remembrance of the binding of Isaac and the ram that was offered instead. The purpose of blowing the Shofar on Rosh Hahanah is for the same reason, since the Shofar is the horn of a ram and reminds both us and G-d of the 'Aqedah.
There is a difference of opinion as to when the 'Aqedah actually took place. It is believed that it took place at Minha time on Yom Kippur, which is the reason for the custom of many, to read the portion of the 'Aqedah at the start of Minha on Yom Kippur. Another opinion is that it took place on Rosh Hashanah, which would be an additional reason to read that specific Torah portion on Rosh Hashanah.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 584, Oth 16, 17)
ID: eb5a6 No.1730
There is no public confession (Widui) on Rosh Hashanah, though according to the Arizal, one should say a private confession between the three sets of תקיות דמיושב (Shofar blowings while seated). These are the ones that are blown at the beginning.
During the entire 40 days, however, of Elul till Yom Kippur, Widui is an essential part of the Teshubah (repentance) process. But it is difficult to understand. Everyone agrees that words cannot undo a deed. If so, how does confessing a sin undo the action that one is confessing to?
The answer is that when a person repents from the very depths of his heart, he becomes like a new creation, and that is the greatest action there could be, which, therefore, has the power to undo a previous action.
(See Rabbenu the Hid"a, Debarim Ahadim)
ID: eb5a6 No.1731
כי מנגד תראה את הארץ "For, from a distance, shall you see the Land" (Debarim 32:52). Previously G-d referred to the land as the Land of Canaan, but in this verse He simply refers to it as "the Land". The reason is because what G-d meant by the "Land", was not only the Land of Israel, which Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, would not be entering before his death, but also the "Land" of the world to come, which he would be entering imminently.
The term את הארץ "the Land", included both Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) on earth and the Yerushalayim in Heaven. Furthermore, the word תראה "you shall see", implies that it is not just the physical eye, but also his mind's eye that would see and understand the Land.
So when the Torah writes מנגד "from a distance/opposite", this could refer to seeing a land which was apart from the land of Canaan. Therefore, it was not enough to rely on the earlier verse stating that he would not enter there, but it was also necessary to specify the land "which I shall give to the Children of Israel", to tell Moses that this was the only land that he would not enter. The world to come would be waiting for him.
(See Rabbenu Bahyei on the Torah Ebarim 35:52)
ID: eb5a6 No.1735
Some have the custom on the night of Yom Kippur, to read the entire book of Tehillim (Psalms). During the day they read it again for a second time. It is an important סגולה (Seghullah - protection) for the atonement of the soul and to nullify all harsh decrees.
When reading the Tehillim, one should read them from start to finish without any interruption, with the Ta'amim (tune) and in a pleasant manner. When one reads them correctly, one creates an angel who will act in the person's defence.
It is good for the men to recite the first four chapters of Tehillim, after 'Arbith. They should also endeavor to study some Torah, before going to sleep, so that they will fall asleep in the midst of words of Torah. Additionally, in the Synagogue, it is good to read Adra Rabba and Zota, as well as the Mishnah and Gemara of Yoma. If one does not read them in the Synagogue, they may also be read at home.
(See Maamar Mordekhi [Eliyahu], Hagim, 46:64, 65, 66)
ID: eb5a6 No.1738
When examining one's deeds during the 10 days of repentance, if there is a doubt as to whether something is a transgression, one has to do more Teshubah (repentance) than for a definite transgression. The reason is that a person has more regret when he knows for sure that he sinned, than when he doesn't know. That is why the corresponding sacrifice (Qorban Asham Talui) was more expensive than the one for a definite transgression (Hattath).
A Talmid Hakham (Torah scholar) needs to be more careful than one who is not. The greater a person is than his neighbor, the greater his evil inclination is and his accidental transgressions are considered to be deliberate ones.
One who is honored more than he deserves, and especially if the person seeks honor, must know that he will be punished in the future over this and that it will take away from his 'Olam HaBa (portion in the world to come). It is said that if a person is praised for something he does not deserve, he should be worried. Therefore, everyone should humble himself and hope that Heaven will be merciful to him and he will merit to receive 'Olam HaBa.
(See Rama 603:1. Kaf HaHayyim, ibid., Oth 8 and 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1741
Even though washing one's body is forbidden on Yom Kippur, nevertheless, Netilath Yadayim (the ritual washing of one's hands), in the morning after waking, is required. The difference is that one may only wash one's hands up to the knuckles closest to the wrist and not up to the wrist, as is done on other days. It is appropriate to have in mind that the washing is for the purpose of removing the evil spirit that rests on them at night, and not for pleasure. The same applies to Netilath Yadayim after the bathroom.
If there is dirt on one's body, including in one's eyes when one wakes up, one may wash the dirty area only. Care must be taken not to allow the washing to extend beyond the area which is dirty. Again, it is appropriate to have in mind that the washing is for the purpose of cleanliness and not for pleasure.
Washing or rinsing one's mouth in the morning to get rid of the bad taste or smell, is forbidden. One is not permitted to swish water or mouthwash in one's mouth, or chew spices or gum, even if one spits it out immediately, and even if one's head was facing down all the time so as not to swallow any of it.
(See Ner LeSion, Yom HaKippurim, 11:14-16)
ID: eb5a6 No.1748
According to the Shulhan 'Arukh, Habdalah is made on a cup of wine at the conclusion of Yom Kippur, but there is no blessing on Besamim (spices), even if Yom Kippur falls on Shabbath. The Mishnah Berurah comments that many Aharonim disagreed with the Shulhan 'Arukh.
In Rab Pe'alim, Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, writes that since many are of the opinion that one should recite the blessing of Besamim, it would appear that it is preferable to recite the blessing on the wine and then afterwards recite the blessing on the Besamim.
Since, however, those who say not to recite the blessing, include such important sources such as the Rambam, the Kolbo and the Shulhan 'Arukh, and that, according to them it would constitute a Hefseq (interruption), he adds that it is good to be concerned about their opinion. Therefore, one should recite the blessing of Besamim on the spices, after concluding the Habdalah.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 624:3. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 5. Rab Pe'alim 3:38)
ID: eb5a6 No.1751
It is forbidden to touch food for no reason on Yom Kippur. However, if little children require to be fed, one is permitted to touch the food in order to give it to them. Wherever possible, the mothers should feed them.
On Pesah (Passover), it is forbidden to touch חמץ (Hames - leaven), because we are concerned that one may accidentally come to eat it. The reason why, on Yom Kippur we are not concerned that if they touch the food they might come to accidentally eat it, or drink the liquids, is because the fear of the judgment is upon them.
In the absence of the reason of having to feed the children, however, one may not touch food at all on Yom Kippur. In such a case we need to be concerned that one may accidentally come to eat from it.
(See Rama, 612: 10. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 54, 44-46)
ID: eb5a6 No.1756
When the מצורע (Mesora' - one who is afflicted with spiritual type of leprosy), wishes to cleanse himself, he has to wash his clothes, shave all his hair, bathe in water and then he becomes clean (see Wayyiqra 14:8). We can learn from this the manner in which a person cleanses himself of the sins he has committed.
When washing clothes that are soiled, the first wash takes off most of the mud and grime, however, some still remains. When washing a second time, the rest of the dirt comes off but there is a discoloration which can still be seen. Removing it requires a lot of scrubbing or bleaching.
So it is with purifying our sins. As soon as a person confesses his sins and truly regrets them, with the intention of abandoning them altogether, the major transgressions are discarded. However, the more subtle sins still remain. These ones require a much greater effort in order to cleanse oneself of them.
Additionally, the requirement to bathe in water, teaches us that just like water always seeks to descend to the lowest level, so too we must seek to be the most humble. In this way our repentance is accepted more easily.
(See Ben Ish Hai Derushim, Mesora')
ID: eb5a6 No.1766
The Rama, z"l, mentions that one may not do any lowly or menial tasks in the Sukkah. The Mishnah Berurah explains that this includes washing pots and pans, but adds that washing cups would be permitted.
The Ben Ish Hai's opinion is somewhat different. He comments that one may not wash utensils in the Sukkah, even if it is only one utensil, as is mentioned by the Ahronim. He adds, however, that those very small cups that some use for coffee (such as for Turkish coffee), may be washed, provided it is only one cup.
The Mishnah Berurah does not appear to make any distinction regarding the size of cup and would also appear to be more flexible in terms of how many cups may be washed. The Ben Ish Hai appears to hold that no more than one cup may be washed and that it has to be a very small one. Obviously, washing all utensils outside the Sukkah, alleviates all problems.
(See Rama, 639:1. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 9. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Haazinu, Oth 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1770
One must give a stern warning to those who wish to be extra pious and check the Lulab to see if the head is closed. While they are checking, they end up splitting the leaves of the seller's Lulab. As a result, they cause damages to the seller and, effectively, steal from him.
One might think that, on the contrary, it is a meritorious act to be meticulous and thoroughly check the Lulab. In fact, one who causes damage to the Lulab and, by extension, the seller, loses more than he gains.
A Lulab that is fully closed is considered to be the the choicest way of performing the commandment, however, it is not a strict requirement. Stealing, on the other hand, is a Torah prohibition. As such, when a person checks the Lulab, he must be extremely careful not to damage it. If he does, he must pay the vendor.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Haggim, 52:41)
ID: eb5a6 No.1771
According to the Shulhan 'Arukh, when shaking the Lulab, one should move towards the right, going East, South, West and North. The Mishnah Berurah writes that this is the common custom in Ashkenazi lands. Moving to the right applies irrespective of whether one is right handed or left handed.
He writes further, that it is not necessary to turn one's face to the direction that one is pointing the Lulab in, but that it is sufficient to point the Lulab in that direction, doing it over one's shoulder when pointing West. The custom according to the Ari, z"l, is different, however.
His order of shaking, which is followed by Sephardim and those who shake the Lulab according to the Sod (Kabbalistic teachings), is to shake the Lulab in the following directions: South, North, East, Up, Down, West. In this case, one turns one's whole body to face the direction the Lulab is pointing in. When saying the Berakha (blessing), however, one should face East.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 651:10. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 47. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 96, 103. Yafeh Laleb, ibid., 10)
ID: eb5a6 No.1772
ולקחתם לכם ביום הראשון "And you shall take for yourselves on the first day [the four species]" (Wayyiqra 23:40). The Midrash (Wayyiqra Rabba 30) tells us that "the first day" refers to the first day that our sins are calculated.
As we know, carrying the four species is a sign of our emergence meritoriously from the judgment on Yom Kippur. The way of the world is that when one emerges successfully from a court case, it is a cause for immediate celebration and the person feels he can now relax. How different are the Jewish people! After emerging successfully from Yom Kippur, they immediately set to work to perform more of G-d's beckoning and commandments. We are busy with building a Sukkah, selecting and buying the four species and generally preparing for the Holiday.
Not only do the Jewish people not sin at that time, but neither does G-d take note of their transgressions. The first day that G-d starts noting the sins of the Jewish people, is the 15th of Tashri. And what are the Jewish people doing then? They are busy doing Miswoth on the first day of Sukkoth.
(See Sefer HaToda'ah, Sukkoth)
ID: eb5a6 No.1777
The word Akh (אך - only) in the phrase והיית אך שמח "you shall be only happy" (Debarim 16:15), has a numerical value of 21. This comes to tell us that we must be happy till the 21st day of Tashri, which is the last day of Sukkoth, which is Hosha'na Rabba.
The Mishnah Berurah states that it is the custom to be awake on the night of Hosha'na Rabba doing the published Seder. I have always wondered why it is that the majority of Ashkenazim do not follow the Mishnah Berurah in this matter. The custom of staying up all night on Hosha'na Rabba is widespread, however, among Sephardim.
As mentioned previously, it is appropriate for women to also stay up on this night, wherever possible, since the Tiqqun applies to them also. This is in contrast to the reason for staying up on the night of Shabu'oth, which is not relevant to women.
(See Rabben Bahya on the torah, Debarim 16:15. Mishnah Berurah, 664:1. Ben Ish Hai, 1st Year, Wezoth HaBerakha, Oth 1-3)
ID: eb5a6 No.1781
On Simhath Torah we must be happy that we have had the merit to complete the Torah. Some have the custom of lighting many candles in the Synagogue, night and day, in honor of the Torah. Even though we do not ordinarily dance on Yom Tob, we are permitted to do so on Simhath Torah, because it is in honor of the Torah.
What is key, however, is that one must have in mind that all the celebrations are for the sake of Heaven. One must take extreme care not to mix in with this holy rejoicing, any hint of silliness or improper behavior. Rather, one must "rejoice, but with trembling".
We are told about King David, that he danced before the Torah, with all his might, and and clapped one hand over the other. This is the basis of the custom we follow in Simhath Torah.
(See Rama 669:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 19-21, 23)
ID: eb5a6 No.1782
In the 'Amidah prayer on all Holidays, the name of the Festival must be mentioned. There is a difference of opinion as to how one needs to refer to Shemini 'Asereth. The Shulhan 'Arukh says that we must say את שמיני חג העצרת הזה (Eth Shemini Hagh Ha'asereth HaZeh). The Rama says that in Ashkenazi lands the custom is not to mention the word חג (Hagh - festival), because nowhere is it refered to as a festival. Instead, says the Rama, one should say, יום שמיני עצרת (Yom Shemini 'Asereth).
The Mishnah Berura quotes different opinions for Ashkenazim. He refers to the Peri Maghadim who says that one should say עצרת ('Asereth) without the letter Heh (ה) at the beginning, and also quotes the opinion of the Rashal and the Taz who write that one should say שמיני עצרת חג הזה (Shemini 'Asereth Hagh HaZeh).
The Ben Ish Hai's opinion is that one should say את יום חג שמיני עשרת הזה (Eth Yom Hagh Shemini 'Asereth HaZeh). While there are multiple opinions in this matter, as in all cases, each one should do whatever his custom is.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama 668:1. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 3. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Wezoth HaBerakha, Oth 12)
ID: eb5a6 No.1784
ויהי ערב ויהי בקר יום שלישי "It was evening, it was morning, the third day" (Bereshith 1:13). How do we understand what the Torah is saying? Light had not yet been introduced as of the third day. It was only on the fourth day that G-d created luminaries to separate between day and night.
Rabbenu Bahyei comments that it is the setting of the sun that causes it to become evening, and the rising of the sun in the morning which causes it to become day. He adds that if the Torah, nevertheless, does use the terms 'evening' and 'morning', then they must exist in a different sense.
In fact, it is the position of the planets that determined morning and evening. It is the position of the planets every 24 hours that determines what time of day it is. This is what the Torah appears to be referring to on the third day. From the next day however, the terms morning and evening are used in the manner we understand them to be nowadays.
(See Rabbenu Bahya on the Torah, Bereshith 1:13)
ID: eb5a6 No.1788
The Pele Yo'es writes that there is no greater misfortune than the affliction of the soul. A person should pray proactively and call out to G-d to be with him in times of trouble. He should ask G-d to help him to fight the evil inclination, to be saved from arrogance, anger, theft, deception, forbidden speech and anything that is forbidden.
He should also pray that he will recite his prayers and blessings with appropriate devotion. He should pray to G-d that he will be a righteous person and be spared from suffering. Prayers bear fruit and keep a person on his guard.
One must remember that giving charity brings relief. Charity nullifies evil decrees and gives life to one who dispenses it. When a person gives charity, he should make his troubles known, and those who receive his charity should pray for him that he will be saved from his troubles. Through this he will receive relief and salvation.
ID: eb5a6 No.1790
The Shulhan 'Arukh writes that when one recites the Shema', one must do so with intent, fear and trembling, and it is important to make a point of doing so. When we say the words אשר אנוכי מצוך היום (Asher Anokhi Mesawwekha HaYom - that I command you today), we must understand that we are commanded that the Torah commandments must be to us like they are something new, that we have a desire to hear. It should not be like something that we have heard previously, on multiple occasions and, therefore, we are not that interested anymore.
The Yerushalmi states (Berakhoth 1, 5) that there is a hint in the three sections of the Shema', to the 10 commandments. Furthermore, as we know, there are 248 words (together with the words that are repeated), which correspond to the 248 limbs of the body. From this we can understand that when a person reads the Shema' the way it is meant to be read, his 248 limbs are protected by Heaven.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 61:1, 2. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., 3)
ID: eb5a6 No.1791
The first verse of the Shema' is a proclamation of the oneness of G-d. As we know, the letter ע ('Ahn) of the word Shema' and the letter ד (Dahl) of the word Ehad, in the first verse of Shema' Yisrael, are enlarged. They make up the word עד ('Ed - witness). But what exactly do they bear witness to?
They bear witness to our acceptance of that which is stated in the Shema', that G-d is One. Additionally, the word Shema' (שמע) is an acronym of the words שאו למרום עיניכם (raise your eyes to Heaven), and also שדי מלך עולם (G-d is the King of the world). In reverse they are an acronym for עול מלכות שמים (yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven).
When we separate the letters ע ('Ahn) and ד (Dahl), in order to make up the word "witness", we are left with the letters שמאח. When rearranged, they spell the word אשמח (Esmah - I will rejoice). From this we can learn that when a person testifies to the oneness of הקב"ה (the Holy One blessed be He), his happiness will be great.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 61, Oth 4. Qisur R' Rafael Baruch Toledano, 52:5)
ID: eb5a6 No.1793
We mentioned that the Shulhan 'Arukh writes that when one recites the Shema', one must do so with intent and trembling. It is brought down in the Kaf Hahayyim that a person should be very concerned about the numerous times that he did not do so.
The truth is that the Shema' is the first Pasuq (verse) that most Jewish children learn, and, coupled with the fact that we recite it multiple times every day, it tends to become second nature. As such, concentrating on what one is saying often falls by the wayside and one recites it almost absentmindedly.
On account of this, a person must actually make a rectification and Teshubah, for having done this. Obviously, going forward, every person should take great care to, at the very least, have the meaning of the words that one is reciting, clearly in mind.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 61:1, 2. Kaf Hahayyim, 61, Oth 7)
ID: eb5a6 No.1795
נח איש צדיק תמים היה בדרתיו "Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his generations" (Bereshith 10:1). A person must toil in his efforts to ensure that his physical being serves G-d. On the other hand, when praying to G-d, there should be no physical interference, meaning, that all his service to G-d during prayer, should be the intent (Kawwanah) of his heart. Unfortunately, all too often, the physical side of a person is preoccupied and wrapped up in the desires of this world and his heart and mind are confused and unable to function clearly.
It says in 'Od Yosef Hai, that in order to counteract this, he has to make a great effort, with all kinds of movements in his body, when he stands to pray, in order to chase away all the foreign thoughts. Such a person, even if he succeeds in praying with the proper intent, is not considered completely righteous (צדיק - Saddiq). The reason is that his great movements demonstrate that he is immersed in the emptiness of this world and far from holiness (Qedusha).
On the other hand, there are those who can stand to pray with complete concentration and do not need to make movements to assist them, because their hearts are devoid of any foreign thoughts. One who is able to do this is called completely righteous (צדיק שלם).
(See 'Od Yosef Hai, Parashath Nowah)
ID: eb5a6 No.1796
If someone separates food from Pesoleth (waste) with his hand on Shabbath, to eat in the evening, the Halakha is that he has to bring a sin offering. The reason is that one is only permitted to do this to eat it at the current meal. The question is whether, if he changes his mind and decides to eat it right away, he would still have to bring a sin offering, or would he now become exempt.
It says in Rab Pe'alim that it makes a difference whether this occurred on Shabbath or on Yom Tob. On Shabbath he would be considered guilty on account of the fact that the Torah forbade Melekheth Mahshebeth (a Melakha performed with thought/purpose). A subsequent change in thought, does not help. For example, if someone turns on a light on Shabbath and subsequently turns it off, the second act does not nullify the first and, on the contrary, he has performed two transgressions.
On Yom Tob, however, there is a concept of הויל ("since". Since maybe guests will come on the holiday, one is permitted to cook during the day for that eventuality). The concept of הויל (since), therefore, has the effect of nullifying the original act, on Yom Tob.
(See Rab Pe'alim, O.H., Derekh HaTorah)
ID: eb5a6 No.1798
Based on what we have mentioned, the reading of the Shema' requires one's full concentration, as if one is saying it for the first time, every time. We need to ask G-d for His help to perform this and all other Miswoth (commandments), correctly, in accordance with how they are required to be done.
The Gemara of Berakhoth (63b) comments on the Pasuq (verse), הסכת ושמע ישראל היום הזה נהיית לעם "Pay heed and hear O Israel, on this day have you become a nation". It sounds as if this was the day the Torah was given to the Jewish people but, in fact, it was forty years later.
What we learn from this is that the Torah is so dear to those who study it every day, that every day is like the day the Torah was given to the Jewish people at Har Sinai. Based on this, if someone reads the Shema' morning and evening, every day, but one day he (deliberately) did not read it, it is similar to one who never read it.
(See Kaf Hahayyim 61, Oth 7, 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1802
Our Rabbis of blessed memory tell us that the verse, הסכת ושמע ישראל היום הזה נהיית לעם "Pay heed and hear O Israel, on this day have you become a nation" (Debarim 27:9), gives us sound advice on how to serve G-d.
When a person has to perform a commandment every day of his life, it may seem overwhelming. What he should say to himself is that it is only for that day. That way it will seem easy to do and not appear to be a heavy burden.
On the following day, he should tell himself the same thing, that it is only for that day. He should do this again on the day after that and keep saying it day after day, until it becomes second nature and will no longer feel like a yoke on his shoulders. In this way he will be able to perform the Miswoth (commandments), with the help of Heaven.
(See Kaf Hahayyim 61, Oth 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1803
I was once walking through a closeout store in Pennsylvania. There were signs all around the store, which read, "If you see something you like, buy it now! It may not be here tomorrow". People were grabbing the merchandise, taking no chances that they would not find them again. When it comes to performing the Miswoth (commandments), we tend often to think that if we don't do it today it will always be available tomorrow.
But this is not always true. Sometimes the opportunity does not present itself again. And even if it does, we lost the opportunity and reward of doing it today also. More than that, our Rabbis of blessed memory tell us that we must not say, "Tomorrow I will pray with intent. Tomorrow I will set aside a fixed time to study Torah. Tomorrow I will start this or that Miswah". Rather, a person must say to himself that he only has this day and this moment in which to do it.
What if tomorrow comes and he, himself, is no longer in this world? In view of this, a person must make every effort to grab the opportunity to perform a good deed, as if it is precious merchandise which will not be there tomorrow, or even in the next few moments.
(See Kaf Hahayyim 61, Oth 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1806
How one scolds children can have a lasting effect, positive or negative, and one must be very careful to do it correctly. There is a parable told in the name of the Ben Ish Hai about a lion tamer who had a lion that he trained who used to lie at his feet. One day, the lion yawned loudly and his trainer smelled a bad odor which emanated from his mouth.
Lions do not eat herbs or grass, but only meat, and as a result, their breath smells terrible. The lion tamer said gruffly to the lion, "What a horrible smell there is in your mouth!" This lion was very advanced and asked the tamer for a knife. When he got it, he cut one of his paws and blood poured from the wound. The next day he asked for a knife again and did the same thing, and did so for four days till all his paws had been cut.
A week later the lion showed his trainer his wounds which had healed completely. "You see", he said, "these physical wounds have healed by themselves. However, the emotional wound that you inflicted upon me with your comment about my horrible odor, will remain with me forever".
When scolding our children, we must be careful not to inflict any spiritual wounds, Heaven forbid, but, on the contrary, use words that will encourage them to do that which is right.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Noah, Parparaoth, incl. story by H' Menashe Shelaw)
ID: eb5a6 No.1807
אם מחוט ועד שרוך נעל ואם אקח מכל אשר לך (Bereshith 14:23). Abraham Abinu, 'a"h, tells the king of Sedom (Sodom), that from a thread to a shoe strap, he will not take anything from him. Raba (Rava) says in the Gemara of Hullin (88b-89a), that in the merit of him saying this, his descendants were rewarded with two commandments: the thread of Tekheleth on the fringes of the Tallith and the straps of Tefillin.
Through the performance of the commandment of Tefillin, a man shows his faith in G-d. The strings of the ציצית (Sisith - fringes), hint at the 613 commandments. According to Rashi's interpretation, the numerical value of the word ציצית (Sisith) in Gematria is 600. The fringes on each corner have 4 threads which are folded over for a total of 8, and have 5 sets of knots. Together they total 613, which is the number of commandments.
G-d is saying to Abraham Abinu, 'a"h, that since he placed his trust in G-d, in return, G-d will take the basic words that he said, "from a thread to a shoe strap", and give his sons two very important Miswoth (commandments).
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Lekh Lekha, Parparaoth, 14:23)
ID: eb5a6 No.1809
The Anshei Keneseth HaGedolah (Men of the Great Assembly) instituted that we must recite Attah Honantanu in the 'Amidah of Mosei (the conclusion of) Shabbath. If one forgot to say it and already said G-d's Name at the end of the blessing of Attah Honantanu, even if he did not complete the blessing, one does not repeat the 'Amidah or the blessing. Not only that, but one does not even add the portion of Attah Honantanu in the blessing of Shomeya' Tefillah.
This assumes, however, that the person knows that he will be reciting the Habadalah on a cup of wine after that. If he does not have a cup of wine, and will not have one even on the next day, then he should add the portion in Shomeya' Tefillah. If he forgot to add it in Shomeya' Tefillah also, he must repeat the 'Amidah and say "Attah Honantanu".
The exception to the rule is Tish'ah BeAb. If one forgot to say it in the 'Amidah, either in the correct place or in Shomeya' Tefillah, one does not repeat the 'Amidah, even though one will not be saying Habdalah with wine at night or the next day. The reason is that after Tish'ah BeAb is over, he will recite Habdalah with a cup. He must take care, however, before doing any Melakha (forbidden Sabbath labor), to say "Barukh HaMabdil Ben Qodesh LeHol" without G-d's Name and Kingdom (Shem Umalkhuth).
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 294:2-4. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Wayyesei, Oth 2, 3. Maghen Abraham 294:3. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 3)
ID: eb5a6 No.1811
When you hear people say, "I died of embarrassment", is it really an exaggeration? It says in the Gemara of Baba Mesiah (58b) that embarrassing one's fellow man publicly is equated to shedding blood. The blood leaves a man's face when he is embarrassed and he turns pale (later on it turns red). This is the equivalent of shedding blood.
It says in the Gemara of Yoma (86a) that there are some sins for which repentance on Yom Kippur only puts the atonement in abeyance. It is only when the person dies that they are actually forgiven.
Therefore, if a person is embarrassed by his transgressions and fully repents, it is considered as if he repented and died and his sins are forgiven. As it says in the Gemara of Berakhoth, if one commits a transgression and is ashamed by it, all his sins are forgiven.
(See Baba Mesiah 58b. Yoma 86a. Berakhoth 12b. Sefer Ben Yehoyada')
ID: eb5a6 No.1813
Throughout the prayers, one must be particular about reading the words and sentences correctly. This is particularly relevant when reading the Shema'. Ribbi Hama Ben Hanina says in the Gemara of Berakhoth (15b), something astonishing, that whoever reads the Shema' and is particular about its letters, (to read them correctly), will have Gehinnam (hell) cooled for him.
When reading the Shema', joining the last letter of some words with the first letter of the following word, can change the meaning. Pausing in the wrong place within a sentence or joining words that require a pause between them, can also change the meaning.
One must, therefore, read the Shema' slowly and deliberately and fight the temptation to rush through it. The reason why our Rabbis of blessed memory tell us that Gehinnam is cooled for one who is particular about the reading of the Shema' is precisely because the nature of a person is to rush through the reading. When he reverses his nature and reads it in a calm and precise manner, ensuring that all the letters are said correctly, measure for measure, hell reverses its nature and cools down for him.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh Orah Hayyim 61:5, 22. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., 56)
ID: eb5a6 No.1815
When reciting the Shema', one must pause a little between "Le'olam wa'ed" at the end of Berukh Shem, and the word "We-ahabta", to make a separation between the acceptance of the Kingdom of Heaven and the performance of the other Miswoth (commandments). When saying the verse of "We-ahabta", one should have the intent to accept the positive commandment of loving G-d, and this is one of the 248 positive commandments.
One should also pause in the first verse between the word "Yisrael" and the word "Hashem", and between "Elokenu" and "Hashem", so that the meaning will be, "Hear O Israel, for the L-rd who is our G-d, He is one L-rd".
In fact, one should also pause between the first verse of "Shema' Yisrael" and the second, that of "Barukh Shem", (i.e., between "Ehad" and "Barukh"), because the essential part of accepting the Kingdom of Heaven, is in the first verse.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 61:14. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 48)
ID: eb5a6 No.1817
When one reaches the phrase "Hayom, 'Al Lebabekha" (today, on your hearts), in the Shema', one must take care to pause between the words "Hayom" and "'Al Lebabekha". The reason is that it should not appear as if one is saying, "we only have to love G-d today and not tomorrow", or, "the commandments only need to be in one's heart".
The word "Nishba' " must have the letter ע' ('Ahn) pronounced correctly. If it is pronounced like a ה' (Heh), it changes the meaning from "G-d swore" to "was captured", Heaven forbid.
When saying the word "Tizkeru", one should pronounce the letter ז' (Zahn) clearly, so that it should be obvious that it means "remember" and not "Tishqeru", or "Tiskeru", which would make it appear that we are only serving G-d in order to receive a reward. So too, when saying "Uzkhartem", one must be particular about pronouncing the letter ז' (Zahn) clearly and correctly.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 61:15, 16. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 32)
ID: eb5a6 No.1820
זעקת סדם ועמרה כי־רבה וחטאתם כי כבדה מאד "The outcry from Sedom an 'Amorah (Sodom and Gemorrah) is great, and their sin has become very serious" (Bereshith 18:20). There appears to be a repetition of the idea in this verse. The holy Ben Ish Hai says in Addereth Eliyahu that the reason for the repetition is that when there is a bitter outcry, it can come for two reasons.
If a person is robbed of a small amount of money, his outcry would not be very great. But if he is robbed daily, so that eventually the amount becomes substantial, then his screams would be very loud. Another example would be if a person was robbed once, but of a substantial amount of money. Even if no other harm befell him, he would still scream out loudly.
In Sedom, both offences were committed. They stole vast amounts of money and did so daily. When the Pasuq says, "The outcry from Sedom an 'Amorah (Sodom and Gemorrah) is great", this refers to the fact that it was done daily. And so that one should not say that the amounts were small, the Torah adds, "their sin has become very serious", to let us know that the amounts were large and thus, they were judged on both accounts.
(See Addereth Eliyahu, Wayyera, 18:20)
ID: eb5a6 No.1822
The holy Zohar tells us that when Shabbath ends, large bands of evil spirits fly around the world. It is on this account that we recite the Mizmor (Psalm) "Yosheb Besether 'Elyon" after the 'Amidah at the conclusion of Shabbath, because it has the power to ward off these spirits. The Zohar tells us that when they see the holy people reciting prayers, psalms and Habdalah, they flee.
Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, writes in Ben Ish Hai that the evil spirits are chased away in three stages. The first is during the Habdalah recited in the 'Amidah. This has the power to uproot the inner strength of these harmful spirits. When reciting the Mizmor after it, the middle power is uprooted and removed.
Finally Habdalah is recited loudly (over the cup of wine). This has the effect of uprooting the external power of the spirits. At this point, their strength has been completely removed and they flee to the wilderness, as is explained by the Zohar.
(See Zohar, Bereshith, pg. 14b., Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Wayyesei, Oth 4)
ID: eb5a6 No.1825
It says in the Gemara (Sukkah 56b), "Woe to the wicked one, woe to his neighbor". If we take the letters in the Hebrew alphabet, for wicked (רשע), and then take the letters that come immediately after them, we get the word "partner" (שתף). This tells us effectively, "Woe to the wicked one, woe to his partner".
Additionally, the word for "woe" in Hebrew – "Oy" (אוי), has the same numerical value in Gematria as the word for "good" – Tob (טוב). A person has a choice where to live. If he chooses a home which is adjacent to one who is wicked, he is effectively making the statement that there is no benefit to be obtained by living next to a righteous person. In other words, no good emanates from one who is righteous. This causes him to lose the "good" and have it replaced by "woe".
Furthermore, it also indicates a rejection of the position that what one Jew does, affects another. For this he discovers the concept of "woe to the wicked one, woe to his neighbor".
(See Ben Yehoyada', Sukkah 56b)
ID: eb5a6 No.1827
When reading the first words of Shema' Yisrael, one must be particular to pronounce the letter Yod of "Yisrael" correctly. Some people have the tendency to incorrectly pronounce the Yod as an Aleph, or to swallow it, and say "Shema' Issrael". Similarly, the Yod in the word "Wahayu" should be emphasized correctly so that it does not sound like "Wehau".
There are some Hebrew speakers who drop the letter Heh and pronounce it like an Aleph. Care must be taken to avoid this and to say it correctly.
This rule applies across the board when reading the Shema'. One must be careful not to swallow any letter, or to pronounce it like another letter. For instance, those who pronounce the letter Beh (Beth) without a Daghesh as a "V", must be particular not to pronounce it in "We-Ahabta" as "Ahafta", and instead of "Nafshekha", "Navshekha". Similarly one must not swallow the Alef in "Me-odekha" say "Modekha", and so on.
(Shulhan 'Arukh 61:18. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 32)
ID: eb5a6 No.1829
A situation that arises regularly in the Shema' that requires much attention, is when a word ends with a Meem Sofith (ם) and the following word begins with an Aleph (א). This occurs multiple times, as in וְשַׂמְתֶּם אֶת (Wesamtem Eth) and וּקְשַׁרְתֶּם אֹתָם (Uqshartem Otham) and וּזְכַרְתֶּם אֶת (Uzkhartem Eth) and וְלִמַּדְתֶּם אֹתָם (Welimmadetem Otham), and וּרְאִיתֶם אֹתוֹ (Urithem Otho), and וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם (Wa'asithem Otham).
One must be very careful to have a short pause between the words. If one does not have a separation between the two words, the last letter of the first word and the first letter of the second word will form either the word "Motham", which means their death, or "Meth" which means dead, Heaven forbid.
Additionally, it is appropriate to read the Shema' with the Ta'amim (cantillation notes). It is correct to do so whenever Torah verses are used in the prayer, and in the case of the Shema', the correct emphasis that comes from doing so, also affects the meaning. This is the custom of Sephardim. While most Ashkenazim do not read the Shema' with the Ta'amin, there are some who are particular to do so.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 61:21, 24)
ID: eb5a6 No.1832
The Shulhan 'Arukh brings down as Halakha that one must be very particular about the rules of the Daghesh, when it emphasizes a letter and when it has to be pronounced more softly. One has to be careful about the Shewa Na' and Nah, and the rules pertaining to Tenu'ah Qetannah and Gedolah, which also affect them.
Regrettably, the majority of people are not careful about it, indeed, are unaware of the rules and regularly pronounce the opposite way. Unfortunately, they often go on to teach children who also learn to read the words incorrectly. It is very important to find someone who is an expert in the rules of reading and to learn from him.
It is not only during the recitation of the Shema' that it is important to read all the words correctly. Even during the rest of the prayer, including the Pesuqei Dezimra, one must strive to read in accordance with all the rules. Hazzanim must be particular to read correctly at all times, especially when reading from the Torah.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 61:23. Kaf Hahayyim ibid., 61)
ID: eb5a6 No.1846
Even though we say that one who recites the Shema' in his mind alone, with no sound emanating from his mouth, has not fulfilled his obligation of reading the Shema', nevertheless, if he is unable to read it aloud because he is ill, or for some other reason out of his control, he does fulfill his obligation.
As a matter of fact, he should read it in his mind only, even initially, if he is in an unclean place, assuming that he is unable to clean it (or go elsewhere). This is considered to be "Oness" (being out of one's control). If one is able to read it again later in a clean place, before the time for its recitation has passed, one should do so.
If, however, the place is not just unclean, but contains actual filth of the type where one is forbidden to even think of words of Torah, then one may not recite the Shema' in one's mind. In such a case, if the person desires to recite the Shema' and is pained at not being able to do so, G-d considers it as if he had recited it.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 62:4. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid, Oth 8. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1847
When the Hazzan says Shema' Yisrael, he must say it loudly so that the congregants will hear and that together they will make the Name of Heaven rule. This is in accordance with what is written in the Midrash (Shir HaShirim, Rabb, 8:19), that when the Jewish people enter the Synagogue and read the Shema' in unison, the Holy One blessed be He says that He and His hosts, "listen to your voice, let me hear it", as it says in Shir HaShirim (8:13).
When the people do not read the Shema' together, the Ruwah HaQodesh (Holy Spirit) cries aloud and says, "Run away, my beloved" (Shir Hashirim 8:14). It says further that when the Jewish people read the Shema' together, as with one mouth, with one voice and one tone, G-d's holy presence says, "Let me hear your voice".
If someone who is not praying with the congregation, is present when they say "Shema' Yisrael", he must say it with them. However, he should have in mind not to fulfill his obligation with that reading, so that he can say it again later, with the blessings, when he reads it as part of his daily obligation.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 62: 5. Beur Halakha. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 12)
ID: eb5a6 No.1850
וַיִּצְעַק צְעָקָה גְּדֹלָה וּמָרָה עַד מְאֹד וַיֹּאמֶר לְאָבִיו בָּרֲכֵנִי גַם אָנִי אָבִי "[Esau] cried a great and bitter cry and said to his father, 'Bless me also, my Father' " (Bereshith 27:34). It says in Dibrei Mordekhai that it seems very strange that when Esau found out that his brother Jacob had taken the blessing before him, that he cried out and wanted to be blessed. Esau was so wicked, that he did everything that the Torah forbade, so why would he care to receive a blessing?
He answers that even sinners know G-d, and know also that the righteous have power to their blessings. However, they desire to remain on the path that they have chosen and go after the desires of their hearts and the world. It is not a contradiction to them, that despite this, they wish to receive a blessing.
He equates this to those who drive on Shabbath. They know well that it is a Torah prohibition to do so. Nevertheless, they will carry with them a Qameya' (amulet), which contains a holy blessing of protection. This is the explanation of Esau's request. He had no intention of correcting his ways, but still wanted to collect a blessing.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Toldoth, Parparaoth)
ID: eb5a6 No.1853
Part of honoring Shabbath is increasing the amount one spends for Sabbath and the variety of good foods that one prepares. All this must be in accordance with what a person can afford. If a person doesn't have any cash available, but has items he can borrow against, he should do so and have faith that G-d will find him a way to pay it back. About this Razal tell us that G-d says, "Borrow on my account and I will pay back".
If, however, the person doesn't even have items he can borrow against, he should not borrow on the basis that G-d will repay. Since he doesn't have anything, he has absolutely no obligation to increase the amount he spends for Shabbath, beyond what he can afford.
What he should do, instead, is minimize his expenditure during the week, so that he can honor Shabbath to the best of his ability. Any person who is in difficult financial straits, who does this, will get ample reward.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Lekh Lekha, Oth 11)
ID: eb5a6 No.1856
The Prophet Isaiah says (50:9), כֻּלָּם כַּבֶּגֶד יִבְלוּ עָשׁ יֹאכְלֵם "They shall become old like a garment, and a moth shall consume them". The name יעקב (Ya'aqob - Jacob) contains only one letter from the Shem Hawaya (G-d's ineffable Name), which is the letter י' (Yod). In the future, it will be spelled complete with the letter ו' (Waw), which currently only occurs once in the Torah (Hummash), as opposed to 160 times without.
In Gematria (Jewish numerology), the letter ו' (Waw) is equal to 6. By studying the 6 orders of the Mishna (Shisha Sidrei Mishna), we will uproot the letter ו' (Waw) from the name of עשו (Esau), leaving only a moth (עש - 'ash). As it says in the verse, "A moth shall consume them" and at that time evil will be uprooted from the world.
So what happens to the letter ו' (Waw) which was removed from Esau's name? It will be added to the name name יעקב (Ya'aqob) to be the full spelling of his name "יעקוב". This comes to show us that, at that time, there will be an ingathering of all the exiles of Jacob.
(See Ben Ish Hayil 4, 3)
ID: eb5a6 No.1860
The Shema' can be read when one is walking, standing, lying, riding on an animal or sitting. However, one may not recite it while lying face down or flat on one's back. One may read it while lying on one's side, however, in a case where it would be too difficult to get up and read it.
If a person is extremely heavy and unable to turn on his side, or if he is ill and unable to do so, he should partially incline to the side and read it in that position.
If a person is sitting down but wishes to be strict with himself and stand when reading the Shema', he is considered to be a sinner. If, however, he is extremely tired and the only reason he wishes to stand, is to keep awake, and not fall asleep while he is reading the Shema', then it is allowed.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 63:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 1, 2, 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1864
One may not be strict in front of others, when what they do is permitted, in a case where it will appear to be out of arrogance. One may not be strict in front of one's Rabbi, where one's Rabbi is lenient. In fact, even if the person is strict LeShem Shamayim (for the sake of Heaven), he is placed under a ban.
Even in a case where permitting something is not so simple, one must not be strict against one's Rabbi. The exception is if one has clear proof that one should do so.
In a matter where it is obvious that something is permitted, it is inappropriate to be strict in front of one who is greater in Hokhma (wisdom), when the one who is greater permits it. In fact, the one who is greater, has the right to place him under a ban. In any case, if the one who is strict is renowned for his piousness, it is permitted.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 63, Oth 5, Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 6)
ID: eb5a6 No.1866
Even though it sounds from the words of the Shulhan 'Arukh that one may read the Shema' while walking on the way (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-11-20
), nevertheless, it is appropriate to stop while reading the first verse. While one is walking, one cannot concentrate as effectively as one can while seated. However, after the fact, if one read the first verse while walking, one does not need to repeat it.
It should be noted, however, that the first verse requires intent, therefore, if one did not concentrate while reading it, one did not fulfill one's obligation and needs to repeat it. The same applies to the second verse of "Barukh Shem", which is considered like the first verse in this matter.
If one is driving, one must pull over and stop while reading the first Pasuq. If one is a passenger, one does not need to stop, since one can concentrate perfectly well while sitting in a car, plane, ship, or other mode of transportation.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, O.H. 63:3, 4. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., 10, 13, 14. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 9)
ID: eb5a6 No.1870
וַיַּחֲלֹם וְהִנֵּה סֻלָּם מֻצָּב אַרְצָה וְרֹאשׁוֹ מַגִּיעַ הַשָּׁמָיְמָה וְהִנֵּה מַלְאֲכֵי אֱ-לֹ-הִים עֹלִים וְיֹרְדִים בּוֹ "And he dreamt, and behold, a ladder placed on the earth with the top reaching the Heavens, and angels of G-d were ascending and descending on it" (Bereshith, 28:12). The Ba'al Haturim says that the gematria (numerical value) of סולם (Sullam - ladder) is equivalent to the word ממון. Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, writes in 'Od Yosef Hai, in the name of his father Hakham Eliyahu Hayyim, 'a"h, an explanation of this pasuq (verse) based on this Ba'al Haturim.
The Sullam which refers to money is מוצב ארצה (on the ground), meaning to say that a person sees his wealth and income based on what he does here in this world. However, וראשו מגיע השמימה (the top reaches Heaven), meaning that, in fact, everything a person receives in this world is really dependent on the will of Hashem.
If He wants the person to earn he will, but if he doesn't he won't, no matter how hard he tries. This is showed by the angels going up and down the ladder. These are the angels responsible for one's income. For some people it is positive and those are the angels going up, whereas for others it is not so positive, and those are the angels descending the ladder.
(See 'Od Yosef Hai, Parashath Wayyesei)
ID: eb5a6 No.1871
There are thirty nine Ab Melakhoth (primary forbidden Shabbath labors) that one is forbidden to do on Shabbath. These Melakhoth are based on the Melakhoth that were done in the Mishkan (Tabernacle). One of the Ab Melakhoth is the Melakha of Borer (separating). In the Mishkan they would dye different items with spices (Samamanim).
They would store away the plants that they used for the dyeing process, until they were needed. When they removed them from storage, pebbles and debris would gather with the Samamanim. They would remove these things from the Samamanim before starting the dye process. Therefore Borer is considered one of the AB Melakhoth (PRIMARY labors).
Since the way that Borer was done in the Mishkan included plants as well as pebbles and the like, the Melakha of Borer is not limited to things that grow from the ground. Borer includes all objects. Therefore, anytime you have a mixture of two or more types of things it is forbidden to take that which you do not want, or even that which you do want (with certain exceptions), from the mixture.
(See Ba'al HaMaor, Kaf Hahaim oth 25. And see Teshuboth Ribbi 'Aqiba Eiger 20)
ID: eb5a6 No.1877
If a baby boy is unwell, the Milah (circumcision) is postponed. When the child is well, the postponed Milah may not be held on Shabbath. The Taz quotes the Bedeq HaBayith who says that when a Milah has been postponed, it should not be held on Thursday either, on account of the pains that occur on Shabbath since one should not cause suffering on Shabbath. He adds, that it would appear that one should especially not do it on Friday either.
A question arises in a case where the child has become well and is fit to have the Milah performed. If the parents went ahead and organized the Milah for Thursday or Friday, should the Mohel refuse to perform it.
It says in Dibrei Mordekhai that if the guests were all invited and it would be distressing for them if it were cancelled, or the hall was booked and there would be a substantial loss of money, in such a case, after the fact, one could be lenient and perform the Milah on Thursday or Friday. One must reiterate, however, that under no circumstances may a postponed Milah be held on Shabbath.
(See Sh. 'A., Yoreh De'ah, 262:2 and the Taz. ibid., 3. Y.D. 266:2. Rab Pe'alim, Yoreh De'ah, 4, 28. Dibrei Mordekhai, Lekh Lekha, Halakha)
ID: eb5a6 No.1880
The Tur (Rabbenu Ya'aqob Ben Asher, 'a"h), writes that he heard his father, the Rosh (Rabbenu Asher Ben Yehiel, 'a"h), say "Barukh Hu Ubarukh Shemo" every time that he heard someone recite a Berakha (blessing). He explains that this is based on what Moshe Rabbenu said (Debarim 32:3), כי שם ה' אקרא הבו גודל לא-ל-הינו "Since I call out the L-rd's Name, give greatness to our G-d".
Not only does it say that whenever he mentions G-d's Name, we should ascribe greatness to Him, but we also say זכר צדיק לברכה (Zekher Saddiq Librakha - may the memory of the righteous person be a blessing). If we have to bless a righteous person when we mention him, how much more so Saddiqo Shel 'Olam (the Righteous One of the worlds - G-d)?
The Kaf Hahaiim writes that there are also deep mystical כוונות (intents). The Shulhan Arukh writes as well, that to every Beracha one hears, one answers Barukh Hu Ubarukh Shemo at the mention of G-d's Name. This explains the importance Sephardim and many Ashkenazim place on answering Barukh Hu Ubarukh Shemo.
There is a difference of opinion, however, as to whether answering Barukh Hu Ubarukh Shemo is merely a good custom, or whether it is an obligation. In the Sefer Rishon LeSion on the Gemara of Berakhoth as well as in Sefer Maase Rab, it says that it is not an obligation. Others, including Rabbenu the Hida, 'a"h, say that it is, in fact, an obligation. This explains why there are certain communities that are less Maqpid (strict) to answer Barukh Hu Ubarukh Shemo, while others are very meticulous to answer.
(See Shulha 'Arukh, 124:5)
ID: eb5a6 No.1882
Understanding Borer, Separating on Shabbath, Part 2
Since the Melakha of Borer (forbidden Shabbath labor of separating), includes all objects, anytime you have a mixture of two or more types of things, it is, as a result, always forbidden to take that which you do not want, and even that which you do want (with certain exceptions), from the mixture.
The exception is in a case where you fulfill all three of the following requirements.
1) You remove the good from the bad.
2) You use your hand and not a utensil.
3) It is done for the purpose of eating immediately.
The reason that it is permitted is when one does it in this manner, is because what he is doing, no longer appears to be the Melakha of separating, but the normal way of eating. The Posqim say that this is permitted even if you are doing it for others, provided they will be eating it right away, and that the two other two requirements have also been met.
There is a difference of opinion amongst the Posqim as to whether using cutlery is considered using a utensil and would be forbidden even to remove good from bad, or if they are considered an extension of one's hand. Some say that if the spoon, for example, is helping in the act or separating, then it is forbidden. On the other hand, if you could have done it just as well with your hand, then you are just using the spoon not to get your hands dirty, or the like, then that would be permitted.
(See Ba'al HaMaor, Kaf Hahaim oth 25. And see Teshuboth Ribbi 'Aqiba Eiger 20)
ID: eb5a6 No.1888
Whenever, for reason's out of one's control (Oness), one misses a prayer, one can make it up by praying a "Tashlumin" after the following prayer. In other words, if, for reasons out of one's control, one did not pray Minha, one can make it up in 'Arbith, by praying an additional 'Amidah after one prays the 'Arbith 'Amidah.
The question is, does forgetting to pray qualify as being out of one's control, to permit one to pray a make up prayer? This question is a Mahloqeth (difference of opinion) among the Ahronim. The difference of opinion centers around whether forgetting to prayer constitutes not praying deliberately (Bemezid), or whether it is considered unintentional. The difference between the two is that if it is considered deliberate, one cannot pray the make up prayer (Tashlumin), but if it considered to be unintentional, then one does pray a make up prayer.
In view of this difference of opinion, if one forgot to pray a prayer, one should pray the subsequent prayer at the appropriate time and then pray it again, such as if one forgot Minha, one should pray the 'Arbith 'Amidah twice. However, before doing so, one should state that if a make up prayer is in order, then the additional prayer should be considered as such. If not, then it should be considered to be a Nedabah (a voluntary prayer). It should be noted, however, that a Nedabah is not permitted on Shabbath and Yom Tob.
(See Dibrei Mordekha, Halakha, Midinei Tefillath Minha)