ID: ed46e No.1893[Last 50 Posts]
וַיִּוָּתֵר יַעֲקֹב לְבַדּוֹ וַיֵּאָבֵק אִישׁ עִמּוֹ עַד עֲלוֹת הַשָּׁחַר: וַיַּרְא כִּי לֹא יָכֹל לוֹ וַיִּגַּע בְּכַף־יְרֵכוֹ וַתֵּקַע כַּף־יֶרֶךְ יַעֲקֹב בְּהֵאָבְקוֹ עִמּוֹ "And Jacob remained alone and a man wrestled with him till the dawn broke. And he saw that he could not overcome him and he touched the hollow of his thigh (Gid HaNashei), and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint while he wrestled with him" (Bereshith 32:24-25).
Yaaqob Abinu, 'a"h, wrestled with the Sar (angel) of Esau. The Sar of Esau hit Yaaqob Abinu, 'a"h, in his thigh and caused a dislocated hip. Because of this the Torah forbids us to eat the Geed HaNashei (the displaced tendon or sciatic nerve). The Sefer Hahinnukh explains that this commandment is a hint to us that even though Kelal Yisrael will suffer great pain from the nations and the children of Esau, nevertheless, we should be confident that we will not be overcome and lost, Heaven forbid. Rather, we will always keep standing and eventually our redeemer will come and redeem us from those that cause us pain. And we will remember it, through this Miswah (commandment).
We will also remember, that Esau's angel fought with Yaaqob Abinu, 'a"h, and wanted to uproot him and his children from this world. He failed, of course, but, nevertheless, caused him pain when he touched the hollow of his thigh. So too the children of Esau continue to cause pain to the children Israel, but, nevertheless, just like that the sun rose for Jacob and he was healed from his limp, so too, the sun will rise for the Jewish Nation and Mashiyah will redeem us from all the suffering. May this day come speedily, Amen.
ID: ed46e No.1896
One of the Ab Melakhoth (primary forbidden Sabbath labors) on Shabbath, is the Melakha of צד (Sad - trapping). There is a dispute in the Gemara as to whether or not the Biblical prohibition is limited to animals which are במינו צד (animals which are normally trapped for use, such as eating their meat or for their fur and so on).
The Shulkhan Arukh decides the Halakha in accordance with the opinion that only a case of במינו צד (Bemino Sad) is a prohibition from the Torah. Nevertheless, even according to this opinion there is still a Rabbinical prohibition of trapping animals that do not fall into this category (of במינו צד). Therefore, one may not trap a fly or other such creature, on Shabbath.
The Rema says, based on this, that if one has a small drawer with a fly in it, he may not close it on Shabbath. He quotes, however, an opinion that permits it. The Beth Yosef rules in accordance with the stringent opinion. The Ba"H, the Maghen Abraham, the Ben Ish Hai and the Mishna Berura, are also stringent. This is very common when one a wants to close a window that has a screen, and by closing the screen the moths, flies or other insects have no way of exiting. One may not close the window, but must first send away the insects.
(Shulkhan Arukh siman 316:3. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Waera, Oth 6. Mishna Berura Oth 16. Menuhath Ahaba, Heleq 2 ch.17, Oth 12)
ID: ed46e No.1905
When we speak about the early Hakhamim, we refer to them as the Sofrim, which means 'those who count'. The Gemara of Qiddushin (30a) tells us that they counted all the letters of the Torah. We believe that there is no unnecessary letter in the Torah. The Sofrim counted verses, words and letters in the Torah, and taught us pearls of wisdom through them. Through this act they brought much honor to the Torah, that is why they were honored with the title of Sofrim.
It is said about Rab Sa'adya Gaon, that he once asked his tailor, how many stitches he had stitched that day. The tailor responded by asking Sa'adia Gaon how many letters there were in the Torah. Sa'adya Gaon did not know the answer. He set about trying to count them, but try as he may, he failed. Finally, the answer was revealed to him by Heaven.
Why was Rab Sa'adya Gaon so troubled? The answer is that the amount of stitches a tailor uses is irrelevant, as long as it holds the garment together correctly. Each letter of the Torah, on the other hand, is worth thousands of pieces of gold. If one would meticulously count the amount of pieces of gold that one has, one should, all the more so, count the letters of the Torah. This brings great honor to the Torah.
(See Ben Ish Hayil, 1, Kallah 4)
ID: ed46e No.1912
When one is praying the silent 'Amidah, and one hears the Qaddish or Qedusha and the like, one should not answer. Instead, one should stop reading the 'Amidah and concentrate on what the Shaliyah Sibbur (Hazzan) is saying. In this way, it is considered that one answered the Qaddish and Qedusha and fulfilled one's obligation. Despite this, it is not considered to be an interruption in the reading of the 'Amidah.
One needs to be silent till "Barukh Kebod" in the Qedusha, or up to "Be'alma" in the Qaddish. After that, one may continue one's prayer as usual. All this applies up to the portion of "Elokai Nesor", at the end of the 'Amidah. After that the rules are different.
All this assumes that one can hear the Hazzan. If, however, one is far away from him and can't really hear him, one does not stop, but continues reading as usual.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Mishpatim, Oth 5. Qisur Shulhan 'Arukh 18:14)
ID: ed46e No.1923
When we say that a person must stop reading the 'Amidah and concentrate on the Qaddish and Qedusha if it is being recited by the Hazzan, this only applies if the main Shaliyah Sibbur (prayer leader) is the Hazzan. The reason is that a permanent Hazzan understands the Halakha that he must have the intent (Kawwanah) that those listening to him also fulfill their obligation through his prayer (provided they have the same intent).
Someone who just happens to be the Hazzan on that occasion, very likely does not know that he needs to have this concentration. As such, no benefit is achieved by pausing the 'Amidah and concentrating on his reading. In such a case, even if one is near him and can clearly hear every word he is saying, one does not need to pause, but can continue to read the 'Amidah while the Hazzan is reciting the Qaddish or Qedusha.
The situation is different, however, if the person who is the Hazzan, is a Talmid Hakham and Yerei Shamayim (G-d fearing Torah scholar), and understands that he must have the intent to allow the others to fulfill their obligation through him. In this case, even if he is not the main Shaliyah Sibbur, one must pause to hear his Qaddish and Qedusha, in the manner we mentioned previously (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-12-04
(see 'Od Yoseph Hai, Mishpatim, Oth 6)
ID: ed46e No.1928
The rule of not responding to the Qaddish or Qedusha, applies to the entire prayer of the 'Amidah. However, the 'Amidah is considered to end after the first Yihyu LeRason. In other words, after one recites the last Berakha (blessing), one must immediately say, "Yihyu LeRason", etc. The verse of "Yihyu LeRason" is also considered to be part of the 'Amidah.
After one has said that, the 'Amidah is considered to be technically over, even though one has not yet taken three steps back. It says in Ben Ish Hai, that at this point, one may even answer "Amen" to Berakhoth (blessings). This means that even in the middle of Elokai Nesor, one may answer. When we refer to the "first" Yihyu LeRason, this is based on the custom of Sephardim and some Ashkenazim, of saying one Yihyu LeRason before Elokai Nesor and another after.
The Qisur Shulhan 'Arukh of Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried, 'a"h, states according to the Ashkenazi custom, that one who only says one Yihyu LeRason, should ideally say the Yihyu LeRason and even 'Oseh Shalom, before answering, wherever possible. He adds, however, that it is preferable to say two Yihyu LeRason's and that, in such a case, there is no problem with answering between the two.
(See Ben Ish Hai, first year, Beshallah, Oth 22. Qisur Shulhan 'Arukh [R' Ganzfried], 18:15)
ID: ed46e No.1931
וְיִשְׂרָאֵל אָהַב אֶת יוֹסֵף מִכָּל בָּנָיו כִּי בֶן זְקֻנִים הוּא לוֹ "And Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was a son of his old age" (Bereshith 37:3). As we know, Onkelos translates 'a son of his old age' as meaning 'a wise son to him'. We are told that Joseph was able to absorb every drop of Torah that his father transmitted and that is why he loved him and made him the coat of many colors.
It is difficult to understand how Israel (Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h), was able to transmit all his Torah to his son Joseph. After all, Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h, studied the entire Torah for 14 years, night and day at the Beth Midrash of Shem and 'Eber. This is in addition to all the wisdom he had acquired before going there at the age of 63. How was it possible to transmit all this knowledge to Joseph in 4 years. He started teaching him at the age of 13 and Joseph was sold into slavery at the age of 17.
What this teaches us is that Joseph's wisdom was so great that he was able to fully grasp, in this short period of time, everything that his father transmitted to him. This is the explanation of Onkelos' translation of 'a wise son to him'.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Parparaoth, Parashath Wayyesheb)
ID: ed46e No.1932
It says in the Torah זכור את יום השבת לקדשו "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" (Shemoth 20:7). Beth Shammai learned from this (Beisa 16a) that one must remember Shabbath from the first day of the week (Sunday). How is this done? If one finds something good, one should keep it for Shabbath.
This is what Shammai HaZaqen, 'a"h, did, and they say about him that all his days he ate in honor of Shabbath. If he found a good animal (for food), he would keep it aside for Shabbath. If he found a better one, he would take it and keep it aside for Shabbath and eat the first one during the week.
Hillel HaZaqen, 'a"h, on the other hand, didn't do this. He would bless G-d for providing us every day, with what was needed for that day. It's not that Hillel disagreed with Shammai, quite the contrary; but Hillel had faith in G-d that He would provide a better portion for Shabbath than for the rest of the week.
(See Meqabsiel, Lekh Lekha, Oth 12. R"Z 242:10)
ID: ed46e No.1935
Whenever G-d performs a miracle for us, we assume that the entirety of the miracle is what we see before us. However, this is not true. In fact, for each miracle that G-d performs for us, there are multiple hidden miracles, which wait for a future date, when they will be needed.
The Zohar tells us that when we witnessed the miracle that took place when G-d redeemed us from Egypt, the preparation for the future redemption was also prepared. In addition, many more miracles were prepared which we have used since then.
There were two miracles that took place in Hanukkah. One was the success of Maccabees over the Greeks. The second was the miracle of the discovery of the cruse of oil which burned for eight days. Why then do we thank G-d for so many different things in the 'Al HaNissim: על הנִסים ועל הפורקן ועל הגבורות ועל התשועות ועל הנפלאות – for the miracles, for the relief, for the mightiness, for the salvation and for the wonders? It is true that the two miracles that G-d wrought were enormous in magnitude, but they were still only two.
The answer is that the two miracles were not the entirety of the miracles, but merely the external ones that our eyes could see. In addition, G-d set aside many other miracles, relief, mightiness, salvation and wonders, that are there for us to use in times of need.
(See Rabbenu the Hid"a, Debarim Ahadim)
ID: ed46e No.1939
The Shulhan 'Arukh rules that the Hanukkah candles should be lit at the emergence of three stars (צאת הכוכבים - Seith HaKokhabim). Many other Posqim rule in accordance with this and it is the most common custom. The time for the emergence of three stars varies from location to location and one needs to ascertain locally, what time it is.
It should be noted that not all agree with this. There are Ashkenazim who are of the opinion that the candles should be lit at sunset. There are other opinions that they should be lit 10 minutes after sunset and so on. Each person should follow the custom of his home in this matter. In the absence of a definite custom, one should follow the Shulhan 'Arukh and light with the emergence of three stars.
It should be noted that the candles must burn for a full half hour after the stars come out. Therefore, those who light earlier, must take special care to ensure that there is enough oil for the lights to burn for at least a half hour after the stars come out. If there is insufficient oil for that, one will not have fulfilled one's obligation.
(See Tur 672:1. Shulhan 'Arukh, Orah Hayyim, ibid. Maghen Abraham. Chayyei Adam 154:18. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Wayyesheb, Oth 7. Hilkhoth Hagim, Mamamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu] 58:55, 56)
ID: ed46e No.1941
The Hanukkah should be lit as soon as three stars emerge, or, at the very least, within a half hour of that time. In a case where one did not light at the prescribed time, there is a difference of opinion as to what one should do.
According to the Rambam, z"l, if one did not light within 30 minutes of הכוכבים צאת (the emergence of three stars), there is no purpose served at all in lighting, not even without a Berakha (blessing). According to the Gaon of Vilna, z"l, if one did not light within 30 minutes of the stars coming out, one should still light, but without a Berakha.
Today, this is not the prevalent custom. The Ben Ish Hai writes that as long as one other person is awake at home (nowadays the lighting is for those at home and not those on the street), one may light with a blessing, even though more than 30 minutes have passed since the stars came out. If no one else is awake, he should light without a blessing.
(see Hilkhoth Hagim, Mamamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu] 58:58)
ID: ed46e No.1944
Since the Hanukkah candles must burn for half an hour after the emergence of three stars (צאת הכוכבים - Seith HaKokhabim), may one extinguish them after that time? The answer is that if one wishes to do so, one should make a Tenai (stipulate) that after they have burned the required time, he will extinguish them.
One can do this if one wishes to save the oil, or because one will be leaving the house unattended and one is afraid they may cause a fire. If it is in a Synagogue, there may be a fear that it may be dangerous to leave them lit after the congregation has left. However, the candles should be put out in private. It goes without saying that this only applies on weekdays, since it is forbidden to extinguish lights on Shabbath.
On Mosei Shabbath (Saturday night), everyone leaves the Synagogue right away after lighting, since one has to light at home. In such a case, the Gabbai may extinguish the lights before leaving, even though they will not have burned for half an hour. The only prerequisite, however, is that he should have stipulated this beforehand. If he did not make this Tenai (stipulation), there are different opinions on the matter and one should consult with the Rabbi.
(see Hilkhoth Hagim, Mamamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu] 58:77, 78)
ID: ed46e No.1947
וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה אֶל יוֹסֵף חֲלוֹם חָלַמְתִּי וּפֹתֵר אֵין אֹתוֹ "And Pharaoh says to Joseph, I dreamed a dream and no one can interpret it" (Bereshith 41:15). No sooner has he said this, than we see a few Pesuqim (verses) later that Pharaoh says, וָאֹמַר אֶל הַחַרְטֻמִּים וְאֵין מַגִּיד לִי "And I said to the magicians, but no one could tell me" (Bereshith 41:24). This is effectively a repetition of the same idea, so what was Pharaoh's purpose in repeating himself?
Initially, Pharaoh turned to the "wise men" of Egypt and asked them what his dreams meant. As we know, they were unable to come up with any plausible explanation that Pharaoh could accept. So he then turned to the magicians who communicated with evil spirits to find out what the future held in store. But they were also unable to provide any answer.
Pharaoh is saying in the second verse that he even tried through those who foretell the future, "but no one could tell me". Not even they could reveal any new information.
(See Ben Ish Hai Derushim, Parashath Miqqes)
ID: ed46e No.1954
It says in the Zohar that one must be particular not to eat less than two cooked foods on Shabbath, in honor of Shabbath. The Tosefeth Shabbath says that possibly the definition of two cooked foods is the same as what is considered to be two cooked foods during the Se'uddath HaMafseqeth (final meal) before Tish'ah Be-Ab (the 9th of ab).
Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, writes that the requirement to eat two cooked foods on Shabbath, assumes that one only eats one cooked food during the week. The key is to eat more on Shabbath than one does during the week. Therefore, if one ordinarily eats two cooked foods during the week, one must add at least one more cooked food in honor of Shabbath. In other words, whatever one eats during the week, one should eat more in honor of Shabbath.
He adds that if one serves fish on Shabbath, that is considered to be an important addition to what one eats during the week.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Oth 13. Tosefeth Shabbath, 242, end of introduction)
ID: ed46e No.1960
Strictly speaking, one does not have to remain near the candles after one has lit the Hanukkah lights. If one can, however, it is a good thing to do, especially since there is an opinion that one should remain near the candles for a half hour, to see them and be happy.
According to Rabbenu the Hida, 'a"h, one should speak to the members of one's household, about matters pertaining to the miracle of Hanukkah, because this is part of Pirsumei Nisa (making the miracle known). One should explain to them the Hesed (loving Kindness) that G-d did for us, in those days, at this times.
As a result, they will come to praise G-d over this and it will strengthen them in the area of keeping the Torah and Miswoth.
(See Ohr LeSion 4, 46:6. Leb Dawid, 28. Ner Sion, 10, Oth 41)
ID: ed46e No.1965
All the festivals have their own Masecheth (tractate), even Purim has the Masechta of Meghillah. The exception is Hanukkah. One explanation is that the Maccabim appointed themselves to be the kings of Israel, but they were Kohanim and the kingdom of Israel belongs exclusively to the dynasty of king David, 'a"h.
Rabbenu the Hid"a, 'a"h, also asks the question: How come Ribbi (Yehuda HaNasi), the redactor of the Mishna (who was a descendent of King David), didn't even dedicate one chapter of Mishna to Hanukkah, instead of simply mentioning it in passing in the tractate of Baba Qamma, connected with matters of damages.
He quotes Ribbi Yosef Ben Samun who says that Meghillath Ta'anith was written some time before the Mishna. Since all the laws of Hanukkah were already taught in the Meghillah of Ta'anith (which are the Braithas quoted in Shas), there was no need for Ribbi to teach them in the Mishna.
(See Debarim Ahadim, R' Hida)
ID: ed46e No.1968
The full Hallel is read on each day of Hanukkah (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2008-12-15
for reasons). The correct time to read it is right after Shahrith. However, if one did not say it then, one can say it the entire day. If one forgot to say the blessing on it before starting, but remembered after starting, one says the blessing where one remembers.
Correctly speaking, it must be read while standing, because it is testimony to the wonders that G-d does for us. However, if one did not recite it standing, one still fulfills one's obligation.
One must be very careful when reading the Hallel, not to skip any words and to read it with happiness. This applies both to the congregants as well as the Hazan. It must also be read in the correct order. If one read the different portions of the Hallel out of order, one will not have fulfilled one's obligation.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 422:67. Ner Sion, 14:19-20, 22-24, 26, 29)
ID: ed46e No.1970
Even though the last few days of Hanukkah fall in the month of Tebeth, it is considered to be a difficult month. It is on a level with the month of Tammuz in the summer months. It is a good idea to set aside time every day, to save oneself, one's family and all the Jewish people, from any bad occurrences.
One should pay special attention to one's behavior during this month. One must not allow Din (judgment) to rule over him. On the contrary, one should make a special effort not to interrupt one's Torah study or engage in Bitul Torah (Heaven forbid).
It is appropriate to do good for others, such as giving charity to the poor and to Torah scholars and to study Torah, more than on other months. We must beseech G-d to bless us and all Israel, with only good judgments.
(See Ner Sion, 16: 1, 2)
ID: ed46e No.1974
לְכֻלָּם נָתַן לָאִישׁ חֲלִפוֹת שְׂמָלֹת וּלְבִנְיָמִן נָתַן שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת כֶּסֶף וְחָמֵשׁ חֲלִפֹת שְׂמָלֹת "To each of them he gave a change of clothes, but to Benjamin he gave 300 silver coins and five changes of clothes" (Bereshith 45:22). There are various explanations as to why Joseph, who witnessed, first hand, the dangers of favoritism, would give his brother Benjamin more than he gave the other brothers who were from different mothers.
The Alsheikh HaQadosh writes that the 300 pieces of silver may well have been in compensation for him having been accused of stealing Joseph's silver goblet. Had the situation been true, that Benjamin had stolen the goblet (Heaven forbid) and that Joseph had been an unrelated viceroy of Egypt, then Benjamin would have been sold to Joseph as a slave. The Halakha dictates that if a Jew sells a slave to a non Jew, he is valued as 10 times the value of the slave. Therefore, 300 silver coins would appear to be appropriate compensation.
The reason for giving them all clothes was to make a statement to them that even though they had removed Joseph's coat of many colors, he was harboring no hard feelings. Benjamin, however, was not part of the sale of Joseph and the stripping of his coat, so it was only appropriate for him to receive more than the others.
(See Alsheikh on the Torah, 45:22)
ID: ed46e No.1976
Rabbenu the Ari, z"l, writes in Sefer HaKawwanoth, that it is appropriate for a man to taste all the foods cooked for Shabbath, before Shabbath, in honor of Shabbath. This can be compared to a case where a man has the king coming to visit.
The host will taste all the foods that others have cooked, before the king arrives, to make sure they are just right. He will want to know if they need to add a little more salt or spices, or if they need to cook the food some more, and so on.
This is in accordance with with the prayer of Musaf on Shabbath, when we say, "To'ameiha Hayyim Zakhu" (those who tasted it merited life). The Ari, z"l, adds that whoever tastes the cooked foods before Shabbath will merit celestial life.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Lekh Lekha, Oth 14)
ID: ed46e No.1980
While many functions have separate seating, there are also many people who do not appear to believe in it. They often claim that this "was not their Minhagh (custom)".
When King Ahashwerosh and Washti wanted to bring down the Jewish people by causing them to sin, they invited them to inappropriate banquets. What is significant is that they made separate banquets, one for the men and another for the women. The Ya'aroth Debash tells us that the reason was because they knew that the Jews would not come to an event where men and women sat together.
It says in Ben Ish Hayil that this tells us that those who feel that separate seating is a relatively new innovation, are not correct. The Jewish people always adhered to this custom. It is a custom we should be meticulous to follow at all our occasions and events and the benefits are many. It is part of the commandment of sanctifying ourselves, which we should take seriously, and it is a tradition that we have always subscribed to.
(See Ben Ish Hayil, Zakhor 3)
ID: ed46e No.1981
The 10th of Tebeth ('Asarah BeTebeth) is the day that Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, attacked and laid siege to Jerusalem. Nothing was permitted to enter or leave the walls of the city. This was the beginning of the process which led, finally, to the destruction of the first Beth HaMiqdash (Temple), and the sending of the Jewish people into exile. That is why the Sages ordained that it must be a fast day.
Unlike the other fast days, the 10th of Tebeth can never fall on Shabbath. While other fast days can fall on Shabbath, the fast itself is held on a different day (excluding Yom Kippur which is decreed by the Torah). In fact, the 10th of Tebeth can never fall on a Monday either. It is, however, the only fast that can fall on Friday and, if it does, it must be completed till nightfall.
As in all fasts, the purpose of the fast is to closely examine one's deeds and make Teshubah (repent). The actual act of fasting serves no purpose if it is not accompanied by Teshubah. Fasting is required in order to lead us to the process of Teshubah.
(See Hilkhoth Hagim, Ma-amar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 24:3, 10. Ner Sion 16:6)
ID: ed46e No.1983
When reciting 'Anenu in the 'Amidah, individuals say it in the blessing of Shomeya' Tefillah, without a separate blessing, but the Hazzan, says it between Go-el Yisrael and Refa-enu, with its own blessing. There are differences of opinion concerning the recitation of 'Anenu in the 'Amidah, on fasts such as the 10th of Tebeth, which start in the morning.
Maran, z"l, writes in the Shulhan 'Arukh, that even though one will be eating on the night before the fast, nevertheless, one should say 'Anenu in the 'Arbith 'Amidah. However, this is not the prevalent custom. Sephardim have the custom that both the individual during the silent 'Amidah, as well as the Hazzan during the repetition, say 'Anenu in the 'Amidah during Shahrith and Minha.
According to the Ashkenazi custom, the individual only says 'Anenu in the Minha 'Amidah. The Hazzan, on the other hand, says it during the repetition of both Shahrith and Minha.
(See Hilkhoth Hagim, Ma-amar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 24:14-16)
ID: ed46e No.1987
Pregnant or nursing mothers are exempt from fasting on the four fasts of Som Gedaliah, the 10th of Tebeth, Ta'anith Esther and the 17th of Tammuz. For this purpose, a woman is considered to be pregnant only after the third month. A nursing mother is one who actually nurses her child but not like the opinion which says she is considered to be a nursing mother for a full 24 months after giving birth, even if she is not actually nursing.
A woman who is very weak from giving birth, is considered to be a Holah (one who is ill), and should not fast, even if is not considered dangerous. It goes without saying that if the doctors tell her not to fast, even at the beginning stages of her pregnancy, she should not fast.
If a woman who is pregnant or nursing feels that she would like to fast, she is permitted to do so. However, if she starts to feel any difficulty, she must stop fasting immediately, and is actually forbidden from continuing to fast. Unless a person is told by doctors not to fast, or knows for sure that it would be harmful, it is customary for one who is exempt from fasting, to start fasting but break the fast if one feels any difficulty.
(See Hilkhoth Hagim, Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu] 24:35, 26, 38)
ID: ed46e No.1993
וַיֹּאמֶר לְיוֹסֵף הִנֵּה אָבִיךָ חֹלֶה "And he said to Joseph, behold your father is ill" (Bereshith 48:1). It says in the Sefer Hasidim, that one must make an effort not to say anything that is not good, to one's friend. In view of this, how do we understand the fact that they said to Joseph that his father was ill?
The answer is that the Gemara tells us that till Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h, (Jacob), no one became sick before dying. Everyone was in full health when they passed away. Jacob requested, as Rashi puts it, that a person would first become ill before passing away. That way he could give instructions to his household and also, it prepares the others for what is about to occur.
In fact, before this, a person used to sneeze and die. This is the source for the custom of blessing someone for life and health, when he sneezes. Ashkenazim say (in Yiddish), Gezundheit, which has been translated in modern Hebrew to Labriuth, which means "in [good] health". The custom that we follow in our home is to say Hayyim Tobim, which is a wish for "a good life".
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Wayhi, Parparaoth)
ID: ed46e No.1996
When we say that it is appropriate for a man to taste all the foods cooked for Shabbath, before Shabbath (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-12-22
), obviously this does not refer to eating large amounts. On the contrary, one must be careful to only eat a small amount, for the purpose of tasting only.
If one were to eat a large portion, it would no longer appear that he was eating the food in honor of Shabbath, in order to ensure that it is prepared correctly. Instead, it would appear that he is eating it for his own pleasure.
If Friday is a fast day and one is not permitted to eat, the Eshel Abraham says that one should taste and then spit the food out. Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, says that even if one spits out the food, one will still merit to receive celestial life, as Rabbenu the Ari, z"l, mentions. Therefore, even on a fast day one must be particular to taste the food to ensure that it is befitting the Shabbath. If it is not a fast day, however, one should not spit it out but should taste and swallow.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Lekh Lekha, Oth 14)
ID: ed46e No.2002
ID: ed46e No.2005
Rabbi Yehonathan Eibshitz (Eybeshutz), 'a"h, author of Ya'aroth Debash and other works, was one of the great Ashkenazi scholars who lived about 250 years ago. It is said about him that he was extremely poor, to the extent that he did not even have a set of Gemara of his own, because in those days it was very expensive. There was a widow who had a set of Shas and people would come to her and borrow a Gemara from time to time.
On one occasion Rabbi Eibshitz went to her and asked to borrow Masekheth (tractace) Berakhoth. He promised to return it in one week. Since he was the Gadol HaDor, he was constantly interrupted in his studies by people coming about all manner of religious matters. He realized that, at this rate, he would never be able to finish the Gemara in a week. He looked hard for a place where he could study without interruption and could only find such a place in the cemetery. He studied there near a grave, under the shade of a tree.
At the end of the week he returned the Gemara and, in its stead, borrowed gemara, Shabbath. Since this was a substantially longer and more complicated tractate he asked for two weeks. He again went to the cemetery, where he finished it and returned it at the due date and continued to borrow the Gemaroth in this manner.
People asked him how he could study Torah in a cemetery because it appeared to come under the banner of "Lo'egh LaRash" (mocking the unfortunate who were no longer able to study in this world). He answered that before he started his learning, he said that it was for the raising of the souls of all those buried there and thus it was not only not mocking them but, on the contrary, brought them much good.
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, Wayhi, Berakhoth Le'Illui Neshama)
ID: ed46e No.2007
If three men sat together to eat a meal with bread and two of them ate permitted Kosher food, but one of them ate forbidden food, may he combine with the other two in order to recite Zimmun before Birkath HaMazon (the invitation to say grace which requires at least three who have eaten bread).
The Shulhan 'Arukh writes that if someone ate something forbidden, he may not combine with the others to say Zimmun. This does not only apply in a case where the person in question ate something forbidden by the Torah, but it also applies if he ate something forbidden by Rabbinical law.
Not only that, but a blessing may not be recited over such food, before eating it or after eating it. If the person eating it does recite a blessing, one should not answer "Amen" to his blessing.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 196:1. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 1, 2)
ID: ed46e No.2011
Even though we mentioned that if someone stole food, a blessing may not be recited over such food, before eating it or after eating it, this does not fully apply to bread. If someone stole bread, or even stole wheat and ground it and baked it, he must not say the Berakha (blessing) before it. However, Birkath HaMazon, which is a Torah commandment (and in a case of doubt we must take the strict approach), must be recited.
Obviously one may not give forbidden food to another Jew. But this does not just apply to food that is not Kosher and may not be eaten by anyone. It also applies to foods which the other person may not eat because he made a Neder (vow) not to do so. If the food is dangerous for him, perhaps on account of a health issue, one may not feed it to him either.
All this applies, even if the other person requests it. And in all cases, if they did eat this food, they may not be included in the Zimmun for Birkath HaMazon and a blessing should not be recited. In the case of the stolen bread, even though he is reciting Birkath HaMazon, he should first have in mind the desire to repent and should reimburse the loss to the owner.
(See Kaf Hahayyim 196:2, 6)
ID: ed46e No.2014
While bread is permitted to be eaten and milk is permitted to be drunk (assuming they are both Kasher, of course), the Rabbis forbade dairy bread, unless it is obviously dairy by its special shape. The reason is that there is a fear that someone would not realize that it is dairy and would come to eat it with meat, Heaven forbid.
If someone did eat bread of this nature, may one recite the blessings over it? There is a difference of opinion in this matter. The Kaf Hahayyim states that even though it is a decree of the Hakhamim not to have bread of this type, since the food itself is technically permitted, and it is an external factor that caused it to be forbidden, one should do the following.
One should have thoughts of repentance in mind and then recite the blessings. To not recite any blessing on food which is technically permitted, would only be adding to his transgression, Heaven forbid.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 196:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 7)
ID: ed46e No.2015
וַתֵּרֶד בַּת פַּרְעֹה לִרְחֹץ עַל הַיְאֹר וְנַעֲרֹתֶיהָ הֹלְכֹת עַל יַד הַיְאֹר וַתֵּרֶא אֶת הַתֵּבָה בְּתוֹךְ הַסּוּף וַתִּשְׁלַח אֶת אֲמָתָהּ וַתִּקָּחֶהָ "And Pharaoh's daughter went down to bathe at the river, and her handmaidens walked alongside the river; and she saw the basket in the bullrushes and she sent her handmaiden and fetched it (or: she stretched out her arm and fetched it)" (Shemoth 2:5).
It behooves us to see G-d's actions in everything that occurs. When we look at this story, we think nothing of the fact that Pharaoh's daughter was the one who first saw Moses in the bullrushes. Rabbenu the Alshikh, 'a"h, points out how we clearly see G-d's hand in this matter. The maidservants were the ones who should have seen the baby first, because they were the ones walking alongside the river. Had they done so, however, they would have killed him, Heaven forbid, before the princess could have seen him.
G-d made it that Bathya, Pharaoh's daughter, saw him first because, as we know, she was very righteous and felt merciful towards him. This is another very powerful example of how G-d's protection is ever present in our lives, but we do not take the time to look for it. We must take time out every day to see the miracles that G-d does for us daily.
(See Alshikh on the Torah, Shemoth 2:5)
ID: ed46e No.2019
'Ezra HaSopher (the Scribe) instituted that we should wash our clothes on Thursday in honor on Shabbath. Since Fridays are very busy with preparations for Shabbath, one's main laundry should not be done then. Those who generally do their laundry for Shabbath during the day on Friday, should start doing it on Thursday instead.
Even someone who has a lot of home help and doesn't need to do much preparation himself or herself for Shabbath, should, nevertheless, have the laundry done on Thursday because the Rabbis didn't differentiate between the different cases and this ordinance of Ezra HaSopher applies equally to all people. Based on this, it would seem that the fact that we have electric washers and dryers nowadays, doesn't change the fact that the washes should be done on Thursday.
Having said this, small items such as handkerchiefs and the like, may be washed during the day on Friday, although it is better to wash them on Thursday also. In all cases, little children's clothes which get constantly dirtied, may be washed during the day on Friday.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Lekh Lekha, Oth 15)
ID: ed46e No.2023
There is a story in Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah about two Yeshibah students who were sitting in the Beth Midrash. They were discussing among themselves, a matter not pertaining to the topic they were studying.
The Mashgiyah noticed this and went to them. He listened to part of their conversation and then asked them, "What subject are you studying exactly?". One of them replied that they were discussing how they could best overcome their Yeser Hara' (evil inclination). The other nodded in affirmation.
The Mashgiyah pulled up a chair and sat down next to them. He said, "The Yeser Hara' has many ways to take a man away from his Torah studies and from his service to G-d. And it would appear that even on this occasion, it has managed to stop you from studying what you are supposed to be learning, so you can concentrate on how to overcome the Yeser Hara'. You must know, it doesn't bother the Yeser Hara' that you are discussing it, just as long as you are not studying".
We must all know that there is no end to the Yeser Hara's cunning in diverting us from our holy obligations. We must be on the lookout for it at all times.
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, Shemoth, Habrutha 'Im HaYeser Hara')
ID: ed46e No.2025
Even though the Be-er 'Eseq permitted reciting a Berakha (blessing) over Setham Yenam (non Kosher wines), many Posqim disagreed with him and said that one may not recite any blessing on it, neither before nor after.
If a person ate forbidden food in a situation of danger, such as if he is ill, Heaven forbid, the Shulhan 'Arukh says that he should recite a blessing over it. If possible, he should include something permitted with it. If that is not possible, it says in the Kaf Hahayyim, that he should say the blessing in his mind.
All this assumes that he actually enjoyed what he ate, but if not, he should not recite any blessing at all. If a person was threatened and forced to eat non Kosher food, even though it would be dangerous if he refused, he should not recite any blessing.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 196:2. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 5, 6. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 8)
ID: ed46e No.2030
If two people are eating a meat meal with bread and a third is also eating a meal with bread, but with dairy or soft cheese, they can join together to make Zimmun (the invitation to recite grace after the meal). The reason is because the one eating the soft cheese could eat from the same loaf of bread as the others, as long as he cleans his teeth properly beforehand.
Once he does this he can eat from their loaf, even if it has meaty grease on it, since he would be permitted to eat actual meat. The Mishnah Berurah writes that the custom is that the one eating the cheese is the one who should lead the Birkath Hammazon.
This applies to regular dairy or soft cheese. Hard cheese is different. Since the custom is not to eat meat right away after eating hard cheese, then even if one cleans one's mouth and teeth thoroughly, the one eating the hard cheese cannot eat from the same loaf as those eating meat. As such, he may not join together with them to recite the Zimmun.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 196:3. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 11. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 9)
ID: ed46e No.2033
Making vows is to be discouraged for multiple reasons. When it comes to Birkath HaMazon, vows may have certain ramifications.
If three people who vowed not to have any benefit from each other, eat a meal with bread together, they cannot join together for Zimmun (invitation to recite Birkath HaMazon). This only applies, however, when each one is eating from his own loaf. If, on the other hand, they all eat from the loaf of the householder, then they do join together, because they are all eating from one loaf.
In a case where Reuben swore that he would not speak to Shim'on, and the two of them ate a meal with bread together with a third person, Reuben may not be the one to recite the Zimmun, because he is inviting both Shim'on and the third person to recite Birkath HaMazon and he vowed not to speak to Shim'on. Obviously Shim'on or the third person, neither of whom swore not to speak to another, may recite the Zimmun.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 196:3. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 18. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 9)
ID: ed46e No.2035
וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם חָטָאתִי הַפָּעַם יְהוָֹה הַצַּדִּיק וַאֲנִי וְעַמִּי הָרְשָׁעִים "And [Pharaoh] said to them, I have sinned this time, G-d is the Righteous One and I and my people are the wicked ones" (Shemoth 9:27). Pharaoh shows contrition over having denied the existence of G-d and the failure to listen to His commandments. Very soon thereafter, however, the Torah tells us, וַיֹּסֶף לַחֲטֹא וַיַּכְבֵּד לִבּוֹ הוּא וַעֲבָדָיו "And he sinned further and hardened his heart, he and his servants" (Shemoth 9:34).
Rabbenu Bahyei writes that when the wicked face difficulties they become humble, but only temporarily. The moment their tribulations disappear, they revert to their wicked ways. We see this clearly in the case of Pharaoh who exclaims to Moshe Rabbenu (Moses), 'a"h, that he has sinned against G-d, but as soon as the plague of hail and thunder abated, he immediately reverted to his evil ways. However, this arrogance on the part of the wicked is what causes their demise. Rabbenu Bahyei says that it is on account of this arrogance, of claiming not to know who G-d is, that Pharaoh perished in the Red Sea.
The righteous, however, practice humility. Contrary to the belief of the wicked, it is the humility that the righteous practice, that brings them their glory.
(See Rabbenu Bahyei on the Torah, Shemoth 9:27, 34)
ID: ed46e No.2038
Rab Hid"a, 'a"h, writes in Mahziq Berakha that even though the Taqanah (edict) of Ezra HaSopher, 'a"h, was that we must wash clothes for Shabbath on Thursday, it doesn't mean Thursday alone. The reason he mentioned Thursday is to exclude Friday. However, if someone wished to do the laundry for Shabbath on Wednesday, that would be permitted.
It says in Meqabsiel that, nevertheless, washing clothes on Thursday is the most appropriate, because it is more obvious that it is being done in honor of Shabbath. If one washes on Wednesday it is less obvious, but there is no need to protest if someone does their wash on Wednesday. According to the Qabbalistic understanding, as explained by Rabbenu the Ari, z"l, preparation for Shabbath begins on Wednesday.
In view of this, there is no problem if one wishes to wash on Wednesday. However, since Tuesday is considered as belonging to the previous Shabbath, it is not appropriate to wash on Tuesday for Shabbath, Additionally, it is so far away from Shabbath that it will not be apparent that the wash was being made in honor of Shabbath. In view of this, one who is accustomed to doing a wash on Tuesday for Shabbath, should do it instead on Wednesday or, ideally, Thursday.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Lekh Lekha, Oth 15)
ID: ed46e No.2042
A very wealthy businessman threw an extravagant wedding for his oldest daughter. Included in the expense was a handsome dowry for his new son-in-law, the bridegroom. A diamond dealer came up to the father at the wedding, and told him that he had an incredible deal to offer him. The father said, "I'm busy with the wedding, but please let's talk tomorrow".
Bright and early the next morning, the two of them met. "Where is the diamond?", the father asked? "The diamond is me", the dealer replied. "I saw that amount of the huge dowry you gave your son-in-law. Give me your second daughter's hand in marriage and you can give me a dowry of half that amount. Your savings will be enormous". "You fool", replied the father, "My son-in-law will bring me huge profits going forward. If I had given him twice the amount, I would still have been ahead. You on the other hand, would simply be a liability".
So it is with the holy One Blessed be He and His people Israel. He chose us to receive His precious daughter, which is the holy Torah, on account of the fact that we would bring Him great satisfaction from the Torah we study. This means that if we do not dedicate ourselves to the study of the Torah, we are letting Him down. We must ensure that not a day passes without us diligently studying the Torah, which was the reason He chose us over all the nations, to receive it.
(See Birkath Hayyim, Balaq)
ID: ed46e No.2046
Unfortunately, very often when reciting Berakhoth (blessings) on food, one doesn't concentrate sufficiently well and sometimes cannot remember if one said the appropriate blessing (before or after), on it. What should one do if one doesn't remember?
Any time one is uncertain whether or not he said the blessing before or after the food, one does not repeat the blessing. The exception is Birkath Hammazon, because it is a Torah commandment, unlike the other blessings on food which are Rabbinical in origin. However, since the Torah commandment is to "eat, be satisfied and bless [Birkath Hammazon]", it is only considered to be a Torah obligation if one was satisfied.
Any time one cannot remember if one said the blessing or not, one should say it again in one's heart. Birkath Hammazon, however, must be recited aloud, if one does not remember saying it. However, the fourth blessing in Birkath Hammazon, that of HaTob WehaMetib (speaking of G-d's goodness), should not be said in this case, because it is Rabbinical in nature.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 209:3. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., 16-19. Arukh Hashulhan, O.H. 7:5)
ID: ed46e No.2049
The reason why we say that if one cannot remember if one said a blessing on food, (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-01-15
), one does not repeat the blessing, except for Birkath HaMazon (provided one ate the required quantity of bread), is because only Birkath HaMazon is a Torah commandment. The other blessings are by Rabbinical enactment. And we have a concept that whenever there is a doubt about a Rabbinical matter, we are lenient, but if it is in connection with a Torah enactment, we must be strict.
That is why, if one does not eat the required quantity of bread and one is not satisfied, one may not repeat Birkath HaMazon aloud, since it is no longer a Torah commandment but only a Rabbinical one. This brings us to a different dilemma, concerning the after blessing of Me'ein Shalosh, which is recited over Mezonoth, wine and the special fruits. There is an opinion that this blessing is also DeOraitha (a Torah obligation). However, there are others who maintain that it is Rabbinical.
As such, if one is uncertain whether or not one said the blessing of Me'ein Shalosh, one should once again eat something which requires the blessing of Me'ein Shalosh. One should recite both the blessing before eating it and the one after eating the minimum required quantity. If there is no more Me'ein Shalosh food left, he should eat some food whose after blessing is Borei Nefashoth, instead. If there is no more food available at all, he should think the blessing of me'ein Shalosh in his mind.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 210:1)
ID: ed46e No.2053
If one eats more than a Kezayith (1 oz.) of food, be it bread or any other food, one must say the appropriate Berakha (blessing) before eating and the appropriate blessing after eating it (Berakha Ahronah). If, however, one eats less than a Kezayith of the food, one recites the blessing before eating the food, but may not recite the blessing after eating.
An area where one sees people stumbling, however, is in the time they spend eating the Kezayith. It is not enough to eat a Kezayith, but the Kezayith must be eaten within four minutes (Kedei Akhilath Peras). Even if one eats more than a Kezayith, but spreads the eating over a long period of time so that one does not eat a full ounce within four minutes, one may not recite the after blessing.
People need to be cautioned over this. One often sees people nibbling snacks and the like, over a long period of time. How much they have eaten is not relevant, if they did not eat an ounce in four minutes.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 210:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., 7, 8)
ID: ed46e No.2055
וְהָיָה לְךָ לְאוֹת עַל יָדְךָ וּלְזִכָּרוֹן בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ לְמַעַן תִּהְיֶה תּוֹרַת ה' בְּפִיךָ "And it shall be for you as a sign on your hand and a remembrance between your eyes, in order that G-d's Torah will be in your mouth." (Shemoth 13:9). What connection is there between wearing Tefillin and having the Torah in our mouths?
Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, writes in Addereth Eliyahu, that Rabbenu the Hida, 'a"h, tells us that the Tefillin Shel Yad (of the arm) saves the one who wears it from murder and the Tefillin Shel Rosh (of the head) saves the wearer from arrogance. The Gemara of Pesahim (66b) mentions that one who is haughty loses his wisdom. Based on this, we can understand why wearing Tefillin guarantees that we do not forget our learning and, as a result, G-d's Torah will be in our mouths.
An additional question is what was the necessity to specify that it was G-d's Torah? This is to hint to us that it is important to have an accurate and truthful understanding of the Torah and its laws. Only one who is humble has the ability to understand the teachings untainted. In other words, the Torah that is in your mouth must be exactly the same Torah that was given to you by G-d.
(See Addereth Eliyahu, Bo, 13:9)
ID: ed46e No.2059
The Taqanah (edict) of 'Ezra HaSofer, that one must wash one's clothes on Thursday, in honor of Shabbath, does not mean that one must wash clothes then. It refers to a case where one needs to do a wash before Shabbath. If one has plenty of clean clothes for Shabbath, there is no requirement to do a wash in honor of Shabbath.
Additionally, when we say that one should not do a wash on Friday, this is not a blanket prohibition. We mentioned previously that little children's clothes which are constantly being dirtied, may be washed on Friday. Furthermore, if one was unable to do a wash before Friday, and the clothes need to be washed, in such a case it would obviously be permitted to wash them on Friday.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Lekh Lekha, Oth 15, 16)
ID: ed46e No.2061
Performing the commandments should not be only when we enjoy doing something, such as eating a sumptuous meal on Friday night or enjoying the night of Pesah. When it is difficult for us, we should still do it with the same enthusiasm.
There is a story about Rabbi Yis-haq Alfiyya, 'a"h, who lived in Jerusalem. He was very particular to recite Birkath HaLebanah (blessing on the moon). One month, an entire week passed without being able to see the moon, on account of the clouds. He was very concerned that he would not have the opportunity to recite it that month, when someone mentioned to him, in passing, that in Beth She-an there were very few clouds and one could always see the moon.
Rabbi Alfiyya decided to travel there immediately. In those days, the only means of transportation was by donkey and the trip took a full day. When he arrived, he didn't try to rest, but went immediately to recite Birkath HaLebanah. When he finished, the people there asked him to stay the night, but he refused. He got back on his donkey and returned to Jerusalem.
We have much to learn from this story. He could well have said that since there was no moon, he was exempt. Instead, he willingly undertook the hardship of substantial travel, in order to be able to fulfill the commandment of the blessing of the moon.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Bo, Ma'aseh Rab)
ID: ed46e No.2064
If one eats a Kezayith of food (1 oz.), within four minutes, an after blessing must be recited. If one eats half a Kazayith of a food who's Berakha Ahronah (after blessing) is Borei Nefashoth and another half Kezayith of a food who's after blessing is Borei Nefashoth, one recites the after blessing of Borei Nefashoth, since one consumed 1 oz. This assumes that the full amount of 1 oz., was eaten within four minutes. Otherwise, no after blessing is recited as we mentioned previously (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-01-17
If one ate half a Kezayith of fruits which have the special after blessing of 'Al Ha'Es, and another half Kazayith of Mezonoth whose after blessing is 'Al HaMihyah, since a full Kazayith of food was eaten in four minutes, an after blessing is required. However, since there was not a full Kazayith of foods requiring the same after blessing, and two different types of food joined together to make up 1 oz., the after blessing of Borei Nefashoth must be recited.
The same rule applies if one ate half a Kezayith of bread and half a Kezayith of another food whose after blessing is 'Al Ha'Es or Borei Nefashoth, the after blessing of Borei Nefashoth must be recited. However, if one ate half a Kezayith of bread and half a Kezayith of Mezonoth within four minutes, the after blessing of 'Al HaMihya is recited.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Mas'ei, 5. Kaf Hahayyim, 210, Oth 3, 4)
ID: ed46e No.2070
We explained that when two different foods join together to make up the minimum required quantity of a Kezayith (1 oz.), the after blessing (Berakha Aharonah) must be one that could apply to all the foods (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-01-22
). However, if one eats two different foods that both have the same after blessing, then even though they are different foods, their correct after blessing is recited.
In other words, if one were to eat half an ounce of dates and half an ounce of grapes, since they both have the same after blessing of Me-ein Shalosh, even though they are different fruits, the after blessing of Me-ein Shalosh ('Al Ha'Es) is recited. It goes without saying that if one eats two different types of baked foods, whose after blessing is 'Al HaMihya, such as a combination of cake and cookies, the after blessing is 'Al HaMihya.
The same basic rule applies to drinks also. If one drinks half the required amount of wine, whose after blessing is 'Al HaGefen, and half the required amount of another liquid, whose after blessing is Borei Nefashoth, then the final blessing is Borei Nefashoth. With liquids, however, one enters into a difference of opinion as to how long one has to drink the required minimum amount. Sephardim and some Ashkenazim are of the opinion that it should be drunk right away, in no more than two sips.
(See Kaf Hahayyim 210, Oth 3, 5)
ID: ed46e No.2072
If one is merely tasting a small amount of food (under a Rebi'ith), one does not have to recite a blessing before tasting it, even if one swallows the food. Even though we are forbidden to benefit from this world in terms of food or drink, without reciting a blessing, even for the smallest amount, this case is different.
One may not benefit without reciting a blessing when one's intention is to eat or drink. In our case, however, the only reason for tasting the food is in order to know whether it needs any additional salt or spices, or if it needs to be cooked further. In any case, it is appropriate to think the blessing in one's mind.
There is a difference of opinion concerning tasting large quantities of food, as to whether one should recite the blessing or not. In any event, the most appropriate course of action is to have in mind that one actually wants to eat the food, and in that way one is obligated to recite the blessing according to all opinions.
When one tastes the food before Shabbath, on account of "To'ameiha Hayyim Zakhu" (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2017-12-22
), it is assumed that one intends to eat the food. If so, one must recite a blessing even over the smallest amount
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 210:2. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 13. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 22, 23, 25)
ID: ed46e No.2075
וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אִכְלֻהוּ הַיּוֹם כִּי שַׁבָּת הַיּוֹם לַה' הַיּוֹם לֹא תִמְצָאֻהוּ בַּשָּׂדֶה "And Moses said, eat it today, because it is the Sabbath today to G-d, today you will not find it in the field" (Shemoth 16:25). The Gemara discusses (Shabbath 17b), why this verse concerning the manna from Heaven, mentions 'today' three times.
All agree that this comes to teach us about the obligation of the Shabbath Meals. Ribbi Hidqa was of the opinion that it teaches us that we must eat four meals on Shabbath. The Hakhamim, however, disagreed and said that it teaches us about the obligation of eating three meals. According to Ribbi Hidqa, the three mentions of 'today' refer to the day of Shabbath, but Friday night is a fourth obligation. The Hakhamim were of the opinion that it included Friday night and thus there are only three.
Our Rabbis tell us (Shabbath 118a) that whoever keeps the three Shabbath meals will be saved from three things. The judgment in Gehinnam (hell), the war of Gogh Umaghogh, and the suffering of Mashiyah (the Messiah). Specifically, this applies to the third Shabbath meal (Se'uddah Shelishith)
(see Barukh Ta'am, Beshallah)
ID: ed46e No.2078
It says in the Torah: וְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי וְהֵכִינוּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר יָבִיאוּ "And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall bring that which they prepared" (Shemoth 16:5). This verse hints at two things. The first is that one must do one's preparations for Shabbath, on Friday, with happiness, and the second is that one must rise early in the morning, in order to prepare for Shabbath.
Our Rabbis of blessed memory learn this from a verse in Shemuel (1, 17:48), where the word וְהָיָה (Wehaya - and it shall be), indicates that it is "immediately". As such in our verse too, it means that the preparations on Friday should be done "immediately".
What is considered "immediately"? In truth, the first four hours of the day are considered to be "immediately". Nevertheless, the earlier one rises to take care of the Shabbath needs and preparations, the better. In view of this, one should not lengthen the morning prayer unnecessarily and neither should one set up a fixed Torah study session on Friday mornings, the way one does the other days of the week.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Lekh Lekha, Oth 1)
ID: ed46e No.2081
Rabbi Yosef Haim Sonnenfeld, 'a"h, used to visit Rabbi Shelomo Alfandri, 'a"h, and ask him She-eloth (Halakhaic questions), which the latter would answer. On one occasion, Rabbi Alfandri told Rabbi Sonnenfeld to go visit a Talmid Hakham in Jerusalem, Rabbi Yehazqel 'Ezra, and that meeting him would be beneficial to Rabbi Sonnenfeld.
A few days later, on a Friday afternoon, he went to visit him. When he was at Rabbi 'Ezra's front door, he heard his wife say, "What shall we do? It's time to prepare for Shabbath and we have nothing in the house". Rabbi Sonnenfeld knocked on the door and entered the house. He and Rabbi Yehazqel 'Ezra discussed Torah, one would ask and the other would answer. They kept this up till the wife once again asked in a worried tone, "You are studying Torah, but what about Shabbath? From where will I produce wine for Qiddush?".
Rabbi Sonnenfeld picked up a box of snuff that was on the table and asked if he could take a pinch to smell it. He pretended to be enthralled by its smell and used the opportunity to slip a gold coin into the box. A little while later, Rabbi Sonnenfeld got up to leave and Rabbi Yehazqel 'Ezra accompanied him out of the house.
When he returned, he saw he wife looking worried. He said that the pious say that Shabbath prepares itself, and all we have to do is make a little effort. "Let's smell a little something in honor of Shabbath". When he opened the box he saw the gold coin. He gave it to his wife and laughed. He said, "You see? This is our reward for our effort to prepare for Shabbath".
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Shemoth, Beshallah, Ma'aseh Rab)
ID: ed46e No.2084
In order for a Berakha (blessing) to be considered a valid blessing, it must include G-d's Name and Kingdom (Shem Umalkhuth). If it only does not contain G-d's Name, or mention of His Kingdom, it is still invalid. Not only that, but if even just the word "Ha'olam" ([King of) the world) was skipped, the blessing is invalid, because saying "King" without adding "of the world", is not considered mentioning G-d's Kingdom.
In all these cases, the blessing has to be recited again correctly. The problem is that if G-d's Name was mentioned in an invalid blessing, then His Name is considered to have been uttered in vain. As such, after one said an invalid blessing with G-d's Name, one must say the entire Pasuq (verse) of, "Barukh Shem Kebod Malkhutho…" after it.
After one says the verse of Barukh Shem, on account of having recited G-d's Name in vain, one must recite the entire blessing again, together with the Shem Umalkhuth.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 214:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., 3)
ID: ed46e No.2086
If someone performed an action that requires a blessing before it, but did not recite the blessing, the way to proceed depends on the following. If it is a Miswah (commandment) that is ongoing, such as ציצית (Sissith) and Tefillin, where one continues to wear them after putting them on, or if it is the commandment of Sukkah, where one remains in the Sukkah for a length of time, then one recites the blessing even after one has put on the Sissith and so on.
On the other hand, if one did not recite a blessing, and the action is over, such as before a Milah, where the action is completed instantaneously, then he cannot recite the blessing. In other words, once the action has been completed, there is no more window of opportunity to recite the blessing.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 15:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., 8)
ID: ed46e No.2093
When someone hears another Jew recite any blessing (Berakha), even if he is not obligated in that specific blessing, he must answer Amen. Not only that, but even if he didn't hear the entire blessing, from beginning to end, he must answer Amen. In Midrash Ruth it says very harsh things about one who does not answer Amen after a blessing, and one must be very careful about it.
Having said that, there are times that one should not answer Amen to another person's blessing. If the person reciting the blessing is an Epiqoros (lit. heretic), even if he is Jewish, or a Kuthean, or an 'Akum (idol worshipper), then one does not answer Amen.
Similarly if a small child is learning to recite a blessing, we do not answer Amen. Also, if someone changes the formula of the blessing, we may not answer Amen to it.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Orah Hayyim, 215:2. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 9)
ID: ed46e No.2096
וְאַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ לִי מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּהֲנִים וְגוֹי קָדוֹשׁ "And you shall be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Shemoth 19:6). Rabbenu the Alsheikh says that we can consider G-d to be like a king who has two groups of servants. The first group's responsibilities are to serve G-d within the confines of the palace. They never have any need to go out. Their reward for serving in the palace is simply the honor and privilege of being able to serve the king.
The second group's responsibilities are very different. They must take care of the king's matters and affairs outside the palace. They have to carry out the king's requests, but once they have completed what is required of them, they return to the palace. From that point on, they do not leave, but remain in the palace and receive great honor, all the while being close to the king.
The first group are the Malakhei HaShareth (Ministering Angels), who carry out G-d's Will. The second group are the Jewish people. Our mission is what is required of us during the time we are given on this earth. When we are called to return to Him, we can enjoy the peace and tranquility there, because our good deeds on earth created good angels. These angels are called the crowns on our head. Unlike human beings, angels have no evil inclination (Yeser Hara') and, therefore, cannot be rewarded for subduing it. Human beings, on the other hand, can elevate themselves by fighting the evil inclination and thus become "a holy nation".
(See Alshikh on the Torah, Parashath Yithro)
ID: ed46e No.2099
Whatever perspiration comes from one's Shabbath preparations, HaQadosh Barukh Hu uses to erase all one's transgressions, in the same way that tears do. As such, it is worthwhile putting in extra effort because one's reward is in accordance with the effort that one puts in.
Additionally, one should do all one's Shabbath preparations quickly and with alacrity. After all, if the Queen was coming to visit, wouldn't one make a mammoth effort to obtain everything necessary and put everything in order as quickly as possible? How much more so should we make a concerted effort to prepare for the Shabbath Queen as quickly as possible.
Even if one has a lot of home help, nevertheless, one must prepare for Shabbath oneself, wherever one can (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-01-05
). This is in keeping with what our Rabbis tell us (Qiddushin 41a), that a precept performed by the person himself, is greater than one performed by a Shaliyah (agent).
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Oth 4-6)
ID: ed46e No.2101
The question is asked in Dibrei Mordekhai, of a case where a person is eating a banana and throws away the peel on the side of the road. After a while a wind comes and blows the peel to another spot where a person slips on it and gets hurt. Is the one who threw away the peel considered to be at fault?
Any stumbling block that a person puts in the public area, whether he digs a pit, throws a peel where people walk, or placed a peel on his roof where one would expect a wind to blow it off, and someone got harmed, the one who threw the peel is at fault. In fact, not only is he obligated to pay damages if someone gets hurt, but it is also forbidden to do so, in the first place.
Our case is somewhat different. The Gemara permits people to take out their trash into the public area when trash is removed. Nevertheless, in a case where a third party gets injured as a result of this garbage, the owner of the garbage has to pay damages, and, in addition, he may be fined by the authorities. Therefore, one may not throw out something that could cause damage, and if one puts out items that one is permitted to, if they cause damage, the owner must pay for the damages.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Mishpatim, Halakha BaParasha)
ID: ed46e No.2103
It says in the Gemara of Baba Mesiah (75b), that Rab Dimi said that if someone lent a "Maneh" to his neighbor and knows that he has nothing to repay him with, the lender may not even pass in front of the borrower. The reason is that we do not want him to embarrass the borrower.
It is asked in Dibrei Mordekhai, that if a person lends a neighbor, in the same building, some money and the time for repayment has passed without being paid back, may he pass him on the stairs, or in a meeting of the tenants and so on? The answer is that if the lender knows that the borrower is unable to repay his loan, he may not ask him for the money.
It is also forbidden to pass in front of him, so that the borrower does not feel that he has come to claim his money. However, if the lender meets the borrower on a regular basis, and also if he does not know that the borrower does not have the money to repay, then he is permitted to meet him and speak with him, because the borrower will not be embarrassed.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Parashath Mishpatim, Halakha BaParasha)
ID: ed46e No.2107
It says in the Midrash that when one hears another pray for something good, or hears him bless another Jew, one must answer Amen. This even applies to a blessing which does not include G-d's Name. That is why we answer Amen to each Harahman in Birkath HaMazon.
If one has just said a Berakha (blessing) before eating a food, or performing a precept (Miswah), and hears someone else recite a blessing, one may not answer Amen between one's own blessing and eating the food or performing the precept. One should only answer Amen after one has eaten the food or performed the Miswah in question.
If the one reciting the blessing stuttered in the wording of the blessing, or skipped over the portion of Shem Umalkhuth (G-d's Name and Kingdom), one does not answer Amen. The reason is that it is not considered to be a blessing.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 215, Oth 11, 13, 15)
ID: ed46e No.2111
The Kaf Hahayyim brings down that if one hears a proper blessing recited by a Yishma'el, even though it is recited in Arabic, one answers Amen. The reason is because his intention is to bless G-d and not Abodah Zarah (idolatry).
We mentioned that if a small child is learning to recite a blessing, we do not answer Amen. However, when a child who is of the age of instruction (Hinnukh), says a Berakha (blessing) in order to fulfill his obligation of reciting a blessing, we do answer Amen. The age of instruction depends on the individual child, and is generally around the age of six. Even though the adult answers Amen, he does not fulfill his obligation with the child's blessing, since a child is not actually obligated in the commandment.
Additionally, it says in the Shulhan 'Arukh, that when a child who has reached the age of instruction, recites the blessings on the Haftarah in the Synagogue, one also answers Amen. This is because a child is permitted to read the Maftir and Haftarah in the Synagogue on Shabbath.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 215:3. Kaf Hahayyim ibid., oth 15, 18, 20)
ID: ed46e No.2116
וְגֵר לֹא תוֹנֶה וְלֹא תִלְחָצֶנּוּ The first portion says, "And you shall not hurt the feelings of a stranger" (Shemoth 22:20). Rabbenu Bahya writes that this refers to causing harm to him verbally, as is explained by Rashi. The next portion says, "you shall not take advantage of him". This comes to tell us that one may not negatively affect him physically, such as by stealing from him.
In fact, this is just one of many instances where the Torah speaks about a stranger or Ger (proselyte), and how he must be treated fairly and appropriately. The word "Ger" implies a lone berry at the end of a long branch. A Ger is like this berry, alone with no family to support or protect him. We can imagine that he is particularly vulnerable emotionally as well as physically. Human inclination is to treat such a person disrespectfully and to take advantage of him.
The Torah warns us we must be very careful in our behavior towards a stranger. We would be greatly mistaken if we thought that there was no one to take up his cause. The Holy One Blessed be He will take up his cause. Just like G-d took up our cause when we were strangers in the land of Egypt, so too He would take up the cause of the stranger in our midst if he were treated unfairly.
This is just another example of how the Torah ensures that the Jewish people adhere to principles that are above the norm of the nations around us.
(See Rabbenu Bahya on the Torah, Mishpatim 22:20)
ID: ed46e No.2118
Even if the person is of high standing, and would not ordinarily be seen doing his shopping in the marketplace or supermarkets, nevertheless, when it comes to preparing for Shabbath, he should make the effort do something to prepare for Shabbath. In this way we honor Shabbath. We can learn this from the greatest of our Hakhamim at the time of the Gemara (Shabbath 119a).
Rab Hisda would chop the vegetables very fine. Rabba and Rab Yosef would chop wood. Ribbi Zera would light the fire. Ribbi Abhu would fan the flames. Rab Papa would braid the wicks. Rab Safra would singe the head of the animal and Rabba would salt fish. Rab Nahman would prepare the house and bring in whatever was needed for Shabbath and remove anything that was for the rest of the week. And he would do this several times. This he would do to clearly demonstrate that he wished to honor Shabbath in the way that one would honor and fear one's master who was coming to visit.
From these great Hakhamim we learn that a man must make an effort himself and not say, "It will be a slight to my honor". On the contrary, honoring the holy Shabbath is a man's honor.
(See Sefer Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Lekh Lekha, Oth 6)
ID: ed46e No.2120
It says in Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah that even if a man gives charity (Sedaqa) unwittingly, without intending to, it brings him much reward. How can a person give without intending to?
It is like the story of a man who was walking down the road with money in his pocket. He didn't have the slightest intention of giving charity, but what he didn't realize, was that there was a hole in his pocket. As he walked down the road, several coins fell onto the road through the hole in his pocket. A poor man saw them and picked them up. He saw that there was enough money for him to buy bread for the family, which he did.
When he returned home, he and his family did Netilath Yadayim with the Berakha (blessing), sat at the table and recited the blessing of Hammosi on the bread. While they ate, they sang songs of praise and spoke words of Torah at the table. They finished by reciting the Birkath HaMazon (grace after meals).
When, after a long life, the man who lost the money went up to Heaven, they told him that he had received much credit for his act of charity which enabled a family to fulfill so many commandments. The man started arguing with the Beth Din Shel Ma'alah (court on high). "I never intended to give and I have no recollection of it". He was told that it was irrelevant and that he had been credited for doing this important good deed.
If, for performing an act of charity that one had no intention to do, one receives so much reward, how much more so will one receive great rewards for charity that one has the intent to do.
ID: ed46e No.2123
Saying G-d's Name unnecessarily, is a very serious matter. If someone recites a Berakha (blessing), with G-d's Name, when it is not required, it is considered to be taking G-d's Name in vain. Those who hear someone recite a blessing unnecessarily, may not answer Amen after it.
If someone mentions G-d's Name in Hebrew, without knowing that it is forbidden to do so, the one who hears it should caution him about this and let him know that it is forbidden and that he should not do it again. Even one who mentions G-d's Name unnecessarily in a language other than Hebrew, should be told not to do so.
If someone wishes to say that G-d did such and such for him, one must not interrupt him after he says G-d's Name, but should let him finish his sentence. To interrupt him will cause him to have said G-d's Name in vain. On the other hand, if one hears someone mention G-d's Name in order to curse another person, then one must make a point of interrupting him to prevent him from sinning by cursing with G-d's Name.
See Shulhan 'Arukh, 215:4. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 22, 25, 26
ID: ed46e No.2125
Even if one recites a Berakha (blessing) which is not required, in a language other than Hebrew, one still transgresses the commandment of not taking G-d's Name in vain (Shemoth 20:7). One may not cause a situation which will require an additional blessing to be recited unnecessarily.
For instance, one may not tell members of one's household not to bring all the fruits out together, so that one will recite a blessing each time new fruits are brought out. This is forbidden, even on Shabbath where we need to make up the number of blessings in different ways, such as smelling Hadas (myrtle) and the like.
If someone made a Neder (vow) to fast, and forgot, and said a blessing and put the food in his mouth, and only while chewing, remembered his Neder, he must spit it out without swallowing anything. In this case he must not be concerned about having said G-d's Name in vain. However, since he did do so, he must say the verse of "Barukh Shem…".
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 215, Oth 27, 28, 30, 31)
ID: ed46e No.2128
Being careful not to take G-d's Name in vain, also applies to reading from the Torah. When reading from the Torah, if one makes a mistake in the tune (Ta'amim) on G-d's Name, one must not repeat it. Instead, one must go back to the beginning of the sentence, or to the middle of it. To simply repeat G-d's Name, would be taking it in vain. This applies to the Hazzan reading it in Synagogue and also to an individual who is reading the Torah by himself.
Hakham Rafael Barukh Toledano, 'a"h, comments that the Somekh, or one who is correcting the reader, must also be careful in this situation. He must not say G-d's Name over to him with the correct tune, because this would also be considered taking G-d's Name in vain. Instead, he should simply say the name of the Ta'am (tune), Rabia' or Zarqa and so on.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 216. Kisur Sh. [Toledano] 'A. 212:22)
ID: ed46e No.2133
דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ לִי תְּרוּמָה "Speak to the Children of Israel and let them take for me an offering" (Shemoth 25:2). In truth, the use of the word וְיִקְחוּ (take), seems somewhat hard to fathom. The word should have been "give", since it is a matter of giving an offering to G-d. "Take" implies that the Children of Israel are actually the receivers.
The Alshikh Haqqadosh mentions that Razal, in Midrash Ruth Rabbah, teach us that when it comes to giving to another, more than the giver benefits the poor person who is receiving, the poor person actually benefits the giver. The giver gives the poor person some money or some food – something physical. The poor person, by receiving it, reciprocates by giving the donor the opportunity to receive spiritual reward for his act.
The same concept applies to the Mishkan. Benei Yisrael gave physical items, gold, silver, copper, etc. Whenever we give a donation for a holy purpose, we probably feel that we have done an amazing deed. G-d, however, does a much greater favor by taking it from us, than we do by giving it to Him. That is why it says, וְיִקְחוּ לִי תְּרוּמָה, "Take for me an offering", because at the end of the day, we are the real takers. What we give to G-d is mere materialistic items, but what He gives us is real spiritual benefit.
(See Alshikh HaQadosh on the Torah, Terumah)
ID: ed46e No.2138
Even though a person should do certain preparations for Shabbath himself, even if he ordinarily would have others do it for him, there is an exception to the rule. If it would be demeaning to the Torah, a person should not do it. What would be the case?
If the person is a Talmid Hakham (Torah scholar) and people who see him wouldn't understand if they see him going to the marketplace to buy something, that it is in honor of Shabbath, or if they see him doing something that appears beneath his station and they don't understand the concept of honoring Shabbath this way, then he should refrain from doing it. People would probably feel that he is doing something beneath his dignity simply to save money or the like and this would be a disgrace to the Torah, Heaven forbid.
In such a case he should refrain from doing any such thing in public. At home, however, when only members of his household are present, he should still do something himself in honor of Shabbath, because he can explain the reason to them.
(See Meqabsiel, 2nd year, Lekh Lekha, Oth 6)
ID: ed46e No.2140
בִּשְׁנַת שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה לַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ הִפִּיל פּוּר הוּא הַגּוֹרָל לִפְנֵי הָמָן "In the 12th year of King Ahashuerosh, [they] cast a Pur, which was a lot, before Haman" (Esther 3:7). When one looks at the most common translations of this Pasuq (verse) there is an ambiguity as to who actually cast the lot, because the verse is actually not clear as to whom this refers.
It is brought down in Nahal Eshkol that Ahashuerosh hated the Jewish people so much that he, himself, was the one who cast the lot before Haman. In fact the placing of Ahashuerosh, in the verse, right next to the matter of the Pur, was deliberate. The precise reading is, "In the 12th year of King Ahashuerosh, [He] cast a Pur, which was a lot, before Haman".
If so, why couldn't it says so specifically and not in a hidden manner? The answer is that it is written in such a manner out of honor for the kingdom.
(See Nahal Eshkol, Hid"a)
ID: ed46e No.2143
There is a difference of opinion as to whether one should give three coins or just one as a remembrance of the half Sheqel that was given in the month of Adar. The Rama, z"l, states that there is an opinion that one should give a half coin of the currency of the time, in memory of the half Sheqel. The commandment of giving half a Sheqel appears in Parashath Ki Thissa. There the word Terumah (offering) appears three times. As such, there are those who give three coins of half the largest currency of the land.
Not everyone agrees with this. The Gaon of Vilna would only donate one coin, which was a half of the currency in gold. The Kaf Hahayyim also disagrees that there should be three coins. He comments that even though the word Terumah appears three times, they are not referring to the same thing. One was for the yearly sacrifice but the other two were donations for the Mishkan which were given once and never again.
They were given in the first year after the Children of Israel left Egypt and donated for the Mishkan. As such, there is no purpose served in giving in their memory since that donation ceased permanently, right away. In accordance with this, one simply gives one coin which is a half of the local currency.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hagim, 63:2. Kaf Hahayyim, 694, Oth 23)
ID: ed46e No.2147
The Purim Meal (Se'uddath Purim) should be eaten and enjoyed with much happiness. One must be careful, however, that with all the good food and drink as well as company, one doesn't come to behave in an inappropriate manner.
It says in the Meghillah, לַיְּהוּדִים הָיְתָה אוֹרָה וְשִׂמְחָה "The Jews had light and happiness". From this we learn that it is good to learn some Torah before starting the Purim meal. Our Rabbis teach us (Meghillah 16b), that Orah refers to Torah. The study of Torah is always a protection against the Yeser Hara' (evil inclination).
Whenever there is a celebration, it tries extra hard to cause us to stumble. And in the case of the Purim Se'uddah, the Torah study will protect us from falling into the trap of any inappropriate behavior during the meal.
(See Rama, 695:2. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., 27)
ID: ed46e No.2150
In a place where there is no Minyan, but several people have come together for the reading of the Meghillah, what they should do depends on the following. If one person is able to read it but the others don't know how, he should read it aloud for everybody and they fulfill their obligation through his reading.
If, on the other hand, everybody is competent at reading and can read it for themselves, then each person should read it for himself. Nevertheless, after the fact, if one person read it aloud for everyone, provided he had the intent to read it on their behalf and they had the intent to fulfill their obligation through his reading, they will have fulfilled their obligation.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 689:5. Kaf Hahayyim ibid., Oth 25)
ID: ed46e No.2153
וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ שֶׁמֶן זַיִת זָךְ כָּתִית לַמָּאוֹר "They should take to you pure beaten olive oil for the light" (Shemoth 27:20). What is the reason that the Torah requires the Menorah to be lit with olive oil specifically? Many other oils would also burn well.
As we know, the Menorah hints at the Torah. The holy Zohar tells us that the olive tree is superior to all other trees in that it has olives throughout the year, unlike other trees that only produce their fruit in a specific season. The light of the Torah can be compared to the light produced with olive oil – it burns continuously, throughout the year.
Whatever the season, summer or winter, whether it is cold or hot, the fire of Torah must burn, in the same way that the olive tree produces its fruit throughout the year. This is an explanation for the continuation of the Pasuq (verse), לְהַעֲלֹת נֵר תָּמִיד "for the lamp to burn always". Irrespective of the season, the study of the Torah must continue "always", without any interruption.
(See Benayahu, Menahoth 89a)
ID: ed46e No.2157
Even though throughout the week one buys bread to eat, on Shabbath kneading and baking the bread at home on Friday, is considered honoring the Shabbath. This is true, even though the bread that one buys is Path Yisrael (Jewish bread). Specifically, when a woman kneads the dough on Friday, she separates the Hallah. Adam was considered to be the "Hallah" of the world, and he was created on Friday.
Those who eat non Jewish bread (baked by non Jews, but Kosher), during the week, should make the effort to eat only Path Yisrael on Shabbath and Yom Tob.
Some women have the custom of giving coins in charity when they separate the Hallah. This is a fine custom and, ideally, they should give at least three coins. The coins should be separated and placed in a pouch or container which is specifically for charity. Two coins should be placed there together, and the third after that. Whoever gives more, will receive more blessings.
(See Meqabsiel 2nd year, Lekh Lekha, 10)
ID: ed46e No.2161
It says in the Gemara of Meghillah (13b) that when Haman drew lots in order to destroy the Jewish people, he rejoiced greatly when it fell on the month of Adar. He said that the lot had fallen for him on the month that Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, the savior of the Jewish people died, and he saw in this a good omen for his evil plans. Our Rabbis tell us that he was not aware that Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, was also born in that month.
It asks in Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, what difference it makes that Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, was born in Adar, because at the end of the day, he did die in Adar. The answer is that Saddiqim (the righteous) are considered greater in their death than in their lives. As such, the fact that they passed away does not have any negative impact on the fact that they were born.
Maharam Shif asks why Haman chose the 13th of Adar as the day to destroy the Jews and not the 7th of Adar, which was the day that Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, died. They answered that Haman chose the 13th because in the eyes of the non Jews, thirteen is an unlucky number. Apparently he was unaware that for the Jews it is a very special number. 13 represents the 13 attributes of mercy as well as being the gematria of love and the number one. This was just another miscalculation of Haman's.
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, 'Elleh Mo'adei H', Rahamin BeAhabah)
ID: ed46e No.2165
If multiple people read the Meghillah out loud together, all those who hear them read fulfill their obligation by hearing them. This assumes that there are many people in the Synagogue. However, if there is just a Minyan, then it is preferable for only one person to read aloud and the others to hear his reading. This is on account of the concept of Berob 'Am Hadrath Melekh (the King's glory is in the multitudes).
This assumes, however, that the ones who are listening can hear every word. If, on the other hand, because there are multiple people reading at the same time, it is not possible to hear or make out every word, even if one concentrates intently, then those listening will not have fulfilled their obligation of hearing the Meghillah read.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Orah Hayyim, 690:2. Kaf Hahahyyim, ibid., Oth 8-10)
ID: ed46e No.2167
The words of the Meghillah must be read from a Kasher Meghillah written on parchment. As a result, when someone is following from a printed book, he must not read it out loud, but must listen to the Hazzan. A further ramification is that the no one should help the Hazzan by heart, but should only do so from a valid Meghillah.
That is why the Pesuqim (verses) that are read out loud by the congregation, must then be repeated by the Hazzan. When the Hazzan repeats them, he must ensure that he actually reads them from a Kosher Meghillah. The reason is that, a priori, no one fulfilled their obligation with the reading of those Pesuqim by the congregation, since they read them out loud by heart.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 690:4. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 29. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 15, 16)
ID: ed46e No.2172
Even though on the night of Purim everyone is fasting when they come to Synagogue to hear the Meghillah, nevertheless, one should make a point of wearing fine clothes in honor of Purim, and not like those who show up in casual clothes and leave their special clothes for the day of Purim. Rabbenu Hayyim Wittal, z"l, used to wear his fine clothes for the eve of Purim, since it says in the Meghillah, "And Esther wore royal clothes" (Esther 5:1), and "And Mordekhai went out…in royal clothes" (Esther 8:15).
The Se'uddah (festive meal) is eaten during the day, and if one eats it at night one does not fulfill one's obligation, because it says, "days of banquets and rejoicing". Nevertheless, one should still eat a somewhat special meal at night and leave the main festive meal for the morning. A Se'uddah should include bread, however, if one eats the Purim Se'uddah without bread, one still fulfills one's obligation.
(See Kaf Hahayyim 695 Oth 3, 4, 13)
ID: ed46e No.2176
וְשָֽׁמְרוּ בְנֵֽי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת לַֽעֲשׂוֹת אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת לְדֹֽרֹתָם "And the Children of Israel shall keep the Shabbath, to do the Shabbath for their generations" (Shemoth 31:16). People go to all lengths to justify not keeping Shabbath. I have had people justify driving on Shabbath to me, by saying that since it says "And you shall call the Sabbath a delight", it is considered a delight to drive to the Synagogue on Shabbath in a climate controlled car with music playing, as opposed to walking distances in the heat or snow.
Maran Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, says that there are those who say that the commandment of not lighting fire on Shabbath applied to the generation of the wilderness. They had to rub two flints together (which surely was hard work). Today, on the other hand, at the push of a button we can have a flame at our disposal. "That hardly constitutes work", they say, "and, therefore, doesn't apply anymore".
In the very near future, we will have smart stoves which will ignite at the command of our voice. Soon, we will be able to just think it. Nothing could be less effort. However, the Torah says that we have to keep Shabbath "for our generations". In other words, when the Torah says that lighting a fire is forbidden on Shabbath, then it is forbidden on Shabbath for all generations, as are all the other commandments.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Ki Thissa, Parparaoth)
ID: ed46e No.2183
Even though at the time of the Shulhan 'Arukh there was a question as to whether or not a watch could be carried on Shabbath, it has become the custom to consider a watch to be a Keli SheMelakhto LeHetter (object whose use is a permitted one). As such, one may carry it in the house, even from the sun to the shade.
A watch that has stopped working and needs repair, however, may not be carried on Shabbath. Similarly, a watch that has stopped, even though it is isn't broken, such as a watch that needs winding, may not be carried on Shabbath.
Some are lenient to wear electronic watches that constantly display the time, however, it is appropriate to be strict and not wear or carry a watch of this type on Shabbath. An electronic or smart watch that requires a button to be pressed or where swiping the face causes the display to appear or change, is completely forbidden to be carried or worn on Shabbath.
(See Menuhath Ahabah, 12:5, 6)
ID: ed46e No.2185
The Jewish tapestry is blessed with a plethora of different customs. Nowhere is this more apparent than on Pesah (Passover). If there are several different congregations or communities of different origins, in one town, and each one has their own customs, that differ from the others in that town, each congregation should keep their own customs.
This does not come under the prohibition of Lo Thithgodedu (do not separate yourself into groups). It is similar to a situation where there are two Bathei Din (Jewish ecclesiastic courts), in the same town. If one court rules that something is forbidden and the other rules that it is permitted, this does not come under the banner of Lo Thithgodedu.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 468, Oth 65)
ID: ed46e No.2188
The Shulhan 'Arukh mentions that if an Istinis (one who is particularly sensitive), would eat during the day on 'Ereb Pesah and, as a result, would not be able to eat at night at the Seder with a good appetite, he should fast 'Ereb Pesah, so that he can eat the Massoth (מצות - unleavened bread), that night, with a good appetite. Nevertheless, if 'Ereb Pesah falls on Shabbath, he should not fast, but should eat something light.
The Orhoth Yosher writes that the custom of the senior most member of the household and of an Istinis fasting on 'Ereb Pesah, is a custom that should be stopped. The reason is that we are weaker nowadays than they used to be in earlier times. Even if at the moment, a person feels that he can fast, he writes that the person would not be able to do the Seder the way it is supposed to be done, including being able to speak about the exodus from Egypt, and these are all Torah commandments.
According to him, only the firstborn are permitted to fast. In fact, even the firstborn, if they have a weak constitution and would not be able to do the Seder at night, the way it is supposed to be done, they should not fast but should redeem it with money, instead.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 470:3. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 11. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 33, 34, 26)
ID: ed46e No.2192
מצה (Massah) of the type that one can use on the night of the Seder to fulfill one's obligation, may not be eaten at all throughout the day on 'Ereb Pesah (14th of Nissan).
Some Ashkenazim do not eat מצה (Massah) from Rosh Hodesh Nissan. The prevalent Sephardi custom is not to eat מצה שמורה (Shemura Massah) from Rosh Hodesh and regular מצה (Massah) on the day of the 14th of Nissan. The Shulhan 'Arukh writes that bread, including מצה עשירה (rich Massah) may only be eaten up to the end of the 9th hour. The reason is because one must eat the מצה (Massah - unleavened bread) at night with a good appetite.
From the beginning of the 10th hour, one may eat some fruits and vegetables, and even other foods such as cheese or eggs, and even meat or chicken, provided one does not fill oneself up with them. One who is an Istinis (particularly sensitive), and would not be able to eat with a good appetite at night if he ate after the start of the 10th hour, should not eat anything.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 471:1, 2. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 1-6, 12. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 1-4, 7)
ID: ed46e No.2195
The rule about not eating bread from the beginning of the 10th hour on the 14th of Nissan ('Ereb Pesah), and eating lighter foods during the rest of the day, assumes that if one does so, one will be able to eat the מצה (Massah) at the Seder with a good appetite. However, this applies to the average person, but each person knows himself.
As such, if a person knows that if he eats after a certain time, even if it is before the time laid down by the Hakhamim, and, as a result, will not be able to eat at night with a full appetite, then he should not eat past that time. This applies even to eating fruits and the like.
A child who is not old enough to comprehend what one is recounting at the Seder, about the exodus from Egypt, may be fed מצה (Massah) the whole day, even at night before the Seder. A child who does understand the concept of the exodus from Egypt, however, must not be fed מצה (Massah).
(See Rama, 471:2. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 10. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 13)
ID: ed46e No.2198
שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תֵּעָשֶׂה מְלָאכָה וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי יִהְיֶה לָכֶם קֹדֶשׁ שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן לַה "For six days shall work be done and on the seventh day it shall be holy unto you, a Sabbath of rest to the L-rd" (Shemoth 35:2). It says in Ben Ish Hai Derushim, that this appears to be a commandment that there is an obligation to do Melakha (servile work) during the other six days of the week.
Since, however, the vowel signs on the word are תֵּעָשֶׂה (Te'aseh - shall be done) and not תַעֲשֶׂה (Ta'aseh - you shall do), the meaning changes completely. What the verse is now saying is that for six days of the week, work will be done "by itself". How can this happen? If a person keeps Shabbath fully and correctly, he will have the merit to rest even on the other days of the week, in the same way that the wealthy who have a large retinue of staff to take care of their matters, don't have to toil as hard in their endeavors.
This is how G-d rewards those who keep the commandments of resting on Shabbath, measure for measure. The only condition is that, "it shall be holy unto you", a day dedicated to G-d.
(See Ben Ish Hai, Derushim, Wayyaqhel)
ID: ed46e No.2202
A Keli SheMelakhto Le-issur (an object whose use is one that is forbidden on Shabbath), may be carried on Shabbath to be used for a purpose that is permitted on Shabbath. However, it may not be carried in order to protect it from getting spoiled or stolen.
Tefillin are considered to be a Keli SheMelakhto Le-issur. They may only be carried if they themselves are needed, such as if people want to learn about the knots or the letter "Sheen" which is on them. They may also be moved if their place is required.
As such, if one requires one's Sissith (Tallith Gadol) which is under one's Tefillin, the Tefillin may be removed in order to take the Tallith Gadol. If however, it is possible to simply pull the Tallith out from under the Tefillin, then one must not pick up the Tefillin. If the Tefillin are in a place which is demeaning to their honor, they may also be moved.
(See Menuhath Ahabah, 12:7, 12)
ID: ed46e No.2208
The Midrash tells us (Shir HaShirim Rabba 4:12) that the nations of the world said, when the Children of Israel were in Egypt, that the Egyptians ruled over the bodies of the Jewish men. If so, it went without saying, that they ruled over the Jewish women too.
It is not surprising that the nations of the world would think like this, since Egypt epitomized immorality. As we know, the Egyptian women had may firstborns. Each one would be from a different man. When G-d brought about the Makkath Bekhoroth (plague of the firstborn), there was no Egyptian house in which no one died and there were many deaths in the houses, since there were many firstborns.
G-d said that He would bring about the plague of the firstborn upon Pharaoh and Egypt. He did not say that He would bring it upon the Jewish people. The reason is that the Jewish women had no contact whatsoever with the Egyptian men. The fact that no firstborn died in any Jewish home was proof that no Egyptian was able to be the cause of any of the children in the Jewish homes. Such was the level of morality among the Jewish women.
(See Ben Ish Hayil, 4, Shabbath HaGadol 2)
ID: ed46e No.2214
Only the fourth Kos (cup) during the Seder, has a Berakha Ahronah (after blessing). As a result, one is obligated to drink a full Rebi'ith. (There are varying opinions as to what constitutes a Rebi'ith from 2.8 ozs., to 4 ozs. Midrash BEN ISH HAI follows 3 ozs.).
The reason is that a Berakha Ahronah can only be recited when one has drunk a full Rebi'ith. The three other cups, however, do not have their own final blessing recited after them. The first two are covered by the Birkath HaMazon after the meal. The third does not have it's own Berakha Ahronah because it will soon be followed by the fourth cup and the Berakha Ahronah will cover it also.
As such, if a person is unable to drink a full Rebi'ith for the first three cups, it is sufficient if he drinks the majority of a Rebi'ith (Rob Rebi'ith). However, ideally, one should strive to drink a full Rebi'ith for all four cups.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 472:60)
ID: ed46e No.2219
It is preferable to use red wine for the four cups at the Seder. The reason, based on a verse in Mishlei (Proverbs, 23:31), is that red wine is considered to be superior to white. This assumes that the red wine is of at least the same quality as the white.
If, however, the white wine is of a superior quality, then the white wine should be used for the four cups. The Mishnah Berurah writes that in a location where there are scandalous libels leveled against the Jews (Heaven forbid), one should refrain from using red wine.
One may use any kind of wine, but the choicest way of performing the precept is with the best wine, with no mixtures.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 472:11, 12. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., 78, 79, 81, 82)
ID: ed46e No.2222
The importance of giving charity to help the poor perform the Seder on Passover, is very great. The Shulhan 'Arukh writes that even a poor person who lives on charity should sell his clothing, borrow or hire himself out, in order to obtain wine for the 4 cups (Arba' Kosoth) at the Seder.
Those who distribute charity are obligated to give the poor person wine and Massoth (Matzoth), so that the poor person will not be in the position of having to sell his clothes and the like, in order to have wine for the four cups. If a person only has enough wine for one night, he should use it all on the first night and not leave any for the second night.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 472:13. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 83, 86. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 41, 42)
ID: ed46e No.2226
וַיִּקְרָא אֶל מֹשֶׁה וַיְדַבֵּר ה' אֵלָיו מֵאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד לֵאמֹר "And [G-d] called to Moses, and G-d spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying" (Wayyiqra 1:1). Our Hakhamim tell us that when Moshe Rabbenu (Moses), 'a"h, wrote the word ויקרא (He called), he had trouble doing it. This was on account of his incredible humility, because he wasn't able to say that G-d showed him special affection by calling him to enter the Tent of Meeting.
That is the reason why the word ויקרא (He called), is written with a small Aleph (א). By writing it small, it is almost as if the Aleph isn't there at all. If the word is written without an Aleph, it no longer means "He called", but implies that it was just something that "happened" (מקרה).
The greatness of Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, is not hinted at till the beginning of this Parasha. The laws of offerings (which are given in order to purify oneself) are mentioned at the beginning of Sefer Wayyiqra. It is not coincidental that the attribute of humility is also hinted at here. The small Aleph that is in the first word, teaches us something additional. If a person wants to purify himself, he must first work on becoming humble.
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, pg 11. Dibrei Mordekhai, Wayyiqra, Parparaoth)
ID: ed46e No.2227
Pots and pans that one cooks in are considered to be Keli SheMelakhto Le-issur (an object whose use is one that is forbidden on Shabbath). The reason is that, even though one tends to leave the food in them till it is eaten, nevertheless, the primary function of a pot is to do the Melakha (forbidden Shabbath labor) of Bishul (cooking).
This applies to an empty pot. When the pot contains food, however, the pot may be carried, because, as long as there is food inside it, the pot is considered to be of secondary importance and the food is considered to be the primary item. If the pot is on the table, it may be moved in all instances, because it is considered to be unpleasant on account of the remnants of food left over in it.
. Menuhath Ahabah, 12:7, 14)
ID: ed46e No.2231
Even though one did Netilath Yadayim (the ritual washing of hands) for the Karpas during the Seder on Pesah, one must do it again, with the Berakha (blessing) of 'Al Netilath Yadayim, before eating the Massah (Matzah). The reason is that one read the Haggadah in the meantime and took one's mind off the fact that one had washed one's hands.
Because of the concept of Lehem Mishneh, one must take all three Massoth the way they are on the table (the two whole ones and the piece in the middle), and recite the Berakha of Hammosi. One then puts down the third one and holding the piece of the middle Massah, one recites the Berakha of 'Al Akhilath Massah.
One should not break the Massoth till one has recited both blessings. One should then dip them in salt three times, and eat them while leaning.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 475:1. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Parashath Saw, Oth 34. Kaf Hahayyim, 475, Oth 1, 6)
ID: ed46e No.2236
When breaking the Massah (Matzah), one should break a Kezayith (1 oz.) from the upper Massah and a Kezayith from the middle piece. One should then eat the two kezayiths together right away. While this is a simple matter for those eating soft Massah, those who eat only the hard ones sometimes have difficulty with this.
What should one do if he is unable to eat the two Kezayiths together? If a person needs to break them up into smaller pieces, one should put the pieces of the top complete Massa in one's mouth first and then eat from the middle ones.
The reason why one must eat two Kezayiths right away when it is normally sufficient to eat one after the blessing of Hammosi, is because there is a doubt as to whether the blessing of 'Al Akhilath Massah goes on the first one or on the second piece. Therefore we must eat a Kezayith of each.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Parashath Saw, Oth 34. Kaf Hahayyim, 475, Oth 19)
ID: ed46e No.2243
The obligation to eat (Massah) is only on the first night of Pesah (first two nights outside the Land of Israel). On Sukkoth we recite the blessing on the Sukkah, whenever we eat bread, for the entire Festival, even though the obligation to eat bread in the Sukkah is only on the first night. On Pesah, we only recite the blessing of 'Al Akhilath Massah on the first night. Why do we not recite it throughout the Holiday in the way we do on Sukkoth?
The answer is that one is not obligated by the Torah, to eat Massah on the subsequent nights of Pesah, but could eat other things if one wishes. On Sukkoth, however, there is an obligation to dwell in the Sukkah for the entire Holiday.
In other words, all one's eating and sleeping should be in the Sukkah, and since it is not possible to go for a week without food or sleep, one is obligated to use the Sukkah. That is why the blessing is required.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 475, Oth 71)
ID: ed46e No.2247
The ideal time for kneading the מצות Massoth for the Seder is during the day on the eve of Pesah (Passover), the 14th of Nissan, after the sixth hour of the day. This is the time that the Passover sacrifice was offered in the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple).
When the 14th of Nissan falls out on Shabbath, the kneading is done on Friday, after the sixth hour of the day. Doing the kneading at a different time does not disqualify it, however. There are those who are particular to pray Minha before making the Massoth. Even though we say that it is preferable not to pray an early Minha (Minha Gedolah), this is different, because on 'Ereb Pesah they used to pray Minha before taking care of the offering.
Some would recite the Hallel when making these Massoth. This is in memory of the Hallel that they used to recite when bring the Pesah sacrifice.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 458:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 1, 4. Mishnah Berura, ibid., 1)
ID: ed46e No.2252
וְכָל מִנְחָה אֲשֶׁר תֵּאָפֶה בַּתַּנּוּר וְכָל נַעֲשָׂה בַמַּרְחֶשֶׁת וְעַל מַחֲבַת לַכֹּהֵן הַמַּקְרִיב אֹתָהּ לוֹ תִהְיֶה "And all the meal offering which will be baked in the oven, and all that is made in the Marhesheth and in the Mahbath (2 types of pans), shall be for the priest who offers it." (Wayyiqra 7:9). The Gemara of Menahoth (63a) explains that the difference between the two types of pans is that the Marhesheth has a cover, whereas the Mahbath does not.
It says in Sefer Benayahu that this appears to be support for Hazal in the Gemara of Yoma (86b), concerning an apparent contradiction between a verse in Tehillim and one in Mishlei (Proverbs). In Tehillim it says that one should cover up one's sins and not reveal them. In Mishlei (28:13), on the other hand, it says that one who covers up his sins will not succeed. They answer that one is referring to sins between man and G-d, whereas the other is for sins between man and his fellow man.
It would appear that we can say that the offering with the Marhesheth, which is covered, comes to atone for sins between man and G-d and that is why it is covered. The offering that is made in the Mahbath, which has no cover, is to atone for sins between a man and his neighbor, because about them it is said that one who covers up his sins, will not succeed.
(See Benayahu, Menahoth, 63a)
ID: ed46e No.2259
A Keli SheMelakhto Le-issur (an object whose use is one that is forbidden on Shabbath), may be moved on Shabbath if it's place is needed (לצורך מקומו), even if it has no possible permitted use on Shabbath. A Keli SheMelakhto Le-issur may also be moved if it is is required for some purpose (לצורך גופו).
One may not move a Keli SheMelakhto Le-issur on Shabbath, however, if the reason that one wishes to use it for, can be achieved without using any utensil or object. Even if using the utensil would make the task easier, as long as it can be accomplished without the utensil, one may not pick it up.
A Keli SheMelakhto LeHeter (an object whose use is one that is permitted on Shabbath), however, may be used, even if the task could be completed without it, provided that doing it without the utensil would make it somewhat more difficult. On the other hand, if it is no more difficult to do it without the utensil than with it, the utensil may not be picked up. Carrying an object for no reason is forbidden on Shabbath, even if it is an item whose use is considered to be for a permitted purpose.
(See Menuhath Ahabah, 12:7, 15-17)
ID: ed46e No.2261
Bediqath Hamess (the search for Leaven), should be done by the light of a wax candle. One should not use a candle of tallow or a bowl of oil with a wick, or a candle with multiple wicks, and so on, because one must be able to carefully check all the cracks and crevices, without fear of starting a fire.
Today, candles made out of actual wax are not so common, and many candles are made of paraffin. They are perfectly acceptable. If one doesn't have a paraffin candle either, one can use any candle that is available.
If one doesn't have a candle, on may use a flashlight. However, there is a difference of opinion about whether or not one may recite a blessing before the Bediqah if using a flashlight. Therefore, if one is using a flashlight, one should light a match, recite the blessing, start the search with the match and then continue with the flashlight.
(See Haggadah Abihem Shel Yisrael, pg. 16, Ner HaBediqah, 2)
ID: ed46e No.2262
The commandment to burn the Hamess (חמץ - leaven), also applies to women. Therefore, if the husband is not at home, the wife must burn the Hamess in the morning, before the time that we may no longer have any benefit from it.
The husband should read the Bitul (nullification), of the Hamess, wherever he is. Despite this, the wife should also read the Bitul after burning, mentioning "all the Hamess in her possession and in her husband's possession".
The same rule applies if the Ba'al HaBayith (householder) appoints any person to be his Shaliyah (agent) to burn his Hamess. The Shaliyah burns the Hamess at the appointed time and the Ba'al HaBayith recites the Bitul afterwards. The one who is doing the burning should adjust the words of the nullification to account for the fact that he is doing it on behalf of another person.
(See Haggadah Abihem Shel Yisrael, pg. 16, Ner HaBediqah, 8-11)
ID: ed46e No.2264
The beginning of the Haggadah recitation is "'Abadim Hayyinu" (we were slaves). This is the answer to the question , "MaNishtannah" (what is different?), and it is also the commandment of "Wehiggadeta Lebinkha" (and you shall tell your son).
The Haggadah should be explained to children as well as to all those who are present who may not understand. It should be interspersed with stories and in a way that they will all understand. In particular, one should explain the portion of Rabban Gamliel, that whoever doesn't say these three things, doesn't fulfill his obligation. The three things are, פסח, מצה ומרור "Pesah, Massah Umaror".
One should also explain the reason for Pesah, Massah (unleavened bread) and Maror (bitter herbs). In fact, it is good for all those present to say the words, "Pesah, Massah Umaror", together.
(See Haggadah Abihem Shel Yisrael, pg. 46, Maggid, 7-8)
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When we start 'Abadim Hayyinu, in the Haggadah, the Seder plate (Qe'arah) should be returned to the table. Those who place the items directly on the table, and cover the items instead of removing them, should uncover them at this point.
When reciting the Haggadah, the Massoth (Matzoth) should be uncovered. One reason is that Massah is called Lehem 'Oni (bread of affliction). The term 'Oni could also mean 'Onim (answer), as in answering the questions. Another reason is that Hazal tell us that we must answer the son who asks, at the time when the "Massah and Maror are placed before you".
Whenever the cup of wine is raised during the Seder, the Massoth must be covered. The reason is that since we were involved with the Massah all the time, it would be inappropriate to raise the wine and ignore the Massah.
(See Haggadah Abihem Shel Yisrael, pg. 46, Maggid, 9, 10, 12)
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וּלְמַעַן תְּסַפֵּר בְּאָזְנֵי בִנְךָ וּבֶן בִּנְךָ…וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי אֲנִי ה "So that you will say in the ears of your sons…and you shall know that I am the L-rd" (Shemoth 10:2). As we know, G-d metes out punishment (and reward equally so), measure for measure. The Egyptians subjugated and oppressed G-d's beloved people, the Children of Israel.
What was G-d's answer? He brought about the plague of the killing of the firstborn of the Egyptians. This was a clear statement to the Egyptians that just as a firstborn is beloved in the eyes of his parents, so too, the Jewish people are beloved in the eyes of HaQadosh Barukh Hu (the holy One blessed be He).
Just as a servant, who knows that his master loves him, will work extra hard to please his master and fulfill his wishes, so too, we the Jewish people, must repay this love that G-d has shown us, and serve Him to the best of our ability. This is part of the message that we must convey in the ears of our children
(See Ben Ish Hayil, 3, Shabbath HaGadol Derush, 3)
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On Mosei Yom Tob (when the Holiday finishes), whether it's the Mosei Yom Tob of Hol HaMo'ed or the one at the end of the Holiday, one recites Habdalah in the 'Arbith prayer and over a cup of wine, in the same way as we do at the end of Shabbath. However, unlike Habdalah after Shabbath, there is no candle or Besamim (fragrances).
The reason we have the fragrances on Mosei Shabbath is on account of the Neshama Yetherah (additional soul) that we receive on Shabbath. On Yom Tob there is no additional soul. However, if Mosei Shabbath is Yom Tob, we do not recite a blessing on the Besamim either.
The reason is that on Yom Tob we eat and drink and celebrate. All of these have the same effect as the Besamim.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 491:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., 1, 3)
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During the eight days of Pesah (7 in the Land of Israel), the following Parashioth are read in this order: 1) Mishkhu, 2) Shor OKheseb, 3) Qaddesh Li, 4) Im Kesef, 5) Pesol Lekha, 6) Waydabber…Bemidbar Sinai, 7) Beshallah, and (outside the Land of Israel on the 8th day), 8) Kol HaBekhor.
The reason for reading these portions is that on the first day we read about matters pertaining to the Pesah sacrifice. On the second day we read the portion connected with the counting of the 'Omer, which starts on the second day. The seventh day is when the Red Sea was crossed and we read the relevant portion from Parashath Beshallah.
The rest of the portions that are read are all connected with Pesah, and they are read in the order in which they appear in the Torah. They are always read in this order, except when the first day of Pesah falls on a Thursday. In that case, the portion of Pesol Lekha is read on Shabbath, which is the third day, instead of Qaddesh Li. The remaining three portions for Hol Hammo'ed are read in order, starting with Qaddesh Li on Sunday.
(See Ner Sion 12, Oth 41, 4)
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One is not permitted to pick fruits and vegetables on Hol HaMo'ed, unless it is for the specific purpose of using them on the Holiday. Therefore, one should only pick what one will need. This does not mean, however, that one has to ensure that one does not pick any more than necessary. One may pick whatever one feels might possibly be used even if, in the end, there is some left over.
If one is growing fruit and it has ripened to the point that if one does not pick it right away, it will start to spoil, one is permitted to pick it on Hol HaMo'ed. In such a case, one may box the fruit or refrigerate it so that it will not spoil, even though the purpose in doing so, is so that it can be used after the Holiday.
One may not wait deliberately till Hol Hamo'ed, in order to pick the fruit, however. Therefore, if the fruit is ready to be picked before the Holiday, it must be picked then.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Haggim, 19:28, 29)
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It says in Rab Pe'alim that placing Rimmonim (finials) on the Sefer Torah was not instituted in order to beautify the Sefer Torah. If that were the reason, we would not be permitted to remove them. Instead, the reason is a Qabbalistic one of great magnitude.
This is the reason for the custom of selling the honor of placing them on the Sefer Torah. While it is common to give them to little children to place on the Sifrei Torah (Sefer Torahs), there are those who understand the Qabbalistic importance of the Rimmonim, and buy the honor for themselves, for a high price.
It says in Ner Sion that it is possible that the custom to give them to little children is on account of the importance of the Miswah (commandment). Since little children have never tasted sin, it is appropriate to let them do it.
(See Rab Pe'alim, 4, Yoreh De'ah, 30. Ner Sion 11, 17)
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The treasure that the Children of Israel received at the sea was far greater than the treasure they received in Egypt. What was the reason that they merited to receive this great treasure (Rekhush Gadol) twice?
Pharaoh was guilty of two transgressions. He forced the Jewish people to work beyond their capacity, and he did so simply to cause them suffering. Proof of this is that he had no benefit from any of the work that they did. He could have used their intelligence for some financial benefit, by manufacturing or creating items that could have brought income to Egypt. However, he used them as no more than manual laborers.
He had them build Pithom and Raamses on land that was unable to hold the constructions, as our Rabbis tell us (Sotah 11a), Pithom is "Pi Tehom" (from the mouth of the depths) and Raamses implies "Mithroses" (to become ruined). Pharaoh's transgression was, therefore, twofold. He was guilty of enslaving the Children of Israel and of causing them hard labor simply as a wickedness. For the first reason he was punished in Egypt and for the second reason he was punished at the sea.
(See Ben Ish Hayil 1, Shabbath HaGadol 3)
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עַל שְׁלשָׁה דְבָרִים הָעוֹלָם עוֹמֵד עַל הַתּוֹרָה וְעַל הָעֲבוֹדָה וְעַל גְּמִילוּת חֲסָדִים "On three things does the world stand: on the Torah, on the service [to G-d] ('Abodah) and on loving kindness (Gemiluth Hasadim)" (Aboth 1:2). This Mishnah comes to teach us that a person must not say that it is enough that he is involved in the study of the Torah, because the other two (the service to G-d and loving kindness) are included in it.
One might think that is the case because we are told that if one studies the portion concerning the Hattath sin offering, it is considered as if he actually offered it. In the same way, one who studies Torah, which includes the service to G-d as well as loving kindness, might think that one is exempt from actually performing them.
The answer is that studying the portion of the Hattath sin offering is only considered to be equal to bringing the actual offering, when there is no Beth HaMiqdash (Temple) and no Mizbeyah (Altar). It does not apply when an actual offering can be brought. In the same way, the service to G-d and loving kindness must actually be performed, in addition to the study of the Torah, since we are in a position to do all three.
(See Zekhuth Aboth)
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There are those who, when they return the Sefer Torah to the Hekhal (Aron), remove the Rimmonim from the Sefer Torah and put them away in a special box. They should be put on the Sefer Torah when it is removed from the Hekhal, before showing it to the congregation, when, in Kabbalistic terms, the lights are revealed.
Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, writes in Rab Pe'alim, that it is a fine custom that the Shammash removes the Rimmonim from the Sefer Torah, an hour or more before the Sefer Torah is removed from the Hekhal. The reason is so that the one who purchased the honor of placing the Rimonim on the Sefer Torah, can place them on it at the appropriate time, which is just before the case is opened in order to show it to the congregation. For Kabbalistic reasons, the Rimmonim should not already be on the Sefer Torah before taking it out.
(See Rab Pe'alim, 4, Yoreh De'ah, 30. Ner Sion Nissan, 11, 18)
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If one counted the day of the 'Omer by saying the letter/letters of the Hebrew alphabet that correspond to the number of the day, one does not count again with a blessing. In other words, if one were to say, "Hayyom Heh (ה') Yamim La'Omer", instead of "Hamishah Yamim", or "Kaf Alef (כ"א) Yom", instead of 21 days, one does not repeat the blessing. It is appropriate, however, to repeat the count, without a blessing, in the prescribed manner.
If one did not repeat the count in the prescribed manner, one will still have fulfilled one's obligation. Therefore, one continues counting on subsequent nights, with a Berakha (blessing). It is for this reason that one must take care on the night of Lagh La'Omer not to say Lagh La'Omer (or Lagh Ba'Omer), which means 33 days of the 'Omer, till one has said the count for that night.
(See Hilkhoth Haggim, Maamar Mordekha [Eliyahu] 20:31)
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The most appropriate time to count the 'Omer is at the start of the night, at the emergence of three stars. One should make an effort to count as soon as possible after that time. However, if one did not count then, one may still, after the fact, count with a blessing at any time during the night, before the break of dawn. Once dawn breaks, however, one may no longer count with a blessing.
The prevalent custom is to count at the end of the 'Arbith prayer. Indeed, some are particular to always do so. However, one could, theoretically, also count before 'Arbith, if three stars are already visible and one wishes to pray 'Arbith at a later time. Therefore, if one is concerned that he may forget to count later, he should count after three stars are visible, even if it is before 'Arbith.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 489, Oth 12. Hilkhoth Haggim, Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 20:10, 11)
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וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה זֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה' תַּעֲשׂוּ וְיֵרָא אֲלֵיכֶם כְּבוֹד ה "And Moses said, this is the thing that G-d commanded that you shall do, and G-d's glory will appear to you" (Wayyiqra 9:6). A commandment must be performed, because that is what G-d instructed us and not because it seems logical. The question can be asked, what difference does it make if we do it because it is logical, after all G-d's Will is still being done.
Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, writes in Addereth Eliyahu that a person must not do a commandment because it is logical and that's what everyone else is doing. To do it for that reason will render it devoid of any holiness. If, on the contrary, a person does it precisely because that is what G-d commanded, then it will cause the person to be united with G-d. In addition, in Kabbalistic terms, it will cause celestial lights to come to a person.
The words "this is the thing that G-d commanded", come to tell us that even if something appears logical and is what everyone else is doing, we must, nevertheless, do it because that is what G-d commanded. And if we do so, then "G-d's glory will appear to you", meaning that the celestial lights will come to you.
(See Adderreth Eliyahu, Shemini)
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Unlike the categories of Muqseh of Keli SheMelakhto LeHeter (an object whose use is one that is permitted on Shabbath) and Keli SheMelakhto Le-issur (an object whose use is one that is forbidden on Shabbath), which may be moved on Shabbath with certain provisos (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-03-23
), the category of Muqseh Mehamath Hesron Kis (on account of financial loss), is much more stringent.
Any object that a person would not use on Shabbath because of a concern that it would cause a degradation in value, is forbidden to be carried on Shabbath, even if its normal use is one that would be permitted on Shabbath. It may not even be carried לצורך גופו ומקומו (if it or its place is needed).
Examples of this include merchandise that a person has set aside for sale and using it beforehand would diminish its value. Another example would be a very expensive item whose primary use is for a forbidden Shabbath labor. If the owner would be concerned that using it for a different permitted Shabbath use would spoil it or diminish its value, it also comes under the prohibition of Muqseh Mehamath Hesron Kis and may not be carried.
(See Menuhath Ahabah, 1, 12:18)
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הִלֵּל אוֹמֵר, אַל תִּפְרוֹשׁ מִן הַצִּבּוּר "Hillel says, 'Do not separate yourself from the congregation' " (Aboth 2:4). Our Rabbis of blessed memory said that a man must always be soft like a reed. This means that a person must always picture in his mind that he is soft like a reed and that he would not be able to support a ceiling.
The only way that he could support a ceiling is if he were bound together with many other reeds. This is what a person must always picture in his mind and should not feel that he is strong like a cedar, and able to support the weight by himself.
What the Mishnah is telling us is that one must not separate from the congregation because one feels that one is strong enough to go it alone. Even if one is together with the congregation initially and then separates from them, that is not acceptable. Not separating from the congregation applies at all times and one may not say to oneself that it was enough that he was with them initially and, thus, fulfilled the commandment.
(See Hasdei Aboth)
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One who is drunk to the point that he would be unable to speak in front of a king, in that he wouldn't speak clearly or would slur his words, is forbidden to pray the 'Amidah or the Shema'. Our Rabbis tell us that if he does, his prayer is considered to be an abomination, and it is considered as if he served idols. It may seem counterintuitive, but if he does not pray, he will be saved from all kinds of misfortune.
If, as a result of not praying while in an inebriated state, the person misses the time for prayer, he can make it up during the following prayer by praying an additional 'Amidah as a Tashlumin (make up prayer).
A person who is inebriated probably feels that he is doing the right thing by praying, or transgressing by not praying. The opposite is true. It is a transgression to pray in such a state, the prayer is considered invalid and all the blessings are considered to be in vain. Therefore, one must be very careful about this.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 99:1. Hesed La-alafim 99:1)
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If one drank a little wine or other alcohol and felt a little drunk, but was still largely in control of his senses and, certainly, could speak normally in front of a king, there is a difference of opinion as to what he should do. There is an opinion that he is forbidden to pray, till the effect of the alcohol wears off.
There are those, however, who take a lenient approach and say that, even if he drank but can still speak in front of a king, he may pray if the cut off time for praying is approaching. Obviously, before starting to drink a person should carefully consider how he might possibly be affected and how long he has left to pray. He must bear in mind that a person often underestimates the effect that alcohol will have on him.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 99:1. Hesed La-alafim 99:2)
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There is an opinion that if one started to drink wine or other alcohol, after the time for prayer has begun, if he is unable to pray on account of his inebriated state (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-04-16
) then it is considered to have been a wilful transgression (Mezid). This means that he would not be able to pray a Tashlumin (make up prayer).
If one is in such a situation, therefore, it would be preferable to pray the make up 'Amidah as a Nedabah (voluntary prayer). In this way one will fulfill one's obligation according to everyone. There is a caveat, however, and that it that a Nedabah may not be prayed on Shabbath and Yom Tob.
In all cases, therefore, it is important for one to think through the result of one's actions. If one needs to drink, it should always be measured and limited.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 99:1. Hesed La-alafim 99:1, 3)
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וְרָחַץ בַּמַּיִם אֶת כָּל בְּשָׂרוֹ "And he shall wash all his flesh in water" (Wayyiqra 15:16). In order to be purified, one has to immerse in a Miqweh that contains 40 Seah of water (approximately 575 liters). If there is any less than 40 Seah, the immersion is invalid.
The Gemara tells us (Erubin 14a/b) that we learn this from the fact that the Torah stresses that it must be "all" his flesh. Ordinarily, it should simply have said that he should wash his flesh, without mentioning the word "all". The Hakhamim calculated that the amount of water necessary to cover all a man's body was 40 Seah.
Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, writes in Sefer Benayahu, that the Torah itself, gives us a hint as to how much water is required. It says that a man must wash himself in water. The word water seems, in fact, superfluous. We would hardly have thought that he should wash himself in something else! The word water in Hebrew, Mayim (מים), can be read as מי מ (Mei Mim), which means waters 40. The fact that the Torah chose to include the word, comes as a big hint to us about the amount of water required.
(See Benayahu, 'Erubin, 14b)
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If an object is permitted to be used on Shabbath, because it's primary use is for an action permitted on Shabbath and it hasn't been set aside as merchandise to be sold, even if one would not use it for any other use because it would degrade its value or it would get spoiled, it may be carried on Shabbath like a Keli SheMelakhto LeHeter (an object whose use is one that is permitted on Shabbath).
Since it is permitted to be used on Shabbath for its primary purpose and the owner does not wish to sell it and is not concerned that it may lose its value, there is no issue.
If, however, a person has new items whose use is permitted on Shabbath, even if he has no intention of using them, provided he would not be concerned if they were used, their status is the same as any other object that may be carried on Shabbath. This is true even if he has set them aside to sell or give away as a present.
(See Menuhath Ahabah, 1, 12:18, 19)
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דַּע, מֵאַיִן בָּאתָ, וּלְאָן אַתָּה הוֹלֵךְ "Know from where you came and to where you are going" (Aboth 3: 1). It says in the Torah, אִישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו תִּירָאוּ וְאֶת שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ אֲנִי ה "A man must fear his father and mother and keep my Sabbaths, I am the L-rd…" (Wayyiqra 19:3).
One may question what connection there is between fearing parents and keeping Shabbath. Might a person think that honoring parents overrides keeping Shabbath? We learn from the Gemara of Yebamoth (5b), that since it says that 'You shall keep my Sabbaths, I am the L-rd', we learn that everyone is obligated to keep Shabbath.
Hakham Yehuda Fetaya, 'a"h, brings down in Atereth Rahel, that even though there are three partners in a person, G-d, his father and his mother, nevertheless, there is a significant difference between G-d and the parents' roles. All three are needed in order to bring the child into the world. But once the child is in the world, that is in the past. Going forward, G-d is the one who is the one who matters most and provides for him and gives him life.
From this we learn that when G-d says, "keep my Sabbaths, I am the L-rd", He is saying that you must fear Him more than your parents and that, therefore, Shabbath overrides even one's parents.
(See 'Atereth Rahel, Aboth 3:1)
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The Rama, z"l, writes in his gloss on the Shulhan 'Arukh, that one must make a point of always starting the reading from the Sefer Torah, with something good and to end with something good. In Torah Lishmah it says that, in general, people are more concerned about ending with something good than with beginning with something good. This is a mistake however, because it is even more important to begin with something positive.
It says in Mebassereth Sion, that there is support for this opinion from the Talmud Yerushalmi. It says we must start with something positive and end with something positive and we can learn from that, that one must be particular about the beginning just as one must be particular about the end. It could be from their words, that the beginning is more important, and not the end, as some people feel.
(See Rama, 138:1. Torah Lishmah, 376. Mebassereth Sion, 18)
ID: ed46e No.2337
The question is asked in Rab Pe'alim, as to how it is possible that the Parasha of BaMidbar ends with something negative. The last Pasuq (verse) is וְלֹא יָבֹאוּ לִרְאוֹת כְּבַלַּע אֶת הַקֹּדֶשׁ וָמֵתוּ "And they shall not come to see the covering of the holy things, lest they die" (Bammidbar 4:20) and the Rama, z"l, says that one may not end on a bad note (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-04-23
Indeed, this is not the only place which ends on an unfavorable note. The Parasha of Lekh Lekha ends with, "And Terah died in Haran", and other Parashioth also have negative endings. He answers, however, that this is not considered to be ending on a bad note. The reason is, that after the Hazzan reads the verse, the one who was called to the Torah, reads the final blessing.
The final blessing is what is considered to be the end of the reading and not the verse and the end of the Parasha. And one should not say that it is not the Hazzan who reads the final blessing, but someone else, because the Hazzan has to pay attention to it when it is recited by the one who was called up, in order to be able to reply 'Amen". And we have a concept that the one who hears is like the one who is reading.
(See Rama, 138:1. Rab Pe'alim 4, O.H., 42)
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The concept that the blessing recited after the Torah reading can be considered as "ending on a positive subject", even if the actual portion that ended the Torah reading was not positive (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-04-24
), only applies when a blessing is recited after the reading. The problem we run into is, that when reading the Shenayim Miqra WeEhad Targum (each verse from the Parasha, read twice, plus the Onkelos translation read once, that we read daily in the Hoq LeYisrael), we do not read a blessing after it. In such a case, we must be careful not to end on a negative note.
In the case, therefore, of וְלֹא יָבֹאוּ לִרְאוֹת כְּבַלַּע אֶת הַקֹּדֶשׁ וָמֵתוּ "And they shall not come to see the covering of the holy things, lest they die" (Bammidbar 4:20), one must make a point of not stopping there, even though it is the end of the Parasha. One should either read the following Pasuq (verse) from the next Parasha, or repeat a previous one that one read. The additional Pasuq should also be read Shenayim Miqra WeEhad Targum.
The same applies to the Haftaroth, which is why on Shabbath HaGadol, when the Haftarah ends with something bad, we repeat the penultimate verse of "Hinneh Anokhi Sholyeah Lakhem Eth Eliyah HaNabi (behold I am sending you Elijah the Prophet), which speaks about the redemption, may it come speedily in our days. It is prudent to be particular about this whatever one reads and even when giving Shi'urim (classes) and even in daily conversation.
(See Rama, 138:1. Rab Pe'alim 4, O.H., 42)
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דַּבֵּר אֶל אַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ וְאַל יָבֹא בְכָל עֵת אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ…וְלֹא יָמוּת "Speak to Aaron your brother, that he must not enter the holy place…so that he will not die" (WaYiqra 16:2). Coming right after the tragic death of two of the sons of Aharon HaKohen, 'a"h, (Aaron the high priest), who entered and offered an offering which was not commanded, what is the purpose served in adding the words "so that he will not die"? Wasn't that painfully obvious?
Rabbenu Bahyei tells us a parable to help explain the point. A man is very ill and a doctor comes to visit him. After examining him he cautions him not to eat cold food or to sleep on the wet ground. A second doctor comes to visit the man and proffers the exact same advice. However, he adds the words, "So that you won't die like another patient did, who had the same symptoms and ignored the warnings". This makes the urgency of following the instructions all the more vivid. That is why it is mentioned in this verse.
We have a tendency of leaving things unsaid, when they appear obvious to us. In truth, we must never assume that the other person understands what seems self-evident in our minds. But, when it comes to matters which could have serious outcomes, we must learn from this verse that we have to make it clear to the other person what the consequences might be.
(See Rabbenu Bahyei on the Torah, Wayyiqra, 16:2)
ID: ed46e No.2344
Dates, almonds and other fruits and foods, even if they have been set aside for selling, may, nevertheless, be carried on Shabbath or eaten. No food is considered to be Muqseh on Shabbath, other than fruit that is attached to a tree, or was attached when Shabbath started.
Foods that are not intended for eating at that time, however, such as Ethroghim before Sukkoth, which are to be sold for the Arba'ah Minnim (four species), are considered to be Muqseh Mehamath Hesron Kis (on account of financial loss - see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-04-13
Similarly, if the first night of Pesah (Passover), falls on Saturday night, then the Massah (Matzah) that will be used during the Seder is considered to be Muqseh Mehamath Hesron Kis, during the day on Shabbath, and is forbidden to be carried. The reason is that, even though it is food, it is not permitted to be eaten on 'Ereb Pesah (during the day before Pesah starts).
(See Menuhath Ahabah, 1, 12:20)
ID: ed46e No.2347
בֶּן עַזַּאי אוֹמֵר, הֱוֵי רָץ לְמִצְוָה קַלָּה כְּבַחֲמוּרָה, וּבוֹרֵחַ מִן הָעֲבֵרָה. שֶׁמִּצְוָה גּוֹרֶרֶת מִצְוָה, וַעֲבֵרָה גוֹרֶרֶת עֲבֵרָה. שֶׁשְּכַר מִצְוָה, מִצְוָה. וּשְׂכַר עֲבֵרָה, עֲבֵרָה "Ben 'Azzai says, run to do a precept (מצוה - Miswah), small like a large, and run away from sin, because one precept brings along another precept and a sin brings another sin, because the reward of a precept is a precept and the reward of a sin is a sin" (Aboth 4:2).
As we know, our deeds create Angels. Each good deed we do creates a good angel who speaks on our behalf when we are judged when we leave this earth. By the same token, each sin we commit, creates a bad angel who speaks against us to the tribunal on high.
Rabbenu the Hida, 'a"h, writes that one explanation to this Mishna is that the reward for the Miswah (מצוה - precept), is the Miswah itself. The reason is because it creates a merciful Angel which will speak on the person's behalf and will serve his soul. By the same token, a sin creates a bad angel, as we have mentioned, and thus the sin itself, is its own reward.
(See Hasdei Aboth [Hid"a], 4:2)
ID: ed46e No.2350
When selling the honors in the Synagogue, such as the opening of the Hekhal and who will go up to the Torah, and so on, it is appropriate not to speak and have discussions in the Synagogue. Therefore, if someone is not participating in the bidding, he should read Tehillim or other holy matters.
In fact, it is not only during the selling of the honors, but at all times that a man should make the effort not to mix profane with the holy. This is especially true when one is in the Synagogue at the time of prayer.
It is common for members of the congregation to honor each other with the Miswoth (מִצות). One person makes a winning bid and honors another person with it. While this is a fine custom and certainly brings a greater closeness between those involved, there are times that one must not do that. Specifically, if someone borrowed money from another person who is also present, the one who borrowed must not honor the lender with one of the Miswoth, because this would be akin to the lender receiving a form of interest on the loan he made.
(See Hesed La-alafim, 135-150, Oth 5, 7)
ID: ed46e No.2351
While bringing and taking the Sefer Torah, it is appropriate to kiss it. It is better to so with one's mouth, as opposed to with one's hand. However, if the local custom is to kiss it with one's hand, which is quite prevalent nowadays, then one should not show extra piousness which can be interpreted as a sign of arrogance.
When the Sefer Torah is shown, it is appropriate for every man, woman and child to look carefully at the writing and to bow a little while saying the verse of "WeZoth HaTorah". It is a good thing to be close to the Sefer Torah when it is being shown to the congregation. In Kabbalistic terms, a great light comes down to a person through looking at the Sefer Torah from close, to the point that one can read the letters clearly.
If someone is still in the middle of the blessings of the Shema' when the Sefer Torah is being shown, he should not interrupt by saying, "WeZoth HaTorah", but should look at the writing silently.
(See Hesed La-alafim, 135-150, Oth 4, 9)
ID: ed46e No.2355
Outbidding Someone Important
One should not quarrel over any Miswah. The Halakha is that when auctioning the honors in the Synagogue, even if the Rabbi of the community or other important person, bids on something, one can place a higher bid in order to buy it for oneself.
If one feels, however, that this will cause a quarrel or bad blood, one should not do it. One must consider the nature of the other person and decide whether to outbid him or not. We must avoid it turning into a transgression instead of being a Miswah.
It sometimes happens that someone bids on one of the honors and a second person outbids him, however, the Gabbay senses that the second person is perhaps not in a position to pay. In such a case, the Gabbay can give it to the person who placed the previous bid, at the price of the previous bid, and the one who placed that bid is obligated to accept it. However, since this is a sensitive matter, it must be handled in a delicate manner.
(See Hesed La-alafim, 135-150, Oth 6, 8)
ID: ed46e No.2357
שׁוֹר אוֹ כֶשֶׂב אוֹ עֵז כִּי יִוָּלֵד… יֵרָצֶה לְקָרְבַּן אִשֶּׁה לַה "An ox, a sheep or a goat which will be born … will be accepted as an offering by fire to the L-rd" (Wayyiqra 22:27). Sacrifices are brought for the purpose of atonement for the ones bringing the sacrifice. The question is, why was it specifically these three types of ritually pure animals that were acceptable.
Rabbenu Bahye explains that these specific animals were singled out through regard for the Aboth (Patriarchs). The ox represents the cattle to which Abraham Abinu, 'a"h (Abraham) ran when he wished to prepare food for the three angels who were visiting him. The sheep is brought on account of Yis-haq Abinu, 'a"h (Isaac), because it was sacrificed in his stead. Finally, the goat was included because Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h (Jacob), brought two goats to his mother which he presented to prepare for his father when he received his blessing.
The Torah describes the two goats as both being "good". From this we learn that they would be "good" for him on a personal level, as well as "good" for the Jewish people, his descendants, because the goats would be used for their atonement on Yom Kippur. We see from this that these three animals were the ones with a proven "track-record" for obtaining atonement.
(See Rabbenu Bahye on the Torah, Emor)
ID: ed46e No.2360
A knife for Shehita, a knife that the Sofrim use to fix their quills to write Sifrei Torah and the like, expensive candle sticks made of silver or gold, even if they were not used that Shabbath, all of these items come under the category of Muqseh Mehamath Hesron Kis (on account of financial loss). The reason is because people are particular that these items will not be used for any other purpose, and since their purpose is one that is forbidden on Shabbath, they may not be carried on Shabbath.
Other items that come under the same category are unused writing paper which has been set aside for that purpose, parchment that a Sofer (scribe) has set aside for writing religious objects, and any other item which the owner would not want to be used for any purpose other than its main purpose which is one that is forbidden on Shabbath.
Receipts, business correspondence and other such documents, also come under the category of Muqseh Mehamath Hesron Kis and may not be carried on Shabbath. The reason is that they cannot be used for any other purpose and cannot be used on Shabbath since one is forbidden to read them on Shabbath.
(See Menuhath Ahabah, 1, 12:21,22)
ID: 8a59f No.2362
Are you the turk that used to post here all the time?
ID: ed46e No.2363
עֲשָׂרָה נִסִּים נַעֲשׂוּ לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בְּבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ. לֹא הִפִּילָה אִשָּׁה מֵרֵיחַ בְּשַׂר הַקֹּדֶשׁ "Ten miracles were wrought for our forefathers in the Temple. No woman ever miscarried on account of the smell of the holy (sacrificial) meat…" (Aboth 5:5).
We are very particular to avoid a miscarriage, by ensuring that the pregnant mother does not over exert herself or do anything that could harm the fetus (Heaven forbid). However, we should be aware that in addition to the miscarriage the way we understand it in the physical world, there is also such a thing as a spiritual miscarriage.
When a person thinks about performing a precept or studying Torah, this thought is like the unborn fetus. When a person actually performs the action, it is considered as if the birth took place. If he never performs the good deed that he had thought about, it is considered like a miscarriage. We see from here how important it is to carry out the good deed that we thought about.
(Hasdei Aboth, 5:5)
ID: ed46e No.2364
you mean berkay ? no, iam different guy.
make sure to read everything i post here. it is very good for your soul.
ID: ed46e No.2368
When Yom Tob falls on Mosei Shabbath, the candles for the Holiday may not be lit till after the time that Shabbath is over. Before lighting, the wife must have prayed 'Arbith and included the prayer of Watodi'enu in the 'Amidah, or, if she doesn't pray 'Arbith, must say the Berakha (blessing) of Barukh HaMabdil or Borei Me'orei HaEsh on an existing light, and only then is she permitted to light.
She must take a flame from an existing candle or other fire, and after she has lit she must place the match down without extinguishing it. Unlike Shabbath, she should recite the blessing before lighting the candles (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2010-03-23
There is a difference of opinion as to whether female guests should also light their own candles. Some Sephardim follow the custom that if they light in the same room as the Ba'alath HaBayith, the lady of the house), they do not recite a blessing, or else they light in the room where they will be sleeping that night, with a Berakha. The Rama, z"l, is of the opinion that they can light in the same room with a Berakha. It should be noted, that this custom of lighting in the same room with a Berakha, is prevalent among Sephardim also, and it is not the only time that Sephardim act in accordance with the Rama.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 263:8. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu] Haggim 15:17-19)
ID: ed46e No.2372
One should not do any work that does not pertain to a Yom Tob (Festival) after Minha time on the eve of the Festival. Any Melakha for the purpose of the Festival, however, is permitted. Additionally, one should not eat a meal from that time either, in the same way that one should not do so on 'Ereb Shabbath, so that one will eat the meal at night with a good appetite.
When 'Ereb Yom Tob falls on a Shabbath, however, one should still eat Se'uddah Shelishith. In this case, one should only eat a Kezayith (1 oz.) of bread, which is the minimum quantity required in order to recite Birkath HaMazon (grace after meals).
There are some who limit Se'uddah Shelishith to just some fruits when a Yom Tob starts after Shabbath. All this is so that one will eat the meal at night with a good appetite.
(See Rama, 529:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 15, 16, 18, 24)
ID: ed46e No.2374
It is a commandment to be happy on Yom Tob. Therefore, it is the practice to eat more foods and delicacies on Yom Tob, than on Shabbath, assuming that one can afford it. One must have one's Se'uddah (festive meal), with Lehem Mishneh (two loaves of bread for the blessing). When Yom Tob falls on a weekday, there is no Se'uddah Shelishith.
One's clothes on a Holiday should be better even than one's Shabbath clothes. When the first night of Yom Tob falls out on Mosei Shabbath (Saturday night), one should not change into one's Holiday clothes close to nightfall. Doing so would make it appear that one is preparing for Yom Tob on Shabbath itself, which is forbidden.
In such a case, one must change into one's Holiday clothes while it is still day, and should have in mind that one is doing so also in honor of Shabbath. Alternatively, one should wait till nightfall before changing into one's Holiday clothes.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 529:1. Kaf HaHayim, ibid., Oth 23)
ID: ed46e No.2377
בִּהְיוֹתָם בְּאֶרֶץ אֹיְבֵיהֶם לֹא מְאַסְתִּים "When they are in the land of their enemies I will not despise them" (Wayyiqra 26:44). There is a parable in Barukh Ta'am about an artisan who was constantly on call to the palace to do his work on behalf of the king. One day he fell ill and the illness continued for a long time. Since he was unable to work, he couldn't earn his keep. Even though the king ordered his minister of finance to give the artisan a weekly stipend, it wasn't enough to provide for the family.
As the illness continued, the shortage of funds became more acute. His sons began to sell off their belongings to bring in some income to pay their expenses. One day, they wanted to sell the tools of their father's trade. The father asked them not to sell them. He said to them that as long as people saw the tools of his trade, they knew that he was the artisan of the king, but was not working at the moment, on account of his illness. If he would no longer have those tools, then people would look down at him and sneer at him like one who had nothing in the world. Additionally, the king would no longer give him his stipend.
The tools of our trade are our holy Torah. If we should give it up, Heaven forbid, we would be no different to any of the other people in the world. However, whatever may happen to us, as long as we cling to the Torah, we will have honor, in the eyes of the world, and G-d continues His covenant with us.
(See Barukh Ta'am, Parashath Behuqqothai)
ID: ed46e No.2379
Items such as a diamond ring or a gold watch, may be carried on Shabbath like any other Keli SheMelakhto Lehetter (item whose primary use is permitted on Shabbath). Even though, on account of their value, their owner would be particular not to allow them to be used for any other purpose, nevertheless, since they are used on Shabbath for a decorative purpose, they are not considered Muqseh (מוקצה).
All this assumes that these are personal items, or the like, that are meant to be worn. On the other hand, if these are objects that are intended for sale, and the owner would be particular that no one should use them, lest they lose some value, then they fall into the category of Muqseh Mehamath Hesron Kis (items that are Muqseh on account of financial loss) and may not be carried at all.
(See Menuhath Ahabah, 1, 12:24)
ID: ed46e No.2389
בְּכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם בַּת קוֹל יוֹצֵאת מֵהַר חוֹרֵב וּמַכְרֶזֶת וְאוֹמֶרֶת אוֹי לָהֶם לַבְּרִיּוֹת מֵעֶלְבּוֹנָהּ שֶׁל תּוֹרָה "Yehoshua' Ben Lewi said that every day a voice goes out from Mount Horeb and announces and says, 'Woe to the people on account of their insult to the Torah' " (Aboth 6:2).
Rabbenu the Hida, z"l, states that this is possibly referring to those people with sharp minds who study non holy subjects, believing that it sharpens their minds. But when it comes to the study of the Torah, it doesn't make them wiser. About this it says, "Woe to them over the insult to the Torah" because they foolishly believe that those who study it remain ignorant.
Also, the Torah was created for the benefit of the Jewish people, therefore, if people do not study it, there is no greater insult than that. Not only that, but it was on account of the Torah that we were redeemed from Egypt, that in its merit we were not drowned in the sea, and at Har Sinai, the souls of all those present departed and, on account of the Torah, were returned to them. And after all that there are those who do not study Torah! There can be no greater insult than that.
(See Hasdei Aboth/Rashei Aboth [Hida])
ID: ed46e No.2393
It is a commandment to be happy on Yom Tob. Therefore, it is the practice to eat more foods and delicacies on Yom Tob, than on Shabbath, assuming that one can afford it. One must have one's Se'uddah (festive meal), with Lehem Mishneh (two loaves of bread for the blessing). When Yom Tob falls on a weekday, there is no Se'uddah Shelishith.
One's clothes on a Holiday should be better even than one's Shabbath clothes. When the first night of Yom Tob falls out on Mosei Shabbath (Saturday night), one should not change into one's Holiday clothes close to nightfall. Doing so would make it appear that one is preparing for Yom Tob on Shabbath itself, which is forbidden.
In such a case, one must change into one's Holiday clothes while it is still day, and should have in mind that one is doing so also in honor of Shabbath. Alternatively, one should wait till nightfall before changing into one's Holiday clothes.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 529:1. Kaf HaHayim, ibid., Oth 23)
ID: ed46e No.2396
When Yom Tob falls on Mosei Shabbath (Saturday night), one should light a multi-day candle before Shabbath, so that there will be an existing flame from which to take the fire to light the Yom Tob candles. No preparations may be done on Shabbath for Yom Tob.
Included in this is removing frozen food from the freezer on Shabbath so that it will have thawed by the time Shabbath is over and Yom Tob begins. Instead, one should take it out of the freezer before Shabbath and leave it in the fridge.
Setting the table on Shabbath for the Yom Tob meal at night, also comes under the category of preparing for Yom Tob on Shabbath, and is not permitted. Similarly, no food should be prepared on Shabbath for consumption at night, not even cutting the salad.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu]21:31, 39, 41)
ID: ed46e No.2397
According to the Kabbalah, the reason why the men must stay up on the night of Shabu'oth, is because the Shekhinah (G-d's holy presence), is the bride who has to be crowned with 24 items of jewelry, in preparation of the giving of the Torah in the morning.
It is also on account of the fact that the three Festivals, Pesah, Shabu'oth and Sukkoth, each correspond to one of the Aboth (Patriarchs). Pesah (Passover) corresponds to Abrahm Abinu, 'a"h, who provided for the three angels. This occurred on Pesah. Ya'aqob Abinu, 'a"h (Jacob), corresponds to the Festival of Sukkoth (lit. booths). As we know, he made booths for his cattle.
Shabu'oth corresponds to Yis-haq Abinu, 'a"h (Isaac), who was bound at the altar but a ram was sacrificed in his stead. The Shofar that was heard at Mount Sinai was of that ram. Isaac represented Geburah (strength or stringency, as opposed to Hesed), and by studying the Tiqqun all night, we sweeten the Geburah.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 494, Oth 6. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu] 22:12, 13)
ID: ed46e No.2400
If one kneads dough and bakes bread on Yom Tob (when it is not also Shabbath), one is permitted to separate the Hallah on Yom Tob. The separated Hallah portion becomes Muqseh and should be burned after Yom Tob. However, if the dough was kneaded the day before, one may not separate the Hallah on Yom Tob. So how should one proceed in this case?
One should eat part of what was prepared and leave over some for after Yom Tob. The day after the Holiday, one should separate the Hallah from the portion that was left over. This permits one to bake and eat the bread on Yom Tob, since it will be separated the next day. However, this does not apply to the Land of Israel, since one is forbidden to eat the bread as long as Hallah has not been separated.
Another possibility is that one kneads an additional amount of dough on Yom Tob and mixes it together with the dough that was prepared before Yom Tob. One then separates Hallah from that dough for both portions. This also works in the Land of Israel and, therefore if one has dough from before Yom Tob, one should knead some more together with it and separate the Hallah on Yom Tob and bake and eat it.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rema, 506:3. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 36. Mishnah Berurah, 506:29)
ID: ed46e No.2403
כָּל־הַפְּקֻדִים לְמַחֲנֵה יְהוּדָה … רִאשֹׁנָה יִסָּעוּ "All those counted of the camp of Judah shall travel first" (See BaMidbar 2:9). The first group to travel in Parashath Bamidbar, are those who encamped under the flag of Yehudah (Judah). Together with Yehudah were the Tribe of Yissachar and also the Tribe of Zebulun. Why were they the ones to travel first?
The tribe of Judah is the kingdom of Israel. King David hails from Judah and it is only appropriate that they should travel first. However, kingship without Torah is meaningless. Therefore, the Tribe of Yissachar, who were the ones who represented Torah study, accompanied them. However, Torah cannot flourish without those who support it. Because of that, the Tribe of Zebulun, who were the successful merchants who supported Yissachar, were part of the group.
These three represented the ideals and goals of the Jewish people. It was appropriate, therefore, for them to be the ones to travel first.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Bammidbar, Parparaoth)
ID: ed46e No.2407
When Shabu'oth falls on Mosei Shabbath (Saturday night), Habdalah is recited in the Qiddush. Specifically, added to the regular Qiddush of Yom Tob, are the blessings of "Hammabdil Bein Qodesh LeQodesh (Who separates between holy and holy) and "Borei Meorei HaEsh" on the candle.
If one forgot to add the portions of the Habdalah and simply recited the regular Qiddush of Yom Tob, one should recite the Habdalah when one realizes the mistake. How one does it depends on when one realizes the omission.
If the person is drinking wine during the meal and remembers during the meal, he should take a cup of wine and recite the blessings of Meorei HaEsh and Hammabdil. If he is not drinking wine with the meal, or if he remembered at a different time, he must take a cup of wine and recite the blessing of Borei Peri HaGefen followed by Meorei Haesh and Hammabdil.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 473:1. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 22: 9)
ID: ed46e No.2413
Using one's imagination correctly, can be very positive. It is said, that according to the Ari, z"l, that in order to perform the commandment of שויתי ה' לנגדי תמיד "I have placed G-d in front of me at all times", one should always imagine that G-d's ineffable Name (Shem Hawaya) is written facing him, at all times, in block "Ashurith" characters.
In addition, the Niqqud (vowel signs), should be those used for the word Yirah (fear). Doing so is a powerful element in causing a person to fear G-d.
This is similar to what we are told in the Gemara (Sanhedrin 22a), that when praying, one should imagine that G-d's holy presence is in front of him. If he does this, whenever he is tempted by the Yeser HaRa' (evil inclination), in order to assist him in his struggle against the Yeser Hara', he should imagine that the great and awesome G-d is standing in front of him, as, indeed, He is.
(See Pele Yo'es, Siyyur)
ID: ed46e No.2419
It is a fine custom that many Synagogues have, to have a Ner Tamid (perpetual light), which is a light that is placed in front of the Hekhal. This light remains on 24 hours a day. This light is quite separate to the memorial lights that are lit in the Synagogue.
The purpose for lighting the Ner Tamid, is on account of the holiness of the Synagogue. The majority of Ner Tamids nowadays, are electric, however, some Synagogues light them with oil, and the best oil to use for the purpose is pure olive oil.
Lighting a flame with natural gas, however, is not permitted. The reason being that the light should be lit with something that it is appropriate to light the Shabbath lights with.
(See Meqabsiel, 1st year, Wayyiqra, 3)
ID: ed46e No.2421
There is something important that we can learn from the Nazir. The Alsheikh HaQadosh points out that the varying levels of holiness that the Kohanim (priests) and Lewiyim (Levites) have, are all hereditary and depend on their lineage. The level of holiness of a Kohen or a Levite was attained through their pedigree and birth.
One would be forgiven for thinking, therefore, that a 'mere' Yisrael, who was not born into a family of priests or levites, could not expect to attain any similar level of holiness. We see from the Nazir that this is an incorrect assumption. The Nazir, through abstinence, is able to lift his level up to that of the Kohen Gadol (High Priest).
While we do not take the vow of the Nazir nowadays, nevertheless, the concept of sanctifying oneself through that which is permitted (קדש עצמך במותר לך) still very much applies. What this means is that even though something is permitted, if we feel it is not the best thing for us, we should abstain from it. In addition, we should take care never to overindulge, even when something such as food, drink or a certain type of behavior, is permitted.
(See Alshikh, Bammidbar, 6:2)
ID: ed46e No.2424
While the question of carrying a watch has been a matter of some contention in the past, today, the majority of Posqim permit one to carry a watch on Shabbath. This is particularly true if the watch is worn as jewelry with a gold or silver band. If the watch stops working and one wishes to repair it, however, it becomes forbidden to be moved on Shabbath, on account of מוקצה מחמת חסרון כיס "Muqseh Mehamath Hesron Kis" (because of financial loss).
The reason is that one is particular not to use a watch that has stopped working for any other use and it cannot be used for its inherent purpose, because it isn't working. As such, it has no valid use on Shabbath.
The same rule applies to lenses that came away from the frame of a pair of eyeglasses. However, if they came apart and fell in an unprotected place, they may be carried to a safe place and left there. After that, they may not be carried again on Shabbath.
(See Kaf Hahayyim 308, Oth 276, 277. Menuhath Ahabah, 1, 12:28)
ID: ed46e No.2428
The Pele Yo'es writes that as part of using one's imagination to serve G-d better, one should picture oneself sitting between Gan 'Eden and Gehinnam (Heaven and hell). If he performs one good deed, he will merit to enter Gan 'Eden and will have its abundant blessings to delight in. If, on the contrary, he does a bad deed, he will fall into Gehinnam. To help prevent this, a person should imagine all manner of frightening creatures, who would hurt him and his soul.
The Kabbalists write that, in order to acquire wisdom, it is helpful to see the image of one's Rabbi in front of one's eyes. Additionally, they write that men should imagine that they see their father in front of their eyes, before going to sleep.
Those who have the merit to delve into the wisdom of the Kabbalah, are familiar with the profound power and effect of this study. They are a major force in Prophecy and Tiqqun (rectification) of the worlds. Proof of its amazing power can be seen in the amazing story of the four Saddiqim (righteous scholars), in the Gemara of Haghigha (14b), who entered Heaven through their imagination.
(See Pele Yo'es, Siyyur)
ID: ed46e No.2430
Maran, z"l, writes in the Shulhan 'Arukh, that one may do Netilath Yadayim (the ritual washing of hands), even with water ShehaYad Soledeth Bo (that it is too hot for the stomach of a baby). An adult's hands are far more tolerant of the heat than is a baby's stomach. There are those who are strict, however, and disagree with Maran. In view of this, one should let the water cool down somewhat, before using it for Netilath Yadayim.
In a case where one has no option but to use the water, such as when one does not have the time to wait, one may use the water for Netilath Yadayim, but should not pronounce the blessing with G-d's Name and Kingdom (Shem Umalkhuth). Instead, one should recite the blessing, but say the portion of Shem Umalkhuth in one's mind.
This Halakha becomes particularly pertinent in the colder months. There are those who do not wish to use cold water to wash their hands, but use hot water instead. One must be careful to ensure that the water is not so hot that it would be too hot for the skin on a baby's stomach, even though the one washing can tolerate it on his hands without any problem.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 160:6. Beer Heteb, 9. Ben Ish Hai, Aharei Moth/Qedoshim 1st year, Oth 17)
ID: ed46e No.2433
If during a meal that one is having with bread, one realizes that one touched one's leg or one's thigh, or any part of the body which is ordinarily covered, one must make Netilath Yadayim (the ritual washing of hands) again but should not recite the blessing over it. If one scratched one's head during the meal, one must also make Netilath Yadayim again, without the blessing.
If, on the other hand, one only touched one's hair during the meal, without scratching it, one does not need to wash one's hands. If only one hand touched an uncovered part of the body, then only that hand requires washing.
Even if a person is only eating fruits or drinking water, and touches one of the parts of the body that are ordinarily covered, he should wash his hands. The reason is that when he recites the Berakha Ahronah (after blessing), it should be with clean hands.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Orah Hayyim, 164:2, Maghen Abraham, ibid, 8. Beer Heteb, ibid., 6. Ben Ish Hai, Aharei Moth/Qedoshim 1st year, Oth 21)
ID: ed46e No.2434
The parts of the body that require washing one's hands during a meal, if they were touched (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-05-29
), are those which are normally covered. This refers to any part of the body which normally is under clothing. For instance, any part of the arms which would ordinarily be under a shirt, such as the upper arms, or one's legs which are under one's pants, would all require one to wash one's hands if one touched them during the meal.
If a part of the body which is normally covered, is meant to be uncovered at a specific time, then that part of the body, at that time, is considered to be a part that is normally uncovered. Therefore, when a men puts on his Tefillin and touches the upper portion of his arm, he is not required to wash his hands, because, at that moment, the arm is considered to be a portion of the body which is meant to be uncovered. Similarly, when a woman is nursing, she must touch parts of her body which would otherwise be covered. While she is nursing, those parts of the body are not considered to be parts that are normally covered and, therefore, do not require the washing of one's hands.
The Hayyei Adam is of the opinion that if one touches a Kosher Sefer Torah, Tefillin (even the straps), or a Mezuzah, one must wash one's hands without a Berakha (blessing). The Ben Ish Hai disagrees and sides with the Panim Me-iroth who states that washing one's hands is not required in this case.
(See Rab Pe'alim, 3, O.H. 6)
ID: ed46e No.2438
וַיְהִי אֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ טְמֵאִים לְנֶפֶשׁ אָדָם וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לַעֲשֹׂת הַפֶּסַח בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא "And there were men who had become impure through contact with a human corpse and could not make the Pesah sacrifice on that day" (Bammidbar 9:6). It says in Barukh Ta'am that we learn from this Parasha, that a person must do a Miswah (commandment) that comes his way, right away, even if he knows that there is another more important one that will come soon, that he may miss, if he performs the first one.
If a person does not do a commandment that he has the opportunity to do, he is effectively insulting the commandment. More than that, he is demonstrating that his purpose in performing the commandment is not for the sake of Heaven. Rather it is in order to obtain the reward, which is something that Pirqei Aboth (1:3), tells us specifically, that we must not do.
We must learn from the men in this Pasuq (verse), who attended to the burial of a person, knowing full well that this would render them impure and, thus, unable to bring the Pesah sacrifice. They, nevertheless, performed the first Miswah that came to them. In this case, of course, they were given permission to bring the sacrifice a month later.
(See Barukh Ta'am, Beha'alothkha)
ID: ed46e No.2441
An item that is very large and very heavy, even if one would not normally move it on account of its size and weight, may, nevertheless, be carried on Shabbath, in the same manner that any other permitted item may be moved. However, an object that one is particular to use in its own place and not move it from place to place, out of fear that it would get damaged as a result, is considered to be Muqseh Mehamath Hesron Kis (on account of financial loss), and may not be moved on Shabbath. However, in this case, since the object is for a use that is permitted on Shabbath, it may be used in its place.
Fruits that no one is permitted to eat on Shabbath, such as those which still require Ma'aser to be taken, may not be carried on Shabbath. The reason is that people are particular that fruits not be used for any purpose other than eating, and since, on that Shabbath, they may not be eaten, they are considered Muqseh Mehamath Hesron Kis.
(See Menuhath Ahabah, 1, 12:26-27)
ID: ed46e No.2446
The Pele Yo'es mentions that when the Torah tells us הקול קול יעקב, "The voice is the voice of Jacob" (Bereshith 27:22), which refers to the voice of the Torah, we must know that its virtues are very great. So much so, that it ascends and splits the firmaments.
G-d considers it very important when a person reads the Torah aloud and clearly. It brings Him much happiness. Those who do not read the words correctly, or who look at the words of the books without uttering the words, are making a very great error. They are missing out on much good.
One might think that however one reads it, it is still learning Torah. However, would one consider that if one had the opportunity to make a profit of 100 gold coins, but only made half the effort and earned 50, that one had done the right thing? Of course not. However, the loss to the individual alone is not what is at stake here. There is a loss to HaQadosh Barukh Hu (the Holy One blessed be He).
(To be continued)
ID: ed46e No.2450
When a person is careless in his reading of Torah or reads silently to himself, he loses out on much good that is due him. However, the Pele Yo'es tells us that it is much worse than that. By doing so, he fails to bring happiness to G-d and causes harm to himself.
The result of this type of learning is that one forgets what one has learned. This is in keeping with what our Hakhamim declared ('Erubin 54a), Open your mouth and read the written Torah. Open your mouth and read the Oral Law, so that your learning will remain in your hand (possession) and your days will be lengthened.
Support for this can be found in Mishley (Proverbs, 4:22), where it says כי חיים הם למוצאיהם, "For they are life to those who bring them out", from their mouths. It says further in Shemuel (II, 23:5), ערוכה בכל ושמורה, "It is laid out in everything and maintained". If one's learning is laid out in all 248 limbs of one's body, then it will be maintained.
(See Pele Yo'es, Qol)
ID: ed46e No.2451
As we know, the Qaddish and Qedusha require a Minyan (quorum of ten males) to be present. There are circumstances, however, when this is not strictly true. Firstly, if they started the Qaddish or Qedusha with a Minyan and then a few of them walked out, the Qaddish or Qedusha that they started is completed without a Minyan, provided at least six men remain.
If, however, five or less remain, they may not continue. In either case, it is said about those who left, "Those who deserted G-d will be destroyed" (Yesha'yahu 1:28). In view of this, one must be very careful not to be the cause of there not being a Minyan when it is required, except in pressing circumstances.
The rule applies even if the people walked out at the beginning of the 'Amidah, during the Birkath Aboth. Even though they haven't yet started the Qedusha, they, nevertheless, say the whole Qedusha when they get to it, and complete the entire 'Amidah, even though there is only a majority of a Minyan present.
(See Ben Ish Hai 1st year, Wayhi, Oth 4. Meqabsiel, ibid., Oth 11)
ID: ed46e No.2453
We mentioned that the entire 'Amidah is completed, even if some members of the Minyan left at the beginning of the 'Amidah, provided that at least 6 men are still present. However, the Kohanim may not bless the people without 10 men present. In this case, the Hazzan reads the substituted portion that is read when no Kohanim are present.
The rule is that if it is considered to be part of the same portion of the prayer that one is praying now, as when the people left, then one continues. If not, one may not read the portions that require a Minyan. As such, even though one completed the 'Amidah without a Minyan, one may not recite the Qaddish after it, and, in particular, may not do the Torah reading without a Minyan, because they are considered to be separate entities.
In the same vein if the people began to leave after the congregation began the blessings of Yoser, the Hazzan may not recite the 'Amidah out loud. The reason is that the 'Amidah and the Qedusha in it, are not connected with the Qaddish Barkhu, and are a separate entity.
(See Ben Ish Hai 1st year, Wayhi, Oth 4. Meqabsiel, ibid., Oth 11)
ID: ed46e No.2461
שְׁלַח לְךָ אֲנָשִׁים וְיָתֻרוּ אֶת אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן "Send men for yourself and spy out the Land of Canaan" (Bammidbar 13:2). Why would G-d permit the Children of Israel to go spy out the land, when He knew that it would culminate with all the tragedies that befell, and continue to plague, the Jewish people, on Tish'ah BeAb (the 9th of Ab), till today? All this would occur on account of them speaking evil about the Land of Israel, and it would cause the generation not to see the Land.
The answer can be understood by way of a parable. A man was in contact with his friend who lived in a different city. The man had a son looking to get married and knew that his friend had a daughter of the right age, whom he had met previously. He knew her to be a girl of fine character and also very beautiful. The man and his friend agreed, as was the custom in those days, that their two children would marry each other.
When the man told his son, his son replied that he couldn't agree, till he went to see her for himself. The father was annoyed, but said to himself that if he didn't agree, his son would be convinced that he was trying to mislead him, so he let him go see her beforehand. So too, when the people asked to spy out the Land, G-d was upset, but realized that they would feel, Heaven forbid, that He was misleading them. That is why He conceded to their request.
(See Barukh Ta'am, Parashath Shelah Lekha)
ID: ed46e No.2462
Sometimes fruits are forbidden to be eaten. An example of this is fruits from which Ma'aser (the tithe) was not taken. On Shabbath, one does not separate the Ma'aser. As such, if the fruits have not had the Ma'aser taken before Shabbath, they become forbidden to be carried on Shabbath.
The reason is that a person is particular not to take fruits to use them for any purpose other than eating. However, since the Ma'aser was not taken, they may not be eaten on that particular Shabbath. Since they have no use on that Shabbath and since a person is particular not to use them for any other purpose, they are forbidden to be carried on account of Muqseh Mehamath Hesron Kis (items that are Muqseh on account of financial loss) .
(See Menuhath Ahabah 1:12:27)
ID: ed46e No.2480
The Pele Yo'es quotes Razal who say that there is a big difference when many people perform a commandment (Miswah) and when only a few do so. A Miswah performed by many will rise high. One possible reason could be that even if there are those who sin among them, who do not act out of love and fear, and do not perform the commandment the way they should, nevertheless, it still rises up and is a source of happiness of soul to our Father in Heaven.
Another possible reason is that the honor of a king is when there is a multitude. Indeed, there are many merits to Torah, Miswoth and prayer performed by many (the Rabbim). As such, it is appropriate for each person to join other G-d fearing individuals, to fulfill what King David, 'a"h, said in Tehillim (119:63), "I am a friend to all those who fear you".
The Pele Yo'es adds that the only condition is that no obstacle should result from this grouping together, and that it will not result in a Miswah that comes through sin. An example would be if it would lead to strife or forbidden speech. In such a case, a person should not join with them. However, the ideal situation would be if he could aid them in performing the Miswah correctly.
(See Pele Yo'es, Rabbim)
ID: ed46e No.2481
In the same way that a positive deed is elevated very high when performed by many people, so too a sin performed by many becomes multiplied and compounded, and gives strength to the Sitra Ahara (evil side).
The Pele Yo'es comments that it is a sad state of affairs that there are transgressions that people "trample under their feet", and consider them to be permissible. They tend to do these on Shabbath, Mosei Shabbath, Haggim and Festivals, when many groups of people gather together and speak about irreverent things. The majority of their talk includes forbidden things, untruths, Lashon Hara', inappropriate language and so on.
He speaks of those who meet to have a social meal together. Others have a particularly bitter custom of meeting once a week to play games such as what he calls "Finjan" and so on. During these gatherings their behavior is one of light headedness, where they drink and get drunk and sing love songs and other non-Jewish songs, and waste the entire night doing so.
(To be continued)
(See Pele Yo'es, Rabbim)
ID: ed46e No.2484
The holy Pele Yo'es writes about those who have gatherings where they drink and "celebrate" till all hours of the morning, singing (or listening to) inappropriate songs and the like, and lose the entire night. He adds that 'Aberah Gorereth 'Aberah (one sin drags in its wake, another). How so? They don't wake up in time in the morning to read the Shema' and pray Shahrith by the appointed time.
He mentions that people spend substantial amounts simply to acquire for themselves a bad deal, (he adds, "in Gehinnam"). One who guards his soul, should keep away from those who behave like this and we should not see such behavior among the Jewish people. Many people read the Tehillim regularly, yet still join those who behave in this way. This is hard to understand, because it is in direct contrast and contradiction to what is written in Tehillim (1:1): Happy is the man who did not go with the counsel of the wicked…and did not sit in the company of scoffers.
As we mentioned, whatever one does in the company of others, becomes exponentially magnified. It is very important, therefore, for a Jew to always be with those who fear G-d and follow in His path, and to avoid those whose behavior goes contrary to the Torah – at all costs.
(See Pele Yo'es, Rabbim)
ID: ed46e No.2485
There is some discussion as to how and when a person can fulfill his Berakha (blessing) over food, when someone else recites it. However, the basic rules of fulfilling one's obligation through hearing someone else recite the Berakha, are as follows:
The one who is listening must hear the blessing from the beginning till the end. One must have the intent (Kawwanah) to fulfill one's obligation with the other person's Berakha. The one who is reciting the blessing must have the ones who are hearing the Berakha in mind, to fulfill their obligation through his recitation.
The Hesed La-alafim writes that many stumble in this area, when hearing Qiddush, Habdalah, the blessing of Me'ein Shalosh and so on. They talk to the person next to them and don't pay complete attention to the blessing. The net result is that they have not made Qiddush or Habdalah, or whichever blessing they were supposed to have heard, even though they think they did. One reason why many are of the opinion that the one fulfilling his obligation through listening should not answer Barukh Hu Ubarukh Shemo, is that one should not miss listening to even one word of the blessing.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh , O.H. 213:3. Hesed La-alafim ibid., Oth 3)
ID: ed46e No.2489
וַתִּפְתַּח הָאָרֶץ אֶת פִּיהָ וַתִּבְלַע אֹתָם "And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them" (Bammidbar 16:32). However, as we are told later (Bammidbar 26:11), the sons of Qorah didn't die. They didn't die, but they were, nevertheless, swallowed up by the ground together with the others.
Rashi, quoting the Gemara, mentions that the reason they were saved is because they had thoughts of repentance. This needs some explanation, because the Rambam tells us that in order to make Teshubah (repent), one must first confess the sin before G-d. If so, how did merely thinking about repenting, save the sons of Qorah?
Thought is not considered to be the same as speech. However, while that is true under normal circumstances, it cannot possible apply in a situation where one does not have the option of confessing. Such was the case of the sons of Qorah. The earth had opened up under their feet and they did not have the time or luxury of being able to confess. As such, in this case, the thoughts of repentance were sufficient to save them.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, Qorah, Parparatoth)
ID: ed46e No.2492
It says in the Midrash that the Torah said to G-d, "Master of the universe, when Israel enters the Land of Israel, and this one runs to his vineyard and that one runs to his field, what will be of me?". G-d answered that He was giving the Torah a partner whose name was Shabbath, and on that day the people would not work and would immerse themselves in Torah.
The reward for studying Torah on Shabbath is enormous. Some say that when a man sits and studies Torah on Shabbath, his reward is forty times greater than when he studies during the week. Others say that his reward is four hundred times greater than when he learns during the week.
The holy Ben Ish Hai quotes the Zohar and writes that one hour of Torah study on Shabbath is equal to thousands of hours of Torah study during the week. The Mishnah Berurah adds that it says in the name of the Zohar that a person should make Hiddushim (novel interpretations on the Torah) on Shabbath, and that if a person is unable to do so, he should study things that he has not studied yet.
(See Derekh HaTorah, Shabbath 11:5,7)
ID: ed46e No.2496
Even when things appear difficult at first, once a person gets used to doing them, they not only become easy, but one enjoys doing them. A case in point that I have noticed, is when people who are not accustomed to praying in a Minyan every morning, take it upon themselves to start going to Synagogue every day, they find they cannot do without it.
Not only does it become easy for them to do, but if for any reason they are unable to do it one morning, such as if they are not well, they sorely miss it and realize that the experience of having to pray at home, simply cannot compare. Those who dedicatedly pray in a Minyan, will all testify to it.
The Pele Yo'es writes about this that all of Judaism depends on habit. He says that only the beginning of any good habit is difficult, but that after one gets accustomed to doing it, it becomes a delight. He adds that if on one occasion, something gets in the way of him performing the good deed that he has been accustomed to doing, it will be a source of sorrow to him and hurt his soul, to the extent that he would feel that he wasn't even Jewish on that day.
(To be continued)
(See PeleYo'es, Reghiluth)
ID: ed46e No.2499
It says in the Shulhan 'Arukh that whenever two or more people sit down together to eat fruits, or consume any other food, other than bread or wine, one person may recite the blessing and the others may fulfill their obligation through his recitation of the blessing. In order for this to work with bread and wine, they must all recline. This, however, only applied at the time of the Talmud, when everyone would recline while eating bread or drinking wine, which were important foods.
This was the only way that it was recognizable that they had joined together for the purpose of eating bread and drinking wine. Consequently, if they did not recline together, it would appear as if they were not combining together for the purpose of the blessing.
Today, being seated together at the same table is also sufficient for bread and wine, and one person may recite the blessing before eating, and include the others (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-06-13
regarding the requirements). All this applies specifically to food. Other blessings on scents, or on other precepts or blessings of praise, do not require one to be seated (or Qebi'uth).
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 213:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 2, 3. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 4)
ID: ed46e No.2503
The Shulhan 'Arukh comments that while one person can make a blessing over food on behalf of others, this only applies to the blessing made before eating the food. Berakha Ahronah, the after blessing, however, other than in the case of bread, must be made by each person individually. This is true even if they had sat down to eat together, since there is no such thing as joining together to recite the after blessing over fruits (or other foods other than bread). In other words, there is no Zimmun (invitation to recite the blessing) over fruits.
If someone did recite the after blessing for others as well as for himself, and both he and they had the intent that his blessing would cover them, then, after the fact, the blessing is valid and they will have fulfilled their obligation Bedi'abad (after the fact).
Nowadays, when many do not consider the after blessing to be so important, or when someone doesn't know the after blessing properly, it is appropriate for someone to recite the after blessing and have them in mind also. In this case it is not considered to be after the fact, but a priori, the correct way to do it. However, one who is fluent in the blessings, should recite both the blessing before the food (except in the case of bread) as well as the blessing after the food, by himself.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 213:1. Hesed La-alafim, ibid., Oth 1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 7. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 9, 13)
ID: ed46e No.2510
When making Birkath Hammazon (grace after meals) after eating a meal with bread, if some of those present are not fluent in reading it, it is definitely preferable for one person who is fluent in reading it, to read it aloud and have the others in mind also. This may possibly be the source of the Sephardi custom, that the one who reads the Zimmun, reads the entire Birkath Hammazon out loud.
In a case where a person ate Mezonoth (Path HaBaah Bekhisanin), but is uncertain whether he ate the required minimum quantity to recite the after blessing of 'Al HaMihya, or not, but his friend did eat the required quantity, the friend can obviously read the after blessing and include him also. It goes without saying that the person who did not eat a sufficient quantity, can rectify the situation by eating a full quantity within the allotted time and say the blessing himself.
If someone did not eat a sufficient quantity of Mezonoth, but his friend had at least the minimum quantities of both Mezonoth as well as fruit of the seven species which require the special after blessing of Me'ein Sheba', the friend can include him in his blessing. The fact that the friend is including both Mezonoth and fruits whereas he only ate Mezonoth, does not preclude him from fulfilling his obligation.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 213:1. Hesed La-alafim, ibid., Oth 1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 8. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 9)
ID: ed46e No.2512
וַיִּשְׁמַע הַכְּנַעֲנִי מֶלֶךְ עֲרָד ישֵׁב הַנֶּגֶב כִּי בָּא יִשְׂרָאֵל דֶּרֶךְ הָאֲתָרִים וַיִּלָּחֶם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל "And the Canaanite, king of 'Arad, who dwelt in the Negheb (South), heard that Israel came the way of the spies, and he fought against Israel" (BaMidbar 21:1). Even though it says here that it was the Canaanites who waged war against Israel, Rashi tells us that it was, in fact, 'Amaleq, because 'Amaleq dwelt in the South. So why were they called Canaanites?
'Amaleq was afraid of the power of the prayer of the Jewish people. So they all changed the way they spoke, to sound like Canaanites. Their logic was that Israel would be fooled and would pray that G-d would give them the Canaanites in their hands. However, since they were really Amalekites, the prayer would be futile. Their plan failed because the Jewish people noticed that their clothes were akin to those worn by 'Amaleq, but their speech was that of Canaan. So they decided to pray that G-d should give "these people" into their hands.
Maran Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, comments that we see from this, the incredible power of the prayer of the Jewish people. 'Amaleq made the entire nation learn to speak the language of the Canaanites, which was a huge undertaking. However, the effort was worth it to them, because they were aware of the amazing strength to the prayer of the Jewish people, so much so, that they were willing to go to such extraordinary lengths to nullify their prayer. It is a lesson for us that we should put our heart and soul into our prayers because, if our enemies know the power in them, shouldn't we also?
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, Huqqath)
ID: ed46e No.2513
Maran Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, writes that the only reason the Jewish people were given Shabbath and Yom Tob, is in order to study Torah on those days. The Rama, z"l, writes that those who are not involved in Torah study throughout the week, should study more Torah on Shabbath than do Talmidei Hakhamim (Torah scholars), who study throughout the week.
Hazal say that non Talmidei Hakhamim can sleep during the day on Shabbath for two hours. Talmidei Hakhamim, however, can sleep for four hours. The reason is that Talmidei Hakhamim study Torah throughout the week, whereas others do not and, therefore, must set aside substantially more time for Torah study on Shabbath.
Having said that, however, every Talmid Hakham must carefully weigh all his actions, because the people watch all his actions very closely. If they see Talmidei Hakhamim sleeping on Shabbath, it could easily happen that they would ridicule them and Hillul Hashem (desecration of G-d's Name) would result, Heaven forbid. As such, a Talmid Hakham should be careful not to overdo the Miswah (commandment) of sleeping on Shabbath.
(See Rama 290:2, Derekh HaTorah, Shabbath 11:6)
ID: ed46e No.2518
The Pele Yo'es points out that, just as a person gets used to doing a good deed, to the point that if he doesn't do it on one occasion, he feels as if something is terribly lacking, so too, if he does a sin regularly, it becomes part of his nature and appears fully permissible in his eyes. An example of the positive is when a person reads the Shema' daily, if one day he does not read it, his feeling is as if he never read it in his life.
The reverse is also true. When a person repeatedly performs a sin, it will become a habit, and he will consider it to be fully permitted. So much so, that even if he will hear from those who give sermons to the people, how serious the transgression is, he will pay no heed. And this is the problem that has become widespread among so many, to the extent that, even in later years, they still cling to these transgressions.
Included in the list of sins, that people tend to consider to be perfectly acceptable, are Lashon Hara' (unnecessary gossip), making oaths in vain, whether in Hebrew or in any language, freely mentioning G-d's Name in vain, forbidden speech, looking at impermissible things and so on. These items are so much part of everyday life for so many, that every person must make a superhuman effort not to be caught up in it, but to keep far away at all times.
(See PeleYo'es, Reghiluth)
ID: ed46e No.2522
If a Milah falls on one of the three fasts, (the seventeenth of Tammuz, tenth of Tebeth, or Som Gedalyah), the Milah is not postponed, but is performed on the actual day. If the fast falls on Shabbath and is postponed to Sunday, which is the eighth day and the Milah needs to be performed then, there is a difference of opinion as to whether the Abi HaBen (father of the baby) should fast or not.
In practice, the custom is that the father of the baby does fast. The Se'uddah (festive meal) is postponed till after the fast at night. On Ta'anith Esther, however, the parents, Mohel and Sandaq do not fast. This applies whether the fast is on the actual day or is postponed.
Tish'ah BeAb (the ninth of Ab), however, is much more stringent. All those involved in the Milah, including the parents, the Mohel and the Sandaq, must fast. They do, however, wear clothes befitting the Milah.
(See Maamar Mordekhai, Haggim, 25:61-64)
ID: ed46e No.2524
If a couple gets married within seven days of a Ta'anith (fast day) and, as a result, the Ta'anith falls during the week of the Sheba' Berakhoth, there is a difference of opinion as to whether or not the bride and groom should fast. Some hold that they should fast. The reason is that, even though for them it is like a holiday, it is only so for them but not for the Jewish people at large. As such, the mourning that applies to the Rabbim (the majority), must apply to them also.
The logic is that we follow the majority in this matter, just as we do in the opposite case where a mourner (R"L) ends his private mourning when a Festival falls within the seven days of a Shib'ah. Additionally, remembering the mourning over the destruction of Jerusalem and the fact that it has not been rebuilt, is a part of the marriage ceremony. This is, in fact, the reason for the breaking of the cup, so that we will place Jerusalem above our own rejoicing.
The holy Ben Ish Hai writes, however, that the custom is that the bride and groom do not fast. All agree that if Ta'anith Esther (the fast of Esther) falls during the seven days of the Sheba' Berakhoth, the bride and groom do not fast.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Shoftim, Oth 17. Hilkhoth Haggim, Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 25:58)
ID: ed46e No.2527
The Rama, z"l, writes in his gloss on the Shulhan Arukh that there are those who do not do Nefilath Appayim in a place where there is no Aron (Hekhal) and Sefer Torah. If there is no Sefer Torah, he adds that one should read the Tahanun (supplication prayer), but without falling on one's face. If the courtyard of the Synagogue opens to the Synagogue and the Hekhal, it is considered to be part of the Synagogue for this purpose, as is the women's balcony.
The Hesed La-alafim quotes those who disagree and say that Nefilath Appayim can be done anywhere, even where there is no Sefer Torah, and even by an individual. He adds, that according to the Kabbalah, one should do Nefilath Appayim everywhere, even if one is praying by oneself.
It should be noted that Sephardim never fall on their faces when doing Tahanun. Sephardim recite Tahanun anywhere, even BeYahid (an individual by himself).
(See Rama, 131:2. Hesed La-alafim, ibid., 12)
ID: ed46e No.2531
וְעַתָּה בְּרַח לְךָ אֶל מְקוֹמֶךָ אָמַרְתִּי כַּבֵּד אֲכַבֶּדְךָ וְהִנֵּה מְנָעֲךָ ה' מִכָּבוֹד "And now, hurry yourself back to your place, I said I would give you great honor, but behold, G-d has prevented honor from coming to you." (BaMidbar 24:11). Balaq says this to Bil'aam after, instead of cursing Israel, Bil'aam blessed them.
The Ohr Hahayyim explains the verse as follows. 'And now' comes to say that Balaq says to him, "Don't delay, but leave immediately". 'Hurry' means that Bil'aam should rush like one who is escaping. 'Yourself', which is in the singular, means that no one should accompany him, but that he should go by himself. Finally, 'to your place' means that he should not go to any other town in Midian or Moab, but should go straight home.
Hazal tell us that whoever chases after honor, honor runs away from him, but whoever runs away from honor, honor chases after him. We can also read in this verse that Balaq says to Bil'aam, 'And now' that you have run after honor, (ברח לך), honor has run away from you.
(See ibrei Mordekhai, Parashath Balaq, Parparaoth)
ID: ed46e No.2537
The Maghen Abraham writes that there are those who, during the Qedusha in the repetition of the Shabbath Musaf prayer, say "Ehad" twice. This is refering to the verse, "Shema' Yisrael…Hashem Ehad" (Hear O Israel, the L-rd our G-d, the L-rd is One), in the Qedusha, after which some congregations say, "Ehad Hu Elokenu", effectively saying, "Ehad Ehad" (One, One). Rabbenu the Hida, 'a"h, says in Birkei Yosef, that it is incorrect to say Ehad, once immediately after the other.
The Hazan, on the other hand, can say it, because, since he has to wait for the congregation to finish before he continues, there is a substantial pause between the two "Ehad"s. As such, it is not considered like saying "Ehad" twice, one after another.
The problem is that we must, at all costs, make it clear to all, that there is only one G-d. That is why the custom in the Qedusha of Kether, in the repetition of the Musaf, is to not say the second "Ehad" at all, but to start with the words "Hu Elokenu" alone, even in places where the congregation does not have the custom of saying those words out loud.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 286:16. Derekh HaTorah (Shabbath), 10:3)
ID: ed46e No.2540
The Pele Yo'es writes that hatred is detested, as it says in Pirqei Aboth (Ethics of the Fathers 2:11), "Hatred of people, removes a man from the world". Hatred carries in its wake, many other sins. It awakens hard feelings and causes controversy among people and unnecessary gossip (Lashon HaRa'). It causes a person to rejoice over another's misfortunes, to carry grudges, to become vengeful, and many other evils.
Every moment, when a person hates another, he transgresses the Torah prohibition of "Do not hate your brother in your heart" and he also transgresses the commandment of loving one's neighbor like oneself.
We must remember that baseless hatred was the reason why the second Beth HaMiqdash (Temple) was destroyed. The Pele Yo'es adds that any hatred is considered to be baseless. A person can find endless justifications for his hatred of another person, but all his reasons and justifications are groundless and baseless.
(To be continued)
(Pele Yo'es Sin-ah)
ID: ed46e No.2542
Thoughts of the Geullah (redemption), should be on our minds constantly. However, during the period between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Ab, we tend to feel a greater level of urgency. We must believe and realize that prayer can hasten the redemption.
This is how it was in Galuth Misrayim (Egypt). The Children of Israel cried out to G-d and, as a result, were redeemed. We must remember that G-d promised Abraham Abinu, 'a"h, that his progeny would be strangers in a land that was not theirs, where they would be slaves, for 400 years. In fact, as a result of their cries, G-d saw their suffering and recalculated the dates leading up to their redemption.
G-d recalculated the period to commence with the birth of Yis-haq Abinu, 'a"h. That is why the Children of Israel left Egypt only 210 years after their arrival there. This is a powerful lesson for us who are weary of this long and arduous exile, that we have to increase our prayers to HaQadosh Barukh Hu (the Holy One, blessed be He), to bring the final redemption, speedily in our days, Amen.
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, Mathai Yabo Mashiyah)
ID: ed46e No.2545
The long Tahanun prayer that we recite on Mondays and Thursdays, is a prayer from Daniel. He prayed, for the Jewish people to be returned to Jerusalem, for the building of the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple), and so on. Daniel prayed for the Geullah (redemption) not to be delayed, even though he knew that it would come at a specific time.
He learned this from the redemption from Egypt (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-07-02
), where prayer caused the redemption to come early. We also have to understand that all the dates found in the prophecy of Daniel (12:12), are not final and written in stone. G-d can shorten the time and recalculate the time in Galuth (exile) from scratch.
He can consider that the prophecy of the war of Gogh Umaghogh, which was to take place before the coming of Mashiyah, was already fulfilled by the horrors of the Holocaust. He can consider all the times mentioned in the prophecy in a more lenient manner, and bring the final redemption sooner than originally planned.
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, Mathai Yabo Mashiyah)
ID: ed46e No.2547
Maran Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, tells us that we learn from the holy Ohr Hahayyim, that the final redemption could come in a miraculous or in a natural way. We see this from the words of Bilaam, the wicked prophet of the nations of the world. He said, דָּרַךְ כּוֹכָב מִיַּעֲקֹב וְקָם שֵׁבֶט מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל "A star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise from Israel" (BaMidbar 24:17).
'A star shall come out of Jacob' hints to the fact the the redeemer will come from Heaven. In other words, it will be a miracle. On the other hand, the continuation of the verse, 'a scepter shall rise from Israel', refers to the possibility of a natural redemption. It alludes to the fact that a scepter (Mashiyah) will rise from the Jewish people, who will arrive like a pauper, riding on a donkey, but will rise and rule. The rest of the Pasuq (verse) states that he will strike the corners of Moab and smite all the sons of Sheth (Seth).
From this we can understand that two kinds of redemption are possible. It could occur in a miraculous way or in a natural way, in accordance with the laws of nature. That is why we adopt the prayer of Daniel (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-07-03
), in order to bring the final redemption closer.
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, Mathai Yabo Mashiyah)
ID: ed46e No.2553
הִנְנִי נֹתֵן לוֹ אֶת בְּרִיתִי שָׁלוֹם "Behold I am giving him my covenant of peace" (BaMidbar 25:12). G-d says this when Pinhas is zealous for him, in the matter of Zimri and Cozbi. The Gemara of Sanhedrin (82b) tells us that this act of Pinhas', would be atonement for all generations, forever. It asks in Ben Yehoyada', how this could be so, and also, how is it that the Gemara learns it from this verse. At first glance, there doesn't appear to be any connection.
When a Saddiq (righteous individual) lives in the world, he is protection for all the Jewish people. He and the Jewish people are partners while he is alive. Therefore, just as he is protected on account of his good deeds, so too, the Jewish people are also protected on account of his good deeds.
Hazal learn from this verse that Pinhas never died, because the 'covenant of peace' refers to both life and peace, as we see from a verse in Malakhi (2:5). Pinhas was Eliyahu HaNabi, z"letob, who never died. Therefore, the partnership between Pinhas and the Jewish people never ended. As such, he remains as a protection for the Jewish for all generations.
(See Ben Yehoyada', Sanhedrin, 82b)
ID: ed46e No.2555
Some Minyanim are particular not to send more than seven men up to the Torah on Shabbath (apart from the Maftir). The majority of places, however, do send extras up. Unfortunately, at times, so many extras are sent up, that this becomes a burden on the congregation.
It says in Derekh HaTorah, that the custom in the Yeshibah of the Mequbbalim (Kabbalists) in Beth El, was to send exactly seven to the Torah. According to those who are particular about this, even when there is a Simha (celebration), only seven go up to the Torah, so it has to be distributed (and planned carefully) in advance.
It says further in Derekh HaTorah that there was a time when people would take advantage of the time caused by all the additional 'Aliyoth, by reading all the Rashis during that time. The next next year they would read the Ramban, followed by the Rashbam the following year, and so on. Nowadays, however, people do not do, or do not know how to do this, and it is just a waste of time. The Gabbaim must be careful, therefore, not to impose too much of a burden on the congregation.
(See Derekh HaTorah 9:10)
ID: ed46e No.2557
The Pele Yo'es writes that hatred (שנאה) can have two different faces. The worse of the two is when it is in a person's heart, but externally, a person pretends that he is like a friend and brother to the one he hates. He says that this type of hatred is one for which there is no cure.
When the hatred is in the open, however, those who would try to make peace between them would, eventually, rise and do just that. But when it is hidden in a person's heart, the anger is kept there forever. No one can protect himself from the one who hates him, because he will deceive him with a smooth tongue, whereas internally he lays a trap for the one he hates and attempts to throw him into a pit.
That is why the Torah commands us not to hate one's brother 'in one's heart' (לֹא תִשְֹנָא אֶת אָחִיךָ בִּלְבָבֶךָ - Wayyiqra 19:17). In other words, in a situation where one is permitted to hate another, it must not be done in a hidden manner, but must be out in the open.
(To be continued)
(See Pele Yo'es, Sin-ah)
ID: ed46e No.2560
May one cut one's nails in the days leading up to Tish'ah BeAb? If one regularly cuts one's nails before Shabbath, one may cut one's nails before Shabbath, even if that Shabbath is actually the 9th of Ab. A Mohel is permitted to cut his nails in the week on which Tish'ah BeAb falls, so that he can do the Peri'ah (the uncovering portion of the Milah).
If a woman needs to go to the Miqweh for ritual immersion, she is also permitted to cut her nails. In fact, it is a requirement.
As mentioned previously, however, according to the Sod (Kabbalistic opinion), the nails should never extend over the flesh. As such, if the nails have grown, to the extent that they extend over the flesh they should be cut. They can be cut, even in the beginning of the week, and one should not wait till Friday to cut them before Shabbath.
(See Kaf Hahayyim [H' Sofer] 551, Oth 48-49)
ID: ed46e No.2564
Maran Yosef Qaro, z"l, writes in the Shulhan 'Arukh that if Tish'ah BeAb (the 9th of Ab) falls on Shabbath and the fast is postponed to Sunday, or if the 9th of Ab actually falls on Sunday, then cutting one's hair and doing laundry are both permitted on the week before the fast as well as the week after the fast.
He adds that there is an opinion which forbids them during the week before the fast, except for Thursday and Friday. For Ashkenazim, the point is somewhat moot, because the Rama, z"l, adds that the Ashkenazi custom has become to prohibit laundry from Rosh Hodesh Ab, and haircutting from the 17th of Tammuz.
The Ben Ish Hai writes, however, that while it is permitted to cut one's hair and do one's laundry, during the week before Tish'ah BeAb, the custom was to do so for laundry only. As far as cutting one's hair is concerned, however, he writes that it is appropriate not to do so for the week prior to the fast.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 551:4. Ben Ish hai, year 1, Oth 12)
ID: ed46e No.2565
As is well known, Ashkenzim do not cut their hair or shave during the 22 days from the 17th of Tammuz till after Tish'ah BeAb (the ninth of Ab). Sephardim do not cut their hair or shave during the week that Tish'ah BeAb falls on (Shabuwa' Shehal Bo Tish'ah BeAb). In other words, they cut their hair till the Friday before Shabbath Hazon, and from then on, do not cut their hair till after Tish'ah BeAb. Some Sephardim also keep the entire period from the 17th of Tammuz till the 9th of Ab.
During the Sheloshim (the 30 day period following the passing of a relative or 31 days for a parent), a mourner is not permitted to cut his hair or shave. What happens in a case where a mourner, r"l, ends his Sheloshim during the 22 days between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Ab?
If the Sheloshim ends on the 18th of Tammuz or later, a mourner may cut his hair and shave, since it is only a custom not to do so and one is not strict about it in such a case. On the fast day of the 17th of Tammuz, however, he should not cut his hair. Also, during the week that Tish'ah BeAb falls on, one may not cut one's hair or shave.
(See Kaf HaHayyim, 551:82)
ID: ed46e No.2566
אֵלֶּה מַסְעֵי בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יָצְאוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם "These are the journeyings of the Children of Israel who came out of the land of Egypt" (BaMidbar, 36:1). Rabbenu Bahayye asks why it was necessary for the Torah to enumerate all these journeys, and answers based on Midrash Tanhuma.
Mentioning all the places where the Children of Israel traveled, was a reward for the parts of the land that were happy to have the Children of Israel be there. The wilderness where the Children of Israel journeyed was barren land. However, it promises in the Prophet Yeshayahu (Isaiahn35:1-2), that in the future, the wilderness will rejoice and bloom.
It says further in Yeshayahu (41:18-19) that the desert will become a pool of water with vegetation such as cedar trees. Rabbenu Bahayye comments that there is a big lesson to be learned from this. The wilderness, which is an inanimate object, nevertheless, receives incredible reward for the simple fact that it allowed the Jewish people to tread on its soil, how much more so will one receive reward for welcoming Torah scholars into one's home?
(See Rabbenu Behayye on the Torah)
ID: ed46e No.2567
Strictly speaking, there should be no interruption in the prayer between the reading of the Sefer Torah and the Musaf prayer, on Shabbath. It says in Derekh HaTorah that while it would appear, therefore, that giving a Derasha (sermon) during that time would also be an interruption, nevertheless, the custom is to give a sermon on the Parasha at that time. The reason that, nowadays, it is usually given then, is because of the concept of "A time to act, for G-d" (Tehillim 119:126).
Some say that one is permitted to make Qiddush and taste some food after the reading of the Torah, before starting Musaf. Maran Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, writes that one should not rely on this opinion, unless there is an important need.
One should be aware that there is also an opinion that in a case where someone did make Qiddush between Shahrith and Musaf, one is obligated to make it again after Musaf. Clearly, in view of these opinions, one should abstain from making Qiddush and eating food, till after the Musaf prayer is over.
(See Derekh HaTorah, Shabbath, 9:30-31)
ID: ed46e No.2572
The Pele Yo'es writes that the Pasuq (verse) in Mishpatim (Shemoth 23:5) which tells us that if we see the donkey of the one we hate, collapse under its weight, we must help him, teaches us that our hatred of another person (for permitted reasons, such as not following the right path), must be out in the open. The problem is that hating another person, is usually for the wrong reasons.
The evil of man is such, that the reason for hatred is usually on account of being jealous of the other person and the like, or because a person sees a loss of income because of the other person. In such cases, a person is embarrassed to publicly show his hatred for the other person, because it is embarrassing for him to let the world see that he is so lacking in faith.
The problem is that a person has to find justifications to convince himself that the wrong that he is doing is quite justified. His hatred will awaken bad feelings till, finally, he will have of 'plenty of reasons' to hate the other person. But, if the truth be known, none of the reasons carry any validity.
(To be continued)
(See Pele Yo'es, Sin-ah)
ID: ed46e No.2573
The night of Tish'ah BeAb (when Tish'ah BeAb starts) is the same as the day of Tish'ah BeAb, in all matters. One is only allowed to eat on the eve of Tish'ah BeAb while it is still day. Once it is Bein Hshemashoth, it becomes forbidden like on Yom Kippur. Bein Hashemashoth is calculated from the beginning of sunset.
The difference between Yom Kippur and Tish'ah beAb, however, is that on Yom Kippur, we add to the time when Yom Kippur starts, meaning, that we start it earlier than sunset. This is not required on Tish'ah BeAb. Similarly, when Tish'ah BeAb ends, we do not need to add to the time. However, on the day of Tish'ah BeAb, everything remains forbidden till the stars come out at night.
(See Kaf Hahayyim, 553:2)
ID: ed46e No.2574
If a person's hands are dirty on Tish'ah BeAb, with actual dirt, it may be washed off. The reason is that only washing for pleasure is forbidden. However, one may not extend the washing to areas that do not have dirt. Women who are cooking on Tish'ah BeAb, and need to wash the food, such as the meat or the vegetables, may do so and not be concerned.
One washes one's hands upon waking up in the morning, to remove the evil spirit that rests on them at night. One must take care, however, not to wash past the knuckles which are closest to the wrist. After that, one recites the blessing of 'Al Netilath Yadayim.
As far as the blessing of 'She'asa Li Kol Sorki' is concerned, there is a difference of opinion. Many Rishonim are of the opinion that it may be recited every day of the year. According to the Ari, z"l, however, it may not be recited on Yom Kippur and Tish'ah BeAb. This is the custom of Sephardim and those Ashkenazim who follow the Ari, z"l.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 554:10. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 9, 46, 48, 50, 78)
ID: ed46e No.2575
One may not send gifts to one another on Tish'ah BeAb, because this is equated to greeting another person which is forbidden on the 9th of Ab. This refers to one who is not in need of what is being given to him. Therefore, a poor person who needs money to provide for his family, should be given what he requires.
In fact, not only is it not forbidden, but it is a meritorious act (Miswah), to do so. This applies all the more so if the poor person is also a Torah scholar. This is the source for the custom of distributing charity to the poor, on Tish'ah BeAb.
Even though the custom is not to do any work on Tish'ah BeAb, if there is a poor person, who doesn't have food to eat, he is permitted to work on Tish'ah BeAb. However, if it is possible, it is preferable for him to wait till after Halakhaic midday, before starting his work.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 554:20. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 91, 109)
ID: ed46e No.2576
לֹא תַכִּירוּ פָנִים בַּמִּשְׁפָּט "You shall not show favoritism in judgment" (Debarim 1:17). This can also be translated as "You shall not show faces in judgment". This is an instruction to the judges not to make facial expressions, based on the arguments they hear. For instance, if a judge is judging someone he likes and the person makes an argument that sounds positive to him, he will be inclined to have a happy or positive expression.
This will give a signal to the one being judged that he is on the right track and will persist with this line of argument. On the other hand, if the judge feels that this argument will hurt his case, he would be tempted to look down and appear stern or concerned. This will cause the one being judged to completely change his tack and go with an argument that will be more fruitful.
The Torah is coming to tell us that the judge cannot show "faces" must appear completely expressionless. In that way, the litigants will be unable to read the judge's mind and will present the facts the way they are, without changing them based on the reaction of the judge or judges.
(See Addereth Eliyah, Parashath Debarim)
ID: ed46e No.2578
When the 9th of Ab falls on Shabbath and the fast is postponed till Sunday, or if the 9th of Ab falls on Sunday, the rules of the Se'uddath Mafseqeth (final meal before the fast), do not apply. Instead, one can eat whatever one wishes at a meal fit for King Solomon. One is not permitted to avoid eating meat on account of the mourning and the fast.
One does not sit on something low, but sits at one's table, like on every Shabbath. Three or more males can sit together and recite Zimmun (the invitation to Birkath Hammazon). The only proviso is that one must stop eating by sunset, even though it is still Shabbath.
Since Tish'ah BeAb is considered to be a Mo'ed (Festival), based on what it will be in the future, no supplication is said during Minha of 'Ereb Tish'ah BeAb. When this falls on Shabbath, therefore, Sidqathkha is not recited.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 552:10. Kaf Hahayyim ibid., Oth 50, 51)
ID: ed46e No.2580
The Pele Yo'es writes that the evil of hating others is so great, that it caused the destruction of our holy and glorious Beth HaMiqdash (Temple). As long as we are not purified of this sin, there is no possibility of redemption. Our Rabbis tell us that G-d says that we caused Him to destroy His House and burn His Hekhal, on account of the sin of baseless hatred, therefore, we must seek out peace and we will be redeemed.
We are taught that when the Prophet Yeshayahu, 'a"h, says (52:3), "You were sold for naught", this refers to the sin of baseless hatred (the word baseless - חנם - means "nothing"). We are taught further, that it is not through Miswoth that we will be redeemed but, specifically, through the commandment of loving one's fellow Jew like oneself.
A person must strengthen himself with much strength and vigor, through pure thoughts always, to remove hatred from his heart, and to replace it with love.
(To be continued)
(See Pele Yo'es, Sin-ah)
ID: ed46e No.2581
The Obligation of Mayim Ahronim
by Rabbi Ya'aqob Menashe
(Links to the audio and video appear after the text)
Mayim Ahronim (the washing of the fingers before Birkath HaMazon), is of very great importance. It says in the Shulhan 'Arukh that Mayim Ahronim is an obligation (מים אחרונים חובה). The Mishnah Berurah writes that the reason is because one’s hands are dirty from having eaten.
He writes further, that even more than this, even if one's hands are not dirty at all from eating, nevertheless, our Rabbis of blessed memory still obligated us to do Mayim Ahronim. The reason is that there is a fear that Melah Sedomith (salt from Sodom) is still in the world. He adds, that even though there is no Melah Sedomith in the world anymore, nevertheless, there is a fear that there is another kind of salt with similar [dangerous] properties.
Hatham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, writes in Ben Ish Hai, that [everyone] must be particular to do Mayim Ahronim. It is an obligation, even if the only thing one ate was bread, because there is a very great reason to do so according to the Zohar and the words of Rabbenu the Ari, z"l.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Orah Hayyim, 181:1. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 1. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Shelah Lekha, Oth 6)
ID: ed46e No.2583
How much water should one use for Mayim Ahronim? The Mishnah Berurah writes that it is very bad that some, who are particular to do Mayim Aharonim, only wash the tips of their fingers, and the water does not even reach the first joint of the knuckles closest to the tips of their fingers. They do not fulfill the requirement this way.
The Shulhan 'Arukh writes, as Halakha, that one must wash up to the second (middle) joints of the knuckles. While the Ben Ish Hai also mentions that this is the Halakha, he adds that it would appear that the correct thing is to wash all the way to the 3rd joints of the knuckles, closest to the wrist. One should include the beginnings of those knuckles in the washing for Mayim Aharonim.
We see from this that one must be particular to make adequate water available for Mayim Ahronim. If one does not wash in a sink, but brings a vessel to the table for the purpose, one must ensure that it contains enough water for all those at the table. If there are a lot of people, one must either bring multiple vessels or refill it as required.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 181:4. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 4. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Shelah Lekha, Oth 12)
ID: ed46e No.2585
The Shulhan 'Arukh (Code of Jewish Law) writes that we do not recite any Berakha (blessing), over Mayim Ahronim. However, the Ben Ish Hai mentions the opinion that if one ate food that was not dry and, as a result, one's hands became dirty, then, whenever one washes one's hands, one should, strictly speaking, recite a blessing over the washing. The blessing in question should be " 'Al Rehissath Yadayim" (on the "washing of the hands").
He adds, however, that it is not the custom of the world to recite this blessing. The reason is that, even though some of the greatest Rabbis said that one should, nevertheless, there is a difference of opinion on this matter. And whenever there is a difference of opinion about a Berakha, we apply the principle of 'Sefeq Berakhoth Lehaqel' (when there is a doubt about a blessing, it is not recited).
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 181:7. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Shelah Lekha, Oth 14)
ID: ed46e No.2586
בַּצַּר לְךָ וּמְצָאוּךָ כֹּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים וְשַׁבְתָּ עַד ה' אֱ-לֹ-הֶיךָ "When you are in distress and all these things come upon you at the end of days, and you return to the L-rd your G-d" (Debarim 4:30). Ideally, a person should repent when he is still young and full of vigor, as the Rambam mentions in Hilkhoth Teshubah.
Maran Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, writes that when a person repents in old age, and his strength is no longer the same, his repentance is still accepted. The same applies when a person undergoes suffering, Heaven forfend, and repents on account of it, that his repentance is also accepted. The Yeser Hara' (evil inclination) tries to convince a person that if he repents in old age, or on account of some suffering that befell him, repentance does not work. This is a ploy to prevent a person from repenting.
The Torah says that even if a man repents "when he is in distress", or when he no longer has the strength he had in his youth, but is "at the end of days", he can still "return to the L-rd your G-d". Obviously though, a person should make every attempt to make complete Teshubah (repentance) when he is still in his prime.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, WaEth-hannan, Parparaoth)
ID: ed46e No.2587
If, when reading from the Sefer Torah on Shabbath, a mistake is found in the Torah which renders it unfit (Pasul), one would, ordinarily, take out another one. But what happens if there is no other Kosher Sefer Torah in that Minyan?
In such a case, they should continue using the Sefer Torah that they took out originally. However, those who go up to the Torah should not recite any blessing, either before or after the reading. Similarly, in a case where a Minyan does not have a Kasher Sefer Torah at all, they should use the one they have without reciting any blessings. The Haftarah should also be read without any blessings.
If, however, there is another Kosher Sefer Torah, it must be taken out. This holds true, even if the mistake was found after the seventh person (Mashlim) went up to the Torah and already read three Pesuqim (verses), before the mistake was found.
(See Derekh HaTorah, 9:43,44)
ID: ed46e No.2589
Through continually thinking pure thoughts, the Pele Yo'es says that a person should strengthen himself with much vigor, to remove any hatred from his heart and replace it with love. While this applies in all cases, it is all the more important in one's relationship with one's wife.
He adds that even if the wife is not a good person, with all manner of negative character traits, since she was given to him as his wife, he should make every effort to love her as he loves himself. If a man hates his wife, it causes much evil. He looks at other women, and his children are the children of one who is hated and he is considered to have brought evil seed into the world.
A person must be particular about any transgression, but especially in matters relating to love and hate. And in this area, one must be most particular in matters relating to a husband and wife. We must be aware that our actions on earth cause similar actions in Heaven. Love can build worlds in Heaven, but hatred can destroy them. Hatred causes division in Heaven, whereas love causes the unification of the Holy One blessed be He and his Shekhinah.
(To be continued)
(See Pele Yo'es, Sin-ah)
ID: ed46e No.2590
Mayim Ahronim does not have any specified minimum quantity (Shi'ur). The Mishnah Berurah writes that there should be enough water to wash one's hands. According to the Ma'aseh Rab, the custom of the Gaon of Vilna was to use a Rebi'ith (3fl. oz., depending on the opinion).
The Ben Ish Hai writes that one must be careful to only use a little water, and not too much, because Mayim Ahronim is the portion of the Sitra Ahra (the evil side). (Obviously, there should be sufficient water to wash up to the knuckles. See http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-07-24
). He writes further that if one's hands are dirty from the food, one should not use a lot of water for Mayim Ahronim, to clean them.
Instead, one should wash one's hands (and moustache, if necessary), and then eat some more bread. The reason for eating more, is so that it will be clear that this is not Mayim Ahronim, but only water that was used to wash in the middle of the meal. After that, one should do Mayim Ahronim with a minimum amount of water and read Birkath HaMazon.
(See Mishnah Berurah, 181:19. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Shelah Lekha, Oth 8)
ID: ed46e No.2591
The Shulhan 'Arukh writes that one may not use water for Mayim Ahronim, that is so hot that it burns one's fingers. However, one should be aware that there is an opinion that Mayim Aharonim must actually be cold. Wherever possible, one should take this opinion into consideration and only use cold water.
Even though one speaks of using water for Mayim Ahronim, which is the liquid that one would ordinarily use, nevertheless, if water is not available, any liquid may be used for Mayim Ahronim. The Mishnah Berurah writes that one may even use oil, honey or milk, but one may not use wine, because of its importance.
It says in Ben Ish Hai, however, that if one doesn't have any water for Mayim Ahronim, one may use any other liquid, even wine, since there is no other option available.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 181:3, 9. Ben Ish Hai, year 1, Shelah Lekha, Oth 11. Mishnah Berurah, 181:21)
ID: ed46e No.2594
Not all water is ritually fit for Netilath Yadayim (ritual washing of hands). The Mishnah Berurah quotes the Ahronim who say that Mayim Ahronim, however, may be done with any water, even water that has become Pasul (ritually unfit) for the washing of hands for Netilath Yadayim. This includes water whose appearance has changed, or that some Melakha was done with it, or animals drank from it, and so on.
There is a stricter opinion, however, which is quoted in Ben Ish Hai. There is an opinion that says that the water must be fit to drink, may not be bitter, or have a bad smell.
In addition, the Mishnah Berurah quotes the Ahronim as saying that כח גברא (Kowah Gabra, lit. the force of a person, such as pouring the water oneself), is not required. The Ben Ish Hai mentions an opinion that says that it is.
In all cases where one is able to fulfill one's obligation according to all opinions, one should endeavor to do so.
(See Mishnah Berurah 181:21. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Shelah Lekha, Oth 15)
ID: ed46e No.2595
ואמרת בלבבך כחי ועצם ידי עשה לי את החיל הזה "And [if] you say in your heart: my strength and the power of my hand are what got me this wealth" (Debarim 8:17). Sometimes we see people who walk humbly, speak humbly, and act humbly, yet, if we get to know them we realize that in their hearts they are not humble.
Hazal mention in multiple places how the attribute of arrogance is a disgrace. It even says in the Gemara of Berakhoth (43b), that if one walks stiffly upright, even for four Ammoth (cubits), it is as if he pushed the feet of the Shekhinah, because it says that G-d's glory fills the earth.
This verse stresses that arrogance is not only in one's actions and speech. Even an arrogant thought is forbidden and renders unfit. We see this from the fact that it says, "If you say in your heart", and adds later, "Do not say in your heart". This tells us how important it is for a person to not only not appear or sound arrogant, but to have no arrogance, whatsoever, in his heart.
(See Dibrei Mordekhai, 'Eqeb, Parparaoth)
ID: ed46e No.2597
Whenever a mistake is found in a Sefer Torah, in the portion that one is reading, a new one must be taken out in its place. Obviously, if there is a mistake anywhere in the Sefer Torah, not just in the portion that one will be reading, and it becomes known before the Sefer is taken out, it must not be taken out, but a Kasher one must be taken out in its place. Even if a mistake is found in the Sefer Torah, in the reading of the passages of the Tokhahoth (reproaches), that we read in the Parashioth of Behuqqothai and Ki Thabo, a new Sefer Torah must be taken out.
If a mistake is found in the Maftir, which is a Hobath HaYom (obligation of the day), i.e., when a special Sefer Torah is taken out for the Maftir, then a new Sefer must be taken out and read from. If the mistake is found in the Maftir, on a regular Shabbath, when the Maftir is just a repetition of the last few verses that were already read, there is a difference of opinion.
If the mistake was found before the reading of the Maftir, they should take out a new Sefer. If the mistake was found after the reading commenced, there are those who say that there is no need to take out a new Sefer Torah. When the reading is over, no blessing is recited after the Maftir, but all the blessings are recited on the Haftarah. The Kaf Hahayyim mentions that the custom is, nevertheless, to take out a new Sefer Torah, even in this instance, and, in such a case, a blessing would also be recited after the reading.
(See Derekh HaTorah, 9:45,46)
ID: ed46e No.2598
Many times, removing hatred of another person from one's heart, proves to be an insurmountable task. One should not give up. The Pele Yo'es says that, in such a case, a person should go to the Hakham and explain his difficulties to him. The Hakham will guide him and advise him in the appropriate measures and course of action to be taken.
When the Torah tells us that we must love our neighbor as ourselves, do we feel that this refers only to one who is good to us? Obviously if someone loves you, there is no challenge in loving him back. The only reason that it was necessary to mention this in the Torah is to tell us that this applies to someone who is one's enemy and seeks to harm him.
Obviously, this is something incredibly difficult to do and many would say that it is, in fact, impossible. However, the verse commands that we do and the Torah was not given to the ministering angels, but to us. Therefore, we see that this is something within our capabilities, difficult though it may be.
(To be continued)
(See Pele Yo'es, Sin-ah)
ID: ed46e No.2603
It says in both Ben Ish Hai and the Mishnah Berurah, that one may not have any interruption between the washing of the fingers for Mayim Ahronim and the recitation of Birkath HaMazon. This applies even to words of Torah.
In truth, however, we do not recite Birkath HaMazon immediately after Mayim Ahronim. Ashkenazim recite the Mizmorim (Tehillim) of 'Al Naharoth Babel or Shir HaMa'aloth, before Birkath HaMazon and Sephardim recite Lamnaseyah Yehonenu, and Abarekha between Mayim Ahronim and Birkath HaMazon. The Ben Ish Hai quotes this as the custom that is followed and adds that when saying Abarekha, one should have the intent that one is chasing away the Sitra Ahara (the evil side), which is standing on the table.
Words of Torah, however, which should be recited at the table, as well as any Shbahoth (Pizmonim) that one may sing, such as Sur Mishelo, should all take place before doing Mayim Ahronim.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Shelah Lekha, Oth 15. Mishnah Berurah, 181:24)
ID: ed46e No.2606
Just as one blesses on the good that occurs, so too, one must bless "Barukh … Dayyan HaEmeth", when something bad occurs, R"L. The Shulhan 'Arukh mentions that one must bless on the bad with a "complete mind and yearning soul", as one would do when something good occurs. The reason is that, for one who truly serves G-d, this is for their good and their happiness, because they accept, with love, what G-d decrees.
When good news comes to a person, he should immediately say, "הודו לה' כי טוב כי לעולם חסדו". Even if the pleasure that one actually receives is only a small one, one should consider it to be major. If one has good news to tell one's friend, one should do it immediately.
If it is in a place where it is inappropriate to recite a blessing, however, and he fears that his friend will bless G-d there and then, he should wait till he is in an appropriate place. On the other hand, if he knows that his friend is righteous and very careful about his Miswoth, he should tell him right away, and his friend will recite the blessing later when he has gone to another place.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 222:2, 3. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 8, 9, 10. 223, Oth 2)
ID: ed46e No.2609
Even though we mentioned that if one has good news to tell one's friend, one should do it immediately (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-08-07
), nevertheless, if the news is exceptionally good, one has to take care. The Midrash tells us that when Abraham Abinu, 'a"h, took his son Yis-haq Abinu, 'a"h, (Isaac), to be sacrificed, the Satan lied to Sarah Immenu, 'a"h, and told her that he had died.
When Isaac was not sacrificed, however, he had to go back and tell her that he was alive. The news was so joyous and overwhelming, that she died.
If one feels that the good news, that one wishes to tell one's friend, would overwhelm him so much, that it could be dangerous, one has to take care how one says it to him. One should mention it to him, a little bit a time, till he sees he can accept it in a calm manner.
(See Kaf HaHayyim, 232: Oth 2)
ID: ed46e No.2612
וְלֹא תִקְפֹּץ אֶת יָדְךָ מֵאָחִיךָ הָאֶבְיוֹן … כִּי־פָתֹחַ תִּפְתַּח אֶת יָדְךָ לוֹ "You shall not close your hand to your poor brother … You shall surely open your hand to him" (Debarim 15:7-8). It says in the Midrash (Qoheleth Rabba, 5:20), when a man comes into the world, his hands are closed (with clenched fists). When a man leaves this world, his hands are wide open.
This hints at the fact that, when it comes to matters pertaining to this world and its "vanities", one's fists should be clenched shut. However, when the time comes for him to go to the world to come, his hands should be open to receive the abundant blessings.
The Torah comes to tell us here that in matters pertaining to charity, you must not close your fists, because at the end of your days you will open them. This applies to all matters connected with this world, that our hands should be closed and that we should not go after them, but with spiritual matters, especially inasmuch as charity is concerned, our hands must be wide open.
(See Nowah Saddiqim 2:2)
ID: ed46e No.2617
In order to transport Sifrei Torah from one country to another, some people put wax on one of the letters. This causes the Sefer Torah to become Pasul (unfit for ritual use), and it is transported in this manner. If one needs to read from a Sefer Torah on a weekday, and finds that there is wax on one of the letters, one must remove the wax before reading from it.
If this happens on Shabbath or Yom Tob, if the wax is thin enough so that the letter or letters can be seen, then they should read from it the way it is. If, however, the wax is so thick, that the letters cannot be seen, then the Sefer Torah is Pasul and may not be read from. This is true, even if the wax is in a place, other than the one they are reading from.
In such a case, they should use a different Sefer Torah. If no other Torah is available, they should try to remove the wax כלאחר יד (in a backhanded fashion), by folding the parchment so that the wax falls off. If that does not work, however, then the Sefer Torah may not be read from (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-07-27
, 'Found Mistake and No Other Sefer Torah Available').
(See Derekh HaTorah, 9:49)
ID: ed46e No.2620
The Pele Yo'es points out that when questioning how one can love someone who is one's enemy and actually caused him harm, one must consider that both good and bad are ordained from the mouth of Heaven. What might be harder to comprehend is that both good and bad are for the ultimate good of a person.
We must remind ourselves that no one has the ability to harm another, unless this is decreed by Heaven. Similarly, no one has the ability to do good for one's friend, or to touch anything that is his, without it being decreed by G-d. G-d has no end of agents available, to do His bidding, for the good of man, in this world or the next. It is important to remember that sometimes, something that does not seem beneficial in this world, will reap many benefits in the world to come.
A man must believe all these things with complete faith, and strengthen himself with pure thoughts at all times. This will help chase away hatred and awaken love. And we must remember what our Rabbis tell us that we must judge all others favorably. We must rely on our Father in Heaven, who will guide us to do that which is right in His eyes.
(See Pele Yo'es, Sin-ah)
ID: ed46e No.2621
The Rambam writes in his Hilkhoth Teshubah, that any commandment in the Torah, whether it is a positive one ('Aseh), or a negative one (Lo Tha'aseh), if a person transgressed any one of them, be it deliberately, be it in error, when a man repents and returns from his sin, he must confess his sin before G-d.
This is in accordance with what the Torah instructs us (BaMidbar 5:6, 7), "If a man or a woman do any sin…they must confess the sins that they committed". This is an oral confession and is a positive commandment.
The way one confesses is as follows: He must say, "I beseech you O L-rd, I have sinned, I have transgressed, I have done wrong before You. I did such and such a thing. Behold, I have regretted and am embarrassed by my deeds, and, never again will I return to doing this." This, according to the Rambam, is the essential part of the confession. However, if one elaborates on these points and lengthens the confession, it is considered praiseworthy.
(See Rambam, Hilkhoth Teshubah, 1:1, 2)
ID: ed46e No.2631
The ideal time to make Teshubah (repent), is while one is still young and in possession of all one's strength. If a person doesn't repent till he or she is elderly, it is not the highest type of Teshubah, but it is still considered to be repentance. The reason why it is not the best option is that when one is elderly, one is not able to do what one was able to do in one's youth, nevertheless, one who repents, even in old age, is considered to be a Ba'al Teshubah.
Even if a person sinned all his days, but made Teshubah on the day he died, and was repentant when he died, all his sins are eradicated. We learn from Qoheleth (12:1,2), that if one remembers his Creator and repents before he dies, he is forgiven, as it says וּזְכֹר אֶת בּוֹרְאֶיךָ…עַד אֲשֶׁר לֹא תֶחְשַׁךְ הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְהָאוֹר וְהַיָּרֵחַ וְהַכּוֹכָבִים וְשָׁבוּ הֶעָבִים אַחַר הַגָּשֶׁם "Remember your Creator…as long as the sun hasn't set, nor have the light and the moon and the stars darkened, and the clouds return after the rain".
Obviously, since one does not know when that day will be, we pray that it will be after a long and healthy life, it behooves us to return to G-d without delay.
(See Rambam, Hilkhoth Teshubah, 2:1)
ID: ed46e No.2632
Without Confession, the Most Rigorous Repentance Has No Effect
by Rabbi Ya'aqob Menashe
(Links to the audio and video appear after the text)
The act of actually confessing one's sin in order to obtain forgiveness, is more important than many realize. When the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple) was standing and people brought offerings, the offerings had to be accompanied by the confession of the sins and repentance, in order to be accepted. This applied to both intentional and unintentional sins.
Even when the Beth Din meted out punishment of lashes or even capital punishment, atonement could not be received without repentance and confession. Someone who physically harms another, or damages his property, does not receive atonement simply by paying him the monetary equivalent of the damages incurred.
In addition to the financial settlement, the one who caused the harm or the damages, must confess to the sin that he has committed and must repent from ever doing anything similar, ever again. We learn this from the Torah when it says: מִכָּל חַטֹּאת הָאָדָם, "From any of the sins of man" (BaMidbar 5:6).
(See Rambam, Hilkhoth Teshubah, 1:1)
ID: ed46e No.2636
צֶדֶק צֶדֶק תִּרְדֹּף "Righteousness, righteousness, shall you pursue" (Debarim 16:20). The Torah could have written "righteousness" just once, and the meaning would have been apparent. Therefore, the fact that it mentions it twice, must be to teach us something additional.
Rabbenu Bahyyei tells us that the simple understanding is that the Torah is telling us that we have to be righteous in two areas, those of speech and action. One can harm oneself, as well as others, through both these mediums. One whose speech is righteous, almost certainly acts in a righteous manner too. For this reason, every Jew should strive to be righteous in both speech and deed.
Another possible explanation is that it is coming to tell us that, one who is involved in a court case, would, naturally, try to make the ruling go in his favor. In fact, what he must do is look for righteousness to be the decider. In other words, whether it is to his benefit financially, or to his detriment, he should seek out righteousness. That is why the Torah repeats the word.
(See Rabbenu Bahyei on the Torah, Debarim, 16:20)
ID: ed46e No.2637
One is permitted to use paper towels on Shabbath, in order to dry one's hands or water that spilled on the table. The reason is that paper towels that have been used, are always thrown away. People do not use them, wring them out and then use them again later. Therefore, there is no fear of סחיטה (Sehita, that people will squeeze out the water), on Shabbath:
It says in Derekh HaTorah that there is a very thick kind of paper that people use multiple times. In view of that, these towels should not be used to dry water that spilled on the table, because of the fear that one would come to squeeze them out in order to reuse them. Presumably this is something that is found in Israel.
Toilet paper or paper hand towels, even if they are very wet, may be taken and discarded, because they are only meant for one-time use. They are not in the same category as cloth towels, which are washed and reused repeatedly.
(See Derekh HaTorah, Shabbath, 17:21, 21, 27)
ID: ed46e No.2642
One periodically hears Ba'alei Teshubah (those who became religious, even though they were not always), say about themselves, "I'm a Ba'al Teshubah", but in a pejorative manner. Their point is that they cannot be considered on the same level as those who were born religious.
The Rambam, in his Hilkhoth Teshubah, writes that that a Ba'al Teshubah should not consider himself to be far from the level from the Saddiqim (righteous), on account of the the sins and transgressions that he committed previously. This is incorrect thinking. Rather, it is so appreciated by the Creator of the world, that it is as if he never sinned in his life. On the contrary, his reward is exceedingly great, because he has tasted sin and has separated himself from it, because he conquered his evil inclination.
We must remember what our Rabbis of Blessed Memory said, that in a place where Ba'alei Teshubah stand, the completely righteous are unable to stand (מקום שבעלי תשובה עומדים, אין צדיקים גמורים יכולין לעמוד). The fact that they subjugate their inclination more than those who never sinned, puts them on a higher level.
(See Rambam, Hilkhoth Teshubah, 7:4)
ID: ed46e No.2643
The greatness of Teshubah (repentance), the Rambam tells us, is that it draws a person closer to the Shekhinah (G-d's holy presence). Even if someone was previously so far from G-d, that he was hated by Him, to the point that G-d found him disgusting and an abomination, today he is loved, pleasing, close and endeared by G-d.
This is the power of Teshubah. The prophet Yeshaya says (Yeshayahu 59:2, 1:15, 1:12), עֲוֹנֹתֵיכֶם הָיוּ מַבְדִּלִים בֵּינֵכֶם לְבֵין אֱלֹהֵיכֶם "Your sins separated you from your G-d". If he would cry out, he would not be answered, the Prophet said, "Even if you pray many times, I will not hear". If he would perform Miswoth (commandments), they would be ripped up.
Now that the person cleaves to the Shekhinah, when he calls out to G-d he is answered immediately. Indeed, it is said in Yeshaya (65:24) that he is answered before he calls out to G-d, "וְהָיָה טֶרֶם יִקְרָאוּ וַאֲנִי אֶעֱנֶה". Now, when he performs Miswoth, G-d accepts them with happiness and it is pleasing to Him.
(See Rambam, Hilkhoth Teshubah, 7:7)
ID: ed46e No.2645
The Rambam writes that the way of Ba'alei Teshubah (those who have returned to the right path), is to be humble. If fools embarrass them on account of their previous deeds and say to them, "Last night you used to do such and such (wrongdoings), as well as other wrongdoings", they pay no heed to them.
Instead they hear what is said and are happy, because they realize that this is all to their credit. All the time that they are embarrassed by their deeds that they did, and feel ashamed, their merits are increased and their level becomes greater.
Having said that, one must realize that it is an absolute sin to say to a Ba'al Teshubah, "Remember what you used to do before". One must not even mention these things in front of him, in order to embarrass him. One may not mention other matters or cases that are similar, in order to remind him of what he did in the past. All these come under the Torah prohibition of Honayath Debarim (deceptive speech).
(See Rambam, Hilkhoth Teshubah, 7:7)
ID: ed46e No.2648
The Rambam writes that we must not think of and, therefore, diminish the good of the world to come, by thinking of it in terms of what the Arabs believe. We should not consider that if a person is complete in his ways, that his reward in the world to come, is to eat and drink good foods, have many beautiful [women], wear garments of lace and embroidery, live in ivory tents, using utensils of gold and silver, and so on. This is total foolishness and nonsense.
Our Hakhamim, z"l, and all those who know, are aware that all these things are mere vanities, and that they are only considered to be a great reward for us, in this world. The reason why they are so special here is because we have a physical body. The soul has no desire for them except, inasmuch as they are desired by the body and needed for its well being.
At a time when there is no more body, however, all of these things become irrelevant. The great good that there will be for the soul in the world to come, is beyond any comprehension or understanding in this world.
(See Rambam, Teshubah, 8:6)
ID: ed46e No.2651
כִּי תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה עַל אֹיְבֶיךָ וּנְתָנוֹ ה' אֱ-לֹ-הֶיךָ בְּיָדֶךָ "When you go out to war against your enemies (plural), and the L-rd your G-d, delivers him (singular) into your hand" (Debarim, 21:10). Much has been written about the fact that the Pasuq (verse) begins with enemies in the plural and ends in the singular. The Keli Yaqar explains that there are two enemies. One is the physical enemy who is a person, and the other is a spiritual enemy, which is the Yeser Hara' (the evil inclination).
Maran Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, writes, based on the words of the Ohr HaHayyim, that there is no one in the world who hates a man, like his own evil inclination. In fact, he even causes a man to hate others. The way of the Yeser Hara' is to try to show the man that he is his good friend, and that whatever he suggests is for the good of the person.
The Yeser Hara' hugs the man with one arm, but with the other he stabs him in the back with a knife. He acts just like the physical enemies who have spoken to the Jewish people in a friendly manner but then have taken a gun and shot at them. As soon as the Yeser Hara' causes a man to sin, it goes up to G-d and reports the man. When the man tries to blame the Yeser Hara', it immediately responds, "I am an angel of G-d and I am only doing my duty. Who are you supposed to listen to, G-d or one of his angels?"
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, Ki Thesei)
ID: ed46e No.2654
Today's "A Torah Minute" (TM) is taken from Ben Ish Hai, on the occasion of the Hillula of Rabbenu, Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, the holy Ben Ish Hai.
One may not add salt to a dish which is on the fire, on Shabbath. There is a difference of opinion about whether one may add salt to food which is still in the Keli Rishon (vessel in which it was cooked), after it was removed from the fire, or not. Maran, z"l, writes in the Shulhan 'Arukh, that adding salt to food, after the pot was removed from the fire, is permitted, even if the food is still in the Keli Rishon, and is still hot.
The Rama, z"l, in his gloss on the Shulhan 'Arukh writes, however, that even if the food is now in a Keli Sheni (second vessel), but is still hot, one is forbidden to add salt to it. Ashkenazim need to be strict in this regard. The Ben Ish Hai writes that it is appropriate to follow this stricter opinion, since there are other Posqim (deciders of Jewish Law), who are in agreement with this.
He adds, however, that if one did add salt to the food, even if it is in the Keli Rishon, and even if it is still on the fire, the food will still be permitted. The reason is that the salt does not significantly change the food.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Parashath Bo, Oth 10)
ID: ed46e No.2655
The Rama, z"l, writes that there are those who have the custom of the men immersing themselves, 'Ereb Rosh Hashanah. If a man is unable to immerse himself, he should have others pour 9 Qabin of water (there are different opinions starting from approximately 3.6 U.S. gallons or 13.5 liters), on him in a continuous flow. It is important that, if using multiple vessels (but no more than 3), the flow of one does not end before the next one starts.
Many are of the opinion today, that a man can use a shower, instead of having people pour water from a vessel. One needs to ensure that the flow was of at least 9 Qabs of water. If even this is not possible, the Ben Ish Hai suggests another alternative.
He writes that he should pour water on his hands, forty times. This is achieved as follows: First he pours water on his hands, alternately, 10 times on each hand, for a total of 20 pourings. After that, he pours ten times on his right hand, followed by 10 times on his left hand, making another 20 pourings, for a total of 40.
(Rama, 582:4. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Nisabim, Oth 3. Mishnah Berurah,582:26)
ID: ed46e No.2661
There is a difference of opinion about reciting the word "Le'eila", in the Qaddish from Rosh Hashanah till Yom Kippur. According to the Mishnah Berurah, the word "Le'eila" must be repeated during every Qaddish, throughout the Ten Days of Repentance. This is the custom among Ashkenazim. In order that the words of the Qaddish remain exactly 28 (upto "Be'alma"), however, the words Min Kol [Birkhatha] must be contracted to one word, "Mikkol" [Birkhatha].
While some Sephardim follow this custom also, it is apparent from the words of the Ben Ish Hai, that he does not hold that the word "Le'eila" should be doubled. He comments that if the words "Min Kol" would be contracted to "Mikkol" we would be one word short and, therefore, we should continue saying "Min Kol". He writes that there must be 28 words in the Qaddish upto Be'alma, for Kabbalistic reasons, and that if we say "Mikkol", we would only have 27.
As such, the opinion we follow, according to the Ben Ish Hai, is to say Le'eila only once, during the 10 Days of Repentance, as we do throughout the year. Therefore, we also say "Min Kol" as two words.
(See Mishnah Berurah 582:16. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Wayhi, Oth 2. Also Rab Pe'alim 2, 13)
ID: ed46e No.2663
It is the custom among Sephardim and some Ashkenazim, to read all the Tehillim on Rosh Hashanah. It is commonly split over the two days. It says in Ben Ish Hai, that since one should not mention one's sins on Rosh Hashanah, in accordance with the Zohar, the Baqashoth (requests) that are recited before and after reading the Tehillim should not include the requests for forgiveness.
The Ben Ish Hai mentions further, that the Baqqashoth include the request that we should merit to live 70 or 80 years. He says that it is not appropriate to say this. What if the one reading it is older than 80? Or, even if he is not yet 70, why ask G-d for a specific number of years, when maybe G-d wishes to give him more? Instead, one should request that one should be worthy to live a long, good and correct life. This is how they blessed the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) on Mosei Yom Kippur and, clearly, there are mystical reasons for saying it.
This is also the basis for those who do not wish another person, that he should live till 120. Even though we do not wish to ask for more years than Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, received, we do not want to limit a person if HaQadosh Barukh Hu wishes to give him more.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Nisabim, Oth 13, 23. Mishnah Berurah, 583:9)
ID: ed46e No.2667
The Shulhan 'Arukh writes that before blowing the Shofar, the Thoqe'a (the one who is blowing), must recite the blessing of "Lishmoa' Qol Shofar". It says in Ben Ish Hai, that the Shofar must be covered till he finishes reciting the blessing. He must also hold the Shofar, while it is covered, when he recites the blessing.
He should first bang on the Tebah (Bimah) to alert the congregation that he is about to bless. This is important, because his blessing is also made on their behalf. As such, they must pay attention to the blessing from beginning to end.
If someone is hard of hearing, therefore, and is standing some distance away from the Thoqe'a, he obviously will not hear the blessing. As such, he should say the blessing for himself while the Thoqe'a is saying it for everyone else. This assumes that even though he is unable to hear the blessing, he will certainly hear the sound of the Shofar.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 585:2. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Nisabim, Oth 15)
ID: ed46e No.2670
וְהָיָה כִּי תָבוֹא אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר ה' אֱ-לֹ-הֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְיָשַׁבְתָּ בָּהּ "And it shall be when you come to the Land which the L-rd your G-d is giving you as an inheritance, you will inherit it and dwell in it" (Debarim 26:1). Ezra HaSopher (Ezra the Scribe), a'h, instituted that the second last Parasha of the year would be Ki Thabo. This begs the question why the second last Parasha should be this one and not the actual second last Parasha of the Torah. The answer is that it is so that the year and all its curses would end before the year comes to a close.
The Ohr Hahayyim tells us, that the first Pasuq (verse) of the Parasha comes to tell us, that we did not merit to inherit the Land on account of our strength or the strength of our hand. We should not say that the reason we have the Land is on account of our prowess. Rather, we must recognize that it is an inheritance, which is a gift from G-d.
The Ramban writes that G-d gave the Land to our forefathers, Abraham, Yis-haq and Ya'aqob (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), 'a"h. We are commanded to inherit it (in this verse) and are not permitted to give it into the hands of any other nation.
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael, 'Al HaTorah, Ki Thabo)
ID: ed46e No.2671
Wipes, such as baby wipes, which are used on infants, could present certain complications on Shabbath. Before using them on Shabbath, one must examine them before Shabbath to see if they could present a problem of Sehita (squeezing). One should take one wipe and squeeze it and see if water comes out of it. If it does, then it may not be used on Shabbath.
It says in Derekh HaTorah, that in most cases, the wipes that are on the top of the pack, do not present a problem of Sehita, and may be used on Shabbath. However, what tends to happen is that the wipes at the bottom of the pack often absorb substantially more of the liquid.
If that is the case, these wipes may not be used on Shabbath, on account of "Sohet". One might think that since they are only for one time use and, once used, will be discarded, this should not be a concern (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2018-08-17
), however, that is incorrect. Since it is actually to one's advantage if more liquid comes out of the wipes, they are forbidden to be used on Shabbath.
(See Derekh HaTorah, Shabbath, 17:31)
ID: ed46e No.2675
On Yom Tob (Holy Days) and Festivals, we usually do not say Widdui (confession). Whenever this occurs, we don't say Widdui the day before either, not at the the preceding Minha, Shahrith or the Minha before the Holiday. 'Ereb Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, however, we do say Widdui during the preceding Minha, but do not recite it during Shahrith or the Minha just before Yom Tob.
The reason why Widdui is recited during the Preceding Minha, is because it will be recited during the Selihoth later that night, in the early hours of the morning. In view of that, it makes no sense to not recite it and then recite it again, before stopping for the Holy day.
When the first day of Rosh Hashana falls on Sunday night and Monday, the preceding Minha is that of Shabbath afternoon. In this case, Sidqathkha (צדקתך) is recited as usual.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hilkhoth Hagim, 35:7)
ID: ed46e No.2678
One should not eat anything before hearing the blowing of the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah. The reason is because hearing the blowing of the Shofar is a positive commandment from the Torah (Miswath 'Aseh MideOraitha).
This assumes that the person will not be negatively affected by waiting to eat till after hearing the Shofar. Therefore, a woman who is of a weak disposition, or a man who is unwell, or a person who is elderly, for whom fasting till after the Shofar, would not be practical, such a person may eat before the prayers. However, they should do so in private.
If they already prayed Shaharith before wishing to eat, they need to make Qiddush before eating. In such a case, they should try to eat no more than a Kezayith (1 oz.) of Mezonoth, such as cake and the like.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hagim, 39:5)
ID: ed46e No.2684
There is an opinion that the Berakhoth (blessings) of the 'Amidah of Musaf of Rosh Hashana and the blowings of the Shofar, depend on each other. According to this, if one is in a place where he is unable to hear the Shofar, then he does not fulfill his obligation of the 'Amidah either. Similarly, if he is unable to pray the whole Musaf, then he does not fulfill his obligation of hearing the Shofar. In practice, however, we do not follow that opinion, but consider that the two are not interdependent.
The blessings of Malkhiyoth, Zikhronoth and Shofaroth in the 'Amidah, however, are dependent on each other. Therefore, one may not say only some of them. If one's Siddur (Mahzor) is missing small portions, but most of the Berakhoth are still readable, one may recite the blessings.
If one is unable to obtain a Siddur to read the Musaf 'Amidah from, and presumably, will be unable to read the Rosh Hashana Musaf 'Amidah by heart, one should do the following. He should read the first three blessings of the 'Amidah, then mention the holiness of the day, and end with the three final blessings.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama 593:2. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hagim, 37:26,27,29)
ID: ed46e No.2688
If someone is not an expert at blowing the Shofar, nor at the recitation of the Musaf prayer, and has a choice of two places to go to on Rosh Hashana, one where they are expert at blowing the Shofar, but not the Musaf prayer, and the other where they are experts at the prayer but not at the blowing of the Shofar, he should go to the one where they are experts at blowing the Shofar. The reason is that the Shofar is a commandment from the Torah (DeOraitha), whereas the prayer is a commandment from the Rabbis (DeRabbanan).
If his options are to go to a place where they can blow the Shofar, but he will have to pray BeYahid (by himself), or pray with a congregation where they do not know how to blow, he should go where they know how to blow.
If, however, he can go to a place where they will be praying as a congregation, but without the Shofar, and later in the day he will be able to hear the Shofar somewhere else, then he should pray with the congregation and later go to hear the Shofar. The reason is that one may hear the Shofar at any time during the day.
(See Shukhan 'Arukh with Rama 595:1. See also comments by Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 3)
ID: ed46e No.2691
אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם כֻּלְּכֶם לִפְנֵי ה' אֱ-לֹ-הֵיכֶם רָאשֵׁיכֶם שִׁבְטֵיכֶם זִקְנֵיכֶם וְשֹׁטְרֵיכֶם כֹּל אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל "You are standing today, all of you before the L-rd your G-d, your heads, your tribes, your elders and officers, all the men of Israel" (Debarim 29:9).
Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, tells the Jewish people that they are not standing in front of him, that they could mislead him by saying one thing with their mouths, but feeling something else in their hearts. Today they are standing in front of the Creator of the world, who cannot be misled, because He knows what's in the heart of man. If a person transgressed or intends to do wrong, he cannot hide it from the Creator of the world.
The fact that the Pasuq starts with the heads, and works its way down to the ordinary people, teaches us that even though all Jews are responsible for one another, nevertheless, there are differing degrees. The more senior the person, the greater the responsibility, because he has the ability to stop a person from doing wrong. Ordinary men do not have the same ability. The greatest responsibility rests on the shoulders of the parents, because they have the greatest influence over the paths of their children
(See Barukh Ta'am, Nisabim)
ID: ed46e No.2694
It says in Derekh HaTorah that a woman who is nursing, should not express her milk with her hands into a cup or vessel, on Shabbath, in order to nurse her child. However, she may squeeze some milk so that the child will start nursing. If the woman is in pain on account of the amount of milk in her, she is permitted to squeeze the milk out onto the ground. Since it goes to waste, when squeezed onto the ground, it does not fall under the Melakha (forbidden Shabbath labor) of "Dash".
If a woman is obligated to pump her milk on Shabbath, either because she is unable to nurse her child directly, or because she is in great discomfort on account of the amount of milk she has, she should pump in the following manner. She should either use a manual pump, or, if she uses an electric pump, she must not switch it on and off, but should have it connected to a timer which turns it on and off automatically.
(See Derekh HaTorah 17:40-42)
ID: ed46e No.2699
עֲשָׂרָה דְבָרִים נִבְרְאוּ בְעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת … וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים אֵילוֹ שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ Ten things were created on the eve of Shabbath, at twighlight … including, some say, the ram of Abraham Abinu" (Aboth 5:6). For our sins, the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple), is not standing. Theoretically, without the Beth HaMiqdash,we might think that there is no Kapparah (atonement) for our sins. After all, we are unable to bring Qorbanoth (sacrifices), there is no Kohen Gadol (High Priest), to perform the Service on our behalf, and so on. However, G-d examines our hearts and accepts our desires, as if we actually performed the action.
We see this from the Aqedah (binding of Isaac). The reason we blow the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah, apart from the obvious intention to instill thoughts of Teshubah (repentance) in our hearts, is to remind G-d of the Aqedah. Abraham Abinu, 'a"h, was willing to do G-d's bidding and sacrifice his only son, whom he loved, Yishaq Abinu, 'a"h, (Isaac) and Yishaq Abinu, 'a"h, was willing to be sacrificed.
Obviously, it was a test, and G-d could not accept such a thing. But even though, in the end, a ram was sacrificed, G-d accepts it as if the 'Aqedah had actually taken place. The blowing of a ram's horn on Rosh Hashanah, reminds G-d of this and the merit of the 'Aqedah is a protection for the Jewish people for all generations.
(See Birkath Aboth 5:6)
ID: ed46e No.2710
One should endeavor to read the Musaf prayer of Yom Kippur by the seventh hour of the day, counting from dawn (some count from sunrise). There are many Piyyutim and Selihoth in the Yom Kippur prayer, which can take a substantial amount of time to read.
If the congregation sees that they will miss the correct time for Musaf as a result of the Piyyutim and Selihoth, it is preferable to read less of them, but at a normal cadence, than to read all of them at great speed.
The Kaf Hahayyim mentions that the Yom Kippur prayer contains ten Widduyim (confessions), in the 'Amidah prayers and the repetitions. "Waya'abor" is said twenty-six times. They are said as follows: 5 times in 'Arbith, 5 times in Shahrith, 7 times in Musaf, 6 in Minha and, finally, 3 during the Ne'ilah prayer.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 620:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 4-6)
ID: ed46e No.2714
הַקְהֵל אֶת הָעָם … לְמַעַן יִשְׁמְעוּ וּלְמַעַן יִלְמְדוּ וְיָרְאוּ … וּבְנֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָדְעוּ יִשְׁמְעוּ וְלָמְדוּ לְיִרְאָה אֶת ה' אֱ-לֹ-הֵיכֶם "Assemble the people so that they will hear and they will learn and fear … And your sons who do not know, will hear and learn to fear the L-rd your G-d" (Debarim 31:12, 13). The words in these two verses appear, at first glance, very similar. However, based on the Ohr HaHayyim, we see that in the first verse Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, is saying that the sons should be assembled in order for them to learn, "through which they would come to fear", whereas in the subsequent verse he is saying that "they will learn to fear". A very different situation.
We learn from this second verse, that Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, is telling the people that he understands that the little children are too young to understand what they will hear when they are assembled with the adults. However, while they may not be able to learn the subject matter, they will learn to fear G-d.
This occurs by virtue of the fact that they are present at such a gathering. Not only that, but Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, adds the words כָּל הַיָּמִים "all of the days", to tell us that when fear of Heaven is instilled in children from a young age, it remains with them forever.
(See Ohr Hahayyim, Wayyelekh 31:12, 13)
ID: ed46e No.2715
One who, for health reasons, must eat on Yom Kippur, should eat in accordance with the Shi'urim (specified quantities). Therefore, he should eat less than 27 grams every 10 minutes. The reason is as follows:
One ounce of food (28-29 grams) is considered the minimum amount of bread to require Netilath Yadayim and Birkath HaMazon, and it must be eaten "Kedei Akhilath Peras". Kedei Akhilath Peras is a matter of debate. One opinion is that it is 4 minutes and another is that it is 9. We have to be strict and take both opinions into consideration. Therefore, in this matter, the one who must eat should eat no more than 27 grams (less than an ounce) every 10 minutes or more.
All this assumes that eating in this manner does not endanger the person, because if that is not sufficient, he will have to increase the amounts. If one knows of a person's condition in advance, one must consult with one's Orthodox Rabbi who will guide the person based on consultations with the doctors.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hilkhoth Hagim, 45:6)
ID: ed46e No.2719
In the Musaf prayer on Yom Kippur, the Hazan recites the prayer of the 'Abodah service that took place in the Beth HaMiqdash. When he reads the portion of "WehaKohanim Weha'Am", when the Kohen HaGadol used to utter G-d's ineffable Name (Shem Hawaya/Shem HaMeforash), Sephardim have the custom of falling on their faces. Ashkenazim bow in 'Alenu. Since the Hazan is not permitted to move from his place, some Hazzanim have the custom of only bowing on the Tebah (Bimah).
The Hazzan should have the intent that he is in place of the Kohen Gadol and is atoning for all the people. He should make complete Teshubah. Only the Kohen Gadol was permitted to utter G-d's ineffable Name. When the Hazzan mentions it, he only says "HaShem", and does not pronounce it the way we do in the prayer, to make it clear that the Kohen Gadol pronounced G-d's actual Name.
The first time the Hazzan says, "Anna HaShem" and the second time says, "Anna BaShem", because he is requesting mercy that G-d will save us through this holy Name of His which is pure mercy with no hint of judgment at all.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 621:4. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 31, 19, 21, 22)
ID: ed46e No.2723
In the Gemara of Qiddushin (59a), Resh Laqish and Ribbi Yohanan discuss whether speech has the power to negate speech. Rabbenu the Hida, 'a"h, comments, however, that everyone agrees that speech is unable to negate an action. If so, how can Widdui (confession), which is speech alone, negate a sin that a person committed through an action?
Firstly, the Rishonim answer that since repentance makes a person a Beriah Hadashah (new creation), it is considered as if an actual action took place. The Pasuq (verse says), קְחוּ עִמָּכֶם דְּבָרִים וְשׁוּבוּ אֶל ה, "Take words with you and return to G-d" (Hosea 14:3). This states clearly that even if a person transgressed and sinned in actual deed, nevertheless, the words that a person utters in confession, permit him to return to G-d.
Rabbenu the Hida, 'a"h adds that confession causes partitions of iron, which separate us from our Father in Heaven, to collapse and that there is no greater action that that. Through our confession, we remove the Yeser Hara' and Sitra Ahara (evil inclination and side of impurity) from us, leaving only the good portion with us. This can only be considered to be a major actual action. Just as the same Pasuq tells us וּנְשַׁלְּמָה פָרִים שְֹפָתֵינוּ, that our words will act like the physical sacrifices, so too our repentance will act as if it were actual actions.
(See Debarim Ahadim, Hida)
ID: ed46e No.2724
The Mishnah Berurah writes that, on Yom Kippur, it is good to study Mishna, from the Tractate of Yoma, which pertains to Yom Kippur. It is also appropriate to study the portions written at the end of Yoma, which are concerned with Teshubah (repentance).
The Ben Ish Hai writes that on Yom Kippur one should study Yehazqel (the Prophet Ezekiel), 'a"h, from the beginning of chapter 40 till the end of chapter 43. These are the portions of his prophecy which states, "In the 25th year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, on the tenth day". Our Rabbis, z"l, tell us that this is a reference to the year of the jubilee, which begins on Yom Kippur.
It is a prophecy about the third Beth HaMiqdash (Temple). G-d said to Yehazqel HaNabi, 'a"h, "Let Israel learn your prophecy concerning the form of the Temple, and I will consider it as if they were actually involved in its construction".
(See Mishnah Berurah, 619:16. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Wayelekh, Oth 21)
ID: ed46e No.2739
The Shulhan 'Arukh states that a young boy, who doesn't need to be with his mother, at the age of 5 or 6, is obligated by the Rabbis, to use the Sukkah, in order to train him in the Miswah (commandment) of Sukkah. The Mishnah Berurah writes that many Ahronim are of the opinion that once a boy is five or above, if his father is in town, which means that the boy does not need his mother as much, his father is obligated to train him in the matter of the Sukkah. He states that this applies, even if the boy is not Harif (sharp).
The Ben Ish Hai writes, on the other hand, that if the boy is bright, his father is obligated to train him as soon as he becomes 5, and if not, from when he becomes 6. He adds that there is a more lenient opinion that says that if he is a bright boy, he should only be trained when he has completed five years, and if not, he should be trained when he finishes being six.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 640:2. Mishnah Berurah, ibid., 4. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Haazinu, Oth 11)
ID: ed46e No.2740
The commandment of Lulab and Ethrogh is to be performed during the day and not at night. Having said that, the entire day is considered to be acceptable for performing the Miswah (commandment). If a person did not do it during Shahrith, he may do it later.
The reason why we try to do it as early as possible, is because of the concept of זריזין מקדימין למצות "Those who are quick, perform the commandments as soon as possible". We learn this from the Torah (Bereshith19:27) where it says, וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אַבְרָהָם בַּבֹּקֶר, "And Abraham arose early". If it is already Bein Hashemashoth (after sunset, but before nightfall), one should still take the Lulab and Ethrogh, but should not recite the blessing.
If it is Bein Hashemashoth on Friday night, however, one may not perform the Miswah, since we do not use the Lulab and Ethrogh on Shabbath. The same applies Bein Hashemashoth after the seventh day of the Holiday, since one is forbidden to carry the Lulab and Ethrogh on the eighth day.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 652:1. Kaf Hahayyim, 652, Oth 2-4)
ID: ed46e No.2746
The Ethrogh must weigh at least KeBeisah (2 ozs., or 58 grams). If it weighs any less than this, it is Pasul (unfit for ritual use). Even if it is not yet fully ripe, as long as it has the minimum weight, it is Kasher. There is no maximum weight.
Over the days of the Festival, the Ethrogh tends to shrivel up somewhat and lose a little of its weight. One must be careful, therefore, to ensure that the Ethrogh that one uses has a weight, initially, which is higher than 58 grams (2 ounces), so that, even on the last day, it will still have the minimum weight.
There are those who are particular to use an Ethrogh whose weight is at least 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces). One must be particular to ensure that the Ethrogh has the minimum weight on the first, and also all the remaining days of Sukkoth.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 648:22. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hagim, 52:69)
ID: ed46e No.2757
On Hol HaMo'ed, outside the land of Israel, on the first day of Hol HaMo'ed Sukkoth, which is the third day of Sukkoth, we read the relevant portions from Parashath Pinhas. Ashkenazim read the portion of the second day (Ubayom Hasheni) for the Kohen. The Lewi reads the portion of the third day (Ubayom Hashelishi). Yisrael reads the portion for the fourth day (Ubayom Harbi'i). The fourth man repeats both the 2nd and third day, because of Sefeqa Deyoma (doubt about the days outside the Land of Israel).
In Sephardi congregations, the Kohen reads the portion for the second day, Lewi reads the third, Yisrael repeats the third (this is where it differs from Ashkenazim), and the fourth 'Oleh reads the Sefeqa Deyoma, which is the second and third days. This is how it is done on all days of Hol HaMo'ed, starting with the Kohen reading the portion for the previous day.
In the Land of Israel, however, where there is no Sefeqa Deyoma, they only read the portion for that particular day. Therefore, on the first day of Hol HaMo'ed, which is the second day of Sukkoth in the Land of Israel, the Kohen reads the portion for the second day, and the three 'Olim who go up after him repeat the portion. This is how it is done on all days of Hol HaMo'ed.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 663:1, 2)
ID: ed46e No.2760
וַיְהִי בִישֻׁרוּן מֶלֶךְ בְּהִתְאַסֵּף רָאשֵׁי עָם יַחַד שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל "And he was king in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people gathered together, along with the tribes of Israel" (Debarim 33:5). The commonly accepted opinion, in accordance with the Midrash, is that the king referred to here, is Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, (Moses), who was the first king of Israel.
Rabbenu Bahya suggests a different interpretation, that the "King" actually refers to G-d. What we see from this verse, is that G-d only became the King of the people, when the people were united together. This is in keeping with what King David wrote in Tehillim (47:8-10), that G-d reigns and sits on His throne when the nobles of the people are gathered together, implying an acceptance of G-d as the King.
There is an important lesson here for us. We are waiting for G-d to once again reign on earth and to witness the rebuilding of the Beth HaMiqdash. But what this verse is telling us is that G-d does not force his Kingship upon us. Rather, He waits for us to be united in our desire for Him to reign over us.
(See Rabbenu Bahya on the Torah, Wezoth HaBerakha, 33:5)
ID: ed46e No.2765
The Hosha'noth (procession around the Teba), takes place on each of the days of the Holiday of Sukkoth, while carrying the four species (Arba'ah Minnim). On Shabbath, we are not permitted to carry the Lulab and Ethrogh, and there is a difference of opinion as to whether or not the Hosha'noth takes place on Shabbath without Lulab and Ethrogh.
One of the reasons for not saying Hosh'anoth at all, is on account of the children who hear that they are being said on Shabbath, and will take a Lulab and Ethrogh the way it is done during the week. The custom of Sephardim in Israel and many outside the Land of Israel, is not to say the Hosh'anoth at all on Shabbath. This is also the custom that we follow at Midrash Ben Ish Hai. Some Sephardim do recite them.
There are different customs among Ashkenazim. Some recite the Hosha'not, but without the procession encircling the Bimah (Tebah). There are those who do not recite them at all on Shabbath, and others who do not say them on Shabbath, but say them on Sunday, together with the Hosha'noth for that day. The Kaf Hahayyim writes that since the Ari z"l didn't specify, one should do whatever his custom is, in this matter.
(See Kaf Hahayyim 660, Oth 22, 23. Mishnah Berurah 660:4, 10. Nitei Gabriel, Sukkoth, 73:18)