ID: 294f0 No.2767[View All]
At least one Sefer Torah should be placed on the Tebah (Bimah), during the Haqqafoth on Simhath Torah, as well as the Haqqafoth that are held at the conclusion of the Festival (Haqqafoth Shenioth). A G-d fearing man should hold it throughout the Haqqafoth. The custom of Rabbenu the Ari, z"l, was to circle the Tebah while holding a Sefer Torah.167 posts omitted. Click reply to view.
Some congregations take the Sifrei Torah out to the street. This is permitted, since it is for the honor of the Torah. However, there must be a Minyan (quorum) of ten men present with it, in order to do this. The congregation must stand during the Haqqafoth. Sometimes this may take several hours, with the singing and dancing, and those who are elderly, unwell, and so on, are unable to remain standing for such a long period of time. In this case they should only stand during the actual Haqqafoth, and sit the rest of the time.
Clapping is permitted for the honor of the Torah, when rejoicing on Simhath Torah. This is true even when Simhath Torah falls on Shabbath (which it can do in the Land of Israel, and for the Haqqafoth done on Shemini 'Asereth in the Diaspora). It is, however, forbidden to play any musical instrument (other than during the Haqqafoth Shenioth, which are held after the Festival is over).
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Wezoth Habberakha, 18, 35. Dibrei Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hagim, 55:26, 27, 29, 31)
ID: 294f0 No.3393
We start to count the 'Omer from the second night of Pesah (Passover). Ordinarily, whenever there is a specific commandment that comes yearly, we recite the blessing of Sheheheyanu on it. In the case of Sefirath Ha'Omer (the counting of the Omer), however, all agree that Sheheheyanu is not recited. Why is that?
There are several reasons for it. The Kaf HaHayyim mentions that the reason is because it is only something that is done as a remembrance. It is in memory of the Miqdash. Furthermore, we only find the blessing of Sheheheyanu when there is pleasure associated with the commandment. For instance, in the case of the Lulab, it comes for rejoicing, or blowing the Shofar, which comes as a remembrance of our Father in Heaven, or the reading of Meghillath Esther which tells how G-d had mercy on us. This commandment does not remind us of any pleasure. On the contrary, it reminds us of the sadness of the destruction of the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple).
The opinion of the Lebush is different. He mentions that the counting is for the purpose of the Yom Tob (Festival), and that the Sheheheyanu of the Festival covers it also. Additionally, since it is counting up to Shabu'oth, it isn't logical to say Sheheheyanu on something that hasn't come.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, O.H. 489:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 3. Lebush ibid., 1)
ID: 294f0 No.3398
The table should be set during the day before Pesah starts, so that one can start the Seder as soon as it becomes dark. The reason is that we don't want the little children to go to sleep. However, Qiddush must not be made till the stars come out.
Even though on Shabbath and other holy days, one may add from the 'profane to the holy' and make Qiddush before nightfall, Pesah is different, because the time to eat the Massah (מצה), is at night. We learn this from the fact that the Pesah sacrifice was eaten with Massah and bitter herbs, and the Torah commanded that the Pesah sacrifice must be eaten at night.
Even though one may argue that even if we started Qiddush before nightfall, by the time we make Qiddush and read the Haggadah, it will be well into the night when the time comes to eat the Massah, nevertheless, we cannot start till the stars come out. The reason is that the four cups and all other aspects of the Seder, including the Haggadah itself, need to be after dark, because it must all be "בשעה שמצה ומרור מונחים לפניך" ('at the time when the unleavened bread and bitter herbs are placed before you').
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 472:1. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 4)
ID: 294f0 No.3404
The actual cups that are used for the four cups (Arba' Kosoth), must be rinsed out, inside and out before using, even if they are clean. This applies to the first cup. However, ideally, they should be rinsed before every cup, and this is the appropriate custom. If the cup is dirty, or someone else drank from it or there is some food left in it, it must be rinsed. The cups must be whole with no nicks or the like.
Each cup should be at least the size of a Rebi'ith, which is 3 ozs., according to the Ben Ish Hai. There are differing opinions, including 5.3 ozs., according to the Hazon Ish. When choosing a cup, one should bear in mind that one is obligated to drink the majority of the cup, irrespective of how large it is. As such, it would be most prudent to use a smaller cup, provided it holds at least a Rebi'ith.
(See Maamar Mordekhai, Hagim, 11:39, 40, 42)
ID: 294f0 No.3405
The smiting of the firstborn was not carried out by an angel, but by the Holy One blessed be He. The holy Zohar explains that the level of impurity in Egypt was so great, that the angels were afraid to go there. That is why G-d had to smite them himself.
Another reason as to why G-d himself carried out the slaying of the firstborn, is on account of His love for Israel. The fact that He went himself, demonstrated that it was not out of hatred for the Egyptians, because then He would have sent an Angel. Since it was on account of His love for the Jewish people, G-d came down Himself, to smite the Egyptians.
(See Hayyim WeShalom, 92:5. Zohar Bo, 35b)
ID: 294f0 No.3407
We read "Anna H' Hoshi'ah Na" (Please, O L-rd, save, please), in the Hallel. The question is why does the beginning of the verse use the word "Anna" (אנא) in full, but at the end of the verse it says "Na" (נא) in its diminutive form, which is just half of the word "Anna"?
The Haggadah, "Abihem Shel Yisrael", quotes Rabbi Meir Waqnin, 'a"h, who was the Chief Rabbi of Tiberius, who asked how we can understand the Gemara of Sanhedrin (98a), which says that Mashiyah (Ben Dawid) will only come when the generation is fully worthy, or completely unworthy. Such a thing could never occur. There will never be a situation where the entire Jewish people will be wicked, Heaven forbid, because there will always be those who are righteous. On the other hand, there will never be a generation which is entirely righteous, because there will always be those who will be going down the wrong path.
The answer is that when we request G-d to save us, by using the diminutive "Na" (נא), we are asking that even if just half of the Jewish people are worthy and half are unworthy, G-d will still save us. This akin to the Qorban Pesah (Passover sacrifice), which was also offered "Na", half roasted and half cooked.
(See Haggadah Abihem Shel Yisrael)
ID: 294f0 No.3415
The Haftarah that is read on the seventh day of Pesah (Passover), is "Waydabber Dawid (Shemuel 2, 22:1-51) and on the eighth day, " 'Od HaYom" (Yeshayah 10:32-12:6). The reason is that the downfall of Sanherib (Sennacherib) occured on the eve of Pesah, and we wish to connect it to the downfall of Pharaoh, which occured on the seventh day of Pesah, when Pharaoh's army perished in the sea.
The Maftir portion that is read on the last two days of Pesah, is "Wehiqrabtem", which is the same portion that is read on Hol HaMo'ed. On the first two days of Pesah the same Maftir is read, except that it starts earlier.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh with Rama, 490:6, 8. Kaf Hahayyim 490, Oth 54, 55, 64)
ID: 294f0 No.3419
On 'Ereb Shabbath (Friday evening), or even 'Ereb Yom Tob (eve of a Festival) that falls on Friday night, the custom is that when women light the candles, they say the blessing on the lighting of the candles after they light. They first light the candles, close their eyes, and then recite the blessing.
When lighting the candles on 'Ereb Yom Tob that does not fall on Shabbath, however, the order is different. When it is not Shabbath, they should first recite the blessing and then light the candles. This is an age old custom followed by both Ashkenazim and Sephardim, and one should not deviate from it.
In both cases, they must not extinguish the match after lighting.
(See Hagadah Abihem Shel Yisrael, הדלקת נרות, 7)
ID: 294f0 No.3420
When Yom Tob falls on a Friday, such as when the 7th day of Pesah falls on Friday, one must make an 'Erub Tabshilin in order to be able to cook food on Friday for Shabbath. Without an 'Erub, one is forbidden to cook on Yom Tob for Shabbath. One who forgot to make an 'Erub, should ask a Hakham whether he may rely on the 'Erub made by the Rabbi of the community.
The 'Erub may be made by a man or a woman, with the Berakha (blessing). It must be made with bread (Massah מצה on Pesah) and a cooked food. The amount of bread must be at least a Kebeisah (2 oz.). The minimum quantity of the cooked food (generally an egg) is a Kezayith (1 oz.). They should be wrapped together and hidden away so that no one will eat them by mistake. They are eaten on Shabbath, generally during Se'uddah Shelishith (the third Shabbath meal), but there are differing customs about this.
If one forgot to make the 'Erub before sunset, it may still be made Bein Hashemashoth, provided one did not accept Yom Tob yet. If one answered Barkhu, it is considered that he accepted Yom Tob.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, 526:1-3. Haggadah Abihem Shel Yisrael, 'Erub Tabshilin)
ID: 294f0 No.3428
It is an obligation for all men to count the 'Omer, as it says, "You shall count for yourself" (Wayyiqra 23:15). Each man should, therefore, count for himself. However, after the fact (Bedi'abad), if he had in mind to fulfill his obligation by hearing someone else count, and that person had him in mind also, then he fulfills his obligation.
Similarly, a man must count the 'Omer while standing (Debarim 16:9). The Torah says, "Behermesh Baqamah", and the word 'Baqamah' can be read as 'Beqomah', which implies standing. Nevertheless, if one sat and counted, one will have fulfilled one's obligation, after the fact.
Before starting the blessing, one should know what the count is for that night. Nevertheless, if a person says the blessing for the counting, and has the intention to say the amount of days that the others will say, he fulfills his obligation, after the fact.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, 489:1. Hikhoth HaGim, Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 20:6, 8, 9
ID: 294f0 No.3429
The ideal time to perform the commandment of counting the 'Omer, is when the stars are visible, at the beginning of the night. One should make the effort to count at that time or very soon thereafter. If one did not count at that time, because one was unable to, or for any reason, one may count at anytime during the night, after the fact. Once dawn has broken, however, one may no longer count with a blessing.
Even though one may count throughout the night, if one did not count when the stars became visible, one should count as soon as one remembers. One should not say that since one is delayed, one can wait and count even later.
Even though, normally, one prays 'Arbith and counts afterwards, if one prays a late 'Arbith and is concerned that he will forget to count, he may count before. The only proviso is that it should be after the emergence of the stars.
(See Kaf HaHayyim 489, Oth 12. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hagim, 20:10)
ID: 294f0 No.3431
Women are exempt from positive commandments dependent upon time (מצות עשה שהזמן גרמה), such as the counting of the 'Omer which is a commandment that falls at a specific time. Having said that, may a woman count the 'Omer if she wishes to?
According to the Maghen Abraham, women have accepted it as an obligation. However, others disagree and say women should not count. According to the Birkei Yosef, women who have the custom of shaking the Lulab and Ethrogh may also count the 'Omer. There is also a difference of opinion, if a woman counts, whether she may also recite the blessing on the Sefirath Ha'Omer.
In the final analysis, Ashkenazi women may count the 'Omer, with the Berakha (blessing), according to many opinions. Sephardi women, on the other hand, do not count. If they wish to count, they should not recite a blessing. They may hear the blessing from a man and have the intention to be included.
(See Kaf Hahayyim 489, Oth 9. Birkei Yosef, ibid., Oth 22)
ID: 294f0 No.3432
Sefirath Ha'Omer (counting the 'Omer), may be done in any language that one understands. That means that one may count in French if that is the language that one understands, but may not do so if one only understands English. The question arises, whether or not one fulfills one's obligation, if one counted in Hebrew, but did not understand what one was saying.
According to the Maghen Abraham, if one counted in Hebrew, but does not understand Hebrew, one has not fulfilled one's obligation. The Ya'abas (Rab Ya'aqob 'Emden, a"h), and others, disagree with the Maghen Abraham and say that even if one didn't understand when one counted in Hebrew, one fulfills one's obligation. This is in keeping with the general concept that one must understand what one is saying, but if one prays in Hebrew, one still fulfills one's obligation.
The Kaf Hahayyim writes, that in order to satisfy all opinions, the ideal situation, if one counted in Hebrew without understanding, is to say it again in the language that one understands. It is important to note that the Berakha (blessing) must not be repeated.
(See Kaf Hahayyim 480, Oth 20)
ID: 294f0 No.3439
וְכָל נֶפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכַל נְבֵלָה וּטְרֵפָה בָּאֶזְרָח וּבַגֵּר וְכִבֶּס בְּגָדָיו וְרָחַץ בַּמַּיִם וְטָמֵא עַד הָעֶרֶב וְטָהֵר "And any soul who eats Nebelah or Terefah (a carcass or torn flesh)…shall wash his clothes and himself in water and shall be impure till the evening, when he becomes pure" (Wayiqra 17:15).
Knowingly eating a little bit of blood from a Kosher animal, results in the serious penalty of Kareth, being cut off from the Jewish people. The only hope for such a person is complete repentance from his sin. On the other hand, one who eats an entire non-Kosher animal, only receives lashes. This shows us clearly that G-d's logic is beyond our grasp and comprehension.
The instruction here that one who eats a carcass or an animal which was torn by a wild beast, can purify himself by immersing himself and his clothes, illustrates it clearly. Only if he doesn't immerse himself will he carry his sin. One who ate blood, on the other hand, will be cut off from his people unless he makes complete repentance.
(See Alsheikh on the Torah, Aharei Moth)
ID: 294f0 No.3441
וִיהִי מוֹרָא שָׁמַיִם עֲלֵיכֶם "And let the fear of Heaven be upon you" (Aboth 1:3). This can be explained as coming to tell us that, for some people, fear of Heaven is like their wallet. In general, the wallet is kept in a pocket and is hardly ever seen. When the owner needs to buy something, then he takes it out of his pocket in order to pay.
That is how it is with their fear of Heaven. In general, it is tucked away and doesn't see the light of day. It is only when the person sins that he suddenly remembers that he has to fear Heaven and repent, lest he has to pay some form of punishment. This is not how it is meant to be.
Fear of Heaven must be "upon one", like one's clothes. One must see it at all times and never take his mind off it. One must be careful not to stain it just like one is careful not to stain one's clothes. It must not be like a wallet that is out of sight and one only takes it out when one is obligated to pay a debt.
(See Hasdei Aboth, 1:3)
ID: 294f0 No.3443
אֵיזוֹ הִיא דֶרֶךְ יְשָׁרָה שֶׁיִּדָּבֵק בָּהּ הָאָדָם…הָרוֹאֶה אֶת הַנּוֹלָד "Which is the straight path that a man should cling to? [He should] see the outcome of his actions" (Aboth 13). Not everything that is permitted should be done. Sometimes one does something that is permitted, but finds that the result of the action is a negative one. If one does it again, knowing that the result was a bad one on the previous occasion, then there will be consequences for him.
An example of this is the situation with Lot and his daughters. When the first daughter got him drunk in order to do something forbidden with him, he was not aware of it before the act. However, when the second daughter caused him to get drunk, he was already aware of the consequences of the first occasion. Nevertheless, he drank the wine.
Drinking wine, per se, is a permitted action. However, once he saw the terrible outcome of the first occasion, he should not have indulged a second time. When the Tanna says that we should see the result of our actions, we must realize that just because a specific action is a permitted one, doesn't mean that we can always do it.
(See Aboth 2:13. Hasdei Aboth)
ID: 294f0 No.3446
There are those who have the custom to fast on Monday, Thursday and Monday, after Pesah (Passover) and Sukkoth. The fasts are not held right after the Festivals, but after the respective months of Nisan and Tashri are over.
The custom to fast on these days was found in Ashkenazi lands and France. It was not the custom to fast in Sephardi countries, however. The reason for the fast is that we are fearful that Festivals are days of rejoicing and festive meals, and we are concerned that we may have committed a transgression as a result.
If a Milah should fall on one of these days, it is considered a Miswah to eat and Hattarah (annulment) is not required. This assumes that the person fasting didn't accept the fast the day before at Minha time. If he did, however, then annulment is required. Also, if he doesn't wish to fast for health reasons, he should annul the fasts in front of three men.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, with Rama, Orah Hayyim, 492:1)
ID: 294f0 No.3451
There is a difference of opinion about vegetables that are eaten raw. If, when they are boiled in water they taste worse, but if cooked in water with something else, such as meat, they taste good, what blessing should be recited if they are cooked?
According to the Mishnah Berurah, one should say Borei Peri Ha-adamah on them, even if the nature of the vegetables is that they taste worse if boiled in only water without meat. This is in accordance with the Maghen Abraham and others. However the Taz disagrees.
The Ben Ish Hai is of the opinion that if the vegetables are better raw than when boiled in water alone, one should only recite Shehakkol on them if they are cooked. This applies even if they were cooked with meat or other food which gave them a good taste. The reason is because there is a difference of opinion about which blessing to recite and we apply the concept of Sefeq Berakhoth Lehaqel (when there is a doubt about a blessing, we do not recite it) and the blessing, therefore, defaults to Shehakkol.
In practical terms, Ashkenazim can say Ha-adamah, but Sephardim should say Shehakkol, for the reasons we have outlined.
(See Mishnah Berurah 205:7. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Pinhas, Oth 7)
ID: 294f0 No.3453
Maran, z"l, states in the Shulhan 'Arukh that if one says Borei Peri Haadamah over a fruit which requires the blessing of Borei Peri Ha'Es, one fulfills one's obligation. However, the reverse does not apply. If one recites Ha'Es instead of Haadamah, one does not fulfill one's obligation. In a case of doubt as to whether the blessing is Ha'Es or Haadamah, one should recite Haadamah. In all cases, if one recites the blessing of Shehakkol, one fulfills one's obligation.
The Ben Ish Hai comments on a situation where there are three types of food before a person. One is definitely Ha'Es, the second is definitely Haadamah, but there are doubts about the third and the blessing, therefore, he writes, should be Shehakkol. In what order should they be recited.
After quoting various opinions, he rules that on weekdays one should say the blessing on the foods which are definite, i.e., the 'Es and the Adamah, and intend to include the doubtful one with those blessings. On Shabbath, however, since we have to increase the amount of blessings we recite, we should start with Shehakkol on the doubtful one and then recite the blessings on the other foods that we are certain about. He adds that this does not constitute causing unnecessary blessings on Shabbath and Yom Tob.
(See Shulham 'Arukh, Orah Hayyim, 206:1. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Pinhas, Oth 16)
ID: 294f0 No.3458
קְדשִׁים תִּהְיוּ… אִישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו תִּירָאוּ "You shall be holy…A man must fear his mother and father" (Wayyiqra 19:2-3). It mentions in Ben Ish Hai Derushim that anywhere you find a fence around immorality, you find holiness. Through separating from immorality a person raises his level of holiness.
In order to reach this level, a man must first adopt modest behavior. We see this from Abraham Abinu and Sarah Immenu, 'a"h. After many years of marriage, Abraham Abinu, 'a"h, says to Sarah Immenu, 'a"h, "I never knew you were a beautiful woman". This is the connection between being holy and fearing our parents. We must learn modesty from the example of our holy patriarch and matriarch.
The holy Ohr HaHayyim quotes the Gemara of Qidushin (39b), which states that when a person sits and refrains from committing a sin, he is rewarded as if he had performed a positive commandment. If an opportunity to sin presents itself, but the person refrains from it, he has performed the commandment to be holy. Clearly, by adopting a path of modesty and not watching and listening to inappropriate thoughts and behavior that much of the world around us espouses, it will be much easier to fulfill this commandment.
(See Ben Ish Hai Derushim. Ohr Hahayyim on the Torah. Parashath Qedoshim)
ID: 294f0 No.3461
If there is a Milah in the Synagogue on Shabbath, does the congregation fulfill its obligation of Qiddush through the blessing on the wine that the Mohel recites at the Milah? It says in Qol Eliyahu, that the congregation need to make a separate Qiddush for the obligation of Qiddush during the day of Shabbath. One should not connect the Qiddush on the Milah to the Qiddush for Shabbath morning.
The reason is based on the Gemara of Pesahim (102b), which discusses the cup of wine for Qiddush and the cup for Birkath HaMazon (Grace after meals). It says that two separate cups must be used for the two separate sanctities. The reason for that is that Miswoth are not done in bundles (Habiloth Habiloth).
Regarding the Mohel himself [or the one reciting the blessing on the wine], see http://www.atorahminute.com/2013-06-28
(See Qol Eliyahu, 9:23)
ID: 294f0 No.3464
רִבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל אוֹמֵר, הֱוֵי קַל לְרֹאשׁ, וְנוֹחַ לְתִשְׁחֹרֶת "Ribbi Yishamel says, be quick to a superior and pleasant to one below" (Aboth 3:16 ). This can also be read as, "Be easy when you are on top so that it will be pleasant when you are below". Life has a habit of never staying the same. The fact that a person is on top today, and that it appears that everything is working in his favor, and he has wealth and importance, doesn't necessarily mean that it will be that way tomorrow.
When a man is riding high, he should not be particular about always having the best food. He should take it as it comes. If it is some exquisite haute cuisine, he should eat it in the same way as if what was placed before him was "quick food". He shouldn't be concerned about what he sleeps on. If it is a comfortable bed or on a mattress on the floor, it shouldn't make any difference to him.
In that way, if his fortunes should turn for the worse, Heaven forbid, he will be able to adjust to his circumstances. But if a person always demands the best when he has money and position, if his circumstances change, he will have great difficulty living under his new conditions.
(See Birkath Aboth)
ID: 294f0 No.3468
The Shulhan 'Arukh rules that anything that one recites a Berakha (blessing) on, whether to smell or eat, must be held in one's right hand when one recites the blessing. The question is, does this mean one's right hand in the literal sense, or is it in the sense that the right hand really means the primary hand. In the case of Tefillin, for instance, the left hand of a left handed person, is called his right hand.
The Mishnah Berurah comments that a person should hold the item in his right hand based on which his primary hand is. In other words, as in the case of Tefillin, one who is left handed holds it in his left hand, because in Halakha, his left hand is considered his "right hand" in this case.
The Ben Ish Hai writes that anything that one is reciting a blessing on, must be held in the right hand, without differentiating between one who is right handed and one who is left handed. In the case of the cup for Birkath Hammazon, he comments that the Posqim write that the "right hand" is the primary hand of the person (left or right). However, according to the Qabbalah, even a left handed person must use his right hand, in the literal sense, even though it is not his primary hand. The Kaf Hahayyim, in making a similar ruling, comments that this also appears to be the opinion of the Shulhan 'Arukh, that it is the actual right hand, in all cases.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Orah Hayyim, 206:4. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Balaq, Oth 4, Shelah Lekha, Oth 19. Kaf Hahayyim, 206, Oth 30)
ID: 294f0 No.3472
It's not only when holding food to say a blessing that one should use one's right hand (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2019-05-13
). The Ben Ish Hai, quoting the Sefer Hasidim, mentions that even when passing a book to someone, the one receiving it should take it with his right hand.
The Mishnah Berurah mentions that one should not stick a knife into food and say a Berakha (blessing) even if one holds the knife in one's right hand. Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, comments in Ben Ish Hai that the right hand symbolizes life, whereas a knife shortens it, as is mentioned in Eshel Abraham.
The Ben Ish Hai comments further that it is preferable to use a fork made of silver (or any material other than iron), in order to hold the fruit while reciting the blessing.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Balaq, Oth 4. Mishnah Berurah, 206:18)
ID: 294f0 No.3474
Some feel that leaving out one of the Samamanim (ingredients) when reading Pitum Haqetoreth makes a person liable for the death penalty, Heaven Forbid. This is based on the fact that we read that when it was offered in the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple), if one of the components was left out, the person would be punishable by death.
The Rama, z"l, writes that there is an opinion that Pitum Haqetoreth should be read and not recited by heart, because reciting it is in place of offering it, and there is a concern that the person reading it will be in a hurry and will omit one of the spices. We are worried that the person would be punishable by death.
Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, writes in 'Od Yosef Hai, that if a person leaves out something in his reading, G-d does not punish him. On the contrary, G-d makes up what is missing. We must also realize that we do not consider the reading of Pitum Haqetoreth to be in place of the actual offering. Rather, we say before reading it that it is an account of what our forefathers used to do.
(See Rama 132:2. 'Od Yoseph Hai, Parashath Miqqes, Oth 7)
ID: 294f0 No.3477
It asks in the Gemara (Rosh Hashanah 16a), why did the Torah say that the 'Omer should be brought on Pesah (Passover)? It answers, because Pesah is the time of the produce. Therefore, the Holy One blessed be He told us to bring an 'Omer before Him on Pesah, so that the produce in the fields would be blessed.
If so, why do we bring the 'Omer the day after Pesah (on the second day) and not on the first day of Pesah itself? After all, the judgment on the produce is made on the first day of Pesah. Hakham Yosef Hayyim, 'a"h, writes in Sefer Benayahu, that if we were to bring the 'Omer on the first day of Pesah, we would give the accuser the opportunity to say that the only reason the Jewish people are bringing it, is so that the produce will be blessed. In other words, they are not doing it for the sake of Heaven.
As a result, we wait till the day after the produce is blessed, to prove that the only reason we are bringing it is because we were commanded to do so, and not for any ulterior motive. In any case, the produce will be blessed, because G-d knows from the first day of Pesah, that we intend to bring it, and He takes any good thought and considers it as if the action was already done.
(See Benayahu, Rosh Hashanah, 16a)
ID: 294f0 No.3480
Qiddush must be made where one is eating the Shabbath Se'uddah (meal), and the meal must be eaten right after the Qiddush. The question is whether one can fulfill one's obligation with the Qiddush made in the Synagogue, on Shabbath morning, after the prayers.
In order to fulfill one's obligation, one must eat a Kezayith (1 oz.) of Mezonoth or drink a Rebi'ith (3 ozs., according to the Ben Ish Hai) of wine, apart from the wine that one drank for the Qiddush itself. (After the fact, if there is no more wine, one may rely on the wine drunk for the Qiddush, assuming it was a full Rebi'ith and drunk right away, without interruption). If one does so, one will have fulfilled one's obligation of Qiddush, but not of the Se'uddah.
One must, therefore, eat the meal later, even if some time passed, in order to fulfill one's obligation. It should be noted that one may not taste anything till one makes Qiddush. As such, if one does not intend to eat the required amount of Mezonoth (cakes, cookies and the like), or drink the required amount of wine, one may not taste the wine or anything else, during the Qiddush.
(See Shulha 'Arukh 273:1, 5. Qol Eliyahu, 9:24, 25)
ID: 294f0 No.3487
אֵיזֶהוּ גִבּוֹר, הַכּוֹבֵשׁ אֶת יִצְרוֹ "Who is the one who is mighty? The one who conquers his inclination" (Aboth 4:1). (The word "Kobesh" can also be translated as 'making unable to move'). There are three very powerful desires in a person, envy, lust and a craving for honor, which the evil inclination works on.
There are two different types of evil inclinations (Yeser Hara'). One comes from a bad angel, but the other is part of a person's nature. This latter type causes much harm when allowed to roam free. Even if it is trapped in a person's body, it is still at liberty to move around and cause a person to get angry and behave in an inappropriate manner.
The term "Kobesh" implies that it is trapped in its place and unable to move, even a little bit. It is like a stone cemented in a wall. This is how one must treat one's Yeser Hara' (evil inclination). We must not allow it any movement whatsoever. Not only must we not permit it to do something that is wrong, but we must not let it even affect our thoughts or cause anger in our hearts. The word for steamroller in Hebrew, מכבש, comes from the same root. We must trap our Yeser Hara', as if we placed it under a steam roller.
(See See Hasdei Aboth, 4:1)
ID: 294f0 No.3493
Lighting a gas stove on Yom Tob may only be done by using an existing flame ( see http://www.atorahminute.com/2013-05-01
). Even though one may not strike a match or use a lighter, in order to light a gas stove on Yom Tob, one may, nevertheless, ignite a match by making it touch an existing flame or ember.
One may not ignite it by placing it against a hot surface, however, such as an electric stove element. The match may not be extinguished, but must be allowed to burn itself out. An electric stove must be turned on from before Yom Tob and may not be adjusted.
A gas oven or range that can be controlled by a timer, may be used to turn off the oven or range. However, one must ensure that it is plugged in and set up to do so, from before Yom Tob.
(See Rab Pe'alim 2, Orah Hayyim, 58-59. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hagim, 17:29, 30, 35)
ID: 294f0 No.3498
When cooking on Yom Tob (this obviously assumes that it is not Shabbath, since cooking would be forbidden then), one may increase the intensity of an existing gas flame. An electric range may not be adjusted in any manner, because of one or more of the forbidden labors of Boneh, Sother and Molid.
Even if the existing flame is too high for the item that is being cooked, there are those who do not permit turning it down unless there is no other flame available. However, the prevalent opinion is that if the flame needs to be lowered in order to correctly cook the food, without it burning, one may do so.
A gas flame may be extinguished on Yom Tob indirectly (Gerama), by boiling water in a pot so that the water splashes over the sides and extinguishes the flame. However, one should only resort to this if one legitimately requires the water, such as to boil water in order to drink coffee.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh Shulchan Aruch 502:1. Shemirath Shabbat Kehilkhatah 13:10. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hagim, 17:36, 37. Iggeroth Moshe, Orah Hayyim 1:93, 1:115, 4:103)
ID: 294f0 No.3500
Lagh La'Omer, or the 33rd day of the 'Omer, falls on the 18th of Iyyar. It is a Yom Hillula, which is a memorial day, but one that is marked with rejoicing in honor of the great sage Ribbi Shim'on Bar Yohai. It was the request of Ribbi Shim'on Bar Yohai that this day should be one of rejoicing. In addition to it being in honor of Ribbi Shim'on Bar Yohai, it is also in honor of the Torah that made up the holy Zohar, that he taught his disciples.
According to Ribbi Zerakhia HaLewi, the disciples of Ribbi 'Aqiba stopped dying from Pesah till a half month before Shabu'oth. This would bring the date on which they stopped dying to Lagh La'Omer. As we know, 24,000 of his Talmidim (disciples) perished during that time.
Ribbi 'Aqiba then transmitted his Torah to 5 disciples one of whom was Ribbi Shim'on Bar Yohai. The five great disciples were Ribbi Meir, Ribbi Yehudah, Ribbi Yose, Ribbi Shim'on and Ribbi El'azar Ben Shammuwa'.
(See Sefer HaToda'ah)
ID: 294f0 No.3506
וְחִשַּׁב עִם קֹנֵהוּ מִשְּׁנַת הִמָּכְרוֹ לוֹ "And he shall calculate with the one who purchased him, from the year he was sold to him" (Wayyiqra 25:50). Ribbi 'Ezra 'Attiya, 'a"h, Rosh Yeshibah of Porath Yoseph in Jerusalem, used to tell a story of a man who once went to Rabbi 'Antebi, 'a"h. He told him that he was a merchant and used to give his clients merchandise on credit. Unfortunately, he could never remember to whom he gave it, in order to collect the money. Rabbi 'Entebi asked the man if he prayed Minha. "No", he replied, "I pray 'Arbith twice". Rabbi 'Antabi, 'a"h, told him to start praying Minha.
The man didn't understand the connection, but started praying Minha. No sooner had he said the words, "H' Sefathai Tiftah", when all of a sudden he started remembering the people he gave merchandise to. By the time he reached 'Oseh Shalom, he remembered all of them and quickly wrote all their names down in his notebook. He was so excited that he rushed back to Rabbi 'Antebi, 'a"h, to express his gratitude.
Rabbi Mordekhai Eliyahu, 'a"h, comments on this story and says that we see from it how hard the Yeser Hara' (evil inclination) works to make a person think of all the wrong things. This is especially true at Minha, when a person is preoccupied with his business. Rabbi 'Antebi obviously knew that this man was holding on a lower level and this would be the outcome. Nevertheless, it is a lesson to everyone to make every effort to concentrate fully during the prayer.
(See Abihem Shel Yisrael 'Al HaTorah, Behar Sinai, Seghullah Lizkhira)
ID: 294f0 No.3508
When making Qiddush on Shabbath, the bread that is on the table must be covered above and below (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2009-01-22
). When Qiddush is made in a hall for many people, with multiple tables, and each person has Lehem Mishneh (two loaves of bread or rolls) in front of him, does each person have to cover his bread?
It says in Qol Eliyahu that only the bread that is on the table of the one reciting the Qiddush on behalf of all those present, needs to be covered. The bread on the rest of the tables does not need to be covered. This is the case even if people will drink from the cup of the one who made Qiddush.
If, however, each person is holding a cup of wine in his hand when the Qiddush is being recited, then the bread in front of him must also be covered. Obviously, if people are reciting Qiddush individually, their bread must also be covered.
(See Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Bereshith, Oth 20. Qol ELiyahu, 9:27)
ID: 294f0 No.3510
עֲשָׂרָה נִסְיוֹנוֹת נִתְנַסָּה אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ עָלָיו הַשָּׁלוֹם וְעָמַד בְּכֻלָּם, לְהוֹדִיעַ כַּמָּה חִבָּתוֹ שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ עָלָיו הַשָּׁלוֹם
"Abraham Abinu, 'a"h [our father Abraham, peace be upon him] was tested with 10 trials, and succeeded in all of them, to tell us how great was the love of Abraham Abinu, 'a"h." (Pirqei Aboth 5:4 ). It asks in 'Atereth Rahel, why the Mishnah says "Abraham Abinu" (our father Abraham), yet in the previous Mishnah it only says "Abraham".
He answers that G-d knew that the Satan would accuse Israel at the sea in the matter of serving idols. To overcome that, G-d previously tested Abraham Abinu, 'a"h, so that his merits would be the remedy for this accusation. Since it was not for himself, but for his descendants, it mentions the term "our father".
In truth, these days it has become very popular among many who speak about the Aboth and Immahoth, 'a"h, (Patriarchs and Matriarchs) as well as the many greats who went before us, to refer to them as if they are our colleagues or first cousins. People speak about Abraham, Yishaq, Ya'aqob, Moshe, and so on, without giving them the fundamental honor that it behooves us to give them at all times.
We must make the effort to say, "Abraham 'Abinu', 'a"h, or Moshe 'Rabbenu', 'a"h, and so on, at all times. After all, if we have to be careful how we refer to our own parents, how much more so when speaking about the Patriarchs of the entire Jewish nation?
(See 'Atereth Rahel, Aboth 4)
ID: 294f0 No.3515
The Shulhan 'Arukh states that any forbidden labor (Melakha) that is forbidden on Shabbath, is likewise forbidden on Yom Tob (a Holy Day). The exception is food preparation and carrying and lighting [from an existing flame]. Also excepted is the preparation of items required for the preparation of food, that could not have been prepared before Yom Tob.
What this means is that items that are required in order to prepare food on Yom Tob, but which themselves require some preparation which can be done before Yom Tob, must be prepared for use from before Yom Tob. If they were not prepared, they may not be prepared on Yom Tob. Therefore, if a knife needs to be sharpened, it must be sharpened before Yom Tob. It may not be sharpened on Yom Tob itself.
If, however, a knife which needs to be used requires smoothing, it may be smoothed on another knife, but not on a stone or knife-sharpener. If a spit requires straightening, even though one can straighten it with one's hands, it may not be straightened on Yom Yob.
(See Shulhan Aruch with Rama, 495:1, 509:2. Hilkhoth Hagim, Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu] 17:21, 40)
ID: 294f0 No.3520
Kneading is one of the Melakhoth (labors) which are forbidden on Shabbath but permitted on Yom Tob (Holy days and Festivals) on account of being required for food preparation. When kneading dough, one must separate Hallah from it. If a woman kneads dough on Yom Tob, she separates the Hallah on Yom Tob itself, but is not permitted to burn it. She should put it aside and burn it after Yom Tob. It should be noted that the Hallah that was separated becomes Muqseh and, as such, once it has been put down it may not be picked up again till after Yom Tob.
If a woman baked bread before Yom Tob (or Shabbath), but forgot to separate the Hallah, it may not be separated on Yom Tob. If this occurred in the Land of Israel, the bread may not be eaten till after Yom Tob, when the Hallah should first be separated. The reason is that it is a Torah commandment in the Land of Israel, at a time when the majority of Jews live there.
In the diaspora, however, the requirement to separate Hallah is Rabbinical in origin. As such, if bread was baked before Yom Tob and on the Holiday they realized that Hallah had not been separated, they may eat most of the bread, but must leave a piece aside. After Yom Tob (or Shabbath) Hallah must be separated from the piece of bread that was left over.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh 506:1, 4. Rama, O.H. 506:3. Sh. 'A. Yoreh De'ah 322:2, 3. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Bamidbar, Oth 17. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 17:13-16)
ID: 294f0 No.3524
Cooking and baking on Yom Tob is only permitted for that day's use. It is forbidden to cook on Yom Tob for a regular weekday (Hol). If Yom Tob is two days, as in Rosh Hashanah, or on other Holidays in the Diaspora, one may not cook on the first day for the second.
One may, however, cook a large quantity of food on the first day of the Festival and use some of it on the second day. One must also eat from it on the first day, otherwise it would be a case of cooking on one day of a Festival for the second which, as we have mentioned, is forbidden. Even though one is cooking extra so that there will be enough for both days of the Festival, one must take care not to state that one is cooking extra so that there will be food left over for the next day.
After one has eaten one's final meal on the first day of Yom Tob, one is no longer permitted to cook for the next day. It is not sufficient to just eat a small portion of it after cooking it on the first day, because it is apparent that the whole purpose was to cook for the second day. If Shabbath immediately follows Yom Tob, one may prepare for it, only if one made an 'Erub Tabshilin.
(See Shulhan 'Arukh, Orah Hayyim 503:1. Ben Ish Hai, 1st year, Bamidbar, Oth 16. Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], 17:13-16)
ID: 294f0 No.3526
אֵלֶּה הַֽחֻקִּים וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים וְהַתּוֹרֹת אֲשֶׁר נָתַן ה' בֵּינוֹ וּבֵין בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּהַר סִינַי בְּיַד מֹשֶֽׁה "These are the statutes, judgments and laws that the L-rd gave, between Himself and the Children of Israel, on Mount Sinai, at the hand of Moses" (Wayyiqra 26:46). G-d began by speaking the commandments to the Children of Israel, Himself. He only stopped when they feared they would die and requested that he would give them the rest through Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h (Moses). The question is why He didn't let Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, give over the whole Torah himself.
Had G-d let Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, give over the whole Torah, false prophets could arise in the future and try to lead them astray with all manner of impurities. Now that G-d spoke to them directly, they could answer the false prophets, "Let G-d come and tell us to change what He told us to do originally, the way He spoke directly to us then". This would put the false prophets to shame.
When it says "these" are the statutes, it is saying, "these and no others". When it adds, "that the L-rd gave between Himself and the Children of Israel", it means that He spoke to them directly with no intermediary. And, finally, "through the hands of Moses", means that when they couldn't take it anymore because they feared they would die, Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, gave them the rest.
(See Addereth Eliyahu, Parashath Behuqqothai)
ID: 294f0 No.3532
Having the bread on the table when reciting Qiddush brings an added degree of holiness to the table. However it must be covered for several reasons (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2009-01-22
). The question is whether a see-through cover, such as a clear plastic bag, is considered a covering for this purpose, or whether one should not be able to see through it.
It says in Qol Eliyahu that a see-through bag would be sufficient for the reason of it being a remembrance of the Manna that fell in the wilderness. The Manna was covered above and below by a layer of dew. However, an additional reason is that we don't want the bread to be embarrassed that, even though it is a more important food, nevertheless, we recite a blessing on the wine first.
As such, using a see-through cover is sufficient for the reason of the layers of dew above and below the Manna. However, the bread would still be able to see the wine, as it were, and be embarrassed. It is preferable, therefore, not to use a see-through cover, wherever possible.
(Qol Eliyahu, 9:28. Ben Ish Hai, 2nd year, Wayyera. Oth 17)
ID: 294f0 No.3534
אָהוּב, אוֹהֵב אֶת הַמָּקוֹם, אוֹהֵב אֶת הַבְּרִיּוֹת, מְשַׂמֵּחַ אֶת הַמָּקוֹם, מְשַׂמֵּחַ אֶת הַבְּרִיּוֹת "Loved is one who loves G-d, one who loves the creatures (man), one who makes G-d happy, one who makes man happy" (Pirqei Aboth 6:1).
One should not keep away from sinning against G-d because one is afraid of Him. Rather one should do what is required and keep away from transgression, because one loves Him and not because of the fear of punishment. In a similar vein, one must be particular to distance oneself from sins between man and his fellow man, because one, by one's very nature, loves his fellow man and doesn't want to harm him.
If one studies Torah, not for its own sake, but for some ulterior motive, and then expounds on it to the public, he makes the people who hear it happy because they like what they hear. However, it does not make G-d happy. G-d is happy, only when we study Torah for its own sake and not for some other reason. Therefore, one who studies Torah for the Torah's sake (and expounds on it), achieves the result of making G-d happy and making the people happy, both at the same time.
(See Hasdei Aboth, 6:1)
ID: 294f0 No.3542
Our Hakhamim of blessed memory said that all the Mo'adim (Festivals) will [eventually] be cancelled, except for the Festival of Shabu'oth, which will never be nullified. Why is this the case? The reason is because of the concept of "Maalin BaQodesh, Welo Moridin" (we raise in holiness, but do not lower).
This day was already raised to great heights and sanctified when the Torah was given to the Jewish Nation and, therefore, it's level cannot be lowered. An additional reason is that just as the Torah is eternal, and will exist forever and ever, so too, the Festival of Shabu'oth, which is a festival for the Torah, will last for ever and ever.
It will never be cancelled. That is why, one who is engaged in the study of Torah lengthens his days.
(See Kaf Hahyyim [H' Sofer] 494, Oth 68)
ID: 294f0 No.3551
There is a custom to scatter grass and branches in the Synagogue over Shabu'oth. Some also have the custom of doing so in their homes. This is based on the Aggadah which says that Haman told Ahashuerosh that the custom of the Jewish people is to scatter grass on Shabu'oth.
It is also in memory of the fact that when the Torah was given, there was grass around Har Sinai. About this it says (Shemoth 24:3), "neither the flock nor the herd may graze in front of the mountain". Since it says they may not graze, we learn that there was grass there that they could graze on.
When Shabu'oth falls on a Sunday, scattering the grass and branches may not be done on Shabbath, but must be done on Friday evening, before Shabbath. Some have the custom of scattering them on Yom Tob itself. They are not considered Muqseh, because one already planned to place them there on Yom Tob, from before Yom Tob.
(See Rama, 494:3. Kaf Hahayyim, ibid., Oth 53-55)
ID: 294f0 No.3552
When Shabu'oth falls out on Mosei Shabbath (Sunday), no preparations may be made for the Holiday at night, till Shabbath is over (as is the case when any Yom Tob falls on a Sunday). One may not set the table, cut the salad or take care of any other preparations. Any Melakha (work) that is forbidden on Shabbath but permitted on Yom Tob, may only be done when Shabbath is over and one has said Wattodi'enu in the 'Arbith 'Amidah, or "HaMabdil Bein Qodesh LeQodesh".
If one sleeps during the day on Shabbath so that one will be able to stay awake all night, one should not state that this is the reason why one is sleeping, even if that is one's intention. Se'uddah Shelishith (the third Shabbath meal) should be eaten two and a half Halakhaic hours before sunset. This is in order that one will be able to eat the Festival meal with a good appetite. If one did not do so, one should still eat the meal but take care not to eat more than a KeBeisah (2 ozs. of bread).
If one has food in the freezer that one wishes to cook after Shabbath for the Holiday that night, one may not take it out from the freezer so that it will begin to thaw, till after Shabbath is over.
(See Maamar Mordekhai [Eliyahu], Hagim, 21:35, 38-41)
ID: 294f0 No.3555
In the Haftarah of Bammidbar it says, וְאֵרַשְֹתִּיךְ לִי בֶּאֱמוּנָה וְיָדַעַתְּ אֶת ה "And I will betroth you to me in faith, and you shall know the L-rd" (Hoshea 2:22). It says in the Gemara of Makkoth (23b), that Moshe Rabbenu, 'a"h, received 613 Miswoth (commandments) on Har Sinai (Mount Sinai). King David, 'a"h, reduced the number to 11 (see Tehillim 15). After that, the Nabi Yeshayah (Prophet Isaiah), 'a"h, reduced the amount further to six (see 33:15).
After that the Prophet Micah, 'a"h, came and narrowed the six Miswoth down to just three (see 6:8). Then, the Prophet Yeshayah returned and whittled away at the three Miswoth, reducing them to just two (see 56:1). Finally, the Prophet Habaquq, 'a"h, came and decreased it to just one commandment. And what was that one commandment? Faith, as it says (Habaquq 2:4), וְצַדִּיק בֶּאֱמוּנָתוֹ יִחְיֶה "and the righteous one shall live by his faith".
From this we see that what is paramount is Emunah, faith. When we have complete faith in G-d we get to "know the L-rd".
(See Addereth Eliyahu, Parashath Debarim)
ID: 294f0 No.3557
The Ten Commandments are preceded by the words, וַיְדַבֵּר אֱ-לֹ-הִים אֵת כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה לֵאמֹֽר "And G-d spoke all these words, saying" (Shemoth 20:1). Our Rabbis of blessed memory tell us that it was on account of the Torah that Heaven and earth were established. The amount of words in the verse "And G-d spoke all these words, saying", is seven.
The very first verse in the Torah deals with the Creation of Heaven and earth. It is בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱ-לֹ-הִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָֽרֶץ "In the beginning, G-d created Heaven and earth" (Bereshith 1:1). In Hebrew, this verse also contains seven words, the same as the verse introducing the 10 Commandments.
The fact that both these verses contain the same number of words, is an indication to us that the Creation of the world took place on account of the holy Torah, as our Rabbis of blessed memory told us.
(See Rab Hid"a, Lehem Min HaShamayim)
ID: 294f0 No.3566
The Gemara of Sukkah (42a) tells us that from when a child is able to speak, his father must teach him Torah and the reading of the Shema' (the first verse). What Torah must a father teach him? תּוֹרָה צִוָּה לָנוּ מֹשֶׁה מוֹרָשָׁה קְהִלַּת יַעֲקֹב "Moses commanded us the Torah, an inheritance for the Congregation of Jacob" (Debarim 33:4). One reason as to why this verse is suitable for little children, is because it does not contain the Name of G-d. Since little children have no real understanding of G-d's Name, it is better for them not to recite it.
There is, however, a different question. Wouldn't it make more sense to teach them the first verse in the Torah (Bereshith Bara)? It says in Sefer Ben Yehoyada' that the reason that this verse was chosen is because it mentions the "Congregation" of Israel. It is not directed at one group alone, such as the men. Rather, it is directed at the entire Jewish nation, men, women and children.
What we are teaching little children in this verse, is that all Jews are obligated to study and keep the Torah. It is an inheritance and an obligation for all Jews at all times and not just for an elite few.
(See Ben Yehoyada', Sukkah 42a)
ID: 294f0 No.3569
The only blessing in the 'Amidah to start with the word "Barukh" (blessed), is the very first one. After that, the blessings only end with with a blessing starting with "Barukh". It says in Shalmei Sibbur the reason is that all of the other blessings are connected to the one next to it and that is why they don't start with "Barukh".
The first blessing, on the other hand, is not connected to a blessing before it and that is why it starts with "Barukh". On the other hand, the first blessing is connected to the blessing of Ga-al Yisrael and one might think, therefore, that the first blessing should also not start with "Barukh".
The answer is that while it is true that the first blessing is connected to Ga-al Yisrael, that only applies to the morning Shahrith prayer. The afternoon 'Amidah at Minha and the evening 'Amidah of 'Arbith, do not have a blessing before them which is directly connected to the first blessing. That is why the first blessing begins with "Barukh".
(See 'Od Yosef Hai, Beshallah, 5)
ID: 294f0 No.3572
כֹּה תְבָרֲכוּ אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אָמוֹר לָהֶם "thus shall you bless the Children of Israel, say to them" (Bammidbar 6:23). Rabbenu Bahya tells us that the fact that the word "Amor" (say) is written with the letter ו׳ (Waw/vav), is to let us know that the Hazzan must call the Kohanim (priests) to bless the people by saying the word "Kohanim". We also learn that the Hazzan must say one word at a time which the Kohanim repeat after him.
The word "Amor" (say) is in the singular and the subsequent word "Lahem" (to them) is in the plural. This informs us that only one person should call out to the Kohanim, and this also explains why the Hazzan says "Kohanim" when multiple Kohanim are present, but does not say "Kohen", in the singular, if there is only one.
This follows what occurs in Heaven. There the angels take on the role of priests and do the same thing. From this we can also understand why our Rabbis of blessed memory tell us that by blessing the people, the Kohen is himself blessed. The Kohen who is blessing on earth will be blessed by the blessing being administered in Heaven.
(See Rabbenu Bahya on the Torah, Naso)
ID: 294f0 No.3575
On Shabbath, we use at least two loaves of bread (Lehem Mishneh). There is a difference of opinion as to whether one may use frozen bread as the second loaf for Lehem Mishneh, or not. The reason is that, while it is frozen, one is unable to eat from it. Ideally, therefore, one should not do so. If, however, there is no other bread to use as Lehem Mishneh, one should use the frozen loaf.
Returning the bread to the freezer afterwards, however, is problematic. If one takes it out of the freezer for Lehem Mishneh and then puts it back afterwards, one is effectively preparing on Shabbath for a weekday, which is forbidden. It says in Qol Eliyahu that if there is no other place to put the bread, one can place it in the freezer.
(See Qol Eliyahu, 9:31. Shebet HaLewi 6:31. Ohr Lesion, Heleq 2, Ch. 21, Oth 2)
ID: 294f0 No.3579
It says in the Gemara of Gittin (5a), that if a person stole a beam and used it in the house he was building, Beth Shammai say that he has to destroy the house and return the beam. Beth Hillel say that the person only needs to pay the monetary value of the beam (see http://www.atorahminute.com/2015-06-23
). When we say "Ellu WeEllu" (both opinions) are words of a living G-d, how can we resolve these two opinions?
Each time a person sins, the Satan takes from him some of his sparks of holiness and uses them as a "beam" in the "house" of impurity that he is attempting to construct. When G-d retrieves the sparks from him, he destroys the house of impurity that the Satan built and returns the beam to the one it was taken from. This is in accordance with Beth Shammai.
When a man repents, however, G-d acts with him, in accordance with Beth Hillel. G-d does not expect the man to destroy the entire house that the Satan built, instead, G-d accepts his repentance and recovers the sparks of holiness Himself.
(See Ben Yehoyada', Gittin 5a)
ID: 294f0 No.3587
Our Rabbis of blessed memory said (Berakhoth 12a), that any blessing (Berakha) which does not contain both G-d's Name and Kingdom, is not considered to be a blessing. So how did the Anshei Keneseth HaGedolah (Rabbis of the Great Assembly) institute the first blessing of the 'Amidah, without the words "Melekh Ha'Olam" (King of the world), which is the reference to G-d's Kingdom?
The first blessing contains praises to G-d. This is in keeping with what our Rabbis said (Berakhoth 32a), that a man must always first praise G-d, and only then pray. That is why it does not contain mention of G-d's Kingdom.
The rule then, as laid out by the Rabbis, z"l, is that any blessing which does not contain G-d's Name and Kingdom, is not a blessing. But this only applies to blessings of thanks, or blessings of enjoyment or something which is a commandment, and not in the case of the first blessing of the 'Amidah.
(See 'Od Yosef Hai, Beshallah, 6)