July 29, 2009
The kick off meeting for the Pass it Forward program (providing Rosh Hashonah meals to the hungry) which is part of the Hunger Initiative program will be held at the home of Cindy and Morris Hodkin 18 Birchwood Lane on Tuesday August 4 from 7pm until 8 pm. New members are more than welcome!!
Meetings last just an hour, please mark your calendars to attend.
July 28, 2009
As we begin this week’s parsha, Moshe Rabbeinu is in the last weeks of his life, approaching his 120th birthday, and prohibited by HaShem from entering Eretz Yisroel. The prohibition was, of course, a result of Moshe’s striking a rock to produce water, instead of speaking to it as he had been commanded by HaShem (Bamidbar 20:7-12). Moshe had an excellent reason for striking the rock, says Rav Yehoshua Heschel Rabinowitz (no relation) in his Yalkut Yehoshua, quoted by Rabbi Bogomilsky in Vedibarta Bam. Moshe was concerned that a rock that was so obedient to HaShem’s will that it responded to a simple request, would serve for all time as a contrast to Klal Yisroel’s repeated failures to obey. Satan would always use this precedent as an accusation against Israel. Moshe therefore took the burden on himself to disobey HaShem for the protection of Yisroel. We recognize the sacrifice Moshe made lovingly on our behalf when we pray for rain in the mussaf of Shemini Atzeres with the words “al hasela hach, vayeitzu mayim (he struck the sela/rock, and water erupted).” Rabbi Meir Shapiro of Lublin points out that the rock Moshe struck as directed in Shmos 17:6 was called a “tzur,” so we are clear that the rock mentioned in our prayer is the “sela” of Bamidbar.
Moshe at first concluded that people are punished for their bad behavior, regardless of good intentions. With this background, we can understand the beginning of our parsha (Devarim 3:23):
וָאֶתְחַנַן אֶל- יְקוָק, בָעֵת הַהִוא, לֵאמֹר.
I implored HaShem at that time, saying:
Moshe thought it was an especially good time to ask HaShem to reconsider. He saw something that made him think punishment might be based on bad intentions rather than on behavior. What did he see? Reb Yitzchok Isaac Taub (1744-1828), the first Kaliver Rebbe, says that Moshe saw HaShem punished Og, by allowing Yisroel to defeat Og in battle. What was Og’s sin? He was the refugee mentioned in Bereishis 14:13, says the Medrash Rabbah 42:8, who alerted Avrohom that Lot was taken prisoner. Og’s actions were good, but his evil intention was to send Avrohom off to die in battle, so that Og could take Sorah. Moshe thought, if he could obtain recognition for his own good intentions, perhaps he could be forgiven. He prayed (Devarim 3:25):
אֶעְבְרָה-נָא, וְאֶרְאֶה אֶת-הָאָרֶץ הַטּוֹבָה, אֲשֶר
בְעֵבֶר הַיַרְדֵן: הָהָר הַטּוֹב הַזֶה, וְהַלְבָנֹן.
Let me go over, please, and see the good Land beyond the Jordan, this good mountain, and the Lebanon.
Rabbi Bogomilsky points out that a person’s normal life span may be only seventy years (Tehillim 90:10), and Moshe was already 50 years beyond that mark. For that reason, Moshe asked to go over with the word “na (please)” which has the gematria value of 51. He was asking for one more year, so that he could enter Eretz Yisroel. HaShem’s answer in the next pasuk was:
וַיִתְעַבֵר יְקוָק בִי לְמַעַנְכֶם, וְלֹא שָמַע
אֵלָי; וַיֹאמֶר יְקוָק אֵלַי, רַב-לָ –אַל-תּוֹסֶף
דַבֵר אֵלַי עוֹד, בַדָבָר הַזֶה.
But HaShem was angry with me for your sakes, and He did not listen to me; HaShem said to me: ‘It’s too much for you; speak no more to Me of this matter.’
In the answer “rav loch (too much for you)” the word “loch” has the gematria of 50, Moshe’s limit. Hashem had His own reasons for judging Moshe strictly. One reason, says R. Alexander Zusia Friedman, in Ma’ayanah shel Torah, is hidden in the letters of the word “rav,” hinting at Ruth and Boaz, the ancestors of Moshiach, who will complete Moshe’s mission, may we see that soon!
July 28, 2009
TISHA B’AV 5769
Mincha 7:30 pm
Seudah Mafseket: Rolls and hard boiled eggs
Fast Begins: 8:13 pm
Maariv, Eicha & Kinot : 8:15 pm
First Shacharit: 6:00 am
- with kinot until 8:15am
Second Shacharit: 8:30 am
- with kinot until 11:30am
Shiurim on Tisha B’Av
Rabbi Polakoff 11:30 – 12:00 pm
Rabbi Axelrod 12:00 – 12:30 pm
Shiurim broadcast in the Weinstein Torah and Technology Center
OU Videos l 12:30 – 1:35 pm
Rabbi Steven Weil:
“The Death of the Righteous: The Tragedy of the Deaths of Yoshiyahu HaMelech, The Children of Rabbi Yishmael, and the Ten Martyrs”
Mincha 1:45 pm
OU Video 2:15 pm
Rabbi Tzvi Weinreb:
“My Shoulders, Your Shoulders, Our Shoulders”
Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky
“From Galus to Geulah”
Shaimot burial 6:00 pm
Chofetz Chaim Video 6:15 pm
Rabbi Yissocher Frand
“Heeding the Call: What Are Our Trying Times Telling Us?”
2nd Mincha 7:45 pm
Ma’ariv 8:35 pm
Fast ends 8:51 pm
July 27, 2009
July 27, 2009
Enjoy a cool summer afternoon with stories, conversation, songs, and a glayzele tay at Dos Yiddish Vort on Wednesday, August 12th at 1:30pm. All are welcome. For more information call Roz Wagner 487-9795
July 27, 2009
Mazal Tov to Meryl & Mark Friedman on the upcoming marriage of their son Jared to Serah Gutman.
Mazal Tov to Rebecca & Nate Weisel on the birth of their son.
Mazal Tov to Lital & Joshua Amini on the birth of their daughter.
Mazal Tov to Elaine Wolf on the birth of her great-grandson, born to her grandchildren Adina & Eliyahu Wolf. Mazal Tov also to grandparents Hennie & Shimon Wolf.
Mazal Tov to Etereya & Michael Goldenberg on the birth of their son.
July 21, 2009
Based on “A Summary of Halachos of the Three Weeks” by Rabbi Shimon D. Eider
Tisha B’Av is a day of mourning and repentance on which we recall the destruction of the First and Second Temples, and other tragic events in Jewish history that took place on this day. By carefully observing the laws and customs instituted by our Sages, we are able to feel the full impact of what we have lost. We also come to contemplate the individual and national shortcomings, which have prolonged our exile, and renew our personal and collective effort to merit the building of the Third Temple.
THE DAY BEFORE TISHA B’AV
If a brit or redemption of the first-born occurs on the day before Tisha B’Av, if meat is being served the meal must be held before noon.
Since the heart rejoices in the study of Torah, from noon some people refrain from learning topics other than what is relevant to Tisha B’Av or mourning. However, many people learn all topics of Torah until sunset.
Since Tisha B’Av is called a moed (holiday or appointed day, Lamentations 1:15), no tachanun is said at mincha in the afternoon before Tisha B’Av (nor on Tisha B’Av itself).
The custom is to eat a final meal after mincha and before sunset, consisting of bread, cold hard-boiled eggs and water. The meal is eaten while seated on the ground, a portion of the bread should be dipped in ashes and eaten, and no mezumen is said in the blessing after the meal. After the meal, one may sit normally until sunset. Shoes may be worn all day until sunset.
Eating and Drinking
All eating and drinking is forbidden. This includes rinsing the mouth and brushing teeth, except in a case of great distress.
Swallowing capsules or bitter tablets or liquid medicine without water is permitted.
The ill or elderly as well as pregnant and nursing women are required to fast even if it is difficult, unless a doctor says that fasting may injure health, in which case a competent rabbi should be consulted.
A woman within seven days of childbirth may not fast, and within thirty days should not fast.
Boys up to twelve years old and girls up to eleven are not required to fast the entire day. There are various opinions as to whether they should fast part of the day.
Those not required to fast should eat only what is needed to preserve their health.
Bathing and Washing
All bathing for pleasure is prohibited even in cold water including the hands, face and feet.
Ritual washing upon waking, after using the bathroom, touching covered parts of the body or before praying is permitted, but only up to the knuckles.
One may wash dirty or sullied portions of the body (including cleaning the eyes of glutinous material), and if necessary may use soap or warm water to remove the dirt or odor.
Washing for cooking or for medical reasons is permitted.
A woman may not immerse on Tisha B’Av since relations are prohibited. Washing to commence the clean days is permitted.
Anointing for pleasure is prohibited including oil, soap, alcohol, cream, ointment, perfume, etc.
Anointing for medical reasons is permitted, as well as using deodorant to remove bad odor.
Since cohabitation is prohibited, a husband and wife should not come in contact during the night of Tisha B’Av.
Wearing Leather Shoes
Even shoes made partially of leather are prohibited. Shoes made of cloth, rubber or plastic are permitted.
One need not incur ridicule of non-Jews because of this prohibition. Therefore if a permitted substitute not were found, one may wear leather shoes. He should deprive himself of comfort by placing sand in the shoes and must remove them when they are no longer needed.
Wearing leather shoes is permitted for medical reasons.
Since the heart rejoices in the study of Torah, it is prohibited to learn topics other than those relevant to Tisha B’Av or mourning.
One may learn: Lamentations with its midrash and commentaries, portions of the Prophets that deal with tragedy or destruction, the third chapter of Moed Katan (which deals with mourning), the story of the destruction (in Gittin 56b-58a, Sanhedrin 104, and in Josephus), and the halachot of Tisha B’Av and mourning.
One should deprive himself of some comfort in sleep. Some reduce the number of pillows, some sleep on the floor. Pregnant women, the elderly and the ill are exempt.
Sitting on a normal chair is forbidden until midday. One may sit on a low bench or chair, or on a cushion on the floor.
Greeting someone with “good morning” and the like is prohibited. One who is greeted should answer softly and, if possible, inform the person of the prohibition.
One should not give a gift except to the needy.
Things that divert one from mourning such as idle talk, reading the newspaper, taking a walk for pleasure, etc. are prohibited.
The custom is to refrain until midday from any time-consuming work that diverts one from mourning. In a case of financial loss, consult a competent rabbi.
Ashkenazim do not wear tefillin at Shacharit, nor is a blessing made on tzitzit. At Mincha, tefillin is worn and those who wear a tallit gadol make the blessing then.
Sepharadim wear the tallit and tefillin at Shacharit as usual.
At Mincha, the prayers Nacheim and Aneinu are added to the Shmonah Esrei during the blessing “Veliyerushalayim” and “Shma Koleinu” respectively. “Sim Shalom” is said in place of “Shalom Rav.” If one forgot them and completed that bracha, he need not repeat the prayer.
THE DAY AFTER TISHA B’AV
The limitations of the “Three Weeks” and the “Nine Days” continue until midday of the 10th of Av. This includes the prohibition of music, haircuts, meat and wine, laundering and bathing.
When Tisha B’Av was observed on Sunday, Havdallah is recited over a cup of wine (or grape juice) or beer but no spices are used.
The custom is to sanctify the new moon the night after Tisha B’Av, preferably after having eaten something. When Tisha B’Av is on Thursday, the custom is to wait until Saturday night when the service can be said with greater joy.
In the merit of mourning properly over Jerusalem, may we be rewarded to rejoice in its rebuilding!
July 21, 2009
July 21, 2009
July 20, 2009
IMPORTANT SISTERHOOD ELECTIONS MEETING
On Tuesday evening, October 13th at 8:00pm in the Braun Youth Center the Sisterhood will be having its bi-annual election of officers and trustees. We strongly encourage everyone to attend this meeting and nominate yourself or someone else for a position. Also please join us and help plan the activities for the upcoming year.