Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tisha B'Av Special there is method to my madness

This week one of my best friends Yacov Armand ben Cecilia passed away from his heart which was not his main problem.

Elisheva Shulamit bat Yehudit pray for the next few days.

For longer term praying I received this from R’ A.L. who knows each patient personally and will keep me informed of their status.

Eden Bas Sarah: She has a severe infection in the brain, is numb on left side of body.

Avraham Michael Ben Leah, is very ill, with stage 4, and is see an oncologist, in a hospice in a hospital in New Jersey.

Zvi Yechezkel Ben Leah has Neuropathy, Diabetes.

There is no reality but G-D: http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/768372/jewish/Theres-No-Other-Reality.htm

I am very Machmir (strict) on Pekuach Nefesh (life saving measures). I learned one thing from the son of Rav Wolfe who was at the time chief Rabbi of the town of Rishon LeZion. The Rabbi had three ways of Poskinim for three different groups of people. The first type the very frum Yeshivish people. They are often very stringent and do not look for the easy way out. The second type from weakly religious people but regular daily synagogue attendees up to a grade below the Mizrachi Yeshiva level and third the man on the street who keeps kosher and most likely will come to the Synagogue on Shabbos.

When it comes to the first two types of people, it is enough to tell them that it is forbidden for them to fast for health reasons and since Tisha B’Av is with the Rabbis and not directly from the Torah, eat and drink as usual. However, for baalei Tshuvah and the most Machmir on the fast that is not good enough. I can only give the example of my friend Yacov who just passed away. He was suffering excruciating pain from his spinal cancer the night before he passed on. He did not want to call an ambulance in the middle of the night. Maybe from the standpoint of helping himself (histaldus) he would have been heavy sedated and his heart might have held out. One will never know if he would have passed away the exact same moment even if he tried or not as he is gone. I am sure that this happens with dozens of people each year on Yom Kippur who don’t want to use the phone.

Every year on Tisha B’Av we have approximately 3,000 ambulance calls in Israel. A large percentage is preventable. In the close to 37 Dec. C. or 100 F that we have been experiencing in the Modin area it is a danger for one to dehydrate on even a normal day if he or she is active. On Yom Kippur there are 1,000 Ambulance Calls and perhaps the reason is that many people behave like my friend Yacov and would not call the Ambulance.


One can “fast” by drinking less than about two thirds of a Kiddush Cup every 18 minutes and eating less than an average egg’s size of solid food every nine minutes and still be considered observing the fast. However, if the situation is life threatening or the patient is extremely weak or is aged and becomes dehydrated, one may eat or drink in the usual way. It is not that I am liberal on Tisha B’Av it is that I am extremely careful about preserving a human life.

I was asked by a reader why the second part of last week’s halachic advice? The answer is very simple: I would rather make a Chumra for these people than have them fast, tie up an ambulance because of their stubbornness and jeopardize their own lives and perhaps the lives of others who need ambulance services at the same time. Having an emergency service over whelmed is dangerous to everybody we saw on 911 the emergency services of NY City essentially collapse and that can happen. Now you tell me how would you make a Psak for a former polio victim who functions well in heat of even 104 F or 40 C but could easily get heat stroke or be endangered by being “Machmir” on the fast. I say, let them fast like on Yom Kippur and eat every couple minutes and drink non-stop every 18 minutes less than a Kiddush Cup of water and they will get their 4 or 5 liters in and not dehydrate and being forbidden to work on Tisha B’Av not get heat stroke either. As written in the play Hamlet, “There is method in his madness.” I would rather have somebody take on my Chumra than play roulette with their lives like Rabbi S. who is very over-weight, couch potato, with diabetes and fasts anyway. A good rule of thumb is that if one is ill but not in immediate danger without the fast but too ill to walk to Schul on Shabbos or be wheel chaired to Schul, then they take the Chumra of guarding their own soul and very life and start eating and drinking.

A reminder that the fast of Tisha B’Av starts at sundown and ends a minimum of 18 minutes after sundown the next day. Usually Maariv is prayed followed by Kiddush Levana (monthly blessing on the new moon) so that the fast actually is about 15 minutes longer than the minimum. Thus for Eretz Yisrael based on Yerushalayim time: Tisha B'Av "The Fast of the 9th of Av" Starts - Sundown 8:12pm, Wednesday July 29 Ends - 18 minutes after Sundown 8:29pm, Thursday July 30 Again people who are ill should consult a doctor or Rabbi if it is permissible to fast. The next few paragraphs come from my friend Yaffa:

Tisha B'Av
(9th of Av - Thursday- July 30, 2009)

' Fast begins evening before'

Our Sages taught that the first Holy Temple was destroyed because of the three sins which Israel committed in that generation: idolatry, forbidden relationships, and murder. There was not a place in the Land of Israel where they did not worship idols. The Land was destroyed only when seven successive high courts had worshiped idols, when the people had desecrated Shabbos, stopped the children from learning Torah, ceased the recital of the Shema in the morning and at night, and no longer felt shame in front of each other.

The second Holy Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred among the people, because they did not admonish one another, they embarrassed scholars, they didn't differentiate between the great and the small, they lacked men of strong faith and courage, and they based their judgments on 'their' strict interpretation of Torah law, and would not make simple concessions to one another, and so 'sinas chinom' (baseless hatred), was rampant. If we look closely at events, we can see that it was this baseless hatred, cruelty, and disrespect among ourselves, that has kept our Third and final Temple from being built, thus ending our exile.

Today this problem among ourselves, still exists. Until we try harder to change the negative feelings that encompass us, and light up our souls with love and respect for each other and all mankind, we will remain in darkness and emptiness. This is the only remedy that will hasten our return, and bring the world to its highest level. We the Jewish People have been chosen to set this example for the rest of the World.

There is a promise that Tisha B'Av will be turned into a day of Joy. A day when we will once more be a people with a home, never having to wander again. A day when our beloved G-d will once again dwell with us in our Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Let us work towards this goal.

The Talmud (Brachot 32b), teaches that when the Temple was destroyed, all the Gates of Heaven were closed, except for one. That is the Gate of Tears. This Tisha B'Av, we must remember that the tears we shed for the destruction, are precisely those tears which will bring about our redemption. We must resolve to bring this redemption speedily in our days.

Tisha B'Av is a fast day, like Yom Kippur, from the evening of July 29, 2009, 8th of Av, until the next evening. This will culminate the Three Week mourning period by the Jewish People. On Tisha B'Av we are forbidden to eat or drink, bathe, use any creams or oils, wear leather shoes or have marital relations. The reason we refrain from these things is to minimize our pleasures, so that we (our soul) can feel the sadness over the many tragedies that occurred on Tisha B'Av.

On this same day (Tisha B'Av) 9th of Av, throughout history some

of the tragedies that befell the Jewish people are:

1. The incident of the spies slandering the land of Israel with the subsequent decree to wander in the desert for 40 years, in which the men between the ages of 20-60 perished over that time and did not enter the land.

2. The destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples in Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon and by the Romans in 70 CE.

3. The fall of Betar and the end of the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans.

4. The Jews of England were expelled in 1290.

5. The Jews of Spain were expelled in 1492.

On the night of Tisha B'Av we read Eicha, the book of Lamentations, written by the prophet Yimiyahu (Jeremiah). We also say Kinot, special poems that recount the tragedies that have taken place in Jewish History.

Since learning Torah is the lifeblood of the Jewish people, enabling us to learn and enjoy the understanding of the Holy word of G-d, we are forbidden to learn Torah except those parts that deal with the calamities which the Jewish people have suffered. These readings are for reflection on the past, and why, and what can happen in the future, unless we change the reasons for our downfalls. 'May this be the last Tisha B'Av that we must observe!


"May you all have an easy Fast"


"Beyond all of the differences that stand between us, we are all
the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We are all one
Family, with one land, and one destiny."

We will mourn and fast on 9 B'Av (Thursday) since the Bet Hamikdash was burned to the ground. The fire was ignited on 9 B'Av in the afternoon and burned through the 10th of Av. Therefore the restrictions of "the 9 days" continue until after midday on the 10th of Av (Friday). Normally the custom is to refrain from eating meat and wine, saying Shehechiyanu, listening to music, bathing, doing laundry, shaving and haircuts, until after noon on the 10th of Av. However, in honor of Shabbat, one may bath, do laundry and have haircuts on Friday morning already. One may make a Seudat Mitzvah (like a Brit) on Friday morning, with meat and wine. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 124:20-22 Some Poskim allow one to do laundry on Thursday night. Source: Halachos of the 3 weeks by Rav Shimon Eider zt"l Sorry to hear that my Rebbe passed away.

Thursday is the fast of 9 B'Av which commemorates 5 tragedies that befell the Jewish people on that date:

- It was decreed that the generation which left Egypt would remain in the desert for 40 years and not enter the land of Israel, after believing the inaccurate report of 10 of the 12 spies in the year 2449.

- The first Bet Hamikdash (Holy Temple) was destroyed on 9 B'Av in the year 3339.

- The second Bet Hamikdash (Holy Temple) was destroyed on 9 B'Av about 1948 years ago.

- The city of Betar was captured and tens of thousands of Jews were killed in the year 3893.

- The wicked Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the Bet Hamikdash and its surroundings and renamed it Aelia Capitolina, also in the year 3893.

Since these tragedies occurred on 9 B'Av, it was decreed as a day of fasting and mourning.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 121:5

Other tragedies that happened on 9 B'Av:

- 4,000 Jews were expelled from England by King Edward I in the year 5050 (18 July 1290)

- 300,000 Jews were expelled from Spain by Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon in the year 5252 (2 August 1492)

- Word War 1 started in 5674 - 1 August 1914 - with Germany declaring war on Russia - Danny Shoemann

Have an easy fast and guard your health.

Rachamim Pauli