Friday, March 26, 2010

Parshiyos Vayikra, Tzav, Korban Pessach Now? Omer and More

Last week, I did not follow my own advice and even over exhausted myself with all sorts of little chores. I had plans to write about a divorce trial of 700 years ago and its implications. I wanted to write more but as much as I want a 48hr day with zero sleep, it just does not exist. I urge people not to outdo themselves and go overboard before Pessach. Remember sell your Chometz finish your shopping. Kosher the kitchen, stove/oven and utensils and not the last minute and then get ready for Pessach.

Remember the Seder Matzos have to be Shmura (guarded wheat or oat, etc. Matzos are guarded from the time of the cutting until oven baked).

Drasha Shabbos HaGadol

The idea of bringing a Korban Pessach is written below and I will only broach upon the subject. I want to discuss Korbanos in our modern age. When Shmuel saw that had HaMelech Shaul brought Korbanos and not killed Agag the Melech Amalek (Shmuel) he was wroth and said essentially that G-D does not look for sacrifices but the obedience to HIS Commands. Shmuel Aleph 15:20 And Saul said unto Samuel: 'Yea, I have hearkened to the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the devoted things, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.' 22 And Samuel said: 'Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in hearkening to the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king.' The first Halachic scholar to discuss the Messianic World was the Rambam aka Maimonides. The Rambam is essentially the only Torah Authority that wrote on Halachos of Korbanos. There are some reasons to believe that most of the Korbanos will disappear. For in the days of the Moshiach if one does not sin and perhaps even sin by forgetting it is Shabbos will not make such mistakes in the Messianic Age.

Yet according to our Sages and Kabbala the Thanksgiving Korban aka Todah will be sacrificed in the days of the Moshiach. In any event the Pessach will be sacrifice after the Moshiach comes. The question that is in my mind is after the Moshiach comes will people stop sinning and making even accidental mistakes that would preclude many Korbanos or has the Korbanos which started with perhaps Adam and definitely Kayn and Hevel has been replaced by prayer and repentance as we have gone from an agricultural society to large city society.

The question still arises if we still have to offer the Pascal Lamb how shall we view it as a National Barbeque in remembrance of the slavery in Egypt and the exodus Mitzraim. Or perhaps there is something more. I have taken out a few sentences that I wrote based in 5766 based on the writings of Yaffa (Whom I have never had the privilege of meeting) The animal sacrifice is the act by which we are taught the idea of subordination of nature to the Creator. The sacrificed beast, the wood to feed the flame on the alter and the salt which accompanies every sacrifice symbolize the animal, plant and mineral realms, everything converges with the aim of serving the Al-mighty and only exists for this purpose. Yaffa continued stating that the animal sacrifice substituted an animal for a human sacrifice. Almost every culture had that up to the advent of Avraham Avinu and even then there was the Akeda.

Yaffa goes into the psychological and spiritual message behind the Korban that make it quite practical if we had the Beis Hamikdash today: The person who offers the sacrifice must picture the sacrifice of the animal part of him, of his brute instinctive will, and nullify it before the Al-mighty's will. In this way, we can arrive at desiring only what is agreeable to G-d. Ultimately our wishes will not aspire to anything but HIS will.

A Jew who does not participate in the Korban Pessach will have his soul cut off in the next world. So what do we do about our vegetarian and vegan Jews? Either they will have to eat an olive’s bulk of the Korban during the meal or they will have to work burying the dead before Pessach and Pessach Sheni.

I may keep bringing this us but in the Halacha below from Danny Shoemann we see that although normally it is a sin to waste things it is permissible to burn Chometz. Our culture today is based on the here and now and temporary things. The technology of computers that I bought in 2001 and 2005 cannot handle the vast programs that we have today. I was surprised to find somebody who recently asked me not to send a download anymore because the person still has only a dial up connection. Iphones, cellphones, automobiles, washing machines are built to last not 30 years but only a few years. Everything is built for short term use and disposable. In the last 10 years, I went through 5 printers and there is no standard for compatibility of computer inks from one type of printer to its competitors or even within the same company. This philosophy exists for a week in Sukkos when we leave our houses or Pessach when we find out that man does not live by leaven bread alone. However, in day to day life we have to have some order and some semi-permanency. Let us throw out the Chametz from our lives and put them into Seder (order).

On Wednesday, we made our kitchen Kosher LePessach and my son, the former Mashgiach, (Kashrus supervisor) if he hasn’t done so on Motzei Shabbos, he and his wife will start cooking for Pessach. IT IS A GREAT MITZVAH FOR WOMEN NOT TO GO COMPLETELY MESHUGINA EREV PESSACH WITH COOKING BUT TO DO SO THAT IN CASE AN ITEM IS FOUND MISSING THAT IT CAN BE PURCHASED HOURS BEFORE SUNSET.

AM LEVADO TISHKUN: A nation by itself shall rule – that is the Prophecy for Am Yisrael and this week the abandonment of the United States will we have to go it alone as Yechezkiel wrote: Yean v’ b’ yean (pronounced ye on) ye hat tay ami lomar Shalom v’ ayn Shalom. Why do you cry peace – peace when there is no peace? There was a Patriot who used these words in the American Revolution named Thomas Paine. He also added the warning by the Prophets in other word -. May HaTzaphon yeptach et HaRa (From the North the evil will start). This is what we have with the countries north of us Lebanon, Syria, Iran, etc. This is the best we can expect with the US pressure on us. They view the United States as having a namby-pamby President and Israel weakened by this.

You talk of Peace and I talk of the war of Gog and Magog. Pessach is our time of redemption. The Gemara in Sotah ends with the question and answer: “On whom shall we rely upon on whom shall we trust? ON OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN! May we merit to see the Moshiach speedily in our days.

Parsha Vayikra

Sefer Vayikra is called Chumash Cohanim as most of the Sefer deals with Korbanos and the dedication of the Mishkan and holiness in matrimony especially for the Cohain. G-D has given us chances and channels to repent, the Korbanos are one of them. Always remember that G-D is around. If HE did not answer your prayer with a yes - then perhaps a no is the best for your development.

Rabbi Eleazar opened up his Drasha: “You should ask a sign of the L-RD your G-D ask it either in the depth or in the height above” (Yishayahu 7:11). We have compared the former generation with the later generations (written approximately 1800 plus years ago) and found that the former generations were conversant in the higher wisdom by which they knew how to combine the letters that were given to Moshe on Har Sinai. Even the sinners of Yisrael knew the difference contained in the higher wisdom and the difference between the higher and lower letters. For every letter given to Moshe ascended above and became a crown on the heads of the Holy Chayos (Four faced Angels described in Yechezkiel 1) who filtered the letters through the unknowable upper supernal connecting space continuum. The upper letters were hidden in the Haichel above (Beis HaMikdash shel Maala) which filtered through the lower Beis HaMikdash. There were larger letters for the upper Temple and small letters for the lower Haichel; and both were transmitted to Moshe on Har Sinai along with their occult combinations. (Meaning woe unto us who cannot understand even the letters of the Urim, Tumim, stone combination in the Ephod and the occult solutions of the Korbanos {Sacrifices}).

[An aside note: Korban is a sacrifice sometimes enunciated as bon or bun in the middle of word the sentence and in the singular without the ‘OS’.]

Rabbi Barak Kokavi Shlita opened up his Drasha in the name of the Lubavitcher Rebbe TzZA”L that there is a large Aleph in the word Adam in Devarim and here a small Aleph in Vayikra וַיִּקְרא.

Rabbi Chiya (in English we would say He with the ending but it is a guttural “KH” like the German word AUCH or the Chet in town of Chevron or Chaim or Challa bread or my name) opened up his Drasha as follows: “1:1 And HE called unto Moshe and the L-RD spoke to him in Ohel Moed (Tent of Meeting) saying:” Rav Chiya opened with the verse: “I am come into my garden, my sister, my bride. I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey. I have drunk my wine with my milk, eat O friends etc.” {Shir HaShirim} He said, “The first part of the verse does not seem to be in accord with the second. A man invites another man to eat while the food is spread before him not after he has eaten himself. The explanation however is this: On the day that the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was set up on earth another Mishkan was set up above, and that was one day of joy to HaKadosh Baruch Hu (The Holy One Blessed Be HE). Moshe, however, at that time was not able to enter the tent of meeting.” (Shemos 40:35) Where upon G-D said, “The Mishkan was raised by Moshe, and shall he remain outside?” Straight forth he called (Vayikra) unto Moshe to come inside.

What is the relationship with the Korbanos and reincarnation? Rabbi Winston Shlita writes: The Arizal taught: A person must fulfill all 613 mitzvos. Any lacking is reflected in his Nefesh according to the amount of mitzvos yet to be fulfilled. With respect to the 248 Positive Mitzvos, there are five categories. The Category One consists of those mitzvos which a person is prevented from performing because they depend upon the existence of the Temple, such as sacrifices and other similar mitzvos. There is no point in reincarnating to perform such mitzvos as long as the Temple doesn't exist. Once the Temple is re-built then he will fulfill them. The Category Two consists of those mitzvos that a person can perform such as Tzitzis and Tefillin, etc. If the person has yet to fulfill such mitzvos, he must return in a gilgul even if it takes many times until he completes them all. However, if a person has already fulfilled some mitzvos then it is enough that he reincarnates to fulfill only those mitzvos which he lacks and never fulfilled. When this is the case, it is also possible that he will sin and come to commit many transgressions. The Category Three consists of those mitzvos which a person is not obligated to perform unless the situation arises to do so, such as taking tithes, or sending away the mother bird. In general, there is no obligation to pursue such mitzvos, and nevertheless, a person will have to reincarnate to fulfill them. However, since he is reincarnating for the sake of such mitzvos, he will not come to sin as in the case of Category Two. Category Four consists of a group of mitzvos that cannot be performed unless G-d creates the necessary circumstance, such as redeeming a first born son, or performing Yibum or Chalitzah, or divorce. For, a man has no obligation to divorce his wife unless she fails to find favor in his eyes (as it says in the Talmud): Difficult is divorce . . . even the altar weeps (Gittin 90a). If such mitzvos do not present themselves then he will not have to reincarnate to perform them, but rather he will return b'sod ibur at the appropriate time to fulfill them, after which he will leave the world immediately. However, if he had the chance to perform such a mitzvah and didn't, then he will have to reincarnate, though I did not learn from my teacher if he will be prone to sin in such a gilgul . . . Category Five consists of mitzvos that a person must try to perform, such as having children. This is the severest category of all the types of mitzvos; it will not be enough for someone who died without having children to simply reincarnate . . . Category Six is the group of mitzvos such as learning Torah which is equal to all of the mitzvos as it says, "the learning of Torah is equal to all of them" (Peah 1:1).

1:1 And the LORD called unto Moses, and spoke unto him out of the tent of meeting, saying: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd or of the flock. 3 If his offering be a burnt-offering of the herd, he shall offer it a male without blemish; he shall bring it to the door of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD. 4 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 5 And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD; and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall present the blood, and dash the blood roundabout against the altar that is at the door of the tent of meeting. 6 And he shall flay the burnt-offering, and cut it into its pieces. 7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay wood in order upon the fire. 8 And Aaron's sons, the priests, shall lay the pieces, and the head, and the suet, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar; 9 but its inwards and its legs shall he wash with water; and the priest shall make the whole smoke on the altar, for a burnt-offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD.

Even if most of the individual sacrifices would be eliminated if man stopped sinning or if the dead were revived it might be that the daily offerings and atonement offerings for the public would continue. The Torah does not mince words and when a sweet savor unto the L-RD is written, it is written because the intent and financial and business time is also sacrificed by the individual or public. The public views the animal as what the individual or nation really deserved and the sacrifice goes in their place.

32 And if he bring a lamb as his offering for a sin-offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish. 33 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin-offering, and kill it for a sin-offering in the place where they kill the burnt-offering. 34 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin-offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering, and all the remaining blood thereof shall he pour out at the base of the altar. 35 And all the fat thereof shall he take away, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of peace-offerings; and the priest shall make them smoke on the altar, upon the offerings of the LORD made by fire; and the priest shall make atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned, and he shall be forgiven.

A Cohain and the Korban must be without a blemish. I have a good friend who is a Cohain but he has a screw in his ankle from a break. He can never do more that the fraying and skewer preparations or removing the sinews that are forbidden from a sacrifice that can be eaten. He is allowed to receive the gifts given to a Cohain, eat from the most holy show-bread and Korbanos, and redeem a donkey or redeem a first born child.

Parshas Tzav

6:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 Command Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the law of the burnt-offering: it is that which goes up on its firewood upon the altar all night unto the morning; and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning thereby. 3 And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh; and he shall take up the ashes whereto the fire hath consumed the burnt-offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. 4 And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place. 5 And the fire upon the altar shall be kept burning thereby, it shall not go out; and the priest shall kindle wood on it every morning; and he shall lay the burnt-offering in order upon it, and shall make smoke thereon the fat of the peace-offerings. 6 Fire shall be kept burning upon the altar continually; it shall not go out.

There are hidden spiritual things in the above. It is more than the mere slaughtering and burning of the flesh of the animal. It is the intent behind the slaughter, the time and place of the slaughter, the intent upon chopping and gathering the wood and lastly the dress and appearance of the Cohain. Why does this make a difference I truly do not know for I am a lazy and modern man in a society that rushes things on production lines where nothing in society is holy not the constitution and not freedoms of individuals. In the Torah World, each human and every sacrifice is treated with the utmost care and respect.

7 And this is the law of the meal-offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the LORD, in front of the altar. 8 And he shall take up there from his handful, of the fine flour of the meal-offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meal-offering, and shall make the memorial-part thereof smoke upon the altar for a sweet savor unto the LORD. 9 And that which is left thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat; it shall be eaten without leaven in a holy place; in the court of the tent of meeting they shall eat it. 10 It shall not be baked with leaven. I have given it as their portion of My offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as the sin-offering, and as the guilt-offering. 11 Every male among the children of Aaron may eat of it, as a due for ever throughout your generations, from the offerings of the LORD made by fire; whatsoever touches them shall be holy.

We take a mundane thing like wheat guard it, winnow, sift, etc. and finally grind it into flour. This grain is turned into a sacrifice before G-D and baked in certain ways while other grains are turned into bread, cakes and Matzos. The mundane becomes holy. The wheat which we eat has the holiness of a pancake on Shevous, a Challa on Shabbos, a cake at the ceremony of Holy Matrimony, a loaf at a Bris, Lechem HaPanim (showbread) and Matzos for our Seder. It is no longer man living by bread alone.

12 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 13 This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the LORD in the day when he is anointed: the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meal-offering perpetually, half of it in the morning, and half thereof in the evening.

This is one of the references to standardization and the Mitzvah of having proper weights and measures. The full commandment is writing later on in the Torah and each and every word of Torah is precious here.

14 On a griddle it shall be made with oil; when it is soaked, thou shalt bring it in; in broken pieces shalt thou offer the meal-offering for a sweet savor unto the LORD. 15 And the anointed priest that shall be in his stead from among his sons shall offer it, it is a due for ever; it shall be wholly made to smoke unto the LORD. 16 And every meal-offering of the priest shall be wholly made to smoke; it shall not be eaten.

How much does a sack of flour really cost? Add time and energy of the Cohanim and Mashgichim that guard the flour from Tuma from the cutting to the Mizbayach it becomes a lot more expensive and the same with the olive oil. Yet it is far from a Bull, Ram or Billy Goat and yet it is the meal-offering for a sweet savor unto the LORD. Just like the grilling of the most expensive prime steak.

17 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 18 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying: This is the law of the sin-offering: in the place where the burnt-offering is killed shall the sin-offering be killed before the LORD; it is most holy.

The English translation uses killed therefore let us discard completely the non-Jewish translation which is the basis of the JPS and go for the Chabad translation: Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: The sin offering shall be slaughtered before the Lord in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered. It is a holy of holies. Ritually slaughtering with the proper knife on the portion of the neck designated by the Oral Torah makes the difference between a Trafe chopping block or a slaughter where a blessing is made unto the L-RD G-D master of the Universe.

19 The priest that offers it for sin shall eat it; in a holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tent of meeting.

Not in a mundane area but in a special Holy area.

20 Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy; and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in a holy place. 21 But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken; and if it be sodden in a brazen vessel, it shall be scoured, and rinsed in water. 22 Every male among the priests may eat thereof; it is most holy. 23 And no sin-offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the holy place, shall be eaten; it shall be burnt with fire.

Cleanliness and being Tahor allows for the work on the Mizbayach and the eating before G-D by the Priests in the state of holiness. Such a level we have not seen since the Romans destroyed our Temple. Even the Goyim should be ashamed of them for they burned down the ancient library in Alexandria Egypt. Now who were the real barbarians? We saw this as the Germans fled Paris and Hitler may his name be erased gave the command to leave Paris in ruins. The ancient Yerushalayim and Alexandria would have put Paris in their back pocket so we can only imagine how great these cities were and what social, cultural and worldly wisdom was lost by these barbarian soldiers.

7:1 And this is the law of the guilt-offering: it is most holy. 2 In the place where they kill the burnt-offering shall they kill the guilt-offering: and the blood thereof shall be dashed against the altar round about. 3 And he shall offer of it all the fat thereof: the fat tail, and the fat that covers the inwards, 4 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the loins, and the lobe above the liver, which he shall take away by the kidneys. 5 And the priest shall make them smoke upon the altar for an offering made by fire unto the LORD; it is a guilt-offering. 6 Every male among the priests may eat thereof; it shall be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy. 7 As is the sin-offering, so is the guilt-offering; there is one law for them; the priest that makes atonement therewith, he shall have it … Too much Pessach cleaning, too much answering questions before Pessach and too close to sun down cuts short an exhausted Rabbi from writing at his best. May we soon merit these extra atonements for Am Yisrael very soon.

Can We Offer Korban Pesach Without the Beis HaMikdash? By Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff Shlita

In the year 5017 (1257), several hundred Baalei Tosafos, led by Rav Yechiel of Paris, headed for Eretz Yisroel. An almost-contemporary Gadol, the Kaftor VaFarech, records a fascinating story (Vol. 1, page 101 in the 5757 edition). Rav Ashtori HaParchi, the author of Kaftor VaFarech, had gone to Yerushalayim to have his sefer reviewed by a talmid chacham named Rav Baruch. Rav Baruch told the Kaftor VaFarech that Rav Yechiel had planned to offer korbanos upon arriving in Yerushalayim. Kaftor VaFarech records that at the time he was preoccupied completing his sefer and did not think about the halachic issues involved, but afterwards realized that there were practical halachic problems (that we will discuss shortly) with Rav Yechiel’s plan.

I think we can assume that Rav Yechiel’s plan to offer korbanos failed, presumably because Yerushalayim was under Crusader rule at the time. His community of Baalei Tosafos settled in Acco, as we know from a report of the Ramban about ten years later. (The Ramban reports that he spent Rosh HaShanah with the community of the Baalei Tosafos in Acco and delivered to them a drasha that was recorded for posterity. This is quoted in Kisvei HaRamban, Vol. 1 pg. 211. Rav Chavel, who edited on this essay, concludes that this drasha was delivered either in 1268 or in 1269, based on the fact that the Ramban was in Eretz Yisroel for three years from his arrival until his passing, and that he spent the first Rosh Hashanah in Yerushalayim, which had no community at the time.)

Let us fast forward to the nineteenth century. Rav Tzvi Hersh Kalisher, the rav of Thorn, Germany, who had studied as a youth in the yeshivos of Rabbi Akiva Eiger and the Nesivos HaMishpat (Rav Yaakov of Lisa), published a sefer advocating bringing korbanos in the location where the Beis HaMikdash once stood in Yerushalayim. Rav Kalisher considered it not only permissible to offer korbanos before the Beis HaMikdash is rebuilt, but even obligatory.

As one can well imagine, his sefer created a huge furor. Rav Kalisher corresponded extensively with his own former roshei yeshiva, Rabbi Akiva Eiger and the Nesivos, and other well-known luminaries of his era including the Chasam Sofer and the Aruch LaNer. All of them opposed Rav Kalisher’s opinion, although not necessarily for the same reasons.

We can categorize the opposition to Rav Kalisher’s proposal under three headings:

1. There was almost universal disagreement with his opinion that we have a requirement to try to offer korbanos before the reconstruction of the Beis HaMikdash.

2. Some rabbonim, notably Rav Yaakov Ettlinger, the author of the Aruch LaNer, prohibited offering korbanos before the reconstruction of the Beis HaMikdash even if we could resolve all the other halachic issues involved (Shu”t Binyan Tzion #1). However, we should note that this question did not bother either Rav Yechiel of Paris or Rav Ashtori HaParchi. Furthermore, Rabbi Akiva Eiger asked his son-in-law, the Chasam Sofer, to request permission from the ruler of Yerushalayim to allow the offering of korbanos. Presumably, Rabbi Akiva Eiger felt that his son-in-law, who had a close connection to the Austro-Hungarian royal family, might be able to use their influence to gain access to the Ottoman Empire who ruled over Yerushalayim at the time. The Chasam Sofer responded with great respect to his father-in-law, but pointed out that the Beis HaMikdash area is unfortunately covered by a mosque that is sacred to its Moslem rulers who will not permit any non-Moslem to enter (Shu”t Chasam Sofer, Yoreh Deah #236). Thus, we see that both Rabbi Akiva Eiger and the Chasam Sofer agreed with Rav Kalisher that we are permitted to bring korbanos before the reconstruction of the Beis HaMikdash.

3. Numerous halachic hurdles need to be overcome in order to offer korbanos. The discussion of these issues forms the lion’s share of the debate.

Rav Kalisher responded to the correspondence, eventually producing a sefer “Derishas Tzion” (published many years after the demise of Rabbi Akiva Eiger, the Chasam Sofer, and the Nesivos) and subsequent essays where he presented and clarified his position. I know of three full-length books and numerous essays and responsa that were published opposing Rav Kalisher’s thesis.

Before quoting this discussion, we need to clarify several points. First, can we indeed offer korbanos without the existence of the Beis HaMikdash?


The Mishna (Eduyos 8:6) quotes Rabbi Yehoshua as saying, “I heard that we can offer korbanos even though there is no Beis HaMikdash.” The Gemara (Zevachim 62a) tells us a story that provides us with some background about this statement. “Three prophets returned with the Jews from Bavel (prior to the building of the second Beis HaMikdash), Chagai, Zechariah and Malachi, each bringing with him a halachic tradition that would be necessary for the implementation of korbanos. One of them testified about the maximum size of the Mizbayach, one testified about the location of the Mizbayach, and the third testified that we may offer korbanos even when there is no Beis HaMikdash”. Based on these testimonies, the Jews returning to Eretz Yisroel began offering korbanos before the Beis HaMikdash was rebuilt.

Obviously, Rav Kalisher and Rav Ettlinger interpret this Gemara differently. According to Rav Kalisher and those who agreed with him, the prophet testified that we may offer korbanos at any time, even if there is no Beis HaMikdash. Rav Ettlinger, however, understands the Gemara to mean that one may offer korbanos once the construction of the Beis HaMikdash has begun even though it is still incomplete. But in the view of Rav Ettlinger, after the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash we may not offer korbanos until Eliyahu announces the building of the third Beis HaMikdash.

An earlier Posek, Rav Yaakov Emden, clearly agreed with Rav Kalisher in this dispute. Rav Emden, often referred to as “The Yaavetz,” contends that Jews offered korbanos, at least occasionally, even after the second Beis HaMikdash was destroyed, which would be forbidden according to Rav Ettlinger’s position (She’aylas Yaavetz #89). This is based on an anecdote cited by a Mishna (Pessachim 74a) that Rabban Gamliel instructed his slave, Tevi, to roast the Korban Pesach for him. There were two Tannayim named Rabban Gamliel, a grandfather and a grandson. The earlier Rabban Gamliel, referred to as “Rabban Gamliel the Elder” lived at the time of the second Beis HaMikdash, whereas his grandson, “Rabban Gamliel of Yavne,” was the head of the Yeshivah in Yavne and was renowned after the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash. Thus, if we can determine which Rabban Gamliel is the protagonist of the Mishnah’s story, we may be able to determine whether Jews offered korbanos after the Churban. This would verify Rav Kalisher’s opinion.

Rav Emden assumes that the Rabban Gamliel who owned a slave named Tevi was the later one. He thus concludes that Rabban Gamliel of Yavne offered korbanos after the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash. Although the Yaavetz brings no proof that the Rabban Gamliel in the above-quoted Mishna is Rabban Gamliel of Yavne, he may have based his assumption on a different Gemara (Bava Kama 74b), which records a conversation between Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabban Gamliel concerning Tevi. Since Rabbi Yehoshua was a contemporary of Rabban Gamliel of Yavne, this would imply that the later Rabban Gamliel indeed offered the Korban Pesach after the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash.

However, this does not solve the numerous halachic issues that need to be resolved in order to allow the offering of korbanos. Although Rav Kalisher responded to these issues, the other Gedolim considered his replies insufficient.


The Brisker Rav, Rav Velvel Soloveichek, raised a different objection to Rav Kalisher’s proposal. Basing himself on several Pasukim and Halachic sources, he contended that the Beis HaMikdash site only has Kedusha when it is a high mountain. Since the Romans razed the top of the original mountain and it is no longer the prominent height it once was, it is not kosher for offering korbanos until the mountain is raised again to its former glory (quoted in Moadim U’Zemanim Volume 5, pg. 222). Thus, according to this approach, one of Moshiach’s jobs will be to raise the mountain to its former height. Presumably, Rav Kalisher felt that although the mountain should and will be raised, korbanos may be offered before that time.

I will now present some of the other questions involved in ascertaining whether we may bring korbanos before the coming of Eliyahu and Moshiach.


Virtually all opinions agree that it is a Torah prohibition to offer korbanos anywhere in the world except for the designated place in the Beis HaMikdash called the Mizbayach. This creates a halachic problem, because it is a severe Torah prohibition to enter the Beis HaMikdash grounds while tamei, and virtually everyone today has become tamei meis through contact with a corpse. (Someone who was ever in the same room or under the same roof as a corpse also becomes tamei meis.) Although other forms of Tuma can be removed by immersion in a Mikvah at the appropriate time, tumas meis can be removed only by sprinkling ashes of the parah Aduma (the red heifer). Since the ashes of the previously prepared Paros Adumos are lost, we cannot purify ourselves from tumas meis. Thus, we would be prohibited from bringing most korbanos because every Cohen is presumed to be tamei Meis.

Gedolim have discussed whether a new parah Aduma can be prepared before the arrival of the Moshiach, but I am refraining from citing this discussion because of space considerations.

However, although we have no available Tahor Cohanim, this would not preclude our offering Korban Pesach or certain other public Korbanos (Korbanos Tzibur).


Most korbanos cannot be brought when either the owner of the Korban or the Cohen offering the Korban is tamei. However, the Torah decrees that korbanos that are offered on a specific day must be brought even when every Cohen is tamei. Thus, the Korban Pesach, the daily Korban Tamid, and the special Mussaf korbanos that are brought on Shabbos, Yom Tov and Rosh Chodesh may be offered by a Cohen who is tamei meis if necessary.

Other korbanos, however, may not be offered by a tamei Cohen even if this results in them not being brought at all. Thus, since there is no Tahor Cohen available today, we would assume that Rav Yechiel only planned to offer one of the above korbanos (Shu”t Chasam Sofer, Yoreh Deah #236).


As mentioned above, the debate over Rav Kalisher’s proposal concerned other halachic issues that must be resolved before we may offer korbanos. The Kaftor VaFarech raised two of these issues over five hundred years before Rav Kalisher. How could Rav Yechiel offer korbanos when we do not know the exact location of the Mizbayach? As the Rambam writes, “The location of the Mizbayach is extremely exact and it may never be moved from its location…. We have an established tradition that the place where David and Shlomo built the Mizbayach is the same place where Avraham built the Mizbayach and bound Yitzchak. This is the same place where Noach built a Mizbayach when he left the Ark and where Kayn and Hevel built their Mizbayach. It is the same place where Adam offered the first Korban, and it is the place where he (Adam) was created.

“The dimensions and shape of the Mizbayach are very exact. The Mizbayach constructed when the Jews returned from the first exile was built according to the dimensions of the Mizbayach that will be built in the future. One may not add or detract from its size,” (Hilchos Beis HaBechirah 2:1-3).

As noted above, prior to building the second Beis HaMikdash, the prophets Chagai, Zechariah and Malachi testified regarding three Halachos about the Mizbayach that were necessary to locate the Mizbayach and reinstitute the korbanos. If so, how can we offer korbanos without knowing the location of the Mizbayach?

Rav Kalisher offered an answer to this question, contending that the prophets’ testimonies were necessary only after the destruction of the first Beis HaMikdash because the Babylonians razed it to its very foundations. However, Rav Kalisher contended that sufficient remnants exist of the second Beis HaMikdash to determine the Mizbayach’s precise location, thus eliminating the need for prophecy or testimony to establish its location.

Rav Kalisher’s correspondents were dissatisfied with this response, maintaining that the calculations based on the Beis HaMikdash remnants could not be sufficiently precise to determine the Mizbayach’s exact location. Thus, they felt that we must await the arrival of Eliyahu HaNovi to ascertain the mizbeiach’s correct place.


Do we have “real” Cohanim today? Only a Cohen who can prove the purity of his lineage may serve in the Beis HaMikdash (see Rambam, Hilchos Issurei Biyah 20:2). The Gemara calls such Cohanim “Cohanim Meyuchasim.” Cohanim who cannot prove their lineage, but who have such a family tradition, are called “Cohanei Chazakah,” Cohanim because of traditional practice. Although they observe other mitzvos of Cohanim, they may not serve in the Beis HaMikdash.

An early source for the distinction between Cohanim who can prove their lineage and those who cannot is the story found in Tanach about the sons of Barzilai the Cohen. When these Cohanim came to bring korbanos in the second Beis HaMikdash, Nechemiah refused them because of concerns about their ancestry (Ezra 2:61-63; Nechemiah 7:63-65). The Gemara states that although Nechemiah permitted them to eat Terumah and to Duchen (Spreading of the Fingers while blessing the thumbs together spread and then each two fingers together and spread if held correctly looks like a dove), he prohibited them from eating korbanos or serving in the Beis HaMikdash (Kesubos 24b). Similarly, today’s Cohanim who cannot prove their Kehuna status should be unable to serve in the Beis HaMikdash. This would eliminate the possibility of offering korbanos today.

However, Rav Kalisher permits Cohanei Chazakah to offer korbanos. He contends that only in the generation of Ezra and Nechemiah, when there was a serious problem of intermarriage (see Ezra, Chapter 9), did they restrict service in the Beis HaMikdash to Cohanim Meyuchasim. However, in subsequent generations, any Cohen with a Mesorah (Tradition handed down) may serve in the Beis HaMikdash.

Chasam Sofer (Shu”t Yoreh Deah #236) also permits Cohanei Chazakah to offer Korbanos, but for a different reason, contending that although using a Cohen Meyuchas is preferred, a non-Meyuchas Cohen may serve in the Beis HaMikdash when no Cohen Meyuchas is available.

Other Poskim disputed, maintaining that a Cohen who is not Meyuchas may not serve in the Beis HaMikdash (Kaftor VaFarech).

The question then becomes - If only a Cohen who can prove his Kehuna may offer korbanos, and there are no surviving Cohanim who can prove their Kehuna, how will we ever again be able to bring korbanos?

The answer is that Moshiach will use his Ruach HaKodesh to determine who is indeed a kosher Cohen that may serve in the Beis HaMikdash (Rambam, Hilchos Melachim 12:3). However, this approach preempts Rav Kalisher’s proposal completely.


Before korbanos are reintroduced, Godolei HaPoskim will have to decide several other matters, including the definitive determination of several materials necessary for the Cohen’s vestments.

The Torah describes the garments worn to serve in the Beis HaMikdash as follows: “Aharon and his sons shall put on their belt and their hat, and they (the garments) shall be for them as Kehuna as a statute forever,” (Shemos 29:9). The Gemara deduces, “When their clothes are on them, their Kehuna is on them. When their clothes are not on them, their Kehuna is not on them,” (Zevachim 17b). This means that korbanos are valid only if the Cohen offering them wears the appropriate garments.

One of the vestments worn by the Cohanim is the Avnet, the belt. Although the Torah never describes the Avnet worn by the regular Cohen, the halachic conclusion is that his Avnet includes threads made of Techeiles, Argaman, and Tolaas Shani (Gemara Yoma 6a). (Tzitzis color blue, Royal Purple, silk) There is uncertainty about the identification of each of these items. For example, the Rambam and the Ravad dispute the identity of Argaman (Hilchos Kli HaMikdash 8:13). The identity of Techeiles is also unknown. Most Poskim conclude that Hashem hid the source of Techeiles, a fish known as Chillazon, and that it will only be revealed at the time of Moshiach. Thus, even if we rule that our Cohanim are kosher for performing the service, they cannot serve without valid garments! (It should be noted that several great Poskim, including the Radziner Rebbe, the Maharsham, Rav Herzog and Rav Yechiel Michel Tukochinski contended that we could research the correct identity of the Techeiles. I have written other articles on the subject of identifying the Techeiles.)

Rav Kalisher himself contended that the garments of the Cohen do not require Chillazon as the dye source, only the color of Techeiles. In his opinion, Chillazon dye is only necessary for Tzitzis. (He based this approach on the wording of the Rambam in Hilchos Tzitzis 2:1-2.) Therefore, in Rabbi Kalisher’s opinion, one may dye the threads of the Avnet the correct color and perform the service. However, other Poskim did not accept this interpretation but require the specific dye source of Chillazon blood to dye the vestments (Likutei Halachos, Zevachim Chapter 13 pg. 67a).

Rav Kalisher did not discuss the dispute between the Rambam and the Ravad about the color of the Argaman. Apparently, he felt that we could determine the answer and dye the Avnet threads appropriately.

The other Poskim raised several other issues concerning Rav Kalisher’s proposal. One question raised is that Klal Yisroel must purchase all public korbanos from the funds of the Machatzis HaShekel, which would require arranging the collection of these funds. However, this question would not preclude offering Korban Pesach, which is a privately owned Korban.

Rav Kalisher’s disputants raised several other questions, more than can be presented here. The Godolei HaPoskim of that generation rejected Rav Kalisher’s plan to reintroduce korbanos before the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash.

However, we have much to learn from his intense desire to offer korbanos. Do we live with a burning desire to see the Beis HaMikdash rebuilt speedily in our days? If, Chas v’Shalom, we are still not able to offer Korban Pesach this year, we should devote Erev Pesach to studying the Halachos of that Korban. And may we soon merit seeing the Cohanim offering all the korbanos in the Beis HaMikdash in purity and sanctity, Amen.

An afterthought some Jews do not celebrate Pessach in Yerushalayim because they feel that they might violate their obligation to bring a Korban. Sometimes I left the original spellings and writings alone and in many cases changed the spelling to meet the convention that I am using. Note even the color of the clothing of the Priest is lacking standardization according to the article.

The 4 Questions for Children in 5 languages:

Halachos and Mitzvos by Danny Shoemann

It's a Mitzva to see if a vow or oath can be annulled. If a person accepts upon himself to do something - and unforeseen circumstances cause him to regret his decision - he may go to an expert in Jewish law or to 3 Jews knowledgeable in the laws of oaths, to try annul his vow. If they suspect that he would not have accepted his stringency had he known then what he knows now, they ask him if he regrets his acceptance. If he does, then they say to him "your vow is annulled, allowed and forgiven". Applies to everybody, everywhere, always - Verse: "When a man makes a vow to G-D." (Bamidbar 30:3) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 40

It's a sin to embarrass people - even in private. Embarrassing people in front of other people is so serious that one who does so could lose his portion in Olam Haba - the world to come. Even calling people by nicknames that are derogatory is forbidden. One who sins should be rebuked in private; if they continue to sin one may rebuke them in public and publicize their evil ways - with the intent of pressuring them to improve their ways. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always
Verse: "do not suffer sin upon him" (Vayikra 19:17). Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 79

Taking revenge is forbidden. Even refusing to do somebody a favor because they refuse to do you favors, is forbidden. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always
Verse: "Do not take revenge" (Vayikra 19:18) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 80

One may not store up grievances against a fellow Jew. If he refused to lend you something and then comes by to borrow something, you are not allowed to say "Sure I'll lend it to you, even though you didn't lend it to me." Rather you should lend him the item and remove all bad feelings against him from your memory. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "...and don't bear a grudge" (Vayikra 19:18) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 81

One is prohibited from standing by and not assisting when a fellow Jew is in danger. One has to assist even if it requires spending one's own money. Preventing a fellow Jew from financial loss is included in this Mitzva. For example, if one discovers a plot to steal from a fellow Jew, one is obliged to try and foil the plan, by offering them money, calling the police or whatever else will be effective. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "Do not stand by the blood of your brother" (Vayikra 19:17)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 82

Untying knots is one of the 39 forbidden categories of work forbidden on Shabbat. Any type of knot that you may not tie on Shabbat (as we learned in Halacha #508 - Knots on Shabbat) you are not allowed to undo on Shabbat. In case of great need/discomfort you may ask a non-Jew to untie knots. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:46

The Torah forbids us to waste or destroy items that can still be used. The Torah commands us to burn - or otherwise destroy - all Chametz in our possession on Erev Pessach morning. (This is the source where Jews have been called cheapskates but willful waste makes woeful want – Herbert Hoover and perhaps that is what is wrong with the economy and the future planning today.) Can we reconcile these 2 Halachos? The Mitzva to destroy Chametz can be fulfilled with a bare minimum of Chametz; preferably with leftovers that nobody would be able to use. Usable Chametz can be donated to various charity organizations which will distribute it to the needy. Alternately Chametz can be sold to a non-Jew. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 144

Since most of us don't want to start selling Chametz on Erev Pessach, one can go to most local Rabbis and appoint them as a messenger to sell our Chametz. The Rabbi will make a legal sale of the Chametz including a legal document and a deposit. Realize that this is a bona fide sale, and that the non-Jew is entitled to come to our homes and request we hand over our Chametz, as has occasionally happened. After Pessach the Rabbi goes to the non-Jew and asks to be paid the remainder of the debt and offers to buy back the Chametz from the non-Jew at a higher price. Since the non-Jew usually prefers to make a quick profit rather than paying for hundreds of items scattered throughout the city, he will sell the Chametz to the Rabbi. One should only sell Chametz and not the containers it's in - especially not containers that require Tevilla, (immersion in the Mikvah) like metal and glass, otherwise one would need to Toivel (dip) them in a Mikvah (ritual bath) after Pessach, since they belonged to a non-Jew during Pessach.
Chametz that has been sold (via the Rabbi) must be locked away so that one doesn't accidentally use it, which would be a double problem: Chametz on Pessach and stealing from the non-Jew. (Bernie Madoff violated this prohibition on top of stealing from his brothers he caused a big Chillul HASHEM in front of the whole world including a number of suicides – I hate to see what happens to him in the next world) Even if one has no intention of keeping Chametz in one’s home, one should still go to a Rabbi to appoint him to sell ones Chametz. Why? A lot of products may be Chametz contrary to popular belief - depending on the latest production methods - like medications, creams, soaps or even food which one discovers later wasn't really Kosher for Pessach. During Pessach one may discover Chametz that one wasn't aware of, or forgot to get rid of in the last-minute pre-Pessach rush. If one sold all ones Chametz then one didn't own any during Pessach. Chametz that belonged to a Jew during Pessach may not be used after Pessach. This is a Rabbinical decree; a punishment for owning the Chametz. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 114

Why don't firstborns celebrate the fact that they were saved from the 10th plague - the smiting of Egyptian firstborns? On Erev Pessach - Monday next week - all firstborns will fast in memory of them fasting in Egypt on Erev Pessach, to ensure they wouldn't be punished along with the Egyptians in the 10th plague. The Hallel said at the Seder includes praise for their delivery. All firstborn males fast; even if they're only a firstborn to one of their parents. Even firstborns who are exempt from Pidyon HaBen - like Cohanim, Levites or being born after a stillborn - also have to fast. The father of a young firstborn needs to fast for him. Whether a firstborn (or his father) may attend a Seudat Mitzva like a Siyum, Brit or Pidyon HaBen and break his fast to participate in the meal, depends on local / family custom. After breaking his fast, he can eat the rest of the day.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 113:6, 115:2

Before one starts searching the house for Chametz the entire house needs to be cleaned, and the Chametz that one plans to use until mid-morning on MONDAY morning needs to be put in a secure place. On Sunday night one may not do any work, nor eat anything, until one has checked the house for Chametz. Before one starts searching the house for Chametz the entire house needs to be cleaned, and the Chametz that one plans to use until mid-morning on Wednesday morning needs to be put in a secure place.

First one says the Bracha "אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל בִּעוּר חָמֵץ" "… to destroy Chametz", since the point of the search is to rid the house of Chametz.

After the search is complete one says “Kol Chamira” declaring that "all Chametz one isn’t aware of " to be “ownerless and worthless like dust”. This declaration constitutes a Halachic “destroying Chametz”, which is why one shouldn’t interrupt between the Bracha, the searching and the Kol Chamira with anything not related to the search. IT IS A MERIT TO SAY KOL CHAMIRA IN ARAMAIC AND THEN IN ENGLISH OR WHATEVER YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE BE SO AS TO FULLY UNDERSTAND THE NULLIFICATION PROCESS. One may appoint other members of the household to help with the search, as long as they are over Bar/Bat Mitzva. The search is done using a single candle which provides the optimal light for searching. A torch (like a Havdala candle) is not allowed – as it’s a fire hazard and it gives a flickering light – and if it was used one needs to redo the search. Search under all furniture, inside all closets, pockets of all clothes worn in the past year, schoolbags, purses, cars and anywhere else where Chametz could have been placed accidentally or purposely by adults, children or toddlers cuffs, shirt pockets, and any crevice in the clothing where crumbs can fall.
(Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 111:1-10)
There is no need to turn off the electric lights while searching with a candle, since with more light it’s easier to find Chametz. After searching with a candle in those places where it’s safe and convenient to do so, one should continue with a flashlight, so that one can search safely and calmly without fear of burning down the house.
(Source: Rabbi Shimon Eider zt”l, Halachos of Pessach, Vol. 1, page 86)

Today, 10 Nissan, in the year 2448, the Jews in Egypt selected lambs for their Pessach sacrifice. Forty years later, on 10 Nissan, the prophetess Miriam - sister of Aaron and Moshe - died. A year later on 10 Nissan, the Jews crossed the Jordan river, as recorded in Joshua 3-4. The Jews in Egypt were commanded to take home a lamb for their pre-Exodus Seder on 10 Nissan, four days before it was going to be sacrificed. It was a miracle that the Egyptians didn't harm the Jews when they did this, since lambs were considered sacred objects in Egypt. Since we left Egypt on Thursday 15 Nissan, this miracle happened on a Shabbat. To commemorate this miracle, the Shabbat before Pessach is called Shabbat HaGadol - the Great Shabbat - and a special Haftarah is read; the last chapter in Malachi which predicts the future redemption, may we merit it in our days. The custom is to read the narrative section of the Haggada - from Evadim Hayinu (we were slaves) until (but not including) Rabban Gamliel's admonition to say "Pesach, Matza and Marror" - at Mincha on Shabbat HaGadol. Source: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 430

Taken from: Dayan Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld via the :

15. Festivals - Shevisas Yom Tov

a) The Festivals

The first and seventh days of Passover (Pesach), the first and eighth days of Tabernacles (Sukkos), the day of Pentecost (Shavuos), and the first day of the seventh month (New Year's Day -- Rosh ha-Shanah) are called festivals [lit. "Good days"]. We are commanded to rest on them since they are called "sabbaths"1; and we are forbidden to do any work on them except work that is necessary for preparing food, as it says "You shall not do any laborious work"2; "No work shall be done on them, but whatever is eaten by all... may be done for you".3,a

Specifically, "slaughtering", "kneading" and "baking" are permitted on festivals as necessary for preparing food; "taking from one domain to another" (unostentatiously) and "burning" are permitted for any purpose (but kindling a new fire and extinguishing a fire are forbidden). On the other hand, "reaping", "threshing", "winnowing", "separating", "grinding" [except spices] and "sifting", as well as cheese-making, are forbidden on a festival since all such things can be done before the festival without depreciation or loss; in some situations, however, "separating", "grinding" and "sifting" are allowed if done in an unusual way as a reminder.b "Hunting" is also forbidden. When an animal is slaughtered on a festival it can be skinned, but no special effort should be made to keep the skin whole or to preserve it.c

When work is permitted for preparing food the food must be intended (at least in part) for consumption by Jews (as it says "for you"3) on the festival.d When a festival occurs on Friday one may not prepare for the sabbath on the festival unless he has begun the preparation before the festival by setting aside some cooked food then [for the sabbath]; this food is called the "combination of cookings.e Washing and anointing are like eating since they too are bodily needs; one can heat water on a festival to wash his face, hands and feet, but one cannot wash his whole body except in water heated before the festival.f

Whatever is rabbinically forbidden on the sabbath (e.g., because it may lead to work) is forbidden on festivals unless it is necessary for preparing food. In addition, one may not handle anything that was not fit and specifically intended, before the festival began, for consumption on the festival.g

We are commanded to honor the festivals and make them enjoyable like the sabbath; and we also recite benedictions at their beginning and end. We should be joyful on the festivals (as well as on the intermediate days of Pesach and Sukkos; see below) and we must not mourn or fast on them, as it says "And you shall rejoice on your festival".4 Celebrations such as weddings that are not related to the festival must not be held.h

b) The Second and Intermediate Days

Outside the land of Israel it is customary to celebrate each of these festivals for two days; and Rosh ha-Shanah is celebrated for two days even in the land of Israel. Even though the second day is only a rabbinical institution, everything forbidden on the first day is also forbidden on the second day except for care of the dead.i

Some types of work are also forbidden on the days between the first and seventh day of Pesach and between the first and eighth day of Sukkos. (Similar regulations apply on the afternoon preceding Pesach.j) In general, any work that does not require great effort and that is needed then or will lead to great loss if it is not done then may be done on those days, but not ostentatiously.k One must not deliberately defer work until then; in particular cutting the hair and washing clothes are forbidden since one may come to defer them and not prepare himself properly for the first day of the festival.l

References to the above article can be found on the website mentioned at the start. Note that the thin parings of the horseradish should be prepared close to Yom Tov and one can add a small amount of vinegar and even a drop of sugar or saccharine to neutralize the vinegar before sundown. Also the salt water for the dipping is prepared Erev Pessach before Mincha.

The Passover Haggada (h) in Hebrew you can Google for English Chabad and use the final H:

G. Katz asked me if one can leave a vacant chair at the Seder Table for Gilad Shalit: Years ago the Rabbis ordained an empty seat for Soviet Jewry. I would like to call it Missing in Action seat. Zachariah Baumel, Katz, Feldman, Ron Arad, Guy Hever? (as a body was found a few months ago on Ramat HaGolan), and Gilad Shalit.

While there can always be some doubt about whom a person’s father may be, there is never a question about who the biological mother is a little insulting to mothers–no?) Annie

Judaism assumes that even when a woman cheats on her husband that the majority of relations she has with her husband and the child is not a Maumzer (a child born from an adulterous or incestuous relationship). However, when it comes to Pekuach Nefesh we can no longer assume even a slight uncertain element of 1 in 1000, 10,000 or 100,000 so we go according to the mother where the lineage is beyond a shadow of a doubt.

From Doris: When the Knesset passed the law annexing the Golan Heights on Dec. 20, 1981 the State Dept. issued a harsh statement saying that Israel will be punished for this. At that time a Prime Minister with guts and a Spine called Menachem Begin Zal got up and said: What kind of expression is this - "punishing Israel"? Are we a vassal state of yours? Are we a banana republic? Are we youths of fourteen who, if they don't behave properly, are slapped across the fingers?…
The people of Israel has lived 3,700 years without a memorandum of understanding with America - and it will continue to live for another 3,700.

From Chaim Szmidt:

More Recipes:


The Shabbat preceding Passover, the festival of our first redemption, is called SHABBAT HAGADOL, The GREAT SHABBAT, during which we read the Prophet Section, the (Haftarah) announcing the arrival of the great day of Divine revelation and of our final redemption.

Our Sages give several explanations about the importance of this Shabbat which preceded the exodus from Egypt. This Shabbat has special significance on account of the great miracles which took place on that day. The concepts of Shabbat and Redemption are parallel ones. The exodus from Egypt, the freedom from physical exile, must be accompanied by freedom from obstacles to our spiritual development. In Hebrew, the word "Mitzraim" (Egypt) and "Metzarim" (limitations) are homonyms.
(In Modern Hebrew it is used in the context of straits.)

In the true sense of the word, we are redeemed from "Mitzraim" when we incorporate the concept of Shabbat in our lives, for Shabbat is the realm of the human spirit seeking to free itself from material restraints and aspiring to ascend towards its Creator. To reach this elevation of mind it is necessary to subject one's will and one's acts to Divine will. Ceasing work on Shabbat means the self-abnegation of man before the Creator which we attain our true freedom.

"Man is only free when he subjects himself to the Torah" (Ethics of the Fathers, Chap. 6.2).

The Divine doctrine gives him the energy to rid himself from the clutches of the evil forces. Shabbat is the perfection to which we aspire. "Six days you will labor and complete all your work" (Exodus 20,9). When Shabbat comes, we lack nothing. We consider our work completed and our aims achieved. The feeling of satisfaction from the fulfillment of our duty affords us refreshed energy to carry out our task the following week as well.

The concept of Shabbat, this inner harmony, this desire to dedicate our existence to the service of our Creator, source of all unlimited riches to which we aspire, is then instilled into the whole week. Through this disposition we sense the happiness of belonging to the Chosen People, the privileged nation, guardian of the Torah throughout the centuries.

"Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it" (Exodus 20:8). We must endeavor to always have in mind Shabbat as a source of inspiration and of elevation, as the substance and the aim of our life. "G-d says to Moses, I have a precious gift in my treasure house. It is called "Shabbat". I reserve it for Israel. Go and announce it to them" (Talmud, Tractate Shabbat, 10b).

Shabbat is the true rest, the peace of mind, the satisfaction to reach truth and to fulfill it, the disappearance of any contradictions between spirit and matter. By applying Shabbat into our life, we have in this world a foretaste of the Olam HaBah (the world to come), the eternal Shabbat. He who observes Shabbat, who feels its delight, fulfills in himself true redemption from "Mitzraim", Egypt, and will be able to enjoy the light of the final redemption,
May it come speedily in our days", because he will have prepared himself to deserve it.
Sources: Haftarah, Ethics of the Fathers, Chap. 6,2, Exodus 20,9, Exodus 20,8, Talmud, Tractate Shabbat, P.10b


"Let's Count the Omer"

What is the Omer?

Literally, the Hebrew word 'Omer' refers to an agricultural measure used in the Bible (sometimes translated as a "sheaf). When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, an Omer of wheat was brought as a "wave offering," to be waved in the six directions over the altar, by the Holy Priest, on the second day of Passover. This waving in the six directions was in recognition of Him to Whom the whole world belongs, G-d.

Although we commonly speak of "counting the Omer," the Omer itself was not what was actually counted. The "counting" referred to a seven week period which starts on the day the Omer offering was brought to the Temple. According to the Torah, the people were commanded by G-d to count seven weeks, 49 days, from the second day of Passover to the day before the festival of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks. On Shavuot, the 50th day, the "first fruits" from the fields and vineyards were brought in joyous procession to the Temple in Jerusalem. So Shavuot also became known as the "Feast of First Fruits."

After the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, it was no longer possible to bring the "first fruit" offerings, so the literal Omer offering, the measure of wheat, could not be offered as a sacrifice. However, the Torah commandment to count the 49 days of the Omer remained, along with the Festival of Shavuot itself on the 50th day, which was to be kept "in all your dwelling places, throughout the generations. "The counting of the 49 days from Passover to Shavuot continued even without the Temple. But the focus of Shavuot shifted from celebrating the agricultural "Festival of First Fruits" toward commemorating the Giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, which also took place on Shavuot.

"Who Should Count The Omer?"

According to Jewish Law, all male Jews 13 years old or over are required to count the Omer. Technically, women are not required to count, because they are exempt from commandments that must be performed at a specific time. However, many women do count the Omer if they want to, as well as under aged Children who are also technically exempt.

"When to Count the Omer?"

The first day of the Omer period always falls on the second day of Passover. Jewish days always begin and end at Sundown. So, if Wednesday is the "second day" of Passover, as it is this year, you would start counting Tuesday night. This same principle holds true for all the 49 days, you count on the night before the "day." Counting should be done at night, any time between sundown and the following dawn, If you forget to count in the evening, but remember the following morning, you can still count, but should skip the blessing before the count. You can then resume with the blessing on the following night. If you miss a day entirely, you do not count on either the evening or the following daytime, then you count all the rest of the days without the blessing. The reason for this is that the counting of the Omer is a single 49 day process, so missing a day entirely interrupts the whole mitzvah. But you may still continue counting without saying the blessing.

Lag B’Omer

It was during a 33 day period of the Omer counting that many thousands of the disciples of Rabbi Akiva died of a plague, or the plague of persecution by the Romans for teaching Torah. In memory of this tragedy, the first 33 days of the Omer counting are a time of semi mourning. No weddings are performed then, no haircuts are taken, and festivities are generally avoided. These restrictions are lifted on Lag B'Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer, when it is said the plague stopped. Therefore the day was one of joy and happiness. Another reason given for this special day is, that it is the Yahrzeit of the great Tanna Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Especially in the land of Israel, at Meron, the grave site of Rabbi Shimon, has become a place where tens of thousands of people gather to commemorate and pray on this day.

There are many Jewish calendars available for the counting of the Omer. If you cannot find one that you are comfortable with, there are a number of good versions that can be downloaded from the Internet.

Sources: Rabbi Y. Gershom, Leviticus 23:11, Leviticus 23:13-15, Leviticus 16, 21, Shulchan Aruch, Jewish Festivals and Holidays.

"Pesach kosher v'smeach"


HaKaros HaTov: I want to thank Yaffa as her work saves me a time and energy in writing about the above items.

From 5766: Sifras HaOmer

One thing that I love about receiving Yaffa’s weekly e-mails and Torah is that sometimes she sends a few posts before Yom Tov. This time was no exception. I usually remember that I did not write that we start counting the Omer on the night after the (first) Seder. The Omer counting is based on weeks and days. The Kabbalists of old broke up each week into a heavenly characteristic and each day too. Thus day one on week one would be Chessed within Chessed followed by Gevura within Chessed, Teferes, Netzach, Hod, Yesod and finally Malchus. It ends with Yesod within Malchus and Malchus within Malchus. Chabad puts out a daily blog with an example but I don’t understand fully the property of Chessed (Mercy) or Mercy within Mercy, etc. Therefore I did not attempt to translate the kabbalistic properties.

Rabbis always must be on constant alert to fraud:

Sell your Chometz on-line:

Lori on Pessach:

There are religions where the Omnipresent loves and there is one which has a G-D that hates:

Inyanay Diyoma

Saudis like the IAF:

The Big Bang and Physics – trying to figure out how the physical world was created:|htmlws-main-w|dl1|link3|



(Tallahassee, FL) A warrant has been filed for Bassem Abdo Alhalabi, the individual who attacked Americans Against Hate (AAH) Chairman Joe Kaufman and another individual earlier this month, during Muslim Capitol Day in Tallahassee, Florida. Alhalabi, an associate professor at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and a director of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR), was charged with one count of battery.

According to an official from the Leon County State Attorney’s office, Alhalabi needs to turn himself in or he is subject to arrest. On March 11, 2010, Alhalabi grabbed Kaufman’s arm in the Rotunda (lobby) of the Florida State Capitol Building. The incident was caught on camera. Alhalabi was in Tallahassee as a member of United Voices for America (UVA), a political front for the Hamas-related Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). UVA’s event was titled ‘Muslim Capitol Day.’

The other attack perpetrated by Alhalabi, which happened about an hour after the assault on Kaufman, is still pending. During that attack, Alhalabi violently grabbed the video camera of cameraman Mark Campbell. Prior to these incidents, Alhalabi, in June 2003, was found guilty of illegally exporting a $13,000 military-grade thermal imaging device to Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism. Additionally, when Alhalabi applied for a position at FAU, he used convicted terrorist Sami al-Arian as a reference.

Joe Kaufman is available for interview. E-mail:


Where Europe is heading:

From Shona: At least there was no Trafe on his table that day -


Now for M. Wolfberg’s Passing Over

Good Shabbos Everyone. Preparations for Pesach, which begins Monday night, are in full swing. On the second night of Pesach we begin counting the Omer. We count 49 days of the Omer and then celebrate the giving of the Torah on the Yom Tov of Shavuos. 49 Is the Gematria - the numerical value of the Hebrew word "Midah," which means character trait. The Sages tell us that the time between Pesach and Shavuos is a special time to work on ourselves. The following beautiful Pesach story shows what makes great people great, namely, their great character.
Reb Shea was a Jew who lived in Jerusalem several years ago. He was quiet man of great holiness, who performed acts of kindness in unassuming ways. Only after he had passed away did stories surface as to how much he had actually helped so many. In each situation he had made a fellow Jew's problem his own personal problem.
It seems that a number of years before a terrible tragedy occurred in Brodie's Houses, an apartment complex in Jerusalem. Just two weeks before the holiday of Pesach, a young man suddenly passed away, leaving a large family behind. He was a man who had always struggled financially, and now his family was left destitute, with very few relatives in Israel who could be of assistance.
Aside from the terrible travail that the family would have to deal with in the long term, there was the immediate pressing problem regarding the upcoming Yom Tov. Pesach is a time when the father of a household is the dominant figure as he conducts the meaningful Pesach seder for his family. Who now was going to be able to conduct the seder for the bereaved widow and her young children? R' Shea looked for a candidate who would be willing to forgo his own seder at home, but couldn't find one.
Finally, just a few days before the holiday, he located a young man learning in a yeshivah, with no relatives of his own in Israel, who said that he would be willing to conduct the seder for the family. The night of Pesach arrived, and as R' Shea left his home to go to shul he told his wife that he might be a bit detained because he wanted to check, on the way home, that everything was working out at the home of the widow.
Once in shul R' Shea began to look around for the young man who had agreed to conduct the seder, but he was nowhere to be found. R' Shea wondered whether perhaps the fellow had forgotten about his commitment, or maybe he was simply davening in another shul. That would be strange, though, because R' Shea and the fellow had agreed to walk together from R' Shea's shul to the home of the family in Brodie's Houses.
When the davening ended, R' Shea once again searched the shul but he couldn't find the young man. R' Shea left the shul with his children and told them to go on home to wait for him there. He hoped to be home shortly himself. He also hoped that he would meet the fellow outside Brodie's Houses so that he could take him to the home of the widow and her children.
But when he got to the complex, the young man was nowhere to be seen; and when R' Shea walked into the apartment itself, no one was there but the young mother and her children. The children were scampering all over the apartment and the mother seemed to be walking around aimlessly. After waiting a short while, R' Shea decided to conduct the seder himself. He called everyone to the table and then slowly and patiently he made Kiddush, gave everyone at the table a small piece of the karpas, had the children ask the Four Questions, and began to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt - all this as his wife and family, along with his own widowed mother, were sitting home and waiting for him. R' Shea sat with the family as they ate their meal (although he alone did not eat).
He enlivened the table with his conversation and zemiros (songs) until finally the mother and children ate the afikoman. By the time he was ready to leave, some of the small children were already asleep, for he had been there for close to three hours! The young widow thanked him profusely, and R' Shea made his way home.
When he came into his house, his wife, his mother, and his children were waiting for him with mixed feelings. On one hand, they understood that he had probably helped that family in their moment of sorrow. On the other hand, here in his own home he had kept a widow (his mother) waiting, in addition to his own children, who had been looking forward to this night for months. R' Shea began to conduct the seder by once again reciting the Kiddush - this time for his own family.
However, because it was already very late, the children hurried through the Mah Nishtanah (the Four Questions, traditionally asked by the children at the beginning of the seder), they all drank each of the four cups of wine at the proper point in the seder, had their meal, and made sure to eat their afikoman - all before midnight, as is required by halachah.
After their seder was over, the children of R' Shea respectfully approached their father. "We understand that you wanted to help the widow and her family," they began, "but what about your own family? We were kept waiting for hours'. And besides, what about your own mother? She is an older woman, and she too is a widow! Why did you favor the widow there over the widow here?"
R' Shea understood that their questions were justified. Patiently he said to them, "My dear children, your questions are legitimate. I will answer them with a story that happened to me many years ago with the Chazon Ish." This is the story he told them… To be continued. Good Shabbos Everyone.

M. Wolfberg’s stories are sponsored by: In Memory of Leah bas R' Dovid Edlen (Wolfberg) Refuah Shleima to Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi

Have a wonderful Shabbos, I hope that I will have the time Erev Pessach to post the continuation of the Good Shabbos/Good Yom Tov story. I want to wish every reader as if it were individual a Chag Kosher v’Samayach and may we soon have a Korban Pessach in Yerushalayim with Moshiach Tzedkaynu.

Rachamim Pauli