Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Parshiyos Tazria-Metzora, 2 fish stories, Gog and Magog approaching

Naftali Moshe Ben Tzipporah, Shaul Ben Sirrel and Chanan ben Shulamit and you can remove Avraham ben Leah from the prayers.

This past Shabbos I was shocked to read that my old companion and fighter for Eretz Yisrael has a growth in his brain. I wrote about Rabbi Chanan Porat Shlita when he, Chaim Pinto and I met in Ashdod as part of the movement to settle Yehuda and Shomron. Rabbi Zvi Galinsky Shlita brought us together. Little did I know that a number of years later we would all be ordained Rabbis. Chanan was a member of the Knesset for a number of years and has continued the fight for Jewish Education and the Land of Eretz Yisrael as promised by HASHEM Yisborach all these years. I know that he deserves our prayers and best wishes.

The Torah is the most important law document in the world but all the authors of the document below knew Hebrew and the Bible quite well. Every man feared G-D and made HIM the King instead of a flesh and blood king. In fact they almost made Hebrew the official language of their country when they broke away from their mother country. But in the end stuck to the language below:

From Bat Zion:

Guest Editorial with a Mussar Lesson from Avraham Winograd

A lesson that should be taught in all schools. . . And colleges

Back in September, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom.

When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.

'Ms.. Cothren, where're our desks?'

She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.'

They thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.'

'No,' she said.

'Maybe it's our behavior.'

She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.

By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms.Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said, 'Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.'

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.

Twenty-seven (27) War Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall... By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned..

Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.'

By the way, this is a true story.

Why isn’t the US Educational System teaching things like this? Today I think Viet Nam Veterans would do the trick too.

Left over from last week – Annie asked me exactly how much sugar does the recipe call for with the Rich when making the Parve Ice Cream -

Regarding the Sugar = half a cup per pint of Rich and that is a bit sweet to my taste but my wife likes sweet things because she is sweet.

Double Parsha Tazria - Metzora

This lecture was a few years ago and here is a wonderful introduction:

12:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: If a woman be delivered, and bear a man-child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of the impurity of her sickness shall she be unclean.

What illness or sickness is this? Obviously the translator of the King James Version and the JPS copy was a Misogynist. Rather check out the Art Scroll or in this case Chabad translation: Speak to the children of Israel, saying: If a woman conceives and gives birth to a male, she shall be unclean for seven days; as [in] the days of her menstrual flow, she shall be unclean. Wow suddenly the woman is not ill but going through her monthly cycle in nature just like in the physical world do to its rotation and that of the earth, the moon changes phases each month and nobody has ever called a doctor for the moon because of this.

3 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

I have covered this a number of times in previous years and how one can control whether his child will be a boy or girl. I tried the method and told a few friends face to face who had only girls and behold a son was born unto them.

… 8 And if her means suffice not for a lamb, then she shall take two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons: the one for a burnt-offering, and the other for a sin-offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean

Why must a woman make an atonement? For often during child birth a woman will foreswear any relations with her husband or ever having more children. So as not to bring a bad name of the guilty parties, the Torah called for all women to bring an atonement no matter how she brushed the pain aside and was joyous as it is written: Tehillim 113:9 Who makes the barren woman to dwell in her house as a joyful mother of children. Hallelukah! For certainly she and her husband are overjoyed after years of waiting or just 9 months for the first child that she possibly wanted so badly.

13:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: 2 When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, or a scab, or a bright spot, and it become in the skin of his flesh the plague of leprosy, then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests. 3 And the priest shall look upon the plague in the skin of the flesh; and if the hair in the plague be turned white, and the appearance of the plague be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is the plague of leprosy; and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean.

Leprosy is perhaps a poor terminology for this disease because it is not the Leprosy that we saw in photos of Leper Colonies but 4 types of skin diseases, a house molding and clothing mold. The latter two certainly cannot be called Leprosy so lacking an English word let us call a Nega or touch of punishment from G-D by the Hebrew word.

Now for Rabbi Pinchas Winston Shlita on Pasuk 1 and 2 above: More than this week's parshah is about Bris Milah and leprosy, it is about Divine signs. It is specifically about personal Hashgochah Pratis -Divine Providence-and how to deal with it, and what happens when one chooses to ignore what is clearly a message from Heaven to change one's path in life.

That being the case, I am going to use this week's parshah as an excuse to point out some important Divine signs being sent our way at this very time. I suspect that most people will just brush them off as extreme, or take them seriously only enough to be amused, but not inspired to do something about them. Why should this generation be any different than the one before the Holocaust or the Spanish Inquisition?

And don't say because we have historical precedent. Apparently, that counts for absolutely nothing once the masses take root in a foreign country, and materialism enters the picture. This is why the Torah specifically gave the following mitzvah:

Remember the days of old, understand the many generations that have passed. Ask your father, and he will tell you; your elders, and they will say it to you. (Devarim 32:7)

Whatever, I still feel an obligation to point out what I believe to be important warning signs for the nation as they occur, and leave it up to the individual to decide what to do with them. It seems that, for the most part, only God can take the Jew out of exile and exile out of the Jew.

There are those of us who have been suspicious of President Obama from the start. Many are American themselves and gentile, but they just don't like the man's past, his unusual rise to power, and what he stands for. President Obama represents a new America, and these people still like the old one.

We have also taken special note of his mercurial rise to power against the odds, and his attitude towards his job that smacks of a lack of sense of respect for who he is supposed to be and what he is supposed to represent. And, because this is occurring at a very precarious time in Jewish and world history, all of this seems to take on added significance, especially with a third war of Gog and Magog looming somewhere in the future.

Sofar, nothing new. However, what is new is the way many people of reputation have started using the world "war" with respect to Obama's attitude towards and dealings with Israel. They see, as we do, a new presidential stance with respect to peace in the Middle East, and the importance of Israeli sovereignty and security in that process. They see, as everyone should, a tremendous favoring of the Islamic world and demeaning of the Jewish one.

This is definitely new, as far as American presidents go. And though there were some who wanted to make George Bush Jr. into Gog (though his father was better suited), because of the pressure he applied to Israel to make concessions, and because of his name, in truth, he was about as sympathetic to Israel and her concerns as could be expected from a President of the United States of America at this stage of history.

And, even though some wanted to make George Bush appear inept at his job, still, there was something Presidential about him, something he shared in common with his predecessors going back in history. The only recent exception, perhaps, was Bill Clinton, whose rise to power was also shady and too quick, and seemingly in response to the dislike of the present Commander- in-Chief.

One thing is for certain: no one ever felt that George W. Bush was at war with Israel, and though his father may have wanted to be, the times did not permit it. Like Nixon before him, it was still historically advantageous to be a beneficent ally to Israel, especially since the Arabs had not yet figured how to use diplomacy, propaganda, and terror, to draw the West away from Israel to their side.

One of the amazing things about the Metzora in this week's parshah is how he ends up with tzara'as on his body. It is not as if he wasn't warned that his loshon hara had caught the attention of Heaven and that he was in line for some Divine chastisement. For, tzara'as on the body came only after tzara'as on the house, and then on the clothing, failed to be taken as Divine signs to mend one's way.

Tzara'as on the house and the clothing is between God and the Metzora. Few people have to know about it, which gives the sinner a chance to wake up early and to do teshuvah before he has to suffer public humiliation. Heaven does not want to embarrass anyone, and does its best to inspire teshuvah while it is still a private matter.

Question: Why did 4/5ths of the Jews die in the Plague of Darkness? Answer: Because they were stuck in de-Nile.

Not funny, right? Right. But then again, it is not really a joke, though it may be a play on the word denial. For, that is the true answer to the question: the 4/5ths were in denial regarding the upcoming redemption and refused to pay attention to the Divine signs regarding what to do next. By the time the ninth plague rolled around, they just had the wrong attitude.

Likewise, should a person take for granted God's mercy by inflicting his house and clothing with tzara'as before his actual body, then what choice does Heaven have? If the only way to get the Jew to leave denial is by making his reality inescapable, then that is what Heaven will do, and has done countless times throughout Jewish history. And, that is what Heaven is poised to do once again, as we, the Jewish people find ourselves in one of our historically favorite places: denial.

That is why the Metzora was not allowed to decide his status for himself. Rather, he had to consult a Kohen, who had to come and check out the Divine signs, to see if what he had was simply some kind of mold, or actual tzara'as. For, when it comes to Hashgochah Pratis, especially regarding Divine decrees, human logic takes a backseat to Divine signs, which can only be recognized, understood, and interpreted based upon Torah tradition.

"It will never happen here in America."

"Obama will never do that."

"We'll always be able to get out."

"It will always be safe for American Jews, Canadian Jews, English Jews, etc."

Who says? Human logic says. Well, according to human logic, the assassination of Duke Ferdinand should not have resulted in World War I. And, according to human logic, Prime Minister Chamberlain should have seen from the start that Hitler, y"s, could not be trusted and wanted to conquer all of Europe.

And, according to human logic, even though Hitler y"s wrote Mein Kampf, and many other discourses that revealed his extreme hatred of the Jewish people, he should still not have been able to pull off a Holocaust, not nearly to the extent that he did. Even in retrospect, even after the fact, it just doesn't make sense. But it happened anyhow.

The Leshem says the following remarkable, and chilling, idea:

There is a very deep matter here. For, sometimes, it is His will, may His Name be blessed, to bring about a specific decree as a function of Kavshei d'Rachmana, the hidden thoughts of God. As a result, He may remove free-will and put fear in their hearts until it is impossible to strengthen their trait of bitachon, in order to fulfill the decree, Rachmana Litzlan, as HaGaon Rav Yaakov from Lisa wrote in the name of the Ramban in his commentary on Megillas Esther, on the verse, "Mordechai would not bend or bow" (Esther 3:2); see there. (Sha'arei Leshem, p. 115)

Kavshei d'Rachmana is a term that denotes Divine Providence for which we have no logical explanation (Brochos 10a). Elsewhere the Leshem explains that the more primordial and sublime something is in terms of its fulfillment of the mandate of Creation, the higher up it is in the sefiros and the less accessible the light is to the minds of men.

The Leshem is referring to righteous people whose trust in God is often strong enough to ward off evil decrees against their generation. However, explains the Leshem, sometimes a decree must occur anyhow, and to make sure that it does, God removes the possibility of bitachon from the heart of the righteous people of the generation, so that history can run its intended course, as terrible as it may be.

The righteous people, of course, are credited for the bitachon they would have had, had Heaven not interfered with it, and maybe even spared the suffering of others as well. But the rest of the people they would have wanted to protect are not so fortunate, as history has shown over and over again. It may not be logical to us, but given the big picture of history and the master plan of Creation, it is certainly logical to Heaven.

In fact, the biggest trap of history has been our own logic, which has its place for sure, but which can so often be misplaced. In fact, it only really works well within the framework of Torah tradition and Talmudic interpretation. First you have to see what God is thinking, and then use your logic to sync with His approach to history. That is the entire point of learning Torah, and the entire point of human intelligence and free-will.

And, when it comes to reading the Divine signs of history, certain sections of Torah are more specific than others. True, if you are really astute and clever, you can figure out what is happening today from the laws of damages between neighbors, or from the laws of Shabbos of Kashrus. But, the chances of being wrong are great, and what would be the point since one can look at specific seforim that discuss the issue specifically?

This may be one of the reasons why the parshah begins with Bris Milah, which seems somewhat out of place. It is Bris Milah that sums up the entire meaning of a Jew in a single mitzvah, which is about far more than simply removing the foreskin. It is about being committed to truth on all levels, even when personal desire tries to interfere with our perception of it, which amounts to being real with Divine Providence no matter what it tells us.

The orlah represents spiritual blindness, and an innate inability to properly or fully relate to God, mostly due to powerful drives that make the acknowledgment of truth difficult. The removal of the orlah represents the removal of spiritual blinders, opening up a Jew's capacity to see the hand of God in his life, so that he can work with it, and not against it.

As history winds down and the Jewish people become increasingly threatened, such a vision of Divine Providence can help a Jew to remain an asset as opposed to a liability. For, Jews who remain stubborn and refuse to read the hand of God into history in order to properly interpret the events of today will end up interfering with what Israel needs to do to survive.

For, as Israel and her allies move apart from each other, how much longer will the Western Jew be able to span the gap as it becomes increasingly wider? At some point, critical decisions will have to be made by Jews around the world that will affect their status amongst the nations. Seventy-eight percent of American Jewry voted Obama, and still stand behind him even at this point.
(Close enough to Rashi’s 80% who died before the Geula but the number I believe is in the 60% tile range.)

For how much longer can they be a friend of President Obama and the Israeli people?
Copywrite by Rabbi Pinchas Winston Shlita and can be read weekly on Perceptions at the

4 And if the bright spot be white in the skin of his flesh, and the appearance thereof be not deeper than the skin, and the hair thereof be not turned white, then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague seven days. 5 And the priest shall look on him the seventh day; and, behold, if the plague stay in its appearance, and the plague be not spread in the skin, then the priest shall shut him up seven days more. 6 And the priest shall look on him again the seventh day; and, behold, if the plague be dim, and the plague be not spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean: it is a scab; and he shall wash his clothes, and be clean. 7 But if the scab spread abroad in the skin, after that he hath shown himself to the priest for his cleansing, he shall show himself to the priest again. 8 And the priest shall look, and, behold, if the scab be spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is leprosy.

The Power of Speech by Rabbi Shraga Simmons

One man spread a rumor about another. He later felt regret, and went to the rabbi to ask how to make amends. "Go to the store and buy a bag of seeds," said the rabbi, "then go to a big open field and scatter the seeds into the wind. Do so and report back to me in a week."

The man did as he was told, and came back the next week to find out what to do next. "Now," said the rabbi, "go back to the field and pick up all the seeds."

"But," protested the man, "Those seeds have scattered far and wide! I’ll never find them all. Many have even already taken root!"

"Exactly," explained the rabbi. "Now you understand. When we speak badly about another person, the effect is far and wide. And it is damage that can never be fully undone."

One of the most difficult sections of the Torah to understand is this week's parsha which discusses Tzarat, a skin disease commonly mis-translated as "leprosy."

In truth, Tzarat is a physical manifestation of a spiritual deficiency. The Talmud (Arachin 16) says that Tzarat comes specifically as a consequence of "Loshon Hara" -- negative speech about another person. For example, we see that when Moses’ sister Miriam spoke Loshon Hara, she contracted Tzarat (Numbers, chapter 12).

What is the connection between speaking badly -- gossiping about another -- and contracting this skin disease?


Speech is the tool of creation. Through it we can build individuals and the world. We can praise, encourage, and give others confidence. By making others feel important, we build them up, as if to say, "Your existence is necessary." This is life-giving and life-affirming.

One of the great American rabbis of the past generation, Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld zt"l, was known to have brought a neighbor back to Torah observance simply by caring enough to say "good morning."

On the other hand, speech can also be used to destroy. Words like "you’re worthless" wipes out a person’s self-esteem. As King Solomon says, "Life and death are in the hands of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21). The Talmud (Arachin 15b) explains that negative speech is even worse than a sword -- since it kills many people, even at great distance.

Remember the expression "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me"? This was clearly not said by a Jew!

Beyond the individual destruction, we have all seen the power of gossip -- a vicious rumor -- to tear apart relationships, families, and even entire communities.

Of course, just as the Torah prohibits speaking Loshon Hara, we are prohibited from even listening to it. (Which makes sense -- if I can’t listen, then you can’t speak it!) By listening to negative talk we fuel the viciousness and become desensitized to its effect on others.

From here we can understand a section of this week’s parsha, Leviticus 13:45-46. The Torah says that when someone has been diagnosed as having Tzarat, they must go outside the boundaries of the city and shout "Contaminated!" to anyone who approaches. The punishment is measure-for-measure: If you promote divisiveness amongst others, then you will also suffer the divisiveness of separation from community.


Many people make the mistake of thinking that the Torah prohibition of negative speech is limited only to saying falsity and untruth. But this is not so. Lying falls under a separate prohibition, expressed in Exodus 20:13, 23:7.

Loshon Hara, meanwhile, is the prohibition against saying anything negative or derogatory about another person -- even when it’s true!

Often, Loshon Hara will couch itself in a cloak of rationalizations. It doesn’t even matter whether the words are spoken implicitly or implied. If the message can be construed negatively, then it is a violation of Loshon Hara.

Be aware of potential Loshon Hara situations and stop them before they start. For instance, reunions are particularly rife with gossip: "Oh, did you hear about so-and-so ..."

The Talmud says that the human body was constructed to help a person refrain from Loshon Hara. The teeth and lips serve as "gates" to regulate what emerges from our mouth, while the tongue lies in a horizontal resting position. Furthermore, while humans have two eyes, two ears and two nostrils -- we have only one mouth as a reminder to minimize chatter. And, says the Talmud, for what purpose did God create ear lobes? So that if we find ourselves in a situation where Loshon Hara is being spoken, we can conveniently turn the lobes upwards as ear plugs!

Here are some commonly-spoken forms of Loshon Hara to watch out for:

  1. "But it’s true!"
  2. "But I didn’t even mention his name!"
  3. "I wouldn’t care if someone said the same thing about me."
  4. "Everyone knows about it already, anyway."
  5. "He wouldn’t mind."
  6. "I’d say it even to his face."
  7. "Just kidding!"
  8. "There he goes again... "
  9. (Saying nothing...but rolling your eyes!)
  10. "People from that city are so..."
  11. "It’s all in the name of business competition!"
  12. "This may be Loshon Hara, but..."
  13. "C’mon, you can tell me..."

All these qualify as Loshon Hara.

There is one exception to this rule, however. We may speak or listen to negative information if we are absolutely sure it is for the constructive purpose of preventing future damage. But before you go ahead and use this exemption, make sure the following conditions apply:

The information must be objectively true, not a matter of taste or opinion.

You must have first-hand information, not hearsay.

You must first give the perpetrator a chance to respond to the allegations.

You can have no ulterior motive or personal gain from what you say.

You must avoid mentioning names whenever possible.


What would motivate one person to speak badly about another?

Low self-esteem. When a person feels down about himself, there are two ways to feel better – either 1) make the effort to work and build oneself up (this is a lot of hard work!), or 2) put others down. The reasoning being, if I can lower others, then I don’t look so bad by comparison! But that’s the easy way, the "quick high." And is that the kind of person you want to be?

The media has built an empire around knocking down big targets -- like movie stars, politicians and business leaders. For the average person who may see himself languishing in mediocrity, it is a source of aggravation to see others’ success in life! So, knock them down -- and problem solved!

This may explain as well some basis for anti-Semitism. The nation that holds itself to a higher standard is a constant reminder of the human potential for sanctity and morality. Why is the world so eager to point out every misstep taken by Israel? Because by eliminating respect for that higher standard, the obligation to strive for that standard likewise falls away.

The first step in avoiding Loshon Hara is to recognize our own faults and commit to improving on them. When I accept that I alone am responsible for my inadequacies, then I will similarly be less critical and more tolerant of others.

If you find yourself getting "down" about yourself or others, try focusing away from the faults and instead on the virtues. It will lift you out of your negativity.

The Torah says: Feeling down? Don’t take the easy way out. Work hard and improve yourself.


So what happens if we inadvertently hear Loshon Hara? The Talmud says that we should not automatically accept it as being true. Rather, the rule is "innocent until proven guilty."

There is a famous story about the great Talmudic sage the Rashash (Rabbi Shmuel Shtrashun, 19th century Vilna) who had a fund to lend money to poor people. One day while the rabbi was studying Talmud, the local tailor came in to repay his loan of 10,000 rubles. The rabbi was so engrossed in his learning, that he stuck the money in the book and forgot about it.

A week later, the rabbi was reviewing his loan ledger and noticed that the 10,000 ruble loan was never paid. So he called the tailor and asked him to pay it. "But I paid you back last week," said the tailor. "Okay, then where’s your receipt?" said the rabbi, who truly had no recollection of being paid back. "You were studying and I didn’t want to disturb you," replied the tailor.

Soon enough word got out that the tailor and the rabbi were involved in a financial dispute. "The nerve of this man to pit his word against the rabbi!" they all said. The tailor’s reputation was ruined, and he was shunned by the community.

About a year later, the rabbi was reviewing a section of Talmud and came across an envelope containing 10,000 rubles. Then he realized what had happened! He immediately called the tailor and apologized. "But your apology doesn’t help me," he said sadly. "My reputation is ruined forever!"

"Don’t worry," said the rabbi. "I’ll make a public announcement in the synagogue, letting everyone know that it was I who had made the mistake."

"But that won’t help," said the tailor. "They’ll think you’re just saying it because you feel sorry for me."

The rabbi thought long and hard until he came up with a solution. "You have a daughter and I have a son," he said. "Let’s arrange for them to be married. In that way, everyone will be assured that you are fully trustworthy, for otherwise I would never agree to this match." And with that, the harm was repaired.

But it’s not always so easy...


The Talmud asks: Why was the Holy Temple destroyed? Because people spoke Loshon Hara about each other. Thus, says the Chafetz Chaim (the 20th century codifier of the laws of Loshon Hara), refraining from gossip is the single most effective way to reverse the damage and bring about the redemption!

There is no better time to undertake this challenge than today. We find ourselves in the season of redemption. Passover celebrates our emergence from slavery unto freedom. Also at this time we count the Omer, on the way toward receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. Now is the time to break the dissention and divisiveness which plague our people.

Two rabbis in Jerusalem have written user-friendly guides outlining the parameters of Loshon Hara. They are both excellent sources for further study: "Guard Your Tongue" by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, and "Chafetz Chaim -- A Lesson A Day" by Rabbi Yitzchak Berkowitz. In addition, many cities offer pre-recorded telephone classes dealing with Loshon Hara.

Imagine how the world would change ... if all humanity jumped on this bandwagon?!

9 When the plague of leprosy is in a man, then he shall be brought unto the priest.

Why specifically to the Cohain? Lashon HaRa divides the Nation and separates the Nation. The function of Aaron according to Hillel was to love Shalom and pursue (Rodef) Shalom. There is a little problem with the quality of the sound “Hillel Omer Ohave Shalom v’Rodef Shalom”

10 And the priest shall look, and, behold, if there be a white rising in the skin, and it have turned the hair white, and there be quick raw flesh in the rising,

Today we don’t have a Beis HaMikdash and therefore there is no atonement other than being outside of the community and not speaking this nonsense.

Last week my daughter and I had a problem over this with my oldest grandson. Earlier in the year a very bright and quiet boy moved into his class. My grandson liked the boy and defended him from all outside attacks by the other boys. However, one wicked and jealous boy wanted to have some fun to split the two apart. He worked on the quiet fellow against my grandson. The real world is not Facebook and when this boy defriended my grandson and then came back, he became a bit of a jabbing point for my grandson as eighth graders can be with ‘rank outs’. It is hard to explain to a brain of a teenager the concept of Lo Titor and Lo T-comb (not to bear a grudge or seek revenge) and although the youngsters are top notch they are not emotionally mature enough to understand this. This has gone on and off until both his parents and my daughter told the children separately not to associate with the other as in this case, Lashon HaRa killed a friendship. Had the Beis HaMikdash existed, possibly the wicked boy would have contacted one or more of the skin diseases below for his nonsensical way of pulling a prank on the brainy kids of the class.

11 it is an old leprosy in the skin of his flesh, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean; he shall not shut him up; for he is unclean. 12 And if the leprosy break out abroad in the skin, and the leprosy cover all the skin of him that hath the plague from his head even to his feet, as far as appears to the priest; 13 then the priest shall look; and, behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague; it is all turned white: he is clean. 14 But whensoever raw flesh appears in him, he shall be unclean. 15 And the priest shall look on the raw flesh, and pronounce him unclean; the raw flesh is unclean: it is leprosy. 16 But if the raw flesh again be turned into white, then he shall come unto the priest; 17 and the priest shall look on him; and, behold, if the plague be turned into white, then the priest shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: he is clean. 18 And when the flesh hath in the skin thereof a boil, and it is healed, 19 and in the place of the boil there is a white rising, or a bright spot, reddish-white, then it shall be shown to the priest. 20 And the priest shall look; and, behold, if the appearance thereof be lower than the skin, and the hair thereof be turned white, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy, it hath broken out in the boil. 21 But if the priest look on it, and, behold, there be no white hairs therein, and it be not lower than the skin, but be dim, then the priest shall shut him up seven days. 22 And if it spread abroad in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague. 23 But if the bright spot stay in its place, and be not spread, it is the scar of the boil; and the priest shall pronounce him clean … which then can be on the clothing and on the house of the person involved. As described in chapter 14 which I have skipped

15:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and to Aaron, saying: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When any man hath an issue out of his flesh, his issue is unclean. 3 And this shall be his uncleanness in his issue: whether his flesh run with his issue, or his flesh be stopped from his issue, it is his uncleanness.

I have discussed this flow of seed from a man. It appears according to some scholars to be a form of Gonorrhea we see here the continual flow so this indeed appears to be the case and this in the Torah is separate from the Nega but since we are talking about Tuma, we continue our discussion here and next week with the source of all Tuma the corpse.

The basis for Taharos HaMishpacha: This is one of the 3 main Mitzvos which is translated Family (Ritual) Purity but we don’t scream about it like Shabbos and Kashrus as this is a matter of the utmost modesty and privacy.

19 And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be in her impurity seven days; and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. 20 And every thing that she lieth upon in her impurity shall be unclean; every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. 21 And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 22 And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sitteth upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 23 And if he be on the bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even. 24 And if any man lie with her, and her impurity be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean. {S} 25 And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days not in the time of her impurity, or if she have an issue beyond the time of her impurity; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness she shall be as in the days of her impurity: she is unclean. 26 Every bed whereon she lieth all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her impurity; and every thing whereon she sitteth shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her impurity. 27 And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. 28 But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. 29 And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tent of meeting. 30 And the priest shall offer the one for a sin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness. 31 Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile My tabernacle that is in the midst of them. 32 This is the law of him that hath an issue, and of him from whom the flow of seed goeth out, so that he is unclean thereby; 33 and of her that is sick with her impurity, and of them that have an issue, whether it be a man, or a woman; and of him that lieth with her that is unclean.

The Escape from the Red Tent by Rabbi Noson Weisz

In the mind of the modern person, one of the most problematic areas presented by Jewish law is the law of Niddah, the requirement that Jewish women immerse themselves in a Mikvah at the conclusion of their menstrual cycle in order to re-attain a state of purity.

According to Jewish law, menstrual bleeding, a normal part of every healthy female's life cycle renders women tamey, or "spiritually impure." (For a detailed explanation of the concepts of tamey and tohar, spiritual purity and impurity, see Mayanot, Parshat Shemini.) As if this were not enough, adding insult to injury, whoever the Niddah touches somehow also becomes infected; such a person becomes tamey, or spiritually impure as well; physical relations with a Niddah are therefore strictly out of bounds.


In our time, when so many Jews are searching for the way back to their roots, the need to come to grips with the rational roots of the law of niddah is especially urgent; it is not a rabbinic law; its basic features are clearly delineated in the text of our Torah portion. The niddah laws cannot be dismissed as the invention of chauvinistic rabbis, making them especially problematic in the modern context. Even someone who is not yet ready to accept Torah observance in its entirety, and wants to begin his or her return to Judaism by accepting the Divine origin of the Written Torah as an exploratory first step has to face the problem presented by the niddah laws. He or she must confront the fact that God, who created women with a built in menstrual cycle, nevertheless considers them spiritually unclean until they immerse their bodies in the Mikvah.

Since this smells like a projection of the most severely politically incorrect form of sexism to the modern mind, it confronts the secular Jew of today exploring his or her Jewish roots with a difficult ideological obstacle at the very outset of his journey of discovery. No one could possibly become seriously interested in a chauvinistic religion!

In this essay, let us approach the problem by turning it on its head and exploring where this leads us. Let's start from the assumption, as we always must, that God exists, that the Torah is true, and that God gave it to us as His instructions for proper living. If we accept these propositions as true even for the sake of argument it is self-evident that the attribution of these laws, which come from God, to sexism or chauvinism, is absurd. God, being incorporeal, is neither male nor female in the human sense. He has absolutely no reason to favor men over women. So, beginning with a fresh slate, abandoning any a priori assumptions, how do we begin to rationally understand the niddah laws?


The very first verse in the Torah reads: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

In Hebrew, the word for heavens is shamayim, and the word for earth is aretz. These are both very peculiar words to describe the phenomena they are designated to describe.

The root of the word aretz is ratz, a word that means literally "to run." Thus, the earth, the aretz, is apparently running somewhere. Shamayim is a composite word - sham mayim - literally meaning, "the place where the water is", or - esh umayim - meaning a mixture of water and fire (see Rashi, Ibid.) Note – Esh is generally written Aish

If we put these ideas together conceptually, the Torah is telling us at the outset that the earth runs to the heavens because they are the source of water and energy. Without water and energy, the earth is incapable of producing life.

Thus the very first verse in Genesis introduces the idea that the universe is a composite of two things, the heavens, shamayim, the supplier of the energy, and the earth, aretz, the seeker of input and producer of life.

The Hebrew language delivers a second thought provoking lesson concerning the interaction of life processes. The human character trait associated with giving and therefore symbolically representing the idea of 'shomayim' is called chesed, "benevolence." The trait associated with receiving, and thus representing 'aretz' is called gevurah, or "strength". In stark contrast to what one might think, the 'holy tongue' considers the receiver more powerful than the giver. The aretz holds the real power.

A little thought suffices to reveal the wisdom behind this assessment. The act of giving is an outpouring of energy. It requires no restraint. On the other hand, the faithful recipient must remain passively expectant, patiently awaiting the input of the donor, without becoming fidgety or distracted. The twin possibilities of losing patience and pursuing alternative donors, or better yet, avoiding the problem altogether by simply doing without the input, loom large. Why produce new life altogether? Who needs the aggravation? Waiting patiently for the right input to arrive requires the exercise of restraint and self-control, qualities that are attributes of force and strength.


Armed with this information, we are better equipped to comprehend the Torah concept of male and female and the bond that exists between the two. Once again we shall consult the genius of the Hebrew language.

The male is called zachor in Hebrew, I would write the word zachar as with an O it sound like remember a word that has the same numerical value as the word beracha, meaning blessing. [Both words add up to 227.] The male is cast in the donor role. He provides the seed of life, also called chesed, and pours it into the female, called the nekeivah in Hebrew - a word that literally means "opening" - the recipient. She takes the chesed and transforms it into life.

In a curious twist, the word zachor in Hebrew also means 'to remember.' The role of the male in the production of life is only a memory; the actual appearance of life is totally associated with the female. There is a long gestation period between the union and the birth; by the time a child is born, the role of the father is only a memory.

The union between male and female is referred to as da'at, literally "knowledge." As in: "Adam knew his wife Eve." (Genesis 4:1)

In Jewish thought da'at stands for a particular type of knowledge: the wisdom to combine chesed and gevurah in proper proportions. The principle behind this concept is obvious. The combination of chesed and gevurah produces life but only with the help of careful management and planning. Life is an explosive outburst of creative energy, and energy that is not carefully organized and controlled simply wreaks havoc. The combination of the forces of giver and receiver requires the understanding and knowledge to balance the extremes perfectly and make the union productive.

We have only to remind ourselves about the existence of hydrogen bombs to clearly see this. As a destructive force, we can exploit the explosive energy contained in atoms by building bombs that can be encased in a simple shell that is roughly the size of a suitcase. To harness this same energy in a constructive controlled way, we have to build nuclear reactors, large structures that occupy acres of territory and are equipped with masses of complex machinery and staffed with hundreds of technicians. The control of explosive energy requires a great deal of knowledge, planning and organization.


The male-female bond is the greatest potential energy source in the universe. Each new human being that it produces has the potential to change the world entirely.

Without new knowledge the world would be static. All progress and growth, including progress and growth in a purely physical sense, is an outgrowth of new knowledge and understanding - both of which are spiritual forces. The world feeds many more people than it could a hundred years ago without having become any larger or richer in natural resources. The difference in potential is due to new knowledge and technology, both products of the human spirit. The main significance of combining chesed and gevurah in the proper proportions is the production of a fresh human spirit. The da'at or knowledge of doing this properly generates all the knowledge in the world. The new body is merely the envelope in which this new potential is contained.

Spiritual births are products of spiritual unions. The most significant aspect of the union between males and females is spiritual, not physical. To bring a new soul down from heaven capable of "watering the earth" and supplying the world with the fresh energy of new knowledge, the human couple must be focused on their spiritual union rather than merely physical experience.


The Ohr HaChaim HaKodesh makes this point at the beginning of our Parsha through the lives of Abraham and Sarah:

"Abram took his wife Sarai and Lot, his brother's son, and all their wealth that they had amassed, and the souls they made in Haran and they set out to go to the land of Canaan." (Genesis 12:5)

'The souls they made in Haran'; although at this point in their lives Abraham and Sarah were still childless, their union was not without issue. Whenever they "knew" each other through their many barren years, they brought souls down from heaven to earth. When they were brought down, these souls still lacked corresponding physical envelopes and were not yet able to water the earth. Nevertheless, they were already part of the spiritual Jewish family; when Abraham and Sarah left Haran they went along with them. Abraham and Sarah, being spiritual giants themselves, were able to persuade very lofty souls to leave heaven; the envelopes they needed as packaging could be supplied by people of smaller stature in due time.

But there is a deeper aspect to this. The capacity of the spiritual union between males and females to produce new human souls arises from the fact that the male-female bond is the true repository of the Shechina, the manifestation of the Presence of God on earth.

In Hebrew, a man is an ish, while a woman is an ishah. His name contains the letter yud, hers the letter hey; in all else they are identical. Between them they contain yud heh, the name of God. Subtracting these letters from both leaves esh, or fire; to harness the human fire so that it burns with a holy flame you need to insert God's Name into the male-female bond.


In light of the realization that the male-female union is the spiritual crux of all existence, it is not surprising to discover that the shape of male and female life should be shaped around it.

The male, the repository of chesed, representing the heavens in the first verse quoted above, is expected to spend his active spiritual life clinging to the heavens. To do so, he has to spend his life immersed in the study of Torah and the observance of the commandments, even those that must be performed at specific times. He must develop enormous self-discipline to do this properly, and this, in turn, requires perfecting the character trait of gevurah.

Divine wisdom decided that the life of the male, the repository of chesed should center on the acquisition and perfection of gevurah. Another word for male in Hebrew is gever. The negative trait of aggression, the outward expression of this character trait, is associated primarily with males.

The female, who is the recipient, and represents the 'earth' of the first verse, is exactly the reverse. Although in her essence she represents the spiritual force of gevurah as explained above, her life is dedicated to the perfection of the trait of chesed. She is the primary caregiver and nurturer in everyday life. She is exempt from the duty of Torah study or the performance of time-specific Mitzvoth so that she can focus on meeting the needs of others. The chief distinction of the Jewish woman throughout history has been her dedication to chesed.

Through the spiritual activities imposed on them by the Torah, both male and female become a perfect blend of chesed and gevurah in their individual selves, and thus become capable of perfect union as a couple.


"Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she had become the mother of all the living." (Genesis 3:20)

Rashi explains that the name Eve, Chava in Hebrew, is a noun derived from the word chaya, meaning "to give life," a verb; in turning the verb into the noun the yud becomes transformed into a vav. (As we pointed out earlier, the name of God yud hey, emerges from combining the Hebrew words for man and woman. By implication the yud is also present in the female; she thus contains God's name entirely.)

We are finally ready to return to the laws of niddah.

Life appears in the world in visible form when a baby is born; it appears through the woman. Because she is the gateway to life, it is also through her that life departs.

Man's first confrontation with the evil inclination, the serpent, was through Chava. It was she who initiated the first sin - eating from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil - that ushered death into the world. The Ohr HaChaim points out that this association with the serpent is also hinted to in the name Chava. One of the names of snake in Hebrew is chivya, which is spelled almost identically with Chava.

The waxing and waning of the tides of life manifest themselves most powerfully in the being of the woman, because women are the receptacles of life. The menstrual cycle, which is the expression of women's ability to give life, the essence of 'Chava-ness', if you will, oscillates between life and death. It delivers the eggs that are the receptacles in which new life is formed, and it flushes them out of the reproductive system when they are no longer suitable for this purpose.

Death and tamey are synonymous. The Satan, the evil inclination, and the Angel of Seath are all one and the same person (Talmud, Baba Batra, 16a). Life is pure Divine energy. As we explained in the essay on Shemini at length, the anti-force in the universe draws all of its energy requirements from human beings who are attached to holiness. When the tamey draws energy a part of the holiness necessarily dies. Tamey is a phenomenon of the departure of life wherever you encounter it.

As Jewish women serve are the primary recipients of the input of new life, the negative forces in the universe are focused far more on attaching themselves to women than men. The death of sperm renders a person tamey only until sundown, whereas coming into contact with the death of the human egg renders a person tamey for seven full days. The snake, the symbolic representative of the negative force in the universe that is impenetrable to Divine light and therefore the source of tamey, was initially interested in Chava the archetype female, not Adam the archetype male.

Jewish souls, the embodiment of the input of fresh spiritual force into the universe, enter the world through the mother according to Jewish law. The non-Jewish mother gives birth to a non-Jewish child even when the father is a Jew. The father is only a memory at birth. He does not have the power to force the entry of a new Jewish soul into this largely tamey physical universe. On the other hand, the Jewish mother always gives birth to a Jewish soul, no matter who the father of her child may be. She is the true repository of gevurah, spiritual might; she has the power to stamp any fresh human life she introduces into the world with the seal of Divinity.


But enough of this focuses on the tamey. There is a very positive side to the laws of niddah that is worth studying as well.

"And Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother. He married Rebecca, she became his wife, and he loved her. And thus was Isaac consoled after his mother." (Genesis 24:67)

Rashi explains: as long as Sarah was alive, the lamp stayed lit in her tent from one Sabbath eve to the next, the dough was blessed and the cloud of God's presence hung over the tent. When Sarah died these spiritual phenomena departed; they returned when Rebecca entered the Jewish tent.

The Maharal explains that the phenomena described by Rashi describe the Divine response to the observance of the three Torah commandments that are the special province of the Jewish woman, the separating of challah from the bread, the lighting of the Sabbath candles and the observance of the laws of niddah.

When she rolls the dough, it is the woman's task to separate a part of the dough and present it to the Cohen; God's response to her diligence is to bless the household bread; instead of supporting only the physical, such bread has the capacity to nourish holiness. When the faithful daughter of Israel kneads her dough she kneads the mighty force of her own holiness into it.

It is she who ushers in the holiness of the Sabbath by lighting the Sabbath candles. The spiritual light in this world originates in the Sabbath, which is a foretaste of the World to Come and the 'source of all blessing.' The Jewish woman brings this spiritual flame onto the physical world and once again it is her power that keeps the light of spirituality and happiness flowing in the Jewish home through the week that follows.

Greatest of all, she creates the purity and sanctity of the Jewish home by overseeing the observance of the niddah laws; it is the Jewish woman's efforts that allow God's presence to find a comfortable resting place in the Jewish household. Through her self-sacrifice in the observance of this Mitzvah the male-female bond becomes a resting place for the Shechina.

The holiness of the union between male and female that is the goal of the Jewish marriage is entirely dependent on the spiritual purity maintained in the sexual relationship. Sexuality can easily become the simple expression of physical romance and can even descend to lasciviousness. The sexual organs were the ones that Adam and Eve felt compelled to hide as soon as they established their connection to the tamey force in the universe by partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The sexual union was intended to be a graphic expression of the spiritual oneness that can be attained in marriage through the love between the partners. Such purity requires that the love between the spouses be inspired by the mutual respect and admiration the spouses have for each other's spiritual qualities. Without extreme care and vigilance, love is more likely to turn into a means of gratifying romantic fantasies or the satisfaction of physical desires.

As all of us are too well aware, it takes great wisdom, understanding and self-discipline to inject holiness into this aspect of life. The maintenance of the spiritual purity of sexuality was entrusted to the Jewish woman and is guarded by her through her observance of the laws of niddah. These laws are a constant reminder that there is a tamey aspect to sexuality and allowing it freedom will result in women being regarded as sexual objects rather than the repositories of da'at, or wisdom..

The need to purify oneself spiritually in mikveh, the ritual bath, before engaging in intimacy at the peak of each new menstrual cycle serves as a constant reminder to the Jewish couple. It reinforces the Torah teaching that the physical aspect of their union has so much holiness that it requires an act of spiritual purification before it can be renewed. This transforms an act of potential self-indulgence into a quest for holiness.

Our society regards sexuality as a force that separates men from women. Identical in all other aspects, it is the sexual difference only that forces men and women to compete with each other. According to the latest theories of the evolutionary psychologists, each one is programmed by the differences between the X and the Y gene to pursue his own selfish goal and subjugate the other. Secular society is struggling to arrive at fair rules of engagement, so that men and women can coexist in a state of friendly rivalry rather than hostility.

The Torah aims for more. God enters the world only through the human spirit. Only a male and female joined together in serene harmony comprises a complete human spirit. Neither man nor woman can achieve spiritual completeness without the help of the other.

The Jewish couple serves as the gateway through which the Divine presence enters the world. The woman, being the chief repository of the trait of gevurah in the world, was the logical choice to be the one selected to guard the purity of this precious resource. The niddah laws and their observance were given not to impose a burden on her but to provide a tool to help her accomplish her mission. The faithful daughter of Israel offers her potential humiliation to serve as the foundation of the sanctity and purity in the world. The earth runs to reach the heavens powered by the mighty force of her energy. Source:

All About the Mikveh by Rabbi Yehuda Appel

A few years ago, my wife was teaching about Taharat Hamishpacha, the laws of family purity, at the Solomon Schechter School in Cleveland. In the weeks before her class, rabbis of various denominations in the city had encouraged their congregants to attend the session, noting that family purity was a major part of Jewish tradition.

One student shared her own beautiful personal tradition, which illustrated how the family purity laws can renew a marriage. The woman reported that upon her return from the Mikveh each month, her husband would lovingly place the wedding band back upon her finger and say appropriate words to his "bride."

The observance of Taharat Hamishpacha has been a central feature of Jewish life for millennia. One finds Mikvah in medieval Spain, in ancient Italy and in the famed desert outpost of Masada. In fact the single most decisive element archaeologists use in determining whether or not an unearthed settlement is Jewish is the presence of a Mikveh. This is consonant with Halacha (Jewish law) which mandates that even before the town synagogue is built, a Mikveh must first be established.

The source of the laws of Mikveh and family purity is found in this week's Torah portion. The Torah commands that when a woman has a menstrual flow, she and her husband must stay apart from one another. During this period she is "tameh," a Hebrew term that has been incorrectly translated as "unclean."

In point of fact, the word tameh has nothing to do with uncleanness. When one is tameh it means that a person has had some contact with death. In the instance of a menstruating woman, it is the death of the ovum. Similarly, when a man has had physical relations (which inevitably involve the death of millions of sperm), he too is tameh. Implicit in this Biblical tradition is a great sensitivity and awareness of the natural life cycle.

After a week has passed since the cessation of the woman's menstrual flow, the woman goes to the Mikveh where she undergoes a "spiritual rebirth." Various aspects of the Mikveh experience reinforce this notion of rebirth. The Mikveh itself must have 40 seah (a Torah measurement) of water, the number 40 alluding to the 40th day after conception when the soul of a child enters the embryo. The woman must have no ornaments or barriers between herself and the water, for her emerging from the Mikveh is like that of the newborn leaving the waters of the womb.

Why the separation between husband and wife? The Talmud explains that during this period of abstinence, their longing for one another increases. The wisdom of this Talmudic observation has been borne out by psychological and physiological studies, as well as the testimony of its adherents. Many men and women declare that because they observe this practice, they feel as if each month is another honeymoon.

Still others report that abstaining from physical relations intermittently strengthens the relationship, since the husband and wife must relate on an emotional level independent of any issues of physicality.

The Jewish People have traditionally been known for the strength of their families. It is the observance of Taharat Hamishpacha, perhaps more than any other factor, that lies behind this strength.

Halachos and Mitzvos by Danny Shoemann

One should fear one's parents. This includes:

- Not standing or sitting on their designated places
- Not contradicting them
- Not addressing them by name

A parent may give permission to their child to do any of the above, if they so wish. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "A person should fear his mother and father" (Vayikra 19:3) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 42

One who moves his boundary fence and encroaches on his neighbor's property in the land of Israel, has transgressed this Mitzva. This is besides for the sin of stealing, of which one would be guilty worldwide. Applies to everybody, always, in Israel Verse: "Do not encroach onto your neighbor’s property" (Devarim 19:14)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 85

A Neveila is an animal that died a natural death or was slaughtered incorrectly - and may not be eaten. One who eats a Neveila - animal or fowl - deserves 39 lashes by Bet Din.
A stillborn is considered to be a Neveila. One may not eat a newborn animal until it is 8 days old unless one is sure it was born after a full term pregnancy. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "Do not eat any Neveila" (Devarim 14:21) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 86

If you forget to count the Omer at night, then you should count the next day - but without a Bracha. You then continue counting (at night) as usual with a Bracha. If you forgot to count during the night as well as the following day, then you should still continue counting the Omer, but you may no longer make the Bracha. If you're unsure if you counted the previous night, you may continue counting with a Bracha. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:2

Before making the Bracha on counting the Omer, one should know which day one is going to count. If one has not yet counted the Omer, and somebody wants to know which day we're up to, you should tell them "yesterday was day such-and-such". If, instead, you replied "today is such-and-such" you may not be allowed to make a Bracha on that night's count, since you already counted. However, you should still count "properly" (without a Bracha) since you have to mention the weeks as well as the days.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:3

Rosh Chodesh Iyar is on Wednesday and Thursday. On Rosh Chodesh one should add Yaaleh Veyavo during the Amida and Birkas Hamazon. If one forgot to add Yaaleh Veyavo during the Amida at night one does not need to make amends. During the day one needs to go back to רצה. If one finished the Amida on needs to repeat it, If one forgot Yaaleh Veyavo during Birkat Hamazon (during the day or night), and one remembers before starting the last Bracha, one can say:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר נָתַן רָאשֵׁי חֳדָשִׁים לְעַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְזִכָּרוֹן
If one only realizes after starting the last Bracha, or one does not have the above Bracha handy, one does not need to make amends.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:10, 44:14

Rosh Chodesh is a "minor" Yom Tov - and after Schacharis we add the abridged Hallel, Torah Reading and Mussaf. All types of work are permitted on Rosh Chodesh.
Some women have a family custom to not do certain types of work on Rosh Chodesh. This is a valid custom and they may not disregard it.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 97:3

The Holocaust that never ended:,7340,L-3874010,00.html

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau tells his story and that of Ed Koch aka Avraham Katz being a target for the Nazis

Now G-D answers prayers sometimes it just takes awhile:|htmlws-main-w|dl4|link4|

Too much sun, time in warm or semi-hot water can kill you. I went in March with sun screen which was an ideal time. It is rare to drown in the Dead Sea aka Yam HaMelech or Salt Sea.,7340,L-3874630,00.html

When you are the guest of the fish watch out:

A Guest for the Fish

“Wow! What an extraordinary enormous fish! I must buy it in honor of the Shabbat,” exclaimed the Jewish lady excitedly to her maid who accompanied her. “How fortunate that we came nice and early this Friday to the marketplace.”

Because the fish was so large it was very expensive, but she could well afford it. Her husband, who was a noted scholar and leader of the community, was also quite wealthy.

She herself was an exceptional woman. And as the daughter of Rabbi Meir of Constantine and granddaughter of the famed Rabbi Yaakov Emden, she well appreciated the delight and importance of a Torah atmosphere on Shabbat. Seeing her purchase energetically thrashing around in her basket, she joyfully thanked G-d for enabling her to enhance the Shabbat table in such regal fashion, and she prayed:

Ribono Shel Olam – Master of the Universe, You granted me this extraordinary fish in honor of Your holy Shabbat. Please also grant me a suitably pious and learned guest that he too may enjoy this fish tonight.”

That afternoon, a carriage pulled up in front of their door and a distinguished-looking Jew alighted. No one knew who he was, but it was clear from his features and his deportment that here was a true Torah personality. Her husband welcomed him heartily, and with respect and deference invited him to stay for Shabbat.

The guest, who chose not to reveal his identity, was none other than the holy Rabbi Yitzchak of Drohovitch. While R. Yitzchak definitely enjoyed the Shabbat with his scholarly host in the luxurious setting, the whole time, night and day, he was nagged by puzzlement. What was the reason for the striking chain of events that led him to spend the Seventh Day so far from home? Surely it was not just to have a pleasurable Shabbat. What was he supposed to accomplish here?

After the Third Meal, the holy Rabbi retired to his room to rest for a bit, but his feeling of unfulfilled purpose gave him no peace. He decided to ask a “query by dream.” Before he lay down, he composed his mind carefully and focused on his dilemma: “May Heaven inform me why I have been sent to this town. Where are the hidden sparks of holiness that I am supposed to elevate? What must I achieve?”

When he awoke, he had his answer, revealed to him in his sleep : “There is no special task for you to fulfill here, nor anything to rectify. But on Friday morning the lady of the house purchased a large fish in honor of the Shabbat, and on her way from the marketplace she had prayed for a worthy guest for the special meal. She is a true tzadkanit [exceptionally righteous woman] in her own right, and also the descendent of many generations of outstanding Torah scholars, so her request was granted. As nobody in this generation is more worthy than you, you were “instructed” from Heaven on Friday to arrive here for Shabbat.”

After Havdala and the Melava Malka meal, Rabbi Yitzchak made his departure. The host and his sons escorted him out to his carriage. Much to their surprise –and certainly at variance with accepted custom of the pious, their distinguished holy guest requested of them that they call the hostess out for the farewell too.

When she arrived, he said to her, “Please Rebbitzen, be careful with your prayers. I was a great distance from here, but because of your prayer yesterday, I was compelled to travel all this way to spend Shabbat with your family. It was delightful and I am honored to have met you all, but please don’t do it again!”


[Translated and freely adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from Sipurei Chassidim – Torah #173.] Biographical notes (in order of mention]:

Rabbi Meir of Constantine–head of the rabbinical-court in Constantine, Russia; son of R. Yaakov Emden.

Rabbi Yaakov Emden–the ‘Reivetz (1697-1776) a leading rabbinical authority, son of R. Zvi Hirsch Askenazi (the Chocham Zvi), and the compiler of the Beis Yaakov siddur.

Rabbi Yitzchak of Drohovitch–a leading kabbalist in his generation and father of R. Yechiel Michel Zlotchov (1731-1786), a major disciple of the Baal Shem Tov, who first went to the Besht as a boy with his father.

I know that you were all expecting the story of Yosef honors Shabbos.

Once in the time when the Roman Empire ruled Israel a very wealthy anti-Semite received a prediction from his Astrologer that he was about to lose all his fortune to a Jew. So he was beside himself and asked for advice what to do. He was advised to put all his fortune into a precious jewel and place it sewn well into his hat and go to a different town. One day on his way to Venice or from Venice or elsewhere a wind blew his hat off of him. A fish swimming in the area swallowed the Jewel which then laid inside of it.

In the meantime, it was Erev Shabbos and the fish merchants came up with a very large fish in their catch and nothing really else. They chanted in Hebrew מצאנו דג גדול
לא למכור בזול
רק מי שהוא מכבד את השבת
זוכה הדג הענק (We found a great fish will not sell it cheap only he who honors Shabbos will merit the giant fish). Yosef had already purchased fish on Thursday and made a delicious Herring for himself. However, in honor of the Shabbos he was willing to pay a good price for this fish. And lo and behold as he cut it open for cleaning. He found this giant jewel in the fish and from just above the poverty line he rose to great wealth. The moral of the story is “Who so ever guards the Shabbos, the Shabbos will guard you.”

Inyanay Diyoma

Iran and Plutonium:

Iran warns the USA “watch out or we will nuke your cities”

Syria has given Scuds to Hezballah thanks to two Barack(s) one a Defense Minister who did not act and one an American who pressured Israel not to react. WE ARE HEADING FOR THE WAR OF GOG AND MAGOG AT A FRIGHTENING PACE.

NETANYAHU ARTFULLY AVOIDS OBAMA’S NUCLEAR TRAP by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator

This week there is to be a Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, called by President Barack Hussein Obama to “discuss” Global Nuclear Security Matters. Since Obama has done everything possible to insure Iran will reach its oft-expressed goal of having and using Nuclear Weapons, the whole matter is beginning to smell like the 1991 Madrid International Conference, arranged in part as a plan of deliberate entrapment for Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and the Jewish Nation/State of Israel.
I wrote numerous articles before the Madrid Conference, defining it as a Kangaroo Court arranged primarily by the Arabist State Department. Shamir was warned repeatedly that he was walking into a trap but, he wrongly assumed he could handle whatever was thrown at him. He was wrong! The Muslim Arab and European nations swarmed against Shamir with the assistance of then Secretary of State James Baker III and the Arabist State Department.
During the Madrid Conference, denials notwithstanding, Baker, through his staff of what came to be known as "Baker’s Jew Boys" (Dennis Ross, Aaron David Miller and Daniel Kurtzer) circulated from room to room, guiding the appeasement agenda, while denying their influential presence.
For me, it smelled like a trap about to be sprung, I opined before the Conference ended that one of the delegates from an Arab country would challenge Israel on its undeclared status of being Nuclear-Capable.
As predicted, just before last statements were read to the assembly, the Egyptian delegate asked that the entire Middle-East region be officially a Nuclear-Free Zone. Take that to mean that Israel was to stand down any Nuclear Deterrence she may have and to submit herself to inspection by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), no doubt, overseen by Baker’s Arabist State Department.
Taken in full context, President George Herbert Walker Bush, James Baker III, the Arabist State Department, the Multi-national oil companies - all connected to the Arab oil pipe-line - did not want Israel to have Nuclear Deterrence. All knew that, despite Israel’s success in holding off the Arab Muslims in seven wars and continual cruel acts of violent Terrorism, there would come a time when the Arab Muslims (with overwhelming manpower, unlimited military supplies from the U.S., France, Germany, Russia) would sooner or later be able to overcome Israel IF she had to rely upon only conventional weapons to fight many Muslim Arab armies on four fronts (East, North, South and from the sea on the West). It was her undeclared, ambiguous Nuclear Deterrence that the Arabists - like Bush, Baker, Brzezinski, the E.U., Russia, ‘et al’, wanted Israel to surrender.
Now, it’s Obama’s turn to bond with the Muslim Arab oil nations, reflecting his early, impressionable years as a Muslim in a “Madrassa” (school for strict Islam), learning the Koran and Mohammed’s “Hadith” (his oral teachings). President Obama has gathered around him many of the same Arabists from the past and the present. Counseled now by James Baker III, the early court Jews of Baker (Dennis Ross, Aaron David Miller, Daniel Kurtzer - with the later addition of Martin Indyk),Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft, General James can see how the coming Nuclear Security Summit might be an even deadlier trap for Israel and Binyamin Netanyahu than was the Madrid entrapment.
We have observed the immediate attack on Israel by Obama once he took office. It seems evident that, following the desires of the Arabists who are his advisors and the demands of the Arab League - including the Saudi King - there seems little doubt that he is working toward severing relations with Israel. This, of course, happened before when General Charles De Gaulle - as Prime Minister of France - went from being a supporting friend of Israel to severing relations - which including cutting off all arms shipments, even those for which Israel had already paid. France has always been known as the prostitute of Europe and, once Arab Muslim oil was the motivation, the red light went on in France and Europe. The same could be said for the “Shadow Arabist Government” in Washington as it became the Muslim and Arab oil representative - under its own “red light”. (Presumably, we all know who inhabits a “red light” district.)
Prime Minister Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu must have learned a painful lesson from the entrapment of PM Shamir during the Madrid Conference. It’s not surprising to see all the former players of Madrid trying to use their Kangaroo Court “Trick” again.
Perhaps even without Netanyahu present, they may try to draft some sort of crooked agreement, trying to force Israel into signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, mandating U.N. control and inspection, in effect, putting a leash on Israel’s ability to respond and/or pre-empt when faced with an existential threat such as Iran's Nuclear threats to wipe Israel off the map.
If Obama can force Israel to give up her Nuclear Deterrence, then the U.S., E.U., and Russia could send in a massive so-called “Peace-Keeping Force” to take over Judea, Samaria, the Jordan Valley, Golan Heights - all in the name of “having to protect a now vulnerable Israel".
As we watch Obama cave in to Russian demands, putting restraints on America’s Nuclear Deterrence capability, one begins to wonder: Who is really Obama’s employer and what is really his assigned agenda?
Netanyahu is sending Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor as his replacement. Regrettably, Meridor is too well-known for his weakness and passivity. It would be like sending Left-Leaning Tzippi Livni or Shimon Peres to stand up for Israel’s sovereignty. Hopefully, Netanyahu will send Meridor with very specific instructions to keep his mouth shut and not to engage in any discussions that will serve as an entrapment for Israel.
As a relevant aside, we have heard that the attending Muslim Arabs have said they have no intentions of bringing up Israel’s Nuclear Deterrence after they heard that Netanyahu side-stepped the trap.
As for the American people’s reliance on Obama and his collaborators to protect America and her allies, current polls show an overwhelming distrust, both for the man and the Democratic Party which proved to be so easy to buy.
Perhaps he is assisting Iran in order to allow it to become Nuclear Proficient will be sufficient to bring about Obama’s impeachment.

This editorial reminds me of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” where the Nazis only see sand but Indiana Jones knows better. With this in mind read this:

ARE CHRISTIANS SLOWLY RETURNING TO THEIR ROOTS? by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator


The nations recognize the uniqueness of the Jewish Nation/State and are certain that, if they add Israel to their holdings, then they too will have the One Elusive G-d to add to their gods, idols and earthly invincibility. The most primitive of conquerors believed that, IF they defeated and conquered their enemy, the G-d of the conquered could be added to their own, making them invincible.

Even those who practiced cannibalism believed that by consuming the enemy, all their victims’ gods and victories will pass into their bodies.

Recall how Rome plundered the Temple of Solomon, looting even the giant candelabra (the Golden Menorah) made at the precise instructions by G-d of the Jews.

They stole it and all the golden and silver priestly serving vessels that were used in holy ceremonies for worshiping the One G-d. Did it do Rome and now the Vatican so much good to hold these irreplaceable symbols of the Jewish G-d? Was G-d now supposed to be locked up in the vaults of the Vatican, enslaved to the desires of the Church? I think not!

We watch as a non-people who named themselves "Palestinians", wish to create a fiction of history for themselves by demanding the ownership of the Holy of Holies within all of Jerusalem. Like the conquerors before them, they will not own the holy ground nor even the stones. They have tried to claim the G-d of the Jews is merely Muslim and, therefore, can claim whatever was deeded to the Jews by G-d.

Whatever a Jew touches or walks upon must be imbued with the spirit of their G-d so that when conquerors capture the bricks and mortar of their conquest, according to the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob - Jerusalem, the Holy City of the Jews, merely slips through their fingers - like sand.

You have to ask yourself: Will or have governments acted in inefficient self-interest? Remember folks Rabbi Meir Kahane HY’D said, “There is no Land of Oz and there is not Palestine”.


forwarded with commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator

Is Ha’aretz a rabid political party of the Left, willing to commit high treason if it assists their Leftist ideology?

Some thought Ha’aretz editorial policies were often reminiscent of Der Sturmer, one of Joseph Goebbels favorite outlets for his propaganda. Uri Blau, the journalist, was only one small part of the Ha’aretz perfidy. Shin Bet could, of course, bring Blau back to Israel as they did the traitor Mordecai Vanunu who similarly gave Israel’s weapons’ secrets (which were nuclear secrets) to a newspaper in England.

But, the owners, publisher, editors who should already be locked up but will, no doubt, escape prison because they have friends in higher places. Let’s see how the Leftist Supreme Court under Dorit Beinish drags out the case until it’s forgotten.




The Anat Kam affair on which a gag order was partially lifted on Thursday, April 8 is above all a striking intelligence and field security failure. More importantly, this soldier's ability to photocopy and filch 2,000 top-secret documents from an army facility over a two-year period ranging from 2005 to 2007 demonstrates the vulnerability of the highest command levels in the IDF to infiltration by hostile elements and the free availability of their most secret documents.

Only two days ago, the trial began of another IDF soldier, his relatives and several Palestinians, who managed to break into the office of Chief of Staff Lieut. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and purloin classified material for passing on to Hezb’allah agents.

Shin Beit director Yuval Diskin told the media Thursday that documents Anat Kam stole during her service in the OC Central Command Maj. Gen. Yair Navey's office and leaked to an Israeli journalist "posed a direct and real threat to the lives of soldiers and civilians."

They concerned secret General Staff orders, personnel numbers, intelligence information, data pertaining to sensitive military exercises, weaponry and military platforms, deployments in emergency situations, combat scenarios and more.

Kam said she acted out of "ideological" - presumed radical left - motives.

In 2008, after offering them around to other journalists, Kam gave the secret files to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau who used them for articles he published in the paper. The military censor okayed them for publication. Eventually his stories attracted the attention of military officials and, when it was discovered that they used classified materials from the Central Command office, the Shin Bet was brought in to lead the probe.

In September 2009, the Shin Bet and Haaretz signed an agreement whereby Uri Blau promised to hand over all the documents in his possession, in return for which the Shin Bet agreed not to use them to initiate a criminal investigation against him or track his sources.

Two months later, in December 2009, Anat Kam was identified as the source of the leak and placed under house arrest. On January 14, she was indicted on charges of grave espionage.

It turned out later that the reporter Blau handed over only 50 secret documents. The rest he is suspected of keeping back.

In 2009, he left Israel and moved to London, apparently to avoid arrest and questioning about the missing documents.

In interviews with foreign journalists, Haaretz chief editor Dov Alfon said this week the newspaper will take care of all Blau's needs for as long as necessary. This Israeli daily is therefore protecting its reporter despite the breach of his agreement with the Shin Bet and is treating his case as the fundamental issue of a journalist's right to immunity and the immunity of his sources.

The Shin Bet chief warned that Blau has chosen a hazardous course by exposing himself to hostile agents as an intelligence target.

The Anat Kam story attests to four serious security lapses:

1. She was recruited and posted at a sensitive military facility in the nerve center of the IDF's counter-terror and other operations on the West Bank - notwithstanding her known ties with far-left groups opposed to those operations.

2. Her freedom to photocopy and burn on CD disks thousands of secret files over a two-year period is a sorry comment on field security standards at the Central Command office

3. The two-month time lag between the Shin Bet's interview of Uri Blau and her questioning is another odd aspect of the case.

4. A whole year after the probe was launched, most of the stolen documents have not been recovered.

In his defense, the Shin Bet director acknowledged Thursday: "We were too gentle here. We should have removed the gloves a lot earlier in the case… We were too sensitive to the world of journalism."

Have a good Chodesh Iyar and a wonderful peaceful Shabbos,

Rachamim Pauli