Names to be removed from the prayer list: Shlomit Frieda bas Rivka recovered while Yosef Mordechai ben Chaya passed away. Lev ben Aniyah has Typhoid Fever pray for him this week.
I want to start off with a letter that I received from Dr. Harry H. –
People can look at the same picture, and see two completely different things. In a similar manner, our attitude toward what we see, and what happens to us will determine whether we are happy or sad. We cannot control the world around us, but we can control how we react to it. Rebbe Nachman lost his wife, his sons, and died a horrible death from tuberculosis at a young age, yet his life was filled with joy. How he was able to do this is hidden in his works, in our Torah, and Jewish history; we just have to look to find it!
One thing that we have learned from Quantum Physics, and the Zohar is that all things are connected across the entire universe. There is no longer an observer and observed, but rather the observer affects what he is observing, and changes it by looking and thinking about it. Imagine this concept applied to our material world? Just by our attitude, thoughts, and speech we change the world that we are observing. Want a happy world, think happy thoughts. Want a lucky day, think lucky thoughts. Want a prosperous day, think prosperous thoughts. A bad or angry thought can destroy galaxies millions of mile away, so be careful to avoid negativity. Every point in an infinite universe is equal distance from every other point, which makes each person the center of the universe from their perspective. If the whole universe was made just for you, dance underneath the moon and stars, and sing a little song of thanks to the One who holds your hand, picks you up when you fall, and wipes the tears from your eyes. The whole universe is waiting for you to dance, so take a little time and smile, happiness will certainly follow. There will sun, sun, sun all over our faces, and we will glow and light up the world like a candle!
Normally on Thursday at this hour I would be putting my finishing touches on my blog spot. Instead, I am here writing this information. Please read it carefully about Socialism and Anti-Semitism.
Glenn Beck usually aggravates the left of center people and he is portrayed by the main stream media as an extreme right winger. Last night and tonight, he went out of his way to portray Israel as the underdogs. He brought down at first a video clip of police on horses coming after a protester who was out forward in front of the other protesters. The protester falls to the ground and they continue to club him. “Now who is wrong?” asks Glenn. He continues to explain that at first it appears that the demonstrator is wrong in being where he was or moving forward. He asks, “Once the man is down on the ground and surrounded by police and the beating continues while he is helpless – now who is wrong?” He then proceeded to show videos of the Israeli Seals sliding down the rope (most are below in the Inyanay Diyoma section) and then the Seal being clubbed repeatedly by the mob. He asks, “Clubbing a man down followed by throwing him overboard in the Media is portrayed or not even portrayed as Israel being wrong.”
The German terrorists of the ‘70’s blamed the capitalist Jews, Hitler, may his name be erased, blamed the Jews. Glenn Beck then quoted Karl Marx that at first one will blame the Jews to rile up the masses and then the capitalists. He compared Israel to Dr. Martin Luther King’s struggles for freedom.
Two Jews are in the forefront of going against Israel: George Soros and in Chicago Socialist Noam Chomsky. Capitalist right wing extremist Glenn Beck is backing up on two full hour shows Israel while the regular news media CBS, NBC and ABC did not even did not show the IDF film unless it is for about a 10 second or less clip. I support Israel and need any friend who sticks by me when the whole world is after the petroleum interests. And these Goyim have the nerve to say that the Jews killed Yeshu by selling him to the Romans for 11 pieces of silver so they want to kill all of us. They have the second nerve to say that the Sanhedrin rejected him. (Sorry nailing to the cross is not a Jewish punishment.)
13:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Send thou men, that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel; of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, everyone a prince among them.'
The command came from HASHEM. Men (anashim, leaders, each was a mensch and each was well refine) and they were high up in the everyday running of the their tribes.
3 And Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran according to the commandment of the LORD; all of them men who were heads of the children of Israel.
They were leaders and not your average Joe. Each man was a leader of ten thousands of tribesmen. Below is their names.
4 And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur. 5 Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori. 6 Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 7 Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph. 8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Nun. 9 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu. 10 Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi. 11 Of the tribe of Joseph, namely, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi. (In my research into some of the Cherokee Indians and Judaism, they have animal names in common with us. Gaddi means a literally a kid goat the son of Horse – other things similar to us is the five fingers with an eye in the middle to ward off the evil eyes. They have 7 feathers around a circle something like the 7 Sefiros and Rabbi Lazer Brody Shlita is checking into DNA and has found the Cohain gene among them. Other signs seem to date back to the end of Moshe’s life which Archeologist discovered in Yarden and look similar in shape to the grand Indian meeting area – that I seem to have recognized. They have a Palm tree ceremony and their G-D is called more like how I would pronounce YKVK where K = H and not like the Witnesses write it.) 12 Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli. 13 Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael. 14 Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi. 15 Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi. 16 These are the names of the men that Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun Joshua.
From Hoshea (redeemer) to Yehoshua or G-D is the redeemer. The making the name to Yod Kay K=H saves him from the council of the spies. Calev (dog as in faithful dog) goes to Chevron where the 3 Fathers of Am Yisrael are buried and prayed at the graves of Avraham & Sarah, Yitzchak & Rivka and Yacov & Leah.
Regarding the Name change Rashi writes: And Moses called Hoshea…: He prayed on his behalf, “May God save you from the counsel of the spies.” [The name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ is a compounded form of יוֹשִׁיע ֲיָהּ, May God save you.]- [Sotah 34b]
17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them: 'Get you up here into the South, and go up into the mountains; 18 and see the land, what it is; and the people that dwells therein, whether they are strong or weak, whether they are few or many; 19 and what the land is that they dwell in, whether it is good or bad; and what cities they are that they dwell in, whether in camps, or in strongholds; 20 and what the land is, whether it is fat or lean, whether there is wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land.'--Now the time was the time of the first-ripe grapes.-- 21 So they went up, and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, at the entrance to Hamath. 22 And they went up into the South, and came unto Hebron; and Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were there.--Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.-- 23 And they came unto the valley of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bore it upon a pole between two; they took also of the pomegranates, and of the figs.-- 24 That place was called the valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster which the children of Israel cut down from thence.-- 25 And they returned from spying out the land at the end of forty days. 26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 And they told him, and said: 'We came unto the land whither thou sent us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 28 Howbeit the people that dwell in the land are fierce, and the cities are fortified, and very great; and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 29 Amalek dwelleth in the land of the South; and the Hittite, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanite dwells by the sea, and along by the side of the Jordan.' 30 And Caleb stilled the people toward Moses, and said: 'We should go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.' 31 But the men that went up with him said: 'We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.' 32 And they spread an evil report of the land which they had spied out unto the children of Israel, saying: 'The land, through which we have passed to spy it out, is a land that eats up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature.
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai wrote in Berachos 5 A bottom or 5B top that 3 gifts G-D gave us and all with trials and trouble (to improve us). 1) Torah, 2) Eretz Yisrael, and 3) Olam Haba (Gan Eden after death) but he viewed it as a reward for the next world and he continued living in Eretz Yisrael and was buried in Meron. The Spies viewed the tourist or potential conqueror’s point of view and they panicked. There was no reason for this!
The sin of the spies was not like the rest of the sins the Jewish people committed throughout their 40 years in the desert, even though it is included by the Mishnah in the following statement:
With 10 trials did our ancestors test The Holy One, Blessed is He, in the desert, as it is stated, "They have tested Me 10 times and did not listen to My voice" (Numbers 14:22). (Pirkei Avos 5:6)
For, as the Leshem explains with respect to the first nine, the Jewish people did not actually commit the sin, otherwise the Mishnah would have stated that the Jewish people sinned 10 times. Rather, the usage of the word "tested" means that they used the crisis as a way to prove God's loyalty to them, not the other way around.
In actuality, it was primarily the Erev Rav who committed the sins in the desert, though some Jewish stragglers always got pulled into the sin as well. But, each time a major sin occurred, the rest of the nation lived with the fear that God would cut them off and abandon them in the desert, in spite of the fact that God had stayed with them until that time. That was the test to which the Mishnah refers.
However, with respect to the sin of the Spies in this week's parshah, we know otherwise. The Spies had not only been Jewish, but they had been leaders of the people, and when they came back with their evil report, it is was to the Jewish people that they told it, and who cried the entire night choosing, instead, to remain in the desert, as God says:
"Your children, however, which you said would be prey, I will bring in and they will know the land which you rejected." (Bamidbar 14:13)
33 And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.'
“AS WE WERE IN OUR OWN SIGHT” they had no faith in miracles or belief in HASHEM as an active partner. The taller people who grew from eating the good fruits and vegetables which caused them to be tall and they did not view the Bnei Yisrael as dwarfs and cowards. They were not even paying attention instead they were burying their dead who were caused to die by HASHEM so as to prevent them from suspecting spies. They used the myopic approach and cowardly view of the world lacking the faith Yehoshua and Calev had.
14:1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron; and the whole congregation said unto them: 'Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would we had died in this wilderness! 3 And wherefore doth the LORD bring us unto this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be a prey; were it not better for us to return into Egypt?' 4 And they said one to another: 'Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.'
It is a mitzvah, a Divine decree, that we must live in Eretz Yisrael under G-d's dominion, sanctifying His name, in order to create a holy state and society which clings to mitzvot completely and properly, uninfluenced by the alien, false culture of the nations.
At the same time, it is an unforgivable, loathsome sin to refuse to live in Eretz Yisrael, and to prefer the depravity of the exile and foreign rule. It is a Chillul Hashem, and Israel are, thus, exposed to the influence of the nations and their abominations.
G-d, therefore, was angry at our ancestors in the desert when they refused to go up to Eretz Yisrael and called out, “Let us appoint a new leader and go back to Egypt” (Num. 14:4). Surely the spies Moses sent out were prominent and righteous, as our sages said (Tanchuma, Shelach, 4):
“Send out men” (Num. 13:2): This is in line with, “He that sends a message by the hand of a fool, severs his own feet and imbibes damage” (Prov. 26:6). Were the spies fools? Surely the Torah said, “Send out men (“anashim”),” and “anashim” always refers to righteous persons... Rather, they were called fools only because they slandered the Land... All the same, they were great men who made themselves into fools.
[As Rabbi Meir Kahane puts it in Perush HaMaccabee – Shemos, Ch. 3]:
Incidentally, this also teaches the bitter lesson that even the greatest of men can become a “fool” in the Torah sense of the word, if he lacks faith. As the Talmud says: What can cause the Tzaddikim to have less than their full share in the World to Come? – Their lack of faith (Sotah 48b). Here, their lack of faith caused the spies to put out an evil report of the Land of Israel, and G-d therefore said: For how long will this nation fight against Me and for how long will they refuse to believe in Me? (Numbers 14:11). The leader of the generation has to be perpetually on guard, to ensure that his fear of heaven is greater than his wisdom, because without fear of heaven, his wisdom will not endure. He has to work to ensure that his faith is securely anchored in his fear of heaven. And we all have to be aware that even a leader of the generation can err – especially in matters of faith.
Likewise, Num. 13:3, “All the men were leaders of the children of Israel,” was rendered by Targum Yonatan as, “All were wise men who had been appointed heads of the children of Israel.”
Thus, they were great and righteous men, yet they sinned in turning their backs on Eretz Yisrael and wishing to settle down in the exile, in Egypt. As King David said, “They scorned the Desirable Land, they believed not His word” (Ps. 106:24).
Ostensibly, they had a good argument, Pekuach Nefesh, i.e., they wished to prevent loss of life. The spies said of the Canaanites, “We were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so were we in their sight” (Num. 13:33). They were certain that the war against the Canaanites would be severe, and it would be hard to defeat the giants. Moreover, even if they defeated them, a few Israelites would fall. After all, we do not rely on miracles.
For that reason, these great and righteous men rendered a Halachic ruling that Pekuach Nefesh overrides all areas of Eretz Yisrael; it overrides Eretz Yisrael in its entirety. They certainly did not intend to abandon G-d's Torah, but rather to return to Egypt and keep it there. This, however, was their sin, because G-d had decreed that it was forbidden for them to dwell outside the Land, and that only in Eretz Yisrael could they sanctify His name and live in the isolation of Torah. For that reason, no danger to the nation overrode Eretz Yisrael, the only place the Jewish People could keep the Torah completely and properly.
A war over the mitzvah of living in and conquering Eretz Yisrael is a milchemet mitzvah, which no danger to life overrides. Quite the contrary, this mitzvah overrides such danger, as Ramban wrote in Sefer HaMitzvos, Ibid., Mitzvah 4):
This is what our sages call milchemet mitzvah. In the Talmud (Sotah 44b) Rava said, “Joshua’s war of conquest was an obligatory duty according to all opinions.” One should not make the mistake of saying that this mitzvah only applies to the seven nations we were commanded to destroy... That is not so. We were commanded to destroy those nations when they fought against us, and had they wished to make peace we could have done so under specific conditions. Yet, we cannot leave the Land in their control or in the control of any other nations in any generation.
Fear of the nations is just one dismal reason the Jewish People treat the Desirable Land with contempt (longing for the good life is another). Precisely because of this delusion that the exile is safe but Eretz Yisrael is dangerous, G-d became angry and decreed death in the desert for the generation that left Egypt, adding, “You said your children will be taken captive, but they will be the ones I will bring there, so that they will know the land that you rejected” (Num. 14:31). Those who feared that they and their children would die in Eretz Yisrael died precisely in the desert, whereas their children entered the Land and lived. This teaches that the only security for the Jewish People is in Eretz Yisrael, whereas the exile is their burial place. Our sages said (Toras Kohanim, Bechukotai, Ch. 1): “'You will live securely in your land' (Lev. 26:5): In your land you will live securely, but not outside it.” Likewise, Obadiah said (v. 17), “Upon Mount Zion there shall be deliverance.” In other words, in Zion but not in the exile.
G-d, Who knows His people's mind, knew, as well, that Israel would always prefer the non-Jewish life of the exile, whose abominable depravity is so sweet to the sinner among us. As King Solomon said, “Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant” (Prov. 9:17). G-d, therefore, decreed that Israel would never find safety and security in the exile. Beresheis Rabbah 33:6 teaches:
“He sent out the dove... I t could find no place to rest its feet” (Gen. 8:8-9): “Had it found a place to rest, it would not have returned. Just so, it says, 'She dwells among the nations; she finds no rest' (Lam. 1:3); and; 'Among the nations you shall have no repose; there shall be no rest for the soles of your foot' (Deut. 28:65). If Israel found rest in the exile, they would not return.”
Thus, G-d decreed that Israel would never find permanent rest (“manoach”) in the exile, and whoever says that they really can find it is an “ignoramus” [in Berachos 61a, R. Nachman calls Samson's father Manoach an “ignoramus”].
Not in vain did our sages (Mechilta, Bo, 1) compare the exile to a cemetery, for if Israel refuse to dwell in Eretz Yisrael, if they spurn it for the depravity of the exile, they have no future, but suffering, tragedy and annihilation.
Compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from “The Jewish Idea" and "Perush HaMaccabee- Shemos" of Rabbi Meir Kahane, HY”D
These people have gone mad they are so in the slave mode that they cannot fathom freedom and the responsibilities that go with it. My father came over to the USA with very little and his parents less. They had to work to survive as food stamps and welfare were not in style in the 1940’s and neither was it the hip thing when the other side of my family took up jobs in sweat shops around 1850 to 1890. For a man to be truly free he has to go to the school of hard knocks: Einstein..."I am thankful to all those who said NO to me It's Because of them I did it myself…"
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 6 And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were of them that spied out the land, rent their clothes. 7 And they spoke unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: 'The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceeding good land. 8 If the LORD delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it unto us--a land which floweth with milk and honey. 9 Only rebel not against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us; their defence is removed from over them, and the LORD is with us; fear them not.' 10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones, when the glory of the LORD appeared in the tent of meeting unto all the children of Israel. 11 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'How long will this people despise Me? and how long will they not believe in Me, for all the signs which I have wrought among them? 12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and destroy them, and will make of thee a nation greater and mightier than they.' 13 And Moses said unto the LORD: 'When the Egyptians shall hear--for Thou broughtest up this people in Thy might from among them-- 14 they will say to the inhabitants of this land, who have heard that Thou LORD art in the midst of this people; inasmuch as Thou LORD art seen face to face, and Thy cloud stands over them, and Thou goest before them, in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night; 15 now if Thou shalt kill this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of Thee will speak, saying: 16 Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which He swore unto them, therefore He hath slain them in the wilderness. 17 And now, I pray Thee, let the power of the LORD be great, according as Thou hast spoken, saying: 18 The LORD is slow to anger, and plenteous in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation. 19 Pardon, I pray Thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of Thy lovingkindness, and according as Thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.' 20 And the LORD said: 'I have pardoned according to thy word. 21 But in very deed, as I live--and all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD-- 22 surely all those men that have seen My glory, and My signs, which I wrought in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to proof these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice; 23 surely they shall not see the land which I swore unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that despised Me see it. 24 But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
Moshe seeing them in their cowardly state and lacking faith changes their route.
25 Now the Amalekite and the Canaanite dwell in the Vale; tomorrow turn ye, and get you into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.' 26 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: 27 'How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, that keep murmuring against Me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they keep murmuring against Me. 28 Say unto them: As I live, says the LORD, surely as ye have spoken in Mine ears, so will I do to you: 29 your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness, and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, ye that have murmured against Me; 30 surely ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I lifted up My hand that I would make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. 31 But your little ones, that ye said would be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have rejected. 32 But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your children shall be wanderers in the wilderness forty years, and shall bear your strayings, until your carcasses be consumed in the wilderness. 34 After the number of the days in which ye spied out the land, even forty days, for every day a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know My displeasure.
The ones that brought the Lashon Hara died immediately and the others over 40 years.
15:32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks upon the sabbath day. 33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. 34 And they put him in ward, because it had not been declared what should be done to him. 35 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.' 36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died, as the LORD commanded Moses.
Purposely violating Shabbos is a capital sentence and requires a death sentence in front of small Sanhedrin of 23 people.
37 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 38 'Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them throughout their generations fringes in the corners of their garments, and that they put with the fringe of each corner a thread of blue. 39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye go not about after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go astray; 40 that ye may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy unto your God. 41 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.'
The Chatam Sofer as he was dying was asked by his students “Why are you so sad as you should be happy to rest in Olam Haba?” He replied, “For a few Kopeks I can buy a pair of Tzitzis which represents on the 4 fringes all 613 Mitzvos – without my Shulchan Aruch handy but the binding of the strings 7, 8,11,13 and the number of knots tied etc are symbolic and from there one can get to the count of the 613 Mitzvos.
Halachos and Mitzvos from Danny Shoemann
It's a Mitzva to give a Cohen the right foreleg, lower jaw with the tongue and the maw (the last of cow's 4 stomachs) of any Kosher animal that is slaughtered. The Cohen may eat them, or sell them to anybody, or feed them to the dogs, since they have no Kedusha (sanctity). Applies to everybody, everywhere, always according to some opinions, while others are lenient and say it does not apply nowadays. Verse: "and you shall give the Cohen the foreleg, jaw and maw" (Devarim 18:3))
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 51
If one shears 5 or more sheep and the wool of each sheep is at least 12 Sela (about 170 gram or 6 oz.) then one gives 1/60th of the total to a Cohen. This gift - known as Reishies HaGez - has no sanctity and the Cohen can do with it whatever he wants. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always according to some opinions, while others are lenient and say it does not apply nowadays. Verse: "..and the first shearing shall be given to him" (Devarim 18:4) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 52
In Israel, one is forbidden from sowing a mixture of 2 or more different types of grains together. Outside of Israel this is permitted. Grafting branches from one type of tree onto another, is forbidden everywhere. Grafting trees with vegetables is forbidden everywhere. The produce from all the above is always permitted. Planting vines in the vicinity of grains is forbidden everywhere, and one is forbidden from benefiting and eating the grains or the grapes. Deriving benefit from this is a Torah prohibition in Israel, and Rabbinic outside of Israel. Applies to everybody, always Verse: "Do not sow your field with a mixture" (Vayikra 19:19)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 107
One may not slaughter a Kosher animal and its offspring on the same day. If one did, both animals are still Kosher and may be eaten. The day starts and ends at nightfall:
- If the mother was slaughtered at night, the calf may not be slaughtered the following day.
- If the calf was slaughtered before sunset, the mother may be slaughtered later that evening.
Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "And whether it be cow or ewe, you shall not kill it and her young both in one day" (Vayikra 22:28)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 108
It is forbidden to redeem a firstborn male Kosher animal. It has to be given to a Cohen, who may sell it, but the buyer has to continue treating it with all the laws of a firstborn.
If the firstborn is blemished permanently, it may be sold live or slaughtered, but not in the meat market. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always Verse: "but the first born ox... shall not be redeemed" (Bamidbar 18:17) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar; Prohibition 109
Last week’s Torah reading ended with Miriam's punishment for discussing her brother Moshe's life with their brother Aaron. This week's Torah reading starts with the sin of the spies who spoke evil about the Holy Land. The Torah prohibits us from talebearing; telling one person what another person did, or what they said, or where they went. Talebearing is forbidden even if the all the information is 100% true; the entire truth and nothing but the truth. Talebearing is forbidden even if nothing derogatory is said. An extreme example of the destructive power of talebearing is found in Shmuel-1 (Ch. 21 and 22). Doeg told King Saul that Achimelech had given [future King] David supplies and a sword. Even though it was the truth - later Achimelech himself told King Saul about it - nevertheless King Saul ordered the city of Nov to be destroyed along with eighty five Cohanim and their families. One can never know the consequences of passing along seemingly innocent information.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 30:1
Michael Z. wrote me on this subject: In Parshah Behar (Leviticus 25:17) it states in a verse, "You shall not wrong one another." This has traditionally been interpreted as wronging a person through speech. It includes any statement that may embarrass, insult or deceive a person, or resulting in a person suffering emotional pain or distress.
Here are some commonly-used examples of behavior that is forbidden by this commandment: One is not allowed to call a person by a derogatory nickname, or by any other embarrassing name, even if he is used to it. One is not allowed to ask an uneducated person for an opinion on a scholarly matter (that would potentially draw attention to his lack of knowledge or education). One is not allowed to ask a merchant how much he would sell something for if you one has no intention of buying. One is not allowed to refer someone to another person for assistance when you know the other person cannot help (in other words, it's a violation of Jewish law to give someone the run-around!).
One is not allowed to deceive a person, even if no harm is done by the deception. One is not allowed to sell a person damaged goods without identifying the damage, even if the price you give is fair for the goods in their damaged condition. One is not allowed to offer a person a gift or invite a person to dinner if they know that the person will not accept.
One is not allowed to compliment a person if the person does not mean it.
In most cases, a person who received interest from a loan needs to return it. Even if the borrower - on his own accord - returns more than he borrowed or adds a gift, it is considered interest on the loan and the lender is not allowed to accept it. Even non-monetary gain from a debtor is forbidden. For example:
- The creditor may not ask the debtor to inform him when somebody has arrived, unless he used to do this before giving him the loan.
- The debtor may not go out of his way to greet the creditor, unless he always used to do so.
- The debtor may not patronize the creditor's business, unless he used to do so before getting the loan.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 65: 5, 9, 10
It's a Mitzva to lend money to a fellow Jew. Included in the Mitzva is providing moral support and giving sage advice. Even lending money to wealthy people - if they are short of cash - is a Mitzva. One should not lend money without witnesses, unless the borrower provides collateral. Even better is to have the lender sign an IOU - a promissory note. One may not demand collateral after the loan has been given to the borrower, except in a Bet Din (Jewish Court). One may not use the collateral, as that would be a form of interest. One may rent out the collateral and deduct the rental from the loan, under certain circumstances.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 179:1-3, 7-8
Above we learned that it's a Mitzva to lend money to a fellow Jew. If you know that the borrower cannot pay back then you are not allowed to ask him to repay the loan. Even walking by him intentionally is forbidden. There's a Mitzva to repay a loan; if the borrower already has the ability to pay back then he's forbidden to ask the lender to come back another time. A person who does not repay a loan is called a Rasha - a wicked person. A borrower may not waste the money he borrowed if that will prevent him from repaying the loan. One should not lend money to people who have a reputation of not repaying their debts; since one transgresses every time one nudniks them to repay.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 179:4 - 6
One may not catch animals or bugs on Shabbat - hunting is one of the 39 forbidden categories of forbidden work. One may not kill creatures on Shabbat - killing is another one of the 29 forbidden categories of forbidden work. If an insect lands on one's body for the purpose of biting, it's permissible to remove it, taking care not to kill it.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:52
Maybe I wrote this story already - the moral is everything G-D does is for the best.
It once happened that Nachum Ish Gamzu was sent to Rome with other Sages to bribe the Emperor to relieve the Jewish People of a Gezara (decree) that was very harsh. The people had donated diamonds and jewels for this occasion. The Rabbis stopped in an Inn and must have put the box in stowage for safe keeping or went out to find a Minyan and the innkeeper entered their room where he replaced the jewels with dirt or sand weighing the same weight.
When they got to Rome, they waited until the Emperor accepted them. Upon entrance the Emperor greeted the delegation. They went before the Emperor and said that your Jewish subjects in Israel have sent you this gift and they open it and it is full of either dirt or sand. Rabbi Nachum said, "Gam zu l' tova" = all is for the best.
One of the Generals or Advisors to the Emperor says that these are children of Avraham who fought the 4 kings and their massive armies with 400 people only and won. Perhaps this is the dirt that he threw at them.
The Emperor was having trouble with the Germans at that time. He commanded the guards to put the Rabbis under house arrest until he tested out the power of the earth. He used it and defeated the Germans and came back with the title Germanicus. He then removed the Gezara and presented the Jews with boxes of jewels, silver and gold.
It is a custom to return to the same inn as one was before. Upon reaching the inn, the innkeeper was flabbergasted that the Rabbis were still alive. They told him what had happened. He then wanted to make a fortune too and dug up his back yard and had carts of dirt and or sand to be shipped with him to Rome. When he got there, he went before the Emperor and this time when the dirt was tested by one of his generals the opposing army put up heavy resistance and the Romans were forced to withdraw. With that went the innkeeper's head.
From Rabbi A.L. - A Chassidic Tale
The following meaningful story is brought in Pathways to the Prophets by Rabbi Yisroel Resiman, Shlita.
A Gerrer Chassid came into the Chiddushei HaRim (the Gerrer Rebbe in pre-war Poland) to tell the Rebbe that business obligations would take him to Paris for a few weeks. "I hear that they have extraordinary cigars in Paris," the Rebbe replied. "When you are there, find the best cigars you can, and bring me a box of them." The Chassid was puzzled by the bizarre request but bid the Rebbe farewell and set out on his journey. After all, we did not question a Rebbe!! Three weeks later, the Chassid returned to the Rebbe with a box of cigars from Belgium. "Rebbe," he explained, "I was so busy in Paris that I forgot all about the cigars. However, I remembered during the train trip on the way home. I stopped in Belgium and picked up a case of fine cigars. I assure the Rebbe, they are as fine as anything I could have found in Paris!!" The Chiddushei HaRim expressed his disappointment. "Do you think that I need your cigars??!! It was my hope that during the three weeks you were in Paris, you would be on the lookout for my cigars. In this way, you would not forget that you have a Rebbe......"
At the end of this week's Parsha, we learn the importance of having a Rebbe and teacher to guide one's life, and of always demonstrating the utmost respect and trust in that Rebbe. Yehoshua was stunned by the words of Eldad U'Maidad and asked Moshe Rabbeinu to not allow their prophecy to continue. Chazal derive from here that one's reverence for his teacher should be as the reverence of Heaven (Avos: 4:15). In contrast, Miriam at the Parsha’s end did not appear to display the same type of reverence, and was punished in a way which the Torah commands us forever to “Remember what Hashem did to Miriam when He took you out of Mitzraim.”
And a second story: Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement, once wanted to teach his students what true faith in Hashem is. They traveled to a certain village and stopped at an inn, run by a simple G-D fearing and pious Jew.
The innkeeper welcomed them very warmly and invited them to a meal. During the meal a soldier came in and knocked on the table three times and left. Later the same soldier came back and repeated the banging on the table.
The innkeeper explained, "This year was a difficult one financially. As a result, I am in arrears of my rent to the Baron, who owns the village. Today I must pay the rent. The Baron sent the soldier to remind me to make the payment today. When the soldier comes a third time I must go to the Baron and pay what I owe. Otherwise, he will throw me in jail."
"From the way you conduct yourself, I assume that you have the money to pay the Baron," said the Baal Shem Tov. "The opposite is true," replied the innkeeper. "I have no money at all. However, I have complete faith that G-D will help me." Shortly afterwards, the soldier came a third time and knocked on the table as before. "Now I must go to the Baron and pay my debt. I will be back, G-D willing, shortly." The innkeeper excused himself and went calmly with the solider to see the Baron.
The Baal Shem Tov and the disciples watched through the window to see what would happen. In the distance, they noticed a coach drive up to the innkeeper. A stranger had a conversation with him. Then the wagon drove away. A little while later, the wagon turned around and again approached the innkeeper. This time, the noticed that the man from the wagon handed a parcel to the innkeeper who continued on his way back to the inn.
When the innkeeper returned, they asked him what had happened. He told them that on the way to see the Baron, someone approached him wanting to buy a large quantity of vodka. "I quoted him a price and asked him for a deposit, the amount I owed the Baron. But the man thought the price was too much, so we parted. After a while, he returned and told me that he changed his mind and agreed to the price. He then gave me the down payment which was exactly what I needed to give to the Baron the rent I owed him!!"
The Baal Shem Tov said to his students, "This is the power of the faith in G-D. As we say everyday in prayer, "Blessed is the man who trusts in G-D and G-D will be his security."'
The Rabbis Eyes
Rabbi Yossi came into my office complaining that he had failed his driver's license examination. Upon further questioning, it became apparent that his primary difficulty was seeing things clearly at a distance. His near vision was excellent, and he had no trouble reading the Torah or other materials during his studies. Upon examination, I found him to have become near-sighted due to early cataracts, and prescribed driving-distance glasses. A few weeks later he returned to my office very upset, and needing my help.
His first problem was that every Friday he went for Shabbat to a widow's home, where for years he had enjoyed a lovely dinner with the children and her. He exclaimed, "Now that I can see clearly more than two inches in front of my nose, I can no longer eat! The kindly widow's house is filthy, and she is so ugly that when I look at her face I lose my appetite!"
"Any other problems with your eyes," I asked the Rabbi.
"Definitely," he replied. Now when I walk down the street, I can see all of the facial expressions of people around me. I cannot help but be critical of them seeing their sad, confused, and lifeless countenances. When I am bargaining for a piece of meat at the butcher shop, I can tell whether he is being honest or trying to cheat me by watching the arch of his eye brows. I can even see who is sleeping or bored while giving my sermons, which makes me critical and angry at the other members of my Schul.
"Well how do you see yourself with the new glasses?" I asked Rabbi Yossi.
"I have never had a problem seeing myself or judging myself, since I have always seen better up close than far away," replied the Rabbi. "I know my faults, and continuously try to better myself everyday. But oh other people! Now that I can see them clearly, all of their faults are right there in front of me, and I cannot stand to be around anyone since I got the new glasses!"
"I know how to solve your problem," I told the Rabbi.
"If you can fix this, the angels in heaven will sing a song in your honor," he exclaimed!
I told the Rabbi that I would make his Torah glasses. They would have an upper part that would slightly blur the world at a distance, yet with the lower part he could still see everything up close clearly. "Hmm, Torah glasses you say. Are you trying to teach me something?" asked the Rabbi.
"Not at all, for who am I to teach such a learned Rabbi as yourself," I replied.
Rabbi Yossi starting scratching his head saying,
"See up close things like myself fine, but don't see far things and others as well"
"Judge myself clearly, but since my vision is blurred less critical of the world and others around me"
"Sharp up close, a little blurred far away!"
"Yes Dr. Hamburger, maybe you have invented Torah glasses, let me try them, and I will report back to you in a week," said the Rabbi.
A week passed, Yossi returned, and I asked him how things were going since the last visit. "Well no problems with the widow, she looks just fine, and the house appears clean. I judge everyone I meet fairly, since they all look a little blurred and appear similar. I don't worry about being cheated by the butcher, as his face seems quite friendly. And at Schul, everyone looks happy, and the crowd has a nice blurred glow about them. I think these Torah glasses will work just fine, and I will keep them." Cocking his head toward me, Rabbi Yossi said, "Are you sure you are not trying to teach me something Doc?" He then laughed and went on his way.
And this is the story of Rabbi Yossi's Torah glasses. If anyone else wants a pair, they are easy to make, just stop by my office.
Dr. Harry Hamburger
Ophthalmologist, Miami, Fl.
This Shabbos, based upon the stark contrast and lesson of the Parsha, we should take the opportunity to strengthen ourselves in the Kavod, in the dignity, and in the reverence that we have for our teachers, our Rabbonim, our Poskim, keeping their guidance and guidelines in our minds even as we go to Paris, or otherwise conduct our regular ordinary and every day activities, in which we so much need to follow their advice, instruction and lesson!!
When the Holocaust started, Danielle Schonbrunn, then just one year old, had her family torn apart and scattered to the four corners of the earth – her father, mother, brothers, sister, and she herself, all took separate journeys. After the war, they scrambled to find each other again and managed to reunite -- all but Schonbrunn’s father Yosef, whose fate still remains a mystery. Even though she doesn’t remember him, his influence has played a central role in Danielle’s life. It is his faith and strength that inspired her to take her final journey -- to Israel.
Danielle Schonbrunn, 68, wasn’t born yet when her parents Yosef and Sarah felt the pangs of Jewish persecution and fled their native Czechoslovakia for Belgium, with Danielle’s 10-year-old sister, Juliette. By the time her two brothers Eliyahu and Avraham were four and three respectively, the Jewish situation was so bad that in 1942 the couple decided to send Juliette, then 12, on a Quaker ship for Jewish children, bound for the United Sates. Juliette would never see her father again, and she wouldn’t meet her sister Danielle until her ninth birthday.
After the family parted with Juliette in Belgium, they moved to a small village on the border between France and Italy, called Entracque. En route, Danielle was born in a small town in France called Adge, on the coast near Marseilles. Less than a year after her birth, the German army entered Entracque and began rounding up Jews.
Danielle, who now lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh in a flourishing fold between the Jerusalem hills, has been told the story so many times by her mother, she tells it as though she remembers it herself.
"Let me go." The soldier didn’t blink. "I have a baby to feed."
“My mother heard the automobiles of the Nazis, and begged my father to make a run for it. But it was too late. Before they knew it, they were surrounded. The two of them were enclosed, along with many others, by a circle of Nazi soldiers. My father reached into his pocket and handed my mother $500, and told her that with God’s help, we would all reunite in the U.S. after the war. My mother began walking backwards until she was at the edge of the circle. She turned and found herself face-to-face with a young, pink-cheeked soldier and said to him, ‘Let me go.’ He didn’t blink. ‘I have a baby to feed,' she said. 'Let me go.’ He turned and let her go.”
“This,” says Danielle “was the first of many miracles.”
Her mother bolted to the apartment, gathered up Danielle, her brothers, and a 17-year-old cousin, Margit, who was staying with them, and made a run for it. Just as she was leaving, she was stopped by a group of Italian soldiers. They were about to arrest her when a loud bang went off, an explosion of some sort, and the soldiers scattered. She ran into the hills with the children and disappeared.
A flood of tears comes over Danielle when she says it was the last time any of them would see her father. He was taken to Drancy, a detention camp in France from which all prisoners were sent to Auschwitz.
Danielle’s mother made her way to Drancy and tried to help her husband escape. She paid a young non-Jewish boy to deliver a note to him, with instructions. He wrote back, "I’m sorry, I can’t do it. For every Jew who escapes they kill 100."
"I’m sorry, I can’t do it. For every Jew who escapes they kill 100."
“That was the kind of man my father was,” says Danielle. “He was raised on Jewish law and believed that you can’t save your own neck at the expense of the lives of 100 Jews, or even one.”
With no alternative, her mother continued to run across the French countryside with the children. “We hid wherever we could – in the mountains, in the forests, submerged underwater,” says Danielle. “But we were starving and kept crying, and this put us all at risk being found and killed.”
Saving the Children
A fellow escapee in the underground told Sarah that he would take the children and make sure they made it to a safe place, and that she would be able to claim us after the war. “So,” says Danielle, “in 1943, my mother gave us up.”
Eliyahu and Avraham were taken in by a French Catholic family, the Dupains, who owned a farm in Cordelle. The boys were given new names, new clothes, they went to church on Sunday and ate Sunday dinners, and were treated like sons.
Danielle was given to a Jewish couple who needed a child in order to get admittance into Switzerland. They tried to enter via Italy. As the story goes, there were something wrong with their papers and the guard who was checking them was giving them a hard time. The husband wrapped up Danielle and threw her onto the Switzerland side of the border, and while the authorities’ attention was diverted by the crying baby, the couple ran across the border.
Danielle ended up in an orphanage in Geneva, Switzerland. One of the nurses took a shine to Danielle and tried to adopt her. Although the headmistress wouldn’t allow it, knowing that Danielle’s mother would hopefully come one day to claim her, the nurse loved Danielle and doted on her. Says Danielle, “I never went back to Switzerland. But I often think about that time and wonder where that woman is who cared for me.”
Meantime, her mother continued to hide in the forest along with Cousin Margit. At one point, their starvation became so acute that Sarah descended to a little village and asked an innkeeper for a job. The innkeeper, who knew she was a Jew, let her stay on as a cleaning lady.
“One day, my mother again heard the sound of the German jeeps approaching,” retells Danielle. Sarah hid in the bathroom while the soldiers took their meal in the main dining room. Deciding it was too dangerous to stay there; she grabbed a pail of water and a rag and began washing the main staircase, stair by stair, from top to bottom. When she reached the last step and the lobby, she left through the open main entrance doorway and ran off, never to be seen by the innkeeper again.
When the war finally ended in 1945, Sarah found herself in Gennevillier, a suburb of Paris. Both her and Yosef’s entire families’ (save for one of Yosef’s brothers) had been wiped out. After much searching, Sarah finally found her sons and daughter, via two of the many Jewish-run search agencies that was established after the war.
The clerk told her there was no one listed by the names of Avraham and Eliyahu. But Sarah refused to leave.
At one particular office, the clerk told her there was no one listed by the names of Avraham and Eliyahu. But Sarah refused to leave until she could look at the roster. She knew immediately when she saw the list. Eliyahu had been changed to ‘Emile’ and Avraham had been changed to ‘Armand’. The office made arrangements to bring them to Gennevillier.
In the 1970s, long after the war ended, Avraham returned to Cordelle to thank the Dupain family. “Avraham knocked on the door and Mme. Dupain opened the door and she just stood there and didn’t move, and then she finally said, ‘Armand?’” Danielle retells the story of their reunion. “Then she hugged him and she didn’t let go for a very long time. She still lived with the memory of these two little boys who she took care of for three years. She saved their lives.”
Danielle was four when she first saw her mother after the war. “I said to her in French, ‘You’re not my mother’,” says Danielle. “She said, ‘Yes, I am your mother. And you are my little Jewish girl.’”
The family stayed in Gennevillier while Sarah continued to search for Yosef, to no avail. Then one day while she was walking down the street, she was stopped by a man who told her that he had been in Auschwitz with Yosef and that he was alive at the liberation.
Afterwards, she ran into another man who told her a similar story. He also told her how Yosef had behaved in the bunker. “He told her he would walk around praying and humming songs to himself,” relays Danielle. “He had such strong faith, such belief in God.”
The stories filled Sarah with hope, but after five years of searching, she still couldn’t find him. She decided it was time to move on. Her Uncle Sam, in New York, offered to sponsor the family, and on April 2, 1951 the family arrived at Ellis Island.
“I will never forget the reunion with Juliette,” says Danielle, who was then nine years old. “Juliette was 21. She came down the ramp and I pulled my mother’s blouse and I said, ‘Mama, Mama, it’s Juliette.’ She just stood there in disbelief. When my sister saw mother, she grabbed her and hugged her and they embraced for quite awhile.”
America and Israel
They were welcomed both by Uncle Sam and his family and Yosef’s Uncle Menachem and his family, who had looked after Juliette at their home in Cleveland, Ohio, since she arrived from Europe. “It was a big, wonderful thing to arrive to America,” says Danielle. “None of us knew the language, but it was a golden land and we felt free and wonderful there.”
The reunited family lived in Newark, New Jersey for five years and in 1956 ended up settling in California. Juliette married and had three children. Eliyahu married and had two children. Avraham also married and had two kids. And so did Danielle, who had two sons – Yossi and Moshe.
Years later, she received a copy of a list from Auschwitz bearing her father's name among those who were killed there.
After both of them moved to Israel, Danielle decided she would move, too. On December 30, 2004, at the age of 64, she made aliyah. On her arrival, Danielle contacted Magen David Adom and asked them to look into her father’s case. A few years later, they sent her a copy of a list from Auschwitz bearing his name among those who were killed there.
“It had been my lifelong dream to come and be in Israel. I used to dream as a young girl that my father was alive, and maybe he came to Palestine. Maybe he had amnesia. I used to dream up all these wonderful fairytales that would make me feel better because I so much wanted to know my father,” she says with a tear.
For Danielle, coming to Israel was not just about joining her sons. It was about continuing in the tradition of her father’s faith. Although her father was not a Zionist, his faith in his destiny inspired Danielle to embrace her own. “If he could have such strong faith during those dark days, how could I not?
A few years ago, Danielle received a sort of mystical affirmation of her new life path. “I had a dream that I was in bed and the phone rang. When I picked it up, there was static and a man with a European accent said my Yiddish name, ‘Faygela’. I asked who it was. He said it again, ‘Faygela’, with such warmth and love. And then something happened and the connection was severed. I woke up. But I knew it was my father, connecting to me from beyond.”
“In Israel, my soul is awake and I feel so connected to this place. I feel as though after what my family went through, it’s a miracle that I am here.”
Fasting on the Wedding Day By Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff
Question #1: Our wedding is going to be after nightfall. Do we fast until the wedding, or do we break the fast when it gets dark?
Question #2: Yocheved asks: I usually do not fast well, and I am concerned how I will feel at my wedding if I fast that day. What do I do?
Question #3: Sheryl’s dilemma: "What will I explain to my non-observant parents when they exclaim at my pre-chupah reception - 'What! You can't eat anything at your own wedding?’”
Sheryl comes from a much assimilated background. Let her explain:
“In my extended family, my parents were considered the religious ones since they were the only ones who married Jewish. Furthermore, my Dad was the only one who fasted on Yom Kippur, albeit with a little cheating on the side. So when my family members heard that I had become Orthodox, they were shocked at many of my new practices, despite my efforts to keep things as low key as possible. None of them had a clue what it means to really keep kosher or Shabbos. Now that I'm getting married, many of them are curious to attend my wedding and I would like to make the experience a Kiddush Hashem for them. Therefore, I intend to explain our mitzvos and customs to them in the best possible light.”
Sheryl’s goals are indeed noble. How will she explain the reason we fast on one's wedding day to someone who knows little about Yiddishkeit? The prospect seems almost ominous.
Fasting in our Parsha
In this week’s parsha, Yaakov Avinu marries four times. Assuming that he fasted on his wedding days, he would have observed this fast four different times!
Why do we fast?
Although early authorities cite at least six different reasons for this custom, most halachic authorities discuss only two of them (e.g., Levush, Even Haezer 60:1; Magen Avraham and Eliyah Rabbah, introduction to 573; Beis Shmuel 61:6; Chachmas Adam 129:2; Aruch Hashulchan 61:21):
Reason #1: To Avoid Inebriation
Some explain that the practice is to ensure that the chosson and kallah are fully sober when they participate in the wedding ceremony. By not eating and drinking, they will certainly drink nothing intoxicating prior to the ceremony. Some commentaries provide an interesting twist to this custom. They explain that the concern is that if one of the marrying parties drinks anything intoxicating on the wedding day, they may subsequently claim that they were inebriated and that therefore the marriage is invalid (Levush, Even Ha’ezer 60:1)! As someone once said, love is not only blind, but also sometimes intoxicating.
Reason #2: To Achieve Atonement
Since a bridegroom is forgiven for all his sins, he should fast as atonement (Yevamos 63b; Yerushalmi, Bikkurim 3:3).
By the way, one allusion to this atonement is found in the last verse of last week’s parsha. The Torah records that one of the additional wives Eisav married was Machalas, the daughter of Yishmael. The Yerushalmi points out that although her name was actually Basamas and not Machalas, the Torah calls her Machalas to indicate that even someone sinful as Eisav was forgiven on his wedding day (Shu”t Divrei Yatziv #259).
I am sure you are already asking why I said that the chosson fasts on his wedding day, and omitted the kallah. This leads us directly to our next question:
Are there any halachic differences between the two reasons given for the fast? Indeed, there are several. One issue that might be affected is whether only the chosson fasts, or also the kallah. The authorities dispute whether the wedding day atones for both parties, or only for the chosson. Indeed, Talmudic sources only mention the chosson in this connection, and some later authorities contend that the wedding is indeed an atonement day only for the chosson and not for the kallah. Following this approach, some authorities conclude that only the bridegroom fasts and not the bride (Ben Ish Chai, 1: Shoftim: 13). Others contend that despite that the Gemara only mentioning atonement of the chosson’s sins, since the kallah is a direct cause of his atonement, she also receives forgiveness on this day (Aishel Avraham Butchach 573).
However, if the reason for the fast is to guarantee the sobriety of the parties, the kallah too should fast even if the day is not a day of atonement. Of course, it won't be easy for Sheryl to explain all this to her parents at the reception prior to her wedding. I will soon mention other reasons she can provide to her family.
On the other hand, many authorities rule that the wedding day atones for both kallah and chosson, the same as Yom Kippur (Magen Avraham, introduction to 573; Eliyah Rabbah 573:2; Beis Shmuel, 61:6). Following this approach, the kallah should also fast even if we are not concerned about her becoming inebriated at her wedding (Rama, Even Ha’ezer 61:1). This, too, is why both chosson and kallah say viduy after mincha on the day of their wedding (Pischei Teshuvah, Even Ha’ezer 61:9). In addition, the couple should pray for a happy marriage that is blessed with children who bring great credit to themselves and to Hashem (Aruch Hashulchan 61:21).
Sheryl can certainly tell her family this reason for the sanctity of the day and say that this is why she will be fasting. This will also provide her with the opportunity to explain that a Torah marriage involves holiness, sanctity, and opportunity for spiritual growth, all ideas that will impress her family.
How long must one fast?
There are other halachic differences that result from the two reasons quoted above. If the reason to fast is to ensure that the couple remains sober, then they should continue their fast until the wedding ceremony even if it does not take place until after dark. Accordingly, if the ceremony takes place on a winter night, they should logically continue their fast even if this means that it extends into a second halachic day (Shu”t Mahari Bruno #93; Aruch Hashulchan 61:21). On the other hand, if the fast is atonement, then, once they have completed the day they can break the fast. A third opinion holds that when the ceremony is at night, their fast does not begin until sunset that day – since prior to sunset is still the day before their wedding (Aishel Avraham Butchach 573). To the best of my knowledge, this last approach is not followed.
How do we rule?
The Chachmas Adam (129:2) concludes that since the fast is only a custom, one need not be stricter than the requirements of halachah for established fast days and therefore one may end the fast at dark. However, one should be careful not to drink anything intoxicating until sipping the wine at the chupah (Pischei Teshuvah, Even Ha’ezer 61:9). The Aruch Hashulchan disagrees, but I believe accepted practice follows the Chachmas Adam (Shu”t Mahari Bruno #93).
What about the opposite situation -- when the ceremony takes place before nightfall? According to the rationale that the fast is an atonement, some contend that one should fast the entire day even if the ceremony transpired in the afternoon (Bach, Orach Chayim 562 at end; Beis Shmuel 61:6). This means that even after the wedding ceremony is complete, the chosson and kallah continue to fast until nightfall, even through the chupah and the yichud room! However, accepted practice is for the couple to end their fast at the ceremony even when it takes place before nightfall.
Do Sefardim fast?
Most sources citing the custom of fasting on one's wedding day are Ashkenazic. Whether or not Sefardim fast on this day is subject to local custom. The popular Hebrew halachic anthology, Hanisuin Kehilchasam, mentions many Sefardic communities that followed the custom of fasting on the wedding day , at least for the chosson, including the communities of Algeria, Baghdad, Crimea, Salonica and parts of Turkey (pg. 198, note 56). On the other hand, the prevalent custom in Constantinople, Egypt, and Eretz Yisroel was to not fast on the day of the wedding (see Birkei Yosef, Orach Chayim 470:2; Shu”t Yabia Omer 3: Even Haezer: 9). It is interesting to note that some explain that the custom in Egypt was that they did not fast because the weddings were always conducted in the morning. They explain that when the wedding is held late in the day we are concerned that the chosson and kallah may drink something intoxicating, but when the wedding is in the morning there is no such concern (Birkei Yosef, Orach Chayim 470:2). One could thereby argue that when the Sefardim marry in the evening, they should follow Ashkenazic practice and fast.
Nevertheless, the common practice among Sefardim in Eretz Yisrael today is not to fast. Rav Ovadyah Yosef even rules that Sefardim who moved to Eretz Yisrael should not fast on the day of the wedding even if they come from communities where the custom was to fast. Although he respects this custom of the Ashkenazim tofast, he contends that since this is a day of celebration, those who do not have the practice are not permitted to fast.
Like Receiving the Torah
What are the other reasons mentioned for the fast?
One early source states that the reason for the fast is that the wedding ceremony commemorates the giving of the Torah at Har Sinai. Indeed, many of our wedding customs, such as the carrying of candles or torches by those accompanying the chosson and kallah, commemorate our receiving the Torah. Continuing this analogy, one early source mentions that just as the Jews fasted prior to receiving the Torah, so too a chosson fasts the day of his wedding (Tashbeitz [Koton] #465). What I find interesting about this reason, is that I am unaware of any Medrash that mentions the Jews fasting on the day they received the Torah. Obviously, the Tashbeitz was aware of such a Medrash. Perhaps this is why the later halachic authorities do not discuss this opinion or any halachic ramifications that result from it.
This is a beautiful reason to observe the fast, although I suspect that Sheryl’s family might not appreciate it.
To Avoid Rift
Here is another very meaningful reason mentioned for the fast, although it is largely ignored by the later authorities: The Gemara (Shabbos 130a) states, “No kesubah is signed without an argument.” Unfortunately, it is common that differing opinions about wedding arrangements or setting up the newly marrying couple cause friction between the families making the wedding. Since this problem is common, the couple should strive their utmost to avoid any conflict at all, and they should also pray and fast that the wedding should pass with no disputes (Shu”t Mahari Bruno #93). Somehow, Sheryl did not think that her parents would appreciate this reason for her fast and I tend to agree with her.
The King gets Judged Daily
Others explain that the origin for the custom is because the chosson is compared to a king and we are taught by the Talmud Yerushalmi that a king is judged daily (Sanhedrin 2:3). Thus, the chosson fasts because he is being judged on his wedding day (Shu”t Mahari Bruno #93). Although we may not fully understand what this means, it is certainly a reason to do teshuvah and fast.
To Appreciate the Mitzvah
The above-mentioned anthology Hanisuin Kehilchasam mentions yet another reason, which he attributes to the Rokayach. Great tzadikim were in such eager anticipation of performing rare mitzvos, that they could not eat on the day they had an opportunity to perform such a mitzvah. Similarly, the chosson and kallah look forward to performing their mitzvah with such excitement that they cannot even eat!
Do they say Aneinu?
Do the chosson and kallah say Aneinu in their prayers even if they will end their fast before the day ends?
The Rama (562:2) rules that the chosson recites Aneinu in his prayers, even if he is not going to complete the fast, such as when the wedding ceremony takes place during the daytime. In this latter situation, where he will not be completing the fast, many recommend that he omit the three words in Aneinu, BeYom Tzom Taaneiseinu, on this day of our fast, since for him it is not a full day of fasting (Rav Shelomoh Zalman Auerbach).
Accepting the Fast
Usually, someone intending to have a voluntary fast must state at the end of mincha on the day before that he intends to fast the next day. Does the chosson accept the fast during mincha on the day before?
The halachic authorities recommend that the chosson and kallah make this declaration after mincha the day before the wedding, and recommend specifying that one intends to fast only until the time of the ceremony. Nevertheless, even if one did not declare the day to be a fast, and even if one did not mention the stipulation, one may assume that they should fast and they are required to fast only until the ceremony (Mishnah Berurah 562: 12). If the ceremony is before nightfall, the chosson and kallah should daven mincha before the wedding ceremony so that they can recite Aneinu, since once they break their fast, this prayer is inappropriate (Mishnah Berurah 562:12). By the way, if they forgot to say Aneinu, they do not repeat Mincha.
Are there days when they do not fast?
Indeed, a chosson and kallah must refrain from fasting on the many days when fasting is prohibited. This includes weddings taking place on Chanukah or Rosh Chodesh. The Magen Avraham (573:1) adds that they should not fast even on minor holidays such as Isru Chag, Tu Bishvat and the Fifteenth of Av.
But maybe they will get intoxicated?
I understand that they are not allowed to fast—but if the reason for the fast was that they should not become inebriated, how will this be prevented? To avoid this danger, they must be careful not to drink any intoxicating beverages before the ceremony (Pri Megadim, Mishbetzos Zahav 573:1). Observing this precaution halachah is an actual fulfillment of the custom to fast. If they choose to down a few drinks after that deadline, they may do so on their own cognizance.
What about Lag BeOmer?
Technically speaking there is no halachic problem with fasting on Lag BeOmer or during the month of Nisan, even though the custom is not to. Since halachah permits fasting on these days, the custom is for a chosson and kallah to fast. This also applies during the month of Tishrei or the first part of Sivan, even on days when we do not say Tachanun (Magen Avraham 573:1, 2). There are some who record a practice that chasanim and kallahs not fast on days when we do not say Tachanun (Eliyah Rabbah 573:3, quoting Nachalas Shivah). The Eliyah Rabbah, who records this approach, rallies many proofs from earlier authorities that this is not the halacha, but concludes that one who chooses to be lenient and not fast on these days will not lose by his lenient practice (hameikil lo hifsid).
What about a Second Marriage?
Does someone marrying for a second time fast on his wedding day? According to the rationale that the fast is out of concern that someone might be intoxicated, there is no difference between a first or second marriage, and one is required to fast. Similarly, according to the reason that this is a day of atonement they should also fast, since the day of a second marriage also atones. This is obvious from the Biblical source that teaches us that this day atones. When Eisav married Basamas/Machalas he was already married to two other women, yet the Torah teaches that the day atoned for him. Thus, we see that even a subsequent marriage atones and someone marrying for second or third time should fast on the day.
What if they are not feeling well?
At this point we can address the second question raised above: Yocheved asks, “I usually do not fast well, and I am concerned how I will feel at my wedding if I fast that day. What do I do?”
We should be aware that on the most minor of the required fasts, Taanis Esther, even someone suffering from a relatively minor ailment is not required to fast. The custom to fast the day of the wedding is certainly more minor that Taanis Esther and therefore if either the chosson or the kallah suffers from a minor ailment or could get weak or dizzy from the fast, they should not fast (Aruch Hashulchan 61:21). Of course, specific questions should be addressed to one's rav.
The Ashkenazic practice of fasting on the day of one’s wedding is within the category of custom, minhag, and therefore, as we have seen, includes many leniencies. Indeed, when these reasons apply, there is no reason to fast unnecessarily. Thus, if one is a Sefardi, not feeling well, or marrying on a day when Tachanun is not recited, one has a solid basis not to fast. However, when none of these reasons apply one must follow the accepted minhag. The Gemara teaches that customs accepted by the Jewish people come under the category of al titosh toras imecha, do not forsake the laws of your mother, and that one is obligated to observe them.
May the fasts of our chasanim and kallahs contribute towards the increase of much shalom and kapparah and the creation of many happy marriages in Klal Yisroel.
I can only guess that Tel Aviv’s Mayor would rather have kids on drugs or alcohol than Torah from HASHEM: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3896240,00.html
Followed up by Chabad are rodents: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3897082,00.html
Secret Syrian Base: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3895419,00.html
443 opens to terrorists again: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/137744
Terrorist from Indonesia, Arabs and others were aboard the ‘peace’ ships and they had hand guns and bats. 5 navy seals injured either by knives, live fire or bats: http://www.debka.com/article/8823/ http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3896796,00.html
From Miriam: He is the Israeli warning followed by the film of the preparation of clubs and knives (not seen) by the “Peace” activists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6jDIQr59Sk&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtPSAof8MDw&feature=player_embedded The stabbing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buzOWKxN2co&has_verified=1
Richard B. Another clip with the film of the terrorist on board armed with weapons and Arab comments in English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kus12PL8htQ
Bella: Clubs sling shots with marbles and iron pipes beating the Navy Seals they were prepared more than the Israeli who were shooting paint balls at first: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYjkLUcbJWo&feature=player_embedded
Why do you care what the world thinks? I say let them die. All the people we're supposed to save and to pray for, let them die. We'll try to save the next batch.
It's called the Swiss Gambit (or something in Chess ???) -- you deliberately lose the first game, because your matches are easier after that -- could go the tournament with 1 loss and the rest wins. It's a gambit, there could be someone really good that wins everything, but I'm betting against that. Look at the fools that inhabit the world -- I say play the Swiss Tournament Gambit. – laiib
Nancy: One sided UN resolution backed by the USA: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.5eaf6bbb255b23063c3b3635bd5f7c52.161&show_article=1
Where do the Taliban train? http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=176912
Chaim B: WARNING PURE ISRAELI PROPAGANA OR A SHORT COURSE IN HISTORY WITH HASHEM AS BOSS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Vi8B0l63B8
HAPPY NEWS FILM OF A BABY HEARING FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH AN IMPLANT NEXT MAYBE THE BLIND? http://www.parentdish.com/2010/05/28/baby-with-cochlear-implant-hears-mom-for-the-first-time-in-touch/?icid=main|htmlws-main-w|dl7|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.parentdish.com%2F2010%2F05%2F28%2Fbaby-with-cochlear-implant-hears-mom-for-the-first-time-in-touch%2F
What is a Republic 10 minute history course: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DioQooFIcgE&feature=player_embedded#%21
Why the President skipped Arlington to be with his Muslim Brothers who ‘love’ Jews: http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/05/president-obama-skips-arlington-to-spend-memorial-day-with-louis-farrakhan-amidst-nation-of-islam-th.html
From Emmanuel Winston: S. Korea, N. Korea, Israel and Iran: S. Korea cannot expect the US to rein in N. Korean aggression, any more than Israel can rely upon the US regarding Iran” by Caroline Glick 5/21/10 Jerusalem Post http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=176046
Reminder: Christians should keep using birth controls for Allah’s sake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU
From Nancy: Why am I not surprised who helps finance and support the Gaza campaign to run the blockade: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=160661
And who is funding the terrorists? http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=143593
Fe fi fo fo fo fo fum I smell sabotage in the auditorium: http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0602/month-oil-spill-goldman-sachs-sold-250-million-bp-stock/
The world trade center: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1fq6TsUUDU
Also from Nancy: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/137838
A SETUP ON THE HIGH SEAS? by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator
No journalist worth his or her salt should be surprised at the foaming-at-the-mouth rage by Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the clash between Israel and the flotilla of 6 ships, led by the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara. The "pirates" had vigorously proclaimed that they would run the sea blockade by Israel into Hamas-controlled Gaza.
In order for the ships to be loaded and to weigh anchors, they needed Erdogan’s participation through his prior knowledge and approval.
Two more ships are currently sailing from Turkey and may very well be carrying Muslim Terrorists and offensive weapons. Regardless, they must be intercepted and guided peacefully to the Israeli port of Ashdod, (IF they don’t attack the official boarding parties). Their cargoes can be properly inspected, unloaded and transshipped to Gaza.
However, IF these two ships are carrying weapons and fire on the intercepting Israeli ships or boarding parties, they should NOT be sunk or allowed to deliberately sink themselves. WHY? Because they may have been sent on a deliberate suicide mission, as "Shaheeds" (martyrs) to gain world approval for their nefarious cause and crushing disapproval for Israel acting in her own self-defense.
Here again PM Erdogan would have had prior knowledge of the intent of their mission.
The Muslim Arabs have long used civilians as "Human Shields" hoping to restrain attackers. Or they have used dead civilians, intermixed with Terrorists as propaganda. If you remember, they did so in the 2006 Lebanon War. Many components to this saga are well-documented in the research machines (called "The Morgue" or GOOGLE) in all major news organizations and easily available (IF) journalists, news anchors and their editors - if they wanted - could call up the information in order to verify their contents.
Since the actual planning and story begins with the organizers, the IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi - short for the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief - an Islamic charity) originally assembled to provide support to Bosnian Muslims and later believed to be cross-linked with al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and a number of "global jihad networks".
The IHH was known by Interpol and all credible Intel Agencies in the Free West as a ‘front’ which provided funding for the mix of Muslim Terrorists called the "Mujahadeen" (fighters for Islam), who came from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Iran, Syria...as well as those operating in Judea and Samaria. The Turkish government launched a raid on the IHH-Istanbul offices, where they found weapons, explosives and instructions for bomb-making.
The IHH denies any affiliation with Terror organizations. As to be expected, they claim the IHH is "humanitarian" and "only raises charity".
The World Media has loosely thrown around the words that Turkey was some sort of Muslim friend and ally to Israel. However, the facts are well-known that, since Erdogan, a dedicated Muslim, was elected PM in Turkey, that country’s drift was to change to an Islamic-driven nation with growing alliance to Iran and Syria, to become active "Jihadists" (warriors for Islam) with their goal to rule the Middle East and beyond.
The New York Times (June 2nd) points out that much of the funds to support IHH comes from the Turkish religious merchant class which brought Erdogan to power. This is reminiscent of the Saudi princes who have been funding Terror groups all over the world for many years. Remember that the 9/11 Terrorists were 15 Saudi and 4 Egyptian Muslims - and that Osama Bin Laden was a member of a rich Saudi family from Yemeni extraction.
As for the relationship Turkey has/had with Israel, it ranged from the benign - when Israeli tourists provided a steady source of funds to Turkey’s economy - to the business of military goods Turkey could buy from Israel. For Turkey’s (former) secular military, Israel proved to be an excellent source of military hardware and high tech. Israel upgraded Turkey’s older tanks, provided the best UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) - including ‘smart bombs’ and missiles. This did not make Turkey under PM Erdogan a friend or an ally. As Turkey drew closer to Iran, Israel became reluctant to provide the technology which could likely be transferred to Iran and/or Syria.
As part of the charade of May 31st, PM Erdogan screamed with performance level rage, claiming that Israel had breached the International Laws of the sea. But, Erdogan forgot a few key things. International jurists and experts on such matters are already pointing out that proclaimed hostiles going to join and supply other hostiles such as Hamas and Hezb’Allah, are in no way protected by International Laws.
You will see more of these opinions by such experts start to emerge, especially if there is, indeed, an inquiry as demanded by the U.N. Security Council.
Let us recall for the record that Gaza is in the brutal hands of Hamas, an organization recognized as a "Terrorist Organization" by America, most of the rest of the Free World as well as Israel. Hamas is the proclaimed enemy of Israel to the point of actively working to eliminate the Jewish Nation/State of Israel and Jews in totality.
I would remind you that Turkey frequently breached Iraq’s land border to attack the Kurds whom they considered enemies of Turkey. Most of these cross-border attacks were carried out without permission of Iraq. In fact, the U.S. turned a blind eye as did the U.N., because Turkey was considered a military asset to the West against an expanding and soon-to-be Nuclear Iran. No doubt, Turkey will remain untouchable until they totally cross the line as a committed Muslim country in partner with Iran.
As Erdogan was fully informed of the IHH’s intent to create an international incident, one can easily conclude that the U.N.’s Security Council was complicit. They were clearly knowledgeable well before the clash and prepared to go into emergency session to condemn Israel (again).
Keep in mind that most of the members of the U.N. Security Council are virtually ‘owned’ by the Arab Muslim Bloc and, individually, have been some of the worst tyrants, dictators and suppressors of Human Rights (especially of women) in the world.
All the nations, especially the Arab/Muslims and Europeans are demanding an ‘investigation’, assuming they will control the evidence and have judges such as Richard Goldstone ruling the inquisition.
By all means, let us have an investigation, naming nations and groups who have supported Terrorists and provided funds and weapons which mandated an embargo by Israel on land and sea.
If the IHH has placed "useful idiot" civilians aboard these next ships, then it would be best to cripple the ships’ propellers and tow them into Ashdod with no attempt to board them at sea. Israel should NOT risk her own men - especially since the Terrorists aboard the Mavi Marmara showed their murderous goals and were loaded with dangerous weapons.
The Israeli commandos were attacked as they boarded, beaten with iron bars, stabbed with knives. They said it felt like a "lynch".
Congressional Candidates come out with Statements on Israel. Lt. Col. Retired Allen West in FL’s 22nd District has made many statements pro-Israel and Robert Lowry in FL’s 20th District will be visiting Israel in July and from a non-Jewish voting area on June 3rd I received the following support of Israel Statement:
And now for M. Wolfberg's good Shabbos story: Bulletproof.
Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week’s portion Shlach Hashem commands us regarding the mitzvah of tzitzis. The Rabbis tell us that the mitzvah of tzitzis symbolizes the 613 mitzvahs of the Torah. Rashi explains that there are 5 sets of double knots on each group of 8 strings. The gematria – numerical equivalent of the word tzitzis is 600. 600 plus 5 double knots, plus 8 strings = 613, the number of mitzvahs in the Torah!
Thus, tzitzis symbolize the entire Torah. As the verse states: “And you will look at it (the thread) and you will remember all the Mitzvahs of Hashem and you will do them...” (Bamidbar 15:39) Therefore, tzitzis have tremendous spiritual power, because one who wears tzitzis is like one who wraps his body in a Sefer Torah! The following amazing true story illustrates the power of the mitzvah of tzitzis
In the 1980's, the Law Offices of Allen Rothenberg was one of the biggest shomer Shabbos (Shabbos observant) law offices in Pennsylvania. When David Chaim Novitsky graduated from law school in 1986, it was natural for him to seek a job with the Allen Rothenberg law firm.
That May marked the first anniversary of the bombing of the radical Move group in Philadelphia. One year before, the police had dropped a bomb on a fortified house, which was barricaded by the members of Move. The purpose of the bomb was to force the group out of the house. What the police had not known about, however, were the flammable explosives that were stored in the attic of the house. The bomb caused a fire to break out, which spread to all the houses in a two-block radius. By the time the dust had cleared, nearly two hundred people had become homeless, and the city had a number of lawsuits on its hands.
The Law Firm of Allen Rothenberg picked up twelve of these clients. Since the houses were in a poorer section of the city, the lawyers did not expect to make much profit from these cases. It would, however, be a perfect first case for a new junior lawyer. And so the twelve cases wound up in the hands of David C. Novitsky, the newest member of the firm.
David was optimistic. After all, this was one of his first cases, and he was determined to give it his best shot (no pun intended…) and show the law firm what he could do. And so David worked tirelessly, putting in long hours and employing all the means at his disposal to see to it that his clients got the compensation that they deserved.
Ernest Bostic, age fifty, was one of David's clients. And Ernest Bostic was very eager to get his money. Bostic had a police record; he had already served time in jail, and he was used to getting what he wanted, when he wanted it. He had no time for long, drawn-out lawsuits. David's long hours and verbose explanations did not placate him in the least.
Before long, Bostic was a weekly fixture at the law firm. "What's taking so long?" he would demand of his hardworking lawyer .
"We’re dealing with the city, Mr. Bostic," David would explain. "Everything takes a long time when you deal with the city. Why, even after the lawsuit is settled, it will still be a while before you get your money. Please, just be patient."
But Ernest Bostic was not convinced. He simply could not understand how the case could be taking so long. Eventually, he decided that it was David Chaim Novitsky who was holding out on him.
One night, after an exhausting day at the law firm, David had a horrifying dream. He dreamed that he was in his office when a man suddenly came up to him, pulled out a gun and shot him.
David woke up in a panic. His heart was pounding and his head was whirling. Should he disregard the dream? Did it signify anything? After a restless night, David finally decided that it wouldn't hurt to take some precautions.
David's precautions took the form of added protection-in the shape of tzitzis. David resolved to wear his tzitzis at all times. After all, if anything could protect him, tzitzis certainly would.
A few days after his dream, David was standing in his office at the law firm when Ernest Bostic stopped by for his weekly visit. David drew a deep breath, intending to placate him with his usual speech about being patient. But Bostic didn't give him a chance. Bostic had convinced himself that the long delay was all David's fault, and he had come prepared to deal with that. Before David could get a word out, Bostic pulled a gun out of his pocket and pointed it straight at him.
David turned instinctively and began to run into his boss's office. Bostic shot six bullets into David's back, but David managed to keep on running until he got into the office, where he collapsed. Bostic ran for his life. The law offices were on the ninth floor, and there was no time to wait for an elevator, so Bostic took the stairs, leaping down them two at a time. Even a twisted ankle that he sustained on landing didn't slow him down. Ignoring the agonizing pain, Bostic managed to leave the building and head for the central bus station.
Back at the law firm, an ambulance arrived in record time and took David to Jefferson Medical College hospital, two blocks away. One of the top professors was available, and he whisked David straight into surgery. David's family was notified, and they quickly headed for the hospital, where they were informed that the operation was still in progress.
David's parents paced the waiting room, with prayers on their lips and entreaties in their hearts. Finally, the door to the operating room swung open, and the professor emerged. He looked from one member of the family to the other . "It's simply a miracle,” he said finally. “I've never seen anything like it.”
“What happened?” David's mother whispered. “I simply can't believe it,” the professor said again. “Every single bullet was just a fraction of an inch away from hitting a vital organ. But I must caution you. We've only found five bullets so far. There is a sixth one that is still unaccounted for. He won't be out of danger until…”
The door to the operating room swung open again, and the professor's assistant ran out. "We found the sixth bullet! It was in his arm!"
The professor smiled at David's parents. "Well, I guess we've found all the bullets. I'll go finish up the operation. It looks like your son will be all right." "Baruch Hashem," David's father whispered.
The family stood there, tears rolling down their cheeks, as they thanked Hashem for His great chesed - kindness. "Give thanks to Hashem for He is good, for His kindness endures forever!"
Meanwhile, back at police headquarters, a search was underway for Ernest Bostic. As David had been carried into the ambulance for his trip to the hospital, a police officer had asked him if he knew who had shot him. David had managed to name his assailant before losing consciousness. Now the police had an all-points bulletin out for Ernest Bostic. But Bostic had already made it to the bus station before the alarm went out, and by the time the police started their search, he was already out of Philadelphia and heading to Detroit.
Bostic arrived in Detroit, penniless and in pain. He entered a mission, hoping to spend the night there. But the mission's policy was to impound any weapons that their guests might be carrying. "You'll get it back when you leave," he was told.
Bostic tried to rest, but the pain in his leg was worsening, and he needed medical attention. He headed for the nearest hospital emergency room.
The emergency room staff asked him where he was from as part of their routine questions. "Pennsylvania," was his initial reply. But then his fear got the better of him, and before he knew it, he was blurting out the whole story.
"I come from Philadelphia, and I just killed my lawyer!" Bostic was immediately arrested and brought back to Philadelphia, where he was tried and sentenced to jail for his crime.
But to David Chaim Novitsky, the lesson was clear. He recalled the dream that he had had just a few nights before the shooting. And he knew, without a doubt, that it was his tzitzis which had guided each bullet so it would miss every vital organ-and spare his life. (Visions of Greatness, Rabbi Yosef Weiss)
Every Jewish male has the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah of tzitzis throughout the whole day by wearing a “talis katan”, a small, lightweight four-corned garment with tzitzis. It can be worn discretely, without anyone knowing. Anyone who does not own a talis katan and would like to have one free of charge, should apply by email to this address. Tzitzis are one of the greatest mitzvahs in the Torah, it would be a shame to miss out… Good Shabbos Everyone.
I heard straight from Eliyahu from Bank Discount in Ashdod how a bullet had passed though his stomach missing every vital organ in the Yom Kippur War the day after the shell had buried him under the foxhole and no scratches. Some Shomer Shabbos and Shomer Mitzvos the Mitzvos themselves protect the man from certain death. (Perhaps it was the charity that he gave).
Mr. Wolfberg’s Shabbos sponsored by: Refuah Shleima to Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah
In memory of Shosha Malka bas R' Avrohom 21 Cheshvan Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi
Have a great and peaceful Shabbos,