Friday, June 3, 2011

Parsha Naso and Shavuos part 1, Halacha, Avos Chapter 6 Mishna 1 - 5 and Omer

Chag Ha Shavuos will be upon us faster than we think. Yom Tov has its Kedushah (level of holiness) but as we learned in Danny Shoemann’s Halacha last week, Shabbos is holier for we cannot cook on Shabbos. I found this Medrash searching back six years ago it is worth repeating especially since hundreds of readers have been added to this Drasha in that time. Yom Tov we tend to treat better than the Shabbos as we were required in Temple times to come to Yerushalayim three times a year on Yomim Tovim or Regalim. For Regal in Hebrew is leg and one walks up to the Temple Mount on his legs so there might be some sort of compensation for walkers and wheel chairs that do not get Tumay in the future; for now Yom Tov is a Regel. To our great sorry Yom Tov by the Conservative and Reform Congregations has more members participating than the holier Shabbos. For old and new comers alike to the Jewish world this Medrash sums up a lot. My thanks again to Yaffa who was the original supplier of this Medrash:

The Shabbat complained before G-d, "The other six days of the week have mates, but I have none!" G-d replied, "The congregation of Israel shall be your mate." When the Jewish people later stood at the food of Mount Sinai, they were reminded of this in the words "Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it" [Exodus 20:8] which can also be translated as being betrothed to it.

Shabbat and the people of Israel form a bond similar to marriage. Although Shabbat is, in itself, sanctified by G-d from the Creation, it is left to the Jewish people to enter into a relationship with Shabbat by observing it. Shabbat and Israel are bride and groom, brought together to achieve a greater potential. "More than the Jews have kept the Shabbat," wrote Asher Ginsberg, known as Ahad Ha'Am, "the Shabbat has kept the Jews."

The Shabbat is a fountain of all blessing and holiness for Israel and the foundation of the world. It is like a signet attached to a ring after its completion. The term "blessing and hallowing of the Shabbat " prophetically refers to those who observe the sanctity of the day for they to will be blessed and hallowed.

The Shabbat's influence on the rest of the week elevates the soul above the vicissitudes of this world and gives it stability. During the six days of creation, G-d fashioned all the aspects of the universe from the gravitational forces that hold it together to the furiously speeding forces that tear at every atom and solar system. From mountain to ameba, from the most spiritual to the most physical, all were created during the six days.

But on the seventh G-d rested as it were, to prove that Creation had not been, and could never be, divorced from Him and His holiness. After every six days of turbulence the reminder returns, the holiest of days proclaims that in six days G-d created all activity but on the seventh all activity ceases for G-d blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it G-d abstained from all His work [Genesis 2:3].

I read an article about vaccines that don’t work. I have myself credit for the quote of the week and unfortunately it is all too true: Vaccines like Israeli Generals fight the last outbreak and not the next outbreak of the disease.

Parsha Naso

This Parsha ends with the gifts of the Princes of the Shevatim (tribes). It is a very long Parsha but again each prince and each tribe are given equal treatment before the L-RD so each one brings a ladle made of silver and the story of everything brought is multiplied by 12 in the reading. There is a lesson to be learned from this repetition.

1) That each parent must treat their children or grandparent their grandchildren equal.

2) How much each tribe and the honor of each individual Prince which implies individuals is valued before HaKadosh Baruch Hu (the HOLY ONE blessed be HE).

Other things learned from this week’s Parsha as we start off is: What were the different functions of the three Levi Family Divisions in the Desert and how they were co-ordinate the mantling and dismantling of the Mishkan until finally it rested in Shilo prior to the building of the Beis HaMikdash.

I ran around to about 6 cities this week and a few Mitzvos to do here and there and I decided that I would not put out a half quality Drasha post haste so I am deferring this to before Shavuos.

Instead I will bring down a Drasha for now from Yaf Rabbi Kaganoff Hebrew words changed to my spelling format or ignored: reproach

"Parsha Naso" Laws of the Nazirite. Num. 4:21-7:89

Definition: A Nazirite -A person who vowed for a specific period of time to abstain from grapes or grape products, from cutting ones hair, and from touching a corpse. Through this abstinence, one attained a certain symbolic sanctity.

A person could choose to dedicate himself for a few weeks or a few years. When the period of the vow was not specified, it was understood to be for 30 days, as that was the minimum amount of time. The most famous Nazirites in Jewish history, Samson and the Prophet Samuel, were consecrated as such by their parents from the moment of their conception, with the intention that they remain Nazirites all of their lives. Samson's Nazirite period was, of course, ended prematurely when his hair was cut by his enemies, as we have learned.

The uncut hair of the Nazirite was his distinguishing feature. Since hair continues to grow throughout life, it was considered by the ancients to be the source of man's vitality and his life force. Thus, the symbolic connection between Samson's superhuman strength and his unshorn locks.

If the Nazirite wanted to end his period of sanctity before the sworn date, he had to make a reparation offering at the Holy Temple and undergo a ritual involving the sprinkling with purifying waters, and the shaving of his head. If he completed the vow period, he was allowed to bring a Thanksgiving offering, including some of his freshly cut hair.

It was considered a great honor to be able to bring such a Thanksgiving offering, and some pious people took the Nazirite vow just so that they would have this opportunity. Others became Nazirites for the fulfillment of a wish, such as the birth of children. The Nazirite vow was severely discouraged by the Rabbis, since asceticism was considered to be against the spirit of Judaism. However, the observance of the Nazirite vow seems to have persisted for centuries until its virtual disappearance in the Middle Ages.


Could you imagine observing Tisha B'Av or the Day of Atonement several days a week instead of one day a year? Or pledging never to drink wine or eat meat, never to marry or raise a family? Yet throughout history, many religious groups have rejected physical pleasures in this way, in the hope of strengthening their religious beliefs, or realizing a higher spiritual level. Such behavior is thus termed "asceticism".

Why do people become ascetics? Many major religions teach that man's body and soul are separate and work against each other, the soul tries to get closer to G-d and to become spiritually pure, and the body, in order to satisfy its selfish desires, fights the soul. From this, one could conclude that to keep his soul strong and pure, a man has to fight his own body, denying it food and comfort, and other pleasures. At this point, he adopts an "ascetic" way of living.

Asceticism has never been an important part of the Jewish faith and so it was discouraged. Judaism believes that man must serve G-d with his soul and his body. A person's soul is that part of him that loves G-d and His goodness and wants to be like Him, and a person's body is the physical vessel for his soul on earth. Nearly all the mitzvos which G-d gave are to be performed with the body (the vessel). Thus the physical actions of man are sanctified.

The Rabbis of the Talmud considered asceticism a sin against the will of G-d, who wants people to enjoy the gift of what life can offer. The great Sage Hillel, even considered taking care of and bathing the body to be a religious duty because, after all, the body was created by G-d. There have always been minority groups in Jewish history who have seen value in the practice of asceticism but not as an end in itself. Asceticism must always be accompanied by the performance of the mitzvos and moral behavior.

Most Jewish philosophers and religious authorities, however, echo the Rabbis in condemning asceticism as a way of life, and encouraging the proper enjoyment of earthly pleasures. Maimonides, for one, stressed that one's body is not necessarily the enemy of one's soul. By the performance of G-d's commandments, the body can enjoy the delights of Creation in such a way as to help the soul to love G-d and His ways.

Asceticism, as an accepted way of life for some, can be their greatest achievement, or there greatest downfall. Human frailty always rears it's ugly head when confrontation between body and soul takes place. Strength of character and moral discipline through asceticism is not always the path to spiritual climbing, one can easily fall from the ladder of good intentions, as we saw in Samson's case. Only through the observance of G-d's Mitzvos, can one truly find the peaceful solution to a happy and healthy way of living, the naturale of creation.

Sources: Num.6, Prophet Samuel, Samson, Judges 11:17, Talmud, Hillel, Maimonides, And Zohar.


I am planning to send out a pre-Shavuos article some time before Shabbos- and no article in honor of Parshas Behaaloscha- Just keeping everyone posted.

Why Parshas Naso Sometimes Introduces Shavuos By Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff

Question #1: In most years, the Parsha of Bamidbar falls on the Shabbos before Shavuos, and Parshas Naso falls the Shabbos after Shavuos. However, this year Bamidbar falls out a week earlier, and Naso is also before Shavuos. Why is this year different from the other years?

Question #2: Why are most of the "Double Parshiyos" clustered together in and around Sefer Vayikra?

Question #3: Why are the Torah's Parshiyos of such disparate length? Some Parshiyos are very long -- the longest being this week's Parsha, Naso, which contains 176 Pasukim. Yet at the end of the Torah we have four Parshiyos that are extremely short – all of them between 30 and 52 Pasukim. Why aren't the Parshiyos of similar length?


The Gemara teaches:

Ezra decreed that the Jews should read the curses of the Tochacha (reproachment) in Vayikra before Shavuos and those of Devarim before Rosh Hashanah. Why? In order to end the year together with its curses! [The Gemara then comments:] We well understand why we read the Tochacha of Devarim before Rosh Hashanah because the year is ending, but why is that of Vayikra read before Shavuos. Is Shavuos the beginning of a year? Yes, Shavuos is the beginning of a new year, as the Mishnah explains that the world is judged on Shavuos for its fruit" (Megillah 31b).

However, this Gemara does not seem to explain our practice. There are two Tochachos in the Torah, one in Parshas Bechukotai, the last Parsha of Sefer Vayikra, and the second in Parshas Ki Savo, but neither of these Parshiyos is ever read immediately before Shavuos or Rosh Hashanah. There is always at least one other Shabbos wedged between. In the case of the Tochacha of Parshas Bechukotai, Shavuos occurs usually after the next Parsha, Bamidbar, but occasionally after the following Parsha, Naso, as it does this year. The reading of the second Tochacha, Ki Savo is never the Parsha before Rosh Hashanah. The Parsha after it, Nitzavim, always has the distinction of being read on the Shabbos immediately before Rosh Hashanah.

Tosafos (ad loc.) explains that the Tochacha should be read two weeks before each "New Year" to allow a buffer week between the Tochacha and the beginning of the year. Thus, Ezra's decree was that the two Tochachos should be read early enough so that there is another reading following them before the "year" is over. The Levush (Orach Chaim 428:4) explains that without the intervening Shabbos reading as a shield, the Satan could use the Tochacha as a means of prosecuting against us on the judgment day. The intervenient Shabbos when we read a different Parsha prevents the Satan from prosecuting, and as a result we can declare: End the year together with its curses!

Divide and Conquer!

We can now explain why the very end of the Torah is divided into such small Parshiyos. The Tochacha of Parshas Ki Savo is located towards the end of Sefer Devarim. In order to complete our annual reading of the Torah on Simchas Torah, we want to read this Tochacha at least two weeks before Rosh Hashanah, which means that we must divide the remainder of Sefer Devarim into enough Parshiyos for:

(1) A buffer Parsha between the Tochacha and Rosh Hashanah.

(2) One or two Shabbosos between Rosh Hashanah and Sukkos.

(3) The Torah reading for Simchas Torah, when we complete the year's reading, as established by Chazal (Megillah 31a).

To accommodate all this, the end of Devarim is divided into four tiny Parshiyos: Nitzavim, Vayelech, Hazinu, and VeZos HaBracha:

Nitzavim always becomes the "buffer Parsha" read on the Shabbos before Rosh Hashanah. When we need two Shabbos readings between Rosh Hashanah and Sukkos, then Vayelech is read as a separate Parsha on Shabbos Teshuva, and Hazinu is read on the Shabbos between Yom Kippur and Sukkos. When there is only one Shabbos between Rosh Hashanah and Sukkos, then Hazinu is read on that Shabbos, which is Shabbos Teshuva. And Parshas Hazinu must be short enough to create a Parsha after it, VeZos HaBracha, which serves as the reading for Simchas Torah.

Bamidbar is always before Shavuos

Returning back to the Gemara in Megillah, we now understand why the end of Sefer Vayikra always falls at least two Shabbosos before Shavuos. Since the Tochacha is located at the end of Vayikra, Bamidbar must always be read before Shavuos to be a buffer between the Tochacha and the "new year" of the produce of the trees, as explained by the Gemara.

We can now refer back to one of our original questions: Why are most of the "Double Parshiyos" clustered together in and around Sefer Vayikra?

The "Double Parshiyos"

There are seven potential occurrences when we read "double Parshiyos", that is, two consecutive Parshiyos are read on one Shabbos as if they are one long parsha. These seven are:

Vayakhel/Pekudei, the last two Parshiyos of Sefer Shemos.

Tazria/Metzora, in Sefer Vayikra.

Acharei Mos/Kedoshim, in Sefer Vayikra.

Behar/Bechukotai, in Sefer Vayikra.

Chukkas/Balak, in Sefer Bamidbar.

Matos/Massey, the last two Parshiyos of Sefer Bamidbar.

Nitzavim/Vayelech, towards the end of Sefer Devarim.

This leads us to a series of interesting questions:

(1) Why are there no doubled Parshiyos in Beresheis, nor any for almost the entire length of Sefer Shemos?

(2) Why do we cluster together four doubled Parshiyos between the last week of Shemos and Sefer Vayikra?

(3) And lastly, why do we not double any Parshiyos at the beginning of Sefer Bamidbar?

With a little more background, we will be able to answer all of these questions.

In this article, I will discuss the reason for the first four of these doubling of the Parshiyos.

Leap and Common Years

When Hashem commanded us to create a calendar, He insisted that we use the moon to define the months, and yet keep our year consistent with the seasons, which are dependent on the sun. (The word "month" originally meant "a period of time corresponding to the moon's cycle," which is approximately 29 1/2 days, but the use of "month" today in the western calendar is simply a convenient way to divide the year and has nothing to do with the moon's cycle.)

This mitzvah does not allow us to create either a purely solar calendar, the basis of the common western calendar, which ignores the moon's changing phases. Nor does it allow us to create a perfectly lunar calendar of twelve lunar months, since this lunar "year" is approximately eleven days shorter than a solar year. If we were to follow a calendar of twelve lunar months every year, our months would not fall out in the same season. Pesach would occur sometimes in the dead of winter and Sukkos in the spring. This is exactly what transpires in the Moslem calendar, which always has exactly twelve lunar months in every year. Moslem months do not fall out in the same season. For example, Ramadan this year falls in the summer, but in a few years will occur in the winter.

The Torah requires that Pesach fall in the spring yet requires that the months correlate to the cycle of the moon. We fulfill this mitzvah by occasionally adding an extra month to the year – thereby creating 13 month years, which we call "leap years," to offset the almost 11 day difference between twelve lunar months and a solar year. These extra months keep the Yomim Tovim in their appropriate seasons.

When we add an extra month to the year, we add four and sometimes five Shabbosos to the year, yet we want each calendar year to complete the entire Torah reading on the next Simchas Torah! In order to have a reading for every possible Shabbos, we need to divide the Torah into enough Parshiyos so that even the longest year has a Parsha for each Shabbos. Since a Jewish leap year may contain 55 Shabbosos, Chumash is divided into a total of 54 Parshiyos so that there is always a Parsha to read every week. (There are 54 Parshiyos, and not 55, because we do not read a consecutive Torah Parsha on the Shabbos that occurs during Pesach. Although this is also true on Sukkos, remember that on Simchas Torah we read Parshas VeZos HaBracha, which is one of the 54 Parshiyos, so Sukkos does not eliminate the need for a Parsha that week.)

To sum up, the reason for dividing the Torah into 54 Parshiyos is so that there are enough Parshiyos for every Shabbos of the yearly cycle that begins and ends on Simchas Torah. In reality, the need for reading each of the 54 Parshiyos on a different Shabbos occurs very rarely – only on leap years when Erev Pesach falls on Shabbos. Only that particular year has 54 Shabbosos that do not coincide with any Yom Tov dates (or more accurately, 53 Shabbosos plus Simchas Torah).

Why do we "double" Parshiyos?

Since most years require less than 54 Parshiyos, how do we make sure that we complete the Torah reading for the year on Simchas Torah? The answer is that we combine Parshiyos.

In almost every occurrence of a common year, we double the following Parshiyos: Tazria/Metzora; Acharei Mos/Kedoshim and Behar/Bechukotai. Why these three sets of Parshiyos, all of which are in Sefer Vayikra?

Just as a leap year is created by adding an extra month to Adar shortly before Pesach, the Parshiyos are not doubled until the month of Nisan. Thus, we do not add these extra Parshiyos until the year is clearly a common year.

At this point we can answer the second question raised above: Why do we "double up" so many Parshiyos in Sefer Vayikra?

The answer is that we do not double Parshiyos until it is already obvious whether it is a leap or common year, yet we need to read the Parshiyos in a way that we complete this process early enough to read Bamidbar before Shavuos. The above-mentioned Parshiyos are not read until the beginning of the month of Nisan. Thus, we have a small window between the beginning of Nissan and the end of Sefer Vayikra in which we try to complete all the double Parshiyos necessary.

Why did I write above "in almost every occurrence of a common year, we double these Parshiyos"? Because there is one instance in which the Parshiyos of Behar and Bechukotai are combined in Chutz L’aretz, but they are read on separate weeks in Eretz Yisrael. This occurs in a common year when the eighth day of Pesach, observed only outside Eretz Yisrael, falls on a Shabbos. The communities of the exile read a Yom Tov reading, whereas in Eretz Yisrael communities read Parshas Shemini, the next reading in order. In this instance, the communities of Eretz Yisrael must separate Behar from Bechukotai to avoid the Tochacha from being read the week before Shavuos.


Almost, but not all common years, also combine together the last two Parshiyos in Sefer Shemos, Vayakhel/Pekudei. There is one instance of a common year when this does not happen. When Rosh Hashanah and Shemini Atzeres fall on Thursday in a common year that has 355 days, a fairly rare occurrence [and one of the instances of a common year when Erev Pesach falls on Shabbos], there is an extra Shabbos between Sukkos and the next Rosh Hashanah, and in this year Vayakhel and Pekudei are read on separate weeks even though it is a common year.

I still have not explained the answer to our first question: Why this year does Bamidbar fall out two weeks before Shavuos, rather than the week immediately before Shavuos.

The Longest Year

The answer is that whenever a leap year falls out with Rosh Hashanah on a Thursday, as it does this year, that year has an extra Shabbos. In this instance, the leap year added five Shabbosos to the year. The result of having no double Parshiyos in these years between Simchas Torah and Rosh Hashanah is that both Bamidbar and Naso fall before Shavuos.}


We now understand what the printers and calendar makers have known all along: Why and when certain Parshiyos are doubled and when not. All this is to guarantee that we have a chance to revisit every part of the Torah in the course of the year, and to celebrate our annual Siyum HaTorah on Simchas Torah!

Day Three of Week 7: Tiferes of Malchut From Rabbi Simon Jacobson’s Spiritual Guide thanks to Chabad

45th Day of the Omer

Examine the compassion of sovereignty. A good leader is a compassionate one. Is my compassion compromised because of my authority? Do I realize that an integral part of dignity is compassion?

Tiferet - harmony - is critical for successful leadership. Do I manage a smooth-running operation? Am I organized? Do I give clear instructions to my subordinates? Do I have difficulty delegating power? Does my organization work as a team? Do we have frequent staff meetings to coordinate our goals and efforts?

Exercise for the day: Review an area where you wield authority and see if you can polish it up and increase its effectiveness by curtailing excesses and consolidating forces.

Day Four of Week 7: Netzach of Malchut

46th Day of the Omer

A person's dignity and a leader's success is tested by his endurance level. Will and determination reflect the power and majesty of the human spirit. The strength of one's sovereignty.

How determined am I in reaching my goals? How strong is my conviction to fight for a dignified cause? How confident am I in myself? Is my lack of endurance a result of my low self-esteem? Do I mask my insecurities by finding other excuses for my low endurance level?

Exercise for the day: Act on something that you believe in but have until now been tentative about. Take the leap and just do it!

Day Five of Week 7: Hod of Malchut

47th Day of the Omer

Sovereignty is G-d's gift to each individual. Hod of Malchut is the humble appreciation of this exceptional gift. Does my sovereignty and independence humble me? Am I an arrogant leader? Do I appreciate the special qualities I was blessed with?

Exercise for the day: Acknowledge G-d for creating you with personal dignity.

Day Six of Week 7: Yesod of Malchut

48th Day of the Omer

Examine the bonding aspect of your sovereignty. Healthy independence should not prevent you from bonding with another person. On the contrary: self-confidence allows you to respect and trust another's sovereignty and ultimately bond with him. And that bond will strengthen your own sovereignty, rather than sacrifice it.

Does my sovereignty prevent me from bonding? Could that be because of deeper insecurities that I am unaware of? Do I recognize the fact that a fear of bonding reflects on lack of self-confidence in my own sovereignty? Do I talk to the one with whom I bond and discuss my fears that bonding will compromise my boundaries?

Exercise for the day: Actualize your sovereignty by intensifying your bond with a close one.

Day Seven of Week 7: Malchut of Malchut

49th Day of the Omer

Examine the sovereignty of your sovereignty. Does it come from deep- rooted inner confidence in myself? Or is it just a put-on to mask my insecurities? Does that cause my sovereignty to be excessive? Am I aware of my uniqueness as a person? Of my personal contribution?

Exercise for the day: Take a moment and concentrate on yourself, on your true inner self, not on your performance and how you project to others; and be at peace with yourself knowing that G-d created a very special person which is you.


Upon concluding these forty nine days we come to the fiftieth day - Mattan Torah, when we have fully achieved inner renewal by merit of having assessed and developed each of our forty nine attributes.

What is the significance of the fiftieth day Mattan Torah? After we have achieved all we can accomplish through our own initiative, then we receive a gift (mattana in Hebrew) from above that which could not achieve with our limited faculties. We receive the ability to actually reach and touch the divine; not only to be cultivated human beings who have refined each of their personal characteristics, but divine human beings, who are capable of expressing above and beyond their defined hum an emotions, but actually express that which is unexpressable and undefinable in human terms; the most intimate emotions that transcend the forty nine defined attributes.

What are the Customs of Shavuot? From the Orthodox Union:

Shavuot has a number of customs which are deeply ingrained in the celebration of the holiday. Among these are the following:

Staying up all night to learn Torah on the first night of Shavuot
Spreading greens and flowers in the synagogue on Shavuot
Eating Dairy Meals on Shavuot
Staying Up (Without NoDoz)

There is a custom among the People of Israel to stay up all night to study the Torah on the first night of Shavuot. One of the reasons given for this custom is that it is to "make up" for the behavior of a large number of Jews who were present at Sinai, at the "main event," so to speak, yet they went to sleep that night. And Hashem had to wake them up with peals of thunder and Shofar blowing, to receive the Torah.

It is said in defense of those Jews that they slept "l'shem shamayim," with good intentions, for they felt that they would be better able to absorb and withstand the experience of Hashem's Revelation, which they knew was coming in the morning.

Those who stay up all night should wash their hands in the morning as usual, but without making the "brachah," or blessing, of "Netilat Yadayim," which is made each morning when one has had a regular night's sleep. Neither should they say the regular "Birchot HaShachar," the Blessings of the Morning, which contain blessings which correspond to the various aspects of "waking up:" opening the eyes, standing up, getting dressed, etc. On Shavuot morning, they should hear these "brachot" from someone who had slept during the night, but who came to "daven," to pray, typically at an early hour, with those who had stayed up to "learn."

Spreading Greens and Flowers

There exists a beautiful custom of decorating the synagogue on Shavuot with flowers and greens, because of the vegetation on Mt. Sinai. Some have the custom of adorning the Sefer Torah with roses. That, in particular, seems to have been an ancient custom, because Haman criticized the Jewish People to Achashverosh because of their observance of that custom.

The custom once existed to bring trees into the synagogue, but the Vilna Gaon basically banned that custom on the basis of it being "chukot ha'goyim," "adopting the customs of the gentiles," who have adopted the custom of celebrating their holiday by the use of trees.

Eating Dairy Meals

There is a tasty custom of eating dairy foods on the first day of Shavuot. Some simply eat a dairy meal. Many observe this custom by beginning with dairy foods, and following it by meat, to fulfill the commandment of "And you shall rejoice," and for most people, "there is no 'rejoicing' without meat."

In this case, one has to be very careful to rinse the mouth carefully, and to wait an hour between eating the dairy and eating the meat! In the other direction, of course; that is, meat first, then dairy, rinsing the mouth and waiting one hour is not sufficient (unless one is Dutch)! Then, one must wait several hours between meat and dairy. The number of hours is determined, again, by custom. The time interval varies from six hours to three hours (German Jewish custom) to one hour (Dutch Jews).

When having dairy followed by meat in relatively close succession, one must also say Berachos Hamazon (the blessing after a meal), spread a different table cover and reset the table for meat. A hint that this is the procedure to be followed is the Shavuot-related verse, "Bring the first fruits of your Land to the House of the L-rd - Do not cook a lamb in its mother's milk" (the three-fold repetition of the latter part of the verse being the source for the prohibition of the meat and dairy combination).

There are a number of reasons offered for this custom, but, whatever the reason, it is an established custom, and as long as it is not illegal, immoral or (very) fattening, we continue to abide by it. Some of the reasons given are as follows:

The day that Moshe Rabbaynu was pulled from the water by the daughter of Pharaoh, was the Sixth of Sivan, the day on which we celebrate Shavuot. And Baby Moshe refused to nurse from a non-Jewish woman, so that Miriam, Moshe's sister, was able to get Moshe's real mother, Yocheved, to be his nurse.

Until the giving of the Torah, meat was permitted to be eaten without ritual slaughter. Once the Torah was given, all methods of killing the animal for the purpose of eating other than "shechitah," ritual slaughter, were prohibited. Since shechitah could not be done on Shabbat, and everyone agrees that the Torah was given on Shabbat, the Jews had to eat dairy.

The "Gematria," sum of the numerical equivalents of the Hebrew letters making up the word, of "Chalav," milk, is forty (letter "Chet" (8) plus letter "lamed" (30) plus letter "Beit" (2) equals forty) which corresponds to the number of days that Moshe studied the Torah with Hashem on the top of Mt. Sinai.

Mount Sinai has eight names, one of which is "gavnunim," because its appearance resembles that of cheese, "gevina," in Hebrew.

Until the giving of the Torah, the Jewish People were afraid that the milk of animals was prohibited under the category of a "limb from a living animal." This is one of the Seven Laws of Noach, which Noach transmitted to his sons, obligatory upon all of humanity, and which is the source of the prohibition of causing excessive pain to living creatures. Once the Torah was given, and "Chalav," milk, was included among the seven types of produce with which the Land of Israel is blessed, the Jewish People realized that milk was indeed permitted.

Extinguishing fire is forbidden on Shabbat and Yom Tov. Even though one may light fire from an existing flame on Yom Tov, one may not extinguish fire on Yom Tov. One may not even lower a flame on Yom Tov (nor on Shabbat). On Yom Tov (and on Shabbat) one may not put a candle in a windy place so that it will blow out. (Yom Kippur has the same status as Shabbat; one may not light nor extinguish fire on either.) Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 98: 25

There's a Mitzvah to relish Jewish Holidays and therefore one must eat two Yom Tov meals; one at night and one during the day. (Seudas Shlishi - the 3rd meal - is only eaten on Shabbat and is not required on Yom Tov.) Each meal starts with Kiddush over wine and two Challos (loaves of bread) and should include meat and other delicacies.
It's also a Mitzvah to ensure that others are happy:
- Children should be given treats
- Wives should get new clothes and jewelry according to one's budget Guys if the bill is not to your liking remember the clothing lasts longer than the Esrog you bought before.
- Men should be served meat and wine (nothing like a little L’Chaim between the Fish and the Meat to wash down the fish taste)
In order to prove that the extra expenses are for Yom Tov and not simply for self-indulgence, one must ensure that the poor and needy are also supplied with their Yom Tov needs; invite some over for the meals and donate generously to reputable charity funds before Yom Tov. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 103:3, 5, 9

In the Torah, Shavuot does not have a fixed date, but happens on the day after finishing counting 7 full weeks - 49 days - of the Omer. Since we currently have a fixed Jewish calendar, with Nissan always 30 days long and Iyar always 29 days long, Shavuot is always on 6 Sivan. (In the time of the Bet HaMikdash - may it be speedily rebuilt in our time - any month could be either 29 or 30 days long, depending on when the new moon was first sighted). Outside Israel Shavuot is 2 days long - 6 and 7 Sivan (8th and 9th of June, this year). Source: Vayikra 23:15 – 19 The Minchag is to eat food made from milk products on the first day of Shavuot, for various reasons. One should also eat foods made with honey since the Torah is compared to honey. One should also eat meat, since - like every Yom Tov - there's a Mitzva to eat to meat on a Chag. One needs to plan the meals carefully since one may not eat milk after meat, and one may not eat both together at the same meal. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 103:7

On the 2nd day of Sivan in the year 2449 - a few days before Matan Torah - Hashem informed us that we're a Chosen Nation: וִהְיִיתֶם לִי סְגֻלָּה מִכָּל-הָעַמִּים, כִּי-לִי כָּל-הָאָרֶץ (Shemos 19:5) As a result, 2 Sivan is often referred to as the Pedigree-Day; Yom-Hameyuchas. No Tachanun is said during the first part of Sivan; until Isru-Chag Shavuot (or a week later - depending on local custom). Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 22:8, 198:14
Rosh Chodesh Sivan is (Thursday night and Friday). Shabbat will be Yom Hameyuchas. Chodesh Tov Shabbat Shalom - Danny

Perkei Avos Chapter 6 Mishna 1 – 5

1. The sages expounded in the language of the Mishnah (blessed is He who chose them and their learning): Many Commentaries say that Chapter Six was a later addition to the original Perkei Avos. It is slightly different in format and much shorter in the number of Mishnayos.

Rabbi Meir would say: Whoever studies Torah for Torah's sake alone, merits many things; not only that, but [the creation of] the entire world is worthwhile for him alone. He is called friend, beloved, lover of G-d, lover of humanity, rejoicer of G-d, rejoicer of humanity.

Very few people study the Torah for the sake of Torah. If one studies the Torah to observe and transmit to his/her children that is for the sake of heaven. Even an intellectual pursuit such as Teruma and Maasros when one is living in Chutz L’aretz (outside of Israel where the laws of tithes and Shmita do not apply). An example today is most of the Mishnayos in Seder 5 and Seder 6 of Korbanos and Tuma for we don’t observe Taharos except for women in their menses, wet fruit & vegetables and washing for bread.

The Torah enclothes him with humility and awe; makes him fit to be righteous, pious, correct and faithful; distances him from sin and brings him close to merit.

Being enwrapped in the words of Torah and guarded by the Mitzvos he automatically becomes humble by the awesomeness of the Torah. He can become fully righteous and pious and through his learning keeps away from sin.

From him, people enjoy counsel and wisdom, understanding and power, as is stated (Proverbs 8:14): "Mine are counsel and wisdom, I am understanding, mine is power." The Torah grants him sovereignty, dominion, and jurisprudence. The Torah's secrets are revealed to him, and he becomes as an ever-increasing wellspring and as an unceasing river. He becomes modest, patient and forgiving of insults. The Torah uplifts him and makes him greater than all creations.

Years ago, I should have run out of stories because of my limited knowledge and I used to have a very hot temper in my youth; but by learning Torah I can truly say that secrets are revealed and stories come before me. I see how ridiculous the insults are about me and it is very rare that I get angry when an outsider will make a nasty remark because I see how stupid he is. One time somebody insulted me on the internet in public local group. It upset me because he really went too far. I mentioned to Yitzchak, my friend, about the insult and why I left the group that the man founded. Yitzchak replied to me, look who is doing the insulting and who he is. I immediately felt better – for even when one becomes humble by Torah; if somebody foolish insults him or his credentials perhaps in a short time he should laugh the fool off. Sometimes Melech Shlomo writes in Proverbs do not answer a fool in his foolishness and in another place answer a fool in his foolishness. My answer before leaving the group did not even discuss the insulter which might have hit him under the belt in a literal term for as we say in Hebrew “On the head of a thief the hat is burning”. One must defend himself when his Torah is called into question but in the same token he can ignore fools.

2. Said Rabbi Joshua the son of Levi: Every day, an echo resounds from Mount Horeb (Sinai) proclaiming and saying: "Woe is to the creatures who insult the Torah." For one who does not occupy himself in Torah is considered an outcast, as is stated (Proverbs 11:22), "A golden nose-ring in the snout of a swine, a beautiful woman bereft of reason." And it says (Exodus 32:16): "And the tablets are the work of G-d, and the writing is G-d's writing, engraved on the tablets"; read not "engraved" (charut) but "liberty" (chairut)---for there is no free individual, except for he who occupies himself with the study of Torah. And whoever occupies himself with the study of Torah is elevated, as is stated (Number 21:19), "And from the gift to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to The Heights."

People who insult the Torah either by out and out non-observance or even worst poke fun at true Torah Scholars in the end they that insult Torah are like swine running around with gold rings in their noses (not the common people who run around in 17th or 18th Century Clothing and pretend to be scholars and when they sin or make trouble causes an insult to normal Torah scholars. Recently some people new to Chassidus jump out of cars at traffic stops and start dancing I don’t want to say what I was thinking as I viewed this phenomenon in Tel Aviv. As Rabbi Schechter or the Arachim Organization told my wife “He {I} would be a Torah Scholar even if he put an Indian Headdress with feathers.”) A true G-D fearing scholar does not demand respect, he earns it by his actions and even if he appears to be weak in one area it may not be his fault but to physical limits such as speech, hearing or even a stroke. It is well known that Moshe stuttered but the people listened and Yechezkel spoke better than the famed Winston Churchill but the people would not listen. The words in Hebrew mentioned above in the [read not] are written Chet-Resh-Vav-Tav and the reading of them differently with vowels changes the word engraved in Hebrew to freedom in Hebrew. Hebrew texts are written without vowels and can be confusing. In either Tractate Sanhedrin or Karetas there is a discussion on either Chalav (milk) and meat or Chelev (forbidden fat) and meat and without vowels a person learning it for the first time has trouble figuring it out and this is one time where tradition and translations help.

3. One who learns from his fellow a single chapter, or a single law, or a single verse, or a single word, or even a single letter, he must treat him with respect. For so we find with David, king of Israel, who did not learn anything from Achitofel except for two things alone, yet he called him his "master," his "guide" and his "intimate," as is stated (Psalms 55:14), "And you are a man of my worth, my guide and intimate friend." Surely we can infer a fortiori: if David, king of Israel, who learned nothing from Achitofel except for two things alone, nevertheless referred to him as his master, guide and intimate, it certainly goes without saying that one who learns from his fellow a single chapter, a law, a verse, a saying, or even a single letter, is obligated to revere him. And there is no reverence but Torah, as is stated (Proverbs 3:35; 28:10), "The sages shall inherit honor" "and the integral shall inherit goodness"; and there is no good but Torah, as is stated (ibid. 4:2), "I have given you a good purchase; My Torah, do not forsake it."

The Hebrew here is written Tov which the translator translated as good however in proper English it becomes goodness. Like in Tehillim 23: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me … ! One should give credit to somebody who teaches him elements of Torah or explains a deeper meaning. Talmidei Chachamim respect one another for this reason. Sometimes people have come to Rav Shalom Eliyashiv Shlita for a Psak Din and he sends them running to his son-in-law Rabbi Chaim Kanyefski Shlita for he is a baal Niflaos (a worker of wonders or understands secrets of HASHEM better than the Gadol HaDor). It is a good thing as we shall read in another Mishnah to give credit to the person who mentions something or a word of Torah. Even in Inyanay Diyoma when somebody sends me a news item, I make it my business to honor them with credit. And the Yaffa who sends me all the wonderful words of Torah over the years I don’t know her family name nor have I any idea of her age or her looks but only of her Torah and that is the way it should be when giving credit. Sometimes in the Talmud credit will be given back a few generations to scholars whom the one who recorded the words for the Talmud never met but credit is given. It does not detract from the Torah of Rav Yehuda if he said it in Rav’s name and there is not anybody alive who knows what Rav and Shmuel of the Babylonian Talmud looked like and yet their Torah lives on whether they spoke well or had deep or high voices it matters not. The physical live Tana of the Mishna or Amora of the Gemara are long gone but the Torah and the good name of the person lives on eternally.

In western culture we tend to talk to people as equals. Some countries still have royals and they are treated on a higher level. In my parent’s generation a person who went to College was respected as that was a sign of distinction. Nowadays when most people go to College with even higher degrees or more learning post graduate education so we all reach a higher level. In other cultures such as the Jews from North Africa, Ethiopia, Asia, etc. a Rabbi is treated regally and a teacher placed on the pedestal that we entrust him/her with our children. In the Orthodox Communities there is still honor some semblance of honor given to people and teachers but in the secular world much less so.

We had the Mishnah already “Who is honored – he that honors others”. I used to always say to the cleaning lady at work after a day of absence – When the CEO or the General Manager or even Plant Manager is not at work nobody feels it at work. But if Z. is not here everybody feels it as the garbage cans are full and nobody refreshes hand towels or cleans the rest rooms and everybody notices. Give credit to people and to G-D for what you have received from them for good.

4. Such is the way of Torah: Bread with salt you shall eat, water in small measure you shall drink, and upon the ground you shall sleep; live a life of deprivation and toil in Torah. If so you do, "fortunate are you, and good is to you" (Psalms 128:2): fortunate are you in this world, and it is good to you in the World to Come.

Elsewhere it is written, he who honors Torah when he is poor will end up honoring Torah when he is rich and he who desecrates Torah when he is rich will end up desecrating it when he is poor. Yacov Avinu used to guard the sheep from animals and rustlers in the night with nothing but bread and water at first and yet he became wealthy in the end for he guarded the Torah too. One like Hillel who became Hillel HaNassi (the Prince) ruled over all the citizens living in Yisrael almost froze to death in the winter trying to listen to Torah from the sky light because he did not have a quarter of a penny to pay for his studies. One can tell me that HaRav Eliyashiv lives very frugal and he was poor all his life so how can this be? One can point out to me an eighty year old atheistic billionaire who gives his money to fight Judaism so how can this one end up desecrating the Torah in poverty it seems almost physically impossible? The answer is hidden in the end of the Mishna for the true wealth is not in this world and true pleasures are not here as written in Berachos – marital relations give one sixtieth the pleasure of the next world. So the real reward or lack of reward or punishment is in the next world. Our holy Sages tell us to honor and observe the Torah so wise up and do so!

5. Do not seek greatness for yourself, and do not lust for honor. More than you study - do. Desire not the table of kings, for your table is greater than theirs, and your crown is greater than theirs, and faithful is your Employer to pay you the rewards of your work.

Those who run after honor usually find honor running away from them. I got too involved in the last elections for Congress in FL. I watched as the democratic incumbent gave loads of money to her friend to defeat the real conservative republican in the primaries and then the winner doing next to nothing to defeat the democrat in power. Politics is so treacherous and dirty that it is hard to digest for a G-D fearing person. Congressman Allen West had racial slurs hurled against him by the Jewish Congressman in power before the last election. In was so bad and disgusting that I wanted to hide the fact that I was Jewish. THIS IS WHY OUR SAGES TEACH US keep yourself clean from all this filth. Tehillim 24: 3 Who shall ascend into the mountain of the LORD? And who shall stand in His holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not taken My name in vain, and hath not sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 Such is the generation of them that seek after Him, that seek Thy face, even Jacob. Selah

And in the end HASHEM and Beis Din Shel Maalah will give you and them the real reward that is earned from the behavior in this world.

The Ten Sayings aka Commandments on the left side of this site and the commentary on the right:

Shavuos basics:

Shavuos 101 for returning to Judaism Jews and Converts:

This story came from Elisabeth: and

Some Gems from 5766

From Ruth: Subject: When a Grown Man Cries by David Bogner (This story might be more appropriate for Maphtir or even Shelach Lecha)

Like a post I wrote last year, this is not really my story to tell… but it is a story that, today, needs to be told: When our older son Gilad was approaching his 3rd birthday (he’s 10 now) he began a one-man harassment campaign to get us to let him have his first pair of Tzitzis [a small undershirt-type garment that has ritual fringes attached to it on its four corners] a few weeks early. Traditionally in many families where the boys wear this garment, parents wait until the 3rd birthday so that they are sure that the boy is old enough to be both ‘potty trained’ and able to understand the significance of the blessing he is making over the garment each time he dons it. Gilad was absolutely relentless with his repeated requests to have his first pair of Tzitzis, but we still made him wait until he actually turned three.
On the morning of his third birthday I woke him up and pointed to the neat folded pile of his clothes next to his bed and his eyes instantly locked on the crisp white garment folded on top with the knotted strings tied to the corners. No little boy in the history of the world has ever gone from sleeping to fully dressed so quickly. As I stood proudly watching him literally leap into his clothing, I was pleased to hear him recite the blessing perfectly. Clearly he’d been practicing for some time!

As it was a school day and it was my job to bring Ariella to her school and Gilad to his nursery school, we all hurried through breakfast and piled into the car. The first stop was at Ariella’s school which happened to be right next to our synagogue. As we pulled into the parking lot I spotted one of the older Hungarian gentlemen in our community coming out of the morning service and waved him over to the car. This man, who we called Fred Basci (The honorific ‘basci’ is actually pronounced ‘batchi’ and is the respectful Hungarian term for old man and/or uncle) was a solid, fireplug of a man who was a retired master plumber and had the powerful corded arms and shoulders to show for his years of work.

However, whether from malnutrition as a youth or simple old-world genetics, he stood only a few inches over 5 feet tall. Adults sometimes found Fred Basci to be prickly… and often even difficult (I’m being kind… I’ve heard him called a ‘tough old——’ on more than one occasion), but the obvious love and admiration between Fred and our children could not have been stronger if they had been his own flesh and blood. It was because of this strong bond between Fred Basci and our kids that I waved him over in the parking lot that morning so he could personally wish Gilad a happy birthday and congratulate him on wearing his Tzitzis for the first time.

However, when Fred came up to us and I proudly explained to him that Gilad was now three and had made the blessing on his first pair of Tzitzis all by himself that morning; I was completely unprepared for this wizened old man’s reaction. Instead of smiling warmly and giving Gilad a congratulatory kiss on the cheek as I’d expected, his eyes welled up with tears and he turned on his heel and strode quickly away towards the corner of the parking lot where his car was parked. As I watched him stand there next to his own car with his back to us, it was obvious to me that he was sobbing uncontrollably. I waited a few minutes until it appeared that Fred Basci had gotten himself somewhat under control and told Gilad to wait while I walked over to see if everything was alright. When Fred Basci finally turned around he was holding a damp handkerchief in his hand and had only succeeded in spreading the tears around his cherubic face. I had no idea what to say. As a rule, men don’t deal well with the sight of one another crying… but Fred had earned his reputation as a ‘tough old——’, and I was shocked silent by the unexpected/unexplained outburst of emotion. I just stood there wondering if perhaps I was shaming him by coming over before he’d had a chance to fully regain his composure. To my surprise, Fred smiled at me through the last of his tears and waved me closer. Without any reference to his behavior or his damp face he began by saying the following (you’ll have to imagine the thick Hungarian accent… I can’t do it justice here):
“I’m going to tell you a story about me, but the story isn’t for you…it’s for Gili. The problem is, Gilad is too young to hear this kind of story right now, but I may not be here to tell him by the time he is old enough. So, I’m telling you the story and you have to promise that when you think Gilad is ready to hear it you will tell it to him in my name, Okay?” What could I say? Of course I agreed. Without making any further attempt to dab at his streaming eyes or mask the husky remains of the tears in his voice, Fred Basci began telling me that he had lost most of his family in Auschwitz and he had emerged from the camp at the end of the war more dead than alive.

Rather than submit to living in a displaced person’s camp, Fred set off on foot and began the long walk back to Hungary to see if anyone in his family or community had survived. For weeks he walked and slept in forests and inside ruined buildings, but when he got back to Hungary he had the misfortune to be captured by Russian troops who were arresting anyone and everyone who might possibly have been a German in order to exact vengeance for the atrocities the Nazi’s had inflicted on their people. Fred knew only one word in the language of his captors – the Russian word for ‘Jew’ – and he used it over and over while pointing to himself to try to convince the Russian troops that he was a Jewish victim and not a German collaborator or (G-d forbid) a Nazi. No amount of using the word ‘Jew’ and pointing to himself had any effect on the Russian soldiers and it soon became clear that Fred and his fellow prisoners (most of whom were in fact collaborators and Nazis) were going to be given a field trial and summarily executed. So deep was the Russian hatred for the Germans in the wake of countless atrocities that all attempts to explain and plead for mercy fell on deaf ears.

One day when a Russian officer appeared and it seemed that the trials and executions were about to begin, Fred made one last attempt to convince his captors that he was Jewish and not a German war criminal. The officer overheard him screaming the Russian word for Jew and came over to the caged enclosure where the prisoners were being held. After determining that Fred didn’t know any other Russian, the officer asked through a soldier who spoke some Hungarian why Fred kept screaming the word Jew. Fred answered that it was because he was a Jew who had been in a concentration camp and that he had been mistakenly arrested while trying to make his way back to his home village in Hungary. The officer asked him via the interpreter why he should believe him. He continued by saying that this was a common trick among the Germans to try to avoid the firing squad. Fred responded by untucking one side of his shirt and pulling out the soiled strings of the Tzitzis he wore underneath. The officer looked at the strings and said, “So what… how do I know you haven’t taken these strings off the body of a dead Jew? Surely it would have been an easy thing to accomplish with so many of
them dead all over Europe. Tell me, is there some prayer or blessing that one has to say on these strings that would prove to me that you are a Jew?” Without hesitation Fred recited the Hebrew blessing one says each morning over theTzitzis, all the time staring up into the cold eyes of the Russian officer. As he finished the blessing the officer said something in Russian to the soldier who had been acting as interpreter and the soldier went around to the gate of the enclosure clearly intent on unlocking it. While Fred watched in disbelief as the gate was being unchained, the Russian officer took advantage of their momentary solitude to whisper to him softly in perfect Yiddish:
“I am also a Jew so I hope you understand why I had to be sure you were who you said you were. By the time you wake up tomorrow morning the rest of these prisoners will be dead and buried. It is not a common thing to find a Jew in a position of authority in the Russian army so take my advice… as you make your way to your home village, try to avoid any other Russian troops if you can.”

As Fred Basci finished relating the tale of his narrow escape, his clear blue eyes locked onto mine and he grabbed my upper arm in a vise-like grip, and said, “When you think Gilad is old enough to hear this story I want you to tell him in my name that these strings we wear are important. They remind us who we are every single moment that we wear them… and sometimes they remind others who we are too. Because of these strings I lived instead of being shot. I was able to marry, raise a family and live to be an old man who gives candy to your beautiful children in Schul. Please tell Gili in my name so that every morning while he is making this blessing, he will never forget how important these strings are to us.”

When I got back to the car Gilad asked me if Fred Basci was OK. I assured him that he was, and told him that Fred had given me a birthday gift for him… a story that in a few years I would share with him. And a few years ago I kept my promise to Fred Basci and told Gilad his belated Birthday story. .

David Bogner, formerly of Fairfield, CT, lives in Efrat with his wife Zahava (nee Cheryl Pomeranz), and their children Ariella, Gilad and Yonah. Since moving to Israel in 2003 David has been working for MY FORMER EMPLOYER (RP) in International Marketing and Business Development. In his free time David keeps a blog (_http://www.treppenwitz.com_ ( ) and is an amateur beekeeping.

Master plan or free will?

One of the interesting sub-themes raised by a few people in yesterday's comment thread was the issue of whether life and death were part of some master plan (meaning controlled by a Higher Power), or simply random events (meaning controlled by human free will).

It's funny that in the midst of this discussion (but unrelated to it), I received an email from a friend inviting me to participate in a discussion of the actions - perhaps more correctly 'inaction' - of an English soldier in WWI; Private Henry Tandey. In light of the [perhaps] coincidental timing of the email, I've decided to invite you all to the discussion:

For most of you the name Henry Tandey won't ring a bell, so allow me to provide some background information:

According to records from his Regiment (The Green Howards), Private Tandey spent the 28th of September, 1918 helping to capture a French village called Marcoing from the German forces holding it. During the fighting for the village and its crossing...

"His platoon was held up by machine-gun fire. He at once crawled forward, located the machine gun with a Lewis gun team and knocked it out. On arrival at the crossings he restored the plank bridge under a hail of bullets, thus enabling the first crossing to be made at this vital spot. Later in the evening, during an attack, he, with eight comrades was surrounded by an overwhelming number of Germans and, though the position was apparently hopeless, he led a bayonet charge through them, fighting so fiercely that thirty seven of the enemy were driven into the hands of the remainder of his company. Although twice wounded, he refused to leave until the fight was won."

For these actions he was awarded the Victoria Cross, 'the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces'.

However, during that same campaign (some historians argue whether it was that day at Marcoing or a few days earlier at another battle site called 'Menin Cross Roads'), Private Tandey encountered a wounded German Lance Corporal... raised and aimed his rifle... and in a moment of mercy decided not to fire. The German soldier nodded his thanks and the two men rejoined their units.

One of the most common questions asked to teenagers in youth groups (especially Jewish ones) intended to spark moral/ethical discussions is whether, given the opportunity to travel back in time, they would go back and kill Adolph Hitler (his name should be obliterated). This question never fails to trigger (pun intended) lively discussions about free choice, the dangers of toying with history and even whether we have the ability to wrest control of G-d's intended plans away from Him.

However, for Private Tandey the question was not some academic discussion point intended to make suburban teenagers calibrate their moral compasses. As he had admittedly done on several previous occasions, he opted not to kill a lightly wounded soldier... a man who turned out to be a Bavarian Lance Corporal named Adolph Hitler.

After WWI a famous photograph depicting British soldiers of the Green Howards regiment bringing wounded soldiers to a first aid station was turned into an even more famous painting. The setting for the photo/painting is somewhat under dispute as it could have been either of the two battle-sites mentioned above. However, this question of location is only somewhat important to the story since both Tandey and Hitler were certainly present at 'Menin Cross Roads' and almost surely also at Marcoing.

In the early '30s, Hitler heard about the famous painting that was now hanging in the Officer's mess of the Green Howards Regiment and requested it for the conference room in his newly built mountain retreat. The reason he wanted the painting is that in the photo from which the painting had been rendered, Hitler clearly recognized the British soldier who had spared his life.

The regiment sent him the painting with very polite greetings.

When Neville Chamberlain came to visit Hitler in the days leading up to WWII, Hitler pointed out the soldier in the painting to him... told him how that soldier had spared his life... and asked that Chamberlain convey his good wishes to the man (which according to several historical accounts - including Tendey's family - he promptly did) upon returning to England.

I've shared this story with you today because whether this event took place at 'Menin Cross Roads' or Marcoing, both Tandey and Hitler were quite certain that it had happened.

For Hitler it was one of many near-death experiences in which he perceived that G-d had interceded on his behalf (as with later assassination attempts), indicating that he was destined to do great things.

For Tandey, he had to live the rest of his life (he died in 1977) knowing that but for a moment of mercy... the smallest squeeze of a trigger... tens of millions of lives might have been spared.

As if I didn't have enough to keep me awake at night, I now have an opportunity to ponder this continuation of yesterday's discussion of whether the events in our world are entirely a result of free will or if they are, in fact, part of G-d's master plan?

And of course, how do we live with the possibility that whatever we decide might be 100% wrong?

Eating Kosher and healthy OU Recipes: Summertime—and the Salads are Easy! By Norene Gilletz

Chef’s Secrets for Super Salads
I Be Leaf: Experiment with different varieties of salad greens. Try arugula (rocket), Bibb, Boston, endive, leafy field greens (mesclun), radicchio, romaine, spinach or watercress. The darker the greens, the better!

Note that even pre-washed packaged salad greens should be washed in cold water and dried in a lettuce spinner. Wrap the greens in paper towels and store in a resalable plastic bag in the refrigerator; squeeze out the air and seal well. They’ll keep for a few days.

Color Your World: Insert splashes of color into your salad greens by adding brightly colored vegetables such as yellow peppers or red onions. You can also give it a sweet kick by including fresh fruits such as kiwis or mangoes or dried fruits like cranberries or apricots. Top your salad with a handful of toasted nuts or roasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, adding both color and a crunch.

Health Addict: Want something more than just vegetables? Add 1/2 cup of any kind of canned or cooked beans, lentils or chickpeas, all of which are full of fiber, folate and protein. (If using canned beans, be sure to drain and rinse them well to lower the sodium content.) Or try adding leftover cooked grains such as barley or quinoa, which provide fiber, vitamins and minerals. For protein, you can add a myriad of ingredients, including hard-boiled eggs, tuna, tofu or chicken.

Dress for Success: Making your own salad dressing is a great way to stay healthy, and it doesn’t have to take long. Use two parts of a healthy, flavorful fat, such as extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil, to one part acid, such as a citrus juice or vinegar. Add some green herbs and spices for additional flavor. A drizzle of honey, maple syrup or sugar will lower the acidity of the dressing and round out the flavor. Be sure the greens are dry or the dressing won’t cling to them.

What’s in Store: When choosing store-bought salad dressings, look for those made with good fats (extra virgin olive oil, or canola, grapeseed, walnut or flaxseed oil) that contain 4 grams of sugar or less per serving. Choose low-calorie rather than low-fat dressings, since the latter often contains high-fructose corn syrup, which tricks your body into staying hungry.

Greek Chickpea Salad
8 servings

This tasty salad is packed with fiber and flavor, making it an excellent vegetarian dish.

1 can (19 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 red or yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup chopped sweet onion (try Vidalia)
3/4 of an English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 clove garlic (about 1 teaspoon minced)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup pitted and halved black olives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbled light feta cheese (or small cubes of firm tofu for a Parve version)

Place the drained chickpeas in a large bowl. Add the peppers, onion, cucumber, tomato, basil, dill and garlic; mix well. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, olives and salt and pepper to taste; toss gently to mix. Crumble the feta cheese over the top (or scatter the tofu cubes). Cover and chill before serving.

When ready to serve, adjust seasonings and drain any excess liquid.

Note: Keeps for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Info: 177 calories per serving, 20.2 grams carbohydrate, 4.1 grams fiber, 7 grams protein, 8.5 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 5 milligrams cholesterol, 440 milligrams sodium, 266 milligrams potassium, 1 milligram iron, 67 milligrams calcium

Couscous, Cranberry and Mango Salad
8 servings

This colorful, low-fat salad comes together quickly and tastes delicious!

1 1/2 cups hot vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup couscous (whole wheat or plain)
1/2 cup fresh parsley or 1/4 cup fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 slice fresh ginger, peeled
2 cloves garlic
3 green onions or 1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 red pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons soy sauce (low-sodium or regular)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
1 tablespoon orange juice (preferably fresh)
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the hot broth with couscous in a large bowl. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the parsley, basil, ginger and garlic until minced, about 10 seconds. Add to the couscous. Cut the onions and red pepper into chunks. Process with quick on/off pulses, until coarsely chopped. Add to the couscous along with the dried cranberries and mango.

Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, orange juice and pepper to couscous; mix gently to combine. Adjust the seasonings to taste before serving.

Note: Recipe doubles and triples easily. Keeps for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Info: 128 calories per serving, 25.8 grams carbohydrate, 3.4 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, 2.3 grams fat (0.3 grams saturated), 211 milligrams sodium, 131 milligrams potassium, 1 milligram iron, 25 milligrams calcium

Variations: Instead of mango, use 1 cup of fresh pineapple or oranges, cut into bite-sized pieces. Add some diced celery, water chestnuts or bamboo shoots for extra crunch. Garnish with chopped pistachios or toasted, sliced almonds.

Chef’s Secret: Using a sharp knife, cut down one side of the flesh of the mango, feeling for the pit with your knife. Repeat on the other side. You will have 2 large pieces. Dice the mango flesh, but don’t cut right through to the skin. Bend the piece backwards and cut mango flesh away from the skin.

Luscious Layered Salad
16 servings

This nutrition-packed salad tastes just as good as it looks. It’s a real crowd-pleaser! Don’t be discouraged by the long list of ingredients.

1 can (19 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (12 ounces) corn kernels, drained
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 cups broccoli or cauliflower florets
1 can (19 ounces) red kidney beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped tomatoes or 1 pint grape tomatoes
4 cups packed baby spinach leaves or mixed salad greens
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

1/4 cup rice or cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic (about 2 teaspoons minced)
1 teaspoon sea or Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh) oregano

In a large glass salad bowl, arrange the ingredients in layers, starting with the black beans and ending with the spinach. Top with the cranberries and almonds. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.

Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a jar; cover tightly and shake well. Refrigerate until serving time.

At serving time, drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently. Serve chilled.

Nutrition Info: 137 calories per serving, 19.8 grams carbohydrate, 5.7 grams fiber, 5 grams protein, 5.3 grams fat (0.6 grams saturated), 399 milligrams sodium, 307 milligrams potassium, 3 milligrams iron, 40 milligrams calcium

Variations: Add 1/2 cup thinly sliced or grated carrots or zucchini, or sliced mushrooms. Instead of dried cranberries or raisins, substitute with dried blueberries. Instead of almonds, top with chopped pistachios or roasted soy nuts.

Chef’s Secrets: Leaf Me Alone: If using flat-leaf spinach, wash the leaves well, dry thoroughly and tear into bite-sized pieces.

Shake It Up Baby! Mix ingredients for the dressing in the salad bowl, then layer the salad ingredients as directed. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. When ready to serve, shake the bowl to combine all the ingredients.

Red Cabbage Slaw
8 to 10 servings

Red cabbage dyes anything it touches purple. It’s culinary magic—just pour the hot dressing over the salad, and it will turn a brilliant magenta color!

1 medium head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (about 6 cups sliced)
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1 red or green pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic (about 2 teaspoons minced)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar or granular Splenda
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon celery seed (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the cabbage, carrots, onion, pepper and garlic in a large mixing bowl.
In a 2-cup glass measure, combine the vinegar, oil and sugar. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 45 seconds or until almost boiling. Pour the hot dressing over the vegetables and toss to mix well. Add the dill, celery seed and salt and pepper to taste; mix well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Adjust seasonings before serving.

Note: Keeps for 1 week in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Info: 154 calories per serving, 22 grams carbohydrate, 3.9 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, 7.3 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 52 milligrams sodium, 456 milligrams potassium, 1 milligram iron, 77 milligrams calcium

Sweet Choice: With Splenda, one serving contains 132 calories and 16.5 grams carbohydrate.

Variation: Substitute 1 or 2 bags of coleslaw mix or broccoli slaw (shredded broccoli stems) for the red cabbage.

Norene Gilletz is a cookbook author and culinary consultant in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of seven cookbooks including her latest, Norene’s Healthy Kitchen (Toronto, 2008). For more information, visit her web site at

Norene was nice enough also to have a reference to why kosher cheeses for Shevous:

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Inyanay Diyoma

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Arabs planning trouble on June 5th and in Sept.,7340,L-4075558,00.html

Rabbi Chaim Richman answers the propaganda of the Arabs and B.H.O.

It looks like Assad has beating down the opposition into submission for now:

An Israeli General said that we will have to hit the enemy hard, fast and furious bring the war to them and not to our homeland anymore in the next war:

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From Will Parker listen to the voice and the body language described:

This time Israel will be ready today and on Sunday:

Did the scandal kill this man?,7340,L-4077812,00.html

Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Stories – Saving for a rainy day and In his shoes.

Good Shabbos Everyone. The year was 1965, Isaac and Ellen Prager (not their real names) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania were busy looking for a suitable summer camp for their fifteen-year-old son, Benny. Unfortunately, although the Pragers were "orthodox," they sent their son to public school. While in public school, young Benny became convinced of the virtues of baseball playing. In fact, young Benny had his sights set on making the citywide baseball team the next year. As part of his plans, Benny wished to spend the summer at a baseball camp in Florida.
The Pragers were not too happy to hear about their son's request. They knew that it would be next to impossible for their son Benny to maintain any level of religious observance, especially keeping Shabbos, in the non-Jewish summer camp in Florida. Understandably, the Pragers refused to let their young son attend the Florida camp. As could be predicted, an argument ensued between the parents and their son. There seemed to be no way out of the dispute; both the parents and Benny were insistent.
One day soon after, however, Benny's father saw an ad in the local Jewish newspaper, which caught his eye: "CAMP ZIMRA: ORTHODOX JEWISH CAMP IN THE CATSKILL MOUNTAINS OF NEW YORK, FOR HIGH-SCHOOL BOYS, LEARNING BASEBALL, ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS NOW FOR THIS SUMMER." Benny agreed and soon after he boarded the bus for the Catskills to "Camp Zimra."
After breakfast on the first day of camp, Benny first realized what kind of camp "Camp Zimra" really was. It was a Torah learning camp. They did play baseball, but only for about an hour in the late afternoon. He and his parents had misread the advertisement. Zimra was a learning and baseball camp; it was not a camp which offered instruction in hitting and fielding.
Benny was very disappointed and felt like turning around and going straight home. Not only was there too little baseball at Zimra, but there was also too much Torah study to suit Benny, who had attended Hebrew school only in the afternoons, after public school.
"I've never learned Gemara before," Benny announced in bewilderment to his Rebbe on the first morning of shiur (torah lesson), as he and his bunkmates sat around the rickety wooden table in the fresh-air beis midrash (study hall) of Camp Zimra. Before Benny could even think of giving up, however, three of his bunkmates rose to the occasion and volunteered to study with him and help him "catch up" with the rest of class. Benny appreciated the support he received from his fellow campers. Benny actually began to enjoy the learning!
To make a long story short, Benny returned home a changed young man. Now he was truly interested in learning Torah, and cared little for sports. Little by little, Benny grew in his Torah study and observance. Eventually, several years later, he got married and he and his wife agreed that they would dedicate their lives to teaching Torah, especially to those who needed it most.
In 1975, Benny and his wife heard of an opportunity to move to Phoenix, Arizona where Benny could take a position in an orthodox Hebrew Day School - The Shemesh Day School. Benny dreamed of such an opportunity, where he could impart Torah values and wisdom into the hearts of children who lived in such a small orthodox community.
Benny made some inquires as to whether Phoenix had a mikveh (a ritual pool), the most essential institution in every Jewish community. (In fact, a community is duty bound to build a mikveh, even before they build a synagogue) Benny was informed that at the time, the closest mikveh was in Tucson, about an hour's drive from Phoenix. After speaking it over with his wife, they decided to accept the position and to move to Phoenix. However, they made up in their minds that unless a mikveh were built in Phoenix within two years of their arrival, they would return to the East coast.
When they settled into Phoenix in August 1975, they learned that the drive to the mikveh in Tucson was not always a simple matter. Although it was straight highway driving, the frequent dust storms in the area made the trip difficult and, at times, even hazardous. If the mikveh was going to be built by their private deadline of two years, they realized, they would have to get actively involved themselves.
By the end of Benny and Mrs. Pragers' first year in Phoenix, almost two-thirds of the money needed, had been raised. The board of directors of the Shemesh Day School agreed to donate a substantial area of the school grounds for the new mikveh, and construction commenced. The fund-raising and the filing for zoning and building permits were complicated, but all this was not nearly as challenging as satisfying the halachic requirements.
There are two general types of kosher mivkehs: a naturally occurring body of water, such as certain rivers, a spring, or the ocean; or, a man-made structure which contains naturally gathered water. For example, in general, the rainwater used for a man-made mikveh must fall directly into the pool. In most cities, a mikveh can be built in that way, namely, using rainwater gathered in the mikveh pool. However, this was a problem about Phoenix, which is more or less a desert with little sustained rainfall. Benny and local community leaders were at a loss as to what they could do to get kosher water for their mikveh.
As long as we are speaking about deserts, let us digress a little and speak about this week's Torah portion, Parshas BaMidbar, which literally means "in the wilderness" or "in the desert." The verse refers to the desert where the Jewish nation received the Torah. As we approach the Yom Tov of Shavuos, which celebrates the receiving of the Torah at Har Sinai, let us delve into the Midrash's interpretation as to why the Torah was given in a desert.
Among other reasons, the Midrash explains that Hashem gave the Torah in a desert to show that in order for a Jew to acquire Torah knowledge, he must make himself barren and desolate from all foreign ideas. Just as a desert is void of settlement, so too must a Jew's mind be clear of spiritual pollution such as popular "culture," (sic(k)), before he can begin to acquire Torah knowledge.
Commentators have added another allegorical reason why Hashem chose the desert as the place to give the Torah. Hashem wanted to teach the generations a lesson about how important it is to keep the Torah, even in the most remote places in the world. Just as the Jews received and upheld the Torah in the barren desert, so too must every Jew uphold the Torah even when he finds himself in a place with little or no Torah institutions. As we see from the story, which we will conclude shortly, Benny and his family worked hard to remain true to their Judaism, even in the spiritually barren Jewish community of Phoenix in the mid 1970's. Let us now conclude the amazing story…
In order to find a halachic solution to the problem of lacking "kosher water" for the mikvah, Rabbi Marcus, a community Rabbi, contacted one of the leading halachic (Jewish legal) authorities of the day, Reb Moshe Feinstein, zt"l. Reb Moshe ruled that in order to build a mikveh in Phoenix, it would be permissible to use snow. The snow would have to be trucked in from the Rocky Mountains! In order not to defile the snow, a special wooden frame would have to be constructed and inserted into the back of the truck to shield the snow from touching the metal walls and floor of the truck.
Finally, Benny made all the arraignments for the snow to be brought in the wooden container. However, since the roof of the mikveh was not yet completed, they were not ready to order the snow. However, before they could order the snow, a miraculous event happened in Phoenix: Rain was predicted. Benny acted quickly, removing the tarp, which served as a makeshift roof over the mikveh.
From the morning through the afternoon and into the evening, it rained and rained. None of the old-timers in Phoenix could remember ever seeing it rain so hard for so long. By the time the rain stopped, the mikveh was completely full, with more than the required amount of rainwater.
Now, twenty-five years later, the mikveh is still being used as a result of that one, astonishing rainfall. (People who use a mikveh, usually do not immerse themselves directly in the rainwater. Rather, they immerse themselves in replaceable tap water which is connected to an adjacent pool of rainwater.) The day the mikveh was filled with rainwater was April 12,1976. And it went down in the record books as the heaviest rainfall in the history of Phoenix. Until that date, nothing even came close. And since that day, the record has still not been broken. (From "Zorei'a Tzedakos," by Dr. Meir Wikler, p. 77)
Let us be inspired by this story to always keep the Torah, wherever we may find ourselves, even under the most difficult of circumstances. And then we will see how Hashem extends his kindness to enable us to keep His Mitzvahs even in a spiritual desert.
Good Shabbos Everyone.

Good Shabbos Everyone. In our Torah portion this week Nasso, the Torah tells us how Hashem commands Moshe to count the Jews. When commanding Moshe to count the Jews, the Torah uses the word “Nasso." The word “Nasso," can also mean "to uplift." It is therefore possible to understand the verse in the following spiritually uplifting way: Hashem is giving Moshe Rabeinu (our teacher) the power to uplift the Jews. Since the time of Moshe Rabeinu, Hashem has appointed in every generation Tzadikim (the exceedingly righteous) to lead Klal Yisroel. Just as Hashem gave Moshe Rabeinu the power to uplift the Children of Israel, so too does Hashem gave the spiritual leaders of every generation the power to uplift Jews. The following story will inspire us to believe in the power of Tzadikkim.
In a certain area of Jerusalem many years ago, some Jewish stores were open on Shabbos. Rabbis and lay leaders tried to convince the proprietors to close their stores before sunset Friday afternoon. Eventually they were successful with all the storekeepers except one -but no amount of pleading or pressure could get this particular Jewish grocer to close his store. Business was good, and to his mind, profits outweighed any regard he may have had for Shabbos observance.
Reb Aryeh Levin, of blessed memory, heard about the stubborn grocer and was pained that a fellow Jew would willfully desecrate the Shabbos. One Friday afternoon, R' Aryeh dressed early for Shabbos, donned his shtreimel (fur hat worn on Shabbos), and went to the store. It was well before sunset when R' Aryeh entered the shop.
He walked quietly through the store, eyeing the goods on the shelves and watching the brisk flow of customers and purchases. He sat down on a chair near the back of the store and observed the activity.
The owner recognized R' Aryeh but didn't say anything to him, thinking that perhaps the elderly rabbi was resting and would soon be on his way to shul. As sunset drew near, however, the grocer wondered why R' Aryeh made no effort to go. He began to feel a bit uncomfortable at the great rabbi's presence in his store so close to Shabbos. The proprietor was busy with his customers, but every once in a while he would steal a glance at R' Aryeh, who seemed to be sitting there for no apparent reason. Finally the grocer approached R' Aryeh and said, "Rabbi, I see you have been sitting here for a while already. Can I do something for you? Are you feeling all right?"
R' Aryeh stood up and, after exchanging pleasantries, said to the grocer, "I heard that you keep your store open on Shabbos. I know that others have spoken to you about it, but I wanted to come and see for myself how difficult it is for you to close for the holy Shabbos. Now I know without a doubt how hard it is for you to close and give up so much business. Honestly, I feel for you - but what can I say? Shabbos is Shabbos!"
The grocer was silent for a moment, and tears welled up in his eyes. He said, "My dear Rabbi, you are the only one who took the time to come over here to see the situation from my point of view. It means so much to me that you came to my store. Everyone else just criticized me from a distance." Warmly, he shook R' Aryeh's hand and said, "I promise you that I will do what I can to see if I can close the store on Shabbos.” R' Aryeh wished the grocer, "Good Shabbos.”
Within weeks, the store was closed by sunset every Friday afternoon. Only after R' Aryeh was in "the grocer's shoes" did he undertake to reprimand him, and even then he did so only with great sensitivity. No wonder people listened to R' Ariyeh's words. (Along the Maggid’s Journey, R. Pesach Krohn, p.113)
Throughout the millennium, Tzadikim have led the Jewish Nation: the Kohanim Gedolim (high priests), the Prophets, the Kings and the Sages have all served as spiritual conduits to funnel holiness and wisdom from heaven. Our current generation also has its Tzadikim which lead Yisroel. Many of us have the merit to live in close proximity to some of the biggest Tzadikim active today. Hundreds of thousands of Jews flock to Tzadikim yearly for advice on everything from business concerns, medical issues, family issues, marriage proposals, and suggestions on spiritual growth.
It can be very time-consuming to seek the counsel of a Tzadik. In addition, the time we are allotted to speak with the Tzadik may be limited to a few minutes. However, it is well worth the wait. Because, a few minutes with one of the Tzadikei HaDor (the spiritual leaders of the generation) is worth much much more than hours and hours with less qualified people. This is because the words of a Tzadik are the closest thing to divine inspiration that we have today. In other words, the best chance we have to receive heavenly inspired answers to life's issues is by asking Tzadikim.
Therefore, when we go in to ask a Tzadik for advice, it is important to listen very closely to his holy words. As we mentioned, the advice the Tzadik gives is the closest thing to coming directly from Hashem. Why then should we be so foolish as to contradict this heaven-sent advice? By seeking the advice of Tzadikim we are guaranteed to live happier, less worrisome lives.
Good Shabbos Everyone.

Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah

Have a wonderful Shabbos and a productive one for learning Torah and refreshing ones soul,

Rachamim Pauli