Friday, February 3, 2012

Parsha Beshalach the unusal way and a dispute for the sake of heaven

The soul of the Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Rehovot Yeshai ben Leah Gizel has come to rest.
Alert level for Purim has been upped to stage bet jokes are on the way:
This past Friday was Holocaust Memorial Day in Germany. But the problem is few knew it – and even more don't remember what it's all about. One in five young Germans has no idea that Auschwitz was a Nazi death camp, a poll released this week showed. Although 90 percent of those asked did know it was a concentration camp, the poll for yesterday's edition of Stern news magazine revealed that Auschwitz meant nothing to 21 percent of 18-29 year olds.
Sometimes I think that HASHEM has compassion on fools. It had been pouring from about 2:30 AM to 7:20 AM with a slight let up so I took the dog for a walk. While walking I saw teens heading for the Yeshiva High School with only a sweatshirt which absorbs water on. The Chessed and Rachamim from HASHEM never fails to amaze me. After the Yeshiva started the rains came back.
Parsha Beshalach
This Parsha also starts with Vayehi and there is trouble at least from Pharaoh and his army pursuing the Bnei Yisrael. Only after the sea drowns them does the Bnei Yisrael get respite until they run out of water.
13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said: 'Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt.'
The standard way was to go the main highway route near the sea coast from Egypt north via the coast or the Mitla and Gidi passes through El Arish then what was Yamit, Rafiach, Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Yafo route. Traditionally the site used is very-very close to Goshen and does not make sense for a group of fleeing slaves to take a week to move such a short distance. Last year I brought down a map which showed a route through the Sinai Mountains to Nuweiba,r:2,s:24&biw=1366&bih=604
The amount to flee would be a lot down the coast through the mountains to Nuweiba which would explain the pass protecting them from Pharaoh who could only bring up his chariots over the rocky terrain slowly and not attack from the sides or confront them from the north east. This does not exclude the DIVINE Hanhaga of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night leading them through the desert. I calculated then that at 20 to 25 km a day or about 1 to 1.5 km an hour it would not overwork the people or the flocks and herds to move such a distance.
when they see war: For instance, the war of “And the Amalekites and the Canaanites descended, etc.” (Num. 14:45). If they had gone on a direct route, they would have returned. Now, if when He led them around in a circuitous route, they said, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt” (Num. 14:4), how much more [would they have planned to do this] if He had led them on a direct route? [According to the sequence of the verse, the headings appear to be transposed. See Mizrachi, Gur Aryeh, and Minchath Yehuda for a correct solution of this problem.]
18 But God led the people about, by the way of the wilderness by the Red Sea; and the children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt.
Although they went out of Egypt with arms, they were not trained in combat skills or tactics and they all had a slave mentality towards the Egyptians.
Armed: Heb. חִמֻשִׁים וַחִמֻשִׁים [in this context] can only mean “armed.” (Since He led them around in the desert [circuitously], He caused them to go up armed, for if He had led them around through civilization, they would not have [had to] provide for themselves with everything that they needed, but only [part,] like a person who travels from place to place and intends to purchase there whatever he will need. But if he travels a long distance into a desert, he must prepare all his necessities for himself. This verse was written only to clarify the matter, so you should not wonder where they got weapons in the war with Amalek and in the wars with Sihon and Og and Midian, for the Israelites smote them with the point of the sword.) [In an old Rashi]) And similarly [Scripture] says: “and you shall cross over armed (חִמֻשִׁים)” (Josh. 1:14). And so too Onkelos rendered מְזָרְזִין just as he rendered: “and he armed (וְזָרֵיז) his trained men” (Gen. 14:14). Another interpretation: חִמֻשִׁים means “divided by five,” [meaning] that one out of five (חִמִֹשָה) [Israelites] went out, and four fifths [lit., parts of the people] died during the three days of darkness [see Rashi on Exod. 10:22]. — [from Mechilta, Tanchuma, Beshalach 1]
WARNING: I am talking to myself here - Do not think that because you are religious and do most of the Mitzvos properly that you will merit redemption in the time of the Moshiach take into the account the uncertainty of the 80% of the Bnei Yisrael who might not make redemption and work harder. It is not enough being a good person only it is a matter of loving and working harder on the Mitzvos to meet the criteria of redemption for do not count yourself as righteous rather think where you can improve yourself.
19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him; for he had straightly sworn the children of Israel, saying: 'God will surely remember you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.'
for he had adjured: Heb. הִֹשְבִּיעַ הַֹשְבֵּעַ. [The double expression indicates that] he [Joseph] had made them [his brothers] swear that they would make their children swear (Mechilta). Now why did he not make his sons swear to carry him to the land of Canaan immediately [when he died], as Jacob had made [him] swear? Joseph said, “I was a ruler in Egypt, and I had the ability to do [this]. As for my sons-the Egyptians will not let them do [it].” Therefore, he made them swear that when they would be redeemed and would leave there [Egypt], they would carry him [out]. — [from Mechilta] and you shall bring up my bones from here with you: He made his brothers swear in this manner. We learn [from this] that the bones of all [the progenitors of] the tribes they brought up [out of Egypt] with them as it is said “with you” -[from Mechilta]
It is proper to carry out a pledge made by a previous generation that you did not make but since you inherited things from the past generation it is also proper to inherit the promises.
20 And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; that they might go by day and by night: 22 the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, departed not from before the people.
This week is called Parsha Shira because of the song by the sea and I am going to skip the whole section of the splitting of the sea and concentrate this year on other aspects of the Parsha.

14:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn back and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, before Baal-zephon, over against it shall ye encamp by the sea. 3 And Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel: They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. 4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he shall follow after them; and I will get Me honor upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD.' And they did so. … 26 and He said: 'If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His eyes, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon thee, which I have put upon the Egyptians; for I am the LORD that healeth thee.' 27 And they came to Elim, where were twelve springs of water, and three score and ten palm-trees; and they encamped there by the waters.

The Parsha of the Mann (Mon/Manna)

Rabbi Wein Parshas Beshalach - The Spiritual Effect of Tasting the Manna

The miracle of the manna that fell from heaven and nurtured millions of people for forty years is one of the focal points of this week’s Parsha. The obvious reason for the miracle’s occurrence is that the Jewish people had to have daily nourishment simply to survive. However the rabbis of the Talmud injected another factor into the miracle of the falling manna.

They stated that “the Torah could only have been granted to those that ate manna daily.” Thus the necessity for the manna was directly associated with the granting of the Torah to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai. No manna, no Torah. Why is this so?

Most commentators are of the opinion that only a people freed from the daily concerns of earning a living and feeding a family could devote themselves solely to Torah study and acceptance of the life values that acceptance of the Torah mandates.

The Torah is a demanding discipline. It requires time and effort, concentration and focus to appreciate and understand it. Cursory glances and even inspiring sermons will not yield much to those who are unwilling to invest time and effort into its study and analysis. This was certainly true in this first generation of Jewish life, newly freed from Egyptian bondage and lacking heritage, tradition and life mores that would, in later generations, help Jews remain Jewish and appreciate the Torah.

The isolation of the Jewish people in the desert of Sinai coupled with the heavenly provision of daily manna and the miraculous well of Miriam together created a certain think-tank atmosphere. This atmosphere enabled Torah to take root in the hearts and minds of the Jewish people.

In his final oration to the Jewish people, recorded for us in the book of Devarim, Moshe reviews the story of the manna falling from heaven. But there Moshe places a different emphasis on the matter. He states there that the manna came to teach, “… that humans do not live by bread alone but rather on the utterances of God’s mouth,”

In order to appreciate Torah, to truly fathom its depths and understand its values system, one has to accept its Divine origin. Denying that basic premise of Judaism compromises all deeper understanding and analysis of Torah. Thus the manna, the presence of God, so to speak, in the daily life of the Jew allowed the Torah to sink into the depths of the Jewish soul and become part of the matrix of our very DNA.

The Torah could only find a permanent and respected home within those who tasted God’s presence, so to speak, every day within their very beings and bodies. The rabbis also taught us that the manna produced no waste materials within the human body.

When dealing with holiness and holy endeavors there is nothing that goes to waste. No effort is ignored and no thought and attempt is left unrecorded in the heavenly court of judgment. Even good intent is counted meritoriously. Let us feel that we too have tasted the manna.

Shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Berel Wein

One of the things that occupied my mind this week was the laws of giving and perhaps the correct ways to accept charity. The high act of Chessed from HASHEM to feed everybody so that people could learn Torah in the wilderness without worry is an act of Tzeduka.

16:1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.

This area in near the modern Sde Boker and has the year around spring of Ein Avdat there.

2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron in the wilderness; 3 and the children of Israel said unto them: 'Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'

Now these are our forefathers and we must honor them but their mentality was that of a slave work – eat- sleep. They must have had some meat mixed in the form of a stew and since the Egyptians did not eat sheep or goats, there might have been a tasty mixture. I am trying to imagine somebody building a Pyramid and being paid only slop to eat.

4 Then said the LORD unto Moses: 'Behold, I will cause to rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My law, or not.

From Rabbi A.L. a parable: A king had a son whom he loved very much and he provided him with all his sustenance. In the beginning of the year, the king would give his son all that he would need for the entire year. As a result, the son would visit his father once a year. The king was not happy with his son's lack of visitation and he decided to provide food for his son, one day at a time. From that day on, the son appeared before his father each day!!

"The same was with Israel," "By having to depend upon G-D for their sustenance each day, the people of Israel were compelled to direct their hearts to their Father in Heaven on a daily basis!!" There is a wonderful lesson in this for us. The fact that G-D does not give us our needs all at once is actually a sign of His great love toward us. When we pray each and every day for His help, we appear before G-D each day and reinforce our relationship with Him daily.

so that I can test them, whether…they will follow My teaching: [Through giving the manna I will test] whether they will keep the commandments contingent upon it, [i.e.,] that they will not leave any of it over, and that they will not go out on the Sabbath to gather [the manna].

5 And it shall come to pass on the sixth day that they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.'

This is the first time since Parsha Beresheis dealing with Maaser Beresheis do we have Shabbos as an important date. It was known but there was no more reference to its distinct designation before HASHEM for the previous 2448 years since Gan Eden. This is now the foundation stone of Am Yisrael observing the Shabbos. For up until now we were like Goyim observing the Shabbos as Maaser Beresheis “For HE rested on the seventh day”. Now we were a nation who was observing the Shabbos because it was becoming our thing. Before this special act we really were not better off than the animals that graze on grass or hunt seven days a week. Before the observance of Shabbos as a national act we were no better than the kingdom of Nimrod or Egypt. Now we were special we had a sign that separated Kodesh le Chol. For now six days a week the Mann would fall and on the Holy Shabbos it would not. All the more so that on the sixth day a double portion was waiting for us.

And it will be double: For that day and for the morrow. Double: of what they were accustomed to gather each day of the rest of the days of the week. I believe that [the meaning of] “what they will bring, and it will be double” is that after they bring it [the manna], by measuring [it], they will find it [to be] double of what they gather and measure every day. That is [the meaning of] “they gathered a double portion of bread” (verse 22). Their gathering was found to be a double portion of bread. That is [the meaning of] “Therefore, on the sixth day, He gives you bread for two days” (verse 29). He gives you a blessing (foison [in French, meaning plenty, abundance]) in the house to fill the omer twice for two days of bread.

The Mann will not only be a test but an educational tool to distinguish between the profane week and the holy Shabbos. Because the double portion and the fact that it will not rot and not appear on Shabbos would be a miracle within a miracle and make the Shabbos into something Holy in the minds of the Bnei Yisrael for the Bnei Yisrael will learn a Kal V’ Homer from it. (From easy to difficult aka apriori for if this is so all the more so that) If HASHEM who is the CREATOR of all rests on Shabbos and does not make for us Mann all the more so we who are created must rest on Shabbos. If HASHEM makes a distinction between the six days of creation and Shabbos all the more so I must do so from HIS example.

6 And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel: 'At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt;

Evening: Heb. עֶרֶב. Like בָּעֶרֶב, toward evening. [According to Sifthei Chachamim, the correct reading is בָּעֶרֶב, in the evening.] [from Onkelos and Jonathan] you shall know that the Lord brought you out of the land of Egypt: Since you [the people of Israel] said to us [Moses and Aaron], “For you have brought us out” (verse 3), you shall know that we are not the ones who brought [you] out, but [it was] the Lord [Who] brought you out, for He will cause the quail to fly to you.[See commentary on verse 13]

7 and in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that He hath heard your murmurings against the LORD; and what are we, that ye murmur against us?'

And [in the] morning, you shall see: This was not stated in reference to “and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud” (verse 10), but this is what he [Moses] said to them: In the evening you shall know that He has the ability to grant your desire, and He will give [you] meat; but He will not give it to you with a smiling countenance, because you requested it inappropriately and with a full stomach. As for the bread, which you requested out of necessity, however, when it comes down in the morning, you shall see the glory of the radiance of His countenance. For He will bring it down to you lovingly, in the morning, when there is time to prepare it, and with dew over it and dew under it as if it were lying in a box. — [from Mechilta Yoma 75a,b] your complaints against the Lord: As [if it would say]: "your complaints, which are against the Lord." but [of] what [significance] are we: Of what importance are we? -[from Jonathan Mechilta] that you make [the people] complain: Heb. תַלִּינוּ, that you make everyone complain against us: your sons, your wives, your daughters, and the mixed multitude. Perforce, I must interpret תַלִּינוּ, in the sense of “you make do something,” [i.e., the hiph’il conjugation] because of its [the “lammed’s”] “dagesh” and the way it is read [i.e., the keri as opposed to the kethiv]; because if it were weak [i.e., not punctuated with a “dagesh”], I would interpret it as “you do something,” [i.e., in the kal conjugation,] like “and the people complained (וַיָלֶן) against Moses” (Exod. 17:3), or if it [the “lammed”] were punctuated with a “dagesh” and it did not have a “yud” [after it], and read תִלּוֹנוּ, [as it is written], I would explain it as meaning “you complain.” Now, however, it means: “you cause others to complain,” like [the verse written in reference to] the spies: “and they caused the entire congregation to complain (וַיַלִינוּ) against him” (Num. 14:36).

You are causing a dispute in Israel and like most politicians rousing the public to complain which does not take much. However, you should know that your complaints are not against our leadership as we do not move to the left or the right without guidance from HASHEM. Therefore your complaints are against the DIVINE and not HIS humble servants who guide you.

8 And Moses said: 'This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD hears your murmurings which ye murmur against Him; and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.'

Rashi explains now what a legitimate and non-legitimate request from HASHEM YISBORACH is: Meat to eat: But not to be satiated. The Torah [here] teaches us a rule of behavior we should not eat meat to satiety. What did He see [what reason did He have] to bring down bread in the morning and meat in the evening? Because they requested bread appropriately, since it is impossible for a person to get along without bread, but they requested meat inappropriately, because they had many animals, and furthermore, it was possible for them to get along without meat. Therefore, He gave it to them at a time when it would be a burden for them to prepare it, [at an] inappropriate [time]. — [from Mechilta Yoma 75b]

9 And Moses said unto Aaron: 'Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel: Come near before the LORD; for He hath heard your murmurings.' 10 And it came to pass, as Aaron spoke unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.

The freed slaves need Chizuk (strengthening) in their faith so they are able to witness the cloud of glory something we have lost but have tradition about.

11 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 12 'I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak unto them, saying: At dusk ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.' 13 And it came to pass at even, that the quails came up, and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew round about the camp.

The quails: Heb. הַשְׂלָיו, a species of bird that is very fat. -[from Yoma 75b] there was a layer of dew: The dew lay on the manna. But elsewhere it states: “When the dew descended [on the camp at night, the manna would descend upon it]” (Num. 11:9). [The explanation of the matter is that] the dew would descend on the earth, then the manna would descend upon it, and then [more] dew would descend upon the manna, and it was as if [the manna] was stored in a box.

There is a section in the Sinai Desert that until this day one can get up very early and gather Mann and eat it. I have seen a film made by IBA with Bedouin gathering the Mann and eating it.

14 And when the layer of dew was gone up, behold upon the face of the wilderness a fine, scale-like thing, fine as the hoar-frost on the ground.

The layer of dew went up, etc.: When the sun would shine, the dew upon the manna would rise toward the sun, as it is natural for dew to rise toward the sun. [This is similar to] even if you fill an egg shell with dew, close up its opening, and place it in the sun, it [the egg shell] will rise by itself in the air (Yoma 75b, Rashi s.v. כתיב ). Our Rabbis, however, explained that the dew would rise from the earth (into the air) (Mechilta verse 4; Tanchuma, Beshallach 20; Exod. Rabbah 38:4), and when the layer of dew rose, the manna was revealed, “and they saw, and behold, on the surface of the desert, etc.” fine: Something thin. bare: Heb. מְחֻסְפָּס, [which means bare] but there is no similarity to it [this word] in the Bible. It may be said that מְחֻסְפָּס is an expression related to חִפִיסָה “a leather bag and a case דְּלֻסְקְמָא” [found] in the language of the Mishnah (B.M. 1:8). When it [the manna] was uncovered [by the ascension] of the layer of dew, they saw that there was something thin encased in its midst [as a leather bag encases something] between the two layers of dew. Onkelos, however, rendered: מְקַלַּף, peeled, an expression derived from “baring (מַחְשׂף) the white” (Gen. 30:37). as fine as frost: Heb. כַּכְּפֹר. כְּפֹר means gelede in Old French [meaning frost]. [Onkelos renders:] [hoarfrost] which was as fine as “gir,” [as in the phrase:] “like stones of gir” (Isa. 27:9). That is a type of black dye, as we say [in the Talmud] regarding covering the blood [of a slaughtered fowl or beast, i.e., the substances that we may use are:] “Gir and orpiment” (Chul. 88b). Which was thin as “gir,” like hoarfrost on the earth. [Onkelos explains:] it [the manna] was as fine as “gir” and lay congealed like frost on the earth. This is its meaning: It was as fine as hoarfrost, spread out thin, and joined together like hoarfrost. דַּק means tenves in Old French, [meaning thin] for it had a thin crust on the top. The words “like gir’” that Onkelos translated are added to the Hebrew text, but they have no [corresponding] word in the verse.

15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another: 'What is it?'--for they knew not what it was. And Moses said unto them: 'It is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

It is manna: Heb. מָן הוּא. It is a preparation of food, like “The king allotted (וַיְמַן) them” (Dan. 1:5). Because they did not know what it was: that they were able to call it by its name.

16 This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded: Gather ye of it every man according to his eating; an Omer a head, according to the number of your persons, shall ye take it, every man for them that are in his tent.' 17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered some more, some less.

Both the one who gathered much and the one who gathered little: Some gathered [too] much [manna] and some gathered [too] little, but when they came home, they measured with an Omer, each one what he had gathered, and they found that the one who had gathered [too] much had not exceeded an Omer for each person who was in his tent, and the one who had gathered [too] little did not find less than an Omer for each person. This was a great miracle that occurred with it [the manna]. (another miracle within a miracle)

18 And when they did mete it with an Omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. 19 And Moses said unto them: 'Let no man leave of it till the morning.' 20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and rotted; and Moses was wroth with them.

You want to be a glutton therefore learn the lesson from HASHEM. But on Shabbos there were not worms or rot due to the holiness or the miracle within the miracle.

21 And they gathered it morning by morning, every man according to his eating; and as the sun waxed hot, it melted.

and [when] the sun grew hot, it melted: What remained [of the manna] in the field melted and became streams from which deer and gazelles drank. And the nations of the world would hunt some of them [these animals] and taste in them the flavor of manna and know how great Israel’s praise was. — [from Mechilta]

22 And it came to pass that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one; and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.

and reported [it] to Moses: They asked him, “Why is this day different from other days?” From here we can deduce that Moses had not yet told them the section regarding the Sabbath that he was commanded to tell them, [namely:] “And it will come about on the sixth day that they shall prepare, etc.” (verse 5) until they asked him this [question]. [At that point] he said to them, “That is what the Lord spoke,” (verse 23) which I was commanded to tell you. Therefore, [because Moses had waited to convey this commandment,] Scripture punished him that He said to him “How long will you refuse [to observe My commandments…]” (verse 28) and [in saying this He] did not exclude him [Moses] from the general community [of sinners]. — [from Exod. Rabbah 25:17]

23 And he said unto them: 'This is that which the LORD hath spoken: To-morrow is a solemn rest, a holy Sabbath unto the LORD. Bake that which ye will bake, and seethe that which ye will seethe; and all that remaines over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.'

Now the Bnei Yisrael are receiving the first commandment regarding Shabbos. Bake whatever you wish to bake: Whatever you wish to bake in an oven, bake everything today for two days, and whatever [amount] of it you need to cook in water, cook today. [The word] אִפִיָה, baking applies to bread and the expression בִּשׁוּל to cooked dishes.

24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade; and it did not rot, neither was there any worm therein. 25 And Moses said: 'Eat that to-day; for to-day is a Sabbath unto the LORD; to-day ye shall not find it in the field.

And Moses said, “Eat it today, etc.”: In the morning, when they were accustomed to go out and gather, they came to ask, “Shall we go out or not?” He [Moses] said to them, “What you have in your possession eat.” In the evening, they came before him again and asked him whether they could go out. He said to them, “Today is the Sabbath.” He saw that they were concerned that perhaps the manna had ceased, and would no longer come down. [So] he said to them, “Today you will not find it.” What is the meaning of "today"? [This implies that] today you will not find it, but tomorrow you will find it. — [from Mechilta]

For to-day is a Shabbos unto the LORD – this is no ordinary run of the mill days. It is a day dedicated by and to HASHEM ELOKAYNU YISBORACH.

26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.'

But on the seventh day [which is the] Sabbath: It is a Sabbath; on it [this day] there will be no manna. This verse comes only to include Yom Kippur and [the] festivals [that no manna will fall on those days as well]. — [from Mechilta]

Come and see how precious the Shabbos is to HASHEM that it gets repeated over and over in this section. In fact in our previous Parsha about Pessach, I do not believe that the Chag of Pessach was repeated so much. The only conclusion that I can draw from this is Shabbos is HaYom unto the L-RD and HIS sacred and beloved treasure for HIS beloved people.

27 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that there went out some of the people to gather, and they found none.

Moshe is looking around and saying thinking to himself – I just don’t understand this, I can’t understand this ten plagues on land, fifty to two hundred and fifty by the sea, the splitting of the sea, the Mann, the Quails, miracles within miracles and still disobedience? Is G-D supposed to do man’s will or the opposite? Who created whom? Who is greater and who is lesser? Hello anything inside your still necks and skulls?

28 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?

How long will you refuse: It is a common proverb: Along with the thorn, the cabbage is torn. Through the wicked, the good suffer disgrace. [from B.K. 92a]

29 See that the LORD hath given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.'

See: with your own eyes that the Lord in His glory warns you about the Sabbath, for this miracle was performed every Sabbath eve, to give you bread for two days. Let each man remain in his place: From here the Sages supported [the law of] four cubits for one who leaves the Sabbath limits [i.e., the 2,000 cubits from one’s city that one is permitted to walk and no more than four cubits from one’s place], three [cubits] for his body and one [cubit] to stretch his hands and feet. — [from Er. 51b] let no man leave, etc.: These are the 2,000 cubits of the Sabbath limits (Mechilta), but this is not explicit, for [the laws of Sabbath] limits are only Rabbinic enactments [lit., from the words of the scribes] (Sotah 30b), and the essence of the verse was stated regarding those who gathered the manna.

The people had to be taught to rest and relax once a week. The work routine of the slave and the continuous momentum is hard to break. I have seen this many times with Baalei Teshuva if they try everything at once they fail to become Frum. First they don’t travel and don’t eat pork products and then gradually don’t write, don’t go on line, don’t garden and do rest, do sing, do eat, do walk to friends, do sit and learn Torah, to enjoy yourself, do be with your family and renew bonds and ties. Do eat Challah, fish, poultry or meat, assorted vegetables and salads and other food – I purposely left out the fattening foods although very yummy they make for a large tummy.

30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

Phew! There was no Mann to gather, they had no tasks to do, no commerce only within family communication and reflection and prayers. The expansion of the soul and mind together and the renewal of the body.

31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna; and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. 32 And Moses said: 'This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded: Let an omerful of it be kept throughout your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.' 33 And Moses said unto Aaron: 'Take a jar, and put an omerful of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept throughout your generations.' 34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept. 35 And the children of Israel did eat the manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat the manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan. 36 Now an Omer is the tenth part of an Ephad.

17:1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, by their stages, according to the commandment of the LORD, and encamped in Rephidim; and there was no water for the people to drink.

The word Rephidim is similar to weakness. The Rabbis say that they became weak in their Torah observance and Mitzvos. So they ran out of water which is compared to Torah and Amalek came to attack them.

2 Wherefore the people strove with Moses, and said: 'Give us water that we may drink.' And Moses said unto them: 'Why strive ye with me? wherefore do ye try the LORD?' …8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said unto Joshua: 'Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek; tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.' 10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Since the destruction of Amalek and the remembering of what they did are two Mitzvos I emphasis it here. Also Haman was from Amalek and therefore the special Torah reading before Purim.

14 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.' 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Adonai-nissi. 16 And he said: 'The hand upon the throne of the LORD: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.'

Tu B’Shevat The New Year for Trees

Tu B’Shevat, the 15th of Shevat on the Jewish calendar—celebrated this year on Wednesday, February 8, 2012—is the day that marks the beginning of a “New Year for Trees.” This is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.

Legally, the “New Year for Trees” relates to the various tithes that are separated from produce grown in the Holy Land. These tithes differ from year to year in the seven-year shemittah cycle; the point at which a budding fruit is considered to belong to the next year of the cycle is the 15th of Shevat.

We mark the day of Tu B’Shevat by eating fruit, particularly from the kinds that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land: grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. On this day we remember that “man is a tree of the field” (Deuteronomy 20:19) and reflect on the lessons we can derive from our botanical analogue.

Follow the following links for more information about this holiday and the ideas it represents:

Click the following guide for a Tu B’Shevat Seder. Originally the custom was to eat a new fruit and bless the Shehechiyanu Blessing on the fruit. With the Mystics of the Ari and company in Eretz Yisrael a full production was made over the fruit grown in Eretz Yisrael and the Sephardim drink both white and red wine and eat both white and red grapes etc. All in all about 16 different items are included. The Union of Orthodox Rabbis printed this:

Halachos by Danny Schoemann
The same way it's a Mitzva to preserve one's health and wellbeing - so too it's a Mitzva to look after one's possessions not to loose, break or waste them. Anybody who breaks vessels, tears clothes, wastes edible food, wastes money or throws away objects that other people could use has done the Avaira of Lo Sashchit (Tashchit) aka destroys unnecessary/wastefully. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 190:3

It's a Mitzvah to visit sick people irrelevant of the social standing of the visitor or the patient. Close friends and family may visit immediately, but others should wait until the 4th day, so as not to aggravate his Mazal and give his the "sick" title. However if a person becomes very ill very suddenly then all may visit immediately. One may visit numerous times a day - as long as it doesn't bother the patient. How to behave when doing Bikur Cholim: When visiting the sick one may not sit on a chair of he's lying on the floor, in deference to the Shechina which is above the sick person's head. If he's in a bed, one may sit on a chair. The main point of visiting the sick is to find out if one can help him in anyway, so that he feels he has friends who care about him and in order to pray for him. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:1-3
Honoring Parents: Honoring parents includes feeding them, clothing and covering them as well as accompanying them. All the above must be done cheerfully - as the attitude counts more than the actions; one gets punished for being dour around one's parents even if one treats them with delicacies. Respecting parents: One may not sit nor stand in one's parents designated place in Schul or at home or anywhere else where they may have a designated place. One may not contradict one's parents. One may not approve of one's parents in their presence (e.g. I see your point) as this indicates that one would have the ability to say otherwise. Even if parents insult one in public one may not upset them, though one may take legal action to recuperate any monetary loss they caused. Source: KSA 142:1, 3
It's a Mitzvah to review the week's Torah Reading by reading it twice in the original and once with the (Aramaic) Onkelos translation. One who doesn't understand (or appreciate) Onkelos may read Rashi instead, or even an English translation. One may start on Sunday already and one should finish before the Torah is read on Shabbat morning. Source: Kitzur SA 72:11
May one feed the birds on Shabbat Shira? House pets or any other animals that depend on you for their food, must be fed on Shabbat before one starts eating it also includes cats that hang out in your garden because you feed them daily and are semi-dependent on you. Animals that do not rely on humans for their food may not be fed on Shabbat, and one may not even throw them leftovers, with the exception of stray dogs. One may not feed pigeons as they are capable of fending for themselves. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch holds that the custom to put out grain for the birds on Shabbat Shira (this week) is incorrect since birds do not rely on humans for their food. He allows one to put out grain for them before Shabbat. Other Rabbis disagree, and allow the Minchag of feeding birds on this Shabbos. One may feed silkworms on Shabbat.
Source Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 87:18 Shabbat Shalom – Danny
Danny further wrote and I am using only Google Translate not my own due to time and only corrected about 20% as it made no sense with the Hebrew. Since the custom of throwing out bread crumbs to birds on Shabbos Shira is wide spread, I personally would advise doing so before sundown and/or Motzei Shabbos to be stricter.
Aruch HaShulchan:
יש מתרעמים על המנהג בשבת שירה לזרוק חטין לפני העופות. אבל נראה לי דמנהג ישראל תורה, שהרי אין אנו טורחים בשבילם, אלא בשבילנו, דמרגלא בפי ההמון שהעופות אמרו שירה על הים, ולכן אנו מחזירים להם טובה, ואם כן הכוונה כדי לזכור שמחת... שירת הים ולית לן בה, ויש מי שכתב דכיון דכוונתינו לשם מצוה מותר.

The Maharal MI Prague:
שהמלמדים יאספו הילדים בחצר בהכ"נ להודיעם על המנהג לפזר חטים בשבת שירה

Aruch HaShulchan:
There are Rabbis disturbed by the practice of poetry to throw grains on Saturday before the birds. But I think the custom of Israel and Torah, for we do not bother them, but for us, for we have a custom in our tradition that the birds singing on the sea, and so we return a favor, if so, the intention to remember the joy ... Song of the Sea and having stayed in, and the person who wrote in such case it is the intent of doing a Mitzvah.

The Maharal MI Prague:
Teachers gathered the children in the Synagogue yard inform them about the practice of wheat on Saturday disperse bread.

Note due the length of the posts this week, the Rambam’s Halacha for Kings and War will be delayed until next week.
Arab terrorists give us no rest:,7340,L-4182851,00.html
Sometimes we need to regain our strength before Moshiach in fighting the evil inclination. Dr. Harry H. wrote a poem on this subject:
Though fail a thousand times don't lay upon the floor
stand and wipe dust off and then try some more

Is not about a pinnacle that for us G-d seeks
He cares about our trying and the prayers we speak

You must be a believer no doubt in your mind
just try a little harder great victory you will find
Will the US Jews wake up before it is too late?,7340,L-4182857,00.html

The stranger-than-fiction true story of Swami Sara Yoheved Rigler

One sweltering day in the summer of 2008, near Hardwar, India, the pilgrimage city at the headwaters of the Ganges, an incongruous scene unfolded. Amidst the dhoti-clad men and sari-clad women, two Hasidic men from Israel, with long peyot and black kippahs, strode quickly through the crowded streets. When they reached their destination — the ashram of Anandamayi-ma, India’s most adulated woman saint of the 20th century — they hesitated at the entrance to the courtyard. Idolatrous statues dotted the courtyard. As religious Jews, they wondered whether they were permitted to enter.

Standing there, they saw the guru, Swami Vijayananda, garbed in the ochre robes of a monk, exit from one of the buildings. He took his seat on a stone bench in order to receive the long line of waiting devotees. One by one, they approached the 93-year-old guru, bowed on their knees, and took the dust of his feet — a Hindu gesture of honor, whereby one touches the guru’s feet with one’s hand, and then one’s own forehead. Each devotee had barely a minute of the guru’s attention to ask or utter a few words. Then, still kneeling, the devotee found a place on the ground some distance away to continue to bask in the presence of the guru.

The two Hasidic men were Eliezer Botzer and his friend Natti, heads of the Bayit Yehudi, Jewish Home, a chain of Jewish centers situated throughout India in locations such as Hardwar and Goa, where thousands of post-army Israelis congregate. Although Eliezer and Natti spent a lot of time in India, standing there at the entrance to Anandamayi-ma’s ashram they were as out of place as a klezmer clarinet at a sitar concert.

After a few minutes, the guru noticed the two religious Jews. The next devotee at the head of the line was about to approach the guru, but he stopped him. He gestured to the two attendants who flanked him to block the line. Then the guru beckoned to the two religious Jews to come to him. While the long line of devotees, many of them Europeans, looked on in surprise, Eliezer and Natti directly approached the guru. No bowing, no taking the dust of his feet, no kneeling on the ground. The guru motioned for them to sit beside him on the bench.

Eliezer’s question was different than that of the devotees who asked Swami Vijayananda about the purpose of life or the way to higher consciousness. Looking directly at the guru, Eliezer asked, “I heard that you’re a Jew. Is it true?”
The guru smiled. Yes, he had been born into a Hasidic family in France. Although his grandparents were Lubliner Hasidim, his parents were more modern, but still fully observant. He had gone to Heder (Talmud Torah) and had been raised with all the devout trappings of Judaism. In his twenties, he told Eliezer and Natti, he abandoned Jewish observance. He became a doctor. Then the Holocaust descended. He told them about his Holocaust experiences, and about how he gave his tefillin away to a religious fellow because he wasn’t using them anyway.

“Why did you come to India?” Eliezer asked him.

The guru related that, after the war, he was on a ship bound for the nascent State of Israel. A woman on the ship asked him why he was going from one war to another. “Where should I go?” he asked her. She suggested India, a place of peace, with no anti-Semitism.

In India, in 1951, at the age of 36, he met Anandamayi-ma. Already at that time, hundreds of thousands of Indians venerated her not only as an enlightened soul, but as an Incarnation of the Divine Mother. He became her faithful disciple, taking on the monastic name of Swami Vijayananda. After her passing in 1982, many Indians and Westerners gravitated to him as their new guru.

Looking at Eliezer and Natti, he said, “There are two levels of spirituality: a lower level and a higher level. The lower level is religion; the higher level is the recognition that everything is one.”

Eliezer looked back at him and rejoined: “There are two levels of love: a higher level and a lower level. There is love for every person in the world, and there is love for your own wife and family. If you’re not able to love your own family, your love of the whole world is fake.”

“I agree,” nodded the guru.

“So,” continued Eliezer, “You’re Jewish. Before you go out and love the whole world, you should practice loving those who are closest to you, the Jewish People.”

The guru laughed. That started their discussion. As the attendants looked on nervously and the many devotees in the line fidgeted restlessly, the guru and the Hasids sparred back and forth for a long time. “He was trying to show us that we were wrong,” remembers Eliezer, “that religion is not the Truth.”

With neither side conceding to the other, Eliezer suddenly switched gears. He asked, “What did your mother call you when you were a child?”

Tears came to the guru’s eyes, and he murmured, “Avrimka. My name was Avraham Yitzhak. My mother called me Avrimka.”

Eliezer continued to probe: “Do you remember a Shabbos table when you were a child?”

The guru closed his eyes. Then, from out of hazy depths 70 years dormant, he started to sing “Aishes Chayil, A Woman of Valor,” the song sung before Kiddush at every Shabbos dinner. With tears streaming from his closed eyes, he sang the entire song, from beginning to end. Electricity filled the air of the ashram courtyard, igniting a charged atmosphere that reached both backward in time and heavenward in intensity.

The two attendants, who had never before seen their guru cry, became afraid. They moved to eject the foreign men, telling them that their time was up. The guru opened his eyes, suddenly back in the present, and waved the attendants away.

Eliezer pulled out of his backpack a Hebrew Bible and presented it to the guru.

With a wistful smile, the guru told him, “I already have one, and I’ll tell you from where.” Relating the story like a Hasidic tale, he told how, in the 1980s, an Israeli with a dilemma came to him here at the ashram. The Israeli had been a soldier in the first Lebanon War. Traumatized by the war and the ceaseless specter of more wars in Israel, the non-observant ex-soldier had decided that he wanted to sever all connection with Israel and with Judaism. He became a Christian, but he was unsatisfied and unsettled. So he came to India and started to practice Hinduism. But here, too, he felt unsatisfied. Coming to Swami Vijayananda, he complained, “Maybe the reason I’m not finding myself in India, and I can’t get rid of this Jewish feeling, is that I still have the Bible they gave me when I was inducted into the Israeli army. Is it proper to throw it away?”

“No,” the guru replied, “don’t throw it away. Give it to me.” He proceeded to tell the ex-soldier the story of Rabbi Akiva, who, as the Romans were flaying him alive, recited the Shema. When his agonized students asked him how he could perform the mitzvah of Shema while being tortured, Rabbi Akiva replied that all his life he had yearned to get to the place of serving God with his very life. “I told him,” related the guru, “Do you know the difference between Rabbi Akiva and us? After all we went through [in the Holocaust and the Lebanon War], we asked, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’” The guru had been relating the story in English, but at this point he quoted the line from Psalm 22 in its original Hebrew. Then he continued in English: “’But Rabbi Akiva,’ I told the Israeli soldier, ‘understood that his suffering was not a punishment, but rather a path to the highest spiritual state of attaining complete unity with God.’“ The guru peered at Eliezer and Natti. “I don’t know where he is now, but I think he must have come back to Judaism after what I told him.”

This was Eliezer’s opening. “Maybe it’s time for you, too, to come back. You’re not young. Do you want to be cremated and your ashes thrown into the Ganges? It’s time for you to come back to Judaism.”

At that the attendants got agitated and angry. “You’re trying to take our guru away from us,” they accused the Jewish visitors.

Eliezer made one last try. “God loves every Jew, and wants every Jew to return to Judaism.”

The attendants had heard enough. Furiously, they evicted the two Hasids.

In April, 2010, Swami Vijayananda died at the ashram in Hardwar.

Who Are Your Attendants?

Every Jew has what is called a pintele Yid, a Jewish soul-spark that can never be snuffed out. No matter how far a Jew strays, no matter how vociferously he repudiates his Jewish roots or how diffidently she ignores her Jewish soul or how many decades have elapsed immersed in a different religion, the Jewish spark is always there, ready to be ignited anew.

However, every Jew also is flanked by “attendants” who assiduously work to keep the pintele Yid from being ignited. Sometimes the attendant is fear, sometimes distraction, sometimes egotism, sometimes complacency.

God repeatedly sends messengers into our lives. They come in diverse costumes: sometimes a stranger who utters a portentous, unsettling statement; sometimes a wake-up call in the form of a tragedy or near-tragedy; sometimes a blessing so bountiful it reveals its Source; sometimes an unlikely encounter with a rabbi or a rebbetzin on a plane, or on the street, or in Wal-Mart’s. In a remote town in India in 1968, I met a Jewish doctor from Wales who changed my life. I know a Jew, also a doctor, who lived an utterly un-Jewish life on a Pacific island, and who one day in the mail received an invitation to a medical conference in, of all places, Israel. All such messengers come bearing igniters.

But the attendants, with frightened or sneering visages, wave their arms and try to keep us from heeding the messengers. The attendants utter their shrill warnings: “You don’t have time to go to that class.” “Don’t accept that Shabbat invitation or they’ll try to brainwash you.” “You’re too old/established/comfortable to start changing now.” “Your level of Jewish observance is fine; don’t become a fanatic.” “If you start observing Mitzvos, you’ll miss out on all the fun in life.” “They’re trying to take you away.”

It takes courage to banish the attendants, to realize that rather than protecting us, they are driving away the Fedex man who is trying to deliver the tidings of a surprise inheritance.

The Jewish spark, the pintele Yid, in each of us, is waiting to burst into flames of joy, love, and fulfillment.

The Activist and the Chassid - The Manhedrin Bus in Bnei Brak By Rabbi Lazer Brody
The 350 Manhedrin bus from Bnei Brak to Ashdod is normally jammed, but at 3 PM more than half the seats were still vacant. Four young women in slacks, obviously not from the Charedi or religious neighborhoods along the route, boarded the bus at the stop adjacent to the Coca Cola factory in Bnei Brak. Rather than moving to the rear of the bus, they sat down demonstratively in the front two rows seats on the right side of the bus. Some of the male passengers were baffled; two others decided to get off the bus. A Breslever Chassid, sitting across the young ladies on the left side of the bus, simply closed his eyes and smiled. This was not a reaction that the headline-seeking heroines were looking for, having so boldly entered the mobile Charedi lion’s den.
No one yelled at the fearless four, women’s-rights or democracy activists in their late twenties. No one even spoke to them. There was nothing to document on their cell-phone videos. What a waste! Well, at least they might be able to take a nice walk on the beach in Ashdod…
If there’s no news, then make the news! One of the young woman got out of her seat (while the three others were poised with their cell-phone video cameras, waiting to pounce on the action they hoped would come) and stood next to the Breslever, whose toothy smile would have done justice to any Crest or Colgate commercial.
“Hey, why can’t you look at me?” the young lady asked abrasively, obviously itching for a conflict.
“Do you want your husband looking at other young women?” the Breslever responded.
“I’m not married,” she said.
“I bless you that you should find your soul-mate this year!”
The activist wasn’t ready for this turn in the conversation. She needed to steer things differently. “What are you so happy about with that imbecilic grin of yours?”
“In Torah 282 of Likutei Moharan, Rebbe Nachman teaches us to appreciate our good points and to be happy with every little mitzvah we do; and in Torah 17, first part, Rebbe Nachman says that the slightest good deed that a person does makes a tremendous impression in the upper spiritual realms…”
The activist was getting more and more impatient. This was not the action she was looking for, wasting half a day on a bus ride going someplace where she didn’t need to go. “So what,” she snapped.
“You asked me why I’m smiling. I’m answering you. I never thought that riding a Manhedrin bus was a big deal; I mean, it didn’t seem to be such a great mitzvah. But if the Yetzer Hara[3] is going to such lengths to bother me on this bus ride, then it must be really significant in Shemayim that men and women don’t mix. This morning, when I was learning Tosafos on Baba Kama, the Yetzer wasn’t bothering me as much as he is now. Thank You, Hashem, for giving the Mitzva of riding this bus.” With eyes shut, he turned at the activist and added, “and thank you, cherished sister, for adding to tmy rewards in the World to Come.”
The young lady’s antagonism was melting into frustration. She was obviously the ring-leader, and her three sisters-in-arms were eagerly awaiting to see how she’d react. Their game plan (or battle plan) to wave the flag of women’s rights on the Manhedrin bus didn’t anticipate a frontal confrontation with a Breslever…
“What do you people smoke that gets you so spaced out?” she chided.
“I’ll admit that I’m high, dearest sister, but that comes from tallit, Tefillin, Torah, and an hour of talking to Hashem every day.”
“What’s with this ‘dearest’ and ‘cherished sister’ garbage?”
“You see,” explained the Breslever, “your soul and mine both are a tiny part of Godliness. We have the same Father; you don’t need a PhD in genealogy from Hebrew University to know that we’re brother and sister. Besides, the Torah says so explicitly…”
“Are you the real deal or are you just putting on a good show?”
“If I invite you and your girlfriends for Shabbat…,” meanwhile removing his kosher cellphone from his shirt pocket, about to dial his wife’s number, “will you come? When you taste Shabbat and my wife’s cooking, you’ll understand how much Hashem loves you, and so do we.”
Squirming and completely off guard, the activist snarled, “You’re wife is probably an illiterate cook and bottle washer pregnant with her twelfth – what would she and I have in common?”
The Breslever chuckled, “No, my wife is only pregnant with our eighth. But you’ll like her – she has a MBA in Finance from the University of Tel Aviv. Besides, she was a sergeant in the Artillery Corps of the IDF, an army medic and a training-base instructor in first aid. She even served in Lebanon for two months…”
“What?! Don’t tell me you were in the army too?”
“Yeah, I admit it. I was a tank commander. Then I did a degree in Communication from UTA. That’s where my wife and I met…”
All the stereotypes were crumbling. The four activists were disarmed. No fight, no arguments, no protests – only an invitation for Shabbat…
The activist tried one last effort. She sat down next to the Breslever. This will surely get his goat and make him lose his cool, she thought.
He still smiled, but a tear trickled down his cheek.
“Why are you crying?” she asked, jolted by this additional surprise. Her compassion was a sign of the Jewish soul that shined from deep within her.
“I’m not really the prude that you think. But I love my wife and want her face to be the only female image in my brain. You, dear sister, are a Bat Yisrael, a Jewish daughter. Every Bat Yisrael is beautiful. Please, I wouldn’t embarrass you by getting up. But I’m not a holy man – I wish I were. You’re really testing me. You are a moral young lady; would you steal something from a pregnant woman with seven children? By making me look at you, you’d be stealing some of my affection for my wife. I’m sure that’s not your intention.”
Gently, as if walking on eggs, the young lady stood up. “I’m so sorry,” she said, showing her true delicate and considerate inner self. “I never thought of it that way. Besides, if all the Charedim were like you, things would be different. Tell me, are you the ones that go to Uman every Rosh Hashanah?”
“Yes, I’m one of them.”
“Are all of you this nice? I mean, you don’t try to act like Hashem’s cop.” She surprised herself by saying “Hashem”. Since when do such words come out of an ultra-liberal libertarian feminist’s mouth?
“I only try to police myself.” The bus arrived at the Breslever’s station in Ashdod’s Rova Gimmel. The Breslever got up but added, “Let us know if you’re coming for Shabbat…”
Hin Tzeddik, Ephod Tzeddik – Just measures from the Torah – or shall I say the Torah is Emmes. A debate and a clarification from my direct e-mail list and not the at first I was shall we say writing about apples and he was writing about oranges until the second e-mail which clarified to me the problem involved. My concern was widespread fraud in the stealing of Tzeduka money from the limited amount people have available to give and Rabbi Sorsher Shlita was concerned the proper Halacha of giving and also the receiving end of the one who needs charity. The whole polemics below is to clarify the original letter which I will not repeat here so as not to perpetuate an error.
I was taken to task by the Nephew of my Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Sorsher Shlita, for sending out the report from the Vaad of Miami about the forgery. I respect Mussar. It is obvious to me that many people do not know the Vaad of Miami and the thousands of people that they help and the legitimate certificates that they supply people with. One thing is a weekly beggar every Erev Shabbos or Sunday at the Schul and another thing is a person in need on a one time basis from a different city or country with a letter of reference. On a once a year basis that might deserve a larger donation for this the Vaad gives out certificates. I have met a number of big Rabbis who receive these certificates. However, the Vaad limits the time on the certificate which in most cases is sufficient. An average person or Rabbi will not need the time given by the Vaad as he can cover the whole area and move on.
In my discussion with the Rabbi the first e-mail contained a typo sent me to the wrong chapter in Devarim and we were not on the same page. He wrote me a note about giving and not being like a Sodomite denying giving and the giving of others and brought down some Pasukim for me to read on the matter but it was the wrong chapter and I could not see eye to eye with him. THE WHOLE DISCUSSION HAS LED ME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT A GOOD REVIEW OF THE LAWS OF GIVING CHARITY IS IN ORDER ON MY OWN PART.

Among other words of rebuke that I received was: To repeat dirt in anyone's name or use the Vaad of Miami as cover, in the name of withholding funds from someone who is a beggar.* What type of Sodom like society are you attached to? Were you judged? Or your worthiness in providing a place for you?

*Unfortunately nowadays we are not talking about the poor of the Talmudic Era and in truth the majority are deserving of charity. In the case involved with two individuals in Miami it was similar to giving to Bernie Madoff for besides fraudulent certificates representing fictitious institutions there have been in Israel cases of individuals “casing the neighborhood”. I used to let the beggars into my house around 20 years ago but one began looking around too much to check if I had valuables, I only give now at the door with the exception of a number of Roshei Yeshivos.
Not having seen the correct Pasuk in Devarim in our discussion I wrote back: Nevertheless, my reason for forwarding this is perhaps different from your understanding. When I was working I was involved in quality control and in reliability engineering. For an Engineer the Emmes is of the highest order. In the Yeshiva World, Jewish Boys High School and Yeshiva Haichal HaTorah are on the receiving end of the Tzeduka chain. Somebody has to donate to pay for the heating, electricity, maintenance workers and salaries for the staff.
Since I left the Yeshiva World and started working I am probably donating 10 to 15% of my income to Tzeduka in one form or another. I came to the conclusion long ago that one should look for the best Tzeduka Investments. Think of it from the Donator's standpoint. For arguments sake let us take the income sum of $10,000 of which 10% is $1,000 for Tzeduka.
There are 30% - 40% of the Israeli Population living below the poverty level. Today there are 7,800,000 people approximately living in Israel of which 5.6-5,800,000 are Jews. Taking the lower figure that is 1,680,000 Jews below the poverty level. How far can $1,000 go?
So what do I do - I give let us say $100 to 4 Yeshivos, $100 to Ezra B’ Tzion or ZAKA, $100 to helping needy children, $100 in smaller donations to other Yeshivos and Talmud Torah. This leaves for soup kitchens, loans, and the assortment of dozens of people that come to my School or door $300. Within a short time, I am bound to run out of money.

Now what happens when people tell me a story which is a forgery so instead of giving to a real poor bride or groom, or a needy family with a dozen children I am giving to a fraud -THESE PEOPLE ARE TAKING MONEY FROM THE REAL NEEDY and sponging off my Tzeduka! In Chashmonayim we caught a man who was running around with a certificate supposedly from a well-known Rabbi. He came in driving a brand new luxury car with his wife sitting inside. Must I fund the car of this forger which is probably tens of thousands of dollars more than the average car of the people giving charity? (See Rashi about making somebody wealthy below)

The Vaad of Miami is run by big Yeras Shemayim people. If they find their certificates are being forged their word will be no good and the donors don't have unlimited supply of Tzeduka money. I cannot tell if a person coming to my door or Schul is telling me the truth but once I use up my $1,000 how much more can I give as they come and come? One must give to the deserving not to thieves as the man giving the charity does not suffer but the poor that need the money suffer.
Not in my reply was the fact by allowing the fraud to continue we are abandoning our ability to help the widow and the orphan or the poor bride or emergency medical supplies for saving a life. A foot note that a working higher grade Engineer makes in Israel about the equivalent of $2000 a month take home pay give or take which leaves $200 plus dollars for charity each month. Now with dozens of people coming to our higher class Yeshuv each month plus the regular local Synagogues and Yeshivos local food and clothing bank for our own poor how much money does one really have to ability to give?

Once again I tell you see Deut. 15 verses 8. 10, 11, ז כִּי-יִהְיֶה בְךָ אֶבְיוֹן מֵאַחַד אַחֶיךָ, בְּאַחַד שְׁעָרֶיךָ, בְּאַרְצְךָ, אֲשֶׁר-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ--לֹא תְאַמֵּץ אֶת-לְבָבְךָ, וְלֹא תִקְפֹּץ אֶת-יָדְךָ, מֵאָחִיךָ, הָאֶבְיוֹן. 7 If there be among you a needy man, one of thy brethren, within any of thy gates, in thy land which the LORD thy God gives thee, thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut thy hand from thy needy brother; ח כִּי-פָתֹחַ תִּפְתַּח אֶת-יָדְךָ, לוֹ; וְהַעֲבֵט, תַּעֲבִיטֶנּוּ, דֵּי מַחְסֹרוֹ, אֲשֶׁר יֶחְסַר לוֹ. 8 but thou shalt surely open thy hand unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need in that which he wants. ט הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן-יִהְיֶה דָבָר עִם-לְבָבְךָ בְלִיַּעַל לֵאמֹר, קָרְבָה שְׁנַת-הַשֶּׁבַע שְׁנַת הַשְּׁמִטָּה, וְרָעָה עֵינְךָ בְּאָחִיךָ הָאֶבְיוֹן, וְלֹא תִתֵּן לוֹ; וְקָרָא עָלֶיךָ אֶל-יְהוָה, וְהָיָה בְךָ חֵטְא. 9 Beware that there be not a base thought in thy heart, saying: 'The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand'; and your eye be evil against thy needy brother, and thou give him naught; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin in thee. י נָתוֹן תִּתֵּן לוֹ, וְלֹא-יֵרַע לְבָבְךָ בְּתִתְּךָ לוֹ: כִּי בִּגְלַל הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּכָל-מַעֲשֶׂךָ, וּבְכֹל מִשְׁלַח יָדֶךָ. 10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thy heart shall not be grieved when thou gives unto him; because that for this thing the LORD thy God will bless thee in all thy work, and in all that thou put thy hand unto. יא כִּי לֹא-יֶחְדַּל אֶבְיוֹן, מִקֶּרֶב הָאָרֶץ; עַל-כֵּן אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ, לֵאמֹר, פָּתֹחַ תִּפְתַּח אֶת-יָדְךָ לְאָחִיךָ לַעֲנִיֶּךָ וּלְאֶבְיֹנְךָ, בְּאַרְצֶךָ. {ס} 11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land; therefore I command thee, saying: 'Thou shalt surely open thy hand unto thy poor and needy brother, in thy land.'

Rashi states clearly, even maya paamim. Do you hear what you are saying? [Rather] you shall open [your hand]: Even many times. Again the Vaad gives on certificates to legitimate people from outside of Miami to collect in the area for a certain amount of time which can be extended while the local beggars go to the Schuls each week and the many times would apply to these. However there is clarity in Rashi on 15:8

[lend him] sufficient for his needs: However, you are not commanded to make him wealthy. — [Sifrei]

Where is your source in Jewish Mesorah that other than a community's obligation to take care of the poor and needy, such responsibility extends to deciding guidelines on what makes a person needy and how often the needy party would be entitled to community support. Again individuals that are part of the community such as the local food and clothing banks for the needy in the area in Israel – the poor of your city come first is the rule then afterwards the other poor.

The Pasuk states ”notain give titian give”, it reflects the fact that the needy party has his hand out day after day , and it is the collective obligation not to harden the heart and make excuses but to provide for the needs according to the deficiency requested and needed,

You are playing G-d, a dangerous game.

There is a limit to one’s income and his ability to pay Tzeduka.

It is also obvious to me that we are not talking about the same thing which in the original post was fraudulently obtaining money by posing as a needy person. What is the difference here between this and "Dr" ?Rabbi? Berg and the Kabbalah Center who rake in millions and claim to teach Kabbalah to non-Jewish immodest individuals like Madonna and Demi Moore! Contrary to Berg - Rabbi Sorsher’s father was both a Dr. and a Rabbi and well respected in Borough Park Brooklyn.

Contrary to the myth that G-d's resource is finite, Hashem provides for all and if you believe it, you will believe the same. But my personal resources are finite and so are the resources for most of my readers. As you know one is not required to give more than 20% of his income to Tzeduka and on some occasions I come very close to that.

It is a scandal that you are taking people who are going to great length to collect charity and go door to door and resort to begging, which if they are desperate according to you, and are called names and add insult to injury.

It is unfortunate that the very dirt you continue to repeat without shame is the dirt that your Rabbis fought against their whole live.

Do not use the Satan to play G-d and limited resources and how often the Vaad will decide etc. The powers that you now follow felt that your Rabbis Yeshiva should not be supported. There were more worthy institutions with the limited resources that you eluded too. You should know better than that.

I know nothing about the Vaad, but I know your email is shameless and you need to be modeh al ha-Emmes. You justify the giving of letters to protect the community? (Sodom)

Only your tzidkus says that the entitlement is only once a year. (more Sodom)

You continue to reject the words of our tradition, and rather than hold leadership to a basic standard of dignity and humanity, by stopping the control freak mentality when you control nothing, you decide to attack the victim collectors who cannot get a letter and have to sneak with an old letter and do not realize how convoluted you are and the rishus that the lives of people are hanging over a silly letter.

Communities without sechel are taking their cue from shameless people who have no conscience and they decide who lives etc. When the tables will be turned and the so called administrators of G-d's money will have to be on the receiving line they will see how it feels to be treated with disrespect. At the end of the day if you are a maamin, then no matter how clever you are in twisting words and be in denial and not talk to the point, the Pasukim must ring out loud AND CLEAR.

Notain Titain is a Mitzva on Miami and Israel and all over. You give and encourage others and you will be blessed, you make excuses and attack the needy who are desperate.... then........

I AM ON RECORD, YOU MUST RETRACT THIS email IMMEDIATELY AND MAKE CLEAR THAT BASED ON THE TEACHINGS OF YOUR ROSHEI YESHIVA and based on the mesorah, any Jew that comes to any community, becomes their responsibility.

lest we incur Chas v’shalom the wrath..... You are a prolific writer and expound Torah, you do not want it on your Cheshbon that any 3rd party will read the Shmutz and feel you are a collaborator with people acting against Daas Torah. A Kol Koreh must go out that all Jews are equal and all deserve our resources. all the time, not when you decide.

The perjury AND FORGERY AND ROBBERY IS THE HIGHJACKING OF TORAH AND MESORAH by people who claim to be G-d's people but corrupted the tradition

I cannot argue with the teaching of my Rosh Yeshiva and the limiting by the Vaad to once a year is not correct. However it is a public Chillul HASHEM by these individuals that the Vaad brought attention to and it is now in the hands of the police in more than one country (For in a few cases the original Certificate that these individuals had was also forged). THE CORRECT TEACHING IS THE UNLIMITED GIVING OF TZEDUKA TO THE TRULY NEEDY.
As Rabbi London of blessed memory used to say "Right you are Gebenshed"! (In short, the Vaad was not acting completely according to the Torah with their limits!!!) As for the fraud the Vaad issued the notice in the first place because there was forgery here.
I want to look up the laws of Tzeduka as there is a relatively new phenomenon in Israel of letting people know this man is a big donor. I had this happen with people coming in a joint taxi and then the regular man comes followed after a few minutes by two more. Besides Lashon Hara about my donation, there is a problem of embarrassing a person to give what he hasn’t. As the Rabbi called me to task my support for the Vaad’s policy of only once or twice a year so too I want to call to task those who pass on Lashon Hara about a person’s finances and then come asking for money in groups. For an idea on the laws of Tzeduka -
From David
Put your act together FBI:
Inyanay Diyoma
Debka has been reporting for months that Israel will strike Iran around May but now the mainstream media is doing it:,7340,L-4184694,00.html
They say that Hitler was mad but they let it happen including Germany so now Iran?,7340,L-4181668,00.html
Pentagon - Blow up the darn mountain if necessary but stop their bomb:,7340,L-4181766,00.html
Third attempt by Iran to attack a Chabad Center:
A question for Mr. President:
It looks like a replay of 2008 over again in FL Santorum will lose to Newt Gingrich because of Romney
Arson from the local Arabs or electrical problem to shut things up?,7340,L-4181972,00.html
Sealing Iran’s fate:
Muslim brotherhood in America:
Assad regains control according to Debka:
Cleaning up air pollution to second hand smokers in Israel:
Assad hangs in there despite rumors of coup:
What an honorable Muslim family
Hezballah is going to be in trouble:,7340,L-4183480,00.html
Could this be Assad's last stand?
Time to see the truth for the birthers:
Sometimes one wins a battle:
Arabs in London:,7340,L-4183828,00.html
The Iranians are close to a bomb:
Israel did not play into the hands of Gaza. Bang Key Moon was scheduled to visit Gaza so they sent 8 rockets over. Israel waited a day and then hit them hard in six places. In the meantime they stoned Mr. Moon’s vehicle and chanted Arabic Blessings with shoes and stones at him.,7340,L-4184757,00.html
Spies in the skies:,7340,L-4184779,00.html
When voting is rigged in a democracy: It seems that Mr. Netanyahu is a scared sheep and not a leader. Members of the Likud in Matei Benyamin which is Yehuda and the Shomron did not know where their voting booth was. They had to drive miles from their area through areas that Mr. Netanyahu wants to give away to the terrorists. He is afraid of Moshe Feiglin. Also the ballots for the older Likud members the Vatikim did not exist in the polling place for they might be Jabotinsky followers and not Bibi's men.
Now for M. Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story “A good word.”

Good Shabbos Everyone. Dr. Abraham Twerski, the noted mental health expert who is a practicing orthodox Jew, was once lecturing to a mixed audience of Jews and non-Jews alike. During the course of his technical and scientific discussion, Dr. Twerski mentioned something about the soul. One of the surprised listeners piped up and asked, “Dr. Twerski, do you mean to suggest that you have a soul?” “No,” said Dr. Twerski. “I am a soul.” (Heard from Rabbi Label Lamm)
As we have mentioned several times, the Jewish soul is a holy spark of the Eternal One from Above. The body however is made up from the dust of the earth. After the soul leaves the body, the body returns to its source in the ground and the soul returns to its source in Eternity. The focus of our lives as Jews is therefore the spiritual growth of the eternal soul. By investing in the soul, we invest in Eternity. The highlight of the Jewish soul in this life is Shabbos. On Shabbos the neshomah – soul experiences a taste of the eternal bliss of the World to Come.
Hashem tells us: “I have a good gift in my storehouse, and its name is Shabbos.” (Shabbos 10b) As we read in this week’s parsha Beshalach, Moshe tells the Bnai Yisroel “See, Hashem has given you the Shabbos.” (Shemos 16:29) Every week Jews around the world celebrate the gift of Shabbos with uplifting prayer, sumptuous meals, song, inspiring words of Torah and rest. The more a Jew separates himself from weekday activities, weekday thought and weekday speech on Shabbos, the more he will feel the special happiness of the Holy Day.
On Shabbos we have the custom of greeting each other with “Good Shabbos” or “Shabbat Shalom.” Whatever greetings we may use during the week, such as “hello,” “good morning,” and “good night,” etc., are replaced by “Good Shabbos.” The holiness of Shabbos pervades the Jewish world on the seventh day.
The following beautiful story shows the power of a “Good Shabbos” to awaken the Jewish soul.
It was close to midnight on a cool Shabbos night as two new bochurim (Yeshiva students) slowly made their way through the streets of Ezras Torah in Jerusalem, on their way back to Yeshivas Ohr Somayach. "That was a long meal,” said Jeff.*
"Yeah!" replied his roommate succinctly "I don't know where all those kids sleep in that small apartment.” David added in wonderment. The silent night was interrupted by a sudden call: "Good Shabbos, boys!" Jeff turned to his long-haired friend. "Did you hear someone calling us?"
"I don’t know, it looks like we're the only ones on the street.” Again they heard the voice calling them. This time they saw that it came from the balcony of a first-floor apartment. "Up here! Good Shabbos." All they could make out was a bushy beard and a big smile. “Are you boys planning on walking all the way back to the yeshivah so late at night?" Asked the bearded man. "We really don't have much choice.” Jeff replied.
"It is much too late to walk back tonight. It's cold, too. Come on, I have room for some guests. You can spend the night here, and I'll walk you back to Ohr Somayach tomorrow morning.”
The boys did not need much convincing. They gratefully accepted their new friend's hospitality. The nameless savior escorted them into the shadowy "master bedroom” as he called it with a wry grin: two fold-out cots in the middle of the living room. The entire apartment didn't seem much bigger than the dorm room the pair currently shared. Wishing them good night, their host disappeared into his bedroom, while his guests quickly sank into a deep sleep.
David awoke early in the morning, and in the daylight, he took stock of his surroundings. The apartment seemed even smaller than last night. A nondescript small room with an old couch, somewhat worn dining-room table and chairs. The china closet against the wall suddenly caught his attention. There were some valuable silver items there: four Kiddush cups, a menorah, a silver Megillah holder; and a large and really beautiful Seder plate. David looked around and noticed an antique candelabrum on the dining-room table. He was amazed that the host would take the two boys into his house and trust them with all the valuable items lying around. The sincerity and warmth of the host made an impression on David and his friend.
David lay back in his bed and stared at the ceiling. He had a lot to think about. For years he'd read in the American newspapers how awful "those ultra-Orthodox Jews" were. Yet here was a man - a total stranger - who had trusted him implicitly on sight. David drifted back to sleep, thinking.
David ended up staying at the yeshivah for many months, during which time he thought long and hard about the decision to become observant. He attended countless classes on Jewish philosophy, Law, and Chumash. He went on a trip to Massada, hiked around Ein Gedi, and took a three-day tour of the Golan. He examined empirical evidence for the existence of G-d and the requirement of a moral imperative. But what made David into a baal Teshuvah and a Shabbos observer was the "Good Shabbos" that he heard from a tiny balcony. (*names have been changed. True Tales from Two Cities, R. Zev Roth p.117)
We see from this beautiful story the power of Shabbos to waken up the Jewish soul. We can be inspired by this story and by the holiness of Shabbos, to make sure always to say with a smile... Good Shabbos Everyone.
Matis Wolfberg’s stories are sponsored by Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah

A healthy, happy and wonderful Shabbos to all and a peaceful rest,
Rachamim Pauli