Thursday, March 22, 2012

Parsha Vayikra and Pessach

As we start a new Sefer, I would like to remind my readers that my almost weekly Drasha can be found on
Last month there were so many people who passed away and some recovered that I am revising my prayer request list.
MEN: Eliezer David HaCohain ben Naomi, Avraham HaCohain ben Yocheved, Asher ben Malka, Avraham ben Devorah, Zvi Yechezkel ben Leah, Aharon ben Rishol, Chaim Zev ben Faige Tova, Naphtali Moshe ben Tziporah, Shalom Charles ben Gracia, Yoel ben Esther, Zev ben Rachel, Binum Benyamin Tuvia ben Chana Friedel, Shalom Yosef ben Chaya Moosha, Aaron ben Sara Chana,
Women: Karen Neshama bas Esther Ruth, Chaya Melacha Rachel bas Baila Alta, Zvia Simcha bas Devora Yached, Bryna bas Gina Sara, Rachel bas Chana, , Hodaya Nirit bas Mazel, Leah Nikia bas Bertha Sarah, Rivka bas Idit, Kayla Rus bas Chaya Rachel, two new names - Chiena Sora bas Chaya Gitel and Necha bas Chava
Left over from last week: I don’t know if it was my bad writing last week or a misinterpretation by a reader of remarks on my late father-in-law: My father-in-law had a mechanical wheel chair that was pushed. The Rav only gave the Heter to special Grama Shabbos wheel carts if a person had no children living on the Moshav, my father-in-law had a boy push him. In places where there is an Eruv it is not uncommon to see people crippled by car or work accidents, diabetes or terrorists attacks to be driving to the Synagogue in specially designed carts or wheel chairs by the Shabbos Halacha Institute in Yerushalayim. My father-in-law was put into a work camp for the Nazis in Romania and managed to get home of Shabbos via pressing a nail into his hand to make two marks saying a dog bit him. He got the painful Rabies Shots in his stomach but got to enjoy a home Shabbos for a brief period.
Baruch Dayan Emmes – Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Sheinberg the Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Ohr in Kiriat Matesdorf in Yerushalayim passed away at the age of 101 or 102. Unfortunately the Autistic Children warned us that many Tzaddikim will be taken from us prior to Moshiach. I only had the privilege of meeting him for a few brief hours and his life and the number of Tzitzis that he wore and wearing Tephillin from dawn to dusk has become a legend in the Yeshiva World in our times.

Parsha Vayikra and Parsha HaChodesh

In 5769 I wrote this introduction to Sefer Vayikra: We start with a new book of Torah this week Sefer Vayikra (Leviticus) which is the only book in the Bible Code that has the DIVINE NAME hidden in it at intervals of 7 – the TETRAGRAMATION. Vayikra deals with a lot of Mitzvos like not putting a stumbling block before the blind or cursing the deaf even against incest, bestiality and homosexual relations. However the first part deals mainly with the Korbanos (Sacrifices) and the dedication of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) described in Shemos (Exodus).

I would like to discuss the Sacrifices which some people today find archaic and even barbaric. To get a proper perspective of the time of the giving of the Torah in the year 2448, we have to look back at how the people lived. Today you might say that if I give 10 to 20% of my earnings to charity that is a Korban for me. But then people earned money by growing crops and raising animals. The death of an animal instead of a human for a Korban, Olah, Olah v’yared, Chatas, etc. were instead of the person receiving death by the hands of heaven or some other punishment. Families often lived in one room houses and although it was rare an accidental relationship could occur between a close family member and the man. [Some examples like his mother is named Rachel, wife Rachel, Sister-in-law Rachel, Daughter-in-law Rachel etc., you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that an accident could occur. The sacrifices were brought only for unintentional sins like accidentally today ripping toilet paper, turning on or off a light, writing, etc. because one had forgotten that they were forbidden Melachos (mistranslated as work) on Shabbos or eat forbidden fat from the tail or above the kidneys of an animal and thinking that it was just a piece of fat from the animal’s legs, etc.)]

There were other types of Korbanos such as the first born cattle or sheep being given to the Cohanim or a sheep instead of breaking the first born donkey. There were other Korbanos that the Baal Habeis (owner) ate. The Korban Todah (Thanksgiving) which we bench the Gomel Prayer instead for crossing the ocean, desert, etc. {I had a recent case in which a boor and Am HaAretz went up to the Torah and benched Gomel because he drove from Arad through the desert to the hotel at the Dead Sea – that was not the desert mentioned in the Torah or even today in Death Valley National Park where we have modern highways and communications unless one is attacked by a rattle snake, wolf, scorpion, etc.). We would bring a sacrifice if we happened to be standing next to the car that only partially exploded in the city of Haifa on the previous Saturday night (see miracle below). We had the three Korbanos of the three holidays which were eaten at that time and of course the Korban Pessach where 35 to 50 males participated in a family or friends group to eat of the sacrifice in one night. Now we are not talking gluttony but if a whole sheep or goat weighs so and so with its bones, head, hooves, skin, wool, tail, forbidden fat, etc. so the amount of lamb left over to share among 35 to 50 people is a very small portion. In fact usually this was eating with the holiday sacrifice – Korban Chaggigah. For my vegetarian readers in truth in the times of Tanach, not much meat was eaten by the people.

Taken from my weekly Drasha four years ago minus the Kabbalistic reason for the sacrifices as I have over 200 new comers who are meeting Torah Judaism for the first time: How are we to view an animal sacrifice? Based on a barbaric rite from the past? An outdated thing in modern times? Or as Yaffa wrote in her Parsha this week: The animal sacrifice is the act by which we are taught the idea of subordination of nature to the Creator. The sacrificed beast, the wood to feed the flame on the altar (Misbayach) and the salt which accompanies every sacrifice symbolize the animal, plant and mineral realms, everything converges with the aim of serving the Al-mighty and only exists for this purpose. Yaffa continued stating that the animal sacrifice substituted an animal for a human sacrifice. Almost every culture had that up to the advent of Avraham Avinu and even then there was the Akeda.

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

Only with such a disposition of mind can we assimilate the substance of the Commandments. Otherwise, how is it possible, for example, to fulfill the precept of "do not covet"? How can one control jealousy or covetousness? The answer is that the prohibition of stealing must be so self-evident, so deeply felt by us, that we could not come to steal even in thought by a covetous desire.

Attaining this spiritual level is tantamount to the sacrifice of our animal nature. We identify ourselves with G-d's will and we only act in accordance with it.

Sacrifice is acceptable only if it comes from a person dedicated to his brothers as well as to G-d. But he who is self-centered and aims at always taking for himself and giving nothing to others is unable to fulfill the essential condition of a sacrifice, which symbolizes the total offering of his being. His offering cannot be a sincere one and is therefore of no value.

1:1 And the LORD called unto Moses, and spoke unto him out of the tent of meeting, saying: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When any man

Man in Hebrew Adam. I Doresh from this that the sinner or participant (Korban Pessach) in the offering upon presenting the offering becomes like Adam HaRishon in new purity. The whole purpose of the Korban is to make one likened to Avraham Avinu.

of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd or of the flock. 3 If his offering be a burnt-offering of the herd, he shall offer it a male without blemish; he shall bring it to the door of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD.

This is the first offering a Korban Olah.

4 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.

One must lay his hands on the offering and state that this is my Korban so and so and the priest slaughtering says for the sake of Korban … (Orlah, Todah, Pessach, Asham, Chatas, etc.)

I am too exhausted from the mourning period and my working as cleaning person and shopper for Pessach as my wife deals with her mother now and the changing of my travel plans. So I take as is the Drasha of Rabbi Meir Kahane HY”D – Burn Your Pride.

When you offer a meal offering that is baked in an oven, it shall be of fine flour: unleavened loaves [matzot] mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers [matzot] smeared with oil. If your offering is a meal offering on the pan, it shall be of fine flour mixed with oil, it shall be unleavened [matza]. (Parashat Vayikra, Lev. 2:4-5).

Chametz and other forms of leaven symbolize the evil impulse and arrogance, for yeast inflates dough and turns it into chametz. Se'or [a type of leaven or yeast] derives from sa'ar, storm, for it agitates dough and makes it rise.

Just so, the evil impulse and arrogance inflate humble man to visions of grandeur, power and pride: “May the L-rd cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that speaks proud things!... 'For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise,' says the L-rd; I will save them from him who inflates himself” (Psalms 12:4,6. The haughty person who talks grandly, “inflates himself”.

Theft and wickedness, conceived in arrogance, are called Chometz, which means vinegar: “Seek justice, support the victim of theft [chamotz]” (Isaiah 1:17); and “Rescue me out of the hand of the wicked, out of the grasp of the unrighteous and ruthless [chometz] man” (Psalms 71:4. Clearly, chomes/chamsan [robber, oppressor] derives from chometz, as well. This is because chometz connotes that which is spoiled, just as wine vinegar is made from spoiled wine. In the same way, our sages called the evildoer whose father was righteous, “vinegar [Chometz], son of wine.”

It must be added that while chametz is a symbol of haughtiness, chametz's opposite, matza [unleavened bread], is called in Scripture “lechem oni” - bread of hardship (Deut. 16:3). On the one hand, Rashi explains “oni” as being related to aniyut (poverty) and inui (affliction): “Bread reminiscent of the poverty suffered in Egypt.” This jibes with the verses, “I have indeed seen the suffering of My people” (Ex. 3:7) and “You saw the affliction of our ancestors in Egypt” (Nehemia 9:9), and surely “oni” and “inui” derive from the same root.

Together with this, however, there is another meaning. Matza comes in opposition to chametz. Chametz symbolizes the bread of the wealthy man with his haughty dream of attaining wealth and honor, whereas matza symbolizes the bread of the lowly, modest man. Thus “lechem oni”, rendered above as the “bread of hardship”, can mean “the bread of the humble man” (anav).

Another mitzvah was given to Israel as an everlasting reminder against arrogance and conceit, namely, the prohibition against consuming non-kosher fat:

“All the fat is the L-rd's. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings, that you shall eat neither fat nor blood.” (Parashat Vayikra, Lev. 3:16-17).

The fact that “all the fat is the L-rd's” is a clear hint that wealth and honor are befitting only for G-d, fat symbolizing these. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I will give you the good of the land of Egypt and you shall eat the fat of the land.” (Gen. 45:18).

Moreover, Ibn Ezra comments that in “all the chelev of the oil and all the chelev of the wine and the corn” (Num. 18:12), chelev connotes “the choicest and the best”. Fatness symbolizes health and strength, as in Pharaoh's dream [of the seven fat and seven gaunt cows].

Thus, the wealth, honor, beauty and splendor symbolized by chelev belong only to G-d. They are becoming only to Him, because all these traits are His.

Even beyond this, however, chelev, fatness here on earth, is nothing but a symbol of conceit and the pursuit of pleasure, wealth and honor: “Their obese hearts have they shut tight, their mouths speak proudly” (Psalms 17:10); “Their eyes protrude from obesity , they are gone beyond the imaginations of their heart” (Ibid., 73:7); and “Their heart is gross like fat, but I delight in Your law” (Ibid., 119:70).

[See also] Rambam (Issurei HaMizbeach 7:11):

Whoever wishes merit should suppress his evil impulse and show generosity by bringing his offering from the choicest of the species in question. The Torah says, “And Abel also offered some of the firstborn of his flock, from the fattest ones [chelbehen]. And the L-rd paid heed to Abel and his offering”(Gen. 4:4).

Chelev connotes the choicest, plumpest, richest animal specimen. It thus symbolizes the human pride which compels man toward wealth, honor and the cravings of this world. Hence, we are not only obligated to sacrifice the choicest animal specimen but to take its fat, the symbol of pride and what is best and most desirable, and give it to G-d.

Through our readiness to donate to G-d the most important part, we rid ourselves of pride, proclaiming, “All the fat is the L-rd's!”

It follows that both chametz and chelev are symbols of pride.

Still, there is a difference between them.

Chametz symbolizes the egotism which entices a person toward the haughty pursuit of wealth and honor. Since it symbolizes the root and source of evil, it has no place on G-d's altar, the symbol of holiness, free of all arrogance.

By contrast, chelev symbolizes wealth and honor that a person has already attained and through which he is liable to become haughty. Therefore, a man is obligated to demonstrate the suppression of his evil impulse through his willingness to donate this symbol of pride and burn it.

It is true that G-d does not reject wealth. Like everything else G-d made, man can use it for good or evil, and it is certainly possible to direct wealth toward good ends. Certainly wealth is not evil per se, despite those false religions that wax pious in their condemnation of it. Money is neither good nor bad. If we use it to build the Temple and to do mitzvot, it is good.

If, however, it is put in service of arrogance and lust, nothing could be worse. Not only does man's egotism drive him to pursue wealth, but that wealth turns him into an even more conceited evildoer. It is a vicious cycle.

One of our most important principles is: “To the L-rd belongs the earth and everything in it.” (Ps. 24:1). Everything belongs to G-d, and nothing that ostensibly belongs to man is really his. Rather, it is only given to him to use. The concept of holiness provides a concrete example to help us understand the essence of property here on earth – that it belongs exclusively to G-d, and not to man.

What does Scripture say of him who makes unwarranted use of Temple property?

He shall bring as his guilt-offering to the L-rd, a [two-year-old] unblemished ram with a prescribed value of [at least] two silver shekels, according to the sanctuary standard. He must make restitution for taking something that was holy and shall add a fifth. (Parashat Vayikra, Lev. 5:15-16).

The reason he must add precisely a fifth is that it fits the crime.

This person was obligated to give up to a fifth of “his” property, as it were, to charity: “In giving charity, one should lavish no more than a fifth of his wealth” (Ketuvot 67b). In doing so, he would have demonstrated G-d's ownership over his property.

Instead, he stole Temple property. Hence, he must pay a fifth as he should have done of his “own” property, so to speak.

Among the nations and the alien culture, all sorts of outlooks have been formed regarding property, and despite the superficial differences between them, all are based on the perception that the world and property belong to man.

In this regard, there is no difference between what the non-Jews call “Capitalism”, “Socialism” or “Communism”. Whether a non-Jew argues that property is a private possession or argues that it belongs to society, he means that it is the property of man.

Not so G-d, Whose Torah states that everything belongs to Him, and that property and possessions were given to mankind only for use. Thus, when G-d decrees that we must give tzedakah, it is our duty to do so. Tzedakah does not at all come from the property of the wealthy man. He has no ownership whatsoever over what is given him by Heaven. Such is our sages' intent in Avot 3:7 :

“Give to G-d of His own, for you and yours are His”. Compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from “The Jewish Idea” of Rabbi Meir Kahane HY”D

Various Comments I made in the past on Pessach

Parshas HaChodesh is the 4th and final special Parsha before Pessach. Because Pessach falls on a Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh falls also on a Shabbos, the Parsha is read now to give people two weeks to prepare for the holiday. Already Beis Din has taken the Shekalim for the 1/2 Shekel donated and is preparing the Temple and roadways and water supplies for the way. The stores are full with Pessach products and it is time to purchase Matzos and Wine (for those who haven't yet purchased them). The rooms are being cleaned and the storage areas for the wine, matzos, nuts, etc. are prepared. Soon it will be time to buy the meat, cheese, lettuce, horseradish, parsley, radishes, etc. Today with the use of Freezers, the world is different and meat can be purchased well in advance of the holiday and cooking can be done days before. The Torah reading is Chapter 12 of Shemos and the Haftorah is Yechezkel 45. We are dealing with the 3rd Temple here and what the ruler and Cohain Gadol will bring as sacrifices on Rosh Chodesh.

Ashkenazim do not eat Matza Ashira aka egg or wine Matzos Erev Pessach but for the aged or the infirm it is permissible along with the Sephardim and the blessing is the same as that of cake on a regular day. Neither the Sephardim nor the Ashkenazim eat Matza Meal Cake Erev Pessach. Note: Matza Ashira or flour baked with wine, eggs or fruit juices w/o water in the quantity of two large eggs for each meal. After 3/4ths of the time from sunrise to sunset, it is forbidden to eat Matza Ashira. Originally written in 5765 when Pessach fell Motzei Shabbos so the writing has been revised. It is a Mitzvah to eat something like, nuts, vegetables or fruit as the Seder takes some time to say before the meal. However, one should eat too much so as to eat Matzos with a good appetite therefore we do not eat too much before the Pessach Seder.

I do not have the time to start teaching the Halachos of the flour and water used for baking Matzos, guarding that the batter does not go over 18 minutes, koshering dishes, etc. Instead, I will deal very briefly with common medical problems, what is customary not to eat by Ashkenazi Jews and the Seder Meal.

WARNING: Rabbi Blumenkrantz Zal in his book devoted a number of pages to Heckshirim for Pessach and Passover Resorts I hope that this valuable informative guide continues after his passing. Most of States do not rely on the local Mashgichim and that is a problem for a good Mashgiach he makes sure that they check each egg for blood spots even though most Rabbis hold that a standard quality control sampling is enough. A G-D fearing Mashgiach and a baker should be a bit concerned with long-term investments for the True World and not quick short cuts and a quick buck in this world. There are Rabbis who give out a Heckshir on phone calls alone. I as a Certified Quality Engineer would never ever accept the word of a manufacturer. (See the brief story of Matrix Military Certified Electronic Connectors below.) One has to be very careful. I am going to a “Manhedrin” Kosher L’Pessach Resort this year for Chol HaMoed. I spoke to the Mashgiach; the Matzos used are not up to my personal custom or standard. He is going to put aside some especially for me and I am going to bring a kilogram in my car to the resort just in case. So one can never be too careful! (But one need not be a fanatic)

There are quite a few hundred medicines that are Kosher for Pessach. Rabbi AVROHOM BLUMENKRANTZ lists them in his book. Either your local bookstore or Rabbi will have the book. Mine is only good for 5763 so unless you have nobody else to turn to do not contact me, even though things like Pepto-Bismol and Lipitor most likely are still kosher. If no kosher medicine is available on Pessach, one is allowed to take medicine that is lifesaving, even if it is not on the kosher list (emphasis is placed on the danger to one’s life). Non-life threatening situations, an Orthodox Rabbi should be consulted. Most iron pills are not kosher for Pessach but the Rabbi lists Ferro-Folic from Abbot Labs are OK in Eretz Yisrael Ferrocal. Those people like myself with lactose deficiency should not drink Soya Milk unless they are Sephardim as the Ashkenazi considers Soy Beans Kitniyos. Instead high calcium cheeses that contain little lactase such as Cheddar, American, Yogurt, etc. can be substituted or even better still Broccoli and plenty of Lettuce. Now is the time to check with an Orthodox Pharmacist, Doctor or Rabbi regarding the medicines that you normally take. Aspartame used in diet sodas and many medications have Kitniyos that has been chemically processed and therefore the OU, KAJ and in the case of the medications even the Charedi Heckshirim approve. Kitniyos is with the Rabbinical Custom Only and therefore when the shape and form is changed by processing one can be lenient. Not so Chometz that is from the Torah.

Thanks to Dr. Behar - ISRAELIS CHECK OUT: try substituting 2012 for this year.

For those who cannot eat wheat Matzos because of gluten, there are Oat Matzos available in Kosher Health Food stores at $15 to $16 a pound of Matzos. In Ramat Aviv there are Rye Matzos for 19 plus NIS a pound.

Certain foods may have worms or insects in them. Insects eaten are like eating 5 times pork as far as negative precepts of the Torah view them. Foods such as Lettuce, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, Asparagus, Cauliflower, etc. should be checked for worms by washing them in a salt or lemon water solution for long enough for the worms/bugs to fall off of them and then checked by eye held up to the light to see that nothing that looks like a creeping or crawling thing is on them. Strawberries and other fruits also may have minute bugs or worms. The old joke about “What is worse than finding a worm in your apple? – Finding half a worm!” also applies here. Only halachically, a half worm is not considered a full created creature and therefore would have to be the size of a giant Olive or a medium Egg to be over the negative precepts in the Torah but nobody wants to eat even half worms.

Most years, the Seder Table can be prepared the afternoon prior to the Seder, but this year it is forbidden to prepare on Shabbos for Yom Tov, so we have to set the Seder Table – if we have two or three tables available at home or a large Table and eating only on half the Table for Shabbos, we set the table Erev Shabbos. The salt water can be prepared and the only thing we have to do is bring out the Roasted Shank Bone, Charoses, (Parsley, Celery, Radish pieces for dipping), horse-radish, the boiled egg, lettuce for the Seder. Today most eggs used in food do not have blood in them as the hens are housed separately from the rosters; however, eggs from small farms have to be checked that no blood is inside of them and held up to the light. The prohibition of eating blood applies to eggs as well as meat!

Before I go into how to prepare the Charoses, I would like to remind the reader that all foods purchased should have a Kosher L’Pessach label on them. Certain foods that are considered by US Ashkenazim and Chabad as kosher such as Star Kist Tuna in Cottonseed Oil are considered Kitniyos by other Ashkenazim in Israel. US Corn (a.k.a. Maize), popcorn, green peas, green beans, humus, sesame seeds, mustard, rape seeds (Canola Oil), rice are not eaten by most Ashkenazim except for baby food if no replacement is available or whole rice in the case of a severe vitamin B deficiency as happened in the days of Rabbi Diskin Zal when disease threatened Poland. Sephardim also eat peanuts and in America Rabbi Moshe Feinstein gave a Heckshir to families who did not have a tradition on peanuts as Kitniyos – as for peanut butter the oil used to make it must be acceptable for Ashkenazim, sunflower seeds and oil, and other Kitniyos. Often they take on half an Ashkenazi custom and certain groups do not eat popcorn. The following oils are permissible but dangerous as far as cholesterol goes so beware: Coconut Palm Oil, Date Palm Oil and therefore I recommend highly for those who want to watch their health Olive Oil only, even though Walnut Oil is supposed to be cholesterol free, it is very fattening. For those like me, Cottonseed Oil, even though it does yield some cholesterol but not as much as the Palm Oils. Infants may be fed corn or rice cereal if they cannot take Matzo meal cereal. If the infant will not eat only baby food carrots, bananas, and squash with the Kosher L’Pessach label on them, they can be fed green peas. [Note products such as Gerber, Beech Nut and Israeli Baby Foods require either an OU-P or a Kosher L’Pessach certificate on them. Green Peas, Rice, Corn, etc. must have a Heckshir from a reliable Sephardic Orthodox Rabbi.] Do to food police in the States and Charedi Bullies in Israel one almost has to go underground like a criminal to get Cotton Seed oil and the effort is not worth it.

The purchases for the Seder: For the Karpas we need a fruit from the ground to eat. I use celery as it is called Karpas in Hebrew, but the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch recommends Radishes so I chop off very small pieces of each dip them into the salt water and pass them out to everybody at the table. Some people in the States use Parsley as Karpas is similar sounding and others use potatoes. The main reason for the blessing over the “fruit of the ground” is to provide a covering blessing for the Marror (bitters) later in the Seder. We wash before the Karpas because anything that is wet can become Tumay. This is from Temple times and hopefully the holy Beis HaMikdash will be speedily rebuilt and we will have to guard against Tuma and guard the Tahor. [Remember that the quantity of Karpas whether it is celery and/or radish should be small like less than half a medium size egg when combined. Children or the very elderly can be calmed down with a liquid soup during the first part of the Seder if they become weak and hungry or irritable. Usually older children will like to imitate adults and remember the Seder from last year and will wait patiently. I recommend that in the parents see to it that the child and the elderly have perhaps some vegetables with a little olive oil on them and soup before sundown to give them a feeling of being full. This trick I learned from the South Beach Diet as vegetables and oil takes time to digest and one feels full.]

The wine or grape juice passed out should be a minimum of 83 grams or 5.6 ounces (There are special Kosher measuring cups available in many Judaica Stores or even one time cups with the correct measurement). One is only required to drink the majority of the cup. [Rav Rachamim- one drinks immediately the wife because of the blessing and does not say “L’Chaim”! Not as a glutton guzzles the wine but in two or a maximum of three times so as not to look like one is swilling the wine either. Even here the Gemara Pessachim talks about two gulps only but by the third or fourth cup one can be a bit more lenient on him/her-self. The object is to behave like a king in one’s house on Pessach.] Children should be told to drink the majority of the cup. Often they are thirsty enough for the first cup and finish it. There are some elderly people that have trouble swallowing and one must tell them to take it slowly and take their time. We do not need them getting a lung filled with wine and possible pneumonia. In short by cutting down the wine or grape juice to the bare minimum we only need to have each time a 51% of the cup drunk or two plus cups during the entire Seder. If the Seder runs long enough, one can even have a L’Chaim between the fish and the meat in the meal over Plum Alcohol called SHILIVOWITZ, Kosher Brandy, Kosher Vodka but of course no grain Alcohol as that is Chometz. One can drink water too instead of the L’Chaim if one is afraid of having too much Alcohol. Red Wine is preferred, but in lands where the Jews are accused of ritual murders the custom is to use white wine. If you are hosting a potential convert or non-Jew for the Seder (many Rabbis hold even non-religious Jews too other Rabbis like Simcha HaCohain Kuk Shlita says that they are like captured by the mass media and non-Jewish education) you should use pasteurized wine and grape juice. All Carmel Mizrachi, Kedem, Gamla, Baron Herzog and Bartenura wines fall under this category and then we avoid all Halachic problems. Other wines you should either refer to the book by R. Blumenkrantz or contact your local Orthodox Rabbi. NOTE AN ORTHODOX CONVERT IS A FULL JEW.

The Matzos and Matza Meal preferably should be from a factory that stops the machines every 18 minutes and cleans them, or the batches coming off the machines during the first 18 minutes of production after cleaning. Rabbi Soleveichik Zal gave the Heckshir to the Horowitz- Margareten Factory based on the non-sticking of the dough and the water and kneading to baking took less than 18 minutes. Rabbi London Zal used to supervise the boys from my Yeshiva cleaning the machines at the factory and he would get for the work enough of the first 18 minute Matzos for free to feed the Yeshiva and the guests. The Matzos used for the Seder are even more special than the regular Matzos. They come from guarded wheat from the time of cutting that did not come in contact with any water what so ever. The wheat is stored in a dry place that is checked from time to time and is only used for Seder Matzos. This type of Matza is called Shmura Matza. The size of the standard Matza that is used for the Mitzvah of eating Matza is a minimum of the size of a medium egg when crushed or about 26 grams. I have seen various sizes of Machine Matza given. Rabbi Blumenkrantz Shlita says a whole machine Matza. However in the back of a very old book of his are two rulers one 5 inches and the other 8 inches or a little bit more than 12.5 x 20 cm piece of machine Matza. This amount of Matza is eaten for the Mitzvah, the sandwich and Apikoyman (dessert). Remember the Apikoyman is in please of the Korban Pessach and should be eaten as if one is eating the Korban Pessach. On the first night of Pessach we eat it before Halachic Midnight or 12:37 AM in Eretz Yisrael. If you are like me, you will be asleep at that time, although certain Chassidim like to continue their Sedarim until 3 or 4 AM. If one is excited, alert and awake fine, if not it instead of telling of the miracles of the Exodus, one is just punishing himself for a custom. The sandwich is the whole Matza with the broken middle Matza from where the Apikoyman was taken.

The Marror or Bitters can be something that grows slightly above the ground like horseradish, lettuce or wormwood. Romaine Lettuce is slightly bitter, the Iceberg Lettuce is good for children and people you are trying to bring into the world of Torah. I personally use the strongest horseradish on top of lettuce. Usually I have two Kazaysim – one olive’s bulk for the blessing dipped in Charoses and one on the sandwich mixed with Charoses. The horseradish should be grated Erev Shabbos and preserved in a little vinegar and a touch of sugar to those who cannot take it too pungent.

The Charoses can be made in dozens of ways. I personally prefer the recipe of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Modified very slightly. I use the following ingredients: Sweet Wine like Carmel Mizrachi (see the above brands) Topaz, Nitzachon or Concord, some chopped fine walnuts, pecans, almonds and hazel nuts, ground Ginger & Cinnamon, dates, raisins and a small amount of vinegar. Charoses also contains cored and peeled apples shredded and chopped. The Apples that I use are not too tart or too sweet but the reddish green kind in Israel that has a slightly sweet taste. In Chapter 118:4 of the Kitzur, figs and pomegranates are mentioned. Kosher L’Pessach Figs are hard to come by so either, I would have to take my own from my tree dry it out in the sun under bird and insect netting and preserve it for Pessach or forego. I put every year some pomegranates in my refrigeration from Rosh Hashanah for TU B’Shevat and Pessach but usually they do not last and the Charoses tastes great without them. My brother adds for his own taste prunes and apricots in his. The oriental recipe called RAMBAM Charoses calls for Hyssop in it. I have a good thing going so I say why spoil it. The nuts can be ground finer in a food processor. However the dates and raisins have to be done in small quantities and at low speeds as they can stop the food processor and the paste like mixture has to be blended well with every other ingredient. Add the wine, ginger and cinnamon to your own taste, but beware that it is not too wet or too thick so as not to spread. It should be able to spread slightly thicker than margarine.

[Speaking of margarine, this year for the first time, I have not found a kosher for Pessach for Ashkenazim margarine in Eretz Yisrael]

Just read the Haggada from cover to cover and with the instructions in English when to lift up the ceremonial plate and uncover and cover the Matzos, you will conduct the service as it has been conducted for the last 3324 years. The only difference is that we now have the egg instead of the Korban Chaggai (3 times a year you should not appear empty handed before the L-RD your G-D) and the Korban Pessach. We therefore do not eat Roasted Meat because it is like the real Korban and we neither have a Korban or the Beis HaMikdash. The original questions for the Seder had: “On all other nights we eat meat roasted, boiled or fried on this night we eat only roasted.” With a few miracles from HASHEM, next year in Yerushalayim.

Two Mitzvos of Pessach, I have not dwelt on and they are inviting in guests for the Shabbos and Seder. The second is donating money to soup kitchens and other charities that help the poor conduct Sedarim either at home or in the soup kitchen. I know that the economy is not that great either in Israel or throughout the world so one has an obligation to his immediate family coming first and then other relatives before the poor. The price of gasoline, inflation, and non-salary raises affect us all still let us remember those students, poor or soldiers away from home and open up our hearts and pocket books and wallets or our Seder Meal opne unto them.

Certified Kosher and Certified by the United States Military

There is Glatt Kosher and there is regular good Kosher and then there is something called Kosher. One of the companies that sold Military Electronic Connects was Matrix (now out of business). Just like we have kashrut alerts on certain restaurants, products etc. so there are quality control alerts in the U.S. Military and among suppliers and customers of the U.S. Military of certain components. Electronic Military Connectors are usually used because of their rigid environmental standards and testing in the Cockpits of Commercial Aircraft such as the radar, automatic pilot and computer navigation system. There was one manufacturer that all the time had alerts about their products. (Note most defective products do not reach the alert stage or the person finding them or his supervisor doesn’t even know that he should report it.)

With this in mind, the Israel Alert committee invited Matrix to speak before them and bring sample connecting devices. We had no budget to send an engineer out to California to inspect their facilities and testing procedures so we would base in on the U.S. Military approval. They showed us their new Q.C. policy - PRIDE standing for Producing Reliable Items… etc. It sounded very impressive. I asked them to see a few samples of connectors. I passed all of them around the room but one that I kept “playing” with by coupling and uncoupling the connector. According to the US MS requirement all connectors have to be tested or built for 500 insertions and extractions. I had coupled and uncoupled the sample that had been in a plastic bag. I noticed the Cadmium plating flaking off. (Nickel connectors are used in cockpits, but cadmium us usually used for outside connections.) I showed that to my group leader, the department head, people from Tadiran, Israel Military Industries, Elbit, etc. In short the plating on the connector was not kosher for the military standard. A simple test done in about 15 minutes with less than 50 connects and disconnects. Who were the U.S. Soldiers that approved the factory, I don’t know or care. Later they went out of business because the field commanders and users issued enough failure reports that nobody bought from them anymore they were cheaper and purchasing wanted them but a failure in production or the field is very expensive.

However, when a factory wants to be approved by a Rabbi as being Kosher, they pay the Rabbi for the use of his Heckshir and therefore an extra-factory Kashrut Certificate is not enough. He should be G-D fearing enough to go down and see how clean they are, what inspections they do, what are the real ingredients that go into the food. If the Rabbi is too big to do the little job of inspecting the place that he gives his Heckshir on a product without seeing production based on telephone ingredients alone, then the Heckshir should be too small for you and I. The great Rabbi Landau Zal in his 90’s used to go and inspect factories at random in the middle of the night to see that the Kashrut was on tract. Rabbis Machpud Shlita, Rosenberg Shlita, Rubin Shlita check the knives of the butchers in the slaughterhouse regularly at random times. Sometimes it is one strike and you’re out. There can be no mistakes on the operating table by open heart surgeons; there can be no mistakes in kashrut either. - 5765

In 5766 I wrote: Some of us start learning and preparing months in advance for Pessach either by learning in details the laws or just keeping places like bedrooms and parts of the basement completely Chometz free. Some of us start learning and cleaning for Pessach after Purim. Nissan has arrived and time is running out folks.

The Mishnah Berura is fine if you learned it already before and need it as a detailed reference. There is nothing wrong with learning the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch = The Code of Jewish Law on Shabbos afternoon.

However, since time is running out, I would dedicate my learning to perhaps Laws 98 and 99 regarding Yom Tov and if you are a Cohain 100 and 101 if you live outside of Israel and need this review.
This year before the 7th of Pessach you will need an Erev Tavshilin chapter 102 this year to be made on April 12th before sunset. Chapters 103-107 should be reviewed. If you don't plan to actually bake Matzos and then you might want to skip to Chapter 113 and glance at it quickly and 114 if the selling of Chometz interests you. Chapters 115 through 120 are the laws concerning Pessach and the counting of the Omer
. Now is the time to review not Erev Pessach close to Mincha.

I always clean my house from the least used rooms for eating to the most used rooms. Thus my computer room/study the bed rooms, basement and then the room before my porch where my *watch* dog is with all the dog food there. *Some stranger comes he barks, my friends who walk with me and him come or my grandchildren; he cries.* The living room although essentially, I usually clean the rug and check the lounge chairs around Rosh Chodesh and the room is essentially kosher for Pessach minus the fish food. Even the refrigerator can get a first going over at this time so that the real cleaning is easier. Products that might have Kitniyos are put into a section of the deep freezer. Whiskeys and other products are sold in the sale to the non-Jew.

Shopping should have already begun. In the worst case a shopping list should be prepared.

H.S wrote: The second Seder falls this year on April 7th 2012, which is still Shabbat. Please tell me at what time we can have a community Seder without causing people to violate Shabbat. Message me please with your thoughts. H.

One can start praying Maariv followed by Hallel about 45 minutes after sundown and during that time the women can say Baruch Hamavdil ben Kodesh le Kodesh and start preparing the meal, washing the dishes from Shabbos, putting the items on the Seder Plate etc. The counting of the Omer takes place at the end of the Seder.

A short Chassidic Tale about the best Seder in Town

The Rebbe was learning with Eliyahu HaNovi (Elijah) the laws of Pessach. He asked the Prophet, “Who has the best Seder Pessach in town?

The Prophet answered: “Rabbi you have the second best but Yacov Daniel the town drunk has the best in the world.” So the Rebbe sent two Chassidim to the drunk’s house to view the Seder and report back to him before midnight. The Chassidim got to Yacov’s house and the wife came to the door. They explained to her that the Rebbe sent them to view Yacov’s Seder. The wife was flabbergasted as Yacov had polished off all his last bottles of whiskey and bourbon and was out cold in a drunken stupor on the couch since the morning when he had to finish off his Chometz.

Being a good wife of a drunk, she poked him and shook him until he could get up off the couch. She told him that the gentlemen came at the bequest of the Rebbe to see his Pessach Seder. With that Yacov refreshed himself and immediately upon washing his face and hands donned his Kittle and Talis. He started the Seder and had no trouble in his state leaning to the left. He made Kiddush and then said a few words. “The

L-RD freed us from slavery and took us out of Egypt. He forbade us to eat Chometz on Pessach so we had to sacrifice ourselves for this purpose. He mentioned the plagues and immediately drank the second cup of wine. He had a Matzo and a few morsels of food then grace and the third cup. He praised G-D for enabling him to be free to get his whiskey the rest of the year and for the good wine and drank the forth cup and immediately went back on the couch to sleep off the wine in drank in less than a half hour.

The Chassidim went back to the Rebbe and after the Afikomen (last part of the meal), prior to grace, the Rebbe asked them what did they see. They relayed the story to the Rebbe and the Rebbe then explained how great a mitzvah Yacov Daniel had done. The Rebbe explained that he did not sacrifice his favorite pass time for Pessach neither did he just eat for the Mitzvah nor did he say every word at the Seder with fervor, but Yacov did and that is why Yacov Daniel the drunk had the best Seder in the world.

The Moral of the Story is that we too must put our best effort into Pessach and try to say the Haggada with fervor (Kavannah) just like the drunk who was no sober enough to say things without meaning what he said.

Have you ever heard that Israel is swimming in a sea of oil just waiting for Messianic times?

Energy production revolution begins in Mideast Mar 12, 2012 4:00 PM EDT (page 1 of 4) View Entire Story

Scenes of carnage and upheaval have been playing out for so many decades in the Middle East - car bombings, terrorist attacks, wars, intifadas, and the slightly more optimistic images associated with the Arab Spring - that they are by now well familiar.

But there is another revolution in the Mideast, presently underway, that is not being televised. It centers on the all-important area of energy production, and it might be called, "the Battle for Leviathan."

At issue is the recent discovery of huge untapped natural gas fields in the Levant Basin, the section of the eastern Mediterranean Sea that abuts Israel to the East, and Cyprus to the North.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that this underwater area holds 123 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. In simpler terms: That's equal to 20 billion barrels of oil, more than twenty times what the United States maintains in its Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Agunos = abandoned wives. Finally an Israeli Sanction on refusenik husbands. (I prefer beat them until they say "Rotzei Ani" - Halacha),7340,L-4205303,00.html
Inyanay Diyoma
A holocaust story which has photos that are even pleasant to the eye so I suggest reading it on line:,7340,L-4184933,00.html
The Americans really don’t have a good clue on the Iranian Bomb Status:,7340,L-4204145,00.html
Where is America heading?!
Somebody is hitting Syria:
The funny side of the news:
Iranian Navy back at it again:
Bibi's mouth piece in the press speaks:,7340,L-4204420,00.html
Desperate Syrian Dictator
Danny Danon should be honored for this new law.,7340,L-4205143,00.html
I do not fully trust the NYT anymore:



forwarded with major commentary by Gail Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator

Monday March 19th in Toulouse, France a Muslim gunman riding a black Yamaha motorcycle, murdered Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, a religious instructor at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish Day School, his sons, Arye, 6, and Gabriel, 3; and Miriam Monsonego, 8, the daughter of the school principal - critically wounding a 17 year old boy. The victims were buried in Jerusalem today Wednesday March 21st. The killer is suspected of also murdering 3 French paratroopers and critically wounding another. The soldiers were all Arab or black.

A 24 year old Algerian man, Mohammed Merah, told police who had surrounded his house that he belonged to al Qaeda and trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Witnesses said and surveillance tapes at the school showed that he carried a camcorder strapped to his chest, recording his murderous attacks. All of official France responded with words of outrage, sympathy and vows to catch the killers and reinforce security at all Jewish institutions.

Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief, spoke at a conference on Palestinian refugees, saying: "....when we see what is happening in Gaza ....we remember young people and children who lose their lives." Of course, she covered her lack of moral standing by adding to the comment - "and Sderot" in later releases of her speech. Sderot is the city near Gaza which has been the perpetual target of rockets from the Muslims in Gaza so that Jewish children are targets and must spend days of their young lives underground.

Even that late correction didn’t dampen the anger in Jerusalem over her remarks which put the Toulouse killings into the same pot as Israel’s actions in Gaza to thwart the rockets launched by Muslim Terror groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others.

More than 300 Qassem missiles and Grad-model Katyushas plus SA (Surface-to-Air) anti-air rockets smuggled from Libya have been fired from Gaza into Southern Israel since Friday March 9th for 7 days - even after a declared cease-fire. Can you imagine what it’s like to hear a Code Red Siren and have 15 seconds to find shelter? Twelve Israelis were hurt, B’H, none were killed. 200,000 children had no school because the schools have no protective rooms for their safety under missile fire. The rockets hit Beersheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gedera (outskirts of Tel Aviv), Ofakim, and more.

And Catherine Ashton (must think she’s Catherine the Great), throws any consideration for the Jewish children away with her blatant "Moral Equivalency" words and attitude.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said: "This is a wildness and lack of humanity that is difficult to describe. What especially infuriates me is the comparison of the intended massacre of children to surgical defensive action taken by the IDF that is meant to hit Terrorists who use children as human shields." Other Israeli leaders called Ashton’s comments "outrageous" and without any "grounding in reality". She was called upon to resign, saying her remarks do addition damage to the EU’s ability to be a fair player in the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process.

After her own words caused the diplomatic waters to boil over, she did not try to correct them. No. She has a spokesman do that for her.




#1. The Turkish Editor: Mahir Zeynalov said: Gunman attack Jewish school in France; vandals attack Jewish cemetery in Poland; Jews burn mosques and Koran in Tunisia - The Blood Libel.

#2. The Dutch Cartoonist: De Volkskrant, one of Holland’s leading newspapers ran a cartoon showing Geert Wilders, leader of the Conservative Party that is very critical of Islam, getting loads of cash from a hidden hand clearly referring to Jews or Israel.

Exhibit three is Catherine Ashton, Europe's Foreign Minister, whose career was originally built on running the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament which favored
unilateral Western disarmament in the face off Soviet tyranny. She is now the EU's foreign minister. In response to the Toulouse shooting she has issued a
statement spends more time reciting the sufferings of children in the Gaza Strip than about antisemitism and the demonization of Jews and Israel.

Left out is the fact that Gaza is ruled by an organization Hamas that is openly antisemitic, openly preaches genocide, frequently has carried out terrorist attacks against Israelis and Jews, and then glorifies those who did the murders. Remember that the only reason Hamas can rule Gaza is that Israel voluntarily withdrew from the
territory in a gesture intended to promote peace, something Ashton and much of the Western media and governmental elites usually don't mention.

When Hamas maintains a war with Israel, firing rockets, missiles, and mortars, Israel defends itself. Hamas also deliberately sites military arsenals and weapons in residential areas. Thus, civilians and even children are accidentally killed by Israel in the fighting. This is precisely what happens in other wars, including those being
waged now by EU countries.

Yet Ashton does not defend Israel or its right to defend itself. She does not take sides against the terrorists. At best we get spurious neutrality that is actually anti-Israel propaganda. Note that she even refers to Palestine as a currently existing country even though the EU recognizes no such country. So much for diplomatic
responsibility. Her "apology" and "clarification" came after criticism but she meant exactly what she said and will do the same thing next time as she and other EU officials have done on previous occasions.

Indeed, while Palestinian children are killed during the fighting in Gaza let's note the two most notoriously publicized examples of the last week:

-A photo sent around, in one case by a UN official, showing a little girl as being injured this week was in fact of a girl injured in an auto accident several years ago.
-The claim that Adham Abu Selmiya was killed by Israelis has now been shown to be false. He was killed by a bullet fired into the air by Palestinians during a funeral.

-And what of the recent photo widely published purporting to show an Israeli soldier menacing a child despite the fact that the man was not wearing a real Israeli army uniform and carrying an AK-47, showing that the photo was a phony.

-The downplaying or omission of the fact that Israel was defending itself from a barrage of missiles. In one case, a prominent Dutch newspaper published a photograph with the caption that showed a rocket being fired by Israel into Gaza, instead of the exact opposite.

In short, Ashton and many others are contributing to the demonization of Jews and Israel. If Israel is so horrible that it makes little children in Gaza suffer for no reason shouldn't Israelis and the Jews who support them, be shunned, harassed, attacked, and murdered?

These three examples are only a small sample of what is pouring out in the Middle East and elsewhere. I could go on with dozens more and so, perhaps, could you. From Sweden's largest newspaper claiming Israel murdered Palestinians to harvest their organs to a Harvard professor's tales of Jewish-Zionist conspiracies to control U.S. foreign policy to the dozens of "academic" conferences on Western campuses that demonize Israel at the expense of the students' tuition payments.

What is needed is not more hypocrisy or professions of innocence or expensive conferences where long speeches are made about the evils of antisemitism by those who do nothing but get free plane tickets and nice hotel rooms- but a real change in the behavior of the mass media that pours out lies, the academics who slander and distort, and the governments that cannot even stand with a country and people beset by terrorism and once again by the world's oldest hatred.

Oh, and one more thing is needed: the admission that the greatest threat of hatred, "racism," dehumanization of the "other," and threat of persecution today-as the statistics for Europe and North America show-is not "Islamophobia" but antisemitism.

And none of those things are going to happen because the liars, haters, apologists, and enablers will not acknowledge their own behavior while those who are supposed to supervise them will not act. Hating and lying about Israel and the Jewish people is too useful politically and too entwined with the version of left-wing ideology, not to mention Islamism and the dominant interpretation of Islam, currently so powerful in the world.

It would be an exaggeration to say that Europe is no longer a safe place for Jews to live. Yet it is accurate to say that it is becoming an unsafe place for Jews to live, and certainly for those who wish to express mainstream Jewish views and to practice their religion openly. Meanwhile, the EU and various governments dare not admit that the principal cause of antisemitic activity is radical Islam, and the principal inspiration for popular antisemitism is trendy leftist ideas that now dominate much of that continent and are spreading in North America.

Thus, Jewish children are deliberately murdered by a terrorist in the midst of France. In response come get the formal statements and the crocodile tears. Yet at the exact same time as the bullets are entering the children's bodies, as the victims fall to the ground, as the ambulance sirens sound, the incitement and the lies and the slanders continue, laying the groundwork for more hatred and more murder.

A blessed and wonderful Shabbos to all,
Rachamim Pauli