Friday, June 6, 2014

Parsha BeHaalosecha, stories, practical halacha.

Last week my memory played tricks on me. I remembered the number 100 grams or closer to 98 grams. But that was not a Shekel but the weight of 5 Shekelim for a Pidyon HaBen. Rabbi Asaf Ben David Shlita looked it up for me and found it to be 19.6 grams. The money changers in the Beis HaMikdash used to take a small commission for exchanging regular Shekel Coins of about 5 to 11 grams depending on the country to that of Shekel HaKodesh. 1 troy ounce – 31.103 grams. all the silver of the vessels two thousand and four hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary; which would be 19.6 x 2400 or 47040 grams now divide that by 31.103 for the amount in troy ounces yielding 1512.394. We multiply the price by $19.03 dollars and we get $28,780.86 dividing by the number of tribes each Nasi brought $2398.40   

86 twelve golden pans, full of incense, weighing ten shekels apiece, after the shekel of the sanctuary; all the gold of the pans a hundred and twenty shekels;
Price of Gold as of yesterday $1,256.39. 120 x 19.6 / 31.103 = 75.61 ounces of gold. In today’s terms is $94,995.64 are minus the exchange rate and the work of the gold and silver smith. Each Nasi would have to pay $7,996.31. Now this is without the price of a bulls, rams and Billy-goats we are getting into half a million dollars.

Parsha Behaalosecha

This week like last week the Parsha starts off with a command that had to have been given even before Parsha Shemini because Aaron is told to the light the Menorah. Atonement is made for the Leviim and at this point we return to a progress in our timeline. This week we also have the full dedication of the Leviim. We have a reminder to observe Pessach and the Parsha of the gluttony of the people to eat raw meat rather than cook it and they die because of this lust for meat. In between the last two sections, the ability of others besides Moshe to get prophecy like that of Eldad and Medad which was also at the beginning of the Mishkan.
8:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Speak unto Aaron, and say unto him: When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the candlestick.' 3 And Aaron did so: he lighted the lamps thereof so as to give light in front of the candlestick, as the LORD commanded Moses.

The fact that he did so was at the time of the dedication of the Mishkan so although a lot of Torah has passed us with plenty of Mitzvos in Vayikra we are at the time of the dedication of the Mishkan although the sons of Aaron have been buried and the laws of Pessach Sheni have been given, the last two Parshiyos and this one have returned to an earlier date. That is why it is written that there is no early and no late in the Torah. Only by the end of Bamidbar do we see that 38 more years have passed and we are nearing the end of the wandering of the Bnei Yisrael. 

 4 And this was the work of the candlestick, beaten work of gold; unto the base thereof, and unto the flowers thereof, it was beaten work; according unto the pattern which the LORD had shown Moses, so he made the candlestick.

The Menorah made by the Temple Institute in Yerushalayim in one solidly molded gold as the artist interpreted the shape thereof and the height as mentioned in the Torah.

5 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 6 'Take the Levites from among the children of Israel, and cleanse them. 7 And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: sprinkle the water of purification upon them, and let them cause a razor to pass over all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and cleanse themselves.

Sprinkle them with cleansing water: from the ashes of the red cow, so as to cleanse them from contamination by those who were in contact with the dead. and pass a razor over all their flesh: I found in the writings of R. Moses Hadarshan (the preacher): Since they [the Levites] were submitted in atonement for the firstborn who had practiced idolatry [when they worshipped the golden calf], which is called sacrifices to the dead-and one afflicted with tzara’ath is considered dead-they required shaving like those afflicted with tzara’ath.

The explanation sounds reasonable to me as it is the only explanation that makes sense for passing a razor over all the Leviim at the time of the dedication of the Mishkan.

8 Then let them take a young bullock, and its meal-offering, fine flour mingled with oil, and another young bullock shalt thou take for a sin-offering. 9 And thou shalt present the Levites before the tent of meeting; and thou shalt assemble the whole congregation of the children of Israel.

And you shall gather the entire congregation: Since the Levites were submitted as an atonement offering instead of them, let them [the Israelites] come and stand with their offerings [namely the Levites] and rest their hands upon them. — [Midrash Aggadah] 11

10. And thou shalt present the Levites before the LORD; and the children of Israel shall lay their hands upon the Levites.

The laying of the hands or Semicha is the ordination process and from this point onwards the Leviim have been ordained by the nation!

11 And Aaron shall offer the Levites before the LORD for a wave-offering from the children of Israel, that they may be to do the service of the LORD.

Then Aaron shall lift up the Levites as a waving: in the same way that the guilt-offering of one afflicted with tzara’ath requires waving [the animal] while it is alive. Three wavings are mentioned in this section: the first (verse 11) refers to the sons of Kohath, and for this reason it states with regard to them, “that they may serve in the Lord’s service,” since they were responsible for the work involving the most holy objects-the ark, the table, etc. The second (verse 13) refers to the sons of Gershon. Therefore, it is stated with regard to them, “a waving before the Lord” (verse 13), for even they were assigned holy work-the curtains and the clasps, which could be seen in the Holy of Holies. The third [waving] was for the sons of Merari (verse 14). - [Midrash Aggadah] 16

Proclaiming the various function of each group of Leviim.

12 And the Levites shall lay their hands upon the heads of the bullocks; and offer thou the one for a sin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering, unto the LORD, to make atonement for the Levites.

Here the Leviim are placing their hands on the bulls to dedicate them for this purpose unto HASHEM.

13 And thou shalt set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them for a wave-offering unto the LORD. 14 Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel; and the Levites shall be Mine. 15 And after that shall the Levites go in to do the service of the tent of meeting; and thou shalt cleanse them, and offer them for a wave-offering. 16 For they are wholly given unto Me from among the children of Israel; instead of all that opens the womb, even the first-born of all the children of Israel, have I taken them unto Me.

Prior to the sin of the golden calf, the first born were to serve with the function of the Leviim but now they lost that because some were involved in that sin and only the Leviim were clean from that sin.

17 For all the first-born among the children of Israel are Mine, both man and beast; on the day that I smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for Myself. 18 And I have taken the Levites instead of all the first-born among the children of Israel. 19 And I have given the Levites--they are given to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the tent of meeting, and to make atonement for the children of Israel, that there be no plague among the children of Israel, through the children of Israel coming nigh unto the sanctuary.'

What a loss for the firstborn of Yisrael.

20 Thus did Moses, and Aaron, and all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the Levites; according unto all that the LORD commanded Moses touching the Levites, so did the children of Israel unto them. 21 And the Levites purified themselves, and they washed their clothes; and Aaron offered them for a sacred gift before the LORD; and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them. 22 And after that went the Levites in to do their service in the tent of meeting before Aaron, and before his sons; as the LORD had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so did they unto them. 23 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 24 'This is that which pertains unto the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they shall go in to perform the service in the work of the tent of meeting;

Previously we mentioned the movement of the Mishkan from the age of 30 to 50 but the holy service and training started at 25 years of age. Remember that 28 is Koach meaning strength in Hebrew. They retired at the age of 50 as ones strength and mental agility starts to diminish approximately at 50 and onwards.

25 and from the age of fifty years they shall return from the service of the work, and shall serve no more; 26 but shall minister with their brethren in the tent of meeting, to keep the charge, but they shall do no manner of service. Thus shalt thou do unto the Levites touching their charges.'
9:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying: 2 'Let the children of Israel keep the Passover in its appointed season. 3 In the fourteenth day of this month, at dusk, ye shall keep it in its appointed season; according to all the statutes of it, and according to all the ordinances thereof, shall ye keep it.'

This is a review that Pessach is for all generations like the Shabbos is for each week forever. Just like Shabbos can only be observed fully by a Ben Yisrael or Ger Tzeddek so to a Pessach. For only a soul worthy of redemption from Mitzrayim can truly feel the taste of freedom. And for those unfortunate individual who cut themselves off calling themselves free Jews instead of servants of HASHEM. They are the true slaves to the Yetzer and Mixed Multitude. I just remind myself how I group up in a “Free” Synagogue. It was free from Torah Judaism. It had a nice organ like a church and a choir of mixed sexes to sing not like the songs of the male Leviim. It was free from Mitzvos but they also freed themselves from the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven. The true freedom is to observe Torah from one’s heart and mind.

Devarim 6 – The Shema and you should love the L-RD your G-D with all your heart, soul and might that is physical and spiritual freedom beyond what my mind is capable of picturing in this physical world. For I am a man of both soul and the elements of the earth and have to keep my strength from waning and aches and pains through exercise and stretching but I also must exercise my soul with proper balance. If I have helped one person via this essay keep the Shabbos, Pessach or Mitzvos better I consider myself a success and if I helped two a great success but if not, I did what I am capable of doing to raise the mundane to the spiritual.

…11 And it came to pass in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, that the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle of the testimony. 12 And the children of Israel set forward by their stages out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud abode in the wilderness of Paran.-- 13 And they took their first journey, according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses. 14 And in the first place the standard of the camp of the children of Judah set forward according to their hosts; and over his host was Nahshon the son of Amminadab. 15 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethanel the son of Zuar. 16 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon. 17 And the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari, who bore the tabernacle, set forward. 18 And the standard of the camp of Reuben set forward according to their hosts; and over his host was Elizur the son of Shedeur. 19 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. 20 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel. 21 And the Kohathites the bearers of the sanctuary set forward, that the tabernacle might be set up against their coming. 22 And the standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set forward according to their hosts; and over his host was Elishama the son of Ammihud. 23 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. 24 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni. 25 And the standard of the camp of the children of Dan, which was the rearward of all the camps, set forward according to their hosts; and over his host was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 26 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ochran. 27 And over the host of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan. 28 Thus were the journeyings of the children of Israel according to their hosts.--And they set forward…

This whole section is how they journeyed.

16 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Gather unto Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou know to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with thee.

These men were the wisest from each tribe most were elder by years but most important elder by wisdom and experience. For a Judge has to be deliberate and cautious in judging. One must see the scales and a slight miscarriage of justice could open up Gehennom for the Judge.

17 And I will come down and speak with thee there; and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.

No one should be a sole judge and the Sanhedrin and leaders of 10, 50, 100 and 1000 were to help the Tribes in Judgement.

This next section I have covered over the past years of the eating of the quail and don’t want to repeat myself this year as I am afraid that I have not much new to add. 18 And say thou unto the people: Sanctify yourselves against to-morrow, and ye shall eat flesh; for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying: Would that we were given flesh to eat! for it was well with us in Egypt; therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. 19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; 20 but a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you; because that ye have rejected the LORD who is among you, and have troubled Him with weeping, saying: Why, now, came we forth out of Egypt?

There becomes a limit how much of a good think one can take. In Switzerland workers in the chocolate candy factory are told to eat chocolate for a day until they become sick of it the same with the meat.

We end the Parsha with the sin of Miriam done out of the love for her sister-in-law but she should have said it to Moshe’s face and it was therefore Lashon HaRa.

Sowing the 2nd Melacha By Rabbi Jack Abramwitz:

The second melacha is zorei’ah, which is sowing (as in “planting,” not to be confused with tofeir, which is sewing with a needle and thread). Zorei’ah was one of the 11 agricultural labors used in constructing the Mishkan. Zorei’ah refers not only to placing the seed in the ground, but also to any activity that promotes plant growth.
Aside from actively planting seeds, one must be careful not to drop seeds from fruit one is eating on the soil where they might germinate.
According to some opinions, the melacha of zorei’ah is different from other melachos in that it would not be violated until the seed germinates three days later. According to this opinion, one could obviate transgression by removing the seed within this time frame. According to other opinions, the melacha is transgressed immediately upon planting. It is therefore advisable to pick up seeds that may fall from fruit one is eating. (Such edible seeds are not muktza, though other types of seeds may be. A full discussion of which seeds are muktza is beyond our scope.)
Not only planting seeds, but any activity that encourages plant growth is prohibited, such as watering. Accordingly, one may not spill out water, wash hands, or even spit onto grass. (According to most opinions, urinating on plants would not violate zorei’ah as it does not encourage plant growth, though it is to be avoided except in the most extreme case of need.) Similarly, opening the shades specifically to let the sun shine on a houseplant is prohibited as zorei’ah (although one may open the shades for one’s own benefit and if the plant gets light as well, so be it).

A righteous from the Nations

The following may be old as the postage is 39 cents but the message is worth repeating thanks to Sheldon. USA Postage Stamp Honors Unsung Rescuer of Jews from the Nazis - Truth! You might be interested in this heroic person.
 Who was Hiram Bingham and why is he getting a stamp?

 Just an interesting piece of evidence of the curious behavior of the Roosevelt administration toward the Jews during WWII.
 Former Secretary of State Colin Powell gave a posthumous award for "constructive dissent" to Hiram (or Harry) Bingham, IV.   For over fifty years, the State Department resisted any attempt to honor Bingham. For them he was an insubordinate member of the US diplomatic service, a dangerous maverick who was eventually demoted. Now, after his death, he has been officially recognized as a hero.
 Bingham came from an illustrious family. His father (whom the fictional character Indiana Jones was based) was the archeologist who unearthed the Inca City of Machu Picchu, Peru, in 1911. Harry entered the   US diplomatic service and, in 1939, was posted to Marseilles, France, as American Vice-Consul.
 The  USA was then neutral and, not wishing to annoy  Marshal Petain's puppet Vichy regime and because  of rampant anti-Semitism of certain State  Department officials, including Assistant  Secretary of State Breckenridge Long, illegally  (and without the knowledge of President  Roosevelt) ordered its representatives and  consuls in Europe, including Marseilles, Lisbon,  Zurich et al, not to grant visas to any Jews. Bingham found this policy immoral and, risking his career, did all in his power to undermine it.
 In defiance of his bosses in Washington, he granted over 2,500 USA visas to Jewish and other refugees, including the artists Marc Chagall and Max Ernst nd the family of the writer Thomas Mann. He also sheltered Jews in his Marseilles home, and obtained forged identity papers to help Jews in their dangerous journeys across Europe.  He worked with the French underground to smuggle Jews out of France into Franco's Spain or across the Mediterranean and even contributed to their expenses out of his own pocket. In 1941, Washington lost patience with him. He was sent to Argentina, where later he continued to annoy his superiors by reporting on the movements of Nazi war criminals.
 Eventually, he was forced out of the American diplomatic service completely.
 Bingham died almost penniless in 1988. Little was known of his extraordinary activities until his son found some letters in his belongings after his  death. He has now been honored by many groups and organizations including the United Nations and the State of Israel.

 PLEASE honor his memory and re-send this.

Rivka F. was sent the story from Judy W. on my humor list and sent the following reply: 
Please advise your list that I personally know a family who had been saved by this man. Some live in Israel, some here. I know they had sent me this story -- and more!--already years ago. I seem to remember that there was some further, intriguing twists to the story. If I can unearth more, will send bn. May Hashem help us to always have the strength to always act on our moral dictates, no matter how hard. – It is always nice to hear that one of the saved persons made it to Israel.  

A practical Variation of the rules of Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 23-16 and 25-2

It says in Siman 23 Halacha 16 that a person from Israel who observes 1 day of Yom Tov should not be called up to the Torah on Yom Tov. It once happened that we had only a Minyan in Hollywood, FL on the second day of Yom Tov that fell on Shabbos. Now in our Minyan there were 5 Leviim and 1 Cohain or 6 Leviim and 4 Yisrael. Normally during the weekday this would be no problem as Cohain, Levi and 3 Yisraelim would be called up but on Shabbos one needed 4. I prayed with the Minyan as except for the Amidah Prayer, Hallel and Torah Reading everything was the same with the Kedusha etc. However, suddenly 2 other Rabbis asked me to accept an Aliyah as I was the only Yisrael that could fill the requirement. We all thought for a moment or two and since 4 Yisraelim are required on a normal Shabbos I consented. This was an extraordinary circumstance and not a regular situation and it was a split second consultation of 3 Rabbis like a non-authorized Beis Din.

There is a Dynamic Halacha occurring with Siman 25 Halacha 2. If you read the Kitzur there are days that we don’t say Tehillim 20 such as Purim,
Chanucha, etc. There is not mentioned Pessach Sheni, Lag B’Omer, a dispute regarding the day after Yom Tov in Israel which is the 2nd day abroad, Israeli Independence Day and Yom Yerushalayim. (Note 4 days occur in the month of Iyar when we are mourning the loss of the students of Rabbi Akiva.)   

"We'll have a hot time in the old town tonight",7340,L-4526991,00.html

Inyanay Diyoma

Iranian media says a former officer in the Revolutionary Guards was "martyred" in Syria.

Hamas and the PLO together is dangerous:,7340,L-4525998,00.html

From Roger Antarctica is rising very rapidly:

Terrorist tries to stab soldier thanks to Kerry-Obama mismanagement:

Mortars on the Golan but not aimed particularly at the IDF or citizens:,7340,L-4527044,00.html

Now for Mathis Wolfberg’s Good Shabbos Story “Cover-up”

  Good Shabbos Everyone. The Torah obligates a Jewish woman who was ever married to cover her hair when she is in public or amongst a large number of people. (Mishnah Berurah, 74:11, cited by Modesty - An Adornment for Life, Rabbi Pesach Falk, p.228) This obligation is derived from the verse in this week's parsha, Parshas Nasso, as it states, "The Kohen shall uncover the hair of the sotah." (Ibid., citing Bamidbar 5:18)
         A woman's head covering is the source of great holiness for the woman and all those who are around her. As the Sages tell us, "The head is king over all the limbs." (Ibid., citing Shabbos 61a) Thus, metaphorically speaking, a kosher head covering cause holiness to permeate her entire being.  Let us now tell an inspirational story on the topic of head coverings.
         Josh and Ruthie are ba'ale teshuvah who were married a few years ago. While they were considering the shidduch (the match), Josh and Ruthie discussed a wide range of practical matters, such as where they would live, how they would run their home and what they would expect from each other. And of course, they spent many hours discussing religious views.
         They disagreed on one issue, however, and it eventually became a point of contention between them. Josh had always expected that his future wife would cover her hair, as is required according to Jewish law. Just as he always wore a yarmuike, he practically took it for granted that his wife would wear a wig or a headscarf after marriage.
         Ruthie, on the other hand, was not at all comfortable with the idea of covering her hair after marriage. Every new mitzvah she accepted, as she was becoming religious, was a major struggle for her.   Even if she had come to terms with almost all of the halachos (Jewish law) of an Orthodox lifestyle, the mitzvah of covering her hair was something which Ruthie just could not accept. Ruthie felt that to cover her hair would be too confining and restrictive. In addition, she felt it would compromise her appearance too much. Finally, she felt that covering her hair would be "making a statement" that she was more stringent than she really saw herself to be. So when Josh brought up the subject for the first time just before they got engaged, she made it clear to him that it was one mitzvah she was not ready to accept upon herself.
         Josh was not fazed by Ruthie's resistance. He hoped in his mind that she would probably change her mind as the wedding approached. To his dismay and disappointment, however, she did not budge. Josh was deeply committed to marrying Ruthie, in spite of her refusal to accept upon herself the mitzvah of covering her hair.
         When the Sheva Brachos week was over, they each went back to work. The evening following that first day back at work, Ruthie greeted Josh with the surprising news that she had decided to cover her hair! Josh was so thrilled that he wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. He was speechless.
         Ruthie then told him what had happened to her on the way to work, earlier that morning. In the elevator on her way up to her job, Ruthie met Sabrina, a non-Jewish co-worker. Sabrina candidly said to Ruthie, "I see you are not wearing anything on your head. I thought all Orthodox married women cover their heads - am I mistaken about this?"
         Ruthie was put on the spot. She responded, "Uh, well, most Orthodox married women do wear some head covering, but not all. Anyway, I don't plan on doing it myself."
         "Really? I always thought it was required and not optional..." Said Sabrina. Ruthie took a deep breath and said: "Look, Sabrina, let me explain something to you. The reason Orthodox married women wear something over their hair is because a woman's hair could be attractive to men. Once a woman is married, it is considered immodest for a woman to have her hair uncovered in front of any man other than her husband." Ruthie reached up and ran her fingers through her hair to demonstrate her point. Then she continued. "Now I ask you, Sabrina, look at my hair. It's so oily, drab, and unmanageable. What man could possibly find my hair appealing? So, you see, since my hair looks like this, it really isn't necessary for me to cover it."
         At the 17th floor, the elevator doors opened and in walked a young man in a finely tailored, pinstriped suit.  The man was unfamiliar to both Sabrina and Ruthie. As soon as he entered, the young man began to stare at Ruthie.
          Ruthie pretended that she did not notice that the man in the pinstriped suit was staring at her. She deliberately looked in the other direction. Nevertheless, she kept checking with her peripheral vision to see if he was still staring at her... and he was.
          At the 20th floor, the man in the pinstriped suit was the only other person in the elevator besides Ruthie and Sabrina. At that point he furrowed his brow and began to apologize. "Please excuse me for staring at you," he began, looking straight at Ruthie. "I really didn't intend to make you feel uncomfortable. But it's just that you have the most beautiful hair I've ever seen." With those words, the man picked up his briefcase and got off the elevator at the 21st floor.
          Neither Ruthie nor Sabrina had ever seen that man before. Ruthie was speechless. Her face turned red and she felt her mouth go dry. She avoided eye contact with Sabrina and barely managed to mumble,
          All day long, Ruthie kept replaying the elevator episode over in her mind. How could the man have possibly known what she had said to Sabrina just before he entered the elevator? As the day progressed, Ruthie realized that the comment made to her by the man in the elevator could not be dismissed as merely a coincidence. It was a message from Heaven. How else could she explain the uncanny timing of the comment? Thus, she accepted upon herself the mitzvah of covering her hair. (Adapted from "Zorei'a Tzedakos," by Dr. Meir Wikler, p. 181)
          Every Jew is a member of the Royal Jewish Nation. Just as Jewish men crown themselves with a yarmulke, so too do Jewish woman crown themselves with a head covering. Let us all be encouraged and let us encourage those around us to cover their heads properly, thereby demonstrating membership in the Royal Jewish Nation.
Good Shabbos Everyone.  
M. Wolfberg is sponsored by: L'illui Nishmas Aryeh Leib ben Avrohom and Malka bas Tzvi Refuah Shleima to Reb Mordechai Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta  Refuah Shleima to Leah bas Tziporah

A healthy and peaceful Shabbos to all,
Rachamim Pauli