Friday, March 24, 2017

Parshiyos Vayekhel, Pekudei, Chodesh and stories

Pessach is coming April 10th to 18th was a notification on my Chabad Parsha and Rashi this week. When we start reading Parsha HaChodesh this week, it is basically two weeks to Pessach. This entails shopping, cleaning and everything. If you have not started cleaning. With the exception of sticky fingers of children, dirty window glass is not Chametz (leaven) so skip it and return when the Chametz is cleaned. We must clean only where Chametz can be found. A clean house and to some a painted house is wonderful but I am concerned with Kashrus. In shopping one must be careful for some Ashkenazim eat peanuts like Chabad and Rav Moshe Feinstein ZTZAL did and Satmar and others do not. American Maize (Corn)       by most Ashkenazim is considered Kitniyos (that can be made into flour and mistaken with the 5 species of grain that leaven). However, this is a mistaken concept as it was unknown before America was discovered. It is also the main staple of the USA as rice is to China, India, Iraq and Iran. Rav Moshe permitted all the oils from the Kitniyos even if the item was customary not to eat the item such as cotton seed oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, etc.

I was discussing with a guest at my afternoon Shabbos Table how a person trying to force their custom on others turns off people to Orthodoxy. When I was a new Baal Teshuva, I got mixed up with the no wetting of Matzos and my own family custom of making Matzo ball soup. It was unclear to me where the Halacha began and the Minchag began. The whole Glatt Kosher business started in the late 5720’s aka 1960’s and up until then the Rabbi giving the Heckshir was good enough except for some Hungarian Satmar types and certain Tzaddikim. The Gaon from Vilna did not eat Glatt Kosher. I have been told by Rabbi Yona Gewirtz that there is not enough real Glatt to go around and some people who dress holier than Rabbi Gewirtz and I are passing off Stam Kosher, but kosher as Glatt. Unfortunately, the Yetzer Ha Business and Good Gelt (money in Yiddish) take precedent over the Truth. Just try to follow the reliable Rabbis and Hechsherim and you should be OK.

The following names from my prayer list I have no idea who sent me them or if they still need prayers. The names will be removed if I do not get a further request: Melech David ben Sulah Pearla, Aharon Zvi ben Chaya Perel, Dov Ber Meyer ben Glicka.

Parshiyos Yayakhel-Pekudei

35:1 And Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel, and said unto them: 'These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them.

Moses called… to assemble: Heb. וַיַּקְהֵל. [He assembled them] on the day after Yom Kippur, when he came down from the mountain. This [word] is a hiph’il [causative] expression [i.e., causing someone to do something], because one does not assemble people with [one’s] hands [i.e., directly], but they are assembled through one’s speech. Its Aramaic translation is וְאַכְנֵשׁ.

Question what is the starting point and the most important on the list from HASHEM of things to do and observe?

2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a Sabbath of solemn rest to the LORD; whosoever doeth any work therein shall be put to death.

The answer to the question that I posed in the last Pasuk is Yom Shabbos Kodesh. For it is the conclusion of the creation of the universe. Mankind is the last physical creation and the creation of Shabbos ends the whole purpose of creation and a gift to mankind.

3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day.'

Of the 39 Av Melachos (categories of Shabbos type of work done in the Mishkan aka Tabernacle) this is the only one mentioned specifically. As I wrote in the past, electricity is a question if it is of fire from a spark going from the conductor to the receptor or if it is from building as a completion of a circuit. In the hospitals today in Israel, a solid state device is attached to a power supply and wheeled from patient to patient and can access records via the wifi technology and is permitted. Cyber-threats and defense in the military are as needed maybe even more so than my old border patrol in a half-track which is outdated by an APC with anti-tank missile defense. Things are changing at a tremendous speed in the technology world and Rabbis have to be up to date.

[An aside note: I have seen a Beit Din rule wrongly based on an auto-mechanic instead of an engineer regarding a man who burned out the hand-brakes while the regular brakes failed on the car. This was done as the mechanic and they did not know the engineering aspect of the brake system. – All the more so when a Korban Chatas (sin offering) is involved on Shabbos violation by Shogeg (accident) and Kores (cutting off from the nation in the next world and possibly dying early or without children in this world) or the death penalty by Mayzid (with intent and witnesses)].

These three Pasukim sum up the importance of Shabbos observance unto the L-RD G-D our creator. I BEG THOSE WHO LIVED ALL THEIR LIVES WITHOUT OBSERVANCE FOR THE SAKE OF BOTH AM YISRAEL AND OUR REDEMPTION AND THEIR HOLY SOUL TO GRADUALLY START OBSERVING SHABBOS. Going “COLD TURKEY” on Melachos does not work and I have seen too many failures based on this. Stage one no writing and erasing on Shabbos and reading a good book on Torah or what you like instead of the internet. The world will not be destroyed if you wait 25 hours from Shabbos to a full Motzei Shabbos to see a text, application or message. Shutting down the cell-phone and land phone is done also over time. If one is addicted to a TV program one can DVR it but should avoid a different series as he or she observes Shabbos. Not driving or traveling is next. Until we work on carrying from a private domain to a public domain (some cities have the Eruv which allows carrying and using baby strollers {prams in the UK} in a certain area.) I cannot advise people on a general basis and the same goes for Kashrus to take things slow like avoiding all non-kosher animals and fish and then moving over to animals that are slaughtered kosher. It took me in a non-religious household with little to no guidance or a community two years so if one is part of a community and with guidance and reinforcement it might take only six months to a year. The main thing is giving it a good try. AND IF ONE FAULTERS DO NOT GIVE UP BUT KEEP TRYING AS WITH PATIENCE AND PRACTICE IT WILL COME!

4 And Moses spoke unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: 'This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying: 5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD, whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, the LORD'S offering: gold, and silver, and brass; 6 and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair; 7 and rams' skins dyed red, and giraffe-skins, and acacia-wood; 8 and oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense; 9 and onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate.

This is a financial sacrifice and given from the heart is similar to any Korban but this sacrifice is also psychological for a man to give of his gold, silver, money, cloth is on a high level. Still it is not the same as giving oneself as in Kashrus and Shabbos Kodesh.

…22 And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing-hearted, and brought nose-rings, and ear-rings, and signet-rings, and girdles, all jewels of gold; even every man that brought an offering of gold unto the LORD. 23 And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, and rams' skins dyed red, and giraffe-skins, brought them. 24 Every one that did set apart an offering of silver and brass brought the LORD'S offering; and every man, with whom was found acacia-wood for any work of the service, brought it.

This shows the love of Am Yisrael for HASHEM. Also as we see people volunteered their knowledge and skill in a labor of love to build the Mishkan.

…25 And all the women that were wise-hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, the blue, and the purple, the scarlet, and the fine linen. 26 And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun the goats' hair. 27 And the rulers brought the onyx stones, and the stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate; 28 and the spice, and the oil, for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. 29 The children of Israel brought a freewill-offering unto the LORD; every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all the work, which the LORD had commanded by the hand of Moses to be made.

The rest of work was done or supervised by the two master craftsmen mentioned below.

30 And Moses said unto the children of Israel: 'See, the LORD hath called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 31 And He hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship. 32 And to devise skillful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 33 and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all manner of skilful workmanship. 34 And He hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35 Them hath He filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of workmanship, of the craftsman, and of the skillful workman, and of the weaver in colors, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any workmanship, and of those that devise skillful works.

Moshe gave the commands after coming down from the mountain on Yom Kippur and the commands were given on the 11th of Tishrei. It took quite a while for the work to be done and then the preparations for the Mishkan. Finally, on the first of Nissan, the dedication of the Mishkan took place.

39:43 And Moses saw all the work, and, behold, they had done it; as the LORD had commanded, even so had they done it. And Moses blessed them.

For the Mishkan was completed in or by Adar and then we see the following.

40:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'On the first day of the first month shalt thou rear up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting.  …33 And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the screen of the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work.

Once the Mishkan was complete the Shechina rested upon it.

34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of meeting, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 36 And whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward, throughout all their journeys. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.

Am Yisrael had a special relationship with the L-RD that there was a cloud during the day and fire or a light that came forth by night for 40 years.

38 For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and there was fire therein by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

Chazak – Chazak v’ nit Chazak

Parsha HaChodesh

12:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying: 2 'This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.

This Parsha is read either before or on Rosh Chodesh Nissan to remind us of the Pessach (Korban in the Temple times). Today we have no Mikdash, but we do have the Pessach Seder which as not departed out of our people for the 3329 years since the original Yetzias Mitzrayim when the first born children of Egypt died.

There is a fifth son not at the Pessach Seder and that is what I was some 60 years ago. The boy that is so far assimilated and his parents too that no Pessach is observed in the house. It was my fourth generation Reform Jew that my mother’s father who insisted that I make a Reform Bar Mitzvah (which I didn’t) but it was 60 years ago that I reintroduced the Seder into our house with a Reform Haggada. I had no sense of Halacha but my mother bought for the occasion Gefilte Fish, Horse Radish, Parsley and lamb. It was a Pessach of a returning Jew from the desolation of nothingness. There are still a few thousands of lost brethren that do not even know what Pessach is.

From Rav Moshe Steinerman Shlita: When the Gerrer Rebbe, R' Yitzchak Meir, was a little boy, his mother took him to see the Maggid of Kozhnitz. There, someone said to him, "Yitzchak Meir, I'll give you a gulden (like a dollar) if you tell me where God lives!" He replied: "And I'll give you two gulden if you tell me where He doesn't!" (Excerpt from my next book)

I saw this advertisement about wasting money and trees instead of making your own coffee. I saw from a fellow I shall call Steve even though he writes his name differently about a man who smokes a pack a day talking to a woman with a luxury car. She asks him how much do you smoke a day. He says a pack. For how long? He answers so and so many years. She says you see that $250,000 car below? He replies affirmatively and she says that is what you burnt up with cigarettes.

Many years ago, Rav Yona Sheba who was married over 55 years advised me on Shalom Beis. He told me that if his wife wants something, he does not argue with her. He explains to her the budget and gives her a blank signed check (we have a joint account so this does not apply). He told if you think it is important to you buy it. Well this week was our wedding anniversary. Yesterday, she bought a skirt. Today she wanted to buy a black piece to match the skirt and a black and white sort of blouse to have sleeves on it making it fancy. My wife called me for a Psak Halacha what second piece of black and white she should buy. I said this one says "It is all mine and this one says it is all mine" The Halacha is like Shlomo HaMelech divide the time between the two and buy both. Somehow my wife was happy with my Psak. In the end my wife decided like Rebbetzin Sheba and bought only one.

Personal disgust at this news item. I worked 27 years in IAI and many of my friends 40 plus years. To get an advancement on time was next to impossible for the average worker. But protection was rampant for families of big shots. The son of Chaim Katz who was the head of the Union and now a Minister was arrested this week.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s moving plea for her husband to find love after her death.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal died last week. A short time before her death she wrote a profoundly moving essay, “You May Want to Marry My Husband” in the New York Times’ Modern Love column that created an unprecedented whirlwind of reaction.
The author, a prolific writer of children’s books who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, chose an entirely different theme for what she called her Valentine’s Day message to her husband. After 26 years of what she acknowledges as an idyllic marriage, she wanted more than anything else to leave this world with the assurance that the husband she loved so dearly would find another partner worthy of his qualities.
So she wrote a love letter to extol her husband’s unique assets and abilities. She tells us how easy a man he is to fall in love with – because she did it just one day. She praises his gifts as a father; his kindness and compassion; his fantastic skill in the kitchen; his artistic talent; his romantic nature - and with that all his incredible good looks. She shares with us how much she would have loved the next 26 years with him. But since she knows her days are numbered she concludes: “I am wrapping this up on Valentine’s Day, and the most genuine, non-vase-oriented gift I can hope for is that the right person reads this, finds Jason, and another love story begins.”
It was heart wrenching to read. Even more so, to know that Amy’s death shortly followed. But what I think is the takeaway message from this remarkable story is something that I as a Rabbi have often tried to communicate – a message often difficult to absorb but deeply important in the lives of people forced to cope with the aftermath of tragedy.
Losing a loved one is an experience beyond compare. The Talmud recognized that “a husband chiefly dies only for his wife, a wife only for her husband.” Those who try to offer comfort by claiming they understand the mourner’s pain are untruthful as well as insensitive. The agony of loss for a beloved partner in life simply has no parallel.
And yet Jewish law has a remarkable demand upon the conclusion of the seven-day shiva period. With the close of the intense time of mourning, those who rise from their grief are to step outside and walk around the block – symbolically expressing the idea that life must go on and it is their duty to rejoin the living.
The Torah tells us that when Abraham lost his beloved wife Sarah he eulogized her and he wept over her. He recalled her beauty – both external and internal. He remembered that she was always at his side, when he invited guests to his tent and when he taught the truth of monotheism to nonbelievers. He paid an exorbitant sum to have her buried in the most special place on earth, according to tradition the cave of the final resting place for Adam and Eve.
And then the Torah tells us an amazing follow-up to the story. Abraham remarried. He had more children. Somehow Abraham knew that his life was not meant to be over as long as God gave him more years to live.
It is important to note that Abraham did not consider his subsequent remarriage in any sense a diminution of his previous relationship with the matriarch of our people. Sarah remains forevermore the esteemed and noble figure of our ancestry. But Abraham demonstrated by taking a wife after the loss of the love of his youth that he understood God’s decree from the time of creation that “it is not good for man to remain alone” – that human beings need companionship and that joy can only come about when the world is shared by four eyes rather than two.
I can think of nothing more noble than Amy Rosenthal’s public declaration of her desire for her husband’s happiness, to whatever extent possible, after her demise. Those who were critical of her essay and those who feel that true love ought to exclude the possibility for meaningful existence after its passing should find meaning from the life of Abraham - and keep faith, as Amy Rosenthal did, in life offering different, new and fulfilling blessings.
Death of a loved one should not move survivors to choose personal death as well. Indeed, the greatest gift we owe to those who truly loved us is to find the happiness they would surely have wanted for us.
This article can also be read at:

Inyanay Diyoma

Did the UJA ban pro-right Israel Feminist?

Another Rocket from Gaza # 11 this month with a response:,7340,L-4936971,00.html

Revised: The latest Public Opinion Poll shows Netanyahu will beat Lapid and elections will delay the police investigation against him. So it could be in his interest to force elections now. He does everything to stay in power and beat down opposition even in his own party.,7340,L-4937027,00.html
After the above post, Netanyahu realized that an alternative government could be formed and a compromise was worked out – the current workers will move mostly to the new agency and the heads of the new agency will be replaced.,7340,L-4937852,00.html

Will an alternative government be formed instead of elections? Has Netanyahu over-played his hand on controlling State Radio and TV.

The late Akiva Schein of blessed memory used to complain to me that my reporting on the border situation was like doom and gloom. I just report how things are and not how HASHEM will help us. Surprise reserve call-up drill in the south.,7340,L-4937494,00.html

As Lieberman escalates rhetoric, the Syrians also escalate:,7340,L-4937538,00.html

Alex Fishman analyses and finds the winds of war are blowing:,7340,L-4937438,00.html

Second Skylark Drone to fall in a few weeks first in Gaza now on the Golan:

Senator Marco Rubio makes his third visit to Israel.

Woman who joined ISIS gets only 4 years in jail:,7340,L-4938492,00.html

From May - Combined Defense System tested in real time last Shabbos with the Syrian Missile:

“Humanitarian Aid” Worker arrested for trying to get satellite maps of Israel.

After the US computer on board travel ban from 13 countries the UK follows with 6 as terrorism gets more sophisticated. I don’t know why not Somalia?,7340,L-4938762,00.html

Obama hold over ruining Israeli-US relations another started investigating Tom Price and was fired.

Tunnels are threat but not strategic:,7340,L-4938975,00.html

After Orly Airport in Londonstan attack by lone car rammer-stabber one women pulled alive from the Thames. Policeman stabbed to death and two others.

Time to use an economic stick to fight dark forces at the UN – Ed-Op Ben Dror Yemini:,7340,L-4938377,00.html

Ed-Op Y. Hendel the PM wants elections to save himself from his promises and investigation:,7340,L-4939003,00.html

Trump wants building halted outside of blocks:

Tillerson removing ISIS leaders is a matter of time.

Good Shabbos and clean early and well for Pessach and shop early too. Stay healthy,
Rachamim Pauli