White City Shabbas – Tel Aviv – Presents Erev Rosh HaShanah Dinner

Erev Rosh HaShanah Young Community Dinner 

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/invitation-erev-rosh-hashanah-dinner-w-your-young-tlv-community-sun-oct-2-tickets-27109100048

When: Sunday October 2nd, 7:30pm

What: Catered Kosher Holiday Meal with Wine & Friends

Who: Your Tel Aviv Young Jewish Community, Internationals & Sabras

20s & 30s only

Where: North Central Synagogue,126 Ben Yehuda Street, Tel Aviv Ir HaKodesh

Cost: 110NIS

The Relevancy Of The Parsha – Nitzavim And Rosh Hashana

It’s a well-known axiom that the weekly parsha has direct relevance to the issues of the day. Therefore, one need only read the words of the upcoming parsha, Nitzavim, that begins with the fearsome statement,Ye are standing this day all of you before the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 29:9), to prepare for the day of judgment. The “literal” words tell the story and the follow up discussion of the ideas of Rosh Hashana match the message of the parsha.

 

I. Nitzavim 29:9 – 30:20

ט  אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם כֻּלְּכֶם, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם:  רָאשֵׁיכֶם שִׁבְטֵיכֶם, זִקְנֵיכֶם וְשֹׁטְרֵיכֶם, כֹּל, אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל. 9 Ye are standing this day all of you before the LORD your God: your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, even all the men of Israel,
י  טַפְּכֶם נְשֵׁיכֶם–וְגֵרְךָ, אֲשֶׁר בְּקֶרֶב מַחֲנֶיךָ:  מֵחֹטֵב עֵצֶיךָ, עַד שֹׁאֵב מֵימֶיךָ. 10 your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in the midst of thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water;
יא  לְעָבְרְךָ, בִּבְרִית יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ–וּבְאָלָתוֹ:  אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, כֹּרֵת עִמְּךָ הַיּוֹם. 11 that thou shouldest enter into the covenant of the LORD thy God–and into His oath–which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day;
יב  לְמַעַן הָקִים-אֹתְךָ הַיּוֹם לוֹ לְעָם, וְהוּא יִהְיֶה-לְּךָ לֵאלֹהִים–כַּאֲשֶׁר, דִּבֶּר-לָךְ; וְכַאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ, לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב. 12 that He may establish thee this day unto Himself for a people, and that He may be unto thee a God, as He spoke unto thee, and as He swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
יג  וְלֹא אִתְּכֶם, לְבַדְּכֶם–אָנֹכִי, כֹּרֵת אֶת-הַבְּרִית הַזֹּאת, וְאֶת-הָאָלָה, הַזֹּאת. 13 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath;
יד  כִּי אֶת-אֲשֶׁר יֶשְׁנוֹ פֹּה, עִמָּנוּ עֹמֵד הַיּוֹם, לִפְנֵי, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ; וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר אֵינֶנּוּ פֹּה, עִמָּנוּ הַיּוֹם. 14 but with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day–
טו  כִּי-אַתֶּם יְדַעְתֶּם, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-יָשַׁבְנוּ בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם, וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר-עָבַרְנוּ בְּקֶרֶב הַגּוֹיִם, אֲשֶׁר עֲבַרְתֶּם. 15 for ye know how we dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the midst of the nations through which ye passed;
טז  וַתִּרְאוּ, אֶת-שִׁקּוּצֵיהֶם, וְאֵת, גִּלֻּלֵיהֶם–עֵץ וָאֶבֶן, כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב אֲשֶׁר עִמָּהֶם. 16 and ye have seen their detestable things, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were with them–
יז  פֶּן-יֵשׁ בָּכֶם אִישׁ אוֹ-אִשָּׁה אוֹ מִשְׁפָּחָה אוֹ-שֵׁבֶט, אֲשֶׁר לְבָבוֹ פֹנֶה הַיּוֹם מֵעִם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, לָלֶכֶת לַעֲבֹד, אֶת-אֱלֹהֵי הַגּוֹיִם הָהֵם:  פֶּן-יֵשׁ בָּכֶם, שֹׁרֶשׁ פֹּרֶה רֹאשׁ–וְלַעֲנָה. 17 lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go to serve the gods of those nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;
יח  וְהָיָה בְּשָׁמְעוֹ אֶת-דִּבְרֵי הָאָלָה הַזֹּאת, וְהִתְבָּרֵךְ בִּלְבָבוֹ לֵאמֹר שָׁלוֹם יִהְיֶה-לִּי–כִּי בִּשְׁרִרוּת לִבִּי, אֵלֵךְ:  לְמַעַן סְפוֹת הָרָוָה, אֶת-הַצְּמֵאָה. 18 and it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying: ‘I shall have peace, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart–that the watered be swept away with the dry’;
יט  לֹא-יֹאבֶה יְהוָה, סְלֹחַ לוֹ–כִּי אָז יֶעְשַׁן אַף-יְהוָה וְקִנְאָתוֹ בָּאִישׁ הַהוּא, וְרָבְצָה בּוֹ כָּל-הָאָלָה הַכְּתוּבָה בַּסֵּפֶר הַזֶּה; וּמָחָה יְהוָה אֶת-שְׁמוֹ, מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם. 19 the LORD will not be willing to pardon him, but then the anger of the LORD and His jealousy shall be kindled against that man, and all the curse that is written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven;
כ  וְהִבְדִּילוֹ יְהוָה לְרָעָה, מִכֹּל שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל–כְּכֹל, אָלוֹת הַבְּרִית, הַכְּתוּבָה, בְּסֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה. 20 and the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that is written in this book of the law.
כא  וְאָמַר הַדּוֹר הָאַחֲרוֹן, בְּנֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר יָקוּמוּ מֵאַחֲרֵיכֶם, וְהַנָּכְרִי, אֲשֶׁר יָבֹא מֵאֶרֶץ רְחוֹקָה; וְרָאוּ אֶת-מַכּוֹת הָאָרֶץ הַהִוא, וְאֶת-תַּחֲלֻאֶיהָ, אֲשֶׁר-חִלָּה יְהוָה, בָּהּ. 21 And the generation to come, your children that shall rise up after you, and the foreigner that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses wherewith the LORD hath made it sick;
כב  גָּפְרִית וָמֶלַח, שְׂרֵפָה כָל-אַרְצָהּ–לֹא תִזָּרַע וְלֹא תַצְמִחַ, וְלֹא-יַעֲלֶה בָהּ כָּל-עֵשֶׂב:  כְּמַהְפֵּכַת סְדֹם וַעֲמֹרָה, אַדְמָה וּצְבֹיִים, אֲשֶׁר הָפַךְ יְהוָה, בְּאַפּוֹ וּבַחֲמָתוֹ. 22 and that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and a burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in His anger, and in His wrath;
כג  וְאָמְרוּ, כָּל-הַגּוֹיִם, עַל-מֶה עָשָׂה יְהוָה כָּכָה, לָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת; מֶה חֳרִי הָאַף הַגָּדוֹל, הַזֶּה. 23 even all the nations shall say ‘Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?’
כד  וְאָמְרוּ–עַל אֲשֶׁר עָזְבוּ, אֶת-בְּרִית יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתָם:  אֲשֶׁר כָּרַת עִמָּם, בְּהוֹצִיאוֹ אֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם. 24 then men shall say: ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them forth out of the land of Egypt;
כה  וַיֵּלְכוּ, וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ, לָהֶם:  אֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יְדָעוּם, וְלֹא חָלַק לָהֶם. 25 and went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods that they knew not, and that He had not allotted unto them;
כו  וַיִּחַר-אַף יְהוָה, בָּאָרֶץ הַהִוא, לְהָבִיא עָלֶיהָ אֶת-כָּל-הַקְּלָלָה, הַכְּתוּבָה בַּסֵּפֶר הַזֶּה. 26 therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curse that is written in this book;
כז  וַיִּתְּשֵׁם יְהוָה מֵעַל אַדְמָתָם, בְּאַף וּבְחֵמָה וּבְקֶצֶף גָּדוֹל; וַיַּשְׁלִכֵם אֶל-אֶרֶץ אַחֶרֶת, כַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה. 27 and the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day’.–
כח  הַנִּסְתָּרֹת–לַיהוָה, אֱלֹהֵינוּ; וְהַנִּגְלֹת לָנוּ וּלְבָנֵינוּ, עַד-עוֹלָם–לַעֲשׂוֹת, אֶת-כָּל-דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת.  {ס} 28 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God; but the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

 

א  וְהָיָה כִי-יָבֹאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל-הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה, הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה, אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי, לְפָנֶיךָ; וַהֲשֵׁבֹתָ, אֶל-לְבָבֶךָ, בְּכָל-הַגּוֹיִם, אֲשֶׁר הִדִּיחֲךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ שָׁמָּה. 1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt bethink thyself among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
ב  וְשַׁבְתָּ עַד-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, וְשָׁמַעְתָּ בְקֹלוֹ, כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר-אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ, הַיּוֹם:  אַתָּה וּבָנֶיךָ, בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשֶׁךָ. 2 and shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and hearken to His voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul;
ג  וְשָׁב יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת-שְׁבוּתְךָ, וְרִחֲמֶךָ; וְשָׁב, וְקִבֶּצְךָ מִכָּל-הָעַמִּים, אֲשֶׁר הֱפִיצְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, שָׁמָּה. 3 that then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the peoples, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
ד  אִם-יִהְיֶה נִדַּחֲךָ, בִּקְצֵה הַשָּׁמָיִם–מִשָּׁם, יְקַבֶּצְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, וּמִשָּׁם, יִקָּחֶךָ. 4 If any of thine that are dispersed be in the uttermost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will He fetch thee.
ה  וֶהֱבִיאֲךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-יָרְשׁוּ אֲבֹתֶיךָ–וִירִשְׁתָּהּ; וְהֵיטִבְךָ וְהִרְבְּךָ, מֵאֲבֹתֶיךָ. 5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
ו  וּמָל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת-לְבָבְךָ, וְאֶת-לְבַב זַרְעֶךָ:  לְאַהֲבָה אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשְׁךָ–לְמַעַן חַיֶּיךָ. 6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
ז  וְנָתַן יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֵת כָּל-הָאָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה, עַל-אֹיְבֶיךָ וְעַל-שֹׂנְאֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר רְדָפוּךָ. 7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, that persecuted thee.
ח  וְאַתָּה תָשׁוּב, וְשָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקוֹל יְהוָה; וְעָשִׂיתָ, אֶת-כָּל-מִצְו‍ֹתָיו, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ, הַיּוֹם. 8 And thou shalt return and hearken to the voice of the LORD, and do all His commandments which I command thee this day.
ט  וְהוֹתִירְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכֹל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶךָ, בִּפְרִי בִטְנְךָ וּבִפְרִי בְהֶמְתְּךָ וּבִפְרִי אַדְמָתְךָ–לְטֹבָה:  כִּי יָשׁוּב יְהוָה, לָשׂוּשׂ עָלֶיךָ לְטוֹב, כַּאֲשֶׁר-שָׂשׂ, עַל-אֲבֹתֶיךָ. 9 And the LORD thy God will make thee over-abundant in all the work of thy hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good; for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as He rejoiced over thy fathers;
י  כִּי תִשְׁמַע, בְּקוֹל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לִשְׁמֹר מִצְו‍ֹתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו, הַכְּתוּבָה בְּסֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה:  כִּי תָשׁוּב אֶל-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשֶׁךָ.  {ס} 10 if thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law; if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul. {S}
יא  כִּי הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם–לֹא-נִפְלֵאת הִוא מִמְּךָ, וְלֹא רְחֹקָה הִוא. 11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not too hard for thee, neither is it far off.
יב  לֹא בַשָּׁמַיִם, הִוא:  לֵאמֹר, מִי יַעֲלֶה-לָּנוּ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ, וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ, וְנַעֲשֶׂנָּה. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say: ‘Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?’
יג  וְלֹא-מֵעֵבֶר לַיָּם, הִוא:  לֵאמֹר, מִי יַעֲבָר-לָנוּ אֶל-עֵבֶר הַיָּם וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ, וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ, וְנַעֲשֶׂנָּה. 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say: ‘Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?’
יד  כִּי-קָרוֹב אֵלֶיךָ הַדָּבָר, מְאֹד:  בְּפִיךָ וּבִלְבָבְךָ, לַעֲשֹׂתוֹ.  {ס} 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. {S}
טו  רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַיּוֹם, אֶת-הַחַיִּים וְאֶת-הַטּוֹב, וְאֶת-הַמָּוֶת, וְאֶת-הָרָע. 15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil,
טז  אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ, הַיּוֹם, לְאַהֲבָה אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָלֶכֶת בִּדְרָכָיו, וְלִשְׁמֹר מִצְו‍ֹתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו; וְחָיִיתָ וְרָבִיתָ–וּבֵרַכְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה בָא-שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ. 16 in that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances; then thou shalt live and multiply, and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest in to possess it.
יז  וְאִם-יִפְנֶה לְבָבְךָ, וְלֹא תִשְׁמָע; וְנִדַּחְתָּ, וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לֵאלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים–וַעֲבַדְתָּם. 17 But if thy heart turn away, and thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
יח  הִגַּדְתִּי לָכֶם הַיּוֹם, כִּי אָבֹד תֹּאבֵדוּן:  לֹא-תַאֲרִיכֻן יָמִים, עַל-הָאֲדָמָה, אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה עֹבֵר אֶת-הַיַּרְדֵּן, לָבוֹא שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ. 18 I declare unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish; ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over the Jordan to go in to possess it.
יט  הַעִדֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם, אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ–הַחַיִּים וְהַמָּוֶת נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ, הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה; וּבָחַרְתָּ, בַּחַיִּים–לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה, אַתָּה וְזַרְעֶךָ. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed;
כ  לְאַהֲבָה אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקֹלוֹ וּלְדָבְקָה-בוֹ:  כִּי הוּא חַיֶּיךָ, וְאֹרֶךְ יָמֶיךָ–לָשֶׁבֶת עַל-הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב, לָתֵת לָהֶם.  {פ} 20 to love the LORD thy God, to hearken to His voice, and to cleave unto Him; for that is thy life, and the length of thy days; that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

 

II. Rosh Hashana

The Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 8a) derives that the world is judged from Rosh Hashanah until the end of the year from the verse (Deuteronomy 11:12) that states: The eyes of G‑d, your L-rd, are upon it [the land] from the beginning of the year until the end of the year – i.e., from Rosh Hashanah, the world is judged as to what will transpire throughout the year.

Our Sages said:

On Rosh Hashanah all of mankind pass before Him like sheep -they pass by Him one by one, one after the other, yet He scrutinizes them all with a single glance. Thus, the verse (Psalms 33:15) states: “He created all of their hearts together and understands all of their actions”; G‑d, Who is the Creator, sees all of their hearts together (with a single glance) and understands all of their actions.

R. Cruspedai said in the name of R. Yochanan: Three ledgers are opened on Rosh Hashanah: one for those who are entirely wicked, one for those who are entirely righteous, and one for those who are in the middle. The entirely righteous are immediately inscribed and sealed to live. The entirely wicked are immediately inscribed and sealed to die. The fate of those in the middle is held in balance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

If they have merit [i.e., if they repent), they are inscribed to live. If they do not have merit [i.e., if they fail to repent), they are inscribed to die (ibid. 16 a,b).

 

 

 

 

Rabbi Binyomin Adler – Ki Tavo – Shabbos Is Truly A Day Of Joy

Introduction

The commentators grapple with the idea that Shabbos is a day of happiness, as we recite in Shemone Esrei yismichu vimalchuscha shomrei Shabbos vikorei oneg, they shall rejoice in Your Kingship – those who observe the Shabbos and call it a delight. Yet, throughout Jewish history, the Jewish People have suffered greatly and the day of Shabbos was not an exception. In this week’s parashah, the Torah discusses the consequences that will befall the Jewish People if they do not adhere to the Torah. It is said (Devarim 28:47) tachas asher lo avadata es HaShem Elokecha bisimcha uvituv leivav meirov kol, because you did not serve HaShem, your G-d, amid gladness and goodness of heart, when everything was abundant. The Gerrer Rebbe, the Bais Yisroel, writes that the Gemara (Chulin 101b) states that Shabbos is kivia vikyama, permanent and stationary. This alludes to the idea that despite the fact that the Bais HaMikdash has been destroyed, the power of Shabbos remains in a permanent state for the Jewish People. The Sfas Emes writes that the destruction was a result of the Jewish People not serving HaShem out of joy. It then follows that when the Jewish People are in exile and lacking abundance, and still they serve HaShem with joy, they will merit the Ultimate Redemption. The Bais Yisroel continues by saying that although it is said (Devarim 28:65) uvagoyim haheim lo sargia, and among those nations you will not be tranquil, this refers to the weekday. On Shabbos, however, the Jewish People will find peace. This idea, however, still requires further explanation. Have we not seen that even on Shabbos the Jewish People have suffered? During the Holocaust, Jews were at times tortured on Shabbos even more than they were tortured during the week. How, then, can we always be instructed to be joyful on the Holy Day of Shabbos? Perhaps the answer to this question can be found in our understanding of joy and redemption. While it is certainly easier to be at rest and full of joy when we are not persecuted by our enemies, there is a concept of inner joy that exists even at times of persecution and suffering. The Sefarim (Degel Machanei Ephraim quoting Tikkunim) write that although we read the tochacha, the rebuke that is found in this week’s parasha, as curses, concealed within the curses are blessings. The Bais Yisroel writes that one can overcome the curses by cleaving to HaShem. This, he writes, is reflected in Shabbos, as Shabbos is a blessing, and a curse cannot become attached to a blessing. It is noteworthy that the end of last week’s parasha discusses the commandment to eradicate Amalek, the nation who attacked us without warning when we left Egypt. The beginning of this week’s parasha discusses the commandment of bringing Bikkurim, the first fruits, to the Bais HaMikdash. When one brings Bikkurim, he opens his declaration of gratitude with the words (26:5) arami oveid avi, an Aramean tried to destroy my forefather. Thus, at a time of heightened jubilation, we invoke the painful memory of destruction and exile.

The Shabbos Connection

This is parallel to the idea that is reflected in Shabbos, where we demonstrate that despite the apparent curses that surround us, we are truly ensconced in blessing, and the curse will never be associated with the blessing. Thus, the idea that we must be joyful on Shabbos is not just a fantasy, but a reality. Shabbos is a day of joy, and HaShem should allow us to merit the ultimate joy, with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkienu, speedily, in our days.

Shabbos in the Zemiros

Dror Yikra

The composer was Dunash ben Librat, the famed medieval grammarian and paytan who lived from 4680-4750 (920990 C.E.). He was born in Baghdad and, except for twenty years in Fez, lived there his entire life. He was a nephew and disciple of Rabbeinu Saadiah Gaon and was acquainted with many of the Sages of his time. Rashi and Ibn Ezra quote him extensively. His name appears four times as the acrostic of the stitches in stanzas 1,2,3, and 6. This zemer is a prayer to HaShem to protect the Jewish People, destroy its tormentors, and bring the Nation peace and redemption.

וְלַמַּזְהִיר וְלַנִּזְהָר. שְׁלוֹמִים תֵּן כְּמֵי נָהָר, to the exhorters and the scrupulous, give peace as flowing as a river’s waters. When the entire Jewish world will observe Shabbos, the world will be at peace. Indeed, the Gemara (Shabbos 118b) states that had the Jewish People only observed the first Shabbos in the Wilderness, no race or nation could have assailed them. Hashem should allow us to all observe Shabbos properly and bring everlasting peace to the world.  It is noteworthy that the words זהו וְלַמַּזְהִיר וְלַנִּזְהָר equals in gematria the word תרי”ג, alluding to the idea that one who observes the Shabbos is akin to having observed the entire Torah.

Shabbos Stories

All the Healing is in my Wife’s Merit

At the turn of the 19th century, before the First World War, there were still great rebbes that could heal; there was the Kerestirer Rebbe, Reb Yeshaya. He did not place his hands on a person or speak – but if you ate food in his house, you went away healed. When his wife Sarah died, the Rebbe wept terribly and would not be consoled. He told the Chasidim, “You probably thought that people who ate in my house were healed because of me. That’s not true. It was because of my holy wife, Sarah. Now that she’s gone I can tell you. Listen to this story of what happened. ‘In our younger days we were desperately poor. If we ate one meal a week we would have food to eat on Shabbos, but we wouldn’t be able to have any guests. So we fasted from Shabbos to Shabbos. Then we had enough food for ourselves and for some guests. One week, my holy wife was cooking on Friday for Shabbos, when a drunkard knocked on the door and was invited in. He was reeking of alcohol but he said to my wife, ‘I’m starving, do you have anything to eat?’ We had not eaten that whole week, but who knows how long he had been without food, and when someone says they’re starving, how can you not feed them? So my wife gave him from the food she had prepared for Shabbos. After finishing what she gave him, however, he asked, ‘Is there more?’ Each time he ate whatever was put before him and asked for more, until she said, ‘There’s not a crumb left.’ She gave him everything she had prepared for our Shabbos meals. She gave him everything gently and respectfully, because she was doing a great mitzvah and good deed. She didn’t judge him by how he looked or for his crude behavior, for who knows what troubles he had suffered? “Then this drunkard did something unusual. He asked, ‘Can I speak to your husband?’ My wife came to my room and told me about his request and, when I agreed, my wife sent him to me. When he came in, he no longer smelled and he didn’t appear drunk. In fact, his face was glowing, and I realized at once that this was Elijah the Prophet. He said to me, ‘I only came here to bless your wife. Her kindness has made a great impression in heaven. But we wanted to give her a final test to see if she was worthy of the great blessing we have in store for her. She passed the test.’ “What was the great blessing? It was the blessing of healing.” And that,” said the Rebbe, “was why the food my holy wife served healed whoever ate it.” [Mai Ber Yeshayahu, pp. 43-44.]

When Rebbe Yeshaya of Kerestirer was on his deathbed and close to his final hours, he called over one of his intimates and whispered, “In a little while there will be a ‘funeral’ here and many people will be coming from far away. So please put a very big pot on the stove and boil a lot of potatoes, and then cook them with a lot of chicken fat, because I want all those Jews to have some tasty food after their long trip.” [Reshumim Bishimcha, p. 360]

Shabbos in Halacha

Wringing and Laundering

 Two melachos that pertain to washing dishes and cleaning spills on Shabbos are סחיטה; wringing, and כיבוס: laundering. Previously we discussed sechita as it applies to extracting juice from fruits. Here we will discuss the halachos of wringing liquid from an absorbent fabric. We will also briefly discuss the laws of laundering as applied to common situations.

  1. Wringing Liquid from a Fabric
  1. The Prohibitions

 One is prohibited from squeezing out liquid from a fabric in which it was absorbed. Depending on the person’s intentions, this can fall under two Torah prohibitions: If one wrings out a fabric in order to salvage the liquid, i.e. for washing, he violates the melacha of סחיטה: wringing; if one wrings out a fabric in order to cleanse the fabric, he violates the melacha of כיבוס: laundering.  There is a significant conceptual difference between these two types of wringing. In the first case one accomplishes the acquisition of a liquid; this is similar to extracting juice from a fruit. In the second case, one improves the quality of the fabric by expelling liquid; this is a completely different accomplishment.

If one performs wringing with neither of these intentions, it is still prohibited by Rabbinic Decree. Thus, even if the liquid will go to waste and the fabric will not be cleansed, one is prohibited from squeezing out any liquid.

Teshuva Through Shofar

The gematria of the word תשובה is 713. We know there are Taryag Mitzovs, 613 commandments. How does one reach full Teshuva? He listens to the 100 blasts of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah. This 100 then transforms the 613 mitzvos into a sphere of 713 (תשובה). Appropriately, the shofar blast will signal the “return” of the Jewish people when Moshiach comes. We blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah to remind us of G‑d’s salvation in our own lives.

Does Mesechta Kiddushin Begin With Talmud Torah?

The simple answer is no. The first Mishna of Kiddushin discusses the three ways a man can acquire a woman for marriage. Furthermore, only later in the tractate does the Gemara discuss the mitzvah incumbent upon a father to teach his son Torah.

However, it may be said there is still a remez to Talmud Torah in the Mishna, for a “woman” in the feminine can refer to Torah, which would then correspond to the three ways the Torah is acquired; through Kesef – supporting the Torah, Shtar – by supporting the writing of the Torah or for writing one or for writing chiddushei Torah or by the third way, Be’ah – to toil in the Torah and acquire it through the sweat of the brow.  (Later the Gemara includes Chupah a means of acquisition which is symbolic of receiving the Torah at Har Sinai).

But if we don’t accept the remez, why in fact does the tractate not begin with the most important mitzvah of Talmud Torah? For this we can look at the creation of the world, as Genesis begins with G-d’s creations, not Talmud Torah.

It must be that the lesson of Genesis is that place and acquisition are prerequisites for Torah. If one knows his place and has “acquired” a self identity, he can absorb the depths of the Torah.

This can be the reason why the Gemara Kiddushin begins with the laws of acquisitions first and then only later discusses Talmud Torah. It conveys that first a place of self knowledge with the ability to acquire must be established and then a masterful conquering of the depth and majesty of Talmud Torah can be effectuated.

Ki Tavo – A Hint To Aliyah

Ki Tavo simply translates to mean “when you come..to the land.” Targum Onkelos (which the Gemara Megillah says was given at Sinai), however, translates the meaning to be when you are תעול, “go up” to the land. The Targum should awaken every soul to the majesty of Israel, for it is a land that’s raised above all others and carries with it the highest potential for spirituality.