Saturday, April 30, 2011


A disturbing proposal for a ban on Bris Mila was revealed in the media Today.

This ban, though only proposed currently in San Francisco has sent shock waves thru the Jewish community. This is the first time that this kind of proposal was introduced in the United States.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Parashat Kedoshim

We hope you all had a meaningful Yom Tov, and hopefully we will all bring the inspiration into action.

This week we are privileged to read the portion of Kedoshim. The Torah tells us (Vayikra 19/2) You shall be holy for I, Hashem your G-d, am holy. This is rather hard to understand. What relation does G-d's holiness have with our being holy ? There's an interesting Medrash, which can perhaps shed some light on the issue. The Medrash says, three will testify one on the other: Hashem, Shabbos and the Jewish people.

The Medrash is telling us that we, the Jewish nation are testifying, that although we are human beings and a human naturally desires mundane and materialistic things, yet since we as Jews have a Neshomo (soul), which is a part (so to say), of Hashem , we desire holiness and spirituality. However, the nations of the world don't have this natural leaning. This is what the Torah is telling you Kedoshim tihiyu - you shall be holy, for I am holy, meaning that this is the reason that you'll be able to achieve holiness for you are a part of Me and I am holy.

Now we can understand the the meaning of the Medrash. When Jews are holy they are testimony to G-d's sanctity. The same is true for Shabbos. How does Shabbos become holy as naturally all times (days) are the same, only because Hashem sanctified this day, does it have a holiness. This along with the Jews who sanctify the Shabbos makes the circle complete. G-d's sanctity was given to Jews (human) and to Shabbos (time) and they are testimony to the holiness of their source.

May we merit to follow in the ways of G-d, and be holy.

Gut Shabbos,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Parashat Achrei

This week we are privileged to read the portion of Acharei. The portion discusses how the Kohein should conduct himself on Yom Kippur when he enters in to the Kodesh Hakodoshim.

Later, the Torah describes laws of forbidden relationships (arayos), the different improper ways and their punishment.

When beginning to discuss forbidden relationships, the Torah (vayikrah 18/23) begins as follows: as the actions of the land of Mitzrayim, which you sat (lived) in,  and as the action of the canaanites where I will bring you, one shall not do (imitate).

Rebbe Bunim of Przesischa explains this Phraise as follows. When one wants to get someone off a lust/ addiction to Alcohol or any similar lust, the best way to teach him is by taking him to visit another drunk, and say to him "you see how awful it looks and is, when you are drunk, don't follow in his footsteps! The Torah says the same thing "you lived in Egypt, you saw the lives they lead, this is not what you want. You remember what they looked like, and you certainly don't want to follow. You saw their empty lives ....don't follow in their footsteps!

This week the Shabbos preceding Pesach, is called Shabbos Hagadol - the Great Shabbos. There are many reasons given for this name. One reason is, that on the Shabbos preceding the exodus of Egypt, the Jews took the sheep/goats in preparation of bringing it for an offering. As we know, the Egyptian worshiped cattle (sheep), this however did not stop the Jews from taking it in front of their eyes and prepare it for an offering.  Due to the GREAT miracle which occurred at that time, this Shabbos is known as the Great Shabbos.

In addition, we know that the Shabbos preceding a Holiday has an influence on the upcoming Holiday, and being that Pesach is the first of all Holidays, it too has an influence on the remaining Holidays, thereby this Shabbos is empowered with great influence.

May we merit to benefit from the abundance of light that comes from this Great Shabbos and utilize it properly to strengthen our Emunah in Hashem.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Notice to Our Readers

No new posts until after the Pesach Yom Tov.

We wish you all a true Chag Kosher V'sameach!!!!!!!

A Pure World - Let's Imagine

  1. What a World would look like without Loshon Hora?
  2. What would the World look like without one 'Tzelem Elokim' destroying another 'Tzelem Elokim'?
  3. What would the world look like without Sinas Chinom?
  4. What Would the world look like without the poison of the internet?
  5. What Would the world look like if Shalom Bayis would be strong?


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Parashat Metzora

This week we are privileged to read the portion Metzorah. The Torah teaches us the laws of someone who was punished with tzoraas and the laws of negoim that appear on a home. The Torah also describes the offering that a metzorah has to bring after he is clean (cured).

Regarding the negoim the Torah teaches us that until the kohein says "tomei (impure)", it is not tomei, and the same is required to purify a nega. (See rash"I Vayikra 14/36).

The Chofetz Chaim explains that the reason for this law is, to teach us the value of words.  Whereas, tzoraas comes, for not being cautious with ones word, in the same way, it only becomes pure by word of the Kohein. The biggest scholar may give his opinion, it will still not change the status until a Kohein says Tomei or Tahor.

The Medrash tells us a story regarding a peddler who came to various cities and announced that he has a remedy for long life, whoever wants to live long, can come and buy. Rav Yanai was fascinated by this man and he approached him, as did many other people. The man took out a Tehillim and showed R' Yanai the phrase in Tehillim 34 who is the man who wants life, loves days to see good. Guard your tounge from speaking evil....

The question is what was so fascinating about what the man said ? The answer may be based on an anecdote told by The Zlatypoly Rebbe. Reb Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev had once been thru Zlatypoly and met the local Rav (not the Zlatypoly Rebbe), and he noticed that the man was a man of a higher caliber. The Berdichever asked him "how he had obtained such a high level"? The Rav answered that in his youth he once came from a far way and stopped in a shul, tired and weak. When he entered the shul, the Rabbi repeated the Mishna in Avos 4/4 me'od me'od hevey shfal ruach, shetikvas enosh rima. "One shall be very very humble spirited, for the anticipated end of mortal man is worms". I was not fully able to follow the entire speech, said the Rav, however, after hearing those words I became a different man. Later, he found out that the Rabbi who was speaking at that time, was Reb Nochum of Chernobyl. The influence of a tzaddik can be so great, that although one may not be able to follow the depth of the lecture, the message can still penetrate.

Reb Shimon Zhelichover explained that Rav Yanai saw that this peddler's words, although they were simple, they had a tremedous influence, and that is what fascinated him.

May we always be influenced and influence others for the good. May we always merit to speak only positive words.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Celebration in Yerushalayim

The whole Jewish world joins the communities in Yerushalayim who are celebrating with Tefilos of gratitude to the Boreh Olam upon the 101st birthday of Maran Harav Eliyashuv Shlit"a, which took place this week.

The Gadol Hador still answers Halachic questions sharply and immediatly.

Klal Yisroel is Mispalel that we should be Zoche to have him amongst us for many more years.

Chodesh Nisan

We have already ushered in the month of Nisan, the month which is called the head of all months, as the Torah calls it Rosh Chodoshim.

The word chodesh (month) the route of the word means new -  renewal. The moon has a renewal cycle every 29 1/2 days, which symbolizes renewal. We were given the mitzvah of keeping a lunar (parallel to solar) calendar and making Rosh Chodesh following the renewal of the moon cycle (molad). We were given this mitzvah together with the mitzvohs applying to Pesach, to teach us that no matter what level we have fallen to, we can still return to the light.

R' Avrohom Yehoshua Heshel of Apte says that while searching for chametz, one shall also search his character traits and burn the bad character traits which are similar to Chometz. Just as we are considered adults after the age of 13, so too we wait until the 13th day of nisan when we are prepared to truly fight the yeitzer horah.

What is clear, that we now have 13 days to grow and be properly prepared for true searching and burning of chometz.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Teens and Chinuch

From David Seltzer.

A teacher who sees a young teen with problems in Yiddishkeit does not mean that the teen has emotional 'Issues'.

He may very well be conflicted by Hashkafa issues. No more no less.

The armchair Psychologist dressed in the name or garb of 'Rabbi', could be very well be dangerous for the teenager who DOES have emotional problems.

1. Check out if the Rabbi who is practicing counseling on your son / daughter has a real degree.
2. After he/she present their degree inquire about their professional experience.

Beware! it is your child's life!

Sefer Kuntres Hateshuvos

In 1952 the famous Sefer Taharas Yisroel on laws of family purity was published in America for the first time. It was published by Rav
Yehuda Tropper Zt"l. Since then it was published 10 more times.

The author of the Taharas Yisroel received various haskamos. Mongst them is a Haskama from Maran Rav Chaim Halevi of Brisk Zt"l.

The author also left unprinted a Sefer called "Kuntres Hateshuvos" on 4 Chelkei Shulchan Aruch. This Sefer was recently published by R' Leib Tropper, founder of Yeshivas Kol Yaakov in Memory, of his most respected father.

This new Sefer with notes and comments from the publisher seems to be turning into a best seller.

Lehagdil Torah U'lahadira

New Seforim

Hagada - Mepee Sofrim Useforim a most popular Hagada filled with meaningful Chassidic thoughts. This Hagada was put together by Rav Friedman a well known Magid in the area of Chassidus.

It isn't just a random collection of Words & thoughts of Gedolei Hachasidus. It is a sefer that makes every thought germane.

A mocher seforim remarked that as soon as he orders 100 of these Hagados he has requests for 120.

Lehagdil Torah

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Parashat Tazria

This week we are privilged to read the portion Tazria. The portion begins with the laws of purity after a child is born and the obligation of performing a bris on an eight day old boy. The rest of the portion discusses the laws of Tzara'as (negoim) - leprosy, which are the punishment for lashon horah (talking bad about others. The Torah describes different types of negoim. There can be a  Nega (leprosy) on a home, on clothing or on a human body. Each of these are reminders for the person to repent and improve.

When the Torah discusses the laws of Negoim on a person's body, when one thinks they may have tzora'as the posuk says (Vayikra 13/2) He shall be brought to Aharon hakohen or to one of his sons the kohanim.   Later in the Torah (vayikra 14/35), when referring to negoim on houses the Torah says "and the one to whom the house belongs shall come to the Kehen and declare something like an affliction (nega) appeared to me in the house".

Reb Shlomo of Karlin asks, why when referring to tzara'as on a person does the Torah say and "he shall be brought" to the kohen, however when referring to tzara'as on a home, it says that he "comes to the kohen" ?  Reb Shlomo provides an explanation based on the Medrash. The Medrash says that the Merciful Father (Hashem) does not afflict a person immediately. First he sends an affliction to his home, if he doesn't improve, Hashem will send an affliction on his clothing and if he still doesn't improve, then he's personally going to be afflicted (on his body). It appears, that when a person finds a tzora-as on his home he is not yet deeply involved in sinful ways, therefore it makes sense that he comes to kohen on his own. However, a person who has sent numerous messages from Hashem, and still hasn't repented, this person will most likely not even come to the kohen, but rather need to be brought to the kohen.

What we can and should learn from here is, G-d often sends us messages and waits for us to come closer to Him. Let us get the message before it hurts.


This week in addition to the weekly portion, we read a supplement called parshas hakhodesh (from parshas bo). This supplement begins with the obligation of keeping a lunar calendar with Nisan being the first month. Then the Torah discusses the laws of the Pesach offering.

May we all merit to make the proper preparation for Pesach.