Monday, May 30, 2011

Shmuel Hanavi - 28 Iyar

Thousands of Jews will be visiting the Kever of Shmuel Hanavi this Tuesday nite - Wednesday on  his Yom Hazikoron.

Rabbenu Ovadia Bartenura writes that davening by the Kever of Shmuel Hanavi was an accepted tradition for women who were childless  and were seeking a blessing.


Sunday, May 29, 2011


As a result of Harav Amar's support for the conversions performed by the IDF, the government is allowing the Chief Rabbi to run for an extended term.

The position of C.R. is usually a ten year maximum. After this new law, his term could continue if he is to win the election.

Difficult Teens

The popular magazine, world of psychology, shares some important tips for teens in depression.

1. Find the right doctor or therapist.
2. A proper and definite diagnosis.
3. Stay away from liquor.
4. Exercise.
5. Never avoid asking for help.
6. Notice your negative thoughts.

To be cont'd...

Friday, May 27, 2011


P.M. Bibi Netanyahu has had a surge in his popularity since his visit to the states.

The news reports that his various speeches including his expressed commitment to the security of Israel earned him the respect of the Israeli's and the U.S. Politicians.

His meeting in the oval office with the president was uncompromising  re: Jerusalem and most settlements.

He stood up to the president and clarified his position that “We do not need America to send troops to Israel, we can deal with the enemy alone”.

Parashat Bamidbar

This week we begin the book of Bamidbar also known as the book of Numbers (sefer hapkudim). Once again the Jews were counted and the tribes were encamped in groups each carrying their own flag, surrounding the holy Mishkan.

The Medrash on this weeks portion states: The Torah was given in fire, in water and in the desert.

Reb Meir Shapiro (Lublin) explains this Medrash as follows. There's a pattern of the Klal Yisroel (the Jewish nation), from the day of our existence to be ready under any circumstances for selfless devotion and sacrifice for G-d's name. Jews went into fire in Auschwitz with Shma Yisroel on their lips, Jews were also murdered during the Spanish inquisition for not wanting to give up their faith. Many more examples can be given, where Jews were forced to give up their lives for the sake of their faith.

This inner strength comes from three historic events. Fire - Avrohom Avinu was thrown into fire, for not having accepted Nimrod's idolatry. One may think that this is an act of an individual, therefore we take the following example. Water - an entire nation accepted G-d's decree to move into the (Red) sea. Now one might take this for granted as well, thinking that this was only a temporary bravery, not long term, to this  the answer is. In the DESERT - jews followed Hashem's command and guidance forty years in the desert, not questioning the wilderness (snakes and scorpions ...).

It is thanks to these three tests of fire water and desert, with which Jews proved themselves to receive the Torah as an eternal gift.

Our selfless devotion as our eternal guarantor.

May we merit to be devoted to the path of Torah and Mitzvohs in good faith at all times.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lag Baomer and Chabad

The annual Lag Baomer parades sponsored by Chabad were a huge success this year.

500 marches which totaled 250,000 Jewish children marched in various locations in Eretz Yisroel.

Many of these children who participated in the parade are not yet familiar with Shmiras Hamitzvos.

The Lag Baomer parade, as a concept was developed by the past Lubavitch Rebbe Zy"a.

Maharam of Ruttenberg

The Yom Hazikoron for Rabbenu Meir of Ruttenberg Zy"a is on the 19th of Iyar which is the 34th day of the Omer.

The Talmidim of the Maharam of Ruttenberg include the Rosh, the Mordechai and the Tashbatz Zt"l.

His Rebbe was Rabbenu Moshe of Vina Zt"l otherwise known as the Or Zorua.

Rabbenu meir of Ruttenberg died in prison.

The Tashbatz wrote a Sefer that notes five hundred Minhagim of his Rebbe Zy"a.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


President Obama addressed the powerful pro - Israel group known as AIPAC this morning.

In an attempt to assuage concerns amongst most Jews in the U.S. regarding his declared expectation that Israel eventually return to the pre 67 borders, he scheduled his visit to AIPAC.

Many lobbyists have called upon AIPAC to cancel meeting with the

The result of this morning's meeting has yet to be examined though one participant said it did not satisfy the concern of the group.

Mrs. Hillary Clinton spoke with the Israeli P.M. on Thursday but refused to understand the position of the Israeli P.M.

The immediate effect on the eroding support for Mr. Obama has not been assest though many dems are distancing themselves from his position.

Teffilos for Rosh Yeshiva

The Torah world is Davening and hoping for a Refuah Shlaima for the great Rosh Yeshiva of Lucerne, Switzerland. Hagaon Rav Koppelman Shlit"a.

The Rosh Yeshiva developed a digestive problem that interfered with his eating. Surgery was the remedy of choice. However due to his advanced age (100+) that was not an option.

Rabbi E. Firer of B"B traveled to Switzerland to consult with the doctors to see if there is an alternative.

Declaration of Maran Harav G. Edelstein Shlit"a, Rosh Yeshiva – Ponoviz

This past week, Maran Harav Edelstein made it clear that included in Sinas Chinam is hatred of the secular Jew.

Basing it on the words of the Chazon Ish Zt"l, that the non observant Jew in our time has a status of "Tinok Shenishbo", there is no excuse to hate them.

Mentioning the Gemara in Kiddushin (34) That “All Jews are children of Hashem” he emphasized the importance of embracing all of Hashems children.

Novel Idea

The Chernobler Rebbe Shlit"a said last week “Everybody wants to be successful in their Learning Torah, so let's begin the week with Limud Hatorah. Let us show our "Cheshkas" Hatorah”.

With that introduction, the Rebbe asked that all the Bachurim in the Yeshiva establish a Seder Limud immediatly after Havdala on Motzei Shabbos.

The Bachurim adhered to the Rebbe's request and established a 15 minute Seder after Havdala in the Bais Medrash.


Friday, May 20, 2011

A Letter

Dear Zelig,

The Chazal teach us that Moshiach will come in a generation of a community of Jews who are either guilty or Innocent.

However I find it quite difficult to understand. The Mishna in Sota says that in the pre-messianic era “Chutzpa” will reign, Talmidei Chachomim will be ignored and many other evil behaviors will exist.

Can you please help me to understand this obvious contradiction?


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Womens in Sfirat H’Omer

Are women obligated to count Sefira?

The shulchan aruch clearly says that women are exempt from mitzvos that are confined to time.
However the Rama in Shulchan Aruch says that women may fulfill those Mitzvot with the appropriate blessing.

The Sefadrdim follow the Shulchan Aruch and do not make a blessing on the above Mitzvot. The Ashkenazim follow the Rama and the women do make a blessing on those Mitzvot.

The Chofetz Chaim in his Mishna Berura suggests that women should not make a Brocho when they count the Omer though on other time confined Mitzvos they can.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Napproriate Article

It is quite disappointing to read an article in a so called 'Frum' magazine that spends 2 pages attempting to diminish the greatness of Maran Harav Y.B. Halevi Soloveitchik Zt"l.

From the late Kovna Rav to the great Torah giants of the last generation there was a special appreciation for Maran Harav Y.D. Halevi Zt"l's genius and his ability to communicate the Brisker Derech with unique clarity.

Maran Harav Yaakov Kaminetzky Zt"l, would admonish people who would refer to him as 'JB'. He would declare that they are “Asid Leetayn Es Hadin”.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Gutnick Visits P.M.

The renowned philanthropist, Rabbi Gutnick Shlit"a, visited one who he considers his friend, P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu.

Rabbi Gutnick, a member of Chasedei Lubavitch encouraged the prime minister not to give in to outside pressure in anything that is related to the security of the population in Eretz Yisroel.

Rabbi Gutnick left the meeting with the feeling that the P.M. will not compromise when it comes to matters of security.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Harav Yaakov Meir Shechter Shlit"a

During the the last few days Hagaon Rav Yaakov Meir Shechter  Shlit"a of Breslov started delivering lectures on the spiritual dangers of the internet. He declared that these lectures will continue. He added that there was a "Zohar" that he saw as very complicated until he realized that it was referring to dangers similar to the internet.

Meanwhile in America the battle against the so called "Frum internet" moved into the classroom as teachers are communicating directly to students about the dangers of the so called "Frum internet".

Sefer Torah Falls in Williamsburg

A Sefer Torah Fell out of the Aron Kodesh in the Pupa Beis Medrash in Brooklyn.

The Pupa Beis Din declared that all men who Were in shul when it occured should Fast Taanis B'hab at least 1/2 a day and should contribute money to Tzadaka as well.

Women do not fast.

The Rebbe Shlit"a, delivered a warm and passionate Drosha at Seuda Shlishis to highlight the tragedy of a Sefer Torah seen on the floor.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Parashat Behar

This week we are privileged to read the portion Behar. The portion begins with one of the important mitzvohs given at mount Sinai, the mitzah of Shmittah.

We are commanded to refrain from working with the ground one out of seven years. One doesn't plant or prune his trees during the Shmita year, it is simply a year of rest, so to say, for the ground.  This Mitzvah demonstrates our complete faith and trust in Hashem, who controls the world, and we are  reliant only on Him. By obeying this mitzvah properly, one brings upon himself an abundance of blessing.

In this weeks portion, additionally, we learn of the mitzvah to loan money to a needy friend and the  prohibition to take interest for a loan given to a fellow Jew. In vayikra 25/36 the Torah states do not take from him interest and "your Brother shall live with you."

The Talmud (Bava Metzia 71) states that one who lends money to a fellow Jew for interest, is compared to one who signed a document that he doesn't believe in the G-d of Israel (see Chazon Ish).

The question arises why did Torah choose the wording "and your brother shall live with you", specifically by this mitzvah ?

I'd like to share with you an explanation that explains the wording beautifully . When someone borrows money and he has to pay back more than the loan, when days pass by, he does not look forward to the coming day, which is bringing closer the day that he needs to pay some additional money above his debt. However the lender looks forward to this date, by him, time is flying. This perhaps is what the Torah means "vchei ochicho imoch" - your brother shall live with you. His calendar should not move at a slower pace than yours.

Let us merit to have true trust in Hashem and always act with kindness one to another.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A “Maaseh Shehaya”

Recently reported

A man visited Maran Harav Chayim Kanyevsky Shlit"a, and was discussing various personal things.

Amongst the issues brought up was that he and his wife are suffering from mice running around their house. Maran asked him if he gives Maaser Kesofim. He said that his financial situation was quite difficult and that he found it hard to give maaser. Maran told him that if he gives Maaser he will not have this problem. The man started giving and the mice disappeared.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Parashat Emor

This week we are privileged to read the portion of Emor. This portion begins with the honorable status of Kohanim and the prohibition for Kohanim to become impure from coming into contact with a deceased, aside from the seven relatives. In addition the Torah prohibits a Kohen from marrying a divorcee. Also, in this week's portion discusses all the Festivals/Holidays of the year and mitzvohs that apply to each of them.

As we are now in the days of counting the Omer, and we well know that these days are the time when the disciples of Rebbe Akiva passed away, due the lack of respect they demonstrated to each other, it is incumbent upon us to work toward unity and character improvement specifically in relation to one another.

The Shach writes that the reason why a Kohen is prohibited to marry a divorcee is, because a Kohein is supposed to be a uniting force (as was Aharon Hakohen - Oheiv Sholom v'Rodeif Sholom - Loved peace and chased after it), therefore he can not marry someone who went thru division. It is interesting to note, that parshas Emor is always read during the days of counting the Omer.

Later in the portion the Torah teaches us the Mitzvah of counting the omer seven full weeks from the second day of Pesach until Shavuos, in anticipation of receiving the Torah.

When the Medrash discusses sefiras haomer, the Medrash relates the following story: Rebbe Shimon the son of Rebbe married off his son and he failed to invite Bar Kappara (a great Tanna - sage). Bar Kappara felt hurt. When R' Shimon became aware of that, he made a special party and invited all the sages of that time to participate. When the waiters brought the food to the table, Bar Kappara rose and delivered a lengthy speech, until the food became cold. When R' Shimon asked him why he needed to speak just then, he responded "I wanted you to realize that it wasn't the food which I wanted, it was rather the company of the great people, my friends, (at the wedding) that I missed".

The M'aor vAshemesh explains that the reason the Medrash brings this story concerning the Mitzvah of counting the omer, to teach us that during these days when we prepare for receiving the Torah, we need to be most cautious and sensitive to other people's feelings. Then and only then can we be worthy of receiving the The Torah.

May we all merit to have a good chodesh (month of Iyar), the month in which the Man began to fall from Heaven, and may we all be blessed with an abundance of good will to each other and the ability to assist one another both materially and spiritually.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gedolei Olam

These are Three Gedolei Olam whose Yahrtzeit is celebrated today, the 30th of Nissan.

1. Rabbenu Chaim Vital, Zy"a a Talmid Muvhak of the Holy Alshich Zy"a, And Talmid of the Holy Ar"i Zy"a.

2. Karbon Nesanel Zt"l - HaRav Nesanel Weil. He was a Rosh Yeshiva in Prague.

3. Rabbenu Yaakov Emden Zt"l. He was the son of the Chacham Tzvi. He lived in Altuna then he went to Emden. After 4 years he returned to Altuna. He left again to Amsterdam for a year and a half. He returned to Altuna where he was Niftar and buried.