Hakhel Email Community Awareness Bulletin
OCTOBER 2008 DAILY EMAIL ARCHIVE
Now that the Yomim Tovim has
passed, Project Kavey is continuing its Live Telephone Conference Parenting
workshops with the world-renowned Rabbi Dov Brezak, Shlita. The new
Workshop will be on "Motivating our Children to Cooperate and Reach Their
Potential." For further information, please call 732-886-8821. For a
sample Parenting Line Message 212-990-6160.
For those who requested,
by clicking here
you can find the Daf Yomi Schedule for this year.
Right before Yom Kippur, we
presented a link to a video file containing a shiur given in Teaneck by
Rabbi Reisman, Shlita. For those who prefer the convenience of listening to
an audio of the shiur, a MP3 file of the same shiur is available
by clicking here.
Special Note One: In response
to the numerous requests, we have triple checked regarding HaRav
Scheinberg's, Shlita position--one may think Torah thoughts while taking a
shower--even if the room has a toilet in it--provided that the room is
Special Note Two: In response
to the many comments we received about the Gematria of Mar Cheshvan--yes,
the gematria of Mar Cheshvan (with the word), is in fact 611--the gematria
of Torah. Cheshvan, when written without nekudos, is spelled with two Vuvs
and not one, so that it is not read as Cheshone, but Cheshvan.
One of our innovative readers
wrote that if we take the second “Vuv” out of Mar Cheshvan and you don’t
include the word as part of the gematria; the gematria becomes 604, which is
the gematria of “Shas Gemara.” This teaches us, our reader wrote,” that we
must take the increased Torah commitment we made on Simchas Torah as we
celebrated the completion of Torah She'Bichsav and also find opportunity to
increase our learning of Torah She'Baal Peh!”
From all of the above may we
should take the lesson to especially increase our Torah learning this month.
Special Note Three: We
continue with our Erev Shabbos Halachos of Shabbos Series. The following
Halachos relate to Boneh (building) and Makeh B’Patish (the final hammer
blow), and are exccerpted from “The 39 Melochos” by Rabbi Dovid Ribiat,
Shlita--a “must have in the home” Sefer:
It is forbidden to reinsert a chair leg that
became detached from its joint, even though there is no gluing or
nailing, and even if this is done in a temporary fashion.
The handle of a broom that came out may not
be inserted, even loosely, and is Muktza as well. The same applies to
the handle of any tool or accessory.
An unattached chair seat or cushion may be
placed on the frame of the chair because the risk of nailing or screwing
it on is unlikely. The loose seat or cushion may likewise be removed.
A ball, inflatable mattress, or toy may not
be filled with air for the first time, because transforming the limp
material into a usable item is considered an act of Makeh B’Patish. If
the inflatable toy or mattress had already been filled with air, but
then had become deflated, it may be refilled with air on Shabbos or Yom
Tov, provided that it can be sealed with a plug or the like, and does
not require any kind of tying to seal in the air.
One may not fill a balloon with air on
Shabbos, because this requires tying a knot to seal the balloon, which
is prohibited. The balloon is also Muktzah in its deflated state.
One is forbidden to insert plastic or rubber
caps of the kind that are ordinarily fitted at the bottoms of metal
frame chairs or table legs to protect the furniture and the floors.
Doing this is Makeh B’Patish, because it makes the furniture complete
both aesthetically and functionally.
Special Note Four: The
floodwaters described in this week’s Parsha are sometimes called “Mei Noach--the
waters of Noach” (see, for example, Yeshaya 54:9). In some sense, Noach was
held accountable for not bringing his generation with him to Teshuva, and so
the punishing waters are titled with his name.
In order to better understand
this concept, we provide the following Mashal adapted from the Chovos
HaLevavos (Shaar Ahavas Hashem, Chapter 6), which is brought by Rabbi
Zelig Pliskin, Shlita (“Love Your Neighbor”, p. 34):
“Two businessmen come to a
particular fair at the same time. One has merchandise which cost him $10,
marks it up 10 times, and sells it for $100. He makes $90 clear profit!
The second businessman has merchandise which cost him $5,000. He marks it
up only two times, and sells it for $10, 000, leaving him with a profit of
$5,000. Although the second businessman’s percentage of profit was 8 times
less than that of the first, he earned $5,000.00, as opposed to $90.”
This parable illustrates that
if someone’s improvement of only himself will pale in comparison to the one
who improves himself and others, for his merits are increased by the merits
of everyone else that he has improved. We should try to make an effort to
help someone else (even a family member) with a Halacha or Torah thought to
benefit from everyday--let the new merchandise continue to flow in!
Special Note Five: Someone
once asked HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita, how he managed to meet so many
people during the course of an hour. He responded, “What do you mean?
There are sixty minutes in an hour, and sixty seconds in each minute, that
means that I have 3,600 seconds in an hour. That is a tremendous amount of
If only we could somehow value
our time in this way….
The Sefer Shailas Rav
presents hundreds of questions asked by Rabbi Yechiel Rothschild, Shlita, to
HaRav Kanievsky. Although the Sefer expressly states that one is not to
Paskin Halacha L’Maaseh from the Sefer, the answers (and the questions!)
certainly provide a valuable basis for one to ask his own Shaila. We hope
to provide some of these questions from time to time in the near future. We
begin with the following five responses:
a. Q: If
one learns for the zechus of a Choleh, does he lose his own sechar for
learning, and if he retains his sechar, does the Choleh have any zechus at
person learning does not lose his sechar, and the choleh has the sechar of
having caused someone to learn.
b. Q: Is
it better to give Tzedaka directly into a poor person’s hand, or to use
“Horaas Keva”--direct deposit into a bank? Based upon the Halachic
principle of “Mitzvah Bo Yoser MiBishlucho”--it is better to do a mitzvah
yourself than to have someone else to perform the mitzvah on you behalf, it
would seem that you should deliver cash directly.
A: One should do
whatever is better for the poor person.
What is the source for the saying that one should not sit on the table “for
the table is like the Mizbeach”?
A: It is based in
d. Q: If
one promised a child candy, and the child forgot about it, should you give
it to him anyways?
A: One should.
e. Q: Is
the obligation to judge someone favorably an obligation which is Bain Odom
L’Makom or Bain Odom L’Chaveiro?
Special Note One: In honor of
Rosh Chodesh Mar Cheshvan, we provide the following two insights:
gematria of Mar Cheshvan is 610, which, together with the word Cheshvan
itself, is equal to 611. This is, of course, also the gematria of Torah,
which teaches us that we must take the increased Torah commitment we made on
Simchas Torah with us, even into a month which does not at this moment
possess any special holidays. This is especially so as the nights become
longer, which provides us with increased opportunity for Torah study.
Perhaps we can undertake a “Mar Cheshvan Project,” such as going through a
particular Mussar Sefer during the course of the month on a daily basis (Derech
Hashem, Orchos Tzadikim, etc.). True commitment is the key to
b. There is
a Halacha relating to Rosh Chodesh (found in Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim,
188:7), which is not well-known. That is, if one is reciting Birchas
HaMazon on Rosh Chodesh and realized that he forgot to recite Yaaleh V’Yavo
after he has already recited the brocha of Bonei Yerushalayim, but prior to
reciting the brocha of HaTov V’Hameitiv, he is entitled to (and should) add
a new, complete brocha to his Birchas Hamazon, which is: “Baruch Ata Hashem
Elokeinu Melech Haolam Asher Nosan Roshei Chodoshim L’Amo Yisroel L’Zikaron--Blessed
are You Hashem…Who gave New Moons to His People Israel as a remembrance.”
This incredible Halacha (based upon Chazal--Brachos 49A), allows for a fifth
brocha in Birchas HaMazon if it is timed just right. Of course, it is
better not to forget Yaaleh V’Yavo, but Chazal do allow for one to mend the
situation in this way. In fact, there are similar instances where an
additional, similar brocha is recited at this point in Birchas HaMazon
(between the third and fourth brocha)--for example, if one forgot Retzei on
Shabbos, Yaaleh V’Yavo on Yom Tov, etc. The exact text of these Brachos are
found in most siddurim at the end of Birchas HaMazon, but the page is
typically skipped over as we move through the Siddur. For example, see page
196 of the Artscroll English Siddur (Ashkenaz).
From this Halacha relating to
Rosh Chodesh, we get a sense of the importance of eating a Seudas Rosh
Chodesh--a meal on Rosh Chodesh for which Birchas HaMazon is recited--after
all, a new brocha is provided for Rosh Chodesh, just as a new brocha is
provided in a similar situation on Shabbos and Yom Tov! In honor of this
Halacha, may we suggest that you partake of a fine Rosh Chodesh meal
today--but remember Yaaleh V’Yavo!
Special Note Two: The Sefer
Michtav M’Eliyahu (4:77, 226) teaches that the Gates of Prayer for
Ruchniyus are never closed. Just as a steakhouse will not run out of
steaks, or a bakery out of cake, the Heavens are ready to fulfill the
sincere request of a person seeking true spiritual growth. In fact, HaRav
Dessler teaches that praying for spirituality is the remedy for “Timtum
Halev--for spiritual blockage” caused by foods which were really unkosher,
and perhaps other causes. He also writes that one should be sure to daven
for continued spiritual growth when in a spiritually elevated state for
those times in a person’s life in which he feels less elevated or may be
otherwise tempted to sin (out of the home, at work, when with specific
May we suggest that a good
place to daven for increased Ruchniyus daily--whether it be for Yiras
Shamayim, increased understanding of Torah Study, or even assistance in
having more Kavannah in davening(!) is in Elokai Netzor at the end of each
Shemone Esrei, especially as we recite the words “Pisach Libi B’Sorosecha.”
If the store is open--one
should go in and get what he needs!
Special Note Three: We
clicking here) a beautiful method developed to reinforce the Six
Constant Mitzvos through daily brocha recitation. Even if one begins to
utilize this program just a couple of times a day, all of his brachos will
necessarily be improved, for one will realize how important each and every
word of a brocha truly is.
The link is available in a
color hard-copy stock by contacting 917-551-0150.
As Chazal teach, Mitzvah
Goreres Mitzvah--one mitzvah leads to another. This is a perfect
example--as the daily recitation of brachos (which are being made in any
event)--can lead to fulfillment of the great Six Constant Mitzvos as well!
We ask our readers to recite
Tehillim for HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu, Shlita, Mordechai Tzemach Ben Mazal
Tov whose condition is reported as very serious.
Special Note One: Yesterday
we made reference to Yom Kippur Koton in the month of Cheshvan. Although
the Mishne Berurah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 417, Seif Katan 4) does not
list any months in which Yom Kippur Koton is not recited, there are four
months in which the custom has become not to recite Yom Kippur Koton on Erev
Rosh Chodesh, which are the months of Nissan (i.e., immediately prior to
Iyar), Elul (i.e., immediately prior to Rosh Hashana), Tishrei (i.e.,
immediately prior to MarCheshvan), and Kislev (i.e., immediately prior to
Teves). The Sefer Ishei Yisroel (39:11, and footnote there), explains that
the reason that Yom Kippur Koton is not recited at these four times is
because no Tachanun is otherwise recited on these particular days for other
reasons. For example, no Tachanun is recited in Nissan at all, and no
Tachanun is recited at the end of Kislev because it is Chanuka. Based upon
this reason for the elimination of the Yom Kippur Koton service during these
four months, one would think that Yom Kippur Koton should have been recited
yesterday to those of Minhag Ashkenaz who did, in fact, recite Tachanun
immediately after Isru Chag until today. Yet, it was probably difficult to
find a Yom Kippur Koton Minyan yesterday. In all events, may Hashem grant
to those who desired to recite Yom Kippur Koton yesterday their requests and
their forgiveness, as if they had in fact recited it!
Special Note Two: One of our
important readers asked us to advise our readers that, according to some
Poskim, Haddasim imported from Eretz Yisroel have Kedushas Shvi’is, much the
same as scented flowers. Accordingly, he requested that readers ask their
Rav or Posek what should be done with their Haddasim after Sukkos.
Special Note Three: Rabbeinu
Yonah in the Shaarei Teshuva (4:15) provides the following poignant insight
regarding a “minor” aveira: “When one removes a sin from before his eyes,
and it is small and slight to him, it is similar to his having been stung by
a scorpion in his heel, and, minimizing the sting, pressing his foot upon
the earth to remove the poison. The onlookers cry out: “Don’t you know that
it will travel from your sole to your forehead?! Clearly, the Rabbeinu
Yonah is teaching us that what a small amount of venom is to the body, a
small amount of sin is to the soul. Equipped with this knowledge, we should
beware of the ‘little’ sins that the Yetzer Hora attempts, such as just one
word, just one thought, just one more piece of cake….
Special Note Four: We
received the following question from a reader: “I wondered if we are
allowed to think about all the good that Hashem does for us in the shower
("To some it may seem "childish", to others "spiritual", to actually take a
minute or two during the day (while taking a shower in the morning or eating
lunch, or perhaps when walking to the subway or bus, or before retiring at
night) to think, feel and appreciate Hashem's gifts to us"). The shower is
a place where I do my best thinking but I assumed it was off limits to think
about Hashem in the shower.
In response to our reader’s
question, we provide the following:
Yitzchok Zilberstein, Shlita writes that it is permissible to think about
Hashem in the shower, provided that one does not do so L’Shem Mitzvah, for
the sake of fulfilling the mitzvah of “Anochi Hashem Elokecha” (which is one
of the six constant mitzvos mentioned in the Sefer HaChinuch, and listed in
the Bi’ur Halacha to Chapter 1 of Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim). As Rabbi
Zilberstein writes: “When one thinks about the wonders of his body or the
beautiful flowers growing in the garden, in his heart he is thinking that
Hashem has created a very beautiful world, and is probably fulfilling the
words of ‘Shivisi Hashem L’Negdi Somid’… and it is not prohibited to think
2. We asked
this question to Rabbi Yitzchok Jaeger, Shlita of the famous Guidelines
Halacha Series. He responded as follows: “In the
shower, one may NOT think about Divrei Torah, but one MAY think about
the many gifts Hashem gives to us”.
of HaRav Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg, Shlita, may be familiar with Rav
Scheinberg’s P’sak, which is that one may think even Torah thoughts while in
the shower, provided that the room is otherwise free of unclean matter. In
fact, we are advised by a Rosh Kollel in Eretz Yisroel that there are
students who listen to Torah tapes while in the shower, based upon this Psak.
HaRav Scheinberg rules that a clean bathroom today does not have the
Halachos of a ‘Bais Hakisey’ of prior times in this regard.
Based upon the above rulings,
it is clear that one can think about the wonders of Hashem while taking a
shower, and one should consult with his Rav or Posek about thinking Torah
thoughts if the shower room is clean.
Special Note Five: As we all
continue to improve our Tefillos and Brachos this year, we once again
provide by clicking
here the Important Message issued by the Committee to Encourage the
Proper Recitation of Amen. Please spread the word!
Special Note One: Today is
Yom Kippur Koton. The months ahead appear pivotal in the history of the
World. For all those for whom it is possible, we urge you to recite the
tefillos of Yom Kippur Koton today with a Minyan near you. The additional
one half-hour spent can truly bring incredible yeshuos to you--and the world
Additional Note: As we study
the Parshios in Bereishis, we remind ourselves that the Torah is not, Chas
V’Shalom, a history book, reminding us of the events of early Man. To the
Torah Jew, history is not an interesting study, something that satisfies our
curiosity as to past cultures and civilizations. Rather, it represents the
continuing Hashgacha Pratis of Hashem to Whom “One thousand years is like
one year” in his guidance and supervision of feeble man as he attempts to
conquer the world. The Navi teaches that, when the Moshiach comes, there
will no longer be wars among people. The commentaries explain that this is
so because the Moshiach will resolve all disputes among people, making war
obsolete. As noted above, it appears that we are living in a time of what
the world would call “history in the making,” as the world financial markets
shake, and political uncertainty stretches 6,000 miles from Eretz Yisroel to
the United States. We should not view this as “history in the making,” but
should instead utilize it as an advanced opportunity for coming closer to
Hashem through tefillah, and by replacing all of the secular analyses of
current world events with an awareness of Hashem’s pervasive presence. It
all brings us back to the first Siman in Shulchan Aruch, Orach
Chaim--Shivisi Hashem LeNegdi Samid--let us keep Hashem before us **all the
time** as we navigate our course through these pages in the history books.
Special Note Two: We
received the following thought from a reader:
“We say in our tefillos of Yom
Tov: ‘Vehasienu’ which is derived from the word ‘shi,’ i.e. a gift. On Yom
Tov, we receive a gift from Hashem, as a sample--like the chocolate dealer
who wants to sell his product by giving a piece of chocolate for all to
sample. If a person likes it and wants more, he has to pay for more. So
too, during the Yomim Tovim we receive a sample of madreigos and uplifting
times. In order to keep those lofty feelings we so tastefully sampled, we
must work on ourselves for the next eight weeks until Chanukah comes to
infuse us with more inspiration--and when it is truly the gmar chasima!
“One practical way of doing
this is by trying to do mitzvos with Simcha because that transforms every
mitzva into a loftier level. This will also bring genuine Simcha and
Hakoras Hatov for all that Hashem bestows upon us. May we be zoche to feel
these lofty feelings until then.”
Special Note Three: Rabbeinu
Yonah in the Shaarei Teshuva (3:229) writes that: “Chazal (Shabbos 33A) have
said ‘if one speaks obscenely (Nivul Peh) even if seventy good years were
decreed for him, they are converted to evil. And because of this, one who
speaks obscenely is heavy with sin and detestable and abhorrent, for he has
departed from and forsaken shame and modesty…’ Furthermore, he has
desecrated the holiness of Israel, as it is said, ‘And they shall say,
“Surely this Great Nation is a Wise and Understanding People”’ (Devorim
4:6). Additionally, the punishment of one who gives ear to obscene speech
is great because he does not block his ear and does not separate himself
from the speakers of obscenity.” [Hakhel note--steer away from lower class
elements as they converse even routinely on the street or in the office].
From these words of Rabbeinu
Yonah, we see how repugnant Nivul Peh is to Hashem, and how carefully the
Torah Jew must avoid it. Those inappropriate words that you know you
shouldn’t be saying are certainly included within Nivul Peh. May we
suggest, additionally, that there are other words which are “nicknames” for
Nivul Peh, which are simply used in replacement for the Nivul Peh intended
to be expressed, because you believe you are cleansing it in this regard.
By this, we mean expressing the Nivul Peh in other languages (whether it be
Yiddish, or even Arabic) and in words that sound like the Nivul Peh (with a
vowel or two changed) , and which otherwise convey the Nivel Peh intended,
but not specifically expressed.
Especially in our times, as
many of us seek to improve our Tefillos, and the Brachos that we make, we
must be especially careful to purify and cleanse our throats and mouths, so
that our words of Holiness come out unimpeded, providing the full measure of
their import and impact in this world, and in the Heavens above.
Special Note Four: In the
recently released Sefer Borchi Nafshi, which contains the rulings of
HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, Shlita, the Rav of Ramat Elchonon, the
son-in-law of HaRav Elyashiv, Shlita, and a foremost Posek in Eretz Yisroel,
HaRav Zilberstein provides the following Halachic insights:
When one visits a sick person who is
sleeping, he has accomplished the mitzvah of Bikur Cholim, because the
sick person will be told that he was visited, and this will bring him
nachas ruach. Indeed, HaRav Zilberstein states, it may well be that
even an unconscious person may realize that you have come to visit in
some situations, and that you have accomplished the Mitzvah in this
situation, as well. We note that, as the Shechina rests above the head
of the ill person, the site itself--in all events--is especially
auspicious for prayer.
If someone gives charity for the sake of a
deceased person, he should ask the recipient to pray for the deceased.
(See Devorim 24:13, Tehillim 72:15). Specifically, one should pray that
the deceased’s sins be forgiven and that he be counted among the Tzadkim
for good. HaRav Zilberstein writes that these tefillos should be
recited by the recipient constantly, especially during the first year
after passing. Our Tefillos help in all worlds.
If one is riding his bicycle to Shul, it is
permitted to put his Tallis/Tefillin in a bag, and place them on the
handles of the bike. One should not place the Tallis/Tefillin in back
of him, for he would be sitting on the same object as them which is
prohibited, and it is also a “gnai”--disrespectful, for the Talis/Tefillin
to be in back of him. We may add here that it would likewise appears to
be disrespectful for a person to swing his Tefillin in his hand as he
walks to and from Shul, or to keep his Tefillin close to the lower parts
of his body, rather than hold them with his hand close to his chest, as
he would a precious object.
Also relating to Tefillin, if a person’s
ancestor’s Tefillin are Pasul, HaRav Zilberstein rules that one can
still utilize the materials (matlis) that cover the Parshios, or the
hairs from the Pasul tefillin and with this there will be a “ktzas
zikaron” to the Tefillin of his ancestor, even if he is unable to use
the Parshios themselves.
This Sefer (in Hebrew), also
contains remarkable stories including miracles, of which the Rav was
personally aware, organized in the order of the Parshios (currently
available for Chumash Bereishis), and is highly recommended to our readers.
Other Shailos presented relate to Kiddush Hashem, and Emunah.
Special Note One: Less than a week ago, we
began reciting "Mashiv HaRuach U'Morid HaGeshem--He causes the wind to blow
and brings down the rain." The Kuntres Avodas HaTefillah adds a bit
more depth to its recitation. Hashem causes the wind to blow--bringing the
clouds to where they are needed, and brings each drop down to its proper
place at its proper time to fulfill its purpose--be it for punishment, be it
for pleasure, or be it to maintain life itself. We must understand that
each and every drop of rain has a place and a purpose, and we should
reinforce this understanding every time we praise Hashem with these words.
The added benefit to this one additional second of Kavannah at Mashiv
HaRuach U'Morid Hageshem is that you will definitely remember whether you
recited Mashiv HaRuach in your Shemone Esrei!
Special Note Two: If one
takes care of his bodily functions after eating something--which Bracha
comes first--the Bracha Achrona on the food previously consumed or Asher
Yotzar? The Mishne Berura (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 7, sif katan 2)
rules that the Asher Yotzar comes first because it is 'tadir', it occurs
Special Note Three:
Although many items in the physical world remind us of spiritual roles and
goals as well (e.g., food for the body teaches that we must always feed the
soul with Torah and Mitzvos; physical ailments represent spiritual ailments,
the beauty of nature provides an inkling of the beauty of Olam Haba, etc.),
there appears to be at least one item in which the physical in no way
resembles the spiritual.
Here on earth, our streets and our highways
are paved with tar, and our sidewalks with tar or cement. Yet, in the
spiritual world, our path is paved with precious jewels, silver, and gold.
The opportunities for Torah and Mitzvos, Emunah and Chesed, Teshuva and
Maasim Tovim, impact and abound from all directions as we march through our
day. Unfortunately, all too often, we write off the opportunity as a
hindrance, annoyance, obligation, or as time that could have otherwise been
spent doing something "productive" instead.
Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, Shlita,
provides a perfect example of this misperception in commenting on last
week's Parsha ("Love Your Neighbor", p. 34). Rabbi Pliskin notes that the
Torah goes out of its way to teach us that Hashem clothed Adam and Chava.
We, by this, are taught to emulate Hashem's ways in providing clothes to the
needy. However, Rabbi Pliskin writes that emulating Hashem in this area
goes way beyond giving clothes to the needy when we clean out our closets.
It also includes other activities such as helping elderly relatives on with
their clothing, making sure that they are warm for winter, and dressing
toddlers and little children--even if they may be your students or your
children. When viewed in this light, going shopping for the family or for
an elderly parent or neighbor on a frigid winter night, or earning the money
to pay a credit card bill become glittering diamonds in place of a banal
drudgery, a necessary and seemingly thankless task.
Hashem, in his great and
incomparable beneficence, gives us whatever each and every one of us needs
every single day in order to build a great eternity for ourselves. We
just have to identify, appreciate and cherish each and every opportunity for
the special and precious jewel that it is. World economics may be in
turmoil, but we remain as spiritually affluent as ever--and these are the
riches that last forever!
Special Note One: Rabbi
Simcha Bunim Cohen, Shlita (in The Laws of Daily Living, Volume 1,
p.17) writes that HaRav Moshe Feinstein, Zt’l, told him that even if one
washes Netilas Yadayim four times on each hand every day of the year, on Yom
Kippur (where there is an Isur Rechitza), one should wash only three times
on each hand.
Special Note Two: Let us
remember that “Ata Nosein Yad Laposhim--Hashem extends His hand to those who
have sinned.” Let us extend our hand in return and try as best we can
tomorrow (and every day!) to give HaKadosh Baruch Hu Nachas Ruach from our
thoughts, words, and deeds! Before doing something--try to think--will this
give Hashem nachas?
Special Note One: Among the
messages received from our readers, we received the following thoughts:
It is a
few days before Yom Kippur and some people are still not on talking terms.
Brothers who don’t speak, sisters, spouses etc. It is a very serious issue
to make peace as soon as possible. It is crazy to wait any longer. We must
say I'm sorry, apologize and ask for forgiveness. And agree to focus on
working out the detailed issues with Hashem’s help. When we take action to
forgive others Hashem will do the same for us. Have a great year. Gmar
“I have long felt that one reason we say
HaMelech HaKadosh in the Aseres Yemei Teshuva is that we prove to
ourselves that we can change the hergel--habit pattern of davening all
year long. If we are forced to change our habit and not daven on
autopilot, we prove to ourselves three times a day that we **CAN**
change our ways if we just put our mind to it.”
Special Note Two: More
Pre-Yom Kippur Notes
Please click here
for a detailed “Ashamnu” excerpted from the Sefer HaDerech L’Teshuva
by HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, Shlita. This Ashamnu provides additional
depth behind each word of the Ashamnu Bagadnu. Please feel free to
Available by clicking
here is the Great Reminder found in
the Sefer Yesod V’Shoresh HoAvodah relating to our thoughts on
the Holy Day of Yom Kippur. Please try to internalize the message--and
feel free to distribute on as well.
In conjunction with The V’Ani Tefillah
provide by clicking here a description of the 5769 World Wide
Yom Kippur Initiative, which each and every one of us can--and
should--join! By being part of this incredible Initiative, you could be
joining with thousands upon thousands in a great act of spiritual unity
and Kiddush Hashem!
Please click here for information on Hakhel’s Yeshiva “MaiChayil
El Choyil”--a special Yeshiva for the study of Torah on Motze’ei Yom
Kippur from 9:30 PM to 10:30 PM( based upon the Avos U’Bonim model in
Eretz Yisroel). After spending most of the day in Teshuva and Tefillah--we
move into Torah! Please join in the Kiddush Hashem. The Yeshiva is
open to boys and men from ages 10 to 120. Great Prizes! The Yeshiva
will be hosted by Kollel Bnei Torah, 2748 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, New
York. For further information, please contact us. You can bring the
Program to your Shul as well!
Over the next several days, we should make a
special effort to give others sincere brachos, and to seek the sincere
brachos of others, and answer a heartfelt Amen to these brachos. We
simply cannot appreciate the great impact sincere brachos make in
Shamayim. The Mishne Berura (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 215, Seif
Koton 9), writes that when one hears someone davening for something or
blessing another Yid, he is **obligated** to answer Amen!
We must remember to do one final search of
our monetary matters before Yom Kippur. The Mishne Berurah (Shulchan
Aruch, Orach Chaim 606, Seif Katan 1), writes that improperly holding
other people’s money is, rachmana l’tzlan, the mikatreg b’rosh--the lead
prosecutor. The Mishne Berurah adds that one should not rely upon his
own decisions in monetary matters with others, “Ki HaYetzer Hora, Yesh
Lo Heterim Harbe--for the Yetzer Hora finds many leniencies”! In
monetary matters or issues with others, one should consult his Rav.
In the Igeres HaTeshuva (1:7)
Rabbeinu Yonah provides a means which we can be extricated from the
great sin of Bitul Torah. He writes that one should take an active part
in supporting Torah study by Rabbonim and Talmidim. This, he writes, is
the meaning of the Pasuk (Mishlei 3:18), “Aitz Chaim Hi LaMachazikim Buh--it
is the Tree of **Life** to those who support it.” Accordingly, if f you
have not already done so, we urge you to send checks for Talmidei
Chachomim/Torah institutions today!
We must remember and spend some time working
out the “Aveiros Kalos”--the so-called lesser transgressions. The
Shaarei Teshuva (1:38) writes that we should not look at the “smallness
of the transgression” but the Greatness of He Who warned against it.
Secondly, if one persists in a small transgression, the successive
accumulation of Sin could be analogized to a delicate and weak strand of
silk which, through constant redoubling, becomes a stout rope.
Moreover, even as to a “small transgression,” a person can be
considered, rachmana l’tzlan, a “mumar--an apostate”--in this particular
respect(!). Finally, Rabbeinu Yonah writes, if the Yetzer Hora gains a
“small victory” over a person today, it can gain a greater victory
tomorrow--so you must stop him today!
On Yom Kippur
itself, before reciting Viduy on each occasion, we should have Kavannah that
we are being Mekayem a Mitzvas Asei (see Minchas Chinuch, Mitzvah 364).
HaRav Chaim Friedlander, Zt’l, calls Yom Kippur a “Yam Shel Rachamim--a Sea
of Mercy,” and Teshuva is the focus of the day. Importantly, two of the
four parts of Teshuva--Remorse, and Resolving Not To Do the Sin Again in the
future are based solely on our thought. [The other two parts to Teshuva,
Viduy, which is the verbal expression of our thoughts, and Azivas HaChet,
not actually doing the sin, are the follow-up to our thoughts.] As Shlomo
HaMelech, the wisest of all men, teaches us in Mishlei (4:23), “M’Kol
Mishmar Nitzor Libicha, Ki Mimenu Totzaos Chaim--More than you guard
anything, safeguard your heart (your thoughts), for from it, are the sources
of life.” Accordingly, we should pay special attention to purifying our
Teshuva thoughts on this Holy Day so that we are blessed with a long and
continuous, meaningful life!
Special Note One: In the Yom
Tov davening, we recite that Hashem is the “Don Yichidi L’Buai Olam--the
Sole Judge of the World.” Is there not a Bais Din Shel Maaleh, a Heavenly
Court? Yes, there is, answers HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita, and they
review the matter with HaKadosh Baruch Hu. However, the final P’sak--the
final ruling--is in the hands of Hashem!
Special Note Two: We received
the following from a reader: “On the inyan of segufim mentioned in Friday’s
bulletin, The Manchester Rosh Hayesihva, Zt’l, told me that the biggest
segufim for a ben Torah is ‘to not be mafsik in the middle of learning’!!!”
Special Note Three: The
Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim, 603) writes that we are more careful, and
search our ways in Aseres Yemei Teshuva. Hakhel has hosted a Tefillin
Awareness Program in many Shuls in the Metropolitan area, in which qualified
Sofrim check individual Tefillin placement of the Shel Rosh and the Shel Yad.
If you would like to bring this program to your Shul, please contact us.
We provide by
clicking here at least some direction as to the proper placement of
the Tefillin Shel Rosh. At this time of year, we urge that you check your
Tefillin placement with your Rav, if necessary (don’t be ashamed!).
Yesterday (Sunday morning), our Tefillin Awareness Program was hosted at the
Young Israel of Teaneck, New Jersey. Yasher Koach!
Special Note Four: We note
that, when reciting “Avinu Malkeinu Kera Roa Gezar Dineinu,” the Mishna
Berura rules that one should put the words “Roa and Gezar” in the same
breath--that is that the evil of the decree should be ripped up, and what is
left should only be mercy (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 584, Mishne Berurah,
Seif Katan 3).
Special Note Five: Several
particular points in our daily Shemone Esrei:
a. In the
first Brocha, we recite that Hashem is Kel Elyon, which is commonly
translated as the “Supreme G-d.” The Sefer Avodas HaTefillah writes
that it also means that Hashem is the “Sibas Kol HaSibos--the Source and
Cause of everything.” This short phrase in the first Brocha, then, should
put us into the proper frame of mind when reciting the entire Shemone Esrei.
Sefer Avodas HaTefillah translates the words “HaMelech HaMishpat” not
simply as the “King of Judgment”, but as the “King Who **now** sits in
judgment.” This should serve to move us towards proper behavior--and at
least to greater concentration at this point in the Shemone Esrei--where
Kavannah could sometimes fail because one is in the middle of the Amidah.
c. It is
fascinating to note that word “Barech” (or a form of the word) appears most
often in the Brachos of Request (the fourth through sixteenth brachos) of
Shemone Esrei in the Brocha in which we request prosperity. Even the first
word of the Brocha begins with “Barech”. Perhaps this is to remind us that
each and every aspect and part of our sustenance and prosperity comes from
Special Note Six: Over the
last while, with the turbulent financial markets, many of us may have
directly or indirectly suffered minor or substantial monetary setbacks or
losses. Chazal teach us that putting your hand into your pocket and not
taking out the coins that you had intended to, is considered yissurim,
affliction which brings kaparah. Most certainly, then, the financial
setbacks one may have recently suffered should be viewed as yissurim as
well, which will bring kaparah. To express this thought, one could state,
for example, “Tihei Yisurai Kaparah Al Kol Avonosei--may my affliction bring
kaparah for my sins.” As Dovid HaMelech himself exclaimed in Tehillim
(25:18), “Re’eh Anye V’Amuli--See my affliction and toil,” and bear all my
iniquity. Indeed, it is said in the name of the Apter Rav, Zt’l, that one
should specifically recite this Pasuk when experiencing pain. We can
definitely analogize here.
Additional Note: One can give
a brocha to someone who has suffered a financial loss as follows: “HaMakom
Yimaelei Chesronech--May Hashem replace [refill] that which you have lost.”
Special Note Seven: If you
study/review one Perek of Sefer Yonah starting today (with Rashi, from a
Sefer about Yonah, etc.), you will complete Sefer Yonah by Yom Kippur.
Please continue to daven for
Rav Scheinberg, who is back in the hospital, R’ Chaim Pinchas Ben Yuspa
We continue with our Erev
Shabbos Hilchos Shabbos series. The following Halachos are excerpted from
the Sefer Meoros HaShabbos:
1. The mitzvah of Shabbos
candles is fulfilled primarily with the candles lit in the place of the
Shabbos meal. Eating by their light is considered Oneg Shabbos, as
discussed above. Therefore, one should eat his Shabbos meal where the
candles are lit. One may not leave them to eat in a different room or in
the yard, unless there is good reason for doing so.
2. Since the meal must be
eaten where the candles are lit, Kiddush must also be recited there, since
Kiddush must be recited where the meal is being eaten. If one lights
candles at home but eats at someone else’s house where candles are lit, his
candles must burn until he returns home, so that he may benefit from them.
If the candles go out before he returns, he did not fulfill the mitzvah,
and his berachah is levatala.
3. Some hotels
forbid lighting candles in the guest’s rooms or even the dining area, for
safety reasons. Instead, they designate a common area where everyone may
light together. If this area will not be used that night, and no one will
benefit from the candles, it is uncertain whether she can fulfill her
obligation to light her candles there. A competent halachic authority
should be consulted in such a case.