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Special Note One:  By clicking here we provide a particularly inspiring true story, presented on the Aish.com website (thank you!), which has multiple lessons.  If you have not already read this story, we believe that it is very worthwhile to read before Yom Kippur, so that you can better appreciate the awesome power of your own personal Yom Kippur Avodah!


Special Note Two:  We continue with our Erev Shabbos--Halachos of Shabbos series:


  1. This Shabbos is known as “Shabbos Shuva” with the word Shabbos coming before the word “Shuva” in order to teach us the preeminence of Shabbos even over matters which could otherwise help us with our Teshuva process.  For instance, we do not recite Selichos on Shabbos today, although, if it was not Shabbos, we would be reciting the Selichos of “Shelosh Esrei Middos,” which is the climax of all of Selichos.  Instead, Shabbos causes us to move these Selichos either to yesterday, Thursday (generally this is Nusach Sefard), or to today, Erev Shabbos (generally this is Nusach Ashkenaz).  Accordingly, we should especially appreciate today’s Kedushas Shabbos--as it pre-empts even the Shelosh Esrei Middos!  On the subject of the “Shelosh Esrei Middos,” we note that some have the custom of reciting Tashlich on the day that they recite the “Shelosh Esrei Middos” (see Sefer Piskei Teshuvos VI: p. 208).  You may want to take this into consideration if you recited these Selichos today, and have not yet recited Tashlich.


  1. The Mishne Berura (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 423, seif katan 2) writes that on each one of the days of the Aseres Yemei Teshuva, a person should look into his ways relating to his activities over the year on that particular day of the week.  Perhaps this is easiest to do for Shabbos, in which a person’s schedule and activities are usually fixed.  A person should reflect:  What mistakes did I make in Hilchos Shabbos last year?  What improvement will I make to my Shabbos table?  Will I start to sing some additional zemiros?  Will I try to have more guests over?  How can I improve my Shabbos Tefillos?  What special Parshas Hashavua commentary will I, bli neder, undertake this year?  This Shabbos is the time to reflect on these special thoughts and make some Shabbos decisions!


3.       Since last Motze’ei Shabbos was Rosh Hashana, and we ate a Yom Tov meal, this Motze’ei Shabbos we will have the Mitzvah of eating Melave Malka as a “stand-alone” Mitzvah.  Well…maybe not.  According to some Poskim, the Mitzvah of eating on Erev Yom Kippur begins on the evening before (see Sefer Piskei Teshuvos 6: p.251).  We would therefore recommend that one have both Kavannos on Motze’ei Shabbos when partaking of this special Seudah--and make it especially nice!


Special Note Three:  According to some authorities, Yom Kippur is the Yartzheit of Rebbe Akiva, who gave his life Al Kiddush Hashem in such an awe-inspiring way.  This may be the reason that we enumerate the Asara Harugei Malchus in Musaf on Yom Kippur.  Undoubtedly, we mention them as well so that their merits stand in our stead.  We additionally note that Yizkor is recited on Yom Kippur--not only because the departed are judged--but also so that their zechusim will help to protect us on the Yom HaDin.

Special Note Four:  In the Musaf Shemone Esrei, we will recite the words “V’ein Anachnu Yecholim La’asos **Chovoseinu** B’vais Bechirasecha--we cannot perform our obligations in the Beis Hamikdash this Yom Kippur because of the foreign hand that has been placed there.”  We must take these words deeply to heart.  It is our “Chov”--our current and existing obligation--to bring Korbonos in the Bais Hamikdash and for the Kohein Gadol to perform the special Avodah on Yom Kippur.  This is not something of the past--nor is it relegated only to the future.  It is something that we must do now, and we are being forced not to do it.  When reciting all of the words relating to Avodas Yom Kippurim we should bring them to life in our minds, and also sincerely yearn in our hearts that we see them in reality in our days!




Special Note One: In these challenging times we are all in need of yeshuos.  By clicking here, we provide a great opportunity to acquire additional zechusim on Yom Kippur itself.  Please e-mail to others--we are talking about incomparable zechusim on the Holiest Day of the Year--when you need them most:


Special Note Two:  We received the following extremely important information on a practical and meaningful Succos Initiative from Project Inspire.  During a period in which we are all looking to do Teshuva, the commitment to help someone else do the same will certainly stand in your stead:  “This Sukkos, let's unite Klal Yisroel by having every frum Yid invite someone less affiliated into their Sukkah.  We all have a family member, neighbor, friend, co-worker, or someone with whom we’ve crossed paths, that we know without our invitation won't be sitting in a Sukkah this year.  You can change that.  Invite them for a meal, a snack, or a Chol Hamoed party.  To make it even easier for you, we will send you a free informational kit that includes explanation and tips on how to make your Sukkah party more enjoyable for you and your guests.”


To join the program and receive your kit, contact Project Inspire at 646-461-3339 or cfeiman@projectinspire.com.  You can also register and download the kit at www.kiruv.com.



Special Note Three:  Several notes on Teshuva and the Aseres Yemei Teshuva:


  1. Rabbeinu Yonah in the classic Sefer Sha’arei Teshuva ( 3:17 ) writes that there is a Mitzvas Asei in the Torah of “U’Vacharta BaChaim--to Choose Life.”  What a great gift--a Mitzvah simply to choose life!  As we search our ways and deeds during these unparalleled days so that we merit life…we are actually fulfilling a separate Mitzvah of choosing life.  Let us perform this Mitzvah with Hiddur by thoughtfully and meaningfully improving our lifestyles and our ways!


  1. In order to appreciate the words of Rabbeinu Yonah from a different angle, we must remember the words of Chazal who teach that the Aseres Yemei Teshuva are for the “Bainonim”--those in the middle who are not Tzadikim and not Reshaim.  Chazal further teach that during the Aseres Yemei Teshuva, the “Bainonim” are “Teluyim V’Omdim--hanging and standing.”  HaRav Chaim Shmuelevitz, Z’tl, explains that Chazal intentionally used the word “hanging” so that a person recognizes the state he may be in.  He is figuratively “hanging and standing”--i.e., he is standing on a chair with a noose around his neck.  His judgment will soon be passed.  If his merits increase, the noose will be removed, and he will have a new lease on life.  On the other hand, if he does not increase his merits, the chair is kicked out.  A very sobering thought, but the choice is up to him.


  1. The Sha’arei Teshuva writes that a Ba’al Teshuva should increase his merit through Torah study.  If he had previously learned one Posuk, one Daf, one Perek, now let him learn two.  HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita, explains this to mean that one does not necessarily have to learn quantitatively more.  Instead, he need only improve his Torah study in some way--by spending more time with an extra Mishna, Chavrusa, or Shiur, by making sure to learn Halacha and Mussar every day, or by simply looking into something more in depth, one is demonstrating his aspiration for Teshuva.


  1. In this regard, HaRav Eliyahu Lopian, Z’tl, explains that while one who is dedicated to Torah is referred to as a “Ben Torah,” one who is a dedicated accountant is not referred to as a “Ben Cheshbon,” nor is an accomplished businessman referred to as a “Ben Aisek.”  The reason is that through the study of Torah, the Ben Torah views Torah as a parent--guiding him, teaching him and caring for him, so that he becomes a different person than he would have been without the Torah.  In a sense, the Torah is giving birth to a new individual, bringing out the potential within that would have otherwise lain dormant.  The disciplines, however, do not get to the core--the inner self--of the person, and leave his spiritual essence raw and untouched.  Thus, when studying Torah, one is not only giving Nachas Ruach to Hashem, one is bringing out the higher form of life pent up within him!


  1. The Chofetz Chaim notes that there are two successive requests in the Tefillah of Avinu Malkainu we are now reciting daily, which don’t seem to match up.  First, we ask Hashem to “Kaleh Kol Tzar U’Mastin Mai’Aleinu--to destroy all of our foes and enemies.”  Then, we immediately request of Hashem that He be “Sisom Piyos Mastinainu--that He simply close the mouths of our enemies.”  If they have been destroyed--as we have just requested--than why follow up with the need to silence them?  The Chofetz Chaim answers that we may not have enough merit for them to be destroyed--so we ask that they at least be silenced!  He explains, however, that this request to silence them will only be granted if we make proper use of our mouths so that we can be rewarded Middah KeNeged Middah with Hashem’s sealing theirs.  As we look around the world today, enemies and erstwhile friends hover over us, some openly exclaiming that they want to destroy us, and some trying to do so in more clandestine ways.  If we have not yet merited their immediate destruction, let us merit Hashem’s silencing them through our remaining silent when we should--and through a rededication of our mouths to Torah, Tefillah and positive speech!



Special Note One:  By accessing this link by clicking here, we provide special and actually exciting information regarding a great new Initiative of our time, The Morning Machsom L'fi, a free program aimed at unifying Jews throughout the world in an effort of Shmiras Haloshon, specifically from 9-10AM each morning.  The link is to a beautiful, easy to navigate site whose daily reminders are inspirational and outstanding.


What more to this can we add than the words of Shlomo HaMelech, the wisest of all men, who teaches us in Mishlei ( 18:21 ) “Mavess VeChaim BeYad Lashon--death and life is in the hand of the tongue.”  During this especially auspicious week--it is most certainly the time to choose life!  By participating in this Initiative, you will join with tens of thousands of others as a group (what a zechus!), and can simultaneously keep the Machsom L’fi as a personal zechus for a Refuah Sheleima, Shidduch, Parnossah, etc.  Opportunities such as these are almost incomparable.


Special Note Two:  The Sefer Piskei Teshuvos (VI: p. 254, 255) specifically writes that one must appease his friend even if his friend is wrong, and even if his friend provoked him, to the extent that he hurled insults upon him.  The Piskei Teshuvos adds that people do the wrong thing when they go around asking their close friends “Do you Mochel me?”, “Do you Mochel me?”, rather than spending the time to speak to those with whom there has been friction or difficulties, asking them for Mechila--which is really what is important.


Special Note Three:  We provide the following points relating to Teshuva and the Aseres Yemei Teshuva:


  1. When we recite the words in Selichos and on Yom Kippur of “Aval Anachnu VaAvoseinu Chatanu--but we and our forefathers have sinned,” we must remember that they are actually part of the Vidui itself.  In fact, the Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva (2:8) calls these words the “Ikar” of Vidui.  Accordingly, it would appear that one should be slightly bowed over as he recites these words, as in the remainder of the Vidui.


  1. There are ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and ten chapters in Hilchos Teshuva of the Rambam.  Do you think that the Rambam is suggesting that we learn one chapter a day over the Aseres Yemei Teshuva?  Well, at this point, we can learn two chapters a day…and still finish before Yom Kippur!


  1. Chazal teach that during the Aseres Yemei Teshuva we recite HaMelech Hakodosh, rather than HaKel Hakodosh.  Why is it that HaMelech must replace HaKel in the bracha?  Can’t we just add HaMelech before or after HaKel, so that it is HaKel HaMelech Hakodosh?  After all, as we concluded U’Nesaneh Tokef, did we not cry out that Hashem is Melech Kel Chai V’Kayam?  Moreover, Kel is even in the Shelosh Esrei Middos that we have been reciting and will continue to recite so many important times through the end of Yom Kippur.  Why not continue to include it in the bracha, as we do on the other 344 days of the year?!  We look forward to your thoughts!


  1. The recent news item regarding the possible scarcity of Hadasim available in Chutz La’aretz should not be viewed merely as another news item or another additional expense we will have to bear.  We should think about what Hadasim represent, and why Hashem is especially reminding us about them at this time.  Do we realize how “precious” our Talmidei Chachamim are?  Do we give them all of the proper respect and regard that is due them?  How can I personally improve in this area?  Alternatively, Hadasim also symbolize the eyes.  Am I properly utilizing my eyes?  Do I make the Brocha of “Pokeach Ivrim” every day with real thanks?  Everybody can think about his own lesson--and really take meaningful action--showing Hashem that you understand--and that you care!




The Rema (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 423) does not write extensively about the Aseres Yemei Teshuva.  Specifically, he writes the following, “It is appropriate for every person to search through and scrutinize his deeds and do Teshuva as necessary.”  However, the Rema adds *just one other thing*--“A Sofek Aveira--an aveira that one is unsure about--requires more Teshuva than an aveira which was certainly committed, because one does not feel so sorry about an aveira that he is unsure he performed.  It is for this reason that the Korban for an Asham Tolui (the Korban brought if one is unsure he performed certain aveiros) actually costs more than a Korban Chatos (brought for an aveira definitely committed).”  Based on these sparse words of the Rema, we must be sure to reflect upon those words and deeds we were unsure about, looking up the Halacha in a sefer, or consulting with a Rav, in order to properly and honestly fulfill our mission and goal during this most special of weeks!


The following incredible Kabala is based upon a Shiur given by HaRav Don Segel, Shlita, in the Five Towns area of New York , as related by Rav Yosef Eisen, Shlita.  In the Shiur, HaRav Segel taught about the importance a person should place on making proper brachos throughout the day.  He than gave the following simple yet phenomenal suggestion to permanently improve your bracha recitation:  Divide the bracha into three parts and focus on the meaning of each section separately:  1) “Baruch Ata Hashem”...(This is praise and thanks, and your statement that “Hashem, You are the Source of all bracha, and bring more and more continuously to this world”....);  2) “Elokeinu Melech Ha’Olam”...(“You are All-Powerful, and Rule over the Whole World”...); 3) The specific nature of the bracha--Borei Pri/HaMotzi/Asher Kideshanu...specifically appreciating the specific item or event that we are making a bracha over.


Isn’t this Kabala suggestion too wonderful and practical ...to simply let it go by?  If it seems too great an undertaking all the time, perhaps start with a certain bracha, or certain brachos in the day?  Remember, you are in the heart of the Aseres Yemei Teshuva--so there is no better time to start than right now.  If you have a food item in front of you--try it!



Special Note One:  We provide below several important points and reminders prior to Rosh Hashana:


  1. If one asks for forgiveness now, and does not wait until Erev Yom Kippur, he has most certainly increased his merits prior to the Yom HaDin.  May we additionally suggest that you make a special effort not to annoy others with your conduct or speech, for if you treat others with courtesy, pleasantness and caring, there is a Middah KeNeged Middah for you to be blessed with the same.  By clicking here, you will find related teachings of Chazal, as to how one can be Zoche BeDin.  If someone would merely provide you with his reasoned thoughts on how you could win the lottery, wouldn’t you lend a listening ear?  Well, here we have (lehavdil) none other than Chazal--teaching us how we can win--our lives!

  2. In furtherance of the previous note, we provide by clicking here a Tefillah to Hashem that you judge others L’Chaf Zechus 

  3. Last year, we had suggested that a person count the number of times he recites Asher Yotzar every day--for a year--and add up the actual number of miracles that he experienced over the year in the ordinary course of his bodily functions!  For those who did not take us up on the suggestion last year, and experienced or know someone experiencing difficulties with these functions, perhaps (as a zechus, or in appreciation) one can make an actual Asher Yotzar count one of his goals for this year!

  4. The Sefer Mesilas Yesharim ends with two extremely potent Pesukim that we recite daily in Shacharis.  Can you identify them?  Would it not be extremely meaningful to have special Kavannah in them every day?!

  5. As we have noted before, when making a brocha, is it “Melechaolam” (what does this mean?), or is it “Melech HaOlam”?  The difference, quite literally, is rulership over the world!

  6. A Rav asked us to remind our readers that before a woman performs Hadlakas Neiros on Motza’ei Shabbos (if she has not davened Ma’ariv) she should recite “Boruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh L’Kodesh.”

  7. Each one of us is really very wealthy in many ways.  Among those ways is that commencing on Rosh Hashana we can begin many different programs which are broken down into daily segments, including: Positive Word Power (the new Sefer published by The Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation; Praying with Fire; Praying with Fire II; and The Chofetz Chaim a Lesson a Day.  Which treasure will you choose?  Truth be told, you can choose more than one!

  8. We provide the following words from HaRav Shimon Schwab, Zt’l, (as found in Day 83 of Praying with Fire): “For Hashem’s sake, let us be quiet in the Beis Haknesses.  Our reverent silence during the Tefillah will speak very loudly to Him, Who holds our fate in His hands.  Communicating with Hashem is our only recourse in this era of trial and tribulations.  There is too much ugly noise in our world today.  Let us find peace and tranquility while we stand before Hashem in prayer!”

  9. We provide by clicking here a listing of OU products which are Pas Yisroel all year round, and which can be especially helpful to all during the Aseres Yemei Teshuva.

  10. The Elef Hamagein notes that Selichos is structured as an additional Tefillah during the day--beginning with Ashrei, continuing with Selichos (whose supplications parallel Shemone Esrei) and concluding with Tachanun.  What a special privilege it is to recite this special Tefillah every day until Yom Kippur--with especially detailed requests on Erev Rosh Hashana when we need them so much!


Special Note Two:  HaRav Eliyahu Lopian, Z’tl, (Lev Eliyahu 3: p. 269) notes that when the first day of Rosh Hashana occurs on Shabbos, we do not blow Shofar because Chazal made a Gezeira lest one forget and carry the Shofar outside where there is no Eruv.  Accordingly, millions of people over the ages have not heard Shofar on Rosh Hashana because we are concerned that one individual may inadvertently carry the Shofar out on Shabbos.  Why?!  What immense lessons there are to be learned from here, he writes:  First, to teach you how significant even one Aveira B’Shogeg really is.  Second, to teach you how important every individual is.  Third, to teach you how great Kedushas Shabbos is--for on the Yom Hadin itself, we rely on the merit of the remembrance of a Teruah--a Zichron Teruah, rather than the Teruah itself--all in honor of Kedushas Shabbos!



Special Note Three:  We have now reached the Thirteenth of the Thirteen Attributes of Hashem that we are to emulate, which are embedded in the Posuk of “Mi Keil Kamocha,” and so meaningfully explained in the Sefer Tomer Devorah by HaRav Moshe Cordevero, z’tl.


Middah Thirteen:  Mi’Mei Kedem--From Days of Old.


“When the merit of the Avos and all other merits are exhausted, what can He do for us?  He does as it is written, ‘I recall for your sake, the kindness of your youth, the love of your bridal days, how you followed Me in the wilderness, in an unsown land’ (Yirmiyahu 2:2).  Hashem recalls the olden days and the previous love He had then [towards Bnei Yisroel], and has mercy on us.  With this, He remembers all the mitzvos they have fulfilled since our birth as a nation, and all the favors and good qualities with which He conducts His world.  Similarly, man should perfect his conduct towards other people.  Even if he cannot find a reason for loving and having mercy on his fellows from among the first twelve Attributes, he should say, ‘There was surely a previous time when they had not yet sinned, and in that time or in their days of old they were righteous.’  For their sake, he should recall the good which they did in their youth, and recall for their sake the love of infants who have just been weaned from their mother.  This way, he will not find a single person unworthy of benefiting him, praying for his well-being, and having mercy on him.”


This completes our explanation of the Thirteen Attributes in which a person should emulate his Creator.  These are the Supernal Attributes of Mercy, and their quality is, that just as a person conducts himself in this world below, so will he be worthy of opening up the channel of the same Supernal Attribute Above.  Exactly according to his conduct, so will he bestow above in the Supernal World the same, and he will cause that Supernal attribute to shine here in this world.  For this reason, one should not divert his mind from these Thirteen Attributes or allow these verses to depart from his mouth; so that he should remember them when a situation arises requiring the use of one of these attributes.  He should then remind himself and say: “Behold, the action which is required in this situation is contingent on this particular attribute.  I will not budge from it, so that Hashem, too, brings these Attributes into this World!”



We received the following notice from Partners In Torah:  The Kohelet Fellowships at (KoheletFellowships.com) is an incentive based learning program for the parents of Day School students in the Philadelphia area.  We are looking for volunteer mentors to learn one on two with married couples over the phone generally in the evenings for sixteen sessions of about 45 minutes each.  The material is set out for them in the form of a prepared curriculum of source sheets.  The program will begin after the Chagim during the week of October 18th.  The challenge we have is that we are way over-subscribed in terms of interest from the parents, and our donor would like us to handle everyone who would like to learn.  The ideal mentor is either a man or woman, 30-55 years old, Jewish day school education, who is happy and has a healthy relationship to Hashem and Torah.  We will be interviewing each mentor over the phone in order to determine which parents would best match with them for the learning.  If you have questions or would like to volunteer, please email YaacovDeyo@partnersintorah.org or call him at 732.917.6378.




A reader has advised us that “Gummy Fish” candy under the company ‘Bazzini’ bears an unauthorized OU symbol and is being withdrawn from the marketplace.  Consumers spotting the product are requested to contact the OU at 212-603-8241.




For those who missed the Motze’ei Shabbos teleconference with Rabbi Berkowitz, Shlita, it is available on the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation Chazak Line by calling 718-258-2008 or in Eretz Yisrael 03-929-0707 and choosing menu option 4, selection 4.


Hakhel Note: Another great resource of the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation is its Shmiras Haloshon Shaila Hotline, in which experienced poskim in the areas of Shmiras Haloshon are available to answer your particular Shailos in Shidduchim, business and personal matters as they arise, is an excellent resource.  The hours are Monday through Thursday and Motze’ei Shabbos from 9-10:30 PM EST , and in emergencies.  The phone number of the Hotline is 718-951-3696.  Please call with any last minute Shailos before Rosh Hashana!



Special Note One:  For our Tefillah focus, we urge everyone to continue to be Mispallel in Ata Chonein for Hashem to give us the right thoughts and ideas to focus upon in order to best utilize and gain from the awesome period that we are fast approaching.  Additionally, may we suggest that you begin looking for the word “Melech” throughout the many places it appears in davening, in order to have the concept closer to you on Rosh Hashana and the days ahead.  To that end, please click here for a notice that recently appeared in a publication and attributed, in part, to Rabbi Shlomo Brevda, Shlita, about the meaning of the word “Melech” and the phrase “Ain Od Milvado.”



Special Note Two:  When we see an older person who is full of zest and energy, we say that he is “full of life.”  Life is something that we will all be beseeching over the next several days.  It is especially important, then, to rid ourselves of feelings of laziness (why am I not turning the page in the Siddur? learning one more Posuk? giving that word of encouragement? picking up the object form the floor?...), and likewise eradicate that thought or thoughts of despair, instead acting with special vigor and energy--in short, being “full of life”--when performing mitzvos.  Indeed, the Shelah HaKadosh writes that “It is a great principle, when performing mitzvos, that they be performed with alacrity and great joy--as if one was first commanded to perform them today.”  May Hashem, on a “Midah K’Neged Midah” basis, grant more and more life to those who put more life into their Mitzvos!


Special Note Three:  We continue with the twelfth of the 13 Attributes of Hashem we are to emulate, as so meaningfully described in the Sefer Tomer Devorah.


Middah Twelve:  “Asher Nishbata LaAvoseinu--As You Have Sworn To Our Forefathers”


“Some people are unworthy, yet Hashem has mercy on them.  Chazal (Berachos 7) explain the Pasuk ‘I shall show favor to whom I choose to show favor’ (Shemos 33:19) as Hashem granting storehouses of grace and favor even for those who are unworthy.  This is because Hashem says, ‘They have the zechus of the Avos.  I made an oath to the Avos, so even if they are unworthy, they will merit, because they are offspring of the Avos.  Therefore, I will lead them and guide them until they are perfected.’  Man should also behave in this same manner.  Even if he encounters wicked people, he should not behave cruelly towards them or taunt them and so on.  Rather, he should have mercy on them, and say, ‘Ultimately, they are the children of Avrohom, Yitzchok, and Yaakov.  Though they may not be righteous, their forefathers were righteous and worthy, and one who despises the sons despises the fathers [too].  I do not wish their fathers to be despised because of me!’  Instead, one should help to improve them, as much as is in his power--for we share our great forefathers together.”






We continue with the eleventh of the 13 Attributes of Hashem which we must emulate, as so meaningfully described in the Sefer Tomer Devorah by HaRav Moshe Cordevero,z’tl:


Middah Eleven:  Chesed LeAvraham--Kindness To Avrohom


“For those who conduct themselves in this world beyond the requirements of the law, like Avrohom Avinu, Hashem will also conduct Himself towards them in a way that goes beyond the requirements of the law.  That is, He does not deal with them according to the strict letter of justice, nor even according to the path of uprightness.  Rather, He goes with them beyond the attribute of uprightness, just as they conduct themselves.  This is the attribute of ‘Kindness to Avrohom’--HaKadosh Baruch Hu acts with the attribute of kindness towards those who conduct themselves like Avrohom.  So, too although one may conduct himself with righteousness, uprightness and justice towards all men, towards those who are particularly good and pious, his conduct should go beyond the requirements of the Law.  If towards other people he is a bit tolerant, with these pious men he should be much more so.  He should have mercy on them, going with them beyond the requirement of the law in which he may otherwise conduct himself towards others.”



Special Note One:  We provide by the following link  -- http://tinyurl.com/p5hmhy  -- the Star-K’s approved list of over-the-counter medications.  We thank the Star-K (Rabbi Dovid Heber, Shlita) for providing this great service to the community, and of course urge you to consult with your Rav or Posek regarding any particular product or question that you may have.



Special Note Two:  If one tears an important piece of paper in a split second, whether or not it was done willingly, the fact of the matter is that it remains torn, and will remain that way for days, months and years, until the paper is taped.  Indeed, if not timely repaired, the rip can get larger and larger, and at some point it may even become irreparable.  When a person sins in a moment of indiscretion, he has not simply committed a “split second aveira,” with everything back to normal the next minute.  The tear is there--and remains.  He must tape it as soon as possible in order to best repair it, and, in fact, the longer one waits, the greater the jeopardy of a worse and even irretrievable loss.  We must spend time this week fixing the tears that exist.  The first that should be mended are either those that are most torn, those which we are too used to (“it is what it is”), and those in which you have unjustifiably despaired of the rip.



Special Note Three:  As is clear from the Sefer Raishis Chochma, Chayei Odom and Lev Eliyahu, for men the greatest Teshuva can be accomplished through improvement in Torah study.  The Chofetz Chaim (Parshas Nitzavim) calls the Torah “the Glick of this world--the most important item in Olam Hazeh.”  We asked a Dayan and Posek what would be the equivalent for women in her Teshuva process?  He responded that it is Teshuva in gaining the proper knowledge and application of laws that apply to women, and in acts of Chesed.  Nobody can hide behind the other’s coattails--as the Mishna in Rosh Hashanah teaches, each of us pass singularly before Hashem on Rosh Hashanah, and so each of us must take enough stock and action--so that it is clearly noticeable that it is not the same person passing through now as it was only several days or weeks ago!



Special Note Four:  We continue with the tenth of the Thirteen Attributes of Hashem, all based in the Pasuk of ‘Mi Kail Komocha…’, which we recite at Tashlich, and as explained in the Sefer Tomer Devorah.


Middah Ten:  Titein Emes LeYaakov--Grant Truth to Yaakov


“We describe HaKadosh Baruch Hu with the attribute of Truth, with regard to the reality of His uprightness.  And to those who conduct themselves in this world with uprightness Hashem also conducts Himself toward them with this quality of truth, having mercy on them in a way that is upright and just.  So, too, a person should act towards his fellow in a way that is upright and true, never perverting the justice of his friend.  He should have true mercy on him, just as the Hashem has mercy on His creatures of average stature, according to this quality of [His and their] truthfulness, in order to perfect them.”


When you practice truth on occasion after occasion, in statement after statement, day after day--you are emulating Hashem--who will bring True mercy upon you.


Special Note One:  We now have one week left until the last day of the year, Erev Rosh Hashana.  There is so much to do, so much to think about, so much to look back upon--and to look forward to.  How do we put it all together?  Perhaps the first step is to ask Hashem for help--even for this!  When reciting the bracha of “Ata Chonen” every day, think of how much you need him to grant you the right insight, the right decisions, the right thoughts on self-improvement, the right goals…a tear (or complete sincerity) while thinking about the help that you need would appear very appropriate.  This is what we suggest you focus on in Shemone Esrei today and Sunday.  Remember, it’s your life--and no one cares, or should care, more about it--than you!



Special Note Two:  As part of taking stock, one should not overlook the items or money he has borrowed or lent to others, who he owns a phone call or apology to, and, perhaps, that thing about him that he knows bothers people most, but that he has failed to correct because it is “him.”  If you realize that your mannerism or “custom” really does irk family, friends, or colleagues, maybe it should become part of the “Nachpesa Deracheinu”--the search of our ways so essential to steering us back to the proper path in life.



Special Note Three:  We continue with our Erev Shabbos--Hilchos Shabbos Series.


  1. As this is the last Shabbos of the year, it is certainly a time to be especially careful with our Kedushas Shabbos--zemiros, the way we speak, our care with muktza matters, looking up those Shabbos halachos we were unsure of and that we have meant to look up for a long time… and any Inyanei Shabbos that we know could use our personal tweaking.


  1. HaRav Chaim Kanievski, Shlita, was asked the following question:  If it is forbidden to say Vidui on Shabbos, how can one do Teshuva--does he have to wait until after Shabbos to do Teshuva?  HaRav Kanievski responded that one should accept the other aspects of Teshuva upon himself--i.e., feeling sorry for what he has done, and accepting upon oneself not do the aveira again, and that the Vidui need not be done then.  The only reason that one does not recite Vidui on Shabbos, he added, is because we don’t generally recite personal Tefillos on Shabbos, and Vidui would be similar to a personal Tefilla.


3.The following Halachos are presented in the essential work The 39 Melachos by Rabbi Dovid Ribiat, Shlita.  If you have particular questions as to application of the Halacha, please consult your Rav or Posek:


a.  One must be especially careful not to bite any loose skin on his lips or gums (even if its presence is disturbing to you) because of the Melacha of Gozez.  Similarly, pulling or rubbing off loose skin from between fingers or toes is forbidden.


b.  A Band-Aid has a small cloth pad in its center which is meant to cover the wound area.  This cloth may not be wetted on Shabbos, just as any cloth may not be soaked on Shabbos because of the Melacha of Melabein.


c.  If a drink spilled on a tablecloth, one may gently place napkins over the wet area to absorb the surface liquid.  However, one may not press a dry cloth or paper napkin against the wet area to draw out the moisture, because this is an act of Sechita.


d.  One may not suck his bleeding gums or bleeding wound (inside the mouth--if bleeding outside the mouth, one may not ingest the blood even on a weekday).  One may not use a toothpick on his teeth (or near his gums) if he knows that his gums are sensitive and will bleed easily when scraped or irritated.  Similarly, one may not scratch sensitive skin if he knows that it will probably cause bleeding.



Special Note Four:  We continue our review of the thirteen important Attributes in which we are to emulate Hashem, as brought home to us in the Sefer Tomer Devorah.  As we move closer to Rosh Hashanah, we are up to the Ninth Middah.


Middah Nine:  Vetashlich BiMzulos Yam--And You Will Cast Into the Depths of the Sea All of Their Sins.


When Bnai Yisroel sinned, He delivered them into the hands of Pharoh and they repented.  If so, why should He punish Pharoh, or Sancheriv or Haman and others like them?  The reason for this is that the HaKadosh Baruch Hu decreed upon His world that all who bring suffering upon Bnai Yisroel shall be nullified.  That is why Hashem decreed that the animal which was involved in human transgression resulting in a man’s execution must be killed (Vayikra 20:15 ).  Similarly, the stones used to carry out the sentence of those condemned to death by stoning, and the sword used to carry out the sentence of decapitation, must be buried (Sanhedrin 45B), in order to nullify their existence and power after they have been used to carry out the judgment.  When Bnai Yisroel were given over into the hand of the Babylonian king, symbolized by ‘a head of gold’ (Doniel 2:32-34) this same ‘head’ was eventually subjugated and given over into the hands of Persia, symbolized by ‘a silver chest and arms,’ who was, in turn, expelled by another nation, and so on, until Bnai Yisroel descended to the fourth Kingdom of Edom and Yishmael, symbolized by ‘legs of iron and clay.’  And what will be the final good ending?  Eventually, HaKadosh Baruch Hu will uplift us and execute justice upon those kingdoms.  As it is written, ‘And then the parts of iron, clay, brass, silver, and gold will be crushed together’ (Doniel 2:35 ).  The reason for this is that after Bnai Yisroel receive their judgment, Hashem exacts retribution for their insult and suffering.  And furthermore, ‘I was angered only a little, and the nations of the world helped to do more evil than required’ (Zecharya 1:15 ).


“This, too, is an attribute that man should use in his behavior toward his fellow. Even if the latter [like Bnai Yisroel] has acted improperly and has been punished by the afflictions of others, do not hate him, for ‘after having been whipped, he is like your brother’ (Makkos 23B).  Befriend the rebellious and those who have been punished and have mercy on them.  And on the contrary, save them from their enemies, and don't say, ‘His own sin caused his suffering.’  Rather, have mercy on them in accordance with this Attribute, just as Hashem has mercy on Bnai Yisroel, and will eventually exact punishment on those who afflicted them.”



Special Note Five:  This Sunday is the Yahrzeit of the Chofetz Chaim.  We provide a sampling of his essential teachings, excerpted from the excellent sefer Give Us Life, collected and edited by HaRav Mendel Weinbach, Shlita:


1.  Everything approaching its end summons all of its energies for a last stand.  A candle’s brightest flame appears before it dies, and it is always darkest before dawn.  The power of evil is approaching its end so it has summoned all of its resources and massed the greatest attack in history on the forces of good.


2.  People often say “This world is also a world,” but the truth is that “Only this world is a world” because only here can a person improve and accomplish.  This is the World of Action, the World to Come is only for the reward.


  1. Good manners require a person to carefully prepare for an audience with an important official.  If one is privileged to see the king, he takes several days to get ready.  So if Chazal tell us that we must prepare for a lifetime before entering the palace of the King of Kings we must appreciate how supremely exalted this palace must be.


  1. The reward mentioned by the Torah for certain Mitzvohs such as honoring parents is not their real payment for that is only due in the World to Come.  The small reward we receive in the meantime is like the meals given to the king’s soldiers which are not subtracted from their pay.


  1. Teshuva must be performed with great energy. A person should return to Hashem with at least the same degree of enthusiasm and energy with which he had sinned.


  1. The greatest sinner will be called to account for the slightest wrongdoing because his terrible record is no license for further evil.  The Rambam writes that the wicked King Yerovom will be punished for not fulfilling the mitzvah of Eruv Tavshilin.


  1. Just as there are rich and poor, strong and weak, so do people vary in their talents and abilities in Avodas Hashem.  The Torah therefore commands; “You shall love Hashem with *your* heart, *your* soul and *your* might--each man according to his particular powers.  Additionally, the real meaning of “all your might” is whatever is most precious to you--Chazal knew that to most people money is the most precious item.  However, to someone who Torah and Mitzvos is most precious, he must be prepared to sacrifice even these, if necessary, for the honor of Hashem.  A Rosh Yeshiva, for example, must be prepared to sacrifice his own Torah study--his “all your might”--in order that Torah may flourish among his disciples.


  1. An orderly, efficient shopkeeper knows exactly where each item in his stock is located and its precise value. An orderly Jew does every act with Hashem in mind because he knows that the simplest act--like the simplest ware--can bring a tremendous profit if it is used correctly.


  1.  I am neither a Chosid or a Misnagid.  My only ambition is to fulfill what is written in Shulchan Aruch.  Chazal teach that a person will be asked whether he set aside times for Torah study and whether he dealt honestly in business.  There is no mention of ever being asked whether one is a Chosid or Misnagid.


  1. If you should ask your wife for Shabbos Kugel on Friday she will suggest that you eat something else because “ this Kugel is for Shabbos”. Honor is like Kugel and is only to be enjoyed on the day which is forever Shabbos--Olam Haba.  If you eat the Kugel today, you may go hungry on Shabbos.


  1. Even a small storekeeper keeps a record to know  the small amounts that his customers owe him. Let us not fail to keep records of our life in this world--for it affects us for eternity.


  1. A Torah supporter gives a few copper coins and the institution he supports gives him a share in an eternal Torah.


  1. HaRav Yisroel Salanter, Z’tl, compared momentary interruption in Torah study to the uprooting of two feet of railway track from a line stretching for thousands of miles.  Just as this seemingly insignificant act can wreak havoc upon the railroad, so too can a break in Torah study.


  1. One of the signs given by Chazal of a madman is that he sleeps overnight in a graveyard.  A man has the opportunity of returning from the grave to a new and eternal life by studying or supporting Torah.  If he wastes this opportunity and remains forever sleeping in the graveyard, he is truly a madman.


  1. What good is our Selichos if all we do is tell Hashem our sins?  He knows them well enough already.  Our duty is to resolve not to repeat our foolishness!



Special Note Six: We provide the following remarkable and compelling insight from the Sefer Geulah B’Rachamim by Rabbi Pinchas Winston, Shlita.


“In a world of about 6.6 billion people, it is hard to imagine making a difference to history.  Even if we talk only about the Jewish nation, which has a population of about 12 million people worldwide, it is hard to imagine, for the average Jew, making a significant impact on the direction and success of the Jewish people as a whole.  However, often what stands between the Makers and the Pawns of history is not money, position, or power.  It is usually two things:  perception of a problem and the desire to do something about it.  You can't fix something that you can't see is broken, and, you won't try to fix that which you think you can't fix.  A person who was planning a project to have a significant, and seemingly impossible, impact on the Jewish people was asked, " What do you expect to do?  How do you expect to reach that many people, and, even if you reach them, how do you expect them to change their minds and get them to hear your message? Undaunted, he answered, "What difference does it make?  What is the alternative, no project at all?  If I do nothing, I will fail for sure.  If I do something, even if I fail, I will know, at least, that I did my best to succeed.  Don't forget that Pinchas required 12 miracles to make him successful against Zimri (Bamidbar Rabbah 20:26).  In other words, naturally speaking, the odds were stacked against him, and yet, that didn't stop him, because win or lose, he had to choose, and he chose to make a difference.  This is what the Talmud says:  One who comes to purify himself, they help him...  “One who comes to sanctify himself, they sanctify him” (Shabbos 104a).  In other words, our responsibility is to make the effort, to take steps in the right direction, and leave the rest up to Heaven.  We only have to make an opening the size of a pinhole, and Heaven will find a way to drive a wagon through it.  In Hashem’s world, small efforts can have huge effects, when they are in the right direction and with the right intention.  As we learn from the Torah, crises, from a Divine perspective, are really spiritual opportunities.  As chaotic as history can seem to become, it is never out of control, at least not out of Hashem’s control.  Even in the worst circumstances, there remains an opportunity to rise to the occasion and make a difference on some level.  In the Torah, Pinchas merited to end the crisis in his time because he had developed himself into the kind of zealot who could perform the necessary deed.  The daughters of Tzelofchad merited to teach an important law regarding inheritance of Eretz Yisroel because of their inherent love of the land, like their great ancestor before them (Rashi, Bamidbar 27:4).


“If we plan to make a difference during the quiet times, then Hashem will find a way to give us the opportunity to do so during the times of crisis.”


Hakhel Note:  The next move is up to each and every one of us--please think about it--and do something!



Special Note One:  At the recent Hakhel Shiur, HaRav Reuvain Feinstein, Shlita, provided extremely important insights into our everyday Emunah.  Of the many practical points made, he suggested that we carefully review the very first of the Ani Ma’Amin Principles.  This Ani Ma’Amin is perhaps the base premise for all of the rest of the Ani Ma’Amins, and consequently of all that we know and believe in.  It states emphatically and categorically that one must completely believe that Hashem is the “Borei U’Manhig--the Creator and One Who guides all creatures,” and Who alone “Asa, Oseh, Ve’Ya’aseh L’Chol Hamaasim--He alone made, makes, and will make everything.”  When we fully appreciate and apply this fundamental principle, life takes on a different picture and meaning.  As Rabbi Moshe Goldberger, Shlita, writes in his work Two Choices:


a.       “Imagine that you are driving along peacefully when a somewhat slow driver gets in front of you.  How do you react based upon the aforementioned principle?  You catch your breath and say or think:  ‘Thank you Hashem for this message to slow down to avoid a ticket, an accident, getting to your destination too early which may have meant trouble-- or simply to improve my Middah of Savlanus!’

b.      “Similarly, one will view the situation or person in front of him as an opportunity, and not a problem; as a challenge, and not a setback; as someone sent to you by Hashem as a friend in disguise and not as someone you dislike...”


It would serve us well to recite this Ani Ma’Amin several times during the day, and it should be ever fluent on our lips!



Special Note Two:  The Kuntres Avodas HaTefilla by Rabbi Meyer Birnbaum, Shlita, provides an important insight into the final words of the first Bracha of Shemone Esrei, “Melech Ozer U’Moshea U’Magen.”  Rabbi Birnbaum writes that although Hashem is “Melech”--King of an entirely unfathomable Universe, He nevertheless helps, saves, and shields each and every one of us personally.  Accordingly, when we proclaim Hashem as “Melech” over us, we are recognizing His greatness and kindness to us in taking care of us individually in a way which He and only He knows is best.  We should certainly feel a special measure of joy when we put the word “Melech” together with the words “Ozer U’Moshea U’Magen.”  As we continue our focus on the Divinely inspired words of Shemone Esrei, may we suggest for tomorrow that you especially focus on these powerful and joy-filling words.



Special Note Three:  We continue with the Eighth Attribute of Hashem, which it is our goal to emulate, as so beautifully presented in the classic work Sefer Tomer Devorah.



Middah Eight:  Yichbosh Avonosainu--He Suppresses Our Iniquity.



“…  This is a great kindness that HaKadosh Baruch Hu performs.  He does not deduct from the reward of Mitzvos performed because of Aveiros, for Mitzvos are very precious and ascend until they come before His blessed Presence--so, how can transgressions be deducted from them?  Punishment for transgressions is a portion of that which is most shameful--Gehinom, while the reward for Mitzvos is from that which is so precious, the radiance of the Shechinah.  He will not deduct one from the other!  Rather, Hashem collects the debt due for transgressions, and then He pays the reward due for all the Mitzvos.  This is the attribute of ‘suppressing iniquity,’ meaning that, transgressions do not prevail before Him as the commandments do.


“Every thinking person should also conduct himself according to this attribute; he should not suppress his fellow's favor and remember the evil (harm) he has done to him.  On the contrary, he should suppress the harm, erasing it from his memory and abandoning it, so that no evil will dwell with him.  One should always remember the favor of his fellow, allowing it to prevail over all the hurtful actions he may have committed against him.  He should not subtract from the favor he has done to him in his heart, and say, ‘Although he did me a favor, he also did me harm,’ thereby forgetting the favor.  One should not do this!  Rather, one should allow himself to be appeased in every possible way regarding the harm, and never overlook the favor.  He should turn a blind eye to the hurt, damage or injury he has done to him as much as possible--just as HaKadosh Baruch Hu does in suppressing our iniquities.”


May we benefit beautifully--measure for measure--as we suppress the iniquities others have done to us--and Hashem, in wonderful turn, suppresses our iniquities!



Special Note One:  The Shemiras Haloshon Daily Calendar for 5770 is now available.  To obtain a larger number of calendars for your Shul or group, please contact 732-363-4577 or 773-267-0960.  BE'H, next week we plan to make the electronic version of this calendar available on our website and will send out a link at that time.



Special Note Two:  As we continue to contemplate Hashem’s Malchus in preparation for the Yomim Noraim, may we suggest that one consider why we mention the word “Melech” in the bracha of Refaeinu in Shemone Esrei, and why we refer to Hashem’s “Kisei Kvodecha--Throne of Glory” in the bracha of Asher Yatzar.  Indeed, it may be a good idea to reflect upon this very important notion for a moment every time we recite Melech in  Refaeinu and Kisei Kvodecha in Asher Yatzar!



Special Note Three:  At this time of year in which we expand our efforts in search of a Good Year, and in which we seek a nullification of any difficult decrees against us, we note the primacy of answering “Amen; Yehei Shemei Rabba” with Kavannah as a special means for assisting us with our goals.  We provide by clicking here the words of HaRav Chaim Volozhiner, Z’tl, in the Sefer Nefesh HaChaim regarding this Kavannah and its potency.  Now is the time to improve your “Amen; Yehei Shemei Rabba” by looking at the words in your Siddur/Machzor as you say them, reciting them aloud, and understanding each word as you recite it--with the intention of ever-increasing Kovod Shomayim the world.  In addition to the Kovod Shomayim coming through your Tefillos being answered, you could very literally be bringing Yeshuos to yourself, your family, and all of Klal Yisroel--and there are a lot of things that we need Yeshuos from both individually and collectively.



Special Note Four:  The Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva specifically enumerates 24 items which are “Me’Akvin Es HaTeshuva--which are obstacles to Teshuva,” making Teshuva more difficult.  Please see there for the entire list.  We will only mention one of these Teshuva obstacles at this time:  “Sonei Es Atochachos--one who does not like to be reprimanded.”  Over the next several weeks, we will be hearing many Drashos and Shiurim by our Rabbanim, and many of these Shiurim may have involved great, dedicated and directed preparation by the Rabbanim.  We should make the effort, at each and every one of these Shiurim (whether we are attending “voluntarily”, or whether it is a drasha in middle of davening) to apply something practically to ourselves from what is being said.  Remember, it is Hashgacha Pratis that you are being presented with these words.  Do not be a “Sonei Es Hatochachos!”  Instead, demonstrate your desire and ability to grow from each and every learning experience that Hashem provides you during this extremely opportune time.



Special Note Five:  We continue with our focus on the words of Shemone Esrei, in order to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the exactitude of the Anshei Kenessess HaGedolah, and the profound placement of each and every word in Shemone Esrei.  Today, we suggest focus on the word “Amcha--Your nation” and “Amo--His nation”.  Is there any place where “Amcha” is mentioned without mentioning “Yisroel”--either immediately before or immediately after (why is it sometimes before and sometimes after)?  How does the word “Amcha” compare to the word “Yisroel”--and what does it add when the two are juxtaposed?



Special Note Six:  We now continue to study and apply how we can emulate the ways of Hashem with the Seventh Attribute, as described in the Sefer Tomer Devorah.


Middah Seven.  Yoshuv Yerachamainu--He Will Again Be Merciful To Us


“Typically, when one is angered by his fellow, and he reconciles with him, the reconciliation is only minimal--not to the extent of the original love between them.  But if a person sins and afterwards repents, his stature before HaKadosh Baruch Hu is greater than before.  This is the intention of Chazal’s wordsAt the place where Ba’alei Teshuvah stand, perfect Tzaddikim cannot stand.’  The reason for this is because it is not enough for a repentant sinner to guard himself against sin the same way a perfectly righteous person does.  Tzaddikim, since they have not sinned require only a minor barrier, whereas for a repentant sinner, a small barrier is insufficient--he needs a number of strong restraints.  The reason being, since this minor barrier was already breached once, if he approaches it, his evil urge will easily seduce him again.  Therefore, he must further himself a great distance.  Hashem, in turn, will restore His love for the repentant person not only as the original love was, but rather in an even greater measure.  This is the explanation of the attribute ‘He will again be merciful to us.’  He will increase His mercy toward Bnei Yisroel, perfecting them and drawing them closer to Himself.


“This is also how a person should behave towards his fellow.  He should not nurture the hatred born of past anger.  Rather, when he sees that his fellow desires his love, he should raise his level of mercy and love toward him much more than before, and say, ‘He is to me like the Ba’alei Teshuvah, in whose company even the perfectly righteous cannot stand.’  And he should befriend him to the fullest extent--much more than he would befriend those who are perfectly righteous in their behavior towards him and have never wronged him.  If one behaves towards his fellow man in this manner--imagine how Hashem will behave towards him!”



Special Note One:  As we travel deeper and deeper into Elul, we become more strongly sensitized to the words of Dovid HaMelech in Tehillim--”V’Ani Kirvas Elokim Li Tov--as for me, I realize that being close to Hashem is good.”  There is an incredibly penetrating Chapter of Tehillim--Chapter 139--which also very much relates to the time period that we are in.  We urge each and every one of our readers to slowly read this Kepitel in the Hebrew, and study it in the English, as well.  If you are moved, you are certainly heading in the right direction!



Special Note Two:  We continue with our focus in the words of Shemone Esrei.  There is very little in Shemone Esrei that we ask happen “Mehaira” or “BiMheira”--quickly, or “VeYameinu”--in our lifetimes.  For the next day, we suggest that one pay special attention to those limited requests which we ask be speedily granted.  The Anshei Kenesses HaGedolah, with their Ruach HaKodesh, are obviously sending us an important message about the nature and urgency of our particular request with the words Meheira and VeYameinu at these points, and these requests should therefore be made with the special kavannah that it deserves!



Special Note Three:  Rabbi Mordechai Becher, Shlita, poses an important question:  On Rosh Hashanah, when we eat the Rimon, the pomegranate, we will ask Hashem “Yehi Ratzon”--may it be Your will that our zechuyos, our merits, multiply like the seeds of the Rimon.  Rabbi Becher asks--isn’t the multiplication of our own merit up to us--isn’t that exactly our job in this world--our own task--our personal responsibility?!  How can we ask Hashem to increase those merits?  Would we have the gall to ask a great and wise teacher to give us clearly undeserved points on a test?  Rabbi Becher beautifully answers that if we perform a mitzvah, or do a Chesed in a way which encourages, assists or causes others to do the mitzvah or Chesed as well, then our merits multiply by the number of people directly or indirectly influenced.  Indeed, if one person starts a chain of Chesed or Mitzvah performance, his ultimate merit will include the Mitzvos and Ma’asim Tovim performed very much down the road--perhaps even in a different neighborhood, city or continent.  We therefore ask Hashem that He give us the opportunities to be marbeh our Zechuyos by and through the positive effects that we have on others.  In this way, one is increasing his personal merit and multiplying goodness in the world at large.  Imagine if you yourself performed a particular Chesed or good deed every day--this amounts to 1 times 365, or 365 good deeds (quite admirable in its own right).  Now imagine if you took three other people with you every day--the number becomes 4 times 365, or 1,460--quite an improved result!  It is for this great reason and result that we ask Hashem to help us in this regard--and it is likewise for this reason and result that we ourselves should be thoughtful and attentive in our Mitzvah and Chesed performance--to join others in and with us, as well, increasing merit the world over!



Special Note Four:  We continue with the Sixth of the Thirteen Attributes of Hashem, as described in the Sefer Tomer Devorah, with the English translation source from Tomer Publications.


Middah Six.  Ki Chofetz Chesed Hu--For He is desirous of kindness.


“There exists a certain Heavenly chamber, in which angels are appointed to receive the kindness that man performs in this world.  And when the attribute of strict judgment accuses Bnei Yisroel, these angels immediately display those acts of kindness, and HaKadosh Baruch Hu has mercy upon Bnei Yisroel.  This can be compared to the time of the Destruction of the Bais HaMikdash, when it was said to malach Gavriel, ‘Go in between the Galgal, beneath the keruv, and fill your hands with burning coals from among the Keruvim, and throw them on the city....’ (Yechezkel 10:2).  Gavriel is the angel of judgment and strictness, and he was initially given permission to exact judgment.  However, the Pasuk continues (ibid. 10:8), ‘The form of a man’s hand appeared under the wings of the Keruvim’--meaning that HaKadosh Baruch Hu said to Gavriel, ‘They grant kindness towards one another (Vayikra Raba 26:8).’  So even though they were guilty, they were saved, and a remnant of them was left.  The reason for this is due to this attribute of ‘He is desirous of kindness,’--the kindness that Bnei Yisroel grants to one another.  Hashem reminds the Heavenly Court of this righteous aspect, even though in other aspects they are not righteous.  Hence, it is proper for man to conduct himself with this attribute.  Even if one is aware that another person is committing evil against him, and angers him, nevertheless, if he has some good redeeming quality--e.g. he is benevolent to others, or he possesses some other good trait with which he conducts himself righteously, this good side of him should be sufficient for one to nullify his anger against him and to have a positive feeling towards him and to desire his kindness, and say, ‘It is enough for me that he has this good quality.’  How much more so does all this apply to one’s spouse….  So, too, one should say to himself with regard to every man, ‘It is enough that he has done for me or someone else such-and-such a favor, or that he has a such-and-such positive quality,’ and always be desirous of kindness.  Hashem will recognize your extending yourself towards kindness, and extend Himself and the Heavenly Court to kindness on your behalf, as well--because He, and you in emulating Him, is a Chofetz Chesed.”



Special Note One:  Welcome to the last two weeks of the year--may we especially excel and stand out in our honesty, integrity and Kiddush Hashem as we enter and continue this practice into the New Year.  Ask yourself:  Will this be one of my primary Kabballos?


Special Note Two:  We would like to provide one additional point for your Kabbalah consideration.  If a person takes just seven(7) minutes a day and turns it into a new learning Seder--a time for learning anything that he wants to, or always intended to but never got around to it, this will aggregate into 210 minutes of additional learning a month.  Not a lot?  According to the G’ra and the Chofetz Chaim, because every word of Talmud Torah is a mitzvah, and one can say 200 words a minute, one is performing 200 mitzvos a minute when he studies Torah.  Let us do the simple Halachic math: 210 minutes a month times 200 mitzvos a minute equals 42,000 mitzvos a month, or an additional 511,000 mitzvos for a 365 day year--and these are mitzvos of the literally incomparable quality of Talmud Torah, regarding which Chazal teach “VeTalmud Torah KeNeged Kulam.”  How would you like to dedicate 7 minutes a day (i.e., more than half a million mitzvos a year) to Teshuva in Talmud Torah in the coming year?!  Hashem certainly provides us with incredible opportunities!



Special Note Three:  We continue our focus on the divinely inspired words of the Shemone Esrei provided to us by the Anshei Kenesses HaGedolah.  Today, we suggest focus on the numerous times the word “Ahl” (on, for, because of) appears in Ahl HaTzaddikim and in Modim--and for a brief moment separately appreciate that which each Ahl refers to.  There are other brachos where Ahl and Aleinu appear--see if you can appreciate them, as well.  We note that HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita, teaches that one of the reasons that we read Parshas Bikkurim (whose essence is recognition of Hashem’s gifts to us) at this time of the year is to remind us to have HaKaras HaTov and thanks to Hashem for life and the gifts of the past year.  There are a lot of Ahls to separately recognize and be thankful for.



Special Note Four:  We continue today with the fifth of the 13 Attributes of Hashem which we are to emulate in our everyday conduct, as described by the Sefer Tomer Devorah.  Our making the effort to consider and emulate His ways will certainly bring these Attributes upon us!


Middah Five:  Lo Hechezik Lo’ad Apo --He does not retain His wrath eternally.


“Even when a person persists in sinning, Hashem does not retain His wrath…  On the contrary, He deliberately alleviates His wrath.  Even though the sin still exists, He does not punish immediately; rather, He waits hopefully and has mercy on the sinner on the possibility that he will repent.


“This is a fitting attribute with which a person should conduct himself towards his fellows.  Even if one is permitted to reprimand his friend or his children, and they would accept the rebuke, this is no reason to intensify his reprimand and persist in his anger.  Instead, he should nullify his anger and not retain his wrath.  This idea is comparable to Chazal’s explanation of the Pasuk “When you see the donkey of someone you hate lying under its burden” (Shemos 23:5).  What is the cause of this hatred?  He saw him transgress a sin, and being a lone witness, he cannot testify against him in court.  Thus, the reason he dislikes this person is because he has allowed himself to be sullied with sin.  Even so, the Torah demands, ”You shall help along with him”--meaning that you must abandon that anger which is in your heart--and instead it is a mitzvah to befriend him with love, for perhaps with this method you will succeed in causing him to repent.  This is exactly the attribute of--”He does not retain His wrath eternally.”


Hakhel Note:  When you are angry, and even justifiably so, think--and practice--”Lo Hechzik Lo’ad Apo”--and act as your Maker!



Special Note Five:  Today is the 400th Yahrzeit of the Maharal of Prague, Z’tl, may his merit shield us from our enemies, as it shielded our people during his times, as well.


HaRav Mattisyahu Salomon, Shlita, teaches that the Ikar Avodah of Rosh Hashana is not merely recognizing Hashem’s Malchus, Kingship, but bringing that Kingship **into our lives**.  Hashem obviously does not need us to crown Him, and most certainly the ceremony, pomp and circumstance of royalty is meaningless to Him.  As we recite in the Adon Olam daily, “He was King before anything was created…and He will continue to be King after” the world in its present state ceases to exist.  How, then, can we truly fulfill the requirement of Malchus--how can we accept His authority over us--over our will, our senses, our being?  HaRav Salomon suggests that one great method may be through the words of the Maharal (Nesiv HaAvodah, 3).  The Maharal asks why we specifically daven three times a day, and why at these three particular times during the day.  He answers that each of Shacharis, Mincha and Ma’ariv represents a different shibud--a different service--a different acceptance of authority in the day.  In the morning, it is difficult for the body to awake, and there is great physical pleasure in staying in bed.  Nevertheless, the soul in this state is not accomplishing as it could, and accordingly, by getting out of bed to daven, one is demonstrating his body’s shibud to Hashem, for his body would like nothing more than to enjoy a more extended stay where it is.  This is, accordingly, serving Hashem “B’chol Levovecha”--with one’s Yetzer whose home is in the guf--the body--of the person.  Then, during the working day, when man is busy attending to business and money, he stops everything to daven Mincha, and makes special effort to have kavannah.  This affirmatively demonstrates that man is meshabed his money to the service of Hashem, as well.  This is an accepting of Hashem’s authority “B’chol Me’odecha”--with one’s money and resources.  By the time night arrives, one is tired from a long and sometimes difficult day, and one simply needs some menucha, to rest up.  Yet, he goes out to daven a heartfelt Ma’ariv, serving Hashem with his life, his soul.


Thus, through proper dedication and consideration given to one’s daily Tefillos, one has the opportunity to declare--in a personal and meaningful way--Hashem’s Malchus over his body, his money, and his life and soul!



Special Note One:  For those who sought a printed version of HaRav Moshe Heinemann’s approbation of the shaver under the hashgacha of a Bais Din approved by HaRav Elyashiv, Shlita, we provide it by clicking here.  For a translation of the approbation, please click here.  The additional approbations towards the bottom of the link are those of the Roshei Yeshiva of Lakewood .  Once again, for further information or to obtain the shaver, one may contact Rabbi Hillel Litwack, 718-856-6671.



Special Note Two:  We continue to look at words in Shemone Esrei, and try to understand them better within the bracha in which they are found.  The next word we look for and focus on is “Kail”--the Almighty, which concomitantly expresses Hashem’s power *and* His Middas HaRachamim.  Hashem, as All Powerful, created the universe and all that is within it, and as the Ba’al HaRachamim, the ultimate Merciful One, bestows goodness upon them.  We express this concept on the Yomim Noraim, when we exclaim “VeAtta Hu Melech Kail Chai VeKayam!”  In the upcoming Tefillos, try to focus on the word “Kail,” appreciating its presence at that point in the bracha, and its meaning.



Special Note Three:  In 30 days from today, we will celebrate Sukkos, hopefully in the Bais HaMikdash.  The Mishne Berurah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 429, seif katan 1) teaches that we must begin to study the Halachos of the Yom Tov 30 days in advance of the Chag.  This means that today is the day to start!  The Shulchan Aruch (ibid., 625) begins Hilchos Sukkah with the reason given in the Torah for the Mitzvah.  This is a great lesson; rather than proceeding by rote, the first step in a Mitzvah is to move closer to its meaning in our lives.  As we study Hilchos Sukkah and Lulav in preparation for properly fulfilling the Mitzvah, let us also remember that the proper feeling, intent and understanding should be infused into the Mitzvah as well--and this requires preparation.



Special Note Four:  We continue with our Erev Shabbos--Halachos of Shabbos Series.


1.           As noted immediately above, an absolutely essential aspect of every Mitzvah is the intent, attitude and approach.  The Mishne Berurah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 244, seif katan 35) provides the following approach to Hilchos Shabbos: “Fortunate is one who is a Boteach Ba’Hashem, and does not search for kulos on Shabbos.”


2.           The Mishne Berurah (ibid., 250, seif katan 3) writes that one should be Meharher BiTeshuva on Erev Shabbos and look into his deeds, because one is going to greet the Shabbos Malkasa, and one does not go to greet the Queen in sullied clothing.


3.           The Sha’arei Teshuva to Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim (250:2) brings from the Kavannos Ha’Ari that when one sweats on Erev Shabbos in preparing for Shabbos, it is a segula for “Mechikas Avonos”--erasure of sin--equivalent to tears.


4.           The Sha’arei Teshuva (ibid., 267:2, and 290:2)  brings from HaRav Chaim Vital, Z’tl, that when one recites the words in Ma’ariv on Leil Shabbos of “Ufros Aleinu Sukkas…”, one should rise to be mekabel upon himself his Neshama Yesaira, and that when the Neshama Yesaira returns to its place on Motzei Shabbos, Hashem asks it for what it learned anew or developed over Shabbos (after all, it is coming to our world, and to our body, for a reason!)


5.           Even though one cannot otherwise be engaged in physical exercise on Shabbos, the Shulchan Aruch (ibid, 90:12) rules that one is permitted to run to do a Mitzvah, even on Shabbos!



Special Note Five:  We have now reached the fourth Middah of Hashem which we are to emulate, as described in the Sefer Tomer Devorah, by HaRav Moshe Cordevero, Z’tl.  This Sefer was a staple in Kelm during Elul, as it provides essential guidance in our following the ways of our Creator, and in the development of our Bain Odom LeChaveiro.  The English translation is excerpted from the easy-to carry-volume published by Tomer Publications.


Middah Four:  Li’Shea’ris Nachalaso--For the Remnant of His Heritage


“Hakadosh Baruch Hu conducts Himself towards Bnai Yisroel in this way:  He says, ‘What shall I do for Bnai Yisroel, who are My relatives, My family?’  In different places in Shir HaShirim, we are referred to as daughter, sister, and mother.  Dovid HaMelech describes us in Tehillim (148:14, recited daily in Shacharis):  ‘Bnai Yisroel Am Krovo--a nation related to Him.’  He has an actual family relationship with us, and we are His children.  This, too, is the meaning of the words ‘Shea’ris Nachalaso’--in the final analysis, we are Hashem’s Heritage.  And what does He say?  ‘If I punish them, the pain is Mine!’  As it is written ‘BeChal Tzarasam Lo Tza’ar--In all their pain, He is afflicted’ (Yeshayah 63:9).  This is also the intention of the Pasuk ‘And His soul could not tolerate the misery of Yisroel’ (Shoftim 10:16 ), for He cannot tolerate their suffering and disgrace, since they are the remnant (Shea'ris) of His Heritage.  A person should behave this same way towards his fellow, since all Bnai Yisroel are related to each other, being that all souls are united, and each soul contains a part of all others.  This is why nothing can compare to a multitude who do a Mitzvah (Toras Kohanim 26:8).  The reason being, because they are all united and complement one another.  This is also why ‘Bnai Yisroel are guarantors thus responsible and liable for one another’ (Shavuos 39A), since each Jewish soul actually contains a portion of all the others, and when an individual sins, he blemishes his own soul and also the portion of every other Jew that he possesses within himself.  It is this portion that requires his friend to be a guarantor for him.  Hence, all Jews are related to one another.


“Therefore, it is proper for man to desire the benefit of his fellow, view his neighbor's good fortune in a positive way, and cherish his friend's honor as his own--for he (his friend) is actually himself!  And for this reason, we are commanded to ‘Love your fellow as yourself’ (Vayikra 19:18 ).  Furthermore, it is proper that one should be pleased with the integrity of his fellow, and should never speak ill of him or be desirous of his disgrace, just as Hakadosh Baruch Hu desires neither our disgrace nor our suffering, because of our relationship; so too, a person should not be desirous of his fellow's disgrace, suffering, or downfall.  Rather, he should be pained by it as if he himself was actually suffering that same pain or rejoicing in the person's good fortune as if he were enjoying that same good fortune.”


Hakhel Note: Look at your friend, neighbor--and even relative--and treat them as Hashem treats His relatives!



Special Note One:  We continue our word quest and understanding in Shemone Esrei.  For the next three Tefilllos, may we suggest focusing on the word “Ki”--which means “because, for, that.”  With the word “Ki” in a Bracha, the Anshei Kneses HaGedolah are giving us the explanation or rationale as to what we are asking for, or why we are asking for it.  If we understand the “Ki”, we will have greater Kavanna in the Bracha.  You may surprised by how often this “key” word comes up!


Special Note Two:  HaRav Chaim Friedlander, Z’tl, (Sifsei Chaim, Moadim I) writes that Teshuva is more than a Hachlata, a decision to be better.  Rather it involves the “building of new fences”-- putting up road blocks or obstacles to prevent a person from returning to the sin.  A person must make the extra effort, utilizing new means to change the way he thought, spoke, or did things in order to remove the possibility of doing the aveira again.  A person who is a “Ba LiTaheir” is one who has developed Eitzos--a method, a path, ideas, and advice for himself on how to make sure that it will not happen again!  Go to it!


Special Note Three:  In this week’s Parsha, Ki Savo, we find that when performing the mitzvah of “Viduy Ma’aser” one states “…I have not transgressed any of your commandments, and I have not forgotten” (Devorim 26:13).  The obvious question is--forgotten what?  Rashi, quoting Chazal, teaches that I have not forgotten to make the appropriate Bracha on the mitzvah when separating the Ma’aser.


Why does the Torah use the term “I have not forgotten” to describe the necessity to make the Brocha before the Mitzvah?  The Sifsei Chaim (Middos V’Avodas Hashem 1, p. 479) writes that there is a great lesson to be derived here with respect to all Mitzvos and all Brachos.  A person can perform a Mitzvah out of rote, with little or no thought behind the act.  A bleary-eyed Tefillin placement in the morning, or a very hungry individual eating (pouncing upon?) a festive Leil Shabbos meal would be two examples.


The Bracha before the Tefillin, or the Kiddush before the Seudah, are intended for us to focus us on the “Ata” and the “V’Tzivanu”--i.e., that we are performing a Mitzvah in front of Hashem.  The Bracha, then, prevents us from “forgetting” Hashem more than the Mitzvah itself can!  Just as the Bracha over food reminds us that it is Hashem who graced us with the food, so too, does the Bracha on a Mitzvah cause us “not to [otherwise] forget” that Hashem is before us as we perform it.  At this time of year, as we focus on raising ourselves up spiritually, we should recognize that perhaps one of the best ways to accomplish this is to sense that Hashem is with us at all times.  As we recite the words “Baruch Ata” (approximately 100 times a day!), they should serve as an incredible gift, a wonderful reminder, for us “not to forget”--both who we are, and where we are!


Special Note Four:  We continue with the Thirteen Midos, the Thirteen Attributes of Hashem, that we strive to emulate.  The English translation provided below of the Sefer Tomer Devorah is by Tomer Publication.  Copies of this small, soft cover, easy-to-carry Sefer can be obtained from Tomer Publications at (718)-851-6021.

Middah Three: “V’Oveir Al Pesha--and Removing Transgression.”

“This is a very great attribute, for when Hashem forgives a sinner, He does not convey His pardon through an emissary.  Rather, Hakodosh Boruch Hu Himself grants the pardon, as it is written, ‘Ki Imcha Haslicha--For with You is forgiveness...’ (Tehillim 130:4).  What is the nature of this forgiveness?  He washes away the sin, as it is written, ‘For Hashem has washed away the filth of the daughters of Tziyon...’ (Yeshayah 4:4).  Similarly, it is written, ‘And I will sprinkle purifying waters upon you...’ (Yechezkel 36:15).  This, then, is the attribute ‘Removing Transgression’--He sends purifying waters, and removes and washes away transgression.

“To emulate this Middah, one should behave in exactly the same manner.  One may claim, ‘Why should I rectify what so-and-so committed or ruined?  It’s his fault.’  This should not be said, for when man sins, Hashem Himself, not by way of an emissary, rectifies the corruption and washes away the filth of his sin.  From this, as well, a person should understand to be ashamed to return to his sinful ways, for the King Himself cleanses the filth of his spiritual garments.”

Hakhel Note:  For starters, may we suggest not using the term “It’s your/his fault!”…for you should also be an Oveir Al Pesha!



Special Note One:  Fascinatingly, there is a new shaver available which actually has the Hashgacha of a Beis Din approved by HaRav Elyashiv, Shlita.  By clicking here we provide approbations for this shaver from HaRav Chaim P. Scheinberg, Shlita, HaRav Azriel Auerbach, Shlita, and HaRav Moshe Heinemann, Shlita.  For further information on obtaining the shaver in America , one may contact Rabbi Hillel Litwack, Shlita, at 718-856-6671.

Special Note Two:  We continue with our search and study of words in Shemone Esrei.  For the next three Tefillos, we suggest looking for the word “Tov” in the Brachos of Shemone Esrei, and try to understand why it is in that particular Bracha, and that specific place in that Bracha.  The word “Tov” is especially appropriate for the month of Elul, for Dovid Hamelech teaches in Tehillim (73:28) “V’Ani Kirvas Elokim Li Tov--and as for me, closeness to Hashem is…Good!”

On the topic of Good, we provide a very related thought on this week’s Parsha:  The Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh says an amazing thing on the words in Parshas Ki Savo.

“V’Samachta B’Chol HaTov--and you shall rejoice in all the good” (Devarim 26:11).  ‘In all the good’ also alludes to the Torah, similar to what Chazal said (in Pirkei Avos 6:3), ‘There is no "true good" other than the Torah.”  For if people could sense the sweetness and deliciousness of the Torah's goodness, they would go crazy, passionately pursuing it, not attaching the slightest value to a world full of silver and gold, because the Torah contains within it all the good that exists in the world.


HaRav Eliyahu Lopian, Z’tl, on this very same pasuk, provides an essential, related insight.  A person can daven three times a day, perform mitzvos, make brachos before and after eating and drinking, but everything he does is simply in the ordinary course, the same way as he did yesterday, and the same way as he did the day before.  There is no or inadequate enthusiasm or desire, and he does the mitzvos in the way he was taught, and in the way he always has.  Yet, this very same person, when it comes to what he is going to eat, or how he is going to make money here or there, approaches it with a passion, with real eagerness and zeal.


The Torah is reminding us, as we get close to Rosh Hashana, to put our force and energy into what truly should make us happy, what should make us feel “good”--as we are spiritual beings housed in a body--and not vice versa.  As a practical matter, we may suggest that one can try to infuse life and vigor into his mitzvos by remembering what is the “Ikar,” and what is the tofel, throughout the day.  For instance, before eating, and diving through the brocha, one may sit for a moment and make the bracha slowly, with appreciation and feeling.  Likewise, when learning Torah, one should stop to appreciate that it is sweeter and more nourishing than the finest meal in the finest restaurant.


What all of this really means is that one should do the things, take the actions, that he otherwise does daily--and simply put the appreciation, thought and energy into them to do them right--putting the proper balance in one’s life throughout the day between our daily physical needs and deeds--and the eternity to which they are supposed to get us!


Special Note Three:  We now continue with the Second Midah of the Thirteen Midos, as explained in the Sefer Tomer Devorah by HaRav Moshe Cordovero, Z’tl.  The English translation is excerpted from the translation of Tomer Publications.

Midah Two--Two: “Nosei Avon--Who pardons iniquity.”

“Behold, this attribute is greater than the previous one.  For whenever a person commits a transgression, a destructive being is created, as stated in the Mishnah (Avos 4: 13 ), ‘He who commits a single transgression acquires against himself a single accuser.’  And this accuser stands before Hashem and declares, ‘So-and-so created me.’  Considering that no being in the world exists without the bestowing of life from Hashem, how does this destructive being exist?  The strict measure of justice would justify that Hashem should exclaim, ‘I do not nourish destructive beings.  Go to the one who made you and derive your sustenance from him!’  The destructive being would then immediately descend and take his life, or cut him off from his spiritual source, or he would receive his deserving punishment until the destructive being would cease to be.  Nevertheless, Hashem does not do this.  Rather, He bears and tolerates the sin.  Just as He nourishes the entire world, He nourishes and sustains this destructive being until one of three things happens:  Either the sinner repents and destroys and nullifies it (the destructive being) through his acts of penance; or the righteous Judge nullifies it through the suffering or death of the sinner; or the sinner will descend to Gehinom to repay his debt there.  This is also the explanation of Kayin's plea. ‘Is my sin too great to bear!’ (Bereishis 4: 13 ), which Chazal interpret as ‘You tolerate--you nourish and sustain--the entire world.  Is my sin so severe that You cannot tolerate it?’--meaning ‘Can You not nourish and sustain the destructive being that I created until I repent and rectify the sin?’  Thus, that Hashem nourishes and sustains the evil creature created by the sinner until he repents, representing a great quality of tolerance.

“From this, man should learn to what extent he should be tolerant.  He should tolerate the wrong of his fellow and his harm, even if he harmed him to such a degree that the harm he caused him continues to exist, and continues to be felt deeply...  He should tolerate this until his fellow rectifies the wrong himself or the harm disappears on its own.  Let us emulate Hashem--and mercy in the world will abound!”


Special Note One:  We continue with our focus on words in Shemone Esrei.  Over the next three Tefillos, we ask that you look for the word “Yisroel” in Shemone Esrei, especially noting the Bracha that it appears in, and where it appears.  Please have Kavanna for Hashem to bring that particular, requested Bracha to all of Klal Yisroel!



Special Note Two:  We provide by the attached links two mighty and wonderful calendars:


a.  The first calendar, available by clicking here is a Daf Yomi calendar distributed by the Daf Yomi Commission of Agudath Israel of America .  Their motto is “Daf by Daf, we are here to serve you.”  It is certainty no coincidence, as it never is, that the Daf HaYomi over the last few days has taught us about the importance of Tzedaka in our lives.  Chazal teach that one should give Tzedaka before Davening.  As we will soon enter the Selichos and Yomim Noraim Period in which such a great emphasis is placed upon Tefilla, now is the time when we should precede it with appropriate acts of charity.  In this regard, Yad Eliezer has advised us that through the joint effort of our readers several weeks ago, 45 babies from poor homes in Eretz Yisroel, whose mothers cannot nurse, will receive formula for the coming year.  Our participants should not think that they donated a portion of one baby’s formula--rather, because it was a joint Mitzvah, they have a part in the feeding each of the 45 babies for the coming year.  As Mrs. Tropper of Yad Eliezer wrote to us, “What a way to go into Yom Hadin!”  If you would like to still join our other participants, you may go to yadeliezer.org.


b.  The second calendar, available by clicking here is a beautiful compilation of the daily Nach Yomi, Mishne Yomis, Daf Yomi, and Halacha Yomis schedules, and is a testimony to what a person can accomplish in a given day.  We especially note (although this is not on next year’s calendar) that Nach Yomi begins Divrei HaYomim a week from today, September 8th, and that all of Nach begins again on Simchas Torah, (Isru Chag, for those privileged to live in Eretz Yisroel) with Sefer Yehoshua!



Special Note Three:  For those who did not yet begin the program of learning three Mishnayos a day, they now have two options starting today.  The first option is to learn two Mishnayos a day of Maseches Rosh Hashana, and complete Mishnayos Rosh Hashana by Rosh Hashana.  The second option is to learn three Mishnayos a day of Maseches Yoma, and complete Mishnayos Yoma by Yom Kippur.  Either way, it is most certainty a special and timely achievement!



Special Note Four:  There is a beautiful thought expressed both by HaRav Mordechai Gifter, Z’tl, and HaRav Meir Schuck, Z’tl.  Last week’s Parsha begins with the words “Ki Tzeitzei LaMilchama Al Oyvecah--when you go to war against your enemies” (plural--many enemies), and then continues with the words “Unesano Hashem Elokecha Biyadecha--and Hashem gives him (singular--one enemy) into your hands….”  Why does the Posuk change from the plural “enemies” who go to war against us to the single “enemy” that is given into our hands?!  HaRav Gifter and HaRav Schuck both teach that the Posuk is alluding to the Yetzer Hora which appears in so many forms and as so many enemies:  Anger. Lashon Hara. Coming late to davening. Not davening with Kavanna. Causing others Bitul Torah. Being insensitive to the needs of others. Not properly knowing Hilchos Shabbos…there are so many battles that we fight, so many enemies everywhere that we turn.  No--the Posuk teaches us, this is incorrect.  It is really only one enemy--one Yetzer Hora, who just takes various forms, for just as a person has only one Yetzer Hatov, he has but one Yetzer Hora.  Do not be daunted by his chameleon-like capabilities.  You are **not** surrounded or besieged--you are eminently capable of handling the one enemy, if you show the effort.  If you go out to war against him in earnest, Hashem will give him over into your hand!



Special Note Five:  The Sefer Tomer Devorah by HaRav Moshe Cordevero, Z’tl, provides the Thirteen Attributes of Hashem’s Mercy in a manner which we can all emulate based upon the Pesukim (Micha 7:18-20) of “Mi Keil Kamocha…” (which we recite at Tashlich).  Over the next thirteen Bulletins, until immediately prior to Rosh Hashana, we, bli neder, intend to provide an excerpt of each of these Thirteen Midos in order to arouse Hashem’s mercy for us…and our mercy for others.


The first Midah is “Mi Keil Kamocha”, and the following is based upon the English translation of the Sefer made available by Tomer Publications:


“Who is like You, Hashem?  This attribute teaches us that Hashem is a forbearing King.  Without doubt, nothing is hidden from His providence.  In addition, there is not a moment that man is not nourished and sustained by virtue of the Divine power bestowed upon him.  Thus, no man ever sinned against Hashem without Hashem Himself bestowing his existence and the ability to move his limbs, at that very moment of sin!  Yet, even though a person uses this very power to transgress, Hashem does not withhold it from him at all.  Rather, the Holy One, Blessed is He, tolerates this insult and continues to bestow on man the power to move his limbs.  Even at the very moment that a person uses this power for infuriating deeds, Hashem continues to tolerate him.  One cannot say, G-d forbid, that He cannot withhold this benevolence, for it is within His power to shrivel up a person's arms or legs instantly, just as He did with Yaravam (See Melachim I 13:4).  Yet, even though it is within His power to withdraw the power that He bestowed, and He could maintain, ‘Since you sin against Me, sin with that which belongs to you, not with that which belongs to Me,’ He does not withhold His goodness from man; rather, He tolerates the ‘insult’ and continues to bestow power and benefits man with His benevolence.  Thus, this attribute of being tolerant, is one that man should emulate.  Even when he is insulted to such a degree mentioned above, he should still not withdraw his benevolence from the recipient.”


Hakhel Note:  From the above, we see that the first step on our journey towards mercy is a basic understanding that Savalnus, patience, means a serious attempt at overcoming the wrongs that others may have perpetrated against you--even when they are clearly wrong--thereby emulating the Midah of “Mi Kail Komocha” in a beautiful fashion!


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