Shavou'ot (Pentecost) Guide for the Perplexed, 2013 |
Posted by jewishindy on Monday, May 13 @ 11:40:25 EDT |
By Yoram Ettinger
May 13, 2013
(Based on Jewish Sages)
1. Shavou'ot (Pentecost) was, originally, an agricultural holiday, celebrating the first harvest/fruit by bringing offerings (Bikkurim-ביכורים) to the Temple in Jerusalem. Following the destruction of the second Temple and the resulting exile in 70 AD - which raised the need to entrench Torah awareness in order to avoid spiritual and physical oblivion - Shavou'ot became a historical/religious holiday of the Torah. The Torah played a key role in shaping the US Constitution and the American culture, as well as the foundations of Western democracies.
Shavou'ot is celebrated by decorating homes and houses of worship with Land of Israel-related crops and flowers, demonstrating the 3,500 year old connection between the Land of Israel (pursued by Abraham), the Torah of Israel (transmitted by Moses) and the People of Israel (united by David). Shavou'ot is the holiday of humility, as befits the Torah values, Moses ("the humblest of all human beings), the humble Sinai desert and Mt. Sinai, a modest, non-towering mountain. Abraham, David and Moses are role models of humility and their Hebrew acronym (Adam - אדמ) means "human-being.” Humility constitutes a prerequisite for studying the Torah, for constructive human relationships and a prerequisite to effective leadership.
Shavou'ot – a spiritual holiday – follows Passover – a national liberation holiday: from physical liberation (the Exodus) to spiritual liberation/enhancement (the Torah), in preparation for the return to the Homeland.
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PESACH 5773: BLESSINGS OF DEW|
Posted by jewishindy on Monday, March 25 @ 14:41:42 EDT |
By Rav Zvi Leshem
Nisan 14, 5773 / Monday, March 25, 2013
On the first day of Pesach, during the Musaf
prayers, we begin to pray for tal
, for the dew which accompanies us throughout the summer. This formally marks the end of the rainy season, which began on Shmini Atzeret with our prayers for geshem
, for rain. What can we learn from tal
and how does it fit in with the general framework of Pesach? We will base our words upon two Chassidic giants, Rebbe Yaakov of Raduzin and Rebbe Shmuel of Sokotchav.
It is most instructive to compare dew and rain, the two ways in which HaShem supplies us with water throughout the year. Unlike rain, which appears only intermittently, dew is present on a daily basis. This is reflective of the fact that whereas rain comes as a Divine response to our merits, dew is given constantly, regardless of what we do or do not do. Thus the prayers for rain begin at the end of Sukkot when we are judged for rain for the coming year.
Rain therefore serves as a constant reminder of our absolute dependence upon God. No matter how hard we work our fields, we must look to Heaven and pray with all of our hearts, knowing that without rain all of our works will be for naught. By contrast we pray for dew on Pesach, the time of God's pure loving-kindness to the Jewish People, for he took us out of Egypt despite our lack of sufficient merits at that time. This love is also reflected in the reading of Shir HaShirim
on Pesach, that holiest of books that so graphically describes HaShem's love for us.
Rebbe Yaakov writes that whereas rain is a "thick drop", dew appears as a "thin drop", which is barely visible. While everyone knows when it is raining, a late sleeper could go through life never being aware of the presence of dew! Similarly we are also able to block the rain from entering various places, but the dew sneaks into every crack and crevice. Dew then represents those words of Tora that are both subtle and deep, those that enter our hearts even when it would seem that we are impenetrable.
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Passover Guide for the Perplexed 2013|
Posted by jewishindy on Monday, March 25 @ 14:37:05 EDT |
From Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
March 25, 2013
Based on the Jewish Sages
1. A central Passover lesson: Liberty entails responsibility, communal-awareness, blood, sweat and tears; not complacency, wishful-thinking or egotism. Sustaining liberty obligates free people to assume the cost, risks and sacrifice of self-reliance, including forty years in the desert and the defiance of great powers, lest they forfeit liberty and risk oblivion. The Hebrew word for "responsibility” – אחריות – consists of the word "liberty” – חירות – reinforced by the first Hebrew letter – א – which is the first letter of the Hebrew words for God, faith, Adam, human-being, father, mother, light, soil, land, love, tree, covenant, soil, credibility, awesome, power, courage, spring, unity, horizon, etc.
2. The Passover-US-Israel connection: Moses, the US Founding Fathers and Israel's Founding Father, Ben Gurion, were challenged by the "loyalists,” who were intimidated by the cost of liberty, preferring subjugation to Egypt, the British King and the British Mandate.
3. Passover (פסח) highlights the fact that the Jewish People were passed-over (פסח) by history's angel of death, in defiance of conventional wisdom. Non-normative disasters have characterized Jewish history ever since slavery in Egypt and the Exodus: the destruction of the two Temples, exiles, pogroms, expulsions, the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, daily Arab/Muslim terrorism and wars, etc. The 1948 re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty – against global, regional, economic and military odds - constituted a modern day Exodus and Parting of the Sea. Principle-driven tenacious defiance-of-the odds constitutes a prerequisite to Jewish deliverance in 2013, as it was during The Exodus some 3,450 years ago.
4. Passover's centrality in Judaism is highlighted by the first, of the Ten, Commandments: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." The Passover ethos is included in daily Jewish prayers, Sabbath and holiday prayers, the blessing over the wine, the blessing upon circumcision, the prayer fixed in the Mezuzah (doorpost) and in the annual family retelling of the Exodus on the eve of Passover. Passover symbolizes the unity, interdependence and straight line/direction between the People of Israel, the Torah of Israel and the Land of Israel. In Hebrew, Israel (ישראל) means "straight,” "overcoming” and the acronym of the names of the Jewish Patriarchs (אברהם, יצחק, יעקב) and Matriarchs (שרה, רבקה, רחל, לאה).
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Purim Guide for the Perplexed 2013|
Posted by jewishindy on Friday, February 22 @ 16:53:01 EST |
By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, Based on Jewish Sages
The Ettinger Report
February 21, 2013
1. "Purimfest 1946” were the last words of Julius Streicher, the Nazi propaganda chief, as he approached the hanging gallows (Newsweek magazine, October 28, 1946, page 46). On October 16, 1946 (Jewish year 5707), ten convicted Nazi war criminals were hanged in Nuremberg. An 11th Nazi criminal, Hermann Goering, committed suicide in his cell. Julius Streicher's library documented much interest in Purim and its relevance to enemies of the Jewish people.
According to the Scroll of Esther, King Ahasuerus allowed the Jews to defend themselves and hang Haman and his ten sons. The Talmud (Megillah 16a) claims that Haman had an 11th child, a daughter, who committed suicide following her father's demise.
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Posted by jewishindy on Friday, February 22 @ 16:48:06 EST |
Candle lighting time in Indianapolis for Friday, February 22, 2013: 6:10 PM
Shabbat ends in Indianapolis on Saturday, February 23, 2013: 7:10 PM Change Location
Click here for more about Shabbat candle-lighting
Adapted from the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Purim!
For the Jewish people, past, present and future are inextricably bonded together. The Torah describes details of the service in the Temple which, although it was destroyed two thousand years ago, remains the inner reality of Jewish consciousness. The Temple is in the past, but it will also be in the future. Hence it teaches us about the present.
Part of the Temple service was the fact that every day the High Priest would enter the sacred hall of the Temple, where the lights of the golden Menorah burned. The Torah describes the special clothes he wore. From this we can learn something about the nature of Jewish leadership.
The High Priest was the spiritual representative of the entire Jewish people. On their behalf he entered the Temple, where the presence of G-d was revealed. The Rabbis tell us that his clothes expressed his bond with all other Jews.
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Drasha for Purim and Laws of Purim|
Posted by jewishindy on Friday, February 22 @ 16:33:29 EST |
From Rabbi Zvi Leshem
Adar 12, 5773 / Friday, February 22, 2013
I hope that everyone is well and excitedly preparing for Purim.
If you are an Israeli citizen please take a minute and sign the petition to President Obama (who will be visiting here soon) to release Jonathan Pollard.
www.atzuma.co.il/presidentobama Yasher koach! May we soon merit to dance with Jonathan at the Kotel!
I bless all of us and all of Am Yisrael that on this Shabbat Zachor we prepare ourselves properly to celebrate Purim and to obliterate all evil from the world. May this Adar be a month of great salvation! Following the drasha there is a brief summary of Hilchot Purim. Shabbat Shalom, Purim Sameach Meod! kol tuv, Rav Zvi
PURIM 5773: PURIM, YOM KIPPUR AND SUKKOT
What is the spiritual difference between the 14th of Adar, when Purim is celebrated throughout the world, and the 15th, Shushan Purim, when it is celebrated in ancient walled cities such as Jerusalem? Regarding this the Shem M'Shmuel relays a tradition from his grandfather, the Holy Rebbe of Kotzk.
According to the Kotzker, all of the five Biblical holidays are contained within the holiness of Purim, for according to Mishnaic law, Megilat Esther can theoretically be read on any one of five days in Adar, from the 11th through the 15th. According to his calculation we find that the two days in which we actually do celebrate Purim, the 14th (Purim) and the 15th (Shushan Purim) are parallel to the festivals of Yom Kippur and Sukkot. In our yearly calendar Sukkot follows just a few days after Yom Kippur and clearly continues and culminates the spiritual processes of that holy day.
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CHANUKA – MIKETZ 5773: FROM TOTAL DARKNESS TO DAZZLING LIGHT|
Posted by jewishindy on Thursday, December 13 @ 18:28:13 EST |
By Rav Zvi Leshem
Tevet 1, 5773 / Friday, December 14, 2012
As our pasha
opens Yosef is still languishing in the darkness of his cell, having been unjustly imprisoned for the second time, firstly by his brothers and now due to the slander of Mrs. Potifar. His prospects of ever getting out, especially after he pinned his hopes on the fickle butler, seem slim indeed. And yet, before we know it, not only is he released, but he is transformed into perhaps the second most powerful man in the entire world! How did Yosef manage to maintain hope in his situation and what can we learn from this regarding Chanuka?
Unlike most mitzvot
which are performed during the day,
the central mitzva
of Chanuka, kindling the chanukia
, is done at night, in the darkness. Clearly this mitzva
of light is designed to expel darkness and illuminate the night with the light of holiness and hope. Many Chassidic sources discuss the powerful connection that even the most simple and even assimilated Jews feel with Chanuka, for somehow the light of those little candles succeeds in reaching into the darkest corners of our souls, illuminating and warming our hearts.
The Netivot Shalom
goes even further. Writing that Chanuka was established to "to illuminate the darkness of the Exile", he points out that not only are the candles lit in the darkness, but that the proper placement of the chanukia
is outside, below 10 tefachim
(about 80 cm) from the ground, to the left of the doorway (opposite the mezuza
), and that Chanuka also comes in the dead of winter when the days are short, and the dark nights are extremely long.
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Drasha and Halachot for Chanukah|
Posted by jewishindy on Friday, December 07 @ 10:56:18 EST |
By Rav Zvi Leshem
Kislev 23, 5773 / Friday, December 07, 2012
We have learned from Rebbe Natan of Nemirov that Chanukah is the first light of the entire year.
At first glance this seems to be a rather strange statement, given that Chanukah is preceded by the great lights of Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret. Let us explore a possible understanding based upon another great Chassidic luminary, Rebbe Shmuel of Sokatchov.
Rebbe Shmuel seeks to understand the significance of the Chanukah miracle taking place on the seemingly random date of the 25th
of Kislev. He points out that the beginning of the creation of the world was on the 25th
Thus Chanukah begins exactly three months after the onset of creation, when HaShem's light was first revealed in the world. Rebbe Shmuel quotes the Maharal to the effect that three months is a significant period of time, since a female convert or freed female slave must wait three months before getting married, three months being the amount of time needed to "enter into the realm of the Shechina".
Rebbe Shmuel goes on to discuss several hierarchies of three, focusing on the essential human organs; liver, heart and brain, which are parallel to three levels of the soul, nefesh, ruach and neshama, the last being associated also with the Divine intellectual component of man and the Tora, which was also given in the third month, Sivan.
Both the three month process of preparing to receive the Tora and the three months of distinguishing for a convert are processes of purification, bringing the collective and the individual from an initial point of spiritual birth to a more mature and refined holiness.
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Chanukah 2012 Guide for the Perplexed|
Posted by jewishindy on Friday, December 07 @ 10:45:31 EST |
Based on Jewish Sages
By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
December 7, 2012
1. Chanukah is the only Jewish holiday which commemorates a Land of Israel national liberation struggle, unlike Passover (the Exodus from Egypt), Sukkot/Tabernacles & Shavouot/Pentacost (on the way from Egypt to the Land of Israel), Purim (deliverance of Jews in Persia), etc. Chanukah is the longest Jewish holiday (8 days) with the most intense level of Light (8 consecutive nights of candle lighting).
2. The key Chanukah developments occurred, mostly, in Judea and Samaria: Mitzpah (also Prophet Samuel's burial site), Beth El mountains (Judah's first headquarters), Beth Horon (Judah's victory over Seron), Hadashah (Judah's victory over Nicanor), Beth Zur (Judah's victory over Lysias), Ma'aleh Levona (Judah's victory over Apolonius), Adora'yim (a Maccabees' fortress), Elazar & Beit Zachariya (Judah's first defeat), Ba'al Hatzor (Judah defeated and killed), the Judean Desert, etc. Unified JerUSAlem was the Capital of the Maccabees. Chanukah is not a holiday of "occupation." Chanukah highlights the moral-high-ground of Jews in their ancestral land.
3. Shimon the Maccabee - who succeeded Judah and Yonatan the Maccabees - defied an ultimatum by the Syrian emperor, Antiochus (Book of Maccabees A, Chapter 15, verse 33), who demanded an end to the "occupation” of Jerusalem, Jaffa, Gaza, Gezer and Ekron, Shimon declared: "We have not occupied a foreign land; we have not ruled a foreign land; we have liberated the land of our forefathers from foreign occupation."
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Chag Sameach! Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah Starts Sunday Night|
Posted by jewishindy on Sunday, October 07 @ 09:20:18 EDT |
Arutz Sheva wishes you a festive end of holiday season, with Shmini Atzeret prayers and lots of Simchat Torah dancing.
The eight day festival that consists of Sukkot and Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah comes to an end Monday night, bringing an end to the month long holiday season and starting the regular year.
In Israel, a popular expression is "Acharei Hachagim" - lets' wait till after the holidays - as the entire country seems to put off whatever it can from Rosh Hashannah, sometimes even from the preceding month of Elul, until the day after Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah.
The Sukkot holiday marks the last of three yearly pilgrimage festivals to Jerusalem and the Holy Temple - preceded by Pesach and Shavuot - and also the end of the Tishrei holidays, Shmini Atzeret, which begins Sunday evening and is mandated in the Torah as a final "encore" holiday.
It is an additional day, celebrated on the day immediately following Hoshanna Raba, the solemn last and seventh day of Sukkot which is observed with mystical prayers for salvation in which the congregation marches around the bimah (table for reading the Torah, in the center of the synagogue, ed.) seven times holding the Four Species and then slams five willow branches on the floor to sympbolize the destruction of our sins but also that awaiting Israel's enemies - the latter reason not made public knowledge for obvious reasons, as the Maharsha says, positing it as the real meaning of the willow beating.
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''Rejoice...Be Wholly Happy'', Says the Bible on Sukkot - Tonight|
Posted by jewishindy on Sunday, September 30 @ 11:18:52 EDT |
Jews world over have built their sukkot, chosen their "4 species", and are ready to fulfill the Bible's command to rejoice on this festival.
Sunday evening at sundown is the start of the holiday of Sukkot (Tabernacles), one of the three major festivals (shlosha regalim) of the Jewish calendar in which, in Temple days, the Jewish People were enjoined to "go up to Jerusalem."
Sukkot, coming immediately after the solemn month of Elul and the High Holydays, is the holiday on which the Bible encourages all of us to "be wholly happy".
In recognition of that joy, the entire Halled -praise - prayer is said each day of the holiday.
In Biblical times as today, it was a harvest holiday for summer crops and grapes, a water holiday that included prayers for winter rains, gratitude for the land of milk and honey, and as always in Judaism, remembrance: reenacting the years in the desert when the Israelites dwelled in sukkot (booths), protected by G-d's clouds of glory by day and a column of fire at night. That is done by eating and spending time, entertaining, lighting holiday candles - and even sleeping - in a sukkah.
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Laws of Sukkot|
Posted by jewishindy on Sunday, September 30 @ 11:14:51 EDT |
By Rav Zvi Leshem
Tishrei 14, 5773 / Sunday, September 30, 2012
The sukkah is such an exalted joy, that it cannot be permanent, only temporary… and because joy comes from renewal, and here the renewal is constant; therefore it is the season of our rejoicing.
(Rav Kook, Arpelei Tohar)
1 Notes regarding the Construction of the Sukkah:
a. One should not place shach directly on something that is susceptible to ritual impurity, such as metal poles. One should first put down wide boards of 10cm. (which are invalid as shach) and then the shach.
b. The walls must be Halachically valid before the shach is placed. The use of sheets or cloth for the walls of the sukkah presents a serious Halachic problem, because of their tendency to flap in the wind. Even a small movement of the walls can invalidate the sukkah, and the mitzva, and the blessings will have been recited in vain. It is strongly recommended to build a sukkah with walls made of wood or other sturdy materials. If one does use cloth walls, he must be careful to secure them as well as possible. In addition, one should make “levud walls” on three sides by tying 5 strings on wires around the sukkah every 20 cm. until the height of 100 cm., like this:
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Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Guide for the Perplexed |
Posted by jewishindy on Sunday, September 30 @ 10:57:08 EDT |
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
September 30, 2012
Based on various Jewish Sages
1. The US covenant with the Jewish State dates back to Columbus Day, which is celebrated around Sukkot (October 8). According to "Columbus Then and Now" (Miles Davidson, 1997, p. 268), Columbus arrived in America on Friday afternoon, October 12, 1492, the 21st day of the Jewish month of Tishrey, the Jewish year 5235, the 7th day of Sukkot, Hoshaa'na' Rabbah, which is a day of universal deliverance and miracles. Hosha' (הושע) is the Hebrew word for "deliverance” and Na' (נא) is the Hebrew word for "please." The numerical value of Na' is 51, which corresponds to the celebration of Hoshaa'na' Rabbah on the 51st day following Moses' ascension to Mt. Sinai.
2. Sukkot is the 3rd Jewish holiday – following Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur - in the month of Tishrey, the most significant Jewish month. According to Judaism, the number 3 represents divine wisdom, stability, permanence, integration and peace. 3 is the total sum of the basic odd (1) and even (2) numbers. The 3rd day of the Creation was blessed twice; God appeared on Mt. Sinai on the 3rd day; there are 3 parts to the Bible, 3 Patriarchs, 3 pilgrimages to Jerusalem, etc.
3. The Book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon – one of the greatest philosophical documents - is read during Sukkot. It amplifies Solomon's philosophy on the centrality of God and the importance of morality, humility, family, friendship, historical memory and perspective, patience, long-term thinking, proper-timing, realism and knowledge. Ecclesiastes 4:12: "A 3-ply cord is not easily severed." The Hebrew name of Ecclesiastes is Kohelet (קהלת), which is similar to the commandment to celebrate Sukkot - Hakhel (הקהל), to assemble.
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Kol Nidre Ushers in Yom Kippur Fast: Reflection and Atonement|
Posted by jewishindy on Tuesday, September 25 @ 07:50:32 EDT |
The most solemn day of the year begins Tuesday eve. A time to pray, to think about who we are and where we are going. Chatima Tova.
Since Rosh Hashannah, Israel's Egged buses have had the computerized signs above the driver alternating between the vehicles' destination and the words "Chatima Tova" - "be sealed for a good year".
Israel radio closes its broadcasts preceding the Yom Kippur fast with the same words, said by one announcer to another and to all of Israel.
That is one of the special things about Israel. With all its differences and tensions between the secular and religious, the State of Israel is essentially closed down on Yom Kippur, with no public transportation or electronic broadcasts, and practically no open stores or services. The trains stop at 11, buses several hours later, and the IDF shuts off Palestinian Arab entrances to Jewish areas. Everyone tells everyone "chatima tova" as the phone lines jam.
This day, highest of the High Holidays – Yom Kippur – is to begin on Tuesday night, and Jews around the world will fast for 25 hours on the solemn day that ends the Ten Days of Penitence.
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YOM KIPPUR 5773: PARODY OF TESHUVA? And Laws of Yom Kippur|
Posted by jewishindy on Monday, September 24 @ 22:21:13 EDT |
By Rav Zvi Leshem
Tishrei 9, 5773 / Tuesday, September 25, 2012
We have often discussed issues pertaining to the sincerity of our teshuva
, or at least to its seeming lack of longevity. Let us look at this issue from a different perspective. Rav Soloveitchik
questions the seemingly absurd approach of Rebbe Yehuda HaNasi, that on Yom Kippur one receives atonement even without
! In his words, it seems that the Creator of the universe demands and requests the friendship and companionship even of the sinner
Before returning to his answer, let us turn to some of Rav Shagar’s thoughts on the matter.
In several of his earlier writings on teshuva, Rav Shagar quoted his teacher, HaGaon Rav Shlomo Fisher shlit”a,to the effect that doing teshuva is like doing laundry: the fact that we know that our clothes will get dirty again doesn’t prevent us from washing them now! In a recent drasha connecting Yom Kippur and Sukkot, he goes a step further.
The prophet Yona, whose book we read for the Haftara at Mincha on Yom Kippur, began his prophetic career with the Divine inspiration that he received at the Simchat Beit HaShoava on Sukkot, and we read it at the end of Yom Kippur to create a bridge between the two holidays.
Yona as we know was rather dubious regarding the sincerity of the teshuva of the people of Nineveh . Despite the fact that we often find their repentance brought as a model for ourselves, Rav Shagar identifies with Yona’s skepticism.
Noting that the not only the people of Nineveh fasted and donned sackcloth, but their animals as well, Rav Shagar writes, the teshuva here is a caricature of teshuva; where have we found fasting and sackcloth…for animals? The shocking comparison of human teshuva with animal teshuva teaches about all of teshuva…all that remains is teshuva on the level of an animal…
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Yom Kippur Guide for the Perplexed 2012|
Posted by jewishindy on Monday, September 24 @ 22:20:17 EDT |
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger"
September 24, 2012
Based on Jewish Sages
1. Yom Kippur is observed on the tenth day of the Jewish month of Tishrey, whose astrological sign is Libra (♎). Libra symbolizes key themes of Yom Kippur: scales, justice, balance, truth, symmetry, sensitivity and optimism. Libra is ruled by the planet Venus (Noga, נגה, in Hebrew), which reflects divine light and love of the other person. The numerical value of Venus, ,נגהis 58 just like the numerical value of אזן, which is the Hebrew root of "balance” and "scale.”
2. Three holidays - Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot (Tabernacles) - are celebrated during the month of Tishrey. The number 3 is identified with balance, stability and The Essence. The triangle is a symbol of stability.
3. On the first day of Tishrey, the first human being, Adam, was created. Each year on the tenth day of Tishrey, Yom Kippur, human beings are accorded an opportunity to recreate themselves spiritually. Tishrey and Libra are dominated by the Hebrew letter ל, which is the tallest Hebrew letter, consisting of 3 parts, aiming upward, reflecting the need to elevate-oneself morally, self-enhancement. Yom Kippur is not driven by punishment, but by behavioral-enhancement.
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Countdown to Moshiach: Worldwide Jewish Prayer at 11 A.M. EDT|
Posted by jewishindy on Sunday, September 23 @ 10:52:26 EDT |
Jews worldwide will simultaneously be part of a unique worldwide Jewish Prayer for Peace and Moshiach at 5 pm Sunday, 11 am EDT. By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Tishrei 7, 5773, 23/09/12 02:35
Jews around the world will simultaneous be part of a unique worldwide Jewish Prayer for Peace and Moshiach, the Jewish term for the Savior, at 5 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. EDT, three days before Yom Kippur.
The idea for Jews to pray together at the same moment is to add power to the prayer to G-d to bring the Moshiach and peace to Jews and to all of the world, explained rabbis.
The event will take place in California at 8 a.m., in London at 4 p.m., Paris at 5 p.m., and in Australia at 1 a.m. Monday morning.
Rabbi Lazer Brody will join Tamar Yonah on her live show on Arutz Sheva - Israel National Radio
shortly before 5 p.m. Israeli time to talk about the prayer and then recite it simultaneously with Tamar, listeners and tens of thousands of Jews around the world.
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Days of Awe Begin Sunday Evening with the New Year Holiday|
Posted by jewishindy on Sunday, September 16 @ 13:49:01 EDT |
"Repentance, prayer and charity will avert evil decrees" and bring each of us closer to what G-d intended for man to be. Shana Tova to all.
[A7Editor's note: News reporting will continue with Arutz Sheva’s reporter writing from Canada until the start of holiday NY time and then resume on Tuesday night Israel time with our Israeli reporters.]
The Jewish People begin the High Holydays, or Days of Awe, on Sunday evening, on the first of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, ushering in the year 5773 with nearly a month of special days: Two days of Rosh Hashannah on Monday and Tuesday, the Fast of Gedaliah on Wednesday and then Shabbat Shuva, the Sabbath of Repentance.
Rosh Hashannah is also the start of the Ten Days of Repentance which culminate with the solemn Fast of Yom Kippur on the tenth day of Tishrei. Special verses about repentance are added to the silent Amidah prayer said three times daily during these ten days. Sukkoth, or Tabernacles, the holiday of joy, follows five days later.
The preceding month of Elul has been dedicated to effecting change and approaching G-d. The shofar was sounded each morning after services, and Psalm 27 alluding to all three holidays was recited daily (and is continued till the end of Sukkot). Selichot,
throughout the month in the Sephardi community and for the past week in the Ashkenazi community, were said at dawn.
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ROSH HASHANA MESSAGE |
Posted by jewishindy on Friday, September 14 @ 14:00:00 EDT |
From Rav Zvi Leshem
Elul 27, 5772 / Friday, September 14, 2012
As we have learned, the holy Baal Shem Tov teaches regarding the "inscriptions" of Rosh HaShana: All of the thoughts that come into one's head on Rosh Hashana – they are the inscribing, whether for good or for bad (G-d forbid) and if one has negative thoughts he must sweeten them and do battle with the yetzer hara that purposely sends us these thoughts….
The coming year is in our hands; in fact it is in our heads! This has far-reaching consequences for our observance on this holy day. The most important thing is to remain in a positive state of mind the entire day. We must be even more careful than usual not to allow anything to make us upset or angry, and not to get annoyed about all kinds of little things that may come up at shul or at home. The yetzer hara works overtime on Rosh Hashana to provide us with all kinds of reasons to get annoyed or into a bad mood. Perhaps the chazzan wasn't to our liking or the davening was too fast or too slow. Maybe the food wasn't prepared exactly as I like it, or someone forgot to arrange something at home the way it should be. It was too hot outside or the air conditioner in shul was too cold. My neighbor at shul distracted me by talking or my child had trouble sitting still. Perhaps I am just angry and frustrated about my own inability to progress spiritually as I desire or a little bit resentful towards HaShem about some perceived unfairness. Are these the thoughts that we want to determine the coming year? Certainly not! We must make a strong effort not to think like this, and if we find these ideas creeping into our heads, to "sweeten" them by trying to find the good in these issues, or by gently distracting ourselves from them to get ourselves back into a positive frame of mind. Of course if we do have negative thoughts we certainly shouldn't get upset about it, that will only compound the problem. We need to do everything in our power to make ourselves happy, to bring joy to our family and friends on this holy day.
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Rosh Hashanah Guide for the Perplexed|
Posted by jewishindy on Friday, September 14 @ 14:00:00 EDT |
By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
September 14, 2012
Based on Jewish Sages
1. Rosh Hashanah and the Shofar (ritual ram's horn) symbolize and commemorate:
*The annual reaffirmation of faith in God;
*The first human-being, Adam, was created on Rosh Hashanah, the sixth day of Creation, the first day of the Jewish month of Tishrey;
*The opening of Noah's Ark following the flood;
*The almost-sacrifice of Isaac (thou shall not sacrifice human beings!) and the covenant of the Jewish People with God;
*The three Jewish Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Prophet Samuel (the latter inspired Thomas Paine, the author of "Common Sense,” the cement of the American Revolution), were conceived/born during the month of Tishrey, which is called "The Month of the Strong Ones";
*The release of Joseph from Egyptian jail;
*Mt. Sinai and receiving the Ten Commandment and the Torah;
*The commitment to liberty. The blowing of the Shofar also announces the beginning of the Jubilee, "Yovel” in Hebrew, which is a synonym of Shofar. The blowing of the Shofar represents deliverance from spiritual and physical slavery. It inspired the anti-slavery Abolitionist movement in the USA;
*The reconstruction of the 2nd Temple and the destruction of both Temples;
*The ingathering (Aliya) to the Jewish Homeland, the land of Israel;
*The cycle of nature - seed planting season and the equality of day and night;
*Optimism in the face of daily adversity – genuine repentance and mending behavior warrants forgiveness;
*The fallibility of all human-beings, starting with Adam and including the most pious persons, such as Moses;
*Humility as an effective means to minimize wrong-doing;
*Restraint. Patience and long-term commitment – "Hashanah” in Hebrew (השנה) means "the year,” "change” and "repeat.” No quick fixes!
*The "Ten Days of Awe” are initiated on Rosh Hashanah and sealed on Yom Kippur.
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The Film to Watch this Sunday - Tisha B'Av|
Posted by jewishindy on Friday, July 27 @ 14:00:00 EDT |
From Ari Abramowitz
The Land of Israel
July 27, 2012
This Tisha B'Av, as we commemorate the destruction of both the first and second Temples and other tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people on this day throughout history, the Producer of the documentary film, UNSETTLED, has decided to make his film available for free online streaming at www.vimeo.com/46423843.
UNSETTLED is a powerful and emotional documentary about the internally polarizing and extraordinarily dramatic event Israel faced in August of 2005, which has become known as the disengagement from the Gaza Strip. This film offers a unique and personal behind-the-scenes look, both before and during the evacuation, at the people whose lives would forever be impacted by the events which unfolded during those difficult weeks.
Please join me and thousands of others who will be watching the film this Tisha B'Av and connecting with the feelings and emotion of the day. www.vimeo.com/46423843
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When Tisha B’Av Occurs On Shabbat Or Sunday|
Posted by jewishindy on Friday, July 27 @ 14:00:00 EDT |
By Raphael Grunfeld
July 26, 2012
Five tragedies occurred on Tisha B’Av. It was decreed that those who left Egypt would not enter the land of Israel, the first and second Temples were destroyed, the city of Betar was captured with thousands massacred, and Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the razed Temple. Consequently, Tisha B’Av was declared a day of national mourning and a fast day.
The fast of Tisha B’Av, like the fast of Yom Kippur, begins at sunset on the night preceding the fast day itself. In order to prepare oneself for the fast, the accepted custom on a weekday is to eat a regular meal without meat and wine before Minchah. Following Minchah, the last meal before the fast, the seudah mafseket, is eaten. This meal, eaten sitting on the floor, consists of bread, water and an egg dipped in ashes (Shulchan Aruch, 552:6, Mishnah Berurah, 16). The seudah mafseket may not be eaten as a family meal but rather as an individual one, each person in his or her own corner with Birkat Hamazon recited by each person for himself without a mezuman (SA, ibid, 552:8).
When Tisha B’Av occurs on Shabbat, the fast is postponed. It begins on Motzaei Shabbat and ends Sunday night. When the fast is postponed to Sunday or when Erev Tisha B’Av occurs on Shabbat, the final meal eaten before the beginning of the fast is the seudah shelishit, the third meal of Shabbat. Since it is still Shabbat, during which mourning is prohibited, none of the restrictions of the seudah mafseket described above apply. Accordingly, one may eat meat, drink wine, sit around the table and recite Birkat Hamazon with a mezuman, and there is no requirement to dip an egg in ashes. The only difference between this seudah shelishit and others eaten during the year is that this one must be terminated before the sun sets and the fast begins.
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Shavou'ot (Pentecost) Guide for the Perplexed |
Posted by jewishindy on Friday, May 25 @ 14:05:00 EDT |
[JewishIndy Editor: Shavuot begins tomorrow night.]
By Yoram Ettinger
The Ettinger Report
May 25, 2012
(Based on Jewish Sages)
1. Shavou'ot (Pentecost) is the holiday of the Torah, which impacted the US Constitution in particular and the state of Western morality, liberty and democracy in general. Shavou'ot is celebrated by decorating homes and houses of worship with Land of Israel-related fruit, vegetables, herb and flowers, demonstrating the endemic-connection between the Torah of Israel, the People of Israel and the Land of Israel.
2. Shavou'ot – a spiritual holiday – follows Passover – a national liberation holiday: from physical liberation (the Exodus) to spiritual liberation/enhancement.
3. The two portions of the Torah, which are recited/studied around Shavou'ot, are נשא and בהעלותך, which mean – in Hebrew - spiritual enhancement and elevation. נשא is the longest portion of the Torah (176 verses), highlighting the inauguration of the ancient tabernacle and altar. בהעלותך highlights the Menorah (Candelabrum) of the ancient tabernacle, which had seven branches, similar to the seven day week and the seven weeks between Passover and Shavou'ot.
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Drashot for Bamidbar and for Shavuot|
Posted by jewishindy on Friday, May 25 @ 14:00:00 EDT |
PARSHAT BAMIDBAR: COUNTING THE PEOPLE
By Rav Zvi Leshem
Sivan 4, 5772 / Friday, May 25, 2012
The book of Bamidbar opens with the commandment to take a census of Am Yisrael.
This explains its other name in Rabbinic literature, Chumash Pikudim, Numbers.
The census is of adult males who will be soldiers, for the Torah “does not rely on miracles” in military matters. Additionally this number would serve as a basis for dividing the land of Israel amongst the tribes.
The Levites are not counted together with the other tribes as they are not meant to be soldiers. Later they will be counted separately, for their special task of tending to and transporting the Mishkan
and its vessels. It is explained that the King’s special guard deserve to be counted separately. Additionally, G-d foresaw that they would not serve the Golden Calf, and would be spared from the decree of dying in the desert. This decree did fall upon all who were initially counted.
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YOM YERUSHALAYIM 5772: NATURE AND CIVILIZATION|
Posted by jewishindy on Saturday, May 19 @ 21:45:00 EDT |
Shalom Friends, this Motzei Shabbos and Sunday is 28 Iyar, Yom Yerushalayim, the 45th anniversary of the redemption of Jerusalem and many other holy places throughout Eretz Yisrael. May we merit to celebrate the Final Redemption speedily in our times! Shabbat Shalom, Yom Yerushalayim sameach, Rav Zvi
By Rav Zvi Leshem
Iyar 27, 5772 / Saturday, May 19, 2012
During the month of Iyar
we experience numerous transitions. In addition to the ongoing process of Sefirat HaOmer
, within which the month of Iyar
is completely encased
, we also transition from Yom HaShoa
to Yom HaZikaron
, from the latter to Yom HaAtzmaut
, from Pesach Sheni
to Lag B'Omer
, and from Yom Yerushalayim
to Chag Shavuot
. I would like to address an aspect of the transition from Yom HaAtzmaut
to Yom Yerushalayim
, based upon a newly published drasha of my teacher Rav Shagar zt"l.
We all feel strongly that the transitions in time during the weeks of Iyar
reflect the dramatic transitions of Am Yisrael
during the decades of the mid 20th
century. The week that transpires from Yom HaShoa
to Yom HaZikaron
which overnight turns into Yom HaAtzmaut
seems to parallel the few short years that spanned the destruction of European Jewry followed almost immediately by Israel 's miraculous independence which was of course accompanied by great losses in its own right.
Similarly the three weeks separating Yom HaAtzamut
from Yom Yerushalayim
seem to encapsulate the nineteen year process from the independence of the State in 1948 until the liberation of Jerusalem in 1967. From the perspective of the Religious Zionist, these two events marked two clear stages in the dazzling process of the Geula
, which while proceeding stage by stage, nonetheless seemed to be hurtling forward, with Divine providence only thinly veiled in the guise of nature.
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Israel Celebrates Jerusalem Day|
Posted by jewishindy on Saturday, May 19 @ 21:45:00 EDT |
Saturday night begins Jerusalem Day, Israelis celebrate 45 years to the capital’s reunification. By Maayana Miskin
Iyar 27, 5772, 19/05/12 11:06
On Saturday night and Sunday Israelis will celebrate Jerusalem Day, which marks the reunification of Jerusalem in the Six Day War after 19 years of Jordanian rule in half of the city.
Synagogues were full Saturday night as many Israelis held special, festive prayer sessions in honor of the 45th anniversary of the capital’s reunification.
The government will hold a special session Sunday at Ammunition Hill
in Jerusalem, which was the site of some of the Six Day War’s fiercest battles. During the session the government will vote on a series of motions aimed to develop Jerusalem in terms of tourism, economy and more.
One of the motions is the development of Ammunition Hill at a cost of 20 million shekels.
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Hundreds of Thousands in Meron|
Posted by jewishindy on Wednesday, May 09 @ 16:42:28 EDT |
Police have deployed 1,200 officers as the masses flock to the grave of R' Shimon Bar Yochai
By Gabe Kahn
Iyar 17, 5772 / Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Tens of thousands of people have flocked to Meron to honor Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai for the traditional Lag Ba'Omer bonfire lighting.
Alongside traditional Hasidic dance, students will meet to learn Torah with residents from Elon Moreh and Yizhar.
Events will include Torah lectures dealing about Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, and dancing accompanied by musical instruments.
Earlier, police commander Eli Krisphil for the Northern District told Arutz Sheva, "We are fully deployed, and have been since early morning."
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Friday Night is Seder Night|
Posted by jewishindy on Friday, April 06 @ 09:22:54 EDT |
A7 brings you a summary of laws and customs of the holiday. Chag Sameach from A7!
By T. Gedalya and R. Sylvetsky
Nisan 14, 5772, 06/04/12 02:04
The Holy One, Blessed be He, passed over the homes of the Israelites as he smote the firstborn of the Egyptians, from the son of Pharaoh to the son of the servants. Pharaoh was spared to see how G-d delivered His Chosen People from the hands of those who would destroy them, as He does in every generation. And the joyous holiday of Passover, in which we relive that redemption and sing "Next year in rebuilt Jerusalem", begins Friday night.
brings you a summary of the main aspects of the holiday in Jewish law and practice. For details on koshering a kitchen for Passover, click here
and for Torah thoughts for the holiday from well known rabbis and religious scholars, click here
and continue to read our Judaism section.
Passover (Pesach), called the Holiday of Our Freedom, will take place in Israel this year between sunset on Friday, April 6, (15th of Nisan) and Friday night, April 13th, but because of the Sabbath, will effectively end on Saturday night April 14th.
The first and seventh days are always marked as Sabbath-like holy days (Yom Tov) in which work is forbidden.Since this year, the holiday in Israel ends as the Sabbath begins, there are two holy days at the end of the holiday.
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Passover Guide for the Perplexed 2012|
Posted by jewishindy on Friday, April 06 @ 08:34:20 EDT |
By Yoram Ettinger
Nisan 14, 5772 / Friday, April 06, 2012
Based on Jewish Sages
1. David Ben Gurion, the Founding Father of the Jewish State (UN Commission, 1947): "300 years ago, the Mayflower launched its historical voyage. Do many remember the exact data of the voyage, how many passengers were on the Mayflower and what kind of bread did they consume? However, 3,300 years earlier, the Exodus from Egypt took place. Every Jew knows the date of the Exodus – the 15th of the Jewish month of Nissan – and the kind of bread – Matza, unleavened bread – consumed. Until today, Jews all over the world tell the story of the Exodus and eat Matza on the 15th of Nissan. They conclude the story of the Exodus (Hagaddah) with the statement: "This year we are slaves, but next year we shall be liberated; this year we are here, but next year we shall be in the rebuilt Jerusalem."
2. Passover recounts Jewish history, re-entrenching Jewish memory, unity, collective-responsibility, roots, rights and sovereignty in the land of Israel. President Ezer Weizman in the German Bundestag, January 16, 1996: "Only 150 generations have passed from the Pillar of Fire of the Exodus from Egypt to the pillars of smoke from the Holocaust. And I, a descendant of Abraham, born in Abraham's country, have witnessed them all. I was a slave in Egypt. I received the Torah at Mount Sinai. Together with Joshua and Elijah, I crossed the Jordan River. I entered Jerusalem with David, was exiled from it with Zedekiah, and did not forget it by the rivers of Babylon. When the Lord returned the captives of Zion, I dreamed among the builders of its ramparts. I fought the Romans and was banished from Spain. I was bound to the stake in Mainz. I studied Torah in Yemen and lost my family in Kishinev. I was incinerated in Treblinka, rebelled in Warsaw and migrated to the Land of Israel, the country whence I had been exiled and where I had been born, from which I come and to which I return… And, like our forefather King David who purchased the Temple Mount, and our patriarch Abraham who bought the [Hebron] Cave of Makhpela, we bought land, we sowed fields, we planted vineyards, we built houses, and even before we achieved statehood, we were already bearing weapons to protect our lives…”
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|Big Story of Today|
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