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Providence is not limited to matters of Biblical proportions, nor merely to the mythic, legendary or epic by to even to the smallest details of an individual’s life. Recently there has been considerable tumult created concerning the status of the Western Wall (Kotel) and what mode of Jewish worship is appropriate.
In the interests of full disclosure as an Orthodox Rabbi who tilts towards the Haredi I believe the Kotel as a historic place of Jewish worship is indeed a place of worship…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on June 14, 2013 at 5:57pm — No Comments
The Holy Rabbi Yehoshua Asher of Prisov ZT’L ZY’A taught everyone reads through the whole Torah every year. One who is a clear thinker when one reaches those parshyot about the Tabernacle one should look at every word in depth attaching oneself to each word. However when one reaches those Parshyiot that feature strife and controversy like Korach one reads those quickly. One whose intellect is not in order will do the reverse.
Korach initiated a rebellion against Moshe’s leadership.…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on June 7, 2013 at 5:42am — No Comments
The combination between the Parashat Salach and the blessing of the coming month Tamuz poses a fascinating intersection of experience to reflect upon.
Rabbi Zvi Hirsch of Zitachov ZT'L ZY'A every year would remind his students that the earlier commentators explained Tamuz was an abbreviation for "the days of repentance are coming" Although the rabbi was not offering anything novel yet because it was him the effect upon the Rabbi's students was profound.
Already some three months…
Added by Bernard S. Antin on May 31, 2013 at 7:46pm — No Comments
Biblical narratives are much more than historical accounts or stories. The Torah is a D-vine document therefore whatever is part of scripture generally and the Torah specifically belongs to the Eternal so that it is applicable to every Jew in every place throughout time.
Chapter 12 in BaMidbar tells the story of Miriam suffering the leprosy-like affliction of Tzarat. Miriam and her brother Aaron spoke disparagingly about their baby brother Moshe. G-D Himself points out to both Aaron…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on May 23, 2013 at 7:59pm — No Comments
Rabbi Aaron of Belz ZTVK’L ZY’A would repeat on the Shabbat of Parashat Nasso “I each generation there are unique individuals who if they wished could bring Mashiach, Messiah. And if they desired to summon Mashiach he would be compelled to come. Why then do these people not wish to bring Mashiach? What stops them from acting? Mashiach must come through an arousal of D-vine compassion [and not compulsion]”
Mashiach’s arrival and the fundamental change in the human condition that is the…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on May 17, 2013 at 7:23am — No Comments
The Juxtaposition between Parashat BaMidbar and the coming holiday of Shavout is noteworthy. Parashat BaMidbar features the census and organization of Bene Yisrael. The the call for a census came on the first day in the Second month of the Second year of Bene Yisrael’s desert journey (see BaMidbar 1:2). This date is significant as by this time the Tabernacle was fully functional (see Shemoth 40:2). Now that the nation had a central place of worship, a focal point for the G-D -Man…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on May 9, 2013 at 7:20pm — No Comments
According to the Talmud Eruvim 54b describes how the Oral Torah was originally transmitted. G-D taught Moshe who in turn taught his brother Aaron, Aaron’s sons then the Elders and lastly the general population. Once Moshe finished Aaron taught his sons, the Elders and the populace. Aaron’s sons then taught the Elders and the people, lastly the Elders taught the people. So that Moshe who heard the lesson from G-D taught all the groups once, Aaron heard from Moshe four times, Aaron’s sons…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on May 3, 2013 at 8:25pm — No Comments
Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac of Zitochav ZT’L ZY’A celebrated Lag B'Omer by telling stories of faith and trust in G-D. Obviously there is something about Lag B’omer that arouses a need or an affinity with faith and trust in G-D moreso that generally.
If anything, explains Rav Yaakov Emden ZT’L ZY’A Lag B’ Omer corresponds to the sifra of HOD Sheb’ HOD. glory within glory, a circumstance that is characterized by being completely surrounded on all sides with harsh judgments. The Rabbi compares…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on April 26, 2013 at 8:09pm — No Comments
The Mishna recites how G-D’s presence is amid those who study Torah. However the MAHARAM AL-SHAKAR ZT’L ZY’A observes the cited proof texts show a relationship between the number of participants and the intensity of G-d’s presence.
The proof text brought to demonstrate that even a solitary Torah student merits the D-vine Presence visiting and bestowing blessing appears to be taken completely out of context. The Second half of Shemoth 20:21” . . . [I]n all places where I cause my name…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on April 18, 2013 at 6:20pm — No Comments
The Late Slonimer Rebbe ZT’L ZY’A in Netivoth Shalom wonders what distinguishes this Mishna from How Rebbe began this Chapter “ . . . which is the upright path one should clarify [for living one’s life]”? The Netivoth Shalom explains Rebbe was offering guidance to the populace at large. Whereas this Mishna is an exchange between Rabban Yochanan ben Zackai and his most elite students. Rabban Yochanan was asking what character trait did you cultivate as a means of obtaining your spiritual…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on April 12, 2013 at 4:52pm — No Comments
Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel is addressing what elements are necessary to sustain a civil society. Rabbi Ovadiah Bartenura ZT’L ZY’A explains the Mishna is teaching Justice is when the Courts punish the guilty and acquit the innocent. Truth is personified by people acting truthfully by not lying to each other. Peace exist between individuals and countries.
However, why would Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel organize the Mishna this way? The Prooftext cited from Zechariah(8:16) “These are the…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on April 5, 2013 at 3:59am — No Comments
The first of the three matters that Rabban Gamliel declares whose explanation are mandatory the Seder as essential element of the commandment “And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the Lord did to me when I came forth out of Egypt.” (Shemoth 13:8).
The text cites Shemoth 12:27 “That you shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, who passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians, and saved…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on March 21, 2013 at 5:46pm — No Comments
The Ten Plagues visited on Egypt explains Rabbi Yitzchak Ibn Abuchav ZT’L ZY’A IN Menorath HaMeor (Candle 3, Category 4, Section 4 , Chapter 3) demonstrate G-D’s dominion over creation.
Blood and Frogs are associated with the element of Water
The water was turned to blood in response to Pharaoh and Egypt’s arrogance “And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Lord; because he has said, The river is mine, and I have made it.” (Yechezkel…
Added by Bernard S. Antin on March 14, 2013 at 7:40pm — No Comments
FOR THE SHABBAT HACHODESH
WHEN THE MONTH OF NISSAN IS BLESSED
Sefer Zechut Avot relates that on the Shabbat when the month of Nissan is blessed Rabbi Yisrael Kozientz ZT’L ZY’A would relate these three stories as they are capable of eliciting D-vine favor upon Jewry to afford and receive all their Passover needs amid abundance.
Rav Areleh Roth ZT’L ZY’A author of Shomer Emunim, commanded that these stories be told on 21 Adar the Yharzeit of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of…
Added by Bernard S. Antin on March 8, 2013 at 7:02am — No Comments
The weeks between the blessing of the month of Adar and the blessing of the Month of Nissan are distinguished by special Torah readings and Haftorah. The First Shekalim, reviews the obligation to make an annual half shekel contribution that are due on the First of Nissan. The Second, Zachor is read on the Shabbat preceding Purim thereby preserving the memory of Amalek’s evil and the commandment to ensure that people’s destruction. Zachor is tied to Purim as Haman was a scion of Amalek,…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on February 28, 2013 at 9:02pm — No Comments
The Second Chapter of Mishnayoth Megila opens with “Whoever reads the Megila out of order does not fulfill one’s obligation.” Rabbi Baruch of Mezibush ZT’L ZY’A offered an alternative reading that one does not fulfill one’s obligation to read the Megila if it read as something that happened in the past. Even though Purim is not commanded by the Torah as it celebrates events that transpired towards the end of the prophetic era, several centuries after Moshe Our Teacher its lessons like the…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on February 21, 2013 at 7:04pm — No Comments
Though there is a D-vine promise that Jewry would never be eradicated what is there that testifies to the Jews’ status as an eternal people. A companion question is what leaves the Jewish people vulnerable? What fortifies them?
Interestingly part of the answer shows a connection with the Sidra Terumah and the coming holiday of Purim. Terumah begins a discussion regarding the Temple’s forerunner the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle, the vessels associated with worship and the priests’…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on February 15, 2013 at 5:20am — No Comments
This is being written in honor of Rafi N’Y’s Bar Mitzvah This Shabbat MAZAL TOV to all of his Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles , Cousins, Siblings, Rabbis, Teachers, Classmates and of course Rafi!!!
Three events coincide this Shabbat, Parashat Mishpatim, The coming new month of Adar is blessed and a special Torah reading and Haftorah for Parashat Shekalim. The Parasha stands in dramatic contrast to last week’s. Yitro details the events leading up to and the experience of the Law…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on February 7, 2013 at 8:22pm — No Comments
Calling what G-D communicated at Sinai The Ten Commandments is a bit of a misnomer. The Hebrew term is Asereth HaDibruth, The Ten Statements. While the whole Torah is an articulation of G-D’s will it stands to reason that whatever was revealed at Sinai in the presence of the whole nation under miraculous circumstances is something fundamental to Judaism. Arguably, since the number of letters used in the Asereth HaDibruth (Shemoth 20:2-14) equals the total number of commandments. However,…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on January 31, 2013 at 9:44pm — No Comments
Parashat Bo describes the Exodus of Bene Yisrael from Egypt, Rabbi Yisrael Zvi of Kassin ZT;L ZY’A the author of Sefer of Ohr Maleh told this story about Rav Moshe Lieb of Sassov ZT’L ZY’A annually on the Shabbat when Parashat Bo.
On Shabbat Parashat Bo one year a most remarkable event took place in Rav Moshe Lieb Sassover’s congregation. That Friday night after sating the evening prayer Rabbi Moshe Lieb ZT’L ZY’A began reciting the Hall prayer as is the custom on the first nights of…Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on January 17, 2013 at 6:40pm — No Comments