Every year, around La"g Baomer, our Kolel of Torah studies sets out to the North to the Galilee to the Tombs of the Righteous, for a lovely (and hopefully useful) excursion. The word for "north" in Hebrew is צפון, Tzafon. It is derived from the verb צפן, Tzafan, which means to hide, most usually a … Continue reading My Journey to the Tombs of the Tzadikim in the Galilee (2017) – part 1, about the North
Now is the time for a bit of Pirkey Avot! עֲקַבְיָא בֶּן מַהֲלַלְאֵל אוֹמֵר: הִסְתַּכֵּל בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים וְאֵין אַתָּה בָּא לִידֵי עֲבֵרָה. דַּע, מֵאַיִן בָּאתָ וּלְאָן אַתָּה הוֹלֵךְ וְלִפְנֵי מִי אַתָּה עָתִיד לִתֵּן דִּין וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן. מֵאַיִן בָּאתָ - מִטִּפָּה סְרוּחָה, וּלְאָן אַתָּה הוֹלֵךְ - לִמְקוֹם עָפָר רִמָּה וְתוֹלֵעָה, וְלִפְנֵי מִי אַתָּה עָתִיד לִתֵּן דִּין וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן … Continue reading Pirkey Avot chap. 3 Mishnah 1, an Insight
The definition of holiness, sanctity, in Loshon Hakodesh, in Hebrew, is to be "set apart", be nivdal. When you sanctify something, you take it away from all other things and give it special importance. It becomes absolute, and all else - only relative. As Rashi says in our Parasha: בכל מקום שאתה מוצא פרישות גדר ערוה … Continue reading To be AND not to be – That is the Answer
The only month which every year is completely absorbed in Sefirat-Haomer is Iyar. Nissan and Sivan are only partially in the Sefira. The Sefira is a period of preparation for receiving the Torah on Mt Sinai on 6th Sivan - Shavuot, both for our forefathers historically, and for us today. A totally parallel proceeding is … Continue reading Iyar & Shvat – Twins???
This evening it's Yom Ha-Atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day (69) and we all know that for some religious Jews that's not a happy, let alone, holy day. However I was always fascinated by those Jews who regard this day as a perfectly religious Moed (holiday). It's certainly not written anywhere in the Bible, nor in the … Continue reading The Alphabetical Secret of א”ת ב”ש and Independence Day
The Rambam in his More Nevuchim (Guide to the Perplexed) almost at the start of the book asks a question about the sin in the Garden of Eden: נמצא חוטא נשכר! It seems that the sinner has gained from his sin! Adam and Eve were placed in a Garden where there was a Tree of … Continue reading Tzara-at (Byblical Leprosy) in Correction of the Primordial Sin
What a relief it is to begin again saying Tahnun in prayer... From the beginning of Nissan we do not mention our own sins and confess them in prayer, because in holidays we think only positive and try not to look at what's bad (plenty of time for that the rest of the year) - … Continue reading Our True Self – Back to Tahnun