Thursday, August 31, 2017

Parshas Hashavua (ויתד תהיה לך על אזנך (דברים כ"ג: י"ד

Parshas Hashavua

(ויתד תהיה לך על אזנך (דברים כ"ג: י"ד

In the times of the second Bais Hamikdash, there were various different kinds of sects and cults in the Jewish community. One of the cults were the ”Issi’im” whom Chazal called  “Tovlei Shachris”.(went to the Mikveh every morning). This cult didn’t survive because they never got married.

They were a very interesting cult. They considered Tahara and hygiene as one and were very strict about it. They went to the Mikveh several times a day. They went to the Mikveh before the meals, after relieving themselves and if they touched someone who was from a lower cast of the four groups. They claimed to have prophecy because of the holy lifestyle they followed.
It took a few years to join the cult. There were four groups a) children b) first year in training c) additional two years training d) full fledged members. Once one graduated to full member status they presented him with white clothing, an apron to cover themselves when relieving and a shovel to cover it up in the ground.
They had many Chumros in Hilchos Shabbos. They held that all utensils even a  כלי שמלאכתו להיתר are Muktzah. Shovels which are מלאכתו לאיסור  was for sure Muktza even when used לצורך גופו  . They would not use the washroom the whole Shabbos because they couldn’t use the shovel.

Now that you know this piece of history you will understand the Gaon on the last Tosefta in Meseches Yodayim ועיין שם

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Yesterday we linked to the Unbelievable Story Of The Megale Amukos

Part 2 (The believable story)

The "unbelievable story" doesn't make any sense and sounds absurd.

If the Chevra Kadisha accepts money for a particular grave and then decides to cheat and place the Niftar in a different  grave then the onus is on the Chevra Kadisha to undo the 
injustice and place him in the grave he had originally purchased, regardless who is buried next to him.

If the Niftar was wronged there is no need for him to attend  a Din Torah. For sure there is no need for the Niftar to dig himself out of his old grave and bury himself in the new one. 

The believable story :

The מגלה עמוקות had a son Reb Yitzchok
who was Niftar at a young age. He was buried next to his father the מגלה עמוקות. Over the years his מצבה disintegrated.

The Chevra Kadisha decided to replace the original מצבה .

The script on the original מצבה was illegible. Since he died as a young man  very little was known about him so they wrote 
on the "*מצבה "יגיד עליו רעה

The fact that he was buried next to his great father proves he must have been a great man. 

In one of the editions of the Sefer Megaleh Amukos , they printed  both versions of the יגיד עליו רעו מצבה story with a picture of the 
Yagid Olov Reio מצבה, taken before the war. (WW2)  
The name" Yitzchok " son of the מגלה עמוקות. is clearly 

legible. (circled in yellow)

Text on top of the מצבה stating that they had to 
replace the original מצבה and couldn't copy the 
original text because it disintegrated. 

*In Iyuv 36:33 it is spelled רעו with a ו and not  a ה.
It's possible they used the word רעהו  and it rubbed off.

Monday, August 28, 2017


2 more riddles 
Parshas Hashavua

a) Berl, the alcoholic has two bottles of wine 1) Bartenura (Italy)  2) Baron Herzog (U.S.A.)
He plans to drink one of them. Which one of the two would you recommend, for him to drink



זכר זכר או זכר ולא זכר 

Riddle For Parshas Ki Seitzei

Parshas Hashavua

Berl went to a wedding and because the singer in the band sang a song Berl's life was saved and he wasn't killed.

Friday, August 25, 2017

What happened to the צדיק?

What happened to the צדיק?

 This week in Parshas Shoftim it says ומי האיש הירא ורך הלבב
Chazal Darshan he is fearful of the עבירות in his hand.
Even for minor עבירות, one gets sent home. The ones who
go to war don't have any עבירות. Only true צדיקים can
go out to the battlefield.

So how is it possible for this same צדיק to come home a 
week later (Parsha כי תצא) with a  יפת תואר?

Reb Sholom Schwadron zt"l answered this question with a one

 "כאן קודם צבא, כאן אחר צבא"

Answer To The Three Months Riddle

לז"נ האשה החשובה אשת חבר (הרב שמואל דונט זצ"ל)      
מלכה בת ר' עמרם ע"ה יום השנה ג' אלול           

The  (ערוך השלחן (אהע"ז סד י"ג  writes, 
"The months of אדר, אלול, תשרי , we do 
not refrain from getting married even on 

the second half (end) of the month".

Thursday, August 24, 2017


What do these 3 months "אדר - אלול - תשרי" have in common?


Not to waste the Tziburs time 

    with a Kapitel Tehillim

The Gaon's Minhag was not to say לדוד ה' אורי 
from R. Chodesh Ellul till Simchas Torah.

The אדרת* writes the reason for not
saying it was because of טירחא דציבורא.

Saying one extra Kapitel Tehillim takes 
up too much time of the Tzibbur.

Perhaps we can explain the Aderes /Gaon,

There is no mention in Bavli, Yerushalmi,
Rishonim, Tur, Shulchan Aruch, Kisvei Arizal etc. 
to say לדוד ה' אורי (in Ellul)

The first to mention to say it בציבור** is
the Sefer Chemdas Hayomim*** & the Sefer
Shem Tov Katan which are Sifrei  Kabbala****.

The Gaon, in general, was against adding
additional Tefillos & Pesukim. He tried to stick 
to the original Tefillos of the Anshei
Knesses Hagedola.

A Shliach Tzibbur who starts one minute
late in a Minyan of 100 people, wasted
not one minute but 100 minutes. (Tircha
of 100 people times 1 minute)

Adding a Kapitel Tehillim which takes
to say only one minute can at times
be considered taking 100 minutes.
This might explain why the Gaon
considered it טירחא דציבורא and 
didn't add it to the Tefilos during Ellul etc.


 א' אלול most Shuls will be
saying 3 Kapitlach Tehillim at end
of Davening.
1)  שיר של יום
2) לדוד ה' אורי
3) ברכי נפשי 

According to the Gaon, we don't say the regular שיר של יום since the Levi'im didn't say it on Rosh Chodesh & Yom Tov. All you would say is ברכי נפשי which was the שיר של יום of Rosh Chodesh.

    *הרב אליהו דןד רבינוביץ תאומים
(he was a twin)

**The Sefer Shem Tov Katan
printed before the Chemdas Hayomim
mentions only to say it ביחיד .

***major  controversy who the
author was.Some don't say
Ledovid Hashem Ori (Ellul)
claiming the source
is Nasan Ha'azasi yms.

**** I believe the first Halacha Sefer

to say it is the Mateh Efraim

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Made Up Story Of Reb Moshe Feinstein -Daf Hashovua

Someone told Reb Elyashiv that at one point the doctors wanted to give Reb Moshe Feinstein a pace maker. Reb Moshe refused because he said that when Moshiach comes I want to sit on the Sanhedrin . If I have a pace maker then I will be a baal Muum and wont be able to sit on the Sanhedrin .

Reb Elyashiv said this story can’t be true .

How did Reb Elyashiv Know that the story was not true?


Answer To Riddle

The ערוך השלחן (O.Ch.581:12) writes,
“It is forbidden to blow Shofar the entire month of
Ellul , in the night time, even if it’s done just for
practice. The reason is, not to awaken the negative 
forces of the night.”(Kabbalistic)

The טור (O.Ch. 581) writes that in אשכנז
the Minhag is to blow Shofar every morning
and evening (בכל בקר וערב )

R. Moishe zt”l (Igros Moishe O.Ch. 4, 21,) writes
“It is מסתבר (makes sense) Erev is not 

in the night-time , but  during the daytime,

either after Mincha* or after early Ma’ariv. (They
used to Daven Ma’ariv in the daytime).”

*The Chaya Adam, brings the Minhag of blowing

after Mincha

Elul Riddle

What may you do  11 months in the year (even לכתחילה)
The whole month of Ellul you may not do it.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Who said you're not allowed ?

Parshas Hashavua

לא תשחית את עצה- כי ממנו תאכל
ואתו לא תכרת (דברים כ:י"ט)

The ט"ז (Y.D.116:6) writes,

שאסרו חז"ל מפני הסכנה שלא לקוץ"
אילן העושה פירות"

"Chazal forbade because of סכנה
 to cut down fruit trees

Isn't it the Torah who forbade 

cutting down fruit trees?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse poetry

                                        Don't Worry

ובזמן שישראל עושין רצונו של מקום אין מתייראין מכל אלה שנאמר       
 כה אמר ה' -- ומאותות השמים אל תחתו כי יחתו הגוים מהמה (סוכה כ"ט.)

In the year 1044 in the month of כסליו, there was a lunar eclipse
and two weeks later there was a solar eclipse across Europe.

R. Yechiel Mi Roma* wrote a Piyut for the occasion. It was based
on the two Pasukim in Yirmiyahu (10:2,3) '---כה אמר ה
(Yidden need not to fear an eclipse)

Every Stanza has three lines of Piyut and the fourth line has part
of the two Pesukim.  

1st. Stanza (rough translation)

אתה גלית סודך לצופי חזיוני
You uncovered your secrets to the נביאים
אליך להשליך יהב ברעש רזיוני
To you the burden of nature noises should be thrown
בל תשתע מלקיית מאורי רונני
Do not dissolve from the eclipse of the lights who sing שירה
כה אמר ה    

*R.Yechiel Mi Roma was Rosh Yeshiva in Rome. He was the
father of the famous R.Nosson Mi Roma theבעל הערוך

Protect Your eyes

Which natural occurrence in the sky is damaging to the eyes if stared at?

click here for answer 

Solar Eclipse

There are three statements in the Gemoro 
(.סוכה כ"ט) regarding a solar eclipse.

1) ת"ר בזמן שהחמה לוקה סימן רע לכל העולם כולו                        
2) ר"מ אומר כל זמן שהמאורות לוקין סימן רע לשונאיהן של ישראל    
3) ת"ר בזמן שהחמה  לוקה סימן רע לעובדי כוכבים                      
There is a מחלוקת between the מהרש"א & the ערוך לנר if ר"מ
is referring to the sun or to the moon &stars

According to the מהרש"א, ר"מ is not referring to the sun and
therefore there is only a two way (1+3) מחלוקה.  (

According to the  ערוך לנר, ר"מ is referring to the sun and
therefore ר"מ will hold it is ח"ו bad for Jews only.

Since the last ברייתא  holds that it will not be bad for the
Jews we assume this to be the הלכה פסוקה באגדתא

and all the Yidden will have a good year כיה"ר

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Proud to be an Ashkenazi Jew

Proud to be an Ashkenazi Jew

In Siddur Rashi(13) it says: “All Kehilos in Ashkenaz are known for their thousand Tovos & Brachos. All of them are filled with תורה ומצוות like a רימון. Their מעשים are beautiful. They are מחמיר in checking Treifos, Tevilas Nidah & wherever it is appropriate to be מחמיר".

The Ramban in his Hakdamah to Kunteres Dinei Garmi writes: "The חכמי הצרפתים (French Ba’alei Tosfos) are our teachers and they uncover for us all the hidden things in the Torah".

The Maharshal (Hakdamah Chulin Y.S.S.) writes:
"Even though he ( Ramban) was a Sefardi, he recognized the truth and praised the ones who are praiseworthy."  

The Rosh (Teshuvah 20:20) writes:" He only eats what has aמסורה from חכמי אשכנז. The Torah
 has been their ירושה since the חורבן הבית".

The Leket Yosher( p118) quotes the Maharash mi Neustadt: "The reason Torah has held on in Ashkenaz more than in the other countries because the Yidden lend their money to the Nochri and charge them interest. They don’t need to work and have time to learn. Those who don’t learn support the Lomdei Torah, with their profits".

Reb Yakov Emdin (Mor Uketzia 53) writes: “My heart is happy and I thank Hashem with all my heart that he made me an Ashkenazi".

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How Is It Possible ??

Half Kosher Half Treifah

The cow ate a nail which pierced through her stomach, 
as a result, she became טריפה.

Yet only half the cow is טריפה. The other half is כשר. ?


Which Animal-Parshas Hashovua

Which animal may you eat its meat but not its milk?


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Stand Up Or Remain Seated

לז"נ האשה החשובה מרת צארטל בת ר' אליעזר הלוי הי"ד 
נעקד"ה ע"י הגרמנים הארורים - יום השנה, ח"י מנחם

The Minhag is when ברכת הזימון is done with a מנין, to 
stand up when saying the word “אלוקינו”.

Some are Machmir even when there is no מנין and אלוקינו 
is not said to stand up at “נברך שאכלנו”.
 There is no מקור (source) for this Minhag. 
We don’t find anywhere, someone making a 
Bracha should be required to stand up when 
saying the word “אלוקינו”.

The אשל אברהם  (Butshash)  writes that his Rebbe, 
R. Moishe Leib Sassover zt “l  stood up during ברכת הזימון.

He stood during the whole ברכת הזימון from beginning to end 
and not, just for the word אלקינו.

The reason for doing so is, a דבר שבקדושה where 10 are 
required one is obligated to stand.*

The Chasam Sofer writes (Shu”t O.Ch. 50) When Chazal 
were מתקן ברכת הזימון, they specifically were מתקן to do the 
ברכת הזימון while seated and one should not stand up.
(argues on Reb Moishe Leib Sasover)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Brochos Riddle

All he had was a glass of water yet he is מחויב to Bentch (ברכת המזון (מדארייתא.



When making a Bracha Achrona on the ז' מינים or on wine
we differentiate between fruits & wine from Eretz Yisroel
 ועל פרותיה - ועל גפנה and fruits and wine from Chutz La'aretz 
ועל הפרות - ועל פרי הגפן 
Why don't  we do the same and say  ועל מחיתה

instead of ועל המחיה on Eretz Yisroel grain?


Friday, August 4, 2017

13th Av

It was asked from The Tchebiner Rav zt”l  how to date letters & documents 
written in the month of Av.
 He told them the answer can be found in the Teshuvos Chasam Sofer.

They came back to the Tchebiner Rav and told him they searched the 
whole Sefer and couldn’t find any such discussion.
He told them, “when learning a Teshuvas Chasam Sofer, it is not enough 
to learn the text, but one needs to study how he dated the Teshuva as well.

Teshuvos written before Tisha B'av are dated "Av" and the ones written
after Tisha B'av are dated" Menachem Av" or just "Menachem".

I leafed through the seven volumes of Shu”t  Ch. S. (1246 Teshuvos)

and found, there are approximately 150 Teshuvous written by the Chasam Sofer

in the month of Av. All of them follow the rule of the TchebinerRav zt”l,

The ones dated Before 9th Av are dated as Av. The ones after 9th Av are dated as 

Menachem Av.

However, there are two days, the 13th and 15th of Av  where the Ch. S. dates them
Av, (no Menachem) even though they are after 9th Av.

It is possible the 15th of Av being it is mentioned in the Mishna (end m. Ta’anis)
as Chamisha Asar B’av, The Ch. S. didn’t  want to change from the Loshon of the Mishna*.
On the 13th of Av the only explanation I can think of,  being it is the Yahrzeit
of his first Rebbetzin שרה who died without children.

15th of Av                      13th of Av
O.Ch. 60                         O.Ch. 115 
Y.D. 129                          O.Ch. 158
E.H. 2: 72                        Y.D. 43
Chelek 6 41
Chelek 7 18

*There is one Teshuva (E.H. 2 : 125) on the 15th  he dated as Menachem.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

המקום ינחם אתכם ואותנו

Sanhedrin 19a

אמר להו תתנחמו

Many Ashkenazi Aveilim sitting Shiva L”A
place a sign with the Nusach of Nichum Aveilim
so that the visitors should be able to say it properly.
"---- המקום ינחם אתכם"

There are many Toirehs said and published on the
Nusach . (Why the word Hamakom instead of Hashem etc.)

The Nusach of 'המקום ינחם אתכם וכו is not found anywhere,
 not in בבלי,ירושלמי, טור, שלחן ערוך or other early Poskim.
The source of our Nusach is a mystery.

In our Gemoro we find a one-word Nusach of
תתנחמו In Kesubos 8b the Nusach is בעל הנחמות ינחם אתכם
Sefardim today say תנוחמו *מן השמים  

The פרישה brings a Nusach that is very close to
our Nusach but it starts with “השם” and  
not “המקום”.

The first one to use this Nusach is the שבות יעקב.
He writes, when there are two אבלים ר"ל,  one
is Menachem the other and says, 
"המקום ינחם אתכם ואותנו בתוך וכו"

*The מן השמים is probably based on the Mishna 18a 

"The כהן גדול answered back "תתברכו מן השמים"