27 February 2014

"In the 66th year...Mashiach."


28 Adar I 5774

According to the Zohar: "...in the 66th [year], the Mashiach King will be revealed in the Land of the Galil."

R' Nir Ben Artzi made a rather cryptic statement in his weekly parsha message. He said, "We are in the 66th year of the State of Israel out of the 70. Sevens with the Creator of the World represent good things."

In fact, there are only a little more than two months left until the 66th year will be complete on 5 Iyar 5774.

The two months that are left just happen to be Adar and Nissan - two great months for Redemption! If you have your special clothes for greeting Mashiach, better get them out and ready. It could be any day now.

With love and longing,

17 February 2014

The Promise of Rain


17 Adar I 5774

And it will come to pass that if you continually hearken to My commandments that I command you today, to love Hashem, your God, and to serve Him, with all your heart and with all your soul - then I will provide rain for your land in its proper time....

All you can do these days when catching up on the news is read it and weep and beg Hashem, yet again, to end our misery and reveal our deliverer.

Davka, the Land of Israel is dependent upon rain for its water.  We receive it directly from the hand of God, so that we will learn to depend on Him and never think that it depends on anything else except our right relationship with Him.  If the rains do not come, that is our clue to immediately begin to search ourselves and do teshuva, ask Hashem for forgiveness and plead with Him to restore the rain.  

But what is the great hope in this year's drought season?  Desalinated water!  Why? Because according to modern thinking, everything is up to us. It seems that there are two extremes running rampant in our society. Either it's all up to us or it's all up to God.  But, nether extreme is accurate. In truth, it is a partnership and it always has been. We do what Hashem has told us to do and He will take care of everything else.  

The promise of rain is reiterated every day in the blessings of the shema!  Why don't we believe it?  Why don't we care? How out of touch are we as so-called religious Jews when we talk about how nice the weather has been this winter (i.e. no rain) when we need the rain in season to have water to drink and bathe in and wash clothes in and yes, grow our food and water our herds.  

Get a clue, people!!  Stop being so disconnected from reality! This reminds me of my children when they were small and asked for something to which I had to respond, "I'm sorry, but I don't have the money for that."  Their typical answer was "So, just go to the bank and get some."  They had no concept that you have to put money in to get money out.  To them, the bank's job was to issue money whenever you asked for it. This example can teach us several lessons. 

Just think about it.

12 February 2014

Purim Katan


13 Adar I 5774

Friday is Purim Katan.  

The 14th day of the first Adar in a leap year is celebrated as a minor holiday called Purim Katan, which means "little Purim." There are no specific observances for Purim Katan; however, a person should celebrate the holiday and should not mourn or fast.

I read that on Purim, Hashem obligates Himself to give us anything we ask for, but that because it's a mitzvah to drink ad lo yada, we forget to do it.  However, on Purim Katan, that's not the case, so we have a very unique opportunity to make all our requests to Hashem with full expectation of receiving them.

Am Yisrael has so many desperate needs,  please take this to heart and keep it in mind and make a special time to daven with deep kavanah for all your needs and the needs of the klal and especially for the revelation of Mashiach Tzidkeinu.

Purim Katan Sameach!

06 February 2014

Moshe Rabeinu's Yahrzeit - Adar I or Adar II?


7 Adar I 5774

It's 7 Adar. When do we recognize Moshe Rabeinu's, a"h, yahrzeit in a leap year? In Adar I or Adar II? Here is some instruction on the subject from The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash:

Halakhic Issues Raised by the Leap Year
By Rav Binyamin Tabory
In years with two Adars, a number of questions naturally arise. In which of the two Adars is Purim celebrated? When does someone born in Adar become a bar mitzva? When is the yahrzeit of one who passed away in Adar commemorated? Does the technical term "year" (in contracts, vows, etc.) include both Adars or does it finish after twelve months?
...A similar set of problems arises concerning the laws of mourning.

...The Shulchan Arukh (OC 568:7) rules that the yahrzeit takes place in the second Adar, whereas the Rema, based on the Maharil, argues that the yahrzeit should take place in Adar I. The Gra, in his commentary to the Shulchan Arukh, takes a stringent approach and rules that one should observe a yahrzeit in both Adars. In order to understand the basis of their dispute, it is necessary to better understand what determines when the yearly yahrzeit commemoration takes place. 
...Some are accustomed to treat the seventh of Adar, the yahrzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu, as a minor festival. Chevrot kadishot, Jewish burial societies, have their annual dinner after the seventh of Adar. Some have a custom to fast on this day. Rav Ovadia Yosef (Yechaveh Da'at 1:3) discusses this issue and rules that it should be commemorated in Adar II. The Magen Avraham (OC 380:18) and other acharonim rule that it should be observed in Adar I. (It is not clear whether the year Moshe passed away was a leap year or not.)

You can read more about the whole thing here. Today, we will simply remind the readers that Adar 7 marks both the birth and the death of Moshe Rabbeinu, a"h. And in one month's time, we will commemorate it properly.


In Remembrance of Moshe Rabeinu


7 Adar I 5774

Beginning tonight, we will be remembering Moshe Rabeinu on his yahrtzeit, which was also his birthday. Here is some pertinent information in his memory.

According to most opinions on 7 Adar will be the Yahrzeit of our teacher Moses – Moshe Rabeinu.

Many Jewish Burial Societies [Chevra Kadisha] have their annual meeting that day, including fasting and special prayers.

Halachot related to Moshe Rabeinu:

- When babies start talking one should teach them the verse “תּוֹרָה צִוָּה-לָנוּ, משֶׁה. מוֹרָשָׁה, קְהִלַּת יַעֲקב” and Shma Yisrael…”, after ensuring that they are clean while being taught.

- Moshe Rabeinu went up to Har-Sinai to get the 2nd set of tablets on a Thursday and came down on a Monday, which is why these 2 days are auspicious for praying – and we therefore add the long “Vehu Rachum” prayer before Tachanun on these 2 days.

- There’s a limit as to how long one may mourn a deceased – but even for a great Torah scholar one may not mourn longer than 30 days, as nobody can be greater than our teacher Moshe for whom it is stated “and they mourned Moshe for 30 days“.

Sources: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 58:2; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 165:10, 22:9, 215:1

(Source: The Jewish iPhone Magazine)