Toronto Torah

Beit Midrash Zichron Dov
Parshat B’shalach 11 Shevat 5772/February 4, 2012


Vol.3 Num. 19

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The Whales of Yam Suf
including S'forno, have suggested that G-d did not force Pharaoh to keep the Jews as slaves but only strengthened his ability to withstand the emotional toll of the plagues he suffered, so that he could This sentence raises a serious question: repent independently. How did the Egyptians enter the middle of the sea without realizing the danger Perhaps one could suggest a third they were courting? Did they not approach, though. In Moby Dick (Chapter witness the plagues in Egypt and know 41), Herman Melville described Captain the might of G-d? And now that they Ahab's insane desire to catch the whale, saw Him split Yam Suf, should they not writing, "The White Whale swam before have worried that the sea might return him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some to its former state? deep men feel eating in them, till they are A straightforward answer is presented in left living on with half a heart and half a an earlier passage (Sh'mot 14:17), "I will lung .Ahab ... pitted himself, all harden the heart of Egypt and they will mutilated, against it. All that most enter after them". G-d hardens the heart maddens and torments; all that stirs up of Egypt, and so they do not fear entry the lees of things; all truth with malice in into the sea. But what is the meaning of it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes this 'hardening of the heart'? Does G-d the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life meddle directly in Pharaoh's thoughts, and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were or does it happen in some other way? visibly personified, and made practically Of course, this question is subsumed in assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the broader question of Pharaoh's freedom of choice from the time G-d the general rage and hate felt by his began to harden his heart, during the whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he plagues, through the 'strengthening' of burst his hot heart's shell upon it." his heart mentioned here. Presumably, one cannot punish a sinner who lacks The insanity of Ahab and Pharaoh flowed the ability to choose freely, so why was from the human inclination to focus on Pharaoh punished? matters of minor significance instead of Rambam (Hilchot Teshuvah 6) explains the big picture. When this inclination that Pharaoh was only punished for his evolved to dominate their being, it earlier sins. Other early commentators, became obsession, and they unwittingly "And Egypt pursed them, and entered [the sea] after them, all of Pharaoh's horses, his chariots and charioteers, to the middle of the sea." (Sh'mot 14:23)

R’ Baruch Weintraub
lost the whole while battling for a fraction. This is the charge of Pharaoh's advisers, "Do you not yet know that Egypt is lost?" This hardening of Pharaoh's heart is not nullification of his freedom; G-d only allowed his natural psychological vulnerability to sway him. G-d set up the war with Pharaoh as a matter of principle – Pharaoh's lack of legitimate ownership of G-d's Jews and Pharaoh homed in on that to the exclusion of all else. Pharaoh believed that freeing his slaves was not an ethical obligation and could not be compelled. He failed to perceive a greater picture: G-d directs the world; G-d had chosen to remove the Jews from Egypt; Man is created in the image designed by G-d and ought not be enslaved to another. Pharaoh only perceived the details he chose to perceive, and in the end he saw the dry land in the centre but not the water waiting to close upon him. Even if he saw the water, perhaps he told himself, "To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee." (Moby Dick, Chap. 135) And so G-d 'hardened' the heart of Pharaoh. Hashem could have chosen another way to remove the Jews from Egypt; perhaps a dialogue could have led to peaceful emancipation of the Jews. Instead, Hashem chose the pedagogic path of a battle over principle, and Pharaoh stood to defend his principles, and so Egypt came to know "that I am G-d" (Shemot 14:4), that a worldview that does not include the Will of G-d is only partial, must lead to ethical error, and in the end to the depths of a sea of darkness and hatred. As the people who survived Yam Suf, we should always elevate ourselves when determining our path. We must take into consideration not only fragments of reality, but also the root principle that emerged with us from Yam Suf: "G-d will reign forever." (Sh'mot 15:18)

Parshah Questions

R’ Meir Lipschitz

(Answers for the questions are on the back page)  What is meant by HaShem's words, "Why do you cry out to Me"? (Shemot Rabbah 21:1-8)

What do the words "And with the breath of Your nostrils the water piled up" describe? (Rashi, Onkelos, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra, Seforno, Malbim and Netziv to Shemot 15:8) Why is it significant that the Jews left Egypt "with a mighty hand"? (Rashi, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra, Seforno, Chizkuni, Ohr HaChaim, Malbim, Netziv, and Shaarei Aharon to Shemot 14:8) For children: What is the connection between the war with Amalek and the Manna? (Rashi Shemot 17:8)

The Kaddish Rules
On its most basic level, the chazzan's kaddish is a call for the Name of G-d to be elevated, to which we respond with a similar blessing of the Name of Gd. However, our davening is dotted with "half" and "whole" versions of kaddish (aside from the mourner's own varieties of kaddish, which we will not address in this article). What rule determines where the chazzan recites kaddish? The half-kaddish, also known as "chatzi kaddish", is the basic kaddish, and its role is to separate the various mitzvot we fulfill in the course of our davening. (Raavad, cited in Beit Yosef Orach Chaim 55) At Shacharit:  The chazzan recites a chatzi kaddish after Yishtabach to show that the preceding paragraphs do not connect to the ensuing amidah, and then another after the amidah to show that the amidah is complete. [The latter chatzi kaddish is delayed until after tachanun because tachanun is meant to be an extension of the amidah.]  An additional chatzi kaddish is recited after the Torah reading on days when we read from the Torah, in order to demonstrate that this Torah reading is a separate mitzvah.  Shema is not followed by a chatzi kaddish to demarcate its separate identity, because this would disrupt the required continuity between Shema and the amidah. At Minchah:  A chatzi kaddish before the amidah at Minchah demarcates this special mitzvah.  An additional chatzi kaddish precedes the Torah reading on days when the Torah is read, for the same purpose.

R’ Mordechai Torczyner
At Maariv:  A chatzi kaddish precedes the amidah to identify it as a unique mitzvah. Mateh Moshe 388 notes that this also demonstrates that the amidah at Maariv need not be connected to Shema and the preceding passages describing our redemption from Egypt.  A chatzi kaddish follows the amidah after Shabbat, to mark the amidah as separate from the readings (V'Yhi Noam, v'Yiten Lecha) which follow it. The whole kaddish, also known as "kaddish shalem", is meant to conclude our formal prayer with its "Titkabel" request that HaShem accept our prayers (Terumat haDeshen 15). Therefore, the chazzan recites kaddish shalem after Uva L'Tzion at the end of Shacharit, and at the end of Minchah and Maariv. When there is Musaf, this kaddish terminating Shacharit appears after Hallel. [When Hallel is recited but there is no Musaf, such as on Chanukah, kaddish shalem is recited in its normal location after Uva L'Tzion, and the chatzi kaddish for the end of the amidah is recited after Hallel.] What is the role of the listener? Rav Yosef Karo (Beit Yosef Orach Chaim 55) noted that we try to respond to at least seven recitations of kaddish each day, to fulfill King David's declaration, "I have praised You seven times each day." Per Rav Moshe Isserles (Orach Chaim 25:13), we should make sure that our tefillin are on when responding to four recitations of kaddish on weekday mornings, although others contend that the text should read "three recitations" (Magen Avraham 25:28, Mishneh Berurah 25:56). These quotas include recitations of the Mourner's Kaddish.

Hitoriri: Jewish Spirituality

First Flowering
Hillel Horovitz
‫" אם היתה נטיעה בתוך ידך ויאמרו לך הרי לך‬ ‫ בוא ונטע את הנטיעה ואח " כ צא‬. ‫המשיח‬ ‫ אומר לנו‬.)‫ (אבות דרבי נתן פרק ל"א‬. "‫והקבילו‬ ‫רבן יוחנן בן זכאי כי כאשר אדם נוטע נטיעה יש‬ ‫לדבר חשיבות כה רבה עד שיש לחכות להקבלת‬ ‫ המקור לדרשה זו‬.‫פני משיח עד לאחר הנטיעה‬ ‫של רבן יוחנן בן זכאי הוא כנראה מהפסוק‬ ‫צּיוֹן‬ ִ ְ‫ָארץ וְ לֵא מֹר ל‬ ֶ ‫שמַ יִ ם וְ לִ י סֹד‬ ָׁ ַ‫נטֹע‬ ְ ִ‫בישעיה " ל‬ ‫ ט"ז) הפסוק מדבר על‬,‫ נ"א‬,‫תה" (ישעיה‬ ָׁ ָׁ‫מי א‬ ִ ַ‫ע‬ ‫הגאולה ומורה לנו שתפקידה של הגאולה קודם‬ ‫ ולכן ראוי שלפני קבלת‬, ‫כל היא לנטוע שמיים‬ ‫פני הגאולה גם האדם עצמו יבצע תהליך של‬ ‫ מהי חשיבותה של הנטיעה שמשמשת‬. ‫נטיעה‬ ‫מרכיב כל כך משמעותי בגאולה ובהתנהלות‬ ?‫האדם‬ ‫בכדי להבין זאת נתבונן בפעולות השונות בהם‬ ‫ פעולת‬. ‫משתמש האדם לגדל גידולי קרקע‬ ‫הנטיעה אינה הפעולה היחידה של נתינת‬ ‫ ישנן גם פעולות השתילה‬, ‫גידולים בקרקע‬ ‫ אולם פעולות אלו הן פעולות שנותנות‬,‫והזריעה‬ , ‫ של תבואה‬, ‫ זריעה‬, ‫יבול עוד באותה שנה‬ ‫ הנטיעה לעומת זאת‬.‫ של שיחים שונים‬,‫ושתילה‬ ‫ אדם שנוטע עץ בקרקע לא‬,‫היא פעולה ממושכת‬ ‫ וגם כאשר הוא רואה‬,‫רואה פירות באותה שנה‬ ‫פירות באותה שנה התורה אינה מתירה לו‬ ‫לאכול מהפרי עד אשר יקיים בעץ ובפירות את‬ .‫המצוות של ערלה ונטע רבעי‬ '‫) מספרת לנו על ר‬. ‫הגמרא במסכת תענית (כ"ג‬ ‫ שאל‬.‫חנינא בן דוסא שראה אדם נוטע עץ חרוב‬ ‫ ענה לו‬,‫ר' חנינא את האיש מתי יתן העץ פירות‬ ‫האיש שהעץ יתן פירות עוד שבעים שנה והוא‬ .‫מקווה שצאצאיו יאכלו מן העץ‬ ‫כאשר אדם רואה כי אין לו מה לאכול הוא ינסה‬ ‫לזרוע משהו שיצמח מהר על מנת למלא את‬ ‫ הנטיעה לעומת זאת היא פעולה‬. ‫חסרונו‬ ‫הנעשית בשיקול דעת על ידי אדם המוכן לראות‬ ‫בתהליך הארוך של הגדילה ולהנות מהתוצר‬ .‫לאחר זמן‬ ‫לא לחינם נמשלה הגאולה לנטיעה והאדם לעץ‬ ‫ אדם המחכה לגאולה צריך לדעת שלא‬. ‫השדה‬ ‫ הגאולה היא כמו אותה‬,‫יקרה הדבר בין לילה‬ ‫נטיעה שצומחת לאורך זמן ורק בטיפול צמוד‬ ‫ ר' יוחנן מורה לנו כי אדם הנוטע עץ הוא‬.‫ומסור‬ ‫ אדם שנאזר‬, ‫אדם המבין את תהליך הגאולה‬ ‫בסבלנות ומבין כי כאשר מנסים לזרז התהליך‬ ‫ לא לחינ ם מדינת י שרא ל‬. ‫רק פו גמי ם ב ו‬ ‫ הגאולה‬, ‫מתוארת כראשית צמיחת גאולתנו‬ ‫ אך רק מי שישקיע בה ויתאזר‬, ‫צומחת ועולה‬ ‫ וכך‬.‫בסבלנות הנדרשת יזכה לראות בפריחתה‬ ,‫ "כן‬:‫מתאר הרב קוק את התקופה בה אנו חיים‬ - ‫אתחלתא דגאולה ודאי הולכת ומופיעה לפנינו‬ ‫ רק מאז‬, ‫אמנם לא מהיום התחילה הופעה זו‬ ‫ מעת אשר הרי‬, ‫התחיל הקץ המגולה להגלות‬ ‫ישראל החלו לעשות ענפים ולשאת פרי לעם‬ ".‫ התחילה אתחלתא זו‬,‫ישראל אשר קרבו לבא‬ ‫אומר לנו הרב קוק שהגאולה מתחילה כאשר‬ ‫הענפים בארץ ישראל נושאים פירות לעם‬ ,‫ כאשר הנטיעה מתחילה לפרוח‬,‫החוזר לארצו‬ .‫זוהי ראשית צמיחת גאולתנו‬

613 Mitzvot: #130 Give it Back
R’ Mordechai Torczyner
Technically, a thief acquires property when he steals it, and is obligated to pay for the item based on its worth at the moment it became his. However, the thief who is caught may not choose to keep the item and simply pay for it; as a means of righting his wrong, the thief is obligated to return the original item. Only if the item has undergone a major, irreversible physical change does it remain in the thief's possession, and then the thief has failed to perform his corrective mitzvah. One might think that this mitzvah would h a ve the same r ule s as other commandments, such that a thief would be obligated to travel and spend significant funds in order to fulfill the mitzvah and return the object. In fact, though, the thief is entitled to notify the original owner that he has the item, and then the onus of collection is upon the owner; this is a rule enacted to encourage thieves to repent. (Minchat Chinuch 130:6, based on Bava Kama 103b)


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Biography: Rabbi Yosef Babad
Torah in Translation

Yair Manas
Rabbi Yosef Babad, author of the Minchat Chinuch, lived in Galicia in the 19th century. He enjoyed close relationships with Chassidic leaders in Galicia, and his second marriage was to the sister of R’ Chaim Halberstam, the Sanzer Rav. He was expelled from his community to another part of the Ukraine following a dispute with the Maskilim, and he ultimately became the Rav in Tarnopol, where he served for seventeen years until his death in 1874. Rabbi Babad's Minchat Chinuch is a commentary to the Sefer HaChinuch, a 13th century work outlining the 613 mitzvot. The Minchat Chinuch clarifies and explains positions of the Sefer HaChinuch, often asking difficult questions which are not necessarily resolved. Rabbi Babad typically quotes the Rambam and other early authorities, asks whether the law under discussion is biblical or rabbinic, and then discusses how the law applies to men, women, children and members of various halachic categories. Many yeshivot and synagogues [such as Clanton Park, Tuesdays at 8 PM—MT] host shiurim studying Minchat Chinuch. In a lecture delivered at Yeshiva University, Rabbi Nota Greenblatt asserted that Rabbi Babad had written an earlier version of the Minchat Chinuch, and this version was burned by Mitnagdim. According to the YIVO Encyclopedia, Rabbi Babad also authored works on the Torah and Shulchan Aruch, but they were stolen from him. One can only imagine how enriched we would be if we possessed these seforim. that should law does not change [based upon our incorrect writing], the Torah must still be written as it was given. Therefore, when a Torah is missing a letter, since the Torah was given to us to be written thus and not the way the word is pronounced [this change will disqualify the Sefer Torah]… However, other missing or extra letters do not change the meaning of the word… Certainly, the first type of letters [i.e. the letters that would change the meaning of a word] were not forgotten… but the missing or extra letters that would not change the meaning or cause harm by their absence or inclusion were not known… and these letters, which do not change anything, do not harm this mitzvah and a person fulfills entirely the mitzvah to write a Torah with this act of writing… G-d forbid that the Jewish people could not fulfill a biblical mitzvah for many generations.


‫ בת עין‬Bat Ayin
R’ Ezra Goldschmiedt
Bat Ayin, an expansion of the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, was founded in 1989 on land originally purchased by the Jewish Agency in 1927. Only a twenty minute drive south of Jerusalem, Bat Ayin is the home of seven natural springs as well as many other scenic areas. The village is also a historical site an ancient winepress and mivkah were discovered duri ng the construction of Bat Ayin's roads. These finds have been dated to the Second Temple period, clearly establishing the village's Jewish roots in an earlier age. Today's yishuv, spearheaded by the popular mystic Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, was founded by an eclectic mix of newly religious Jews. Emphasizing a holistic and natural way of life, Bat Ayin is primarily an agricultural community - its overall philosophy has been described as "Chavakuk" (in Hebrew ‫ )חבקוק‬an acronym for Chabad, Breslov, (Rabbi Abraham Isaac) Kook, and (Rabbi Shlomo) Carlebach. The settlement's name, literally translated as “the pupil of the eye” and found in Tehillim 17:8 as a term for something precious, is an expression found in the Zohar for Shabbat, the Jewish people and the land of Israel, emphasizing their preciousness to G-d. Since its humble beginning of just seven families, Bat Ayin's population has grown to over 150 families and 1,000 people. Bat Ayin is the home of a unique, agriculturally-oriented Talmud Torah, as well as the Bat Ayin men's yeshiva and Midreshet B'erot Bat Ayin, schools which cater particularly to baalei teshuvah. Although the community is internally warm and inviting, the area is under constant threat from the nearby Arab village of Khirbet Safa. Terrorist attacks have occurred frequently, taking the lives of a number of residents. Rising tensions between the villages have forced the local residents to be involved in security operations at night to ensure its safety.

Writing a Torah Today
R’ Yosef Babad Minchat Chinuch 613
Translated by Yair Manas
A person does not fulfill the commandment until the Torah is written in accordance with the laws of a Sefer Torah. If there is a disqualification, even a missing or extra letter, then a person does not fulfill this mitzvah, for it is not a Sefer Torah at all. The gemara (Menachot 30a) asks, "Could a Torah be missing a letter? It is written (Devarim 31:26), 'Take this Sefer Torah'!" The Rambam (Hilchot Tefillin, Mezuzah v'Sefer Torah 7:11) lists disqualifications and says, "It does not have the status of a Sefer Torah, only as a chumash from which they teach children." The Ran (Megilah) also writes that a person does not fulfill the mitzvah of writing a sefer Torah with [a Torah that is] missing a letter. According to this, we cannot fulfill the mitzvah, for the gemara (Kiddushin 30) explains that previous generations were expert in which letters to exclude and which to include, but we are not expert. Therefore, we who are not expert might include a letter in a word that should be written without it, or the reverse, and consequently we would not fulfill the mitzvah [of writing a Torah] at all. The Shaagat Aryeh (36) has already suggested that we might be exempt from this mitzvah today because we are not expert in missing and extra letters. We can suggest that we are expert in the four chapters of the tefillin, for if this were not so, then we could not fulfill the mitzvah of tefillin. We must say that since tefillin are a constant mitzvah and only include four paragraphs, we did not forget how to write it. As to the entire Torah, we are not expert. Nonetheless, this remains difficult; writing a Torah is also a mitzvah, so how could people have failed to set their hearts against forgetting it?... How could the proper writing of the Torah have been forgotten in the days of the Amoraim [recorders of the gemara]? In my humble opinion, the explanation is that there are two types of missing or extra letters. One type involves a missing or extra letter which changes the meaning of the word, or has the potential to change the meaning, like the examples cited in the gemara (Sanhedrin 4a)... According to the one who says that we translate based on the word as it is written, a word which has an extra letter or is missing a letter changes the message of G-d, for many laws will be altered from their true status. Even according to the opinion that we translate based on the word as it is pronounced, so

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Parshah Answers
What is meant by HaShem’s words, "Why do you cry out to Me"? A midrash in Shemot Rabbah offers a n um b e r of e x p l a n a ti o n s . O n e explanation provided is that G-d was telling Moshe to stop crying out in prayer, as the prayers had already been accepted by G-d and it was now time to travel. A second understanding is that G-d was telling Moshe that now was the time for him to act as the servant of G-d, entering the sea, and then G-d would certainly enable his success. What do the words "And with the breath of Your nostrils the water piled up" describe?
 

R’ Netanel Javasky
Onkelos says that the water stood by the word of G-d, and "the breath of Your nostrils" refers to G-d’s utterance. hardened Pharaoh’s heart. The fact that the Jewish People were leaving in this mighty manner should have scared Pharaoh and prevented him from chasing the Jewish Nation. This is why G-d had to harden his heart. For children: What is the connection between the war with Amalek and the Manna? Rashi explains that after Bnei Yisrael complained about the Manna, Hashem punished them by demonstrating that he is constantly taking care of them. Rashi says this is similar to a child who is constantly being protected by his father and yet seems oblivious to his father’s existence. The father then distances himself, allowing the child to get hurt, in order that the child recognize that the father was constantly there for him.

Why is it significant that the Jews left Egypt "with a mighty hand"?

Rashi says that the Torah is stressing that the Jews did not leave as a downtrodden slavenation, but as a strong nation. They made a public statement by leaving with their heads held high. On a similar note, Rashbam says that the Torah is noting that at this point Bnei Yisrael were not at all scared of the Egyptians. Chizkuni and Ibn Ezra say that these words tell us that the Jews did not escape from Egypt, but rather they exited with permission from their masters. Netziv says that it was because Bnei Yisrael left very calmly and not in a rushed manner, that Pharaoh was eventually able to catch up to them. Ohr Hachaim focuses on the juxtaposition of this phrase with the first half of the verse, that G-d

Rashi explains that the Torah often uses anthropomorphisms to help us better understand the ways of G-d. Here, too, the Torah describes the great wind as emanating from the nostrils of G-d to teach that it was strong enough to cause the water to stand still. This approach is taken by the Ibn Ezra as well. Rashbam says that the water rose because of a great eastern wind.

Schedule for February 4-10 / 11 - 17 Shevat
Shabbat February 4 7:45 AM R’ Baruch Weintraub, Rav Kook on the Parshah, Or Chaim not this week 10:20 AM R’ Baruch Weintraub, Parshah Shiur, Clanton Park 1 hour before minchah Yair Manas: Gemara Sukkah, Mizrachi Bayit, not this week 45 minutes before minchah R’ Mordechai Torczyner, Daf Yomi: Erchin 22, BAYT After minchah R’ Mordechai Torczyner, Selling Israeli Land: Gemara Avodah Zarah, BAYT 6:40 PM R’ Dovid Zirkind, Parent Child Learning, Shaarei Shomayim Sunday, February 5 9:15 AM Hillel Horovitz, Parshah Issues, Hebrew, Zichron Yisroel 11:50 AM R’ Baruch Weintraub, Hilchot Melachim, Or Chaim After maariv R’ Baruch Weintraub, Halachic issues in Israel, Hebrew, Clanton Park, men 8:30 PM R’ Baruch Weintraub, Halachic issues in Israel: Presumption of Innocence, Hebrew, 4 Tillingham Keep, mixed Monday, February 6 8:30 PM Hillel Horovitz, Siddur: In-Depth, Clanton Park, men Tuesday, February 7 1:30 PM R’ Mordechai Torczyner, Zecharyah: Zechariah’s Crowns, Mekorot, Shaarei Shomayim 7:15 PM R’ Ezra Goldschmiedt, Ramban on the Parshah, BAYT 8:00 PM Mrs. Elyssa Goldschmiedt, Malbim on Chumash, TCS, women 8:00 PM Yair Manas: Minchat Chinuch, Clanton Park Wednesday, February 8 Tu b’Shevat 10:00 AM R’ Mordechai Torczyner, Dramas of Jewish History: The Golden Age of Spain?, BEBY, with Melton 8:00 PM R’ Dovid Zirkind, Gemara Beitzah, Shaarei Shomayim 8:00 PM R’ Mordechai Torczyner, The Three Queens, Part 2: Batsheva: The Maestro, Westmount Shul 8:30 PM R’ Baruch Weintraub, Tu b’Shevat: The Cheshbon haNefesh of the Trees, Shomrai Shabbos, men Thursday, February 9 9:15 AM R’ Mordechai Torczyner, Living with G-d: Lessons of R’ Yehudah haChasid, Week 1 of 3, 55 Hefhill Ct, Thornhill, women, free babysitting 8:30 PM R’ Mordechai Torczyner, Icons of Spanish Jewry, Week 1 of 4, Miles Nadal JCC Friday, February 10 8:00 AM R’ Dovid Zirkind, Friday Parshah Preview, Village Shul Watch for our Thornhill Shabbaton next week!


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