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The 39 Melachos

The Basic Premise of Melabein Melabein, scouring, is defined as cleaning materials which have absorbed soil, dirt or any other impurities. Melabein can be transgressed through washing, squeezing, soaking or scrubbing a dry material. Melabein applies to all porous materials that tend to absorb grime and dirt. In the Mishkan Wool was required in the Mishkan to make the cloths, Yerios, which were draped over the Mishkan. When wool is sheared off a sheep, it is dirty, greasy and full of impurities. In fact, after the wool has been cleaned, it is only half of its original weight. According to most opinions, Melabein in the Mishkan was when the wool was soaked in basins of water or other liquids and then dried. This process is called scouring. However, the Rambam holds that the Av Melacha of Melabein is bleaching, when wool is chemically treated in sulphuric acid and impurities are later removed. According to both opinions, cleaning a garment is a Toldah of Melabein.

off a stain with ones fingernails. 3) Schitah, squeezing. This is when one exerts strong pressure on a wet fabric to flush out the liquid and consequently the dirt or grime. The general prohibition of Schitah stems from two separate Melachos, Dosh and Melabein. For example, it is forbidden to squeeze grapes as it is Dosh and it is forbidden to wring a cloth soaked with water as it is Melabein.

18th January 2014

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Derech Lichluch Derech Lichluch literally means soiling manner and is an important exemption to Melabein. Derech Lichluch essentially means that when the soaking of the material has a spoiling or negative effect on the appearance of the fabric, it is permitted to soak it. However, Derech Lichluch applies only to Shriyah, soaking and not Scrubbing or Squeezing. Derech Lichluch is permitted as it is the opposite of the whole purpose of Melabein. The purpose is to improve and enhance the appearance of the cloth but Derech Lichluch does the opposite. In addition, if a fabric becomes wet when one has no desire to The Three Methods of Melabein make it wet, Shriyah is not applicable. For example, it is There are three methods through which Melabein can be permitted to wipe your hands on a towel even though transgressed. the towel will become wet. It is also because of this that it is permitted to wash your hands with a plaster on even 1) Shriyah, soaking. This is when a cloth is soaked in a though the gauze will get wet. liquid. Even if nothing else is done to the fabric or the stain isnt completely removed Melabein has been Rabbinic Restrictions transgressed. Wet laundry is normally Muktza on Shabbos but if one got soaked in the rain, his wet clothes dont become 2) Shifshuf, scrubbing. This is when one rubs or scrubs a Muktza. However, it is forbidden to hang the clothes out garment to remove a stain. The friction of the scrubbing to dry due to Maris Ayin, that people may think that you forces out the dirt so it is forbidden. Shifshuf even did in fact launder your clothes. However, it is permitted applies when the fabric is dry. Under Shifshuf, it is to leave out a raincoat to dry as it is obvious that the forbidden to rub out a stain from ones clothes or scratch coat is drying from the rain, not from the wash.
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We have finally reached the climax of the Jewish nations exodus and even the climax of all creation, the giving of the Torah. The Midrash explains that if, at this pivotal point in the history of the universe, the Jewish nation would have erred and not accepted the Torah, all of existence would have disintegrated, worthless. One would think such a significant event in world history, the only public revelation of G-ds presence, would have an entire Parsha dedicated to its story with an equally as climactic name, perhaps a name like the Torah would suffice, or perhaps Moshe, the protagonist in Matan Torah and the one who saw G-d face to face. But no, the Parsha is named after Yisro, a man who was definitely not as influential as Moshe, an ex-Midyanite priest. Furthermore, the opening Pasuk describes how, Yisro, the minister of Midian, father-inlaw of Moshe, heard what G-d did to Moshe and Israel. Why is this the pretext to the greatest event in history?

He was the person who was not scared to give up everything he was when he heard the absolute truth. By the splitting of the sea it says, Nations heard and trembled with fear (15:14), but we do not find a single person other than Yisro who changed their life because of it. This is paralleled in the Pasukim leading to Matan Torah. It says in the Pasuk (19:1) that the Bnei Yisrael came to Midbar Sinai. Then, the next Pasuk says that they left Refidim, came to Midbar Sinai and camped across from the mountain. Why does the Torah repeat the journey to Midbar Sinai? The Ohr HaChaim explains that in the Pasuk we are taught the three prerequisites for receiving the Torah. First they had to realise that all they had was empty; this is what a desert represents and was Yisros first journey, to renounce all other idolatry. Secondly, they had to fully leave Refidim, which literally means weakness and like Yisro, totally give up on things that are easy and weak, despite being wrong. Finally, they had to camp at Sinai as one unit, united, like one man, with one heart, and become something more than just a group of individuals, they had to serve G-d as a nation, just as Yisro did when he gave up his previous life to join the Bnei Yisrael.

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To understand the answer to this question we must first understand this opening Pasuk. Rashi mentions that the things Yisro heard were the splitting of the Yam Suf and the war against Amalek. Rav Eliyahu Lopian explains Rashis issue with the Pasuk. In order for someone, particularly a leader of a nation, to abandon his past he must have heard something nobody else did. But Rashi explains that what Yisro heard no more than everyone else. What was special It is because of this journey that Matan Torah is about Yisro was that he didnt only hear, but he also mentioned in the Parsha of Yisro; there is no better listened. pretext to the giving of the Torah than the story of one mans uncompromising search for truth. It is with this Yisro was the man who had tried every type of idolatry strength that we must try to live our lives. in the world and had discovered nothing but emptiness.

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Chasdai Ibn Shaprus was a great Talmid Chacham who Eliezer, yet this time he would take a different route lived in Spain and worked as a physician in the court of and seek help from the Jews in Russia and Hungary. the Caliph of Cordova. Eventually, aided by the Jews, Chasdais emissary made his way to the capital, Itil, and delivered the greeting. Chasdai wrote an intriguing document on his correspondence with the Jewish King of the Kuzars. The King Joseph replied in Hebrew and provided all the Kuzars were supposedly a very powerful nation who answers to Chasdais questions concerning the history lived on the Steppes between the Don and Volga of Kuzars. He told how his ancestor Bulan, decided to Rivers. The Kuzar kingdom decided to convert to convert to one of the three major religions; Yiddeshkeit in an amazing act of Ahavas Hashem. How- Christianity, Judaism of Islam. King Bulan called for ever, they were cut off from the majority of the Jews at theologians of each of the faiths to participate in a the time and therefore Chasdai decided to make an grand debate. When the debate was over, Bulan was effort to establish contact with them. However, the convinced that it was Judaism which was the true faith vast distances made it virtually impossible for one to and he, his family and four thousand Kuzar nobles remain in contact with remote countries, with all sorts converted. Eventually all the Kuzars realised the wisof possible obstructions preventing communication, yet dom of his ways and overtime they all converted. Chasdai was determined to try and learn the most about this amazing people. Unfortunately, by the time the letter had reached King Joseph, the Kuzars were suffering from an imminent He started by addressing an affectionate letter in threat by the Russian and Byzantian rules and within 15 Hebrew to Yoseph, the king of the Kuzars and sent it years Svialoslov of Russia had defeated the Kuzars and with a special emissary, Yitzchak ben Nassan. However, devastated their land. From then on the Kuzar people upon reaching Constantinople, he was detained by the waned until their fate became unknown and almost Byzantian authorities who feared an alliance between mythical. Spain and the Kuzars. They told him that the roads were unsafe for travel, and ensured that he turned It was this exchange and the initiative of Chasdai which around back to Cordova. Chasdai was not discouraged shed light on an entire civilisation of Jews, which may and decided to send another emissary, Yitzchak ben otherwise have remained quite obscure.

And you shall appoint over them leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties and leaders of tens. The Ibn Ezra calculates that the total number of judges is somewhere close to 79,000. He asks how it is possible that a nation of 600,000 people could possibly need so many judges; about 1 for every 8 men. After all Shlomo Hamelech says in Mishlei, Bfesha eretz rabim sareha, Due to the sin of a land, its officers are many. But were the Bnei Yisrael on such a low level that they needed such a high ratio of judges to people?

pshat of the Ibn Ezra astonishing; as the Gemara (Sanhedrin 18b) explicitly says there were 78, 600 Judges (see the meforshim there for various difficulties with how this number is calculated). He states, , And all investigations and wisdom are void against their holy words. Rav Hirsch also wonders why so many judges were needed, and answers with a beautiful idea. Every man who lived an honest life and had some knowledge of Torah was called upon to be a Judge for Am Yisrael. In fact every man from the Bnei Yisrael is expected to live an honest life and not to be ignorant of Halacha. Thus the whole nation, every single individual, was considered a bearer and representative of the Torah to such an extent that any three people can come together to form a Beis Din.

Q) Is it permitted to go on an aeroplane from a ment away from the aeroplane as much as possible. country where Shabbos has come out, yet landing in Of course in a case of where one requires food, and a country where Shabbos will have not come out yet? other basic requirements the Halachos would be different and need to be considered in isolation. Daniel Richman Hasmonean Beis Rabbi A) The case provided is of people on a ship who arrive on Shabbos and are not permitted to walk more than 4 Amos away from the ship. However, on an aero- If you have a question on any topic you would like plane that would be highly impractical, as one would to have answered, just email us at not be permitted to stay on the plane until the end of or send a text to Shabbos. Nevertheless, one should limit their move- 07779579188

He also asks how it is was possible to find so many people who were chachamim unevoinim wise and understanding, from the generation that had gone out of Egypt. Only forty years later, to their children who had been brought up seeing miracles every day, Moshe said, Hashem has not given you a heart to know, eyes to see and ears to Each and every one of us is obligated to learn and teach hear until this day. How then was it possible that their Torah- lilmod ulelameid. Torah is not exclusively for the Rabbis and scholars. We cannot pass the buck on to them fathers could have has so many people fit to be judges? whilst we ordinary folk never bother opening up a Sefer. Based on this query, the Ibn Ezra gives a novel Pshat. He Rather all of us without fail must spend as much of our explains that sarei alaphim does not mean that there was free time as possible learning Torah and Halacha. Ideally one judge for a 1000 people. Rather it means that the every one of us, whether farmer, shopkeeper, accounthighest level of judges should be so wealthy that they ant, or bank manager should be fit to act in a judiciary should have 1000 people serving them- slaves, servants, capacity for questions of everyday Halacha, whilst only hired workers etc. The sarei meos and sarei chamishim the more complex cases should have to move on to somewere slightly less wealthy, and the lowest level of judges one more qualified. And even if the sarei asaros were only needed to have ten servants. However, the total perhaps not the greatest of talmidei chachomim, it did number of Judges was far lower than the 79, 000 that he not change the fact that, knowing even slightly more calculated earlier. Torah than another nine people, they were required to teach them and judge them to the best of their The Avi Eizer (a commentary on the Ibn Ezra) finds this capabilities.

Riddle: On Tishah Bav morning, we all sit on the floor. However, one person in every Shul sits publicly on a chair. Who is he? Answer in next weeks Living Torah Last weeks riddle: Who in Bereishis was his sisters son-in-law? Answer: Yosef. He married Osnas who was his sisters son -in-law. Dina, conceived a daughter when captured by Shechem. This daughter was called Osnas and was sent to Mitzrayim where she was adopted by Potiphar. Thus she is titled Osnas bas Potiphera (according to the Meam Loez).