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Parshat Bechukotai
(Abroad: Parshat Behar-Bechukotai)
27 Iyar 5775 (16 May 2015)
The Temple Above and the Temple Below - by Rabbi
Mordechai Greenberg, Rosh Yeshiva, Kerem B'Yavne
This week's Torah portion contains a detailed description of the
curses of the exile. "And I will make your cities into ruins... And I
will make the land desolate, and your enemies who dwell there will
be desolate... And I will scatter you among the nations, and the
swords will be taken out of their sheaths" [Vayikra 26:31-33]. Not
only will the land be destroyed but also the Temple. "And I will
make your Temple desolate, and I will not enjoy the scent of your
sacrifices" [26:31]. The simple interpretation of the passage is that
the Temple will be profaned. But if that is so then it should have
been written explicitly: something like, "I will profane your
Temple." The answer is that a verse in the middle of the
description of the exile shows us that the seeds of redemption
have already been planted.

future... It is because the sanctity of the Temple and of Jerusalem

stem from the presence of the Shechina, and the Shechina will not
leave. As is written, 'I will make the Temple desolate.' And the
sages said that this means that even though the area is desolate its
sanctity remains." {Hilchot Beit Habechira, Chapter 6].
This is also true with respect to Bnei Yisrael. The Temple "dwells
with them in the midst of their impurity" [Vayikra 16:16]. Even
though the nation is impure, the Shechina remains in their midst
(Yoma 58). "For G-d will not abandon His nation, and He will
not leave His heritage" [Tehillim 94:14].
The root of this matter can be seen as a hint in this week's
Haftarah. "Just like the Throne of Glory, exalted from the very
beginning, so is the site of our Temple" [Yirmiyahu 17:12]. It is
written, "The Temple above is pointed towards the Temple down
below" [Tanchuma Vayakhel]. The sanctity of the Temple and of
Jerusalem does not start below but from above, and therefore it
will never be cancelled.

With respect to the curse of the land, the Ramban writes, "The
fact that we are told that 'your enemies who dwell there will be
desolate' is good news, since it means that our land will refuse to
accept our enemies. This too is a great vision and a promise for us
there is no other land such as this, which is good and broad but
remains desolate. Ever since we left it, the land has refused to
accept any other nation. They all try to rejuvenate it, but they
cannot succeed."

And that is why, right after the verse, "like the Throne of Glory,"
the prophet continues with, "G-d is a purifying bath of water for
Yisrael" [17:13]. As long as the heavenly Temple remains above,
we hope and are confident that G-d will not abandon His people
and He will not leave His heritage.

In his poetic style, the Ramban prayed when he saw the ruins of
Jerusalem. "You have made me as one who gave birth and whose
son died in her bosom, and the milk in her breasts causes her
pain, so that she nurses puppies instead. But in spite of this, your
suitors despise you and your enemies find desolation in you. They
remembered you from afar, and they glorified the holy city, saying,
it was given to us as a heritage. But when they come and find all
the desirable things, they flee as if from an enemy even though
nobody is chasing them. It is because they are not suitable for you,
and you are not suitable for them."

In Tehillim, the day that Jerusalem was destroyed is called

"Jerusalem Day" "One the rivers of Babylon, there we sat and
wept, when we remembered Zion... G-d, remember... Jerusalem
Day, for those who say, 'Destroy it, destroy it, to its foundation."
[137:1,7]. Today Jerusalem Day is one of our most important
times of joy, as the day when we released it from its foreign
conquest and unified it under our sovereignty, 48 years ago. Thus
we were loyal to our eternal oath, "If I forget you, Jerusalem, let
my right hand forget its cunning, let my tongue cling to my palate
if I do not remember you; if I do not lift up Jerusalem to my
highest joy." [137:5]. The wise men of Babylon, who could only
see Jerusalem in their imagination, said, "Ten measures of
beauty descended to the world. Jerusalem took nine measures
and one was left for the rest of the world. [Kiddushin 49b]. The
wise men of Jerusalem, who were familiar with the city as it
existed, said, "There are ten measures of suffering in the world,
nine of them in Jerusalem and one in the rest of the world"
[Talmud Yerushalmi 3:6].

Even though it appears as if G-d has forsaken Yisrael and

expelled them from His home, He still maintains the home for
when His "wife" will return, and He does not allow a strange wife
to enter the home.
The same is true of the Temple. It is written in the Torah, as
quoted above, "I will make the Temple desolate," and not that the
Temple will lose its sanctity, to teach us that "the sanctity remains
even though the site is desolate" [Megillah 3]. This text served as a
source for the Rambam for his ruling that the sanctity of
Jerusalem will never be cancelled. "And why do I say that in the
Temple and in Jerusalem the initial holiness remains for the

My Jerusalem - by Zevulun Orlev

I was privileged to have been a member of the Paratrooper's

Brigade under the command of Mota Gur, which freed the city in
the Six Day War. I was in the 71st Battalion, commanded by Uzi
Eilam, which first broke into the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. I

was moderately injured in my leg, and ever since I have felt that I
am bonded with the city by blood. I live there with my family and
my children and grandchildren. I can see both of the above
elements, the beauty and the suffering, and I feel the pain of every
element of damage and erosion that occurs, in terms of values,
culture, and political status, and every type of damage to the
strength of the city.

We must also take action with respect to "heavenly Jerusalem." In

the past I proposed a law that would require the official name of
the city to be not merely "the capital of the State of Israel" but
rather "the capital of Israel and the Jewish Nation." This
would be a proper expression of the central character of the city
in Jewish life as a whole. It would also serve to internally
strengthen the eternal value of Jerusalem.

Dangers from Within and from Without

Let us remember the successful struggle by Rav Avraham

Yitzchak Kook against the British on the subject of prayer rights
at the Western Wall, which appeared in his article, "Our Wall." He
wrote: "This nation had a Temple which was exalted in its sanctity
above and beyond all other temples all over the world. After it
was robbed of its land and its proud Temple was destroyed, all
that remained on this earth was the Western Wall. When the
remnants of the descendants of this nation pour out their hearts
in this place, any nation whose soul has a spark of humanity must
stand trembling at the sanctity of the return of this nation, with
great anticipation, in awe of the ancient nation." We will finish
with Rav Kook's resounding cry: "Let Yisrael know what is
happening to the remnant of its precious Temple! And let all
cultured nations in the world, together with the League of Nations
and especially the British nation which is in charge of the
Mandate! Let them know to repair the evil that has been
perpetrated... Let them be fully aware who it is that stands behind
our wall."

The harm and the threats are both internal and external. The
external elements stem from the Palestinians and the Arab world,
the United Nations, and other nations which do not recognize the
unification of the city and its status as the capital of our country.
Our ability to withstand these threats depends mainly on having a
broad national consensus with respect to the status of the city.
The reality that we see in front of us is a reason for worry: Who
celebrates Jerusalem Day except for religious Zionists and
those who live in the city? It is not only the "State of Tel Aviv"
which ignores this day, but also the elites from among the culture,
academia, the press, and political powers. Aside from two
government ceremonies a festive meeting at the Knesset and a
ceremony held at Ammunition Hill there is no festive
atmosphere in the country on this day. This is a disturbing sign of
erosion in the recognition of the status of the city and in the
ability to display a broad national consensus against the external
threats against the city.
The Jerusalem Basic Law, which was relevant on the day that it
was passed, does not provide a proper response today for the
"Jerusalem down below." While it is true that the exit of educated
youngsters has declined a bit, what is needed is a completely new
revolutionary approach. This Basic Law must be amended to
include benefits and extra privileges, and to encourage citizens of
Israel and new Olim to live in Jerusalem, to work there, and to
enjoy a level of municipal and national benefits which is
substantially better than what is available in other parts of the
country. As part of my previous public activities, I was witness to
the tough struggles of the mayors and Jerusalem MK's in an effort
to increase the national resources available to Jerusalem, but these
struggles usually achieved only partial success. Jerusalem is in need
of significant support in all walks of life: education, higher
learning, science, promoting employment and investment,
municipal services, housing, tourism, and more.
We must demand that the new government does not show any
weakness against international pressure from the other countries
in the world, including the United States and Europe. Our
statements must be strong and not defensive, taking the
initiative and not apologetic. The Christian world knows very
well from its own religious sources about the close relationship
between Judaism and Jerusalem, and that there is no such a
relationship between Islam and the city - remember that Jerusalem
is not mentioned at all in the Koran. A hesitant attitude and a
policy of zigzagging will only increase international pressure on us
to divide Jerusalem.
The Capital of the Jewish Nation


Shabbat Morning Prayers - by Chezi Cohen, Yeshivat Maaleh
Gilboa and Midreshet Ein Hanatziv
In today's article we will discuss several stories related to the topic of
unusual gatherings for Shabbat morning prayers. It seems to me that
this will have much to teach us about the approach of the rabbis of
the east.
Before Going to Work
Our first story is about Rabbi Yosef Genasia from Algeria (with
thanks to Dr. Yosef Shavit for the story itself and for the background
information about the rabbi). Rabbi Genasia (1879-1962) was the
Chief Rabbi of Constantine. He made halachic rulings, and he was a
translator, a poet, and a philosopher. He wrote about a hundred and
thirty books, on all facets of Judaism. He was involved in religious
innovations in the spirit of modern times. He was a strong supporter
of the Israel Alliance organization, which founded a modern school
system in Algeria that combined secular and holy studies. He was a
Zionist who made Aliya, and he passed away in Dimona.

With the conquest by the French, many Jews began to work in

the French government. As a matter of course these people
were required to work on Saturday, since the official day of rest
was Sunday. As a result, some of the Jews indeed started
working on Shabbat. Rabbi Genasia turned to them, and said,
"At the very least you should pray Shacharit and Mussaf and
hear the Torah reading. Therefore we will establish an early
minyan on Shabbat, and I will come to pray with you..."

Rabbi Genasia did not want to reject those who desecrated the
Shabbat, even though it was clear that what they did was forbidden.
Instead, he tried to get them to remain close to the Shabbat prayers.
At least they would feel Shabbat while they prayed, and they would
not become estranged from Judaism and from Torah and the
mitzvot. In addition, Rabbi Genasia joined them in their prayers,
opening an area where a link could be formed between the rabbi and
those who worked on Shabbat. By participating in their prayer, he
was declaring that this was not a spurned minyan meant only for
sinners but rather a minyan that was even fit for the rabbi of the
community. As a result, it can be assumed that his action led to a
positive attitude towards the minyan and towards the people who
A Fast Minyan
The second story involves Rabbi Shaul Hadad (Moderno). He was
born in Tripoli, Libya, in 1908, and he studied with Rabbi Tzion
Bitan. Rabbi Hadad was an expert ritual slaughterer and one of the
greatest halachic experts in Tripoli. He stayed strictly within the
bounds of truth, and he feared no man. He was called Rabbi Shaul
Moderno (from the word "modern") because he understood the soul
of the modern generation. He followed a lenient interpretation, and
he was very friendly to other people.

Grace After Meals. In this way, he signaled to the ruffian that he

could not pray with the rest of the congregation on a fast day,
since he had obviously been eating. And this started an
argument between them, where in the end the ruffian overcame
the other man's objections. In the end, the man was forced to
open up a machzor with the prayers for Yom Kippur, even
though the ruffian had clearly been eating just before that. [Ben
Ish Chai, Bereishit].
All of these stories involve the image of a traditional Jew, who does
not abide by the halacha and sometimes even desecrates the Shabbat,
but who is not estranged from the Torah (and who often has great
sympathy for it). The task of the rabbi is to get close to the other
person and to create a new point of contact. The wise men of the east
viewed the synagogue and the prayers as a significant point of contact
which must be nurtured, and they worked as hard as they could to
maintain their fruitful contacts with the members of their


Supplying Water to Jerusalem in the Era of the Second Temple
- by Rabbi Yitzchak Levy, Yeshivat Har Etzion


One time Rabbi Moderno saw a group of young boys playing

during the time of prayer. He went to them and asked them
why they were doing this. They replied that the prayers were
very long and filled with embellishments and liturgical poems,
and they were not interested in them. When the rabbi heard
this, he established a faster minyan and invited the boys to join
him there.
What do these two stories have in common? Two of the wise men of
the east are faced with groups of people who do not participate in the
Shabbat morning prayers. One group consists of adults who
desecrate the Shabbat by going to work, the other is a group of young
boys who play during the time of prayer. In both cases, these are not
people who are estranged in principle from our religion, but who
have been led by circumstnaces into a situation where they have
moved away and have even begun to sin. In both cases the wise man
decides not to openly defy them and scold them, and certainly not to
distance himself from them. Rather, he is pleasant to them, looking
for a way to revitalize the contact between them through organized
prayers in the synagogue. Both men realize that they will not be able
to stop the phenomenon by shouting and declaring war, and that
instead they must find a way to keep their contacts open. They both
transform the synagogue into a place which defines the identity of a
person, even if outside the synagogue he is a sinner.
Praying with Sinners
An approach similar to the above can be seen in the following story
told by the Ben Ish Chai.

It happened that a ruffian came into the synagogue in the

middle of Yom Kippur, with residues of his food on his
mustache, and he asked one of the people who were praying to
open a prayer book for him. The man opened the book to the

Now that we have spent our most recent articles discussing burial in
Jerusalem and reviewing magnificent burial caves all around the city,
we will turn to the subject of water pools which served the residents
of Jerusalem all year round and which served the pilgrims to the city
before and during the holidays.
We should remember that the sources of water in Jerusalem during
the time of the First Temple were one or more springs (in Jerusalem
this was mainly the Gichon Spring, and possibly Ein Rogel if at the
time the spring was a source of running water). In addition to the
springs, there were cisterns in private courtyards and also public
pools of water along riverbeds which were mainly fed by rainfall.
Since the water was collected in private cisterns and there was no
water inside the houses themselves, it served for all purposes:
drinking, washing, and ritual purification.
As the city grew near the end of the Second Temple era and as the
number of pilgrims increased, the Chashmonai kings (possibly King
Yanai) decided to bring water from long distances into the city.
(According to Prof. Safrai, the total number of individual pilgrims
and residents of the city could be as many as several hundred
The main criteria for where there might be sources for the water were
that fresh water must be available all year round, that the position of
the spring must be higher than the position of Jerusalem and the
Temple, where the water would be sent, and that the spring should be
fairly close to the city.
Lower and Upper Aqueducts
Because of the above considerations, the place which was chosen as
the site for feeding water to Jerusalem is what is called "Solomon's
Pools," which is situated between Beit Lechem and Gush Etzion.

The earliest aqueduct, which is dated according to archeological

evidence to the time of the Chashmona'im, brought the water from
the pools to the Temple Mount. This aqueduct is known as the
"Lower Aquaduct." On its way, it passes through the area of Beit
Lechem and the plateau of the Governor's Palace ("Armon Hanatziv").
At these two places, the aqueduct crosses under the plateau through
an underground tunnel, with vertical piers along the path which were
necessary during the construction for orientation, to provide light and
air, and to make it possible to dig several sections of the tunnel at the
same time. From the Governor's Palace the aqueduct continues to
the Temple Mount, on today's walkway, bypassing Abu Tur, the
Sultan's Pool, and Mount Zion, and it enters the Temple Mount over
the Robinson Arch, in the area of the Chain Gate ("Shaar
Evidently this aqueduct is mentioned in the Talmud (Zevachim) as
water that is brought to Jerusalem from Ein Itam. It is interesting to
note that even today the name of one of the springs which feeds
Solomon's Pools is Ein Itin, which seems to preserve the original
name of Ein Etan.
The later Aqueduct, called the "Upper Aqueduct," is dated to the
time of Herod. It brought water from Solomon's Pools to the Pool of
Chizkiyahu in the area of the Old City. This aqueduct passed by Beit
Lechem, using a bridge and a siphon in order to cross the valley.
From there it went on to Derech Chevron of today, and then
evidently continued to the area of Mishkenot Shaananim and to the
Mamillah Pool, and from there through the Yaffa Gate, reaching
Chizkiyahu's Pool.
It is reasonable to assume that the water was brought to this site in
the Old City, which was very close to Herod's Palace (which is
thought to have been in the area of the "Kishleh," the site of the
police station in the Old City), in order to supply the king with fresh
running water.
There were two other aqueducts that reached Solomon's Pools,
which fed them and added a substantial amount of water in addition
to the rainfall and the spring water from nearby. One is the El-Bi'ar
aqueduct, which has also been excavated in large sections (this spring
appears above ground between the towns of Elazar and Efrat). This
aqueduct is also dated to the era of Herod.
The second aqueduct is El-Arub, which starts near the El-Arub
refugee camp, and is fed by the springs of Ein Kusiba and Ein Dalba.
The water is led by a long and circuitous route to Solomon's Pools.
This aqueduct is usually considered as being from the time of the first
century C.E.
Chizkiyahu's Pool
This pool is located to the southwest of the Christian Quarter, to the
north of the market that leads from the Jaffa Gate towards the
Temple Mount. That is, the pool is at the high western edge of the
upper section of the city, from the end of the Second Temple era.
The pool has been given many different names since the time of the
Second Temple.
Evidently Josephus Flavius calls this pool "Amigdalon." He mentions
it in the description of the Roman siege on Jerusalem in the year 70
C.E., as follows: "The Romans began to pour their batteries... One
battery was made by the Tenth Legion, to the north of the place
called the Amigdalon Pool." Evidently the name came from a tower
not far from David's Tower.

The name Chizkiyahu's Pool is relatively new, and it does not appear
in ancient literature. This name is connected to the "upper pool"
close to the place where the messengers of the Assyrian army met the
representatives of King Yechizkiyahu. But, as we have noted, there is
no proof that this identification is correct.
The Arabic name of this pool is Chamam El Batrak, the bathing pool
of the Patriarch. This stems from the proximity to the nearby Greek
Patriarchal baths.
In recent years, the final eastern section of the aqueduct has been
found, which brought the water in the upper aqueduct from the area
of the Mamilla Pool (in Independence Park) to Chizkiyahu's Pool. In
the Old City there are remains of a pool which evidently was a
principle water source not only for Herod in his castle but also for
thousands of pilgrims who came to celebrate the holidays. This was
also closer to the Temple Mount, so that this large source of water
could be used for drinking, washing, and possibly also for ritual


Astrology - by Rabbi Hagay Lundin, Hesder Yeshiva in Sdeirot
and Machon Meir
As opposed to the accepted line of thought in the modern world,
Judaism does not reject the concept of astrology (I am referring to
the essence, not to the foolishness peddled by frauds). In fact,
astrology is a concept which shows an understanding of deep spiritual
ideas: The reality which surrounds us is not simply the result of
mechanical actions. Rather, there are cosmological actions which in
the end have an effect on the spiritual makeup of a person.
Thus, the essential point in the dispute between the wise men of
Yisrael and the "star gazers" concerns the place of free choice of
man in this entire scheme. The approach of astrology is based on an
assumption that the world is a "closed" cycle with natural
determinism, without any possible way of change. It is therefore
possible to predict the "fate" of a person by studying the system of
heavenly bodies. The Jewish approach, on the other hand, insists that
the existence of the world is the result of G-d's action. Therefore,
when a person aligns his life with the Divine harmony, which is
boundless and goes beyond any strict laws, natural existence will also
respond and "modify" its laws.
For example, the Talmud teaches us that one who is born under the
sign of Mars will "spill blood" (Shabbat 156a). There is no denial here
of the influence of various cosmic factors that can help to shape a
man's personality. A situation can exist where a person is born with a
spiritual potential for violence, but where his own choice can
determine whether he will be a slaughterer or he will perform
circumcisions. He has the ability to channel his instincts into a
"positive direction," which will help to build a better future.
What, then, is required of a man? On one hand, he must not deny the
existence of such natural forces. Otherwise, "because of the effort to
remove the elements of the mystical world he will distort his logic
and take away from it the general principle that is rooted in reality."
[Rav Kook, Orot Hakodesh, 3:90]. On the other hand, it is necessary
to realize that the way to control these influences is by not
becoming involved with them, as Rav Kook notes in the same

"Mystical wonders, when they are absorbed within the soul, interfere
with the development of natural understanding, because the
person becomes unsure of the physical world and its natural laws,
and his intellect no longer has a basis to rely on... It is therefore best
for a person not to invest his efforts in linking to the realities of
mystical content, unless he limits himself to a measure that will not
cause him to move away from the direct link to the world in which he
(Source: My book "Ayen Erech Hayahadut" which was recently
published by "Yediot Publishers.")
Keeping your Head above Water - by Rabbi Yoni Lavie,
Manager, "Chaverim Makshivim" Website

"Whoever knows me superficially can well be very jealous. Here

I am, a young man who is quite successful, and with a
promising career and a wonderful family, and all this when I am
not even thirty years old. You tell me, could I ask for anything
more? But I have this feeling that something is lacking ... When
I was studying in the yeshiva I had quite a few ideas about how
my life would be in the future. I knew the kind of man I wanted
to become, how important the Torah and G-d would be in my
life... But since then things have changed. We left the
hothouses of the yeshiva and the midrasha, and we jumped
straight into the deep waters of the real world. I started to study
in a university, I went to work... If I once hoped that G-d would
play an important role in my life, now I seem to meet Him
mostly on Shabbat. Actually, maybe that is not so true either...
Inside I feel cold and dry. I am efficient, I accomplish all sorts
of things, but I no longer have the spirit I used to have... There
is no doubt that things could be otherwise! I know that I am not
willing to leave things as they are. Does anybody have any
suggestions for me?"
The above section, an abstract of a letter that we published in our last
article, was written by Dvir, a young man from the religious Zionist
sector. His feelings and his struggles are shared by many others, and
we received quite a few reactions, suggestions, and requests for
solutions. The encounter with real life, including the army and
academia, the culture of the western world in which we live, and our
activities in the material world, can create a great tumult that can
shake up, carry away, and sometimes even drown young people who
start out full of wonderful dreams and high hopes. In addition, the
crush of the daily routine and the pressures characteristic of the
modern world have an effect, and they can lead to steady erosion in
matters related to the spirit, the family, and the life of a couple.
What can we do about this?
First of all let me make it clear that we do not have any proposal for a
"solution." This concept is much more suitable for problems in
algebra than for real life challenges. In life, rather than solutions, what
is needed is a proper and suitable way to cope with the many
challenges that we face. Below we suggest some possible directions
that we might take.
(1) Proper Preparation We must go out into life well prepared.
Do a number of years in high school/yeshiva/ulpanah fulfill this
requirement in a reasonable way? It may be that the answer is no. Will
a few years in a Hesder yeshiva or a midrasha help to fill in what is
missing? It is not easy to give a definite answer to this question. In

any case, part of the goal during the precious years when a person is
privileged to remain within the walls of a Beit Midrash should be
dedicated to various preparations for life later on.
(2) "Setting up Times for Study" We must set a regular routine
of studying Torah. Today there are many organizations and websites
that provide services such as an oral lesson in the daily study of
Talmud (Daf Yomi), a daily portion of the Rambam, daily Mishna
study, and so on. There are also many workbooks for organized
study, some quite short. A while back I met a nice couple who
celebrated their finishing the study of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.
They had studied it for five minutes during their evening meal.
(3) Fight against "Separating into Different Worlds" The
Jewish approach doesn't squeeze G-d only into the synagogue but
rather encounters Him in all walks of life. No matter whether you are
a lawyer or a physician, a computer expert or a social worker, a
teacher or a housewife the daily activity is part and parcel of our
appointed task of improving the world. This means that our life is
totally dedicated to our service of G-d. This approach has many
consequences for our usual behavior and it can also provide
motivation for us to get up in the morning for yet another day of
(4) "Two are Better than One" We are not alone in this struggle,
and we should make sure to take advantage of our combined force
and the mutual support we can obtain from our mate (for those who
are married) or from good friends and roommates (for the singles).
The mutual obligation that forms between partners is very precious,
and it always helps to hear other opinions about important issues,
from somebody who can show me how to look at my situation and
who can throw in a word of encouragement or advice when it is
needed. It goes without saying that larger groups are also very
valuable. Many such groups have been set up as "Motza'ei Shabbat
Meetings," where like-minded youths can have fruitful discussions
every week and create an atmosphere of mutual support.
(5) "On Your Way" Many people spend considerable amounts of
time in travel and traffic jams on the way to work, shopping, or other
destinations. This can add up to very large and very valuable blocks
of time that can be utilized to listen to Torah lessons which can be
downloaded from the internet and played moving around. Quite a
few people have managed to study the entire Talmud by listening to
the Daf Yomi while caught in traffic jams! The same is true for
routine housework, during which it is often possible to listen to very
useful lectures.
(6) "Tomorrow is Another Day" A common human trait is to
put things off for the next day. As the saying goes, "Don't put off to
tomorrow what you can do the day after that..." Somebody might say,
"Right now, you can't imagine how pressed I am for time. I have the
term final exams/I must finish this project/to submit this project/to
finish this job/to get this pregnancy over with/ etc, etc." Well,
friends, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the
time of heavy pressure will indeed pass. The bad news is that the time
that immediately follows it may not be any better. Our sages taught
us, "Do not say, when I have free time I will study, lest you never
find the free time" [Avot 2:4]. In real life, one thing comes right after
another, and if we always give up on doing something immediately
we might discover one day that many "tomorrows" have come and
gone, but the day we await has not appeared...
(7) "And I Pray" For the men, the effort involved in starting the
day by praying in a community a minyan of ten men and then to

stop somehow in the middle of the day and return to the synagogue
at the end of the day is well worth all the energy that it takes. It gives
a breathing space and an opportunity to recharge the batteries. And
women, who are not required to pray in a minyan, should also not
give up their opportunity to stand before G-d at least once a day.
(8) Set Limits In addition to filling our lives with positive
elements, it is also important to filter out cultural items which are
dangerous and which might move us away from the good place
where we would like to be. Watching movies and surfing the internet
must be through a controlled and moderate process, and we must
always be ready to close or to skip inappropriate material.
(9) "Choose Yourself a Rabbi" Find a spiritual figure, a Torah
master, to whom it is possible to turn with questions and requests for
advice, both in matters of halacha and with respect to life in general.
It must be somebody who is readily available and who is pleasant, a
person you can relate to, who can serve as an external uplifting
The above elements are basic concepts that are most closely related
to the spiritual regime. It goes without saying that the area of family
relations and companionship must be treated separately in order to
avoid its becoming a victim of routine and erosion. Rather, it should
always be a source of vitality and growth.

can from your former sinful path, add the name Leah to your existing
name. And we send our blessing that you will enter into the covenant
of marriage and establish a generation of righteous people." [Ibid,
Volume 2, 41].
by Yoav Shelosberg, Director of "Quiz and Experience"
The Way of Twenty-six is a book and also gives the date the
author passed away. Who is the author, and what is the book?
Last week's riddle for the portion of Behar the riddle was:
This Shabbat it refers to a year. Last Shabbat it referred to seven
The answer is the two words Temimah and Temimut.
- In Behar, a house in a walled city can be redeemed within one year
of its sale: "And if he does not redeem it until the end of a full year
(shana temimah), then the house in the walled city will remain
forever..." [Vayikra 25:30].
- In Emor, seven weeks are counted: "And you shall count for
yourselves from the day after the holiday, from the day that you bring
the Omer that is lifted up. Let there be seven full weeks (Shabbatot
temimot)" [23:15].

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Should a Dream Matter to Us? - by Dov Rozen (Summarized by
Yisrael Rosenberg)
Should we consider a dream when we want to choose the name of a
new baby? Specifically, should we pay attention to a dream even if it
goes against our opinion, or if it requires us to act in a way that is
prohibited by the halacha? Should a dream cause us to change a
person's name?
Rabbi Chaim David Halevi was asked on his radio show of responsa
about a woman whose first husband was killed in war, and who came
to her in a dream and asked that her new baby (with her second
husband) be named for him, her first husband.

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"Answer: The halacha clearly explains that a second marriage

completely cancels any relationship with the first husband... The basis
of this ruling is related to the uncomfortable feeling that can be
generated when a woman shows some closeness to the man who
used to be her husband..." ["Choose a rabbi for you," volume 1, 44].
Another time on the same radio show, a repentant member of a
kibbutz said that she was about to marry a religious man and that her
grandfather, who was religious, insisted in a dream that she should
change her name to Leah, and that something good would come of it
if she did so. The woman wanted to understand the meaning of this
strange dream, and she asked if she should pay attention to it. The
rabbi replied as follows:
"You are now religious, and your grandfather was sent to you from
the world of truth for two reasons: First, to strengthen your path of
repentance... and second, to hint to you that by changing your name
you might overcome some sort of bad decree. We may assume, based
on the fact that the name Leah was suggested, that perhaps you were
meant to be barren... And now, you should stay away as far as you

Chag Yom Yerushalayim Sameach!

Sunday, May 17 | 28 Iyyar