Even a person who has a reputation for honesty should be careful to avoid doing things that might give others the impression that he is dishonest.
Rabbi Yehuda Leib Chasman once gave a large sum of charity money to a student to distribute. Noticing that the student did not count the money right away, Rabbi Chasman wanted to teach him an important lesson, so he purposely handed over a lesser sum.
The student soon rushed back, upset that some of the money was missing. Rabbi Chasman revealed to the student that he purposely gave him less money so he would learn to be more careful in the future.
Speaking of being Careful last night and tonight marks the celebration of the holiday of Lag Baomer. Becuase it started last night on Saturday night, the education department created an alternative night to celebrate tonight to try to avoid Shabbat desecration. This created a situation where there will be two nights of bonfires and parties. Have a great time but be careful
Lag BaOmer is Hebrew for "33rd [day] in the Omer". (The Hebrew letter ל (lamed) or "L" has the numerical value of 30 and ג (gimmel) or "G" has the numerical value of 3. A vowel sound is conventionally added for pronunciation purposes.)
Some Jews call this holiday Lag LaOmer, which means "33rd [day] of the Omer", as opposed to Lag BaOmer, "33rd [day] in the Omer". Lag BaOmer is the traditional method of counting by some Ashkenazi and Hasidic Jews; Lag LaOmer is the count used by Sephardi Jews. Lag LaOmer is also the name used by Yosef Karo, who was a Sepharadi, in his Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 493:2, and cf. 489:1 where BaOmer is inserted by a glossator). (The form Lag B'Omer ["33rd day of an Omer"] is also sometimes used, though it is not grammatically correct in this setting.) The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, writes in his Likkutei Sichos that a deeper reason for the term Lag BaOmer is that the Hebrew words Lag BaOmer (ל״ג בעמר, spelled without the "vav"), have the same gematria as Moshe (משה, Moses). He writes that Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, whose yahrzeit is traditionally observed on this day, was mystically a spark of the soul of Moses.
The origins of Lag BaOmer as a minor festival are unclear. The date is mentioned explicitly for the first time in the 13th century by the TalmudistMeiri in his gloss to Yevamot 62b. The Talmudic passage states that during the time of Rabbi Akiva, 24,000 of his students died from a divinely-sent plague during the counting of the Omer. The Talmud goes on to say that this was because they did not show proper respect to one another. Meiri named Lag BaOmer as the day when, "according to a tradition of the geonim", the "plague" ended.
After the death of Rabbi Akiva's 24,000 students, he was left with only five students, among them Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. The latter went on to become the greatest teacher of Torah in his generation, and is purported to have authored the Zohar, a landmark text of Jewish mysticism. The Zohar calls the day of Bar Yochai's death a hillula. Rabbi Chaim Vital, the main disciple of Rabbi Isaac Luria and author of Etz Chaim, was the first to name Lag BaOmer as the date of Bar Yochai's hillula. According to the Zohar (III, 287b–296b), on the day of Bar Yochai's death, he revealed the deepest secrets of the Kabbalah. Lag BaOmer therefore became a day of celebration of the great light (i.e., wisdom) that Bar Yochai brought into the world.
Nachman Krochmal, a 19th-century Jewish theologian, among others, suggests that the deaths of Rabbi Akiva's students was a veiled reference to the defeat of "Akiva's soldiers" by the Romans, and that Lag BaOmer was the day on which Bar Kokhba enjoyed a brief victory.
During the Middle Ages, Lag BaOmer became a special holiday for rabbinical students and was called "Scholar's Day." It was customary to rejoice on this day through outdoor sports.
Lag BaOmer has another significance based on the Kabbalistic custom of assigning a Sefirah to each day and week of the Omer count. The first week corresponds to Chesed, the second week to Gevurah, etc., and similarly, the first day of each week corresponds to Chesed, the second day to Gevurah, etc. Thus, the 33rd day, which is the fifth day of the fifth week, corresponds to Hod she-be-Hod (Splendor within [the week of] Splendor). As such, Lag BaOmer represents the level of spiritual manifestation or Hod that would precede the more physical manifestation of the 49th day (Malkhut she-be-Malkhut, Kingship within [the week of] Kingship), which immediately precedes the holiday of Shavuot.
Lag B'Omer: Top 10 Ways to Celebrate
By Deborah Fineblum/JNS.org
Lag B'Omer isn't one of the best-known Jewish holidays—though some may notice that the men whose faces have grown fairly fuzzy following Passover are suddenly clean-shaven again.
But understanding the holiday's true meaning requires traveling back in time 2,000 years, to the era of Rabbi Akiva.
On the 33rd day of the Omer counting period—running 49 days from the second day of Passover to the Shavuot holiday—Jews cease to mourn the deaths of 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva's students. According to the Talmud, a deadly plague caused by the students' disrespect for each other stopped abruptly on the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, coinciding with Lag B'Omer.
Only five students survived the scourge, including famed sage Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai ("Rabbi Shimon" for short), whose yahrzeit (anniversary of death) falls on Lag B'Omer. On his deathbed, the rabbi instructed his students to mark the date as "the day of my joy."
Through the centuries, Lag B'Omer has remained a celebratory day. Here are the top 10 ways to fete it:
Build a bonfire
Before his death, Rabbi Shimon promised to reveal deep mystical secrets, and it is believed the light of day miraculously lingered until he finished and died. Lighting bonfires on his yahrzeit honors the extended light. If your local fire department frowns on such displays, try a barbecue or picnic. The best part of the bonfires, says Rabbi Michael Beals of Congregation Beth Shalom in Wilmington, Del., might be the "guitars and lots of singing of Hebrew folksongs." Or these days, adds the rabbi, "it's also most definitely the s'mores."
Visit an archery range
It is said both Rabbis Akiva and Shimon were so holy that during their lifetime, all rainbows—the reminder of God's promise to never to destroy the world after the flood of Noah's era—were suspended. Bows and arrows, then, are a Lag B'Omer tradition. Israeli youngsters tend to use rubber-tipped arrows for safety reasons. But even those can be lethal, warns Thomas Herrington, owner of the Ace Archers range in Foxboro, Mass. "They can kill a squirrel or rabbit on impact," he says. "So leave yourself lots of space."
Explore a cave
According to the Talmud, Rabbi Shimon and his son Rabbi Eleazar hid from the Romans in a cave in northern Israel for 13 years. But today's spelunkers need to take precautions, specifically traveling in groups and taking along multiple light sources, says Vickie Carson, public information officer at Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park.
Bake carob brownies
How did Rabbi Shimon and his son survive those 13 years? Miraculously, a carob tree at the mouth of the cave and a fresh-water spring sustained them. Today, dining on carob treats—carob brownies in particular—is a tribute to these miracles. "Since the powder is just ground-up carob, there's no need for a hechsher (kosher certification)" on carob powder, says Arlene Scharf, who runs the kashrut.com website.
Take a trip to Meron
The most authentic Lag B'Omer experience comes, not surprisingly, in Israel, where you can join some 250,000 Jews at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon in Meron, near the spiritually endowed northern city of Safed (Tzfat). At Meron, the large crowd celebrates the transmission of the Zohar, the foundational text of Jewish mysticism authored by Rabbi Shimon.
Cut a 3-year-old boy's hair
The custom to give a first haircut to 3-year-old boys (upsherin) in Meron on Lag B'Omer dates back to the early Kabbalists. Today, many Jewish parents around the world still use the holiday for boys' first haircuts. "I don't know if Ari remembers much; it was nearly 28 years ago and he's getting married in three weeks," says Alane Schreiber of Sharon, Mass., recalling her son's upsherin on Lag B'Omer. "But I still have his long blonde ponytail."
Attend a concert
While the counting of the Omer can be gloomy, all mourning is lifted on the 33rd day. Since the prior days' Jewish legal prohibitions include listening to live music, you can happily attend a concert on Lag B'Omer.
Refraining from shaving is another Jewish mourning tradition implemented during the Omer, making Lag B'Omer the day for men to get out the razor and remove a month's worth of facial hair. "This has got to be our favorite Jewish holiday," quips Irv Kempner, a former vice president of Gillette, a Fortune 500 company that makes its fortune on razors and electric shavers.
Get married (or attend a wedding)
Since Jewish weddings are prohibited during the Omer's mourning period, many couples longing for spring nuptials will grab Lag B'Omer as their wedding date. Yael and Rabbi Yosef Resnick of Massachusetts tied the knot on Lag B'Omer in 1993. "We felt that connection, and learned about Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and the significance of the date," Yael says. "I don't think it's a coincidence that after we got married and went to Tzfat for several months, the apartment we rented was on Bar Yochai Street."
Cheer at a parade
The "Great Parade" is a time-honored Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic tradition since 1987, when movement leader Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson instituted it. This year's parades will take place in cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Toronto, Montreal, Detroit, London, Paris, Jerusalem, Johannesburg and Melbourne. Along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, N.Y., the home of Chabad headquarters, 35,000 parade-goers are expected to line the streets, while 100,000 will watch online. Parade organizer Rabbi Shimon Hecht says, "What greater way to display Jewish pride and unity than by gathering thousands of Jews together and marching proudly in the streets?"
Petition to Have Har Habit open to JEWS the whole day on the 50th anniversaryof the reunification of Jerusalem
It is very helpful to also share the petition on Facebook and email! In a month come to us for the best Jubilee Day reunification of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount and this release is very important that the number of signatures touching up to 100,000!
"V'nikdashti b'toch b'nei Yisrael," thunders the Torah. "And I shall be sanctified in the midst of the Children of Israel" (Leviticus 22:32). Kiddush Hashem, the sanctification of G-d's Name! Is there any greater concept in all of Judaism? The hallowing of the Name!
And how does one achieve this mitzvah of sanctification of the Name? One observes the Sabbath by observing it; one observes the commandment of prayer by praying; one fulfills the commandment of giving charity by reaching into one's pocket and giving. But how does one reach the summit of the mitzvah of sanctification? The Torah commentator, Rashi, quietly and expressly explains - in four short and simple Hebrew words: "M'sor atzmecha v'kadesh sh'mi. Give of yourself and sanctify My Name."
As simple as that, as complex as that. As obvious as that, as concealed as that - and without it THERE IS NO JUDAISM and there is NO JEW and there is NO MEANING or CONTENT to Torah or existence.
Who gives of himself today? Who looks upon his life in the light of the ultimate Truth - as a thing that is loaned us by its Creator on the condition that we live it in a certain way? And if, when the time comes, that way calls for the risking of that life - who realizes that it is part of the bargain that man has made and is morally bound to observe?
The Ramban speaks of the possibility of a Jew living according to strict Jewish standards and following the very letter of the law, and yet remaining a "naval b'rshut haTorah," a villainous scoundrel within the boundaries of the Torah! The mind boggles at the thought! A Jew who scrupulously adheres to the letter of the law of each of the 613 commandments, who observes the Sabbath exactly as he must, who gives exactly the minimum amount of charity that he must, and who remains a villain and a scoundrel according to the Torah!
It is not so strange. We see them every day. The Jew who eats only glatt kosher food, but in disgusting and expensive abundance while the poor and needy suffer silently in their forgotten neighborhoods and tenements. This is a scoundrel within Torah limits. The Jew who signs a petition, attends a parade, and returns home to his parlor while the noose grows tighter and parades cease to have meaning. This is a Torah scoundrel. The Jew who DOES the exact MINIMUM that he must and talks of the need to climb mountains but REMAINS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SLOPE - this is the scoundrel and, indeed, he always remains at the bottom.
Who gives of himself today? Worse, who recognizes his own weakness in not giving of himself? At least, if the latter were true, there might be some hope. But we live in a time when the flabby moral villain not only refuses to ascend the mountain but condemns those who do.
Who looks upon life and understands its vanities and the need for a proper order of priorities? Who knows that if there are Jews who are oppressed, that one's own life and fortune are mortgaged to their freedom? Who understands that life is not as important as the manner of living it? Instead we look around and find people who pray to return to Zion and remain in the comfort of gilded Exile; who cry out against Russians and react in horror to any suggestion that the Soviet slope be conquered; who see Iraqi Jews murdered and who demand that "international action" be taken.
Life is ours to be lived and life is ours to be understood. It is not ours to do with as we wish; it is ours to do with as we MUST.
The Rabbis bitterly condemned the Jew who sits and eats hi meals in bland comfort while his fellow Jews suffer. They must surely have a special horror of that same Jew who - while he ate in the midst of Jewish tears - made a tremendous show of his religiosity on forgetting his brothers only over a plate of food fit even for the most scrupulous of Orthodox.
To the young who wish to reach the height of sanctity, know that it cannot be reached from the comfortable valley. When the cry of a Jew is heard, CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN. Only thus does one reach G-d and his fellow man. It is dangerous and one can die, but, in the end, that is the ONLY WAY that one lives.
The Jewish Press, 1973
Can you play a spinner on Shabbat?
Players of the fidget spinners craze asked rabbis in Jerusalem whether it's allowed to be played on Shabbos. Here's their answer.
By COLlive reporter
The Institute for Science and Halacha in Jerusalem, led by Rabbi Yitzchak Halperin, was recently asked about the use of the fidget spinners on Shabbos.
The request came from children themselves who, like many their age around the world, have been obsessed by the activity craze.
Their question joined more requests the institute has received in the last week about its permissibility on the holy day of Shabbos, according to the website ch10.co.il.
The funky-shaped plastic or metal orbits a bearing, often for minutes at a time with a single spin, CNN describes it.
Rabbis of the institute dismantled and examined a spinner and responded that a regular spinner is allowed to be played on Shabbos without any fear of chilul Shabbos.
They did stress that spinners which light up or have similar functions are forbidden, like any similar toy.
They did recommend that children do not bring the spinners to shul on Shabbos, "not to disrespect the sanctity and holiness of the place, and certainly not to play it during davening and reading of the Torah."
The rabbis also pointed out that while the spinner is said to help children with concentration problems, it can be seen as disrespect to the teachers in class.
How to use a Fidget Spinner!
Drinking Water on Empty Stomach Immediately After Waking Up!
Did you know that Japanese people have a habit of drinking water immediately after waking up. It is and ancient tradition for healing many diseases that became very popular around World War 2 after being published in a Japanese newspaper.
The advantages of drinking water have been also backed up by many studies . It is a treatment that is proven to give excellent results in fighting many serious diseases. Some of the difficulties this water treatment can help with are: headache, body aches, heart system, accelerated heart beat, epilepsy, blood fat,
bronchitis, meningitis, kidney disease and urinary tract, vomiting, gastritis, diarrhea, piles, diabetes, constipation, all eye diseases, diseases of the uterus, menstrual disorders, diseases of the ear, nose and throat. This Is How To Do Perform The Water Therapy: As soon as you wake up in the morning, before brushing your teeth, drink
4 glasses (200 ml) of water. Wash your teeth, but do not eat nor drink anything in the next 45 minutes. After 45 minutes you can eat and drink as you would every day. After your breakfast, lunch or dinner do not eat or drink anything for the next two hours.
Those that are old and sick and unable to drink 4 glasses of water on an empty stomach, can begin with drinking water as much as they can, and then each day increase the amount until they reach the required 4 glasses of water . This method will help with many diseases, and a healthy person will enjoy the new energy acquired from the water therapy.
As the story goes, doing this method has the power to heal high blood pressure in 30 days, gastritis in 10 days, constipation in 10 days and will also make you feel much more energized and improve your entire body function. This method should not only be used for helping with some of the diseases above, but should also be implemented as a part of your life. It has no side
Are you a Republican, Democrat or Southerner?
ARE YOU A DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN, OR SOUTHERNER? THIS TEST WILL HELP DECIDE I stumbled across this on Nicer Days. One of their readers sent it in, and it was too great not to share! I hope y'all can take a joke! Are you a Republican, a Democrat, or a Southerner? This little test will help you decide: Suddenly, a Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, raises the knife, and charges at you… You are carrying a Glock 21 cal. 45 ACP, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do? ****************************** Democrat's Answer: Well, that's not enough information to answer the question! What is a Glock 21 cal. 45 ACP? Does the man look poor or oppressed? Is he really a terrorist? Am I guilty of profiling? Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack? Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand? What does the law say about this situation? Does the pistol have an appropriate safety built into it? Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children? Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me? Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me? Should I call 9-1-1? Why is this street so deserted? Can we make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior. I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and try to come to a consensus. This is all so confusing! ****************************** Republican's Answer: BANG! ****************************** Southerner's Answer: BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Click….. (Sounds of reloading) BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Click. Daughter: "Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Federal Hollow Points?!" Son: "Can I shoot the next one?!" Wife: "You are NOT taking that to a Taxidermist