Expend For A Friend
The Sages say that having a friend is so important that one should be willing to pay for it! (Talmud - Avot 1:6). Why? Because we are not objective about ourselves. A true friend is there with you when you fall to help you get up. As they say, " A friend in need, is a friend indeed."
Paying a price does not necessarily refer to financial payments. We might need to spend time and energy to keep a friend. We may have to tolerate some of his negative habits. Or at times he might quarrel with us. Nevertheless, the price we pay for a close friend is a worthwhile investment.
Today being Evev Yom Kippur (tonight it starts) I am off to the Temple Mount to help prepare for our rights to one day build it again (see story below from Rabbi Yehuda Glick). I wish everyone a meaningful fast in our opportunity to get close to G-d.
Why I am a Jew by Rabbi Johnathan Sacks
*So, I was walking through the mall in Chicago and I saw that there was a
"Muslim Book Store." I was wondering what exactly was in a Muslim bookstore
so I went in*
*As I was wandering around taking a look, the clerk stopped me and asked if
he could help me*
*I imagine I didn't look like his normal clientele, so I asked, "Do you
have a copy of Donald Trump's book on his U.S. Immigration Policy regarding
Muslims and illegal Mexicans?"*
*The clerk said, "F.... off, get out and stay out!"*
*I said, "Yes that's the one," Do you have it in paperback? *
KAPAROT - 2015 (5776)
(this is the controversial practice because live chickens are used--here is an alternative)
Yehuda Glick Optimistic for 'Great Change' on Temple Mount
Yehuda Glick, Chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Fund, told Arutz Sheva Tuesday that he was shocked to learn that a sign in Hebrew had been placed at the entrance to the Temple Mount, stating that visits and tours of the Mount have to be coordinated in advance.
After contacts with the police, the sign was removed.
Glick said that the police quickly understood that putting up the sign was a mistake. "We encounter harsh decrees once in a while," he explained. "In the course of the last year they have been allowing in smaller groups and carrying out intrusive inspections. This deters Jews from coming. We contacted elements within the police and drew their attention to the seriousness of the matter. We were glad to learn that the sign was removed."
Glick had warm words for the new minister of internal security, Gilad Erdan (Likud), who he said has been taking action regarding the Muslim rioting in the Temple Mount.
"At the end of the 100 days, it is important to me to note that Minister Erdan – beside his activity in appointing a new police commissioner – has taken upon himself the subject of the Temple Mount, and we feel the great change in the way matters are handled vis-a-vis the Arab elements that are creating trouble on the Temple Mount."
Glick hinted that Erdan – who is secular, but was raised in a religious home – sees with favor a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, and not just for religious reasons. "There is an attempt to improve the situation," he said. "There is a religious and sovereign interest favoring the ascent of Jews to the Mount, and these things are stated in our meetings with Minister Erdan as well. With him, we found an attentive ear and a new spirit can be felt."
Despite his serious injury last year, when a would-be assassin tried to murder him, he is continuing his activity as Chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Fund at full throttle. "With the grace of God and thanks to the prayers I am getting better," he said. "I am not yet 100% well, but my motivation has grown and doubled. The degree of interest in us has tripled. There is great interest from rabbis who were not interested in the past, and who were even opposed to the ascent [by Jews], and now encourage the ascent to the Mount.
"I am continuing with greater strength. The terror attack showed me that there are hostile elements who do not want us to be on the Mount and that encourages me to act. There are numerous tours on the Mount, including religious and secular students. It is gathering steam and I call upon the wide public to come and ascend the Mount."
Succot starts on Sunday night..I am including this now, because there is not much time left.
Sukkot starts Sunday evening, September 27th. Sukkot means "booths." During the 40 years of wandering in the desert we lived in Sukkot. We are commanded in the Torah regarding this holiday, "You shall dwell in booths for seven days ... so that your generations will know that I caused the Children of Israel to dwell in booths when I took them out of Egypt, I am the Lord your God" (Leviticus 23:42-43). We are commanded to make our Sukkah our main dwelling place -- to eat, sleep, learn Torah and spend our time there. If one would suffer from being in a Sukkah -- i.e., from rain or snow -- or heat and humidity -- he is freed from the obligation to dwell there. We make, however, every effort to at least eat in the Sukkah -- especially the first night.
The love and enthusiasm you put into building a Sukkah and decorating it makes a big impact on your children. A friend told me that his father was a klutz (not handy) with tools and their Sukkah would oftentimes fall down. But, what he remembers is his father's love for the mitzvah of building the Sukkah and happiness in building it each time. We cannot decree that our children have our love for our heritage. However, by showing them our delight and energy in the mitzvot, they build their own love for Torah and the holiday. A teacher once said, "Parents only owe their children 3 things: example, example, example."
We are also commanded to wave the arbah minim, the Four Species, during the week-long holiday. There are many deep and mystical meanings to be found regarding waving the Four Species. Waving them in all four directions of the compass as well as up and down is symbolic that the Almighty controls the whole world, the winds and all forces -- everything everywhere. A second lesson from holding the Four Species together -- all Jews are bound together as one people, be they saints or sinners, knowledgeable or ignorant (see Dvar Torah!).
The Torah tells us, "...On the fifteenth of the seventh month (counting from the Hebrew month of Nissan when the Jews left Egypt) shall be the holiday of Sukkot, seven days (of celebration) for the Almighty. The first day shall be a holy convocation; all manners of work (creative acts as defined by the Torah) you shall not do; it is an eternal decree in all of your dwelling places for all generations" (Leviticus 23:34-35).
Sukkot is called zman simchateinu, the time of our joy. Joy is distinct from happiness. Happiness is taking pleasure in what you have. Joy is the pleasure of anticipating a future good. If we trust in God and know that everything the Almighty does for us and will do for us is for our good, then we will know great joy in our lives!
Deuteronomy 16:13-15 tells us "The festival of Sukkot shall be to you for seven days when you gather from your threshing floors and your wine cellar. You shall rejoice in your festival ... for the Almighty will bless you in all of your produce and in all of the work of your hand and you shall be completely joyous." It is fitting that Sukkot is a harvest festival. People who work the earth are amongst the most religious of people trusting in the Almighty (followed perhaps by fundraisers ... ). They take a perfectly good seed that could be eaten and they stick it in the ground not knowing whether there will be rain or drought or floods or pestilence. They put forth hard work not knowing the outcome. They trust in the Almighty for their food and their very existence.
The mitzvah of dwelling in the Sukkah teaches us trust in God. We tend to think that our possessions, our money, our homes, our intelligence will protect us. During Sukkot we are exposed to the elements in a temporary hut. Living in a Sukkah puts life into perspective. Our possessions are transient -- and our corporeal beings are even more transient than our possessions. Life is vulnerable. Our history has borne out how transient are our homes and communities. No matter how well-established, wealthy and "secure" we have become in a host country, in the end it too has been a temporary dwelling. Our trust must be in God.
As King David wrote in Psalms 20:8 "There are those who trust in chariots and those who trust in horses, but we trust in the name of the Almighty." Only the Almighty is the Creator of the world, the Master of history, our personal and caring God Who can be relied upon to help us.
During the Festival of Sukkot when we had our Temple in Jerusalem, 70 offerings were brought-- one for each nation of the world -- so that the Almighty would provide rain for their crops. The Talmud tells us that if the nations of the world understood the value of what the Jewish people provided them, they would have sent their armies to defend our Temple in Jerusalem to keep it from being destroyed!Sukkot is one of the Shelosh Regalim, Three Festivals (the other two are Pesach and Shavuot), where the Torah commands everyone living in Israel to leave their homes to come to Jerusalem to celebrate at the Temple. For the last 2,000 years since the destruction of the Temple, we've been unable to fulfill this mitzvah. May we soon be able to fulfill this mitzvah once again in its entirety.