Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement
The Torah tells us about the negative response of the 10 spies to Calev's positive report about going into the Promised Land:
"And the men (the 10 spies) who went up with him (Calev, one of the 2 good spies) said, 'We cannot go up to that people (the present inhabitants of the land of Canaan) because they are stronger than us.' " (Numbers 12:31)
___Why did the 10 spies feel they weren't strong enough to enter the land?
___The Chofetz Chaim used to say that the evil inclination tries in every possible way to prevent a person from doing good deeds. At times, a person is arrogant and feels that he is already on the highest level and need not do more. At other times, when a person tries to do something good, he starts feeling sad and guilt-ridden. He tells himself that the good thing he wants to do is only possible to accomplish for people on a much higher spiritual level that he has attained. He immediately remembers all the bad things he has done in his life. Even though he might have already regretted those things and repented, he forgets this and starts feeling so inferior that he loses all desire to accomplish anything positive.
___This, said the Chofetz Chaim, was their mistake in being afraid to enter the Land of Israel. They remembered the things they did wrong in the past and said that they were unworthy to enter the land. Especially since the people who lived there were very mighty. They would need a special merit to be victorious and they felt too lowly for this. However, we should never be deterred from doing what is good out of misplace humility. Do not allow guilt feelings to prevent you from doing the will of the Almighty. (Shmiras Haloshon, Vol.2, Shelach).
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16 Mezuzah Facts Every Jew Should Know By Yehuda Altein
The Word Mezuzah Literally Means "Doorpost"
In Biblical Hebrew, the word mezuzah means doorpost.1 The verse instructing us to write a mezuzah reads, "You shall write [these words] upon the mezuzot—doorposts—of your house and upon your gates."2 Talmudic literature applied the term to the scroll affixed to the doorpost, which is how we still refer to it.
2. It's Handwritten on Parchment
A mezuzah must be written on the parchment of a kosher animal. The parchment must have been prepared explicitly for use as a sacred object. The words must be handwritten by an expert scribe well-versed in the intricacies of the script and its laws. Even the ink and quill are custom made to meet the necessary requirements.
Each mezuzah scroll contains the first two portions of the Shema, beginning with the verse, "Hear o Israel, the L‑rd is our G‑d, the L‑rd is One."3 Both of these selections contain G‑d's instruction to affix the mezuzah: "You shall write [these words] upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates."4
On the reverse side of the scroll, the scribe writes one of G‑d's names: Sha-dai. The three letters of this name form an acronym for the Hebrew words Shomer daltot Yisrael, "Guardian of the doorways of Israel." If you've noticed that mezuzah cases are often decorated with the letter shin, it's because this name of G‑d begins with shin.
5. It Gave Us a Secret Code
Three additional words are written on the reverse side of the scroll: כוזו במוכסז כוזו. This seemingly incomprehensible sentence comprises the three names of G‑d that appear in the verse of Shema—Hashem Elokeinu Hashem—by replacing each letter with the following letter of the Hebrew alphabet (e.g., yud is replaced with chaf, hei is replaced with vav, and so on). These three words are written on the reverse side of the parchment, in the very same spot where the corresponding names of G‑d are written inside the scroll.
This type of spelling, nicknamed "mezuzah script," was often used by Jews in Soviet Russia to write letters containing "incriminating" information.
A mezuzah case is used to protect the parchment, but is not halachically required. As such, the case may be made out of just about anything, although more common materials include metal, wood, ceramic, or plastic.
Styles and designs have evolved, and you can now find everything ranging from simple plastic tubes to decorative cases made of exotic materials, featuring popular Jewish themes. While beautifying a mitzvah is a positive thing, investing in the quality of the scroll is the priority.
Kosher mezuzah scrolls can cost anywhere from $40 to $175 each. The difference in price depends on size, quality, and type of script.
Since even a small error can render a mezuzah unfit, it is vital that it is purchased from a reputable scribe or retailer. It may be worthwhile to spend more money on a higher quality scroll fashioned with greater care and precision.
8. The Mezuzah Is Placed on the Right Side
The mezuzah is affixed to the right-hand side of the doorpost as you enter the room. For the front door, the right as you enter is always considered the right side. Inside the house, however, the right side is determined by which way the door opens. Whichever room the door opens into is considered the primary room, and the mezuzah is placed on the side that is on the right when entering that room.
The proper place for the mezuzah is at the bottom of the top third of the doorway. In other words, measure the height of the doorway and divide by three; then align the bottom of the mezuzah with the point two-thirds of the way up the doorpost.
If you are unsure, it is advisable to have a rabbi visit your home to determine the correct location for the mezuzah.
In Ashkenazic tradition, the mezuzah is placed at a slight angle, with the top of the mezuzah pointing toward the inside of the room and the bottom pointing toward the outside. In Sephardic communities, however, the mezuzah is affixed vertically.
To properly fulfill the mitzvah, every room in your home or office—with some exceptions—should have its own mezuzah. Rooms smaller than 6.3 feet by 6.3 feet (e.g., a closet), bathrooms, or rooms lacking a doorway with two doorposts and a lintel do not need a mezuzah.
12. The World's Largest Mezuzah Is Over a Meter Long
In 2010, officials affixed the world's largest kosher mezuzah (to be installed in a doorway) in the interior entranceway of Israel's Ben Gurion Airport. The completed parchment and case together measure more than a meter in length. There have since been other, larger mezuzahs installed in other places.
13. It Needs to Be Checked Twice Every Seven Years
Mezuzahs should be checked by a certified scribe twice every seven years to see if they have been affected by adverse weather conditions, or by folding (which can cause cracks in the letters), or if any other defects have occurred. Some check their mezuzot every year, during the Hebrew month of Elul.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, often urged people who encountered health challenges or other difficulties to have their mezuzot (and tefillin) checked, to ensure that every scroll was in good shape and properly placed on the doorpost.
While all mitzvot are performed to fulfill G‑d's command, affixing a mezuzah to the doorway of your house has the added benefit of initiating Divine protection on the home and its inhabitants. Per the Talmud: "A king of flesh and blood sits inside [his palace], and his servants guard him from the outside. With G‑d, by contrast, His servants sit inside [their homes], and He guards them from the outside."5
The tradition in many Jewish homes is to place one's hand on the mezuzah when passing through the doorway, and there are those who then kiss the hand that touched it. Some have the additional practice of raising their young children to kiss the mezuzah before going to bed, instilling within them an affection for G‑d and His commandments.
Surprisingly, there is no tractate in the Talmud devoted to the laws of the mezuzah. Instead, the laws of mezuzah—along with the laws of tzitzit and tefillin—can be found in Tractate Menachot, the section that discusses the flour offerings brought in the Holy Temple. Why there? Tzitzit contain two independent units (the white strings and the blue string of techelet), tefillin comprise two independent parts (the head tefillin and the hand tefillin), mezuzah contains two selections from Scripture, and the meal offering also has independent elements of wine, oil, and flour.
Displaying a mezuzah on your home serves as a declaration and reminder of our faith, as well as a symbol of G‑d's watchful care. For more information, visit our mezuzah mini-site, or contact your closest Chabad rabbi for assistance in getting new mezuzahs or having your existing ones checked.
By Yehuda Altein Rabbi Yehuda Altein is a writer, translator and editor specializing in Jewish subjects and handwritten family material. A former researcher for JLI's Machon Shmuel Research Institute, he has written on Jewish history, scriptural exegesis, halachah, and chassidut. Yehuda resides in Brooklyn, N.Y., with his family and enjoys collecting antique Judaica and exploring natural history in the Torah.
Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.—Warren Buffett business magnate, investor, speaker and philanthropist
God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers. Rudyard Kipling journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist
Once you have to start counting calories, it takes away from the joy of eating. Mireille Guiliano author
Eating is so intimate. It's very sensual. When you invite someone to sit at your table and you want to cook for them, you're inviting a person into your life. Maya Angelou poet, singer, memoirist, and activist
You can tell alot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans. Ronald Reagan American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States, union leader. 33rd governor of California
There's no guilt in eating fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Jane Velez-Mitchell Television and social media journalist and author
I was eating in a Chinese restaurant downtown. There was a dish called Mother and Child Reunion. It's chicken and eggs. And I said, I gotta use that one. Paul Simon singer
I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand. Benjamin Franklin Author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat
Eating rice cakes is like chewing on a foam coffee cup, only less filling. Dave Barry humorist
No man in the world has more courage than the man who can stop after eating one peanut. Channing Pollock magician
Huckabee: Kids are not growing up belonging to things
Aug. 05, 2019 - 4:56 - Former Arkansas governor and Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee discusses the link between feelings of alienation and mass shooters.
On my trip to Safed on 080619 we pick up Avner and his Mom we stop at the Caver for
RABBI YEHUDA BAR ILOI
RABBI YEHUDA BAR ILOI
"The Law is like Rabbi Yehuda" by Chana Katz The two-story building hovering over the burial place of Rabbi Yehuda Bar Illoy is clearly visible on the south (left) side of the Meron-Carmiel- Acco Highway (Route 89) as you leave Tsfat, after about a five minute drive.
Utterly poor in possessions, yet rich in Torah wisdom and sterling character traits, no other Jewish sage has earned quite a prominent position in the Talmud as Rabbi Yehudah Bar Iloi.
One of the five famous last disciples of Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Yehuda is quoted in the Mishnah more than 600 times. When faced with differing opinions from such illuminous contemporaries as Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, it is said that Rabbi Yehudah's is the deciding opinion.
The poverty which followed the Roman destruction of the Second Holy Temple was deeply oppressive, but the ahavat yisroel (love of a fellow Jew) which arose from those dire circumstances, was recorded for posterity.
Rabbi Yehudah's students couldn't even afford to buy their own talleitim (prayer shawls) — and so they shared — huddling six at a time under one shawl.
Once, Rabbi Yehudah's wife managed to acquire enough money to buy some material in order to sew a cloak, which they both lovingly shared. He wore it to the House of Study and his wife donned it when she went to town.
He endured his poverty with grace. Once, upon hearing that Rabbi Yehudah couldn't even afford to have his own cloak, the famed teacher Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel sent him one. Rabbi Yehudah refused to accept it.
A more humorous aspect of the difficult times involved the sharing of one bowl of food between Rabbi Yehudah and another scholar with only one spoon between them: "How long do I have to have your gritty fingernails dipping into the bowl of food which I eat?" asked one. "How long do I have to accommodate the spittle from your spoon!" responded the other.
While he reached great heights of Torah learning — tutored in part by his father, a student of Rabbi Tarfon and Rabbi Eliezer B. Hyrcanus — there was no work that was too meager for him to perform. "Work honors the worker," held Rabbi Yehudah.
In a similar vein, Rabbi Yehudah knew nothing more dear than learning the Torah — except "working," that is — living — the Torah. Leaving the study hall to gladden a bride and groom or to pay respects to the departed at a funeral. . . taking time to help a quarreling husband and wife…were duties higher than learning itself. "For so you show your fellow man love and honor," Rabbi Yehudah explained.
Rabbi Yehudah is quoted in Pirkei Avos (Ethics of Our Fathers) urging students to be "meticulous in study — for a careless misinterpretation is considered tantamount to a willful transgression."
He also said that man is recognized "through his anger, his cup, and his pocket — how he behaves when he drinks too much, how generous he is with money and how quick to anger."
Today — some 1800 years since the light of Rabbi Yehudah and his students shone in the ancient village of Ein Zeitim on the outskirts of Tsfat — a kollel for learning has been established in a two-story building above the tombs of Rabbi Yehudah and his father.
A large patio with a pavilion and tables adjoins the site to accommodate the many festive occasions which take place there such as weddings and bar mitzvah celebrations.
Interestingly, part of the money to fund some of these projects came from a once-wealthy Israeli man who had lost most of his fortune. The man was directed to the tomb to pray for a restored sustenance and promised that if his fortunes indeed were reversed he would support the maintenance of the gravesite.
Tsfat Chief Sephardic Rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, shlita, said he's not only heard of many stories surrounding those who come to pray at Rabbi Yehudah's grave — but has witnesses many, many such stories himself.
One such story involved a worker at the gravesite, a man in his early thirties who remained childless. Upon seeing Rabbi Eliyahu at the tomb, the worker beseeched him to pray for him to have children. Rabbi Eliyahu told the worker that his own prayers would carry more weight.
But alas, the worker, bedecked with earrings and other modernities, was at a loss to understand how his prayers could possibly be answered. He refused to pray and insisted that Rabbi Eliyahu pray for him. And so the Chief Rabbi obliged — but the man remained childless.
Some years after that, the worker's sister celebrated a brit milah and invited her brother to be the sandek. Again, the man refused, claiming he was too far away from the Torah to accept such a position of honor. But the sister would not take no for an answer.
And so the man went to Lake Kinneret and immersed in its waters as a "mikveh" (ritual bath) to prepare for the honoring of holding the newborn baby on his lap. He also bought a pair of tefillin and not too long after that went back to the tomb of Rabbi Yehudah and this time, by himself, prayed that he and his wife could be blessed with a child.
Nine months later, Rabbi Eliyahu said, he was invited to that couple's brit milah.
If you wish to take a taxi to the tombsite from Tsfat, the seven kilometer ride costs about 25 Israeli shekels. Egged bus #361, which leaves from the main Tsfat bus station every half hour, is cheaper – 7.3 shekels according to today's fares. However, the bus does not stop directly in front of the kever — its closest stop to Rabbi Yehudah is at the Ein Zeitin Junction, which will give the visitor about a two kilometer backtrack. The site may also be reached on foot from Tsfat in less than an hour via a pleasant walk on the dirt path that emerges from the back of the marble factory on Ari Road just before the cemetery (in the old days, this was the main entrance to Tsfat!) .
The site has undergone major renovations since the time when the Holy Ari of Tsfat described its location in his famed book, Sefer HaGilgulim. The Ari also noted that Rabbi Yehuda's father was buried within close proximity.
About 40 years ago, stairs were built leading down a small underground cave where the tombs were embedded. Within the past decade, the pavilion and two-story center to accomodate visitors and the kollel were also added.
The gravesite of Rabbi Yehudah is also said to be one of two sites in the Galilee — the other being the gravesite of Rabbi Tarfon — at which soap made from remains of Jews murdered in the Holocaust were brought to be buried and find rest.
Chana Katz, a former South Florida journalist, lives in Tsfat. Her articles on life in Israel have appeared in publications throughout the world.
What animal has more lives than a cat? Frogs, they croak every night!
What did the grape say when the elephant stepped on it? It gave a little wine.
What do you call an exploding monkey? A baboom.
Why couldn't the leopard play hide and seek? Because he was always spotted.
Can a kangaroo jump higher than the Empire State Building? Of course. The Empire State Building can't jump.
Why did the lion always lose at poker? He was playing with a bunch of cheetahs.
What's the difference between a hippo and a Zippo? One is really heavy, and the other is a little lighter.
What do you call an alligator in a vest? An Investigator!
Friday, August 16 was National Tell a Joke Day! Be sure to share your favorite joke with all of your friends
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