Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Completing G-d's work on the Shabbat and is this Month Marchesvan or Cheshvan? Also, a New free Ulpan is available for those here less than 10 years, and today is יום העלייה Aliyah Day - Tuesday, November 5th, 2019.Yom HaAliyah

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

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 state of Israel has a new program for New Immigrants, that if you are here less than 10 years, they provide free of charge, the ability to take another  shot at the "ulpan" program. This is schooling to help you learn the language of Hebrew, as well as the culture of Israel. Being religious, I am familiar with all the religious culture (like the Jewish holidays etc), but the Ulpan teaches the Isreali cultural aspects to the holidays. There are times when there is a conflict between the culture and the Halacha, but most of the time it can be reconciled. Here is one example: The Talmud teaches our new Month is MarCheshbon, but in popular culture, just Cheshbon is used. I have an article about it below. If you want to know more about the free Ulpan program, just ask me

Love Yehuda Lave

ום העלייה Aliyah Day - Tuesday, November 5th, 2019. Yom HaAliyah

! Israel now officially celebrates Aliyah. Aliyah day or Yom HaAliyah on the seventh day of the Hebrew month of Heshvan, and with the weekly reading of the Torah portion, Lech Lecha wherein our forefather Abraham is told to leave his home and travel to a new land, Canaan, that is now Israel.  You could say that Abraham was the first documented person to make Aliyah - the first Oleh.

During the week prior to Yom HaAliyah, the theme of study at schools is the contribution of immigrants to Israel.  Students will study different waves of immigration with particular emphasis being placed on the unique characteristics of olim from various countries. Students will also meet with new and old immigrants and hear their personal stories.

The cabinet will hold a special meeting and ceremonies will be held at the President's Residence, the IDF and police.

Nearly all Israelis are the descendants of immigrants, many of whom fled Europe before and after the Holocaust, or who were expelled from Arab countries in the early 1950s.

Jay Shultz, founder of TLV Internationals and president of the Am Yisrael Foundation helped conceive the bill that acknowledges Aliyah and honors the ongoing contributions of Olim to Israeli society.

Calendar for Aliyah Day

Mon, 15 October 2018 at sundown (7th of Cheshvan, 5779)

Mon, 04 November 2019 at sundown (7th of Cheshvan, 5780)

Sat, 24 October 2020 at sundown (7th of Cheshvan, 5781)

Tue, 12 October 2021 at sundown (7th of Cheshvan, 5782)

Mon, 31 October 2022 at sundown (7th of Cheshvan, 5783)

Sat, 21 October 2023 at sundown (7th of Cheshvan, 5784)

Thu, 07 November 2024 at sundown (7th of Cheshvan, 5785)

Tue, 28 October 2025 at sundown (7th of Cheshvan, 5786)

Aliyah statistics for 2018

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When a person looks through a colored lens, everything seems to be that color. If the lens is tinted yellow or blue, everything seems yellow or blue. A person who looks at life through the lens of gratitude will always find things to be grateful for.

Character is developed one positive action at a time. Therefore nothing is actually trivial in our lives. To grow in character development, pay attention to seemingly trivial matters. Someone who grows from each minor life event will eventually reach high levels of character perfection.

We never had it so good: Every person alive today derives great benefit from comforts and pleasures that were not available in the past. All of the latest technological advances serve us to a remarkable degree. For all this we should be full of appreciation and gratitude.

Is This Month Cheshvan or Marcheshvan? By Yehuda Shurpin

I'm confused about the name of this Jewish month. Some call it "Cheshvan" and others say "Marcheshvan." To complicate matters, on your own site, you have it both ways. So what is the correct name for this month, Cheshvan or Marcheshvan?


The Jerusalem Talmud informs us that "the names of the months came up with us from Babylonia."1 Until the Babylonian exile, the months were either known by their number, e.g., "the first month," or by names that are not commonly used nowadays. In fact, in the Book of Kings, this month is called "the month of Bul, the eighth month,"2 counting from the springtime month of Nissan.

The post-Babylonian-exile Scriptures (such as Esther and Nechemia), while mentioning other months, never mention this month, so there is no clear scriptural inference one way or the other.

Some suggest that "Marcheshvan" appears to come from the Akkadian word meaning "the eighth month." 3

Marcheshvan vs. Cheshvan

Throughout the Mishnah4 and Talmud,5 and many later works, the month is called Marcheshvan. This is also the case when dating Jewish legal documents or when blessing the new month.6

On the other hand, we find that in the oldest extant esoteric work, Sefer Yetzirah (the Book of Formation)—a book that predates and is mentioned in the Talmud7—this month is referred to as Cheshvan.8 The Zohar likewise calls this month Cheshvan. 9 And this is how it is usually called in everyday speech.

So why the discrepancy? Because there is a difference of opinion whether the month's true name is Marcheshvan, or whether it really is Cheshvan and the mar is merely an appellation added to describe the month.

There are a number of explanations offered as to the deeper meaning behind the mar in Marcheshvan.


Some explain that mar means "bitterness" (think of the maror we eat on Passover). The month is seen as bitter for a number of reasons:

● Coming after the holiday-rich month of Tishrei, the month of Marcheshvan is devoid of any holidays.10

● Sarah (and Rachel) passed away during this month.11

● During the First Temple Era, when the Jewish nation split into two kingdoms, Jeroboam, king of the northern tribes, instituted a pagan holiday in the month of Cheshvan to counter the worship of G‑d that took place in Jerusalem, which was situated in the kingdom of Judah.12

A Drop of Water

Others explain that the Hebrew word mar means "a drop of water," as in the verse "like a drop (mar) from a bucket."13 It is in this month that Jews in the land of Israel begin praying for rain. Thus, we say mar as a prayer for rain.14 Additionally, the Mabul (Great Flood) in the times of Noah began in this month.15

(Interestingly, commentators point out that the original name for the month found in Scriptures, "Bul," is also a reference to the Mabul.16)

Head or Master

Some explain that, on the contrary, the mar in Marcheshvan actually has a positive connotation, as the word mar can mean the honorific "Master." This honorific is given since this is the month that King Solomon finished building the First Temple.17

In truth, there is an element of bitterness here as well, for although it was finished then, the Temple wasn't dedicated until later, leaving the month bereft of a possible holiday.

Despite the dedication of the First Temple not being in the month of Marcheshvan, the Midrash relates that the Third Temple will be dedicated in this month.18 Thus, not only will it not be a "bitter" month, on the contrary, it will be a month of rejoicing!19 May it be speedily in our days!

Footnotes 1.

Jerusalem Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 1:2.


I Kings 6:38.


Thus it would be related to the words Merach-Shwan: Merach - month and Shwan - eight.See however the Aruch Hashalem where he suggests that it is Merachesh-Van; Merachesh (flows) Van (water).


Mishnah Taanit 1:3-4.


See, for example, Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 7a.


See, however, Minhagei Vermaisa 234, which says that the people of Worms, Germany, had the custom to call the month Cheshvan when blessing the month.


See, for example, Talmud Sanhedrin 65b.


Sefer Yetzirah 5:4.


See, for example, Zohar 2:275b, 3:260b, Zohar Chodosh 42a.


See Sdei Chemed, Maarechet Chatan U'Kallah 23.


See Esther Rabbah 7:13 and Sdei Chemed, Maarechet Chatan U'Kallah 23.


I Kings 12; see also Sefer Hatodaah.


Isaiah 40:15.


Pri Chadash, Even Haezor 126:7.


Opinion of Rabbi Eliezer in Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 11b.


Radak on I Kings 6:38.


See I Kings 6:38.


Yalkut Shemoni, Melachim 184.


Torat Menachem, 5742, vol. 1, p. 353-354; Bnei Yissaschar 2:56-57.

By Yehuda

Doggie Nap Time

 An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of. He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head. He then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep. An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out.

The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks. Curious I pinned a note to his collar: 'I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.'

The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: 'He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 - he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Please, may I come with him tomorrow?'

Can't find G-d

 A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town their two young sons were in some way involved.

The parents were at their wits end as to what to do about their sons' behavior. One day, the mother heard of a clergyman in town that has been successful in disciplining children in the past, and asked for his help.

The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8-year-old went to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly, "Where is God?" The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God?" Again the boy made no attempt to answer, so the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face, "WHERE IS GOD?" At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in his closet.

His older brother followed him into the closet and said, "What happened?" The younger brother replied, "We are in BIG trouble now... They can't find God and they're blaming it on us!"

RABBI DAVID S. LEVIN Completing Hashem's Work

The conclusion of the Creation of the World took
place on the moment between the Sixth Day and
Shabbat, the Day of Rest. There are two keywords in the paragraph describing the end of the
Creation and the Day of Rest. The first of these words
is vayichulu (completed, finished) which is related to the word col (all, everything). The second of these words is m'lachto (his work). It is important to see them in their context.

The Torah states, "And the Heavens and the
Earth and all of their Hosts were completed (vay'chulu).
And Eloklim completed (vay'chal) on the Seventh Day
His work (m'lach'to) that He made, and he rested on
the Seventh Day from all of His work (m'lach'to) that He
made. And Elokim blessed the Seventh Day and made
it Holy, because He rested on it from all of His work
(m'lach'to) that Elokim created in order to make it."

Rashi deals with one aspect of the term, "He
completed." The Torah says that Hashem completed
His work on the Seventh Day which would mean that
the world was really created in seven days and not the
six days followed by a day of rest. Rashi explains that
Man is incapable of calculating and determining the
split second between sunset and the coming out of the
stars which precisely separates Day and Night. For
that reason, Man must add time before the beginning of
the Shabbat for lighting the Shabbat candles so that he
will not accidentally encroach on the Shabbat.
Hashem, however, as the source of creation, has that
capability to know the precise moment to end His work.

Hashem created Shabbat in that split second between
true Day and true Night. This distinction that Hashem
did not create on Shabbat but at the split-second
between the Sixth Day and Shabbat was so crucial to
the Rabbis, that the seventy Rabbis, each placed in a
different room by King Ptolome for the translation into
Greek, each changed this sentence to read that "Elokim completed on the Sixth Day His work that He made."

Alternatively, Rashi says that the coming of
Shabbat created rest from work, and in that way
Hashem's work was concluded on Shabbat. HaRav
Zalman Sorotzkin quotes Rav Hamnuna that Hashem
wished that Man would participate in His creation but
was struck with the dilemma that Man, through no fault
of his own, did not exert any effort towards that
creation. Rav Hamnuna posits that Man's recital of the paragraph beginning with Vay'chulu and accepting
upon himself, the "rest from work" that Hashem
demonstrated was Man's participation in the act of
creation. The Me'am Loez, a 17th century Sephardic
scholar, insists from here that the repetition of this
paragraph during Friday night prayers is an obligation,
and the inclusion of this paragraph in the Friday night
Kiddush (blessing over wine) is to enable the other
members of his household to fulfill their obligation as
HaRav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch explains that
our root, col, can mean two apparently opposite things:
(1) completed as ceasing to exist, and (2) completed as having reached perfection. Perfection can only come
by giving oneself up completely to that end. Hirsch
explains that this can only come in seeking perfection in one thing at a time. When describing the creation,
Hirsch helps us to understand the passive voice of our
first pasuk: "Of heaven and earth, of the whole
the universe, at one time there was nothing in existence except as a thought in the Mind of their Originator. The cause of heaven and earth's existence does not lie in themselves, they themselves are not the cause of their having come into existence ... the cause of their existence lies external to them. They are not the result of some force working blindly, but the work of One thinking Being, creating them with intention and

Most Torah commentaries explain that the
world was created at the beginning of the First Day but
that the assignment of each creation's role was spread
over the six days. The Me'am Loez then proceeds to
question why there were six days, not more or fewer.
He explains that each day was a symbolic
representation of the six stages of Mankind over his
existence on earth. Day One was symbolic of the good
(light) in which Man was created followed by the
deterioration into darkness from Cain down to Noah at
which time Hashem brought the Flood. Day Two was
symbolic of the Flood as the waters above the heavens
rejoined the waters below the heavens until they were
separated again. Day Three marked the ingathering of
the waters and the appearance of grasses and trees
which symbolized the Exodus from Egypt and the
receiving of the Torah.

This double blessing is the
reason for the double "ki tov, that it was good" on the
Third Day but no "ki tov" on Day Two. Day Four was
the double lights of the Sun and Moon which
illuminated the world both day and night. This was
symbolic of the days of the Kings and the building of
the Temple in Jerusalem. Torah scholarship reached
an exceptional level at this time. Day Five involved the
creations of fish and the creatures of the sea and the
air and was symbolic of the destruction of the Temples
and the time when nations were like fish, swallowing up
each other under the banners of eagles and other large
birds of prey. Day Six was the creation of animals and

finally Man, who was the apex of creation. Man will
again rise to his appropriate leadership position and
govern the world with wisdom and peace. This will be
the time of Mashiach. The Seventh Day, Shabbat, is a
view of the World to Come.

We saw that Rashi offered a second
explanation of "completion on the Seventh Day", that
the arrival of Shabbat brought "rest". The Or HaChaim
has a different approach to this concept. He quotes the
paragraph in Shemot (31, 16-17) which talks about
Shabbat and ends with the words "shavat vayinafash,
He rested and was refreshed." The term "vayinafash"
comes from the word "nefesh, soul". The Or HaChaim
understands this to mean that when Shabbat arrived,
Hashem created a nefesh, a soul, for everything in the
world. Before Shabbat arrived, there was not an
established soul for everything in the world. The Or
HaChaim explains that this is the reason given in the
Zohar that we do not have a Brit Milah (circumcision) of
a child until the eighth day and we do not allow a
sacrifice of an animal under the age of eight days. In
eight days, a child and an animal will have experienced
at least one Shabbat and will have established its soul.
We have been blessed with a marvelous gift
from Hashem, an opportunity each week to "refresh"
our soul and refocus our energy to improving ourselves
through Torah study, family togetherness,
contemplation, void of the distractions of work and
social media. To think of Shabbat as a time of rest can
be a misconception; Shabbat is a time of family and
community, learning and improving, a time for our
nefesh to go beyond the confines of our bodies and
explore the beauty of the World to Come. When we
observe the Shabbat we can each partner with Hashem
in completing His world. © 2019 Rabbi D. Levin

See you tomorrow bli neder

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202


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