Breaking News-We are now in the 1930's Soviet Union-Health officials says you can't leave Israel because of "Equality" and Rabbi Blows Rosh Hashanah Shofar in Two Countries at the Same Time Observing the holiday on an island split by the coronavirus pandemic and Great thoughts to contemplate and Rebbetzin Miriam Levinger passed away early Tuesday morning at the age of 83 and The uniqueness of the Hebrew Year 5781 and Shofar in the time of the Holocaust and Happy Succot Tonight with the Torah showing laws of the Succah!
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.
Health official's explanation for the ban on Airplane ticket sales
By David Isaac, World Israel News -
An official with Israel's Health Ministry caused an in-studio outburst from one of the interviewers after she explained why Israelis were not allowed to fly to "green" countries during the lockdown in a Thursday radio interview.
The rule established by the government at the start of the lockdown was that only those who bought tickets before the lockdown began – 2:00 p.m. last Friday – could fly. The blanket rule made no distinction between red or green countries.
Dr. Sharon Elroi-Price, head of public health services for the ministry, said the reason wasn't related to health but to equality.
"The justification is equality. It's hard to tell people in the State of Israel that are under restrictions and can't move 1,000 meters, 100 meters… but if you have money, you can buy a ticket and fly somewhere else," she said in an interview with public broadcaster Kan Bet.
"From an epidemiological standpoint – in terms of risk – there's no risk with flights," she said.
One of the two interviewers burst out at her remarks: "I live in the Soviet Union of the 1930s? They stick it to me in order to prove some principle of equality toward someone else? I don't understand this."
Elaborating on her answer, Elroi-Price said, "You asked me a health question. There is a danger in flying from a health perspective," noting that people are placed in a crowded, enclosed space for a period of time.
However, when the traveler returns "from a red country he goes into quarantine," explaining why from the Health Ministry's perspective air travel isn't considered an epidemiological danger.
The interviewers noted again that they weren't talking about red countries but green countries.
"The decisions aren't established by the Health Ministry," she said in her defense.
To a question about the possibility of reducing the 14-day quarantine period, Elroi-Price said the ministry would like to lighten the burden on Israel's citizens and have started researching the possibility. She noted that most of the advanced nations have decided not to shorten the timeframe because it's not yet known if it's safe.
She also said she was worried about the high rate of disease in the ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, community. They have notched the highest rates in the country. Prof. Ronni Gamzu, the corona czar, said on Thursday that Haredim account for 40% of those infected in recent days.
"We meet with leading people in the ultra-Orthodox society, trying to see how we can get them the information and what assistance we can give. It is difficult to do home quarantine when you are with 12 people in a 70-meter apartment," Elrai-Price said.
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
Blowing the Shofar at Risk of Death – in Auschwitz
One year on Rosh Hashana, during the Holocaust, a group of fervently religious boys were told that they were about to be cremated alive. The boys approached Rabbi Meislish, who was known to have successfully smuggled a shofar (ram's horn) into the Auschwitz death camp, and asked him to blow it for them so that they could perform one last mitzvah (commandment) before they died. Indeed, they begged Rabbi Meislish to come to their barracks and blow all 100 shofar blasts as is ritually required on the Jewish New Year.
Rabbi Meislish didn't know what to do. If he agreed to their request, he would likely be caught and put to death. His own son was begging him not to blow the shofar, as he did not want to become an orphan. The son correctly explained that there was no requirement to put one's life in danger in order to fulfill the mitzvah of blowing the shofar.
Rabbi Meislish decided to blow the shofar. He argued that although his son was right in that there was no requirement to put one's life in danger in order to fulfill the mitzvah of shofar, he did not expect to live much longer in any case. He'd rather die for performing a mitzvah than just be thrown into the gas chamber in a random roll call. Thus the rabbi proceeded – shofar in hand – to the boys' barracks.
Just as he was about to blow the shofar, however, the boys asked him to hold off and first deliver an inspirational sermon!
Imagine – the boys were minutes away from death, but they wanted to feel Rosh Hashana. They want to hear the shofar.
Rabbi Meislish complied. He began by quoting the verse in the Book of Psalms relevant to Rosh Hashana: "Blow shofar on the new month, at the time of hiding on the day of our holiday" [Psalms 81:4]. Of course, the true meaning of "at the time of hiding" refers to the moon which is "hidden" on Rosh Hashana, as the Holy Day takes place on the first day of the lunar month, when there is a new moon that cannot be seen. Rabbi Meislish interpreted the verse as referring to their own situation, as it seemed that God Himself was hiding from them. He told the boys to have faith.
He then blew the shofar. One of the boys stated, "Let us all acknowledge the great self-sacrifice of the rabbi for coming here to blow the shofar for us. In the merit of this mitzvah, may he be spared and go on to have a long, good and healthy life." Everyone then said "Amen." And as you know from the beginning of the story, Rabbi Meislish survived and made his way to Chicago.
Rabbi Meislish writes that he recorded this story to show that young Jews in Auschwitz were so dedicated to the performance of mitzvot in general and the blowing of the shofar in particular.
Thank God we are living in a time that we need not risk our lives to hear the sound of the shofar.
The uniqueness of the year תשפ"א
By Rabbi Shea Lindner
This coming year תשפ"א is the most rarest of occurrences. I will give a quick introduction: There is a total of 14 various ways of how the yearly Jewish calendar can be set. 7 of them are regular years, and 7 of them are leap years - 14 in total.
Each of these 14 ways has a 3 letter code. By knowing this code, one can figure out the entire year; exactly what day of the week each Yom Tov will fall out, when Rosh Chodesh will be, whether it's a leap year or not, which Parsha will it be each week, etc, etc.
The code for this coming year is זח"א. I will not bore everyone as to explaining what this code means, but suffice to say that it is arguably the rarest of all 14 methods. The last time this occurred was 20 years ago and the time before that was 44 years ago.
I will list here some of the rare phenomenons which we will be witnessing this coming year:
*תפילת ותודיענו 5 פעמים בשנה אחת*
This year we will be making Kiddush & Havdala together, a total of 5 times throughout the year:
1 - ליל שני של ראש השנה
2 - ליל שני של סוכות
3 - ליל שמחת תורה
4 - ליל סדר ראשון של פסח
5 - ליל אחרון של פסח
*אין שבת חול המועד כלל*
This is good news for the children: No Shabbos Chol Hamoed this year - not Succos nor Pesach. This means more time to go to the zoo, the bumping cars, or the merry-go-round...
*שבת מקץ אינו שבת חנוכה*
This year is the rare occurrence of Chanuka starting on a Friday - which means that שבת פרשת מקץ is not Chanuka anymore - which causes the reading of the weekly Parsha Haftorah, which is almost never read, since the Haftorah of שבת חנוכה almost always supersedes it. But this year is an exception. If you ever wondered why a Hoftorah for Miketz is printed in our Chumashim since it's never said anyway - the answer is it's printed there for this year. Remember the wisdom of שלמה המלך ordering to cut the baby in half in order to determine who the real mother is?
That's the story of הפטורת מקץ which we haven't gotten to read for 20 years...
*עשרה בטבת שחל בערב שבת*
The only fast which can occur on a Friday is Asarah B'Teves. This fast cannot be pushed off for a later date as other fasts are, since the Pasuk refers to עשרה בטבת as עצם היום הזה which Chazal interpret as meaning that this fast must be on the 10th day of Teves no matter what day of the week it falls out. This causes the rare occurrence of fasting until after Kiddush. This is when everyone will be making an early Shabbos - in middle of the winter...
*שבת זכור שחל בפרשת תרומה*
In a regular year - not a leap year, שבת פרשת תצוה is always שבת זכור - except for this year when it will be פרשת תרומה instead. While this has no practical ramifications, it is nevertheless an extremely rare occurance.
*פורים שחל בערב שבת*
If Purim every year is not hectic enough, we will now have the rare occurance of Purim on a Friday - and yes - it is still before the clock is moved - so you better be ready to light Shabbos candles at 5:00 - by hook or by crook... Better start the day at the crack of dawn, in order to pack into this short Friday the reading of the Megilla, sending Mishloach Manos, eating a Seudas Purim, manage to get a bit drunk as well, plus running around to all the teachers and family... If your head is starting to spin already - you have an option - buy a ticket to ארץ ישראל... If you're in ארץ ישראל - then it's a different story - as we will now explain:
If you ever planned to go to Eretz Yisroel for Purim - this is the year to go. Why? Because since Purim in ירושלים is always a day later then by us - namely on the day we call שושן פורים - therefore when Purim is by us on Friday - then by them it's on Shabbos - which results in the phenomenon of פורים המשולש literally meaning "The Triple Purim". What this means is as follows:
Just like we have now Rosh Hashana falling on Shabbos, as well as Succos on Shabbos, where the Shofar is not blown and the Lulav is not shaken - as the Gemara explains the reasoning - the same reasoning applies when Purim falls on Shabbos as well - the Megilla is not read. What happens is - Purim instead of being 1 day - ends up being 3 days instead! How so? - This is how it works:
The 6 Mitzvos of Purim are divided into 3 days:
Friday is קריאת המגילה and מתנות לאביונים, Shabbos על הניסים is said and ויבא עמלק is read, and Sunday is סעודת פורים and משלוח מנות is sent. Yerushalayim is clearly the place to be this year!...
*ערב פסח שחל להיות בשבת*
But the Yom Tov which has the most Halachic ramifications is the phenomenon of Erev Pesach occurring now on Shabbos. Here are some aspects of Pesach which will now be different than every year:
Cannot be the night before Pesach as usual since it's Shabbos, so it must be on Thursday night instead.
Can obviously not be on the day of Erev Peasch, and must instead be on Friday morning. But no כל חמירא is said, and no Chametz is nullified.
Why? Because while every year, there is of course no Chametz to be had after the burning, this year however, not only is Chametz permitted afterwards - but one is actually obligated to eat Chametz afterward.
Why? Because on Shabbos one must eat both at night and day some Challa.
One cannot substitute Challa for Matza, as it is forbidden to eat Matza on Erev Pesach. But how the Challa is eaten is a bit complicated...
בוקר שבת ערב פסח
Everyone must daven Shachris on Shabbos at the crack of dawn, in order to be finnished eating Challa before סוף זמן אכילת חמץ at 10:00 in the morning. Any Chametz left over afterwards must quickly be flushed down the toilet before סוף זמן ביטול חמץ at 11:00 as burning is not possible on Shabbos and only then is כל חמירא said. Anyone who wishes to eat סעודה שלישית afterwards, cannot eat not Challa nor Matza, and must eat other foods instead.
סדר ליל פסח מוצאי שבת
On Shabbos, it is forbidden to do any preparations for the Seder whatsoever, until the זמן מוצאי שבת - besides taking a good nap...
תכלה שנה וקללותיה!
תחל שנה וברכותיה!
Rabbi to Blow Rosh Hashanah Shofar in Two Countries at the Same Time
Observing the holiday on an island split by the coronavirus pandemic
On the second day of Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi
Moishe Chanowitz will be heading to the French-Dutch border on the
Caribbean island of St. Martin to blow shofar for residents on both sides who cannot cross over because of COVID-19 regulations.
Rabbi Moishe Chanowitz never imagined that he would be the first person in 350 years to serve as the bridge over an international border on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. But this year, he will be doing just that: For Rosh Hashanah, he will be heading to the French-Dutch border on the island to blow shofar for residents on both sides.
The tiny Caribbean island is unique in many ways, among them this interesting fact: It is the smallest land mass in the world that contains the territory of two distinct countries. A product of long-ago European colonial days, half of the island is Dutch, while the other half is French.
The agreement—called "The Treaty of Concordia" or the "Partition Treaty of 1648"—was signed on March 23, 1648 between the Kingdom of France and the Dutch Republic, dividing the island. It was and remains an amicable agreement, with citizens moving freely about from one side to the other and, as the treaty stipulates, "other commodities of the said island shall be common, and shall serve to provide the wants of the inhabitants."
This year, for the first time, this internal border—dubbed the
"Bellevue Border"—was closed, and suddenly, people found themselves locked out of half an island they have grown up with their entire lives.
Of course, it's all because of the coronavirus pandemic. Back in March of this year when COVID-19 cases were first confirmed, the entire island went into lockdown. As confirmed cases dropped off, both sides of the island slowly reopened, and by late July, the Dutch side was planning to reopen their airport to international travelers.
The French side was not very keen on this idea, fearing the possibility of infection from abroad. And so, when the Dutch side went ahead with its opening plan on Aug. 1, the French took the drastic step of closing off the border to their Dutch neighbors.
"It created real chaos," says Chanowitz, who co-directs Chabad-Lubavitch of S. Maarten/Martin with his wife, Sara. "People live on one side and do business on the other, while others go to school on one end away from their homes on the other end. It's really one country, and no one ever looked at the border as anything other than a symbolic marker. The only difference is the electric company, really."
As Rosh Hashanah got closer, Chanowitz, who resides in the city of Simpson Bay on theDutch part of the island, realized that many local Jews who live on theFrench side would not be able to hear the shofar this year, unable asthey were to cross over and visit him in his Dutch home.
During an average year, the island teems with tourists and snowbirds, in addition to the local Jewish community scattered about. The Chanowitzes cater to them all, hosting services every year for the High Holidays and beyond.
But with the coronavirus pandemic all but shuttering the local tourism industry, the Chanowitzes realized that they had the opportunity to focus even more than usual on the local community and those few snowbirds quarantined on the island.
Phillipe Goldman is one such resident. A native of Paris, he has lived on the French side of the island for 15 years now, and when he's around for the holidays, he makes sure to meet up with the rabbi to attend High Holiday services and hear the shofar.
When Chanowitz told him that he was planning on bringing the shofar to the Bellevue Border, and blow for both the French and Dutch Jews on their respective sides, Goldman was overjoyed.
"I plan on being there Sunday, G‑d willing, and I'm sure that when I hear the shofar, it will remind me of former times," he told Chabad.org. "Right now, we feel so apart from each other. This split has really kept us away from one another, and we are all so happy to have this chance to gather and be a community again."
UPDATE: The day before Rosh Hashanah, due to overwhelming protests, the local government relented and opened the border. Rabbi Chanowitz still plans on blowing for people who will gather there on Rosh Hashanah.
The Laws of a Sukkah
The commandment of dwelling in a Sukkah is intended to remind us that the Children of Israel dwelt in Sukkot (booths) following the exodus from Egypt.
The Talmudic tractate of Sukkah begins its discussion of the many rules and regulations involved in the construction of a sukkah with the law stipulating how high from the floor of the sukkah the "schach' (the covering) may be.
The schach must be lower than 20 cubit feet (940-1140 cm.). If it is higher than that it is almost impossible to see the 'ROOF' and the sukkah is invalid.
The crowns on the letter "chaf" (numerical value of 20) in the word "sukkot" allude to this law. (Baal Haturim)
Founders of the Jewish Community in Hebron, Dead at 83
By David Israel - 11 Tishri 5781 – September 29, 2020
/Rebbetzin Miriam Levinger passed away early Tuesday morning at the age of 83 in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem.
Levinger was the widow of Rabbi Moshe Levinger, and together they were among the founders of Gush Emunim and the Jewish community in Hebron. Rabbi Levinger died in 2015.
Rebbetzin Levinger will be laid to rest at 11 AM, in the ancient cemetery in Hebron.
The Rebbetzin became ill on the eve of Yom Kippur. Her son, Malachi Levinger, related: "We evacuated her to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital and in the morning she passed away. Mother was a beacon of faith that taught an entire generation the meaning of overcoming one's ego and of love of country. She was a symbol and role model of devotion and pioneering, and with her own hands brought about the redemption of the city of the patriarchs. There is no doubt that her trailblazing actions will be immortalized in the history book of the Land of Israel and the Jewish nation."
The Jewish community in Hebron issued a statement saying: "We mourn the passing of Rebbetzin Miriam Levinger, who passed away after Yom Kippur of 5781… Rebbetzin Levinger's leadership and power led the settlement in the heart of Hebron, and the historic return of the Jewish people to their first birthplace… Our condolences to her large family, may you be comforted by the rebuilding of our country and the continuation of her endeavors."
Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, co-leaders of the Sovereignty Movement, issued a statement saying: "The Rabbanit instilled in the Settlement enterprise, the principle that we must take the first small step and the Almighty would help with the continuing steps. This is how we acted and this is how the lovers of the Land and its residents acted, who tread the path that she paved for us, and by the virtue of her strength, we have the merit of a glorious and wonderful settlement enterprise in the Land of Israel."
The Honenu organization issued a statement saying that "the Rebbetzin was an exemplary mother who raised a great man and many descendants, all soaked in her noble personality."
Rabbi and Rebbetzin Levinger had 11 children and 50 grandchildren, most of whom live in Judea and Samaria.