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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Google Chanukah! or not

hehe.. sorry, it's not....its from Google on "Feb 15, 2007 Fat Thursday - (Poland)
I thought this was nice, reminded me of sufganiyot!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Insight on the festival of Lights, please read
(inspired by a lesson by R.Akiva Tatz)

The Greeks wanted the Jews to live by Greek culture. When the Jews refused to change their ways, Antiochus, the Greek-Syrian Leader embarked on a campaign to eradicate the spirit of the Jews, outlawing circumcision, Shabbat, and Torah study. It was then that the Maccabees rose up in protest.
The Jews won this battle through picking up arms and fighting. The Battle was a totally spiritual battle, it was a fight to destroy the Jewish spirit. The Greek-Syrians did not want to kill the Jews at all. They wanted the Jews to adapt to the idolatrous practices. (which would lead to a spiritual death, not a physical one)

So why did we pick up arms? Shouldn't it be enough to fight back spiritually? The answer is NO. That is not enough. We are taught that, everything is from Heaven except for the fear of Heaven. When it comes to serving G-d, this is up to us,meaning it's up to us to actually take physical action to get closer to G-d. Sometimes it means fighting a physical war, which doesn't always mean with guns and bombs...

a) standing up on the bus so an older man/woman can sit instead of you.
b) Stopping what you are doing, putting your hand in your pocket and take out some change to give money to someone in need.
c) walking to shul to pray, etc etc...

These are all physical battles which spread light in the world and destroy the darkness...and get us closer to G-d.

This is the war that we are still fighting today...

Help spread the light of Torah in the world, by Donating to Yeshivat Ohr Avaraham.

I continue to benefit greatly from this Yeshiva, and I am happy to be participating in this worthy fundraising cause, and I hope that it will be successful. The success of my personal portion of this campaign depends mainly on my physical efforts, and on those of all my friends and family. (-:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dvar Torah Parshat Chaye Sarah 5770 2009

Parshat Chaye Sarah records two major transactions, which begs us to wonder about their connection. The Parsha starts with Avraham insisting on paying for his plot of land in which to bury his wife. After much negotiating, Efron agrees to accept payment for the plot. The Parsha then goes into even greater detail describing the efforts of Avraham's servant in finding a suitable wife for Yitzchak, his son. What's the connection, other than then technically both being "transactions"?
One possibility is that the dialog of the first transaction could be the requisite to the completion of the second! In other words, Avraham had to understand and negotiate a FAIR transaction where both sides benefit before he could find a wife for his son. This requirement says a lot about what it takes to find a suitable mate: Give! If you find yourself taking more than you're giving in a given relationship, you need to insist on adjusting it! If any marriage is to work, the first ingredient is mutual respect, which breeds mutual giving. It is this fact that Avraham mastered before venturing to find his son a wife, and it's this lesson that we should master before venturing to find our own mates.
This Dvar Torah was provided by:Jeff Sidel

Thursday, November 5, 2009

3 Angels for 4 Tasks - Dvar Torah Parshat Vayera 5770 2009

QUESTION: 3 angels came down to the world: Raphael Michael, and Gavriel. But there were 4 missions to accomplish.
1.To Heal Avaraham
2.To Save Lot
3.Tell Sarah the news about her having a son
4.To Destroy Sdom.
Why didn't Hashem send 4 angels to do this?

ANSWER: I have to begin with a fascinating story told of Rav Shlomo Kluger - There was once a family who wanted to postpone the circumcision of their son in order to name the child after a relative who was deathly ill, and who was about to pass away at any given moment. Rav Kluger told the family to go ahead with the Bris, and not to wait any longer. The family followed the Rav's advice and they went ahead with the Bris. The deathly ill relative ended up not dieing. He actually went on to continue living a happy and healthy life.
The Rav explained how he learned this from Parshat Vayera and the Angel of Avraham and Lot.

Which will also answer our question:
Lot did not have enough merits (zechuyot) to bring an Angel down to this world to save him. But since Hashem was already sending down an Angel to heal Avraham after the Bris Mila, Lot was able to be saved once that Angel was already here.

It is known from our tradition that Eliyahu Hanavi comes down and attends the Bris of every Jewish boy. The deathly ill relative did not have enough merits to bring down an Angel to heal him. Although as soon as the family made a Bris Mila for their son - since Eliyahu Hanavi was already down in this world, the deathly ill relative was able to be healed by him.

Shabbat Shalom..