Posts Tagged ‘Shabbat’

9
Mar

Kabbalat Shabbat: The Expectations of Shabbat Zachor

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

The Chiddushei ha-Rim says in the name of the Ari HaKadosh that each Shabbat we regain the crowns of “Na’aseh V’Nishma,” that we lost after the sin of the Golden Calf. This means that on Shabbat we have the opportunity to study Torah with God as our study partner, “Panim el Panim.,” Face to Face, as did Moshe, and as we did at Revelation. If so, asks the Chiddushei ha-Rim, why do we not experiences? He answers, either because we do not want it enough, or because we do not feel pain over its absence during the week, or we don’t expect it.

I thought that perhaps that perhaps the Kavanot we find in the Siddur before performing certain mitzvot are not just to prepare our minds to fulfill the midsole with proper intentions, but to allow us to create expectations that the mitzvah will be great; we will experience the most wonderful tefillin of our lives, the most powerful Shabbat, the greatest prayer.

I find that Shabbat Zachor, the Shabbat immediately preceding Purim is a time of tremendous expectation. It is a time of miracles. It is the beginning of the process of redemption that culminates in Pesach.

Expectations mean a belief in the power of a mitzvah and its ability to affect us and change us. Expectations are the opposite of the “tiredness and exhaustion,” that we experienced at the time Amalek attacked us. We can use this Shabbat not only as a time of expectation, but as away of using our expectations of miracles and being transformed by our mitzvot to rectify the mistake we made that led to Amalek’s attack.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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8
Mar

Psalms of Moshe: 94:1: Baal Shem Tov

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Prayer

“O Ultimate Power of vengeance, God: O Ultimate Power of vengeance, make Yourself manifest!” This can be compared to a King who lost his way on the road. A villager helped the King guided the King back to his palace, but did not treat the King with adequate respect.  The King will not punish the villager because he saved the King. He will not honor the villager because he did not treat the King with respect. The King’s advisors suggested that the King show all his treasures to the villager so that he will understand the King’s greatness and will regret his disrespectful behavior.

The same is true of a sinner: God will make His Power manifest so that the sinner will understand and feel pained over how terrible was his behavior, and that pain will be his punishment; God’s vengeance. – Baal Shem Tov

Wednesday Psalm of the Day: We ask God to make Himself manifest, even if it may cause us pain, so that we will remember to not sin and treat Him with disrespect. We are half way between the previous Shabbat and the next, and we want to repair any damage we caused since the previos Shabbat and be adequately prepared for the coming Shabbat.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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7
Mar

Psalms of Moshe: 92:3: Ma’archei Lev

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

2 Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Moshe (ben Yehuda) Schwab (1918-1979). Born in Frankfurt-am-Mein, he was the younger brother of Rav Shimon and Rav Mordechai. He was sent to learn in Kaminetz under Rav Baruch Ber Leibowitz and in Baronovich under Rav Elchonon Wasserman. In 1938, he moved to England and accepted a position at the Kollel in Gateshead. In 1942, he married Rochel Baddiel, daughter of Rav Dovid Baddiel, one of the founding members of the Gateshead kehilla. In 1946, he joined the

Yeshiva as mashgiach and became very close to Rav Dessler. He authored Ma’archei

Lev on the Yomim Tovim.

“To relate Your kindness in the dawn, and Your faith in the nights.” Morning, with its light and promise of hope, is a period of Chesed. The night, when all is dark and Chesed is not obvious, is a time when we rely on faith.

Our main job is at night; in this world, which is as night compared to the light of the World to Come. Our job in this world is to use our bodies, our physical existence to earn a portion in the World to Come. The purpose is the World to Come, the world of the soul.

Two worlds: This world, body, night, work, expressed in faith. The World to Come; soul, morning, pleasure, purpose expressed in Chesed.

“In order to merit a portion in the World to Come and experience the Chesed of morning, we will live in faith in this world of work.

Ma’archei Lev – Rabbi Moshe Schwab

Kabbalat Shabbat: We have worked in faith all week so that we may earn this Chesed of Shabbat.

Shabbat Pesukei d’Zimrah: We joyfully sing in celebration over our experience of living, on Shabbat, in the World of Chesed.

Shabbat Blessings of Shema: Just as the angels sing praises, the Shabbat itself rejoices in its status as a Taste of the World to Come, the World of souls, and the World of Chesed.

Psalm of the Day for Shabbat: All our prayers this morning were prayers expressing our Purpose, and were not prayers from the World of Work.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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21
Feb

Parallels to Creation

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

“Moses commanded that they proclaim throughout the camp, saying, ‘Man and woman shall not do more work toward the gift for the Sanctuary!’ And thep eople were refrained from bringing.” (36:6)

The Hebrew word for refrained is “Vayikalei” which sounds just like and looks just like, “Vayichal” which begins the paragraph about Shabbat in the story of Creation.

Although translated there as “And He (God) finished”, Rashi tells us that the word also means to refrain.

God did not finish the work of Creation, as much as He refrained from doing more. There is no limit to God’s Will or abilities. The cessation of work was an act of refraining from doing more. “I could do more, but I will stop,” just as it was for the people building the Mishkan.

As with God in the story of the first Shabbat, the people could have done more. They wanted to do more, but they refrained, they held back at Moshe’s command. The people were truly emulating Creation as they built the Mishkan.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

And there’s more.

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20
Feb

Playing With Fire

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in 613 Concepts, Holidays, Portion of the Week

Be Careful!

I don’t know how else to say it, he loves to play with fire. I’ve known him almost my entire life, and he has always enjoyed pushing things as close as possible to the edge. For example, he, a huge Torah scholar, knows every possible leniency on which he can rely with confidence. He relies on every one. It is his statement that he does not believe in all the stringencies that have made life so challenging for many people who desire to be observant.

Our big debate is about Awe of God. I feel that Awe of God demands that our relationship with God be so precious to us that we avoid “the fire,” in order to protect the relationship. I follow many stringencies, not demanded by Jewish law, in order to prevent myself from overstepping any boundaries, which may lead to damaging my desired constant awareness of God.

My friend feels that his approach is better; he is convinced that by pushing the matter to the very edge of what is permitted and what is forbidden by Jewish law, he is actually more aware of God’s will then am I. He feels that at that point, let’s call it “the breaking point,” he at that point is making a conscious decision, a free choice, to follow God’s law. He feels that by pushing the matter he maintains a higher awareness of God.

I cannot in confidence claim that I have each achieved a higher level of Awe of God then has he. Nor can I claim that I have observed Jewish law more carefully than he. As much as I trust his judgment and his integrity, there is a small part of me that is creating distance between us. I realized that his pushing the envelope with such confidence has had a subtle influence on me. His criticisms of the rulings of many rabbis has caused me to view such rulings with just a little less respect than I did in the past.

I find it interesting that of the 39 categories of forbiden creative work on Shabbat, this portion singles out: “You shall not kindle fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.” This verse is understood as a prohibition against a Jewish court executing someone on the Shabbat. How strange! Why would the Torah choose to present the prohibition against kindling a fire on the Sabbath as beginning with the laws of capital punishment?

By the way, this is not the only such example of using the Jewish court as the basis to teach a law. We derive the prohibition against hitting someone else from the prohibition against the Jewish court administering one lash more then demanded by Jewish law. Again, the law is presented in the context of the Jewish court and from there expanded to apply in a much broader way to all of us.

The Jewish court is not only responsible for the specific case that is being judged at that moment, they are responsible for how the law will be understood, appreciated, and applied by all the people. There is no such thing as a single ruling. Each ruling sends a message. If the Jewish court is forbidden to administer a single extra lash while administering the punishment of lashes, how much more so are we forbidden to strike another person unless, not just permitted, but required by Jewish law to strike. (Something parents should remember before striking a child!)

Our portion is dealing with a person who is liable for the death penalty by fire. We are obviously dealing with someone who has made a very public statement against Jewish law. The person was warned before his act and specifically told that if he does what he intends to do he will be executed by fire. This person declared, “I understand the penalty, but I choose to do so anyway!” He then immediately does the action against which he was warned in front of witnesses. This is a man who has openly declared his disdain for Jewish law, his disrespect for the consequences. He is not even attempting to hide what he is doing from others. This is a person who has been brought to trial and charged and people are advocating for him, the court is trying to find ways to not execute him. No matter how much they tried, the court has decided that this man must be executed. He is a terrible influence. He has blatantly rejected Jewish law. He has publicly declared his disdain for the court and for Torah.

This is not just execution by fire, it is a Biblically demanded battle against a form of evil. This is not only a destructive fire, as it will be for the defendant, it serves a constructive purpose. It is being done by a Jewish court, in which each and every member is fully aware of God’s law and God’s presence. However, despite the fact that this is a fire demanded by Torah, that this is a war demanded by God, and despite the fact that there are other public fires that are permitted on the Sabbath, such as the fire in the Tabernacle and the Temple, the Jewish court is not permitted to administer this death penalty, or any other, on Shabbat. The Shabbat is greater than the battle that is calling for action.

Why was the death penalty of fire selected? I believe the reason is that the Jewish court must be aware that no matter how justified their decision, no matter how correct and accurate, despite its being demanded by Jewish law, when a court gathers to execute someone, no matter how deserving, they are playing with fire. They may not “play with fire” on the Sabbath.

It seems that the Torah is telling us that we all, to one degree or another, play with fire as we deal with life’s challenges. The Torah is presenting the Shabbat as a form of protection for those who “play with fire.” It is the one day of such clear and absolute boundaries that it calls our attention to the fact that there is so much “playing with fire” in all we do.

Each time we choose to speak of another person, even words of praise, we are playing with fire. We are stepping to the very edge of forbidden speech, the vocabulary of evil. In fact, each time we exercise our free choice in our service of God, there is an element of playing with fire; we are the ones who are choosing. The fire of arrogance is encroaching on our lives.

The laws of Shabbat are our protection against the fires with which we play. The boundaries are clear. They are absolute. There must be a focal point which keeps us centered on our ultimate goal and reminds us of how often we “play with fire.”

My friend’s intentions are good. Perhaps, even admirable. However, I am convinced that these there must be one area of law in which he will not play with fire in order to remember that he is constantly playing that game. There must be one area of law, one day, the Sabbath, in which the rules are so clear and absolute that he remembers that he may only “play with fire” if his center is strong.

Even a Jewish court administeringTorah law to another needs to be reminded of the dangers of playing with fire. I urge my friend to remember that. I suggest that he, has taught in this week’s portion by the Torah, use the Shabbat to protect himself.

I still tremble at his “play.” However, I would feel so much more comfortable with him if he remembered this lesson that applies to the greatest leaders of a generation, acting together, watching over each other. If they need it, we certainly do.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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17
Feb

That Special Shabbat

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

The final paragraph before the terrible and devastating sin of the Golden Calf is the story of how Israel guarded the Shabbat. These words describe Shabbat at its best and highest, after Revelation, after receiving the Torah, when all was perfect and pure, compared to Adam and Eve in the Garden before the sin. What a Shabbat it must have been.

But all that power and holiness was soon forfeit, when Israel sinned with the Golden Calf. Would there ever be such a Shabbat again?

Each Shabbat morning, when we describe Shabbat as taught by Moshe, we recite the paragraph that describes that last perfect Shabbat.

It is as if we say, that it has not been lost. It is still possible and within our reach. We strive for that Shabbat – the final one before we stumbled and fell – a Shabbat of Perfection.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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13
Jan

Lechem Mishneh: Not By Bread Alone by Anonymous

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

One of the more well-known verses in the Torah is found at the beginning of parshas Eikev – “Man does not live by bread alone.” As is the case with many well-known verses in Judaism, not only is this quote not the entire verse that it comes from, but that which is left out expresses fundamental differences between the traditional Jewish perspective and that of the world at large. Since bread symbolizes physicality, livelihood, and sustenance, these basic differences will relate to all three of these important areas of our lives.

The entire verse (Devarim 8:3) is – “And He afflicted you and made you hungry, and fed you the Manna which you didn’t know and your father didn’t know, in order to make you know – that not by bread alone does man live, but [rather] by all that comes out of the mouth of G-d does man live.”

First of all, what is the message of the part of the verse that is most commonly quoted?

Mankind needs more than just bread (physicality, livelihood, and sustenance) to be able to live a full life. While that is an obviously true and important message which Judaism would agree with, it is also somewhat limited. As important as it is to have a spiritual element in one’s life, what must be the nature of that spirituality? Can I define it however I like, or must it be defined independently of me?

Today we find a curious phenomenon of celebrities that are attracted to the study of what they call “Kaballah.” This shouldn’t really be so surprising. After all, every human being has a soul, and therefore a need for a spiritual dimension in their life. By defining this spiritual aspect themselves, however, they ensure that it won’t intrude on their lifestyle, thereby rendering it largely irrelevant to themselves.

Judaism, on the other hand, is clear that we can not be the ones that define the spiritual element in our lives. It must both be defined by “all that comes out of the mouth of G-d”, and it must govern how “man lives.” We need to realize that Judaism is not only concerned with how one relates to G-d, it is just as concerned with the myriad issues involved in physicality, livelihood, and sustenance. The guidelines are just as detailed, and the consequences just as serious.

Why is the preamble to this – “And He afflicted you and made you hungry”? Rav Motty Berger often says that we view G-d as a sort of Divine superman. When we get into difficulties, we see G-d’s role as the One to swoop down and rescue us. The true Torah perspective is that not only does G-d swoop down and rescue us, even the “problem” itself came from Him – and also for our benefit.

A simple way to see this is our very need for eating to sustain ourselves. Why were we designed with the need to eat about three times every day? G-d could obviously have made us to only need to eat once a day, once a week, or once a month, or not at all. It seems that the reminder of our mortality and absolute dependence on G-d is best delivered to us three times each day. That is not a problem, but a benefit to help keep us all in touch with reality. And while the topic of Yissurim (challenges and difficulties) is massive and certainly beyond the scope of this essay, this is really the model for how we are supposed to try and view all of our “problems” – they are all opportunities that we were given by G-d for our benefit and growth.

In summary, we all need spirituality in our lives, the nature of that spirituality must be defined by G-d (not ourselves), and not only does G-d help us with the “problems” in our lives, He gives them to us for our benefit as well.

As we all lift up the two loaves of bread at each of the three meals this Shabbos that symbolize G-d’s supervision of our physicality, livelihood, and sustenance, let’s try to remember and incorporate within our lives all of these critically important lessons.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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12
Jan

Lechem Mishneh – Back To The Beginning VI A Study of Manna VI

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

“God said to Moses, Behold! I shall rain down for you food from heaven; let the people go out and pick each day’s portion on its day, so that I can test them, whether they will follow My Teaching or not. And it shall be that on the sixth day when they prepare what they will bring, it will be double what they pick every day.” (Exodus 16:4-5)

“When they prepare what they will bring.” Even the collection of Manna, including Friday’s portion, was considered an act of preparation for Shabbat. The week is a preparation for Shabbat, just as this world is preparation for the World To Come, the Day of Eternal Shabbat. Just as Adam’s eating of all the other trees was to be a preparation for eating from the Tree of Knowledge in its proper time.

The two Challot represent the joining of the weekdays to the Shabbat.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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12
Jan

Lechem Mishneh – Back To The Beginning V A Study of Manna V

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

“God said to Moses, Behold! I shall rain down for you food from heaven; let the people go out and pick each day’s portion on its day, so that I can test them, whether they will follow My Teaching or not. And it shall be that on the sixth day when they prepare what they will bring, it will be double what they pick every day.” (Exodus 16:4-5)

“So that I can test them, whether they will follow My Teaching or not.” Which teachings? Rashi teaches that they would be tested on whether they would obey the command not to leave any over for the next morning and whether they would refrain from going out on Shabbat to collect Manna.

The Manna would spoil if left overnight. They learned that the first night. Why would anyone try again? Was the test only for one night? – By the way: This was not the first time they were instructed to not leave anything over until morning. They received the same instructions for the Pesach Offering.

Why would they go out on Shabbat to collect Manna that wasn’t there? The same people learned that lesson on the first Shabbat. Was the test only for that first Shabbat?

How were these challenging tests?

They were challenging in the same way that the commandment to refrain from eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was a challenging test.

If I have to destroy any leftovers and leave myself without food for the morning, I am being asked to acknowledge that the food is not mine. When, all of a sudden, I have a double portion on Friday and may keep the extra portion overnight, I begin to believe that the food is mine. That small difference is enough to ignite the desire for more and the drive to go out and search.

But the double portion of Manna is not ours, but the Shabbat’s: “He sanctified it,” that no manna would fall on Shabbat. “He blessed it,” that a double portion would fall on Friday. The Friday Manna belongs to Shabbat, just as the Tree of Knowledge belonged to God.

When we eat the Shabbat Challot, we are ingesting Shabbat in a physical form.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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12
Jan

Lechem Mishneh – Back To The Beginning IV A Study of Manna IV

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

“God said to Moses, Behold! I shall rain down for you food from heaven; let the people go out and pick each day’s portion on its day, so that I can test them, whether they will follow My Teaching or not. And it shall be that on the sixth day when they prepare what they will bring, it will be double what they pick every day.” (Exodus 16:4-5)

“Pick each day’s portion on its day,” not their portions, and not what they need, but the day’s portion. The people are instructed to go out and collect what is being made available to them each day, I suspect, of Creation.

We often think of prayer as asking for our needs to be met. Perhaps the better approach is to request the ability to access all the Shefa, Divine Abundance, that is offered each day.

The Lechem Mishneh/Manna is a reminder that a double portion of Shefa is offered on Shabbat, and our focus should be on accessing what is being presented.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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