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This Week's Luach

New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
Jan. 17, 2003 – 14 Shevat 5763
4:35 p.m. E.S.T.
Sabbath Ends: 5:45 p.m. E.S.T.

Weekly Reading: Beshalach
Weekly Haftara: U?Devorah Isha Nevia (Shoftim 4:4-5:31)
Daf Yomi: Makkos 16
Mishna Yomit: Bechoros 9:3-4
Halacha Yomit: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, 192:10-193:4
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Shofar v?Sukka V?Lulav, chapt. 6-8
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 6:19 a.m. E.S.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:41 a.m. E.S.T.

This Shabbos is referred to as Shabbos Shira ? due to the Shira in Parashas Beshalach that we read this week. It is customary to stand for the Shira even in those congregations where one sits during Kerias HaTorah.

It is also customary to leave crumbs for the birds on this Shabbos as a remembrance of the manna, about which we read in this parasha.

This Shabbos is also Tu BiShevat, the New Year for trees. There is an age-old custom (following the Ari?zal) to set a table with many fruits especially of those species indigenous to Eretz Yisrael. This custom has become widely accepted today and we serve many new fruits such as figs, pomegranates and dates, as well as other fruits upon which we can then recite the blessing of Shehecheyanu. (We do so only on new fruits that are noticeably ripe and are suitable for eating ? this rule upon encountering a new fruit applies all year long as well. Rema, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 225:3 and Mishna Berura – ad loc.).
The following chapters of Tehillim are being recited by many congregations and Yeshivos for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael: Chapter 83, 130, 142. ? Y.K.

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


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Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

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