Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences.
Chanukah, Hatzolah, And Deep Freeze In Uman
Despite forecasts of sub-freezing bitter cold weather, thousands of Breslover chassidim sojourned in Uman for Shabbos Chanukah, December 14-15, at the gravesite of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810). Shabbos Chanukah is one of three times during the year when Breslovers gather there, coming from Israel, Europe, the U.S. and Canada.
The Uman Hatzolah facility was established on Pushkina Street to serve all Bresover chassidim and other visitors. Since the 1990s there has been a small but growing year-round Jewish population in Uman, concentrated around Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s tomb. The local Jews are mostly involved in providing services to Jewish tourists. In addition, several manufacturing and import-export businesses have been established.
Because of the frosty weather, Hatzolah Uman issued a directive to all visiting Breslover chassidim to bring warm clothing. The directive instructed pilgrims to bring along an adequate supply of prescription medications, noting that filling prescriptions in Uman may be impossible. Further, the directive stressed that visiting Uman at this time of year is physically challenging due to the inclement weather; several years ago a Breslover chassid suffering from breathing difficulties passed away.
Skverer Rebbe’s Eldest Son Visits Israel
As chassidishe communities grow, with branches blossoming in cities in Israel, Europe, and America, the personal participation by Rebbes in all the various events becomes impossible. As a result, we are increasingly seeing sons of Rebbes leading events their fathers are unable to conduct. Rabbi Menachem Mendel, eldest son of Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe; Rabbi Aaron Mordechai Rokeach, only son of Rabbi Yesachor Dov Rokeach, Belzer Rebbe in Jerusalem; and Rabbi Aaron Menachem Twersky, firstborn son of Rabbi Dovid Twesky, Skverer Rebbe, seem to be in perpetual motion attending numerous events around the world representing their fathers.
Rabbi Aaron Menachem Twersky arrived in Israel on Monday, December 3, to participate in a family simcha. Rabbi Menachem Ernster, son-in-law of Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, zt”l (1917-2012), Bnei Brak Vishnitzer Rebbe, is Rabbi Aaron Menachem’s uncle. Rabbi Ernster is the Bnei Brak Vishnitzer Rosh Yeshiva. Rabbi Ernster’s granddaughter was being married. The kallah is the daughter of Rabbi Chaim Meir Ernster, Manchester Vishnitzer Rav, who is also a mechutan to Rabbi Aaron Menachem.
In addition, Rabbi Aaron Menachem attended the wedding of a grandchild of the Erlauer Rav and of Rabbi Eliyahu Shternbuch, Antwerp Rosh Bet Din. Rabbi Aaron Menachem also attended the wedding of a grandchild of the Rachmestrivka Rebbe of Boro Park and of the Jerusalem Chernobler Rebbe.
Once in Israel, Rabbi Aaron Menachem visited the holy sites in Yerushalayim, Teverya, Tzefas, Meron, Har Hazeisim, Har Hamenuchos, and the gravesites of the Vishnitzer Rebbes. He was joined by a large number of Skverer chassidim who came from America, Europe, and cities in Israel. He visited Skverer shuls and institutions in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, and Beth Shemesh, where he addressed students regarding Chanukah. On Thursday, December 13, he returned home.
Nikopolis, Bulgaria, Honors The Beis Yosef
The city of Nikopolis in Bulgaria is historically significant in that the last of the crusades was defeated there in 1396. The last Bulgarian tsar defended what remained of the once extensive Bulgarian Empire from the fortress of Nikopolis. He was captured and the town was conquered by the Ottomans. After the expulsion of the Jews from Portugal in 1497, the Ottoman Empire welcomed Jews. Rabbi Yosef Karo, (1488-1575), author of Beis Yosef, went with his parents to Nikopolis in Bulgaria, then under Ottoman rule.
During World War II, Bulgaria’s Jewish population was saved by the heroism of the Bulgarian government and the Bulgarian people.
The city fathers of Nikopolis have decided to honor the history of their city’s embrace of persecuted Jews and to note the achievement of one of those refugees, who served as the city’s Rav and is today recognized as one of Judaism’s greatest authorities.
The main thoroughfare of the city’s center was renamed Beis Yosef, this in addition to Bulgaria’s having renamed a main thoroughfare in Silistra in honor of Rabbi Eliezer Papo. Between 1819 and 1826, Rabbi Papo, author of Pela Yoetz, was the Rav of Silistra, making the town an important Jewish site. His gravesite is a popular destination of pilgrims coming to pray for good health and salvation
Rabbi Yosef Karo is renowned as the author of the Shulchan Aruch, the authoritative Code of Jewish Law. He was born in Toledo, Spain. His family fled Spain in 1492. After the expulsion of the Jews from Portugal in 1497, the Ottomans invited Jews into the Ottoman territory and Rabbi Karo went with his parents to Nikopolis in Bulgaria, then under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. A brilliant student, he was appointed as the Rav of Nikopolis at a very young age. Having remarried after losing his first wife, Rabbi Karo moved to Edirne, Turkey, and then to Tzefas in 1537. In Tzefas he became the head of the beis din and he was recognized as the final arbitrator of halacha for all of Eretz Yisrael as well as the Diaspora.
Rabbi Karo authored the Beis Yosef, which was an in-depth commentary on the Arba Turim, written by Rabbi Yaakov ben Rabbi Asher, renowned as the Tur. The Arba Turim was a systematic codification of the Talmud divided into four groups. Based on the Tur’s outline, Rabbi Karo, in creating a framework for study and review of his thoroughly extensive Beis Yosef, compiled the Shulchan Aruch, first published in 1555. Every discussion of halacha must be developed from within the structure established by the Shulchan Aruch. Rabbi Karo, considered the greatest halachic authority since the Rambam, invested more than 20 years, beginning in 1522, in writing the Beis Yosef.
The Issue Of Stomach Stapling
A recent halachic response from Rabbi Nissan Karelitz, Rosh Kollel Chazon Ish and widely respect Rosh Beis Din in Bnei Brak, has been extensively reported. One of his married students was having a weight problem. The student felt continuous dieting was an impossible. Instead, the student hoped he would get permission to have stomach stapling performed, enabling him to finally lose and keep off his excess weight.
Rabbi Karelitz, together with his beis din, deliberated the pros and cons of surgery and ruled that one is not permitted to potentially endanger one’s self when determined dieting can achieve the same results.
Years ago I was asked by a married student whether he was allowed to give his extremely overweight wife permission to undergo weight loss surgery. The student was afraid the surgery might interfere with his wife’s ability to have children. Researching the surgery and its applicable halachos, I inquired of Rabbi Yitzchok Isaac Liebes, zt”l (1905-2000), Greidinger Rav and Rosh Beis Din of the Igud Horabbonim, considered one of the great decisors of halacha in America. Rabbi Liebes responded, citing many Rishonim and Acharonim, that if one’s metabolism makes it difficult to lose weight, and the weight is dangerously taxing the heart and other organs, the surgery would be permissible. Rabbi Liebes’s responsa was included in his five volume Beis Avi 3:158, published in 1980.
Mikvah U.S.A., headquartered at 1461 42nd Street in Brooklyn, is one of the leading organizations in the building of new mikvehs in the United States. Its efforts in Nashville, TN (Jewish population: 8,000) led to the establishment of a beautiful modern mikveh there. The organization is presently participating in the building of kosher mikvehs in Berkeley, CA (Jewish population: 22,000); Oakland, CA (Jewish population: 32,500); Eugene, OR (Jewish population: 3,250); as well in the rebuilding and updating of a mikveh in Michigan.
Previous projects included mikvehs in Ashland, OR; Bakersfield, CA; Yorba Linda, CA; Irvine, CA; Redondo Beach, CA; Dayton, OH; East Denver, CO; Dunwoody, GA; Springfield, NJ; Hillside, NJ; Voorhees, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Port Washington, NY; Fairfield, CT; and Stamford, CT. The organization has received more than 100 additional applications for financial and design assistance in the building of mikvehs in communities across the United States.
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Nearly half a million of them fought in Red Army uniforms, under communist slogans but with a personal vengeance that was solely the result of Jewish experience. More than the “Greatest Generation,” they were the living superheroes hidden in plain sight.
It’s all over.
The orchestra is still, the lights are dimmed. Your simcha outfits hang in your closet, silent witnesses to a time you will treasure in your mind and heart forever.
After noticing that you can’t log into your computer, your pulse quickens as you are called into your supervisor’s office. S/he has some bad news. You are being laid off. You have 15 minutes to clean out your desk and surrender your cell phone before security escorts you out of the building. Job termination, especially in the corporate world, can be heartless.
I have always had a problem with the Omer. Doing the mitzvah of counting the Omer was of course pretty easy. Remembering to start the second evening of Passover and remembering to stop the day before Shavous took a little concentration but somehow I always managed. No, for me the nagging problem was always why was I doing this in the first place, other than the fact it was a biblical (according to the Rambam) commandment.
With the semi-mourning period of Sefira behind us, and the festival of Shavuot as well (as evidenced by the tightness of our clothing due to over-indulging in irresistible versions of cheesecake that is an integral component of celebrating our receipt of the Torah), our community can look forward to participating in joyous engagement parties and weddings.
Dear Dr. Yael:
Do you really believe that the Internet is the reason why the divorce rate is so high among young couples? This may be so in some cases, but what about the fact that many singles are pressured to get married at a young age despite not having any idea what they are looking for in a mate? And add to that the fact that many are pressured to make a decision about marriage after dating for a very short period of time.
From the moment they stand under the chuppah, newlyweds have two years to enjoy the special bliss that new love brings. This new finding, reported by the New York Times, is based on a study undertaken by American and European researchers. 1,761 people who got married and stayed married over 15 years were followed. The research shows that after two years the couples moved into a more companionable state in their relationships.
Shel Silverstein’s 1974 poem “Where The Sidewalk Ends” is intended to paint a magical picture of a world of peace and serenity far away from the “black and dark streets.” At the time, perhaps the end of the sidewalk was a place that was “measured and slow.” Today, however, for many parents, where the sidewalk ends can feel like a scary place.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Florida is famous for sparkling water. We have the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico surrounding our coast. We have bays, lakes, canals and, of course, an incredible abundance of swimming pools in homes, resorts, apartment complexes and city parks.
The buzz is back as Camp Gan Israel Florida Overnight gears up for another fantastic summer, CGI Florida style. What makes CGI Florida so different from all the other overnight camps? It’s all in the details.
Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
The two proceeded to talk about everyday things and surprisingly her mother-in-law did not find anything else to criticize. This occurred a few more times, with my client changing the topic every time by complimenting her mother-in-law or mentioning something positive about her.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/my-machberes/my-machberes-48/2012/12/19/
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