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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Heaven’

Storming the Gates of Heaven

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

The parents of Hallel Ariel, the 13-year-old girl who was murdered by an Islamic terrorist while she was asleep in bed, entered the Temple Mount today via the newly renamed “Hallel Gate” (formerly called the Mughrabi Gate). The name change isn’t official – yet, but it will be official one day.

Hundreds of supporters joined them, and the police even allowed a handful of them onto the Temple Mount.

Ministers and MK at Hallel Gate

Hundreds of people wanting to enter the Temple Mount

Photo of the Day

A Meeting Made In Heaven

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

On a Thursday, Shlomo* had been in and out of the hospital over the last few years. Among the most difficult times for him, was when he could not be home for Shabbat with his family. This time, however, he was told that he would go home that day. He just needed to wait for a portable oxygen tank to be brought to him.

The day dragged on, and yet the promised oxygen unit had not yet arrived. He was eventually informed that the unit would be available late that evening. It would be too late in the day for Shlomo, who tired easily now. They would wait until the morning, Erev Shabbat.

The next day, while Shlomo waited for his release, another family waited for help. A call had gone out to the emergency line. An ailing man of almost 90 had stopped breathing. CPR was applied by first responders. An ambulance team arrived. The old man’s heart beat was restored, but he was in critical condition. They rushed the man to the hospital, accompanied by his wife and son, Pinchas.

Meanwhile, Shlomo was getting upset. There were more delays in regard to the arrival of his oxygen. The unit finally arrived at 2:00 pm. There was still time before Shabbat to drive home with his wife. In the end, it was not meant to be. No doctor could be found in time to sign a release for Shlomo. Once again, he would be spending Shabbat away from home.

Shlomo was trying to deal with his disappointment when a new patient was wheeled into his room. A curtain was closed around the bed of the new arrival. He was accompanied by his tearful wife and his son Pinchas.

Shlomo and Pinchas looked at each other in amazement. They had been neighbors for many years. Their families knew each other well. Pinchas told his friend how he had felt that he would need to be with someone he knew to help him and his mother through a very difficult Shabbat. Hashem granted him and his mother this chesed.

Shabbat was fast approaching. The old woman stood next to Shlomo’s wife during a very emotional lighting of the Shabbat candles. As the old man lay unresponsive in his hospital bed, Pinchas found some grape juice and made kiddush for all of them. The two friends sang zemirot and shared divrei Torah. The two women sat quietly talking.

Early Shabbat morning, Shlomo and his wife took a short walk through the halls of the hospital. They were not gone long, but when they returned, Pinchas told them that his father had passed away. Once things settled down, the two friends went to the hospital shul. Later on, they also discussed some of the laws involved in aveilut in this case.

Meanwhile, Shlomo’s wife wondered where the newly widowed woman was. She found her sitting in a corner, alone. She went over to her and put a comforting hand on the distraught woman’s shoulder and sat down next to her. While Pinchas found comfort in his tefillot, his mother was comforted by sharing tears and memories with a very caring woman.

Shlomo no longer questioned why his discharge had been delayed. His meeting up with his friend that erev Shabbat was Yad Hashem at work.

*Names and some details have been changed to protect the privacy of the families.

Debbie Garfinkel Diament

MK Ahmed Tibi: If You Don’t Speak Arabic, You Won’t Go to Heaven

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Yesterday was “Arab Language Day” in the Knesset.

MK Ahmed Tibi used the opportunity to speak about the Arab language and the Jewish people. He started his talk in Arabic, before switching to Hebrew…

From the Knesset podium he informed the other illustrious Israeli MKs that MK Taleb Abu-Arar taught him that morning that “in heaven the language spoken there is Arabic, and if the Jews want to go to heaven, they need to take this into account. So start learning Arabic gentlemen, or you’ll go somewhere else…”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein quickly retorted, “It does sound like heaven. No one there is going to be be able to bother me, since I don’t understand Arabic.”

From Tibi’s laughter, and that of the MKs – it was all hopefully said in jest.

Video of the Day

Is the Lab-Created Burger Kosher?

Friday, August 9th, 2013

By Yehuda Shurpin


Scientists have recently demonstrated that they can now take stem cells from a cow and build them into hamburgers that look, feel and (almost) taste like the real thing. What does Jewish law have to say? Is this considered real meat? Is it kosher?


This is a fascinating question that needs to be studied carefully by expert rabbis when the issue becomes more practical and Petri-dish burgers become an affordable option. But here are some preliminary thoughts on the subject to give you some perspective.

Meat from Heaven

What makes this question so intriguing is that this is an example of how those seemingly fantastic Aggadic tales in the Talmud are nowadays becoming a starting point for new halachik questions.

There is actually a discussion in the Talmud about whether meat that does not come from an animal is considered kosher, although the origin of the meat in this case was even more miraculous:

A story of Rabbi Shimeon ben Chalafta, who was walking on the road, when lions met him and roared at him. Thereupon he quoted from Psalms: “The young lions roar for prey and to beg their food from G‑d,”1 and two lumps of flesh descended [from heaven]. They ate one and left the other. This he brought to the study hall and propounded: Is this fit [for food] or not? The scholar answered: “Nothing unfit descends from heaven.” Rabbi Zera asked Rabbi Abbahu: “What if something in the shape of a donkey were to descend?” He replied: “You ‘howling yorod,2’ did they not answer him that no unfit thing descends from heaven?”3

Miraculous meat appears again in the Talmud, although this time it was man-made:

Rabbi Chanina and Rabbi Oshaia would spend every Sabbath eve studying the “Book of Creation”4 by means of which they created a calf and ate it.5

In discussing this story, later commentators debate whether such an animal would require shechitah (kosher slaughter) in order to be eaten.

Rabbi Yeshayah Halevi Horowitz, known as the Shelah, writes that it is not considered a real animal and does not need shechitah.6

Others write that while a technical interpretation of Biblical law may not require such an animal to be slaughtered, the rabbinical prohibition of “marit ayin” (not engaging in acts that look misleadingly similar to forbidden activity) would necessitate slaughter–lest an onlooker think that ordinary meat is being consumed without shechitah.7

Test-Tube Beef

So far we have discussed “miracle meat” that came from heaven or was created by spiritual means. Some commentators defined this meat as miraculous because it did not come from a naturally-born animal. But do we consider any meat that does not come from a naturally-born animal to be “miracle meat”? Or does it need to come through an actual miracle? How about test-tube meat, which does come from actual animal cells? In this case the dictum that “no unfit thing descends from heaven” obviously would not apply. Here are some of the issues that will need to be explored:

The Cells The scientist extracted the cells of a real animal and used them to grow the tissues in a Petri dish. If, and that is not a small if, the mere cells are considered substantial enough to be called meat, this may present a problem. In addition to the prohibition of eating a limb from a living animal,8 there is an additional injunction not to eat any meat that was severed from a live animal.9

This is an issue for non-Jews as well as Jews, since Noahide law dictates that non-Jews may not eat even a minute amount of meat that was separated from a living animal.10

For Jews, if the cells are considered real meat, then presumably they would need to be extracted from a kosher animal that was slaughtered according to Jewish law.

Another consideration is that there is a halachik concept, “the product of non-kosher is itself not kosher, and the product of that which is kosher is itself kosher.”11 While at first glance this would seem to imply that the cells need to come from a kosher source, it is not clear whether the above rule would apply to microscopic cells that were extracted from an animal.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/is-the-lab-created-burger-kosher/2013/08/09/

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