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Many mistranslate the word "midbar" as desert, whereas the word really carries more of a connotation for wasteland or wilderness, perhaps deriving from the root dever for "plague" or davar for "word" or "thing."
Sitting stiffly on the very throne from which Pharaoh would later deny G-d and His children's freedom, Joseph surveyed his brothers bowing before him.
Special Note: I have received an unusual volume of mail in regard to my articles on the discovery of Ilan Ramon's diary and the Shabbos prayer he planned to recite which miraculously survived fire and a plunge through space at thirteen thousand miles per hour.
QUESTION: Just the other day I was heading toward Connecticut on the New England Thruway. There was stop and go traffic. Eventually I saw the reason for the logjam. There had been a horrible accident involving a number of vehicles in one of the opposite lanes, with numerous ambulances and police present. In our direction of traffic we were all rubbernecking. I have no idea what the condition of those involved in the accident was. But I was wondering whether we should all say HaGomel whenever we arrive at home in one piece.I am told that you discussed this problem or a similar one before. Is it possible to elaborate on this topic again?Moshe JacobowitzBrooklyn, NY
The Torah admonishes each Jew to 'take care of yourself,' to do what's necessary to stay alive and well. Obviously this means to do life enhancing actions like eating and sleeping properly, taking precautions like putting on a seat belt when in a car, and not taking unnecessary risks, like jaywalking across a busy street or walking on a ledge 40 stories high. Most importantly, one needs to get medical attention when sick or injured.
QUESTION: I have noticed that when we eat the matza at the seder on Passover, we recite the blessing of Hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz, followed by Al achilat matza. Why don't we say Al achilat matza when we eat matza during the remainder of Passover?Moshe JakobowitzBrooklyn, NY