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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘KI’

The Parsha Experiment – Ki Tavo: How To Make Sense Of The Terrible Curses

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

God promises us dark, sadistic curses, if we don’t live up to our responsibilities to Him. It’s so difficult to read, how could He be so cruel to us? Join us as we grapple with the incredibly difficult curses of Ki Tavo.

This video is from Immanuel Shalev.

Link to last week: https://www.alephbeta.org/course/lecture/ki-teitzei-2016-5776

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For more on Ki Teitzei, see https://goo.gl/Pf3zXz and https://goo.gl/bEJrf4

Immanuel Shalev

Parshas Ki Tavo

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Vol LXVII No. 39                             5776
NYC Candle Lighting Time
September 23, 2016 – 20 Elul 5776


6:32 p.m. NYC E.D.T.      
Sabbath Ends: 7:30 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 8:01 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Ki Tavo
Weekly Haftara: Kummi Ori (Isaiah 60:1-22)
Daf Yomi: Bava Kama 115
Mishna Yomit: Terumos 1:l0- 2:l
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 45:l – 46:l
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Nachalos 3-5
Earliest Tallis and Tefillin: 5:55 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sunrise: 6:44 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:46 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sunset: 6:50 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Pirkei Avos: 3-4


This Saturday night after midnight (12:47 a.m. E.D.T. NYC), or in the early hours of the morning, we start to recite Selichos daily until erev Yom Kippur. The Sephardic (Spanish, Portuguese, Mediterranean and Oriental) communities already started on the 2nd day of Rosh Chodesh Elul. Rosh Hashana will be Monday and Tuesday of the following week.

The following chapters of Tehillim are being recited by many congregations and Yeshivos for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael: Chapters 83, 130, 142. – Y.K

Rabbi Yaakov Klass

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Ki Tavo: Amalek, Bikkurim and Ma’aser

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Many commentators sense a significance to the placement of the bikkurim declaration, at the beginning of this week’s pasha, right after the injunction to destroy Amalek. Perhaps the most creative suggestion is that of Malbim, who reminds us that Amalek is a descendant of Esav and thus remains in conflict with Ya’akov due to the latter’s taking Esav’s firstborn status away from him. Malbim points out that the command that follows the one to destroy Amalek hints to its being the source of Amalek’s hate for Israel, as the word for firstborn privileges, bechora, is both conceptually and linguistically related to bikkurim, the word for firstfruits.

But from all the explanations, it is Abarbanel’s that strikes us as the closest. The great Spanish commentator and statesman writes how the Jews’ difficult war with Amalek contrasts with the main historical experience of Divine salvation, recounted in the bikkurim declaration. He goes on to say that the rabbinic authorities who determined how to divide up the weekly Torah readings separated these two laws specifically to distinguish between “the light and the darkness.”

In his distinguishing between two fundamental historical experiences, we can see the Torah trying to present some sort of cumulative summary. There is likewise room to see that after being given these commandments, the Jews must also take the essence of their mission with them as well. Similar to the contrast between the light and darkness of the historical experience, one could divide their mission in a way that could be summarized as sur me’ra va’aseh tov (turn away from evil and do good).

One might be tempted to dismiss this one-line summary of how to relate to good and evil as overly obvious. But as with many other things we have seen so far, the genius may to be found more in the delivery than in the content. For just to read about good and evil is far from enough – mere words, no matter how strong or profound, rarely motivate people. Instead, this most important charge must be couched in a story in order to make it resonate with each individual Jew: The injunction to blot out Amalek is telling the Jews to destroy evil, while remembering the bitterness they experienced so harshly via the barbaric assault on their stragglers by their nemesis. The Israelites likely perceived that fierce and wanton attack as the epitome of evil, the roots of which they would viscerally want to destroy. Through this, the basic concept of eradicating evil would be forever cemented within the Jewish national consciousness.

And as per our adaptation of Abarbanel, the second part of the Jewish mission is to do good. Here too, it would not be enough to simply say, “Do good.” There would need to be some sort of model of the good with which the Jews were tremendously impressed – so much so that they would want to emulate it. They did not have far to look. God had taken the small family of Ya’akov with which the Jews began, nurtured it and favored it against overwhelming odds, and ultimately gave it a land full of unsurpassed bounty. As with the immediate repulsion that the Jews would feel when remembering the actions of Amalek, likewise would they immediately and overwhelmingly feel a sense of gratitude when remembering all the kindnesses shown them by God.

Just as the commandment to wipe out Amalek is actually a stand-in for all the commandments of “turn away from evil,” so too, the firstfruits are meant to represent all commandments that could be summarized by the phrase, “Do good.” But the “doing good” symbolized by the firstfruits is not the last commandment – which it might very well have been, if it were the end of the Jewish mission. However, the last commandment of this section, the declaration concerning tithes, takes the idea of the firstfruits one step further. It tells us that the feeling engendered by bringing one’s firstfruits is not meant to only end there, but rather – and this is what the commandment of tithes is all about – to give to others, and spread good further. Jews are taught not just to admire, but to also imitate the God Who had been so munificent toward them. In these specific circumstances it would mean giving tithes fully and ungrudgingly, but in the larger picture it should be taken as the charge to act with kindness and generosity in all circumstances.

Rabbi Francis Nataf

Parshas Ki Tetze

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Vol. LXVII No. 38                                               5776


New York City
September 16, 2016 – 13 Elul 5776
6:44 p.m. NYC E.D.T.

Sabbath Ends: 7:42 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 8:13 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Ki Tetze
Weekly Haftara: Roni Akara, Aniya Soara (Isaiah 54:1 – 55:5)
Daf Yomi: Bava Kama 108
Mishna Yomit: Shevi’is 10:5-6
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 40:5-7
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Malveh v’Loveh chap. 25- 27
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 5:48 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sunrise: 6:38 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:44 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sunset: 7:02 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Pirkei Avos: 1-2

Rabbi Yaakov Klass

The Parsha Experiment – Ki Teitzei

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Last parsha, we began to suggest that all of these random laws are somehow related to the 10 commandments! But what is the larger message that this list of laws is coming to teach us?

This video is from Immanuel Shalev.

Link to last week: https://www.alephbeta.org/course/view/the-parsha-experiment-shoftim/autoplay

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Help us grow and support what we do: https://goo.gl/NRLN3d Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Aleph.Beta.Academy Follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/Alephbeta123

For more on Ki Teitzei, see http://goo.gl/BwWP1m and http://goo.gl/XGJBGu

Immanuel Shalev

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Ki Tetzhe: Yehoshua the Conqueror

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

The Torah has two main discussions about Amalek, the first in Shemot (17:8–16) and the second in this week’s pasha, in Devarim (25:17–19). One of the most curious features in the story is the role played by Yehoshua. In the passage in Shemot, he appears out of nowhere to become the head of the Jewish army. Even more curious is the Torah’s insistence that his personal duty to fight against Amalek is to continue even after the war, such that God commands Moshe that the injunction to destroy Amalek be “placed in [Yehoshua’s] ears.” To further complicate matters, he is called Yehoshua in this battle even though his name is formally changed from Hoshea to Yehoshua only later, in the story of the spies. In short, Yehoshua dramatically appears on the scene, taking a major role in the conflict, and then goes right back into the shadows, appearing only occasionally throughout the rest of the Torah.

The most immediate reason Yehoshua needed to know about Amalek is that upon entering the land, he (and specifically carrying the name Yehoshua and not his previous name, Hoshea) would be leading many battles, both great and small. Among the battles that presumably lay ahead was that against Amalek. Still, it appears that there was something more general in the struggle against Amalek that Yehoshua needed to learn.

In fact, the lessons of Amalek represent a very important warning to any Jewish military leader, Yehoshua being only the first. That teaching is that it is easy to uphold the highest standards of war during peacetime, but it is quite another for them to be upheld by a desperate general whose only chance to win lies in his willingness to fight a dirty war. Even a general who is not so desperate will sometimes be tempted to cut corners. Everyone knows that war is a nasty business, and it is difficult to imagine that morality and rules have any place in it. Yet even in the midst of the horrors of war, the Torah maintains that there is a need to maintain a basic respect for what it means to be human. This translates into a code of behavior that tells us that expediency is not everything, even when dealing with mortal enemies. Many niceties that exist in peacetime are placed to the side, and a thinner, emergency-footing morality sets in, but this is very different from the waiving of morality altogether.

As Israel’s first true military leader, it was essential for Yehoshua to understand Amalek as the anti-model. After all, we learn from our competitors. Amalek proved to be the most effective of all the armies that Israel would encounter on the way to its land. There is no doubt, then, of the temptation to learn how war should be fought specifically from them.

Amalek’s example is particularly enticing for someone descended from Yosef. In fact, many of his later descendants who ruled the northern kingdom of Israel would live by the notion that the ends justify the means. In such governance, everything is subordinated to the success of the state. If the leaders of the northern kingdom did not quite stoop to the depths of Amalek, the road they traveled had many similarities.

For several reasons, then, we can understand God’s unique and emphatic language when instructing Moshe to communicate Amalek’s derelict status to his eventual successor: “Place it into the ears of Yehoshua.” It is apparently not enough for Yehoshua to merely be told about it. He needs to internalize it; it has to go into his ears.

And while the Jewish people were without an army and police force for many centuries, the injunction to remember Amalek through all that time assured that when the time would come to reassert themselves in this manner, they would not be able to forget that morality has a place even on the field of battle.

{This essay is based on an excerpt from Rabbi Francis Nataf’s most recent book, Redeeming Relevance in the Book of Deuteronomy}

Rabbi Francis Nataf

Ban Ki Moon Has No Solidarity with Israel

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through}

All countries around the world are confronting terrorism.

The United Nations condemns this violence everywhere, and it can find solidarity with every country in the world as it fights the heinous acts –except for Israel.

When terrorism claimed the lives of people in the airport in Turkey on June 28, 2016, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said he stands firmly by Turkey as it confronts this threat and stresses the need to intensify regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism.

When suicide bombings hit Lebanon on June 27, the Secretary General said the “United Nations stands firmly by Lebanon as it confronts the threat of terrorism and other security challenges.”

When bombings killed people in Jordan on June 21, a spokesperson for the UNSG said Ban Ki Moon “reiterates his solidarity with the Government and people of Jordan.

When terrorism claimed the lives of Americans in a nightclub, on June 12 Ban Ki Moon expresses his solidarity with the Government and people of the United States.”

After terrorists struck Belgium in March 2016, the Secretary General notedhis solidarity with the people and Government of Belgium.

After Boko Haram killed dozens in Chad in December 2015, the spokesperson for the UNSG said that Ban Ki Moon “reaffirms his solidarity with the people of Chad and reiterates the United Nations’ support for the Government in its fight against terrorism.”

After terrorists attacked Nigeria on November 15, 2015, the UNSG stated clearly that he “reiterates the UN’s support to the Nigerian government in its fight against terrorism.”

When terrorist attacked France on November 13, 2015, Ban Ki Moon saidHe stands with the Government and people of France.”

But not in Israel

But when terrorists killed Israelis on June 8, the Secretary General could not offer his solidarity. Instead, he stated how surprising it was that Palestinian Arabs could commit such an act. The Secretary-General is shocked that the leaders of Hamas have chosen to welcome this attack and some have chosen to celebrate it.”

The fact that these attacks had been going on for over a year seemingly never registered for Ban Ki Moon. He must have opted to never read the Hamas Charter which calls for killing Jews. The Fatah Constitution, which repeatedly calls for obliterating the “Zionist invasion” still manages to surprise him.

But even an ignoramus should be able to muster the decency to stand together with a country under attack.  Regrettably, not an anti-Semitic ignoramus.

Related First.One.Through articles:

The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel

The UN is Watering the Seeds of Anti-Jewish Hate Speech for Future Massacres

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The United Nation’s Ban Ki Moon is Unqualified to Discuss the Question of Palestine

The Only Religious Extremists for the United Nations are “Jewish Extremists”

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Paul Gherkin

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/firstonethrough/ban-ki-moon-has-no-solidarity-with-israel/2016/07/03/

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