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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘morning’

You Gotta Wake Up Pretty Early In The Morning

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Elul is a time for teshuvah, not to mention tefillah and tzedakah – though it seems that what we do the most is the tefillah. Which is strange, because if you think about it, a baal teshuvah makes an incredible lifestyle change, and a baal tzedakah gives a fortune to help others, whereas to be a baal tefillah, you just have to be caught off guard when the gabbai asks if you’re willing to daven.

“Ha ha, yeah. Wait, what? This tallis is too small.”

“Yeah, I know. We inherit them when the older members pass away.”

Though I suppose you also have to be there on time. You don’t even need a good voice. Though the least you can do is be aware of whether you have a good voice or not and act accordingly.


Dear Mordechai,

I have trouble getting up in the morning. What do I do about Selichos?

Crack of Yawn


Dear Crack,

True, Selichos doesn’t seem like it was designed for us non-morning people. It’s big paragraphs with a lot of words you have zero familiarity with early in the morning that the chazzan somehow manages to fly through at a regular pace, considering the time of year. I’m not even a slow davener. I’m going through it at a moderate pace – maybe a little quicker if I realize it rhymes – and suddenly the chazzan is finished. How did he do that? Did he practice it the night before? Does he say this one on a regular basis? Is being a “baal tefillah” a bigger commitment than I thought?

Maybe I’ve been doing it wrong.

So I skip to the two paragraphs we say several times every morning – Kel Melech and Hashem Hashem – and I rush through those so I can finish them with the chazzan, and then I end up waiting for him for like five minutes. Then we get to the next big unfamiliar paragraph, and he takes off again. I’m about 90% sure he’s skipping words. Or maybe my time perception is thrown off, since I’m not actually supposed to be up yet.

Yes, I know that Selichos are supposed to be a wake-up call to do teshuvah, but does the wake-up call have to be so early in the morning? You don’t even come to Shacharis on time, what are the chances you’re going to make Selichos in the first place? In fact, I always thought that maybe the point of Selichos isn’t the Selichos itself that you’re speeding through with the kavana of “Where’s the chazzan up to? Are we at least in the same paragraph?” It’s the fact that if you aim to get there for Selichos, you’re at the very least going to come on time for Shacharis.

On the other hand, if you think that’s hard, bear in mind that Sefardim say Selichos for the entire month, probably because they need an extra kaparah for eating rice on Pesach.

In some neighborhoods, though, the option of night Selichos is offered the idea being that instead of having to wake up early, you get to go to sleep late, and then you wake up late and have to estimate when Shacharis is going to start because all the schedules say when Selichos starts but not when it ends, and you end up coming around the time you’d probably show up if you were trying to wake up for morning Selichos. Or way overshooting and missing Shemoneh Esrei. This is why shofar is at the end of davening.

Unfortunately, not every shul offers night Selichos. The only night that every shul offers Selichos is that very first Motzoei Shabbos, which is based on an ancient Jewish tradition that forbids getting up early on a Sunday morning. So at least you’re saying that first night’s worth. It’s a start.



Dear Mordechai,

Why does it seem that the main issue we’re focused on, on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, is our nedarim? It is literally the first thing we daven about. Twice. Of all the things we could have done, this is the one we’re obsessed with? How often do we even make nedarim anyway? I have never once said “konam alaianything.

Billy Nader



Dear Billy,

Well, it’s not just “promises” per se. If you look at the translation of these tefillos, we’re also talking about oaths, prohibitions, restrictions, swearing, forms of nazirism, cherem, commitments, agreements, acceptances of the heart, consecrations, konam-vows, konas-vows, and shul pledges. You didn’t do ANY of these? Konam-vows or konas-vows? Think back. How can you know you didn’t if you don’t even know what those are? Maybe you’re doing it right now.

“No I’m not.”


And what is a promise, anyway? Do you specifically have to say the words, “I promise”? That can’t be. English is a made-up language. And what about oaths? Do you have to say, “I oath it”?

So in all likelihood, you probably don’t have to say, “I promise.” Maybe it has to do with intention. So how many times have you threatened to do something to your kids and then not followed through?

“If you don’t go to bed, you’re going to get punished! 1… 2… 3! Okay, I’m going to count again. But this is the last time.”

Great. Another one. It’s never the last time.

We also say a lot of things that we might not consider promises but that might be anyway:

“I’ll do it tomorrow.”

“We’ll talk about it.”

“We’re almost there.”

“I’ll call you right back.”

“I’m coming. I’m right behind you.”

And don’t forget the Yomim Noraim themselves, with all their New Year’s resolutions. Everyone makes those on Rosh Hashanah, but then suddenly it’s Erev Rosh Hashanah of the following year and you’re like, “Um, I don’t think I did a single one of those. The list I’m making right now looks a lot like last year’s.” It was very easy to resolve to always daven with kavanah all year when it was Yom Kippur and you had nowhere to be – but then the rest of the year happened. You davened on a bus in motion, between courses at weddings, on line at an amusement park, sitting down on an airplane, at a McDonald’s on the interstate, and one time at a crowded mall into your cell phone while you were using that same cell phone as a siddur. And don’t forget the half-tired rushing and then slowing down through Selichos.

Mordechai Schmutter

Fighter Jets…

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Every once in a while, we hear fighter jets flying over head. The first time I came to Maale Adumim – over ten years ago, I heard the jets soaring over the city and thought – wow, not just the beauty of the desert, not just the beauty of the city, but this too? I love the sound of the F15s flying low.

It was only after I moved here that I realized this wasn’t a daily occurrence. The Israeli Air Force is charged with protecting our skies. To do this, they have to fly the length and width of this land (which actually doesn’t take to long).

So they don’t fly regularly over our skies…or maybe they do. I remember friends who had just moved hear hearing them fly low over head. They called me thinking that perhaps war had broken out…

No, no war – just our sons flying our skies and protecting our land!

I once tried with my silly phone to capture it. I got the sound, but couldn’t get the image and then I thought…duh…YouTube. This morning, the jets have been flying and, child that I am inside, I keep going to my balcony and watching them.

There is such joy in seeing them, hearing them. They fly for the purest of causes – defending our land. It’s a beautiful day in August in Israel. I hope as they fly, the pilots are smiling and enjoying the most amazing view (as I am).

May God bless the Israel Air Force – fly safe! – 2 videos – one the sound I am hearing this morning and the second – an amazing, nearly impossible feat…an Israeli pilot – landing with just one wing. The manufacturers of the F15 didn’t believe the Israelis when it was reported. They insisted on seeing the plane for themselves. The proof is in the video. Enjoy.

Paula Stern

Protesters: Police in Cahoots with Arabs over Jewish Access to Mount

Monday, August 5th, 2013

The Joint Committee of Temple Mount Organizations has announced a protest vigil this Wednesday, August 7, at 7:30 AM, by the Mugrabi Bridge connecting the Western Wall plaza with the Mughrabi Gate of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

According to the organizers, which include journalist Arnon Segal and Women in Green founders Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover, the vigil will be held in response to an announcement last Tuesday by the Police official in charge of the holy sites, Commander Avi Bitton, that the Temple Mount would remain open only to Muslims and closed to Jews and to tourists at least until after the Muslim holiday of Idl-Fitter, next Sunday, the fifth of Elul or August 11.

This is breaking the rules, cry out the organizers, members of organizations promoting Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, warning that Jerusalem Police has already violated the long held status quo by shutting off the Temple Site to non-Muslims throughout the month of Ramadan.

This past month, the vigil organizers complain that on those few days when Jews were allowed to go up to the Mount, they suffered constant abuse by the Muslims and by the police.

Two weeks ago, Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin was chased away from the Temple Mount by a crowd of Muslims. According to the vigil organizers, police did not intervene to prevent the “screaming and harassment and threats by the Muslims against Elkin and his family.”

But the biggest complaint of the organizers has to do with the fact that the Arabs have, apparently, discovered the surefire method of keeping the Jews off the Mount – all they have to do is threaten violence, and the police immediately folds, and rather than responding to the bullies by imposing law and order—a fairly basic expectation of our law enforcement agencies—they join forces with them to block Jewish access.

It’s been ten years, the protesters say, since the Temple mount was re-opened to Jewish visitors—not for prayer, mind you, God forbid—and now they fear the permanent sealing off of the holiest Jewish site bar none appears closer than ever.

“It seems the police is throwing a trial balloon,” reads the organizers’ email. “They try to see if the Temple Mount is important to a large Jewish population, or only to some ‘crazies.’ It is obvious that if this passes quietly, it will get worse for the Jews.”

And so the Joint Committee of the Temple Mount Organizations have decided to hold a mass protest vigil to remind the police, the politicians, and—most important—ourselves, that the holiest place for the Jewish People is not the Kotel, with all due respect, but the Temple Mount.

As one organizer put it, according to Matar, celebrating Rosh Chodesh at the Kotel and not on the Temple Mount is tantamount to celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, in the Knesset parking lot, while the building itself would be chock full of Arabs.

They invite “all to whom a Jewish presence at the Jews’ most holy site in the world is important, to wake up early Wednesday morning and come.”

Wouldn’t it be interesting if, this coming Rosh Chodesh Elus, Wednesday morning, all the Jews will find their way up to the Temple Mount, leaving down below only the Women of the Kotel?

Don’t forget to dip in the Mikvah first, in case they actually let everybody up.

Yori Yanover

The Story Of Daniel

Friday, December 7th, 2012

There are many wonderful stories narrated in Scriptures about the experiences of the Navi Daniel. Many of these stories are found in Sefer Daniel, while others are found in the Talmud and Midrash.

In the third year of the reign of Yehoyakim, king of Yehuda, Nevuchadnezzar, king of Bavel lay siege to Yerushalayim and conquered it. He took many treasures from the Beis HaMikdash back to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god.

He then ordered his courtiers to round up the wisest children of Yehuda, who would be trained as advisors, for these children were known for their erudition and for their worldly knowledge.

Among the children taken were four outstanding young geniuses: Daniel, Chananyah, Mishael and Azariah.

Provides Meats For The Children

The king commanded Ashpenaz, the chief of his courtiers, to provide the children with the best of meat and wine so that they should be healthy in body and in mind when they appeared before him.

Daniel and his companions, however, would not defile themselves with the king’s meat and wine and requested instead that they be supplied with vegetables.

Ashpenaz was afraid to comply with this wish. “I fear to disobey my lord the King, who has ordered me to give you his meat and wine. For, if he sees you looking worse than the other children of your country who are eating the meat, he will have me killed.”

“Fear not,” replied Daniel. “Experiment by giving us only vegetables and water for the next 10 days and then compare us with the other children who will eat the king’s meat. You will then see who looks healthier.”

He agreed, and for the next 10 days he served them vegetables and water. And lo and behold, at the end of that time their countenance appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children who ate meat. From that day onward, Daniel and his companions only ate vegetables.

G-d gave Daniel and his companions, knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and to Daniel, especially, he gave understanding of all visions and dreams.

After three years of study, they appeared before the king and the king found none that in all matters of wisdom and understanding, they were 10 times better than all the magicians and astrologers in his realm. He appointed them to be his personal advisors.

The King’s Dream

In the second year of the reign of Nevuchadnezzar, the king had a dream. He awoke in the morning with a start. It was a terrible dream and it bothered him because he forgot what he had dreamed about. All he knew was that it had been scary.

The king called all of his magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and the Chaldeans to appear before him. When they arrived, the king told them that he had a terrible dream and asked them to interpret it for him.

“O King, live forever,” said the Chaldeans. “Tell the servants your dream and we will then offer you its interpretation.”

“I cannot remember the dream,” replied the king. “It is gone from me. If you will not make known to me the dream with its interpretation I shall cut you to pieces and destroy your homes. But if you tell me what I dreamt and its interpretation I shall reward you handsomely and I will give you great honor.”

The Chaldeans replied, “There is no man on earth who can fulfill your request and there had never been a king who has asked such an unfair request.”

Death To The Wise

The king became very angry and commanded the guards to destroy all the wise men of Bavel. Among the wise men to be destroyed was Daniel, who had not attended the sessions of the Chaldeans. When he was made aware of this decree, he sought out Arioch, the king’s captain, and advised him that he would tell the king his dream and its interpretation the following morning. The captain made arrangements for Daniel to appear before the king the following morning.

That night Daniel visited Chananya, Mishael and Azariah and urged them to pray to G-d to help him so that he they would not perish with the rest of the wise men of Bavel. G-d heard their pleas and He revealed the secret to Daniel in a night vision.

Rabbi Sholom Klass

Sdei Avraham Woman Fought off Gaza Terrorist Singlehandedly

Monday, November 26th, 2012

YNET has published a report with the details of the terror attack this morning in Sdei Avraham.

The terrorist from Gaza entered the home of Yael (39), where she was sleeping with her 4 children.

The terrorist attacked Yael with a knife and iron rod, and she single handedly fought him off, saving the lives of her children and herself.

She was stabbed in the face and shoulder in the process.

The terrorist ran away from the through a window after she managed to lock him in the bathroom. Yael called the Kitat Konninut (Rapid Reponse Team).

Police and IDF caught up with the terrrorist 2 kilometers from the house and shot and killed him.

The IDF are examining how the terrorist got in from Gaza.

Jewish Press News Briefs

What Came Out of Operation Pillar of Defense

Monday, November 26th, 2012

There are so many ways to show the difference between what is important in Gaza vs. what is important in Israel. Perhaps, to be fair, I should say the difference between the leaderships in both places but since we Israelis and those in Gaza voted in our governments, it really does amount to the same thing.

What came out of Gaza is the knowledge that they can indeed hit Tel Aviv and though they didn’t manage to hit Jerusalem, they took aim and got close. The Fajir 5 is a missile they created to kill our people. At least one couple in Gaza named their new born baby “Fajir5”.

What came out of Israel is a new defense missile called “Magic Wand” that will protect Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from these missiles that can fly 75 kilometers to kill and maim.

This morning, an Arab crossed into Israel from Gaza and broke into a Jewish home very close to the border. Inside the house, the Arab stabbed a Jewish girl before soldiers caught him and killed him.

In Syria today and yesterday, the government opened fire on its people, murdering dozens and destroying buildings, property and lives.

In the United Nations, they are likely soon to discuss and condemn Israel for this aggression or another. The Fajir5 will not be discussed. The deaths of 5 innocent Israels are nothing to the world, though they are everything to their families.

What came out of Operation Pillar of Defense is almost exactly what went in – one culture determined to injure, murder and destroy another; one culture determined to defend its people at all costs; and one world, silent, oblivious, fooled.

And lest you think I am silent, oblivious and fooled, what also came out of Operation Pillar of Defense is knowledge spread among a few, shared with friends – who love Israel and support her. They were not silent in giving us their support; they were never oblivious and I am so grateful that they are not fooled by endless claims of massacres that never were; destruction that was on a huge scale completely justified by the offense weapons that were destroyed within their walls.

I am grateful, again, for the swift and tireless efforts of the Israel Defense Forces – but also of the IDF Spokesperson’s Office and tireless bloggers who didn’t let them get away with re-using pictures from Syria (and even Israel, if you can believe that) and say it was Gaza.

What came out of Operation Pillar of Defense is a few days of quiet for our children in the south; no sirens in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Last evening, Aliza called as she walked home. She said we didn’t have to keep talking, she wasn’t afraid of a siren. She just wanted me to know she would be home soon. What came home, for so many of us, were our sons. We know that had there been a ground invasion, more mothers would not be saying that today. We know the future, but it won’t be today. We believe today will be quiet, another day to heal our children, our hearts.

It’s too early to know whether Netanyahu’s folding before Washington’s pressure was a good thing or a bad thing in the long term. Few believe we won’t be going back in to Gaza in the future to stop the missiles at our cities, the Fajir 5 and its next generations. But we are a people that look to today and the sun is shining, it is a beautiful, clear, pleasant day here in this most holy land. There were no missiles this morning as our children went to school and we need to believe there won’t be any as they return in several hours. The early morning threat to one Jewish home ended in their loss – the child is in fair condition and though she will be traumatized, we’ll take care of her with love and she will be fine.

So, today is good – and yes, part of that is a result of Operation Pillar of Defense.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula R. Stern

US Pediatrician Group Says: Give Morning-After-Pill Prescriptions to Underage Patients

Monday, November 26th, 2012

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on Monday urged American pediatricians to provide prescriptions for post-intercourse contraception to underage patients, as well as making them aware of the ability to take medications to prevent pregnancy even after engaging in sex.

The AAP policy statement would enable girls to get “morning after” pills immediately with their prescriptions.  US policy does not allow girls under the age of 17 to buy the pills over-the-counter – the pills are available to women of age with proof of age.

The pills work by preventing ovulation, not by preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg or otherwise causing the body to abort a growing embryo.

According to a Reuters report, a 2010 report on seven studies of emergency contraception concluded that teens were not more likely to engage in sexual activity or decrease their use of standard contraceptive devices if emergency contraception medications were made available to them.

Malkah Fleisher

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-pediatrician-group-says-give-morning-after-pill-prescriptions-to-underage-patients/2012/11/26/

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