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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Sukkah’

Chic Hanging Vases

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

For many of us, there can never be too many flowers around, so here are some “bright” ideas to add to your Sukkah decoration repertoire

Supplies

Clear light bulb Small needle nose pliers Screwdriver Long screw Fishing line type thread (available at sewing/craft store) Cloth gloves and goggles for hand and eye protection

 

 

Directions

Diagram A

Using your pliers, carefully remove the metal piece from the bottom of the bulb. (Diagram A)

Diagram B

After the piece is removed there will be a hole in center. Begin breaking away the black glass insulator by inserting a screw in the hole and prying out. (Diagram B)

 

Diagram C

With the bottom of the bulb removed, begin removing the innards of the bulb carefully with the pliers and screwdriver. (Diagrams C and D). Caution: Though this task is not at all complicated, caution should be used as the glass is (obviously) fragile.

Diagram D

Measure how low you want vase to hang down, double the thread and cut accordingly.

Diagram E

Wrap the thread around the neck of the bulb and tie a double knot. (In order to insure the vase hangs straight, it is a good idea to take another string and tie it the opposite way. Then, take the strings from both sides and tie them together to form a “handle.” (Diagram E).)

 

Hanging options:

Hang from s’chach

Screw hooks into the wall and hang the vases from them – great as a filler in between decorations.

If cleaning out light bulbs is just not your thing, here’s a similar idea without the adventure.

Supplies

Clear plastic balls (available in craft stores in various sizes) Silk Flowers Fishing line type thread (available at sewing/craft store)

Directions

Remove silk flowers from stem and place in one side of the ball, close ball.

Thread the fishing line through the hole on top of the ball

Mentioning Rosh Hashanah In Davening

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

The Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah 32a lists the Yom Tov’s berachos and the order in which we must daven on Rosh Hashanah. The Mishnah says in the name of Rabbi Akiva that we begin with the berachah of avos. We then recite, in this order: gevuros (atah gibor); kedushas Hashem; kedushas hayom (we incorporate malchuyos in that berachah); zichronos; and shofros. This is followed by avodah hoda’ah and birchas kohanim (sim shalom). The Gemara there brings a beraisa that cites a source in the Torah for reciting each one of these berachos.

The Achronim discuss two basic questions on this Gemara: First, why does the beraisa need to bring a special pasuk to tell us that we must recite a berachah on the kedushas hayom of Rosh Hashanah? The Gemara in Sukkah 46a derives from the pasuk, “Baruch Hashem, yom yom,” that we must always mention in our davening and bentching the kedushah of that day. Why then would Rosh Hashanah differ from every Shabbos, Yom Tov and Rosh Chodesh when we always mention the kedushas hayom?

Second, why does the beraisa that is discussing the source for reciting the berachos of the Rosh Hashanah amidah need to bring pasukim that are the source for reciting the first three and last three berachos of the amidah? We only change the middle berachos of the amidah, while the first three and the last three are always recited and never change. Why then did the Mishnah have to mention that we recite those berachos, and why did the beraisa deem it necessary to cite a pasuk as the source for it?

The Pnei Yehoshua, in Rosh Hashanah, suggests that the Gemara in Berachos says that one is forbidden to add praise of Hashem to his davening; rather we can only recite the praises that Chazal, based on pasukim, instituted. Since the Torah commanded us to recite malchiyos zichronos and shofros on Rosh Hashanah, one may have thought that we should omit the general praise that we recite in the amidah and only recite the praises of malchiyos zichronos and shofros. Therefore the Mishnah and the beraisa felt that it was necessary to teach us that we do indeed recite the first three berachos of the amidah – even on Rosh Hashanah.

The Aruch LaNer points out that the Pnei Yehoshua’s answer does not explain why the beraisa also included the source for the last three berachos. I would suggest that perhaps once the beraisa must mention the first three and the middle berachos it is not strange for it to continue to mention the last three berachos. The Aruch LaNer suggests that the beraisa is in fact a Tosefta (Rosh Hashanah 2:11) and there the Tosefta does not mention any of the first three or last three berachos – only the middle ones. The Gemara here in Rosh Hashanah added the source for the other berachos based on the beraisa from the Gemara in Megillah, since it was mentioning the source for the other berachos.

The Aruch LaNer concludes that at a later point in time he received the Ritvah’s commentary on Rosh Hashanah and noticed that the Ritvah asks this same question. The Ritvah answers that the Mishnah wrote the first three and last three berachos to teach us that we may not add to those berachos; rather we must recite them as we always do. The Ritvah adds that this is contradictory to our custom to add zachreinu l’chaim, mi kamocha, vekasveinu, and b’sefer chaim. However, he says that our custom is based on the Masechta Sofrim, which is implicit that we should add those prayers into those berachos.

The sefer, Harirai Kedem, suggests that the opposite can be deduced from our Mishnah and beraisa. Maseches Sofrim says that each berachah on Rosh Hashanah is different from the rest of the year. Our Mishnah and beraisa are teaching us that very same idea. Thus it was necessary to write about those berachos as well, in order to teach us that there is a new obligation to add to those berachos.

Regarding the question of why the beraisa needed to write the source for why we mention the kedushas hayom on Rosh Hashanah when we should have already known that we must mention it (as we do on every other Shabbos or Yom Tov), the Harirai Kedem offers this beautiful explanation: It is clear from this that there is a new and separate halacha that requires us to mention the kedushas hayom of Rosh Hashanah on Rosh Hashanah – aside from the general halacha. Based on this we can explain a discrepancy that is found between the mentioning of the kedushas hayom of Rosh Hashanah and that of all the other Yamim Tovim. On all other Yamim Tovim we do not mention the particular Yom Tov; rather we conclude the berachah with “mekadesh Yisrael vehazmanim.” On Rosh Hashanah we conclude the berachah by mentioning the actual essence of the day, for we say, “melech al kol ha’aretz [malchuyos]… mekadesh Yisrael v’Yom Hazikaron.” This exclusive mention of the actual kedushah is only done on Rosh Hashanah because there is a new halacha on Rosh Hashanah to mention the kedushas hayom.

Tishrei’s Universal Message

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The start of the Jewish New Year, the month of Tishrei, is filled with holy days, among them four foundational celebrations: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah-Shemini Atzeret.

They are quite different from one another. Yet we may also think of all four holidays as two pairs of two. The first two – the day of memory and accounting and the day of atonement – are awe-inspiring and grave compared with the last two festivals, which are days of joy.

At the same time, the first three holidays do have a common denominator: As much as they are Jewish holidays, they carry a universal message. Embedded within them are three of humanity’s cardinal touchstones: accounting and judgment; mercy and atonement; and the joy of life.

These attributes and qualities are essential to the lives of every human being. We mark the New Year by commemorating creation on the one hand and celebrating the Kingship of the Lord on the other. Both creation and God’s sovereignty pertain to all humankind and are not specifically Jewish.

The Day of Atonement, too, is relevant to every human being. Life is full of mistakes and transgressions. Without atonement it would be unbearable to go on living with the unresolved and painful pieces of our past.

Sukkot at first glance seems to be far more connected with Jewish history. Yet at its essence, the holiday is actually a festival of thanksgiving for what we have. We acknowledge the tranquility in our lives and express our gratitude for Divine gifts.

Moreover, our sages teach us that during Sukkot in the days of the Holy Temple, seventy bulls were offered to God in the name of the seventy nations of the world. As the prophet Zachariah foretells, in the days to come it is on Sukkot that all the peoples of the world will come as pilgrims to the Temple in Jerusalem.

This combination of the particular and the universal is not just one more interesting point; it is the key for understanding the meaning of these three holidays. In all our other celebrations, and perhaps in Jewish religious life in general, we stress the specificity of Jewish existence. Most of our holidays and memorial days are deeply connected with our own history.

In Tishrei, however, we focus on our fundamental humanity, on the fact that we are human beings with great problems. In this context, humanity is not defined as a group of human beings. Here we speak of our basic humanity – humanity as a quality.

The very touchstones that we mark in Tishrei are what make us human. The essence of the universality of these holidays, then, is not in the point of sharing with others, it is in delving into ourselves in order to reveal and find some of the fundamentals of our existence. We explore and acknowledge what is universal to all humankind within our own selves.

The fourth and last of the holidays of Tishrei, Shemini Atzeret (and with it Simchat Torah), stands in clear contrast to the first three. As beautifully depicted by our sages, the king made a great banquet to which he invited all the citizens of his realm. At the end of these feasts, he called his most beloved friend and said now that all these big events are over, let us have a small banquet just for the two of us (tractate Sukkah 55b).

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is a world-renowned scholar who has authored more than 60 books and hundreds of articles on Torah.

Why Women Are Obligated To Build The Beis HaMikdash

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

The Rambam, in Hilchos Beis Habechirah 1:12, derives from the pasuk in this week’s parshah, “u’veyom hakim es haMishkan… – and on the day the Mishkan was set up…” (Bamidbar 9:15), that the Beis HaMikdash can only be built by day, not by night. Further in that halacha the Rambam writes that both men and women are obligated in the mitzvah of building the Beis HaMikdash. The Kesef Mishneh explains that the source for the halacha that women are obligated in this mitzvah is from the pasuk in parshas Vayakhel: “v’kol ishah chachmas lev beyada tavu – and every wise-hearted woman spun with her hands.”

The Achronim are bothered by this obvious question: Why are women obligated in this mitzvah? Since it only applies by day, it should fall under the category of mitzvos assei she’hazman gramma (time- sensitive mitzvos) that women are exempt from fulfilling?

The answer by some Achronim is based on the following Yerushalmi: The Yerushalmi Yoma 1:1 says that the mitzvah of building the Beis HaMikdash essentially applies even by night – except that if it is built at night it is not fit for the avodahs of the daytime. If the mitzvah only applied by day, a Beis HaMikdash that was built at night should not be fit for any avodah. This indicates that the mitzvah applies even by night; thus it is not a mitzvas assei she’hazman gramma, and women are obligated in it.

Another suggested answer is that the Rambam says in Sefer Hamitzvos (mitzvas assei 20) that the building of the Beis HaMikdash’s vessels is included in the mitzvah of building the Beis HaMikdash. The Aruch Laner, on Sukkah 41a, says that the vessels of the Beis HaMikdash can be built at night. Therefore the mitzvah of building the Beis HaMikdash applies by night as well. It is therefore not a mitzvas assei she’hazman gramma.

Even according to the Achronim who disagree with the Aruch Laner and hold that the vessels must be built by day (just as the Beis HaMikdash itself), they nevertheless agree that the Menorah may be built at night since its avodah (lighting it) may be performed at that time. Since in the Rambam’s view the mitzvah to build the Menorah is included in the mitzvah of building the Beis HaMikdash, part of this mitzvah is continuous and thus not considered a mitzvas assei she’hazman gramma.

The sefer, Har Hamoriah (Beis Habechirah 1:28), says that there are two parts in the mitzvah of building the Beis HaMikdash: the actual building, and the planning, measuring and bringing of supplies. Only the actual building may not be done at night. The other aspects of the mitzvah, however, may be performed at night. Hence it is not a mitzvas assei she’hazman gramma.

The Rishonim, on Kiddushin 29a, ask why the Torah feels the need to write a pasuk exempting a woman from the obligation to perform the mitzvah of bris milah on her son. After all, she should obviously be exempt since it is a mitzvas assei she’hazman gramma? The Ramban and the Ritvah answer that women are only exempt from mitzvos assei she’hazman gramma on mitzvos that pertain to themselves. But when the mitzvah requires them to do something for someone else, they are not exempt. For example, without the exemption in the pasuk, a woman would be obligated to perform a bris milah on her son.

The Minchas Chinuch (mitzvah 112:3) understands the Ritvah’s answer to mean the following: Mitzvos can be classified into two categories; those that are obligations on the individual to perform, and those that require that a certain situation take place (gavra or cheftza). The Minchas Chinuch explains that the mitzvah on the parents to perform a bris milah on their son is not a mitzvah whereby they are obligated to perform a certain act; rather that they ensure that a certain situation is accomplished – namely that their son should have a bris milah. Regarding these types of mitzvos women are not exempt, even if it is a mitzvas assei she’hazman gramma. Therefore, if the Torah did not write a pasuk that exempted women, they would be obligated to ensure that a bris milah was performed on their son.

Parshas Tazria-Metzora

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Vol. LXIII No. 17                                                   5772

New York City

CANDLE LIGHTING TIME

April 27, 2012 – 5 Iyar 5772

7:28 p.m. NYC E.D.T.

 

Sabbath Ends: 8:39 p.m. NYC E.D.T.

Weekly Reading: Tazria-Metzora

Weekly Haftara: Ve’Arba’a Anashim (II Kings 7:3-20)

Daf Yomi: Me’ilah 12

Mishna Yomit: Chagigah 2:6-7

Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 46:8-47:1

Rambam Yomi: Hilchos  Chametz u’Matzah 8 – Shofar v’Sukkah v’Lulav 2

Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 5:01 a.m. NYC E.D.T.

Latest Kerias Shema: 9:27 a.m. NYC E.D.T.

Pirkei Avos: 2

Sefiras HaOmer: 20

Today, the 5th of Iyar, is Yom Ha’atzma’ut – Israel’s Independence day. (Celebrated Thursday, 4 Iyar, one day earlier)

Why Don’t We Make A Berachah Over Korech?

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The Gemara in Pesachim 115a says that there was a machlokes regarding how one was supposed to eat matzah and marror in the times of the Beis HaMikdash. Hillel said that during those times, when there was a korban Pesach, matzah and marror should be eaten together. His peers argued that they must be eaten separately. The Gemara concludes that since the halacha was not paskened we eat matzah separately, then marror separately, and then both together to accommodate both opinions.

The Rambam (Hilchos Chametz U’matzah 8:8) says that one should korech matzah and marror together, dip it into charosses and eat it without reciting the berachah, “zecher l’mikdash.” The Rambam’s words imply that the reason that we do not recite a berachah on the takanah of korech is because it was instituted zecher l’mikdash (as a remembrance of the Beis HaMikdash). Any takanah that was instituted zecher l’mikdash does not require a berachah.

However the Achronim ask the following question: Originally the mitzvah of lulav was to take the lulav only on the first day, with the exception of taking it in the Beis HaMikdash – where it was taken for seven days. The Mishnah in Sukkah 41a says that after the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, Reb Yochanan ben Zakai instituted the policy that the lulav should be taken for seven days everywhere, even outside the Beis HaMikdash, as a remembrance of the Mikdash. Why is it that regarding the institution of taking a lulav for all seven days of Sukkos we recite a berachah, and regarding the institution of korech we do not? The rule that we do not recite a berachah on an institution that was initiated zecher l’mikdash should exempt a berachah on the takanah to take the lulav for the remaining six days of Sukkos.

I would like to suggest that the answer lies in the words of the Rambam. The Rambam (Hilchos Lulav 7:15) says that after the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, it was decided that the lulav should be taken on each of the seven days of Sukkos – zecher l’mikdash. One should recite the berachah of “al netilas lulav” over it every day because it is a mitzvah midivrei sofrim (from the Rabbanan). The Rambam seems to be alluding to this question when he answers that this takanah is a mitzvah. I think this can be better understood based on the following explanation:

The Gemara in Sukkah 44a brings a dispute as to whether a certain rabbinic institution was a takanah or a minhag. The Gemara says that if it is a takanah, a berachah is recited; if it is a minhag, a berachah is not recited. Rashi explains that as the Gemara in Shabbos 23a and Sukkah 46a both say, in order to recite a berachah on a rabbinic decree and say “vetzivanu” (Hashem commanded us) it must be decreed that if one disobeys this ruling he will have transgressed the Torah’s prohibition of lo sasor. Rashi explains that only if one disobeys a takanah will he transgress the Torah’s prohibition; therefore one can make a berachah on it. But if one does not follow a minhag of the Rabbanan, he does not transgress the Torah’s prohibition of lo sasor. As a result, a berachah is not recited.

The Rambam, in Hilchos Mamrim 1:2, says that if one does not adhere to even a minhag he transgresses the Torah’s prohibition of lo sasor. According to this opinion this question remains: Why don’t we recite a berachah on a minhag of the Rabbanan?

The Brisker Rav, in his sefer on the Rambam, explains that there are two requirements that must be met in order to recite a berachah on a rabbinic decree. One is that it was a commandment; this is met when one will transgress a Torah prohibition by disobeying the decree. The second is that its essence must be a mitzvah. Even though one who does not follow a minhag that the Rabbanan instituted will transgress the Torah’s prohibition, it was nevertheless not instituted to be a mitzvah by nature; rather it is a minhag. We do not recite a berachah over minhagim. We only recite a berachah on mitzvos.

By applying this rule we can differentiate between the takanah of taking a lulav on all seven days of Sukkos and that of korech. By the takanah of taking the lulav on all seven days, the actual decree was an institution of a mitzvah in its essence. The reason why this mitzvah was established was zecher l’mikdash. The takanah to eat korech with matzah and marror together was not instituted as a mitzvah, but rather its essence is to commemorate and remember the Beis HaMikdash. The Rambam writes that the takanah of taking the lulav on all seven days of Sukkos is a mitzvah, and therefore we recite a berachah. Regarding the takanah of korech, the Rambam does not say that it is a mitzvah because it was not established as a mitzvah – but rather as a zecher l’mikdash. Thus we do not recite a berachah on korech since its essence is not a mitzvah.

Sukkah War Erupts Two Weeks Before Purim

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Ya gotta’ love the NY Post. Where else will you find a report on a “high-rise holy war” at the Trump Place Condominiums, where “one man’s straw Sukkot” is driving the neighbors bonkers?

The Post‘s Kathianne Boniello keeps referring in her report to Sukkot in the plural, confusing the Hebrew name for the Holiday of Booths – plural – with the name for one booth – singular. Other than that bit of nitpicking, though, it’s good, old fashioned, NYC neighbors’ feud, as befits the newspaper that Rupert built.

So Zev Geller, who lives on the third floor, builds a sukkah on his porch every year, and upsets his neighbors two floors below, Thomas Tagliani and Leslie Lucas. Because Geller not only builds a 20-foot long sukkah – a fire hazard in its own right – but he goes ahead and does special yom tov barbecues next to it, oy vey…

Now the couple is suing Geller, the condo owner and the condo board for $500,000. And they want poor, Sukkah-loving Geller out.

Geller has been using the “I’m Jewish, whatcha’ gonna’ do” defense, telling the Post: “I’m Jewish. I built a Sukkot. I didn’t think much of it because it’s temporary.”

Did he also refer to his Sukkah in the plural? Who knows. All Geller knows is: “I’m literally just a Jewish person living in New York City, but I guess my neighbor doesn’t like that.”

And deep inside, aren’t we all literally just Jewish persons living here and there?

The couple’s attorney, William Perniciaro, says the case is not about literal or semi-literal Jews, but about fire hazards.

Sufferin Sukkahtash…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/sukkah-war-erupts-two-weeks-before-purim/2012/02/26/

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