Tuesday, January 31, 2012

KOL HASHONEH HALACHOT BECHOL YOM MUVTACH LO SHEHOO BEN HAOLAM HABA



For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L. Lehavdeel For the Refua Shlema of Chai Yaakov ben Margalit shlit’a.
Translated from Mekor Chaim Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:

1. One does not do Netillat Yadayim unless he/she uses a vessel that can hold at least 87 grams of water. A vessel that has a hole cannot be used for Netillat Yadayim. If the hole is small enough that small drops of water do not come out of it, then it does not invalidate the vessel from using it for Netillat Yadayim. If these holes are present one can use the vessel but cannot say the Beracha of Netillat Yadayim after doing the proper Netillah.

2. Such a thing called Chatzitzah (something that separates the water from the skin) invalidates Netilat Yadayim. Therefore, if there is dirt under one’s long fingernails (that are long enough that are over the skin) or if there is dough under the nails that covers one’s finger’s skin, then the Netillah does not count for anything. In any case it is better not to grow out one’s fingernails.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

CLD #499


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
The entire world always tries to reach world peace (or at least the educated part of the world). If the entire country sees on TV a community working together to improve people’s lives, who will not be happy and thrilled to support them? Let’s take the famous TV show Extreme Makeover, where a team of 10 professionals and with the help of the community works together to build a poor family’s home from scratch in a matter of 7 days. Who does not have a smile on their face when they see such a beautiful show? Purely chessed.
Now imagine taking away all the money for building the house, ignoring the 1,000 person manpower, and especially forgetting about the time limit of 7 days. Imagine if we can build a spiritual home in a matter of 9 seconds. Imagine we can build a spiritual home for some poor family using spiritual hammers and nails right now! What do we need to do? Take a nice sugar-packed piece of Regulach (chocolate mezonot cookie) and just say a Beracha. What is a Beracha (a blessing on food)?
It is the link between us and Hashem to say THANK YOU Hashem for this piece of food.
Thank you Hashem for making nature work that this piece of food gives me more energy and more gas for life! What else is a Beracha? It is literally a sentence said in Hebrew with heavy heavy spiritual secrets behind it that says Hashem is the source of Praise in the world, He is my Master, He is the Number 1 Power and Creator of the world, and He is the supreme being who created what I am about to eat.
In a matter of 9 seconds when someone really learns even the simple meaning behind the words that make up a Beracha, they can reach high levels of connection and closeness with Hashem. This connection with Hashem brings down to the world the most extravagant and great amount of spiritual power! This is better than 500,000 people building homes with millions of nails and hammers. We unfortunately listen to the Yetzer Hara who tells us how unimportant and minuscule our spiritual power is.
B’H may we all work on ourselves to reach those levels of connection and happiness.

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KOL HASHONEH HALACHOT BECHOL YOM MUVTACH LO SHEHOO BEN HAOLAM HABA


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L. Lehavdeel For the Refua Shlema of Chai Yaakov ben Margalit shlit’a.
Translated from Mekor Chaim Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:

1. One who is in the middle of Shmoneh Esreh needs to put enough focus to have the intention of the words that is coming out of his/her mouth in all Berachot (blessings). One needs to do this for all the berachot, but if he/she have not, they must have the proper kavanah during the first Beracha of “Magen Avraham.” Today we do not start the Shmoneh Esreh from the beginning if we did not have kavanah during this first Beracha but in previous years they did. The reason that the Rabbanim were so strict with this Beracha is because it holds such great characteristics of the way Hashem makes the world work.

2. One should not say the Berachot and the entire Tefillah (prayer) in their hearts only (meaning without saying it out loud). Rather, one should say the entire Tefillah out loud in a whisper. If one cannot focus properly to have the kavanah needed for Tefillah, they can raise their voice. However, if they are in a public setting they are forbidden to raise their voice because it might come to distract/bother the other prayers.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

PIC OF THE WEEK!

In the end of the day, no matter what anyone says or does, I AM THE ONE WHO DECIDES WHAT TO DO WITH MY LIFE. Therefore, I don't have an excuse why I am not trying to get closer to Hashem.
Just turn on the green light and go.



Shavua Tov.


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CLD #498

For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
We always need to push. Rav Yoshiyahu Pinto shlit’a just said in his shiur that the only way to fight an obstacle in life is by picking at it with the opposite of what nature would do. Meaning if someone for example is working the entire year. Then at the end of the working period they decide to go on vacation for the weekend. They believe that the entire year’s stress and problems will go away. But this is absolutely false, if anything this vacation will just increase the problems because all it did was delay their confrontation.
The same goes for learning Torah and Gemara. At the beginning of Torah learning one tells himself, I rather go bite into that juicy piece of cake or make myself a warm cup of hot chocolate. This person in reality takes their issues with Torah learning and just places it onto the cake. This is NOT the true solution to their Torah learning problems. What is the true solution? If someone sits more to learn and takes their heart and literally shoves it into the Torah learning, slowly slowly the Torah will make more sense and just open up for the person learning it. It is like a bug bite. When someone has an itching bug bite driving him/her crazy, everyone knows by ignoring it they succeed to relieve the itching sensation.
We always struggle with an emotional dilemma with Hashem. We all go throughout our day not feeling Hashem, not seeing Him helping us with our issues! What do we need to do? Start praying. Start learning Torah. With this effort Hashem will answer us. He will show us the way to live our lives. The Gemara and Limud Torah in general is like a person’s backbone. Without one’s spine, they cannot function properly and live at all. The Torah is the foundation of the world. It is up to us to make that a reality that the entire Jewish population will see and live.

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KOL HASHONEH HALACHOT BECHOL YOM MUVTACH LO SHEHOO BEN HAOLAM HABA


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L. Lehavdeel For the Refua Shlema of Chai Yaakov ben Margalit shlit’a.
Translated from Mekor Chaim Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:

1. When one is praying the Tefillah of the Amida (Shmoneh Esreh) they should not hold anything in their hands that would cause a distraction (in order to pay attention on the object not to fall). However, this does not stand with a Siddur or any type of Prayer Book (like a Siddur on your phone) because that helps the person be focused on the Tefillah when standing in front of Hashem.

2. The one who is praying should think that the Shechina (Divine Presence) is placed in front of him/her and should push away all distracting thoughts until he/she is completely focused on the Tefillah. One should think that just like he/she is standing in front of a King of a country they should plan their words correctly so to he/she should plan their words when standing in front of Hashem who dissects each thought we have. If one suddenly has a distracting thought, they should wait patiently until that thought goes away. One should think of things that make our hearts surrender to Hashem and turn us closer to Him. One should also prepare before the Tefillah by thinking how small man is and how huge and powerful Hashem is.

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VIDEO OF THE WEEK!

Evolution vs. ( you can't even mention the two together because the Torah is so great) THE TORAH!

SHAVUA TOV!

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CLD #497


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester & the Refua Shlema of Mordechai Tzvi ben Sara. There is a famous conversation that Hashem brings down in the Torah when recording the story of what happened in Mitzrayim within the last 3 Plagues. Pharaoh tells Moshe and Aharon: “I want these Plagues to be over, therefore please leave. Just do me a favor and get out of my country! But only you and the older men and the wise; leave all the young generation with me for my benefit!”
What does Moshe answer him? Not only will the young stay, but the cattle, the sheep, the infants, the toddlers, the women, the youth, EVERYONE and EVERYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH OUR PEOPLE WILL LEAVE!
Shemot 10:9, “VaYomer Moshe Bina’arenu Nelech BeVanenu Uvivnotenu BeTzonenu Uvivkareny Nelech Ki Chag Hashem Lanu.” With our youth and with our elders we will go, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our cattle we will go, for it is a festival of Hashem to us.
Just imagine the intensity in Moshe’s eyes, hand motions and voice booming back at Pharaoh! How dare you even suggest such a thing?! What does it mean for it is a festival to us? What is so special about leaving Mitzrayim.
The fact that Am Yisrael was heading to Har Sinai to get the Torah straight from Hashem Himself! But where is that secret in this pasuk (verse)? The Gematriya of “Ki Chag Hashem” is 67. With the Kollel (gematriya calculation where you add another unit) this number comes out to 68. The Gematriya (numerical value) of the word Chaim, life, is also 68. 
We need to understand that when Moshe with the help of Hashem is taking out the entire nation, sons daughters old young, etc. to Har Sinai they are not only leaving slavery. In fact the entire Am is going from the lowest physical and more importantly spiritual point in the history of the world to the highest physical and spiritual level! They are about to get in their hands the blueprint of all existence.
We need to glue it into our hearts and veins that the Torah is the Emet (the truth) and we all need to buy a pair of spiritual glasses and look at the world through them. B’H we should all reach a day where the ONLY THING we care about is receving the good that Hashem wants to give us and because our actions we will receive it and deserve it.

Judaism=Think.
SHAVUA TOV!

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

KOL HASHONEH HALACHOT BECHOL YOM MUVTACH LO SHEHOO BEN HAOLAM HABA

For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L. Lehavdeel For the Refua Shlema of Chai Yaakov ben Margalit shlit’a.
Translated from Mekor Chaim Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:

1. After one uses the bathroom, whether its for solids or liquids, they are obligated to say the Beracha of Asher Yatzar after washing their hands (full Netillat Yadayim like morning wash for solids). This Beracha explains the thanks for should have for the wonderous process of how Hashem made the body function (can be found in all Siddurim).

2. There is no specific amount of excretion one needs to bring out of their body in order to be obligated to say the Beracha of Asher Yatzar. Even for one drop of liquids one must say the Beracha of Asher Yatzar because if the body wouldn’t have functioned properly to excrete that single drop and in the end it successfully did, the person would still be thankful for that.

SHAVUA TOV!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

CLD #496


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
We can get Chizuk (religious inspiration) from everything in this world. Baruch Hashem this CLD is being written in Rav Darmoni shlit’a’s class in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh.
We discussed in class the project runtime behind the famous Mishnah Berurah, the Six Set Volume of the Shulchan Aruch broken down by the great Chafetz Chaim from the mid-19th Century. These books are the core learning for all of Am Yisrael today (the Sephardic version of the Mishnah Berurah, the Kaf HaChaim, is said to be on a much higher level in order for the simple Jew on the street to learn Shulchan Aruch).
The Mishnah Berurah is in every normal Jewish home, it is the book that the average Jew opens to know Halacha. It breaks down the Shulchan Aruch (which is all the practical Jewish Halachot explained in a 4 Volume Set over 500 years ago). Now that we know the importance of the Mishnah Berurah, we can understand why it took a wopping 18 years to write it down.
What can we compare the Mishnah Berurah to? To train tracks. Normal train tracks in the average Israeli city. Let’s look at them. It takes many many months to construct these train tracks to work properly with a 10,000 ton Train gliding on them. But wait! How long does the train run on the track? Three to Four seconds? Two seconds? We see that the months and months of work are worth a couple seconds?
Absolutely not. We all know how important each train track is for the entire community riding on the trains, for the entire train system to work, and in the big picture for the entire country to operate more efficiently. The same goes for the 18 year work that the Chafetz Chaim and his holy son put in for the Mishnah Berurah. They weren’t looking at the side that each home in the future will have their books. NO! They were looking at greatening the Torah for all of Israel to get stronger in their personal work of Hashem.
Now let’s go up a step higher. The same goes for our Limud Torah, our Work to connect with Hashem during Tefillah, and our work by respecting our Parents and other people in general. We all look in the past, and see we have accomplished a, b, c, d, etc. (Baruch Hashem). Now we see it is put in use so quickly. For example, we work months and months on our Anger. We tell ourselves: every time I get angry Bli Neder I am puttgin $10.00 in Tzedaka. After many months Anger is not even a word in the person’s vocabulary. Does the person look back at all his/her work in the past months and say this was for nothing? This is all for putting anger in the garbage and moving forward in my Avodat Hashem? Absolutely not.

We can always move forward AND THE WORK IS WORTH IT.
Judaism=Think
SHABBAT SHALOM!

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KOL HASHONEH HALACHOT BECHOL YOM MUVTACH LO SHEHOO BEN HAOLAM HABA


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L. Lehavdeel For the Refua Shlema of Chai Yaakov ben Margalit shlit’a.
Translated from Mekor Chaim Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:

1. One should not stand to pray the Tefilla of Amida (Shmoneh Esreh) until he/she has checked him/herself well for bathroom needs and hygiene in general. We need to stand in front of Hashem with a clean body and clear mind. If someone has to go to the bathroom they cannot pray. If one has prayed with the need of excreting solids (and cannot wait for more than 72 minutes), their Tefillah is considered To’eva (abomination). If one has prayed with this need, they need to pray again.

2. If one was on a ship that is rocking or a wagon that is on the road, if they can stand to pray Amida they must, if not they should sit down and pray. This also stands for a bus, automobile and plane. Besides that, if one can put in the extra effort to stand and bow in the designated times to bow during the Amida, they should stand and bow while having the intention to stand in the direction of the Beit HaMikdash.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CLD #495


 For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
In our Parasha, Parashat Bo, Rav Chizkiyah brought down a famous Rashi that teaches one should be very cautious in keeping the Mitzvot that were commanded of us by Hashem. In our Parasha it says “VeShamartem Et HaMatzot, ” and keep the Matzot. Here Rashi teaches not to read it Matzot (as in Matzah), rather read it HaMitzvot (the Mitzvot). We can learn further from here that if one has a Mitzvah come in his/her way, Al Tachmitzena, they shouldn’t let it get spoiled by not doing it.
Rav Neventzhal asks why is this Drasha by Rashi taught here? Why doesn’t the great Rashi bring it down in another Mitzvah, after all this could be said in all Mitzvot (that one should never let a Mitzvah pass by him without doing it)?
The answer is as followed: If one wants to know how special every moment of a Mitzvah is and more specifically every moment of life, they can simply look at the Halachot of Matzot (the Laws of Matzah). With Matzah if one bakes the flour even a single moment past 18 minutes, it is considered Chametz and it is no good for Pesach! So too with every moment of life that Hashem brings to our doorstep the opportunity to do a Mitzvah.
The AriZ’L says here that one who is cautious about making sure no Chametz is present or eaten during Pesach, they are worthy of not falling in regards to sin throughout the entire year. Where can we see this? The Chida says from our Parasha, from the same Pasuk we just brought. When one does “VeShamartem Et HaMatzot,” when one literally watches over/keeps the Matzah (meaning that there is no Chametz) they are worthy of what Rashi says: “VeShamartem Et HaMitzvot,” and keep the Mitzvot!

B’H we should all continue to try to reach a life of keeping the Mitzvot, which leads to eternal (not temporary), absolutely eternal happiness and overall GOOD.

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KOL HASHONEH HALACHOT BECHOL YOM MUVTACH LO SHEHOO BEN HAOLAM HABA


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
Translated from Mekor Chaim Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:

1. After every Beracha one hears they must say “Amen,”and after every time one says Hashem’s name one must say “Baruch Hu U’Baruch Shemo.” This only stands when one hears a Beracha that is said without the intention of fulfilling the obligation of saying the Beracha for him/her. However, in the case when one is saying a Beracha for himself and many people, the people around the one saying the Beracha cannot answer “Baruch Hu U’Baruch Shemo,” because saying that would be a Hefsek (hesitation which is not allowed in this case).

2. One does not answer Amen to his/her own Beracha, unless it is a set of two or more Berachot together (like in Birkat HaMazon after the Beracha of Boneh Yerushalayim). Therefore, we have the minhag to add in (the end of) Pesukei DeZimrah amen after Yishtabach and by (the end of) Hallel after Yehalelucha.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

CLD #494


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
There are many of us that have 100% Emunah in Hashem. We believe there is a Creator. We believe Baruch Hashem that there is some supreme being a billion trillion times more powerful than all of the human race together! We believe there is always a reason for x y and z to occur just because He wants it to happen that time in that way. We believe.
There is no real challenge today with the vast amount of science (basically) proving the Torah to believe that there is a Creator. The Big Bang Theory gets shut down just from a logical point of view. Just think of it > you cannot create anything from a bomb. Construct a small bomb, throw in a couple pieces of plastic and try to construct from that a plastic bottle. It won’t happen.
But what is the true challenge today? To take this Emunah and make it work. Turn it into action.
Turn the Emunah of Hashem who is the one controlling the world into doing Chessed because Hashem says so, into keeping Shabbat Kodesh because Hashem says so, into turning my head away from that non-Jewish woman who is wearing a piece of cloth (that is called a skirt) even in the coldest days of winter, into waking up ten minutes earlier to get to Shul on time and pray in a minyan, and on and on. There is so much to do in this world to have our time wasted away by helping some animals that need a home to stay or by wasting our time by watching a television show that will not help me become a more knowledgeable person at all! There are people who need help with learning Hebrew. There are so many Jews who do not even know the fundamentals of Jewry 101. There is so much to do.
We learn this from this weeks Parasha, Parashat Bo. Baruch Hashem Rav Meir Eliyahu shlit’a teaches in his shiur in Yerushalayim that the Egyptians after SEVEN HUGE PLAGUES that were all 100% against nature still did not turn their belief in a single G-d into action. When did this happen? After the warning of the seventh plague, the awesome lightning (that Hashem brought down with fire and water mixed together miraculously to terrorize Egypt) was going to ruin anything in the outside area of peoples’ homes. However, Moshe explained to Pharoah that whoever brings in anything from the outside indoors will not see any damage. Still the Egyptians did not listen.
 
We need to learn from the Holy Torah to listen! Become open minded and welcome the Torah into our hearts to change who we are. After all, do we really believe Hashem cares if we put on Tefillin or not or if we run to Shul to join a minyan or not. In the end of the day HASHEM WANTS OUR HEARTS TO WANT HIM! B’H we should all begin to work on ourselves to reach this incredible level of spirituality.

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KOL HASHONEH HALACHOT BECHOL YOM MUVTACH LO SHEHOO BEN HAOLAM HABA


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
Translated from Mekor Chaim Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:

1. From the basis of Halacha, one who sees his/her friend after 30 days says the Beracha of Shehecheyanu. One says the Beracha of Mechaye HaMetim in a situation where he/she sees his/her friend that makes him/her extremely happy after 12 months. However, today we have the minhag (custom) not to say the Beracha of Shehecheyanu with Hashem’s name (rather we say “Baruch Shehecheyanu VeKiyimanu…”) because if one sees a friend he/she does not particularly like then they say Shehecheyanu with Hashem’s name on purpose to hide this lack of love. Also to say the Beracha with Hashem’s name is obvious regarding close relatives (father, mother, brotherm sister). If one has not seen their friend 12 months but has received letters or knowledge of their well being in between this time, this person does not say the Beracha of Shehecheyanu when meeting them.

2. One who sees a new fruit he/she hasn’t seen yet this year (since Rosh HaShanah) and it comes into the market every year only during its season (or only twice a year), says the Beracha of Shehecheyanu each time. Because it is taught that we say Shehecheyanu on a fruit that is seen from time to time and not year to year, we can say the Beracha regarding a fruit that comes into the market twice a year.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

CLD #493


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
Rav Nissim Yagen A'H passed away 12 years ago who was a HUGE Ba'al Kiruv (a person who brings people closer to Hashem which leads them to do Teshuva) . A book came out in his memory that collected many of the Drashot he said in his life and during his Shiurim.
This book, called Netivei Or (The Paths of Light) has a very powerful Drasha. It brings down one of the powerful things Rav Nissim Yagen said. Rav Yagen said that this world, Olam Haze, is exactly like a huge pharmacy. Let's say this pharmacy is nothing like any pharmacy man has ever seen. This pharmacy holds shelves and shelves of the most amazing products, including all the products the world holds. Anything from the most delicious non-fat Ice Cream to the quickest mix of poisions that can kill a mouse in a matter of seconds. Let's say another thing. These products that are held on these thousands and thousands of shelves have absolutely no tagtline on them. There is nothing on the bottles themselves that say anything to describe what the bottle holds or what are the side effects and direct effect of the contents in the bottle.
Olam Haze, our world and most improtantly our lives that cut out a tiny section of the history of the world is exactly like this huge pharmacy. With a couple weeks of work we can collect a nice sum of money to travel the world and collect all kinds of products that can provide us with the best pleasures and the most deadly diseases, Hashem Yerachem. It is so easy to decide on an action today and fulfill it with the globalization effect that is taking place. However, we do not know the consequences.
What or Who directs us in the most normal way of living? The Torah HaKdosha, written by The Creator, Hashem Yitbarach. The Torah teaches its learners how to use the products and elements of this world to affect us in the most positive way. The Torah smacks upon each desire and opportunity that life throws at us a huge LABEL telling us what this action holds and what consequences arise after doing it. Along this way we can learn what pleasures are allowed, like Oneg Shabbat and Yom Tov, and which 'pleasures' are forbidden and lead us to the gates of death!


B'H we will all reach a level (that is reachable) that helps us drop our logic for a minute and realize the Torah is smarter than me and knows what is good for me!

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KOL HASHONEH HALACHOT BECHOL YOM MUVTACH LO SHEHOO BEN HAOLAM HABA

For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
Translated from Mekor Chaim Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:

1. One is not allowed to eat before feeding his/her animal as it is written in the Torah to feed one's animal before the pasuk of VeAchalta VeSavata (and you shall eat and you shall be full). Also before one drinks a beverage they need to provide drink for their animal. 

2. When two people sit around the table together, the bigger person in Torah (does not matter if they are younger in age) needs to begin eating first before the other person eats. Whoever eats before a person who is bigger than him/her they are called a gargeran (impolite). This also applies even if all the people at the table have a full plate in front of them.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

CLD #492



For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
There is always a constant spiritual war between the positive spirtual energy that is created from our Mitzvot (good deeds) and the negative spiritual power that is created from our Averot (bad deeds).
We need to always overcome the urge to fail and fall spiritually by boosting the urge to do Mitzvot and overcome the negative urges. As it says in Masechet Berachot 5a, “LeOlam Yargiz Adam Yetzer HaTov Al Yetzer HaRa,” Forever man should overcome his Yetzer Hara (evil inclination) using his Yetzer HaTov.
Without even knowing it we have a crazy urge of doing good and getting closer to Hashem. We all have a spark of fire that just wants to spread and do good and good and more good!
This line from the Gemara proves it. Also this line from the Holy Gemara proves we have a spiritual force pushing us to do negative things that just bring more problems to the world. The spiritual energy that seems bad is not only the crazy urge man has for being with a woman, rather it can be anything from eating too much to getting angry when one is not supposed to (yes, there is a time when one needs to get angry).
When someone glues him/herself to Hashem, when they really state to Hashem that they want to be Yereh Shamayim (have Fear of Heaven), which leads to a life of true happiness, they automatically affect and influence all the people around them to do good and strive to achieve their goals with a greater passion.
We just need to pray and find the right leaders and friends to direct us in the correct route to reach those goals.

B’H we will all realize the indescribable power we have just from saying a few words to Hashem in prayer and ask for the signs and clues to reach what we need to accomplish in this crazy world of ours.
           
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PIC OF THE WEEK!

What makes the whole world so anxious and jumpy about such a small city?
This is G-d's office. Everyone has a yearning for a connection with Hashem.





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KOL HASHONEH HALACHOT BECHOL YOM MUVTACH LO SHEHOO BEN HAOLAM HABA


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
Translated from Mekor Chaim Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:

1. Before saying Birkot HaShachar (the morning Berachot after doing Netillat Yadayim) one should check their room to see that it is clean from any excretions (baby diapers, animal feces, etc.) or anything that creates a horrible odor. One should also close his/her bathroom door when saying Birkot HaShachar. It is also important to make sure no nude children are present and people around him/her are covered where they should be covered. One should be cautious not to listen to a  woman’s singing voice as well because it is a klal (general rule) that one should be as stringent as possible in regards to saying Berachot in a proper setting.

2. One should put in enough effort not to listen to radio or any music when saying Berachot or in the middle of Tefillag (prayer, in order to concentrate). One should also make sure he/she is properly cleaned after the bathroom and that his/her under clothing is not dirty.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

CLD #491


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
Al Pi HaRav Darmoni shlit’a:
There was once a group of non-Jews that kidnapped a poor Jew from the Jewish section of the village. They went up to the Rabbi and said they would only return the guy only if the village gathers up a large sum of money and gives it by a certain date and time. The Mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim, returning the prisoners of war, is huge so every Jew went out of their way to collect money!
The Rabbi saw on the first date the entire village gathered up a large percentage of the money needed! The Rabbi told himself somethings wrong here. Something is off.
In the end of the week the Rabbi went to the group of kidnappers and said he is not paying them even a single dime. The Rabbi shouts: “He’s not even Jewish!”
The kidnappers were in shock: How did you know?!
Long story short it breaks down like this: whenever there is a big mission/Mitzvah that Hashem arranges for us, there is always in life a chunk of Yetzer Hara that sticks to it. There is no such thing as doing a Mitzvah with no spiritual challenge. The Yetzer Hara, the evil inclination, wants us to always fail and be upset at having zero accomplishments. Here the Rabbi saw immediately how quickly the Jews were gathering up money. If it was a real Mitzvah that was needed to be accomplished, the Yetzer Hara would not give the Jews the opportunity to succeed spiritually in gathering the money. It did not make sense that they were collecting the money so quickly. Something had to be off.
After a few days of deep thought the Rabbi realized that simply the kidnapped person was not a Jew and it was a big scam. We need to know also with ourselves: whenever we are entering a Mitzvah whether big or small, we cannot give up! There willl be obstacles in the way and there is a route to success!

SHAVUA TOV!

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KOL HASHONEH HALACHOT BECHOL YOM MUVTACH LO SHEHOO BEN HAOLAM HABA

For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
Translated from Mekor Chaim Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:

1. It’s a Positive Mitzvat Aseh directly from the Torah to say a Beracha after eating bread. In general, the Rabanim decreed that all foods/beverages need a Beracha before and after eating a certain amount of them. One who does not say a Beracha and enjoys/benefits from the food steals from Hashem.

2. With all the Berachot one needs to say it loud enough so he hears them himself. If one said a Beracha without having it said loud enough so he himself hears it, he does not need to return to say the Beracha once again because he/she already said it.

SHAVUA TOV!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

AN EXCLUSIVE VIDEO JUST FOR YOU! A MUST WATCH!

WHAT IT MEANS TO BELIEVE IN G-D!




SHABBAT SHALOM!


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CLD #490


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
The Ten Plagues begin in our Parasha, Parashat Va’Era. Each Plague (besides the last one, Makat Bechorot) lasted 7 days. The Plague of Blood meant that everything liquid in the entire country of Mitzrayim (Egypt) would turn into blood. This even meant the people’s own urine turned into blood! Imagine the entire Nile River, which was considered one of the Avodah Zarah (Idols) of Mitzrayim turn completely blood red. The people of Egypt were literally dying of thirst. Imagine old people, babies, women, sick people; they all had to suffer through the Plague of Blood. This sounds all horrible for the Mitzrim, but we still cannot have mercy on them. We need to always remember Hashem is the one in control and whatever He decides goes.
The plague got so bad that the ENTIRE COUNTRY, as it says in the Torah (Shemot 7:24) started digging around the Nile River to find even a single drop of water, “VaYachperu KOL Mitzrayim Sevivot Ha’Yeor….” Imagine all of America getting hit with such a plague.
Obama on his hands and knees digging around the Bays and Sea Shores of American Beaches trying to find any source of water. Everything covered with blood! You have millions of people searching for water. Picture the chaos like from those movies where the world ends in x amount of days! No water whatsoever! Now multiply that by 9 other Plagues. Hashem Yaazor, we do not even know the beginning of Hashem’s powers, and we still tell ourselves we have strength.
Anyway, what can we take from this to further improve our connection with Hashem? Since we are in the Galut and the Bet HaMikdash hasn’t been built yet, we can still say we are like the Jews in Mitzrayim, with what seems like no Redemption in sight. How much Hitbolelut (intermarriage) is there? ‘Only’ 80% of Jews around the world intermarry. We can definitely say there is no difference between Mitzrayim and today. Forget the naked women on the front cover of magazines plastered on every corner in Manhattan, forget the endless garbage on the internet, forget the advertisements, forget the movies and TV and even Radio Ads, etc. Let’s just think about the attitude the average liberal Jew has towards mixing with the non-Jews. We are definitely in Mitzrayim. So what do we need to do?
We need to run to our figurative Nile River, filled with blood (with the misconception that we need to drop our 3,300 year old tradition and mix with the non_jews) and we need to dig around, search anywhere to find water, to find Torah! On the other hand, how much good is there in the Galut. America is filling up with Judaica stores, with Yeshivas, with Batei Knesset (Shuls), with parents sending off their kids to Israel for the year to study Torah! Today its even a trend to become more religious! There is no excuse why we are not getting closer to Hashem.

We always need to push and strive to reach our spiritual potentials.
We want it bad anyway, so why not go all out?
Tonight begins Shabbat Va’Era 5772. We will never get it back. Let’s take advantage of it.
Shabbat Shalom!

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KOL HASHONEH HALACHOT BECHOL YOM MUVTACH LO SHEHOO BEN HAOLAM HABA


For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
Translated from Mekor Chaim Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:

1. Livror Pesolet Mitoch Ochel (to do the Melacha of Borrer on Shabbat) is one of the 39 Prohibited Melachot on Shabbat Kodesh, and many fail to follow this Halacha. The way of Borrer on Shabbat is allowed if it meets 3 conditions: 1. Taking the food that is wanted from what is unwanted (like lettuce from a big salad if one only wants lettuce), 2. Taking it by hand (fork/knife is allowed also), and 3. With the intention of eating it in the next 30 minutes (Le’altar).

2. To peel off the peels of fruits and vegetables and the like is not considered Borrer at all. Also taking off the dust that is on the fruits and vegetables is not considered Borrer and is allowed on Shabbat Kodesh.

SHABBAT SHALOM!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

CLD #489



For the Ilui Neshama of Avraham ben Ester ZT’L.
There is a Halacha that explains one may not have a Hefsek (any type of hesitation) between saying a Beracha (blessing) and eating the food or doing the Mitzvah. For example, after one says the Beracha of Shehakol on chocolate, they may not speak until after they swallow a piece of the chocolate, also they can’t even answer ‘amen’ to their own Beracha because it is as if they held a hesitation between the Beracha and doing the action. All of a sudden they might have a question right at that moment pop into their head, asking it would be a Hefsek! Another example is saying the Beracha for Tefillin. According to Sepharadim & Edot HaMizrach, we only say one Beracha on Tefillin. We first roll up our sleeve, put the box on the spot suited for the Tefillin, say the Beracha and immediately tighten the strap and when we reach the wrist bone we quickly get up to put on the Tefillin Shel Rosh on the proper spot above the hairline in order to avoid having a Hefsek between the Tefillin Shel Yad and Tefillin Shel Rosh (both boxes of Tefillin for the arm and head).
That’s beautiful, but what can we learn from this? In our Parasha this week, we have the zchut to enjoy another taste of Torah with Parashat Va’Era. In our Parasha the famous Makkot (plagues) are sent onto Mitzrayim (Egypt).
After each Plague Pharoah changes his mind and lets Moshe direct the entire Am (nation) out of Mitzrayim. But all of a sudden Pharoah’s PMS kicks in and decides to cancel his agreement with Moshe. What do we see here? When someone decides to begin something they should stick with it all the way up to the end. We all see it with our Torah learning: people have the most trouble with beginning to learn a Masechet of Gemara or start a book and taking double the amount of time to finish it! This holds for all things in life. Whenever we start a project, we have to set up a final plan in our minds with a set goal time and ending point before falling to the hands of the Yetzer Hara and just being in a mess.
We all want to achieve. We all want to succeed. We all deep down inside have a striking yearning to get closer to Hashem and we just need to dig inside to find it. We all have a spark of Judaism no matter what happens, we cannot lose our Jewish soul, there is no such thing.
This is what we see from the Halacha on Hefsek and Berachot. We also see this from Pharoah’s decisions, whenever we stick to something, we should stick to it all the way (unless its against Hashem’s guide of the world). What better way to start being real with ourselves by keeping the holy Shabbat and realizing how good it is for us?!

Tov LeHodot L’Hashem U’lezamer Leshimcha Elyon.
 It is good to give thanks to Hashem, and to sing to Your name, O Most High (Tehillim 92:2)!
Shabbat Shalom!


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