"Where does it say that you have a contract with G-d to have an easy life?"

the Lubavitcher Rebbe

"Failure is not the enemy of success; it is its prerequisite."

Rabbi Nosson Scherman

26 Oct 2013

Three charged

In an image which will cause widespread outrage, two serving British soldiers appear to give Nazi-style salutes while standing to attention in front of the Union Flag.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2477639/SHAMEFUL-Fury-UK-soldiers-investigated-performing-Nazi-style-salute-Helmand.html

Police have charged three people over an alleged anti-Semitic attack in Sydney's eastern suburbs.
Four men and a woman were walking home from the synagogue in Bondi in the early hours of Saturday when a group of about eight young men began yelling anti-Semitic insults at them.
Continue reading: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-26/jewish-attack-antisemitic-bondi-charged/5047598

Shmuel Rosner discusses the end of Daylight Savings Time in Israel this Saturday night.

Most Israelis — 73 percent of them, according to a poll taken on May 30 — have been wanting to extend D.S.T. so that they can have light during more of their active hours, save on electricity and drive more safely. (Not all these expected benefits have been proved.) But ultra-Orthodox politicians have opposed the idea on the grounds that longer days make religious practices more burdensome.
Morning prayers can only begin with sunrise, but if sunrise comes later because of D.S.T. (this Saturday in Tel Aviv dawn comes at 6:53), some people might have difficulty completing their prayers and getting to work on time.
Let's hope the implementation won't cause too much hardship for people who daven Shachris before beginning their work day.

25 Oct 2013


The leaders of the Jewish Federations of North America are calling for free Jewish preschool for every Jewish family in America.
In an Op-Ed published Thursday on the Huffington Post and in the Forward, Jewish Federations CEO Jerry Silverman and board chairman Michael Siegal said free Jewish preschool would “dramatically widen the pipeline of families entering Jewish life through this critical early gateway.”
Read more: http://www.jta.org/2013/10/24/news-opinion/united-states/jewish-federations-chiefs-want-free-jewish-preschool#ixzz2iihPmkly

I received an email from the Jewish Women's Project for Ahavas Yisrael which got me thinking.

As we enter the colder weather and head toward winter, it is good to ask ourselves what light we can shine to bring more Ahavas Hashem and Ahavas Yisrael into the world, using our individual strengths and unique abilities.

We encourage each of the women in the AY Project to think of whatever way it might be possible to undertake something in your community. When the headlines tell us that one of the g'dolim is hit by a fellow Jew, we KNOW this is a message from Above. Let's respond with stretching and growth and bringing more awareness.

If you have any ideas, you are welcome to contact them.

24 Oct 2013

The shidduch process

As we read about the shidduch of Yitchak and Rivka in this week's parsha, Hamodia has an excellent op-ed  about shidduchim which should be read by all.
Hagaon Harav Avraham Yaakov Pam, zt”l, would stress that the shidduch process isn’t a “shopping market,” where buyers inspect produce and then decide to keep on looking to see whether they will find something better.
Every Jewish girl is a bas melech, who deserves to be treated with the greatest dignity and respect. The very notion of being put on a “list” of candidates is deeply degrading. Asking sources of information to compare and contrast prospective suggestions — whether they are boys or girls —is unfair and inappropriate. Offering a half dozen names to sift through and compare is demeaning to the individual and nearly meaningless. Every Yid is a priceless, incomparable treasure and must be considered on his or her own merits. Where is our  sensitivity,  our care in choosing our words?
Read more: http://hamodia.com/2013/10/22/matchmaker-matchmaker/

Speaking about shidduchim, click here to register at zivugzone.com.

No regrets

Last night I was surprised to find a woman seated not far from me on a plane.

"I  thought you were supposed to leave last night. What are you doing on this plane?" I asked her.

She explained that her plane had been canceled after her spending three hours at the gate, waiting to depart. She told me that she had specifically chosen that flight because she had wanted to honor her mother and see her off at the airport as she was departing on a different flight the same evening. Her mother's flight had no problems while hers encountered technical difficulties.

I thought to myself why this had happened to her. Had she not done the mitzva of kibbud av vaem, she would have booked a flight from a different airport and wouldn't have encountered the difficulties of having to find her suitcase, and leaving the airport, only to return the next day

But, I for one, am grateful, as she offered me a lift home from the airport.

Rabbi Eli Mansour discusses encountering challenges after performing mitzvot in his latest Torah thought on the parsha.

Parashat Hayeh Sara begins by telling of the death of Sara Imenu at the age of 127. Our Rabbis explain that there is a direct, causal link between this event and the preceding section, which tells of Akedat Yishak (the binding of Yishak upon the altar). When Sara heard that Abraham had placed her son upon the altar as a sacrifice, she was so startled and horror-stricken that she died.

This consequence of Akedat Yishak was orchestrated by Satan for the purpose of posing yet another religious challenge to Abraham Abinu. Even after passing the test of Akedat Yishak by showing his preparedness to sacrifice his beloved son to obey G-d, he was tested again to see if he would regret this act when faced with its adverse consequences. Even after a person performs a difficult Misva, he can forfeit its rewards and benefits if he regrets it afterward. If a person struggles to wake up early to attend the Minyan, but attending the Minyan causes him to miss a lucrative business opportunity, if he then regrets going to the synagogue he forfeits all the benefits of that Misva. The challenge of Misvot continues even after we perform a Misva. We are challenged to feel gratified over having fulfilled a Misva knowing that it is inherently and inestimably valuable regardless of any minor negative consequences that we might then have to endure. And thus Satan, after his unsuccessful attempts to prevent Abraham Abinu from going through with the Akeda, made another attempt to bring Abraham down by making it seem like a mistake, as though it caused his beloved wife’s death. But Abraham passed this test, as well, never questioning G-d or his decision to obey the command of the Akeda. He recognized that Hashem’s decree that Sara should die had nothing at all to do with his compliance with G-d’s command, and did not regret his decision for a moment.

Conntinue reading: http://www.dailyhalacha.com/WeeklyParasha.asp


23 Oct 2013

From idea to realization

A new micro-grants initiative will award funding of up to $1,000 each for 50 different project ideas.
The #MakeItHappen micro-grants initiative, for creating Jewish experiences in communities around the world, was announced Monday by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network.
Read more: http://www.jta.org/2013/10/22/news-opinion/world/schusterman-to-award-micro-grants-to-50-jewish-projects#ixzz2iXv0Bz7A

The negative atmosphere and deteriorating relationship between Turkey and Israel is putting pressure on the small community of nearly 15,000 Jews in Turkey and prompting young Turkish Jews to emigrate from the country.
Continue reading: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/jewish-youth-leaving-turkey-due-to-political-strains.aspx?pageID=238&nID=56659&NewsCatID=338

22 Oct 2013

Sermons in musical notes

by Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple

Shakespeare says there are sermons in stones. Judaism finds sermons even in musical notes.
Take Gen. 24:12 in this Shabbat’s Torah reading. Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, has been sent to find a wife for Isaac. He speaks to God and says, “Send me, I pray, good speed this day”. On the word vayomar, “and he said”, the musical note (the trope) is shalshelet, a long up and down chain of sounds which suggests his worry and trepidation about being able to fulfil his mission.
There is another shalshelet in last week’s sidra. When told to leave the doomed city, Abraham’s nephew Lot lingers. Going means that he will leave his possessions behind. His wavering is denoted by the note on the word vayit’mahmah, “and he lingered” (Gen. 19:16).
The book of B’reshit contains only one more shalshelet. It occurs in the story of Joseph being tempted by the wife of Potiphar. The Hebrew says vay’ma’en, “and he refused” (Gen. 39:8). He is being pulled in two directions – the direction of sin and the direction of righteousness. No wonder he is dithering. In the end he refuses the woman’s wiles and finds the moral strength to refrain from sinning.
We all say to ourselves that when faced with a big dilemma we would not hesitate. We would be decisive, without wavering, lingering or vacillating. That, of course, is when it is all still hypothetical and academic. When the problem really confronts us it is never so easy. “Am I really going to make a success of my task?” is Eliezer’s question, and anyone who undertakes a responsibility cannot avoid a feeling of trepidation. Even an accomplished preacher or orator has a sense of emata d’tzibbura, “fear of (or respect for) the audience”, and can never be certain that all will go well.
Lot’s question is, “If destiny calls me to leave my comfort zone and the material things I am used to, will I really be able to cope?” It’s a valid concern, and many of us at some stage have had to work through it. Joseph’s question is, “Am I really strong enough to resist temptation?” and no-one knows in advance what the answer is.

The real motive

The pasuk states, Eliezer told Lavan and Besuel - "Ulay Lo Saylech HaIshah Acharay" - "Perhaps the woman won't go after me" - Maybe she won't want to come back with me to Eretz Canaan. Rashi notes that the word "Ulay" - "Perhaps" is spelled here without a "Vov' - it is spelled like "Aylay" - "to me". Eliezer had a daughter and hoped that Yitzchok would marry his own daughter. He therefore said, - "Perhaps the woman won't go after me" - his intention was "Aylay" - and then you will come to me and let Yitzchok marry my daughter.
The Meforshim ask, why is the missing letter stated the second time this story is mentioned? The story of Eliezer going to find a Shidduch for Rivka is repeated twice in the Torah - once as it happens, and a second time when Eliezer relates the story to Lavan and Besuel. Why is "Aylay" first said in the repetition and not the first time?
The Kotzker answers, sometimes while a person does a certain action he can't really know what his true intentions are. He might have ulterior motives, but doesn't realize it while he is in the midst of the act. It is only after he takes a step back that he realizes his true motives. When the episode occurred, Eliezer really thought that his question was LiShem Shamayim - What if Rivka does not want to come? What should I do then? When he related the story to Lavan and Besuel, it then hit him what his real motive for the question was... To get Yitzchok for his own daughter!

21 Oct 2013

On three things

 "And it was when the camels finished drinking, Eliezer took a golden nose ring, its weight a Beka, and 2 bracelets on her arms weighing 10 golden Shekel. Rashi tells us, the Beka weight was an allusion to the Shekalim of Klal Yisroel - the half shekel donated by Klal Yisroel for the Beis HaMikdash. The 2 braclets were an allusion to the 2 Luchos - and the weight of 10 shekel, alluded to the Aseres HaDibros which were written on them.
Why was it necessary at this time for Eliezer to hint to Rivka concerning these future events? The Maharal answers that Eliezer was telling Rivka that the world stands on 3 things - Torah, Avodah and Gemilus Chasadim. I see that you are very accomplished in acts of Gemilas Chesed. However, to be one of the foundations of Klal Yisroel you must also excel in Torah and Avodah. Torah, which was represented by the 2 bracelets weighing 10 shekel - alluding to the Luchos. Avodah, which was represented by the Beka - used to purchase the Korbonos for the Beis HaMikdash.

Makes the world go round

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will be honored on Monday as the first recipient of a $1 million award that organizers are calling the “Jewish Nobel Prize.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel will present the award, named the Genesis Prize, to Mr. Bloomberg at a ceremony in Jerusalem in May. The award, established by a charity founded by Russian Jewish billionaires, aims to honor “exceptional people whose values and achievements will inspire the next generations of Jews.”
Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/21/nyregion/bloomberg-is-first-to-receive-a-1-million-jewish-award.html?_r=0

When I first read that Mayor Bloomberg was chosen to receive a $1 million award, I thought that there were others ;ore in need of the money. However, the article goes on to state, "Since he is hardly in need of the $1 million prize, Mr. Bloomberg plans to donate the money to a philanthropic cause to be named next year."

Congratulations and may you use the money wisely.

Learning from Efron

The Alter of Kelm takes note of Efron's change of heart. How could he so quickly go from insisting that Avraham take the cave for free, to accepting a huge sum of silver for it - way above the field's worth? The Torah adds that the money was good money as well. It was money that was acceptable in any country - and Efron grabbed it without further protest. Rashi comments: "He said much, and he didn't even do a little." (of what he promised)

There was once a debate which is famed to have taken place between the Rambam and the philosophers of his day. The philosophers maintained that the nature of an animal can be changed, and it can be transformed into a refined creature. The Rambam maintained that it could not be intrinsically changed. Challenges were made, and the training began. When the day came, a huge gathering was eagerly waiting to witness this historical event. Everyone was astounded to see a cat appear as a waiter, holding a pitcher of wine ready to be poured. Apparently, the philosophers had proven their point and won the argument. The Rambam brought out a little box containing a live mouse, and it was soon scurrying across the floor. Down went the pitcher of wine, and off went the waiter after its prey to the disappointment of all.

Efron was like the cat. He was able to act generously, but the "smell" of a large sum of money overwhelmed him, and out went Mr. Generous. "Maybe I'll be generous tomorrow." Imagine if Efron had known that his deeds would be forever read by generations, and lessons of how not to be would be learned from him. What would he have done differently? As we "write the story" of our own lives we would do well to learn from Efron.

20 Oct 2013

Returning Torahs to Iraq

WND reports that "Jews worldwide are mobilizing to fight a plan by the U.S. National Archives under the Obama administration to hand over to the Muslim government in Iraq thousands of mostly priceless treasures, including ancient Torahs, that had been stolen by Saddam Hussein."
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/10/jews-fight-u-s-iraq-obama-over-stolen-torahs/#JwMR4cou0uxIy6pt.99

Switching to a different topic, my eyes were drawn to a title of a forum posted recently at the Yeshiva World.

Click here to read Homeopathic Cure For Gossip.

A Papal e-mail

Pope Francis reached out to an American Jewish leader, the son of two Holocaust survivors, in a recent e-mail exchange.
The pope contacted Menachem Rosensaft, an American professor specializing in the law of genocide and war crimes trials at Columbia and Cornell, after Rosensaft sent a sermon he delivered in September on believing in God after the Holocaust, along with a personal note, to the Vatican.
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/wp/2013/10/18/pope-francis-sends-e-mail-on-holocaust-to-american-jewish-leader/

Speaking about Jewish-Christian ties, the New York Times writes about a Jewish football team.

The Hurricanes of Scheck Hillel Community School were going up against a conference rival, the Berean Christian School Bulldogs, with a spot in the postseason playoffs hanging in the balance. For Elan and his teammates, who attend one of the only Jewish religious schools in the nation to play varsity football, Friday evening is for Shabbat dinner. Their gridiron action takes place under Thursday night lights.
Click here to find out who won.

18 Oct 2013

The downside of a plugged-in life

In the video below, a rabbi talks about Facebook and what can be learned from the Torah about privacy.

A Huffington Post article posts a scary and informative graphic concerning "Here's What A Constantly Plugged-In Life Is Doing To Kids' Bodies."

It is a must see and should be posted in homes and schools. The author concludes the article advising, "So, moms and dads, it's time to walk away from the computer, put the phone down and enjoy your kids face to face. (After you share this article with your friends.)"
Read more and view graphic: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/teens-on-screens_n_4101758.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

I, for one, will share the article with friends and family.


9 Oct 2013

On marriage and Israel

A new academic study based on the Canadian census suggests that a married mom and dad matter for children.
...The intact, married mother-and-father household remains the gold standard for children’s progress through school.
Read more: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/10/10996/

Speaking about marriage, the Jewish Press writes about a dating site for those people interested in making aliyah.

Imagine the frustration. Sitting, talking to your date, trying to connect, but every time the topic of living in Israel comes up they get a blank look on their face. You hope to make Aliyah one day, and they like the idea of visiting Israel, once in a while. What a waste of time.

Determined to help singles avoid  these types of aggravating situations, Nefesh B’Nefesh teamed up with the Jewish dating site SawYouAtSinai and launched ‘SeeYouInIsrael’ (www.seeyouinisrael.com), a new website exclusively for Aliyah-minded singles.
Read more: http://www.jewishpress.com/home/promotional-content-product/single-minded/2013/10/07/

Speaking about Israel, Pamela Geller writes about a Washington Times article in which she was interviewed.

Last week, I was interviewed on Zionism by Joseph Cotto of the Washington Times – but the third segment of the series (here are Part I and Part II) was formatted so egregiously that I decided to publish the actual questions that the Times’ Joseph Cotto asked me, and the answers I gave him.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/10/a-case-study-in-media-manipulation/#7fxsRsYfb8F3Gyf8.99

This week's parsha is Lech Lecha where Avraham was commanded to leave his land and go to the land that G-d will show him.

The Washington Times article Ms.Geller writes about contains statements made by  Allan C. Brownfeld.

“The Israeli government,” Brownfeld tells, “sadly, has never recognized that Jewish Americans are very much at home and are not ‘Israelis in exile.’   
Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/conscience-realist/2013/oct/3/should-american-jews-care-about-israel/#ixzz2hCiqaEWL

8 Oct 2013

Belgium and England

Two articles relating to Belgium and England caught my eye this evening. The first was regarding a Jewish Hagaddah which was smuggled out of Belgium, that was found in a garage in England.

The second is about  Britain's Peter Higgs and Francois Englert of Belgium winning the Nobel prize for physics.

An 18th Century Jewish manuscript found in a garage during a house clearance is expected to fetch a six-figure sum.

The rare Haggadah, a text used by Jews on the first nights of Passover, is thought to date back to 1726.
Continue reading: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-24443496

Tel Aviv University Professor Francois Englert won the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday, along with his research partner Peter Higgs for predicting the existence of the Higgs boson particle that explains how elementary matter attained the mass to form stars and planets.

Englert, a Belgian Jew, 80-year-old Holocaust survivor and husband to an Israeli woman, is a professor emeritus at the Free University of Brussels and has had strong research ties with TAU for the past thirty years.


True laws

Chadrei Charedim requests anecdotes about HaRav Ovadia Yosef Z"l and begins with a story about a woman who visited the Rav, along with her father, when she was 19. In order to discredit her testimony, someone told the Rav, "but she studies law" to show that she was more modern.

Upon hearing hiw words the rav told the woman,
"שיהיה לך בהצלחה. רק תמיד תזכרי של מי החוקים האמיתיים".
He wished her hatzlacha, good luck but cautioned her to remember whose are the true laws.

Click here to read the article in Hebrew and to read additional comments posted about the Rav inluding an anecdote about a woman who wanted to abort her second child. Those who tried to convince her otherwise met with no success. It took the Rav 60 seconds to persuade her and she is grateful till today.

Speaking about true laws, Kikar Hashabat has an article about an Israeli singer who was speaking on the radio about a recent pesak halacha. He quoted from a facebook page which posts satirical pieces that make fun of halacha, not realizing that it wasn't true. An example of a satirical pesak halacha published recently spoke about how it is prohibited to remove one's skullcap, even when showering, or swimming at a separate beach.

7 Oct 2013

The Nobel Prize- Oh my G-d

Two more Jews, both from the United States, and a German non-Jew won the Nobel Prize in medicine in Monday, while two Israel contenders lost out.
...More than 20 percent of the 800 Nobel Prize winners so far have been Jewish although Jews represent only 0.2 of the world’s population.
read more: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/two-jews-win-nobel-prize-in-medicine/2013/10/07/

Professor Schekman said he was suffering from jet lag after returning from a trip to Europe the day before when he was awakened at 1am by a phone call to his home in California by the chairman of the Nobel Prize committee.
“My first reaction was Oh, my God! That was also my second reaction….I wasn't thinking too straight. I didn't have anything elegant to say. All I could say was 'Oh my God,' and that was that,” he told the Associated Press.
Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/2013-nobel-prize-in-medicine-won-by-scientists-for-work-on-cell-delivery-system--james-rothman-randy-schekman-and-thomas-sdhof-8863851.html

The blame game

A tragedy occurred recently when a young child didn't wake up in the morning. When a friend told me about what had happened, she related to me that she had heard that when the angel of death was created, he didn't want the job. G-d answered him, "Don't worry, no one will blame you."

I thought of what she said when I read the headline linked  to a story about a typhoon which was blamed for two deaths.

A typhoon slammed into southeastern China on Monday with powerful winds and heavy rains that killed two people, cut power, canceled flights and suspended train services.

Speaking of blame, does a Fatah member blame the person who shot at a nine-year-old girl? Absolutely not. Why blame the would be murderer when you can blame Israel?
A top member of Fatah said on Sunday that he condemns the terror attack in the Binyamin region community of Psagot, but placed the blame for the attack on the Israeli government.
Speaking to Kol Yisrael radio, Jibril Rajoub was asked if he condemns the attack, to which he responded, “Listen, listen, I condemn everything that causes damage.  I condemn it and I condemn those responsible for it. And those responsible for it are the Government of Israel and the prime minister of Israel.”

Arguments and feuds

Arguments by nature take on a life of their own and mushroom into big feuds in which the combatants can't even remember the trivial matter that started it. Worse yet the argument can carry on for generations while the original issue was long ago laid to rest.
The Shela HaKadosh says that the difference between words "Riv" and "Meriva" which both mean argument is that Riv is the initial small fight while Meriva is the sad aftermath when things grow ugly. Meriva is Lashon Nikeiva for Riv, as a female bears many offspring from the original seed planted by the man.
We see this by the fight between Avrohom and Lot where the Torah tells us there was a Riv, an argument between the shepherds of Lot and those of Avrohom. When word got back to Avrohom about hte Riv, he tells Lot (Lech Licha 13:8), "Al Na Tehi Meriva Beini UBeinecha", let's not let this small argument grow into a big feud between us.
Rav Benayahu Shmueli finds a Remez for this from the famous words of the gemara (Nedarim 41a) "Da Kani Mah Chaser Da Lo Kani Mah Kani". Literally it means if you have Daas what are you missing. If you don't have Daas, then what do you have? He explains thsi Chazal with the yesod of Shela. "Da Kani" if you have a little brains and are smart enough to be quiet when someone verbally attacks you, your Riv will remain small and soon pass. Why? Because "Ma Chaser" you are preventing the fireworks of the "Mem" and "Hey" by not answering back. However if "Da Lo Kani" you don't have the wisdom to keep quiet, and you open your mouth to fire back at your attacker, "Ma Kani" you have acquired for yourself a brand new fight complete with the "Mem" and "Hey" that will linger on and continue to grow, causing far more damage than it was worth.

6 Oct 2013

Germany 1939, 1945, 1950s

Daniel Trilling writes about his grandmother leaving Germany for England in 1939.
She was able to leave because the Nazi official who stamped her passport once a week had taken a liking to her and warned that the following week they would be confiscating Jews’ documents.

He describes her visit to Germany in the 1950s accompanied by her children.

The two children, my mother and uncle, were left to run around in the square, while my grandparents sat down. As they were doing so, a German woman turned to them, smiling, and told her: “was für schöne Kinder” – what lovely children. My grandmother felt an intense flash of anger, although all she did was sarcastically mutter “Judenbälge” - Jewish brats - under her breath. What went through her mind, as she later told it to me, was: “Twenty years ago, you’d have spat at them.”
Read more: http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2013/10/mail-miliband-what-does-it-mean-call-jewish-person-un-british

The Blaze writes about the demise of Nocolas Oresko and posts a moving video which you can view below.

The oldest living Medal of Honor recipient has died.
Nicholas Oresko, 96, an Army master sergeant who was badly wounded as he single-handedly took out two enemy bunkers during the Battle of the Bulge in 1945, died Friday night at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, hospital officials announced Saturday.

5 Oct 2013

Jewish merchandise, legislation and religious freedom

Arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. will carry Jewish merchandise in some stores after a New Jersey blogger complained about a lack of Hanukkah items, the company’s president said Friday.
Read more: http://business.time.com/2013/10/04/hobby-lobby-to-carry-some-jewish-holiday-items/#ixzz2gsIpgVl4

Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a piece of legislation into law Friday allowing children in the state to have more than two legal parents.

Will the commandment now read "Honor your fathers and mothers"?

Speaking of the commandments, Breitbart reports DC Police Release Video Of Alleged 10 Commandments Vandals.

FreeBeacon writes about "a wave of attacks against religious freedom inside the United States Military."
...Recently, the United States Air Force (USAF) Academy removed the words “So help me God” from some written materials, including the oath administered to USAF inductees, based upon the objections of a single atheist, we allege.
Read more: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/10/03/DOD-Sued-for-Records-about-Removal-of-So-Help-Me-God-from-Air-Force-Academy-Written-Materials

4 Oct 2013

Rosh Chodesh in a leap year

Below is a question related to the Rosh Chodesh prayer we recite today.

During Musaf of Rosh Chodesh the words Ulichaporas Pasha is added on during a leap year. Why is this done? And what is the significance of it?

...there are twelve terms of request in a normal year (chaim, shalom, sason, simcha ...), one for each month. Leap year has a thirteenth month, so a thirteenth term.

...I just found a Kunteros Achron #448 published on the bottom of the Taamei Haminhagim #448. He writes that the reason we say Ulichaporas Pasha is in case the year was made into a leap year in error and through that we are eating Chomeitz on Pesach.
Read more: http://judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/3153/saying-ulichaporas-pasha-in-musaf-of-rosh-chodesh

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis wrote about maintaining the spiritual influence of the High Holdays during the year in her two most recent articles published in the Jewish Press. It it worthwhile to read the columns in their entirety.

My husband, HaRav Meshulam HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l, would always make an acronym from the initials of the New Year. What would he have done with taf shin ayin daled – 5774? I feel he would have designated this year T’chey Sh’nas Aidim – “let this year be a year of witness” – a year of witness to G-d.
This is the unique mission that we, Hashem’s royal princes and princesses, have been entrusted with – to give witness to Almighty G-d. How do we do that? Let us start by living in such a way, by arranging our days in such a manner, that whoever meets us will be inspired by our conduct, by the way we go about our daily lives.
Read more: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/looking-back/2013/09/25/

When I was a little girl growing up in Hungary there were tzedakah boxes in every home, no matter how impoverished; a pushka into which coins were dropped on every occasion. The pushka became part of our lives. In lieu of yesterday’s pushkas many children today are given “piggy banks” – a term that screams self-indulgence: it’s all for me! On the other hand, the pushka teaches that my money is there to share with others – that I save it in order to give it away.
Read more: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/looking-back-ii/2013/10/03/

A good Chodesh to you.