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Modern-day korban on Har HaBayit

A woman, Tzipporah Piltz, gave birth to twins, almost 3 months ago. According to the Torah, on the 81st day a woman who gave birth to a girl must bring a korban on the 81st day after the birth.
Tzipporah decided that despite being unable to bring the necessary korban nowadays, without the Beis HaMikdash and with the government refusing to allow the construction of the altar, she was still going to do what she could. With the concept of “U’nishalma Parim S’fateinu” (ונשלמה פרים שפתינו) - our prayers are in the place of sacrifices - in mind, she planned to go up to Har HaBayit, with her babies, and offer her verbal sacrifice - a specially composed prayer.
התפילה שאמרה מול מקום המקדש
בשעה זו שבה אני נצבת במקום המקדש,
שהוא מקור האור בעולם,
מקום שבו התפילות עולות למרומים,
אני נושאת תפילה לבורא עולם:
שתזכה אותי ואת כל ישראל
בבנים ובני בנים המאירים את העולם
בתורה ובמעשים טובים.
לכל הרווקות-מצא את זיווגן,
לכל העקרות- הבא להן פרי בטן.
עזור לנו לגדל את ילדנו
באהבה, בנחת, במאור פנים ובשמחה.
שיהיו בעלי יראת שמים, בעלי חסד ואהבת תורה.
שנדע איך לחנכם בדרך המתאימה לכל אחד מהם,
ושיהיו בריאים בגופם ובנשמתם.
יהי רצון שיתקימו בנו הפסוקים:
שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת: אַשְׁרֵי כָּל-יְרֵא ה' הַהֹלֵךְ בִּדְרָכָיו: יְגִיעַ כַּפֶּיךָ, כִּי תֹאכֵל; אַשְׁרֶיךָ וְטוֹב לָךְ: אֶשְׁתְּךָ, כְּגֶפֶן פֹּרִיָּה בְּיַרְכְּתֵי בֵיתֶךָ:בָּנֶיךָ, כִּשְׁתִלֵי זֵיתִים סָבִיב, לְשֻׁלְחָנֶךָ: הִנֵּה כִי-כֵן, יְבֹרַךְ גָּבֶר יְרֵא ה': יְבָרֶכְךָ ה' מִצִּיּוֹן וּרְאֵה, בְּטוּב יְרוּשָׁלִָם כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ: וּרְאֵה בָנִים לְבָנֶיךָ, שָׁלוֹם, עַל-יִשְׂרָאֵל.

שנזכה לראות בחזרת השכינה לציון, לראות כוהנים בעבודתם, לשמוע לווים בשירתם ולחזרתם של ישראל למעמדם.
ויקוים בנו הפסוק:
"הַשְׁקִיפָה מִמְּעוֹן קָדְשְׁךָ מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמְּךָ אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֵת הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַתָּה לָנוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתָּ לַאֲבֹתֵינוּ אֶרֶץ זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבָשׁ"(דברים כו)


a little bit of music...

Shlomo Katz - Niggun of the Birds

No Family Left Behind

No Family Left Behind
Permanent Housing for the neediest families among the Gush Katif Evacuees
The Aftermath of the Disengagement
Today, more than six years after the disengagement, there are seeds of renewal among the former Gush Katif communities. Approximately 33% of the families have moved to permanent housing, half of the business owners have succeeded in rehabilitating their businesses and an estimated 28% of the farmers have returned to agriculture. However, there is still a long road ahead for many families until the process of rebuilding and rehabilitation of all the communities is completed.

friend of gush katif

Reclaiming the Temple Mount -David Ha'lvri

Reclaiming the Temple Mount [Paperback] David Ha'lvri (Author)

Shomron residents and David ha Ivrì on an italian newspaper interview

The Muqata: Critical Analysis: Who is Yair Lapid?

The Muqata: Critical Analysis: Who is Yair Lapid?: Even though I wrote this below, I believed it deserved it's own post. 1. Yair Lapid is already predicting he will be Israel's next pr...

father and son

our Jewish little place: parashah Yitrò

our Jewish little place: parashah Yitrò: Moshè went up to HaShem. HaShem called to him from the mountain and said, "This is what you must say to the family of Jacob and tell the Is...

Yitro - the art of listening

Written by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen
One of the striking features of Parshas Yisro is the juxtaposition of the portion about Yisro’s advice to Moshe Rabbeinu with Matan Torah. Reb Tzadok HaKohen provides an interesting insight to this in the name of his Rebbe. He begins by discussing the section in which Yisro advises Moshe to change the judicial system and Moshe accepts his advice. This seems quite unremarkable but on reflection a tremendous mida of Moshe Rabbeinu is displayed in his reaction to Yisro’s advice. Yisro may have been a wise man but he was surely far below the level of his great son-in-law and, moreover had no exposure to the wisdom of Torah. Moshe could have easily heard out his advice and then politely reject it without really considering its application. Instead he listened attentively and gave great thought to the advice and ultimately decided to follow it. Reb Tzadok’s Rebbe says that we learn from Moshe that a person should listen to the words of a hedyot and that this is an aspect of learning from every man. He then explains the juxtaposition with Matan Torah by saying that this lesson is the introduction to Matan Torah because an essential part of learning Torah is the ability to learn it from everyone.


International holocaust remembrance day

A Vanished World. Photographs of the Jewish ghettos in Kraków & Mukachevo, 1935-1938

January 27 marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.
In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated this day as International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD), an annual day of commemoration to honor the victims of the Nazi era.

Shavua Tov

Everyone has his share of “not good.” It’s impossible that a physical being should be devoid of faults. The point is not to flee or hide from them. Nor is it to resign yourself to it all. It is to face up to the fact that they are there, and to systematically chase them away.
Recognizing who you are and gradually..
From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman.


Tu be'Shevath Sameach

I wish you all Shabbath Shalom and a Tu be’Shevat Sameach !

Shabbath Shalom

Shabbath Parshas Beshalach is known as “Shabbath Shira.” It is customary to put out pieces of bread for the birds to eat. One of the many reasons given for this custom is that in the desert the Mann fell for six days, with a double portion falling on Erev Shabbos to sustain the Jews through Shabbos.
The two evil troublemakers in the desert, Dasan and Aviram, tried to disprove Moshe Rabeinu’s proclamation that no Mann will fall on Shabbos, and they took their Mann early Shabbos morning and scattered it all over the camp so the jews will wake up and see that in fact Mann did fall on Shabbos.
Hashem sent the birds to eat up every last crumb of the “planted Mann” and when the Jews awoke, it was as Moshe had promised, and no Mann was to be found.
Thus as a reward for this, the birds are fed each year on Parshas Beshalach.


our Jewish little place: parashah beshalach - parting the sea

our Jewish little place: Feeding the birds on Shabbath Beschalach

This Friday – Take a Bird to Lunch.
There is a minhag to feed birds on Shabbat Shira (better on Fri.) as an act of HAKARAT HATOV on two different levels.
There is an old custom to feed birds on Shabbat Shira. Note that there are halachic problems with feeding animals other than one's own on Shabbat. Sefer HaToda'ah, for example, says that one should provide for the birds on Erev Shabbat Shira, not on Shabbat itself.
The reasons given for this custom help us in a gentle way to become more sensitive to the needs of the animals around us. 


Rav Lazer Brody - An Encounter with Jonathan Livingston Seagull

This Shabbat is Shabbat Shira, Parshat Beshalach; an old Chassidi custom is to honor the birds.
I was about two hours north up the Pacific coast from Los Angeles. Having found a beautiful cliff with a breathtaking overlook of the Pacific, I asked my driver to pull over and to give me at least an hour. What a magnificent spot for Hitbodedut...
Hitbodedut means solitary personal prayer. But, I wasn't alone for long. A very handsome gull with much finer flying finesse than I've seen from other seagulls glided effortlessly toward me and landed on the edge of the cliff about 5 feet in front of me. He looked at me with probing eyes, then said in perfect Hebrew, "Shalom Aleichem!"
"You're a Breslever, aren't you?" he asked, before I had a chance to snap back from my gaping amazement. "So am I," he said, not waiting for an answer. "I'm especially fond of Rebbe Natan's discourses on hitchazkut, spiritual strengthening."
"But your species are halachically impure," I remarked.
"True," he acknowledged. "But I am no normal seagull; I refuse to barbarically rip away at my fellow bird to fight for a fish. I have overcome the lust for bodily appetites. Besides, Rebbe Nachman says that there is no despair in the world. I may have been born impure, but I can uplift myself. My whole life centers around solitary flight and communing with The Almighty."
"I've never met a bird on such a lofty spiritual level. Do you have a name?" I asked.
"It's obvious that you're a foreigner," the gull said. "Everyone here knows me - I'm Jonathan Livingston Seagull."
I was stunned once more. "I thought you died at sea."
"I almost did. Really, there was no way out. The Almighty shined a ray of hope on me and I mustered up the strength to keep on going. Sound familiar, Rabbi Lazer?"
"How do you know who I am? And how do you know that my story is so familiar to yours?"
"Rabbi, how did you get through Rabbinical Seminary? Don't you know that King Solomon said (Ecclesiates 10:20), 'The bird of the sky shall carry the voice?' We seagulls know everything that's going on."
Jonathan then took off, singing "Dear Father," his song to Hashem. It was really moving. I want to share with you the poignant moment when Jonathan overcame despair and decided to keep on living and flying at all costs (see film clip, below).
Dear brother and sister, there's a little bit of Jonathan Livingston Seagull within all of us. No matter if we're down and bleeding, we can call out to "Dear Father" and He'll pick us up. You can soar skywards too. Have a wonderful Shabbat!

Beshallach - feeding the birds

This Shabbos, on which the Torah portion of Beshalach is read, is known as Shabbos Shirah, The Sabbath of Song. The source of this special name is the portion of Beshalach, in which we read of the song the entire nation of Israel sang after the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea. This song, which is recited every day as part of the morning prayers, is a special song. Because of the importance of this song, the Shabbos on which we read it takes the name of "Sabbath of the Song." What makes this song so special that, above and beyond all the other miraculous events that are read about in the Torah portion, the Shabbos is given it as its moniker?
One of the customs associated with this Shabbos is to place crumbs outside for the birds to eat. (As to the Halachik correctness of this custom, see Shulchan Aruch Orech Chayim 324.) We read in the Torah on this week about G-d giving the "Man", manna, to the nation of Israel, for their sustenance. Moshe told the nation of Israel that the Man would not fall on Shabbos, and therefore they should collect a double portion on Friday. There were rabble-rousers who wanted to embarrass Moshe and weaken his authority. They took Man they had collected on Friday, and after dark placed it out on the ground. Come morning, they hoped that people would think that the Man did indeed fall on Shabbos, and Moshe, who they contended made up the laws as he went along, was wrong. However, no Man was around on Shabbos morning. Why? Because the birds carried it away before the nation awoke, so that the nation would indeed trust in Moshe and respect the sanctity of the Shabbos about which Moshe spoke. To reward the birds for this noble deed, we feed them the week on which we read of the surrounding incident, the week of Beshalach.
The Sefer HaToda'ah mentions an additional reason why we feed the birds this week. The chirping of birds is not just idle song. It is the way that birds praise G-d for providing them with their needs. Because, on this week, we too sing praise of G-d, we recognize the constant song of praise chirped by the birds by feeding them, as a form of reward.

Shabbath Shira

by Rabbi Dov Ber Weisman

This Shabbat is one of the few throughout the year that is given a special name. The day we read Parshat Beshalach is called Shabbat Shira (the Shabbat of Song), commemorating the glorious and awe-inspiring event when, after the miraculous deliverance from the Egyptians at the Red Sea, the Children of Israel simultaneously burst forth into a song of praise to Hashem.
This Shabbat is one of the few throughout the year that is given a special name. The day we read Parshat Beshalach is called Shabbat Shira (the Shabbat of Song), commemorating the glorious and awe-inspiring event when, after the miraculous deliverance from the Egyptians at the Red Sea, the Children of Israel simultaneously burst forth into a song of praise to Hashem. However, beyond giving praise to Hashem for miraculously saving us, the concept of shira (song) has a far deeper significance in correlation to our mission and goal in life.
The great Talmudic sage Hillel taught in Ethics of Our Fathers, "If I am not for myself, who will be for me?" The Chiddushei Harim, a great Chassidic Rebbe and one of the outstanding Talmudic scholars of the 19th century, explains that everyone is born with certain G-d given talents, strengths, and perceptions; has his own unique personality traits, likes, and dislikes; and is born and raised in a specific environment, with specific parents, siblings, etc. All of these factors are given to each one of us individually as our special tools with which to accomplish our own unique mission in life. Therefore, by definition, no two people are exactly alike since each human being has his own unique situations and circumstances. No two people relate to Torah in exactly the same manner. No two people perceive an event in exactly the same way. Each person has his own unique perceptions of life's experiences.

A babaganews seder for tu bshevat

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