Ulpan.com's daily dose of Hebrew Headline Animator


Arabs throw everything they got on MAGAV - border police

The video shows a convoy of Border Police vehicles passing through a street in eastern Jerusalem. Local children and youths proceed to attack the force at close range, hurling rocks and cinder blocks, and slamming various objects, including a supermarket cart, into a jeep.
The Border Policemen inside do not leave the jeeps. All they do is to drive threateningly in reverse on a couple of occasions, and hurl some tear gas canisters.
The IDF has issued extremely strict orders to soldiers, to avoid violence against the Arab population in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem at virtually all cost. These orders are generally seen as the result of a combination of international pressure, leftist behavior by the press, and leftist influence within the Israeli legal system.
As a result, hostile Arabs exhibit brazenness at unprecedented levels. Several similar videos have been posted in recent months, including one showing Arab children throwing paint on an IDF convoy at Nabi Saleh. (Arutz Sheva)

Ki Tisa

Every man over 20 years old …….and give this offering to G-d." [30:14]
The Torah stipulates that the minimum age at which a person had to make his half-shekel contribution was from twenty years and up. The Torah revealed a secret here when it did not demand that males from the age of 13 and up had to make this contribution. Seeing the males are considered as adults from the age of 13, why would teenagers not have been liable for this ransom? They also had participated in the golden calf episode!
The Torah told us here that a person's personality (nefesh) has not matured until age 20, as he had not had time to absorb and comprehend the various spiritual components that make up a true Israelite until he has reached that age. This is the mystical dimension of Psalms 2:7: "You are My son, I have fathered you this day." Compare what the Zohar Mishpatim 98 has to say on that verse. [The Zohar on Exodus 21:9 writes that a man is called ben form the age of 13, and ben leHaKodosh Baruch Hu from the age of 20. Ed.]
There is a sound reason why man should not be liable to punishment at the hands of heaven until he has reached that age, seeing that he has not yet matured emotionally and intellectually. Such maturity is essential to enable us to successfully battle the evil urge and to appreciate G-d's message to man. By the time man has reached the age of 20 he is considered fully equipped to cope with all kinds of temptations.
(Selected with permission from the five-volume English edition of Ohr HaChaim: the Torah Commentary of Rabbi Chaim Ben Attar, as translated and annotated by Eliyahu Munk) 


Shabbath Shalom

"Zachor Et Asher Asa Lecha Amalek BaDerech Betzetchem MiMitzrayim"

"Remember what Amalek did to you on your way out of Egypt! (Dvarim 25)"
On the Shabbat that precedes Purim, two Torah scrolls are taken from the ark; one for the regular parsha and one for the Maftir - 'Remember what Amalek did to you' (Dvarim 25). Because of this reading, it is called, Shabbat Zachor (Remember). The Haftorah also deals with Amalek.
There is a mitzvah in the Torah to remember Amalek and his descendants and to orally recall their iniquity. We are to tell our children in each generation what the people of Amalek did to us during our departure from Egypt. This mitzvah will be fulfilled completely only when we shall have caused Amalek's memory to perish, and their name to be erased from the world, together with the slightest remnant of anything that bears their name. As the Torah says: 'Remember what Amalek did to you on the way, upon your departure from Egypt'... 'You shall erase the memory of Amalek from beneath the heavens, you shall not forget.' Upon which the Sages have expounded: 'Remember,' orally - 'You shall not forget,' in your heart.


''For the Jews there was light, gladness, joy, and honor - so may it be for us.'' 
 [From the prefatory verses of the Havdalah ceremony recited at the conclusion of Shabbat, based on Esther 8:16] 
by Rabbi Shlomo HaLevi Alkabetz From "Manos HaLevi"
Translation by R. Carmel Kehati [words in brackets are the translator's additions]

"And thus I [Esther] will approach the king." [Esther 4:16]
Rabbi Yosef Gackon writes, concerning Esther's three-day fast, that Esther [in fasting for exactly three days] had the following kabbalistic intention. Namely, that three days and nights contain seventy-two hours, and "B'chen" ["thus", in 4:16] equals seventy-two numerically [in letter-gematria], corresponding to the [exalted 72-letter] Name of G-d hinted in the three verses [that begin], "Vayisa", "Vayavo","Vayet" [Exodus 14:19, 20, 21, each of which contain seventy-two letters precisely]. It was with the power of this Name that G-d split the [Red] sea and had the Israelites cross over, and He guided them in His protection and they had no fear [of the enemy].
From that Name, [the flow of] the Divine life-force comes to Esther's supernal [corresponding]sefira; for Esther [as our Sages say] was greenish [olive skinned] in complexion [green is a color associated with the sefira Chesed, Divine kindness, as the life-flow descends through the upper worlds]. Esther, with the power of these seventy-two hours, approached [G-d], King of the world, in her prayers; for she was sure of His help [that He would answer her and save the Jews]. Then, in this [lowly physical] world, she approached King Ahasuerus.

Much more at: Secrets in the Book of Esther

our Jewish little place: Purim kit

our Jewish little place: Purim kit: Delight your children with this complete Purim Kit.  A beautifully decorated tube with varied activities for Purim. 

our Jewish little place: Purim - Meghillah Ester craft

our Jewish little place: Purim - Meghillah Ester craft: Foam Faux-Mosaic Megilla Cover Design a mosaic Megillah case out of a can and foam shapes that is both feather light and elegant...

our Jewish little place: Parashah Tetzaveh

our Jewish little place: Parashah Tetzaveh: The choshen cratf to visualize the Coen Gadol breastplate 


Laws of Mishloach Manot

Laws of Mishloach Manot

In-depth laws for how to do the mitzvah correctly!

1. How does one perform this mitzvah?
On the day of Purim one must send two items of food to at least one person.
2. What is the reason for this mitzvah?
- To ensure that everyone has sufficient food for the Purim feast.
- To increase love and friendship between Jews, thereby dismissing Haman’s accusations that there is strife and dissention among Jews. This is an ideal opportunity to repair broken relationships by sending packages to people with whom one has ill feelings.
3. Is it praiseworthy to send to many people?
Yes, it is praiseworthy, but it is better to spend more on gifts to the poor (Matanot La’evyonim) than on Mishloach Manot. There is no greater joy than gladdening the hearts of orphans, widows, and needy people. One who does so is likened to G-d, as it says about Him “to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the downtrodden” (Isaiah 57:15).
4. Are all types of food suitable?
Preferably, one should send food that is ready to be eaten immediately. For example, raw meat or fish that requires cooking should not be sent, unless other ready-to-eat foods are also included.
5. May one send two portions of the same food?
No, the two food items must be different. However it is not necessary for the items to require two different blessings. For example, one may send two different cakes or two fruits.
6. May one send a drink?
Yes, drinks are also suitable. One may send two different drinks, or one food and one drink.
7. What is the minimum quantity of food?
Ideally, the food should be of a respectable quantity according to the standards of the sender and recipient. Therefore, one should send a nicer package to a wealthy person than to a poor person, and a wealthy person should send a nicer package than a poor person.
8. Is it better to send a large number of small gifts, or a small number of large gifts?
At least one package should be of respectable size and any additional packages may be small “token” packages. This is better than sending a large number of small “token” packages.
9. May one use ma’aser (10% tzedakah) money to buy the food?
At least one package must be bought without ma’aser money. If a person wishes to send additional packages to poor people, he may use ma’aser money.
10. Are women obligated to perform this mitzvah?
Yes, since they were also included in the Purim miracle.
11. May a husband and wife send jointly?
Yes. A note should be attached indicating that the package is being sent on behalf of both of them.
12. Should children below bar/bat mitzvah perform this mitzvah?
Children aged six should be trained to perform the mitzvah.
13. Can children who live at home fulfill the mitzvah with the parents’ package?
According to some opinions, a package may be sent on behalf of the entire family. According to another opinion, only a husband and wife may send together, but children should send separately. If children prepare their own packages from food in their parents’ home, they should be allowed to acquire the food before sending it.
14. May two or more people send jointly?
Yes, but the package should contain the correct quantity for each of the senders.
15. May one send to a mourner?
No. If another member of the family is not in mourning, the package may be addressed to the family.
16. Is a mourner obligated to send?
Yes, but the package should not be too elaborate. According to some opinions, the mourner should preferably send to one person only. Other members of the family may send many packages.
17. If a person receives a package, must he reciprocate and send one in return?
It is praiseworthy to do so, but not an obligation.
18. May one give the package personally?
According to the prevalent custom, one may give the package personally. According to some opinions, it is preferable to send the package via a third person since the verse (Esther 9: 22) describes the mitzvah as sending food packages to one another.
19. May one use a child as a messenger?
Yes, but one should confirm that the package was delivered, since one may not automatically assume that the child carried out the task. One need not be concerned about this if another package was delivered personally or via an adult.
20. May one use a delivery service?
A reliable delivery service may be used.
21. May one send an anonymous package?
Since one of the purposes of the mitzvah is to increase love and friendship between people, it is important for the recipient to know who sent the package. Therefore, the messenger should tell the recipient who the sender is, or an identifying note should be attached to the package.
22. What if the intended recipient is not home?
- If the sender intended to give the package to a specific person, it would not be sufficient to deliver it to another member of the family (unless he is sure that the package will be given on Purim).
- If the sender did not intend to give the package to a specific member of the family, the package may be given to anyone in the family.
- If no one is home, it is advisable not to leave the package there, since the sender would not fulfill his obligation if the food were not received on Purim. He may leave the package there if he does not rely on this to fulfill his obligation, but sends another package to someone else.
23. May one send the package before Purim or on the evening of Purim?
- Ideally, the package should be both sent and delivered on Purim during the day.
- If the package is sent before Purim but delivered on the day of Purim, it is questionable whether he has fulfilled his obligation.
- If the package is sent and delivered before Purim or on the evening of Purim, he has not fulfilled his obligation.


13th of Adar The fast of Esther

HALACHAS OF FAST OF ESTHER - This year thursday 11th of Adar/ 21rst of February
1) The fast begins at dawn ("Alot Hashachar") and ends after nightfall ("Tzait Hakochavim").
2) No eating or drinking is permitted. Though other aspects -- like wearing shoes and washing -- are permitted.
3) Since this is not a major fast, pregnant or nursing women are exempt from the fast, as are moderately ill people. If one is otherwise healthy but has a headache and finds it difficult to fast, he may eat, but is obligated to "make up" the fast another time. In all cases, a competent rabbi should be consulted.
4) If the 13th falls on Shabbat, we don't fast that day, due to the honor of Shabbat. The fast is not even held on Friday, since this would adversely affect Shabbat preparations. Rather, we observe the fast on Thursday, the 11th of Adar.
5) It is customary to extend the fast until after the Megillah is read. (Except in walled cities, where the Megillah is read on the night of the 15th.)
6) During the afternoon Mincha prayers, the paragraph of Aneinu is added to the silent Amidah, during the blessing of Shema Koleinu. In both Shacharit and Mincha, the chazan inserts Aneinu as a separate blessing between Geulah and Refuah.
7) As on other public fasts, the Torah reading of Vayechal Moshe (Exodus 32:11-14, 34:1-10) is read both at Shacharit and Mincha.
8) If a Brit Milah falls on the Fast of Esther, the Seudat Mitzvah should be be postponed until the evening. The father, mother, and Sandek may even eat during the afternoon of the fast day, since it is considered like their "holiday." (Sha'ar HaTziun 686:16)
9) Avinu Malkeinu is said only in Shacharit, but not in Mincha. (An exception is if Purim falls on Sunday and the fast is observed on Thursday, then Avinu Malkeinu is in fact said in Mincha.)

Purim baskets for soldiers

Purim is few days to come. 
Please, if you can, remenber to send mishloach manot to our soldiers.
It makes them happy and it is affordable.
Let them feel we thank them for defending Israel.
Purim Sameach to you all!



the triumph of Mordechai

Pieter Lastman
Filippo Lippi
english school

12 reasons why Esther invited Haman to the party

Esther puts her life in jeopardy to come before Achashveirosh to plead the Jewish cause without being called. A miracle occurs and he stretches out his royal scepter granting her life and permission to speak. What does she say? Can you and Haman come to a party! What was she thinking? What was the brilliant strategy here? The gemara brings opinions of Tanaim and Amora'im. When Raba bar Avuha meets Eliyahu HaNavi he asks him which opinion is correct. His answer? All of them.

1.  She was hoping he would make a mistake and do something to get himself in trouble while drinking - Rebbi Eliezer -
2.  The pasuk in Mishlei (25:21)says, "Im Ra'ev Sonacha Hachileihu Lechem", if you enemy is hungry feed him bread. - Rebbi Yehoshua -
3.  To bring him close so that he should not contemplate a rebellion against Achashveirosh, totally dooming the Yehudim. - Rebbi Meir -
4.  So that they would have no idea that she was Jewish - Rebbi Yehuda -
5.  So the Yehudim would not rely on the fact that the Queen is one of theirs and they would turn to Hashem as their only hope. - Rebbi Nechemia -
6.  She wanted Haman nearby so that maybe she will find a way to trip him up.  Rebbi Yosi -
7.  So Hashem should pity her for having to stoop so low to flatter this Rasha - Rebbi Shimon ben Menasya -
8.  To lead Achashveirosh to believe that she was having an illicit relationship with Haman and hopefully he would kill both of them and spare the Yehudim. - Rebbi Yehoshua ben Karcha -
9.  She wanted Haman nearby when she complained to Achashveirosh so he would kill him on the spot and not change his mind until he finds him. - Raban Gamliel
10. To make Achashveirosh jealous that this Minister is on the same level as his highness the king - Rebbi Eliezer HaModa'i -
11.  A person must reach his peak power before his downfall - Rabba -
12.  Parties tend to end in disaster for the King like Balshatzar whoi was murdered and Achashveirosh's first party where Vashti was killed. - Rava & Abaye
Source: Megila 15b


Love of the Land: 7th Adar - For those whose burial place is unknown

Aaron Kalman..
Times of Israel..
17 February '13..

Sunday marks the national remembrance day for IDF soldiers without an official burial site. It’s no accident that the seventh day of the Hebrew month of Adar was chosen as the date to mark such a day — according to Jewish tradition, it is the day Moses passed away.
Choosing the traditional anniversary of Moses’s death as the national remembrance day was done because the Bible (Deuteronomy 34:5-6) stresses that the burial site of one of the most important figures in Jewish history is unknown.
Shortly after the end of Israel’s war of independence, the Military Rabbinate decided the day on which Moses died would be the day Israel remembered its fallen soldiers, interconnecting ancient Jewish traditions with modern-day Israel.
Today, that connection is all but obsolete. While religious schools mention Moses’s yahrzeit, almost no one in the country — religious or not — mentions or remembers those soldiers meant to be remembered. Of course, the soldiers aren’t forgotten, but the special day given to mourning families who have no grave to visit seems to have been lost.


Shabbath Shalom

בִּלבָבִי מִשְׁכַּן אֶבְנֶה לְהַדַר כְּבוֹדוֹ, וּבְמִשׁכַּן מִזְבֵּחַ אָשִׂים לְקַרְנֵי הוֹדוֹ, וּלְנֵר תָּמִיד אֶקַח לִי אֶת אֵשׁ הָעַקֵדָה, וּלְקָרְבַּן אַקְרִיב לוֹ אֶת נַפְשִׁי הַיְחִידָה

Bilvavi mishkan evneh lahadar k'vodo, Uv'mishkan mizbei'ach asim l'karnei hodo. Ul'ner tamid ekach li ess aish ha'akeidah, Ul'korban akriv lo ess nafshi, Ess nafshi hayechidah.
In my heart a sanctuary I shall build, to the splendor of His honor, and in the sanctuary an altar I shall place, to the rays of His glory. And for an Eternal Flame I shall take me The fire of the Akei'dah [Yitzchak's would-be sacrifice]; And for a sacrifice I shall offer Him my soul, My one and only soul. (A piyut from "Sefer Chareidim" by R' Elazar Az'kari- author of Yedid Nefesh)

יהי זכרם ברוך

As we prepare to spend Shabbath with our families, please take a moment to remember the Fogel family - baby Hadas, 4 year old Elad, 11 year old Yoav and parents Ruthie and Udi - murdered in their beds two years ago today in Itamar by Palestinian terrorists.

Of blessed memory

a song for Udi, Ruth and thei children

of blessed memory

In memory of Udi, Ruth, Yoav, Elad and little Hadas we must continue to build Eretz Yisrael with no fear and with jewish strenght. We must honor them and not tolerate anymore. 
Build and not destroy! Defend the Jewish nation and free us of our inhuman enemies.
Please, following your possibilities, support Itamar and building the Land of Yisrael, our G.d given Land.
Let us be One People.
May Hashem avenge their blood

For any information please contact  itamar@shechem.org

It's Adar!

Multimedia Meets Biblical Heroes at Ancient Tel Shiloh

Perfect Purim Hamantaschen Baked In Israel

Making of Bakery Hamantaschen for Purim

a litttle bit of music...

משנכנס אדר-רצועה


Four Parashiot

In the weeks surrounding Purim, four special Torah readings inspire the rest of the year.
The Sages instituted four special Torah readings on four different Shabbats during the Purim season. These readings are read as the Maftir portion in the synagogue on Shabbat morning, immediately following the weekly parsha.

Exodus 30:11-16 is read in commemoration of the Half Shekel which every Jew brought during the month of Adar, to pay for the public offerings in the Holy Temple.
This portion is read on the Shabbat preceding Rosh Chodesh Adar (or Adar II in a leap year). If Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbat itself, then that Shabbat is Parshat Shekalim.
What is the connection between the Half Shekel and Purim? When Haman proposed to Achashverosh the annihilation of the Jews, he offered to pay 10,000 "kikars" for the right to do so (Esther 3:9). Since one kikar equals 3,000 shekels, Haman was in fact putting a price tag of 30 million shekels on the Jews.
Since there are 600,000 main souls in the Jewish nation (see Numbers 2:32), and 50 shekels is the donation value of an adult male (as specified in Leviticus 27:3), this amount multiplied times 600,000 souls equals 30 million.

The Shabbat immediately preceding Purim is called Shabbat Zachor. The portion of Amalek (Deut. 25:17-19) is read, since Haman was a descendant of Agog, King of Amalek.
One should be very careful to listen to all the words, since most halachic authorities consider it a Torah-level mitzvah to hear this portion once each year.
Zachor means to remember, and the Torah commands us to "remember what Amalek did to you on your way out of Egypt" (Deut. 25:17). The Sages explain that the definition of "remembering" is to speak the matter aloud at least once a year.
It is the widespread custom for women to attend synagogue and hear the reading.
If one accidentally missed Parshat Zachor, the obligation may be fulfilled by listening to the Torah reading on Purim itself, or to the weekly reading of Parshat Ki Tetzei(and according to many authorities, Parshat Beshalach as well).
You will notice that the reader repeats the word zaicher and zecher in the last verse, since there are two different opinions as to how that word is pronounced. This stresses the importance of hearing every word correctly.

Parshat Parah (Numbers 19:1-22) is read on the Shabbat following Purim. These verses deal with the Red Heifer used in the spiritual purification process at the time of the Holy Temple. This issue is important at this season of the year, since in looking forward to Passover, every Jew is careful to maintain spiritual purity in order to partake in the holiday offerings.
Many authorities regard this reading as a Torah precept.

Finally, on the Shabbat preceding Rosh Chodesh Nissan, we read the special Maftir from Exodus 12:1-20. These verses contain the commandment to make Nissan the head of all months. This was the first mitzvah given to the Jewish people while still in Egypt.
By declaring the new month, the Jewish people have the ability and responsibility to sanctify life and the passage of time.


Amazing Mishkan video CD/Program

The New Artscroll Mishkan program.


 The parsha contains one of the more unique artifacts used in the Mishkan -– the Cherubim [Cherubs], which were placed on top of the Aron which housed the Luchos. The Torah states: "It is there that I shall arrange audience with you, and I shall speak with you from atop the lid, from between the two Cherubim that are on the Ark of the Testimony, and it is all that I shall command you pertaining to the Children of Israel [Shmos 25:22].
We do not have an exact picture of what the Cherubim looked like, but we are taught that their faces were child-like. Imagine the scene: The holiest city in the world (Jerusalem), the holiest place in the city (the Temple Mount), the Holy of Holies within the Temple complex –- this was the holiest spot on the face of the planet. The Master of the Universe speaks to Moshe from above the Aron and His Voice comes out from between the two Cherubim! The Heavenly Voice comes out from between the faces of babes.
What is the symbolism? What is the message?
Rav Shmuel Rozovsky, zt"l, one of the Roshei Yeshivas from Ponnevitz writes that Torah can be taught from the best Rebbe in existence (the Almighty), to the best disciple in the world (Moshe Rabbeinu), under the best of conditions (in the Holy of Holies), but the receiver has to be child-like. In order to learn Torah, we need to maintain the child-like enthusiasm and child-like innocence that will allow us to accept Torah and integrate it into our personalities.
This is a challenge because the older we become, the less child-like we are. This is a Jewish quality that the prophet refers to: "For Israel is a young lad and I love him" [Hoshea 11:1]. The Almighty testifies that He constantly loves Klal Yisrael because Klal Yisrael is still like a child. We have not become jaded and we have not become turned-off. We are still willing to accept, like a child.
This is mussar [chastisement] to all of us. The older we become, the more cyni cal we become. Cynicism is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the idea of "Israel is a young lad and I love him." The pasuk [verse] in Hoshea advises us to maintain our innocence and maintain our purity. It is a challenge for us all.
But what should NOT be a challenge for us is that at least our CHILDREN should still be "child-like". It may be difficult at age 40, at age 50, at age 60 to maintain child-like innocence. But it should not be a challenge that when a kid is 10 years old, he is no longer a child. It is unfortunately more and more the case that our children have picked up from us and from our society, even when they are 10 and 12 and 15, a cynicism that does not allow them to be considered "child-like" anymore. They are no longer the innocent Cherubim and as such, the Torah they are supposed to learn becomes exceedingly difficult for them to accept.
We have to try to ensure that our children should at least not become cynics, at least while they are still children. The only way we can try to ensure that is if there are incidents in life that tend to make us jaded and more cynical, we not bequeath that attitude to our children. There is plenty of time, unfortunately, for them to become cynical on their own. We do not need to help to make them cynics.

our Jewish little place: parashah terumah - Aaron Chodesh

our Jewish little place: Purim - meghillot Ester

our Jewish little place: Purim - meghillot Ester: Meghillat craft: Seven small toy colourfull felt hand sewed and decorated meghillot Ester for Purim 


from middle east peace research.

Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover from Women in Green have requested that we watch and share the video below.

of the 3rd Annual Conference for the application of Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria which was held on January 1st 2013 on the eve of the elections for the 19th Knesset..
Women in Green request you to forward this movie far and wide to all your mailing lists and Facebook friends. The pressure on Israel to cave in and give away our Biblical heartland has not stopped for a moment. There IS a sane alternative to capitulations, an alternative that should have been implemented 46 years ago. The application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria is the answer.
Khaled Abu Toameh, Arab Israeli journalist, lecturer and documentary filmmaker asks, "How can anyone talk about the two-state solution when thousands of Palestinian children are being trained to use weapons and explosives to replace Israel with an Islamic state?", Palestinians’ Nazi-Style Youth Movement Prepares for Jihad
Please see new data on Incitement in the Palestinian Authority Education System
SOURCE: Moshe Elkman, Director


Shavua Tov

The entire month of Adar is also a very auspicious period for weddings and therefore a popular chassene-season. Besides Purim, Adar is also the month when Moshe Rabbeinu was born. He was born on the 7th of Adar, and as we all know he led us out of Egypt and transmitted to us the Torah. G-d’s greatest gift, by which we bring perfection to the world and blessing into our lives. Moshe led the Jewish people from exile to redemption amidst joy and exhilaration. The 7th of Adar is also the day of Moshe Rabbeinu’s passing. Many tzadikim pass away on their birthday as demonstration of having lived a life complete in service of G-d.


When Adar Comes - Joyfullness Reigns!!
                                            MiShenichnas Adar Marbim BeSimcha!!
                                         When Adar Comes, Joy Is Increased!!

The month of Adar is the last month of the year counting from Nisan and is referred to in Tanach (abbreviation for Torah, Prophets and Writings) this way.
Adar is the happiest, most joyous month of the Hebrew calendar. In fact, its motto is "When Adar comes, joy is increased."
The abundance of joy in Adar is primarily due to the presence within the month of Purim. That holiday commemorates the salvation of the Jewish People from a genocidal plot by the wicked Haman, whereby he hoped to destroy the Jewish People, G-d Forbid, completely. Because of our fasting and repentance, we were able to have that heavenly decree, if not the earthly one, torn up (a decree of Achashverosh could, of course, never be rescinded).
Haman achieved the result, thank G-d, of having his plot overturned ("venahapoch hu," "it was overturned" - a theme of Purim) upon himself. Our last picture of him and his ten sons are of them dangling from the very gallows which he had prepared for Mordechai, a leader of the Jews.
The Sages have said: 'Just as joy is reduced from the start of Av, likewise, is joy increased at the start of Adar.'
Rav Papa said: 'Therefore, a Jew engaged in litigation with a non-Jew, should avoid him during Av, which is a time of ill omen for him; and should make himself available during Adar, which is a fortunate time for him' (Ta'anit 29). For, 'Heaven revolves merit towards a day of merit,' And joy towards a day of joy. And Adar is the most joyous of all months, so much so that no evil anti-Semitic eye can affect its blessing.
When Haman wanted to discover through astrology which month would be the most 'vulnerable for Israel', he cast lots to choose the month and day. The lot fell upon the month of Adar. When Haman's plot was foiled, Adar was transformed for the Jews from a month of grief and mourning to one of rejoicing and festivity; their happiness was all the greater. And the month of Adar became the very symbol of joy to them.


Shabbath Shalom!

עַיִן תַּחַת עַיִן "An eye for an eye" [Mishpatim 21:24]
The term "eye for an eye" explain Chazal [Bava Kamma 84a] is not meant to be taken literally - one who causes another the loss of an eye is not punished by having to lose his own eye. Rather, it means that the responsible party must pay the monetary value of an eye.
Chazal's interpretation of this halachah, said the Vilna Gaon, is alluded to in the words of the verse. Why does the verse state "Ayin tachas ayin" - which literally means "an eye beneath an eye" - and not "Ayin be'ad ayin" - which means "eye for an eye"?
The Torah, explained the Gaon, is hinting to us that in order to discover the true meaning of the verse, we must look at what is "beneath" the ayin, that is the letters that follow the word "ayin" עין:
The letter ayin ע is followed by the letter pei פ
The letter yud י is followed by the letter kaf כּ
The letter nun is ן followed by the letter samech ס
These letters form the word keseph - כּסף - money !
Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein


Shabbath shekalim

This Shabbat is the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh ADAR and thus we read, parallel to Parashat MISHPATIM, also Parashat SHEKALIM in the Synagogues. Parashat Shekalim is always read before the beginning of the month of Adar and I am going to explain the exact meaning in a following article.
There are different donations a Jew had to give in the desert. For building the Mishkan (Tabernacle) or for Korbanot (sacrifices). Those Terumot, however, also served as an atonement for one’s soul. The Machazit Ha’Shekel, however, is for all generations and thus, we are still involved in this Mitzvah.
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch commentated on the half – a – Shekel donation: “Equal participation symbolizes national goals of a Jew. We shouldn’t be selfish and refrain from only following our personal interests”.
When G – d commanded Moshe to carry out a census, the Jews were counted by their half – a – Shekel Terumah. They were commanded to donate half – a – Shekel which was then a silver weight Moshe introduced. The same donation amount for the rich and the poor hinting to the equality of every single Jew before G – d.

G – d showed Moshe that money is like fire. Both can be either beneficial or destructive, depending on how they are used.

Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhansk in Noam Elimelech


"Do not boil a kid in the milk of its mother" [23:19] 
A Kabbalistic approach: You are aware that all the commandments are divine and reflect something parallel to conditions which exist in the celestial regions. The same applies to the commandments known as chukim. They are called thus as they reflect matters engraved, chakuk, in the celestial regions. The legislation of meat and milk is an example of this. Just as each of these components by itself is permissible and only mixing them is prohibited, so the Torah had to be especially stringent in its prohibition against mixing two perfectly permissible items with one another. Were this not so we would find it difficult to understand that joining two permitted substances and making one out of them is so harmful to the condition of G-d's universe. It is like a lesson not to confuse the kind of holiness which exists, or is the aim of the Torah to establish, in our terrestrial world. Even when optimum conditions of sanctity exist in our part of the universe, this does not mean that these two types of holiness can be part of the same "brew", can be mixed as if they were all the same. As long as there is a yetser hara, an evil force at work in our world, G-d and His name are not one and the same. These two kinds of holiness are still apart and do not mix. It is our task to strive in this world to bring about a merging of these two kinds of holiness. When our sages (Massechet Gan Eden) said that in the future G-d will reveal to us the meaning of the legislation in His Torah including the reason for the prohibition of mixing milk and meat, what they meant was that although these commandments have been given to us to fulfill in this terrestrial world, the condition of this world is not such that it is appropriate to reveal to us the mystical dimension of this legislation as long as this world is infested with the yetser harah. If G-d were to reveal this information to us in our present state of spiritual/intellectual imperfection it might sow doubt in our minds rather than an additional resolve to observe the commandment meticulously. We might, G-d forbid, conclude that there are two competing divine powers which control the universe. In the future, after the power of the evil urge will have been broken, and when there is no fear that we would therefore misunderstand the reasons for this legislation, G-d will reveal it to us. This will be the period when the deserving dead will be resurrected. Only then will the concept of "on that day the Lord and His name will be one and the same", they i.e. will merge.In fact, at that time the prohibition of mixing meat and milk will become redundant. This explains why the angels who visited Avraham could eat butter and meat at the same time as it appears from Genesis 18:8 that Avraham served it both simultaneously. Seeing that the angels do not have an evil urge (Shabbat 89), this restriction does not apply to them. Once the evil urge will have been abolished there will therefore be no need for this commandment. This is what prompted our sages (Yuma 67) to say in explaining Leviticus 19:19 "you shall observe My statutes," as meaning: "I have engraved them and you have no right to investigate their meaning or criticize them as any such criticism would undermine this terrestrial universe in which the evil urge is still rampant." This is why a similar verse in Leviticus 18:4 concludes with the "justification": "I am the Lord."


Planet earth

Shavua tov

Remember you are not the body. Neither are you the animal that pounds within the body, demanding its way in every thing. You are a G‑dly soul.
Do not confuse the pain and struggle of the body with the joy and purity of the G‑dly soul.
From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman.


Shabbath Shalom

First four  mandments focus on relationships between man* and G-d 
Numbers six through ten focus on relationships between man* and man* 
The fifth commandment says we should honor parents. They are G-d’s partners
From the URJ Torah Commentary (Revised Edition) … “Jewish tradition has underscored the importance of one’s duty to honor father and mother by listing it among the commandments on the first tablet. It is thus seen as concluding the catalog of basic obligations to G-d. Parents are G-d’s representatives and partners in rearing of their children; and children who fail to respect this special position are offending against G-d as well.” (pg 495)
*Poetic license … “man” refers to humans of all genders