Ulpan.com's daily dose of Hebrew Headline Animator

3/30/13

Shabbath Shalom

Shabbat of Love
Song of Songs This Shabbat is Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach, the interim Sabbath of Passover

3/24/13

PESACH SAMEACH



I wish to all the Jewish people joyfull sedarim and the strongest feeling of the freedom HKBH provided from us with great miracles to take us out of Mitzrayim.
Let us be one people. The people of G.d.
L'Shana Haba'a B'yerushalayim

A short film about Passover


3/20/13

Chametz...

 Chometz (leaven) symbolizes kelipa (separation from holiness). That is why we keep our distance from even the tiniest amount of chometz, just as a person takes every possible precaution to protect himself from robbers who wish to take his life.
While getting rid of all the chometz, we should have in mind our desire that just as we are scrubbing and scouring away even the minutest amount of chometz, HaShem should destroy every last bit of the yetzer hora (the evil inclination) from the world. We are certain that HaShem, Who sees all the work the Yidden invest in cleaning for Pesach, will do away with the kelipa and the golus we are in.
All the work we do for Pesach must be carried out with love and simcha, with no room for anger and arguments. And the money which which we buy the Yom-Tov necessities should be honestly earned. Otherwise, one would be feeding the kelipa with kedusha.
(ספר קב הישר פרק פ”ט)
via Lma’an Yishme’u.

a little bit of music...

The Maccabeats - Les Misérables - Passover

Obama visits Israel


our Jewish little place: Pesach - Interactive Haggadah

our Jewish little place: Pesach - Interactive Haggadah: A simple and educational Haggadah to enhance the understanding of the Seder. Children can match up name cards  in the right place 

our Jewish little place: Seder plate - make it easy for kids

our Jewish little place: Seder plate - make it easy:   Make your own Seder plate to celebrate Passover.  Decorate t it with beautifull colour to remind  of spring and all the good times...

Seder plate: make it easy


Zeroah: A Roasted Bone
This reminds us of the Pesach offering we used to bring in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
Zeroah in depth

Beitzah: A hard-boiled Egg
This reminds us of the festival offering which was brought to the Holy Temple on Pesach.
Beitzah in depth

Maror: Horseradish Root
These bitter herbs symbolize the harsh suffering and bitter times we endured when we were slaves in Egypt.
Maror in depth

Charoset: A mixture of chopped apple, walnuts and red wine. Ground up together, Charoset resembles bricks and mortar, reminding us how hard we were forced to work when we were slaves in Egypt. Charoset in depth

Karpas: This can be a small slice of onion, boiled potato or sprigs of parsley. We dip the Karpas into salt water at the beginning of the Seder, representing the salty tears we cried when we were slaves. Karpas in depth

Chazeret: Romaine Lettuce
This is the second portion of bitter herbs which we eat during the Seder. This is eaten in a Matzah sandwich together with Maror.

3/15/13

Shabbath Shalom

A man who shall bring near of you an offering to G-d (Vayikrà 1:2)

The verse does not say, "a man of you who shall bring near an offering," but, "a man who shall bring near of you an offering"--the offering must come from within the person. It is the animal within man that must be "brought near" and elevated by the divine fire upon the Altar.

Bennett: Rocks Kill

3/12/13

It’s chodesh Nissan. The Pesach news edition.

The Land of Milk and Honey

Join Yishai Fleisher

of blessed memory

Two years ago, Palestinian terrorists broke into the Fogel family home, in the small Israeli community of Itamar. They brutally murdered Ruth and Udi Fogel, and three of their children. The IDF and the Israel Security Agency brought the terrorists to justice. Today, we honor the memory of the Fogel family.

3/11/13

chodesh tov!

"Hashem said to Moshe and Aharon in the Land of Egypt, 'This month shall be for you the beginning of the months; it shall be for you the first of the months of the year.' " (Shemot, 12:1-2)

The first commandment given by G-d to the Jewish People was to establish the beginning of the Month of Nisan (which wasn't yet called "Nisan," but, rather, the First Month). Until now, the Calendar was, so to speak, in G-d's hands. From this point on, the Hebrew Calendar was placed in the hands of the Jewish People.
Inauguration of the Mishkan
This day was chosen by Hashem as the day of the Inauguration of the Mishkan, the temporary Temple which was used in the desert and in the Land of Israel, before the building by Shlomo HaMelech, King Solomon, of the first Bais HaMikdash.
The Midrash discusses the Inauguration of the Mishkan in BaMidbar Rabba, Chapter 13, as follows:
"Rabbi Yossi used to say, 'When did the Inauguration of the Mishkan occur? It began on the twenty third of Adar, and concluded on the first of Nisan. And on all of the first seven days, Moshe used to set up the Mishkan and take it apart at the end of the day. On the eighth day, he set it up, and did not take it apart. And that eighth day was Shabbat, and it was the Rosh Chodesh of Nisan.
On that day, Aharon and his sons arose and washed their hands and feet from the sacred fountain, they worshipped the Divine Service in proper order. On that very day, the People of Israel made vows and donations, sin-offerings and guilt-offerings, brought the first-born of their flocks, and their tithes.
Regarding that day it is said (in "Shir HaShirim," the Song of Songs) " 'Awake, O North Wind, and Come, O South Wind, Perfume my Garden, let its Spices Flow, May my Beloved come to His Garden, and eat of its Delightful Fruit - I have come to My Garden, My Sister, My Bride' - this was the Eighth Day."

Two years since Itamar massacre


 
The victims of the attack.Ruth (35), 
Udi (36), Hadas (3 months), 
Yoav (11) and Elad (4) 

On this day two years ago, five members of the Fogel family were brutally murdered in their home in the Israeli community of Itamar
IDF news  Author: Gabriel Freund

On March 11, 2011, Israel reeled from the news of the shocking deaths of five members of the Fogel family, brutally slaughtered in their family home in the Israeli community of Itamar. On that night, two Palestinian terrorists from the nearby town of Awarta infiltrated the small Israeli community and broke into the Fogel's home while they slept, stabbing to death the parents and three of their children, including Hadas – just three months old.
The IDF responded quickly to the incident, conducting investigations alongside the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) which led to the capture and arrest of the two terrorists – Hakim Awad and Amjad Awam – who were subsequently tried and convicted of five counts of murder. They are currently serving five consecutive life sentences in prison.
The examination into the incident revealed that the men had links to the PFLP terror organization. Hamas sources praised the vicious attack as 'heroic'.
The Fogel family's tragic story reminds us that the IDF has no option other than constant vigilance against the endless attempts of agents of terror to harm Israel's citizens.
The Military Police Corps' Erez Battalion has recorded a sharp increase in seizures and apprehensions at crossings and barriers in the Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem regions in recent years. This alarming trend represents both the evolving methods of would-be illegal infiltrators, as well as the battalion's growing effectiveness in preventing such intrusions.
Among the apprehensions and seizures have been countless cases of forged identity documents, as well as attempts to illegally smuggle weapons. In a recent incident, IDF forces apprehended a terrorist released during the Shalit deal who was attempting to infiltrate Israeli territory.
In 2012 soldiers from the Erez Battalion apprehended 1,450 Palestinians attempting to enter Israel illegally, a sober reminder that IDF forces are the line of defense, every day  preventing the entry of terrorists planning to carry out attacks against Israeli citizens.
For more information on the Erez Battalion:
Security forces face increased hostility at crossings

3/10/13

Mission: Rosh Chodesh Nissan

What if you want to prepare for Pesach properly through Torah study and prayer, but instead find that you need to be busy with cleaning and shopping?
Of course, you should try to grab time for Torah study in middle of everything you’re busy with, and to be firm to daven at set times with a minyan.
But don’t become overwhelmed by all the obstacles that you have to endure. They are there for a purpose, and they are actually the only reason why you’re here in this world.
This can be understood with the analogy of a watch. In a watch, there is a spring which is bent backwards and naturally tries breaking free to jump forward, but is held back by the gears. The gears only allow the spring to be released forward bit by bit at the pace of seconds and minutes. If we would allow the spring the freedom to bounce forward straight away, the watch wouldn’t be able to keep time. Many machines are made in this fashion, by taking two opposing forces and creating a harmony between them.
This is the purpose of man in this world. Naturally, a person’s soul burns for Hashem. But Hashem wants us to declare His Kingship inside this world together with all of its problems and difficulties. Therefore He created an opposing force which separates a person and forcefully severs him from Torah and Tefilah and keeping his mind focused on a connection with Hashem. It’s all in order that a person should live in a reality which prevents him from serving Hashem and hides Hashem from him, and from within this reality to free oneself forward little by little. He thereby pulls the “gears”, the opposing force, with him to come closer to Hashem. Only in this way can we make wonderful Tikkunim above with our Avodas Hashem.
What should if you don’t see yourself becoming free at all? Sometimes the force which is keeping us away from holiness is so strong that a person can become overwhelmed. It seems to him as if it’s impossible to serve Hashem in the place where he is. But this is a mistake.

songs for soul


Cleaning for Pesach by Rabbi Gissinger

IDF: Only men will examine haredim

source
After senior Lithuanian rabbis order yeshiva students not to report to draft office due to 'humiliating physical checkups,' army assures them that ultra-Orthodox will be interviewed and checked exclusively by men
Israel Defense Forces officials have assured senior Lithuanian rabbis that ultra-Orthodox men reporting to the draft office will be interviewed and examined exclusively by men.
The promise was made after the rabbis ordered yeshiva students not to report to the draft office after receiving the first notice from the army following complaints of "humiliating physical checkups."
Knesset Members Yakov Litzman and Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) met last week with Defense Ministry representatives in a bid to guarantee that yeshiva students will continue reporting to the draft office. 

Mah Nishtanah - The 4 Questions in Hebrew


3/7/13

matzot...


Letter by Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson

Out of many, One
By the Grace of G‑d
Motzoei Shabbos Kodesh, Vayakheil-Pekudei,
25 Adar, Mevorchim Chodesh Nissan, Parshas HaChodesh, 5742
Brooklyn, N.Y.
To the Sons and Daughters of Our People Israel, Everywhere,
G‑d bless you all!
Greeting and Blessing:
Coming from the days of Purim, we turn our attention to the preparations for Pesach; especially when it is already after Shabbos Mevorchim Chodesh Nissan, Shabbos Parshas HaChodesh, and one begins to feel the presence and influence of the spirit of the Korban Pesach and Yetzias Mitzrayim, about which we read in the special Torah portion this Shabbos.
Our Sages of blessed memory connect the Geulo of Purim with the Geulo of Pesach, although the two deliverances were quite different. Yet the two also have certain features in common. One of them is the emphatic imperative to remember and observe these days to all posterity. Thus, in regard to Pesach the Torah declares (in Parshas HaChodesh): “And this day shall be unto you for a remembrance . . . unto your generations.” Similarly, in regard to Purim it is written: “And these days shall be remembered and done in every generation and generation.”
It has often been emphasized that a remembrance in Torah, as in Jewish life in general, is not meant for the purpose of merely recalling an important event, and the like; but the real purpose of it is to learn from the event that happened in the past—to learn, especially, specific practical lessons for today and tomorrow.
In this respect, too, there are points of instruction that are common to Pesach and Purim, and one of these will be spotlighted here.
The Mitzva of Korban Pesach required that every man individually take a lamb (or kid) for an offering, for himself and his household. In complying with this Mitzva, each person, each family, each chavurah (group) acted as separate entities, distinct from the whole Jewish people—each a world in itself. But at the same time they were all unified within “the whole congregation of Israel” which had received the same Divine commandment, to carry out the same Mitzva, at the same time, in the same manner, as emphasized again: “The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel,” all unified in the performance of a Mitzva that is connected with Yetzias Mitzraim—the Geulo from the first Golus, when all Jews came out of the Golus together as one nation, and came out triumphantly;—the first Geulo which is also the harbinger of the ultimate and complete Geulo, the Geulo from the present and last Golus.

what is chametz...?

Chametz is any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, or their derivatives, which has leavened (risen). Our sages have determined that flour from any of these five grains that comes in contact with water or moisture will leaven, unless fully baked within eighteen minutes. As we are commanded by the Torah, if a food contains even a trace of chametz, we don’t eat it, we don’t derive benefit from it, and we make sure not to have any of it in our possession for all the days of Passover.
To be certain that a product is kosher for Passover, it must have rabbinical certification. Otherwise it is possible that it contains chametz ingredients, or traces of chametz if it was processed on the same equipment as chametz products. Thus, unless a product is certified Kosher for Passover, we consider it chametz, and make sure not to have it in our possession on Passover.
Note: Matzah used all year round might be pure chametz, and not for Passover use. Only matzahs baked especially for Passover may be used on Passover.
Source

Children of Sderot


3/6/13

pekudei 2


pekudei

At the beginning of this week's Parsha, the discussion of the construction of the mishkan and its avodah is abruptly interrupted. Inserted there is a summary of the raw materials collected from Klal Yisrael. The Torah proceeds to delineate the exact sum of each material collected, followed by a precise accounting of how each material was employed in the construction of the mishkan. Finally, the Torah continues its description of the elements of the mishkan by describing the bigdei Kehunah worn in the Mishkan.
But why do we need this summary? The Torah devotes two full Parshios (the previous one as well as our current portion) to a detailed explanation of every element of the mishkan and its service. Concerning each and every component, the Torah provides us with its precise dimensions, its function and role in the mishkan, as well as the materials necessary in its construction. What then is the purpose of the synopsis detailing the utilization of the raw materials themselves?
Rav Moshe Feinstein, suggests an intriguing solution which provides us with an invaluable lesson about our own lives. Rav Moshe proposes that since each material was donated for the specific intent of the construction of the mishkan and its avodah, any misappropriation of the donated funds would be tantamount to stealing from the Bnei Yisrael who had generously offered the materials.
Therefore, a final tally of all the contributions was necessary to ensure that in fact every donation collected from the Jews was used for its designated holy purpose.
Rav Moshe continues that we can apply the same idea to our daily conduct. We are all born with certain innate talents and abilities "donated" to us by Hashem for the specific intent of performing His will. However, how we use those G-d given talents is up to us. We may choose to use our talents for their intended purpose -- to serve Hashem -- or we may choose to utilize those abilities for evil.

Locust update: 7500 Dunam sprayed

After the locust storm destroyed crops in Egypt, the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture made the decision to spray 7,500 dunam of land. The Health Ministry was consulted as well. Most of the locust have been stopped as of Wednesday insuring minimal damage to crops and to the environment.

do not eat locusts.....


Rav Yitzhak Yosef Shlit"a, son of Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a and author of the multi-volume set Yalkut Yosef, reiterates what he said in Yalkut Yosef that those who are not part of the communities with a tradition of knowing what the signs of a locust are - even if you know the signs and you know that its name is "Hagav" - may not eat them.

Palestinian propaganda's manufacturing of consent


huffington post
From al Durah to Badawi: Lethal journalism and Palestinian Propaganda's Manufacturing of Consent 
It was a defining image of the last conflagration in Gaza. Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh and Egyptian prime minister Hashim Kandil held up a Palestinian child's corpse to the cameras, his face bloodied, his lifeless eyes a compelling entreaty to the world: "Will you not stand against Israel for killing this child!?"
But it wasn't Israel that murdered 4-year-old Mohammed Sadallah, it appears to have been Hamas. In a grotesque irony, one of the thousands of rockets Hamas had aimed at Israeli children reportedly landed on the 4-year-old Gazan boy instead. The Islamist group thought nothing of turning the child into a PR weapon -- and the international press obliged. That same week, Palestinian activists repeatedly tried to pass off photos of dead Arab children as Israel's doing. The photos were in fact of Syrian children massacred weeks earlier by Bashar Assad. And this month, following unprecedented public criticism, the UN fired Kulhood Badawi, one of its senior public affairs officers in Jerusalem. Badawi had tried to peddle a photo of a girl killed in an accident in 2006 as a victim of Israel. These activists, Badawi and Hamas -- whose minister boasted in 2009 of its use of "human shields of the women, the children... to challenge the Zionist bombing machine" -- assumed that the international press would simply take them at their word, as it had always done.
Bloggers exposed their lies, but the damage had been done. And the damage when journalists help certain Palestinian activists abuse public compassion to demonize Israel is counted in lives lost -- on both sides.
In the war for hearts and minds, some propagandists for the Palestinian cause understood long ago that feelings trump facts. Images and accusations that molest the emotions and exploit the public's natural empathy are irreplaceable ammunition to coerce sympathy with the Palestinians and hostility to Israel. Yasser Arafat himself in January 2002 -- two days before his own Fatah organization murdered six guests at a Bat Mitzvah celebration in Israel -- cynically underlined the value of dead Palestinian children as propaganda tools: "the Palestinian child holding a stone, facing a tank - is that not the greatest message to the world, when that hero becomes a 'martyr'?" 

our Jewish little place: Parashah Vayakhel-Pekudei

Shabbath haChodesh

The Gift of Time

"This month shall be for you the beginning of the months, it shall be for you the first of the months of the year." (Shemot 12:2)

This coming Shabbat, the final Shabbat in the Hebrew month of Adar, is also known as Shabbat HaChodesh. An additional Torah scroll is taken out on this Shabbat and Exodus 12:1-20 is read, announcing the arrival of the month of Nissan. Shabbat Hachodesh is the last of four special Shabbatot that surround the festival of Purim. Shabbat Shekalim and Shabbat Zachor precede Purim, and Shabbat Parah and Shabbat HaChodesh follow Purim.
The first day of Nissan is a historic day for the Jewish people. It was the day when we received our first commandment as a nation: sanctify the new moon. The new month could only be declared by a Beit Din (rabbinical court) after hearing the testimony of two witnesses. This ritual has a profound spiritual and historic significance for Jews living all over the world. The establishment of when chagim (holidays) fall, how many days they are and when we celebrate in and out of Israel all relate back to this commandment.
By virtue of this commandment, the Jewish people are given mastery over time. From that moment the calendar with its cycle of Shabbat, chagim and festivals could exist only when human witnesses declared the new month. This signifies more than control over the determination of time and the everyday events of daily life. It represents the potential for change and renewal, for rebirth and growth, and for the waning and waxing of the moon each month.
The concept of Rosh Chodesh is one that connects holiness with time. Sanctifying time and marking it is central to our lives as Jews. As Abraham Joshua Heschel states, "Judaism is more concerned with time than space" and Judaism is "a religion of time aiming at the sanctification of time."
The law also instructs as to count the coming month of Nissan as the first month of the year. Not Tishrei, not Rosh Hashanah, but Nissan. If the world was created in Tishrei, then why is Nissan considered the first month of the year?
Ramban understood the rationale of this law in the following way: