Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Tzav 5776


Tzav 5776

New Stories Tzav 5776

Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Tzav 5776

Shabbos HaGadol and the Mitzvah of Tzitzis

Introduction

גדילים תעשה לך על ארבע כנפות כסותך אשר תכסה בה, you shall take for yourselves twisted threads on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself (Devarim 22:!2)

With Purim behind us, we are now beginning to approach Pesach, and the Shabbos prior to Pesach is referred to as Shabbos HaGadol, the Great Shabbos. Isn’t every Shabbos great? What is so special about this Shabbos that it earns its own title? The Halacha teaches us that on the Shabbos prior to the Jewish People being redeemed from Egypt, HaShem instructed the Jewish People to take a sheep and tie it to their beds. Given the fact that the sheep was the deity of the Egyptians, the Egyptians were distressed to hear from the Jewish People that their deity would be slaughtered. Nonetheless, the Egyptians were powerless to confront the Jewish People, and this was cause for celebration. Thus, every year, on the Shabbos prior to Pesach, we celebrate this event by referring to the Shabbos as Shabbos HaGadol. There are a number of difficulties with this explanation. First, what was the significance of tying the sheep to the bed? Furthermore, how does the idea of tying the sheep to the bed correlate to the name Shabbos HaGadol?

The mitzvah of tzitzis is related to the exodus

The word gadol, besides the usual translation of greatness, is also associated with the word gedil. It is said (Devarim 21:12) gedilim taaseh lach al arba kanfos kesuscha asher tichaseh bah, you shall take for yourselves twisted threads on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself. In the parasha that discusses the mitzvah of placing strings on one’s garments, the Torah uses the word tzitzis. Nonetheless, here in Devarim the Torah chose to use the word gedilim to describe these threads. Perhaps the different terminology alludes to the idea that the exodus from Egypt was a kindness from HaShem. The attribute of Gedulah, greatness, is associated with the attribute of chesed, kindness.

A Chasid is one who performs chesed with HaShem

The Jewish People informed the Egyptians that they would be slaughtering their god and the Egyptians were powerless to prevent this. HaShem instructed the Jewish People to tie the sheep to their beds, as the act of tying symbolized the idea that the Jewish People would be reconnecting with HaShem. The Zohar states that a chasid, normally translated as one who is pious, is one who performs chesed with his creator. Thus, by performing HaShem’s commandments and tying the sheep to the bed, the Jewish People were performing an act of chesed with HaShem. We can now better understand why the Torah uses the word gedilim regarding the mitzvah of tying threads to a four cornered garment. At the end of parsahas Shelach, after discussing the mitzvah of placing tzitzis on the four cornered garment, it is said (Bamidbar 15:) limaan tizkiru vaasisem es kol mitzvosai vihyisem kedoshim leiElokeichem ani HaShem Elokeichem asher hotzeisi eschem meieretz Mitzrayim lihyos lachem leElokim ani HaShem Elokeichem, so that you may remember and perform all My commandments and be holy to your G-d. I am HaShem, your G-d, Who has removed you from the land of Egypt to be a G-d unto you; I am HaShem your G-d. The mitzvah of tzitzis is directly related to the exodus from Egypt. The Torah does not expound on the association between the mitzvah of tzitzis and the exodus. It would seem, however, that the association between the two is that the exodus was predicated on HaShem’s kindness to us. In a similar vein, the mitzvah of tzitzis reflects the idea that we connect ourselves to HaShem. Thus, the word gedil, which means thread, is associated with gedulah, the attribute of kindness that HaShem exhibits towards us.

The Egyptians were cut off from HaShem and the Jewish People were reconnected to HaShem

There is another connection between the mitzvah of tzitzis and the exodus from Egypt. Rashi writes that the word ticheiles, translated as turquoise wool, is derived from the word tichla, which means death. This refers to the death of the Egyptian first born. Perhaps the meaning of this cryptic association between tzitzis and the death of the firstborn is that the Egyptians were cut off from the connection to HaShem, whereas the Jewish People were now strengthened in their connection to HaShem.

The Shabbos connection

We have seen that the word gadol relates directly to the exodus from Egypt, as the exodus was brought about through HaShem’s kindness to us and through our kindness to HaShem by performing His commandment of tying the sheep to the bed. This idea of HaShem’s kindness towards us and our acts of kindness to Him is reflected in Shabbos. Throughout the week we may find ourselves disconnected from HaShem, as we face the struggles of earning a livelihood and we are confronted with various temptations that are obstacles in serving HaShem. Shabbos, however, is the Secret of Oneness and unity, and this is a time when we reconnect to HaShem and experience His kindness to us. Thus, this Shabbos is given the appropriate title of Shabbos HaGadol, which we can now translate as the Shabbos of HaShem’s Attribute of Kindness. HaShem should allow us to perform acts of kindness towards Him, and in turn He will demonstrate His kindness towards us and redeems us with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, speedily, in our days.

Shabbos in the Zemiros

Ki Eshmera Shabbos

This zemer was composed by the great medieval commentator and poet Avraham Ibn Ezra whose name is found in the acrostic of the verses. The Zemer focuses on Halachic aspects of the Shabbos observance.

בּוֹ אֶמְצָא תָמִיד נוֹפֶשׁ לְנַפְשִׁי הִנֵּה לְדֹר רִאשׁוֹן נָתַן קְדוֹשִׁי. מוֹפֵת בְּתֵת לֶחֶם מִשְׁנֶה בַּשִּׁשִּׁי כָּכָה בְּכָל שִׁשִּׁי יַכְפִּיל מְזוֹנִי, through it I can always find refreshment for my soul. Behold! – to the first generation my Holy One gave a wondrous proof.: By giving doubled food on the sixth day. So may He double my food on every sixth day. The author offers up a prayer that HaShem should double his portion on every Friday. While the Gemara (Beitzah 17a) states that Shabbos is firm and established, i.e. HaShem established Shabbos as the seventh day of the week at the time of creation, we must still pray that HaShem grant us all the “benefits” of Shabbos. These benefits include Shabbos being the source of all blessing and that on Erev Shabbos we receive a double portion to compensate for not working on Shabbos.

Shabbos Stories

Take a broom

The Steipler Gaon, Rabbi Yisrael Yaakov Kanievsky, was a paradigm of holiness. The stories about his sanctity were well known throughout the Torah community. At seventeen, he had already survived the Russian army without compromising Shabbos or Kashrus.

The Steipler was not known for lengthy conversation. He had lost his hearing standing as a sentry on freezing Siberian nights during his tenure in the Czar’s army. People would write questions to him or beseech him to pray on behalf of the sick or unfortunate. The Steipler would read the note, hardly lift his eyes from the large volume on his old table, and would start to pray. He would often condense his advice into one or two sentences, but it would be potent. People asked, and he gave answers. Within days, miraculous salvation came. And so did the people. They stood in lines outside his modest home, and the very old man would find the time to see anyone who walked in with the problems of the world bearing down on his or her shoulder.

An aspiring young man, whose quest was to be as great a scholar as the Steipler himself, came with a problem. The young man felt that this particular predicament was impeding his spiritual growth and surely a man like Rabbi Kanievsky, who persevered in the face of life-threatening problems, could relate to his!

The young man had written the situation in detail for the Steipler to grasp its severity. “Every Friday,” wrote the young man, “I come home from Yeshiva, and the scene in the house leads me to despair. The table is not set, the kitchen is hardly clean, and the children are not bathed! What should I do? How can I concentrate on my studies when I have such problems?” The aspiring scholar expected the Steipler to advise him how to deal with a wife that was not keeping to his standard.

The Steipler looked up from the paper and made a grave face. The young man smiled. The Steipler must have realized the severity of the situation. Then he spoke in his heavy Russian-accented Yiddish. “You really want to know what to do?” The young man nodded eagerly. The Steipler looked austere.

“TAKE A BROOM!” (www.Torah.org)

Rav Chaim Ozer visits Cracow

Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky, zt”l once visited Cracow. When he arrived, Rav Chaim Ozer sought a tailor who could sew his suit which had torn on the way. He eventually found one, and requested that he fix his suit.

The tailor answered, “Forgive me, Kavod HaRav, but I have not yet lit the Chanukah candles. If you wish, you can wait until I light, and after a half an hour, I’ll sew your suit.”

While Rav Chaim Ozer waited, he noticed how this simple tailor prepared himself for the mitzvah. He removed his weekday clothing, and donned Shabbos clothing. He washed his hands and joyously prepared to light the candles.

Rav Chaim Ozer was astounded by the temimus of this man and he said, “Now I understand how the city Cracow produces such Gedolei Torah and giants of spirits, if this is what the simple tailors are like!” (Chaim SheYesh Bahem)

The Chasam Sofer’s Final Minutes

“Ashrei Ish Sheba L’Kan V’Talmudo B’Yado” (Pesachim 50a). In the final days of his life, the Chasam Sofer reviewed all the Torah he learned in order to come to Shamayim with his Torah intact. In the last few hours of his life he realized that three Chiddushim of his were no longer clear in his mind. He quickly called for his close talmid, Rav Menachem Katz, who lived not too far from Pressburg, where the Chasam Sofer lay deathly ill.

Rav Menachem reviewed with him these chiddushim and then the Chasam Sofer’s face lit up content that he would return his neshama to Shamayim with all the Torah still with it. As soon as they finished reviewing, the Chasam Sofer screamed to Rav Menachem Katz, who was a Kohen, “Run out I am dying!” As soon as Rav Katz ran out, he heard the Chasam Sofer say Shema Yisroel as his Holy Neshama departed to the heavens.

Rav Katz later said about his Rebbi that he had such a good heart, that he held back the departure of his Neshama until he was sure that Rav Katz was safely outside without violating the Mitzvos of the Kohen.

Last Second Arrangements On the Train to Auschwitz

It happened in a small village in Hungary – the familiar heartrending scene of the Holocaust as Jews were herded into trains, packed in tightly like animals. The non-Jews gathered around the train station, happily entertaining themselves by watching the Jews’ distress. They lacked all compassion for the Jews’ suffering, and as the trains began to move, they actually began clapping.

A few Jews stood by as well, those who had not yet been decreed to be sent to the death camps, and who had come to part from their relatives. As the train slowly began its grim journey, one Jew stuck his head out of the window and called to one of his friends, “Yaakov, I forgot to feed the chickens. Do me a favor; go to my house and feed them. Remember – it’s tzaar baal hachayim.” (Min Hameitzar) (www.Revach.net)

Shabbos in Halacha

מוליד – Creating a  new Entity

  1. Practical Applications
  1. Dry Foods

One my freeze or defrost dry foods for Shabbos use. However, a food that contains gravy is subject to the same restrictions as a liquid.

Meat or chicken with congealed fat should not be placed in a hot area to dissolve the fat. Therefore, on Shabbos morning one is prohibited from placing food with congealed fat or gravy near a heat source which will cause it to melt. Dry food that is coated with some ice, should, preferably, have the ice removed before it is defrosted in a hot area.

Shabbos Ta’am HaChaim: Tzav 5776

Is sponsored לזכר נשמת האשה החשובה מרת חיה אסתר בת ר’ משה צבי הלוי אוקוליקא ע”ה                 ת.נ.צ.ב.ה.

Sponsorships $180.00

Have a Wonderful Shabbos and a Gevaldige and Shushan Purim and a Gantze Yohr Purim!

Prepared by Rabbi Binyomin Adler

For sponsorships please call 248-506-0363

To subscribe weekly by email, please email ShabbosTaamHachaim@gmail.com View Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim and other Divrei Torah on www.doreishtov.wordpress.com

New Stories Tzav 5776

Stalin and the Purim Miracle

Stalin had plans to murder millions of Russian Jews. Like Haman, the tables suddenly turned.

by Barbara Penn

Jewish holidays are not merely a commemoration of an event in time. The time of year in which the miracle occurred was an opportune time for the conception of that miracle. As we make our way toward the Purim holiday, we are entering a time zone in which the all the Haman’s of the world can fail and Jewish redemption is born. The death and downfall of Stalin is an example of a miraculous, yet untold, modern day Purim story.

Joseph Stalin, tyrant of communist Russia dubbed the invincible “man of steel,” who murdered approximately 20,000,000 of his own people, was particularly hateful toward the Jews. After World War Two, his anti-Semitic campaign took a more aggressive, public stance. In 1947, he targeted thousands of Jewish scientists, politicians, and intellectuals who were dismissed from their positions, humiliated, arrested, and tortured. Stalin’s infamous Doctor’s Plot, in which six Jewish doctors were arrested and tortured into making a confession, began with the Stalin-controlled media spreading rumors that Jewish doctors were poisoning Russian children by injecting them with diphtheria and killing infants in hospital wards. (Daily Mail, National Journal, 2003)

After spreading his toxic rumors about Jews to the public, Stalin carried on with his plans to eliminate Russia’s two to four million Jews, by deporting them to the freezing, uninhabitable regions of Russia and leaving them to die of starvation, hypothermia, and disease. An article from the National Journal in 2003 reported that newly discovered documents proved that in the February of 1953, Stalin commissioned the construction of four camps in Kazakhstan, Siberia and in the Arctic North. The conjecture about Stalin’s genocidal plans were confirmed by P.K. Ponomarenko, Soviet Ambassador in Poland, in an article in the French Newspaper, ‘Paris-Soir’.

“A week before the Purim of 1953… Jewish faces were far from merry,” recounted Mrs. Batyah Barg, author of the autobiography Voices in the Silence. “In train stations all over Russia, train cars were being requisitioned to carry huge caravans of Jews into exile and slow death. Reliable sources confirmed that the expulsion would begin on the sixth of March, just a few days after Purim” (pg. 216).

God will yet help…. Stalin is a mere mortal… no one can know what will be with him in a half hour.

Rabbi Yitzchak Zilber, another Jewish hero and author of the autobiography, To Remain a Jew, recounts this climatic time during which he was imprisoned in the frosty region of Siberia. After Rabbi Zilber read the Book of Esther recounting the miracle of Purim to a group of Jewish prisoners, one prisoner responded, “Who needs your tales about what happened 2,500 years ago? Tell me, where is your God today? It’s not enough that Hitler finished six million – here they are about to be done with another three. Do you not see the trains and the barracks that have already been built (for this purpose)?” To which the fearless Rabbi Zilber replied, “True, our situation is difficult, but don’t be so quick to eulogize us. Haman also sent orders to 127 provinces. God will yet help…. Stalin is a mere mortal… no one can know what will be with him in a half hour.” (pg. 236- 237)

That Purim night, a few days before the Jewish doctors were due to go to trial, and just thirty minutes after Rabbi Silver’s foretelling of Stalin’s vulnerable fate, Stalin was said to have “collapsed in a fit of rage” during a meeting in which his supporters expressed opposition to his evil plan, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. That Purim, thousands of Jewish prisoners were freed. Joseph Stalin died on March 5, just a few days later, to the great relief of Russian Jewry. “To this day, I am choked with emotion every time I think back to that Purim of miracles,” recounts Mrs. Batyah Barg.

May we continue to re-experience the miracles of our holidays each and every year. (www.aish.com)

 

 

 

Shabbos HaGadol and the Mitzvah of Tzitzis

Introduction

גדילים תעשה לך על ארבע כנפות כסותך אשר תכסה בה, you shall take for yourselves twisted threads on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself (Devarim 22:!2)

With Purim behind us, we are now beginning to approach Pesach, and the Shabbos prior to Pesach is referred to as Shabbos HaGadol, the Great Shabbos. Isn’t every Shabbos great? What is so special about this Shabbos that it earns its own title? The Halacha teaches us that on the Shabbos prior to the Jewish People being redeemed from Egypt, HaShem instructed the Jewish People to take a sheep and tie it to their beds. Given the fact that the sheep was the deity of the Egyptians, the Egyptians were distressed to hear from the Jewish People that their deity would be slaughtered. Nonetheless, the Egyptians were powerless to confront the Jewish People, and this was cause for celebration. Thus, every year, on the Shabbos prior to Pesach, we celebrate this event by referring to the Shabbos as Shabbos HaGadol. There are a number of difficulties with this explanation. First, what was the significance of tying the sheep to the bed? Furthermore, how does the idea of tying the sheep to the bed correlate to the name Shabbos HaGadol?

The mitzvah of tzitzis is related to the exodus

The word gadol, besides the usual translation of greatness, is also associated with the word gedil. It is said (Devarim 21:12) gedilim taaseh lach al arba kanfos kesuscha asher tichaseh bah, you shall take for yourselves twisted threads on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself. In the parasha that discusses the mitzvah of placing strings on one’s garments, the Torah uses the word tzitzis. Nonetheless, here in Devarim the Torah chose to use the word gedilim to describe these threads. Perhaps the different terminology alludes to the idea that the exodus from Egypt was a kindness from HaShem. The attribute of Gedulah, greatness, is associated with the attribute of chesed, kindness.

A Chasid is one who performs chesed with HaShem

The Jewish People informed the Egyptians that they would be slaughtering their god and the Egyptians were powerless to prevent this. HaShem instructed the Jewish People to tie the sheep to their beds, as the act of tying symbolized the idea that the Jewish People would be reconnecting with HaShem. The Zohar states that a chasid, normally translated as one who is pious, is one who performs chesed with his creator. Thus, by performing HaShem’s commandments and tying the sheep to the bed, the Jewish People were performing an act of chesed with HaShem. We can now better understand why the Torah uses the word gedilim regarding the mitzvah of tying threads to a four cornered garment. At the end of parsahas Shelach, after discussing the mitzvah of placing tzitzis on the four cornered garment, it is said (Bamidbar 15:) limaan tizkiru vaasisem es kol mitzvosai vihyisem kedoshim leiElokeichem ani HaShem Elokeichem asher hotzeisi eschem meieretz Mitzrayim lihyos lachem leElokim ani HaShem Elokeichem, so that you may remember and perform all My commandments and be holy to your G-d. I am HaShem, your G-d, Who has removed you from the land of Egypt to be a G-d unto you; I am HaShem your G-d. The mitzvah of tzitzis is directly related to the exodus from Egypt. The Torah does not expound on the association between the mitzvah of tzitzis and the exodus. It would seem, however, that the association between the two is that the exodus was predicated on HaShem’s kindness to us. In a similar vein, the mitzvah of tzitzis reflects the idea that we connect ourselves to HaShem. Thus, the word gedil, which means thread, is associated with gedulah, the attribute of kindness that HaShem exhibits towards us.

The Egyptians were cut off from HaShem and the Jewish People were reconnected to HaShem

There is another connection between the mitzvah of tzitzis and the exodus from Egypt. Rashi writes that the word ticheiles, translated as turquoise wool, is derived from the word tichla, which means death. This refers to the death of the Egyptian first born. Perhaps the meaning of this cryptic association between tzitzis and the death of the firstborn is that the Egyptians were cut off from the connection to HaShem, whereas the Jewish People were now strengthened in their connection to HaShem.

The Shabbos connection

We have seen that the word gadol relates directly to the exodus from Egypt, as the exodus was brought about through HaShem’s kindness to us and through our kindness to HaShem by performing His commandment of tying the sheep to the bed. This idea of HaShem’s kindness towards us and our acts of kindness to Him is reflected in Shabbos. Throughout the week we may find ourselves disconnected from HaShem, as we face the struggles of earning a livelihood and we are confronted with various temptations that are obstacles in serving HaShem. Shabbos, however, is the Secret of Oneness and unity, and this is a time when we reconnect to HaShem and experience His kindness to us. Thus, this Shabbos is given the appropriate title of Shabbos HaGadol, which we can now translate as the Shabbos of HaShem’s Attribute of Kindness. HaShem should allow us to perform acts of kindness towards Him, and in turn He will demonstrate His kindness towards us and redeems us with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, speedily, in our days.

Shabbos in the Zemiros

Ki Eshmera Shabbos

This zemer was composed by the great medieval commentator and poet Avraham Ibn Ezra whose name is found in the acrostic of the verses. The Zemer focuses on Halachic aspects of the Shabbos observance.

בּוֹ אֶמְצָא תָמִיד נוֹפֶשׁ לְנַפְשִׁי הִנֵּה לְדֹר רִאשׁוֹן נָתַן קְדוֹשִׁי. מוֹפֵת בְּתֵת לֶחֶם מִשְׁנֶה בַּשִּׁשִּׁי כָּכָה בְּכָל שִׁשִּׁי יַכְפִּיל מְזוֹנִי, through it I can always find refreshment for my soul. Behold! – to the first generation my Holy One gave a wondrous proof.: By giving doubled food on the sixth day. So may He double my food on every sixth day. The author offers up a prayer that HaShem should double his portion on every Friday. While the Gemara (Beitzah 17a) states that Shabbos is firm and established, i.e. HaShem established Shabbos as the seventh day of the week at the time of creation, we must still pray that HaShem grant us all the “benefits” of Shabbos. These benefits include Shabbos being the source of all blessing and that on Erev Shabbos we receive a double portion to compensate for not working on Shabbos.

Shabbos Stories

Take a broom

The Steipler Gaon, Rabbi Yisrael Yaakov Kanievsky, was a paradigm of holiness. The stories about his sanctity were well known throughout the Torah community. At seventeen, he had already survived the Russian army without compromising Shabbos or Kashrus.

The Steipler was not known for lengthy conversation. He had lost his hearing standing as a sentry on freezing Siberian nights during his tenure in the Czar’s army. People would write questions to him or beseech him to pray on behalf of the sick or unfortunate. The Steipler would read the note, hardly lift his eyes from the large volume on his old table, and would start to pray. He would often condense his advice into one or two sentences, but it would be potent. People asked, and he gave answers. Within days, miraculous salvation came. And so did the people. They stood in lines outside his modest home, and the very old man would find the time to see anyone who walked in with the problems of the world bearing down on his or her shoulder.

An aspiring young man, whose quest was to be as great a scholar as the Steipler himself, came with a problem. The young man felt that this particular predicament was impeding his spiritual growth and surely a man like Rabbi Kanievsky, who persevered in the face of life-threatening problems, could relate to his!

The young man had written the situation in detail for the Steipler to grasp its severity. “Every Friday,” wrote the young man, “I come home from Yeshiva, and the scene in the house leads me to despair. The table is not set, the kitchen is hardly clean, and the children are not bathed! What should I do? How can I concentrate on my studies when I have such problems?” The aspiring scholar expected the Steipler to advise him how to deal with a wife that was not keeping to his standard.

The Steipler looked up from the paper and made a grave face. The young man smiled. The Steipler must have realized the severity of the situation. Then he spoke in his heavy Russian-accented Yiddish. “You really want to know what to do?” The young man nodded eagerly. The Steipler looked austere.

“TAKE A BROOM!” (www.Torah.org)

Rav Chaim Ozer visits Cracow

Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky, zt”l once visited Cracow. When he arrived, Rav Chaim Ozer sought a tailor who could sew his suit which had torn on the way. He eventually found one, and requested that he fix his suit.

The tailor answered, “Forgive me, Kavod HaRav, but I have not yet lit the Chanukah candles. If you wish, you can wait until I light, and after a half an hour, I’ll sew your suit.”

While Rav Chaim Ozer waited, he noticed how this simple tailor prepared himself for the mitzvah. He removed his weekday clothing, and donned Shabbos clothing. He washed his hands and joyously prepared to light the candles.

Rav Chaim Ozer was astounded by the temimus of this man and he said, “Now I understand how the city Cracow produces such Gedolei Torah and giants of spirits, if this is what the simple tailors are like!” (Chaim SheYesh Bahem)

The Chasam Sofer’s Final Minutes

“Ashrei Ish Sheba L’Kan V’Talmudo B’Yado” (Pesachim 50a). In the final days of his life, the Chasam Sofer reviewed all the Torah he learned in order to come to Shamayim with his Torah intact. In the last few hours of his life he realized that three Chiddushim of his were no longer clear in his mind. He quickly called for his close talmid, Rav Menachem Katz, who lived not too far from Pressburg, where the Chasam Sofer lay deathly ill.

Rav Menachem reviewed with him these chiddushim and then the Chasam Sofer’s face lit up content that he would return his neshama to Shamayim with all the Torah still with it. As soon as they finished reviewing, the Chasam Sofer screamed to Rav Menachem Katz, who was a Kohen, “Run out I am dying!” As soon as Rav Katz ran out, he heard the Chasam Sofer say Shema Yisroel as his Holy Neshama departed to the heavens.

Rav Katz later said about his Rebbi that he had such a good heart, that he held back the departure of his Neshama until he was sure that Rav Katz was safely outside without violating the Mitzvos of the Kohen.

Last Second Arrangements On the Train to Auschwitz

It happened in a small village in Hungary – the familiar heartrending scene of the Holocaust as Jews were herded into trains, packed in tightly like animals. The non-Jews gathered around the train station, happily entertaining themselves by watching the Jews’ distress. They lacked all compassion for the Jews’ suffering, and as the trains began to move, they actually began clapping.

A few Jews stood by as well, those who had not yet been decreed to be sent to the death camps, and who had come to part from their relatives. As the train slowly began its grim journey, one Jew stuck his head out of the window and called to one of his friends, “Yaakov, I forgot to feed the chickens. Do me a favor; go to my house and feed them. Remember – it’s tzaar baal hachayim.” (Min Hameitzar) (www.Revach.net)

Shabbos in Halacha

מוליד – Creating a  new Entity

 

  1. Practical Applications

 

  1. Dry Foods

One my freeze or defrost dry foods for Shabbos use. However, a food that contains gravy is subject to the same restrictions as a liquid.

Meat or chicken with congealed fat should not be placed in a hot area to dissolve the fat. Therefore, on Shabbos morning one is prohibited from placing food with congealed fat or gravy near a heat source which will cause it to melt. Dry food that is coated with some ice, should, preferably, have the ice removed before it is defrosted in a hot area.

Shabbos Ta’am HaChaim: Tzav 5776

Is sponsored לזכר נשמת האשה החשובה מרת חיה אסתר בת ר’ משה צבי הלוי אוקוליקא ע”ה                 ת.נ.צ.ב.ה.

Sponsorships $180.00

Have a Wonderful Shabbos and a Gevaldige and Shushan Purim and a Gantze Yohr Purim!

Prepared by Rabbi Binyomin Adler

For sponsorships please call 248-506-0363

To subscribe weekly by email, please email ShabbosTaamHachaim@gmail.com View Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim and other Divrei Torah on www.doreishtov.wordpress.com

New Stories Tzav 5776

Stalin and the Purim Miracle

Stalin had plans to murder millions of Russian Jews. Like Haman, the tables suddenly turned.

by Barbara Penn

Jewish holidays are not merely a commemoration of an event in time. The time of year in which the miracle occurred was an opportune time for the conception of that miracle. As we make our way toward the Purim holiday, we are entering a time zone in which the all the Haman’s of the world can fail and Jewish redemption is born. The death and downfall of Stalin is an example of a miraculous, yet untold, modern day Purim story.

Joseph Stalin, tyrant of communist Russia dubbed the invincible “man of steel,” who murdered approximately 20,000,000 of his own people, was particularly hateful toward the Jews. After World War Two, his anti-Semitic campaign took a more aggressive, public stance. In 1947, he targeted thousands of Jewish scientists, politicians, and intellectuals who were dismissed from their positions, humiliated, arrested, and tortured. Stalin’s infamous Doctor’s Plot, in which six Jewish doctors were arrested and tortured into making a confession, began with the Stalin-controlled media spreading rumors that Jewish doctors were poisoning Russian children by injecting them with diphtheria and killing infants in hospital wards. (Daily Mail, National Journal, 2003)

After spreading his toxic rumors about Jews to the public, Stalin carried on with his plans to eliminate Russia’s two to four million Jews, by deporting them to the freezing, uninhabitable regions of Russia and leaving them to die of starvation, hypothermia, and disease. An article from the National Journal in 2003 reported that newly discovered documents proved that in the February of 1953, Stalin commissioned the construction of four camps in Kazakhstan, Siberia and in the Arctic North. The conjecture about Stalin’s genocidal plans were confirmed by P.K. Ponomarenko, Soviet Ambassador in Poland, in an article in the French Newspaper, ‘Paris-Soir’.

“A week before the Purim of 1953… Jewish faces were far from merry,” recounted Mrs. Batyah Barg, author of the autobiography Voices in the Silence. “In train stations all over Russia, train cars were being requisitioned to carry huge caravans of Jews into exile and slow death. Reliable sources confirmed that the expulsion would begin on the sixth of March, just a few days after Purim” (pg. 216).

God will yet help…. Stalin is a mere mortal… no one can know what will be with him in a half hour.

Rabbi Yitzchak Zilber, another Jewish hero and author of the autobiography, To Remain a Jew, recounts this climatic time during which he was imprisoned in the frosty region of Siberia. After Rabbi Zilber read the Book of Esther recounting the miracle of Purim to a group of Jewish prisoners, one prisoner responded, “Who needs your tales about what happened 2,500 years ago? Tell me, where is your God today? It’s not enough that Hitler finished six million – here they are about to be done with another three. Do you not see the trains and the barracks that have already been built (for this purpose)?” To which the fearless Rabbi Zilber replied, “True, our situation is difficult, but don’t be so quick to eulogize us. Haman also sent orders to 127 provinces. God will yet help…. Stalin is a mere mortal… no one can know what will be with him in a half hour.” (pg. 236- 237)

That Purim night, a few days before the Jewish doctors were due to go to trial, and just thirty minutes after Rabbi Silver’s foretelling of Stalin’s vulnerable fate, Stalin was said to have “collapsed in a fit of rage” during a meeting in which his supporters expressed opposition to his evil plan, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. That Purim, thousands of Jewish prisoners were freed. Joseph Stalin died on March 5, just a few days later, to the great relief of Russian Jewry. “To this day, I am choked with emotion every time I think back to that Purim of miracles,” recounts Mrs. Batyah Barg.

May we continue to re-experience the miracles of our holidays each and every year. (www.aish.com)

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