|26 Ab Rahaman 5771 – Aug. 26, 2011 – Perashat Re-é
Shabat Shalom !
Sheloshim of Baba El’azar zsq”l
Today’s halakha is dedicated for the refua shelema of Daniel Abraham ben Habiba s”t, he needs our many Tefilot and Tehilim for a speedy recovery from a serious accident.
* Sheba’ Berakhot of a Wedding
* Wedding Song (‘Hupa) – Morenika / She’har’horet / Qedusha
E”H Ribi Kefir Dadon s”t
Generally speaking, every merchant does a check and analysis of his business dealings at the end of the year. He sees how much he profited or how much he lost and sees what he can do to increase his profits in certain areas. The Tora commands the farmer (Debarim 14:22): “Tithe, you shall tithe the entire crop of your planting, the produce of the field, year by year.” The farmer must tithe his produce every year. Says the Hatam Sofer, that just as there is tithing for fruits and vegetables, and for animals and money, so too must a man tithe and separate out time from his day to study Tora. Just as every merchant checks his profits at the end of the year, so too in the study of Tora one must check his produce; how much he added on in his study of the Tora and fulfillment of the misvot.
Many of the master ethicists explain that the meaning of the month of Elul in Aramaic is “to search out and inquire,” as the Targum Unqelos translates this pasuq in Perashat Shelah. That is, when we reach the month of Elul we must “investigate and search” our deeds. We can also explain the pasuq concerning tithes through a Gemara in Masekhet Rosh HaShanawhich says that on Rosh HaShana the Book of Life and the Book of Death are opened. The commentators explain that the Book of Death is opened so that they can see what their offspring did during the past year and with this we can explain the pasuq “Tithe, you shall tithe the entire crop of your planting, the produce of the field, year by year.” The Orah Haim explains the pasuq (Debarim 11:27) “The blessing, that you listen to the commandments of HaShem, your God”: Blessing will be found by one who heeds the misvot of HaShem, goes to hear words of Tora, sets time aside for Tora study, and is happy to do another misva. A man like this has blessing in all that he does.
In these times, entering the month of Elul, we must try with the help of God, to increase our Tora learning. HaShem should grant us the merit to strengthen and increase our Tora learning, especially during the days of Elul, and it should be His will to bring upon us a good new year, Amen.
Dipping Bread In Salt
E”H Ribi ‘Amram Assayag s”t
This is one of the controversial customs of Morocco that led to much discussion. Most customs originate from a correct premise, therefore let us analyze where this custom began.
The Arizal states that the words “Lehem” and “Melah” are spelled with the same three letters Lamed, ‘Het, and Mem in different order. They obviously also share the same numerical value of 78. This corresponds to three times the name of the Shem Havaya (Y-H-V-H) : 26 x 3 = 78.
The Arizal proceeds to explain that bread is from the source of Hesed (loving kindness), while salt is from the source of Gebura (judgement). It is imperative that we dip the bread into the salt to soften and neutralize the Gebura, judgement, in the world with the power ofHesed, loving kindness, represented by the bread. He states that for the above to take place, one must dip the bread three times in the salt, having in mind the names of Hashem alluded to in “Lehem” and “Melah”.
To fulfill this requirement of the Arizal, it would have been sufficient to dip the bread three times in the salt, while having the Name of Hashem in mind each time. However, I must assume that someone came along at a later time and decided that it would help for proper concentration to recite the verse that carries Hashem’s name three times. Thus, if the people get accustomed to reciting “Ado-nai Melekh, Ado-nai Malakh, Ado-nai Yimlokh Le’Olam Va’Ed,” while dipping three times, everyone would naturally have had the Name of Hashem in mind, three times.
However, they surely knew that this would constitute a forbidden hefseq (interruption between the berakha and the eating of the bread). They possibly justified this by referring to the Shulhan ‘Arukh (Orah Hayim 167:6) where Maran states that one is not allowed to interrupt except for something that is necessary and directly related to HaMosi (the bread) itself. Somehow, I think erroneously, they interpreted the pause of “Ado-nai Melekh” as being necessary for the HaMosi itself.
The great majority of Moroccan Posqim disassociate themselves totally from this custom. Short of listing them all, suffice it to quote our generation’s authority in Moroccan Minhagim, our master, Ribi Shalom Messas, zekher sadiq librakha. In Shemesh Umaghen(Heleq 3, 78:3) he states as follows: “Those who act according to this custom are surely transgressing a full-fledged prohibition.”
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Our Holy Sages, Hazal, teach us that “One who studies [at least] two laws daily is guaranteed a portion in the world to come.” -Masekhet Meghila 28b