Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Different Status Of An Arusah And Nesua As It Relates To Teruma

לע"נ הרבנית מרת גיטל מירל בריינדל האדמו"ר ר' יוחנן זצ"ל
ולרפואת ישי דב הלוי בן נרי בתוך שח"י

The gemara [Kiddushin 5] attempts to derive from a kal va-chomer that chupah is koneh for kiddushin. If kiddushei kesef, which [is weaker isofar as that it] does not enable a bas yisrael to eat trumah when betrothed by a kohen, nevertheless effects a kinyan, then chupah which [is stronger insofar as that it] DOES enable a bas yisrael woman to eat trumah [after chuppah-nisuin a woman married to a kohen may eat trumah] must certainly effect a kinyan kiddushin. The gemara then rejects this kal va-chomer by proving that even kiddushei kesef enables a woman to eat trumah [and thus it is not more "kal" than chuppah].

The Rogochover quotes two Yerushalmis which imply that there is an opinion that a betrothed woman may NOT eat trumah [as in the gemara's hava amina].

Then he adds an interesting point. Even according to the way we hold, that a woman may eat trumah as an ארוסה there is nevertheless a difference between an ארוסה and a נשואה.

דנשואה אכלה מחמת קדושה ואישות וארוסה גדר קנין  - When a נשואה eats trumah she is doing so not as a בת ישראל married to a kohen but as a female kohen. She herself receives the kedusha of kehuna and becomes a koheness! An ארוסה betrothed to a kohen is not a koheness but just גדר קנין - by dint of the קנין made by her ארוס כהן she may eat trumah but not because of a change in her essential, inherent, personal status.

What is the nafka minah, you ask. Good question!!:-) The nafka minah would be if she was מזנה and thus becomes אסור to her husband and forbidden to eat trumah. The Yerushalmi [Trumos 8/2] teaches that if she is a נשואה and eats trumah she need not pay the חומש penalty. The Rogochover adds that if she is an ארוסה she must pay the penalty because it is as if a זרה ate the trumah. As a נשואה who was מזנה she may be forbidden to eat the trumah but she still doesn't have the status of a זרה because by being a נשואה she adopts קדושת כהונה. All she must pay is the principal. In contrast an ארוסה must pay the extra חומש because she is considered [now that she has been מזנה] a זרה.

The Achronim [Rav Yosef Engel, Rav Shmuel Rozovsky, Rav Yisrael Gustman] discuss the status of an אשת כהן. Here I presented the Rogochover's understanding that there is a distinction between a נשואה and ארוסה. It emerges according to him that the gemara remains partially with it's hava amina. Kesef does not fully allow an ארוסה to eat trumah. She eats as the קנין כהן but not as a full fledged koheness herself.    

New Articles

A very powerful article on our required relationship to Eretz Yisrael [in Hebrew], here.

This weeks article on Parshas Devarim, here. Deeelicious!

רחמים בן עליזה חנה

 Rachamim ben Aliza Chana - a soldier who was critically wounded when he jumped on a grenade to save his comrades, bi-toch shear cholei yisrael.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


1. Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.
2. If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.
3. My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.

4. My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where she is.

5. I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three.
6. It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.
7. Money won't buy happiness, but it will pay the salaries of a large research staff to study the problem.
8. Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?
9. Children are smarter than any of us. Know how I know that? I don't know one child with a full time job and children.




Treat The Illness - Don't Ignore It

What happened in Gaza?

About 9 years ago, Israel pulled out and let the Arabs have complete autonomy. Now, we are paying a very heavy price. Besides the billions of shekels this is costing that could be going to poor people, we are losing soldiers and others are suffering injuries.

The lesson, of course, is never leave evil unguarded. The Arabs have spent all of these years building those tunnels and bolstering their infrastucture in order to achieve their "final solution" of wiping Israel off the map היו לא תהיה. Israel was oblivious until the rockets started endlessly falling.

My point is not to show how utterly foolish the Israeli government was and is. That is obvious and can be proven from so many other instances as well. [One example - In the Knesset they have Arab Knesset members who hate the Jewish people. Does the USA have Congressman who hate Americans??]

My point is to assert that the exact same thing happens when we allow the evil within ourselves to fester and we don't treat our spiritual ills. Like a cancer it spreads and once we want to do something about it, it's already too late.

So let us look inside of our psyche and see what lurks there. Sinah, kinah, gaava, taavas achila, taavas nashim etc. etc. Then we have to treat it by learning sifrei mussar and chassidus and by being around people who have mastered their inclinations. 

Hashem Is Watching Us!

From the Jewish Press

Hamas had been preparing a murderous massive assault on Israeli civilian targets during the upcoming Jewish New Year holiday, Rosh Hashanah – according to anonymous sources in the Israeli security services

Hamas had been planning a surprise attack where 200 fighters would have been dispatched through the dozens of tunnels dug by Hamas under the border from Gaza to Israel. The terror organization aimed to seize kibbutzim and other communities while killing and kidnapping Israeli civilians. In total, thousands of Hamas terrorists would have been swarming across Israel, wearing IDF uniforms, which would have further complicated an Israeli response. Reports further indicate that Hezbollah may have planned to join the attack as well, opening another front in the north. cited by the Israeli daily Maariv.

The source stressed that the current unplanned war with Hamas inadvertently thwarted a catastrophic event on an apocalyptic magnitude such as the Yom Kippur War, which would have ‘brought the State of Israel to its knees.’ The destruction of these tunnels takes away from Hamas a strategic weapon it has been working on and investing in heavily for years according to the source.

Each tunnel has arteries, veins, offshoots as well as offshoots of offshoots designed in intricate and complex arrangements. As one Israeli spokesman said, “There are two Gazas, one above ground and one below ground: an underground terrorist city.”

Speaking to the CBC, a senior Israeli defense official said the Israeli military had considerable prior knowledge of Hamas weaponry and tunnels, but was still “surprised” by the extent of both when the current ground operation began. He added that the network had not been detected by aerial surveillance, because Hamas had solved the most obvious problem: how to hide the piles of sand removed from the tunnels. This, he said, was painstakingly taken away, a few bags at a time, and stored out of sight in buildings and underneath greenhouses.

The official said Hamas had diverted huge quantities of cement, imported for civilian construction, into the building of concrete-block walls and roofs for the tunnels. As an example, he cited a 1.7-kilometer tunnel discovered in February 2013 that Israeli engineers estimated would have required 500 tons of concrete – “enough to build a three-story hospital.”

Israel has discovered 31 tunnels so far, and has destroyed several of them by employing bulldozers, explosive and other methods. IDF excavation of the tunnels has resulted in the seizure of tons of Hamas supplies, as well as the discovery of plans for future operations.

Israeli soldiers have already frustrated several surprise assaults by Hamas through tunnels from Gaza into southern Israel. On July 21, ten Hamas terrorists emerged from a tunnel. They were immediately spotted and eliminated, but the clash cost the lives of two IDF soldiers.

Writing for Gatestone, Lawrence Franklin says that the construction of network of tunnels used hundreds of tons of concrete that might otherwise have been used by the Palestinians for building homes, shopping malls, parks, schools, hospitals and libraries.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Power Of Faith

From an email sent out [for those who didn't receive it]:

Shaalooom sweeetest friends!!
I usually like to share simchas. I had planned to make a siyum today with everyone via email on the yahrtzeit of a dear friend and have everyone join me in my simcha. But I had SOME DAY so my plans changed. I will share some of the details. [You are all invited to the siyum on a future email bli neder. Bring your cookies and cakes to the email and eat as you read.]
It started like every other day. A meeting with the Boss, my dear Father [called by the Talmud " Shachris"]. Then - a trip to the local pool [called by the Orthodox "mikva"]. Afterwards - morning seder including a phone chavrusa with my son Shmuli who is in yeshiva in Bnei Brak. A regular day. Then I debated - should I daven mincha in the neighborhood shul or daven later on in Tolna on the way to the Azkara for my beloved friend R' Yoel Weisberg ztz"l whose yahrtzeit is today. I decided to daven in Tolna. When I arrived later in the day at about 7pm, I froze in my tracks.
Big signs were hanging everywhere telling that the Rebbe Shlita's mother had passed away and that the funeral was at 5. It was so sad to see. Just recently I had visited her in the hospital. My wife went to give birth but it was a "fake-out-break-out" and little Adina'le wasn't ready to make her grand entrance. It turns out that Hashem sent us there because while there we found out that the Rebbe Shlita's mother was there so I interrupted my habit of reading all the plaques and seeing how many people I know [quite a few. I learned that one need not be rich to know lots of rich people:-)] and went with my wife to visit.
Back to our story.... It was too late to attend the funeral so I waited for everyone to get back. A few minutes later people started approaching me and telling me that the Rebbe Shlita noticed that I was absent at the funeral, obviously meaning that I didn't know about it. He was concerned that I should be informed because I attend his gemara shiur every monday night and I shouldn't come and find out that it was cancelled. That is what he was worrying about on the way home from his mother's funeral. That Elchonon Ehrman shouldn't needlessly come to his shiur. That fit in well with the drasha he had given last night about the jail so many of us find ourselves in. The jail of ...egotism. He emphasized that we must free ourselves because it is a horrible fate to be self-centered.
The Rebbe entered the beis medrash and sat down with his father and brothers. I approached him and he said "I was just talking about you..." I explained that I was on my way to an Azkarah and just stopped there for mincha when I found out the sad news.
Then the shiva began. Not a normal shiva. The Rebbe believes that one must always be happy. Even an aveil. So he was filled with simcha. He was making jokes, giving out l'chaim's and trying to add a spirit of simcha to the room. He said that at his late sister's funeral [she died a young mother of three of cancer] they sang Aishes Chayil. So he said "We are now going to sing eishes chayil". And sing everybody did. It wasn't somber. It was ... simcha-dik. Everything that happens is for the best and even the bracha of Baruch Dayan Emes must be said bi-simcha, so of course we will be bi-simcha.
THAT was a lesson. Not one from a book but one I saw right in front of my eyes. I will never forget it. It was genuine simcha even though of course he loved his mother very much.

A little about her.
Rebbetzin Gittel Weinberg ע"ה was the daughter of The Tolna Rebbe ztz"l, Rav Yochanan Twerski. The Rebbe had a kehilla in Montreal and was very successful. His only daughter grew up in relative wealth and prosperity. In 1949 she went with her new husband to Eretz Yisrael. At the time, this meant living in abject poverty. Sleeping on the floor on a bug infested mattress as thick as a sponge, having barely anything to eat etc. etc. [Bread and jam for breakfast and dinner, vegetable soup for lunch. That's it]. The Rebbe Shlita asked his mother how she did it. She explained simply that she had an ideal - to live in Eretz Yisrael. The horrible material situation was not going to stop her.
When her daughter was ill for a long time and then died, there wasn't a word of complaint. If everything is for the best and from Hashem - what is there to complain about? Just simcha.
After maariv, the Rebbe Shlita left the Beis Medrash where he had been sitting and the first day of shiva was over.
So I went to the bus [I don't like traveling in any vehichle smaller than a stretch limo] and traveled to Baka where the Azkara was taking place. When I arrived [took me a while. "Rechov Asher". Lived in Yerushalyim for 25 years and never heard of it. FYI - it is right off Rechov Naftali.... So biblical. I asked a taxi driver for directions but couldn't find it. I then asked a taxi driver again for directions and he said with annoyance "You already asked me once":-)], I was told that the niftar's son, Yishai, had been wounded in Gaza and then hospitalized but came anyway. When I walked into the shul he was speaking in front of everybody with a huge patch over his eye.
Yishai Weisberg is a married, high ranking army officer with hundreds of troops under his command. You would never know it when you meet him. He is compactly built, soft-spoken, gentle, sweet tempered and filled with emunah. He was talking all about his father's maasim tovim but of course not about his own personal heroism. Afterwards I approached him, we embraced and I asked what the prognosis is for his eye. Will the doctors be able to save it? He laughed good-naturedly, slapped my hand and said "Fifty-fifty".
Laughed? Fifty-fifty if he will ever have two eyes again??
Where does this come from??
Sweetest friends - it comes from the same place where the Rebbe's simcha on the day of his mother's death comes from and the same place where the Rebbetzin decided to move to Eretz Yisrael and sacrifice the comforts of being near her parents and having material comfort to live in a war torn, fledgling State of Israel comes from.
It is called ...Emunah. The belief that life is more than a comfortable bed, a lot of money and the many pleasures this world has to offer. Life is knowing what your purpose it and then fulfilling that purpose. Our external circumstances are never completely in our hands but our resolve to sacrifice everything for what really matters, for something bigger and greater than our own individual selves, IS in our hands.
We live not for self-aggrandizement, not for professional success but to bring more light and kedusha into the world. Tzahal is doing this by attempting to wipe out the forces of evil and darkness. We have already lost many soldiers but we have not lost our spirit and high morale. It is not our war we are fighting but Hashem's.
Hashem tells Moshe to take vengeance for the Jewish People against Midyan - נקום נקמת בני ישראל מאת המדינים. Moshe in turn tells the Jews to take vengeance for Hashem - לתת נקמת השם במדין. It is the same thing. Klal Yisrael bring Hashem's presence into the world and to fight us is to fight Him.
I was on an emotional roller coaster today and wanted to share the lessons with others. Live your lives with Emuna and for others. That Emuna and self-sacrifice will always translate into simcha, regardless of the circumstances. NOTHING bad can happen. Everything is from our loving Father. To be great requires sacrifice, sometimes of life and limb but that doesn't have to lower our morale. The knowledge that we are members of the most special and chosen people on earth and that our entire focus is adding light and removing darkness is enough to fill us with constant joy. As the Rebbe Shlita said today - m'gait nor in de kav fun simcha. We only go with joy. [His eulogy was in Yiddish and I will pass it on to anyone who wants to hear it].    
Beloved friends!! PLEASE daven for my beloved friend Yishai Dov Halevi ben Neri bi-soch shear cholei yisrael. He is a beautiful, special person and he sacrificed his well being so that we can have a safe country to live in [or at least visit on Sukkos:-)]. And please try to think of ways to be more giving to others as a merit for your own neshamos and primarily for Klal Yisrael who are in dire need of a ישועה. We should all be zoche soon to see a fulfillment of the pasuk עין בעין יראו בשוב השם ציון. Eye to eye we will see the return of Hashem to Tziyon.
Thank you so much and a gut chodesh to all!