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Shiur Sukkah 45b – 11/22/22


Sukkah 45b

Mar-Cheshvon 28, 5783. November 22, 2022

1 – We began with the Gemara that follows the Mishna where it identifies a particular area (Kalania or Motza) right outside Yerushalayim that was designated as (what is called today) a ‘Free Zone’. Meaning that goods that enter this assigned zone are exempt from taxes. 

Home | Sourcepanamafreezone

We mentioned the famous tragedy of the plane that a terrorist bomb blew up that was carrying many Jewish people that travelled regularly to a Free Zone in Panama. Interestingly, this Free Zone city is also called Colon

Most of the 21 people killed were Jewish businessmen operating in Panama’s Colon Free Trade Zone”. 

Remembering Those Lost on Alas Chiricanas Flight 901 - B'nai B'rith International

Alas Chiricanas Airlines Flight 00901

See here. Here. Here


2 – The Gemara describes the long ערבות that were placed at the side of the מזבח and ‘hovered’ ‘a full אמה over the top’. Being they were 11 Amos in length, they were placed on top of the יסוד to accomplish this overhang of 1 אמה. 

1 + 5 + 3 = 9. Plus 2 to create the overhang. Due to the horizontal angle of the ערבות it needed to be placed on the יסוד. 

Mizbe'ach HaOlah (Alter) - Mikdash Educational Center


3 – The Gemara continues with various explanation of the פסוק 

.״אִסְרוּ חַג בַּעֲבוֹתִים עַד קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ״

One is: 

כׇּל הָעוֹשֶׂה אִיסּוּר לֶחָג בַּאֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה, מַעֲלֶה עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב כְּאִילּוּ בָּנָה מִזְבֵּחַ וְהִקְרִיב עָלָיו קׇרְבָּן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״אִסְרוּ חַג בַּעֲבוֹתִים עַד קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ״.

Rashi, in his first explanation says that the Gemara is referring to the eating and drinking on Yom Tov. Meaning to say that one should ensure that the Yom Tov is enjoyed in a festive was by eating and drinking. 

The Maharshah wonders, if it means just consuming food, then how does the word אסרו, which generally means binding, constraining or limiting, fit in. 

He suggests that it refers to the constraint of not over indulging and getting too drunk!  

לפרש”י לשון איסור לא ידעתי לפרש ולולי פירושו נראה דאיסור כמשמעו שעושה לו איסור וגדר במצות אכילה ושתיה בחג דהיינו שלא לאכול אכילה גסה ושלא ישתכר יותר מדאי שאינו לש”ש והרי אותו מותר שלא אכל ושתה נחשב לו כאילו בנה מזבח והקריב עליו קרבן 

Anti-alcohol charities call last orders on Purim booze-ups | Jewish News

4 – In this context we mention the jousting of last week that Tosfos writes that if it is done בדרך שמחה, damages that unintentionally occur, are not considered גזילה.

Should You Get Drunk On Purim?

We spoke about the רמ”א in the laws of Purim OC 695, 2 that quotes some that say concerning damage cause during the festivities of Purim פטור לשלם! 

5 – דרך גדולתן. 

This is a general concept that one needs to hold the ד’ מינים in a upright position ‘as they grew’. 

Points discussed. 

a – Rashi mentions the Lulav Aravos and Hadasim. He omits the Esrog! 

b- The Halachah is that the Esrog too needs to be held with the פיטום on the top. When one sees an Esrog tree the פיטום is actually facing down, towards the ground. 

Here is the reason we hold it Pitum up. 

:שולחן ערוך > אורח חיים חלק ד > הלכות לולב

ב כל ארבעה מינים הללו צריך ליטלן דרך גדילתןמט דהיינו שיהא ראשיהם למעלה ועיקריהם למטהנ ואם הפכן בשעה שנטלן לא יצא ידי חובתו בנטילה זונא והאתרוג אע”פ שהוא תלוי באילן עוקצו למעלה מכל מקום דרך גדילתו נקרא עוקצו למטהנב וצריך ליזהר מאד בהדס שבא ממרחקים להתיר אגודתו ולראות אם מונח כתיקונו דלפעמים נותנים ראשו של בד זה בצד עיקרו של בד זה וגם לפעמים כופפין ראשי הבדיןנג:

From Morocco to New York, the quest for the perfect etrog | The Times of Israel

c – We mentioned in the past what to do in the Southern Hemisphere. 

MEANWHILE - Very Demotivational - Demotivational Posters | Very Demotivational | Funny Pictures | Funny Posters | Funny Meme

d – What about the walls of the Sukkah? Do they need to be, if made of wood, ‘upright’? 

We discussed the Tur OC 631 who says there is no requirement to do so despite some מדקדקים. 

See the Bach here.

6- We continued from last week’s shiur about the שם ע”ב. 

72 Names of God Watch


Shiur Sukkah 44b – 45a 11/15/22


Sukkah 44b – 45a

Mar-Cheshvan 20, 5783. November 15, 2022

1- We discussed the story concerning the righteous fellow that asked Reb Elazar that villagers come and hoe his vineyard during Shmittah and eat from the olive grove. Meaning that he is using grapes of Shmittah to pay for their work on the olive trees. לכם לאכלה ולא לסחורה. 

How You Can Observe Shmitta Even if You Live in The Diaspora | The Jewish Press - | Sponsored Post | 10 Adar 5781 – February 21, 2021 |

Is it appropriate or inappropriate?

Hoeing Images – Browse 41,991 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video | Adobe Stock

When he was told not to do it, he left immediately and received praise from Reb Elazar. 

“I have resided in this land for forty years and I have not seen a person walk in a path as straight as this man does”. 

Erik Schepers | Beautiful roads, Nature pictures, Landscape photography

What was so great about this man? He heard a פסק דין and left. How does that reflect on his greatness? 

The ערוך לנר  suggests that the fact that this person left immediately, without even saying the appropriate goodbye, shows his concern for the workers on his property. He hurried to tell them to stop taking grapes as payment so as not to transgress the prohibition of doing ‘business’ with פירות שביעית. 

2 – We had an issue about the next instructions given to this fellow:

Declare the olives ownerless for the poor  (be מפקיר), and pay perutot coins (cash) to the laborers as payment to hoe the olive groves.

There is a Mitzvah for everyone to be מפקיר his the produce at the beginning of Shmittah So why did this fellow need to do it again? 

In passing we mentioned the famous argument 450 or so years ago between Reb Yosef Karo and the Mabit – Reb Moshe di Trani:  Is this הפקר is an active commandment and happens only when one is actually מפקיר, or if it happens automatically. The difference is if one did not do it – is it הפקר or not?  Also – in the case of a field of a goy. 

See here if the obligation to be מפקיר applies just on the produce or on the actual field itself. 

Jewish Word | Shmita: A Sabbath for the Land—and Ourselves

3- Based on the next piece of Gemara, we mentioned the Halachah (OC 249) that one is not allowed to begin a journey on Friday morning that will take more than 4 hours or so. 

Amish man is suite vector silhouette illustration. Jewish business man. Tourist man traveler carrying his rolling suitcase vector silhouette illustration isolated on white background. diamond merchant Stock Vector | Adobe Stock

The reason is that by limiting the journey’s time, we are ensuring that his arrival at his destination to allow him enough time (the balance of ⅔ of the day) to prepare for the Shabbos meal. 

If he leaves early in the morning and travels just 4 +- hours, the day will still have plenty of hours (8 +-) for Shabbos preparation. 

ראה הצ”ע בערוך לנר 

Recipe for Greek Style Fried Sardines

כסא דהרסנא

The concern is that people need to be prepare for the Shabbos meal. Thus, when he arrives at his destination late on Friday he will not have time or ingredients to cook for Shabbos. 

That would apply even if one is returning from a trip and heading to his own home

Shabbat Shalom with Jewish friends | Saved by Grace

The reason is that perhaps his wife and children don’t have or didn’t prepare enough food to feed him. His arrival and the lack of food for him, will cause strife in his home. “Tatty, why didn’t you tell us you’re coming home”……..

However, there are exceptions to this rule and in general this Halachah does not apply today since BH, we are blessed with an abundance of food and the arrival of one more person will not cause anyone to go hungry. 

Mentioned the story of Reb Yisroel Labkowski, a true ירא שמים, who packed חלות and wine when he left the mountains to Crown Heights late one Friday afternoon.  

Picture of the Day

R. Yisroel, 2nd from L., 

4- We came across the two rows of benches that surrounded the בית המקדש and the cover above them. Since one could not carry his Lulav on Shabbos, people would bring them on Friday and place them on these benches. 

5- Daf 45a. Famous for (probably) being the only place in Sha”s that Rashi writes something of קבלה. 

The Mishnah says:

דֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ, וְרָאשֵׁיהֶן כְּפוּפִין עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. תָּקְעוּ וְהֵרִיעוּ וְתָקְעוּ. בְּכׇל יוֹם מַקִּיפִין אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ פַּעַם אַחַת וְאוֹמְרִים: ״אָנָּא ה׳ הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא, אָנָּא ה׳ הַצְלִיחָה נָּא״. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר: ״אֲנִי וָהוּ הוֹשִׁיעָה נָא״.

Now what does אֲנִי וָהוּ mean? 

We discussed the opinion of Rashi, Tosfos and the Rambam.


אני והו – בגימטריא אנא ה’

ועוד משבעים ושתים שמות הן הנקובים בשלש מקראות הסמוכין בפרשת ויהי בשלח ויסע וגו’ ויבא בין מחנה ויט משה את ידו ושלשתן בני שבעים ושתים אותיות ומהן שם המפורש אות ראשונה של פסוק ראשון ואחרונה של אמצעי וראשונה של אחרון וכן בזה הסדר כולן השם הראשון והו וי”ו של ויסע ה”א דכל הלילה וי”ו דויט ושם השלשים ושבע הוא אני אל”ף דמאחריהם ונו”ן ראשון דהענן בחשבון של מפרע ויו”ד דרוח קדים:

Rashi is saying that אֲנִי וָהוּ symbolizes Hashem’s name that contains 72 letters. 

We know it as שם ע”ב

He goes on to explain at length how we know about this 72 lettered name and the אֲנִי וָהוּ. 

This is a very deep and wide topic explained in קבלה, חסידות and the works of Reb Levi’k. In the next few shiurim we will bl”n try to add more to this interesting phenomenon. 

  • Why the right to left, left to right and finally right to left again.
  • Why אני (box 37) before והו (box 1).
  • Why no letter גימל in the 3 פסוקים.
  • בכן which equals 72 . Said 3 times on ראש השנה ויוה”כ correspond to the 3 פסוקים with 72 letters.
  • What about the בכן? Rebbe’s heart rending Sicha Purim תשי”א.
  • More.

אני והו


שמות יד, יט – כא

וַיִּסַּ֞ע מַלְאַ֣ךְ הָאֱלֹהִ֗ים הַהֹלֵךְ֙ לִפְנֵי֙ מַחֲנֵ֣ה יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶ֑ם וַיִּסַּ֞ע עַמּ֤וּד הֶֽעָנָן֙ מִפְּנֵיהֶ֔ם וַיַּֽעֲמֹ֖ד מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶֽם׃

The messenger of God, who had been going ahead of the Israelite army, now moved and followed behind them; and the pillar of cloud shifted from in front of them and took up a place behind them.

  וַיָּבֹ֞א בֵּ֣ין מַחֲנֵ֣ה מִצְרַ֗יִם וּבֵין֙ מַחֲנֵ֣ה יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַיְהִ֤י הֶֽעָנָן֙ וְהַחֹ֔שֶׁךְ וַיָּ֖אֶר אֶת־הַלָּ֑יְלָה וְלֹא־קָרַ֥ב זֶ֛ה אֶל־זֶ֖ה כׇּל־הַלָּֽיְלָה׃

And it came between the army of the Egyptians and the army of Israel. Thus there was the cloud with the darkness, and it cast a spell upon the night, so that the one could not come near the other all through the night.

וַיֵּ֨ט מֹשֶׁ֣ה אֶת־יָדוֹ֮ עַל־הַיָּם֒ וַיּ֣וֹלֶךְ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֶת־הַ֠יָּ֠ם בְּר֨וּחַ קָדִ֤ים עַזָּה֙ כׇּל־הַלַּ֔יְלָה וַיָּ֥שֶׂם אֶת־הַיָּ֖ם לֶחָרָבָ֑ה וַיִּבָּקְע֖וּ הַמָּֽיִם 

Then Moses held out his arm over the sea and Hashem drove back the sea with a strong east wind all that night, and turned the sea into dry ground. The waters were split.

זוהר שמות ע’ ע”ר

ע"ב שמות - להתגברות על כל קושי וחיבור ישיר לברכה והצלחה | "הגשמה והוויה"

Tosfos and the Ramban have a different explanation to the meaning of אֲנִי וָהוּ. 


יחזקאל א, א

וַיְהִ֣י בִּשְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים שָׁנָ֗ה בָּֽרְבִיעִי֙ בַּחֲמִשָּׁ֣ה לַחֹ֔דֶשׁ וַאֲנִ֥י בְתֽוֹךְ־הַגּוֹלָ֖ה עַל־נְהַר־כְּבָ֑ר נִפְתְּחוּ֙ הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וָאֶרְאֶ֖ה מַרְא֥וֹת אֱלֹהִֽים׃

In the thirtieth year on the fifth day of the fourth month, when I was in the community of exiles by the Chebar Canal, the heavens opened and I saw visions of God.

ירמיהו מ, א

הַדָּבָ֞ר אֲשֶׁר־הָיָ֤ה אֶֽל־יִרְמְיָ֙הוּ֙ מֵאֵ֣ת יְהֹוָ֔ה  אַחַ֣ר שַׁלַּ֣ח אֹת֗וֹ נְבוּזַרְאֲדָ֛ן רַב־טַבָּחִ֖ים מִן־הָרָמָ֑ה בְּקַחְתּ֣וֹ אֹת֗וֹ וְהֽוּא־אָס֤וּר בָּֽאזִקִּים֙  בְּת֨וֹךְ כׇּל־גָּל֤וּת יְרוּשָׁלַ֙͏ִם֙ וִֽיהוּדָ֔ה הַמֻּגְלִ֖ים בָּבֶֽלָה׃

 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, set him free at Ramah, to which he had taken him, bonded in chains, among those from Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon.


דברים לב, לט

 עַתָּ֗ה כִּ֣י אֲנִ֤י אֲנִי֙ ה֔וּא וְאֵ֥ין אֱלֹהִ֖ים עִמָּדִ֑י  אֲנִ֧י אָמִ֣ית וַאֲחַיֶּ֗ה מָחַ֙צְתִּי֙ וַאֲנִ֣י אֶרְפָּ֔א  וְאֵ֥ין מִיָּדִ֖י מַצִּֽיל׃   רְא֣וּ

 See, then, that I, I am the One  There is no god beside Me I deal death and give life

I wounded and I will heal  None can deliver from My hand.

6- The Mishnah concludes that as soon as the הושענא process was completed the adults  ‘grabbed the Esrogim from the children’s hands and bit into them!’

Caution: Don't Eat Esrog

Rashi explains that there is no issue with גזילה here since it was done as part of the festivities. 

Tosfos derives from רש”י that this concept is not limited to הושענא רבה but to other occasions as well. When being joyous and playful the laws of גזילה and מזיק do not apply. 

As an example they bring the custom (apparently popular at the time) of entertaining a חתן by jousting, obviously in a theatrical manner. Despite clothes being be torn and damage to the horses , there was no concern for the גזילה that seemed to happen. . 

Jousting replaced the Melee as the main event towards the middle of the 13th century

 ומסיימין בטוב.





Shiur Sukkah 44b – 11/08/2022


Sukkah 44b

Mar-Cheshvan 14, 5783. November 8, 2022

1- We continued the topic of the ערבה used on הושענא רבה. 

Willow Leaves Images – Browse 65,488 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video | Adobe Stock

The Gemara mentions an opinion that even one ערבה is sufficient. The Halachah is to use 1 (OC 664, 4) and the אריז”ל says to use 5. 

We mentioned the  מנהג to circle the Bimah with the ערבה in addition to the לולב. 

Although there is no requirement of הדר, Rashi mentions that they should be ארוכים ויפים -long and pretty.

והשתא נהגו להביא מורביות ענפים ארוכים ויפים שמנכרא מצוה בעין יפה:

2- As mentioned in previous shiurim, the גמרא is unsure about the origins of shaking and/or beating the  ערבה on הושענא רבה. 

חביטת ערבה - מידע, כתבות ועדכונים בזמן אמת - בחדרי חרדים

Is it a תקנת נביאים or מנהג נביאים?

The practical difference –  if it is a forceful  תקנה, then a ברכה is be said on the הושענות. If it is merely a מנהג, no ברכה is said, since we cannot say  – אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו, meaning –  we were commanded

Rashi adds on the previous page, that even לא תסור, the general Torah  directive to follow what the חכמים enact, does not apply on a מנהג!  

מנהג – הנהיגו את העם ולא תקנו להם ונפקא מינה דלא בעיא ברכה דליכא למימר וצונו דאפילו בכלל לא תסור ליתא:

3- We suggested to characterize 3 types of תקנות of the חכמים. 

1 – מצוות דרבנן.  Such as Chanukah and הדלקת נר שבת. 

Jewish Painting: Chanukah lights and suvganiot - Alex Levin

2 – תקנת נביאים or מנהגים.  Such as observing the 2nd day of Yom Tov, despite the definitive calendar we follow.  מנהג אבותיכם בידכם

3 – מנהגים. Either by the חכמים or an ‘accepted’ custom followed by large portions of כלל ישראל. Such as the ערבה/הושענות as is the גמרא’s conclusion.

As to the first two, a ברכה is indeed made. Chanukah, הדלקת נר שבת and 2nd day Yom Tov. At the 3rd level no ברכה is made. 

The גמרא quotes stories of Reb  אלעזר and Rav who didn’t say a ברכה  on the Hoshainos since it is ‘only’ מנהג . 

4- The big issues are concerning certain Minhagim as to what category they belong to,  which would result in a ברכה or not. 

The most famous one, as we learnt in the Tosfos on our Daf, is saying half הלל on Rosh Chodesh. 

The Recitation of Hallel - Jewish Holidays

Tosfos says that הלל on Rosh Chodesh in undoubtedly only a Minhag, so no ברכה should be said.

That is the הלכה in Shulchan Aruch. “And some say not to a ברכה even in a ציבור and that is the opinion of the Ramabam and the custom in ארץ ישראל and environs. 

Rabbeinu Tam however says one shouls indeed say a Brocho for הלל on  Rosh Chodesh. He argues that although הלל is ‘only’ a  מנהג, one cannot compare it to הושענות since הושעות is ‘merely waving it’. Meaning a light  מנהג in comparison to saying הלל. 

His proof is from the ברכות on the second day of Yom Tov. (Rabbeinu Tam places them in category #3 above). ‘It is only a מנהג, and yet we say ברכות’. 

We discussed the question of רבי עקיבא איגר and the חתם סופר. 

Gilyon Hashas:

תוס’ ד”ה כאן במקדש וכו’ וב’ ימים טובים של גליות אין בהן וצונו. וקשה לי דמ”מ יקשה מברכת על אכילת מצה ועל אכילת מרור בליל ב’ דפסח ואולי יש לחלק בין נוסח ברכה בלשון לעשות כן ובין נוסח בלשון על. אח”ז מצאתי שהקשה כן הר”ן עיין בט”ז א”ת סי’ ח’ ס”ק ו

5- As to the Chabad Minhag that has changed back and forth, the final custom is as the Rebbe said in 1981 to always say the ברכה. 

See here for the history of the Minhag according to Chabad:

ב’היום יום’ א’ טבת6 נדפס7: “נוהגים אשר היחיד מברך – בהלל – תחילה וסוף גם בימים שאין גומרים בהם את ההלל”

בברכה שאמר הרבי בסיום שיחה [בלתי-מוגהת]25, הזכיר “מנהג חסידים [-המתפללים בציבור] אז מ’כאפט אריין אויך די ברכה בחשאי”.

ש”פ מסעי ה’תשמ”א.

6 – Also mentioned were the following Minhagim and the question if to make a ברכה. :

A- The Rosh who says that on Erev Yom Kippur one should make a ברכה coming out of the Mikvah. 

Friedberg - jewish heritage, history, synagogues, museums, areas and sites to visit

B- A Minhag that was enacted only because of מראית עין. Like שחיטה  on a בן פקועה. Do we make a ברכה? 

C- Lighting candles Erev Yom Kippur.  See here OC 610, 2. 

7- We retuned to the topic of last week. Keeping ones Minhagim when traveling to different communities with different customs. 

The famous Maharil and the מגן אברהם. OC 468, 12. 

8 – The Maharil’s custom not to place on his table food items (although he considered them to be 100% Kosher)  that his out of town guests did not eat.

[Like serving whiskey that we, in the USA do drink, when our Israelis guests would never touch it at home……]

Whiskey Review: Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – Thirty-One Whiskey

This is based on a Talmud Yerushalmi that in Yerushalayim, although their opinion was to allow מלאכה on Erev Pesach, due to the fact that may of the guests came from locations that prohibited to work that day, all of Yerushalayim refrained from working on Erev Pesach. 

Also see Kaf Hachayim  OC 468, 65 here:

סה) וכתב בדרשות מהרי”ל ה’ איסור והיתר דמהרי”ל נהג בביתו שלא להניח לאכול מאותן פאנצ”ן שנפל עליהם מחלוקת הגדולים לפי שמתקבצים שם בחירים מאותן גלילות שנוהגין שם איסור חלב בהן יעו”ש. והביאו מ”א שם. והוא חלב הדביק לכרם שתחת הפריסה שנוהגין בו היתר רק בני ריינוס ושאר המקומות נוהגין בו איסור כמ”ש ביו”ד סי’ ס”ד סעי’ ט’ יעו”ש.

9- Speaking of הושענות…..

Willow Tree Branch Vector Images (over 1,900)

We finished with the story that occurred at the Rebbe’s table upstairs in 770.  Reb Zalman Teibel, after introducing the popular melody of אנא אנא עבדא, attempted to teach another tune. 

One of the guests at the table, who did indeed have a חוש בנגינה, tells Reb Zalman Teibel what he thought of his second song:

Der Nigun is gut oif klappen Hoshainos……

קובץ:יצחק חורגין.jpg


יצחק (איצ’ה) חורגין 


הרב חורגין היה עורך את ההבדלה במניין של הרבי מידי מוצאי שבת, מדליק את החנוכיה בזאל הגדול ב-770, ועולה כשליח ציבור לעיתים קרובות.

Shiur Sukkah 44a 11/1/22


Sukah 44a 

Mar-Cheshvan 6, 5783. November 1, 2022

1- We continued on topic #3 of last week that in order not to create “אגודות אגודות”, [meaning that all כלל ישראל should be cohesive and practice the same Mitzvos] since in חוץ לארץ due to ספיקא דיומא, we do not observe Lulav on Shabbos, the חכמים uprooted the מצוה from the Israelis as well. 

We mentioned that a few years back Professor Yoel Elitzur

הרב פרופסור יואל אליצור.jpeg reached out to prominent Rabbonim with a suggestion that perhaps the original custom of taking the Lulav on Shabbos (first day of Sukkos) should be reinstated in ארץ ישראל. 

His point being that originally it was practiced in   ארץ ישראל [as stated in Yerushalmi]  and it  was only about 800 years ago that they stopped observing it. At the time, the Jewish population in חוץ לארץ were the majority as opposed to the small communities in ארץ ישראל.Thus, the minority followed the רוב. 

Yanover Esrog Set - Standard —

Today however, when the majority of the Jewish population lives in Israel, they should go back to practice what the custom was in the times of the בית המקדש. 

The response he received from all the רבנים was a firm negative. ‘Let’s wait for Moshiach’ to bring back the original custom”! 

See article here

2- Our גמרא questions if our custom of הושענות is a תקנת נביאים or just a מנהג נביאים

מנהגים ביהדות - מנהגים שונים בזמנים שונים ע"פ היהדות | פרשת יהדות

As Rashi explains, a תקנה is a more weighty and important enactment that just a מנהג

The practical difference would be –  if it is a forceful  תקנה, then a ברכה should be said on the הושענות. If it is merely a מנהג no ברכה can be said since we cannot say אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו, meaning we were commanded. Rashi adds that even לא תסור does not apply. 

This is a big topic as we find many enactments of  מנהגים  and תקנות  that a ברכה is recited. We will continue on this next week BL”N. 

3 –As a continuation of the לא תתגודדו topic, we briefly mentioned an offshoot of this סוגיא. We ran out time and will continue BL”N. 

The topic is if a citizen of a particular community that is strict in a certain הלכה travels to a city that is lenient in that הלכה, what should he do? 

Say a Yeshiva/Chasidisher person traveled in 1920 to Yemen. He is invited to eat by a local and is served meat. Surely it is Kosher. But….. they way they שחט the animal is totally not accepted in the Western Hemisphere. Any שוחט in the USA, Israel or Europe that would שחט in with the Yemenite מנהגים, would be disqualified from being a שוחט. 

Can this traveler eat this lamb chop? If he is clueless as to the difference, may his hosts offer it to him or they need to advise him first? 

Holidays and Celebrations | JDC Archives

As an introduction to this topic we discussed the four stomachs that a cow has and which ones have חלב which needs to be removed. 

How many stomachs does a cow have? - Graham's Family Dairy

חלב שעל הכרס and the מנהג of the בני ריינוס not to scrape off this fatty tissue. 

בני ריינוס are the famed Jewish communities that existed along the Rhine River in Germany. This designation is occasionally used for all of German Jewry as opposed to the French, Italian and Spanish Peninsula.  


See here. YD 64, 9. 

4- We came across the expression of Reb Yochanon, who lived in ארץ ישראל, that true Torah learning was in בבל and not in ארץ ישראל!

In regards to what incident did he say such a stunning statement? A rather fascinating story. It’s long but very interesting. 

‘A lion has come up from בבל!

Lion of Judah - Wikipedia

Lion - Wikipedia

We read the text of the Gemara in BK 117 a-b. Here it is from Sefaria.The Gemara relates another incident: There was a certain man who desired to show another individual’s straw to the gentile authorities, who would seize it. He came before Rav, who said to him: Do not show it and do not show it, i.e., you are absolutely prohibited from showing it. The man said to him: I will show it and I will show it, i.e., I will certainly show it. Rav Kahana was sitting before Rav, and, hearing the man’s disrespectful response, he dislodged the man’s neck from him, i.e., he broke his neck and killed him.

 Seeing Rav Kahana’s action, Rav read the following verse about him: “Your sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as an antelope in a net” (Isaiah 51:20). Just as with regard to this antelope, once it falls into the net, the hunter does not have mercy upon it, so too with regard to the money of a Jew, once it falls into the hand of gentiles, they do not have mercy upon him, i.e., the Jew. Since gentiles who seek a Jew’s money will kill him in order to seize the property, Rav Kahana acted appropriately when he broke the miscreant’s neck, as he protected the Jew’s property and, by extension, the Jew himself.

 יוחנן שבע שנין Rav then said to Rav Kahana: Kahana, until now there were Persian rulers who were not particular about bloodshed. But now there are Greeks who are particular about bloodshed, and they will say: Murder [meradin], murder, and they will press charges against you. Therefore, get up and ascend to Eretz Yisrael to study there under Rabbi Yoḥanan, and accept upon yourself that you will not raise any difficulties to the statements of Rabbi Yoḥanan for seven years.

Rav Kahana went to Eretz Yisrael and found Reish Lakish, who was sitting and reviewing Rabbi Yoḥanan’s daily lecture in the academy for the Rabbis, i.e., the students in the academy. When he finished, Rav Kahana said to the students: Where is Reish Lakish? They said to him: Why do you wish to see him? Rav Kahana said to them: I have this difficulty and that difficulty with his review of Rabbi Yoḥanan’s lecture, and this resolution and that resolution to the questions he raised. They told this to Reish Lakish. Reish Lakish then went and said to Rabbi Yoḥanan: A lion has ascended from Babylonia, and the Master ought to examine the discourse he will deliver in the academy tomorrow, as Rav Kahana may raise difficult questions about the material.

Rabbi Raitport Visits His Beis Medrash -

The next day, they seated Rav Kahana in the first row, in front of Rabbi Yoḥanan. Rabbi Yoḥanan stated a halakha and Rav Kahana did not raise a difficulty, in accordance with Rav’s instruction. Rabbi Yoḥanan stated another halakha and again, Rav Kahana did not raise a difficulty. As a result, they placed Rav Kahana further back by one row. This occurred until he had been moved back seven rows, until he was seated in the last row. Rabbi Yoḥanan said to Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish: The lion you mentioned has become a fox, i.e., he is not knowledgeable.

Rav Kahana said to himself: May it be God’s will that these seven rows I have been moved should replace the seven years that Rav told me to wait before raising difficulties to the statements of Rabbi Yoḥanan. He stood up on his feet and said to Rabbi Yoḥanan: Let the Master go back to the beginning of the discourse and repeat what he said. Rabbi Yoḥanan stated a halakha and Rav Kahana raised a difficulty. Therefore, they placed him in the first row, and again, Rav Yoḥanan stated a halakha, and he raised a difficulty.

Rabbi Yoḥanan was sitting upon seven cushions [bistarkei] so that he could be seen by all the students, and since he could not answer Rav Kahana’s questions, he removed one cushion from under himself to demonstrate that he was lowering himself out of respect for Rav Kahana. He then stated another halakha and Rav Kahana raised another difficulty. This happened repeatedly until Rabbi Yoḥanan removed all the cushions from underneath himself until he was sitting on the ground. Rabbi Yoḥanan was an old man and his eyebrows drooped over his eyes. He said to his students: Uncover my eyes for me and I will see Rav Kahana, so they uncovered his eyes for him with a silver eye brush.

Once his eyes were uncovered, Rabbi Yoḥanan saw that Rav Kahana’s lips were split and thought that Rav Kahana was smirking at him. As a result, Rabbi Yoḥanan was offended, and Rav Kahana died as punishment for the fact that he offended Rabbi Yoḥanan. The next day, Rabbi Yoḥanan said to the Rabbis, his students: Did you see how that Babylonian, Rav Kahana, behaved in such a disrespectful manner? They said to him: His usual manner of appearance is such, and he was not mocking you. Hearing this, Rabbi Yoḥanan went up to Rav Kahana’s burial cave and saw that it was encircled by a serpent [akhna], which had placed its tail in its mouth, completely encircling the cave and blocking the entrance.

Cave of the Hanging Snakes – José María Morelos, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Rabbi Yoḥanan said to it: Serpent, serpent, open your mouth and allow the teacher to enter and be near the disciple, but the serpent did not open its mouth to allow him entry. He then said: Allow a colleague to enter and be near his colleague, but still the serpent did not open its mouth. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Allow the disciple to enter and be near the teacher, referring to Rav Kahana as his own teacher. The snake then opened its mouth for him to allow him entry. Rabbi Yoḥanan requested divine mercy from God and raised Rav Kahana from the dead.

Rabbi Yoḥanan said to Rav Kahana: Had I known that this was the Master’s manner of appearance, I would not have been offended. Now let the Master come with me to the study hall. Rav Kahana said to him: If you are able to request divine mercy so that I will not die again, I will go with you, and if not, I will not go with you. The Gemara comments: Since the time decreed for his death had passed, it had passed.

Rabbi Yoḥanan then completely awakened him and stood him up. Thereafter, he asked him about every uncertainty that he had, and Rav Kahana resolved each of them for him. And this is the background to that which Rabbi Yoḥanan says to his students on several occasions:

What I said was yours is in fact theirs, i.e., I thought that the Torah scholars in Eretz Yisrael were the most advanced, but in fact the scholars of Babylonia are the most advanced, as evidenced by Rav Kahana’s knowledge.





Shiur Sukkah 43b – 10/25/22


Sukkah 43b (2) – 44a 

Tishrei 30, 5783. October 25, 2022

Welcome back! 

1- We picked up the Gemara about the זכר למקדש  we do today with the הושענא. 

The question is if הושענא רבה would occur on a Shabbos, would we do הושענות? [Today it’s a theoretical question as our calendar was set up intentionally for הושענא רבה never to occur on a Shabbos]

Packed Hoshana Rabbah In 770

The Gemara discussed if the הושענות in the Beis Hamikdash, in addition to placing them against the Mizbeach walls (as it says in the Mishna 45a), were also circled around the Mizbeach by the Kohanim. 

Today, having no Mizbeach, all we can do is to circle with them around the Bimah. If in the Beis Hamikdash they didn’t circle around the Mizbeach then our Minhag is not really a זכר. 

Sukkot - Temple Institute

2- The bottom line is that on Shabbos we would not do הושענות because of ספיקא דיומא. Therefore, also in ארץ ישראל, they do not do it as well

3- Here we come to a fascinating piece of Gemara. 

As the Gemara said earlier 43a, when the first day of Sukkos occurs on a Shabbos, (every few years) in ארץ ישראל the ד’ מינים is indeed observed. 

The reason is since יום ראשון is מן התורה (in the מקדש and outside of it)  the גזירה דרבה does not apply. As opposed to the last 6 days of Sukkos, on Shabbos we do not do it because of גזירה דרבה. 

However, on daf 44a the Gemara changes its mind and states that nowhere in the world are the ד’ מינים observed on Shabbos, even on the first day. 

Shabbat Shalom v'Sukkot Sameach : r/Judaism

The reason is not to create “אגודות אגודות”! Meaning that all כלל ישראל should be cohesive and practice the same Mitzvos. Being that in חוץ לארץ due to ספיקא דיומא, we do not do it on Shabbos, the חכמים uprooted the מצוה from the Israelis as well! 

Church Video Illustration: The Pharisees and the Sadducees -

Here is how the Rambam he phrases it, Lulav 7, 17-18: 

ומשחרב בית המקדש אסרו חכמים ליטול את הלולב בשבת ביום הראשון ואפילו בני ארץ ישראל שקדשו את החדש. מפני בני הגבולין הרחוקים שאינן יודעין בקביעת החדש כדי שיהיו הכל שוין בדבר זה ולא יהיו אלו נוטלין בשבת ואלו אין נוטלין. הואיל וחיוב יום ראשון בכל מקום אחד הוא ואין שם מקדש להתלות בו:

ובזמן הזה שהכל עושין על פי החשבון נשאר הדבר כמות שהיה שלא ינטל לולב בשבת כלל לא בגבולין ולא בארץ ישראל ואפילו ביום ראשון. ואף על פי שהכל יודעים בקביעת החדש. וכבר בארנו שעיקר האיסור בנטילת הלולב בשבת גזרה שמא יעבירנו ארבע אמות ברשות הרבים:

Zev Sero correctly pointed out that according to the Yerushalmi in ארץ ישראל the ד’ מינים  are indeed observed even on Shabbos. More on this next week bl”n. 

4- We discussed the Lav of לא תתגודדו which is a huge topic. 

ואהבת...זה כלל גדול בתורה - אחרי מות-קדושים | הרב שלמה עופר :: מוסדות שמ"ע - שאו מרום עיניכם | הרב שלמה עופר

Briefly – one must not cause the formation of ‘groups’ that act differently.

When does this rule apply?

Is it a communal obligation to be cohesive or it’s on the individual to follow the majority. 

When do we all need to follow the same דין?

Two קהילות in the same city? 

Does it apply to a Minhag as well?

To be continued. 

5- We touched on the Davening a נוסח different than the נוסח of the Shul. The famous Chasam Sofer on this. The Rebbe’s letter. Etc. Story of the Litvak that was forced to say ויצמח פורקנה, but with a different kavanah…

6- Discussed the ושמרו issue. The Alter Rebbe’s expression to Reb Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev that ‘one cannot be on every  יריד . See here for a great link. 

Jewish Market in the Shtetl. Painting by eduard gurevich | Saatchi Art

The תשובה of the צמח צדק  [OC 85] about not saying ושמרו in a Shul that does say it. 

“As is known in Berdichev where they surely say ושמרו and yet some חשובי אנ”ש of Chabad daven there and do not say it…. So surely there is no אגודות אגודות…. 

6- Back to הושענות we discussed the expression of חיבוט ערבות. What is חיבוט? Rashi says נענוע- shaking or waving. The Rambam says hitting, banging or swiping. 

Hoshanah Rabba: The Final Day of Sukkot

וחובט בה על הקרקע או על הכלי פעמים או שלש בלא ברכה שדבר זה מנהג נביאים הוא.

The מאירי says that some bang the doors of the ארון קודש with the הושענות!!

7- Why banging/swiping it? 

We mentioned רבי צמח גאון who writes that the ערבות symbolizes the lips of a human. We need to atone for the times our lips were not used constructively…. 

טבעת קידושין | מוזיאון ישראל, ירושלים
טבעת קידושין

8- We finished with a topic we came across in the past about the Rambam’s original manuscript where he writes that קידוש כסף is only מדרבנן and his eventual correction that it is מן התורה.


Shiur Sukkah 43b 09/10/22 – Final Shiur of 5782


Sukkah 43b 

Elul 24, 5782. September 20, 2022

1- We continued our Gemara that discusses the Mitzvah of ערבה (what we call הושענות) in the בית המקדש and the Minhag that was enacted זכר לחורבן. 

willow branches with leaves isolated on a white background. vertical photo.

2 – We highlighted the interesting statement of the Gemara about ערבה:

עֲרָבָה שִׁבְעָה. כֵּיצַד? עֲרָבָה בִּשְׁבִיעִי מַאי טַעְמָא דָּחֲיָא שַׁבָּת? אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: כְּדֵי לְפַרְסְמָהּ שֶׁהִיא מִן הַתּוֹרָה.

Set of Hoshanos —

Something that is not mentioned explicitly in the Torah, like ערבה, was granted importance to counter the בייסותים

ערבה, being that it’s an הלכה למשה מסיני, a Mitzvah the בייסותים denied, was allowed to be observed on Shabbos, as opposed to Lulav. 

מצוות הושענה במקדש

What is amazing is that after the Churban, when the ערבה Minhag was instituted זכר למקדש, the set calendar which Hillel created, ensures that הושענא רבה never occurs on a Shabbos. 

But why didn’t he ensure that Rosh Hashanah does not fall on on Shabbos? Or the first day of Sukkos where Lulav, like Shofar, is a מצות עשה מן התורה?

Jewish Calendar - Judaism 101 (JewFAQ)

The answer is as above, the help perpetuate the מסורה, the Chachamim gave the Minhagim ‘more importance’ that even a מצוה דאורייתא. 

Other ראשונים say the reason is that Shofar and Lulav, if not observed on Shabbos,  can at least be at be observed the next day, on Sunday. 

ערבה, on the other hand, if הושענא רבה occurs on Shabbos, we cannot do it on שמיני עצרת because it would ‘embarras’ שמיני עצרת. 

Hoshana Rabbah - Sukkot & Simchat Torah

3 – In regards to the amount of Hadasim one should place in the Lulav, we reread the few lines on Daf 34b. Where it states:

׳ תַּנְיָא, רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל אוֹמֵר: ״פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר״ — אֶחָד. ״כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים״ — אֶחָד. ״עֲנַף עֵץ עָבוֹת״ — שְׁלֹשָׁה. ״עַרְבֵי נַחַל״ — שְׁתַּיִם.

From this it would seem that there is an exact number to use. 

No more than 1 Lulav, 1 Esrog, 2 Arovos and no more than 3 Hadassim. However, it’s not so simple. 

Alef (mehudar) Hadassim – Esrogim

No one uses more than 2 ערבות. If one cannot add ערבות why could one add הדסים? 

Here is what the Rambam says Lulav 7,7: 

  • כַּמָּה נוֹטֵל מֵהֶן. 
  • לוּלָב אֶחָד וְאֶתְרוֹג אֶחָד וּשְׁנֵי בַּדֵּי עֲרָבָה וּשְׁלֹשָׁה בַּדֵּי הֲדַס. 
  • וְאִם רָצָה לְהוֹסִיף בַּהֲדַס כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּהְיֶה אֲגֻדָּה גְּדוֹלָה מוֹסִיף. וְנוֹיֵי מִצְוָה הוּא. 
  • אֲבָל שְׁאָר הַמִּינִין אֵין מוֹסִיפִין עַל מִנְיָנָם וְאֵין גּוֹרְעִין מֵהֶן. 
  • וְאִם הוֹסִיף אוֹ גָּרַע (פָּסוּל):

Rabbi Ash - Arba'a Minim

He allows more Hadasim but not more Aravos. Can we assume that adding more Aravos will not add to the נוֹיֵי מִצְוָה?

Where is his source that if one adds more ערבות it is פסול? 

The Kesef Mishneh writes that the חכמים of the Provence in France wrote that the Rambam late in his life changed his mind and ruled that adding more than 2 ערבות is כשר. Hence the word פסול is printed in parentheses. Additionally, the Rambam writes that in the Gemara there is a source for adding more הדסים. Where in the Gemara however, remains a mystery. 

What Is Sukkot? - A Guide to The Jewish Holiday of Sukkot, The Feast of Tabernacles, and the Meanings Behind it - Sukkot & Simchat Torah

4 – We discussed if the circling around the בימה with the Lulav in a counterclockwise direction is intentional. In the Southern Hemisphere do they do it in reverse?…..

Can somebody finally settle this question: Does water flowing down a drainspin in different directions depending on which hemisphere you're in? And ifso, why? - Scientific American

Story of Reb Meir Aurbach who suspected that a witness, who claimed to have have been present at divorce overseas, was not being truthful. 

He casually asked him if he remembers when the wife, during the Get procedure, circled her husband (to undo the circling under the Chuppa at the   קידושין) if it was in a direction opposite to the one that was dohne when they got married….. 

The witness said, indeed it was the opposite direction….

Gotcha - Highfield Primary School

5- We discussed the Mitzvah of ביכורים and the question of the Alshich. The trip to ירושלים with the first fruit was a festive occasion and procession as elaborated in Mishnayos Bikurim. Now one can understand if a farmer with many acres of produce makes this time consuming trip hauling up the first fruit from every tree. He may even need a 20’ truck. 

However, for those less fortunate with just one or two trees…. how can we expect him to ‘close shop’ for a few weeks (if he lived in the Golan) and make the trip? His entire  הבאת ביכורים of one Rimon and one date fit into his pocket! 

Bringing Bikurim | Arte judío, Costumbres judias, Arte biblico

The Alshich answer at length that the Torah expects one to show thanks and appreciation for the ‘small’ gifts we receive from above. 

The דרשנים add, based on the Midrash that at the conclusion of the ceremony of the bringing the ביכורים one would hear a בת קול- see you next year. תזכה לשנה הבאה. 

That promise of דער לעב איבער א  יאר was enough to entice even small farmers to make the trip. 

שפת אמת ליקוטים פ’ תבוא.

במדרש תנחומא בת קול יוצאת תשנה לשנה הבאה. לכאורה תמוה דאם כך לא מת אדם מעולם דודאי נתקיים הבת קול אם כן לעולם יחיה האדם. ויש לומר כי הבת קול היתה רק אחר הקריאה. וגם אי הביא בלא קריאה כגון מחג ואילך מכל מקום נתקיים בזה הבת קול אם כן שפיר משכחת להיות נפסק הבת קול בשנה אחת. עוד יש לומר כי הבת קול היתה בשכר הבאת הביכורים אם כן יש לומר דלעולם היה הבת קול נפסק שנה שניה כיון דהביא בכח גזרת הבת קול דשנה ראשונה אם כן נפסק בשנה שניה רק בשלישית שהביא מעצמו שוב היתה הבת קול וכן לעולם

ואומרים בשם הפני מנחם שאולי נפטרו בשנה שאחרי שמיטה שלא הביאו

ביכורים ועד”ז הי’ בחורבן הבית

שהי’ במוצאי שביעית

Do we receive this בת קול today? 


The Gemara (BB 12b) states that when the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed נבואה was given to children and שוטים. In comparison to previous generation we can humbly admit that we fit that category…..

So perhaps that is the source of the Minhag to wish each other לשנה טובה תכתב ותחתם….

A Gut Yor to all. 

שנה טובה ומתוקה • רדיו חיפה 107.5

Shiur Sukkah 43a (2) 09/13/22


Sukkah 43a (2)  

Elul 17, 5782. September 13, 2022

1- We continued the topic of someone doing a Mitzvah when the Chachamim enacted a גזירה not to do it. Such as blowing the Shofar on Shabbos. Was a Mitzvah performed? Or perhaps, since there is a גזירה not to do it, he did nothing. 



The difference would be for example if someone forgets it’s Shabbos, makes a Brachah and then realizes that it’s Shabbos. If there (still) is a Mitzvah (despite the prohibition to do it) then he must continue to blow the Shofar, for if not, it would cause his ברכה to be לבטלה. On the other hand, if the Mitzvah was totally uprooted then he cannot continue to blow the Shofar, due to the גזירה , for it has no ‘value’. 

2- We mentioned the Tosfos on 3a (Shiur on 3a)  where they explicitly say that if the Chachamim prohibit something, doing it is worthless. 

Example: A tight fitting Sukkah on a fire escape. Not having much room to maneuver one wants to place his plate on the windowsill which is out of the Sukkah. The issue is one may lean over the plate and eat outside the Sukkah. So the Chachamin enacted a גזירה never to place the plate on the window sill. 

If someone does do it and eats from the plate carefully and makes sure his body is still in the Sukkah – מן התורה he is יוצא. However מדרבנן he is not. Comes Tosfos and says that due to the גזירה he is not יוצא מן התורה ! Meaning that on night #1 of Sukkos he would need to eat another meal in a Sukkah. 

We discussed the difference between this case and blowing Shofar on Shabbos.      

3- We mentioned last week Reb Akiva Shleizinger who wanted to introduce Shofar blowing on Shabbos in a Beis Din. 

Blowing of the Shofar During Elul - YouTube

Reb Akiva (who was named after Reb Akiva Eiger) also ruled that one who makes Aliya to Israel and his wife refuses to go along, he may marry another women despite the חרם דרבינו גרשום!!

See here

In the book “Beit Yosef Hadash” he wrote that in the event that a man from Israel immigrates to Eretz Israel and his wife does not agree to accompany him – he is allowed to marry a second woman in Eretz Israel, despite the boycott of Rabbeinu Gershom. Jerusalem readers revolted against him and declared a boycott. All members of the Hungarian kollel had to sign their consent to the boycott either on a letter sent abroad or when they came to receive the “distribution” allowance. A record was on the table and everyone was “asked” to sign before receiving the money. Only a few withstood this pressure. Among them were Joshua Stampfer and Rabbi Menachem Manish Scheinberger, Rabbi Schlesinger’s colleagues. Rabbi Menachem Manish even beat the table with his fist until the “letter” flew from the table and he shouted “Tzelem He’emido Al HaShulchan HaZeh, Vayishtachavu Lo Kulam Avur Kesef Nim’as!”. Of course he was prevented from receiving money from the distribution and his relatives had to send money for his family’s livelihood. As a result of this conflict, the book was published with a booklet Shimru Mishpat warning against the claims of the Hungarian Kollel. In response the booklets Nitotz HaBayit and Shomer Yisrael were published. Rabbis even ruled that Rabbi Schlesinger’s books were not to be genizahed but burned according to the law of minim and heretics, but despite that, upon his death Rabbi Yosef Haim Zonenfeld accorded him respect, and eulogized him.

Burning Books? Let's Confront The Real Issue. | Gwyn

4-  מכשירי מצוה. The Gemara brings the opinion of Reb Eliezer that allows one to do a מלאכה on Shabbos in the preparation to perform the מצווה of the ד’ מינים. 

What Happens When You Cut The Pop Off a Palm Tree? (...2 min read)

As Rashi writes: ‘(Reb Eliezer allows one) to cut off from the place of its attachment’. Meaning that Reb Eliezer allows one to cut the ד’ מינים off the the tree on Shabbos/Yom Tov. He would also allow the burning wood to create coal to form a knife for the purpose of a ברית. 

Island Blacksmith: How a knife is made from reclaimed and natural materials using traditional techniques

Does Rashi mean to imply that the ד’ מינים are פסול when attached to the ground? We mentioed the פרי מגדים and others that discuss this. 

See Shiur 32a

5- Speaking of a ברית we mentioned the amazing story of Reb Peretz Mochkin A”H who traveled once from Tashkent to Smarkand when their car broke down. Waiting in a small remote village for it to be repaired he was approached by a Jewish woman (who was a refugee from Poland) asking them if he can perform a Bris on her newborn that was 30 days old. Reb Peretz managed to get the necessary tools to perform the Bris and the פדיון הבן was done as well!  

Rabbi Peretz Mochkin.

R.  Peretz Mochkin

6 – We spoke about the rare print of the  סידור of the Alter Rebbe that was discovered in Russia a few years ago. See here for a reprinting of that rare edition. Its discovery created a buzz among many researchers and various analyzations of that particular edition have been published. The comparison, to the other printed editions we have, has provided a greater understanding on the uniqueness of the Alter Rebbe’s נוסח . 

קובץ:תפילות מכל השנה.jpg

One of the differences: 

In our Siddur:- .אשמנו. בגדנו. גזלנו. דברנו דופי

Means  we have spoken slander  דברנו דופי

This unique edition has it as – .אשמנו. בגדנו. גזלנו. דברנו. דופי

The extra dot seems to say that דברנו in itself as something negative. It is not associated with דופי – slander. Just speaking is something negative for which we ask forgiveness.  

[Then there is דברנו דופי to slander] 

Is the extra dot a typo? What is wrong with just speaking?? 

Reb Yoel Kahan A”H once suggested (half jokingly) that it is not typo at all. 

Speaking without purpose is equally not proper. As he put it, using a Yiddish uncommon word,  פלוידערון. To just blabble. 


7- In conclusion we touched upon the topic if there was a Sukkah in the Beis Hamikdash. To be continued. 

Bais Hamikdash- Blue and Gold Series | Nechama Fine ArtKVT


Shiur Sukkah 43a 09/06/2022


Sukkah 43a 

Elul 10, 5782. September 6, 2022

1- We discussed the famous גזירה דרבה which the Chachamim enacted not to perform certain mitzvos, such as לולב and תקיעת שופר, when יום טוב falls out on Shabbos. The concern was that one may unintentionally carry it 4 Amos in a  רשות הרבים. Why would one do it? To visit a בקי – knowledgeable person – to teach him how to perform this particular Mitzva. 

How the Shofar is used on Shabbat - The Jerusalem Post

It is a peculiar גזירה indeed as the Alter Rebbe (LT 56,1) writes that such lofty Mitzvos as Shofar and Lulav were canceled because of ‘simpletons and small minded individuals’ that may carry out the Shofar or Lulav. 


Uprooted tree, artwork - Stock Image - F010/5971 - Science Photo Library

Uprooting a mitzva?

 עוד יש לעורר ולשום לב מה ראו חז”ל לעקור מ”ע דשופר ולולב אפילו ביום ראשון בגבולין עכ”פ אפילו בזמן שאין בהמ”ק משום גזרה דרבה בעלמא והלא החשש הוא להדיוטים וקלי הדעת ואיך מנעו המצוה לגמרי מכמה צדיקים גדולים וטובים ובפרט מצות שופר ולולב שהרבה כוונות תלויות בהם ליודעי דעת שנוגעים עד רום המעלות.

2- This is a famous Sugyah and we touched upon some points. 

a – Why מעביר ד’ אמות ברשות הרבים? Why not be concerned about the עקירה והנחה; when he leaves the house and arrives at the house of the בקי? 

b – While it may be an art to blow Shofar it is relatively easy to perform the ד’ מינים Mitzvah. So simple and easy that the גמרא earlier had an issue of finding a case of one walking out of his house holding the ד’ מינים and not being יוצא. “He was יוצא by just picking it up”  – even if the Lulav is not bound at all. 

Rabbi Levi Meisner Gives Brooklyn Shofar Lessons - The New York Times

Shofar Expert

So what can the בקי teach him? 

Rashi writes that he goes to the בקי to learn the נענועים and ברכה. We mentioned that perhaps ‘learning the ברכה’ is not the ברכה itself, which is quite simple. It means as to when to make the ברכה as we discussed the four solution of Tosfos on how to ensure that the ברכה is made prior to being יוצא. Such as flipping it etc. See Shiur 39a. 

c – We learnt a few pages earlier that if one does walk out with his Shofar or Lulav to רשות הרבים on Shabbos he is פטור because he is טעה בדבר מצווה. So what’s the issue here to cancel such important Mitzvos when there is never a חיוב חטאת anyway? 

d-  Why is this גזירה not applied to מילה on Shabbos, blowing the Shofar מוצאי יום כיפור before Havdalah?  We mentioned the Tosfos in Megillah 4a that answers these two Mitzvos. What about קריאת התורה? That one really needs help from a בקי


3- We discussed the issue of Matzah that is still observed on Shabbos. Why aren’t the complexities of the Seder in general and of the כזית Matzah in particular enough to cause someone to walk to the בקי for exact instructions? 

[Story of the fellow that got stuck by  יחץ…..…and sent his wife to observe the בקי from the window….]

5,392 Peeking Window Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock


We mentioned the many answers to this question. Here is a link to dozens of them. 

4- We discussed the famous Sichah of the Rebbe, LS 6, 48, on this topic.  

Briefly – the Rebbe first quotes a few answers – we labeled them as a Litvishe answer and the other a Poilisher one. 

The Litvishe from the Netziv : The בקיאים would roam at the homes of the lesser learned to instruct on how to perform the סדר. 

[Wow! A Litvisher Godol suggesting 150 years ago for Shulichim to travel to perform Sedorim for the less informed….]

The Rebbe’s question on this answer: This מנהג in nowhere mentioned. 

Another answer from the Netziv: Matzah is observed at night when people refrain from roaming the streets. 

The Rebbe’s question on this answer: Despite the danger, the average Jew will ignore the danger to fulfill the Mitzvah of Matzah. Especially since it’s ליל שימורים. 

The Poilisher style answer from Reb Don Polotzki: Although the חכמים canceled the Mitzva of Shofar and Lulav, this cancelation only applied to part of the Mitzvah. How? By learning the הלכות of Shofar and Lulav it is ‘considered as if he actually performed it’

כל העוסק בתורת עולה כאילו הקריב עולה.

 So on יום טוב שחל להיות בשבת, by learning the Halachos, the Mitzvah is not totally canceled. Part of it is still ‘performed’. 

Learn Chassidus: Lessons in Torah Or & Likutay Torah

That is all good and well with Shofar and Lulav, when by learning about them Part of the Mitzvah remains. 

In regards to Matzah that would be problematic as women are also  חייב to eat Matzah but their learning the הלכות will not do much since they are פטור from תלמוד תורה!  

פוילישער style indeed! 

Rabbi Don Polotzki

The Rebbe’s question on this answer: There is no mention anywhere the obligation to sit down on Rosh Hashana or Sukos  שחל להיות בשבת and learn the Halachos of these Mitzvos. 


In regards to Megilah see the Sichah above. 

The Rebbe’s answer על פי חסידות: From the fact that the גזירה was enacted at a certain time in history it is evident that any רוחניות effect that was previously accomplished by תקיעת שופר and לולב is no longer needed. Meaning that Shabbos will accomplish now (as opposed to the era prior to גזירה דרבה) whatever the Shofar or Lulav accomplished before the גזירה. 


Shabbat Candlesticks Painting Shabbos Candle Lighting - Etsy



However with מצה, since שבת for whatever reason, will not accomplish what the eating of the מצה would do, there cannot be a גזירה to cancel this Mitzvah and as a consequence no one will ever take his מצה  and be מעביר ד’ אמות ברשות הרבים. 

See the Sichah at length. 

5- So no Shofar blowing on Shabbos and no Lulav shaking on Shabbos. 



What happens if one did do it? Did he do a Mitzvah and should not say שהחיינו the next day? [Question is in places that have only one day יום טוב] or perhaps he did ‘nothing’? 


6- Regarding Shofar the Gemara says that an established Beis Din does indeed blow the Shofar on Shabbos within its confines. 

We discussed the story of Reb Akiva Shleizinger (an interesting Rov – more next week) who wanted to establish this Beis Din מנהג in 1905. He planned a gathering of many Rabanim at the Churva Shul and actually blew the Shofar on Shabbos. 

Churva Synagogue

Rumor had it that despite the opposition to his initiative (which failed to materialize) he did it in the confines of his own house! 

7- We mentioned an interstinhg historical fact -that ראש השנה  in 1905 corresponded to the exact date that the Rebbe Rashab began his famous multi year המשך of ראש השנה שחל להיות בשבת תרס”ו that began on ראש השנה, year 5666, September 29, 1905 explaining why there is no need to blow the shofar on Shabbos!


Shiur Sukkah 42a (3) 42b 08/30/22 Siyum


Suka 42a (3) /  42b

Elul 3, 5782. August 30, 2022 

We continued learning the Breisah that enumerates the Mitzvos a קטן needs to do prior to Bar Mitzva. 


 תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן:

 קָטָן הַיּוֹדֵעַ לְנַעְנֵעַ — חַיָּיב בְּלוּלָב. It doesn’t say that the father needs to purchase him a Lulav, 

We discussed this point last week as to why the Shulchan Aruch adds the words קטן היודע לנענע לולב כדינו אביו חייב לקנות לו לולב כדי לחנכו . 

tzitzis –

2- לְהִתְעַטֵּף — חַיָּיב בְּצִיצִית

We discussed: 

a-the Tosfos in Erchin 2b that says that there is no reason for the father to purchase ציצית  for him since the child has his own בגד and what is needed is the father to add the ציצית strings. 


b-  the wording להתעטף, meaning to wrap. We spoke about this topic at the beginning of Suka 3a. The opinion of the Geonim that from the ברכה – להתעטף  we see that only a בגד that fully wraps the body, front and back is חייב בציצית. 

The Yemenite Jews | Ethnographic materials ML.

ה יש אומריםיח מדתקנו חז”ליט לברך להתעטף בציצית מכלל דהמצוה היא להתעטף דוקא וכל עטיפה שאינה כעטיפת הישמעאלים אינה נקראת עטיפה אלא לבישהכ ולכן צריך להתעטף בטליתו כעטיפת הישמעאלים דהיינו לכסות הראש עם הפנים עד גומות שבלחי למטה מפיוכא ולדבריהם טליתות קטנות שלנו שאין בהם עטיפת הראש פטורים מציצית לגמריכב:

How to Put On a Tallit - Synagogue How-To - Video

The Halacha follows the ראשונים that disagree and say that any four cornered garment if חייב בציצית. The reason the ברכה is worded with להתעטף is simply because at that time most people wore their garments as shawls that warped around them.

 ו אבל יש אומרים כג שכל כסות של ד’ כנפות אע”פ שאין בה עיטוף חייבת בציצית שהרי נאמר בתורה כד על כנפי בגדיהם וכל מלבוש ובגד במשמע והעיטוף אין לו אפילו רמז בתורה כלל כה ומה שתקנו חכמים לברך להתעטף בציצית היינו לפי שהיה מנהגם לעטוף ראשם בטליתםכו ואף בימיהם לא היו מתעטפין כעטיפת הישמעאלים אלא כדרך בני אדם שמתעטפין בכסותם ועוסקין במלאכתםכז פעם בכיסוי הראש ופעם בגילוי הראש לכן אף אנחנו אף שאנו מברכין להתעטף בציצית אין אנו צריכין יותר והלכה כסברא הב’כח. ומכל מקום כדי לקיים מצות ציצית מן המובחרכט נכון הדבר להתעטף כעטיפת הישמעאלים בשעת ברכהל ויעמוד כך כדי הילוך ד’ אמות ובזה יוצא אף לסברא הראשונה דעיקר הקפידא היא בשעת לבישה לא דהא אם היה רוצה היה מסירה ממנו לגמרי אחר כך:

   3- לִשְׁמוֹר תְּפִילִּין — אָבִיו לוֹקֵחַ לוֹ תְּפִילִּין. 

Young religious Jewish boy puts on phylacteries - tefillin - for the first time at a synagogue in Brooklyn, New York Stock Photo - Alamy

Change of wording here. לקיחה versus חייב. The father needs to buy him a pair of Tefillin. Why not just say חייב and he can use his father’s תפילין?

a- We discussed the reason for the need to purchase for him תפילין (as opposed to ציצית) as the above Tosfos explains since a child does not have his own תפילין the father needs to purchase for him a new pair. Another reason is that תפילין being expensive the word לקיחה is more appropriate. 

b – A brilliant explanation from the פרדס יוסף

The issue with the קשר of Tefillin. It’s a big topic – briefly, רבינו אליהו , a ראשון, says when the Torah says וקשרתם, it means literally  – to tie it!  One needs to untie the entire knot every day at the conclusion of the מצווה and making a totally new knot the next morning. 

Are My Tefillin (Still) Kosher?

Most ראשונים argue, saying that since  תפילין need a קשר של קיימא (otherwise it’s not considered a knot but a bow) untying and tying it every day makes this knot not a permanent knot but a temporary one. 

As we see in regards to שבת , a knot that is untied every day is not really considered a knot. It’s not a קשר של קיימא. So one should absolutely not undo the knot every day! 

הלכות שבת - מלאכת קושר ומתיר - מוקד תהילים ארצי

Obviously the וקשרתם means (not to tie the knot daily) but to bind it to your hand! See Tosfos Menochos 35b

So, suggests the פרדס יוסף, if a child would use his father’s תפילין it’s likely that they would need to adjust the knot on a daily basis. That would be a problem according to most ראשונים.
Thus the need to purchase for a son a new pair of Tefillin.לִשְׁמוֹר תְּפִילִּין — אָבִיו לוֹקֵחַ לוֹ תְּפִילִּין

4-יוֹדֵעַ לְדַבֵּר — אָבִיו מְלַמְּדוֹ תּוֹרָה וּקְרִיאַת שְׁמע

a -We discussed the topic if there is an obligation of teaching a child לשון הקודש.

As Rashi writes דברים יא, יט 

מִכָּאן אָמְרוּ כְּשֶׁהַתִּינוֹק מַתְחִיל לְדַבֵּר אָבִיו מֵשִׂיחַ עִמּוֹ בִּלְשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ וּמְלַמְּדוֹ תוֹרָה.

Mentioned the Rambam that explains the Mishna in אבות  , 1 2

וֶהֱוֵי זָהִיר בְּמִצְוָה קַלָּה כְבַחֲמוּרָה,

What is a מצוה קלה? Writes the Rambam…. Learning to speak לשון הקודש!

Top 5 Reasons to Learn Hebrew -

אח”כ אמר שצריך ליזהר במצוה שיחשב בה שהיא קלה כשמחת הרגל

ולמידת לשון הקדש

bWe mentioned the חתם סופר   that לשון הקודש will only last as a language if its speakers keep to a level of קדושה. He adds that this is the reason בני ישראל forgot לשון הקודש in the 70 short years they were  בבל. Their lack of קדושה caused them to forget the language.

More on this interesting topic in the future, BL”N. 


Shiur Sukkah 42a 08/23/22


Sukkah 42a (2) 

Menachem Av 26, 5782. August 23, 2022 

Many topics were covered at the shiur. Here are some short notes. 

1- We discussed two methods in regards to a “חידוש”. For example if one comes up with an idea, a סברא. 

He now realizes that with this סברא he can answer a though question posed by Tosfos. 

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Now, we can proceed with this סברא in two ways.  

A- He can say: This סברא is brilliant! It is so logical that it succeeded to answer a question of no other than the בעלי התוספות. Wow!

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B- The סברא is not valid for otherwise Tosfos would have written it. To put it differently:  You answered Tosfo’s question? Really. You know what they didn’t? Obviously, your ‘logical’ סברא is no סברא at all. Go back and figure out where you erred. 

2- In the old Yeshiva world these two outlooks on חידושים, were common when a בחור attempted to answer a צ”ע of Reb Akiva Eiger. Where in one Yeshiva he would be praised as a originator and מחדש at another Yeshiva he would be ridiculed. “You obviously didn’t grasp Reb Akiva Eiger’s question to begin with. Obviously Reb Akiva Eiger knew what your feeble  brain thought of….. and discounted it”! 

31a – וצע”ג

3- We find this approach in regards to an interesting question about ולקחתם לכם.

Taking/picking up (lifting) a Lulav, לקיחה  or just holding a Lulav, אחיזה ?

What if one does not lift it? What if someone sticks it into your hand. Your are holding it indeed, but you didn’t lift it. 

Jewish Sukkot Festival Man Holding Lulav Stock Photo 1549720151 | Shutterstock


Another scenario: The Mitzvah of the  ד’ מינים begins at sunrise  נץ החמה. If one picks up the Lulav before sunrise and then holds it in his hands until sunrise occurs. Same question- he lifted it before the זמן החיוב,  but is holding it after זמן החיוב.

Is he יוצא? Is holding it without lifting sufficient? 

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We find אחרונים that discuss this scenario. 

So in our Gemara we see  an attempt to find a case of someone that picked up a Lulav but was not יוצא until later. It offers 2 answers. Holding it upside down (not יוצא) and then turning it right side up (יוצא ) , or lifting it when it’s in a cheap vase (not יוצא) and then removing it from the vase (יוצא) . 

Why didn’t the Gemara suggest a case of lifting it before the זמן and holding onto it until after the זמן? 

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Here we have the two approaches: 

A- Brilliant answer (meaning he is יוצא, despite not lifting it בזמן החיוב) but the Gemara believes the 2 answers above are better or more common. 

B- Obviously, since the Gemara didn’t offer this suggestion it means that one is not יוצא even though he is still holding onto the Lulav after the נץ, since he didn’t lift it after the זמן החיוב. 

4- We mention the ביכורי יעקב and the story of Reb Bunem, brother of the ר’ עקיבא איגר and the  חתם סופר that had argued about this question. מחנה חיים או”ח מט. 

5- כשהפכו.   Usually translated as ‘upside down’. Discussed the רבינו חננאל  that translate the Gemara “he picked up opposite”, to mean he took the Lulav in his left hand and the Esrog in his right. 

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6- טעה בדבר מצוה. The Gemara discusses a case of someone that ate a עולת העוף thinking is was a חטאת העוף. 

We mentioned the Chassidishe vort from the שם משמואל as to why an עולת העוף ‘s head is severed from the body as opposed to a חטאת העוף that it is prohibited to separate the head from the body. ולא יבדיל. פרשת ויקרא

7- Discussed the question of the מהרש”ל See here in the Taz 657

Briefly – 

Boy Holding Lulav And Etrog For Sukkot Stock Photo - Download Image Now - Judaism, Child, Lulav - iStock

Our Mishnah:  קָטָן הַיּוֹדֵעַ לְנַעְנֵעַ, חַיָּב בַּלּוּלָב:

Shulchan Aruch 657: קטן היודע לנענע לולב כדינו אביו חייב לקנות לו לולב כדי לחנכו במצות:

Why does the Shulchan Aruch change the text? The Mishna doesn’t say that a father needs to buy his son a Lulav. 

The simple answer of the famed Reb Shimon Sofer, the grandson of the Chasam Sofer who was murdered in Aushwitz at the age of 95! Also known as the Erloyer (Erlauer) Rov. Here

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The Mishnah was referring to  ארץ ישראל where there is only one day Yom Tov. So after the father does the Mitzvah with his Lulav he can give it to his young son. The fact that the son will not be able to give it back to his father is not an issue because from the second day onward, לכם is not needed. The son can loan it back to his father. 

An older man gives a young boy an esrog and lulav to bless on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. In Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York Stock Photo - Alamy

In חוץ לארץ however, on the second day לכם is still required, so the father cannot give it to his since he needs a לכם Lulov on the second day as well. The only option is to purchase one for his child!

התעוררות תשובה 16. 

Reb Shimon’s grandson.