Friday, January 29, 2021

Shabbat Shira Customs


QUESTION: What is the reason for the custom to put out food for the birds on Erev Shabbat Shirah? (Chabad) 

ANSWER: On Shabbat Shirah, when we read about the manna that Hashem provided for the Jewish people, it is customary to put out food for the birds on Erev Shabbat as a reward for the Kiddush Hashem they brought about. (ר' מאיר מפרימישלאן זצ"ל)

 * * *

Alternatively, the Maharal of Prague would instruct the teachers of young children to gather their students in the shul yard on Shabbat Shira and relate to them the story of Kriat Yam Suf — the splitting of the sea. They were also to tell the children that at that time Hashem performed a miracle and trees with beautiful fruit grew in the sea (see Midrash Rabbah 22:1). When the Jews sang the Shirah, the birds sang and danced. The Jewish children picked fruits from the trees and fed the birds. To commemorate this event, we put out food for the birds Erev Shabbat Shirah. 

* * * 

The teachers would give them kasha (buckwheat) to throw to the birds. And afterward the Maharal would bless the children and also the parents that they should merit to see their children embark on Torah, marriage and good deeds. (ספר השיחות תש"ב ע' 73 - לקוטי שיחות ח"ב ע' 522)

* * * 

Some have the custom to feed wheat to the birds on Shabbat Shirah. 
 (מגן אברהם שכ"ד, ז' וספר תוספת שבת מר' רפאל ז"ל מייזליש) 

It is the custom of Chabad to eat kasha on Shabbat Shirah. (היום יום י"ז שבט) This custom is based on the pasuk: “Hasam gevuleich shalom cheilev chitim yasbi’eich” — “He has made peace within your borders; He satiated you with the finest of wheat” (Psalms 147:14). Thus, on Shabbat Shirah, when we read that Hashem emancipated the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage and prepared them to be in their own geographical boundaries and also the boundaries of Torah, it is customary to eat wheat (buckwheat). 

The word “beshalach” (בשלח) is an acronym for the words "בשבת שירה לאכל חטים" — “On Shabbat Shirah to eat wheat (buckwheat).” (עוללות אפרים)

Thursday, January 28, 2021

The Essence of Tu B'Shvat

Rabbi Mendel Kessin, new audio

The Essence of Tu b'Shvat  click here to listen

Another interesting link at Daf Yomi Review  Torah Numerology The Final Frontier

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Miriam's Tambourine

"Miriam's Tambourine" - Michoel Muchnik

Miriam, the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women came out after her with tambourines and with dances [Beshalach 15:20]

The righteous women did not delegate their responsibilities to their leader, Miriam the prophetess. Rather, each and every woman made for herself a tambourine, in a personal effort to trust in G-d's redemption and rejoice in it when it comes.

There is always a temptation to leave the responsibility of inspiring the people to Jewish leaders. However, we can learn from the righteous women in Egypt that it is every single person's obligation to inspire his or herself and all of the people that he or she comes into contact with.

Source: Sichas Shabbos Parshas Beshalach 5752, Lubavitcher Rebbe

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The Stages of the Geulah and The Pandemic

Two new audios from Rabbi Mendel Kessin given 8/10/2020

The Stages of the Geulah

The Pandemic

Monday, January 25, 2021

Parshat HaMon

Art: Heidi Malott

Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Riminov [1745-1815], a disciple of the Holy Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk, instructed everyone to read "Parshat HaMann" specifically on the Yom Shlishi [Tuesday] of Parshat Beshalach in the "Shnayim Mikra v'Echad Targum" format, i.e. reading the Hebrew verses twice and the Aramaic translation of Onkelos once.   This year it will occur today Tuesday 26 January.

Not to be confused with the evil villain of the Purim story, Parshat haMann [The Chapter of the Manna] is found in the 16th Chapter of the Book of Exodus: verses 4-36. This Chapter details the episode of the miraculous "Manna" [bread from heaven] that sustained the Children of Israel during their 40-year journey in the desert.

Rav Yosef Caaro, the "mechaber" [compiler] of the monumental Halachic text, the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 1:5, instructs us to recite it daily. Other giants of Halacha also point to the importance of reciting it daily: The Tur 1; Aruch Hashulchan 1:22; Shulchan Aruch HaRav 1:9.

By so doing, every Jew acknowledges that his/her livelihood comes from only from Hashem. Reciting the Parshat HaMann daily strengthens one's Emuna and Bitachon [belief and trust] in HASHEM, and is a "Segula for Parnassa" [auspicious for having a healthy income].

To read Parshat haMann in Hebrew [with the Aramaic translation of Onkelos], please visit:

English version here:

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Trust in Hashem

It's a relief that all the waiting is over now.  Now we can get back to the normality of trusting Hashem above all else.  And in that vein, this new video from Rabbi Zitron seems appropriate: "What Happens if you trust in people vs Hashem".  I guess this is what it's all about.  We cannot put our faith in one person.  Not that we abandoned Hashem, chas v'shalom, we just thought Hashem was using Trump to get to a certain place.  Seems we got it wrong.  What happens next.... I do not know.  Speak your mind in the comments if you need to vent some steam.

Monday, January 18, 2021

The Difficulty Hidden in Moshe's Name

Art: Lucy Campbell

"HaCHodesh Hazeh Lachem - הַחֹ֧דֶשׁ הַזֶּ֛ה לָכֶ֖ם - This new month is for you..."[Bo 12:2]. Rashi tells us the pasuk uses the word Zeh because Moshe could not properly grasp Kiddush HaChodesh, so Hashem showed it to him, using the word Zeh. We find the words Zeh two other times where Chazal says the same thing. Moshe could not grasp the inner depth of the Shekalim or the Menorah.

The Vilna Gaon says that these three Mitzvot are hidden in the name Moshe twice. If you take the Roshei Teivot [first letters] of the words Menorah, Shekalim, and HaChodesh, it spells Moshe. "Also," says the Gra, "if you take the last letters of those same words they also spell Moshe."


Friday, January 15, 2021

World Wide Moshiach Event

On 21 February there will be a World Wide prayer to bring Moshiach. Thanks to Leah for sending me the info.


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The World of Lies

George Orwell's 1984 has surged to the top of the list of Best Selling Books. [Source]

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” — GEORGE ORWELL, “1984”

Why is Dissension Compared to the Plague of Frogs?

by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto

The Maggid, HaGaon HaTzadik Rabbi Aryeh Shechter zt"l, in his sefer 'Aryeh Sha'ag', imparts a wonderful lesson concerning the plague of Frogs. 

As we know, the plague of Frogs began with one gigantic frog that slowly emerged from the river. 

The Egyptians wished to kill this huge frog that had infiltrated their land and began hitting it forcefully. But every strike caused more frogs to emerge from it and filled the land of Egypt with their multitudes.

Seemingly, if a rational person would be standing at the side viewing the actions of the Egyptians, he would turn to them with the following question: "What do you think you are doing? Have you gone crazy?! Can you not see that with every strike more and more frogs emerge? The blows are not helping at all, leave the frog alone and the plague will diminish!" 

But this is the nature of man. When he acts out of anger and an intoxication of senses, he loses his discretion and hits everywhere without a trace of logic or benefit. 

Maran the Steipler, the 'Kehilot Ya'akov' zt"l, explains that a similar reality sets in with every fight and argument. When a person sees that his friend acted against him, he does not sit by idly but repays him twofold. After that, his friend pays him back and so it goes on until the two sides are left with only 'a tooth and an eye', with the fire of dissension growing hotter and being prolonged. 

Turning to one of the rivals and trying to inject some logic into him by saying: "Keep quiet, don't respond, why do you need more mud-slinging and disgrace?" will result in him replying with blind anger: "No, he started, I'll show him business!" 

So, for every blow that one strikes one's friend, loads of new 'frogs' emerge, and the fire of argument intensifies and increases infinitely. 

Therefore, any time one is faced with a dispute, friction or quarrel, it is important to remember the verse: "You shall love your fellow as yourself for I am Hashem." Indeed, it is not easy to swallow one's words when someone else is spreading false reports about you and publicly degrading you, but if you keep in mind that "I am Hashem", that Hashem is looking at all that is taking place and sees how you are not responding to all the degradation and slander, it is easier to guard one's tongue and count oneself among those who are insulted but do not insult. 

If a person understands that all the suffering and distress he endures in This World is not happenstance but set in motion by an intentional Heavenly hand, he will realize that anyone who humiliates him is simply a messenger of Divine Providence, a means of afflicting him for his sins. Then automatically there is no reason at all to return battle, rather it is in place to search one's deeds and understand why this evil befell him.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Trump's New Video

Like you, I have no idea what is actually going on.  Apparently this is a new video released on Trump's new social media platform.  Why it is available on You Tube, I do not know.  Nevertheless, here it is, for what it's worth.  Apologies for the Xtian prayer at the end, but you get the drift.... skip the last minute if you don't want to hear it.   

Update: this is just a video someone has spliced together.  Trump's official words can be found at the new social media platform link above.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Choosing A Spouse

Art Ari Gradus

Text by Rabbi Benjy Simons

"Congratulations, Moshe," said the groom's uncle. "I'm sure you'll look back on this day and remember it as the happiest day of your life.'' "But I'm not getting married until tomorrow," replied Moshe. "I know," replied his uncle… 

Choosing a soulmate can be a daunting task, especially with the understanding that it is a life commitment. In our Parsha the Torah mentions that Aharon marries Elisheva which according to Rashi and the Rashbam, was partly based on the stature of his future brother-in-law Nachshon who was the tribal leader of Yehuda. 

This concept of examining a potential match based on the character of her brothers is sourced in the Talmud (Bava Basra 110a), with the rationale that often children can resemble one’s maternal uncles. Therefore, the Gemara concludes, if one would like to gain insight into the potential nature of his children from a prospective wife, he should investigate his future brothers-in-law. While the commentators discuss whether this is based on a genetic link (Maharal) or simply due to a common upbringing, it now becomes clearer how Rivkah had a son like Esav, when she had a brother like Lavan.

While the Talmud (Pesachim 49b, Kiddushin 70a and Yevamos 64b) gives a number of suggestions as what to look for when getting married, narrowing it down to a single quality, the Gemara (Ta’anis 24a) mentions that one should look for a spouse with good eyes. This doesn’t mean that one looks for a spouse that doesn’t wear glasses, but rather as the Kli Yakar explains, a good eye is symbolic of generosity, which indicates an overall positive nature (hence the test of Eliezer when looking for a wife for Yitzchak). 

May we merit to have lots of Shidduchim in our community and the ultimate marriage between the Jewish people and Hashem with the coming of Moshiach. 

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Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Cure before the Disease

Art: Dena Ackerman

Rashi explains the simple reason why the Torah begins to speak of Yehudah in the middle of the story of Yosef.  ''To teach us that [Yehudah's] brothers demoted him from his high position.''

However, Rashi does not explain why the entire account of Yehudah and Tamar was recorded here, leading up to the birth of Peretz and Zarach.

However, according to the explanation of the Midrash, we can understand that the account of Yehudah and Tamar was included here to explain the reason why Yosef was sold : because G-d was paving the way for Moshiach.

Thus, before we read of Yosef's enslavement, and the ensuing Egyptian exile, the Torah prefaces ''the cure before the disease'' informing us of G-d's inner intent.

Based on Sichos Shabbos Parshat Vayeishev 5751 Lubavitcher Rebbe

Friday, January 8, 2021

5781 - Gematria ''Civil War''

The number 781 is the gematria of the words "civil war" as discovered by Rabbi Glazerson in the video below,

Stormy Times


This photo was taken a couple of nights ago, during a huge storm.  We have had so much rain lately, a total opposite to this time last year when we had massive bushfires.  Israel is wondering where it's winter has gone.... and Sydney is wondering where it's summer has gone.... I guess we've swapped seasons this year.

I don't know what will happen in America, whether there will be a last minute V' nahafoch hu, or whether we are really stuck with Biden.  Whatever the case, Hashem has a Plan and we must trust that it's all from Shamayim.

I read that Donald Trump is not only banned from Twitter but also banned from FB, he's in good company as so is this blog.