Shabbos Parsha Vayeira Bulletin, Tefilla Halacha, and a Poll Question

Shabbos Bulletin Parshas Vayeira

If one forgets to say ‘v’sein tal u’matar —

  • If he remembered before saying the shem HaShem of the conclusion of the berachah, he goes back to vesein tal….and says from there.
  • If he said the shem HaShem of the conclusion of the berachah, even if he just said Baruch Atta HaShem (and nothing else yet), he continues, and says vesein tal.. in shema koleinu.
  • If he did not insert it in shema koleinu, but remembered that he forgot after saying shem HaShem of the conclusion of the shema koleinu berachah, but nothing else (i.e, he said Baruch Atta HaShem), he should conclude lamdeinee chukechoh, say vesein tal u’matar livrachah, and continue ki atta shome’a…(continued iyh next week)

The Kaf HaChaim (siman 151:8) describes the severity of the aveirah of talking in Shul , and says that one who talks in Shul inappropriately would be better off not coming to shul at all.

Poll question:Do you think the Kaf HaChaim’s statement should be our Shul policy?

Lech Lecha – Shabbos Bulletin and Tefilla Halacha

Lech Lecha Bulletin in PDF format

An Eretz Yisrael fellow in Chu”l–If you go after today, continue saying v’sen tal u’mottohr in the birkas hashanim..try to avoid being the shali’ach tzibbur; if you end up being the shali’ach tzibbur, you should daven the way the tzibbur is saying.

If you have been there from before today, say it while there in shema koleinu, till you get back here. After that, say it in the regular place. 

Chu”l person here–If he is here already now, or will be coming, and he is staying till Dec 4, he should say it like we do here.

If he is leaving before Dec 4, he says it in shema koleinu. 

After an edifying session at the Oneg last leil Shabbos, where the subject of talking in Shul was fleshed out over delicious cholent, Rav Malinowitz feels a certain consensus was reached, and there is no need to address the matter publicly–at this point. There will be steps taken in the coming days iyh to make the davening atmosphere in the Shul even better than it is.

Rain, Rain, Don’t Stay Away, It Is For You That We All Pray, Part One

Rain, rain, rain. We are now turning our attention to it, praying for it, hoping for it, anticipating it, longing for it, and eagerly awaiting it. All over the world, and especially here in Eretz Yisroel, the need for rain is basic and essential. It is true that we do not feel it in a modernized society as much as we did in the past, since we do not see dwindling water supplies in our backyard as people still did just a few decades ago here, and still do in many parts of the world; but of course the indispensibility of rain is ever-present — for life, for agriculture, and, in fact, for any one of so many basic needs. Eretz Yisroel is blessed with an abundance of streams and brooks, creeks and rivulets. “For Hashem your Lord is bringing you to a good Land — a Land with flowing streams, and underground springs and subterranean waters, gushing out in valleys and mountains. (Devarim 8:7)

 Of course, this then leads us to being confronted with the reality that, “But the land which you are crossing to occupy is a Land of mountains and valleys, which can be irrigated only by rain; it is therefore a Land constantly under Hashem, your Lord’s, scrutiny; the eyes of Hashem, your L-rd are upon it at all times, from the beginning of the year until the end of the year.” (Devarim 11:11) Unfortunately, the “blessing” of modern plumbing and water-storage-and -dispensation, which in Eretz Yisroel today is under the auspices of Mekoros — the national water company, who has gone and dried up many of the above-mentioned streams and water sources in the interests of creating a water-infrastructure which carries water to your kitchen sink and bathroom, as well as to just about everyone else’s — has created a distance between our Creator and ourselves, as most of us now do not directly experience Hashem’s giving us water. But let a winter or two or three go by with insufficient rainfall, and we are hit with the reality of our dependence, adding a special prayer in Shemoneh Esrei, perhaps fasting..  as the government scurries about, warning ominously of red lines, and of course raising the price we pay for water, and hatching brilliant schemes such as importing icebergs (no, not lettuce — real, live, icebergs) from our good friend, Turkey (I kid you not — people either don’t know, or have short -term memory issues.)

 It is a fact that many of the rituals of Sukkos which we just celebrated have to do with beseeching Hashem to make the coming rainy season an abundant one. Chazal teach in Maseches Ta’anis, as well as in Maseches Sukah, that the four minim that we take and wave have an unusual dependence upon rain, reflecting ours, and thus constituting an implicit prayer for precipitation. The aravah we take on Hoshana Rabbah and the many many hoshanos which we say then are all about rain and imploring Hashem to send it. Of course we all remember how in the middle of the joy and gaiety of Simchas Torah we stopped, and solemnly, in a Yomim Nora’im niggun, no less, pleaded for rain in Tefillas Geshem.

 And how many people are aware that the festivities and liveliness which we all enjoyed at the many Simchas Beis Hasho’evahs which we attended are commemorative, according to most Rishonim, of the nisuch hamayim ceremony on Sukkos in the Bais Hamikdash (this consisted of pouring not only wine, but also water, into the cavities in the mizbe’ach made for this purpose, while bringing the daily Tamid morning korban), itself an avodah meant to be an insinuated prayer for rain (see Rosh Hashana 16A )?

Let us now take a deeper look at this “pouring-of-the-water” ceremony. Rashi (Vayikra 2:13) tells us of a Midrash which describes the dismay  of the”lower waters” when the separation between the upper waters and the lower waters happened on the second day of Creation. (If that sounds vaguely familiar, we leined it in last week’s portion, B’reishis.) “Why have we now become distant from Hashem (the upper waters remained part of the heavenly spheres, while the lower waters became part of this world’s earthiness)?” Hashem then promised them that they would “return” to Him. When? How? When nisuch hamayim is performed, when the lower waters are poured ( i.e, offered ) on Hashem’s Holy Altar in the Bais Hamikdash.

 This can be understood in the following manner: Our understanding of rain is that there is something called a “water cycle,” where the water in the world is basically finite, and keeps going around and around. Let’s start with evaporation (the sun heats up water in rivers or lakes or the ocean and turns it into vapor or steam. The water vapor or steam leaves the river, lake or ocean and goes into the air.) Then there is condensation (water vapor in the air gets cold and changes back into liquid, forming clouds) Next comes precipitation (so much water has condensed that the air cannot hold it anymore; he clouds get heavy and water falls back to the earth in the form of rain, hail, sleet or snow). And finally, there is collection (when water falls back to earth as precipitation, it may fall back in the oceans, lakes or rivers or it may end up on land; when it ends up on land, it will either soak into the earth and become part of the “ground water” that plants and animals use to drink, or it may run over the soil and collect in the oceans, lakes or rivers, where the cycle starts all over again).

In Gemara Ta’anis (9B-10A), Rav Eliezer says that the source of the rain we have is indeed the oceans and seas. And the process of evaporation and cloud formation separates the salt from the water. And while Rav Yehoshua holds that rain originates from the original upper waters mentioned above, the Gemara explains there that even according to Rav Eliezer, our perspective on rain is also that it is a celestial, Heavenly gift, coming onto the earth from a more sublime, otherworldly place, as it acquires that quality when it becomes clouds.

To be continued…….

Parshas Noach Shabbos Bulletin and Tefilla Halachos

Bulletin Parshas Noach

It is forbidden to “shmooze” stam idle talk (to have a friendly conversation) in a Shul or Beis Medrash, even to catch up on news. Even if it is purposeful (but not necessarily a mitzvah).

See OC 151:1 with MB (especially s.k. # 2)

See also Be’er haGolah YD # 334, at the very end…(we don’t want to scare you, but that’s Hilchos Niduiy V’Cherem…)

This issur is even when it is NOT davening time-this is purely due to the kedushas mokom.

There is another issur to talk during davening .Sometimes it is objectively ossur to be mafsik (to interrupt) the davening (e.g, you are in the middle of pesukei d’zimrah)…This includes during chazzaras haShatz.

And sometimes it is because it is seen as a bizayon davening, and shows that your attitude to davening to HaShem is severely lacking. And this would hold true, even when davening at home, privately.

Many times people wonder why their Tefillos are seemingly not answered…h’mmmmmm…

See Taz 55:4, who uses very sharp words . If he’d be a Rav of a Kehillah, no question he’d be fired, forthwith.

If one is disturbing others —See RamBam Hilchos Teshuvah 4:1 (see number one there) .

One may greet another person, ask how he is, but then the “conversation” must cease. (This is true when dealing with the issur of the kedushas mokom. When the other issurim are involved, a shayloh must be asked.)

If a mitzvah is being discussed, generally it is muttar- again, ONLY when the issur is the kedushas mokom or the attitudinal one.

If the conversation (beyond the bare-bones greeting described above ) IS the mitzvah (cheering someone up ), as sometimes is the case, a shayloh must be asked. And again, this is ONLY when confronted with the issur of kedushas mokom, and the attitudinal one.

Rabbosaiy: Read this well, study some sources, so that you will know what is being dealt with.

Sukkos Bulletin

Sukkos & Parshas Bereishis Bulletin in PDF format

The right thing to do is to bentch licht in the Sukkah. It is wrong, however, to bentch licht in the Sukkah, and then to take the licht into the house.  If absolutely necessary, at least stay in the Sukkah for a few minutes with the licht, then, if you must leave and the licht would then be left alone, and you are afraid to do so, take it into the house,  and bring it back out for the seudah, when people go into the Sukkah. 

On Yom Tov (NOT on Shabbos), you can bentch licht later (when people are in the Sukkah), so it may be less of an issue.

If you CANNOT have the licht in the Sukkah, or if it is not practical to do so, you must bentch licht where you will at some point in time benefit from its light.

I highly recommend, in the above case where you CANNOT have the licht in the Sukkah, to include the electric light in the Sukkah in your licht bentching as if it’s another candle. This is TRICKY now, because on Yom Tov, many women make the beracha first, and then light. You CANNOT do that if the electric light is one of your candles.


  1. Turn off the electric light in the Sukkah
  2. Light the candles (BEFORE the berachah, as if it were Shabbos)
  3. Turn on the Sukkah light, as your last candle (if you always light 2 candles, the electric light in the Sukkah is now your third, for example)
  4. THEN make the berachah.