Yisro Bulletin in PDF format
If you happen to hear someone’s berachah as he davens the silent shemoneh essrai, you do NOT answer amen!
At the end of this week’s sedra, the Torah states a mitzvah to make a ramp going up to the mizbai’ach, as opposed to steps, which might result in a posture close to immodesty–which would be considered disrespctful towards the stones of the mizbai’ach. See and learn how we are to act respectfully towards even the unfeeling stones of a mizbai’ach–certainly we should be concerned with showing all proper respect to the Mikdash M’aht itself !
Parshas Bo Bulletin in PDF format
‘Amen’ should be said immediately after the Chazzan has concluded the last word of the berachah. This is to ensure that full concentration is paid to the berachah to which one is saying amen, i.e., that the amen not be a rote, automatic, answering.
One must make sure not to answer amen too hastily,before the Chazzan has completed the final syllable. This is ossur, forbidden.
We read in this week’s sedra about the mitzvah of Tefillin. Tefillin is one of the holiest objects that a Jew is likely to own. It is forbidden to act casually while wearing them, which includes sichah betayla, idle talk.
Think–you are in a Shul, you are wearing Tefillin–are you really feeling so disconnected that you can just stand there and shmooze?
Shabbos Bulletin Parshas Vaeira in PDF format
The Sheli’ach tzibur (chazan) should say the main lines of kedusha (kadosh, baruch, and yimloch) out loud, for the sake of those still davening shemoneh esrei, for they are supposed to stop and listen to the sheli’ach tzibbur say those words, and to a degree it is considered as if they participated in the saying of kedusha.
Moshe Rabbeinu tells Par’o :”When I leave the city, I will spread out my hands(and daven to HaShem)”(Shemos 9:29).Moshe would not daven in a city filled with idols (Rashi,from Midrash).Where you daven is special , and is rendered a mokom kadosh.The paradigm is the Bais HaMikdash,built for Tefillah (see Shlomo Hamelech’s prayer at its opening–Melachim I ,Perek 8).And our Shuls are thus known as Mikdash Me’ahtt(a miniature Bais HaMikdash).
Are you still shmoozzing in Shul?
Shemos Bulletin in PDF Format
If you are in the middle of Shemoneh Esrei, and you hear Borchu while davening, you should stop, listen to the person saying Borchu and to the response (Baruch HaShem….), and should bow together with the responders UNLESS you are at the beginning or end of a berachah (excepting the first one, and modim).
HaShem’s first statement to Moshe Rabbeinu was–to behave appropriately in a mokom kodosh!!(Shemos 3:5). And you are still not careful about talking in Shul?
Vayechi Newsletter in PDF format
A reminder that anyone fasting may not eat until tzeis hakochavim–even on a Friday fast.
And then Kiddush must be made–Vayechulu and both berachos.
And then one must wash–or at least eat mezonos.
Someone cooking for Shabbos may taste the food (only a little bit) and then spit it out.
One may take a hot shower today, since it is erev Shabbos.
One who eats by mistake must continue fasting.
One who forgot that it is a fast day, and made a berachah, took the food item, and then remembered–this is a major shaylah.
Halachah lemaaseh—eat a minimal amount.
One should not spend a fast day waiting for it to be over,but must use it for inspiration and contemplation.Asara B’Teves is a perfect time to be mekabel on oneself not to talk in Shul–talking desecrates the kedusha of the Shul or Beis Medrash–our Mikdash Me’at.