Eikev Bulletin in PDF format
What is Tachanun, anyway?
After the sin of the eigel hazahav, Moshe Rabbeinu davened to HaShem in 3 positions: sitting, standing, and falling (onto the floor). [And since this is found in Devorim 9:9, 10:10, and 9:18, and since they are all found in this week’s sedrah, Eikev (you knew that already, right?), you can stop wondering why I have chosen to talk about this today.]
We therefore follow this precedent: birchos shema (sitting), shemoneh essrei (standing), and tachanun (falling upon our faces).
The minhag is for women to omit Tachanun*.
The Zohar and other sources state that Tachanun is an especially intense Tefillah, and therefore its full intensity—which essentially involves falling upon one’s face–is only done according to most minhagim when there is a sefer Torah there (representing the Shechinah).
This should teach us about the added kedushah in a Shul or Beis HaMedrash where we do whatever we do in front of an Aron Kodesh containing many sifrei Torah.
*I am conducting an experiment to see how many people care enough to ask why.
Shabbos Bulletin Parshas Vaeschanan
On Shabbos, one should also ideally start shemoneh esrei immediately after “go’al yisrael.” But, if one concluded go’al yisrael, and then heard a kaddish or kedusha or borchu, then, only on Shabbos, one should respond (as one does during shema).
If you are leaving Shul,and someone is entering ,the enterer goes first.
Shabbos Bulletin Parshas Devarim/Chazon
The reason for the din of not drinking wine during the 9 days is given as a way of remembering the lack of nesachim due to the lack of korbonos, one of the results of the churban (not due to aveilus,which has no issur yayin).
Although it is technically permissible to drink mitzvah-wine, the minhag is to give the havdalah wine to a child to drink—the age must be old enough for chinuch in berachos (you are being motzie the chld in the borei pri hagofen),but not old enough to understand about being misabeil on the Beis HaMikdash(this is usually considered to be between 5 and 10).
If there is no boy of that age, then the person making havdalah should drink the wine himself(rather than giving it to a girl or a child below or above the age group given).
It is brought down that HaGaon R’ SZ Aurbach zt”l drank the havdalah wine himself, rather than taking a chance of berachah levatalah (if the child is too young)or of there being no point(if the child is too old).
Surely we mourn the churban Beis HaMikdash.Surely we would recoil at the thought of aiding in it!
And so let us always recall and be cognizant of the warnings of so many Acharonim that lack of respect in a Shul, idle talk, and talking during davening was the cause of the destruction or desolation of all too many Botei Knesses.
Shabbos Bulletin Parshas Masei in PDF format
Many sefarim write that even those who do not say tikun chatzos all year round (RCZM–I may know a few people like that) should say it during the “three weeks,” and even in the daytime (at or after chatzos).Nu, any Tattys?
Contemplating the great chillul HaShem perpetrated through the churban of the House Of G-D, we should resolve during this period of mourning to be more conscientious about our hanhagos in our own Mikdosh Me’at.
Parshas Matos Bulletin in PDF Format
Did you know…?
Ideally, one should stay in Shul until the end of Shacharis. In case of need, one may leave after the first kaddish recited by a mourner(that is after aleinu).One may not leave before kedusha d’sidra except under extenuating circumstances.
It is ossur to leave early on a regular basis–it is highly disrespectful.
A person should not leave Shul with his back to the Aron Kodesh, but should walk out sideways or backwards through the entrance.He should ideally bow towards the Aron and say the possuk in Tehillim 5:9—HaShem, necheinee b’tzidkossechoh lema’an shoreraiy, hayshar lefanaiy darkechoh (HaShem, guide me in Your righteousness, because of my enemies who are constantly looking to have me stumble; straighten Your way before me).