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Shabbos Bulletin & Davening Halachos for Yom HaKippurim

Shabbos & Yom Kippur Bulletin

Women should make sure not to say”shehecheyanu” twice (by licht bentching and by Shul)

(The best way to bentch licht today is to include the electric light in your ‘licht bentching’…turn it off…and then,when you ‘bentch licht’ ,  turn it back on as if it were another candle that you are lighting.The reason for this is too complex to explain in this forum-it was explained one evening in the 60-second dvar halachah slot) 

This was not clear to some people.

When do you turn on the light,having in mind that it is one of the lights of your licht bentching?

Whenever you would light another candle.

Let us say you light 2 candles, then make the berachah. You now are lighting 3 before the berachah, the third  being turning on the light.

Let us say you light 4 candles,then make the brachah. You now are lighting 5 before the berachah,the fifth being turning on the light.

Hopefully,this was illuminating

When davening maariv,one should have in mind to fulfill the mitzvah of being mekadesh Yom Kippur (Kiddush)..and, this year, kiddush Shabbos , as well!

If one forgets to conclude the berachah in Shemonah Essrai  with “mekadesh haShabbos ” , one must repeat the Shemonah Essrai.

Where Do You Live?

Some people have mentioned to me that, of late, my articles are rather “heavy.” My response to that is, “Baruch Hashem!” Were it otherwise, I would be guilty of violating a famous dictum in Gemara Rosh Hashanah, paraphrased here: “The books of life and death are open in front of Me, and you are writing articles?!” And so bear with me a bit longer, as Yom Hakippurim still looms quite large ahead of us, and we must prepare for the entire coming year.

One of the main things that Chazal obviously felt would aid us in our preparations for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Hakippurim is the recitation throughout Elul of Chapter 27 in Tehillim, “L’dovid, Hashem ori veyishi…” You might be familiar with Chazal interpreting ori as Rosh Hashanah, and yishi as Yom Hakippurim, but have you ever stopped and wondered why it is such a mainstay of our Elul davenings? How does this prepare us for the Yomim Nora’im? Is it just the very fact that we are saying it for a month before the awesome days referred to there? Is that all there is to it?

The Michtav Mi’eliyahu has a very sharp insight into life, which he shares with us in a piece entitled “The Mashal and the Nimshal” — The Parable (or Allegory) and the Lesson (or the Moral). He writes:

A parable is actually something wholly false; it is  fantasy and illusion. It is a story which never happened, and has no reality to it. The kernel of truth in a mashal is only the degree to which it helps the listener understand and relate to the nimshal, the lesson it represents. Yet, sadly, living in the mashal, and ignoring the nimshal is much more common than we would like to believe… A child builds castles or railroads or ships, and lives in that fantasy world as if it were real; when he gets older, he hopefully abandons those figments of imagination, yet he adopts others. Let us take for example a person who wants recognition from others [and who can say they do not?]; is there any greater fantasy than that? How is your actual worth dependent on what others think of you? If you are comfortable with yourself, why do you need others’ opinions? And if you are not, what good does it do you if others mistakingly think highly of you? That’s living in unreality, living in the mashal.

A person seeks wealth, pleasures, comfort… S/he is only imagining that that will bring them happiness and serenity… but reality and experience shows that that is not so… yet we continue to live in the mashal, to consort with illusions.

The adult lives like a child with toys — but more dangerously, as it is immeasurably harder to clarify to the adult that it is indeed merely fantasy…

Let us go deeper. Our physical lives, our sojourn in this corporeal world, the world itself that we see and experience, is all one big mashal — for this is not the true reality. Every believing Jew believes that this world is merely a preparation for the true reality that will exist in the future as our souls — the souls we are supposed to be working on to refine and elevate will be bonding and somehow becoming  part of the reality of Hashem; the degree to which this is so is the degree to which we will truly exist and be forever… in this world, what we busy ourselves with  is  nothing but a mashal, a life with no real lasting metzi’us, just a way of acquiring, through the mashal of this life, the nimshal of our true substance and existence.

Yes, we are playing Monopoly down here, yet we think it is real houses, real hotels, and a real Park Place, while it is as illusory and unreal as the board game.

If you ask people who have undergone travails in their life, and have grown in ruchnius through the experience, you will inevitably find that their perception of what is real, what is valuable, what matters, has taken on a whole new value system — their neshamos have been touched, they have broken free of the mashal, and have been zoche to experience the nimshal.

And, to a man, it is real, tangible, and the most pleasurable experience they have ever had. Despite (or due to?) the accompanying yissurim.

Don’t live in the mashal! Live with authenticity, truth, genuiness, reality!

Ramban writes (Devarim 6:13):

And you shall serve Him… that you should act towards Hashem like a servant who serves his master always, who makes his master’s work primary and his own needs secondary; this leads to what Chazal termed, “And let all your activities be for the sake of heaven” — meaning that even one’s physical needs should be done for the sake of serving Hashem: eating, sleeping, taking care of all physical needs as much as is required to serve Him. As Chazal state, “And behold, it was very good [the culmination of the bri’ah], this is referring to sleep. Is sleep a good thing? Why, a person is seemingly not accomplishing anything productive then! Yet, because a person sleeps, he awakes refreshed, and occupies himself with Torah [and Mitzvos]… and whenever he is engaged in attending to anything physical, he should keep in mind the possuk [note — we say this every day in our davening] (Tehillim 146:2) I shall praise Hashem while I live. [Ramban is apparently interpreting this to mean with my (physical) life]… I shall sing to my G-d while I exist [with my very (corporeal) existence]. And this is the correct interpretation of the meaning of the Divine Service the possuk speaks of.

And so, morai v’rabosai, and ladies, here we have the secret of how to seemingly live in the mashal — yet to actually be, consciously, thoughtfully and deliberately, in the nimshal.

“Achas sho’alti me’eis Hashem… shivti b’vais Hashem…” This possuk, recited twice a day throughout Elul, prepares us as perhaps no other possuk does or can for real life, true life, life in the nimshal as we walk in the mashal. Malbim explains that possuk as teaching that not only is the request my sheilah — a request, the motive of which might be life, wealth, nachas, comfort — but it is my bakashah, my ultimate goal, what I am lma’aseh searching for, my destination, my mission, and my objective: dwelling in the House of the Lor-d, as I am alive (kol y’mei chayai), as we have seen the understanding of the Ramban how that can be accomplished. Living the ratzon Hashem, the will of G-d, as we go through the day living our lives, with our ultimate goals being the only reality, the only nimshal.

And if you read this article, and someone askes you what it was about, and your answer is — oh, Rav Malinowitz wrote about a kid playing Monopoly and building boats — well, you are esconsed in mashal, have missed the nimshal, and must go back and re-read it!

A g’mar chasimah tova to all, gut yom tov, and a year of growth in avodas Hashem without the need for accompanying nisyonos.

Rosh Hashona Bulletin and Teffilas Rosh Hashona Halachos

Rosh Hashana & Haazinu Bulletin in PDF format

Print this page and put it in your machzor!

Some Halachos Of RH Davening:

  • Some have the minhag to daven Shemonah Esraiy while being bent over; there are places in the amidah where they would have to straighten up; if you have the minhag, but don’t know what those places are, check with the Rav. 
  • Better to daven with a straight body but a bent heart. 
  • Some daven a bit louder than normal during the amidah. Some hold this is inappropriate–lema’aseh, one should do whatever allows him more kavanah, but he or she MUST make sure not to disturb others. 
  • We see in halachah more of an attention to detail in pronouncing the words of davening properly on RH and YK. 
  • If one concluded properly ‘hamelech hakodosh’ but left out the lengthy nussach of the third berachah, he is yotzei. 
  • If one concluded the fourth berachah ‘mekadesh yisrael vehazemanim’, one is NOT yotzei. 
  • The most common Eretz Yisroel minhag is to conclude the last berachah with the usual conclusion ‘hamevareich ess amoh yisrael bashalom.” 
  • If one said the entire lengthy nussach of the third berachah, and is not sure if he said hokail or hamelech hakodosh, he may assume he said hamelech hakodosh. Otherwise, one must repeat the amidah from the beginning. 
  • If one forgot the 2 insertions in the first or last berachah of the amidah, if one remembered before saying the shem haShem of the berachah, one says the forgotten insertion at that point, and then continues from that point (as if he had not forgotten). If not, then just continue.

Kesiva Vachasima Tova!

Rosh Hashanah – Yom Kippur: Times of Fear and Awe and Love – Part 4

We have seen the essentiality of yiras Hashem (fear of G-d), the sheer fundamentality of that crucial middah (part one). We have seen how Chazal realized that if only we would internalize Hashem’s “keeping tabs” on us the way we would fear “WebChaver,” we would be way ahead of the game; and we learned the difference between fear of punishment and actual awe of Hashem (part two); we learned a natural pathway to reach the higher-level yirah, yiras haromemus (awe), as per Rambam’s and Chovos Halevavos’s exhortations to study and contemplate Hashem’s wondrous and amazing beri’ah and to reach some form of recognition of the greatness and absoluteness of the Ribbono Shel Olom, the puniness of man; and the infinitely absurd possibility of violating His will… and we suggested a logical way to tap into that, daily – fulfilling the hundred-brachos-a-day obligation, and thinking, really thinking, about what the brachah is saying and the larger message that it represents (part three).

To further understand this, it is necessary to realize the other side of the coin – that is to say, how, complementing fear and awe, should be a love for, and desire to bond with, Hakadosh Baruch Hu. In everyday life, this translates as wanting to get to know Him, both through studying Torah and, once again, knowing the beri’ah. Also, the more ruchani we are, the less caught up in the temporal and physical parts of our being we are, the less petty we are, the more giving and selfless we are, the more we are able to be part of Hashem’s reality. All this translates into love, or bonding.

The Ramban (Shmos 20:7) suggests that the middah of ahavah inspires a person to focus on the mitzvos assei, in which a person is in a loving, giving, middas rachamim mode; while yirah is restrictive and middas hadin-oriented, in which a person who is afraid would refrain from doing acts unpleasant to the master. This is echoed by the Rav in Pirkei Avos 1:3, who writes, “Serve Hashem out of a sense of joy, serve Him out of a sense of fear – serve Him with joy, so that you will not turn antagonistic towards Him (as excessive fear is apt to do); serve Him with fear, so that your familiarity not breed contempt… Serving with fear will, in general, make one more careful about violating prohibitions; serving with love and joy will, in general, make one more excited to perform positive acts for Hashem.” The Ramban, in fact, goes on to suggest that this is the inner reason for the legality which teaches us that when a positive mitzvah and a negative commandment are in conflict, the positive one takes precedence (this is known as assei docheh lo ta’aseh) – because ahavah-inspired avodah supercedes a yirah-driven one. Now, clearly, a person may perform positive mitzvos due to fear that he will be punished if he does not do them; and a person may refrain from negative acts as a result of love of Hashem; nevertheless, Ramban’s and Rav’s point is that the root, the fountainhead, of positive actions is love, which is expansive in nature, seeks to give, reaches out, and inspires and spurs me to form a relationship; whereas fear, even the higher-level fear of awe, trepidation and reverence, ultimately restricts and turns inward, keeping a distance. Hence it is seen as the bedrock of the keeping of negative commandments.

There is a fascinating question by the Kinas Sofrim, a sefer written as a commentary on the Rambam’s Sefer Hamitzvos, the answer to which gains us further insight. Why is it, he asks, that if a person “merely” fears the punishment of aveiros, he fulfills the mitzvah of yiras Hashem (as the Rambam states clearly in Sefer Hamitzvos), whereas it seems a given that if one did positive actions for the wrong reason, say for reward and credit, one is not fulfilling ahavas Hashem. Why that dichotomy? The answer seems clear: When I fear being punished, that indeed translates into fearing the one who has that ability to punish me. For fear does not define the relationship. I may fear you, but that is not the inner essence of our bond – for fear is not a bonding force at all. Thus, I fear one who can punish me. Thus, ironically, even low-level fear of punishment fulfills the mitzvah of yiras Hashem.

But to love is to bond, to give, to share, to feel close to, to want to be part of, to want to give joy to – to fulfill that mitzvah, I have to truly form the intrinsic, elemental relationship – waiting for a payoff indeed doesn’t do that!

And so, we may posit that yirah, whether the low-level fear of punishment or the higher-level awe of yiras horomemus, is the bedrock, the underpinnings, the safety net of our keeping Torah u’mitzvos, while ahavah takes us beyond, into forming a positive, thriving, pulsating always-active interconnection with the Almighty.

The shofar of Rosh Hashanah has both messages for us, as we prepare for the renewal which these coming days have the potential to bring. “Shall a shofar sound in a city and those residing therein not fear?” It heralds the Yom Hadin when even the forces in heaven tremble lest they be found wanting (as we say in the Unesaneh Tokef prayer). Yet, probably even more fundamentally, we thereby proclaim Hashem’s sovereignty, as we exult in that – for we are subjects under the control of the King of Kings, who is Avinu Malkeinu, who, loves, nurtures, and cares for us.

This, rabbosai and ladies, explains the dichotomy of the day of Rosh Hashanah – we fear, we cry, we tremble – yet we eat, drink, and take joy, even rapture, as we place ourselves under His jurisdiction and loving rule.

A k’sivah v’chasimah tova to all.

Rav Malinowitz is the Rav of Beis Tefillah Yonah Avraham, located in Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph, at the corner of Nachal Refaim and Nachal Luz. Many of Rav Malinowitz’s shiurim can be heard at www.btya.org.

Nitzavim/Vayeilach – Shabbos Bulletin and Tefilla Halacha

Shabbos Bulletin – Netzavim Vayeilach

A person entering a Shul or a Beis Medrash for a personal matter,must stop and say a possuk , or a Tefillah , or just sit or stand there about 3 seconds.This allows his entering to be seen as entering for a dvar mitzvah,not for personal use.(just sitting in a shul is considered a  dvar mitzvah)This last idea(just sitting) should only be used if for some reason saying a possuk or a Tefillah is not possible.

Saying the “13 Attributes” (Middos of HaShem) is a דבר שבקדושה and requires a minyan to say it.If an individual is saying selichos without a minyan ,one eitzah is to  read the words as it appears in the possuk,complete with the ‘trop’ (ta’amei mikrah).Another is to simply skip it.

The minhag is that when one hears the tzibbur saying the 13 Middos, he says it along witth them.One should NOT do so if in the middle of pesukei d’zimra , and of course not in the middle of birchos keri’as Shema.