Thursday, August 28, 2014

Awe for a clear sky

Hi,

"Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: One who sees a clear sky recites, 'Blessed is the Creator of Bereishit'.


"When is this? Abbaye said: When it rains all night, and a north wind comes in the morning and reveals the heavens."

(Talmud, Berachot 59a)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The 48th mitzvah: Striking a parent

Hi,

Mitzvah 48 (per the count of Sefer haChinuch) prohibits children from striking their parents. This prohibition may seem redundant, given the standing biblical prohibition against striking any person, but striking a parent is even worse: (1) It is an expression of ingratitude for their ultimate gift of life, and (2) It is an assault on G-d, because of the partnership our parents established with G-d in creating us.


One might ask that this prohibition is still redundant, given that we are already commanded to honour our parents. However, the Minchat Chinuch notes that adding this prohibition has three direct impacts: (1) The penalty for violation becomes more harsh, (2) The path of repentance for a prohibition is more difficult, and (3) Like for any prohibition, one is required to spend all of his funds to avoid violation.

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A prayer for healing

Hi,

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 230:4
One who enters to let blood says, "May it be Your will, Gd, my Master, that this be a cure for me, for You heal at no cost." After he lets blood, he should say, "Blessed is the Healer of the sick."

Mishneh Berurah 230:6
And so in every healing endeavour he should say this, and not think that any particular entity will heal him, only the Creator. Via this prayer he will place his trust in Gd, and ask that this should heal him.

Rabbi Dr. Avraham Sofer Abraham, Nishmat Avraham Orach Chaim 230:1
Therefore, when one takes medication as well - even many times in a day – and for every medical action (i.e. putting in eye drops, smearing on a paste, or giving an injection), or for every surgical action, however minor, we must turn to Gd with this prayer, for Gd, and only Gd, is the true healer. Also before any exercise of any kind that one performs at the instruction of a doctor because of his illness, one must turn to Gd with this prayer. Even for something which seems to be minor, such as when a mother places a bandage on a child's small cut, she should be careful to recite with him this y'hi ratzon, for a cut can develop infection despite the bandage and [yet] some heal without anything at all – it is all in the hands of Heaven. And my mentor Rabbi Neuvirth said to me, "This is obvious." Further, with this she will take the opportunity to teach her child that it is not the bandage that heals, but it is Gd, and there is no other.

Have a great day,
Mordechai


Monday, August 25, 2014

A poem on healing, by Rabbi Yehudah haLevi

Hi, 

"My Gd, heal me and I will be healed,
Let not Your anger rage, such that I would be destroyed,
My drug and concoction are Yours, whether good
or bad, whether strong or weak,
You are the One who will choose, not me,
In Your view is the bad and the good,
Not upon my healing do I depend,
Only Your healing do I anticipate."

(Rabbi Yehudah haLevi, "My Gd, Heal me" http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/sifrut/halevi/19.htm)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Valuing nature

Hi,

"Our master [Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook] would mention how Rabbi Yochanan was startled at the sight of an ant (Eruvin 100b?), and he would say, "How small are Your deeds, Gd!" (See Kuzari 1:68-69 and Orot haTorah 3:8) 

"On one Shabbat, an ant was seen on the table. When it reached the edge of the table, our master raised the hem of the tablecloth, bringing it level with the height of the table. He held it thus for several minutes, until the ant set out back toward the table. He explained, 'So that it should be easier for her.'"

(Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, http://www.havabooks.co.il/article_ID.asp?id=177)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mezuzah as Protection, Part 5

Hi,

"When one enters and departs [a room] one should encounter the unification of Gd’s Name, and remember love of Gd, and awaken from his slumber and his errant involvement in temporary vanities, and he will know that nothing lasts forever, other than the knowledge of the Rock of the World. Immediately he will return to his proper mind and travel a just path."

(Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Mezuzah 6:13)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mezuzah as Protection, Part 4

Hi,

"Rabbi Eliezer of Metz wrote: 'People are accustomed, for the sake of additional domestic protection, to write at the end of the mezuzah various seals and names of angels. This is not required, and it isn’t a mitzvah; it is only for added protection.'…It is clear that there is no disqualification [of the mezuzah] in this practice."

(Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Yabia Omer 8:Yoreh Deah 28)

Have a great day,
Mordechai