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Delray Orthodox Synagogue

"A Jewel of a Shul"



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 Rabbi's message: 


Some things in history just don’t change. In this week’s Parshas Mikeitz, the Torah tells us: “The seven years of abundance that came to pass in the land of Egypt ended. And the seven years of famine began approaching just as Joseph had said; and there was famine in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.” (Bereishis 41: 93-94)

Did you catch the slight difference in terminology between these two sentences? When the Passuk discusses the years of abundance, no mention whatsoever is made of Joseph’s name. However, when we begin to discuss the seven years of the famine, the Torah quotes the Egyptians as having proclaimed, “Just as Joseph had said.”

Throughout history, when it comes to any positive event that involves the Jew, credit is rarely given – even where credit is due. In contrast, when it comes to assigning blame for difficult moments, the Jew is the first one to be offered up for slaughter.

Even today, the accepted ideology is, “Blame the Jew.”

Just look at any news report. When a mosque caught fire on November 12th in the Arab town of Mughayer (near Ramallah) and was seriously damaged, the Jews were immediately blamed in front-page headlines. Even the Associated Press helped pick up on the reports, although unverified, and accused Jewish settlers for starting the fire. When the truth was finally released this week after the fire department investigations were completed (and the cause turned out to be an electrical fire caused from within), very few of the media offered same-sized coverage or --  Heaven forbid! -- a retraction. Of course not! I expected nothing different. Because nothing has changed.

I don’t have to quote other specific occurrences. It happens every single day. Warn civilians that you are about to bomb – and receive no acknowledgement. Unavoidable deaths when returning defensive fire against terrorists hiding behind and amid civilians ... and guess who gets called out?

I think that, since this attitude dates back as far as Yosef in Mitzrayim, we need to stop expecting anything to change in that regard. We will always be on the receiving end of blame. We need to stay strong, continue to do the right thing even without appreciation, and trust that Hashem will allow for the true Jewish light to be revealed to the world when the time is right.

Chanukah is proof that there are occasional moments in history where our light shines through endless layers of darkness. Our light is our power source, our secret weapon, and our best chance for success. If we spend our time concerned with bringing more light into the world, and we spend less time on trying to battle the mainstream injustices over which we have very little control anyway, those changes will happen automatically as a reaction to our united spirit.

Torah Ohr. Torah is our light. Midos, honesty and decent behavior, time set aside for learning, davening with a Minyan, not disturbing others by talking during davening, supporting your Shul both financially and by participating, these are all things that will bring about world change. World change. From right here in Delray Beach.

There are eight days of Chanukah. The world and nature as we know it were created in seven days. The number “eight” represents, “outside of the realm of nature.”

These Hebrew words, when brought down to a single digit all equal to 8:

“Neirot,” spelled Nun, Resh, Vov and Taf, has a numeric value of 656, when you add the digits, 6+5+6 equals 17 and then down to a single digit, 1+7 equals 8.

“Chanukah,” spelled Chet, Nun, Vov, Kaf, Hey = 89 = 8+9=17, = 1+7 = 8.

“Yevanim,” Yud, Vov, Nun, Yud and Mem = 116= 8.

“Lehadlik,” Lamed, Hey Daleth, Lamed,Yud, Kof = 179 = 17 = 8.

‘Bayamim Haheim,” = 26=8

“Ches Nairos, V’halacha K’Bais Hillel,” = 71 = 8

“Giborim B’yad Chalashim,” = 44 = 8

“Timayim B’yad Tehorim,” = 53 = 8.

“Reshayim B’yad Tzaddikim,” = 44 = 8

“Zaydim B’yad Oskei Torasecha.” = 62 = 8

“Hanayros Halalu Kodesh Heim,” = 62 = 8.

We need to start looking outside of the realm of nature, which may perhaps be the only way to make universal changes. Chanukah sets the example. Miracles do happen. Now it’s time for us to bring the light of G-d back to shatter the pitch darkness that threatens our very existence. If each of us reveals just a drop more light this Chanukah and continues to do so afterwards as well, there is no question in my mind that we will be able to greet the Moshiach in our current lifetime.

Good Shabbos, Chag Samayach, and Bring on the Light!

This week's Parshas Matos begins with the Torah telling us that Moshe spoke to the Nesiyim, the heads of the tribes, telling them the laws of making and nullifying a vow.
Rashi tells us that Moshe gave Kavod, honor, to the heads of the tribes by telling them first, and then to the B'nai Yisroel. And why, asks Rashi, was it necessary to do it in this order? To teach us that a vow can be nullified by a "Yachid Mumche", a single individual that is an Halachic expert in this field.
Asks the Shem M'Shmuel.
Why are the Nesiyum mentioned in the beginning of this Parsha that discusses vows? The act of making a vow does not involve the Nasie at all. It is only with regard to nullifying a vow that the Nasie plays any roll what-so-ever?
In actuality, the entire concept of a Neder, a vow, a means by which a person can bring restrictions upon his or her self that were not commanded of them, comes into question. A self imposed vow seems comparable to a Torah restriction. How can a mere human being possibly create restrictions that are comparable to a Torah restriction imposed by G-d?
Obviously we must say that the making of a vow is NOT comparable to a Torah restriction imposed by G-d. How does it differ?
A Torah restriction can NEVER be nullified! The law is the law. Whereas a vow CAN be nullified by a Chacham, a Nasie, an expert in the laws of vows.
So, to answer our initial question. The reason that the "Heads of the Tribes" are mentioned at the beginning of the laws of "Vows" is;
If not for the fact that a Nasie could nullify a vow, making it different from a Torah restriction, one would never be allowed to make a vow in the first place. So indeed, even the Making of a vow, not just the nullification of a vow, is truly dependent on the Heads of the Tribes.
What we need to learn from this is the need to turn to our Rabbi's and Chachamim to answer questions for us and not just to assume that we can determine the Halacha for ourselves.
It is in the power of the Rabbi who knows the Halacha to nullify a vow, to allow a person to act within and outside the realm of a restriction. However, a person who is a G-d fearing Jew should not Paskin for his/her self, neither to restrict or to allow themselves any activity that involves an Halachic opinion.
A person must learn to trust that the Rabbi knows where they are holding, and that his Psak will be given accordingly, Halacha allowing.
Just as a person who kept kosher his entire life would not eat something questionable without checking if the kosher status meets with their own standards, so too a person should check with regard to the laws of Shabbos and other Halachos if certain lenienciThank you and Good Shabbos.


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Delray Orthodox Synagogue, more commonly referred to as DOS, is a vibrant Modern Orthodox Synagogue serving the spiritual and social needs of its members. DOS provides daily minyanim, Torah learning, and interesting lectures by guest speakers. The very active membership committee is always on the lookout for new members and interesting ways to provide learning in an interactive environment. DOS serves a wide community area surrounding the Oriole shopping center.


We hope you will come and join us for a Shabbos, a service, or one of our weekly lectures.We are confident you will find DOS a delightful and warm environment and one you will look forward to experiencing again and again.

To request info, a change or add something to the site, send feedback, send a message, or inform us of a condolence or a Mazel Tov, Email: Delray Orthodox Synagogue

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Sun, 21 December 2014 29 Kislev 5775