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Delray Orthodox Synagogue

DELRAY ORTHODOX SYNAGOGUE
"A Jewel of a Shul"
7319 W. ATLANTIC AVENUE
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA 33446
561-499-0970

RABBI MENACHEM JAROSLAWICZ
HARRY LAZARUS, PRESIDENT



 

Welcome to the DOS Website

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 Rabbi's message: 

 

Parshas Va'Yeitzei. I thought that this merited being my message for the week.
 
A  wonderful and poignant eulogy of the murdered rabbis by the non Jewish Italian journalist Guilio Meotti. He is more than a righteous   gentile.  He is a "MENSCH" in the hIghest meaning of that word.
 

Op-Ed: My Homage to the Rabbis Killed in Jerusalem

The four rabbis murdered in Jerusalem were living Torah Scrolls.
 
Published: Saturday, November 22, 2014 6:23 PM
 

Their every word and deed revealed an ancient civilization and traditions filtered through the centuries. Their bodies were turned into fountains of blood by the delirium of Islamist murderers who shouted "Allahu Akbar". But to see them alive, shadows swaying, was to realize that those four learned men transmitted the plastic image of scenes from the Old Testament.

They each wanted to aspire to be a "talmid khakham", students of rabbis who preceded them, in the tradition of those pious scholars who founded a democratic theocracy and rebelled against the most formidable autocratic monarchy of the time, Egypt. 

The four Israeli rabbis killed with a machete in the synagogue in Har Nof, Jerusalem, lived with an acute sense of the Jewish tragedy. The destruction of the Temple, the mass pogroms of Chmielnicki and the Holocaust were physically present in their lives. 

They spoke of  "mesirut nefesh", Hebrew for self-sacrifice. "The Lord chooses his children, we have to respect his wishes." This infinite compassion was the greatness of Rabbis Moshe Twersky, Aryeh Kupinsky, Kalman Levine and Avraham Shmuel Goldberg. They had a pale and elusive beauty, intensified by a spiritual contempt for fear. They wore long white beards and blue eyes bursting with curiosity.

Twersky was heir to two of the families who have contributed volumes to the glory of Orthodox Judaism. A life of study and prayer. His maternal grandfather, the great Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Jewish philosopher and rabbinic head of Yeshiva University, known simply as "the Rav", pressed Pope Paul VI to reinstate the condemnation of the charge of deicide during the writing of the Vatican encyclical on Judaism Nostra Aetate, which had disappeared from the draft under the pressure of the Arab eastern churches. The other grandfather, Rabbi Isadore Twersky, famous for his works on Maimonides, founded the Center of Jewish studies at Harvard. 

At first glance, the Israeli world presents, sometimes almost exasperatingly, the character of the most advanced, unscrupulous Western societies. In Har Nof, however, and in the synagogue where the massacre took place, once finds the other Israel, the pious, humble, religious Israel, that can be found in the older ultra-Orthodox densely populated neighborhoods, in parts of Judea and Samaria and large neighborhoods of Jerusalem built after 1967.

In the hill of the massacre, Har Nof, literally the Hill of Vistas, lived Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who died a year ago, the phenomenal rabbi who had won the title of "Ma'or Yisrael", the Light of Israel. 

The motto here is: "First the Torah, then the State".

The attack on the synagogue was a deja vu for Jerusalem. On August 19, 2003,  Jerusalem's number 2 bus was filled with worshipers returning from the Western Wall when twenty-three Jewish passengers were killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber. It was called "the bus of holiness." For many of the victims, going to the Kotel was a holiday, a source of immense joy.

The four rabbis wanted to "help sixteen million Jews in the world to reach contact with God and the commandments." The watchwords of Twersky were like those of Chabad: wisdom (chochmah), understanding (binah), and knowledge (Daath). Twersky and the others were in the world, but out of the world.

You see them everywhere in Jerusalem, they are always in good spirits, they turn to strangers with a smile, if they are Chabad, they immediately offer to fasten the phylacteries, coiling them around the arm with the agility of magicians. 

They were the heroes of a world of simplicity, directness and prodigious familiarity with God; that same world that Marc Chagall revealed with his pictorial art. Education and social assistance were the priorities of these four Jews. The biographies of the four vibrated with the paradox of a proportion that dropped entirely in the reality of the human, the radical absence of abstraction, the continuous passage from earth to heaven, a sublimity tinged with humor.

The Torah scholars killed by Palestinian terrorists had all left lives of ease and assimilation in the outskirts of the West.

Levine was born in Kansas City, he was the son of a lawyer, and in Israel studied in the old hareidi neighborhood of Meah Shearim, which means "one hundred doors", a fortress where Jews live, sleep, work with the Bible and the Talmud under their eyes. 

Rabbi Kupinsky was from Detroit, where he was well known in the city (his parents had taught at Wayne State University). Kupinsky had moved to Har Nof from his family's home in Kiryat Arba, the "City of Four", adjoining Hevron, the city of the Jewish Patriarchs, where Jewish life is behind a tall metal fence that runs all around the houses, the post office, the school.  A place where war is not on television, but enters the low houses of white stone and is on the roads, in the pine forest, in the games for children. "Welcome to the Messiah," says the yellow banner that greets visitors at the entrance of the village-bunker. It was founded with the blessing of Labour, not the Likud. It was born with 18 inhabitants and 11 Bibles. 

Rabbi Goldberg was a chemical engineer from Liverpool and a consultant for the hareidim, "the righteous", those who live in houses with only basic furniture. Goldberg had arrived in Israel in 1991, while the scuds of Saddam Hussein hit Tel Aviv, Iraq threatened to "burn half of Israel" and the Jews pulled out gas masks from the khaki box they had hidden in a corner of the house to exorcise it. Goldberg had left the idyllic hills of Golders Green, the middle class of Jewish London.

When Palestinian terrorists stormed the synagogue in Har Nof, the four rabbis had their eyes turned to the east praying towards the Old City of Jerusalem where once stood the Temple and the Holy Ark of the Covenant. They were killed wearing their phylacteries and prayer shawls, eyes still fixed on the siddur, the book of prayer. About to say a Psalm: "This is the gate of God and the righteous will enter it."

They were really the princes of Israel. The day after the massacre at the yeshiva of Bnei Torah on the western hill of Jerusalem, the blood of the martyrs, the  kedoshim, was removed to be buried along their poor remains. But the day after dozens of Jews returned to the synagogue to thank God. So that God can smile down at His people again after that horrific day.

I bow before them. 

 

Have a great Shabbos.

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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