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March 05 Kosherpages launches 

December 05 - KP goes national.

June 06 - KP launches business networking events

January 07 - 1st B2B tradeshow

January 08 - 1st Kosher Lifestyle Show

August 08 - Parent & child networking event at the Odeon Manchester

September 08
- Launch of new film review section

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November 08 - Launch of new Medical Blog By Dr. Martin Harris

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January 11 - KosherPages introduces "Your Pix" to Pick of the Week

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November 11 - KosherPages introduces the monthly competition

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Tetzaveh

Wednesday, 13th February 2019

The only weekly Torah portion - Parsha (since He was Born and forgetting much of Dvorim where Moshe speaks in first Person) where we do not find Moshe's (Moses’s) name written is the Parsha of this week, Parshas Tetzaveh.

The Baal HaTurim explains that after Cheit HaEgel (the sin of the Golden Calf) Moshe told Hashem (G-d) that if He doesn't forgive Bnei Yisroel (the children of Israel), then He should erase Moshe's name from the Sefer Torah. Although Hashem forgave them, nevertheless a tzaddik's (righteous person’s) words do not go unheeded and Moshe was left out of Parshas Titzaveh.

So why Tetzaveh? The Vilna Gaon says the reason for Moshe's absence is that the 7th (of the Hebrew month of) Adar, Moshe's Yahrtzeit (anniversary of death), almost always falls out in the week of Tetzaveh. Since he left us this week his name doesn't appear.

Nevertheless says the Vilna Gaon, Moshe's name is hidden in the Parsha. There are 101 pasukim (verses) in the parsha. If you take the hidden letters in Moshe's name it equals 101. Mem is spelled Mem, Mem the second "hidden" mem = 40. Shin is spelled Shin, Yud Nun, the hidden yud and nun equal = 60. Hey is spelled Hey, Aleph = 1 for a total of 101.

We see from here, says the Vilna Gaon, that even after the gashmiyos (physical) of Moshe, his exterior body was taken from us, nevertheless his ruchniyos (spiritual), his Neshama (soul) is still with us.

Teruma

Wednesday, 6th February 2019

This week's sidra (Torah portion) begins

“Veosu Lee Mikdash - make me a sanctuary”

 

Rashi explains  that a mikdash is  Bayis lekedusha - a house/home for holiness

 

How is this possible?

 

If we look at the gematria (is a numerological system by which Hebrew letters correspond to numbers) we can get a clue

 

MIKDASH=444

BAYIS=412

 

The difference between them is 32=Lamed Bays = Lev = heart

 

To transform a house into a sanctuary you need the hearts and devotion of the builders!

Mishpotim

Thursday, 31st January 2019

A Jew becomes a servant/slave either by selling himself because he is destitute or through being sold by Beis Din (Jewish Court) as a punishment for stealing and being unable to repay what he stole.

At the end of six years of work, all Jewish servants go free from their masters. However, if a Jewish servant does not want to leave his master at the end of the six years, he is taken to the door post and his master bores a hole through his ear. He then remains in servitude [Shemos 21: 5-6].

The Gemara - Talmud in (Kiddushin 22b) tells us the significance of the fact that it is specifically his ear that is pierced: "The ear that heard on Sinai 'you are to be slaves to Me', and nevertheless chose to sell himself into slavery thereby acquiring a different master for himself, choosing to remain in servitude when he had the opportunity to go free, is deserving of punishment."

One of the commentaries protest that it is not really the ear's fault; it is the brain's fault! The ear is just a receptacle, a tool for hearing sounds. In fact, it is his brain or perhaps his heart that is at fault. That is the part of him that fails to realize to whom he is supposed to be a slave. Why pick on the ear?

The Sefas Emes answers that it is the ear's fault, because the message remained only in the ear. The trouble with this person is that he heard - externally, but he did not listen. He did not internalise the message "They shall be slaves to Me; not slaves to other slaves". That was his sin. It remained only in the ear.

Yisro

Wednesday, 23rd January 2019

"You shall observe the Shabbos (Sabbath), for it is holy to you; its desecrators shall be put to death..."
 (Shemos - Exodus 31:14)

To the modern mind, penalties of this sort seem primitive and savage. The person who violates the Shabbos harms no one.  Why does he deserve to die?

It can be explained as follows: Death penalties for religious offences are "consequences" rather than "punishments".  The penalty designated for Shabbos violation is there to inform us that for a Jew, the act of desecrating the Shabbos corresponds to jumping into a river without knowing how to swim.

Let us imagine the sceptic, who doesn't believe that anyone can die by drowning, confidently jumping into a river and drowning as a consequence.  Would we consider his death by drowning unjust or unreasonable because it is contrary to his sincere belief that he would not drown?  Of course not!

In the same way, if a person actually inflicts a fatal spiritual injury on himself by desecrating the Shabbos, he will surely die spiritually regardless of his belief in the validity of the Shabbos laws.

Just as there are many activities that injure (sometimes fatally) the body, so too there are many activities that injure (sometimes fatally) the soul.  The capital offences of the Torah are there to warn us of the potentially fatal spiritual activities (and thus help us avoid them).

Our souls are who we essentially are, our bodies are merely the space suits we wear so that we can function in this physical world. It follows directly that when our souls suffer a fatal injury there is no need to keep wearing the garment whose sole function is to enable the soul to walk around this physical world.

Tu B’Shvat

Wednesday, 16th January 2019

 

Tu B’Shvat is a Jewish holiday occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat – this year Monday 21st January. It is also called "Rosh HaShanah La'Ilanot", literally "New Year of the Trees."

Click here to watch an interesting video about Tu Bishvat from Aish

 

Bo

Tuesday, 8th January 2019

Immediately before the 10th plague of Makas Bechoros (the death of the Firstborn), Pharaoh told Moshe (Moses) “You shall no longer see my face, for on the day that you see my face, you shall die!" (10:28).
 
Now after the death of the firstborn plague, Pharaoh desperately needed to talk to Moshe to tell him that the Bnei Yisroel (Children of Israel) should leave Mitzrayim (Egypt). He sent for Moshe but why would Moshe risk coming? Surely Moshe remembered what Pharaoh said and certainly would not show up.
 
The Kli Yakar answers that the answer lies in the extra word in the verse. First the verse says (12:30) “Pharaoh got up in middle of the night when Makas Bechoros struck. The next verse says "Pharaoh called to Moshe and Aharon (Aaron) in the night.” Why does the pasuk (verse) say again the word “Leiyla – in the night"? We already know that it was the night from the previous verse? The extra Leiyla, explains the Kli Yakar, was Pharaoh's answer to Moshe's fear about Pharaoh carrying out his threat of killing Moshe. Pharaoh said the "day" I see you, you will die, but now it was nighttime.

Va'era

Thursday, 3rd January 2019

We all know that during the plague of “Blood”, it was only the water of the Egyptians that was affected and turned into blood, the water belonging to the Jewish people didn’t turn to blood.

The only way that the Egyptians could get hold of water was to buy it from the Jews.

Most interestingly, you don’t find that the Egyptians complained about the Jews with regards to the price of the water, which would normally be typical. Why were there no complaints?

 

Rabbi Sholom Schwadron comments that having to pay for water was a punishment, and each Egyptian deserved their own level of punishment so would have to pay different prices for the water. How can the Jews possibly estimate how much punishment each Egyptian deserved?

Says Rabbi Schwadron, the water that they wanted to purchase was put on a table in front of them. It was the colour of blood. As they put down more and more money the red water eventually changed into clear water. Through this they realised that this was the price that they as individuals needed to pay and that it wasn’t the Jews putting the price on the water.

Shemos

Thursday, 27th December 2018

In this week’s Sedra (Torah portion), Moshe (Moses) is found in a basket by Basya. Miriam who is standing nearby asks Basya if she should go and get a Jewish wet nurse for the baby.

Rashi mentions the Medrash, that first Basya attempted to feed Moshe from Egyptian wet nurses, but Moshe refused their milk. Moshe’s refusal was due to the fact that he was destined to speak with Hashem (G-d), and it was more befitting that the mouth that was going to speak “mouth to mouth” with Hashem should be nursed from a Jew. 

The Shulchan Aruch brings down the Halachah (ruling) that even though it is not forbidden for a Jewish baby to be nursed by a non-Jew it is better to refrain from doing so. The Vilna Goan links the source of this Halachah with the aforementioned Rashi in this week’s Sedra.

Asks Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, how can this be the source of the Halachah? Surely the reason that applied to Moshe does not apply to every one of us; we aren’t going to be speaking to Hashem as directly as Moshe did? 

Rabbi Yaakov answers, that herein lies a fundamental lesson in chinuch (education). Every parent has to know that his child has HUGE potential for greatness; he has the potential to be a Moshe! Therefore every Jewish child should not feed from a non Jew because he has the same potential that Moshe had. We have to educate every child with the knowledge that he can become something great.

Even if he might not end up speaking to Hashem direct, but if he fulfils his potential then he has achieved greatness akin to that of Moshe. It’s not how you measure up against everyone around you; it’s what you do in relation to YOUR unique potential.

Rabbi Chaim Kaufman used to say if you have great aspirations, you won’t fall that much short. When one shoots an arrow towards a target, you have to aim slightly above the bulls’ eye in order to hit it! Similarly Rabbi Sholom Schwadron would say, “if you have big goals then you will score more!”

Vayechi

Thursday, 20th December 2018

"Then Jacob called for his sons and said, "Gather yourselves and I will tell you what will be in the End of Days."(49:1)

Before Jacob was to pass away, he wished to reveal to his sons the time when the Messiah will arrive. The SHALA Hakodesh ( Rabbi Isaiha Horowitz,ZS"L) writes, that when Jacob used the language of "Gather yourselves", it is to teach us that in order for the "End of Days " to occur all hatred must be eradicated from the tribes of Israel. The nation of Israel must be one unified unit. This is hinted to in the very words of "Gather yourselves" into one brotherly unit, devoid of hatred and animosity.

A very fundamental question can be asked, How can we ourselves eradicate hatred , and thus actively bring about the Messiah?

The total eradication of hatred from our hearts begins primarily in how we perceive another person and ourselves. By realizing that every soul is beloved by G-d and uniquely created to fulfil its individual purpose , a person can begin to understand the foolishness in baseless jealousy and animosity; If your friend is unique and you're unique, so why be jealous? This can be further explained by an original MOSHAL (parable) as follows:

There once existed a poor village boy who was very curious about how things work, especially clocks. One day he decided to take a clock apart and examine its parts to further his understanding of the clocks mechanics. After much study and observation, he felt it was time to put it back together. However, he soon discovered that some of the parts were left over and not placed in the clock. But since at first glance the clock seemed to work, perhaps he thought that these parts were extra and unnecessary. After a few days, the village boy soon realized that the clock was off by a few minutes and that these minutes will turn into hours over time. This village boy realized the importance and value of every individual part that makes up the entire clock. It's is important to realize that G-d has a purpose, and that every Jew has a part in the realization of this purpose. Just like every part of the clock is important in order for the proper functioning of the clock, so too every Jew is equally vital in the fulfilment of G-d’s purpose.

Vayigash

Thursday, 13th December 2018

Rashi (46:26) cites the commentary which comments that in referring to the Bnei Yaakov (the sons of Jacob), the verse describes them as 'one nefesh (person),' whilst when discussing Bnei Eisav (the sons of Esaub) it calls them many people (nefashos). Why? 

Answers Rashi that Yaakov's (Jacob's) descendents serve one G-D and so they are described in the singular, whilst Eisav's kids served many gods and so are described in the plural. But why does this make sense - the Torah is talking about the people, not how many powers they served? 

The answer is that there is a fundamental difference between someone who serves one G-D and someone who serves many gods. Someone who serves one G-D realises that this G-D is supreme, and so is ready to subjugate and nullify himself & his ego before this G-D. But someone who serves many gods just wants the goods that these gods provide, and so is really only interested in his needs and his ego. Now it is only someone who nullifies his ego who can bond together in unity with other people, someone who is too interested in himself and his own wants will never form a proper team. 

Thus, when the Torah describes Bnei Yaakov it calls them one person, for it is because they serve one G-D and so have nullified their egos that they can bond together (like one man with one heart). But Bnei Eisav serve many gods and are only interested in their own needs, wants, and egos, and so cannot bond together. Thus, they are referred to in the plural.  

As Rabbi Krohn said, 'THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UNITE AND UNTIE IS WHERE YOU PUT THE I.'

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