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Kosherpages Updates

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

September 08 - KP announces The Fed as chosen charity for this year

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

March 09 - Kosher Lifestyle Show Manchester

March 09 - Launch of The Kosher Brochure

May 10 - New Owners of KosherPages

June 10 - New look KosherPages

July 10 - KosherPages expands to include Jewish communities nation wide

July 10 - Pick of the Week is introduced to KosherPages - A joke, a quote, a Dvar Torah and more

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November 10 - Your health matters is added to KosherPages

November 10 - New addition to KosherPages - Kosher Fitness column

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

July 11 - Safety First section is added to KosherPages

November 11 - The KosherPages Facebook group reaches 1,000 members

November 11 - KosherPages introduces the monthly competition

March 12 - KosherPages introduces new style "Shabbos Times & More" email. Click here to subscribe.

 

 

 

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Parashas Shekalim

Wednesday, 27th February 2019

Our holy sages, instituted the reading of 4 special "parashiyos - sections of the Torah" in (or near) the month of Adar, as a commemoration of 4 special Mitzvos. 

The first of the "4 Parashiyos" is Parashas Shekalim which falls on this coming Shabbos. This reading can be found in the beginning of Ki Sisa Perek 30 Pesukim 11 thru 16. 

This reading is to commemorate the Mitzvah of "Machatzis Hashekel - the half Shekel coin", which every Jew was obligated to give each year to the special fund from which the daily "Korbanos Tomid - sacrificial lambs" were purchased, that were offered in the Bais HaMikdash - Temple, each morning and evening.  
Although we do not have a Bais HaMikdash today, we "perform" this Mitzvah by reading about it in the Torah.

Vayakhel

Wednesday, 27th February 2019

Why do women sometimes feel left out of many Jewish practices? 

"Why do I have to dance on this side of the mechitza (partition)?" "Why can't I lead the prayers in the synagogue?" "Why can't I learn all day?" “Why can’t I be a Rabbi? 

This weeks Torah portion gives women plenty to be proud of! They actually were able to use their talents and helped build the mishkon (Tabernacle)! 

The verse (35:25) says that all the talented women spun the wool for the Mishkan. The verse also points out that all the work for the Mishkan was done by Nedivei Lev (generous volunteers). 

The Chasam Sofer asks, since a woman's earnings belong to her husband (gemora kesubos) how can she volunteer her services if it doesn't belong to her? 

He answers that the reason why Chazal (the Sages) decreed that a woman's earnings should go to her husband is because he supports her. In the Midbar (desert) where everyone lived from "Mannah" that fell from heaven, the men had no claim on the earnings of their wife. Therefore the women were free to use their talents for the task of building the Mishkan.

Ki Sisso

Sunday, 24th February 2019

The wealthy shall not increase and the poor shall not decrease from 1/2 a shekel....................."(30:15)

Hashem (G-d) is commanding Moshe (Moses) to make a count of the males from the age of 20 and up. Each male would only be allowed to give 1/2 a shekel, and by so doing the males would be counted. A question, can be asked as follows: Why was a 1/2 shekel chosen?

The Alshich explains that the half is to remind us that we are not complete - we are still working towards completing ourselves.

Another possible answer in the same vein, the wealthy of verse 30:15 is perhaps referring to a person who is rich in Torah and Mitzvoth, and the poor of the verse is referring to a person who is lacking in good deeds. When the Torah commands these individuals to give 1/2 a shekel, there is a lesson that the Torah wishes to teach these individuals that is pertinent to their particular circumstance. A person who has done a lot of good might think that he has reached his potential and need not be concerned any further in trying to improve himself. Yet when the Torah commands him to give 1/2 a shekel, he soon realizes that what his giving is only 1/2 not a whole. He will soon realize that he too is only 1/2 of what he could be, and will begin to examine his ways as to how he can further improve his ways even better. No human being is truly complete, only G-d is perfect.

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.

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