Our view of the Galile

Friday, January 10, 2014

Shabbos Cereal-Parshat Beshalach 5774/2014

Insights and Inspiration
from the
Holy Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your friend in Karmiel"

January 10th  2014 -Volume 4, Issue 14 -9th of Shevat 5774
Beshalach/Shabbat Shira
 Shabbos Cereal
We were not a very health conscious family growing up, certainly not when it came to eating meals. We did eat salad once in a while, but preferred it on a bun enveloping a ½ lb of the fattiest grilled kosher hamburger that would fit on our plate. Carrots were a decorative, crunchy garnish on the gefilteh fish or salmon (fish only being an appetizer of course, to whet your palate for the main course chicken or cow) certainly never a snack which by definition always was a danish or chip like substance. Schmaltz was a way of life for us, Kishka and Chulent basic staples, oyy and the chopped liver and stuffed cabbage we would go through. Don't get me started.
 Yet interestingly enough even the Schwartz home had food that was decidedly off limits or not permitted to become part of our regular indulgence. There are two that come to mind. The first was breakfast cereal. While many of my friends growing up (Howard T) were regularly delighting in the joys of going CoCo for Cocoa Puffs or munching on the satisfying knowledge that Trix was for kids and roaring with good ol' Tony the Tiger and his Frosted Flakes, the poor deprived Schwartz children were expected to garner their daily energy from dry, saw dusty.. sugar free (but good for your heart!) Cheerios or Rice Krispies. The other cruel deprivation to our nutritionally starving young bodies was that life invigorating elixir of choice… Coca Cola or any soda for that matter. "No soda for" us, we were told. "Soda is a special drink". So instead we had to drink milk, OK I admit we had chocolate milk. But it still wasn't soda.
I do not want any of you to God forbid get the wrong impression. The Sugar cereal and Soda denial was not for nutritional reasons. My parents would never be so cruel. They loved us too much. No it was for spiritual reasons. You see Honeycombs and Coke were not weekday foods. They were our Shabbos treats. They were Shabbos Cereals. Shabbos Drinks. As children we were taught, as soon as we could tell the difference between Rice Krispies and Cocoa Pebbles, that there was going to be a difference between Shabbos food and weekday food, between the delicious-ness of the holy as compared to the rest of the week.
This Shabbos Cereal notion is not a new one it seems. This week's Torah portion and accompanying Medrash reveals the first biblical directive regarding the day of Shabbos. As you can see it is intricately connected with food
And Hashem said to Moshe "Behold I will rain down for you food from the heaven; let the people go out and pick each days portion on its day… and on the sixth day when they prepare what they shall bring and it will be double what they pick each day.
And it was on the sixth day they picked Lechem Mishneh- a double portion of food/bread two omers( measurement)for each…
 Moshe said .. "This is what Hashem has spoken. Tomorrow is a rest day, a holy shabbos to Hashem. Bake what you wish cook what you wish and the leftover put away for yourselves as safekeeping until the morning.
They put it away as Moshe had commanded..
Moshe than said "Eat it today, for today is Shabbos for Hashem. Today you shall not find it in the field".
Yes, our first commandment, experience and relationship with Shabbos in the Torah it seems were with food. Perhaps this is why a model for outreach professionals or those wishing to share the joy of Shabbos with others it is usually done by extending an invitation to a Shabbat meal. Yet the Medrash takes us even a step further. The Medrash asks why it mentions the fact that it was a double portion- Lechem Mishnah and also mentions it was two Omers. If it was two omers and it has already told us that the daily portion is one Omer why does the Torah which is never generous with words and ink do the math and tell us it was a double portion? The Medrash therefore changes the vowelazation on the words Lechem Mishnah and reads it as Lechem Mi'Shuneh special or different bread-or as the Medrah concludes superior in flavor, superior in smell. Shabbos cereal. Or maybe even some Chulent and Kishka flavored Manna.
The Talmud shares us with us that this miraculous manna flavor that was found in the desert can be found still today in every Shabbat food. It is the special spice called Shabbat. Or sages of old would the entire week shop and find special foods for Shabbat. This custom it seems goes back to our manna collecting days. It was our way of expressing our dedication and enjoyment that Shabbat provides and so to speak sugar coating it for generations. It is the secret of how to insure it will be treasured and passed down for generations.
Rabbi Pesach Krohn once told a story about a young girl who, although raised in a non- observant Israeli home, under the influence and inspiration of her more religious teachers and friends decided to broach the subject with her mother about beginning to light Shabbat candles weekly. Her mother who had abandoned this family tradition long ago was rather upset by her young Chaya’s request and abruptly told the little 9 year old that she was free to buy candles with her own money but she was certainly not going to sponsor it.
 Later that Friday evening though Orit, the mother, began to have regrets that perhaps she was too harsh. She made her way to Chaya’s room. When she walked in however, tears began to stream down her face as she saw her young daughter standing by her window in front of two candles. But they were not Shabbos candles, they were Yartzeit memorial candles. (It seems that the grocer obviously knowing the family and assuming that the only candles purchased were for Yartzeits and memorial days gave her those).When she asked Chaya what the candles were for. In her innocence and unaware of her mistake   she responded in words that hit Orit like a knife.
“Echad L’Ima Ve’Echad L’Abba – One for mommy and one for daddy.”
Although Chaya had meant it in regards to Shabbat, Orit understood the message of the candles. One can light a candle for the day of Shabbat, for its pleasure, for its holiness and for it’s enjoyment that represents life. Or one can have a Yartzeit candle. A life and a candle that is merely a commemoration of what could have been; of a Shabbos not celebrated, of that special spice not tasted. The choice was before her. And as she placed her arm around her daughter she too gazed into that extraordinary holy glow and she gave Chaya a kiss on her forehead and said
Shabbat Shalom my dear daughter, Shabbat Shalom”.
Have a spectacular Shabbos and blessed Rosh Chodesh Shevat,
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz


The tongue is the pen of the heart, but melody is the quill of the Soul" -The Baal HaTanya

In our Battle against Hashem says My throne is not complete as long as Amalek exists. Yad aL Keis Kah. The word Kies and Kah are written missing letters. Keis Kaf= 20 + Samech= 60 and Kah is Yud=10 and heh=5 total 60+20+10+5=95 Haman who is from Amalek and tried to destroy is also Gematria 95 (someone pointed out that Mahmud is as well…

(answer below at end of Email)
The large Mosque in Akko was built by:
a)  Daher El Omar
b)  Avraham Facha
c)  Suleiman the Magnificent
d)  El Jazzar

(I apologize in advance to all musicians..but they were too funny to pass up…)

A young child says to his mother, "Mom, when I grow up I'd like to be a musician." She replies, "Well honey, you know you can't do both." 

Q: whats the differance between a pianist and god?
A: god dont think hes a pianist 

Q:How many Folk Singers does it take to change a light bulb?
A:One to change it and 5 to sing about how good the old one was

Q: What do you call a drummer in a three-piece suit?
A: "The Defendant" 

Q: What did the drummer get on his I.Q. Test?
A: Saliva.

In honor of Shabbat Shira a beautiful song written by my dear friend for the bar mitzvah of his nephew which took place a few weeks after the boy's mother past away.  
The words translated from the words of prophets of Chana who dedicated her son to Shmuel to God
"For this lad I have prayed and Hashem has answered my request. I will continue to pray for him, I am his mother for all eternity"


The holy Karliner Koh Echsof


Tzefat music alley- Right down the stairs from the defenders square heading above the famd Ari Ashkenazi shul in the holy spiritual city of tzefat one can catch a group of mystical street performers that are really amazing as they play these ancient instruments and some fo the holy songs of tzefat and Shabbat. This little quarter was once the ancienct apple orchard where the AriZl the great 16th century kabbalist would go out with his students each Friday afternoon and welcome the Shabbat queen. In fact it was here that the great Lecha Dodi song by Rav shlomo Alkabetz was written. It is truly awesome and inspiring to hear the sound of music played in such an inspirational way in these same streets centuries later.

Answer is D: The mosque was built by El Jazzar otherwise known as "the butcher" by all his close friends and relatives who he gratuitously relieved of their ears or nose as he walked the streets with a handy guillotine. The mosque is one of the "holiest places" in Islam in Israel. Not merely because El Jazar and his son Abdullah are buried there but because supposedly there are two hairs from the beard of Muhammed are there and are displayed to much festivity each year.

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