Our view of the Galile

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mussar Shmooze- Devarim/Chazon 5776/2016

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

August 12th 2016 -Volume 6, Issue 45 8th Av 5776


Parshat Devarim/Shabbat Chazon

Mussar Shmooze
It’s an old Lakewood Yeshiva story. Or a joke. It could be true. It’s what makes it funny. Or sad. It’s a story only someone who spent time in yeshiva will really get and appreciate.
The story goes about a new worker that was hired to clean the Yeshiva. He arrived in the middle of the semester- or zman as we call it in yeshiva. After the long winter zman, the new semester began. As is the custom in yeshiva the first few days of yeshiva everyone is walking around outside tumuling. What is the Lakewood chavrusa tumult? It’s thousands of people trying to find a new study partner for the upcoming zman. Your chavrusa is more than just your study partner. It is the person that you will be spending hours a day with for the next few months, sitting shtender to shtender trying to unravel the secrets and intricacies of the Talmud with. Finding the right chavrusa is very important. Besides making sure its someone that is on your wavelength, you want someone who is knowledgeable, someone who you has a solid attendance record and most importantly someone who you feel will help you become the best you can become. Finding the right chavrusa takes a lot of legwork. It’s finding out information about his past chavrusas, finding out if he has anything else going on in his life that might distract him- is he dating? Is his wife pregnant? Is he a schmoozer? Maybe too intense? It’s like finding the right match for marriage. Even after you might have the right guy does he want to learn with you? You need the right shadchan. Someone who might sell you a bit. Welcome to the tumult.
So the first few days in Yeshiva everyone is walking around in circles doing reconnaissance. Who might be available, who’s breaking up with their old chavrusa and who might be a good match for me. Little groups of one or two people are schmoozing in corners, others running back and forth between groups. The story goes how this new Hispanic cleaning guy upon witnessing this scene for the first time goes over to one of the Kollel guys and asks him the famous question.
“What is this? Mussar Seder (the fifteen minutes a day that the yeshiva dedicates to personal reflection of one’s ethical spiritual growth- rather than Talmud and Jewish law)- all day?!!”
Ouch! See Mussar seder has generally been the one that everybody walks out after a 3-4 hour intense Talmud session with their chavrusa and breathes a little bit. It’s not most people’s favorite topic. It doesn’t demand the deductive analytical prowess that the study of Talmud does. It requires opening a book reading basic ethical and moral statements and directive and really inspiring and self-examining oneself on how to truly improve one’s connection with God, with ones fellow man, one’s prayer, one’s faith. All in fifteen minutes. All after an intense Talmud session on the nuances of an ox goring, finding lost objects, the laws of carrying on the Sabbath or the intricacies of the sacrifices depending on what you were studying. So guys just go out for a breather. The cleaning guy seeing thousands of guys mulling and tummuling around outside all day just assumed it was an extended Mussar session. His statement perhaps the greatest Mussar lesson- wake-up call to the yeshiva about the sad state of Mussar seder.
This week we begin the fifth and final book of the Torah; Sefer Devarim. These are the words of Moshe. The entire book is pretty much meant to be one long Mussar schmooze- the last of Moshe’s life to his beloved people. Chasidim refer to this book as the Torah SheBaal Peh of the Torah SheB’Ktav- the Oral teaching of the written Law. Whereas the first four Books of the Torah were the word o Hashem that Moshe wrote down, the book of Devarim is Moshe speaking and the ‘Shechina- is speaking through his throat.’ I guess it’s appropriate after a solid four books of Torah the end is the Mussar Shmooze. Maybe that’s where the Yeshiva system got it from.
Yet the Mussar schmooze is kind of a strange one. Certainly the beginning is. The first verses Rashi tells us is Mussar in disguise.
Devarim (1:1) “And these are the words- For they are words of rebuke. And he enumerated the places that they (the Jewish people) were angered before Hashem-. Therefore he put them vaguely and mentioned them by hints because of the honor of Israel”
Rashi of course derives this because the verse goes at great lengths to describe places where this speech supposedly took place but there seems to be too much if not even contradictory information.
Across the Jordan, in the wilderness, in the Arava plains opposite the sea of reeds, between Paran and Tophel, and Lavan and Hatzerot and Dei Zahav”
This is very recognizable as a bad code hidden meaning type of message. The banks of the Jordan is not the wilderness is not the Arava and not near the Yam Suf of reeds or Paran. Rashi notes that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai notes that he checked the entire Torah and there is no such place as Tophell and Lavan. Thus Rashi and chazal- our sages note that these are all hints to places that “we were angered before Hashem”. The wilderness is when we complained about being in the wilderness without food. The plains is the plains of Moava when we sinned with their daughters by Baal Peor. The Sea of Reeds was when we were frightened and didn’t have faith when the Egyptians were chasing us. Tophel and Lavan is when they slandered the white tasteless look of the Manna and Paran is where the sin of the spies took place. The rest of the places refer to the sin of Korach and the golden calf. Not bad numbering all of our sins like that in one verse. How’s that for the start of a Mussar Shmooze.
The question though is what’s the point of this hidden message thing?  Everyone there knew what he was talking about didn’t they? If they didn’t then they certainly got the message, as this speech goes on and we see that Moshe does not pull any punches. Just check out chapter 9 in Devarim
You are stiff necked people…You have angered Hashem” And in Tavera and in Masa and in Kivros hatava you have angered Hashem and you have disobeyed the word of Hashem…You have rebelled against Hashem from the day that I know you…”
 Ouch! What ever happened to the honor of Israel and hints?
There is a fascinating insight into giving successful Mussar and rebuke from the great Alshich Hakadosh. There is a cryptic verse in proverbs (although there pretty much isn’t any verse there that is not) from King Solomon says
 “Al Tochach Letz Pen Yisnaeka- Don’t rebuke a mocker lest he hates you.
Hochach Chacham Vyehohavecha- Rebuke to a wise man and we will love you.”
The Alshich askes the obvious question. Someone who is in the rebuking business is generally not the guy trying to win popularity contests. There is a reason why the Mashgiach who was meant to give the Mussar Shmooze in yeshiva was not the most popular Rabbi- at least in my yeshiva. So what is King Shlomo’s advice? Only rebuke the good kids. Don’t’ rebuke the jokers, the chevra-man as we used to call them in yeshiva- or more accurately what they used to call me. Used to? That doesn’t seem like effective advice.
I remember when I was in Kollel and I perhaps got the most effective rebuke I ever got. There was a tumult of some sort about the rather long delay of our paychecks. Guys were getting restless. To make matters even worse the Rabbi got up and started lecturing us about timeliness and guys not being as serious as they should be about their studies. The Kollel natives were getting restless. What type of Chutzpa was this? How dare the Rabbi who obviously is not taking our meager paychecks seriously come tell us about our studies? He should be happy we show up at all! Being the loudest of everyone and always one to stand up for truth and justice, I was marshalling the troops. The rebellion was brewing. Until I got a call from one of my other rebbeim.
 He started off the conversation with how much he is impressed with me. How great my studies are. How much I have accomplished and truly been a great leader in the yeshiva. He then said that he knew that I was very smart guy and he wanted to understand what was going on in yeshiva. He had heard I was leading a rebellion but it didn’t make sense to him, particularly from a smart guy like me. After-all at the end of the day nothing will really be gained besides making myself an enemy of the head of the Kollel. The checks will come when they will come, this won’t change anything. The speeches that the Rabbi which he thought I certainly understood were the Rabbi’s defense mechanism because he felt guilty about not paying us will probably escalate even more. At the end of the day, I’m too smart to fall into this trap. So why would I even bother…The rebuke hit the spot. Primarily because I knew that this Rebbe of mine was manipulating this conversation with me to put this thing down and telling me how great I was in order to get me to quell it. But it worked. I promised myself I would never do anything to force this Rebbe of mine to ever have to give me such a patronizing schmooze again. The Mussar schmooze for the first time made its way through.

The Alshich Hakadosh says that is the advice of King Solomon. Don’t ever rebuke someone by calling him or treating him like a mocker, a low life, someone who is beneath you or contemptible. He will hate you for it. It won’t work. He knows if you see him like that, then you really don’t get him. You really aren’t there for him. You’re wrong about him and you’re therefore not a reliable source of rebuke as well. Rather, King Solomon says rebuke to the chacham- to the wise man- Find the wise man, the tzadik in each person. Talk up to him-that same person who you might have thought is a letz a mocker. See beyond the exterior. Reveal and show him- the literal meaning of the word tochayach- that he is a chacham. Then he will love you. Then he will hear and respect your rebuke.  For you have reached his core. You have revealed his essence.
Moshe begins this harsh book of Devarim with the ultimate Mussar Shmooze to Klal Yisrael. He starts off with hidden terms but also terms that can reflect their holy and special nature. He speaks to the honor of the Jewish people. He headlines and introduces the sins in the most minor of ways. The wilderness they sinned why? Because as Rashi said they thought they were going to die. The Arava- Rashi notes because of the Arava. Because of the mixture that we had as we came close to the land of Israel and fell in with the daughters of Moav. As well the sins by the Yam Suf- the verse tells us we were literally across the suf- the sea was at our backs that’s why we sinned. The complained against the Manna was that it was white. And it was white. It was tasteless looking. The spies made us sin. Korach made us sin. Finally the greatest sin of all the Golden calf was because we had too much gold. We were overwhelmed with the bounty after being enslaved for so long.
Moshe is not merely alluding to each of the sins. He is rationalizing them. He is opening the conversation and the Mussar lesson uplifting us with honor. Referring to it all as the places where we got Hashem angry at us rather than the places where we rebelled, where we scorned where we strayed. We have fallen out from one another over the past forty years. Moshe is trying to restore that love and guide us as Hashem’s beloved nation by opening his final speech in the positive description of it all being a journey. A path that we have traveled where circumstances have caused us to fall. But we can do better. We will do better. That is the book of Devarim.
That speech of Moshe is always read this week before Tisha B’Av. Tisha B’Av the day when we sit on the floor and recall all of the tragedies. All of the horror our people have witnessed. The punishments, the exiles, the expulsions. The massacres the pogroms. All of them have come as we believe because we have failed to restore that love. To find within ourselves the chacham, the wise person, that truly believes and knows that we can make it all right again. Hashem still is waiting for us. We just need to hear that little bit more of Mussar that will bring us back to him once again.

Have a insightful and redemptive Shabbat Chazon and may this year Tisha B’Av be the one that is transformed to joy rather than mourning.
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm11qDwSVlk Gush Katif expulsion video 11 years ago this Tisha B’Av

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyBxhWg0dFkTrailer for great Tish B’Av movie Silver Lining

https://youtu.be/RSO4MTMNrjI    Ari Goldwag and son Daddy Dear

https://youtu.be/BWN8XJB51y4    – Rabbi David Fohrman on Tisha B’Av very poignant Rachels Tears


“Vos ken vern fun di shof az der volf iz der rikhter?”- What will become of the sheep if the wolf is the judge?

It is impossible to tell people what way they should take. For one way to serve G-d is through learning, another through prayer, another through fasting, and still another through eating. Everyone should carefully observe what way his heart draws him, and then choose this way with all his strength."”

“Who would like to go with me to Jerusalem and greet Mashiach?”

 "On the day I die they will all be crying". – The Chozeh cryptically upon hearing that the mitnagdim were celebrating when he had fallen. The Chozeh passed away on Tisha B’Av when all of Israel was mourning.

Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz  the Chozeh of Lublin- 9th Av  this Shabbos (1745-1815)-
This Tisha B’Av will be the 201st  yahrzeit of Rebbe Yaakov Yitzchak, the Chozeh [Seer] of Lublin, who is one of the truly beloved figures of Chassidus. A disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch, he continued his studies under Rebbe Shmelke of Nikolsburg and Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk. After he moved from Lanczut to Lublin, thousands of Chassidim flocked to him, to savor his teachings and to be warmed by his saintly presence.
Reb Shlomo Carlebach says: "The Chozeh of Lublin - the heart trembles! Everybody knows that from the time of the Holy Temple there was not a group like this, like the chevraya Kadisha of Lublin. The Rebbe of Lublin said about himself that he had the neshama [soul] of the prophet Yeshaya. He didn’t have mamesh [actual] prophecy because he lived in chutz la’Aretz [outside of the Land of Israel]. He had some 5,000 Chassidim who had ruach haKodesh, and thousands upon thousands of others, who were simple Jews. They once asked Rebbe Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz why the Chozeh and histalmidim didn’t bring Moshiach. 'I’ll tell you the truth,' answered Reb Naftali, 'it was so good (by the Chozeh) that we forgot to bring him.' But the Chozeh always yearned to bring Moshiach. What Reb Naftali said was just a matter of humor."
Rebbe Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz of Lublin, who became known as "the Chozeh" only some fifty years after his passing, is known as the father of Polish Chassidus. Almost all the Polish Rebbes can trace themselves back to the court of the Chozeh. Besides the Ropshitzer, among his ardent followers were such Chassidic luminaries as Rebbe Yechezkel of Kuzmir, Rebbe Yaakov Yitzchak [HaYehudi HaKadosh - The Holy Jew/Yid], Rebbe Simcha Bunim of Pshischa, Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, Rebbe Meir of Apta, Rebbe David of Lelov, Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum of Uhel ["Yismach Moshe"], Rebbe Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov ["Bnei Yissaschar"], Rebbe Klonymus Kalman of Cracow ["Ma'or VaShemesh"], Rebbe [Sar] Shalom of Belz, Rebbe Yissaschar Dov Ber of Radoshitz, and many others. The present-day Chassidic dynasties of Ger [Gur], Satmar, Belz, Modzitz, Sanz, Bluzhev and many others, all had their origins in Lublin.
He merited the 'title' of Chozeh, which means seer or visionary, due to his great intuitive powers. For example, he had the ability to discern a petitioner's character, his past deeds, and the root of his soul by glancing at his forehead. The Chozeh could look into the future. He could see, it was said, "from one end of the world to the other." He could see events taking place, far away from where he was sitting.
The teachings of the Chozeh are preserved in three volumes: Zot zikaron (1851), Zikaron zot (1869), and Divre emet (1830–1831). These volumes are unusual in that he wrote them himself, unlike most other works in this genre that were collected and edited by later disciples long after the deaths of their authors.

The Chozeh’s writings provide a window into the development of his thoughts on the central concept of the tsadik. The Rebbe was a charismatic leader with divine authority to lead a community and would also take responsibility for the spiritual and material welfare of his followers. He was to serve as an intermediary between the community and heaven, enabling divine bounty to flow to his followers while at the same time representing their interests before the holy powers. It was, in his view, a tsadik’s role to help followers in what he considered the three crucial areas of life: children, health, and livelihood.
Some of Horowitz’s younger disciples rejected the doctrine of ‘material tsadikism’. They believed that a Rebbe was not to be a miracle worker but a mentor to guide the spiritual growth of his disciples. They also emphasized the importance of Torah study and striving for personal self-perfection. These disciples increasingly became alienated from the Chozeh, and they also aroused the opposition of the Seer’s other disciples who were threatened by the new and radical ideas. In 1812, The Chozeh’ closest disciple, Rabbi Ya‘akov Yitsḥak Rabinowicz (“the Holy Jew”; 1766–1813), broke with him and left Lublin to establish a new school of Hasidism in Pshiskhe.
One Hasidic tradition ascribes the rupture within the movement to a disagreement over the significance of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. The Chozeh apparently interpreted the event as the war of Gog and Magog that was to usher in the Messianic era. During Simḥat Torah festivities in 1814, the Seer retired to his private room. He was later found injured and moaning beneath his window, having been severely injured in a fall. Horowitz did not recover and died nine months later on Tish‘ah be-Av. His disciples claimed he had been pushed out the window by the Sitra’ Aḥra’ (Evil One) as punishment for attempting to bring the Messiah prematurely. However all agree that the day that the Chozeh died as he predicted would be a day when all of Israel mourns. May his memory be blessed.

answer below at end of Email
The meaning of “Kiddush levana” is:
A.    Kiddush (blessing) of white wine
  1. A blessing for a new month
  2. A blessing for the returning of spring
  3. A blessing for the full moon

Not only do the words sources and interpretations have insights but even the order where he sometimes list things. Keep your eyes open and great insights can be revealed, particularly when there seems to be an anomaly in the list.
If I were to ask you what significant happened on Mt. Sinai, I imagine all of us would respond the giving of the Torah. If I asked you what else happened there, you might even say the building of the Mishkan-the Tabernacle, pushed a little more you might even say we came established the Sanhedrin. The truth is you could also say the golden calf. Perhaps if you remember being there that might be the upmost thing on your mind. The guilt and regret for that horrible betrayal of Hashem.
Rashi here notes something very strange. Moshe tells the Jews Rav Lachem Sheves BaHar Hazeh- You have spent too much time sitting by this mountain. Rashi quotes a midrash that says as follows
Much greatness to you and reward by staying at this mountain- you have made the Mishkan, the menora and its vessels, you received the Torah, you established for yourself Sanhedrin and officers of thousands and hundreds”
The order here seems somewhat strange. The Torah was seemingly the most significant thing and chronologically as well. What is this order? One of the great Sefardic leaders of the last generation points out that the Jewish people were still traumatized over the golden calf and thus Moshe before encouraging them to move on first addressed to them that the sin of the golden calf had been provided with an atonement the Mishkan, the vessels. That is the key for them being able to ‘move on’. Only after he tells them that from their sin came out the Mishkan, the vessels then they could appreciate the fact that they received the Torah and that they appointed leaders and judges that would help guide them as they moved forward on their journey.
As I noted in the E-Mail above the book of Devarim and certainly Rashi’s commentary on it are the classic textbook on how to properly motivate and give rebuke. One just has examine Rashi throughout this portion and can find many tips in the nuances of his explanations in how that is done.

Expuslsion from Gush Katif- 10th Av August 15th 2005- If you asked me what the blackest day of our history since the establishment of Stte of Israel it was the 10th of Av 2005 when the State of Israel led by Ariel Sharon physically removed and expelled thousands of Jewish settlers who had been placed and encouraged to live there by the same Yitzchak Rabin and Ariel Sharon over 30 year before. To settle the land and provide protection and a buffer for the rest of the country. Yet whether it was due to world pressure, the desire of many Israelis to delude themselves that a unilateral withdrawal would satisfy the savages that have never been shy of their desire to push us into the sea, or perhaps just the desire for Ariel Sharon to recreate himself as a peace-maker, the decision to expel thousands of Jews from their homes was put into motion.  After 35 years of life in Gush Katif, the Israeli government implemented the Disengagement Plan and the 21 flourishing communities were destroyed in one week (August – 2005). The courageous campaign to stop the expulsion had failed. The original plan was scheduled for Tisha B’Av until they recoginized the significance of the day and was pushed off to the 10th of Av- when in fact our sages tell us the actual destruction of the Temple took place (it started on the 9th).  The Gush Katif residents were carried out of their homes by their own brothers in arms, dearly loved IDF soldiers. They were taken to buses that drove them for hours… to where? Here’s where this carefully organized operation ran into its first problem. There weren’t enough hotel rooms reserved or caravillas (temporary pre-fabricated housing units available in 60 (102 family members), 90 (3-7) and a few 120 sq. meters for families with 7 or more children.) prepared.
So the majority of former residents of 21 Gush Katif communities were initially scattered in hotels throughout the country, in Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and Ashkelon. These weren’t prepared properly as many hotels weren’t made aware of the huge inundation of families. This was no holiday vacation. Families were separated onto different floors within the same hotel. Mothers longed to cook meals for their children and couldn’t. Children used to carefree community life couldn’t play unsupervised. Wonderful civilian volunteers helped out with laundry services, clothes, and provided much needed basic supplies as the expellees’ personal belongings were all in storage. Not all families went to hotels. Some communities were welcomed by high-school dormitories. Others were temporarily placed in high-rise apartment buildings. Many families with young children, mostly  religious, were now unexpectedly in urban, secular, not child-friendly environments and an end was nowhere in sight.
During that first year following the expulsion, communities were scattered at hotels throughout the country, high-school dormitories, IDF vacation homes, high-rise apartment buildings,  At the Yad Mordechai junction the community of Eli Sinai set up a tent city, determined to stay together and find a community solution. Their perseverance eventually bore fruit, and they were allowed to become residents of kibbutz Palmachim. But the bureaucratic hassle took years, and only as of a year ago are Eli Sinai families finally moving into their new homes.
Ten years later, a third of the expellees remain in these temporary homes. The others have moved into their new permanent homes in the new communities they’ve established – or strengthened. Yes indeed, Gush Katifnics now reside throughout Israel – from the south to the north. From the Halutza sands by the Egyptian border to Avnei Eitan in the Golan Heights. Several new communities even kept their original name, while others hint at their Gush Katif origin. Some communities are wholly comprised of residents from their former community, while others are a composite of several communities, and some have absorbed residents from throughout Israel.
Israel has since suffered three wars since that expulsion. Hamas builds tunnels daily to terrorize and plan attacks on our citizens. Missiles from Hamasistan-as the former Katif area is ruefully called have hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. And yet there are those that still feel that it is good to unilateraly give up land and that it would somehow make our security situation better here. As we mourn on Tisha B’Av which this year is on the 10th of Av let us remember as well the destruction once again caused by our hands, when a Jewish State forgets that all of this Lands is only given to us by God and it is not ours to ever give away.

Shame on you for even looking this week. It is our time to mourn the Temple. There are no jokes this week…

Answer is B – This is one of those questions that I don’t understand what it has anything to do with tour guiding. But far be it from me to complain when knowledge of basic Judaism is a requirement to be a tour guide. Although arguably there are two correct answers to this question. The correct answer of course is that it is the blessing recited upon the advent of the new month. Although technically speaking it is not as much about the month as it is not recited until a few days after Rosh Chodesh when the one can start to see the new moon. And although it is certainly not a blessing on the full moon as it is said in the beginning of the month when the moon is still small. I believe the argument can be made that there is a prayer there that asks Hashem to fill up the shame of moon and restore it to its former glory of being equal to the sun as it says by Creation the two great luminaries. Where Hashem minimized the size of the moon in order that there should not be any mistake of two great lights in the world, but ultimately He will restore that light. So one can argue that it is a blessing for a full moon in the future. But I don’t believe that it was the answer they were going for. Perhaps the ministry of tourism should brush up on their Judaism as well.

Due to the many requests here is a posting for the unique laws of Tisha'a B'Av which falls out on Shabbos and is postponed to Sunday. Everyone should feel free to ask their own local Rabbi for guidance this is just the general orthodox Ashkenazic tradition for observances of the day of the destruction of the Temple. Of course the primary obligation is remember the destruction and mourn its loss.

When Tisha B'Av falls on Shabbat or Sunday
by Rabbi Elozor Barclay and Rabbi Yitzchok Jaeger

Special laws that apply when the Tisha B'Av observance begins on Saturday night.

Note: The following laws are based on Ashkenazi tradition, and some points are subject to varying opinion. When in doubt, AYLOR (ask your local Orthodox rabbi)

1. What are the main changes when Tisha B'Av falls on Shabbat or Sunday?

When Tisha B'Av falls on Shabbat, the main changes are:

The fast is postponed until Sunday. 
Marital relations are forbidden on Friday night. 
Washing any part of the body with hot water for pleasure is forbidden on Shabbat. 
There is no special Seuda Hamafseket before the fast. 
Some of the laws of Tisha B'Av begin only at nightfall on Saturday night, instead of at sunset. 
Havdalah is postponed until Sunday night. 

2. May a woman immerse in a mikveh on Friday night that is Tisha B'Av? Yes. In this case, marital relations are permitted.

4. Are there any changes to the prayers in this situation? Tzidkas'cha is not said at Mincha. Pirkei Avot is not said at Mincha.

5. May one hold a public kiddush on this Shabbat? If the kiddush can be held on a different Shabbat, it is preferable to defer it. If the kiddush cannot be held on a different Shabbat -- e.g. for an aufruff (groom prior to his wedding), it is permitted.

6. May one eat meat and drink wine at the Shabbat meals? Yes. This is permitted even at Seuda Shlishit.

7. May one invite guests to the Shabbat meals? Yes. However, one should not invite guests for Seuda Shlishit unless he does so regularly.

8. May one sing zemirot at the Shabbat meals? Yes. This is permitted even at Seuda Shlishit.

9. May one go for a stroll on this Shabbat? When the ninth of Av is Shabbat, one may not go for a stroll at any time of the day.

10. May one visit family or friends? No.

11. May one learn Torah on this Shabbat? Before halachic midday, it is permitted to learn Torah. After halachic midday, many opinions permit learning Torah. If a person can limit himself to the topics that are permitted on Tisha B'Av, it is praiseworthy. It is permitted to read the weekly parsha and its translation all day.

12. May one take pills on Shabbat to alleviate the pains of fasting? It is permitted to take them on Shabbat until sunset only if they are mixed with a food or drink. One should preferably prepare the mixture before Shabbat. One may take them without water even on Saturday night, unless they are pleasant tasting.

14. Are there any changes to Seuda Shlishit? Although any food may be served, including meat and wine, and zemirot may be sung, the mood should be somewhat subdued. A person should not say that he is eating in order to have strength to fast, but he may think this. One must stop eating and drinking before sunset, since the fast begins at this time. People should be reminded about this, as it is unlike a regular Shabbat.

15. Must one say Grace After Meals before sunset? It is permitted to say the Grace after sunset, but one should try to wash mayim acharonim (after waters) before sunset, if possible.

16. May one say Grace After Meals with a 3-man zimun? Yes (unlike when the eve of Tisha B'Av falls on a regular weekday, where one should not make a zimun).

17. May one eat or drink after Seuda Shlishit? If one said Grace After Meals before sunset, one may eat or drink until sunset. It is not necessary to have this in mind when saying Grace After Meals.

18. Which prohibitions of Tisha B'Av commence at sunset? All the prohibitions except wearing shoes and sitting on a chair commence at sunset. These two activities are permitted until nightfall.

19. When should one change one's shoes and Shabbat clothes? There are two customs:

Some go to shul before nightfall and begin Ma'ariv at the usual time of Saturday night. The chazzan should say "baruch hamavdil bein kodesh lechol," remove his shoes, and then say "barchu." The congregation should respond to "barchu" and then remove their shoes. Care must be taken not to touch one's shoes when removing them. The Shabbat clothes are not removed until one returns home after Ma'ariv. This is the prevalent custom in the Diaspora.

Some shuls delay the commencement of Ma'ariv, allowing people to remain at home until nightfall. At the time of nightfall, everyone should say the phrase "baruch hamavdil bein kodesh lechol," remove his shoes, and change into weekday clothes before Ma'ariv. This is the prevalent custom in Israel.

20. According to the first custom, may one bring Tisha B'Av footwear to shul before Ma'ariv?  
Even if there is an eiruv this is forbidden, since one may not prepare on Shabbat for after Shabbat. It is also forbidden to change one's shoes before going to shul, since this is disgracing the Shabbat. It is therefore advisable to leave suitable footwear in shul before Shabbat to wear after Shabbat.

21. Is the blessing recited over the spices? No. It is forbidden to smell spices, since a person must refrain from such a pleasure on Tisha B'Av.

22. Is the blessing recited over a Havdalah candle? Yes. According to one custom, it is recited in shul before the reading of Lamentations. According to another custom, it is recited at home before Ma'ariv, if there is time. According to some opinions, the blessing should be recited over two regular candles and not over a braided Havdalah candle.

23. May one wash the Shabbat dishes on Saturday night? No. They may not be washed until Tisha B'Av afternoon.

24. Should a person who is not fasting recite Havdalah before eating? Yes. However, if he only needs to drink water throughout the fast, he should not recite Havdalah.

25. Should such a person recite Havdalah immediately after Shabbat or wait until he needs to eat? He should wait until he needs to eat.

26. Which sections of Havdalah are recited? The introductory verses and the blessing over spices should be omitted. The blessing over a candle should be omitted if he already recited or heard it at the termination of Shabbat, or if he is reciting Havdalah during the day.

27. Should Havdalah be recited over wine, grape juice, or another drink? According to most opinions, beer is the most preferred drink.  
If this is not possible, some opinions prefer the use of a drink that has national importance. (A rabbi should be consulted to ascertain which drinks qualify for this purpose.) Other opinions question the use of such drinks, and prefer the use of grape juice. If nothing else is available, wine may be used.

28. If wine or grape juice is used, should the cup be given to a child to drink? If a child above the age of six is available, the cup should be given to him. If not, the person who recites Havdalah should drink the cup himself.

29. How much of the cup should be drunk? A cheekful only.

30. Are children obligated to recite Havdalah before they eat? According to most opinions, they do not recite Havdalah before eating.

31. After the fast, may one eat or drink before Havdalah? With the exception of water, it is forbidden to eat or drink anything before Havdalah.

32. Which drink should be used for Havdalah? One should use wine or grape juice. The person who recites Havdalah should drink the cup himself.

33. Which parts of Havdalah are recited? Only the two blessings "borei p'ri hagafen" and "hamavdil." The introductory verses are omitted, as are the blessings over the spices and candle.

34. When are the various restrictions lifted? Some are permitted immediately upon completion of the fast (e.g. bathing, laundry and haircuts), while others remain prohibited until the following morning (meat, wine and music).

Excerpted from "Guidelines" - over 400 commonly asked questions about the Three Weeks (Targum/Feldheim). 

No comments:

Post a Comment