Thursday 31 May 2012

Rema on Shavuot - 1 Meal or 2? - Part 1

On Sunday Afternoon the first Day of Shavuot during Minchah we discussed in Cong. Beth Aaron the Rema O"Ch 494:3 concerning eating 2 loaves of bread, the 1st with Dairy the 2nd with Meat.

The question was: Does the Rema imply eating these 2 loaves during 1 meal or 2?

The simple language here in O"Ch does imply during a single meal...


Fast Forward:
Tuesday Night after Isru Chag our Chevra was learning Y"D Bassar b'Chalav at Rabbi Pruzansky's shul. There we saw the Darchei Moshe Y"D 89:2 listing 2 poskim who oppose eating meat after dairy during the SAME meal
1. The Maharam MiRothenburg as a Middat Hassidut
2. The BY "machmirim" quoting the Zohar in Mishpatim prohibiting meat and dairy during the same meal.

So then we compared the Rema O"Ch 494:3
The Darchei Moshe Y"D 89:2

So which is it - 1 meal or 2?


Stay Tune to Part 2
Shalom and Regards,

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Prayer for the Government

Virtually ever classic Siddur/Mach'zor I've seen over the years has the prayer for the Government as an adjunct to the end of Y'kum Purkan, implying it's said only on Shabbat

Now I see the prayer for the government is said routinely on Yamim Tovim that fall on weekdays.

1. When did this phenomenon first occur?

2. Does this have the Haskmaha of any G'dolim?

3 Nu, Mah Nafshach! When saying the Prayer for the Government, why not add Y'kum Purkan, too?

Shalom and Regards,

Tuesday 29 May 2012

R Broyde applauds Pre-Nups

«This is obviously the right approach – rabbinical councils throughout America need to mandate the use of prenuptial agreements by all their members and not tolerate deviation on this matter. Marriages without such agreements produce cases of agunahs – no different from children without vaccinations contracting polio – and it is to credit of the IRF that they are the first rabbinic organization to mandate the right solution to the problem.»

Three Cheers For IRF's Mandating Prenuptial Agreements | JewishPress

Shalom and Regards,

Friday 25 May 2012

Our Past is Ever Present

Guest Blogger
Rav Eliyahu Safran

«Recalling the past is meaningful only when one is able to transfer the ahavah into a new chefetz.  Genuine and credible tears, memories, and emotions are an acknowledgment that the present has only been made possible because of its connection with the past, and that any future must likewise be connected with the present. Mourning and recalling those who preceded us, with their love and dedication, must include an acknowledgment that our present is not only their past, but also the future of the next generation.

The past, then, is the key to our future.»

Remembering: In the Past, We See Our Future - OU Life

Shalom and Regards,

Last Night We Counted ..

We have a quaint formula to state during S'fira:

"Last night we counted X"

Ostensibly the purpose is to avoid stating the current count before the b'rachah.

[Just to be a wise-guy I announced on the first night of S'fira: "Last Night we counted Zero"]. <LOL>

Yet I noticed a secondary gain using this formula and I wish to share this insight...

As per the Sefer HaChinuch, 306 one may make up a skipped day by counting
"Emesh Hayu Kach"

So aside from avoiding the negative, there is also a positive gain


A. We avoid the negative of inadvertently counting before the B'rachah


B In case we MIGHT have missed the previous evening's count, we have successfully effected a tashlumim, thereby completing t'mimot.

Shalom and Regards,

3 Aspects of "Na'aseh v'Nishma"

Naaseh v'Nishma can be implemented in many ways. These can be seen as complementary. Here are three models

1. We will perform the Mitzvah as per simple Halachah, THEN we will delve into the Torah Sources and learn about it "lishmah" [Intellectually]. The first step is learning Halachah P'sukkah, and then comes rhe Lamdut or the Taamei Hammitzvah.

2. We will perform the Mitzvah and come out a "changed" person due to "Adam nif'al l'fi ma'asav". This is based upon Sefer haChinuch

3.. We will perform the Mitzvah and then reflect in the afterglow about the EXPERIENCE of doing the Mitzvah. We immerse ourselves in the feelings and experiences after the performance. I base this loosely on RSR Hirsch's and Dayan Grunfeld's writings.

Shalom and Regards,

Thursday 24 May 2012

The Uniqueness of Revelational Ethics

In this shiur, available on Koshertube, I address the age-old question of the relationship between Revelation and Natural Morality. Please see

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Ruth, Geirut, Yibbum, Questions

There seems to be a lot of apparent contradictions in the Ruth Story re: her status as a wife of Machlon, the time of her conversion etc.

Approach #1
Ruth first converts when she declares "ameich ami" to Naomi. Before that she is a 100% Moaviyyah. As such she never was Halachically married to Machlon, and was never related to Elimelech and therefore was really never part of the "g'ulah". The problems with this approach seem obvious, e.g. Why would Boaz or Ploni Almoni be obligated for a quasi Yibbum, if she never was legally Machlon's spouse?

Approach #2
Ruth had already converted to marry Machlon, therefore she was already a Jewess. This answers the question about Machlon's marriage but it poses even greater difficulties.

A. Who converted her? Given that Elimelech and his 2 sons would constitute an an invalid Beth Din, and who else in Moab would qualify?

B. Why would Naomi send her back to Moab? [same goes for Orpah] If she's already Jewish, that's an awful thing to do!

C. What kind of lessons re: Geirus can be learned by Ruth's poetic replies to Naomi? After all she was already Jewish?!

Shalom and Regards,

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Shu"t on Y'tziv Pitgam

Y'tziv Pitgam - which is recited during Haftarrah of the 2nd day of Shavuot - is one of those few Piyyutim omitted by the Minhag of Western Ashkenaz [Yekke]. In order to find out more information I queried Rav Binyamin Shlomoh Hamburger.


I'm surprised that Y'tziv Pisgam is not said in Traditional Ashkenaz kehillos

Is there a reason for this omission?

Rav Hamburger's Response


שו"ת קרית חנה, סי' ז':
יציב פתגם שאומרין אחר פסוק ראשון של ההפטרה... זה אינו מתקנות
מקדמונים ופייטנים, ולכך כתב באמת בהגה"ת מהרי"ל שא"א אותו, וכן אנו נוהגין עכשיו.

Shalom and Regards,

Changing Minds, Changing Contexts


I would like to share a story about the Yeshiva of Hartford circa 1965. One of its pillars was an arch-Hebraicist, a zealot for IvriS, Mr. Morris Perkel A"H - known as "Mar Perkel", he having no s'michah

One day in the corridors of the Yeshivah, MP engaged in a bit of Yiddish Banter. One of his colleagues, questioned him

Ploni: You! Mar Perkel! Talking in Yiddish? You're such an ardent opponent....

Mar Perkel: [paraphrase] That was THEN when the State of Israel was NEW. I was concerned lest they adopt Yiddish as the official language! Nowadays, with Hebrew established, I'm no longer concerned!.

Lesson: some g'zeiros, ch'shashot, etc. are contextual.



We can find several examples of Poskim chaning their minds
•The Rambam from Peirush Mishnayot to the Yad,

• The BY to the SA,

• The Kessef Mishnah re: the Rambam on T'fillin on Hol Hamoed [the Ba'er Hetev points this one out]

We can probably think of CONTEXT changing p'sak. EG nowadays we read on Friday Nights w/o concern of Shema Yatteh. Since our context is using electric light, we view this g'zeirah as no longer applicable.

In some cases, there may be a "L'migdar Milta" aspect. EG Kashrut in the 1950's might have needed more Hizzuk then than now, when Humrot are more common. So a strict P'sak THEN, might be revisited now in light of a changing reality. It doesn't mean it WILL change, but it COULD change.
Shalom and Regards, RRW

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Is Zuckerberg Pro-Marriage or Pro-Divorce

Is Facebook a Two-Faced Street?


Zuckerberg's post-IPO wedding is smart legal move - Yahoo! Finance


Does Facebook Wreck Marriages? - Real-Time Advice - SmartMoney

Shalom and Regards,

Monday 21 May 2012

Ruth: Committed to God and Mother of Mashiach

As we read the Book of Ruth on Shavuot, may I take this opportunity to direct you to a short presentation I did on Koshertube on this remarkable woman. Please see

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Sunday 20 May 2012

Ploni Almoni and Bo'az as "Goel"

The negative criticism of Ploni Almoni [aka "Tov"] always bothered me. After all he WAS willing to dish out the money for the field! His hesitation re: marrying Ruth is certainly defensible, if not quite admirable.

I found an explanation that not only makes Ploni Almoni's [PA] position "OK" but teaches US a pragmatic lesson.

See Artscroll Ruth [Chai edition] p. 126

PA acknowledge that Moaviyah was mutteret, but he demurred because it was breaking new ground, it was setting a precedent perhaps for all time. As such he deferred to Boaz [aka Ivtzan] a Gadol and Rosh Sanhedrin in order to make the Precedent Stick. Pen Ashcheet Nachaalttii was a fear that his insignificant stature might jeopardize the p'sak re: Moaviyyah. But with Bo'az, the Yichus of future generations was assured

This also dovetails well with the nature of the book to "justify" the Yichus of David Hamelech. All the loose ends had to be tied up lest he be "de-legitimized". Boaz was the man for the job. PA was not necessarily a bad person, but he lacked the "Gravitas" for such a mission, and he humbly acknowledged that and deferred to Boaz

Shalom and Regards,

Friday 18 May 2012

I.O.C. Rejects Israeli Request for Moment of Silence at London Games

«... "Unfortunately, this response is unacceptable as it rejects the central principles of global fraternity on which the Olympic ideal is supposed to rest," Ayalon said in a statement Thursday. "The terrorist murders of the Israeli athletes were not just an attack on people because of their nationality and religion; it was an attack on the Olympic Games and the international community. Thus it is necessary for the Olympic Games as a whole to commemorate this event in the open rather than only in a side event."

On Sept. 5, 1972, eight Palestinian militants belonging to the Black September group broke into a dormitory at the Olympic village where Israeli athletes and coaches were sleeping and took them hostage. .....»

NYT: I.O.C. Rejects Israeli Request


I was actually back in Toronto visiting Ner Israel during Yamim Nora'im when these tragic events unfolded in 1972.

Shalom and Regards,

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Thinking of Revelation

As we approach the holiday of Shavuot, it is a time to think of Revelation. Specifically, during the Omer, the movement towards this event, in the past and in the present in how we commemorate this epic historical occurrance.

To this end, may I direct you to Insight 5760-34: The Progression of Revelation at

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Revealed: The Strange Saga of Judaism's most precious book

«On November 29 of that year, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine. The next day, Syrian rioters angered by the decision attacked the Jewish community, burning homes, businesses, and houses of prayer, including the Great Synagogue. The riot triggered the end of a Jewish community that had been in Aleppo for more than 2,000 years and marked the beginning of the codex's travels through the turmoil of the modern Middle East.»

Revealed: The scandalous history of Judaism's most precious book | The Times of Israel


Whoever started the "LIE" that Anti-Zionism is not Anti-Semitism?
Shalom and Regards,

Monday 14 May 2012

Jewish Tribune: Know Where you Come From

So many people are shocked by the statements of Anders Breivik but, at times, you may wonder how different he would be from many average Europeans of a century or two ago

In my latest Jewish Tribune article, I develop this idea further. Please see

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Sunday 13 May 2012

Dress Code for Travelers

Derech Emet -

Kaf HaChaim commentary on Orach Chaim, Siman 110, Sif Katan 41:

When you travel on the road and the danger to Jews is more than the danger to other people, it is permitted to. change your garments [to appear less Jewish], on the condition that you not wear shaatnez [literally, kilayim].

This is the custom of most [Jewish] merchants and travelers.

I have made it a custom to take out "Traveler's Insurance" by dressing "incognito" whilst travelling in certain neighbourhoods.

Shalom and Regards,

Saturday 12 May 2012

Mussar: Egolessness - Intro

In his landmark book during the 1970's, Gerald Weinberg* coined the term "Egoless Programming." Meaning, the only way to make computer code maintainable by OTHERS was to code it w/o one' own ego, and to follow the rules of structure instead.

Rarely has computer programming intersected with Spirituality and Mussar in such a profound way. I would like to take a survey of some classic cases of Ego vs. Egolessness within Classic Jewish Thought.

NB: For a classic Mussar perspective of Ego vs. Egolessness, see the first two chapters of Orchot Tzaddikim.


* see EG

Gerald Weinberg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Especially "The Psychology of Computer Programming".

Shalom and Regards,

Friday 11 May 2012

Huffington Post: This Kippa Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

I will now be blogging on Huffington Post - Canada and wanted to share with you my first submission. It is available at

Please feel free to comment there or here.

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Thursday 10 May 2012

Insight: Lag B'Omer

In honour of today, please allow me to share with you some thoughts on Lag B'Omer from
Nishma Insight 5769-28:

Isn't it interesting that both Yom Ha'atzma'ut and Yom Yerushalayim are in the Omer period?

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Baseball as a Road to G-d

At N.Y.U., Worshipping Baseball, for Credit -

I've been using Baseball as Road to G-d for decades. To bad most of my Roshei Yeshivah missed this point! :-) 

Shalom and Regards,

Tuesday 8 May 2012

JVO: "Stand Your Ground" Law

Jewish Values Online ( is a website that asks the Jewish view on a variety of issues, some specifically Jewish and some from the world around us -- and then presents answers from each of the dominations of Judaism. Nishmablog's Blogmaster Rabbi Wolpoe serves as an Orthodox member of their Panel of Scholars, offering answers from our perspective.

This post is part of a weekly series on the Nishmablog presenting the questions to which he responded and the answers that he gave.

* * * * *

Question: What is contemporary Jewish thought or interpretation of the Stand Your Ground law? [Administrators note: As in the Florida law that grants the right to use a gun without retreating if there is a "reasonable" fear for your own life - note the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman incident and the court case that followed]

For some background see:
Stand-your-ground law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
At first glance it seems that the answer is simple. In these kinds of matters "Dina d'Malchuta Dina" the Law of the Land is Law.  There are several directions to go using  this principle
1. Aggressive:   Jewish Self-Defense can be Pre-emptive. "Habba l'horg'echa, Hashkeim v'horgo!" If a [murderer] seeks to kill you, kill him first!  How pre-emptive? In this day and age that's tough to be specific.
2. Non-Confrontational: Jews by nature, temperament, etc. are non-violent. Certainly walking around vigilante style with a gun is highly discouraged - unless perhaps in a "war zone".  Standing one's ground would usually be construed as the case when, for example, a burglar invades one's home or attempts to hijack one's car.
In normal circumstances, standing one's ground would apply to protecting one's home and family and no more
In extenuating circumstances - the Middle East comes to mind - perhaps a more pro-active or pre-emptive  response makes sense.

For More information I Googled Stand Your Ground Law + Jewish Law
Here is one "hit"
To Stand or Not to Stand Your Ground (Leviticus 19) | Odyssey Networks
Shalom and Regards,      RRW

Being Kind Beats Being Right

In the 13 Middot, Chessed precedes Emet...

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught...

Human fallibility being what it is,
victory and truth
do not always go together. Therefore,
If you have to always win,
you can't always be true.
(The Empty Chair, p. 75*)


What does this mean to me?

In the array of the vessels of Divine revelation—what we call the sefiros - the sefirah of Tiferes which is associated with Torah-truth is above that of Netzach, which is the force of endurance and the drive for victory. The negative expression of Netzach is what is known as ta'avas ha'nitzachon, or an obsession with coming out on top. It can serve as an obstacle to reaching a higher truth, and has the power to destroy our relationships with others if we're not careful.
In an ideal state, victory and truth would indeed always go together—truth ultimately will win out. In the interim, while we still live in a world permeated with human error and the concealment of the Divine presence, the first step toward bringing truth and victory together is taken by being willing to seek the highest good rather than the satisfaction of being right.
For today I would rather be good than right; I would rather that truth come to light through whatever means necessary even if it means that I will have to bow my head and admit that I have been wrong.


A prayer:

O G-d,
help me perfect
every element
of my humanness.
Help me overcome
all my negative traits,
all my evil motivations.
Teach me to turn bad
into good.
(The Gentle Weapon, p. 94**)

Shalom and Regards,

Monday 7 May 2012

P. Tazria, 7 vs. 14

Two Questions come to Mind at the Beginning of Tazria

1. Why is the Mitzva of B'rit Milah embedded in the Mitzvah of Tuma't and Taharat Leidah?

2. What is the reason that a zachar triggers just 7 days of tum'ah while a n'keivah triggers 14 day?

See the Text Below

The answer there seems disarmingly simple.

The 7 days of Tum'ah for the mother who gives birth to a boy gets terminated by the B'rit Milah. Perhaps this is due to the healing associated with the B'rit or to some other dynamic. Yet the mention of the B'rit seems out of place UNLESS it's there all along to teach us that very lesson.

The case of boy/girl twins is a bit difficult to explain, but yeish l'yasheiv

See Rashi re: N'keivah causing more damage. In this approach, the damage caused is the same, just that the [potential]. B'rit of the Boy mitigates it 50%.

Text of Sazria 12:1-4.

ויקרא פרק יב

א וידבר ה' אל-משה לאמר.  ב דבר אל-בני ישראל, לאמר, אשה כי תזריע, וילדה זכר--וטמאה שבעת ימים, כימי נדת דותה תטמא.  ג וביום, השמיני, ימול, בשר ערלתו.  ד ושלשים יום ושלשת ימים, תשב בדמי טהרה; בכל-קדש לא-תגע, ואל-המקדש לא תבא, עד-מלאת, ימי טהרה. 

Shalom and Regards,

Sunday 6 May 2012

What if we treated the Torah as we treat our cell phone? 

I recently received this email...

Ever wonder what would happen if we treated the Torah as we treat our cell phone? 
--What if we carried It around in our purse or pocket every day?

--What if we looked through It many times each day?

--What if we turned back to go get It if we forgot It?

--What if we always checked It for messages?

--What if we treated It as if we couldn't manage a day without It?

--What if we gave It to our children as a special gift?

--What if we always took It, and used It, when we traveled?

--What if we always thought to use It in case of an emergency?

--Oh, and one more thing...
Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about Torah being disconnected, because Its "Carrier" never fails.

Shalom and Regards,

Friday 4 May 2012

YT Sheini shel Pesach vs. YT Sheini shel Sukkot

OT1H - On YT Sheini of Pesach we begin S'firat ho'Omer and we also recite those Maaroviyot that deal with K'tzirat ho'Omer which took place on the 16th of Nissan - See EG Kitzur SA 120:5 for some details.

OTOH - regarding YT Sheini of Sukkot we are told NOT to mention the Korban of the 2nd day in Mussaf that should be mentioned due to s'feika d'yoma - because that would be a zilzul of YT Sheini d'Galuyot.

See O"Ch Ba'er Hetev 663:2 quoting a Rashi in Megillah 30

Also Mishnah Brurah 663:3
Sha'ar haTziyun 2

And so - how come that reciting the Maaraviyot of Ketzirat ho'Omer during YT Sheini of Pesach does not pose the same issue of zilzul YT as does reciting the korban "Uvayom Hasheini" on YT Sheini of Sukkot?

Shalom and Regards,

Thursday 3 May 2012

Did the Ascendancy of Bavel Serve to Calcify Talmud and Halachah

«In his response Rav Hai Gaon admits that this was, in fact, the reality, but expresses the opinion that the Jews of Eretz Yisrael are mistaken.

==>It bears noting that this is by no means the only instance of the Torah authorities in Babylon taking a more hard-line and conservative approach than their counterparts in Eretz Yisrael.»

Torah for Those Who Dare to Think

Shalom and Regards, RRW

Wednesday 2 May 2012

What is your Preference - Myway/Highway or Elu v'Elu?

First see
The Eilu vaEilu Paradox | Aspaqlaria

Then this comment from
Garnel Ironheart

«The cartoon doesn't work. As soon as the guy on the left appeared, his counterpart on the right should have been intellectually honest and acknowledged that there are multiple universes which means the scientific understanding in that parallel universe had been incorrect.
==» An ability to recognize that one's approach is not the only one and that there are different proper approaches nullifies the paradox which only exists if people are stubborn that it's their way or the highway.<==»

Then what someone who opposes Elu v'Elu writes:

« this is the pshat in the gemara. There is no other»

Pick your Philosophical Preference.

Shalom and Regards,

Tuesday 1 May 2012

JVO: Six Remembrances

Jewish Values Online ( is a website that asks the Jewish view on a variety of issues, some specifically Jewish and some from the world around us -- and then presents answers from each of the dominations of Judaism. Nishmablog's Blogmaster Rabbi Wolpoe and Nishma's Founding Director, Rabbi Hecht, both serve as Orthodox members of their Panel of Scholars.

This post continues the weekly series on the Nishmablog that features responses on JVO by one of our two Nishma Scholars who are on this panel. This week's presentation is to one of the questions to which Rabbi Hecht responded.

* * * * *
Question: About the Six Remembrances. Lots of discussion about the six themselves. But some history and context please. When does the very idea of "the six" enter Jewish theological, textual or liturgical history? Do the rabbis discuss why God nominated THESE six, and not six others? Please advise

In a certain way, there really seems to be two parts to this question: one part specific to these Six Remembrances and the other reflecting a general inquiry regarding the whole process of Jewish Law. This dichotomy would seem to be inherent in the specific question of “why God nominated THESE six”. To correctly respond to such a question we would first have to look at the following sub-question: what is the connection between God’s direct communication to us at Sinai and these resultant Six Remembrances? That answer would necessarily demand of us to investigate the connection between Sinai and the present conclusions of Jewish Law – a topic well beyond our present parameters. So allow me to respond to certain aspects of your inquiry as they relate to the Six Remembrances specifically and hopefully you will find some of the information you seek and be motivated to continue the study.
In the commentary of Magen Avraham to Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 60:2, he mentions that, based upon previous sources which would seem to be Kabbalistic in nature, in fulfillment of what should be a daily activity, when a person recites certain words in the Ahavah Rabba prayer (which precedes the morning recitation of the Shema Yisrael prayer), one’s thoughts should be on the following 4 remembrances mentioned in the Torah:
1) To remember Sinai and the giving of the Torah,
2) To remember the attack of Amalek in the desert,
3) To remember what happened to Miriam when she spoke against Moshe,
4) To remember the Sabbath,
with another opinion adding a fifth,
5) To remember the Golden Calf.
The number 6 emerges when these 5 are added to the other daily remembrance that T.B. Brachot 12b states is to be a focal point of the last paragraph of the Shema prayer itself:
6) To remember the Exodus.
A custom then developed to recite, after the conclusion of the morning prayers, the actual verses from the Torah that contain these remembrances. Rabbi Yaakov Emden, Commentary to the Siddur, explains that, while one’s mind may be on these remembrances during the recitation of Ahavah Rabba, it is better to actually clearly and directly vocalize them, especially in the language of the originating verses – and so he explains the custom and directs individuals to follow it. What is interesting about Rabbi Emden’s words, however, is that he then actually presents a full prayer built upon each verse of remembrance, also expanding therein upon their value. What is further interesting is that he also describes 10 remembrances, adding:
7) To remember that God is Source of all,
8) To remember the manna,
9) To remember that God saved our forefathers from Balak and Bilaam, and
10) To remember Jerusalem.
This can then be contrasted to the presentation of Rabbi Shimshon Raphael Hirsch in his siddur where he only mentions 4 remembrances: the Exodus, Sinai, Amalek and Miriam. There are clearly differing views on this custom although the one that would seem to be the most accepted is the six.
A key word is that this is all a matter of custom. The actual halachic obligation in regard to all these remembrances is a subject of much study and debate. Each one is a subject of its own investigation of whether the originating verse is an actual obligating directive or simply good advice and if it is the former, whether it is a daily, annual or other type obligation. Many other questions also emerge such as: why the statement regarding Sinai, unlike the others, is phrased in the negative – to not forget our congregation at Sinai (framed as a negative Biblical command by Nachmanides, Addendum to Maimonides Negative Commandments, 2). One interested in continuing this study may find Encyclopediat Talmudit 12:198-226 a good place to start.
Bottom line, though, it is important to recognize that remembering past events in our history is important to us. We are not to remember just the good but also past failings so that we can thereby learn from them. We are still also to remember the good for thereby we can appreciate what God has done for us. The present is the result of the past and remembering is of great significance to us for we are never to break this chain that connects us with the Jewish nation of every epoch in history.