Saturday 27 December 2014

Mussar: Replace Blame With Compassion

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin wrote:

A basic Torah principle is that when correcting someone, we need to do so with a sense of love and compassion. When you speak in a blaming manner, the message you give is not a loving one.

If there is a specific person you tend to speak to in a blaming manner, be resolved to speak more pleasantly.

(For a series of probing questions on this topic, see Rabbi Pliskin's "Gateway to Self Knowledge," pp.135-7)

Kol Tuv,

Monday 22 December 2014

Kapittel 30, the Psalm of Hanukkah

This is Kapittel 30 as arranged by choral master Oscar Julius. Many years ago, my voice coach took me to meet him privately in person.

I have sung this as a member of several choruses. We usually sang more than just the refrain and the soloist usually did the 2nd strophe and the big solo peace.

It can be sung with or without the piano accompaniment.

Mizmor Shir by Oscar Julius YouTube Home of The Neimah Singers

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Kol Tuv,

Friday 19 December 2014

Mussar: Parshat Mikketz, Ka'asher Patar Lanu

See Torah Temimah Mikkets 41:13

A person should always interpret a dream in a positive [good] way.

Similarly: a person should interpret actions and events in a Positive way, whenever possible to do so

Kol Tuv,

Monday 15 December 2014

Must the Shul Menorah Burn for 30 Minutes?

Is the Shul Menorah, that has been lit before Ma'ariv with a B'rachah, required to burn the entire 30 minutes?

What if no one can stay there, does safety permit extinguishing it before the 30 minutes are over?

It may be extinguished.
Source: Rivevot Ephraim 5:29.

Courtesy of -
Rabbi Ari N. Enkin

Addendum see:
nitei gavriel

rav harpenes

Kol Tuv,

Thursday 11 December 2014

Will Neo-Chassidus Revive Modern Orthdoxy?

Rekindling the Flame: Neo-Chassidus Brings the Inner Light of Torah to Modern Orthodoxy

by JA Mag | December 1, 2014 in Jewish Culture
«There are many out there who may have been shown or taught a version of Yiddishkeit that is dry, that is cold," agrees Josh Weinberg, a YU musmach who considers himself a neo-Chassid, and is one of many who look to Rabbi Weinberger for inspiration. "They may practice Judaism in their communities [due to societal pressure], but inside, there's a lot of apathy and [it's done by] rote. Chances are they were never exposed to this deeper and joyous side of religious observance," says Josh, who lives in Riverdale, New York, and works as a photographer and videographer for NCSY.»

Kol Tuv,

Sunday 7 December 2014

New Series on Koshertube Highlighting the Complexity of Torah Ethics -- Introduction to Shaarei Yosher, Part 1

As presented in the Nishma Update for November, much of our study within Nishma this year will be on Jewish Ethics. By the term 'Ethics', we mean the matters within life that touch upon the general human concepts of right and wrong. In our study, we wish to look at how Torah touches upon this subject, on the general idea of good and evil and on the details of this subject that are the focus of humanity in general.

In this regard, while we have touched upon these themes within our printed materials in the last few months, we have also devoted a good number of our shiurim on this as well. Many of these shiurim can be found on Koshertube. You can specifically find many of my shiurim on this topic at

At this time, though, I wish to make you aware of a new series of shiurim which I will be giving, using the Introduction to Rav Shimon Schkopf's Shaarei Yosher, on the development of ethical concepts within Torah thought,. We will show how ethical principles are developed and how we then further respond to conflicts in the principles. The result is the honest presentation that Torah ethics, by definition, are complex for life is complex. It is God's demand of us to recognize this complexity and incorporate it properly in our lives-- with the use of our minds as directed by Torah. For the first in this series, please see

We hope you follow this series and we welcome you to share your ideas on the shiurim as we post about them on Nishmablog.

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Saturday 6 December 2014

Mussar: Just Apologize

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin wrote:

Just Apologize

Sincerely apologizing is the best way to overcome the resentment and negative feelings of someone who is angry with you. However, at times it can be very difficult to apologize. When you tell yourself, "Just apologize," it can become easier.

If you really did something wrong, you have an obligation to apologize. At times, it's wisest to apologize even if you aren't really at fault. Your apology can create harmony. Have the strength and courage to "just apologize." Your sincere apology will totally calm some people.

Even if you need to apologize a number of times and find the right things to say each time, your initial apology is still the first step forward.

(from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin's book: "Conversations With Yourself", p.135)

Kol Tuv,

Thursday 4 December 2014

Please Daven for Victim

Please daven for Chaim Eitan Ben Sarah. Literally fighting for his life. One of victims of Shul incident.

Kol Tuv,

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Anti-Semtic Attack Spurs Aliyah

«Cazeneuve was "severely critical" of the attack, and the Créteil prosecutor opened an investigation pointing to the apparent antisemetic nature of the attack.

Creteil Mayor, Laurent Cathala, charged that the "aggression is anti-Semitic, it is indisputable."
In comment on the synagogue attack, President François Hollande said "France wants all the Jews of France to feel perfectly safe and quiet."
Albert Elharrar, president of the Jewish community in Créteil, is still in shock.

"I have been in contact with the Créteil police commissioner since 11 pm Saturday night," he said. "Unfortunately, it is always the Jewish community that is targeted."

According to Elharrar, the two brothers, Créteil residents, were praying quietly. The little brother was able to defend himself, but the older one was taken down by brass knuckles to the eye.»
«In June, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky announced that French aliyah (emigration to Israel) will surpass 5,000 individuals by the end of 2014, an all-time record and a full 1 percent of the 500,000-person French Jewish community. Never before has such a large proportion of a Western Jewish community made aliyah in a single year. »
Paris Jewish Community in Shock Over Rape, Home Invasion 'Because You Are Jews' | Jewish & Israel News

Kol Tuv,

Tuesday 2 December 2014

R Steven Pruzansky: The Jewish Ethic of Personal Responsibility

« Mazal tov to Rav Steven Pruzansky on the publication of his new book -
"Tzadka Mimeni:
The Jewish Ethic of Personal Responsibility" (Gefen).
[Please find link below]

Tzadka Mimeni, in the format of essays on each Torah portion, extracts from the Torah itself applications of the Jewish ethic of personal responsibility in areas as diverse as dating, marriage, parenting, family life, employment, divine service, military service, acts of kindness, repentance, ownership of private property, wealth, Torah study, mitzvot, modesty, justice, gratitude, Jewish national life, holiness and more, offering a profound vision for modern man and his search for meaning and happiness. »

Volume One - on Breisheet and Shemot - is now available.

The Jewish Ethic of Personal Responsibility Vol I (Bereishit, Shmot)-Gefen Publishing House

Kol Tuv,

Monday 1 December 2014

S'char Va'Onesh, Bava Kama 50a

It seems from this passage that HKBH does not simply waive a person's liability, even when He is indeed long-suffering

מסכת בבא קמא פרק ה
דף נ,א גמרא
מלמד שהקדוש ברוך הוא מדקדק עם סביביו אפילו כחוט השערה ר' נחוניא אמר מהכא (תהילים פט) אל נערץ בסוד קדושים רבה ונורא על כל סביביו

אמר ר' חנינא כל האומר הקב"ה ותרן הוא יותרו חייו שנאמר (דברים לב) הצור תמים פעלו כי כל דרכיו משפט

א"ר חנא ואיתימא ר' שמואל בר נחמני מאי דכתיב
<דף נ,ב גמרא>  (שמות לד) ארך אפים ולא כתיב ארך אף ארך אפים לצדיקים ולרשעים:

Best Regards,