Click here to visit Shefa Mehadrin's website
Click here to view JS's website
Home
Add Kosherpages to your favourites
Make Kosherpages your home page

Advertisement
 

Manchester Eruv

Advertisement
 
Kosherpages
Updates

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

August 10 - KosherPages now has a Facebook group - come and join us!

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.

 

 

 

Do you have a Dvar Torah you would like to share on KosherPages?

If so we would love to include it, please use our contact form to send it through to us.


Noah

Thursday, 19th October 2017

Our sages teach us that the construction of the ark took 120 years. Although Hashem (G-d) could have saved Noach (Noah) and his family in many ways, which would have saved much time and energy, the sages teach us that He specifically chose to have Noach go through this arduous task to arouse the curiosity of all who passed by. This would enable Noach to have a chance to explain to them that Hashem was planning a flood that would destroy the entire world because of the evil that had pervaded it. The passerby would, hopefully, be impressed enough to change his behaviour and begin to live a more ethical lifestyle. 
 
Is it not odd that from the thousands of people who must have passed by and seen Noach hammering away, not even one person allowed themselves to be inspired and to be saved from death? We know that only Noach, his wife, his sons, and their wives were protected in the ark throughout the flood. Apparently, no one else had decided to repent. If they had, they would have been saved. How could this be?

Perhaps the answer lies in another teaching of the sages. The Torah says that Noach and his family went into the ark "because of the waters of the flood" (Genesis 7:7). From here the sages derive that Noach was mediocre in his belief because it took the pushing of the waters to force him into the ark. 
 
Obviously, this statement is not to be taken at face value. The Torah itself states that "Noach was righteous and walked with Hashem" (ibid. 6:9). There is no doubt that he was aware of Hashem and knew that His word was to be taken seriously.
 
However, we are being told that Noach was lacking in his belief, a belief that was to be expected of him. Perhaps this is the explanation for Noach's inability to convince anyone to repent. One who, himself, is not totally knowledgeable of the truth he is teaching will not succeed in convincing others of its importance. They will sense that he is not firm in his own belief and will, ultimately, be turned away because of it.

In order for a change to take effect, one must have the intent in his heart, as he speaks with his words. Words do not have an effect until they are spoken with sincerity. Noach had something important to teach, which should have been taken seriously, but his lack of belief (on whatever level it may have been) was enough to take the effect out of his warnings to the people. 

Sukkot

Tuesday, 10th October 2017

Even if we did not commit as we should have on Yom Kippur, the Teshuva (repentance) via actions of Sukkos/Shmini Atzeres can see us ‘released.’

This is seen by the parable of Chazal (our Sages) of a king sending his messengers to fetch a certain person who has been convicted for the crime of disobeying the king. When the messengers arrive, they see a man who is happily fulfilling the king’s decrees and return to the king saying that the king must have got it wrong; this cannot be the convicted person, and the king agrees.

So too, continues this Chazal, that even if we are convicted in the judgment of Yom Kippur, the fact that we have acted as we should have throughout Sukkos and Shmini Atzeres makes us new people and we escape conviction. It is a Teshuva via action.

Sukkot

Tuesday, 3rd October 2017

The basic understanding of the verse (Vaikra 23:42,43) as explained by Talmud in Succah (11b) is that we are commanded to commemorate that we lived in “Succos” in the desert referring to Annanei Hakavod (the Clouds of Glory that protected us in the desert) so too now we live in Succos nowadays.
 
The holiday really should be in the Hebrew month of Nissan, Pesach (Passover) time, which is when the Clouds first appeared, upon the beginning of our journey in the desert, so why are we celebrating it on the 15th of (the Hebrew month of) Tishrei six months later?
 
The Vilna Gaon (Rabbni of Vilna) explains that we celebrate Succos in the month of Tishrei not because of the commemoration of the Ananei Hakavod themselves but rather their return on the 15th of Tishrei. Where did they go? Well, it all started when the Jews panicked, because they thought that Moshe (Moses) died since he appeared to be taking a bit longer to get the luchos (tablets) when he went up to Har (Mount)  Sinai for 40 days after receiving the Torah. Consumed by panic, people decided to build the golden calf. Now, of course, that was a miscalculation on their part and their failure to maintain commitment to the relationship with Hashem(G-d). Therefore, Hashem withdrew his presence from the Jewish people including the Ananei Hakavod. 
 
At the beginning of the (Hebrew) month of Elul, Moshe went back up onto the mountain and after 40 days (which falls on Yom Kippur) he obtained forgiveness for the whole nation from Hashem and brought down the new set of luchos. Right then, he was commanded to build the Mishkan (the Tabernacle). Five days later, all the materials were donated by the Jewish nation and on the 15th the building of the Mishkan began. At the commencement of the building the Ananei Hakavod returned reflecting the return of Hashem’s presence among the Jewish nation.

Yom Kippur

Wednesday, 27th September 2017

On Yom Kippur we wipe away our sins. On Rosh HaShana we proclaim HaShem (G-d) as King (but no sin-mention). 

Surely Yom Kippur should go first so we can proclaim HaShem as King in a state of sin-free purity? 

The Rambam - Maimonidies - (hil melachim 1;1) comments that we were commanded 3 commandments upon entry to the land of Israel; 1st to appoint a king, then to wipe out Amalek, and finally to build a Beis Hamikdash (Temple). The order is very precise here. 

So too, Rosh HaShana is compared to appointing a king (we 'appoint' HaShem as King), Yom Kippur to the removal of Amalek (Amalek is the embodiment of sin), and Sukkos to the Beis Hamikdash (a surrounding sanctuary of HaShem's Presence) .

Thus, for the same reason a King is needed to beat amalek, so too is Rosh HaShanah needed to have a successful Yom Kippur.

Rosh Hashana

Monday, 18th September 2017

Why isn’t Yom Kippur before Rosh Hashana?

On Yom Kippur we wipe away our sins. On Rosh HaShono we proclaim HaShem (G-d) as King (no sin-mention). Surely Yom Kippur should go first so we can proclaim HaShem as King in a state of sin-free purity?

One can answer based on Gemorro (Talmud) Sukkah (52b) that says that the yetzer hara (evil inclination) is too strong for us - and we can only overcome it with the help of HaShem. This means that essentially it is not in our hands solely to overcome the yetzer hara. Thus, we must have a Rosh HaShana first, for that is the way of ensuring that HaShem will help us so we can cleanse ourselves of sin culminating on Yom Kipur. 

Another answer is based on a lovely comparison. The Rambam (Maimonides) (hil melachim 1;1) comments that we were commanded 3 mitzvos (commandments) upon entry to the land of Israel; 1st to appoint a king, then wipe out amalek, and finally to build a beis hamikdash (Temple). [and that is the order that they occurred in nach (Scriptures).] 

The order is very precise here. So too, Rosh HaShono is compared to appointing a king (we 'appoint' HaShem as King), Yom Kippur to the removal of amalek (amalek is the embodiment of sin), and Sukkos to the beis hamikdash (a surrounding sanctuary of HaShem's Presence).

Nitzavim-Vayelech

Thursday, 14th September 2017

Whenever we are given blessings and curses for following HaShem’s (G-d’s) Mitzvos (commandments) or not, the blessings are always put first. In our sedra of this week,  this is apparent in the pasuk/verse (30;15) ‘See, I have placed before you today life and good, and death and evil.’ When the Torah is informing us that we have a choice of how to live our lives, we are given the good and positive options first. Similarly, the next two psukim (verses) follow this pattern - they first describe that if we ‘cling’ to HaShem and His Commandments we will prosper, and only then do they briefly describe our (not so positive) fate if we betray HaShem. Perhaps the best example of this is something the Midrash picks up on in Parshas (Torah portion of) Shmini.

The Torah gives the signs of a Kosher animals as split hooves and chews the cud. The Torah then gives four animals which only have one of the two signs and are thus non-Kosher. In each of these four cases the Torah first mentions the positive sign that the animal does have, and only then mentions that it does not have the other sign and is thus not Kosher. Thus, even the epitome of ‘treifness (non-kosher),’ the pig, is described in the following light: ‘And the pig, for its hoof is split…but it does not chew the cud - it is unclean to you’ (Vayikra 11;7). From the fact that the Torah goes out of its way to first mention the positive qualities of even the pig before prohibiting it, we can see the importance of finding the positive in others even if we might think they possess much negative characteristics.

The Chofetz Chaim quotes a midrash, that if one speaks good and positively of other people, the angels will speak good of you to HaShem. We said that this is a great way to build up towards Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, when we are looking for HaShem to show mercy and good favour to us in judgment.

Ki Savo

Thursday, 7th September 2017

Our sedra (Torah portion) opens with the simcha (happiness) of bikkurim (the taking of the first fruits), ‘and you shall rejoice at all the good that HaShem (G-d) has given to you… (26;11) ’Later on in the sedra, however, we have the curses on Har (Mount) Eival. And Chapter 28 tells both of the blessings that we will enjoy should we follow HaShem, and the converse that we will suffer if we are not loyal to Him.

The outline is that if we follow HaShem, then us and our material possessions will be blessed with security and prosperity, and other nations will fear harming us. If, however, we do not follow HaShem, there are bitter consequences (poverty, disease, war, etc.) - it does not take an historian to see that these consequences have come true over time. A searching question can be asked here: There seem to be only two alternatives here; prosperity or suffering. What about all the middle possibilities between these two extremes? The same can be asked of the second paragraph of the Shema prayer. If we are good then we get rain, etc. and if we are not good then no rain, etc. What about any middle, ‘non-extreme,’ circumstances?

The answer is as follows, there is no middle-ground. We are either doing HaShem’s will or we are not. If we are doing HaShem’s will, we get brocha (blessing), and if we are not, then we suffer. [That does not mean that everyone who is suffering is not doing HaShem’s Will. There can be other reasons for suffering].

 

Ki Seitze

Thursday, 31st August 2017

In this week’s Torah portion, the Torah prohibits marrying an Ammonite or a Moabite for all generations even after conversion. LO YAVO AMONI UMO’AVI BIKHAL HASHEM, “An Ammonite or a Moabite may not enter into the assembly of Hashem (G-d)”. (Deut. 23,4) The reason given is that when the children of Israel were on their way to the Promised Land these two nations refused to provide them with bread and water, the two greatest necessities for sustaining life.

There were nations who enslaved Jews and nations who went to war against Jews. Some were not forbidden to be married by Jews and some were forbidden only for a number of generations. But none were forbidden forever as were the Ammonites and Moabites. Why? 

The Sages tell us that there are three important distinguishing characteristics of Jews. Jews are merciful, bashful and charitable. The Ammonites and Moabites demonstrated that they are neither merciful nor charitable. While other people who convert to Judaism may eventually become part of the Jewish fold, individuals of these two nations lack the basic characteristics needed to fit into our people. Conversion will not transform them into true Jews.

Jews have these beautiful traits. They have demonstrated throughout history their desire to help others in need. They have been the greatest contributors to charity. They have always felt for the underdog. They have always demonstrated these traits and never sought credit for doing so. This distinguishes Jews above other people. 

Shoftim

Thursday, 24th August 2017

In our parsha (Torah reading for this week) we are commanded (18:13) ‘be complete (tamim) with HaShem (G-d), your God.’ What does this mean and involve? 

Rashi writes that we are not to go looking into what the future will hold, but rather just accept everything with full trust and faith in HaShem; He takes care of us. 

This explains the connection to the next few psukim (verses), which deplores the use of magic (something often used to predict or find out the future). 

The Chofetz Chaim highlights that it only says that one must fully trust HaShem - it does not extend the same level of trust to fellow humans. This means, as the Chofetz Chaim explains, that one is not to be naïve in trusting everyone; before relying on someone, make sure they are trustworthy - one cannot merely fully assume so from the outset. 

Re'eh

Thursday, 17th August 2017

In this weeks Torah portion we are told that G-d gives us reward for every good deed and curses for bad deeds – “see I am placing before you blessing and curse”

A closer look at the first verse in this week's portion forces us to ask a fundamental question. The Torah seems to be talking to the individual.  It uses the word “See” in the singular tense, and then continues a few words later in the plural tense with the word “before you" - plural.  Why does the Torah change tense, surely it should have finished the sentence in the singular tense as it started?
 
The Chassam Sofer directs us to the Talmud (Kiddushin) where it states that one should live his or her life as if their life is in a complete balance between good and evil. If they were to perform even one more Mitzvah - Good deed, their personal scales would be tipped and they would be guaranteed life. However, the opposite effect holds true as well. By using this mind set, an individual will learn the power of even one of his or her actions on their own life.

Rabbi Akiva later in the same tractate of the Talmud takes this idea a bit further. He says that not only should one have the mindset that their life is  their own personal scale, but one should view the entire world as being in complete balance.  Rabbi Akiva is trying to explain that every person should view themselves as being able to individually affect the entire world.
We can now understand why the Torah starts by referring to the individual, “See” in the singular, and then moves on to the plural “before you”.  We should "see" as individuals the power that we have on the world around us.  When we do Mitzvos - good deeds, we need to know that G-d promises to place “before you” (plural) "Lifneichem" blessings.  Those blessings will affect the entire world and will affect history.

Advertisement
 

Advertisement
 

Advertisement