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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

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May 10 - New Owners of KosherPages

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July 10 - KosherPages expands to include Jewish communities nation wide

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January 11 - KosherPages introduces "Your Pix" to Pick of the Week

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Behaalosecha

Wednesday, 30th May 2018

"Make for yourself two silver trumpets... and they shall be YOURS for the summoning of the assembly." (10:1)

The gemara - Talmud (Menachot 28b) teaches that all of the vessels that Moshe (Moses) made could be used by later generations as well. However, the trumpets were for Moshe to summon the nation and could not be used by subsequent leaders.

Why? What was different about the trumpets?

Rabbi Eliyahu Schlesinger suggests that there is a simple lesson here. The way that the leader of one generation calls his flock and relates to his congregants will not necessarily work for the leader of the next generation.

Nasso

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018

The Torah goes to great lengths to repeat the Korbanos (offerings) of each Nasi (Prince). It would have been much shorter to just write the offering once and then say that all the Nesi'im (Princes) brought the same Korbanos.  Why the lengthy repetition?

Many times we find that people who want to do an act of "passion" feel that they must "out do" what everyone else is doing and go one step further. If someone spends £900 for a pair of Teffilin (Phylacteries) then I must spend £900 plus 1 in order to do even better.

The Torah is telling us that each Nasi brought the exact same Korban (offering) as his fellow Nasi. There was no need to out-do each other to be great.  Each Nasi would be able to have his own special Kavanos (thoughts and intentions) when bringing his korban, however, the visible portion was the same for all.
 
This teaches us that we can do the identical action as everyone else, yet still have individual greatness!

Bamidbar - Shevuoth

Thursday, 17th May 2018

"Count the sons of Levi according to their fathers’ household, according to their families, every male from one month age and up shall you count them (Bamidbar 3;14)" 

The counting of the tribe of Levi was different to the counting to that of every other tribe. The children of Israel were to be counted “from twenty years upwards”, yet, the members of the tribe of Levi, were counted from one month upwards. Why is the tribe of Levi different? 
 
Counting a person means that he is reckoned as part of the community. We do not normally reckon infants and children into the count of those who have accepted Jewish responsibilities upon themselves, since although they might have been educated by parents and teachers to make Judaism the main part of their life, it is not certain that they will continue to do so as adults. Therefore, for the tribes of Israel only those who were twenty and upwards can be counted truly as part of the community. 

The tribe of Levi, however, were different. The whole essence of the Levites was to be the bearers of Jewish service and Jewish learning. They therefore could be relied upon to imbue their young with absolute loyalty to Judaism. From the age of one month old the members of Levi were reckoned in the counting of their tribe, since it was known that by the age of 20 they would definitely still be on board with Jewish commitment. 

The tribe of Levi shows us the way. In these current times, when our people is under attack, we must imbue our young with love of Torah from an early age, and thereby ensure their Jewish loyalty and commitment.

Behar-Bechukosai

Wednesday, 9th May 2018

The first half of Behar deals with various laws regarding "Shmita" . In short, the commandment of "Shmitta" is that in the 7th year all agricultural activities ceases, and the land of Israel lies fallow.

The land will give its fruit and you will eat to satisfaction...And if you will say ‘What will I eat in the seventh year? – Behold, we will not sow and we will not gather our crops’, I will ordain My blessing for you in the sixth year and it will yield a crop sufficient for three years (25:19-21)

Hashem (G-d) promises that if someone keeps the Shmitta year by not harvesting his field or gathering crops, he will be blessed in the year preceding the Shmitta and he will reap enough food to last the next three years.  From the verse quoted above it sounds like Hashem is giving a blessing to someone who does not trust fully in Him.  What is the explanation of these verses?

Rashi explains that the blessing of “satisfaction” that one receives from observing the Shmitta is that “even within the stomach there will be in it a blessing”, which means that one will be satiated after eating only a small amount. When the Torah then says “And if you will say ‘What will I eat in the seventh year?’” and continues to detail the blessing, one will note that the blessing is that there will be “crop sufficient for the three years”. 

The Sforno explains that any person who keeps Shmitta will be blessed with enough to eat for three years.  However, the initial blessing of “even within the stomach there will be in it a blessing” is reserved for someone who trusts in Hashem and does not question His ways.  This person will see the same small crop for one year but find that it lasts him three years.  If however, he questions Hashem and asks ‘What will I eat in the seventh year? – Because he kept the Shmitta, he still receives the blessing of having enough to eat for the three years, but when this person will receive enough crop in the first year to last for three years, he will receive the quantity of three years worth of food.  This person will have to work three times as hard on all of his fields in the sixth year, whereas the person who trusts in Hashem will not even have to work any harder in the sixth year and he will receive the same amount (qualitatively) as the one who questioned Hashem.

Emor/Lag B'Omer

Tuesday, 1st May 2018

One of the most disheartening episodes that occurred during the 40-year desert sojourn is recorded in this week’s parsha (Torah portion). A man quarrelled with a fellow Jew and left the dispute in a rage. He reacted by blaspheming Hashem (G-d). This abhorrent behaviour was so aberrant that no one even knew what the punishment was!
 

So Hashem reviewed the grievous penalty for the deplorable act. As in any society, the ultimate act of treason was met with a capitol sentence. The Torah declared a death penalty. But curiously enough, Hashem does not leave it at that. When the Torah reveals the penalty for the heinous act of blasphemy, it continues:
 

“And one who blasphemes the name of Hashem shall be put to death … and if a man inflicts a mortal wound in his fellow man, he shall be put to death. If he inflicts damage then restitution shall be paid. The value of an eye for the loss of an eye, the value of a break for a break and the value of a tooth for the loss of a tooth. And one who wounds an animal must be made to pay. (Leviticus 24:15-21)

Shouldn’t blasphemy be in a league of it own? Surely the act of affronting G-d Almighty cannot be equated with attacking human beings. And surely it has no place next to the laws of injurious action towards animals!

Rabbi Y’honasan Eibeschutz one of Jewry’s most influential leaders during the early 1700s, was away from his home for one Yom Kippur and was forced to spend that holy day in a small town. Without revealing his identity as Chief Rabbi of Prague, Hamburg, and Altoona, he entered a synagogue that evening and surveyed the room, looking for a suitable place to sit and pray.
 

Toward the centre of the synagogue, his eyes fell upon a man who was swaying fervently, tears swelling in his eyes. “How encouraging,” thought the Rabbi, “I will sit next to him. His prayers will surely inspire me.”
 

It was to be. The man cried softly as he prayed, tears flowed down his face. “I am but dust in my life, Oh Lord,” wept the man. “Surely in death!” The sincerity was indisputable. Rabbi Y’honasan finished the prayers that evening, inspired. The next morning he took his seat next to the man, who, once again, poured out his heart to G-d, declaring his insignificance and vacuity of merit.

During the congregation’s reading of the Torah, something amazing happened. A man from the front of the synagogue was called for the third aliyah, one of the most honourable aliyos (call ups) for an Israelite, and suddenly Rabbi Eibeschutz’s neighbour charged the podium!

“Him!” shouted the man. “You give him shlishi (the third aliya)?!” The shul (Synagogue) went silent. Reb Y’honasan stared in disbelief. “Why I know how to learn three times as much as he! I give more charity than he and I have a more illustrious family! Why on earth would you give him an aliyah over me?”
 

With that the man stormed back from the bimah (podium) toward his seat.

Rabbi Eibeschutz could not believe what he saw and was forced to approach the man. “I don’t understand,” he began. “Minutes ago you were crying about how insignificant and unworthy you are and now you are clamouring to get the honour of that man’s aliyah?”

Disgusted the man snapped back. “What are you talking about? Compared to Hashem I am truly a nothing.” Then he pointed to the bimah and sneered, “But not compared to him!”

Perhaps the Torah reiterates the laws of damaging mortal and animals in direct conjunction with His directives toward blasphemy. Often people are very wary of the honour they afford their spiritual guides, mentors and institutions. More so are they indignant about the reverence and esteem afforded their Creator. Mortal feelings, property and possessions are often trampled upon even harmed even by those who seem to have utmost respect for the immortal. This week the Torah, in the portion that declares the enormity of blasphemy, does not forget to mention the iniquity of striking someone less than Omnipotent. It links the anthropomorphic blaspheming of G-d to the crime of physical damage toward those created in His image. It puts them one next to each other. Because all of Hashem’s creations deserve respect.

Even the cows.

Acharei Mos-Kedoshim

Thursday, 26th April 2018

 

Love Is Not Enough
Acharei-Mot & Kedoshim 5778

Click the image below to read this

inspirational Dvar Torah

Tazria-Metzora

Wednesday, 18th April 2018

No one needs to be convinced of the problems people cause through negative speech. We probably all remember the time we wished we hadn’t said something. Sensitivity in what we say is an important key to living a happy, effective life.

There is a famous analogy regarding the topic of speech. A man who was not particularly careful about his speech came to a Rabbi. He had decided to change, and needed advice on how to go about it. The Rabbi gave him a very peculiar answer. “Take a feather pillow into the street, and release its feathers in every direction.” The man was perplexed, but his resolve was firm to do as he was advised and change his life. After doing as he was told he returned to the Rabbi. “Now what should I do?” he asked. “Go back into the street and collect all of the feathers to the very last one,” was the astounding reply. Again the man made his way into the street and began the daunting task. At his wits end he returned to the Rabbi dejected reporting his inability to keep his last words of advice. “Remember,” said the Rabbi, “that your words are like those feathers. Once they leave your mouth they never return. Make sure the words you allow out are ones you won’t have to go chasing after!”

Shemini

Thursday, 12th April 2018

One of the unkosher birds listed in this week’s Torah portion (11:19) is the "Chasida - the stork". 
 
Rashi says that it is called Chasida from the word "Chosid - pious". Rashi explains, the reason for this is that the stork does Chessed (righteous deeds) with its friends and it shares its food source rather than hoard it for itself. 
 
When it comes to the mouse however, the Jerusalem Talmud (Bava Metzia 3:5) describes it as a “Rasha - wicked” because it not only eats the homeowner’s food it also calls its friends to eat. 
 
Why the unbalanced treatment between the two of these generous creatures? 
 
Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky answers that the Chasida’s food comes from Hefker (un-owned) property, it is not taking from anyone else. However, the mouse steals his food from people’s homes. 
 
Rabbi Kanievsky says that from here we learn an important lesson. If you do Chesed on someone else’s expense you aren’t a chossid of a man, you are a wicked mouse.
 

Pesach

Wednesday, 4th April 2018

Although Miriam sang the whole שירה - song with the women, the Torah only records that they sang one verse “שירו לה' כי גאה גאה סוס ורכבו רמה בים". Why is this פסוק - verse particularly relevant to the women that it is used as the example for the שירה they sang?

Explains Rabbi Ferber as follows, Miriam saw through רוח הקודש that the whole reason for the Exodus was in order to receive the Torah, and this made the women feel very disappointed because they have no obligation in the study of Torah. 

However, the horse and rider (סוס ורכבו) in this verse comes to teach the women a fundamental lesson. What did the horse do wrong that it deserved to drown? Surely only the rider has sinned, and the horse is just an intermediary? The answer is that if the horse wouldn’t be there, the rider would be unable to chase the Israelites. Even though it doesn’t actually sin – it aids and abets the rider to chase – and therefore joins in his punishment.

It was exactly this lesson that Miriam was trying to portray to the women. If by assisting in carrying out a sin one is ‘blamed’ and receives joint punishment, then all the more so for doing positive actions, and especially for the study of Torah will you be ‘blamed’ and receive the same reward!!! Although the women were aware that the Exodus was in order to receive the Torah they weren’t so enthusiastic about it, until Miriam came and began the song with this verse, to teach them that they too have an enormous portion in their husband and sons’ learning.

Pesach

Tuesday, 27th March 2018

Pesach (Passover) is the classic example of a festival in which we eat, drink, and live the ideas that it represents. We modify our home environment by removing all leavened products, we change our diet to eat matzah. We refrain from working, and we transform a festive meal into a high-impact, super-charged educational experience – the Pesach Seder.

Why do we go to such lengths? Wouldn’t it be easier if we just spent some time thinking about the Exodus and the lessons it teaches? The following source answers this question.

Quoting from Sefer HaChinuch, Mitzvah #16 – A person is shaped and influenced by his actions. Therefore, Pesach involves many actions to ensure that the miracles of the Exodus and its lessons are imprinted permanently into our consciousness.

It is fitting for us to do symbolic actions [e.g. eating matzah, having a Pesach Seder and telling the story of the Exodus] that remind us of the tremendous spiritual heights we reached at the Exodus. Through these actions and symbols the experience of the Exodus is imprinted permanently into our consciousness.

A person is affected and shaped by his actions [more than by his thoughts alone]. A person’s thoughts and feelings follow after his actions, either for good or for bad …

For example, if a complete degenerate … will inspire himself and exert himself to study Torah and perform mitzvos – even for the wrong reasons, such as honour and prestige – he will still begin to change in a positive direction. His self-destructive tendencies (yetzer hara – evil inclination) will be weakened since he will be influenced by his positive actions.

And on the other hand, if a completely righteous and upstanding person, who exerts himself in Torah and mitzvos, will occupy himself with negativity and impurity all day long (for example, is someone forced him to do it), at some point he will turn into a degenerate. For even the strongest person is affected by his actions …

With this principle in mind – that a person is shaped by his actions – we understand the need for the many “mitzvos and actions” regarding remembering the Exodus and its miracles, for they are a central feature of the entire Torah.

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