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March 05 Kosherpages launches 

December 05 - KP goes national.

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January 07 - 1st B2B tradeshow

January 08 - 1st Kosher Lifestyle Show

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September 08
- Launch of new film review section

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November 08 - Launch of new Medical Blog By Dr. Martin Harris

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Selichos

Friday, 15th September 2017

The prevalent Minhag (custom) amongst Ashkenazic Jewry is to begin reciting Selichos(a series of penitential prayers and liturgy - prayers for forgiveness and mercy)from the Sunday morning before Rosh Hashana, unless Rosh Hashana falls out on a Monday or a Tuesday, in which case Selichos begins a week earlier, as we require at least four days of Selichos before Rosh Hashana.
 
The reason for this requirement: Since a Korban (sacrifice) in the Bais Hamikdash (Temple) required four days of examinations to ensure it was blemish-free and acceptable for the Mizbeach (altar), so too each Jew should consider themselves as a Korban on Rosh Hashana and be ready to sacrifice themselves in atonement before Hashem (G-d), and thus utilize these four days (or more) to examine their deeds and do Teshuva (repentance) for their sins and thus be pure when approaching Hashem on Rosh Hashana.

Excel in one Mitzva

Thursday, 7th September 2017

Let us excel in one Mitzva

Doing Teshuva - repenting - is a Mitzva mentioned in the Torah.

Even though Hashem – G-d -  is prepared to accept our Teshuva all year round, the days from Rosh Chodesh Elul (this year 1stSeptember) until Yom Kippur (this year 12th October) are an auspicious period for improving one's ways.

This period dates back to when Moshe Moses) went up to Har (Mount) Sinai to receive the second set of Tablets; Moshe went up on Rosh Chodesh Elul and returned 40 days later on Yom Kippur with the second set of Tablets.

At the very least let us choose one Mitzva or Halacha to improve on, during this period.

Choti U'Machti

Thursday, 31st August 2017

One of the harshest sins imaginable is to be a "Choti U'Machti", a sinner who causes other Jews to sin as well. 

Chazal - our Sages - teach us that one who is a Choti U'machti forfeits his portion in Olam Haba - the world to come!

One who caused another Jew to sin along with them, must not only do Teshuva - repentence - for his own sin but must also try to get the other person to do teshuva as well.

Elul

Thursday, 24th August 2017

During Elul one gets ready for the upcoming Days of Judgement (Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur) with a three-pronged approach:

1. Teshuva; repenting. Improving one's Mitzva observance.

2. Tefilla; praying. Asking Hashem for help and praising and thanking Him for being good to us.

3. Tzedakah; giving charity to those less fortunate than ourselves.

In order to pray properly, one needs to understand what one is saying. If one is not fluent in Hebrew, one should get a Siddur and Machzor with an English translation.

One should remember that one is praying - talking - to the One Above. If one's thoughts wander during prayers one should pause and recollect one's thoughts.

Checking Mezuzos and Tefillin

Thursday, 17th August 2017

Some people have the custom to get their Tefillin (phylacteries) and Mezuzos checked yearly during the month of Elul.

At the very least one should check ones Mezuzos twice every 7 years.

Tefillin that are used daily, do not need to be checked unless they get wet. However, one should check them every few years since they do wear out eventually.

Tefillin that are only used occasionally should be checked twice every 7 years.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:3, 11:25, 10:26

Brachot

Wednesday, 9th August 2017

When seeing the ocean one says the Bracha (Blessing) of "Baruch... Oseh Ma'aseh Breishith" - "Blessed... Who makes the work of creation".

ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם

עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֶׂה בְּרֵאשִׁית

When seeing mountains that are famous for their height one says the same Bracha.

These Brachot (Blessings) can only be said if one hasn't seen the ocean or that specific mountain for 30 days; excluding the day one last saw it and excluding the day of the current sighting.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 60:5, 12

Tefilas HaDerech

Tuesday, 1st August 2017

One usually says Tefilas HaDerech (traveller’s prayer) only once a day.

If one arrives at one's final destination for the day, and subsequently decided to take another trip, then one says Tefilas HaDerech again.

One who travels through the night says Tefilas HaDerech on the second day without the final Brocho (Blessing).

The Nine Days

Thursday, 27th July 2017

The severity of the prohibitions of the 'three weeks' increase for the last 'nine days' from Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av through Tisha B'Av and increase even further for the actual week in which Tisha B'Av falls.

During the nine days we do not eat meat or poultry, and we don't drink wine. 
 
However, if someone is ill (this includes a mother of a newborn or similarly ill individual) and meat will make them feel better, he/she may eat meat. However, If possible, the ill person should abstain from meat from the 7th of Av (the day the idol worshippers entered the inner sanctuary of the Temple) until after Tisha B'Av
 
The prohibition against eating meat does not apply on Shabbos or at a Seudas Mitzvah (e.g. Bris, Pidyon Haben, and Siyum on a tractate of Talmud) 
 
There is a discussion in the commentaries whether one may eat leftover meat and meat dishes from Shabbos on Motzaei Shabbos (Saturday night) and Sunday. The prevalent custom, based on the consensus of most contemporary commentaries is to be stringent with this. 
 
Regarding the cup of wine at Havdalah, according to many commentaries it is best to have a child drink it.  If no child is available, the one who recited Havdalah may drink it.

The month of Av

Wednesday, 19th July 2017

The Mishna (Ta'anis 26a) States "Mishenichnas Av M'ma'atin B'simcha, When the Month Of Av Enters We Diminish our Expressions Of Simcha (happiness).

Some commentaries Go So Far As To Say That Not Only Must We Diminish Our Simcha, We Must Refrain From It Altogether. 

Of Course This Does Not Mean We Should Be Depressed, As A Jew Should Never Be Depressed, Rather It Means We Must Feel The Pain And Sadness Of The Destruction Of The Holy Temple, And Do Our Part To Try And Hasten The Geulah (Redemption). 

While Davening (praying) And Learning And During The Performance Of Mitzvos We Are Still Obligated To Do It With Simcha.

The three weeks

Thursday, 13th July 2017

The destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh (Temple) started on 17 Tammuz (this year 23rd July) with the breaching of the walls, and ended 3 weeks later when it was set alight.

During this period of mourning, we do not get married.

Getting engaged is permitted during the 3 weeks.

Until Rosh Chodesh Av (this year Thursday night 4th August) one may even celebrate with a festive meal, but without music and dancing. After Rosh Chodesh Av one may not have a festive meal, but one may serve refreshments.

One may even get engaged on a fast day, but no food may be served.

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