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Kosherpages Updates

March 05 Kosherpages launches 

December 05 - KP goes national.

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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

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

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November 11 - The KosherPages Facebook group reaches 1,000 members

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Thursday, 12th August 2010

Yesterday - Wednesday - was the first day of the month of Elul.

The next 40 days, from yesterday, correspond to the 40 days that Moshe (Moses) spent on Har Sinai (Mt Sinai), to receive the 2nd set of Luchos (Tablets with the 10 commandments written on them).

Moshe came down with these Luchos on Yom Kippur. Ever since, these 40 days are especially auspicious for Teshuva (repenting).

The custom is to blow the Shofar (Ram's horn) after Shacharis (the morning prayers) from yesterday, until Tuesday 28th Elul (7th September), as a reminder to start improving one's Torah observance and to repent for past misdeeds.

On Erev (the day prior to) Rosh Hashana (the Jewish new year), the Shofar is not blown, in order to create a break between the custom of blowing Shofar in the month of Elul and the Torah-commandment to blow Shofar on Rosh Hashana.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:1, 2

When seeing the ocean

Thursday, 5th August 2010

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


Thursday, 29th July 2010

One does not say Tefilat HaDerech (the traveller's prayer) unless the trip is one Parsa (4 Km / 2.5 miles) long - outside the city.
Preferably Tefilat HaDerech should be said during the first Parsa of the journey.
If forgotten, Tefilat HaDerech can be said as long as one still has at least one Parsa to travel before one's destination city or overnight resting place.


Thursday, 22nd July 2010

 If possible, one should not travel more than 3 Parsa on Fridays, unless one is sure that Shabbos (Sabbath) preparations are ready at ones destination.

(A Parsa is either 4 KM, or the equivalent time to travel 4 KM by foot, which is assumed to be 72 minutes. Thus on Fridays one should not undertake trips longer than 3.5 hours unless one is sure that Shabbat preparations are ready at one's destination.)

It's important to plan one's trip such that even with unexpected heavy traffic one arrives at one's destination long before candle-lighting, so that one has time to wash before lighting.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 68:11


Thursday, 15th July 2010

Unless Moshiach (the Messiah) comes first, the fast of 9th of Av will start next week on Monday afternoon and will last for about 25 hours until after nightfall on Tuesday.

The fast of 9th of Av commemorates 5 tragedies that befell the Jewish people on that date:

It was decreed that the generation which left Egypt would remain in the desert for 40 years and not enter the land of Israel, after believing the inaccurate report of 10 of the 12 spies over 3,000 years ago.

The first Bet Hamikdash (Holy Temple) was destroyed on 9th of Av almost 2,500 years ago.

The second Bet Hamikdash (Holy Temple) was destroyed on 9th of Av about 1950 years ago.

The city of Betar was captured and tens of thousands of Jews were killed about 1,800 years ago.

The wicked Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the Bet Hamikdash  (Holy Temple) and its surroundings and renamed it Aelia Capitolina, about 1,800 years ago.

Since these tragedies occurred on 9th of Av, it was decreed as a day of fasting and mourning.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 121:5


Other tragedies that happened on 9 B'Av:

4,000 Jews were expelled from England by King Edward I in the year 5050 (18 July 1290).

300,000 Jews were expelled from Spain by Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon in the year 5252 (2 August 1492).

Word War 1 started in 5674 - 1 August 1914 - with Germany declaring war on Russia.



Thursday, 8th July 2010

From Rosh Chodesh Av (Sunday evening) until midday on 10th Av is the period known as the "9 days". The custom is to not eat meat and chicken and to not drink wine during the "9 days", except on Shabbos (Sabbath). Food cooked together with meat should not be eaten - even if one doesn't eat the meat. Those who need to eat meat (or drink wine) for health reasons may do so. If possible, even they should refrain (with the Doctor's permission) from the 7th of Av; the day the Romans entered the Bet Hamikdash (Temple). At a Se'udat Mitzva (a Mitzva meal), one may serve meat and wine. Besides for close family, one may invite up to 10 friends who one would normally invites. 

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 122:8

May one get engaged in the three weeks?

Thursday, 1st July 2010

We learned that the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) started on 17 Tammuz 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 one may even celebrate with a festive meal, but without music. 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. 

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 122:1

Washing when travelling

Thursday, 24th June 2010

Even when travelling, you needs to wash both hands with a cup of water before eating bread.

If there's water within 4 Km in the direction you travelling, or 1Km behind, then you have to go wash your hands properly.

If you are scared to leave your travelling companions, or if you cannot find water to wash before eating bread, you can cover your hands or wear gloves.

Tefilas HaDerech

Wednesday, 16th June 2010

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).

Waking up parents

Thursday, 10th June 2010

It is forbidden to wake up your parents even if it is going to cause you a major monetary loss.

However if your parents are going to suffer a monetary loss and this will upset them, then you must wake them up.


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