Thursday, April 17, 2008


שָׁמַעְתִּי שֶׁהָיוּ אוֹמְרִים: אַשְׁרֵי מִי שֶׁבָּא לְכָּאן וְתַּלְמוּדוֹ בְּיָדוֹ

Shomati she'hayu om'rim: Ashrei mi sheba le'kan ve'talmudo be'yado

"And I heard them saying: 'Fortunate is he who comes here and his learning is in his hand.'" (Pesachim 50a)

By My Rebbi’s table one Shabbos he brought up a question on this Gemara. What does it mean, “And his learning is in his hand?” We came up with a buncha answers. I don’t remember all of them but I’ll share with you the ones I do remember. They are as follows: 1- We should be learning Torah “al me’nas la’asos” meaning not just for the sake of learning, but for the purpose of changing our way of life to conform to what Hashem wants, which is the best possible lifestyle for us. So "talmudo be'yado" means that wherever you go you “bring your learning with you” i.e. you employ it into your everyday life. 2- Be'yado means in your hand. Something that is in your hand is right in front of you. You can use it and give it out or show it to someone on a moment’s notice. The Gemara could be telling us that fortunate is he who makes such a kinyan on his Torah (I’m assuming through intense chazara) that he can whip it out at any moment since it’s so fresh and clear in his mind. [The Maharsha explains that "in his hand" refers to the chiddushim that a Torah scholar writes down. Thus, fortunate indeed is the scholar who records his Torah thoughts, for his primary learning, -and that which makes the greatest impression on him - occurs when he writes down those works. That is why Talmidei Chachamim are called Sofrim, scribes.] That’s all I can think of right now, but if anyone has anything they would like to share, please feel free to leave comments with other answers. Shkoy!
(Top picture courtesy of -Ohr Somayach)
(Middle picture courtesy of
(Bottom picture courtesy of

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sos Tasis

שׂוֹשׂ תָּשִׂישׂ וְתָגֵל הָעֲקָרָה בְּקִבּוּץ בָּנֶיהָ לְתוֹכָהּ בְּשִׂמְחָה. בָּרוּך אַתָּה ה' מְשַׂמֵּחַ צִיּוֹן בְּבָנֶיהָ

Sos tasis ve'sagel ha'akara bi'kibutz ba'neha le'socha be'simcha. Baruch Atah Hashem me'sameach tzion be'vaneha.

"The barren one should rejoice intensely and exalt at the ingathering of her children amidst her gladness. Blessed are You Hashem, Who gladdens Tzion through her children." (Kesubos 8a)

The "barren one" mentioned here, according to Rashi, is referring to Yerushalayim. The Meiri explains that the future joy of Yerushalyim is comparable to the joy of a Chosson and Kalla. We mentions the hardships of Yerushalayim at this happy moment of Sheva Brachos because, as Rashi explains, it says in Tehillim 137:5-6: "Im eshkacheich Yerushalyayim tishkach yemini. Tidbak le'shoni le'chiki, im lo ez'kireichi..." "If I forget Yerushalyim let my right hand forget its skill. Let my tongue stick to my palate..." The remembrance of Yerushalyim is brought up at this point in the order of the Brachos because the next Bracha is the first one that refers to the Chosson and Kalla as a couple (Meiri).
(Chosson and Kalla picture courtesy of
(Yerushalayim picture courtesy of

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Easily Find a Song...

Check out the "Song Index" on the right side to easily find a song by checking the date it was posted in the blog archive... (I think this will be a big help once there are lots more songs posted Be'Ezras Hashem)

Yamim Al Ye'mei Melech

יָמִים עַל יְמֵי מֶלֶךְ תּוֹסִיף, שְׁנוֹתָיו כְּמוֹ דֺר וָדֺר
Yamim al ye'mei melech tosif, sh'nosav kemo dor va'dor

"Days onto the days of the king may You add, may his years be like all generations." (Tehillim 61:7)

The Pashut explanation given by Rashi on this passuk is that Dovid Hamelech is asking Hashem that even if it has been decreed that he die young at the hand of his enemies, Hashem should remove that decree and grant him the full 70 years of every generation.
Rav Shimshom Refael Hirsch sees Dovid Hamelech's words in a greater scope. He is praying that days should be added to him far beyond the limited years of his life on this earth. He wishes that the example he sets through his every day life, a life filled with effort exerted towards closeness with Hashem which could be seen in his every action, should remain as an inspiration to mankind through all generations, forever. Thus, his earthly deeds will live on long after his physical self.
Our actions have profound consequences that we don't even know about. Especially as Bnei Torah, our actions are constantly scrutinized by everyone around us (besides for Hakadosh Baruch Hu- Who knows all of our actions and thoughts, Shene'emar: "Hayotzer yachad libam, ha'meivin el kol ma'aseihem," "He Who fashions together their hearts, Who comprehends all their deeds." (Tehillim 33:15) ). Let us set a good example through our actions; an example that will last forever.
(Dovid Hamelech picture courtesy of Cambridge University Library)
(Kiddush Hashem picture courtesy of
the shmuz)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Chaim Ve'Shalom

כִּי אֺרֶךְ יָמִים וּשְׁנוֹת חַיִים וְשָׁלוֹם יוֹסִיפוּ לָךְ
Ki orech yamim u'shnos chaim ve'shalom yosifu luch

"For they add to you length of days and years of life and peace." (Mishlei 3:2)

The Passuk that precedes this one reads: "My Child, do not forget My Torah, and let your heart guard My commandments." So we see that the Torah and Mitzvos add on years of life and peace to our lives. During my time in Israel this concept bothered me; I just couldn't understand it. Why would we want to be on this earth longer? If this world, as the Ramchal puts it, is just a corridor to the next world, then why wouldn't we just wanna be in the next world already? Why shouldn't we want to just bask in Hashem's presence asap?! After talking to a lot of people and thinking it through it finally made sense to me. True our ultimate goal is to be with Hashem in Olam Habba, but once we get there, that's it! No more accomplishing, no more growing, no more working on bringing ourselves closer, no more gaining more of a portion. We want the closest seat we can possibly get to "home plate" in Olam Habba! Why settle for anything less?
There is a story told of the Vilna Gaon. He was sitting on his death bed, crying, while clutching his Tzitzis. His talmidim asked him for an explanation. He replied: "Only in this world can you do Hashem's Mitzvos and gain reward and closeness with Hashem. Tzitzis cost but a few pennies, and with them, I can get endless reward. But in Olam Habba I can't get a pair of Tzitzis for all the money in the world!!" The Gaon is driving home a shtark point- we should take advantage of every second we have to bring ourselves closer to the Borei Olam by doing His will. And if we do this, then we are rewarded with longer life, so we can gain even more. CHAP ARINE!!!
(Tzitzis picture courtesy of

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

New Song Clips!!

Thanks to a friend we now have short audio clips of all the songs that are posted! Check it out on the right side...Now there is NO way you wont know what song I'm talking about. Just click on the song name and enjoy!

Monday, April 7, 2008


עָתִיד הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לַעֲשׂוֹת מָחוֹל לַצַּדִּיקִים, וְהוּא יוֹשֵׁב בֵּינֵיהֶם בְּגַן עֵדֶן; וְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מַרְאֶה בְּאֶצְבָּעוֹ זֶה ה' קִוִּינוּ לוֹ, הִנֵּה אֶלֺקֵינוּ זֶה; קִוִּנוּ לוֹ וְיוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ

Usid Hakadosh Baruch Hu la'asos machol la'tzaddikim, ve'hu yosheiv bei'neihem b'gan eden; ve'chol echad ve'echad mar'eh be'etzba'o "ze Hashem kivinu lo, hinei Elokeinu ze; kivinu lo ve'yoshi'einu."

"In the future the Holy One, Blessed is He, will make a circle of all the righteous people, and He will sit among them in Gan Eden; and each and every one will point with his finger (and say), 'This is Hashem to Whom we hoped; Behold! This is our G-d; we hoped to Him and He saved us'." (Taanis 31a- the song changes the order of the words a bit)

The word "מָחוֹל" has the same root letters as the word "מחל", forgive. The Gemara implies that in the future G-d will forgive all the sins of Bnei Yisrael, and that all of us will be privileged to join this circle. As it says in Yeshayahu (60:21): "...וְעַמֵךְ כֻּלָם צַדִיקִים" "And Your people are all righteous..." (Hagahos Yaavetz).
Hashem is our father. Just as a father always forgives and never abandons his children, al achas kama va'kama (how much more so) the same is true by Hakadosh Baruch Hu.
(Picture by Baruch Becker. Courtesy of

Friday, April 4, 2008


דִּלְגַבֵּי עַבוֹדַת הַיוֹם זָרִיז הוּא

De'legabay avodas hayom zariz hu

"...Because with regard to the service of the day he is conscientious." (Yuma 70b)

[This Gemara is talking about a Kohen's avoda. This opinion being quoted is claiming that even if a Kohen has a big work load earlier in the day, we can still trust that he will do his duty later on in the day because "with regard to the service of the day he is conscientious."]

On the topic of Kohanim: In Parshas Tazriyah, it talks about someone that gets a negah (affliction), that is possibly tzara'as, on their skin. The Torah tells us that this person must go to a Kohen, and once the Kohen checks it out and declares it to be tzara'as, then and only then is it considered to be tzara'as. B'derech agav (as an aside) this just shows the koach (strength) the Torah gives to Kohanim; that the affliction is considered to be absolutely nothing until the Kohen says his declaration. But getting back to the matter at hand- Why is it that Hashem tells us to go to a Kohen if we are stricken with potential tzara'as? What is the reason behind this system in which the Kohen, and only the Kohen, can establish that someone actually has tzara'as?
We know that before someone gets tzara'as on his body for saying Lashon Hara, Hashem sends him warnings. First the tzara'as goes on the guy's house, and then on his clothing. THEN, if the person is still persistent in his evil ways of not using his speech properly, Hashem strikes his body with tzara'as. So we are obviously dealing with a pretty evil guy here; someone very set in his ways of bad speech. So how do we break someone like this? How do we drill into a person like this that what he is doing is so terribly wrong?(it is so wrong that its brought down that Lashon Hara is k'neged all of the 3 yaharog ve'al ya'avors!!!) -So Hashem made a system in which the person will be so humiliated, it will shatter him to the core. By having to go to the Kohen, the most chashuv, holiest guy around, this person is filled with such busha (embarrassment) that it knocks him down, and drives him away from his wrongful ways of inappropriate speech. We should all be zoche to work extremely hard on perfecting our speech. (Heard from Rav Josh Rubenstien Shlita)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Previous Transliterations

Here are the transliterations of all the songs I posted before I heard about the mac problem:
(I hope it's good- I’m not a professional transliterator…)

(“ei” is pronounced like “ay” as in “day”)-(not like “ie” as in “Liech”-unless ur chassidish-Z!)

Yodu La’Hashem Chasdo
“Yodu la’Hashem chasdo; v’nifli’osav livnei adam. Ki-hisbiyah, nefesh shokeika; v’nefesh ri’eiva, milei Tov.”

Shoshanas Yaakov
“Shoshanas Yaakov tzahala v’sameicha, bir’osam yachad t’cheiless Mordechai. T’shu’asam hayisa lanetzach, v’sikvasam b’chol dor va’dor. Le’hodiyah, shekol kovecha lo yeivoshu, v’lo yikolmu lanetzach kol hachosim buch. Arur Haman, asher bikeish l’abdi, baruch Mordechai ha’yehudi. Arura Zeresh, eishes mafchidi, b’rucha Esther ba’adi, v’gam Charvona zachur latov.”

Anachnu Ma’aminim Bnei Ma’aminim
“Yisrael be’tach ba’Hashem, ezram u’maginam hu. Anachnu ma’aminim bnei ma’aminim, v’ein lanu al mi le’hisha’ein, elah al Avinu she’bashamayim.”

V’chol Asher Ya’aseh Yatzliyach
(Ki im be’Torahs Hashem cheftzo, ube’Torahso ye’he’ge yomam va’layla.) Ve’haya ke’eitz shasul al palgei mayim; asher piryo yi’tein bi’ito, ve’alei’hu lo yibol, ve’chol asher ya’aseh yatzliyach.”

Ben Bag Bag Omer
“Ben Bag Bag Omer: Hafoch ba va’hafoch ba, d’chola ba; uva te’chezei, ve’siv u’ve’lei ba, u’mina lo ti’zuah, she’ein lecha mida tovah hei’mena.”

Zochreini Nah
(Vayikra Shimshon el Hashem vayomer: ‘Hashem Elokim,) Zochreini na ve’chazkeini na ach hapa’am ha’zeh, haElokim, ve’inakma nikam-achas mi’shtei ei’nye mi’pilishtim.”

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Having trouble reading the Hebrew?

I've been told by a few mac users that they are having trouble reading the hebrew words on the posts. Normally I don't really care about mac users because they think they are better than everyone else(HA!), But seriously-I want them to get as much as they can out of the blog, just like any other "regular" person. So from now on, bli neder, I will do my best to transliterate the words so EVERYONE can understand.