Newsletter Parashat Balak – Taanit Shiva Asar Betamuz

Announcements

Taanit Shiva Asar Betamuz (Nidche)

Sunday 1st July

Taanit begins at 1:13 am

Shacharit 8:00 am

Mincha 7:30 pm

Shekia 9:40 pm

Nightfall 10:46 pm

Taanit finishes at 10:46 pm

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SHABBAT

Shabbat Times

לוח זמני תפלה לקיץ תשע"ח

Summer Timetable 5778 2018

מוצאי שבת

ערבית

)מוצ"ש(

סוף זמן קראת שמע

זמן שבת

פלג מנחה (לבוש)

מנחה וקבלת שבת

תאריך

שבת פרשת

Shabbat

Ends

Arbit

Shema to be read before

Candles to be
lit by

Earliest Candle lighting

Minha & Kabbalat Shabbat*

Date

Parasha

PM

PM

AM

PM

PM

PM

 

 

10:58

10:50

8:58

9:26

7:56

7:40

29/30 June

בלק

 

*    For those not in synagogue, but wishing to bring in Shabbat with the community, candles should be lit about 30 minutes after the time listed for Minha and Kabbalat Shabbat. (Unless the time listed in the ‘latest candle lighting’ column is earlier, when candles should be lit by that time, in all cases.)

Mincha 6:00 pm

Followed by Shiur

Children’s Tehilim straight after Musaf

Anyone wishing to donate a Kiddush Please email Moorlanenews

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Q & A on Parashat Balak 

All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated

  1. Why did Moav consult specifically with Midian regarding their strategy against the Jews?
    22:4 – Since Moshe grew up in Midian, the Moabites thought the Midianites might know wherein lay Moshe's power.
  2. What was Balak's status before becoming Moav's king?
    22:4 – He was a prince of Midian.
  3. Why did G-d grant prophecy to the evil Bilaam?
    22:5 – So the other nations couldn't say, "If we had had prophets, we also would have become righteous."
  4. Why did Balak think Bilaam's curse would work?
    22:6 – Because Bilaam's curse had helped Sichon defeat Moav.
  5. When did Bilaam receive his prophecies?
    22:8 – Only at night.
  6. G-d asked Bilaam, "Who are these men with you?" What did Bilaam deduce from this question?
    22:9 – He mistakenly reasoned that G-d isn't all-knowing.
  7. How do we know Bilaam hated the Jews more than Balak did?
    22:11 – Balak wanted only to drive the Jews from the land. Bilaam sought to exterminate them completely.
  8. What is evidence of Bilaam's arrogance?
    22:13 – He implied that G-d wouldn't let him go with the Moabite princes due to their lesser dignity.
  9. In what way was the malach that opposed Bilaam an angel of mercy?
    22:22 – It mercifully tried to stop Bilaam from sinning and destroying himself.
  10. How did Bilaam die?
    22:23 – He was killed with a sword.
  11. Why did the malach kill Bilaam's donkey?
    22:33 – So that people shouldn't see it and say, "Here's the donkey that silenced Bilaam." G-d is concerned with human dignity.
  12. Bilaam compared his meeting with an angel to someone else's meeting with an angel. Who was the other person and what was the comparison?
    22:34 – Avraham. Bilaam said, "G-d told me to go but later sent an angel to stop me. The same thing happened to Avraham: G-d told Avraham to sacrifice Yitzchak but later canceled the command through an angel."
  13. Bilaam told Balak to build seven altars. Why specifically seven?
    23:4 – Corresponding to the seven altars built by the Avot. Bilaam said to G-d, "The Jewish People's ancestors built seven altars, but I alone have built altars equal to all of them."
  14. Who in Jewish history seemed fit for a curse, but got a blessing instead?
    23:8 – Yaakov, when Yitzchak blessed him.
  15. Why are the Jewish People compared to lions?
    23:24 – They rise each morning and "strengthen" themselves to do mitzvot.
  16. On Bilaam's third attempt to curse the Jews, he changed his strategy. What was different?
    24:1 – He began mentioning the Jewish People's sins, hoping thus to be able to curse them.
  17. What were Bilaam's three main characteristics?
    24:2 – An evil eye, pride and greed.
  18. What did Bilaam see that made him decide not to curse the Jews?
    24:2 – He saw each tribe dwelling without intermingling. He saw the tents arranged so no one could see into his neighbor's tent.
  19. What phrase in Bilaam's self-description can be translated in two opposite ways, both of which come out meaning the same thing?
    24:3 – "Shatum ha'ayin." It means either "the poked-out eye," implying blindness in one eye; or it means "the open eye", which means vision but implies blindness in the other eye.
  20. Bilaam told Balak that the Jews' G-d hates what?
    24:14 – Promiscuity.

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Halachot from Maran Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Ztz'l

  ימי "בין המצרים"

הימים שבין שבעה עשר בתמוז לבין תשעה באב, נקראים ימי "בין המצרים" על שם הפסוק (במגילת איכה פרק א פסוק ג) "כל רודפיה השיגוה בין המצרים", ואמרו רבותינו זכרונם לברכה, שְאֵלוּ הימים שבין שבעה עשר בתמוז לתשעה באב, שבהם נכנסו האויבים לירושלים עיר קדשנו ותפארתנו, ופרעו פרעות בישראל, עד יום תשעה באב שבו החריבו את בית המקדש בעוונות הרבים, ומאז ועד היום עם ישראל אינו יושב בטח, ותמיד קמים עליו אויבים מבית ומחוץ. ואף על פי שזכינו תהלות לאל עליון, לחזור לארץ קדשינו בצורה יחסית חופשית, עדיין לא זכינו לגאולה שלימה, כי בית חיינו חרב, ואומות העולם מציקות לעם ישראל יום יום, והצרות תוכפות יותר ויותר. ועל הכל, מבחינה רוחנית, שאנו רחוקים מאד מהגאולה האמיתית, עד שישוב ה' וירחם על נחלתו, וישוב לגאול אותנו גאולה שלימה, גאולת עולמים.

דרגות האבלות בימים אלה, ושבוע שחל בו תשעה באב השנה
בהלכות הקרובות נבאר את דיני "בין המצרים". ודינים אלו מחולקים. שמיום י"ז בתמוז ועד ראש חודש אב, נוהגים מעט מנהגי אבלות. ומיום ראש חודש אב, מוסיפים על מנהגים אלה עוד מנהגים אחרים. ולאחר מכן בשבוע שחל בו תשעה באב, נוהגים מנהגי אבלות נוספים.

ובשנה זו (תשע"ח ) אין לנו דינים השייכים לשבוע שחל בו תשעה באב, משום שתשעה באב יחול השנה בשבת, וידחה ליום ראשון. ולפיכך כל דיני שבוע שחל בו תשעה באב אינם נוהגים בשנה זו. כמו שפסק מרן השלחן ערוך (סימן תקנא). ורק האשכנזים נוהגים להחמיר בכמה דינים כבר מראש חודש אב, וכמו שנבאר בעתו ובזמנו בעזרת ה'.

תיקון חצות
מכיון שימי "בין המצרים" הם ימי אבל לעם ישראל, נוהגים בהם כמה מנהגי אבל, וחסידים ואנשי מעשה נוהגים לומר "תיקון חצות" אחר חצות היום בימי בין המצרים. (חצות היום, היינו, שמחלקים את הלילה, מהשקיעה עד הזריחה לשתיים, והנקודה האמצעית, היא "חצות" הלילה, מלשון "מחצית", ובאותה השעה ביום, הוא זמן חצות היום. ובהרבה לוחות שנה מופיעה זמן חצות היום, או חצות הלילה, שהוא שווה לזמן חצות היום), ואומרים "תיקון רחל" שבו פסוקים של בכי וצער על חורבן בית המקדש, ומנהג זה הוא מנהג ותיקין, והביאו מרן החיד"א בספרו מורה באצבע, וכתב שכן נהגו בארץ ישראל על פי דברי רבינו האר"י ז"ל, וכן כתב עוד בספרו שו"ת יוסף אומץ. וכתב שנוהגים לומר "תקון רחל", משום שתקון רחל מיוסד על בכיה ומספד על חורבן הבית. והביא עוד מדברי רבינו האר"י שכתב שמנהג טוב וכשר לכל בעל נפש לישב באבילות אחר חצות היום בכל ימי בין המצרים, ולבכות בכיה ממש על חורבן הבית. עד כאן. ובודאי שעל ידי אמירת תיקון חצות יתעורר כל אחד להצטער על חורבן בית המקדש וכל הצרות שבאו עלינו ועל אבותינו מתוך הגלות המרה הזו.

וכן נוהג מרן הרב עובדיה יוסף , לעורר את הצבור לומר תקון חצות בזמן חצות היום בימי בין המצרים. (ותיקון רחל מודפס בסידורים). וכן היו נוהגים לאמרו בישיבת "פורת יוסף" בירושלים. ויש נוהגים לומר "תיקון חצות" בכל ימות השנה בחצות הלילה, ותבא עליהם ברכה

 

The Seventeenth of Tammuz and the “Three Weeks”

The Period of the “Three Weeks”

The three week period between the Seventeenth of Tammuz and the Ninth of Av is dubbed by our Sages “Between the Straits,” based on the verse (Eicha 1, 3), “All of her enemies overtook her between the straits.” Our Sages tell us that these three weeks between the Seventeenth of Tammuz and the Ninth of Av are when our enemies entered the holy city of Jerusalem and massacred countless Jewish people until the Ninth of Av when they finally succeeded in destroying the Holy Temple. From that day on, the Jewish people no longer dwell securely and we must endure enemies attacking us from the outside as well as within. Although, thank G-d, we have merited returning to the holy land relatively freely, we have nevertheless not yet merited the ultimate redemption, for our Bet Hamikdash still lies in ruins, the nations of the world are constantly on the offensive against the Jewish nation, and our tragedies multiply exponentially every day. We are indeed very spiritually distant from the final redemption and we hope and pray that Hashem pities us and redeems us once and for all, speedily in our days. 


The Levels of Mourning during this Period and the Laws of the Week during which Tisha Be’av Falls Out This Year

In the following Halachot we shall, G-d-willing, discuss the laws of the “Three Weeks.” There are various degrees of mourning observed during this period: From the Seventeenth of Tammuz until Rosh Chodesh Av, few mourning customs are observed. From the day of Rosh Chodesh Av, some more mourning customs are added. During the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out, even more mourning customs are observed. 

This year, 5778, the laws of the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out do not apply, for the Ninth of Av falls out this year on Shabbat; the fast of Tisha Be’av is thus postponed until Sunday. For this reason, all of the laws pertaining to the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out do not apply this year based on the ruling of Maran HaShulchan Aruch (Chapter 551). Nevertheless, Ashkenazim do adopt certain stringencies beginning from Rosh Chodesh Av as we shall, G-d-willing, discuss when the time comes. 

Reciting “Tikun Chatzot”

Since these days are a time of mourning for the Jewish nation, we customarily observe some customs pertaining to mourning. Pious and upstanding people customarily recite “Tikun Chatzot” (Psalms and prayers related to the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash) after Halachic mid-day during the “Three Weeks” (Halachic mid-day is calculated by splitting the night time hours between sunset and sunrise and the mid-point is Halachic midnight. The exact same time during the day is Halachic mid-day. Many Jewish calendars state either only Halachic midnight or mid-day since they are in essence the same time.) “Tikun Rachel,” which includes verses that lament the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash, is recited. Maran HaChida in his works “Moreh Ba’Etzba” and “Yosef Ometz” writes that this is an ancient custom that was observed in Israel based on the words of the holy Arizal. He writes that the custom is to recite “Tikun Rachel” because it is based on weeping and lamentation for the destruction of holy Temple. He adds in the name of the Ari who writes that it is a worthy custom to sit and mourn after the Halachic mid-day every day during the “Three Weeks,” including shedding actual tears for the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash. Through reciting “Tikun Chatzot,” one will surely be moved to tears because of the sorrow of the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash and all of the other suffering we and our forefathers have endured during this long and arduous exile. 

Maran Harav Ovadia Yosef z'l indeed encourages his congregation to recite “Tikun Chatzot” after Halachic mid-day during the period of the “Three Weeks.” (“Tikun Rachel” is printed in most Siddurim.) This was indeed the custom in Yeshivat Porat Yosef in Jerusalem. Some actually have the custom to recite “Tikun Chatzot” throughout the entire year after Halachic mid-night, and they shall indeed be blessed

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Shabbat Shalom


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