Newsletter Shabbat Devarim – Shabbat Nachamu



Insights & Explanation 

of the Kinnot 


Rabbi Stamler 

on Tisha BeAv 

throughout Shacharit


Children’s Tehilim straight after Musaf

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Q & A on Parashat Devarim

  1. How do we see from the beginning of Parshat Devarim that Moshe was concerned for the Jewish Peoples honor?
    1:1 Moshe mentions only the names of the places where the Jewish People sinned, but does not mention the sins themselves.
  2. How much time elapsed between leaving Mt. Sinai and sending the spies?
    1:2 – 40 days.
  3. Moshe rebuked the Jewish People shortly before his death. From whom did he learn this?
    1:3 – From Yaakov, who rebuked his sons shortly before his death.
  4. Why did Moshe wait until he had smitten the Amorite kings before rebuking the Jewish People?
    1:4 So that no one could say, "What right has he to rebuke us; has he brought us into any part of the Land as he promised?"
  5. What were some of the achievements that resulted from the Jewish People "dwelling" at Mt. Sinai?
    1:6 – They received the Torah, built the mishkan and all its vessels, appointed a Sanhedrin, and appointed officers.
  6. Why does the Torah single out the names of the avot in connection with the giving of the Land?
    1:8 – Each of the avot possessed sufficient merit for the Jewish People to inherit the Land.
  7. What did Moshe convey to the Jewish People by saying: "You today are like the stars of the Heavens"?
    1:10 – They are an eternal people, just as the sun, moon and stars are eternal.
  8. "Apikorsim" (those who denigrate Talmud scholars) observed Moshes every move in order to accuse him. What did they observe, and what did they accuse him of?
    1:13 They observed the time he left home in the morning. If Moshe left early, they accused him of having family problems (which drove him from his home). If he left late, they accused him of staying home in order to plot evil against them.
  9. Moshe was looking for several qualities in the judges he chose. Which quality couldn't he find?
    1:15 – Men of understanding.
  10. Moshe told the judges, "The case that is too hard for you, bring it to me." How was he punished for this statement?
    1:17 – When the daughters of Tzelofchad asked him a halachic question, the law was concealed from him.
  11. Why did Moshe describe the desert as great and frightful?
    1:19 – Because the Jewish People saw huge, frightening snakes and scorpions in the desert.
  12. Which tribe was not represented among the spies?
    1:23 – Levi.
  13. Which city did Calev inherit?
    1:36 – Hebron.
  14. How many kingdoms was Avraham promised? How many were conquered by Yehoshua?
    2:5 – Avraham was promised the land of ten kingdoms. Yehoshua conquered seven. The lands of Moav, Ammon and Esav will be received in the time of the mashiach.
  15. Why were the Jewish People forbidden to provoke Ammon?
    2:9 – This was a reward for Lots younger daughter, the mother of Ammon, for concealing her fathers improper conduct.
  16. Why were the Jewish People not permitted to conquer the Philistines?
    2:23 – Because Avraham had made a peace treaty with Avimelech, King of the Philistines.
  17. How did Hashem instill the dread of the Jewish People into the nations of the world?
    2:25 – During the battle against Og, the sun stood still for the sake of the Jewish People, and the whole world saw this.
  18. Why did Moshe fear Og?
    3:2 – Og possessed merit for having once helped Avraham.
  19. Who was instrumental in destroying the Refaim?
    3:11 – Amrafel.
  20. What was the advantage of Reuven and Gad leading the way into battle?
    3:18 – They were mighty men, and the enemy would succumb to them.



Halachot from Maran Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Ztz'l


דינים השייכים ליום תשעה באב

תשעה באב אסור בחמישה דברים. אכילה ושתיה, רחיצה, וסיכה (סיכה פירושה לסוך את הגוף בשמן, או למרוח קרם גוף וכדומה), נעילת מנעלי עור, ותשמיש המיטה. וכן אסרו חכמים ללמוד תורה ביום תשעה באב, לפי שדברי תורה משמחים את הלב. ואין לעסוק אלא בספר איוב, ובנבואות החורבן שבספר ירמיה, וכן במדרשים השייכים לחורבן, ובהלכות אבילות וכיוצא בזה. וכן מותר ללמוד בספרי מוסר המעוררים את האדם לשוב בתשובה ולהטיב את מעשיו.

ואין אוכלים בערב תשעה באב, אלא עד סמוך לשקיעת החמה. ומשקיעת החמה חלה חובת חמישה עינוים אלו שהזכרנו.

אסור לרחוץ במים בתשעה באב, בין במים חמים בין במים צוננים, בין כל גופו בין מקצת גופו, ואפילו להושיט אצבעו במים אסור. לפיכך, ביום תשעה באב בבוקר, יטול ידיו עד קשרי אצבעותיו בלבד (דהיינו שישים מים רק עד מקום חיבור האצבעות לכף היד), ונוטל שלוש פעמים לסירוגין כדרך שנוטלים כל השנה, ויברך על נטילת ידים. וכן ינהג כשיוצא מבית הכסא, שיטול ידיו רק עד קשרי אצבעותיו.

לא ירחץ פניו בתשעה באב בבוקר, אלא לאחר שינגב ידיו, כשהן עוד לחות, יעבירם על גבי עיניו, ואם יש לו לפלוף ליד עיניו, או לכלוך אחר, מותר לרחוץ המקום המלוכלך. ומי שהוא מקפיד על נקיותו, ואין דעתו מיושבת עליו כשאינו רוחץ את פניו בבוקר, מותר לו לרחוץ את פניו בבוקר תשעה באב.

כלה, כל שלושים יום מיום חתונתה, מותרת לרחוץ את פניה במים, כדי שלא תתגנה על בעלה.

בהלכות שבעה עשר בתמוז הזכרנו, שמי שהדבר קשה לו מאד להמנע מצחצוח שיניים ביום התענית בבוקר, רשאי להקל לצחצח את שיניו, באופן שיזהר לבל יבלע שום טיפת מים, וכן יזהר שלא יכניס לפיו שיעור רביעית מים (שמונים ואחת מ"ל מים) בבת אחת. אולם בתשעה באב אין להקל בזה, אלא אם כן יש לו צער גדול בלי זה, או שסובל מריח רע מפיו, שאז יכול להקל בזה בתנאי נוסף, שיזהר מאד להוריד את פיו למטה, כדי שלא יבואו המים לגרונו. (וביום הכפורים אין להקל בדבר).

Laws Pertaining to Tisha Be’av

There are five categories of abstinence which must be observed on Tisha Be’av: Eating and drinking, washing one’s self, rubbing one’s body with oils or lotions, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Our Sages also prohibited learning Torah on Tisha Be’av, for the words of Torah gladden the heart. The only portions of Torah that one may delve into on Tisha Be’av are the book of Iyov (Job), the prophecies regarding the destruction of the Temple in the book of Yirmeya (Jeremiah), the portions of Midrash and Talmud regarding the destruction of the Temple, the laws of mourning, and the like. One may likewise learn Mussar works which arouse one to repent and humble the heart.

On Erev Tisha Be’av, one may only eat until several minutes before sunset. The five categories of abstinence we have mentioned above take affect beginning from sunset.

One may not wash one’s body on Tisha Be’av with either hot water or cold; this applies to one’s entire body or even just partially. One may not even stick one’s finger into water (for pleasure). Thus, on the morning of Tisha Be’av, one should wash one’s hands (“Netilat Yadayim”) only until one’s knuckles the way one washes the rest of the year, i.e. three times on each hand while alternating hands, and then recite the blessing of “Al Netilat Yadayim.” After using the restroom, one should wash one’s hands the same way, only until the knuckles.

One should not wash one’s face on the morning of Tisha Be’av; rather, after washing one’s hands, before drying them while they are still wet, one may rub them over one’s eyes. If one has eye residue or any other filth in or around one’s eyes, one may wash the affected area. If one is extremely concerned about one’s personal hygiene and does not feel at ease with himself without washing one’s face in the morning, one may indeed do so on the morning of Tisha Be’av.

A new bride who is still within thirty days of her marriage may wash her face on the morning of Tisha Be’av so that she does not become repulsive to her husband.

Regarding the fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz (and other such public fasts), if it is extremely difficult for one to abstain from brushing one’s teeth on the morning of the fast, one may act leniently and brush one’s teeth while taking care not to swallow even a drop of water. Additionally, one must take care not to put a “Revi’it” (81 ml, approximately 2.7 fluid oz.) of water into one’s mouth at once. Nevertheless, on Tisha Be’av one should not act leniently unless one  will suffer immensely without doing so or if one suffers from bad breath, in which case, one may indeed act leniently on the condition that one tilts one’s mouth downwards in order that the water not reach one’s throat (in addition to the aforementioned conditions). One may not rely on this leniency on Yom Kippur though.



Shabbat Shalom

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