Newletter Parashat Shemot

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Q & A on Parashat Shemot

  1. Why does the verse say "And Yosef was in Egypt?"
  2. "…And they will go up out of the land." Who said this and what did he mean?
  3. Why did Pharaoh specifically choose water as the means of killing the Jewish boys? (Two reasons.)
  4. "She saw that he was good." What did she see "good" about Moshe that was unique?
  5. Which Hebrew men were fighting each other?
  6. Moshe was afraid that the Jewish People were not fit to be redeemed, because some among them committed a certain sin. What sin?
  7. Why did the Midianites drive Yitro's daughters away from the well?
  8. How did Yitro know that Moshe was Yaakov's descendant?
  9. What lesson was Moshe to learn from the fact that the burning bush was not consumed?
  10. What merit did the Jewish People have that warranted G-ds promise to redeem them?
  11. Which expression of redemption would assure the people that Moshe was the true redeemer?
  12. What did the staff turning into a snake symbolize?
  13. Why didn't Moshe want to be the leader?
  14. "And Hashem was angry with Moshe…" What did Moshe lose as a result of this anger?
  15. What was special about Moshe's donkey?
  16. About which plague was Pharaoh warned first?
  17. Why didn't the elders accompany Moshe and Aharon to Pharaoh? How were they punished?
  18. Which tribe did not work as slaves?
  19. Who were the: a) nogsim b) shotrim?
  20. How were the shotrim rewarded for accepting the beatings on behalf of their fellow Jews?
  21. All references are to the verses and Rashis commentary, unless otherwise stated.
  1. 1:5 – This verse adds that despite being in Egypt as a ruler, Yosef maintained his righteousness.
  2. 1:10 – Pharaoh said it, meaning that the Egyptians would be forced to leave Egypt.
  3. 1:10,22 – He hoped to escape Divine retribution, as G-d promised never to flood the entire world. Also, his astrologers saw that the Jewish redeemer's downfall would be through water.
  4. 2:2 – When he was born, the house was filled with light.
  5. 2:13 – Datan and Aviram.
  6. 2:14 – Lashon hara (evil speech).
  7. 2:17 – Because a ban had been placed on Yitro for abandoning idol worship.
  8. 2:20 – The well water rose towards Moshe.
  9. 3:12 – Just as the bush was not consumed, so too Moshe would be protected by G-d.
  10. 3:12 – That they were destined to receive the Torah.
  11. 3:16,18 – "I surely remembered (pakod pakadeti)."
  12. 4:3 – It symbolized that Moshe spoke ill of the Jews by saying that they wouldn't listen to him, just as the original snake sinned through speech.
  13. 4:10 – He didn't want to take a position above that of his older brother, Aharon.
  14. 4:14 – Moshe lost the privilege of being a kohen.
  15. 4:20 – It was used by Avraham for akeidat Yitzchak and will be used in the future by mashiach.
  16. 4:23 – Death of the firstborn.
  17. 5:1 – The elders were accompanying Moshe and Aharon, but they were afraid and one by one they slipped away. Hence, at the giving of the Torah, the elders weren't allowed to ascend with Moshe.
  18. 5:5 – The tribe of Levi.
  19. 5:6 – a) Egyptian taskmasters; b) Jewish officers.
  20. 5:14 – They were chosen to be on the Sanhedrin.


Halachot from Maran Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Ztz'l

 נטילת ידים בחדר בית המרחץ

שאלה: האם מותר ליטול ידים לסעודה בחדר האמבטיא או בבית הכסא?

תשובה: מרן השלחן ערוך (סימן ד) פסק, שהיוצא מבית הכסא צריך נטילת ידים. ומרן החיד"א כתב, שהוא משום רוח רעה השורה על הידים, ושכן מבואר בזוהר הקדוש. ועל פי זה כתב שאפילו אם נכנס לבית הכסא ולא עשה שם צרכיו וגם לא נגע בבשרו, מכל מקום, מיד בכניסתו שורה עליו רוח רעה, וצריך ליטול ידיו.

אלא שבבית המרחץ שלנו (אמבטיה) אין הדין כן, והנכנס לשם אינו צריך ליטול ידיו. ומרן רבינו עובדיה יוסף זצ"ל (הכ"מ) בספרו שו"ת יביע אומר (ח"ג סימן א) הביא ראיות רבות לדבר, ושכן מוכח ממה שאמרו בגמרא במסכת שבת (מא.) שמותר לשתות מהמים שהיו בתוך בית המרחץ. ואילו היה חשש "רוח רעה" בבית המרחץ, לא היו מתירים לשתות שם כלל, שהרי רוח רעה שורה על אוכלין ומשקין שנמצאים שם. אלא ודאי, בבית המרחץ אין רוח רעה כלל. ולכן גם אין מניעה ליטול שם ידים, ולנגבם מחוץ לחדר האמבטיה לאחר שיברך.

ובשו"ת יביע אומר חלק שביעי (סימן כז), הביא מרן רבינו זצ"ל עוד סברא להקל בדבר, שכן חדרי האמבטיה שבזמנינו, אינם מיוחדים רק לרחיצת הגוף, אלא רגילים לעשות שם גם תשמישים אחרים, ומניחים שם דברים למשמרת. ומטעם זה אין זה בגדר מקום ששורה בו רוח רעה. והביא ראיות לדבריו.

וכל זה בחדר אמבטיה שאין שם שירותים. אבל כשיש שם שירותים, אין להתיר ליטול שם ידים, אלא אם כן בשעת הדחק. ואף על פי שיש פוסקים שסוברים שחדרי שירותים של זמנינו אין להם דין בית הכסא משום שהם נקיים תמיד, מכל מקום לכתחילה יש להחמיר בזה, שלא ליטול ידים שם, ורק כשאין לו מקום אחר לנטילת ידים, יכול להקל ליטול ידים אף בבית הכסא, ויברך על נטילת ידים בחוץ לפני הניגוב.

ולסיכום: חדר אמבטיה שאין שם שירותים, מותר ליטול בתוכו ידים. ויברך על הנטילה בצאתו משם לפני שינגב. ואם יש שם שירותים, לא יטול שם את ידיו. ורק בשעת הדחק שאין כשאין אפשרות אחרת, רשאים ליטול שם ידים, הן לסעודה והן לנטילת הבוקר.

Washing One’s Hands in the Restroom

Question: Is it permissible to wash one’s hands (Netilat Yadayim) in the restroom or shower room?

Answer: Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 4) rules that one who exits the restroom requires Netilat Yadayim. Maran Ha’Chida writes that this is because of the evil spirit which rests on one’s hands. The holy Zohar states likewise. Based on this, he writes that even if one enters the restroom and does not use the facilities or touch concealed parts of one’s body, one must nevertheless wash his hands as a result of the evil spirit which rests on them upon one’s exit from the restroom.

Nevertheless, this law does not apply to shower rooms in our times; one who enters such a room does not need to wash his hands. Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosefzt”l (in his Responsa Yabia Omer, Volume 3, Chapter 1) brings several proofs to support this matter, especially from the fact that the Gemara (Shabbat 41a) allows drinking water that was in a bathhouse. Were there to be a concern of an “evil spirit” in the bathhouse, drinking there would be forbidden for an evil spirit would rest on any food or beverage in the bathhouse. Rather, there must not be any evil spirit in a bathhouse at all. There is therefore no issue with washing one’s hands in a shower room and then to dry them outside the shower room following recitation of the blessing.

In his Responsa Yabia Omer, Volume 7, Chapter 27, Maranzt”l cites another reason for leniency regarding this matter which is that shower rooms nowadays are not designated only for showering and bathing; rather, other things in this room as well as well as the room being used for storage. For this reason, such a room does not retain an evil spirit. He proceeds to support this with several sources.

All of the above applies only to a shower room which does not contain a toilet; however, if it does contain a toilet (in which case it will no longer be called a “shower room” but by its more common name, “bathroom”), one may not act leniently and wash his hands there unless it is a pressing situation. Although some Poskim rule that bathrooms nowadays are not halachically considered “lavatories” because they are constantly kept clean, one must nevertheless act stringently and not performNetilat Yadayim there. Only if one has no other place to wash his hands may one wash them within a bathroom after which one must exit, recite the “Al Netilat Yadayim” blessing, and then dry one’s hands.

Summary: One may wash one hands (Netilat Yadayim) inside a shower room which does not contain a toilet. One should recite the blessing outside of this room before drying one’s hands. If there is a toilet in this room, one should not wash his hands there. Only in a pressing situation where there is no other choice may one wash his hands in a restroom. This applies to both the morning hand-washing and washing one’s hands for a bread meal.



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