Newsletter Parashat Behar Bechukotai

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This week is Parashat 
Behar – Bechukotai
חזקו ויאמץ לבבכם כל המיחלים לה׳




 Short outline for people who have Nachala 

  • The recitation of Kaddish. – unable to be done without a minyan.
  • Being Shaliach Tzibbur –  unable to be done without a minyan  .
  • The study or teaching of Torah – can be done without a minyan and advisable to learn mishnayot "Leiluy nishmat".
  • Lighting a candle in "menucha" of the deceased and any other sort of Mitzva  "Leiluy nishmat"  


Daily Shiur 
  Topic: Rabbi Stamler's Moor Lane Daily Shiur

Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet 8-8.05 pm

Learning 1 Halacha and 1 mmshna

Meeting ID: 743 6266 1737

  Avot Ubanim
Summer Term
in the comfort of your own home, 
you choose the times (and the nash)! 
3 lucky winners a week 
1st prize £5.00 + 2 prizes!!  
to enter the raffle learn for 30 minutes with each child 
between Erev Shabbat and Motsae Shabbat. 
Then text names of children to 
raffle on Monday TBA.  
Best wishes & for more information
R' David Shasha and Rafi Marshall.   
  The Sephardi Heritage Project  
Meeting – Sunday 17th May 2020

Daniela Weil will talk to us about the first public Jews in the Americas. After the Portuguese drove the Dutch from Brazil in 1654, some Jews travelled via the Caribbean to New Amsterdam, later New York. The product of five years research in the Americas and Europe, Daniela's new book, 'The Diary of Asser Levy: First Jewish Citizen of New York' has just been published.

The seminar will be on Sunday at 21:00 Israel time; 20:00 Paris/Amsterdam time; 19:00 London time; 14:00 EDT; and 11:00 PST.

Join us on Zoom at:

Meeting ID: 767 2699 0912      Password: 6XPyLz

Our first newsletter,containing links to websites discussed in our seminar on the Amsterdam archives, will be published soon. If you know anyone else who may be interested, please invite them to sign up at:

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Best wishes,

Ton Tielen and David Mendoza
The Sephardi Heritage Project


לוח זמני תפלה לקיץ תש"פ

Summer Timetable 5780 – 2020

מוצאי שבת



סוף זמן קראת שמע

זמן שבת

פלג מנחה (תה״ד)

פלג מנחה (לבוש)

מנחה וקבלת שבת


שבת פרשת




to be read before

to be
lit by


Candle lighting

& Kabbalat Shabbat



















15/16 May


For those not in the Bet Hakeneset, but wishing to bring in Shabbat with the Kahal, 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.


Q & A on Parashat Behar Bechukotai

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


  1. Why does the Torah specify that the laws of shemita were taught on Har Sinai?
    25:1 – To teach us that just as shemita was taught in detail on Har Sinai, so too, all the mitzvot were taught in detail on Har Sinai.
  2. If one possesses shemita food after it is no longer available in the field, what must he do with it?
    25:7 – Remove it from his property and declare it ownerless.
  3. The Torah commands, "You shall sanctify the fiftieth year." How is this done?
    25:10 – At the beginning of the year the Beit Din declares, "This year is kadosh (sanctified)."
  4. Which two "returns" are announced by the shofar during yovel?
    25:10 – The return of the land to its original owner, and the "return" (freedom) of the slave from slavery.
  5. From where does the yovel year get its name?
    25:10 – From the sounding of the shofar. A ram's horn is called a yovel.
  6. What prohibitions are derived from the verse "v'lo tonu ish et amito — a person shall not afflict his fellow"?
    25:17 – One may not intentionally hurt people's feelings, nor give bad advice while secretly intending to reap benefit.
  7. What is the punishment for neglecting the laws of shemita?
    25:18 – Exile.
  8. If shemita is observed properly, how long is the crop of the sixth year guaranteed to last?
    25:21,22 – From Nissan of the sixth year until Sukkot of the ninth year.
  9. After selling an ancestral field, when can one redeem it?
    25:24 – After two years following the sale, until yovel. At the beginning of yovel it returns to the family automatically.
  10. Under what circumstance may one sell ancestral land?
    25:25 – Only if one becomes impoverished.
  11. If a home in a walled city is sold, when can it be redeemed?
    25:29 – Only within the first year after the sale. Afterwards, even in yovel, it does not return.
  12. What does the word "days" mean in this week's Parsha?
    25:29 – The days of an entire year.
  13. What is considered a walled city?
    25:29 – A city that has been surrounded by a wall since the time of Yehoshua.
  14. Why does the Torah say in 26:46 "Torot" (plural) and not "Torah" (singular)?
    25:35 – A non-Jew who lives in Eretz Yisrael and accepts upon himself not to worship idols.
  15. To what is one who leaves Eretz Yisrael compared?
    25:38 – To one who worships idols.
  16. If a person says "The leg of this animal shall be an olah offering" the animal is sold and sacrificed as an olah offering. What is the status of the money received for the animal?
    25:38 – The prohibition against taking interest is accompanied by the phrase, "I am Hashem your G-d who took you out of Egypt." Rashi explains that just as Hashem discerned in Egypt between those who were firstborn and those who were not, so too will Hashem discern and punish those who lend with interest, pretending they are acting on behalf of others.
  17. List three prohibitions which demonstrate the dignity with which one must treat a Jewish indentured servant.
    25:39-43 –
    1.Do not make him perform humiliating tasks
    2.Do not sell him publicly
    3.Do not make him perform unnecessary jobs
  18. Who supports the family of the Jewish indentured servant during his years of servitude?
    25:41 – His master.
  19. If a Jew is sold as a servant to a non-Jew, does he go free after six years?
    25:54 – No. If he is not redeemed with money, he must wait until the yovel to go free.
  20. Where is it permitted to prostrate oneself on a stone floor?
    26:1 – In the Mikdash.


  1. To what do the words "bechukotai telechu" (walk in My statutes) refer?
    26:3 – Laboring in Torah learning.
  2. When is rain "in its season?"
    26:4 – At times when people are not outside (e.g., Shabbat nights).
  3. What is the blessing of "v'achaltem lachmechem l'sova" (and you shall eat your bread to satisfaction)?
    26:5 – You will only require a little bread to be completely satisfied.
  4. What is meant by the verse "and a sword will not pass through your land"?
    26:6 – No foreign army will travel through your land on their way to a different country.
  5. Mathematically, if five Jewish soldiers can defeat 100 enemy soldiers, how many enemy soldiers should 100 Jewish soldiers be able to defeat?
    26:4 – Two thousand.
  6. How much is "revava"?
    26:4 – Ten thousand.
  7. Which "progression" of seven transgressions are taught in Chapter 26, and why in that particular order?
    26:14,15 – Not studying Torah, not observing mitzvot, rejecting those who observe mitzvot, hating Sages, preventing others from observing mitzvot, denying that G-d gave the mitzvot, denying the existence of G-d. They are listed in this order because each transgression leads to the next.
  8. What is one benefit which the Jewish People derive from the Land of Israel's state of ruin?
    26:32 – No enemy nation will be able to settle in the Land of Israel.
  9. What was the duration of the Babylonian exile and why that particular number?
    26:35 – 70 years. Because the Jewish People violated 70 shemita and yovel years.
  10. How many years did the Jewish People sin in Israel up till the time the northern tribes were exiled?
    26:35 – 390 years.
  11. In verse 26:42, the name Yaakov is written with an extra "vav." From whom did Yaakov receive this extra letter and why?
    26:42 – In five places in the Torah, Yaakov's name is written with an extra "vav" and in five places the name Eliyahu is missing a "vav." Yaakov "took" these vavs as a pledge that Eliyahu will one day come and announce the redemption of Yaakov's children.
  12. What positive element is implied by the words "and I will bring them into the land of their enemies?"
    26:41 – G-d Himself, so to speak, will bring them into their enemies' land. This means that even when the Jews are in exile, G-d will supply them with leaders who inspire them to keep the Torah. This guards the Jews from assimilating into the host culture.
  13. In verse 26:42, why is the word "remember" not used in connection with the name of Yitzchak?
    26:42 – Because the image of Yitzchak's ashes (who was prepared to be brought as an offering) upon the altar is always before G-d.
  14. Why does the Torah say in 26:46 "Torot" (plural) and not "Torah" (singular)?
    26:46 – To teach that both the Written Torah and the Oral Torah were given to Moshe on Har Sinai.
  15. What happens when a poor person dedicates the value of a man to the Beit Hamikdash and doesn't have sufficient funds to fulfill his vow?
    27:8 – The person whose value was donated goes before the kohen, who sets the obligation according to the poor person's ability to pay.
  16. If a person says "The leg of this animal shall be an olah offering" the animal is sold and sacrificed as an olah offering. What is the status of the money received for the animal?
    27:9 – The money is "chullin," meaning it does not have "holy" status, except for the value of the animal's leg which does have "holy" status.
  17. If a person dedicates his ancestral field to the Beit Hamikdash and fails to redeem it before yovel what happens to the field?
    27:16 – It becomes the property of the kohanim who are on rotation at the beginning of yovel.
  18. Where must "ma'aser sheini" be eaten?
    27:30 – In Jerusalem.
  19. When a person redeems "ma'aser sheini" what happens to the food? What happens to the redemption money?
    27:31 – The food becomes permissible to him outside of Jerusalem. The redemption money must be brought to Jerusalem and used to purchase food to be eaten there.
  20. How does a person tithe his animals?
    27:32 – He passes them through a door individually and every tenth animal he marks with a rod smeared with red dye.

Halachot from Maran Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Ztz'l    

לפום צערא

שנינו בפרקי אבות (פרק ה משנה כב): "בן הא
הא (שם של חכם שהיה מן התנאים) אומר
לפום צערא אגרא".
כלומר, לפי גודל הצער – השכר. שבעולם הבא, כששוקלים את מעשי האדם, לדעת מהו השכר
המגיע לו, לא שוקלים את הדברים אך ורק לפי חשיבות המצוה, שאם היא מצוה גדולה, יקבל
שכר גדול, ואם היא מצוה "קטנה" יקבל שכר מועט, אלא שוקלים את כל הטורח
שהיה לאדם בכל מצוה ומצוה, שאם התגבר הרבה בכדי לכבוש את יצרו, יקבל שכר גדול על
מעשיו, ואם טרחתו היתה מועטת, גם שכרו מועט יותר

מעשה ביהודי סוחר, שנסע בעגלה למסחרו, ובהיותו בדרך,
השמים התקדרו בעבים, וירד שלג כבד
והאיש תעה מדרך השכל, כי המסילה
כוסתה בשלג, ואבד ממנו מנוס עד שעה מאוחרת בלילה

הרגיש האיש בעצמו שהוא עומד לקפוא מקור, החליט
לעזוב את העגלה, וצעד ברגל שעה ארוכה עד שראה אור נוצץ, והגיע לשם כל עוד נפשו בו.
וזה היה ביתו של הרב, שישב באותה שעה ושקד על תלמודו לפני האח המבוערת. וכשדפק
האיש על דלתו של הרב
מיהר הרב, קם ממקומו, וסידר עבורו
שמיכות חמות, ומשקה מהביל, והשיב את רוחו

בבוקר, כשקמו איש לדרכו, שאל האיש את הרב, אדוני
הרב, עינך הרואות את גודל צערי ועמלי בעולם הזה בכדי להביא טרף לביתי, מה עם העולם
הבא שלי, לכל הפחות יהיה לי עולם הבא

ענה לו הרב, מה תדבר?, אם
העולם הזה שאינו אלא כפרוזדור לפני העולם הבא, שהוא פלטרין של מלך, ואפילו כך אינך
מצליח להשיג לך שלוה עם כל הזמן שאתה משקיע למענו, קל וחומר העולם הבא, שאם
לא יטרח האדם בערב שבת, מה יאכל בשבת? וכי עולם הבא הוא הפקר? עליך לעמול, לקנות
תורה ומצות ומעשים טובים, ואז תקנה לך עולם הבא, כמו שאמרו, "קנה לו דברי
תורה, קנה לו חיי עולם הבא

וכן מובא במדרש, מעשה ברבי שמעון בן לקיש, שהיה
יושב ועמל כל היום כולו בתורה במערה אחת בטבריה. והיה סוחר כדים אחד, שהיה דואג
בכל יום להכין כד אחד מלא מים לרבי שמעון בן לקיש, בכדי שיהיה לו במה ליטול את
ידיו ולשתות

יום אחד, ישב עם רבי שמעון ואמר לו, רבי, הזוכר
אתה שהיינו אני ואתה הולכים לבית ספר אחד?, כלומר, הלא אנו חברי ילדות, האם זוכר
אתה?, הוסיף אותו סוחר ואמר לרבי שמעון, אתה זכית להיות חכם בתורה, ואני לא זכיתי,
התפלל עלי שיהיה חלקי עמך לחיי העולם הבא. אמר לו רבי שמעון בן לקיש, ומה אתפלל
עליך? הרי תבא לעולם הבא עם בני אומנותך, שכל איש ואיש אין מושיבין אותו לעולם הבא
אלא עם בני אומנותו

כלומר, לא תועיל ברכת רבי שמעון בן לקיש, על אדם
שאינו טורח לזכות בחיי העולם הבא
ומי שכל טרחתו היתה במסחר בכדים,
אף אם כל עסקו היה ביושר ובאמונה, לא ישב לעולם הבא, אלא עם סוחרי כדים כמוהו,
שהיה מסחרם באמונה, אבל לא היו אלא סוחרי כדים

וממעשיות אלו יש ללמוד מוסר השכל בפרט בזמנינו,
שכל אדם ואדם טורח כל היום כולו בפרנסתו ובהשגת כל עניני העולם הזה, ורק אחרי
עשרות בשנים, כשכבר תש כחו, הוא מתפנה מעסקיו, ורואה כי כילה ימיו לריק, ועתה אין
לו קנין רוחני, והוא לומד ומקיים מצות ברמה נמוכה, כילד בבית הספר. ולכן כל אדם
צריך להתעורר משנתו
ולהיות חרוץ במלאכתו, מלאכת שמים,
להזהר להתמיד בעלייה בעבודת ה', בקיום המצות ובקביעת עתים לתורה וללימוד ההלכה,
ובשכר זאת אל חי נעלם, יתן שכרו מושלם, לזכות לחיי העולם הבא, עם שאר נפשות
הצדיקים והחסידים

Reward Depends on Suffering

Our Sages teach us in Pirkei Avot (Chapter 5, Mishnah
22): “Ben Heh Heh (the name of one of the Tannaic Sages) says: Based on how
much one suffers is one rewarded.” In the World to Come, when one’s actions are
scrutinized to determine how much reward one deserves, one’s actions are not
only weighed based on the importance of the Mitzvah, i.e. if it is a great
Mitzvah one will receive great reward and if it is a “small” Mitzvah one will
receive less reward; rather, the difficulty one endured while performing every
single Mitzvah is weighed so that if one needed to garner much inner-strength
in order to overcome one’s evil inclination, one’s reward will be great whereas
if one troubled himself only minimally, one’s reward will also be minimal.

A story is recounted about a certain Jewish businessman
who was once travelling by wagon to do business. While on the way, the sky
darkened and a heavy snow fell causing this man to lose his way, for the road
was completely covered with snow; he traveled off the beaten path until it was
finally very late at night.

The man felt as though he was beginning to become
frostbitten so he decided to leave his wagon and he started trekking by foot
for many long hours until he saw some light in the distance and when he arrived
at this house, he was barely alive. This happened to have been the house of the
rabbi who was up late at night studying Torah by candlelight. When the rabbi
heard the knock at the door, he quickly let the man in and prepared him warm
blankets and a steaming beverage to restore him to health.

In the morning when the men were about to part ways, the
businessman turned to the rabbi and told him, “Honored rabbi, you can clearly
see how much suffering I must endure in order to sustain my family, what shall
be with my share in the World to Come? Will I have a share in it?”

The rabbi answered, “What do you mean? If in this world,
which is considered only the entrance hall before the World to Come which is
considered the King’s palace you have difficulty attaining peace and
tranquility with all of the efforts you invest in it, how much more so
regarding the World to Come, if one does not prepare on Erev Shabbat, what
shall one eat on Shabbat? Do you think that the World to Come is a free ride?
You must toil to acquire Torah, Mitzvot, and good deeds in order to secure your
place in the World to Come, as our Sages taught, ‘If one has acquired Torah, he
has acquired himself eternal life.’”

A similar concept is brought down by the Midrash that
Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish would sit and toil in Torah all day long in a certain
cave in Teveria (Tiberias). There was a certain jug merchant who would make
sure to prepare a jug of water for Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish every day so that he
would be able to purify his hands and drink.

Once, this merchant sat with Rabbi Shimon at which point
he asked him, “Rabbi, do you remember that we were childhood friends and we
even studied in the same school? While you have merited becoming an outstanding
Torah scholar, I have not. Please pray for me that I should share in your share
in the World to Come!” Rabbi Shimon replied, “How can I pray for you? Your
share in the World to Come will be with members of your own trade, for in the
World to Come, every person is seated with the other members of his own trade,”
meaning that the blessing of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish would not help someone who
did not strive to acquire himself a great share in the World to Come. Even one
who is a jug merchant and whose business is run with integrity and honesty will
only merit sitting in the World to Come with other honest jug merchants, but
jug merchants nonetheless.

From the above incidents one can learn an important
lesson, especially for our days, in that every person struggles every day to
earn a living and reach other materialistic goals and only after a few decades,
when one is already old and weak, does one free himself from his prior
dealings, at which point he realizes that all of his materialistic pursuits
were for naught and he is devoid of any spiritual assets and his Torah learning
and Mitzvot observance are at a low level, like a schoolboy. Thus, every person
must arouse himself from his slumber and work diligently in the work of Heaven
and always be certain to ascend in levels of service of Hashem through
fulfilling the Mitzvot and setting established times for Torah study
(especially Halacha). In this merit, Hashem will reward one handsomely and
grant one a generous share in the World to Come together with all of the
righteous and pious souls of Israel.


Shabbat Shalom

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