Newsletter Shavuot

Moor Lane Logo New Best.JPG
Wishing all members & friends
חג שמח ומועדים לשמחה
Shavuot Time Table
attached to this email
1) ערוב תבשילים – Eruv Tavshilin
2) Repeat Keriat Shema at Nightfall
3) שהחיינו in קידוש – BOTH nights
4) יעלה ויבא in Amida & Birkat Hamazon
5) Be aware of important times (see timetable) 
a) Shema & Amida – latest times
b) Shekia – Sunset
c) מנחה before Shekia  
d) ערבית after Pelag Hamincha
6) אזהרות – Azharot 
7) מגילת רות
8) הדלקת נרות on Yom Tov should be light 
from an existing light candle
9) ברכת הלבנה on Motzae Shabbat
10) מנהגים
a) stay up and learn all night
b) decorate house with flowers
  c) eat dairy products 
(careful with meat products)  

(*) The following are the parts of Tefilah

that can ONLY be recited with a Minyan:

Kaddish, Barechu, Repitition of Amidah, 

Kedusha (Nakdishach or Keter), 

Birkat Kohanim, 

Torah reading 

(however one
should read the 

weekly, shabbat or yom tov portions 

from a printed text 

without the berachot of the Torah)

Remember to prepare
Halacha tell us that it is forbidden to cook from Yom Tov to Shabbat. Even though Friday is Yom Tov and we are allowed to cook according to the Halachot of Yom Tov, but one would not be allowed to prepare the food on Friday for the Friday night Shabbat, unless one prepared Eruv Tavshilin on Erev Shavuot, which this year would be Thursday. Thursday before the holiday, Halacha says; you take a slice of Matzah that at least has the shiur of a kezayit and you take a hard boiled egg, and make sure its cooked well, and you place them on the side, and you make the Beracha,
ברוך אתה ה' אלוקינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על מצות עירוב  
 “Asher Kidishanu Bemitzvotav Vitsivanu Al Mitzvat Eruv”, 
and then you recite; “Biden Eruva….”, 
 בדין יהא שרי לן לאפויי ולבשולי ולאטמוני ולאדלוקי שרגא ולמעבד כל צרכנא מיום טוב לשבת
 "With this Eruv it should be permitted for us to bake, cook, insulate food, light a candle, and do any need from Yom Tov for Shabbat". 
One must understand what one is saying and if one doesn't understand the Aramaic one should say it in a language one understands.  
So Eruv Tavshilin is vital in order to make those preparations.  

The Fundamentals of Staying Up All Night, and The Laws
of Birchot Hashachar for the Morning After 
It is
the custom to stay up all night on the night of Shavuot, and study Torah.
There’s a famous story that happened in the times of Maran (Rabbi Joseph ben
Ephraim Caro 1488-1575), where he and some of his colleagues stayed up on the
night of Shavuot, and in the middle of the night a voice came out of the
heavens, and expressed how much pleasure and how much happiness, and how much
enjoyment, their learning was giving the heavens. But, the heavenly voice said,
if you would have had a Minyan, if you would have had 10 men, then already it
would have been on a different level. Maran relayed this story over the next
stay, and it’s brought down by the Shelah, that the next night, he went with 10
people. They stayed up 2 nights in a row, and they learnt. And the voice came
down again, and gave them an approval, that they were giving great enjoyment.
So you see, that night has a special place in Shamayim for the studying.

The custom is to read the Tikun, as is written the book Kerie Moed. We
shouldn’t belittle these Minhagim even though a lot of it is just pesukim
(sentences), and just reading,
because, these Pisukim were picked specifically
in order to make the Tikun of that night. Of course, after the Tikun is read,
which takes about 2-3 hours, depending on how fast or slow you read it, then of
course you have the rest of the night to study Gemara and to study other
Limudim (studies).

One should make every effort to keep the Minhag, and to rest a little before Shavuot
starts. But we have to explain this Minhag in the proper light. It can’t be
that the custom was to stay up all night and then sleep theall day the next
day. So then what would we have gained over here? We simply turned the night
into day, and the day into night. The explanation obviously was, that
in the
day they stole from their sleep, they didn’t sleep the whole afternoon, only a
few hours in order to get strength, and then they came back to the Bet Midrash
and continued to study. That obviously was the Minhag.

Regarding when we get up in the morning, or when we pray Shacharit that morning
of Shavuot after staying up all night. We have to make
Birkat Ha’Torah again.
Even though we didn’t sleep, Birkat Ha’Torah is renewed at Amood Hashachar. So
at dawn, as posted in the calendars for the day of Shavuot, we say Birkat
Ha’Torah again.

We further explain that in the morning of Shavuot, we make Birkat Ha’Torah
after Alot Hashachar, however, we do not make Netilat Yadayim with a Beracha if
we stayed up all night. You can wash your hands but Netilat Yadayim is said
without Shem U’malchut. 

Regarding Asher Yatzar, it depends. If you went to the bathroom then you make
Asher Yatzar. And if you don’t
go the bathroom then you don’t make Asher
Yatzar. Regarding all the other Birchot Hashachar, on the morning of Shavuot-
we make


Aseret haDiberot – The Ten

is the minhag of all Jews from North Africa, as well as our
brothers, the Ashkenazim, to stand up during the reading of the ‘aseret
 on Shavu’ot, Parashat Yitro, and Perashat va-Ethanan.[1] Ribi
Shalom Messas zt”l[2] writes that we stand in order to stir feelings of
fear and trepidation, as we felt at Har Sinai. However, this minhag has
been disputed amongst some halachic authorities.

The Gemara (Berachot 12a) relates that at
sunrise, the Kohanim would call out the ‘aseret hadiberot together
with the shema’:

“Ribi Yehuda said in the name of Shemuel:
They even wanted to call out the ‘aseret hadiberot by the borders, but this
decree was nullified because of the claims of the heretics (Qaraim). Rashi
explains that they were worried that the heretics will tell the ignoramus that
the reason they call out only the ‘aseret hadiberot and the shema’ is because
they only read out what Hashem told us from His “mouth” at Har Sinai, whilst
the rest of the Torah is not true.”


Following this line of reasoning, Rambam
zt”l[3] writes not to stand for the ‘aseret hadiberot because
the heretics will claim, “we only attribute importance to these ten misvot as
they are the only ones that are true; the rest of the Torah is not true,” has
. E”H Hacham ‘Ovadia Yosef s”t[4] and e”H Hakham
Yishaq Yosef s”t[5] share the opinion that we should not stand
during the ‘aseret hadiberot as per Rambam’s response.
Yemenite Jews, along with those of ‘Edot haMizrah (Middle
Eastern communities)also do not have the minhag to
stand during the reading of the ‘aseret hadiberot.[6]  However,
this minhag existed even before Rambam and the question is:
Why did Rambam make such a decree against it? And why do the majority of Jews today
continue to follow this minhag, which seemingly contradicts
Rambam’s pesaq?


The reason we continue to follow
this minhag, is because the heretics back then at the time of the
Rambam were much different then the heretics of today because the heretics of
today do not make any such claims.[7] Ribi Shalom Messas zt”l[8] is
also of this opinion and explains further that whether we were to remain seated
or we stood during the ‘aseret hadiberot it would not change
the perception of the heretics; either way they would find ways to deny the
Torah.Also, it is clear that since we continue to read the remainder of the
Perasha – and not solely the ‘aseret hadiberot – there is no
reason to worry about such claims.[9] Furthermore, Maran haHida
zt”l[10] explains that since we make berachot before and
after each ‘aliya laTorah – and not just the ‘aliya of
the ‘aseret hadiberot – we have no worry that the heretics
will make a claim that the rest of the Torah is untrue. However, Maran haHida
zt”l[11] cautions us to stand from the beginning of the ‘aliya in
order to show that we stand for other pesuqim as well. He also
adds that it is very important that if the majority of the qahal (congregation)
is standing, one should NOT sit, as this shows as if they are belittling
the ‘aseret hadiberot, h“v. Nonetheless, Ribi Yishaq Hazan
zt”l[12], Ribi Yossef Messas zt”l[13], and Ribi Refael Berdugo zt”l[14] all say that the
common minhag is to stand only once we reach the ‘aseret
 for we are not concerned about the claims of the heretics.


Summary:There are posqim,
such as Rambam zt”l and e”H Hakham ‘Ovadia Yosef s”t, who prohibit
standing during ‘aseret hadiberot for fear of the heretics’
claims. The majority of posqim are not concerned with these
heretics’ claims for various reasons and thus permit standing. Each one should
follow the minhag of the synagogue regarding which point to

The minhag in K K Shaare Tefila, Moor Lane is to stand during the Aseret Hadiberot

[1] Divré
Shalom ve-Emet
 Volume 2, pp. 72-3; Sefer Mamlekhet Kohanim brings
down that this is also the minhag in Djerba and mainland
Tunisia; Noheg Behokhma, pp. 143); QS”A Ribi
 zt”l pp. 137; Yehavé Da’at– Ribi Yishaq Hazan
zt”l (Volume 3, O”H, Siman 13); Maté Yehuda– Ribi Yehouda
‘Ayash zt”l, (Siman 1:6); Devar Shemuel – Ribi Shemuel Abuhab
zt”l (Siman 276); Kapé Aharon (Siman 39); Sdé Hemed,
[Kelalé Haposqim (Siman 5:14)]

[2] Shemesh
, (Volume 1, O”H, Siman 57, pp. 130-1)

[3] In
his handwritten responsa that was compiled along with approximately 367 other
responses in 1934. (Siman 46)

1:29; 6:8           

[5] Yalqut
, (Volume 2 pp. 198, Hilkhot Sefer Torah)

[6] Divré
Shalom ve-Emet:
 Volume 2, pp. 73

[7] Rav
Moshé Feinstein’s zt”l response, Igerot Moshé (Volume 4, O”H,
Siman 22)

[8] Shemesh
, (Volume 1, O”H, Siman 57, pp. 130-1); (Volume 3, O”H,
Siman 55 (3))

[9] Magen
 (Siman 1, pp. 53-4): Diné Hasqamat Baboqer.

[10] Ledavid
 (Siman 7:5)

[11] Tov
, Siman 11

(Volume 3, Siman 13)

[13] Osar
 (Volume 3, pp. 1859)

of Ribi Refael Berdugo, pp. 174


  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.   



 YOUTH minyan for Shachrit EVERY DAY
All welcome 
Please say Korbanot on your own. 
Hodu at 8:20am
Meeting ID: 305 561 402 Password: 18
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


The Sephardi Heritage Project 

Meeting – Sunday 31st May 2020
Jacob Marrache has at a young age already established a reputation as an expert on Moroccan Jewish genealogy. Many people believe it is virtually impossible to research the Sephardim of North Africa and the Middle East. In this talk, Jacob will discuss the multiple sources he uses for helping families trace their history.

Many Moroccan Jews migrated to Israel, France and South America in the 20th Century. There were earlier migrations to Gibraltar, the Netherlands, England, Portugal and the New World.

Topic: Introduction to Jewish Genealogy in Morocco
Time: May 31, 2020 07:00 PM London

Join at:

Meeting ID: 857 2525 1949
Password: 318487

People without an internet connection can call in by 'phone, but obviously won't see the slides! Find your local number:

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We are re-branding ourselves as Sephardic World! Look out for future messages from Sephardic World!

Best wishes,

Ton Tielen and David Mendoza
Sephardic World




 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"  


Halachot from Maran Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Ztz'l    

חג השבועות

נאמר בפרשת מתן תורה,
"ויסעו מרפידים ויבאו מדבר סיני, ויחנו במדבר, ויחן שם ישראל נגד ההר".
(שמות יט

חיים בן עטר, ה"אור החיים" הקדוש הקשה, שהרי בפסוקים שקודם לכן כבר נאמר
"לצאת בני ישראל מארץ מצרים, ביום הזה באו מדבר סיני",
ואם כן לכאורה, מדוע כפלה התורה וכתבה שוב "ויחנו במדבר", הרי ברור הדבר
שאם הגיעו למדבר גם חנו שם, ואם כן מה באה ללמדינו התורה בדבר זה

האור החיים הקדוש, כי פסוק זה בא ללמדינו שלשה עיקרים בקבלת התורה, שמבלעדי שלשת
הדברים הללו אי אפשר היה לקבל את התורה, ועל ידם נתרצה הקדוש ברוך הוא לתת לבני
ישראל את התורה

"ויסעו מרפידים", שקודם קבלת התורה
, היו עם ישראל ברפיון ידים ועצלות גדולה, כדרכם של
עבדים משוחררים, ואף על פי כן הם הכינו עצמם והתגברו על מדותיהם הטבעיות, לקבל את
התורה בזריזות ובחשק, וקבלו על עצמם שלא להתעצל בלימוד התורה. כי כך טבע הדבר
בלימוד התורה, שדברי תורה צריכים חיזוק כל העת, ולכן התורה טורחת בכל פעם שהיא מזכירה
ענין לימוד התורה, לתת תוספת חיזוק, כמו שנאמר "לא ימוש ספר התורה הזה מפיך,
והגית בו יומם ולילה, הלא צויתיך חזק ואמץ", וכן על זה הדרך
. ולפיכך הוצרכה התורה
לציין "ויסעו מרפידים", שהיו נרפים מאד, ברפיון ידיים
, ואף על פי כן זרזו עצמם
לקבלת התורה בחשק ושמחה
, ו"יסעו"
מאותו הרפיון שהיה להם קודם לכן. שזהו עיקר גדול ותנאי לזכות לכתרה של תורה

השני, "ויבאו מדבר סיני ויחנו במדבר", שהכוונה בזה שהגיעו עם ישראל
למדרגה רוחנית שהיא בבחינת מדבר, שהכל דשין ודורכין עליו, והוא מקום הפקר לכל
, כמו כן ישראל הגיעו למצב
של ענווה ושיפלות רוח, כי מבלעדי זה אי אפשר לזכות לתורה, כי אין התורה שורה על
גסי הרוח, ועל כן משה רבינו זכה שהוא יקבל את התורה, לפי שהוא היה סמל ואות למופת
של ענוה גדולה שלא היה עוד כמותה. גם לא ניתנה התורה אלא על ההר הנמוך שבהרים, הר
סיני, כי אין השכינה שורה על גסי הרוח וגבהי הלב, ורק בזכות הענוה זכו ישראל לכתר

השלישי, "ויחן שם ישראל כנגד ההר", אשר כמו שפירשנו כבר, לשון
"ויחן" הוא לשון יחיד, מפני שעם ישראל באותו הזמן היתה בינהם אחדות
גדולה, כאיש אחד בלב אחד, וגם זה הוא תנאי גדול לזכות לתורה, כי אין קבלת התורה רק
ליחידים שבישראל, אלא דוקא לכל כלל ישראל יחד, ועל כן התורה צריכה תמיד להיות
נלמדת בציבור, ואמרו רבותינו "חרב אל הבדים", חרב אל אותם שלומדים בד
בבד, כלומר לבדם, כי אין אדם זוכה לישרות בתורה, אלא כשהיא נלמדת עם עוד אדם,
שיעיר את תשומת לב חבירו כשהוא טועה בלימוד. (ואחר שידע כבר את עיקרי לימוד התורה
בדרך נכונה, יוכל ללמוד לבדו מתוך ספרי האחרונים, אשר גם על ידי העיון בהם יוכל
לעמוד על טעותו), ואשרי העם שהם באים בליל שבועות ללמוד תורה בציבור
, במקום שהשכינה שורה בו,
אשר על כגון זה נאמר "ויחן שם ישראל כנגד ההר", כי כאיש אחד, זכו לקבל
את התורה, וכמו כן אנו, נזכה לאורה של תורה, משאת חיינו, בזכות ענוה ושפלות רוח,
לקבל מהגדולים מאיתנו את האמת, ולהודות תמיד על האמת, ולהשתדל כמה שאפשר להיות
באחדות גדולה, שמתוך כך תשרה עלינו השכינה הקדושה, ונזכה לכתרה של תורה

The Holiday of Shavuot

Regarding the giving of the
Torah, the Torah states (Shemot 19): “And they travelled from Refidim and they
arrived at the Sinai desert and they camped in the desert; and Israel camped
there opposite the mountain.” 

Rabbeinu Chaim ben Atar, the saintly “Or Ha’Chaim,” asks that in the previous
verses the Torah states, “On the third month of the Jewish nation leaving
Egypt, on this day they had come to the Sinai desert.” If so, why does the
Torah repeat the fact that they “camped in the desert”? Is it not clear that if
they arrived at the desert that they camped there as well? What does the Torah
mean to teach us by writing this? 

The saintly Or Ha’Chaim explains that the Torah is trying to convey to us three
key principles regarding receiving the Torah without which accepting the Torah
would have been impossible and because of which Hashem decided to give us the

The first is “Travelling from Refidim” (in Hebrew, “Refidim” is similar to the
word “Rifyon” meaning laxity) before the giving of the Torah, for the Jewish
nation experienced great carelessness and lethargy as all freed slaves do and
even so, they prepared themselves and overcame their natural character-traits
in order to be able to accept the Torah in a zealous and energetic manner by
accepting upon themselves not to become lazy in their Torah learning. This is
indeed the natural course of Torah learning that the Torah needs strengthening
and recommitment at all times. It is for this reason that any time the Torah mentions
learning Torah, the Torah adds a boost of encouragement as the verse states,
“This Sefer Torah shall not budge from your lips and you shall delve in it day
and night etc. have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous?” The Torah
therefore needed to point out that they “travelled from Refidim,” for they had
truly been slacking off, but even so they had energized themselves to accept
the Torah with desire and joy and they had thus “travelled away” from the
laxity they possessed beforehand, for this is a great principle and important
condition for meriting receiving the Torah’s crown. 

The second principle is “And they arrived at the Sinai desert and they camped
in the desert.” This means that the Jewish nation reached the lofty level
wherein they made themselves like a desert which is ownerless and everyone
walks through and tramples on. Similarly, the Jewish nation reached a high
level of humility and submissiveness, for without doing so, one cannot merit
accepting the Torah as the Torah does not identify itself with the arrogant. It
is also for this reason that Moshe Rabbeinu was the one chosen to receive the
Torah, for he served as an outstanding symbol of extreme humility, the likes of
which the world had never seen. Additionally, the Torah was given only on the
lowest of mountains, Mount Sinai, for Hashem’s presence does not rest on the
arrogant and the haughty and only because of their humility did the Jewish
nation merit receiving the crown of Torah. 

The third principle is “And Israel camped there opposite the mountain.” The
Torah uses the singular form of the word “camped” in order to teach us that the
Jewish nation was completely unified at that time, like one man with one heart.
This also serves as an important condition in order to receive the Torah, for
the Torah was not given to individuals among the Jewish nation; rather, it was
given to the entire nation as one. It is for this reason that the Torah must be
read in public. Indeed the verse states, “May a sword be to the loners” referring
to those who learn Torah alone, for one cannot merit having a correct
understanding of the Torah unless he learns with someone else who will be able
to bring the errors he has made in his learning to his attention. (Once one
masters the principles for how to properly learn Torah, one may then learn from
the works of the Acharonim alone, for by delving in them one will likewise be
able to realize if he has erred.) Praiseworthy is the nation whose people come
together to learn Torah on the night of Shavuot in a place where the holy
presence of Hashem rests. Regarding this does the verse state, “And Israel
camped there opposite the mountain,” for they merited receiving the Torah as
one. May we likewise merit gleaning from the eternal light of the Torah by virtue
of our true humility through accepting the true interpretation of the Torah
from those greater than us and admitting that their interpretation is indeed
true. Let us try our very best to always be completely unified, for this will
cause Hashem to rest His holy presence on us and we will thereby merit
receiving the crown of the Torah




נאמר בתורה
(שמות יט, אודות זמן מתן תורה), "בחודש השלישי לצאת בני ישראל מארץ מצרים,
ביום הזה באו מדבר סיני

רבותינו במדרש
(פסיקתא) הקשו, ומדוע לא ניתנה תורה לישראל עד החודש השלישי (כלומר
סיון, שהוא השלישי לחודשי השנה לפי מנין התורה) וחיכה הקדוש ברוך הוא עד החודש
השלישי? אמר רבי לוי, משל לבן מלך שהיה חולה ונתרפא, בקשו לשלוח אותו ללימודים,
אמר להם המלך, עדיין לא חזר זיו פניו אליו, ואיך יוכל ללמוד? אלא יתעדן שני ושלשה
חודשים במאכל ומשקה, ואחר כך יחזור ללמוד

כך עם ישראל,
כיון שיצאו ממצרים, היו ראויים לקבל את התורה, אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא, עדיין לא בא
זיון של בני משיעבוד טיט ולבנים והם מקבלים את התורה? אלא יתעדנו בני שנים ושלשה
חודשים באכילת המן ובשליו, ואחר כך יקבלו את התורה
. ואימתי? בחודש

חסד גדול עשה ה'
יתברך עמנו שנתן לנו את תורתו תורת אמת וחיי עולם נטע בתוכינו, אבל חסד בתוך החסד
הוא, שכאשר נתן לנו את התורה, בקש לתת אותה בידינו כשאנו בריאים בגוף, ולא בטירוף
מיד בצאתנו ממצרים. ואף על פי שיכול היה ה' יתברך לעשות נס, ולחזק את בני ישראל
כהרף עין, מכל מקום כבר כתבנו שרוצה הקדוש ברוך להנהיג את עולמו עד כמה שניתן בדרך
הטבע, ולכן חיכה לנו שנים ושלשה חודשים, ורק אז נתן לנו את התורה

אמרו במסכת סוטה
(יד.) התורה, תחילתה גמילות חסדים וסופה גמילות חסדים, תחילתה גמילות חסדים, שנאמר
"ויעש ה' לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם", סופה גמילות חסדים, שנאמר
(לגבי קבורת משה) "ויקבור אותו בגי

חז"ל במאמר זה, שכאשר רואים את התורה שתחילתה וסופה חסד, סימן הוא שהתורה
כולה תכליתה חסד. ואם כן כל התורה כולה שורשה חסד, וכל המצוות ואפילו עניני
המשפטים והקנינים כולם תלויים בחסדו של ה' יתברך, וכמו שכתב הרמח"ל, כי כל
טעם עבודתינו בעולם הזה הוא בכדי שנהיה ראויים לשכר בזכות ולא בחסד
(כביכול), ולכן
גם בקנינים שתיקן לנו ה' יתברך במשפטי התורה, הכל הוא ענין חסד גדול, שתהיה לאדם
בעלות על חפציו, בכדי שיוכל להנות מיגיע כפו

ומזה הטעם תקנו
רבותינו לקרוא בשבועות ממגילת רות, ששורש מגילה זו נעוץ במדת החסד, כמו שנאמר
"ותאמר נעמי יעש ה' עמכם חסד כאשר עשיתם עם המתים ועמדי

והנה לכאורה לא
מוזכר במגילה שום חסד שעשו עם בעליהן, מלבד מה שהיו נשואות להם
מה שנאמר בהמשך המגילה "ויען בועז ויאמר לה, הוגד הוגד לי את כל אשר עשית את
חמותך אחרי מות אישך", והדבר תמוה, שהרי רות לא עשתה דבר למענה של נעמי, שהרי
נעמי היא זו שהפצירה בה ללכת למולדתה ולעמה, ורות היא היא שדבקה בנעמי ועשתה זאת
אך ורק למען עצמה לטובתה האישית, ואם כן איזו שייכות יש כאן בכלל להחשיב את המעשים
הללו למעשים של חסד, עד שנאמר עוד בהמשך "ברוכה את לה' בתי, הטבת חסדך האחרון
מן הראשון", וגם כאן לא היה שום חסד במה שהלכה לבועז, שלא עשתה כן אלא לטובת
עצמה, ואם כן איך הפסוק קורא לזה חסד

אומרים בפסחים (ח.), האומר אתן צדקה על מנת שיחיה בני, הרי זה צדיק גמור
שאף שעשה צדקה למען עצמו ולא לשם שמים, בכל זאת מעשיו רצויים לפני ה
ונמצא אם כן שבכל מעשה שאדם עושה, אף על פי שהוא עושה כן בעיקר למען עצמו, מכל
מקום כל שגם הזולת מרויח מכך משהו, והוא חושב גם כן להטיב עם זולתו, מעשיו נחשבים
למעשי חסד וצדקה

מוכר ספרים, או נהג אוטובוס, שעושים את כל מעשיהם למען עצמם לפרנסתם
מקום אם הם עושים מעשיהם גם על מנת להטיב לאחרים, ואחרים נהנים ממעשיהם, הם מקימים
בכל מעשיהם מצוות לאין חקר

ומכאן גם עלינו
ללמוד לאידך גיסא, שהרי כמה חסדים אנו מקבלים מהזולת, וכמה הזולת מטיב עמנו, נמצנו
חייבים הרבה מאד הכרת טובה כלפי סביבתינו, ובהכרה זו אנו עושים נחת רוח לה' יתברך,
בבואינו להטיב מדה כנגד מדה לזולתינו

החסד הגדול
שעשתה רות, הוא מפני שסוף סוף בזכותה של רות לא נשארה נעמי בודדה בעולם, וכן מה
שהלכה עם בועז, נחשב לה לחסד גדול, שמתוך כך זכתה להקים עמו את מלכות בית דוד, בית
ענק, עבור חסד

נוהגים לקרות
במגילת רות בחג השבועות, להורות שיסוד התורה ומהותה הוא חסד, ללמוד וללמד לשמור
ולעשות, ללמוד על מנת ללמד (ראשי תיבות אדם לעמ"ל יולד, ללמוד על מנת ללמד),
אין לך חסד גדול מזה, שאדם מעשיר אחרים מהעושר הרוחני שנתן לנו ה' יתברך, וכמו
שאמר רבי יהושע בן לוי, כל המלמד את בן בנו תורה, מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו קבלה מהר
סיני, שנאמר "והודעתם לבניך ולבני בניך". וזהו רק אם מלמד את נכדו בן
בנו תורה. אבל אם מלמד אחרים, אפילו הקדוש ברוך הוא גוזר גזירה, מבטלה בשבילו, וכל
זאת עבור השפע שמשפיע מטובו לאחרים

The Holiday of Shavuot

The Torah introduces the
momentous event of the giving of the Torah to the Jewish nation with the verse
(Shemot 19), “On the third month from when the children of Israel left Egypt,
on this day they arrived at the Sinai desert.” 

Our Sages in the Pesikta ask: Why is it that the Torah was not given to the
Jewish nation until the Third month (i.e. the month of Sivan, which is the
third month according to the Torah’s calculation with the year beginning with
Nissan)? Rabbi Levi explained this with a parable: Once, a king’s son became
ill. When he was healed, his advisors wished to send him back to school immediately.
The king said, “My son’s radiance did not yet return to him, how
do propose
that he learn? Let him enjoy himself with food and drink for two or three
months and then he will return to his studies.” 

So too, when the Jewish nation left Egypt, they were worthy of receiving the
Torah. However, Hashem said, “they have not yet regained their radiance after
the bondage of cement and bricks and they wish to receive the Torah? Rather, I
shall allow my children to enjoy themselves by eating the Manna and quail and
let them then receive the Torah during the Third month.” 

Hashem performed a great kindness for us by giving us a true Torah and imbuing
us with eternal life; however, within this kindness, Hashem performed another
kindness for us by giving us the Torah only when we were physically healthy and
capable of receiving it and not when we were in a frenzy immediately following
our exodus from Egypt. Although Hashem could have performed a miracle and
strengthen the Jewish nation, we have already written in the past
that Hashem wishes, as much as possible, to direct the world in a natural
manner. It is for this reason that he waited almost three months for us until
we were able to receive the Torah. 

The Gemara (Sotah 14a) states: “The Torah begins with kindness and ends with
kindness. The Torah begins with kindness, as the verse states, ‘Hashem made for
the man and his wife leather tunics and he clothed them.’ The Torah ends with
kindness, as the verse states, “And He (Hashem) buried him (Moshe Rabbeinu) in
the valley.’” 

Our Sages mean to teach us that just as we see that the Torah begins and ends
with acts of kindness, this signifies that the entire Torah is the epitome of
kindness. If the entire root of Torah is kindness, it follows that all of the
Mitzvot of the Torah,
include the detailed monetary laws, are all contingent on
Hashem’s endless kindness. Indeed, Rabbeinu Moshe Chaim Luzzato (author of
Mesillat Yesharim) writes that our entire service of Hashem in this world is
because we wish to earn our reward and not only to receive it as a result of
Hashem’s kindness. Thus, even when the Torah commands us regarding various
methods of acquisition and other intricate monetary laws, this is a result of
Hashem’s kindness to us, for He wishes us to gain possession of our material
belongings so that one may enjoy the fruits of his labor. 

It is for this reason that our Sages instituted that Megillat Ruth be read
during the Shavuot holiday, for the theme of this Megillah is inherently
kindness, as the verse states, “Naomi said: ‘May Hashem perform kindness with
you, just as you have done with the deceased and with me.’” 

However, the Megillah seemingly does not mention any other kindness that Ruth
and her sister performed for their husbands other than the fact that they were
married to them. Similarly, the verse later in the Megillah states, “Boaz
replied and told her: ‘I have been told about everything you have done for your
mother-in-law after your husband’s demise.’” This is quite perplexing, for Ruth
did not do anything for Naomi as Naomi actually pleaded with Ruth to return to
her land and her people while Ruth cleaved to Naomi for her own personal
benefit. If so, how can such actions be considered acts of “kindness,” so much
so that the verse states, “My daughter, you are blessed to G-d; your last
kindness is better than your first”? Here too, Ruth went to Boaz for her own
benefit; how can the verse call this kindness? 

Our Sages (Pesachim 8a) teach us: “One who says, “I shall donate money to
Tzedakah on the condition that my son lives,’ is considered completely
righteous.” It seems that although one donated charity for one’s own benefit
and not for the sake of Heaven, one’s actions are nevertheless accepted and
appreciated by Hashem. Based on this, any action that one performs, even if one
intends to do so primarily for one’s self, as long as others are gaining from
this action as well and the individual does intend for others to benefit, one’s
actions are considered those of kindness and charity. 

Thus, if a grocer, bookseller, or bus driver do their work primarily for their
own livelihood, nevertheless, as long as they also intend to benefit others and
others do indeed benefit from their actions, they perform endless Mitzvot by
doing so. 

On the other hand, we must realize how much kindness we receive from others and
how much gratitude we owe to those around us. This realization causes Hashem
great satisfaction when we give back to others and perform acts of kindness
with them. 

The great kindness which Ruth performed for Naomi was that, ultimately, Naomi
did not remain alone in the world. Similarly, the fact that she went and
married Boaz was likewise considered a great act of kindness, for by doing so,
she was a partner in establishing the illustrious dynasty of King David’s

We customarily read Megillat Ruth on Shavuot in order to show that the basis of
the Torah and its essence is pure kindness by learning, teaching, and observing
the Torah’s laws. Indeed, the greatest kindness possible is teaching Torah to
others, for by doing so, one shares the spiritual wealth Hashem has given the
Jewish nation with others. Similarly, the Gemara states, “Rabbi Yehoshua ben
Levi said: One who teaches his grandson Torah is considered to have transmitted
the Torah to him from Mount Sinai, as the verse states, ‘And you shall make
them known to your sons and your grandsons.” This applies when one teaches
one’s grandson Torah. However, if one teaches Torah to others, even if Hashem
has decreed a harsh decree, Hashem will annul it for this individual because of
the spiritual wealth and abundance that one shares with others. 

Shabbat Shalom

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