Newsletter Parashat Bamidbar & Shavuot



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Important Security 
As the situation in Eretz Yisrael continues to develop
we would like to ask members & mitpalelim to be cautious & vigilant 
when in the Bet Hakeneset building.

(1) Please ensure that all external doors 
(ie front door, back door, and both side doors) 
are kept closed and locked to people coming in from outside. 

Doors should not be kept open with people coming in and out 
(especially if the weather is warm), 
as it significantly increases the level of risk to members of the kahal 
– this would apply to the front door and also to the side door which leads to the back of the Bet Hakeneset.   

2) People coming in at the front can either use the code or knock to gain entry.  

3) children should not open the door 

4) only allow individuals who you know into the building 
  report suspicious people to police – 999 – and then CST  0161 792 6666

Shavuot Time Table 
also attached to this email
Please Note: 
Confirmation or cancelation for the hanetz (1st) minyan 
on the first day of Shavuot will be made on the 
Whatsapp minyan group 
an announcement will be made in the Bet Hakeneset
If you are interested in attending the 
HaNetz minyan 
please contact
J Jacobs
Tizke Lemitzvot
New Gemara Shiur in Ivrit with Rabbi Harary
Starting Masechet Ta'anit 
Sunday 2nd April 6.25pm, 
Mincha & Arbit 7.25pm
Shabbat Afternoon Programme
5:15 pm Avot Ubanim
5:50 pm Pirke Avot
6:00 pm Mincha
Save the Date

לוח זמני תפלה לקיץ תשפ״א

Summer Timetable 5781 – 2021

מוצאי שבת



סוף זמן קראת שמע


פלג מנחה (תה״ד)

פלג מנחה (לבוש)

מנחה וקבלת שבת


שבת פרשת




Shema to be read before

Candles to be
lit by


Earliest Candle lighting

Minha & Kabbalat Shabbat*



















14/15 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 Parashat Bamidbar

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

  1. Why were the Jewish People counted so frequently?
    1:1 – They are very dear to G-d.
  2. What documents did the people bring when they were counted?
    1:18 – They brought birth records proving their tribal lineage.
  3. What determined the color of the tribal flags?
    2:2 – Each tribes flag was the color of that tribes stone in the breastplate of the kohen gadol.
  4. What is the difference between an “ot” and a “degel“?
    2:2 – An “ot” is a flag, i.e., a colored cloth that hangs from a flagpole. A degel is a flagpole.
  5. How do we see that the Jews in the time of Moshe observed techum Shabbat – the prohibition against traveling more than 2,000 amot on Shabbat?
    2:2 – G-d commanded them to camp no more than 2,000 amot from the Ohel Moed. Had they camped farther, it would have been forbidden for them to go to the Ohel Moed on Shabbat.
  6. What was the signal for the camp to travel?
    2:9 – The cloud over the Ohel Moed departed and the kohanim sounded the trumpets.
  7. What was the sum total of the counting of the 12 tribes?
    2:32 – 603,550.
  8. Why are Aharon's sons called “sons of Aharon and Moshe”?
    3:1 – Since Moshe taught them Torah, its as if he gave birth to them.
  9. Who was Nadav's oldest son?
    3:4 – Nadav had no children.
  10. Which two people from the Book of Esther does Rashi mention in this week's Parsha?
    3:7 – Bigtan and Teresh.
  11. Why did the levi'im receive ma'aser rishon?
    3:8 – Since the leviim served in the Mishkan in place of everyone else, they received tithes as “payment.”
  12. Which groups of people were counted from the age of one month?
    3:15, 40 – The leviim, and the firstborn of Bnei Yisrae l.
  13. Name the first descendant of Levi in history to be counted as an infant.
    3:15 – Levis daughter Yocheved was born while the Jewish People were entering Egypt. She is counted as one of the 70 people who entered Egypt.
  14. Who assisted Moshe in counting the levi'im?
    3:16 G-d.
  15. Why did so many people from the tribe of Reuven support Korach in his campaign against Moshe?
    3:29 – The tribe of Reuven was encamped near Korach, and were therefore influenced for the worse. This teaches that one should avoid living near the wicked.
  16. Why did so many people from the tribes of Yehuda, Yissachar and Zevulun become great Torah scholars?
    3:38 – The tribes of Yehuda, Yissachar and Zevulun were encamped near Moshe, and were therefore influenced for the good. This teaches that one should seek to live near the righteous
  17. In verse 3:39 the Torah states that the total number of levi'im was 22,000. The actual number was 22,300. Why does the Torah seem to ignore 300 levi'im?
    3:39 – Each levi served to redeem a first-born of the Jewish People. Since 300 leviim were themselves firstborn, they themselves needed to be redeemed, and could therefore not redeem others.
  18. The firstborn males of the Jewish People were redeemed for five shekalim. Why five shekalim?
    3:46 – To atone for the sale of Yosef, Rachels firstborn, who was sold by his brothers for five shekalim (20 pieces of silver.)
  19. During what age-span is a man considered at his full strength?
    4:2 – Between the ages of 30 and 50.
  20. As the camp was readying itself for travel, who was in charge of covering the vessels of the Mishkan in preparation for transport?
    4:5 – The kohanim.
Halachot from Maran Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Ztz'l

מנהגי חג השבועות

חלוקת שעות החג

במסכת ביצה (דף טו:) אמר רבי יהושע, מצות יום טוב, חציו לה' וחציו לכם
שיש לחלק את הזמן ביום טוב, מחציתו לאכילה ושתיה וכדומה מעניני שמחת החג, ומחציתו
ללימוד התורה ותפילה, וכן פסק הרמב”ם (בפ”ו מהלכות יום טוב

ענפים בבית הכנסת ובבית

הרמ”א (בהגה סימן תצד סעיף ג.) נוהגים לשטוח עשבים בשבועות, בבית הכנסת
ובבתים זכר לשמחת מתן תורה. ורבים מרבותינו האחרונים הביאו סימוכין למנהג זה, שיש
בו גם זכר למה שאמרו בגמרא (שבת פח:) כל דיבור שיצא מפי הקדוש ברוך הוא, נתמלא
העולם כולו ריח בשמים, כמו שנאמר “שפתותיו שושנים נוטפות מור עובר”. וכן
נוהגים להעמיד ענפי אילנות בבית הכנסת ובבתים, לרמוז למה שאמרו רבותינו במסכת ראש
השנה (טז.) בעצרת (היינו חג השבועות) נידונים על פירות האילן

בספר חיי אדם, הביא שהגאון רבי אליהו מוילנא ביטל מנהג זה, משום שעכשיו נוהגים
הגויים להעמיד ענפי אילנות בימי חגיהם, ואם כן יש בזה איסור משום ובחוקותיהם לא
תלכו. אולם מרן הרב עובדיה יוסף שליט”א כתב, שהגאון מוילנא ביטל מנהג זה,
משום שהוא נמשך בזה לשיטתו שיש איסור משום ובחוקותיהם לא תלכו, בכל מנהגי הגויים,
אבל לשיטת המהר”י קולון ועוד פוסקים רבים, אין איסור זה נוהג אלא בחוק
שנוהגים הגויים בדרך חוק, דהיינו דבר שהוא בלי טעם, (שאז יש לחוש בו משום דרכי
האמורי ושיש בו שמץ עבודת כוכבים), או דבר שנהגו בו הגויים לשם פריצות וכדומה, אבל
במנהג שיש בו טעם אחר, כגון לבוש שלובשים אותו רופאים גויים, כדי שיהיה ניכר שהם
רופאים וכדומה, אין איסור לנהוג בו, ולכן יש להניח למנהג זה שיתקיים, שמנהג ישראל
תורה, ובפרט שמנהג זה הוא קדום מאד ונזכר גם בדברי חז”ל. (וכבר
נוסף בעניין חוקות הגויים בהלכה שעסקה בשאלת החיוב ללכת עם כיפה על הראש


עוד הרמ”א, שנוהגים בכמה מקומות לאכול מאכלי חלב ביום חג השבועות, והוסיפו
האחרונים שיש נוהגים לאכול גם דבש וחלב, לרמוז על מתן תורתינו שנמשלה לדבש וחלב,
ויש נותנים טעם למנהג מאכלי חלב בחג השבועות, מפני שבעשרת הדברות נתגלו לאבותינו
כל חלקי התורה ומצוותיה, וכמו שכתב רב סעדיה גאון שבעשרת הדברות כלולות כל מצוות
התורה, וכשירדו ישראל מההר אל בתיהם אחר מתן תורה
, לא מצאו מה
לאכול תיכף, זולת מאכלי חלב, כי לבשר היו צריכים הכנה רבה
, לשחוט בסכין
בדרך בלי פגם כאשר ציוה ה', ולנקר החלב וגיד הנשה, ולמלוח הבשר ולהדיחו, ועוד ועוד
עניינים רבים הקשורים לכשרות המאכלים. ולכן היו זקוקים למאכלי חלב, ואנו עושים זכר
לזה. ונאמרו אודות מנהג זה עוד טעמים אחרים

שעל פי ההלכה אסור לאכול מאכלי חלב אחרי מאכלי בשר עד שיעברו שש שעות
(כפי שביארנו
בשר וחלב), לכן מנהגינו לאכול מאכלי חלב, ואחרי קינוח והדחה כמשפט (דהיינו אכילת
מעט פת וכדומה, ושתיית משקה, כפי
כן בהלכות בשר בחלב,) אוכלים מאכלי בשר. ומצוה לאכול ביום טוב בשר בהמה, לקיים בזה
מצות שמחת החג, וכמו שאמרו במסכת חגיגה (ח:), אין שמחה אלא בבשר בהמה, וכן ישתה
יין לשמחת החג, אבל יזהרו להימנע משחוק וקלות ראש
, לפי שאין השחוק
והקלות ראש שמחה אלא הוללות, ולא נצטווינו אלא על שמחה שיש בה עבודת היוצר. אלא
ישמחו ביום טוב בדברים המותרים כגון לשורר בפה שירות ותשבחות להשם יתברך, וכן יש
להשתדל לעסוק בתורה ביום החג, וכתב מרן הרב שליט”א, שנכון ללמוד בספר המצוות
של הרמב”ם, ונכון גם כן לקרות בספר תהילים, כי פטירת אדונינו דוד המלך הייתה
ביום חג השבועות

שאינו יכול לקיים את שמחת החג בבשר, מטעמי בריאות או כשרות, יקיים מצות שמחתו בבשר
עוף. וכל מה שאמרנו שאין שמחה אלא בבשר ויין, היינו לאנשים, אבל הנשים יש לשמחן
בבגדים יפים או תכשיטים נאים וכדומה. ויש לשמח את הילדים בקליות ואגוזים וממתקים


בתורה (דברים טז) ושמחת בחגך אתה ובנך ובתך והלוי והגר והיתום והאלמנה אשר בקרבך.
לפיכך חייב אדם לשמח עמו ברגל את העניים והאביונים והאלמנות והיתומים, והיא חובה

Customs of the Shavuot Holiday

Division of the Holiday Hours

The Gemara in Masechet Beitzah (15b) tells us: “Rabbi Yehoshua says: The
Mitzvah of the holiday is half for Hashem and half for you.” This means that
one should apportion his time on Yom Tov half for eating, drinking, and other
Yom Tov festivities and half for Torah learning and prayer. The Rambam (Chapter
6 of Hilchot Yom Tov) rules likewise.

Adorning the Synagogue and One’s Home with Plants
The Rama writes (in his notation on Chapter 494, Section 3) that it is
customary to scatter plants throughout the synagogue and one’s home on the
holiday of Shavuot in commemoration of the joy of the giving of the Torah. Many
Acharonim bring another source for this custom based on the Gemara in Masechet
Shabbat (88b) which states that after every commandment uttered by Hashem, the
entire world was filled with a fragrant smell, as the verse states, “His lips
are like roses dripping with passing myrrh.” It is likewise customary to lay
tree branches in the synagogue and in one’s home in order to hint to the Gemara
in Masechet Rosh Hashanah (16a) that on Shavuot we are judged regarding the
fruits of the tree.

However, the Sefer Chayei Adam writes that Rabbeinu Eliyahu of Vilna
discontinued this custom, for nowadays, the non-Jews place tree branches in
their homes during their holiday. This therefore constitutes the prohibition to
follow the practices of the non-Jews. Nevertheless, Maran Harav Ovadia Yosef
Shlit”a writes that the Gaon of Vilna writes that this constitutes the
prohibition to follow the practices of the non-Jews in accordance with his own
opinion that this prohibition applies to all non-Jewish practices. However,
according to Rabbeinu Yosef Cologne and many other Poskim who rule likewise,
this prohibition only applies to those practices which are observed which have
no reason behind them (for only then are we concerned about “Emorite ways” and
the possibility of idolatrous rituals) or to those customs which are observed
for immoral purposes and the like. Nonetheless, if it is a custom which is
observed for a specific reason, such as if a garment is worn by non-Jewish doctors
in order for them to be recognizable as doctors, a Jewish doctor may follow
this custom and wear the garment as well. Therefore, this custom may indeed be
observed, for the custom of the Jewish people is law, especially when the
custom in question is very ancient and quoted by our Sages.

Eating Dairy Foods
The Rama (ibid.) continues and writes that several places have the custom to
eat dairy foods on the day of Shavuot. Some Acharonim add that it is customary
to eat milk and honey together as well hinting to the acceptance of our holy
Torah which is compared to milk and honey. Some explain that the reason for
eating dairy foods on Shavuot is because when our forefathers were given the
Ten Commandments, the rest of the Torah and its commandments were revealed to
them as well (as Rav Sa’adia Gaon writes that all of the Mitzvot are included
in the Ten Commandments). When the Jewish people returned to their homes after
receiving the Torah, they did not find anything ready to eat besides for dairy
items, for eating meat now involved much preparation including slaughtering the
animal with a knife free of imperfections, removing the forbidden fats and
sinews, salting the meat and washing it off as well as many other laws
pertaining to the kosher dietary laws. They therefore made due with dairy
foods; we eat dairy items in commemoration of this. Many other reasons are
given for this custom.

Since Halacha prohibits eating dairy foods for six hours after eating meat, we
therefore customarily eat the dairy foods first and only after washing one’s
mouth out in accordance with Halacha by eating some bread and drinking some
beverages do we eat meat. One should eat meat on Yom Tov in order to fulfill
the Mitzvah of joy of Yom Tov, as the Gemara in Masechet Chagiga (8b) states
that one experiences true joy only by eating meat. One should likewise drink
wine in honor of the joy of Yom Tov. One should nevertheless abstain from
frivolity and unruliness, for we have only been commanded to experience a joy
through which one can serve Hashem. One should rejoice by performing
permissible actions, such as singing the praises of Hashem and his holy Torah.
One must likewise try his utmost to learn Torah during the day of Shavuot as
well. Maran Harav Shlit”a writes that one should also learn from the Rambam’s
Sefer Ha’Mitzvot. It is also proper to recite Tehillim on this day, for the
holiday of Shavuot marks the anniversary of the passing of King David.

If one is unable to fulfill the Mitzvah of rejoicing on Yom Tov with beef due to
health or kashrut concerns, he should fulfill his obligation with chicken
instead. Regarding what we have said that true joy only comes through consuming
meat and wine, this only applies to men; women, however, should be gladdened
with nice clothing, jewelry, and the like. Children should be gladdened with
nuts, sweets, and the like.

Gladdening the Needy The Torah (Devarim 16) states: “And you shall be
glad during your holiday; you, your son, your daughter, the Levite, the
convert, the orphan, and the widow in your midst.” One must therefore gladden
the hearts of the poor, widows, and orphans during the holiday as well and this
is a truly important obligation