Newsletter Parshat Shelach – Shabbat Mevarechim



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This Shabbat is 
Shabbat Mevarechim Chodesh Tammuz
Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
is on
Wednesday night / Thursday & Friday

Are YOU ready



On June 13th I will beH be leading a swim across Lake Ullswater and back. This epic trip will take place in the beautiful background of the Lake District in the refreshingly cold waters of Ullswater, which I will brave for up to several hours, together with a team of swimmers.

 Why at my age? To raise much-needed funds for an amazing cause: an outward looking community kollel based in a Sefardi shul in Manchester. Moor Lane is a shul intensely proud of its heritage, and is also proud to host a group of avreichim – all members of the Manchester Montefiore Kollel – a dedicated group of young men who are enthusiastically learning halacha to a high standard. They are also teaching Torah through a variety of forums and media, – one to one learning, shiurim, zoom, written publications – and putting on innovative programs for the youth, their parents and people of all ages in the Moor Lane community and beyond. 

Please help me to reach my target of £6000 to help fund this amazing organization. Please make this sporty undertaking go with a splash!

The campaign is running on this coming Sunday and Monday 6th and 7th June.

Every £ donated will reach the charity as all expenses are being sponsored.

You can donate in a variety of ways:

  • Follow this link:
  • By direct transfer to Royal Bank of Scotland Manchester Montefiore Kollel sort code 160001 account number 21005484 – please take a screenshot of payment and email it to me so that it can be added onto the campaign page.
  • By instruction to your voucher company using the above details, please confirm with me once done.
  • By post to 12 Ravensway Prestwich M25 0EU  [Cheques/vouchers made out to MMK]

Thank you so much and wishing you every success!

Moshe Stamler

Attached to this email
Shabbat Afternoon Programme
5:15 pm Avot Ubanim
5:50 pm Pirke Avot
6:00 pm Mincha

Sephardic World
Youtube page

The Pallache: Moroccan-Jewish diplomats in 17th Century Dutch court records

This week we are joined by Professor Gerard Wiegers to discuss the Pallache family.

Two cases before the Court of Holland (Hof van Holland) around 1612 shed an interesting light on the role of Sephardic Jews in the Netherlands in general, and on the Pallache family in particular. The cases deal with tensions within the Pallache family, whose heads, Samuel and Joseph, acted as the first agents of the Sultan of Morocco in the Dutch Republic. Eyewitness evidence by a whole range of people, from both inside and outside the household and by important figures in the Dutch Republic allow us to reconstruct the entanglements of Mediterranean lives of refugees in general and those of Moroccan Muslims, Iberian Moriscos, Converts to Islam and Sephardic Jews in The Hague and Amsterdam in particular. The cases will be dealt with in the revised new Hebrew edition of the book on Samuel Pallache by Mercedes García-Arenal and Gerard Wiegers to be published in Jerusalem in the second half of 2021.

Gerard Wiegers (PhD Leiden University 1991) is Full Professor of History of Religions and the Comparative Study of Religion in the Department of History at the University of Amsterdam. His research concentrates on the relations between Islam and other religions in Europe and the Muslim West, and the history of Islamic and Jewish minorities. He is a member of the editorial boards  of a number of books series in the field, such as the Medieval and Early Modern Iberian World (MEMIW)

The meeting is on Sunday 6 June 2021 at 11am in LA, 2pm NYC, 7pm London, 8pm Amsterdam and 9pm Jerusalem. Patrons can join us on Zoom. The link is shared at our Patreon page at:

Everyone is invited to join us for free at: Please subscribe to the YouTube channel. It helps us a lot and reminds you when we are going live!

Over the last year Sephardic World has become the leading forum for learning about Sephardic history and genealogy. We have no commercial sponsorship or public funding. There is no charge to attend our meetings or to view our content. If you are not a patron and can afford it, please consider supporting our work:
Best wishes,

Ton and David


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*



















4/5 June

שלח (ש''מ)

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 Shelach

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

  1. Why is the portion about the meraglim written immediately after the portion about Miriam's tzara'at?
    13:2 – To show the evil of the meraglim (spies), that they saw Miriam punished for lashon hara (negative speech) yet failed to take a lesson from it.
  2. To what was Moshe referring when he asked the meraglim “Are there trees in the land”?
    13:20 – Were there any righteous people in the land whose merit would “shade” the Canaanites from attack?
  3. Who built Hebron?
    13:22 – Cham.
  4. Which fruits did the meraglim bring back?
    13:23 – A cluster of grapes, a pomegranate and a fig.
  5. How many people carried the grape cluster?
    13:23 – Eight.
  6. Why did G-d shorten the meraglim's journey?
    13:25 – G-d knew the Jews would sin and be punished with a year's wandering for each day of the spies' mission. So He shortened the journey to soften the decree.
  7. Why did the meraglim begin by saying the land is “flowing with milk and honey”?
    13:27 – Any lie which doesn't start with an element of truth won't be believed. Therefore, they began their false report with a true statement.
  8. Why did the meraglim list Amalek first among the hostile nations they encountered?
    13:29 – To frighten the Jews. The Jewish People were afraid of Amalek because Amalek had once attacked them.
  9. How did Calev quiet the people?
    13:30 – He fooled them by shouting, “Is this all that the son of Amram did to us?” The people quieted themselves to hear what disparaging thing Calev wished to say about the “son of Amram” (Moshe).
  10. Why did the Land appear to “eat its inhabitants”?
    13:32 – G-d caused many deaths among the Canaanites so they would be preoccupied with burying their dead and not notice the meraglim.
  11. Besides the incident of the meraglim, what other sin led to the decree of 40 years in the desert?
    13:33 – The golden calf.
  12. On what day did Bnei Yisrael cry due to the meraglim's report? How did this affect future generations?
    14:1 – The 9th of Av (Tisha B'av). This date therefore became a day of crying for all future generations: Both Temples were destroyed on this date.
  13. “Don't fear the people of the Land…their defense is departed.” (14:9) Who was their chief “defender”?
    14:9 – Iyov.
  14. Calev and Yehoshua praised Eretz Canaan and tried to assure the people that they could be victorious. How did the people respond?
    14:10 – They wanted to stone them.
  15. “How long shall I bear this evil congregation?” G-d is referring to the 10 meraglim who slandered the Land. What halacha do we learn from this verse?
    14:27 – That ten men are considered a congregation.
  16. How is the mitzvah of challa different from other mitzvot associated with Eretz Yisrael?
    15:18 – The obligation to observe other mitzvot associated with Eretz Yisrael began only after the possession and division of the Land. The mitzvah of challa was obligatory immediately upon entering the Land.
  17. What is the minimum amount of challa to be given to a kohen according to Torah Law? Rabbinic Law?
    15:20 – No fixed amount is stated by the Torah. Rabbinic Law requires a household to give 1/24 and a baker to give 1/48.
  18. Verse 15:22 refers to what sin? How does the text indicate this?
    15:22 – Idolatry. “All these commandments” means one transgression which is equal to transgressing all the commandments – i.e. idolatry.
  19. Moshe's doubt regarding the punishment of the mekoshesh etzim (wood-gatherer) was different than his doubt regarding the punishment of the blasphemer. How did it differ?
    15:34 – Moshe knew that the mekoshesh etzim waliable for the death penalty, but not which specific means of death. Regarding the blasphemer, Moshe didn't know if he was liable for the death penalty.
  20. How do the tzitzit remind us of the 613 commandments?
    15:39 – The numerical value of the word tzitzit is 600. Tzitzit have eight threads and five knots. Add these numbers and you get 613.


Halachot from Maran Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Ztz'l

מלאכת בונה

שאלה: האם מותר לטאטא בשבת את החצר בכניסת הבית, שיש בה חול
ואבנים קטנות

תשובה: אחת משלושים ותשע מלאכות שאסור
לעשותן בשבת, היא מלאכת “בונה”. כמו ששנינו במשנה במסכת שבת (דף קב:),
“הבונה כל שהוא – חייב”. כלומר, הבונה בשבת
, אפילו תוספת קטנה במבנה, הרי זה חייב משום חילול שבת.
כדין מי שהבעיר אש בשבת, או מי שבישל בשבת

המלאכה “בונה”, אינה דוקא בבנייה ממש, בהנחת לבנים עם מלט וכדומה, אלא
כל תיקון שהוא בגוף הבית, עלול להכנס בכלל מלאכת בונה. ובגמרא במסכת שבת (דף עג:)
אמרו, שכל המשוה פני הקרקע בשבת, חייב. וכן פסק הרמב”ם (בפרק עשירי מהלכות
שבת), שכל המשוה את פני הקרקע בשבת, כגון שמילא גומה, או שהשפיל תל חול, חייב משום
בונה. כלומר, מי שמטאטא את הבית בשבת, וקרקע הבית אינה מרוצפת, הרי זה חייב משום

ומכאן, שאסור בהחלט לטאטא בשבת
קרקע שאינה מרוצפת, שהרי בשעה שמטאטא את הקרקע
, בהכרח הוא “משווה גומות”, שמשווה את פני
הקרקע שתהיה חלקה וישרה, והוא איסור משום “בונה” בשבת, שהוא תיקון לקרקע

הוא מטאטא בחצר הבית בחוץ, יתכן שיש בדבר איסור משום חורש בשבת. ולכן בכל אופן,
אסור לטאטא בשבת כל קרקע שאינה מרוצפת, ורק בקרקע מרוצפת יש להקל. (ועיין בחזון
עובדיה שבת, ח”ב עמוד רעז, חלק ג עמוד מב, וחלק ד עמוד מד

ולסיכום: אין לטאטא בשבת רצפה שאינה

The Forbidden Work of Building on Shabbat

Question: May one sweep the dirt and
small rocks in the front yard of one’s home on Shabbat?

Answer: One of the thirty-nine forbidden works on Shabbat is building,
as the Mishnah (Shabbat 102b) states, “One who builds on Shabbat, even if it is
a small addition to an existing edifice, is liable for Shabbat desecration.”
This prohibition is similar to one who has ignited a flame or cooked a food on

The definition of “building” in the context of Shabbat is not specifically
building alone, such as by laying bricks, cement, and the like; rather, any
repair of one’s home is included in the prohibition of building. The Gemara
(Shabbat 73b) states that one who evens out earth is liable for Shabbat
desecration. Similarly, the Rambam (Chapter 10 of Hilchot Shabbat) rules that
one who evens out earth on Shabbat, such as by filling in a ditch, knocking
over a mound of dirt, and the like, has transgressed the Torah prohibition of
building on Shabbat. Thus, one who sweeps the floor of one’s home which has no
flooring (such as wood, tile, or carpet) has transgressed the prohibition of
building on Shabbat.

It is therefore absolutely forbidden to sweep unpaved earth on Shabbat, for
while sweeping, one is certainly evening out the earth and causing it to be
smooth and straight and thus transgresses the prohibition of building on
Shabbat by repairing or enhancing the earth or a building.

If one sweeps an outdoor yard, it is also possible that one is transgressing
the Torah prohibition of ploughing on Shabbat. It is therefore completely
forbidden to sweep any unfloored or unpaved earth on Shabbat; only when the
floor has flooring is there room for leniency (see Chazon Ovadia-Shabbat, Part
2, page 277, Part 3, page 42, and Part 4, page 44).

Summary: One may not sweep unpaved ground on Shabbat.