Newsletter Parashat Lech Lecha



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Winter Timetable 5782 – 2021/22

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15/16 Oct

לך לך


Coming soon!!
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Q & A Parashat Lech Lecha
  1. Question: What benefits did G-d promise Avraham if he would leave his home?
    Answer: 12:1 – He would become a great nation, his excellence would become known to the world, and he would be blessed with wealth.
  2. Question: “And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you.” What does this mean?
    Answer: 12:3 – A person will say to his child, “You should be like Avraham.”
  3. Question: Who were the souls that Avraham and Sarah “made?”
    Answer:12:5 – People they converted to the worship of G-d.
  4. Question: What were the Canaanites doing in the Land of Canaan when Avraham arrived?
    Answer:12:6 – They were in the process of conquering the land from the descendants of Shem.
  5. Question: Why did Avraham build an altar at Ai?
    Answer: He foresaw the Jewish People's defeat there in the days of Yehoshua due to Achan's sin. He built an altar to pray for them.
  6. Question: What two results did Avraham hope to achieve by saying that Sarah was his sister?
    Answer:12:13 – That the Egyptians would not kill him, and would give him presents.
  7. Question: Why did Avraham's shepherds rebuke Lot's shepherds?
    Answer: 13:7 Lot's shepherds grazed their flocks in privately owned fields.
  8. Question: Who was Amrafel and why was he called that?
    Answer: Amrafel was Nimrod. He said (amar ) to Avraham to fall (fel ) into the fiery furnace.
  9. Question: Verse 14:7 states that the four kings “smote all the country of the Amalekites”. How is this possible, since Amalek had not yet been born?
    Answer: 14:7 – The Torah uses the name that the place would bear in the future.
  10. Question: Why did the “palit ” tell Avraham of Lot's capture?
    Answer:14:13- He wanted Avraham to die trying to save Lot so that he himself could marry Sarah.
  11. Question: Who accompanied Avraham in battle against the four kings?
    Answer: 14:14 – His servant, Eliezer.
  12. Question: Why couldn't Avraham chase the four kings past Dan?
    Answer: 4:14 – He saw prophetically that his descendants would make a golden calf there, and as a result his strength failed.
  13. Question: Why did Avraham give “ma'aser ” specifically to Malki-Tzedek?
    Answer: 14:20 – Because Malki-Tzedek was a kohen.
  14. Question: Why didn't Avraham accept any money from Sodom's king?
    Answer:14:23 – G-d had promised Avraham wealth, and Avraham didn't want Sodom's King to say, “I made Avraham wealthy.”
  15. Question: When did the decree of 400 years of exile begin?
    Answer: With the birth of Yitzchak.
  16. Question: What did G-d indicate with His promise that Avraham would “come to his ancestors in peace”?
    Answer:15:15 – That his father, Terach, would repent and become righteous.
  17. Question: How did G-d fulfill His promise that Avraham would be buried in “a good old age”?
    Answer: 15:15 – Avraham lived to see his son Yishmael repent and become righteous, and he died before his grandson Esav became wicked.
  18. Question: Why did the Jewish People need to wait until the fourth generation until they returned to Eretz Canaan?
    Answer: 15:16 – They needed to wait until the Amorites had sinned sufficiently to deserve expulsion.
  19. Question: Who was Hagar's father?
    Answer: 16:1 – Pharaoh.
  20. Question: Why did Avraham fall on his face when G-d appeared to him?
    Answer: 17:3 – Because he was as yet uncircumcised.
All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated. 

Halachot from Maran Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Ztz'l

שאלה: האם יש חובה לעמוד בשעת
ברכות השחר וברכות התורה

תשובה: יש ברכות שחובה לעמוד בשעת אמירתן. ולכל ברכה טעם מדוע יש לעמוד בשעת הברכה.
וכגון ברכת “ספירת העומר”, שנאמר בתורה, מהחל חרמש “בקמה”,
ודרשו רבותינו, “בקומה”. וכן כיוצא בזה

דברי הגאון – לעמוד בכל ברכה שאין בה הנאה
תשובה: כתוב בתשובות הגאונים (שערי תשובה סימן עט, והובא בספר האשכול סי' כג):
“הגאון בתשובה כתב, שכל הברכות, מברך מעומד. והיינו ברכות המצות שאין בהן
הנאה, אבל ברכות הנהנין לא צריך”. כלומר, יש שני סוגי ברכות, יש ברכות שאין
בהן הנאה, כגון ברכת ציצית ולולב וברכות התורה, ויש ברכות שתיקנו לברכן ויש בהן
הנאה, כגון קידוש וברכת לישב בסוכה וכדומה. וכתב הגאון, שבכל ברכה שאין בה הנאה,
יש לעמוד בשעה שמברך אותה. ולפי זה בודאי שיש לעמוד בשעת אמירת ברכות התורה. ומובא
בתשובה זו, שכן כתוב בפירוש בתלמוד ירושלמי

דברי רבי דוד אבודרהם– “על”ץ של”ם
אולם מובא עוד בתשובות הגאונים, שיש אומרים שהחיוב
לעמוד הוא דוקא בששה ברכות בלבד, ולכל אחת מהן, טעם מדוע יש לעמוד באמירתה
ורבי דוד אבודרהם נתן סימן לזכור באלו ברכות יש
לעמוד, והסימן הוא: על”ץ של”ם. שהוא ראשי תיבות, ע'ומר (ספירת העומר),
ל'בנה (ברכת הלבנה), ציצית, שופר, לולב, מילה (ברית מילה). (אולם באמת שנוהגים
לעמוד גם בברכות נוספות. אך אלו הששה הן העיקריות)

דברי הפני יהושע
ולכאורה לפי דברי הירושלמי ודעת הגאון, יש לעמוד גם
בברכת התורה. אולם הפני יהושע (בחידושיו למסכת מגילה דף כא.) כתב, שדוקא מצות
שהעשייה שלהן היא כשעומדים, גם את הברכה יש לברך כשעומדים. וכגון לולב, שיש ליטלו
כשעומדים, יש לברך עליו כשעומדים. אבל קריאת מגילת אסתר, שאין חיוב לקרותה עומד,
אין חיוב לברך על קריאתה עומד. וכן כתבו עוד מגדולי האחרונים

ההכרעה להלכה
ולפי זה כתב מרן רבינו עובדיה יוסף זצוק”ל (יחוה
דעת חלק חמישי סימן ד), שמכיון שאין חיוב לעמוד בשעת לימוד התורה, כמו כן ברכות
התורה אין חיוב לברכן בעמידה. וכן ברכות השחר, אין חיוב לאמרן בעמידה, כיון שרק
כאשר המצוה היא בעמידה, אז יש לברך בעמידה. (וברכות השחר לא ניתקנו כלל על מצוה)

ואדרבה כתב בשו”ת הרמ”ע מפאנו, שברכות
התורה אפשר לברך כשהוא יושב, משום שעל לימוד התורה נאמר “בשבתך בביתך”.
והפרי מגדים הוסיף, שבקריאת שמע וברכותיה לא הצריכו לעמוד, כי כשאדם יושב, יוכל
לכוין דעתו יותר. וכמו כן ברכות התורה, שיש אומרים שחיובן מן התורה, בודאי שיש
להזהר לכוין מאד בשעת אמירתן, ואפשר לברכן מיושב

ולסיכום: בברכות השחר וברכות התורה אין צורך לעמוד, ואפשר
לברכן כשהוא יושב

Question: Is it obligatory to
stand during the Birkot Ha’Shachar (morning blessings) and the Birkot Ha’Torah
(blessings of the Torah)?

Answer: There are certain blessings which require one to be standing while reciting
them. There is a unique reason for why one must stand while reciting each of
these blessings. For instance, regarding the blessing on counting the Omer, the
Torah states, “From when the sickle begins [to make contact] with the stalks
(English for “Ba’Kamma”),” and our Sages expounded this to mean, “Be’Koma,”
i.e. while standing.

The Opinion of the Gaon- One Must Stand During Any
Blessing Which Involves No Enjoyment

It is written in the Responsa of the Geonim
(Sha’arei Teshuva, Chapter 79 and as quoted by the Sefer Ha’Eshkol, Chapter
23): “The Gaon writes in one of his responses that all blessings must be recited
while standing. This refers to blessings on Mitzvot which do not entail
enjoyment; however, for blessings on things which involve enjoyment, on need
not stand.” This means that there are two kinds of blessings: Blessings which
do not involve any enjoyment, such as the blessings on Tzitzit, Lulav,
and Birkot Ha’Torah, and there are blessings which our Sages
enacted to recite on things from which one does derive enjoyment, such as
Kiddush, “Leeshev Ba’Sukkah,” and the like. The Gaon writes that any blessing
which does not involve any enjoyment should be recited while standing. Based on
this, one should certainly recite the Birkot HaTorah while
standing. The same response states that this is actually stated explicitly in
the Talmud Yerushalmi.

The Opinion of Rabbeinu David Abudirhem-“Alatz

Nevertheless, the Responsa of the Geonim continues
that some say there the obligation to stand applies to only six blessings; each
one possessing a distinct reason why one must stand for that specific blessing.

Rabbeinu David Abudirhem composed an acronym for
one to remember which blessings to recite while standing which is, “Alatz
.” This is an acronym for “Omer” (counting the Omer), “Levana”
(Blessing on the New Moon), “Tzitzit,” “Shofar,” “Lulav,” and “Milah” (Berit
Milah). (The truth of the matter is that we customarily stand while reciting
other blessings as well, but these are the primary ones.)

The Opinion of the Penei Yehoshua
It seems that according to the opinion of the
Talmud Yerushalmi and the Gaon, one should recite the Birkot Ha’Torah while
standing. However, the Penei Yehoshua (in his commentary on Tractate Megillah
21a) writes that only regarding Mitzvot whose performance is also done while
standing should their blessings be recited while standing as well. For
instance, regarding the Lulav which is taken while standing, one should recite
the blessing on it while standing as well. However, regarding the reading of
Megillat Esther which need not be done while standing, one need not recite the
blessing on it while standing either. Other great Acharonim rule likewise.

The Bottom Line
Therefore, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes
(Responsa Yechave Da’at Volume 5, Chapter 4) since there is no obligation to
stand while learning Torah, the Birkot Ha’Torah need not be
recited while standing either. Similarly, the Birkot Ha’Shachar need
not be recited while standing since only when the performance of a Mitzvah is
done while standing must its blessing also be recited while standing (and
the Birkot Ha’Shachar were not enacted for Mitzvah performance
at all).

Indeed, the Rama (Rabbeinu Menachem Azarya) of Pano
writes in one of his responses that the Birkot Ha’Torah may
indeed be recited while seated, as the Torah writes regarding Torah learning,
“When you shall sit in your house.” The Peri Megadim adds that our Sages did
not require one to recite Keri’at Shema and its blessings
while standing because one is able to concentrate better while sitting. This
would surely apply to Birkot Ha’Torah as well, which according
to some is a Torah obligation and must surely be recited with great
concentration. Thus, they may be recited while seated.

Summary: The Birkot Ha’Shachar and Birkot Ha’Torah need
not be recited while standing; rather, one may recite them while seated.