Newsletter Parashat Tetzave – Shabbat Zachor

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Mr Simon Kanzen
a heartfelt Mazal Tov on his birthday
May Hashem bless him with good health,
ברכה, מזל, הצלחה 
and nachat from his children and grandchildren
This Shabbat is Shabbat ZACHOR
We read the 
Piyut of Mi Chamocha 
in the middle of Nishmat
as per the S & P Minhag
take out 2 Sefarim

דין שמיעת פרשת זכור

בשבת שלפני הפורים (היא השבת הקרבה), בעת פתיחת ההיכל בבית הכנסת לאחר תפילת שחרית, מוציאים שני ספרי תורהוקוראים בראשון בפרשת השבוע (פרשת צו), ובספר התורה השני קוראים “זכור את אשר עשה לך עמלק”. וקריאה זו היא שנקראת “פרשת זכור” (ומקומה של פרשת זכור הוא בפרשת כי תצא).

ולדעת רוב הפוסקים קריאת פרשת זכור היא מצות עשה מן התורה, ומכיון שהלכה רווחת שמצוות צריכות כוונה (בשלחן ערוך סימן ס סעיף ד) יש להזהר לכוין בזמן שמיעת פרשת זכור לצאת ידי חובת מצות זכירת מעשה עמלק ומחייתו, וכן צריך הקורא בתורה לכוון להוציא את הציבור ידי חובתם.

מי שנאנס ואינו יכול לבוא ולשמוע קריאת פרשת זכור בשבת זו, יכוין לצאת ידי חובתו בפרשת כי תצא כשקוראים בה פרשת זכור. וצריך שיאמר לשליח ציבור שיכוון להוציאו ידי חובה. ומרן הרב עובדיה יוסף זצ”ל הוסיף, שמכל מקום נכון שיקרא פרשת זכור מתוך חומש בשבת זכור.

נחלקו הפוסקים אם נשים חייבות לשמוע פרשת זכור, שלדעת ספר החינוך ועוד פוסקים, נשים פטורות משמיעת פרשת זכור, משום שענין קריאת פרשה זו הוא זכירת מעשה עמלק כדי להילחם בו, ונשים בדרך כלל אינן שותפות באופן פעיל במלחמה, ואינן מצוות על המלחמה, ולכן אינן חייבות בשמיעת פרשת זכור. (ופשוט שאין בזה חילוק בין אשה רגילה לאשה שנשאה רוחה אותה לצאת לקרב, כי התורה לא צותה את הנשים על מחיית עמלק, לפי שאינן בנות כיבוש, שאין דרכן לכבוש בדרך כלל). אך לדעת פוסקים רבים נשים חייבות בשמיעת פרשת זכור, (וכן המנהג ברוב המקומות), ולכן המחמירות לבוא לעזרת נשים לשמוע קריאת פרשת זכור תבוא עליהן ברכה. ואשה שיש לה ילדים קטנים שאי אפשר לעזבם לנפשם מבלי מי שיפקח עליהם יכולה לפטור עצמה משמיעת קריאת פרשת זכור.

וכיום נהוג במקומות רבים להוציא ספר תורה לקריאת פרשת זכור במיוחד לנשים, לאחר זמן התפילה, ואז יכולות הנשים לבוא לבית הכנסת לשמוע פרשה זו, ואחרים ישמרו על הילדים בביתם, ומנהג נכון הוא.

The Laws of Hearing Parashat Zachor

On the Shabbat preceding Purim, which is this coming Shabbat, after the opening of the Holy Ark immediately following Shacharit prayers, two Sifrei Torah are removed; in the first one, we read the weekly Parasha (Parashat Tetzaveh) and in the second one we read the portion of “Zachor Et Asher Asa Lecha Amalek” (“Remember what Amalek has done to you”). This Torah portion is referred to as “Parashat Zachor”. (Parashat Zachor can be found at the end of Parashat Ki Tetzeh in the Book of Devarim.)

According to most Poskim, the reading of Parashat Zachor is a Torah obligation. Since the Halacha is well-known that “Mitzvot require intention” (Shulchan Aruch, Chapter 60, Section 4), one must take care while listening to Parashat Zachor to have in mind to fulfill the Torah obligation of remembering the actions of Amalek and obligation to annihilate them. Similarly, the one reading from the Torah must have in mind that the entire congregation will be fulfilling their obligation by listening to his reading.

One who, due to pressing circumstances, could not hear the reading of Parashat Zachor on this Shabbat should have in mind to fulfill his obligation the next time this portion is read, which is on the Shabbat of Parashat Ki Tetzeh. In this situation, one must ask the person reading the Torah to have him in mind while reading so that he may fulfill his obligation. Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that nevertheless, one should preferably read Parashat Zachor from a Chumash on Shabbat Zachor.

There is a dispute among the Poskim whether or not women are obligated to hear the reading of Parashat Zachor. The Sefer Ha’Chinuch and others maintain that women are exempt from hearing Parashat Zachor since the underlying reason for reading this portion is to remember the actions of Amalek in order to wage war against them and women do not usually take part in active combat nor are they commanded in the Mitzvah of fighting; therefore, they are not obligated to hear the reading of Parashat Zachor. (Clearly, there is no distinction between an average woman and a woman of uplifted spirit who would like to go out to war, for the Torah does not command women to annihilate Amalek since women do not usually take part in conquest.) However, many Poskim are of the opinion that women are obligated to hear Parashat Zachor (which is indeed the prevalent custom). Thus, those women who act stringently and attend synagogue (in the women’s section, obviously) to hear Parashat Zachor are indeed praiseworthy. A woman who has small children and cannot leave them to hear Parashat Zachor is exempt from hearing Parashat Zachor.

Nowadays, it is customary in many places to take out a Sefer Torah and read Parashat Zachor especially for women after morning prayers have concluded; in this way, women will indeed be able to hear Parashat Zachor while someone else attends to the children at home. This should preferably be done at a time when there are ten adult men present in the synagogue, such as shortly before Mincha services. This is indeed a fine custom.

see below for 
Times for Purim

תפלה לחורף תשפ״ג

Winter Timetable 5783 – 2022/23

מוצאי שבת



מנחה שבת

סוף זמן קריאת שמע

הדלקת נרות

מנחה וקבלת שבת


שבת פרשת






Shema before

Candle Lighting

Minha & Kabbalat Shabbat



















3/4 Mar



Mincha followed by Seuda Shelishit
Moor Lane Avot Ubanim 
THIS WEEK 7:40 pm
Ladies Nach Group 
Sunday Morning Breakfast
Purim Breakfast-1 (1).png
Zecher Lemachasit HaShekel

The Custom of the “Commemoration of the Half-Shekel”- The Seventh of Adar

In the beginning of Parashat Ki-Tisa, which we read again not long ago for Parashat Shekalim, the Torah commands the Jewish nation to donate a Half-Shekel during the times when the Bet Hamikdash stood.

This Mitzvah was auspicious in that it protected the Jewish nation from all plague; indeed, the secrets of these Mitzvah are quite deep. When the Bet Hamikdash stood, the Bet Din would publicly announce the start of the Half-Shekel collection and they would call on the entire nation to donate immediately, beginning from Rosh Chodesh Adar, which is the time appropriate for this Mitzvah.

It is customary to donate money before Purim as “a commemoration of the Half-Shekel” which was donated by the entire Jewish nation when the Bet Hamikdash stood. This money is customarily collected on the eve of Purim before reading the Megillah, as our Sages tell us (Megilla 13b) that “it is revealed and known before the Creator of the world that Haman would, in the future, weigh Shekalim against the Jews, therefore, He preceded their Shekalim to his.” Nevertheless, one may donate this sum before this time, any time following Rosh Chodesh Adar.

Women should also participate in this commemorative donation, and it is preferable to donate on behalf of one’s children as well. Some even donate for their unborn babies as well.

Not Calling this Sum the “Half-Shekel”
The Poskim write that nowadays one should be careful not to call this sum of money “the Half-Shekel,” rather, “a commemoration of the Half-Shekel,” for if one would call it the former, there is concern that this money may be consecrated to the Bet Hamikdash and thus be prohibited to benefit from, thereby prohibiting its distribution to the poor.

This is mentioned openly in the Responsa of the Geonim that “calling Tzedakah money ‘the Half-Shekel’ is improper and this money becomes prohibited to benefit from.” Thus, it is proper to call this money just a “commemoration of the Half-Shekel” in order to avoid any doubt.

The Amount One Should Donate for the Commemoration of the Half-Shekel
What is the amount one should donate in commemoration of the Half-Shekel? The actual Half-Shekel coin amounted to the weight of nine grams of pure silver. However, if one’s financial situation does not allow one to donate this amount, donating any coin in commemoration of the Half-Shekel is sufficient.

The appropriate sum that one should donate in commemoration of the Half-Shekel this year (5783) is approximately $7 (USD) per person(For those residing in Israel, based on the recent USD to NIS conversion rate, the sum this year is approximately 25 NIS per person.)   

The way to calculate this sum is as follows: A troy ounce of silver consists of 31.1 grams. Thus, the price of one troy ounce of silver [recently approximately $22 USD] must be divided by 31.1 and then multiplied by nine in order to find the updated price of nine grams of silver, which is the value of actual Half-Shekel coin, as we have mentioned in past years. There is a disagreement among the Poskim whether the price per ounce of silver should be calculated including applicable sales tax. Halachically speaking, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l has instructed us that one may be lenient and calculate this sum excluding tax. However, if one acts stringently and donates a larger sum for charity, one shall surely be blessed from above.

The minimum amount of the donation for the commemoration of the Half-Shekel for small children is the value of a coin which is a half of the local currency. Example: In the United States this would be a half-dollar coin, hence, the donation would equal fifty cents. (In Israel, this would be the Half-Shekel [NIS] coin.)

Whom to Donate to
This money must be given as charity to the poor. Hagaon Harav Chaim Palagi writes in his Sefer Ruach Chaim (Chapter 694, Subsection 2) that this money should be given to needy Torah scholars who toil tirelessly in Torah. This is the most important charity of all. Whoever works to raise the glory of the Torah and those who study it shall merit seeing the raised glory of Israel. As our Sages tell us (Baba Batra 10b): “Through what merit will the glory of Israel be raised? Through ‘Ki Tisa’ (donating charity).’”

Three Coins
The Rama (Chapter 694) writes that it is proper to donate the sum in commemoration of the Half-Shekel in the form of three coins in commemoration of the fact that the verse states “the donation of Hashem” three times in the portion of the Torah corresponding to the Half-Shekel. This custom is quoted by Hagaon Harav Chaim Palagi as well as by Maran zt”l in his Chazon Ovadia-Purim (page 103).

Thus, in Israel, it is preferable to donate this sum in the form of two Ten-Shekel coins and one Five-Shekel coin. (In the United States, one cannot reach the sum of five dollars using three coins of the local currency and thus, bills are perfectly acceptable.)

Q & A on Parashat Tetzave
  1. What two precautions were taken to assure the purity of the oil for the menorah?
    27:20 – The olives were pressed and not ground; and only the first drop was used.
  2. How was Aharon commanded to kindle the menorah?
    27:20 – He was commanded to kindle it until the flame ascended by itself.
  3. What does tamid mean in reference to the menorah?
    27:20 – It means that it should be kindled every night.
  4. What does kehuna mean?
    28:3 – Service.
  5. Name the eight garments worn by the Kohen Gadol.
    28:4,36,42 – Choshen, ephod, me'il, ketonet, mitznefet, avnet, tzitz, and michnasayim.
  6. To what does Rashi compare the ephod?
    28:6 – A woman's riding garment.
  7. In which order were the names of the Tribes inscribed on the ephod?
    28:10 – In order of birth.
  8. The stones of the ephod bore the inscription of the names of the sons of Yaakov. Why?
    28:12 – So that G-d would see their names and recall their righteousness.
  9. For what sins did the choshen mishpat atone?
    28:15 – For judicial errors.
  10. What are three meanings of the word mishpat?
    28:15 – The claims of the litigants (b) The court's ruling (c) The court's punishment.
  11. What was lacking in the bigdei kehuna in the second Beit Hamikdash?
    28:30 – The Urim V'Tumim — the “Shem Ha'meforash” placed in the folds of the choshen.
  12. Which garment's fabric was woven of only one material?
    28:31 – The fabric of the me'il was made only of techelet.
  13. When the Kohen Gadol wore all his priestly garments, where on his head was the tefillin situated?
    28:37 – Between the tzitz and the mitznefet.
  14. What does the word tamid mean in reference to the tzitz? (two answers)
    28:38 – It always atones, even when not being worn. (b) The Kohen Gadol must always be aware that he is wearing it.
  15. Which garments were worn by a kohen hediot?
    28:40,42 – Ketonet, avnet, migba'at and michnasayim.
  16. During the inauguration of the kohanim, a bullock was brought as a sin offering. For what sin did this offering atone?
    29:1 – The sin of the golden calf.
  17. Moshe was commanded to wash Aharon and his sons to prepare them to serve as kohanim (29:4). How were they washed?
    29:4 – They immersed in a mikveh.
  18. What was unique about the bull sin-offering brought during the inauguration of the kohanim?
    29:14 – It is the only external sin-offering that was completely burned.
  19. How did the oil used for the meal-offering differ from the oil used for the menorah?
    29:40 – Oil for the menorah comes only from beaten olives. Oil for meal-offerings may come from either beaten olives or from ground-up olives.
  20. What does the crown on the mizbeach haketoret symbolize?
    30:3 – The crown of kehuna.

Halachot from Maran Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Ztz'l

מגילת אסתר

היום הוא יום תענית אסתר, ופרטי הדינים השייכים ליום זה
מבוארים בהלכה זו

כל אדם בקריאת מגילת אסתר ביום הפורים, וצריך לקרותה בלילה ולחזור ולקרותה ביום,
שנאמר “אלהי, אקרא יומם ולא תענה ולילה ולא דומיה לי”, ופסוק זה הנאמר
בספר תהילים פרק כג, מתחיל במילים “למנצח על אילת השחר”, ואמרו בגמרא במסכת
יומא (כט.) שאסתר נמשלה לאילת השחר
, וכמו שהזכרנו  כבר.

מגילה זו נקראת בשם “מגילת אסתר”, והקשו המפרשים למה נקרא שמה של מגילה
מגילת אסתר”, שכן היה לנו לקרותה “מגילת מרדכי
ואסתר”, שהרי שניהם שוו לטובה, שבזכות שניהם נעשה נס פורים. ואף שללא ספק היה
מקום להקדים את שמה של אסתר, גם משום שהיא המלכה, וגם משום שתחילת הגאולה וסיומה
נעשו על ידה
, אבל
להעלים לחלוטין את שם מרדכי, לא מובן למה, והלא הוא הרוח החיה בכל עניין הנס, אם
בתחילה, שהרי הוא הודיע לאסתר על עניין בגתן ותרש, ואם לבסוף, שהוא המריץ את אסתר
לבוא אל המלך להתחנן לו, ואן כן, היה לנו לקרותה מגילת אסתר ומרדכי

ובאמת שיש אף
להוסיף לחזק את השאלה, על פי מה שכתב רבינו יוסף חיים מבבל, שהסביר מדוע אנו
אומרים בתפילה (ב”על הניסים”) “בימי מרדכי ואסתר” וכן בסוף
קריאת המגילה, אנו אומרים “ברוך מרדכי” ואחר כך “ברוכה אסתר”,
והלא יש לנו להקדים את אסתר למרדכי, שהרי עיקר הנס נעשה על ידי אסתר, ותירץ שמשני
טעמים יש להקדים את מרדכי לאסתר, משום שמרדכי הוא זה שהמריץ את אסתר לבוא אל המלך
להתחנן לו, ועוד, שיש להקדים את מרדכי, משום שהנס של אסתר פחות גדול מנס מרדכי,
משום שנס אסתר הוא יותר קרוב לטבע, כי דרך העולם שהאיש מכבד את אשתו, ולכן אחשורוש
כיבד את אסתר ושמע לה לבטל את הגזירות על היהודים
, ואילו נס מרדכי
הוא בולט יותר, שבדרך הטבע המן כבר היה תולה את מרדכי, ובכל פעם שהיה בא לתלות את
מרדכי, היה נכנס בו פחד נורא לבצע זממו, ודבר זה הוא מן השמים. (דהיינו שנס אסתר,
אף שבודאי היה נס נפלא, מכל מקום התגלגל על פי צירוף של עניינים טבעיים, מה שאין
כן נס מרדכי היה יותר שמיימי, ואי אפשר לתרצו על פי הטבע כל כך), ואם כן לפי דברי
רבינו יוסף חיים, שנס מרדכי היה אף גדול מנס אסתר, מתחזקת יותר השאלה, מדוע נקראת
מגילת אסתר ולא מגילת מרדכי ואסתר

ותירץ הגאון רבי
שמעון חיררי שליט”א (מזקני חכמי תונס, חי כיום בתל אביב), על פי מה שנאמר במגילה
בתחילה “ויכתוב מרדכי את הדברים האלה” דהיינו שהוא כתב את המגילה, ואחר
כך נאמר “ותכתוב אסתר בת אביחיל ומרדכי היהודי”, דהיינו ששניהם כתבו את
המגילה. וביאור העניין הוא, שבתחילה מרדכי הוא שכתב, וכששלח את דבר המגילה להיות
עושים את ימי הפורים לכל היהודים, לא קבלו כולם את דבריו עליהם. ורק אחר כך ששלחה
להם אסתר, קבלו הכל עליהם את דבר המגילה
, וכמו שאמרו
רבותינו, שלחה להם אסתר לחכמים קבעוני לדורות (דהיינו שבקשה שיתקנו את ימי הפורים
כדין גמור לדורות), שלחו לה החכמים, קנאה את מעוררת עלינו בין האומות, שהגויים
יתקנאו בישראל כשיראו שהם עושים חג לניצחונם
, שלחה להם, כבר
אני כתובה על ספר דברי הימים למלכי מדי ופרס, ושם יראו הגויים אשר נעשה להם, ואם
כן בחגיגת ימי הפורים לא תוסיפו קנאה

ועל כן מובן
מדוע נקראת המגילה רק על שם אסתר, משום שדוקא על ידי אסתר המלכה נתקבלה במגילה על
כל ישראל, ועל דעת חכמי ישראל, ועל כן זכתה אסתר שהמגילה תקרא על שמה

Megillat Esther

Everyone is obligated to hear
the reading of the Megillah on the holiday of Purim. It must be read at night
and then once again during the day, as the verse states, “My G-d, I call out to
You during the day and You do not answer; at night I have no rest.” This verse
can be found in Tehillim (Psalm 22) which begins with the words, “To the Chief
Musician according to Ayelet HaShachar.” Our Sages (Yoma 29a) tell us that
Esther was compared to an Ayelet HaShachar (doe of the dawn), as we have
already mentioned.

This Megillah is known as “Megillat Esther.” The commentaries ask: Why is this
Megillah referred to as “Megillat
Esther”; it would seem that it should be called
“Megillat Mordechai
Ve’Esther,” as they both equally merited bringing about the
miracle of Purim? Although it certainly makes sense to mention Esther’s name
first, both because she was the queen and because the beginning and conclusion
of the redemption were brought about through her, nevertheless, to completely
omit Mordechai’s name is quite incomprehensible, for he was the spirit behind
the entire miracle, both in the beginning when he revealed the plot of Bigtan
and Teresh to Esther and at the end when he spurred Esther forth to come before
the king and plead for the Jewish nation. If so, it should certainly be called
“Megillat Mordechai

Indeed, this question can be strengthened based on the words of Rabbeinu Yosef
Haim of Baghdad. He asks: Why in the Al
Ha’Nissim text (inserted into the Amida
prayers and Birkat Hamazon of Purim) do we say “In the days of Mordechai and
Esther” and additionally, at the conclusion of the Megillah reading we recite
“Blessed is Mordechai” followed by “Blessed is
Esther”; would it not make sense
to mention Esther before Mordechai, for the primary part of the miracle was
brought about through Esther? He answers that there are two reasons why
Mordechai is mentioned before Esther: Firstly, Mordechai was the one to
motivate Esther to come before the king to plead for her nation. Secondly,
Esther’s miracle was not as great as Mordechai’s miracle, for Esther’s miracle
was closer to being natural, for it is natural for a man to respect his wife
and Achashverosh thus respected Esther by heeding her request to annul the
harsh decrees against the Jews. However, Mordechai’s miracle was more
prominent, for naturally, Haman should have already hanged Mordechai, but every
time he came to carry out his plot, he became filled with a tremendous fear;
this was clearly from Heaven. (This means to say that although Esther’s miracle
was indeed wondrous, it nevertheless came about through a sequence of natural
events as opposed to Mordechai’s miracle which was more Heavenly and could not
be considered as natural.) Based on these words of the saintly Ben Ish Hai that
the miracle of Mordechai was greater than that of Esther, our original question
becomes even stronger: Why is this Megillah called “Megillat Esther” and not
“Megillat Mordechai Ve’Esther”?

Hagaon Harav Shimon Hirari Shlit”a (an elderly Tunisian scholar now residing in
Tel Aviv) answers based on the verse that is first written in the Megillah,
“Mordechai wrote down these matters,” meaning that he wrote the Megillah. However,
the Megillah later states, “Esther, daughter of Avichail, and Mordechai the Jew
wrote,” meaning that both of them wrote the Megillah. This means to say that
originally, Mordechai wrote the Megillah himself and when he delivered the
contents of the Megillah, i.e. for all Jews to celebrate these days of Purim,
not everyone was willing to accept his words. Only afterwards, when Esther sent
out the Megillah, did the entire nation accept upon themselves to fulfill the
contents of the Megillah, as our Sages said, “Esther sent [a message] to the
Sages requesting that they establish a law to celebrate the days of Purim for
all generations. The Sages sent her back [a message]: ‘You are causing the
nations of the world to spite us when they see that we are celebrating a
holiday marking our victory over them.’ She sent back: ‘I have already been
recorded in the record books of Media and Persia and the nations will be able
to read about what happened to them there.’” Thus, there would be no additional
strife created by instituting the days of Purim.

It is now clear why the Megillah is named solely after Esther, for through
Queen Esther was the Megillah accepted by the entire Jewish nation at the
behest of the Sages of Israel. Esther therefore merited having the Megillah
named after her