Newsletter Parashat Chukat / Balak

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New programme for the Summer Season!

‘Ahab, Elijah and Jezebel’ _Kings 1_
Good and Evil, Truth and Lies, Murder and Miracles – 

join us as we delve into this fascinating chapter in the history of the Kings of Israel. 
Every Shabbat @ 6.15-7.15pm in the hall. 

Never tried learning Nach with us before? 
We all have different skill levels and we don’t judge. 
We believe EVERYONE can add something unique that benefits us all. 
Come along and give it a go, we’re very friendly!

For more information, contact 
Dina Shalom: 07840043734
Looking forward to learning together!
Please Pray for the 
Refuah Shelema 
Shelomo Dov Alexander ben Esther
Abraham ben Esther

לוח זמני תפלה לקיץ תשפ״ג

Summer Timetable 5783 – 2023

מוצאי שבת



סוף זמן קראת שמע

זמן שבת

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*



















30 Jun / 

1 July


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 MUST be lit by that time, in all cases.

Shabbat Afternoon 
Avot Ubanim 5:00 pm
Mincha 6:00 pm
Q & A on Parashat 
  1. “Take a perfect Para Aduma (red heifer).” What does the word “perfect” temima mean in this context?
    19:2 – Perfectly red.
  2. How many non-red hairs disqualify a cow as a Para Aduma?
    19:2 – Two.
  3. man dies in a tent. What happens to the sealed metal and earthenware utensils in the tent?
    19:14,15 – The metal utensils are impure for seven days, even if they are sealed. The sealed earthenware vessels are unaffected.
  4. What happens to the one who: a) sprinkles the water mixed with the ashes of the Para Aduma; b) touches the water; c) carries the water?
    19:21 – a) Remains tahor; b) He, but not his clothing, contracts tumah; c) He and his clothing contract tumah.
  5. Why was the mitzvah of the Para Aduma entrusted to Elazar rather than to Aharon?
    19:22 – Because Aharon was involved in the sin of the Golden Calf.
  6. Why does the Torah stress that all of the congregation came to Midbar Tzin?
    20:1 – To teach that they were all fit to enter the Land; everyone involved in the sin of the spies already died.
  7. Why is Miriam's death taught after the law of Para Aduma?
    20:1 – To teach that just as sacrifices bring atonement, so too does the death of the righteous.
  8. During their journey in the midbar, in whose merit did the Jewish People receive water?
    20:2 – Miriam's.
  9. Why did Moshe need to strike the rock a second time?
    20:11 – After he hit it the first time, only a few drops came out since he was commanded to speak to the rock.
  10. When Moshe told the King of Edom that the Jewish People would not drink from the well-water, to which well did he refer? What do we learn from this?
    20:17 – To the well that traveled with the nation in the midbar. This teaches that one who has adequate provisions should nevertheless purchase goods from his host in order to benefit the host.
  11. The cloud that led the Jewish People leveled all mountains in their path except three. Which three and why?
    20:22 – Har Sinai for receiving the Torah, Har Nevo for Moshe's burial, and Hor Hahar for Aharon's burial.
  12. Why did the entire congregation mourn Aharon's death?
    20:29 – Aharon made peace between contending parties and between spouses. Thus, everybody mourned him.
  13. What disappeared when Aharon died?
    20:29 – The clouds of glory disappeared, since they sheltered the Jews in Aharon's merit.
  14. Which “inhabitant of the South” (21:1) attacked the Jews?
    21:1 – Amalek.
  15. For what two reasons did G-d punish the people with snakes specifically?
    21:6 – The original snake, which was punished for speaking evil, is fitting to punish those who spoke evil about G-d and about Moshe. And the snake, to which everything tastes like dust, is fitting to punish those who complained about the manna which changed to any desired taste.
  16. Why did the Jewish People camp in Arnon, rather than pass through Moav to enter Eretz Canaan?
    21:13 – Moav refused them passage.
  17. What miracle took place at the valley of Arnon?
    21:15 – The Amorites hid in caves in the mountain on the Moabite side of the valley in order to ambush the Jews. When the Jews approached, the mountain on the Eretz Canaan side of the valley moved close to the other mountain and the Amorites were crushed.
  18. What was the “strength” of Amon that prevented the Jewish People from entering into their Land?
    21:24 – G-d's command, “Do not harass them” (Devarim 2:19).
  19. Why was Moshe afraid of Og?
    21:34 – Og had once been of service to Avraham. Moshe was afraid that this merit would assist Og in battle.
  20. Who killed Og?
    21:35 – Moshe.
  1. Why did Moav consult specifically with Midian regarding their strategy against the Jews?
    22:4 – Since Moshe grew up in Midian, the Moabites thought the Midianites might know wherein lay Moshe's power.
  2. What was Balak's status before becoming Moav's king?
    22:4 – He was a prince of Midian.
  3. Why did G-d grant prophecy to the evil Bilaam?
    22:5 – So the other nations couldn't say, “If we had had prophets, we also would have become righteous.”
  4. Why did Balak think Bilaam's curse would work?
    22:6 – Because Bilaam's curse had helped Sichon defeat Moav.
  5. When did Bilaam receive his prophecies?
    22:8 – Only at night.
  6. G-d asked Bilaam, “Who are these men with you?” What did Bilaam deduce from this question?
    22:9 – He mistakenly reasoned that G-d isn't all-knowing.
  7. How do we know Bilaam hated the Jews more than Balak did?
    22:11 – Balak wanted only to drive the Jews from the land. Bilaam sought to exterminate them completely.
  8. What is evidence of Bilaam's arrogance?
    22:13 – He implied that G-d wouldn't let him go with the Moabite princes due to their lesser dignity.
  9. In what way was the malach that opposed Bilaam an angel of mercy?
    22:22 – It mercifully tried to stop Bilaam from sinning and destroying himself.
  10. How did Bilaam die?
    22:23 – He was killed with a sword.
  11. Why did the malach kill Bilaam's donkey?
    22:33 – So that people shouldn't see it and say, “Here's the donkey that silenced Bilaam.” G-d is concerned with human dignity.
  12. Bilaam compared his meeting with an angel to someone else's meeting with an angel. Who was the other person and what was the comparison?
    22:34 – Avraham. Bilaam said, “G-d told me to go but later sent an angel to stop me. The same thing happened to Avraham: G-d told Avraham to sacrifice Yitzchak but later canceled the command through an angel.”
  13. Bilaam told Balak to build seven altars. Why specifically seven?
    23:4 – Corresponding to the seven altars built by the Avot. Bilaam said to G-d, “The Jewish People's ancestors built seven altars, but I alone have built altars equal to all of them.”
  14. Who in Jewish history seemed fit for a curse, but got a blessing instead?
    23:8 – Yaakov, when Yitzchak blessed him.
  15. Why are the Jewish People compared to lions?
    23:24 – They rise each morning and “strengthen” themselves to do mitzvot.
  16. On Bilaam's third attempt to curse the Jews, he changed his strategy. What was different?
    24:1 – He began mentioning the Jewish People's sins, hoping thus to be able to curse them.
  17. What were Bilaam's three main characteristics?
    24:2 – An evil eye, pride and greed.
  18. What did Bilaam see that made him decide not to curse the Jews?
    24:2 – He saw each tribe dwelling without intermingling. He saw the tents arranged so no one could see into his neighbor's tent.
  19. What phrase in Bilaam's self-description can be translated in two opposite ways, both of which come out meaning the same thing?
    24:3 – “Shatum ha'ayin.” It means either “the poked-out eye,” implying blindness in one eye; or it means “the open eye”, which means vision but implies blindness in the other eye.
  20. Bilaam told Balak that the Jews' G-d hates what?
    24:14 – Promiscuity.

Halachot from Hacham Ovadia Yosef זצק״ל

מלאכת זורע בשבת

נאמר בתורה (ספר שמות פרק כ): “זָכוֹר אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ, שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תַּעֲבֹד וְעָשִׂיתָ כָּל מְלַאכְתֶּךָ, וְיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבָּת לַה' אֱלֹקֶיךָ, לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה כָל מְלָאכָה אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ וכו', כִּי שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים עָשָׂה ה' אֶת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת הָאָרֶץ אֶת הַיָּם וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר בָּם וַיָּנַח בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, עַל כֵּן בֵּרַךְ ה' אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וַיְקַדְּשֵׁהוּ”.   והזהירה התורה על שמירת השבת שתים עשרה פעמים, כי יסוד אמונתנו הוא האמונה בבריאת העולם על ידי ה' יתברך, ואמרו רבותינו, כל המשמר את השבת כאילו מקיים את כל התורה, וכל המחלל את השבת כאילו כפר בתורה כולה. וזאת מפני הטעם שהזכרנו, ששמירת השבת היא שורש אמונתנו.

כל המלאכות שאסור מן התורה לעשותן ביום השבת, נקראות “אבות מלאכות”, ויש להן “תולדות”. ולשם דוגמא, נזכיר אב ותולדה במלאכות שבת, והם ה”בונה” וה”מגבן”. ה”בונה”, הוא מי שבונה בנין בשבת, שעובר על איסור מן התורה במלאכה האסורה בשבת. ואילו תולדת מלאכת בונה, היא מלאכה שדומה לה, והיא מלאכת “מגבן”, שהוא אדם המעמיד חלב כדי לעשות ממנו גבינה בשבת, והרי הוא עובר על חילול שבת משום “בונה”, מפני שתכליתה של מלאכת הבונה, היא קיבוץ וחיבור כמה חלקים ביחד לעשותם גוש אחד, ועשיית הגבינה דומה ממש למלאכה זו, ולכן אף היא אסורה מן התורה. (ולענין עשיית קרח בשבת יבואר אם ירצה ה' בהזדמנות).

אבות מלאכות האסורות בשבת הן ארבעים חסר אחת (כלומר שלושים ותשע מלאכות) והן הנקראות ט”ל מלאכות, ונשנו כולן במשנה במסכת שבת (דף עג.). כמו שהזכרנו הרבה פעמים.

הראשונה באבות המלאכות היא מלאכת “זורע”, ובכלל אב מלאכה זו נמצא כל דבר שבכוונתו להצמיח דבר. ולדוגמא, הזורע בשבת, וכן הזומר אילנות בשבת כדי שיגדלו יפה, והמרכיב אילנות וכיוצא בזה. ובגמרא במסכת מועד קטן (ב:) אמרו שאף המשקה בשבת חייב משום זורע, מפני שעל ידי המים צומחים הזרעים והאילנות. ומכלל זה יש להזהיר את האוכלים בשבת באילנות ובפרדסים שלא יטלו ידיהם על גבי העשבים, וכן יזהרו שלא לשפוך משקה על גבי העשבים, מפני שעל ידי כך נמצא שהם משקים את העשבים, ויש בזה איסור משום זורע. ואף על פי שאינם מתכוונים לכך, מכל מקום יש בכך איסור שגורם לגידול העשבים.

וכתב מרן הבית יוסף בשם ספר התרומה, שנכון להיזהר בשבת שלא לאכול במקום שיש עשבים מחוברים לקרקע, מפני שקשה להיזהר שלא ישפכו עליהם מים ונמצא עובר על מלאכת “זורע”. ופשוט שהדין כן גם באכילה על גבי דשא כמו שמצוי בזמנינו.

The Forbidden Work of Planting on Shabbat

The Torah (Shemot 20) states: “Remember the day of Shabbat to sanctify it. Six days you shall work and perform all of your labor and the seventh day shall be a Shabbat for Hashem, your G-d etc. For in six days Hashem created the Heavens and the earth and on He rested on the seventh day. Thus, Hashem blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.” The Torah warns us about the commandment of Shabbat observance twelve times, for it is the basis of our belief in Hashem’s creation of the world. Our Sages teach us that one who observes the Shabbat is tantamount to having fulfilled the entire Torah and one who desecrates the Shabbat is tantamount to having denied the entire Torah. The reason for this is, as we have mentioned above, because Shabbat observance is the basis of our belief.

Any works forbidden to be performed on Shabbat are referred to as “primary works” and each of these works have “subcategories.” For instance, one of the “primary works” on Shabbat is building , such as erecting a building, while its subcategory is cheese making (turning milk into cheese), for joining several pieces or components together to form one larger object is similar to building and is forbidden on Shabbat (as we have explained regarding the issue of making ice cubes on Shabbat).

There are thirty-nine primary forbidden works on Shabbat which are all enumerated in the Mishnah (Shabbat 73a).

The first of these forbidden works is that of planting; included in this forbidden work is any action one performs with the intention of causing something to grow or blossom, such as planting on Shabbat, pruning trees on Shabbat so that they grow nicely, grafting trees together, and the like. The Gemara (Mo’ed Katan 2b) states that one who water plants or trees on Shabbat is likewise liable for the prohibition of planting on Shabbat, for water causes the seeds and trees to grow. Based on this, one should point out to those eating in gardens or orchards on Shabbat not to wash their hands over grass or plants as well as not to pour any beverage over plants, for by doing so one is watering the plants and this constitutes the forbidden work of planting on Shabbat. Although this may not be one’s intention, it is nevertheless forbidden to cause plants to grow.

Maran Ha’Bet Yosef writes in the name of the Sefer Ha’Terumah that it is proper to avoid eating on Shabbat in a place where weeds or plants are attached to the ground, for it is difficult to make sure one does not spill water on them, thus causing one to transgress the prohibition of planting on Shabbat. Clearly, the same applies to eating on top of grass which is quite common nowadays.