Sunday, May 29, 2011

Not a mazal tov!

In R' Yisroel Shemtov's little Kapota shop today (B"H, I now have a reason to enter), one of the men waiting for a Kapota introduced himself to me as Pink, from England.
"Hey, don't you have a mazal tov!?" I asked.
"I don't think so. My nephew was born about a month ago, my son's Bar Mitzvah is in two months..."
"Hmmm," I hmmmmed, "I thought I saw your name online today."
"Maybe that was my brother. His home was attacked. Terrorism. Al-qeida..."
"Oh, sorry to hear. Yes, maybe that is what I had seen online, I didn't read the article. Not a mazal tov..."

From the plate to the ring

A chosson and kallah limit their communication and visitation (is that term only used for prisons?) before their chasuna. The Rebbe told many people that, "If you are close when you should be far, than ch"v you may be far when you should be close."
But why is it that you should be far, and distant?
It's definitely something very hard for the new couple. They agreed to get married, after only meeting for a few weeks. The natural tendency is to want to learn everything they can about each other, and grow in their relationship, before becoming lifelong partners.
Perhaps a precedent for this idea, and something which has helped me understand this situation, is the first mass-wedding in Jewish history (yay for Historia!), which first occurred 3,323 years ago, and in a week and a half will occur again, G-d willing, on Shavuous.
When the Yidden left Egypt, they reached Har Sinai and received the Torah. Throughout the spectrum of Jewish commentaries, this moment is described as the Chasuna between Hashem and the Jewish People. The Medrash says that Hashem lifted Har Sinai above the heads of the Yidden. This was like the Chuppa that the Chosson and Kallah stand under.

If Matan Torah was the Yidden's wedding to the Aibeshter, I think Yetzias Metzrayim was a lot like the dating process.

Hashem came in and did lots of fancy, spectacular miracles.
The Jews were very impressed, and agreed to follow their G-d into a desert and become His Chosen People.

A bochur on a date also tries to impress and charm the young lady he is with, by holding doors open, and pretending to be interested in what she has to say.

Then they agree to get married!

But they barely know each other, and soon they will be intimately joined through the union of marriage.

How did the Jews prepare to be united with Hashem?
They didn't try to learn as much as they could about The Big Guy, and only received a few mitzvos to try out in the meantime.
What the Jews occupied themselves with was Sefiras HaOmer.
Instead of learning about Hashem, they chose to learn about themselves. They examined who they were, and worked on themselves in each of their Middos.
This way, when the Sixth of Sivan came around, they could bring the best of themselves they had to offer.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Birthday!

Tomorrow night is my birthday, IY"H.
Who is excited?
Turning 23...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Peach Talks

How could there possibly be any disagreement? (This was on collive.com. I wrote a comment on this, which wasn't published, but the story was changed.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Night Tzitzis

The mitzvah of wearing Tzitzis is only during the daytime, not at night.
It is our custom, however, to wear tzitzis at night, as well, although we are Patur at that time.
There is a tshuva from the Tzemach Tzedek, as told to me by a trusted source (I haven't seen it inside), that discusses Night Tzitzis.
If you were to wear Night Tzitzis, you would not be gaining anything. You are not doing a mitzvah that you are Patur from. The mitzvah of tzitzis is only during the day, therefore to be considered doing the mitzvah at night, although not required to, you must wear Day Tzitzis at night.
People who have two pairs of tzitzis, and wear one during the day, and switch to a different pair at night are not performing our custom correctly. Since their tzitzis at night is designated for the night, they are not chayiv in tzitzis.

Making sense so far?

Most people own more than one pair of tzitzis. The reasoning behind not wearing the same pair night and day, is that when you wake up, you are already wearing tzitzis. We only make the bracha when we put on tzitzis, not when we are already wearing them. So if you have a second pair of tzitzis, it is easier to remove the tzitzis you wore at night, and don your second pair.

So:

It is more preferable (according to this tshuva) to wear one pair of tzitzis, and in the morning to remove them, and put them on again, in order to make the bracha, than to have a second pair which you wear only at night, which allows you to very easily put on new tzitzis for the bracha.

The only way to have two pairs of tzitzis, would be if you wear both pairs in the days and nights (not at the same time, silly), so instead of a Day Tzitzis and Night Tzitzis, both pairs are Day Tzitzis, and then you can wear either pair at night, and be doing the mitzvah that we are Patur from.

Make sense?

Once I'm discussing tzitzis, here are a few other halachos:
- M'doriasa, a Beged is only chayiv in tzitzis if it is wool or linen.
-If a Beged has more than four corners, we still only hang tzitzis on four of the corners. Which corners do we choose? The four corner-ier ones, i.e. the ones most distant from each other.

**A friend of mine suggested that perhaps since most bochurim wake up past daybreak, they are indeed wearing their 'Night Tzitzis' during the day, so there is no problem...