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The 39 Melachos

Basic Premise of the Melachah: The basic concept of Dosh is the extraction of a fruit, vegetable or earth-grown commodity from its natural inedible shell or peel.

permitted to put one of these fruits to ones lips and suck the juice out (this is forbidden with grapes and olives). Fruits and vegetables that are rarely pressed for juice, e.g. melons, are permitted to be squeezed for their juices. Other issues regarding Sechitah to mention but a few include: squeezing cooked In the Mishkan: Agriculture was vital in the Mishkan, according to Rashi and foods; squeezing onto solids and squeezing wet cloths. others, for producing certain herbs and seeds. These were the Rabbinical Restrictions: ingredients in dyes needed to colour tapestries in the Mish- The following activities were Rabbinically restricted to prevent kan. Rav Hai Gaon holds that agriculture was needed to pro- people from performing the Melachah: crushing snow; melting duce wheat for the Lechem Hapanim. Either way, threshing is ice; making instant coffee; making ice cubes and squeezing or an important part of the agricultural process. shampooing hair. Substances to which Dosh is Applicable: Dosh applies only to earth-grown items. However, there are very broad guidelines for determining which items are classified as earth-grown. They include not only all plant life, but even some animal life as well. For example, humans and animals are considered earth-grown. This is because ultimately, they derive their sustenance from the earth. Therefore, milking a cow would be considered Dosh. On the other hand, fish are not considered earth-grown as their ecology is sea related. Therefore it is permitted to e.g. press the contents of a can of tuna to extract the unwanted packing oil. Peeling Fruits: Peeling most fruits is not Dosh. There are two main explanations as to why this is so:

26th October 2013

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Issue No: 443 Shabbos In: 5:31 Shabbos Out: 6:36 Sof Zman Krias Shema: 10:13

1) Dosh doesnt apply to thin peels that are closely attached to the fruit. Since closely attached peels are considered only secondary to the fruit itself, they are therefore halachically classified as part of the fruit. Hence, there is no problem with removing the peel. However, this view leaves some questions unresolved. Is peeling garlic permitted? Since garlic has two peels, the outer one is not part of the fruit so shouldnt it be subject to Dosh? Additionally, according to this view, it is Dosh and Borer: questionable whether one may shell peanuts. This is because Although it appears that the fundamental concept of Dosh is the peanut is not attached to the shell but is merely contained the same as Borer- selecting, the two Melachos are different. inside; is the shell also subject to Dosh? Borer involves selecting from a mixture. This entails isolating or sorting undesirable items from a mixture. Dosh, on the 2) Dosh doesnt apply to peels and shells that are normally left other hand, is merely the breaking apart of peels or chaff from remaining until the time of eating. The reason for this exemption is that the Melachah corresponds to what was performed the item without necessarily sorting the mixture. in the Mishkan. The grain crops threshed for the Mishkan Sechitah: were only stored for use after the chaff was removed. HowevSqueezing fruit for its juice is a Toldah, derivative, of Dosh and er, with most fruits, we store the fruit still with its peel and is commonly referred to as Sechitah. Mdeoraisa, it is only only remove the peel just before eating. Therefore, most fruits forbidden to squeeze grapes and olives. For all fruits and arent comparable to Dosh in the Mishkan so are exempt from vegetables that are commonly pressed for their juices and Dosh. Nowadays we mainly follow the second opinion. enjoyed as drinks (the Talmud specifies berries and pomegranates), squeezing is forbidden Mderabanon. However, it is Do you have a Kindle? Send us your Kindle E-mail address and we will send the Living Torah directly to your device!

The Midrash Rabbah brings the following anecdote, Rabbi Akiva was teaching his students, however, they weren't paying much attention and were falling asleep. In order to wake them up he suddenly asked, Why did Esther merit ruling over 127 countries? It was because Sarah lived for 127 years; Esther was a descendant of Sarah so she therefore deserved to rule over 127 countries. (Bereishis Rabbah 58:3).

ruler over such a vast kingdom.

By conveying this thought, Rabbi Akiva wasnt only awakening his students, but also rebuking them. How could they act so lethargically towards Torah when Sarah and Esther performed Mitzvos enthusiastically and energetically even at ripe, old ages? The Chasam Sofer (Sefer Toras Moshe) is puzzled by this. How is it possible that Sarah was performing Mitzvos for 127 years? Surely a This Midrash requires an explanation. Firstly, what is the young child is exempt from Mitzvos? connection between Sarah and Esther; Esther wasn't the only descendant of Sarah? Secondly, what unique mesThe Midrash Tanchuma writes on the Pasuk (23:2), sage was Rabbi Akiva trying to relay to his students? If he that Avraham composed Eshes Chayil as a was merely intending to wake them up, surely there are eulogy for Sarah. Avraham writes in the Piyut, many other more relevant thoughts he could have con , - She got up during veyed to them? the night in order to provide food for her household and nourishment for her younger ones. It appears like the At the start of the Sidra (23:1), the words end of the verse is repeating itself? are seemingly superfluous. Rashi explains that the words are teaching us that all the years of Sarah's life were The Chasam Sofer interprets the word, , to equal; she maintained the same level of saintliness mean, her youth. This helps us to re-explain the verse. throughout her life. The Be'er Yosef (Esther 1:1) expands Sarah, apart from providing food for her household, was upon this idea. A person in their youth is equipped with also concerned about 'her youth'. She was keen on makefficiency, everything can be done quickly and with much ing up for lost time during her childhood, a time when energy, yet there is a lack of wisdom and maturity. In she was only a Ketanah and exempt from Mitzvos. She contrast, one who is a little older, although having accutherefore would get up during the night, when she could mulated a wealth of wisdom now lacks the strength and have been sleeping, to compensate for those hours lost enthusiasm of their youth. However, throughout her as a child. It was this dedication to Torah and Mitzvos entire life, Sarah always performed Mitzvos with energy that Rabbi Akiva was trying to instil into his students. and maturity. We find the same characteristic by Esther. The Targum in Megillas Esther implies from the phrase (2:7) , that Esther, like Sarah, maintained the same level of Avodas Hashem throughout her life. Additionally, she possessed many of the exemplary Middos that her ancestor Sarah had; this was why she merited being a Understandably, we are not on the level of Sarah, Esther or even Rabbi Akiva's students, yet it is important for us to be aware of how far our ancestors went to perfect themselves and their Avodas Hashem. We, on our level, must also strive to do better when serving Hashem and try to maximise our potential.

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Tannaic Story

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Rabi Yehoshua ben Chananya was one of the most wisdom should be stored in such an ugly vessel? learned and well respected Tannaim of his era. He Rabi Yehoshua was not offended and replied sayis referred to countless times in the Mishnah as ing "In what kind of vessels does your father keep Rabi Yehoshua. his wine?" Famously, when he was only a baby, he was taken "In earthen vessels," she replied. to hear the fiery learning of Torah in the Beis Hamidrash. His mother used to take him there and "How is it fitting for a king to keep his precious leave him outside in order that he would absorb wine in earthen vessels?" Rabi Yehoshua responded, "Would it not be more appropriate to keep the and inculcate the Torah into his very being. wine in golden and silver vessels?" Due to his immense wisdom and grasp of the workings of the universe, he was regularly invited to the The princess took to heart the words of Rabi Yehome of the Roman Governor; they very often hoshua and gave orders to have all the wine transferred to silver and gold casks. After a short while, debated religion with each other. the wine became sour and eventually she had no Rabi Yehoshua earned his living working as a black- choice but to throw away all the wine in the palsmith earning a meagre amount of money. Indeed, ace. Only then did she realise the message Rabi in contrast to his beauty in Torah and the great Yehoshua had been trying to convey to her; wislevels of spiritual elevation he reached, he was by dom and outward beauty do not always walk hand no means the most handsome of men. On one in-hand. Just as it is much better to store wine in particular occasion, when he happened to be vis- earthen vessels as opposed to gold and silver vesiting the Governor, the Governors daughter bla- sels, so too, wisdom is often entrusted to those tantly asked him, How is it that such beautiful who are as humble as earthenware.

It is written in the second Pasuk of this weeks - [And Parsha (23:2), Avraham came] to eulogise Sarah and to bewail her.

from the burial of Terach, this really means that Avraham took his eulogy from his remembrance of the enormous support that Sarah gave him when she pressurised him to bury the idols of Terach i.e. to give up idol worship. Without her, Avraham In his eulogy of Rav Meir Chodosh ztl, Rav Shach, would not have been able to reach the incredible whose Yahrzteit was earlier this week, elucidates levels he did. the following Midrash on the above Pasuk. The Midrash Rabbah (58:5) explains, From where did On the other hand, Rabi Yosi holds that Avraham Avraham come? Rabi Levi answers that Avraham came from Har Hamoriah. This can be explained in came from the burial of his father, Terach, to Sa- deeper depth when we consider the education rah. Rabi Yosi says that he came from Har Hamo- Yitzchak received. We see that when Yitzchak found out his fate before the Akeidah, Yitzchak riah. had no second thoughts as he knew that this was Rav Shach explained that in truth, there is no argu- the will of Hashem. Furthermore, when the Malment between the Rabbonim in the Midrash and ach came at the last minute to stop Avraham from Eilu veilu divrei Elokim chaim, it is possible to slaughtering his son, he wanted to know with cerconsolidate both these opinions. tainty that that was the will of Hashem. What gave Rabi Levi says that Avraham eulogised Sarah as Yitzchak the strength to comply with the Akeidah? Avraham was in essence Avraham the Ivri, the Hebrew, the man who alone stood against the whole of society. Everyone else served idols and carried out violent and cruel Pagan rituals but nevertheless, Avraham became a pioneer who recognized that there was only one G-d and that idols were powerless and futile. What gave Avrahm the tremendous willpower to stand alone and defy his entire generation? This, says Rav Shach, is the explanation of Rabi Levi in the Midrash. When Rabi Levi says that Avraham came The answer given is that the only source of his inner strength was the education that Sarah gave him. This is the explanation of what Rabi Yosi said that Avraham came from Har Hamoriah - Avrahams eulogy came from the fact that he realised in the Akeidah, on Har Hamoriah, how great Sarah was that she instilled in her son such a tremendous attribute of Ahavas Hashem and the willingness to listen to Hashem, no matter the circumstances. . (Adapted from the Sefer Kemotzei Sholol Rav)

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Riddle: One Shabbos every year, a Halachah of Shabbos is different to the rest of the year. What Shabbos is it? Answer in next weeks Living Torah Last weeks riddle: There are two people in Tanach, whose last part of their names are the English translation of the first part of their names. Who are they? Answer: 1) Yonadov Yonadov Yona means dove. 2) Michayhu Michayhu Mi means who.