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The 39 Melachos

The Basic Premise of Merakeid Merakeid is defined as the removal or separation of undesired items from a mixture using a sieve or any similar separating device. Even though the basic concept of Merakeid, Borer and Zoreh appears to be the same, i.e. separating the bad from the good, Merakeid is unique as it only applies when a special straining or sifting device is use. In addition, Merakeid is applicable irrelevant of what is being sifted; it applies to everything, even non-foods. Another unique aspect of Merakeid is that is forbidden even for immediate use, unlike Borer and Tochain. The reason is as follows: the sole reason as to why transgressing Borer and Tochain for immediate use, MYad, is permitted is that the Melachah is part of Derech Achilah, the eating process. Anything which is Derech Achilah is permitted. However, since Merakeid can only be performed with a special implement, the sifting is a reasonably complicated process in of itself and therefore cannot be defined as Derech Achilah. In the Mishkan Agriculture was vital in the Mishkan, according to Rashi and others, for producing certain herbs and seeds. These were the ingredients in dyes which were needed to colour the tapestries in the Mishkan. After the herbs had been grown, harvested and ground into a powder, it was necessary to sift out all impurities from the powder to avoid contaminating the dye. This sifting is Merakeid. Rav Hai Gaon holds that agriculture was needed to produce wheat for the Lechem Hapanim.

Using Sieves: It isnt considered Merakeid to use a sieve to shake sugar over a doughnut or cake as Merakeid involves separating one item from a mixture, not merely sprinkling. However, you cannot really use a sieve to sprinkle sugar as the sieve itself is Muktzah because it is a Kli ShMelachto LIssur, an object whose normal use is forbidden. However, if one buys a special sieve which is just used for sprinkling sugar, use of the utensil would be permitted. It is forbidden to strain noodles from a pot of soup as you are separating the noodles from the unwanted soup. Salt Cellars: It is permitted to use a normal salt cellar to scatter salt over food as Merakeid only applies if unwanted matter is being removed from a mixture; in the salt cellar there is just salt and therefore no mixture. However, it is very common for people to put rice in a salt cellar to absorb all the moisture and prevent the salt from clumping. It is totally forbidden to use a salt cellar with rice in as when sprinkling the salt, you are also sifting the undesired rice from the wanted salt. Tea Bags: Some Poskim maintain that using tea bags results in a problem of Merakeid as whilst the tea bag is being removed by the string, the tea bag is still dripping. Therefore, removing the tea bag is Merakeid as you are separating the tea leaves from the tea using a special bag. To avoid this problem, you can remove the tea bag with a spoon as this doesnt exert pressure on the bag therefore no dripping occurs.

7th December 2013

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Dvar Torah

Issue No: 449 Shabbos In: 3:37 Shabbos Out: 4:50 Sof Zman Krias Shema: 9:51

When Yaakov is about to go down to Egypt, Hashem says to him (46:4), I shall descend with you to Egypt, and I shall also surely bring you up, and Yosef shall place his hands on your eyes. The Zohar comments that the phrase, And Yosef shall place his hands on your eyes, is a reference to Krias Shema. This requires further clarification. Why is Shema being alluded to here? In the introduction to Sheeilos UTeshuvos Kol Aryeh, the author explains this Zohar based on the Gemarah in Pesachim 50a. It says that Olam Hazeh differs from Olam Habah. In Olam Hazeh, we recite the blessing of Hatov VHametiv upon hearing good news and the blessing of Baruch Dayan Haemes upon hearing bad news. However, in Olam Habah we only recite the blessing of Hatov VHametiv. The Tzlach elucidates that in Olam Hazeh, when we come across problems or experience tragedies, we superficially perceive them as bad events. Even though we know deep down that everything Hashem does is for the best, we nevertheless think of the event as a negative occurrence. This is why we proclaim the blessing of Baruch Dayan Haemes; we are declaring that in reality, Hashem is the True Judge and everything he does is for our own benefit. After a good event, we can immediately realise that Hashems actions are good so we therefore say Hatov VHametiv.

Despite our lack of understanding in Olam Hazeh, we nevertheless recite the Shema daily where we proclaim that Hashem, the four letter name that represents the attribute of mercy, and Elokeinu, the name which represents the attribute of justice, are in essence Echad, one and the same. Really everything Hashem does is merciful and compassionate just often we dont understand why. This explains, says the Kol Aryeh, why we cover our eyes when saying the Shema. There may be, Chas Vshalom, many seemingly bad things happening around us which would detract from our faith in Hashem so we cover our eyes in order to realise that what we see in this world is not actually the true picture. Yosef had been hated by his brothers, thrown into a pit, sold as a slave, accused of committing a crime he had not done, and imprisoned falsely for twelve years. It seemed that countless tragedies had befallen him and yet, as a result of all this, Yosef eventually became viceroy of Egypt, sustaining the whole world throughout the famine.

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Similarly, Yaakov was about to go down to Egypt, a place which was infamous for its immorality and corruption. Furthermore, Yaakov knew that his descendants would reside there for many generations. The situation seemed desperate so Hashem reassured Yaakov by telling him that Yosef will place his hands on your eyes use the story of the incredible rise of Yosef to cover On the other hand, in Olam Habah, we will be able to your eyes and emphasise to you that what we see in recognise clearly that everything Hashem does is for the this world is not the real picture. best. Therefore, we will be able to say Hatov VHametiv on every single event as they are all without doubt for Based on Rabbi Frand on the Parshah our own benefit.

Tannaic Story

Dvar Torah

Once, Rabi Shimon was sitting, learning with his Chavrusa, Rabi Chiya, in the Yeshiva of Rabi Yehuda Hanasi in Teverya. It was Erev Yom Tov and there was a great commotion from outside which disturbed their learning. Rabi Shimon turned to Rabi Chiya and asked him what he believed the commotion was about. Rabi Chiya replied, Today is Erev Yom Tov so everyone who has the means to do so is now on the street buying everything they will need for Yom Tov. Those who dont have enough money are going to their masters to claim their wages in order to purchase food for Yom Tov.

until someone comes along and offers him an appropriate price. However, Rabi Yehuda, agreed to lend Rabi Shimon money for Yom Tov so that he could buy food without selling the pearl, which Rabi Yehuda would keep safe.

Rabi Shimons wife was instantly startled when he returned home laden with a whole load of Yom Tov goods. Rabi Shimon went on to inform her of all that had happened and his wife remarked, That pearl must surely be from your crown that you will wear in the next world. Do you wish to have one pearl missing up Rabi Shimon was a very poor man and realised that he there? In exasperation, Rabi Shimon asked his wife wouldnt have enough money to buy the necessary food What shall I do? for Yom Tov. Yet he remarked, I will also go to my His wife, an extremely wise and righteous woman, Master to request money for Yom Tov. He left the Beis answered, Take back all these fine items for Yom Tov Hamedrash and exited his town entirely to pray in to the shops you purchased them from and claim back solitude to his Master, Hashem, to provide him and his your money. Then return the money to the Nasi and family with their needs for Yom Tov. Suddenly, out of retrieve the pearl from him. Then daven to Hashem that the bushes, a hand appeared which presented him with He should take back the pearl just as He gave it. a majestic pearl. Rabi Shimon was taken aback and unsure what to do with the pearl. He took the pearl to Both Rabi Shimon and his wife understood that this life show to Rabi Yehuda Hanasi. Rabi Yehuda, a man of is merely a stepping stone to the world to come, and immense knowledge of the world, told Rabi Shimon that even if they dont have food for Yom Tov in this world, it the pearl was extremely precious and he should not be will all be worth it in Olam Habah. hasty in selling it. Rather he should be patient and wait

Q) What are the Halachos if the fire Amidah there. This is as a fire alarm alarm begins ringing during davening? constitutes a case of Pikuach Nefesh and therefore all Halachos are Binyomin Weisz suspended, assuming it is not a drill. A) If one is davening the Shemoneh Hasmonean Beis Rabbi Esreh when the fire alarm begins ringing, he is required to immediately move If you have a question on any topic you would over to the fire assembly point without like to have answered, just email us at or send a text any talking and then resume his
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And Yosef said to his brothers, I am Yosef. Is my Bilaam had this type of confrontation, not only was he father still alive? And his brothers could not answer not dumbfounded, but he offered a rejoinder to the him. (45:3) donkey and even berated it in the manner that a master would discipline his slave. This all changed the In the Midrash, Chazal quote Abba Bardela who said, moment the donkey adapted his approach and told "Woe is to us from the day of judgment. Woe is to us Bilaam, "Am I not the donkey that you have ridden on from the day of reproach. Bilaam, the wisest of the for a while? Do I deserve such ingratitude from you?" gentiles, could not stand before the rebuke of his Suddenly, Bilaam's attitude changed and he confessed donkey. Yosef was the youngest of the tribes. Yet, his to his wrongdoing. What happened? Why did he make brothers could not stand before him. How much more an about-face and respond politely to the donkey? so, when Hashem will come and reproach everyone The answer is that despite his audacity and arrogance, according to what he is will we not be able to tolerate when he was confronted face to face with the blatant this rebuke." This passage of Chazal has been the truth, even Bilaam could not deny reality and walk subject of considerable discussion. It has served as the away. He had to respond to the donkey's allegation. basis for defining the Torah's concept of rebuke. No-one can stand up to the truth and ignore it. There is one point, however, which must be addressed A similar encounter happened to the brothers of - the added corroboration from Bilaam's dialogue with Yosef. They were mighty warriors, devout in their his donkey. Why does Abba Bardela cite the donkey's conviction. Above all, they were totally secure in the rebuke and why does it precede the proof from Yosef? decision they had rendered concerning Yosef. Nothing Harav Yitzchak Aizik Sher ztl, derives a fascinating stood in their way. If necessary, they would destroy lesson from this passage of Chazal. If we were to think Egypt if the Egyptians would refuse to release about the narrative concerning Bilaam and his donkey, Binyamin. What happened that made their resolve we would be amazed to note what is occurring. disintegrate? What shattered their belief in themImagine that while we are traveling, we come across selves? Two words, - I am Yosef. That was an animal that suddenly begins a conversation with us. all it took to overturn 22 years of confidence in their The animal begins to point out areas of our behaviour decision to get rid of Yosef. The instant they were confronted with the truth, they realised that their that require improvement. We would be decision was erroneous. Is it any wonder that they overwhelmed by this confrontation. This is a miracle! reacted with such shock, disbelief and fear? This is the It is a wonder of wonders to have an animal address added proof from Bilaam. Regardless of how great the us with words of common sense, and rebuke us opponent, nothing and no one can stand in the way concerning our lax behaviour. Yet, we see that when of the truth.

There is a day in the Jewish calendar when some years we say Hallel and other years we say Tachanun. Which day is it? Answer in next weeks Living Torah Last weeks riddle: One Friday night I said the Shema five times. How is that possible? Answer: I accepted Shabbos in early and therefore said Shema in Maariv. After nightfall I repeated the Shema to fulfil the Mitzvah of sa saying ying the Shema in its right time. I then said the Shema when putting my son to sleep to fulfil the Mitzvah of Veshinantam Levanec Levanecha ha. ha. I then said the Shema as part of Shenayim Mikrah, as the Parshah was Vaeschanan and the Minhag is to recite the Parshah prior to hearing it in shul the next day. I finally said Krias Shema al Hamita before going to bed.