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The 39 Melachos

The 39 Melachos

The Basic Premise of Gozez Gozez is any act of severing or uprooting any growing part of any creature, dead or alive. Cutting your own hair or removing it using tweezers is also considered Gozez.

In the Mishkan The Mishkan was covered with various different cloths, called Yerios, placed one on top of the other. The bottom covering was made of a beautiful fabric woven from sheep’s wool. In order to manufacture this bottom covering, thirteen different steps were required. These thirteen processes are the thirteen Melachos called ‘the Order of Garments’. In order to produce this specially dyed wool, it was first necessary to shear a sheep, and shearing is Gozez.

Removing Hair and Nails It is Gozez M’deoraisa to cut hair or nails from a human or animal using a special instrument such as scissors or nail clippers. However, pulling out hair is only Gozez M’derabanan as when hair is forcibly pulled out, the person suffers pain. Therefore, it isn’t considered the normal way of removing hair. Similarly, biting nails isn’t Gozez M’deoraisa as it isn’t the normal way of cutting nails.

Mirrors Interestingly, in the times of the Gemara, in addition to being used to view your reflection, mirrors had an additional purpose. Mirrors were designed with a sharp edge on one of the sides which was used for trimming hair. If one just looked into this mirror on Shabbos, he could inadvertently end up shaving. Consequently, the Rabbis restricted looking into such a mirror. However, since mirrors nowadays don’t have this added feature, women are permitted to gaze into a mirror on Shabbos.

Men may nevertheless not stare into a mirror due to the Torah Law of ‘Lo Yilbash’- a man should not behave or dress like a women. Since gazing at a mirror is a common feature of women’s behaviour, it is prohibited. This prohibition is only when a man is staring into the mirror for beautification purposes; for normal purposes such as shaving or ensuring you look presentable, it is permitted.

Combing and Brushing Hair Combing or brushing hair is Gozez as it will inevitably pull out hair. It is therefore a Pesik Reisha, an action which will definitely cause a Melacha to be prohibited. This presents a problem for girls and unmarried women who want to brush their hair. However, it is permitted to brush hair on Shabbos provided three conditions are fulfilled. Firstly, you need to use a soft bristle brush, preferably a baby brush. It is forbidden to use a stiff brush as the bristles are firm and would almost definitely pull out some hair. Secondly, the brushing must be soft and gentle and only at the top of the hair. Finally, the brush must be designated beforehand for Shabbos use only. Combing a shaitel is not considered Gozez, even if the shaitel is made from human hair, as the hair is neither growing nor attached to the body. However, there is a problem of Menapeitz, combing, so you can only gently use a brush in which the bristles are spaced far apart.

Removing Plasters

A plaster that is stuck over a wound on the skin must be

peeled off very carefully so that no hair is pulled out. If it’s pretty certain that hair will be pulled out if the plaster

is removed, it must be left intact until after Shabbos. It is

permissible to wash Netilas Yadayim for bread with a plaster on and we will discuss next week why even though the woven fabric inside the plaster is getting wet, there is no problem of Melabein, scouring.

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Rabbi D Meyer

Sammy Liebert Shraggi Rubenstein Director: Rabbi D Meyer ד״סב עיעעעלעעעלענעלעעערעמעהע
Sammy Liebert Shraggi Rubenstein Director: Rabbi D Meyer ד״סב עיעעעלעעעלענעלעעערעמעהע


Liebert Shraggi Rubenstein Director: Rabbi D Meyer ד״סב עיעעעלעעעלענעלעעערעמעהע

עיעעעלעעעלענעלעעערעמעהע עעעועהעעע ערע עעעיעלעלעהעלעהעלעעעערעעענעמעיעהענעעעיעעעלעעעלענעלעעערעמעהע עעעועהעעע עמע עיערעעענעיעמעלעהעעעערע עתע ע ע עעעמענעלעלעל

חלשב ד“עשת טבש 11th January 2014

This Shabbos, Daily Nach will be up to Mishlei Perek 9 Email or visit for more information.

Issue No: 452 Shabbos In: 3:58 Shabbos Out: 5:12 Sof Zman Krias Shema: 10:05

Dvar Torah

Dvar Torah

It is written at the start of this week’s Parsha (13:18), “ףוּס םַי רבָ דְ מִ הַ ךְרֶדֶ םעָ הָ תאֶ םיהִ לֹאֱ בסֵּ ַיַו” “And Hashem led the people around by way of the desert to the Red Sea.”

The Midrash Rabba says that our Rabbi’s learn out from here that even a poor person still has the mitzvah to recline on Seder Night as it is says in the aforementioned pasuk ‘בסיו’

What is the connection between the mitzvah to recline on Seder night and the fact that Hashem led the Jews through the desert to the Yam Suf? Certainly this is not just a play on words due to the similarity of the words Hasiva- reclining, and Vayisav – He led them around! The Sefer Be’er Yosef gives the following explanation. On Seder Night we say in Avadim Hayinu that if Hashem had not taken us out of Egypt, we and all our descendants would still be enslaved to Pharaoh. This is puzzling. How could it possibly be that after many centuries we would still be enslaved to Pharoah? His empire would never have lasted that long anyway?

The answer is that had Pharaoh set us free of his own accord, the Jews would have always been somewhat beholden to the Egyptians for the humane way in which they emancipated them. The Bnei Yisrael would never be able to truly shake off the underlying feeling that they were indebted to the Egyptians. They might not actually be slaves to them, but they would always be bound by moral feelings of gratitude towards them. In order to avoid this, Hashem took the Bnei Yisrael out against Phar- aoh’s will. This way the Bnei Yisrael felt truly free, without any feelings of appreciation to Egypt. In fact, it may be that Avadim Hayinu is only answering the third question of the MaNishtana – ‘why do we lean tonight?’ The an-

swer is because ‘Veyotzionu’ – Hashem took us out - so we are truly free from Mitzrayim – on every level, and so we recline to demonstrate this. If we consider this, we’ll realise that it’s not quite so simple. It’s true that Phar- aoh’s hand was forced, but ultimately, he still held the authority over the Bnei Yisrael until he actually sent them

out of Egypt. He sent them out against his will, but he still

had the last word: 'ה תא ודבע וכלו

ימע ךותמ ואצ ומוק

The Mechilta says that he even sent a royal troop to accompany them on their way out, not to mention all the valuables that the Bnei Yisrael took with them. All this could mean that they would still harbour some feelings of gratitude towards their Egyptian masters!

This can now explain the Midrash. Hashem led the Bnei Yisrael through the desert towards the Yam Suf. Hashem planned to trap Pharaoh and his army there and destroy them in the sea, so Hashem removed Pharaoh’s natural fear and inhibitions and allowed him to chase the Bnei Yisrael. If not for Krias Yam Suf, the Bnei Yisrael would have suffered terribly at the hands of the Egyptians if they would have caught up with them. Vayisav Elokim – by leading them towards the Yam Suf and thus giving the Egyptians an opportunity to give chase - Hashem demonstrated to the Bnei Yisrael that in their hearts the Egyptians had not set them free at all, they would be happy to annihilate them all in the desert or at least bring them back to Egypt.

This then was the final stage in freeing the Jews and relieving them of any debt of gratitude they could have had to the Egyptians. This is why every Jew can recline on Seder Night and feel totally free from any connection towards Egypt. Vayisav brings us to Hasiva.

Geonim Story

Geonim Story

Once, a terrible fire broke out in the city of Constantinople, devouring everything in its path. No sooner had the fire been extinguished than a vicious plague swept across the city and wreaked havoc, leaving many victims sick or dying.

Rabeinu Gershom witnessed these terrible horrors and decided he had to do something to rectify the situation. With selfless devotion and disregard for his own wellbeing, he tended to the unfortunate victims of the plague. During this period, Constantinople was ruled by a King named Basil, who was often misled by his advisors, in particular a man called John, who had a deep hatred for the Jews.

In light of the worsening crisis, John couldn’t resist the opportunity to blame it on the Jews. John launched into a relentless tirade against the Jews and he eventually persuaded King Basil to issue a decree, confiscating the Jews’ possessions and exiling every single one of them.

In the aftermath of the terrible plague, the King’s daughter fell gravely ill. From afar, all the greatest physicians of the realm flocked to the palace attempting to cure the King’s daughter, the future Queen. But it was no use; none of them could make a difference. The girl lay on her bed, growing weaker by the day with no cure to be found.

Rabeinu Gershom understood that this was finally the opportunity he was seeking and he set out for the palace. Upon arrival, the King, who also disliked Jews, informed

him, “If you succeed in curing the Princess I will reward you generously, but if you fail, then you will forfeit your head!”

Rabeinu Gershom, was left in the Princess’s room, and began to examine the Princess, but he immediately real- ised how hopeless it really was- he needed a miracle. In desperation he cried out, “Show me the way, Hashem, to help this sick girl. Grant me wisdom, My G-D, for the sake of Your people.”

Rabeinu Gershom then proceeded to cure the girl and soon she started to regain her lost vigour and strength. When the Princess eventually recovered to the point where she could venture outside, the King and Queen were amazed. The King told Rabbeinu Gershom, “I will give you an immense fortune. You will be so rich that you will never have to work for your living, and you will be able to spend all the days of your life in ease and luxury.”

Rabeinu Gershom humbly declined, “My King, I have no desire for riches. For me the greatest reward would be the withdrawal of the decree against the Jews.”

The King was greatly impressed by Rabbeinu Gershom’s selflessness and piety and without hesitation, he promised to fulfil his request. The people of Constantinople were immensely grateful to Rabeinu Gershom and he became their leader and helped them combat the anti-Semitism which was rife across the country.

the anti - Semitism which was rife across the country. Q) Is it permitted to break

Q) Is it permitted to break Shabbos in order to save someone from going blind?

Sruli Gluck

A) Indeed it is permitted to break

Shabbos, to save someone from going blind or even deaf. In most circumstances it would also be permitted to break Shab-

bos to save organs and other body parts. But the Halachos are complex and each case needs to be considered in isolation.

Hasmonean Beis Rabbi

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Dvar Torah

Dvar Torah

There is a seemingly strange Gemara in Pesachim 118a about this week’s Parsha. “Says Rabi Shizvi in the name of Rabi Elazar ben Azarya, [providing] the sustenance of a person is difficult like Krias Yam Suf.” The Rashbam explains this Gemara as saying that Hashem performs a great miracle when he provides someone with food, just as He did for the Jewish people at the Yam Suf.

Rav Shimon Schwab asks in his Sefer ‘Me’ayin Beis Hashoeva’, how can the concept of difficulty exist with regards to Hashem that we can say He finds providing sustenance as difficult as Krias Yam Suf? Secondly, an explanation is required- how can one compare the great miracle of Krias Yam Suf to merely giving food to someone?

Answers Rav Schwab, at sea the Honour, Kavod, and presence of Hashem is much clearer to see than on land. This is because sea is fraught with dangers and changes of situation, and Hashem’s interaction with the world is much easier to see. On dry land, however, everything is orderly and normal and it is not so easy to see Hashem.

We can now understand another Chazal. The Mechilta says that when Moshe stretched out his hand to split the sea, the sea refused to split. Moshe then commanded the sea to split in the name of Hashem but the sea still did not split. After this, Moshe showed the sea his stick, but it still wouldn’t split. Explains Rav Schwab, this was because the Kavod of Hashem is seen on the sea, and the sea knew that if it dried up,

this would no longer be the case. The Mechilta carries on, and says that the sea only split when Hashem ‘revealed’ Himself. Rav Schwab says that in doing so, Hashem was telling the sea that yes, while His Kavod

may be minimised now, in the long term it will lead to

a much bigger revelation of Hashem’s Kavod- the incredible miracle of Krias Yam Suf.

We can now answer our questions. The reason that Krias Yam Suf was ‘difficult’, so to speak, for Hashem was because it meant giving up some of His Kavod temporarily, albeit in order to get to a much greater level of Kavod Shamayim. Henceforth, we can under- stand the concept of something being ‘difficult’ for Hashem. As for comparing Krias Yam Suf to Hashem supplying someone’s sustenance and livelihood, the same system is occurring. When someone prays to Hashem for his livelihood and he accepts upon himself that whatever Hashem does is for the best, he increases the Kavod of Hashem. When Hashem gives this person his sustenance, though, this person’s tefillos in conjunction with his trust in Hashem are lost, leading to a loss of Kavod Shamayim. Once again, however, this has the potential to lead to an increase

in Kavod Shamayim in the long run, due to the mitzvos

that this person may use his new-found money for.

We can now understand the Gemara in Pesachim- the ‘difficulty’ that Hashem had when splitting the Yam Suf, of temporarily forgoing some Kavod Shamayim, is the same ‘difficulty’, so to speak, that He has when providing someone with their sustenance.


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Who, where, when and in what circumstance would one say 21 Berachos during the repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei? AnswerAnswerAnswer:::

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