Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Lag B’Omer

Monday, May 7th, 2012

The reason for the custom for children to play with a bow and arrow on Lag Ba’omer is because chazal say (Yerushalmi Berachos 9:1) that during the life of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai there was no rainbow ever seen. The Hebrew word for rainbow is the same as a bow – “keshes”

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks


Pesach

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The Hagadeh tells us “Chachom – Ma hu… This can mean if you want to know if a person is wise or foolish etc. then “Omar” wait until they open their mouth. Once a person is allowed to speak we know what kind of a person they are.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Sukkos

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Sukkot is a happy time.  It is called Zman Simchateynu (the time of our happiness). Part is due to having gone through Yom Kippur. Being free from all our sins would make any person happy. Especially with all the mitzvos Sukkos affords us. What better way to start the New Year than keeping Torah U’Mitzvos.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Rosh Hashana

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

How does Rosh Hashana differ from Yom Kippur in the area of judgment?  Is not Yom Kippur the day of forgiveness? Rosh Hashanah is in no way the finish line, but rather the starting line that G-d has provided for us. The “shofar” is the horn to announce the start of the process.  On Rosh Hashanah, if we commit to make even one small step toward being a better Jew, we are already on the way to a better year and judgment.

Vince Lombardi once said “You never lose the game you just run out of time.”

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Shavuos

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Why do we read the Megillah / story of Rus on the 2nd day of Shavuos while in Israel it is read on the forst day? The story of Rus is all about the power of Chza”L – the Chachmim. The 2nd day of Yom Tov is M’Derabonon – from the Chachomim. It is therefore fitting that Megilas Rus is read then.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Lag B’omar

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

This Sunday is Lag B’omar. The Rema permits haircuts and shaving to take place on Friday in honor of Shabbos. We celbrate lag B’Omar because the students of rabbi Akiva stopped dying. Others go to Meron to the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai as his Yahrzeit in on Lag B’omar. He is known as the author of the Zohar. Others note that the “Mann” staqrted to fall in the desert on Lag B’Omar.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Pesach

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Pesach is a Yom Tov of speech. “Pe-Sach” – the mitzvah to talk and tell the story of Egypt. Why? Because the Egyptian slavery began due to the sin of speech – Yosef and his brothers. Moshe – “Achen Nodah Hadavar” after his interaction with Doson and Avirom. We focus on speech over Pesach to over come our sins of loshon Hora.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

10th of Teves

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

This fast is held on a Friday. Even if the fast would fall out on Shabbos we would still fast. Why? Any other fast (except for Yom Kippur) would be pushed off? The Navi Yechezkiel stresses that this fast must be observed on its day. Why/ The Avudrum notes that on the 10th of Teves we are judged whether the Beis Hamikdash will be re-built this year or not. As such it is not a fadt for past events but for a current crisis. As such it takes precedence over all else, even Friday or Shabbos.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

10th of Teves

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

We have three fast days in a row. On the 8th of teves some fast because the Torah was translated into the Greek language under the order of Ptolemy. In the 9th of Teves is the yahzeit of Ezra HaSofer. The 10th of Teves the city of Jerusalem was placed ubder seige for 3 years by the Babylonian king – Nevuchadnezer.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Chanukah

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Levi was in charge of the spiritual side of the Jewish nation. Levi in Hebrew has 3 letters and so does Yovon (Greece). Levi was the 3rd child and Greece the 3rd exile. Levi protected the Torah and Yovon tried to eradicate it. For Greece to fall into the hands of the Chashmonayim who were Kohanim from the Tribe of Levi was  perfect destiny.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks