Our view of the Galile

Friday, March 23, 2018

Pesach Cleaning- Parshat Tzav- Hagadol 2018 / 5778

Insights and Inspiration
from the
Holy Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your friend in Karmiel"
March 23rd  2018 -Volume 8 Issue 23 7th Nissan 5778

Parshat Tzav/ HaGadol
Pesach Cleaning

Nuuu... You ready for Pesach already? House all clean? What about the car? Don’t tell me your one of those that already has turned over their house and are cooking your holiday Pesachidik meals already. Your family is eating outside this Shabbos on the porch and are wearing those hazmat outfits with the scuba diver helmets when they come into the house. Yeah you’re not from my family. We’re more from the Joan Rivers school of thought in her poignant reflection
“I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.”
Yeah, we’ve still got plenty of shalach manot lying around. My darling Rebbetzin even baked Challah this week. How sacrilegious is that? No, we are not going away for Pesach. Unlike some of you that are reading this now. Because after-all if your house is not clean, and you are not going away you have absolutely no excuse “Erev Pesach” to be sitting in front of a computer and reading this right now.  I know that you can’t imagine going into Shabbos without your Rabbi Schwartz weekly fix, but really the closets have to be cleaned out. Who was it that once pointed out, a clean house is the sign of no internet service. So if you are reading this, it must mean you are going away for Yom Tov. That’s nice for you. I hope you enjoy. But really if you have enough money to go away for Pesach, why not throw a little sponsorship love to your Rabbi here. It costs a lot of money to clean out our shul for Pesach from all of the Chulent kiddushes we serve each week. So why not just visit our blog and donate in honor of the holiday, that you don’t have to clean for.
Now for the rest of us though, cleaning is essential part of the holiday. I know my wife is looking at me right now and rolling her eyes and snorting… Yeahhh.. what does the never-home, running around the country all-week-long tour guide know about cleaning? She’s right of course, but one doesn’t necessarily have to clean to know a lot about the subject. I’ve read and studied about it a lot. One doesn’t have to be a pilot to know about airplanes, or be a mechanic to know about cars, or as can clearly be seen an internet repairman to know about internet repairs; as the last five that came to my house from Hot, still can’t seem to make it work for more thatn five minutes after they leave my house and then wait a month before scheduling their next appointment. So yes, I know about cleaning. It is part and parcel of our Pesach experience. It is really the only way we can come into Pesach. See even you guys going to a hotel have to do some cleaning. It is the first law of Pesach in the tractate of the holiday
Ohr l’araba Asor bodkin es hachametz la’ohr haner- The eve of the 14th (of Nissan –the night before your seder) we search the Chametz (leavened bread products) by the light of the candle
Kol makom shein machnisim bo Chametz-ein tzarich bedika- any place in which one  does not bring Chametz does not require to be searched.
So even people going away for Pesach need to search in their hotel rooms for Chametz. Just like you can’t go into Shabbos without candle lighting, and you can’t go into Chanuka without lighting the menora, Pesach also has it’s candle lighting ceremony but it’s the night before Pesach and we take that candle and search around room to room to room to find any Chametz even though we’re pretty sure it’s been totally cleaned. A strange custom certainly. Perhaps even more perplexing is that tis can really be entirely avoided. See at the end of the search we make a declaration that states that all the Chametz that we have found or even those that we have not found should be nullified and be considered like the dust of the earth.  That works. It’s gone. Poof. Even if I have a whole pizza hidden underneath my bed. My nullification makes it that its gone, it doesn’t belong to me and I am considered Chametz free. If so the lazy yeshiva guy asks with the twist of his thumb in the air, then why bother cleaning in the first place. Just be mevatel it- nullify it and make it ownerless.  Good question and I would tell you to wait until the seder to ask it, as we do all questions. But I’m scared if I do you will not clean your room, and then you will miss out on one of the most inspiring parts of the holiday. So here we go
Not every year, does Parshat Tzav fall out the week of Shabbat HaGadol but it does so quite often enough. As we know the Torah portion of the week will always have a connection to the week’s events, if not Rabbis will find one, that’s our jobs. To make the connections and links that you don’t have the time, energy or imagination to do so. You’re too busy cleaning for Pesach. It’s why they pay us the big bucks…or not. Well anyways this week it’s really not too hard as the first mitzva and the introduction to all the sacrifices is that mitzva of Terumas Hadeshen; cleaning out the ashes of the previous days offerings. That’s how the kohen’s day starts off with, with a trip to the ash bin. Even more significantly the Torah tells us that as he is doing this he must be careful to maintain and not extinguish the eternal flame that is on the altar.
Vayikra (6:2-5) Command Aharon and his children saying this is the laws of the Olah offering, it stays on its falme on the altar all night until the morning and the fire of the altar should be kept aflame on it.
The Kohen should be on his linen garments…and separate the ashes from what has been consumed by the fire…
And he should remove his clothing and put on other clothing and take the ash outside of the camp to a pure place.
And then in case you forgot…
And the fire on the altar should kept burning; it shall not be extinguished.
Fascinating isn’t it. The first mitzva of the sacrifices is to take out the ashes and “clean out the Altar”. The fire will burn eternally there, but don’t knock it out when you are cleaning out the ashes.
The great Rebbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi would tell his students that is his Rebbi the MAgid of Merzitch told him repeatedly that the Torah is telling us that we are each like the altar of Hashem that has Hashem’s eternal flame burning inside of us. We are obligated to light that fire and maintain it despite the fact that ultimately a heavenly flame would come down to consume the offering. Yet we have to light our fire down below. There is a problem though. There is a lot of ash that builds up. Former sacrifices that became shmutz. The dirt that darkens and blunts our flame. We have to uncover it. We have to remove it. That’s our daily avoda- service. That is the mind set of how we start off each day.
There are so many lessons in this mitzva, I”ll just share with you a few. The first is noted by Rav Gifter. He sees that the fact that the Kohen is obligated to change his clothing as Rashi notes is to teach us that one does not pour wine for the King in the same garment you cook in. Rav Gifter notes though that following that metaphor one can argue that it is not the same person who cooks who is also the butler of the king. Yet, by the Jewish people it is different. We can take out the ashes, clean up the garbage, and then merely switch our clothing and go into the holiest places and bring our offering. It’s because we have that eternal flame. We are always holy, it’s merely clothing that got dirty.
Another idea, is that the ashes the dirt, the shmutz, the Chametz that blocks us from seeing that light must be removed, but when we remove it, we need to be careful not knock out the flame. The knee- jerk reaction for someone who sees and acknowledges the sins and mistakes that we have done is to throw up our hands. I’m hopeless. I can’t change. I can’t get rid of it. It’s too dirty. I’ll never be clean. By doing that we extinguish the flame. Yes we have to clean. Yes we have to find all our dirt and try to get rid of it. Yes we have to take a candle, a light. The Light of Hashem, the light of our Torah and examine every room inside of “our house”, our mind, our actions our deeds. But never allow that search to knock out the flame. Because at the end of the day, the fire comes from above. We really just need to clean out a small little place for it to rest and to shine forth. We just have to search for “as far as our hand can reach:” But at the end of the day we need merely to nullify it in our heart. We just have to declare that it is not ours anymore. We have to identify it as the “dirt of the land”. Then we will be free. Then we can have our seder. Then we can shine that light out to the world.
Aren’t you excited about cleaning now. Aren’t you glad you read until the end. So get back to your cleaning. But here’s a little Pesach tip to make it a bit more meaningful. With every scrub, with every dusting, with every vacuum and polish, think about your soul. Picture that inner flame getting brighter and brighter. It may not make your house any cleaner faster, but it certainly will set you free.
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz

 This week's Insights and Inspiration is sponsored by my parents, the new great-grandparents of Yoel Eliyahu Berger in gratitude to Hashem upon the occasion of reaching but another wonderful milestone in our lives. As well it is sponsored in honor of the upcoming birthdays of their daughters Gitty and Rivky and their grandson Tviki Schwartz on this upcoming holiday. We are so blessed with so much nachas from all of our children, grandchildren and great-grandchild, May Hashem bless all of you with all the things that you desire l’tova.
Mazel Tov!

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Thank You!
MARIV- 7:40 PM (10 minutes after Tzeit HaKochavim)

“Varf nit arois di shmutsikeh aider du host di raineh.”- Don’t throw away the soiled until you have the clean.
answer below at end of Email

Q   From where did the “Etzel” fighters depart before they stormed the Acre prison?
a. Shuni
b. Hanita
c. Atlitai
d. Ramat Raziel


https://soundcloud.com/ephraim-schwartz/eliyahu-hanavi   - In honor of my grandson Yoel Eliyahu and the upcoming holiday of Pesach and the haftora of this week I share with you everyones favorite Rabbi Schwartz composition Eliyahu Hanavi!

https://youtu.be/4XePEM8-wJQ – One minute late- Rabbi Yoel Gold incredible inspiring story

https://youtu.be/mhCHeFac16I – La La Land Passover

https://youtu.be/8WX8PWKYuvk    - Aish love the taste of you Passover video


This is the last prophecy in the 12 latter prophets. It is the prophecy of Eliyahu Hanavi heralding in the era of Mashaich. It is no wonder that this last prophecy was not only chosen as the haftora before Pesach, as this is the holiday more than any when we feel the imminence of the redemption as we commemorate our first Exodus from Egypt. In fact that the entire Shabbat, known as Shabbat HaGadol- the great Shabbos, is named after this Haftora and its words of the
“great day” of the Messianic era. Yet just as the Exodus from Egypt came as a result of the Jews choosing and having faith to leave behind their idolatrous ways and separating themselves to worship Hashem, so too it will be when Mashiach comes. Malachi tells us how the Jews will have to make a choice to serve Hashem or they will be consumed, while the sun will shine and heal for the righteous. As well our Haftorah shares with us perhaps one of the most important mitzvos and the only challenge Hashem says we can and should make with Him. To give your tithes to Tzedaka.
Malachi (3:10) Haviu es kol Hamaaser el beis haotzar-bring all your tithe to the storage house
Vayehi teref Bivaysi- and let it be sustenance in my Temple
Ubachanunu Na Bzot amar Hashem Tzvaot- and you can test me with this
Im Lo eftach Lachem es Arubos Hashamayim- If I will opne for you the windows of heavne
Vharilosi lachem  bracha ad bli dai- and I will pour for you blessing until without end
Pesach more than any time of year, we are told that there is a mitzva called Maot Chittim. To provide money for matzos and the holiday needs of the poor. At the same time this is a pretty expensive holiday for us as well. It is now that we read the haftorah to have faith and test Hashem by continuing to give our charity and tithe and He guarantees we will reap His blessing. Anyone wanna sponsor an email next week? J

Malachi (520 BC) – His name "My Messenger." But who is he really? Unlike other prophets whos names are mentioned in other books. Malachi is only mentioned in his own book. As a result of that many suggest that Malachi is the name of another prophet.  Chazal, our sages, suggest that he is Mordechai. The same one from the Purim story. Others suggestions are the he is none other than Ezra the scribe as he mentions as well as fighting against intermarriage.


Graves of Tribes of Israel- Binyamin (1275 BC)- In researching this grave I uncovered or unburied to be precise a whole new appreciation that opened up a whole world of understanding in many challenging Talmudic statements. See the grave of Binyamin the youngest of Yaakovs’ children according to many testimonies of travelers to Israel over the centuries is that he is buried in the city called Roma. They describe visiting that place here in Israel. Bet you never knew that Israel had a place called Rome did you? Well it’s actually not too far from my house right near the valley of Netufa. The truth is it is clear from the Talmud that there was a palce in Israel called Rome as many great Rabbis are reffered to as “min-Romaya” coming from Rome. In addition the Talmud tells us that the great editor from the Mishna Reb Yehudah Hanasi would get visited secretly by Antoninus (Mark Antony). It even says that he had a secret tunnel that went from “Rome” to Tzippori to Rebbi’s house where he would sneak over to visit him. Well we all know that you can’t make a tunnel from Rome to Israel, but you can make one from Rome in Israel which is only a few miles away from Tzippori. And in fact it is suggested that Rome in Israel was where Antoninus would live when he came here. As well we are told that Rebbi Yosi ben Kisma the great Galilean sage said in the name of Eliyahu that Mashaich is sitting at the gates of Rome. Rome again being the one over here. The Zohar suggests it is even the gateway to Gan Eden. Pretty amazing, how much more understandable these Aggadas are once you realize that Rome is in Israel.


Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing.” ― Phyllis Diller

Cleanliness is not next to godliness. It isn't even in the same neighborhood. No one has ever gotten a religious experience out of removing burned-on cheese from the grill of the toaster oven.” ― Erma Bombeck

I'm not going to vacuum 'til Sears makes one you can ride on.”― Roseanne Barr

You must know that it is by the state of the lavatory that a family is judged.” ― Pope John XXIII  (one of the reasons I ‘m not Christian..)

And this mess is so big
And so deep and so tall,
We cannot pick it up.
There is no way at all!”
― Dr. SeussThe Cat in the Hat


Abe goes to see his boss and says, "we're doing some heavy house-cleaning at home tomorrow for Pesach and my wife needs me to help with the attic and the garage, moving and hauling stuff."
"We're short-handed, Abe," the boss replies. "I just can't give you the day off."
"Thanks, boss." says Abe, "I knew I could count on you!"

Yitzhak wanted to clean his Tallis before Pesach. So he called his friend Lionel to ask which dry cleaner to use.
Lionel said, "I always take my tallis to Moishe’s Dry Cleaners on Main Street. He only charges $4." 
But when Yitzhak went to Moishe’s, he discovered that the shop had changed ownership and was now called Kelly’s Dry Cleaners. He asked the new owner, Sean, if he was keeping to the previous price list. Sean assured him that he was. Three days later, Yitzhak picked up his tallis and was given a bill for $12. 
So he says to Sean, "I thought you said you met Moishe's prices?" 
"I do," said Sean, "$4 for the prayer shawl and $8 to get all the knots out of the fringes!" 

Shaindy was less than an immaculate housekeeper. One evening her husband Moishie returned home from work, walked into the kitchen and teased her, "You know, dear, I can write my name in the dust on the mantel." Shaindy turned to him and sweetly replied, "Yes, darling, I know. That's why I married a college graduate."

Yanky wanted to prove that he would be a better housekeeper then his wife Leah was suggesting that if only she would organize her time better she would be more efficient. Recently he sent  Leah away and decided he would show her as he put his theory into practice.
When she came back to see how he was managing, he proudly told her, "I made a cake, frosted it, washed the kitchen windows, cleaned all the cupboards, scrubbed the kitchen floor, walls and ceiling and even had a bath."
She was about to concede that perhaps he was a better manager than her, when he added sheepishly, "When I was making the chocolate frosting, I forgot to turn off the mixer before taking the beaters out of the bowl, so I had to do all the rest."

Five year old Yoel Eliyahu squealed with delight when he opened his birthday present from his Zayide. It was a water pistol. He promptly ran to the sink to fill it.
"Dad," Yoel’s mom, Shani said. "I'm surprised at you. Don't you remember how we used make such a mess and drive you crazy with water pistols?"
I smiled and said, "Yes, I remember."

Answer is A – Akko Prison many of my tourists know is one of my favorite places in Israel. It’s a great story and really one of the most important places that led to the foundation of Israel and the decision of the British to leave. Although I have said the story many times, I still wasn’t sure about where they left from. But I guessed correctly through power of deduction. I was pretty sure Ramat Raziel wasn’t around when it took place, and I knew it was named after the founder of the Etzel, the underground army that broke out. So I guessed they just threw it in to mess with you and I was right. Atlit had its own breakout story and I figured it was also a red herring. Hanita and Shuni were the two left. And since Hanita had its own story as being the first choma and migdal story, I figured the right answer was Shuni. And I was right!+           

Thursday, March 15, 2018

My Einekel!- Parshat Vayikra /Hachodesh / Rosh Chodesh

Insights and Inspiration
from the
Holy Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your friend in Karmiel"
March 16th 2018 -Volume 8 Issue 22 29th  Adar 5778

Parshat Vayikra /HaChodesh
My Einekel!

I had a dream. Listen, it happens to guys whose last name is Shvartz in Hebrew; although not a King, it was a dream about junior. It was quite a vivid dream. It was about Elka and I running around on Erev Shabbos, and we were shopping like mad. It seemed that we had a Shalom Zachor that night for my first grandson, whom we had just been told was born. Now like many people I don’t like to talk about my dreams. For some reason we are all superstitious about that. Maybe it goes back to our Sunday School classes and the stories of Yosef who told his dreams and then ended up in the bottom of a pit, and being sold down to a foreign country. Regardless, I knew I had to tell over my dream. See, Aliza- the grandmother I am now married to, had been driving my daughter, Shani, crazy for months trying to get her to reveal what the gender of the baby was. My clever son-in-law gave her a hint and told her that it starts with the letter Beit in Hebrew (Ben or Bat). But now Hashem had revealed it to me in a dream, and much like the prophets in earlier times, I had no choice but to share this secret of Divine knowledge with my better half. Much like the Jews however in the days past, she didn’t believe me. Neither did my kids or my sister for that matter. I was living amongst non-believers, Now I knew what Jeremiah felt like.
Anyways, last Wednesday my wife calls me at 5:00 AM, while I was sleeping in Tel Aviv, on a tour. She first wanted to know if she woke me up. Very considerate of her, I must say. Then she told me that my daughter is in labor and she needed to rent a car and head out to her and she was quite panicky if she would make it there on time. I told her not to worry. It was only Thursday Morning, the prophecy was that the baby would not be born until Friday. We had time. She hung up and continued driving. That Friday morning I woke up nice and early, I took my Elka and we went out to buy food for the Shalom Zachor. “But Daddy, we don’t know if it will be a boy or a girl”, my little skeptical child asked me. I just nodded with my “Oh-yee –of-little-faith” smile and composed a song in honor of the upcoming birth (feel free to pause in middle of this E-Mail and click on it below in our Video of the week section). Sure enough Friday morning at 11:48 AM, after suffering through 38 hours of grueling labor just to fulfill and realize the dream of her father. Shani Berger gave birth to an adorable baby boy. I am a grandpa now. This child is the realization of my dream. The Shalom Zachor was great, the song was awesome, and most importantly the Schwartz family learned never to disregard the tidings of the elder Patriarch of the Schwartz dynasty…at least for today.
If there ever was a great week to herald in a new Jewish baby boy, it would be this week. The Torah portion we read this week begins a new book; the book of Vayikra. Yes, it is the third book of the Torah, like the newest Schwartz descendant is the third generation of Schwartzes-although is last name is Berger, but he looks like a Schwartz, wanna see a picture? Go to my facebook page. But we are told that this is the first book that would be learned with Jewish children in days of old when they started to study Torah. As well, this week is also Parshat HaChodesh, the last of the supplemental Torah readings. The Parsha not only talks about the first mitzva of the Jewish people of counting Rosh Chodesh, the Jewish New Months, from the month of the Exodus, but as well it mentions the mitzva of the Pesach Lamb offering the prerequisite of course being to be circumcised. A mitzva my grandson,-it sounds so cool to say that by the way, will be undergoing IYH tomorrow. To make it even better, this Shabbos is in itself Rosh Chodesh, so we will be singing the Hallel and the special Musaf prayer that is recited on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh that describes Hashem forming the world, an appreciation that is enhanced every New month when we recite the additional Barchi Nafshi (psalm 104) that describes the wondrous creation, but that is even more enhanced when that new month falls out on Shabbos. Yeah, it’s a good week. My einekel, like his mother is trying to help out his Zaydy (pronounced Zaiiidie- like E-fryyyyy-im- not Zaydie like lady) with his weekly E-mail.

There is however another not so easy common denominator between all of these new beginnings though. Perhaps one that is not so pleasant to talk about. That is that they all come out of a lot of pain and suffering. The book of Vayikra is a book about the slaughter of sacrifices, certainly not a pretty sight. There was lots of blood, shrieking and ghastly queasy sights in the temple. Kind of like a birthing room. As well, the mitzva of the of the New month of Nissan comes with it perhaps the conclusion of one of the bloodiest eras in Jewish history, our slavery in Egypt and according to our sages the decimation of over 80% of our people in the plague of darkness. In fact the first introduction and mitzva that every Jewish male undergoes is this mitzva of Brit Mila- the covenant of circumcision. Seemingly, Jewish girls, have their mothers undergo the painful process for them, in their not-so-fun childbirth experience. They in turn undergo that for their daughters later on in life, when they make their own beautiful little girls. And thus we become a nation that is forged in pain; the first mitzva, the first book that we are taught is Vayikra, and each year we count the first month of the year from our beginning as a nation when we came out of the fiery cauldron and holocaust of Egypt and became the Chosen Nation of Hashem. Aren’t you excited to be part of this?  I know we are into our matzas but that shouldn’t make us into matzachists…right? Oy…Zaydie jokes are supposed to be corny.
There is another aspect that connects these three parshiyot this week. They are all fascinatingly enough festive and contain food and celebration. The sacrifices we and the Kohanim partake in. There is music playing choirs and orchestras throughout the Temple. Our Pesach offering is eaten like a big BBQ with all your families and friends. We sing Pesach songs, we even sing that we were slaves in Egypt. As well at our Seder and on each New Month we sing Hallel-songs of praise to Hashem, yet if one examines much of the phrases they seem bizarre.
Psalm (116:2)) Afafuni Chevlei Mavet,UMtzarei Sheol Mitzauni-The pains of death encircled me, the confines of the grave have found me; trouble and sorrow I would find. Then I would invoke the name of Hashem.
(116:11) He’amanti Ki adaber ani Anisi Meod- I have kept faith although I say I have suffered exceedingly
Psalm (118) Min Hamietzar Karati Kah Anaani BaMerchav Kah- From the straits I call upon Hashem; Hashem answered me expansively
Yasor yisrani Kah Vlamavet Lo nsanani- You have chastened me exceedingly, but he did not let me die.
And then the pinnacle arrives at
Please Hashem save me!
Please Hashem save me!
 Please Hashem Bring success!
Please Hashem bring success!
There is no other nation that sings songs of Hashem when we are in such tumultuous, painful and traumatic times. For that matter not too many other people I know would even consider a circumcision as a time or occasion to throw a party. Yet that is our nation. Being part of the Jewish people is recognizing our unique divine role in this world. We are here for a purpose. We came here in pain and suffering. There is no such thing as an easy childbirth. There will be pain. It will hurt. It will entail blood, sweat and tears. To be a nation of Hashem as well, is not a prize we got at the end of some beautiful reality bachelorettes show with God as the groom. It entailed 400 years of slavery, perseverance and at the end undying determination to have faith at all costs.
We had to slaughter that sheep, that docile, follow-what-the-Egyptian-herd is doing, and put his blood on our doorposts. We were going to be different from the get-go. We were born that night in Egypt. We were born when we were able to see the hand of Hashem taking us out and propelling us forward into our destiny. That was the train we got on. The train of our destiny that would bring us home.
Parshat Vayikra is the first book we learn with little children. Our sages tell us that this because the pure should come and study the laws of purity. Purity is not just innocence, or even simplicity as I think most people identify it. Purity is seeing the hand of Hashem in everything. Kids are great about that. They are always connected. They appreciate the significance of the concept of a home for Hashem, of offerings to the almighty, that bring me closer, that allow me to tap into that knowledge and transcend this world. That is the purity of children. It is that voice that we need to have when we read the book of Vayikra. Those eyes of awe at the concept of Hashem residing His presence on this world. The idea that even if I sin, even in pain, blood and tears Hashem can be found. Perhaps it is even where He is most found. It returns us to our roots. To our birth. We then can begin again. We can renew like the month, like a child.
I sit tonight next to the purest soul I know. He just came down to the world a few days ago. He kind of looks like me and he seems very intelligent. Inspirational. He smiles when I sing my song to him, so he appreciates good music as well. We have a custom that the night before the Bris we recite Shema together with him. All the children, who happen to be his uncles and aunts recited those special words together.
 Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad- Hear Israel Hashem is our God Hashem is one.
Those are the words of our people. The words we recite in times of martyrdo and pain, the words we recite by a brit, in times of joy each morning dawn and nightfall. Every night when we lie our heads to sleep and awake with a new day.
HaMalach HaGoel Osi Mikol Ra- the Angel that redeems me from all evil
Yivareich es Hanearim- he should bless the children
Viyikareh Bahem Shemi- He shall call them in my name
Bishem Avosai- the name of our forefathers
Avraham and Yitzchak
And they should grow into a multitude in the midst of the land.
May he grow and be that blessing to us all.
Have fantastic mazeldike Shabbos!
Still ecstatically yours,
Rabbi- “just Call me Zaidy” J- Ephraim Schwartz


Klaineh kinder lozen nit shlofen; groisseh kinder lozen nit ruen.”- Small children don’t let you sleep; big children don’t let you rest

answer below at end of Email

Q   A commemorative site for female combat troops is found in:
A. “The joined control position”
B. Palmahim
C. Akhziv
D. Nitzanim


https://soundcloud.com/ephraim-schwartz/vzakeynu-lirot-banim  - My latest composition in honor of my first grandson/einekel . Vzakeinu Liros- get ready to jump out of your seat and dance!

https://youtu.be/gtlGjPuItG4    – A beautiful song about the new baby neshoma in hebrew

https://youtu.be/V4VkubdVM7I  – Bill Cosby Granparenting

https://youtu.be/9CeJloG5Ouw   - My Zaidy! By Moshe Yess the classic song and video


This week we have a triple whammy we have the Parsha of Vayikra, we have the extra Parsha an maftir of the 4th and supplementary reading of HaChodesh and it is the New Month; the beginning of Nissan. So the rule is that the special supplementary Haftorah wins however many congregations add in the first verse of the traditional special Haftorah reading from Yeshaya of the Heaven being the throne of Hashem and this world His footstool.and the final verse how each Shabbos and each Rosh Chodesh each man shall come to prostrate before Hashem.
Now interestingly enough though the Haftorah of HaChodesh from the prophecy of Yechezkel really can incorporate all three themes itself as it describes the future Bais Hamikdash and the service that will take place once Mashiach has come and the Jews have returned to Eretz Israel. The Haftorah describes the offering that the Prince (the King or the High Priest) will bring on Rosh Chodesh – the New Moon.
This selection from Yechezkel is especially appropriate for the Shabbos that precedes or coincides with the beginning of the month of Nissan. The month of Nissan is known as the month of redemption. Our exodus from Egypt took place in the month of Nissan. The Mishkan was first assembled on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. The Mizbeach was inaugurated into service during the first 12 days of Nissan.Which therefore connects it to the reading of Vayikra as well. We hope that this year, in the month of Nissan, we will again merit to be redeemed from exile, rebuild the Bais Hamikdash, and again inaugurate the Mizbeach by bringing the Rosh Chodesh offering in the service of G-d.

Yechezkel /Ezekiel (590 BC) – His name "means Hashem will strengthen." Ezekiel wrote his own book. He was a Kohen. He was a major prophet that recorded the warnings to the Jewish captives of Babylon. He experienced his prophecies just before the destruction of Jerusalem on Tishah Be'av (The 9th of Av). He was a villager. His wife died suddenly. He was exiled in 597 B.C.E. His prophetic ministry lasted 20 years. Some of his visions were experienced while he was in exile. Ezekiel was the only prophet to experience a prophecy while outside the Land of Israel. He died in Bavel. He was among 8000 exiles taken to Babylon by Nevuchadnezzar, King of Babylon soldiers


Graves of Tribes of Israel- Dan (1275 BC)- Many of the graves have different traditions where they are buried. So hopefuly fi you visit both of the sites then you are covered. I don’t always get a chance to be by both but the tribe of Dan, the “least of Yaakov’s Sons” I did manage to get to both sites. I have a special connection with the tribe of Dan because Tel Dan is my favorite place to visit in Israel. As well Reb Tzadok Hakohein suggests that the tribe of Dan corresponds to our generation before Mashiach comes. The first and more visited site of Dan is in the portion of the tribe of Dan near the grave of Shimshon who was the tribes judge, Although they call it Dan’s grave it is more likely than not Shimshonss grave as Dan’s is in Eshtoel or next to that one.
The other site is in Kfar Dan in the foothills of Har Tabor in the lower Galile. The village of Dana Al Hakim- was named after the wise man and judge that the arabs haad a tradition was buried there- which could be Dan who we are told represtns the judges of Israel.
  On both sites there is a grave sign interestingly enough and testimonies of visitors and pilgrims go back hundreds of years. Now there is also a tradition that is mentioned that he is buried near the Banias, but that is more likely than not a grave of a Sheikh.


A dying grandfather tells his grandchild, "I want to leave you my farm. That includes the barn, livestock, the harvest, the tractor, and other equipment, the farmhouse and $24,548,750.45 in cash." The grandchild, absolutely floored and about to become rich says, "Oh grandpa, you are SO generous! I didn't even know you had a farm. Where is it?" With his last breath, Grandpa whispered, "Facebook..."

Two elderly grandparents from a retirement center were sitting on a bench under a tree when one turns to the other and says: "Hymie, I'm 83 years old now and I'm just full of aches and pains. I know you're about my age. How do you feel?" Hymie says, "I feel just like a newborn baby." "Really! Like a newborn baby?" "Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants"

A reporter was interviewing a 103 year-old great grandfather: "And what do you think is the best thing about being 103?" the reporter asked. He simply replied, "No peer pressure."

Zaidy Yankel who had serious hearing problems for a number of years went to the doctor to be fitted for a hearing aid that would return his hearing to 100%. The grandpa went back for further tests a month later and the doctor said, "Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again." To which the elderly man replied, "Oh, I haven't told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I've changed my will three times!"

A young man saw an elderly couple sitting down to lunch at the Kosher restaurant. He noticed that they had ordered one meal, and an extra drink cup. As he watched, the gentleman carefully divided the hamburger in half, then counted out the fries, one for him, one for her, until each had half of them. Then he poured half of the soft drink into the extra cup and set that in front of his wife. The old man then began to eat, and his wife sat watching, with her hands folded in her lap. The young man decided to ask if they would allow him to purchase another meal for them so that they didn't have to split theirs. The old gentleman said, "Oh no. We've been married 50 years, and everything has always been and will always be shared, 50/50." The young man then asked the wife if she was going to eat, and she replied, "It's his turn with the teeth." 

For months, Leah had been nagging her husband to go with her to the séance parlor of Madame Sadie.
"Cyril, Madame Sadie is a real gypsy and she brings the voices of the dead from the other world. We all talk to them. Last week, I talked with my mother, may she rest in peace. Cyril, for only $30 you can talk to your zaida who you miss so much."
Cyril could not resist and at the next seance, there was Cyril sitting under the colored light at the green table, holding hands with the person on each side of him. All were humming.
Madame Sadie, her eyes lost in trance, was making passes over a crystal ball. "My medium Vashtri, who is that with you? Mr Himmelfarb? Cyril's zaida?"
Cyril swallowed the lump in his throat and called, "Grandpa? zaida?"
"Ah, Cyril?" a thin voice quavered.
"Yes, yes," cried Cyril, "this is your Cyril, zaida, are you happy in the other world?"
"Cyril, I am in bliss. I'm with your bubba. We laugh, we sing, we gaze upon the shining face of the Lord."
Cyril asks his zaida many questions and his zaida answers each, until -
"So now, Cyril, I have to go. The angels are calling. Just one more question I can answer. Ask. Ask."
"Zaida," sighed Cyril, "when did you learn to speak English?"   

And of course the classic

An elderly woman in Florida was boring fellow beachcombers as she bragged on and on about her two remarkable grandchildren.
Unable to stand it any longer, a fellow sunbather interrupted her.
"Tell me, Mrs. Rosenwasser, how old are your grandsons?"
Mrs. Rosenwasser gave her a grateful smile and replied, "The doctor is four and the lawyer is six...."

Answer is D – I would have skipped this one. There are so many monuments in this country, I rarely stop at any of them. Not that I have anything against monuments, they’re just not the Jewish way to commemorate someone. I prefer to go to places and talk about our fallen soldiers and heroes at sites that they were active. The answer to this question is Nitzanim in the South of Isarel not far from Ashkelon. Achziv I knew wasn’t the answer as there was a monument there that I  have visited for the “night of the bridges”. I figured it wasn’t in the West Bank Territories. But it could’ve been Palmachim. Anyways, I would ‘ve skipped this like I said,`