Friday, February 27, 2009

Me Or Us?

Some thoughts on personal growth vs. communal needs from Rabbi Zweig.

Good Shabbos Sweetest Friends!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Urgent Message!!

Anybody who is: blue, blue funk, bummed out, cast down, crestfallen, crummy, dejected, depressed, discouraged, despondent, destroyed, disconsolate, dispirited, down, downcast, downhearted, dragged, fed up, glum, grim, hurting, in pain, let down, low, low down, low-spirited, lugubrious [what? A.E.], melancholy, moody, morose, forlorn [two lorn plus two lorn], pessimistic, ripped, sad, spiritless, taken down, torn up, unhappy, woebegone [courtesy of] - SORRY!! YOU MUST BE HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!

Adar is beginning. And that means SIMCHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meeshe meeshe meeshe.......

Monday, February 23, 2009


Tonight is the Yarzheit of the Holy Martyrs from Merkaz Harav. We must not forget

It should inspire us to greater levels of purity and devotion.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Everything Has A Tikkun [Almost]

Shalom Sweetest Friends!!

Oh No! My computer is broken beyond repair. [I am writing this from another computer.]

For the foreseeable future I will not be purchasing a new one [vihamyvin yavin]. Hence, I will not be blogging very frequently [but from time to time I will still probably blog. I feel very connected to my readership. Both of you......]

Hope we reconvene in the future for much more "Torah With A Smile".

Love, Blessings and Wishes For A Heavenly Shabbos!!

Yours Truly,

Elchanan Ben Henna Miriam

P.S. I will also not be able to answer emails for the same reason. My telephone number is 646-461-1628.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Good Place For A Jewish Boy??

A Rabbi joining a service in a church?

You might find this interesting.

I did!!

Love and blessings!!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Woman And Talmud Study

Recently, I heard a startling revelation from Rav Nosson Kaminetzky. Rebbetzin Kotler [wife of Rav Aharon ztz"l] was a Gemara scholar!!

I believe that there is an important insight to be gleaned. She learned Gemara but didn't make any noise about it!! In Judaism this is called "tzniyus". This is quality that we should all strive to possess.

I think much more would be accomplished for the furthering of womans education if there was less talk about what girls and women SHOULD be studying and more actual studying - with an emphasis on the importance of HIDING ones knowledge from the others.

Men, too, should study and not talk about how capable they are of studying and how much they have studied.

One more note [forgive me - I don't mean to offend]: After about thirty years of Talmud study [in Jewish day schools] not ONE important book of Talmudic novellae has been published by a woman. In order to write one it requires many years of intense study. Three sedarim a day. If a woman wants to nurture her family this is [virtually] IMPOSSIBLE.

Woman do something FAR more significant than write books - they create PEOPLE!

So advanced women's education - YES! But with a stress on modesty, family and a focus on the WOMENS intellectual and emotional needs which are WORLDS APART from a man's.

[I speak from my experience teaching girls and boys. I must also note that girls are FAR more likely to take notes and to take class seriously. That has been my experience. I will also note that in the elementary school I attended the girls were much better at gemara that the boys. I wonder if any of them still study - 25 years later. I seriously doubt it. Unfortunately most of the boys don't either.]


Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face.

Dave Barry

Many people mistakenly identify "fun" with "happiness". The truth is, that what is fun will not necessarily make you happy and what makes you happy will not necessarily be fun. [Interesting: In Lashon Hakodesh there is no word for "fun". This means that it has no true significance. Only in Modern Hebrew they have come up with "kaif". However, for "happiness" there are MANY words.]

Think about it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Let Us Continue His Legacy

How is it possible to learn 10 hours of Torah in one hour?

How is it possible to keep 10 Shabbosos every Shabbos?

Very simple. Be mekarev 10 Jews! Every mitzva of theirs is attributed to you as well. Not to mention those of their children and grandchildren until the end of time.

Read about a man who is no longer living yet will continue to learn THOUSANDS of hours a day and to keep countless Shabbasos despite the fact that he is no longer with us.

Yehi Zichro Baruch!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ladies First

In this weeks parsha we read that before the giving of the Torah, Hashem told Moshe to speak first to the women [Beis Yaakov] and only then to the men [Bnei Yisrael]. Here is a source in the Torah for "Ladies First".

Until now, nice and post-modern! But wait a second. The Medrash explains why "Ladies First". Hashem determined that the reason Chavah sinned and brought death to the world was because Adam was commanded first. So this time, in order to ensure that women would keep the Torah it was necessary to command the women first and hopefully they will listen! Whoa! CHAAAAAARIIIIIIIIIIIIFFF!!!!!!!!!

What does this mean?

The Heilige Rav Yaakov Moshe Charlap zatz"l explained [in Mei Marom]: A woman naturally wants to fulfill the will of her husband. Chavah sinned because she was commanded subsequent to Adam. She was only doing it for him. That is a flimsy basis! We must do things because Hashem said!! That is SOLID!! That is what the Medrash means: If women are commanded before the men, then they won't keep the Torah in order to please their husbands but for the RIGHT REASON - namely because Hashem said.

May we always have the purest of motivations in our Divine service!!!

Monday, February 09, 2009

MAZEL TOV!!!!!!!!

Sweetest friends - today was a GREAT DAY for Am Yisrael. My day started with the bris of the son of my beloved friend Rav Binyamin Staiman. Then throughout the day I heard of numerous engagements. But there is one that I feel most strongly about.


Yes, my brother Avraham Yitzchak [known in his Ramaz days as "Steven". What is a Steven???] Jaspan is engaged to Hila Reich!!!!!!!!!!!! [How my brother has a last name different from my own is another question...]

MAZEL TOV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Yidden, keep making simchas. Births, weddings, bar-bat-mitzvahs - it doesn't matter.

Tzoris - we have enough thank you.....

Avraham Yitzchak and Hila will be tying their eternal knot in YERUSHALAYIM!!!!!!!!!
[If Moshiach doesn't come in time - then some of Yerushalayim is going to have to join them in New York. We don't think it'll come to that.]

They are two very special people who will build a home filled with Torah, Yiras Shomayim and Simcha!!

בקרוב אצל כל מי שצריך ובתוכם יהודה יעקב בן דינה חאשע רחל בת גאולה ניר בן ציונה בערל הלוי בן אלישבע יעקב בן לאה שלום ראובן בן מרים יהודית עליזה בת אסתר גיטל לביא זאב בן יהודית

Nusach Habracha

A Tu Bishvat question. If you eat an Israeli grown date or grape, you say at the end of the after bracha "al ha'aretz vi'al pairoseHA" on the land and HER fruits [and not vi'al hapeiros]. [However, if you go on a date in Israel there is no special bracha. But if you eat a date on a date then you do make a bracha on the date....]

If you drink Israeli wine you make an "al ha'aretz vi'al pri gafNA" - on the land and HER grapevine [and not vi'al pri hagaffen]. Great! Eretz Yisrael is special. [I personally dream of living there...]

So why don't we say [in Israel] after eating mezonos "al ha'aretz vi'al michyaSA"? Everyone says vi'al hamichya?!

Love and blessings!!!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Healing The Fractures

Things to remember:

That each situation in which we find ourselves did not happen by accident: we are here, now, in this place, among these people, in these circumstances, so that we can do the act or say the word that will heal one of the fractures of the world;

that it is not the most wealthy or powerful or successful or self important who make the greatest difference or engender the greatest love;

that pain and loneliness are forms of energy that can be transformed if we turn them outward, using them to recognize and redeem someone else's pain or loneliness;

that those who spend at least part of their lives in service of others are the most fulfilled and happiest people I know;

that what counts is not how much wealth we make but how much of what we have, we share;

There is a Hebrew word, a key term of the Bible, for which there is no precise English translation: simchah, usually translated as 'joy'. What it really means is the happiness we share, or better still, the happiness we make by sharing.

That where what we want to do meets what needs to be done, that is where G-d wants us to be.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Sunday, February 01, 2009

What To Do In An Elevator


28 Things To Do While You Are In The Elevator:

1) When there's only one other person in the elevator, tap them on the shoulder and then pretend it wasn't you.

2) Push the buttons and pretend they give you a shock. Smile, and go back for more.

3) Ask if you can push the buttons for other people, but push the wrong ones.

4) Call the Psychic Hotline from your cell phone and ask if they know what floor you're on.

5) Hold the doors open and say you're waiting for your friend. After awhile, let the doors close and say, "Hi Greg. How's your day been?"

6) Drop a pen and wait until someone reaches to help pick it up, then scream, "That's mine!"

7) Bring a camera and take pictures of everyone in the elevator.

8) Move your desk in to the elevator and whenever someone gets on, ask if they have an appointment.

9) Lay down a Twister mat and ask people if they'd like to play.

10) Leave a box in the corner, and when someone gets on ask them if they hear something ticking.

11) Pretend you are a flight attendant and review emergency procedures and exit with the passengers.

12) Ask, "Did you feel that?"

13) Stand really close to someone, sniffing them occasionally.

14) When the doors close, announce to the others, "It's okay. Don't panic, they open up again."

15) Swat at flies that don't exist.

16) Tell people that you can see their aura.

17) Call out, "Group hug!" then enforce it.

18) Grimace painfully while smacking your forehead and muttering "Be quiet, all of you, just be quiet!"

19) Crack open your briefcase or handbag, and while peering inside, ask, "Got enough air in there?"

20) Stand silently and motionless in the corner, facing the wall, without getting off.

21) Stare at another passenger for a while, then announce in horror, "You're one of THEM!" and back away slowly.

22) Wear a puppet on your hand and use it to talk to the other passengers.

23) Put your hand next to your ear and have an animated conversation as if you are holding a cellphone. Then remove your hand from your ear making sure that everyone sees that it is empty.

24) Make explosion noises when anyone presses a button.

25) Grinning, stare at another passenger for a while, and then announce, "I have new socks on."

26) Draw a little square on the floor with chalk and announce to the other passengers, "This is my personal space."

27) Ask the person standing next to you if he has seen your crocodile as you have lost one and are quite despondent. Relate that your crocodile's name is Howard.

28) If there are religious people in the elevator with you then take out a tefillin bag and ask an obviously religious man if he has put on tefillin yet today [ala Lubavitch]. Then make the same offer to a religious woman.

That was comic relief. But for real, what can a a Yid [or Yiddene] do in an elevator?

1) Think about the existence of Hashem.

2) Say a Perek of Tehillim.

3) Review something you recently learned.

4) Feel love for another Jew.

5) Make a Cheshbon Hanefesh - where am I going? How are my middos? My Tefillah? What happened to everything I thought about during last Yom Kippur?

6) Think of a couple you can set up.

7) Remember that Hashem took us out of Egypt. And remember why [to SERVE]!

8) Remember what happened to Miriam when she spoke lashon hara.

9) Feel gratitude to Hashem that you have two legs, working kidneys, lungs, eyes, hearing etc.

10) Feel gratitude to your parents for everything they have done for you and think of ways to repay them [if possible].

11) Think of who needs cheering up. Then when you get out of the elevator call them up and cher them up!!

12) Add to this list.

Sweetest friends!! Mitzvos are available EVERYWHERE. We just have to "chap arein".

Love and blessings!!!!!!!!

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Segula - 40 days at the Kotel

About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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