Yom HaShoah 5777

In the darkness that descended on the world for over a decade, our people were still able to gather in shards of light. Incredible acts of courage, incredible act of compassion, and incredible acts of dignity. I would like to relate to you this eyewitness account of just one of these acts.

“Among those murdered at Birkenau in June 1944 was the former Elder of the Theresienstadt ghetto, Jacob Edelstein. SS Lieutenant Franz Hoessler was present during Edelstein’s last moments. An eye-witness, Yossl Rosenshaft, recalled a year later:

Jacob was in the same barracks as I was – number 13 – on that Monday morning. It was about nine a.m. and he was saying his morning prayers, wrapped in his prayer shawl. Suddenly the door burst open and Hoessler strutted in, accompanied by three SS men. He called out Jacob’s name.

Jacob did not move.

Hoessler screamed: ‘I am waiting for you, hurry up.’

Jacob turned round very slowly, faced Hoessler and said quietly:

‘Of the last moments on this earth, allotted to me by the Almighty, I am the master, not you.’

Whereupon he turned back to face the wall and finished his prayers.

He then folded his prayer shawl unhurriedly, handed it to one of the inmates and said to Hoessler: ‘I am now ready.’

Hoessler stood there all the while without uttering a word, and marched out when Edelstein was ready.

Edelstein followed him and the three SS men made up the rear. We have never seen Jacob Edelstein again.”

All was taken from Jacob Edelstein, his possessions, his home, his family and, in the end, his life. He placed his life in G-d’s hands and took control of his last few remaining moments. Jacob Edelstein left a legacy to all people, he chose to defy his tormentors and regain his dignity as a human being. In the face of this his captors were powerless, and Jacob Edelstein gained the final victory.

NEVER AGAIN!

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Zeyde’s Gardening Tips from the Torah!

As most of you know, Zeyde plants a garden every year and posts pictures throughout the growing season. Well, Gardening Season is here once again, so Zeyde has some gardening tips for you right from the Torah!

Devarim 20: 6 And what man is there that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not used the fruit thereof? Let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man use the fruit thereof.

Devarim 20: 19 When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by wielding an axe against them; for thou mayest eat of them, but thou shalt not cut them down; for is the tree of the field man, that it should be besieged of thee? 20 Only the trees of which thou knowest that they are not trees for food, them thou mayest destroy and cut down, that thou mayest build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it fall.

Devarim 24: 19 When thou reapest thy harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go back to fetch it; it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow; that the L-RD thy G-d may bless thee in all the work of thy hands. 20 When thou beatest thine olive-tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. 21 When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it after thee; it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.

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House of Seven Beggars Schedule for the Week of April 23, 2017:

(All times EST).
 
Tuesday, April 25, 2017:
8:00 – 9:30 PM – The Shul Study Hall – Shulchan Aruch.
 
Wednesday, April 26, 2017:
8:00 – 9:30 M – The Shul Torah Study with Rabbi and Zeyde – Parshah Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus 12:1 – 15:33).
 
NOTICE: No Kabbalat and Maariv Shabbat Services This Week.
 
Shabbat, April 29, 2017:
10:00 AM – Shacharit and Musaf Shabbat Service. Parshah Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus 12:1 – 15:33). Haftorah (Metzora) Kings II 7:3-20.

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House of Seven Beggars Schedule for the Week of April 16, 2017:

(All times EST)
 
Notice: No Shul Study Hall this week since Pesach will not end until after the shows scheduled start time.
 
Wednesday, April 19, 2017:
8:00 – 9:30 PM – The Shul Torah Study with Rabbi and Zeyde – Parshah Shemini (Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47).
 
Friday, April 21, 2017:
8:00 PM – Kabbalat and Maariv Shabbat Service – Parshah Shemini.
 
Shabbat, April 22, 2017:
10:00 AM – Shacharit and Musaf Shabbat Service – Parshah Shemini (Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47), Haftorah: Samuel II 6:1-19.

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House of Seven Beggars Schedule for the Week of, April 9, 2017:

(all times EST).
 
NOTICE: No study classes this week in honor of Pesach.
 
Tuesday, April 11, 2017:
10:00 AM – Shacharit and Musaf Pesach 1st Day – First Torah:
Pesach Day 1: Exodus 12:21-51 – Second Torah: Pesach Day 1: Numbers 28:19-25. Haftorah: Joshua 3:5-7; Joshua 5:2 – 6:1; Joshua 6:27.
 
Wednesday, April 12, 2017:
10:00 AM – Shacharit and Musaf Pesach 2nd Day – First Torah: Pesach Day 2: Leviticus 22:26 – 23:44 – Second Torah: Pesach Day 2: Numbers 28:19-25. Haftorah: Kings II 23:1-9; Kings II 23:21-25.
 
Friday, April 14, 2017:
8:00 PM – Kabbalat and Maariv Shabbat Service. Pesach Chol Hamoed.
 
Shabbat, April 15, 2017:
10:00 AM – Shacharit and Musaf Shabbat Service – Pesach Chol Hamoed – First Torah: Chol Hamoed, Pesach: Exodus 33:12 – 34:26, – Second Torah: Chol Hamoed, Pesach: Numbers 28:19-25. Haftorah: Ezekiel 37:1-14.

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Composition of the Soul and Physical Matter

By Rabbi Aryel Nachman ben Chaim – 20 Kislev 5772

All souls are comprised of sparks. The sparks composing the soul in this transmigration are not all the same sparks that composed the soul in previous transmigrations. Based on what the soul is to learn and accomplish in the current transmigration determines the composition of sparks.

Sparks are like energy, it is the basis of the souls; just as matter is made up of energies (m-theory, string theory, superstring theory, etc.). Combinations of energies form protons, neutrons, electrons, isotopes, quarks, leptons, etc. Combinations of protons, neutrons, etc. form Elements. Combinations of elements form molecules. Continue to combine and we get to this corporal world as we know it.

The sparks were created by HaShem manifesting out of Ein Sof (B”H). The sparks are then combined to form the ruach, nefesh and neshomah resulting in the various attributes, and combining the various attributes composes the soul that exists in this transmigration. All this is contained within a vessel, or universe, which composes the physical self.

An element can be changed in and of itself through the process of decay, emission or fission; as inherent within the nature of the element. An element can also be changed by an external source or force; colliders and particle accelerators being the most obvious example. As an example, by simply passing an electrical current through water, you get hydrogen. However, all the components of the element continue to exist within the universe (or vessel) according the first law of thermodynamics.

So too, the soul can be changed by external sources: HaShem can cause a change. Study, knowledge and wisdom can cause a change. Interaction with others, or experiences we have, can cause a change. However, unlike matter and elements; which have no conscious awareness of internal change by decay, emission or fission, we are able to affect changes within ourselves. We, as conscious beings, can accomplish change intentionally by adding sparks, casting off sparks, and rectifying sparks. And, just as with the first law of thermodynamics, the sparks that are cast off, or sparks that are rectified and not incorporated into our being, are returned to the source (B”H).

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… And You Shall Tell …

by Rabbi Aryel Nachman ben Chaim – 3 Nissan 5777 (© 2017)

Pesach is once again upon us; with the cleaning, shopping and all the preparations for celebrating the Festival of Matzot. We will sell our chametz, and in the evening search for the last of the chametz and burn it the next morning. With the table festively set and the food ready for the repast, we will greet our guests and ready ourselves for the Pesach Seder.

As we sit to once again conduct this ritual we know so loving well, we will bring out the trusty Haggadah that has been a fixture at our Seder for as far back as we can remember. We begin reading from the Haggadah, and pretty soon we notice that we are once again droning our way through the prayers and narratives as we remember our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents doing when we were young. The kinder start fidgeting and getting into mischief out of boredom, just as we did. The older relatives’ eyes grow heavy and maybe a yawn or two slips through. It becomes like trudging through a muddy bog, as we forge ahead toward the distant promise of a wonderful meal that awaits us ….. if we can only manage to stay awake that long. After the meal, we return to the Haggadah and struggle to complete the Seder; it’s late, were tired, the kinder have lost all interest.

Where did the festival go? Where is the simchah go?

Let’s explore this!

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House of Seven Beggars Synagogue Schedule for the Week of April 2, 2017.

(all times EST).
 
Tuesday, April 4, 2017:
8:00 – 9:30 PM – The Shul Study Hall – Shulchan Aruch.
 
Wednesday, April 5, 2017:
8:00 – 9:30 PM – The Shul Torah Study with Rabbi and Zeyde – Parshah Tzav (Leviticus 6:1 – 8:36).
 
Friday, April 7, 2017:
8:00 PM – Kabbalat and Maariv Shabbat Service – Parshah Tzav.
 
Shabbat, April 8, 2017:
10:00 AM – Shacharit and Musaf Shabbat Service – Parshah Tzav (Leviticus 6:1 – 8:36), Haftorah – Jeremiah 7:21-28; Jeremiah 9:22-23.

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Recreational Cannabis and Judaism

By: Rabbi Aryel nachman ben Chaim – 8 Iyyar 5776

BS”D,

We are seeing more and more states legalizing the use of cannabis (marijuana) for both medical and recreational use. While I have no issue with the medical aspect of cannabis, as it does have a fair amount of scientific study to support its use; however, it is the recreational use that I take issue with.

Since the states’ initial foray into legalized cannabis, we immediately saw a tremendous amount of abuse of the system by profiteering doctors. Doctors who saw an easy way to make a lot of money by prescribing cannabis use for anyone who walked through the clinic door and had the cash to be “evaluated” by the doctor. They walked in, plunked down their money and walked out ten minutes later with a prescription for whatever supposed diagnosis the doctor could write up that could not be definitively disproved.

With their prescription in hand, the person simply walked into the dispensary, typically next door to the doctor’s office or just down the street, and walk out with the object of their desire.

The doctors were making money, the dispensaries were making money and, most importantly, the states were making money. Everyone one was happy, or stoned, or both.

Those entities and people who are promoting the legalization of recreational cannabis like to point to the fact that it is “natural” and “completely harmless”. This is not, in fact, true. As opposed to the “pot” that was around back in the 60’s and 70’s, todays cannabis is much more potent and contains three to five times higher concentrations of THC then the “pot” from back in those days. This is comparative to a person drinking a 12 oz. can of beer and thinking that a 12 oz. drink of whiskey is the same thing. Those who are promoting recreational use are also intentionally ignoring the long term affects.

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House of Seven Beggars Synagogue Schedule for the Week of March 26, 2017:

(all times EST).

Tuesday, March 28, 2017:
8:00 – 9:30 PM – The Shul Study Hall – Shulchan Aruch.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Hji5zCXOyU

Wednesday, March 29, 2017:
8:00 – 9:30 PM – The Shul Torah Study with Rabbi and Zeyde – Parshah Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkOr3iq4swQ

Friday, March 31, 2017:
8:00 PM – Kabbalat and Maariv Shabbat Service – Parshah Vayikra.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdSG8oVE7lE

Shabbat, April 1, 2017:
10:00 AM – Shacharit and Musaf Shabbat Service – Parshah Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26) – Haftrorah, Isaiah 43:21 – 44:23.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpfbsNGaX_M

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