Sunday, 7 August 2011

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Finding blogger a bit hard to deal with...

much easier to post stuff into my website and facebook and twitter. So if you'd like to follow me, would suggest better links would be the facebook 'fan page'
and the twitter feed
so do join me there.
Will probably phase out blog. So yesterday!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Quick fix ...

Mostly posting to my facebook 'fan page' nowadays as it is so much easier and quicker than the blog. Latest link below to an example k'mila achat (as one word).!/notes/mordechai-pinchas-sofer-stam-marc-michaels/quick-fix-/399796850324

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Learnt some new midrash at Chabad tonight about d'yo (ink)...

They had a guest over from Israel and he was talking about the rebellious son from last weeks sedra and how according to Rashi there was no such person because really they only had a limited period of time (a few months after bar-mistvah) to be termed such a person. However if there was then it would be justified that they should be put to death because they were bad and would be bad. However Ishmael who was sent away ostensibly for teasing was rescued in the desert because at that time he was a tsaddik - even though after he was going to turn bad in the future and Hashem told the angels that that was the reason for his rescue ...

This is likened to d'yo (ink) and the fact that there is argument between the P'ri M'gadim and the Chatam Sofer over ink. Normal STaM ink is black but some of it will go brown over time. The former says this makes it pasul but the latter doesn't agree and the halacha is that if it fades to brown over time as ink is wont to do then it is fine and still kasher (as long as the body of the letters is still unborken and the fade isn't too bad). It just gets old and perhaps a bit world weary and maybe collects up some sins - like Ishmael or maybe like us. However if the ink turns brown immediately (or was red) then it was never kasher ink and should never have been used - like the rebellious son - who was never good and shouldn't have been in the world. You can write over the old brown ink if you want to (but you don't have to) but you can't write over the immediately brown or red ink.

Perhaps in Elul we should be looking at how brown our own ink has got and whether we need to do some repair.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Chesed and Gevurah - Parchment and Letters

Listening to shiur - Rabbi Eli Silberstein on Brachot 2:3. He was explaining by way of comparison to the need to pronounce the Shema properly and the need for space between each word and the next. He compared to writing a torah where obviously there has to be space between the letters and the words - this is a key scribal concept - mukefet g'vil (surrounded by parchment). If there is a join then the work is pasul (invalid).

He quotes a Polish rebbe - Rev Shlomo of Lusk - who says there is mystical significance here. What is the significance of the space between the letters in a Torah? He explains that the parchment is white and the light colour symbolises compassion and kindness. The letters however are black, dark and limiting - with specific conditions governing the letters and indeed the letters in the Torah - mostly concerned with recording laws - represent severity, judgement and restriction.

So he explains that strict judgement must be surrounded by compassion - otherwise we would not survive. In Kabbalistic terms then the parchment represents chesed - white space. Whilst the black letters represent gevurah. And in Elul we ask that the white parchment of compassion surrounds the dark letters of judgement.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Amud 10

Finished half of amud 10 of the Megillat haShoah - half an amud to go and the yeriah (sheet) is complete. Just one left then.