The virtual Kehilla of Orthodox Jewry of Greater Montreal

T'u b'Av - Maidens went out and danced in a circle

JbFI9755880TuBavChabad  There were no yome tovim for Israel as T'u b'Av and Yom Kippur.

Let it be , Yom Kippur, the end of slicha and kopere, the day when the second tablets were given, but why t'u b'Av.

We know of 7 events on that day.I saw an insight ascribed to the holy Rebbe R' Avraham Yehoshua Hershel of Mezibuz; The Chazal say that in the future haShem will make a circle for tzaddikim....When people move in a circle, there is no head or bottom , so too there will be no jealousy between tzaddikim , just as the heavenly 'mazalos' where each one goes up 'backwards' and its 'face' to the back of its friend 'below' which looks as that he goes up first.

The 15th letter of the laphebet is the somech , a circle.This was the simcha of t'u b'Av.

Perhaps with this insite ,perhaps we can understand a difficult medrash.We know that each year after the slanders of the spies 15,000 people dug their graves and lay down to die (the generation of 600,000 / by 40 years in the desert).The last 9th of av , 15,000 dug their graves, but lo and behold in the morning , they were still alive!

Maybe it is a mistake; so they lie down again, and again , till the full moon.and they realize the decree of death has been lifted.The first simcha of t'u b'Av.

What had actually happnened to that decree , why were they still alive.No one can give an answer for the horrors of the many  Hitlers y's our people have had to endure, but one thing we know, those who survived the camps had no sense of jealousy of one to another.The Jewish people are a corporate body which transcends place and time.That is why the whole generation needed a tikun for the sin of the few.But if all had died, then the generation wouldn't have its tikun complete .The tikun for loshon hara is to wipe out completely all vestiges of smallness and petty jealousy.

The entrance to Gan Eden on earth is the capacity to love .Sometimes it takes great tragedies to unleash that capacity of love.This is the dance of the maidens , the time for shidduchin , and the time for the shidduch of the Jewish people with their betrothed, the Ribbono shel Olam.

Mazla tov , Montreal.

And let us begin to look forward to the High holy Days!

Note: In honor of T'u b'Av, we've added to our link section a number of shidduchim links we found which could be valuable


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Burning of the Red Heifer - The Burning of the Talmud - The Tragedy in Nice France

Zos Chukas haTorah Adom ki Yomus b'ohel

Ein divrey torah miskayim ela b'mi she memes atzmo alehaBook Burning Christian 300x276

אין דברי תןרה מתקים אלא במי שמימית עצמו עליה

'A man who dies in the tent ' - the words of torah can only reside in someone who totally immerses himself - ie. to be dead to the world- in the tents of torah'

How especially poignant to us are the words of the baal medrash become , when we read that when the church burnt the talmud , they did so with an official 'executioner'.Actually ,yes, the words of the living talmud are ingrained in the souls of our people and not on old parchment.

Twenty four cartloads of jewish books burnt "at the stake" in front of the Louvre in Paris June 17, 1242 ,Friday, erev shabbas, parshas Chukas (this writer's gentile birthday and bar mitzva sedra).It was the beginning of more than 500 years of such profanity (the last fire in 1757). The great sages of the time  decreed a fast on Friday erev shabbas as they understood the destruction to tie in to the parsha ,(one of the baale tosfos asked a shela b'shemayim and was answered that the day was the cause -'This is the chok (law without explanation) of the torah.

The Church was right, the ideas and sacrifice of our people for living words of haShem through the mesorah was  dangerous to them.That event signaled the end of the great Jewish presence in France.In an article attributed to Rabbi Wein's history lessons 

the ramifications were many ,including and up to the future secular Nazis and their evil ways..tammuza 300x238

          כאשר יענו אתו כן ירבה וכן יפרץ    

The more they were afflicted , the more they grew and spread

While the Church and their students continually degraded themselves , the burnings had the opposite effect on the Jews.Rabbenu Yonah connected that desecration with the burning of the Rambam's works in 1233 , also in Paris (which he himself had partially instigated ) .As a result he wrote the Shaare Teshuva -  'The Gates of Repentance' the pillar of the mussar movement.That work and others to follow would focus on building the inner sanctums of the ethical and religious jew .Our passion for the talmud just grew, and many say that the incessant burnings actually contributed to the flowering of kabbala amongst our people.

Last week's terrible sick 'attack' in Nice France , made this writer wonder.Google describes Nice as  "the city today balances old-world decadence with modern urban energy." I saw a well written article at   which impressed me.It describes the situation as a 'Clash of Civilizations".The anniversary of the storming of the Bastille was called trhe Feast of Federation,the celebration of French culture , of French ideals of "liberty, equality and fraternity".

"The revolution extolled reason; the fundamentalists worship at the alter of apocalyptic irrationality. And the revolution proclaimed (although it often failed to respect) freedom, including freedom of religion; the fundamentalists seek a caliphate in which only the laws of Islam prevail."

"But the revolution also established an enduring concept of citizenship that underpinned the French nation, “one and indivisible”. Far more than any other European country, it was open to foreigners; it demanded, however, that they join the nation on its terms. As Michael Walzer put it, “foreigners were welcomed — so long as they learned the French language, committed themselves to the republic, sent their children to state schools, and celebrated Bastille Day”.

It was equally insistent on what they were not to do: isolate themselves in ethnic enclaves that clashed with the broader community of citizens. Already in 1791, the refusal of a right to differentiate and divide was expressed in the Legislative Assembly’s debate on the emancipation of the Jews by Clermont-Tonnerre, a deputy of the centre, when he spoke for the majority (which favoured emancipation): “One must refuse everything to the Jews as a nation,” Clermont-Tonnerre declared, “and grant everything to the Jews as individuals.”

"In the country which long prided itself on being the “eldest daughter” of the church, there are more devout young Muslims than devout young Catholics and Protestants combined."


It seems somewhat ironic that the “eldest daughter of the church" who tried as much as they could to sniff out our national souls are facing today  the challenge of the end of theirs.

Perhaps this is hinted to at the end of the parsha - כי אש יצאה מחשבון להבה מקרית סיחן אכלה ער מואב בעלי במות ארנון - 'A fire went out from Cheshbon , a flame from the city of Sichon,it ate Or of Moab ,and baale bomos of Arnon.'

We were not allowed to go to war with Moab as we could not take their land ;it was given to the son of Lot.So a 'fire' went out from Sichon , the king of Emoree - from the land of Canaan, and ate up - conquered Moab.So , when Sichon went out to war with us, and we won, we were allowed to take those lands as our own.

The first Rashi in Chumash tells us that the torah as lawbook should have started with the first mitzva - the sanctification of the month.But it starts with sefer breishis , which we can't truly understand , to teach us that haShem , the Creator takes the land and gives it to whom He wishes.This is the ultimate answer to the world who will ultimately call us 'thieves.'

We  don't truly know the ways of haShem , and we certainly don't wish bad on any of haShem's creatures, but it is our deep belief that all the turmoil and horrors and fears we are going through today are a process of the ending of evil (b'ezer haShem it should be mostly by self annhilation) and ignorance and confusion and the unfolding of the blessings to mankind,as we are free to fulfill our raison detre as the 'Conscience of Mankind' and the  'Light unto the Nations.'

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2 Parshos R'Shimon Faith Israel א׳י אמונה ר׳ שׁמעון בּחוקתי בּהר


A friend of mine commented that R' Shimon's yahrzeit seems to coincide with parshas Behar more than Parshas b'Chukosay.

After all, R'Shimon lived in the cave for 12 years without work as we are expected to do every 7 in Israel.Yet the parsha read this week in Israel is 'b Chukosay (for us  next week).I told him , maybe it is because we find that the Chasam Sofer teaches that the halacha is not like R' Shimon in Israel once we all live there.Even R' Shimon agrees that the very work in Israel is holy (perhaps this is the story when he and his son came out the second time and saw the Yid running to prepare for shabbas).

Yet ,even that work, as holy as it is, is only so ,if we show our faith and live it, as is demanded of us, in Israel , every 7 years as to working the land, and for all of us, every 7 days.

Maybe the real take away for all of us, is the simcha of the unity of our people, the People of the Torah.The Chazal teach that anyone who resides 'chutz l'aretz', is as if he has no g-d.Ultimately as the Maharl teaches,it is the Land which unites us,and thereby  allows us to sanctify all of our life affairs.

In Behar we are taught to do business with one another preferentially and also, to step back to some extent from private  ownership(shmitte).

R'Shimon lived in the cave because of the curses enunciated in b'Chukosay, so that we, in our generation starting to Return can practice keeping shmitta and all mitzvos.And we know this is only possible  as all Yidden are responsible for each other.In unity and love for each other  - not only in tzedeka, while accepting personally in our lives torah and mitzvos.

 Ashreichem Yisrael! Mi metahar eschem - Aviechem she bashemayim!


In that spirit that we are all one; I'd like to formally extend a special thanks to Boruch Fischlewitz, a wonderful 'metzia' out of Far Rockaway who has been gracing us with his insights and 'chidushim' on the parsha for the last number of weeks (in the blog section of the site).Next time you are in greater NY , certainly in the 5 towns , and need a driver, please be sure to contact Boruch (just be prepared for pleasant surprises)



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'Rememberance Day' 'Never Again' ,ט'ב'אב ,יום כיפור ,בכל דור ודור

Yom Ha'Shoah - Holocaust Memorial Day

My Rebbe , hagoan , hatzaddik, R' Yitzchok Hutner , ztz'l, did not use the term 'Hashoa', because the word connotes a 'breakdown ' of history .Anyone who learns his שנים מקרא ואח תרגום (weekly chumash--bible study) knows that it was all clearly told to us in the torah.

In fact, the more success we have, the more we stand out (which always happens ; the 'Yiddle' seems to inevitably rise to the top), the more the hatred.Whenever we abandon our Sinaitic Mission as a 'Holy Nation and Kingdom of Priests', that prominence becomes our downfall.

Interestingly enough, I was told by gyores who was a stewardess that she had visited the first 'place' burnt in Krystal nacht  - Mendlesohn's Temple!

At the seder we call out - In every generation our enemies try to destroy us -בכל דור ודור

 We know that the first night of Pesach conicides to the same day of the week as the 9th of Av, which is the real Memorance day.

The Gaon , R' Yonsan Eybeshitz would say that our survival as a people amongst 70 wolves (ie the nations of the world) was more remarkable than any of the miracles recorded in the 'Exodus.'Anyone who takes a look at the situation facing the  and people of Israel today sees clearly that that  only that Bris haShem made with our forefathers is what keeps us alive.

 Someone sent me a video made by in 2011 explaining why Israel can't return to the 1948 borders. Anyone who ''realistically '' views that video realizes by all that is so-called 'natural' we don't exist , chalila.and ,if anything ,things are much worse today.

We can't say - 'Never again' so simply.We must pray that our historical return to our homeland should coincide with a complete and true teshuva - return to our roots.

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Israel burns , ban on new shuls in Outremont,America divided in anger

Hate , Discord , Confusion

וה' ברך את אדני מאד ויגדלRusian firebombers


With all our disgust , nevertheless , when we see with astonishment pictures of both a US supertanker and 2 giant firefighters from Russia both rushing to Israel to help put out those flames of hatred and evil, we pray that this should be the foreshadowing in a positive fulfillment of the prophecy eagle and the bear at the gates of Jerusalem.

Here in our own little 'vinkle',the right to build more shuls in Outremont was revoked.It is easy to cry  'anti semitism', but the truth is , besides at least one voice we would like to 'Forget',it is probably more of a sense of culture divide and a real fear of losing business as demographics change, that drove the vote.Probably going the route of seeking a legal outcome is correct.And that would be actually a positive step of defining a healthy democracy.

To the South , we see the leftists emotional response to losing a vote go to a point of violence.And so many of our own 'jewish blood' caught up in a movement  seeming to go openly anti semitic. We are not even that confident with the camp of the president elect we won't see similar dangers.We pray that 'elements' of yiddishkeit in his own family will help him steer the better way.

When the fires started in Israel, I debated with myself whether to write the following or not.Now, that , b'h , it seems to have been conquered, I feel a little freer to write, even though I know that certain elements of our people would go to town with these thoughts not the way I truly mean.

But I said to myself,these fires were in the parsha of zivugim.It does say Ish v'Ishe, if the yud and 'keh' are there , b'sholom , the shechina rests,if not , take those letters away and fire eats them up.So, too ,it says a fire is only found where there is chillul shabbas.

The arabs are , actually ,religious (be it , nevertheless perverted).The Orach Chaim mentions in the parsha that eventually Yishmael will recognize to whom he belongs, as the child of Hagar hashifhcha.

The world about us is plagued by isms , discord, jealousies, but in our parsha , the loyal servant of Avraham seeks quietly  the zivvug for Yitzchok.That zivvug is to unite heaven and earth, and is to unite thereby the whole world and bring the world to shlemus and  peace.

Ultimately peace can't come to the world, till we, His Chosen People,truly live with the light given to us.It is not Israeli technology that will save us and the world , but the teachings of the torah that have kept us alive as a people through all the dark ages and which have made us different and elevated.

This is our job as a people to breathe sanity and faith in all our dealings whether it be here in open golus, or in our homeland in a much deeper golus of confusion.The real 'tikun' is for us to live fully and openly as Yidden.This is really only possible completely in Israel.Maybe this is why  I've been continually 'begging' my friends to join us in

We haven't  published for some time, but this is our commitment  in our small 'virtual kehilla' , to try to be a steady inspiration of light .

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