By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, July 30, 2014
The fate of the Jews of Russia was first placed on the public consciousness decades ago. It has held our fascination ever since. Russia has a storied past. Its current president is in the news every day, drawing our attention to the part of the world where many of our ancestors lived prior to their arrival here. We were brought up hearing stories of Cossacks and their massacres, noblemen and their viciousness, czars and their edicts. We learned about terrible Jewish suffering and deprivation.
Have you given any thought to how you are going to make Havdallah this Motzoei Shabbos? The proper way to perform Havdallah on Motzoei Shabbos Chazon, the Shabbos preceding Tisha B’Av, is one annual issue that seems to always have disparate approaches. The main problem is that the very essence of Havdallah is ending Shabbos, resulting in the fact that it is actually recited during chol, weekday. That is fine for an ordinary week, but Motzoei Shabbos Chazon is halachically part and parcel not only of the Nine Days, but shovuah shechal bah Tisha B’Av. This means that even the Sefardim, who are generally lenient with the Three Weeks’ and Nine Days’ restrictions,1 are still required to keep them this coming week. And one of these restrictions prohibits drinking wine,2 the mainstay of Havdallah.3 So how are we supposed to synthesize making Havdallah while not transgressing this restriction?
It’s nine fifty five. The kitchen is strewn with the aftermath of supper; the steps are laden with a full day’s clutter. Waterlogged towels lie in a heap on the bathroom floor, not to mention damp socks, soiled pants, and undershirt entangled shirts, despite repeated admonitions to their owners to either lay them out neatly or toss them in the hamper (disentangled, thank you very much!). Laundry? Happily rising like twin towers in the respective light and dark hampers.
With global reporting this week covering a wide range of disastrous events around the world, the latest chapter in the scandal of the missing IRS emails seems almost orchestrated for comic relief.
Consider the scenario, reported by CBS and NBC, in which the head of the IRS suddenly revealed to a congressional Oversight committee that a hard drive at the heart of the scandal did not necessarily crash as he claimed to Congress a month ago.
By Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetsky | Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Ever since they shot Kennedy, the words “conspiracy theory” attach themselves to every major historical incident. Even “They shot Kennedy” epitomizes that very essence, the proverbial “they” you know, the guys who are responsible for everything that does not get done or is moved out of place.
Even in the grocery store, when something is not on the shelf and the clerk tells me, “They must have moved it to another part of the store,” I feel like asking, “Who is ‘they’? The guy who shot Kennedy?’