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29 Marcheshvan, 5782 - November 4, 2021 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Bereishis- 5781 Published Weekly
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A Simchah in Bahrain

The Jewish community in Bahrain celebrated last week the first Jewish ceremony in this country in 52 years. The event took place in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Manama, the capital. Organized by the Kashrus Association, it was also the very first wedding in the country's history.

The chosson was the son of one of the kehilla's foremost members, Hoda Nunu, who served as a past ambassador to Washington.





Ancient Luzzato Machzor, Estimated to be over 700 years old, sold for over $8 million

The Luzzato Machzor, believed to be over 700 years old, was sold two weeks ago at the Sotheby auction in New York for the astronomical price of $8.3 million, the equivalent of NIS 26.6 million.

The Ashkenazi machzor of Rosh Hashonoh and Yom Kippur was written in the 13th century by a scribe named Avrohom in Bavaria, Germany, hundreds of years before the invention of printing.





Russia: The Jewish Community was Fined over Books on Jews Under Christian Rule

A regional court in Stavdofil, Russia, fined the local Jewish community for the possession of Jewish literary books (historical novels) written by Rabbi Marcus Lehman which tell about Jews who were coerced to convert.

The court which issued the fine did so on the grounds that these works were included in a list of books which contained "controversial material," which is forbidden by law.





The Cause of Lost Spirituality—Greed

This interesting essay was first published 28 years ago, in 1993, on parshas Toldos,

When we consider a single deed, outside the total context of a man's life, it is hard to determine its true meaning. There are people apparently overflowing with benevolence, eager to do acts of kindness for their fellow man, yet the real quality of their deeds doesn't necessarily meet the divine definition of untainted chesed, the attribute that bears G-d's stamp. Heaven and earth were created with divine loving kindness, as the posuk says, "The world is built through kindness" (Tehillim 89:3), whereas human chesed is an inborn trait that doesn't differentiate between good and bad.

Avimelech said to Yitzchok, "We saw that Hashem was with you" (Bereishis 26:28). The Beis Yaakov points out that the merciful name of Hashem is used in this posuk. Earlier, however, when Avimelech spoke to Avrohom and said "Elokim is with you in everything you do" (ibid., 21:22) the name Elokim, indicating His attribute of justice, is used.




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From Our Archives

The Ten Tests of Avrohom Ovinu

by HaRav Yoel Stenitzky

As far as Avrohom's ten tests, all opinions agree about seven trials: 1) "Go you out of your country," 2) famine in Eretz Yisroel, 3) Soroh's being taken by Pharaoh, 4) the War of the Four Kings, 5) Hogor and Yishmoel's being sent away, 6) Bris Milah, and 7) Akeidas Yitzchok. Opinions differ whether the following five are included: 1) Ur Kasdim (not enumerated by the Rambam), 2) Bris Bein HaBesorim (both the Rambam and Rabbenu Yonah do not reckon it), 3) running away from Nimrod (listed among the ten only according to Rashi), 4) Soroh's being taken by Avimelech (according to the Rambam and Rabbenu Yonah), and 5) Hogor's marrying Avrohom (a trial only according to the Rambam).

In the first part, HaRav Stenitzky discussed the kiddush Hashem of Avrohom in the furnace of Ur Kasdim, and the fact that afterwards Avrohom Ovinu went around disseminating consciousness of Hashem -- and that this was a truly heroic act.

Clever Mom

by Miriam Flam

Late one afternoon, Mrs. Braun called her machatenes, Mrs. Berkowitz, and festively declared, "I'm planning a surprise birthday party for Yoni."

Yoni! The mere mention of the name of their mutual and adorable grandson, a first for both of them, caused Mrs. Berkowitz to smile.

"We'll leave Bnei Brak on the 6:00 p.m. bus, and we'll be in Yerusholayim by about 7:00," Mrs. Braun continued. "That's a perfect time because Yoni generally naps in the afternoon."

"Today?" Mrs. Berkowitz nervously asked, as she uninentionally cut Mrs. Braun short.


These links were fixed, Tammuz 5781