Clarifying a Temple Mount Issue



BS"D

YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kroizer SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

PARSHAT NASO
9 Sivan 5767/25-26 May 2007


CLARIFYING A TEMPLE MOUNT ISSUE

“The children of Israel did so; they sent them (the impure) to the outside of the camp, as Hashem had spoken to Moses”. In this week’s parsha, we are taught of the obligation to remove the spiritually unclean (tam’eh) to the outside of the camp of Israel. In the desert, the children of Israel were made up of three camps, each with a higher lever of holiness. In the center of the Jewish people’s encampment was the Tabernacle - this was the camp of the Divine Presence. Next came the Levite camp - this was the area surrounding the Tabernacle, and finally the Israelite camp, which was made up of the entire encampment of the twelve tribes of Israel. The Torah obligates an impure person to leave one, two or all three of these camps according to the severity of his tum’ah.

This division of the Jewish people, as the Jews wandered for 40 years in the desert with the Tabernacle, was not just a one- time affair; rather, it was a commandment for all generations. We find that this division of camps also took place in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Corresponding to the Divine Presence camp in the desert was the Temple, the Kohanim and Israelite courtyards. The camp of the Levite constituted the remaining sections of the Temple Mount, and the camp of the children of Israel corresponded to the city of Jerusalem. These levels of holiness still envelop the Temple Mount and Jerusalem today, even though the Temple is not standing.


What’s the problem?


As is well known, today we are all in the category of impurity through contact with a dead body. This type of impurity was banned from entering the Divine Presence camp under the punishment of Karet - being cut off, but a person with such impurity would be able to remain in the Levite and Israelite camps. That means that today, we are forbidden to go to the area on the Temple Mount where the Temple and its courtyards stood, but we can go the rest of the Temple Mount, which makes up some 85 percent of the Mount! Now you might say that we don't know where this 15-percent (Temple and courtyards) “off-limits” area is, and therefore, by going up to the Mount we might accidentally be walking in the forbidden area. The truth is, that even if we did not know where the Temple and its courtyards stood (which in truth we do), the 15 forbidden percent cannot be just anywhere on the Mount, but must be somewhere in the middle of it. In any case, when one goes up to the Mount, he does not come close to any area where that 15% might have been.

Well, you might ask: What about the rest of the Temple Mount - that 85%? Is a "tum’at met"- a person with impurity from a dead body - allowed to be there? To answer this question, let's go back to the encampment of the Jewish people in the desert. As we said, the Levite camp enclosed the surrounding area of the Tabernacle that corresponds today to 85% of the Temple Mount, and as we learned in the Torah (Exodus 13:19), Moses, who lived in the Levite camp, took the bones of Joseph with him, meaning that the bones of Joseph were with Moses in his camp! We see from here that not only is someone who is impure because of a dead body - as we are today - allowed to be in the Levite camp (85% of the Temple Mount), but you can actually bring a dead body itself up to the Temple Mount!

If as "tam'eh met" –impure from a dead body, we are allowed to go up to the permitted areas in the Mount, why, then, do many Rabbis come out forbidding people from going to the Temple Mount today? I don’t know - As of now, not one Rabbi has given over a serious halachic reason not to go up! Maybe they are afraid that people who do not know where they are allowed to go might wander to the forbidden 15%. But that certainly is not a justified reason to stop people who do know, and certainly they could place markers showing people which road to stay on.

More than all of this is the overriding factor of the horrible Chilul Hashem that take place every day on the Temple Mount: Giving control of the Mount to our Arab enemies. The least we can do is to have a Jewish presence on the Mount and to show Hashem that we, the Jewish people, want to build His house again!



With love of Israel,
Levi Chazen




***************************************




I'd just like to add my own personal note...

The Rambam (Laws of the Temple, 1:1) says:

...it is permitted to bring a dead body onto the Temple Mount
[that is, the areas around the Temple but not the Temple itself], and one who
had contracted ritual impurity from a corpse may definitely enter
there.

The Rambam himself ascended the Temple Mount and prayed there, as he relates in his "Iggeret Teiman." To celebrate he established a "private festival" for himself, and to this very day there are many Yemenite Jews who celebrate that ascent. He says:

I entered into the great and holy house [the Temple Mount] and prayed there on
the sixth of Cheshvan... and I vowed an oath, that I will always celebrate this
day as a personal festival, to be marked by prayer and rejoicing in HaShem, and
by a festive meal.


In addition, the Talmud (Eruvin 105a) tells us that in order to build the Temple or in order to repair and maintain it, one may enter even the restricted areas of the Temple Mount. This is brought down as the Halacha in Rambam, Laws of the Temple, Chapter 7. As a result, the general Halachik concensus is that "for means of conquest" even the ritually impure can ascend into the areas otherwise forbidden to them. The Maccabim, for example, were all tum'at met, (since they had killed many enemy soldiers, among them Hellenistic Jews) and yet they ascended in order to fix the damage and desecration that the Greeks had caused to the Temple.

- Ivri

Shavuot: Accepting Two Torahs


By Rabbi Chanan Morrison

A careful reading of the text reveals that the Jewish people accepted the Torah at Sinai not once but twice. First it says,

"Moses came and told the people all of God's words and all the laws. The people all responded with a single voice, saying: 'All the words that God spoke - we will do.'" [Ex. 24:3]

And immediately afterwards we read,

"Moses wrote down all of God's words .. He took the book of the covenant and read it to the people. They replied, 'All that God spoke, we will do and we will understand.'" [Ex. 24:4,7]

These two passages cannot refer to the same event. In the first verse, Moses communicated God's words orally, while in the second account he read to them from the sefer habrit.

The Sages taught that there were two Torahs given at Mount Sinai: the Oral Law and the Written Law. The Jewish people first accepted upon themselves the Oral Torah, and afterwards the Written Torah.

Why Two Torahs?

Why was it necessary for the Torah to be given both orally and in writing? Why did the people accept the Oral Torah with the words, "We will do," but when accepting the Written Torah they added, "and we will understand"?

There are two aspects to Torah study. The primary goal of Torah is to know how God expects us to act in the world. This is the purpose of the Oral Law - the Mishnah and the Talmud - which discusses in detail how to apply God's laws to the many diverse situations in life.

The second value of Torah learning is knowledge of the Torah for its own sake. This is the function of the Written Torah. Even if we do not fully understand the words of the Torah, we still fulfill the mitzvah of Torah study. As the Sages taught, "One should always first learn superficially, and later contemplate [what he studied] .. even if one does not fully understand what he has read" [Avodah Zarah 19a].

With the Oral Torah, however, there is no value to its study if it is not properly understood. On the contrary, misunderstanding the Oral Law could lead to mistakes in Halachic rulings and improper conduct.

Attaining clear knowledge of the practical side of Torah level requires a breadth and depth of Torah scholarship. It is unreasonable to expect the entire people to reach such a level of erudition. Therefore, the practical, detailed part of Torah was transmitted orally. Only those who labor in its study, receiving the traditions from the great scholars of the previous generation, will truly merit this knowledge. For if this part of Torah were written down and revealed to all, even unlearned people would feel a false confidence in making legal decisions, despite not having properly studied all of the relevant issues.

One might argue that perhaps the entire Torah should be transmitted orally. But were this the case, Torah knowledge would be limited to only a select few. The Written Torah enables all people to be exposed to Torah on whatever level they are capable of comprehending.

Now we can better understand the Torah's account of Mount Sinai. When accepting the Oral Law, the people responded, na'aseh - "We will do." This aspect of Torah related to the entire people, but only in terms of its practical, Halachic side. It was with regard to the Written Torah, which is intellectually accessible to all on some level, did the people add, venishma - "and we will understand."

First - "We Will Do"

People naturally desire to understand as much as possible, and act according to their understanding. The spiritual greatness of Israel at Mount Sinai was their recognition of the advantage of not writing down the Oral Law, so that their actions would best fulfill God's Will. This is the significance of their response, "We will do": we accept upon ourselves to follow the practical teachings of the scholars and teachers of the Oral Law. Since this acceptance was equally relevant to all, regardless of intellectual capabilities, the verse emphasizes that "the people all responded with a single voice."

Having accepted upon themselves to properly keep the Torah according to the practical dictates of the sages, Moses then presented the Jewish people with the Written Torah. We would have expected that the people would have shown extra affection for the Written Law, since they could approach this Torah directly. But in an act of spiritual nobility, the Jewish people demonstrated their desire to first obey and keep the practical law. Thus they announced, "We will do," and only afterwards, "we will understand."

In summary, the Jewish people received two Torahs at Sinai. Moses first gave them the Oral Law, so they could achieve the Torah's principle goal - proper action in this world. Then Moses transmitted the Written Law, to enable each individual to access Torah at his level, and be prepared to receive the light of the practical Oral Torah.

[adapted from Midbar Shur pp. 160-165]

Parshat Bamidbar


BS"D

YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kroizer SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

PARSHAT BAMIDBAR
2 Sivan 5767/18-19 May 2007


No way, I said when I heard the news. Yeah way - my friend told me. Nada, I said, still not believing it. Yes, it's true, my friend said, and showed me the news article. There I sat dumbfounded, not able to move for what seemed like an eternity, having to read and re-read the article over and over again.

Yes, our good friend, the United States of America, is not taking part in the festivities of Jerusalem's reunification day celebrating 40 years since the Six-Day War. The boycott by the U.S. and most of the world's nations, including the European Union, was to show that they do not recognize the legitimacy of a unified Jerusalem under control of Israel. Understandable with the E.U. and other nations, who live off of the hatred of Israel and Jews, but our good friend the US? Our great partners? Friends forever? How is it possible???

No need to say that I was shocked, but of course, our government was quick to react, falling over themselves and telling us that all is well with our friendship, and not to worry. Foreign Minister Livni, who informed us this week on how well the Gaza withdrawal worked and that Israel will certainly give away more land to the bloodthirsty Arabs, was quoted saying the connection between Israel and the U.S. is inseparable. Whew - That was close! Now I feel so much better!

Fools, any normal person should explain to the members of our government that every government in the world goes after their own interests; if it will be in the interest of the US government to help Israel, they will - and when it will not be in their interest, they will throw us to the dogs, as they have done to many countries in the past (e.g. Taiwan). Friendship forever? Inseparable? Nonsense! But our faithless leaders must continue to live in the bubble of "we are not alone" in this world and that we indeed have friends who will help us in our hour of need.

If only they knew of the greatness of the Jewish people, if only they knew of the high esteem that the Creator of the world holds for His people, we would be able to face the world's nations in a totally different light.

In our parsha, the Torah teaches us: The L-rd spoke to Moses in the Sinai desert. The Midrash adds: What did He say to him? Take the sum of all the congregation of Israel. G-d said to Israel: I love no other nation more than I love you. Therefore, I raised your heads high, just as My head is raised high over all the creatures on the earth. Moses said to G-d: My Master, of the seventy nations, You do not command me regarding any one but Israel. G-d responded, It is because I cherish them more than all the nations. They are My treasure; it is them I desire and whom I chose.

Have we traded all this greatness for - as the prophet Jeremiah said, "In whom do they put their trust - in Egypt, the broken staff?" Of course - the nations of the world cannot come to terms with the Jewish people returning to their own land, as the prophets prophesied so many years ago. How much more so when they see the Jews succeeding, and controlling Jerusalem, hence proving to all that the Jewish people are G-d's chosen. This is the bottom line. They, the nations, understand this all too well and will never recognize Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem, for this will disprove their credibility. It is time for the nation who sits in Zion to also understand this, and exchange our illusory friendship with the nations - for the friendship of the Master of the world.

With love of Israel,
Levi Chazen

A Happy Man

The following article was originally published on Revava.org:

A Happy Man

By: David J. Heimowitz

It’s true, I am a very happy man. First of all, I was born a Jew. I was born into G-d’s chosen people and I am smart enough to be proud of it and never to deny it. I remember how old Jewish women on the lower east side of Manhattan loved to say with their eastern European accents “every body is de same”. Well every body is not the same. We Jews are better. We are chosen.

Next, I live where I am supposed to be living, in Israel. G-d, in His infinite wisdom, gave the Jewish people a special land in which to dwell. G-d, the Creator of the universe and all that is therein, decided to remove the peoples who dwelled within His special land and to give it to us. He was certainly entitled to do so, after all, everything belongs to Him. I do not apologize for displacing others, I am proud that G-d desired that I do so. Because of the sins of our ancestors we were punished and sent into a very long and bitter exile from our home. Then G-d decided that enough is enough and allowed us to return home from our punishment. I am very happy that G-d allowed me to understand the necessity of returning home, which is something that the vast majority of my brethren, religious and non-religious alike, fail to understand.

Lastly, I am very happy that I chose to make aliyah out of the desire to do so, and not out of the necessity of running for my life. In so doing I proved my love for G-d. He gave me a present and I said thank you and took full advantage of it. Of course, all of my brethren in the exile should follow my example, but alas, they look for reasons not to do so. Sadly, it is anything but difficult to come up with excuses not to make aliyah.

My brethren in the exile say that our leadership in Israel is below contempt. Of course this is true, but why punish G-d because of the sins of our so-called leadership? We make aliyah for G-d, not for corrupt politicians, not for hypocritical jurists and not for the self-hating media. Granted, we are in dire need of new institutions of government, but why wait in the exile until G-d provides us with proper leaders who are worthy of our respect? Our very act of making a massive aliyah may well force G-d’s hand and obligate Him to give us proper leadership. Even if not, by making aliyah we will truly be worshipping G-d, not through meaningless acts of ritual, not by tucking our pants into our socks, but by showing G-d that we have true faith in Him and that we unequivocally believe what He wrote in the Bible, especially in the fifth book, Dvarim.

Not only are one hundred percent of the Jewish people meant to live together in Israel, we are meant to do so by ourselves, with no foreigners influencing us. Similarly, we are meant to observe all of the mitzvoth within Israel. The mitzvoth have no place in the exile, just as the Jew has no place in the exile. Be happy men, women and children like me, come home while you can still do so by choice, while you can still show G-d that what you do, you do out of love for Him and not out of necessity.

The writer is a chasid of Rabbi Meir Kahane and made aliyah 29 years ago because of the Rabbi’s teachings.

Parshat Behar-Bechukotai: What Will We Eat In The Seventh Year?!


BS"D

YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kroizer SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

PARSHAT BEHAR-BECHUKOTAI
24 Iyar 5767/11-12 May 2007


WHAT WILL WE EAT IN THE SEVENTH YEAR?

The central question that comes up in this week’s parsha is: Being that a Jew is commanded to rest from work in his fields in the seventh year, what, then, will he and his family eat that year? Moreover, he would not have food until the end of the eighth year, until the crops that he planted after the Shmitta year begin to grow. What, then, will he eat for almost two years? How will he support his family during this time? Where is his responsibility to his family as the breadwinner? How will the kids go to summer camp, and what about our vacation? What on earth will the neighbors
think?

Truth be told, there is no greater test for a person in this world than the test of parnassa; in fact, this will be one of the three questions which are asked of a person on the Day of Judgment: Did he act correctly in his business dealings? How many of us would have enough faith in Hashem, that we would stop working for a year and trust in Him to provide during that time?

The Shortest Religion

Not only is the Shmitta year a great test in our faith in Hashem, but it is also the proof of the truth of the Torah. Imagine a king who promised to pay a servant a nice reward for a certain job; if the king does not fulfill his word and pay the worker, the next time the king asks the servant to do a job, the servant will certainly not listen. Now, with regard to Shmitta, the King of Kings tells us that in the sixth year a person will receive double his wages, enough for the sixth and seventh year. The truth of the Torah would hinge on what happens in the sixth year. Would it bring double the supplies for the coming years or not? All it would take would be for the sixth year to come and go without any additional food, and it would be the end of the Jewish religion.

The Magic Seven

In the parsha, we are confronted many times over with the number seven: Seven days of the week, the Omer counting of seven weeks - 49 days, seven years until the Shmitta year, and seven Shmitta cycles of 49 years total. What do they all have in common? Faith! Faith that G-d created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. The Omer counting - as our Rabbis teach us: By what merit did the Jewish people inherit the Land of Israel? By virtue of their faith, manifested by their bringing the Omer offering. Shmitta - by having faith that Hashem will provide for the coming years, even though you are not working the land. And the seven Shmitta cycle of 49 years - The Yovel - by releasing all of the slaves and returning the land to its original owner. This was a great act of faith demonstrated by the Jew's attitude: Even though I no longer have my slaves and properties, I continue to believe in Hashem, that He will sustain me.

Faith in Hashem is certainly not an easy task, but one which Hashem requires from us time and again, the yardstick by which all is measured. But it is not measured just by our lip service - it must be backed up by deeds. Do we sit in the synagogue, crying out |"G-d is One", extending the "One"-"Achad" for all to hear and see just how frum we are, but would not dare come home to the Land of Israel, for surely in the Land G-d cannot give me my parnassa... How long will we continue to be the little people, people of little faith, going though the religious motions but not really believing in an all-powerful G-d, Mover of history Who can also get you through the day in the Land of Israel! Faith, true faith backed by deeds is the only road to the Final Redemption! Show G-d you really believe – Come home now!

With love of Israel,
Levi Chazen

Parshat Emor - The Right Man For The Right Job


BS"D

YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kroizer SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

PARSHAT EMOR
17 Iyar 5767/4-5 May 2007



THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE RIGHT JOB

In the book the Kuzari, the king of Kuzar asks the Rabbi: Being that the Jewish people have been chosen by G-d to be a light until the nations, would it not have been better if G-d would have created all the peoples in this world as a “priestly nation”, and not just the Jewish people? In that way, all mankind could be on a high spiritual level. The Rabbi answered: Would it have been better if all stones were mountains and all mountains, trees? Would it be better if all trees would give off fruits? The point is, that in this world there are many different levels, each one needed at the level one is on, and in order for the world to function each one must do its job.

Now imagine, for a moment, if all the trees in the world gave off dates: Where would that leave the figs or the olives, or how would we keep the doctor away if we did not have apples? Or, what about bananas? I mean, everyone loves a nice banana. Where, then, would that leave us, for man cannot live by dates alone. Obviously, then, mankind needs all the different types which G-d created for us, and each tree must fulfill its purpose in this world so that the world will be the perfect place which G-d intended it to be.

So, too, with the nations of the world. G-d, in His ultimate wisdom, created the nations of the world, and the Jewish people He created as a priestly nation to guide the nations of the world on a spiritual path. And within the Jewish people, there are twelve tribes, each with its own attributes and way of approaching the A-mighty. Even further, we have the tribe of Levi and the priests who are set aside to work in the house of the L-rd. So, we see just how many levels G-d created in His world, all needed and all with their own job to do; most important, each one must do only his own job for the system to work. Imagine if all the people wanted to be the king, or all wanted to be the High Priest - that just would not work. Only the right man for the right job - that is the only system that can work.

So we find in our parsha, the laws regarding the priests: Which one can work in the Holy Temple and which one was disqualified. So strict were the laws, that if a priest who was disqualified went to work in G-d's House, he would suffer the death penalty. We find that during the 410 years that the First Temple stood, there were only about 18 High Priests who worked, but during the time of the Second Temple, when the High Priesthood was bought with money, people who were not qualified to be the High Priest nevertheless took office; there were over 300 High Priests! They were not the right men for the job; some were not even priests!

Today, too, unfortunately we have been plagued with leaders who should not be in office or leading the country. We find over the past ten years that not one of our Prime Ministers was able to hold on to the job that they were elected to do. Now I don’t know exactly where our Prime Minister Olmert or our “beloved” clown of a Defense Minister Peretz should be, but in office is certainly not the place for them! Maybe they could look into the local jail or zoo, but certainly they are not the right men for the job! It's time to put the right man in office: One with the fear of Heaven on his lips and the love of G-d in his heart. It's time for another David, King of Israel to arise.


With love of Israel,
Levi Chazen

Emor: The Omer Controversy


By Rabbi Chanan Morrison

When to Bring the Omer?

During the Second Temple Period, a fierce controversy raged concerning the springtime offering of barley, called the Omer. (An omer is a measure of volume, between 2 and 4 liters; this was the amount of barley flour baked and then brought in the Temple as a Minchah offering.) What was the exact date for the Omer offering?

"When you come to the land that I am giving you, and you reap its harvest, you must bring an omer of your first reaping ... The priest shall make this wave offering on the day after the Sabbath." [Lev. 23:10-11]


The verse says to bring the Omer on the day after the Sabbath - but which Sabbath? According to the tradition of the Oral Law, the 'Sabbath' referred to is the first day of the Passover holiday.

But the Boethusians, a heretical Jewish sect of the Second Temple period, rejected this tradition. In general, the Boethusians did not accept the Oral Torah, and they sought a more literal understanding of the text. They held that the Sabbath mentioned in the verse is the seventh day of the week; so the Omer must be offered on the day after the Sabbath, i.e., the first Sunday after Passover. (This dispute also determines the date for Shavuot, since the Shavuot holiday is celebrated seven weeks after the Omer offering.)

The objection of the Boethusians cannot be ignored out of hand. Why indeed does the Torah speak of offering the Omer on the day after the Sabbath? If the verse had just used the word 'Passover' or 'holiday' instead of 'Sabbath,' the whole controversy could have been avoided!

The Holiness of the Nation

What is the root of the argument between the Boethusians and the Sages? The Talmud in Menachot 65a records that the Boethusians disagreed with another accepted Halachah. The Sages taught that the daily Temple offering (the Tamid) needs to be purchased with public funds. The Boethusians - many of whom were wealthy - felt that any individual could donate the daily offering. Why did they disagree with the Sages?

These three disagreements - acceptance of the Oral Law, recognizing Passover as the 'Sabbath' mentioned in the verse, and requiring that the Tamid be purchased from public funds - are all connected to one fundamental question. What is the nature of the Jewish people? Is the nation just the combined contribution of each individual Jew? Or does the Jewish people as a whole somehow have its own special holiness?

The Boethusians did not recognize the concept of Knesset Yisrael as a collective unit with its own intrinsic holiness. Rather, they viewed the Jewish people as any other people. For them, a nation is essentially a partnership, formed in order to benefit its members by way of social contract. The primary goal of this partnership is individualism - the civil rights and benefits that each individual gains from the overall partnership.

In truth, the Torah distinguishes between two concepts: tzibur (the collective), and shutafut (partnership). We find the Talmud rules [Temurah 13a] that a korban tzibur, a public Temple offering, belongs to the entire Jewish people; such an offering may not be substituted by an offering of partners, no matter how many people join in. Why not? Clearly, the collective of the Jewish people contains its own intrinsic quality of holiness, beyond the combined portions of all of its individual members. For this reason, the Sages insisted that public offerings be purchased through public funds, as these offerings represent the entire nation.

The Boethusians rejected this idea of national sanctity. Thus they held that any individual may donate the daily Tamid offering, even though this is a korban tzibur of the entire people.

On a more general way, the Boethusians did not accept the authority of the Oral Torah. This stance was similarly based on their view of the Jewish people. Unlike the Written Torah, which was transmitted directly from God, the Oral Law is transmitted through the sages of Israel. This Torah emphasizes the holiness of the Jewish people. As Rav Kook wrote in the opening section of Orot HaTorah: "We can sense the spirit of the nation - bound to the Torah's light like a flame to a glowing coal - that shaped the unique form of the Oral Torah."

But how does this explain the disagreement of the Omer?

The relationship between the Sabbath and the holidays parallels the relationship between the Written and the Oral Torah. The Sabbath has a Divinely-assigned holiness "keviya vekiyma" - always set on the seventh day. The holidays, on the other hand, are connected to the holiness of the Jewish people. Their dates are established according to when the Jewish court declares the new month, and whether the court introduces an extra leap month. For this reason, the holiday blessing concludes with the words, "Who sanctifies Israel and the holidays." Why is Israel mentioned here? The Talmud in Berachot 49a explains: God sanctifies the Jewish people, who in turn sanctify the holidays.

Rooted in the Sabbath

In truth, the holiness of the nation is rooted in the holiness of the Torah. Similarly, the holiness of the holidays is rooted in the holiness of the Sabbath. Thus the kiddush blessing refers to the Sabbath as "the first of the holy convocations." All holidays originate from the holiness of the Sabbath.

Now we can understand why the verse refers to the Passover holiday as the 'Sabbath.' The first day of Passover is the very first holiday of the year, and the Torah wanted to teach us that the holiness of the holidays is based on the eternal holiness of Shabbat.

The Boethusians wanted to be like all other nations, with a national identity based on individualism and social contract. Therefore they could not accept the binding nature of the Oral Law, and they refused to see in the holidays the intrinsic sanctity of the Sabbath. But with Divine assistance, the Sages were victorious. They succeeded in establishing for all times the Halachah regarding the public funding of the Tamid, as well as the date for offering the Omer and the holiday of Shavuot.

[adapted from Mishpat Kohen pp. 273-274]

Not Everyone is Included in the Four Species

From The Writings of Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane in honor of Sukkot Organs of power at home joining the side of our enemy requires us t...