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Halachot of Berachot
For wine that has been boiled and pasteurized and grape juice, one recites the same berachot as he would for regular wine - "borei peri hagefen" before drinking, and "al hagefen" after drinking. One may use them for kiddush on Shabbat and Yom Tov.
Jewish wine that has been boiled over fire can no longer become forbidden when a gentile comes in contact with it. Pasteurized wine thus does not become forbidden through contact with a gentile, so long as it has been pasteurized at a temperature of eighty degrees Centigrade, (176 degrees Fahrenheit). Nevertheless, one who is stringent in this regard to avoid allowing such wine to come in contact with a gentile, is deserving of blessing. If, however, a gentile did come in contact with the wine, there is no room at all to be stringent.
One may not derive any benefit from the wine of Christians or Jewish wine that was touched by a Christian. One may not sell it or give it as a gift to a non-Jew; it should rather be discarded by being poured down a toilet. The wine of Moslems, however, who are not idolaters, may be benefited from, but one may nevertheless not drink it. Their contact with Jewish wine also renders it forbidden for drinking.
When someone who does not observe Shabbat pours wine into a cup, the wine in the cup may not be drunk, but the wine that remains in the bottle is permitted. If the wine had been boiled or pasteurized, then it is clearly permitted, as discussed above.
One recites the berachah of shehakol over all beverages - even those that come from fruits or vegetables. The exceptions to this rule are olive oil, over which one recites ha'ess, and wine, over which one recites hagefen. However, when drinking olive oil straight one does not recite a berachah at all, since this is harmful. When one drinks olive oil with bread, he recites a berachah over the bread which covers the olive oil, as well. If, however, one drinks olive oil with something such that it has a medicinal effect, then he recites borei peri ha'ess. If, however, he drinks the mixture not for its medicinal effect, then the olive oil is considered subordinate to the other ingredient, and one therefore recites the proper berachah over the other ingredient.
If one adds water to wine to the extent that the water now constitutes the majority, he recites shehakol before drinking and borei nefashot after drinking. One should not recite kiddush or havdalah over such a mixture. This is the ruling of the Shulhan Aruch and the later authorities among the Sefaradim. Ashkenazim rely on the ruling of the Rema that we consider such a mixture wine so long as the wine itself constitutes at least one-sixth of the mixture. Sefaradim, however, may not recite borei peri hagefen over wine if the wine itself constitutes less than the majority of the entire mixture. The berachah of borei nefashot does not fulfill the obligation to recite a "berachah me'en shalosh" (= al hamihyah, al ha'ess, and al hagefen). It does not parallel the berachah of shehakol, which fulfills one's requirement bedi'avad over any food. Therefore, if one is in doubt as to which "berachah me'en shalosh" he must recite, he should not recite borei nefashot; rather, he does not recite any berachah at all in such a case. Nevertheless, if one mistakenly recited borei nefashot when he was obligated to recite a "berachah me'en shalosh," he does not then recite the "berachah me'en shalosh." It follows from this that if one eats a half a kezayit of fruit from the seven special species, and a half a kezayit of other fruits, he recites no berachah aharonah at all.
"See, G-d has called in the name of Bessalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, from the tribe of Yehudah." Rabbi Moshe Feinstein zs"l noted that this type of expression is generally used in the context of singling out an individual for prophecy. Yet, nowhere do we find that Bessalel attained the status of a prophet. He explains that prophecy is an explicit revelation of the Al-mighty's will. But just as there is explicit revelation, there is indirect revelation, as well: "He filled him with the spirit of G-d, with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge, and with regard to all types of work." The talents a person finds within himself serve as a calling from above to actualize that potential and channel them towards the glorification of Hashem's honor and the construction of the Mishkan - be it the private Mishkan for His Shechinah, be it the general residence of the Shechinah in the world at large, or the dissemination of Torah and yirat Hashem and the sanctification of Hashem's Name in all areas of life. "Everything that is called by My Name, I have created, formed and made for My glory" (Yeshayahu 43:7).
This idea issues a calling to every ben Torah, and everyone faithful to the word of Hashem. There has never been a generation like ours, in which so many extraordinary achievements can be made through the dissemination of Torah, Torah classes and involvement in bringing Jews closer to Hashem. A generation ago, perfectly good Jews uprooted themselves from their heritage and the elite among the youth was enlisted to eliminate the Jewish faith. But now the wheel has turned and the nation returns to its roots. We must recall, however, how the youth in those days enlisted in the effort as activists, leaders, teachers, in every way. Now, where is our youth? The young yeshivah students - where are you? There are so many who thirst for the word of Hashem; come quench their thirst by getting involved in youth organizations and Torah classes!
The sacred work, "Resheet Hochmah" (Sha'ar Hakedushah 7) cites the following comments of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai in Tikkunei Zohar (tikkun 48): "Benei Yisrael shall observe the Shabbat to perform the Shabbat for all generations: [The word 'ledorotam' - 'for all generations'] is an acronym for the words, 'dirah tamah' [a 'complete residence']. Fortunate is he who prepares a residence for Shabbat in his heart such that it is not intruded upon by sadness or anger - which is the fire of Gehinnom, about which it is said, 'You shall not burn a fire on the Shabbat day.' This is certainly the case, for whoever becomes angry is considered like having kindled the fire of Gehinnom." The "Resheet Hochmah" comments, "We undoubtedly need this warning constantly, to avoid becoming angry even during the week, to avoid lighting the fire of Gehinnom. But on Shabbat the damage is inestimable, because since the fire of Gehinnom rests on Shabbat and he rekindles it, his punishment is very severe. On Shabbat one must exercise patience and be completely tolerant. One should learn from the attributes of his Creator, who on Shabbat forgives the wicked in Gehinnom and cancels the fire of Gehinnom, as the Zohar says in Parashat Yitro."
In ancient times, before such absolute "hester panim" (the concealment of Hashem's countenance) descended upon the earth, when there was still overt ru'ah hakodesh, when miracles occurred, people saw clearly that the forces of impurity have no power on Shabbat, that Gehinnom is "closed down" for Shabbat. When the wicked Turnusropus asked Rabbi Akiva to prove that Shabbat was the day of rest selected by G-d, Rabbi Akiva answered by pointing to a type of sorcery, the "ba'al ha'ov." Throughout the week, this sorcerer was able to bring souls back to earth with the forces of impurity, whereas on Shabbat he was unable to do so. He then cited another proof - the grave of Turnusropus' father, who was also a wicked man; the grave stopped smoking on Shabbat (Sanhedrin 65b). Throughout the week, he was judged and burnt in his grave, but on Shabbat the wicked of Gehinnom are granted a respite (Rashi). This wicked man Turnusropus knew all this, but he assumed that Rabbi Akiva would not dare mention what happened to his father. When Rabbi Akiva in fact did so, he replied, "You have scorned and humiliated him." Turnusopus still had complaints…
Just as there is a Gehinnom in the world, there is a Gehinnom within a person: "Whoever grows angry - all types of Gehinnom take control of him" (Nedarim 22a). If the world's Gehinnom rests on Shabbat, then it stands to reason that the same applies to the Gehinnom of a person: "Do not burn a fire in all your residences on the Shabbat day."
However, there is an even deeper explanation, a deeper connection between Shabbat and the cessation of anger. We find in the commentary "Haketav Vehakabalah" (Shemot 20:10), on the pasuk, "on the seventh day, a Shabbat for Hashem," a double meaning of the word "Shabbat." It denotes both the cessation of work and the settling of one's mind. We are thus commanded to refrain from work such that we will have a settled mind with respect to spiritual matters, as Hazal teach us, "Shabbat was given to Israel only for their involvement in Torah study." This is what is meant by the pasuk, "Benei Yisrael shall observe the Shabbat" - by refraining from forbidden activity - "to perform the Shabbat" - to make it into a day of a settled mind, "for generations, as an eternal covenant." This likewise is the meaning of the pasuk, "You shall observe My Shabbatot" - referring to both meanings of the term "Shabbat": the cessation of work and the involvement in Torah. The Gemara (Shabbat 118b) says, "If only Benei Yisrael would keep two Shabbatot properly, they would be redeemed" - if we would only keep both meanings of Shabbat, the physical and the spiritual, we would be redeemed!
In light of this beautiful idea, the pesukim towards the beginning our parasha become all the more powerful: "Six days shall work be performed, and the seventh day shall be sacred for you, a Shabbat of complete rest for Hashem." Meaning, not only must we abstain from work and rest, but this cessation from work must be a "Shabbat of complete rest for Hashem," an opportunity for our minds to be at rest so that we can conduct introspection and elevate ourselves spiritually. "Do not burn fire in all your residences on the Shabbat day." As we saw, this is a prohibition against growing angry on Shabbat. Anger stands in direct opposition to the attainment of a settled mind; anger means the loss of control and an unrestrained outburst of emotion. "Whoever grows angry - if he is a scholar, his scholarship leaves him" (Pesahim 26a). The path is paved for steady deterioration. "Whoever grows angry - not even the Shechinah is important to him" (Nedarim 22b). He is likely to commit even the most grievous sins (Shabbat 105b). It is said regarding anger that when one comes upon anger, he comes upon misjudgment (Rashi, Bamidbar 31:21). It constitutes the diametric opposite of a settled mind - the settled mind that is listed as one of the prerequisites for acquiring Torah (Avot 6:6) and assists one in understanding truth.
We can now understand Hazal's comment (Midrash Mishlei 2) that the Al-mighty said to Benei Yisrael, "If you merit receiving My Torah and performing it, I will spare you from three calamities: the war of Gog and Maggog, the pains preceding the Messianic era, and the judgment of Gehinnom." Amazingly, the Gemara writes that one who delights on Shabbat is also spared these three calamities (Shabbat 118a). The battle of Gog and Maggog, and the pains preceding the Messianic era represent divine anger - "With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and gushing anger will I rule over you" (Yehezkel 20:33). Rav Nahman said, "If only we would merit this anger and be redeemed" (Rosh Hashanah 32b). But one who accepts the Shabbat as a day of spiritual delight, with a settled mind and involvement in Torah learning, the precise opposite of anger, as we have seen, he is spared from these forms of anger.
During these days of the "pains preceding the Messianic era," this is the true "sealed room" - turning Shabbat into a day of rest and sanctity, of a settled mind and Torah study, through which we are spared from all evil!
It is truly amazing to see just how carefully each word of the sacred Torah is calculated. Let us examine a pasuk in this week's parashah: "Moshe said to Benei Yisrael: See, Hashem has called the name of Bessalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur from the tribe of Yehudah. He has filled him with the spirit of G-d, with wisdom, with understanding, and with knowledge and with regard to all types of work." The pasuk here lists the qualities of Bessalel, the one who constructed the Mishkan, we read here of his unique talents. A survey of these qualities reveals four points that together comprise total completion: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and work.
The first three are often referred to by the acronym, "habad" - "hochmah" (wisdom), "binah" (understanding) and "da'at" (knowledge). As we know, the Ba'al Ha'Tanya named his movement "Habad" after these three qualities, and he explained them in his work (chapter 3). The initial thought is called "hochmah," which stands for "ko'ah mah," or "slight power," referring to the very first stages of the intellectual process. Then one begins processing the idea, assessing it and considering it from different angles. What kind of home does he want - a villa, a vacation home, a townhouse or apartment? Say that he decides upon a villa. How will he build it? How many rooms will it have? What means does he have at his disposal, what instructions will he give the architect? We have reached a complex array of considerations, a chain of decisions built upon earlier decisions and triggering the necessity for further decisions. We deal here with a series of conclusions that involve comprehending one matter based on another. This is the definition of "binah" - understanding. But these two stages are not enough. Just ask anyone who has ever purchased a lottery ticket. He not only dreams of the big prize, but he has already envisioned - down to the very last detail - how he will spend every penny after giving the required one-tenth for charity. This dream, as detailed as it is, is still but a dream. In order for it to come into fruition, it must come down into the practical realm. This is what is meant by the term "da'at." In Hebrew, the word "da'at" means attachment. Therefore, a friend, generally called in Hebrew "haver" - from the word "hithaberut," attachment - is sometimes referred to as "muda" - from the word "da'at." The initial idea and its development must be attached to one's will, to the heart, to one's character. It is not the thought that controls the person, but rather his personality and wishes. Ask anyone addicted to smoking who knows that he must abstain from smoking but lacks the necessary will power to do so. Ask anyone overweight or someone who suffers from diabetes and other debilitating illnesses. Even once they know what they may and may not eat, they must enlist their will power. Only this guides a person's actions. Herein lies the sole distinction between the sadik and the rasha: the sadikim are in control of their hearts. They combine the will of their heart with the knowledge of their intellect, whereas the resha'im are empowered by their hearts - their will leads them to act in opposition to their rational decisions.
Thus, "hochmah" is the idea; "binah" is the idea's development; and "da'at" is the drafting of the heart's wishes. Is that all? No, not yet: "He filled him with the spirit of G-d, with wisdom, with understanding, and with knowledge, and with regard to all types of work." Let us assume, for argument's sake, that a person has an idea: he wants to decorate the walls of his house with his own drawings. He plays around with the idea and comes up with a plan. He will purchase canvasses, he will buy oil paints, brushes of all different sizes, and beautiful frames. He also chooses the scenes he will draw: a stormy sea, clouds, a large pasture, cows and calves. He invests a good deal of will and excitement into this idea and its execution, and orders all the necessary materials. And then? Perhaps some abstract drawing will appear on the canvas… What can we say? He's not much of an artist.
But Bessalel, beyond his thought and decisions - he was skilled in "all types of work"!
As we know, the Torah is eternal; the construction of the Mishkan is something for every Jew. Everyone must erect within himself a Mishkan for the Shechinah and make himself a chariot for the Shechinah. The Or Hahayyim Hakadosh zs"l writes that through every misvah that an individual performs he becomes a chariot for the Shechinah, he builds a Mishkan. He himself becomes Bessalel! If so, then the thought and will are not enough; "hochmah," "binah" and "da'at" do not suffice. One must also execute the plans; and how can execute them if he does not know all the laws relevant to that misvah? If one sincerely wishes to build his Mishkan, then he must allocate time for Torah study. He must apply himself diligently to the study of halachot, a few every day. Beyond the merit of Torah study, which is itself invaluable, one must learn in order to know how to observe and perform. Beyond "hochmah," "binah" and "da'at," one must also acquire the skill to perform the task!
One reason why fighting among animals occurs on a relatively small scale is that weaker animals have a variety of methods through which they soothe the hostility of their stronger adversaries. Conduct expressing submission allows them to convey the clear message, "You win; I surrender." Very rarely would an aggressor ignore these signals. Once he wins the contest, he has no reason to risk suffering a wound in an additional attack that could put the loser in a position where he will make a desperate attempt at some blow of retribution. There is one cardinal rule that all defeated animals obey: They see to it that their demonstration of submission will be as different as possible from the demonstration of threat used by their species. To whatever extent possible, the weaker animal must be the opposite of strong - in every way physically possible. For example, a weak chimpanzee who confronts a battle against a stronger enemy gives a soft sigh like a heavy breath. It also lowers its body enough that it could look upwards and emphasize its lowliness - a declaration of surrender before the enemy. At times the chimpanzee will bow down several times in quick succession and bring the victor some small item, such as a leaf or stick. In order to complete his show of submission, it is likely to even kiss the victor's feet. Behavior demonstrating submission is found among human beings, as well, at different levels. Some subdue themselves in order to give honor due to social pressures - such as towards a person elected by the society. There is an extreme form of submission which amounts to outright servility, often bordering on needless self degradation. This generally occurs when someone tries to flatter another to which most people instinctively avoid resorting. In the Torah world, however, the situation is entirely different. We Jews express our submission to our Torah leaders who guide us in matters of spirituality, and we do so with a sense of appreciation and love, and with a desire to attach ourselves to their Torah. Standing before a rabbi, for example, serves as a sign of the respect that we have for his Torah, for the values of sanctity that he has imbued and the refinement of his character and his soul. And all Jews, including their leaders, submit themselves absolutely, out of love and fear, with a sense of complete self negation, to the Creator of the world.
The Sin and Its Punishment (19)
Flashback: Shaul Matanyah's father passed away, and his mother instructed him to take a bundle of money left by his father and do business.
Shaul Matanyah went out to the marketplace and saw merchants falsely advertising the quality of their merchandise, taking false oaths, and priding themselves in their success in deceiving their customers. He said to himself, "My father instructed me that truth and kindness should serve as a light for my path. Here there is no truth and no kindness." He went back home and said to his mother, "No good merchandise came my way today." The next day he went to a different market. There he met the charity collectors who told him that a Jew who had been imprisoned on account of his unpaid debt died in his jail cell. The authorities have refused to allow for his burial until the debt is paid. Shaul Matanyah remembered his father's instruction and said, "Here, I have the opportunity to uphold the values of kindness and truth." He gave them all his money. He returned home and said to his mother, "I found a rare opportunity and invested all my money in it."
"May you succeed!" said his mother. "You will sell it for a profit and we will live comfortably."
But Shaul Matanyah knew that he was now left without a penny. What could he do now? He said to his mother, "In order to sell it, I need to travel overseas, but I have no money for the expenses."
His mother replied, "I kept with me here some money. Take it, and may blessing be bestowed upon your endeavors. But please promise me that you will soon return from overseas!"
Shaul Matanyah promised, took the money and boarded the ship, which sailed to Tyre. He got off the boat and went to the Bet Midrash. He found the students struggling over a difficult question and enlightened them with a brilliant answer. They showed him great honor in response. Among the students were the children of that wealthy man, and they told their father of the new arrival. The wealthy man invited him to his home and asked him to study with his sons. He took note of the young man's good heart and fine character and offered him his daughter in marriage. Shaul Matanyah said to the girl, "I promised my mother to return soon, as I must support her in her old age." The girl gave her consent to return with him to Yemen, and her parents agreed, as well. They conducted the wedding and observed the seven days of festive celebration. They spent a month with the girl's family and then made their way to Yemen, accompanied by the parents' blessings and the bride's ten brothers.
The bride's father was exceedingly wealthy, and he arranged for the couple a caravan carrying everything they could want. They headed southward and crossed a barren wilderness. At one of their stops, Shaul Matanyah went to look around the area. He went up a hill and then down into the valley, and he found a well with a tree next to it. He drank some water and then laid down to rest a bit. But an Arab horseman rode by and took the young man captive. He bound him, placed him on the horse, and quickly galloped away.
The husband's disappearance created a tremendous stir. Servants were dispatched to look for him but returned empty-handed. One cannot describe the pain and anguish of the young woman, now in chains, unable to remarry, who had just recently been wed. She courageously decided not to return to her parents' home. Although she did not know where her husband was, to where he disappeared, why and how, she knew that if he returns, he would find her there, in the very spot where he disappeared.
She instructed the servants to set up camp around the well. She sent them to purchase herds of camels and sheep and begin working the land. She built a building which was to serve as an inn for wayfarers, and she oversaw the agriculture work and shepherding. Hashem sent blessing and success in everything she did. The ground yielded excellent produce and the sheep multiplied and turned into many large herds.
Wanderers, nomads, travelers, caravans and individuals all found a comfortable motel there in the middle of the wilderness, where they were hosted free of charge. The accommodations were at regal standards. The woman in charge was busy with all her work, competently supervising all her employees. Secretly, however, without anyone noticing, she questioned all her guests, hoping that perhaps one day her husband will show up and her life of loneliness will soon come to an end.
To be continued
"The nesi'im brought shoham stones and other stones for setting, for the efod and the hoshen"
The Targum Yonatan translates the word "nesi'im" here not as tribal leaders, but rather as clouds. He writes that the clouds of the heavens went to the Pishon River (where the shoham stones was located - see Beresheet 2:12) and took from there the precious stones. The clouds dropped the stones over the wilderness, and the tribal leaders then went and collected the stones.
Rashi famously comments that the nesi'im figured that they would wait and see what the rest of the nation brings, and whatever is missing they will bring at the end. But when they saw that the nation brought all the materials needed, the nesi'im brought the shoham stones and other stones. They therefore were the first to bring offerings for the dedication of the altar. But as a punishment for their initial laxity, the letter "yud" was dropped from the word "nesi'im" in this pasuk.
Rabbenu Sadok Hakohen zs"l tells us the lesson we are to learn from this episode. The nesi'im miscalculated and were criticized for their indolence. They did not have the privilege to take part in the actual Mishkan and its accessories, and had their share only in the bigdei kehunah. And yet, this failure did not lead them to depression or despair. To the contrary, it led them to further zeal and voluntarism, as they came forth first to bring the offering for the Mishkan's dedication.
The clouds darken the skies, conceal the sun and drive away the light. But specifically these dark clouds brought the precious stones to the nesi'im, they supplied the most expensive materials in the Mishkan. We learn from here to relate to every failure as a diving board, as further encouragement, as a lesson to learn from the past which will help us grow and improve in the future.
"The nesi'im brought shoham stones and other stones for setting, for the efod and the hoshen"
The Rashbam adopts the straightforward reading of the pasuk, and explains that since the shoham stones were placed on Aharon's shoulders and the names of the twelve tribes were engraved upon them, and the name of one tribe was engraved upon every stone of the hoshen, these stones were to be donated not by private individuals, but rather by the nesi'im as representatives of their tribes.
Rabbenu Avraham Ibn Ezra zs"l writes that when Benei Yisrael requested silver and gold utensils and fine clothing from the Egyptians before they left, each person asked in accordance with his status. Some could ask only for nice clothing, while others asked for silver utensils, and others for gold utensils. The nesi'im had attained noble stature already in Egypt, and they therefore asked for precious stones from the wealthiest people in Egypt. They now donated these stones towards the fashioning of the bigdei kehunah.
"The nesi'im brought shoham stones and other stones for setting, for the efod and the hoshen"
The Or Hahayyim Hakadosh zs"l takes note of the sequence of the contributions as recorded in the Torah: "brooches, earrings, rings [the gold jewelry donated by the women]… all who would make an elevation offering of gold to Hashem… and everyone who had in his possession blue, purple… everyone who would make gifts of silver or copper brought them as gifts… and all the women who excelled in that skill spun the goats' hair. The nesi'im brought shoham stones… " This presentation descends in terms of the gifts' value, from the gold down to the spinning of wool. But only at the very end do we read of the donation of the precious stones, the most expensive contribution of all. The Or Hahaim explains that in the heavens, the calculation is made based upon the feeling and the excitement; first and foremost, Hashem looks at our hearts. The Torah therefore first mentions the women's donation of gold, as they were the first to come forth and donate. The nesi'im, however, did not contribute at first. Therefore, even though they brought the most costly donation, their gift is nevertheless mentioned last.
"The nesi'im brought shoham stones and other stones for setting, for the efod and the hoshen"
Rabbenu Haim Vital zs"l writes (in his work "Ess Hada'at Tov") that Moshe Rabbenu commanded, "Take from yourselves a donation for Hashem; everyone generous of heart shall bring it." Meaning, there are two types of people who donate - those who must be approached and asked, and those who come on their own accord and donate. The Torah here informs us that in this case everyone came forward without any solicitation - "The men and women came, all those generous of heart… The nesi'im brought… Every man and woman whose heart stirred them to bring for all the work - Benei Yisrael brought as a donation to Hashem"!
Rabbi Shemuel Laniado zs"l
In his work, "Shem Hagedolim," the Hid"a zs"l writes about the work "Sechel Tov," a commentary on the Midrash "Soher Tov," and refers to its author, Rav Shemuel Laniado, as "ba'al hakelim," literally, "the one with the utensils." Who was Rabbi Shemuel Laniado, and why was he called "ba'al hakelim"?
Rabbi Shemuel Laniado zs"l was born around five hundred years ago in Arab Soba to a prominent family who had been among those exiled from Spain. While still a young man he moved to Safed to study Torah from the Bet Yossef zs"l, who ordained him and sent him to serve as a rabbi in his hometown. In a letter sent with his student, the Bet Yossef wrote about his student just as Rabbenu Hakadosh wrote about his student, Bar Sisi: "A person like myself I am sending you."
Rabbi Shemuel set sail to travel to Arab Soba, and along the journey a fellow passenger, a childless priest, died. In accordance with the custom, the body was cast overboard and half the man's possessions went to the captain, who put them up for sale. Among the deceased's possessions was a barrel of salted fish. The captain agreed to sell it at a very cheap price, and Rabbi Shemuel decided to buy it. He planned on selling the fish when they came ashore and then use the money to join a caravan to Arab Soba.
When he stepped off the boat, he opened the barrel and found that only a small percentage of the barrel was filled with fish and brine. The rest contained gold coins - the life savings of this priest who hid them from thieves in his fish barrel. Rabbi Shemuel thus saw the fulfillment of the pasuk, "The wicked prepares and the righteous wears" (Iyov 27:17). Hashem had granted him the means by which to study Torah with comfort and peace of mind.
He wrote his hiddushim and published them in the works entitled, "Keli Hemdah" on the Torah, "Keli Yakar" on Nevi'im and Ketuvim, "Keli Paz" on Sefer Yeshayahu, and "Keli Golah." Because the titles of all his works begin with the word "Keli," he became known as the "ba'al hakelim." This perhaps is meant as a reference to the "keli" - the utensil that Hashem gave him without his knowing its contents.
Based on the Rulings of Rav Ovadia Yossef shlit"a
by Rav David Yossef shlit"a
The Laws of Interruptions During Pesukei De'zimrah
If one has to perform his bodily functions in the middle of Pesukei De'zimrah, he recites "asher yassar" after washing his hands. If, however, this occurred in the middle of a paragraph, he should complete the paragraph and then recite the berachah. If this took place after one completed Pesukei De'zimrah but before he recited yishtabah, then he should wait until after reciting yishtabah before saying "asher yassar."
If one removed his tallit and tefillin before going to the restroom in the middle of Pesukei De'zimrah, when he returns he should wrap himself in his tallit in between paragraphs, but he does not recite a new berachah over the tallit. One does, however, recite a berachah over the tefillin, in between paragraphs of Pesukei De'zimrah. If this occurred after the completion of Pesukei De'zimrah before the recitation of yishtabah, then one should first recite yishtabah and then put on his tallit and tefillin.
If he did not recite "asher yassar" in the middle of Pesukei De'zimrah, he should do so after yishtabah. If he did not recite the berachah after yishtabah, then he recites it after Amidah, so long as seventy-two minutes have yet to pass since he performed his bodily functions.
A mourner, within twelve months of a parent's death, may interrupt in the middle of Pesukei De'zimrah to recite the special mourner's kaddish of "Al Yisrael… " when the congregation currently recites it. However, he should ensure to do so in between paragraphs. Those who wish to be lenient and allow this even for the other recitations of kaddish that mourners have the custom to conduct during the twelve-month period, have authorities on whom to rely. Similarly, one who wishes to recite the mourner's kaddish in the middle of shema and its berachot - when he is in between paragraphs - has authorities on whom to rely.
Someone in the middle of Pesukei De'zimrah or shema and its berachot may not interrupt his recitation in order to join the congregation in the recitation of "Berich shemeh." He may likewise not interrupt to recite "Vezot ha'Torah" with the congregation. Both are permitted, however, for one who is in between yishtabah and the berachah of "yosser or." If someone is in the middle of Pesukei De'zimrah when the congregation begins reading the Torah, then if he can hear the reading later, in a different minyan, he should continue Pesukei De'zimrah and hear the reading later. If he will not have another opportunity to hear the Torah reading, then although he does not, strictly speaking, have an obligation to interrupt Pesukei De'zimrah in order to hear the reading, it is nevertheless preferable to interrupt in between paragraphs to listen to the reading. No distinction exists in this regard between the Torah reading on shabbat and that conducted on Monday and Thursday.
It emerges from all this that one should not make even a silent interruption in the middle of Pesukei De'zimrah except for the purposes of a misvah that he will not have the opportunity to perform later.
Gamliel Ben Nizha and Yis'hak Shaul Ben Leah
Produced by Cong. Bnai Yosef and the Aram Soba Foundation - translated from Ma'ayan Hashavua in Israel
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