Select Section This Day, In Jewish History : 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection in each section

This Day in Jewish History / German literary great Heinrich Heine is Haaretz

This Day in Jewish History / German literary great Heinrich Heine is born. The German romantic poet and writer is remembered unfavorably by many Jews for his 
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This Day, December 13, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. LevinCleveland Jewish News (blog)

522 BCE: Darius I, the Persian monarch who allowed the Jewish people to re-build the Temple at Jerusalem strengthened his hold on his kingdom when he 
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Select Section Jewish Culture & Yiddish: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section

The National Center for Jewish Film

12.12.2013

Don’t let history fade away. Donate now: http://www.jewishfilm.org

For more than 30 years The National Center for Jewish Film has rescued, restored and exhibited endangered films that document the diversity and vibrancy of Jewish life.

Films Excerpted:
“A Letter to Mother” (Poland, 1939)
“I Want to Be a Boarder” (USA, 1937)
“The Jester” (Poland, 1937)
“East and West” (Austria, 1923)
“A Cantor on Trial” (USA, 1931)
“His Wife’s Lover” (USA, 1931)
“The Cantor’s Son” (USA, 1937)

The Yiddish Cinema Poland 1938

 10.12.2013

Yiddish

The Yiddish Cinema Poland 1937

10.12.2013

Yiddish

US Jews should close cultural gapCleveland Jewish News

RA’ANANA, Israel – The recent death of Arik Einstein got me thinking about how unfamiliar Israeli popular culture is to most American Jews. That’s unfortunate 
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This Day in Jewish History / German literary great Heinrich Heine is Haaretz

In fact, Heine was profoundly engaged with issues of his Jewish identity both  It was also in Berlin that Heine became involved in the Society for the Culture 
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Select Section Events, Jewish Life language german : 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection in each section

Solidarität mit Israel: Rede Charlotte Knobloch

 27.11.2012

Am 25. November 2012 fand am Jakobsplatz bei der Münchner Synagoge die Solidaitätsveranstaltung “Israel – Wir stehen an Deiner Seite – We stand for Israel” statt. Der Terror der Hamas wurde deutlich verurteilt. Hier die Rede von Dr. Charlotte Knobloch, Präsidentin der Israelitische Kultusgemeinde München und Oberbayern

Israelkongress 2013 – Kathleen Reiter + MiC Donet

04.12.2013

Mehr Informationen finden Sie auf:
http://www.israelkongress.de

Ein Edikt zur Emanzipation der Juden (Aus der Reihe »Was wir nicht zeigen«)

 27.03.2012

Maren Krüger, Mitarbeiterin des Jüdischen Museums Berlin

Was ein Museum zeigt, ist bedeutend. Aber auch, was es nicht zeigt, kann viel erzählen: von deutsch-jüdischem Leben, vom Sammeln und Konservieren oder auch von ethischen Fragen und politischen Debatten. Hier geben Mitarbeiter des Jüdischen Museums Berlin Einblicke, indem sie schildern, »was wir nicht zeigen«.

Von der Emanzipation zur Verfolgung. Die Juden in der deutschen Geschichte

29.11.2013

Vortrag von Prof. Dr. em. Wolfgang Benz (Berlin) am 18. Oktober 2013 auf der Tagung “Deutsche Juden, jüdische Deutsche — und ihre Nachbarn | Perspektiven für den Hamburger Geschichtsunterricht” am Landesinstitut für Lehrerbildung und Schulentwicklung (LI) in Hamburg.

Straßenumfrage zum Thema Juden in Deutschland

 27.02.2012

Auf Anfrage habe ich nur den Teil mit den Straßeninterviews hochgeladen. Erschreckend!
Schaut euch bitte auch die gesamte Doku an!!

200 Jahre Judenedikt:«Meilenstein der jüdischen Emanzipation»
95.5 Charivari – Münchens Hitradio
München (dpa/lby) – Jahrestag des Bayerischen Judenedikts davor gewarnt, Freiheit und Zivilisation für selbstverständlich zu nehmen. «Die Zerbrechlichkeit …
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Die jüdische Welt trauert um den früheren Präsidenten Nelson Jüdische Allgemeine

»Er hatte immer eine enge Beziehung zu den Juden des Landes«, sagt Mervyn Smith, Gedenkfeiern In vielen Städten hielten die jüdischen Gemeinden am 
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Unwillkommene GästeJüdische Allgemeine

Er musste wirklich aus Marokko verschwinden«, sagt Sam Ben Cherit, Präsident der weltweiten Bewegung der marokkanischen Juden. Nach Berichten von JTA 
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Archäologische Zone: Schutzbau oder FreiflächeKölner Stadt-Anzeiger

Zwei unterschiedliche Diskussionen zum Rathausvorplatz zeugen von den tiefen Gräben zwischen den Befürwortern und Kritikern des Jüdischen Museums.
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Select Section Jewish Communities: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section

The Jewish World: Mauritius

 11.12.2013

Africa is home to over 100,000 Jews. Mervin Smith, President of the African Jewish Congress, tells the story of one of the smallest communities on the continent- the Jewish community of Mauritius

The Jewish World: Africa

11.12.2013

Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft, Africa’s Traveling Rabbi, speaks about the challenge of being Jewish in Africa today.

Jews from Arab lands

24.06.2013

Some 1 mln Jews from the Middle East and North Africa were forced to leave their homes after 1948, thus marking the end of thousands of years of mutual existence. Presenting the 2012 report on anti-Semitism in North Africa and the Middle East. Distributed by OneLoad.com

PM Netanyahu Meets with Leaders of Jewish Community in Moscow

 21.11.2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with leaders of the Jewish community in Moscow.

ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו נפגש עם ראשי הקהילה היהודית ברוסיה.

צילום: רועי אברהם, לע”מ
סאונד: ניר שרף, לע”מ

Paris celebrates Hanukkah holiday: France is home to Europe’s largest Jewish community

02.12.2013

JN1 has come to meet hundreds of people who are gathering in Paris to celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights, with music and dancing and the traditional candle lighting ceremony.

Jews in Tehran, Iran

05.01.2011

Jews in Tehran, Iran.

Host : Diego Buñuel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don’…
“Meeting with a Jewish antiques dealer in Tehran, Diego shares alcohol made from grapes before visiting one of the city’s synagogues and heading over to the Iranian parliament with one of its Jewish members.”

Iran’s Jewish Community

 01.10.2012

Iran, a country with a population of 70 million, enjoys various ethnicities and religions. In this episode of Iran, Pedram Khodadadi will tell you about Iranian Jews and their life in this cradle of civilization.

Watch this video on our Website:http://www.presstv.ir/Program/264421….
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Seized from Iraq’s Jews: ColumnUSA TODAY

In short, it was part of the systematic destruction of what was once among the most vibrant and thriving Jewish communities in the Middle East. At the end of 
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Community welcomes new rabbi to installation, celebrates ChanukahDVIDS

Chap. (Capt.) Mendy Stern, 94th Engineer Battalion chaplain and Jewish rabbi, helps his daughter, Mimi, light the menorah as other daughter, Esther, looks on.
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Ukrainian Jews concerned anti-Semitism could rise amid protestsJNS.org

(JNS.org) Members of Ukraine’s Jewish community are expressing concern that anti-Semitic sentiment could rise in the country amid the ongoing protests of 
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Governor celebrates Chanukah with Jewish Kansans at the capitolKansas City Jewish Chronicle (blog)

Those attending the celebration included a broad representation of members of the Jewish communities across the state of Kansas, including the greater 
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Inclusion of Jews With Disabilities is Focus of New Leadership Algemeiner

Shelly Christensen, author of “Jewish Community Guide to Inclusion of People with Disabilities,” speaks at the inaugural Jewish Leadership Institute on 
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Israel inspiredJerusalem Post

For the first time in my adult life I celebrated Hanukka in Jewish communities outside Israel. As the only ancient Jewish holiday commemorating the Jewish 
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Organ donation ‘difficult subject’ for some migrant communitiesSBS

Migrant and refugee communities are being urged to discuss more openly The Jewish community is one of the groups targetted by the Donate Life campaign.
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Jews and Blacks: Civil rights veterans remember the old daysHaaretz (blog)

Vorspan reminisced: “The establishment of the RAC after huge controversy in the Jewish community was celebrated in the Rose Garden of the White House by 
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Select Section Jewish History : 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection in each section

Rabbi Isserman’s Visits to Nazi Germany

 12.12.2013

Documentary video created Michael Harvey for Dr. Gary P. Zola’s History 403 class at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, Ohio

Yellow Fever and Southern Jewry

12.12.2013

Documentary video created by Bailey Romano for Dr. Gary P. Zola’s History 403 class at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Jewish History of Jean-Paul Sartre’s Private SecretaryJewish Daily Forward

Some Exit: Following the Suez crisis of 1956, Benny Lévy (above) and his family fled Egypt for Belgium and then later moved to France.
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This Day, December 13, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. LevinCleveland Jewish News (blog)

522 BCE: Darius I, the Persian monarch who allowed the Jewish people to re-build the Temple at Jerusalem strengthened his hold on his kingdom when he 
See all stories on this topic »
Jews and Blacks: Civil rights veterans remember the old daysHaaretz (blog)

Julian Bond, Al Vorspan and Rabbi David Saperstein tackle the history and free-wheeling nostalgic discussion of the history of black-Jewish partnership in the 
See all stories on this topic »
Judaism: Eternal Perspectives in the ParshaArutz Sheva

Jewish history has been circuitous and at times very difficult. The voyage forward at times seemed to head in opposite directions. The people have been torn a 
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Celebration and FastingThe Jewish Press

The post Chanukah period in the Jewish calendar shifts into a time of difficulty and darkness in Jewish history. The roots of major disasters may be less obvious, 
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Mount Freedom Jewish Center’s 90th Anniversary Passionately TheAlternativePress.com

 Rosenfarb, Hirschhorn and Messer, to name a few – and the rest of the congregation, in celebration of the Randolph Jewish community’s history and presence 
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Westport’s Conservative Synagogue To Host Scholar Jack WertheimerThe Daily Voice

WESTPORT, Conn. — The Conservative Synagogue in Westport is set to host Jack Wertheimer, professor of American Jewish history at the Jewish Theological 
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Azerbaijan-Israel relations based on historical friendship ties: envoyAzerNews

The Azerbaijani Embassy in the U.S. hosted a meeting with representatives of ACCESS, the youth wing of the American Jewish Committee (AJC). Delivering a 
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Ask the RabbiJerusalem Post

What is God? Given that Jewish history spans millennia, one might think that this fundamental question would have been resolved by now. While answers 
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Smithsonian Celebrates 50 Years of Civil Rights HistoryDigitalJournal.com

The affiliate sites include the American Jazz Museum, Kansas City, Mo.; the Arab  Los Angeles; National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia; 
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Select Section Events, Jewish Life : 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection in each section

Tel Aviv – a mural at the Jewish Agency for Israel building in honor of Tel Aviv’s 100th anniversary

08.12.2013

Zahi Shaked A tour guide in Israel and his camera
zahigo25@walla.com 9726905522 tel

To Life, L’Chaim #232-Future Leaders of Israel

06.12.2013

To Life, L’Chaim airs Tuesday nights at 8PM ET/PT on Jewish Life Television (JLTV) nationally on DirecTV channel 366 and Comcast channel 239.

Host Lee Lazerson talks with Daniel Ackerman and Rayna Rose Exelbierd about the organization Future Leaders for Israel and about what the organization does

Jewish a cappella music group Shir Soul – “Shiru Lamelech” recorded LIVE at the Edison Ballroom, NYC

 10.12.2013

For bookings and info, contact David Ross @ 201-384-3388
http://www.ShirSoul.com

Shir Soul featured vocalists:
David Ross – Tenor 1
Dov Hoschander – Tenor 2
Jesse Shore – Baritone
Dovid Rubin – Bass

Recorded LIVE at the 2013 NCFJE (National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education) Annual Dinner at the Edison Ballroom in New York City.

Holiday events are rolling along for Staten Island Jewish communitySILive.com

Michael Lisovetsky of BuilderBuzz wearing Google glasses as he lights the Menorah with Rabbi Yochanan Ivry.. Hanukkah on Wheels event sponsored by 
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Cascais: City of Lights for the Festival of LightsEuropean Jewish Press

130 Jewish young professionals from 23 countries traveled to the city for the JEP, Jewish European Professionals, event that took place 28th November to 
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Cultural center, restaurant for Jews to be built in BakuAzerNews

Jewish cultural center and the first kosher restaurant – which serves food that  “The opening will be a landmark event for Jewish life in Baku,” a statement on 
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Hareidi Rabbi Threatens: Meah Shearim Riots ‘Just a Promo’Arutz Sheva

“I’m in touch with the leaders of hareidi Jewry in exile, in the United States and Europe, and all the Torah sages are in an uproar,” he said. “There have been 
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Jacob’s Blessing: Understanding Children’s Limitations, And PotentialThe Jewish Week (blog)

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayehi, Jacob speaks to each of his children, honestly and directly. Jacob’s blessings look at the events of his son’s pasts, and his 
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The View From The Beis MedrashThe Jewish Press

The avreichim recited Tehillim outside the prison and held signs proclaiming: “Learn Torah and you will succeed”; “We will not be broken”; and “We will not serve 
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Torah and Science Conference: Putting the Universe in PerspectiveChabad.org

In 1987, when the idea was first raised to establish a conference to speak to the interface between Torah and science—the two seemingly opposite worlds 
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torah | For role models on intermarriage, look to GenesisJweekly.com

children each Shabbat while blessing the children. It comes straight from this week’s portion. A similar blessing for girls is also patterned on this verse (Gen.
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Letter: A Shabbat to Remember at Temple Beth TorahSyosset Jericho Tribune

Each year, Grandparent Shabbat at Temple Beth Torah provides the opportunity to do just that. This multigenerational service is uniquely designed to capture 
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Teen stroke victim back at home; visits Congregation Beth TorahKansas City Jewish Chronicle (blog)

Also on the schedule was a visit to Congregation Beth Torah. When Blake walked into the BethTorah sanctuary Sunday morning during family worship, the 
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seniors | Jewish programs can help retirees find new purpose in lifeJweekly.com

When Rabbi Neal Borovitz retired from Temple Avodat Shalom of River Edge, N.J., in August, his congregation donated a Torah in his honor to a Reform Jewish 
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seniors | Jewish programs can help retirees find new purpose in lifeJweekly.com

When Rabbi Neal Borovitz retired from Temple Avodat Shalom of River Edge, N.J., in August, his congregation donated a Torah in his honor to a Reform Jewish 
See all stories on this topic »
House fire claims life of elderly Jewish woman in BeniciaJweekly.com

An early morning house fire in Benicia last week took the life of Ellyn Levin, 82, and left her husband, Danny Levin, 82, hospitalized. The couple belongs to 
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Katz’s Deli Selling Limited Edition Nikes for $5000Shalom Life

Jewish-led institutions including Facebook and Google top list for companies who  discuss and inspire our readers with stories about Jewish culture andlife.
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Radical Reform for Leader of Popular Manhattan CongregationLubavitch.com

On a life-long spiritual quest, 72 year-old Burt Siegel, the much beloved leader of the  At some point last year I began to feel a yearning for a richer Jewish life.
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The Jewish History of Jean-Paul Sartre’s Private SecretaryJewish Daily Forward

“To Life” describes Benny Lévy’s early years as the son of an EgyptianJewish family on Soliman Pasha Street in Cairo. As a boy given to temper tantrums, 
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MRI co-founder Schonberg fulfills last wishCleveland Jewish News

Alan R. Schonberg loved his family, and during the final weeks of his life, he  Active in Cleveland’sJewish community, Schonberg served as a trustee of the 
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How Buying a Tallit at 46 Helped Me Claim My Place in the Jewish Tablet Magazine

Fragile: like my inchoate connection to the Jewish community.  My life was full, perhaps more so than if I had settled down that young, but as friends married 
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Kindertransport saved this man’s life 75 years agoUSA TODAY

Mindful of many watershed dates in his life, he regarded Tuesday with special  The city had a large Jewish population, and it wasn’t until the Anschluss that 
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(Swarthmore College. Credit: Wikimedia Commons)thejewishchronicle.net

Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel: The Foundation for JewishCampus Life, wrote a letter to Hillel’s Swarthmore College chapter criticizing the decision 
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EXCLUSIVE: Interview with ‘Hanns and Rudolf’ Author Thomas Shalom Life

A nice sentiment and a quiet end for a man who grew up Jewish in Germany, lived through both World Wars, and dedicated much of his life to bringing war 
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Select Section Tanya Shiurim: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section

“Skin and Sense” p:46

 12.12.2013

“Skin and Sense” p:46 AyinBase / Ayin Beis with R’ Paltiel ThursdayNight 9 Tevet 5774
http://www.dailychassidus.blogspot.com

The Chassidus of Staying Connected, Reb Akiva & Reb Nati at Yesh Ma Lasot

03.06.2010

Yesh Ma Lasot presents Reb Akiva speaking about the Baal Shem Tov and the chassidus of staying connected to Hashem.

Mishna BURAH 5772 part 2  and more…

28.11.2011

Second in our series on the mishna burah.

LESSONS IN TANYA: Shabbat, December 14, 2013

Chabad.org
Tevet 11, 5774 · December 14, 2013
Today’s Tanya Lesson
Likutei Amarim, Chapter 8

ועוד זאת במאכלות אסורות, שלכך נקראים בשם איסור

There is an additional aspect in the matter of forbidden foods, for which reason they are called issur (“bound” and attached):

מפני שאף מי שאכל מאכל איסור בלא הודע, לשם שמים, לעבוד ה׳ בכח אכילה ההיא

Even if one ate a forbidden food unwittingly and his intention in eating wasfor the sake of heaven, i.e., in order to serve G‑d with the energy derived from it;

(Had the food been permitted, the very act of eating for the sake of heaven would suffice to extract the good from the evil of the food’s vitality, as explained above. In this instance, however, forbidden food was eaten for the sake of heaven.)

וגם פעל ועשה כן, וקרא והתפלל בכח אכילה ההיא

moreover, even if he actually carried out his intention, having studied and prayed with the energy derived from that food;

(Again, had the food been permitted and the person studied and prayed with the energy provided by the food, the energy would be elevated to Sanctity. But because the food was forbidden —)

אין החיות שבה עולה ומתלבשת בתיבות התורה והתפלה כמו ההיתר

the vitality contained in it does not ascend or become clothed in the words of Torah and prayer that he studies and prays with the energy of that foodas is the case with permitted foods,

מפני איסורה בידי הסטרא אחרא משלש קליפות הטמאות

because it is held captive in the power of the sitra achra of the three unclean kelipot which do not permit the energy of the food to be elevated to Sanctity.

ואפילו הוא איסור דרבנן, שחמורים דברי סופרים יותר מדברי תורה כו׳

This is so even if it is forbidden by reason of a Rabbinic prohibition, for1 “the words i.e., the prohibitions of the Scribes are even more stringent than the words of the Torah.”

ולכן, גם היצר הרע וכח המתאוה לדברים האסורים הוא שד משדין נוכראין, שהוא יצר הרע של אומות העולם, שנפשותיהם משלש קליפות הטמאות

Therefore, the yetzer hara (evil impulse) and the force that lusts after forbidden things is also2 “one of the non-Jewish demons,” which is theyetzer hara of the nations, whose souls are derived from the three unclean kelipot.

They therefore lust after forbidden matters, since the forbidden matters, too, derive their energy from the three unclean kelipot.

מה שאין כן היצר הרע וכח המתאוה לדברים המותרים, למלאות תאותו, הוא שד משדין יהודאין, לפי שיכול לחזור לקדושה כדלעיל

On the other hand, the evil impulse and the craving force after permissible things even when done solely to satisfy one’s craving in which case, as mentioned earlier, even the permissible matter descends into the utter evil of the three unclean kelipot; still it is3 “one of the Jewish demons”; it is, as it were, a Jewish evil impulse, for it (the vitality of a permitted thing) can be reverted to holiness, as was explained above.4

Since the food itself is permissible, therefore, though it was eaten to satisfy bodily desire, it can still be elevated to holiness (when the person returns to the study of Torah and the service of G‑d). The yetzer hara for forbidden matters, however, is intrinsically un-Jewish, i.e., essentially foreign to the Jew’s character. As explained elsewhere, one acquires this “foreign” yetzer hara by immersing himself in “permitted” pleasures. These so coarsen him that he begins to lust after prohibited matters as well — a desire totally unnatural for the Jew.

אך מכל מקום קודם שחזר לקדושה הוא סטרא אחרא וקליפה

Although the vitality of permitted foods eaten out of bodily desire can revert to holiness through the person’s repentance, nevertheless, before it has reverted to holiness it is sitra achra and kelipah,

וגם אחר כך הרשימו ממנו נשאר דבוק בגוף

and even afterwards (after the person repented and elevated the energy of the food to holiness) a trace of it remains attached to the person’s body,

להיות כי מכל מאכל ומשקה נעשה תיכף דם ובשר מבשרו

since each item of food and drink that one ingests immediately becomes blood and flesh of his flesh.

Since the food which became his flesh and blood was evil at the time of consumption — having been eaten for the sake of bodily pleasure — a trace of the kelipah remains in the body even after the person has repented and elevated the vitality of the food to holiness.

ולכן צריך הגוף לחיבוט הקבר, לנקותו ולטהרו מטומאתו שקיבל בהנאת עולם הזה ותענוגיו, מטומאת קליפת נוגה ושדין יהודאין

That is why the body must undergo the “Purgatory of the Grave” (a specific punishment for the body5 ) in order to cleanse it and purify it of the uncleanness which it had received from the enjoyment of mundane things and pleasures, which are from the impurity of the kelipat nogah and of the “Jewish demons” (i.e., the “Jewish yetzer hara” which desires permitted matters);

אלא אם כן מי שלא נהנה מעולם הזה כל ימיו

unless one had never derived enjoyment from this world all his life (i.e., either he actually derived no enjoyment, or his enjoyment was not of this world, since all his actions were completely for the sake of mitzvot and holiness),

כרבינו הקדוש

as was the case with Rabbeinu HaKadosh (Rabbi Judah the Prince, who said at the time of his demise that he had had no enjoyment of this world even to the extent of his “small finger”).

He who never derived pleasure from this world all his life need not undergo the “Purgatory of the Grave.” However, anyone who has not attained this level must undergo this punishment to purify his body of the uncleanness received from the enjoyment of mundane pleasures.

* * *

We shall now learn what is necessary for the rectification of permitted words not spoken for the sake of heaven.

ועל דברים בטלים בהיתר, כגון עם הארץ שאינו יכול ללמוד

As for innocent idle chatter, such as in the case of an ignoramus who cannot study,

He who is able to study is constantly obligated to fulfill the commandment of studying Torah; for him idle chatter is prohibited. For the ignoramus, however, idle chatter may be permissible. But —

צריך לטהר נפשו מטומאה זו דקליפה זו על ידי גלגולה בכף הקלע, כמו שכתוב בזהר, פרשת בשלח דף נ״ט

he must have his soul cleansed from the impurity of this kelipah, through its being rolled in the “Hollow of a Sling,”6 as is stated in the Zohar, Parshat Beshallach, p. 59.

This punishment is described7 as “being slung from one end of the world to the other,” or “from Israel to other lands.” The meaning of this is that the soul is flung from one extreme to the other: First it is shown the truth and preciousness of holiness, and then it is “slung” into and reminded of the thoughts and words it experienced while in the physical world — a most painful experience for the soul.8

אבל לדיבורים אסורים, כמו ליצנות ולשון הרע וכיוצא בהם, שהן משלש קליפות הטמאות לגמרי

But with regard to forbidden speech, such as scoffing and slander and the like, which being prohibited stem from the three completely unclean kelipot,

אין כף הקלע לבדו מועיל לטהר ולהעביר טומאתו מהנפש

the “Hollow of a Sling” (alone) does not suffice to cleanse and remove the impurity of the soul,

רק צריכה לירד לגיהנם

but it (the soul) must descend into Gehinnom (Purgatory — which is a greater punishment and thus more effective in cleansing the soul).

וכן מי שאפשר לו לעסוק בתורה ועוסק בדברים בטלים

So, too, with one who is able to engage in the study of Torah, but occupies himself instead with idle chatter —

אין כף הקלע לבדו מועיל לנפשו למרקה ולזככה

the “Hollow of the Sling” alone cannot effectively scour and cleanse his soul,

רק עונשים חמורים שמענישים על ביטול תורה בפרטות

but it must receive the severe penalties which are meted out for neglect of the Torah in particular,

מלבד עונש הכללי לכל ביטול מצוות עשה מחמת עצלות, בגיהנם של שלג, כמבואר במקום אחר

apart from the general retribution for the neglect of positive commandments through indolence, namely the “Purgatory of Snow,” as is explained elsewhere.9

The purgatory (Gehinnom), where the soul is cleansed of the “stains” of sin so that it may enter Paradise to enjoy the radiance of G‑d’s glory, operates on the principle of “measure for measure,” i.e., punishment in kind. Thus sins of commission caused by the heat of passion and lust are cleansed in a “Gehinnom (nehar, lit., ”stream“) of Fire,” while sins of omission, due to indolence and coolness (i.e., lack of fervor), are cleansed in a “Gehinnom of Snow.”10

וכן העוסק בחכמות אומות העולם בכלל דברים בטלים יחשב לענין עון ביטול תורה, כמו שכתוב בהלכות תלמוד תורה

Occupying oneself with the sciences of the nations of the world is likewise included in the category of engaging in inconsequential matters insofar as the sin of neglecting the Torah is concerned, for in studying the sciences of the nations, too, one is guilty of neglecting Torah study, as is explained in the Laws of Torah Study.11

ועוד זאת, יתירה טומאתה של חכמת האומות על טומאת דברים בטלים

Moreover, the impurity of the science of the nations is greater than the impurity of idle speech;

שאינו מלביש ומטמא רק המדות מיסוד הרוח הקדוש שבנפשו האלקית

for the latter clothe and defile only the emotions [which emanate] from the holy element of ruach (Air) within his divine soul,

בטומאת קליפת נוגה שבדברים בטלים הבאים מיסוד הרוח הרע שבקליפה זו בנפשו הבהמית, כדלעיל

[by tainting them] with the impurity of kelipat nogah contained in idle speech (which is derived from the evil element of ruach (Air, which is one of the components) of this kelipah in his animal soul), as mentioned above.

The G‑dly soul and the animal soul are both composed of four spiritual “elements”: Fire, Air, Water and Earth. The emotions, such as love and fear, which one expresses in idle talk, emanate from the element of Air. Thus, idle speech defiles the emotional attributes of the divine soul, which emanate from the holy element of Air, by using them in the service of the animal soul’s element of Air, i.e., its emotional attributes — which are “impure”, since they derive from kelipat nogah.

ולא בחינות חב״ד שבנפשו, מאחר שהם דברי שטות ובורות

[Idle speech does] not, however, [defile] the levels of ChaBaD (the intellectual faculties) in his soul, for it is but words of foolishness and ignorance,

שגם השוטים ועמי הארץ יכולים לדבר כן

since even fools and ignoramuses can speak that way.

Since these are not intellectual matters, the intellect remains uninvolved and untainted.

מה שאין כן בחכמת האומות הוא מלביש ומטמא בחינות חב״ד שבנפשו האלקית, בטומאת קליפת נוגה שבחכמות אלו

Not so in the case of the science of the nations; thereby one clothes and defiles his divine soul’s faculties of ChaBaD (intellect) with the impurity of the kelipat nogah contained in those sciences,

שנפלו שמה בשבירת הכלים מבחינת אחוריים של חכמה דקדושה, כידוע ליודעי ח״ן

whither they (the sciences) have fallen, through the “shattering of the vessels,” out of the “hinder-part” of Chochmah of holiness, as is known to those familiar with the Esoteric Wisdom.

Thus the study of these sciences contaminates the intellectual faculties of the G‑dly soul, and it is therefore much worse than idle speech, which contaminates only the emotional faculties,

אלא אם כן עושה אותן קרדום לחתוך בה, דהיינו כדי להתפרנס מהן בריוח לעבוד ה׳

unless one employs them (these sciences) as a useful instrument, viz., as a means of earning a more affluent livelihood with which to be able to serve G‑d,

או שיודע להשתמש בהן לעבודת ה׳ או לתורתו

or unless he knows how to apply them (the sciences) in the service of G‑d or to his better understanding of His Torah; e.g., he utilizes mathematics to better understand the laws of the Sanctification of the New Moon.

וזהו טעמו של הרמב״ם ורמב״ן ז״ל וסיעתן שעסקו בהן

This is the reason why Maimonides and Nachmanides, of blessed memory, and their peers, engaged in them (in the sciences — since they were able to utilize this knowledge in the service of G‑d and Torah).

Regarding that which was stated at the beginning of this chapter that a thing prohibited even by Rabbinic enactment remains attached to the three unclean kelipotand cannot be elevated to holiness, even when it is used unwittingly and for the sake of heaven (i.e., in order to have strength to study and pray), — the following story is worth relating:

A chassid once came to the Alter Rebbe lamenting the fact that his son-in-law was subject to periods when he would doubt his faith. The Alter Rebbe responded that the son-in-law had unwittingly consumed milk which was milked by a non-Jew, with no Jew in attendance. Though he was unaware of this fact, and though the prohibition against such milk is only of Rabbinic origin, this had so strong an effect upon him that it caused him to doubt his faith. The Alter Rebbe then proceeded to tell the chassid how the matter could be rectified, thereby healing the son-in-law of his spiritual malady.

——— ● ———

FOOTNOTES
1. Mishnah, Sanhedrin 88b; Bamidbar Rabbah 14:12.
2. Zohar III, 253a; 277a.
3. Zohar III, 253a; 277a.
4. Ch. 7.
5. See Zohar II, 151a, and especially Rabbi Chayim Vital, end of Sefer HaGilgulim,and Sefer HaKavanot, p. 55b.
6. See I Shmuel 25:29: “He shall sling out the souls of your enemies, as out of the hollow of a sling.”
7. Shabbat 152b.
8. Rabbi Joseph I. Schneersohn (sixth CHaBaD Rebbe) once stated that reciting from memory words of Torah — such as Chumash, Mishnah, Tehillim or Tanya — whenever one goes about his affairs, protects one from this punishment (in addition to its intrinsic value as Torah study, and its efficacy in “purifying the atmosphere”).
9. Rabbi Isaac Luria, Likutei Torah, Shmot. See also Zohar I, 62b; 237b; II, 150a-b.
10. Another interpretation is that the “Gehinnom of Snow” cures the soul of the spiritual “frostbite” which caused it to sin out of indolence. The Rebbe rejects this interpretation on the basis of the passage in Likutei Torah cited in note 8.
11. 3:7. The Alter Rebbe’s first printed work was a treatise on the Laws of Torah Study(Hilchot Talmud Torah), first published in Shklov, 1794 (5554), and subsequently incorporated in his Shulchan Aruch.
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LESSONS IN TANYA: Friday, December 13, 2013

Chabad.org
Tevet 10, 5774 · December 13, 2013
Today’s Tanya Lesson
Likutei Amarim, end of Chapter 7

אך החיות שבטפות זרע שיצאו ממנו לבטלה, אף שירדה ונכללה בשלש קליפות הטמאות, הרי זו עולה משם בתשובה נכונה ובכוונה עצומה בקריאת שמע שעל המטה, כנודע מהאריז״ל

However, the vitality in the drops of semen that one issued wastefully, even though it has been degraded and incorporated in the three uncleankelipot, can nevertheless ascend from there by means of true repentance and intense concentration and devotion (kavanah) during the recital of theShema at bedtime, as is known from the teachings of our master, Rabbi Isaac Luria, of blessed memory.

ומרומז בגמרא: כל הקורא קריאת שמע על מטתו כאילו אוחז חרב של שתי פיות כו׳

This is implied in the Talmudic saying:1 “He who recites the Shema at bedtime is as if he held a double-edged sword…,”

כדי להרוג גופות החיצונים שנעשו לבוש לחיות שבטפות, ועולה החיות מהם, כידוע ליודעי ח״ן

meaning, one edge wherewith to slay the bodies of the “extraneous forces”(the kelipot) that have become garments for the vitality in the drops of semen, and another edge by which the vitality ascends from them (from thekelipot), as is known to those familiar with the Esoteric Wisdom (the Kabbalah).

ולכן לא הוזכר עון זרע לבטלה בתורה בכלל ביאות אסורות

Therefore the sin of wasteful emission of semen is not mentioned in the Torah among the list of forbidden coitions,

אף שחמור מהן וגדול עונו בבחינת הגדלות וריבוי הטומאה והקליפות שמוליד ומרבה במאד מאד בהוצאת זרע לבטלה יותר מביאות אסורות

even though in one respect it is more heinous than they, and [the individual’s] sin is greater with regard to the enormity and abundance of the impurity and of the kelipot; he begets and multiplies them to an exceedingly great extent through wasteful emission of semen, even more so than through forbidden coitions. I.e., when measured by the “quantity” ofkelipot that sin creates, this sin is graver than the forbidden coitions.

רק, שבביאות אסורות מוסיף כח וחיות בקליפה טמאה ביותר, עד שאינו יכול להעלות משם החיות בתשובה

It is only that when measured qualitatively this sin is different. For in the case of forbidden coitions one contributes additional strength and vitality to a most unclean kelipah, from which he is powerless to raise up the vitality by means of ordinary repentance,

אלא אם כן יעשה תשובה מאהבה רבה כל כך, עד שזדונות נעשו לו כזכיות

unless he repents with such great love that his willful wrongs are transformed into merits.

Since the sin of wasteful emission of semen can be rectified even without “repentance out of love,” the Torah does not include this sin with the related sins of forbidden coition. Concerning this sin, all that is necessary to elevate the degraded vitality to holiness is proper repentance with true intent and devotion, during the recitation of the bedtime Shema.

In the note which follows the Alter Rebbe explains why forbidden coition requires greater repentance than wasteful emission.

הגהה

מפני שנקלטה ביסוד דנוקבא דקליפה, המקבלת וקולטת החיות מהקדושה

NOTE

The reason is that through forbidden coitions this vitality has been absorbed by the level of Yesod in the “female” element of kelipah, which receives and absorbs the vitality from holiness — just as the physical semen is absorbed within the female, in the case of these sins.

מה שאין כן בזרע לבטלה שאין שם בחינת נוקבא דקליפא

Not so with wasteful emission of semen, where there is no “female” element of kelipah;

רק שכחותיה וחיילותיה מלבישים לחיות שבטפות, כידוע ליודעי ח”ן

Only its (the kelipah’s) power and forces garb (i.e., encompass) the vitality of the semen, as is known to those familiar with the Esoteric Wisdom.

END OF NOTE

ובזה יובן מאמר רבותינו ז״ל: איזהו מעוות שלא יוכל לתקון, זה שבא על הערוה והוליד ממזר

From the above explanation, that the vitality of the forbidden coitions can be released through “repentance out of love,” we will understand that which our Sages say:2 “Which is3 ‘a fault that cannot be rectified’? — Having incestuous intercourse and giving birth to a bastard.”

שאז גם אם יעשה תשובה גדולה כל כך, אי אפשר לו להעלות החיות לקדושה

For then, once the bastard is born, though the sinner undertakes such great repentance as “repentance of great love,” he cannot cause the vitality to ascend to Sanctity,

מאחר שכבר ירדה לעולם הזה ונתלבשה בגוף בשר ודם

since it has already descended into this world and has been clothed in a body of flesh and blood.

Even “repentance of great love” cannot rectify this. Still, it is explained elsewhere that if the repentance is powerful enough it can actually effect the death of the bastard; and once it ceases to be a body of flesh and blood its vitality can ascend to holiness.

——— ● ———

FOOTNOTES
1. Berachot 5a.
2. Chagigah 9a.
3. Kohelet 1:15.
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Translated from Yiddish by Rabbi Levy Wineberg and Rabbi Sholom B. Wineberg. Edited by Uri Kaploun.
Published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society, all rights reserved.