The Order of Kapparot with Money before Yom Kippur

Bs’d
*Kapparot with Money*
Anyone who wants to do kapparot with  – that is given to tzedaka – please call Matatia Chetrit at 718.962.4872.

*To do it yourself:*

*Kapparot Process*
Before yom kippur some use money to be an atonement for the person – giving them a greater chance to be written in the book of life.
If you want to do it yourself.  Take value of a chicken – about $10. Spin it around on top of person’s head. Say appropriate text 3 times.

If you do it for you yourself circle your head with money – and say paragraph 1. For a Male say paragraph 2. For a female say paragraph 3. For 2 or more people say paragraph 4.

The person who it is being done for should think of the letters – ח ת כ. And do teshuva- repentance at same time. Give money to a poor Jewish family. Or to a Torah cause.
If you want to give to MJO shaar Hashamayim synagogue we have a PayPal account of jenet@iname.com
Gmar hatima tova.
Mjony.org

*סֵדֶר הַכַּפָּרוֹת*
*The order of the Kapparot / Atonements*

He will take the money in his hand ($10) and turn it over his head, and say the wording, then he will take another money and turn it over to his wife and he will do it for his children.

The one who turns over himself will say 3 times in Hebrew Below – (optional – repeat the Translation in English below):

1. These are the monies in exchange for me, in stead of me, in atonement for me. These monies will be given to charity, and I will enter into a life of good and peace.

The one doing the kapparot will turn money over a person’s (or people’s) head(s) and say 3 times:

2. 3. 4. These are the monies in exchange for you, in stead of you, in atonement for you. These monies will be given to charity, and you will enter into a life of good and peace.

Once he has made the order of the atonement for him and his whole family it is possible to give a donation to mjo or a torah cause and after the payment he will be able to use the money for himself.

יִקַּח בְּיָדוֹ אֶת הַכֶּסֶף (10$) וִיסוֹבֵב מֵעַל רֹאשׁוֹ, וְיֹאמַר אֶת הַנֻּסָּח, אַחַ”כּ יִקַּח כֶּסֶף אַחֵר וִיסוֹבֵב לְאִשְׁתּוֹ וְכֵן יַעֲשֶׂה לִילָדָיו.

1. הַמְּסֻבָּב לְעַצְמוֹ יֹאמַר 3 פְּעָמִים:
*1. (for himself)*
*אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת חֲלִיפָתִי, תְּמוּרָתִי, כָּפָּרְתִּי. אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת יִנָּתְנוּ לִצְדָקָה, וְאֶכָּנֵס אֲנִי לְחַיִּים טוֹבִים וּלְשָׁלוֹם.*

*ellu hamma’ot ḥalífatí, temuratí, kappartí. ellu hamma’ot yinnatenu litṣdakah, veekkanes aní leḥayyím tovím uleshalom.*

2. הַמְּסֻבָּב לְזָכָר יֹאמַר 3 פְּעָמִים:
*2. (for a male)*

*אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת חֲלִיפָתְךָ, תְּמוּרָתְךָ, כַּפָּרָתְךָ. אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת יִנָּתְנוּ לִצְדָקָה, וְתִכָּנֵס אַתָּה לְחַיִּים טוֹבִים וּלְשָׁלוֹם.*

*ellu hamma’ot ḥalífatecha, temuratecha, kapparatecha. ellu hamma’ot yinnatenu litṣdakah, vetikkanes attah leḥayyím tovím uleshalom.*

3. הַמְּסֻבָּב לַנְּקֵבָה יֹאמַר 3 פְּעָמִים:
*3. (for a female)*
*אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת חֲלִיפָתֵךְ, תְּמוּרָתֵךְ, כַּפָּרָתֵךְ. אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת יִנָּתְנוּ לִצְדָקָה, וְתִכָּנְסִי אַתְּ לְחַיִּים טוֹבִים וּלְשָׁלוֹם.*

*ellu hamma’ot ḥalífatech, temuratech, kapparatech. ellu hamma’ot yinnatenu litṣdakah, vetikkanesí at leḥayyím tovím uleshalom.*

*4. (for a group)*
*אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת חֲלִיפַתְכֶם, תְּמוּרַתְכֶם, כַּפָּרַתְכֶם. אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת יִנָּתְנוּ לִצְדָקָה, וְתִכָּנְסוּ אַתֶּם לְחַיִּים טוֹבִים וּלְשָׁלוֹם.*

*ellu hamma’ot ḥalífatchem, temuratchem, kapparatchem. ellu hamma’ot yinnatenu litṣdakah, vetikkanesu attem leḥayyím tovím uleshalom.*

לְאַחַר שֶׁעָשָׂה אֶת סֵדֶר הַכַּפָּרוֹת לוֹ וּלְכֹל מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ נִתַּן לְשַׁלֵּם כָּאן בַּאֲתַר אוֹן-לַיְן וּלְאַחַר הַתַּשְׁלוּם יוּכַל לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בְּכֶסֶף לְעַצְמוֹ.

The Transitory Marriage – Judaism Trains for Marriage, Society Trains for Divorce – 16 Lessons for Peaceful Marriage

Marriage is a challenge. Two people from totally different backgrounds, mentalities, ideals share a house together. How can it work?

Responsibility

Torah sanctions responsibilities of each partner. It is upon each partner to make the marriage work.

Similarity

Torah sanctions that people from same religion marry – Jews marry Jews. Thus people start off with similar mentalities. They have similar material and spiritual goals in life. Their family is guided by Torah.

Marrying for the right reasons – good character traits

In Torah we try to choose a mate with good middot – good character traits. This helps us to get someone with a personable personality. A  person with a kind heart, a giving person, someone with Torah values. This prevents much marital stress. Choosing a mate from a good family also can help the long term of the marriage.

Youthful Marriage

Torah says that a person should marry young – thus people are more flexible and less set in their ways. The Torah tells men of the the Mitzvah / commandment to get married.

Procreation & Children

Torah says people are to “be fruitful & multiply.” – thus people share a common goal of bringing up children in the path of the Torah. (Talmud: Yevamot 63b).

Torah as a Guide

As the Torah is a guide of the couples – the couple looks to fulfill it’s halachot / laws – thus reducing further stress. If there is a disagreement – they go ask a competant Orthodox rabbi.

Mutual Respect

The Torah tells us of the responsibility of the man to honor his wife. It tells how to act properly with all people.

Trust & Faithfulness

The Torah will tell it like it is. It sanctions the importance of trust, faithfulness, and respect of each mate.

Yielding to the Other

Torah instructs the individual of Yielding to the other party. Some things we hold firmly upon – like observing Torah laws – yet even that must be done in a tactful way.

Peace at Home / Shalom Bayit

Torah teaches lessons of importance of and how to have peace at home.

Tolerance

Torah sanctions respect for each individual – regardless of what they did. It sanctions for a person to refrain from speaking badly of others (Laws of Lashon Hara) even if that person actually did the bad deed.

Building a Family

The Torah gives individuals the Tools to build a beautiful family. The family is built through participating in Shabbat & festival meals together. In praying together. In learning Torah together. In sharing opinions and open-minded discussions together. In singing together. In vacationing together. A person’s life is intermingled with that of their family in positive interactions together.

Building Relationships

I overheard Rabbi Benjamin Yochanan speaking with a young man at a Group Shiur / Learning session. The Rabbi talked of the beauty of a Torah lifestyle. The young man replied “You have to enjoy life. I want to enjoy life.” The rabbi asked “What do you like to do?” He said “I Like skydiving.” The rabbi said – “When you do skydiving – you are living only for yourself. When you practice Torah you live thousand’s of lives.” “How so?” he asked. “When you live a Torah life – you live the lives of others. You hear people’s chalenges. You rejoice in their joys. You help people with their problems. You support others emotionally. You are participating in all their lives.”

Building a Spiritual Fulfilling Existence

Marriage helps a person achieve their potential. A man is not complete without a wife. She helps him to become the best he can be. Together they build a beautiful home in this world and the next world. They live a spiritually fulfilling existence together through the Torah.

Prayer to Hash-m

Hash-m / G-d helps a person to have peace at home. We pray for all that we need spiritually and physically.

Answering to a Higher Authority – Pleasing G-d and Man

In Torah we answer to a higher authority – Hash-m. This fact helps us to have boundaries that limit our negative reaction and encourage positivism. Thus a person who is angry – remembers that their spouse may just be an agent of G-d responding to their past imperfection in action. Thus reactions are tempered.

Ideals of Society

Now let’s take the ideals of society.

Rights vs Responsibility

Society – talks of Rights – woman’s rights, minority rights, animal rights and so on. So people live with certain expectations – “I have my right to demand what I want – it is may right.”

Now each person is demanding that their rights be met. Not a good mentality for a marriage.

Marry Whoever You Meet

Nowadays – many marry without thought of compatibility in Torah values, personality, religion, mentalities. The closer one is in mentality to the mate – the less stress. Intermarriage – not sanctioned by Torah – causes great stress between mates. One wants to observe this holiday – the other another. This one believes in one G-d this one believes in idolatry. Each thing causing stress.

Hutzpa Yazge – Arrogance

The Torah says in time before Mashiach / Messiah – Arrogance will increase. It is very apparent – in the News media – of how people who trash others are more respected. They will stop at nothing to break another individual – if he or she has done good or bad. The US court – went against a Texas state court – that made a law to protect fetus rights. People regularly destroy each friends and family members in cafes and restaurants.

Single Life vs. Married Life

Society condones personal, fleeting pleasure.If it gives a person pleasure – society says it is good. They sanction living the “Life of Riley.” Big cars – beautiful houses – the pursuit of pleasure.Distracting them from getting married.

Pleasure without purpose vs Pleasure for Purpose

More people are saying single than ever before. Why? Because they are following pleasure without purpose. The Torah tells people to enjoy life – but the pleasures should have purpose. Pleasures for Purpose – build. Pleasures without purpose – destroy, waste time or at the least accomplish nothing for the betterment of the world.

The Torah sanctions pleasures for purpose.

Family Life is Put as Secondary Ideal

People want independence. Having a family introduces responsibility. Some people refrain from birthing children – because they want to enjoy life.

Homosexuality vs. Being Straight

Society accepts and condones homosexuality. The Torah says homosexuality is forbidden. Although the Torah says to respect all people – it forbids same gender marriage and homosexuality. Homosexuality leads to great reduction in population growth, goes against the commandment to procreate and causes a person to live a life devoid of children. A person who chooses their life as such – will end up alone at the end of their life. They will not have a legacy to continue their genes – for they will have chosen this lifestyle.

A person who chooses marriage to the opposite gender – brings life into the world. This helps them to keep the marriage going because they are involved in a great Mitzvah to build the world together.

Ideals of society as a Guide – You are What You Read

A rabbi I was learning with said – if a person reads newspapers – their mentality will be based upon that newspaper. Newspapers and media usually project ideals contrary to faithfulness and morality. Immorality sells newspapers. In marketing they use the term “appealing to the lowest common denominator” – meaning to values and feelings of even the most immoral portions of society. I don’t think that that is a preferable way to bring up a family or lead a married life.

Promiscuity vs. Faithfulness

The more you see a certain thing – the more you find it to be acceptable behavior. Promiscuity is sanctioned by society, movies, media. Yet it is a total marriage breaker.

I could go on on both lists of How Torah strengthens marriage and society has the opposite effect – but enough said.

Materialism vs. Spirituality

Materialism is a very important aspect of society’s values. Keep up with the Joness it says. Thus Having the latest gadgets puts stree on the marriage when one of the spouse doesn’t deliver materially. Material issues, I believe I read once is one of the Top reasons for marital discord.

Glamor vs. Reality

The world lives on glamor, entertainment, games and sports. If used sparingly – it is ok. But if a person bases their life on these ideals – it could cost them their marriage.

For instance a person may want to marry a glamorous woman or a rich man. Ok – he is rich or she is glamorous – but will she be so spoiled to beat the husband when angry? Or will the rich person be stingy? Will she teach Torah values to children or go shopping on Shabbat or sit and have a Shabbat party together with the kids. Will he watch sports all day or have a conduct a beautiful Shabbat meal with songs and words of Torah?

Will the mate be stuck to their telephone or be concerned about maintaining a healthy, fruitful relationship with others?

The Me Generation

It’s all about me.

Your Mentality Choice

You choose your lifestyle. I chose many years ago. It took effort, fortitude and persistence. It was a gradual, long-term process. In the end I am so happy for my choice.

How to Improve Your Marriage

A good starting point to following Torah as a guide is by reading Torah books on the subjects of your interest. When I was starting out I liked to read stories and aggadah. Going to Shiurim / Lectures of Orthodox rabbis or listening to them online is also a good starting or continuing point.

Listening to Torah Lectures

See our links section for more info. TorahAnytime.com is a great source to find out the Torah view or learn Torah lessons on any subject of interest – for instance marriage. I searched it – and they have over 640 lectures on the topic of marriage from a Torah perspective. Find the rabbi that speaks to you. If one does – listen to their lectures. If one does not try another rabbi on the same subject.

The Sound of the Shofar – The Morse Code Message

I heard this story from Rabbi Farhi of the Safra Synagogue in Manhattan.

A rabbi sounded the shofar / the rams horn for a group of people apparently for Rosh Hashana. Among them was a Sefardic Israeli man, muscular built, no yarmulke. He heard the sound and burst into tears.

The rabbi asked him why are you so emotional when you heard the Shofar?

The Morse Code Specialist

The man told him that in the Israeli Army he was a Morse code specialist. After traveling the world – looking for meaning – he saw a help-wanted ad in the newspaper for a Morse Code specialist. He had to arrive for the interview process – between 10 am – 12 pm. He arrived at about 11:50. The waiting room was full of applicants. He sat listening to the background music. He got up and walked to the interview room. People yelled – hey, wait in line we were here before you. He burst into the room.

After some time the interviewer came out and said – “Thank you for all coming but we found our candidate for the position. You may all go home now.”

“What? All that waiting for nothing” they thought. “And the hutzpa of this guy to burst into the room before us.”

The man explained to the rabbi how he got the job. In the waiting room they played background music. The man realized that the beat to the song was a Morse code message. It said “Anyone who hears this enter into the interview room.” Thus he heard the message from the beat. There was a message behind the music.

The Message Behind the Music

“When I heard the Shofar the sound resonated in me. It was a message that penetrated my heart telling me to do Tehuva – it resonated deep into my soul – and I burst out crying.”

Our Daily Messages

We hear Hash-m’s / G-d’s messages in the background daily – the observant listens and reacts. We see the beauty of the world, the beauty of our children, the blessings we have – does it resonate or do we ignore the message?

It’s our choice.

The Yield Sign & Judaism

The Shabbat / Sabbath between Rosh Hashana / the New Year & Yom Kippur / the day of atonement is called Shabbat Shuva. The Shabbat of Return.

Hash-m gives us Seven days between Rosh Hashana & Kippur to fix our faults for that day of the year. What does G-d want from us? If we didn’t put on Tephillin, we start putting it on. If we didn’t go to synagogue on time – we try to come on time. Hash-m basically wants us to advance one step further. Take the next Mitzvah upon yourself.

Balance of Good & Evil for Freedom of Choice

In this world – evil & good exist. They balance each other out. G-d did this to allow a person full freedom of choice. One can do miraculous deeds through purity – and one can do magical deeds through impurity – black magic. If only good had the power to do miraculous deeds – people would abandon evil. If only people who did good would become wealthy – people would become good – but not for the right reasons. They would be good to become rich – not because Hash-m told them to do good.

The Quick Fall

The Jews they were prompted to do the sin of the golden calf – attributing divine powers to a physical object – because the Satan / Evil Force showed them that their leader Moshe Rabeinu / Moses was deceased. They were so despondent they fell quickly to follow after a foreign idol.

A person can fall two ways – the Evil Inclination introduces anti-ethical and anti-Torah ideas little by little. Thus he chips away at a person’s morality – until he or she falls.

Another way is for a person to become despondent and fall very quickly to do evil deeds.

The Quick Rise

On the other side of the coin – a person can rise very quickly. He can become very inspired or motivated to follow Torah ideals.

Or little by little – through learning Torah, Listening to Torah lectures, attending Torah classes at an Orthodox synagogue – he or she grows slowly.

The Steady Path of Self Improvement and Self Growth

Either method to rise is good. Yet the Torah prefers a person to rise slowly. This helps a person stay the course and continue in a steady path of growth.

Yielding to others (Being Mevater) – for things that go not against Torah is a good thing. We yield to others at times – to create peace. We yield our will to the will of Hash-m – that’s how we grow. Like it says in Pirkei Avot (2:4) – on Doing the Will of Hash·m:

He [Raban Gamliel] used to say, make His [G·d’s / Hash·m’s] will as your will in order that He will make your will as His will. Nullify your will before His will in order that He will nullify the will of others because of your will.

God gives us a tremendous opportunity. Let’s use it to grow.

The Secret to Shalom Bayit – Peace at Home

I wear many hats – literally & figuratively. I wear a black fedora. Sometimes I wear a fez. Both fit – I was born in fez – where they wear those hats. I went to Yeshiva – where they wear black fedoras.

Over Rosh Hashana – I found myself auctioning the mitzvot of the day at the Synagogue. I told them a story – maybe I’ll relate it in another blog post.

I mentioned a Pirkei Avot (2:7) on Materialism & Torah:

7. He [the Great Sage Hillel] used to say –
more flesh, [leads to] more worms,
more property, more worry;
more women, more sorcery;
more maidservants, more lust;
more servants, more theft;
more Torah, more life;
more Yeshiva, more wisdom;
more counsel, more understanding; more charity, more peace.
One who acquired a good name he acquired it for himself. One who acquired words of Torah acquired life in the next world [ie, a portion in heaven].

I didn’t understand – what is the connection of more charity – with having more peace. At the Rosh HaShana Table – someone said – perhaps by you giving tzedaka / charity to a worthy person – they will have less financial stress and they will have peace at home. I heard that one of the main reasons for divorce or stress in the couple is financial concerns.

The Charity Dilemma

I thought and Hash-m enlightened me with an answer. My rebbe asked me a question – what is better – to give $1000 to one person or $1 to 1000 people? It’s better to do the latter. Giving $1 to a 1000 people trains you to be a giver.

Becoming a Givier

If a person gives tzedaka – he or she becomes a giver. One of the reasons for a lack of Shalom Bayit – peace at home is because we feel we have rights. We are due service. The man comes home – dinner is not ready the house is a mess.

The “taker” will say “Why is dinner not ready?” Why is the house such a mess?

The “giver” will take a broom and start cleaning up. He will go in the kitchen and ask if there is any way he can help.

Be a Giver.

The Hot Pot that Broke the Glass Table Cover – Calming Your Anger

They just installed the glass cover on our table top. Looks nice. I see them install it. Coming home later that day, I see a big crack in the glass. What? The first day we get it?

All is for the Good

Gam zu leTova. Also this is for the good. Perhaps it was a Kapara – an atonement for a deed. This is the lesser bad of two options of atonement.

The Evil Eye

Some will say it is Ayin HaRa / the Evil Eye. If someone sees something and they admire or desire it – they might cause an eventual damage to that object. How? We explained it before – G-d listens to the prayers of people. He also hears the heart of people. If someone wants something that you have – Hash-m pulls out the books of deeds of both people – He judges between them and if the one that lacks the object is more worthy or the one that has the object is unworthy – something happens to the object. Was it Ayin HaRa? Perhaps.

The Hot Pot

I find out someone – it doesn’t matter who – happened to put a very hot pot onto the glass. The tension caused by the heat in the glass caused it to break.

The Physics – A Free Physics Lesson

Heat causes objects to expand. Cold causes things to contract. If one places a Hot object on the glass – the glass heat is expanding the glass. The molecules in the cooler area around it is remaining stable. The expanding area is restrained by the cooler area and it breaks the glass.

A Lesson For Us – Don’t Get Heated Up

We sometimes get into a heated argument. The extreme heat breaks the relationship. It wasn’t worth it for a small matter to break the relationship. How important is the matter to you? Is it important enough to break the relationship? Decide it before the heat breaks the glass. Cool yourself down – don’t add heat to the fire. You won’t have to pay another $250 to replace the glass again or pay for a broken relationship that you will have to rebuild.

4 Types of Temperaments

In Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the Fathers 5:11 it says – There are 4 types of people – one gets angry quickly and calms down quickly. One who gets angry slowly and calms down slowly. One who gets angry quickly and takes much time to appease. One who gets angry slowly and is appeased easily. Let’s make efforts to be like the latter.

Rehearse Reaction to Situations that Anger

How? Rehearse in your mind how to react to particular things that anger you. And how to react in general. Count to 10 before you react. Take a glass of water before reacting. Act don’t react. Control Yourself – don’t let anger control you.

 

The Faster Computer – Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side of the CPU

I won the auction. The computer’s chip was twice as fast as mine. It had twice the memory. It had a powerful graphics card. Wow.

I bring it home and turn it on. The fan spins a bit then stops. My uncle who sees it says to replace the computer motherboard. So I say ok – let me use some of the parts. The memory does not fit my old computer. The chip also. At least the graphics card will work in my computer. I test it and find my graphics card to be faster.

Yes – I saw glory. A faster computer. But it just ended up as a waste of time.

OK. So what can I learn? Sometimes we covet something that belongs to someone else. We think – If I have it, I will be happy. It turns out that your own situation is better than what you imagined.

In Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the Fathers 4:1 it says “Who is the rich person – the one who is happy with what he has.”

It also says in Pirkei Avot 2:7 “The more possessions – more worries.”

OK. I’ll be happy with my good old Dell Desktop computer.

The Artist & the Ghost Bicycle – Jewish Burial Rites

Not long ago, a young promising artist was riding a bicycle. In the intersection, came a speeding truck. They met their tragic end. I did not know the person – but I felt very badly for them. I was further dismayed when I learned that the family – not versed in the laws in Judaism – seemingly decided to cremate their body. I knew other families that did the same thing.

Burial vs. Cremation Pamphlet

The other day I was at a funeral of a family friend. At the funeral I picked up a pamphlet by Author Doron Kornbluth entitled “Cremation vs. Burial – A Jewish View.” Among his works, he has a book named the same. It talked about Jewish and secular reasons for burial – like how cremation pollutes the environment.

Our Body Belongs to G-d

Just recently, I was eating breakfast at the synagogue. A man – a car salesman – asked “Rabbi, What does Judaism say about cremation?” I told him that the Torah prohibits cremation. The body of a person is not our property – it belongs to G-d. We use it – but we cannot deface it – like making self inflicted wounds, scars or tattoos. Apparently the verse that prohibits cremation is “From dust (earth) you came and to dust (earth) you shall return.” (Bereshit / Genesis 3:19)

Respect the Person’s Body

He said to me “Yea, I always thought that. It seems like a disrespect to G-d – kind of throwing the body He gave us into the face.” I told him it is a tremendous disrespect for the person themselves as well. In cremation – they crush the bones and burn it at a temperature of 1800 degrees.

Respect the Artist’s Work

It clicked to me. “That’s a very good point you said.” I thought back to the artist who was cremated. Imagine if the mother decided to burn her child’s art. It would be a disrespect for the work of the artist and the artist themself.

I gave him the pamphlet to read.

The Torah says “Hash-m is the greatest artist.” Giving a Jew a proper burial is to respect His creation and His creations.

The Man Who Stole the Ghost Bicycle

Once we were riding in the car. Someone pointed out to me – “Look someone stole that white bicycle.” I thought it was a bit amusing. A last respect memorial to a person is stolen by a thief. Apparently, it was so audacious, I was amused. It was a bit like defacing a memorial to a person or people. The body itself intact is the best memorial of a person – burning it is tantamount to, or much worse than defacing a memorial.

A Last Act of Respect to the Person

Many other reasons exist against cremation. Judaism says respect the person alive and when they pass on. Respect them, respect their body and let the soul rest in peace.

Gratitude to the One Who Gives

This week’s parasha – Ki Tavo – talks of the first fruits / Bikurim. Farmers bring the first fruits that blossom – of the 7 species special to Eretz Yisrael / the Land of Israel – to the Beit HaMikdash / the Holy Temple in Yerushalayim / Jerusalem.

He says a text and he gives the fruits to the Cohen. The rich people who would bring fancy baskets of gold and silver – the Cohen would return the basket. Yet the Cohen would not return the baskets – made of reeds – of the poor people. Why?

  1. The poor people worked hard to make the basket – Hash-m appreciates the hard work of the common man for a Mitzvah.
  2. The poor people – may have put the best fruits on top and the lesser quality fruits on the bottom – thus we didn’t want to embarrass him by taking out the fruits.
  3. The Cohen was sending a message that I’ll take this basket – so that, with the help of G-d – you will return next year with a gold basket.

The Mitzvah of first fruits is to show that all that we have we owe our first and foremost gratitude to Hash-m. We also do the redemption of first born boys and first born animals showing our gratitude that all we have is a Gift from G-d.

It’s Good – Yes – It’s Good

G-d is kind. He is our parent. The parent wants the best for the Child & Hash-m wants the best for the child. You are Hash-m’s child.

Though at times it is hard to believe everything is for the good – everything is for the good.

Nachum Ish Gamzu – used to say “Gam Zu Letova” – also this is for the good.

Rabbi Akiva used to say “Kol DeAvid Rachmana leTav Avid” All that the Merciful One (Hash-m) does He does for the best.”

What is the difference between the two statements? One is a higher level than the other. I forgot which is higher – but Nachum ish Gamzu was the Rebbe / Rabbi of Rabbi Akiva – so I would expect that Nachum’s statement was a higher level.

I looked it up and found this on a website:

Gam Zu Letova verses Letav Avdin: [1]

The Gemara [2] states that every person is to accustom himself to recite “Kol Mah Deavdin Min Shemaya Letav Avdin/Whatever is done from Heaven is done for the good”, as was seen with the story with Rebbe Akiva.  Elesewhere, the Gemara [3] states that Nachum Ish Gam Zu would say Gam Zu Letova. What is the difference between these two statements? The explanation is as follows: Every punishment or act of suffering has an aspect of Chesed [/ Kindness] in its root. A person who finds this Chesed ends up sweetening the Gevuros [/ Aspect of Strict Justice], and immediately turns the the severity to kindness. This was the level of Nachum Ish Gamzu. One however who does not know the aspect of Chesed contained within the severity is to say the previous statement.

[1] Keser Shem Tov 33 / [2] Brachos 60b / [3] Taanis 21a

We know the stories – once a King or Emperor asked a gift from countries he ruled. The Jews from Israel sent a box full of jewelry, gold and precious  gems. They sent Nachum Ish Gamzu to bring it to the Emperor. He slept at an Inn. The inn keeper – sneaked into his room and took the jewelry and filled the box with sand. When Nachum got to the king – he found that the treasure chest was filled with sand. Nachum said “Gam Zu LeTova” – also this is for the good. Someone told the king – perhaps this is the same sand that Avraham Avinu / Abraham used to fight the war against the 5 kings. The king had a country he was trying to conquer – he tried the sand. When thrown, the sand turned into arrows and he defeated his enemy. The King richly rewarded the Jews for the gift.

Once Rabbi Akiva wanted to sleep at a town. No one let him stay over their house. He said “All the merciful one does is for the good.” He slept in the forest. He had a candle to read, a donkey to travel, and a rooster to wake him. The candle blew out. The donkey was killed by a lion. The rooster was killed by an animal. He said “What Hash-m does is for the Good”. The next day he went to the village and found that it was ransacked and pillaged by brigands. The townspeople were taken captive.

If he had stayed there – he would have been taken captive as well.

Find the good in every situation.