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M A Weekly - Bulletin February 10th 2024 - SHABBAT ROSH HODESH - MISHPATIM - ADAR I 1 5784

02/08/2024 09:43:17 PM





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To Maurice and Muriel Bijo

on the BIRTH of a Baby Boy

"Yaacov Eliezer "

Proud Grandparents 
Jacob and Nathalie Assor
Raphael and Frida Bijo



Haim Sadi 

on his birthday!!!





Camille Helwani z'L

Mother of Claude Helwani



 Mireille Gaiptman z'L

Wife of Jack Gaiptman



Adele Khadoury z'L

Mother of Morris Khadoury and

Benjamin Khadoury z'L



Mazal Fortunée Bat Nazira z'L

Mother of Zion Totah



Mazal Battat z'L

Grandmother of Dany, Mike, Joe Battat & Noni Zeitouni 



Rosie Bari z'L

Sister of Salim Chahine



Joseph Helwani z'L

Brother of Claude Helwani



Morris Shama z'L

Father of Nathalie Serero



We are all in shock with Simhat Torah massacre in Israel of brothers and sisters by the Hamas terrorist organization.


No words can describe our sentiment towards this horrific event.


Our hearts go out to all those that have lost loved ones and we pray for a safe return of those that are still in captivity.


We wish safety of the Israeli troops that are tasked with retrieving our brethren. 




We also support our fellow Jewish institutions (Synagogues and Schools) that were targeted over the past week. We condem this SHAMEFUL ACT and we hope that the perpetrators are apprehended by the authorities quickly.











Bonjour / Hello [nickname_else_first_name],

Table of contents


1) Perashat Hashavoua - Rabbi Eli Mansour

2) Halakhat Hashavoua (Halakhot related to day to day life) - Hazzan David Azerad 

The One Who Is Called Up and the Torah Blessings -Peninei Halacha

3) Holy Jokes!





 This Week's Parasha Insight with Rabbi Eli Mansour

Parashat Mishpatim- The Elixir of Life

One of the topics discussed in Parashat Mishpatim is liability for physical injury which one causes to another person. The Torah requires the person responsible for another’s physical injury to make several compensation payments, including "Ve’rapo Yerapeh" – paying for his medical expenses (21:19).

There is a deeper meaning of this phrase, "Ve’rapo Yerapeh," which is based on the teachings of the Arizal (Rav Yishak Luria of Safed, 1534-1572). In Kabbalistic thought, the letter "Yod" is associated with "Hochma," wisdom. The Arizal taught that when a person is attached to Torah wisdom, then he is attached to the source of life. As we say in our Arbit prayer service, "Ki Hem Hayenu Ve’orech Yamenu" – the words of Torah are our source of life and longevity. Likewise, the Sages interpret the verse, "Ve’zot Ha’Torah Asher Sam Moshe" ("This is the Torah which Moshe placed" – Debarim 4:44) as alluding to the fact that Torah is "Sam Hayim" – an "elixir of life." When we cling to Torah, which is associated with the letter "Yod," we sustain our lives and maintain our physical wellbeing. The Arizal explains on this basis the verse in Tehillim (41:4), "Hashem Yis’adenu Al Eres Davai" ("Gd shall support him on his bed of illness"). The word "Davai" has the same letters as "Yod," and the word "Eres" has the same letters as the word "Eser" – ten, the numerical value of the letter Yod. A person falls ill when he loses his connection to the wisdom of Torah, which is associated with the letter "Yod," which results in this letter, which should serve as the person’s source of life and strength, being transformed into "Eres Davai" – a condition of illness, Heaven forbid.

This concept sheds new light on the phrase, "Ve’rapo Yerapeh." The word "Yerapeh" is the word "Rapo" ("heal") with the letter "Yod" added to it. This alludes to the fact that a person is healed when he connects to the letter "Yod," to the wisdom of Torah, which is the source of life and wellbeing.

This notion is also expressed in the Misva of Mahasit Ha’shekel – the half-shekel donation which every member of Beneh Yisrael was required to make each year to the Bet Ha’mikdash. The annual collection of the Mahasit Ha’shekel began on Rosh Hodesh Adar, and we therefore commemorate this Misva by reading the Torah’s command of Mahasit Ha’shekel on the Shabbat before Rosh Hodesh Adar, a special Shabbat which we call "Shabbat Shekalim." The Torah (Shemot 30:13) writes that the "Shekel" consisted of twenty "Gera" (a certain unit of weight), and thus the half-shekel donation consisted of ten "Gera." The Talmud Yerushalmi, in Masechet Shekalim, explains that G-d commanded Beneh Yisrael to donate ten "Gera" to atone for the sin of the golden calf, which entailed a breach of all Ten Commandments. The ten "Gera" of the Mahasit Ha’shekel corresponds to the Ten Commandments, all of which were transgressed at the time of the golden calf, a sin for which the Mahasit Ha’shekel comes to atone.

The Ten Commandments, as Rav Saadia Gaon famously remarked, encapsulate the entire Torah. They are the blueprint, or the skeleton, of all 613 of the Torah’s commands. When Beneh Yisrael worshipped the golden calf, they violated the entire foundation of the Torah, and were thus considered in violation the entire Torah. In so doing, they broke their connection to "Yod," to the wisdom of Torah. And for this reason, as our Sages teach, they lost the gift of eternal life which they received at the time of Matan Torah. The Angel of Death became powerless when Beneh Yisrael received the Torah, and they were thus to have lived forever, but they became again susceptible to death when they worshipped the golden calf. As the wisdom of Torah is what sustains our lives – "Ki Hem Hayenu" – Beneh Yisrael lost their protection from death when they broke their connection to Torah by worshipping the calf.

This is why the Mahasit Ha’shekel donation consists of ten "Gera." This donation is intended to rebuild our connection to "Yod" – the letter associated with the number 10, and which represents the wisdom of Torah. By reinforcing this connection, we reverse the disastrous consequences of the golden calf, and become once again worthy of life, health and joy.

The Misva of Mahasit Ha’shekel, then, reminds us of the vital importance of staying connected to Torah. We must always remember that the wisdom of Torah is the "elixir of life," it is what sustains us both physically and spiritually, and thus the intensive study of Torah must be a priority for us each and every day.




The One Who Is Called Up and the Torah Blessings -Peninei Halacha

Although every person recites Birkot HaTorah in the morning, the Chachamim established that those called up to the Torah recite the blessings again before and after the reading, so as to instill a feeling of Divine reverence and awe in the heart of the one who is called up, and in the hearts of the listeners.


Originally, the minhag was such that only the first and last people called up to the Torah recited the blessings. The first person called up would recite the first blessing before the Torah reading, and the others called up would not make a blessing. The last person called up would recite the final blessing after the conclusion of the reading.


Subsequently, the Chachamim established that each and every person called up to the Torah would recite the blessings before and after their portion is read.


The Chachamim were concerned that perhaps someone would enter the synagogue in the middle of Torah reading and would not have heard the berachah recited by the first person called up, and  would think that no berachah is recited before Torah reading. Therefore, they established that each person called would make a blessing before his reading. Furthermore, they were concerned that perhaps a person would leave in the middle of Torah reading. Since he would not hear the last person recite a blessing, he would think that there is no berachah after the reading. Therefore, they established that every person called up would recite the blessing at the end of his individual reading (Megillah 21b). The fact that the Chachamim instituted blessings before and after each reading, demonstrates the importance of Birkot HaTorah.


During the reading, the person who is called up must read each and every word quietly along with the Torah reader. Since he is the one who recited the blessing on the Torah, if he does not read it himself, there is concern that his blessings will have been recited in vain (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 141:2).


In extenuating circumstances, even a person who does not know how to read, or a person who is blind, can be called up to the Torah, despite the fact that it is the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch (139:3) not to call up a person who is incapable of reading the written words along with the Torah reader. Nevertheless, the Rama rules like the lenient opinion, and even in Sephardic congregations it has been customary in extenuating circumstances to act leniently regarding this matter (see Kaf HaChaim 135:16; Yalkut Yosef, part 3, 139:4).


Bevirkat Shabbat Shalom Umevorach 

David Azerad 


 3) HOLY JoKeS!!


Selection of funny snippets, loosely related to this weeks parashah or current events, to brighten your day 




In this week’s Torah portion, we come across a very special mitzvah, to track down and kill all practitioners of witchcraft. Let’s imagine for a moment what this may have looked like.

Our opening scene takes us to the king’s palace. The king is talking to his general.

KING: We must kill out all the witches in this land. A witch may be a man or a woman, young or old, skinny or fat-

GENERAL: (interrupts king) Your Majesty. If a witch can be any type of person, how do we know if a person is a witch?

KING: We have a list of all witches in the country. Basically, we went around the country and any person found holding a broom was assumed to be a witch.

GENERAL: Your Majesty, don’t you think that you are jumping to conclusions? Just because someone is holding a broom, that’s not proof that he is a witch!

KING: Well, it’s called a WITCH HUNT for a reason!

GENERAL: You are right. The problem of witchcraft has been going on for years and for too long we have been sweeping it under the rug.

The general takes the list from the king and begins to knock on doors.

GENERAL: Is this the Goldberg family?

PERSON: Yes, it is.

GENERAL: Are you the Goldberg I am looking for?

PERSON: Which Goldberg are you looking for?





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