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Chayei Sarah | Mevarchim Kislev 24 Mar Cheshvan -2 Kislev 5777

EREV SHABBOS FRI Nov 25th  
Shacharis 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 4:06 pm

SHABBOS SAT Nov 26th 
Tehilim for Shabbos Mevarchim 7:30 am
Shacharis 9 am /Latest Shema 9:44 am/
Mincha/ 3:50 pm /Seuda Slishit Lite
Maariv/Havdalah 5:06 pm

Kiddush and Seuda Slishit
Kiddush Lite – No sponsor. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon- Wed, Fri  Shacharis 7 am
Thu Shacharis 6:50 am /ROSH CHODESH/
Sun-Thu  Mincha 4:10 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 4:56 pm

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

WEEKLY CLASS ON PRAYER WITH RABBI EMLEN – TUE EVE
Prayer is very important!  Please join Rabbi Emlen for a practical and inspiring class focusing each week on a single prayer. At the Green’s Shimon.Emlen@gmail.com

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Simple Truths Course - Mon Dec 5th 7:30-8:30 pm
At CSTL with Chanie Levitin. 
www.MyRCSociety.com

Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm 
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info:  
chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIP – Price Increase
The CSTL Board has decided that it is necessary to increase the price for full Kiddush sponsorship to $350, and the price for co-sponsorship to $175.  Contact Mike for more info.

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan Rothman, Gabbai Kiddush,
hardcastle101@hotmail.com . Please inform Ivan by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $300, co-Sponsor $150, Contributor: $50-$149.

THANK YOU TO JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER SEATTLE
Funding for CSTL Outreach Program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Please donate to JFGS at 
https://www.jewishinseattle.org/donate


COMMUNITY NEWS

Derech Emunah -Beginning Sun night, Nov 27th  7:30 pm, 
"A Taste of Derech Emunah", a weekly Women's class by Rabbi Shaul Engelsberg in the Yavneh Youth Building. In the Yavneh building behind BCMH

TDS Annual Dinner Sunday, December 18th  5:30 pm
At the Westin Seattle, honoring grandparents & grand-friends. 
www.tdsseattle.org/

Chanukah Breakfast and Kids' Carnival Sunday, December 11th  10:00 -11:30 am
At Northwest Yeshiva High School. Cost: $7/person or $20/family, RSVP to chairs Shiri Finkelstein and Miriam Levy at Chanukah@nyhs.org 

Seattle Hadassah and Beersheva Hadassah Mon Nov 28th  7-9:30 pm,
All women are invited to a salon exploring themes, stories and experiences of sisterhood from the story of Rachel and Leah to you!  The salon will be led by playwright and actor Jon Adam Ross. Ilana Trachtman, the inHEIRitance Project's collaborating artist & filmmaker will also join us. The inHEIRitance Project (www.inheiritance.org) is producing The Genesis Plays; a series of five plays made with five Jewish communities around the country over three years.  Please join us at the home of Lisa Behar - 6200 Lakeshore Dr. S., Sea. Coffee & desserts will be served. RSVP to cindygarbell@hotmail.com by November 25th. Sisters who are willing to be interviewed in advance of the salon, to inform a multimedia play that will premiere in Seattle in April 2017 should contact Talya Gillman by email at talyasarit@gmail.com

Camp Yavneh 2017 June 26 - August 18, 2017. 
Registration opens Thanksgiving 2016: 
www.campyavnehseattle.com

Basic Halachos of Cooking on Shabbos. Tue Nov. 15, 22 & 29, 7:30 - 8:15 pm,
Learn with the new BCMH Rabbi, Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum.  In the BCMH Beis Midrash. Open to the entire community

Seattle Hebrew Academy Annual Gala, Sunday, December 4, 11:30 am,
Showbox SoDo . Honoring Sonny & Gena Gorasht. Reservations at 
www.seattlehebrewacademy.org

Camp and Israel Scholarship Applications Available
Apply for Jewish overnight camp scholarships, first-time camper grants, teen Israel scholarships.
www.JewishInSeattle.org

The Lego Man at BCMH Sun Dec 4, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, 
Cost: $10.  The Lego Man plus Aftecare, 11:00 am - 3:30 pm. Cost: $25. Must register by November 30 at 
www.bcmhseattle.org

Seattle Kollel Daf Yomi - Tractate Baba Metzia, 9:15 pm Sun - Thu 
at the Kollel 

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm - 11pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

FINAL SHIUR OF MIDRASHA SERIES SUN NOV27th 9 am
Join Rabbi Joel Zeff live via "Zoom" this Sunday morning for the third shiur "The Mystery of the Lonely Shabbat." If you are going to be with us in person, breakfast is at 9 am, with the shiur beginning at 9:15 am. For those of you on a Thanksgiving long weekend vacation, you can log in at 9:15 am Pacific time via videoconference from your laptop or smartphone. Just click https://zoom.us/j/5030121385 or make a regular phonecall to one of these two numbers: 646 558 8656 or  408 638 0968 (Meeting ID: 503 012 1385) Source sheets for the class can be accessed by clicking here: Mystery of the Lonely Shabbat

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


DVAR TORAH FOR CHAYEI SARAH
http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/2633/jewish/The-Disappearing-Groom.htm | Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe OB”M Adapted by Rabbi Yanki Tauber. © Chabad.org

In the Torah section of Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1–25:18), we read of the marriage of Isaac and Rebecca. Since this is the first marriage to be recounted in detail by the Torah, we can expect it to yield insights into the essence of the marriage relationship.

A most curious aspect of the Isaac-Rebecca relationship is that for the three years immediately prior to the marriage, Isaac literally disappears. A summation of Isaac’s life leaves us with an unaccountable gap of almost three years: The Torah tells us that he was sixty years old when his twin sons, Esau and Jacob, were born (Genesis 25:26). According to the Midrash, however, the twins’ grandfather Abraham, who died at age 175 (ibid. v. 7), passed away on the day that they reached the age of thirteen (BereishitRabbah 63:10 and 63:12); since Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 (Genesis 21:5), this would mean that Esau and Jacob were born almost 63 years after Isaac’s birth. In other words, when Isaac turned 60, close to 63 years had already elapsed from the time of his birth. Somehow, he had “lost” three years of his life.

One of the explanations offered by our sages is that before his marriage to Rebecca (at age 40), Isaac spent three years in the Garden of Eden. During this time he led an entirely spiritual existence, so that these years are not counted as part of his physical life.

Although few of us can endeavor to emulate Isaac’s example in its most ultimate sense, the implications are clear: a prerequisite to the marriage relationship is that one must first devote a certain period of time exclusively to spiritual and G‑dly pursuits, with minimal involvement in the material aspects of life.

The Impossible Edifice

Marriage itself appears to be the very opposite of this: a time of increased enmeshment in the material. It is a time when one begins to engage the most physical of human drives; it is also a time when one is forced to begin to involve oneself in earnest in the earning of a living, often at the expense of higher and more idealistic pursuits. In fact, the Zohar considers marriage to be a person’s second birth: first the soul enters into the body and assumes a physical existence; then, at a later point in life, it further “descends” into the physical state by marrying. Nevertheless (indeed, as we shall see, because of this), marriage is the framework within which the most G‑dly aspect of the human potential is realized.

The traditional blessing given to the bride and groom is that they merit “to build an eternal edifice.” Out of the marriage comes the creation of human life—life with the potential to produce yet another generation of life, which in turn can yield another, and so on ad infinitum. The power of reproduction presents us with a logical impossibility: how can a finite entity contain within itself an infinite potential? Indeed, our sages have said: “There are three partners to the creation of man: G‑d, his father and his mother.” G‑d, the only truly infinite being, has done the impossible: He has imbued finite man with an infinite quality. In marriage, two finite and temporal creatures establish an infinite and eternal edifice.

It is therefore no accident that the quality with which man most emulates his Creator is realized only through a “descent” into the material. For so it is with G‑d Himself: the infinite nature of His power is most potently expressed with His creation of the physical universe. A truly infinite being is not constrained by any definitions and parameters: he is to be found anywhere and everywhere, even in the most confining and corporeal of environments. G‑d’s creation of sublime and abstract worlds cannot convey the infinite scope of His power in the same way that His creation of—and constant involvement with—our “lowly” and finite existence can.

The same is true of the power of creation invested in the human being. Because of its divinely infinite nature, it can—and does—find realization in the most “physical” area of human life.

Spiritual Prelude

Man has been granted freedom of choice. So, when a man and woman join their lives, it is up to them to do what they will with the divine gift of procreation. They can choose to squander it in a relationship devoid of meaningful content—a relationship in which they become only more enmeshed in their material selves. Or they can endeavor to construct an edifice which is eternal in more than the most basic, biological sense. They can endeavor to build a selfless and giving relationship, and a home and family committed to the timeless values set forth by the Creator of life.

This is the lesson of Isaac’s disappearance from physical life prior to his marriage. In order to ensure that one’s “descent” into marriage yields the proper results, it must be preceded by a period of spiritual preparation. Although man’s mission in life is the positive development of the physical world, one must enter the arena of the material well-equipped with the spiritual vision of the divine purpose and with the spiritual fortitude to carry it out.


Shabbos Vayeira | 17 24 Mar Cheshvan 5777

EREV SHABBOS FRI Nov 18th 
Shacharis 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 4:11 pm

SHABBOS SAT Nov 19th 
Shacharis 9 am /Latest Shema 9:34 am/
Mincha/ 4:00 pm /Seuda Slishit Lite
Maariv/Havdalah 5:10 pm

Kiddush and Seuda Slishit
Kiddush Lite – No sponsor. Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon- Fri  Shacharis 7 am
Sun-Thu  Mincha 4:15 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:01 pm

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -UP
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site 
www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

FARBRENGEN ALERT – CHOF MAR CHESHVAN – Mon Nov 21st 
The fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneerson (known by the acronym "Rashab"), was born on the 20th of Cheshvan of the year 5621 from creation (1860). After the passing of his father, Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch, in 1882, Rabbi Sholom DovBer assumed the leadership of the movement. Venue to be announced. 
www.chabad.org/calendar.

WEEKLY CLASS ON PRAYER WITH RABBI EMLEN – TUE EVE
Prayer is very important!  Please join Rabbi Emlen for a practical and inspiring class focusing each week on a single prayer. At the Green’s Shimon.Emlen@gmail.com

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Simple Truths Course - Mon Dec 5th 7:30-8:30 pm
At CSTL with Chanie Levitin. 
www.MyRCSociety.com

Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm 
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info:  
chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIP – Price Increase
The CSTL Board has decided that it is necessary to increase the price for full Kiddush sponsorship to $350, and the price for co-sponsorship to $175. Contact Mike for more info.

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan Rothman, Gabbai Kiddush, 
hardcastle101@hotmail.com. Please inform Ivan by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $350, co-Sponsor $175, Contributor: $50-$149.

THANK YOU TO JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER SEATTLE
Funding for CSTL Outreach Program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Please donate to JFGS at 
https://www.jewishinseattle.org/donate


COMMUNITY NEW

An Inspirational Shabbaton with Rabbi Sholom Brodt Nov 17-20 
www.MercazSeattle.org for more info.

Camp Yavneh 2017 June 26 - August 18, 2017. 
Registration opens Thanksgiving 2016: 
www.campyavnehseattle.com

Basic Halachos of Cooking on Shabbos. Tue Nov. 22 & 29, 7:30-8:15 pm
Learn with the new BCMH Rabbi, Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum.  In the BCMH Beis Midrash. Open to the entire community

Seattle Hebrew Academy Annual Gala, Sunday, December 4, 11:30 am,
Showbox SoDo . Honoring Sonny & Gena Gorasht. Reservations at 
www.seattlehebrewacademy.org

Camp and Israel Scholarship Applications Available
Apply for Jewish overnight camp scholarships, first-time camper grants, teen Israel scholarships.
www.JewishInSeattle.org

Volunteer for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle phone-a-thon. Sun Nov 20th 
www.JewishInSeattle.org

The Lego Man at BCMH Sun Dec 4, 11:00am-1:00pm, 
Cost: $10. The Lego Man plus aftecare, 11:00am-3:30pm. Cost: $25. Must register by November 30th at 
www.bcmhseattle.org

Seattle Kollel Daf Yomi - Tractate Baba Metzia, 9:15 pm Sun - Thu 
at the Kollel 

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm - 11pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


 DVAR TORAH FOR VAYEIRA
http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/2739642/jewish/The-Contrast-Between-Isaac-and-Ishmael.htm | Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe OB”M | Adapted by Rabbi Yanki Tauber. © Chabad.org

We read in Genesis (17:7–27) how G‑d appears to Abraham and instructs him to circumcise himself and all the males of his household. G‑d further commands that henceforth every newborn male should be circumcised on the eighth day of his life, as a sign of the “eternal covenant” between G‑d and the seed of Abraham.

G‑d then informs Abraham that, in one year’s time, he and Sarah will have a son, Isaac. Abraham was nearing his hundredth year at the time, and Sarah was approaching the age of ninety; the two had been married for 75 childless years, and Sarah was physically incapable of having children. Abraham already had a son, Ishmael, born thirteen years earlier, after Sarah had urged him to marry her maidservant Hagar, so that he could father a child through her.

Abraham’s reaction to the divine promise was to proclaim, “If only Ishmael would live before You!” Abraham seems to be saying that he would be perfectly happy to see Ishmael as his heir—as the one who continues his life’s work and perpetuates his special relationship with G‑d.

G‑d rejects Abraham’s proposal. He reassures him that Ishmael will become a great people, “but my covenant I shall establish with Isaac.” Only Isaac, the son you will have with Sarah, can be your true heir, and only Isaac can father the people with whom I will enter into a covenant as my “kingdom of priests and holy nation.”

This is more than a technical choice. G‑d’s insistence on Isaac as the progenitor of His chosen people tells us something very fundamental about the nature of our relationship with Him.

For Ishmael and Isaac differed in two significant respects:

  1. Ishmael came into the world by natural means, while Isaac’s birth was a supernatural event.
  2. Ishmael was circumcised at the age of thirteen, the age of daat(awareness), whereas Isaac entered into the covenant of circumcision as an eight day-old infant—an age at which a person is not even aware of what is taking place, much less of its significance.

In other words, Ishmael represents a rational relationship with G‑d, one that is based upon a person’s nature and understanding. Isaac represents a supranatural, supra-rational bond.

Abraham discerned many positive qualities in Ishmael, and was prepared, and even desirous, to see him as his heir. Yet G‑d insisted that his covenant with Abraham be perpetuated specifically through Isaac and Isaac’s descendants—a people whose commitment to G‑d will transcend the natural and the rational.

Shabbos Lech Lecha | 10-17 Mar Cheshvan 5777

EREV SHABBOS FRI Nov 11th 
Shacharis 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 4:18 pm

SHABBOS SAT Nov 12th 
Shacharis 9 am /Latest Shema 9:31 am/
Mincha/ 4:00 pm /Seuda Slishit Lite
Maariv/Havdalah 5:20 pm

Kiddush and Seuda Slishit
Seuda Slishit Lite

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon- Fri  Shacharis 7 am
Sun-Thu  Mincha 4:20 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:08  pm

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

Shabbat Around the World on Shabbat Lech Lecha, 12th Nov (Yud Aleph Cheshvan). 
This Shabbat, Lech Lecha, we're having a special gala kiddush in celebration of "Shabbat around the world" being celebrated in almost 100 countries, by more than a million Jews, and in almost 1000 cities. The major sponsor is Dr Vernon and Lis Neppe in celebration of "Shabbat around the world" and a personal milestone and in recognition of the founder of this idea Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Dr Warren Goldstein. There are three co-sponsors: Tova and Shimon CoxMarion Kitz in blessed memory of her husband Carl, and Galit Lurya. The following are contributors: Jonathan Greene in memory of the Yahrzeit of his sister Laura Z"L   Rabbi Abe and Rebbetzin Sphrintze Kavka, and Rabbi Sholom Ber and Rebbetzin Chanie Levitin. Thank you particularly to Rebbetzin Sphrintze Kavka who took up the mantle of organizing, and to Lis Neppe who led the idea of this celebrating Shabbat Around the World at CSTL into fruition. .

SIYUN MISHNAYOS FOR JACK BUTTNICK OMB – SUN NOV 13th 6:30 pm
Please join us for words of remembrance at the Siyum of Mishna and memorial for Jack Buttnick's Shloshim, Sunday, November 13 at 6:30 PM at the Seattle Kollel, 5305 52nd Ave. S. For more information or if you would like to say a few words contact westseattletlc@gmail.com  or call 206-722-8289

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

WEEKLY CLASS ON PRAYER WITH RABBI EMLEN – TUE EVE
Prayer is very important!  Please join Rabbi Emlen for a practical and inspiring class focusing each week on a single prayer. At the Green’s Shimon.Emlen@gmail.com

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm 
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info:  chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIP – Price Increase
The CSTL Board has decided that it is necessary to increase the price for full Kiddush sponsorship to $350, and the price for co-sponsorship to $175.  Contact Mike for more info.

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan Rothman, Gabbai Kiddush,hardcastle101@hotmail.com . Please inform Ivan by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $300, co-Sponsor $150, Contributor: $50-$149.

THANK YOU TO JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER SEATTLE
Funding for CSTL Outreach Program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Please donate to JFGS at https://www.jewishinseattle.org/donate


COMMUNITY NEW

StandWithUsNorthwest on  UW Campus - Tue Nov 15th  4:30 – 7 pm
Neil Lazarus at UW Campus, 4:30 pm for College students/5:45 pm for High School students. There is a "Parent Briefing" at 5:45 pm. Free Pizza. Questions? Call (206) 801-0902. Register at: Northwest@StandWithUs.com

Camp Yavneh 2017 June 26 - August 18, 2017. 
Registration opens Thanksgiving 2016: www.campyavnehseattle.com

An Inspirational evening with Rabbi Sholom Brodt Thu Nov 17 at 7:00 pm 
At the Birk residence, 5175 S Spencer Street. Come hear the stories and join in on the music (instruments optional) at the R' Shlomo Carlebach Yartzeit Kumzitz!  Take part in a warm and inspirational evening headed up by renowned visiting Rabbi Sholom Brodt, Rosh of the Yeshivah Simchat Shlomo in Jerusalem. More info: Call Rafael Desmond @ (858) 442-1975

Basic Halachos of Cooking on Shabbos. Tue Nov. 15, 22 & 29, 7:30 - 8:15 pm.
Learn with the new BCMH Rabbi, Rabbi Yaakov Tanenbaum.  In the BCMH Beis Midrash. Open to the entire community

Island Synagogue: Kehillat Shevet Achim Sunday, November 13, Noon - 3:00 pm
A National Exhibit of photographed Synagogues from around the world with photographer, Louis A. Davidson speaking at 1:00 pm in the Island Synagogue Social Hall. Free admission. More info: www.islandsynagogue.org

BISTRO NIGHTS AT THE SUMMIT – Nov 15th 
The next kosher cuisine Bistro Dinner is November 15th.  Seating begins at 7:45 pm, and they will to have everyone seated no later than 8:15pm.  The price for this dinner remains $70, an all inclusive price that includes appetizer, dinner and dessert, server gratuity, and of course a wide selection of wine and beverages.  Bistros sell out quickly, so reserve today!   Diners can look forward to a duck pappardelle, the return of the fried chicken sandwich, a beautiful seared ono fish dish, and an excellent beef French roast plate.   Email Chris at the Summit to make your reservation. ChrisE@summitatfirsthill.org

The Seattle Kollel Gala Dinner  Nov 20th at 5:30 pm
Celebrating 25 Years of Jewish Learning for Every Level. Special recognition and appreciation to our founder Rabbi Solomon Maimon and the founding board. Couvert $90. Call or E-mail to make reservations and your opportunity to participate in our Tribute Journal! Journal Deadline Nov.15, 2016. Please see www.seattlekollel.org  for the Donate Now Button. Or call 206-722-8289 or info@seattlekollel.org

Seattle Hebrew Academy Annual Gala, Sunday, December 4, 11:30 am,
Showbox SoDo . Honoring Sonny & Gena Gorasht. Reservations at www.seattlehebrewacademy.org

Kumsitz for Yahrzeit of R. Shlomo Carlebach Z”L  Thu Nov 17th at 7 pm
In Seward Park (location TBD) — Bring your preferred instrument, voice or otherwise!

Camp and Israel Scholarship Applications Available
Apply for Jewish overnight camp scholarships, first-time camper grants, teen Israel scholarships.www.JewishInSeattle.org

Volunteer for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle phone-a-thon. Sun Nov 20th 
www.JewishInSeattle.org

The Lego Man at BCMH Sun Dec 4, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, 
Cost: $10.  The Lego Man plus Aftecare, 11:00 am - 3:30 pm. Cost: $25. Must register by November 30 at www.bcmhseattle.org

SEATTLE PUBLIC SAFETY SURVEY 
Seattle University is administering the citywide 2016 Seattle Public Safety Survey. The purpose of the survey is to solicit feedback on public safety and security concerns from those who live and/or work in Seattle. A report on the survey results will be provided to the Seattle Police Department to assist them with making your neighborhood safer and more secure. https://seattleux.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eh3N1xGSmCp4WTb

Seattle Kollel Daf Yomi - Tractate Baba Metzia, 9:15 pm Sun - Thu 
at the Kollel 

Seattle Sephardic Network Presents: A Night at the Movies Wed Nov 16 7:30 pm
Featuring The Midnight Orchestra, Admission includes popcorn, Sephardic delicacies kosher gift box. Majestic Bay Theatres, 2044 NW Market St., Seattle

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm - 11pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


DVAR TORAH FOR LECH LECHA
http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/2474725/jewish/Chassidic-Dimension-Volume-4-Lech-Lecha.htm| Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe OB”M | Adapted by Rabbi Sholom B. Wineberg. © Chabad.org

Three Altars — Three Forms of Service

The Torah portion of Lech Lecha informs us of the three altars that Avrahambuilt:

a) “He built there an altar to G‑d, Who revealed Himself to him;”1

b) “He built there an altar to G‑d, and called in G‑d’s Name;”2

c) “He built there an altar to G‑d.”3

Rashi in his commentary explains that Avraham built the first altar “in gratitude to G‑d for His tidings about progeny and the land of Israel.”

He built the second altar, says Rashi , as a result of “his prophecy that his descendants would sin in that particular place; he therefore prayed for them [that they be forgiven].”

However, no explanation is offered by Rashi as to why Avraham built the third altar. Why doesn’t he give a reason, particularly as the Midrash4 does?

There is a well-known saying of our Sages:5 “All that transpired with the Patriarchs serves as a sign to their progeny.” This means that these events not only serve as guideposts for the conduct of the Jewish people, but in addition pave the way and provide moral strength, so that we will be able to conduct ourselves in the selfsame manner.

The altars built by Avraham thus gave the Jewish people the strength that enabled them to succeed in bringing offerings on the altars of the Mishkan and Beis HaMikdash.

Our Rabbis inform us6 that the world receives its sustenance in the merit of offerings. Additionally, offerings nullify harsh decrees, and atone for sins. Moreover, they cause G‑d to love the Jewish people to an even greater degree.

The term “service” applies particularly to offerings,7 for they represent and express the general aspect of divine service. Thus, just as there are three aspects to offerings, there are three aspects to spiritual service:

The first aspect is that of Torah and mitzvos, which act as “sustenance”— sustaining the Jewish body and soul. For Torah is a Jew’s “life,” and concerning mitzvos the verse states:8 “man shall perform them so that he may live.” This is similar to the first aspect of offerings, that of providing sustenance.

A higher level is the spiritual service of repentance; even when man has strayed from the path of life, he can rectify his misdeeds through repentance. This is similar to the second aspect of offerings — providing forgiveness and atonement.

The most complete manner of spiritual service, however, finds expression when a person displays mesirus nefesh , total self-sacrifice. While engaging in this degree of service, one does not think of any spiritual or material reward, but serves entirely for the sake of G‑d’s glory.

This wholly selfless manner of service causes one to become even more beloved by G‑d — similar to the third and most lofty aspect of offerings — that of “causing G‑d to love the Jewish people to an even greater degree.”

Since “all that transpired with the Patriarchs serves as a sign to their progeny,” we understand that Avraham’s building of three altars corresponded to the service of the Jewish people, not only during the time when offerings were actually brought, but throughout time:

The first altar was built by Avraham “in gratitude to G‑d for His tidings about progeny and the land of Israel” — taking care of the Jewish people’s physical and spiritual needs, the aspect of “sustenance.”

The second altar, where he prayed that G‑d forgive the Jewish people, corresponds to the second level of offerings and spiritual service — that of forgiveness and atonement.

Rashi , however, does not give a reason why Avraham built the third altar, for this altar had no “reason” — it was built solely for the purpose of building an altar to G‑d, entirely for His glory.

This selfless manner of building, like the third and loftiest aspect of offerings and spiritual service, cause the Jewish people to become ever more beloved by G‑d.

Based on Likkutei Sichos , Vol. XXX, pp. 36-41.

Two Forms of Tithing

In recounting the mitzvos that existed prior to the giving of the Torah, the Rambam writes:9 “Yitzchak gave ma’aser , [Yitzchak tithed.]” But there is an explicit verse in Lech Lecha that states:10 “He [Avraham] gave him [Malki-Tzedek] ma’aser from everything.”

Why does the Rambam write that “Yitzchak gave ma’aser ,” implying as it does that Yitzchak was the first person about whom the Torah relates that he gave ma’aser ?11

This is because according to the Rambam, Avraham’s ma’aser applied specifically to the spoils of battle. Since we do not find that Avraham gave ma’aser at any other time, it follows that this ma’aser was similar to the “Dedication of a Portion of the Spoils”12 after the battle with Midian — a one-time commandment.13

The Rambam therefore states that “Yitzchak gave ma’aser,” inasmuch as Yitzchak was the first person who gave the type of ma’aser that is a mitzvahfor all generations.14

And though “Avraham fulfilled the entire Torah prior to its being given,”15nevertheless, the Rambam refers only to those mitzvos that the Torah actually mentions.

What indeed is the difference between the mitzvos mentioned regarding each of the Patriarchs, and those performed as part of their keeping “the entire Torah”?

The mitzvos that are specifically mentioned were performed by the Patriarchs as part of their unique manner of spiritual service. Thus, the services mentioned as being performed by Avraham relate to his attribute of love and kindness, while the services specifically mentioned as being performed by Yitzchak and Yaakov relate to their attributes of severity and mercy.16

The other mitzvos , however, were also performed by each Patriarch, for they were included within each Patriarch’s primary attribute. Thus Avraham, for example, performed the other mitzvos because severity and mercy are also encompassed within kindness.17

Yet another difference: Those mitzvos that are mentioned as being performed by a specific Patriarch served primarily as an empowerment to their descendants and to the mitzvos that we fulfill after the Torah was given.18

This is why the Rambam ascribes only circumcision and the morning prayer to Avraham, notwithstanding the fact that he performed all the mitzvos , for these mitzvos are presently still related to Avraham, inasmuch as he empowered us to perform them.

In light of the above, it is understood that the primary empowerment for the mitzvah of ma’aser is derived from Yitzchak and not from Avraham.

But since tithing is essentially a benevolent act, shouldn’t it be in the domain of Avraham (who represents the attribute of kindness) and not of Yitzchak (the attribute of severity)?

The underlying concept of ma’aser is that everything a Jew earns and possesses belongs to G‑d.19 A person must therefore first give away a tenth and only afterwards use the rest.

Although this is the general intent of ma’aser , we nevertheless find that ma’aser possesses two opposite qualities:

On the one hand, ma’aser can be given from any part of the whole, indicating that prior to the giving, the entire amount is wholly the giver’s. On the other hand, even prior to his tithing, a tenth has already been earmarked to be given away — the giver has no control over how much he will give.

Ma’aser thus not only emphasizes that everything belongs to G‑d, but also that His ownership extends even to that which seemingly belongs entirely to the person.

The above aspect of ma’aser has a special relationship to the service of Yitzchak, the service of fire and severity, which entails rising from below to above. For it was specifically Yitzchak’s manner of service that made it possible to take something on a lowly level and, while retaining its lowly properties, elevate it to a higher level.20

Ma’aser is therefore related to Yitzchak, for this manner of service is reflected in ma’aser , wherein man’s possessions, while still truly belonging to him, concurrently belong to G‑d.

Based on Likkutei Sichos, Vol. V, pp. 68-72.

Shabbos Noach | 3 - 10 Mar Cheshvan 5777

EREV SHABBOS FRI Nov 4th  
Shacharis 7 am 
Mincha/Candles/Maariv 5:27 pm

SHABBOS SAT Nov 5th  
Shacharis 9 am /Latest Shema 10:26 am/
Mincha/ 5:15 pm /Seuda Slishit Lite
Maariv/Havdalah 6:30 pm /REMEMBER TO SET YOUR CLOCKS BACK ONE HOUR TONIGHT/

Kiddush and Seuda Slishit
Kiddush is sponsored by Gavriel and Chana Plotke in honor of the marriage of Michael and Rebecca.  Kiddush is also co-sponsored by Pat Leckenby, in honor and memory of the 7th yahrzeit of her husband Ron Goldberg (Yerachmiel ben Moshe,  8th Cheshvan).   Ivan Rothman is a contributor this week, in memory of the 18th yahrzeit of Mark Dykan (Mordechai Ze'ev ben HaRav Yaacov, 4th Cheshvan).Seuda Slishit Lite.

Weekday Services
Sun Shacharis: 9 am 
Mon- Fri  Shacharis 7 am
Sun-Thu  Mincha 4:25 pm, followed by Maariv  /Repeat Shema after 5:15 pm

LADIES TEHILIM – SUN 10 am
Come say Tehilim

MAZEL TOV MAZEL TOV
Mazel Tov to Gaviel and Chana Plotke, and the entire Plotke family on the marriage of Michael and Rebecca.  May they merit to build a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel!

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!
Welcome to the CSTL Community!  Kol Tuv! Rabbi Elie and Chaya Estrin, Martin and Elizabeth Frasch, Andre and Elizabeth Jacobovitz , Yaakov and Rachel Kimelfeld, Velvil and Mushka Rosler, Ronnie and Tamar Stern, Avi Zwanziger , Meir Zwanziger. Please reach out and introduce yourself to our new members. Invite them for a meal, coffee or to just schmooze – Mike.

Special guest at CSTL Brunch Sun 6th Nov 10 am to 11.30 (5 Cheshvan 5777)
Our  honored Rabbinical speaker will be Rabbi Avi Herbstman who will talk on the topic of   the cosmic, societal, spiritual and universal fundamental switch that occurred as a result of the ancient flood in the times of Noach. Brought to you by Dr. Vernon Neppe and the Education Committee.

Shabbat Around the World on Shabbat Lech Lecha, 12th Nov (Yud Aleph Cheshvan). 
This has now become an annual worldwide celebration of trying to assist the less affiliated to recognize Shabbat. This celebration is all over the Internet for those of you who want to hear more about it. It originated through the Chief Rabbi of South Africa a few years ago, and has caught on for many congregations everywhere including the USA.  Characteristically, Jews invite others to share in their Shabbat meal, and we will be recognizing this event at our CSTL Shabbat kiddush. Those who want to add to the sponsorship please contact Rabbi Kavka (<rabbikavka@gmail.com>), Ivan Rothman hardcastle101@hotmail.com   or Dr. Vernon Neppe, Education Chair psyche@pni.org .

THE NORTH SEATTLE ERUV STATUS: -PENDING
For current status of the North Seattle Eruv, please check the flag on the NE 65th Street side of CSTL, (green flag means the Eruv is up, red flag the Eruv is down), CSTL eNews, or the Vaad eNews. Visit our web site www.twitter.com/cstleruv for current status.

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIP – Price Increase
The CSTL Board has decided that it is necessary to increase the price for full Kiddush sponsorship to $350, and the price for co-sponsorship to $175.  Contact Mike for more info.

WEEKLY CLASS ON PRAYER WITH RABBI EMLEN – TUE EVE
Prayer is very important!  Please join Rabbi Emlen for a practical and inspiring class focusing each week on a single prayer. At the Green’s Shimon.Emlen@gmail.com

Mikvah and Marriage: A Fresh Refresher Class with Chani Levitin. Nov 9th  7 pm. 
At CSTL. Light refreshments served.

Weekly Talmud Class with Rabbi Levitin – Every Sunday following 9am Shacharis
Gemora Baba Basra with Rabbi Levitin after 9 am Shacharis

Women’s Class on Jewish History with Chani Levitin Tue 7:30 pm 
At the home of Rabbi & Chanie Levitin, 6519 49th Ave NE, info:  chanielevitin@gmail.com

KIDDUSH SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE
If you would like to sponsor Kiddush at CSTL, please contact Ivan Rothman, Gabbai Kiddush,hardcastle101@hotmail.com . Please inform Ivan by the preceding Sunday evening so that we have time to prepare properly.  Prices: Sponsor $300, co-Sponsor $150, Contributor: $50-$149.

THANK YOU TO JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER SEATTLE
Funding for CSTL Outreach Program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Please donate to JFGS at https://www.jewishinseattle.org/donate


COMMUNITY NEWS

BISTRO NIGHTS AT THE SUMMIT – Nov 15th 
The next kosher cuisine Bistro Dinner is November 15th.  Seating begins at 7:45 pm, and they will to have everyone seated no later than 8:15pm.  The price for this dinner remains $70, an all inclusive price that includes appetizer, dinner and dessert, server gratuity, and of course a wide selection of wine and beverages.  Bistros sell out quickly, so reserve today!   Diners can look forward to a duck pappardelle, the return of the fried chicken sandwich, a beautiful seared ono fish dish, and an excellent beef French roast plate.   Email Chris at the Summit to make your reservation. ChrisE@summitatfirsthill.org

The Seattle Kollel Gala Dinner  Nov 20th at 5:30 pm
Celebrating 25 Years of Jewish Learning for Every Level. Special recognition and appreciation to our founder Rabbi Solomon Maimon and the founding board. Couvert $90. Call or E-mail to make reservations and your opportunity to participate in our Tribute Journal! Journal Deadline Nov.15, 2016. Please see www.seattlekollel.org  for the Donate Now Button. Or call 206-722-8289 or info@seattlekollel.org

A National Exhibit of photographed Synagogues Sun Nov 13th Noon - 3:00 pm
At Island Synagogue: Kehillat Shevet Achim  - synagogues from around the world with photographer, Louis A. Davidson speaking at 1:00 pm in the Island Synagogue Social Hall. Free admission. More info: www.islandsynagogue.org

Seattle Hebrew Academy Annual Gala, Sunday, December 4, 11:30 am,
Showbox SoDo . Honoring Sonny & Gena Gorasht. Reservations at www.seattlehebrewacademy.org

Kumsitz for Yahrzeit of R. Shlomo Carlebach Z”L  Thu Nov 17th at 7 pm
In Seward Park (location TBD) — Bring your preferred instrument, voice or otherwise!

MID-DAY MINHA AT THE SEATTLE KOLLEL – Starts Mon Nov 7th 12:45 pm
At the Seattle Kollel

Camp and Israel Scholarship Applications Available
Apply for Jewish overnight camp scholarships, first-time camper grants, teen Israel scholarships.www.JewishInSeattle.org

The Reptile Man at BCMH Sun Nov 6, 10:30 am - Noon, 
Cost: $10. Snacks provided. For children in pre-school - 5th grade. Meet in BCMH Yavneh Youth Building.

A HUG FROM AFAR BOOK READING  NOV. 10TH 7 PM, 
Book reading - A Hug From Afar: One family's dramatic journey through three continents to escape the Holocaust.  At Third Place Books - Seward Park in Seattle, Wash., This is an amazing true-life tale of one family's desperation and hope as they worked for 16 years to immigrate from the island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea to the United States during and after WWII.,http://www.thirdplacebooks.com/event/hug-afar-one-familys-dramatic-journey-through-three-continents-escape-holocaust-cynthia-flash

Volunteer for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle phone-a-thon. Sun Nov 20th 
www.JewishInSeattle.org

The Lego Man at BCMH Sun Dec 4, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, 
Cost: $10.  The Lego Man plus Aftecare, 11:00 am - 3:30 pm. Cost: $25. Must register by November 30 at www.bcmhseattle.org

SEATTLE PUBLIC SAFETY SURVEY 
Seattle University is administering the citywide 2016 Seattle Public Safety Survey. The purpose of the survey is to solicit feedback on public safety and security concerns from those who live and/or work in Seattle. A report on the survey results will be provided to the Seattle Police Department to assist them with making your neighborhood safer and more secure. https://seattleux.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eh3N1xGSmCp4WTb

Seattle Kollel Daf Yomi - Tractate Baba Metzia, 9:15 pm Sun - Thu 
at the Kollel 

Seattle Sephardic Network Presents: A Night at the Movies Wed Nov 16 7:30 pm
Featuring The Midnight Orchestra, Admission includes popcorn, Sephardic delicacies kosher gift box. Majestic Bay Theatres, 2044 NW Market St., Seattle

The Shabbat Project "The Great Big Challah Bake" Thursday, November 10, 2016.
Join the Seattle Jewish Community & feel the power of making Challah together. Book now: seattle@theshabbosproject.com

Mishmar Chavura with Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld Thu 9pm - 11pm
Parsha Learning and Discussion. Everyone welcome to join the conversation.  5240 38th Ave. NE.  Snacks served

NEED A DRIVER – CALL GERSHON!
For all your transportation needs, call Gershon Grashin (206) 856-2754


DVAR TORAH FOR NOACH
http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/2473337/jewish/A-Knowing-Heart-Parshas-Noach.htm | Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe OB”M | Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. X, p. 24ff. © Chabad.org

[When speaking about the animals that came to the ark,] the Torah states:1“from the pure [species of] animals and from the [species of] animals that are not pure.” [Commenting on this choice of wording,] in the Talmud, our Sages state:2 “A person should never utter an offensive word. For the Torah elaborates [and uses] eight [extra] letters so as not to state an offensive word, as it is written: ‘from the pure [species of] animals, and from the [species of] animals that are not pure.’”

Rashi explains that [our Sages are offering] a rationale for the use of the lengthy wording “from the [species of] animals that are not pure” ([in Hebrew,] three words with a total of thirteen letters), instead of stating in short, “the impure [species]” (one word, with five letters). “This teaches [us] to endeavor to use refined language.”

Just as our Torah reading contains this instruction with regard to [refined] speech, it also contains another instruction with regard to [refined] sight. [It relates how] Shem and Yefes took the utmost care not to look upon the nakedness of their father. [When Noach became intoxicated and they went to cover his nakedness,] “They walked backwards... with their faces backwards... and they did not see the nakedness of their father.”3 As a reward for taking this precaution, [they were granted] great and noteworthy blessings: “Blessed be G‑d, the L‑rd of Shem. May Canaan become [a slave to them].4 May G‑d be gracious to Yefes and He will dwell in the tents of Shem.”5

II.

This story, however, raises a question. After the Torah tells us that they walked “with their faces backwards,” it is obvious that “they did not see the nakedness of their father”6 (for they were facing backwards). What does the phrase “they did not see the nakedness of their father” add? We must say that the verse is teaching us a new concept and a unique quality [that can be learned] from the conduct of Shem and Yefes which we would not know from the previous phrase, “with their faces backwards.”

III.

This difficulty can be resolved by first [explaining the following] teaching of theBaal Shem Tov:7 When a person sees an undesirable quality in a colleague, this indicates that there exists within his own self something similar to that undesirable quality.8 Like a person who looks in a mirror, “If his face is clean, when he looks in the mirror he does not see any flaw.”9 If, however, he sees filth or a blotch in the mirror, it is because “his own face is dirty.”

[Clarification, however, is required:] On the surface, why is it necessary to say that seeing evil in a colleague denotes a like quality and mirror of the evil in the onlooker? Why is it not possible that this evil be apparent only in one’s colleague and not exist within oneself at all?

[To resolve the question,] it can be explained10 that every event that happens in the world is controlled by Divine Providence. Even this event (i.e., that one sees an undesirable quality in a colleague) does not happen by chance, Heaven forbid, but was ordained from Above. Since G‑d did not create anything in this world without a purpose,11 it is impossible to say that a person would be led from Above to see an undesirable quality in a colleague without reason. Therefore, [seeing the undesirable quality] must surely serve as a lesson,12 informing him that he also possesses this undesirable quality and that it is necessary for him to correct it.

Why is it necessary for one to receive this lesson indirectly — to inform him about his own evil through [seeing the corresponding evil in] a colleague? Because “love covers all flaws.”13 (How much more so is this true with regard to self-love.) [Thus] “a person will see all blemishes except his own.”14Therefore the way to bring a person to the realization of his own shortcomings is to give him the opportunity to see them [as they are manifested] in a colleague.15 When he sees the drawbacks of these shortcomings and undesirable qualities (in his colleague) and when he contemplates his own situation with a serious intent, he will come to the realization that the faults he sees are in truth his own. To reword the above statement: All the blemishes that a person sees outside [of himself]16 are (a result of) his own blemishes.

IV.

One may, however, ask: A Jew’s mission is not only to refine and elevate his own self, but also to affect his colleagues, as reflected by the command:17“You shall surely admonish your colleague.” [And further, our Sages state18that one must repeat such an admonishment] even 100 times.

If so, why say that the intent of his being shown from Above the undesirable qualities possessed by a colleague is for him to realize that he possesses those undesirable qualities and that he must eliminate them? Perhaps the true intent in showing him the undesirable qualities in his colleague is so that he will admonish [his colleague] and help him to correct and improve his conduct.

Moreover, as mentioned many times,19 the Jewish people never serve merely as an intermediary through which G‑d’s intent concerning another matter can be achieved. [We cannot say] that His ultimate intent is directed toward a matter that is peripheral in relation to them. (In contrast, all other created beings, even the sublime spiritual worlds,20 are not themselves the purpose of their existence but rather exist “for the sake of the Jewish people and for the sake of the Torah.”21 ) The Jewish people, however, are themselves [G‑d’s] ultimate purpose.

Just as this concept applies with regard to the Jewish people as a whole, so, too, it applies to every individual Jew. It cannot be said that one Jew must serve as a mere intermediary for a colleague. [Instead, G‑d’s] ultimate intent is focused on each Jew individually.22

Accordingly, it is understood (that with regard to the individual Divine service of every person), it cannot be said that the reason a person is shown the faults of a colleague from Above is solely for the benefit of the onlooker without any benefit accruingto the person who possesses the faults.23[Instead, the intent is to benefit the person who possesses the faults through] the observer’s admonishment and efforts to correct and eliminate the evil the person possesses.

As such, since we must say that the purpose of being shown the evil in another person is to [aid that person in] correcting it, why must we say that when a person sees evil [in a colleague] he is looking in a mirror; that he is being shown his own evil in the guise of his colleague?

V.

This question can be resolved by first explaining another problematic concept in the passage from the Talmud cited above (sec. I): “A person should never utter an offensive word... as it is written: ‘...and from the [species of] animals that are not pure.’”

[The Talmud] continues, mentioning another similar principle: “A person should always speak with refined words, for when relating the laws pertinent to azav,24 the Torah uses the expression ‘saddle,’25 while with regard to azavah,26 it uses the expression ‘seat.’”27 (The reason the Torah uses a different expression is that it is not fitting to mention a woman riding in the ordinary manner.28 )

The Talmud questions this principle, stating three instances where the Torah does speak of women riding. After the resolution of the third verse, the Talmudasks: “In the Torah, is not the term ‘impure’ mentioned?”

[The order of the Talmud’s questions] is difficult to understand. The word “impure” appears in the Torah more than 100 times. Seemingly, it would have been more logical for the Talmud to first question the use of the term “impure,” which appears frequently, and then to inquire about the use of the expression “riding” with regard to women. Why are the questions mentioned in the opposite order?

Also, clarification is necessary: What is the Talmud’s intent when asking in a tone of wonderment: “In the Torah, is not the term ‘impure’ mentioned?” It is as if the statement that “impure” is mentioned in the Torah is a new [and previously unknown] concept that will enable us to resolve doubts. [Since the use of the term is so prevalent,] seemingly, it would have been more appropriate [to use a less radical expression, for example]: “Behold, the term ‘impure’ is used by the Torah.”

VI.

In resolution, it can be explained that when the subject is a halachic decision, the decision must be rendered using the clearest wording possible — even if such wording is offensive — so that the halachah will be utterly decisive and unambiguous. For this reason it is understandable why in most places in the Torah, the term “impure”is used despite the fact that using concise wording does not have an advantage (according to the Maharsha’s perspective) over refined wording. It is only with regard to the Torah’s stories that terms like “impure” will be stated using indirect and lengthierwording.29 For with regard to the Torah’s stories, the use of lengthy but refined wording is found as often as concise but offensive wording, because [the advantages of] the two are equally balanced.

In the (majority) of places where the Torah [uses the word “impure”], it communicates halachic rulings. Hence it is necessary for the Torah to use the expression “impure.” This is not because there is an advantage to using concise wording, but because halachic rulings must be stated clearly and unambiguously.

On this basis, we can understand the initial supposition of the Talmud that even if many words will be required, the Torah uses refined language even though the term “impure” is found in many places in the Torah. For, as explained above, in most places the term “impure” is used in a halachiccontext. Therefore, [its use] does not run contrary to the general principle that “A person should never utter an offensive word,” even according to the initial supposition of the Talmud that [this principle] applies even when [it is necessary to use] many words.

The intent of the Talmud’s question: “In the Torah, is not the term ‘impure’ mentioned?” is that we find the term “impure” used by the Torah even when it is possible to use indirect language in the midst of a story. And since we find it used at times in such a context, [that would imply a contradiction to the teaching never to use offensive wording. Nevertheless,] since the term “impure” is mentioned only several times in the Torah’s stories, the Talmuddoes not consider the use of the term “impure” as a stronger question than the use of the term “riding” in connection with women. Hence, it does not give this question precedence.

VII.

As mentioned, when it is necessary to give a halachic ruling concerning (an object or even) a person, we are obligated to render the ruling using clear wording, saying “impure” or the like. Nevertheless, when referring to impurity outside the context of direct halachic rulings, one must refrain from [referring to it directly; for that is considered] using offensive wording since one is speaking within the narrative aspect of the realm of halachah.

Proof of this concept can be brought from the command:30 “When there will be a man among you who will not be pure... he shall go outside the camp.” The verse is coming to inform us of the laws governing that person, [i.e., ahalachic ruling]. Nevertheless, since it is not dealing with the laws that define whether or not he is pure, but rather with the command for him to leave the camp (for it is already known that he is impure), the Torah uses indirect wording and states “who will not be pure” instead of “will be impure.”

Just as the above concepts apply with regard to refined speech, so, too, similar concepts apply with regard to sight. When one hears that a Jew performed an improper act, he is obligated to see the resulting halachicimperative: i.e., he should look only to what he realizes that he must do to correct the situation. He should admonish [his colleague] (obviously, in a pleasant and agreeable manner31 ) and [endeavor to influence him to] adopt a positive course of conduct. This should be the primary dimension of what he sees.

When, however, he hears about his colleague’s unfavorable conduct and does not see the halachic imperative relevant to him but instead sees the wickedness of his colleague, that is a sign that “his own face is dirty.” Since he focuses (not on the obligation he has to correct the situation, but) on the fact that his colleague possesses evil, that is a sign that the evil his colleague possesses is a reflection of his own.

Since (as stated above) “G‑d did not create anything in His world without a purpose,” there is a directive in everything that a person sees. In this instance, the directive is twofold:

a) The fact that he has been shown (from Above) a quality (in his colleague) that must be corrected serves as a directive for him to become involved with [that colleague] to improve him.

b) The fact that he has been shown something [that appears] evil is a directive that this evil exists within himself and he must correct himself. For if he were on the level of a righteous man (at least with regard to this particular32 ), he would not see or focus on this evil.

VIII.

On this basis, we can explain why the Torah adds [the phrase]: “They did not see the nakedness of their father,” although it is seemingly obvious from the previous phrase, “with their faces backwards.” The intent is to emphasize that not only did Shem and Yefes not see their father’s nakedness in a physical sense (because “their faces [were] backward”), but that they did not see or feel any dimension of “nakedness” or fault in their father. Their feelings focused entirely on what they had to do; i.e., to cover their father’s (nakedness). They did not see their father’s nakedness as an independent matter.

This approach distinguishes Shem and Yefes from their third brother, Cham. Shem and Yefes did not see, while with regard to Cham, it is written:33 “And Cham... saw.”

This came as a result of differences in their inner personal characteristics and spiritual levels. “Cham was the father of Canaan.” Since he himself possessed evil (albeit on a less extreme plane34 ) — for Cham is associated with chammimus (“warmth” or “excitability” in Hebrew),35 an expression of the left vector36 — he saw37 the evil of Noach’s drinking and intoxication.38 For [the latter] is also a manifestation of excitability. (Although Cham’s excitability was on a less extreme plane than the excitability he saw and that was manifest by Noach, he was still affected by it because this quality existed, albeit in a less extreme manner, within himself.)

Shem and Yefes — who represent the right and central vectors — were above this type of evil, even on more refined levels. And since they themselves were above this evil, they did not see this [evil] in others. They saw and knew only the task incumbent on them to fulfill.

IX.

The above provides every one of us with a lesson. When one hears or sees an undesirable quality possessed by another Jew, he [certainly] should not speak about it and tell others of it as Cham did. [Cham] did not content himself with the fact that he saw [— and was affected by —] the evil; he informed others about it: “And he told his two brothers outside.”39 Moreover, one should not even think unfavorably about a colleague.40 [Instead,] he should contemplate [only] what he should do, how he should admonish him (so that it will be in an appropriate way, as stated above) and correct his [fault]. At the same time, he should endeavor not to see the evil in his colleague even while he is working with him.

When one conducts himself in this manner, emulating Shem and Yefes, he merits the promise of the blessings: “Blessed be G‑d, the L‑rd of Shem. May Canaan become....” And “May G‑d be gracious to Yefes, (but) He will dwell in the tents of Shem.” And he merits to be a medium for the Torah,41 for the vessel for the Torah is peace.42 And furthermore, he merits that the Divine Presence will rest in “the tents of Shem,” (in the building of the Third Beis HaMikdash)43 [which will come about] through unity and through the love of our fellow Jews.44 May this take place in the immediate future.

(Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Bereishis, 5726)

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