Jul 26, 2020

Raize Guttman 07-26-20 (5 Av 5780)

Tisha B'Av shiur
"Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, cont - the laws of blessings"

Av is the fifth month in the Jewish calender. The name of “Menachem Av” is also used for the month. "Menachem Av,” means “the father who comforts. Hashem, our father has the ability to comfort the Jewish People for all the tragedies that we have suffered during this month. And we connect to Hashem with our tears.

The Laws of Tisha B'Av
On Erev Tisha B'Av , before it gets dark, one sits on the floor and eats a final meal before the fast called a seudas hamafsekes. This consists of bread, water and a cold hard boiled egg, or lentils. One dips his bread in ashes and says,"This is the Tisha B"av meal". The mood should resemble that of a person who just lost a relative and is waiting for the funeral to begin.
After sunset, one may not do the following.
* No eating or drinking
* No washing one's body
* No applying oils or creams
* No wearing leather shoes
* No marital relations
Additional prohibitions that are mourning related
* No studying Torah
* No extending greetings i.e. hello, good morning
* No working
* No sitting on a chair

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Chapter 6 - Laws of Brachos
1. A bracha is an opportunity to thank Hashem. One should make sure he knows the proper bracha to say before he begins.One should not be occupied with anything else when he says a bracha, and he should say the words slowly and with concentration.Saying the words out loud inspires one to have proper intention.
2.One may not say Hashem's name in vain. If one says the name of Hashem accidentally , he must immediately say .."Baruch shaim kevod malchuso liolam vaed"- may the glory of His Name, the Honor of His Kingdom be blessed forever and ever...

Jul 19, 2020

Raize Guttman 07-19-20 (29 Tamuz 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 25 - Verse 29 - 30
Tisha B'Av
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, cont.

Yaakov is cooking a lentil stew, and Esav comes in exhausted and Esav (it says it twice). Rashi says he is so tired from killing. He wants the red stew. The Midrash says Yaakov tells Esav he made the lentils because their Grandfather Avraham died that day. Esav just want to Eat, drink and be merry. He just wants to be satiated and have poured that food down his throat.

There are always two paths in life, one leads us to kedusaha, and one makes us fall. The daily choices we make between comfort or growth will shape us into the people we become.

Raize discusses the laws of Tisha B'Av. She mentions that unlike mourning for a loved one, we increase our mourning until the actual destruction of the Beis Hamikdash and then we practically stop mourning altogether.

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch - Cont. - Chapter 5 laws of holiness and appropriate behavior
1. In a bathroom, it is forbidden to think or speak anything that is connected to holiness. One may not say the name of Hashem , even G-d
2..One also may not speak words of holiness in front of nakedness, one's own or others. A man cannot say a blessing, prayer or any words of Torah or holiness in front of any part of a woman's body that is exposed and according to the laws of modesty must be covered.
We women should be extra careful never to be a stumbling block in front of men.

Laws of the 9 Days Beginning on Rosh Chodesh Av:
1. Postpone a lawsuit with a non Jew.
2. Decrease business if possible
3. We do not purchase any object of joy
4.No construction, painting , home decorating or planting for pleasure.
5.We don't eat meat or drink wine
6.We don't launder our clothing or wear any freshly laundered clothing
7.We don't weave, knit or embroider
8.We don't shower or go swimming

Raize Guttman 07-12-20 (20 Tamuz 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 25 - Verse 27 - 28
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, cont. Halachot of going to the bathroom, and Asher Yatzar prayer.

Rashi says as long as Yaakov and Esav were small, it wasn’t so evident what they were all about, and nobody was able to pin point what was unique and special about them. They were mushed together, when they became 13, one turned to the Beis Midrash and the other turned to idol worship. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch says Yitzhak and Rivka did not channel their middos in the right way with their education, as they raised them the same, equal. They forgot a very important principle in education. In Proverbs, it says educate a child according to his way.

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:
1. One should use the bathroom in a modest way and wipe oneself well.
2. Every time one uses the bathroom, even a tiny drop, one must wash their hands and say the blessing, "Asher yatzar" (can be found in the siddur by the morning blessings). One should say the blessing slowly and with concentration as it is a great way to thank Hashem for your health.

Jul 5, 2020

Raize Guttman 07-05-20 (13 Tamuz 5780)

Parsha Toldot - Chapter 25 - Verse 24 - 26
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, cont. Halachot of dressing & conduct.
Tamuz 17 Fast

Rivka filled all the days of her pregnancy and she gave birth. We discuss the naming of of Esav and Yaakov and their very different natures. Esav was born asui (fully-made) / and a ba'al gaavah (follower of haughtiness/arrogance). Yaakov on the other hand had humility. All good things come from the middos of humility. Arrogance leads a person to a bad place. This is the difference bt Yaakov and Esav.

2 Halachot from the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch cont.
1. One should be careful not to dress like the goyim. One should try to be different than them not only in in dress, but also in speech and actions. i.e. no foul language, speak in a refined manner. Act in a refined manner.
2. A married woman must cover her hair when she goes outside. It is especially commendable to keep hair covered even in one's own home and the Zohar writes that if one is scrupulous in this mitzvah, she will merit good children.

We are entering the period called The Three Weeks beginning this Thursday, July 9, 2020. It is the 17th of Tamuz and it is a fast day (from sunrise until nightfall). These are days of five tremendous tragedies. One should utilize this day for introspection and teshuva. The sadness and mourning should lead us to closeness to Hashem as we re-examine and improve our ways. We should try to work on loving each other unconditionally since the Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred.
May we merit to see the rebuilding of the Holy Temple very soon!