Skip to main content


Once I was walking on the road and a man encountered me and accosted me in a heretical way. He had knowledge of the Bible, but not of the Mishnah. He said to me, “The Bible was given to us at Sinai, but the Mishnah was not.”


I said to him, “My son, both the Bible and the Mishnah were spoken by the Almighty. What then is the difference between the Bible and the Mishnah?

Here is a parable:

A King had two servants whom he dearly loved. He gave each one of them a small amount of wheat and a bundle of flax. What did the wise servant do? He took the flax and wove it into a tablecloth. He took the wheat and made flour out of it, which he then sifted, ground, kneaded, and baked. Then he spread the tablecloth upon the table and placed the bread on it. He left it that way until the king came to visit.

The foolish servant did not do anything.

Eventually, the king entered his home and said to his servants, ” My sons, bring me what I gave you.”

The wise servant brought out the loaves of bread on a table with a cloth spread over it . The foolish servant brought out the wheat in a box and a bundle of flax on top of it. What an embarrassment!

Which of the two servants is the favorite? The one who brought out the tablecloth with the bread on it. 

So too, when God gave the Torah to Israel, He gave the Torah to them in the form of wheat from which to produce bread, and flax from which to make clothing. (Tanna d’Bei Eliyahu)

HaChodesh is to remind us to take the wheat and flax of Torah and work with both until we can make our own bread and clothing. God looks to see what we do with the gifts He has given us. He rejoices in what we are Mechadeish; how we creatively use His gifts.

By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, n''y


Popular posts from this blog

"Holding on to our Insights and Practices" By Rabbi David Lapin

I'm not sure about you, but I don't feel really ready to go back to normal. I'm not sure we should ever really be ready to go back to normal. I was thinking of the idea of teshuva, which means repentance or literally returning, going back. We go back when we've taken a wrong turn. When we've done something incorrect, we go back to correct what we've done. But when we've taken a right turn, we don't go back,  we go forward! And I can't help thinking but the world has taken so many turns to the right in many different areas. living in Israel, a country known for people who are impatient, I look around me and find people so much more patient. We see people around the world so much more caring of others. We see that we and others around us have slowed our life down from the frenetic pace at which we used to live. We're focusing more on local local communities, family home, we've invested or investing more in our hands. We've re calibrated ou

Morning Brachos

Morning Brachos "Here is the way I read the morning Brachos when I'm feeling helpless and scared to believe in myself." פוקח עיוורים .  Hashem opens my eyes to see the ways we can go.  But I feel naked and don't know how I can get there. מלביש ערומים .  Hashem supplies me with Livushim to follow my path.  But I feel STUCK. מתיר אסורים .  Hashem helps me be freed from my old patterns, if I want to change.  But I feel bent and broken, kvetching in my old habits and beliefs. זוקף כפופים .  Hashem helps me stand straight and believe in myself.     But the world seems unconquerable, unknown. רוקע הארץ על המים .  Hashem prepares land for me that I can see and feel safe to begin the journey   But I don't know where to start from המכין מצעדי גבר .  Hashem prepares my steps for me. everything I need to succeed in my journey. I just need to discover and use them   But I don't know where and what and how. העושה לי כל צרכי .  Hashem has gi


    KING, HELPER and RESCUER and SHIELD MELEKH, OZER, uMOSHIAH uMAGEN   From Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan zt’l's book: Jewish Meditation Chapter: “Relating to God” Pages 117-118 [Presented with slight edits by El-Ad Eliovson]   The first paragraph in the Amidah concludes with four words that  are designated to bring the worshiper closer to God. These words are "King Helper, Rescuer, and Shield " Whereas in the first part of this paragraph we relate to God in a general manner, here we develop our personal relationship with Him.   These four words are the key to the entire Amidah . If one says them correctly, one is left in a perfect spiritual space for the rest of the service. Even if one has said the first parts of this paragraph without proper concentration, if these four words are said properly, they will bring the worshiper to such a closeness to God that the rest of the Amidah will be perfect !! [Even] if one cannot say entire first paragraph at the rat