**Spend a Comfortable Shabbos in Fair Lawn, NJ with Ahavat Achim Orthodox Congregation**
GOOD MORNING! Here's something interesting from the Book of Jewish Lists by my very good friend "Ron Landau." A partial list of inventions by Jews: (If you know of more, tell me)
- Polaroid Camera -- Edward Land
- Adding Machine -- Abraham Stern
- Traffic Light -- Charles Adler
- Scale-Model Train -- Joshua Lionel Cowan
- Blue Jeans -- Levi Strauss
- Valium -- Leo Sternbach
- Microphone -- Emile Berliner
- Teddy Bear -- Morris Michtom
- Stainless Steel -- Benno Strauss
- Disc Records -- Emile Berliner
- Sound movies -- Isador Kitsee
- Telephone -- Jacob Reis
- Kodachrome -- Leopold Mannes & Leopold Godowsky
- Hot dog bun -- Abraham Levis
- Flexi-straws -- Joe Friedman
By the way, Alexander Graham Bell acknowledged that he drew upon Reis's 1861 device in constructing his phone. It is interesting to think that all those years in my youth I could have been playing with a Cowan train. Guess he didn't figure it would sell...
Q & A: WHAT IS LAG B'OMER AND HOW IS IT CELEBRATED?
According to Jewish cosmology, the day begins with nightfall. That is why all holidays start at night after the stars can be seen. Thursday night, May 10th, begins the holiday of Lag B'Omer. You may have seen advertisements for picnics from synagogues and JCC's.
Lag B'Omer is the 33rd day of the Omer, the period between Pesach and Shavuot. On this day the plague which was killing Rabbi Akiva's disciples stopped. It is also the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the author of the Zohar, the Kabbalah, the book of Jewish Mysticism. Tradition has it that the day of his demise was filled with a great light of endless joy through the secret wisdom which he revealed to his students in the Zohar.
In Israel there are huge bonfires across the country. From Pesach onwards the children gather fallen branches and old tires and build pyres often 20 and 30 feet high. Then as the sky grows dark, they are lit and the sky is filled with flames -- and smoke. (I have often wondered what the reaction is to the pictures from the US and Russian Spy satellites.)
The fires are symbolic both of the light of wisdom Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai brought into the world and as a "Yahrzeit candle" to the memory of his passing. Haircuts and weddings take place on this date and there is much festivity including dancing, singing and music.
Why the name Lag B'Omer? Every Hebrew letter has a numerical value. An aleph = 1, a bet = 2 and so forth. The two Hebrew letters lamed (30) and gimmel (3) = 33. So Lag B'Omer means the 33rd day of the Omer. [The word "Omer" literally means "sheaf" and refers to the offering of the barley sheaf in the Temple on the second day of Pesach marking the harvesting of the barley crop. From that day until Shavuot (the anniversary of the giving of the Torah and the Festival of the Harvest) is called the period of the Counting of the Omer. It is a time for reflection upon how we view and treat our fellow Jews and what we can learn from the tragedies that have befallen us because of unfounded (self-justified) hatred for our fellow Jews.
Portion of the Week
This week's portion sets forth the standards of purity and perfection for a Cohen; specifies the physical requirements of sacrifices and what is to be done with blemished offerings; proclaims as holidays the Shabbat, Pesach, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.
It reminds the Jewish people to provide pure olive oil for the Menorah and designates the details of the Showbread (two stacks of 6 loaves each which were placed on the table in the portable sanctuary and later in the Temple once a week upon Shabbat).
The portion ends with the interesting story of a man who blasphemed God's name with a curse. What should be the penalty for this transgression? Curious? Lev. 24:14.
based on Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states, "And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corner of your field; and the gleanings of your harvest you shall not gather; for the poor and the stranger you shall leave them (the corners and the gleaning), I am the Lord your God (Leviticus 23:22)."
Why is the owner commanded to leave the corners and gleanings rather than being commanded to gather the produce and give it to the poor?
By not presenting the produce to the poor man, the poor man escapes the humiliation of being handed charity. Instead, he maintains his dignity as he feels that he is just taking what is his due by Torah law. It is important to be sensitive to others.
CANDLE LIGHTING - May 11:
(or go to candlelighting.org)
Guatemala 6:04 Hong Kong 6:35 Honolulu 6:42
J'Burg 5:13 London 8:21 Los Angeles 7:26
Melbourne 5:05 Miami 7:39 Moscow 8:08
New York 7:44 Singapore 6:48
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
Where there is vision,
there are provisions.
Dedicated by...In Loving Memory of
Avraham ben Nosson Zemel