TABLE TALK - Parshayot Nitzavim-Vayelech 5770

I hope the ideas contained below, will provide you with some topics for discussion, at your Shabbos table.

A widow came in to the house of the Malbim (1809-1880; his Yarhtzeit is the first day of Rosh Hashanah). Crying bitterly, she described how her husband had recently died leaving her with no source of income; and how she could not bear the sight of her children starving and destitute. The Malbim said to her “Tell me what are really good at?” She replied “My cheese blintzes are really outstanding”. He said to her, “Start selling your cheese blintzes, I give you permission to call them the Malbim’s cheese blintzes”. (He also gave her the money to buy the first amounts of flour and cheese). “When you get some money from your first sale you will be able to expand further”. She did this; she was in fact very good at making cheese blintzes and in time became very successful.

I think we can take this as a metaphor for how we should behave in this week before Rosh Hashanah. We should take one mitzvah we are good at, and do it more. Alternatively we should take something bad we do, but could easily change, and proceed to correct it. What is the point of talking about the Chofetz Chaim or dreaming of becoming a saint overnight, if it has no relevance to our real selves? We need to try and identify an improvement which is easy for us to do and start there, and then success breeds success. This is a realistic approach to Teshuvah; it is the approach which was encouraged by Rabbi Yisroel Salanter. In the words of the verse in this week’s Sedra (which according to the Ramban are referring to the mitzvah of Teshuva). “It is not in heaven, neither is it across the seas, it is your mouth and your hearts to do it.

SOURCES; The life and work of the Malbim & the letters of Rabbi Yisroel Salanter.



Moshe Rabbeinu said to the Jewish People in Chap. 31, Verse 2 “Today I am 120 years old and not able to go out and to come in and Hashem has said to me you shall not pass this Jordan”. Rashi comments this means he said, on this day the years and the days that had been allotted to him had been filled. The question is, in Bamidbar Chapter 27 Verse 13, Hashem said to Moshe Rabeinu, the time has come for you to die, go up the mountain and view the land, for you will not go there. Rashi comments, Hashem had said to Moshe Rabbeinu, if you had sanctified my name properly when you were meant to speak to the rock and produce water, this would not have been your time to die. So the problem is, had he not sinned at the rock, would he still have died at the age of 120, or would he have lived longer?

ANSWER; Maharal

The Maharal answers that according to the natural life which had been allotted to him, his life was due to end on that day, but because he had so many extraordinary great merits, he might have lived longer. However, because of the sin of hitting the rock, his life span was restricted to its natural length, and was not increased because of his merits.

SOURCE; Gur Aryeh Al Hatorah

If you have any comments, answers, or information, on any of the above, please E-mail me, or tell me.

Please note my new E-mail address is [email protected]

Have a wonderful Shabbos

Jacob Rubinstein (Rabbi)





Mon, 26/06/17 | 2 Tammuz 5777

 Shabbat Korach

Shabbat begins at 9:27pm

Candle lighting is between 7:56 pm and 8:05 pm

Shabbat ends 11:00 pm





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TABLE TALK - Parshayot Nitzavim-Vayelech 5770

I hope the ideas contained below, will provide you with some topics for discussion, at your Shabbos table.

Weekly Halocha - Rabbi Simmonds


1. If you are using your garden on Shabbos ,and want to carry out food furniture toys from the house etc, you must make sure the garden is properly enclosed. Just because it is a private garden does not mean that it is Halachically a “private area” “RESHUS HAYOCHID”. If you are not sure seek competent advice on the issue

2. Climbing up/ on trees or use of a tree house is not permitted on Shabbos.

3. Take care when carrying drinks not to spill any on the soil or grass.