Parshas Pinchas 5777
Candle Lighting Time: 8:11 pm
July 14, 2017
Volume 13 Issue 27
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Dvar Torah

Turning the Tables
By Rabbi Yisroel Schwartz  
The gemorah in Rosh Hashanah (16a) asks, "Why do we sound a tekiah and teruah when the congregation is sitting and then again sound a tekiah and teruah when they are standing?" The gemorah answers: "In order to confuse the Satan." Rashi explains how this practice confuses the Satan. Hearing the Jews blow the shofar so frequently shows that we appreciate and adore the mitzvos, which in turn causes the Satan to cease from prosecuting. The question is obvious. Why would the Satan shut down his business of prosecuting against the Jews just because the Jews adore the mitzvah of tekias shofar?
Rebbi Akiva Eiger answers this question with an interesting twist. The gemorah in Yoma (86b) states that teshuvah motivated by love transforms our sins from willful transgressions to merits. Appreciating the mitzvos and performing them with a deep desire is part of doing teshuvah that is motivated through love. Once the Satan sees the Jews enjoying mitzvos, he will be afraid to prosecute against them. He would not want to bring any sins to the table, fearing that these sins will turn into merits, the polar opposite of his desired result.
What constitutes teshuvah that is motivated by love? If someone repents so that he will not receive a punishment in the future, this is not teshuvah motivated by love. Well, at least not love of Hashem; rather love of himself, trying to save his own skin. Teshuvah motivated by love means repenting because we have a burning desire to get closer to Hashem. This sounds like a level that we all aspire to reach, yet is beyond most of us.
However, at times we do have a chance to repent from a sheer desire to become close to Hashem. Sometimes, we reassess our life situation and fi nd ourselves thinking that we really should be doing more good. G-d is not happy with our current situation. If we seize this opportunity and act upon it, albeit only improving slightly, I believe that this is teshuvah motivated by love of Hashem.

Dvar Halacha
Laws of the Nine Days
By Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi

With the start of the Three Weeks upon us, we have begun refraining from certain activities in order to help instill within us a feeling of mourning over the loss of the Bais Hamikdash.  As we get closer to Tisha B'Av, Chazal instituted additional activities in order to help us feel the aveilus.  These additional restrictions begin at shkiyah (sunset) of Rosh Chodesh Av [This year Sunday, July 23, 8:22 PM in Bala Cynwyd] and continue until chatzos (halachic midday) of the 10th of Av [Wednesday, August 2th, 1:07 PM].  This period is commonly known as "The Nine Days."  All the restrictions of "the Three Weeks" [including getting a haircut and listening to music ] are still in place.
One should not buy any type of new clothing (Rama 551:7) even if he does not plan to wear them until after Tisha B'Av (Mishneh Berurah 551:49).  However, there are certain instances where one is permitted to purchase new clothing.  This includes: purchasing for a newborn that has no other clothing; a sale item that will not be available after Tisha B'Av; someone travelling who is able to buy a specific item only in that place (Laws of Daily Living, The Three Weeks, pg. 67).  Similarly, someone who forgot to buy non-leather shoes [for Tisha B'av] may purchase a pair (Igros Moshe OC 3:80).
Non-clothing items that are relatively inexpensive [e.g. pots and pans] may be purchased (Laws of Daily Living, The Three Weeks, pg. 69 quoting Harav Y.S. Eliyashuv, zt"l).  Additionally, any items of necessity may be purchased (Igros Moshe OC 3:80).
One may not tailor or repair new clothing (Shulchan Aruch 551:7) even if the garment will not be completed until after the Nine Days (Mishneh Berurah 551:49).  One may sew a tear, sew on a button and the like (Halichos Shlomo, Moadim 1: pg. 422: 22).
One may not launder clothing even if one will not wear it until after the Nine Days. Additionally, one may not give clothing to a laundering service or dry cleaners (Rama 551:3).  According to some Poskim one may give clothing to a non-Jew [e.g. dry cleaners] during the Nine Days if one plans on wearing them only after Tisha B'Av (Mishneh Berurah 551:34).  Included garments are: clothing, towels, sheets, and tablecloths (Shulchan Aruch 551:3).  It is permissible to polish scuffed shoes, but one may not shine them (Igros Moshe OC 3:80).
One may remove a stain from a garment even with water (Laws of Daily Living, The Three Weeks, pg. 77 quoting Harav S.Z. Auerbach, zt"l and Harav Y.S. Eliyashuv, zt"l).  Additionally, one may wash clothing for young children who constantly get their clothing dirty.  One should not add in extra clothing [e.g. of an adult] while washing the children's clothing (Laws of Daily Living, The Three Weeks, pg. 80 quoting Harav Moshe Feinstein, zt"l).  If one does not have any clean clothing, he may wash before the week of Tisha B'Av (Mishneh Berurah 551:29).

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