Parshas Bo
January 11-12, 2019

Shalom and hello everyone! I hope you are doing well.

We thank our generous hot gala kiddush sponsor this week, Yaakov Weiland and family , in honor of Rabbi and Rebbetzin Mehlman (gee, thanks!) Join Yaakov as we enjoy oneg shabbos galore amidst friends and fellow members. Yasher koach!

Ohav Sholom wishes a heartfelt Mazel Tov to member Aviva Cowen upon the birth of a beautiful baby girl!

May Aviva see much nachas and joy from Alexandra Noa for 120 happy and healthy years! Amen .

If you would like to join our new mother’s meal program and help ease the burden on Aviva please contact the shul office today! Tiskel limitzvos
Join Ohav Sholom for our annual Cholent Cook Off this shabbos morning! Come taste the offerings of our many talented members who will square off for 1st Prize in this hotly contested competition.

Along with members and those who daven with us voting individually for “Best Cholent 2019” we’ve invited former OS member and culinary chef extraordinaire Larry Chaityn , joining us from the Upper East Side of Manhattan, to serve as guest chef and chief Judge.

In attendance will be Maya , Larry’s trusted attack dog, who not only loves cholent but will provide increased security for the competition’s ultimate winner (me.)

So come early to shul and give a great review to the winning cholent of your choice!
If you wish to join our growing list of contestants, please contact the shul office, it isn’t too late! We salute the following entrants and applaud their noble ( but pointless ) efforts:

Rabbi Mehlman (to be declared winner)
Matt Bobman
Kalman Weiss
Steven Sieratzki, Esq.
Dr. Francine Katz (3 different varieties!)
Ira Streitfeld
Elaine Rubel
Guy Sade

Join our popular standing-room-only Tuesday night halacha class for men and women next Tuesday evening for a pre tu b’shvat seder and lecture!

Tu b’shvat is Sunday night/Monday, January 21, 2019, and we’ll prepare for this delightfully delicious minor holiday with a festive complimentary dinner and sampling fruits from Israel and around the world - including new and exotic varieties, so we can recite the shecheyanu bracha.

Last year close to forty people showed up so don’t miss this exciting lecture and significant social gathering of the season!

We will study hilchos brachos , the laws of blessings over food, and discuss the intricacies of kedima b’brachos , hierarchy of the order of blessings, as well as when and where to recite shechiyanu and if the fruits of Israel always take precedence.

I’ll see you then!
1. Can one use besamim/potpourri for Havdalah that one previously used for the bathroom? Why not?
a.                 No, since these were designated products to mask bad odors and not provide a pleasant aroma. 

2. May one use incense sticks sold by religious non-Jews on the street for Havdalah?
a.                 Yes, since they are sold by merchants to the greater public and not exclusively for avoda zora usage.

3. Why do some people use hadasim/myrtle for besamim?
a.                 To follow the principle to ‘recycle items used previously for mitzvos.’ The hadasim were taken from the lulav and crushed up for besamim.

4. What if the hadasim are dry and odorless? Should one still use them?
a.                 In that case, it’s best to mix them up with regular besamim.

5. What did Rabbeinu Ephraim ( Tosafist; 12th century; student of Rabbeinu Tam ) use for besamim? Why did he exclusively use a glass container? What should we do?
a.                 He used regular besamim but used a glass container to insure its fragrant value and to avoid any pungent metallic ill smell mix with the besamim.

6. If someone lost his sense of smell, can they make a bracha? What if he merely has a cold?
a.                 No he cannot. If one has a cold he should determine if he still has an occasional sense of smell he can make a bracha.

7. If someone can’t smell can they still make Havdalah for another person?
a.                 No he cannot. If one is patur, absolved from the mitzvah, he cannot project for another person’s obligation.

8. Why do some people make their own bracha on besamin and ner even if they hear from the mavdil? Is this correct behavior?
a.                 This is incorrect. One should listen attentively to the mavdil’s entire havdalah recitation.

9. Under what circumstances would a person make his own bracha on besamim and ner?
a.                 If he was unable to smell it during the havdalah service (e.g. out of reach) or he was too far from the flame to enjoy its benefits.

10. When is one permitted to make bircas besamim even if one can’t smell? Would another person be yotzeh with that bracha?
a.                 To be motzei a minor, for training purposes only. Another adult listening to this bracha will not be yotzei.

11. Why do we make a bracha on fire during havdalah? If so, why motzei yom kippur?
a.                 Fire was “discovered” by Adam on Saturday night, so we celebrate its benefits then. Because yom kippur is similar to shabbos insofar that we cannot use fire even to cook and unlike other holidays where permissible.

12. If one has no fire should he proceed with havdalah? How long does he have to make the bracha?
a.                 Yes since it is “only” a custom. The entire Saturday night, until alos hashachar , dawn.

13. If one forgot the bircas ner and reminded himself prior to drinking the wine, what to do?
a.                 He should recite the blessing right then (before drinking) since all components of havdalah should be recited “over the cup.”

Have a wonderful shabbos!

See you in shul,

Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman
Erev shabbos kodesh Bo 5779
Shabbos TimeTable
Erev Shabbos Kodesh, Parshas Bo
Friday, January 11, 2019
Candle lighting 4:30 PM
Mincha/Kabbalos Shabbos 4:40 PM

Shabbos Kodesh, Parshas Bo
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Shacharis 9:00 AM
Gala Kiddush
Halacha Chaburah 4:10 PM
Mincha 4:30 PM
Daf yomi: mesechta chulin
Maariv / Shabbos ends 5:35 PM
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