Beit Midrash

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55 Lessons
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    The Giving of the Torah

    The Day of the Rains and the Giving of the Torah

    According to our Sages, The Day of the Rain is as great as, or even greater than the day of the Giving of the Torah. The basis for this comparison is discussed in depth, as well as additional aspects of the connection between the rains and the Torah.

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | 5770
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    Rain in Israel

    Rainfall and the Power of Collective Kindness

    The people fasted for a number of days, however no rain fell. Then Rabbi Tanchuma went and spoke to them. He said, “My children, fill yourselves with compassion for one another, and the Holy One, blessed be He, will be filled with compassion for you.”

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Sivan 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    The Qualities Needed to Bring Rain

    Abba Chilkiya exemplified the sort of qualities needed to petition God for rain. He displayed an impeccable work ethic, caution with the property of others, and modesty regarding his ability to bring rain. Through him, Israel was blessed with rain.

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Iyar 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    Heavenly Bounty, Earthly Justice

    The number nine represents detail, the finest level of detail possible. It represents an understanding of the most personal of human worries. In her prayer, Hannah mentions God's name nine times, an expression of God's concern for all human requests.

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Nissan 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    Profiting from Basic Necessities

    Wherever labor and effort are involved, demanding payment is justified. The sages sought to prevent effortless retailing. However, when marketing grew and store owners developed sales expenses, Jewish law recognized their right to receive payment.

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Adar 2 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    A Blessing in the Marketplace

    All blessings necessitate protection. Therefore, our sages took steps to protect produce. One of these is the prohibition against "agirat perot." That is, it is forbidden to buy fruits when they are cheap in order to sell them when the prices rise.

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Adar 2 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    Rain...and the Coin in One's Pocket

    When rain falls we should sense that our livelihood is falling from heaven, as if we are being blessed with an improved salary. In the words of our sages (Taanit 8b): "A rainy day is so great that even the coin in one's pocket is blessed through it."

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Adar 1 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    The Might of Rain

    "The day of rainfall is as great as the day on which heaven and earth were created." The sages liken rain to the creation of the world: Just as the expression "gevura," might, is used in relation to Creation, so is it used in relation to rainfall.

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | 5768
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    The Month of Adar

    Paradoxical Adar

    Among Adar's unique traits is the fact that it contains opportunities for new beginnings as well as for conclusions. We find in this month both life and death, beginning and end. Birth and life on the one hand, loss and destruction on the other.

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | 30 Shvat 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    The "Malkosh" - Last Rains

    Man's existence hinges upon land and rain. At the same time, these two elements, without man, lack benefit and direction. The sages of the Midrash therefore teach, "Were it not for man, there would be no covenant with earth to bring rain upon it."

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | 20 Shvat 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    The First Rain

    The word "yoreh" means to teach. According to the Talmud, the "yoreh" (first rain) teaches us to prepare for the winter, to plaster our roofs, to seal up any holes through which rain might possibly leak. This is our first warning of winter's arrival.

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Shvat 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    "You shall not lack any thing"

    "You shall not lack any thing in it" - This means that land of Israel contains everything needed to facilitate health and foster vitality. The absence of luxuries like gold and precious stones, on the other hand, is not considered a deficiency.

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Tevet 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    The Condensed Blessing

    We know that a tiny cell contains man’s entire hereditary baggage, so it is possible to understand how a small strip of land can serve as the source of the entire world. All the different forms in the world are concentrated in the land of Israel

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Tevet 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    The Blessing of Rain for All

    The Midrash relates a story about a non-Jew who asks R' Yehoshua ben Korcha a question: "You have your holidays, and we have our holidays. When you rejoice we do not rejoice; when we rejoice you do not rejoice. When do we ever rejoice together?"

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Kislev 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    A Shared Blessing

    In God’s world, wisdom and science, practical resourcefulness and technological knowledge do not necessarily thrive in regions rich in natural resources. This forces human beings and the various countries to be dependent and bound to one another.

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Kislev 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    The Blessing from Above

    In describing creation, Scripture first tells us that rivers flowed and irrigated the Garden of Eden, and then it mentions rain. The Midrash brings four explanations for God's decision to change the manner of Earth's irrigation from rivers to rain.

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Wednesday, 26 Cheshvan 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    Balance

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Monday, 3 Cheshvan 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    The Three Keys

    "R' Yochanan said: Three keys the Holy One blessed be He has retained in His own hands and not entrusted to the hand of any messenger, namely, the Key of Rain, the Key of Childbirth, and the Key of the Revival of the Dead"

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Wednesday, 28 Tishrei 5768
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    Rain in Israel

    Earth's Eyes to Heaven

    In the land of Israel, one must constantly be aware of God's providence, for it is a land dependent on rainfall. This is what makes the land of Israel so special: Here, we must ascend spiritually and pray to God in order to merit the blessing of rain.

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l | Sunday, 25 Tishrei 5768
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    The Month of Adar

    Adar - The Sprouting of Spring

    When we reach the month of Adar, it seems to us as if the rain and the days of cold are already behind us and we are approaching the end of winter. We can almost feel spring in the air. However, there are also a number of signs of winter in Adar.

    Rabbi Uzi Kalchaim zt"l
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