Friday, May 27, 2016

Sheva brachos for second marriage

If a choson and kallah have both been previously married, there is only one day of sheva brachos.  If there are additional meals in their honor after the first day, the zimun starts with "she'ha'simcha b'm'ono" but we do NOT make any additional brachos, not even Asher Bara.  See Aruch Hashulchan 62:20-22 who is very clear on the subject and says that the practice to say asher bara for three days is based on a misprint in the Tur and is incorrect.    See additional sorces in both directions in Hanesuin kehilchasan 2nd ed II p. 648.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Avos perek 3 - seyag lachachma shtika

Why does the mishna list "x is a seyag to y" - like "giving maaser is a seyag to wealth" but for being quiet to acquire wisdom it says "seyag lachochma shtika, the seyag for acquiring wisdom is being quiet?  It seems the simple answer is that even if you give maaser without any intent to become wealthy, the care you take in giving maaser will eventually lead you to wealth.  But being quiet, which is something passive, won't lead to anything by itself.  This shtika our mishna says refers to your active decision to be quiet because by listening you will hear many sides and let things develop - that is an active shtika, so the order had to be changed.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 - Yom Hashoah

The life expectancy of a concentration camp prisoner was calculated by the SS Economic Department to be nine months.  The Economic Department supplied slave labor from the camps to German industries such as Krupp, Volkswagen, Messerschmidt, AEG, IG Farben, Rheinmetal, and Siemens, according to their request.

The SS economic Department received six marks per day for every slave laborer.  According to the calculations of the SS, as recorded in a document exhibited at the International War Crimes Trials in Nuremberg, the SS income from every slave laborer amounted to 1,631 marks for the 270 days of his service to the German war machine, after deducting food and clothing expenses, and includeing an additional income of 200 marks for the valuables, which were found on the body, as well as the ashes and bones of the disposed body which were sold for fertilization.

Source: Dr. Eugen Kogon: Der SS Staat, Framnkfurt am Main, 1960

---Appendix B,
Balaam's Prophecy by Naphtali Lau-Lavie