MeFig
Planting a fig
Vereds Bed
Vered’s bed with corn, pumpkin, tomato, cuc, basil Behind: luscious vines
MizMeCorn 2016
Susan eyeing up Vered’s corn
MizVeredsBed
Vered’s bed border
IMG_2326
Mizzy the Garden Cat
WedFood
Anyone for an al fresco kiddush?
MizMulch
Mulching at Mizmor
MizIcebergRose
Iceberg rose at Mizmor
1013833_1509758299278241_7166669511388611699_n
Perfect for a vegan

The garden is truly a community garden now. Not only have we been granted official community garden status by the municipality community garden maven Eran, which means reduced water bills and help in all manner of areas, but our dedicated team of gardeners pools ideas, shares know-how, confers, mucks in and even meets at the weekend for lunch.

The garden is now divided into allotments, where each of us has one, two or more beds of vegetables, herbs and flowers.

In spring we planted 9 new fruit trees in addition to the fig, Feige, which was planted in September last year and is doing well. We hope by next year to be harvesting pomegranate, lemon, fig, and almond in addition to the vegetables we are all growing. The vines look magnificent and this year we are guaranteed a healthy and abundant harvest as grapes already cluster on the vines, hard and supple and shiny.

Jack was amazing in his ability to keep us going when things got tough. We had few people, the soil was dry and rock hard, the apricot tree gave up the ghost after we painstakingly dug her in and surrounded her roots with mulch, the woodchips got contaminated (don’t ask but a cat was involved), the compost turned manky, the overhead (shmitta) awning snagged and tore and was hard to take down. But each day Jack was there, toiling in all weathers to get us back on track.

He explained the importance of raised beds and water conservation, applied emitters to our irrigation tubing, collected discarded wood which we used to build the sides of our raised beds and grew seedlings on his terrace which have since been transferred and are now flourishing plants in our beds.

Vered, from a moshav shittufi in the north, Nir Etzion, came with considerable gardening experience. Her cucumbers and cherry tomatoes taste amazing, her pumpkin leaves are as soft and delicate as a kitten’s ears, her corn billows in the wind and her courgette flowers would be the envy of a Provencal master-farmer. Her basil has been the staple of my pasta dishes since late spring. She is a model gardener, always in good spirits and willing to help.

Jon, Betzalel, Jerry and Andrew are out newest community gardeners, each with experience in a different area and each with a bed or two to their name. Jon is trying a curious combination in his bed of beets, lemon grass, corn and sunflowers; Betzalel is more conservative but promises to sing to his peppers to help them along; Jerry, a long-time gardener, has planted eggplant, basil, tomato and pepper and we are looking forward to ratatouille and homegrown pizza (topping) someday soon. Andrew only joined us a week or two ago and has already planted several baby pumpkin that he started on his terrace at home.

Jack wanders around helping us all, mending leaky tubing, filling in beds that are lopsided, cutting wood and buying gadgets and widgets that you wouldn’t know the name of in English, let alone Hebrew. He doesn’t have his own bed though the broccoli that is growing in mine is actually his. I’ve been cutting off the flowering heads for weeks now and enjoying steamed broccoli with melted mozzarella. The trees that you can see from the roadside were his idea and he was instrumental in getting the vines back into shape when they got tangled up in weeds. Neil has returned full of gusto and his bed already looks like something out of the Moosewood Cookbook, which is great given his recent adoption of a mostly vegan diet.

The sun shines every day, from morning to evening. A new mummy cat gave birth to 3 kittens and greets me at the gate as soon as I arrive. The toolshed is tidy, the paths are clean, the watering is down to a minimum, our home-made compost enriches our beds, the Jerusalem Post is the perfect mulch. The 30 large sacks of woodchips the municipality has promised us will serve as additional valuable mulch and will be strewn around the wild section of the garden to demarcate a weed-free area for sitting and schmoozing (as yet not shaded…the newly planted trees will provide that next year). In addition to this social area, we hope to create a second similar area near the entrance gate and close to Mizmor shul, where an old tree already provides a modicum of shade and will be supplemented by an awning, chairs and a table made from collected palettes. This area might even serve as a succah.

We invite all Mizmor-goers to enjoy the area for a regular once-a-month al fresco Kiddush!

 

 

 

 

 

MANNA CONTRIBUTE $5 OR MORE
THE PLACE WHERE YOU ARE STANDING IS HOLY GROUND. EXODUS 3.5 CONTRIBUTE $10 OR MORE

 

CHAI!CONTRIBUTE $18 OR MORE

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LAMED VAV TZADIKIM– THE 36 JUST PEOPLE UPON WHOM THE WORLD DEPENDS FOR ITS EXISTENCE. CONTRIBUTE $36 OR MORE

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PLANT GARDENS AND EAT THEIR PRODUCE. JEREMIAH 29CONTRIBUTE $50 OR MORE

 

THE ROOT YOUR RIGHT HAND HAS PLANTED. PSALM 80 CONTRIBUTE $100 OR MORE

Chaya-Ryvka and Natanel of Berkeley, CA
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EVERY MAN UNDER HIS VINE AND UNDER HIS FIG TREE. 1 KINGS 4:25 CONTRIBUTE $200 OR MORE

Susan, Marc, Joshua, Steven, and Daniel Sacks
I WILL BE FULLY SATISFIED AS WITH THE RICHEST OF FOODS. PSALM 63 CONTRIBUTE $500 OR MORE

Anonymous

 

THEY FEAST ON THE ABUNDANCE OF YOUR HOUSE. PSALM 36 CONTRIBUTE $1,000 OR MORE
MY CUP OVERFLOWS. PSLAM 23 CONTRIBUTE $2,000 OR MORE
SHABBAT AND SHALOM ARE NAMES OF G-D.CONTRIBUTE $5,000 OR MORE

 

Please join our effort: www.jewcer.com/mizmor

(Numbers 18:1-20:23)

(Haftara: Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5,6)

  1. [19:5] “…you will be my own treasure from among all the nations…” On the one hand, we are told that we are God’s special nation. On the other hand we are commanded to be humble and not feel superior to people. How can we resolve this contradiction?
  1. [20:2] “I am the Lord your God…” Traditionally, we say that this is the first of the commandments and we are being commanded to believe in God. R. Chasdai Crescas (Spain, 1300’s) says that if we are listening to the ten commandments, then obviously, we believe in the One who commands—we don’t need a commandment to believe. Do you think that it is appropriate to command people to believe in God?
  2. [20:12] “Honour your father and your mother…” R. Chaim Falagi (1820, Turkey) says that we don’t need a commandment to honour our parents. That comes natural to us. This commandment is telling us that if we have unreasonable or disturbed parents, we must also honour them. Do you agree with his interpretation?
  1. [20:12] “Honour your father and your mother…” We are commanded to “love your neighbour as yourself”. Doesn’t that include honouring? Are there limits on honouring someone other than one’s parents? Why is there a special commandment to honour one’s parents?
  1. [Haftara: Yeshayahu 6:9] “…you hear but you don’t understand. You see, but you don’t really know.” If they already see and hear, but don’t really understand, what can a prophet do for them? Don’t they need a leader to re-educate them, rather than a prophet to again tell them that they are doing wrong? What can a prophet do for them?

Commentary

Faith is pure when it is full of inner feelings without self-deception and without ulterior motives…Someone who is intelligent will not be content without rational thinking. For him, a genuine faith will not be real unless it is illuminated by reason.

–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel.

 

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

 

(Leviticus: 6:1-8:36)

(Shmuel I, 15:1-34)

(Parshat Zachor, Fast of Esther, Purim)

1. During the time when there was a Temple service in Jerusalem, people, and especially Kohanim, were constantly aware of their own purity or impurity. They had to ask themselves whether they could enter places on the Temple Mount, or eat trumah, or even touch certain foods and vessels. Since one of our religious goals is to be less selfish, isn’t this self-involvement with purity and impurity counter-productive?

2. [Shmuel I, 15:9] “And Shaul and the people spared Agag…” Shaul was a wealthy king and he was specifically told that God commanded him to destroy all of Amalek. He meticulously carried out most of the commandment. What was Shaul thinking that caused him to spare the king of Amalek and other things.

3. [Megillah of Purim 4:16] Esther asks that the Jewish people fast for her for 3 days in order that she should be successful when she goes into the king. How will the fasting of the Jewish people help Esther?

4. [Purim] Purim seems to us to be the festival which is most suitable for children. However, our tradition tells us that Purim is one of our most important and serious festivals. Why is Purim so important, and why has it been made into such a “fun” festival?

5. [Megillah of Purim 10:3] “Because Mordechai…was accepted by most of his brothers…” Mordechai had done so much to save the Jewish people. Why is it that he was accepted by most of his brothers, and not by all of them?

Commentary

Leviticus 6:13: “…a tenth of an ephah of fine-flour for a meal offering…”

A regular Kohen brought a meal-offering only on the day that he began his work in the mishkan. However the High Priest brought a meal-offering every day. What does this difference suggest to us?

Someone who is on a higher spiritual level– his service is new every day. Every day is like his first day, and it is as if he is born anew.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

"why are you crying to me…travel." The Talmud tells us that God desires the prayers of righteous people. If so, then why does God tell Moshe not to pray here? When are prayers desirable to God and when are they not appropriate?"
“why are you crying to me…travel.” The Talmud tells us that God desires the prayers of righteous people. If so, then why does God tell Moshe not to pray here? When are prayers desirable to God and when are they not appropriate?”

Learning Group—Beshalach

(Exodus 13:17-17:16)

(Haftara: Shoftim 4:4-5:31)

)Shabbat Shira)

1. [14:15] “…why are you crying to me…travel.” The Talmud tells us that God desires the prayers of righteous people. If so, then why does God tell Moshe not to pray here? When are prayers desirable to God and when are they not appropriate?

2. [14:21] “…God sent a strong east wind the whole night…” God could have split the sea in one instant. Why did God want to do it in this more natural way?

3. [15:1] “I will sing to God, because He is exalted…” The Kabbalistic thinkers tell us that God does not really need our praises. So why do we praise God so often in our prayers and in our lives?

4. [16:4] “…a day’s portion every day…” This pasuk seems to say that being able to live each day, without worrying about tomorrow, is a major principle in serving God. What is so important about this quality?

5. [17:16] “…God makes war with Amalek in every generation”. Amalek came especially from far away to make war, and they attacked the weakest of the Israelites. What does Amalek represent to us that would make God “make war with Amalek in every generation”?

Commentary

The fact that people are far from God and don’t get close to God is only because people don’t have presence of mind and don’t relax themselves. The main thing is to try to relax oneself and to ask, “What is the purpose of all the physical pleasures and all the physical pursuits of this world—whether they have to do with the body or with matters outside the body, like being honoured by others.

If one thinks in this way, one will certainly return to God.

–R. Nachman of Breslov, 1772-1810, Ukraine.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

"And God said to Moshe 'Come to Pharaoh'..." Why does God say "Come to Pharaoh" instead of "Go to Pharaoh"?
“And God said to Moshe ‘Come to Pharaoh’…” Why does God say “Come to Pharaoh” instead of “Go to Pharaoh”?

Learning Group– Parshat Bo

(Numbers 10:1-13:16)

(Haftara: Jeremiah 46:13-28)

1. [10:1] : “And God said to Moshe ‘Come to Pharaoh’…” Why does God say “Come to Pharaoh” instead of “Go to Pharaoh”?

2. [11:3] “God gave the people (of Israel) charm in the eyes of Egypt; also the man Moshe was very big in the land of Egypt…” The commentaries tell us that the Egyptians liked the Israelites because of Moshe who brought on the plagues. They liked the nation because of the person whom they feared and respected. What does this tell us about the Egyptians, or perhaps about human nature in general?

3. [11:3] “God gave the people (of Israel) charm in the eyes of Egypt; also the man Moshe was very big in the land of Egypt…” God could have created conditions in such a way that the Israelites could have left Egypt in a less violent way. Why did God want the Israelites to leave in such a dramatic way?

4. [12:19] “…anyone who eats leavened products, that soul shall be cut off from the community of Israel…” The punishment that the Torah gives for eating bread or other leavened products on Passover is much more severe than the punishment for many other sins. Why is this sin more serious?

5. [12:38] “And a mixed multitude also went up with them…” The “mixed multitude” were a bad influence on the Israelites later. Why did Moshe allow non-Israelites to also leave with the Israelites?

Commentary

[10:23]: “A man did not see his brother, and no-one rose from being under it (the darkness)…”

The worst darkness is when a person does not want to see his brother’s distress and does not want to help him. However, the result of this is that when a person ignores his friend’s pain, he, himself cannot move from his place—”and no-one rose from being under it…”

–Chiddushei HaRim–R. Jitzchak Meir of Ger (1798(?)-1866)

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

Learning Group--Parshat Va'era (Numbers 6:2-9:35) (Haftara: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21) 1. [6:2,3] "I appeared to Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov as "almighty God", but by my name…" God is saying that the fathers had a different revelation of God than Moshe had. Can one know anything about the essence of God, or are there only different revelations for us? When people relate to each other, do they know anything about the essence of the other, or only about what is revealed about the other? 2. [6:4] “I set up my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan…” It seems that God made a covenant with Avraham because God knew that his descendants would do kindness and justice (Breishit 18:19). Is the giving of Canaan a reward for doing kindness and justice or a necessity for doing kindness and justice on a grander scale? 3. [6:9] "…and they didn't listen to Moshe because of impatience and hard work". If the Israelites had not been impatient and hadn't worked so hard, they also wouldn't have listened to Moshe, because their lives would have been easier. Under what conditions does an oppressed people listen to someone who wants to free them from their oppression? 4. [7:1] “I will make you like an angel to Pharoah, and Aharon, your brother will be your prophet…” God could have given Moshe the power to talk to Pharoah. What political or dramatic advantage is there in having Aharon speak for Moshe? 5. [29:13, 14] “And I will return the captivity of Egypt…and they will be a lowly kingdom.” Why does God say that He will re-establish the Egyptians as a lowly ki

Learning Group–Parshat Va’era

(Numbers 6:2-9:35)

(Haftara: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21)

1. [6:2,3] “I appeared to Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov as “almighty God”, but by my name…” God is saying that the fathers had a different revelation of God than Moshe had. Can one know anything about the essence of God, or are there only different revelations for us? When people relate to each other, do they know anything about the essence of the other, or only about what is revealed about the other?

2. [6:4] “I set up my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan…” It seems that God made a covenant with Avraham because God knew that his descendants would do kindness and justice (Breishit 18:19). Is the giving of Canaan a reward for doing kindness and justice or a necessity for doing kindness and justice on a grander scale?

3. [6:9] “…and they didn’t listen to Moshe because of impatience and hard work”. If the Israelites had not been impatient and hadn’t worked so hard, they also wouldn’t have listened to Moshe, because their lives would have been easier. Under what conditions does an oppressed people listen to someone who wants to free them from their oppression?

4. [7:1] “I will make you like an angel to Pharoah, and Aharon, your brother will be your prophet…” God could have given Moshe the power to talk to Pharoah. What political or dramatic advantage is there in having Aharon speak for Moshe?

5. [29:13, 14] “And I will return the captivity of Egypt…and they will be a lowly kingdom.” Why does God say that He will re-establish the Egyptians as a lowly kingdom? If they are scattered, let them remain scattered and be lost among the nations. Why should they again become a nation with a land?

Commentary

[6:2] “And I appeared to Avraham to Yitzchak and to Ya’akov…”

On this phrase, Rashi comments, “And I appeared to the Avot (the forefathers…” What is Rashi adding here? We know that these are our forefathers. The Chatam Sofer (Pressburg, 1762-1838) says that Rashi is playing on the word, “avot”, which can also be understood in Hebrew as “those who are willing”. So God is saying, “I appeared to those who wanted to have me appear to them”. The Rambam says something similar in relation to God calling Himself “Ehieh asher ehieh (I will be what I will be)”. The Rambam explains, “I will be with those who want me to be with them”. Similarly the Kotzker Rebbe (Poland, (1787-1859) once asked his students, “Where can God be found?” He answered, “Wherever you let Him in.”

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

"[1:12] "…the more they caused them to suffer, the more they grew…" What is the nature and the source of this quality of the Jewish people that the more we are oppressed, the stronger we become?"
“[1:12] “…the more they caused them to suffer, the more they grew…” What is the nature and the source of this quality of the Jewish people that the more we are oppressed, the stronger we become?”
Learning Group–Parshat Shmot

(Exodus 1:1 – 5:23)

(Haftara: Yirmiahu 1-2:3)

1. [1:12] “…the more they caused them to suffer, the more they grew…” What is the nature and the source of this quality of the Jewish people that the more we are oppressed, the stronger we become?

2. [3:2] “…the bush burned with fire and the bush was not consumed.” If God had revealed Himself in a more impressive way, Moshe might have been more eager to accept God’s mission. Why did God reveal Himself to Moshe in a bush?

3. [3:14] God tells Moshe to tell the Israelites that His name is “Ehyeh asher ehyeh”—usually translated as “I will be what I will be”. Why would God want to be known by this name?

4. [Haftara: Yirmiahu 1:11] “…I see a rod of an almond tree (shaked)…I watch (shoked) over My word to do it”. God wanted to tell Yirmiahu that God keeps His word. God could have said that. What purpose is served by sending Yirmiahu a vision of an almond tree?

5. [Haftara: Yirmiahu 2:2] “You went after me into the wilderness, into a land that was not sown.” Here, the Jews are praised for trusting God in an unknown situation. Avraham is also praised for trusting God even though he did not know his destination (Breishit 12:1). After Mount Sinai, the Torah seems very clear and predictable. Where in our lives do we follow God into unknown situations?

Commentary

[Exodus 1:1] “And these are the names of the children of Israel.”

Rashi: (This is written) “to make known His love—that they are compared to stars.”

The Israelites should know that God loves them, and just like He created the stars in order that they should light up the night– so also He created Israel so that they should spread the light of God and and make it enter the darkest and lowest places.

–The Sfat Emet– Reb Yehuda Leib Alter of Gur—19th century

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

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Parshat Vayigash1

[47:9]” When Yosef introduces Ya’akov, his father, to Pharoah, Pharoah asks Ya’akov how old he is. Ya’akov answers, and then continues to say that his life has been bad. This is unusual. Why did Ya’akov tell Pharoah that he has had a bad life, even though he had not been asked about his life?”

Learning Group–Parshat Vayigash

(Genesis-44:18-47:27)

(Haftara: Ezekiel 37:15-28)

1. [45:3] After Yehudah’s speech, Yosef suddenly tells his brothers that he is Yosef. What did Yehudah say that convinced Yosef to reveal his identity after all this time?

2. [45:14] “…and he cried and Binyamin cried on his neck.” Rashi says that they cried over the Temples that would be destroyed in the future—each in the other’s territory. Each of the brothers had a deep love and compassion for the other in relation to eternal matters. Other commentators say that they cried because they had been separated for so long. What might motivate Rashi to explain the brothers’ deep emotion in such an impersonal way?

3. [47:9] When Yosef introduces Ya’akov, his father, to Pharoah, Pharoah asks Ya’akov how old he is. Ya’akov answers, and then continues to say that his life has been bad. This is unusual. Why did Ya’akov tell Pharoah that he has had a bad life, even though he had not been asked about his life?

4. [48:16] In the next parsha Ya’akov blesses Yosef’s children. He begins by saying, “The angel who redeemed me from all evil…” In other words, my life was good. This contradicts what Ya’akov said previously. Was his life really bad or was it really good? How can this contradiction be explained?

5. [Haftara: Yechezkel 37:22] The prophet tells us how in the messianic era, there will be no divisions among the Jews. If that is the ideal, then why was the division into tribes encouraged and reinforced earlier in our history?

Commentary

[Yechezkel 37:24] “And my servant David will be king over them…”

In the messianic future, all the Jews will return to God, and will repent totally for all their sins of the past. However, there will be many who will be embarrassed because they have so many sins. For these people, King David will be their inspiring example. From David’s life they will understand that “tshuvah” helps for everything—even the most severe sins– and one’s relationship with God and with the world can always be repaired.

–Ahavat Yehonatan, Yonatan Eibeschitz, (1690-1764), Prague

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

Copyright © Kef International 2012. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.kefintl.com

Kef International Shipping, Realty, and Relocations  Services since 1979

This site protected by Trustwave's Trusted Commerce program

Parshat Miketz

Learning Group–Parshat Miketz

(Genesis-41:1-44:17)

(Haftara: Zechariah 2:14-4:7)

(Chanukah)

1. [41:39] “…since God has informed you of all of this…” Pharoah believed that Yosef’s interpretations of his dreams and his servant’s dreams were true interpretations and come from God. On the basis of this, he even raised Yosef from being a prisoner to being Pharoah’s main officer. Nonetheless he remained an idol-worshipper. How could Pharoah justify to himself the fact that the God of Yosef is so all-knowing and powerful, and yet still not devote himself to Yosef’s God?

2. [42:21] “…we are guilty about our brother…” Yosef hears his brothers say that they did wrong in selling Yosef. Still he causes them a lot of trouble. Why doesn’t Yosef tell them who he is? What more does he expect of them?

3. [Chanukah] There is a difference of opinion whether after Shabbat, one should first light the havdalah candle which signifies the end of Shabbat or whether one should first light the Chanukah candles. What might be the reasons that underlie this difference of opinion?

4. [Chanukah] On Chanukah, we were victorious over the Greeks, and we rejected Greek culture totally. Later, however, many of our rabbis had great respect for Greek philosophy and other aspects of Greek culture. At the time of the Maccabees, why couldn’t we accept some aspects of Greek culture and reject their paganism?

5. [Chanukah] Chanukah is defined as “a candle for a person and his home”. If one doesn’t have some kind of home, it is difficult to do the commandment of Chanukah. What does “home” represent to us?

Commentary

41:36 “And the food shall be stored for the land for the 7 years of famine.”

The story of Yosef teaches us that when we have “good times”, we should not get lost in our comfort, but rather, we should keep our perspective on what is important in life. Sometimes, because we do not develop our spirituality and our relationships during our years of plenty, when the years of famine arrive, we don’t have the tools that we need.

–R. Menachem Mendel Schneerson of Lubavitch, Europe and USA, 1902-1994.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer