Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekly ideas for the Shabbat Table

I just added a blog to my Blog Role - Rabbi Walk's Walk Through The Parsha.
This blog, by a former teacher of mine has a short weekly thought on the parsha which is gives you something to say over the Shabbat table. There is also the option to subscribe and receive the vort via email.

If you enjoy Rabbi Walk's ideas, you can order a book with a thought for every Shabbat of the year from Create Space. (I also got a mention in the book's acknowledgements, which I guess is the closest I'll get to my 15 minutes of fame - unless you count this video from 1985).

Also, on a different note, I was just informed of a new service running all over Israel to set up phone learning partners, chavrutot,  free of charge  on any Jewish topic. For more information, contact  Dovid and Racheli  at 025808867 or

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Name of the Moshiach

Today's Daf (Pessachim 54) says that the name of Mashiach was created before the world:

תניא שבעה דברים נבראו קודם שנברא העולם ואלו הן תורה ותשובה וגן עדן וגיהנם וכסא הכבוד ובית המקדש ושמו של משיח
(Beraisa): Seven things were created before the world - Torah, repentance, Gan Eden, Gehinom, the Kisei ha'Kavod, the Beis ha'Mikdash, and the name of Mashi'ach;
(Translation from
Well, now thanks to a judge in Cocke Count, we know what that name was, and in case you thought it was Menachem, the correct answer is in fact Martin.

US judge changes baby's name from Messiah to Martin
The judge in Cocke County said the name Messiah could cause the boy difficulties if he grew up in a predominantly Christian area.
"It could put him at odds with a lot of people and at this point he has had no choice in what his name is," Judge Ballew said.
Instead the judge ruled that the baby was to be named Martin DeShawn McCullough, which includes both parents' last name.
"The word Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ," she said.
Hat Tip: Life in Israel)