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Devrei Torah relating to the weekly Parsha.

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Blog Image: Rav_Miller.jpg
Taking the plunge into marriage
Parshas Ki Seitzei 5779

QUESTION:

Is it worth taking the plunge into marriage?

ANSWER:
Now any plunge you take, you look before you leap. By asking such a question it's equivalent to asking, is it worth taking a plunge into life? Marriage is part of life, and it's an extremely important part of life, and to be unmarried is a very big misfortune, no two ways about it. So the question of course is just a joke, but the necessity of being energetic about marriage is one of the biggest mitzvos. V'atem pru u'rvu, it's a great command of the Torah, you must get married, and you must have children.

I've said before, always seek counsel; you never do things recklessly especially buying a house. You call somebody to make a survey that costs two hundred dollars, before you buy the house your man has to survey it. He has to study the plumbing and the roofing and everything else, the heating, everything. Therefore you have to ask questions about your prospective choson or kallah, don't be lazy. If you see beforehand that there is trouble coming, then forget about it.

Once you get the green light from your advisers, then do everything you can consummate the shidduch.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 9/13/2019 4:43 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Good eitza to stop talking during davening -A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #489
Parshas Shoftim 5779

QUESTION:

What would be a good eitza not to talk devorim b'teilim in a beis haknesses?

ANSWER:
First of all, if it's during chazoras hashatz, keep in mind what the Torah says, ha'soch sichah b'teila b'soch chazorass hashatz, goarim bo, you have to scold him, v'gadol avono m'nesoh, his sin is too big to forgive. You hear that? If you talk during chazoras hashatz, then goarim bo, you have to rebuke him, v'gadol avono m'nesoh, his sin is too big to forgive. It's against k'vod shomayim, that's how serious it is. And Baruch Hashem there are plenty of botei medroshim where people enforce this.

Now after the tefillah is over, you have to be careful however, people are putting together their tefillin, and some begin to joke around, they laugh and talk. Don't forget, you are standing lifnei Hashem, in a beis haknesses, or in the yeshiva. Never forget that - even after davening, you're putting together your tefillin and you're ready to go home, keep quiet, keep your mouth closed. Remember that you have to be m'kayem, vdibarto bom v'lo b'devorim acheirim.

Once when the Chofetz Chaim was a young man, he brought his sefer on Shmiras Haloshon to Reb Yisroel Salanter zochrono l'virocho. He said "A yungerman made a fine sefer on shmiras haloshon, you should also make a sefer on devorim b'teilim." It's an important thing to make a sefer on devorim b'teilim, idle talk.

Especially in the Beis Haknesses, you should never talk idle talk, but if you're still in the mood of talking, wait till you get out on the street, not in the Beis Haknesses.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 9/6/2019 3:51 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #488 (Understanding the Off the derech phenomenon
Parshas Re'eh 5779

QUESTION:

Why do we have so many boys and girls going off the derech?

ANSWER:
First of all let's say the opposite: why are so many good children on the derech? I always say the same thing. I was once invited to speak to a gathering of frum girls–bais yaakov girls. Two thousand girls were sitting there, two thousand frum girls! And later I thought that it's nothing, there are two thousand girls in this place, two thousand in that place, Baruch Hashem, Baruch Hashem, there are many frum children everywhere today. So many thousands of people today are raising their children in the right way. Here is a frum school of girls; ten buses are lined up outside, Baruch Hashem. So let's concentrate on that! Of course it's a pity some of them go off the derech, but first of all let's appreciate the tremendous metamorphosis, the tremendous mahapeicha, a revolution is taking place. The Am Yisroel is increasing and multiplying, and very very many people are becoming frummer and frummer, Baruch Hashem, we rejoice in that.

When we see frum Jews, give them a brocho: Hakadosh Baruch Hu wants them to increase and multiply. That's His main desire, that Am Yisroel should increase and multiply. And so certain things have to be done, but now is not the place, in order to make the schools more effective in training the boys and girls in yiras shomayim, in how to live successfully. Some boys are not capable of learning Gemara, they need more mussar, more hashkafa, certain changes have to be instituted, no everything is not perfect. Nevertheless, right now, we should concentrate our minds and thank Hakadosh Baruch Hu on the great happiness when we see the Jewish nation is increasing.

By the way, in Eretz Yisroel that's the main worry of the reshaim; the reshaim are very much concerned. They see that if they don't do something extreme, soon the frummer will take over everything. They're like Pharaoh; he said pen yirbeh, so Hashem said, kein yirbeh!

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 8/30/2019 3:24 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Choosing a Rebbi, How -A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #487
Parshas Re'eh 5779

QUESTION:

How do you choose a reliable Rebbi?

ANSWER:
Anybody who's better than you are, is a choice. The Roshei Hayeshivos are always the best; they're the ones who have the most experience in Torah, and they have a great deal of experience with people, but many times you can't get close to them because they are so busy. If you're able to get close to somebody who's a talmid chochom, then by all means do so. Even if you go there merely to help him out, to take a walk with him, even to eat together with him if possible. Whatever it is, it's important; ubo sidbok, you should cling to Hashem.

The Gemara says, how can you cling to Hashem? The Gemara says to cling to Hashem means to associate with talmidei chachomim. So if you marry off your daughter to a talmid chochom, the Gemara says that's called clinging to Hashem, or you marry the daughter of a talmid chochom. Associate with talmidei chachomim–and Baruch Hashem we have such people.

Although they may not be the highest and the greatest, nevertheless it's important always to be in contact with those who have experience in the ways of the Torah.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 8/23/2019 12:27 AM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Saying tikun chatzos - A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #484
Parshas Devarim 5779

QUESTION:

Should I say tikun chatzos, especially during these times?

ANSWER:
Tikun chatzos is a good thing, but don't just daven-up. I would say it's a good idea to sit down on the floor even for a minute, before you go to sleep. Sit down on the floor for the churban beis hamikdash; then go to sleep. It's also good enough – don't think it's a small thing.

When I was a boy I used to say tikun chatzos. But now even better, sit on the floor even for a moment, just for a moment, for the churban beis hamikdash, and then go to sleep.

A very good eitza you're hearing now – a very important eitza.

Good Shabbos To All

Question #340
QUESTION:

Why was there so much bloodshed at the time of the destruction?

ANSWER:
It's the same question as why was there destruction? We must learn a fundamental principle; that Hakadosh Baruch Hu reacts in this world. He doesn't hide in the spiritual world and refuse to show Himself. He is constantly asserting His presence, only it's incumbent upon men to be aware of these phenomena.

Now, when people observe the Torah and things were going well, then Hakadosh Baruch Hu demonstrated His favor to encourage them. Therefore despite the great nations that ringed them on all sides, our forefathers maintained their independence and they lived happily; as long as they were loyal to the Torah.

But when a movement was started, in the times of the first Bais Hamikdash by Menashe, who caused a large part of the people to become depraved, in the second Bais Hamikdash by the Tzedukim and the Herodians who took over the sanctuary and used it as a nest for their wickedness, and a considerable number of the people were spoiled by them. Therefore, the time came for Hakadosh Baruch Hu to demonstrate His disfavor and we learned there-from that the wages of sin is suffering. It's always that result.

The same was before World War Two, when a great part of the Jewish people in Europe defected from the Torah, very many stopped observing the laws of the Torah, so Hakadosh Baruch Hu finally sent upon them a destruction.

That's the principle that repeats itself and which was foretold from the beginning. The Torah says that's going to happen! Therefore it's merely a fulfillment of the old prophecy that, v'im lo shim'u li vi'yosafti l'yasro eschem sheva al chatuseichem (Vayikra 26:18), and the principle has been a prophecy which has been fulfilled constantly.

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 8/9/2019 3:27 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Lessons from the 21/2 tribes that chose to live on the far side of the Yarden -A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #483
Parshas Mattos - Masei 5779

QUESTION:

What do we learn by the 2 1/2 tribes that chose to live on the far side of the Yarden?

ANSWER:
We learn it doesn't pay to live far away from the center of Judaism. It doesn't pay to move to new communities far away from Torah centers, where people are happy and rejoice, oh we finally have a Shomer Shabbos butcher shop, and finally we have a Shomer Shabbos bake shop, a great triumph.

The people who remain in the neighborhoods where there are Yeshivos and many frum Jews, they're the smart ones. Hakadosh Baruch Hu's blessing will go on them. And because the 2 1/2 tribes moved far away, they were the first ones to be exiled and they got lost. That's what we learn from them.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 8/2/2019 11:52 AM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Proper way to mourn for the Bais Hamikdash -A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #483
Parshas Pinchas 5779
QUESTION:

How can I mourn for the Bais Hamikdash properly?

ANSWER:
First of all, think about the Bais Hamikdash; most people don't even think about it. When you finish Shmonei Esrei, say the last few words…yehi ratzon milfanecha, Hashem Elokeinu Ve'lokei avoseinu sh'yibaneh Bais Hamikdash b'mheira vyameinu....say it with kavono! Say these words, show that you understand that it's a loss. So every day when you finish Shmonei Esrei, say these words, that's number one.

Also, if you can think how great was the opportunity when the Bais Hamikdash existed, and you would come to the Bais Hamikdash and you would learn yiras shamayim just from looking at it, l'maan tilmad lyira es Hashem Elokecho kol hayomim, merely by coming thereand seeing kohanim b'avodosom, u'leviim beshira u'vezimra...you would become so inspired.

You know, Yonah Hanovi became a navi because he was at the simchas beis hashoeiva at the Bais Hamikdash, and he was so inspired that the ruach hakodesh came upon him; he became a navi.

Therefore say, Ribono Shel Olam, restore the Bais Hamikdash, we want Moshiach! The Bais Hamikdash without Moshiach is also good. Moshiach will build the Bais Hamikdash again. We should all come together in the Bais Hamikdash, and we'll get ruach hakodesh from being there– that's why we want the Bais Hamikdash.

Little by little that's the way to mourn for the Bais Hamikdash. You'll never mourn for it if you don't feel the loss. So first you have to train yourself to feel how great was the opportunity when we had it, and therefore you'll know what it means that you don't have it, and you'll mourn for the loss.

Good Shabbos To All



Posted 7/26/2019 1:27 AM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Man on the moon - A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #482
Parshas Balak 5779

QUESTION:

Since man has landed on the moon, does that make any change in any of our attitudes?

ANSWER:
No. The moon is actually the backyard of the earth. When people were not so accustomed to traveling, to go to Long Island meant a trip of exploration. It's like the woman who was born on the East Side and she lived there all her life, and one day she took a trip to Long Island, and she said, "Now I see how big America is!"

There were a lot of people in small towns in Europe who never left the confines of their town. In fact, in England there's a place called Sunderland, and there's a mountain, and across the mountain there's another town, the people on the two sides of the mountain in the two villages speak a different dialect entirely, because there's no communication. So people are bound by their environment.

The truth is, the earth has a satellite; the moon is our backyard, that's all it is. Therefore it doesn't make the slightest change in any of our attitudes, in any of our ceremonials; everything continues. The truth is that when they discovered America it was even a more startling discovery. Visiting the moon was a smaller breakthrough than the discovery of the American continent.

When people will eventually travel in spaceships to take their vacation on Mars-it'll be in a specially built construction with artificial atmosphere, but there will be people who will have enough money to waste on that. There will be travel bureaus that will spring up on every corner advertising the imaginary glories of a trip to Mars… of course when you come there you will find that it's nothing but bills; it costs money that's all.

The best place to live is right here on the earth-like the best place to live is right here in New York City. Don't let them tell you anything else, wherever you will go you will discover that. Despite the taxes and everything else, this is the best place to be. If you disagree with me, that's my humble opinion.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 7/19/2019 4:42 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #481 (Medical advice from Rabbi Miller, re water)
QUESTION:

Why should someone drink water in the morning before his meal?

ANSWER:
Sixty years ago I was walking in Slabodka from the yeshiva to the dining room, and there was an older bachur in the yeshiva. I told him that I was constipated; he told me to drink every morning before davening a glass of water, and since then I did it every day, all sixty years, except Yom Kippur of course and taaneisim. Only instead of one glass I drank two glasses every day.

Let me explain something to you. The body needs lubrication, and one of the most important elements in regular bowel elimination is enough liquid in the body; and I cannot overemphasize that necessity. And even though it's not ruchnius, but this is important gashmius, and it's a chesed for people to know .

The older you get, the more your body needs liquids, and you should drink more and more as you age. You hit sixty or seventy? You should drink at least six big glasses of water every day. You need it for your eyes-your eyes are lubricated with liquids, you need it for your blood-your blood is liquid, you need it for your digestion-the food has to go down mixed with liquids. You need it for your joints-it helps lubricate the joints; every part of your body needs water.

Therefore when people understand that great gift that Hakadosh Baruch Hu gives in the form of water, they'll thank Hakadosh Baruch Hu for life. Water is actually life itself.

Good Shabbos This email is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 7/12/2019 4:40 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Undoing years and years of careless speech, How? - A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #478
Parshas Beha'aloscha 5779

QUESTION:

How can people undo years and years of careless speech?

ANSWER:
So they put in years and years of careful speech; it's a great thing. If they don't have years and years, so whatever they have. Because the rule is this: the Rambam gives us the rule, a man will remain forever what he was in his last moment. So your frame of mind at the end is what's going to cast the dye in eternity for you. And if you already learned to speak carefully, to appreciate this great gift and to utilize it properly, it will be a kaporo.

However, ashrei ish y'rei es Hashem, happy is the man who fears Hashem, and the Gemara says, b'odo ish, while he's still a man, while he's still young. That's the best time to start understanding these great principles.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 6/20/2019 10:14 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Yeshiva bachur and exercise - A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #477
Parshas Nasso 5779

QUESTION:

Should a yeshiva man spend time on exercising?

ANSWER:
Everybody needs some physical exercise. Exactly how much time each one should spend, it depends on his circumstances; I wouldn't give any general advice. But I would say, everybody should do some walking, it's a very great benefit.

People cannot live a sedentary life always, and allow themselves to deteriorate physically. Exactly what to do, each person has to be told according to his necessities.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 6/14/2019 4:40 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Is Torah the antidote to sickness -A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #476
Parshas Bamidbar 5779
Erev Shavuos

QUESTION:

Chosh bchol gufo ya'asok b'Torah, (one who feels pain in his entire body should study Torah. Eruvin 54:a) If a person is not feeling well should he go to sleep and overlook this chazal?

ANSWER:

If a person is not feeling well, let him look in the Torah, and in the Torah one of the first things he'll see is, vrapei yerapei, it says in the Torah that you have to go to a doctor. If anybody hits somebody, he has to pay him among other things for refuah, the Gemara is full of healing, everywhere you look it's full of healing. Therefore it's no question if you learn the Gemara, it teaches you that you have to heal.

However, suppose you're not able to diagnose your illness, and even if it was diagnosed, you're taking medicines, but the segula of learning Torah is also a way. Because Hashem said, if you're able to utilize your life for learning Torah, then you deserve to live longer and get well. So learning Torah is a segula to get well.

However, does it mean you stop eating? You don't have to eat anymore? No, you have to eat anyhow, even if you are learning Torah. So even if you are learning Torah you have to take medicines too.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 6/6/2019 11:04 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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I will walk with you in Gan Eden? A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #475
Parshas Bechukosai 5779

QUESTION:

Rashi says, (26:12) Im bechukosai teileichu, if you will walk in My laws, a'tyeil imachem b'gan eden, I will walk together with you in Gan Eden. What does it mean?

ANSWER:
Hakadosh Baruch Hu doesn't have to take a walk, He doesn't walk; it means this. When a person follows in the ways of Hashem, he's going to have kirvas Hashem. Dovid Hamelech said, V'ani kirvas Elokim li tov, the best of all things is to get close to Hashem. Now how do you get close to Hashem? If you understand that Hashem isn't a physical thing, Hashem is ruchnius, how do we get close in ruchnius to a ruchnius? The answer is: by being similar.

I'll give you an example. You have a cellular telephone and you're speaking to somebody hundreds of miles away, but this minute you're close to him. Why are you close to him, you are very far from him? But your wavelength is the same as his, and your voice enters his cell phone. So if a person has the wavelength-has the middos of Hakadosh Baruch Hu-he is close to Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

It's the same as if he is walking side-by-side with the Shechina, and Hakadosh Baruch Hu says, if you'll improve your character we'll all walk together in Gan Eden. How it will look like, I cannot tell you, I certainly cannot explain what it looks like to take a walk with Hakadosh Baruch Hu, it's impossible to explain that.

But it certainly means more than what we think; it's a very great happiness and a great honor. If Hakadosh Baruch Hu allows you to be considered close to Him, it's because of the shleimus of middos, and the shleimus of middos-the Rambam says-is one of the means of getting close to Hashem.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 5/30/2019 11:20 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Davening vasikin, good idea or not - A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #474
Parshas Behar 5779

QUESTION:

Is it a good idea to try to daven at a minyan that has birchas kohanim every day?

ANSWER:
That depends on where you come from and who you are. However I want to make a different remark.

The tzadikim who daven vasikin, up very early. Excellent! But I must make one remark. You daven Shabbos also vasikin, and miss the opportunity however to hear a little bit yiras shomayim from somebody who's speaking. They come together in a minyan, they daven fast, and go home. If you daven in a place where there's a Rav, sometimes he speaks a few words of divrei mussar, it's a valuable opportunity, and it's more important than vasikin.

Asei lecha Rav, means always be in a place where there's a Rav. Somebody who'll tell you something-don't think you know everything, there is no end to the information that we require to know the derech Hashem. But those people who go Shabbos morning to vasikin, they're so proud and happy, they come out early-and they come out without any kind of lesson-they're not better than they were last week! Nobody will tell them anything wrong about themselves! They are walking in blindness all their lives, so many faults people have! Somebody has to criticize you. You need some kind of instruction, you have to hear the truth, it's a world of darkness. Ki henei hachoshech yechase aretz, the world is covered in darkness-only because somebody is teaching you, you have to have somebody to tell you.

Nobody has to tell them, in vasikin. I don't think it's the very best thing to daven vasikin.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 5/23/2019 8:48 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Who lives happiest in this world - A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #473
Parshas Emor 5779

QUESTION:

What is the secret to happiness in this world?

ANSWER:
The Kuzari gives us a very important statement on this subject. The Kuzari says: those that don't expect anything out of this world, who don't look forward to any pleasures, are the ones who live happiest in this world, because he didn't expect anything. Therefore whatever happened to him is a pleasant surprise! And listen to that, that's one of the secrets to happiness. It's not the only secret, happiness is a big sugya, you have to study that, but this is one of the big secrets and it's by an important person, the Kuzari.

If you get married and you're thinking of love, that all your life it's going to be a love nest, you and your wife will be just like you were before your chasuna, then you're going to be terriblydisappointed, since it never turns out that way. Because as soon as you get married love flies out of the window.

What is love? Love is a combination of illegality and novelty; but as soon as it becomes legal, and it's not novel anymore, so there's no more love. If that's what you're looking forward to, a false bubble with a pink color in it, then it's going to burst. Anybody who looks forward to things is going to be disappointed in things.

We get married because it's the ratzon Hashem, you're doing your duty as a decent man and as a Jew has to do, and you do it as fast as you can-of course with the right one, you look for the best maalos. Don't expect anything, don't expect any good qualities! Of course you should look for good qualities, no question, look, don't be a fool. You look for good health, look for good middos, look for yiras shamayim, look for everything, but don't expect it.

Therefore whenever something good happens, whenever you see that your wife could cook, you didn't expect her to be a cook, oh what a cook!! Your wife is able to bear children, you didn't expect it, a lot of women cannot bear children, oh she can bear children too? Ay yay yay. Your wife is not cussing you out? Only once in a while maybe... not too frequently? You're so happy, you're overjoyed more than you expected. Everything in life is a surprise. You didn't expect to live to forty years old...I hit 40, it's a holiday for you. When you hit 50, it's a bigger holiday! You hit 60 you don't know what to do with yourself, you're delirious! At 70 you're drunk with happiness, you never expected it!

I was once talking to an old man he was 85 years old, he wasn't well at that time, he was sitting on a bench with me in Williamsburg and across the street there's a 60-year-old man, a chosid. He said that chosid is a no good fellow, look he's 60 years old and is healthy and I'm sick-he's healthy and I'm sick. I said, how old is he? 60. And how old are you? I'm 85. So I said what do you want? You're 85, and he got well after a while, but he's angry that at 85 he's sick and the other man is well. When people look forward to a long life, he expected to live at least 5000 years, and at the early age of 85 didn't feel well, he was angry at Hakadosh Baruch Hu! But suppose he didn't expect to hit 60, expect to hit 40, so all his life he's having pleasant surprises. Every birthday is a simcha to him, he sings! That's the kind of man who is happy, because he didn't expect anything.

I always quote this as an acid test, as a criterion.

Who runs around late at night trying to find a grocery store to buy a dozen eggs? A person that has a lot of eggs at home, or a person that does not have any eggs at home? Who's trying to shop for eggs? If a person has eggs at home, he's not shopping for eggs.

Who runs around at night in cars looking for a good time, chasing after a good time? People that have a good time or people that don't have it? The people that are running around Saturday night and Sunday night and every other night, in cars looking for a good time, are they people that are happy? Or are they running to try to get happiness?

They don't have happiness, no question about it, they are always chasing after it, they will never find it, they'll never find it, because for them life is only for good times, and if you can't have good times all the time they are disappointed.

But the people that are not looking for good times, they have good times in their homes, plenty of good times. If good times means, to stay up late and to lose sleep and have a headache the next day-that's how some people interpret times, so alright.

But if good times means to be healthy, and to live a normal life and to have nachas from children, if good times means that you feel successful in your purposes in pursuing Torah and mitzvos, if good times means that your conscience is clear, so these people are the ones who are really happy because they didn't expect anything, even their food they didn't expect. When they sit down to eat their little supper, they enjoy it more than the others that go out and eat in a fancy restaurant with music-don't be deceived about it. The poor people in Meah Shearim who live in two rooms with 14 children, are enjoying life better than the rich people in Scarsdale, where there are two people and no children in a big mansion.

And I guarantee you, there are more suicides that take place in Scarsdale than in Meah Shearim.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 5/17/2019 5:29 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Increasing ones love to a wife...despite her shortcomings -A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #472
Parshas Kedoshim 5779

QUESTION:

How does one increase love for his wife, when her chesronos (shortcomings) still bother him?

ANSWER:
There will come a day, after a hundred and twenty years, when he will come into the house and his wife is not there anymore. He'll say, "Sarala, where are you?" She's not here anymore.

Oh, now he sees what a misfortune it is, he can't hear her voice anymore. He will look back and it will hurt him to no end. "Why was I so mean to her?" After all she's a woman and I am a man, nobody is the same! Even two men can't be the same all the time, you cannot agree with everybody, you have to learn how to get along with somebody else.

"I didn't utilize the opportunity; I missed the opportunity to be a mentch. I should have kept quiet when she said something silly, I could've been tolerant, after all she made meals for me all the time, always made supper for me, she was a good cook, she kept the house clean, she took care of the children… all the things she did for me, and I was ungrateful to her."

You have to know that it's going to hurt him no end, and in the next world he's going to shrei (scream) "gevald,gevald", reshoim melei'im charotos. "Ribono Shel Olam let me come back to this world and make another attempt!"

"Oh no," Hashem says, "you had one chance and that's all."

And so while you still have your wife, concentrate on looking at her maalos. You'll find plenty of maalos; don't be foolish, there are plenty of maalos. If she didn't have maalos she wouldn't put up with you either.

Make it a career of seeing only the good, and you'll discover there is very much good.

Good Shabbos To All

This email is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 5/10/2019 3:13 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Understanding the Se'ir La'azazel -A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #471
Parshas Acharei Mos 5779

QUESTION:

Rabbi Packos is asking, how is it that the Se'ir Hamistalieach, that's the goat that's sent away on Yom Kippur and thrown off a mountain, how is it mechaper without teshuva?

ANSWER:
We have to understand that the Se'ir Hamistalieach is actually a lesson, and the people understood the lesson. A lesson, even if it doesn't change your actions, but it changes your mind, and changing your mind already is a teshuva.

What is it that the Se'ir Hamistalieach teaches? Everybody knows that the Se'ir is Eisav; Eisav is symbolized by the Seir. He was a hairy man, and the he-goat, that's the symbol of Eisav. Yom Kippur they take the he-goat and throw it off a mountain and it's shattered. That symbolizes as follows: V'noso hasoir aluv es kol avonosom el eretz gezeira (Achharei mos 22:1), the he-goat will carry away their sins to a desert land.

Chazal say, V'noso hasoir, ze Eisav, Eisav will carry away es avonosom, avonos ta'am, the sins of Yaakov. If Eisav is cast off a mountain and is shattered, then Yaakov becomes an ish ta'am, he becomes perfect again. What does that mean? It means we have to learn from this, and they learned in those days, they understood it, that our greatest problem in this world is the influence of Eisav. If we can divest ourselves, if we can rid ourselves, of the influence of the nations of the world-of course the Jews who follow Eisav are all included in Eisav-if we can get rid of their influence, that's number one, that's one of the most important methods of doing teshuva.

Of course there is still saor shebisa, the gemoro says two things. Saor shebisa, the yeast in the dough, v'shibud malchuos, and our subjection to the nations, the yeast in the dough that's the intrinsic yetzer hora in each one of us.

But there is another yetzer hora that's more encompassing, the overall yetzer hora of following the ways of the gentiles. All the wicked Jews in America are talmidim of Eisav, if you would see what they do, you will see that they all come from the examples given by the general gentile community. The wickedness of immorality, the wickedness of atheism and evolution-all the rishus is not a Jewish product. Even the avodah zaros that were worshiped in ancient days by some Jews were copied; all were imitations of idols of the gentiles.

Therefore our first problem is to de-gentilize ourselves, to get rid of the influence of the outside world.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 5/3/2019 3:55 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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What rechush gadol did the people who died in Mitzrayim get? A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #470
Erev Pesach 5779

QUESTION:

Those that went out of Mitzrayim when Pharaoh finally sent them, they went with a rechush gadol. What about all those who died before yetzias mitzrayim, what did they gain? So many people died in Mitzrayim before the time came, 210 years!

ANSWER:
They also went out with a rechush gadol, they went to Olam Habah with a rechush gadol. They gained a great wealth of suffering in Mitzrayim; they cried out to Hashem always, and that wealth is more important than the gold and silver that was taken out of Mitzrayim.

And so Hashem kept His promise, v'achrei kein yeitzu b'rechush gadol, all the generations have the rechush gadol because of their experience in Mitzrayim. We seek a rechush gadol in our lives, there's a rechush gadol waiting for us. Constantly opportunities come up for us to express our appreciation to Hashem and to ask Him for help.

I always say the same thing… when you pass a medical building, there are signs on the building. A doctor for this sickness, for that illness, for this illness, read it, read it. Baruch Hashem I don't need him, don't need him, don't need him, and don't need him, Ribono shel olam save me from this one, save me from this one, and save me from this one, you should thank Hashem and pray to Hashem; it's an opportunity.

You pass a drug store and there is a big sign, sale, on all kinds of medicines. And you read that sale sign… Baruch Hashem I don't need that, I don't need that, I don't need that, Ribono shel olam I should never need these things.

That's how you should live, that's a program for life, that's a way to understand what we are in this world for.

Good Shabbos To All

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 4/19/2019 5:56 AM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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Davening in a Shul without a Rov - A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt"l #469
Parshas Metzora 5779

QUESTION:

Is it preferable to daven in a good minyan when there's no Rov, or in another minyan with a lower class of clientele, but has a Rov present?

ANSWER:
It depends. Sometimes even when there's a Rov present the people act like he's not present! And therefore you're better off in the other place. But suppose all things being equal, and one place has somebody who has a certain responsibility, authority; no question.

There is another reason. I must tell you something that happens all the time with me. A woman calls me up-her husband is terrible: he's brutal, he's selfish, very many times this happens. So I say doesn't your husband have a Rabbi? No he has no Rabbi. He goes to one Shul Friday night, Shabbos morning someplace else, Mincha he goes someplace else, in the weekday someplace else, he doesn't have a Rabbi! He never says good Shabbos to the Rabbi, he doesn't even know the Rabbi. So he doesn't have a Rebbe!

To whom can she complain, to a stranger? If there's a Rov to whom he feels a certain attachment, he likes the Rov to have a good opinion of him, that could help out very much. Otherwise he's an orphan, who should she talk to?

You should never marry a man who doesn't have a Rebbe, otherwise who knows what's going to happen, to whom will she complain? If he has a Rosh Hayeshiva at least, his old Rosh Hayeshiva could be appealed to and could have an influence on him. There's nobody at all in this world, a self-made nobody! A self-made man? Then who could you appeal to, to influence him?


That's why it's very important, very important, to have somebody, a gavrah d'mistafina, a person you're afraid of; then your wife won't have to call up at all. The mere fact that he is somebody that you're afraid of already makes a mentch out of you.

It's very important, very important.


Good Shabbos To All


Questions from previous years


Question #86
QUESTION:

What should you think when you’re counting Sefiras HaOmer?

ANSWER:
Now everybody knows, that we’re counting Sefirah to come closer to the very greatest event in history; and that event was Matan Torah. Like the Gemora says, Vayhi Erev Vayhi Boker Yom Shishi, Yom HaShishi, it doesn't say Yom Shishi, Yom HaShishi. Why the "Hey," HaShishi? Because the sixth day was the most important day in the whole world. The whole world was made for Matan Torah. And so we are counting, we are counting to that day. But there’s a Kasha on this P'shat. Why do you say, today is so many days, and the next day more? You should count less! Let's say, today is 50 days before the Omer, next 49, 48, 47, that's how you should count, because you're waiting for Matan Torah. I want to make sure the Kasha is understood. You should go from the bigger number to the lesser number. And the less days there are, the happier you are?

And why call it, Sefiras HaOmer? Call it Sefiras Hatorah. Why Sefiras HaOmer? What's it got to do with the Omer? Now pay attention. There is a Machlokes HaPoskim, if the Brocho on Talmud Torah is a D'oraysa. Now we follow the Shita that it's M'doraysa. If you are in a Sofek if you made a Brocho on the Torah in the morning, you have to do it anyhow. It's a Sofek. In case you want, you can wait to Ahava Rabah, the Brocho before Krias Shema, and be M'chavain that you are thinking of Birchas Hatorah. But you must do it. But some Poskim say, Birchas Hatorah is M'drabanan. When it comes to the Brocho on eating bread, everybody agrees it's D'oraysa. Isn't that an interesting thing? The Brocho on eating bread, Birchas Hamazon, is D'oraysa. Hakol Modim, "Eretz Asher Lo B'miskainus Tochal Bo Lechem", V'achalta, V'sovoto, Uveirachta. So what do we see from this? That bread is more important than Torah. Bread is more important than Torah, because bread is life, and life is the most important thing.

Without bread you couldn't learn Torah. Not merely you say Im Ain Kemach Ain Torah,that's a different idea. Kepshuto, bread is the opportunity to live in this world. Now, we thank Hakadosh Baruch Hu for the bread. And every day we say, “Today is the first day we’re thanking you for the bread.” The second day, “THE OMER IS BREAD!!” Third day, fourth day, keep on thanking. Now what does it all end up? It ends up in Matan Torah. Bread is for the purpose for learning Torah. We are thanking Hashem for giving us Life, Baruch Hashem. So when you sit down to eat bread every morning, Pas Shachris is a Mitzvah, Pas Shachris is a Mitzvah to eat the Gemora says. Eat bread every morning. That little piece of bread, Pas Shachris, will save you from many illnesses, many sicknesses, if you eat Pas Shachris. When you eat that piece of bread, thinking, “AAH, bread that's Torah, that's Life, that's everything.” And you say, “Baruch Ata Hashem, Hamotzei Lechem Min Ha'aretz,” say it with Hisragshus, with excitement. Love Hashem for the bread. Because bread is going to bring you to everything else. And that's what Sefirah comes to tell us, how great is the Matana that Hashem gives us. Poseach Es Yodecha Umasbiah Lechol Chai Ratzon, and the purpose is, in order eventually to bring us to Har Sinai , to Matan Torah.

Question #130
QUESTION:

Why was Matzoh chosen to be the symbol of chipazon?

ANSWER:
Matzoh is the food, bread is the mainstay of a person’s nutrition. Bread is called the mashein lechem, the staff of life. The most important nutrition of a person is his mind. Because as we said before, the purpose of the whole story of Mitzraim was to create siechel in us; deiah, emunah, understanding. That's what Mitzraim is for. We were in Mitzraim, and all the nissim were lamaan teidah, you should know. And just like bread is the most important item of our menu, so we have to know that the most important thing that we have to get out of life is emunah.

And therefore the Matzoh is the vehicle that brings us this lesson. So as you eat the Matzoh, chew the Matzoh and swallow it, and think of the lesson of chipazon the lesson of mamleches kohanim. You're a kohain eating a korban minchah. Also by the way, Matzoh tastes good, too. As you enjoy the Matzoh and you say mechalkail chaim b'chesed, You’re feeding the living with kindliness; it's for a purpose, too. Bread as you eat it and you enjoy it, it gives you nourishment. It’s what the purpose is of you enjoying the bread: Ba'avur shmo hagadol, for the sake of His Great Name, ki hu kail zun umefarneis lakol, that He is the one that feeds everyone.

So as you’re eating the bread and it causes you to thank Hashem, bread has to give you emunah. If you eat bread without getting emunah, so the bread is wasted. It says openly: Hazon es haolam kulo, what's the purpose? Ba'avur shmo hagadol, for the sake of His Great Name. It means that we should recognize His Great Name and speak about Him. So the purpose of the bread is, to arouse within us a recognition of the wonders that Hashem performs when He creates bread.

Where does bread come from? Bread is nothing but carbon dioxide that comes from the air, mixed with some sunlight, and some water, and a small amount of materials from the earth; that's bread. And now it becomes a life giving substance called bread, that's Hashem. So when you eat bread it's supposed to give you emunah. So besides Matzoh which gives you all these lessons, Matzoh is also hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz. So you can enjoy the Matzoh, too, and think how good the Matzoh tastes. It's a pleasure to eat Matzohs, certainly, it's a good change from eating bread all the time. And as you're enjoying the Matzohs you're enjoying all the lessons that Matzoh and bread give you.

Question #177
QUESTION:

Ein maftirin achar haPesach afikoman, after eating the Korban Pesach you can not conclude with eating dessert. Now today, we don't have the Korban Pesach so we eat a piece of matzoh called afikoman. Which means that after that piece of matzah we can't eat anything. Why?

ANSWER:
The reason is given as follows: When you eat the korban pesach, it was the end of the seudah. Pesach ne'echal al hasova, it was eaten at the end of the seudah. Pesach night first they ate everything else, and then they ate that kezayis, the piece of the Korban Pesach, broiled meat. They wanted that, that taste should remain in their mouth's as long as possible. The taste of the mitzvah should not be washed away by other things.

That's what the father says, when the chochom says, muh ha'aidos v'hachukim, tell us my father, something about Korban Pesach. The father says my son, I'm going to teach you things about Korban Pesach, about the Torah, about Hashem, but one thing I want you to know, what I tell you should remain in your mouth forever. The taste should not depart. Sometimes in the beginning the child is interested, but later on as he gets older, he's sophisticated, no! The taste should always be in your mouth. And so the Korban Pesach should remain as long as possible, even when you wake up in the morning after Pesach night, you still have the taste of the Korban Pesach in your mouth.

And that's a remez, that when you learned the great ideals that Hashem wants us to learn in our youth, ein maftirin, don't let anything wash it out of your head. Literature, business, whatever else there is in the world, watch out! Nothing should wipe out the lessons that you imbibed when you were idealistic, when you learned them in your youth.

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210


Posted 4/12/2019 2:33 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)


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The Step – by – Step Pesach Seder:
Reprinted from Rabbi Yossi Michalowicz
Kadesh – Recite the Kiddush:
1. A father should bless the children before the Seder, just as he always does on Friday night all year
long.
2. The actual Kiddush should be made as soon as it is nightfall. The preferred time for nightfall for this
year of 5779 is 8:56 PM. One can be lenient and begin at 8:48 PM. One should not make Kiddush
earlier than that time. If the late start will cause Shalom Bayis issues, please contact your Rabbi for
practical suggestions. All preliminary activities may begin earlier. [such as singing the Kadesh,
Urchatz…song]
3. The Matzos should be covered during the Kiddush. The rule throughout the Seder is that the Matzos
should be uncovered except when the wine is held.
4. The leader of the Seder should not pour his own cup, but another person should pour for him. Some
have the custom that no one pours his own cup.
5. There are different customs as to who recites the Kiddush:
• The leader of the Seder recites the Kiddush and the others listen.
• Each head of the household recites the Kiddush and their family members listen.
• Everyone recites the Kiddush together, including the women and children.
6. All the participants should have their own cup of wine and hold it during Kiddush, whether they are
listening or reciting it.
7. It is preferable to use red wine. If there is a white wine of a better quality, one may use it; but it is
preferable to mix it with a little red wine to give it a red color. In that case one should preferably pour
the white wine into the red wine when mixing on Yom Tov.
8. Sparkling wine is acceptable if it tastes like wine.
9. If one can not tolerate even weak wine, one may use grape juice.
10. The Kiddush cup must be able to contain at least three fluid ounces. On a Friday night, the first cup
must contain at least 4 ½ fluid ounces.
11. When reciting the Kiddush, one should have in mind to fulfill two Mitzvos: The Mitzvah of Kiddush and
the Mitzvah of drinking the first of the four cups of wine.
12. When saying the “Shehechiyanu” blessing one should have in mind that it applies to the Holiday and all
the Mitzvos of the Seder.
13. Ideally, one should drink the entire cup. If this is not possible, it is sufficient to drink the majority of the
cup. It is better to use a small cup containing the minimum quantity that can be finished, than a large
cup that can not be finished.
14. Ideally the cup should be drunk without pausing. If this is not possible, one may stop once for a short
pause during the drinking. If this too is not possible, one fulfills his obligation if he drinks the required
quantity within four minutes.
15. Men must recline on their left side when drinking the wine. [The same is true for a left-handed person.]
16. If one did not recline while drinking the first cup, and realized after its completion, he should not drink it
again.
17. One is permitted to drink non-alcoholic beverages between the first and second cups.
Urchatz – Wash the Hands:
1. All the participants should wash their hands in the same manner as is done before eating bread or
Matzo, except that no blessing is made.
2. Some have the custom that the leader of the Seder has his hands washed at his seat by the table by
one of the children.
3. Care should be taken not to speak after the washing until the Karpas is eaten, unless the talking is
related to the performance of the Mitzvah.
Karpas – Eat the Vegetable:
1. Karpas is a vegetable, preferably one that is eaten raw. The most commonly used are celery, sweet
radish, cabbage, and parsley. [make sure to inspect for insects before Yom Tov where necessary]
2
Some use potato. Lettuce should not be used, since one may not use a vegetable that qualifies as
Maror.
2. Each person at the Seder is given a piece less than 30cc.
3. The Karpas should be held with one’s fingers.
4. The Karpas is dipped in salt water.
5. Each person recites the blessing “Borei P’ri Hoadama.”
6. When reciting the blessing, one should have in mind that this blessing should include the Maror that
will be eaten later in the Seder.
7. One is not obligated to recline when eating the Karpas, but one may do so if he wishes. The prevalent
custom is to eat it without reclining.
8. The remaining Karpas may be removed from the table. Some have a custom to leave a piece of
Karpas on the Seder plate until the meal. The salt water may be removed.
Yachatz – Break the Middle Matzo:
1. The middle Matzo is broken into two uneven pieces.
2. The smaller piece is returned to the Seder plate or Matzo cover, and the larger one is wrapped
in a cloth and put aside to use as the Afikoman.
3. The smaller piece should be at least the size of 25 grams, and it is therefore advisable to
select a large Matzo for the middle Matzo.
4. It s a custom for the children to take the Afikoman and hide it when the leader of the Seder is
not watching.
Maggid – Relate the Story of the Haggadah:
1. Before beginning the narrative of the Haggadah one should have in mind to fulfill the obligation
to relate the story of the Exodus from Egypt.
2. The Mitzvah is not fulfilled by mere recital of the Haggadah if the words are not understood.
Those who are not familiar with Hebrew are strongly advised to spend time studying the
Haggadah, in order to turn the Seder night into a deep and meaningful experience.
3. It is better to read the Haggadah in a language that you understand than to read it in Hebrew
and not understand it at all.
4. The leader must ensure that everyone understands at least the most essential sections of the
narrative.
5. The most important sections of the narrative are the ten plagues and from the section that
begins “Rabbi Gamliel used to say” until the second cup is drunk.
6. Everyone can either recite the Haggadah or listen to the leader read it, as long as one
understands what is being said. Most people follow the custom to recite the Haggadah if they
are fluent in Hebrew.
7. The leader of the Seder should hold the broken middle Matzo while saying “Ha Lachma Anya.”
8. The Seder plate containing the Matzos should be removed from the table, or at least moved
away from the leader, after saying “Ha Lachma Anya.” The second cup is filled.
9. The custom is for the youngest child capable of asking the “Ma Nishtana.” If the child is
hesitant, his father or mother may assist him. If there are no children present, the wife or any of
the participants should ask the four questions.
10.After the “Ma Nishtana” the Seder plate containing the Matzos should be returned to their
place in front of the leader of the Seder and left uncovered during the narrative. The story of
the slavery and exodus is now related in detail.
11. One should not recline during the narrative – one should sit upright with awe and respect.
12.A total of 16 drops of wine are spilled out when enumerating the ten plaques and the
surrounding text, as indicated in the Haggadah.
3
13.One should use the index finger to spill out the one. If a person is too sensitive to use his
finger, he should spill out the drops by tilting the cup.
14.If necessary the cups should be refilled before saying “Rabbi Gamliel etc.”
15.The leader should hold up the broken middle Matzo when saying “This Matzo etc.”
16.The leader should hold up the Maror when saying “This Maror etc.”
17.The leader should not hold up the shank bone when saying “This Korban Pesach etc.”
However, the custom is to look at the shank bone.
18.You drink the second cup of wine [while reclining] at the conclusion of the Maggid. If a man
forgot to recline he should immediately drink anther cup without a blessing.
Rochtza – Wash the Hands:
1. Wash your hands like you normally would do for the eating of Matzo. You do recite the blessing
of “Al Netilas Yodayim.”
2. The leader of the Seder should announce that one may not speak after washing the hands
until after “Korech,” unless it concerns the Mitzvos.
3. He should inform everyone about the next few steps of the Seder, and tell them the relevant
laws.
4. Each person should be given a piece of Matzo weighing at least 25 grams in preparation for
the Mitzvah of eating Matzo. Children may be given 10 grams each.
5. The steps “Rochtza, Motzi, and Matzo” should be announced.
6. Some have the custom that the leader of the Seder has his hands washed at his seat by the
table by one of the children.
Motzi / Matzo – Two Blessings Are Recited on the Matzo:
1. The Matzo eaten for the various Mitzvos of the Seder night must be Shmura Matzo. It can
either be handmade or machine made Matzo. It is preferable to use handmade matzos for the
Seder plate.
2. The leader of the Seder should have in mind to include everyone else with his blessings.
3. Everyone else should have in mind to fulfill his obligation by listening to the blessings.
4. While the blessings are said, everyone should have in mind to fulfill the Mitzvah of eating
Matzo on the first night of Pesach.
5. You should have in mind that the blessings should also apply to the Korech and Afikoman.
6. The men should remember to recline while eating the Matzo.
7. The Matzos should be covered while the blessing of “Hamotzei” is recited.
8. All three Matzos should be held for the first blessing, after which the lowest Matzo is released.
The remaining two Matzos are held for the second blessing.
9. Ideally, the two Matzos should be broken simultaneously after the blessing.
10.The leader of the Seder should take for himself 15 grams from the top matzo and 15 grams
from the middle one. Both pieces should be eaten together.
11. Everyone else should be given a small piece from the top matzo in addition to the prepared
piece of 25 grams that was distributed before washing. Both pieces should be eaten together.
12.NOTE: An average hand Matzo is between 50-80 grams and a machine Matzo is 30 grams.
13.The main custom is not to dip the Matzo in salt.
14.The Matzo should be eaten as quickly as possible, but in no more than two minutes. If this is
difficult, it may be eaten within four minutes. This is measured from the time that one
begins to swallow the Matzo. One should nevertheless not eat in a state of frenzy or with
voracity, but rather with dignity and joy as one fulfills the Mitzvah of Hashem.
15.One may drink a little water to facilitate swallowing if one’s mouth is too dry to swallow.
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16.If a man forgot to recline while eating the Matzos, he must eat another 30 grams of Matzo
while reclining, but no blessing is said.
Maror – Eat the Bitter Herbs:
1. The widespread custom is to use either romaine or iceberg lettuce or grated horseradish.
Great care must be given to insure that all lettuce is insect - free. Horseradish may not be
eaten whole. Commercially processed horseradish is not acceptable.
2. One should eat a quantity of lettuce leaves that covers an area of 8” X 10” or lettuce stalks that
covers an area 3” X 5”. If grated horseradish is used, one should eat 27 cc if possible. If this is
difficult, it is sufficient to eat 17 cc [approx. one heaping tablespoon].
3. One may combine both types of Maror to make the required amount.
4. The Maror should be eaten as quickly as possible, but in no more than two minutes. If this is
difficult, it may be eaten within four minutes. This is measured from the time that one
begins to swallow the Maror.
5. Dip some of the Maror in the Charoses [a mixture of finely chopped fruits, spices, and red
wine. Traditionally, the fruits are sour apples and nuts and the spices are cinnamon and
ginger]. Before the dipping, the Charoses should be diluted considerably at this stage by
adding more wine, making it suitable for dipping.
6. The custom is for each person to recite his own blessing of “Al Achilas Maror.”
7. When making the blessing one should think about fulfilling the Mitzvah of eating Maror and that
the blessing should also apply to the Korech.
8. One does not recline when eating Maror.
Korech – Eat the Sandwich of Matzo and Maror:
1. The bottom Matzo is used for Korech. Since this is usually not sufficient for everyone, the
leader of the Seder should distribute to each person a small piece from this Matzo and
supplement it with other Matzo to make the required quantity.
2. Each person should have 15 grams of Matzo.
3. One eats the same amount of Maror for Korech as one eats for Maror.
4. The main custom is to dip the Maror in Charoses
5. The custom is to place the Maror between the two pieces of Matzo.
6. No blessing is recited before eating the sandwich, but a paragraph is said beginning with the
words “Zeicher LeMikdash KiHillel.”
7. The Korech should be eaten as quickly as possible, but in no more than two minutes. If this is
difficult, it may be eaten within four minutes. This is measured from the time that one
begins to swallow the Maror.
8. Men should recline when eating Korech.
9. If a man forgot to recline, he need not eat another Korech.
Shulchan Orech – Eat the Yom Tov Meal:
1. The custom is to begin the meal with eggs dipped in salt water. Some people eat the egg from
the Seder plate.
2. Some have the custom to eat fish as well.
3. One must not eat poultry or meat that is prepared without any liquid. This includes roasted,
barbecued, and broiled. One may eat poultry or meat that is roasted in a pot with some liquid.
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4. The shank bone should not be eaten.
5. One should not eat excessively. Overeating may cause drowsiness and one will not be able to
conclude the Seder successfully. One must also remain with some appetite for the Afikoman at
the end of the meal.
6. One must leave sufficient time after the meal to eat the Afikoman before Halachik
midnight, which is 1:17 AM.
7. It is praiseworthy for a man to recline during the meal, but not a requirement.
8. According to some opinions, it is a Mitzvah to drink some wine during the meal in honor of Yom
Tov.
Tzafun – Eat the Afikoman:
1. The last item of food to be eaten at the Seder meal is a piece of Matzo called the Afikoman.
2. We use the piece of the broken middle Matzo that was put aside at the beginning of the Seder.
Since this is usually not sufficient for everyone, the leader of the Seder should distribute to
each person a small piece from this Matzo and supplement it with other Matzo to make the
required quantity.
3. If possible, each person should eat 30 grams. If it is difficult, one may eat 15 grams.
4. There is no blessing recited for eating the Afikoman, but one should have in mind that he is
fulfilling the Mitzvah of eating the Afikoman.
5. A man should recline when eating the Afikoman.
6. If a man forgot to recline, he should eat another Afikoman if it is not too difficult. However, if he
already washed his hands for “Mayim Acharonim” he should not eat another Afikoman.
7. An effort should be made to eat the Afikoman before Halachik midnight, which is at 1:17 A.M.
for the year of 5779. Nevertheless, if this time passed, the Afikoman should still be eaten.
8. If the Afikoman cannot be found, other Shmura Matzo should be eaten instead.
9. One may not eat anything else after the Afikoman. One may drink water if he is thirsty after
eating the Afikoman. After Birchas Hamazon one should preferably refrain from any other
drinks, but in a case of great need one my drink tea, seltzer, apple juice, lemonade, or mildly
flavored soda. Coffee should not be drunk. One should not smoke after the Afikoman as well
Barech – Saying the Birchas Hamazon:
1. The third cup of wine is poured before the Birchas Hamazon.
2. One should wash Mayim Acharonim before the Birchas Hamazon.
3. If there are three men present, the custom is for the head of the household to lead the “Zimun.”
If there is an important visitor, he may be given this honor.
4. If there is someone who led the Zimun, only he must hold the cup of wine during the Birchas
Hamazon. If there is no leader, then everyone should hold the cup of wine.
5. Men should recline when drinking the cup of wine after the Birchas Hamazon. If he forgot, he
need not drink another cup.
6. After drinking the third cup, the cups are refilled with wine. An extra cup, the cup of Eliyahu, is
filled.
7. The custom is for the leader of the Seder to fill the cup of Eliyahu. It should be a large and
especially beautiful cup.
8. The door is opened and “Shfoch Chamascha” is recited standing.
9. Many have the custom to leave the full cup of Eliyahu covered on the table overnight and use it
for Kiddush on Yom Tov morning. Others pour it back into the bottle.
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Hallel – Recite the Hallel:
1. Women are obligated to remain at the Seder for Hallel and the fourth cup of wine. Children
aged five or six should be encouraged to do so if possible.
2. One should not recline during Hallel. Rather one should sit upright with awe and respect.
3. If there are three people present, including one’s wife and children, the verses of “Hodo” and
“Ana” should be said responsively, as is done in Shul. The leader of the Seder should recite
these verses and the others should respond.
4. The fourth cup of wine is drunk at the conclusion of the Hallel.
5. Men should recline when drinking the fourth cup, and do not drink it again if they forgot to
recline.
6. Effort should be made to drink 3 ounces of wine in order to recite the after blessing.
7. The after blessing is recited by everyone who drank 3 ounces. When making the blessing, one
should have in mind that it also applies to all the other three cups of wine.
Nirtzah – The Seder is Accepted:
1. After the paragraph of “Chasal Siddur Pesach,” the final part of the Haggadah comprises
songs of praise to Hashem. Since these songs were added later, a person who is exhausted is
not obligated to say them.
2. Some people have the custom to recite “Shir Hashirim” after the Seder.
3. Tonight is the only night of the year where it is a Mitzvah to remain awake as long as
possible after the Seder and study the laws of Pesach and continue relating the
miracles of the Exodus. [Shavuos is only a custom.] It would be preferred to stay up all
night and pray Shacharis at sunrise. A person is exempt if he is overcome by sleep.
Similarly, if he will not be able to pray Shacharis properly without a good night’s sleep, he may
go to bed.
4. If one has the strength, one should say Shir Hashirim after the Seder.
5. Before going to sleep, the custom is to recite only the first paragraph of the bed time Shema
and the blessing of “Hamapil.
Second Seder:
1. There are differences at the second Seder:
• All preparations for the second night of Yom Tov may not begin before nightfall, which
is at 8:57 PM for the year 5779.
• On a Saturday night, please remember to insert Havdala in your Kiddush
• One may be lenient and only eat 15 grams for the first eating of Matzo. Nevertheless,
the leader of the Seder must eat 30 grams. A sick or elderly person may be lenient and
eat 10 grams of Matzo.
• Some have the custom to not hurry and eat the Afikoman before Halachik midnight.
• One may have any non-intoxicating drinks after the Afikoman.
• One may retire to bed immediately after the Seder.


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