Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Hoshana Raba in 770

Some of these photos of Hoshana Raba in 770 on the COL site are really good.
See them all here.


Mivtzoim in Melbourne has some photos of Mivtzoim here in Melbourne - see them here.

(If anyone has any photos of events in Melbourne I am happy to post them here. Just send them to me at


Monday, October 24, 2005

Sukkos Photos of the Rebbe has some great historical photos of the Rebbe during Sukkos and Hoshana Rabbo. These photos include the Rebbe during farbrengen in the Sukkah, giving our lulavim and esrogim and some great ones with the Rebbe and his lulav. The Hoshana Rabbo photos show the Rebbe giving out lekach at the door of the Sukkah to those who were not in Crown Heights on erev Yom Kippur.

Click here for the Sukkos photos and here for the Hoshana Rabbo photos.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Sukkos Jokes


It was a terrible night, blowing cold and rain in a most frightful manner. The streets were deserted and the local baker was just about to close up shop when a little man slipped through the door. He carried an umbrella, blown inside out, and was bundled in two sweaters and a thick coat. But even so he still looked wet and bedraggled. As he unwound his scarf he said to the baker, "May I have two bagels to go, please?"
The baker said in astonishment, "Two bagels? Nothing more?"
"That's right," answered the little man. "One for me and one for Bernice."
"Bernice is your wife?" Asked the baker.
"What do you think," snapped the little man, "my mother would send me out on a night like this?"


My Resume
My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned. I couldn't concentrate.
Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.
After that, I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn't suited for it - mainly because it was a sew-sew job.
Next, I tried working in a muffler factory, but that was too exhausting.
Then, I tried to be a chef - figured it would add a little spice to my life, but I just didn't have the thyme.
I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn't cut the mustard.
My best job was being a musician, but eventually I found I wasn't noteworthy.
I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn't have any patience.
Next, was a job in a shoe factory. I tried but I just didn't fit in.
I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.
I managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work was just too draining.
So then I got a job in a workout center, but they said I wasn't fit for the job.
After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a historian - until I realized there was no future in it.
My last job was working in Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.
So, I retired and I found that I am perfect for the job!


  • My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was G-d and I didn't.
  • I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
  • I work hard because millions on welfare depend on me.
  • I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
  • Don't take life too seriously; no one gets out alive.
  • You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.
  • Quoting one is plagiarism; quoting many is research.
  • I'm not a complete idiot -- some parts are missing.
  • Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.
  • G-d must love stupid people; he made so many.
  • The gene pool could use a little chlorine.
  • It IS as BAD as you think and they ARE out to get you.
  • Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.
  • Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
  • Being "over the hill" is much better than being under it.
  • Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up.
  • Procrastinate Now!
  • My dog can lick anyone!
  • FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION. It comes bundled with the software.
  • A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
  • A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.
  • STUPIDITY IS NOT A HANDICAP. Park elsewhere!
  • He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless dead.
  • The trouble with life is there's no background music.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Hilchos Sukkah al pi Dr Seuss

I don't know who wrote this but it is quite good. It also comes with footnotes!
For more halachos of the Sukkah the author points us to the Beit El Yeshivah web site. The site in Hebrew is here, English here and the halachos of Sukkah are here.

You can build it very small (1)
You can build it very tall (2)
You can build it very large (3)
You can build it on a barge

You can build it on a ship (4)
Or on a roof but please don't slip (5)
You can build it in an alley (6)
You shouldn't build it in a valley (7)

You can build it on a wagon (8)
You can build it on a dragon (9)
You can make the s'chach of wood (10)
Would you, could you, yes you should

Make the s'chach from leaves of tree
You shouldn't bend it at the knee (11)
Build your Succah tall or short
No Succah is built in the Temple Court

You can build it somewhat soon
You cannot build it in the month of June (12)
If your Succah is well made
You'll have the right amount of shade (13)

You can build it very wide
You can not build it on its side
Build if your name is Jim
Or Bob or Sam or even Tim

Build it if your name is Sue (14)
Do you build it, yes you do!
From the Succah you can roam
But you should treat it as your home (15)

You can invite some special guests
Don't stay in it if there are pests
You can sleep upon some rugs
Don't you build it where there's bugs

In the Succah you should sit
And eat and drink but never...
If in the Succah it should rain
To stay there would be such a pain (16)

And if it should be very cold
Stay there only if you're bold
So build a Succah one and all
Make it large or make it small

Succah rules are short and snappy
Enjoy Succos, rejoice be happy.

1. Maimonides (RMBM) Mishne Torah, Hilchot Succah, Chapter 4, Section 1. The minimum height of a Succah is 10 tefachim. A tefach is a measure of the width of the four fingers of one's hand. My hand is 3 1/4 inches wide for a minimum Succah height of 32 1/2 inches. The minimum allowable width is 7 tefachim by 7 tefachim. This would result in a Succah of 22 3/4 inches by 22 3/4 inches.

2. The maximum height is 20 Amot. An Amah is the length from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. My Amah is 15 1/2 inches for a maximum height of 25 feet. Others say that 30 feet is the maximum.

3. According to RMBM the Succah can be built to a width of several miles. Shulchan Aruch also says there is no limit on the size of the width.

4. RMBM Hilchot Succah Chapter 4, Section 6.

5. RMBM Hilchot Succah Chapter 4, Section 11. RMBM states that one may construct a Succah by wedging poles in the four corners of the roof and suspending s'chach from the poles. The walls of the building underneath are considered to reach upward to the edge of the s'chach.

6. RMBM Hilchot Succah Chapter 4, Section 8-10 discusses the ins and outs of building your Succah in an alley or passageway.

7. There is a location referred to in the Talmud called Ashtarot Karnayim. According to the discussion there are two hills, with a valley in between where the Sun does not reach. Therefore it is impossible to sit in the shade of the roof of the Succah. I can't find the reference...hopefully next year.

8. RMBM Hilchot Succah Chapter 4, Section 6. You can go into a Succah built on a wagon or a ship even on Yom Tov.

9. RMBM Hilchot Succah Chapter 4, Section 6. OK, RMBM says a camel but dragon rhymes with wagon a lot better, don't you agree. Anyway, RMBM says you can build your Succah on a wagon or in the crown of a tree, but you can't go into it on Yom Tov. There is a general rule against riding a beast or ascending into the crown of a tree on Yom Tov.

10. Chapter 5 deals with the rules for the s'chach. Basically, you can use that which has grown from the ground, and is completely detached from the ground. So, for example, you cannot bend the branches of a tree over the Succah to form the s'chach. But you can cut the branches from a tree and use them as s'chach.

11. This would be a violation of the rule cited in the prior footnote.

12. Shulchan Aruch, Hilchot Succah, Perek 636, Section 1. The Succah should not be built sooner than 30 days before the Chag. However, if the structure is built prior to 30 days, as long as something new is added within the 30 days, the Succah is kosher.

13. Of course it's a well known rule that you must sit in the shade from the roof of the Succah and not in the shade that may be cast by the walls. It seems that this might affect the height of the walls, depending on the longitude of the location where you are building your Succah.

14. Technically, women, servants and minors are exempt from the Mitzvah of Succah. In our day we hope we know better than to read out half the Jewish people from the observance of Mitzvot. Of course, that's just a personal opinion of the author.

15. RMBM ibid Chapter 6, Section 6 explains that you should eat, drink and live in the Succah for the 7 days as you live in your own home. One should not even take a nap outside of the Succah.

16. RMBM ibid, Section 10. If it rains one should go into the house. How does one know if it is raining hard enough? If sufficient raindrops fall through the s'chach (roof covering) and into the food so that the food is spoiled - go inside!

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Avi Vorcheimer has again put together a list of public sukkas all over Melbourne. For the past couple of years he has also included Sukkas overseas. I noticed the Melbourne list in this week's Jewish News but as yet his website hasn't been updated. Keep watching MitzvosOnTheGo.

Other interesting Sukkos sites are:

  • Orthodox Union
  • You will need to do a bit of scouting around for what you are interested in but there is a wealth of Jewish information on the Sichos in English website here

Chicken's Revenge

This is a little late for Yom Kippur but hilarious!! Click here, make sure that your speakers are on and see how far you can throw the guy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Building the Rebbe's Sukkah

I enjoyed these photos on COL of the Rebbe's sukkah being built - see them and more here. There are also some nice photos of Crown Heights personalities.

More photos of the Sukkah construction are on here. They also have a number of photo galleries of Ellul and Tishrei events in Crown Heights here.

Monday, October 10, 2005

1000 Daven in the Rebbe's House

According to COL nearly one thousand bochrim davened in the Rebbe's house on Sunday, Vov Tishrei.

Photos can be seen here and bring back memories of being menachem ovel the Rebbe after the Rebbitzen was niftar, and davening and receiving dollars there at other times during that year. What struck everyone when they first entered the house was the simple way the Rebbe and Rebbitzen lived. The kitchen in particular was extremely neat and clean but contained an old fashioned fridge, stove etc. The Rebbe's physical lifestyle was certainly in stark contrast to the way many of his chassidim aspire to live.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Bris in Mezibuz - after 65 years

A great story for the new year as reported in COL. Mezibuz (or Medzhibuzh or Medzyboz) in western Ukraine, is where the Baal Shem Tov spent much of his life and founded the "Chassidic Movement". Note that the mohel's wife deserves a good slice of the merit for letting him travel to the bris.

After giving birth to a boy a Jewish employee in the Chabad school in Khmelnitsky, Ukraine, asked the shliach, Rabbi Yehoshua Raskin, for help with the basic needs of the baby. Within an hour Rabbi Raskin made contact with 'Bris Yosef Yitzchak' asking Rabbi Yaacov Gisinowits of Donetsk to serve as Mohel.
Being that the 8th day since the birth of the child was Chai Elul, the bris was slated to be held in the newly renovated shul of the Baal Shem Tov. The Mohel arrived in a flight from Donetsk to Kiev and took a 5 hour ride to Khmelnitsky, all this, notwithstanding that his own wife had given birth to a daughter the day before. The bris was attended by Jews from Israel and Argentina who had arrived to the Tsiyon in Mezibuz. Following the bris, one of the attenders proclaimed that he, too, would like to undergo a bris.

Famous Quotes

Last week I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister....and now wish to withdraw that statement ~ Mark Twain

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and have the two as close together as possible ~ George Burns

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint ~ Mark Twain

By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher ~ Socrates

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury ~ Groucho Marx

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe ~ Jimmy Durante

The male is a domestic animal which, if treated with firmness and kindness, can be trained to do most things ~ Jilly Cooper

I never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back ~ Zsa Zsa Gabor

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups:
alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat ~ Alex Levine

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first ~ Mark Twain

Money can't buy you happiness, but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery ~ Spike Milligan

What's the use of happiness? It can't buy you money ~ Henny Youngman

I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position ~ Mark Twain

It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth ~ George Burns

Doctor to patient: I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not a hypochondriac ~ Unknown

The cardiologist's diet: If it tastes good...spit it out ~ Unknown

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Shooting at Shul in Florida

I was quite shocked to read about the shooting that took place outside the Chabad Weltman Shul in Boca Raton, Florida. Despite initial thoughts that this was a terrorist act, in fact it was two congregants who took an ongoing dispute to a new level. In this convoluted story it turns out that a 79 year old man had been having an ongoing dispute with the 44 year old man who he shot on the first day of Rosh Hashana. The two men had gone outside during davening to discuss their differences when the older man took out a gun and critically wounded the younger man.

Understandably this has shocked the community and the shaliach, Zalman Bukiet, was reported to have been in tears. There is obviously more to this story as the shooter was told not to attend shul during Rosh Hashana as he had been bothering a former girlfriend.

It is sad when this sort of violent behaviour, which has always been repugnant to Jews, occurs on Rosh Hashana of all days!

You can read the initial report here, a more in depth report here and a commentary from a Sun-Sentinel columnist here.

Monday, October 03, 2005

כתיבה וחתימה טובה

Wishing everyone a
happy, healthy and peaceful 5766
with prayers for true peace in Eretz Yisroel
and throughout the world
with the coming of Moshiach NOW!

כתיבה וחתימה טובה
לשנה טובה ומתוקה