As the holiday of Pesach approaches, we want to wish all our dear friends of Itamar a happy and enjoyable holiday! Pesach is the time renewal in is no wonder why Rosh Chodesh Nissan it is one of our four traditional new years. The spring is in the air and the trees are beginning to blossom. For this reason we make a special blessing over the blossoming fruit trees – see video.
In addition Pesach It is a time where Hashem judges our grain. In other words, it will be determined on the holiday of Pesach how much bounty we will be blessed with in the form of grain. We have a very special custom at this time of year to give to the needy – what we call Maot Chitim. The Zohar Hakadosh writes on the portion of Yitro that that one must be happy on all our holidays and also see to it that the poor and needy are happy as well. If a person rejoices alone and turns a cold shoulder to the poor then in G-D’s eyes he is what the verse in Malachi 2:3 is referring to – “I will smear the excrement on your faces the excrement of your holiday sacrifices” or the verse in Is Isaiah 1:14 your New Moon and appointed holidays I despise they have become a burden to me” The Rambam (Maimonides) writes in the laws of Yom tov 6:18 that when a person eats and drinks on his holiday he is obligated to feed the convert, the orphan, and widow together with the other needy and misfortunate ones. But if one locks his doors and courtyard and eats and drinks with his family alone and does not take care of the poor and needy this is not considered a holiday celebration but a belly feast and a disgrace to them. These very harsh words of the Zohar and Rambam hit home and we must all learn from them. This is the source of the custom to give out food packages on our holidays to the needy.
I want to take this opportunity to thank an incredible person that has been for the last – who knows how many years – making sure that around a thousand families throughout Judea and Samaria are enjoying their Pesach holiday. Alan Hirsch, a real Tzaddik in our time, is a one man power house who is barely slept for over a month making sure that he can raise the money to feed these needy families. Families in Itamar, Elon More, Yitzhar, Shilo, Tapucah, Maaleh Livonah, Givat Ronan, Chavat Gilad, Eli, Esh Kodesh, Aday Ad, Achiyah, Shvut Rachel, Chomesh and many others from Judea are the recipients of his astounding kindness. Let us bless Alan and all those amazing people that have been a part of this great Mitzvah. It still isn’t too late to get involved for those interested.
An amazing dinner was held in Tel Aviv last week sponsored by Israeli businessman Yaakov Luxembourg owner of the Lapidot oil and drilling company. See Post. The idea of the dinner was to raise support for the completion of our synagogue project. Thank G-D we are getting closer to fulfill this important goal but we still need substantial funding to complete the project. Please enjoy this short video showing young men from Itamar and other communities in the area working on the shul – what a blessing!
Itamar welcome the visit of Rabbi Shmuel Trinsky who specializes in landscaping and agriculture. His is now in the process of writing up plans for the creating a Biblical and Talmudic botanical gardens on Itamar. The idea is to make trails and pathways on one of the beautiful Itamar landscapes where one can tour and learn about the fascinating flora that grows in our area, the very same flora that is talked about in the bible and Talmud.
Two new families joined our community this week – the Saadon and Kochav families. We wish them a quick adjustment to life on Itamar.
Read Leah’s special pesach message to our dear Friends of Itamar.
Watch Rabbi Goldsmith’s Torah lesson on this week’s portion of Vayikrah.
Mazal tov to Rav Natan and Nurit Chay on the birth of a grandson.
Mazal tov to Rami and Shoshy Odeser on the birth of a granddaughter.
Mazal tov to Ofer and Yael Head on the birth of a grandson.
Mazal Tov to Avraham and Tzviayah Besserglick on the birth of a son.
Mazal tov to Yoel and Chavah Avni on the birth of a daughter.