Welcome to my blog

December 11, 2011

After numerous requests from a few people I have given in and decided to write a weekly blog. I’m always about 5 years after everyone else!

Hopefully the blog will be in 3 parts. Something on the weekly sedra. Some Halacha and some comments on what’s happening here in Israel.

But I didn’t want to delay this week and wanted the first blog to go out on the first day of Chanukah. What better time to start? After all Chanukah means initiation. That is why the Hasmoneans looked for kosher oil when any oil would have done. When one commences something it is preferable to do it in the best possible way and not relay on post facto leniencies. Like the foundations of a building. They have to be to the highest specification or the building won’t be firm.

The same cannot be said about this blog but I’m rushing and still living out of 3 suitcases here in sunny Ramat Gan.

In the news recently, we have been hearing about Hadrat Nashim ( hiding of women?) by the Chareidim. Of course all of Israel’s troubles are caused by the chareidim. If not for them everything in the garden would be lovely. There are no problems in down-town Tel Aviv!

Not to mention the fact that the gym in the Knesset has seperate hours for men and women. Not to talk of the cloakroom facilities. I had better not open my mouth to the Satan or they might say that that is hadrat nashim as well!

But let’s turn to Chanukah in which there is a halocho of hadrat nashim.
Women are not allowed to work for half an hour whilst the Chanukah lights are burning.
This is quite strange at first glance.
Why?
And why on a weekday?
Ok – women have to stop work on shabbat and yom tov like the rest of us.
But for some women it is actually for them to down tools at 4.30pm on a weekday. And for women to sit idle and not knit do some other handy work can be difficult.
I seem to remember years ago, the Rabbanit asking me if she could continue baking as she was in the middle and it wasn’t really convenient to stop!

The reason is that the mitva of Chanukah is “ner ish uveito” – it is a mitzva on the house and the woman is the house. She is not only the akeret bayit but she is the ikkar of the bayit.

That is the negative part. Then the halocho goes on to the positive part ” but she should sit and look at the Chanukah lights”.

We are living in a world full of darkness. And we in Israel are very good at looking on the dark side.
We all, women and men need to look at the lights. To seek the positive. In our lives. In our religion. In the people around us.

We need to look at the most difficult of our children and students and look for the light. To accentuate the positive and to increase the light as the days and nights go by.

We all  need to stop what we are doing  for half an hour on a weekday and count our blessings, look for the light and try to increase the light of spirituality in the world.

Chag Urim Sameach

5 Responses to “Welcome to my blog”

  1. Nathan london said

    Thanks Rabbi Wise. We are missing you terribly in London but at least now we will have your weekly blog. Kol hakavod

  2. JFS said

    Rabbi Wise’s Torah will light up the Land of Israel just as it lit up the Diaspora!

    Go Rabbi Wise!!!

    JFS, London

  3. Old Carmelis said

    Great to hear from Rabbi Wise again after all these years. Chazak Ve’amatz.
    from the Old Carmelis

  4. Nashim Tzidkaniyot said

    Thanks Rabbi Wise. So nice to hear that the rabbis thought about us in that way.
    Looking forward to reading much more.

  5. stuart williamson said

    Dear Rabbi Wise , your Wise , as always, words have explained why I was overcome with emotion on lighting the candles this first Chanukah without my late wife . Thank you and Shabbat Shalom.

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