Ninth teyvesa I participated in farbrengens organized by one of the members of our community - a very successful businessman who, despite being very busy, trying not to miss any of the daily prayers and always finds time to study Torah. He is not only "passes" Hitas (daily passages from the Torah, Tehillim and the book "Tanya») and the Rambam, but attends all arranged in the synagogue lessons - between Mincha and Ma'ariv, before the morning prayer on Saturday, etc. This person is.. a good example of what you can have time to do business and succeed in it, as well as to study the Torah and to succeed in these sessions. We can say otherwise: business success - the result of efforts in a prayer and Torah study. Of course, I was glad to come to farbrengens say of Lech and wish him good luck. Since this was the ninth teyvesa the day yortsayta Ezra ѓaSoyfera, I decided to talk a little bit about the life of this great man for those who are not familiar with its history.

Ezra ѓaSoyfer ( "scribe") - one of the great prophets and sages of Israel, the spiritual head of the people of his generation, lived two thousand five hundred years ago. He was an outstanding scribe of the sacred books and profound knowledge of the laws of the Torah. The sages say: "Ezra was worthy to the Torah was given through him, but it was ahead of Moses" (Talmud, Tractate "Sanhedrin", 21b).

Ezra was born in Babylonia. Approximately sixty years after the dedication of the Second Temple, he ascended to the Holy Land with the permission of the Persian king to support the Jewish people in Eretz Yisroel. Ezra brought with him a large monetary gift of the king of Babylon, and numerous contributions of Jews to the Temple. Soon he became the de facto leader of the entire Jewish community. Despite the fact that he had the authority to make laws and to force people to do them, applying fines, imprisonment, exile, and even the death penalty, he decided not to use his power, and lead the country as a spiritual leader. He encouraged the Jews and urged them to obey the laws and commandments of the Torah.

Ezra remained in the memory of future generations through ten decisions that he has set for the people of Israel. They are given in the Talmud (tractate "Bava Kama", 82a), and I want to introduce you to some of them.

By order of Ezra read the Torah not only on Saturday, but on Monday and Thursday (according to another view, it was introduced more Moshe). The basis for this decision - a simple truth: how people can not live three days without water, and a Jew without Torah. As it is said: "Oh, all thirsty, come to the water" (Ishayaѓu, 55: 1). And the sages explain: "There is no water but the Torah." Without Torah weakens the moral foundations of human. In addition, Ezra set each time the reading of the Torah read at least ten poems. This is due to the fact that the number ten reminds us of the Ten Commandments and the ten utterances by which the world was created.

Another decree of Ezra says that the reading of the Torah should be called three: koѓen Levite and Yisroel (a Jew, which is neither koѓenom nor a Levite). Thus he wanted to connect with the Torah all the representatives of the people of Israel, so that no one feels "outside the camp." And today, 2,500 years later, in all the synagogues of the world read the Torah every Monday and Thursday, just following the instructions of Ezra: at least ten poems are divided between the three reciters - koѓenom, a Levite and Yisroel.

The following resolution for the distribution of Ezra chapters so as to complete a full cycle of Torah reading for one year rather than three years, as it was instituted in the Land of Israel before the (Talmud, Tractate "Megillah", 30b). This order read Torah we hold today.

But it turns out that Ezra ѓaSoyfer establishes the rights not only in the religious life of the Jewish people. He did not sit all the time in the synagogue, and went, so to speak, "the street" to see how Jews live, and tried to improve their daily lives. I would call these decrees Ezra "social". One of them - the laundry, people have to deal with on Thursday, not putting it on Friday, a day which should devote preparing for the Sabbath. According Ѓalohe Jews must wear clean clothes in a festive Saturday. And if they wash their clothes at the beginning of the week, then there is a great probability that they will wear it before Saturday. He therefore found that in a Jewish home Thursday would "wash day".

The following ruling applies housewives who usually bake challah on Friday in honor of Shabbat. Ezra found that women must get up early on Friday, and the first thing they need to do - is to bake challah. This is due to the fact that in the morning the poor went from house to house and asked for bread. If housewives late with cakes Hal, then they will have nothing to give to the poor.

Another decree - about jewelry for women - can be called the most interesting of the "social" part of Ezra list. Usually Ѓaloha establishes a strict ban on "invasion". For example, if the city has a butcher who sells kosher meat, then there may not come a visiting merchant who will go home and sell kosher meat because it encroaches on the territory of a butcher who lives there, and his parish prevents local butcher livelihood. Ezra introduces exceptions to this rule, according to traders who came cosmetics, jewelry and women's clothing are allowed to trade freely in any city, and local sellers can not prevent them from doing. Why? "In order to enable women to buy jewelry and other decorations to the delight of their husbands." Because when a woman buys everything she needs for herself, it certainly contributes to the peace and tranquility of the house.

Ezra - an example of a true leader who is concerned not only the spiritual condition of the people of Israel, but also makes sure that the poor had bread, and women could meet all their special needs. Therefore, he was awarded the fact that his spiritual decisions preserved, spread and been adopted throughout the Diaspora. And the Jews all over the world live 2500 years later, according to these rules. For the same reason the Jewish people honor the day when Ezra left this world, because he was loved and respected by all the people of Israel. Lubavitcher Rebbe often spoke on behalf of the Baal Shem Tov that you must first take care of the material situation of the Jews and only then about his spiritual state. This we learn from our father of Abraham, who, taking guests first fed and watered them all the best that was in his house, and then spoke to them about the existence of God. This we learn from the Moshe Rabbeinu that before you bring the people of Israel the Ten Commandments and to command to keep the Sabbath, the Jews took care to feed the manna. First, the material and only then the spiritual.

What does this teach us? Each of us, in fact, is the head in his home, the family, in the workplace. If we want to influence another Jew, we must first give him material assistance, invite him home and show him that we care about him, and then you can also encourage him to keep the commandments.

... At the end of farbrengen again I congratulated him and wished him the organizer that he learned from Ezra ѓaSoyfera and honored to be among those who care about the material and the spiritual condition of the Jews. After my story is one of those present asked with a smile: "Rebbe, according to all that you have just explained to us, we have to do Kiddush in the synagogue on the Sabbath before prayer. After first material, and then the spiritual. Why do we spend Kiddush and Shabbat meals after the prayer? " I - also with a smile - answered that, unfortunately, there are parishioners who fail to arrive on time for prayer, the more they will not turn to get to the synagogue for half an hour before the prayer. Therefore, based on a genuine love of neighbor and a deep concern for those who are late, we make Kiddush after prayer!

Rabbi Avraham Wolf