Thursday, April 23, 2009


Rabbi Aron Tendler


Summary of The Weekly Torah Reading:

Note: The Shabbos Torah Reading is divided into 7 sections. Each section is called an Aliya [literally: Go up] since for each Aliya, one person "goes up" to make a bracha [blessing] on the Torah Reading.

1st Aliya: The laws of purity and impurity as they pertain to child-birth are discussed. The basic laws of Tzaraat involving the diagnosis of the Kohain and possible quarantine, as well as the laws of Tzarrat as it relates to healthy skin and infection are stated.

2nd and 3rd Aliya:The laws of Tzaraat as it relates to burns, a bald patch, dull white spots, and the presence of a blemish on clothing is discussed.

4th Aliya: The purification process of the Mitzora involving two Kosher birds, a piece of cedar, some crimson wool, a hyssop branch, fresh spring water, s clay bowl, a Kohain, the Mikveh, seven days, a haircut and a Korban with its Mincha offering is detailed.

5th Aliya: The Korban of a Mitzorah who is poor is discussed.

6th and 7th Aliya:The laws dealing with blemishes that appear on a house are detailed. Following the laws of Tzaraat, the Torah turns is attention to various laws dealing with bodily discharges that render the individual Tameh. Male discharges, seminal discharges, menstruation, and other female discharges are detailed. Note that the basic laws of Family Purity are stated in verses 15:19-26.


Summary of The Haftorah:

Haftorah Rosh Chodesh


This week's Haftorah is from Yishayah Chap. 66 and reflects the fact that today is also Rosh Chodesh. Yishayah describes the ultimate downfall of all our enemies during the war of Gog and Magog. The Navi explains that this world is the manifestation of g-d's presence and glory. Yet, we are incapable and sometimes unwilling to properly recognize G-d's manifest presence. Even when the Bais Hamikdash stood the Bnai Yisroel did not appreciate their opportunity to be close to G-d and serve Him. The Navi forewarns that insincere expressions of devotion are tantamount to offering blemished sacrifices and G-d will punish those who lack sincerity and devotion.


Nevertheless, the institution of the Bais Hamikdash and prayer are our only means for communication love and devotion. Therefore, those who truly mourn for the absence of the Bais Hamikdash and the Temple services will also merit to rejoice in her redemption and reconstruction. When the Bais Hamikdash will be rebuilt the nation will again be able to witness the Rosh Chodesh offering and service, and fully participate in expressing their commitment.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Os Árabes como uma unidade contra Nós

Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC)

 Hassan Nasrallah as a Iranian windup toy

April 13, 2009


Egypt Confronts Hezbollah/Iran/Hamas Axis


Egypt exposes a Hezbollah network on its soil, claiming it not only smuggled weapons into the Gaza Strip and but also planned to carry out terrorist attacks and subversion activities. Hassan Nasrallah admitted a detained Hezbollah operative was involved in smuggling but denied other accusations.




Hassan Nasrallah as a Iranian windup toy pushing a cart with “We have no other branches

[in the Arab countries]” written on the side. The ticking bomb is inscribed “The Iranian project”

(Al-Nadwah, Saudi Arabia, April 12, 2009).




1. The Egyptian and Arab media reported that the Egyptian security services exposed a Hezbollah network which had been active in Egypt for a long time. So far several dozen Lebanese, Palestinian and Egyptians directed by Hezbollah have been detained. The network smuggled weapons (possibly from Iran ) through Sudan and from there to Egypt , and then through tunnels in Rafah into the Gaza Strip for Hamas . In addition, according to the reports, the network was involved in attempted terrorist attacks in Sinai and Cairo , including sites where Israeli tourists congregate, and in subversive activities against the Egyptian regime.


2. Egypt reacted angrily to the exposure of Hezbollah activity on its soil and accused the organization and Iran of interfering in Egyptian internal affairs and endangering its national security. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah , in an unprecedented statement, admitted that Egypt had indeed detained a Hezbollah operative and a number of others connected with him. He claimed that the detainee was a “logistical operative” who dealt with smuggling weapons and fighters into the Gaza Strip. However, he claimed that Hezbollah had no branches outside in Lebanon and that it was not involved in clandestine or subversive activities in any other Arab country ( a fabrication , since Hezbollah has been involved in subversive activity in both Iraq and Jordan ).


3. The Hezbollah network exposed by the Egyptians, apparently shortly before Operation Cast Lead, is more proof of the military support Iran gives Hamas in the Gaza Strip , either directly or through Hezbollah , which operates as a subcontractor to promote Iranian interests . During the period before Operation Cast Lead, Iran and Hezbollah provided Hamas with weapons , among them hundreds of standard 122mm Grad rockets with a range of 20-40 kilometers and advanced anti-tank missiles; technical know-how which enabled Hezbollah to manufacture lethal Shawaz EFPs, inspired by Hezbollah in Lebanon; advanced military training in Iran for hundreds of terrorist operatives belonging to Hamas and the other terrorist organizations; financial support for Hamas's political bureau and military-terrorist wing to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year; and political and propaganda support . All of the above were done to strengthen Hamas's military infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, encourage it to continue its terrorist attacks against Israel and sabotage any dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. 1

 Hezbollah network in Egypt exposed

(Updated to April 13, 2009 )


4. The Egyptian and Arab media gave broad coverage to the exposure of the Hezbollah network . It occurred several months ago, apparently before Operation Cast Lead, but the search for the network operatives is still continuing . According to the reports, Egyptian counterterrorism forces in Sinai are pursuing more than a dozen Lebanese suspected of ties to the Hezbollah network (Al-Jazeera TV, April 13, 2009 ; Al-Masri Al-Youm , April 12, 2009 ). According to the April 9 issue of the official Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram , the Hezbollah network began its activities in 2007, when a senior Lebanese operative (who lived in Dahiya, the southern Shi'ite suburb of Beirut and a Hezbollah stronghold) entered Egypt on a forged passport. In November 2008 the Egyptian security forces detained Hezbollah operative Sami Shihab, and it was apparently his detention that led to the exposure of most of the members of the terrorist network .

5. According to the Egyptian media, so far dozens of Lebanese, Palestinians and Egyptians with ties to Hezbollah have been detained. They were organized into a number of squads and were directed by a prominent Hezbollah figure in Lebanon ( Al-Masri Al-Youm , April 12, 2009 ). The central figure in Egypt was Sami Shihab 2, who was detained with two young Palestinians carrying Palestinian passports issued in Lebanon . Sami Shihab, who settled in El-Arish, was the only individual who maintained telephone contact with the Hezbollah figure in Lebanon running the network ( Al-Masri Al-Youm , April 12, 2009 ).

6. According to the Egyptian and Arab media, the network smuggled weapons and money for Hamas use, using tunnels in the Rafah region. The weapons came via Sudan to the Gaza Strip ( Al-Hayat , April 9, 2009 ). The network also planned to carry out a series of terrorist attacks in Cairo and Sinai, including places where Israeli tourists congregate . They established commercial ventures to cover their activities of collecting intelligence information needed to carry out terrorist attacks (including monitoring tourists sites in northern and southern Sinai). They bought safe apartments in Egyptian Rafah and in El-Arish, and observed the movement of ships through the Suez Canal . They also contacted criminal elements in Egypt to obtain forged Egyptian documents which would enable them to leave Egypt and to rent safe houses 3 (Egyptian TV, April 8, 2009 ). Some of them worked for the Hezbollah station Al-Manar TV as a cover for their activities 4 ( Al-Masri Al-Youm , April 10, 2009 ).

Responses to the affair

(As of April 13, 2009 )



7. Following the exposure of the Hezbollah network Egypt initiated an anti-Hezbollah, anti-Iran political and media campaign. In a telephone conversation, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told Lebanese president Fuad Siniora that the Egyptian judicial system would bring those responsible to trial ( Haaretz , April 13, 2009 ). Omar Suleiman, head of Egyptian intelligence , visited Saudi Arabia and told King Abdallah about Hezbollah's subversive activities in a number of Middle East countries, especially Egypt and Saudi Arabia ( Al-Qabas , April 12, 2009 ). Ahmed Nazif , Egyptian Prime Minister said that Egyptian security was a “red line” that could not be crossed or harmed. He said that Egypt was determined not to allow anyone inside or outside the country to endanger the lives of Egyptian citizens or Egypt 's national economy (Middle East News Agency, April 11, 2009 ). Safwat el-Sherif, head of the Shura Council , gave a speech in which he called Hezbollah “crooks and liars” and accused the organization of “exporting conflicts and destruction” while doing nothing to help the Palestinian people (Middle East News Agency, April 12, 2009).



Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak: “We will not permit anyone to harm

Egyptian sovereignty or undermine its stability” (Muhit website, April 13, 2009).


8. The Egyptian media angrily attacked Hassan Nasrallah and accused him of planning to harm Egypt , its citizens and its regime. “An Egyptian source” said that Nasrallah's speech proved that Hezbollah wanted to implement its policy in Egypt and the entire region to advance Iranian interests (Note: For Nasrallah's speech see below). He was described by the establishment press and political figures as “the monkey sheikh,” “an Iranian agent,” “a Lebanese from [the Iranian city of] Qom ,” 5 and “leader of the militias in the Iranian party in Lebanon .” On April 12, the editor in chief of Al-Ahram lauded the Egyptian security services which had succeeded in “ exposing the extent of Iranian intervention in internal Egyptian affairs .” On the same day an editorial in Al-Gumhuriya stated that “we will not allow you, monkey sheikh , to make fools of the symbols of our judicial system. You are an experienced criminal who killed his own countrymen, we will not let you threaten the safety and security of Egypt .”


Egypt and Saudi Arabia threatened by Iranian subversion but intent on preventing it

( Al-Watan , Saudi Arabia, April 12, 2009).

9. Other Egyptian reactions:


i) Lawyers and members of the Egyptian Parliament demanded that a warrant be issued for Hassan Nasrallah and that his name be added to the list of the accused, because he had committed crimes which deserved the death penalty ( Al-Masri Al-Youm , Al-Arabia TV, April 12, 2009 ).


ii) Egyptian “security sources” said that the prosecution in the Egyptian high court for national security was investigating the possibility that a number of Muslim Brotherhood activists were involved in the affair ( Al-Jareeda , April 12, 2009 ). Egyptian lawyers also demanded that the Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide, Mahdi Akef be investigated as well ( Al-Masri Al-Youm , April 12, 2009 ). On the other hand, Mahdi Akef defended Hezbollah, saying that “the resistance [i.e., terrorism] had to be supported at all costs” ( Al-Sharq Al-Awsat , April 13, 2009 ).

Hezbollah's reaction


10. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah admitted the involvement of his organization in smuggling operatives and weapons into the Gaza Strip from Egypt , although he denied the Egyptian allegations that Hezbollah was involved in subversion and terrorist attacks. In a strong speech broadcast by Al-Manar TV on April 10, he said the following:


i) The Lebanese citizen detained by Egypt was indeed a Hezbollah operative who dealt only with “logistic activity” along the Egypt-Gaza Strip border: “...Brother Sami [Shihab] is a member of Hezbollah. We do not deny that and are not embarrassed by him...” According to Nasrallah, his activities included transferring weapons and “fighters” [i.e., terrorist operatives]into the Gaza Strip for Hamas . 6 The number of operatives with whom Sami Shihab collaborated did not reach ten and the Egyptian claim that they exposed a complex network of fifty operatives was not true.

ii) The other allegations presented by the Egyptian prosecutor were “fictions” and Hezbollah operatives were not involved in subversion and attacks . Nasrallah “innocently” claimed that Hezbollah was “a Lebanese party” and had no branches in other Arab countries. He added that he was willing to investigate every report about the involvement of Hezbollah activists in political crises in the various Arab countries. 7

iii) He also claimed that the Egyptian regime had collaborated with Israel when it closed the Rafah crossing and destroyed the tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza Strip border. Therefore, the Egyptian regime was to be convicted and not Hezbollah. Nasrallah demanded that Egypt allow the tunnel activities to continue because besides arms and operatives, they make it possible for food and drugs to enter the Gaza Strip (“Day and night Egypt works to destroy the tunnels which are the only life-lines which bring the barest necessities into the Gaza Strip”). The accusations brought by the Egyptian regime against Hezbollah were meant to tarnish its image and that of Hamas, and were based on anger at the respect Hezbollah had gained in Egypt and other Arab countries following the second Lebanon war.

Hassan Nasrallah admitting Hezbollah operatives smuggled weapons

and “fighters” [i.e., terrorist operatives] (Al-Manar TV, April 11, 2009).


11. During Operation Cast Lead Hassan Nasrallah's attacks against the Egyptian regime were part of Iran 's propaganda campaign. On December 28, 2008, Nasrallah gave a speech in the southern suburb of Beirut , a Hezbollah stronghold, devoted mainly to attacks against the policies of the Arab countries, especially Egypt . He called on the Egyptian people to rise up against the regime , which he accused of responsibility for what was happening in the Gaza Strip. He claimed that the Egyptian regime was not required to fight against Israel, but only to open the Rafah crossing so that food, medicine, water and weapons could be brought to the men of the “resistance” [the terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip]. Nasrallah, who at the time was probably aware that Hezbollah's network had been exposed, called on the millions of Egyptians to take to the streets so as not to be complicit in the “crimes” of the regime. Asking rhetorically whether the Egyptian regime would be able to kill millions of Egyptians, he answered that it would not. He called on the Egyptians to open the Rafah crossing by turning their chests [toward the gunfire of the Egyptian security forces] (Al-Manar TV, December 28, 2008 ).



12. So far, the Iranians are keeping a low media profile regarding the affair in Egypt Ali Larijani , chairman of the Iranian parliament, claimed that the “media storm” raised by Egypt was the result of its desire to influence the elections in Lebanon. He said that Hezbollah was committed to supporting the Palestinians, and claimed that Egypt and other Arab countries were spreading false propaganda against Hezbollah: “The governments are accused of collaborating with Israel in its war in the Gaza Strip [i.e., Operation Cast Lead]. They spread propaganda to restore their status [to what it was before the war]. (Al-Jazeera TV, April 13, 2009)





Ali Larijani, chairman of the Iranian parliament

(Al-Jazeera TV, April 13, 2009 ).



13. Syrian propaganda was enlisted into defending Hezbollah. In the April 12 issue of Al-Watan , Alwan Amin Al-Din claimed that the Egyptian prosecution and its intelligence were using accusations against Hezbollah which had been prepared in advance. The accusations, he said, quickly turned into political and media attacks which the Egyptian regime was waging against the “Lebanese resistance” (i.e., against Hezbollah and the other terrorist organizations operating in Lebanon ).



14. Hamas has shown itself particularly inconvenienced by the exposure of its ties to Hezbollah, and its senior figures barely relate to the issue. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum denied any connections between Hamas and the affair. He said that Hamas had no information about it beyond what had been reported by the media, adding that no Egyptian official had spoken with Hamas about it (Al-Jazeera TV, April 9, 2009). He also said that Hamas was not involved in the affairs of any country and did not enlist activists or operatives outside the Palestinian territories 8 ( Felesteen , April 11, 2009). Usama Hamdan, Hamas representative in Lebanon , claimed that Hamas would never harm Egypt's national security 9 and that it focused on “resistance” to the occupation in order to “liberate Palestine” (QudsNews website, April 13, 2009).

1 For an analysis of Iran 's support for Hamas, see “ Iranian Support of Hamas” at , or download the .pdf file at . For Arab and Western media reports about preventing Iran 's efforts to rebuild Hamas's military-terrorist infrastructure after Operation Cast Lead, see .


2 According to the April 12 issue of Al-Ahram , his full name is Muhammad Yussuf Mansour Sami Shihab .


3 The integration of terrorist and criminal activities is characteristic of Hezbollah's modus operandi in Lebanon and further afield . See, for example, “ Iran increases its political and economic presence in Latin America, America 's back yard. It foments radical Shi'ite Islamization and exports the Iranian revolution, using Hezbollah to establish intelligence, terrorism and crime networks, liable to be exploited against the United States and Israel” available in Hebrew and soon available in Hebrew and English.


4 Egypt supports Al-Manar TV broadcasts in the Middle East and beyond by enabling the use of its Nilesat communications satellite.


5 The religious and spiritual center of the Iranian Ayatollas.


6 The “fighters” mentioned by Nasrallah are, in our assessment, Hamas operatives who received training in Iran or Lebanon and Syria and returned to the Gaza Strip with Hezbollah's logistic aid.


7 Nasrallah's attempts to represent Hezbollah as a purely Lebanese party are of course untrue. For example, in the past Jordan uncovered attempts by Hezbollah to recruit operatives, especially among Israeli Arabs, and to smuggle weapons to Judea and Samaria . For example, in June 2001 three Hezbollah operatives were captured and detained: they had planned to smuggle 25 Katyusha 107mm rockets into Judea and Samaria . Then as now Hassan Nasrallah represented the smuggling attempt as a justified, legal step taken by Hezbollah to support the Palestinian people. In addition, in recent years Hezbollah has been involved in supporting the Shi'ite militias fighting in Iraq against the United States and its allies, to serve Iranian interests.


8 Also a false claim. In the past Hamas operatives were detained in Jordan . Hamas maintains a presence in Syria and Lebanon , using them for its terrorist activities.


9 Hamas's contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood are regarded by the Egyptian regime as harmful to its national security.

Hundreds of Kilograms of Explosives on Fishing Boat

IDF SPOX: Hundreds of Kilograms of Explosives on Fishing Boat

(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)

"The fishing boat that was identified this morning by Israel Navy boats was booby-trapped with hundreds of kilograms of explosives," estimated the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, speaking about the incident that occurred on Monday morning, April 13, 2009, near the Gazan coast.

In the early morning hours, Israel Navy boats had noticed an unmanned boat near the Gazan coast. When the forces were situated a few hundred meters from the fishing boat, a very large explosion occurred on the boat. No damage was caused to the Israeli naval boat.

“We assume that this was an attempt to attack one of the Israel Navy boats, an attempt that fortunately was not successful, thanks to the soldiers correctly implementing the regulations,” said the Chief of the General Staff at the signing of his organ donation card, and added that this kind of threat is not new, as a similar incident happened several years ago. “We are examining all our arrangements, and we will carry on dealing with threats of this kind also in the future.”

When asked about whether this incident disturbs the relative quiet in the area of the Gaza Strip lately, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi confirmed, and also reminded of the incident about one week ago, in which Golani Brigade soldiers encountered a group of terrorists attempting to plant an explosive. “I think that Hamas has been intimidated, and it is not by chance that there is no direct firing,” he pointed out, but clarified, “We know that hostile terror activities or terror attacks along the security fence, by sea or through the Sinai are still taking place, and therefore we examine and adjust our arrangements all the time.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2009




Dès les temps les plus reculés, l'Espagne au climat de rêve et au sol merveilleusement fertile fut l'eldorado de générations de négociants, de voyageurs, de colons et d'envahisseurs. Les premiers à installer des comptoirs le long de ses rivages sont les Phéniciens, suivis de colons grecs et juifs qui y fondent de florissantes colonies.

L'Espagne demeure pendant des siècles une province de l'Empire romain, jusqu'au 5ème siècle où les Vandales et les Visigoths s'en rendent maîtres. Les nouveaux souverains, bientôt convertis au catholicisme, prennent de sévères mesures contre les Juifs - baptêmes forcés, confiscations de biens, esclavage - , poussant beaucoup d'entre eux à l'exil volontaire.

La montée de l'Islam au 7ème siècle et sa progression fulgurante à travers la presque totalité de l'Asie occidentale et de l'Afrique du Nord atteint la Péninsule ibérique au 8ème siècle. L'arabe devient bientôt la langue prédominante du discours intellectuel à travers tout l'Empire arabe. Par leurs traductions et commentaires des anciens textes, les savants arabes propagent à travers le monde méditerranéen le riche héritage de l'érudition grecque et de la sagesse orientale. Les Juifs participent avec ardeur à cette renaissance du savoir et contribuent à sa diffusion.

Toute la splendeur, tout le faste de l'Orient, toutes les conquêtes intellectuelles du monde hellénique se fondent pour donner naissance à une brillante époque de créativité littéraire et de progrès scientifique. Sous le pouvoir tolérant et éclairé des Califes omeyyades, l'Espagne musulmane atteint une apogée économique et culturelle, attirant de retour sur les rivages de l'Andalousie bon nombre de Juifs qui s'étaient exilés. Le mélange de culture arabe et de culture juive engendre un climat exceptionnel favorisant l'épanouissement du génie créateur et d'incomparables réalisations intellectuelles. Les Juifs participent à tous les aspects de la vie sociale et exercent une grande diversité de métiers et de professions. Ils font commerce de soies et d'épices d'Orient, d'esclaves aussi. Habiles en médecine, ils sont aussi versés dans divers arts et sciences, et sont particulièrement prisés comme traducteurs, interprètes à la Cour et plénipotentiaires.

Les courtisans juifs fraient librement avec leurs homologues arabes, se parent à leur instar de riches vêtements et de turbans incrustés de joyaux, se déplacent dans de somptueux équipages ou à cheval, et rivalisent avec eux en grâce sociale et dans les arts martiaux.

Le renouveau de l'hébreu

La renaissance de la langue et de la littérature hébraïque en Espagne et la fondation de l'école andalouse de poésie résultent directement de ce renouveau culturel. L'adaptation à l'hébreu des formes et de la métrique qu'utilisent les Arabes, et l'imitation du style et des images de leur poésie profane font accéder la langue au niveau littéraire convenant aux panégyriques courtois et à la rhétorique stylisée qui ont la faveur des milieux aristocratiques.

Les poètes juifs tentent de rivaliser d'élégance fleurie avec les poètes arabes dans des couplets qu'ils adressent à leurs protecteurs. Profondément influencés par la supériorité stylistique et la vigueur intellectuelle de la littérature arabe classique, ils composent en arabe plusieurs de leurs ouvrages. Mais ils tirent aussi fierté des splendeurs poétiques de l'hébreu biblique et, par une étude intensive de sa grammaire et de son vocabulaire, le ravivent comme forme viable d'expression littéraire.

L'Age d'Or du judaïsme espagnol, dont la durée s'étend du 10ème au 12ème siècles, a produit une constellation d'érudits, de médecins, de savants, d'astronomes, de poètes et de grammairiens dont l'éclat ne s'est jamais terni et dont la gloire n'a jamais péri.

Cordoue- à l'aube de l'Age d'Or.

Cordoue, la capitale du royaume omeyyade, rivalise avec Bagdad par sa magnificence urbaine et sa brillante civilisation. La Cour royale est la protectrice de poètes et de philosophes, de savants et d'érudits. De nombreux Juifs s'élèvent peu à peu aux positions de puissance et d'autorité dans tous les domaines de la vie politique et sociale, et font figure d'intermédiaires dignes de confiance entre les royaumes arabes et chrétiens.

Hasdaï ibn Chaprout (915-970), médecin érudit et conseiller diplomatique du Calife Abd-ar Rahman III, parvenu à la plus haute position d'influence à la Cour ,use de son ascendant au bénéfice de ses compatriotes juifs. Il favorise l'étude de l'hébreu et encourage poètes et écrivains à composer des oeuvres en hébreu.

Les grammairiens Menahem ben Saruk et Dounach ibn Labrat, des protégés de Hasdaï ibn Chaprout, entretiennent une interminable joute littéraire en vers et en prose sur les formes métriques inventives et l'imitation des genres poétiques arabes. On dit de ces poètes "qu'à l'époque de Hasdaï,ils se mirent à gazouiller".

Grâce à ses nombreux contacts et missions diplomatiques auprès des Cours des empires byzantin et germanique, Hasdaï entend parler des Khazars et du royaume juif qu'ils ont établi au-delà du Caucase, le long du cours inférieur de la Volga. Désireux d'en apprendre davantage et de savoir s'ils appartiennent aux Dix Tribus perdues, Hasdaï charge Menahem ben Sarak, son secrétaire pour l'hébreu,, de rédiger une lettre à l'adresse de roi des Khazars pour l'informer de l'existence des Juifs d'Andalousie et de sa propre position supérieure, et pour lui demander des renseignements concernant son royaume et ses origines. La réponse qui arrive enfin de Joseph, roi des Khazars, raconte la célèbre histoire de leur conversion au judaïsme, deux siècles auparavant, lorsque le roi Bulan avait invité des représentants des trois religions révélées à exposer leurs vues. Réalisant que la foi chrétienne et la foi islamique se fondaient sur le judaïsme, Bulan opta pour la religion juive.

Hasdaï transforme Cordoue en important foyer d'attraction pour les érudits juifs en nommant Moïse ben Enoch, célèbre autorité talmudique qui avait été capturé en mer et racheté par les Juifs de Cordoue, à la tête d'une Académie d'études talmudiques, où son fils Enoch lui succéda.

Cordoue garde sa suprématie jusqu'au sac de la ville par des envahisseurs berbères, les Amoravides, au début du 11ème siècle. Une grande partie de sa population juive se réfugie dans les villes avoisinantes - Malaga, Lucèna ou Grenade. Le Califat omeyyade, sous lequel la culture juive avait fleuri, se retrouve morcelé en petites principautés qui se disputent le pouvoir et tentent en vain de contenir la poussée de la Reconquête chrétienne partie du nord. Cordoue tombe sous la coupe de dynasties berbères- les Almoravides en 1012, détrônés à leur tour par les fanatiques Almohades en 1148, qui forcent les Juifs à choisir entre l'Islam, la mort ou le bannissement . Parmi les familles exilées se trouve celle de Moïse Maïmonide, alors à peine âgé de treize ans, destiné à devenir le plus grand savant et philosophe de son époque.

Grenade la Juive

Grenade,une des plus anciennes colonies établies dès l'antiquité, semble avoir eu une population juive depuis la période de l'exil babylonien . A l'époque de la conquête berbère, le royaume de Grenade compte une grande communauté juive où de nombreux Juifs fuyant Cordoue ont trouvé refuge. Jusqu'en 1090, où les almoravides détruisirent ce qui restait de cette communauté et où la fameuse "Grenade des Juifs" cessa d'exister, la ville fut un important centre d'études juives et produisit d'éminents savants, philosophes et poètes. Samuel ibn Nagrela (993-1060), dit Samuel ha-Naguid, né à Cordoue, y reçoit une solide formation hébraïque et talmudique, ainsi que dans les sciences mathématiques et la,philosophie. Il parle plusieurs langues, possède parfaitement l'arabe et a un beau talent de calligraphe. De Malaga où il s'est installé, il est invité à Grenade et nommé vizir du roi Habbus, puis de son fils aîné Badis dont il appuie la revendication au trône.

En signe de gratitude, Badis donne à son vizir le plein contrôle de son royaume, que Samuel gouverne avec sagesse pendant plus de trente ans, menant de victorieuses campagnes contre le royaume de Séville et ses alliés, ou usant de son habileté diplomatique pour promouvoir ses intérêts politiques. Samuel répand un tel lustre sur les Juifs de Grenade qu'ils lui confèrent le titre de Naguid, ou Prince.

Poète doué , Samuel ha- Naguid compose des poèmes épiques sur la guerre et des poèmes lyriques sur l'amour et l'amitié. Il fait aussi l'éloge du vin , et chante les plaisirs ou les chagrins de la vie. Sa poésie a souvent des accents mélancoliques, notamment dans ses élégies qui pleurent la mort d'un ami ou les souffrances du peuple juif exilé et sa nostalgie de Sion.

Chant d'amour

Le baume est sur son visage et sur le fil de ses lèvres; 
Mais, dans ses yeux et sous ses atours, c'est la mort. 
Je souris, quand elle est complaisante; elle sourit, quand je me fâche. 
Sa complaisance m'excite à moi; et, ma mauvaise humeur l'excite à elle: 
Comme si je stimulais Sebi - elle croit, bien à tort, 
Etre haïe de lui - à tourmenter ses flancs.

Sur le vin

Prends un verre des mains de Sebi et dis-lui: "Empoigne 
Un pichet, cours au tonneau, emplis et apporte." 
Car il y a une peine tenace en mon coeur et il y a 
Dans le tonneau un baume destiné à guérir ma peine. 
Qu'il agisse sur un coeur généreux, il accroît sa générosité; 
Sur un coeur pusillanime: il le rend courageux comme un lion. 
Il réjouit l'âme attriste et les coeurs lui obéissent 
Comme ils font au roi et au prophète. 
Dans un verre est ma portion d'héritage; mon verre , tel 
Est mon bien-aimé, que j'aime, moi, et dont je suis aimé. 
Je veux habiter là où je trouve à boire. J'y demeurerai et mon coeur sera joyeux.

Sur la tombe de son frère

Ah! Me voici de retour, plein de détresse. 
Que Dieu soit bienveillant pour toi ,ô mon frère! 
Je t'ai enseveli hier 
Et aujourd'hui encore, mes pensées sont tout amertume. 
Paix à toi ! m'entends-tu 
Alors que je t'appelle de toutes mes forces? 
Réponds-moi: reconnais-tu 
Le langage de ma douleur en mes cris? 
Ton être est-il anéanti 
Et la source de ton existence est-elle à jamais tarie? 
Ta force s'est - elle épuisée au cours de la nuit? 
La mienne s'est déjà tout évanouie en pleurs. 
Je t'abandonne, ô premier-né de mon père, 
Aux soins de celui qui m'a tiré du sein maternel. 
J'ai confiance que tu goûteras la ,félicité 
Auprès de celui qui est mon espoir.

La lecture des poèmes de Samuel étant très prisée dans les réunions littéraires ou mondaines, ses fils sont chargés de les recopier 
pour les faire circuler parmi les lettrés qui composent le cercle de ses amis. Tout en étant admiré pour son style cultivé et allusif, 
pour son talent technique et l' envergure de son répertoire, Samuel ha-Naguid n'a cependant pas la profondeur et la puissance de 
ses plus éminents contemporains. 

Samuel ha-Naguid manifeste sa parfaite maîtrise de la science talmudique en composant une introduction à la méthodologie du 
Talmud et un compendium des halachot qui aura une influence considérable sur les halachistes postérieurs et sera 
considéré comme un défi à la suprématie gaonique. Il compile aussi un dictionnaire d'hébreu biblique, Sefer ha-Osher, 
"Le livre des richesses" 
abondamment cité par les grammairiens et les commentateurs bibliques postérieurs. 

Samuel ha-Naguid est en correspondance suivie avec de nombreux érudits de son époque, et entretient des relations amicales avec 
les dirigeants de communautés juives en Palestine et en Afrique du Nord. L'éloge funèbre en vers prononcé à sa mort proclame 
ses qualités princières. On disait de lui qu'il portait quatre couronnes: celles de la Torah, de l'ascendance lévitique, du haut rang et 
, par - dessus tout, de bonnes actions. 

Son fils Joseph lui succède au double titre de vizir à la Cour et de Naguid juif. Mais dix ans après , en 1066, les puissants 
sentiments antijuifs attisés par les principautés arabes voisines provoquent son assassinat et un massacre des Juifs de Grenade. Sa 
famille et beaucoup d'autres membres de la communauté se réfugient dans la ville toute proche de Lucèna, jusqu'à ce que la vie 
juive reprenne son cours normal à Grenade. 

Grenade est aussi la ville natale de Moïse ibn Ezra (1055-1135), un des poètes les plus prolifiques de l'école espagnole. 
Son ouvrage faisant autorité sur la rhétorique et la prosodie hébraïque est une précieuse source pour l' étude de la poésie 
hébraïque médiévale. Désespérément amoureux de sa ravissante nièce, donnée en mariage à son frère Isaac, Moïse ibn Ezra 
décide de quitter sa ville bien-aimée et de se diriger au nord vers l'Espagne chrétienne. 
À suivre … 

Tiré d'une étude de la Wizo 

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Happy Passover from Andre and Or Ahayim

Happy Passover from Andre and Or Ahayim

Dear Friend,

Passover is the holiday of freedom. It is the time of year when Jews across the world spend time with their families remembering the story of the Exodus and the freedom G-d bestowed upon us when he took us out of Egypt.

Hag Pessach Sameach be Casher

Andre Prera Verissimo, Chairman


Friday, April 03, 2009

Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky

                 Beyond Pshat

                       by Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky

Parshas Tzav

Gaining Clarity

1. Spiritual Genetics


There are three opinions stated in Tractate Nidarim concerning why the Jewish people were enslaved in Egypt for 210 years. All of these explanations involve some failing on the part of Avraham our Patriarch. One of the reasons for the Jewish bondage in Egypt was that Avraham inappropriately questioned Hashem when he was told,"Your children will inherit the Land of Israel..." Avraham asked Hashem, "How do I know that they will inherit it? (How will I know they will be worthy?)" Immediately following Avraham's question, the Torah tells us that Hashem said to him," Your children will be strangers in a land that is not theirs..."


Another explanation offered by Chazal for the enslavement of the Jews is that Avraham interrupted the Torah study of his students in order to go to war to save Lot from captivity. A third reason mentioned in the Gemara for the exile was that Avraham missed the opportunity to convert a group of people to monotheism. After Avraham's victory over the four mightiest kings who had taken the Sodomites captive, the King of Sodom approached Avraham and said," Give me the people and you take the possessions." Avraham's response to the King of Sodom was," I will not take from you as much as a thread or a bootstrap." At this moment, Avraham had an opportunity (as the victor) to take the people of Sodom to convert them from paganism to monotheism, but he did not. Hashem said to Avraham,"Just as you have allowed these people to remain pagans, and not bring them under the Divine Presence your children in the future will be put in a position to exposed to paganism." (Measure for measure).


All of these reasons given for the enslavement of the Jewish people in Egypt center on Avraham's failings and not on any of the shortcomings of our Patriarchs Yitzchak or Yaakov. One would think that the shortcomings of the other Patriarchs would have contributed to the Jewish exile in Egypt. Yet we see that only Avraham is singled out. Why should Avraham's decedents need to be punished for his failings? In addition, the Torah tells us that each person is culpable for his own sins- as it states in the verse,"Each person will be killed for his own sin..." Why should the Jewish people spend 210 years in Egypt to atone for Avraham's shortcomings?


The Gemara Tractate Yievamos tells us that the Jewish people possess certain unique characteristics such as shame, mercy, and the need to perform acts of kindness. All of these characteristics are part of the Jewish spiritual "gene pool" because they are inherited from Avraham. Avraham was the progenitor of the spiritual "gene pool" of the Jewish people. He is the Founding Father and the root of all the generations that follow.


The principle stated in the Torah that"Each person will be killed for his own sin..." applies only to a situation that is relevant to a single individual. However, in the case of Avraham our Patriarch, who was the "root" and foundation of the Jewish people his level of purity was crucial and vital for the evolvement and development of the Jewish people until the end of time. If the root of a tree is diseased, this disease will impact on the growth and development of the tree and its fruit. Similarly, as a result of his failings, Avraham's impurity needed to be purged so that the Jewish people would be an eternal, spiritual people. Therefore the imperfection that was caused by Avraham needed to be rectified by our sojourn in Egypt for 210 years.


2. Activating the Attribute of Mercy


In this week's parsha, the Torah states," This is the law of the olah-offering (the burnt offering)..." Rashi cites the Gemara, which explains that this verse is teaching us that the burning of the limbs and the fats of the offerings can even be done at night.


The Gemara states that the sacrificial process from the slaughtering of the animal to the sprinkling of the blood on the altar must be performed during the day. If the blood was received but was not yet sprinkled by sundown the offering is not valid. The Gemara states that atonement comes about only through the sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifice. Thus, if the blood was sprinkled during the day and subsequently the limbs and/or the fats of the sacrifice became contaminated or invalid, the person has fully atoned. This is because the sprinkling of the blood was done during the proper time period at a time when the limbs and fats were still qualified to be burnt. The fact that the limbs and fats became invalid after the sprinkling is not relevant to the person's atonement. The question is why does the atonement process that involves the blood of the sacrifice need to occur during the daytime?


The Torah refers to sacrifices as "Korban Lashem (Sacrifice to Hashem)" which means that the concept of sacrifice, which is a means of atonement, is only possible as a result of the Attribute of Mercy (Midas HaRachamim). Within the context of the Attribute of Justice, there is no forgiveness. Thus there is no place for sacrifices. The Attribute of Justice (Midas HaDin) dictates that when one sins he should be punished immediately.


The possibility of atonement can only take place during the daytime because the day is a time of Rachamim; however, night time is associated with Din (Judgment). For example, in the closing blessing of the Amidah (Sim Shalom) Hashem is referred to as Avi, Father, which is synonymous with Mercy. However the Amidah of the night concludes with the reference of Hashem as Adon (Master) which is synonymous with Judgement. The relationship between a Father and his child is one that reflects Mercy, while the relationship of Master and his servant is one of Justice. Therefore the blood ritual of the sacrifice, through which atonement is brought about, can only be sprinkled during the daytime because it has relevance to the Midas HaRachamim (Attribute of Mercy).


The status of the prayer of the closing prayer of the evening (Tefilla Shal Arvis) is "Rishus" (non-obligatory) while the morning and afternoon prayers are obligatory. The Gemara explains that each one of the three silent prayers (Shmonei Esrei) that we recite correspond to the offerings brought in the Bais HaMikdash. Shachris (Morning Service) corresponds to the Tamid Shal Shachar (Morning Communal Offering), Mincha (Afternoon Prayer) corresponds to the Tamid Shal Bein Ha'Arbaayim (Communal offering of the afternoon), and the Arvis(Evening prayer) corresponds to the burning of the limbs and the fats of the offerings that took place at night. The night time was used for the burning of the limbs and fats only if they were not burnt during the day; however, if all of the limbs and fats of the daytime offerings were burned during the day then the altar would remain vacant during the night. However, the morning and afternoon communal offerings were always brought. Just as the burning of the limbs and fats was based on circumstance so too is the recitation of the Arvis. Why is the prayer service of the day obligatory and (relative to the morning services) the evening is not?


The answer is that without Midas HaRachamim one would not be able to withstand the Attribute of Justice. The Morning and Afternoon offerings, as the two daytime prayer services, are at a time when the Midas HaRachamim is in full effect in order to appeal to Hashem's Attribute of Mercy. The Gemara cites the verse in Prophets (Novie)," We will bring oxen with our lips..." which means when one recites the portion of a particular offering that is stated in the Torah (and has proper understanding of what he is saying) Hashem values that recitation to be the equivalent of the oxen (the sacrifice).


Since our prayers directly correspond to the communal offerings of the Bais HaMikdash, which are a means to draw on Midas HaRachamim, it is imperative that we pray with the appropriate level of concentration and intent to draw upon the Attribute of Mercy. This is especially in our times of difficulty so that we may merit the highest level of Mercy.


3. The Miracle of Free Choice


The Torah tells us that there had to be a fire continuous fire on the Altar (Mizbeiach) and it was forbidden to extinguish it. The Torah repeats the commandment to not extinguish the fire twice. Rashi cites Chazal who state that if one were to extinguish the fire one would be in violation of two Negative Commandments. Why is the Torah so adamant about not extinguishing the fire on the Mizbeiach? The Chinuch offers an explanation.


The Gemara says that during the First Temple Period (Bais HaMikdash) there was a heavenly fire on the Altar that consumed the offerings. This was in addition to the human fire that was brought every day. This heavenly fire was the same fire that consumed the offering that Aaron had brought when he began officiating (Parsha Shmini.) This fire signified the Shechina (the Divine Presence) entering into the Mishkan.


The Gemara in Tractate Zvachiem tells us that when Shlomo HaMelech (King Solomon) inaugurated the Bais HaMikdash there were 25000 offerings that were brought in one day and the fires on the Mizbeiach consumed them all. It was not possible that an earthly fire could consume this number of offerings in such a short period of time and with that level of intensity. It as only possible because the fire was a heavenly one and therefore it as able to consume on a supernatural level.


There is a Positive Commandment to add firewood to the Altar a number of times on a daily basis in order for the fire to burn continuously. The man made fire that was brought by the Kohen could be extinguished. However, the heavenly fire, because its origin was spiritual, could not be physically extinguished. The Chinuch explains that the reason why the Torah insisted that the fire on the Mizbeiach not be extinguished was to conceal the miracle of the heavenly fire that burnt continuously on the Altar. Because if one were to witness the heavenly fire (which was Hashem's Presence) in such an obvious manner one's power of free choice would be taken away. Since the purpose of man's existence is to maintain a state of free choice to enable mankind the opportunity to grow spiritually, then revealing Hashem's Presence through extinguishing the man made fire would be contrary to that objective.


The Chinuch points out that we find similar circumstances at the Splitting of the Sea. The Torah tells us that before Hashem split the Sea, there was a strong Easterly wind that blew throughout the night, which concluded with the splitting of the Sea at daybreak. The Chinuch explains that the prelude of the Easterly wind that precedes the splitting of the Sea was necessary to maintain a state of free choice. If one was to choose to deny Hashem's involvement in the splitting of the Sea one could attribute this miracle to the natural phenomenon of the strong wind. If one chooses to be irrational, Hashem provides him with the setting to express that irrationality. This is for the sake of maintaining ones free choice.


The Mishna in Perkei Avos (Ethics of our Fathers) tells us that there were ten revealed miracles that could be witnessed every day in the First Basis HaMikdash. For example there was a tree that grew gold fruit. The question to ask, according to the Chinuch's explanation of not extinguishing the fire, is why did these revealed miracles not impact on our free choice? These miracles were even more revealed than the fire that burned on the Mizbeiach because all Jews witnessed these miracles; whereas the fire on the Mizbeiach was seen only by the Kohen (the Priest). The non-Kohen was not permitted to enter the sanctuary beyond the point of eleven cubits. Why should witnessing the fire have a greater impact then any of the other miracles vis-à-vis free choice?


When the Jewish people stood at Sinai and said "Naaseh V'nishma (we shall do and we shall listen)," regarding the Torah, Hashem brought heaven to earth and all Jews witnessed Hashem's presence in this existence. Why were we privileged to this level of revelation? The answer is that Klal Yisroel was at such a high level of spirituality when we said "Naaseh V'nishmah (we shall do and we shall listen) which made us worthy of this special level of revelation. However, after the Sin of the Golden Calf (Chet HaAigil), Klal Yisroel was no longer worthy of being able to witness Hashem's presence, the fire of Sinai. Therefore the extinguishing of the fire on the Altar was not an issue of witnessing a revealed miracle but rather it was not being at a spiritual level where we were worthy of witnessing the presence of Hashem.


After becoming unworthy as a result of the Chet HaAigle, Klal Yisroel was no longer able to directly witness Hashem's presence, but rather, the Mishkan had to be built to a accommodate the Shechina. Thus the heavenly fire in the Mishkan was concealed not because it would undermine our free choice but rather because we were no longer worthy to witness it directly.


After the destruction of the First Bais HaMikdash, Klal Yisroel became even less worthy; therefore Hashem's presence was no longer there even in concealment. Because of our current spiritual level we no longer perceive revealed miracles nor do we see miracles in nature. We must therefore increase our Torah study and observance in order to merit perceiving Hashem within the state of concealment.


4. How to become Free


The Maharal in his work Givuras Hashem cites the Midrash which states that after Moshe had returned to Egypt as the Redeemer of Israel he performed a number of miracles before the Jews to establish himself as the agent of G-d. The Torah tells us that after Moshe performed the miracles, "Va Yaamain Haam (And the people believed)." The Midrash says that the moment the Jews believed the bondage ceased. The Egyptians were no longer able to subjugate the Jews after assuming their belief in Hashem.


The Maharal asks - what is the connection between the Jews believing in G-d and the immediate cessation of their bondage? The Maharal explains that a slave is a person who is completely affected and controlled by his master's wishes and whims at all times; while in contrast, according to Jewish Law an employee must have the right to terminate his relationship with the employer at any time he chooses so that he does not assume the posture of a slave.


As human beings we are controlled and bound by the influences of the world around us. For example, if the world-view was paganism and we allow ourselves to be subject to this world-view then we would be establishing ourselves as people who allow themselves to be influenced by others. Thus, such as person can be subject to slavery, which is a more extreme level of external influence. If, however, one goes against the grain of one's environment and does not allow himself to be subject to the influences and beliefs of the world he is establishing himself as a being that is not subject to external influence. Thus, he cannot be subject to bondage.


With this profound concept, we can understand why the moment the Jews believed that Moshe was the agent of G-d, the Omnipotent Power (The all encompassing Universal Being) despite the beliefs of their pagan masters, the Egyptians, they were no longer bound. Because of their newly assumed spiritual posture, not allowing themselves to be affected, they were able to rise above the physical constraints imposed upon them by their masters.


Although the Jewish people reject the paganistic beliefs of the world we are nevertheless subject to a great degree by outside influences. For example, we are concerned how people perceive us and how they will affect us. Rather than being unconcerned and not allowing this to deter us from living our lives as the Torah dictates.


The Gemara tells us that nothing can affect a person unless Hashem wants it to. Rabbi Chaim of Volozen zt'l explains that if a person truly believes that nothing in this world can affect him unless it is the Will of Hashem, then he cannot be harmed by anyone because of this belief. If however a person endears himself to others in an attempt to gain favor in their eyes he establishes himself as a person who is subject to other influences. Thus he can be affected by other people's choices. This is similar to the concepts presented by the Maharal of Prague we had stated earlier.


Today we are living in very grave times in which Jews are being killed and maimed every day in Israel. Since World War II we have not seen such perilous times. How do we arouse the Attribute of Mercy of Hashem in order to protect us?


If we delude ourselves into thinking that we will be protected by our political allies or because of the superiority of the Israeli defense forces then we are relying on something other than Hashem to protect us. We are not of the belief that nothing can happen to us unless deems it so.


The Ramban says that the Jewish people always maintained a standing army not because the army itself was our only protection but rather because of the principle that we do not rely on miracles. We must take the initiative; however, the ultimate victory only comes about with the help of Hashem.


We will soon be sitting at the Seder, G-d Willing, and we will recount how in every generation our enemies rose up against us and tried to annihilate the Jewish people without success. Did our enemies fail to destroy us because of our armies or political allies? Have we survived history against all odds because of strategy or superior firepower? We survive because Hashem wills our survival. It is not enough to understand this conceptually- we must internalize this concept as our reality. The more we are able to internalize the fact that Hashem is our only ally and savior the more we will not be subject to the bondage and the constraints of the world.


With this we can now understand the Mishna in Tractate Sotah that speaks about the events surrounding the coming of Moshiach. The Mishna states that at the time just before Moshiach, arrogance and brazenness will be out of control -"The Young will not respect their elders and all we have is our Father in Heaven to rely on." The meaning of this is that when we realize that we can only rely on Hashem and no one else but Him, then our ultimate redemption will take place.


5. The True Meaning of Freedom


The Men of the High Assembly, who composed the text of all the various prayer services, chose the appropriate references for each of the festivals and holidays. For example, Pesach (Passover) is referred to in the Amidah (Silent Prayer) as Chag HaMatzos Zman Charusaiynu (The Festival of Matzos the Time of our Freedom). The simple meaning of Zman Charusaiynu (the Time of Our Freedom) is that we were freed from our bondage in Egypt. But what is the meaning of "freedom"? and What was the purpose of this freedom? Was it not to be subject to a master? Or was it something of greater purpose?


Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato in his work Derech Hashem (The Way of G-d) explains that despite the fact that Egypt was decimated as a result of the Ten Plagues that were brought upon them, the Jews were not free from the true bondage until we actually left Egypt. The Jewish people were so infected and permeated by the intense spiritual contamination of Egypt that in order for them to be relieved of that contamination it was necessary to be extracted by G-d from that location. While in Egypt the reality of spiritual growth was not relevant to the Jewish people. It was only as a result of the exodus from of Egypt that the spiritual cleansing and rehabilitation process could begin. When we refer to Zman Charusaiynu our rabbis were referring not only to our physical freedom but even more so to our spiritual freedom that gave us the capacity to appreciate spirituality. The leaving Egypt was the preparatory stage to allow us to approach Sinai.


The Ramchal says that if we have in mind when we recite (the third paragraph of the Shema) "I am Hashem, your G-d, Who has taken you out from the land Egypt", we have in mid that Hashem gave us the capacity to appreciate spirituality then at that moment we will become more receptive and sensitive to spirituality.


Before the Jewish people left Egypt, they needed to fulfill the pre-requisites of circumcision and bringing the Korban Pesach (The Pascal Offering). Why was circumcision a pre-requisite to leaving Egypt? The Olalas Ephraim explains that when we remove the external covering orlah (covering) (the foreskin) through circumcision Hashem removes the internal covering on our hearts (Orlas HaLev). The internal covering on our heart does not allow us to have any capacity for spiritual growth, - we are totally blocked. This is why circumcision was a prerequisite to leaving Egypt and ultimately the receiving of the Torah at Sinai.


When we recount that Pesach is Zman Charusaiynu it does not mean that we are free to do as we please. Zman Charusaiynu means that this is a time when we have spiritual freedom and clarity to make the choice between good and evil. But if one does not have this sense of freedom then that person is not truly free. How does one become free and retain that freedom? Chazal tell that the only true free person is the one who engages in Torah study. Therefore during Pesach, the time of our freedom, we should understand and appreciate that we were not freed from Egypt simply to end our bondage but rather to receive the Torah at Sinai and attain true spiritual freedom.