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Back in 1996, Rabbi Finman was asked to speak to the niece of one of his students. After spending many hours answering her questions, the woman gave Rabbi Finman her e-mail address. Rabbi Finman wrote the woman a note and included in it a short insight into that week's Parsha and a short Chasidic story.

Realizing that this was something no one was yet doing,, Rabbi Finman sent the missive to his mailing list of about 30 people. Requests from recipients friends came pouring in. The next week Rabbi Finman sent the e-Parsha to 100 people. Within a year more than 2000 people were receiving it. Today, more than 14,000 receive the e-Parsha weekly and the requests keep coming in.

Tazria-Metzora 5778
Shmini 5778
Pesach 5778
Tzav 5778
Vayikra 5778

Shmini 5778

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In memory of Bennie Magy - Bentziyon ben Avraham v Elke Magy, who passed away Menachem Av 22, 5749 - August 23, 1989 and Rose Magy - Rivka Rayzel Bat Chayim Yaakov v'Chaya Tertza Arbit, who passed away Tamuz 2, 5765 - July 9, 2005. May their souls experience a lichtiger Gan Eden - an illuminated Garden of Eden and may their family only experience Simchas from now on. Sponsored by their son Paul Magy - Birmingham, Michigan.

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This week's YouParsha - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lbms-nBjweI Is Your Animal Kosher?

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Parsha Shmini, Levitcus 9-11 discusses the laws of kosher and focuses on kosher animals. The pig is regarded as non-kosher as it does not chew its cud even though its hooves are cloven. It is important to note that people tend to be careful of what they put in their mouths. A joke is told, "Why does the grand feast celebrating Moshiach's arrival feature Shor Habor - wild ox meat and Leviason - a very large sea creature?" The tongue in cheek answer is that someone will come to the meal and inquire concerning the kosher status of the meat. He will be told that Hashem is the supervisor. Hearing this, this "pious" person will request the fish, please."

Our sages tell us that a person should be more concerned with what comes out of their mouths. Eating pig involves one prohibition. Gossip, it says, kills three; the teller, the listener and the subject.

An analogy for not chewing the cud is miserliness. A miser takes in money, but returns nothing. The Divine Presence weeps for two people: Those who have the opportunity to learn and waste it and those who do not have the opportunity to learn but learn, anyway. We can understand why it is such a travesty when one has the opportunity to learn and does not. Why should the Divine Presence cry when one does not have the opportunity to learn yet learns? The latter statement of the Talmud refers to a wealthy person who should be so busy distributing charitable funds that he has no time to learn. The Divine Presence cries if such a person is so miserly that they shirk their responsibilities of taking care of the needs of the poor and closet themselves away and learn.

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There once lived a Jewish innkeeper in an isolated shtetl who had strayed from Shabbos observance. His vodka-buying customers were non-Jews and Friday night was his best night. Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov, who lived in the nearby forest, would often buy food from this inn.

After much cajoling from the tzadik, the innkeeper agreed to keep Shabbos. This announcement provoked a bitter reaction from his customers. The peasants complained to the local Poritz (non-Jewish landowner). The innkeeper was very frightened, but resolved to do as the tzadik said. Shabbos arrived and the door was bolted. The peasants arrived and began to pound on the door and windows trying to get in. Finally, the voice of the landlord could be heard outside, demanding that the door be opened. It was a very angry poritz who entered the inn crying, "Who do you think you are, denying vodka to your customers!? Why else did I lease this inn, except to make a profit?"

Reb Moshe Leib explained to the landlord the severity of desecrating the Shabbos. "Tell me, Jew," barked the poritz, "does this prohibition against working apply to a Jew who is in danger of losing his livelihood?" "Sire, it applies even in such a case," was the tzadik's reply."I will find out, and if you are really sincere, I will permit the inn to close on the Sabbath." The landlord left, a plan hatching in his mind.

The following Shabbos the landowner rode into the forest with a bag of gold coins. When he saw Rabbi Moshe Leib leaving his hut, he scattered the coins on the floor of the forest and waited to see what would transpire. At first the tzadik passed right by the coins, but then he returned and examined them closely. The landlord waited gleefully for the fatal moment when the Jew would eagerly scoop them into his hands. But no, he continued walking. The landowner then rushed out of his hiding place. "I am very impressed and I will keep my end of the deal. But tell me, why did you first ignore the money and then bend down to examine it?"

Rabbi Moshe Leib explained. "At first, I ignored the money, because of Shabbos. Then, I began to think how I needed the money to rescue many imprisoned Jews. Perhaps that mitzvah overrides the prohibitions of the Shabbos, but I understood, G'd could certainly provide me with the money in a permissible way. Sire, if I had taken or hidden the money, you would not have understood my motives. You would have assumed that I was taking it for myself. Surely, now you can see the importance of keeping the holiness of the Sabbath."

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Tune into the JEWISH HOUR - Detroit's only Jewish radio program, with your host, Herschel Finman. Sundays 11:00 - Noon on WLQV 1500 AM - Detroit and www.faithtalk1500.com. Now available at the iTunes store (free of course) and on your smartphone - download the free stitcher app.

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