“Where are the horses?”

Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Beshalach שָׁמַ֗עְתִּי אֶת־תְּלוּנֹּת֮ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ דַּבֵּ֨ר אֲלֵהֶ֜ם לֵאמֹ֗ר בֵּ֤ין הָֽעַרְבַּ֙יִם֙ תֹּאכְל֣וּ בָשָׂ֔ר וּבַבֹּ֖קֶר תִּשְׂבְּעוּ־לָ֑חֶם וִֽידַעְתֶּ֕ם כִּ֛י אֲנִ֥י ה' אֱלֹקיכֶֽם׃ ׃ “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Speak to them and say: By eveningyou shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; and youshall know that I am your G-d.”  (Shemot 16.12) Did the people who have just experienced the split of the red sea, probably the biggest miracle of all times, still need to have another "small scale" miracle …

Difficult (but right) decision

Shabbat Kodesh Parashat Bó Friday, the 5th of Shevat is my father Rav Pinchas Biberfeld's זצ"ל  Yahrzeit.  Every Friday night, when we walked back from Shul (in Tel Aviv), we met with one particular person, also coming back from Shul. This man used to greet my father by first name, saying "Good Shabbos Pinchas". My father used to say "Good Shabbos Elakana" - it seemed that they knew …

Pharaoh and me: Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Vaerá 

At the end of Parshat VaEra which we will read this Shabbat, Egypt was already at the receiving end of seven national disasters. (Blood, frogs, lice, flies, livestock pestilence, boils, hail,) And it was quite clear that Moshe Rabeinu was "in control" of when the plagues come and when they go. After the 7th disaster, (nationwide hail storm), Pharaoh seems to …

“The smile…” – Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Vayechi

We will read this week how Yaakov Avinu describes the characteristics of each one of his children, and then gives them his final blessings. As he relates to Yehuda, Yaakov says:  חַכְלִילִ֥י עֵינַ֖יִם מִיָּ֑יִן וּלְבֶן־שִׁנַּ֖יִם מֵחָלָֽב׃  His eyes are darker than wine; His teeth are whiter than milk. The simple way to read it is that it is …

The Rabbi and Pope Benedikt

As the Catholic world mourns the death of the former Pope Benedict I remind myself of the following story:  A short time after my father Rabbi Pinchas ZT"L came to Munich, the Jewish Congregation made a reception for the general local community - to meet and greet the new Rabbi. Unbeknown to my father - the guests included also some politicians, …

Eternal optimist can also have a break…

Shabbat Kodesh Parashat Vayigash Yosef ordered his chariot and went to Goshen to meet his father Yisrael; he presented himself to him and, embracing him around the neck, he wept on his neck for a good while. Then YIsrael said to Yosef, וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל רַ֛ב עוֹד־יוֹסֵ֥ף בְּנִ֖י חָ֑י אֵֽלְכָ֥ה וְאֶרְאֶ֖נּוּ בְּטֶ֥רֶם אָמֽוּת׃ “Now I can …

Priority of Shabbat candles over Chanukah Light

Shabbat Chanukah - Parashat Miketz "The Light of War and the Light of Peace There is a law about Chanukah I find moving and profound. Maimonides writes that ‘the command of Chanukah lights is very precious. One who lacks the money to buy lights should sell something, so as to be able to fulfil the mitzvah.’ The question …

Award ceremony in the community centre Adass Yisroel

Speech text on the award ceremony for 3rd place for Building of the Year 2021, held by the Federal Chairman Tilo Bergmann on 8 December 2022       First of all, I would like to express my pleasure at the invitation and the joint celebration of this ceremony for the facade reconstruction of Tucholsky Strasse 40. Here and today …

Double concern…

Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Vayishlach The Torah relates that upon hearing that Eisav was coming toward him with 400 men, Yaakov became very frightened and it distressed him. Rashi explains that the double expression regarding Yaakov's fear teaches that he was afraid both that he may be killed and that he may kill others should Eisav attack him. It is natural …