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Shlach| 26 Sivan 5782 | June 25th, 2022 | Issue 950

This edition is dedicated
In loving memory of

Miriam Rivka bat Chaim z"l
Mordechai Yosef ben Yitzchak David Friedland z"l
Menashe z"l ben Mordechai Yosef z"l and Miriam Friedland
Mordechai Yitzchak ben Zadok z"l
Rabbi Mitch Heifetz z"l
 (Board Member)
Our condolences to Noam Rhein (Cleveland, 2008-09)
on the passing of his mother, Tova z"l

Mazal Tov to Rabbi Harvey Well (co-founder of Torah MiTzion Chicago)
on his 80th birthday (גבורות)
Mazal Tov to Brian and Dafna Berman (Washington)
on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Nava
Mazal Tov to Rabbi Gedalia and Efrat Peterseil
(Cape Town, 1996-97 and Rosh Kollel in Phoenix, 2000-02)
on the birth of their first grandson
Mazal Tov to Rabbi Amichai and Aya Stern (Washington, 2012-14)
on the engagement of their daughter, Yarden, to Shilo Chetboun

What is in this week's Sabbat MiTzion?
Dedicated in memory of Yaakov ben Avraham and Sarah Aharonov z"l
Dvar Torah - Shlach / Korach

Blue and White / כחול ולבן

Shanen Bloom Werber
Former Family coordinator for the first Torah MiTzion’s presence in Chicago in the 1990's
Currently lives in Gush Etzion

Click here for the PDF version
Click here for the dvar torah on Korach
Some 50 years ago, a young Bnei Akiva couple on a Misrad haKesher mission to the refuseniks in the Soviet Union smuggled out the words to the song שלי הצבע זה ולבן כחול (Blue and white is my colour), written by Yisrael Rashar, of Minsk. They also managed to somewhat learn the tune.

It was a patriotic song written in Hebrew, in order to express a connection to far-away Israel. The song became an anthem of Soviet Jewry. Today it is an "amami" folk song, sung by school children, and familiar to their parents and grandparents - just as the commandment of tzitit says: "לדרתם" -throughout the generations!

The writer refers to the Israeli flag whose colours are based on the talit. Those colours are based on the tzizit: white with a string of tekhelet, as commanded in parshat Shalch Lecha. The colour tekhelet is defined as a sky blue or a sea blue in rabbinic sources. The dye was obtained from the glands of a specific type of snail in the Mediterranean, and it was very expensive. This dye produced a lasting colour which was worn only by aristocracy and priests in the ancient world. But that distinctive, expensive tekhelet string worn by every Jewish male on the corners of his garment, reminded him both of his status as a Jew and of his duty to the mitzvot.

The exact dye source (a sea snail / hilazon, the Murex, trunculus) and the dyeing technique were lost in the political upheavals in Eretz Yisrael, the exile of the Jewish communities, and the dispersions of the galuyot (exiles). Midrash Tanchuma and Midrash Raba Shmot (8th century) wrote: "and now we have no tekhelet, but only white (ed- threads for the tzitzit); for tekhelet has been hidden."

The knowledge and art of procuring the dye from the snails was lost, but the mitzva of tzitzit was kept as best as it could under the circumstances. (The Talmud, Baba Metzia, discusses a "fake" vegetable based dye; those using such were lambasted for “counterfeiting” the dye.) The Zohar associates that special sky / sea blue colour, tekhelet, with justice, and the white with Divine compassion, "rachamim".

Rav Soloveitchik wrote that white is clarity – logic-based comprehension. And tekhelet signifies the mysterious and irrational side of the world. He explains that the blue and white are interdependent, and they are tied together in tzizit.

Ptil tekhelet is a mitzva which had been lost to us, and "re-discovered” in a redeemed Medinat Yisrael. Tekhelet dye is available again thanks to intense research and work by the Ptil Tekhelet organization and others, based on the doctoral thesis of the first Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel, Rav Dr. Isaac Herzog.

The “ptil tekhelet” of the tzitzit offers an astounding lesson. The word לדרתם" -for their generations" is written without 2 vav letters. (One vav should be in the middle of the word "dor: generation" and one in the plural form: "dorot - generations"). Perhaps this is a hint that over the generations, some aspect of the mitzva would go missing. But as multiple generations passed on our heritage, the strings would again unite: tekhelet blue and white - שלנו צבע זה ולבן כחול (Blue and white is our colour).

The pasuk states: "for their generations"/ "לדרתם ".So too, the smuggled-out song reflects that idea "these are my colours, all my days forever!" (ed: perhaps all OUR days forever). Three psukim (Shmot 15: 38-40) with some outstanding science, philosophy, nationbuilding, and commandment orientation are all packed into Shlach Lecha’s mitzva of tzitzit. Three psukim with some astounding history and perspective!

This techelet information in this dvar Torah is based on an article “The Meaning of Techelet” – Baruch Sterman, published in B’Or HaTorah #11 (1999)
כחול ולבן זה צבע שלי - The words to the song (Women's singing):

Shanen Bloom Werber shares Parshat Shlach Lecha with her husband, her son, and a daughter – as “our” birthday parsha. A community activist, she was Em Bayit for the first Torah MiTzion in Chicago, and lives in Gush Etzion.
מוקדש לרפואת כל חולי ישראל

For more Divrei Torah on the parsha click here
'One Who Loves Tanach'

A short Dvar Torah for Parashat Shlach (5 min)
A Good Name

A short Dvar Torah for Parashat Korach (5 min)
Who's to Blame

For more weekly videos join a quiet WhatsApp group
What's New in Israel?
Ze'ev met former Washington Shlichim at the celebration of the Bat Mitzvah of Nava, daughter of Brian and Dafna Berman
Rabbi Harvey Well, who lives in Elazar and co-founded Torah MiTzion Chicago, came to the office this week and met with Ze'ev
Wishing a safe flight and good luck to Rav Ilan on his trip to the Kenes in our Kollel 'La Casa' in Buenos Aires, South America! This is a joint event of the Religious Zionist Organizations; Torah MiTzion, Bnei Akiva, and Mizrachi Olami. Adiós!
Another day, another recruite. This time in the Hesder Yeshiva of Tzfat
Making an Impact
This week in Washington, they celebrated the end of an amazing year with a super exciting Siyum of Masechet Taanit followed by a BBQ for the Kollel class and a special dinner for the Madrasha class!
Summer Shabbaton in Moscow!
Shmita Q&A
Putting flowers and herbs in a vase with water 💐
Question: During regular years, I like to pick flowers and fragrant herbs (star jasmine, roses, and rosemary) from my garden to decorate my  house and perfume the air in honor of  Shavuot. Can I put them in vases with water, or is that like planting them? 
Answer: After picking flowers and herbs, putting them in a vase with water 🏺is not considered replanting, rather keeping them alive, and is permitted. Furthermore, this is indoors. 
👃🏻 Flowers and herbs meant to add a pleasant fragrance to the home (such as jasmine and rosemary) have kedushat shevi'it. 
🥀 They should not be discarded regularly after wilting. You can either store them in the shemitah bin, or throw them back into your garden.
🌷 Flowers picked for decorative purposes (including non-fragrant roses) do not have kedushat shevi'it and can be discarded regularly when they wilt.
Our friend Benjy Singer has a very useful website,,
which contains accurate and fresh information of what's going on in the Religious Anglo Community in Israel.

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