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Vayechi  |  14 Tevet 5776  |  December 26th, 2015  |  Issue 631

Mazal Tov to Rav Eli and Yael Blum (Rosh Kollel Cleveland, 1999-2001) 
on the birth of a granddaughter!

   Rav Meir Maimon

Former Rosh Kollel in Memphis (2011-2014)

""ישימך אלקים כאפרים וכמנשה
יְבָרֲכֵם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמוֹר בְּךָ יְבָרֵךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר
יְשִׂמְךָ אֱלֹהִים כְּאֶפְרַיִם וְכִמְנַשֶּׁה וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת אֶפְרַיִם לִפְנֵי מְנַשֶּׁה

"So he blessed them on that day, saying: "With you, Israel will bless, saying, 'May G-d make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh, and he placed Ephraim before Manasseh". With these words Yaakov Avinu blessed his grandchildren that were born from Yossef. This blessing comes immediately after Yaakov crossed his hands and put his right hand on Efraim, the younger and his left hand on Menashe, the elder.

In both times Yaakov put Efraim before Menashe, contrary to our expectations. When Yossef asks Yaakov why he did it Yaakov answers that Efraim will be greater than Menashe, and therefore he deserve to be first. Of course, this is not the first time in which the younger broter is chosen above the elder; Avraham choose his youngest – Yitzhak – to continue the covenant with Hashem, and Yitzhak does the same - choosing Yaakov over Eisav. Maybe Yossef is afraid that Menashe will be totally rejected from the family and from the Jewish nation.

It is ironic to see that in the end the opposite happened; following the history of these two tribes, we'll find that often the tribe of Efraim, who got the 'better' blessing, turn away from Hasshem's ways, while Menashe had more righteous descendants. What was Menashe's secret? Why did he succeed where his brother often failed?

The secret of Menashe is connection. When you keep your tradition and remain aware of your legacy, you create and maintain a strong connection between the former generations to the next generation. Where do we see this come to bear with Menashe and Efraim?
  1. When the tribes of Reuven and Gad ask to stay in the east side of the Jordan River Moshe agrees but stipulates that half the tribe of Menashe is to live with them as well.
    Why? To keep them connected to Torah. He knew he could trust Menashe to keep up their ties with their other half on the other side of the Jordan, and thus with the Temple and Hashem as well.
  2. Beside Yehoshua that came from Efraim, the other figures we meet from that tribe were evil: Yoravam, king of the Israeli kingdom after it seceded from Judah, worshipped Avoda Zara, and basically started a dynasty of idol worship. His descendent, Achav, married an idol worshipping princess from Tzidon.
The name Menashe in Hebrew refers to Forgetting. Yossef declared that G-d made a big Chessed, kindness, with him when he cause him to forget all his family "And Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, for "God has caused me to forget all my toil and all my father's house." But in the end Menashe was the one who stayed connected to Torah and Mitzvot more than Efraim.

I think that the Jewish nation is facing a significant identity crisis. We see enormous numbers of Jews that forget their tradition and their legacy, and we need to fight it. To do so we need 'Menashe power'.

Eliyahu the prophet came from Menashe and his role is to connect between the past generations to the future generations.
הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחַ לָכֶם אֵת אֵלִיָּה הַנָּבִיא לִפְנֵי בּוֹא יוֹם ה' הַגָּדוֹל וְהַנּוֹרָא.
וְהֵשִׁיב לֵב אָבוֹת עַל בָּנִים וְלֵב בָּנִים עַל אֲבוֹתָם 
"Lo, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord, that he may turn the heart of the fathers back through the children, and the heart of the children back through their fathers.
Spotlight on Family Learning, Montreal

Last Motzei Shabbat, Kollel Torah MiTzion Montreal held its final Family Learning night of the year

Family Learning is an annual six-week Motzei Shabbat parent-child learning program that begins each year when the clocks change. It is one of KTM Montreal's most successful programs - over 100 students from kindergarten to Grade 6 attend with their parents each week. The program has been running for over ten years. 

Each year, the program has a theme that runs through all six weeks. This year's theme was "Yachad Shivtei Yisrael." On the first week, students recieve a folder to hold the choveret they get each week. The bachruim and bnot sherut pair up to prepare one choveret each, which contain stories, puzzles, questions, and other activities on two different shvatim. 5th and 6th graders receive an extra choveret with more advanced materials. By the end of the six weeks, participants worked through all six choverets and learned about all twelve shvatim.
While the parents are working through the choveret with their children, the bachurim and bnot sherut facilitate the learning and ask questions. Correct answers earn a petek that they can begin working on the theme-based art project. Each year, the Family Learning program produces an art project to hang up in the Hebrew Academy of Montreal. This year, the project was a  vitrage (stained glass window). The kids helped color in the glass that will be hung next to last year's Sihvat HaMinim mosaic. 

After the project, everyone comes together to discuss what was learnt that week. The Shlichim ask the kids questions and they get prizes for answering correctly. The night is ended off with hot chocolate and cookies. 

In honor of the last Family Learning of the year, the Kollel did a brikat habanim under a tallit, accompanied by a special sponsored pizza and sufganyiot dinner. 
Around The World
20-30's casino themed Channukah party in the banquet hall of the Kremlin in Izmailovo, hosted by Torah MiTzion Moscow 
Rav Eliyahu Galil with a bar mitzvah boy in Montevideo
Parent-Child learning in
Torah MiTzion Mexico City

     Arik Speaker                                   In cooperation with:

'Lilmod' Coordinator and Head of  European Desk in Torah MiTzion

The Tiferet Zvi synagogue, more commonly known as "Itskovitch", lays in the heart of the city of Bnei Brak and it may well be the place with the most minyanim in the  world.

It is estimated that an average of 17,000 people pray there every day! This is especially amazing considering that the place was built with no intention to turn it into a synagogue. Zvi Ickowicz, a Ger Tzedek, living in Bnei Brak during the British Mandate, wanted the traffic to cease near his home on Shabbat. Following the advice of the Chazon Ish, he turned one room of his house into a synagogue.
According to the Mandatory Laws a street that housed a synagogue was closed to traffic on Shabbat. Because of that the British paved the road known today as Jabotinsky Street, the main artery connecting Petah Tikva to Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Soon the whole house turned into a bustling synagogue, and the couple moved to a small house in their garden. Over the years, the synagogue expanded a lot and now includes 17 different prayer rooms. Prayers are held nearly every moment, day and night. Torah classes are also given throughout the entire day.

There is only one time each year where the synagogue stays closed and that is during Purim to prevent drunk people from interfering. On shabbatot only 3 prayers are held, all before the end of Kiryat Shema time (as opposed to weekdays) the Aronot Kodesh being locked after that. Especially nice is the fact that (except in the Great Hall) prayers are held according to all Nusachim.



Yasher Koach to 

Shraga Dell
for providing the
correct answer


 Where was this photo taken?

Please send answers to -

The answer, further information about this location, as well as the first person to recognize this site will be 
published in next week's edition.


Torah MiTzion was established in 1995 with the goal of strengthening Jewish communities around the globe and infusing them with the love for Torah,
the Jewish People and the State of Israel. 

Over the past twenty years Torah MiTzion's shlichim have inspired
and enriched their host communities through a wide range of
high impact formal and informal

educational programs. 

In cooperation with :

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.