Vilna Gaon ZTL. Coin honouring his 300 birthday anniversary

Following publications in several media, in Q2 2020 Lithuania will realease a new series of coins honoring the 300 Vilna Gaon ZTL (GR”A) Birthday Anniversary.

The coin will be a 10 euros series and it will be the first time that hebrew letters are going to be engraved into a euro  coin.

To know about the life of Vilna Gaon, you can click into:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilna_Gaon

Ibn Gabirol, Madrid Jewish School, out with Torah Scroll

TIbn GABIROL en ZARAGOZAhis week, the students of Madrid School, Ibn Gabirol, had a few days in the of Zaragoza(Northern Spain), knowing about the Jewish History of this singular area of Spain.

Under the religious direction of Rab Pinhas Punturello this time, the studens could daven a full shajrit with Sefer Torah as this is the first time that the School Center decides to bring a Sefer Torah with them.

I have to congratulate to Rab Punturello for the initiave and all the Jewish Community of Madrid for havaing a so positive asset in our staff!!!!

Good job!

 

Torah, Life and Technology.

lab-grown-meatA few days ago we just saw in all the news, that in Israel fresh meat has been created, apparently suitable for human consumption, in a laboratory. The basic technology to produce this meat are BIO 3D PRINTERS, something that, perhaps a few years ago, would sound like science fiction, almost even jargon, but that today is a reality, and that it is very possible that in a few years , be in every supermarket of our countries.

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/israeli-startups-that-enable-a-sustainable-future-for-the-food-industry/

 

When we read this news, we not only take pride in Israel’s research and development potential, but we also ask ourselves things such as: “Will this meat be Kosher (suitable for consumption by another Jew)?”, And still more: “If it’s Kosher, can it be mixed with milk or not?”

For those who have been lost at this point in the post let me explain these two concepts quickly. The word “Kosher” literally means “apt” in Hebrew, and comes to define all those foods, fresh or cooked that strictly comply with the food standards that the Torah orders and details. One of these norms is, as many will know, the prohibition of the consumption of pork, as well as of any other animal that either has no broken hoof, or is not ruminant; It is the case of the horse, the camel, wild boar, and many others. But if we focus on those that are appropriate (Kosher) for consumption, they require a ritual sacrifice process as also ordered by the Torah. Another of the rules dictated in Torah itself prohibits practitioners of the Jewish religion from eating meat and milk together. It is not a reason for this article to know the details, but it is enough to keep the concept in mind.

Now, you can understand the questions that the most orthodox Jews ask ourselves, that is, if this meat that we talked about at the beginning does not come from a family, from a mother proper, and is already created, and has not been its ritual sacrifice is necessary, if it will be suitable or not for consumption as Kosher meat, and also if it will be considered as meat or not, that is, if it does not come from a mother, perhaps this meat can be cooked and consumed with milk.

This week I heard a magnificent Shiur by Rabbi Jayim Maman, where these questions that at first glance would seem so “futuristic” were already raised only 5,000 years ago in our Torah, and in what elegant way.

In the Perasha of Vaerá we find that Abraham Avinu is on the third day after his berit mila (self-circumcision) and although we know that H has sent a strong heat so that he can be calm and not be disturbed by travelers, this same fact will he is very sad because he has no one to do good to receive them. At that moment when H decides to send three Angels, Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, who look like Arabs traveling, they pass near where Abraham is and make Abraham, despite his pain, get up and run to entertain them preparing all kinds of delicacies, especially, according to the Torah: “Quick, take three measures of flour and semolina; Knead and make breads. And Abraham ran to the cattle and took a tender calf […] Then he took cream and milk and the calf he had prepared and put it before them […] and they ate ”(BERESHIT 18: 7-8).

The Midrash Tanjumá (explanations parallel to the Torah) tells us that Abraham, in fact, prepared three cattle, since the favorite part of the beef for the Arabs was the tongue, he wanted to sacrifice three cattle and thus entertain his guests in the way as perfect as possible. Now, continue counting, and now it is an explanation of Rabbi Abraham Azulay ZTL, that the first bulls had no trouble finding and sacrificing them, but the third, could not find them. To facilitate the search, Rabbi Azulay explains that the angel Rafael acquires the form of a bull and Abraham follows him to a cave, called Maarat Hamahpela, the place where the tombs of Adam and Eve are located. Abraham quickly perceives the specials of this place (which he will later buy from Efron to bury his wife, Sarah), but the bull (which is the angel Raphael) disappears; so Abraham to achieve this third bull has no choice but to use mysticism, of which he was a good connoisseur (he had written the book Sefer Hayetsira, the Book of creation, which passed through generations to this day) and to create that third bull “out of nowhere”. This third bull, we see in Bereshit 18: 8, when he says “the calf he had made,” which we have translated before as “prepared,” that word “done” is to “create,” Abraham Abinu had created this calf that gave To eat the angels.

Therefore, in spite of the fact that the Torah is not yet delivered (there are still almost 1000 years left) we see that Abraham is already fulfilling it, since he does not prepare meat with milk, but it will be the angels who eat it. This very beautiful and sublime argument will be the one that Moshe Rabenu will use in front of G-d 1000 years later, when the Angels, standing before the Celestial Throne, are going to oppose the People of Israel receiving the Torah and being delivered in their Place to the Angels.

The Oldest book store in Spain

libreria mas antigua de españaTraditional book readers are nowadays passing through a hard moment. New technologies are shifting the paper books giving the main role to e-books and others. In fact, this week we have known about the closing of “Círculo de Lectores” (Readers Circle), the company that achieve one million clients in the 90´s in Spain and today are not able to sustain this traditional business model, made up of local agents who visit every single home in their area offering a new book through a monthly catalogue sharply delivered.  However, in this world of constant performance and change, we find in the city of Burgos, Spain, the oldest book store in Spain, working since 1850 through six generations of the same family.

Sincerly I wish the best to the family of Santiago Rodríguez, the founder, and anotther six generations, at least,  of success in the book selling.