“The Best of Parashat HaShavuah” Articles taken from list subscriptions on the internet, edited, reformatted and printed for members of Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu




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Din Torah: Separating Ma’aser Kesafim From National Insurance Allowances

Courtesy of: Mishpetey Eretz Institute, Ofra www.dintora.org

Question

Should ma’aser kesafim (10% of one’s monetary income set aside for charity) be separated from money received from the National Insurance Institute (child allowance)? If we are not able to put aside ma’aser kesafim at this point in time, but we are able to put less aside, is this still relevant?

Answer

It appears that National Insurance allowances are given to parents to assist them in running the home, and they are not intended directly for the children themselves. It thus appears that ma’aser kesafim must indeed be separated from the money that a person receives from the National Insurance Institute.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, Rav Ovadia Yosef (Shu”t Yechave Da’at 3:76) writes that while ma’aser kesafim is a “sound custom” it is not an absolute obligation in terms of the strict letter of the law. Therefore, if you are not able to give the full amount of ma’aser kesafim, you should give according to your ability, and you will be blessed from the Source of All Blessings.

Emmanuel Moreno: A Jewish Hero

On Shabbat Parshat Re’eh, 25 Menachem Av 5766, at the end of the Second Lebanon War, a Sayeret Matkal (the IDF’s elite reconnaissance unit) force set out for a secret mission near the Lebanese village of Ba’albek. During the mission, the commander – Lieutenant-Colonel Emmanuel Moreno Hy”d – was killed. Due to the highly-classified nature of Moreno’s service, the IDF has still not released his photo. To mark his fifth yahrzeit, we present his life’s story.

Emmanuel Yehuda Moreno was born in France, to Sylvia and Shlomo Ilan Moreno, immigrants from Morocco. When Emmanuel was a year old, the family – including Emmanuel’s three older brothers (a fourth brother was subsequently born in Israel) - made aliyah to Yerushalayim, where Emmanuel attended the Hartman High School and the Himmelfarb High School. After graduation, he moved on to the Bnei David mechinah (pre-military academy) in Eli.

Moreno served in Sayeret Matkal and the General Security Service (GSS) for sixteen years. Hertzi Halevi, a former Sayeret Matkal commander, described Moreno:

“If the IDF is the best army in the world, and Sayeret Matkal is the best unit in the IDF, and Emmanuel is the best fighter in Sayeret Matkal, then Emmanuel is the best fighter in the world.”

Avi Dichter, a Member of Knesset and a former Minister of Internal Security, who also served in Sayeret Matkal, referred to Moreno as having served at the unit’s spearhead, or, in his words, “basayeret shel haSayeret” (“in the elite force’s elite force”). Indeed, throughout his military career, Moreno was involved in numerous exceptionally specialized and dangerous operations.

On Friday night, the eve of 25 Av 5766 (August 18, 2006), at the end of the Second Lebanon War, Emmanuel Moreno fell near Ba’albek, during a mission which was designed to prevent Iran from transferring weapons to Hizbullah. Word of the operation had leaked to Hizbullah and the Lebanese media, but nevertheless, the IDF decided to complete the mission. As the force was on their way back, they encountered a Hizbullah ambush, and Moreno, who was at the lead, was hit and died of his wounds shortly thereafter.

On Motzai Shabbat, at 1:30 in the morning, thousands of Moreno’s friends, soldiers, and officers thronged to Yerushalayim’s Har Herzl Military Cemetery to pay their final respects. As befitting a saintly and truly modest soldier, Moreno’s funeral was held in the middle of the night.

A week after Moreno’s death, his good friend Matan eulogized him:

“Emmanuel, I’m sure that when you hear the rest of my words, you’ll say something like, ‘Idiot, enough with this foolishness,’ or ‘You really said that about me?’

“So, we wanted you to know, that now, even more than during your lifetime, you’re no longer your family’s Emmanuel, or Maya and the children’s Emmanuel, or even the unit’s Emmanuel. From now on, as we all realized at the funeral, you’re Klal Yisrael’s Emmanuel. And as such, in spite of your objections, you’ve lost the right to remain humble and modest. And we, your friends, are obligated to ensure that Am Yisrael does, in fact, know who you were, and how great is your loss.

“There’s no better way to describe you than the two words, ‘ha’oz v’ha’anavah’ (literally, ‘valor and humility’). On one hand – a valiant and extraordinarily courageous fighter. And on the other hand – extremely humble.

“Throughout your military service, you were one of the soldiers who participated in the most operations in the unit’s history. On many occasions, your bravery and courage were what made the difference between failure and operational complications and yet another one of the many successes which will remain classified.

“You were always in front, ready to deal with any problem which would arise. There, in front, you even met your death. In places where you were practically alone, even an entire brigade can barely manage to go.

“When we were younger, the unit’s commander said to you that since Bar Kochva, Am Yisrael hasn’t had such a fighter. At the time, that amused us considerably, and you, of course, were embarrassed. And today, Emmanuel, I’m sure that Bar Kochva has already arrived to give you the honor you deserve, and perhaps even to get a few tips from you.

“And then, there was your other side – the humility and the gentleness: How you always got angry when you heard people telling heroic stories about you. How you got annoyed when we mentioned to you that people were even singing songs about you. You were always careful to avoid places where they were likely to admire you too much. Even when they asked you to come speak to teenagers, you said that you have nothing to contribute to them. When we spoke to you, you praised and extolled what others were doing, but about your own substantial accomplishments – barely a word.

“Emmanuel, your operational achievements with the unit will presumably remain classified for many years to come. However, it’s not an exaggeration to say that each and every one of the State’s citizens owes you a lot…

“Emmanuel, I know you get mad when people talk about you too much. But I apologize to you, because it seems to me that words will never be able to describe what type of man you were [or] the contrast between your faith and spiritual level and your willingness to accept and to love every Jew. The contrast between your profound thinking and your mischievous and lighthearted spirit. Between combativeness and retzach ba’enayim (literally, ‘murder in the eyes’) when necessary and endless gentleness whenever possible. In order to understand all of this, one simply had to know you…”

HhHhHhHhHhHhHhHhHhHhH




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