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What Is The Reason? Maccabi, Honoring Parents, Which Psalm Print E-mail

What Is The ReasonWhat is the meaning of Maccabi? SC
The Tzemach David (Volume 2) says that Maccabi is an Ancient Greek word related to a powerful warrior. (I checked out a dictionary of Ancient Greek and did not find it.) The Most common explanation is that MKBY stands for, “Mi Kamocha B’eilim Hashem,” “Who is like Ypou amongst all the Power, God.” The Chatam Sofer (Miketz) says that it stands for, “Matityahu Cohen Ben Yochanan.”

I recently overheard you tell someone that there are ways to honor a deceased parent. I couldn’t hear everything you were saying, but it sounded as if you said, “You can add to his life.” Can you explain? NC


The Ben Yehoyada (Volume I Berachot) quotes the Ohel Yaakov that if a son honors his father after death, he adds his father’s years onto his his life; meaning, it is as if he is extending from all the Torah study, Mitzvot and good deeds of his father, so that his father’s years are added onto his. This is how Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah could be like seventy when he was only 18; his father’s 52 years were added onto his.

I heard that there are specific Psalms to be said in specific situations. Is there a Psalm I should say before entering court to fight a difficult case? JS

The Meiri on Psalms says that David composed Psalm 20 to be sung by the Leviim whenever Israel entered battle. That seems to be an appropriate Psalm for your situation. The Ba’al Haturim (Bereishit 13:18) teaches that one should always make an offering before battle. I suggest giving Tzedakka.

Why did Israel say, “Long live the King,” when celebrating a new king? (Samuel 1, Chapter 25) KT


The Chizkuni (Devarim 17:20) says that since we learn that “leadership buries the person,” the custom is to pray “Long live the leader!” I suspect that is why we say a Mi Shebeirach for the Rabbi after each Aliyah.

Did the widow of the Elijah story, who fed him with the miraculous extra food, and the woman in the Elisha story of the oil, have to give Ma’aser from the miraculous food and oil? GS

I believe the Radak rules that we are not obligated to give Ma’aser from something that arrives in a miracle. (See Kings II 4:7 - also see the extensive discussion in the Pardes Yosef on Lech Lecha #23)

This is probably related to the idea that something miraculous is not related to the one who brought the miracle about, such as the Menorah in the Mishkan which appeared miraculously out of a single block of gold and is not credited to Moshe. (Mishnat Avraham # 1, page 4)
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