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Dear Mogen David Family,

It is certainly interesting that Parashat Bemidbar and Sefer Bemidbar fall out this year adjacent (samuch) to the modern miraculous celebration of Yom Yerushalayim and to Chag HaShavuot. After all, Sefer Bemidbar was clearly intended to be the Sefer Chumash that recounts the story of Am Yisrael's entry into Eretz Yisrael.

Soon after crossing the border our goal was to conquer the Land and rid it of the seven nations (Kibbush Ha'aretz) and then settle the Land (Yishuv Ha'aretz) by splitting up the Shevatim by territories and laying the foundation of what would become the permanent dwelling of the Bet HaMikdash in Yerushalayim--the 'chosen' place, the Bet HeBechirah. Not until a few thousand years, and two destroyed Batei Mikdash, were we as a nation able to claim sovereignty over Yerushalayim and Har HaBayit. 

This was clearly a modern day miracle which rectified wrongs committed over a few millennia dating all the way back to our Parshiot in Sefer Bemidbar. As we know, the Ramban tells us one of the main themes of the Chumash Chumashei Torah is Ma'aseh Avot Siman L'Banim. The Torah serves as a guide for all future generations and informs our actions even today. We look backwards into the Torah and its messages to guide us how to act in the present and the future. 

One of the primary ways we thank and praise HaKadosh Baruch Hu for both recent and historical events is by reciting Hallel. According to Maran Chacham Ovadiah Yoseh (Teshuvot Yabia Omer, Orech Chaim, 6:41) we may say a Half-Hallel on Yom Yerushalayim without a beracha. The halacha for Sefardim is that we never make a beracha on Minhagim and reciting a Half-Hallel is always under the halachic category of a Minhag. Maran also quotes Rav Yitzchak Herzog, the first Chief Rabbi after Hakamat Medinat Yisrael, as maintaining this practice as well. 

In this zechut may we all merit to receive more yeshua from Above during our current situation!

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Yehuda Moses Rav HaKehillah/Senior Rabbi

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