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YWN Coffee Room Nightly D'Var Torah

(1843 posts)
  • Started 8 years ago by YW Moderator-72
  • Latest reply from Hashemisreading
  1. pcoz
    that's why

    An oldie but a goodie..

    When the benei yisrael travelled, the mishkan was not re-assembled in the same place that it was dismantled.

    Nevertheless there is an opinion in shabbos 31 that with regards to the melacha of soser (destroying a building), you are only chayav if it is soser al menos livnos bimekomo - you will rebuild the building in the same place.

    Seeing as we learn the 39 melachos from the mishkan - and seeing that reagrding the mishkan, the structure was not rebuilt in the same place - how could this be a limitation in the melacha?

    The answer is that seeing as the benei yisroel travelled with the shechina - they were always 'in the same place' - next to the shechina. Their physical location was inconsequential to them compared to their closeness to Hashem.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. nossond

    Infinity, Zero, and Yesh Maayin

    (This dvar Torah is so fundamental, please feel free to copy and distribute.)

    Infinity and zero are opposites. Zero, more down to earth, is somewhat more manageable than infinity, but both are transcendental incomprehensible opposite forces, the eternal versus the void.

    Mathematically, infinity and zero have unusual qualities. Unlike standard numbers, zero times or divided by any number is still zero, and infinity times or divided by any number is still infinity.

    Multiplication and division are opposites. The smaller/larger the number you multiply by, the smaller/larger the result. But the smaller/larger the number you divide by, the larger/smaller the result. What happens when you divide by zero? The closer the denominator gets to zero, the further from zero the quotient becomes. The result of any number divided by zero seems to be infinity. Conventional mathematics says that division by zero is undefined. Infinity, likewise, cannot be defined, so division by zero being undefined and equaling infinity may actually be the same thing. Yes, there are those who differentiate between the two, but if division by zero does not equal infinity, it still has to be something very close to it. There seems to be more of a consensus, though, that any number divided by infinity equals zero. Some say this, too, is undefined, but this even more so coincides with infinity being undefined. As 6/3=2 and 6/2=3, it is logical that x/infinity=0 and x/0=infinity exist as a pair. We may indeed say all this is undefined, but that is because we can’t understand it.

    Division by zero opens the flood gates. With nothing to confine the number, it spreads forth infinitely. Conversely, dividing by infinity so confines the number that it becomes zero. Multiplication and division are opposites, as mentioned. Dividing by zero is like multiplying by infinity; the result is infinity. And dividing by infinity is like multiplying by zero; the result is zero. There is one exception to the 0*x=0 and infinity*x=infinity rule. There is just one force strong enough to break the zero rule—infinity. There is just one force strong enough to break the infinity rule—zero. Since any number divided by infinity equals zero (z/y=x), and any number divided by zero equals infinity (z/x=y), it follows that infinity times zero is any number (x*y=z). There are similar exceptions to the x/0=infinity and x/infinity=0 rule—zero divided by zero and infinity divided by infinity. Since any number times zero equals zero and any number times infinity equals infinity, it follows that zero divided by zero and infinity divided by infinity equal any number. Conventional mathematics indeed considers these to be undetermined. Unlike undefined, the result of infinity*0 or 0/0 or infinity/infinity can be anything.

    What does all this mean? HaShem is the infinite, the eternal spiritual source. Only one thing can bring forth something from nothing. Infinity times zero does not equal zero or infinity; it equals any number. When there was nothingness, tohu vavohu, everything could and did come forth. The infinite can do that to the void. Moreover, dividing something by the infinite is the source of complete limitation, complete nothingness. Ain od milvado. Divide something by HaShem and there is nothing. Divide something by nothing and it is infinite.

    Can this be defined? It was not meant to be. But numbers don’t lie.

    By Nosson Dovid H
    Lakewood NJ

    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. nossond

    It just occurred to me to add the following:

    We can now explain a well known portion of Tehilim (with a twist).

    Tehilim (121:1), “I raise my eyes to the mountains, maayin yavo ezri.” Maayin--from nothing--my strength comes. (121:2), “Ezri maim HaShem creator of heaven and earth.” HaShem created everything from nothing, from the combined forces of eternity (HaShem) and nothingness (ayin).

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. sam4321

    What happened to this thread,any new vorts(baalhabooze?).

    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    Here is a link to another thread with divrei torah on Ki Seitzei.


    Posted 4 years ago #
  6. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks


    "Yitein Hashem Es Oivecha HaKamim Alecha Nigafim Lifanecha." (Ki Savo 28:7)

    Hashem promises us that if we do the mitzvos, the enemies that rise up against us will fall before us. Rav Shimon Schwab asks, "If we are doing Hashem's wishes and are clearly blessed, why would an enemy be foolish enough to wage war with us?"
    He answers that it is part of the teva, the nature of the world, that Sheker despises Emes, bad hates good, and Tumah confronts Tahara. Whether they will be victorious or suffering a crushing defeat, the enemy will attack its natural enemy.

    "This," says Rav Schwab, "explains Milchemes Gog U'Magog. Although during that time Hashem's glory will be revealed openly to the entire world, nevertheless Gog U'Magog will gather their troop to wage war Al Hashem V'Al Moshicho. Although bad will never stop attacking good, we should all be zocheh to see the day that they will no longer be successful."

    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    My 6 yr old son told me a cute pshat in shofar during a Rosh Hashana seuda, one that I never heard before.
    The Soton knows that when Moshiach comes, the great shofar will sound, and Hashem will שׁחט the Soton for good. So when it is Rosh Hashana, Hashem in His everlasting rachamim, commanded us to blow the shofar, this way the Soton shudders and runs and hides (thinking that perhaps Moshiach arrived), and now when Hashem sits to judge the soton is not around to prosecute!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  8. Wisey
    inventor of banana mush

    Oh please, the soton is a bit smarter than that. Also, why doesn't blowing during the year make the soton hide?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  9. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    maybe he does....
    when someone pulls a trigger, even if you know that there are only blanks in the gun, there is still a natural tendency to cringe. no matter how many times it's done. pshat is, that when someone's life is on the line, you cringe/hide/shidder.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  10. Wisey
    inventor of banana mush

    He may involuntarily cringe but not run and hide for enough time for us to get our tefilos in. Also, since he is a malach, a semi-divine being, he is completely controlled by his own intellect and not bound to the natural emotions and instinctive reactions that humans are. Therefore he probably wouldn't even cringe/shudder.
    (I hope nobody minds a bit of "out of the box" thinking)

    Posted 4 years ago #
  11. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    There was once a person who approached someone who raised turkeys and wished to purchase one. He agreed to sell him, but in 3 months time. After the time was up he purchased the nice large turkey, and the farmer pointed out, "remember the small turkeys 3 months ago? Look how nice and fat they are!"
    The person said, "In all honesty they are really nice and big, but I was surprised at the amount of time. I mean 1-2 weeks okay, 3 weeks maybe, but what in the world takes 3 months??"
    The farmer chuckled and with a wave of the hand said, "Mine aren't raised like all the other turkeys you'll find. Mine are the very best, the juciest, and delicious tasting turkeys. the other farmers out there just stuff the turkey with food for 2-3 weeks straight, and inject them with growth hormones etc. The way I raise them, is much differently! I starve them for 2 weeks, then stuff them for 2 weeks then starve them for 2 weeks and stuff them for 2 weeks. By the third month they have such an appetite, i let them eat themselves, and they eat so much, i don't have to inject them or overstuff them, they do it themselves, and now are the most fattest and juciest turkeys.
    The Nimshal
    A person's heart breaks on Y"K and he does teshuva for all the sins he committed, and promises never to do it again. The Yeitzer Hara says, great! let him starve for 2 weeks. Then about a couple of weeks after Sukkos, he goes back to his bad ways. Next Y"K comes and he starves himself. Eat Starve Eat Starve Eat Starve.....you see where this is going..
    After 120 years we will get to the Bais Din shel maalah, they will find you to be the juciest turkey, steeped in cheit, and worse then we can ever imagine!
    when one does teshuva you have to realize it is a loooong process and is imperative to erase all delights and pleasurable feelings from cheit from one's heart so that we NEVER go back to the old ways. Otherwise we become one big fat turkey in the hands of the Yeitzer Hara to feast on.


    Posted 4 years ago #
  12. Wisey
    inventor of banana mush

    Since this is supposed to be for nightly Divrei Torah and none are appearing I'll stick one in off the top of my head- Usually we pour wine on the mizbeach but on sukkos we also pour water why? Because going through the whole year we have been doing aveiros and are red like wine but after getting a chance to do Teshuvah we are clean and clear like water.
    (comments would greatly be appreciated so that this thread would resemble a virtual beis medrash with pilpul flying back and forth and not a silent beis hakvaros)

    Posted 4 years ago #
  13. Wisey
    inventor of banana mush

    I think you can learn a mussar vort from the blackening of the aravos.

    We see that someone without taste or smell (chochmah or yiras shomayim) as soon as he is cut off from the tree of life and not kept in water (Torah) he withers away.

    Also the elongated aravos represent the mouth when it is closed the way it should be.

    Also I was wondering how someone could have Torah and not maasim tovim or the reverse(לולב והדסים) if the Mishnah in Avos says "אם אין חכמה אין יראה ואם אין יראה אין חכמה'

    Posted 4 years ago #
  14. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks


    Moshe Rabeinu was the greatest prophet to have ever lived and achieved closeness to HaShem that is insurmountable. However, upon Moshe's death in VeZos HaBracha, he gets what seems to be a mere two-word eulogy; 'and Moshe died there EVED HASHEM...' (32;5). This was the question bothering Rav Elchonon Wasserman which he addressed in his eulogy of the Chofetz Chaim. Rav Elchonon said that the words 'eved HaShem' are the greatest accolade that a person can be given...
    For we have a halacha that 'that which is owned by a servant is owned by his master' (eg if my servant picked up a lost object I am the object's owner). Thus, said Rav Elchonon, the Torah calling Moshe Rabeinu an 'eved HaShem' meant that any talent, skill, and all aspects of Moshe's life were spent using them for his Master, HaShem. That was a greatness of Moshe, and is a high level that we can emulate in our own ways.
    Sometimes two words can be more elequent than even 1000.

    There is a joke that they say: Shmerel went to borrow a horse from his neighbor, Berel. "Sure, you can borrow my horse," replies Berel. "But one thing you have to know about this horse. He is trained to start when you say 'Baruch Hashem' (thank God) and he stops when you say 'Shema Yisrael'." So Shmerel gets on the horse and practices. "Baruch Hashem" he says, and the horse breaks into a trot. "Shema Yisrael" he announces, and sure enough, the horse stops. After practicing a few times, he feels confident and begins his journey. As he is riding along a road, he sees that the road ends up ahead with a steep cliff. Suddenly Shmerel realizes that he has forgotten the word needed to make the horse stop. "Ashrei yoshvei vetecha," he squeaks desperately. The horse keeps going. "Um - Adon Olam" he intones. The horse keeps going. "Eh - Aleinu L'shabeiach." But the horse keeps galloping. Now fearful that he is about to die, Shmerel does what any good Jew would do when confronted with certain death. He screams out, "Shema Yisrael." As trained, the horse stops suddenly -- barely two feet from the edge of the cliff. Shaking like a leaf, Shmerel pulls out his handkerchief and wipes the sweat from his forehead. "Whew !!" he exclaims, "Baruch Hashem !!"

    Sometimes using a lot of words is not the best or even the correct way to go. All you need is the right words. Moshe Rabbeinu’s hesped constitutes of only 2 words. But that was the most fitting hesped ever, for the greatest man ever.


    Posted 4 years ago #
  15. YW Band

    Here is a mix from my Rav, Guest speaker & Rebbe:
    There are 2-4 mitzvos which you can do with your whole body: Succah, Yeshuv Eretz Yisroel (My Rav added Mikvah & Bias Bais Hamikdash because he is chassidish & these arent actually mitzvos but its the way to get to it-hechsher). The lowest part of the body is the foot. The malbish (ornament) of the foot is the shoes. One is not all allowed to wear shoes in the BH"M. The question is: how can you wear shoes in the succah if it's on the same level of the BH"M, is the succah more kodesh? The answer is in a way it is. Hashem wants us to be m'taher the whole guf!

    The gemara says: "Usid HB"H lasos machul (circle) l'tzadikim". Why a circle? Because in a circle, nobody is ahead of each other, we're all together as 1 unit (achdus). So there is no greater way of showing this greatness than by dancing with your feet which have shoes on them in a circle on Simchas Torah!!!

    May we have this in mind during hakafos & at other simchos as well & serve Hashem with kol gufo! Gut Shabbos & Moed!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  16. Wisey
    inventor of banana mush

    Can you explain why if a succah is more koydesh it is permitted to wear shoes?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  17. Wisey
    inventor of banana mush

    The Rambam in Hilchos Ishus Perek טו Halacha ג discusses one who is so attached to the Torah like Ben Azzai that he is patur from getting married and having children. The Rambam says that if his Yetzer harah is overcoming him causing him to be attracted to women he must get married to subdue his desires. I considered this amazing that someone at such a madreigah can still have such problems. This is a chizuk to those who have done aveiros and feel that this makes them "nobodies"
    P.S. Note even the Vilna Gaon got married.
    P.S.S. I thought that love of Torah and physical desires contradict each other?
    P.S.S. Note even Moshe Rabeinu got married and only separated because of his prophetic status.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  18. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    Dovid HaMelech writes in Tehillim (119:160) rosh d’var’cha emes – Your very first utterance is truth.
    The Baal HaTurim points out that the final letters of the first three words in the Torah spell the word emes – truth – hinting to the fundamental importance of the value of truth in Hashem’s eyes. Indeed, the Gemora in Yoma (69b) states that Hashem’s “seal” is emes. Further, the final letters of the last verse describing the creation (2:3) also spell the word emes, alluding to the fact that the universe was created with Hashem’s attribute of truth from beginning to end.
    Rabbeinu Bechaye points out that the first verse in the Torah contains every vowel sound except for one... The shuruk is missing from this verse. He explains that this is because the letters which spell the word shuruk can also be rearranged to spell the word sheker – falsehood – and because Hashem created the world to be a place of truth, there was no room for a shuruk in describing the beginning of the Creation!
    It is not only the Written Torah which is emblazoned with Hashem’s seal of truth, but the Oral Torah is as well. The Aseres HaDibros begin with the letter aleph (anochi), the Mishnah begins with the letter mem (me’eimasai), and the Gemora starts with the letter tof (tanna), again spelling the word emes!
    The Vilna Gaon notes that it is not only the Torah itself which is encoded with Hashem’s seal, but even the great commentaries upon it are embossed with this powerful commitment to the truth. The Torah forbids (Vayikra 11:42) the consumption of all creeping creatures which slither on their bellies (gachon). Interestingly, Rashi renders the word “belly” as “innards” – me’ayim – which would seem to be anatomically imprecise, as beten would seem to be a more accurate translation. Further, the word gachon appears much earlier in the Torah (Bereishis 3:14), in reference to the punishment of the serpent which tempted Chava, yet Rashi felt no need to explain the meaning of the word until its appearance in Parshas Shemini. The Vilna Gaon beautifully explains that the Gemora in Kiddushin (30a) states the letter vov in the word gachon is the middle letter in the entire Torah. Rashi begins his commentary on the Torah with the letter aleph (amar Rav Yitzchok) and ends with the letter tof (asher shibarta). Rashi didn’t feel the need to explain the word gachon, or else he would have done so where it initially appeared. However, because this is the middle of the Torah, and therefore of his commentary, he wished to render it as a word beginning with the letter mem in order to hint that the entire Torah, along with his Divinely-inspired commentary, is emes – true – from the start to the middle to the very end!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  19. Only koihanim are not allowed to wear shoes in beis hamikdosh when they do avoida. A regular person may.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  20. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    I saw a nice pshat this past shabbos.
    Rashi says that the reason why by the first day of creation it says "Va'yehi Erev Va'yehi Boker Yom Echad" and not Yom Rishon, as the sequence from the other days of the week goes (yom sheni, shlishi, etc), is because since Hashem created spiritual beings (malachim) on the second day, He was therefore the only living Being around, it was Yom Echad, the day of the One.
    It always bothered me, why was this so important to say? and if he wasn't, if malachim were created on that first day. then what? then he's NOT echad (c"v)? What lesson, yesod, principle do we glean from this that it was "the day of the One"??
    So I actually saw in a sefer called Pri Dovid an answer to this question. That it is to tell us something extremely fundamental to our yiddishkeit and hashkofo. He cites different seforim who tell us that He created this world out of Goodness, and that it was created solely for the benefit of Man. Hashem Himself has zero benefit per se and was totally unaffected with His Handiwork. The same Hashem as we know Him now, was the same Hashem before the world came into existance. He is totally out of the realm of space and time and everything else we have in this universe.
    This perhaps is what the torah was teaching us on Yom Echad. He was the same one Hashem,even after the world came into being, without any change, benefit, or affect. It was "rak v'ach" a creation for the sole benefit of mankind.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  21. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    Why on earth is the story of Avrom being thrown into the furnace by Nimrod, NOT in the parsha, whereas the test of Lech Lecha (a seemingly LESS of a nisayon) IS in the parsha?
    So I heard from Rabbi Wallerstein (Torah Anytime.com) that the explanation is lke this. The torah is not a history book, to tell us stories stam azoy. If a story is brought down in the torah it is to teach us something, and if a story is NOT brought down it is because Hashem didn't want it in the torah.

    Pshat here can be explained via a beautiful phrase:
    It is easier to GIVE UP one's life 'al kiddush Hashem' then for one to LIVE 'al kiddush Hashem'.

    To die 'al kiddush Hashem' is a tremendous act of bravery, courage, and strenghth. However it is all over in 1 minute. Once the person is dead, the game is over. That's all nice, no doubt, and he will get Olam Habbah for that. But Hashem is not interested in putting the whole episode of Uhr Kassdim in His torah JUST to teach us that yeharog v'al ya'avor for Avodah Zora. What Hashem IS interested in, is the 'lech lecha me'artzecha', the 'U'mibeis avicha', the daily struggles of LIVING al kiddush Hashem. THAT'S what is special in Hashem's eyes! The davening 3 tefillos EVERY SINGLE DAY with minyon, the wearing tzniyosdik clothing- even on a hot summer's day, the setting aside time every day for your daily shiur or chavrusa, the times we stop ourselves from speaking L"H, or taking revenge. It is the LIVING 'al kuddush Hashem', that takes center stage in the torah. And that's the lesson of Lech Lecha.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  22. JayMatt19

    BaalHabooze has requested that I give a dvar torah, so here it is.

    This is in the zchus of BaalHabooze, may he be a marbitz torah

    ויבא, אברהם, לספד לשרה, ולבכתה
    R' Moshe Shternbuch writes, in his sefer Ta'am V'daas, That the passuk does not tell us what exactly Avraham said during his eulogy.
    Rashi here says "the years of Sarah's life were all equally good".
    What exactly is Rashi trying to convey here to us?
    R' Shturnbuch explains that often people change their behavior and/or their views in order to conform with their surroundings, and in order to be respected by people. Sometimes people even work on themselves and climb up to a high madreiga, only to return to their previous level after a short time.
    Sarah Imeinu, however, was different. All her years were equally good. This is the ultimate praise once can receive. That at every opportunity, in every place, with every person, she remained a tzaddeikes.
    This is the true tzaddik, one who never sways from their tziddkus and who always acts with true righteousness.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  23. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    Yasher koach, JayMatt19!! Very much appreciated, and if anybody else has a nice vort on the parsha, please feel free to share your thoughts here, we would be delighted to read them.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  24. JayMatt19

    ויאמר עשו אל-יעקב, הלעיטני נא מן-האדם האדם הזה--כי עיף, אנכי; על-כן קרא-שמו, אדום

    The Meforshim ask, why is it only now, after Eisav asks to eat "from the red stuff" is he given the name, or title, Edom? Certainly he could very well have been called this from birth, where we are 1st told that he is a redhead.

    The Midrash teaches us that Shmuel HaNavi was afraid when he 1st met Dovid (HaMelech). He did not want him to be king since he was a redhead, since it is a sign of one who is a שופך דמים, a murderer.
    Hashem tells Shmuel that Dovid is Kosher, and the signs that Shmuels sees about murder refer to actions done correctly and through Beis Din.

    So lets apply that here. Once Eisav is born, we see that he has a pull towards being a rasha and a murderer, on the other hand, he can easily use his kochos for good and be a Tzaddik Gamor, like Dovid Hamelech. For this reason, he wasnt called Edom initially, rather Eisav, from the loshon עושה, which apparently has nice implications.

    However, once Eisav comes back from the field and acts the way he does for some food. Now we see which way he is going, now we see that he isn't interested in using his kochos for the good like Dovid Hamelech. Now that we know that his kochos will be used for evil he will be referred to him as Edom, the name indicating blood and murder.

    (R' Shaul Katzenelbogen, from Vilna)

    Posted 4 years ago #
  25. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    Parshas VaYeitzei
    here's a nice vort by Rabbi Frand from torah.org

    Where did this Tzadik, Yaakov, go after he left Beer Sheva? Our Sages say that he went to study for 14 years in the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever. This is a strange thing. Until now, Yaakov has also been sitting and learning. Now it is time to go -- time to go into exile. So what does he do? He goes and sits and learns literally day and night for another 14 years!

    Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky says that Yaakov had something to learn, and that is why he had to go to the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever. We all know that the holy patriarchs had their own schools of learning. The Talmud [Yoma 28b] says that our patriarchs constantly had their own Yeshivas. But, nevertheless Yaakov had something specific to gain from the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever. What was it?

    Shem was the one who withstood the Generation of the Flood. He had a "special Torah" to teach -- the Torah of how to exist in a hostile society, one filled with theft and immorality and corruption. Ever was the one who withstood the heresy of the Generation of the Dispersion (at the Tower of Babel). He, too, had a special Torah to teach.

    So now, when Yaakov knew that he was going into Exile, to live with the deceitful Lavan, he had to learn a "different Torah" than he had learned with his father and his grandfather. He had to learn how a Jew survives in Exile, outside the Land of Israel. That is why he had to go to the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever.

    Rash"i cites that all that Yaakov learned in the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever he gave over to Yosef. It was this Torah of how a Jew exists in a hostile society, that Yaakov had to give to Yosef, specifically. For Yosef also went down to a hostile environment (Egypt). He, too, needed this "special Torah."

    Posted 4 years ago #
  26. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks


    Reb Shimshon of Ostropol says a cute vort. We say every day in davening עזרת אבותינו, and the word עזרת is Gematria 677. There were 3 Malachim who were constantly helping the אבות. They were מיכאל מלכּיאל and שׁננדיאל. These 3 malachim were the עזרת of the Ovos. As a matter of fact the gematria of מיכאל מלכּיאל and שׁננדיאל is , you guessed it, 677! The pasuk says that Yaakov sent malachim/messengers to Eisav. Rash"i says these messengers were מלאכים ממשׁ. The letters in the word ממשׁ can stand for these 3 malachim, מיכאל מלכּיאל and שׁננדיאל.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  27. Wisey
    inventor of banana mush

    The pasuk says that Yosef told his father the bad things that his brothers were doing. One of the examples that Rashi gives is that he claimed that the brothers were eating אבר מן החי (a limb torn off from a live animal) which is one of the seven mitzvos bnei noach. The question is why were the brothers doing this?

    The Sifsei Chachamim brings an answer that they would remove a piece of meat from the animal after it was shechted, but still moving. This Yosef misunderstood as אבר מן החי because he didn't see the shechitah.

    My problem with this is that how could Yosef accuse his brothers of this aveirah without truly investigating the situation?

    I heard an explanation that this machlokes was based on a fundamental question whether the Avos and the Sh'vatim were jews or bnei noach. The brothers held that they were jews and for a jew once an animal is shechted it is considered dead but Yosef was of the belief that they were all bnei noach for which the gemara and poskim say that shechitah plays no roll and death of an animal is when it has stopped moving. We see Yosef's shitah at the incident with Aishes Potifar where Yosef says "וחאטתי לאלוקים." Rashi notes that this is because even bnei Noach are assur in עריות. We see that acc. to Rashi, Yosef'f shitah was that he was a ben noach.

    With this idea I would like to explain more about the debate between Yosef and his brothers.

    As explained before, one of the Mitzvos Bnei Noach is Arayos. However, it is muttar for a non-jew to marry two sisters. This particular Ervah isn't included in the mitzvah for bnei noach. According to Yosef, the talmid muvhak of Yakov, it was permitted for his father to marry both Rachel and Leah. However, acc. to his brothers the marriage to Rachel, the second sister, was Assur and invalid thereby making Yosef a mamzer.

    Also, according to the other Sh'vatim the children of Bilha and Zilpa were עבדים. This is because when a jew(Yakov) marries a non-jew or shifchah the status of the child follows its mother. Yosef however held that since they were all Bnei Noach and there was no such thing as Kiddushin the child therefore follows the father (according to the rules of lineage explained in Kiddushin daf :סז). Therefore, Yosef befriended them since they were children of Yakov, but the other brothers considered them avadim and Yosef to be a mamzer.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  28. Wisey
    inventor of banana mush

    I am particularly interested to know what the CR population holds of my chidush especially since I might say it tomorrow at Shalosh Seudos.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  29. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    Wisey - Wondering how your dvar torah went. It definitely was a chiddush IMHO to suggest the brothers considered Yosef to be a mamzer- never saw that one brought down anywhere. Interesting theory though.

    Anyone have a nice vort on Chanukah?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  30. JayMatt19

    The following is from a sefer I have called "Midrashei HaMoadim" a collection of Midrashim on numerous Yomim Tovim

    Why do we recite Hallel on Chanukah?
    Since it says in Tehlllim (and we recite in Hallel) אל ה' ויאר לנו
    For Hashem, He has illuminated for us, in reference to our being saved.
    So why then don't we say Hallel on Purim? After all, the salvation of Purim was both a spiritual and physical salvation.
    So why Hallel on Chanukah and not Purim?
    We only say Hallel when there is the downfall of the nation who is subjugating us. We say it on Pesach due to the downfall of Paroh and Mitzraim, We say it on Chanukah due to the downfall of the Greeks. After Pesach and Chanukah, we are finally able to be avodim to HKBH, and not to some enemy king.
    Purim, however, despite the amazing salvation which we were granted, we were still in galus under the rule of King Achashverosh

    (פסיקתא רבתי ב)

    Posted 4 years ago #
  31. longarekel

    That is a gemara in megilla 14a. There are other explanations there as well. Interesting that the Rambam says that the reading of the megilla is the hallel, like another explanation in the gemara. Even more interesting is that based on that, the Meiri says that if one does not have a megilla he should recite hallel. We do not pasken like that.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  32. JayMatt19

    Just out of curiosity, does the gemara quote the midrash I quoted? The midrashim predate the gemara, so I'd imagine that the gemara makes its statement prefacing that it is a Tanaic statement

    Posted 4 years ago #
  33. JayMatt19

    I was looking at the Sifsei Chaim on Moadim (Chelek Beis) today, and I saw a vort which I'd like to share.

    The following was quoted in the name of the Ponovicher Rov.

    Why do we give "Chanukah Gelt"? Where does this Minhag come from?

    After the Greeks were defeated, we were now able to resume Torah study. But how do you get children to study torah, especially after not have learned Torah for such time? How do you instill within them a desire to learn and show them the sweetness of Torah?
    How did they do it? The bribed them with small amounts of money.
    The Gra, quoting pirkei avos מתוך שלא לשמה בא לשמה. Money was given to the children who learned, helping them develop a sweetness for Torah. Afterall, they were getting money for it!
    Therefore the Chanukah Gelt is a remembrance of the money given to the children in an effort to get them to view learning Torah in a positive light.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  34. longarekel

    "The midrashim predate the gemara". Where did you get that from?
    The chanuka gelt vort is cute, but I'm not sure that's how it was 2200 years ago. The simplest reason is to make them happy since children don't participate in any other way on chanuka (especially in homes where only the baal habayis lights, like by the sefardim).

    Posted 4 years ago #
  35. JayMatt19

    You might not be sure that is how it was done 2200 years ago, but the Ponovicher Rov, as well as the Sifsei Chaim were, and therefore said the pshat and quoted the pshat.
    Nice backhanded way of arguing on it, btw.

    As for how I know that midrashim predate the gemarra, Midrashim are from tanaiim, The gem area was closed at the end of the amoraim period, generations later. The gemarra even discusses Midrashim and who authored them

    תלמוד בבלי מסכת סנהדרין דף פו/א:
    "אמר רבי יוחנן סתם מתניתין רבי מאיר סתם תוספתא רבי נחמיה סתם ספרא רבי יהודה סתם ספרי רבי שמעון וכולהו אליבא דרבי עקיבא".

    Posted 4 years ago #
  36. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    The battle of Chanukah although blessed with temporary victory in the days of the Chashmonaim, never really ended - it continues to this very day. It was essentially a struggle against the forces that had set as their goal to assimilate the Jewish masses by subturfuge and internal subversion. Thus, we find no specific command of 'Simcha' on Chanukah since this battle to confuse and betray true Yiddishkeit still rages in our times, and while engulfed in the smoke of battle one does not pause to rejoice. In such a continuing crisis, one must concentrate with greater vigor towards the Geulah goal: total Torah commitment must replace tokenism; complete consecration must replace crippling compromise.
    - Rabbi Moshe Sherer zt"l (Former President of Agudas Yisroel)

    Posted 4 years ago #
  37. Wisey
    inventor of banana mush

    I may have heard this from someone a long time ago but i think I just thought of it. The neiros of chanukah represent the ongoing attempts of the goyim to seperate us from our torah. Eventhough they are successful with many people, there is always a single "jug of oil" the members of klal yisroel that continue the transmission of torah. The neis is that eventhough this mesorah should have been extinguished long ago, the fickering אש התורה lasts forever, until the arrival of new oil במהרה בימינו.

    P.S. I'm curious if anyone knows a source for this.
    Baal Habooze- I think it went well.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  38. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    Belated Chanukah vort
    I thought of this on Shabbos Chanukah Parshas Mikeitz.
    Almost always, Chanukah will fall out when we read Mikeitz and there are many, many different ways the meforshim try to explain the similarities and connection between them. I wanted to suggest a remez that connects Chanukah and Mikeitz, although perhaps far-fetched at first, I got pretty good feedback and feel it’s a nice vort after all.
    I wanted to point out the similar highs and lows that we find in this week’s sedra parallels exactly with the highs and lows of the Chanukah story. Let me explain. The parsha begins on a very very big low point, where Yosef is locked in jail for 2 whole years. We can imagine the torture for Yosef is greater in the Ruchnios sense more than the physical sense. This is, of course, a lowlight which parallels the black cloud which hung over Klal Yisroel at the time of Golus Yavan. The terrible gezeiros and threats at the time were obvious attacks at the very core of yiddishkeit and the torah.
    Then we come to a “high”, when Yosef is brought out and interprets the dreams to Paroh, all in the name of Hashem. That can be keneged the Yidden being moser nefesh for Hashem, and fighting the powerful yevonim, the Greek army and, of course, coming out victorious. This was definitely a highlight.
    Then, we reach a tremendous high, as Yosef is now not only free he is crowned as the second to most powerful in the land. That parallels another high in the Chanukah story where the yidden not only got freedom back to learn torah and do mitzvohs but were even zoiche to a neis with the pach shemen.
    The question is, what about the last half of the parsha? The rest of the parsha continues with the brothers going down to mitzrayim for food, they get accused of being spies, get locked up, then Shimon gets locked up, the brothers must go back to Canan, bring back Binyomin, then Binyomin gets set up with the stolen Royal Cup. So first of all how do we connect that to Chanukah? And secondly, this ought to be the absolute strangest ending to any parsha in the entire torah. I don’t know of any other parsha that ends smack in the middle of the story?! The parsha ends that Binyomin was caught with the stolen King’s goblet, Yosef tells all the brothers to return back to E”Y and Binyomin must remain in Mitzrayim as the King’s eved forever. Then, the curtains fall, and the parsha abruptly ends! How could the torah build up such drama, and then in the middle of this “lowlight”, right when it reaches the climax- it suddenly ends?? We’re left hanging with a sense of wonder, like…what’s gonna be??!
    I don’t know pshat why it ends in that way, but there is a glaring connection and similarity to a “low” of of Chanukah. Because Chanukah does not include a halacha which we find by every other Yom Tov. On Chanuka there is no mitzvah of Simchas Yom Tov. There is no mitzvah of Simchas Chanukah. Because although the Chashmonayim were victorious, it was only temporary, it was only at that time, it was inconclusive. Because the threat of l’hashkicham torosecha of then, is a threat that still reverberates even now. The threat that yidden faced back then against yiddishkeit , is still around and perhaps even more powerful than ever . And in the middle of a crisis one doesn’t rejoice. Therefore there is no mitzvah of simchas Yom Tov on Chanukah.
    But just as we know that the “crisis” in Mikeitz ends shortly in next week’s parsha, we have emunah that the crisis we find ourselves in today will end bemeira beyomeinu with Beeyas Moshiach Tzidkeynu.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  39. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    I left out one part in the previous vort. There is another "high" similarity between the two.

    Yosef, now rich and powerful, doesn’t sit back and bask in his glory but gets down to business. He begins preparing for the future by collecting food in storage houses for the impending famine. This can be similar to the Chashmonayim, who had experienced triumph and glory, neverthless were proactive and established the beautiful Yom Tov of Chanukah for future generations for their descendants, to delight in the special glow of the Chanukah neiros.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  40. aHeiligeYid

    From ZK, er... A BP Yid

    A Vayeishev/ Chanukah Shabbos Shmooze for the Oliam from a few years ago...

    Vayeishev - Chanukah, 5767
    Today's adverts show modern-day Egypt to be a land of endless sunsets, pristine beaches, coral reefs and smiling tourists riding immaculate camels past magnificent pyramids. This country, however—sitting cosily on the Red Sea—was not always the location for such an idyllic honeymoon. Three-and-a-half thousand years ago, immorality was the norm, idol worship the obsession and the country's largest natural resource was a thriving slave trade. The Midrash describes such atrocities as Pharoh bathing in the blood of Jewish babies, tiny infants being bricked into walls and slaves being ravished by wild beasts as examples of the apocalyptic scene that typified the culture. It was into this very nightmare that Yosef was flung.
    At the tender age of seventeen, Yosef the beloved, pampered and protected favourite son of Yackov became Yosef the despised, enslaved and confronted castaway. Sold by his own flesh and blood into an endless hopeless nightmare, challenged and threatened both physically and spiritually, he not only survived but climbed the rungs of society to become the longest reigning Jewish monarch in history! What could possibly have been his secret to success?
    The Torah relates that Yackov sent Yosef to ascertain his brothers' well-being and expected to find them in Shechem. By the time he arrived there they had already moved on, prompting him to wonder what happened. On this, the possuk says; "A man discovered him, and behold! – he was blundering in the field; the man asked him, saying, 'What do you seek?'" (Ber. 37:15). With the instruction of this "man", Yosef was directed to Dothan to where he had the fateful meeting that led to his sale as a slave.
    Although the discussion with the helpful onlooker seems rather unremarkable, there are a couple of fascinating insights that show this event was not to be taken on face value. Firstly, since the Midrash enlightens us that the man he met was in fact the angel Gabriel, there was surely a deeper purpose for his appearance than simply to be a celestial road map. Secondly, what could the Torah possibly mean with the superfluous word " saying" within the possuk of "a man asked him, saying, "What do you seek?"
    The Kotzker Rebbe explains that this was indeed far more than a casual rendezvous. Before Yosef was catapulted into a life of slavery devoid of spiritual support, Hashem sent him the key to survival through his emissary Gavriel—a code that would unlock the most difficult binds and create a timeless message for all of us. Yosef was advised that whilst navigating the challenges in life, decide your course of action by saying what you seek! Decisions should not be based on convenience, comfort or momentary pleasure, but rather on the true desire instilled into every human being to do the right thing. At every crossroad of moral challenge, one should say to oneself, "what is really the correct move that will give me long-lasting pleasure?"
    Yosef was not the only one that took this message to heart and used these otherwise crushing challenges as a catalyst to greatness. Our great Chanukah heroes used this same thought process hundreds of years later to crush the mighty Greeks. With the future of Torah values being challenged, they entered a hopeless war with the "what must be morally done" weapon and defeated the entire Greek army. As we physically kindle the lights on Chanukah we must lovingly rekindle our spiritual flame of burning dedication to the legacy of our heroically devout ancestors.
    Gut Shabbos and A Belated Happy Chanukah!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  41. AbeF

    what happend to this thread??? i used to really enjoy it!!!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  42. tzaddiq

    yeah, i agree. hey where's baalhabooze? baalsechel? jaymatt19? and the rest of the torah crew?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  43. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    Yaaaaawn! Ok, ‘nuff booze for now, on to torah! Here goes.

    Makas Arbeh – I heard real beautiful tidbits on Arbeh from Rabbi Zvi Zimmerman online that made me somewhat squirm, and yet other times made me jump out of my seat.
    Midrashim bring down a pshat that the Arbeh would blind the Mitzriyim by shooting off stingers into their eyes. Others say that they literally ate and fed off the faces of the Mitzriyim (cooooooool!!!!). This shtims well with the Yalkut Reuveini who says the Arbeh had teeth that were an amoh and a half long!
    The Pane’ach D’Raza asks why send the arbeh back into the Yam Suf? Why not leave them in Mitzrayim – the mitzriyim were starving, so what’s the big deal, why send an east wind that sweeps all of the arbeh away, and into the sea? So he says that Hashem bedafka sent them into the Yam Suf so that when the Mitzriyim chased the yidden there the arbeh came up once again and struck the Mitzriyim in the Yam Suf! Says the Paneach d’Raza on the bottom (I think the Raza d’rav Meir) that EVERY makka that was there in Mitzrayim, came up once again and struck them for a second round of beatings right there in the Yam Suf!! The water started to turn to blood, frogs/crocodiles jumped them, lice clung to them, wild animals (perhaps sharks/octopuss etc) attacked them, their horses suddenly died (Dever), they were ill with boils all over their bodies, boulders of hail started falling, locust attacked them, darkness engulfed them, and then, they all died.
    Says R’ Moshe Wolfson, the idea here is that l’osid lovo, when Moshiach comes, the goyim will also be struck with all the terrible makkos all over again. We know in the Haggadda R’ Yehuda gave simanim of דצ"ך עד"שׁ בּאח"ב. What is R’ Yehuda teaching us? Anyone can make Roshei Teives of the makkos?! One of the answers given is that those Makkos in Mitzrayim were just the BEGINNING of the Makka, as symbolized with the first letter of each makka! But you know what will happen l’osid lovo? Moshiach will take us out and strike the goyim with the REST of the letters of the makkos, it will be 1000’s of times harsher on all those who went up against us!! Fantastic pshat! Hope u enjoyed! Be well and Good shabbos, y’all, and of course,…
    l’Chaim! L’Chaim! L’Chaim!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  44. AbeF

    Thanks "baalhabooze" keep em coming......

    Posted 4 years ago #
  45. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    You're welcome, AbeF! Here's for Beshalach:

    Why is Shabbos Parshas Beshalach called Shabbos Shira? So pashtus because the yidden sang shira in this week’s parsha. The difficulty in that is twofold. Firstoff, just because the yidden sang shira, so we refer to this shabbos as shabbos shira?? Then why not call it parshas HaMon or we should call Parshas Yisro (next week) Shabbos Matan Torah?! Secondly, we never find a shabbos getting a special name because of the parsha, rather because of the time of year it is in. Shabbos Hagodol before pesach, shabbos shuva before YK, shabbos chazon before TB, etc. so why is this week different?
    So one answer (Ohr Gedaliyahu, I think) can be that the pshat in a shira is something which is sang only after there is closure from the tzar and the yeshuah is complete. The yidden did not sing as they went out of Mitzrayim despite the 10 makkos. It was only after “vayar yisroel es mitzrayim meis al sefas hayom’, did they breathe a sigh of relief and burst into song. Shira is the expression of seeing not only the yeshuas Hashem but perceiving the amkus of the entire experience; the benefit of the tzar itself and the hardships one went through beforehand, as well as the yeshua. To see in retrospect what was seemingly ‘bad’, and now viewing it with 20-20 hindsight, and appreciate the entire picture, and understand what Hashem’s intentions were all about all along.
    In a way, Shabbos affords this opportunity weekly by looking back at the week gone by and ask ourselves ‘how have we grown from Sunday till Friday?’, or ‘did I appreciate and treat the different circumstances of this week fairly, and see the obvious good Hashem has for me?’. Truthfully, each Shabbos is a Shira of some sort, where one can sing of Hashem’s goodness even when we sometimes cannot appreciate it at that moment because of our limited scope and perspective on life. As it says in the mizmor for shabbos, ‘lehagid baboker chasdecha, vemunascho baleilos’. Even in dark difficult times (leilos) of life, we praise Hashem. So really every Shabbos has this element , the ability to see everything in totality, that everything is being orchestrated by a Higher Being, and everything is working in an orderly fashion with a masterplan in Mind.
    Perhaps to explain why THIS shabbos is called shabbos shira in particular, is because usually Shabbos Beshalach comes out right before Tu BeShvat. We know that Odom eitz HaSodeh, man is compared to the tree, and just as the tree, now mid-winter, is bare, and seemingly dead, with the impression that nothing can ever grow from it anymore. Nevertheless, we know that the sap is beginning to seep into the tree and the process of growth is commencing at this time. All the energy and inner-productions of this ‘fruit factory’ is abuzz and in full swing. Although it looks as dead as a door knob on the outside, this tree, deep inside, is starting to emerge, resurge, and is very much alive, preparing to grow into a fully blossomed tree. The spiritusal lesson we can take from all that is that even when one finds himself in dark states of dormancy and apparent death, there is ability of growth, rebirth, and life. Shabbos Shira, the Shabbos before Tu BeShvat, is teaching us the lesson of the Shiras Hayam, of Shabbos, the tree and of life. The ability to praise and sing shira to HKB”H, to see the shleimus of Hashem, to understand not to take death on face value as death, but to perceive things on a higher level. Hashem is in control of this world and there is a system of oneness to events, and Shabbos Shira is the celebration of this system.
    Good Shabbos!
    L'chaim yidden, l'chaim!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  46. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    There is a famous vort by R’ Meir Shapiro from Lublin on this week’s parsha. The posuk tells us before mattan torah, that Hashem told Moshe, “כּה תאמר לבּית יעקב ותגיד לבּני ישׂראל”. Asks R’ Shapiro, why are the women referred to as ‘Bais Yaakov’ (as rash”i says)? If the men are called ‘Bnei Ysroel’, so would it not make sense and would it not be proper that the women should be named ‘Bnos Yisroel’, or ‘Bnos Yaakov’? Why ‘Bais’ Yaakov (the House of Yaakov)??
    So he answers with a moshul. There was a person who took ill with a disease and called for a doctor to heal him. The doctor said that he will prepare a medicine made up of terribly bitter herbs and spices which he will have to swallow. Although it is extremely bitter and difficult to swallow, but if he nevertheless takes it every day, he will eventually be healed. Then the doctor said that if he wants there is an alternative. If he wants, he can be sealed up in a room together with these atzei boysem, these strong, bitter herbs, and if he remains in that room for many days, and with the air intensely saturated and filled with the fumes and smell of the trufah, he will be healed by merely breathing in that air.
    Says R’ ’Meir Shapiro, the Gemara says, בּראתי יצר הרע בּראתי תורה תבלין, that Hashem said that he created the yeitzer hara, and He created the Torah as its antidote. And if Hashem told us that the torah is THE antidote to fight the Yeitzer Hara, then it is the ONLY antidote. The question arises, that this is very good for the men who have a chiyuv in Limud Torah, so they have the protection of the torah. But about the women?
    Says R’ Shapiro that although LEARNING torah is an antidote for the Yeizer Hara, there IS an alternative! That if a Jewish woman seals off her home from the (spiritual) contaminations and shmutz from the streets, and makes it her job to infuse the home with a brilliant light of kedusha, with tznius, with middos tovos, with tahara, and fills the atmosphere of the home with the warmth of a torahdig-lifestyle, THAT WILL BE A PROTECTION TOO for the Yeitzer hara! That if the very air of one’s home is saturated with intense kedusha and torah, that is also an effective method.
    Says R’Shapiro, that’s why the women earn this title of Bais Yaakov. That although Bnei Yisroel (the men) will be receiving the torah and be mechuyiv in limud hatorah, the Bais Yaakov (women) also should know that they have a tremendous achrayus and responsibility to ensure the protection of their families by infusing the Jewish Home with Torah and Yiras Shomayim.
    A Good Shabbos!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  47. Ken Zayn
    born Kenneth Solomon Zaynestzky

    As usual a gr8 vort, BH. BH for BH! He keeps us full of torah!

    Can I ask you to please always mention the actual parsha instead of only saying "in this weeks parsha" so that when I look thru the thread I know what parsha you are saying the vort on. Thanx

    Posted 4 years ago #
  48. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    Ken Zayn- absolutely, at least I will try to do that in the future! and thank u for the compliment!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  49. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    Parshas Mishpotim
    Mechasheyfa Lo Sichayeh (22:17), A Witch shall not live.

    There’s a spectacular Gemora (Shabbos 81b) that says R’ Chisda and Raba bar R’ Huna were once on a boat, and a witch (Machsheyfa) came over and asked to sit in between them, to which they obviously responded, No! So she said something, some incantation (אמרה מילתא), and made the boat come to a complete standstill. It just didn’t move from its place, right there in the middle of the sea. So the gemora says that THEY said מילתא, something, and the boat started moving again. The witch got very upset at this, and exclaimed, “What can I do to you people?! My power, my kishuf, has no power over you!”
    Asks the Baal Shem Tov, I understand why the gemora doesn’t tell us what SHE said. Because that’s kishuf, that word is no doubt a power that is rooted from tumah. But why wouldn’t the gemora reveal what these Amoro’im said to be mevatel the kishuf! Why doesn’t it say what THEY said, why wouldn’t the gemorah tell us what to say if c"v we ever get stuck in such a situation??!
    Says the Baal Shem Tov, that he looked in very old seforim and found that it doesn’t say “אמרו להם מילתא, rather the nusach that he found is that it says אמרו מלת, they said a word. Says the BSH”T, an unbelievable chiddush. That מלת is ראשׁי תבות for ...............wait for it ..... .........מכשׁפה לא תחיה! That if someone finds himself in trouble with kishuf, he should recite this posuk, and with the proper kavanos, he will be mevatel the כּח הטומאה of the magic.

    And now you know what to do.☺

    (I think everyone will sleep better this shabbos knowing this vort! lol!!)
    Good Shabbooze, y’all !

    L’chayim yidden, l’chaim!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  50. BaalHabooze
    On the rocks

    Parshas Teruma

    How does Hashem set up His furniture in His House, in the Mishkan? So there’s an incredible Chizkuni, that’s SO original and practical, how he learns pshat in the pesukim. The Chizkuni says that the Oron was in the Kodesh Hakodoshim, which was entered by the Kohain Godol, only once a year (Yom Kippur). Therefore, the badim, the poles sticking out of the side of the Oron wasn't a public nuisance, so they may remain on. However, regarding the poles on the Mizbaiyach HaNechoshess, which were situated where many people walked by, so there the Torah commands that THOSE poles be removed after they were brought into the Mishkan, as it is "in the way"!
    That's what Hashem's House looks like. Not just oozing with kedusha and awe, but even set up with mentchlichkeit, sensitivity, and comfort for all the people who will enter.

    L’chayim yidden, l’chaim!

    Posted 4 years ago #

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