September 13, 2019 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm #1786481
Ki Seitzei: Work Right
We know that Hashem is said to abide by the laws of the Torah. If so, asks the Chida, how can Hashem not give us reward for the mitzvos in this world? In this week’s parsha we are commanded to pay workers at the end of each day!
He explains that there is an exception to this rule. An אומן who accepts an item to be worked on is קונה בשבח כלי. For example, a silversmith who improves someone’s precious items is not considered merely to be working for his employer. He is creating an item of value, and this added value currently belongs to the worker. Only when the אומן gives back the finished product is he paid for it.
So too, we should not just be doing mitzvos as a job that we are required to do. Rather, we should be doing them in order to improve ourselves, by learning and internalizing the lesson of each and every mitzva. When we do this, we actually improve the neshama that we have been entrusted with. Therefore, Hashem will only give us our reward when we return the finished product to Him.
לעילוי נשמת ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלוםSeptember 15, 2019 9:23 am at 9:23 am #1786704
Mitzvos given through Moishe Rabbenu, a shaluach, there is no baal tolin, but for emunah (אנכי) given directly through Hashem baal tolin applies, so the rewards for it are given this world as explained by the Sefer Peninim Yikorim in the begining of Parshas R’eh.September 20, 2019 7:55 am at 7:55 am #1788330
Ki Savo: Don’t Deny It
When one brings his ביכורים to the Beis HaMikdosh, one is required to recite a long list of all the good that Hashem has done for us as a nation. Rashi explains that this is so we shouldn’t be כפוי טובה, deniers of the good that Hashem has given us. But why does Rashi say this as a double negative, don’t deny, instead of just saying the simpler phrase הכרת הטוב, recognize the good?
Many suggest that in truth, we can never fully acknowledge everything Hashem has done for us. Literally everything we have is a gift from Hashem: we could never make a list of His gifts that is close to complete. All we can do is not deny how much Hashem has given us.
As we approach Rosh Hashanah, we should be careful not to think only of the all the things that we’d like to ask of Hashem. We must also recognize, or at least not deny, how much Hashem has given to us, and how much we really owe Him.
לעילוי נשמת ר׳ חיים דוב בן בןציון שלוםSeptember 20, 2019 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm #1788396
Zugger613, we say in Nishmas אין אנו מספיקים להודות לך we are unable to praise You for the millions of goods that You have bestowed on me.September 20, 2019 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm #1788411
To explain why we cannot thank Hashem for all the good He does for us, the Dubner Magid in Parshas Pinchos gives a nice mashal. בדין הוא שיטול שכרו he deserves his just rewards. There was a wholesaler who took in a young man to help him out. They agreed that he gets no salary but room and board. Once they were in the middle of their Purim sudah when a retail person arrived wanting to be served. The wholesaler told him to come tomorrow because he is the middle of the sudah. The young man volunteered to serve him. and they made nice profit from it. When it came to pay others, he asked him what do I owe you? The young man told him, didn’t we agree that I only get room and board? He tells him I thought that room and board meant something to you, but here you sacrificed it for my needs, so I have to pay you something worthy to you.
The fact that we are living a healthy life is a constant reward from Hashem, but by Pinchos sacrificing his life for the sake of Hashem he showed that Hashem was more important than his life and therefore he deserves his just rewards.November 1, 2019 12:09 am at 12:09 am #1796424
Noach: The Beauty of the Rainbow 🌈
We know that seeing a rainbow is considered a bad sign: it means that Hashem is so angry that he would destroy the world, if not for the fact that He promised not to.
And yet, this can be hard to internalize. Rainbows are just so beautiful and so nice to look at. Why is it that this sign of wrath is so pleasant?
Perhaps the beauty of the rainbow is supposed to remind us of the second half of Hashem’s statement. True, He is angry enough that He would destroy the world. But why doesn’t He? Because He loves us so much that He simply can’t do it, no matter how much we may deserve it.
The rainbow is the sign of Hashem’s promise never to turn His back on us. No matter how low we may sink, Hashem’s love for us is always there. And that’s beautiful indeed.
לעילוי נשמת ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלוםNovember 21, 2019 9:10 pm at 9:10 pm #1803223
Chayei Sarah: Look Behind & Look Ahead
The acceptable methods of קנין that can begin a marriage are learnt from a surprising place; from Avraham buying a plot to bury his wife. Why does the Torah teach us how to start a marriage from such a morbid place?
On a philosophical note, R’ Samson Raphael Hirsch explains that in order to go into the future, one needs to first look back into the past. To be successful, every Jewish home must view itself as a continuation of the mission of our ancestors, as a link in the chain going back to this cave in Chevron where the Avos and Imahos lie.
On a psychological note, we can suggest that this is meant to remind us that nothing lasts forever, and we should never take our most cherished relationships for granted.
לעילו נשמת ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלוםDecember 6, 2019 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm #1808400
Vayeitzei: Unseen Beauty
In describing Rachel and Leah, the Torah tells us עיני לאה רכות, ורחל היתה יפת תאר. The Zohar cryptically comments that the Torah tells us only Leah had eyes, and not Rachel. The Zohar goes on to label Rachel “beautiful, but without eyes”.
R’ Akiva Tatz explains that Leah is the mother of the nobility of Klal Yisroel, such as the כהנים and the מלכים. But Rachel is the mother of the common Jew, who may not view him or herself as being anything special.
But in truth, every Jew brings something unique and amazing to the world, whether they know it or not. If anything, the unassuming actions of someone who doesn’t consider themselves to be anything major have an extra special charm. Therefore Rachel (and by extension, her descendants) is referred to as being beautiful, but without eyes to see her own beautiful actions with – she didn’t think of herself as being anything special.
לעילו נשמת ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלוםDecember 6, 2019 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #1808434
It says when one davens Shmonei Esrei he should keep his eyes below and his heart above. The RMA O’CH 98 says that we should keep the greatness of Hashem infront of us (in our hearts) and see our lowliness (looking down).December 6, 2019 2:55 pm at 2:55 pm #1808441
It says that the number of .letters of a Sefer Torah is against the Bnei Yisroel. יש ששים רבוא אותיות לתורה – ישראל. All letters must be separated by white empty space מוקף גויל as every Jew is unique.December 6, 2019 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #1808452
Maybe that is why there is no ayin horah in josef like fish as Rochel did not see her beauty.January 17, 2020 1:02 am at 1:02 am #1823683
Shemos: Pick Your Struggle
We know that Shevet Levi were not forced into back-breaking slavery in Mitzrayim like the rest of the Shevatim. But this requires explanation; aren’t they also descendants of Avraham, who was told כי גר יהיה זרעך בארץ לא להם? Why were they let off the hook?
R’ Avigdor Nebanzhal addresses this question, based on the Zohar that writes on the words בחומר ובלבנים that Klal Yisroel could have accomplished their galus through קל וחומר וליבון הלכה, learning Torah. R’ Nebanzhal explains that anybody could have chosen to toil in Torah, and if they worked hard enough at it, that would have been sufficient. But only Shevet Levi got to that level of dedication and עמילות; all the other Shevatim had to do physical work to meet their quota.
Nobody came to this world to just sit around; we are here to work. But to some extent, we can pick what field we work in. The more effort we expend on meaningful religious pursuits, the less effort we will have to spend on meaningless toil.
לעילוי נשמת ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום
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