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  • #2009741
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    As the four species are against four body parts, spine, heart, eyes and mouth, so we shake them similar to shaking by davening where the spine represents the whole body and the others which cause our sins, so we dedicate them to the service of Hashem.

    #2011125
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Bereishis: An Unfinished Work

    Almost all of creation came into existence by the word of Hashem – He declared each thing should be, and it was. But man was created differently: by the hand, not the word, of Hashem.

    Once spoken, a word can not be changed. However a hand can always continue to create. All of creation is set and fixed in its role, with one exception. The role and nature of a person is not predestined; each person decides, by their own choice, exactly what they will accomplish.

    We know that man is created בצלם אלוקים. Obviously this can’t be referring to a physical similarity, because Hashem has no physical form. Rather it means that just like Hashem is a creator, man too can create. No other part of creation can act of its own free volition, deciding its own destiny.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2011169

    RebE > Rav Moshe ztz’l stopped shaking by davening based on a story I heard. A nazi german soldier pointed a gun on him

    RebE, who is Rav Moshe in this story? If this is Rav Feinstein, I do not believe he encountered Nazi soldiers. He probably encountered some Anarchists or Red or White Army in Ukraine.

    #2011202
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    You are right, I made a mistake.

    #2011374

    Here is an Ohr Sameach version of this interesting story, thanks RebE

    Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zatzal, one of the foremost halachic authorities of our generation, was known to stand stock still during the silent prayer. He explained that, while living in Russia, he was once arrested for teaching Torah. One form of torture he experienced during his imprisonment was being forced to stand completely still facing a wall. The threat was that if he were to move he would be shot. It was on one of these occasions that Rabbi Feinstein was struck with the realization that if he could stand with such intense concentration for the sake of his captors, then he should afford at least the same respect when standing in front of Hashem.

    #2011377

    I recall an opposite story of, I think, Netziv who was able to point out a Russian government spy in the Volozhin yeshiva – he saw that the guy did not move when davening, while neshomah is like a ner and got to move … so, there is something about Russian secret police and staying still …

    #2013418
    Zugger613
    Participant

    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 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.

    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום
    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן

    #2013453
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Very nice but why lashan hara to point it out?
    It says that at the time of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai the rainbow was not seen and it does not say that there wasn’t any? Explains the Kli Yakar that they did not look at it figuring that the tzadikim will protect them. According to this we can understand why is it lashan hara to say, I saw a rainbow even though one might want to bring people to do teshuva because he is saying that there are no tzadikim to protect us, so we must rely on Hashem to protect us through his love for us as above.

    #2013799
    aposhiteyid
    Participant

    noach: there is a time where we need to go into the teivah, torah and tefilah but also comes the time to tzei min hatievah, go into the ooutside world and make a differecve

    #2014021
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    It says ulai yesh chamishim tzadikim besoch hair, maybe fifty tzadikim exist in the city? The Satmar Rav ztz’l said, I want people who stay and fight in the city and not escape. Hashem helps more one who is part of the group and is not praying on his own.

    #2019585
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Vayeira: Never Say Never

    When Sarah overheard what seemed to be three simple Arabs bless her to have a child, she laughed. After all, she was almost 90, and having a child seemed physically impossible.

    However, Hashem rebukes Sarah for this laughter. R’ Moshe Feinstein explains that we must believe that Hashem can do anything, and to dismiss anything as being impossible is at odds with that belief.

    R’ Moshe goes on to explain Sarah’s response, ותכחש שרה לאמר לא צחקתי כי יראה not as a false denial motivated by fear, but rather as Sarah’s explanation of her actions. Sarah told Avraham that she laughed כי יראה, “because I saw” that this wish simply isn’t possible. To which Avraham answers: “No”, nothing is impossible.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2019654
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Sarah Imeunu felt, as she did not even have a womb, she was not worthy of a miracle to change nature. It was a fear of the greatness of Hashem, as the gemora in Shabbos argues by the man nursing if he was great or not for changing nature.

    #2025101
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Toldos: Forge Your Path

    The Gemora tells us that Hashem listened to Yitzchak’s teffilos over Rivka’s since Yitzchak was a צדיק בן צדיק, while Rivka’s parents were not too righteous.

    But why should that be? Shouldn’t a צדיק בן רשע be the more worthy of the two, since it was more difficult for him or her to break out of the negative mold they were born in?

    Rav Dessler quotes a beautiful explanation from his Rebbi, the Alter of Kelm. He explains that since a צדיק בן רשע realizes that what his parents are doing is wrong, he has an easier time not following his parents lead.

    But a צדיק בן צדיק what is in a way a deeper test. He may have good role models, but he must make sure not just to become a copycat. Every person is unique, and Hashem put each of us here to do something different. The צדיק who realizes that he is more than a copy of his parents, specifically when his parents are great people, is the most impressive.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2025114
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    A tzadik ben tzadik has two zechusim whereas a tzadik ben rasha only one and half. We find what you say from the Alter of Kelm by Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov when they are mentioned in reverse order vezocharti es brisi Yaakov etc., indicating according to the Ksav Sofer, that each one was great not because of his father but by his own accomplishment.

    #2025385

    Zugger and R Dessler > He may have good role models, but he must make sure not just to become a copycat.

    This ties into our other debate on FFBs and BTs. If you agree that times are pretty turbulent right now and things change quickly, FFBs sometimes are resistant to change as they are content following what was before. This works when this inertia is the right response to external change, but creates a problem over multiple generations of tzadik ben tzadik ben tzadik ben tzadik not being aware of what is going around him ….

    #2030620
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Vayishlach: Legs of Eternity

    The Torah tells us that when the Malach of Eisav struggled with Yaakov, וירא כי לא יכול לו, ויגע בכף ירכו. But how can we say that he saw he could not win if the very next words inform us that he did inflict damage on Yaakov’s hip?

    R’ Aaron Lopiansky explains that the influence of Eisav can never succeed in changing the essence of Yaakov and his children. We are simply too committed to our cause and to our God to be swayed. Therefore all that the nations can do is to physically stop us from carrying out our plans.

    The Malach saw that he could not win; he could not change the essence of who Yaakov and his children are. He saw he could only try to affect Yaakov’s “legs”, which symbolize our ability to bring our ideals to fruition. He tries to make the world into a goal of its own, instead of being a means to a greater end. And conversely, it is our job to try to fix this world, to turn it into a place where we can all connect to Hashem through Torah and mitzvos.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2030629
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Chasam Sofer explains that Gid Hanashah is forbidden to remember not to mix with the goyim, to avoid their influence and not to ask for their first name to befriend them.

    #2046755
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Vaeira: The Forest and the Trees

    A passuk appears for the first time in this weeks Parsha that we often just tune out: וידבר ה׳ אל לאמור. But let’s think about this a bit. Why does this frequent phrase switch from דיבור to אמירה?

    R’ Aaron Lopiansky explains that וידבר comes from the root of דבר, a concrete thing. דיבור is used when conveying the halachos, the defined details of the mitzvos.

    On the other hand, the softer phrase ויאמר is about conveying general ideas, not specific details.

    Hashem speaks to Moshe in the form of דיבור, defined and detailed instructions. But we are not supposed to stop there. We are then supposed to search for the אמירה, the ideas that the mitzvos convey. Then we will be able to fulfill the רצון ה׳ even when there is no particular Halacha about what we should do.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2046786
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    At the Aseres Hadibros where when Moshe Rabbenu speaks, it says ויאמר, according to the Targum Yonasan telling the Jews to accept the Torah, and following וידבר by Hashem commanding the Aseres Hadibros.

    #2048909
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Bo: Emunah Always

    The Ramban at the end of this weeks parsha asks, why are so many of the mitzvos זכר ליציאת מצרים?

    He explains that some believe that Hashem created the world, but think that He no longer controlled it. Through the ten makkos, Hashem proved not only that He exists, but that He controls everything that happens, and nobody else does.

    But the makkos were a long time ago. With time, people might forget that everything that happens is from Hashem. That is why we need so many mitzvos, to remind us that Hashem runs the world.

    The Ramban then takes this a step further. He writes that the purpose of the נסים המופרסמים, the obvious miracles, is that we should recognize that what we think of as “nature” is in fact נסים נסתרים, no less miraculous just because it happens more often.

    Water to turning blood is obviously the hand of Hashem; but that ought to remind us that Hashem gives us water every day. Why should we consider one to be more miraculous than the other?

    The Ramban goes so far as to write:
    ‎אין לאדם חלק בתורת משה רבינו עד שנאמין בכל דברינו ומקרינו שכולם נסים אין בהם טבע ומנהגו של עולם.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2049041
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    We sacrifice the Karbon Pesach to show that Hashem controls the world and we are above the mazel of the lamb. According to the Sefer Hachinuch, Milah, circumcision reflects this. A person has a free choice and can change.

    #2049071
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The miracle of blood where a mitzri and a Jew drank from the same pale, the Jews drank water and the mitzri blood, which occurred at the same place and same time.

    #2052951
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Yisro – Your Turn

    Hashem tells us in this week’s Parsha: וָאֶשָּׂ֤א אֶתְכֶם֙ עַל־כַּנְפֵ֣י נְשָׁרִ֔ים וָאָבִ֥א אֶתְכֶ֖ם אֵלָֽי,
    I brought you on eagle’s wings to Me. What is this referring to?

    R’ Dovid Soloveitchik explains that Bnei Yisroel were on the 49th level of impurity in Mitzrayim, and yet 49 days later they were hearing Hashem at Har Sinai. How could they have changed so quickly?

    This Passuk is the answer. Hashem lifted them up miraculously, not just physically, but spiritually as well. By showing us so many miracles in Mitzrayim and Yam Sof, Hashem left us with no choice but to believe in Him.

    But as the next Passuk makes clear, after Kabbalas HaTorah the opposite is true. Now it’s all up to you: וְעַתָּ֗ה אִם־שָׁמ֤וֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ֙ בְּקֹלִ֔י וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֖ם אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֑י וִהְיִ֨יתֶם לִ֤י סְגֻלָּה֙

    Hashem lifted us to the heights of ruchniyus, so that we could see what it’s like. But now our job is to climb to those elevated heights ourselves.

    From now on, only our choices and our actions will determine how close we are to Hashem.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2057607
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Terumah: Satisfied?

    The Kli Yakar has interesting observation about the measurements of the כלים of the משכן listed in the Parsha: the dimensions of the ארון (2.5 Amos long, 1.5 wide, 1.5 tall) end exclusively in half-measurements, while the most of the measurements of the שולחן (2 Amos long, 1 wide, 1.5 tall) end in whole numbers. Why the difference in measurements?

    The Kli Yakar suggests that the message here is that by ruchniyos, we should never be satisfied with what we have. We should view our current accomplishments as being incomplete, and always be looking for opportunities for further growth.

    But when it comes to our material belongings, the opposite is true. We should focus on being satisfied with what we have, on being מתפק במעוט and שמח בחלקו. (As for the half measurement of the height of the שולחן, the Kli Yakar interprets it to be a warning not to be haughty due to one’s material success.)

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2057636
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    It says בשמים ממעל ועל הארץ מתחת, the heaven above and earth below. Isn’t this obvious? Says the Kli Yakar that when it comes to heavenly, spritual things look at people above you, who are greater than you to learn from them, whereas by material, physical things, look at people below you, so you will be satisfied with what you have.

    #2057640
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Like the ארון, spiritual not be satisfied when looking at someone greater than you, whereas like the שולחן, physical be satisfied as there are people who have less than you.

    #2059362
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Tezaveh: Public Servant

    The בגדי כהונה were fashioned out of a surprising material: Shatnez. That’s right, they had threads of wool and linen woven together. Why do the Kohanim wear Shatnez while doing the Avodah?

    R’ Shamshon Raphael Hirsch explains that Shatnez is only forbidden when it is worn for personal pleasure. For instance, one is really allowed to wear Shatnez if they are only checking the size of merchandise. Similarly, the Kohanim are not doing the Avodah for themselves; they are representatives of the entire nation.

    But the temptation certainly exists for the Kohanim to let their special status get to their heads, and to let their own Kavod motivate their actions. So the very clothes that the Kohanim wear warn them: if you are only in this for yourself, not only is what you’re doing not a mitzva, but instead it actually becomes an aveirah.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2059513
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    It is an argument where the Rambam’s view (Hilchas Kli Hamikdash 8,12) is that only at the time of avodah is shatnez allowed as the belt had shatnez in it whereas the Raavad’s view is that anytime in the day in the mikdash it is allowed.

    #2061576
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Ki Sisa: How דוד המלך Stopped a Deadly Plague

    The Parsha opens with an eerily timely warning: if you count Bnei Yisroel, there will be a plague. And indeed the Gemora tells us that in the times of דוד המלך Bnei Yisroel were counted, and a deadly plague began to spread. Interestingly, the plague killed exactly 100 people a day. So to stop the plague, דוד decreed that everybody should make 100 brachos every day. But how does counting brachos counteract counting people?

    Why would a king want to count his people? Simple: he wants to assess the might of his kingdom. But that is based on a false worldview. The security and prosperity of a nation is not determined by its population, but rather by Hashem. Counting the people shows a false sense of security, as if we determine our destiny and not the Almighty.

    Brachos are the exact opposite. A bracha is an affirmation that this is Hashem’s world, and He controls everything. We acknowledge that all that we have comes only from Hashem.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2063847
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Vayakhel: Foundations

    The Torah repeatedly emphasizes that the foundations of the Mishkan itself were made out of silver, while the foundations of the חצר around the Mishkan were made out of copper. Why were they different?

    R’ Aron Lopiansky explains that the word כסף is synonymous with desire through Tanach – for example, נכספה וגם כלתה נפשי. The foundation of all of the Avodah of the Mishkan was the desire to build a relationship with Hashem. And in our lives, the foundation of our Avodah must be that desire to come close to Hashem.

    But the foundations of the חצר around the Mishkan were copper. Copper is a tough and impenetrable metal, and therefore used in Tanach as a metaphor for brazenness and stubbornness.

    Around the Mishkan that we are to build in our hearts, there needs to be a protective חצר. The foundation of this protection must be being impenetrable to outside influences. We cannot allow the values of the society around us to seep in to our hearts and water down our ideals. We should not care what the outside world cares about, or we will quickly stop caring about what we should really care about – ס֥וֹף דָּבָ֖ר הַכֹּ֣ל נִשְׁמָ֑ע אֶת־הָאֱלֹקים יְרָא֙ וְאֶת־מִצְוֺתָ֣יו שְׁמ֔וֹר כִּי־זֶ֖ה כׇּל־הָאָדָֽם:

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2063904
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The human being has 248 eivarim, body parts and 365 gidim, sinews against the 248 aseis, positive commandments and 365 lo aseis, negative commandments as it says כי זה כל האדם, so the mitzvas make up the human being all together 613.

    #2066069
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Pekudei: Accounting

    The Parsha contains an accounting of all of the resources that went into the building of the Mishkan – how much of each material went to each specific cause.

    R’ Moshe Feinstein writes that this should inspire us to do our own accounting. Hashem has given us a limited amount of time on this world – what are we doing with it? Are we putting our resources and abilities to good use? Each of has unique, God-given talents – are we using them in the right way?

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2066118
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    It says to make a mikdash and Hashem will rest among them where it does not say among it. The holy Shlah says that every individual should make himself a mikdash, so it makes sense to have to account what we do with our mikdash.

    #2068288
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Vayikra: Control

    Why does Hashem want us to bring Korbanos? There’s nothing we can give to God – what does killing a few animals do?

    The Sefer HaChinuch explains that by “sacrificing” some of our livestock, we are acknowledging that nothing we have is truly ours to begin with. When we bring a Korban, we remind ourselves that everything is only from Hashem.

    With this, R’ Aaron Lopiansky explains why Korbanos are compared to Tefilah. Why do we need to ask Hashem for anything?
    Doesn’t He already know what we need?

    The answer is that when we Daven to Hashem, we are acknowledging that only He has the power to help us. Everything belongs to Hashem, and only He can control His world.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2068296
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    It says זבחי אלקים רוח נשברה the purpose of a sacrifice is to break our spirit to realize the sin and whatever is being done to it should be done to us.

    #2072277
    Zugger613
    Participant

    *Parshas Shemini: K.I.S.S.

    Nadav and Avihu were the crown princes of Klal Yisroel, slated to take over after Moshe and Ahron. And yet they they were killed by a supernatural fire on the day of the inauguration of the Mishkan. And although Chazal give us many things that Nadav and Avihu did wrong, they all revolve around what the Torah explicitly says: ויקריבו לפני ה׳ אש זרה אשר לא צוה אותם, they brought to Hashem a foreign fire/service, which they had not been commanded to bring.

    When McDonald’s trains their workers, they teach them a very important principle: K.I.S.S. That stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. We have invested lots of time and money figuring out exactly how to make a burger, and we want you to just do what you’re told. Don’t go decide you think the burgers should be a bit more well done or spiced a bit differently. We know what we’re doing here: just follow the rules.

    Hashem knows quite well what the best thing for us to be doing is. Don’t make up your own rules.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2072350
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Ksav Sofer explains that they said when will these leaders pass on and we will take over.
    It does not sound too good to wait for them to die. So he says they did not want to get married and have children as we see from Moshe Rabbenu that leaders don’t have any time to bring up their children properly, so they did not want to have any children because they will eventually be the leaders. This type of thinking is an אש זרה, an outside fire where a person does not rely on Hashem’s help as King Chezkiyah thought when having Menasheh.

    #2074653
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Tazria: An Honest Eye

    One of the cryptic rules of tzaras is that although even a small white spot can be considered tzaras, a person who turns entirety white without a single spot of healthy skin must be declared Tahor by the Kohen. It is also interesting to note that the Torah conveys this idea not by referring to a person who has become entirely white, but by saying that כל מראה עיני הכהן, “every [part of the person] that meets the Kohen’s eye” seems to be a problematic shade.

    There is a fascinating rule that binds a Beis Din when deciding cases of capital punishment; if the accused is unanimously found to be guilty, he may not be put to death. If an opinion is unanimous, we are concerned that not enough effort has gone towards looking at the other side of things; we cannot kill the man.

    Perhaps there is a similar lesson to learnt from the Kohen: if every single thing that somebody does seems problematic to our eyes, we cannot convict them. It is almost inconceivable that there can be nothing good about any individual or group. If the only thing we see are the problems, there’s a very good chance that the problem lies not with them, but with the way that we view them.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2074720
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    In mathematics a minus times a minus is a plus.

    #2091532
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Bechukosai: Seeing the Big Picture 🖼

    Our Parsha begins with 11 pesukim detailing the berachos that will come to us if we do what Hashem wants, followed by 29 pesukim that detail the curses that will come upon us if we disobey Hashem. Why does there seem to be more curses than blessings?

    The Ibn Ezra forcefully writes that in fact, the brachos are more numerous. He points out that each of the brachos is a general statement, which applies to many different scenarios. However, each of the curses is only one specific difficulty.

    Perhaps we can glean an insight into human nature from this. We tend to focus on every individual thing that goes wrong, without paying any attention to the many things that Hashem is making sure are going right in our lives.

    We should not ignore what is going wrong on our lives. As the Parsha makes clear, these are messages from Hashem about what we need to improve in. But it’s important to put our difficulties in the proper context. There is more good in this world than evil.

    לע״נ דוד חיים הן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2093863
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Bamidbar: דגל התורה

    The של״ה writes that the first three shevatim that traveled together, Reuven Yissachar and Zevulun, represented the Torah.

    Perhaps we can suggest that the names of the נשיאם of each Shevet give us a clue as to their unique contribution to the study and the spread of Torah.

    The נשיא of Reuven was נחשון בן עמינדב. Perhaps this shows that Nachshon and his shevet excelled in being שונה בנחת, teaching gently, the עם of Hashem (see שה״ש ז,ב where בנ״י are called בת נדיב). This can be seen in how Nachshon led by example, jumping into the ים סוף first.

    The נשיא of Yissachar was נתנאל בן צוער. Perhaps this shows that the shevet of Yissachar would always toil in the Torah that Hashem gave (נתן קל) even when doing so entailed great sacrifice (צער).

    The נשיא of Zevulun was אליאב בן חילון. Perhaps this shows that the shevet of Zevulun would always be focused on doing the will their Father in Heaven (אלי אב), even when they were doing things that were חול, seemingly mundane. Zevulun used their financial expertise to both support the Torah of Yissachar, and to show the nations of the world the beauty of Yiddishkeit.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2093870
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Apologies for the typo, the first shevet should be Yehuda not Reuven.

    #2093922
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Rabbenu Bachya explains that if we take the first letters of the shevatim excluding Levi, using Yosef, multiplying it by a thousand, e.g. Reuven 200, 200,000 and Shimon 300, 300,000 and so
    on, accumulating it, will add up to 597,000 which is 3,000 less than 600,000 that were killed by the Eigel.

    #2095179
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Naso: Admit It

    The first step of Teshuva is taught to us in this weeks Parsha. When a person steals or does any other aveira, the first step is והתודו את חטאתם, Viduy on what they’ve done wrong. The Rambam in particular stresses how Viduy is the very essence of teshuva. But why is so much emphasis put on verbalizing our mistakes? Why can’t we just focus on fixing them?

    Based on the Chinuch, R’ Aaron Lopiansky explains that often we like to brush our problems under the proverbial rug. Even if we acknowledge our shortcomings, it is often only in an abstract way. In order to motivaste ourselves to grow, we need to concretize exactly where the problems are that we need to fix.

    Rav Huna famously tells us in יומא פו that once somebody is עבר ושנה, repeats their misdeeds, they tend to quickly forget that what they’re doing is wrong at all. The act of verbalizing our mistakes can help fix this. By admitting where we’ve fallen short, we keep our ideals from being watered down by our actions. Only when we acknowledge that there are higher ideals to live up to do we stand a chance of eventually living up to them.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2095858
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Naso: Never Say Never

    Rashi famously explains that the reason the Mitzva of Nazir follows that of the Sotah is because anyone who sees the disgrace of the Sotah should learn to stay away from wine, which can lead to immorality.

    R’ Yosef Elephant pointed out a defense mechanism that we often use instead. Imagine if today, we would hear about a woman dying as a Sotah. Our initial reaction would probably be to ask: “What neighborhood did she live in, what family did she grow up in, what schools did she attend in her youth? Oh, well with that background, it’s no wonder this is how she ended up. This would never happen to me or people in my circles.”

    But this is precisely what the Torah is telling us to avoid. If we see somebody fall in a particular area, we need to realize that the same thing can happen to us if we’re not careful. When it comes to aveiros in general and immorality in particular, we cannot allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security and complacency. אל תאמן בעצמך עד יום מותך – make sure the next scandal doesn’t happen to you.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2095859
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Naso: Listen Here

    Rashi on the very last passuk of this weeks Parsha goes through great lengths to explain how Hashem spoke to Moshe. Moshe would only hear the voice of Hashem while he was standing in the Mishkan. But the reason for that was not because the voice of Hashem was feeble and hard to hear. The voice of Hashem was booming and powerful. Even so, it could only be heard within the Mishkan.

    Perhaps we can take a message from here in our own lives. We may often feel like we don’t know what it is that Hashem wants from us, like the word of Hashem is muddled and unclear.

    But we need to know that the voice of Hashem is powerful and always offering guidance. We just need to enter into the spaces that Hashem has set aside for communicating with us. When we put all of heart and soul into Davening and even more so, learning Hashem’s Torah, we too can hear the voice of Hashem speaking to us so powerfully. But if we do not get ourselves in to that place, we will not hear Hashem at all.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2097757
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Bahaloscha: Part of the Journey

    There are two pesukim in this Parsha that aren’t where they belong. The pesukim of ויהי בנסוע הארון, which deal with the travels of the Mishkan and the Shechina, are surrounded by two backwards letter nun. This is to let us know that these pesukim really belong fifty pesukim earlier, together with similar pesukim detailing Bnei Yisroel’s travels.

    Rashi quotes the medrashim that the reason these pesukim were moved here was to break up some of the פורענות, the trouble that Bnei Yisroel started getting into. But why were these specific pesukim chosen to interrupt the troubling stories?

    The pesukim of ויהי בנסוע and ובנוחה יאמר give us a sense of a complete picture. True, we often see the Mishkan being packed up, and the Shechina on its way out. But we know they will not be gone long. Soon, Hashem’s presence will be felt in a new place. The end of one part of the story should never be mistaken for the end of the story.

    The journey, both of the Jews in general and each one of us in particular, is a long one. It has many starts, stops, and pitfalls. But it won’t be over until we get to where it is that we need to go.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2097758
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Bahaloscha: Finding the Light

    There is a cryptic medrash that compares the lighting of the Menorah in the Mishkan to the passuk of יגדיל תורה ויאדיר, making the Torah great and glorified. But what does one have to do with the other?

    Perhaps we can explain this based on the Chida, who writes that the Menorah symbolizes תורה שבעל פה.

    When it comes to תורה שבכתב, one may never add to to the Torah. To do so would be in violation of בל תוסיף. Yet when it comes to תורה שבעל פה, new insights are always welcome.

    This is hinted to in the lighting of the Menorah. The Menorah will never give any light unless somebody takes action and lights it. Similarly, תורה שבעל פה is left to us. It is our job to constantly plumb the depths and search for new insights. It is our chance to make continue to grow, to make even more great and glorified.

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

    #2097827
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Meiri explains that the first day of Chanukah is commemorating the finding of the oil. This is similar to finding new insights through revealing hidden secrets by questioning the תורה שבכתב and arriving to the תורה שבעל פה.

    #2099792
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Shelach: We See What We Want to See

    What exactly did the Meraglim do wrong? Moshe sent them to report on how difficult Eretz Yisroel would be to conquer, and that’s exactly what they did. ❓

    The answer is that מקיש הליכתם לביאתן, מה ביאתן בעצה רעה אף הליכתם בעצה רעה. The Mergalim saw what they set out to see. Since they already believed that the land was bad and unconquerable, they had not looked for the hinge that would reinforce those preconceived notions. 👁 👁

    We can learn from the mistake of the Meraglim how to attack לשון הרע at its root. Once we see the bad in somebody, it is very difficult to refrain from ever mentioning it. 🗣 But if we do not seek to find fault in others, we can more easily avoid לשון הרע. 🚫🗣

    לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
    לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום

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