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  • #2142382
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Why did Yitzchak Avinu want to bentch Eisov with Yaakov’s brachas? In order to get it even if Yaakov behaves like Eisov as the haftorah says that even if Eisov is a brother to Yaakov, I (Hashem) love Yaakov and hate Eisov as explained by the Chasam Sofer.

    #2144273
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Vayeitzi: Torah of Galus

    We know that before Yaakov went to live with Lavan, he spent fourteen years in the yeshiva of Shem & Ever. But why? Why wasn’t the Torah that Yaakov learnt from his father Yitzchak and his grandfather Avraham good enough?

    R’ Yaakov Kamenetsky explains that before he could deal with the trickery of Lavan, Yaakov needed to learn the “Torah of Galus”. He needed to learn from Shem and Ever, who had lived through the wicked דור המבול ודור הפלגה. He needed to learn from people that had lived through societies that were evil, yet remained unaffected by them.

    There is a time in all of our lives when we learn what it means to do good. But it never ends there. The next step is to keep true to our convictions, even when we live in a world that does not respect them.

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

    #2144277
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Rashi on Achos Nevoyus shows how fourteen years is missing from Yaakov Avinu’s life which he spent at Shem and Eiver. The Baal Haturim shows how the ending letters of Vayetzei Yaakov add up to fourteen and together with the beginning letters Shem and Eiver.

    #2146114
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Vayishlach: It Never Ends

    When Avram’s name was changed to Avraham, he is never referred to as Avram again. When Yaakov’s name is changed to Yisrael, he is refers to as Yaakov in the very next פסוק. Why is that?

    The name Yaakov is symbolic of struggle. Yaakov is always holding on to the heel of his evil brother, holding on to existence through the bitter Galus. Yisrael is symbolic of victory; כי שרית אם אלקים ואנשים ותוכל; for you have struggled… and won.

    R’ Aaron Lopiansky is explains that this is why the name Yaakov was never shelved. For as much as Yaakov Avinu had accomplished, there always remains more to be done.

    We are usually referred to as בני ישראל, symbolic of all that we are and all that we have accomplished. But we are also still בני יעקב; constantly struggling to do things better and better.

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

    #2146133
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Rabbenu Bachaya in Parashas Vaychi explains that Yaakov is physical being and Yisrael is the spiritual. When adding Satan (359) to Yaakov (182) we get Yisrael (541). When Yaakov defeated the malach of Eisav, he became Yisrael by encompassing the strength of the Satan.

    #2147186
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Chasam Sofer explains that we have this struggle with the yetzer hara and we strive to resolve the conflict between body and soul. The goal is to make peace בקש שלום. The Satan (yetzer hara) wants to do good by eliminating conflict סור מרע, ועשה טוב and have the soul go after the desires of the body. This is not peace. We want to reverse it, ורדפהו. We will create a small conflict by having the neshama, soul do something small that the body does not like and then go after peace by having the body get used to it. So the peace will come when the body does what the soul desires through incremental improvements.

    #2151015
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Mikeitz: Blind Spies

    When Yosef meets his brothers, he hits them with what seems to be a bizarre accusation. “You are spies! You have come to see the weakness of the land!” Why did Yosef pick this crime to accuse his brother of?

    R’ Mattis Weinberg explains that in truth, Yosef had already revealed enough information for the brothers to figure out his identity. He told them he knew their names, knew their birth order, and knew who had done what in their youth.

    The only reason the brothers didn’t figure out that the person they were talking to was their own brother is because they didn’t want it to be true. They didn’t want Yosef to have been right all along about Hashem making him king. So they fooled themselves into not seeing the truth.

    This is exactly the crime that Yosef was accusing his brother of. You are not looking for the truth. You are only spies, who concern themselves only with finding the bad. You are blinded by your agenda, by your own preconceived notions.

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

    #2151047
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    We find the same idea by the meraglim, Hashem promises them EY and they look for faults rather than realize that Hashem will not promise to give them something bad.

    #2152420
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Vayigash: Silent Shepherds

    When deciding where in Mitzrayim they should settle, the שבטים chose to live in Goshen. They did this so their children could be shepherds, like their fathers before them. But why? What is so great about being a shepherd?

    Rabbeinu Bachya explains that a shepherd spends most of his time alone. For the sheep to have enough grass to graze, they must be far from civilization. This meant that a shepherd was often alone with his own thoughts, free to think undisturbed.

    We live in a time of almost unlimited access to information and stimulation. But that makes it even more important to take some time to ourselves every once in a while and just think our own thoughts.

    Thoughts that we ponder and explore on our own become a part of who we are far more than ideas that we merely receive from somebody else. Passively consuming even the most useful and enlightening information is not the same thing as thinking your own thoughts.

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

    #2154397
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Vayechi: See What You Can Be

    The first Rashi in this weeks parsha famously tells us that when Yaakov Avinu died, נסתמו עיניהם ולבם של ישראל, the eyes and hearts of the Jewish nation were closed up. But what does that mean?

    Perhaps we can suggest that as long as Yaakov Avinu was alive, all of his descendants had somebody to look up to. They could see in front of their eyes what a perfect Jew looked like, and they could aspire to emulate him. But once Yaakov Avinu was no longer with them, they lost their living role model, and they lost their constant reminder of all that they could become.

    This was the beginning of the שעבוד of מצרים. It has been pointed out that מצרים comes from the root of מצר, which means a boundary or a limitation. Mitzrayim told us that we were nothing but slaves, and we would never amount to anything. Once we allow these types boundaries to be imposed on us, we lose sight of our limitless potential, of all that we can become.

    In order to not to lose sight of all that we can become, it is crucial that we stay in the presence of those who are greater than us.

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

    #2154410
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Very nice.

    #2154420
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Maybe this is the meaning of the statement והיו עינך רואות את מוריך, keep your rabbeim constantly in front of you, to have someone to learn from.

    #2154527
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    I once heard the interpretation of אל תקרא הליכות אלא הלכות from the way one behaves we should learn halachas.

    #2156117
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Shemos: Tasting Geulah

    When Hashem sends Moshe to Paraoh, things don’t go seem to go very well. Not only does Paraoh not let the Jews go, but he makes them work harder. Why did Hashem allow this first tease of redemption to end prematurely?

    R’ Aaron Lopiansky points out (based on medrashim) that this goes to the very nature of geulah. There is always a first glimpse of the geulah, which then seems to fade away. But what is the purpose of this first stage?

    R’ Lopiansky explains that those who have grown accustomed to the darkness of galus don’t even know what geulah looks like. In order to truly yearn for the geulah, we need to get a taste of it first.

    This is why geulah often begins with a false start that quickly fades away. Once we get a glimpse of what life could be like under the leadership Moshe, as living as Hashem’s chosen people, we will be properly incentivized to do whatever it takes to bring back the geulah.

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

    #2157938
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Vaeira: Two Types of Teffilah

    When Hashem tells Moshe that he will redeem Bnei Yisroel, He lists two seemingly different reasons. First, the fact that he promised the Avos to redeem their children. Second, “and also I have accepted the cries of Bnei Yisroel that are being oppressed by Mitzrayim”. Is there any connection between these two things?

    The R’ Yoel Teitelbaum explains that there are different types of teffilah. The highest type of teffilah is to daven for the sake of Shechina, to daven for peace and prosperity so that the world can recognize and connect to its Creator. But there are “lower” levels of teffilah as well, of Jews l praying for their own salvation.

    Somebody who has reached the level of being able to daven for the Shechina is very likely to have their teffilos answered. But when the time of Geulah draws near, Hashem is willing to listen to “lower” levels of teffilah, of people crying out due to their own pain.

    Since the time was quickly approaching that Hashem had promised the Avos that He would redeem Bnei Yisroel, Hashem accepted the teffilos that were only a result of the oppression they faced in Mitzrayim.

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

    #2158069
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    On the geulah for Shemos there is a saying, it is always the darkest before dawn. The geulah comes stepwise as sunrise.
    The Pelei Yoetz explains that when we say ‘לישועתך קויתי ה we should keep in mind that the shechina is also in galus and pray for it, for Your (Hashem) salvation.
    We should emulate our Avos, as the Baal Haturim in Voeschanan explains that ואהבת has the same letters as האבות (Rashi Vairo, el haavos). Similarly, like Avraham Avinu, בכל לבבך who dedicated his whole heart, בכל נפשך like Yitzchak Avinu who sacrificed himself and בכל מאדך like Yaakov Avinu who dedicated his money to Hashem (giving maaser) by showing their love towards Him.

    #2158132
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Pelei Yoetz really says it on Shemonei Esrei, לישועתך קוינו כל היום that we hope for Your (Hashem) salvation.

    #2159994
    Zugger613
    Participant

    Bo: Living Emunah

    After finishing the story of Bnei Yisroel leaving Mitzrayim, the Torah tells us about the mitzva of Teffilin. Through the parshiyos of Tefillin, we are to bind the the story of יציאת מצרים to our weaker arm and to our head. But why do we put Teffilin on specifically these locations?

    R’ Shamshon Raphael Hirsh explains through Teffilin, we internalize the message of יציאת מצרים – that we owe our freedom and our very existence to Hashem, and that we therefore belong entirely to Him.

    By binding Teffilin to our arms, we express that these ideals should be the guide for all of about actions. By putting them on our heads, we express that they are the basis of all of our thoughts.

    Alternatively, the Kli Yakar explains why the Teffilin is supposed to be placed on the weaker arm. This is a reminder that that it not through own strength that we accomplish what we set out to do. Without the help of Hashem, nothing is possible.

    This is very in much line with a Ramban at the end of this weeks parsha Ramban that explains why we put so much emphasis on remembering יציאת מצרים. The Ramban writes that the fact that Hashem did open miracles (נסים גלוים) back then proves that Hashem runs the world. Once we acknowledge that, we will see Hashem’s hand even in the seemingly “natural” occurrences (נסים נסתרים).

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

Viewing 18 posts - 251 through 268 (of 268 total)
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