YWN Coffee Room Nightly D’Var Torah

Home Forums Bais Medrash YWN Coffee Room Nightly D’Var Torah

Viewing 50 posts - 1,251 through 1,300 (of 1,890 total)
  • Author
  • #1124621
    YW Moderator-72

    From Torah.org

    Parshas Vaeschanan

    Where Torah Resides

    By Rabbi Label Lam

    Imagine that the Gadol HaDor, Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman shlita is coming over, not to visit for a day or a week but to move in. How much of an adjustment would that be? How uncomfortable might we feel? What would we have to hide, hinder, or curb to accommodate his presence? That standard of thought may be the practical benefit of the common practice amongst Jews world-wide to hang pictures of sages on the walls, if only to remind us home is where Torah resides.

    YW Moderator-72

    received via email

    *******************Jax’s Tuesday D’Var Torah – Tisha B’Av***************

    In the 1800’s, the Napolean passed by a Shul in the Jewish Quarter in France. The day happened to be Tisha B’Av. He heard the sounds of weeping and wailing coming from within. He summoned over one of the Jews and asked, “What is everyone crying about?” “We are morning the destruction of our Holy Temple/Bais Hamikdash in Yerusalayim.” “When did this happen,” asked Napolean, aghast, “I didn’t hear anything of this and my ministers report to me twice daily of all the current news and events around the world.” “Sire, our Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E. by the Romans” Said Napolean, “A people – that passionately mourns a national tragedy that took place over 17 centuries ago – is ETERNAL.”

    In 1967, Jews from all over the world flocked to Israel to see the Kotel, which had been off limits to Jews for many years. The Israeli army set up guards near the wall. During one particular shift there were two soldiers standing guard, watching the steady stream of people of all Jewish backgrounds pouring their hearts out at the Kotel. One of the soldiers started crying. The other soldier asked, “Lamah atah bocheh?” “Why are you crying?” “I can understand all of these people being emotional over the Kotel for they are religious Jews; but, you and I were brought up on a nonreligious kibbutz. Religion has no meaning or significance to us. So why are you crying” The first soldier answered, “Ani bocheh al mah she’ani lo bocheh.” “I am crying over the fact that I am not crying.” “As I see these people, I realize that there must be something very special – something very deep and profound – about the Kotel and about the whole religion. I know that there is something very beautiful that I am missing. It is for this that I cry.”

    This Tisha B’Av, may we recapture an appreciation of the spirit and significance of the Bais HaMikdash. May we recover that missing something. May we be zoche to see the Geulah shilaymah very soon! a gitten!

    YW Moderator-72

    Posted for mepal

    Parshas Va’eschanan

    Don’t Forget

    by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

    In Parshas Va’eschanan we find the very famous portions of the Torah that are imbedded in the soul of the nation: The Ten Commandments and the Shema Yisrael.

    Although every word of the Omnipotent carries equal force, these commanding portions are better known, if not better observed, by the nation.

    But powerful as they are, they were not given in a vacuum. Moshe forewarns the nation not to forget the message of Sinai and to impart its message and its relevance to future generations.

    The perplexing composition in its simplest form surely leaves for a creative interpretation, perhaps the omission of the transitional word lends itself to a drash that deviates from the obvious meaning.

    I receive many stories for possible use as anecdotal parables. Here is one from the archives.

    Junior came home from day camp one day without towel.

    A few moments later, she was on the phone with the day camp director.

    The Leket Amarim interprets the verse in its purest and most simplistic form, revealing a deeper meaning that belies the simplicity of the verse.

    Often when it comes to our actions, we forget the principles that we were taught as youngsters, but we remember them when chiding our children and pontificating.

    We may give speeches about integrity and corporate greed only to have pushed our own portfolios in a certain direction through creative manipulation.

    And so, the Torah warns us not to forget its principles for ourselves yet to teach them to our children. Consistency is the message of the moment. For yourself. For your children. For eternity


    mod72: wonderful DT!

    mepal: that was great! hope to see ya back here soon!


    ALIYOS REFOEL ZEV Divrei Torah and Mussar on the Yomim Tovim

    ?????? ???? ????? ????? ?’ ???? ??? “?? ?? ?’ ???? ??? ? “?


    The Gemara in Meseches Berachos (Daf 6b) tells us that the reward for a eulogy is the raising of the voice. Rashi explains, that the goal of a eulogy is to arouse emotion, and when a person raises his voice in wailing, this will evoke tears; and thus the goal of the hesped will be realized.


    By: Benjamin Lintz

    It seems that one of the main issues within Klal Yisroel at the time of the Destruction of the Second Bais HaMikdash was that of machlokes – controversy. The Chofetz Chaim writes in his Sefer Shmiras Haloshon (ii) that there are two components regarding not having machlokes: 1. Rectifying any existing machlokes and 2. Preempting the issue so that it never even happens in the first place.

    The Chofetz Chaim writes (ix) a piece of advice that I found very interesting. He suggests that people set aside a sum of money for the year that they can use to avoid machlokes. So, if ever a person can easily avoid a potential controversy by paying this money, it is worth while doing so. The Chofetz Chaim reasons that there are several mitzvos one must spend money on, such as Arba Minim and Tztzis, and a lot of people are willing to even splurge somewhat to beautify the mitzvah. Avoiding machlokes is a great mitzvah, so if it can be achieved by spending a reasonable amount of money it is definitely worth fulfilling.

    i Gittin 55:,56.

    ii End of Shaar Hazechira, and beginning of Chasimas Hasefer Chelek Aleph

    iii Siddur: Birchas Hashachar

    iv Shabbos 127.

    v Shmiras HaLoshon, last paragraph of Shaar Hazechira

    vi Bamidbar 16:12

    vii Bamidbar 26:55

    viii Toeles 4 on ibid.

    ix Shmiras HaLoshon, beginning of Chasima Hasefer Chelek Aleph


    11 Av 5769 Vol. 10, No. 40 Parashas Vaeschanan

    All rights reserved. For more information call (818) 505-7999 or e-mail [email protected]


    handle with care!

    What exactly is up with this weeks parsha?

    Try to think of the top 5 most annoying thing your older sibling/bully/ annoying friend. etc etc etc ever did to u. I am sure that one of the top 5 by most of u is very simillar to the following description (remember i am NOT very good at telling stories). U just finished eating at a very large and satisfying bbq, ur r absolutely stuffed and have room only for one more thing….ICECREAM! problem is the only ice cream around is dairy, now unless ur dutch there really isn’t much u can do. u already come to terms with the fact that u won’t be getting your ice cream, and after calling g-d a big big meanie (r”l) ur ready to move on with your life, and……in steps the aforementioned annoying person and says as follows, “i heard u want some ice cream but ur fleishik, now i know i can’t actually give u some, but if u want i can come and show u some, i’ll even let u watch me eat it if u want”, isn’t that nice of him? NO!!!!! that is mean, annoying, and quite frankly SD (slap deserving……laugh now, but in a couple of months “SD” is gonna be the hottest slang word!!!). To summarize our story, the last thing u want when u want something (go back to the beginning of that sentence and read it again) is to see that thing dangled in front of your face without having the ability to actually get it!

    The very religious amongst u might understand what i am getting at, the less religious r waiting for me to crack some corny joke, and the the unaffiliated are probably out eating ice cream by now. So what exactly does this have to do with this weeks parsha? EVERYTHING!

    Moshe is begging to get into eretz yisroel, he is making a last ditch effort, giving it all he’s got, and how does hashem , the merciful, react? he doesn’t let him in, but…………… he lets him see the land. HUH?????????????? that (at face value of course) is the worst thing hashem could have done to moshe!!!!!! if he isn’t gonna let him in, don’t TEASE him!!!!!! what in the world is going on? what is the point of letting moshe se the land?????????

    The answer to this question lays in a very simple yesod, a yesod which solves so many mix ups and misunderstandings in our wonderful world of olam hasheker.

    There r 2 apposing….um……. THINGS (couldn’t think of a better word) in our world, RUCHNIYUS and GASHMIYUS, some of us have cravings for gashmiyus while others (apparently ppl like this do indeed exist) crave ruchniyus. Now (and later as well), when u crave something which is physical it is an impure craving, an animalistic urge, the exact urge we were sent down here to battle, and your whole intent is to render yoursel satisfied, and therefore if things don’t work out the way u wanted them to, u will be left totally unsatisfied, disappointed and even angry. However, when u crave something spiritual (this is what i’m told) ur not simply trying to satisfy some itch, ur trying to GROW , ur trying to raise your spiritual level to the next, the exact growth which we were put down here for, and therefore if u end up falling a bit short oF your goal ur not totally disappointed, u might be a bit annoyed that u didn’t fully achieve your goal, however ur still very happy that u managed to grow even a bit, to step up to the next rung even if the step was a baby step.

    Moshe’s “ta’ava” to go into israel was obviously not a gashmy one (if u disagree with me……… don’t forget to send my regards to gehenom when u get there), it was purely a ruchny one, he felt (and this is true, sadly enough for all u america, and other places, dwellers) that going into israel would help him reach an even higher spiritual level, that is why he wanted it so badly, hashem understood this, and therefore after deciding that moshe would not be granted a visa (for whatever reason) he still wanted to allow him to at least see it, to at least allow him to grow as much as possible. For moshe it wasn’t a TEASE, for moshe it was a TREAT! he was thankful to hashem for allowing him to at least see it.

    To end off (FINALLY!) if we wanna see if what we are striving (or starving) for is right or wrong, all we have to do is the “moshe test”, if we only get a part of what we were hoping to get and we r totally devastated we r obviously not heading in the right direction, but on the other hand if we end up happy with what we have, and thankful for the opportunity hashem gave us to grow even a bit……..we just might have a chance.

    YW Moderator-72

    submitted via email from Kapusta L’iluy nishmas Menachem Mendel ben Elyakim Getzel whos yartzeit is on Shabbos.

    Parshas Vaeschanan – Shabbos Nachamu

    Yeshaya 40:1

    by Rabbi Dovid Siegel

    This week’s haftorah introduces a special series of haftorah readings related to our final redemption. In this opening one the prophet Yeshaya delivers the Jewish people warm words of comfort from Hashem. After over one thousand years of exile the time will finally arrive for the Jewish nation to return to Hashem and His Promised Land. But, as Chazal explain (see Yalkut Shimoni Yeshaya 443, 445) the painful scars of exile, persecution, and rejection will remain fresh in their minds and it will be difficult to approach Hashem and rebuild a relationship. In addition, they will remember vividly all their acts of defiance and will be embarrassed to return to Hashem. Hashem therefore turns to His nation and expresses to them warm words of comfort and console.

    Hashem instructs the prophet Yeshaya, “Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call her because her long term has been served and her sin has been forgiven.” (40:2) After all of this time, the Jewish people will find it difficult to accept that Hashem is truly interested in them. Although, the time for redemption has arrived they have not thoroughly cleansed themselves from all of their wrongdoings. They question how they could entertain establishing a perfect relationship with Hashem without having even perfected their ways. Hashem responds, “Her sins have been forgiven because she suffered an abundant and full measure for them.” (ibid.) The Malbim (ad loc.) explains this to mean that the harsh severity of their sufferings will compensate for their incomplete steps of repentance. The Jewish people deserve their redemption after enduring and outliving the most horrifying and tragic experiences with steadfast faith in Hashem. During their painful exile they consistently demonstrated unwavering commitment to Hashem and an inseparable attachment to Him.

    Our Chazal (see Yalkut Shimoni Yeshaya 443, Beraishis 162) share with us an additional dimension about Yeshaya’s words of comfort. They quote a passage in Shir Hashirim referring to the era of the final redemption and the profound statement the Jewish people will make then. They plead to Hashem, “If only, You could be like a brother to me.” (Shir Hashirim 8:1) Chazal see this brotherly relationship as a reference to the indescribable compassion that Yosef Hatzadik showed his brothers. After the atrocious behavior the tribes displayed towards Yosef they could never forgive themselves for those misguided actions. They therefore delivered a message to Yosef beseeching Him to forgive them without harboring any ill feelings towards them. In response to their plea, the Torah states “And Yosef comforted them and spoke to their hearts.” (Breishis 50:21) Chazal explain that mere words of comfort and assurance were not sufficient to allay their fears. Yosef therefore saw it appropriate to appeal to their hearts and redirect their thinking. He convinced his brothers how meaningful they were to him and how their safety and prominence served as key factors in his attaining and maintaining his position of glory.

    The Jewish people express their wish that Hashem act in this same manner with them. They find it impossible to forgive themselves for all the wrong they have done to Hashem. However, as Yosef appealed to his brothers’ hearts and redirected their thinking, Hashem can certainly do the same. They plead with Hashem to remove any trace of ill feelings for all their years of unfairness to Him. Chazal conclude that as Yosef allayed his brothers’ fears Hashem will do the same for His people. Therefore, when instructing Yeshaya to comfort the Jewish people, Hashem states, “Comfort them and speak to their hearts.” Yeshaya, as Yosef, is charged with a mission of conveying to the Jewish people how significant each and every one of them is to Hashem.

    Yeshaya faithfully says to the Jews, “Hashem will lead you like a shepherd tends his flock, gathers them in his arm, carries them in his bosom and gently leads young ones.” (40: 11) Yeshaya informs them that Hashem does care about every Jewish soul as a shepherd cares for each of his sheep. Although the Jewish people had previously strayed and suffered so much for their wrongdoing Hashem still cares about them in indescribable measures. Yeshaya beckons the Jews not to be hesitant or embarrassed to return. Hashem cares so much for each one of them that He will personally escort them back to Him.

    Yeshaya continues, ” Who measured the depths of the water by his fists, the span of the heavens by his hand, the width of the land by the measure of three fingers or the weight of mountains and hills on a scale? Behold the nations are but a remaining drop in a bucket, the rust of a scale.” (40: 12,15) Although in our eyes, the entire world and its inhabitants are of enormous proportions, in the eyes of Hashem they are but tiny miniscule dots. They all serve a general purpose but the concern and focus of Hashem is not specifically upon them. Yeshaya concludes, “Lift your eyes heavenward and see who created these, He who brings out the myriads by number and to each He calls by name. (40: 26) The prophet is referring to the millions of stars found in the heaven. Each of them serves a specific purpose and is identified by name at all times. Each star is significant and every one occupies a prominent position in the master plan of Hashem.

    In view of all the above we can suggest the following interpretation to the final words of the haftorah. Dovid Hamelech in Sefer Tehillim (Psalm 147) makes a similar reference to the stars in the heavens. He says, “Hashem is the builder of Yerushalayim; He will gather in the dispersed of Israel. He counts the stars by number, to all He calls by name. (147: 2,4) The Ibn Ezra interprets Dovid Hamelech’s profound verses in the following manner. The Jewish people have been scattered all over the world which should be indicative of their insignificance. To this Dovid Hamelech responds and reminds us that the stars are also scattered over the vast span of the horizon. However, Hashem knows every one of them and identifies him by name and purpose. In this same vein Hashem knows every Jewish person and identifies with him by his individual name and purpose. Following this thought we can appreciate Yeshaya’s words in this same manner. At the time of redemption Hashem will display His appreciation for each and every Jewish soul and personally escort him back to Eretz Yisroel. Every Jewish person counts because he occupies an important role in the scheme of the glory of Hashem. To Hashem every Jewish soul is greatly significant because his personal role adds a unique and distinct dimension to the majesty of Hashem. May we merit soon the realization of these comforting words with the coming of Mashiach and the ingathering of the exiles.

    taken from Torah.org


    One time a Jew of questionable ethics and hashkafos came trying to meet the sfas emes with following question. We know that Hashem does not make miracles for naught, so why by matan Torah did we have the miracle of “roim es a kolos” (seeing the sounds). The Sfas Emes refused to see this person (because of the prohibition of seeing the face of a rasha). The son of the Sfas Emes (R’ Avraham Mordechai) who knew of this person and his writings told him that he was the reason for the miracle.

    ?? ????, ??? ????; ??? ????

    At Har Sinai he would have heard the above words as ?? ????, ??? ????; ??? ????. Meaning that as opposed to it being a prohibition, Hashem was instructing certain people that there job was to be murderers, thieves etc. Therefore to prevent anyone from misunderstanding anything, the miracle was created so that everyone understood it was ?? ????, ??? ????; ??? ???? with an alef.

    ?? ????? ???? ?’ ??????? ???? ?? ??????? ????? ??


    The Alshlich HaKadosh points out an interesting lesson about Chinuch from Krias Shema (and last weeks Parsha).

    If a person wants Torah to be an integral part of their child’s life, they themselves will first need to be a Yid who learn Torah.

    First it says ??????? ??????????? ???????? … ??? ???????? first it talks about it being in your own heart, only then can one successfully do the next step, ?????????????? ?????????, teaching our children.

    YW Moderator-72

    Excellent JayMatt19! concise and powerful!

    YW Moderator-72

    from Torah.org

    Rejoicing in a Month of Misfortune – Part 1

    by Rabbi Yehudah Prero

    The Mishna in Ta’anis 4:8 states: Rabi Shimon ban Gamliel said “Israel has no days as festive as the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur….”

    In order to understand the significance of the 15th of Av we will consult the Gemora, where we will find the explanations of why exactly this day is a day of happiness.

    The Gemora in Ta’anis lists six reasons why the 15th of Av is such a festive day. It begins with the reason given by Rabi Yehudah in the name of Shmuel. The Torah tells us in Bamidbar 36:8-9 that “any unmarried woman who inherits property…shall marry one from a family of the tribe of her father’s, so that…an inheritance will not pass from one tribe to another.” This restriction prevented the transfer of the inheritance a woman received from her father to her husband’s tribe permanently upon her death. On the 15th of Av, the Sages arrived at the conclusion, based on an understanding of a verse, that this restriction only applied to the generation that entered the land of Israel with Joshua. The lifting of this restriction was a cause of great joy, especially among women. Previously, if a woman was an heiress, she could only marry someone from within her tribe. Now, all women were free to marry any man from any tribe. Because of the joy that was experienced in that time, this date, the anniversary of that lifting of the restriction, is also a day of great joy.

    The next reason the Gemora offers is that of Rav Yosef in the name of Rav Nachman. In Shoftim (Judges) 19-20, we find the incident of the “Pilegesh in Giv’ah.” A man was traveling with his concubine (Pilegesh, in Hebrew) and servant back to his home. As evening approached, the group of travelers arrived in the city of Giv’ah, in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin, hoping to find a place to stay. Only one old man offered to put the group up.

    He brought them to his home, and offered them and their donkeys food and drink. As the guests were refreshing themselves, wicked people from the city began banging on the door of the house, demanding that the old man send out the male guests from his house. The old man went out to the crowd, and tried to appease them by offering his own daughter and the man’s concubine. He pleaded with them not to do anything disgraceful. The crowd took away the concubine. When she returned the next morning, after being assaulted, she collapsed and died on the old man’s doorstep. In the morning, the man discovered his concubine was dead. He took her body with him back home. He then cut her body into 12 pieces, sending each tribe of Israel a piece, to inform them of the abomination that occurred.

    The whole nation was in an uproar and disgusted by what had happened. Over 400,000 warriors from all tribes gathered to eradicate this evil. The group demanded from the tribe of Benjamin that the evil men of Giv’ah be turned over, but the tribe refused and joined with the inhabitants of Giv’ah to battle against the rest of the nation. On the first two days of the battle, the unified tribes suffered severe casualties. The tribes then offered sacrifices, prayed, cried, and fasted, asking Hashem for His assistance. They asked the Kohen Gadol what should be done. He responded that on the next day, the tribe of Benjamin would be delivered into the hands of the rest of the nation. That is what happened.

    After this incident, the tribes swore that they would not let any man from the tribe of Benjamin marry their daughters. The people who made the oath felt much remorse over having to take such an action, as they were in essence cutting off a tribe from Israel. On the 15th of Av, it was established that the oath-takers had only intended for the oath to apply to themselves, and not to their children. Hence, on the 15th of Av, the tribe of Benjamin was permitted to “re-enter” the nation of Israel, and to have its sons’ marry the daughters of any tribe. This was a cause for great happiness.

    The third reason the Gemora gives is that of Rabi bar bar Chana in the name of Rabi Yochanan. As we noted in YomTov # 31, the adult Jews who departed from Egypt had a decree placed on them that they were to die before their children entered the land of Israel. The nation knew that the deaths related to this decree occurred annually on the 9th of Av. Each year, every man in the age group destined to die would dig a grave for himself and lie down in it on the eve on the 9th of Av. All those who remained alive come the close of the 9th of Av would get up, and repeat the same actions the next year. In the 40th year, everyone arose. Seeing that no one had died, they thought that they might have erred in their calculation of the date, so they returned to their graves every night until the night of the 15th. On the 15th, they saw the full moon which indicated that their calculations were correct, and still no one had died. The decree was over, and there was cause for celebration.

    Furthermore, the Gemora tells us that as long as those destined to die were still alive, the Divine Communication between Hashem and Moshe was on a lower and less personal level, to the extent that the Gemora considers it “no Divine Communication.” Once the 15th of Av passed and it was confirmed that the decree was no longer, Hashem resumed speaking to Moshe as he had before the enactment of the decree. As this communication was for the benefit of Israel, the day it returned was a day of rejoicing and celebration.

    YW Moderator-72

    from Torah.org

    Tu B’Av

    Rejoicing in a Month of Misfortune – Part 2

    by Rabbi Yehudah Prero

    In the last post, we started to discuss the six reasons the Gemora lists for why the 15th of Av is a day of happiness, as the Mishna says “There is no day as festive as the 15th of Av….” We pick up in this issue with the fourth reason offered.

    The fourth reason the Gemora mentions is that Ula. He said that the wicked king Yerovom ben Nevat ( the first king of the Kingdom of Israel, [as opposed to the kingdom of Judah,] after King Sh’lomo) had placed sentries on the road leading to the Temple, to prevent the Jews from going to the Temple on the holidays. This was an attempt to get the Jews to worship idols. On the 15th of Av, the king Hoshea ben Elah (a king from the Kingdom of Israel, approximately the 18th after Yerovom), removed these sentries, allowing the Jews to once again have access to the Temple and to serve Hashem – hence, a cause for celebration.

    The fifth reason is that offered by Rav Masnah. As we mentioned in YomTov # 31, on the 9th of Av, the inhabitants of the city of Betar were killed. Throughout the entire reign of Hadrian, the burial of these people was forbidden. The corpses, although they all lay exposed, miraculously did not decompose. Finally, years later on the 15th of Av, the bodies were buried, and given the proper respect due to them

    The final reason mentioned is that of Rabba and Rav Yosef. In the time of the Temple, wood was collected throughout the year for use on the altar. The wood used had to be free of worms. One way of ensuring that the wood was “worm-free” was to let the wood dry out, and worms only inhabit moist wood. The wood that was collected for the altar was sun dried, to assure that it would be fit for use. On the 15th of Av each year, they stopped gathering wood. This is because as of this date, the heat of the sun is inadequate to sufficiently dry out freshly cut wood, and therefore it would be difficult to assure that the wood would be fit for use on the altar. As the 15th of Av marked the completion of the performance of this Mitzvah, it was proclaimed a festive occasion.

    YW Moderator-72

    received via email from kapusta

    from Torah.org

    Parshas Ekev

    The Summary of All Fear

    by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

    Moshe presents the Children of Israel with a simple request fear G-d. Though it may sound simple we all know that it is not. The problem is that Moshe presents the petition as if it were a simple feat. He says, And now Israel, what does G-d want of you? Only that you fear G-d your Lord (Deuteronomy 10:12). He makes it sound as though the fear of G-d is only a minor matter.

    The Talmud in Tractate Berachos asks what we all might ask: Is the fear of G-d such a small thing? The Gemara relates how Rabbi Chanina said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yocha’i: The Holy One, blessed be He, has in His treasury nothing except a stockpile of the fear of heaven, as it says, “The fear of G-d is His treasure” (Isaiah 33: 6). Obviously if fear of G-d is so cherished by the Almighty, it must be very difficult to attain.

    The Gemara answers: True! For it was Moshe who said this verse and for Moses fear of G-d was a small thing. Rabbi Chanina compared it to a person who is asked for a big article, and he has it. Since he has it, then it seems like a small article to him.

    Chavivi! My dear one! shouted Rabbi Zilber as he gave the man a bear-hug embrace. It is so wonderful to be here and talk to a Jew like a Jew! The man offered a polite smile and a pleasant Shalom.

    Rav Zilber was puzzled. He tried another query. Maybe you can explain how you understood the Mishne in (tractate) Uktzin in the last chapter.

    Rav Zilber began to cry.

    Perhaps the Gemara is telling us the simple truth. It was important for an entire nation to see the man to whom fear of heaven was considered the simplest and most rudimentary aspect of life. To Moshe, fear of Heaven was natural. As a leader, he had the imperative to impress the nation, with his sincerity. To us simple Jews, it is important to see someone whose Jewish observance is as simple and graceful as if it is second nature. To us it may be a struggle, but it is imperative that the benchmark of our goals is someone to whom fear comes natural.

    YW Moderator-72

    ***************Jax’s Tuesday D’Var Torah – Parshas Eikev*************

    Moshe was commanded to carve a second set of Luchos with the Asheres Hadibros, to replace the first set of Luchos, that were smashed during the incident of the Egel Hazahav-Chait Ha’agel. The second set of Luchos were not as great as the first set. The first set was written by the finger of Hashem and possessed many miraculous properties. One might say, “I can never duplicate the original so I will give up and not bother.” We see here instead the correct attitude, that one must always do the best one can with whatever one has to work with.

    One day a farmer’s donkey fell into a well. The animal cried bitterly for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly.

    Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw.

    With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!

    Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up!


    ********** Mepal’s Wednesday D’var Torah-Parshas Eikev **********

    Killer Torah

    by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

    This week’s portion is called Ekev. Simply translated, Ekev means,”if”. The Torah promises its bounty of blessing upon the Jewish nation. Hashem will watch you, love you, bless your children and your flocks — in addition to five other verses all filled with various blessings. There is one caveat, however. These blessing are only bestowed with one condition — “Ekev tishmaoon,” if you shall listen to the word of Hashem and fulfill his commandments. Rashi, who usually concentrates on the simple explanations and clarifies nuances in Hebrew terminology, deviates from his norm. In his only commentary to the opening line of the portion, he translates the word Ekev in an entirely different light. He explains that the word ekev translates as heel. Thus, he explains the verse homiletically. “If you will observe Mitzvos that are ordinarily trampled on by the heel of your foot,” then the blessings of Hashem shall follow.

    Many commentaries pose the following question: Rashi’s usual modus operandi is to first explain a verse in its pashut p’shat, simple explanation. That achieved, he then proceeds to expound the verse in a Midrashic light. In this case, Rashi uses only a Midrashic explanation. Why?

    Rav Eliyahu Lopian raised funds for his Yeshiva in England. He once visited one of England’s wealthiest Jews. The man was known to contribute to any Yeshiva or Rabbi who asked. The man himself, however, was not the least bit observant. Other than his adoration of Rabbis and support of Yeshivos, the philanthropist had hardly a connection with anything Jewish.

    Rabbi Lopian went to visit the man out of respect, but decided not ask him for a contribution.

    Upon arriving at the opulent mansion, Rav Lopian was greeted warmly, offered hot tea, and was shown to a place in the man’s living room. Rabbi Lopian got to the point quickly. “I see that you are not an observant Jew. However, your magnanimity to Yeshivos and Rabbis is remarkable. Tell me, please, why?”

    The man settled back and began his tale. “My parents were very wealthy and equally religious. I was very rebellious. They wanted me to go to the Chofetz Chaim’s Yeshiva in Radin. I was not in the least bit interested, but I agreed to take an examination. I failed with flying colors and was ever the more happy for that. But I had one request. It was getting late and I had to sleep over. I asked if I could sleep in the dormitory for the evening. The Rabbi who had interviewed me did not know how to respond. I think he was afraid to have me in the Yeshiva even for a night and I could not blame him! He consulted with the Chofetz Chaim.

    “The Chofetz Chaim explained to us both, ‘a boy that cannot be in the dorm for a year cannot be there for a night. But that does not mean he cannot stay in my home.’

    “The Chofetz Chaim took me to his home. He fed me as if I was the most important visitor in the world. He made a bed for me and made sure I went to sleep. A few hours later, in the middle of the night, I heard the door of the tiny room open. The old man was muttering. ‘Oy, it’s too cold in here. What will I do?’ With that he took off his jacket and put it on top of me and tucked it in. It may not have been the most spiritual act he ever did, but I will tell you one thing. That jacket still gives me warmth whenever I see old Rabbis!

    Perhaps Rashi is not expostulating. He is telling us the secret of spiritual survival. He is relating the formula that may be the secret to the Jew’s existence and continuity. It’s the small things that merit the blessings. It’s the Mitzvos we tend to forget. Those we trample with our heel.

    There are certain Mitzvos that anyone who prides himself as a Jew would not forgo. Yom Kippur and Passover are high on the list. Mezuzah and Kosher rank quite high, too. But there are too many others that get trampled. Rashi explains the verse by stating that if the little Mitzvos are ignored, it will not take long before the major Mitzvos join the little ones on their trek to oblivion. The Torah promises us the bounty of its blessing if we observe the mitzvos. But Rashi gives us a lesson in assuring continuity. Rashi is telling us the Poshut P’shat (the simple meaning)! Don’t tread on the little Mitzvos. Watch the Mitzvos that everyone tends to forget. If those heel commandments will be considered important, then all the Mitzvos will ultimately be observed. That’s not allegorical discourse. That’s the fact!


    i just caught up in this thread! all great DTs! keep it up!


    Mazal Tov to nooseisko on the birth of a son!

    Bli Neder I will post a DT if he is unable to tonight

    Mazel Tov Mr. and Mrs. nooseisko! YW Moderator-72


    The following is from the Shlah HaKadosh

    ?? ???? ?????, ???? ????? ???? ????; ???? ????, ???????. ?? ????, ???

    The Shlah offers a slightly different interpretation than Rashi. ??, meaning, ??, If you say in your heart (and kudos for being truthful) that since the enemy is greater, therefore there is no way to defeat them Derech HaTeva (naturally), thus I, Hashem, promise you victory, ?? ????, ???. Hashem will assist.

    However, If you come with the feeling ???? ????? ??? ??? ?? ?? ???? ???, Then you have reason to be fearful.


    Wow! Mazel tov! I’ll give 80 the honor of transfering that post to the Mazel Tov thread!


    Mussar HaTorah

    18 Av, 5769 Vol. 10, No. 41 Parashas Eikev

    [Mount Sinai and your declaration]


    Adapted from Sefer Ohr HaTzafun by Rabbi Eliezer Grunberg

    PARSHAS Eikev 5769 ???? ??????

    ????? ?????? ????

    ?????? ???? ?? ?????


    The following is from the Avnei Shoham

    ??-???? ?????? ????????? ????? ??????? ????????????:

    In the 1st bracha of Shmoneh Esrei all the letters of the Alef Beis appear. This is what we refer to when we say the above passuk, ?????, and all the sounds (i.e. letters) which we emanate from our mouth, ??????? ???????????? will recite your praises.

    Interestingly, there is one letter missing in the 1st bracha, that being the letter ?. Therefore, Chazal, in their wisdom, added the passuk ??-???? ?????? ????????? ????? ??????? ???????????? to the beginning of the Shmoneh Esrei, which contains the letter ? 3 times, in order to ensure all letters are said.

    Only with this passuk can we truly claim that our mouths will praise Hashem will all his letters.

    This fact shows us that this passuk is actually quite vital to our Amida.


    ?? ???? ???? ??, ???? ????

    In Parshas Re’eh, the above passuk appears. R’ Moshe Sternbuch says that the word ?? here comes to teach us an important lesson.

    The same way that the succah is considered a temporary dwelling, so to Olam HaZeh, where all pleasures are temporary ones. Your permanent home is in the next world.

    The word ?? is telling us that we must view our place on this world in the same vein as our succah. By doing so may we be zocheh to building beautiful palaces for ourselves in the world to come.


    Can someone take me over for tomorrow? thanx in advance.



    Kapusta, for this week I’ll do it for you.


    ***************Mondays DT Parshas Re’eh**************

    by:Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

    (in place of kapusta)

    Parshas Re’eh

    The Meat of the Matter

    Surely there is a deeper connotation to the prohibition of the strange concoction of nefesh and meat.

    Rav Yehuda Laib Chasman was considered to be one of the luminaries of the mussar movement. Before he immersed himself completely in the world of Torah and mussar, he had a business that sold flour to bakers. He would devote a portion of his day to his business and the remaining time he would spend at the famed Talmud Torah of Kelm under the tutelage of Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, the illustrious Alter of Kelm. One day on the way into the Yeshiva, Rav Ziv called Reb Yehuda Laib over to the side and pointed to the white powder that covered the sleeve of his jacket. Rabbi Chasman took this observation to be a clear moralistic evaluation.

    With that, he made a personal decision that changed his life completely. He returned home, and figured out together with his wife that the amount of their current assets would more than cover any outstanding debts and allow them to sustain themselves. They sold the business, and Rabbi Chasman enrolled full-time at the Volozhiner Yeshiva, eventually emerging the great luminary whom we all revere.


    mepal, wonderful DT, thanx again for posting!



    JayMatt19: thank you for filling in you your friend nooseisko! shkoyach on all the latest DT’s here!

    chofetzchaim: well done with those 2 DTs!

    mepal: great DT!

    YW Moderator-72

    For the week of Parshas Re’ai

    **********************Jax’s Tuesday D’var Torah*************************

    Rav Pappa was climbing a ladder when he suddenly began to slip. He grappled for a moment, then caught himself before falling. He was gripped with trepidation because he understood this as a sign from Above that he had done something that was deemed worthy of death penalty. Rav Chiya suggested that perhaps Rav Pappa had failed to give tzedaka to a poor person. The Talmud teaches, “One who hides his eyes from tzedaka is considered as one who serves idols.” Idol worship is punishable by death. The Maharsha (Baba Basra 10A) says that Rav Chiya was hinting to the following incident:

    Once a poor person came to Rav Pappa, who was in charge of the communal charity fund, for a donation from the fund. Rav Pappa denied him because this man was also going from door to door for donations and the law stated, “When a poor person collects from door to door, he is not given a gift from the communal fund.” Rav Samma rebuked him saying, “If you don’t give him, than others will not give and he will die.”

    Rav Pappa responded, “What can I do? The law states ‘When a poor person collects from door to door, he is not given a gift from the communal fund.’ ” Rav Samma retorted, “He is not given a large gift, but he is given small token gift.”

    Rav Moshe Dov Harris explained that Rav Pappa could not be considered as one who “hides his eyes from tzedaka” just because he did not know a law. Rather, Rav Pappa failed to deduce the law because he lacked empathy towards the plight of the poor person. In addition to transferring funds, the mitzvah of tzedaka requires that one be sensitive to the plight of the poor person and feel his pain. Had Rav Pappa put himself in the poor man’s shoes, he would have realized that ‘no gift’ could not be an option and therefore a small token gift must be in order. Rav Pappa’s failing was in the essential mitzvah of tzedaka and thus is tantamount to Idol worship.

    How important it is for us to be constantly and acutely tuned in to the feelings of others.


    Wow! Great DT, Jax!

    Thank you 72 for posting!


    **************Wednesdays D’var Torah-Parshas Re’eh**************

    The Long and Binding Road

    by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

    This week the Torah teaches us the laws of ma’aser sheni. Ma’aser sheni constitutes a tithe in which the apportioned produce is consumed by the owner. It is not necessarily distributed to the poor or the Levite like other tithes. However, there is one requirement. The entire tithe must be eaten in Jerusalem. That being the case, the owner of 10,000 bushels would have to haul 1,000 bushels to Jerusalem to be eaten. That may be quite a difficult task. So the Torah has a way out.

    “And if the road will be too long, because you will not be able to carry it (the produce) as the place where Hashem chose to rest His name is far from you(r home) – then you may exchange (the produce) for money. You shall take the money instead to Jerusalem and spend it on, cattle, flocks, wine or other alcoholic beverages whatever your heart desires and eat it before Hashem (in Jerusalem) and rejoice with your family” (Deuteronomy 14:24-26).

    Thus the Torah teaches us that the owner can redeem the produce through money and spend the money on any food items in Jerusalem, avoiding an arduous chore of shipping the food to Jerusalem. The money will help stimulate the economy of the Holy City, thus establishing a protocol that has lasted centuries – supporting the merchants of Jerusalem.

    Yet if you analyze the actual wording in the Torah you will notice something strange. The Torah does not say, “if you will not be able to carry it because the road will be too long, then you can redeem the fruit with money.” The Torah seems to reverse the cause and effect. It tells us that “if the road will be too long, because you will not be able to carry it…” (Deuteronomy 14:24). It seems that the Torah is saying that the road is long because you cannot carry it. Isn’t the opposite true? If the road is long, it is not _because_ you cannot schlep, you _cannot_ schlep because the road is long. Why did the Torah reverse the phrase? Perhaps the Torah is telling us a subtle message.

    Rabbi Moshe Feinstein once met an affluent Jew whose father came to these shores long before laws were passed to guarantee that a person could remain Shabbos-observant in the workforce. The man’s father went from job to job, having been told not to report on Monday if he would not come to work on Saturday. The old man was persistent and never desecrated the Shabbos. Yet his son was not observant at all.

    Reb Moshe asked him point blank. “Why is it that your father kept the mitzvos with great sacrifice, but you did not follow in his footsteps?”

    The businessman answered with complete honesty. “It’s true that Pop did not miss a Shabbos or even a prayer. But before he did a mitzvah he would give a krechtz and declare, ‘Oy! Iz shver tzu zain a frummer yid (It is terribly hard to be an observant Jew!)’ After years of hearing my dad complain, I decided that the burden would be too much for me to bear. I decided never to permit myself to attempt those difficulties and I gave up religious observance.”

    After hearing this story, I thought, homiletically, that perhaps the Torah is telling us an important message in the psyche of mitzvah observance. “The road will be too long, because will not be able to carry it.” No one says the road is too long because of sheer distance. It is too long because you do not want to carry the load. If one, however, carries his package with joy then the road is not a long one. If one decides that he is carrying a heavy burden, then the road, no matter the distance, will always be to long.

    Rabbi Feinstein commented that no matter how difficult a mitzvah seems, if one observes it with a smile, with joy and with pleasure, he will be able to carry the mitzvah for long distances. He will not only carry it a long distance him or herself, he will carry it for generations to come. (torah.org)


    Jax, and mepal, both great DTs!



    mepal: awesome DT!


    hey, sorry i bailed on you guys last week, had a baby bla bla bla 🙂


    A dude walks up to you and tells you that at 3 o’clock this afternoon the sun will quickly set and then rise again 10 minutes later, you obviously pay no attention to him, and most probably try to cross the street or make believe you have a phone call, you continue on your liesurly walk wondering why hashem created such weirdos when suddenly everything around you seems to be getting darker, you pick your shades up but to no avail the sun is actually setting at 3 o’clock in the afternoon! it’s the weirdest scariest most amazing thing that you have ever experienced, everyone just stops in the street staring, bewildered, and then the weird dude shows up again and says that he is a prophet, the messenger of g-d and that all jews must from now on start keeping shabbat on tuesday, wear only pink socks, and call themselves a name which rhymes with Bob, as he says this the sun begins to rise again (exactly like he said it would) and as everyone turns their attention from the “prophet” to the sky, he quickly disappears as if into thin air.

    What would your reaction be? as a straight thinking intelligent human being? you would as quickly as you can try to get some contact in china to ship 10 million pairs of pink socks so youcan make the deal of your life when everyone starts buying em. would you believe the guy? possibly not, but how bout if he does the same thing 3 days straight and lets u pick when the sun should set and rise? you would be left with “no choice” but to believe him! end of story. well let’s see what g-d has to say bout our “prophet”.

    The torah tells us straight out that if a person shows up and starts doing tricks, no matter how supernatural they r, if the dude tells you to do something against the torah we MUST NOT believe him. ok fine, no prob, i just won’t believe him! BUT HE MADE THE SUN SET IN MIDDAY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!!! how can hashem expect us to not listen to this guy? if he catches me without pink socks he will probably turn me into a frog or something!!!! seriously, where r we supposed to get the “power” to not listen to such a person? HOW???? i’ll show you!

    HISTORY (huh??????)

    Think back to the future, if someone from nowadays would go back in time and whip out an i-pod ppl would most probably consider him a g-d, they would worship him kiss the ground (and pink socks) which he walks upon and do as he says. We have the “experience” of seeing that things change so much with time, many scientific “facts” from the past have now been proven to be no more than…WRONG (don’t ask me which ones cuz i have not the slightest clue, but a smart person told me that once so i believe him!), things which ppl would have been willing to swear by! things which today are common were considered totally impossible just 50 years ago.

    And so, no matter how good the tricks look, it very well might be that in 50 years ppl will be able to make the sun set with a snap of the fingers, as hard as it is to believe now…just try to think of ppl that lived without electricity, Internet……. what goes on in our world is as unbelievable to them as the sun setting is to us.

    I think i got lost here a bit………

    In summary- it is true that many ppl will come and be very very convincing, they will have proofs, “natural” (how can u make money if u sit and learn? where will the money come from? who will support you? g-d? come on he doesn’t do that!) or even supernatural (they will repeatedly get 21 in black jack), to what they say, they might even threaten us if we don’t listen to them, and we will sit there with an honest dilemma, maybe these ppl really r right, maybe they really have a point, how can we measure if they r the real thing? very simple. if they tell u to do different to what the torah says……… don’t even give them a second thought. no matter how hard, how tempting, how “real” they may seem. And just remember the whole history example which we gave and it really will put things into proportion.

    There is only one truth in the world. g-d, and he gave us just one manual……….use it!


    Thanks, kapusta & Jax!

    Mazel tov, nooseisko! Check out the Mazel tov thread to read all the mazel tov wishes!


    nooseisko: thank you for your amazing DT! i laughed most of the way through! it’s a true gift that you have to write such great pieces! keep em coming this way!

    JayMatt: i repeat, thank you for directing him this way!


    nooseisko: I echo Jax’s post above 🙂 And- it’s heartening to see you utilize your talent for the good


    Hey areivim. Nice seeing ya ’round!


    Mazal Tov nooseisko, I covered for you last week, but you still owe is one. I can’t ask you to do another for this week (especially with a newborn at home), so I went looking through my emails to post one of your wonderful pieces which I have saved.

    (Note: nooseisko has been sending these divrei torah out via email for a long time, Only recently have I been able to convince him to post them here as well).

    Here is one from the archeives, copied and pasted to maintain the same standards of grammar and editing we have come to expect from nooseisko 😉

    As kids we all knew 1 thing about moshe………he stuttered, and our gentile neighabors also knew one think bout moses……..he had horns. Anytime someone made fun of a kid for having any speech impediment, the responsible adult would always say “well moshe had one too, and look how far he got”. Now i’m not actually sure what Moshes exact impediment (is that word ever used without the word “speech” coming right b4 it?), but it’s quite clear from the torah that he indeed has something going on…………..or did he?

    This parsha (as well as this entire chumash [a.k.a chomesh- which is actually the correct way to pronounce it]) is one long speech from moshe rabeynu. U cant go and make such a huge, long, detailed and important speech with a speech impediment!!!

    So maybe moshe was miraculously healed over the years? ( and indeed through the course of history described in the torah it seems to imply that indeed he did, we see that at first moshe describes himself as a “lo ish dvarim anochy”, and now he all of a sudden becomes a “eyle hadvarim” type of person!

    So who exactly is moshe?

    Lets go back to the “first” moshe, at the time of moshes dramatic afore mentioned statement, which was some sort of last ditch effore to get off the “shlichus” job, but now what type of argument was it? here is a guy that is talking to hashem for crying out loud, now if his speech is good enough for hashem, its obviously good enough for anyone else no? so why was moshe so scared, impediment and all, to speak to paro way back when?

    Moshe indeed had an impediment, but he was not embarrassed of it (according to the medrash, it actually came about, by saving his life), he was not scared to speak to anyone, in any situation, and as we see in our parsha he had no problem giving a month long speech, of his own accord, to the entire jewish ppl (the nation which it is probably hardest to speak to!!!!!!), what he was scared of was speaking to a rasha.

    Many ppl r very good public speakers, they know wo to speak to their peers, they know how to speak to their superiors, but they in no way know how to speak to ones under them, for that u need an exceptionally good speaker.

    Moshe was never scared of his “stutter” it’s what hashem gave him, and he was more than happy with it, it never stopped him in the past, he rebuked the jew for hitting his friend, he spoke up in favor on yisros daughters, but paro……thats a different issue.

    Speaking to reshaim is so complicated cuz if u do it even a bit wrong, it will be in the best case scenario pointless, and most probably even detrimental (MENTAL!!!).If u speak to a tzadik and u get mixed up a bit, the tzadiik will still judge u favorable, understand that u were just a bit nervous, and not take what u said in a harmful way, but to a rasha……………. even when u present yourself exactly in the way with which u planned it is still quite unlikely that the rasha with take your words to heart, he will simply distort what u said, and use it for his own twisted advantage.

    And we see that indeed (for a certain period of time), Aharon was appointed as moshes lips, Aron the master of making peace had much experiance with speaking to respective “reshaim” throughout his carear, therefore better equipped with dealing with such a man.

    When i say rasha……i dont only mean someone like paro, each and every one of us (me) has the areas with which he is a rasha, areas in which he will under no circumstances listen to anyone trying to speak to him, areas in which he twists every word to make it fit within his own idea. And if Moshe was scared that he would not be able to reach paro in this accord, we can see just how serious this matter is………hear yee all yee talkers and listeners


    Adapted from Sefer Ohr HaTzafun by Rabbi Eliezer Grunberg


    With Elul right around the corner, I thought this would be a fitting Dvar Torah

    R’ Chaim Shmuelovitz said the following dvar torah in Yeshivas Mir, prior to tkias shofar one year.

    ????, ?????, ??, ???-? ?-????

    The Navi is telling everyone that teshuva needs to be complete. A person is not a ba’al teshuva if they want to remain standing in the middle. One must proceed ?? ???-? ?-????, until Hashem, otherwise one could r”l fall back into their improper ways.

    The Gemarra in Sanhedrin tells us about ???, who did things which warranted the title of Rasha Nora.

    However, once he did teshuva all that changed. He wrote the second half of ????? (??? ???? ????????) which, by the way is Roshei Tevos ???. When we analyze this tfilla, we see that it has no personal requests. No mention of parnassa, no mention even for chaim. All it mentions is how great Hashem is, and that his Kavod should increase in this world.

    This shows us that ??? truly did teshuva ?? ???-? ?-????. For one who is able to reach the level of ?? ???-? ?-???? has no requests for his guf, and aditionally, he biews himself as nothing compared to Hashem.


    Thank you JayMatt!

    It’s scary to think it’s almost Elul…


    ??-???? ??? ??? ???-??? ??? ????, ??? ???? ?????

    ???-???? ???-??? ???, ??? ????–???, ???? ?????: ??-????, ??????, ???? ???, ??????.

    ???-???? ???-??? ???, ??? ????–???, ???? ?????: ??-????, ??????, ???? ???, ?????.

    The Rambam says ??? ???? ???, ????? ?? ??? ????? ??????? ???? ?????, ???? ?? ???? ??? ????, ???? ?? ???? ????–????? “?? ???? ??? ??? ???, ??? ????? . …

    ????? ???? ??? ?

    There is a famous question as to how the Rambam can learn this out the way he does. The Passuk 1st mentions house, then vineyard, and finally marriage. Why then does the Rambam learn FROM HERE that 1st comes parnassa (vineyard) then the home and finally marriage??

    Many offer explanations to this issue. The Chassam Sofer says that the answer is quite simple. First the vineyard gets planted, then the house gets built, and finally marriage. However, due to mitzvos on the vineyard (Orla, etc.) the vineyard will not provide fruit befitting for consumption until 4 years after the planting.

    Thus, despite the vineyard being mentioned after the house, this is due to the fact that the house was built during the period (post planting, pre-harvesting) of the vineyard. The Rambam saw this, and was thus able to use these pessukim to teach what he did.

    So, lets recap. 1st the vineyard was planted, then the house was built (1st passuk) then the grapes became ready (4 years later, 2nd passuk) and finally marriage (3rd passuk).


    Thanks, jaymatt! Very nice explanation!


    kapusta’s DT for Monday

    Parshas Shoftim

    Just Justice

    Volume 5 Issue 47

    by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky

    The pursuit of justice is a tenet of any wholesome society. The Torah defines that principal in a clear and unambiguous way. “Tzedek, tzedk tirdof righteousness, righteousness thou shall pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20 ) The Torah tells us not only to seek righteousness but to pursue it. It seems to tell us to chase justice with vigilance and fervor, but the words of the verse amplify the pursuit of righteousness more than righteousness itself.

    The Torah repeats the word righteousness. It does not repeat the word pursue. Would it not have been more appropriate to stress the word pursue rather than the word righteousness? Second, what does “righteousness, righteousness” mean? Isn’t one righteousness enough? What is double righteousness?

    Further, shouldn’t we double our efforts in its pursuit Shouldn’t the Torah have said, “Pursue, Oh pursue, righteousness” instead of telling us “Righteousness, righteousness though shall pursue”? Isn’t the pursuit of righteousness the main goal? Doesn’t the Torah want to stress the passionate pursuit of righteousness? Obviously the double expression, “righteousness, righteousness” contains a poignant message.

    Veteran news reporter David Brinkley surveyed the Washington scene back in September of 1992 and reported a very interesting event.

    Washington, DC derives a great portion of revenue from traffic tickets. In fact, $50 million a year is raised from tickets for moving violations, expired inspection stickers, overdue registrations and of course the inescapable plethora of expired parking meters.

    A traffic officer was on a Washington curb writing a ticket for an illegally parked car. As he was writing the ticket, a thief had the audacity to come by with a screwdriver and steal the car’s license plate.

    The officer did not stop him. He just waited until he finished. Then he gave the car another ticket for parking on a public street with no plates.

    Sometimes justice is overwhelmed by the pursuit of it. The Torah tells us what type of righteousness to pursue not just plain righteousness but rather — righteous righteousness. There is just justice and there is a system of laws that often goes out of control. The Torah exhorts us not only to seek justice but to pursue a just justice.

    It is said that during the 1930s, when the saintly Rabbi Yisroel Meir haCohen of Radin, better known as the Chofetz Chaim, was in his 90s, he wanted to live the last years of his life in Eretz Israel. However, he was unable to obtain a Polish passport because the Polish government required him to produce either an official birth certificate, or bring forward two witnesses who were there at his birth! All of that was in pursuit of an unjust code of law. The Torah tells us this week to be vigilant in the pursuit of righteousness, but it also tells us to be righteous in its pursuit as well!



    Very nice DT, kapusta!


    Jaymatt: all wonderful! shkoyach!

    CC: very nice!

    kapusta: great peice! good to see ya around!


    ********************* Jax’s Tuesday D’Var Torah – Parshas Shoftim *********************

    Shoftim in the Jewish court must be careful in upholding the strict law of the Torah. At the same time they must be compassionate people. Mercy, compassion and justice are vital traits as the following true story illustrates:

    “I am the little boy who sat and cried many years ago, and the Rabbi in his great kindness and generosity saved me then from my stepfather’s anger. I have come now to repay that good deed. The bakers of the city are planning a terrible plot for the holiday of Passover. Since after your holiday, the Jews buy bread from non-Jews, the bakers agreed to poison all the loaves of bread that would be sold to the Jews. I have come to warn you ahead of time of this plot. I must leave quickly. It is dangerous for me to be here with you.”

    The Rabbi thanked him profusely for his warning and began planning what to do in ord er to foil the anti-Semitic bakers’ plot. If he went to the authorities, the bakers would just deny everything.

    During the entire Yom Tov, the Rabbi kept quiet. On the eighth night of Pesach, the Rabbi sent messengers for everyone to gather in the main shul the next morning. There, the Rav would address the entire community. Every Jewish resident of Prague obeyed the Rav’s orders and appeared at the appointed time in the main shul.

    “A mistake was made this year in our calender calculations and we started Pesach a day early,” the Rabbi of Prague announced to the astounded community, “Therefore, tomorrow is a Yom Tov. We must still eat matzah and may not eat chometz.”

    All the members of the community, albeit shocked, adhered to his words without question. < /font>

    At the end of the Yom Tov, the bakers could not understand why the Jews weren’t buying their bread as they did every year. Instead, policemen came and caught the bakers red handed. Seizing their loaves of bread as evidence, they arrested the plotting bakers and threw them into prison.

    Mercy, compassion and justice are vital traits!


    Rabbeinu Bechaye, in his introduction to this parasha, discusses the effects of laziness. He explains that one can be lazy in the upkeep of his house. If the homeowner chooses to perform normal maintenance and make minor repairs to his roof in a timely fashion, he can fix it relatively easily and inexpensively. If, on the other hand, he chooses to delay and wait, the situation will usually deteriorate into a much more costly and destructive situation. Similarly, Rabbeinu Bechaye continues, one can be lazy with the upkeep of his soul. If one chooses to put in the effort to improve his middos, he will eventually reach his goal. If, on the other hand, one allows his desires to continue on its normal path, this will eventually lead to the destruction of his body and soul. Just as an untended field grows wild thorns and weeds, so too the untended soul will grow unwanted and negative character traits (see Mishlei 24:30-33).

Viewing 50 posts - 1,251 through 1,300 (of 1,890 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.