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    24 Iyar, 5770 Vol. 11, No. 27

    How great is the nobility of the human spirit, and the power of true reproof to bring it to the surface! No matter how powerfully they were ruled by their passions, their neshama still retained its natural purity and holiness. All that was needed was properly delivered rebuke and their moral conscience would respond. Their yetzer hara knew that rebuke could still hit home and cause them to leave their sinful ways, even after they had strayed so far. There was only one way to avoid this potent weapon for spirituality. Only by worshipping idols and denying our Creator were they able to neutralize the power of rebuke.

    Let us appreciate the unique ability of rebuke to penetrate our hearts, and redirect us, no matter how distant we may be from proper behavior. If we open our ears, our minds and our hearts to accept the truth, we can be confident that our course will never stray far from the path charted by our holy Torah.


    Rashi discusses the phrase ?????? ?? , asking what is unique about it. He explains that this phrase refers to an additional aspect of the mitzvah of tzedaka. According to Rashi, tzedaka is not limited to giving money to the poor. He writes:

    Rashi continues to note that it is easier to prevent someone from falling into financial distress than it is to raise that person out of poverty. So far, this sounds absolutely logical and straightforward. Of course, we want to follow the path that will be the smoothest and most effective.


    2 Sivan, 5770 Vol. 11, No. 28

    Parashas Bamidbar

    The Midrash is not dealing with a person wanting to have a conversation about some mundane topic with friend, where a private venue would seem to give the conversation some added dignity. It is talking about the Creator and Master of the entire universe, communicating His divine will and prophetic message to his chosen people. The very fact that Hashem chose to reveal himself to our nation and to speak to us through Moshe is the most amazing manifestation of respect and honor that could ever be accorded a people. Was it even possible to give us more kavod? In the midst of this overwhelming display of importance, elevating and exalting our people with the unparalleled gift of the word of G-d Himself, could we feel any more honored? How would it be possible for a nation to appreciate, understand or even sense an extra level of respect by Hashem speaking to us privately rather than in public?


    23 Sivan, 5770 Vol. 11, No. 31

    Parashas Shelach

    Rashi, as explained by the Mizrachi, is revealing to us an amazing insight into the workings of the human mind. We are afflicted with a blind spot in our spiritual field of vision. We can notice the most hidden intellectual concepts and perceive the most delicate ideas. But when it comes to lessons in mussar and appropriate behavior, we are suddenly struck blind. The moral of the story can be staring us in the face, and yet we will not connect the dots and derive the message, unless someone takes a thick red marker and underlines the words for us. Our eternal nemesis, the yetzer hara, has the ability to distort our vision, and blind us to the correct path, so that we walk blissfully upon our way, oblivious to the obvious. The Torah had to break the chronological flow of history, set off some mental alarm bells and wake us up, to take note of the powerful mussar we can learn from the spies. Had the Torah not changed the order of events, even Chazal would have missed the obvious lesson.

    Let us not miss this lesson and instead may we take it to heart: our greatness lies in our ability to realize our human frailties, to love mussar and reproof, and to never feel complacent. Let us keep our eyes, ears and hearts open and awake to notice our shortcomings and welcome the constructive input of those who want to help us grow. In this way, we can hope to be guided to overcome our spiritual blind spots and see clearly the path to inner happiness, achieving our purpose and the complete realization of our incredible potential.


    Edited to add: I would like to open the floor with a pasuk from this week’s parsha…

    30 Sivan, 5770 Vol. 11, No. 32

    Parashas Korach


    28 Tamuz, 5770 Vol. 11, No. 36



    6 Av, 5770 Vol. 11, No. 37

    Parashas Devarim

    We are one hundred generations removed, in both historical and spiritual distance, from the Jews of Topas. Nevertheless, Hashem is still waiting for us to do teshuva. He gives us chances and opportunities to rise to the challenge and strengthen our self-control. Let us remember how much Hashem loves us and waits for us to do teshuva, and bring ourselves closer to Him, and to the final redemption and the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash speedily in our days.


    In Parshas Vaeschanan the Posuk says:

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

    Translated as:

    And there you will worship gods, man’s handiwork, wood and stone, which neither see, hear, eat, nor smell

    The question that comes to mind is as follows we are plainly mentioning the five senses first of all what happened to the sense of touch, and more importantly what happened to SPEAKING it is that which would seem of utmost importance yet it is completely ignored?

    The reason the sense of touching is not said is answered by the Rabenu Bachyeh. He says that there is no need to mention more than one of the two senses that serve as tools of perception by the body.As according to the system of the Kuzari these two are the lesser senses as they require direct contact not like the others which can perceive from afar.

    The reason speaking is not addressed in our Posuk is answered by the GRA. He answers based on a Medrash Rabbah that says that Nebuchadnezzar took the Tztiz- the head-plate of the Kohen Gadol which had the name of Hashem inscribed upon it and placed it in the statue that he made of himself and thereby it started SPEAKING. What did Daniel do he asked Nebuchadnezzar for permission to kiss the statue on the mouth and permission was granted and while kissing it he removed the inscription of the Name of Hashem and it stopped speaking. This way he was able to prove there was nothing more to this statue than all the others. The Gra explains this Posuk is foretelling that time and advising Daniel in What to do. There will come a time in Golus that there will be a statue that will not see, hear, eat, nor smell but the Posuk does not say will not speak as it will!? and therefore the Torah continues in the next Posuk and tells Daniel what to do.

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

    That is Daniel look for Hashems name in his mouth and you will see he has stolen from Hashem Because you Daniel the navi of Hashem did as the posuk ends off ???? ????????????? ?????? ???????? ??????? ?????????:You seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.


    he famous question of the Gemara (???? ??, ?)is why did Moshe want to go into Eretz Yisroel did he want to eat of its fruit? The answer would seem to be simple he wanted to do the Mitzva of living in Israel?

    Reb Yackov in His Emes Liyackov says that the Tashbetz says that the Mitzvah of living in Israel is only for those who have a Chelek of Eretz Yisroel since Moshe was A Levi He had None hence he had no Mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisroel!!!!!!


    The Posuk says:

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

    What is the signifigance of this language?

    The Mahram Shif answers that Moshe requested that he go into Ertz Yisroel even if Yehoshua would be his Rebbi. Here Hashem is responding cant do it. You want to accept Yehoshua as a rav do not speak any further of it I will not accept it. That is about Yehoshua as your Rav

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


    The torah has theses two Posukim right next to each other:

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

    And then:

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

    What is the Connection?

    Reb Bunim from Psheischa answers that if you look in the world you will see the people empty of Torah,that is those who do not study that means they are not ‘????? ?? are the ones who have added to the Torah they have extra Chumros to show the world I am Holy it is those that study, who live the regular life do not need to come on to additional Chumros, to prove to the world there holiness, Hence he says one Posuk is placed next to the other to illustrate this point.


    The Medrash says that Moshe tells Hashem it says in your Torah that if a slave says I love my master and children and I do not wish to go free he stays in his servitude and I Hashem said Moshe do both. Hashem answers him do not continue to speak what is the underlying conversation and explanation of this Medrash?

    The question is simple Moshe wants to go into Eretz Yisroel so he wants to stay in Hashem’s servitude but the answer Hashem replies can only be understood in the context of the Gemara in Kiddushin (??, ?) there the Gemara explains that in order to enslave himself further he must make this statement twice. Therefore Hashem tells him do not continue to speak for if you do I will be forced to allow you into Eretz Yisroel


    Parshas Vaeschanan starts off with Moshe’s Prayer to Hashem to which Rashi comments he asked for a free gift why was he asking for a free gift?

    The Imrie Shefer Answers that if you remember by Avraham after he conquered the 5 kings he was afraid he had used up all his credit for his righteousness so Hashem told him

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

    Here too Moshe had the same concern,he had just conquered Sichon and Og so he asked for a free gift. Therefore Hashem answered him

    ?? ??,You have got plenty of credit it is nothing to worry about.

    The Zohar says we come into this world to accomplish, in order not to get MiNahman Dikusufah-Bread of Shame, in that we revived a gift without working for it so how does it add up? The Talile Oros of Rav Klar brings that the only time it is a shame to ask is if you are poor meaning in our example you lack Mitzvos but if you are rich than asking is no problem, as they know you have the money to pay, and they even might want to give you a gift to keep you coming back Hence the Problem of getting gifts MiNahman Dikusufah-Bread of Shame for tzaddikim and especially Moshe is a non issue


    Warning does not work in non Yeshvish english:

    The Posuk says

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

    To which Rashi Comments:

    ‘??????’ ?? ????

    Reb Moshe Feinstein in Darash Moshe asks why is it that the torah is referd to as a watching?

    e answers that Torah is something that must be learnt by a Rebbi it must be watched in a sense if you use your own logic you are liable to make errors in judgment which would put the whole Torah in question. Therefore it must be watched given over from a Rebbi to talmid as if left to ones own intellect it may happen as that what happened to the generation of Enosh who came to the understanding that they should not worship g-d but his servants in the Heavens as they listen to their own intellect and not their elders Adam and Sheis.


    13 Av, 5770 Vol. 11, No. 38

    Parashas Vaeschanan


    Parshas Ekev starts off

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

    Rashi says on this:

    ?? ????? ????? ???? ?? ?????? ??????:

    What is the significance of the so called lite Mitzvos which people trample with there feet?


    The Gemara in Avodah Zara(?, ?) says that in the Future the gentiles will have a complaint to Hashem we would have accepted the Torah too for the Jews you held Har Sinai over their heads if you would have done it to us we would of also accepted. Hashem hears there complaint and Gives them one LITE Mitzvah the Mitzvah of Sukkah. Hashem takes out the sun and makes it extremely hot they go out and Kick the Sukkah and leave. Now we know why it is all dependant on Lite mitzvah which people trample with their feet as this is the test the gentiles will fail when Mosicach Comes and they have their complaint hence ????? ???????????? the Mitzvah people are ?? ??????


    The Posuk Starts off:

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

    plural,The Posuk ends:

    ?????????????? ???????????:

    singular, Why The change?

    The Chasam Sofer answers this is a lesson in Educating Children.There are Parents who are always telling their children the importance of learning, but they themselves are busy with everything but learning. The lesson is if you want your children to learn meaning you want to teach them plural your children then you must be Singular:?????????????? ??????????? You singular learn in your own house serve as an example. In short do not says do as I say and not as I do.


    ytv…-how was the previous d”t “yeshivish english”?


    It says in the Posuk:

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

    The next Posuk says:

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

    It once happened in Yeruslayim that The Mahril Diskin paid for the Mezuzos to be checked in Yerushlayim.He paid them from the funds of the orpanage that untill today is in his name.He was asked how was he able to do this he answered the Posukim answer your question I take in the Orphans of Yerushlayim and it costs to support them their whole lives. If I pay now to check the Mezuzos and the people will live, it is a wortwhile investment for the orpahnage. Therfore, I am paying from the Orphange’s funds as an Invesment in the future.


    To make up for the last Mussar Vort

    The Posuk says:

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

    What does it mean?

    People answer when someone has ??? ???? then all of the sudden he becomes: a genius, and a Talmid Chacham, therefore the rest of the posuk is self understood ??? ??? ?? ???? everything he has increases his intelligence and the amount of learning he has done.


    20 Av, 5770 Vol. 11, No. 39

    Parashas Eikev

    This lengthy and harsh warning is given in order to battle the almost inevitable reaction of our yetzer harah. Reb Yisroel Salanter, similarly, gave advice to counter feelings of pride and arrogance. When it seems we have accomplished something wonderful, we must also remind ourselves of our deficiencies and shortcomings, and not just give ourselves a pat on the back. Reflecting in this manner will allow the truth to shine forth: It is only through the ability Hashem has bestowed upon us that we accomplish anything. Logically, we will understand it is Hashem, not ourselves, who is the moving force behind our successes. Instead of basking in the thrill of victory, let us praise and thank Hashem for all that He makes possible for us


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

    ???? ????


    The MishKoletz Rebbe says Pshat on this Posuk based on the Bnei Yissochar on Shir Hashirim in his sefer ??? ??????. There the Bnei Yissochar explains the Posuk in Shir Hashirim ???? ???? ?????” (??? ?????? ?.?he says it means that every person in this world has a certain amount of words which he is alloted to speak and if he speaks a lot of meaningless words he shortens his life.That is his Nefesh leaves based on his words. Our Posuk is saying the same thing it is saying

    ?? ?? ?? ???? ???? ???? ???? it is not only bread that that a person lives off,but ?? ?? ?? ???? ?? what he says out of his mouth decides life expectancy ? if he says the words of Hashem then ???? ????The person will live a longer life.


    Parshas Re’eh: Vilna Gaon – Give Tzedaka and Watch Your Step

    “Paso’ach Tiftach Es Yadecha Lo”, open up your hand to the poor (Re’eh 15:8).

    The Gemara in Bava Basra (10a) tells the story how Rav Papa was walking up the stairs and his foot slipped and he was about to fall. Chiya Bar Rav MiDifti said to him, “Maybe a poor person came to you and you did not support him.” What is the connection between an accident on the steps and not giving tzedaka? The Vilna Gaon in Kol Eliyahu explains using the “Trop”. That is the notes used when reading in the Torah. If you look at the words Paso’ach Tiftach in the Chumash you will find something of great intrigue. The Trop on these words are “Darga” and “Tevir” which in Aramaic means “Steps” and “Break”. Now we understand why after seeing Rav Papa’s accident on the stairs, Rav Chiya Bar Rav MiDifti’s first thought was it had to be a tzedaka issue, as he had just experienced seeing someone on steps that were breaking.

    This explanation of “Darga” and “Tevir” can explain another interesting Gemara in Shabbos. Dovid asks Hashem “when will I die”? Hashem replies “I can not tell you” .He goes on and asks at least tell me on what day of the week? Hashem answers him” it will be on Shabbos”. Dovid with the information in hand has a plan to extend his life. Being that I must die on Shabbos I will learn all of that day and render myself untouchable to the angel of death. Being that the power of Torah will protect me. When the day of his death came the angel of death had his own counter plan. He made the trees outside rustle to such an extent that Dovid was forced to see what was happening. Dovid went up on a ladder the rung broke and as a result he died. Here again we have the theme of falling from the ladder .The question is what is the connection?

    The Gemara in Brachos gives Dovid’s daily schedule and says everyday:

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

    That is every day the wise men would come and tell Dovid the Jews need money he would say “let them do buisness with one another, and so they will earn their money” they further told him your system is not working so he said in that case capture the thieves and that will solve the problem.

    Reb Yonasan Eibshitz says this was a daily occurrence, he gave that answer on a daily basis and apparently it was not helping, Dovid was missing the point. The Jews needed Dovid to do or say something more practical .He brings down a Yalkut Shimoni based on a Posuk in Divrie Hayomim. There Dovid lists exorbitant amounts of money he had saved up to build the Beis Hamikdash. It further says when there was a three year famine in the land he refused to give up any of the money, as he was saving it for the Beis Hamikdash. The Yalkut brings down that this angered Hashem. Dovid had his priorities wrong because Hashem had said tzedakah is greater than the building of the Beis Hamikdash. Therefore he was punished by not being allowed to build the Beis Hamikdash. To add insult to injury the money was never used for the building of the Beis Hamikdash. As we know from Melachim that only after the completion of the Beis Hamikdash did Shlomo take out the money and put it away in the treasuries. That is because he was instructed by the Nevim of his day that this money was not to be used to build the Beis Hamikdash (Pesikta Rabbosi). Now we know why Dovid died with a fall from the ladder as he forgot the poor. Therefore he got the “Darga Tevir breaking step as his final death blow.


    27 Av, 5770 Vol. 11, No. 40



    Why do we blow Shofar in Elul?

    The Tur (O.C. 581) brings down two reasons the Pirkie Drav Eliezer says when Moshe went up on Rosh Chodesh Elul to get the second Luchos in order to prevent the Jews from doing something like the golden calf the Shofar was blown. This based on a Posuk in Tehillim God shall be exalted with the trumpet blast; the Lord, with the sound of the Shofar (47:6). Then he brings a Posuk in Amos (3:6) Will a Shofar be sounded in the city and the people not quake. This is because the first Posuk indicates a prevention of further Aveiros the second Posuk symbolizes that they will do Teshuvah. The Shlah in his Chiddushim on Gemarah Rosh Hashanah says it is because the Pirkie Drav Eliezer is only a reason to Blow on Rosh Chodesh itself the rest of the month is because of the Posuk in Amos. The Levush (581) adds his own twist saying it is the concept of Turn away from evil and do good on Rosh Chodesh it is turn away from evil then on it is do good.


    Why is there no Bracha made on the Blowing of Shofar in Elul ,like the Meggilah on Purim ,and lighting candles on Chanukah they are also Rabbinic and there is a Bracha?


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

    Why does the Torah switch the word for men from ????? to ???????? for women?Rav Chaim Kanievsky answers that the Torah is including weapons or ????? of war and hence to include the Issur it changed the wording to make it gender Specific.


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

    Why does the Torah require a victory to allow a ????? ?????? ?

    The Meshech Chachmah answers with a very simple Pshat if they did not win she was used as a bargaining chip in the hostage exchange that happens after the battle.(Like Prisoner Exchange for Gilead Shalit)


    I heard this vort Beshem the Sefas Emes

    We say in Ledavid Im Takum Alai Milchomo Bezos Ani Boteach

    The sefas emes explains the this is talking about the Milchemes Hayeitzer and he asks what is the thing that we a Boteach in it?

    He answers that this milchemes hayeitzer he is boteach that whenever he still has a milchomo he is still on the the right track but once he dosent have a milchomo he lost.


    The Alshich answers that Lavan is the source of all our problems. If he would have given Rochel to Yaakov then Yosef would have been born first, and the brothers would never have fought with him. Thereby never selling him to slavery, this would have prevented our exile in Egypt from ever happening. That is why he is mentioned as he was the source of our going down to Egypt and not Eisav.

    Reb Yaakov Kaminetsky says it is not just Lavan it is all Armenians. As when Yaakov was going to marry Leah and not Rochel, they all knew and said nothing.

    The Brisker Rav has a different reason. The declaration of Bikkurim is meant to thank Hashem for a deliverance from hardship. Eisav is still around and still can cause us problems while Lavan is no longer around so in our declaration we are thanking Hashem for delivering us completely from Lavan but Eisav as an enemy to the Jews still stands.


    The Posuk says: ???????????? ????????? ????????? ???????????? ?????????? ?????? ?????????? ???? ??? ?????? ???? ?????????? Why on boats?

    Rav Kanievsky answers it says in Medrash Eicha(?”? ??’ ?) That the Jews had a treaty with Egypt’s King Pharaoh the Limp and an enemy attacked the Jews they called on Egypt an the Egyptians were coming to save them. Hashem caused the bodies of the Egyptians who had drowned at the splitting of the sea to surface one asked the other who are these people they answered theses are our ancestors who the Jews drowned and the turned around and left.This is why the Boats are mentioned as this was the Payback for our sins.


    The following Dvar Torah on this week’s parsha from Majesty of Man (based on the talks of Rabbi Henach Leibowitz zt’l, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim / RSA), co-authored by Torah Academy of Buffalo Grove’s head of school, Rabbi Shimon Zehnwirth.

    “G-d has not given you a heart to recognize, and eyes to see, and ears to hear until this day.” (Devarim 29:3)

    Moshe, in compliance with the Divine command, gave a special sefer Torah to the tribe of Levi. The other tribes, upon hearing this, became fearful and indignant. They asserted: “Moshe if you give the sefer Torah to Levi, their descendants will claim that the Torah was only given to them and not to all the tribes. This could lead to the Torah being lost from the Jewish people .”

    Moshe had a rather unexpected reaction to this complaint- he rejoiced! Moshe explained, “I was never sure if your devotion to Hashem was complete. Now that I see you are concerned with future generations, I realize that your devotion is indeed whole-hearted.” This is the meaning of the words “until this day” – only today did I comprehend that you are close and devoted to Hashem (Rashi).

    This was a nation that clung tenaciously to their beliefs throughout the long and bitter Egyptian bondage. This nation, out of love for Hashem, committed themselves to obeying the laws of the Torah, sight unseen. Nevertheless, these powerful displays of devotion were not enough to convince Moshe that their bond to Hashem was absolute. It was only when he witnessed this day that assured Moshe of their commitment – their concern for the perpetuation of Torah even in the face of a remote possibility that may occur only in the distant future. This is the supreme manifestation – the litmus test – of faith and closeness to Hashem. Personal piety is not enough; one cannot say he truly values Torah if he does not appreciate the need to safeguard it for future generations.”


    One short pasuk though lists a blessing whose meaning is unclear. In pasuk 5, the Torah writes, “???? ???? ???????” , Blessed will be your basket and your store. What blessing is G-d promising in this pasuk? Our produce was already blessed in the previous pasuk, so what does this add on?

    Therefore, says the Netziv, as Bnei Yisrael are about to cross the Yarden and to enter Eretz Yisrael, G-d promises them a bracha even during that difficult transition. Certainly B’nai Yisrael were extremely nervous at this time knowing that their lives would change drastically in just a short while. But Hakadosh Baruch Hu promises them that if they listen to His voice and fulfill His commandments, that this transition will actually be a blessing to them.


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

    ?’ ?? ????? ????? ????? ????? ?????, ???? ??? ???? ????

    ?????? ????? ????? ????? (??.?

    It happened that whenever there was a Funeral in Yerushalayim and they took the Body to Har Hazeisim the Arabs would come out and greet the the Levayah with stones and curses and many times it happened that they were forced to leave the body and run to safety, this happened until it became challenging to get a Minyan to go to Levayos on Har Hazeisim.The Chevrah Kadisha decided they had to but a stop to this so they came up with a Plan. They called a large group of people together and told them we are going to end this problem we choose a senior Chevrah Kadisha member who had a White beard and will dress him In Tachrichim and wrap him in a Tallis and Have a Levayeh and you will see what will happen and the plan was put into effect.So out went this big Levayah and of course as they got to the Neighborhood of Har Hazeisim the where greeted by there regular welcoming comity with stones and alike accept this times things where different after throwing the first few rocks the “dead” arose and with him a large stick in one hand and Torch in the other and ran towards the Arabs and hit them to avenge his honor. The Arabs saw the dead rise and attack they went running in all directions fell over themselves and knocked each other over and the like and many rolled down Har Hazeisim with the he the monuments taking revenge also as people where tripping over them while running away.The people had a great laugh at the Arabs expense and never again was a funeral disturbed in the neighborhood of Har Hazeisim.They of course all realized in that weeks Parsha it said

    ??? ?’ ?? ????? ????? ????? ????? ?????,

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

    That is your enemies will run away from in front of you

    to which Rashi comments


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

    That it is the way of the enemies to run in all directions something they all saw before their own eyes.


    “??? ????? ????”

    “You are standing here today…” (Devarim 29:9)

    Midrash Tanchuma explains the juxtaposition between the portion of Nitzavim and the end of Parshas Ki Savo which describes the curses the Jewish people will receive if they do not follow the word of G-d. After hearing the curses that would possibly befall them, the people of Israel were severely frightened, and questioned their own ability to survive. Moses immediately reassured them.

    While other nations are afflicted and eventually destroyed, the Jewish nation might fall but will rise once again. The nations of the world might disappear but the Jewish nation will always remain. What is the key to our survival? When G-d brings misfortune upon people, they show contempt and disparagement. But the Jewish nation is different -“Distress and grief I would find, and in the name of G-d I would call.” When the Jew is punished, he turns to G-d, he humbles himself and he prays. This is what G-d tells the people of Israel: – “Even though these curses come upon you, they themselves cause you to stand.” Therefore it says, – You are standing here today…” – it is through the punishment that we continue to stand – it is the very source of our survival.

    G-d is the source of all good and kindness. No matter the extent of man’s rebellion, G-d’s mercy and compassion still exist. In the midst of punishment itself, G-d’s kindness continues. In the darkest of moments there is light, through oppression – salvation, amongst the curses – there is room for blessings. The Jew recognizes this and through this he continues to stand – his punishment itself is a blessing in disguise.

    In the times of Noach, although G-d decreed destruction upon the world, his compassion did not cease to exist. Before bringing the Flood, G-d commanded Noach to take with him into the ark a pair from each living species and food with which to feed them. Noach understood that despite the harsh punishment, G-d wished to perform kindness with His creations and Noach himself followed in the ways of G-d. Noach did not just supply them with food, he gave each species the specific food they desired, serving them separately at their regulated times. “Twelve months in the ark, Noach did not sleep by day or by night – he was involved in feeding the species that were with him.” (Tanchuma)

    We find a similar concept by the destruction of Sedom and Amora. Before the destruction, G-d told Abraham, “Because the outcry of Sedom and Amora has become great, and because their sin has been very grave, I will descend and see: if they act in accordance with its outcry which has come to Me – then destruction.” (Bereishis 18:20) Abraham understood G-d’s character – if G-d was revealing to him the future punishment, then there was still room for His sympathy. Abraham recognized his responsibility to evoke G-d’s mercy – he prayed to G-d to save the people of Sedom in the merit of the righteous ones. The people had sinned greatly, but Abraham begged G-d repeatedly, being so bold as to state, “Shall the Judge of all the earth not do justice?” G-d was teaching Abraham the great trait of kindness – he was to pray for these people to the best of his ability.

    After the sin of the Golden Calf, G-d told Moses – “And now, leave from Me. Let My anger flare up against them and I shall destroy them.” Moses understood that G-d did not want to destroy the Jewish people and that he must beseech G-d for their forgiveness.Moses answered G-d, “And now if You would but forgive their sin! – but if not, erase me now from Your book that You have written.” Moses totally gave of himself to help save his people, as Moses himself said, – “Let Moses die…but do not harm even one of them.” The Jewish people had angered G-d – but G-d still desired that Moses emulate His goodness and attempt to arouse His compassion. Moses prayed and G-d forgave – in the midst of G-d’s wrath, His ultimate compassion still exists.

    Noach, Abraham and Moses all recognized G-d’s kindness even in times of severe retribution and they followed the same path. Yet, Moses is the only one about whom our Rabbis say – “He fulfilled his task completely.” (Zohar)

    Noach served the creatures in the ark with the utmost kindness. Furthermore, he built the ark for one hundred and twenty years, rebuking the people for their actions and warning them of the impending flood in the face of their ridicule and embarrassment. Nevertheless, there was a complaint against him, as it says, “He kept quiet and did not request G-d’s mercy.” Noach did not try to overturn G-d’s decree – for that he was held responsible as if he himself brought the Flood – the Flood was called, “the waters of Noach” because he did not pray for his generation.(Zohar) Abraham followed G-d’s kindness and sacrificed of himself to pray for the people of Sedom. Yet, he too did not reach the depths of G-d’s goodness. He prayed for the people asking how G-d could destroy the righteous with the wicked – but he did not pray for the wicked as its own entity. It was only Moses who truly prayed for the all the people in their own right, despite their grave sin and G-d’s decree to destroy them. He sacrificed of himself and would not budge until he roused G-d’s mercy and G-d said – “I forgive.”

    We are shortly approaching the Day of Judgment, when each individual must pass before G-d, his deeds scrutinized – but at the core of G-d’s justice there is much room to evoke his compassion. We must not only pray for our own forgiveness and well being but our responsibility is to utilize our strength and pray for others. We pray that G-d bestow his kindness and compassion upon every individual. With our prayers we have the power to awaken G-d’s mercy, nullify evil decrees and cause good to be brought upon the world. May we merit recognizing G-d’s kindness and through our prayers turn the curses into blessings – and whatever G-d decrees we should accept with love and joy – as it is the key to our survival.


    The Rema in Hilchos Yom Hakippurim (610:4) writes that there is a very old minhag to light a candle on behalf of each man or boy in the family on Erev Yom Kippur. This is aside from the Yahrzeit candles which are lit. Though I don’t know if anyone still follows this practice today, it is easy to understand why there would be such a minhag. After all, the pasuk in Mishlei says “ner Elokim nishmas adam….” (“the candle of God is the soul of man”) and having a candle to remind one to focus on HKB”H and one’s soul makes perfect sense.

    Then the Rema continues with some very puzzling words. “V’im kavu nairos eilu, ein lomar l’aino yehudi she’yachzor v’yadlikaym”….”and if these candles should be extinguished during the day, one should not ask a non-Jew to relight them”. Why in the world would I think that it is permissible to have a non-Jew do a melachah for me on Yom Kippur for something that is merely a minhag?

    The Rema continues….”Mi shekava neiro b’Yom Kippur yachzor v’yadlikenu b’motza’ei Yom Kippur, v’al yechabenu od, elah yanechenu lidloke ad ge’mirah” “One whose candle has been extingusihed on Yom Kippur, shoud relight it after Yom Kippur ends, and he should not extinguish it but rather let it burn out by itself”. Very strange. If his candle burnt out, why is it necessary to relight it after Yom Kippur ends? And if he does take the trouble to relight it, why would I think for a moment that he would then extinguish it? That would make no sense at all!

    Further, “V’gam yikabel alov shekol yomov lo yechabeh b’motza’ei Yom Kippur nero, lo hu v’lo ah’cheir”. “And he should accept upon himself that for the rest of his life he will never extinguish this type of candle, not him nor anyone else”. What is the Rema trying to tell us here? Why should this person be required (as if to make up for something he did wrong) all his life never to extinguish this candle, not him nor anyone else. Again, the same question (as above) begs: Why would I think that if this person lights such a candle, he would extinguish it after Yom Kippur? And why was the Rema so adamant that neither he nor anyone else should do so?

    Rav Avigdor Amiel, who was the Rav Harashi of Tel Aviv in the 1930s and a terrific darshan said the following:

    In this morning’s kriah, we read about the avodah of Yom Kippur that the Kohen must do every year. In addition, the Torah tells us that Yom Kippur must be observed by every one of us. “V’huysah lochem le’chukas olam, bachodesh hashivi’i be’asahr lachodesh t’anu es nafshosaychem…” “This shall remain for you an eternal decree; In the seventh month on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict yourselves….”

    A few pisukim later it states “V’huysah lachem l’chukas olam……achas bashanah” “This shall be to you an eternal decree……once a year” The question is, what is the Torah adding with “achas bashanah”…”once a year”? The Torah has already explicitly stated that Yom Kippur is to be observed on the tenth on Tishrei. Why the need for these two extra words “once a year”? We know the Torah does not contain even one single extra letter. What is being added here?

    Rav Amiel suggested that, true, the observance of the actual day of Yom Kippur is achas. It only happens only once per year. But the KEY word here is “bashana….during the year”. In other words, though we only observe one day (on the tenth of Tishrei) as a day of affliction and teshuva, that one day MUST BE CARRIED OVER AND INTO THE ENTIRE YEAR !!! Yom Kippur starts on the tenth of Tishrei, but continues all year!

    When we sit down with friends on Jan 17th, and we are about to speak loshon harah. we must remember that we are CARRYING YOM KIPPUR AROUND WITH US ALL YEAR and refrain from doing the aveirah, just as we promised to do on Yom Kippur itself.

    When we come into shul for Kol Nidrei, we are all fired up and very motivated to do teshuva. And for most, this motivation lasts through the entire next day. But for some, by the afternoon of Yom Kippur, they are already burnt out. Their flame has already been extinguished. Therefore, says the Rema, this type of person must RELIGHT his candle after Yom Kippur and accept upon himself every year never to extinguish this flame on Motza’ei Yom Kippur. Because even though the observance of Yom Kippur has ended, the EFFECT of Yom Kippur begins AFTER Yom Kippur ends and must be carried around all year and not be extinguished!!!!


    that’s why they say:do teshuva now,avoid the elul rush.nice d’var torah.


    Thank You!


    Maybe we can say pshat in this weeks parsha,

    when HB”H tells Avrom, “Lech, Lecha” Chazal say that although

    malachim are in a madregah of Omeid, they stay on their

    spritual level & cant really rise higher or (generaly) lower.

    A person however, an Adam is a Holech, he goes from Madregah to Madregah. He can fall very low, but he can rise to the highest levels even higher then malachim.

    Like it is mentioned in next weeks Parsha Vayera by Avrohom

    when he saw the Malachim (Angels),first it says they were “Nitzavim Olov” but after the mitzvah he did with Mesiras Nefesh & Zrizus, when it says V’hu Omeid Aleihem, That Avraham Aveinu Was Above them, on a higher level then the Angels.

    So we can Teitch “Lech, Lecha” HB”H tells us all “Lech, Lecha!”

    Go! Become a Holeich, rise up to the heights I created you to be!

    I know there are many difficulties. Trials, hardships, and obstacles my dear child but Lecha! it’s for your own good.

    Just like avraham had to leave his birth & home land, and wander around like a homeless person, going through many Nisyoinos,

    trouble with Pharoh etc… but it all ended up bein Letoiva!

    So too, we have many trial in this world but HB”H says “rise

    up to the challenge my Dear Child” it’s Lecha, For your own good and success. May we Merit to rise up to the highest heights

    giving our Dearest Father in heaven Tons of Nachas! Omein!


    The most unexpected event happens towards the beginning of Parshat Lech Lecha. Avraham Avinu, having left his land and family to follow the call of Hashem, arrives in Eretz Yisrael only to be faced with a terrible famine. With few options available to him, he and Sarah move to Mitzrayim, where they pretend that she is his sister and not his wife, in order that the Egyptians not kill him to get to her.

    (one should not rely on a miracle) and decided that going to Mitzrayim was the best option he had at the time.

    Practically speaking, the viewpoints of both the Ramban and Rav Hirsch can positively influence our decision making and outlook.

    May we all have the clarity to face our decisions and challenges with Emunah, Hishtadlut and clarity of thought.


    Avraham Avinu delved into understanding creation and the wisdom behind it. He studied the ways of Hashem and how He conducted the world finally understanding the central force behind both its makeup and its continuity – chessed – kindness.

    Avraham understood that man, created in the image of G-d, must emulate his Creator. Just as Hashem built a world of chessed, so must man. Just as Hashem sustains each creature according to its needs, so too must man provide for each individual according to their specific needs. This takes great wisdom of understanding each recipient, their needs and their feelings, their character and their personality- essentially one must understand the depth of their being. Avraham recognized the majesty of man, each person deserving the honor and pleasure appropriate of kings. His house was open to all; he provided food and drinks, everyone was treated as though they were great nobility. That was only the beginning of his chessed.

    Avos D’Rebbi Nosson(?’ ?’) describes the house of Iyov as being open on all sides, ready to receive guests coming from all directions. It was a true house of kindness. Despite this, Hashem told Iyov that his level of chessed did not compare to Avraham Avinu’s. Iyov waited inside his house and if guests would come in he would serve them the food to which they were accustomed. Avraham, though, went out to find his guests, brought them into his home, and served them the finest delicacies. He even built rest-stops along the roads themselves where travelers could relax, receive a good meal and bless Hashem.

    Avraham modeled his chessed after Hashem’s kindness. Hashem created the world with all its vast pleasures. Hashem did not wait for man to see a need for a sun, a moon or stars, Hashem did not wait until man was hungry and thirsty in need of food and drink – everything was prepared in advance for the immediate use and enjoyment of man. Only when everything was prepared did Hashem create man – placing him in that existing world of kindness, filled with goodness and pleasures that man would never have dreamed of.

    He was ninety nine years old, it was three days after his bris mila, and he was in danger and much pain. Hashem bore a hole from Gihenom, heating up the world – it was scorching and unbearable. Yet, Avraham Avinu sat outside looking for guests. But what was Avraham doing? There was surely nobody traveling the roads on such a day and nobody in need of a place to rest or eat!

    Once again, Avraham learned from the Source of all kindness – Hashem Himself. Complete chessed is not just performing a kindness when one is need. Hashem created and prepared all the good first and in His kindness He then created man to be the beneficiary of that goodness. The first step is for man to be ready and prepared to be the benefactor, hoping for the opportunity to do chessed. The second step is to find the person upon whom that goodness can be bestowed. Avraham had completed the first step – he was totally ready to perform chessed, but the second part was not within his control. Nature had changed, there was Gihenom in this world and there were no passersby, he sat outside his tent in anguish, desiring to do kindness like his Creator. Avraham knew that, “??? ?’ ???? ????” – Hashem’s infinite kindness fills every facet of the universe – even under such conditions there must be room for chessed. Avraham had sent his servant Eliezer to search for guests. When Eliezer returned and answered that none could be found, Avraham did not believe him(?”? ?”?) . Hashem saw Avraham’s pain and He took care of the second part – he sent angels in the form of human beings to be the beneficiaries of Avraham’s kindness. Just like Hashem, Avraham’s kindness was prepared, and then came the creation to be its recipient.

    Avraham Avinu’s chassadim were not just acts of kindness, they were acts built upon wisdom and the knowledge of the ways of Hashem. He understood clearly that there is no time or place void of Hashem’s chessed.(???”? ?’ ?”?) “???? ??? ????: ??? ????? ???? ????? ?????…” – “A person is obligated to say: When will my actions be like the actions of my forefathers…” Just like our forefathers, our deeds can not be mere actions; they must be built upon our understanding and recognition of Hashem.


    Last Thursday, 6 Cheshvan was the 3rd Yarhrtzeit of Refoel Zev Chait A”H. In honor of the Yarhrtzeit they sent out a sample of the forthcoming Sefer Aliyos Refoel Zev on the Parsha. Here is the excerpt:

    Parshas Lech Lecha

    The Influence of Society

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

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

    ??? ?????. ???? ????? ????? ?’ ??

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

    Our own convictions and beliefs are certainly not as strong as those of our great forefather Avraham. It is imperative for us to be aware of the powerful influence that our ever-degenerating society has upon us, and to realize the importance of taking the necessary precautions, so that our convictions can remain firm and pure.


    Emotional Fidelity


    )?( ????? ??? ?? ???? ??? ??

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

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

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

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

    ????? ?? ????? ??????? )?”? ?? ?,

    ?? ?(:

    ???? ??? ???? ??? – ?????? ???

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

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

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    ???????? ??????? ?????????? ?????????? ???????????? ????????? ?????? ??????????? ???????????? ??????? ??????? ???????? ????????? ??????????? ?????? ??????.

    Rashi on this Posuk says that He loosened their muzzles, for he had sealed their mouths, so they (the camels) should not graze in other people’s fields. The Ramban among many others asks a question on this Pshat. The Gemara says that the donkey of Reb Pinchas Ben Yair would not eat from non Tithed (not taken Masser from) crops, so why is it that for Avraham Camels we are concerned? To answer Let me begin with a story that happened in an office to illustrate a point. There was a person who worked in a frum office and brought his own milk and every day. The milk would mysteriously go missing at the end of every day. He tried many different preventative measures including writing “Lo Signov” on the milk all of this accomplished nothing, as everyday his milk was still missing. Then one day he had a bright Idea. He poured the milk in a container that was Chalav Stam and low and behold the milk was there at the end of the day untouched. Now we have the answer to the original question a Donkey will not eat un-tithed food yet when it comes to Dishonesty it might not be so stringent.


    Parshas Chayah Sarah


    ???? ???? ??-?????, ???? ??-????; ????, ??? ????

    What did Rivkah see that caused her to fall off her camel?

    To start Avraham was Misakin Shachris, Yitzchak Mincha, and Yackov Marriv. That would mean at this Point only Shachris existed. Now we understand why Rivkah fell off the Camel she saw her Chosson going to Shachris at 4 in the Afternoon.

    ???? ???, ????? ???? ??? ?????–???? ????; ????, ?????, ???? ????, ??????

    What does it mean ???? ???? who else would he say a eulogy for?

    The answer is sometimes at funerals you hear the Eulogy and you know the person .Therefore you know it has been more than over-embellished. Here the torah was saying no he was talking about his wife and not an over-embellishment.

    ???? ??? ?????? ??????, ????? ??? ????; ?? ???? ??? ????, ?? ??-???

    Why is a Rasha like Lavan all of the sudden so religious announcing ????? ??? ?????

    The answer is simple now that the Shidduch is closing it is time to pay the Shadchan now Lavan says no Eliezer it is not you who did it but ????? ??? ???? so you get no pay.


    Why did Yitzchak wait until Chayyei Sarah to get married?

    A: Until then, he wasn’t in the parsha.

    What did Lot say when his wife turned to a Pillar of Salt?

    Yechi Hamelech

    Why Did Moshe Break The Luchos?

    You break the Rules so will I

    WHat did Moshe say when he saw the Egel?

    (not)Holy Cow!!


    we learn from the reunion of yosaif and his brothers the following:A.never ostracize a brother or sister B.you may be forgiven if you apologize but it will never be deemed correct.

    C.the black sheep is often the “white”sheep in Hashem’s eyes.D.all nightmarish experiences do eventually come to an end,and sometimes the truth is revealed for all to see.E.some damages can be compensated for,but illness or death that results from the tza’ar itself is irreversible(ex.yosaif was held accountable for the part of his father’s suffering that he could have shortened.The shvotim could not go back in time,either,and UNDO all they’d done)F.giving the benefit of the doubt is no cliche!it is the only way to live.(except when kabdayhu vchashdayhu is called for:don’t be maykel on the kabdayhu and machmir on the chashdayhu!)G.the test yosaif passed with potifera shows how exalted he was.yet who was thrown into a pit with snakes and scorpions??)

    the mekor for the above is “l’aniyas da’ati”


    wow that’s very thought provoking.yasher koach.


    This d’var Torah on Parshas Vayayshev is dedicated l’ilui nishmas my mother.

    Perfumalosophy is a term I coined to remember that Hashem,as with Yosaif Hatzadik, never gives us one iota more tza’ar than we are meant to suffer.365 days a year those caravans carried the most foul-smelling cargo.Yosaif is there,but ONLY TO BE TRANSPORTED–NOT TO SUFFOCATE FROM THE STENCH–so …lo and behold,the wagon smells like awesome perfume.

    I see that with every bump and crease I encounter along the road,there are always a few “lights in the tunnel” to make the journey manageable,even joyful!And when it’s really too much…time for a new door to open…I am “released from prison”.

    In a word:Perfumalosophy.


    Torah Thoughts on Chanukah

    (adapted by Rabbi Eliezer Grunberg of Torah Academy of Buffalo Grove)

    After the Greeks had defiled the Holy Temple they were only able to find one small flask of pure oil with which to light the Menorah. Hashem made a miracle and the oil lasted for eight nights until they were able to produce new uncontaminated oil. The Talmud in Tractate Shabbos teaches us that the holiday of Chanukah was instituted as a remembrance for the miracle of the oil and the lights of the Menorah.

    In truth, the law dictated that in that situation if the Jews had not found the flask of pure oil they still would have been permitted to use impure oil. What great difference did this miracle make? The menorah would have been lit regardless. What was the significance of this miracle that because of it we celebrate Chanukah year after year?

    Rav Dovid Leibowitz zt”l explains that this miracle enabled a mitzvah to be done on a higher level. They were now able to light the Menorah in a more preferable manner using pure oil. For eight days, the Kohen in the Holy Temple was able to perform one mitzvah in a greater fashion. For this opportunity it was appropriate to institute a holiday of celebration and praise to Hashem for all generations to come. We can hardly fathom the value and greatness that every nuance of a mitzvah encompasses.

    Often, our performance of mitzvos is lacking heart and soul. We try to find ways to do mitzvos in the easiest way possible. The miracle of Chanukah and the oil give us insight to the great value of mitzvos and all of their specific details. The lighting of the Menorah each year should reinforce this important lesson.


    The Midrash relates that when Jewish people finished building the Tabernacle, the leaders of all the tribes, except for Aharon the Priest, brought sacrifices to Hashem. Aharon, not having the opportunity to bring a sacrafice was very troubled. Hashem comforted Aharon by telling him, that although he and his tribe were not able to participate in the dedication of the Tabernacle, the miracle of Chanukah would transpire through his descendants.

    What was so special about the miracle of Chanukah that it served as a source of comfort for Aharon?

    Rav Meir Chodosh zt”l explains. The lights of the Menorah in the Holy Temple were not for illumination. The Talmud in Tractate Shabbos tells us that these lights stayed lit all night and all day. This showed Hashem’s great love for the Jewish people and was testimony that His glory always rested amongst them.

    The miracle of the oil and the Menorah taught us a great lesson. The Jewish people had sinned and the Holy Temple was in a state of defilement. Hashem brought this specific miracle to symbolize that, even at such a time, He was still with us.

    This was Aharon’s consolation. The bringing of the sacrafices was limited to the duration of time that the Beis Hamikdash existed and many other prerequisites. Chanukah and the miracle of lights showed Hashem’s deep love for the Jewish people. No matter where we are or what state we are in, Hashem maintains His love for us.

    On Chanukah throughout the ages, when every Jew lights a Menorah in his own home, he is reminded that Hashem is with him, even in the darkest of times.


    this is to long

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