October 23, 2011 3:16 am at 3:16 am #1125108
I like the idea of a nightly Dvar Torah. I’ll throw oneout to try toget this thread moving. Why does klal Yisroel refer to the Shabbos of Parshas Beraishis as “shabbos Beraishis”, something not done other weeks. Perhaps it’s because after a Yomim Noraim, and Succos and Simchas Torah, each one of us can make a new “Beraishis” on their lives; recreate our own personalities without our previously imposed limitations.October 23, 2011 5:16 am at 5:16 am #1125109
am yisrael chaiParticipant
hey, that’s great, you are a baal sechel, and I’m adding it to the parsha thread, if you don’t mind!October 26, 2011 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm #1125110
Short thought on Parshas Noach: Noach was childless for until age 500. Chazal say the reason is because if his children were righteous and over age 100 they would all need their own teivos, requiring extra work. The question is why couldn’t Noach just invite them to his own teiva.
The answer is that after a person is an adult (today 20, then 100) they need to create their own tevah, theirown universe, based on their own recognition, and their own kochos hanefesh.
Until then, to the contrary, they must remain bottul to that of their Mesora.
Doing things differently can be devastating. For the latter they will create only an immature world for themselves, and the former will never discover the potential life that has been uniquely destined for them.October 26, 2011 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #1125111
According to R’Yonason Eibeschitz (tiferes yonason) the generation of Migdal Bavel did not want to build a TOWER to reach the sky, as they would have to build a foundation bigger than the whole world. They only wanted to be saved from any future flood by building …..youre not gonna beleive this…a SPACESHIP to bring them to the moon!
NOTE: R’ Yonason Eibeschitz passed away about 250 years ago…
waaay before startrek, Neil Armstrong, and…..and…uh…and Steve Jobs(?)October 27, 2011 5:35 pm at 5:35 pm #1125112
Here’s another interesting quip from the Minchas Elazar, the Munkaczer Rebbe zt”l. He relates to evolution, according to which man developed from apes. This apikorsis claim is based on the great resemblance between humans and apes in various aspects. Indeed, he says, there is a relationship between humans and apes -not that WE developed from apes, but that, as the gemara in Sanhedrin (109:1) teaches, some of the generation of migdal Bavel became monkeys!
Quote: “Some transformed into monkeys, spirits, shaydim and leelin”-sanhedrin 109October 27, 2011 6:56 pm at 6:56 pm #1125113
Hey, my last post was #1656. That was the year of the mabul!
* Whew, wow! see that? I tell ya’, ever since I joined this CR my b’kius is getting better and better! Either that, or somebody has been spiking up my booze a notch lately….in any case, thanks,guys!!
🙂October 31, 2011 6:23 pm at 6:23 pm #1125114
ok this has nothing to do with the parsha, but I was just drinking some schnapps for lunch today and i remembered a vertel Rabbi Frand said by this year’s Aseres Yemei Teshuva drasha.
He said it’s interesting that the word for life in Hebrew, is ????. Although ?? is a word, and that means alive, but the word for LIFE is ????, almost like ??, but in the plural context, seemingly. Why? Because for a yid, life is not life, if one lives in his own little world of self. His own ?’ ????, minding his own business. Life is about more than just YOU. It’s about another yid, ANY yid, together WITH you. THAT’S chaim, that’s how a yid lives!
Now, my friends, let’s drink to that.
L’Chaim yidden, L’Chaim!November 1, 2011 2:42 pm at 2:42 pm #1125115
PARSHAS LECH LECHA:
In Parshas Lech Lecha, a monumental meeting takes place between the two great individuals living at that time: Avraham and Malchi- Tzedek, whom Chazal identify as Shem, son of Noach. While their encounter is shrouded in mystery and metaphor, the Torah recounts that Malchi-Tzedek, upon meeting Avraham, “brought out bread and wine – and he [Malchi-Tzedek] was a priest to G-d, most Exalted. (14:18)”
What is the symbolic significance of the bread and wine that Malchi- Tzedek served?
Bread is only good when it’s fresh. But go to your local vintner, and ask him for a “good fresh bottle of wine,” and watch him cringe in utter distaste. Ask any Frenchman worth his baguette: A fresh-baked loaf of bread, and a chilled bottle of aged wine, these are the components of any gourmet meal. The fresher the bread, and the older the wine, the more the palate takes delight.
The Torah describes Avraham Avinu in his older years: “And Avraham was old – he had come with his days. (Bereishis 24:1)” This means that Avraham brought the days of his youth with him into his elder. Normally, youth carries with it the advantage of energy and enthusiasm. As one gets on in his years, he loses the vigour of his youth, but is graced with the wisdom and maturity that come with age. Rare is the individual who can retain the vitality of his youth even as the candles on his proverbial birthday cake fruitfully multiply.
Yet this was exactly what Avraham Avinu achieved. While by no means a youngster, he served Hashem with the freshness and enthusiasm usually reserved for those still wet behind the ears. As a tribute to this unique combination of youth and age, Malchi-Tzedek served bread and wine, two foods that possess the opposite qualities of freshness and maturity, yet together form a meal pleasing to even the most refined tastebuds.November 2, 2011 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #1125116
Yasher Koach BaalHabooze.
Just a short, deep thought on Lech Lecha. Malki Tzedek lost his status as Kohein by preceding the Brocha of Hashem by the brocha of Avrohom. Why this act?
The Rambam defines the uniqueness of Shevet Levi, and those that follow their path. They abandon the normal venues of Hishtadlus. Therefore, Hashem gives them what they need directly.
Hashem controls everything that happens. We can identify two parts to salvation. One, the salvation itself. Two, the fact that it was Hashem who orchestrated the salvation. Most of mankind focuses on attaining salvation by dint of their own efforts. However, they ask Hashem to help. Shevet Levi focuses on asking Hashem to help, while providing an outlet of Hishtadlus as the means of His blessing to materialize. The difference between these approaches is the difference of Shevet Levi vs the rest of mankind.
By addressing Avrohom’s involvment before Hashem’s, Malki Tzedek in some degree, revealed that his approach resembled the common approach. Not the approach of Levi.November 3, 2011 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm #1125117
Very nice, BaalSechel! Keep’em coming, PLEEEEASE, I LOVE these divrei torah!!!November 4, 2011 3:39 am at 3:39 am #1125118
While preparing this week’s kria, I just noticed that the order of the conquests in the war in revii seems to be the same order that Moshe conquered ever hayarden in the end of sefer bamidbar.November 4, 2011 1:51 pm at 1:51 pm #1125119
ItchSrulik, interesting. I don’t have time to look that up now, but will look into that over Shabbos. Might it’s another case of Maasei ovos siman l’bonim, but I’m sure it’s a lot deeper than that.November 4, 2011 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #1125120
As they approached Mitzrayim, Avraham asked Sarah to claim that she was his sister. This was to protect him from the Egyptians who might lust after Sarah, and kill him if they were to know that he was her husband.
Why is it necessary for us to know that this discussion transpired as Avraham and Sarah drew close to their destination? Why, in fact, was an issue of such gravity not discussed prior to their departure from Eretz Canaan? The Midrash explains that as they neared their destination, Avraham became aware of Sarah’s exceptional beauty. Why is this the juncture where Avraham becomes aware of his wife’s beauty?
Mitzrayim was a country notorious for the immoral and lascivious behavior of its inhabitants. Generally, an individual living in such a society would be affected, even if he himself would not indulge in any perverse behavior. Perhaps the Torah is teaching us that although a tzaddik of Avraham’s caliber would not be dragged down by the immorality of the society where he lives, the influence of the society does have a subtle effect on him. In Avraham’s case, this manifested itself in his becoming aware of his wife’s beauty.
From Rabbi Zweig on the Parsha.November 5, 2011 8:58 pm at 8:58 pm #1125121
????? ???? ???? ???? ???? ????? ?? ??? ???? ?? ????? ??????…….. ????? ?? ???? ???? ?????? ????? ?????
and you shall tell your son on that day saying, ‘it is because of this that Hashem removed you from Egypt……you shall observe this decree at its designated time from year to year, (Exodus 13:8)
??? ????? ??? ??? ???? ??? ?’ ?? ??? ?? ????
???? ?? ?? ???? ???? ?????
there is a allusion of the answer to the wicked son, say to him, Hashem did (miracles) for me (when I left Egypt), (the Torah says, it is because of these Mitzvos that Hashem did) for me , (but not for people) like him, and if (the wicked son had been in Egypt) he would have not been worthy to be redeemed. (Rashi)
The wicked son asks ?? ????? ???? ????-what is this service to you?
This service (?????) refers to the Korban Pesach.
The purpose of the Korban Pesach was to repudiate the prime deity of the Egyptians the ‘lamb’, by slaughtering it in front of the Egyptian populace, it horrified them, by roasting it in front of the Egyptians eyes, it made them become disgusted, and the commandment not to break the Pascal lambs bones, which even after the Jews left Egypt, would serve as a rememberence to the Egyptians who after seeing whole lamb bones strewn around, that their is only One God, and their idol’s power was negated.
However the wicked son asks, this was in the ‘aincent’ times, a time of paganism and foolishness and their was a necessity to destroy this ‘sacrilege, but now when the whole world engages in monotheism,which is proven by our enlightned world, full of wisdom, and knowledge, surely this law (?????) is not relevant, the ‘bible’ must fit in with the changing times and places’, ?? ????? ???? ???????
The wicked son’s question is a apt description for Reform Judiasm.
The answer to the wicked son is as follows ??? ???? ?? -Hashem did this for me, the person must then relate that the miracles were done for him, lest he be influenced by this heretical thinking of the wicked son, He says ????? ?? ??? ???? ?? ????? ??????-, it doesn’t say, ‘with this Hashem removed you from Egypt, but it says because of this (the Korban Pesach) that Hashem removed you from Egypt. In other words it was the Mitzvas of the Pascal lamb, that was kept before the Exodous, before Creation, the Patriarchs kept the whole Torah (Talmud Yoma 28b ) so therefore God did all the miracles so this Mitzva would be kept. Then it says ????? ?? ???? ???? ?????? ????? ?????, you shall observe this decree at its designated time from year to year, it is a ??? ‘decree’, we cannot understand its reasons, and it applies to all generations, to remember this Mitzva.
(Beis Halevi)November 8, 2011 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #1125122
Rav Tzodok HaKohen explains that it might appear to us that the tefillos of Avroham Avinu on behalf of the cities of Sedom and Amora were not answered. However Chaza”l say that no tefilla goes unanswered. Avrohom’s tefillos created the sparks from which Moshiach would one day come to the world and bring a true geula for all mankind. And, in fact, Lot, who was the forebear of Rus and eventually Moshiach ben Dovid, was rescued from the destruction of Sedom! But there is no such thing as a wasted tefilla. Every time we daven it affects and changes things. We might not see the result immediately, but we have to know that our tefillos are effective.
I once read (can’t remember where) about a man who gave a speech about the power of tefilla. It was about a month after R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach passed away and Klal Yisroel still felt its loss. “There are those of you who davened for R’ Auerbach’s recovery for many weeks. And some may think that perhaps it was a waste of time and nothing ever came of those tefillos. Afterall, he died. But for those of you who know me, know that I have been sick for many months and not until recently was I released from my regular hospital visits, and daily medications. Now I have a clean bill of health. How? Because my name is Shlomo Zalman ben Tzivia. The exact same name as R’Auerbach zt”l’s name. Now, it’s only a theory, and I cannot be conclusive, but PERHAPS many of your tefillos took an alternate route and ended up landing in MY lap, and saved Me.”
All tefillos are heard. All tefillos have results.November 10, 2011 2:38 am at 2:38 am #1125123
Yasher Koach BaalHabooze. I heard a similar thought from my Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Elya Svei Zatzal. He said that Avrahm Avinu’s Tfila remains in effect to help in future situations throughout the Doros. He said that the same is true of the heartfelt tefillos poured out in the holocaust. They may not have helped for that generation, but they help for future Doros.November 10, 2011 2:52 am at 2:52 am #1125124
Short, very deep thought on Vayeira.
The Medrash says the Malachim, since they revealed the secrets of Hashem (they told Lot of His plan to destroy Sedom) were expelled from the inner sanctum of Hashem. They only returned when Yakov saw them on the Ladder.
Questions : How do Malachim sin? What is the middah k’neged middah here? Why return by the ladder?
Malachim can sin if they are exposed to human behaviour.
The Gr”a says that we can’t have malachim like the Bais Yosef did, because our world these days can corrupt Malachim. The Arizal says that is why Hashem had to smite the Mitzrim by Himself. It was too dangerous for a Malach.
A person is supposed to be strong with himself, and soft with others. See first Gaon in Rus for elaberation.
The Sdomim got it reversed. They were cruel to others, yet they were Chatoim, sinners for themselves. What was supposed to be inside (self control) was revealed to others, and vice versa.
A Malach exposed to this can reveal what is inside. His punishment is that the malach who should be inside, is expelled outward.
Yakov epitomized truth, which is putting everything in its right place. In his days, the malachim can return.
The Sdomim got their ultimate punishment, when they got
overturned. What was revealed of them was now buried.November 15, 2011 2:59 pm at 2:59 pm #1125125
PARSHAS CHAYEI SARAH
There’s a vort from the Belzer Rebbe ZT”L on this week’ parshah which is fantastic! He asks a very strong question. Before Eliezer found Rivkah, he had no idea who will marry Yitzchok. Yet it says when the marriage proposal was finalized with the family, Eliezer brought gifts for the family. He brought fruits from E”Y-(that’s a thoughtful gift! Everyone enjoys a good delicious refreshing food) He brought jewlery for Rivka (smart gift! Any woman would accept those!) and also clothes. Asks the Belzer Rebbe, what SIZE clothes did he bring?? Yitzchok’s bashert could be ANYONE! so maybe she’ll be small, maybe she’ll be heavy, or maybe thin….???
The question is a beauty, but the answer is even BETTER:
He says he didn’t bring clothes for Rivka to WEAR, he brought a sample of tzniusdig’ clothes to SHOW her that THIS is the FASHION and STYLE clothes that one wears in an Avrohom Ovinu’s house!
In Lovon’s house, I don’t know what you wear, low cut, mini skirts, whatever,…well, that may fly over around HERE, but if you want to marry Yitzchok, the Living Korbon, and wish to become a Matriarch for Klal Yisroel…THIS is the dress code and type of clothes worn by Imohos HaKedoshim!November 16, 2011 1:59 am at 1:59 am #1125126
Very chassidish ,like it!November 17, 2011 1:51 pm at 1:51 pm #1125127
Here’s another beauty.
The gemorah learns out you can marry a woman with money from the gezeira shova from our parsha:” ???? ????? ….???? ???? ????? ?????.”
The troubling aspect with this is, why not say it straight out! Why send us to the story of Efroin, where Avrohom bought land from him, why does the torah make us read about this greedy conceited man Efroin, I mean, my gosh, do we really have to come on to HIM to learn out money can be used for marriage?? Say it out:???? ???? ???? ?????? (??????? ????)!
The answer is that we see something interesting by that meeting, from BOTH parties involved. Efroin thought he’s getting the deal of the century by selling this dark old cave for a clearly overpriced cost. Avrohom was more than delighted to pay for this burial plot which Odom and Chava were buried in. Each one beleived HE got the better end of the deal! AND THAT’S HOW PEOPLE SHOULD ENTER A MARRIAGE!!! Both the chosson and the kalla should look each other in the eye and think to themself, Wow I can’t beleive my fortune! I won the lottery! My bashert is the greatest thing ever, I can’t beleive how lucky I am!
Now, go use this vort by your next sheva brochos 🙂November 17, 2011 5:35 pm at 5:35 pm #1125128
There was this woman, pregnant in her 9th, and it was getting close to shabbos, when she felt something. The husband says go to the hospital she says no, not yet, and a whole long dispute ensues. Time creeps by and she suddenly feels a painful contraction. It was so close to shabbos, but the husband had already made arrangements, so he quickly brought the kids to the babysitter’s house and then rushed his wife to the hospital.
Anyway, she goes into labor, and before you know it the baby pops out, healthy and happily -mazel tov- and all is well! Shortly after, the husband goes back to check up on the kids and arrives late Friday night at his home where he collapses in his bed into a deep sleep.
The next morning in shul he gets an aliyah of course and, because it was Parshas Chayei Sara, he names his new baby, “Rivka”. B”H he had bought food before Shabbos, just in case, and he even gave a little kiddush/L’chaim after davening. Later that day he goes up to visit his wife+baby in the hospital, and she asks him how the Shalom Zachor was. “Shalom Zachor??”
Apparently, the whole ordeal on erev shabbos was in such a rush and so fartumult, he had mistakenly thought the baby was a girl!
So the shaila was brought to R’Elyashiv Shli”ta, what to name the baby boy. He paskened, that since ????? ??????, and they had originally “named” the baby ‘Rivka’, they should name the boy Yitzchok. ????.
It’s brought down in seforim, that when the father names his baby, it is with Ryach Hakodesh, that this name ‘taiches’ up the metziyus and essence of the child. And every father names the child with precisely that name which was ultimately destined for that baby. The couple in the story did not plan to call their baby Yizchok. Originally they had a differnt name. Hashem had to orchestrate this whole rush, bilbul, etc. in order for this baby to end up with its proper name, Yizchok.November 17, 2011 8:22 pm at 8:22 pm #1125129
The pesukim(23:17-20) which discuss the selling of machpelah states twice that the land of efhfron belongs to Avraham,why the redundancy?
The Ramabam Holds like Rav Hai Gaon that land is not acquired by a Jew until he digs or makes a change to the property.If a Jew pays money to a non Jew the property leaves the non Jews reshus but does not enter the Jews until he does something to the land.
Now we can reconcile the redundancy. The fist time the Torah mentions that Avraham acquired the land it says in the eyes of the children of chet(they thought he wasn’t a Jew). Since he paid they thought he owned it. When the Torah mentions Avraham’s ownership the second time it mentions that Avraham buried Sarah his wife (he worked the land) and in this instance the Torah considered the land to be his. (meshech Chachma)November 17, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm #1125130
Parshas Chayei Sarah
A beautiful vort heard from Rav Yitzchok Gleizel Shlit”a, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Yagdil Torah in Yerushalayim:
Lavan says to Eliezer, “Come, Blessed one of Hashem”. Chazal say at that point Eliezer no longer bore the curse of Canaan.
The question is, why then.
The reason for Canaan’s curse of slavery is because he was self centred. The entire world was split into only three portions, and he worried about a fourth.
The eitza can only be slavery, toiling completely for another person.
When Eliezer gave all to Avraham, he was no longer under the curse of Canaan. “Come, the blessed one of Hashem”November 18, 2011 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #1125131
sam4321 , that was a nice pshat! Yasher Koach!
BaalSechel, that was beautiful! Unfortunately for Eliezer, he became a ben boruch and no longer a ben orur, exactly when the shidduch was made. So now it was too late to propose HIS daughter to Yitzchok, something which he wished to do. I guess it was bashert!
Let’s keep these divrei torah flowing!!November 18, 2011 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #1125132
BaalHabooze, It was precisely the mesiras nefesh of forgoing the shidduch that got him there. In a deeper sense, this act merited him eternal life (he never died, as chazal tell us). Eternity has no bounds; his Brocha was limitless.November 24, 2011 7:23 pm at 7:23 pm #1125133
Where do Chazal say that Eliezer never died?November 24, 2011 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #1125134
Sam2: He could be referring to the Gemara in Bava Basra 58 with the story with R’ Bana’ah.November 25, 2011 1:16 am at 1:16 am #1125135
Actually, I heard it once from Rav Shmuel Kamenetzki many years ago. He may have said that it was a Pirkei D’Rabi Elozor, but he was definitely quoting a Medrashic source.November 25, 2011 1:37 am at 1:37 am #1125136
A short but extremely deep thought on Parshas Toldos.
Obvious question: Why did Yitzchok intend to give the Brochos to Esav and not to Yakov.
Answer: There were two Brochos. One of Rulership, intended for Esav. One of the Mesorah, the Birchas Avrohom, given to Yakov before he left to Choron.
True rulership begins at home. Only someone with a powerful Yetzer Hora can experience true rulership. In a deeper sense, the term melech refers to a king that is chosen, as opposed to a Moshel, a dictator. It is the Yetzer Hora, who forces us to choose our relationship with G-d, as opposed to naturaly following Him.
The stronger the Yetzer Hora, the greater of a choice we have, the greater meaning we give to G-d’s rulership upon his being vanquished.
The point of a Jewish king is to reflect the Divine rulership in this world.
Dovid Hamelech ultimately accomplished what Esav was supposed to have done. He was endowed with a mighty Yetzer Hora, which he overcame with unparalleled effort.
Yitzchok knew that only Esav had in his lot this necessary prerequisite to rulership. He was right. However, by receiving Esav’s Brocha in his stead, Yakov absorbed Esav’s lot in addition to his own. His subsequent sojourn to Charan, to face the unprecedented exposure to the house of Lavan, forced him to combat evil in a manner previously unknown to him.
When people said the big (Leah) for the big (Esav) they were correct. The Medrash Rabbah says that she, who containes the seeds of Davidic rulership, was predestined for Esav. Yakov, with his newfound role ultimately took even her.
Bottom line. Every urge of the Yetzer Hora that we experience is an opportunity for true expression of Divine Rulership.November 30, 2011 3:19 pm at 3:19 pm #1125137
BaalSechal – VERY nice!! That was a deep thought! The truth is that Malchus, rulership, is a middah that anyone can be koyneh. As Chazal tell us, that for a period of time, all that Shlomo HaMelech ruled over was his own walking stick. He was left with nothing but a cane, yet we are told he reigned over this cane. How do you ‘rule’ over a cane?! We see that Malchus is a Middah, not something dependent on having a palace, wealth or an army. And as you pointed out, Eisav could have been koyneh this middah to the highest level, even more than Yaakov, yet he failed.November 30, 2011 7:00 pm at 7:00 pm #1125138
originial thinkerMemberNovember 30, 2011 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #1125139
When Leah had her fourth child she named him Yehuda saying, ????? ???? ?? ??. then the ????? continues ????? ???? she stopped giving birth.December 2, 2011 2:57 am at 2:57 am #1125140
Really great piece BH thanks.December 2, 2011 3:37 am at 3:37 am #1125141
Short and beautiful thought on Veyeitzei tht I heard from Rav Yitzchok Gleizel shlit”a, Rosh Yeshivas Yagdil Torah in Yerushalayim.
We are accustomed to thinking that Rochel lost out by sharing the simanim that Yaakov gave her, with her sister. She could have been the sole progenitor of klal Yisroel, yet her sister took the lion’s share.
In reality the opposite is true. Rochel was an akkara. She would not have had any of the Shevatim. The children that she did have was only Vayizkor Elokim… He remembered that she shared the simanim, as Rashi explains.
Furthermore, Rashi brings Admon k’vot ki lo choloh etc., that she would have wound up by Esav.
Ultimately, giving the simanim, far from being detrimental to her, was the source of everything she had.December 2, 2011 2:20 pm at 2:20 pm #1125142
Goq- yw, I’m so glad you enjoyed!
BaalSechel: great ha’ara! but can you really say Rochel wouldn’t have had any children if she was the only wife of Yaakov? How would we have the shevotim? (Through Bilhah, i guess….? I guess.) In any case, I liked that shtikel, as I ‘tahkeh’ always felt bad for Rochel and felt she had given up the most dearest thing to her heart, and ‘sacrificed’ it for her sister’s sake.December 4, 2011 1:36 am at 1:36 am #1125143
She would not have been Rochel Imeunu had she witheld the simanim from Leah.December 9, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am #1125146
Short thought on Parshas Vayishlach. Yakov says, “Kotonti MiKol HaChasadim etc.” the simple meaning is that I am unworthy of the good that you have dealt me. Rashi refuses to explain it like that, saying instead that “I have become small because of all the kindness etc. that you have performed on my behalf”. The question is that kotonti literally means I have become small. According to Rashi’s explanation it should say niskatnu zechuyosai, or something to that effect.
The answer is that ultimately a person is nothing more than his zechuyos. Only they have true significance, and in the ultimate sense only they define the true essence of a person’s being.
I once heard from Rav Moshe Shapiro shlit”a that people have a mistaken notion of Olam Habba. They think that resembles Olam Hazeh, only they they will be a bit frummer. Actually, Olam Habbah is a place where a person has no existance beyond what they managed to create while in Olam Hazeh.
This is actually quite a sobering thought as to how we view the pursuit of mitzvos. We are doing nothing less than defining our eternal existence.
Getting back to the Parsha, this is what Yakov was saying I have become smaller because of my zechsim having been consumed. Yakov, the Av who represented the ultimate, eternal truth, viewed his existence as nothing more than his zechusim.December 16, 2011 3:26 am at 3:26 am #1125147
Thought on Parshas Vayeshev:
Yosef holds sinners liable, as he establishes that human nature is indeed stronger than his baser inclination.
The question is that Yosef experienced the apperation of his father who showed him the potential he has of being on the efod. How can this possibly apply to other people.
The answer is that every person has the ability to be a unique being, unlike anyone who ever lived. In his/her specific area, all people have the ability, if they live their life correctly (which few do), to be truly unique.
In the context of one- of – a – kind there is no difference between Yosef’s potential, or anyone else’s potential. They are both priceless (something that has no parallel has no limit on its value).
This is enough to encourage all of mankind to overcome their smallness, precisely the way it did for Yosef.December 21, 2011 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #1125148
Chanuka is said to be the ‘festival’ of the Oral Torah, so why is there no Gemora about Chanuka? We have by Purim, Pesach, Succos, but why not by Chanuka?
Rav Nissan Kaplan shlit”a suggests a beautiful answer:
The Greeks did not try to destroy us physically, they tried to destroy our Torah – our identity. So, when it was time for Rebbe to write down the Mishnayos due to fear that the Jewish People would start to forget the Oral Torah, to some extent, the Greeks had succeeded. They had taken our Oral Torah and to a degree, reduced it. So, when it came to Chanuka, the time when we celebrate our success over the Greeks and their values, Rebbe could not let Chanuka be written down into Mishnayos, Chanuka had to remain as the Oral Torah in its unchanged form. So even though the Greeks succeeded in a way, by causing our Oral Torah to be written down, at least when it came to Chanuka, the ‘festival of the Oral Torah’, that would have to be learned totally orally without any Mishnayos.December 23, 2011 12:45 am at 12:45 am #1125149
Thanks Ba’al HaBoozeDecember 23, 2011 12:53 am at 12:53 am #1125150
Short thought on Miketz/ Shabbos Chanuka:
Both Chanuka and Purim are alluded to in the seuda that Yosef ate with his brothers. ????? ??? ???? contains the word Chanuka. Yosef gives five changes of attire to Binyamin, signifying Purim. The question is, what is the connection of this seuda with Chanuka and Purim?
The Seforim (see Pri Tzaddik) explain that Yosef represented the Shechina, and the Shevatim represented Klal Yisroel.
Let us conjure up an image of this Seuda. The Shevatim are still separated from Yosef, not fathoming who he really is.
Yet within the state of separation a bond takes place – they enjoy a seuda together, even drinking to the point of getting drunk, something they refrained from doing since the start of their separation.
That is Chanuka and Purim. Still in Golus, still distant from the Shechina, yet able to celebrate some sort of bond within the shackles of Golus itself.
This really speaks to us, in today’s generation.December 29, 2011 3:21 pm at 3:21 pm #1125151
And our father said, ‘Go back – buy for us a little food'” (Bereshis 44:25). Apart from the obvious meaning, there is a deeper one. When it says, ‘our father said go back’, we can understand that our Father in Heaven said to us, ‘Repent – come back to me’. ‘Buy us some’ (Shivru Lanu in Hebrew), can be broken down as follows:
‘Lanu’ (for us) in Gematria equals G-d’s Name of judgement, ‘Elo-kim’. ‘Shivru’ (buy) can also be read as ‘break’. We can thus read this as: ‘through repentance you can break all the decrees of harsh judgements’.
Part of repentance is depriving oneself. When a person holds himself back from eating something he desires, it is considered like a Korban (offering). In the Tana Debei Eliyahu it says that bad occurrences come on account of eating and drinking. If so, a person should not be obsessed with eating and drinking, but should be satisfied with ‘a little food’ (Me’at Ochel).December 30, 2011 2:38 am at 2:38 am #1125152
Thought on Parshas Vayegash: “And Yakov sent Yehuda before him to Goshen, Lehoros”. Rashi explains that means to establish a yeshiva. The question is why Yehuda and not Levi, who represents the bearers of Torah, Yoru Mishpatecha L’Yakov?
Answer: There ae two types of talmidei chachomim. One is someone who stands above the yetzer hora (i.e. his yetzer is of limited strength), immersed in learning to the extent that there is little for the yetzer to do. The other is one who needs to vanquish his powerful yetzer, and does so successfuly. Levi represents the former, Yehuda the latter (see dvar torah about parshas Toldos).
One who has experienced, and overcome, the enticements of the yetzer can much more easily relate to the next generation, and help them overcome their difficulties. It is he who should become the next generations Rosh Yeshiva, helping others to accomplish what he has accomplished himself.December 30, 2011 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #1125153
The Torah says that Yosef gave Binyamin 300 pieces of silver. The question is why davka 300?
The Tosfos Hashalem answers that in mesches gittin(44a) it is brought down if someone sells his slave to a goy he has to pay back 10 times the value of the slave. In parshas Mishpatim it says if one’s animal kills someones slave they owe the owner 30 pieces of silver(worth of a slave is 30).We see from here that the brothers owe 300 pieces of silver (30*10),and Yosef hinted to them that this was a kenas(fine).December 30, 2011 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #1125154
BaalSechel, thank you for your Dvar Torah, it is very pertaining to the kiruv situation nowadays and I agree with your insight very much. Thank you.January 4, 2012 6:24 am at 6:24 am #1125155
Parshas V’yechiei: Yaakov says to Yosef ” ????????? ?????????? ??? ?????? ????? .??????? ??? ??????????? ???????? ??????? ????? ????????? ???? ??? ???????” what does this expression mean: “I had not expected to see [even] your face, and behold, God has shown me your children too.”
There is a Gemara in Yevomas(60b) which says when one has immoral relations his face will have a greenish tinge(a sign of sin).So Yaakov was happy to see Yosef’s face was clear.However,that was not enough because there is a gemara in Shabbas(110) that brings down a concoction that if one drinks it his face will be clear of the greenish tinge. The gemara goes on to say that if one drinks it the side effect is sterility.
Now we can fully appreciate Yaakov’s words.It was a double reaction,one that your face is clear,and I see you have children(didn’t drink potion).This means that Yosef was pure of sin.(Chanukas HaTorah)January 6, 2012 2:39 am at 2:39 am #1125156
Short, beautiful thought on Vayechi, heard from Rav Yitzchok Gleizel, Rosh Yeshivas Yagdil Torah of Yerushalayim.
Why is Parshas VaYechi a closed Parsha [No break between itself and Parshas Vayegash]? To say that when Yakov passed on,the eyes and heart of the Yidden became closed from the difficulty of the servitude (Rashi).
The nature of difficulty is that it causes one to become completely self absorbed in his own difficulty, to the point that he is oblivious to what happens to his neighbor. That is what is meant by “the closing of the heart and the mind”.
Geula, slavation, is the opposite. By Moshe it says, “he gave his eye and his heart to see the difficulty of his friend”. That is the harbinger to true freedom from Golus.January 13, 2012 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #1125157
Short thought on Parshas Shemos: When Shifra and Pu’ah feared the Almighty, He made for them houses.
Rashi brings from the medrash that He built them houses of Priesthood, and houses of Monarchy.
Priesthood from Shifra, Monarchy from Pu’ah. The question is if they both acted similarly, why did they establish different types of houses?
The Medrash describes Shifra as one whose deeds were upright (Shifra from Leshaper)and she would straighten the child. Pu’ah would fight Paroh, and awaken the child when people considered him dead.
The function of a Kohen is to guide klal Yisroel when things are happening properly; it is the function of the king to fight their enemies, and awaken and compel people to accept Divine sovereignity, even when they don’t feel like doing so.
Therefore, they each got rewarded based on their deeds and personality traits.January 15, 2012 6:13 am at 6:13 am #1125158
Parshas Shemos: There is a Prisha(YD:264) which brings a fascinating medrash on why we use a metal knife for bris milah as opposed to a stone which was used previously(Tzipporah used a stone,sefer Yehoshua).
He explains when Dovid Hamelech threw the stone at Goliath a conversation between the stone and Goliath’s armor was transpiring. The stone said let me penetrate your armor, but the armor said my job is to protect. The stone said if you give me this honor then I will give you a honor that will last in every generation and that is bris milah.January 18, 2012 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm #1125159
On the flip side, if they were Nazis, if they just hated us and wanted to be rid of us: Why try to stop us from leaving? Why enslave us at all; why not just kill us?
Other nations can receive blessing also; it will be through Abraham and his nation. Israel is the central source of blessing in the world.
What could Egypt do about it? The right thing or the wrong thing. At first, Egypt tried to draw close to Israel, to do as much kindness for them as possible. Eventually, however, they decided to try to take what they wanted without earning it; to get the blessing by controlling its source.
(from R’ Michoel Reach, jewishanswers.org)
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