הריני בא ללמוד תורה לשמה לעשות נחת רוח לאבינו שבשמים מוצאי שבת ר"ת
ט"ז אב תשע"ט 17 Aug 2019
Rabbi Eli Hersh Kolel Hachodosh
STICKING TO YOUR GUNS “ושמרתם ועשיתם כי היא חכמתכם ובינתכם לעיני ”העמים אשר ישמעון את כל החוקים האלה )ו:(דברים ד
You shall safeguard [them] and perform them, for it is your wisdom and understanding in the eyes of the peoples who shall hear all these statutes… בזאת תחשבו חכמים ונבונים לעיני העמים: רש’’י
Through this you will be considered wise and understanding in the eyes of the peoples. (Artscroll Translation) In other words, solely through keeping Hashem’s Mitzvos will we achieve prestige among non-Jews. Many Jews throughout history have held fast to the fallacy that in order to be held in high esteem among the Gentiles, we must endeavour to impress them with our worldliness, our sophistication, our Nobel prize record. But the Torah (and History) reveals to us that the opposite is true. The more we attempt to prove ourselves to them, the less they respect us. (In the words of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, “Non-Jews respect Jews who respect their Judaism, and they are embarrassed by Jews who are embarrassed by their Judaism.”)
What does seem a bit odd, however, is the Torah telling us this as a motive for us to keep the Torah. Surely the opinion of non-Jews shouldn’t be our primary motivation. Is there no better reason out there for us to do Mitzvos, other than a bit of ego-stroking? The Kli Yakar provides the answer to this, with a basic yet profound psychological insight: For better or for worse, people are influenced by the opinions of others. Simply put, the Torah doesn’t mean to imply that the above is a reason to keep the Torah. Rather, it is addressing a part of our psyche that may be restricting our Avodas Hashem - intimidated by fear of public opinion. It is this aspect of us that the Torah wishes to reassure that on the contrary – being a Torah-True Jew will earn us the respect of the world. (Hence the wording of the Posuk. – כל החוקיםall of the Mitzvos. The intention is to include our performance of the Mitzvos Chuki’im, such as Shatnez or Parah Aduma, which lacking a human rationale, would seem to invite ridicule.) The Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l in Likutei Sichos makes it clear that the Geula hinges on Jews feeling and acting as Jews in an increasingly secular world. It goes without saying that we should
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N OW R E AC H
R’ Sacks adds that “Ambivalence spells the end of identity, because it cannot be passed on to our children.” Only a strong sense of mission will enable the continuity of Klal Yisroel. M
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never allow the opinions of others to dictate the way we should live our lives. Secular ideals and cultures have no place in our homes and our communities. Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlit”a interprets the posuk (based on a Gemara in Taanis) “Eretz asher avaneha barzel…” – “a land whose stones are iron” – that our leaders need to be strong like iron, to prevent our communities falling to the winds of change.
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Oneg Shabbos Issue 214
The Depth of our Shema Rabbi Daniel Fine Community Rabbi, Stanmore and Canons Park US; Hasmonean Beis Programme
The start of Mishnayos Brachos speaks about the mitzvah of Shema – why begin with this mitzvah? Based on the Tzlach, it seems that Chazal wanted to echo the sentiments of the first of the Dibros. Since the Dibros open with emunah and yichud Hashem, the first mitzvah of the Torah She’be’al Peh is Shema – which revolves around emunah and yichud Hashem. As the Nefesh Hachaim (3:6 and 3:11) explains: the kavanah a person should have when uttering ‘echad’ is that Hashem is completely one – and there is nothing apart from Him…One should also focus on the fact that Hashem is the source of our neshamos and the lives of everything here. This is also why we utter baruch shem quietly. For the Gemara Pesachim (56a) writes that our saying baruch shem quietly is comparable to a princess
who desires some food. The princess cannot openly ask for it, for that is beneath her dignity. But she does crave it, so she cannot ignore that. Therefore, they bring it to her secretly and quietly. It seems from this Gemara that our saying baruch shem is an embarrassment for Hashem?! The answer is that for Hashem it is indeed an insult! For ants to declare a human as their king is an insult to the king. For mere humans to declare Hashem as king is also in essence beneath Hashem’s dignity. Yet due to His humility, He gave us an opportunity to earn closeness to Him and praise Him. This is why we utter baruch shem quietly (though on Yom Kippur we are at the level where we are uninhibited by our physical faculties – we are akin to angels and can therefore praise Hashem fully and loudly). We can now understand what happened to Rabbi Akiva. For the Gemara (Brachos 61b) tells us that when they took Rabbi Akiva out to be killed, it was time for Shema and while the Romans were combing his flesh with metal spikes, he was accepting malchus shamayim. The students asked Rabbi Akiva ‘is this the extent one must go?’ to which Rabbi Akiva replied ‘all my life I have been waiting to fulfil the pasuk bechol nafshecha – even if they take your soul. Now that I am in a position to fulfil it, should I turn away?’ Rabbi Akiva said the word echad in a long, extended fashion, and he died whilst saying it. The Maharal asks why Rabbi Akiva died with the word echad – why not with the words bechol nafshecha? The Maharal asks elsewhere how is it possible to love Hashem? Love only exists between two equal (or somewhat comparable) beings, not between a finite human and an infinite G-d! He explains that we can find the answer from love between husband and wife. For though man and woman are very different, they can love each other. How? Because love is an outgrowth of love of one’s self. We have a natural
predisposition to loving oneself. The way we love others is by seeing them as part of us. A successful marriage sees both blend into one partnership; they complete each other. The love exists because they realise that there are not two disconnected people here – they are one. In saying this, we can be commanded to love Hashem, because He is the source of everything – we are His. We are intimately connected to Him, more so than towards another human being in fact. This is why Rabbi Akiva died with the word echad on his lips. For Rabbi Akiva was so enwrapped with a consciousness of Hashem’s existence that He was mevatel himself to Hashem. He no longer associated himself with his body (he therefore did not feel the pain of the Roman torture) – he was the soul. This was the echad he died with – that unity and making Hashem part of a person is the root of being able to give up one’s life for Him, and indeed the root of loving Hashem. The Yefei Einayim references the Yerushalmi which records that Turnus Rufus was astounded that Rabbi Akiva’s face showed only jot, no pain. The reason was, because (as the Maharam MiRotenberg writes in a teshuva) one who gives himself over le’shem shamayim will not feel pain. How can we tap into this on our level? The Shulchan Aruch (OC 61:1) writes that a person should say Shema with fear and trepidation. The Mishnah Brurah (61:3) adds that a person should visualise themselves being asked to give up their lives for Hashem. This means genuinely picturing a vivid scenario of being threatened with death or idolatry. If we wish to pass that ordeal (even if we never face it), it is considered as if we did, as it says for You we have been killed all day (Tehilim 44:23). When we look into our lives and are able to genuinely dedicate them to Hashem, we will have realised and understood the yichud Hashem of the Shema. M
17 August 2019
ט"ז אב תשע"ט
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Rabbi Dov Fisher Torah Temimah Primary School
Entering the Comfort Zone
ebbi Shimon ben Gamliel tells us that there are no Yomim Tovim which quite parallel those of Yom Kippur and Tu B’Av. The Gemora towards the end of Ta’anis immediately asks, what is the significance of Tu B’Av? Yom Kippur of course needs no lengthy discourse to explain its greatness. The day on which all of the Jewish people’s sins are forgiven has, and always will be a day of great spiritual elevation and joy. But why Tu B’Av? What is the greatness that lies behind this day which causes it to rank higher than all of the other Yomin Tovim? The Gemoro relays several opinions as to why there is cause for celebration on Tu B’Av. The most perplexing reason is that of Rav Masno, who explains that it was the day on which that those who were massacred by the Romans in the great city of Beitar were allowed to be buried. On that day, adds Rav Masno, the Brocho of “”הטוב והמטיב was instituted by the Chachomim in Yavne. “”הטוב that the bodies did not rot and “ ”המטיבthat the bodies were buried. The searing question is how does burying bodies from a gruesome massacre justify creating a Yom Tov which, according to the Gemoro, supersedes almost every other festivity in the Jewish calendar? True, the refusal of the Romans to allow their burial only intensified the incredible sorrow of our nation and thus the mass burial was certainly positive, yet closure to suffering is not in and of itself a reason for national celebration.
people who had just been driven out of their homeland and who were incredibly frightened at the prospect of living amongst the nations of the world. He wanted to show them that He is still going to be with them at every step of the way even in Golus. When the Jewish people realised the Yechezkel was still receiving prophecy even after Churban and in Chutz L’oretz, they understood that despite all the terrible sins they had committed and were responsible for, Hashem would always be watching over them whenever and wherever they may find themselves. The Zohar goes further to say that not only the fact that Yechezkel received prophecy in Chutz L’oretz inspired the Jewish people at their point of greatest sorrow, but the very vision itself which Yechezkel saw a means to strengthen their resolve. The vision of Hashem’s own chariot surrounded by the fiery angels escorting the Jewish nation into Golus sent the message that, not only has Hashem not abandoned us, but rather He will be with us always, even at the darkest of times. But that was after the destruction of the first Beis Hamikdosh when direct prophecy still existed. Following the second Churban, however, after the vicious rampage and destruction which the Romans wrought, it was not so clear that Hashem was still watching over them. Yet when they saw that the bodies of the הרוגי ביתר
The Yom Tov of Tu B’Av is so great because it reminds us of the boundless love which Hashem has for us always. It is this realisation which gives us the strength to endure this incredibly long, harsh and dark Golus
There is a well-known teaching of Chazal, that a Novi can only experience prophecy within the borders of Eretz Yisroel. It is for this reason that Yona Hanovi fled to Chutz L’oretz to avoid Hashem. He was fully cognisant of the fact that Hashem exists everywhere, but he ran in order to avoid experiencing any further prophecy. The question many of the commentaries ask therefore, is how could Yechezkel Hanovi receive his incredible prophecy of the מעשה המרכבהwhen the Possuk clearly states that he was in the diaspora?
Rashi answers simply that prophecy cannot begin outside of Eretz Yisroel, but if it has already begun it may continue on into Chutz L’oretz. According to Rashi therefore, Hashem rested His Presence on Yechezkel in Eretz Yisroel, and he was therefore able to continue in the same state even in Chutz L’oretz. The Malbim, however gives an alternative explanation which is truly inspiring. He writes that in truth the prophecy did begin in Chutz L’oretz yet here Hashem made an exception to the rule. Hashem made this exception in order to comfort the Jewish
had miraculously not begun to rot the Jewish people realised that despite everything Hashem continued to love them as always. They internalised the idea that just as a fathers love for his son never dies despite the necessity to discipline on occasion, so too the love that Hashem has for us is infinite and will always continue to exist forever. The Yom Tov of Tu B’Av is so great because it reminds us of the boundless love which Hashem has for us always. It is this realisation which gives us the strength to endure this incredibly long, harsh and dark Golus, and it is with this realisation that we will soon merit to see the third Beis Hamikdosh. M
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Oneg Shabbos Issue 214
'Wholeheartedly' Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW Rabbi, Kehillat New Hempstead Rebbe/Guidance Counselor, Heichal HaTorah Principal, Ohr Naftoli, New Windsor
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During a lecture given on Tisha B’av a number of years ago, Harav Matisyahu Salomon shlita, the Lakewood Mashgiach, related the following personal story:
hen I was a young man I was a student in the Gateshead Yeshiva. The yeshiva had a hundred and twenty-five students; not large quantitatively, but qualitatively tremendous. The building was fairly small and we were packed onto the benches. The tables were so narrow that the volumes of gemara before us all overlapped each other. If a student wanted to turn the page he had to ask everyone around him to lift their gemaras first. Yet despite it all we sat and studied with tremendous diligence. “One day a Dayan from London came to visit the yeshiva. When he addressed the student body he explained that he did not wish to deliver a lecture. Rather he wanted to read to us a page from an American journal that he had read the week prior. “The article was written by an obviously irreligious Jew, albeit who possessed an appreciation for Jewish history. In the article the author explained that, along with a group of journalists, he was invited on a European tour. When they arrived in England one of the places they visited was a village in Northeast England called Wallsend. “Wallsend is an ancient village that dates back almost two millennia. When the Romans invaded and conquered England they constructed a wall to serve as a barrier to keep the mighty Scottish Picks out of England. The wall was called Hadrian’s Wall after the Roman Emperor. The village where the wall ended was aptly called Wallsend. Today there is nothing left of the wall except for a few moss-covered stones in the village of Wallsend. It is nothing more than a tourist attraction1.
1 In Rabbi Salomon’s words, “I’m not sure what you do when you arrive at the wall, other than to have a picnic and a beer next to the wall before leaving.”
“The day the journalist arrived at Wallsend he recalled that he had yahrtzeit for his mother and he wanted to recite kaddish in her memory. When he asked the tour guide if there were any Jewish Services in the area, the guide replied that there was a school in the village of Gateshead ten miles away. There he would be sure to find any religious service he needed. “The journalist wrote that he arrived at the yeshiva in the middle of the afternoon. He had never been in a yeshiva before and the sight that greeted him was extraordinary. There were tens of young men huddled together on small benches studying, debating, and arguing with passion and vibrancy. The journalist did not comprehend anything they were saying, but he stood and watched spellbound. But then he overheard something which caught his attention. One student called out to his friend, “But Rabbi Akiva says…!” Those words reverberated in his ears. “Even after they destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, the Romans understood that their job was incomplete. In order to destroy the Jewish People, they had to stop the public study and teaching of Torah. Rabbi Akiva’s execution was commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. His crime was that he taught Torah publicly. Hadrian ordered Rabbi Akiva to be killed in a most barbaric and heinous fashion to serve as an example of the severe consequences for teaching Torah. Yet today, centuries later, Hadrian and the Roman Empire are long gone, relegated to the history books and symbolized by a few moss-covered stones. Rabbi Akiva, on the other hand, is alive and well. His teachings and legacy are still being promulgated and studied today!2 Rabbi Salomon concluded that the story gave him so much encouragement because it serves as a powerful representation of Hashem’s Promise, “But despite all this3, when they will be in the land of their enemies, I will not have been revolted by them nor will I have rejected them to obliterate them, to annul My covenant with them – for I am Hashem, their G-d4.” Rashi 2 Rabbi Salomon added that, in his opinion, “that is the only reason why there is a ridiculous place called Wallsend and why people still go to look at those stones. Because those stones are a testimony that Torah is Min Hashamayim (Divinely Ordained).” 3 i.e. the harsh curses that will befall Klal Yisroel when they do not hearken to the Word of G-d 4 Vayikra 26:44
17 August 2019
ט"ז אב תשע"ט
explains that a Jew must never think that the atrocities of exile prove that Hashem no longer loves and favors Klal Yisroel. His love for us is boundless, and even in exile the covenant remains in full force. All of the empires and countries that have sought to vanquish and obliterate us are gone. Yet we remain. That is the greatest sign of His love for us. The verses of Shema, recited thrice daily, form the cornerstone of our faith, responsibility, and devotion to Hashem. A Jew is obligated to state with conviction, “You shall love Hashem, your G-d, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your “Me’od”5.” The gemara6 offers two explanations of the word ‘me’od’: The first explanation is that me’od means “with all of your resources”; one must prioritize Hashem over his money and physical resources. The second explanation is that one must love Hashem despite whatever “middah” - Character Trait/Divine Attribute Hashem employs towards him. At times Hashem may act toward a person with the attribute of justice, at other times with compassion. But no matter which attribute it is, one must realize that Hashem does all for the good and He must love Hashem for that. A Jew must love Hashem on Tisha B’av in the same vein as he loves Hashem on Simchas Torah. Even when events are inexplicable and painful, during times of loss and pain, one must remind himself that Hashem loves him and is always with him. Through that realization one will come to love Hashem, regardless of which ‘middah’ He utilizes towards him.
5 Furthermore, most of the Bais Hamikdash burned during the afternoon of the ninth and the morning of the tenth of Av. Why are we rising from our most intense state of mourning during the time when the flames were ravaging the Sanctuary? The Rebbe continued, “The truth is that we do not comprehend Hashem’s kindness and love for us. Our Sages explain that Hashem destroyed the Bais Hamikdash in order to preserve us. Had He allowed us to receive the retribution we justly deserved we would have been destroyed. But because He channeled His anger, as it were, towards the physical structure of the Bais Hamikdash, we were able to survive the harrowing and traumatic ordeal. Therein lies our solace! The very fact that Hashem destroyed the Bais Hamikdash demonstrates His love for us, for He destroyed His own home and exiled Himself, as it were, rather than destroy His Beloved Nation.
Today, centuries later, Hadrian and the Roman Empire are long gone, relegated to the history books and symbolized by a few moss-covered stones. Rabbi Akiva, on the other hand, is alive and well. His teachings and legacy are still being promulgated and studied today!
The great Chassidic Master, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev, was renowned for his extreme piety and passion in his Service to Hashem. One night Rabbi Levi Yitzchok was staying at an inn. At midnight he sat down on the floor to recite Tikkun Chatzos 7 as he did every night.
When the innkeeper was awakened by the sounds of weeping coming from one of his rooms, he was alarmed and went to see what was wrong. Rabbi Levi Yitzchok gently explained to the ignorant innkeeper that he was reciting special prayers to mourn the destruction of the Temple and the elongated exile that we are subject to. The innkeeper replied that those tragic events transpired centuries earlier. Why cry over spilled milk? The Rebbe gently described to his host the grandeur and opulence that was Jerusalem. He described the Kohanim doing the service in the Bais Hamikdash and bringing the offerings on the altar, while the Levites sang harmoniously. He delineated the many miracles that were omnipresent in the Bais Hamikdash, and the feeling of closeness and connection that every Jew felt with his Creator. When the innkeeper heard the Rebbe’s description he began to cry. In fact, he cried so intensely that soon Rabbi Levi Yitzchok had to put his arm around the innkeeper to console him. “Despite what we have lost, we are actually quite fortunate”, began the Rebbe. “On Tisha B’av afternoon, after spending hours sitting on the floor and reciting lamentations, recounting all the tragedies that have befallen us as a people during the exile, we arise and don our Talis and Tefillin8. During Mincha we recite the added prayer “Nachem” which requests Hashem to console us for our losses. How does this drastic transition occur? How can we begin to accept consolation when moments before we were in a state of inconsolable grief? 5 Devorim 5:5 6 Berachos 61b, 54b 7 Special prayers recited for the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash, to mourn for the Divine Presence which is in exile. It is customarily recited at midnight. 8 On Tisha B’av morning we symbolize the loss of our pride in the exile and so we do not wear Talis and Tefillin, which represent that pride.
“That is why we are able to be consoled at the height of our grief. The very burning of the Bais Hamikdash symbolizes the reason why we are able to be consoled. For in that sense the burning Temple symbolizes Hashem’s unyielding love for us.” When Rabbi Levi Yitzchok concluded his narrative, the innkeeper stopped crying, and then he got up and began to dance. Rabbi Levi Yitzchok arose to join him and they sang and danced together. One of the other guests at the inn was awakened by the noise and went to investigate. The sight that greeted him was astounding. He asked the innkeeper why he was dancing with the Rebbe in the middle of the night. The innkeeper smiled and replied, “Why do you think we are dancing? We are dancing because Hashem destroyed the Bais Hamikdash!”9 The Shabbos following Tisha B’av is titled Shabbos Nachamu – the Shabbos of consolation. The opening words of the haftorah read, “Console! Console My People!” Despite all we have suffered and all of the difficulties and pains people suffer from, we take solace in the knowledge that Hashem’s love for us is boundless and unconditional. In addition, we wear ‘our yellow stars’ as banners of pride for we know that we are part of an eternal people who will ultimately prevail and persevere. No other nation can feel consolation in the tragedy itself, besides Klal Yisroel, for we know that we are part of a Master Plan. We await the ultimate consolation when Hashem will abolish tears and pain forever, and the whole world will recognize the undeniable truth, “On that day, Hashem will be One, and His Name will be One.” “You shall love Hashem, your G-d” “Console! Console My People!”
9 Heard from Rabbi Pinchos Idstein, Head Counselor of Camp Dora Golding, Tisha B’av 5770
Oneg Shabbos Issue 214
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n a summer’s day in 1920, amidst the glistening azure waters of Haifa’s port, Sir Herbert Samuel broke yet another record as he disembarked from a Royal Navy battleship, becoming the first Jewish ruler of the Holy Land since 40 B.C.E. (the end of Hyrcanus II’s reign). Dapper, anglicised and a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, he was the first practising Jew in a British Cabinet and went on to be the first Jewish leader of a major British political party (Liberal). As the first British High Commissioner to the Holy Land, Samuel was greeted by a seventeen-gun salute as he was chauffeured up to his Jerusalem quarters at the Augusta Victoria Hospice, which boasted sweeping views across the city. Next year will mark exactly 100 years since Samuel’s first Shabbos in the Holy City, when he walked the considerable distance from Government House to the capacious Churva Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Old City. It was Shabbos Nachamu.
Samuel made his way to the ornate almemar, the worshippers stood tremulously in awed silence. He began reading Isaiah’s (40:1-2) immortal words ‘Nachamu, Nachamu Ami’ “Comfort ye, Comfort ye My people, says your G-d. Bid Jerusalem take heart, and proclaim unto her, that her time of service is accomplished, that her guilt is paid off.” The message seemed extraordinarily prescient and the Jews in the synagogue reacted with deep feeling. Samuel later recalled that his deep-seated emotion during this recital “…seemed to spread throughout the vast congregation. Many wept. One could almost hear the sigh of generations”. Some present explained that those praying intuitively felt that the long-awaited “hour of redemption had arrived.”
To the Jews of Yerushalayim, this was a profoundly moving moment. Scorned and oppressed, all they had hitherto received were platitudes and declarations regarding the land’s future. Now though, the promises seemed to become vouchsafed, embodied as they were in the person of a Jewish High Commissioner, the representative of King George V and his expansive Empire. Eyewitnesses describe how ‘rich carpets’ were “spread for this Prince of Israel” on that Shabbos over the ancient cobblestoned alleyways of the Jewish Quarter, and the flowers “strewn in his path” as Samuel made his way towards the Churva.
After reading the Haftorah, Samuel proceeded to recite the after-blessings and reached the words “al kiso lo yeshev zar” “and on his throne a foreigner shall not sit.” To the congregation’s astonishment, Chief Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook pointedly arose at this juncture and forcefully repeated “al kiso lo yeshev zar”. The meaning of this was clear only to some: salvation would not come through Great Britain, a foreign power, but from H-shem himself. When recounting this well-known story, cynics view the congregation’s reaction as stemming from naiveté and point out that although he kept Shabbos and Kashrus, Samuel had lost his faith whilst at Oxford. They emphasise Samuel’s culpability in appointing the Muslim cleric Amin Al-Husseini as Mufti of Jerusalem. From this elevated religious position Al-Husseini became a primary agitator against Jewry and an enthusiastic supporter of Adolf Hitler and the Final Solution. Samuel was also responsible for restrictions on Jewish immigration to Eretz Yisrael from an increasingly unsafe Europe. Back in Britain, Samuel also initially agreed with Chamberlain’s policy
In Samuel’s own words “The most moving ceremony that I have ever attended was…to the old and spacious synagogue in the Jewish quarter of the ancient city... [I] found the surrounding streets densely thronged, and the great building itself packed to the doors and to the roof…” Samuel held a seat in London’s splendid New West End Synagogue until he died and was able to read Hebrew and sing according to te’amim (‘trop’). So it was that the Churva’s gabbai summoned the High Commissioner to read the Haftorah with the words “Ya’amod HaNasi Ha’Elyon.” As
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י"ט סיון תשע"ט phrases that 22 June 2019 arshas Naso contains in every shul are said every day Now reaching 4500 people LaAretz, in 23 countries! in the world. In Chutz הריני בא ללמוד תורה is incorporated לשמה לעשות נחת רוח Birkas Kohanim קבלת שבת שבשמים Shemone לאבינו LON of the MAN GHD in the repetition GLSCW 9.06 BMTH מוצאי שבת 9.26 JLM 9.33 places in Eretz Yisroel, LON 9.51 MAN 9.09 GHD Esrei, and in many each מוצאי 7.11 GLSCW them שבת ר"ת recite 10.38 BMTH 11.07 JLM 11.24 LON 11.51 the kohanim themselves,sedra, MAN 10.37 Hashem 8.31 week’s JLM 10.46 11.07 morning. In this bless the people: to9.17 ְָיב ֶָר ך instructs the kohanim Rabbi Meir Shindler ָך United Synagogue יָאֵ ר. ְוי ׁ ְִש ְמ ֶר,'כְ ה Rabbi of Richmond . וִיחֻ ֶּנ ָּך,ָה'ךָפָּ נָיו אֵ לֶיך ֵי ִָּשׂא ה' פָּ נָיו א ְוי ֵָשׂם לְ ׁ ָשלוֹם,ָלֶיך May Hashem bless speak unto them. you find the nation of Israel, upon you and let “Thus shall you bless Rabbi Mordechai His countenance you. May He illuminate and establish peace for you." Kamenetzky you and safeguard really looking for upon you and they were not Rosh Yeshiva, His countenance Shore that making a Yeshiva of South grace. May He lift research suggests solutions. of the blessings for complaint! can “re-wire” each one (Bamidbar 6:22-26) Torah usually uses habit of complaint blessing. Why is A third type of complaint It is on which than eyes particular the more occasions those in for three that ask genuine. The first the brain so and let us find favour It seems that we seems perhaps more become of hiscomplain can us. Illuminate us... change, looking the Jewish people thinking orientations the illumination looking to create a to re-wire Beshalach, Bless us... and safeguardenough to be blessed and have solutions to a be found in Parshas ingrained. It is possible practical implication? for answers or for for us. Is it not it more about lack of followed with its they moanHe scenarios where and establish peace this re-wiring to make each blessing? upon him. difficulty. It is in these complainers lack of food and then of others. Lift countenance..necessity of the second half of actual term for clean water,of a bit of His abundance positive but chronic everything; is the the Torah uses the On all three Al-mighty to bestow that would countenance? What lack of water again. to cry.– וילנו וילנו. In Parshas pleaded with the probably don’t think Hashem had an abundance העם once figured man of complaint A is began soul type story: Side andthe word used all, the poor reacting to a lack Lower Eastoccasions, work too well! A second בס"ד I once heard a wonderful life and wealth. After Beshalach they are ‘venting’, empty shul on the The same verb his Creator for long in the story of the and they complained. He entered a huge, complaint is the familiar a million years?" is going the what quite of food and water; emotional implored and begged for a Jew in need. after the report of things aren’t again When eternity regarding the extent of Your isaused second!" where a person expresses He spare something פרשת שלח לך mere spies they have a fear cried “in the great and after the we are dissatisfied people are years is justspies 14:2), why then, wouldn’t when a million (Bamidbar of Israel; in I ask, our way orMe dissatisfaction. These what, may (Master of the universe),"he of there is a response. a“To conquest of the Land and their situation, great bounty, the rebellion כ"ו סיון תשע"ט “Ribono Shel Olam of Your us withthecurrent are in dismay just plague following that he actually heard focused on themselves magnitude of Parshas Korach they “can I not have Through 17:6). tremble. He imagined he pleaded, “to the man, position that a lot brethren. a default Korach (Bamidbar own negative experience. The man began to continued. “And," 29 June 2019 reply. “Then,"It begged is often at the deaths of their its frustration, his mind. The man came the resonating resort to. Complaints. mere second!” I believe that the Torah, in expressing anger and explained, boomed a voice inside is just a mere penny," by you must waitofaavoiding However, as we have provides a pause. “But the easiest method “A billion dollars of a practical they seek to feel validated usage of wording, even this formבא it will have precise response. And then is billion dollars?" and sympathy. the Torah sees as to why we ללמודis הריני the assurance that responsibility. “Surely!" came the receiving attention two unique insights תורה לשמה as inappropriate. It must be given with solutions. לעשותcomplaint one of your pennies?" in the so much. to thieves רוחforנחת them people are not looking from Hashem. It They לאבינו ourselves The Jewish criticise and grumble only to lose שבשמים to get a blessing to these קבלת שבת self-generated, ‘bringing ofto this. This weeks issue is dedicated LON of wealth and health no strangers It is not enough MAN (Shemos were A blessing An unfortunate downside up. desert GHD Torah expects Rashi in Beshalach GLSCW is that it מוצאי שבת people receive blessings to complaint’. The 9.04 BMTH safeguard - a follow Parsha we have 9.24 JLM לעילוי נשמת observation. two types of complaint this week’s 9.30 implication. Many LON more In His is followed by a countenance refined, 9.47 MAN 15:24) makes a startling us with 9.07 moods, both to find a more usGHD Each of the brachos GLSCW of this. In the first לע"נ BMTH in Biblicalמוצאי שבת ר"תcan dampen people’s instances voice our7.12 11.00 and aggravation. JLM must guard it. IlluminatingHashemtwo given the doesn’t tell us method to10.32 the 11.40 11.15 has LON He points out that respectable giving and MAN enough. Hashem 10.32 JLM format of the Torah those on the active of 10.40 the grace that 8.31 example, show that happy wealth alone is not Hebrew there is no 11.00 even if He lifts his about: concerns. Studies 9.16will always fellow humans appreciate It receiving end. Similarly gift. And of course,what they are grumbling the verb ‘to complain’. is not enough. Unless people complain less. it is a worthless scenarios (Bamidbar passive corporeal world, express our It is these types of shalom - peace. ויהי העם כמתאוננים Rabbi Jeremy Golker High School be found in the reflexive, says we are expected to Jews, in this very the blessings of to in this and full Hasmonean phraseology. the verse respectful full –heart us we still need an unusual Head of Kodesh, that we are referring with a 11:1) form. Thus, when dissatisfaction through countenance upon word for ע"ה others must be done be translated as bounty. explain and tefillah. commentaries weeks’ Parsha. The Manythe us that blessing וילנו העםit should to appreciate dialogue, sensitivity used, from the word The Torah also teaches on others must include a vehicle give ה.ב.צ.נ.ת derived people brought themselves complaint isn’t even this ismay ‘and the man looking for generosity the a million years. We- mourner: the people an we is explaining ‘Andthat Rashi sponsoring ruled that the rich about because they weren’t hand. To bestow that the spies saw billion dollars - in אונן complaint’. give are those mourning Dovid Hamelech over For moretoinformation to or answer. Rashi tells us given the gift of we receive and were their email@example.com is dedicated Hakodesh reveals burying as though in a particular solution issue Lashon land issue please Otherwise you have weeks thatcontact of the in This the greatest blessings was guilty. as though inhabitants the Torah does nature of human fellow Jews, but ‘And the people were themselves’. Oddly, לע"נto distract us the underlying had intended Dovid that he was blessings to our – they told Hashem negative then this themselves’ m forever. reactionary dead. for Nosson over and It is always mourning ספר בראשית not give an origin complaint. 12 spies touring can use - immediately man as he had many down and bad ספר שמות It is a result of them from noticing actually the rich ' בן רinterpreted it'ר were feeling worn and self-generated. ספר ויקראstate of being. the this took Uriah’s they just feltthe country but they to a particular ספר במדבר few verses is wives and despite about themselves; a negative In contrast, just a הי''דsaid Eretz Yisrael by saying לע"נoutlook ספר דברים נהרג to express their frustration much clearer diﬀerently. They Dovid responded
Pennies from Heaven
g for distributin eg n O the Shabbos in Monsey!
The Jerusalem Kolel
Rabbi David Ariel Sher
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'לע"נ ר בן ר' יקותיאל זלמן נאה ז''ל חנניה יו''ט ליפא הי''ד נלב''ע ט''ז אדר תשע''ז לע"נ מרת טויבא רחל נאה ע''ה 'בת ר נלב''ע שמואל שמעלקא הי''ד כ''ה מנחם אב תשע''ז
email the editor Divrei Torah, please For questions on Roodyn at firstname.lastname@example.org Rabbi Yonasan
a later we encounter episode: reason for the next והאספסף אשר
among them had a craving for meat! of these Remarkably in neither the verb the instances do we find
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the episode land that devours ויום אריאלGolders reasons Green “a– זכרונו נקבע כ' סיון and anger. Similarly, יהודה ז״ל There can be different dangerous and begins: (התאוו תאוהBamidbar 13:32), a ה.ב.צ.נ.ת are the quail way בןThere the ילחט״א why we complain. walk allofliterally: and country. ‘they cultivated a desire’ seem to never whoר׳ Theirinhospitable פנחס צביpeople told us when we נ״יsome – ‘and they cried’. constantly Golders – ויבכוGreen
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are be satisfied and נלב''ע י״ז תמוז תשע''חThey have a tendency to kvetching. and to focus ruminate on problems Some on setbacks over progress.
'לע"נ ר יקותיאל זלמן נאה ז''ל 'בן ר חנניה יו''ט ליפא הי''ד נלב''ע ט''ז אדר תשע''ז לע"נ מרת טויבא רחל נאה ע''ה 'בת ר שמואל שמעלקא הי''ד נלב''ע כ''ה מנחם אב תשע''ז
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What exactly for they were, return, you ask them Please daven whatever אריאל On their יהודה 'הב ז״לBut investigation. ﬁrst describes אברהם יוסף אריה בןsaw. The how theבןsame people רוחמהthey For sponsorship in אילה נ"יwhat it is remarkable ילחט״אand לרפואהvariety of food stores please שלימה ר׳ פנחסperceive things amazing opportunities the צבי נ״י בתוך חולי ישראל the busy can see the same He describes לע''נ ר' מרדכיGreen. contact firstname.lastname@example.org Golders grocery בן ר' שלום ז''ל נלב''ע י״ז them so diﬀerently. תמוז תשע''ח נלב''ע ט''ו the various kosher סיון תשס''ב restaurants, great as Dovid delicacies Even someone as 'לע''נ ר all the delicious and בנימין בן to be taught this well ר' מאיר דוד ז''לstores ב׳ אדר HaMelech needed many bakeries as תשע''ז נלב''ע displayed in the
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wife. sinned”. “chatasi” – “I have Just say it Why present a parable?
straight! is that when The answer of course parable you are presented with a is no bias or instinctive objective. There defence barrier. As human The lesson is clear. innate to recognise our beings we have others, seeking subjectivity. Consulting a is a strength not objective advice
that emerge lesson. as the enticing aromas a parable to Dovid Hashem delivered To receive them.this via email from HaNavi. A rich please email firstname.lastname@example.org is a born through the Nosson The second boy and a poor man is less interested man had many sheep businessman. He This poor man the currency only had one sheep. one in food but notices in caring for his which money changer, exerted much eﬀort exchanges at the arrived at the rich the or special oﬀers, sheep. When a guest shops have sales of slaughtering how many properties man’s house; instead latest gadgets and he stole the poor one of his own sheep, let. are for sale or to fed it to his guest. man’s sheep and the same street but The same walk, reports. ספר ויקרא two very diﬀerent
'לע"נ ר יקותיאל זלמן נאה ז''ל 'בן ר חנניה יו''ט ליפא הי''ד נלב''ע ט''ז אדר תשע''ז לע"נ מרת טויבא רחל נאה ע''ה 'בת ר שמואל שמעלקא הי''ד נלב''ע כ''ה מנחם אב תשע''ז
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17 August 2019
ט"ז אב תשע"ט
of appeasement towards Nazi Germany. Supporters demur that Samuel did much to improve infrastructure in the Holy Land, that he was a vocal supporter of the Kindertransport and that he recognised Hebrew as one of the three official national languages of the Holy Land. Of course, these arguments seem immaterial when contemplating the emotional reaction of Jerusalemite Jewry in that highly-charged Shabbos Nachamu service. The pious and elderly Jews who had for so long “walked in darkness” believed they had seen -to quote Isaiah (9:2)- “a great light.” There are singularly rare moments when we feel we can distinctly discern the deliberate plan of the A-mighty in everyday affairs. To many, the appointment of Herbert Samuel over the Holy Land was one such moment, as were events in more recent times such as the Six Day War. Such recognition of the guiding hand of Hashem energised the ba’al teshuva movement. Admittedly, the miraculous 1967 war did not deliver lasting peace. However, citing Israel’s crushing humiliation merely six years later as a reason to view the religious awakening spurred by the euphoria of 1967 as misguided emotion would be to entirely miss the point. King Solomon counselled (Prov. 3:6) “B’kol Drachecha Da’ehu, Vehu Yeyasher Orchosecha” “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” It is a religious duty to see Hashem in everyday affairs and in all our pursuits, however mundane. As Rav Chanina said (Talmud Bavli, Chulin 7b) “No man bruises his finger here on earth unless it was so decreed against him in heaven.” The illustrious German-Jewish sage, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, wrote in his epic Nineteen Letters of the central imperative of recognising Hashem’s hand in history. Of Judaism, he wrote “it rouses us to the endeavour to understand the world, man, human
In the context of Parashas Vaeschanan (Devarim 6:4 – 9), we encounter the first paragraph of “Kerias Shema” which we recite twice a day, once in the morning and once in the
evening. In discussing the order of Kerias Shema the Mishna (Brachos, 2:2) provides us with a fundamental understanding of this Mitzvah. “R’ Yehoshua ben Korchah said: Why does the portion of Shema (the first passage) precede that of Vehayah Im Shamoa (the second passage)? In order that one should first accept upon themselves the yoke of Heaven’s sovereignty, and afterward accept upon themselves the yoke of the commandments.” Clearly, Kerias Shema is designed to enable us to “accept a yoke”. These passages compel us to noble submission. When reading these passages, we accept the Jewish challenge of living in accordance with the idea of an external obligator. When reciting Kerias Shema, we meditate on what it means to be Jewish and how that continually shapes our lives. Twice a day, explains R’ Yehoshua ben Korcha, we first accept upon ourselves the general yoke of Heaven’s sovereignty by reciting the first passage. Then, when reciting the second passage, we accept upon
7 history, and G-d’s plan operating therein.” He declared true servants of the L-rd should have their ‘ears open’ “to perceive in history the narrative of the education of all men to this service [of G-d].” The devout Jews weeping with grateful joy in the Churva a century ago were doing precisely that. Admittedly, we now perceive that Herbert Samuel did not deliver the redemption the Jews expected and frustrated immigration to the Holy Land. But that is beyond the point. We must admire the simple faith of Jews from generations past, who saw Hashem’s Hand on the world stage and in their lives and gave tearful praise to Him, without concern that the blessing could turn out to be bittersweet. We say thrice daily “V’Anachnu Nvarech Kah MeAta V’Ad Olam, Hallelu-ah!” “But we will bless the L-rd from now and for evermore. Praise you the L-rd!” (Psalms 115:18). Jews bless H-shem always, in good times and in bad. And when we are informed of good tidings we are to rejoice – without question. In fact, the Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 222) adjures us on precisely this point; “On tidings which are positive…to him [i.e. oneself] and others, one should say the blessing of HaTov V’Hametiv [i.e. Blessed are you, O L-rd our G-d who is good and does good]…and one makes the blessing of HaTov V’Hametiv on the good [tidings], even though one fears ‘perhaps evil will ensue from it…’” It is not our responsibility to conjecture, to ponder the ‘what if’s or to pontificate about how this Divine blessing could end up a curse. It is ours -to paraphrase Lord Alfred Tennyson- ‘not to reason why.’ Our duty is to see Hashem’s perpetual loving-kindness, thank Him for His Supreme benevolence and to pray for its continued manifestation in our lives and in the world. And like Jews have done for generations, we are to do this unreservedly, without ambivalence and with unrestrained joy. M
ourselves the yoke of all the detailed Rabbi Boruch Boudilovsky commandments. Rav of Young Israel of North Netanya Combined together, these passages facilitate our ceaseless striving to humbly accept Hashem’s sovereignty. All that we do throughout each day of our lives is guided and directed by the commitment made before the day and at the end of it. This idea has Halachik ramifications as well. In the teachings of Rav Soloveitchik zt’’l, it is common to find the idea that a commandment can be either one in which there is a mandatory physical obligation alone, such as eating Matzah on Pesach or distributing charity. Alternatively, there are commandments which involve a physical act that must express an inner feeling. Such commandments have two aspects. One is an “inner gesture” in the form of an emotion, a feeling, or a belief, and the other is their physical expression. Repentance is, in the view of Rav Soloveitchik, such a commandment. The physical act of verbal confession divorced from inner emotions of regret, remorse, and commitments, is really flawed and an incomplete form of repentance. Similarly, maintains Rav Soloveitchik, the commandment of Kerias Shema combines the verbal act of reciting passages with a genuine conscious acceptance of Hashem’s sovereignty over our lives. This combination is mandatory for the proper fulfilment of the commandment of Kerias Shema. M
Oneg Shabbos Issue 214
This is what Hashem wants “And I prayed to Hashem at that time, saying...” (Deut. 3:23) When Moshe said to the Jews, “Listen now, you rebels,” at the time of the waters of Meriva, Hashem promised that Moshe would not enter the land of Canaan. Moshe waited for the right time and then he prayed for that promise to be overturned. He prayed 515 prayers, (hinted at by the numerical value of the word “Vaeschanan”,) all of them begging Hashem to be merciful to him and grant him a boon by letting him go into Eretz Yisrael. Alas, it was not to be, and Hashem told Moshe to desist from praying. The question is, if Hashem had no intention of granting Moshe’s request, why did He not stop Moshe earlier? What purpose was there in allowing him to keep going? One answer is based on the understanding that no prayer ever goes to waste. When tears are shed and requests are made, if it is not appropriate to grant them now, Hashem saves those prayers for when Klal Yisrael needs them. Who knows if even to this day, we are protected by the strength of those 515 prayers that Moshe offered? There is another explanation that is borne out by the Kinos we read on Tisha B’Av. We find the story of King Yoshiyahu who tried to rid the land of Israel of idolatry. He thought he’d succeeded and when Pharaoh wanted to cross through Israel to fight Syria, he refused to allow the sword of war into his land. Alas, there were scoffers who kept idolatrous images on the backs of their double doors and when the investigators left, they closed the doors and had an idol. Despite the Prophet’s directive to allow the Egyptians to cross, Yoshiyahu thought he was right and refused to let it. A war ensued and the king was brutally killed. One of our biggest mistakes historically is thinking we could make decisions on our own and not find out what Hashem wants of us. When the Navi told the King, “This is what Hashem wants,” he replied, “I don’t think so. This is what I think He wants and here’s my reasoning.” It was very logical, but it was wrong. Hashem therefore let Moshe pray so much and so long to show that even though Moshe was so convinced it was the right thing, when Hashem said, “No,” Moshe accepted it. This is how we must act. We must ensure that our actions are the ones Hashem wants
us to do, and not merely be actions we want Hashem to want us to do.
Rabbi Rashi Simon Director of Kesher
When we trust ourselves to Hashem’s care and understand that He is our loving father, master, and caretaker, then He can call us “My nation,” and we will be ready to receive the comfort and consolation He offers. M
17 August 2019
ט"ז אב תשע"ט
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לע''נ אריאל יהודה ז''ל בן ר' פינחס צבי נ''י קליין
Restoring the primacy of Choshen Mishpat Under the auspices of Harav Chaim Kohn שליט"א
Rabbi Meir Orlian Halachah Writer, BHI
Money Stolen haron was visiting from abroad for the summer and traveling alone crosscountry. He dozed off on the train one Friday afternoon and realized upon awakening that someone had walked off with his travel bag! In it were his wallet, money and credit cards, his phone, documents and clothes. Aharon got off the train and approached the first Jewish person he stumbled upon. “I’m visiting from another country,” he said in broken English. “I lost my bag. With my wallet and my phone. I have no money. I need $100 to buy food and travel to where I’m staying for Shabbos. Is there a tzedakah fund here?” “The gabbai tzedakah is Mr. Rabinowitz,” said the man. “He lives on the next block.” The man took Aharon to Mr. Rabinowitz. “I’m traveling around the States; my bag with my wallet and phone was stolen,” Aharon told him. “I need $100 tzedakah for food and travel until I can get money.” “You can use my phone to call your family,” said Mr. Rabinowitz. “Maybe they can help.” “It’s already Shabbos where they live,” said Aharon. “I can’t speak with them until Sunday. I have no family here.” “I see,” said Mr. Rabinowitz. “Do you want to borrow money or receive tzedakah?” “I don’t know if I’ll be able to pay back the money,” said Aharon. “I don’t have any checks that I can give you, but I might be able to mail you money when I get some next week.” “I could give you money as tzedakah, but I don’t know if it’s fair to the poor people of the town,” said Mr. Rabinowitz. “Let me ask my Rabbi Dayan.” “A trekker lost his knapsack with his wallet and phone, and needs money,” said Mr. Rabinowitz. “Can I give him tzedakah from the shul’s fund?” “The Mishnah (Pe’ah 5:4) addresses a similar case,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “A self-sufficient person was traveling and had no more money with him. He is allowed to take tzedakah – leket, shikchah, pe’ah and ma’aser ani.”
“Must he repay it when he returns home?” asked Mr. Rabinowitz. “Rav Eliezer requires him to repay, whereas according to the Sages he does not have to, since he was poor at that time,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “Halachah is in accordance with the Sages; he is like a poor person who later became rich. Nonetheless, Rambam writes in his commentary to the Mishnah that it is righteous (middas chassidus) to repay. Similarly, the Shulchan Aruch writes that he is ‘not required’ to pay, which could indicate that it is nevertheless proper to do so” (Y.D. 253:4; Tosafos Rabi Akiva Eiger, Pe’ah 5:4) “Whom should he repay?” asked Mr. Rabinowitz. “Tiferes Yisrael writes that, according to Rav Eliezer, he can repay the poor of his own town, and does not have to repay the place where he received,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “However, Tosafos Anshei Shem writes that, according to Rav Eliezer, he must repay the city from which he took. Even he concedes, though, that for the middas chassidus of the Sages he can repay charity wherever he wants.” “How much can he have?” asked Mr. Rabinowitz. “A truly poor person can receive a large amount of charity at once, even beyond his needs,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “However, in this case, the traveler should only take what he needs for his sustenance” (Tzedakah U’mishpat 2:15). “What if he can borrow?” asked Mr. Rabinowitz. “Some write that if the traveler can borrow, he is not allowed to accept tzedakah,” said Rabbi Dayan. “In that case, he is not considered poor at that time” (Chut Hameshulash 1:17; Aruch Hashulchan, Y.D. 253:11). “Thus,” concluded Rabbi Dayan, “if Aharon can take a loan, he should do so. If not, he may take tzedakah, and it is a middas chassidus to repay later to the charity of his choice. If he takes with the understanding that he will repay, then he is required to do so.” M
Provided by Business Halacha Institute. The BHI is a non-profit organization based in New York that educates and guides people in up to date applications of monetary halacha. For more information or to browse the BHI archives, visit www.businesshalacha.com
Oneg Shabbos Issue 214
A TEREIFAH DOES NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE MA’ASER PROCESS והא מהכא נפקא כל אשר יעבור תחת השבט פרט לטרפה שאינה עוברת The Beraisa teaches that a tereifa animal is exempt from the ma’aser process because it is unable to “pass under the rod.” Several explanations are offered for this lesson.
Rashi explains that there are eighteen specific physical deformities and deficiencies which define an animal as being a tereifah. Among them is where the leg of an animal is severed above the knee. In this case, the animal would, of course, not be able to walk out of the corral door during the counting procedure for ma’aser. Therefore, it is this category of tereifah which the posuk excludes directly, and although this is only one category, we learn that all categories of tereifah are excluded as well.
In Menachos (6a), Rashi explains that all eighteen categories of tereifah are excluded directly from this posuk. A tereifah is an animal which cannot live due to its physical deficiency. Only a healthy animal is considered one which can pass under the rod, but an animal which is not viable is not included. The Gemara in Bechoros continues to learn from ma’aser that a tereifah is excluded from all other offerings as well.
Rashash (to Bechoros 58b) notes that the Gemara does not focus upon the word “—יעבורit shall pass” when it excludes tereifah, but it rather uses the word “—תחתunder” to establish its rule. Based upon this analysis of the posuk, and referring to the view of R’ Yehuda HaChassid, he points out that during the ma’aser process the owner should put his hand on top of each animal, and if the animal responds by lowering its head toward the ground, the animal is known to be healthy and kosher (see Darchei Moshe Y.D. 35:1). The Gemara is therefore teaching that the posuk requires that each animal pass “under” the hand of its owner, and a tereifah is thereby excluded.
Sefer Ohel Moshe explains that the word “—יעבורwill pass” is written in the future tense. Animals eligible for the ma’aser process are those that could potentially pass out of the corral the next year as well, as it is the custom of farmers to count their cattle and sheep annually. A tereifah is not expected to live out the year, so it is excluded from this mitzvah due to this technicality. Additionally, Sefer Ohel Moshe says that a tereifah does not pass through the door of the corral together with the rest of the flock, as it is generally a more frail and weak animal, and the farmer might be careful to keep the tereifah separate to protect it due to its weakened condition. Tosafos in Chullin (136b) raises the question that if a tereifah is excluded because it cannot walk out of the corral, then we should also exclude a case where the leg is cut below the knee, although it is technically not a tereifah, because it too cannot walk. Tosafos in Bechoros (57a) says that where it is not a tereifah, it is considered able to pass through the door of the corral. M
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Daf Yomi WEEKLY
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Stories from the Daf THE PLEDGE ”...“אמירתו לגבוה כמסירתו להדיוט
The Maggid of Dubno, zt”l, explained a statement on today’s daf with one of his famous parables. There was once a man who upset an important nobleman and needed to appease him with a gift. The trouble was that he didn’t own anything fitting. After a bit of thought he decided to borrow something appropriate from a friend. The two drew up an appropriate document and he took the gift to the nobleman. As expected, the nobleman was pacified by the gesture and all was well until it came time to give back the gift. The owner of the item reminded the borrower that it was time for it to be returned. “I can’t,” he said. “I gave it as a gift to placate the nobleman.” “That’s no problem,” his friend replied. “I am just as happy to take money.” When the borrower explained that he had no money, the irritated owner summoned him to the nobleman. Not surprisingly, the nobleman insisted that the man find the money to repay the original owner, or suffer serious consequences.
The Maggid explained the relevance to our daf. “In Temurah in 29 we find להדיוט כמסירתו לגבוה אמירתו — When it comes to offerings, a verbal pledge is equivalent to the actual giving over of something ordinary. One who pledges something does so for a reason. Like the man who wishes to placate a nobleman but has nothing with which to do so, one who pledges is borrowing in a sense, since on High his pledge is considered to be action. He borrows on what will be given to appease God. When the time comes he is obligated to pay back what he borrowed or incur the wrath of the King!”1 M כי תצא, משלי יעקב1 Brought to you by
17 August 2019
ט"ז אב תשע"ט
Sages through Ages THE
Dr Benji Schreiber
Yerushalayim 1534– Tzfat 1572 ה’ באב
e lived with his uncle who was a tax collector and according to documents from the Cairo geniza, also worked selling spices and crops. In 1570 – aged 36 - he moved to Tzfas with his wife and two daughters. He died two years later at the age of only 38 in a great plague. It is remarkable that such a young man had such a huge impact on Yiddishkeit. His younger daughter married the son of Rav Yosef Karo! He also had a son who died young. It is related that his teacher, the great kabbalist Rav Moshe Cordovero (15221570) instructed his talmidim that his successor would be revealed at his own levaya, as the one who sees a pillar of fire by his body.
Talmidim His talmidim were called the – גורי האריthe lion cubs. His principle talmid was Rav Chaim Vital (1542-1620). Read what Rav Chaim Vital wrote about his Rav, the Arizal: “No one will achieve this wisdom as truthfully as he did. He knew the Mishna, the Talmud, Aggados and Midrashim. He knew the secrets of creation and of
Hashem’s Chariot.. the chatter of the birds, the trees and the grasses, and the conversations of the angels. He understood the incarnations (gilgulim) and he could bring out a soul even while someone was living, talk to it and then put it back. He would see the neshamos when they left the body, in the Beis Olam. He could interpret faces and hands… He would look at someone’s forehead and know what he thought and what he had dreamed…
The Arizal, Rav Yitzchak ben Shlomo Luria, was born in Jerusalem. He was known as Ari because of his lion like status as a Talmid Chacham. His mother was a Sefardia and his father Ashkenazi, a descendent of Rashi. He lived in Egypt until the age of 36, studying Kabbalah. Tradition has it that Eliyahu HaNavih appeared to him and then told him to move to Eretz Yisrael.
acrostic יצחק לוריא חזקalthough it is not certain he composed it. The bulk of his teachings were recorded by his disciples in numerous works, primarily by Rabbi Chaim Vital. His disciples also recorded his customs in a work known as Shulchan Aruch HaAri, published in Venice in 1680. His davening and method of writing – Nusach Ari and Kesav Ari are adopted by Chassidim today.
He had Ruach HaKodesh and Eliyahu HaNavi would always appear to him.”
The Ari’s Writings The Arizal himself wrote relatively little. From his own hand we have chiddushim on two masechtos. These have been included in his teacher’s Shitah Mekubetzes. His writings in Kabbalah were included in Rabbi Chaim Vital’s Eitz Chaim, and are marked by Rabbi Chaim with the preface, “Found written in manuscript.” There is also a commentary on a small section of the Zohar, and zemiros for Shabbos. He composed: אזמר בשבחיןwhich is sung on Friday night and אסדר לסעודתאwhich is sung on Shabbos day. The zemer יום זה לישראל אורה ושמחהcarries his name as an
The Arizal had a profound impact on the learning of Kabbalah, which was different from his time on. He understood that the creation of the world involved שבירת הכלים, a kabbalistic explanation of what happened to the sefiros in order to lead to the creation of the world, and the effect of creation on the ten sefiros – the rungs of holiness leading to Hashem. M
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