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Yisro 5777


Yisro-The Father-in-law of Moshe – ‫חותן משה‬-‫יתרו‬ During the period when the violent, oppressive land barons ruled, there was a land baron who controlled a large tract of land and since he ran many business ventures and he owned much property he brought his two sons in to help him run his businesses. The land baron divided his estate between his two sons and he placed each one of them in charge over a half and to administer it. One son was good-hearted and he was concerned about the residents living in his part of the estate, their concerns were his concern, and he always tried to side with them in all matters, and even if someone was late with the rent he did not act badly towards them rather, he was patient with them. In contrast to this, his brother was very wicked and he conducted himself with great cruelty to his residents and he was even cruel to his helpers, he would not stand for any lateness in payment and he completely hid himself from their needs and hardships, most of which derived from him… Behold, as the world turns, one clear day the land baron was suspected of crimes and he was thrown into prison. The government confiscated all his property and his family was tossed into the gutter like dogs with no mercy and they were dispossessed from all their belongings and their stature. Even the fortune of the two sons did not help them and they were released from all their responsibilities and they were left without the clothing on their backs and they lost everything. In truth, the one who was left without a roof over his head was the wicked brother, as everyone was happy to be rid of him. However, the brother who was a good person, he was surrounded by people who loved him and were happy to return the favor to him and stand by his side and so, he found a suitable job with a nice salary. The first words in our parsha are '‫‘ – 'וישמע יתרו חותן משה‬Yisro, the father-in-law of Moshe heard’, and Rashi explains ‘here Yisro felt himself honored through Moshe, “I am the father-inlaw of the king” while in the past Moshe attributed the greatness to his father-in-law as it says, “and he returned to Yisro, his father-in-law”’. We see from here the extent that a person should not be proud of his greatness, for what is a man, today you are here and tomorrow you are there, and we have heard of people who in one moment have been lowered from their greatness or just the opposite, ordinary people who in a moment they have risen to greatness. Moreinu HaRav shlit”a relates that he once asked one of the Tzadikei HaDor how is it that he was not afraid that he would have thoughts of haughtiness? The Gadol replied, ‘What do I have to be proud of, I know that all the Torah that I have learned and the seforim that I have written are gifts from the Creator?! - Tiv HaTorah - Yisro

“Do not close your hand” – "‫"לא תקפוץ את ידך‬ Baruch Hashem, my son became engaged to a girl from Eretz Yisroel. We got on the first plane to Israel to finalize the details and arrange the Tannaim. My husband returned to the United States the night of the engagement and I remained in Eretz Yisroel for a few days to take care of some small details. I packed my things to leave the hotel room, and I looked for the envelope with $5,000 that we brought for the expenses of the shidduch. I looked through all my things and I could not find the bundle of money. My son, the chassan, helped me search and we went through all the bags and suitcases three times without success. My son reassured me that it seemed that his father took the money back with him to the States but to verify this I had to wait two hours until his plane landed in the United States and I could call him. I paid for our stay at reception and I asked that I could stay in the room for a few hours so that I could search again thinking that perhaps my husband hid the money somewhere in the hotel room. They agreed to my request and nervously tried to reach my husband every few minutes with the hope that he had already landed. After several tense hours, my husband answered and said that he did not hide the money anywhere, rather, he gave me the money. I did not want to stress my husband, so I told him that I did not want to unpack the suitcases before knowing whether he had the money or not. Now that I had tried everything and I did not find the money I was at a loss as to what to do. I asked Hashem to help me find the money. Just then I remembered that I had received a phone message from a respected family looking to arrange an emergency loan and I did not have the time to respond to this, and the truth was that I also did not respond since I needed the money myself. I listened to the message again and they were asking for a loan of $5,000 for a short time, the exact amount that I lost. I immediately promised the Creator of the World that if I found the money I would give them the loan. With difficulty and my commitment, I took out a garment from the suitcase that I had already checked six times without exaggeration and I saw the money laying there right before my eyes, and I could not believe my eyes. However, here I must insert a detail that is not so nice, since only three seconds passed between my promise and finding the money I was not sure if this was connected to my promise or not. My son who heard my commitment and now my dilemma was respectfully concerned that I respond immediately to the others, and I told them that as soon as I returned to the United States I would take care of the loan as promised. They responded happily and told me that they had no words to thank and that they were released from an enormous pressure that they were under. .‫ש‬.‫ג‬

‫בנתיבות האמונה‬ In the paths of faith ‫ ויקח‬:‫עתה ידעתי כי גדול ה' מכל האלהים כי בדבר אשר זדו עליהם‬ ‫יתרו חתן משה עלה וזבחים לאלקים ויבא אהרן וכל זקני ישראל‬ )‫יב‬-‫יא‬:‫ (יח‬:‫לאכל לחם עם חתן משה לפני האלקים‬ Now I know that Hashem is greater than all the gods, for with that which they schemed against them. Yisro, the father-in-law of Moshe, took an olah-offering and peace-offerings for Hashem, and Aharon and all the elders of Israel came to eat bread with the father-in-law of Moshe before Hashem. (18:11-12) Behold, since our Torah is eternal, then aside from the simple meaning and intent of the words that are included in it there are also many hints that apply to all generations, and it is incumbent on each and every generation to contemplate and understand that which is hinted in it that applies to its time. In particular, we refer to the words in these stories that are written in the Torah because the simple meaning has no relevant teaching. There is no topic of ‘Torah’ which is an expression of '‫‘ – 'הוראה‬teaching’ do it must be that these words hint to us teachings and ways of life, which teach a person and help him choose a path according to the influence of the Torah, and to advise him on how to cope with the obstacles that the Inclination stands in his way to challenge him. Even in our parsha with these events before us have life lessons that enlighten the way of the person, for behold the words of Yisro ‘that Hashem is greater than all the gods’ we see that it still not clear for him that there was absolutely no substance in any of the gods, however, in his mind he thought that even if there was some substance to them they were placed under the domain of Above, since HaKadosh Baruch Hu is greater than all the gods, but not that they have no substance. As long as he held onto that influence he was still in the category of heretic and agnostic, since the main tenet of faith is that HaKadosh Baruch Hu is unique and there is no uniqueness like His in any way and that He alone made, makes and will make everything. There is no power aside from Hashem Yisbarach, and even if we do not take the words to their simple meaning, Yisro had to be a complete believer since he investigated all the religions in the world and there was no idolatry that he had worshipped, and he was not like those who ventured after their Inclinations, rather, he had a strong curiosity to attain the truth, so he checked and investigated the nature of every religion, and since this was so, he was forced to see and recognize their nothingness, yet, he still retained some minute remnant of substance which is why he spoke as he did. Since this is apparent from the events before us, we can explain as well that which is written afterwards as advice on how to purify our faith. Since he was very respected among the nations, and even so he was concerned for his honor and he forsook all the gods to join the Chosen Nation, this put him in the category of purification of which our Chachamim z”l have said helped him. Therefore, Moshe saw that it was appropriate to teach him the ways of life and how to achieve clear and pure faith without any contamination and when he came to the true realization that HaKadosh Baruch Hu is G-d and there is no one aside from Him. In order to explain the intent of the words we must first introduce the great principle of faith, that is, that this world is the world of secrets, and we practically cannot feel a true sense or substance of the Creator Yisbarach Shemo, for the illumination of Yisbarach in this world is greatly reduced, and this was the purpose established at creation. This was done to establish free will and challenge and if the illumination of Yisbarach shone and one could sense it, there would be no concept of challenge to go against the word of Hashem Yisbarach, for who would be so brazen to

rebel against His word when one can literally recognize that there is a Master and a Ruler, however, since these things are not obvious, then the reality of ‘to go against the word of Hashem Yisbarach’ applies rachmana litzlan. The only thing that stands for a person at a time of challenge is faith and awe as per his ability. However, so that a person can merit the illumination of faith it is incumbent upon him to purify the material, for the reality is that the mundane is due to the hiddenness and lack of faith, for the very existence of the world complex due to the mundane and this blocks the illumination of Yisbarach, and so long as a person pursues the mundane it is a sign that his faith is not clear and pure, since he connects himself to something that contradicts faith. However, when one clarifies himself and shakes off the mundane from himself, he reveals the spark of G-dliness within him, and automatically he is aroused to have faith in Hashem Yisbarach. We see this matter by Pharaoh, for after he was very steeped in the mundane ‘the lewdness of Egypt’ therefore, it was not possible to believe that there is a Ruler of the world, until it reached a point until he felt that he himself had the ability, and he said (Yechezkel 29:3), ‫'לי יאורי ואני‬ '‫‘ – עשיתני‬Mine is my river, and I have made myself powerful’, that is, he made everything dependent on the mundane. From his point of view he only saw the mundane powers and he only believed in them and since he himself was so steeped in the mundane therefore, he made everything dependent on his strength and might, until finally he said (5:2), '‫ 'מי ה' אשר אשמע בקולו‬- ‘Who is Hashem that I should heed His voice’ there is no reality that there is a G-dly power that rules over everything, and since ''‫'לא ידעתי את ה‬- ‘I do not know Hashem’ therefore, '‫‘ – 'גם את ישראל לא אשלח‬nor will I send out Israel’, HaKadosh Baruch Hu was forced to demonstrate faithful plagues to show him that everything is dependent on the Power of Above, until he was forced to admit this. However, the person who refines himself from mundane matters, and even those things that he must do he does for the Name of Heaven, this is a person who has attained the illumination of faith, and through the power of his clear faith he stands strongly against all temptations and challenges. The truth of the matter is that the Torah states this expressly (Bamidbar 15:39) ‫ למען תזכרו‬...‫'ולא תתורו אחרי לבבכם ואחרי עיניכם‬ '‫‘ – ועשיתם את כל מצותי והייתם קדושים לאלקיכם‬you shall not stray after your heart and after your eyes… so that you may remember and perform all My commandments and be holy to your G-d’ as this posuk speaks about the mundane that the soul of a person clings to and as is stated (Bamidbar Rabbah 17:7) ‘the heart and the eyes are two sentries for sin, the eye sees and the heart craves’ and the Torah states that a person must separate himself from these matters so that he can merit ‘and perform all My commandments and be holy to your G-d’ for only through the refinement of the mundane can a person earn the clear faith which stands him on his feet and gives him strength to not be enticed by the Inclination which seeks to turn him away from Hashem Yisbarach and to stop him from performing mitzvos rachmana litzlan. Moshe taught this to his father-in-law, Yisro, for when he saw that his faith was still not complete, he wanted to teach him how to refine the mundane, for Moshe knew that this would be the only way for Yisro to earn clear faith. Therefore, when Yisro saw fit to sacrifice an olah-offering and other sacrifices to Hashem Yisbarach, he went with all of Israel to eat bread ‘before Hashem’ and to show him how it is incumbent on a person to sanctify himself with that which is permitted to him, and to only eat for the sake of Heaven, and to do so with the other things hinted at in the ‘bread’ just for the sake of Heaven, as this teaches a person that by removing oneself from the mundane he merits clear faith.

Torah Wellsprings

1 TorahWellsprings

Parshas Yisro calls the mitzvos T heïéèéòZohar â'éøú, 613 counsels, because by studying Torah and through keepings the mitzvos, we become aware of Hashem. Torah study and mitzvah performance are counsels to strengthen our emunah. The holiness of the Torah and the mitzvos penetrates our mind and soul, until we have a high degree of awareness of Hashem. TorahWellsprings- Y isro

In the mussaf of Rosh Hashanah we say áåúë êúøåúáå ãçà 'ä åðé÷ìà 'ä ìàøùé òîù øîàì. (Some people say these words each day after Oz Yashir and after Aleinu.) Rebbe Yechezkel of Kozmir zt'l translated these words as follows: áåúë êúøåúáå ”, the purpose of everything written in Torah is øîàì, so Yidden will say 'ä åðé÷ìà 'ä ìàøùé òîù ãçà.”

HaDibros as follows: øáãéå äìàä íéøáãä ìë úà íé÷ìà, Hashem spoke all the words of the Torah øîàì, so Yidden will say êé÷ìà 'ä éëðà, "I am Hashem your G-d…" The purpose is for people to acquire complete emunah in Hashem. There are people who believe in Hashem without observing the Torah and mitzvos, but their emunah remains superficial. The Torah and mitzvos have the segulahs and the powers to penetrate our hearts and minds with emunah, until belief in Hashem is lucid.

It says øáãà éë éúðîàä (Tehillim 116). Rebbe Mordechai of Lechovitz zt'l explained, "I believe because I speak." It’s good to talk about emunah, because speaking about emunah reinforces it. The Likewise, Rebbe Elimelech of Rebbe of Lechovitz taught that Lizensk zt'l explains the one may even talk about beginning words of the Aseres levels of emunah that are


Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

beyond him. Generally, talking about levels that are beyond us is sheker, falsehood, because why should we talk about things that are distant from us. But it’s permissible to discuss perfect degrees of emunah because that will help us attain it. 1 The Yesod HaAvodah zt'l teaches, "What is chassidus? Chassidus means to drill into our mind emunah, yiras

Hashem, ahavas Hashem, ahavas Yisrael, etc." Once, before benching (birchas hamazon), the Yesod HaAvodah said to his chassidim, "Whoever can explain what chassidus is all about, will get the becher [to lead the zimun of birchas hamazon]." One chassid answered, "Chassidus is heart." The Rebbe gave him the becher. 2

1. Tzaddikim also taught that it’s permissible, and recommended, to

pretend that you are happy because false simchah will result in genuine simchah. (This is another area where sheker, falsehood, is permitted and encouraged.) The Tanya (Igeres HaKodesh 11) writes, "A believer [in Hashem] will not be upset when he endures afflictions. Everything in the world… is entirely equal for him." This level is beyond us. Who can say that he isn't at all upset when he has yesurim? Yet we are permitted and encouraged to talk about such a level – and all other degrees of emunah – because speaking about emunah and striving for these levels, will get us there. 2. One of the primary precepts of chassidus is to be close to tzaddikim. The primary purpose is to increase emunah. As the Meor V'Shemesh (Ki Savo) writes, "I heard from the Rebbe of Neschiz zt'l that people go to tzaddikim for several reasons. Some go because they want to learn how to pray with fear and love. Others go to tzaddikim to learn how to study Torah lishmah. There are those who want to learn madreigos, great degrees of avodas Hashem. But all those aren't the primary purpose. The purpose of going to tzaddikim should be to know Hashem and to be aware of His presence, and this awareness doesn’t have a limit. The more one

Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

The two definitions of chassidus (drilling in emunah and serving Hashem with your heart) are related because when a person has clear emunah, he will serve Hashem with his heart. His improved emunah will make him aware of his close connection with Hashem as he davens, studies Torah, and performs the mitzvos, and he will perform these deeds with deepest heartfelt emotions. We’ve written a few methods for increasing emunah. By keeping the Torah and mitzvos, by speaking about emunah, and by drilling aspects of emunah into our intellect, we will come to believe in Hashem with clear emunah. To acquire emunah, one must be ready to think. Paro, the Midrash says, didn’t think. That is the reason he saw



plagues and still remained a heretic.

Moshe Rabbeinu told Paro that makas barad would only smite those cattle and slaves left in the field. Those who feared Hashem brought their belongings into their homes. But there were people who didn’t take Moshe's warning to heart. 'ä øáã ìà åáì íù àì øùàå äãùá åäð÷î úàå åéãáò úà áæòéå, "Whoever didn’t take Hashem's warning to heart, left his slaves and cattle in the field" (Shmos 9:21). The Midrash asks who was this person or persons who didn’t take Hashem's warning to heart? “It was Paro and his servants” (Shmos Rabba 120).

The problem was åáì íù àì øùà, Paro didn’t take the warning to heart. He didn’t think. He didn’t pay attention to what was happening. If you don’t

knows of Hashem, the more he realizes that he doesn’t know anything at all. Every day, he will seek to increase this awareness, more and more."


Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

think and take notice of the example, during makas barad, miracles around you, it’s hail, the crops were destroyed. impossible to have emunah. However, Paro saw that some crops remained. (The soft, On the contrary, Yisro did unripe grains weren’t think. The parashah begins destroyed by the hail.) íé÷ìà äùò øùà ìë úà ...åøúé òîùéå Therefore Paro hardened his ìàøùé úà 'ä àéöåä éë ìàøùéìå äùîì heart, and didn’t liberate the íéøöîî, "Yisro heard… nation. After that came makas everything Hashem did for arbeh, locusts. The locusts Moshe and for Yisrael, that devoured everything the barad Hashem took Yisrael out of hadn't destroyed. Paro saw Mitzrayim." Yisro heard this but he didn’t recognize everything Hashem did. He Hashem's hand. Yisro looked observed the entire picture and at the entire picture from thereby recognized Hashem's beginning to end. He thought hand. Paro looked at each about what was happening, matter individually and recognized Hashem, and came therefore lost sight of to join the Jewish nation in Hashem's providence. For the desert. 3

3. Yisro said to Moshe ‫איעצך ויהי אלקים עמך‬, "I will advise you and may

Hashem be with you" (Shmos 18:19). Tzaddikim explained, bederech remez, that Yisro was giving the following advice: ‫יהי אלקים עמך‬, always have Hashem on your mind. Hashem should always be in your thoughts, and that is the best counsel of all. The tzaddikim of Slonim zt'l said that Yisro's counsel was ‫יהי אלקים עמך‬. This means, when doubts whether he should do something, he should put Hashem into the equation as well. One should ask, "What will Hashem gain from this?" There was a great tzaddik who said that this advice saved him from sinning. He decided that a certain deed was permitted, but then asked himself, "But what will Hashem gain from it?" and he refrained from

Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

‫שהכל נהיה בדברו‬ In the ä-éåììäs we say each morning, we call for the entire creation to praise to Hashem: We command the sun, moon, and stars; fire, hail, snow and smoke, etc. to praise Hashem, åãáì 'ä áâùð éë, because Hashem alone is exalted. When we say this psalm, we also call for the stormy winds to praise Hashem. As it states äøòñ çåø åøáã éùåò, "The stormy winds that do Hashem's will, úà åììäé 'ä íù, should praise Hashem's name…" Why do we single out the stormy winds, to say that they do Hashem's will? Doesn’t the entire creation serve Hashem?


recognize åøáã éùåò, that it was planned by Hashem. Just acknowledging that it’s from Hashem is a segulah for the problems to dissipate. The Mishnah says øîà © ¨ íঠílk ¨ ª ìò© àöé¨ ¨ ,äéäð ¨ § ¦ ìkäL Ÿ © ¤ (Brachos 6:2). Tzaddikim explained íìë ìò, " If one realizes that äéäð ìëäù åøáãá, that all problems happened by Hashem's decree, àöé, the problem will leave."

During World War II, Baranovitz was on the border of Russia and Germany. Once, German soldiers ordered all the Yidden of Baranovitz to line up facing a wall. The Yidden understood what the Nazis were planning. They prepared One of the Slonimer Rebbe's to leave this world with zt'l answered that it’s to teshuvah and holy thoughts. remind us when we’re going through difficult times The previous Slonimer Rebbe, (figuratively stormy winds ) to the Nesivos Shalom zt'l,

transgressing. He didn’t want to do something that was solely for him, and not for Hashem. Looking back, he realized that the deed was actually a forbidden sin. The yetzer hara tried convincing him that it was permitted, but it wasn't. He was saved because he thought ‫יהי אלקים עמך‬, what will Hashem gain from this?


Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

reminisced that his father who was among those standing by the wall, asked him for a cup of water because it says in sefarim that it’s ideal to say the berachah ìëäù before one’s demise.

One Never Loses…

A certain community, near Monsey, was renovating and beautifying their beis medresh. The rosh hakahal (wealthy patron of the community) invested tens of thousands of dollars towards this goal. The rosh hakahal decided that if they’re already renovating the beis medresh, it would be prudent to check the sefer Torah. A sofer was hired to examine the sefer Torah and make sure it’s kosher indeed.

His father took the cup of water and passionately said ‘baruch ata… shehakol nehiyeh bidvaro.’ Everyone present heard the berachah and answered amen. Immediately afterwards gunshots were heard. Russian soldiers had arrived and were Turns out, the sefer Torah was shooting at the Nazis. The passul and the cost to repair it Nazis ran to fight off the was $5,000. Russians, and in the meantime the Yidden escaped. The rosh hakahal refused to give so much money. "I will People went over to the give you five hundred dollars, Nesivos Shalom's father, and no more." It was really “You saved our lives! It was contra-intuitive, because a a miracle!” sefer Torah is the most important object in the beis “It’s not a miracle," he replied. medresh. The rosh hakahal "I said shehakol and increased was paying tens of thousands my emunah peshutah that of dollars to beautify the beis Hashem does everything. kneses, but he didn’t Emunah saved us.” understand the vital need to

Torah Wellsprings - Yisro


spend some money towards the restroom; the only one in fixing a passul sefer Torah. the vicinity was in a Christian cemetery. The sofer tried to explain this to the stubborn rosh hakahal, The guard stationed at the but he was adamant, he entrance asked for their names, wouldn’t pay more than five addresses, and telephone hundred dollars. The sofer felt numbers. The men gave the bad that the congregation was information and went inside. using a passul sefer Torah, so he called up a colleague and A few weeks later, they requested his help with received a phone call from a repairing the sefer Torah. lawyer. At first they were "This congregation is using a frightened; they thought they passul sefer Torah, and if we were going to be accosted for don’t fix it they will continue some crime they didn’t to use it anyway. Let's work commit. But the lawyer asked together to make the sefer them to come in to his office Torah kosher. We will only be to collect $62,000. In an paid five hundred dollars for amazing display of the job — far too little — but hashgachah pratis, on the day let's do it for Hashem's they were in the cemetery, the sake…" funeral of a very wealthy His friend agreed. person took place. This After much work, they wealthy man didn’t leave any finally finished repairing the heirs, and his will stipulated sefer Torah, and it was now that all his money should be among the ready for use. Satisfied that distributed they were able to do this attendees of his funeral. Since mitzvah, they began their they had registered with the guard at the entrance, they trek home to Monsey. were granted this large sum On the way, they had to use of money.


Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

This story is an example of the principleéì òîåù íãà ïéà ãéñôîå, “No one ever listened to Me, and lost out.” You don’t lose out by being devoted to obeying Hashem's will. These two sofrim were moser nefesh for Hashem. They agreed to be underpaid because they wanted to help a congregation have a kosher sefer Torah, and Hashem paid them for their dedication.

thought it would. There was still no minyan, and they had to wait for more people to show up. When they started to daven, the man who had yahrtzeit begged him to stay for the entire tefillah. The diamond polisher realized that he would be late for work — which was dangerous in Soviet Russia — but he chose to take the risk. He wanted to help this man, and he didn’t have In communist Russia, there the heart to leave and dismantle the minyan. was a Yid who polished diamonds. One day, on his way to work, he passed a beis When they finished davening medresh — one of the only everyone was invited to enjoy ones left in the country — some cake and vodka l'iluy when someone stopped him, nishmas, but at this point the polisher hastily and pleaded with him to help diamond complete a minyan. "It’s my explained that he was very late father's yahrtzeit today and I for work and couldn’t stay. He need a minyan to say Kaddish. raced to the diamond center Please come inside..." and was met by an acquaintance at the entrance. The diamond polisher made a "Run away from here! quick calculation. If I help Everyone inside was arrested!" him, I can still be on time to work, and he entered the He escaped, and managed to beis medresh. come to Eretz Yisrael with But it took longer than he his diamonds.

Torah Wellsprings - Yisro


This story is another example yetzer hara, which prevents you from giving tzedakah." of ãéñôîå éì òîåù íãà ïéà. No one ever loses out when The Chofetz Chaim advised obeying Hashem. him, "When you have the opportunity to give tzedakah, Act Right Away just give without There was once a poor person contemplating too much. who enjoyed giving tzedakah. When you take the time to He gave what he could from think things over, your yetzer his meager income to the hara comes and tells you to poor. Hashem saw his good keep the money for yourself. deeds and blessed him with The solution is to just give the wealth, but ever since, he tzedakah immediately when wasn't so generous anymore. you have the opportunity." He wanted to improve his ways, he wanted to be Generally, it’s not wise to be generous with the poor, but hasty. A person should be when a pauper came to him, patient, and think things he couldn’t bring himself to through. But when the yetzer part with his money. hara disturbs you, and prevents you from doing a He went to the Chofetz Chaim good deed, often the counsel zt'l, "What happened to me? I is to just jump in and do used to be generous and now the good deed without it’s so hard for me to give thinking too much about it. tzedakah." Thinking about it will give The Chofetz Chaim explained, the yetzer hara time to "Chazal say, ‘the greater the convince you otherwise. man, the greater his yetzer hara.' Hashem has given you Consider a person who wakes wealth, a spiritual bounty, so up early in the morning, and you now have a stronger debates whether he should get


Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

out of bed or not. He will end up rolling over and sleeping more. There are several other examples of this principle. Sometimes it is best to act first, and to think afterwards. The parashah begins òîùéå íé÷ìà äùò øùà ìë úà ... åøúé åîò ìàøùéìå äùîì, "Yisro heard… everything that Hashem did for Moshe and for Yisrael…" (18:1). Everything (äùò øùà ìë úà íé÷ìà) includes the ten makos, the manna, and several other miracles. But Rashi writes äî úîçìîå óåñ íé úòéø÷ àáå òîù äòåîù ÷ìîò, that Yisro came because he heard about the splitting of the sea and the war against Ameleik. This arouses some questions: 1] the passuk says that Yisro heard everything, and Rashi writes that he heard two things. 2] What is significant about milchemes Amakeik and kriyas Yam Suf, that specifically because of these miracles,

Yisro wanted to join Jewish people?


3] Rashi is explaining the words of the Chumash, òîùéå åøúé, “Yisro heard,” and Rashi is clarifying what Yisro heard. But Rashi writes äî àáå òîù äòåîù “What did Yisro hear and come.” The word àáå, and come, seems extra. Isn’t Rashi clarifying what he heard? It would be sufficient to write òîù äòåîù äî, “What did Yisro hear?” The Sar Shalom of Belz zt'l answered that Rashi is explaining how Yisro came to the desert so quickly. Generally, when someone plans to move to a new country, it takes time for the plans to materialize. He can't just pick himself up and leave. He has to settle businesses, say good-bye to friends, sell property, etc. Rashi's question is àáå òîù äòåîù äî, what caused Yisro to come so suddenly? Soon after kriyas Yam Suf, he was already with the Yidden in the desert. How

Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

did that happen? The answer is he heard how the sea split and about milchemes Amaleik. The Midrash says that after kriyas Yam Suf, Amaleik ran four hundred parsoas without stopping to reach the Yidden. Why didn’t Amaleik stop in the middle of the way? Apparently, after they heard about the wondrous miracles that Hashem performed at kriyas Yam Suf, they could only go without thinking. If they would have paused in the middle of the way, they would have time to reflect on the danger they’re getting themselves into, and would


turn back. Therefore, Amaleik went quickly, and didn’t permit themselves a moment of thought. When Yisro understood Amaleik’s plan, he realized that he should also go posthaste and join the Yidden in the desert. Should he prolong his plans, he will never end up joining the nation. 4 Last week’s parashah records the episode of Marah, where the nation found the waters bitter and Hashem told Moshe to throw a stick into the water and the waters turned sweet

4. Some Belzer chassidim were once traveling through Pressberg, and

stopped to meet the Chasam Sofer zt'l. The Chasam Sofer asked them to repeat a dvar torah from their Rebbe, the Sar Shalom. They told him this vort (stated above) and the Chasam Sofer praised it immensely. Rebbe Yitzchak of Vorke zt'l teaches that when Yisro heard of the great miracles of kriyas Yam Suf, he was tempted to become part of the Jewish nation. However, he recognized his low level and knew that he wouldn’t be able to serve Hashem perfectly. Therefore he assumed that he couldn’t join them. But then he also heard about milchemes Amaleik [the war against Amaleik, which also represents the great war against the yetzer hara]. He understood from milchemes Amaleik that Hashem desires primarily our battles and our fight against the yetzer hara. This is even more important than our successes. When Yisro heard this, he knew that he too can also join the Jewish nation, and he joined them in the desert.


Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

(see Shmos 15:25). Bederech remez we can explain that this represents what people should do when they find Torah bitter. There are such people. They know they must learn, that Torah is the greatest purity and that with Torah they will be close to Hashem, but what can they do? Whenever they study Torah, they experience bitterness. The answer is, one shouldn’t think about this problem too much. One should just learn Torah. At first, it will be bitter. But as he plugs on, he will get the taste, until the Torah will become sweet for him. The passuk says õò 'ä åäàøéå, Hashem showed an äöò, counsel, for those who find the waters of Torah bitter. The counsel is íéîä ìà êìùéå, throw yourself into the waters of the Torah. Force yourself to study. Don’t think about how bitter it is or how bitter it will be. Just force yourself to study, perhaps for an hour or so, íéîä å÷úîéå, and the Torah will become sweet.

It says in Koheles àöîú øùà ìë äùò êçëá úåùòì êãéá, "Whatever you can do [for Hashem], do with all your might…" (9:10). êçëá, your strength, can also mean your wisdom, because äîëç is comprised from the two words äî çë. The Toldos Yaakov Yosef zt'l writes in the name of the Baal Shem Tov zt'l that Koheles is telling us that whatever you understand with your mind that you should do, just do it. Bring your thoughts to fruition. Don’t let your ideas remain theoretical. Often, a person has a good idea that can be helpful for Klal Yisrael, or can make a Kiddush Hashem, etc. But it often remains in his mind, in theory. Koheles urges us øùà ìë úåùòì êãéá àöîú, if you have the ability to do it, êçëá, and it has come to your mind, äùò, do it. Similarly, the Yesod HaAvodah explains the passuk in Tehillim íäéùò ìëì áåè ìëù (111) that if you have a ìëù

Torah Wellsprings - Yisro


áåè, a good thought, íäéùò ìëì, served Hashem. He demanded perfection from bring it to a deed. himself, and also from his disciples. Perhaps an example Everything is from Hashem of this is that he refused to Rebbe Elimelech of Lizensk accept any disciple until he zt'l was speaking with his had a great degree of chassidim about how perfection in emunah. everything is from Hashem, and added, "Even where a Once, two men came to Rebbe horse drops his dung is also Uri of Strelisk, hoping to hashgachah." One of his become his students. Rebbe disciples couldn’t believe that. Uri asked, "When a few It seemed too far-fetched that strands of straw fall to the such a trivial matter should ground, do you believe that it make a difference to Hashem. was destined from heaven? Do Soon afterwards he slipped on you believe that even which the ice. Something protruding strands fall and where they in the snow halted his fall is all part of Hashem's downfall, and saved him from master plan?" falling off the cliff. He went to see what it was that saved The men were honest, and him. It was frozen horse dung. admitted that they weren't on The next time he came to this level. They couldn’t Rebbe Elimelech of Lizensk, imagine that it makes a the Rebbe asked him, "Nu? difference to Hashem which Now do you believe?" straws fall where, and when. Why should the Creator of the Rebbe Uri of Streslisk zt'l world be interested in such was called the Saraf of matters? Strelisk (the fiery tzaddik of "Sorry," the Rebbe told them. Strelisk) because of the "If you don’t believe, you extremely passionate way he aren't ready to join our group."


Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

A few days later the men returned. "We now believe! Even straw that falls to the ground. Exactly which straw, when it falls, and where it falls, it’s all planned by Hashem." "What made you change your mind?" the Rebbe pried. "We were thinking about emunah, and realized that if a catastrophe would occur, we would certainly believe that it’s from Hashem. For example, if a lion or a bear enters a town and causes damage, we would have no doubt that it’s coming from Hashem. An occurrence of this importance doesn’t just happen by chance. Then we thought, compared to Hashem's greatness, everything is ultimately small. If Hashem has hashgachah

pratis over matters we consider significant, why shouldn’t Hashem also have hashgachah pratis over matters that seem trivial to us?" We need to train ourselves to reach this degree of emunah; everything that occurs, from the large matters to the small ones, they are all pre-destined by Hashem. Rebbe Yechezkel of Kozmir zt'l taught: A person, who walks ten thousand steps a day, and doesn’t believe that each step was pre-destined by Hashem, his berachah ïéëîä øáâ éãòöî, "Who prepares the steps of man," is said [almost] in vain, because one must believe that every step we take, and wherever we go to, is directed by Hashem. 5

5. In Nishmas we say ‫וכל עין לך תצפה‬, "All eyes should trust in Hashem."

This can also be translated as ‫כל עין‬, the entirety of one's eyes should trust in Hashem. Man shouldn’t trust in Hashem, and also trust in others (such as doctors, his work, influential people) to help him too. He can go to them as hishtadlus, but the entirety of his eyes should be with his faith in Hashem.

Torah Wellsprings - Yisro


We are approaching the final days of Shovavim, days of repentance, days when we can atone for sins that we generally cannot attain atonement for throughout the year. We all planned to improve our ways during Shovavim, but the days pass quickly, and now we are nearing the end. Yet, an encouraging thought is found in Tehillim (87) áúëá øåôñé 'ä íéîò. The Yismach Yisrael zt'l explains, "Hashem counts with the numbers of non-Jews." The íéîò áúë, letters and numbers of non-Jews has a zero. When there are many zeros, it can become a great number, if a number one is placed before it. Many days of Shovavim have passed. Perhaps, they were zeros with


nothing much to show for them. But if we do teshuvah even on the final day, we've placed a number one before all of the zeros, and then the number is very large. So we can always take advantage of Shovavim, even now close to the end, and it will be extremely significant despite of what we did [or did not do] until now. The tzaddikim of Slonim zt'l said, "Everyone is born with a small davar achar (pig) inside him. The problem is that he gives the davar achar food and it grows bigger and bigger. The solution is to stop feeding it." This describes the Shovavim. Nowadays we don’t fast during Shovavim, however there are several other forms of fasting that we can still do. We can stop feeding the davar

Rebbe Yechezkel of Kozmir zt'l taught: Why do women have pains by childbirth while animals give birth easily? It’s because a woman has people around her when she gives birth: a doctor, a midwife, family. Since she isn't alone, she doesn’t place her full trust entirely in Hashem. Animals are all alone. No one is going to help them. So they turn to Hashem, and Hashem helps them and they give birth without pains.


Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

achar by avoiding extra, unnecessary foods, or by stopping and/or pausing for a few moments in the middle of a meal. Also, one can refrain from thinking about sin, and from doing sins. By adapting these practices we stop feeding the davar achar until it dies and disappears. 6 The tana, Reb Eliezer said to his students: "Do teshuvah the day before you die." The students asked, "How can one repent a day before he dies, if he doesn’t know when he will die?"

Reb Eliezer replied, "One should do teshuvah today because there is a possibility that he will die tomorrow. In this way, he lives his entire life with doing teshuvah" (Shabbos 153). The Yismach Moshe zt'l asks: There’s a principle in Chazal ïðéùééç àì äúéîì, "We don’t suspect death." If someone is alive today, we can assume that he will probably be alive tomorrow. So why did Reb Eliezer tell his students to do teshuvah every day of their life? One doesn’t need to think that he may die tomorrow?

6. Teshuvah must always be done with simchah. The Tanya (26) writes,

"We must reveal a great rule… Two wrestlers, each trying to knock the other person down, if one of them is lazy and heavy, he will easily be toppled. He will fall, even if he is much stronger than the other one. It’s exactly the same with the yetzer hara. It’s impossible to vanquish the yetzer hara with laziness and heaviness, which comes from depression and from a clogged heart. Only by zrizus derived from joy, an open heart, free from all worries, and disappointments." An old person, who was also a baal yesurim, complained that he doesn’t desire to live anymore. Rebbe Mordechai Zvhiller zt'l asked him, "If someone gave you the wealth of Baron Rothschild on the condition that you violate one Shabbos, would you agree to do that?" "Of course not," the man replied.

Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

The Yismach Moshe answers that the Gemara is implying to something else. It says in sefarim that every night, before going to sleep, one should think about his day and repent for his errors. It’s very good to repent on the very same day that he sinned, because it’s easier to get cleansed when you repent on the same day. If he goes to sleep without doing teshuvah, it will be harder for him to remove the stain of sin on the following day. Reb Eliezer was referring to this type of daily teshuvah. He told his students to do teshuvah every day. They shouldn’t push off doing teshuvah for tomorrow, lest tomorrow they will die. This


means, lest tomorrow they will remain with the sin, chalilah and remaining with sin is equivalent to a spiritual death. 7 Yiras Shamayim

When the Yidden stood at Har Sinai to hear the Aseres HaDibros, the fear of this revelation was extremely great and the nation feared they might die. äúà øáã äùî ìà åøîàéå ïô íé÷ìà åðîò øáãé ìàå äòîùðå åðîò úåîð, "They said to Moshe, 'You should speak with us... Hashem shouldn’t speak with us, lest we die" (Shmos 20:16). ...íòä ìà äùî øîàéå "Moshe told the nation, 'Don’t be afraid… Hashem revealed [Himself] to you in this awesome manner… éúìáì åàèçú, so you will not sin."

"So you are wealthier than Rothschild!" the Rebbe showed him. "There’s always reason for you to be happy with your life." 7. It says ‫( כי האדם עץ השדה‬Devarim 20:19) a person is compared to a tree. In what way is a person and a tree similar? The Maharal explains, a tree is rooted in the ground, similarly, man is rooted in heaven. If the tree becomes detached from its life source, it will die. Man too, must always be connected to heaven, otherwise he will die (spiritually). He reconnects with his efforts to be connected with Hashem.


Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

The Rebbe of Kotzk zt'l said that Moshe told the nation, "You shouldn’t be afraid of death (of úåîð ïô). Your main fear should be åàèçú éúìáì, that you shouldn’t have any sins." Rebbe Yehoshua of Belz zt'l taught that fear of Hashem has different names. Sometimes it’s called yiras Hashem, other times it’s called àèç úàøé or íéîù úàøé. Rebbe Yehoshua Belzer explains that íéîù úàøé means to be afraid that the sin may prevent shefa, bounty, from coming. Because íéîù can mean bounty, as in the passuk ïî êùã÷ ïåòîî äôé÷ùä ìàøùé úà êîò úà êøáå íéîùä, "Look down from your holy abode from íéîù and bless

your nation Yisrael…" (Devarim 26:15). Therefore, when one is tempted to sin, he should be frightened and think who knows how much goodness I will lose because of this sin? Perhaps it will ruin my parnassah? Perhaps some other bounty will cease? And with this consideration he will refrain from sin. àèç úàøé means to think it isn't fitting for me to do this deed. The Gemara (Sanhedrin 37) says, "Everyone is obligated to say íìåòä àøáð éìéáùá, the world was created for me." He should recognize his importance, and steer clear from sin. 8

8. Rashi writes, "'I am important like an entire world. I will not allow

myself to be banished from the world by one sin.' [And with this thought] he will refrain from sin." Rebbe Yehoshua of Belz also explains that when the nation stood at Har Sinai, they were afraid ‫פן נמות‬, lest we fall from our level. They feared they couldn’t remain on that high level forever. Moshe replied ‫כי לבעבור נסות אתכם‬ ‫בא האלקים‬, "Hashem wants to raise you." Don’t be afraid of tests, because the challenges will ultimately elevate you to even higher levels. You may fall, but when you lift yourselves up again, you will reach higher levels than ever before.

Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

Midah Kneged Midah

Yisro said ìëî 'ä ìåãâ éë éúòãé äúò íäéìò åãæ øùà øáãá éë íé÷ìà, "Now I know that Hashem is greater than all gods, because what [the Mitzrim] wanted to do happened to them" (18:11). Rashi explains, "The Mitzrim wanted to destroy the Jewish people with water [by throwing all male children into the Nile], and they were destroyed by water [at kriyas Yam Suf]." Hashem punishes äãî ãâðë äãî, measure per measure. The punishments are in the mode that the sin was committed. It’s for our benefit, because it helps us understand why we are being punished, and what we have to do to correct our ways. In Tehillim (62) it states, 'ä êìå åäùòîë ùéàì íìùî äúà éë ãñç, "Hashem, You do kindness, because You give retribution to man according to his deeds." The Alshich HaKadosh explains, when Hashem punishes äãî ãâðë äãî it’s a great chessed because


one can discern from the punishment what he did wrong. If the hand is being punished, he should think how may have sinned with his hand. If it’s related to money, he should consider how he sinned with money. This process helps people recognize what they need to do to repent. The Gemara says, "If a person sees that yesurim, sufferings are approaching him, he should check his deeds. If he doesn’t find anything, he should attribute the yesurim to bitul Torah " (Brachos 5). The Vilna Gaon zt'l explains that at first he should think, what did I do, to warrant this punishment? If he thinks about it, and doesn’t find a sin that could bring on this punishment, he can attribute his yesurim to bitul Torah, because íìåë ãâðë äøåú ãåîìú, Torah study is all-encompassing and is equivalent to all the mitzvos. Therefore, all types of punishment could be because of bitul Totah.


Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

Reb Chaim Shmuelevitz zt'l related the following true story: There was a couple who was looking for a shidduch for their daughter. The father found just the bachur he was hoping for. This bachur was an exceptional talmid chacham. His wife however, didn’t agree to the shidduch, since the bachur had a slight limp, which was noticeable when he walked. The shidduch was turned down. Every morning, before Shacharis, this wife would bring her husband a cup of coffee. Shortly after they turned down the shidduch, she was bringing him his morning coffee when she tripped and broke her foot. In agony she yelled out, "I told you that you shouldn’t be drinking coffee before Shacharis!" She attributed her broken foot to her husband's drinking coffee before Shacharis. She didn’t want to recognize that it could be that she was being punished for turning down a good shidduch for her daughter.

Reb Shmuelevitz told this story to teach us that when one seeks the aveirah, the cause for the suffering, he should do it with sincerity and truth, because sometimes we might discover something we don’t want to acknowledge. Segulah

Hashem promised that if the Yidden accept the Torah íéîòä ìëî äìåâñ éì íúééäå, “you will be special to Me…" (Shmos 19:5). Segulos are often used for healing. There are plants, or activities, that are conducive for healing, but they aren’t the same as refuah. The difference between a segulah and a refuah is that a refuah can be explained how it works medically. Everything is logical, and explanatory. A segulah means that something works, although it can't be explained medically or according to the rules of science. The Or HaChaim writes, "A segulah is something that isn't based on

Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

nature. There are grasses that their nature is cold, and their segulah is to heal someone who is suffering from a cold disease. And there are grasses that are [naturally hot, and they can cure someone suffering from heat]…and that is because it is a segulah." It can't be explained rationally, but Hashem placed the potential for healing within these grasses and other things. Hashem promised the Jewish nation that they will be a segulah. This means that Hashem will love us and cherish us, even when it isn't understood. Even if we sin, chalilah, Hashem will never depart from us. Just like a segulah that doesn’t always make sense, this love doesn’t need to be explained. It is a fact, which cannot be changed.


one of the Hebrew punctuation marks (three dots in upside-down pyramid formation). The uniqueness of a segal is that even when it lies on its side, it remains a segal. Anyway you turn it, it’s a segal. None of the other nekudos has this trait. Hashem says äìåâñ éì íúééäå, you will be like a segal. This means, even if you fall, you will always be an am segulah, precious to Hashem. 9

The Aseres HaDibros are not easy to keep. For example, "Honor your father and your mother…" is not an easy mitzvah, yet it is from øåîç úåøåîçáù, from the most severe obligations. Honoring them is compared to honoring Hashem (Kiddushin 30). 10 Reb Yochanan, who was an orphan from birth, said, "Fortunate is A segulah, or a segal, is also the one who never saw his 9. The Beis Avraham zt'l said, “It takes blood [extreme effort] to be a

segulah, Hashem's precious treasure. One must serve Hashem with all his might. But everyone who does so will be well rewarded …" 10. The Beis Ahron zt'l said that he attained his greatness from the mitzvah of kibud av v'eim.


Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

parents" (Kiddushin 31) because it’s an obligation that’s very hard to keep. As Rashi writes, "It is impossible to honor them sufficiently, and he is punished…" So what is the counsel; how can one keep this mitzvah – and all other mitzvos of the Torah? Lo sachmod, "Don’t desire," is also very difficult obligation to keep, because if someone yearns for something, how is it possible to tell him that he shouldn’t want it? The meforshim discuss several ideas, to help people keep this mitzvah. For example, the Ibn Ezra writes, "Many people wonder about this mitzvah. How can a person not desire in his heart, something that is beautiful, and desirable? To answer this, I will give you a mashal: Any peasant with a normal mind, will not desire to marry the king's daughter… because he knows that it is impossible…. Only a fool desires wings to fly in the sky… Similarly everyone must understand that their fellow

man's lot [wealth, wife, etc.] didn’t become his because of his wisdom. It is his because this is the lot Hashem gave him… Therefore, the wise will not desire and yearn for the portion of others…" The Chinuch (415) writes, "Don’t wonder and ask, how a person can control the feelings of his heart from desiring all the good utensils that he sees in his friend's home, and he doesn’t have anything? How can the Torah forbid it, when a person can't control himself? The answer is, that it’s not so… because a person can overcome all temptations and thoughts… His heart is in his possession, and he can direct it…" Yet, even after these counsels, many people struggle to keep this mitzvah. Similarly, many mitzvos of the Torah are hard to keep. What can one do, to succeed to keep them? Rebbe Yehoshua of Belz zt'l taught two segulos that help people succeed in their avodas Hashem.

Torah Wellsprings - Yisro

The first segulah is from the Baal Shem Tov zt'l. The Baal Shem Tov taught that a segulah to keep the mitzvos is to study about them. If one wants to be more careful with kibud av v’eim, or with lo sachmod, or with any other mitzvah of the Torah, he should study about that mitzvah, and the light of Torah will help him reach his goal. This is alluded to in the passuk that’s written before the Aseres HaDibros: øáãéå øîàì äìàä íéøáãä ìë úà íé÷ìà, "Hashem said all these words to say." Rashi comments on the extra word øîàì, to say. Rashi writes, "This teaches us that the [nation] answered to the positive commands [of the Aseres HaDibros] 'Yes!' and to the prohibitions [they answered] 'No!'" Included in the meaning of øîàì is that Hashem says that the nation should say and study the laws of these mitzvos. That will be a segulah to keeping them. A second segulah for keeping


the mitzvos is to desire to keep them. Before trying to do the mitzvos, just think about how much you want to do them. Think about how much you wish you could properly honor your parents, not be jealous of anyone, and keep all the other mitzvos of the Aseres HaDibros and of the Torah with perfection. The yetzer hara is a malach, an angel, and a malach is unable to read people's thoughts. Therefore, the yetzer hara can't prevent people from thinking these thoughts. It is within everyone’s ability to yearn to do good deeds. A good thought, Chazal teach, is considered like a deed, so by thinking these thoughts, you have, in a way, already kept these mitzvos. There is a rule (stated in Rashi, this week’s parashah, 19:5) úåù÷ úåìçúä ìë, that all beginnings are difficult. But this person has passed the beginning stage with his thoughts. Now it will be easy for him to keep the mitzvos.

‫פרשת יתרו‬ ‫תשע"ז‬ Parshas Yisro 5777 Year 6 • #293

The new design of Pardes Yehuda has been sponsored by David P. Rose ‫לעילוי נשמת אביו מרדבי בן ראובן ואמו שרה לאה בת אביגדור ע"ה‬

Klal Yisroel: purified to receive the Torah ‫וְ הַ ר ִסינַי עָ שַׁ ן כֻּלּוֹ ִמפְּ נֵי אֲ שֶׁ ר י ַָרד עָ לָיו ה' בָּ אֵ שׁ ַויַּעַ ל עֲשָׁ נוֹ כְּ עֶ שֶׁ ן‬ ‫ (יט יח‬:‫)הַ כִּ בְ שָׁ ן‬ The entire Mount Sinai smoked because the Lord had descended upon it in fire, and its smoke ascended like the smoke of the kiln(19:18 Why does the Torah employ the metaphor of a smoking kiln to make the events at Sinai easier to understand? The Gemara (Pesachim 30b) teaches: ‫והתורה העידה על כלי חרס שאינו יוצא מידי דופיו לעולם‬ "An earthenware vessel which has absorbed [chametz] in its walls: ... the absorbed matter cannot be expelled by boiling water or fire, but the vessel must be broken in pieces. If the pieces are reassembled, a new kosher vessel has been formed." Tosfos raise another possibility: to place the affected vessel into a pottery kiln. Will the absorbed chametz remain to any degree at all? No, because the extreme heat of the kiln will transform and remake the pot just as if it had been shattered and re-assembled; it is not the same vessel as it was before, plain and simple. Considering how he was formed during Creation, does a human not have much in common with an earthenware vessel? He was, after all, formed from the earth itself ‫ַוּיִיצֶ ר ְי ֹהוָה אֱֹלהִ ים אֶ ת הָ אָ דָ ם‬ ‫ ָעפָר מִ ן הָ אֲדָ מָ ה‬The Yid in Mitzrayim veritably absorbed in himself the spiritual filth and degradation of that depraved environment and before he could become a fitting vessel to receive the Holy Torah, a thoroughgoing purification was imperative. Only a fiery pottery kiln had the power to make a Yid into a new person, a new receptacle, by ridding him of the absorbed impurity. Matan Torah -- through the fiery Revelation -- accomplished this. The Torah’s language is no mere metaphor describing the event, but an actual enabling of the Yidden to receive the Torah by having the requisite purity. (‫ דינוב‬- ‫)צמח דוד‬ What is the true reason for the obligation of honouring parents?

point with the Alshich’s teaching that the parent also plays a crucial role in a child’s eventual entry into Olam HaBa? Why should the rebbe’s lost article take precedence? The key lies in the different degrees of certainty inherent in the father’s versus the rebbe’s contributions. There is absolute certainty that the father brings one into the world, and that is sufficient merit to trigger kibud av veAim. The father’s action is a “necessary but not sufficient condition” for Olam HaBa. Its outcome is doubtful. It is by no means certain that this child will subsequently enter Olam HaBa. Ensuring that entrance is the job of the rebbe, and we assume that the Torah learned at his knee will certainly provide the entry pass. So now the general rule from Pesachim 9a applies: ‫ אין ספק מוציא מידי וודאי‬, a doubt cannot supersede a certainty. The certainty of the rebbe’s component entitles to him to precedence in having his lost article returned and the Mishna from Bava Metzia is explained. . (‫ר' אברהם פאלאז'י‬- ‫)אברהם אנכי‬

What was gained by seeing the Voice of Hashem’s Commandments?

‫טו‬ ‫(כ‬ :‫אֶ ת־הַ קּוֹֹלת‬ ‫רֹאִ ים‬ ‫)וְ כָל־הָ עָם‬ Other than in an acoustics laboratory, audible words have no physical counterpart. But our posuk clearly states that Hashem’s words were visible as well as audible. This is remarkable; why was this phenomenon of “visible speech” necessary? All of the neshamos of Klal Yisroel were present at the revelation of the Aseres Hadibros, which contain either explicitly or by extension all of the foundations of Judaism. Every Yid had to understand every word. And yet there was an ambiguity which could have led to a grievous misunderstanding. The posuk ‫ל ֹא־תִ ְשׁתַּ ֲחוֶה לָהֶ ם‬ ‫ )וְ ל ֹא תָ עָבְ דֵ ם (שם טו‬is the source of the prohibition of avodah zorah/idolatry. The word ‫( תָ עָבְ דֵ ם‬You may not SERVE them) is written with an ayin. But there is another very similar word containing an aleph ‫וְ ל ֹא תָ אָ בְ דֵ ם‬ (You shall not DESTROY them) which implies just the opposite, but which is pronounced identically: "you may not destroy the avodah zara, but you may worship it" Chas vesholom. To forestall such a grievous error, the words had to be physically SEEN , so as not to confuse the kosher ayin-word ‫ תָ עָבְ דֵ ם‬with the heretical aleph-word ‫תָ אָ בְ דֵ ם‬. We find a similar instance in Megillas Esther, hinging on the very same lexical roots, but now having different vocalizations. When Haman HaRasha sought to enslave the Jews in return for a huge payment to Achashveirosh’s treasury, his plea was (ִ‫עם־עַל־הַ מֶ לְֶך טֹוב ִיכָתֵ ב לְ אַ בְ דָ ם (ג‬ ‫ )ט‬If it pleases the king, let it be written to destroy them, His intention was ‫ לְ אַ בְ דָ ם‬to destroy the Jews, but he hoodwinked the moronic king that he was only seeking to enslave them ‫ לְעבְ דָ ם‬But, as we saw above, the two crucial action verbs are pronounced alike. Haman spoke the words “to enslave them”, meaning full well "to destroy them" if only Achashveirosh would acquiesce by signing the proclamation which Haman thrust under his nose. This he willingly did in return for the enormous bribe. But when it came to writing up the royal declaration, Haman’s “bait-andswitch” came into play and he duplicitously wrote ‫ לְ אַ בְ דָ ם‬totally distorting the king’s actual agreement. Now when Esther plead :‫כי נמכרנו אני ועמי‬ ‫ להשמיד להרוג ולאבד ואלו לעבדים ולשפחות נמכרנו החרשתי‬For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to be annihilated. But if we had been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept my silence (Esther 7:4), the ruse was exposed and that is what triggered

‫ (כ יב‬:‫)כַּבֵּ ד אֶ ת־אָ בִ יָך וְ אֶ ת־אִ מֶּ ָך לְ מַ עַן ַיא ֲִרכוּן יָמֶ יָך עַל הָ אֲדָ מָ ה‬ The Alshich HaKodosh wonders why the Torah commanded one to honour one’s parents. Might I have thought that I should NOT honour them, or that it is perhaps an optional virtue? One might erroneously think that while the parents brought a new soul into this lowly world, down from the Upper Realms where it enjoyed closeness to Hakodosh Boruch Hu, by so doing they caused anguish to the new being. Cholila! Just the opposite! The payback for Kibud Av veAim is clearly spelled out in the Aseres HaDibros themselves: ‫ לְ מַ עַן " ַיא ֲִרכוּן יָמֶ יָך" עַל הָ אֲדָ מָ ה‬This refers to Olam HaBa, the Next World, which one cannot attain other than by sojourning in This World, Olam HaZeh. In this light, one’s parents, by giving the gift of life, provide the greatest favour for a person, for which they surely deserve extreme honour. But a stunning question on this insight arises from the Mishna (Bava Metzia, perek 2, mishna 11). We see there that if one is faced with a choice of returning two lost objects, one his Rebbe’s and one his father’s, attending Achashverirosh’s rage -- more from umbrage at Haman’s forging to the Rebbe’s takes precedence. The reason given is that while a royal document than from any new-found pity on Jewish lives. one’s father actively bring him into This World/ olam hazeh, his (‫הוספות פרדס יהודה‬- ‫)תפוחי חיים‬ rebbe, by teaching him the wisdom of the Torah enables him to enter the Next World/olam haba. But how are to reconcile this


Please refrain from reading this Gilyon during davening and Krias Hatorah ("‫(מ)ללמוד בעת חזרת הש"ץ‬ ...‫ "יש ליזהר‬:‫)ע' ש"ע א"ח קכד ס'ד מ"ב ס"ק יז‬

av Menachem Nachum of Stefeneshti (‫נפטר י"ד‬ R ‫ )בכסלו תרכ"ט‬was a son of the Heiliger Rizhiner Rebbe Rav Yisroel. He was known for causing

deeply moved to see the power of the Rebbe’s ruach hakodesh and their faith in tzaddikim was very much strengthened. The man knew how important amazing mofsim/miracles to happen which tran- it was to return to the Rebbe to share the details of scended the ordinary laws of nature. His son, Rav the happy event. His wife, overwhelmed by joy and Avrohom Matisyahu, trod the same path and left gratitude, wanted to go beyond that and actually behind renowned talmidim, including the Skulener take the infant to the Rebbe to receive his brocho. Hard winter, with its snow and frost, had and Ribnitzer Rebbes. taken hold by then and the man was STORY OF poor villager had not been apprehensive of taking a tender blessed with offspring after THE WEEK: infant on a wagon trip in such conmany years of marriage and ditions. The woman was insistent came to the Stefanisht Rebbe Even wild animals defer to and bundled up the baby in layers to bemoan his fate and beg for of the warmest garments she had the Stefanishter a brocho. As was customary, the and made sure that their wagon Rebbe gazed deeply into the man’s Rebbe was roadworthy and insulated. kvittl and uttered a brocho for him to hey set out on a twisting forest road and become very successful in business. It was even with the most skilled driver, the only natural for the man to react with great joy at this event, since he had never done well in any kind wagon lurched from side to side in the deep snow. of trading he had tried. He hurried home to share The woman bent over to check on the baby, and to the good news with his wife. “Our salvation is at her horror, screamed “The baby is gone! Ribbono hand, dear wife!” he exclaimed. “That’s very fine, shel olam! Bring my baby back!” The father realized husband. But tell me exactly what the Rebbe wished that the precious bundle had been thrown from the for us.” “He said that it is meant for us to become wagon and panicked from the realization that no very wealthy through our business dealings.” Being baby could survive for long in a frozen snow bank. a pious woman of simple emunas chachamim, the He frantically ordered the driver to retrace their good woman sublimated her maternal yearnings trail and the three adults peered in every direction and thought to herself that the Holy Rebbe knew for the lost baby. Suddenly, the father blanched. He what would be best for them in their lives – and that spotted the baby’s blanket lying in a snowy ditch with two wild wolves standing over him! He assumed the was that. he couple’s financial situation changed overnight. worst, but then it appeared that the animals were Whatever business deal they tried their hands protecting the child, not menacing him. Nevertheat blossomed with success and it was only a year less, the two men approached the baby armed with so until they became quite prosperous – wealthy, heavy rifles. But when they got closer, they were in fact. But even as nouveau riche, they still ached flabbergasted to see something totally outside the from the void of childlessness, so it was back to the bounds of nature: the two wild beasts were bending Rebbe, this time with a very sizable pidyon contri- over the child, gently blowing their warm breath bution in hand. The only topic on the table this time right on him to keep him warm. When the wolves was a brocho for a child, and there were more tears sensed the men’s approach, they retreated meekly than words expended during this yechidus with the into the forest and disappeared from view. Both Rebbe. The Rebbe peered deeply into their kvittl for parents cuddled the child amidst a personal version an extended time and then entered into an other- of Hallel in thanks for the miracle the Borei Olam worldly state of elevated trance-like consciousness. had sent their way. They hastily completed their The couple were terrified to witness the change that journey to Stefanisht with no further obstacles and seized the Rebbe’s face, and were much relieved were nervously waiting to relate their entire saga to when his visage returned to normal. “I was able to the Rebbe. But as soon as he opened his door, the arrange a decree in shomayim for a first-born son words he uttered were: “Nu? What did you think for you. Travel back home gesunderheit and get of my two wolves I sent to guard and protect the ready for the great day.” The couple were overjoyed, baby? I promised you that child, so I had to take and, as the tsaddik had proclaimed, and Hashem personal responsibility for his welfare. Take good had provided, a bris celebration was planned in care of him and have nachas from him always.” their town within the following year. Everyone in The Stanfanishte Rebbe’s open ruach hakodesh was town attended the lavish event, funded by the new displayed for many other Yidden throughout his life. father’s wealth. Many simple townspeople were ZY”A




Parshas Yisro 5777, #293 Our editor, Mr. Rose ‫ תשואת חן חן לן‬is reachable at, and is available for Anglo-Judaica editorial assignments. A publication of Seforim World . 1000’s of seforim: new and old; 4403 16 Ave. Brooklyn N.Y. 11204 U.S.A. 718 438 8414 718 633 5500 or - hours 11-7:30 Subscriptions: - Pardes is available by email or on, or Also available at our Boro Park store on Fridays.

Please refrain from reading this Gilyon during davening and Krias Hatorah ("‫בעת חזרת הש"ץ‬ ‫ (מ)ללמוד‬...‫ "יש ליזהר‬:‫)ע' ש"ע א"ח קכד ס'ד מ"ב ס"ק יז‬


PARASHAS YISRO IN THE PATHWAYS OF FAITH Fortunate Is He Who Has the G-d of Yaakov Helping Him ‫ ושם האחד‬.‫”שם האחד גרשם כי אמר גר הייתי בארץ נכריה‬ (‫ד‬-‫אליעזר כי אלקי אבי בעזרי“ )יח ג‬ Why did the Torah not say “ki amar,” because he said, with relation to Eliezer, the way it says by Gershom? Rabbeinu Yitzchak ben Asher Halevi, one of the Baalei Hatosafos, explains: Moshe said the sentence “Ger hayisi b’eretz nachriah,” I was a stranger in a foreign land, only at that time when he was naming his son. However, the words “Elokei avi b’ezri” were on his lips all the time, and were not only said for that time. Therefore, it would not be apt to write “ki amar” with relation to Eliezer. Peirush Hariv”a al HaTorah

Bnei Yisrael Answered Amen after the Brachos of Yisro ‫”ויאמר יתרו ברוך ה‘ אשר הציל אתכם מיד מצרים ומיד‬ (‫ י‬,‫פרעה“ )יח‬ “It is an embarrassment for Moshe and the six hundred thousand that they didn’t say ‘Baruch’ until Yisro came and said ‘Baruch Hashem’.” (Sanhedrin 94a) From the words of the Gemara it sounds like after Yisro said ‘baruch,” Bnei Yisrael also said ‘baruch.’ When did that happen? Harav Avraham Chaim Schorr explained: We have to assume that when Yisro blessed Hashem, Bnei Yisrael had in mind to be yotzei with the brachah. This would be following the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 219 4), that when one experiences a miracle, he can be yotzei Birchas Hagomel with a brachah that his friend makes for him. As such, they had to answer amen after his brachah, as it says “One who answers amen is greater than the one who makes the brachah.” Thus it is as though they all said ‘baruch’ themselves.’ Toras Chaim, Sanhedrin 94a

Teshuvah Precedes Torah (‫”ויסעו מרפידים ויבאו מדבר סיני“ )יט ב‬ “To compare their travel from Refidim to their arrival in the Sinai Desert; just like they came to the Sinai Desert in teshuvah, they traveled from

Divrei Torah About Amen and Tefillah in the Parashah

Refidim in teshuva teshuvah as well.” (Rashi) From the fact that Bnei Yisrael repented before Kabbalas HaTorah, the Shela HaKadosh (Derech Chaim – Tochachas Mussar 37) understands the words of the mekubalim that the reason a person sometimes has trouble understanding his Torah learning is because of his sins, and therefore one should repent before learning. For this reason, the brachah of Hashiveinu is said right after Atah Chonen, to teach us that that Atah Chonen is dependent on the brachah of Hashiveinu. In sefer Amud Eish (p. 34) a talmid of the Maharil Diskin testifies what he witnessed frequently while learning with his rebbi: When the Maharil

Bnei Yisrael Answered Amen after the Aseres Hadibros (‫”ויענו כל העם יחדו ואמרו כל אשר דבר ה‘ נעשה“ )יט ח‬ The acronym of “Vayomru kol asher diber Hashem naaseh” is numerically equivalent to “amen.” This alludes to the words of the early Sages who say that after each of the dibros, Am Yisrael answered amen. Ame”n Veame”n Remez 130

The Tosafos (ibid starting with piryo) asks: The passuk does not compare Yisrael to an apple; it compares HaKadosh Baruch Hu to the apple, as it says “Kein Dodi bein habanim”? Harav Yehoshua of Belz offers a beautiful answer: By declaring “naaseh venishma”, Bnei Yisrael followed the path of Hashem, because He answered Yisrael (=naaseh) before they even davened to Him (=nishma) as it says (Yeshayah 65:24): “And it will be before they call, I will answer.” Therefore, Chazal said, when the passuk compared HaKadosh Baruch Hu to an apple, whose fruit comes before its leaves, He included in this praise Yisrael also, who followed in this path. Thus the passuk says, “Kein Dodi” – HaKadosh Baruch Hu, “bein habanim” – with Yisrael. Based on this, the Rebbe, zt”l, explained the words we recite in Zemiros of Shabbos: “Uba’u kulam bivris yachad naaseh venishma amru k’echad” – Bnei Yisrael said naaseh venishma as the “Echad” the One in the world, said, as He also preceded naaseh to nishma. Yeshurun, Vol. II, p. 190

Shabbos Hi Milizok, Urefuah Kerovah Lavo

would encounter a part of the sugya that he could not resolve, he would ask the disciple sitting with him to read aloud the words of the Gemara, word for word. In the meantime, he would pace up and down the room, deep in thought, until tears would begin to flow from his eyes. Then he would step into a corner and daven with a broken heart to Hashem to illuminate his eyes with the light of the Torah. After he would say Viduy and give tzedakah, Hashem would immediately illuminate his eyes and the sugya would become clear to him.

(‫”משה ידבר והאלקים יעננו בקול“ )יט טי‬ The Chozeh of Lublin derived from this passuk an allusion to the halachah in Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 287 1) that one who visits a sick person on Shabbos should say to him: “Shabbos hi milizok urefuah kerovah lavo.” “Moshe is an acronym for Shabbos Hi Milizok, and when a person yedaber, says this before a sick person, then “Hashem will answer” with “kol” which is an acronym for “urefuah kerovah lavo.”

Before They Cry, I Will Answer

On the same subject, the Siddur Lev Sameach (printed 5633, p. 96) brings an allusion to the brachos: “Shabbos hi milizok” – on Shabbos when we do not cry out in the brachos of bakashah, the middle brachos of Shemoneh Esrei, we can effect yeshuos in “refuah kerovah lavo” in the second brachah (=which is kerovah, closer in the order of Shemoneh Esrei) in which we mention the praise of Hashem as “Rofeh Cholim.”

(‫”כל אשר דבר ה‘ נעשה“ )יט ח‬ “Amar Rabi Chama BaRabi Chanina: What does it mean (Shir Hashirim 2:3): ‘Like an apple in the trees of the forest so is my beloved among the sons.” Why is Yisrael compared to an apple? To tell us: Just like this apple came before its leaves, so too, Yisrael said first naaseh and then nishma.” (Shabbos 88a)

Shu”t Arugos Habosem Orach Chaim 23

Erev Shabbos Parashas Yisro (21 Shevat) is the yahrtzeit of Harav Yechiel Yehoshua of Biala, zy”a, who was very scrupulous about reciting Birchos Hashachar bechavrusa, as cited in the seder of his hanhagos (Seder Hayom 50):

“…and to say Birchos Hashachar in front of people so they will reply amen, as it is known from holy sages that a brachah without amen is literally half a body.” In his holy sefer Chelkas Yehoshua (Ha’azinu) he adds: Aside for the fact that reciting brachos aloud intensifies the kavanah of the one making the brachah, it also causes others to merit answer amen after it. In this merit, the tefillah of the one making the brachah is received in Shamayim. An allusion to this can be found in the words: “Ha’azinu Hashamayim v’adaberah” – when does Shamayim listen to the tefillah of a person? When he makes a brachah aloud in a way that “vatishma ha’aretz imrei fi.”

Amen. Answer and be answered.

Prayer of Faith

A Glance at the Seder Hatefillah

Shiras Hayam – continued (3) Mi Kamocah Ba’eilim Hashem like that. Go out to the market and try The passuk “Mi kamocha ba’eilim Hashem” is explained by Chazal (Gittin 56b): “Mi kamocha ba’ilmim (mute) Hashem” that Hashem hears the curses of the evil people and is silent. The Kli Yakar explains (Beshalach) according to the passuk (Tehillim 19:2): “Hashamayim mesaprim kevod Kel umaaseh yadav maggid harakia.” The praise of HaKadosh Baruch Hu is not expressed only through humans who merited the power of speech. Even the inanimate parts of creation praise Hashem, because the constant and perfectly coordinated systems of the body are testimony to leadership of Hashem and His tremendous power and strength. The Kli Yakar adds a parable cited in the Midrash (Bereishis Rabba 5 1): There was a king who built a huge, magnificent palace. At first, he placed mute people there and each day they would rise and ask about the king’s welfare as best they could. Then he placed clever people there, and they rebelled against him. So the king returned the palace to its previous state. So, too, it is with HaKadosh Baruch Hu. At the beginning of the world, the main praise came from the water, as it says (Tehillim 93:4): “Mikolos mayim rabbim adirim mishberei yam adir bamarom Hashem.” Then people began to Praise Him, but when the Egyptians rebelled against Him, He went back to being praised by revealing the power of the water.

to make some deals with these coins. The Schach complied with his fatherin-law’s request and went to the market. As expected, his talents shone here, too, and within a short time he found good merchandise at an excellent price. He sold it and purchased even better merchandise, and so it went. After a few hours he returned to his father-in-law’s home with a bundle of coins, the profits of his dealings. When his father-in-law came to him the second day and suggested that he repeat the success of the day before, the Schach was ready with an answer: “I think this is what the passuk intended when saying: ‘Amar oyev,” the enemy, the satan, seeks to make a person sin, so he says “Erdof asig” – if I want to trap a person in the net of sins, then “achalek shalal” I will cause him to profit more than normal, so that he will forget his learning. Then I will be pleased when “timla’eimo nafshi” – his brain will be empty of divrei Torah and will be full of idle things. “But notice, my dear father-in-law, the end of the passuk as well: “Arik charbi torisheimo yadi” – after the satan will finish his work, he immediately robs the person of his money as well, so the poor man is left bare on all fronts, no Torah and no money. The Schach’s winning answer impressed his father-in-law a great deal, and as a result we have the Schach’s remarkable compilations and sefarim, which illuminate our lives to this day. (Sefer Halichos Hayom p. 184)

Three Pillars of the World

‫ עיצובים‬shay

Rabbeinu Bechayei in his commentary on the Torah (Shemos 15:13) says that Bnei Yisrael were taken out of Egypt in the merit of three things: Torah, avodah, and gemilus chassadim. In the Midrash (Bamidbar Rabba 12 12) Chazal say: “On three things the world stands, on Torah, on avodah and on gemilus chassadim and all three were mentioned by Moshe in one passuk: ‘Nachisa bechasdecha am zu ga’alta” is chessed; “nehalta be’azcha” is Torah (see Zevachim 115a) and “el neveh Kodshecha” is the avodah of the Mishkan and the Mikdash.” The Tanna Devei Eliyahu says (Rabba 23): “Even Dovid Hamalech would praise those that emerged from Egypt… as they gathered and sat until they were all united and forged a pact that they would do chessed one with another…”

The Tactic of the Yetzer Hara: Achalek Shalal In order to enable the Schach to learn with a clear, calm mind, his father-inlaw, Rav Binyamin Wolf Taub, would put a plate filled with golden dinars on the table where he was learning. One day, the father-in-law entered the room when the Schach was sitting and writing chiddushim and took two gold coins for the bowl. He said to his sonin-law, I realize that your success in learning is far beyond average. I want to see if you can succeed in business

Ki L’Hashem Hameluchah Umoshel Bagoyim In his commentary on Mishlei (27 27) the Vilna Gaon explains: There is a difference between the Melech and the Moshel. Melech is someone who is coronated by his nation willingly. A Moshel is one who imposes his rule forcefully without the acquiescence of the nation. These two essences are manifested in the dream of Yosef Hatzaddik (ibid 7): On the one hand it says: “Vehinei kamah alumasi vegam nitzvah,” of its own accord, like a Moshel. On the other hand it says “Vehinei tesubenah alumoseichem vatishtachavena l’alumasi” -- of their own will, like a king. Therefore, his brothers used both languages in their response: “Hamaloch timloch aleinu im mashol timshol banu.” Based on the this, the Gaon explains why we recite the pesukim of the Geulah during Shacharis after Az Yashir: “Ki l’Hahsem hameluchah umoshel bagoyim” (Tehillim 22:29), and “V’alu moshiim beHar Tzion lisphot es Har Eisav vehaysah l’Hashem hameluchah” (Ovadiah 1: 21). This is to teach us that in our times, we accept the Will of Hashem willingly, but the nations of the world are ruled by force. However, in the End of Days, when all the denizens of the world will accept His rule, then “Vehaysah l’Hashem hameluchah “ – His malchus will reign the world over.

A Story of Faith

A Weekly Story About Amen and Tefillah

If You Value the Mitzvos As Much As Money Many among us, especially those whose parnassah necessitates that they spend time among people who are not mitzvah observant, or those with insufficient Yiras Shamayim, find themselves facing challenges in their commitment to mitzvos. Sometimes they have to struggle over matters of kedushah, and sometimes the challenges even involve matters that, when among Yirei Hashem, they consider very easy to do. This story, which has a wonderful lesson, was told over by Harav Ben Tzion Lopez: There was a Jew who served as the bank manager in his city for many years. Over time, he unfortunately drifted far from the path of Torah and mitzvos. But when he reached middle age, he suddenly became more aware of where he was up to in life and began to strengthen his observance. After some time in this stage, he resolved to become a complete baal teshuvah and commit to the yoke of Torah and mitzvos. Each morning he would get up, put on tefillin and daven. Then he would eat breakfast, taking care to perform all the necessary mitzvos such as washing, making brachos and bentsching. When he finished he went to work. Although the man grew stronger in his observance each day, he still kept the mitzvos only within the privacy of his own home. He was quite embarrassed by it all, and unfortunately, on the outside, he continued to pretend that he was living as he always had. He did not transgress any mitzvos, but on the other hand, while among people, he did not perform any mitzvos either. On normal days, he was able to withstand the challenges. But when it came to having meetings, either with employees or clients, and refreshments were served, he found the situation very awkward. On the one hand, he didn’t want to eat without a brachah and on the other, he was ashamed to make brachos in front of other people. Had he decided to refrain from eating at those meetings, or would decide to make the brachos on the food, he was sure he would become a laughingstock in the eyes of his workers. He could not imagine doing such a thing; it was too much for him to overcome. One day, one of his main clients, a very wealthy, dignified man who exuded nobility and power, arrived at his office. He was holding a huge wad of bills that he wanted to deposit into his account. The manager invited the client into his office, and an employee placed a steaming jug of coffee on the table along with a tray full of confections. The challenge was about to rear its head once again; would the manager be able to withstand it?! While he stood there, deliberating between his yetzer tov and yetzer hara, he heard a thump. When he looked to see what happened, he saw that the huge wad of bills had fallen out of the client’s hand. Bills scattered every which way, both in the office and even out to the hallway. The client let out of a cry of alarm and the manager hastened to press the emergency button, and ordered his staff to lock the doors of the bank. Together with the workers, they began to collect the money that had scattered. When he finished collecting all that he could see, he stood up and was most surprised by the scene that met his eyes: The dignified man was sprawled on the floor of the room; his suit was dusty and he was scrabbling around in the corners

of the room; he was even reaching under the sofa to see if any bills had strayed there. He seemed not to care about his immaculate, tailored suit, nor his dignified bearing as he lay on all fours in search of the money. Apparently, the manager realized, that when it came to loss of money, the man did not care about his expensive clothes or what he would look like crawling on the floor. Moreover, the clerks and bank personnel standing on the side and observing him did not laugh or mock his behavior. On the contrary, it appeared that they were no less distraught than he was about what happened. Suddenly, the dreaded understanding dawned on him: Why were the clerks not laughing at the wealthy man? Why were they not even scorning him in their hearts? It was only because they, too, displayed tremendous respect for money, and as such, they realized that when there was a fear of losing it, they needed to put all the trappings of honor aside and try to save what was possible. Why, then, the bank manager wondered, am I afraid for my honor and stature when it comes to the loss of brachos, which I know are more valuable than silver or gold? Why do I have to feel ashamed when I do something that is so precious and important in my eyes?! At that moment, he decided that from that day on, he would not forego reciting even one brachah wholeheartedly. People may be curious and surprised, but am I any less honorable and dignified than this wealthy man?! he thought to himself. As soon as things in the room calmed down a bit, he quickly took a slice of cake from the desk, covered his head and made the brachah. Upon finishing the cake, he made a brachah acharonah. Out of the corner of his eye he realized a few of the clerks raising an eyebrow, and even snickering a little, but he saw no reason to apologize and he stood tall and proud of what he was doing. As expected, after a day or two, his employees got used to his behavior and stopped raising their eyebrows when they saw him making a brachah. Whenever anyone asked a question, he provided a detailed answer, and it seemed to him that this got made them respect him even more. If that was not enough, this renewed determination infused him with the strength to progress even further in his avodas Hashem, and to strengthen his observance of mitzvos. Within a short time, he became a fully observant Jew who adhered to every detail of halachah both at home and outside his house. From this wonderful story we can lean an excellent piece of advice for anyone who wants to serve his creator with his whole heart, but is ashamed to do so. He should remind himself over and over that the value of mitzvos is no less than the value of gold and silver and if for those, people are ready to embarrass themselves, how much more so should one be ready to do so for Torah and mitzvos. The more a person recognizes this fact, the more he will grow and take his place among the bnei aliyah, and from there, he will be able to constantly rise higher in his quest to acquire Torah and mitzvos. Umasok Ha’or, Eikev

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Rabbi Pinches Friedman Parshas Yisro 5777 Translation by Dr. Baruch Fox

Deciphering the Chasam Sofer's Cryptic Comment: ‫ מ"י חכ"ם‬Is an Acronym for ‫י'תרו כ'הן מ'דין ח'ותן מ'שה‬ In this week's parsha, parshas Yisro, we read (Shemos 18, 1): ‫"וישמע יתרו כהן מדין חותן משה את כל אשר עשה אלקים למשה ולישראל‬ "‫—עמו כי הוציא ה' את ישראל ממצרים‬Yisro—the priest of Midian, Moshe's father-in-law— heard all that Elokim did for Moshe and His people Yisrael, that Havaya took Yisrael out of Mitzrayim. The commentaries note that the passuk initially employs the name Elokim but concludes with the name Havaya. Additionally, Rashi comments that Yisro specifically heard about " Krias Yam Suf" and the battle with Amalek; where does Rashi learn this from? At first glance, there is no indication of this in the passuk.

To assist us in this inquiry, it is fitting that we attempt to decipher a cryptic remark in the wonderful teachings of the Chasam Sofer, zy"a (Yisro). He addresses the statement of David HaMelech, Yisrael's sweet psalmist (Tehillim 107, 43): ‫"מי חכם‬ "'‫וישמר אלה ויתבוננו חסדי ה‬-- whoever (‫ )מ"י‬is wise, let him note these things (‫)אל"ה‬, and they will comprehend the kindness of Hashem. David HaMelech neglects to inform us who this wise man is, who scrutinizes the kind acts of Hashem. He is actually alluding to Yisro, who heard about " Krias Yam Suf" and the battle with Amalek. After contemplating the kindness HKB"H performed on behalf of Yisrael, he proclaims (Shemos 18, 11): "‫—"עתה ידעתי כי גדול ה' מכל האלקים‬now I know that Havaya is greater than all the gods. David HaMelech alludes to this via "ruach hakodesh": The words ‫—מ"י חכ"ם‬who is the wise man?- are an acronym for ‫—י'תרו כ'הן מ'דין ח'ותן מ'שה‬Yisro, the priest of Midian, the father-in-law of Moshe. What great chiddush is David HaMelech teaching us? The passuk states explicitly: "Now I know that Havaya is greater than all the gods"—it informs us that Yisro was wise enough to recognize the kindness and greatness of Hashem. So, what is

the significance of the statement: "‫—"מי חכם וישמר אלה‬what did Yisro do that so impressed David HaMelech?

Moshe Wisely Conducted the War against Amalek in the Natural Realm

To adequately explain the matter, let us review the account of the battle with Amalek at the conclusion of last week's parsha (Shemos 17, 8): ,‫"ויאמר משה אל יהושע בחר לנו אנשים וצא הילחם בעמלק‬ "‫מחר אנכי נצב על ראש הגבעה ומטה האלקים בידי‬-- Amalek came and they battled Yisrael in Rephidim. Moshe said to Yehoshua, "Choose men for us, and go out to do battle with Amalek; tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of G-d in my hand." The commentaries focus on the fact that Moshe Rabeinu chose to wage war against Amalek by natural means—indicated by his instructions to Yehoshua. This is in stark contrast to the events surrounding the miraculous splitting of the sea—" Krias Yam Suf." There, when being pursued by Pharaoh and the Egyptian forces, Moshe instructs Yisrael not to perform any physical action. As it is written (ibid. 14, 13): ‫"ויאמר משה אל העם אל‬ ‫ אשר יעשה לכם היום כי אשר ראיתם את מצרים‬,'‫תיראו התיצבו וראו את ישועת ה‬ "‫ ה' ילחם לכם ואתם תחרישון‬,‫—היום לא תוסיפו לראותם עוד עד עולם‬Moshe said to the people, "Do not fear! Stand fast and witness the salvation of Hashem that He will perform for you today; for that which you have seen Mitzrayim today, you shall not see them ever again! Hashem will wage war on your behalf and you shall remain silent." We find a remarkable explanation in the Emek Davar (Beshalach), the commentary authored by the brilliant Netziv, ztz"l. His explanation hinges on the underlying reason for the Parshas Yisro 5777 | 1

war with Amalek (ibid. 17, 7): ‫"ויקרא שם המקום מסה ומריבה על ריב‬ ‫ ויבוא עמלק וילחם‬.‫בני ישראל ועל נסותם את ה' לאמר היש ה' בקרבנו אם אין‬ "‫—עם ישראל ברפידים‬he named the place Massah U'Merivah, because of the contention of Bnei Yisrael, and because of their testing of Hashem, saying, "Is Hashem in our midst or not?" Rashi explains: The Torah juxtaposed this passage with the preceding verse to say, "I am always among you and available for all of your needs; yet, you say, 'Is Hashem in our midst or not?' I swear by your lives that the dog (Amalek), will come and bite you. Then you will scream out to me and know where I am." The Netziv finds this perplexing. After all, we are talking about the generation of the midbar—the generation of knowledge—"dor dei'ah." They experienced the exodus from Mitzrayim and witnessed with their own eyes the miracles and supernatural feats performed by HKB"H—including the ten plagues and " Krias Yam Suf." It seems unbelievable and unfathomable that they could have totally forgotten all of that to the point that they had the audacity to question: "Is Hashem in our midst or not?"

Does Hashem Oversee the World of Nature The Netziv provides us with an explanation. Indeed, Yisrael saw that HKB"H performed supernatural feats on their behalf. They realized, however, that this supernatural existence was in the merit of Moshe Rabeinu and, therefore, was only temporary. After his death, however, their existence would return to a normal existence based on the laws of nature. It was with regards to their eventual, natural existence that they queried blasphemously: "Is Hashem in our midst or not?"--'‫"היש ה‬ "?‫ בקרבנו‬They wanted to know whether in the absence of Moshe Rabeinu, HKB"H Himself conducts the world of nature, or whether He allows the heavenly bodies and constellations to run things, without His intervention. Based on this understanding, he explains:

‫ רצה משה רבינו‬- ‫"ויאמר משה אל יהושע בחר לנו אנשים וצא הילחם בעמלק‬ ‫ על כן סידר מלחמה זו‬,‫ כח השגחת ה' עליהם גם בלי נס נגלה‬,‫להראות לישראל‬ ‫ על כן צוה את‬,]‫ ובאשר לא נוצר משה רבינו לכך [להנהגת הטבע‬,‫בדרך הטבע‬ ‫ ובתרגום יונתן‬,‫ כדרך מלחמה בדרך הטבע‬,‫ גיבורים‬- ‫ בחר לנו אנשים‬,‫יהושע‬ ‫ שהמה מסוגלים‬,‫ היינו גיבורים במלחמתה של תורה‬,‫ אלו בעלי פקודיא‬,‫איתא‬ ."‫ביחוד למלחמה טבעית‬ Moshe Rabeinu wished to demonstrate to Yisrael the power of Hashem's supervision over them even without

blatant miracles. Hence, he conducted this battle by natural means. Seeing as Moshe Rabeinu was not suited for this, he instructed Yehoshua to select men who were brave warriors—just like in a battle conducted naturally. The Targum Yonatan explains that Yehoshua was instructed to select warriors who engage in the battles of Torah; for they are particularly suited for battles in the realm of nature. It is worth adding a fascinating point made by the esteemed Rabbi Shlomo Kluger, ztz"l, in Chochmas HaTorah (Beshalach). He interprets Moshe's statement to Yehoshua: ‫"מחר אנכי נצב על‬ "‫ראש הגבעה ומטה האלקים בידי‬-- tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of Elokim in my hand—based on a fundamental concept brought down by the Ramak in Pardes Rimonim and which appears in many of our early sources. The management of the universe based on miracles and supernatural feats stems from the name ‫ ;הוי"ה‬whereas the management based on the laws of nature stems from the name ‫אלקי"ם‬. This is reflected by the fact that the numerical value of the word ‫—הטב"ע‬the realm of nature—equals ‫( אלקי"ם‬86).

Seeing as Moshe chose to wage this battle against Amalek utilizing natural means and tactics, he instructs Yehoshua: "Choose men for us, and go out to do battle with Amalek"— the natural way. Therefore, Moshe promised to assist him as follows: "Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of Elokim in my hand"—I will use my staff to invoke a miracle concealed within the guise of nature--‫ הטב"ע‬, which possesses the same numerical value as Elokim.

Do Moshe's Hands Determine the Outcomes of Battles

Applying the Netziv's remarkable insight, we can shed some light on the sages' elucidation in the Mishnah (R.H. 29a) regarding the battle with Amalek: ‫"והיה כאשר ירים משה ידו וגבר‬ ‫ אלא לומר לך בזמן‬.‫ וכי ידיו של משה עושות מלחמה או שוברות מלחמה‬,‫ישראל‬ ‫שישראל מסתכלין כלפי מעלה ומשעבדין את לבם לאביהם שבשמים היו נוצחות‬ ."‫" ואם לאו היו נופלות‬It happened that when Moshe would raise his hand Yisrael prevailed." Do Moshe's hands determine the outcome of a battle? Rather, this informs you that when Yisrael look toward the heavens and subjugate their hearts to their Father in Heaven, they would prevail, but if not, they would fall. At first glance, the Mishnah's question is quite surprising: "Do Moshe's hands wage war?" After all, we have already seen Parshas Yisro 5777 | 2

what Moshe Rabeinu's hands were capable of. They possessed the power to split the sea, as it is written (ibid. 14, 21): ‫"ויט משה‬ ‫את ידו על הים ויולך ה' את הים ברוח קדים עזה כל הלילה וישם את הים לחרבה‬ "‫ויבקעו המים‬-- Moshe stretched out his hand over the sea, and Hashem moved the sea with a strong east wind all the night, and He turned the sea to damp land and the water split. Subsequently, he brought the waters of the sea back down upon the Egyptians with the power of his hand (ibid. 27): ‫"ויט משה‬ "‫—את ידו על הים וישב הים לפנות בוקר לאיתנו ומצרים נסים לקראתו‬Moshe stretched out his hand over the sea, and toward morning the water went back to its power, as the Egyptians were fleeing toward it. So, why did the Mishnah find it surprising for him to conduct the battle against Amalek with his holy hands?

Yet, according to the Netziv's insight—that the battle with Amalek had to be conducted by natural means—the Mishnah's question is comprehensible: "‫"וכי ידיו של משה עושות מלחמה‬. Indeed, Moshe's hands possessed the power to wage war against Amalek and vanquish them; however, this battle was supposed to be fought by natural means. As explained, this is why Moshe instructed Yehoshua to select brave men to participate in the battle. That being the case, why did Moshe control the fighting below by raising his hands—utilizing methods transcending the laws of nature?

To which the Tanna replies: "Rather, this informs you that when Yisrael look toward the heavens and subjugate their hearts to their Father in Heaven, they would prevail, but if not, they would fall." In other words, Moshe was not raising his hands to wage battle against Amalek; rather, he was encouraging Yisrael to appeal to their Father in Heaven. He wanted them to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that even when they acted within the confines of nature—as they were doing in the battle with Amalek—that it was imperative for them to look toward the heavens and pray to their Father in Heaven. Only then would they succeed in defeating Amalek. This proved to them conclusively that HKB"H also controls the laws of nature.

The Klipah of Amalek Strives to Conceal the Fact that HKB"H Controls Nature

Following this line of reasoning, we can now explain how Yisrael were punished "midah k'neged midah"—measure for measure—for their heresy: "‫"היש ה' בקרבנו אם אין‬. Let us refer to the writings of the Megaleh Amukos on Vaeschanan (42) and the commentary of the Alshich hakadosh on parshas

Beshalach (Shemos 17, 8). They explain that Amalek's heavenly representative is the "samech-mem," who is the Satan, who is the yetzer hara. Therefore, Moshe directed Yehoshua to choose brave warriors to participate in the battle against Amalek down below; whereas, he ascended to the top of the hill to wage war against their ministering angel in the heavens above, who represented a formidable klipah. Now, we can suggest that Amalek's ministering angel above—the "samech-mem"—is the force that introduces improper, misguided thoughts in men's minds. It influences a person to entertain the erroneous notion that HKB"H has removed Himself from the natural order of the world—that He is not involved in man's mundane, day to day affairs. It is by means of this ruse that he prevails upon mankind to follow their hearts' whims and pursue the cravings of Olam HaZeh. It was this foul, corrupt influence that prevailed upon Yisrael to inquire blasphemously: "‫—"היש ה' בקרבנו‬does HKB"H control the natural realm? This heresy empowered Amalek's ministering angel above to dispatch its legions below to combat Yisrael.

Therefore, Moshe wisely instructed Yehoshua: ‫"בחר לנו אנשים‬ "‫—וצא הילחם בעמלק‬choose brave, competent Torah-scholars to combat Amalek by natural means—thereby proving to Yisrael that HKB"H manages and controls the world of nature. Then he adds: "‫—"מחר אנכי נצב על ראש הגבעה ומטה האלקים בידי‬I will deal with Amalek's ministering angel above, preventing it from infecting Yisrael with thoughts of heresy, such as the misguided belief that HKB"H is removed from the world of nature.

Thus, the Torah informs us: "‫—"והיה כאשר ירים משה ידו‬that when Moshe raised his hands upwards, inspiring Yisrael to appeal to Hashem and to devote their hearts to their Father in Heaven: "‫—"וגבר ישראל‬Yisrael prevailed. For, in this manner, they made amends for their blasphemous inquiry: '‫"היש ה‬ "‫בקרבנו‬. They now witnessed firsthand that when they appeal to HKB"H, He assists them to prevail and come out victorious even by natural means.

The Purpose of Revealed Miracles Is to Help People Recognize the Concealed Miracles

I would like to elaborate on this point. As we've pointed out, it is Amalek's goal to dispel Yisrael's emunah that HKB"H controls the world of nature. Now, regarding the mitzvah of remembering what Amalek did, the Torah states (Devarim 25, 17): "‫"זכור את אשר עשה לך עמלק בדרך בצאתכם ממצרים‬-- remember Parshas Yisro 5777 | 3

what Amalek did to you while you were departing from Egypt. The commentaries focus on the fact that the Torah specifies that we recall what Amalek did to us: "while departing from Egypt." It appears that we can explain this based on a fundamental principle the Ramban teaches us toward the end of parshas Bo (Shemos 13, 16), concerning the miracles associated with the exodus from Mitzrayim. He writes that the purpose of the supernatural miracles HKB"H performed during the exodus was to help us recognize the everyday miracles concealed within the natural order. Here are his magnificent words:

‫ אדם מודה בניסים הנסתרים שהם יסוד‬,‫"ומן הניסים הגדולים המפורסמים‬ ,‫ עד שנאמין בכל דברינו ומקרינו‬,‫ שאין לאדם חלק בתורת משה רבינו‬,‫התורה כולה‬ ‫ אלא אם יעשה‬,‫ בין ברבים בין ביחיד‬,‫שכולם ניסים אין בהם טבע ומנהגו של עולם‬ ‫ הכל בגזירת עליון כאשר‬,‫ ואם יעבור עליהם יכריתנו ענשו‬,‫המצוות יצליחנו שכרו‬ ."‫הזכרתי כבר‬ Due to the phenomenal, obvious miracles, a person recognizes the concealed miracles, which are the foundation of the entire Torah. A person has no portion in the Torah of Moshe Rabeinu until he believes that everything we do and experience, everything is a miracle; they are not due to nature or natural causes, whether they benefit the general public or an individual. If a person abides by the mitzvot, Hashem will ensure his success and reward. If, however, he violates them, Hashem will ensure his punishment. Everything is decreed from above, as I've already explained. Let us explain. HKB"H created this world—Olam HaZeh— and chose to run it based on the laws of nature rather than supernaturally. He wanted mankind to believe wholeheartedly that even those things which appears to us to be natural phenomena are actually the works of HKB"H. For, nothing in this world, big or small, happens by itself without HKB"H's supervision. This is the message of the passuk (Devarim 4, 39): ‫"וידעת היום והשבות אל לבבך כי ה' הוא האלקים בשמים ממעל ועל הארץ מתחת‬ "‫—אין עוד‬you shall know this day and take to your heart that Hashem, He is the G-d, in the heavens above and on the earth below, there is none other. In other words, not only "in the heavens above"—referring to supernatural feats—but even "on the earth below"—natural phenomena—everything is determined by HKB"H. Therefore, when David HaMelech discusses all natural phenomena in the mizmor (Tehillim 104, 1): "'‫"ברכי נפשי את ה‬, and

he enumerates them all—including the heavens, the earth, the seas and oceans, the animals and human beings—he expresses his wonder and amazement regarding Hashem's running of the universe, proclaiming (ibid. 24): ‫"מה רבו מעשיך ה' כולם בחכמה עשית‬ "‫—מלאה הארץ קנינך‬how abundant are Your works, Hashem; You made all of them with wisdom; the world is full of Your acquisitions. For, everything in nature comes from HKB"H, Who manages the world with chochmah.

During "yetzias Mitzrayim," however, HKB"H deviated from His norm, because Yisrael had sunk to the forty-ninth level of tumah. Therefore, he performed miracles, beyond the realm of nature, in order to inculcate in them a firm belief in Hashem. Nevertheless, the ultimate goal of all those miracles was for Yisrael to believe and appreciate wholeheartedly that even the laws of nature are determined by Hashem. In the words of the Ramban: As a result of the phenomenal, obvious miracles, a person recognizes the concealed miracles, which are the foundation of the entire Torah. It should now be apparent why the "samech-mem"— Amalek's heavenly representative--was so determined and in such a rush to infect Yisrael with thoughts of heresy as soon as they left Mitzrayim, provoking the question: "‫"היש ה' בקרבנו‬. He wanted Yisrael to question whether or not HKB"H controls the world of nature, because he wanted to undermine the entire purpose of "yetzias Mitzrayim."

It is precisely for this reason that HKB"H commands us: "‫—"זכור את אשר עשה לך עמלק בדרך בצאתכם ממצרים‬remember what Amalek did to you as you departed Mitzrayim. He specifically mentions the exodus from Egypt, which was characterized by miracles and supernatural feats; their purpose was to teach Yisrael to appreciate the miracles that HKB"H performs on our behalf within the guise of nature. So, as they were leaving Mitzrayim, Amalek's heavenly angel imposed itself upon Yisrael and infected them with the heresy: "‫"היש ה' בקרבנו‬. He didn't want them to believe that HKB"H controls the natural realm; thus, he intended to undermine the goal of "yetzias Mitzrayim." It was with this intent that Amalek attacked Yisrael down below. Therefore, HKB"H admonishes us (Devarim 25, 19): ‫"תמחה‬ "‫את זכר עמלק מתחת השמים לא תשכח‬-- you shall eradicate the memory of Amalek from beneath the heaven — you shall not forget! In other words, eradicate any remnant--"‫—"זכר‬of the heresy Amalek infected you with; "‫—"מתחת השמים‬related to HKB"H's involvement in the world of nature. You shall do so,

Parshas Yisro 5777 | 4

by believing wholeheartedly—having "emunah sheleimah": "‫—"כי ה' הוא האלקים בשמים ממעל‬that Hashem is responsible for supernatural phenomena: "‫—"ועל הארץ מתחת‬and natural phenomena; "‫—"אין עוד‬there is no other!

Yisro Heard about " Krias Yam Suf"— a Supernatural Feat-- and the Battle with Amalek—a Natural Feat

With this foundation, let us proceed to explain Rashi's comment at the beginning of this week's parsha: What news did Yisro hear that prompted him to come? " Krias Yam Suf" and the battle with Amalek. As we have learned from the sacred writings of the Chasam Sofer, Rashi wanted to reconcile why the passuk initially employs the name Elokim: ‫"וישמע יתרו‬ "‫ את כל אשר עשה אלקים למשה ולישראל עמו‬--but concludes with the name Havaya: "‫"כי הוציא ה' את ישראל ממצרים‬.

Therefore, he explains that Yisro heard about the miracle of " Krias Yam Suf"—a supernatural feat emanating from the divine name Havaya—and the miracle of the battle with Amalek—conducted within the guise of nature, emanating from the divine name Elokim. Thus, we can interpret the passuk as follows: Yisro—the priest of Midian, Moshe's father-in-law— heard all that Elokim did for Moshe and His people Yisrael—this is a reference to the skirmish with Amalek, conducted within the laws of nature via the name Elokim; that Havaya took Yisrael out of Mitzrayim—this is a reference to the miracle of " Krias Yam Suf," conducted beyond the laws of nature via the name Havaya.

As a loyal servant in the presence of his master, I would like to elaborate further on his sacred remarks. I would like to address the fact that the passuk first mentions that Yisro heard about the battle with Amalek, conducted via the name Elokim, and only then mentions that he heard about the splitting of the sea, performed via the name Havaya. Seemingly, the Torah should have alluded to the events in chronological order--" Krias Yam Suf" first and then the battle with Amalek. Furthermore, if there is a legitimate reason why the Torah alludes to the skirmish with Amalek before " Krias Yam Suf," then why does Rashi reverse the order that appears in the Torah, mentioning " Krias Yam Suf" first? It appears that we can reconcile the matter based on the concept cited above in the name of the Ramban: ‫"ומן הניסים‬

"‫ אדם מודה בניסים הנסתרים‬,‫—הגדולים המפורסמים‬the purpose of the supernatural feats performed in association with the exodus was to inculcate in us the firm belief that the laws of nature are also governed by Hashem. Thus, the Torah is pointing out Yisro's greatness. Not only did he recognize that " Krias Yam Suf" was a miracle, as did all of the other nations, who were overcome with fear and awe as a result; but his true greatness was that he recognized that even the battle Yisrael waged against Amalek, which was conducted by natural means, was also a miracle— albeit disguised as a natural phenomenon.

Now, we can interpret the passuk: "‫—"וישמע יתרו‬Yisro perceived and understood; ‫"את כל אשר עשה אלקים למשה ולישראל‬ "‫—עמו‬that even the actions associated with the name Elokim, disguised as natural phenomena, such as the battle with Amalek, are miracles wrought by Hashem. How did he recognize this vital fact? "‫—"כי הוציא ה' את ישראל ממצרים‬because HKB"H took Yisrael out of Mitzrayim by splitting the sea and disregarding all the laws of nature. So, from the obvious, exposed miracles, he came to recognize the truth regarding the concealed miracles performed within the confines of nature—such as the battle with Amalek. Thus, the passuk itself alludes to the fact that the miracle of " Krias Yam Suf" caused Yisro to appreciate and believe in Hashem's management and supervision of natural events, such as the battle with Amalek. In this light, Rashi's comment makes perfect sense: ‫ קריעת‬,‫"מה שמועה שמע ובא‬ "‫—ים סוף ומלחמת עמלק‬Yisro heard about " Krias Yam Suf," and recognized the truth with regards to the battle with Amalek.

"Whoever is wise, let him note these things, and they will comprehend the kindness of Hashem"

I had a wonderful idea! We mentioned above the Chasam Sofer's cryptic remarks regarding the passuk: ‫"מי חכם וישמר אלה‬ "'‫ויתבוננו חסדי ה‬. He interpreted this passuk as an allusion to Yisro, where the words ‫( מ"י חכ"ם‬who is a wise man?) constitute an acronym for ‫( י'תרו כ'הן מ'דין ח'ותן מ'שה‬Yisro—the priest of Midian and Moshe's father-in-law). We can provide some clarification by referring to the Chasam Sofer's own commentary on parshas Bo, related to the passuk (Shemos 10, 1): ‫"ויאמר ה' אל משה בא אל‬ "‫פרעה כי אני הכבדתי את לבו ואת לב עבדיו למען שיתי אותותי אלה בקרבו‬-Hashem said to Moshe, "Come to Pharaoh, for I have made his heart and the heart of his servants stubborn, so that I shall place these signs of Mine in his midst."

Parshas Yisro 5777 | 5

The Yalkut Reuveini provides us with an incredible insight gleaned from the teachings of the kabbalists. He writes that the name ‫ אלקי"ם‬is composed of two parts--the first three letters ‫ אל"ה‬and the last two letters, ‫מ"י‬. Now, Pharaoh only recognized and accepted the dominion of the letters ‫מ"י‬. Therefore, he argues (ibid. 5, 2): "‫"מי ה' אשר אשמע בקולו‬--"Who (‫ )מי‬is Hashem that I should obey His word?" He intentionally employs the term ‫ מ"י‬and rejects the letters ‫אל"ה‬. As a result of this heresy, HKB"H visited upon him the ten "makkot," so that he would recognize and accept the letters ‫אל"ה‬, too. This interpretation is implicit in the passuk: ‫ למען שיתי‬,‫"כי אני הכבדתי את לבו ואת לב עבדיו‬ "‫—אותותי אל"ה בקרבו‬I made Pharaoh stubborn, so that he would acknowledge the letters ‫אל"ה‬. At the beginning of parshas Bo, the Chasam Sofer elaborates on this concept. Although this concept has mystical implications, it can be understood practically and simply, as well. As we already learned from the Ramak, the management of nature emanates from the name ‫אלהי"ם‬, whose numerical value equals ‫( הטב"ע‬the realm of nature). This is why the name ‫ אלהי"ם‬splits up into two parts--‫ מ"י‬and ‫אל"ה‬. The letters ‫ מ"י‬allude to the incredible, unseen force, concealed behind the laws of nature. This prompts the goyim to ask ‫—מ"י‬who is responsible for all of this? We, on the other hand, believers descended from believers, respond ‫אל"ה‬. As the Chasam Sofer explains, we point at the world around us as if to say: ‫—אל"ה‬these—represent the ways and the doings of the Almighty, blessed is His name.

Accordingly, the Chasam Sofer explains the significance of Pharaoh's belief exclusively in the letters ‫ מ"י‬and his denial of the letters ‫אל"ה‬. After all, Pharaoh did not believe that HKB"H oversees and governs the world of nature. Consequently, he argues blasphemously: ‫ לא ידעתי‬,‫"מי ה' אשר אשמע בקולו לשלח את ישראל‬ "'‫"—את ה‬Who" is Hashem that I should heed His command . . . I don't recognize the authority of Havaya. Precisely for

this reason, HKB"H tells Moshe to go to Pharaoh, and inundate him with plagues; for I have made him obstinate, so that he will

acknowledge: "‫—"אותותי אל"ה‬the letters ‫ אל"ה‬of My name ‫אלהי"ם‬. He will admit once and for all that HKB"H governs the world of nature: These are the manifestations of Hashem.

This now illuminates for us the incredible allusion the

Chasam Sofer finds in the words of David HaMelech. Inspired by "ruach hakodesh," David HaMelech says of Yisro: ‫"מי חכם‬

"'‫וישמר אלה ויתבוננו חסדי ה‬. The letters of the words ‫ מ"י חכ"ם‬are

an acronym for: ‫—י'תרו כ'הן מ'דין ח'ותן מ'שה‬Yisro, the priest of Midian, the father-in-law of Moshe. Note that in this passuk,

David HaMelech mentions the words ‫מ"י אל"ה‬, the two parts

of ‫אלהי"ם‬. Thus, David HaMelech is asking: Who is as wise as

Yisro? Even though, Hashem's presence was concealed within the guise of nature—in the form of ‫—מ"י‬when Amalek attacked

Yisrael; nevertheless, "‫—"וישמר אלה‬he remained steadfast in his belief that ‫—אל"ה‬these, too, were the acts of Hashem.

Then he deliberates as to how a person can achieve

Yisro's exemplary level of emunah. How does a person come

to recognize the hand of Hashem even when it is concealed within the laws of nature? "'‫—"ויתבוננו חסדי ה‬they should follow

Yisro's example by examining the chesed of Havaya exemplified

by the feats He performed on Yisrael's behalf during "yetzias Mitzrayim." As we learned from the Ramban: The incredible, obvious miracles were performed, so that man would ultimately acknowledge the miracles concealed within the

guise of nature; they are the basis of the entire Torah. In this manner, Yisro achieved his exemplary emunah and declared:

"‫—"עתה ידעתי כי גדול ה' מכל האלקים‬I now recognize that even when G-d is acting through the concealment of nature via the name

‫ ;אלקי"ם‬nevertheless, the supernatural supervision of the name Havaya is at work and ever-present.

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Parshas Yisro 5777 | 6


PIRCHEI Agudas Yisroel of America

February 18, 2017 - ‫ תשע"ז‬,‫ כ"ב שבט‬- Vol: 4 Issue: 16 )‫ו‬-‫ה‬:‫ ט‬,‫ו‬:‫ז‬-‫א‬:‫ (ישעיהו ו‬...‫ בשנת מות המלך עזיהו‬:‫ הפטרה‬- ‫ יתרו‬:‫פרשה‬

)‫ ברכי נפשי (מנחה‬- ‫משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם‬

‫ בבא בתרא כ״ז‬:‫דף יומי‬

14 :‫ מצות לא תעשה‬3 :‫מצות עשה‬

TorahThoughts )‫ד‬:‫כַּבֵּד אֶ ת אָבִ יָך וְ אֶ ת ִאמֶ ָך… (שְ מוֹת טז‬ Honor your father and your mother… We all are aware that ‫ כִ בוּד אָב וָאֵּ ם‬means listening to or performing things for our parents, like helping them to put on a coat or shoes. If someone would ask you, “What is the ultimate form of ‫כִ בוּד‬ ‫ אָב וָאֵּ ם‬that you do for yourself and which your parents only see?” what would you say? Even if you could you come up with one answer for some parents, will that answer satisfy every parent in the world? The ‫ ס׳ כא( ִקצוּר שֻׁ לְחָ ן עָרוְּך‬,‫)סימָ ן קמג‬ ִ answers with the following: ‫בַּתּוֹרה‬ ָ ‫ ַּי ֲעסֺק‬,‫ִמי שֶ הוּא רוֹצֶ ה בֶאֱ מֶ ת ְלכַּבֵּד אֶ ת אָבִ יו וְ אֶ ת ִאמוֹ‬ ‫אַש ֵּרי לְאָב וָאֵּ ם‬ ְ :‫אוֹמ ִרים הַּ בְ ִריּוֹת‬ ְ ֶ‫ ש‬,‫ שֶ זֶהוּ הַּ כָבוֹד הַּ גָדוֹל לָאָבוֹת‬,‫וּבְ מַּ ע ֲִשים טוֹבִ ים‬ !‫ — שֶ גִ ְדלוּ בֵּ ן ָכזֶה‬Someone who seeks to truly honor his parents should toil in ‫תּוֹרה‬ ָ and be involved in good deeds, for this is the ultimate for one’s parents, people will [watch him and] say, “Praiseworthy are the father and mother who merited to raise such a [wonderful] son!” The ‫ )השכם קטע ג( אוֹצָ ר הַּ ִמ ְד ָר ִשים‬teaches that if we are instructed to keep ‫ כִ בוּד אָב וָאֵּ ם‬even when we are in this world, we are definitely ‫ מְ קַּ יֵּּם‬the ‫ ִמצְ וָה‬of ‫ כִ בוּד אָב וָאֵּ ם‬when we are sitting in the King’s Palace, in the next world. The ‫ ִמ ְד ָרש‬continues that if the child is sitting in ‫ גַּן־עֵּדֶ ן‬and either of the parents is not, the parent(s) will merit being moved eternally into ‫גַּן־עֵּדֶ ן‬. It would not be ‫ כִ בוּד אָב וָאֵּ ם‬for someone to be in better place than his parents. )‫(מצְ וָׁה לג‬ ִ ‫ִמשָׁ ָׁרשֵׁ י הַ ִמצְ וָׁה‬

One of the basic understandings of this ‫ ִמצְ וָה‬of honoring parents is for people to acknowledge and show their full appreciation for all of the goodness that their parents performed for them when they were a child. Those who foolishly fail to show full appreciation for all the kindness that their parents have bestowed upon them are showing ungrateful behavior, which is most greatly despised by both man and ‫ד׳‬. Stop and evaluate the goodness and the countless kindnesses that children receive from their parents. A child's entire existence in this world only came about through his parents. People should particularly contemplate how many times their parents cared for them through their many hardships when they were younger. The ‫ ִחנּוְּך‬continues that ‫ כִ בוּד אָב וָאֵּ ם‬is the key to opening the door to serving ‫ ד׳‬correctly and with love. If a person establishes a place in his heart to recognize the goodness he received from his parents, then he will be elevated to recognize the [daily and] greater goodness he receives from ‫ד׳‬. ‫ ד׳‬has sustained every person from the beginning of creation until today through His Ultimate Goodness. ‫ ד׳‬imbues every person with a beautiful ‫נְשָ מָ ה‬, Divine soul. Without the gift of ‫ נְשָ מָ ה‬a person would be like a horse or a mule and would not understand or be able to reason. If a person internalizes all this, he will be inspired to serve ‫[ ד׳‬with a thankful heart] and perform all His ‫ ִמצְ וֹת‬with care. Adapted from: ‫ספר החנוך על פרשת השבוע‬

Gedolim Glimpses

Yahrtzeits Gedolim of our

ָ ‫ְד‬ ‫ כ״ח שבט‬R' Nesanel Quinn ‫ זַצַ ״ל‬was born to ‫ ר׳ ַזלְמַ ן פִּ נְחָ ס‬and ‫בוֹרה‬

‫ ִּמ ְריָם‬in Brooklyn, NY. In 1921, he was enrolled in ‫י ְִּשיבָה‬ ‫תּוֹרה וָדַ עַ ת‬. ָ Three years later, R' Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz ‫ זַצַ ״ל‬joined the ‫י ְִּשיבָה‬, as ‫מנַהֵ ל‬,ְ which began their decades-long ‫תַּ ל ְִּמיד‬-‫ֶרבִּ י‬ relationship. In 1934, he married ‫לֵאָה‬, daughter of R' Meir Linchner (his ‫’רבִּ י‬s ֶ ‫)מחֻ תָּ ן‬. ְ Upon his ‫’רבִּ י‬s ֶ advice, he became a 6th-grade ‫ ֶרבִּ י‬in RJJ. In 1938, he returned as ‫ ְסגָן ְמנַהֵ ל‬in ‫תּוֹרה וְ דַ עַ ת‬ ָ ‫י ְִּשיבָה‬. He later became ‫מנַהֵ ל‬,ְ and stayed with the ‫ י ְִּשיבָה‬for 60+ years. In 1965, he co-founded a learning camp, ‫אוֹר ְש ַרגָא‬. He also managed a major ‫ צְ דָ קָ ה ְל ֲע ִּניֵי אֶ ֶרץ י ְִּש ָראֵ ל‬for over 60 years. A ‫מַ ְת ִּמיד נִּפְ לָא‬, he instilled ‫ְתּוֹרתוֹ‬ ָ ‫ אַהֲבָה לַד׳ וּל‬in anyone he met, with his warmth, ‫חֶ סֶ ד‬, ‫ ֲענִּיווּת‬and ‫אַהֲבַ ת הַ בְ ִּריוֹת‬. 5670 — 5765 1910 — 2005

Over 50 years ago, a young ‫ בָּחוּר‬who had recently lost his father enrolled in ‫תּוֹרה‬ ָּ ‫י ְִׁשיבָּה‬ ‫וָּדַ ַעת‬. On his first Friday, he was called into the ‫’מנַהֵ ל‬s ְ office. R’ Quinn ‫ זַצַ ״ל‬was waiting to talk. With his trademark smile, R’ Quinn pressed a quarter into the boy’s hand and said, “Please take this and buy a flower for your mother. Do not say it is from me. Simply tell her how you were thinking about her and wanted to get her something. This is the sort of gesture that she will always appreciate!”

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‫לע״נ ר׳ ישראל בן אברהם ז"ל‬ ‫לע״נ הב׳ ישעיהו דוב ע״ה בן יבלחט״א יצחק צבי נ״י‬

This week's Pirchei Weekly is sponsored

k"mz cs wr ic ktrah ohhj wr ubhrun b"g k

Living Torah

All Because of Some Hot Soup

with the

)‫י״ב‬:‫(שמוֹת י״ח‬ ְ ‫ֺלקים‬ ִ ֱ‫… לֶאֱ כָל לֶחֶ ם עִ ם חֺתֵ ן מֺשֶ ה לִפְ נֵי הָ א‬ … To eat bread with the father-in-law of ‫ מֺשֶ ה‬before ‫ה׳‬. The ‫( גְ מָ ָרא‬.‫ )בְ ָרכוֹת ס״ד‬relates: “R' Avin said, ‘Anyone who enjoys a meal in which a ‫ תַּ ל ְִמיד חָ כָם‬partakes, it is as though he enjoyed the radiance of the ‫שכִ ינָה‬.’” ְ Partaking of this type of meal is comparable to partaking of a ‫ד׳( קָ ְרבָ ן‬:‫)אָבוֹת ג׳‬. ‫ י ְִתרוֹ‬was under the impression that it is possible to achieve closeness to ‫ ד׳‬only through fasting, but ‫ אַהֲ רֺן‬and the ‫ זְ קֵ נִים‬knew differently. They understood that the ‫ ְסעוּדָ ה‬of a ‫ תַּ ל ְִמיד חָ כָם‬has the power to draw people close to ‫ד׳‬, just like a ‫קָ ְרבָ ן‬. ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ During WWII, R' Yaakov Galinsky was exiled to Siberia. Once, after he had served a 40-day period on starvation rations as a punishment, he was given hot soup as a special favor. There was another Jew present, Cholev, who was still serving his 40-day starvation period. At first, R' Yaakov debated whether or not to share his soup with Cholev, but it did not take him long to decide. “Yankele, Yankele,” he berated himself, “how can you eat alone, when there is a starving Jew right next to you?” He shared his soup with Cholev, who enjoyed it tremendously. Many years later, R' Yaakov was living in ‫אֶ ֶרץ י ְִש ָראֵ ל‬. At that time, Jews from Arab lands had immigrated to ‫ אֶ ֶרץ י ְִש ָראֵ ל‬en masse. These Sephardic Jews were housed in camps that were run by the secular Zionist administration, which wanted to strip them of their religion and heritage. The ‫ חֲזוֹן ִאיש‬sent R' Yaakov and another ‫ תַּ ל ְִמיד חָ כָם‬to the camps to ascertain how many of the parents were interested in giving their children a ‫תוֹרה‬ ָ education. When they arrived at a certain camp, they found that all entrances were barred and special permission was required to gain entry. The ‫ חֲזוֹן ִאיש‬instructed them to dig a tunnel up to the fence. R' Yaakov and his companion managed to dig a tunnel and

Dear Talmid, R' Avie ‫ שַׁ לִיטָ ״א‬recalls how his son came home with such excitement one winter day and asked the following question: “I was coming home from ‫חֲרית‬ ִ ַׁ‫ ש‬this morning and I saw an older person, with a white beard, who must be at least 80 years old. When I noticed him, he was walking past a gentile digging at the snow to make a pathway in the sidewalk. This elderly man saw that there was a spare shovel on the side of the pavement. He walked over to the shovel, picked it up and with great effort he tried twice to dig away at the snow. He then turned to the gentile and apologized, explaining that it is really hard for him to shovel at his age. The gentile smiled and thanked him profusely for



sneak into the camp. When they were spotted, the Yiddish-speaking directors demanded to know what they were doing. The directors ordered them to leave the camp, but the two pretended not to understand Yiddish. In the meantime, R' Yaakov strained to hear what they were saying to each other. He heard one of the directors say, “Cholev will be here soon and then we’ll decide what to do with them.” The name “Cholev” rang a bell in R' Yaakov’s head. After a while, he remembered the incident with the soup. When Cholev arrived, R' Yaakov immediately recognized him as the one with whom he had shared his soup. It turned out that Cholev was one of those in charge of the camp. When he saw R' Yaakov, Cholev also remembered the hot soup he had enjoyed. He was delighted to see R' Yaakov and he patted him warmly on the shoulder. “Do you want me to help you get out of the camp?” he asked. “I know how to do that myself,” R' Yaakov answered. R' Yaakov realized that this was a Heaven-sent opportunity to capitalize on Cholev’s gratitude toward him. He took Cholev aside and asked him to find out how many parents in the camp were interested in giving their children a ‫תוֹרה‬ ָ education. Cholev was surprised at the request, but his feelings of gratitude toward R' Yaakov were too deep for him to reject his appeal. “Wait until the other directors leave and I will find out for you,” he promised. Shortly afterward, Cholev came to R' Yaakov with a list of nearly 65 parents who were interested. With the benefit of this list, many students were enrolled in ‫ י ְִשיבוֹת‬and went on to build faithful Jewish homes. All because of some hot soup. Adapted from: Aleinu L’shabei’ach (with kind permission from ArtScroll)

FocusonMiddos trying. He then continued walking down the road as if nothing happened. ‫אַבָ א‬, what do you have to say to such a person?” R' Avie had his own experience and therefore knew exactly whom his son had met. With a confident smile, he told him, “My son, you should have said to him, ‘Good morning, R' Quinn!’” R' Avie was walking home with R' Quinn ‫ זַׁצַׁ ״ל‬one wintry ‫מוֹצָ אֵ י שַׁ בָ ת‬. R' Quinn, then in his high eighties, carried himself like a much younger person. Road conditions that ‫ מוֹצָ אֵ י שַׁ בָת‬were treacherous. The ground was extremely slippery due to the fact that the snow from the previous night had first melted, and then fresh snow had fallen on ‫ שַׁ בָ ת‬day. R' Quinn suddenly stopped talking, excused

 Every ‫תּוֹרה‬ ָ ַ‫ ְק ִריאַת ה‬is a miniature ‫תּוֹרה‬ ָ ַ‫ קַ בָ לַת ה‬and there must be 3 people at the ‫בִ ימָ ה‬, representing ‫ד׳‬, ‫מֺשֶׁ ה ַרבֵּ ינוּ‬ and ‫כְ לַל י ְִש ָראֵּ ל‬. The ‫ גַבַ אי‬represents ‫ ד׳‬as he calls people to

himself and began running. He had noticed two young men, who did not appear to be ‫י ְִשיבָה‬ ‫בָחוּרים‬, ִ pushing a stuck car. He ran over and joined them as they were pushing their car out of the snow. My ‫תַׁ ל ְִמיד‬, R' Nesanel Quinn taught his ‫ תַׁ ל ְִמ ִידים‬to thank their parents/‫רבִ י‬/‫יבָה‬ ֶ ‫’י ְִש‬s cook on a daily basis. R' Quinn lived his ‫'רבִ י‬s ֶ teachings every moment, whether on the street or inside the bank. He always found opportunity to create a ‫קדּוּש שֵ ם שָ מַׁ יִם‬. ִ Is it any wonder that when R' Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz ‫ זַׁצַׁ ״ל‬introduced him to R' Elchonon, he referred to R' Quinn as "my best ‫?"תַׁ ל ְִמיד‬ !‫י ְִהי זִ כְ רוֹ בָרוְּך‬ ‫בְ י ְִדידוּת‬, Your ‫ֶרבִ י‬ Source: Story heard from R’ Avie ‫שַׁ לִיטָ ״א‬

come up and accept the ‫תּוֹרה‬. ָ The ‫קוֹרא‬ ֵּ ‫ בַעַ ל‬represents ‫מֺשֶׁ ה‬ ‫ ַרבֵּ ינוּ‬as he reads the ‫תּוֹרה‬ ָ to the people. The ‫עוֹלֶׁה‬ represents ‫ כְ לַל י ְִש ָראֵּ ל‬as he accepts the ‫תּוֹרה‬ ָ for the people.

*Since we only discuss 1-3 ‫הֲלָכוֹת‬, it is important to consider these ‫ הֲלָכוֹת‬in the context of the bigger picture. Use them as a starting point for further in-depth study.

‫ִה ְלכווֹת ְק ִר ַיאת ַה תּת ָווֹרה‬ ‫ ְ תּב ִענְ יָן ַק ָ תּב ַלת ַה תּת ָווֹרה‬-

3rd International Pirchei ‫ שובבים‬Contest 4th week of ‫ ִמצְ וָה — שׁוֹבְ בִ ים‬of ‫ ְשׁ ַניִם ִמ ְק ָרא וְ אֶ חָ ד תַ ְרגּוּם‬contest To participate, boys in 1st and 2nd grade should complete the ‫ פ ָָרשָׁ ה‬until ‫שֵׁ נִי‬, 3rd grade until ‫ִישׁי‬ ִ ‫שׁל‬, ְ 4th grade until ‫רבִ יעִ י‬,ְ 5th grade until ‫ישׁי‬ ִ ‫חֲ ִמ‬, 6th th th grade until ‫שׁ ִשׁי‬, ִ 7 and 8 grades complete the ‫פ ָָרשָׁ ה‬. Participants will be entered in a raffle for a set of ‫ ִמ ְק ָראוֹת גְּ דוֹלוֹת חוּמָ ִשׁים‬and the weekly winner will also receive a set of ‫ חוּמָ ִשׁים‬with the ‫ פירוש‬of ‫( מעט צרי‬an explanation of the ‫ תַ ְרגּוּם‬in ‫)לָשׁוֹן הַ קוֹדֶ שׁ‬. Please send a fax to 718 506 9633 by Sunday at 7:00 p.m.). The current contestants: Grade 1 – Mordechai Nass, The Cheder; Yitzchak Harari-Raful, Yeshivat Ateret Torah; Chaim Aschendoff, Michael Babazadeh, Chaim Bash, Shuey Berger, Avrohom Dovid Blum, Shimon Brach, Levi Brecher, Eli Brody, Daniel Bruck, Ephraim Cohen, Moshe Cywiak, Yisroel Drillik, Yonatan Dovid, Simcha Fireworker, Binyomin Zev Florans, Avi Goldbord, Nachi Goldstein, Shlomo Gross, Avi Grossberger, Zevi Hirsch, Aharon Itzkowitz, Chagai Jaapon, Sruli Kagan, Sruli Kriger, Yair Lasry, Chaim Lederer, Elchonon Lorber, Zevi Markowitz, Yechiel Yehuda Minzer, Yonason Moradi, Effie Neuman, Nisson Noviko, Avromi Perl, Dovid Pomerantz, Shlomo Zalman Salgo, Zevy Schilit, Yitzchak Schlaff, Mordechai Slomovics, Mendy Sokel, Eliyahu Stern, Eli Steur, Bentzi Stroh, David Tepfer, Dovid Tessler, Tzvi Treuhaft, Avrohom Vaiselberg, Nesanel Vaiselberg, Avi Weiss, Moshe Wertzberger, Dovi Worenklein, Nathan Yaiche, Chaim Zahler, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas; Brooklyn, NY; Boruch Solomon, Fallsburg Cheder School, Fallsburg, NY; Yehuda Tessler, Yeshivas Torah Institute, Baltimore, MD; Moshe Lasar, Yeshiva Shaare Tzion, Piscataway Township, NJ; Yerachmiel Rothenberg, Clifton Cheder, Clifton, NJ; Mordechai Dovid Goldberg, Yeshivas Ohr HaTorah; Zev Cohen, Chatzkel Rayman, Yeshiva Orchos Chaim; Lakewood, NJ; Refoel Smith, Yeshiva Ketana Passaic; Dovid Rabinowitz, Yeshiva M’kor Baruch; Passiac, NJ. Grade 2 – Gavriel Mahperi, Yeshivat Ateret Torah; Meir Benhamo, Pinchas Bookson, Moshe Dahan, Daniel Friedman, Ari Goldman, Nachmi Herzberg, Eliyahu Jakubovic, Moshe Eliezer Kahan, Shimon Kaufman, Avrumi Kupczyk, David Mordechai, Yehuda Obermeister, Gavriel Orzel, Daniel Shilman, Hillel Suliman-Zada, Zev Yankovich, Yisroel Yefet, Moishe Zimmerman, Yeshiva Ahavas Torah; Nesanel Yehuda Keller, Yeshiva Chaim Berlin; Yisroel Kaplan, Yeshiva Karlin-Stolin; Chaim Shaim, Yeshiva Ketana of Bensonhurst; Shmuel Baumann, Moshe Bentzion Blum, Moshe Brachfeld, Shlomo Czeisler, Yisroel Yakov Feiger, Shlomo Fettman, Shimi Fireworker, Dovid Friedman, Aharon Yeshaya Gifter, Yossi Gray, Shmuel Haas, Yisrael Yehuda Haas, Shmuel Hirsch, Aharon Horowitz, Isser Zalman Itzkowitz, Zisha Katzenstein, Shaya Landau, Avrohom Zev Levitin, Akiva Lieberman, Boruch Leib Mandel, Aharon Mehlman, Motti Neuman, Ahron Oberlander, Shlomo Reichman, Yosef Reisman, Kalman Rubinstein, Shmuel Schreiber, Simcha Shapiro, Mayer Baruch Slomovics, Tzvi Eli Stern, Hillel Travitsky, Eliezer Weinberger, Yaakov Weiss, Sruli Yifat, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas; Brooklyn, NY; Yitzchok Aryeh Kohl, Yeshiva Degel Hatorah, Spring Valley, NY; Avromi Atlas, Binyamin Kroll, Yeshivas Torah Institute, Baltimore, MD; Chatzkel Rayman, Yeshiva Orchos Chaim; Lakewood, NJ; Mordechai Shlomo Smith, Yeshiva Ketana Passaic, Passiac, NJ; Yossi Scherer, Cincinnati Hebrew Day School; Cincinnati, OH; Chaim Feifer, Yeshiva Derech Hatorah, Wickliffe, OH. Grade 3 – Meir Nass, Nesanel Neuhaus, The Cheder; Eliyohu Helberg, Tiferes Elimelech; Chaim Auerbach, Ezra Chertok, Raphi Koshanfar, Dovi Lerner, Zevi Melcer, Matan Verschleiser, Yeshiva Ahavas Torah; Yissachar Harari-Raful, Yeshivat Ateret Torah; Moshe Fastag, Avrohom Meir Fried, Zalmi Friedman, Daniel Gershbaum, Yehoshua Gershbaum, Moshe Shmuel Guttman, Mendy Herbstman, Moshe Koritz, Ari Korsinsky, Shuie Lang, Yerachmiel Lasker, Dovy Levy, Yakov Perl, Shmueli Schachter, Dovi Werner, Yitzy Yaiche, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas; Brooklyn, NY; Yehoshua Yoel Aharon, Shmuel Wind, Tani Wind, Yeshiva of South Shore, Woodmere, NY; Yaakov Mordechai Shacham, Clifton Cheder, Clifton, NJ; Baruch Berger, Gedalya Charish, Mordechai Shaul David, Michel Fishman, Nosson Gugenheimer, Refael Shmuel Hertz, Dovid Herzig, Dovid Yehuda Jacobowitz, Dov Karfiol, Naftali Laupidot, Baruch Sher, Eliyahu Slomovits, Yeshiva Toras Aron, Lakewood, NJ. Grade 4 – Yonah Fogel, Moshe Boruch Mahpour, Rafi Mordechai, Avrohom Rosenberg, Falik Shedrowitzky, Alex Tusher, Yeshiva Ahavas Torah; Dovid Zazulia, Yeshiva Chaim Berlin; Boruch Kaplan, Yeshiva Karlin-Stolin; Shlomo Moshayev, Yeshiva of Brooklyn; Yosef Friedman, Eli Weichselbaum, Yeshiva Ohr Shraga; Eliyahu Berger, Moshe Blum, Yaakov Czeisler, Chaim Davis, Adiel Duchovny, Dovid Egri, Dovy Einhorn, Daniel Farkas, Shmully Fr ank, Ari Gray, Avrumie Hellmann, Ahron Yehuda Herbstman, Yechiel Ledereich, Bentzy Leshem, Tzvi Elimelech Levitan, Refael Oberlander, Dovid Rubinstein, Yaakov Schonbrun, Yaakov Schwartzmer, Yakov Shienerman, Aryeh Leib Silberberg, Mayer Slamowics, Yoni Solomon, Eliezer Speiser, Avi Stahl, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas; Brooklyn, NY; Avrohom Kaufman, Asher Yeshaya Knopfler, Yishaya Litt, Yehoshua Perecman, Yitzchok Zev Solomon, Fallsburg Cheder School, Fallsburg, NY; Yehuda Dear, Eliyahu Derman, Yitzy Eisenstein, Yehoshua Eisner, Shmuel Feuer, Ephraim Frankel, Zevi Gelbtuch, Avraham Gelman, Chaim Goldfarb, Yitzchok Chaim Gunsberg, Moshe Hollander, Yoni Klein, Binyomin Levine, Moshe Sicker, Tzvi Steif, Gamliel Mordechai Sternberg, Menachem Taub, Yonatan Waintraub, Dovid Weissmandl, Daniel Zimerman, Shimi Zweig, Yeshiva of Spring Valley, Monsey, NY; Nesanel Yitzchok Adler, Boruch Yaakov Alter, Shua Cardash, Yair Eliyahu, Aharon Fox, Nosson Tzvi Friedman, Akiva Glenner, Asher Gutkin, Yitzy Jaeger, Henoch Montrose, Yaakov Meir Polstein, Yaakov Prawer, Yeshiva Tiferes Tzvi; Chicago, IL; Yaakov Abrahams, Sholom Dovid Behmanesh, Lev Ehsanipoor, Akiva Elman, Menashe Guttenberg, Yoel Hettleman, Chaim Levi, Yissacher Lieder, Moshe Ribakow, Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim, Baltimore, MD; Avrohom Rothenberg, Clifton Cheder, Clifton, NJ; Mordechai Meir Heinemann, Yeshiva Orchos Chaim; Ezra Kassin, Michoel Aron Levy, Yeshiva Bais HaTorah, Lakewood, NJ; Cobi Scherer, Yonason Singer, Eliezer Teitelbaum, Cincinnati Hebrew Day School; Cincinnati, OH; Shlomo Goldman, Chaim Joseph, Hebrew Academy of Cleveland; Cleveland, OH; Simcha Levovitz, Yeshiva Derech HaTorah, Wickliffe, OH; Sholom Benyominson, Yitzchok Karp, Shlomo Lapin, Yosef Purec, Providence Hebrew Day School; Providence, RI; Aron Shlomo Davis, Yecheskel Feld, Kesser Torah; Gateshead, UK. Grade 5 – Mordechai Kaplan, Eliyahu Nass, The Cheder; Mordechai Dovid Beylus, Moshe Gelb, Eliezer Halberstam, Zevi Hershkowitz, Menachem Manis Lang, Eytan Weisz, Shmuel Chaim Yomtov, Yeshiva Ahavas Torah; Yitzchok Harari-Raful, Yeshivat Ateret Torah; Aharon Fried, Aharon Harel, Chanoch Harel, Dovi Hirsch, Moshe Simcha Itzkowitz, Yitzi Lang, Avromy Leshkowitz, Shuli Lowy, Michoel Minzer, Yitzy Minzer, Shmuel Pearlman, Aharon Plotsker, Yehuda Travitsky, Noam Zarinmanesh, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas; Yaakov Harari-Raful, Yeshivat Ateret Torah; Brooklyn, NY; Avrohom Solomon, Fallsburg Cheder School, Fallsburg, NY; Ari Wind, Yeshiva of South Shore, Woodmere, NY; Duvid Unger, Yeshiva Ohr Boruch D’Veitzen; Chicago, IL; Chaim Markowitz, Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim; Yossie Atlas, Dov Belsky, Yehuda Chaifetz, Menashe Moshe Hack, Reuven Kleiner, Tzvi Linzer, Sruly Lurie, Yehoshua Oratz, Meir Simcha Paige, Levi Yitzchak Salazar, Binyomin Statfeld, Aryeh Leib Stein, Chaim Steinhardt, Yoni Zeiger, Yeshivas Torah Institute, Baltimore, MD; Chaim Yeruchem Cohen, Chaim Shmuel Rayman, Yeshiva Orchos Chaim, Lakewood, NJ; Menachem Greenfeld, Yeshiva M’kor Baruch; Passiac, NJ; Levi Minkin, Providence Hebrew Day School; Providence, RI. Grade 6 – Mendel Kahn, Ruach Chaim; Eliyohu Falik, The Cheder; Nuta Sholom Hamel, Binyomin Zev Helberg, Tiferes Elimelech; Nissim Harari-Raful, Refael Shabtai, Yeshivat Ateret Torah; Moshe Levy, Shmuel Eliyohu Shain, Yeshiva Ketana of Bensonhurst; Aryeh Brachfeld, Avrumi Davidoff, Zev Lapidoth, Shimon Stahl, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas; Mayer Ozer Greenberg, Yeshiva Torah Temimah; Brooklyn, NY; Yehuda Kaufman, Fallsburg Cheder School, Fallsburg, NY; Shmuel Yankelewitz, Yeshiva Darchei Torah; Far Rockaway, NY; Naftali Grumet, Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island; Inwood, NY; Shmuel Grossman, Yeshiva Tiferes Moshe; Kew Gardens, NY; Yehuda Anteby, Shlomo Mayer Davidson, Yechezkel Friedman, Meir Kallner, Dovid Katz, Moishe Rothstein, Yeshiva Beth Mikroh, Monsey, NY; Avrohom Dovid Eichenstein, Binyomin Feldman, Yosef Chaim Gholian, Asher Goldberg, Boruch Meiselman, Nachi Meyers, Dovid Mintz, Srully Solloff, Avrohom C. Sopher, Yisroel Meir Tendler, Yeshivas Torah Institute, Baltimore, MD; Yitzchok Meir Kassin, Yeshiva Bais HaTorah; Moshe Heinemann, Yeshiva Orchos Chaim; Lakewood, NJ; Yehoshua Ottensoser, Cincinnati Hebrew Day School; Cincinnati, OH; Yehoshua Hack, Aharon Eliezer Karp, Shmuel Rosenthal, Providence Hebrew Day School; Providence, RI; Dovi Steinhaus, Kesser Torah; Gateshead, UK. Grade 7 – Yitzchok Deitel, Yosef Chaim Gold, Akiva Herman, Avrohom Yaakov Kaplan, Yaakov Katz, Mendel Kurinets, Gavriel Mirkin, Moishy Orange, Yitzy Pearl, Nosson Schloss, Elazar Shimonovich, Nathan Spitzer, Shaya Szanzer, Yeshaya Dovid Wallerstein, Dovid Zlotnick, Mirrer Yeshiva Ketana; Eitan Brown, Yosef Chaim Gutman, Moshe Yaakov Herskovic, David Kapetas, Zevi Leibler, Akiva Merl, Yeshiva Ahavas Torah; Avrohom Eliezer Kaplan, Mendy Reiss, Yeshiva Karlin-Stolin; Sholom Aaron Meller, Yeshiva Ketana of Bensonhurst; Refael Yitzchok Friedman, Yeshiva Ohr Shraga; Yedidya Grant, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas; Brooklyn, NY; Aryeh L. Perecman, Fallsburg Cheder School, Fallsburg, NY; Reuven Kassin, Yeshiva Bais HaTorah; Shmuel Pitterman, Yeshiva Toras Aron; Lakewood, NJ; Binyomin Elimelech Gutlove, Yeshiva M’kor Baruch; Passiac, NJ; Binyomin Zev Lasar, Yeshiva Shaare Tzion, Piscataway Township, NJ; Mordechai Scherer, Cincinnati Hebrew Day School; Cincinnati, OH; Mordechai Bielory, Chaim Golden, Shimon Kapilevich, Yisroel Mordechai Karp, Ezra Minkin, Providence Hebrew Day School; Providence, RI; Menachem Posen, Mechina L’yeshiva; Gateshead, UK; Mordechai Tsvi Abenson, Shimon Adler, Yitsy Bamberger, Efraim Eckstein, Benzion Englard, Binyomin Goldman, Tovia Leiberman, Dovid Leitner, Binyomin Levin, Yankele Levin, Pinchos Levkovits, Shmuli Prijs, Aron Tsvi Saunders, Beis Hatalmud; Manchester, UK. Grade 8 – Chaim Eli Shain, Ruach Chaim; Yehuda Auerbach, Eli Feuchtwanger, Gershom Gorbulsky, Naftali Hollander, Leiby Mutterperl, Yeshurin Sorscher, Yeshiva Ahavas Torah; Yehuda Mosak, Yeshiva Chaim Berlin; Daniel Gross, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas; Brooklyn, NY; Menachem Levitansky, Yeshiva Tiferes Tzvi; Chicago, IL; Boruch Gedalya, Yeshiva Orchos Chaim; Lakewood, NJ; Yehoshua Reidler, Yeshivas Torah Institute, Baltimore, MD; Azriel Yudkowsky, Providence Hebrew Day School; Providence, RI. ‫לע״נ ר׳ משה בן הר׳ טוביה הלוי זצ״ל‬

America Learning from our Leaders Pirchei Agudas Yisroel of‫בס״ד‬ As a young refugee escaping from Poland, Rav Pinchas Hirschprung was once on a train when another bochur entered his compartment. Bochur’l, who are you faking for? Make room for a real yeshiva bochur…

Bochur’l, your suit needs more patches...

The bochur insisted on mocking him and made the trip very unpleasant. When the train arrived at their destination, Rav Hirschprung went to the home of the local Rav. That was an amazing shtickel Torah you said... What’s your name?


No! No! you are Harav Hirschprung!

The Rav summoned the wealthiest man in town... Harav Hirschprung’s torah is like that of a gadol advanced in years. Your home will be blessed with such a guest...

I will be honored to host him and thank the Rav for this opportunity.

As this was happening, the bochur who had tried mocking Rav Hirschprung entered the Rav’s home.

Please come inside... how can I assist you? Er, er...

Many years later, someone asked Rav Hirschprung, “How do you handle people who bother you?” He responded... The Rambam writes in a letter to his son:

I ask that as a personal favor you kindly help him as well. He traveled together with me.

My son, I have lived my entire life that way!

R’ Pinchas Hirschprung ‫ זצ״ל‬was born in Dukla, Poland. His ‫ רבי‬was his maternal grandfather, R’ Dovid Tevli (‫ בעל מנחת סוֹלת‬/ ‫ ;)אַב בית דין‬he was also ‫ רבי‬of the Pshevorker ‫( רבי‬R’ Yankele), the Klausenberger ‫ רבי‬and others. At 13, he published ‫פרי פנחס‬. By 15, he was editing the monthly ‫ תּוֹרה‬journal of ‫גדוֹלי ישראל‬, ‫אהל תּוֹרה‬. He joined ‫ישיבת חכמי לוּבלין‬, where his ‫רבי‬, R’ Meir Shapiro ‫זצ״ל‬, attested that ‫ ר׳ פנחס‬knew 2,200 ‫ דפים‬of ‫ !גמרא בעל פה‬During WWII, he fled to Vilna and then, in 1942, secured a Canadian visa. There, he accepted the position of ‫ רב דקהלת עדת ישׁוּרוּן‬in Montreal. When ‫ ישיבת מרכז התּוֹרה‬opened, he became ‫ראשׁ ישיבה‬. His ‫ גאוֹניּוּת‬was matched only by his ‫ צדקוּת‬and ‫חסד‬. He was appointed ‫גאב״ד העיר‬, Chief Rabbi, of Montreal.

For any inquiries or comments please feel free to call 347-838-0869 • Illustrated by: Yishaya Suval

5672 - 5758 1912 - 1999 ‫כ“ז טבת‬

Please be careful to handle this sheet in the proper manner as required ‫ָכה‬ ָ ‫עַל ִּפי ַהל‬. Please do not read this publication during ‫ קריאת התורה‬,‫ קדיש‬or ‫חזרת הש״ץ‬.

Onag shabbos yisro en @z9  
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