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Toldos 5777


And Yitzchak loved Eisav – ‫ויאהב יצחק את עשיו‬ There was a king who did not have any children and to his great dismay there was no one to inherit him and continue his reign. When he aged, the king was informed that a boy will be chosen from all the boys of the kingdom to be the prince and thus he would be the next king. All the boys of the kingdom were called to the town square on the designated day and on that day thousands of boys came. The king handed out seeds and flowerpots to all of them and he asked them to plant the seeds in the flowerpots and to cultivate it for three months, in three months they were to return to the same place with the flower pot and then the king would pick his successor. At the end of three months thousands of boys showed up holding their flowerpots, some of them large and some of them nice. The king walked among the boys and searched and searched when suddenly he spotted a boy with an empty flowerpot in his hand. The king approached him and asked him, ‘Why is your flowerpot empty?’ The boy replied, ‘My lord, I planted the seeds that I received from you and I watered it every day and every day I would pray over it that it would grow and flourish, but nothing happened.’ The king said, ‘This boy will inherit my crown’, and to everyone’s amazement he explained, ‘The seeds that they all received were cooked and therefore, could not germinate, all the boys exchanged their seeds with other seeds, and only this boy had the attribute of truth and did not exchange the seeds rather, believed every day that these seeds were proper.’ Yaakov was ‘a wholesome man, abiding in tents’ and despite this his righteous father specifically loved his brother Eisav who was a terribly wicked man, who already at his Bar Mitzvah had transgressed all the severe sins in the Torah, and seemingly Yaakov could have been broken by this and think that perhaps his way was not proper, perhaps it was better to follow chas v’chalilah in the ways of his wicked brother, but he was not broken and he clung to the true path. Sometimes we see that the wicked are successful, and this can depress us when we see the success of false and wicked people, however, we must remember that ultimately the truth will come to light, and then the great reward will go to the one who travelled his entire life on the path of truth, and this is hinted at in the posuk (25:28) '‫ 'ויאהב לצחק את עשיו‬- ‘And Yitzchak loved Eisav’ in the past tense, but, '‫‘ – 'ורבקה אוהבת את יעקב‬And Rivka loves Yaakov’ in the present tense, for in the end truth is eternal. - Tiv HaTorah - Toldos

A Good Messenger 1 –1 ‫שליח טוב‬ On Thursday after the set shiur with my father, my teacher with the sons and grandsons, I was able to join our parents and spend an elevated Shabbos with them in Meron. All the packages were arranged for the trip. The boys helped organize the packages and they packed those going to Meron in one car and the packages that Savta prepared for the children and grandchildren every Shabbos were packed into a second car going to the house in Beit Shemesh. We arrived in Meron early Friday morning after 1:00 AM. My father, my teacher wanted to go up to the kever for twenty minutes before unpacking the car where we were staying and only after davening a Tefillah by Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai did we arrive at our host. When we parked at the kever, my brother-in-law from Beit Shemesh called saying that he could not find the bag of food and his Shabbos clothes. After he described it I realized that this was the bag that had been with me the entire trip because of a lack of space and it seemed that one of the boys mixed it up and packed it in our car instead of the other car. Now, how was I going to send the bag back to Beit Shemesh? I told my brother-in-law that in the morning I would find someone going close to Yerushalayim or Beit Shemesh and I will try to send the bag along, in the meantime I put the food in the refrigerator so that it would not spoil. I went up to the kever to daven and when I came out a neighbor approached and greeted me warmly. I asked him if was going to spend Shabbos in Meron as well, and he replied that he was leaving just then to return to Beit Shemesh. I told him about the mix up of bags and before I could finish he said, ‘I am going to bring the car around and I will gladly take the bag back home.’ By 3:00 AM the bag arrived home in an amazing way!!! .‫מ‬.‫ר‬

And brought us the time – ‫והגיענו לזמן‬ Three weeks ago, I made an appointment with a doctor for 1:30 in Boro Park. That morning I went to visit my mother in Williamsburg completely forgetting about the appointment. At 12:50 I remembered my appointment which was very important for me, and the next bus going from Williamsburg to Boro Park was leaving at exactly 12:50. I hoped to catch the bus and then I would only be ten minutes late to the doctor and I hoped that he was running late with other patients, despite knowing that this office runs on time and appointments are kept, I decided to try my luck. As I was leaving my mother’s house, my brother-in-law who lives in Monsey was coming in, and he asked me where I was running in such a hurry? To my surprise, he said that he was just about to go to Boro Park. Immediately after saying hello to my mother, he drove me to the doctor’s office and I arrived at 1:32 just as the patient before me was leaving the office. .‫ש‬.‫ל‬.‫א‬

The Complete Faith – ‫האמונה התמימה‬ :‫ויאמר יצחק אל יעקב גשה נא ואמשך בני האתה זה בני עשו אם לא‬ )‫עא‬:‫(כז‬ And Yitzchak said to Yaakov, “Come close, if you please, so I can touch you, my son, are you, indeed, my son Eisav or not?” (27:21) Rashi explains – Yitzchak said to himself, “It is not the practice of Eisav to have the Name of Heaven fluent in his mouth, yet this one said (v.20‫– כי הקרה ה' אלקיך‬Because Hashem your G-d arranged it.” From the words of Rashi we see that the curiosity of Yitzchak was aroused when he heard Yaakov mention the Name of Heaven, and it is obvious from here that were it not for this Yitzchak was not aware of any difference between Yaakov and Eisav, as their voices were similar, and even the goatskins made them similar, and only because he verbally mentioned the Name of Heaven Yitzchak understood that perhaps this was not Eisav. My son, HaRav HaGaon R’ Dov shlit”a asked, apparently from the outset Yaakov was afraid of this for otherwise there was no reason that Yitzchak would have a doubt, and if so, it is fitting to understand what caused Yaakov to answer like this, he could have answered as Eisav was accustomed to answering and in this way he would have removed all doubt, and why did he respond specifically in this way and put himself in danger under Yitzchak’s scrutiny? My son answered that although Yaakov was prepared to change all his characteristics for the benefit of the blessings, however, Yaakov was not prepared to change his character regarding his faith, for when one conceals something relating to his faith then he demonstrates that the person is not honest in his faith, and for this Yaakov was not prepared for at all. Additionally, Yaakov’s purpose in wanting the blessings was faith, for he believed in his Creator and he wanted to fulfill the will of Yisbarach in practice, for his mother revealed to him that this was the will of the Omnipresent, that he take the blessings. That Tzaddik [righteous individual] also knew that with the strength of these blessings he would be able to establish the Twelve Tribes of Hashem, and through them establish the Jewish nation, and since was so, he did not want to conceal his faith specifically at a time like this when he was involved in extending faith for the generations, as this was in the category of carrying out the mission of the Omnipresent and how could it enter his mind to conceal his faith specifically at a time like this. This is a great teaching in the matter of faith, for sometimes a person is aroused to perform a certain great mitzvah for the sake of Heaven, and he sees that in order to put this into practice he must do something that is against the will of Hashem Yisbarach, and the Inclination entices him saying, ‘Do this, even if the spirit of the Omnipresent is not pleased with it, for although this action is not proper, still, through it you will benefit greatly spiritually and the benefit will exceed the loss of the sin manifold.’ However, anyone whose faith is true knows that these words are nonsensical, as one does not set his eye and heart on just the performance of the mitzvah, rather, he also focuses on to Whom he is doing this, and he knows that his Creator is waiting with anticipation for him to fulfill His will and bring him satisfaction by performing the mitzvah. That Creator is quite upset when His will is deflected even with a small sin in contrast to a large mitzvah that He wants him to fulfill. And so, with the strength of faith the Inclination is not able to entice him in this way. The person that is instilled with complete faith is rescued from many confusions expressed by the Inclination, for example, if the

Inclination comes to entice him to daven quickly as it is getting late and he has to hurry to get to work on time to earn his living, the person who does not have his faith instilled in his heart will heed its advice, and will rush through his Tefillah, and will not concentrate even in those places that Halacha obligates one to concentrate and without this concentration he has not fulfilled his obligation. However, the one who has faith instilled in him has another spirit in him, and says to himself: During the Tefillah I can converse with my Creator and through this I can arouse the influence to descend below and if I hurry through the Tefillah I will surely lose the influence that is bestowed from that Tefillah. And even if it seems to the person that only by rushing through davening I will earn my living, this is not true, for the Omnipresent has many messengers, and I do not know why I have to work for my livelihood, and on the other hand, if I rush through davening it is possible that since I did not daven properly I will lose these pennies that I earned by rushing, for it is quite possible that I do not deserve them since I did not daven properly, and because of this I will cause the loss of this money. We find that with the strength of faith the Inclination is not able to entice him. This was the view of the Gedolei Yisroel [Great ones of Israel] on this topic, faith was the light onto their feet, and all of them testified that they placed their eyes on this, they decided that nothing can come up against their faith, whether it was because of a spiritual purpose or whether it was because of a material purpose. It is told about the Chofetz Chaim, that once one of the great influencers of his generation came to him and he told him that he was offered the position of a mashgiach and mashpia [one in charge of the boys] in a certain yeshiva, and the administrators of the yeshiva agreed upon a specific salary as his wages, and he accepted the offer. However, he was requesting of the Chofetz Chaim that since he had a large family with many expenses, that he do him a favor and write a letter to the administrators of the yeshiva that it would be appropriate to increase his salary so that he would have free time for the holy service. The Chofetz Chaim heard his request, however, instead of writing a letter of recommendation, he immediately sent a telegram to the administrators of the yeshiva in it he wrote that he heard that they were considering this man for honorable position as mashpia in their yeshiva and so he was informing them that in his opinion he is not a good candidate for the position, and they should see fit to seek someone appropriate for this. When this became known, the relatives and family of the Chofetz Chaim were shocked by his action, how and why did he see fit to do something like this? The Chofetz Chaim replied and said: The role of a mashpia in a yeshiva is to instill the Jewish tradition in the boys of the yeshiva, and the basic principle of Judaism is faith, and in order for his words to make an impression his words have to come from his heart, and in order for them to come from the heart the words must be instilled in the heart of the mashpia very well. Since he showed me in my house and he expressed the request that I should try to get him more money, I realized that this man was not instilled with true faith, since this was so, I knew that he was not fit to influence the boys as his words would not have impact. Since this would be a spiritual loss to hundreds of students, I was forced to inform the administrators of the yeshiva. This was the view of Gedolei Yisroel, they decided in everything that it not go against faith and if it was proper to do it or not. We request that Hashem Yisbarach should be a help to us that we be able to act through pure faith.

Torah Wellsprings

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Parshas Toldos there are challenges. If it would be simple and easy to serve Hashem, it wouldn’t be significant. But when a yid is confronted with a test and he passes it, Hashem is extremely proud of him and praises him in front of all the malachim. Hashem says, "See how incredible this person is! He serves Me despite his challenges and difficulties! He overlooked all interferences, and devotes himself to My service." This wouldn’t happen if it was easy to serve Hashem. When being confronted with the yetzer hara, don’t be upset. Realize that this situation will (1) make you a better person, and (2) it will make you precious to Hashem.

‫מלחמת היצר‬

ouldn’t it be wonderful to serve Hashem without a yetzer hara? Wouldn’t it be preferable to serve Hashem with perfection, without the constant battle between our yetzer hara and yetzer tov? But the skirmish is for our benefit, for two primary reasons: 1) the battle makes us into better people, because it forces us to use all our powers to win. If it weren't for the tests, people would serve Hashem dispassionately and think that it's sufficient. When one fights the yetzer hara he needs to dig deeper into himself to find his hidden strengths in order to win. The yetzer hara and all life challenges are for our benefit, because when we pass In the beginning of this week's the tests, we become better parashah, Rivkah Imeinu wanted to know why she was people and better Yidden. suffering a very difficult 2) Passing tests make us pregnancy. She went to the precious to Hashem. Avodas beis medresh of Shem. Shem Hashem only has value when prophesized that she's carrying


TorahWellsprings- Toldo s


Torah Wellsprings - Toldos

twins who will be rivals. êéòîî åãøôé, "from the womb, they will depart." Shem added, íàìå õîàé íàìî, "one nation will become stronger than the other." What do these words mean? Rebbe Yehoshua of Belz zt’l explained, “One nation will become stronger because of the other one.” As we explained before, opposition and challenges result in growth. Yaakov will become a better person because of the tests and struggles that Eisav puts his way. The Jewish nation also grows from the tests that the gentiles and the yetzer hara, place before them. Someone said to the Chofetz Chaim zt'l, "Every day, the yetzer hara confronts me, and always with new tactics. Even if I managed to win the yetzer hara one day, he then comes back the next day with greater force. What can I do?" The Chofetz Chaim told him not to complain so much about the yetzer hara, because the yetzer hara is helping him

serve Hashem. To explain this, the Chofetz Chaim gave a mashal from the old-fashioned wind-up watch. The watch has two sets of wheels (gears) that turn in opposite directions. One wheel turns to the right, another wheel turns to the left and together they show the correct time. Similarly, the yetzer hara pulls the person in one direction, the yetzer tov pulls in the other direction, but with the correct choices he will only grow from it. Wealthy people often own a vacation home. The vacation home is a lot smaller than the house they live throughout the year. Sometimes, it's even cramped; the kitchen is smaller and some children may even sleep on the floor because there aren't enough beds, etc. Nevertheless, those families have fond memories of their vacation home. In a way, they like it more than the house they live in the entire year. Rebbe Pinchas of Koritz zt'l discussed this phenomenon and said it's the same with

Torah Wellsprings - Toldos

avodas Hashem. Years ago, Hashem had many great tzaddikim who served him with perfection. Hashem had immense pleasure from their service. But in our generation, people aren't as perfect. They have many tests and challenges and don’t always win the yetzer hara. But in a way, Hashem has more pleasure from them, then from the righteous of generations ago. It isn't as perfect as before (like the summer home, which isn't as nice as the permanent residence) but because of all their challenges, their service is particularly special in Hashem's eyes.


corrupt. If so, how can we hold Eisav accountable for his sins? Whatever he did isn't his fault, since his essence was corrupt? The

Yismach Moshe another question:


The Torah says, åéçà àöé ïë éøçàå á÷òé åîù àø÷éå åùò á÷òá úæçà åãéå, "Afterwards, his brother came out; his hand was holding onto Eisav's heel. He called his name Yaakov." Who named him Yaakov? Rashi writes that Hakadosh Baruch Hu called him Yaakov.

The Yismach Moshe asks: What is the significance of Yaakov holding on to Eisav's The Torah tells us, íéðáä åööøúéå heel, and why did Hashem äáø÷á. Rashi explains, "When name Yaakov for this episode? Rivkah passed the tents of Shem and Ever, Yaakov The Yismach Moshe answers wanted to leave her. When that Yaakov was originally she passed the doorway of an totally pure and Eisav totally avodah zarah, Eisav was evil, but at the moment of trying to get out." The their birth, when Yaakov held Yismach Moshe asks, if Eisav on to Eisav's heel, they shared wanted to go to avodah zarah their essence with one another. even before he was born, it Yaakov was somewhat means that he was thoroughly affected by Eisav's bad, and


Torah Wellsprings - Toldos

Eisav was influenced by Yaakov's goodness. Now Yaakov and Eisav were no longer entirely good or totally bad; now each one had a certain degree of good and bad within him. Eisav can now be held accountable for his deeds, because he has an element of good inside him, which directs him on the good path. This moment was significant, and Hakadosh Baruch Hu named Yaakov Avinu for this episode because it is the moment when Yaakov Avinu's life received purpose. If Yaakov would be entirely good, Hashem wouldn’t have

pleasure from his avodas Hashem, and everything he did wouldn’t have too much meaning. The value of avodas Hashem is overcoming the bad inclination and influences and choosing to serve Hashem. Therefore, keviyachol, Hashem rejoiced when Yaakov held Eisav's heel, because now his avodas Hashem would have purpose. 1 Eisav's obligation was to follow the element of Yaakov that was in him. Eisav didn’t keep his obligation, as the passuk says,äøåëáä úà åùò æáéå (25:34), he despised Hashem's service. 2

1. The parashah begins, ‫( אלה תולדות יצחק‬25:19) Rashi writes, ‫יעקב ועשו‬

‫האמורים בפרשה‬. The Toldos Yaakov Yosef zt’l explains that a Yid is always standing by a ,‫[ פרשת דרכים‬fork in the road], because he has two paths to choose from: He can follow the path of Yaakov Avinu, of Torah and mitzvos, or he can tread on the path of Eisav, of sin. This is alluded to in Rashi's words, ‫יעקב ועשו האמורים בפרשה‬. Everyone has the path of Yaakov and Eisav before him. ‫האמורים בפרשה‬, he stands by a ‫פרשת דרכים‬, a fork in the road, and he must choose which road he wants to follow. 2. The holy sefarim teach that the value of one's good deeds is dependent largely on how much value he attributes to them. If he values his avodas Hashem and considers it precious, he will be rewarded immensely in Olam HaBa. But if he doesn’t value his avodas Hashem, rather, ‫ויבז עשו את הבכורה‬, then it loses its value, and he will receive less

Torah Wellsprings - Toldos


reward for his deeds. To demonstrate this point, we share the following story: A poor person came to the Baal Shem Tov for a salvation. The Baal Shem Tov zy'a said to him, "Invest in the first opportunity that comes your way." The man set out to travel home. At nighttime, he needed a place to stay. He only had a hundred rubles, which he was saving for the first business opportunity, so he slept in the hotel's restaurant, sitting at a table. He woke up by the laughter of uncouth people, who had come to the restaurant. He overheard one of them say, "One thing I am certain of; my olam haba isn't worth much. If someone would offer me a hundred rubles for my entire olam haba, I would sell it to him." His friends laughed raucously. The person (who the Baal Shem Tov advised to buy the first opportunity the presents itself) stood up and went over to this rowdy group, "I overheard one of you say that you want to sell your olam haba for a hundred ruble. I want to buy it." The group laughed some more. The man said, "I will sell it to you gladly." "But I want a contract." "I will give you a contract." He wrote "I hereby sell you my olam haba for a hundred ruble…" and he signed it. When (this person who sold his olam haba) came home, he told his wife about his travels, and what happened in dealings abroad. He added with a small laugh, "Oh, and another thing happened. I was at an inn, and I sold my olam haba for a hundred rubles. So in addition to all the money I earned, I just earned a hundred rubles as well…" His wife turned white, and then she turned red with anger. "You sold your olam haba for one hundred rubles?” She was incredulous. “I don’t want to be married to someone who doesn’t have olam haba. Get your shtar (contract) back, or I want a divorce." She was serious, and her husband knew it. He realized that he had a problem, so he went back to this Yid. "I want to back out of the deal. Please give me the contract and I'll return the hundred rubles." He didn’t agree. "I'll buy it for two hundred rubles." "I'm sorry. I buy olam haba, I don’t sell it."


Torah Wellsprings - Toldos

Yaakov Avinu's obligation in life was to cleanse himself from Eisav's influence. He succeeded in his life's mission, as it says,

íéìäà áùåé íú ùéà á÷òé (25:27). He studied Torah in the yeshiva of Shem and Ever and purified himself from Eisav's influence.

"Will you sell it to me for five hundred rubles? I need to buy it back." "No. As I told you, I only buy olam haba. I am not in the line of selling it." "Tell me how much you want. State your price, and I will pay it.” "In my opinion, your olam haba is worth 250,000 rubles.” The man was a successful businessman, and he had a lot of money, but he didn’t have 250,000 rubles. But knowing that he has no other choice, he sold some of his assets to buy it back. That was his only way to restore his shalom bayis. Let us acknowledge the emunash peshutah, pure belief that this man had in the Baal Shem Tov's counsel. He invested his last pennies in a deal that didn’t seem to be lucrative at all. It wasn't a business opportunity; it was buying someone's olam haba. And because of his emunah peshutah, he earned immense wealth. But now he feared that this money is stolen money. He returned to the Baal Shem Tov and said, "I bought the man's olam haba for a hundred rubles, and I bought it back for 250,000 rubles. It seems that ‫ממה נפשך‬, I dealt dishonestly. Because if his olam haba is really worth 250,000, why did I trick him into selling it for one hundred rubles? And if his olam haba is worth only one hundred ruble, why did I buy it back for 250,000? Something here seems dishonest." The Baal Shem Tov replied, "The value of one's olam haba is in accordance to how much value he attributes to it. When the man sold you his Olam HaBa for a hundred rubles - that was its worth. And when you bought it back for 250,000 rubles - that was its worth. Because the value and the worth of Olam HaBa is according to the importance that one considers it." Eisav sold his bechurah (first born rites) for nezid adashim, a bowl of lentils. Since ‫ ויבז עשו את הבכורה‬it really wasn't worth more. But Yaakov understood its true worth.

Torah Wellsprings - Toldos

In any event, we learn from this commentary that one needs to have a mixture of good and bad within him so his life will have purpose. So whenever we find ourselves struggling with the yetzer hara, realize that this is how things should be. For this battle, Hashem created the world. If Hashem wanted perfection He would have made us all angels. Hashem desires imperfect people to serve Him to the best of their abilities. He wants people with shortcomings, with a yetzer hara and difficult tests, to strive to overcome all that and do Hashem’s will. ‫הקול קול יעקב והידים ידי עשו‬

The Midrash (65 11-15) writes that when Yaakov came in to Yitzchok to receive the brachos, he “bent over and crying. His heart was melting like wax.” Yaakov Avinu was


very embarrassed that he had to pretend to be Eisav in order to receive the brachos. 3 The meforshim ask, why did Yitzchok desire to bless Eisav and not Yaakov? The Yismach Moshe zt'l answers that Yitzchak Avinu's brochos had the potential to enable a person overcome his yetzer hara. Yitzchak therefore wanted to bless Eisav because he figured that the wild and uncouth Eisav needs the brachah, but Yaakov who was always studying Torah (as it says, íéìäà áùåé íú ùéà á÷òé) doesn’t need them. Yaakov Avinu said to his father, êøëá åùò éðà, "I am Eisav your first born" (27:19). Yaakov was saying, “I also have an element of Eisav in me. I also have a yetzer hara. Things are not perfect by me. I also need the brachos.” Yitzchok replied, á÷òé ìå÷ ìå÷ä

3. The Kozhiglover Rav zt'l, in his sefer Eretz Tzvi, explains that this

humble experience was important for Yaakov Avinu, because it made him worthy to receive the brochos.


Torah Wellsprings - Toldos

åùò éãé íéãéäå (27:22). Yitzchak understood that although Yaakov was learning Torah (á÷òé ìå÷ ìå÷ä) he still had an element of Eisav in him (íéãé åùò éãé). He realized that Yaakov also needs the brachos.


It isn’t an embarrassment to have a yetzer hara. It is an embarrassment when one doesn’t have one. 4

Hashem called Himself, é÷ìà ÷çöé (Bereishis 28:16) even when Yitzchok was still Eisav shouted, á÷òé åîù àø÷ éëä living, but Yaakov Avinu äðäå ç÷ì éúøëá úà íéîòô äæ éðá÷òéå didn’t want to say it. Instead, éúëøá ç÷ì äúò, "Perhaps this is Yaakov said, ÷çöé ãçô (31:42). the reason he is called Rashi writes, “We never find Yaakov, because he cheated Hashem calling His name on me twice. [First]He stole my tzaddikim who are alive, first-born rights and now he because it states, ‘Hashem took my blessings" (27:36). doesn’t trust even his holy Yitzchak was happy when he ones.’ [No one is guaranteed heard Eisav proclaim that that he'll never sin, and Yaakov acted with deceit, therefore Hashem doesn’t because this reinforced his want to confer His name on understanding that Yaakov live tzaddikim.] However, Avinu also needed the during Yitzchak's lifetime, brochos. Yitzchok therefore Hashem [nevertheless] called replied, äéäé êåøá íâ, the Himself ÷çöé é÷ìà because brachos are appropriate for Yitzchok’s eyes were weak. Yaakov too. He was confined to his home,

4. Someone praised a certain bachur to the Chazon Ish zt'l. "He mamash

doesn’t have a yetzer hara." The Chazon Ish replied, "Then he is a baal mum, blemished," because everyone should have a yetzer hara.

Torah Wellsprings - Toldos


and it was as though he was truth is that the yetzer hara gives us purpose in life. dead and the yetzer hara already left him.” The yetzer hara of tzaddikim But Yaakov didn’t want to say will obviously be different ÷çöé é÷ìà. He said ÷çöé ãçô than the yetzer hara of simple, instead. The Divrei Dovid (the regular folk. A lowly person Ta'z's commentary on may be tempted to steal, to lie Chumash) zt'l explains that it or do other severe sins, while wouldn’t be derech eretz for the tzaddik has overcome Yaakov Avinu to say ÷çöé é÷ìà. these temptations long ago. ÷çöé é÷ìà implies that Yitzchak The tzaddik's tests will be Avinu didn’t have a yetzer more delicate. As the Baal hara anymore, and that is a Shem Tov said, "Fortunate are the people who forgetting disgraceful thing to say, Hashem [for a moment] is because everyone should have viewed to them as a sin." a yetzer hara. To say about Everyone is tested according someone that he doesn’t have to their level, but it is essential a yetzer hara is almost that everyone have a yetzer equivalent to saying that he hara and challenges, because doesn’t have a purpose in this that is the purpose of life. world. As a son, Yaakov couldn’t say ÷çöé é÷ìà. Instead The Midrash says, “On the he said Pachad Yitzchak. day that Avraham died, We understand from this commentary that the reality is the opposite of how people see it. People think that the yetzer hara is an embarrassment, something that they wished they didn’t have. However, the

Nimrod died. On the day that Yaakov died, Eisav died. On the day that Moshe Rabbeinu died, Bilaam died.” What is this Midrash teaching us? The Beis Yisrael of Gur zt'l explains that from this


Torah Wellsprings - Toldos

Midrash we see that the resha'im were placed in the world for the tzaddikim's sake. Hashem created Nimord to challenge Avraham, and Hashem put Eisav in the world to test Yaakov. Therefore, when Avraham and Yaakov died so did their adversaries. Their antagonists (Nimrod and Eisav) were only living for their sake, so when they were niftar, the opponents died as well.

The Beis Yisrael explained that it seemed that Nimrod, Eisav, and Bilaam, were disturbing these great tzaddikim, but in actual fact they were helping them. They came to the world just for them. If it weren’t for the challenges that these resha'im placed before them, these tzaddikim couldn’t have attained their greatness. 5 Therefore, each person should view their challenges as

5. There was a person who always opposed the Rebbe of Gustantin zt'l.

The Rebbe suffered immensely from him. Yet, when he became ill, the Rebbe of Gustantin davened for his recovery. Someone asked the Rebbe, "Do you really need him? Why are you davening for him?" The Rebbe replied, "If it's destined for me to have an opponent, I will have one, and if it won't be this person it will be someone else. I'm accustomed to this man's opposition so I prefer that he lives. I prefer opposition that I'm familiar with, then having to deal with a new person and new challenges." An elderly person asked Rebbe Ahron of Belz zt'l whether he was permitted to daven Shemonah Esrei while sitting down. Rebbe Ahron replied, “According to halachah, you may sit. However, my father (Rebbe Yissacher Dov of Belz zt'l) would say, "A person shouldn’t give in." Don’t turn yourself into an invalid, into someone who needs to find shortcuts. One should always be prepared to overcome all challenges." An elderly Yid used to pass by the Belzer cheder in Tel Aviv, in his wheelchair almost every day to speak with the children. He wasn't religious but was brought up in a religious home. The children spoke to him about emunah, and encouraged him to keep Shabbos and mitzvos. He said,

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"Don’t speak to me about emunah, because I believe in Hashem more than you do," and he told them his story: “When I was young, I wanted to join the army. My father brought me to Rebbe Yissacher Dov of Belz zt'l. The Rebbe told me, 'You want to join the army? O.K. I will not try to stop you. But I demand from you one thing: You must always keep Shabbos.' There were crutches in the Rebbe's room. The Rebbe pointed to them and said, 'Just a few moments ago, an invalid came in wearing those crutches. I told him to leave my room without them. He doesn’t need them anymore. But if you won't keep Shabbos, those crutches are waiting for you.' “I was afraid, and therefore I always kept Shabbos. I wasn’t religious but I kept Shabbos. Eventually, I came to Eretz Yisrael and I was a general in the Six Day War. When the war ended I was invited to tour and see the new borders. The tour was long, and would be on Shabbos too. In the euphoria of the moment I didn’t think much about it and joined the tour. I was riding on a tank. I didn’t allow myself to think about Shabbos. "On Friday night, the moment Shabbos began, the door of the tank suddenly opened and I fell out. Since then I'm in crutches. So don’t speak to me about emunah. I experienced the truth of emunah.” The children asked him, "So if you believe, why don’t you keep all of the mitzvos? Why only Shabbos?" The man pointed to his heart and said, "the treifa heart!” His impure heart didn’t permit him to act as he knew he should. This man certainly had his challenges, and we can't judge him. But we must realize that there isn't any valid excuse. Challenges were given to us for us to overcome them. The Ritvah explains that Yaakov and Eisav were born twins to demonstrate that the choice to be either a tzaddik or a rasha is entirely up to each individual. When people are born from different parents, they can excuse themselves and say: “If I were born into that home, with that father and mother, etc. things would be different.” There are always excuses to explain why other people are better than them. Even two children from the same home can explain that his brother or sister was born with a better mazal. However, Eisav and Yaakov had the same parents, and they were born with the same mazal. How did it happen that Yaakov became a tzaddik and Eisav a rasha? The answer is that it's all up to the individual. Life is


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blessings. They are opportunities for growth, and they bring the greatest pleasure to Hashem.

isn't because I planted, or because I worked, that I have parnassah. For Yitzchak Avinu, and for all those who have this emunah, all money ‫הכל מאתו יתברך‬ he earns is found because it's It states in this week's a gift from heaven, unrelated parashah, àéää õøàá ÷çöé òøæéå to the work invested. åäëøáéå íéøòù äàî àéää äðùá àöîéå 'ä, “Yitzchak planted in that The Kedushas Yom Tov “He considered land and he found that [the writes, crops grew]… a hundred times everything found, because he more [than expected]…” knew that the abundance (26:12). The passuk is difficult wasn’t the product of his because it begins with work. Everything that he was Hashem’s Yitzchak planting (÷çöé òøæéå) owned blessings.” and concludes with him finding (àöîéå). When one A similar lesson is stated in plants, he doesn’t find. It is Zera Shimshon on the passuk, natural that if one plants, the àöîì úøäî äæ äî åðá ìà ÷çöé øîàéå crops will grow. Why then éðôì êé÷ìà 'ä äø÷ä éë øîàéå éðá, does it say that Yitzhak found? “Yitzchak said to his son The word àöîéå, found, doesn’t [Yaakov], ‘How did you find seem to fit. [the animal] so quickly?’ The Kedushas Yom Tov zt'l [Yaakov] replied, ‘Hashem answers that Yitzchak placed it before me’” (27:20). understood that everything we But did Hashem place the have is found. We don’t earn animal before Yaakov? Didn’t by the ‘power of my hand.’ It Rivkah give him two sheep to filled with challenges and opportunities, and it is totally up to the person whether he wants to stand up to the challenge, or not.

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bring to his father (see 27:9). Was Yaakov chalilah lying when he said that Hashem placed them before him?


Unkelos translates it as ïéîæ, prepared, because even those matters that seem to happen by accident are also prepared by Hashem.

The answer is Yaakov knew that even when one takes from the animals that he owns, Hashem prepared it for him. The Zera Shimshon writes, “Everyone should know, regarding all his deeds, that he can’t do anything if it isn’t Hashem’s will…. All earnings… is because of Hashem’s kindness…” Therefore Yaakov Avinu told the truth, éðôì êé÷ìà 'ä äø÷ä éë, Hashem prepared the sheep for Yaakov to take. Although he took it from his mother's savings, he saw it as Hashem preparing it for him.

When people go through hard times, they often go to people for help. Sometimes, they go to wealthy people, other times they go to community activists and they ask them to help them out with their struggles. However, they must remember that it is never this person or that person who helps. Ultimately, it is Hashem who is helping them. They do hishtadlus, but it is always Hashem who does everything. To explain this, the Chofetz Chaim gives the following mashal:

On the words êé÷ìà 'ä äø÷ä éë éðôì, Unkelos writes, 'ä ïéîæ éøà éîã÷ ê÷ìà, "Hashem your G-d prepared it for me." Several times in the Chumash, Unkelus translates äø÷ä as ïéîæ, prepared. äø÷ä generally means something that happens by chance, by accident. But

Someone came to a train station for the first time in his life and he saw the stationmaster blow a whistle, indicating that the train is leaving soon. Many people climbed aboard. Five minutes later, the man blew his whistle again. All the people who


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dallied and didn’t board the train by the first whistle, quickly scrambled onto the train. By the third whistle the train began to move. He went over to the whistle blower and said, “I feel privileged to speak with you because I see that you are in charge of the train station. The train and all of the passengers are dependent on you. Without you, nothing would happen…” “Don’t be so impressed,” the stationmaster said. “I am just a simple worker. I earn a small amount of money. The people who own the trains are making all the money.” The Chofetz Chaim said that we should realize that the person helping you is merely a small pawn in Hashem's hands. It's not he who's doing things. It's Hashem who is really running the world. Perfect Order

The Chofetz Chaim gave the following mashal: There was a man visiting a distant city. Shabbos morning, he went to

the community's beis kneses and watched the gabai give out the aliyos. He felt that it was done unjustly. He thought, the aliyos should go to the scholarly, the people who are seated by the front wall. Or, if they want everyone to have a chance for an aliyah, then the aliyos should be given in order that the people are seated in the beis kneses. But this gabai is giving out the aliyos without any order at all. He called up a bachur for the first aliyah. Someone from the right side of the beis kneses was called for the second aliyah. An older person from the front of the beis medresh was called for shlishi. A middle age man, seated at the middle of the beis medresh, was called for revi’i. It seemed all wrong. It seems that the gabai was giving out the aliyos to his friends, and not to anyone else. After the tefillah, he said to the gabai, “You need to improve the way you run this shul. I watched how you gave

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out aliyos – and it wasn’t fair. Why do you only give your friends aliyos?...” The gabai told him, “You are new here and that’s why you don’t understand. There is an order and the aliyos are given out very fairly. In fact, every Friday afternoon, I carefully plan the aliyos, to give the aliyos to everyone who needs it. The young man who received the first aliyah is a cohen, so obviously, he deserves the first aliyah. The person, from the middle has yahrtzeit, so he also got an aliyah this Shabbos. I called up a scholar for shlishi, as you saw. I didn’t call up the person seated next to him, because his grandson is getting married in ten days and next Shabbos will be the kiddush. He will get an aliyah then… So you see, everything has a well thought out order, only you don’t know all the details and that’s the reason you didn’t understand.”


order; a very fair order. We shouldn’t ask questions about the way Hashem runs the world, because our questions are solely because we don’t know all the details, and because we don’t see the entire picture. It often seems like there's no order. People don’t understand why one person has money and another person is poor; why some are healthy, while others are ill. Why some people suffer from one problem, while others are exempt from the problem. It doesn’t seem fair, but that is because we don’t know the entire picture. If we would know all the details, we would know that everything is exactly as it should be.

In the Yom Kippur machzor, by Mussaf, there is a piyut which discusses the éâåøä äøùò úåëìî, the ten Tana’im who were killed al kiddush Hashem. It states there that the The Chofetz Chaim said that resha’im chose to kill Reb the world is also run with an Yishmael Cohen Gadol by


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skinning him alive. “The angels in heaven shouted bitterly, ‘Is this the reward for Torah study?’ A bas kol replied, ‘If I hear one more complaint, I will turn the world into water and into nothingness (åäáå åäú).’” The malachim wanted to know, ‘Is this the reward for Torah study? How can a Torah scholar, who studied so much Torah, have such a terrible end?' But what did the bas kol answer? It seems that the bas kol only warned them not to speak about this question anymore. Reb Shlomo Kluger zt’l said that the bas kol answered the malachim’s question in a beautiful manner. Reb Shlomo Kluger explained it with a mashal: A prince invited government officials and his wealthy friends to a party he would be throwing. The prince bought expensive material, gave it to a Jewish tailor together with threads of gold and silver, and

said, “Turn this into a beautiful suit for me to wear by the party.” The Jewish tailor put his heart and soul into the project and he produced a beautiful suit for the prince. By the party, the prince was very proud of his clothes, and everyone admired it, but they were also jealous. They said, “You gave the Yid much more material than we see in your suit. Do you think that he stole it? It was expensive material. Also, there are several gold and silver strings that are missing. I think you were robbed. The tailor took a large portion for himself. If he would have put it into the clothing, it would appear far better.” The next day, the prince summoned the tailor, and angrily he asked, “Where is all the material that I gave you? And where are all the gold and silver thread?” “Everything is in your clothes,” the tailor explained, “because a tailor needs to

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make several folds in the garment, in order to make a garment. I folded the material several times. It seems that there is material missing, but it is all within your clothes.” “You are lying,” the prince declared. “You stole it.” The tailor took a knife and began opening the seams. “What are you doing?” the prince shouted. “Before you stole and now you are ruining my garment.” The tailor explained, “You don’t believe my explanation, so I have no choice but to show you that all the material and threads are here. I am opening the folds, so you can see them.” Using this mashal, Reb Shlomo Kluger explained the bas kol’s answer. The malachim asked, “Is this the reward for studying Torah? How could such a thing occur to Reb Yishmael Cohen Gadol?” The bas kol replied, “If you won’t be quiet, I will


return the world to the beginning of creation…” The bas kol was saying, “Everything Hashem does is just. If you don’t understand it, it is only because you don’t know all the details. If you refuse to believe, Hashem will return the world back to the beginning of creation, and show you how everything is exactly as it should. You don’t see the complete picture. If you would see more, you would understand that everything is just and correct.” In Ashrei, we say, ìë úà 'ä øîåù ãéîùé íéòùøä ìë úàå åéáäåà “Hashem guards all the people whom He loves, and He destroys all resha'im.” The Chofetz Chaim zt’l said, imagine what would happen if a person entered the beis medresh and heard someone say this passuk, but missed the first two words. It will sound to him like this, úàå åéáäåà ìë úà ãéîùé íéòùøä ìë, “All the people who Hashem loves, and all resha’im, Hashem destroys.” He will ask, “Is this justice?


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Why does Hashem destroy the tzaddikim?” Imagine what would happen if someone heard someone say the passuk, but he missed the final word. It would sound like this: ìë úàå åéáäåà ìë úà 'ä øîåù íéòùøä, “Hashem protects the people whom he loves, and the resha’im.” He will ask, “Why does Hashem protect the resha’im?” They ask these questions because they didn’t hear the entire passuk. Similarly, all questions in life are only because we don't know the entire story. If we know all the details, we won’t have any questions at all. Everything's for the Good

Reb Nissan Shtitzberg z'l (a chassid of the Yesod HaAvodah of Slonim zy’a) was extremely joyous by the chasunah, when his daughter married a talmid chacham. But his joy didn’t last for long because tragically, during sheva brachos the chosson died. To make matters worse, the chosson had only one

brother, who was four years old. This brother would need to do chalitzah for the almanah before she can remarry, but he couldn’t do it until his bar mitzvah. This meant that his daughter would remain an almanah for the next ten years, until her four-year-old brother-in-law becomes bar mitzvah, to be able to do chalitzah. Reb Nissan Shtitzberg said to his rebbe, the Yesod HaAvodah, “Why did this happen to me?” The Yesod HaAvodah replied, “Hashem’s plan for your daughter is that she should build her family in ten years from now, and not before. This is Hashem's will for reasons only Hashem knows. Imagine how you would feel if this first marriage didn’t occur. Since it was decreed that your daughter should remain single for another ten years, you would need to wait ten years before she marries regardless. During those ten years, you will be wondering

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in anguish, ‘Why isn’t my daughter engaged yet? What is preventing it?’ People would begin speaking lashon hara about your daughter. They will say that apparently something is wrong with her since no one is taking her. You would be looking for all segulos possible, so your daughter can have a yeshuah. You would be very anxious and worried. But now you know that she cannot get married for ten years. You will be calm and relaxed. You know that this is her destiny, and there is nothing you can do to change it. You will wait patiently for the ten years to pass, until she will be able to build a family at the time that heaven intended.”


without any financial promises and without financial support. “After the vort (engagement celebration) I returned to my yeshiva in Lithuania, where I learned. My friends told me that I made a mistake. “You are a talmid chacham. You should have asked for a house and more. We recommend that you break the shidduch…” Rav Shach replied, “This is what Hashem arranged, so it is certainly for the best.” His friends didn’t agree. Rav Shach said that when the Nazis came close to Lithuania, he and his wife escaped before the mass murder. He said, “The people who owned homes didn’t want to abandon the city because they feared that the Nazis would take away their homes and wealth. They stayed on and the Nazis destroyed everything. In retrospect, I was saved because I didn’t have a home.

An orphan was brought to Rav Shach zt’l for encouragement. Reb Shach told him, “When I was a child, I was also an orphan. When I was engaged to be married the kallah’s family didn’t give me a dowry. I had no parents to demand a “Similarly, you should know,” dowry, so I was engaged Rav Shach told the orphan,


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“no matter what happens, wonder child can find him everything is for the best…” 6 without anyone directing him. He told his staff to remain Even at five-years-old, the concealed in their rooms so Baal Shem of Michelstadt zt’l the child wouldn’t have was known as a wonder-child anyone to ask directions. because of his sharp mind. People were speaking about The count looked out of his the child's wisdom, and even window and watched the child the count (local ruler) heard as he approached the about it. He wanted to see the courtyard. He saw the child child's wisdom with his own focus on the castle for a few two eyes, so he summoned for moments and then go inside. the child to visit him at the Within a few moments the castle at a set date and time. child came to his door and said, “Good day, honorable This was a test. The castle had count.” many rooms, and the count would be in one of them. He “How did you know I was wanted to see whether the here?” 6. In Baranovitch, there was a Slonimer chassid called Reb Motel

Kopolovitz z'l. He was a plumber, but he didn’t always have work. One Thursday night, he still didn’t have money to buy for Shabbos. Before going to sleep he said with a broken heart, "Ribono Shel Olam! If you want me and the six people of my family to be hungry this Shabbos, then this is what I want too." Later that night, people came to awaken him. A pipe from the local bathhouse burst and since it was erev Shabbos, it needed to be fixed immediately. He was paid double because he worked at night and had plenty of money for Shabbos. His salvation came because he accepted Hashem's decree. The Nesivos Shalom of Slonim zt'l said, "Reb Motel's krechtz had the power to burst all the pipes of the bathhouse, not only one," because his krechtz went straight up to heaven.

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“I looked at the castle from the outside and saw that this is the only room with the curtains closed. All other rooms have the curtains open to let in the sunlight. That is how I knew that you were here, hiding behind the curtains, watching me come to the castle.” The Baal Shem Tov of Michelstadt zt’l repeated this


story years later, and added that the same process is used to find Hashem. When the curtains are closed and Hashem is concealed, that is where Hashem is. Where there is darkness, and life is difficult, Hashem is hiding there and waits to see if you will find Him. 7 The Rabbeinu Yonah (Sharei Teshuvah 2:5) teaches, “One

7. At their meeting, the count asked the five-year-old lad, “What would

you do if some people from my staff would tell you that I am in one place and others would tell you that I am in a different room? Where would you go?” The boy replied, “The Torah tells us ‫אחרי רבים להטות‬, one follows the majority opinion.” The count asked, “So why do you remain in your religion. Don’t you know that the majority of the world has a different faith?” The boy replied, “We follow the majority when we're in doubt. But when we are certain, we don’t follow the majority. If I knew where you are in the castle, your entire staff can tell me to go to a different room and I wouldn’t listen to them. I wouldn’t follow the majority, because I know where you are. Similarly, all Yidden believe in Hashem and they have no doubts. Therefore we don’t follow the majority opinion." Tzaddikim said, “Belief is greater than seeing.” Reb Yissachar Dov of Belz said to his son, “Do you know why we fill the ‫ כוס של אליהו‬by the Seder? It is because Eliyahu HaNavi comes to every home on Pesach night. There are tzaddikim who see him…” Rebbe Yissacher Dov raised his eyes to heaven and added, “It is even greater when one doesn’t see him, but believes that he comes.” The Chidushei HaRim zt’l was speaking about the greatness of the Noda


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should believe that in the midst of the greatest hardships, the darkness will turn to light. As it says, áùà éë éúî÷ éúìôð éë éì øåà 'ä êùåçá “When I fell, I got up. When I sat in darkness, Hashem is my light (Michah 7:8). Chazal explain éúî÷ éúìôð éë, If I didn’t fall, I wouldn’t get up. If it weren’t for the darkness, I wouldn’t reach the light.’”

Whatever happens to a person is for his own good. The darkness is a pathway that leads to the great light that follows it. The end of the night is considered the darkest point of the night. From there, morning comes. So too, when a person is in darkness, he should believe that light will soon come and illuminate his life. 8

b’Yehudah. The Chidushei HaRim said that by the Seder, after opening the door for ‫שפך חמתך‬, the Noda b’Yehudah would walk with Eliyahu HaNavi down the stairs, to the street below. The Chidushei HaRim explained that the Noda b’Yehudah didn’t actually see Eliyahu HaNavi, but he believed that he was there, and belief is greater than giluy Eliyahu. 8. The Beis Yisrael's zt'l once asked the youngest son of the Rav of Pietrikov who suffered in the concentration camps during the war, "Did you see the crematoria there?" He answered that he did. "Did you see the mass murder, and the burning of the bodies?" "Yes." "And did you also see Hakadosh Baruch Hu in the camps?" Because even where there is immense darkness, Hashem is there, too.


PARASHAS TOLDOS IN THE PATHWAYS OF FAITH Yitzchak Davened With Wealth (‫ כא‬,‫”ויעתר יצחק לה‘“ )כה‬ The Midrash (Bereishis Rabba 63, 5) cites the words of Rabi Yochanan, who explained the term “vaye’etar”: “He poured out his tefillos with wealth” (atir is ashir in Aramaic, see Onkelos, ibid 14:23). One may ask, what is the purpose of so many tefillos—have we not learned (Brachos 5b): “One says more and one says less as long as he directs his heart to the Heavens”? Rav Eliyahu of Wiskit (Wiskitno), a disciple of the Kotzker Rebbe, explained in sefer Eizor Eliyahu: The intention of Rabi Yochanan was to say that Yitzchak Avinu offered all his tefillos with the sense that he was wealthy, and he lacked for nothing, so that they should not be interpreted that he had any complaints towards Hashem for not being blessed with children. The sefer Nachalas Yaakov Yehoshua further explains: Yitzchak offered his tefillos “lenochach ishto, in the presence of his wife” in other words, on behalf of his wife and for her honor. As Chazal said (Bava Metzia 59a): “A person should always be careful to respect his wife because blessing only comes to a person’s home because of his wife.” Therefore, Rabi Yochanan says that Yitzchak offered his tefillos ‘b’osher,’ that he was wealthy in the merit of his tefillos.

Yitzchak and Rivka Did Not Know Where to Direct Their Prayers “‫”לנכח אשתו‬ “Lenochach ishto – he stood in one corner and davened and she stood in another corner and davened.” (Rashi) Why did Yitzchak and Rivka need to stand in two different corners? The early sefer, Mayim Chaim (Direnfurt 5450) explains Harav Chaim Halevi Horowitz in the name of his grandfather Rav Pinchas, zt”l: It says in Maseches Bava Basra (25a) that we have to be grateful to our forefathers for telling us which of the four directions one should turn to when davening—the east. Now it needs to be explained: Yitzchak and Rivka, who did not yet know in which direction to daven, chose to stand at two corners of the house, he in the southeastern corner, and she in the northwestern corner, this way they would know that they had certainly

Divrei Torah About Amen and Tefillah in the Parashah

directed their heir tefillah tefilla to the direction from which it would be accepted.

Tefillas Yekum Purkan “‫”כי עקרה היא‬ “Rabi Yitzchak said: Why were our forefathers barren? Because HaKadosh Baruch Hu desires the tefillos of tzaddikim.” (Yevamos 64a) The Tiferes Shlomo of Radomsk explains this: By nature, the great burden and effort in raising children would mean that one has less time and energy for his avodas Hashem, and therefore, because Hashem wants the tefillos of tzaddikim and He wants them to pray calmly, without distress, He withheld children from them. The Tiferes Shlomo adds: For this reason, we ask in the tefillah of Yekum Purkan, ‘Zara chaya vekayama, zara di lo yifsok vedi lo yivtul mipsgamei Oraisa” that we merit that our children be healthy and whole and no trouble should befall them and then we will not have to desist from Torah and tefillah to care for them.

Amen Brings Abundance Into the World ‫יעבדוך‬...‫”ויתן לך אלקים מטל השמים ומשמני הארץ‬ (‫כט‬-‫ כח‬,‫עמים“ )כז‬ The acronym of “lecha haElokim mital hashamayim umishmanei ha’aretz” amounts to the numerical value of “amen” to teach us that in the merit of replying amen, abundance comes down upon a person and his enemies fall, as it says hence, “Yaavducha amim” the nations will serve you. Kikar Zahav, Maareches Beis

going out to an errant lifestyle. As such we find that if the birth of Yaakov and Eisav would have been delayed by five more years, HaKadosh Baruch Hu would not have had to subtract anything from Avraham Avinu’s life, because Eisav would not have strayed in his lifetime. Now we can understand why Yitzchak had to plead so much until Hashem acceded to his request. When this was told to Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, zt”l, he agreed and added that there is an allusion to this in the words of the passuk: “Vaye’etar lo Hashem” is numerically equivalent to “chamesh shanim”, five years. Kerem Chemed

The Prayer of a Tzaddik ben Tzaddik Hashem answered specifically the tefillah of Yitzchak, as it says, “vaye’etar lo, and He answered Him,” and not her. Rashi says, “him and not her, because the tefillah of a tzaddik ben tzaddik cannot be compared to the tefillah of a tzaddik ben rasha.” The Rosh Yeshivah of Ofakim, Harav Chaim Kamil, zt”l, explained: The reason that the power of the prayer of a tzaddik ben tzaddik is greater than a tzaddik ben rasha is not only because of the zchus avos, the merits of his forbears, that he has. It is also because of his own path in life: one cannot compare one who chose the path of righteousness because he saw firsthand the wicked ways of his followed and came to the understanding that he had to abandon these ways and become a tzaddik, to one who could have rested on his laurels and relied on his father’s spiritual attributes and bask in his presence. Instead, he toiled and worked until he reached the status of his father, and he is worthy of greater honor. Kovetz Basadeh Ubakerem p. 88

Yitzchak’s Tefillah Subracted Years From His Father’s Life

The Difference Between Tzeddakah and Tefillah

(‫”ויעתר לו ה‘“ )שם‬ “Vaye’etar lo – nispatzer venispayes venispateh lo.” (Rashi) Why did Yitzchak have to daven and plead so much? One of the Maggidim explained: Chazal said (Bereishis Rabba 63, 12) that HaKadosh Baruch Hu subtracted five years from the life of Avraham Avinu, so that he should not witness his grandson

(‫ כג‬,‫”הקל קול יעקב והידים ידי עשו“ )כז‬ The tzaddik Harav Yaakov Yosef of Polnoa the Toldos Yaakov Yosef, would explain this passuk: “Hakol kol Yaakov” one who is involved in tefillah (kol) needs to do it l’Shem Shamayim, like “kol Yaakov.” However, even if one gives tzeddakah (yadayim, hands) lo lishmah, not solely for the sake of the mitzvah, meaning “yedei Eisav” the hands of Eisav, his actions are willingly accepted by Hashem. Chassidim Mesaprim Vol. III p. 178

A Rare Segulah for Protection from the Maharsha, zy”a (Passed away on 5 Kislev, 5392)

“Lu hikshavta lemitzvosai, vayehi kanahar shlomecha vetzidkascha kegalei hayam…” (Yeshayahu 48:18)

“Lemitzvosai” is derived from the word “tzeves vechaburah” (a group) and that means: “Had you listened, and waited to respond amen for every brachah that you hear from your friends, your fellows in shul, your reward would be peace flowing like a river…” r…” (Maharsha, Vol. I, Brachos 6a)

In these days, when we all need protection, let us undertake to recite ite achah Birchos Hashachar bechavrusa in shul, and then we will merit the brachah n. of “Vayehi kanahar shlomecha vetzidkascha kegalei hayam.” Amen.

Prayer of Faith

A Glance at the Seder Hatefillah

Asherr Yatzar – continued

‫ עיצובים‬shay

A Segulah for Healing To complement the previous article, this section will address the uniqueness of the brachah of Asher Yatzar and its known segulah for healing and yeshuos. Let us begin by noting the fact that Asher Yatzar is unique because it has a connection to each and every part of the person’s body, as Chazal say (Tanchuma Shemini 8) by way of allusion that the words chalulim chalulim are numerically equivalent to 248, which is the number of organs in a person’s body. In light of the importance and uniqueness of Asher Yatzar, it is not surprising that Gedolei Yisrael have attributed great importance to reciting it from the written text, with great kavanah and emotion. Some have added that doing so is a segulah for a refuah. It is told that the Chafetz Chaim was very careful to say the brachah from the written text, with his finger following each word. (Mei’ayin Yavo Ezreinu, p. 17) The Shineva Rav’s Chassidim would come from far and wide to bask in his presence. Upon seeing how he made the brachah of Asher Yatzar, with tremendous kavanah, word for word, they would whisper to one another, “We can go home. Just watching the tzaddik make the brachah has infused us with enough holiness for an entire year.” It was known in those days that one who watched the way the Shineva Rav made the brachah would feel for the first time that he understand its true meaning. Many who needed yeshuos and refuos would come from all over to hear the tzaddik recite Asher Yatzar and responded amen as a segulah for a yeshuah. (Yesod Yosef – Taharas Yom Tov 88). When people would mention the name of a sick person who needed a yeshuah to Harav Meir’l of Premishlan, he would advise that he be strict about saying Asher Yatzar with intense kavanah, emphasizing that it was a tried and true segulah for a yeshuah. (ibid) The Mashgiach, Harav Yechezkel Levinstein, zt”l, would often say that when this brachah is said with kavanah, it is a great segulah for a physical healing. (Tefillas Chana, p. 66). The renowned maggid Harav Shimshon Pinkus, zt”l, would often speak about the greatness of this brachah and the obligation to recite it with kavanah. When someone noted to him the words of Gedolei Yisrael that it was a segulah for a refuah, he would reply: “Segulah?! And when you open the faucet and water comes out would you call that a segulah? It is a clear and simple fact that when one recites Asher Yatzar the right way, he opens the faucet of refuah in Heaven and brings down refuah and yeshuah to this world!” He added, “It is clear to anyone with common sense that if we would recite this brachah properly there wouldn’t be sick people at all. But because we are not careful to thank Hashem with the right solemnity and kavanah, we have illness around us.” (Tiferes Shimshon, Bereishis, Beshalach)

Miraculous Rescue on the Train There is a well known story that happened to the mashgiach, Harav Eliyahu Lopian. He was once traveling on the train and had to make the brachah of Asher Yatzar. He asked the passengers on the train car, among them those who were not Torah observant, to reply amen after his brachah, explaining to them the great power of this brachah for salvation and for being spared from trouble. Out of respect, many of the passengers complied, listening solemnly to the brachah,

which he recited with utmost kavanah, and emotionally replying amen, in unison. A big surprise awaited them just a few moments later when the train braked suddenly and halted just a few inches away from a powerful mine that Arab terrorists had hidden in the tracks. Their plan was to exact dozens, if not hundreds, of casualties from the train’s passengers. The mine was hidden in a way that it could not be detected, and it was a genuine miracle that the driver had been able to detect it from afar and to stop the train just in time. Thus the passengers were spared a terrible calamity in the merit of Asher Yatzar. (Lev Eliyahu – Chochmah Umussar, introduction).

The Best Brachah A wonderful story about the Chazon Ish is brought in the sefer Maaseh Ish (Vol. II, p. 156, 225): The Chazon Ish was especially scrupulous about the brachah of Asher Yatzar, reciting it with great concentration, slowly and with kavanah. He even donned his outer garment and gartel in order to say the brachah. One morning, while the Chazon Ish was in the midst of reciting Asher Yatzar, facing the wall and uttering the words, a young man dashed into the room and began screaming that his young daughter had fallen deathly ill. It was during the period of a polio outbreak, and all parents lived in terror of the dreaded disease. When this young man’s daughter suddenly got high fever and other symptoms that seemed to point almost undoubtedly to the disease, he hurried to the Chazon Ish to ask for a brachah. It appeared that, in his deep concentration, the Chazon Ish did not notice what was going on around him, but towards the end of the brachah, those present were surprised to see him turn his gaze to the young man and conclude with emphasis: “Baruch Atah…Rofeh kol basar umafli laasos.’ The man quickly replied amen, loudly and fervently, and before he could say another word, the Chazon Ish said, “You’ve heard the brachah already…” The man returned home happily. It was no wonder that by the time he arrived he was told that his daughter was recovering, baruch Hashem.

Asher Yatzar Through the Phone While Harav Itzikel of Pshevorsk was once in a resort town, he suddenly received news that his granddaughter had become very ill and needed Heavenly mercy. Reb Itzikel, famed throughout the world for his miracle works, calmed those around him that the yeshuah was at hand. A few moments later, he asked his attendant to dial the hospital. When a family member picked up the phone in the room, Reb Itzikel asked that the phone be placed near his granddaughter’s ear, and he began to recite Asher Yatzar with great kavanah. On the other end of the line, he heard a weak “amen.” Over the next few days, Reb Itzikel did this whenever he recited the brachah, giving the patient the merit of answering amen, until the child recovered completely. The family was not surprised when she defied all predictions by the doctors and was discharged a few days later, completely healthy. (Nifla’im Maasecha, Vol. II, P. 427) Fellow Yidden! We all need yeshuos, and every day we hear of more people who, tragically, fall ill. Let us undertake to be more careful about this brachah, to thank our Creator, and to recite it from the text, with kavanah, and may it be His Will that we merit to have all the harsh decrees annulled and may we return to Yerushalayim, healthy in both body and soul, speedily in our times.

A Story of Faith

A Weekly Story About Amen and Tefillah

A Sudden Storm That Realized a Dream This story was told by the Shefa Chaim of Sanz, zy”a, during one of his sichos about the power of sincere tefillah from the depths of the heart to effect yeshuos in all areas. The Jewish community in Krakow was established some 900 years ago, and from that point on it was one of the most prominent Jewish communities in Europe. It was home to numerous gedolei Yisrael, among them the Rem”a. There were two large cemeteries in Krakow, the old cemetery, where many of the gedolim who lived in Krakow during its first few hundred years as a Jewish community were buried. Then there was the new cemetery, which was the final resting place of many great people, but because it was established later, it was considered to be less holy than the older cemetery. When the old cemetery became overcrowded, the chevrah kaddisha stopped burying people there. Nevertheless, there were a few plots still left, and it was the heart’s desire of every one of Krakow’s eminent residents to merit to be buried alongside the kedoshim there, although few actually merited to have this happen. Due to the fact that so many people vied for so few plots, the chevrah kaddisha had no choice but to sell them for exorbitant prices, to the highest bidder, which obviously, far exceeded the price of a plot in the new cemetery. As such, it was no surprise that when Rechel expressed a wish to her neighbors and friends to be buried in the old cemetery, everyone just nodded at her with pity. Rechel was known among the residents of Krakow as “Rechel the Baalas Chessed,” and not for naught. She was definitely worthy of this title, because already as a young girl she would dedicate all her free time to doing chessed. Despite being widowed at a young age, and raising her four children alone, in poverty and constant lack, she always had room in her heart for those lonely, long suffering women who came to her home to find a balm for their misery. Each Erev Shabbos she would go from one wealthy home to another, and the residents would generously donate Shabbos food so she could distribute it to the needy of Krakow. Rechel earned the admiration of the city’s residents, which made them raise an eyebrow even higher when they heard her strange request: when her time came, she wanted to be buried in the old cemetery. So great was her desire that even as a baalas simchah, at the weddings of her grandchildren, when her acquaintances came to wish her mazel tov, she asked that they bless her that she merit to be buried in the old cemetery. Despite the initial shock that this request was met with, the well wishers complied, and she replied amen aloud and fervently after each such brachah. It quickly became the talk of the town in Krakow: why did Rechel the Baalas Chessed suddenly start talking about being buried in the old cemetery? Was she losing her mind? But as time passed, everyone got used the fact, and before she even asked, they would wish her warmly, “May you merit to be buried in the old cemetery.” Of course, she always replied amen. When her close family was asked why she wanted this, they had no answers, but they did say that in addition to the perakim of Tehillim she had been reciting daily for decades, she now added a few more chapters as a special prayer for this request, to be buried in the old cemetery. For the children of Krakow, it became

a source of entertainment. Whenever Rechel walked in the streets, they would run after her and cry: “Mumme, ihr zohlt ligen in dem alten Bais Hachaim! You should rest in the old cemetery!” Not only was Rechel not offended by this, she smiled at each child and replied warmly, “Amen, kein yehi ratzon, may it be that I indeed merit that!” Years passed and the old woman davened for this wish to come true every single day. Then the day came. One fine morning, Rechel told her family that she did not feel well, and a few hours later, returned her pure soul to its Maker. The streets of Krakow hummed as people streamed to the funeral of Rechel the Baalas Chessed. She was worthy of this honor because of her good deeds, but it was impossible to deny that many of the people came out of curiosity to see what would happen. Rumor had it that over the years, Rechel and her family had frequently asked the chevrah kaddisha to fulfill her request and promise her a plot where she wanted, but they demanded a huge sum and refused to compromise even the slightest. Now, too, the chevrah kaddisha absolutely refused, and prepared to begin the levayah, as usual, to the new cemetery. The family had already come to terms with the fact that their mother’s request would not be answered, and only Hashem knew why these things happened. The hespedim began with the eulogy of the town’s rav, who mentioned Rechel’s many great acts of chessed. But after just a few sentences, the skies turned black and cloudy, a brisk wind began to blow and rain began pouring down. The many people in attendance scattered to the nearby homes to take cover from the rain, and the mittah was taken into the nearest shul with the hope that the rain would stop soon and the levayah could proceed. A few minutes passed and the storm settled. The sun peeked through the clouds and it was clear that the funeral procession could go on. The maspidim spoke briefly and the people carrying the bier began heading down the muddy streets toward the new cemetery. But as they got closer to the cemetery they realized the extent of the storm. From the top of the hill they could see the tops of the headstones peeking out over the water that had flooded the entire new cemetery. The funeral halted at once. The pallbearers waited for the chevrah kaddisha, who, after a short consultation, motioned for them to turn back. It was clear that it was impossible to bury Rechel in the new cemetery in its current state. They had no choice but to bury her in one of the few plots left in the old cemetery. “This story was a “chiddush” for me,” the Shefa Chaim concluded the story. “How every Jew can work on his behalf before Hashem to get whatever his heart desires, even things not relating directly to avodas Hashem. HaKadosh Baruch Hu hears “tefillas kol peh, the prayers of every mouth,” in its simplest meaning, unless one is asking for forbidden things. Therefore, when a father and mother plead to Hashem when lighting candles, or during Shemoneh Esrei, or at any other time, that He help them raise their children to be Torah scholars, they will surely merit to receive help from Hashem who will fulfill their wishes for good.” Shefa Chaim, Drashos Chumash Rashi, Parashas Vayeitzei

Bnei Emunim POB 102 Bnei Brak FAX 08-9746102 | email: | This newletter is available weekly through email New Website with Huge Selection of Material on `Amen' :

‫פרשת תולדות‬ ‫תשע"ז‬ Parshas Toldos 5777 Year 6 • #283

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

The skeptics: scoffers, but not really wicked

)‫ (כה יט‬:‫ן־א ְב ָרהָ֑ם ַא ְב ָרהָ֖ם הוֹלִ֥יד ֶאת־יִ ְצ ָֽחק‬ ַ ‫וְ אֵ֛לֶּ ה ֽתּוֹלְ דֹ֥ת יִ ְצחָ֖ק ֶבּ‬ And these are the generations of Yitzchak the son of Avrohom; Avrohom begot Yitzchak.(25:19) hy does the posuk draw attention to, and emphasize Yitzchak's patrimony? Rashi informs us of the scurrilous nature of the contemporaries: ‫לפי שהיו ליצני הדור אומרים מאבימלך נִ ְת ַע ְב ָרה שרה שהרי כמה שנים שהתה עם‬ ‫אברהם ולא נתעברה הימנו‬ "because the scoffers of the generation were saying that Sarah had conceived from Avimelech for she had lived with Abraham for many years and had not conceived from him. ... The Holy One, blessed be He, shaped the features of Yitzchak's face to resemble Avrohom's, and everyone attested that Avrohom had begotten Yitzchak.." It would seem that Rashi let these scoundrels off easy, by terming them merely "scoffers", and not the "wicked ones" of that generation. The Chida provides an answer by elaborating on Rashi. The scoffers of the generation were not truly wicked, but actually perceptive men who spoke the truth -- but with a twist. Rashi (on 21:1), explaining the juxtaposition of Hashem's remembering Sarah for a child, next to Avrohom's entreaties in prayer (in 20:17) teaches: - ‫כל המבקש רחמים על חבירו והוא צריך לאותו דבר הוא נענה תחילה‬ "whoever begs for mercy for his friend, when needing the same thing, is answered first." Because Avrohom prayed on Avimelech's behalf, he was answered before Avimelech. Hashem remembered Sarah's plight before He healed Avimelech. One could admit that the scoffers actually spoke the truth, albeit in a twisted way: yes, Sarah conceived on account of Avimelech, but strictly owing to Avrohom's entreaties on behalf of Avimelech. But the dregs of society, hearing the skeptics' statement, could have taken it on face value -- that Avimelech sired Yitzchak biologically. To refute this preposterous gaffe, Hashem caused Yitzchak to mirror Avrohom's facial features exactly -- thus silencing the lower-grade scoffers. (‫) נחל קדומים‬


True love is constant; the beauty of Yaakov's voice

(‫ (כה כח‬:‫ת־י ֲע ֽקֹב‬ ַֽ ‫ת־עשָׂ֖ו כִּ י־צַ֣יִ ד ְבּפִ֑יו וְ ִר ְבקָ֖ה אֹה ֶֶ֥בת ֶא‬ ֵ ‫)וַ ֶֽיּ ֱאהַ֥ב יִ ְצחָ֛ק ֶא‬ Yitzchak loved Esau because [his] game was in his mouth, but Rivka was loving Yaakov.(25:28) ven on grammatical grounds, Yitzchak's love was in the past, and terminated; Rivka's was in the present, and ongoing. The Mishna in Avos (5:16) is a point of reference: ‫ אינה‬,‫ ושאינה תלויה בדבר‬.‫ בטלה אהבה‬,‫ בטל דבר‬,‫כל אהבה שהיא תלויה בדבר‬ ‫בטלה לעולם‬.



Our posuk, with its varying verbal tenses, dovetails perfectly: Yitzchak's love for Esav hinged on a reason -- "the game in his mouth." No venison, no love -- a shallow and fleeting love indeed. Rivka's love did not stem specifically from anything Yaakov had done; rather it was a steady and constant love, expressed in a present-tense verb. [We might call it the prototype of a Yiddishe mama's love. [DPR]] (‫)'של''ה הק‬ A Medrash Rabbah (Beraishis 63:10) bears on the Shelah's observation about Rivka's love.

LINK to 3-year colection of Pardes: ‫מֹוס ֶפת לֹו אהבה על אהבה‬ ֶ ‫כל שהיתה שומעת קולו היתה‬ "Hearing his voice in and of itself increased her love." This insight points directly to understanding the well-known subsequent posuk: ֶ ֗‫)וַ יִּ גַּ֧שׁ ַֽי ֲעקֹ֛ב ֶאל־יִ ְצחָ֥ק ָאבִ֖יו וַ יְ ֻמשֵּׁ֑הוּ וַ יּ‬ (‫ (כז כב‬:‫ֹאמר ַהקֹּל֙ ק֣וֹל ַֽי ֲעקֹ֔ב וְ ַהיָּ דַ֖יִ ם יְ דֵ֥י ֵע ָֽשׂו‬ So Yaakov drew near to Yitzchak his father, and he felt him, and he said, "The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Esav." Why does the Torah mention "Yaakov's voice" not once, but twice? Recalling our Medrash, we can see what happened here. Hearing Yaakov's voice added to Rivkah's love. The sweet holiness of Yaakov's voice instilled love for him in anyone who heard it. We know that Yitzchak was unable to see ‫ר"ל‬. When Yitzchak experienced this phenomenon, i.e. when the Voice aroused his love, he concluded that the voice's owner must have been Yaakov, beloved by his wife Rivkah -- her love spurred on by that voice. Therefore we see twice: the first "KOL": "Oh, that Voice I'm hearing!", (which stimulated love in his heart), told Yitzchak that this could only be the "KOL YAAKOV", a voice of sweetness and holiness, which he knew Rivkah loved. (‫ קליטניק‬.‫ז‬.‫ י‬- ‫)שמח זבולון‬

Was Esav twice the "ISH" that Yaakov was? Hardly! )‫ (כ''ה כ''ז‬:‫ֵ֥ע צַ֖יִ ד אִ֣ישׁ ָשׂדֶ֑ה וְ ַֽי ֲע ֹקב֙ אִ֣ישׁ תָּ֔ם ישֵׁ֖ב ֽא ָֹה ִֽלים‬ ַ ‫ַֽויִּ גְ ְדּל֙וּ ַהנְּ ָערִ֔ים וַ יְ הִ֣י ֵעשָׂ֗ו אִ֛ישׁ יֹד‬

The youths grew up, and Esav was a man who understood hunting, a man of the field, whereas Yaakov was an innocent man, dwelling in tents. (25:27) hroughout Tanach, the title " ‫ " איש‬usually indicates a person of righteous spirituality, or one of prominence without reproach. [Recall Mordechai's initial introduction in the Megilla :"‫[ "איש יהודי‬DPR]] Esav would seem to be a counterexample. And he carries the honorific title not only once, but twice, while Yaakov is termed ISH only once. [This question has launched extensive commentaries from Torah giants such as the Maharal and the Minchas Eluzer, and we cannot plumb those depths. [YZK]] The use of ISH for Eisav may escape us, but we can perhaps explain why it occurs twice. We would call Esav a split, binary personality, because he acted like two disparate beings. To his father, he presented himself as a pious Yid, careful and exacting about details of mitzvos. But this was a sham -- a mere posturing. This trait of this "man understanding hunting" consisted of entrapping Yitzchak in false pretensions. His other facet was indeed that of a "man of the field" -- where he was active as an evil murderer. Not so Yaakov, the "ISH TAM", the unsullied man of perfection. The title ISH need occur only once to capture that exalted state. . (‫)חיים ושלום מונקאטש‬


Why did Eisav turn to Yaakov for food?

‫לא‬- ‫ (כה כט‬:‫ת־בּכ ָֹֽר ְת ָ֖ך ִֽלי‬ ְ ‫ֹאמר ַֽי ֲעקֹ֑ב ִמכְ רָ֥ה כַ יּ֛וֹם ֶא‬ ֶ ֖‫ן־ה ָאדֹ֤ם וַ יּ‬ ָֽ ‫)הלְ ִעיטֵ֤נִ י נָ א֙ ִמ‬ ַ Esau said to Jacob, "Pour into [me] some of this red, red [pottage], for I am faint"; he was therefore named Edom. Jacob said, "Sell me as of this day your birthright." f we understand the simple reason that Esav turned to Yaakov to supply him with rations, we will grasp the situation more clearly. Rashi explains (on 25:30) that Avraham Avinu was niftar on the day of that fateful encounter. The family was engaged in burial arrangements. Yaakov, the tent dweller, had to prepare a meal for the mourners as well as for the household. The "starving" Esav could hardly approach Yitzchak during his time of bereavement, and turned instead to Yaakov. Yaakov seized the opportunity to purchase the birthright for the paltry sum of a dish of lentils. (‫ רייך חסיד פחד יצחק באיאן‬.‫ י‬.‫)אשכל הכפר ש‬


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


he Avnei Nezer, the Holy Gaon Rav Avrohom miSochatschov frequently related these events to illustrate the central importance in a Yid's life of emunas chachamim: There was a wine merchant from Krakow who traded in fine kosher Hungarian wine from the famous Tokay region. He imported barrels and then repackaged the wine into bottles which sold very well in Poland. He had an unblemished reputation for honesty and integrity and managed to become quite wealthy from his wine business. But one Rosh Hashanah, it was decreed that his business should decline and a major investment of his turned sour. He lost most of his fortune, to the extent that he was forced to rely on loans to continue trading, but in just a few barrels at a time, with barely enough funds left over for basic living expenses. This sorry state continued for several years when he became aware of the great salvations wrought for Yidden by the great tzaddik Rav Hershele miRimanov ‫ זצ”ל‬. With fullfledged faith that the tzaddik would help him, he detoured through Rimanov on his next buying trip to Hungary. He skimmed off a bit of the borrowed money he was carrying and laid it on the Rebbe's desk along with his kvittl, to serve as a pidyon/redemption or his soul. But he was taken aback by the Rebbe's response: "If you want a potent and powerful bracha, I need pidyon money in the amount of 350 zlotys." The amount tallied to the penny with the amount the man had left in his purse -- borrowed funds all -- with which to conduct some minimal business in Hungary. Unhesitatingly, the merchant handed over his entire purse to the Rebbe, and was full of simcha, rooted in pure emuna/faith in a tzaddik, when the Rebbe assured him be'ezras Hashem, of great success in his upcoming venture in Hungary. In Tokay, the wine trade centered on a kind of exchange, or dealers' club where deals would go through the hands of experienced wine brokers, who brought buyer and seller together. Our merchant spent several days in the club, but without closing any deal. The exchange finally closed up shop for that season, but our merchant lingered in town after all the other traders had returned home. Before long, it came to his attention that a reliable broker was urgently seeking someone to close an unusual deal. He met with the broker, who assured him of a handsome profit if he managed to consummate the transaction. It seems there were two brothers who inherited a cellar full of barrels of

classic wines from their father. But as sometimes happens in estate settlements, the brothers had a bitter dispute which dragged on for twenty years without either speaking to the other. The feud was ended and as part of the peace settlement, the brothers sought a single buyer for the store of wines, and asked a below-market price, in the interest of a quick sale. The merchant waffled a bit since he had not a liquid penny with him, let alone the sum needed to finalize a large purchase, no matter how favourable the price. The broker -- eager to reap his commission, no doubt -- put him at ease: "You needn't worry. I assume that you have no liquid funds available after all of your trading here the past week. But you have a solid-gold reputation for honesty and I have a hunch the brothers would be willing to seal the deal with you on a line-of-credit basis." And so it was. The brothers had also heard good reports about the "man from Krakow" and that evening a sales contract, including a promissory clause, was written up. But before signing, the merchant asked to have a taste of the wine he was buying, to make sure it was still in good condition. The brothers agreed to this reasonable request, and broke the seals to the wine cellar so the buyer could sample the wares. His expert verdict: a taste of Gan Eden! The contract was signed on the spot, the brothers provided a team of wagons to haul the barrels to Krakow, and all sides -- broker included -- were satisfied with the unusual business deal. The dealer was overcome with awe at seeing the bracha of the Tzaddik from Rimanov unfold before his eyes. Back in Krakow, he spread the word that he had available an exceptional lot of rare, aged wines with a taste of Gan Eden -- but at prices which reflected their quality. The connoisseurs came a-running and snapped up the wine, some buying bottles and others entire barrels. The merchant quickly cleared enough profits to redeem the note the brothers in Tokay were holding, and to repay the other good friends who had loaned him money. He was able to resume his successful wine trading at even higher levels than before his reversal and became, hands down, the leading wine merchant in Krakow. he Avnei Nezer frequently retold this story, naming the wine merchant clearly, and held it up as a shining example of what can be achieved by pure and unsullied faith in tzaddikim, not only for an individual, but for his descendants. )‫ (ספר כהן גדול משרת‬.

STORY OF THE WEEK: The fruits of simple, pure faith in a tzaddik: wealth across generations


Parshas Toldos 5777, #283 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 Subscriotions: - hours 11-7:30. Gilyon is available by email or on Ladaat, or www. or For sale rare sefer Hesped on Chafetz Chaim in Hungary $500. Handwritten Tzedaka ledger of Rav Henkin 1924, all rabbanim worldwide, $7000. 2 Kesuvos filled in by Reb Moshe Feinstein Zt’’l $500 Letter from Reb Yaakov Emdin to Reb Moshe Chagiz $85000. 57 page manuscript from Reb Mendel Meshklav Talmid of Vilna Gaon $100,000. Collection of Chidushei Torah 7 letters Chazon Ish, 2 Reb Mayer Simcha, Rogotchov, Brisk, Reb Elchanan, Reb Baruch Ber total of 42 letters $125,000. Many more for sale.

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

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