Archives for posts with tag: Torah

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This week is Parshas Para, the third of what is known as the Arba Parshiyos. I would like to explore the significance as to why we read these Parshiyos and some of the various practices that are associated with them.

The Mishna[1] states that the Shabbos before Rosh Chodesh Adar we read Parshas Shekalim. On the second Shabbos of the month, we read Parshas Zachor. On the third Shabbos, we read the Parsha of Para Aduma. On the fourth Shabbos, which is the shabbos preceding Rosh Chodesh Nissan, we read Parshas HaChodesh. On the fifth Shabbos, we resume reading like usual.

The order of these Parshiyos is significant.

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Yaacov had left Beer Sheva to Charan, when chanced upon the shepherds at the well who informed him that his cousin, Rachel, is on the way with her flock. Yaacov went on to uncover the well for her. She then brought him home to meet her father – a visit that would end up lasting 20 years. At the end of these years, Yaacov was already a wealthy man. He had married both Rachel and Leah, the daughters of Lavan, and had 11 sons. Yaacov realized that things between him and Lavan were not so good. So, he decided, with the backing of Hashem, to leave and go back home. The problem was that Lavan would never let. Therefore he moved everything without telling Lavan. After three days, Lavan had caught wind of the plan and became upset at Yaacov for leaving just like that. They finally caught up on Har Gilad, but not before Hashem warned Lavan to leave Yaacov alone.  Lavan wanted to say a proper goodbye to his children. Yaacov explained that he was afraid to say goodbye lest Lavan confiscate everything from him. Ultimately, they agreed not to cross each other’s path and they would leave each other alone.

The pasuk when describing the parting of Lavan and Yaacov states “Lavan returned to his place and Yaacov went on his journey.” 

The Meshech Chochma explains that if someone has such a holy personage, such as Yaacov, in their home even for a short time, they are affected by his greatness. That means that they soak in the ways and wisdom of the tzaddik and are able to use that as a stepping stone towards further growth. With Lavan, however, this did not happen. Lavan may have grown to greater spiritual heights while Yaacov was staying at his estate, however when they parted ways, they parted completely. Lavan went back to his place, to square one, where he was entrenched in deceit and corruption of mind and spirit.  Read the rest of this entry »

My remarks at the Bris Milah of my son, Yair Simcha – 5 Tammuz 5775

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When my  first child was  born, I  did  not yet fully appreciate what it meant to have a child. However, as she started to recognize me,  it was  really special and beautiful. Recently, Sara Ahuva  started to say, “Thank  you Abba” . I feel that the feeling that one gets when his child says thank you, must be similar to what Hashem feels when we say thank you. The feeling is really tangible yet indescribable. Now that we have a second child, I can fully appreciate what it means to have a child and I can give the Master of the world a proper thank you for this child, for life and everything that comes along with it. I would like to ask you to be mispallel with me that we should merit  and have the ability to raise all our children to be able to say and accept a thank you as well.

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This Dvar Torah was written in memory of Naftali, Gil-ad and Eyal HY’D. May their neshamas have an eternal Aliya.

One of the basic tenets of Western civilization is the idea that we should all strive to live with the ideal of “unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation.” I would like to explore this ideal from a Torah perspective.

The Parsha starts with Hashem instructing Moshe to take a census of Bnei Yisrael. So on Rosh Chodesh Iyar, Moshe and the Nesi’im of each Shevet counted every male over the age of 20 according to their shevet. After the census was taken, Hashem further instructed Moshe regarding the formation of the encampment of the Jews around the Ohel Moed. The twelve Shevatim were divided into groups of three on each side of the Ohel Moed. Each Shevet encamped by their respective flag.

This census was not a new concept as this already happened in Sefer Shemos. In our parsha, the Shevatim are counted in the same order except that Gad is counted before Reuven and Shimon. It seems that the reason for this change in order it meant to be an introduction to Hashem’s instructions to Moshe regarding Klal Yisrael’s encampment formation and their flags and they are therefore counted in Parshas Bamidbar in the order of their encampment.

It seems a little odd that this formation of the encampments only happened after the second counting of Klal Yisrael and a full year after we left Egypt. Why were we not set up in proper formations as soon as we left Mitzrayim together with everything else that happened at that time?

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Before the accounting of Matan Torah and Kabbalas HaTorah, the Torah relates the story of Yisro.

What brought Yisro?

Did Yisro come because he heard about Krias Yam Suf or because he heard about Matan Torah. In other words did he come before or after Matan Torah?

There is a popular Jewish folktale of a melamed who was teaching his students Parshas Yisro and he explained that Yisro was the Galach, priest, of Midian and was also the Shver, Father in law of  Moshe. One bright student immediately asked if Yisro was a priest how did he have a son-in-law? The Melamed thought long and hard and finally answered “This happened before Matan Torah!”

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ע’ חגיגה ג. דרש מהפסוק ,הקהל את העם האנשים והנשים והטף” אם אנשים באים ללמוד, נשים באות לשמוע.
טף למה באין? כדי ליתן שכר למביאיהן.
ע’ תוס’ סוטה כא. מפרש – לשמוע הנשים כדי שידעו לקיים המצוה, ולא משום שידעו שזכות תולה.
ע’ משנה סוטה כ. בענין זכות תולה בסוטה. וז’ל ” מכאן אומר בן עזאי חייב אדם ללמד את בתו תורה, שאם
תשתה תדע שהזכות תולה לה. ר’ אליעזר אומר כל המלמד את בתו תורה מלמדה תיפלות.
ע’ סוטה כא: בתוס’ ד’ה בן עזאי. הביא מעשה בהאי מטרוניה )אשה חשובה( שנתנה מעשרותיה שהיה שלש מאות
כור בכל שנה להורקנוס בן רבי אליעזר. והנה היום והיא שאלה את רבי אליעזר חטא אחת במעשה העגל והן מתין
בה ג’ מיתות? דחה לה ואמר “אין אשה חכמה אלא בפלך”!! ובגלל מעשה זו פסקה מליתן מעשרותיה להורקנוס.
אמר לו הורקנוס בנו בשביל שלא להשיבה דבר אחד מן התורה אבדת ממני ג’ מאות כור מעשר בכל שנה ולכאורה
היה כדי להשיב לה! ענה לו רבי אליעזר “מוטב שישרפו דברי תורה ולא ימסרו דברי תורה לנשים”!! וע’ כעין מעשה
זו ביומא סו: ע’ש.
ע’ מהר’צ חיות יומא סו: ד’ה אין חכמה לאשה אלא בפלך – ע’ מסופק אי באמת היה לר’ אליעזר תשובה או אין לו

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