Friday, April 20, 2018

Dvar Torah - from Rabbi Yitzchok Wolpin

This week we are privileged to read the portions of Sazria and Metzora. (In Israel they are one week ahead). The portion of Sazria begins with the laws pertaining to a woman who gave birth and the offerings she must bring. The Torah also repeats the mitzvah of circumcision - Bris Mila. In the remaining part of Tazria and Metzora, the Torah discusses the different leprosies which can occur either on a person, clothing or a home. Each case must be shown to the Kohen who is to determine whether it is a true leprosy which is impure or just a warning sign. The stringent one of all is leprosy on the human body, which if found to be impure, the plagued individual must leave his home and go outside the residents area and call out loud Tumey tumey - meaning impure, impure, so that people stay away from him. When cured, the mitzora (leprotic) must bring a special offering. These leprosies come onto a human as a punishment for slander and evil talk.

The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh writes that the reason why we wait until the eighth day to do a Bris, is to ensure that a Shabbos passes, in order to obtain sanctity from the Shabbos in preparation for this holy event. Why is it that the Torah chose specifically in this portion to write that one needs to perform this mitzvah on the eighth day? Perhaps there's a theme connecting this entire portion. The Shem M'Shmuel writes, why is it that at first the Kohen locks person up for seven days to see what develops with the leprosy? It is do that a Shabbos passes by and on Shabbos a person is more focused on his spirituality than on the rest of the week, because when one is less involved in the pursuit of materialism one can connect to his soul better. Therefore the Torah gives him a chance to wait a Shabbos to see if he repents, and the leprosy will disappear. Both, Bris Mila and the Tzoraas (leprosy) bring out the potential of the holy Shabbos.

The commentaries explain why is it that a Metzora needs to yell Tomey Tomey (impure impure), double language ? There are two types of impurities. There's an impurity that is a result of a pure person who came into contact with an impure object, such as a corpse or other impure objects. The impurity is from an outside source a Metzora is impure from the inside, due to his inappropriate behavior toward his fellow human being, this is a much more severe impurity, therefore it requires him to yell twice Tomey (impure). Maybe that is also the connection to Shabbos, as suggested earlier. Shabbos is a day which is sanctified on its own, unlike Yom Tov which is dependent on when we declare Rosh Chodesh (the new month). Let one who is impure on his own do tshuva on the day that is holy on its own.

Gut Shabbos,

Rabbi Yitzchok Wolpin

Friday, March 30, 2018

Dvar Tora - from Rabbi Yitzchok Wolpin

As Pesach is approaching and we're all preparing for this special night, I want to remind you what is written in Beis Ahron in the name of his father, Reb Osher of Stolin. The reason why the Pesach night meal is called Seder, which means order (arranged), because in this evening we set the tone for the entire year. We are organizing the rest of our future year on this night, and the way we conduct ourselves on this night will have an influence on the entire year. Further the Beis Ahron explains that many mitzvohs are performed throughout the year to commemorate the exodus of Egypt, therefore specifically on this night one should be more tuned in to the way one conducts himself.

In a letter to his followers, the Beis Ahron writes that the tremendous enlightenment that came down to the world during our exodus from Egypt returns every year during this special night and one can draw tremendous spirit from this holiday.

May we all merit to set a Seder for the entire year in the best possible way and prepare ourselves properly for the ultimate redemption - Lishono Habo b'Yerusholayim habinuyo.

Wishing you all a Happy and Kosher Pesach,

Rabbi Yitzchok Wolpin 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

New Sefer about Maran Harav Gustman, zt"l

A new sefer called 'Ish H'eshkolos' was recently published. This Sefer is the life story on one of our previous illustrious Gedolim Maran Harav Yisroel Zev Gustman,zt'l-Rosh Yeshivas Netzach
Yisroel in Rechavia.

Maran Rav Gustman,zt'l was a Talmid of Maran Harav Shimon Shkop‎, zy"a in Grodna, Poland.

It is in Grodna that he became friends with Maran Harav Chaim Shmulevitz,zt'l‎ and Maran Harav Shmuel Rozovsky‎,zt'l plus many others.

At the young age of twenty (after he got married) he earned a position on the Beis Din of Vilna headed by Maran Rav Chaim Ozer,zy'a

He was held in high esteem by Gedolei Eretz Yisroel including Maran Harav Schach, Maran Harav Eliyashuv & Maran Harav Shlomo Zalman zt"l.

He often gave shiurim to his talmidim for 2 1/2 hours.

He was niftar in 1982 during the month of June.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Dvar Torah

This week we are privileged to begin the third book of Torah, Vayikra (Leviticus). The portion discusses the various different offerings and sacrifices which one can bring either as atonement or as a gesture of good will. There’s are offerings that are obligatory and those which are relevant only due to an occurrence. The most important element is the intention and the thought during the process.

The portion begins with Hashem calling Moshe and telling him the process of contributing an offering and the laws and details. The word vayikro - and He called is written with a small letter Alef at the end of the word. This can be read as vayikor to mean ant it occurred. Our sages teach us that this was due to Moshe’s humility, he didn’t want to write that Hashem called him but rather that it was an occurrence that it so happened that Hashem spoke with him, and not like the was a steady occurrence.
The Beis Avrohom of Slonim adds another dimension to this phrase. Pious Jews would always draw a message from anything they saw or anything that they heard for serving Hashem. For example, Reb Moshe Leib of Sasov was once traveling and a peasant asked him to help lift a heavy item. Reb Moshe Leib apologized and said I’m sorry but I can’t. “You can, you just don’t want to” responded the peasant. Reb Moshe Leib said that his whole trip was worth it just for that one message he heard from the peasant - you can, you just don’t want. Many times we convince ourselves about different things we should do, that we simply can’t, in reality, we can we just don’t have a desire strong enough.
Says the Beis Avrohom, vayikor el Moshe- anything which occurs to a pious Jew, vayidaber Hashem eilov- Hashem is talking to him. Everything that occurs around us, everything we see and hear, is G-d speaking to us.

In addition to the portion of the week we will be reading excerpts from the portion of Bo which discusses the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh and the laws of the Pesach offering. As we all know we are dependent on the lunar calendar. The moon is renewed every month, as do we. The Jewish nation has the ability to renew and start anew, even from the most difficult situations spiritually and physically. As our sages teach us Jews are compared to the moon, they may look like they are about disappear and they renew like a full moon. Our sages teach us that the month of Nisson has the juice to feed us all year. Let us utilize it and be blessed with the power of renewal for the better in all areas of life.

Gut Shabbos
Gut Chodesh,

Rabbi Yitzchok Wolpin