Friday, June 24, 2011

Parashat Korach

This week we are privileged to read the portion of Korach. We read how Korach and his associates disputed the legitimacy of Moshe and Ahron's leadership and as a punishment and a lesson to all, the earth swallowed them and all their belongings.  The essence of this portion is terrible effect that quarrel and dispute bring about.

The Torah states that when Moshe heard the arguments of Korach and his associates, he fell on his face to the ground. Rashi explains that Moshe was distraught because this had been the fourth time that they had rebelled, and always Moshe defended them. By the golden calf, Moshe prayed and begged G-d to forgive them. By the spies as well, and the same took place by the misoninim. Now Moshe was at a loss.

The obvious question is, what happened suddenly that Moshe, the leader and defender of klal Yisroel suddenly could no longer defend them?

Perhaps in order to understand the answer, we need to see the method of defense which Moshe used when he defended the Jews after making the golden calf. Moshe argued that when G-d said the ten commandment they were said in singular form 1- I am the L-rd YOUR (singular) G-d. YOU (singular) shall not have other gods... Moshe argued that the Jews may have considered the commandment applicable to Moshe only. However Korach came before Moshe with the following argument the whole nation is holy and G-d is amongst them and why are you above them ? Rashi brings the words of the Tanchuma which says, that Korach argued with Moshe saying, "we were all at Mt Sinai and G-d spoke to all of us, why do you think you are greater than us" ? This in turn removed Moshe's defense that he used during the sin of golden calf. This is why Moshe was at loss. His defense on behalf of the Jewish people was now in jeopardy.

Let us learn to follow our righteous leaders and stay away from quarrel and dispute. May G-d bless us with peace at all them items.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Parashat Shlach

This week we are privileged to read the portion of Shlach. Perhaps one of the most troubling events in our nations history took place, when Jews decided to send spies to "tour" the land of Israel and inspect it. The Meraglim - spies, returned with an unfavorable report which caused an uproar and as the Talmud teaches us, G-d's response was "you cried an unnecessary cry I will give what to cry for". This day was the 9th of Av, the day two Temples (Batei Mikdash) were destroyed and remains a day of mourning until this very day. Later in the portion we learn about the Mitzvah of separating chalah from dough, and the portion ends with the mitzvah of Tzitzis.

In Bamidbar 13/32 the Torah repeats the slander of the Meraglim (spies) about Eretz Yisroel. The Torah quotes them saying "eretz ocheles yoshveho - a land which eats/destroys its inhabitants".  Rashi explains that wherever they went, they
Saw people burying their dead. The Sha"ch explains that it was custom of the Knaanites, when someone died, they didn't bury him/her immediately, they rather waited until a pious man died and when they buried him, they buried everyone else. This they believed, will help everyone else get to Heaven. The Talmud (Sotah 35) tells us that Iyov passed away on that day (when the meraglim started), perhaps says the sha"ch that's why there were mass burials.

We find that one of the things Moshe told them (the spies) to inspect, was whether there's a tree tree three, Rashi says this means a Pious man. They were to inspect whether there's a righteous man whose merit can defend them.  Likely we find Yehoshua and Koleiv said their shadow was taken away from above them, referring to the death of Iyov whose merit may have protected them.

The lesson is a person sees what he wants to see. Had they thought properly with a good attitude, they would have seen the good in these events, instead they chose the contrary.

Let us merit to always see the good in everything and may we speedily merit to return to the land of promise.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Maran Harav Scheinberg Shlit"a

This past week Maran Harav A.L. Steinman Shlit"a visited Harav Scheinberg Shlit"a in the hospital.

Harav Scheinberg was in the hospital for the past week suffering from an internal infection.

Maran Harav Steinman Shlit"a spent roughly a half hour speaking with Harav Scheinberg Shlit"a.

Maran Harav Scheinberg Shlit"a is Bla"h over 100 years old. Ad Meah V'esrim!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pleasant Suprise

Eilat, once considered a spiritual wasteland, is blossoming with Shuls.

It is anticipated that in the coming Jewish year there will be 25 Batey Kneseeyos in Eilat, iy"h.

Antwerp and Wedding Rules

In an effort to keep people solvent and not have to be burdened with serious debt the Antwerp Rabbonim established and enforced rules on the amount of guests one may invite to a wedding.

The Kehilas Machzekei Hadas in Antwerp set 250-300 people as a maximum allowed to be invited to a Chasuna.

Under extenuating circumstances, if one needs to invite more than the above he must have written permission from the Mara D'asra, Hagaon Harav Shif Shlit"a.

Mazal Tov

Warm Mazal Tov to Maran Harav Eliyashuv Shlit"a, upon the marriage of his great grandson, Hachasan Dov Yisroelson.

Mazal Tov the parents, Harav Lipa Yisroelson Shlit"a and the Rebbetzin Shtichye.

The Chasuna is on Sunday nite in Bnei Brak.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Parashat Naso

This week we are privileged to read the portion of Naso. The tribe of Levi was counted. The Torah also discusses the laws of Sotah followed by the laws of nozir. Thereafter the Torah discusses the completion of the Mishkan and the blessing of the Kohen and the offerings that each nosi (head of tribe) brought.

A Nozir is a person that wants to separate himself from the mundane world, by abstaining from drinking wine and cutting his hair.

The Torah states (Bamidbar 6/1 A man or Woman who shall dissociate himself by taking a Nazirite vow of abstinence for the sake of Hashem...... Ish o Isha kiy Yafleey lindor nede nozir..... The word Yafliy has several meanings one meaning is seperation, the other translation comes from the word wonder. It would appear that the two translations are far from each other.

There's a story told about the Rebbe of Husyatin. The   Husyatin Rebbe was aked by a German Jew if it was true that he was a Vunder Rabbiner (Rabbi that performs wonders/miracles), what is it you do ???

The Husyatin Rebbe explained  it is well known that there are diferent statuses of Rabbis. There's a Lands Rabbiner - a Rabbi who is in charge of an entire country. There's a Shtadt Rabbiner, a Rabbi in charge of an entire city, and also there's a Vunder Rabbiner. What is a vunder Rebbe ?  The Husyatiner  responded a Vunder Rebbe is someone who rules and takes charge over himself. Says the Husyatin Rebbe, this is what the word kiy Yaflee means, Wonders. A person who separates himself is then a "Vunder" - wonder.

The lesson to be learned for us is, that the greatest miracle one can perform, is controling oneself.... And that only one who separates himself from the mundane can perform wonders.