Tavlin Leshabbos – Vyeitzei

 

Tavlin Leshabbos

 

Shabbos Kodesh is the Heritage of Yaakov

The gematriya of Yakov equals 7 times
shem “HVY”H” revealed on Shabbos!

 

The Sefer “Ahavas Shalom” by Harav Menachem Mendel of Kosov zatza”l shows us an amazing hint in the possuk: “Vayatza Yaakov mebeair sheva, vayelech charana” – Yaakov went out from Beer Sheva and went to Choron. This teaches us that Shabbos is the heritage of Yaakov. He bases this on the gemoro (Shabbos 118B) teaches that: “whoever delights in Shabbos is granted a boundless heritage”, as it says in the Navi (Yeshaya 58:14) talking about Shabbos: “then you will delight in Hashem, and I will mount you astride the heights of the world, I will provide you the heritage of your forefather Yaakov.”

The explanation for this is that Yakov has the gematriya, the numerical value of 7 times the “Shem HVY”H” (182) representing Shabbos, the seventh day, the day on which Hashem revealed the Midas Harachamim, Mercy. This hint fits so beautifully into the words of the possuk: “Vayatza Yakov“, the name of Yakov representing 7 times HVY”H,went out – was revealed, “mebeair sheva”, from Shabbos the seventh. ”vayelech charana” and then “charon”, the anger, dissipated since mercy was now revealed.

We can add another idea to the fact that Yakov is equivalent to 7 times to HVY”H, it should remind us to keep Shabbos halachically correctly. Because Hashem’s middah of mercy does not only exist on Shabbos but extends throughout the week, As the Zohar teaches that all bracha emanates from Shabbos.

The Arizal teaches us, that this is why on Shabbos we say the psalm from Tehilim (92): “Mizmor shir lyom hashabbos”, which contains the Shem HVY”H 7 times, to remind us that Shabbos is the heritage of Yakov whose name equals the Shem HVY”H 7 times. The Yalkut Shimoni even points out that this is why the Shmona Esray that we say all week with its 18 broches is replaced with one that contains only 7. All these are to continuously remind us that the attribute of mercy that we enjoy all week emanates from Shabbos.

Looking back at the words of the gemara in Shabbos that we started with, the gemoro in Shabbos (118B) which teaches: “whoever delights in Shabbos is granted a boundless heritage”, the boundless heritage is the mercy that extends from Shabbos through the entire week. as we can see in the words of the possuk in Yeshaya: “Oz tisaneg al Hashem” someone who takes pleasure in the fact that the Shem HVY”H was revealed on Shabbos, will merit the heritage of Yakov whose name equals 7 times the Shem HVY’H , representing the 7 days of the week.

To make this thought even sweeter we can look at the words of the Rm”a (OC 271:10) who points out that Friday night’s Kiddush starts with the words: “Yom Hashisi vayechulu hashamayim “. The first letters of the first 4 words are Y-H-V-H. And when we make kidush, the challos, the lechem mishna, are already on the table. Lechem twice is equal to 6 times the Shem HVY”H (156). By starting kidush with “Yom Hashisi vayechulu hashamayim” we add a seventh HVY”H to make it equal to the value of Yakov to remind us that the attribute of mercy, revealed on Shabbos, can extend throughout the week.

But to get that protection we must truly delight in Shabbos, keeping it halachically properly and enjoying its special spiritual beauty. So let’s take advantage of this enjoyable way to earn Hashem’s mercy for the coming week.

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Mamar Parshas Vyeitzei

Boruch Hashem, Dear Chaveirim,

We are sending out this week’s mamar inspiring chidushim about the sheep of Lovon containing the holy souls of Klal Yisruel, plus the column Tavlin Leshabbos – a spice for Shabbes, that we can share with our close ones at the shabbos table. We have a beautiful English translation so we can share with those who have hardship dealing with the original maamar.

So let us all have a sweet and lechtiken Shabbos.

Pinches

 

Rav Pinchas Friedman, Vayetseh, 5770 

 

Yaakov Steps Forward and Rolls off the Stone

In this week’s parshah, ויצא, we read about Yaakov’s journey to Charan (29,1):

“וישא יעקב רגליו וילך ארצה בני קדם, וירא והנה באר בשדה והנה שם שלשה עדרי צאן רובצים עליה, כי מן הבאר ההוא ישקו העדרים, והאבן גדולה על פי הבאר, ונאספו שמה כל העדרים וגללו את האבן מעל פי הבאר והשקו את הצאן והשיבו את האבן על פי הבאר למקומה, ויאמר להם יעקב אחי מאין אתם ויאמרו מחרן אנחנו…

ויאמר הן עוד היום גדול לא עת האסף המקנה השקו הצאן ולכו רעו, ויאמרו לא נוכל עד אשר יאספו כל העדרים וגללו את האבן מעל פי הבאר והשקינו הצאן… ויהי כאשר ראה יעקב את רחל בת לבן אחי אמו ואת צאן לבן אחי אמו, ויגש יעקב ויגל את האבן מעל פי הבאר וישק את צאן לבן אחי אמו”.

The Deeds of the Fathers Pave the Way for the Children

In (Bereishis 12,6), the Ramban posits a well-known principle. He explains that in the following parshiyos which portray the lives of the ovus hakdoshim Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, whatever transpired with the forefathers was a sign of future events involving their children: “מעשה אבות סימן לבנים”. 

In this light, it is worth analyzing the episode describing when Yaakov sees our mother Rachel approaching with her father’s sheep:

“ויגש יעקב ויגל את האבן מעל פי הבאר וישק את צאן לבן אחי אמו”.

Rashi explains:

“ויגל, כמי שמעביר את הפקק מעל פי צלוחית להודיעך שכוחו גדול”.

 Yaakov rolled the stone off of the well as easily as one would remove a cork from a flask; this is stated to inform us of Yaakov’s great strength.

This is puzzling at first glance. It’s hard to imagine that Yaakov performed this miraculous feat solely to impress Rachel with his great strength. Secondly, how can we apply the principle “מעשה אבות סימן לבנים” to this incident?

It’s also worth examining the words of the divine poet in תפלת גשם when he mentions among the great deeds of the ovus hakdoshim the zchus of Yaakov ovinu: “יחד לב וגל אבן מפי באר מים… בעבורו אל תמנע מים”. (a) What merit accrues to us from the fact that Yaakov rolled the stone off of the well in order to demonstrate his great strength? And (b) which “לב” did Yaakov dedicate through this act?

 

The Souls of Klal Yisroel Are Concealed in Lovon’s Sheep

In order to answer these questions let us explore a most interesting kabbalistic thought, based on the posuk that Yaakov ovinu said to Lovon (Bereishis 30,6): “כי מעט אשר היה לך לפני ויפרוץ לרוב ויברך ה’ אותך לרגלי”, where the midrash (B.R. 30,6) explains that, prior to Yaakov coming to Lovon, Lovon owned only seventy sheep. Afterwards, (B.R. 73,8), the midrash states that Lovon’s sheep now numbered six hundred thousand flocks. The “Yefeh Toar” explains that these numbers are derived by dint of a גזירה שוה comparing Lovon’s sheep to the Bnei Yisroel, who descended to Egypt with seventy members of Yaakov’s family and grew into a nation of six hundred thousand. But we need to understand, what possible connection exists between Bnei Yisroel, going in and coming out of Egypt and Lovon’s sheep that multiplied from seventy sheep to six hundred thousand flocks?

The divine kabbalist Rabbi Yechiel Michel of Glunah zts”l in his seifer “Nezer Hakodesh” on the above midrash, provides the answer. The gist of his explanation is as follows: the souls of Klal Yisroel contained in Adam horishon that were damaged by the sin of eating from the “עץ הדעת” – the forbidden tree of knowledge – reincarnated, initially into Lovon’s sheep and, subsequently, into Bnei Yisroel in Egypt.

It was incumbent upon Yaakov ovinu, “שופריה דאדם הראשון” – the image of Adam horishon, to tend to these souls and affect their tikun, rectification. This is why Yaakov employed many tricks and devices – such as placing the rods in the watering pools to stimulate different varieties of sheep – in drawing these souls back to the domain of Kedushe.

Now, the numbers of Lovon’s sheep and the connection to Bnei Yisroel in Egypt makes sense. This is also the meaning of the “Kedushas Levi”s commentary that when Rachel came with the sheep, this refers to the holy flocks of Jewish souls.

Lovon Touches Yaakov’s Sheep and Damages Them

This seems to be the source for the words of the “Chakal Yitzchak” in our parsha. His words appear to be a synthesis of the “Nezer Hakodesh” and the Arizal in “Shaar Hapesookim.” The Jewish souls tainted by the sin of the tree of knowledge reincarnated, first into the generation of the flood, then into the generation of dispersion and the people of Sodom, and, finally, into the slaves in Egypt – where they were rectified. These same souls reincarnated into Lovon’s sheep along the way. It is difficult to understand, however, why Yaakov ovinu wasn’t successful in rectifying these souls to the degree where they would no longer be required to suffer in Egypt?

 

The “Chakal Yitzchak” suggests that just as a tzaddik can effect sanctity and healing by laying their hands on a person or object, conversely, an evil, vile person can cause damage and defilement with his touch.

This is the reason Yaakov says to Lovon (31,32):  “הכר לך מה עמדי וקח לך”. He emphasizes that Lovon should merely identify his possessions visually without actually touching and defiling Yaakov’s possessions. Of course, Lovon didn’t heed this warning (31,37): “וימשש לבן את כל האהל ולא מצא”, Lovon physically touched the sheep, causing the damage necessitating the exile of these souls to Egypt. As a consequence, Yaakov lashes out in anger (31.36-37): “מה פשעי מה חטאתי כי דלקת אחרי כי מששת את כל  כלי”. This is the meaning of the well-known verse (Devarim 26,5): “ארמי אובד אבי וירד מצרימה” – it was he who caused them to suffer in Egypt.

And Rachel Comes with the Sheep

With these insights, let us expound on several verses involving our mother Rachel (Bereishis 29,9): “While he was still speaking with them, Rachel had arrived with the flock” – the holy flock of Jewish souls – “belonging to her father” – her Father in heaven; the verse proceeds to explain why these souls were under Rachel’s supervision, “for she was a shepherdess” – she is the shepherdess who prays on behalf of the holy flock in times of calamity, as it is written (Jeremiah 31,14): “A voice was heard on high…Rachel weeps for her children” – so too did she watch over them in the form of Lovon’s sheep.

“ויהי כאשר ראה יעקב את רחל בת לבן אחי אמו ואת צאן לבן”, Yaakov realizes through divine inspiration that holy, Jewish souls are sequestered in these sheep“ויגש יעקב ויגל את האבן מעל פי הבאר”,  Yaakov ovinu did not intend to impress Rachel with his physical strength but rather wished to hint to her that their special, designated task was to release these prisoners from their unholy dungeon. This is what Rash”i meant to hint to us by explaining: “Yaakov rolled the stone off of the well as easily as one would remove a cork from a flask”, the cork symbolizes the powers of evil who imprison the souls of Klal Yisruel. The task of Yaakov and Rachel was to remove the cork in order to free them fom the grips of Lovon and his allies.

 

The Large Stone is the Evil Inclination

Now let us explain this amazing feat of Yaakov’s – the rolling of the stone off the well all by himself – based on the midrash (B.R. 70,8) that the stone alludes to the evil inclination which constantly attempts to distract and prevent a Jew from drinking from the well waters of Torah – “באר מים חיים”. By removing the stone from the opening of the well, Yaakov ovinu intended to remove the יצר הרע from the well of Torah.

We can add an explanation why it was Yaakov who removed the stone which reflects the Yeitzr hura according the Zohar (Vayetseh 146:) that Yaakov is the pillar of Torah:

“על שלשה דברים העולם עומד, על התורה ועל העבודה ועל גמילות חסדים, התורה דא יעקב, העבודה דא יצחק, גמילות חסדים דא אברהם”.

This is based on (Bereishis 25,27): “ויעקב איש תם יושב אהלים”, he was sitting in the bais hamidrash of Shem Veeiver learning Torah day and night. Likewise Rashi comments that Yaakov ovinu hid in the beis hamidrash of Ever, on his way to Charon, for fourteen years, learning torah day and night, without sleep.

Additionally, the gemorah (Kiddushin 30:) states that the only way to overcome the yeitzer hurah is with the power of Torah:

“כך הקב”ה אמר להם לישראל, בני בראתי יצר הרע ובראתי לו תורה תבלין, ואם אתם עוסקים בתורה אין אתם נמסרים בידו”.

In this light, the source of Yaakov’s strength enabling him to easily and singlehandedly roll the stone off of the well is obvious. The stone was no match for Yaakov ovinu, the pillar of Torah!

Yaakov Ovinu Paves the Way to Remove the הרע יצר

We’ve explained that Yaakov removed the yeitzer hurrah from the well, and that the Jewish souls that were tainted by their sins in earlier generations were concealed within Lovon’s sheep. The reason they went astray was due to their lack of Torah, which is the antidote against the yetzer harah. Even though the Torah had not been given, yet, they did have the seven Noahide laws – as explained in the gemorah (Sanhedrin 56:). If they had even kept those mitzvoth, they could have withstood this dangerous enemy. Yaakov ovinu, the root of all Jewish souls, whose name we bear, wished to rectify and purify these souls and guide them along the proper path. He showed them that they would receive the Torah after the exodus from Egypt and that learning Torah is the ultimate and only weapon they would need to employ in their battle with the יצר הרע.

So, when Yaakov saw Rachel approaching with the sheep, he understood through divine inspiration, that holy souls were concealed in these animals; so, he immediately summoned up his powers of Torah to roll away the yetzer from the well of Torah. Yaakov then proceeded to provide water and quench their thirst from the באר מים חיים. Thus, he also paved the way for future generations to overcome the יצר הרע through Torah study.

He Dedicated His Heart and Rolled a Stone

Let us add an insight into the words of Rashi (29,10). Rashi does not say: “להודיע לרחל”, but rather “להודיעך”. It is as if Rashi is speaking directly to each and every one of us: know, full well, when Yaakov ovinu rolled away the stone with his awesome strength, he wanted us all to be aware that his strength derives from the Torah and we should learn that the only power we have over the יצר הרע is Torah study.

Now, we can understand the meaning of the verses in תפלת גשם invoking the merit of Yaakov ovinu on our behalf: “יחד לב וגל אבן מפי באר מים”. The second parsha of krias shma states emphatically that if we keep Hashem’s commandments, rain will be forthcoming in the propitious amounts and propitious times and if not, heaven forbid, the rain will be withheld.

The last letter of the Torah is “lamed” and the first letter is “beis”; together, they form “לב” – heart. This is the meaning of the poet’s words in our prayer for rain: Yaakov ovinu dedicated his“לב”  the Torah, and with its power, he easily rolled away the stone, the  יצר הרעfrom the mouth of the well. In this manner, he paved the way for all the Jewish souls confined among Lovon’s sheep to rid themselves of the evil inclination through the power of Torah. Therefore, we pray for rain, in the merit of this momentous deed: “בעבורו אל תמנע מים”.

The Magid from Koznitz zy”a Yearned
for the Lashing He Received from Zaidy Yaakov

The “Chakal Yitzchak” from Sapinka zts”l relates that the holy Koznitzer magid remembered when his very soul was hidden among Lovon’s sheep. He would say “How nice it was when zaidy Yaakov gave me a lashing with his whip.”

I would like to add, it seems strange that Yaakov ovinu who went out of his way to bring back those Jewish souls hidden in the sheep, would strike this sheep, let alone the sheep containing such a holy נשמה from the Koznitzer magid, for it was, undoubtedly, pure and holy even then.

Let us suggest a new idea based on the verse (Bereishis 28,22) where Yaakov promises  Hashem: “וכל אשר תתן לי עשר אעשרנו לך”, I will set aside “מעשר” tithes from all my possessions. The midrash (B.R. 70,7) says that, in a similar fashion, the tribe of Levi was designated to be “מעשר” contributing their life to do the Avodah in the Beis Hamikdosh.

From this we can assume, that the Almighty arranged that all of the righteous souls among Lovon’s sheep were designated as maaser, who received a gentle blow from Yaakov’s rod – as is the costume of the 10th sheep to mark it as maser – and when they received their blow from Yaakov ovinu’s rod, they fulfilled the verse:“העשירי יהיה קודש לה'” ,, Thus, these heilige Neshomas were chosen to lead the Jewish people throughout the generations.

This also explains why the Koznitzer magid zts”l named his seifer“עבודת ישראל” an allusion to the fact that his sanctity and Torah stemmed from his experience among the flocks of Yaakov ovinu, whose name is “ישראל”.

~ For the full Mamar in Lashon Hakodesh, see the weekly “Hamachne Hachareidi”. ~

Mamar Parshas Toldos

 

Yaakov Ovinu wages a war
to take away the letter
י’ from Eisav

 

In our parsha, Parshas Toldos we learn about the birth process of the 2 brothers Yaakov and Eisav (25 25): “The first one emerged red, entirely like a hairy mantle; so they named him Eisav, and after that his brother emerged with his hand grasping on the heel of Eisav; so he called him Yaakov”. Rashi explains that it was Hashem that named him Yaakov.

From the fact that the Almighty himself named him Yaakov, we understand that this wasn’t an insignificant occurrence, but rather an important matter in the service of Hashem; therefore, it is important for us to understand what is the service alluded to in the grasping of Eisav’s heel, on account of which Hashem named him Yaakov.

It is also imperative to pursue another amazing matter in this week’s parsha, the Broches – blessings that Yitzchak wished to bestow upon Eisav rather than on Yaakov. While Esav did deceive his father into thinking that he was righteous, as Rashi explains (25 27), nevertheless, Yitzchak surely knew that Yaakov was a “איש תם יושב אהלים” – a pure man who sat in the Bais Hamedrash of Shem and Ever learning Torah. Why then did he try to prevent Yaakov from receiving the Broches?

Yaakov takes the letter י’ from Eisav

In order to explain all of this, let’s first discuss a question raised by the commentators regarding the Almighty’s choice of the name Yaakov. According to rhe verse he should have been named “עקב” – “heel”. So, where did the addition of theי’ come from? In previous years, we’ve introduced the wonderful explanation of the “Megaleh Amukos”, based on Rashi’s explanation of the name Eisav that he was born fully formed and full of hair like a fully grown person.

The Rashbam explains that according to this explanation the name “עשו” derives from the word “עשוי” which means made. The problem then is, why was he called “עשו” without the י’ and not “עשוי” with a י’? The “Megaleh Amukos” reveals that, originally, he should have been named “עשוי”with a י’, but Yaakov took away the י’ and added it to his own name; therefore, his name remained “עשו” without a י’ while Yaakov gained the additional “yud” –expanding his name from “עקב” to “יעקב”.

From this heilige vort of the “Megaleh Amukos”, we discover, that at the time of their birth, Yaakov and Eisav waged a deadly battle over the letter י’ ,which was originally part of Eisav’s name. Ultimately, Yaakov succeeded in grabbing Eisav’s heel, taking away the last letter of his name and joining it to his own name; to commemorate this act the Almighty named him Yaakov. 

He will pound your head and you will bite his heel

We find a wonderful source for the words of the “Megaleh Amukos” in Tikunei Zohar (tikun 13 29), adding that Yaakov and his descendants versus Eisav and his forces of tumah (impurity), are still waging a battle over this letter י’ until this very day– when the י’ is in the possession of Yaakov and his children in the form of יעקב” they are able to overcome the primeval serpent who is the evil inclination and to crush his head; however, when the serpent, the evil inclination, succeeds in separating the י’ fromיעקב” leaving only “עקב”, then the evil serpent wins out ,G-d forbid.

The Tikunei Zohar explains the verse (Breishis 3 15) that Hashem said to the primeval serpent: “I will put hate between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will pound your head, and you will bite his heel” means that mankind will pound the head of the serpent by means of the letterי’ ,which is a form of a “head,” and the serpent will succeed in overpowering man, if he will separate theי’ from him leaving him only with“עקב” . This is also the defect caused by Eisav’s angel in Yaakov’s thigh; he extracted the letterי’ leaving him limping.

Since we are the children of Yaakov ovinu and carry his name, as it states (Devorim 32 9): “כי חלק ה’ עמו יעקב חבל נחלתו”, it behooves us to explore and try to understand, the deeper significance of the letter י’ over which Yaakov and Eisav waged this battle to the bitter end, and why was it so important to Yaakov to extract it from Eisav’s name, and join it to his own name so that he be called “יעקב” and not “עקב”.

י’ is חכמה to elevate the“עקב”

In order to gain insight into this matter, we will learn the teachings of the holy Rabbi of Rophshitz, zat”l in his sefer “Zera Kodesh” (end of parshat Bereishit) who explains the meaning of the name “יעקב”. The letters“עקב” in his name allude to issues pertaining to this physical, material world, which are on a lower madreigah corresponding to the “עקב” the heel of the foot, whereas the letter י’ in his name, is the first letter of the four letters of Hashem’s holy name, and alludes to חכמה – wisdom which is in the head.

This is the explanation of the addition of the י’ to Yaakov’s name. Because this is our forefather Yaakov’s holy task, to elevate all matters of this world ,which are on the very low madreigah of “עקב”, by using them in conjunction with theי’ which is ““חכמה in the head; we must weigh and consider matters of this world with the scales of ““חכמה as to how to utilize them with the proper intentions and purpose exclusively in the service of Hashem, as stated in the mishnah (Ovos chapt.2 mishnah12): ”and all your actions should be for the sake of Heaven.”

The “Zerah Kodesh” explains, based on this idea, what Hashem showed Yaakov in the dream: “A ladder was standing firmly on the ground and its head is reaching the heavens”, to teach him that this is his holy task–the “ladder standing firmly on the ground”, represent the letters “עקב” in his name, alluding to matters of this lowly world, whereas, “and its head reaching for the heavens”, represent the letter י’ in his name which is the חכמה in the head to elevate all matters of this world.

Who is wise? he who can foresee the outcome

We can expand on this concept regarding using the י’ which is “chochmah” to elevate all mundane matters. We know , as stated in the Shulchan Oruch (Orach Chaim 231), that a Jew who wishes to sanctify all his worldly deeds, need only have the intent that, in all his actions, what he eats and drinks is to insure that he has the strength, afterwards, to learn Torah and serve Hashem.

It now makes sense how proper use of the י’ ,which is “chochmah” ,allows us to elevate the mundane to kedushe . For we’ve learned in the gemarah (Tamid 32:): “איזהו חכם” – who is wise? “הרואה את הנולד” – he who can see the consequences”. As a result, when a Jew, utilizes the י’ in his daily endeavors, foreseeing the consequences and outcomes of his actions, he succeeds in elevating and sanctifying the “עקב” matters of this world.

י’ commandments “עקב” words form יעק”ב

We find a companion for the Rophshitzer’s idea in the sefer “Ohr Hameir” from Rabbi Zev Wolf of Zutamir zatza”l who addressed this issue (Drush for Shavuos). He adds that the essential “חכמה” necessary to elevate the “עקב” the mundane matters of this world to the realms of kedushah is only the “חכמה” of Torah.

We can expand this idea further based on what the “Megaleh Amukos” wrote in this week’s parsha. He explains that the name יעק”ב alludes to the ten – י’ commandments, plus 172 – עק”ב words contained in the ten commandments, which together combine to form יעק”ב.

Based on this gem, we can say that it was for this reason that Hakodosh Boruch Hu ,the Almighty, gave us on Mount Sinai the “ten” י’ commandments containing 172 עק”ב words; He wished to teach us that it is impossible to elevate mundane matters of this world – the heel, the עק”ב of our existence – without the י’ the wisdom of the Torah. Thus , we find that the name יעק”ב and the ten commandments deliver the same message!

 

Eisav was supposed to serve Hashem in the material realm 

Now, we need to understand: why then, did Eisav originally have the letter י’ in his name “עשוי”, until Yaakov took it away from him? To understand this we must remember what Rashi explained on the verse (25,22), that the twins, Yaakov and Esav, were arguing over the inheritance of the two worlds. His source is the Medrash (Yalkut Shimoni) which states that before Yaakov and Eisav were born, they split between themselves the two worlds, Yaakov took for himself the coming world, while Eisav took for himself this world.

We may explain this as follows: their dispute pertained to the proper way to serve Hashem; Eisav chose to serve Hashem in matters of this world, in keeping with the principle of: “בכל דרכיך דעהו”; whereas, Yaakov chose to serve Hashem only in matters of the world to come and to totally separate himself from matters of this world.

Now, we can understand why the י’ was originally placed in Eisav’s name “עשוי”, seeing as he chose to serve Hashem in matters of this world and would need the י’, the element of “chochmah,” to elevate these matters. This is also why Eisav was the firstborn, since he represented the י’ the first letter of the holy name, the firstborn, as it were, of the four letters of Hashem’s name.

So Yaakov was supposed to serve Hashem only in matters pertaining to the world to come and remove himself from matters of this world; however, upon seeing , while still in his mother’s womb, that Eisav had no intention of serving Hashem–for he tried so hard to leave the womb whenever they passed a place of idol-worship– therefore, as they were being born: “וידו אוחזת בעקב עשו” – his hand grabbed Eisav’s heel to commandeer the י’ at the end of his name “עשוי” and to join it with the matters of this world the “עקב”. This is why Hashem named himיעק”ב the joining of the י’ and the “עקב”, revealing to the world that he agrees to having Yaakov serve Hashem also in matters of this world.

This is the meaning of the of the Tikunei Zohar that explains the Almighty’s saying to the primeval serpent, the evil inclination, that entices man to chase after the foolishness of this world without any loftier intent: “הוא ישפוך ראש” a Jew will overcome you by using the י’ which is “chochmah” which is in the head, “ואתה תשופנו עקב”, while you, the serpent, will win out if you are able to separate him from the י’ in his worldly dealings, leaving him with “עקב” alone.

Yitzchak wished to bless Esav with ten blessings

Now, we understand why Yitzchak wished to bless Eisav; he knew that Esav had chosen in to serve Hashem in matters of this world; so, he wanted to equip him with the tools and blessings for success and the power of the י’. On the other hand, he felt that Yaakov would not need those blessings in his pursuit of matters of the world to come.

We find an amazing fact. In the blessings (27 28): “ויתן לך” ,which Yitzchak wished to bestow upon Eisav, there are ten י’ blessings– as pointed out by the “Baal Haturim” and the source of which is in “Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer (chapt. 32). We can postulate that Yitzchak’s intention to bestow upon Eisav the ten blessings, was to equip him with the י’ so he can elevate all worldly matters.

But in the process, Yitzchak ovinu became aware that Eisav had fooled him, and never had the intention to use this world Leshem Shomayim. Furthermore, Eisav himself, unwittingly, in his own words in verse (27 36) revealed to Yitzchak that it was Hashem Himself who had given his brother the name “יעקב”, consenting to the fact that the י’ ,indeed, belongs to him. For this reason, Yitzchak did not take back his blessings from Yaakov and even added: “גם ברוך יהיה” – Indeed, he shall remain blessed.

 

~   For  the  full  Mamar  in  Lashon  Hakodesh,  see  the  weekly  “Hamachne Hachareidi”.   ~

Mamorim Translated to English

 

Dear Chaveirim.

First of all a gutten and wonderful Chodesh.

We have b”h very good news. A very talented talmid chacham and devoted reader for many many years by the name of Dr. Baruch Fox has been so kind to volunteer to translate the mamorim to a high and perfect English. I thank him in my name and in the name of all readers to whom it will be a great help. We are sending it in a PDF so you can read the Hebrew letters as well.

Pinches

As allways:  ~   For  the  full  Mamar  in  Lashon  Hakodesh,  see  the  weekly  “Hamachne Hachareidi”.   ~

Mamar Parshas Chayei Sarah

 

Avraham Ovinu seeks a wife for Yitzchak
who doesn’t belong to “Ladies first” feminists!

Dear Chaveirim.

 

In this week’s mamar we might clash with feminist groups, who will probably be offended just by reading the title of this mamar that states: Avraham ovinu was looking for a wife for his son Yitzchak, who would honor her husband by letting him go before her, and not a women who would abide by the rules of “Ladies first”.

As we learn in the mamar, for us religious Jews, letting the man go first, is not a sign of the low status of a Jewish mother, (as is true in the customs of many native tribes). On the contrary, it is an expression of humility and modest behavior, which is a characteristic that is crucial to all Torah Jews. It is also a symbol of the great respect that the women has for the burden and responsibility her husband carries on his shoulders, to learn Torah himself and teach their children the ways of Torah.

 

We hear the outcry of all those who don’t go along with this idea: What about respect for the women? Doesn’t she carry a great enough burden herself? Well Chaveirim, we don’t need to dig very deep to find how the Talmud teaches us to respect our women, as we learn in the Gemara (Bava Metziue 59:b) Rabbi Chelbo says: “There cannot be a blessings in the house only thanks to the women”.

 

The Gemara continues telling us how Ravah said to the people of Mechuze: “Honor your women so you shall be rich”. Has any other group made such statement: Honor your wife and you will have riches! If this is not enough then let us also remember what the Gemara says (Brochos 17:a): “Greater is the the promise that Hakodush Boruch Hu promised to the women more than the men”. Referring to their great chailek in Olom Habo.

 

Why is the women’s promise greater? The reason for this, as explained in the Gemara, is because of their great role in Avodas Hashem: To be of help to their husbands and children and to prepare and enable them to learn Torah. All of their hard work and physical labor cooking meals, washing dishes, doing laundry, and cleaning the house, is the reason they can be more secure in their portion in Olom Habo than the men who learn Torah.

 

I always stress, and this might be a good opportunity to say it again: Unfortunately women are not aware of what great Avodas Hashem they accomplish, while doing the seemingly mundane tasks of housework so the lechtike Kinderlich will have all they need to be able to learn Torah.

 

A Yidishe mama needs to remember: Doing house work and running errands are equal and equivalent to learning a daf Gemara or Davening. This is because it is this work that enables her husband and children to learn Torah and fulfill their duties. Just like we the men need to learn Torah with great Simche – happiness, the women need to fulfill their roll with the greatest sense of happiness and fulfillment.

 

It is important to point out, that if the women doe’s all she can possible do, so her husband and children could learn Torah without any disturbances, even if her husband fails to fulfill his part of learning Torah the way he should, she still gets her full reward, because she did her job properly.

 

Towards the end of this theme I would like to point out. How ironic it is, that in those circles that emphasize “Ladies first”, the men often are only “behind” the women in a very symbolic and superficial way, (most of the time so the women won’t see what they are really up to…) Many of the greatest gentlemen in public are found to have total disregard and irreverence for women in private. Real respect is not an external symbol. It has to be much deeper and much more discrete.

 

If I happened to offend anyone please forgive me.

 

Have a good shabbes

Pinches

 

 

 

~   For  the  full  Mamar  in  Lashon  Hakodesh,  see  the  weekly  “Hamachne Hachareidi”.   ~

Mamar Parshas Vayeiru & Tavlin Leshabbos

Great revelation of Toras Chayim

Menu on Shabbos: Wine, Fish & Meat
food that Hashem will feed us in Olom Habo:
Yayin hamshumer, Shor Habor & Livyasan!

 

Dear Chaveirim.

As we sit at the Shabbos table enjoying the delicious special Shabbos food, many of us say or at least think: “Lkovod Shabbos Kodesh”, but we may still be missing the tremendous power of the food we are eating and the impact it can have.

The Gemoro in Shabbos (218:A) teaches us: “Kol Hameaneg es Hashabbos nosnim lo nachlah bli metazrim”. The Shlah, the Alshich and the GR”A all point out that it says: “Kol Hamenaeg es Hashabbos” meaning whoever delights the Shabbos, it does not say: “Kol Hamenaeg es atzmo Bshabbos“, from this we learn that it is not ourselves that we must enjoy, but rather we need to give pleasure to the Shabbos. As it says in Yeshaya: “Vkarasa Lshabbos oneg” – You shall call pleasure to the Shabbos, and not to yourself.

The Shla”h warns us: It is so easy to fill your stomach and enjoy all the foods until we just fall asleep. That is enjoying ourselves on Shabbos and not giving pleasure to Shabbos.

So the question is: It is very obvious that we can be “Meaneg es Shabbos”, bring joy to Shabbos by learning Torah and Davening with great Kavone, but how are we supposed to be “Meaneg es Shabbos” – give pleasure to the Shabbos by eating fish and meat and drinking wine? What kind of pleasure does the Shabbos derive from us eating?

We need to compensate Shabbos

In our new column Tavlin Leshabbos we come up with a new thought, based on the teaching of Ariza”l, that if Adam had not sinned on Friday, the day he was created, he would not have given any nourishment to the kochos hatumah, so they would all perish leaving only the kochos hakedusha, and the world would have been as it will be after the Geula when Moshiach comes.

From this we learn that if Adam had not sinned, the Geula would have come already that day, and that first Shabbos would have been: “Yom shekulo Shabbos”. But since he sinned, Shabbos could only be as it says in Mesechte Brachos (57B): Maeayn Olam haba – 1/60th of Olam Haba. From this we can conclude that Adam had caused the Shabbos great damage diminishing her great Kedushe.

So dear Chaveirim since we had already learned so many times in the past from the Ariza”l, that all the Neshomos that would ever come into the world were part of Adam when he sinned, this means that we all have a great obligation to be “Meaneg es hashabbos” – bring joy to Shabbos, to compensate for the loss that she had not being “Yom shekulo Shabbos” and only “Mayayn Olam Haba”. But that brings us back to our question: How can we compensate the Shabbos with eating food which is physical pleasures?

In order to explain that we refer to a great revelation from The Toras Chaim, that in my opinion is a great Mitzvah to spread it among friends, who teaches us that the Shabbos foods we eat are hints and reminders to the foods that Hashem will feed us in Olam Haba. The wine that we make Kiddush on is a reminder to the “Yayin Hamshumer” – preserved wine that Hashem will serve us. The fish and meat that we eat are reminders of the “livyasan and Shor habor” that Hasehm will feed us.

We prepare for Shabbos by washing in hot water and changing our clothes for Shabbos. This too is a reminder of the preparation for Olam Habo, when we will dip into the “Nehar dinur” – ocean of fire, to cleanse ourselves from all the worldly filth, and we will get rid of our physical body, which is the clothing of our Neshomo, and will only need our spiritual clothing, Mitzvos and good deeds.

By eating all these foods we remind Shabbos of what Hashem will serve us “Byom shekulo Shabbos” in Olom Habo. This is as we are saying to Shabbos: Don’t be so sad that we spoiled your great Kedushe, because the time will come very soon, when instead of being “Maeyn Olam haba” you will be “Yom shekulo Shabbos” – a day that is only Shabbos, a day when your rays of Kedushe will flourish and shine into all days of the year.

So Chevre, the coming Shabbos when we eat the delicious fish & meat, when we sing beautiful Zmiros to the Shabbos, let us not forget this great chidush of the Toras Chayim and it’s a wonderful idea to share it with our Kinderlich, that the foods of Shabbes remind us of the food that Hashem will feed us “Byom shekulo Shabbos” in Olom Habo very soon bimhira beyomeinu omein.

Have a lechtiken shabbos

Pinches

~   For  the  full  Mamar  in  Lashon  Hakodesh,  see  the  weekly  “Hamachne Hachareidi”.   ~