Shabbos HaChodesh

A holy “Kavone” to have in mind every Rosh Chodesh:

To proclaim and Crown HKB”H as  the King of the world
and to  abolish every influence of the Mazel of the month!

 

Dear Chaveirim.

This week’s mamar is dedicated for the coming Shabbos which is called “Shabbos HaChodesh”, because we read for Maftir the the Mitzvoh to establish the month of Nissan—the month of Yetzias Motzrayim —as the first of the twelve months of the year. This passage appears in Parshas Bo (Shemos 12,1): “Hashem said to Moshe and Aharon in the land of Egypt. This month shall be for you the beginning of the months.”

Additionally, this possuk teaches us about the mitzvoh to sanctify – to be mekadesh, the new month— each new month when the new moon becomes visible in the sky. This is what HKB”H meant when He said: “Koze reei vekadesh” – “See it like this and sanctify it”. Concerning this event, we learne in the Mishnah (Rosh HaShoneh 24.) that after Beis Din questioned the witnesses who first saw the new moon: The Head of Beis Din says: “Mekudesh” – “It is sanctified!” and all the people respond after him: “Mekudesh Mekudesh” – “It is sanctified! It is sanctified!”.

The question is: Why is it necessary for Beis Din to sanctify the month and for all of the people to respond, “It is sanctified! It is sanctified!”? This suggests that the day of Rosh Chodesh possesses some sort of defect that must be corrected and sanctified.

We suggest a new idea based on the warning of the Torah in parshas Vueschanan, that every Jew needs to be extremely cautious with regards to the solar system—the sun, the moon, the stars and all of the heavenly bodies—which includes the twelve constellation which comprise the signs of the 12 Mazoles. We must not err by attributing to them any power concerning the management and supervision of the natural world. We must believe wholeheartedly that HKB”H, not only created them, but controls and manages them as He pleases.

This is conveyed by the words of the prophet (Yeshayah 40,26): “Seou morom eineichem ureuu mi boro eile” – “Lift your eyes to the heaven and see Who created these”. In other words, gaze up at the skies and witness all of the heavenly bodies that comprise the solar system; however, do not be misled into thinking, chas v’sholom, that they somehow control the universe. Rather, “see who created these”—remember well that HKB”H created them and controls them as he pleases.

In this light, it is incredible that we recite the kedushah of “Keser” during the Mussaf on Rosh Chodesh: “Keser yitnu lecho Hashem Elokeinu”. By proclaiming: “They will give you a crown Hashem, our G-d”, we are crowning HKB”H as the one and only king with the power to manage the entire world. Simultaneously, we are breaking and abolishing the idol worshipers who use the twelve monthly constellations as a barrier to separate us from HKB”H.

May we all have a lechtiken Shabbos and a wonderful Chodesh.

Pinches

 

~  For the  Mamar in Lashon Hakodesh, subscribe to  the weekly news paper “Hamachne Hachareidi” at news@hamachne.com. ~

~ Click the link below for the full English translation ~

Translation-HaChodesh 5771

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Shabbos Parshas Poroh

A deep insight about the creation of the human body:
Hashem formed it from sand and water like one who kneads dough!

Dear Chaveirim.

In this week’s mamar we are discussing the mitzvoh of “Pore-Adumeh in honor of the upcoming Shabbos “Shabbos Poreh”. The entire mamar is based on a deep subject concerning the creation of man, as is written (Breishis 2,7): “And Hashem G-d formed the man of soil from the earth, and blew into his nostrils the soul of life; and man became a living soul”. Rashi explains: G-d took the soil used to create man from the Mizbiach – the place about which it is said: “An Altar of earth you shall make for Me”

Prior to forming man’s body, HKB”H watered the entire face of the earth, so that He could knead man’s body from dust mixed with water, as ee learn from Rashi: “In order to form man, HKB”H raised water from the depths of the earth and filled the clouds with water with which to saturate the soil; thus, man was created like one who first puts water into flour before kneading the dough”.

We should be struck with awe and fear upon realizing how much sanctity went into man’s body; it was shaped, as it were, by HKB”H Himself from earth that was taken from the place of the Altar. Clearly, HKB”H did so with the intent that man’s body serve as a holy vessel, ready and waiting to receive the light of the neshamah—a portion from G-d above. Therefore, it states immediately: “Vayipach Beapov Nishmas Chayim” – and He blew into his nostrils the soul of life; and man became a living soul.

How wonderful are the words of Dovid HaMelech—who was given seventy years of life from Adam HaRishon—praises HKB”H for this phenomenon as follows (Tehillim 139,5): “Back and front You have restricted me, and You have laid Your hand upon me”. In other words, You, HKB”H, have formed my body by placing your two hands upon me; for You have kneaded Adam HaRishon’s body out of dirt and water. Therefore, the human body possesses tremendous sanctity and it behooves us to guard it and protect it from injury, chas v’shalom.

We can now explore why – if not for the sin of the “Eitz-Hadaas” – Adam HaRishon would have lived forever. The human body—which HKB”H kneaded by Himself—is linked to the neshomeh—a portion of G-d from above—by a divine connection which is eternal. Therefore, had Adam protected that connection, he never would have died.

Yet, from the very moment that Adam and Chava were persuaded to follow the serpent’s advice–rebelling against Hashem by partaking of the forbidden fruit—the serpent succeeded in contaminating the sanctity of their bodies with filth and impurity. This led HKB”H to decree the death sentence upon mankind, so that the body would be buried in the earth; its burial would serve to nullify the body’s contamination in the dust of the earth which is the serpent’s source of nourishment. The Arizal explains the matter as follows (Parshas Vayechi Mitzvas Kevurah): “The secret of burying the dead is that those performing the burial have in mind that the filth and contamination that was introduced into the body by the sin of Adam HaRishon be absorbed into the ground leaving the person clean and pure”.

Now, we can begin to comprehend Avraham’s message conveyed to HKB”H by the words: “I am but dust and ash”. In other words, I rectified the handful of dust so that it would be untainted as it was before the sin of the Tree of Knowledge by incinerating the serpent’s filth and contamination to ashes in Nimrod’s fiery furnace. It turns out that these two things, “dust and ash,” are intimately related. By first incinerating the serpent’s contamination in the body to ashes, man remains with a pure handful of dust–as he was at the time of his creation.

Let us all have a wonderful Shabbos.

Pinches

~  For the  Mamar in Lashon Hakodesh, subscribe to  the weekly news paper “Hamachne Hachareidi” at news@hamachne.com. ~

~ Click the link below for the full English translation ~

 Translation-Poreh 5771

Purim

“Layehudim Hoiso Oiro Vesimcho Vesoson Viyekor”

Dear Friends and brothers.

This week we are honored to have the zechus to present you with a special gift of “Mishloach monos”, in the form of this week’s maamer for Purim, which includes some wonderful new ideas that have never been published.

Halachically “Mishloach monos” is supposed to contain 2 portions of food. But so is this maamer based on “shtai monois”, which correspond to the great illumination on Purim from the 2 crowns we received at Har Sinai, after accepting the Torah with the saying of “Naase Venishmah”, but unfortunately forfeited them due to the sin of the eigel. We show that on Purim they were partly restored to us by Mordechai hatzadik and Ester hamalkah, as a reward for our rededicating ourselves to the Torah.

We discuss an interesting connection between Moshe Rabaynu who returns the crowns to us every Shabbos and Moredechai who is a “nitutz” – a spark of Moshe Rabeinu’s sole and by getting Bnei Yisroel to reaccept the Torah caused the crowns to be returned. How amazing is the Medrash that Moshe sent Eliyahu Hanovie to Mordechai to tell him that he Moshe will be mispalel in Shamayim and Mordechai should be mispalel here on earth and by their joint efforts would merit the nes of Purim. Thus the nes of Purim was a combination of 2 M’s M’oshe & M’ordechai on heaven and on earth.

We are also presenting you in this “Mishloach monos” an amazing chidush from the Chasam Sofer, that the besomim and hadasim we smell on Motzai Shabbos correspond to Mordechai & Esther. We add to this 2 other connections between Havdala and Purim. 1. The possuk that we say in Havdole: “Layehudim Hoiso Oroh Vesimcho Vesoson Vikor”, is from the Megilah. 2. The brocho “Borai Meorai Ho-aish” which we say on the the Havdole candle that halachically contain at least 2 wicks, correspond to Mordechai & Esther who according the Midrash are 2 candles who lit up the darkness of golus Modei.

I know that halachically “Mishloach monos” is supposed to be food, but it is said that if you can’t send food, you should at least try to increase feelings of friendship by sharing divrei Torah which is “mazon hanefesh” – food for the sole. It is interesting to point out that the Ramo wrote the sefer “Mechir Yayin: on Megilas Esther and sent it to his father as “Mishloach monos”. Similarly the sefer “Manos Levi” was sent as “Mishloach monos” to his father in law. So I ask you dear Chaverim to accept this maamer as my “Mishloach monos” to you.

This Purim let us all do like Ester suggested to Mordechai: “Leich Kenos Es Kol Hayeudim” – when we gather in Shul on Purim, we should all focus to pick up our eyes to Hashem with a request from the depths of our heart: Ribono shel olem, we ask from you “Mishloach monos” that contain 2 monos: 1. Moshiach Ben Yosef. 2. Moshiach Ben Dovid, you should send them both to take us out from the bitter Golus.

When this will finally happen we will all rejoice, as the Gemoreh says (Tanis 31:1), in a circle dance that Hashem will arrange. Hashem will be in the center and we will all show with our finger and say: “Ze Hashem Kivinu lo Veyoshoeinu”, – this is Hashem we yearned so many years that he should help us.

If I may add, we will probably sing among others a song composed by Dovid Hamelech on the words: “Layehudim Hoiso Oiro Vesimcho Vesoson Viyekor”. The song will resonate from one end of the world to the other and all will say: “Hashem Elokei Yisruel Melech Umalchuso Bakol Mosholo”!!!

Bimheiru beyoumeinu omein.  

A frelichen Purim

Pinches

~  For the  Mamar in Lashon Hakodesh, subscribe to  the weekly news paper “Hamachne Hachareidi” at news@hamachne.com. ~

~ Click the link below for the full English translation ~

Translation-Purim 5771

Translation-Tavlin-L’Shabbas-Purim 5771

Parshas Vayikro

The Incredible Connection between a Korban Beheimoh
and the Berocheh: “Sheoso Li Kol Tzorki”
Concerning Shoes

 

Sholom & Beroche.

This week we discuss a deep and amazing insight, which is important to publicize throughout the Yiddishe Torah world, found in the siddur of the Shloh, quoting his great Rabbi the Maharshal, concerning the Beroche we bless HKB”H every morning: “Boruch Ato Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolom Sheoso Li Kol Tzorki”— “Blessed art Thou Hashem our Lord, King of the Universe, Who hath provided me with all of my needs”. Our holy Chachomim instituted this blessing with regards to wearing shoes on our feet.

At first glance, this is quite surprising. It is true that our blessed sages spoke highly about the virtue of wearing shoes. The Gemoreh (Shabbos 129.) states: “One should always sell even the beams of his house to buy shoes for his feet”.  Nevertheless, wearing shoes is only one of many routine functions that a person performs during the course of a day. Why then did our sages institute the recitation of: “Who has provided me with my every need”, with regards to wearing shoes? How does the action of wearing shoes constitute a fulfillment of all of one’s needs?

The Maharshal begins by quoting Dovid HaMelech’s, a”h, description of man’s distinguished status in this world (Tehillim 8,6): “You have made him only a little less than the angels . . . You have given him dominion over the works of Your hand, You placed everything under his feet. Sheep and cattle, everything”. He explains that these verses refer to the four categories or levels that exist within creation and their order.

First, there is the inanimate segment; the second level consists of plant and vegetative life which derives its nourishment from the first level; the third level consists of the creatures in the animal kingdom—who consume the plant life. The fourth level is occupied by man, a living creature with the faculty of speech; he reigns over the animals and other creatures, eats them, uses them and transcends them all. This is the meaning of the possuk: “You placed everything under his feet”. Since man has dominion over the animal kingdom, it is clear that he rules over the plant life and inanimate objects, as well.

Consequently, everything is under his feet. Furthermore, when he makes footwear out of an animal’s hide, he exhibits even more so that he reigns supreme in this world, and everything is truly under his feet. Having this dominion, all his needs and wants are readily available to him. Therefore, when he dons his shoes, he recites the Beroche: “Sheoso Li Kol Tzorki”— “Who hath provided me with all of my needs”.

We present a noble idea concerning this matter. Indeed, every Jew is obligated to sanctify and elevate all elements of creation to Hashem. He does so by serving Hashem with the strength and nourishment he has received from the inanimate, plant and animal categories. Nevertheless, we have been taught a basic principle. Man is incapable of elevating material matters to Hashem unless he demonstrates by his actions and behavior that he is superior to an animal.

The Toldos Yaakov Yosef (beginning of Behaaloscha) brings home this point by means of a parable cited in the name of the Baal Shem Tov. If someone wishes to save his friend who is drowning in the ocean, he must first be sure that he is stronger than the person who is drowning. Otherwise, rather than pulling his friend out of the water, his friend is likely to drown them both. The moral of the parable is clear. If a person himself behaves like an animal, how can he possibly elevate the sparks contained in that animal? Rather than elevating those sparks, he will actually drag them down to spiritual desolation. It is for this reason that an “am haaretz” is prohibited from eating meat.

Therefore, it is specifically by wearing shoes made of leather from an animal’s hide that demonstrates one’s desire to be superior to an animal. By treading with both feet on footwear made from animal leather, man reveals his yearning to elevate himself spiritually and to trounce his animalistic tendencies. By means of this revelation, he merits to reign over them and to elevate them spiritually to Hashem—by utilizing them to serve only Hashem and to fulfill Hashem’s wishes.

Have a wonderful and lechtiken Shabbos.

Pinches

~  For the  Mamar in Lashon Hakodesh, subscribe to  the weekly news paper “Hamachne Hachareidi” at news@hamachne.com. ~

~ Click the link below for the full English translation ~

Translation-Vayikro 5771

Shabbos Shekolim

The “Machtzis Hashekel” serves to complete
The missing half of the Shem Haveye!

 

Sholom & Berocho.

This coming Shabbos kodesh when we say the “birkas hachodesh” for Adar Sheini, is called “Shabbos Shekolim” – because after reading the weekly parsha, parshas Pekudai, we read for maftir the mitzvah of “machatzis hashekel” in parshas Ki Siso.

This signifies that in the times of the Beis HaMikdosh, the public announcement concerning the donation of the “half-shekel”s was performed on Rosh Chodesh Adar (of the Adar immediately preceding Nissan). This is described in the Gemorah (Shekolim 2.): “Beechod beodar mashmiein al hashekolim” – The first day of Adar there is an announcement on the obligation to donate the shekolim.

The Gemorah explains that it was necessary to do so, because every year the new cycle of Korbonos tzibur began on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the first of the twelve Jewish months. They had to be purchased with shekolim from the new year. Therefore everyone donated a “machatzis hashekel” and from this money the Korbonos were bought.

In anticipation of this special Torah reading, we examine the incredible association between the announcement of “machatzis hashekel” on Rosh Chodesh Adar and the great miracle from Homon’s decree on Purim. This is described in the Gemorah as follows (Megillah 13:):

“Reish Lokish said: it was clearly known to He who spoke, and the world came into being, that Homon was destined to weigh out shekolim for the purpose of destroying the Jews; therefore, He caused the Jews to precede their shekolim to his shekolim. And thus we learned in a Mishnah: On the first of Adar they were announcing the obligation to donate the shekolim”.

The Bnei Yissoschor (Adar 2,6) teaches us, that all though the Beis HaMikdosh was destroyed and they didn’t have Korbonus and as a consequence did not bring shekolim, the Torah reading on Shabbos Shekolim, served klal Yisroel in those days as a substitute for the actual donation of the “half-shekel”.

We begin our journey with a shining jewel concerning the “machatzis hashekel”, mentioned in the seifer “Sifsei Kohen” by one of the talmidei talmidim of the Arizal’sl, the great mekubel Rabbi Mordechai HaKohen of Tzfas, (parshas Ki Siso), that HKB”H commanded us to bring a “half-shekel” to make amends for the absence of half of the shem “Havaya” during the periods of Golus. Concerning this matter, the Gemorah states (Eiruvin 18:):

“Since the day that the Beis HaMikdosh was destroyed, the world can suffice using two letters from the name of G-d; as the verse states: Let all souls praise Yud Kei, Hallelukoh”.

Utilizing the a”t bas”h system, [where letters of the aleph-beis starting from aleph are exchanged with a corresponding letter starting from the end of the aleph-beis, from tov, in reverse order; e.g. aleph is replaced by tov, beis by shin, gimel by reish, and so on], the word “shekel” has the same numerical equivalent as the name “Havaya,” twenty-six. Consequently, a “half-shekel” represents a half of Hashem’s name Vov Kei —the half that is absent during times of Golus.

“Machtzis Hashekel”
Breaking the lost for money!

I want to make a point not mentioned in the mamar. Some tend to think that because this Shabbos is called “Shabbos Shekolim”, it is a segule to earn a lot of Shekolim, [although these days the dollar is more than the shekel]. So it is important to remember two points:

1. The truth is that every Shabbos is a segulah for parnosha as it says in parshas Breishis: “Vayvorech elokim es yom hashviei” – G-d blessed the seventh day”. The Zohar says: “All blessings, above and below, depend on Shabbos”. But if we manage to elevate our minds not to focus Shabbos on money, but rather on higher ruchniesdike ambitions, Hashem will give us Shefah Beroche Hatzlhocho, more than we can imagine.

2. The parsha of “machtzis hashekel” is all about breaking the lost for money. This is based on the fact that “machtzis hashekel” is a kapurah – atonement on the Eigel. As the Talmud Yerushalmi explains (Shekolim 9:): “Since they sinned at the halfway point of the day, they must make amends by donating a “half-shekel.”

The “Eigel Hazohov” – “golden calf”, symbolizes the worship of manhood for the golden coin; the relentless race and hunger for money. Therefore Hashem said to give a “machtzis hashekel” – which symbolizes the breaking of the shekel, not practically but mentally; the breaking of the “Eigel Hazohov”, so that we understand that money is only a means to use as a tool to raise children and do mitzvhos.

This in fact is the greatest seguleh for parnosah. Hashem doesn’t like to give money for those who worship it. He gives it to those who have the right knowledge and perspective that it is only a means to use it in the right time and right place fulfilling the will of Hashem. So Chaveirim by reading in the Torah “machtzis hashekel” and by mentally breaking the idol of money, Hashem will send us so much that we scream out with joy: “Tate enough”! As promised by the Novie Malachi (3:10): “Vahrikosi lochem berocho ad bli diy” Omein.

May we all have a wonderful Shabbos Shkolim.

Pinches

~  For the  Mamar in Lashon Hakodesh, subscribe to  the weekly news paper “Hamachne Hachareidi” at news@hamachne.com. ~

~ Click the link below for the full English translation ~

 Translation-Shabbos-Shekolim 5771