Parshas Masei

The Sefas Emes’s Amazing Revelation

Aharon HaKohen Who Loved Peace Passed Away on Rosh Chodesh Av
a Tikun for “Sinaas Chinom” – Baseless Hatred
Which Caused the Destruction of the Beis HaMikdosh

Dear Brothers and Friends.

In this week’s parsha, parshas Masei, we read: “Eileh Masei Bnei Yisroel”  — “These are the journeys of Bnei Yisroel, who left the land of Egypt with their legions, led by Moshe and Aharon”. Here the Torah begins to count the forty-two journeys that Klal Yisroel travelled from the time of the left Mitzrayim until their arrival at the border of Eretz Yisroel. As a general rule, the possuk does not describe all the details of each journey, but merely suffices with the description: “vayisu” “Vayachnu” — “they journeyed”, “they camped”.

Why than did HKB”H, the giver of the Torah, choose to recount Aharon HaKohen’s death to us at Hor HaHar, once again? Just five parshahs ago, in parshas Chukas, the Torah chronicled Aharon’s death in detail (Bamidbor 20, 28): “And Aharon died there at the top of the mountain; Moshe and Elozor descended from the mountain; the entire assembly witnessed that Aharon had perished; they wept for Aharon thirty days — the entire house of Yisroel”.

Additionally, it is worth noting that here the Torah informs us an important detail concerning Aharon’s petiro that is not mentioned in parshas Chukas, the month and day that Aharon passed away: “Bchodesh hachamishi beechod lachodesh” on the first day of the fifth month — in other words, on Rosh Chodesh Av.

So, it is incumbent upon us to explain why the Torah waited specifically until our parsha to reveal the date of Aharon’s petiro, rather than mentioning it in parshas Chukas. Furthermore, the fact that the Torah mentions this date at all is a tremendous chidush, not found anywhere else in the Torah; even the dates that our holy Ovus Hakdoshim passed away and the date that Moshe Rabeinu passed away are not recorded.

We begin our enlightening journey with an incredible insight found in the the Sefas Emes on our parsha. He writes that HKB”H arranged for Aharon HaKohen to pass away specifically on Rosh Chodesh Av, because the second Beis HaMikdosh was destroyed in the month of Av due to the sin of baseless hatred, “sinas chinom.”

Accordingly, the Sefas Emes explains, this is why HKB”H arranged for Aharon HaKohen to depart from this world specifically on Rosh Chodesh Av. So that he can from the upper world, influence us to follow in his footsteps and be: “Ohev Sholom and Rodef Sholom” — “One who loves peace and pursues peace”. If we could accomplish this, we could correct the serious flaw of “sinas chinom,” which caused the destruction of the second Beis HaMikdosh, in this very month of Av.

Every Rosh Chodesh Av Yisroel’s Grief
over the Loss of Aharon is Awakened

We can add a spicy taste to his holy words based on the possuk in parshas Chukas: “Vayivku oso kol beis yisroel” – “They wept for Aharon thirty days — the entire house of Yisroel”. Rashi comments: “Everyone grieved over Aharon’s death, both the men and the women, since he was the ultimate peacemaker — he promoted peace between disputants, including husbands and wives”.

It turns out, therefore, that on Rosh Chodesh Av all of Klal Yisroel wept over Aharon’s departure, since he promoted peace among the people of Yisroel. Consequently, Rosh Chodesh Av was established, for all future generations, as a day on which all of Yisroel mourn the loss of Aharon HaKohen and the loss of his outstanding attribute, as well — loving peace and pursuing peace. Due to the loss of this attribute, we fell victim to “sinas chinom,” leading to the destruction of our Beis HaMikdosh. If we are inspired to do teshuve and to go in the path of Aharon — to love every member of Klal Yisroel — the third Beis HaMikdosh will surely be built, swiftly, in our times.

Now, we have can understand why the Torah chose to mention the date of Aharon’s passing specifically in parshas Masei. For, in most years, the Shabbos on which we read parshas Masei falls either on Rosh Chodesh Av itself or on the “Shabbos Mevorchin” on which we bless and welcome the month of Av.

So, it turns out that parshas Masei represents a preparation for Rosh Chodesh Av, the day Aharon HaKohen departed this world. This is why HKB”H chose to mention that Aharon HaKohen passed away on Rosh Chodesh Av specifically in parshas Masei — for this is the ideal time for us to recall why all of Yisroel grieved over the loss of Aharon. By recalling the loss of our ultimate peacemaker, we will be inspired to follow in his footsteps and eliminate the serious flaw of “sinas chinom” that caused the destruction of the Beis HaMikdosh.

My friends this then is the powerful message we must accomplish from this week’s parshah: “Vehavto Leriacha Komocho” – to love every Yid, to stop looking for flaws and faults in every fellow Jew. If we do that, if we remember to walk in the path of Aharon HaKohen, we will hear no more tragedies like the one we experienced with Leibele olov hasholom. Instead we will hear the “KOL SHOFOR” of Moshiach tzidkeinu bemheiru beyomeinu omein.

We should all have a wonderful Shabbos


Parshas Masei

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 Translation Masei 5771



Dear Brothers and Friends.

This week we have the mamar for Bein Hametzorim plus translation by Dr. Baruch Fox. So do we have a special mamar written with ink of tears a Chesbon-Hanefesh how we should approach this great tragedy with the lenses of a Ben-Torah. For this mamar we also have a translation by Reb Shlomo Berger.

This week until after the “Shloshim” we continue to devote this mamar Leilu Nishmas Hayeled Hakodosh Vehatohor Yehuda Leib ben reb Nachmen olov hasholom. Please learn this mamar for his pure holy battered soul that was torn away from us so viciously.

May we hear only besuros tovos Yeshues Venechomos.

A wonderful Sjabbos



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 Translation Bein Hamtzarim 5771

Leiby Kletzky Ulov Hasholom

We are all “leibelech”
To whom the Shechino our mother cries out:
“Leiby Leiby where are you – return home”

A Cheshbon Hanefesh during the week of shiva
for The Kodosh Vtahor Yehuda A’H ben R’ Nachman HY”V

As we enter the Three Weeks, we are finishing the shiva for the holy and pure child Yehuda, known as Leiby, who was killed in such a brutal way that it shook up Jewish communities all over the world. The great tragedy that hit us like a thunder clap on a clear day still burns like a piece of red hot steel on our flesh. We are still in shock from the tremendous blow.

How can we forget that terrible Monday, a day which the Torah does not describe as “Ki Tov”?

After the children finished learning and playing, Leiby and all his friends left the building. Leiby was walking hesitantly, looking for the right path that would lead him to his wonderful mother who was waiting for him, anticipating giving him her loving motherly hug. But Leiby could not find his way. All along the way, people were passing him by, too busy with themselves, to pay attention to the fact that a child has lost his way.

Jews of all types gathered in Brooklyn, men women and children from all over came to help look for Leiby. Cars circled Boro Park with microphones blaring: “Leiby, Leiby – where are you?” All hoping that the lost Leiby would be found and returned unharmed to the arms of his loving parents. But there was no response. The Satan in the guise of a ruthless killer separated little Leiby from his mother’s warm loving embrace. But no one was ready to accept as a possibility that the situation is, as said in Yirmiyahu (22:10):“בכו בכו להולך כי לא ישוב עוד וראה את ארץ מולדתו “Cry for the one that went away, because he won’t return to see his birth land”.

We all know that the name Leib is really a translation of Aryeh, a lion, a name frequently given to someone whose name is Yehuda. This goes back to Yakov Avinu who called his son Yehuda who was the king of the Shvotim, with the name of the king of the animals:“גור אריה יהודה” – “Gur Aryeh Yehuda”.

But due to our being unworthy, our Yehuda, dear Leibele was not: “מטרף בני עלית” – he was not able to escape the hunter, but instead: “חיה רעה אכלתהו, טרוף טורף יוסף”,, a wild beast devoured him, tearing him apart. A wild animal in the form of a bloodthirsty human cruelly killed him.

Don’t try to understand what is supposed to be hidden

No one has the right to say that he definitely knows why such a terrible thing happened to Klal Yisroel. Who has the audacity to explain why Hashem did not send a Malach to save Leiby; the Malach that should say to his killer: “אל תשלח ידך אל הנער ואל תעש לו מאומה” – “Don’t touch the child and don’t harm him at all”.

The answer to questions like this, remain in the Heavenly Spheres. HKB”H only reveals it to select individuals, only to the greatest of our generation, as it says in Tehilim (25:14): סוד ה’ ליראיו ובריתו להודיעם” – “The secrets of Hashem are with those who fear him”. Hashem’s ways are hidden and it is not our place to try to understand them as the Gemoreh says (Chagiga 13.):“במופלא ממך אל תדרוש, ובמכוסה ממך אל תחקור, במה שהורשית התבונן, אין לך עסק בנסתרות”.

But, this does not free us from the obligation to do a Cheshbon Hanefesh, a soul searching, as the shvotim did when Yosef was missing (Breishis 42 28): “ויצא לבם ויחרדו איש אל אחיו לאמר מה זאת עשה אלקים לנו” “Their hearts sank and trembling they turned to one another saying, what has Hashem done to us?”. Each of us must look introspectively at the korbon that was sacrificed to see if we can confidently say: “ידינו לא שפכו את הדם הזה” – “Our hands did not cause this blood to be spilled”.

How frightening are the words of the Rambam (Hilchos Taanis 1:2,3) warning us about this:

“ודבר זה מדרכי תשובה הוא, שבזמן שתבוא צרה ויזעקו עליה ויריעו, ידעו הכל שבגלל מעשיהם הרעים הורע להן, ככתוב (ירמיה ה כה) עוונותיכם הטו וגו’, וזה הוא שיגרום להסיר הצרה מעליהם, אבל אם לא יזעקו ולא יריעו, אלא יאמרו דבר זה ממנהג העולם אירע לנו, וצרה זו נקרה נקרית [בדרך מקרה], הרי זו דרך אכזריות וגורמת להם להידבק במעשיהם הרעים, ותוסיף הצרה צרות אחרות, הוא שכתוב בתורה (ויקרא כו כ) והלכתם עמי בקרי והלכתי גם אני עמכם בחמת קרי, כלומר כשאביא עליכם צרה כדי שתשובו, אם תאמרו שהיא קרי, אוסיף לכם חמת אותו קרי”.

He says that the Derech Hateshuva requires that when a calamity befalls us, we must scream as we realize that our actions caused this calamity, as it says in Yirmiyahu (5:25) “Your sins have brought this about“. This can cause the calamity to cease. But if the stricken people say it was caused by nature or coincidence, this is arrogant and will cause them to remain stagnant in their evil ways such that more calamities will befall them. As it says in Vayikra (26:20-24) “And if you treat me as happenstance… then I will treat you as happenstance”, meaning I will bring suffering upon you until you repent.

Two Eyes flowing with tears

The Holy Seforim explain an important concept in the need for our doing Cheshbon Hanefesh. Hashem wakes us up daily to do teshuva with a bas-kol as it says in Pirkei Avos (6:2) that every day a bas-kol comes from Har Sinai and says “Woe to those who insult the Torah”. And if chas vsholom we block our ears from hearing these heavenly warnings, then Hashem has to wake us up to do teshuva with more severe methods.

Hashem, with his infinite mercy, tries to constantly give us hints and reminders to realize what we need to do to improve ourselves. As it says in Devorim (10:12):“ועתה ישראל מה ה’ אלקיך שואל מעמך” – “And now Yisroel what does Hashem want from you?” Our Rabbanim Shlit’a have already brought to our attention that we need to improve in a number of areas: Achdus, watching our eyes, having set times to learn Torah, and with their permission I want to add another layer of Cheshbon-Hanefesh.

Let us reflect upon the time of year that this horrible event occurred. Leiby A’H was kidnapped on Monday the 9th of Tammuz, the day that the Gemoreh in Rosh Hashono (18:) lists as the fast on the 9th day of the 4th month (Tammuz) which commemorates the day Yerushalayim was breached. The Gemoro in Tanis (28:) says that this refers to the first Bais Hamikdash. During the 2nd Bais Hamikdosh, the walls of the city were breached on the 17th day of Tammuz. Leiby was killed on Tuesday and buried on Wednesday, the 11th of Ttammuz, and his shiva ended on the 17th of Tammuz, the first day of the Three Weeks.

The Bnai Yisoschor brings from the Ariza”l, that all months are represented by parts of the head. The months of Tammuz and Av are the 2 eyes. Yirmiyahu in Eichoh (1:16) laments: “על אלה אני בוכיה עיני עיני יורדה מים” – “For these things I weep, my eyes – my eyes shed tears”. These 2 months represent the 2 eyes from which salty tears flow because of the destruction of the 2 Batei Mikdashos.

We are called Jews because of Yehuda

The little boy named Yehuda reminds all of us known as Yehudim that we are called that after Shevet Yehuda. The Medrash (B”R 98:6) quotes Rav Shimon Bar Yochai that Yaakov ovinu blessed Yehuda that all of his brothers’ descendants would be named after him and would not be called Reuvaini or Shimoni etc. only Yehudi.

Even the word “yeled” reminds us of “yeled shashuim”, a delightful child, as it says in Yirmiyahu (31:19); “Haben yakir lee Ephraim, im yeled shahshuim”. The Medrash explains that this refers to Klal Yisroel, so it says (ibid 49:16): “כי הנה קטן בגוים נתתיך” – “I have made you small among the nations”.

Yeled Shashuim, Klal Yisroel has a father and mother. Hashem is our father and the Shechina is our mother, as the Zohar explains by the mitzvah of Shiluach Haken:“והאם רובצת על האפרוחים” – The mother is roosting on the eggs, is symbolic of the Shechina protecting Klal Yisroel when they learn Torah.

One doesn’t need a very vivid imagination to understand the clear hint that Hashem is trying to give us with this horrible incident. This delightful child, Yehuda, that was lost unable to find his way home, is symbolic of Klal Yisroel, called Yehudim after Yehuda. His mother waiting for her child to return symbolizes the Shechina who waits for her children Klal Yisroel to return.

We are all “Leibelech” lost on our way, as Dovid wrote in Tehilim (119:176):“תעיתי כשה אובד בקש עבדך” – “I have strayed like a lost sheep”. The Shechina our mother is waiting for her children to return home, to the Bais Hamikdosh where we once lived together. Her crying voice is echoing from one end of the world to the other crying out to us:  “Leibele Leibele where are you, please come home.”

Being sad over the destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh

The haloche (O.C. 1:3) is: “ראוי לכל ירא שמים שיהא מיצר ודואג על חורבן בית המקדש” – A G-d fearing person should always be sad over the destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh. If that is true all year, it is certainly true during the 3 weeks. If we were worthy we would be crying endless tears over the fact that we have no Bais Hamikdosh and are still in golus. But we are too busy chasing worldly pleasures and honor so the “eyes crying like water” fell on little Leibele. Hashem reminded us of the churban and our golus through the wicked killer of Leibele.

We must do teshuva to feel more pain over the churban, thinking more of Hashem’s honor that is so low in the world, over the pain of the Shechina not having a home on this world, and for the Jewish children who had lost all connections with Torah and Yidishkeit. We need to focus our feelings on Hashem’s pain over the churban.

The Gemoreh (Beroches 3.) says that there are 3 watches during the night and during each Hashem brays like a lion and says: “Woe is to my children whose sins caused the destruction of my home, and burned my dwelling and were exiled among the nations of the world.” Let us accept upon ourselves to console Hashem, so to speak, by learning his Torah as it says (ibid 8.): “מיום שחרב בית המקדש אין לו להקב”ה בעולמו אלא ד’ אמות של הלכה בלבד”“From the day of the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash all Hashem has left is the 4 amos of halacha.”

Let us pour out our hearts to Hashem as it says in Eicha (2:19): “שפכי כמים לבך נוכח פני ה'” – “shivchee kamayim lebaych nochach pnai Hashem”.

We must say to Hashem:

Ribbono shel Olam, it is true that out desires turn us away from you, and we are far from perfect, but look at all the pain we suffer while in golus: “הבט משמים וראה, כי היינו לעג וקלס בגוים, נחשבנו כצאן לטבח יובל, להרוג ולאבד ולמכה ולחרפה” – “Look down from Heaven and see how we are scorned by the other nations, with them trying to slaughter us, to destroy us, to beat us and to embarrass us.”

So many of us are first and second generation survivors of the Holocaust, when vicious killers slaughtered and burned 6 million holy Jews. “Ubchol zos shimcha lo shachnu”, Shuls and Batei Medrash all over the world are full of Jews coming in the morning and evening to learn Torah and daven to Hashem 3 times a day; Jews all over the world are involved in so many forms of Tzedokeh and chesed to the sick and other needy people, with love and limitless devotion. So we ask you Hashem “”Nuh al tishcochynu” – Pleas tate don’t forget us, take us out of this bitter golus, build a 3rd Bais Hamikdosh and you will see how we will serve you: “byirah kiymay olam uchahsnim kadmoniyos”, as they did in the “old days”.

In conclusion, we send condolences from the depths of our heart to the dear parents who are in such pain. Stay strong; accept the prayers and condolences of all of Klal Yisroel “Hamakom yenachem eschem bsoch shar avlai Zion vYerushalyim”. Try to find strength in the fact that your pure son Yehuda Leibel A’H was chosen as a public korbon to wake up all of Klal Yisrol all over the world to the need to do teshuva and make a real Cheshbon Hanefesh.

May his Neshomeh rest in the Eternal world and may we all be zoche soon to Techias Hamaysim and the Geula Shlayma Bimheiru Beyomeinu in our days Omein.


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Translation Leibele Olov-Hasholom

Parshas Pinchos

Dear Brothers and Friends.

Due to the terrible tragedy in Boro Park that cannot be expressed in words, we are devoting this mamar Leilu Nishmas Hayeled Hakodosh Vehatohor: יהודה לייב בן רבי נחמן עליו השלום – Yehuda Leib ben reb Nachmen olov hasholom. Please learn this mamar for his pure holy battered soul that was torn away from us so viciously.

About this week’s mamar we are happy to announce, that beginning this week we have a new setting of the mamar. Bigger letters spread on 4 pages instead of the small letters cramped into 2 pages. So do we have a beautiful new layout for the translation done by the devoted Dr. Fox. I hope this will make it easier for you to learn and enjoy.


Using the Shem HaMeforesh Pinchos Snatched the Letter “Mem”
from the Maloch HaMoves and Saved Klal Yisroel from Extinction


In this week’s mamar for parshas Pinchos we discuss the Medresh, that Pinchos was rewarded for saving Klal Yisroel from extermination with eternal life. Also As a reward for his act of self-sacrifice Pinchos became Eliyahu HaNovie, who will announce the future geulah to Klal Yisroel. The question is: What is the connection and measure for measure, between his act of self-sacrifice — killing Zimri and Kozbi in order to save Klal Yisroel — and the reward of indicating the “geulah”?

To explain this we base the mamar on the Zohar HaKodosh, who explains that while Bnei Yisroel were engaged in their misdemeanor — which came as a consequence of Bilam’s advice and was led by Zimri ben Soloo — Pinchos saw the letter “mem,” full of blood, flying above the heads of Yisroel. He perceived that this was the sign of the Malach HaMoves — attempting to unite the letter “mem” with the letters “vov-Sov” to form the Hebrew word “MVS” (death), in order to bring widespread death to Klal Yisroel.

Pinchos reacted by uttering the Shem HaMeforesh and capturing the letter “mem.” Upon realizing that Pinchos had snatched the letter “mem” away from him, the Malach HaMoves immediately backed away. Pinchos joined the “mem” with the numerical value of his own name Pinchos (208) — represented by the letters (“reish” equals 200; “ches” equals 8 ) — to form the word “Romach”. Describing this event, the possuk states: “Vayikach Romach Beuodo” – And he took a spear in his hand — in other words, he used the letter “mem” which he snatched away from the Malach HaMoves to kill those involved in the wrongdoing. As a result the plague was halted.

We go on to show that the effect of Pinchos’ actions were similar to the events at the time of the geuleh — when HKB”H will extract the letter “mem” from the name of the yetzer hara. Therefore HKB”H indicated to Pinchos that just as he established peace between Yisroel and HKB”H in this world by nullifying the decree of death from the people of Yisroel, so will he have the privilege of doing so once again in the future, when he comes to announce the geulah to klal Yisroel Bimheiro Beyoumeinu Omein.

This is only an opening to the mamar which is deeper than usual, but you can handle it if you will only take the effort to learn it.

Let us all have a wonderful and lechtiken Shabbos



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Parshas Bolok

Bolok and Bilam Joined Forces to Trigger the evil power
of Amoleik that is incorporated in their names!

Dear Chaveirim.

In this week’s mamar for parshas Bolok we read about Bolok king of Moav who sent messengers to Bilam to come and curse klal Yisruel. We propose an explanation regarding the connection of Bolok and Bilam that sheds light on the entire parsha, based on a great chidush from the Zohar hakadosh (Rayah Mehemnoh Ki Seitzei, 281:); that the source of Bolok and Bilam’s spirits, were both from the klipo – evil force of Amoleik above. This is the reason why they, more than any other people or nation, hated Klal Yisroel so vehemently.

The Zohar adds that this is also why the four letters of Amoleik – “ayin-mem lamed-kuf”, is incorporated in the very names of these two enemies of Yisroel — the first tow letters “ayin-mem” in the end of Bil-am and the last two letters “lamed-kuf” in the end of Bo-lok. Due to their common origin from the impurity of the klipah of Amoleik, they joined forces to wage war against Yisroel.

How beautiful does this coincide with the Midrash (Esther Rabbosi 7, 13) that before Amoleik attacked Yisroel in Rephidim, they sought Bilam’s counsel; he was the one that advised Amoleik to attack at that time. Due to their common origins, it was only logical for Amoleik to seek the wicked Bilam’s advice. He advised them to wage a war against Yisroel.

In that battle, Amoleik succeeded to the point that Yehoshua and his men had to weaken Amoleik by means of the sword. For this reason, we are commanded (Devorim 25, 17): “Zochor es asher oso lecho Amoleik” – Remember Amoleik’s actions on our way out of Egypt — how he attacked the stragglers who were weak and tired and how he did not fear the Almighty. Even after we have inherited the land and conquered all of our enemies, we are commanded to eradicate all memory of Amoleik!

Rashi explains: All of the other nations were afraid to wage war against you; Amoleik’s initiative opened the door and gave them hope. Rashi draws the analogy to a boiling hot bathtub that is impossible for any living creature to enter; nevertheless, one irreverent scoundrel jumps into the tub and, despite getting burned, cools down the waters for others to follow.

It is now quite clear why Bolok sought Bilam’s assistance with respect to waging war against Yisroel; for, he was the one who advised Amoleik to be the first nation to attack Yisroel and they met with some success. Additionally, Bolok perceived that both of their spirits derived from the negative force of Amoleik — as the combination of the last two letters of each of their names testifies. For this very same reason, Bilam was willing to join him — to unleash the power of Amoleik contained within the two of them and to direct it against Yisroel.

This wonderful idea opens for us a fascinating view with a wide spectrum, to explain a play of letters that we find in this parsha. It is all based on the incredible universe of the holy mekubel Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac of Koritz, zy”a, in his sefer “Bris Kehunas Olam” who reveals, that Yehoshua was only able to weaken the first two letters of the name Amoleik, the “ayin-mem” . The two remaining letters of Amoleik “lamed-kuf” remained intact.

We now understand why the people of Moav chose Bolok over Bilam to be their king in that moment of need. They were aware that Yehoshua had already weakened the letters “ayin-mem” of Bilam’s; they realized, as well, that the two letters “lamed-kuf” of Bolok’s remained seemingly intact. Thus, they chose Bolok to be king of Moav hoping to arouse the remaining power of Amoleik in order to do battle with Yisroel.

This is only the beginning of a joyful journey into the depth of the parsha that leaves us speechless to see, how in every word of Torah there are hidden so many secrets and revelations. You can also enjoy the 9 page wonderful translation of Dr. Fox who did, as always, such an amazing job.

A lechtiken Shabbos


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Translation-Bolok 5771