Parshas Toldos

An Amazing Solution to the Mystifying Riddle in the Zohar Hakodosh:

The Luz Bone from which the Dead will rise to Life
Is Called “Besuel HaArami” because he is a Fraud!

Dear Chaveirim.

In this week’s mamar for parshas Toldos, we discuss one of the great mysteries in the process of “Techiyas Hameisim” – when HKB”H will bring life to all the dead. He will do it by rebuilding the entire body from the Luz bone that does not decay in the grave and remains complete.

Where do we find it in this week’s parsha? In the possuk: “Vayehi Yitzchok ben arboim shono bekachto es Rivkeh” — “Yitzchok was forty years old when he took Rivkeh”. The Zohar Hakodosh reveals that this possuk contains the secret of “Techiyas Hameisim”. “Yitzchok” refers to the neshomeh that will return and reenter the lifeless body reviving it with life; “Rivkeh” refers to the physical body that will come back to life.

“Bas Besuel HaArami”the daughter of Besuel HaArami, is a reference to the fact that HKB”H will bring back life to the physical body by rebuilding the single bone that does not decay in the grave and remains intact. Therefore, the body is referred to as the “daughter of Besuel HaArami — since it renews its life from the bone that is called “Besuel HaArami”.

Why then is this bone that does not die and does not decay being called “Besuel HaArami”? Rashb”i – Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai explains, “Besuel HaArami” means “Besuel the Fraud”. This bone exists long after the other bones, because it misleadingly does not partake from human eating as the other bones do. As a consequence, it remains strong and is the essential building block for the revival of the body. Rashbi adds: “This bone is a fraud and was always a fraud“.

The Meforshim on the Zohar express there wonder: Why did Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai choose to refer to this unique bone, the basis for the revival of the dead, as “Besuel HaArami” — “it is a fraud, and was always a fraud.” Why is it a fraud? Furthermore, if, indeed, it is a fraud, how does it qualify to remain complete thus becoming the building block from which Techias Hameisim will begin?

We begin a wonderful journey to explore the source of this bone Luz, the bone that HKB”H created with a Godly spark to survive and counter fight death. In the end of this journey we will find out that when the Luz saw how the Yeitzer Hurah represented by the serpent, the “Nochosh Hakadmoni”, used lies and deceptions to trap Odom and Chava in his net, to tempt them to eat from the forbidden fruit of the Eitz HaDaas, knowing that this will cause them to die as promised by HKB”H: “On the day that you will it from it you will dye”. The Luz knew well that if he too participated in the great sin of eating from the forbidden fruit, he too will die and decay like the rest of the body, and there will not be left anything to build back the decayed body when the time is ripe for Techias Hameisim.

Therefore the Luz decided to follow the guidelines of the possuk (Tehillim 18, 26): “Im ikesh tispatol” — with the crooked you shall act crooked. Just as the serpent acted cunningly and dishonestly with Odom and Chava, so, too, did the Luz bone act cunningly and dishonestly with the serpent. It pretended that it participated in eating the fruit of the Eitz HaDaas, and it also fooled the serpent into believing that it died along with the rest of the body.

This, then, is the meaning and praise ascribed to the Luz bone by Rashbi: “It is a fraud, and was always a fraud”. In other words, he learned from the serpent the Yeitzer Hora, how to act cunningly, in keeping with the principle of: “Im ikesh tispatol” — with the crooked you shall act crooked.

This in fact is the accurate way to fight the Yeitzer Hurah – use his tactics and deceptions to fight him. If he doesn’t want you to go to the Beis Hamedresh, just tell him that you are going to schmooze with your friends. When you get there take out a Gemoreh and learn with joy and pleasure.

Next week we continue the wonderful voyage in conjunction with the coming parsha parshas Vayaitze.

Have a wonderful Shabbos



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Translation Toldos 5772

Parshas Toldos 5772


Parshas Chayei Soro

Two engagement jewels containing conflicting messages:

“Bekah” – separation versus “Tzmidim” – connection?


Dear Brothers and Friends.

Sorry chevre, this week it didn’t work out to get the wonderful translation of Dr. Fox. So I will only give you a condensed introduction of the mamar.

In this week’s parsha, parshas Chaye Sara we learn about how Eliezer searched a wife for Yitzchok, his master Avraham’s son. His plan was to go to the well and ask a girl to give him a drink. If the girl were to offer to also give water to his camels, it would be a sign that she is intended to be Yitzchok’s wife. And it happened exactly that way so he gave her a nose ring: “Bekah mishkolo” – weighing half of a shekel and: “Shnei Tzmidim” – 2 bracelets weighing 10 shekel.

We know that Eliezer was not just a simple slave, in reality he was a godol – a giant in Torah. Avraham described him to Hashem as the steward of his household – “Damesek Eliezer”, Eliezer of Damascus. Rashi quoting the gemore in Yume explains that damesek refers to the fact that: “Dole umashkeh mitoroso leacheirim” – he drew the Torah of his master and watered others; he learned it and taught it to others.

Realizing how learned Eliezer was in the ways of his master Avrohom Ovinu, we must assume that his choice of gifts contained a deep message concerning the tremendous change that was about to happen to Rivkeh by her new status of entering into the house of Avrohom and marrying his son Yitzchok. So we want to understand why he chose these 2 specific gifts?

Moreover, The Kli Yokor brings to our attention a very interesting point. Looking more closely at the two gifts we realize that they seem to actually contain conflicting messages. The nose ring was the weight of half of a shekel, “Beka mishkalo”, beka comes from the word split. It was the weight of a shekel that is split in half. So this gift symbolizes something whole that was split in two. The two bracelets, on the other hand are called “Tzmidim”, that means clinging and connecting symbolizes something split that was united and connecting. Why than did Eliezer choose to give Rivkeh two conflicting messages?

Going in the path of the Kli Yokor I want to suggest a thought as follows: Eliezer chose these two gifts to teach Rivkeh a powerful lesson concerning the Torah based life that she would need to follow if she married Yitzchok, who continued his life pattern in the ways of his father Avrohom.

We know that the constant pursuit of wealth contains a great danger to cause a split between the individual and Hashem. As, the Torah says (Devorim 8:11 -18)

“Be careful that you do not forget Hashem, your G-d… lest you eat and get satiated… building good houses… having your animals multiply, and having a lot of gold and silver…. and you will forget Hashem…. and you will say to yourself: “My strength and the might of my hand that has accumulated this wealth for me. But you must remember Hashem, your G-d, for it is He that gives you strength to make wealth”.

This might be the reason why Hashem commanded us in Parshas Ki Siso (Shemos 30:13) that each person whether rich or poor must give half a shekel. It is a reminder that the danger of pursuing wealth is that it serves to separate and split us from Hashem, thus becoming half instead of being whole and complete, by letting us fool ourselves into thinking that we can succeed on our own.

To protect us from this, learning Torah serves to strengthen our connection to Hashem. As it says in Gemora Kidushin (30:): Hashem says that he created the Evil Inclination but he created Torah as its antidote and if you study Torah your will be able to escape the clutch of the Evil Inclination. The Zohar also explains that the Torah serves as a bond to connect Hashem to Bnai Yisroel.

Eliezer’s gifts than were to teach Rivkeh the lesson of the split shekel, the half shekel which symbolized how chasing money causes a split with Hashem and the two bracelets which symbolize how Torah and Mitzvos connect us to Hashem. If Rivkeh wanted to become part of Avrohom’s household by marrying Yitzchok, she would need to abandon the wickedness and love of wealth that she grew up with and embrace a new type of life, being married to Yitzchok and spiritually more connected to Hashem’s Torah and Mitzvos.

Since the Torah is eternal and its stories are lessons to us, we need to realize that this was not just a message to Rivkeh as to what her household must be like but to all of us for all times.

We continue to explore the two gifts of Eliezer by shedding new light on what chazal teach us in the Gemoreh (Soteh 2:a): : “Koshe zivvugo shel odom kerias yam suf” – It is difficult to make matches between a man and a women as was the splitting of the sea when we left Mitzrayim.

The Meharal Miprag raises a question: The act of “Krias yam suf” was to split the oneness of the sea into two, while marriage is an act of making one, bringing together two people who were separate. How than can we say that matching up a man and a woman is comparable to krias yam suf?

To explain this we discuss a fascinating insight concerning a concept mentioned in the Zohar that a husband’s and wife’s souls were once united before they were born, but when they come down in this world and enter a body they are separated, and the time is right they are reconnected…

To learn more about it we will have to turn to the Hebrew maamer. I hope you will find the effort worthwhile. And if nothing else, you will appreciate the great effort by Dr. Fox when he prepares the weekly translation for us.

Have a wonderful and sweet Shabbos


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Parshas CHayei Soroh 5772

Parshas Vayeiro

A Incredible Insight from the Chasam Sofer zt”l

The Dispute between Avrohom Ovunu and and Sarah Imeinu
Regarding “kemach” versus “soles”
Concerns Two Methods of learning Torah

Dear Chaveirim.

In the mamar for this week’s parsha, parshas Vayeiro, I finally fulfilled bezras Hashem an old dream, to explore a fascinating idea of the great and holy leader of Klal Yisroel the Chasam Sofer zt”l.

It concerns what we read in this week’s parsha, about Avrohom Ovinu’s encounter with the three malochim sent by HKB”H to visit him. The possuk tells us (18, 6): “Avrohom hastened to the tent to Sarah and said to her: “Hurry! Knead three measurements of kemach soles – flour! And make cakes!”

Concerning this passage, the Gemoreh (Bovo Metzio 87a) woders as following: “It is written kemach“, which is unrefined flower, “and it is written soles”, which is fine flour that has been sifted thoroughly, so which one was it? The Gemoreh explains: Sarah instructed to give the guests “kemach, whereas Avrohom instructed to give them “soles”. Seemingly, this suggests that Sarah was stingier concerning the guests, since she did not wish to prepare them cakes from fine flour, soles, but rather from meal, kemach.

This is surely surprising in light of the fact that we find that HKB”H instructs Avrohom Ovinu (Bereishis 21, 12): “Whatever Sarah tells you, heed her voice”. Rashi enlightens us: “We learn from here that Sarah’s gift of prophecy surpassed that of Avrohom”. If so, how can we even imagine that Sarah was being stingy and did not wish to entertain the guests as graciously as Avrohom did?

Furthermore, the Midrash Tanchuma (Chayei Sarah 4) teaches us that Avrohom Ovinu praised Sarah at her funeral in the following terms (Mishlei 31, 1): “Eishes chayil mi yimtzo” — Who can find a woman of valor? The Midrash clarifies the subsequent pesukim as follows (ibid. 19): “Kapo porso leoni veyodeho shilcho loevyon” – she provided food for those who passed by, was charitable and clothed those in need. We see, in fact, that Avrohom praised Sarah for the gracious manner in which she welcomed guests. So, how is it possible to describe her as being stingy toward guests?

To solve this complicated riddle we base the mamar on the fascinating thought of the Chasam Sofer who explains as follows:

The matter of Avrohom Avinu welcoming guests can be viewed on two levels. First of all, he provided them with physical nutrition; in this context, “kemach soles” simply refers to meal and fine flour. Secondly, he nourished them spiritually by enlightening his guests in the ways of learning Torah. The dispute that Avrohom Ovinu was having with Sarah was spiritually: Avrohom wanted to present the guests with “soles” — thoroughly refined mitzvohs and halochos — not requiring involved debates and discussions, “pilpul,” in order to arrive at the truth of the matter.

Sarah, on the other hand — whose prophetic powers were greater than his, wished to present them with “kemach,” so they will have to work hard to refine the flour, by investing hours of learning and pilpuim until they will finally achieve the desired clarity of the halocho. She knew that the Torah has no value if you sit back and don’t strain your thoughts to dig into the depths of Torah. At first glance, her actions could be misinterpreted as representing stinginess. The possuk in Mishlei (31, 27) said by Avrohom Ovinu praises her and teaches us otherwise: “Tzofio halichos beiso velechem atzlus lo sochal”  — She anticipates the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of laziness.

This wonderful chidush of the Chasam Sofer opens us a new panoramic view of the preparation that Avrohom Ovinu and Sarah Imeinu made, to counteract and fight the malochim who wanted that HKB”H should give them the Torah and not us. But let’s leave the rest of it to the original mamar…

Have a wonderful Shabbos


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Parshas Vayeiro 5772

Translation Vayeiro 5772

Parshas Lech Lecho

The 4 word code: “El HoOretz Asher Arehkoh”
that activates the God’ly GPS to navigate and guide us
through the wonderful but yet complex Journey of Life!


Dear Chaveirim.

In this week’s mamar for parshas Lech Lecho, we learn a most important and powerful message concerning every Jew. Worthwhile to review over and over throughout life until we finally master it:

We read in the beginning of the parsha how Hashem said to Avrohom Avinu: “Lech lecho meiartzecho” – “Go from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you”. The Zohar Hakodosh reveals that HKB”H repeats this mamar to every neshomeh before it descends from the heavenly world of the neshomos to this world — to dress itself in a physical body: Hashem instructs the neshomeh: “Lech lecho meiartzecho” – “Go from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house” – in the heavenly world –  “El HoOretz Asher Arehkoh”“to the land and to the body that I will show you”.

We deal with the question: Why did HKB”H’s choose not to reveal from the beginning to Avrohom Avinu, and after that to all neshomehs, their final destination, instead he tells them: “El HoOretz Asher Arehkoh”“To the land that I will show you”? We suggest a new thought, based on a very significant lesson thought by all our holy Rabbis:

If we examine man’s lifelong journey in this world, from the moment of his birth and his very first breath, until his neshomeh departs from his body and returns to HKB”H, we find that the entire journey is shrouded in mystery. No human being has a clue what is in store for him in this world. Will his journey be smooth and straightforward or will it be complicated and full of obstacles?

Yet, it is essential for all of us to remember that the key to unraveling these mysteries and uncertainties was already revealed by HKB”H to Avrohom Avinu, the first Jew in the world by revealing to him the 4 word code: “El HoOretz Asher Arehkoh”. These four words are the secret code to unravel and solve all of life’s mysteries and uncertainties. Hashem says to each of us: I will not reveal to you from the very beginning where you are destined to go and what challenges you will have to overcome. These matters are concealed and known only to HKB”H, King of the Universe, Who knows all of our secrets.

Nonetheless, there is a promise from HKB”H inherent in this directive: “El HoOretz Asher Arehkoh” — I will not abandon you on this journey. For, on your own, you will be unable to navigate your proper path in life; you will surely stray, like a lost sheep, not knowing whether to turn right or left. Rest assured that I will be with you every step of the way throughout life’s journey — guiding you in the right direction, helping you overcome all of the obstacles in your way — until you arrive at the correct destination — the destination and purpose for which you came down into this world.

So brothers and friends, let us use this wonderful heavenly GPS, to navigate in our wonderful yet complex journey in life. But most important, let us not forget to activate it with the four word code revealed by HKB”H to Avrohom Avinu and to all neshomos that enter this world to start their journey of life: “El HoOretz Asher Arehkoh” – I will be with you every step of the way throughout life’s journey — guiding you in the right direction Omein.

May we all have a sweet and wonderful Shabbos

Pinches from Yerushalayim


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Parshas Lech Lecho

Translation Lech Lecho 5772