Parshas Bo

The Deeper Significance of the Mitzveh of Tefillin

The Mitzveh of Tefillin Purifies the Five Senses:
Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste and Touch

B”H

Dear Chaveirim.

In this week’s mamar for parshas Bo we learn about the mitzvah of putting on tfillin on our left hand and on our head. We introduce a very important principle and fascinating idea found in both our earlier and later sources: The Ros”h, the Matei Moshe; The Vilner Goen and many more.  It is essential and appropriate for every Jew to keep this vital principle in mind as he puts on his tefillin.  The purpose of putting on the arm tefillin and the head tefillin is to purify the five senses HKB”H created in human beings — sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. 

It is apparent that four of these senses are located in the head:  sight in the eyes, hearing in the ears, smell in the nose, and taste in the mouth; whereas the fifth sense, the sense of touch, relates to the hands.  For this reason, HKB”H commanded us to place tefillin on the arm—to purify the sense of touch—and on the head—to sanctify the four senses located in the head, i.e. sight, hearing, smell, and taste. 

In the Gemoreh (Menoches 34b), Chazal learn out from pesukim that the tefillin “shel rosh” should contain four compartments to respectively house the four separate passages which mention the Mitzveh of tefillin.  In contrast, they derive that the tefillin “shel yad” should be comprised of one single compartment housing all four passages on a single parchment.  This, in fact, is the way the halocheh is accepted in the Shulchon Oruch (O.C. 32, 38).  Our sacred sources explain the rationale for this halocheh magnificently, utilizing the concept we have just introduced.  The four senses associated with the head are located in four distinct locations; sight relates to the eyes; hearing relates to the ears; smell relates to the nose; taste relates to the mouth.  As a consequence, the “shel rosh” which is worn on the head contains four distinct compartments.  On the other hand, since the sense of touch is associated with a single location, the hands, the “shel yad” worn on the upper extremity contains a single compartment. 

This opens for us new avenues that we will leave for the mamar itself.

Have a wonderfuls Shabbos.

Pinches

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Parshas Bo 5772

Translation Boi 5772

Parshas Voeiro

Exploring the Chasam Sofer’s Incredible Idea

Moshe Rabeinu Invented the Drash of “Kal VaChomer” and
Requested that HKB”H Present It in His Name to the Yeshiveh Shel Maalo

BS”D

Dear Chaveirim.

In this week’s parsha, parshas Voeiroh we read:

“Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying, “Come speak to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, that he send Bnei Yisroel from his land.”  Moshe spoke before Hashem, saying, “Behold, Bnei Yisroel have not listened to me, so how will Pharaoh listen to me?  And I have a speech impediment!”  Hashem spoke to Moshe and Aharon and commanded them regarding Bnei Yisroel and regarding Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to take Bnei Yisroel out of the land of Egypt”.

Rashi comments:  When Moshe argues, “so how will Pharaoh listen to me?”  this is one of ten instances in Tanach where the device of “kal vachomer” appears.  In other words, Moshe reasoned that if Bnei Yisroel — who desperately wanted to be freed from their difficult slavery — refused to listen to his message of redemption, why would Pharaoh — who had no interest in releasing them from slavery — heed his message?

In truth, when we examine this “kal vachomer” employed by Moshe, we encounter a difficulty that requires explanation: At the very start of his mission, Moshe argued that he was not fit or suitable due to his speech impediment; nevertheless, HKB”H remained steadfast in His choice of Moshe for this mission (Shemos 4, 10):  Moshe replied to Hashem, “Please, my Lord, I am not a man of words, . . . for I am heavy of mouth and heavy of speech.”  Then Hashem said to him, “Who gave man a mouth, or who makes one mute or deaf, or sighted or blind?  Is it not I Hashem?  So now, go!  I shall be with your mouth and teach you what you should say.”  So, what possesses Moshe to present the very same argument, once again, before HKB”H and to present it this time in the form of a “kal vachomer” – So how will Pharaoh listen to me?  And I have a speech impediment!?

We begin our discussion based on the illuminating insight found in the Chasam Sofer’s commentary on our passage.  He explains that when Moshe Rabeinu employed this “kal vachomer,” he intended to introduce this device as one of the thirteen principles by which the Torah is elucidated.  Furthermore, he requested that HKB”H repeat this “kal vachomer” in his name before the “Mesivtoh Deleilo” – heavenly Yeshiveh: “My son Moshe said such and such.” 

One of the beautiful explanations about Moshe’s “kal vachomer” is, that he already saw that Bnei Yisroel did not listen to him.  Now, he feared that if he went to Pharaoh, and Pharaoh did heed his words, it would not bode well for Yisroel.  It would put Yisroel to shame and be an even greater indictment against them for not having listened to him.  Thus, we can interpret Moshe’s argument as follows: Seeing that Bnei Yisroel did not listen to me; how will it appear, if Pharaoh, on the other hand, does listen to me? My lips will be sealed, for I will not be able to provide a legitimate defense.

The great Rabbi from Apt, zy”a, teaches us an important principle in his sefer Ohev Yisroel (Toldos).  The manner in which the world is conducted is dictated by the precepts of the Torah, with which HKB”H created the world.  We know that HKB”H used the Torah as a blueprint to create the world.   In a similar fashion, the daily renewal of creation is only accomplished by means of the novel interpretations of the Torah, “chidushim.”  In other words, by studying the laws, the halachos, of the Torah every day — with which HKB”H created the world — a person renews and reestablishes the ways in which the world is conducted, in keeping with the ways of the Torah.

Now we can understand how Moshe cleverly devised to introduce the “kal vachomer”; hence, seeing as the world is conducted based on the principles of the Torah, this acceptance in the heavens above would lead to a change in Pharaoh’s nature.  He would refuse to heed Moshe’s warnings and, thus, Yisroel would not be condemned for their refusal to listen to Moshe.

I hope you enjoy the mamar and have a good Shabbos

Pinches

~  For subscription to the  weekly newspaper “Hamachne Hachareidi” email news@hamachne.com. ~

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Translation Voeiroh 5772

Parshas Voeiro 5772

Parshas Shmos

Basyoh daughter of Paroh who was a Gilgul of Chava
Saved Moshe Rabeinu who was a Gilgul of Odom HoRishon

 

Yocheved stretched out her arm to save Moshe Rebeinu
to correct what she stretched her arm to take the forbidden fruit

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Yocheved hid Moshe for Three Months
until six days in the month of Sivan the Date of Matan Torah

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Paroh Is the Nochosh-Hakadmoni – the Serpent
Who Instigated the Sin with the Eitz-Hadaas

**********

“Paroh’s Daughter Went down to Bathe”
to Remove the Contamination of the Nochosh-Hakadmoni

 

Dear Chaveirim.

In this week’s mamar for parshehs Shemos, we learn about the birth of Moshe — HKB”H’s loyal servant and shepherd.  The Torah describes how he was saved from the Nile by Basyoh, the daughter of Pharoh. An event that illustrates the magnificent manner in which HKB”H oversees creation — pulling the strings behind the scenes, as it were.  At the precise moment that Yocheved placed Moshe Rabeinu, Yisroel’s future leader, in the basket at the bank of the Nile, Pharoh’s daughter went down to bathe in the river.  She saw the basket and saved Moshe.

Consider the unbelievable sequence of events.  Of all the people in Egypt, specifically Basyoh, the daughter of Pharoh — the source and essence of the Egyptian evil — decides to save the young Hebrew boy floating alone in the basket at the bank of the Nile.  It seems inconceivable that the personification of evil could produce such a daughter — who was prepared to perform such an glorious deed.  Without a doubt, it was not mere circumstance that HKB”H chose Basyoh to save Moshe Rabeinu, the future loyal shepherd of the people of Yisroel. 

In order for us to rise to this occasion; to reveal the deeper significance of these events, we base our structure on the writings of the Arizal in Sefer HaGilgulim (Chapter 67): “Basyoh was a Gilgul – reincarnation of Chava; since Chava was a product of HKB”H’s handiwork, she was named Basyoh [combined of 2 words] Bas-Yoh [yod hei] — “the daughter of G-d”

We introduce another vital concept that will enlighten us even further.  In the Arizal’s Likutei Torah (Ki Sisoh), he explains that Moshe was a Gilgul of Odom HoRishon; just as Odom HoRishon contained all of the neshomes in the world, so, too: “shokul Moshe keneged kol Yisroel” – Moshe was equivalent to all of Yisroel. 

“She stretched out her arm”
to Correct “She took of its fruit”

We can now begin to appreciate why Basyoh, a Gilgul of Chava, made such an effort to save Moshe, a Gilgul of Odom HoRishon.  She wanted to compensate for causing Odom HoRishon’s death in her first Gilgul — when she ate from the Eitz-Hadaas and gave him to partake, as well.  The possuk  describes this event as follows (Bereishis 3, 6):  “She took of its fruit and she ate; and she gave also to her husband with her and he ate”. 

Not only did she cause Odom HoRishon’s death, due to the sin of the Eitz-Hadaas, she caused the deaths of all of the neshomes contained within him.  As a consequence, all of those neshomes were megulgul – reincarnated and ended up in Egypt.  There they were purified and awaited Moshe — a Gilgul of Odom HoRishon — to lead them out of the darkness into the light, by giving them the Torah.  Thus, in order to remedy all of the neshomes that were damaged due to her unlawful activity, it was incumbent upon her to save Moshe. 

Viewed in this light, the following connection fits very nicely.  Concerning Basyoh, the possuk  states: “Vatishlach es amoso”.  The Gemoreh states that “amoso” refers to her hand.  She stretched out her hand to save Moshe, and, miraculously, her arm extended until it was able to reach Moshe’s basket.  Now, regarding the sin of the Eitz-Hadaas, the possuk  states:  “She took of its fruit and she ate; and she gave also to her husband with her and he ate” — once again the hand is used to take the fruit from the forbidden tree and to give it to Odom HoRishon — leading to his ultimate death. 

Therefore, to correct her previous act:  “Vatishlach es amoso” — she stretches out her hand, at the risk of her life, in order to save Moshe — a Gilgul of Odom HoRishon.  Although, she could not reach the basket by ordinary means, nevertheless, this act demonstrated the principle of (Shabbes  104a): “Habo letaher mesayem oso” — one who attempts to purify oneself receives heavenly assistance.  Her hand extended miraculously in order to assist her to complete her tikun — rectification — and rescue Moshe. 

How nicely this explains Chazal’s statement that Basyoh, the daughter of Pharoh did not die, but rather entered Gan Eden alive.  Based on what we have learned, we can suggest the following explanation.  By saving the life of Moshe — a Gilgul of Odom HoRishon — she made amends for the fact that she had brought death to Odom HoRishon and all of creation.  Subsequently, she returned to the status of Chava prior to the sin involving the Eitz-Hadaas — prior to being sentenced to die.  Thus, she merited entering Gan Eden alive.

How does all this connect to the fact that Pharoh the king of Egypt is the embodiment of the Nochosh-Hakadmonie – the serpent that caused Chava to eat from the Eitz-Hadaas? More fascinating than you can imagine but let’s leave it for the mamar.

Have a delightful Shabbos

Pinches

~  For subscription to the  weekly newspaper “Hamachne Hachareidi” email news@hamachne.com. ~

~ Click the link below for the full English translation ~

Translation Shemos 5772

Parshas Shemos 5772

Parshas Vayechi

The Incredible Revelation from the Heavenly Rabbi of Razdahl, zy”a

The Three “Ayin”s in “Shemah Yisruel” and “Boruch Shem”
Correspond to the Mishno: “Akavya ben Mahalalel says:
Focus on Three Things and You Will Not Fall Prey to Sin”

B”H

Shulom uberoche Brothers and Friends.

In this week’s parsha, parshas Vayechi, we read Yaakov Ovinu’s parting words to his twelve sons, the holy heads of the Shevotim, before his leaving this world: “Yaakov called for his sons and said, “Gather together and I will tell you what will happen to you at the end of days; assemble and listen, sons of Yaakov, and heed Yisroel your father.” Chazal teach us in the Gemoreh (Pesochim 56a) that at this momentous gathering Yaakov Avinu established the holy practice for all future generations of Jews to say “Krias Shema” twice daily, evening and morning.

They also tell us about the dilemma our great sages had whether to say: “Boruch Shem Kevod Malchuso Leolom Voed” or not?  On the one hand, Moshe Rabeinu did not include it in the Torah; on the other hand, Yaakov Ovinu did utter this proclamation.  The Rabbis instituted to say it silently.  An analogy is drawn to a princess who smells and craves a spicy stew.  If her craving is made public, she will be embarrassed; if she does not express her craving, she will suffer; therefore, her servants brought her the object of her craving clandestinely. The question is why is it a shame to say “Buruch Shem” consequently we need to say it silently?

We suggest a novel explanation based on a revelation from the heavenly mekubel eloki Rabbi Yehudah Tzvi of Razdahl, [the son-in-law of the world known Rabbi Zvi-Hirsh of Ziditchov] zy”a.  He notes that the letter “ayin” appears three times in the two pesukim of “Shemah Yisruel” and “Boruch Shem” — once in the former in the word “Shemah” and twice in the latter in the words: “Leolom Voed”.  He explains this phenomenon in seventy different ways – 70 like the numerical equivalent of the letter “ayin”. In his first explanation, which has practical applications and meaning for each and every Jew, he refers to the Mishneh (Ovos 3, 1): 

“Akavya ben Mahalalel says:  Focus on three things and you will not fall prey to sin.  Know from where you come, where you are going, and before Whom you are destined to give account and reckoning.  From where you came — from a putrid drop; where are you going — to a place of dust, worms and maggots; and before Whom you will have to give account and reckoning — before the Supreme King of kings, HKB”H”. 

These three focuses says Rabbi Yehudah Tzvi, are related to the three “ayin”s found in the two pesukim which express the oneness of Hashem.  After all, the very word “ayin” — which means eye in Hebrew — alludes to the process of looking and focusing.  So, since a person must focus on three things in order to avoid sin, the pesukim expressing Hashem’s oneness, correspondingly, contain three “ayin”s.  These three “ayin”s represent three areas which a person must focus on in order to avoid sin and to bring him closer to Hashem. 

He goes on to explain what type of focus each of these “ayin”s represents.  The letter “ayin” in the possuk “Shemah Yisruel” represents focus directed heavenward toward HKB”H: “Before Whom you will have to give account and reckoning — before the Supreme King of kings, HKB”H”.  The other two “ayin”s that are found in the possuk “Boruch Shem”, correspond to the other two items Akavya ben Mahalalel urges a person to focus on: “From where you came and where are you going”.

This magnificent idea opens up for us a fascinating panorama explaining the entire debate about these two pessukim: “Shemah Yisruel” and “Boruch Shem” and adds spice and fire to saying krias shemah with more kavoneh.

I wish you all a wonderful and delightful Shabbos
Pinches

~  For subscription to the  weekly newspaper “Hamachne Hachareidi” email news@hamachne.com. ~

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Parshas Vayechi 5772

Translation Vyechi 5772