Sunday, August 31, 2014

Parshat Shoftim- "The Time Has Come"

We read this Parsha of שופטים (Shoftim) in the month of אלול (Elul), which is known as the month of תשובה (repentance) before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. חזל (Our rabbis) said that during this month, G-d descends from the seventh heaven to the first heaven to be close to us. During this month we should prepare ourselves to be judged by the real Judge on יום כפור (Yom Kippur), or The Day of Atonement .

שפטים ושטרים תתן לך בכל שעריך

Judges and officers shall you appoint for yourself in all your gates...(Deuteronomy 16: 18).

תתן לך: Appoint for yourself: Appoint your conscience. A person should always judge himself first and his conscience should follow him in every step he takes.

בכל שעריך: The Siftei Kohen explains that our body is like a city with seven gates: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and the mouth. A person should appoint internal judges to examine everything you hear, see and let out of your mouth.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Parshat RE'eh "Be a Blessing"

                                              ראה אנכי נתן לפניכם היום ברכה וקללה.          

See I place before you today a blessing and a curse (11: 26).

The word ראה contains the word אר orlight. This connection teaches us that if we observe G-ds commandments and are able to differentiate between right and wrong, then we can increase the amount of light in the universe.

The directive ראה (See) is written in the singular form, while the word לפניכם is written in the plural form. This is in order to teach us that G-d not only values us as a nation, as it is written,

והיתם לי לעם סגולה

but that he also values each of us as individuals, like a father who loves each of his children.

...ראה אנכי

See I..

Why does G-d use the אנכי form of I, instead of the אני form here?

To teach that in order to merit the first of the Ten Commandments,

אנכי ה אלקיך

I am G-d your Lord

we have to see G-ds deeds. We have to open our eyes and see G-ds creation starting with the daily functions of our body to the rules of the cosmos.

Additionally, the word אנכי can be read as אנוכי or selfish, because when a person is consumed with his ego, he can not see his surroundings and understand that everything is from above.

(Exerted from parsha to go)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Parshat Eikev- "Medicine for Your Soul"

       The Hebrew word "Eikev" means the heel of ones foot. Why does the first sentence in this weeks parsha start off with the word "Eikev" (which means the heel of ones foot)? In order to teach us that the mizvoth  Hashem commanded us to do are all equally the same. Not one mitzvah has a lower importance than the other. So, this comes to teach us that we cannot pick and choose which Mitzvah we want to keep because every mitzvah is important and we should strive to work on each mitzvah slowly but gradually to  reach the level that each of our precious souls need to reach in this world. The Torah is our prescription to our problems. The word Eikev is heel, to teach us that life is made up of steps, and if we realize that every little step leads to a bigger one that can define our lives, we will automatically be more careful with the steps we choose to take. Every step we take in our life leads us to a destination. Depending on your choice that will lead you to either a good or bad destination. The only way we will bring the redemption closer is if we serve Hashem with happiness. Otherwise, the depression will overcome us and we will not have faith in the coming of Mashiach and we won't care to do mitzvoth so let us all try to find one mitzvah that we will always do with ultimate happiness. Some examples, welcoming guests, kiruv, respecting parents, preparing for shabbat etc.
Make one mitzvah yours. Have a wonderful Shabbat =)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Parshat Va'Etchanan "The Power of Prayer"


      In this weeks parsha Moshe Rabbeynu emphasizes that the covenant Hashem made with our forefathers, Hashem made the covenant with us for every generation and for eternity. Moshe reiterates the the 10 commandments that was handed down to us at Har Sinai. Moshe utters the famous plea of Shema Yisrael that we say twice a day "Hear O Israel: Hashem our G-d, Hashem is One" (6:4) The parsha also continues to teach us of the art of prayer, prophecy and teachings that guarantee our Jewish survival. "For you are a holy people to Hashem, your G-d; Hashem, your G-d has chosen you to be his own treasure, out of all nations that are on the face of the earth" (7:6). In the beginning verses of parsha, Moshe Rabbeynu prays to Hashem, saying even if we are undeserving, we beseech G-d to find favor with us, accept our prayers, and grant our request as a free gift. We as an individual believe that G-d "owes us". Those who think like that are foolish because Moshe Rabbeynu who was on a high level didn't even think like that. The generation we live in is short on patience but long on expectations. If we feel that are prayers haven't gotten answered, we are quick to give up in frustration and self-righteous indignation. However, prayer is our only solution. We should never forget that when problems overwhelm us, it is only God who can help. Our sages teach us that since the destruction of the Holy Temple, all the gates to heaven are locked, except for the gates of tears, which means that genuine, heartfelt prayers can bring many miracles, We should never give up. Each us of should find one holy person from the Torah such-as; Moshe, King David etc. and learn about their greatness and faith of God in order that we can try our best to attain that belief and love of God.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Parshat Devarim: 'History Repeats Itself'

      In this weeks parsha, we learn that its never too late to start a new life, to allow ourselves to change. This is so, because no matter how much the Jewish nation complained or sinned against G-d, Hashem still forgave us and gave us many other chances to reconnect with Him. Unfortunately, what we are going through for the past thousands of years is feeling hatred from other nations simply because we are Jewish. However, we all need to understand that history repeats itself we will always be hated until Hashem will bring the final geula, redemption and the entire world will know the truth about Hakadosh Baruch Hu. We need not forget that it is only human like to make mistakes and therefore Hashem gave us the process of repentance, Teshuva. The three steps of repentance are verbally admitting the sin, feeling guilty about the sin and to try not doing it again. That is why it is never to late to start a new life and we must learn from our history how we can fix our present situation.
Shabbat Shalom! 

Parshat Pinchas


Numbers: (25:10-30:1)

In the conclusion of last weeks Parsha, the Torah described how Zimri the son of Salu from the tribe of Shimon, and a Midiante woman, Cozbi the daughter of Zur (an elite member of the Midianite nation) came together inappropriately before Moses and the entire congregation. Pinchas rose up from the congregation and killed both Zimri and Cozbi, thus halting the plague that had killed 24,000 people of the Children of Israel.

This weeks Parsha, named for Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aaron, opens with G-ds approval of Pinchass actions, who has turned My wrath away from the Children of Israel, in that he was zealous for My sake among them, so that I didnt consume the Children of Israel in my jealousy (25:11).

G-d gives Pinchas a covenant of peace and of an everlasting priesthood. G-d also orders Moses to distress the Midianites and to destroy them because they distressed you with their wiles, with which they tricked you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the chief of Midian, their sister, who was killed on the day of the plague caused by the incident at Peor (25:18).

G-d then orders Moses and Elazar, the son of Aaron, to conduct another census of the nation, counting each male of twenty years of age and older, that are able to go forth to war in Israel. Among the list of names recorded, the Torah mentions Zelophehad the son of Hepher, a descendent from the tribe of Menassah, who had no sons but five daughters whose names are given: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah.

In the midst of the list of names, we read of the laws of inheritance in Israel. G-d speaks to Moses at the beginning of chapter 26 and tells him that the land will be apportioned through a lottery system according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit (26:55), though the large tribes are to be given a larger portion than the smaller tribes.

The daughters of Zelophehad then come to Moses and Elazar and tell them that their father died in the desert, for his own sins, but that he had left no sons to inherit his land.

They ask, Why should our fathers name be eliminated from his family because he had no son? Give us a portion along with our fathers brother (27:4).

Moses brings their cause before G-d and G-d recognizes their right to their fathers land, saying What Zelophehads daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their fathers relatives and turn their fathers inheritance over to them (27:7).

G-d then pronounces the law that states that if a man passes away and has no son, his property must be handed over to his daughter. If he has no daughter, the inheritance is then transferred to the mans brothers and if he has no brothers, to his fathers brothers. If the father has no brothers, the inheritance is to be handed over to the nearest relative in his clan.

G-d pronounces, This is to be a legal statute for the Children of Israel, as G-d commanded Moses (27:11).

G-d then orders Moses to stand on the summit of Mount Abarim, from which Moses would be able to see the land of Israel but not enter it. G-d tells him that You shall see it, and then he will be gathered onto his people (27:12).

The Ohr HaChaim comments that this seeing was a spiritual vision of the land, rather than just a physical one.

G-d states that this is Because you disobeyed My command in the desert of Zin when the congregation quarreled, to sanctify Me through the water before their eyes; these were the waters of strife at Kadesh, in the desert of Zin (27:14).

G-d appoints Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom there is spirit as Mosess successor (27:18). Moses lays his hands on Joshua and commands him in the presence of Elazar and the entire congregation, according to G-ds command.

The Parsha concludes with the specific details of various sacrificial offerings, including those to be brought daily, on the Sabbath, Rosh Chodesh (the New Moon), Passover, Shavuout, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Shemini Atzeret.

17th of Tammuz

Today the 17th of Tammuz sitting and learning Torah for the Beit hamikdash to be rebuilt all I hear in the media is tragedy after tragedy while on my end I hear the beautiful birds chirping singing to Hashem to put an end to this. It all started on June 12, 2014 it was the beginning of our unity when three precious boys were abducted and killed right away by HAMAS. Every single Jew in the world whether or not he was frum, Ashkenazi or Sephardi we all united in prayer to bring back our boys... 18 days later we find their bodies under rocks dead... Gilad ShaR, Eyal YifraH and Yaakov Naftali FrenkeL. The boys last letter of there last names spell RACHEL. Rachel our mother has the power to ask for Hashem to save her children because she kept quiet when her father gave her sister Leah to marry yaakov. She sacrificed her happiness for someone else to be happy and not to look like a fool. Do any of us have an ounce of that sensitivity in us? Every sin that each of us does without knowing or with full intention we are giving energy to our enemies to harm us every bad word ..wrong doing we create a bad angel who has the ability to harm any Jew in the world it's scary how we are the cause of such tragedies without intending to harm anyone. Hashem sacrificed His home for us to still exist. What will you sacrifice in order to bring the redemption closer?