JUNE 29-30, 2012 10 TAMUZ 5772
"The entire assembly saw that Aharon had perished and they wept for Aharon thirty days, the entire house of Israel." (Bemidbar 20_29)
Once, a couple who were not getting along came to the Bet Din for a divorce. However, to their surprise, it didn't work out, because they met a Rabbi there whose job was to try to bring couples back together. He was successful and they returned to living happily in peace. They eventually had a child and wanted to name him after the Rabbi. They were Sephardic and their custom was to name after the husband's living father. They asked their Rabbi and he quoted them the Midrash that when Aharon died, all the people named their new child Aharon. They did this because Aharon was so successful in bringing peace to the people. Therefore, the Rabbi said they should try to convince their father, in an easy manner, and explain to him why they want to name the baby after the Rabbi in the Bet Din, if they can.
In the book Tuvcha Yabi-uh, the author talks about peace and harmony in the home. Many times the harmony is interrupted because of problems of livelihood. Once, a person came to complain that his shalom bayit was upset. The Rabbi asked him if he successfully earned a living. He answered that he wasn't having so much success. The Rabbi advised him to try various jobs to support his family. The Rabbi told him at the end that if he doesn't find success he should even take a job at the sanitation department as a garbage man. If this might seem extreme, that's because we fail to realize the extent of the obligation that the Torah demands each man to support his wife.
One cannot put a price tag on shalom bayit. And to this Aharon dedicated his life. Shabbat shalom. Rabbi Reuven Semah
The symbol for healing that we are all familiar with is a serpent on a staff, and this comes from the perashah of the week. When the Jewish people spoke against Hashem and Moshe, they were bitten by snakes and other animals, and turned to Moshe for help. Hashem told him to fashion a snake onto a staff and let the Jewish people look at it, and they will be cured. The Rabbis ask, "Does a snake on a stick cure just by looking at it?"
The answer is that as they looked up, their heart turned to Hashem, and they realized that our Father in Heaven can do anything, and they rededicated themselves to Him. Then Hashem removed the illness because it was just a tool to get them closer to Him.
As we go through life today, we invariably have to go to doctors and use medicine. Although we don't see the serpent on the staff, we must "look upwards" and remember that Hashem is the Master Healer. He is the one who sent the illness and He is the one who can remove it. Every time we take even an aspirin, we should say a small prayer that Hashem should bring us to a complete recovery. We should also rededicate ourselves to Him and to His service so that the need for the illness will not be there, and this way we will have a full recovery. Shabbat Shalom.
Rabbi Shmuel Choueka
"And speak to the rock before their eyes that it shall give its waters." (Bemidbar 20:8)
Why now did Hashem instruct Moshe to speak to the rock whereas in Refidim (Shemot 17:6), when they thirsted for water and complained, Hashem told him, "You shall strike the rock and water will come forth"?
Hashem said to Moshe, "When the child is young his teacher hits him and teaches him. Once he becomes older, he reprimands him with words. Similarly, when the rock was small you hit it, but now you shall speak to it. Teach it and it will bring forth water."
This may be further expounded: The rock is analogous to people who at times seem to be "hard as rock" and obstinately refuse to direct their lives morally and ethically as a Jew should.
The incident in Refidim occurred before the Torah was given. The only method available then to guide a Jew in the right path was to strike him harshly., The episode in our perashah, however, took place after the Torah was given. The way to reach a Jew now, is not through striking him, but through talking to him with sincerity and warmth and introducing him to the beauty of Torah.
The Torah assures that with such an approach one will successfully penetrate and "venatan meimav - he shall give his waters." One will eventually bring to surface the beautiful spark of Judaism hidden within him. (Vedibarta Bam)
Ruth could not figure out why her little son Joel was sitting on the floor looking miserable. Her penetrating questions hung unanswered in the air, and her guesses as to what might be upsetting the child yielded no reaction. Joel remained long-faced and motionless, his arms locked around his knees.
Finally, Ruth's frustration reached its peak. "If you want something, why don't you tell me what it is?" she exclaimed.
"I want to call Daddy in his office to remind him to bring home the toy that he promised me," replied the little boy.
"If that's all you wanted, all you had to do was ask!" Ruth retorted as she dialed her husband's number and handed the phone to Joel.
Children sometimes seem to believe that adults have special powers of prophecy. Frustrated at not having everything they want, little ones expect grown-ups in their vicinity to know better than to leave them lacking their heart's desires. It never even occurs to them that Mom or Dad doesn't know exactly what they want!
This may be something that children can't comprehend - but adults can. Many of the common household spats that develop between husband and wife can be avoided by proper communication. Couples need to accept the fact that humans do not have telepathy. Nor do they have ESP. People must ask for what they want. Both spouses must become proficient in asking for what they need in order to function in a peaceful home.
Hashem states about our requests to Him: "Before they ask, I answer." This, however, applies only to Him. He knows what we are thinking. Human beings do not.
Of course, how something is said is as important as what is said. Demanding might invoke a negative response. Nagging may annoy the person most able to fulfill your wish. If you are asking for something, make your request in the proper way.
But foremost in getting what you want from another is to clearly convey the message that you want it. Remember, you don't live with a prophet; you live with the simple person you married. (One Minute With Yourself - Rabbi Raymond Beyda)
A quick tip to boost the power of your prayer. Hazal tell us (Masechet Baba Kama Daf 92A) that Hashem loves the tefilot of one Jew for another so much that anyone who prays on behalf of a fellow Jew with similar needs will have his prayer answered first. A special service has now begun to provide people with names of others who find themselves in a similar predicament. You can call with complete anonymity and get the name of someone to pray for and give the name of someone that needs our prayers. The name of the service is Kol Hamitpalel. Categories include: Marriage; Income; Health; To have children etc.
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