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Haftarah: Yirmiyahu 1:1 - 2:3

JANUARY 20-21, 2017 23 TEBET 5777


"A man went from the house of Levi and he took a daughter of Levi." (Shemot 2:1)

Our parashah speaks about the marriage of Amram to Yochebed, the parents of Moshe. Actually, this was the second time they got married. Rashi explains: And he took a daughter of Levi, he had been separated from her because of the decree of Pharaoh, and he remarried her. This is the meaning of the verse, "And a man went," that is to say he followed the advice of his daughter, who said to him, "Your decree is more severe than that of Pharaoh. If Pharaoh decrees only against the newborn males, should you have decreed against the females as well?" And now in response to his daughter's criticism, he took his wife back.

Our Sages add that Amram was the leader of that generation and when he left his wife so did everyone else, and when he took her back, so did everyone else. This demonstrated how loyal the people were to their leader. We call this Emunat Hachamim (having faith in the Sages).

Rabbi Yitzchok Hisiger has a great story that illustrates the amazing power of the Hacham. Rav Chaim Kanievsky was recently visited by four brothers whose sister was in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Wishing to help their sister, the brothers went for testing to determine who is a match for their sister. The tests revealed that the four brothers were equally eligible.

The brothers agreed to visit Rav Chaim and have him draw lots to determine who would be the benefactor. The younger brother was hesitant about undergoing the process of kidney donation, but he agreed, for the benefit of his dear sister, to go with his brothers to Rav Chaim. As fate would have it, Rav Chaim's lottery determined that the younger brother should donate his kidney.

The brother became emotional. As tears filled his eyes he shared that he has a family of little children and was afraid to undergo the surgery. Everyone present was sure that Rav Chaim would say to hold the lottery again without the inclusion of this brother.

To the surprise of all present, Rav Chaim was firm. "Since you were selected via the lottery, you should be the one to donate the kidney. And you won't lose or suffer because of it," added Rav Chaim. "This will be to your benefit." The brother finally agreed.

After removing the kidney, the doctors were shocked to find a malignant growth underneath, with metastasis to the pancreas. The doctors said that they would not have been able to identify the growth without removing the kidney. If some more time had passed, the growth would have expanded and posed a serious threat to the young man's life. As a result, a different brother donated his kidney. The younger brother had undergone the process to save his sister's life but had instead saved his own. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Reuven Semah

Anyone who reads the story of Moshe being placed in a basket in the river to prevent his death at the hands of the Egyptians, and then Pharaoh's own daughter saving him can't help but be amazed by the ways of Hashem! Pharaoh made many sweeping decrees to kill the baby boys at birth and afterwards solely to prevent the birth of the redeemer of the Jews. His own daughter saves Moshe from the river and brings him up on his father's lap! The verse in Tehillim says: ??????????????????????????? - it is a time of affliction for the house of Jacob and from it he will be saved. The Rabbis tell us that the letters of the word ???? spell also ????- from Haman. In the story of Purim we find a similar parallel. Haman made decrees to wipe out all the Jews but from his very own hands came the salvation! He erected a gallows to kill Mordechai and from his own hand came his downfall when he was hanged on those gallows! This should give us hope and inspiration in our difficult times. The land of Israel is besieged by its enemies, and our people are going through tough times. But Hashem is preparing the time for redemption, and through the enemies' own hands will come the salvation for ????????. We must pray to Hashem with intensity and devotion to merit to see this very soon in our own days! Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka

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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.

Call to 646-279-8712 or email (Privacy of email limited by the email address)

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