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PARASHAT HA'AZINU/SHABBAT SHUBAH
Haftarah: Hoshea 14:2-10, Yoel 2:11-27, Micah 7:18-20

SEPTEMBER 26-27, 2014 2 TISHREI 5775

RABBIS' MESSAGES

"One with clean hands and a pure heart, who has not sworn in vain by my soul and has not sworn deceitfully." (Tehillim 24:4)

During the High Holiday season, we open the hechal a number of times to pray to Hashem to provide us with a good livelihood. The Tehillim we read is Chapter 24 "Le-David Mizmor." In the verse quoted above, David Hamelech mentions that a person should not be one who swears in vain and does not swear deceitfully. What is David referring to?

Rabbi Y.S. Elyasiv zt"l explains that in the Talmud (Niddah 30b), it says that every Jew is obligated to fulfill the vow his soul took before it was born, that "he should be a saddik and not a rasha.' However, David Hamelech mentions that a person should not violate two vows - one should not swear in vain and not in deceit. Rabbi Elyashiv explains with a parable: A person lent his friend $100 for a week. When the week was over, the borrower handed the lender back the exact bill he was lent a week earlier. The lender looked at the borrower in disbelief.. "If you were not going to use it, why did you borrow it from me in the first place?"

Hashem gives every individual the gift of life so that he can attain eternal reward. If a person sins, he unquestionably abuses that gift. But even when he does not sin, but fails to toil to perform misvot, he has likewise lived a life of vanity.

King David asks rhetorically, "Who will ascend the mountain of Hashem and reach his holy place?" He answers that it will be the one who has neither sworn deceitfully nor sworn in vain, the one who not only has not sinned but has also not wasted the opportunitiees that this world offered to ascend the ladder of spirituality by performing misvot and living a Torah life.

As we pray for parnassah, remember our commitments to grab every opportunity to do more and more misvot. Shabbat Shalom and Happy Holiday. Rabbi Reuven Semah

"Hashem created you forgetful and you forgot your Creator." (Debarim 32:18)

There was once a person who owed many people money, and every time they asked him for it he would get under tremendous pressure and have no way to respond. One day, his friend saw his suffering and suggested to him that any time a creditor asked him for money he should act crazy as if he cracked from the pressure of his financial burden. This way, they would eventually leave him alone. Sure enough, every time one of his creditors approached him for money he would talk about the weather, the stock market, etc., and carry on as if he'd snapped. In no time, the word was out that he had lost his mind because of his financial burden and people start leaving him alone. One day, the original friend who gave him this idea approached him and told him that the loan that he had given him was due. This so called crazy fellow began to carry on like he did for his other creditors. His friend then replied, "I gave you the idea to do this and you're trying to pull it off on me?"

Hashem created a human being with the ability to forget his problems and worries. Without this, a person would be overcome with all of the burdens life has to offer. If a person forgets Hashem or his obligation to keep the Torah and misvot, he is acting like the fellow in the story, since he is using the very gift that Hashem gave him for his benefit against his Benefactor. Let's not forget this lesson. Shabbat Shalom. Tizku Leshanim Rabot. Rabbi Shmuel Choeka

BUSINESS TRIP

"I was so insulted!" we often exclaim. "So-and-so ruined my whole day!"

Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, shlita, says, "Oversensitivity is a major cause of trouble in people's lives. It prods them to bear a grudge and take revenge.

When a person understands the temporary nature of his stay in this world and realizes how soon he will leave it, he is not concerned with insults. Rabbi Zelig Pliskin suggests that we start to think differently about insults to protect ourselves from the emotional and spiritual damage they cause.

Imagine, he says, a businessman on a trip bumping into someone who insults him. If he is wise, he will ignore the verbal punch. He is on business and cannot afford to waste precious time on trivial matters.

Our sojourn in this world is only a "business trip." We are here to do a job, then we will be going "home." We certainly don't have time to waste on trivialities. Insults are really irrelevant to our true bottom line.

Another point: The great Mussar master Shevet Mussar says: When insulted, you should ask yourself, "What harm is the person actually doing to me? Will I be missing a hand or a foot because of what that person said?" When someone says something that you deem insulting, change your perspective and ask yourself, "Am I really any different because of what that person said about me?" Definitely not! Stepping back from the hurt of the moment can protect your ego from emotional pain and help you go a long way towards successfully attaining your goals for the day.

And remember: You are on a business trip. You have a job to do. You have no time to waste on insults, and other such trivial matters. (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.

Call to 646-279-8712 or email kol18@attglobal.net (Privacy of email limited by the email address)

Please pass this message along. Tizku L'misvot.


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