JUNE 24-25, 2016 19 SIVAN 5776
Day 49 of the Omer
"Why should we be left out by not offering Hashem's offering in its appointed time among the children of Israel." (Bemidbar 9:7)
If, for reasons beyond his control, a person can't perform a misvah properly, is there any point in doing it in part even if he does not fulfill his obligation of doing the misvah? For example, someone who can't eat a kazayit of maror, should he eat a little bit of it? Harav Moshe Feinstein zt"l brings a powerful proof from this week's perashah that one should do so.
When the individuals who were impure because they had come in contact with a deceased person came to Moshe Rabenu to plead that they should be allowed to bring a korban Pesah, they articulated a specific request: the korban should be offered by those Kohanim who were pure, and since by nightfall they too would be already pure, they would be able to eat it as well.
Ultimately, Hashem instructed Moshe Rabenu to tell these individuals to bring a korban Pesah on Pesah Sheni. But their request seems unusual. Our Sages teach us that, in fact, those seeking to get the misvah of korban Pesah must be in a state of purity (Pesahim 61a). Even if they would have joined in a korban together with those who were pure, the impure would not be fulfilling the misvah. So what were they seeking to accomplish?
Out of genuine love for the misvah, these individuals were eager to partake in any way possible - even if they couldn't actually fulfill the misvah! Rejecting the assumption that unless something can be done in its entirety it shouldn't be done at all, they were intent on doing whatever they could possibly do. Rav Moshe says that from this we learn that one should seek to connect oneself as much as possible with a misvah. For instance, even if one can't eat or sleep in a succah, he should take part in building one.
At every berit milah, the child is blessed that just as he entered the milah, he should enter into Torah, huppah and good deeds (ma'asim tobim). The word Torah certainly includes the performance of misvot as well. So why is there a need to bless the child with "good deeds"?
It is because there are some misvot that one can avoid performing, and yet not transgress any prohibitions. For instance, one is only obligated to wear sisit on a four-cornered garment. According to halachah, were one to wear any garments that don't have four corners, he would never have to wear sisit. Yet in their great love of misvot, Jews choose to wear a tallit katan (the sisit under our sshirts) so that they can perform the cherished misvah. This is the blessing we bless the baby at the milah. May he have the love of misvot to perform them even if exempt.
Rabbi Reuven Semah
"[The Jewish nation] traveled from the mountain of Hashem" (Bemidbar 10:33)
The Midrash tells us that this was one of the instances where the Jewish people did something wrong, and indeed the Torah interrupts the narrative with "i«r¨t?¨v ‹g«x±bˆC h¦v±h³u" (which doesn't belong there) in order to separate between the wrongdoings. What was wrong with them traveling from the mountain of Hashem? Actually, they only traveled when given the signal by G-d, so if it was time to travel, why should it be a sin?
The Rabbis tell us that they traveled like children leaving school, in a hurry and anxious to leave their place of learning. For children to run out when the bell rings, that is expected of them. But when adults, who just learned Torah from Hashem for one year at Mount Sinai, also rush to get away, that was a sign that it wasn't becoming internalized. If we look at Torah as a chore or as burdensome, it will not have its effect of enriching our lives the way it should. We should remember this whenever we finish praying or learning. Sometimes, before the hazan is finished, the majority of the shul is almost outside "like children leaving school." Let's allow the Torah and Tefillah to enrich us so that it will always be a pleasure. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka
It is really amazing. Every time you get a great idea and try to make it happen, obstacles get in the way. These can be either difficult or simple barriers blocking the successful realization of your dream. Had Marconi and Edison had luck like yours, you might think, who knows when - or even whether - the radio and light bulb would have been invented!
What you should realize, however, is that obstacles have no real power to prevent you from doing what you must; they only appear to have the ability to stop you. Rabbi Yisroel Miller says, "Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal."
When your new idea involves spiritual achievement - an attempt to grow to a new level - you must remember that it is Hashem who set you up with the challenge and that He gave you what it takes to pass the test successfully. No one volunteered to be born. No one chose his or her life circumstances. Hashem made the decision for each person's ultimate benefit. There is no obstacle you cannot overcome.
When a stumbling block tries to trip you up and make you lose sight of your goal, remember: it is only a test, and one that you certainly can pass with the tools the Tester provided for your use. Pick yourself up, rub your eyes, and refocus. Then push, climb, or go around the obstacle, and move ahead towards your goal. (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 firstname.lastname@example.org (Privacy of email limited by the email address)
Please pass this message along. Tizku L'misvot.
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