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Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table

Parashas Bamidbar

Put it all Together

"What a beautiful mitzvah, Chaim; dancing in front of the chosson."

"I agree, Avi. A chassanah is one of the happiest events on the face of the earth."

As Chaim and Avi are dancing and talking, the band changes its tune. They begin to play a well known song. The words are from a verse in Tehillim.

"Yomim al yimei melech toseif shenosav kimo dor vador" (61:7).

Everyone stops dancing, looks toward the door and sees . . . the Rosh Yeshiva! He enters the dance-floor and begins dancing with the chosson. The guests all gather around, clap hands, and watch the Rosh Yeshiva and the chosson enjoy their special dance together.

"What a sight to behold, Chaim."

"I am enjoying it as much as you are, Avi. However, I have a question about this. Why do they always play that particular song when the Rosh Yeshiva walks in? Is there some deep connection between the two?"

"I had the same question myself, Chaim. I looked into many sefarim and never found an answer. I have an idea of my own. Would you like to hear it?"

"Sure, Avi."

"The translation of the verse is, 'May You add days onto the king's days! May his years be like generations!' It is a request for a blessing for the king. Perhaps the Rosh Yeshiva is being compared to a king."

"That is quite an honor for him."

"Yes, but I think the reason surpasses honor alone. The king has the middah (character trait) of malchus (royalty). The Rosh Yeshiva also exhibits that middah."

"In order for me to understand that, Avi, you have to explain to me what the middah of malchus is."

"Rav Shimshon Pincus zt"l speaks about it when he discusses this last week of Sefiras HaOmer. Each week we work on a different middah; a different facet of self perfection. During this time period we receive Siyata Di'Shmaya (Heavenly Assistance) to help us succeed in elevating these middos. Only after our middos are refined, are we deemed fit to receive the Torah on Shavuos. The last week is the middah of malchus. Rav Pincus describes malchus as shelaymus - completion. Malchus takes all of the other middos (chessed, gevura, tiferes, netzach, hod, and yesod) and combines them into one complete whole. One who has the middah of malchus has all of the middos, in beautiful balance. He is the complete person - the Adam HaShalem."

"What a beautiful person!"

"Exactly. The Rosh Yeshiva is such a person. He is a living example of all of the middos combined into a perfectly balanced whole person. He is the Adam HaShalem. He is malchus. Perhaps that is why they play the song which speaks about the melech. Who is a more stirring example of a melech than our beloved Rosh Yeshiva."

"May his years be as many generations!"


Kinderlach . . .

We are in the final days of the final week before Kaballas HaTorah. This is the week of malchus. This is the week when we combine all of the middos that we have worked on over the past six weeks into one perfect whole. This is the week that we can become shalem. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The Adam HaShalem is in balance. He is consistent. He is dependable. He is a pleasure to be with. He gives nachas to Hashem and to his fellow man. Kinderlach, you can be that person. You can reach malchus. This is the week to put it all together.

Today is THE Day

"I feel that I am ready Chaim."

"Me too, Avi. We have all worked hard these seven weeks, preparing ourselves for Shavuos. Now the holy day is almost upon us. What is our Avodas Hashem on the chag of Shavuos?"

"Excellent question, Chaim. The Nesivos Shalom speaks about this very subject. He begins by explaining that just as the Torah is eternal, so too the giving of the Torah is eternal. Shavuos, the holy day of the giving of the Torah is not just a commemoration of an event that happened over three thousand years ago. Rather this day, the sixth of Sivan, is forever infused with its original holiness. This year, like every year, we have the potential to experience the same Kaballas HaTorah that our forefathers merited, in all of its awe and glory."

"How do we do that?"

"I will answer that by revealing another aspect of Shavuos. The Nesivos Shalom cites the verse in Shir HaShirim (3:11) which entreats the Daughters of Tzion to gaze at Shlomo HaMelech adorned with the crown that his mother made him on the day of his wedding. The Medrash (Shir HaShirim Rabba) explains that The King is Hashem, the day of His wedding is Maamad Har Sinai, and the bride is Klal Yisrael. What does the King do on the day of His wedding? He gives gifts to His subjects. Hashem, the King with unlimited wealth, gives gifts that are priceless."

"How can we receive His gifts, Avi?"

"We must prove to Him that we are worthy to receive them. We need to demonstrate our desire to receive them. Finally, we must ask for them. Now, what is His greatest gift?"

"The Torah!"

"Correct, Chaim. That is what we want. We will settle for nothing less. In order to receive the world's most valuable gift, we must prove that we are worthy. That is what we have been doing these past seven weeks of Sefiras HaOmer. We have been working on our middos, perfecting ourselves to become the refined people who are worthy to receive and keep the Torah. Secondly, we show our desire for Torah by learning it with all of our energy. During these last days before Shavuos, and even more so on the Holy Day itself, we devote every possible moment to learning Torah. We learn and review what we have learned, using our minds to understand the subject as deeply and thoroughly as possible. This shows Hashem how much we love His precious Torah. Lastly, in our prayers, we ask Him to give us His invaluable gift. 'Load us up Hashem our G-d with the blessings of Your appointed time' (from the prayers of the day)."

"What are the blessings of Shavuos?"

"Excellent question, Chaim. In the times of the Beis HaMikdash we brought a korbon called 'Mincha Chadasha' the 'New Offering.' It symbolized renewal. Today is our wedding day, the day that a young couple begins their new life together. Today we renew our relationship with Hashem. We take His greatest gift, the Torah, and use it to come as close to Him as a kallah to a chosson. That is what we can accomplish on this day of Shavuos."

Kinderlach . . .

Shavuos is almost here. On that day we can receive a whole world of Torah. We can rise to great spiritual heights. We can come so close to Hashem. How? By eradicating any bad middos. By learning Torah with all of our might. By pouring our hearts out in prayer. Hashem will see how much we want to be close to Him and His Torah, and He will give us a wonderful gift this Shavuos.

Parasha Questions:

What preparation was necessary before the Bnei Kehas could carry the Aron Kodesh and its kelim? (4:5-15)

What was the difference between the number of bechoros and the number of Leviim? (3:46)

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