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Simcha Groffman

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

Parashas Beha'aloscha

Refuah Shelayma

"Moshe cried out to Hashem saying, 'Ana Kel na refa na la' ('Please, Hashem, heal her now!')" [Bamidbar 12:13]. The word "na" (please) is used twice in the same verse. Why? The Kesav Sofer has a novel and interesting explanation of this verse. Moshe Rabbeinu was praying for his sister, Miriam. She was sick with tsoraas. This disease came about because of her aveyra (sin) - speaking loshon hora about Moshe Rabbeinu. Tsoraas and indeed all sickness is a form of yissurin (suffering) in this world. Yissurin has a cleansing effect, as the verse states, "Praiseworthy is the person whom Hashem afflicts..." (Tehillim 94:12). The sick person's suffering in this world will save him from a much harsher punishment in the next world. If so, then why do we pray for the refuah shelayma (complete recovery) of a sick person? Do we want him to suffer terrible punishments in Olam Habbo? Of course not! Therefore, we pray for two things: refuas ha'guf - a physical healing of the body, and refuas ha'nefesh - a healing of the soul, so that he will not require the punishment of gehennom. This is one explanation of the verse, "Heal me Hashem, and I will be healed. Save me and I will be saved..." (Yirmiyahu 17:14). The prophet is asking for a cure for both his body and soul, so that he will not have to suffer neither in this world nor in the World to Come.

And so, our original question is answered. Why is the word "na" used twice in the same verse? Once for refuas ha'nefesh, and once for refuas ha'guf. For Moshe Rabbeinu felt Miriam's suffering, and pleaded for Hashem's mercy. However, not at the expense of Olam Habbo.

Kinderlach . . .

Every experience in life has a positive side to it. The Kesav Sofer shows us the benefit of being sick. This thought is useful to the sick person himself, to keep his spirits up. However, we his friends and relatives must have rachmonus (mercy) and sympathy for him. We must do whatever we can to ease his suffering. That includes praying for him. The words of the eighth blessing of the Amidah - the tefillah for sick people - almost exactly follow the verse in Yirmiyahu. "Heal us Hashem, and we will be healed. Save us, and we will be saved." We are praying for a refuah shelayma (complete recovery) for his body and soul. Kinderlach, may Hashem accept all of your prayers, and send a refuah shelayma - body and soul - to all of the sick people, amen.

Heart and Mind

The man awoke early in the morning, ready to begin his day. He reached down for the basin of water that his servant had prepared for him the night before. The moment the servant heard the water splashing he entered, smiled happily, and brought his master a warm towel to dry his hands. As his master washed himself, the servant prepared the clothes for the day - freshly laundered and ironed, along with brightly shined shoes. He then went on to cook a delicious and nutritious breakfast for his beloved master. He prepared his briefcase with all of the things that his master would need for the day. And so, he wished his master success, and watched him drive away. Once he was out of sight, the servant got busy. Today was "window washing" day. He rotated the heavy cleaning jobs, one every other day, finishing the entire house every two months. He knew that his master liked everything sparkling clean and orderly, therefore he looked for ways to please him. When he saw a new cleaner or polish in the store, he would buy it, clean, and polish just to please his master. He would spend a lot of time thinking of more efficient ways to organize the house. When he saw a new organization tool in the store, he would buy it - just to please his master. In short, the servant's thoughts were always on his master. He was always doing things to give pleasure to his master, and he was ecstatically happy about it. He loved his master and only desired to please him.

"It is not so with My servant Moshe; in My entire house he is the trusted one" (Bamidbar 12:7). What is "Hashem's house"? How did Moshe Rabbeinu earn the title of "trusted one"? The Ben Ish Chai relates that "Hashem's house" refers to the heart and mind. These are the two parts of a person upon which The Almighty can rest his Shechina (Divine Presence). The mind is the source of chochma - wisdom, and the heart is the source of kavannah - intention. For every deed that a person performs, the mind directs the body to carry out the action, and in the heart is contained the person's intention. Many people can recognize deeds that externally appear to be good, however, only The Almighty knows what is in a person's heart and mind. Therefore, the Torah declares that Moshe Rabbeinu was faithful to Hashem. His mind was totally dedicated to serving Hashem, and his heart directed him to have the proper kavannah - Ahavas Hashem - a burning desire to please The Holy One. The servant in our story is a parable to serving the master with all of your heart and mind.

Kinderlach . . .

We all do Hashem's mitzvos. How do we perform them? Do we half-heartedly go through the motions, not even keeping all of the halachos (laws)? If so, we may not even get the mitzvah. A more contentious person may be careful to keep all of the halachos. However, he just does the mitzvah out of habit. He is not really interested in it. A more enthusiastic person may be more excited about the mitzvah. Why? Because he is looking for a reward or afraid of a punishment. He is ultimately thinking about himself, not Hashem. A person with pure intention will perform the mitzvah because he LOVES Hashem, and has no greater desire than to please Him. This is a high madrayga (spiritual level) kinderlach. However, it is worthwhile to keep in mind. It is a life's work. Dedicate your heart and mind to Hashem.

Parasha Questions:

How many years did the Leviim learn the halachos of the avodah? (Rashi 8:24)

How many Korbon Pesach's were sacrificed during the 40 years in the desert? (Rashi 9:1)

What were the reasons for bringing a Korbon Pesach Shayney? (9:10 and Rashi)

What was the punishment for not bringing the Korbon Pesach? (9:13)

How long were the Bnei Yisrael camped at Har Sinai (Rashi 10:11)

Who was Chovav and why was he called by that name? (10:29 and Rashi)

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