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Simcha Groffman

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Parashas Beha'aloscha

B'ezras Hashem

"According to the word of Hashem, the Bnei Yisrael journeyed, and According to the word of Hashem they encamped. All the days that the cloud (of glory) would rest upon the Mishkan, they would encamp. When the cloud stayed a long time over the Mishkan, the Bnei Yisrael would keep Hashem's restrictions and not travel. Sometimes the cloud would be upon the Mishkan for a number of days; according to the word of Hashem would they encamp and according to the word of Hashem would they journey. And sometimes the cloud would remain from evening until morning, and the cloud would be lifted in the morning and they would journey; or for a day and a night, and the cloud would be lifted and they would journey. Or for two days, or a month, or a year, when the cloud would linger over the Mishkan, resting upon it, the Bnei Yisrael would encamp and not journey, but when it was lifted they would journey" (Bamidbar 9:18-22). This passage describes how the Bnei Yisrael were instructed to travel, camp, and guided on their way in the midbar. All of their travels and encampments were "al pi Hashem" - According to the word of Hashem.

The sefer Eved HaMelech cites the Shelah HaKadosh who illuminates this parasha with a brilliant insight. The Torah is hinting to an important mussar thought. Before a person begins any activity or movement, he should say, "Im yirtzeh Hashem" (If Hashem wishes [it to be so]), or B'ezras Hashem (With Hashem's help). If he takes a trip, he should say, "I am traveling with Hashem's help and I would like to reach my destination with His help, if He so wishes." When he arrives, he should give thanks and praise to The One who brought him here by saying, "Behold, with Hashem's help I have reached this place!" In this way, he will constantly mention the Heavenly Name when he decides to do something, while he is doing it, and when he successfully completes it.

Similarly, when he engages in buying or selling merchandise he should say, "I trust in Hashem that He will give me success." If he profits he should say, "I profited with Hashem's help" as the verse states in parashas Eikev, "Then you shall remember Hashem your G-d: that it was He who gave you the strength to make wealth" (Devarim 8:18). Similarly, if he fails, cholila (Heaven forbid), he should say, "The came to me from Hashem for a sin that I committed." He should then search his deeds measure for measure, perhaps he was dishonest in a monetary manner, or withheld tsedaka from a poor person. He should return the money, admit his mistake and confess to the Almighty. If a person begins a business venture he should say, "I am going to do this with Hashem's permission, and for the sake of His Name." He should pray a short prayer, "Master of the World! Your holy words state, 'One who trusts in Hashem is surrounded by chessed.' 'You give sustenance to all (living things).' Bless this venture that I am about to undertake with a portion of Your chessed."

A person should believe that everything that happens to him is from the Holy One, Blessed Be He. Even unpleasant things are from Him. Wicked people who hurt us are just his messengers. Therefore, whether good or bad things happen to him, he should believe in the Almighty and say, "This is from Hashem."

Kinderlach . . .

The Shelah HaKadosh is describing the reality of the world. Everything that happens to us is decreed from Above. The Holy Shelah then gives us the tools to internalize that reality and live with it. Talk to Hashem! Observe His ways! Realize that He is The One who will grant you success or failure in any undertaking. Therefore, ask for His help and blessing before you begin. If He grants you success, thank Him. If the outcome is not pleasant, acknowledge that He is trying to teach you something. Examine your deeds, learn the lesson, and correct the problem. Bring the Almighty and His ways into your regular conversation. Live with Him every moment of the day! "According to the word of Hashem, the Bnei Yisrael journeyed, and According to the word of Hashem they encamped."

The Judge

"Yes, gentlemen please step forward and present your claims."

The first man nervously approached the Moshe Rabbeinu. He would present his case first. Then his opponent would make his claim. Moshe Rabbeinu would then decide. This was the legal system here during the forty years of wandering in the desert.

"This is my wagon. He stole it from me"

The second man countered.

"Absolutely not. It is my wagon. I bought it from you."

Moshe Rabbeinu pondered the claims for a moment.

"I see. Do either of you have any proof?"

Both men reluctantly answered.


"Then we will wait until tomorrow and Hashem will show us who is right."

Every night, the miraculous food called mun (manna) fell in the desert. The Jewish people did not have to work at all for their food. It came to them straight from Heaven. However, not everyone received it in the same way. The tsaddikim (completely righteous people), received their mun right by their doorsteps, baked cakes ready to eat. The beinonim (those who were neither completely righteous nor completely evil) had to gather their mun and bake it into cakes. The reshaim (evil people) had lots of work to do. They had to travel far to get their mun, then they had to grind it, knead it, and bake it. That night, after the claimants had approached Moshe Rabbeinu, the mun fell by the home of the first man and not by the home of the second man. They returned to Moshe Rabbeinu the next day.

"The mun fell by my house today."

"That is Hashem's sign that you are the rightful owner of the wagon."

Kinderlach . . .

The Gemora (Yuma 75a) relates several incidents like this one, where the mun revealed necessary information about people. In those days, a person did not have to guess whether he was right or wrong. The mun was his judge. What about judgment in our times? Are we doing the right thing or not? How will we know? Today we do not have the mun to decide for us. However, we do have parents and Rabbis. Hashem gives them special siyata di'shmaya (Heavenly assistance) to make the right decisions. Yehoshua Ben Prachiya said (Pirkei Avos 1:6), "Appoint a Rav for yourself." When we have a Rav, we can ask him all of our questions. He will then guide us along the right path.

Parasha Questions:

With what do we eat the Korbon Pesach? (9:11)

Who would blow the chatzosros when the camp traveled? (10:8 and Rashi)

At what other times were the chatzosros blown? (10:9-10)

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