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Simcha Groffman

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

Parashas Beshallach

Out of Sight

"Good Yom Tov everyone!"

"Good Yom Tov, Abba. How were the tefillos this morning?"

"Beautiful. Now I am ready for a wonderful meal of matza and Imma's delicious Pesach food."

The father goes to hang up his coat and accidentally knocks into the coat rack. Something falls down to the ground...a slice of bread!!!

"Oy vey! Look at that! A slice of bread! What do we do?"

"Let's burn it, like we did with all of the chometz yesterday."

"We can't do that. We are not allowed to light a fire on Yom Tov unless we need it."

"Let's throw it far away."

"How can we touch it? It's mukzeh!"

"We can't just leave it there. Someone might forget and eat it."

The question is:

What should they do with the chometz?

The answer is:

The Gemora (Pesachim 6a) quotes Rav Yehuda in the name of Rav who says, "Turn over a vessel on top of it (the chometz.)" Why? We must put the chometz out of sight, in order that we will not accidentally come to eat it. Then we will dispose of it after Yom Tov. Why not get rid of it right away? Rashi explains that we cannot handle it (to throw it out) because it is mukzeh. The Rema (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 446:6) adds that we cannot burn it in its place, even if we do not move it. The Mishna Brura explains that in order to start or increase a fire on Yom Tov, there must be a necessity for that fire (e.g. cooking). Most poskim do not consider burning chometz a necessity for Yom Tov. Therefore, it is sufficient to cover it with a vessel.

This puzzle and answer is for learning and discussion purposes only. Do not rely upon it for psak halacha! Consult a Rav to determine the correct halachic ruling.

Ma'aminim Bnei Ma'aminim

"Abba, can you please help me with my homework?"

"My pleasure, Chaim. What do you need?"

"The Rebbe asked us to come up with a plan to strengthen our emunah."

"That is quite an undertaking, Chaim. Emunah is a lifelong project. However, we have an excellent example from this week's parasha."

"What is it Abba?"

"The mun. The Bnei Yisrael left Mitzraim with enough food to last for one month. Then they began to get hungry. They complained to Moshe and Aharon. Hashem responded by sending down the mun. Here is how He describes it. 'I am going to rain down food for you from Heaven. The people shall go out and collect each day's portion on that day, so that I can test them, whether they will follow My teaching or not' (Shemos 16:4)."

"Food from Heaven. That sounds great, Abba. No one had to work for his food. What was the test?"

"We have to examine the situation, Chaim. The Bnei Yisrael were two million people in the desert, with no food whatsoever. Without this food from Heaven, they would all die very painfully in a short period of time. They were totally dependent on an open miracle from Hashem to sustain their lives. You can only imagine their joy when the mun came down for them - ready to eat."

"It saved their lives. They must have been eager to gather as much as possible."

"Exactly, Chaim, and therein lay the test. They were commanded only to gather only one day's portion. If they did not obey and took extra, it would rot overnight."

"We have no concept of that, Abba. We are not in a barren desert. We have a store at the corner that is well stocked with every kind of food. When Imma goes to the store, she buys at least enough food for a week. We put it in the pantry and the refrigerator, and eat it as we need it."

"Very good, Chaim. Can you imagine life with no stores, no pantry, and no refrigeration? That means no source of food, and no way to store up any supplies. Multiply that by two million people in an unlivable desert. They were completely dependent on open miracles."

"Why did Hashem put them in such a situation? He could have led them through an inhabited land, where there were provisions."

"The Ramban explains exactly that point, Chaim. The only food that they had was this bread from Heaven, just a daily portion each day. This was a test for them, for their ultimate good, in order that they would have emunah in Hashem forever. Each day they would finish all of their food, and look up to Heaven, hoping that The Almighty would be kind to them and feed them tomorrow. They learned to ask Him for sustenance each day, and thank Him when it came. In this way, they came to trust and believe in Him."

"That is a real lesson in emunah, Abba."

"Yes Chaim. We still benefit from it. It was implanted so strongly within our souls, that we are called "ma'aminim bnei ma'aminim" (believers descended from believers). We have the emunah within us, we only have to awaken it and strengthen it. Study this parasha of the mun every day. Think about how our food also comes from Hashem. Pray to him for sustenance every day, and thank Him when it comes. This is a plan to strengthen your emunah, Chaim."

"Thank you Abba!"

Kinderlach . . .

When Imma puts a yummy meal in front of you, think for a moment. Where did that food come from? The store. Where did the owner get it from? Ultimately from the farmer. Who made his crops grow? Who gave his vegetables the water they need? Who gave him the feed for his chickens and cows? Hashem. He is The Provider of everything. When you make your blessing before eating, remember that Hashem created this food, and brought it before you, delicious and ready to eat. Thank Him. Pray to Him and ask Him to continue giving you food. This is the way to strengthen your emunah, kinderlach. Remember, we are "ma'aminim bnei ma'aminim."

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