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Simcha Groffman

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

Parshas Nitzavim/Vayelech

Together As One

Eli, why are you limping?
I have a sore on my little toe. Every step hurts so much. I can't even walk straight. My whole leg hurts because I am walking crooked. I am off balance and my back hurts too. All these pains are giving me a headache. Oy vey, that's terrible! Who would have ever thought that from one little toe, your whole body can hurt. The toe seems so small and insignificant . . . until it begins to hurt. That's the way it is Dovid. All of the parts of our body are inter-connected. If the smallest limb or organ is not working properly, the whole body is affected. Eli, believe it or not, you have given me a whole new insight on this week's parsha. Please share it with me, Dovid. The verse states, "For you to pass into the bris (covenant) of Hashem . .

." (Devarim 29:11). The word "you" is in the singular form, yet the rest of the parsha is written in the plural form. The Keli Yakar explains that the singular from of "you" is an indication that this bris was different from the others. This was a bris of unity among the Jewish people. At that point in time, each and every Jew became responsible for his fellow man. The deeds of each one of us affected the entire nation. Our sages describe this as, "All Jews are responsible for one another" (Shavuous 39a). The Keli Yakar describes the Jewish nation as one body. When one limb is injured, the whole body feels it. Similarly, when one Jew sins, it affects all of us.

Children . . .

"All Jews are responsible for one another." What does this mean? If my friend is having a hard time, I should help him. If my friend needs to borrow something, I should lend it to him. If he needs help studying, I should learn with him. These are the types of things that promote unity among the Jewish people. Kinderlach, national unity is one of the main goals of Rosh Hashanah. Do your part. Take the responsibility to help others.

See The Future

"For you to pass into the bris (covenant) of Hashem . . ." (Devarim 29:11). The Ramban explains that this bris was the root of the Jewish people's service to Hashem throughout the generations. From this root would spring the flowers of future generations. Nothing bitter can come from a sweet root. On the other hand, the verse warns us what can happen if the root is bad. "Lest there be among you a root flourishing with gall and wormwood," (Devarim 29:17). Bitter plants and flowers, which represent major flaws in the service to Hashem, will sprout from bitter roots.

Rosh Hashanah is approaching. These two days, the first of the year, are the "roots" of the entire year. What happens during the year will be determined on Rosh Hashanah. That is why it is so important to daven well and do mitzvos properly on Rosh Hashanah. They will serve as the roots of a good year.

Children . . .

Put your best effort into your tefillos (prayers) this Rosh Hashanah. Be on your best behavior in shul. Do as many mitzvos as you can. Try especially hard to do acts of chessed (kindness) for others. Make a special effort to listen to Abba and Imma. Do not even think of arguing or fighting with the other kinderlach. Rosh Hashanah is two very important days. The roots of the year. We want to see beautiful flowers grow from the roots that you plant this Rosh Hashanah.

Help The Community

Everything will be judged. Every deed we have done. Every minute of every day. Quite a sobering thought. How can we hope to succeed? Who can say with confidence that his good deeds will tip the scales? Can we rely on a miracle? The Alter of Kelm says no. An individual cannot rely on a miracle. The Jewish people as a whole, however, can rely on miracles. Ours is a miraculous existence. How then, can one tip the scales in his favor? By strengthening his ties with the Jewish people. Those who teach Torah to the masses strengthen the spiritual fiber of the Jewish people. Teaching and supporting the teaching of Torah is among the most significant ways to help one's judgment on Rosh Hashanah.

Parents . . .

Rosh Hashanah is quickly approaching. "Kinder Torah" is a Torah teaching project which reaches thousands of families worldwide each week. It enriches the Shabbos table, increases the shalom bayis (family harmony), and strengthens the education of Jewish children worldwide. The budget grows along with the ever-increasing circulation. We need your support at this time. Now is the time, before the Days of Judgment to make your contribution to "Kinder Torah", the worldwide Jewish education project.

Monthly Sponsorship $720
Weekly Sponsorship $180
Partial Sponsorship $90
Supporter $50

Please make all checks payable to "Kinder Torah"
POB 5338
Jerusalem, Israel 91053

Thank you in advance.
LiShanah Tovah Tikatev Vitikatem.
May you be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life.

Wake Up!
Yitzy wake up, WAKE UP!
What? What happened? Where am I? What am I doing?
You were sleep walking.
Really? I never did that before. Thanks for waking me up Reuven. I could have really hurt myself. I could have bumped into something sharp, or fallen down. Don't mention it Yitzy. Do you know, my teacher was just talking about sleepwalking today. Really? What was he saying? He was teaching us about the blowing of the shofar. The Rambam writes that the sound of the shofar wakes us up. I don't believe that. Is anyone really sleeping in shul when it comes to the shofar blowing? He was speaking about the "sleep" of habit. A person sometimes just does things without thinking because he is accustomed to doing them. He does not stop to evaluate if they are right or wrong, good or bad. He just does them. Then along comes the shofar and says, "WAKE UP!" Think about what you are doing. If it is wrong, correct yourself. Even if you are doing well, but could be doing better, improve yourself. Be the best that you can be! Wow! All of that from the shofar? Now I understand why people cry when the shofar is blown. This Rosh Hashanah, I will really listen carefully. I really want to wake up and be the best that I can be.

3000 copies of Kinder Torah are distributed each week in Arzei Habira, Bayit Vegan, Beit Shemesh, Betar, Ezras Torah, Har Nof, Haifa, Kiryat Moshe, Kiryat Sefer, the Kosel HaMaaravi, Maalot Dafna, Mattersdorf, Mattisyahu, Netanya, Neve Yaakov, Ramat Shlomo, Ramot, Rannana, Romema, Rechovot, San Simone, Telz Stone, Unsdorf, Miami Beach, and on the Internet.

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Kinder Torah
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In Israel:

Kinder Torah
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Rechov Shadikar 11/2
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All contributions are deductible from Maaser Kesafim

For subscription information or to dedicate an issue of Kinder Torah please contact Rabbi Groffman at

Kinder Torah Copyright 1998
All rights reserved to the author
Simcha Groffman

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