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Simcha Groffman

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

Parashas Pinchas

Eat the Wrapper!

One morning at the grocery store . . .

"Good morning Mr. Grocer! How are you?"

"Baruch Hashem. How can I help you, sir?"

"I am a wholesale supplier of food products, Mr. Grocer. I have a product here that is truly amazing. I would like to tell you about it."

"Go ahead, sir. I am all ears. I am always interested in a new product which can increase my sales and profits."

"This product is a sweet treat. It is extremely hi- tech."

"What do you mean?"

"The ingredients are all 100% natural. It contains no food coloring, no fillers, no preservatives, no fats, and no cholesterol."

"Sounds great so far. What more can you tell me about it?"

"It has a long shelf life, and a tantalizing aroma."

"You can smell it? Through the wrapper?"

"Yes, Mr. Grocer. The wrapper is the most amazing part of this high-tech product. It actually changes color depending on the flavor of the product inside. It is hermetically sealed, keeping the product fresh and delicious. However, the best part is . . . you can eat the wrapper!"

"Really? That is truly unbelievable! The kids will love it. I must see this wonderful product. Please show me a sample." "With pleasure."

The wholesaler reaches into his pocket and pulls out . . . an apple!

"Here it is."

"What is this, some kind of a joke? Apples are as old as the hills. Where's the hi-tech?"

"My dear Mr. Grocer, please take a few moments to think about this wonderful sweet treat from our Creator. It is delicious, nutritious, and healthy. No preservatives, additives, processing, just 100% straight from Hashem's Loving Hand. The peel is thin but effective. It keeps the fruit fresh for extended periods. Its color tells you what type of apple is inside, and when it is ripe. Best of all - you can eat the wrapper! Can any of our processed food concoctions match this masterpiece of culinary delight from the Creator of the Universe?"

"The truth is, I never really thought about it. I have been eating apples for so long that I just took them for granted. You have shown me how truly amazing they really are. Thank you sir. You have raised my awareness and appreciation of Hashem's gifts. To show you my gratitude, I am going to buy 50 pounds of apples from you! I'm going to try to teach the world to appreciate this wonderful food, as well as all of Hashem's gifts."

Kinderlach . . .

This week's parasha mentions Shavuos - Chag HaBikurim - the Holiday of the First Fruits (Bamidbar 29:26). We are now in the midst of the summer, and the markets are filled with many fruits. Appreciate them! Each one is a sweet treat straight from Hashem! More beautiful, delicious, and nutritious than any cookie or candy bar. Peaches are worth their weight in gold. Grapes, plums, bananas, apples, mangoes, cantaloupes, pears, and watermelons are all marvels of Hashem's wondrous gift called Nature. Appreciate the fruit you eat! Let it sweeten your life, by increasing your gratitude to The Provider of all good things!

Special Favor

"Therefore say, 'Behold! I give him My covenant of peace.'" (Bamidbar 25:12). These were Hashem's words, informing Moshe that He was forming a covenant with Pinchas ben Elazar ben Aharon HaKohen. The Ha'amek Davar points out two levels of fondness between Hashem and Pinchas. Firstly, Hashem formed a bris (covenant) with Pinchas. He has only done this with the most righteous people of all generations, of whom He is most fond, such as the Avos HaKedoshim (our Holy Forefathers). Secondly, Hashem informed Moshe that He was making this bris. Verbal expression of His affection shows how deep it really is.

This concept is expressed in Pirkei Avos (3:18). "Israel is dear (to Hashem) for they are called (His) children. As an act of special favor, He let them know that they are called His children. As the verse states, 'You are children to Hashem your G-d' (Devarim 14:1)." We see that Hashem has a special fondness for each and every Jew.

Kinderlach . . .

Hashem loves you. Don't ever forget that. You are very special to Him. Do you see how much Abba and Imma love you? There is nothing that they would not do for you. That is how much Hashem loves you. How do we know that He loves us so much? He expresses it. He tells the world that we are His children. Remember these two things always, kinderlach. One, Hashem loves you. Two, when you love someone, do not hesitate to express it. Watch your relationships bloom with that warm glow of love between people.

Independent Spirit

"Hashem said to Moshe, 'Take to yourself Yehoshua Ben Nun, a man in whom there is spirit, and lean your hand upon him'" (Bamidbar 27:18). The Ha'amek Davar explains that this was a tremendous pleasure for Moshe Rabbeinu. Yehoshua was his main talmid (student), who was beloved to him like a son. Now he was passing the crown of leadership over to him.

Yehoshua is described as "a man in whom there is spirit." The Ha'amek Davar relates that the spirit was the knowledge to stand alone. He was not drawn after his own person bias or the wishes of others. Rather, he stood fast on the truth. We see that the ten spies opposed him, and they rallied the people to their camp. Yet he would not be drawn after them. This was one of the qualities that earned him the position as Moshe's successor, the leader of Klal Yisrael.

Kinderlach . . .

"Hey guys, did you see this fancy new electronic gizmo that I got? Look at the fancy lights, pictures and sounds. And it fits right into the palm of my hand." "Wow, that's really neat. Can I see it? Can I play with it?" Everyone crowded around the boy with the new gadget. Everyone except . . . Yehoshua. "Hey Shuie, don't you want to see this gizmo?" "Not really. I'm not interested in those hi-tech gadgets. They are a big waste of time and distract me from learning Torah." "But Shuie, everybody has one." "Wrong, Benny. I don't have one." "Come on Shuie. Join the crowd." "Not this time, Benny. I'm going to be like my namesake, Yehoshua Ben Nun. He would not be drawn into the wrong thing and neither will I."

Parasha Questions:

What were the names of the daughters of Tslofchod? (27:1)

From which sin did their father die? (Rashi 27:3)

Why did Moshe not know the answer to the Bnos Tslofchod's question? (Rashi 27:5)

What is the order of inheritance in Klal Yisrael? (27:8-11)

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