See For Yourself
"Are you new in the neighborhood?"
"Not exactly. I have lived here many years."
"I haven't seen you in our Beit Kinesset before."
"Well, I'm not really religious. I just came today to see what it was like."
"That is so nice! Would you like to come to my house? We are having a big Shabbos meal, and we have plenty of food."
"Really? You don't even know me and you invite me into your house?"
"It is my pleasure."
The guest comes home with the man. They eat a delicious meal and become involved in a deep discussion about Judaism.
"All of this is hard for me to believe. Miracles, Mount Sinai, G-d running the world."
"I understand. However, you can relax. You don't have to believe anything. All of these things will become crystal clear to you. You will see them with your own eyes."
"See, I place before you today blessing and curse" (Devarim 11:26). Rav Shimshon Refael Hirsch zt"l explains why the Torah uses the word "see". What are we seeing? Don't we have to believe? The answer is that seeing is believing. No Jew needs to rely on believing anyone else. He can rely upon what his own eyes have seen. He can investigate for himself and find the truth. Then he will come to the conclusion that Hashem puts his future in his own hands. He gives him free will and free choice. If he chooses the good, he will receive blessing. If not, oy va voy.
Kinderlach . . .
You can see the truth of the Torah in your own life. Just pay attention. You can see Hashem's Hand guiding everything from the growth of the smallest flower to major world events. You will also see how Hashem has guided your own life. How He has saved you from many unpleasant things. How he has helped you succeed in many areas. How he has blessed you when you merited it, and punished you when you needed it. It's all there in front of you. Just pay attention. See for yourself.
Take Care Of Each Other
"Everyone please quiet down. Saba is about to make Kiddush."
"Thank you Savta. Before I begin, I would just like to say something. Tonight is Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of a new year. We all hope that Hashem will bless us this year, as every year with good health, prosperity, and success in all areas."
"The whole family is gathered together, so I want to take this opportunity to say just one thing to all of you. We do not know what Hashem has in store for us this year, or any year. Some of you may prosper, some not. Some may fall on hard times. I just ask one thing of you. If one of your brothers or sisters does need help, I would like the rest of you to take care of him. If he needs a loan, lend him money. If he can't pay back, give him a gift. If he is working for you, treat him nicely. If he gets into trouble, redeem him. Always think about your brothers and sisters. If you listen to these words, I promise you one thing. I will always take care of you. You may not know this, but I am a very influential person. I have many, many connections. I can and will take care of you."
"You shall surely give to him (your destitute brother) and you will not feel badly in your heart because you gave to him (15:10)." "You shall surely give maaser" (a tenth of your crop) [to the poor and the Levi] (Devarim 14:22). "Do not forsake the Levi who is in your cities" (Devarim 14:27). "The Levi . . . the proselyte, the orphan, and the widow in your gates will come and eat and be satisfied. In order that Hashem your G-d will bless you in all your handiwork" (Devarim 14:29). "Guard yourself lest you forsake the Levi (12:19)." "If you make My (Levi, proselyte, orphan, and widow) happy, I (Hashem) will make your (son, daughter, servant, and handmaid) happy (Rashi 16:11)." The parasha is full of exhortations about remembering our less fortunate brothers. Hashem promises big blessings for those who take care of their fellow Jews. Why? "You are Hashem's children" (Devarim 14:1). We are all His children. Just like the Saba in the story. Everyone wants to see his children take care of each other. That is his greatest source of nachas.
Kinderlach . . .
Hashem is our Father and we are His children. He wants us to help each other. Step one is to see another Jew as your brother. Of course you will help your brother. You cannot bear to see him suffer. He is your flesh and blood. Kinderlach, we are all part of a very special family called Klal Yisrael. We all love each other, and we all take care of each other.
· How do we cleave to Hashem? (Rashi 13:5)
· Who is exempt from "Love your fellow Jew as yourself"? (Rashi 13:9)
· What are the characteristics of a kosher animal? (14:7) Fish? (14:9)
· Why does the Torah write "Do not cook a kid in its mother's milk" three times? (Rashi 14:21)
· What should you do if a poor person does not want to accept a gift? (Rashi 15:8)
· When and where is the Korbon Pesach sacrificed? (16:6)
Kinder Torah Copyright 2003 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman
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