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Simcha Groffman

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

Parashas Shoftim

Your Rebbe, Your Torah, Your Life

"Welcome home Abba!"

"Thank you everyone. It's great to be back."

"How did your trip go?"

"Not so good. It was very crowded the entire way. There were hundreds of people traveling to Kadesh looking for housing and jobs there."

"Did you find anything for us?"

"Yes, I found a nice home in a good neighborhood."

"How about parnassa (livelihood)? Will we be able to support ourselves over there?"

"We have possibilities. Hashem will help us."

"Abba, why do we have to go to Kadesh? I like it here in our hometown. Our friends and family live here. We have good neighbors and a good school. I don't want to move."

"I understand, Tzvika. However, many of our neighbors will be moving to Kadesh also. All of my chaverim (friends) from the Yeshiva will be going there. We must move because we no longer have a life here in this town."

"Why not? What is going on Abba?"

"No so long ago, a terrible thing happened to our Rosh Yeshiva. He was climbing up a ladder, and he accidentally slipped and fell."

"Oy vey. Was he hurt?"

"The Rosh Yeshiva only had minor injuries. However, he fell onto another man and killed him."

"Oy va voy!"

"That's right. The Rosh Yeshiva must now flee to Kadesh - the closest Ir Miklat (refuge city), and live there until either he or the Kohen Gadol dies. That is the Halacha."

"Kadesh? Aren't we going to Kadesh?"

"The entire Yeshiva is going to Kadesh, kinderlach. Over 1000 men women and children are resettling there, along with the Rosh Yeshiva."

"Why, Abba?"

"Look here in the parasha, kinderlach. 'This is the matter of the murderer who shall flee there and live' (Devarim 19:4). Our sages explain that if a Rebbe (teacher) goes to Ir Miklat his students must join him. (Gemora Makkos 10a)"


"This Gemora (Taanis 7a) relates that a Rebbe learns the most from his students. If a Rebbe goes to Ir Miklat without his students, he is cut off from his main source of learning. A wise man who seeks wisdom and cannot attain it is considered dead.* The murderer is fleeing to the Ir Miklat in order to live, as the verse states, 'the murderer who shall flee there and live'. We are the talmidim (students) of our Rosh Yeshiva. Without us, his main source of wisdom, he cannot live! He is considered dead! Therefore, the entire Yeshiva along with their families is going to Kadesh, to give our Rosh Yeshiva life."

"Wow, Abba. I never realized how important a Rebbe is."

"A Rebbe and a talmid teach each other Torah. Learning Torah is our life! As the verse states, 'For it (the Torah) is your life' (Devarim 30:20). There is no life without Torah. We are going to Kadesh, the Ir Miklat, to live!"

Kinderlach . . .

Is there anyone who does not want life? Long life? A good life? What is the source of our life? The Torah. Who teaches us Torah? Our Rebbe. Listen to what he says. Study it. Know it. He is your link in the chain of Torah from Har Sinai. He is your source of life.

*Rambam - Rotzeach 7:1
For further explanation see Ohr Yohel.

It's Very Simple

"Oy, I wish I was rich. My life would be so much easier and less complicated."

"I can make you rich in one day - no problem."

"Really? How?"

"It is actually very simple. Just bring me a copy of tomorrow's Wall Street Journal. We will see which stocks will go up in value tomorrow. We will then borrow all the money that we can, buy those stocks, and watch them go up. Tomorrow we will sell them, rake in a huge profit, return the borrowed money, and be rich."

"That is a brilliant plan. There is only one problem."

"What is it?"

"They do not publish tomorrow's Wall Street Journal today. Nobody knows the future."

"Yes, that is a very big problem."

"Please allow me to correct myself. There is One Who does know the future - Hashem. However, He does not share it with us. In fact, He commands us to refrain from looking into the future. It is a verse in this week's parasha - 'You shall be wholehearted with Hashem, your G-d' (Devarim 18:13). Rashi explains that we should not attempt to look into the future to find out what The Creator has in store for us. Rather, we should be wholehearted with Him. Trust Him, and accept whatever He does wholeheartedly. If we trust Him, then He will be with us."

"I see."

"The Malbim has an even deeper explanation. The name, 'Elokecha' denotes Hashem's hashgacha pratis (individual supervision) upon every Jew. The verse informs us that we shall conduct ourselves wholeheartedly with the Almighty, and not attempt to find out what He has in store for us. Rather we shall accept whatever He does, knowing that it is for our own good, for He knows better than we do. Then He will be close to us, and personally supervise the events in our lives. To sum it up, 'If we act wholeheartedly, then Hashem Elokim will be with us.' The Sifrei says it so poetically, 'When you are wholehearted, your lot is with Hashem, your G-d.'"

"Do you realize how rich you truly are? You are rich in Torah knowledge. You do not need tomorrow's Wall Street Journal. You have possessions much more valuable than money."

"You are right. Hashem has been very kind to me. I must be equally kind to Him and accept His decrees unconditionally."

Kinderlach . . .

What will be in the future? Will you be rich or poor? Will you be healthy or sickly? Where will you live? Whom will you marry? How long will you learn? How long will you live? Only Hashem knows. If you trust Him and accept everything that He does, knowing that it is good for you, then it will truly be good. You will see the good, know it, and appreciate it. You will not worry about the future because you will know that you are safely and securely in the hands of Hashem. It is all very simple. Be wholesome with Hashem.

Kinder Torah Copyright 2011 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman

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