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From
Simcha Groffman

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

Parashas Vayera

Thank You Hashem!

"May I see the invitation list again, Malka?"

"Yes, Yehuda. Do you think we left anyone out?"

"I hope not. We need all of the guests that we can find."

"Why is that, my dear husband? Why are you so concerned with inviting so many guests to our seudas hoda'ah?"

"That is a very good question, Malka. The answer is that this is no ordinary seudas mitzvah. The food that we will be eating at this seudah is from the Korbon Todah (Thanksgiving Offering) that I will be bringing to the Beis HaMikdash. I will be bringing a nice fat cow and along with it forty loaves of bread. There will be thirty loaves of matza - ten thin rekikim loaves, ten loaves baked in the oven and ten murbeches loaves, made in a frying pan. The remaining ten loaves are chometz. Altogether I must bring a total of twenty esronim of flour (approximately 50 liters) to bake all of this bread!"

"That is a huge amount, Yehuda. However, I still do not see why we need to invite so many guests. We can have a small or medium sized seudah, save the leftovers, and eat them over the next few days until they finish."

"I am afraid that is impossible, Malka. The Torah commands us to eat all of it in one day - until the end (or middle) of the night of the seudah, as the verse states, 'Do not leave any of it until the morning' (Vayikra 7:15)."

"Hashem expects us to eat all of that food in one day and night?"

"Yes, Malka. Any left over meat, bread, or matza will become 'nosar'. We transgress a negative commandment by allowing a korbon to become nosar. Therefore, we have to invite as many guests as we can, to help us eat up all of the korbon."

"I see, Yehuda. I feel that there must be a deeper reason for this huge seudah, other than just to finish eating the korbon quickly."

"Yes there is, Malka. We have to think back to the reason why I am bringing the Korbon Todah. I became very sick last year. My condition got worse and worse until the doctors said that the outlook was not too promising. I could not even get out of bed. They said that I needed a miracle. I took strong medications, and many people prayed for me. Then, miraculously, my situation began to turn around. My body began to fight back against the illness. Slowly I regained my strength, little by little, day by day. Then one day, I was able to sit up in bed. A short while later, I was able to get out of bed and walk around. We all kept praying, and the disease got weaker and weaker until it finally disappeared. Today, the doctors declared that I am 100% cured. Therefore, I am bringing this Korbon Todah to thank Hashem for the wonderful miracle that He has performed. He rescued me from death by curing me of this dreaded illness."*

"His kindness is everlasting."

"Yes. He commands us to bring this huge offering, and He only gives us a day to finish eating it. We must invite all of our friends to help us. While we are eating, I must tell them all about the great miracle that Hashem performed for me - healing me from my deadly illness. Thus I am publicly declaring and describing His wonderful act of kindness."

"I understand, Yehuda, however, I am still a little puzzled. In general, Hashem wants us to be unassuming in serving Him, as the verse states, 'Walk humbly with your G-d' (Micah 6:8). Why did Hashem make this mitzvah such a public event?" "Ultimately, we do not know Hashem's reasons for His mitzvos, Malka, however, here we find a hint from a verse in Hallel. 'To You I will offer a thanksgiving offering, and will call upon the name of Hashem. I will pay my vows to Hashem, in the presence of all His people' (Tehillim 116:17,18). The 'thanksgiving offering' refers to the Korbon Todah. 'Calling upon the name of Hashem' is publicizing the miracle that He performed. 'In the presence of all His people' refers to the large gathering participating in the seudas mitzvah of the Korbon Todah. Hashem specifically wants a big tsibbur (congregation), so that everyone will know the greatness of His acts of chessed."*

"That is beautiful, Yehuda. We need to hurry. We have a lot of work to do in preparing for this seudas hoda'ah. Everyone will be there to hear about Hashem's infinite kindness."

Kinderlach . . .

In the times of the Beis HaMikdash, the seudas hoda'ah consisted of the Korbon Todah. Nowadays, we have no Korbon Todah; however, we still make a seudas hoda'ah when we experience a miracle of Hashem's chessed. During that seudah, we speak about the miracle; how The Almighty saved us from a dangerous situation. This implants within us the middah (character trait) of hakoras hatov (gratitude), and recognition of all the good things that Hashem does for us. We also say the parasha of the Korbon Todah every morning in the Korbonos section of the prayers. Saying it with kavannah also instills and strengthens the middah of hacoras hatov. Kinderlach, you do not need to wait until a big miracle happens to express hakoras hatov to Hashem. You can thank Him every day in your tefillos for the constant miracles of keeping you alive, healthy, providing food, clothing, family, teachers, and hundreds of other chassodim. Thank Him always, kinderlach. "Thank You Hashem!"

* For further explanation, see Ha'amek Davar

Peace

When Sara was informed that she would bear a child she laughed to herself. "And my husband is old" (Bereshis 18:12). When Hashem informed Avraham Avinu of this, He changed Sara's words to, "I am old" (Bereshis 18:13). Rashi points out the reason for this change, based on the Gemora (Bava Metzia 87:a). How great is peace. Even Hashem changed words for the sake of peace (in order to avoid possible conflict between Avraham and Sara). That is the value of peace.

Kinderlach . . .

One way to have peace is to avoid confrontation. If you sister is playing with your favorite doll, find another one to play with. If your brother insists on showering first, find something else to do until the shower is free. When Imma says that it is time to do homework, do it. You can continue playing after you are finished. Be agreeable whenever possible. In this way we can all avoid unnecessary conflicts and increase the peace in our home.

Kinder Torah Copyright 2010 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman


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