‘Portion of the Week’ Category Archives

7
Oct

Surprise!

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

I left our home in Toronto in 1971 for summer camp, and was surprised to be driven at summer’s end to a new home in Baltimore. I didn’t know that we were moving. There seemed to be what Richard Russo, in “The Mysteries of Linwood Hart,” describes as a Ghost Scene, “from which I had been mysteriously and unfairly excluded.” Major decisions had been made without my input; I had not even been informed. Worse was that my sister Naomi knew before I. It was yet another lesson in the unfairness of life.

I had experience with Ghost Scenes. The first time I learned this week’s portion, Lech Lecha, “God said to Abram, ‘Go for yourself from your land, from your relatives, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you’ (Genesis 12:1),” I wanted to know why God spoke to Abram. The teacher spoke of the many Midrashim that describe the young Abram’s clarity and courage, but I saw those as Ghost Scenes as well; if true, why are the stories not in the Torah? How can the Torah, which is God’s way of speaking to us, leave out such important information?

Incredibly frustrated by the teacher’s answers and the unfairness of being taught by someone who couldn’t answer my questions, I had to turn to The Source of All Knowledge, my father zt”l.

We began by reading the opening verse, “God said to Abram, ‘Go for yourself from your land, from your relatives, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you’.” My father asked me if I saw another Ghost Scene in the verse, something other than, “why did God speak to Abram?” It wasn’t difficult to find, “To the land that I will show you.” God was telling Abram to leave without informing him where was going.

“Ghost Scenes are not only in the past as in God’s reason for speaking to Abram, they are also in the future as in knowing God wants him to go someplace Abram doesn’t yet know.”

I wanted to know if it was to be a surprise for Abram such as when my father would take me out without telling me where. “Surprises are only for people who don’t have the patience to wait for something special.”

I wasn’t convinced, “Don’t you shout ‘Surprise!’ when you find a new idea while learning? You like surprises!”

“I find surprises in everything I do every day, and I don’t need special surprises, and I think that Abraham was much better than I at finding new things.”

Then it clicked, “That’s why God spoke to Abraham, because he knew how to find surprises in everything!”

My father then challenged me to find all of Abraham’s surprises in the portion, and I now share that challenge with you!

I left our home in Toronto in 1971 for summer camp, and was surprised to be driven at summer’s end to a new home in Baltimore. I didn’t know that we were moving. There seemed to be what Richard Russo, in “The Mysteries of Linwood Hart,” describes as a Ghost Scene, “from which I had been mysteriously and unfairly excluded.” Major decisions had been made without my input; I had not even been informed. Worse was that my sister Naomi knew before I. It was yet another lesson in the unfairness of life.

I had experience with Ghost Scenes. The first time I learned this week’s portion, Lech Lecha, “God said to Abram, ‘Go for yourself from your land, from your relatives, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you’ (Genesis 12:1),” I wanted to know why God spoke to Abram. The teacher spoke of the many Midrashim that describe the young Abram’s clarity and courage, but I saw those as Ghost Scenes as well; if true, why are the stories not in the Torah? How can the Torah, which is God’s way of speaking to us, leave out such important information?

Incredibly frustrated by the teacher’s answers and the unfairness of being taught by someone who couldn’t answer my questions, I had to turn to The Source of All Knowledge, my father zt”l.

We began by reading the opening verse, “God said to Abram, ‘Go for yourself from your land, from your relatives, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you’.” My father asked me if I saw another Ghost Scene in the verse, something other than, “why did God speak to Abram?” It wasn’t difficult to find, “To the land that I will show you.” God was telling Abram to leave without informing him where was going.

“Ghost Scenes are not only in the past as in God’s reason for speaking to Abram, they are also in the future as in knowing God wants him to go someplace Abram doesn’t yet know.”

I wanted to know if it was to be a surprise for Abram such as when my father would take me out without telling me where. “Surprises are only for people who don’t have the patience to wait for something special.”

I wasn’t convinced, “Don’t you shout ‘Surprise!’ when you find a new idea while learning? You like surprises!”

“I find surprises in everything I do every day, and I don’t need special surprises, and I think that Abraham was much better than I at finding new things.”

Then it clicked, “That’s why God spoke to Abraham, because he knew how to find surprises in everything!”

My father then challenged me to find all of Abraham’s surprises in the portion, and I now share that challenge with you!

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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25
Jul

Sitting In The Barber’s Chair

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

I was sitting in the waiting room of the service department of a car dealership and an “Oldies” station was playing, and I was surprised over how many of the songs were familiar. I couldn’t remember anyone playing these songs in our house, especially when my father zt”l was home, and then, I realized that I had heard all these songs in the barbershop where my mother a”h would take me for haircuts.

The songs took me back to my childhood, and triggered all sorts of wonderful memories of my mother taking me out shopping, to the doctor’s office, and yes, to the barbershop. I heard the music and it triggered powerful and wonderful memories.

No wonder a portion that begins with hearing, “This shall be the reward when you carefully listen to these ordinances, (See, ‘The First Step Through The Door’)” also focuses so much on memory:

“You shall remember the entire road on which God, your Lord, led you these forty years in the wilderness so as to afflict you, to test you, to know what is in your heart, whether you would observe His commandments or not (Deuteronomy 8:2).”

“Be careful that you do not forget God, your Lord, failing to observe His commands, His laws and His decrees that I am giving you this day.”

“But remember God, your Lord, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”

This portion of Hearing developed further than the Shema of the previous portion, describes how we can use our hearing to trigger important memories. Perhaps this is a development of, “Na’aseh v’Nishmah,” “we will observe, and we will hear.” We are asked to observe to train ourselves to become better listeners: “It will be if you hear and relate to My commandments,” which is understood as teaching us to serve God with Love; the love that is triggered by the music of the Mitzvot that connect us to all that God has done and continues to do for us each day.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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25
Jul

The First Step Through The Door

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

It’s not surprising that the portion immediately following Shema – Hear/Listen, begins, “This shall be the reward when you carefully listen to these ordinances.” I wonder about the Hebrew name of the portion, Eikev. When I see that word, that translates as, “heel,” I immediately think of Adam’s, Eve’s, and the Serpent’s. consequences and punishments (yes, there are both) for their part in the sin: listening to the Serpent, running when they heard God’s voice, and Adam’s listening to the voice of his wife, all these mentions of listening and hearing, and the first place we find the word, “Eikev,” as in, “He will pound your head, and you will bite his, Akeiv,” heel (Genesis 3:15).”

It’s therefore not surprising that the next time we find an Eikev it is also associated with listening, “Eikev, because Abraham hear the inside of My voice (26:5).”

Somehow, proper listening, fixes the Eikev, or at least repairs, some of the damage of the first misguided listening.

Elise Ballard, chose from all the many reflections in her book, “epiphany!” a quote from Kristin Neff, the founder of the Horse Boy Foundation as the epigraph:

“The epiphany was like life opened a doorway, and my job was to walk through it. I didn’t know what I was going to find.

I didn’t know what was going to happen.

But in life, you don’t ever know what’s going to happen.

What I do know is that as life continues to open these doors, I feel safe enough and trusting enough to walk through them.”

 

I see the poison of the snake’s bite on the Eikev as the inability to walk through the doorways opened in life when we carefully listen to life’s messages and lessons. Adam and Eve were unable to appreciate the message when “they heard God’s voice walking in the Garden.” They ran and hid, rather than run toward God, Who still spoke to them in the most open way.

Abraham was the consummate listener to such messages and bravely walked through every door opened to him. The opening verse in this portion is to remind us to emulate Abraham, and use the Shema skills we developed in the previous portion, to hear enough from the commandments we observe to gain the safety and trust necessary to take that first step through the doorway of opportunity.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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19
Jul

Readings: Parsha Mitzvot-Vaetchanan-Talmud Torah

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in 613 Concepts, Portion of the Week

Elevate The Reader, by Brian Doyle – The American Scholar: The second great editor I worked for, after Mister Burns in Chicago, who taught me to never begin a sentence with the word hopefully and indeed to search out and destroy all adverbs as unnecessary crutches for poor writing, was a newspaper editor named Floyd Kemske in Boston. Floyd was a lean, erudite, amused man who often said his idea of heaven was an evening in a bubble bath with fine wine and his lovely bride, an image I never could erase fully from my mind; even today when I think of the heaven that all editors will surely achieve, as reward for having endured poets and proofreaders, it is a heaven filled with bubbles and excellent wines and the alluring smile of a woman I met, interestingly, while learning to be an editor from Floyd.

Floyd said many other memorable things. Elevate the reader, that was my favorite, and clarity is first and verve is second, and writing that is all about the writer is selfish and writing that is about the reader is at least useful. Mostly he would say these things while leaning back in his chair during editorial meetings, thumbs hooked in his suspenders. In general these meetings were not thrilling, as the two newspapers we produced in our office were devoted to computer training, trends, and products, but Floyd slowly taught me, by the force of his example, that my initial feeling that our work was boring was foolish, and our real work was to help people grapple with new ways of living their lives. In a real sense, I learned from Floyd, we were guides through a dense and confusing wilderness, translators of a new tongue for people who spoke it only haltingly if at all, companions along roads so newly cut that even we did not know how far they extended.

I cannot say that I grew into any sort of computer expertise at all in my years at those newspapers—I remain a happy doofus, able only to write small essays and check box scores on my computer—but the lessons I learned from Floyd have stayed with me through nearly 30 more years in the editor’s chair: elevation, clarity, assistance, humility. At least be useful in your work; at best lift the mind and heart and spirit; and if you do your work well, in the end you will be rewarded with fine wine, a bubble bath, and a woman with the most remarkable blue eyes.

Brian Doyle is the editor of Portland magazine at the University of Portland, and the author most recently of the novel Mink River. He writes the weekly Epiphanies column at theamericanscholar.org.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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19
Jul

Readings: Parsha Mitzvot-Vaetchanan-Tefillin

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in 613 Concepts, Portion of the Week

No, you never will bind him

To your signs and your burdens!

The least chink — he’s inside it,

Like the supplest of gymnasts.

By the drawbridges

And flocks in migration,

By the telegraph poles,

God’s escaping us.

No, you never will train him

To abide and to share!

He, in feelings’ resident slush,

Is a gray floe of ice.

No, you never will catch him!

On a thrifty dish, God

Never thrives in the window

Like domestic begonias!

All, beneath the roof’s vault,

We’re awaiting the builder,

The call. Poets and pilots

— All gave up in despair.

He’s the sprint — and he’s moving.

The whole volume of stars

Is, from Alpha to Omega,

Just a trace of his cloak.

1922

by Marina Tsvetaeva

(1892 – 1941) Timeline

English version by

Paul Graves

Original Language

Russian

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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7
Jan

“A Dress for My Child”

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

I read this poem today, written in the Lodz ghetto, it can also be read as something written by a mother in Egypt:

I would sew a dress for you, my child,

out of tulle made of spring’s joyful green,

and gladly crown your head with a diadem

made of the sunniest smiles ever seen.

I would fit out your feet with a pair

of crystal-like, weightless, dance-ready shoes,

and let you step out of the house with bouquets,

bright with the promise of pinks and of blues.

But outside it is cold and dreary, my child,

the wanton winds lurking unbridled and wild.

They will mangle the dress of joy into shreds

and sweep the sun’s smiling crown off your head,

Shatter to dust the translucent glass of your shoes

and bury in mud the dreams of pinks and of blues.

From far away I can hear you call me and moan:

“Mother, mother, why did you leave me alone?”

So perhaps I should sew a robe for you, my child,

out of the cloak of my old-fashioned pain,

and alter my hat of experience for you

to shelter you from the ravaging rain?

On your feet I would put my own heavy boots,

the soles studded with spikes from my saviourless past

and guide your way through the door with a torchlight

of wisdom I’ve saved till this hour of dusk.

But outside it is cold and dreary, my child.

The wanton winds lurking unbridled and wild

will rip up the robe sewn with outdated thread,

bare your chest to all danger, to fear bare your head.

The heavy boots will sink in the swamp and will drown,

the light of wisdom mocked by the laugh of a clown.

From afar I hear you call me and moan:

“Mother, mother, why did you leave me alone?”

What a wretched seamstress your mother is—

Can’t sew a dress for her child!

All she does is prick her clumsy fingers,

cross-stitching her soul, while her eyes go blind.

The only thing that I can sew for you, my sweet, my golden child,

is a cotton shift of the love I store

in my heart. The only thing I can give to light your way

are my tears of blessing; I have nothing more.

So I must leave you outside, my child, and leave you there alone.

Perhaps dressed in clothing of love you will learn better how to go from home.

So I sit here and sew and sew, while in my heart I hope and pray—

my hands, unsteady, tremble; my mind, distracted, gone astray.

Chava Rosenfarb “Aroys fun gan eydn [Out of Paradise]” (Tel Aviv: Peretz Farlag, 1965)

Tablet Magazine- New Translations of Three Poems From Lodz

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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7
Jan

Which Attribute?

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Reflections & Observations

I was fluctuating between sadness and inspiration when I finished reading Rohinton Mistry’s.”A Fine Balance.” I have yet to shed the horrible cruelties powerfully described. The caste system, misuse of power, the desperate search for work, forced castration, and the hopeless lives of the masses helped me understand what the Children of Israel experienced in Egypt. Each nightmarish scene contains a powerful expression of the drive to live and the sweetness of kindness. I hear echoes of people being rallied to support a new government, suffering under the leaders they supported, and the merit of the women who kept the family alive under the worst conditions.

A week later, I realized that it was the goodness that made the deeper impression. I experienced the power of good over evil. So inspired, I gave the book to one of my daughters, who is quite upset with me for suggesting she read such a horrible story. When we last spoke, my daughter was struggling with finishing the book with its historically accurate descriptions of suffering in 1975 India. “How could you ask me to read such a horrible story?”

My daughter sounds just like Moses: “My Master! Why have You done evil to this people (Exodus 5:22).” I’ll respond as God did to Moses:

“The Lord spoke to Moses and said to him, ‘I am God’ (6:2).” Lord, or, Elokim, is the Name we associate with Justice, often harshness. God, or, Hashem, speaks of God’s compassion. Elokim, Justice, says to Moses, “I am Hashem, compassionate – find the goodness hidden in the folds and creases of the suffering. Moses cannot become a complete leader until he can find the power of good and the drive for life that motivate the people to move forward.

In his fury, Moses failed to see how the foremen assumed the extra burden imposed on the slaves. He could have challenged God by calling on such compassion and demanding that their good earn them redemption. Moses continued to speak of Israel as victims, not the heroes they were. Moses would have to learn to treasure the extraordinary kindness that softened every scene of suffering. (See, “Respectful Compassion.”)

I want my daughter, all my children and students, to mine through the horrible and treasure the good. We see and read of horrible things happening in the world and our communities, and we hear Elokim, God’s Judgment speaking. We have to pay attention to God’s message to Moses, “I am Hashem, compassionate and kind – I want you to find the good that is hiding underneath the suffering.”

A long ago friend, Dennis Prager, once convened a gathering that focused on Altruism: “The Altruistic Personality – Rescuers of Jews in Nazi Europe.” I recall Dennis challenging the audience to remember the names of the heroes who stepped forward in moments of ugly tragedy – the name of the Secret Service agent who stepped in front of a bullet meant for President Reagan, the name of the man who jumped into the freezing Potomac to save victims of a plane crash. No one knew the names.

We focus on the bad, not the good. We focus on Elokim, not Hashem. We read “A Fine Balance,” and shiver in horror. We study the Exodus story and wait for the miracles to find Hashem, the Compassionate One, and miss the scenes of human kindness that are so much more powerful than the evil.

“I may be Elokim, but you must always search for Hashem, so that you will become a force of kindness and compassion that will overcome the bad.”

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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21
Sep

R’Shlomo on P’ Vayeilech-Fixing With Hands

by developer in Holidays, Portion of the Week

The Mei Hashiloach begins to talk about something very very deep. There are two things going on with us human beings. There are certain mistakes which I make, we are talking about chas veshalom doing aveiras, that’s one thing. But then there is something much deeper. Every person has something wrong with them inside. This is why we are here in this world, because if I would be complete than I wouldn’t have to be in this world. So basically, this world is a hospital, this world is where I fix myself. The truth is that even after I fixed every aveira I did since I was born, I am still not fixed, because there is something deep deep inside of me which needs fixing.

I want you to open your hearts like mad. It says ‘Vayelech Moshe’, And Moshe went. And the Zohar Hakadosh says  ‘Kegufa Belo Yada’, like a body without hands. I’ll give it you a nutshell, maybe not a hundred percent but approximately it’s what it is. The Holy Ishbitzer asks what does it mean? The Holy Ishbitzer says like this. Right after it says Vayelech Moshe, it says that Moshe Rabbeinu told the yidden that every eighth year all the yidden should get together in Yerushalayim and mamesh learn Torah, this is called ‘Mitzvas Hak’hel’. All the yidden mamesh got together on the eighth year. When it comes to Mitzvas Hakhel it says ‘bring your children.’ The Gemara asks why do you have to bring children, they don’t understand what will be spoken there. But the Gemara says ‘Liten Sachar Lemivieihen’, a person was to bring their children in order so that the children would cause their parents to receive a reward for bringing them.

Now open your hearts.

There is a Torah which I understand with my head, when something makes sense to me. Then there is a Torah that has to do with my hands, I do this and I do that. But my hands have two functions, my hands down below represent what I’m doing. But imagine if I am holding up my hands, what am I doing? When I hold up my hands, I am reaching for something which I don’t have yet, I am longing for something which I don’t even know how to get. So the Ishbitzer says like this. Can you imagine what Moshe Rabbeinu was longing for with his hands? You know what happened, on that day he mamesh reached that point of getting to where he always longed to get to. Wherever he was holding up his hands, that’s where he reached.

There is a level which I did wrong, I did an aveira, and I can fix it by doing tshuvah. What about that part of me that needs fixing which is so deep, that which is beyond me? Dovid Hamalech says ‘Becheit Yechematna Imi’.We are talking about a part of me that was created like this, the way I was born, there is something inside which needs completion. Where do I reach that? I only reach that when I hold up my hands. That’s a different Torah. So I want you to know the deepest depths. When was Moshe Rabbeinu given the Torah of the hands? Throughout his life, Moshe Rabbeinu taught the yidden how to fix everything they did wrong, but how about the things they didn’t do anything wrong on a practical level? We were born this way, you gotta fix it.

Now listen to this unbelievable thing. When we take out the Torah and we put it on the table, we don’t say ‘Vezos HaTorah Asher Sam Moshe’. Do you know when we start yelling ‘Vezos HaTorah Asher Sam Moshe’? This is the Torah which G-d gave us? When we are holding up the Torah with our hands. Only when we lift our hands up do we say ‘This is the Torah which Moshe brought down from heaven’. The Torah which Moshe Rabbeinu brought down from heaven is that you can even fix that thing which is embodied in you. The holiness of the Torah is that you can fix that.

Now listen, just open your hearts. The Ishbitser says a mind-blowing Torah…mamesh a rebbeshe Torah. He says what do parents worry most about their children? Not so much about the mistakes they will make, because I know they will make mistakes and they will fix it. But I’m worried most about this one little thing which is wrong with them. How would I fix that, how will I fix that? So he says a gevalt Torah. On the eighth year, when everybody carried their children in their hands, what level of hands were they holding them? Are the hands on the level of doing something or are the hands on the level of mamesh reaching to the highest depth? When I am carrying my children to Hak’hel this is the Torah of holding up my hands to heaven. So he says ‘Liten Schar Lemiviehen’, what kind of a reward? I was given the reward that I can fix my children and I can fix myself. So how do I fix myself? When I carry my children. Unbelievable Torah, mamesh a Torah from heaven. So he says that on the eigth year, when yidden would carry their children up to Yerushalayim, the Torah of Hak’hel is not the Torah of what you did wrong. The Torah of Hak’hel is getting all the yidden together, and this is the Torah which Moshe Rabbeinu left us before he left this world, the Torah of how to fix that which can’t be fixed. It’s unbelievable.

This is what was given to us in Vayelech.

Okay, now I thought of something very deep.

Now listen to this sweetest friends. On Yom Kippur I am doing tshuva. I want you to know something very deep. I can tell one of my friends what I did wrong, and they will help me fix it. i can go to a rebbe and tell him I did this wrong, I want to do tshuva. The question is, whom can I tell that one thing which is wrong with me? I want you to know the deepest depths. I can’t even tell G-d unless I lock the door and I want to be alone with G-d. I am afraid to even tell G-d. So you know what the last prayer of Neila is? Neila is when I lock the door and I am pouring out my heart and I am telling G-d ‘you know something, this is all nothing. Yom Kippur is beautiful and cute, but I want you to fix that one thing which is so deep that only you can fix it.’

Now listen to the deepest depths, again you have to open your hearts very wide. There are two kinds of prayers. There is a prayer I am praying for sometimes, and then there is a prayer which I am praying for all the time, mamesh all the time. Obviously this prayer which I pray to G-d to fix the mistakes I made I am not praying all the time. Sometimes I make mistakes, sometimes I fix them. What am I praying for constantly? That one thing which needs fixing inside, it’s beyond me, I don’t know what to do with it, it’s beyond me.

This is Achas Sha’alti Me’eis Hashem… that one thing which I constantly pray for.

What’s a house? In Ishbits it’s very strong. Ki Beisi Beis Tefila. That prayer which I constantly pray for is called a house, a house is constant. Friends, let me ask you, do you know what it means that the Holy Temple is destroyed? We still pray, but we don’t pray anymore to fix the deepest depths. We only pray for the little outside things. The Beis Hamikdash is a place where you fix this deepest depths there is. I want you to know that Moshe Rabbeinu basically is the Master of the Torah what to do. Ahron Hakohen… how come Ahron Hakohen is blessing with his hands, what’s so special about his hands? Ahron is the Master of the hands. Ahron Hakohen, his thing is how to teach yidden how to hold up their hands. So therefor he has the holiness of how to bless in his hands. Everybody knows that the Beis Hamikdash is the house of Ahron Hakohen.

Now listen to this deepest depths. Everybody knows that the Succa is Ahron Hakohen’s house, annanei hakavod, the clouds of glory. Without even getting involved in the deepest depths.  The Succa is Ahron Hakohen’s house. You know what we do? The Ishbitser says, the only one who is mamesh praying like mad that I should fix that which is so deep are my parents. Who are my parents, who are your parents? Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov, Moshe Ahron, Yosef Dovid. The guests of the Succa. So you know what it is? On Yom Kippur I realize that throughout the year? I was always praying for the little mistakes I did, I was waiting to do tshuva for the little things. Why didn’t I pray for that which I have to pray for all the time, for the real fixing? And now I want you to go one step deeper. What does it mean that all of Israel is in exile? All of Israel in exile means that we are praying for little things, we stopped praying for the big things. Being in exile means that we stopped praying that Mashiach should come. I cannot bring Mashiach, you know why? Because Mashiach’s fixing is that fixing where my actions don’t reach, my actions don’t reach there. It’s something deeper than all this.

You know what it says? Vehesihiv Lev Avos Al Banim Velev Banim Al avosam. When Eliyahu Hanavi is coming he will bring the parents and the children of the parents. Mamesh, now it’s so clear, because the Ishbitzer says that the only one who can fix this inside of children is when parents carry them. And they in return fix their parents. So this is what Eliyahu Hanavi is doing before Mashiach is coming, the fixing between the children and the parents.

So this is the whole thing of the being in the Succa after Neila, after I lock myself and I tell G-d everything which is wrong with me, not this little things I made mistakes, that I fixed already by Mincha. By Neila I am mamesh taking G-d inside of me to that place which is locked all year long, I’m afraid to open it. So then I make a little Succa’le, and there my parents come, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’akov, and they mamesh carry me into the Succa. So I want to add that not only Avraham Avinu comes to the Succa while I am sitting there, but mamesh Avraham Avinu carries me into the Succa, because how are parents fixing their children? By carrying them. What do we do with the lulav? Mamesh, the whole thing is holding up the hands. shukling, the hands, unbelievable. The whole thing about succos and the succa is the hands. I am holding up my hands, putting up the Schach. Everything is holding up the hands higher than myself. And then, the end is Simchas Torah when mamesh I see that the Ribbono Shel Olam put everything in the Torah. Suddenly I realize this is mamesh the Torah which is fixing myself. What am I doing? I don’t open the Torah, because that Torah which is fixing my deepest depths is not the words of the Torah, but it’s the whole Torah itself, mamesh the whole Torah.

I want you to know something, between people it’s also very deep. Sometimes I love somebody very much on a detail level. I am filling certain needs a person, I am doing them certain favors. Sometime a husband and wife fill each other’s certain needs, but then… then they cannot fix that which is missing. But if it’s beyond words, beyond everything there is like this Torah, Vezos HaTorah Asher Sam Moshe, the Torah of when you are holding up your hands, this has no words because it’s everything together. This is the Torah of Simchas Torah. And it’s unbelievable how on Simchas Torah every father and mother bring their children to shul. They mamesh carry their children because they know that this is the only way to fix it, they know it’s the only way to fix it.

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15
Sep

The Walk

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

Almost forty years before this week’s portion of Vayeilech, “And we (Moshe) walked,”    God began revelation by saying, “Thus shalt you say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel,” understood as an instruction to teach each person in the manner with which he or she could relate. Strangely, we never find Moshe speaking to each individual in this personalized manner. Rather, “Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which God commanded him.”

And God said to Moses: “Go, Lech, to the people,” reminiscent of His first charge to Abraham, “Go from your country, Lech Lecha,” and, again, we find that Moshe seems to do something other than what God commanded, “And Moses went down from the mount to the people,” he did not Lech, go, but ‘went down.’

Until this week’s portion, Vayeilech, “And Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel.” It seems that on this, the final day of Moshe’s life, he fulfilled the Lech of long ago, and the personalized instruction first commanded at Sinai, because Vayeilech is understood as Moshe going to each family to offer personalized words of farewell.

Abraham too ends the significant part of his life as patriarch with a Lech: “And He said: ‘Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go, lech lecha, into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell you of’.”

Moshe could not fulfill the personalized Lech until the end of his life, when he could go to each person with an individual message. The commandment of Sinai was to take them on a journey that would culminate in this sense of Lech, a personalized message that would allow each his or her individual journey with God.

We read of Abraham’s ultimate Lech on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, because his journey too was one that would serve as an example of walking with God, journeying through life with God; the real challenge and blessing of Rosh Hashanah: Discover your own personal journey through life.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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26
Aug

BNN Reports: Scandal Rocks Victory Parade

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in 613 Concepts, Portion of the Week

This is Simcha Weinberg reporting for the BNN, The Biblical News Network, from a victory parade for our soldiers returning from a battle to expand the boundaries of Israel; a celebration that was marred by scandal! A soldier returned home dragging a captured woman behind him. When asked why he brought this enemy woman home with him, he replied, “I saw this woman in middle of battle and my passion was inflamed. The Torah allowed me to grab her.”

“What do you mean that you were permitted to grab her?”

“Well, I wasn’t exactly sure because I learned in yeshiva that there is a debate between Rashi and the Ramban on the one hand, and Tosafot on the other, as to what exactly I was permitted to do.”

“Let me understand, you said that you were allowed to grab her because your passion was inflamed, and that the Torah was acknowledging your uncontrollable desire. Then you said, that despite your inflamed passion, you were still concerned about exactly what it was the Torah gave you permission to do!”

“If your passion was controlled enough for you to consider what you were permitted to do, then how could you say that your passion was uncontrollable?”

“May I ask what you ended up doing?”

The soldier refused to answer. He wanted his privacy.

He may have desired privacy but everyone in the community was talking. The women were looking at their husbands and sons and wondering what they were doing during the battle. Many women were overheard insisting, “My son would never do such a thing!” Some were overheard saying, “If my husband did anything like that, I’ll kill him”

The BNN decided to remain in the city and follow this story as it developed.

All the local sermons this past Shabbat were based on the same idea: “The juxtaposition of the first three laws in this week’s portion, the captured woman, the hated wife, and a rebellious child, are in themselves an implicit argument against this sort of liaison, for after giving the laws of the captive woman, the Torah speaks of a hated wife, and then an incorrigibly rebellious child.” The implication, insisted all the local rabbis, is that there is a chain reaction.  The improper infatuation with a captive woman will lead to one family tragedy after another!

I caught up with our soldier as he stormed from the synagogue immediately upon hearing the humiliating sermon, and asked for his reaction.

“How can the rabbis be so critical of my behavior when in my moment of ‘uncontrollable passion’ I still followed the letter of the law! How can they describe my behavior at this point as ‘inflamed passion’ when I am willing to go through the entire process of a month adhering to every detail of the law before deciding what I will do with her! This isn’t uncontrolled passion; it is passion directed by the letter of the law!”

The community is humming with debate regarding this soldier and his captive woman. Many women are insisting that they will not allow their sons and husbands to join the Army in the next  battle that is not specifically for the safety and security of the nation.

The eyes of the nation are turned to the King, David, who is universally regarded as our leader and teacher. Many are hesitant to directly ask King David for his input, because, as you all know, he once took a captive woman and he ended up having a rebellious child, Avshalom. Many quietly reflect that they are convinced that Avshalom originally chose to become a Nazirite to reject to his father’s behavior with uncontrolled passion. It’s interesting to note that Avshalom’s approach of containing his desires by becoming a Nazirite did not work for him, but that King David became the beautiful spiritual force that continues to live in the heart of all of Israel despite, or even because of, his great passion.

We hope to be able to interview the King and share his thoughts with our beloved audience. Please stay tuned to the BNN for further developments. You are welcome to submit your questions for the king.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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