Thursday, July 12, 2018

Parsha for Women by Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi

Mattot-Mas’eiYom Chamishi, Tamuz 29, 5778 (July 12, 2018) #64  
for the 

Who’s in Charge Here?

Parashot Mattot-Mas’ei seem to have no connection to when we read them. Why now, at Rosh Chodesh Av, do I need to read about vows and oaths, about Hashem’s war against Midian, about the travels of the Israelites, and about cities of refuge for killers? These are the subject of this week’s parasha – and why should I care? The answer is in the common denominator of these subjects: 

ministerial responsibility.

For example, in teaching releases from vows, Moshe addresses the heads of the tribes: “You’re responsible!” In the war against Midian, Moshe addresses the commanders and says: “You’re responsible!” In the conquest of the land, Moshe addresses the descendants of Reuven and Gad, the wealthiest tribes, and reminds them: “You’re responsible – take responsibility!” And the perpetrator of an accidental homicide, who must flee to a city of refuge, remains there until the death of the Kohen Gadol – 

what’s the connection? “You have to be responsible,” Rashi understands this as addressing the Kohen Gadol. “You’re responsible for ensuring that in your generation there will be no bloodshed.”1

In other words: you have responsibility. The results are on your shoulders.

How is that connected to this time of year? Av is the month of the av the father! and his responsibility.

Parashat Mattot opens with a father who cancels his daughter’s vows. She takes a vow, putting herself into a
1 Bemidbar 35:25 and Rashi ad loc.
situation that’s not right for her now, and you, Abba, have to take responsibility for your daughter.

There’s also such a moving verse at the end of the ֵאֶּלהַהֻחִּקיםֲאֶּשרִּצָּוהה'ֶּאתמֶֹּשהֵביןִּאישְלִּאְשתֹו,“:section These are the statutes ֵבין ָּאב ְל ִּבת ֹו ִּב ְנ ֻע ֶּרי ָּה ֵבית ָּא ִּבי ָּה that Hashem commanded Moshe and Bnei Yisrael between a man and his wife, between a father and his daughter, during her youth in his home.”2

Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira says: you’re like a little girl to your Father. During Av a Jewish woman must turn to Hashem and say, “Ribbono Shel Olam, maybe I’ve sinned; I might have ruined my life with my own hands” (so many girls say that to me!).
Well... oK, little girl. Abba’s here. Tell Him this: “Abba, You’re responsible now. It could be that I’ve destroyed all sorts of really important values. I’m in Your hands and You’re the grown-up here, Abba. Come along during this month and say, ‘It is permitted to you. It is canceled for you.’3 Your daughter restricted herself by mistake, with sin and guilt? Release her from it, Ribbono Shel Olam.”4

It raises feminist hackles. “What’s this paternalism?? A woman takes a vow – who are you to undo it?” But it’s not arrogant paternalism. Father, Father, Abba, is taking responsibility. It’s amazing.
.30:17 2
Bava Batra 120b.
4 Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira, Pittuhei Hotam.

Av is the month for fathers and daughters. 

What does it say in the Haftarah? Look at your ִּב ְכָּרה ַק ָּלה ְמ ָּשֶּר ֶּכת ְדָּר ֶּכי ָּה appearance, daughter of Israel a restive young camel doubling back on her steps, and what happens to her? ְבָּחְדָּשה ִּיְמָּצאוְנָּה In her month they will find her.7 All the commentators agree: you’re in trouble. Your time will come any moment now, wayward daughter, to get what you deserve. But ְבָּחְדָּשהִּיְמָּצאוְנָּה“:the Haftarah is actually so consoling in her month they will find her,” in the month of Av the av, the abba, comes. Abba’s coming to take you, to free you from your city of refuge. These are just arduous journeys and encampments you’ve been forced to take during life. You’re actually so good, so pure.

There’s one man who takes responsibility for women’s suffering the Kohen Gadol. And just as we read in the parasha this Shabbat, at the death of the Kohen Gadol you can leave the city of refuge. The Kohen Gadol, Aharon HaKohen, died on Rosh Chodesh Av, as our parasha mentions. It’s the only yahrtzeit mentioned in the Torah. ,ַבחֶֹּדש ַהֲחִּמיִּשי ְבֶּאָּחד ַלחֶֹּדש - In the fifth month i.e. Av on the first of the month8, Rosh Chodesh Av, Aharon the Kohen Gadol died. He was the only one who took care of Israelite women’s beauty concerns during the long journey through the wilderness. He brought the Clouds of Glory,9 and our Sages explain that those were the desert’s Super- Pharm. Within the Clouds of Glory were perfumes and jewelry for the women so they would feel good about themselves during the odyssey.10
And he dies for you – you’re to die for – and we know that because in his death he says to you, “I’m freeing you now, my daughter. I’m taking responsibility for you. לֹא יֹו ִּסיף ְל ַהְגלֹו ֵת ְך. ַתם ֲע ֹוֵנ ְך, ַבת ִּציֹון He will no longer exile you. Your iniquity is finished, daughter of Tziyon.11 Here comes Abba to take you.”
Today and tomorrow, into Rosh Chodesh Av, is a wonderful time to light a candle for Aharon HaKohen, and to ask him to intercede for the Jewish women
7 Yirmeyahu 2:23-24.
8 Bemidbar 33:38.
9 Taanit 9a and Midrash Tanchuma Bemidbar 2.
10 Midrash Tehillim 23 and Devarim Rabba7 cited in Kli Yakar on Devarim 8:4.
11 Eicha 4:22.
that they be taken out of their exile in cities of refuge, that he pamper them with the Clouds of Glory in their homes; כל ְכבו ָּדה ַבת ֶּמ ֶּל ְך ְפ ִּני ָּמהָּ – the King’s daughter is all glorious within.12 I know so many women who receive so much honor on the outside, at work, or among friends, but who are so belittled at home.
So here, here comes your time as a daughter; your Father is coming to take you. May we have a good month.
Translated by Rav David Swidler
Join our mailing list to receive Divrey Torah by Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi!
12 Tehillim 45:14.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


(Thank you Shuli for sending this post from Rabbi Katz's facebook page =the elevation seminar:)

"When your consciousness is occupied with negative thoughts which are rooted in emotional delusion - it dulls and desensitizes the heart. This effect is called the “foreskin of the heart,” i.e. a blocked heart. 

This psychological state actually causes a damaging effect in the higher spiritual worlds -- blocking them off from receiving divine spiritual influx from their Source. 

This causes destruction in the world itself. 

However, when one thinks positive thoughts they actually cause fixing and healing in the world, and through this kind of thinking the heart is purified and the negative thinking patterns are expelled. 

The result of this practice is that one can ultimately access supernatural abilities using their consciousness." 

Rav Nachman of Breslov - Likutei Eitzos, Machsovos V'Hirhurim, #4

This is the power that hakaras hatov gives to us! To thank Hashem we have to search and recognize the good that Hashem is sending each of us in every moment.  When we do this on a regular basis, we won't have space in our head for the negative thoughts.

We will IYH continue our "Reaching Your Essence"  chaburah on Monday at 12 pm.  Summer hours are changed from Sunday night to Monday afternoon.  Looking forward to hearing your voices.

Love, aviva

Thursday, May 17, 2018

please join us...

Please pass on to  your family and friends, thank you!!

 B’lev echad k’ish echad
Like One Man
On Shavuot, Sunday, May 20, 2018, 
Jewish Women will Unite Worldwide to say Sh'ma Yisrael.

Time: 4:00pm Israel     3:00pm Johannesburg  
2:00pm London     8:00am Chicago      9:00am NY    6:00am Los Angeles    

At the designated time for your time zone, please recite:

Shema Yisroel Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad

H-shem Hu Ha'Elokim

H-shem Melech
H-shem Malach
H-shem Yimloch L'olam Vaed

Link to Devorah Yaffa's pre Shavuous meditation


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Preparing for Shavuous; From:


Don't forget, tomorrow is Erev Rosh Chodesh and that means time for the special Sh'lah Hakodesh tefillah for our kinderlach and their precious Torah learning. You can see a copy of this Tefillah under the More Chizuktab.
2.Jewish Women Unite worldwide in saying Sh'ma Yisrael in unity on Shavuot. For more details, go to the More Chizuk tab and also take a look at this must see video describing this redemptive initiative. For the dropbox link, click here. There are close to 1,000 women receiving this email. If each of you were to forward this video to 10 women, then at least 10,000 women would potentially be saying Sh'ma together in unison on Shavuot day. If those 10,000 women were to just forward this video to another 10 women, then 100,000 women could potentially be saying Sh'ma Yisrael in unison on Shavuot day! The implications are immense!!!! Please help us spread the word. It's so simple and easy and could have cosmic impact!
May we all join together as one voice with one heart Shavuot day and proclaim together in unison: Hear Oh Israel, Hashem is our G-d, Hashem is One!

See you at Sinai! 
3. If you'd like to hear a guided meditation/visualization 
to help you plug into your neshama's experiential memory of standing at Har Sinai, check out my recording of "See you at Sinai".)
with love and blessings, 
Devorah Yaffa Singer

Thursday, May 3, 2018

our homework-

Thank you Reitza Sarah for making it so beautiful!

I hope you had an amazing lag b'omer and have a wonderful Shabbos- 

I hope to be on the call 8 pm Sunday night to resume our learning, IYH.