Thursday, October 26, 2017

Good Shabbos- Parshas Lech Lecha

While we are waiting for the global geulah to arrive, Hashem is sending us many ways to learn how to step into our own personal redemption.

There is Rabbi Schwartz's monthly call- called Inner Redemption, Rabbi Cable's -Living in the Present- weekly call, and even a daily 5 minute learning with Rabbi Shmuel Braun (available on sound cloud and whats app- if you have whatsapp and need help joining please email me with your phone number and I can ask him to add you in).

Even more, we have the Torah,  the weekly Parsha, our guide in moments of darkness.  This week Nesivos Shalom asks questions of the pasuk: lech lecha el artzecha... (Bereishis;12,1)

Why does the pasuk say "lech-go" instead of "tzei -go away from" as the pasuk in parshas noach used "tzei min hateiva" go from the ark.  What's the difference in these words?

Why does the Pasuk start telling Avraham to leave his land and then tell him to leave his parents home- usually when one leaves a city, they must leave the home first and then leave the city?

Nesivos Shalom quotes Rashi and other meforshim as saying; The Torah is teaching us about a spiritual journey.  In order to feel  taanug (pleasure) from deveikus with Hashem, one must first separate from the land's customs and contaminations (each land and neighbor has influences that we may not see with our eyes but seeps into us), and then the pasuk says to go away from the inherited customs (minhagim)  from our ancestors, and finally, to leave his parent's homes.  The things we learn from our parents homes are deeper within us and more difficult to uproot.  

Back to the first question- why use the word lech instead of tzei... the word tzei means go out- without a specific destination.  However, Hashem is sending Avraham to a specific destination- the "land that I will show you"- the whole purpose of his going away from these places is to come the the place Hashem will show him, because in coming to that place - spiritually and physically, there will be the taanug in deveikus to Hashem.

May we all be zoche to leave the impurity of our surroundings- wherever they may be found- and reach the land that brings us taanug in Hashem.

Love, aviva

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Parshas Noach - Good Shabbos!

Thank You Yikrat for posting this and sending all of Rabbanit Yemima's Torah around- Anyone can  join these email lists by contacting Yikrat
The little baby was born, and I showed her to her older brother, 
my eldest grandchild.
"This is the sister you've been waiting for," we told him.
He looked. He looked back at us.
"That's not her."

That's 5778 for you.
How much did you daven for this baby of a new year?
"This is the conception of the world," you declared on Roah HaShanah,
And you anticipated the arrival of the amazing new baby.
You waited for amazing Chaggim.
You waited for awesome Simchat Torah.
You waited for the Chaggim to end with highlight
...and the baby 5778 turned out to be, well, disappointing.
You look at her, young 5778, and say: "That can't be right. This isn't what I davened for."

I'm telling you, wait. Soon her face will look normal.
She'll stop going cross-eyed, trying to see the angels
Soon she'll grow hair in the right places (and not just her ears)
5778 has to grow into itself; everything always works out in the end.

In the meantime, what do you do when nothing is in order?
When there's such injustice in the world?
When you're inundated? Flooded?

That's why we're here, with a new issue of Rabbanit Yemima's Torah (attached to this message).

NoachYom Chamishi, Tishrei 29, 5778 (October 19, 2017 #35 Bull’s Eye
Parashat Noach – about the man who, when he ֶזה :was born, people pointed to him with relief Thisonewillconsole–ְיַנֲחֵמנוִּמַמֲּעֵשׂנוּוֵּמִעְצּבֹוןָיֵדינוּ us from our work and the toil of our hands. It’s been what, two parashot so far? The world was just created – we need comforting already?
Even Hashem Himself, at the end of last week’s ַוִיָּנֶּחםה'ִכּיָעָשׂהֶאתָהאָָדם:parasha,needsnechama Hashem regretted – ָבּאֶָרץ ַוִיּ ְת ַע ֵצּב ֶאל ִלבֹּו [Vayinnachem] that He made man on the Earth, and was saddened in His heart. Good grief, what happened?
In the haftarah, which we read not long ago after Tisha B’Av, describes a woman in need of ֲעִנָיּהֹסֲעָרהאנָֻחָמהִהֵנּהאָֹנִכיַמְרִבּיץַבּפּוּ:comforting – Poor, in upheaval, lacking consolation – ֲא ָב ַנ ִי behold I will place your stones with fair colors.1 Ribbono Shel Olam, what’s going on? Why have You created a world that constantly needs comforting and holding?
This week we learned The Ramban’s introduction to his commentary on the Torah, in which he writes: if you were to ask me why I wrote the להניח דעת התלמידים יגעי הגלות commentary, it is to calm the nerves of disciples rendered – והצרות
1 Yeshayahu 54:11.
fatigued by exile and troubles.2 He also sees the need to comfort the depressed. We are left wondering:why?Whybother?Sodon’tcreatethe world. Why create a world that constantly needs comforting? I’m comforting people all day long – singles, married women, pregnant, giving birth, thin women, beautiful women... they all need consolation, so what gives? Why is it like that?
The world needs consolation. That’s what emerges from the first Rashi on the Torah. Why did it start with Bereshit? Because people will come along and say: “You conquered that land! You’re thieves!” So we just show them Bereshit. “Actually no,” we can answer. “We’re not thieves. Look, this means Hashem gives or takes the land to whomever He chooses, and He chose to give it to us.”3
In other words, the world needs consolation because on the surface it appears that it’s a world of things taken by force. A world in which might makes right, in which the successful, the rich, the powerful, the attractive, take everything for themselves. Whereas the delicate, the sensitive, the weak, the modest, the not-so-hot, won’t get accepted to yeshiva, won’t get the desirable shidduch, and so on. Because your figure isn’t good enough, you don’t figure into anyone’s plans for
2 Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, introduction, commentary on the Torah.
3 Rashi on Bereshit 1:1.
the good life. It looks like a might-makes-right world.
That’s what characterized the generation of the ַוִיְּראוְּבֵני-ָהֱאִהיםֶאתְבּנֹותָהאָָדםִכּיֹטֹבתֵהָנּה:Flood The sons of God – ַוִיְּקחוּ ָל ֶהם ָנ ִשׁים ִמ ֹכּל ֲא ֶשׁר ָבּ ָחרוּ saw the daughters of man, thay they were good, and they took as wives as they pleased. Who were these “sons of God?” Most commentators agree they were people who thought themselves superior. So they snatched up the beauties and left the rest. Might makes right.
I listened to a lecture. Someone was talking about Steve Jobs, inventor of the iPhone, the iPad, and recalled that the way Jobs did things was to steal ideas from people who were little cogs in the system, brilliant ideas from brilliant people, and present them as his own. He stole from them. And Hashem paved his way to success. That’s what the world looks like. A world where power reigns, where humility, delicateness, and weakness stand no chance.
And Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz of Mir says: if you don’t read the Torah in order week by week, to you the world will indeed resemble Flood-like chaos. (In fact the proper term in the yeshiva world for what we call the “parasha” is the “seder,” meaning “order.”)
In his golden words:
אני הרואה את התועלת הנעלה אשר רוכש כל בן ישראל אשר ממשיך את לימוד החומש תמידים כ ִסדרם, מדי שבוע בשבוע, כי רק על ידי זה הוא נעשה איש-סדר. וממהלך וסדר הבריאה יראה, איך הכל מיושב על מקומו ושעתו, בהמשך נכון ויראה את זהותו ועצמיותו מאוחדים, מחוברים הם איבריו ולא מדולדלים. קרוב הוא לעצמו ולנצחיותו.
כי מהלך שלם יש בעולם ועם הפסוק הראשון של "בראשית ברא", תיכף יחוש האדם שהבריאה אינה הפקר.4
הרב ירוחם ליבוביץ' ממיר, בהקדמה לפירושו "דעת תורה". 4
I see the lofty purpose that Yisrael attains
By continuing to study the Chumash regularly, Week by week, for only that way one becomes a person of Order.
From the process and order of Creation he will see How everything has its designated place and time, properly attuned,
And he will thus see his personal sovereignty and identity unified,
Connected to his limbs and not disjointed.
He is thus close to himself and his eternal purpose.

For there is an entire plan to this world,
And from the first verse of “In the Beginning”
A person can sense that Creation is not chaotic.
Just beautiful.
Only someone who follows the weekly Torah reading will not be buffeted by the Flood that is this world. By the greed and violence. Lady, you will always need comforting, because those who have power/beauty/clout/money will always look like they’re robbing everyone else – but that’s only a partial picture, only what’s revealed. Because really it’s not like that. There is order, justice, and a Judge in the world.
We’re on the cusp of the month of Cheshvan, which the Neviim call ֶי ַרח בּוּל – the month of Bul.6 It used to be called “the month of Mabbul” – of the Flood, the devastation, writes the B’nei Yissaschar, because that’s when the Deluge began, and even after the Flood, each year that month continued to see the onset of 40 days of stormy rains (it still overlaps with hurricane season). Only when Shlomo built the Beit HaMikdash did that
5 Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz of Mir, introduction to Daat Torah.
6 I Melachim 6:38.
stop. The mem, the forty days, from Mabbul disappeared, and we were left with Bul.7
Mabbul and Bul are opposites. Mabbul is total disorder, whereas Bul is a precise Bullseye.
Says the Bnei Yissaschar: take this Torah, week by week. You’ll watch as everything in your life starts to fall into place, bullseye. The first letter of the Torah is the bet of Bereshit; the last letter is the lammed of Yisrael; and the middle letter of the Torah (you’re welcome to count) is the second vav in כל ההולך על גחון – all that walks upon its belly,8 from Parashat Shmini. In order, they spell out Bul. Everything is precisely laid out. Bul.
And if you don’t accept order? You’ll be in all that ַעל ְגּ ֹח ְנ ֵת ֵל walks upon its belly – the snake, as in – on your belly you shall walk, and what’s more, anddustshalleatallthe–ְוָעָפרֹתּאַכלָכּלְיֵמיַחֶיּי days of your life.9 Nothing you eat will have any taste.10 You’ll end up walking around in the world as if on your belly, feeling there’s not taste, not taam, no sense, no purpose. The snake will say to you: “You see how much effort you put into things, and for nothing?”
For that reason Rashi opens his commentary with – מה טעם פתח בבראשית – ?the question Mah taam for what reason did the Torah start with Bereshit? Because this world seems like a huge chaotic flood, a world of violence and greed, a world of might makes right. So take this Torah! Nothing gives better consolation. Each weak it will reassure you, “There, there, ֶזה ְי ַנ ֲח ֵמנוּ this will console you from the toil of your soul.” The order of the Torah will organize your brain. You’ll feel that even when you’re crawling on your belly and everything seems senseless, that’s just because you’re only
7 Rav Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov, B’nei Yssaschar for the month of Cheshvan.
8 Vaykira 11:42.
9 Bereshit 3:14.
10 Bnei Yssaschar, Ibid.
seeing the middle of things. Everything is in order. You can’t really believe this is a world of chaos and theft.
That’s why no one can “steal” Eretz Yisrael. It decides whether we belong there. Why do I mention it? Because this week I heard a study of Israeli students, a large percentage of whom said they plan to leave the country once they finish school because there’s no housing here for young couples. Brain drain!
Indeed. Some people are leaking brains, just as one might lose calcium. If you don’t want to be here, it’s not because you don’t want to, but because the land doesn’t want you. As Rashi says: ֶאר ֶצה it’s called Eretz because that’s shorthand for – I desire – whether you live here depends on my, the land’s, desire. Whoever isn’t worthy doesn’t gettostay.
Only someone who learns the Torah in order will grasp this epic system. Everything looks entropic now, after the Chaggim: “Where do I even begin?” It’s OK – hold on to the Torah, and you’ll get exactly where you need to go. Bullseye, B’ezrat Hashem.
Translated by Rav David Swidler