Month: September 2015
Parshas Ki Tavo – Jewish Soldiers
From: Mitch Morgenstern <MMorgenstern@mbfinancial.com>
Date: Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 9:54 AM
To: Rabbi Efrem Goldberg
I hope everything is well. I like your weekly Chumash Shiur. I listened to your Shiur from Tuesday on Ki Teitzei. I used your Torah as a springboard, went through the Rishonim myself, expanded for myself your approach, added to it, and spoke on Shabbos in two places.
I went through the Meshcech Chocma who added greatly. I find the Meshech Chocma refreshing and the few times I have seen the Meshech Cochma, it seems that his Torah is very Litvish, very practical. To me he is part of the Rov’s world, part of Rabbi Kook is his approach. I admit I have seen only a few of his Divrei Torah. My daughter got me a Cooperman Meshech Chochma this past June (she was in Michlala this past year, unfortunately did not get me a signed copy) and without Cooperman, it is almost impossible for me to learn the Meshcech Chochma.
I also ended my speech with reading directly from the Abarbanal who beautifully recapped your approach.
I spoke at Shalosh Suedes and told over your IDF Golani story along with another story I heard. The crowd is more Yeshvish and I am the only one who will bring up Israel, the IDF, Rav Kook so I thank you for your approach and your stories. It is not that they do not agree with me, but they do not hear these stories, will never hear a Torah Vort from Rav Kook, how to look positively at the State of Israel and the IDF.
I wish that the BRS classes would be broadcast live and that they be recorded as audio classes.
Wishing you continued success.
From: Mitch Morgenstern
Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2015 9:44 PM
To: Rabbi Efrem Goldberg
I know you will be giving a Shiur tomorrow on Ki Tavo, however, I wanted to add something from your Shiur last week.
The attached Medresh Tanchumah translates “M’Kol Dvar Ra” as there should not be an “Lazunus” – frivolity, so that you do not come to guilt.
The Medresh is not like any of the other explanations.
I think the Medresh is saying that when you go into the army, a soldier may feel that everything is permitted. Halacha is that certain things are permitted in times of war, and since a soldier is in a situation of Pikuach Nefesh, he will have a laxity in his attitude, Mitzvos, and actions.
The Medresh Tanchuma is saying that a soldier should not have this sense of Lazunus, translated more as laxity. The YU Kollel Torah M’Tzion had a program where two Kollel members, Rabbis’ Liss and Berman, spoke about why they served in the IDF. Rabbi Liss was a Yeshiva Hakotel student and Yeshiva Hakotel goes to the army (as I recall) after Purim as a Chevra. These guys go in with a sense of purpose, with seriousness, and a sense of responsibility to the entire Jewish nation. These Bochrim do not go in with Lazunus.
The Medresh Tanchuma is saying be like these Hesder boys, who go in for the right reasons. Rabbi Liss and Rabbi Berman were riveting and after there speeches, all one can say is Boruch Hashem we have boys like this. I sit in one of Rabbi Liss’s classes and I looked at him totally different after his talk. I am not on his level.
Rabbi Liss has terrible asthma and during basic training had a serious attack. He was told that he could get a desk job, yet he refused, and completed basic training. They made him a tank driver which is not as hard. When he left after his 14 months in the Hesder program, he had a sense that was deserting his friends who serve for three years. Rabbi Berman was equally compelling.
Rabbi Liss said they had 20 minutes for Mincha, which only took 10 minutes. They spent the extra 10 minutes learning