Parshas Naso: 13 – 14 Sivan – June 5 – 6, 2020

Date:     13 – 14 Sivan  – June 5 – 6, 2020

    Parshas Naso

From:    Avrohom Meir Morgenstern

In the book עמוד האמת, page 185 the Sefer brings down sayings of the Kotzker.  On the subject matter of love of a fellow Jew the following is brought down: 

אמר על עצמו: אני מסתכל רק בּמידות הטובות שׁיש בכל אדם, וכך אניבּא לאהבה אותו.

A foundation stone of understanding the Kotzker Rebbe is  אהבת ישראל.   When you read a Vort of the Kotzker you have to put in the Kotzker’s   אהבת ישראל and his great Torah scholarship. 

In November 2019 I was in Toronto and with Siattah Dishmaya I found and re-connected with Rabbi Shmuel Bowman.  In fact he was visiting his father at the Conservatory, the same building where my mother-in-law lives.   I had heard him in 2013 when he was a scholar in residence at Boca Raton Synagogue.  I hugged him and told  him what he said in 2013.  I was able to give true Jewish Nachus to his  father as I spoke in praise of his son.   As we were departing, I asked Rabbi Bowman, what is your impression of the Kotzker Rebbe.  He responded   אהבת ישראל.   I stopped in my tracks and asked, I , who is a descendant of the Kotzker, did not understand this until I spent years studying Kotzk, how do you know this about the Kotzker?    Rabbi Shmuel Bowman responded that he heard it from Rabbi Shllomo Carlbach. 

On Thursday June 4, 2020  I was at my doctor’s office listening to Rabbi Sugerman’s  Daf Yomi Shiur on YUtorah.org.   Rabbi Sugerman said  . . . דָּרֵשׁ רָבָא, מַאי דִּכְתִיב:    I immediately was filled with joy as I felt  that this Gemora is the source of the Kotzker Rebbe’s Vort on the Medresh, on the second  Pasuk of Va’era.  I paused the Shiur with my mind racing.   I called my Chavrusa immediately and told him that I believe I found the source of a difficult Kotzker Vort.  

In Parshas  וארא the following Vort is brought down:  

וָאֵרָא אֶל אַבְרָהָם  ,וגו׳ (ו ג) 

ובמדרש:   אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמשֶׁה חֲבָל עַל דְּאָבְדִין וְלָא מִשְׁתַּכְּחִין,

יש לפרש חבל שהאבות אבדו  תקיפות דעתם בּשעה שהזהרתי אותם על גלות בניהם כּשאמרתי לאברהם כי גר יהיה זרעך ותרדמה נפלה על אברם, כּי אילו היה עומד בּתוקף שׁלא יהיה גלות כמוך אפשר לא היו משתעבּדים כלל.

Gevalt!  The Kotzker is saying that Avrohom lost his presence of mind, Avrohom lost his strength.  Had Avrohom prayed to Hashem perhaps there would not have been Golus.  

The Kotzker is telling us the power of the Tefillah of a Tzaddik, the Tefilah of Avrohom..   The Kotzker uses the first line of the Medresh as being supportive of Moshe.  There is no question that the full Medresh and Rashi  does seem to be “critical”  of Moshe.   The Kotzker is defending Moshe.   What I have to work on is reconciling the Kotzker with Rashi and the Medresh.  (I printed the entire medresh at the end of this Torah and the cases the Medresh cites that the 3 Avos did not question Hashem in no way compares to 400 years of millions of Jews of brutal suffering. )  

When I read this Kotzker in 2004, I wondered.  How can the Kotzker say a Pshat that was different from the traditional reading and understanding of the Medresh.

However, Boruch Hashem I believe that I found the source of the Kotzker while listening to Rabbi Sugeman.  

The Gemoro in Daf Yomi 89B mentions the following Memra from Rabbah:

דָּרֵשׁ רָבָא, מַאי דִּכְתִיב: ״לְכוּ נָא וְנִוָּכְחָה יֹאמַר ה׳״ — ״לְכוּ נָא״? ״בּוֹאוּ נָא״ מִיבְּעֵי לֵיהּ! ״יֹאמַר 

ה׳״? ״אָמַר ה׳״ מִיבְּעֵי לֵיהּ! 

לֶעָתִיד לָבֹא יֹאמַר לָהֶם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְיִשְׂרָאֵל: לְכוּ נָא אֵצֶל אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם וְיוֹכִיחוּ אֶתְכֶם. וְיֹאמְרוּ לְפָנָיו: רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם אֵצֶל מִי נֵלֵךְ? אֵצֶל אַבְרָהָם שֶׁאָמַרְתָּ לוֹ ״יָדֹעַ תֵּדַע״ וְלֹא בִּקֵּשׁ רַחֲמִים עָלֵינוּ?! 

Rava taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Go please and let us reason together, the Lord will say” (Isaiah 1:18)? Why does the verse say: Go please? It should have said: Come please. And why does the verse say: The Lord will say? The prophet’s message is based on something that God already said. Therefore, the verse should have said: God said. 

Rather, the explanation of this verse is that in the future that will surely come, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will say to the Jewish people: Go please to your Patriarchs, and they will rebuke you. the Jewish people will say before Him: Master of the Universe, to whom shall we go? Shall we go to Abraham, to whom You said: “Know certainly that your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years” (Genesis 15:13), and he did not ask for mercy on our behalf? 

Wow.  Rava clearly seems to be the source of the Kotzker.

How and why and what motivated the Kotzker to say his Pshat.  I believe it is influenced by the Kotzker’s    אהבת ישראל.   Moshe was standing up and defending the Jewish people.  How can we criticize Moshe for this?  After all, Moshe killed the Egyptian due to Ahavas Yisroel.  Moshe could have gone back to the palace and had the Egyptian killed in secret, yet he reacted, Moshe told Hashem that his brother, Aaron, should be the one to take out the Jews from Egypt, and  refused to accept the mission for seven days  

I looked closely at the below Medresh and saw something fascinating that appears to back up Rava and the Kotzker.  Verse 6:9 says:

לָכֵ֞ן אֱמֹ֥ר לִבְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֘ל אֲנִ֣י יְהוָה֒ וְהוֹצֵאתִ֣י אֶתְכֶ֗ם מִתַּ֙חַת֙ סִבְלֹ֣ת מִצְרַ֔יִם וְהִצַּלְתִּ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם מֵעֲבֹדָתָ֑ם וְגָאַלְתִּ֤י אֶתְכֶם֙ בִּזְר֣וֹעַ נְטוּיָ֔ה וּבִשְׁפָטִ֖ים גְּדֹלִֽים׃

Say, therefore, to the Israelite people: I am the LORD. I will free you from the labors of the Egyptians and deliver you from their bondage. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and through extraordinary chastisements.

Rashi on   לָכֵ֞ן explains:

  לכן. עַל פִּי אוֹתָהּ הַשְּׁבוּעָה:

לכן THEREFORE, i. e. in accordance with the tenor of that oath (cf. Exodus Rabbah 6).  Meaning because of the oath Hashem made to the   אבות, Hashem is redeeming the Jewish people from Egypt. 

However,  Rashi did not explain it like the Merdresh.    The Medresh explains the  שְּׁבוּעָה as a new oath to the Jewish people, as follows:

 וְאַתָּה תְּחִלַּת שְׁלִיחוּתִי אָמַרְתָּ לִי מַה שְּׁמִי, וּלְבַסּוֹף אָמַרְתָּ (שמות ה, כג): וּמֵאָז בָּאתִי אֶל פַּרְעֹה. וְעַל זֶה נֶאֱמַר: וְגַם הֲקִמֹתִי אֶת בְּרִיתִי, שֶׁנִּתְּנָה לָהֶם כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמַרְתִּי לָהֶם שֶׁאֶתֵּן לָהֶם אֶת הָאָרֶץ וְלֹא הִרְהֲרוּ אַחֲרָי. וְגַם אֲנִי שָׁמַעְתִּי אֶת נַאֲקַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְפִי שֶׁהֵן לֹא הִרְהֲרוּ אַחֲרָי, וְגַם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיִּשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁבְּאוֹתוֹ הַדּוֹר לֹא הָיוּ נוֹהֲגִין כַּשּׁוּרָה, שָׁמַעְתִּי נַאֲקָתָם בַּעֲבוּר הַבְּרִית שֶׁכָּרַתִּי עִם אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (שמות ו, ה): וָאֶזְכֹּר אֶת בְּרִיתִי. לָכֵן אֱמֹר לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֵין לָכֵן אֶלָּא לְשׁוֹן שְׁבוּעָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ג, יד): וְלָכֵן נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לְבֵית עֵלִי, נִשְׁבַּע הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁיִּגְאָלֵם, שֶׁלֹא יִירָא משֶׁה שֶׁמָּא מִדַּת הַדִּין יְעַכֵּב גְּאֻלָּתָן. 

The Merdesh is saying because of the previous oath and bvecuase of the prayers of the Jews, even though the Jews are not acting properly, I am taking a new   שְּׁבוּעָה that I will redeem the Jews, that Moshe should not be afraid the the attribute of jusitnce will delay the redemption,  (Afterall Avrohom was told that the slavery will last 400 years, my note).  Amazing.   The Medresh seems to be saying that Hashem was responding to Moshe, when Moshe questioned Hashem.  

Either Rava and perhaps this Medresh argues on the Gemoro in Sanhedrin 111A or you figure out a way to reconcile the two.  Clearly, the Kotzker took a view based on Rava and this new understanding in the Medresh that Moshe’s  Prayer – וַיָּ֧שָׁב מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶל־יְהוָ֖ה וַיֹּאמַ֑ר אֲדֹנָ֗י לָמָ֤ה הֲרֵעֹ֙תָה֙ לָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה לָ֥מָּה זֶּ֖ה שְׁלַחְתָּֽנִי׃ and  וּמֵאָ֞ז בָּ֤אתִי אֶל־פַּרְעֹה֙ לְדַבֵּ֣ר בִּשְׁמֶ֔ךָ הֵרַ֖ע לָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֑ה וְהַצֵּ֥ל לֹא־הִצַּ֖לְתָּ אֶת־עַמֶּֽךָ׃  was a legitimate prayer and Hashem listened to Moshe.

I agree that the Medresh is not 100% either way but maybe Psat is that both prayers or lack of prayer are legitimate.  You need both.

Other thoughts: 

Thes Pshat of the Kotzker appealed to me as I felt that this more closely aligns with how I read Passek 6:1  right after Moshe questioned hashem that says:

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה עַתָּ֣ה תִרְאֶ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֖ה לְפַרְעֹ֑ה כִּ֣י בְיָ֤ד חֲזָקָה֙ יְשַׁלְּחֵ֔ם וּבְיָ֣ד חֲזָקָ֔ה יְגָרְשֵׁ֖ם מֵאַרְצֽוֹ׃ 

When I read this Passuk years ago, I felt that עַתָּ֣ה תִרְאֶ֔ה almost seems that Hashem is defending himself, Hashem feels the needs to respond to Moshe.     They are justification words, you’ll see.that things will turn out well. 

Perhaps what the Kotzker is saying is that Klal Yisroel needs a Moshe Rabbinu person, not an Avrohom Avinu person.

When Hashem told Shmual HaNavi that the monarchy is being taken away from Shaul, Shmuel begs and prays to Hashem all night.  He did not accept it quietly.  

In Veschanan, I asked the question.  Moshe prayed for a gift from Hashem.  I asked the question, can a Tzadick – leader pray to Hashem to save another person or to save his Chassidim or to save Klal Yisroel with a Matnas Chenom or must  the Tzaddik go in with fulls guns blazing saying, Klal Yisroel is owed, look at the Chesed, the sacrifices of your people..  , 

I first saw this Kotzker in January 2004 and in my mind I understood it slightly differently.  I understood the Kotzker said that  It would be natural for Avrohom to cry out – what do you mean that my children will be enslaved for four hundred years of slavery.  The Kotzker is saying even more.  

What does the Medresh and the Gemora here in Shabbos 89B mean and they are both difficult for many reasons.  The Medresh itself is difficult because of course Moshe knew that Hashem  will redeem Klal Yisrael.  My understanding is that Moshe lamented the fact that the  burden of Klal Yisroel increased significantly because of himself.  .  No one wants to be the person to have bad things happen because of them.

Full Medrash:

וָאֵרָא אֶל אַבְרָהָם, אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמשֶׁה חֲבָל עַל דְּאָבְדִין וְלָא מִשְׁתַּכְּחִין, הַרְבֵּה פְּעָמִים 

נִגְלֵיתִי עַל אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב בְּאֵל שַׁדַּי וְלֹא הוֹדַעְתִּי לָהֶם כִּי שְׁמִי ה’ כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָמַרְתִּי לְךָ וְלֹא הִרְהֲרוּ אַחַר מִדּוֹתָי, אָמַרְתִּי לְאַבְרָהָם (בראשית יג, יז): קוּם הִתְהַלֵּךְ בָּאָרֶץ לְאָרְכָּהּ וּלְרָחְבָּהּ וגו’, בִּקֵּשׁ לִקְבֹּר שָׂרָה וְלֹא מָצָא עַד שֶׁקָּנָה בְּדָמִים וְלֹא הִרְהֵר אַחַר מִדּוֹתָי, אָמַרְתִּי לְיִצְחָק (בראשית כו, ג): גּוּר בָּאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת כִּי לְךָ וּלְזַרְעֲךָ וגו’, בִּקֵּשׁ לִשְׁתּוֹת מַיִם וְלֹא מָצָא אֶלָּא (בראשית כו, כ): וַיָּרִיבוּ רֹעֵי גְרָר עִם רֹעֵי יִצְחָק, וְלֹא הִרְהֵר אַחַר מִדּוֹתָי. אָמַרְתִּי לְיַעֲקֹב (בראשית כח, יג): הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה שֹׁכֵב עָלֶיהָ וגו’, בִּקֵּשׁ מָקוֹם לִנְטוֹת אָהֳלוֹ וְלֹא מָצָא עַד שֶׁקָּנָה בְּמֵאָה קְשִׂיטָה, וְלֹא הִרְהֵר אַחַר מִדּוֹתַי וְלֹא שְׁאָלַנִי מַה שְּׁמִי כְּשֵׁם שֶׁשָּׁאַלְתָּ אַתָּה, וְאַתָּה תְּחִלַּת שְׁלִיחוּתִי אָמַרְתָּ לִי מַה שְּׁמִי, וּלְבַסּוֹף אָמַרְתָּ (שמות ה, כג): וּמֵאָז בָּאתִי אֶל פַּרְעֹה. וְעַל זֶה נֶאֱמַר: וְגַם הֲקִמֹתִי אֶת בְּרִיתִי, שֶׁנִּתְּנָה לָהֶם כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמַרְתִּי לָהֶם שֶׁאֶתֵּן לָהֶם אֶת הָאָרֶץ וְלֹא הִרְהֲרוּ אַחֲרָי. וְגַם אֲנִי שָׁמַעְתִּי אֶת נַאֲקַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְפִי שֶׁהֵן לֹא הִרְהֲרוּ אַחֲרָי, וְגַם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיִּשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁבְּאוֹתוֹ הַדּוֹר לֹא הָיוּ נוֹהֲגִין כַּשּׁוּרָה, שָׁמַעְתִּי נַאֲקָתָם בַּעֲבוּר הַבְּרִית שֶׁכָּרַתִּי עִם אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (שמות ו, ה): וָאֶזְכֹּר אֶת בְּרִיתִי. לָכֵן אֱמֹר לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֵין לָכֵן אֶלָּא לְשׁוֹן שְׁבוּעָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ג, יד): וְלָכֵן נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לְבֵית עֵלִי, נִשְׁבַּע הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁיִּגְאָלֵם, שֶׁלֹא יִירָא משֶׁה שֶׁמָּא מִדַּת הַדִּין יְעַכֵּב גְּאֻלָּתָן. וְהוֹצֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם מִתַּחַת סִבְלֹת מִצְרַיִם, אַרְבַּע גְּאֻלּוֹת יֵשׁ כָּאן, וְהוֹצֵאתִי, וְהִצַּלְתִּי, וְגָאַלְתִּי, וְלָקַחְתִּי. כְּנֶגֶד אַרְבַּע גְּזֵרוֹת שֶׁגָּזַר עֲלֵיהֶן פַּרְעֹה. וּכְנֶגְדָּן תִּקְּנוּ חֲכָמִים אַרְבַּע כּוֹסוֹת בְּלֵיל הַפֶּסַח, לְקַיֵּם מַה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים קטז, יג): כּוֹס יְשׁוּעוֹת אֶשָֹּׂא וּבְשֵׁם ה’ אֶקְרָא, וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם אֶל הָאָרֶץ 

אֲשֶׁר נָשָׂאתִי אֶת יָדִי, אֶעֱשֶׂה לָהֶן מַה שֶּׁאָמַרְתִּי לַאֲבוֹתֵיהֶן שֶׁאֶתֵּן לָהֶם אֶת הָאָרֶץ וְיִהְיוּ יוֹרְשִׁין אוֹתָהּ בִּזְכוּתָן.

Postscript:

I spoke this Torah at the Glennner’s Minyan outdoor Minyan this past Shabbos.  My nephew, Naftali Glenner, one the the most recognized faces in the Frum world today, walked over after I finished speaking and held out his hand, and gave me a Yasher Koach.  Naftali is special needs and still listens to everything going on around him.  

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The Torah of Boca Raton Synagogue is refreshing and truly Toras Hashem

I was in Boca Raton helping take care of my grandkids for the last week and a half. It was very nice. I was there for Parshas Noah and Parshas Lech Lacha. I had a bad cold for Noah so my Shabbos was muted. Lech Lecha I was back on my game and Boca Raton Synagogue had some great speakers.

The following is Torah I learned at BRS.

Friday Night, October 10, 2013:

Arrived in Shul for Mincha and Kabalas Shabbos.  I picked up the BRS weekly and loved what I saw.  Rabbi Rabinovici is in Boca to teach Torah and there is a scholar in residence.

Boca Raton Synagogue Weekly

Went home for a delicious Shabbos meal with the kids.  

Shiur 1:

9:15 PM – Went to Rabbi Moscowitz’s house for a Shiur by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovici. It was a Shiur on adding the prayer for rain in the Shmoei Esra – V-Sain Tal U’matur Levracha -which in Israel begins on the 7th of Marchesvan and in the Diaspora begins on December 4th, which is supposed to be 60 days after the fall equinox. However, we add 10 days due to the adjustment of the Gregorian colander in the late 1500’s. I am not sure why it is the night of December 4th, which is 73 days after the fall equinox. Rabbi Rabinovici mentioned the Rosh who asks, the 60 days after the fall equinox was for Babylonia, and why in other parts of the world isn’t it at different time based on when rain is needed, such as south of the equator. The Rosh said that although the date for the start of praying for rain should be different for different parts of the world, the custom is to do it for all of the diaspora on December 4th. The Shiur was excellent.

Shabbos morning, October 11, 2013:

Shiur 2:

Made it to the 7:25 AM Haskama Minyan at 7:55 AM, during the end of Chazaros Hashatz. Typical for me as I am always late. Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, Rabbi of BRS, spoke beautifully. He quoted Newton’s first law of motion – “ . . .an object either is at rest or moves at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force.[2][3]

Chapter 11, Verse 31 states:

And Terach took Abram, his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter in law, the wife of Abram his son and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees to go to the land of Canaan, and they came as far as Charan and settled there.

Chapter 12, verse 5 states that Abram left to go to the land of Canaan, and he came to the land of Canaan. 

It is interesting that Terach also left his land to go to Canaan, just like Abram. The difference is that Terach stopped in Charan and settled there. Terach also wanted to go to Canaan, a land of a higher spiritual level. However, Terach got distracted and settled in Charan. He was enticed by the bright lights of Charan. Abram on the other hand was not distracted from his mission and made it to the land of Canaan. Rabbi Goldberg continued, we all have the power and ability to achieve spirituality and/or greatness. Many of us get distracted from our mission. We have to be like Abram and actually make it to the promised land, achieve higher spirituality, and fully achieve our mission in life.

Listened to the Torah reading

Shiur 3:

During the Torah reading, I noticed a Targum Onkalys who seems to disagree with Rashi. Chapter 16, verse 12 is the conversation between the angel and Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant.

יב.      וְהוּא יִהְיֶה פֶּרֶא אָדָם יָדוֹ בַכֹּל וְיַד כֹּל בּוֹ וְעַל פְּנֵי כָל אֶחָיו יִשְׁכֹּן

12. And he will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be upon all, and everyone’s hand upon him, and before all his brothers he will dwell.”

Rashi translates the Verse as follows:

And he shall be an “outdoorsman who loves hunt”, his hand shall be against every man, “a robber”, and every man’s hand against him, “everyone will hate him and contend with him”; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren. This is very harsh.

Onkalys translates it is follows:

And he shall be a rebellious person, he will need everyone and everyone will need him, and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren.

I was puzzled on how to fully understand Onkalys, and asked Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda and Rabbi Rabinovici for their opinion.

Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda said that Onkalys was more of an open person and explained Onkayls that while the nature of Yismael is to be rebellious, he is an integral part of the world. (This is how I understood Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda)

Rabbi Rabinovici said differently. Yismael will be rebellious and you will want to avoid him, just as we avoid difficult people. However the Torah tells us, you will not be able to avoid him because he will need everyone and everyone will need him

Shuir 4:

I listened to the reading of the Torah and while the Haskama Minyan davened Mussaf, I davened Shachris, and caught Tefilah B’zibbur. Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik confirmed that according to Rabbi Chaim Brisker, I fulfilled Tefilah B’zibbur.   Rabbi Moshe Solevichik’s grandfather, who has the same name and was Rosh HaYeshiva of YU, as a student once was in Shul, and while the congregation was at Mussef, he was at the Shachris prayer.  Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik, TZL, davened the Mussaf prayer with the congregation and afterwards said the Shacharis prayer.   Reb Moshe, TZL, asked his father, Reb Chaim Brisker,  if it was proper to first say the Mussaf prayer and then the Shachris prayer.  Reb Chaim Brisker answered his son that had his son said the Shachris prayer while the congregation was saying the Mussaf prayer, then it would have been Tefilah B’Tzibbur and proper.

After davening took a small bowl of Cholent to the Board room to attend Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda’s Shiur.  Reb Theo was there to provide the Diet Coke.

Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda said two amazing Torah insights:

1) In the first test and the tenth test,  the Torah uses the same type of descriptive terminology.   The Torah is telling  us that there is a commonality between the two.

First test was for Abram to leave his home and go to Canaan:

Chapter 12, Verse 1:

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל אַבְרָם לֶךְ לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָוּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ

:1. And the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.

The tenth test of Abraham was the Akeidah – Chapter 22, Verse 2

The Torah uses to the same type of expression: :

ב.וַיֹּאמֶר קַח נָא אֶתבִּנְךָ אֶת יְחִידְךָ אֲשֶׁר אָהַבְתָּ אֶת יִצְחָק וְלֶךְ לְךָ אֶל אֶרֶץ הַמֹּרִיָּה וְהַעֲלֵהוּ שָׁם לְעֹלָה עַל אַחַד הֶהָרִים אֲשֶׁר אֹמַר אֵלֶיךָ:

2. And He said, “Please take your son, your only one, whom you love, yea, Isaac, and go away to the land of Moriah and bring him up there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains, of which I will tell you.”

Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda said beautifully.   In both places the Torah increases the intensity of the moment, emphasizing that what is asked of Abram is difficult, something of great importance, and meaning.   By asking Abram to leave  his home, God was asking Abram  to give up his past;  and at the Akediah, God was asking Abraham to give up his future.

2)  Rabbi Tzvi  introduced his next piece of Torah by reading this Rashi on Chapter 22, Versa 12.  I can still  hear in my mind how beautifully Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda read the below Rashi in his scholarly voice:

כי עתה ידעתי: אמר רבי אבא אמר לו אברהם אפרש לפניך את שיחתי, אתמול אמרת לי (לעיל כא יב) כי ביצחק יקרא לך זרע, וחזרת ואמרת (שם כב ב) קח נא את בנך, עכשיו אתה אומר לי אל תשלח ידך אל הנער. אמר לו הקב”ה (תהלים פט לה) לא אחלל בריתי ומוצא שפתי לא אשנה, כשאמרתי לך קח מוצא שפתי לא אשנה, לא אמרתי לך שחטהו אלא העלהו, אסקתיה אחתיה

12. for now I know: Said Rabbi Abba: Abraham said to Him,“ I will explain my complaint before You. Yesterday, You said to me (above 21:12): ‘for in Isaac will be called your seed,’ and You retracted and said (above verse 2): ‘ Take now your son.’ Now You say to me, ‘ Do not stretch forth your hand to the lad.’” The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him (Ps. 89:35): “I shall not profane My covenant, neither shall I alter the utterance of My lips.” When I said to you,“ Take,” I was not altering the utterance of My lips. I did not say to you,“ Slaughter him,” but,“ Bring him up.” You have brought him up; [now] take him down. — [from Gen. Rabbah 56:8]

Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda also said that when it comes to an animal,  וְהַעֲלֵהוּ , uplifting spiritually always means a Sacrifice to God. However, when it comes to people הַעֲלֵהו always means that when we uplift someone to God, we uplift them by teaching them knowledge, and educating them.

Shiur 5:

Went into the main Shul to Daven Mussaf.  After services the scholar-in-residence, Rabbi Shmuel Bowman spoke. He spoke emotionally about what he does. He is the Executive Director of Operation Lifeshield,  a not-for-profit organization that provides above ground air raid shelters. He said that he went to Israel as an educator and found his calling running this important organization. He said that in 2006 Israel decided that they could not build underground shelters. Israel cannot be a country living underground and that it was too much a reminder of the Holocaust. He spoke about what it means to Israeli’s who are in harm’s way from rockets to have these shelters.

Nachum Caplan:

I took my granddaughter, Tiferet, to visit Nachum Caplan by his in-laws house in Captiva. His mother-in-law is from South Africa and I met some of the BRS South African contingent at her house. His cousin was there. His cousin’s wife is a granddaughter of Rabbi Walkin, who was a Dayan in Pinsk. My Bubby was from Pinsk and I spent a Shabbos in 2005 in Pinsk.

Shiur 6:

Shabbos afternoon – Rabbi Shmuel Bowman spoke before Mincha.

Rabbi Shmuel Bowman talked about his disagreement with the book, The Giving Tree.  I never read this kid’s book, however, my niece, Chanie, read the book as a kid in Texas.   In the book, a kid over his lifetime tells the tree that he is unhappy and would like various things.    The tree constantly gives and gives the kid part of herself to try to make the kid happy.   The tree is cut down piece by piece,  until years later, the tree is only a stump.  Even after all these years of the kid getting what he wants, and now he is an older man, he is not happy, and the tree even as a stump offers the kid her stump for him to rest.  

Rabbi Bowman’s disagreement with The Giving Tree is self evident.

Rabbi Bowman then talked about a Gemorah is Shabbos in which a Tanna walks into the study hall and  silences the learning.  The Tanna tells the entire study hall, I have just heard a beautiful saying from a child.  Imagine walking into the Bais Medresh and stopping learning for a kids poem.  

The Tanna said he heard a child say that the entire Hebrew alphabet teaches  life and moral lessons.  

Aleph – Beis.   Aleph Bina – The primary thing to knowledge.

גּ  –  ד stands for Gomel Dalim – translated as being generous to people in need.  The Tanna is amazed that even the form of the Hebrew letters have great insight.  We can see this lesson in the form of the letters גּ  –  ד .   The Daled – person in need – cannot see the Gimel – the  person who gives.  The top of the Gimal arches over as he is giving to the Daled.  The top right of the Daled has a little piece that extends back towards the Gimal. This symbolizes that the person in need puts his hand behind him to receive the largess from the Gomel.

Shiur 7:

At the third Sabbath meal, Rabbi Bowman spoke about Christian Evangelicals and their support for Israel. He has asked them why they support Israel.  He was told that Christian Evangelicals believe in the Torah; and what is said in Chapter 12, Verse 3, is to be taken  literally.

Chapter 12, Verse 3 states:

וַאֲבָרְכָה מְבָרֲכֶיךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ אָאֹר וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה

And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you.”

Rabbi Bowman spoke of being at the Christian United for Israel (CUFI) convention.  Two years ago, Rabbi Lopatin spoke from the pulpit about being at the same CUFI convention. 

Rabbi Bowman also mentioned that the Christian Evangelicals have a new slogan, popping up at conventions.  It is Esther 4:14. 

 Esther 4:14 states:

14. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and rescue will arise for the Jews from elsewhere, and you and your father’s household will perish; and who knows whether you attained the kingdom at this time just to save the Jews.”

When Rabbi Shmuel Bowman takes Christian Evangelical ministers to show them the need for shelters, he tells them Esther 4:14.  He tells them that God will provide us with money for shelters, even without your money, however, “who knows whether you attained the kingdom at this time just to save the Jews.”

Shiur 8:

Sunday morning Daf Yomi with Rabbi Ben Sugerman.

Operation Lifeshield