PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.
MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL
Menachim Z. Shimanowitz
too can dedicate a Parsha or any other section of Torah Tots in honor
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NUMBER OF MITZVOT: NONE
Some count the mitzvah of T'shuva (repentance) from this Parsha.
NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 40
NUMBER OF WORDS: 657
NUMBER OF LETTERS: 2575
HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
Yeshayahu / Isaiah 61:10 - 63:9 שוש
This is the last of seven Haftorot,
- the שבע דנחמתא - the Seven Haftorot of Consolation, that precede Rosh HaShana).
This week we study Chapters 5 & 6 of Pirkei Avot - "Ethics of the Fathers"
Rosh HaShana is Monday and Tuesday, September 10 & 11.
Tzom Gedaliah is Wednesday, September 12.
our last episode Moshe warned the Bnei Yisroel of the consequences
of abandoning the Torah: losing the land, exile, famine
- about 98 different punishments! (in addition to the 49 previously
mentioned in Vayikra, Parshat Bechukotai).
As our Parsha
opens, the Bnei Yisroel are freaked out! How can Hashem
expect the nation to be perfect? Moshe replies that a little punishment
is good for the soul. You see, in the big picture there's this
world and there's "Olam Habah," - the world to come.
When a Jew sins, Hashem punishes him in this world so
that his Neshoma (soul) will be pure for Olam Habah.
It may seem harsh when there is famine or exile, but this world
is only a front for the great reward of Olam Habah.
It is the seventh day of Adar. By the time night falls, the nation will mourn the loss of its greatest leader. Moshe announces to the nation that he is going to make a new treaty between Bnei Yisroel and Hashem.
The new treaty is needed because the generation that was at Har (Mt.) Sinai had already passed on and Moshe wanted this new generation to promise to keep the Torah.
But the Bnei Yisroel must swear that they will be Hashem's people forever. From now on every Jew, in every generation, will be responsible for himself and his fellow Jew.
Just in case anyone thinks that you can pay "lip service" to Hashem by announcing that you accept the Torah while, in your heart, you're a "Ra, god of Egypt" fan - forget it! Hashem is very jealous when it comes to idol worship! Thoughts definitely count and all punishments are on! If Bnei Yisroel serves idols, Hashem will burn out the earth of Eretz Yisroel like He did to S'dom. Nothing will grow in the land and there will be terrible famine.|
When the Bnei Yisroel are exiled from the land they will ask why Hashem has abandoned them. The only answer there can be is that the Jews have abandoned Hashem. Moshe makes it clear that if a Jew secretly believes in idols, Hashem will single him out for punishment. But if a Jew is seen serving idols, he must be brought to justice otherwise the entire nation will be punished.
| Even if Hashem
sends the Bnei Yisroel into Galut (exile), the
Jews must know that Hashem will not stay angry forever.
Galut is Hashem's way of pushing the Jews to do
How much of a push? If the Jews do Teshuvah on their
own, the exile will go easily. The longer Bnei Yisroel
pushes off Teshuvah, the harder the Galut will
get. When Hashem brings the nation out of exile, all
curses will transfer to their enemies and Bnei Yisroel
will be "blessed for success!"
The secret to Teshuvah is Torah study. No excuses
like "it's too hard" or "I'm not superman" accepted. We all have
a Yetzer Hara (evil urge) to deal with. Don't think that
you're alone, though; there are yetzer horas in all generations.
Just remember that the Torah is instilled into the heart
of every Jew; it is a part of us just waiting to be brought to the
surface. If you put your whole heart into it, the Torah
will come to life and be a life giving wellspring.
Moshe says it the way it is: You can keep the Torah or abandon the Torah; that's your choice. No one can force you to be a tzadik if you don't want to be one. But just remember the consequences of abandoning the Torah: If you lack it in life you lose it in Olam Habah. Moshe makes a final plea: "Choose life! The path of life is to love Hashem and listen to His voice!
Tune in next week as Moshe makes his final preps before the sun goes down in the next exciting episode of:
the Midrash Maven on Nitzavim
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