Archive for the ‘Parsha’ Category

Vayikra

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

The Ba’al Haturim notes why there is a small letter Aleph in the word Vayikrah. A sign of Moshe Rabbenu’s humility. Moshe Rabbenu wanted the word to be read like by Billam “Vayikar” and Hashem just “happened” to speak to him. A casual less intimate form of communication. So why didn’t he just leave out the aleph? The answer is that there was a much more important lesson to be learned. With klal Yisroel there is no such thing as Vayikar – happenstance in our relationship with Hashem. Everything is Hashgacha Protis.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Vayakhel-Pekudai

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Bezlael had many attributes. One of them was “Da’as” – knowledge. The Maharal notes that in spite of Bezlel being a Kabbalist and having a G-dly spirit he was also rooted in the real world. Da’as means he had a sense of reality. This may be his greatest strrength.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Vayakhel-Pekudai

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

The Posuk notes – “Six days a week you should work”. The Chofetz Chaim noted that a person needs to understand that all your Parnosa comes in 6 days. Working on Shabbos does not increase your profits. On the contrary – if you fail to rest on Shabbos you may even lose your Parnosa the other six days as well. It is only B’zchus of keeping Shabbos that you have Parnosa the rest of the week.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Ki Sissa

Friday, March 1st, 2013

The Sin of the golden calf was a rejection of Hashem. According so some Meforshim all Bnei Yisroel wanted was a new intermediary in place of Moshe Rabbenu who thought had died. R’ Simcha Wasserman noted that in many ways this was also a rejection of Moshe Rabbenu. If they believed he had died on Har Sinai how could they rejoice? Where was their feeling of loss? Where was the crying, the Shiva, the Shloshim? The body isn’t even cold yet and already they are singing and dancing. Moshe Rabbenu should have accepted Hashem’s offer to make a new nation only from him. After all Bnei Yisroel were a bunch of ingrates! The answer is that in any relationship such betrayal would be the end of a relationship. The only exception is a parent to a child. A parent can take almost anything from a child and forgive the child. The story of the eigel is an insight on how Moshe Rabennu related to Am Yisroel. He saw himself as a parent figure. As such he was able to forgive even their rebellion.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Tezaveh

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Part of the Kohain Gadol’s vestiments  was the Urim V’Tumim. The Ramban notes that while many people have the power of “Urim” insight into any given situation, few people have “Tumim” the ability to give the correct advise. In the days of the Mishkan this power was part of Ruach Hakodesh. Eli Hakohen could see the letters but not the message. Shaul Hamelach thought he was doing Hashem’s will, but he was mistaken.  A mistake that cost him his privilege to rule.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Tezaveh

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Rashi notes that if the Kohen Gadol has a son to fill the position of his father then he should be appointed after him. What if  another Kohen is a more worthy candidate? Who gets the position?  The posuk notes “Tachtov” – in his place only afterwards the word – “Mibonov” from his sons. From here we see that the most worthy candidate is the first consideration.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Terumah

Friday, February 15th, 2013

There was no mitzvah to give only for Moshe Rabbenu to take. The giving had to come from the heart in order for the Mishkan to have the lasting effect on Klal Yisroel. That is why throughout the construction the mention of a giving heart is made time and time again. After Egypt, Bnei Yisroel were exceedingly wealthy. Their ability to give did not even require deliberation. What did require deliberation was their motive in giving.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Teruma

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

The Mishkan was a product of Bnei Yisroel expression of “Na’aseh V’Nishma”. The Mishkan was a home for Hashem to be close to his “child” – the Torah. But like any family this closeness only can exist if child is treated with love and respect. So, too, the Torah and Hashem. If we treat and care for the Torah then Hashem is in our home and always nearby. But if we distance the Torah from our lives and in turn distance the Shechinah as well.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Mishpatim

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The Vav in “Vaela Hamishpatim” teaches us that these halachos were also given from Hashem at Har Sinai. Every society operates by a basic set of rules. There are even columns written of what is considered a proper ethic and behavior. None comes close to the Torah. Imagine having to help a person you dislike to change his tire. Or to lend money with no interest. Or the restriction not to speak Loshon Hora in spite of the argument – “But it’s the truth”.  The Torah laws are more than common sense. They are Divine laws.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Mishpatim

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

One of the halachos found in Parshat Mishpatim  is a law that states: “if” one lends money, it is required to be interest free . One can ask – what is wrong with charging interest? If someone can not use their money because they lent it, do they not deserve to be compensated for that loss? Rav  Chaim Shmulevitz the Mir Rosh Yeshiva  answers that when someone does an act of kindness, such as lending, it should be without any desire for reward. Mixing a good deed with personal gain can confuse us into thinking that we’re doing something because it’s right and proper to do, while in fact we are really motivated by the personal gain derived by doing it. Kindness and truth should be our goal. As Chazal note – “More than the wealthy person does for the poor the poor does for the wealthy”.

Written by: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks