Jewish sages of the Mishna, Tosefta and Talmud eras
We continue with the Bet Halevi who now introduces one of the most important principles of Bitachon, which is that the amount of effort that you put in matches the amount of Bitachon you have. There's no set amount of effort that you have to put in. If you believe, really believe, that this is enough and it's considered normal practice and it covers the miracle, then that's enough for you. But if you believe that you need more than that, then you do need more than that. He quotes a Chazal that when God says, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh/I will be that I will be, God is saying, “Just like you act to Me, I act to you.” T he amount of reliance that you put in Me, I will reciprocate, and therefore you will need less to get what you need. But as we've mentioned many a time from Rav Wolbe, Bitachon is one of the most elusive areas, where people can delude themselves and convince themselves that they're at a high level when they're really not. It's a lifetime's work. If you are fooling yourself and need more hishtadlut but do less because you're lazy, or whatever reason, then it will backfire and you will not see success. You'll say, “ Hey, I relied on Hashem! What happened? ” and it's not going to have a happy ending. As we've said, it really depends on the times and the norms. In the society we live in today, for example, when a woman is in labor, she's rushed to the hospital and after the baby is born, she general remains there for a day or two. In previous times, the norm was for a woman to give birth at home, assisted by a midwife. Rav Shteinman once said that if a woman today would insist on giving birth at home, that would be considered abnormal and therefore would not be the proper amount of hishtadlut necessary. (Yes, there are people that have children at home. I'm not taking sides. I'm just quoting the story). On the other hand, if a woman lived a hundred years ago and was rushed to the hospital upon experiencing labor pains, that would be a lack of bitachon. In each situation, one must take into account what is considered the norm and act upon it. There are no set rules. Times change and levels change. This concept shows up in another area. When it comes to Shemittah, the Torah commands that we're not allowed to do any agricultural work during the seventh year in Eretz Yisrael. For a full year, the farmer doesn't work his land. The Torah anticipates a question, which is, “ What will what we eat in the seventh year if we don't work the land? How we have food?” Hashem says, “ Don't worry, I'll send a special blessing during the previous year, so that the land will produce far more than it normally does.” The Seforno asked the question that Only the people that ask the question are blessed, and if you don't ask the question, you're not blessed? Furthermore, he says, Why is the person even asking the question? The Torah promised us, “ You'll eat and be satiated. ” It doesn't say that there'll be an abundance of food. It sounds like there's the same amount of food and it's going to last longer. What exactly is going on here? The Seforno says there are two tracks. One track is that the person relies on Hashem and because he relies on Hashem, Hashem will make a miracle. The miracle is that he used to eat a bowl of cereal in the morning for breakfast, and that's what gave him his satiation and nutrition for the day, but now instead of needing to eat one bowl of cereal, he'll only need to eat a half a bowl of cereal. So the crop of the sixth year will last into the seventh and eighth, because he's eating half the amount. That's the blessing called V'Achaltem V'Sova/You'll eat and be satiated . But if the person asks the question and says, “ What am I going to eat?” That means he doesn't believe that that miracle is going to happen. So Hashem says, “Okay, I'll send you a bumper crop. You'll see exactly what's happening. You'll understand what's happening. The only thing is that you're going to work twice as much. You'll have more to pack, you have more to warehouse. It's not an open miracle. You'll just have a bigger crop, and you'll work harder. Who decides which way it's going to happen? You decide. The Elder Novardok adds “What happens to the guy that asked the question, ‘What's going to be?' He'll have a bumper crop, and eat cereal- a full bowl. Then he'll say to himself, “ Wow, isn't it good that I worked hard? If I would've gone with those Bitachon fanatics, I'd be starving now!” Yes, you created what we call a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because you didn't believe in that promise of God, you do need to work harder. That's what you need. We can never, ever test the bitachon/hishtadlut approach, because no one knows what someone's level is. Therefore, you don't know how much hishtadlut you have to have. You decide. You can always say, “ Wow, it's good that I go to work at six in the morning and come home at seven o'clock at night because I'd never make money if I worked from nine to five.” Well, yes, if you think you have to get to work at six o'clock in the morning and stay until seven, you won't make money from nine to five. You decide your own destiny. But again, it all depends on how much bitachon you have and what the norms are. And that is the difficulty of this balance of bitachon and hishtadlut. Have a wonderful day.
We continue in the Bet Halevi, who's teaching us this important principle that we should always understand that the cause for everything is God's original Gezera , and the seeming cause down here comes after the fact , in order to fulfill that Gezera . Another example that Bet Halevi brings down is that we should not say, “ You know why we went down to Mitzrayim? It was all because Yaakov Avinu made that extra jacket for Yosef that caused the jealousy…that's why the brothers went down to Mitzrayim.” It can't be, he says, because we know there was a Gezera from the Brit ben HaBetarim that our forefathers would be exiled in Mitzrayim. It was just a question of how it would happen. It was because of the need for the brothers to go down to Mitzrayim. And if anything, Hashem wanted it to be that way, so that we would have a Jewish viceroy there to set things up for us. That's why it happened that way. So Hashem's Gezera caused Yaakov Avinu to make the coat, which caused the jealousy, which caused them to go down to Mitzrayim. Of course, this of doesn't absolve us from doing what's right. We can't mistreat people and say everything works out in the end. But the truth is, notwithstanding that Hashem will reward or punish us for what happens on the way, ultimately, what is going to happen is going to happen. There is a cute joke about when Hashem was giving out the jobs to all the different angels. When it came time to give out the job of being the angel of death, no angel wanted that job- who wants to be the most hated angel, the angel of death? So God said, “ Don't worry, you can take the job. No one's ever going to blame you. They'll blame pneumonia, they'll blame the doctor, they'll blame everything around it, but no one's ever going to blame you. ” And that's true. We blame things, without realizing that a Gezera is a Gezera . Again, this does not absolve us from doing everything we're supposed to do. But after we do everything we're supposed to do, we have to understand that it's God's decree that makes it happen. On this concept, Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky, in his sefer Emet L'Yaakov , explains why, in the beginning of Parashat Chaye Sara, when it says Sara lived 127 years, it ends off with, These are the years of Sara, which seems superfluous. If she lived to 127, obviously these are her years. Rav Kaminetsky answers based on the Midrash that says that Sara died because she heard about Akedat Yitzhak, when Avraham nearly slaughtered her only son. One might think that had it not been for the Akeda , she would've lived a longer life. That's why the Torah emphasizes that these are Sara's years . It was decreed that she would live for 127 years and the news of Akeda was just the tool that Hashem used to bring about her death at that age. (This, according to some, was one of Avraham Avinu's 10 tests- How would he react after Sara's death, which came about because of the Akeda ?) So she was supposed to die at that time. But Hashem allows the manner in which people die to further test us on how we react and how our Emunah holds up. That is not to say that anything that happens is not supposed to happen. There's a tragic story that happened to the family of Rav Michel Feinstein, who was the son-in-law of the Brisker Rav, and a prominent Rav in Bnei Brak. His daughter suffered from very serious asthma. She once experienced an especially severe attack, but her parents couldn't find the medical device they used to treat her. Unfortunately, she died. Then, immediately afterwards, the device was found. The family was plagued by guilt, thinking that had they found the device just a moment sooner, the girl's life would've been saved. But a great rabbi explained that hishtadlut works only forwards, not backwards. Once something happened, we must accept it as Hashem's will, which would've been fulfilled regardless of anything we would've done. In the present, and looking ahead to the future, we must do everything we can to care for ourselves and our families. But after the fact, as long as one acted responsibly, we cannot feel guilty about what happened. We must believe that the outcome was decreed by Hashem, and that there was nothing anyone could have done to prevent this outcome. This is extremely, extremely important Because it helps stop regret. There's a Chazal that says, The wicked are full of regret. What does that mean? It sounds like a good thing, like they sin and they regret it. But another explanation is that wicked people are full of regret for their lives. If I would've done this, if I would've done that, I should've done that and I could've done that…. they're always looking back. That's a wicked approach to life. Righteous people don't regret what happened. They know that what happened was supposed to happen. It's told that in the times of the Bet Halevi a certain man in Brisk became fabulously wealthy from selling lumber. He invested everything in a forest and earned a large fortune. But one day, a fire broke out and destroyed the forest and his investment. Whenever he walked near that forest, after that, he would say, “ Oh, forest, I invested so much time and effort in you. That was such a mistake.” The Bet Halevi once heard this man's complaint and said to him, “ You misunderstood. It's not because you invested in the forest that you lost your fortune. Rather, Hashem decided your fortune should be lost, and He arranged that it would happen that way.” This attitude can take away a lot of pain and a lot of guilt- if we look at things in this proper way. Have a wonderful day.
Dedication opportunities are available for episodes and series at https://ohr.edu/donate/qa Questions? Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org Yeshivat Ohr Somayach located in the heart of Jerusalem, is an educational institution for young Jewish English-speaking men. We have a range of classes and programs designed for the intellectually curious and academically inclined - for those with no background in Jewish learning to those who are proficient in Gemara and other original source material. To find the perfect program for you, please visit our website https://ohr.edu/study_in_israel whatsapp us at https://bit.ly/OSREGISTER or call our placement specialist at 1-254-981-0133 today! Subscribe to the Rabbi Breitowitz Q&A Podcast at https://plnk.to/rbq&a Submit questions for the Q&A with Rabbi Breitowitz https://forms.gle/VCZSK3wQJJ4fSd3Q7 Subscribe to our YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/OhrSomayach/videos 00:00 What is a halachic prenup? 09:41 Why should we pray, "that my soul should desire Your mitzvos," in Elokai Netzor, rather than, "that my body"? 11:00 Who or what is Lilith? Is it connected to the Seven Worlds? 20:44 How do we explain human remains older than 6000 years? 22:10 Does the Torah allow for life with free choice on other planets? 24:23 If a sofer forgets the dots above 'vayishakehu', is the Torah scroll invalid? 34:03 How would the 70 nations know about the Noahide Laws? Should we tell them? 39:15 Why should a child suffer for the sin of the parent? 50:09 Aren't girls in Torah Judaism second-class citizens? 1:03:24 Is the order of saving in Maseches Horios evidence of male preference in Judaism? 1:07:05 Has one fulfilled one's obligation if one accidentally prayed in front of a mirror? 1:09:23 Why is there no gemara on Avos? 1:13:17 Can one buy himself a pair of Rabbeinu Tam tefillin, while others still need Rashi tefillin? 1:16:27 Is it permissible to use various sorts of energy healing, such as the Emotion Code? 1:21:56 Why is Rivka's death not explicitly described in Torah? 1:24:11 Why, according to the simplest reading of the Torah, is Esav not so bad? 1:28:01 Is it right to exchange hostages, knowing that civilians may be killed? 1:35:28 Why does only one of the Ani Maamins have a source? 1:37:14 Why does the Torah relate the descendants of Esav, according to peshat? 1:38:57 Is there a natural rule that Ishmael hates Yaakov, just as there is a natural rule that Esav hates Yaakov? 1:44:11 What is the meaning of 'Anti-Zionism is Antisemitism'? 1:46:58 How do we deal with disagreements between historians and Chazal? 1:50:51 Why was Rav Kook a Zionist? 1:53:45 Once the resurrection occurs, how will we get to Olam Haba? 1:55:05 What is the disagreement between the BT yeshivos? You can listen to this and many other Ohr Somayach programs by downloading our app, on Apple and Google Play, ohr.edu and all major podcast platforms. Visit us @ https://ohr.edu PRODUCED BY: CEDAR MEDIA STUDIOS
Hashem yitbarach has given us a tool that is more powerful than destiny. It can break any decree. Chazal tell us that Leah's destiny was to marry Esav and Rachel was to marry Yaakov. This was decreed before they were even born, as is every shidduch . Everybody at the time knew of this, including Rachel and Leah. Leah used to ask people about the deeds of Esav and she was told, “He is an evil man, a thief, a murderer, and does every abomination that Hashem hates. The Midrash writes on the words כי שנואה לאה that Hashem saw how much the deeds of Esav were hated by Leah. She cried buckets of tears in tefila , begging Hashem not to marry Esav, to the point where her eyes became tender from it, like it says ועיני לאה רכות . Rachel, on the other hand, knew that her destiny was to marry Yaakov. And so she did not feel the need to pray for that to happen. It was the tefilot of Leah that changed destiny. She was zocheh to marry Yaakov first because she prayed. Although it appeared to be the doing of Lavan, who claimed that it wouldn't have been right to give the younger one before the older, we know people have no control. The doing of Lavan was only a manifestation of the will of Hashem. The Midrash says further, because of Leah's tefilot , she was zocheh to have children first. And not only did she have children, she had six of the twelve Shevatim . And she was the one who was zocheh to be buried right alongside Yaakov in the Ma'arat Machpelah . All because of her tefilot . Rachel did not think she needed to pray for any of this, because she knew it was destined before she was even born that she would marry Yaakov and she would produce the Shevatim . It was not until Rachel prayed from the depths of her heart to have children that she was finally zocheh to have them. Nothing can ever be taken for granted. And tefila could accomplish everything. When Avraham Avinu sent Eliezer to go find a wife for Yitzchak, he could have easily felt that it could be a very simple process, being that he was considered to be a prince in the eyes of the world. He had the best son “on the market” and everyone wished they could marry into his family. Yet, it is apparent from the Ohr HacHaim and others that Avraham prayed for Eliezer to have success on this mission. He knew nothing could be taken for granted. And that is why the shidduch came to fruition. A person always needs tefila in all circumstances. As well, a person should never feel that he is beyond help. It does not matter if a Mekubal told him that he has a certain destiny. It does not matter if the odds appear against his favor in receiving what he wants. Hashem gave us a power that defies all odds, that can break decrees, and can make things happen against what destiny was supposed to be. And again, nobody should ever feel that they don't need tefila . No matter how comfortable things appear to be, Chazal are telling us that Rachel felt comfortable in getting Yaakov and she had every reason to feel that way. Yet, her lack of tefila in that area, coupled with Leah's consistent tefilot , changed everything for all time. Never underestimate the power of tefila . It can change worlds.
The Gemara in Masechet Pesachim discusses the first korban Pesach that was ever brought in Mitzrayim . The question arose regarding the blood applications which are generally required for every korban to be placed on a mizbe'ach (altar) . Being that there was no mizbe'ach in Egypt, where did they apply the blood for the korban? The Gemara then says, indeed, there were multiple mizbechot in Mitzrayim , the lintel and doorposts of every single Jewish home turned into a mizbe'ach, and that is where they made the blood applications. We yearn for the Beit HaMikdash to be able to offer korbanot to Hashem. But in the meantime, we have opportunities to offer korbanot from right where we are. A Jewish home is a mini Beit HaMikdash. Chazal tell us, the table on which we eat is considered a mizbe'ach . We can elevate all of the mundane around us and imbue it with so much kedusha when we follow the ways of Hashem. Every moment in this world provides endless opportunities for us to achieve great heights. Unfortunately, it may happen that people who were once on a high level in avodat Hashem suddenly lose steam and no longer have the drive to continue on that path. How could that happen? How could they turn away from all the golden opportunities that they were presented with? One way for that to happen is when a person wanted something very badly, crying day and night to Hashem to give it to him. And then after weeks and months of heartfelt tefilot and still no progress, the person might have felt somewhat betrayed. He said to himself, "It was so easy for Hashem to give this to me. Why couldn't He just help me?" Sometimes what he was asking for was something he felt would bring him closer to Hashem. And when he didn't get it, he thought, all I'm trying to do is grow in religion and get closer to Hashem and He's stopping me from doing it. If so, I might as well stop trying. A woman asked me, "How do I have emunah that what Hashem is doing to me is good when it is seemingly preventing me from reaching higher levels in religion?" I told her, "Hashem is not turning you away. He's enabling you to fulfill what your soul came here to fulfill. If you will continue serving Hashem the best way you can, despite the fact that He's not giving you what you are asking for, that avodah will be worth much more than what you think you should be doing to serve him." Sometimes, we beg Hashem for something and, in our minds, we have so many plans of how we are going to use it to get closer to Him when He gives it to us. If we don't get it, it's only because He knows we could accomplish more by continuing to serve Him in our current situations than we could if we got what we asked for. We should never lose energy because we haven't been given what we are asking for. If we have emotional stress when we don't receive what we ask for, instead of turning away from Hashem, we should use the pain to soar to great heights. The Gemara says if a person stubs his toe and blood comes out, that blood goes up to Hashem like a korban olah . Emotional pain is far greater than physical pain. So if a little blood from stubbing a toe is considered like a korban olah , imagine what emotional pain is considered, especially after offering so many heartfelt tefilot and not being answered. If instead of complaining, we accept with love that Hashem knows what He's doing, and we continue to serve Him despite not getting what we are begging Him for, the value of that avodah is unfathomable. Every moment of life provides different opportunities for growth. When we get what we ask for, we cry tears of thanks and praise, thanking Hashem for His endless kindness. And when we don't get what we ask for, that is when we could soar to great heights by continuing to grow and pray, even though our inclination is telling us to go the other way. If we could cling to Hashem and hold on very tight during those times, we'll truly be fulfilling a part of our life's mission here.
In this week's parasha, Vayetzeh, we see the awesome power of prayer and good deeds. Chazal tell us that Rachel Imenu was not capable of having a child. But because she was willing to give up her potential husband Yaakov to her sister Leah, to save her from embarrassment, Hashem changed nature and gave her a womb to have a child. But even then, after Rachel did that special deed, she still needed tefillah to complete the salvation. As the pasuk says, "וישמע אליה אלוקים." When Leah was expecting her seventh child, she felt bad for her sister Rachel. If that child was to be a boy, it would mean Rachel would have less of the shevatim than the maidservants. So Leah prayed that the child should be a girl. And the Gemara says her prayers changed nature, because that child was supposed to be a boy, and Hashem switched it. We never lose hope in any situation we're in, because we always have a way to be helped. The Sefer Emunah Shelemah tells a story about Rabbi Yosef Yoel Kahane, the grandson of the Shomer Emunim. He got married about forty years ago, and like all couples, he and his wife were anticipating having children. Year after year, they waited, but things were not looking good for them. Rabbi Kahane said he went to a great mekubal for a beracha, and the mekubal told him, "I'm sorry, but you're not going to have children." He went to another tzaddik who told him the same thing, and then advised him that he should have students, and they will be considered like his children. Rabbi Kahane, however, never gave up. He knew Hashem could do anything, even if there was a decree in shamayim that he would not have children. It had already been thirty one years since his wedding, and there appeared at that time to be no ray of hope for him, but he still believed. He decided to go to Kever Rachel every single morning to pray. He would arrive a few hours before tefillah began and say the entire Tehillim with heartfelt tears. He never missed a day. After an entire year with still no progress, the Evil Inclination tried to break him saying, "Why are you paining yourself going through all this trouble. It's not working anyway. The rabbi knew that every word of Tehillim and tefillah that he said was never in vain. Each word was, in and of itself, the greatest gain he could possibly get. Tehillim and Tefillah are mitzvot like any other, and earn us eternal rewards. The rabbi persisted, and for another entire year he kept the same schedule going to Kever Rachel every morning, hours before the tefillah, and reciting the entire Tehillim. At the end of the second year, on the 12th day of Adar Sheni , in the year 2011, his wife gave birth to twins after thirty three years of marriage and mekubalim telling him he would never have a child! His tefillot and good deeds defied all odds and broke decrees. Hashem changed nature for him. Rabbi Elimelech Biderman told that Rabbi Yochanan Lazer Katz from Williamsburg called him recently to tell him about an open miracle that took place in his kehillah. In his Shul, Imreh Shefer , they are very careful to never talk during Tefillah. A man started praying there recently, and he had been sick for the past two years. The congregation as a whole accepted upon themselves for his refuah that for forty days they would not talk in shul, even when they prayed in other shuls. Baruch Hashem, that man was healed, but that's not the miracle that that rabbi called to tell Rabbi Biderman about. Another congregant's wife was diagnosed with a cancerous growth. She went for a second opinion, and had an MRI taken, and it showed the same growth. She went to a top specialist who charged an exorbitant fee. He ordered two different tests, both of them showing the same growth. He scheduled an immediate surgery for that week, which was November 5th, this past month. The surgery took longer than expected. Right when the surgery began, her husband prayed and spoke to Hashem from his heart. He said "These past forty days I have held back opening my mouth in any shul I prayed in," and he said it was extremely difficult. He continued "I'm going to do it, Hashem, for at least another six months. Please have mercy on my wife and heal her." After the surgery was finished the doctors came out and said, "We never saw anything like this." They were holding all four pictures of the tests which showed the growth. "We searched and searched. It's not there. There is nothing inside of her." Prayer and good deeds can do wonders. They are always available to us and we should take complete advantage of them. Shabbat Shalom.
This week, we discuss a fascinating Chasam Sofer about the Chazal of "Im ani kan hakol kan..."My book "Ready. Set. Grow." is available at your local Seforim store, or it can be ordered online at: https://mosaicapress.com/product/ready-set-grow/To watch a video version and follow my Torah classes on TorahAnytime, click here: https://www.torahanytime.com/#/speaker?l=1369Have a wonderful week!#jew #jewish #podcast #frum #rabbi #frumpodcast #inspiration #torah #mitzvah #hashem #jewishpodcast #israel #exodus #parsha #oristrum #torahsparks #readysetgrow #meaningfulminute #growthmindset #motivational #lifelessons #torahanytime
One of the areas that Chazal tell us to excel in in the days preceding Mashiach is gemilut chasadim . There are endless ways in which a person can help others. I recently met with the head of an organization called Lev Echad . One of the things this organization does is help make shidduchim . The rabbi told me, “you can't imagine the pain I have seen in older singles.” He has a database with thousands and thousands of singles over the age of 30. Most of them have not even received one phone call with a suggestion in years. “A woman told me, she is ashamed to be seen by her relatives who constantly tell her to stop being so picky. She said little do they know she hasn't received one suggestion in years.” A shadchanit related, she called a divorced woman and offered her a shidduch not realizing it was her ex-husband. She was mortified when she found out. That woman saw her in the street a few weeks later and told her she had given her a new spark of life. The shadchanit was surprised to hear that being that she gave her the worst possible suggestion. The woman explained, “I thought that not one person in this world cared about me. I was so delighted to find out that someone was actually thinking of me and trying to help me get married.” We can give people life just by letting them know that we care. And that is gemilut chasadim on the highest level. Doing something to help a person get married is a wondrous chesed . The rabbi who runs Lev Echad said he was pushed by multiple Gedolim to do something to help make more marriages. Recently he met with one of the Gedolei Hador and asked the Gadol if he could call him to get his assistance in moving along shidduchim that run into issues. The Gadol replied in the affirmative. The rabbi then asked the Gadol , “Will the Rav take my calls right away or will I have to keep calling like everyone else?” The Gadol told him, on Purim he normally gets thousands of singles lining up at his home to get berachot for a shidduch . He needs two bodyguards there to ensure that he doesn't get injured from a potential accidental pushing that may occur. This past Purim, one of the bodyguards, who is not religious, asked the rabbi what all the people were waiting there for. He told him that he gives them blessings to get married. The bodyguard then said to the rabbi, “You should also probably be proactive in helping them get married, maybe by setting up some type of dating system.” The rabbi told him he agreed. Six months later, this bodyguard called the house of the Gadol and asked to speak with him. When the Gadol picked up, the bodyguard told him who he was and then asked him, he was just checking to see if he did anything yet to help the singles. The Gadol said to the rabbi who leads Lev Echad , “When he asked me that question, I was ashamed. Not from him, but from HaKadosh Baruch Hu . I didn't do anything to help His children get married. You want to know if I'll answer your calls when you call me? Absolutely! I will make myself available if it is going to help bring about a shidduch .” The rabbi told me there was a boy who was the top learner in his yeshiva but hadn't gotten one phone call for a shidduch in over two and a half years. The reason was because he has a fake arm. Now, with Lev Echad's new system of networking across Israel, in a few days this boy got seven different suggestions. We all need to excel in gemilut chasadim and there are numerous ways to do so. May Hashem help us help His children.
Dedication opportunities are available for episodes and series at https://ohr.edu/donate/qa Questions? Comments? email@example.com Yeshivat Ohr Somayach located in the heart of Jerusalem, is an educational institution for young Jewish English-speaking men. We have a range of classes and programs designed for the intellectually curious and academically inclined - for those with no background in Jewish learning to those who are proficient in Gemara and other original source material. To find the perfect program for you, please visit our website https://ohr.edu/study_in_israel whatsapp us at https://bit.ly/OSREGISTER or call our placement specialist at 1-254-981-0133 today! 00:00 Why do we say the paragraph of "vayechulu" three times on Friday night? 05:56 Is there any case of a two-man beis din other than prozbul and cancellation of a divorce? 07:09 How far can one take the idea of sufferings being messages from Hashem? 12:11 Are there too many English books that people don't learn Hebrew? 20:18 Are there particular chumros one should or should not take on? 25:24 What is the historical background of the different styles of peyos? 29:16 Why didn't Noach just look out the window? 30:31 What kind of tefillin were worn before Rashi? 36:09 When some commentators argue with Chazal about some interpretations, do they understand Chazal literally and still disagree, or do they interpret the Chazal not to be pshat? 39:53 Why do some topics have so many sugyos, while other topics don't? 44:56 Why does God judge the king before his people, if God already knows the sins of the people? 49:36 What does Rivka's question mean? 53:01 Do irreligious soldiers die al kiddush Hashem? 58:41 Should one prepare oneself for a rodef situation? 1:02:07 How could Esav have been the fourth patriarch if he was already moving towards the idolatrous temples while in the womb? 1:06:15 How do we know we haven't moved from the original count of Shabboses? 1:08:41 Can gedolim do aveiros, and if so, why do commentators try to minimize the sins in the Tanakh? 1:12:50 Should one use Torah phrases for commercial purposes? 1:15:55 Why is the beracha of hatov v'hametiv so uncommon? 1:20:30 Is the concept of Binyamin's mountains being close to Hashem still applicable today? 1:23:52 How could one say that Yitzchak didn't know about Esav when Esav had idolatrous wives? 1:27:07 Is it possible that the wicked ones in Tanakh are wicked on their levels, just as the sins of the righteous are only sins on their levels? 1:29:09 Are the faults of the followers a chisaron to the gadol? 1:32:44 Why don't we pray for the resurrection of the dead? 1:35:33 Can the word 'toldos' in Bereishis refer to evolution? Subscribe to the Rabbi Breitowitz Q&A Podcast at https://plnk.to/rbq&a Submit questions for the Q&A with Rabbi Breitowitz https://forms.gle/VCZSK3wQJJ4fSd3Q7 Subscribe to our YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/OhrSomayach/videos You can listen to this and many other Ohr Somayach programs by downloading our app, on Apple and Google Play, ohr.edu and all major podcast platforms. Visit us @ https://ohr.edu PRODUCED BY: CEDAR MEDIA STUDIOS
Length: 34 minutes 10 secondsSynopsis: What will you do or say in your last moments, when (God willing) you are on your deathbed? In this episode I reflect on the final words of U.S. presidents, the death poems of Zen monks and Japanese haiku poets, the statements and attitudes of the Sages of the Talmud about the particular circumstances in which we die, the final moments of the Jews massacred on October 7th (may Hashem avenge their blood), and the final day of my beloved rebbi, Rabbi Morton Moskowitz zt"l. Sources: - The Last Words of 38 Presidents- Japanese Death Poems: Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death, compiled by Yoel Hoffmann- Kesubos 103b- R' Yitzchak ben Moshe Arama, Akeidas Yitzchak: Chayei Sarah, Shaar 22- R' Chayim ben Dovid ha'Levi, Shu"t Aseh Lecha Rav 2:9- WhatsApp correspondence with Mrs. Moskowitz (11/20/23)God, Love and Loss: A Compilation of Literary Work by Gap Year Students, published in loving memory of Adira Koffsky a"h-----This week's Torah Content has been sponsored by Lou Landau in honor of launching his new business.-----If you've gained from what you've learned here, please consider contributing to my Patreon at www.patreon.com/rabbischneeweiss. Alternatively, if you would like to make a direct contribution to the "Rabbi Schneeweiss Torah Content Fund," my Venmo is @Matt-Schneeweiss, and my Zelle and PayPal are mattschneeweiss at gmail. Even a small contribution goes a long way to covering the costs of my podcasts, and will provide me with the financial freedom to produce even more Torah content for you.If you would like to sponsor a day's or a week's worth of content, or if you are interested in enlisting my services as a teacher or tutor, you can reach me at rabbischneeweiss at gmail. Thank you to my listeners for listening, thank you to my readers for reading, and thank you to my supporters for supporting my efforts to make Torah ideas available and accessible to everyone.-----Substack: rabbischneeweiss.substack.com/Patreon: patreon.com/rabbischneeweissYouTube: youtube.com/rabbischneeweissInstagram: instagram.com/rabbischneeweiss/"The Stoic Jew" Podcast: thestoicjew.buzzsprout.com"Machshavah Lab" Podcast: machshavahlab.buzzsprout.com"The Mishlei Podcast": mishlei.buzzsprout.com"Rambam Bekius" Podcast: rambambekius.buzzsprout.com"The Tefilah Podcast": tefilah.buzzsprout.comOld Blog: kolhaseridim.blogspot.com/WhatsApp Content Hub (where I post all my content and announce my public classes): https://chat.whatsapp.com/GEB1EPIAarsELfHWuI2k0HAmazon Wishlist: amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/Y72CSP86S24W?ref_=wl_sharelSupport the show
This shiur was generously sponsored in memory of R' Moshe Chaim ben Yitzchak David. Highlights: The tension at the heart of being a human The divine intellect The honor of one's Maker is his own intellect Who can bend the Law The laws of Chazal are also from God and become part and parcel of the divine Torah When Maimonides himself bent the Law, and how he viewed himself as a divine legislator Maimonides bent the Law so that he shouldn't develop bad character traits The one who can say what the Torah is all about is the one who can adjust the Torah Why Rabbinical mitzvahs and enactments are not considered an addition to the Torah Accept the truth from whoever said it The argument against accepting the truth from whoever said it This series is a project of the Jacob Lights Foundation.
Where did all of the antisemitism on university campuses come from? Should it be a concern to our community? Can anything be done? If a student is feeling threatened, when can he take off his Kippah? Tuck Tzitzis in? Remove a Mezuzah from his front door? What did Chazal mean when they said that it's a “halacha” that Esav hates Yaakov? Are there any halachic or hashkafic reasons to counter-protest? ***Guest Hosted by Ari Wasserman *** Author of "Making it Work", "Making it ALL Work" (for women) and 10 other Seforim, Maggid Shiur, Yerushalayim with JJ Kimche – PhD Candidate, Harvard University – 25:39 with Rabbi Yonason Sacks – Rav of the Agudas Yisroel of Passaic – 44:35 with Jacob Birman – student at Binghamton University – 1:09:37 with Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein - Director of Interfaith Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center – 1:17:10 with Jonathan Rosenblum – Mishpacha Columnist and author – 1:17:10 with Yitzy Tanner – student at the University of Pennsylvania – 1:52:43 with Rabbi Berel Wein - renowned Rov, author, historian and lecturer – 2:00:14 מראי מקומות
The video shiur is here Highlights: How does the study of ethics lead to prophecy? The end of all human activity and the primacy of reason The Golden Mean and the rule of reason The spiritual level of prophets The Holy Spirit and prophecy What kind of divine spirit rests on a person who transcends his habits? Through transcending the bodily urges and habits a person becomes connected with the divine Why should we heed Chazal's laws? Divine inspiration and Chazal, according to the Kuzari What makes the Torah divine? Q & A This series is a project of the Jacob Lights Foundation.This shiur was generously sponsored in memory of R' Moshe Chaim ben Yitzchak David.
The pasuk says in Kohelet, את הכל עשה יפה בעתו גם את העלם נתן בלבם , and Chazal are doresh the missing vav in the word העלם /world to mean that Hashem hid from Man something very important about the world. He makes our hearts feel that this world is the main purpose of Creation. Rabbi Menashe Reisman gave a mashal of a movie producer with great wisdom who is able to make his audience feel that what is happening on the screen is real. And during different parts of the movie, their emotions constantly change. At one point, they are very afraid. At another point, they start crying. And then they are calm and happy. Kavayachol , that is how Hashem made this world. People think that everything depends on their positions and status in the world. They think it is worth it to invest all their time in building themselves up in this world. It seems as though wealth and honor are what really matter the most. It's only through the Torah that we are able to understand that this world is just a vestibule, a path to get to the Next World. One day, Hashem is going to turn the lights on, and we will see with our own eyes what we thought was so important was really הבל הבלים . The only thing that matters is our performance of Torah and mitzvot. In this world, there are a lot of questions. It seems like bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Why is this person financially successful and that one isn't? Why is this person married and that one is not? Why does this one have children and that one doesn't? All of these are very strong questions in the reality that the main purpose is for this world. But once someone knows there is a much bigger picture and this world is just a drop in the bucket compared to the Eternal World, then the questions aren't so strong anymore. Rabbi Avraham Genichovsky used to pray in a vatikin minyan every day in Bnei Brak. One day, out of nowhere, right in the middle of the day, one of the members of the shul passed away. He wasn't old and he wasn't sick. And at the funeral, someone asked the Rabbi a question, he said, “It says in Chazal if someone prays vatikin he will not get damaged that day. And so how did this man pass away suddenly on a day that he prayed vatikin ?” Rabbi Avraham looked at him and said, “You think leaving this world to go to the Real World is called damage?” And he gave this person a mashal . He said, “Imagine somebody paid top dollar to get a first-class ticket on a flight from, let's say, America to Israel. What if the flight would get in two and a half hours earlier than expected? Would the person complain saying it's not fair, he deserved more time in first class? He would be happy that he arrived at the real destination much quicker. Someone who did his job in this world properly does not consider it damaging to get to the Real World earlier than expected.” Those who truly know what this world is about do not have so many questions. The Shomer Emunim writes in his Ma'amar Emunah in perek 7, one of the tikkunim necessary to be made before the Mashiach comes is in the area of emunah. If a person will have simple emunah, he can bring about a tikkun for the entire generation. His emunah will stop many tragedies from taking place. Imagine if someone would have a lot of questions about the difficulties he is going through and instead of complaining, he wholeheartedly accepts the will of Hashem and continues to do his avodah happily. The tikkun he would make would be unparalleled. We are now living in the End of Days. We can all contribute to making the ultimate tikkun in emunah by purifying our hearts and trusting in Hashem. B'ezrat Hashem, that will give us the zechut to merit the great light of Mashiach bekarov .
The video shiur is here Highlights: Rambam begins by referencing the author of the Mishnah, Rabbi Yehudah the Prince Why should we heed Chazal's laws? Rambam is hinting to us to think of Avos as the teaching for political leaders and prophets The differences between Rambam's list of the chain of tradition and the chain given in Avos The veracity and reliability of the Torah's tradition What does it take to be a Tanna? Avos as Rabbi Yehudah the Prince's introduction to Mishnah Rambam and al-Farabi's "Aphorisms of the Statesman" Rambam talks about the wise man where al-Farabi talks about the king or statesman Once we have the Torah, we have no need for the science of legislation Do we need to study ethics if we have halacha? Legislators are the ones who really need to have ethical wisdom Q & A This series is a project of the Jacob Lights Foundation.This shiur was generously sponsored in memory of R' Moshe Chaim ben Yitzchak David.
In the previous class, we spoke about being real in Bitachon and the danger of sometimes talking the talk, but not walking the walk when it comes to bitachon. Rav Yisrael Salantar was once giving a class on the topic of bitachon, and a man in the audience approached him and said, “ Rabbi, I'm going to stop working. I'm going to buy a lottery ticket and have full trust in Hashem that I'm going to win. Is that okay?” “ Sure,” the Rabbi said. Then, the day before the drawing, Rav Yisrael approached the man and offered to purchase the ticket at a price much lower than what the man could possibly win. The man happily agreed (Imagine if it were a million dollar lottery, and Rav Yisrael offered him $10,000) Rav Yisrael told him, “ Then you don't have real bitachon. If you really believed that Hashem was making you win, you would not have sold a ticket to me for the lower price.” So again, it's easy to fool oneself. Someone recently told me that they had real bitachon that their critically ill friend would get better, but the friend didn't get better. I said it was hard for me to believe. I asked if they would be willing to bet a million dollars that this person would get better. Probably not, they said. So, you can't tell me that you were 100% convinced that the person was getting better. Like we said, t's not an easy task. You can talk about bitachon when it's not applicable. Of course, it's easy when it's theoretical. But, although, as we said, bitachon is a service to the heart, we should not disregard talking about bitachon as if it's not helpful. The more you speak about bitachon, the stronger it will be established in your heart. It's brought down in the Yerushalmi Masechet Berachot, that the following pasuk should never leave your lips: ה ׳ צְבָא֑וֹת אַֽשְׁרֵ֥י אָ֝דָ֗ם בֹּטֵ֥חַ בָּֽךְ Hashem Sevaot Ashrei Adam Bote'ach Bach Hashem, God of hosts, happy is the man that trusts in You What does it mean that it this should never leave your lips? Rav Avraham Erlanger explains that our Hachamim teaching us that although Bitachon is in the heart, the way the strengthen one's Bitachon is through constantly speaking about it. That's what the Chazal mean when they say the verse should never leave your lips. The Sefer Mishpat Sedek says that the Maharal encourages a person to say certain pesukim in order to train himself in that area. In the back of the Bet Halevi on Bitachon ( ArtScroll) book, there's a list of pesukei Bitachon that were brought down and collected by Rav Yosef Zundel of Salant, the teacher of Rav Yisrael Salantar. There is a definite benefit in having these words of Bitachon on your lips, and the Maharal suggests that after you say these Pesukei Bitachon, you should pray for bitachon. If you have the ArtScroll edition of the Bet Halevi on Bitachon, you can go to page 180, where there is a beautiful, ancient prayer brought down in the sefer Margaliot Tovot from Rabbi Yaakov Tzahalon of Italy. Additionally, there is a famous explanation, which is not the simple pshat , of , He'Emanti Ki Edaber. It can be understood as, “ I believe because I speak. ” The more I speak about bitachon, the more I believe. So, we can actually pray for bitachon. In the Amida, ותן שכר טוב לכל הבטחים בשמך באמת Give reward to those that rely on You in truth . Why in truth ? Because not everyone has true bitachon. And what should I do if I really don't have that level? And the answer is, if you try to have Bitachon, Hashem will help you. Rav Shimon Schwab says that this is the meaning of the pasuk Baruch Hagever Asher Yivtach B'Hashem V'Haya Hashem Mivtacho Blessed is the person who relies on Hashem, then Hashem will be his security. That means if you try your best to have bitachon, then Hashem will be your security. He will come through and help you get to that level of bitachon. That's what we're trying to do, trying to constantly work on, and talk to ourselves about bitachon. Have a wonderful day.
A person's emunah is very precious to Hashem and when a person has every reason to complain, or to be angry, yet he still has emunah, that raises him to the highest levels. That is one of the ways in which a person can catapult himself to greatness in a very short amount of time. Our nation, throughout history, has had steadfast emunah. The hardships and difficulties that we have to endure only make our relationship with Hashem even stronger. The pasuk says in Shir HaShirim , מצאוני השמורים הסובבים בעיר הכוני פצעוני – the watchmen who make rounds in the city, found me, beat me and wounded me. The Chofetz Chaim used to think when saying this pasuk , the Jew throughout history had to take so many punches and bruises, even people who were supposed to be guarding us attacked us instead. The Jew has been tormented, disgraced and ridiculed everywhere he goes. Yet despite all of our hardships the pasuk continues, אם תמצאו את דודי מה תגידו לו – when Hashem will finally reveal Himself in the future and we will see the radiance of the Shechina , what are we going to tell Him? שחולת אהבה אני – that we were lovesick for Him. No matter what we went through, our love never dissipated. This is the glory of a Jew, to love Hahsem no matter what happens to him. But it goes even further. Chazal tell us, when Nevuchadnezar threw Mishael, Chanania and Azaria into the fiery furnace, miraculously they walked around unscathed. Nevuchadnezar was so inspired by that open miracle, he began singing praises of Hashem, praises so great that they threatened to put to shame all the songs and praises that David HaMelech gave Hashem in Sefer Tehillim . But then an angel came and hit Nevuchadnezar in the face and he stopped his praises. The question was asked, why would Hashem stop him from praising Him? Isn't a man supposed to have free will? The Kotzker Rebbe explained, Hashem wasn't stopping Nevuchadnezar, He was testing him. David HaMelech was able to sing the praises of Hashem while he was suffering the most difficult yissu r in. What happened when Nevuchadnezar got one hit? He couldn't continue his praises. He would not praise Hashem amidst pain. The Jewish People, on the other hand, not only do they not stop praising Hashem when in pain, the difficulties that they go through cause them to praise Hashem even more. The pasuk says, לאוהבי ולשומרי מצוותי ; Rabbi Natan in the Machilta explained, this is a reference to those who live in Eretz Yisrael and have to suffer at the hands of the goyim while trying with all their might to serve Hashem with Torah and mitzvot. They say, “Why am I being taken away to be killed? Because I do brit milah on my sons? Why am I taken to be burned? Because I learnTorah? Why am I taken to be crucified? Because I eat matzah on Pesach ?” The Midrash concludes with these words, המכות הללו גרמו לי לאהוב אבי שבשמים – the beatings that I take only cause me to love my Father in Heaven even more. Rav Chaim Shmuelovitz explained, they are not saying because we love Hashem so much we are able to endure the suffering, but rather it is the fact that we serve Hashem amidst the suffering that causes us to love Him even more. When someone sacrifices for someone else, it brings them closer and causes them to love more. It is during the most trying of times that we have the ability to increase our love for Hashem. Serving Him when we have reason not to, makes us so much greater and establishes an unbreakable bond between us. At this time, Klal Yisrael needs a lot of merit. Our ability to be moser nefesh and serve Hashem now, although we are crying inside and we have reason perhaps to look the other way, this will give us tremendous zechuyot and, b'ezrat Hashem, the merits of our increasing our avodah should protect us and give us the zechuyot needed to end this galut bikarov . Amen.
Enjoy WEEK 2 with the Chasam Sofer on the Parshah! We discuss a fascinating take on the oft quoted Chazal of "Noach LaShamayim V'Noach LaBrios."My book "Ready. Set. Grow." is available at your local Seforim store, or it can be ordered online at: https://mosaicapress.com/product/ready-set-grow/To watch a video version and follow my Torah classes on TorahAnytime, click here: https://www.torahanytime.com/#/speaker?l=1369Have a wonderful week!#jew #jewish #podcast #frum #rabbi #frumpodcast #inspiration #torah #mitzvah #hashem #jewishpodcast #israel #exodus #parsha #oristrum #torahsparks #readysetgrow #meaningfulminute #growthmindset #motivational #lifelessons #torahanytime
The Gemara(Avoda Zara)says, When Hashem sends yesurin/afflictions upon a person, the yesurin take an oath that they will not leave the person until their designated day to leave arrives, at the exact minute they're supposed to leave, with the exact medication that's supposed to remove them. Rabbi Menashe Reisman quoted the Chatam Sofer who said that this only applies if the person does not make Teshuva in the interim. However, if, when the yesurin come, the person cries out to Hashem and accepts to become better, the yesurin will leave earlier. And even though the Gemara says the yesurin take an oath that they can't leave early, that oath is on condition that the person does not change. Which means, even though, for a person's own good, he has to go through certain afflictions sometimes, it is always in the person's hands to end those afflictions earlier. Our greatest tools are always Tefila, Teshuva and Maasim Tovim . In general, afflictions serve to bring about kapara , but we can achieve kapara in other ways, namely teshuva . In the days of the Chatam Sofer, there was a war going on, and he said then that a person must know that in Shamayim there is an exact time that this war was to begin, and there's an exact time that the war is supposed to end. And so too, today, without a question, Hashem has an exact date when this war will end. However, we can make it happen earlier with our teshuva and good deeds. Every improvement we make goes a very long way. Every Tefila goes a very long way. The Mesilat Yesharim writes in Perek יט , that if a person thinks to himself, Who am I to pray for the Geula? Will my prayers really bring about the kibbutz galuyot and the Mashiach? The answer is, Of course they will. It is to combat this claim that Chazal tell us, Hashem created man alone to teach us that everyone should say, “The world was created on my behalf, ..Hashem will change the entire world just because of me .” Every single Jew has this awesome power, and now, more than ever, we need to take advantage of it and have more focus. When we're praying, we need to have more kavana in the beracha of Bonei Yerushalayim . We need to have more kavana in the beracha of Et Semach David . We need to have more kavana in the beracha of Teka B'Shofar, and Hasheva Shofetenu. When we say the words Umalchut Harish'ah Mehera … we can have in mind that Hashem should get rid of these horrible terrorists. When we say Rachem in the Birkat Hamazon , if we focus more, we can bring about the greatest yeshuot . We're asking Hashem to have mercy Al Yisrael Amach, v'al Yerushalayim Irach …. So much is riding on our tefilot and good deeds. If everyone will improve in their deeds and in their tefilot , the Geula will arrive. B'Ezrat Hashem, we should see it soon. Amen.
URGENT APPEAL for ISRAEL from ITORAH.COM https://itorah.com/campaigns/ special We can not go about our days regularly while there's a war going on with our people. Those who do not normally attend Minyan should be attending Minyanim now. Those who do not normally learn Torah should be learning Torah now. Those who may be lax in certain areas of kashrut must be extra careful during these times. Rav Shach said to his yeshiva before an impending war that the only advice was for everyone to improve themselves, especially in the areas of Limud Torah, Kashrut and Shemirat Shabbat. Those who are learning already have to learn better . They have to use every minute of their learning time for learning and not talk about other things. Someone who has difficulty doing any particular mitzvah should say to himself, ‘ I must strengthen myself now and do that mitzvah to help the situation. I have to be strong and overcome my laziness and Yetzer Harah.' Someone once went to the Chafetz Chaim for a beracha and the Rabbi replied, “ You're better off asking Shabbat for Beracha because it is the true source of all blessing.” Rav Shach said keeping Shabbat properly will save us from war. This Shabbat, we all have the opportunity to keep it the best we ever did, and that includes utilizing the time for learning and spirituality. The pasuk in Parashat Ki Tese says, כִּי ה' אֱלוֹהֶיךָ מִתְהַלֵּךְ בְּקֶרֶב מַחֲנֶךָ לְהַצִּילְךָ וְלָתֵת אֹיְבֶיךָ לְפָנֶיךָ That Hashem will walk in the midst of our camp and save us from all of our enemies. וְהָיָ֥ה מַחֲנֶ֖יךָ קָד֑וֹשׁ וְלֹֽא־יִרְאֶ֤ה בְךָ֙ עֶרְוַ֣ת דָּבָ֔ר But first, our camp has to be holy and that comes about through dressing modestly. Anyone who has difficulty with this mitzvah can help bring about protection and salvation by accepting to do the mitzvah properly. And even if the person is not able to do it permanently, at least do it now . We have the greatest power of all- the One who created the world, the One who obliterated Mitzrayim , and the One who has defeated our enemies time and time again throughout the course of history. All we need to do is His will. The first thing we have to realize is that we have nothing other than Hashem. There is no army that can help us. There are no powerful countries that can help us. The pasuk says, אִם ה׳ לֹא־יִשְׁמׇר־עִ֝֗יר שָׁ֤וְא ׀ שָׁקַ֬ד שׁוֹמֵֽר If Hashem does not guard the city, then all the efforts of the guards will be in vain . We may have the best military personnel, the best strategies, the most sophisticated weapons and tanks, but if we don't have Hashem guarding, all of it is worthless. Chazal tell us, in the end of days, the days preceding Mashiach, we must come to the realization of אין לנו להשען אלא על אבינו שבשמים that we have nothing else to rely upon other than our Father in heaven. We could accomplish that right now, in our own minds. We need to work on ourselves not to feel confident in the powers of man, but rather to know that all of man's strengths only come from Hashem. Whatever He says goes. The armies will just be carrying out His will. If we really believe that, then we'll do our utmost to improve our deeds because that is what He wants. B'Ezrat Hashem , in that zechut , we should see the Geula Shelemah B'Karov, Amen! URGENT APPEAL From iTorah.com https://itorah.com/campaigns/ special "Kol Yisrael Arebim Zeh La'zeh" All Jews are responsible for one another. Please donate to and provide for your brothers and sisters in Israel who are suffering and need your help! Our campaign will be used to fund purchases of… • Providing 2,000 meals PER DAY to IDF Soldiers around the country • Sisiyot and Siddurim for the soldiers • Supplies for the displaced • Battle Gear for families for protection • Food & Necessities • Financial Aid to Families whose wage earners have been taken from work and deployed into battle.
Eliyahu Hanavi related in the Tanna Dabeh Elihayu, perek 18, that a man once asked him why there are couples who have not been able to have children. Eliyahu answered, It is because Hashem loves those couples with a complete love and is so happy with them. Therefore, he wants them to reach the highest levels through praying heartfelt tefilot to have children. One of the reasons that our great Imahot became Imahot was because they prayed so much to have children. Sarah Imenu prayed for over seventy years, Rachel for fourteen, and Rivka for ten. Each emotional tefila that they prayed elevated them to a higher spiritual level until they became as great as they did. When Elkana asked his wife Hannah why she was crying so much, הלא אנכי טוב לך מעשרה בנים – aren't I better to you than ten sons? The Midrash says, the word " אנכי " there is out of place. It should have said: הלא אני טוב לך מעשרה בנים . The Midrash explains, the word אנכי there is referring to Hashem yitbarach who said ‘ אנכי ה . Elkana was telling his wife, “Don't feel bad, you became so close to Hashem and that is better for you than having ten sons.” The levels she rose to with her tefilot made her so great, and that is how Elkana comforted her. Besides for the spiritual elevation a person gets through heartfelt tefila , each one of the tefilot also produces blessings. Sometimes we see the blessings in this world and sometimes we don't realize them until Hashem reveals them in the Next World, but for sure a blessing was produced with every heartfelt tefila . Leah Imenu was able to see immediate blessings from her tefilot . She married Yaakov, she had six of the 12 shevatim and she was buried in the Maarat Hamachpela . Rachel, on the other hand, had a harder life and she is still praying, רחל מבכה על בניה . Rachel did not see all the fruits of her tefilot in her lifetime, but Chazal tell us it is because of her prayers that the entire Jewish Nation will merit the binyan Beit HaMikdash , the zechut of which is enormous. Her tefilot were accomplishing the greatest tikkun of all, but she was not able to see it while she was praying. A person should never lose faith in his tefilot, even if the specific request he has been making has not come yet. The Gemara says in Masechet Taanit that the entire world was being supported in the merit of Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa, while he sufficed on the bare minimum. Rabbi Eliezer Tauber, zatzal , explained, a person who does not have so much money is obviously being asked by Hashem to pray for parnasa . Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa's tefilot for parnasa were so powerful that because of them, the entire world was being fed. All he saw was the small amount that Hashem gave him each week, but when he got to Olam HaBa , he found out that his tefilot were supporting the entire world. A billionaire who gives millions and millions of dollars to tzedaka does not have the same merit as Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa. Although he was poor, he is credited for giving tzedaka to the entire world. That is the power of tefila . A childless couple may not have seen the fruits of their tefilot yet, but rest assured, their prayers have produced an abundance of blessing. One couple's prayers may have brought about hundreds of childbirths. The babies may not have been born into their family, but the babies will be credited to them. In the Future, they may see thousands of offspring that are considered their children. All the mitzvot that those children did and all the Torah that they learned were due to their tefilot . Tefila is one of the most powerful forces on this earth. Every heartfelt tefila always accomplishes something. And, it also raises the person to a higher spiritual level. Therefore, whether we see what we are asking for or not, we should always continue praying with all our emotions.
Can mefarshim argue with Chazal? Was a manuscript from the Rambam's son really lying in a library unnoticed for 700 years? Why does the Ralbag say Hashem doesn't know the future? Rabbi Yonatan Kolatch – a longtime educator and author of three excellent books on the mefarshei HaChumash – discusses these fascinating questions and more.Masters of the Word, Vol. 1 – by Rabbi Yonatan Kolatch Masters of the Word, Vol. 2 – by Rabbi Yonatan KolatchMasters of the Word, Vol. 3 – by Rabbi Yonatan Kolatch
Can mefarshim argue with Chazal? Was a manuscript from the Rambam's son really lying in a library unnoticed for 700 years? Why does the Ralbag say Hashem doesn't know the future? Rabbi Yonatan Kolatch – a longtime educator and author of three excellent books on the mefarshei HaChumash – discusses these fascinating questions and more.Masters of the Word, Vol. 1 – by Rabbi Yonatan KolatchMasters of the Word, Vol. 2 – by Rabbi Yonatan KolatchMasters of the Word, Vol. 3 – by Rabbi Yonatan Kolatch
When Yonah was thrown overboard in the middle of the ocean, he began to drown and felt that death was imminent. The pasuk says, Hashem miraculously brought a large fish to that exact spot where Yonah was and the fish swallowed him. And then, miraculously, Yonah remained completely intact, breathing normally inside the fish. Chazal tell us, it was so comfortable for Yonah there that he didn't even feel any distress. Hashem, on the other hand, wanted Yonah to pray and, when he didn't pray, Hashem caused that fish to spit Yonah back into one of the deepest parts of the ocean. Once again Yonah felt like he was going to die and, once again, Hashem sent a large fish to swallow him, but this time it was very cramped for Yonah inside that fish and Yonah understood, Hashem wanted his prayers. Yonah then prayed from the depths of his heart. And then, Hashem completely saved him by bringing him to dry land. When a person begins to experience hardship, one of the messages he is supposed to be taking is that Hashem wants his prayers. If the situation gets worse, he needs to increase his efforts in tefila. Hashem wants a person's prayers because He knows how much the prayers benefit the person spiritually. There is endless reward for every heartfelt tefila and, as an additional bonus, Hashem will also give the person the answer to his tefila . The main reward for tefila is in the Next World, but prayers give us benefits here too. The more heartfelt a tefila is, the more value it has. Hashem has infinite ways of helping people, ways in which we would never dream. But first, we have to produce the tefilot that warrant those great salvations. Those are the tefilot with emotion and tears. Rabbi Binyamin Pruzansky told a story about Rabbi and Mrs. Adler who worked in summer camps in the Catskills. Their son Binyamin, who was learning in a yeshiva in Chicago, was making a siyum on a masechet that he worked hard all year long to finish. It was scheduled to take place during the two days off that they had in between the two halves of camp, and so they made arrangements to be there for him. When that day finally arrived, Rabbi and Mrs. Adler drove for two hours to Laguardia Airport and made their way through security up to the gate to board the flight. But when they gave in their boarding passes, it was discovered that Rabbi Adler's last name was not written on it. Instead, it has his first name and his wife's first name. And they would not allow him to board with it. This was their only chance to make the siyum in time and so Rabbi Adler ran back to the ticket counter and bought a new ticket with his correct name. He ran back just as the boarding was closing, but for some inexplicable reason, they told him this boarding pass had a problem as well. Nothing the rabbi said would change their mind to let him on. As the doors were closing, he told his wife to go ahead, but she delayed and then it was too late, the doors had closed. They were so distraught. It was so important to their son for them to be there for him and now they were going to miss the siyum . Overwhelmed by the stress, Mrs. Adler began to cry. As the tears rolled down her face, she used the opportunity to pray to Hashem. She said, “Hashem, please make this work out. I just want to be there for my son.” As they walked back, they made a wrong turn out of the gate and then Mrs. Adler's phone rang. It was her son Binyamin asking what time they would arrive. Mrs. Adler didn't want her son to hear her crying, so she handed the phone to her husband. Just then, her husband spotted Rav Elya Brudney, the Rosh Yeshiva of Mir and asked him to give their son a beracha on the occasion of his siyum . The Rabbi took the phone and gave him a heartfelt beracha and then asked the Adlers why they looked so distraught. They told him what had just happened. He said he is also going to Chicago and his flight got canceled and there are no other flights, so an askan arranged for him to take a private jet there. The Rabbi asked the askan if he could bring along this couple and he said yes. Just like that their problem was solved. One heartfelt tefila to Hashem and they were on a private jet, headed to their son's siyum . Prayer is amazing. We need to use its power as much as we can.
This Shabbat is called Shabbat Shuva – the Shabbat of teshuva. We know we don't repent for our sins on Shabbat, so why is it called the Shabbat of Repentance? The Yesod v'Shoresh HaAvodah brings the Chazal which says, whoever keeps Shabbat according to halacha will be forgiven for all his sins. At this time, we all need forgiveness. Our avonot have been piling up over the course of the year. If we will keep this Shabbat with all of its details, abstaining from melacha and business talk, sanctify the day with Torah study and enjoy the Shabbat the way it is meant to be enjoyed - that will be our zechut and that will give us mechila. During these days, teshuva is the mitzvah at hand. We need to think about what we did wrong and sincerely repent. As we know, in Hashem's infinite mercy, He cleanses us from our sins through different forms of yissurin. Every little inconvenience we experience in this world helps us remove the blemishes from our souls. It's called kapara. The best way to remove those blemishes without yissurin is by doing teshuva. But there are certain averot that require more than teshuva for the sins to get erased. Yissurin come and finish off the job. We know yissurin help us immensely, we would much rather experience the temporary hardships in this world, rather than the eternal ones in the Next World. But we would also prefer to be cleansed without having to experience any pain at all. Rabbenu Yonah, in the fourth chapter of Sha'areh Teshuva gives us wondrous advice on how to avoid yissurin in this world and still get full atonement. Everyone wishes they could just end all the hardships they are experiencing, and this advice will help. First, he writes, giving tzedaka saves from yissurin and if a person can't afford tzedaka, getting others to give will accomplish even more. Acts of kindness also take away yissurin. If someone invests his own time and energy into helping other people, that will take away from the suffering he was supposed to have. Whether he spends his time visiting a sick patient or helping someone organize an event for charity, or helping others with shidduchim and the like, every moment invested in chesed wards off yissurin. Torah study also takes the place of yissurin. Look at how kind Hashem is! Not only is learning Torah enjoyable, not only do we get rewarded for it, it even takes the place of suffering a person was supposed to get. Then Rabbenu Yonah writes further, if a person is already experiencing different types of hardship, but instead of complaining about it, he says, “Hashem I know this is best for me, I accept what you are doing to me with love.” That is a segula to prevent, in his words, “היסורין הרבים הראויים לבוא עליו - the abundant of afflictions that should have befallen him.” And he quotes a pasuk in Tehilim to prove it. This is an amazing segula. If someone, let's say, has been out of a job and suffering tremendously from it, it might very well be possible for his own good that he needs to be out of a job for a few more months, but if he'll say, “Hashem, thank You for putting me through this. It must be I needed this to cleanse myself. And in Your infinite kindness, You're allowing me to purify myself in this world.” Those words, with sincerity, can remove the necessity for the additional months of being jobless. Those words are so powerful, they take the place of the potential suffering that should have come. Then Hashem will open his eyes to find a job to work at. The same is true for all yissurin. Accepting them with happiness stops the remainders from coming. The main thing is, we want to be the pure children of Hashem we are supposed to be. If we could make teshuva, keep Shabbat properly, do additional good deeds and be satisfied with the way Hashem deals with us, we'll become purified and we will be able to enjoy this world and the Next. Shabbat Shalom.
In memory of Beverly Sasson A'H by her son Maurice The pasuk says, טוב וישר ה' על כן יורה חטאים בדרך – Hashem is good and upright and that is why he directs the sinners back on the proper path. It is only because of Hashem's unending goodness that He gives us the ability and helps us make teshuva and get rid of all of our sins. All year long whatever happens that hurts us, we say happily, "It's kappara ," and we accept it from Hashem. Kappara means the affliction is giving us atonement for our sins. In general, all of hardship and difficulty leads back to this same concept: It is Hashem in His infinite mercy giving us atonement in this world so that we don't have to get it in the Next World. But there is another way to get atonement that doesn't hurt. In fact, we even get a mitzvah for doing it. That is teshuva. Whenever a person sins, his immediate reaction should be to make teshuva and get rid of all its harmful effects. Rabbenu Yonah writes, by making teshuva right away, a person can gain so much. Besides for getting rid of the transgression, it will help the person be stronger not to do the sin again when the opportunity arises. He says, doing a sin a second time is much worse than the first because once a person sees that he is subject to falling in a certain area, it is incumbent upon him to try to prevent it from happening again. Teshuva accomplishes that. Furthermore, when a person sins and repeats the sin, Chazal tell us, the person loses feelings of guilt toward the sin and psychologically feels that it is okay to do again and that is very harmful. If we would only do teshuva immediately after we sin, it would save us from so much trouble. Nobody wants to go against Hashem, and therefore it is easy to say we are sorry and regret what we did. And even if a person feels he may repeat the sin in the future, that does not preclude him from fixing what he did in the past. If it happens again, he will deal with it then. But why not remove the negative effects that have already began to take hold? The Mabit writes, each part of teshuva is a mitzvah in its own right and can be accomplished independently of the other parts. Just admitting that we sinned is a mitzvah, just regretting what we did is a mitzvah and just accepting not to do it again is a mitzvah. Learning to do teshuva right away can save a person from parnasa problems, from health problems and from any other problems that are possible to come in this world. Chazal tells us, during these days of Aseret Yamei Teshuva, Hashem is closer than any other time of the year. The Rambam writes that now, more than ever, our teshuva is easily accepted and accomplishes so much. It's so easy to do, all it requires is a little time and thought. Let us utilize the wondrous gift that Hashem has given us and purify ourselves with our words and our hearts. And b'ezrat Hashem, we should all be sealed in the Book of Life. Amen.
One of the greatest gifts that Hashem has ever given us is the ability to make teshuva. A person who may have spent the entire year ignoring certain mitzvot and doing different averot can correct it all with a few moments of teshuva. There are things people have done that they wish they could turn the clock back on and do differently. Teshuva is exactly that. Hashem allows us to actually change the past. Whatever a person has done can get completely erased. And if a person feels bad that he sinned because of how great Hashem is and how much Hashem does for him, that's called teshuva out of love, and that transforms the sin into mitzvot. At this time specifically, during the Aseret Yemeh Teshuva , our teshuva is easily accepted. At the time we need it the most, Hashem makes it the easiest to accomplish, while a person's year is still hanging in the balance. During the trial itself, a person has the ability to erase all of his crimes and make the judgment the most favorable possible. It is very simple, all the person has to do is just admit what he did wrong, regret it, and accept to improve going forward. Nobody should feel that what he did is beyond teshuva. Hashem specifically took us to be His nation while we were on the 49 th level of tumah . The Jewish people at that time were on the lowest level possible and just seven weeks later they were as close to Hashem as possible. The Rambam writes regarding teshuva, whereas before teshuva the person was very distant from Hashem, after teshuva he is beloved, desirable, close and dear to Hashem. The Kedushat Levy writes in Parashat Shemini regarding the Chazal which says במקום שבעלי תשובה עומדים אין צדיקים גמורים יכולים לעמוד that Hashem actually gets more pleasure from a sinner who made teshuva than from a completely righteous individual. The reason is because the ba'al teshuva had to fight off his strong evil inclination to stop his wrongdoings. It is so special to Hashem when we fight the yetzer hara to do His will. The Kedushat Levy writes elsewhere, if we contemplate the fact that we are so insignificant in comparison to Hashem, yet we have the ability to bring Him pleasure with our avodah , that should ignite our hearts to be filled with joy and excitement to serve Him. We can't imagine how much He enjoys every little thing we do, and therefore, we shouldn't underestimate it. Rabbi Zilberstein told a story of a man who would always come to shul about seven minutes late, no matter what time the minyan started. If it was a 7:00 minyan, he would get there at 7:07. If it was an 8:00 minyan, 8:07. One day, the rabbi asked him about it and the man said, "What's the big deal? A few minutes here, a few minutes there, the main thing is that I come." This practice continued for quite some time until one day this man walked in exactly on time. The rabbi asked him what changed. He said that Hashem taught him a very powerful lesson and he explained that the day before one of his warehouses caught fire and he was there at the time. He called the fire department and waited anxiously for them to arrive. Every minute that went by, another part of his warehouse became consumed in flames. By the time they finally got there, they were only able to salvage a very small part of it. He asked them why they took so long and one of the firemen, feeling insulted, said, "We just got delayed a few minutes. The main thing is that we got here. What's a few minutes anyway?" Those words struck him like a lightning bolt. Those were the same words he used when telling the rabbi about coming to shul late. He realized the value of every minute and accepted upon himself to be on time to shul going forward. Hashem adores everything we do in the spiritual realms. Every second is valuable. If we haven't performed the way we are capable of until now, we can easily make teshuva and erase the past and start afresh.
The Shulchan Aruch writes in the laws of Rosh Hashanah that on this great day we are supposed to eat and drink and be happy. However we should not eat to complete satiation so that we don't come to a light headed state of mind, but rather, keep the fear of Hashem upon us. The Mishnah Berura writes that although Rosh Hashanah is a day of judgment, there is still a mitzvah to be happy on the holiday. The sefer Vaveh HaAmudim asked, seemingly these two emotions, fear and happiness, are contradictory. How can we be expected to have both at the same time? The Rabbi explained with a mashal. Imagine, in Yerushalayim we discovered a hidden tzaddik who is a master of every facet of Torah. Very quickly, all of Klal Yisrael begins looking to him for guidance. But not only is he a gadol b'Torah and righteous in all of his deeds, he also has ruach hakodesh and can see on a person's face every deed that he ever did, both good and bad. Not only that, he also has a special power of beracha. Whenever he gives a person a blessing, it always comes true. Every day, hundreds of people get on line to try to get one minute with this great tzaddik. For sure, if a person knows he is about to go in, he will make teshuva for all of his sins, not wanting the rabbi to see what he did. He will also come prepared with his words carefully, not wanting to waste time with unimportant things. And when he actually walks in to where the Gadol is, on one hand he is going to be afraid, knowing whose presence he is in, but at the same time he is going to be so happy, knowing that the answer to all of his problems is just one blessing away. All year long, Hashem is our loving Father and on Rosh Hashanah we begin calling Him Avinu Malkenu, Our Father and Our King. On Rosh Hashanah, Hashem sits on His Throne of Judgment and analyzes and scrutinizes every single deed that we did. When we stand before Him, everything about us is revealed. But Hashem also sits on His Throne of Mercy and wants to give us the happiest, most blessed year. So on one hand, we are afraid of whose presence we are going to be standing in, but at the same time we are so happy that the judge is also our loving Father who could help us with every problem we have. Today, before our deeds are scrutinized, we still have a chance to repent so that we could enter the King's chambers looking beautiful. On one hand, Rosh Hashanah is a very serious day, but at the same time it is such a happy day because we are so excited to be together with Hashem. Chazal tell us, during the entire Aseret Yameh Teshuva, beginning with Rosh Hashanah, Hashem is closer to us than He is during the rest of the year. It's as if He is personally coming into our homes to be with us. Let us prepare properly to greet the Melech and b'ezrat Hashem He will bless everyone with kol tuv v'tov. Amen. Tizku l'shanim rabot and Shabbat Shalom.
If a person knows that he only if he Davens everything he won't have Kavanah & he Davens less he'll have can he skip anything? If yes which parts can he skip? If a person can't have Kavanah because he doesn't understand the language should he Daven in English? Should a person Daven at length at the expense of learning Torah? If a person can compose his own Tefilah is that better than davening the standard (more personal & heartfelt when coming from the composer- more than he can relate to Chazal's Tefillos). Where's the source(s) of not talking during davening? If the only minyan he has is one which they talk in is it better to Daven Byechidus? Is it better to Daven with a Minyan without a hat and jacket or B'Yechidus with a hat and jacket? Is there any reason to daven Pesukei D'zimra with a minyan or come to Shul for Borchu? Likewise Kabbalas Shabbos with a minyan or just come for Maariv? Someone who's not dressed properly for Davening but if he waits until he gets his clothing he won't have a minyan should he daven with the minyan dressed as is or wait? Someone is on the beach with only a bathing suit and it's getting night and he didn't Daven Mincha and by the time he gets clothes it'll be too late to Daven? If someone is traveling and doesn't have a siddur and he doesn't remember all the words of Shemone Esrei just most can he Daven with skipping some words? (Also Tefilas Haderech) Someone is not feeling well and is sleeping should they be woken up to say Krias Shma and Daven before the Zman? What takes precedence if you can't do both Tefillah BTzibbur or Krias Hatorah? A Shul doesn't say Tachnun for no good reason do you have to say afterwards by yourself? That was it says in Shulchan Aruch to give Tzedaka before Davening does this include Tzedaka to non-Jews? with Rabbi Moshe Dovid Lebovits – Author Tefillah with Meaning and many other Seforim – 17:32 with Rabbi Yosef Vigler – Rov, Poseik and Rosh HaKollel of Mayan Yisroel – 41:49 with Reb Alter Rabinovich – Director Keren Tosfos Yom Tov, No Talking Initiative – 1:08:55 מראי מקומות
Shiur from Rabbi Elimelech Kohn Ztl on פרשת נצבים-וילך. Discussed: Lessons we can learn from Moshe Rabeinu and R' Yisrael Salanter on their last day of life. The Sforno explains what the Pasuk means that Teshuva is not in the heavens nor in a distant land. What was special about Reuven that Chazal say he was the first person to perform Teshuva; What about Adom, Kayin, and others who also did Teshuva?
The ba'aleh musar teach us that the service of the heart is very precious to Hashem. Chazal tell us, רחמנא ליבא בעי – Hashem wants our hearts. Regarding emunah, it is one thing to speak it, but it is infinitely greater to feel it in the heart. The pasuk says about Avraham Avinu, ומצאת את לבבו נאמן לפניך – Hashem found his heart to be filled with emunah. The heart is very private, only Hashem knows what is in our hearts and that is what makes that service so special. When a person truly believes in Hashem in his heart, it is a tremendous zechut which brings about an abundance of blessing. I heard a story of a man who lived in Petach Tikvah in Israel and worked every night from 6:00 in the evening until 6:00 in the morning. He had that job for close to ten years. He was a manager in a freight company and directed all the containers that came in to be delivered to their proper destinations. It was an extremely difficult job because of the hours it entailed. The expenses where he lived were getting too high, so he relocated his family to another city that had the same type of apartment he was living in for half the price. But then, he had to travel an hour and a half each way to work. That meant even less time seeing his family. By the time he would get home in the morning, his wife and children had to leave. It was a very difficult situation. He went to his rabbi for advice on what to do. His rabbi told him he had to leave his current job and find something else with normal hours in the city that he lived in. He told the rabbi he had that job for almost ten years, and he needed the salary he was getting. He felt it would be too difficult to get it in a new job. His rabbi tried to convince him otherwise, but the man wouldn't budge. By the end of that year, he couldn't take it anymore, so he decided to move back to Petach Tikvah and pay the higher rent for the apartment. But, just a month after he moved back, he was fired from his job. Now he was really stuck, he had a high rent and no salary. Because he was there for so long, they gave him severance, but much less than he thought. They gave him for only three months. During that time, besides looking for a new job, he started working hard on his emunah, and so did his wife. With just two weeks before his severance pay would end, he did not have a job, but his emunah was stronger than it ever was. His rabbi met him to discuss some options and the rabbi couldn't believe the emunah this man wasportraying. He was not worried, he felt secure in the hands of Hashem, and it was apparent in his speech and in his demeanor. The rabbi's wife met with his wife and saw the same thing in her. They must have really believed it in their hearts as well because the next day, this man received a phone call from somebody who heard about him from his last job and asked to meet him for a new job. The hours of the new job would be just 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, a normal day's work. When he went to the interview, his boss asked him what he would expect to get paid for the job he was being asked to do. The man mentioned a salary thousands of shekels higher than his previous salary. He explained it was just to cover his family's basic needs. The boss really liked him and said that the salary would be much higher than most employees who had already been working there for years. Nonetheless, he granted it to him and the man started working there just a few days later. When this man relied on his job too much, he ended up getting fired. When he was able to rely on Hashem, he got his dream job with the salary that he wanted. Nothing can compare with true emunah in the heart.
Length of the article: 2 pagesLength of the audio: 8 minutes 45 secondsSynopsis: This is the audio version of the 2-page article I published on rabbischneeweiss.substack.com/ on 9/5/23, entitled: Ki Tavo: Lone Learning vs. Group Learning. In this (late) dvar Torah article, we examine a drashah from Chazal about the superiority of group-learning, as interpreted by the Maharal with some help from Ralbag and Maharsha.-----The Torah Content for the month of Elul has been sponsored anonymously in loving memory of Henya bas Tzirel - a mother who cared deeply about her children's engagement with Judaism.-----If you've gained from what you've learned here, please consider contributing to my Patreon at www.patreon.com/rabbischneeweiss. Alternatively, if you would like to make a direct contribution to the "Rabbi Schneeweiss Torah Content Fund," my Venmo is @Matt-Schneeweiss, and my Zelle and PayPal are mattschneeweiss at gmail. Even a small contribution goes a long way to covering the costs of my podcasts, and will provide me with the financial freedom to produce even more Torah content for you.If you would like to sponsor a day's or a week's worth of content, or if you are interested in enlisting my services as a teacher or tutor, you can reach me at rabbischneeweiss at gmail. Thank you to my listeners for listening, thank you to my readers for reading, and thank you to my supporters for supporting my efforts to make Torah ideas available and accessible to everyone.-----Substack: rabbischneeweiss.substack.com/Patreon: patreon.com/rabbischneeweissYouTube: youtube.com/rabbischneeweissInstagram: instagram.com/rabbischneeweiss/"The Stoic Jew" Podcast: thestoicjew.buzzsprout.com"Machshavah Lab" Podcast: machshavahlab.buzzsprout.com"The Mishlei Podcast": mishlei.buzzsprout.com"Rambam Bekius" Podcast: rambambekius.buzzsprout.com"The Tefilah Podcast": tefilah.buzzsprout.comOld Blog: kolhaseridim.blogspot.com/WhatsApp Group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GEB1EPIAarsELfHWuI2k0HAmazon Wishlist: amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/Y72CSP86S24W?ref_=wl_sharel
We all know that Hashem could help us at any moment. We all know that one of the greatest ways to access Hashem's help is through tefila . But, do we really believe in our heart of hearts that our prayers work? Do we believe that tefila is the best option we have in all situations? The strength of our tefilot depends on our belief in their effectiveness. Rabbi Ari Ben Shushan told that he and his siblings all started out their marriages childless, for around four years. They all got married about the same time and it was very strange that they were all going through the exact same difficulty. He lived in Israel at that time and one of his brothers told him he had to go to Rav Chaim Kanievsky z”l and get advice on what they needed to do to break that decree. Rabbi Ari went and watched as all the people who met Rav Chaim before him all get the same blessing, “ Beracha v'hatzlacha .” His brother had demanded of him to try to get more than that. He really wanted counsel besides for the blessing. Rabbi Ari wrote up the entire situation on paper and Rav Chaim's gabai read it to him. When he finished, Rav Chaim said, “ Beracha v'hatzlacha .” Rabbi Ari then asked the gabai to please ask Rav Chaim if there was a kabbala they could take upon themselves to help them break the decree. The gabai asked Rav Chaim and Rav Chaim laughed, saying, “Kabbala? They need tefila .” With that, Rabbi Ari left and called his siblings to tell them the message. They all knew about tefila. They have been praying heartfelt tefilot on a daily basis and that's why the Rabbi's advice was not what they were expecting. Rabbi Ari told them, “Rav Chaim knows something that we don't. We need to redouble our efforts in tefila .” With that, they all viewed tefila from a brand-new perspective. Baruch Hashem, that year Rabbi Ari and three of his siblings got the wonderful news that they were all expecting a child. We all know that tefila is necessary. But when we see it perhaps in a new light, it becomes so much more special. If someone would be going through a very tough difficulty and he is making every hishtadlut possible to fix his problem, and all of a sudden a Navi would come to him and say, “Your problem will be solved when you pray with the emunah that Hashem is in front of you and is waiting to help you. Then, all of a sudden, his tefilot would take on a new dimension. He would stop focusing on all of his other hishtadlut and would pray the way he is capable of praying. We don't need a Navi to tell us this, as our Chazal have already told us. Whenever a person comes to pray, he should first think about the person who loves him most in his life and how much that person wants to please him. And then he should think that Hashem loves him more than that and wants his benefit much more than that person does. Then he should imagine that he is walking in to have a face to face conversation, kavayachol , with Hashem. Hashem is giving him complete attention and wants to hear everything that is bothering him. The same way a person would talk to his father, who told him to come over and get his help, that is how we should be talking to Hashem during tefila . When we do it the right way, we will see amazing results. This time of year is the most opportune for tefila . During the days of Elul, Rosh Hashanah, Aseret Yameh Teshuva and Yom Kippur, we need to strengthen ourselves and pray with real emunah that tefila works. And b'ezrat Hashem, we will see the answers to all our tefilot . Amen.
This week we examine the story of Noach --Noach is described as a completely righteous individual, as having found favor in God's eyes, and as someone who walks with God. Chazal insist on comparing him to Avraham, and, on every metric Noach falls short. This may seem harsh, and overly judgmental, but Chazal are hinting to us the main theme of Noach's story.
One of the great things we can do to prepare for Rosh Hashanah is to follow a principle which is stated in Chazal כל המעביר על מידותיו מעבירים לו על כל פשעיו -whoever overlooks and forgives when he was wronged, mida kineged mida, Hashem will overlook his misdeeds which will open the way for a year of blessings. If people are fighting or hurting one another, lo alenu, that could very well be causing blessings to be blocked. A woman told me that one year after she got married, she and her husband were blessed with a beautiful baby boy, but then four long years went by and she was not able to conceive. As they were trying to think of what they could do spiritually to improve their situation, her husband remembered how a few years before he hurt and embarrassed a salesperson and never asked for forgiveness. He was able to track this person down, although the person lived in a different country. Exactly ten months later, they were blessed with another beautiful baby boy. Those who have wronged others should be seeking forgiveness and those who have been wronged should be easy to forgive. We should also be praying for siyata d'Shamaya to be able to attain peace. Sometimes we may think that the other party would never want to reconcile with us, but it is not so. With a nice gesture and a tefila to Hashem, peace can be attained. Rabbi Shmuel Rosenberg from Israel told that his wife, who we'll call Sarah, went to purchase a cake lichvod Shabbat one Friday afternoon a few years ago at a certain bakery. The cake was 20 shekel and the woman behind the counter told her, “If you want, we'll sell you two cakes for 30 shekel.” Sarah decided to buy two and she asked the woman if she knew her brother Yaakov who lived upstairs in that same building. The woman replied she did know him and in fact, he was renting one of the two apartments that she owned in that building. Sarah said, “Great, please send the second cake to my brother and tell him that I sent it to him.” That night, Sarah's brother came over for Shabbat and, surprisingly, he did not mention a word about the cake that they sent to him. Sarah asked Yaakov at the end of the meal if he happened to receive the cake that she sent him. No, was his reply. Now Sarah felt bad and wondered if the bakery ever tried to deliver the cake that she sent. On Sunday, she went back to that bakery and asked about the cake. The woman said she sent it just a few minutes after the order was placed. Now everyone was confused. She said she sent the cake to Yaakov but Yaakov didn't receive it. Sarah called her brother afterward and he said, “Oh, I know what happened. I have a neighbor who lives in the other apartment, his name is also Yaakov. The cake must have been sent to him instead.” Yaakov then asked his neighbor if he received a cake for Shabbat from the bakery downstairs on Friday afternoon. Yes, was the reply. The other Yaakov said he received a cake that was sent to him by his sister and when he got the cake he became very emotional. For two years, he had no connection with his sister due to a fight that they had and then, all of a sudden, she sent him a cake. He felt such a good feeling from that gesture and immediately called his sister and reconciled with her. Baruch Hashem, their relationship has been restored. This was an amazing display of siyata d'Shamaya helping Yaakov and his sister make shalom. The sister was willing to make peace, all she needed was a pleasant phone call from her brother expressing a little remorse. That cake got Yaakov to make that phone call. We don't need a cake to make a phone call and reconcile our differences with others. If we'll make the first move, even though we feel like we have been wronged, then we will be considered someone who is מעביר על מידותיו and that will bring about an outpouring of love from Hashem and, b'ezrat Hashem, will open up the way for a year of blessing.
Chazal have taught us that the Gates of Tears in Shamayim are never locked. Similarly, Rav Shmuel Horowitz writes in the name of sefarim kedoshim: שערי הודאה לא ננעלו – the Gates of Thanking Hashem are also never locked. The Bnei Yissachar writes that although there are negative angels trying to block our tefilot from being accepted, a prayer that is made with gratitude can never be locked. Furthermore, Chazal have taught us in so many ways that when a person shows gratitude to Hashem, it opens up the gates for much more blessing to come down. Sometimes, a person has a need that he is constantly begging Hashem for. And that need causes him to ignore the endless chasadim that Hashem is bestowing upon him. But then, lo alenu, a bigger problem arises. For example, a health concern, and all of a sudden the other need is not so important any more. At that time, the person yearns to just go back to the way things were, even if the other need would never be fulfilled. As long as everyone would be healthy, he would be so appreciative. That person will then pray day and night for something he had always taken for granted. And then, hopefully, b'ezrat Hashem he'll be answered and health will be restored to him or his loved one. Very often, when that happens, some time after that, the person quickly forgets that he promised to be so happy and appreciative if Hashem would just restore the health and he is then back to focusing on what he doesn't have, like before. If someone ever had gone through such a scenario, it is paramount that he never forget the feelings that he had during the time of sickness and live the rest of his life with complete appreciation and gratitude for the blessing of health that he and his family are enjoying. Our greats are able to appreciate what they have, while they have it. The same way they would have, had they lost it and got it back. One time, the son of Rav Zalman Breisel came to visit his father and asked him how things were. His father replied, “You're not going to believe what happened to me today. When I woke up this morning, I couldn't find my socks. I searched and searched, but they were gone. So I had to put on my shoes without socks. It was so uncomfortable, not to mention embarrassing for me. Before going to shul, I went to the mikveh, but when I came out, my clothes were gone. Apparently, someone else took them. Now I was stuck. At first, I just didn't have socks, but then I had absolutely nothing to wear, I couldn't even leave the mikveh.” The rabbi's son couldn't believe it. He asked his father what he did next. Rabbi Breisel then smiled and said, “Baruch Hashem, none of that really happened. I woke up this morning and had socks to put on. I went to the mikveh and found my clothing exactly where I left them. I got dressed, feeling like a king, and I went to shul. But you have no idea how much kavana I had when I said the beracha malbish arumim that morning. I thought to myself, that could have easily happened to me and, potentially, I could have been without clothing today. But Hashem, in His infinite mercy, gave me clothing and allowed me to wear them and go out and enjoy the day. There are people who really don't have clothing and don't have socks to wear. There are people who don't have clothing for their children. Baruch Hashem, I have clothing and clothing for my children too.” The rabbi taught his son a golden lesson that day. Using the power of imagination, we can fully appreciate how much blessing Hashem gives us. The Gates of Gratitude are always wide open. Hashem loves when we appreciate what we have. And if we honestly think about it, we have so much to appreciate.
This episode is dedicated in honor of Kobe Gross's upcoming Aufruf and marriage to Faigy Shenker, may they be Zoche to build a Bayis Ne'eman B'Yisroel. Dedication opportunities are available for episodes and series at https://ohr.edu/donate/qa Questions? Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org 00:00 Should one underpay or overpay when neither party remembers the proper amount of debt? 04:01 What does it mean that there is a human-parallel in the sea? 7:08 Why did Chazal seemingly create such a complex system for the berachos on food? 12:12 If Hashem is omniscient, how does free will exist? 23:41 Is there a policy not to adopt minhagim from non-halachic origins, despite the minhagim not being problematic in and of themselves? 31:08 Could the Rav give book recommendations on Hilchos Borer? 34:16 Why did God have the intention of revelation followed by concealment? 39:08 When a rabbi in the gemara disagrees with a quoted rabbi, is he disagreeing with the quoter or the author? 43:22 Why is resurrection such a great praise of Hashem if every tanna and amora could do it? 48:41 Does one listen to the majority against his Rav, even if his Rav is the gadol hador? 52:13 What are some halachos of ad hoc minyanim? 55:43 What qualities are most important for a man to develop before marriage? 59:18 Why does Judaism go through the mother, whereas the tribe goes through the father? 1:08:22 What exactly is ervah? There is a seeming contradiction in Berachos. 1:17:14 Are train cars considered different rooms for the purpose of ohel? 1:19:06 A few questions regarding maaser kesafim. 1:25:58 Is one allowed to test Hashem, and if so, when? 1:29:00 What does it mean that the first rule of the Torah is not to be foolish? 1:38:10 If there's din v'cheshbon every day, why is Rosh Hashanah different? 1:41:08 Why does Rambam single out Erev Yom Kippur for vidui so that one doesn't die before doing teshuva? 1:44:55 What does one do when he is overwhelmed during davening by people asking for tzedakah? 1:49:40 How does one come to feel that Torah is more important than anything? 1:52:53 How does one improve their middos? 1:58:07 How does one guard one's eyes in today's world? Yeshivat Ohr Somayach located in the heart of Jerusalem, is an educational institution for young Jewish English-speaking men. We have a range of classes and programs designed for the intellectually curious and academically inclined - for those with no background in Jewish learning to those who are proficient in Gemara and other original source material. To find the perfect program for you, please visit our website https://ohr.edu/study_in_israel whatsapp us at https://bit.ly/OSREGISTER or call our placement specialist at 1-254-981-0133 today! Subscribe to the Rabbi Breitowitz Q&A Podcast at https://plnk.to/rbq&a Submit questions for the Q&A with Rabbi Breitowitz https://forms.gle/VCZSK3wQJJ4fSd3Q7 Subscribe to our YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/OhrSomayach/videos You can listen to this and many other Ohr Somayach programs by downloading our app, on Apple and Google Play, ohr.edu and all major podcast platforms. Visit us @ https://ohr.edu PRODUCED BY: CEDAR MEDIA STUDIOS
There are various segulot found in Chazal , some which promise wealth, some marriage, some children. If a person follows exactly what he was told to do but does not see the outcome that he was told he would get, it could severely damage that person's emunah. The same applies when people go to rabbis for berachot and the rabbi tells them, If you do this, you will get married by this date, or you will have a child by this date. If it doesn't happen, the person's emunat chachamim gets damaged. The Gemara tells us that even a Tanna , Elisha ben Avuya went off the derech because his emunah in the Torah became shattered when what he saw didn't seem to match up with what it said. The Torah says for doing the mitzvah of kibud av v'em one of the rewards is long life and the same applies to the mitzvah of shiluach haken . Elisha once saw a boy who was told by his father to climb a tree and sent away the mother bird, and he fell and died. He did both mitzvot that promised long life and he died young. This caused Elisha to go off the path. The Gemara says, if he would have understood the pasuk properly, he would not have gone astray. The reward referred to in those mitzvot of long life is speaking about life in the Next World. The Rambam wrote in a letter to his son that if he ever comes across a pasuk or a Chazal that he doesn't understand, he should attribute the lack of understanding to his own shortcomings. He should leave the question on the side and, one day, he will get an answer. The Shulchan Aruch writes in siman 118 that washing netilat yadayim for bread with a lot of water is a segula which brings a person wealth. The Mishna Berura there writes, if somebody is careful to always wash with a lot of water but did not become wealthy as a result, it is because that person has other deeds which he did that are blocking the parnasa from coming. Washing with a lot of water does bring wealth, but that is assuming the person didn't do an averah that blocks the wealth. The Mizmor L'Asaf writes, the same applies the other way. If a person did an averah whose negative effect is to lose parnasa , if he has certain merits, they can prevent the parnasa from being lost for the time being. The Gemara says, someone who prays the Amida at sunrise will not get damaged that day. The Mishna Berura says something similar about a person who is סומך גאולה לתפילה . Rav Chaim Kanievsky, zatzal , said the same applies to those guarantees. They are assuming the person did not do an averah that would require him to get damaged. If somebody followed a segula of Chazal and did not get the reward he was looking for, it is not because the segula didn't work. Rather, it is because of other deeds that he did that he needs to make teshuva for first. And therefore, he should not lose faith in the promises of Chazal but improve his ways and continue doing the segulot . The Chatam Sofer in his Teshuvot in siman 158 writes, regarding the segula of being a sandak making a person wealthy, it is one hundred percent true. However, it is also possible that the person may have done sins which block that parnasa from coming. The same applies as well when a rabbi gives a beracha . The rabbi has power, but there could be other factors that are holding back the coming to fruition what the rabbi said. Every word in the Torah is emmet , every word of Chazal is emmet . We should never allow an experience to cause our emunah to waver even in the slightest bit. There is an answer to every question and if we don't know it yet, we should leave the question on the side and continue doing our avodah knowing that one day we will get the answer and the answer will be so clear to us that we won't even believe that we ever had the question in the first place.
Recording Available Via Telephone Dial: (605) 475-4799 | Access ID: 840886# | Reference #: 2416 Chazal tell us that every person is obligated to say בשבילי נברא העולם – that the world was created for him. One explanation is that it was worth it for Hashem to create the entire world for each Jew to do his own personal avodat Hashem. Hashem values the service of each person so much. There is no one else in the world that can replace what Hashem wants from each and every Jew. When someone goes to shul to pray or to learn Torah or to do any other mitzvah, he should understand how vital his avodat Hashem really is. Another explanation of בשבילי נברא העולם is that every person should feel that everything in the world that Hashem created and constantly does is all just to benefit him. And that is supposed to invoke such a deep feeling of hakarat hatov towards Hashem. Hashem does everything for us down to the smallest details and when we see it clearly, it gives us so much chizuk. A woman said, after doing renovations there were a variety of construction related items in front of their home waiting for the bulk pick up. One of them was a partially used can of white paint. One day, her energetic young son discovered the paint and had a very good time with it. The worst part of the damage was that he spilled half the can over a large area in the street. The stark contrast of white paint haphazardly spilled over black asphalt was definitely an eye sore. She knew there was no feasible way to get rid of that paint and felt bad that all their neighbors would have this unpleasant sight on the street that they shared. They realized this was from the smaller problems in life but, nonetheless, it bothered them because they were the cause of something negative to their neighbors. Hashem, in His infinite kindness, helped them even with this relatively minor issue. A few days later, they received a notice from the municipality that they were going to pave their street. This was the first time their street got paved in forty years. When the designated day arrived, they were so delighted to see a newly paved street that was fresh, clean, and completely black. Yes, Hashem helps us even with the most minute details of life. We know He is with us at every moment. But when we see it so clearly, it is very heartwarming. Another woman said she has a child with special needs. She has many challenges with this child as he requires constant, round-the-clock care. One day, she was literally at the end of her rope when she reached out for support. She spoke to a woman and shared with this woman her dream that one day her five-year-old son would stand at his bar mitzvah and deliver a speech that everyone in the crowd would be impressed with. While this dream brought a smile to her face and light to her eyes, she expressed concern whether she was being realistic or not. The woman who she was speaking to told her, it was a very important dream, and she should hold onto that vision and keep it alive. Later that same day, a friend of hers called her. They don't see each other that frequently but she mentioned she was passing by the area and wanted to come by and say hello. This particular friend has a degree in Special Ed. And so, she shared with her some of the challenges she was going through with her son. She also mentioned that her son just began attending a new school. After hearing that, her friend shared something with her that blew her mind. She said she had a student several years ago with a very similar profile to her son. He attended this very same school and made tremendous progress. Years later, her friend attended this student's bar mitzvah in which he stood up and delivered a speech that impressed everyone in the crowd. The woman couldn't believe this incredible hashgacha . The very same day she expressed her dream, Hashem came and whispered to her that this dream could indeed be a reality and that gave her so much chizuk . Hashem does everything for us down to the smallest details. It is incumbent on us to feel this way and express our hakarat hatov all the time.
This episode delves into the fourth perek of Eichah which is Yirmiyahu lamenting the death of Yoshiyahu Hamelech, and we learn through the Kinah dedicated to that story, and try to extract the lesson Chazal want us to learn about Kavod Talmidei Chachamim.
Recording Available Via Telephone Dial: (605) 475-4799 | Access ID: 840886# | Reference #: 2405 The Rambam writes the purpose of the fast is to get us to remember the bad deeds that caused the destruction and then accept upon ourselves to fix them. The main cause of the churban was people hating each other. If our bitachon in Hashem would be stronger, there would be no room for hatred because we would believe b'emunah shelemah that everything, even what people do to us, is caused by Hashem for our best. Chazal tell us, the first Tisha B'Av of calamity was when the people cried from the words of the meraglim , which was due to their lack of bitachon in Hashem. If they would have trusted in Hashem, they wouldn't have been afraid of anybody. When we truly believe that there is only Hashem in this world and nothing else, we will be able to rectify all the sins that have prolonged this galut . The Gemara tells us, Mashiach will come אם בקולו תשמעון – when we heed Hashem's voice and nobody else's. The Shomer Emunim writes, when a person's bitachon is the way it is supposed to be, he will be able to overcome so many tests that the yetzer hara gets people to fall to. When a man is walking in the street in the summertime and wants to guard his eyes from seeing the wrong things, the evil inclination will tell him he needs to be on the lookout in case he sees somebody he needs to speak with or in case he sees a store that he needs to go to. And once the person's guard is down, he will undoubtedly see things he is forbidden to look at. A person with bitachon in Hashem will say, “I will not lose by following Hashem's will. If there is somebody I need to speak with, Hashem will send him to me.” A person who is careful not to talk to others before he prays in the morning may have his evil inclination tell him, What if the person next to you now could help you? Maybe it is worth it to talk to him. Someone with bitachon would say, “If I accepted upon myself a stringency to honor Hashem, there is no way I will lose anything as a result.” A concerned mother who is trying to get her daughter married may think, maybe I should compromise a little on my daughter's standards of modesty so she will get married quicker. If her bitachon was where it was supposed to be, she would immediately say to herself, “The One who is in charge of marriage has a standard that He loves. It doesn't make any sense for me to compromise on His standard if He is the One producing the shidduch ." A woman who just started the Amida hears the doorbell ring and doesn't know who it is, the yetzer hara will tell her, Rush through your prayers so that you can go see who it is . If her bitachon was strong, she would say, “I am talking to the One who is in control of the entire world. Does it matter which one of His puppets is at my door right now?” If a person is learning Torah and the yetzer hara tells him if he leaves early to tend to his affairs, it'll be so much better for him. Bitachon will say, “I am doing the will of Hashem now, I'll only gain if I stay.” Hashem will not necessarily make it obvious to a person that he gained by doing the right thing, but that is only to keep a person's free will balanced. When our bitachon is strong, our middot will be the way they are supposed to be. We won't be arrogant, we won't get angry, we won't be jealous, and we'll be happy to do the job that Hashem sent us here to do. Let us resolve today to strengthen our bitachon in Hashem and, b'ezrat Hashem, that will be the zechut we need to bring the geula shelemah . Amen. תזכו בנחמת ציון .
Recording Available Via Telephone Dial: (605) 475-4799 | Access ID: 840886# | Reference #: 2403 Chazal tell us there are four things that need chizuk and one of them is tefila . The Gemara brings a proof that tefila needs chizuk from the pasuk קוה אל ה' חזק ויאמץ לבך וקוה אל ה '. Simply that means if a person is losing hope in Hashem helping him, he should strengthen himself and renew his hope and continue praying. The Shomer Emunim asks, this pasuk קוה אל ה ' connotes having bitachon in Hashem, so why are Chazal bringing a proof to tefila with a pasuk speaking about having bitachon ? The Shomer Emunim answered, usually, the reason a person becomes lax with tefila is because he has already prayed and prayed for something but has not been answered. He begins to feel that his prayers aren't helping anyway so why should he bother. The Baal Shem Tov said there is no such a thing as any tefila being lost. Sometimes a person's tefila is needed for something in the Upper Worlds. Sometimes his tefila is needed to help the Jewish People at large. Sometimes tefila is needed to help a relative who has fallen off the proper path, and the list goes on. In the future, a person will be credited for all of the effects his tefilot had and all of the benefits that they brought about. It is for this reason that Chazal tell us to strengthen ourselves and pray again when we aren't answered. And it is for this reason that Chazal use a pasuk that denotes having bitachon . We must strengthen our belief that Hashem is using every tefila that we pray. And when our tefilot finish accomplishing what they need to accomplish in those other realms, then Hashem will use them to give us the things that we are asking for. We must believe that at any moment Hashem can and will give us exactly what we are asking for. A man named Yosef from Ashdod works as a sofer . He generally earns a good parnasa by selling the mezuzot that he writes himself, until recently. He wrote and wrote, amassing a considerable pile of beautiful mezuzot , but there was no demand. He called all the dealers who usually buy from him, but none of them were interested. One of them said to him, “Right now there is very little demand and great supply. Even if you would lower your prices, you wouldn't be able to sell them. But don't worry, this problem will pass and eventually people will buy apartments and the need for mezuzot will come back.” Yosef was comforted by those words, but he reached a point where he could no longer afford his regular expenses. His financial situation took a toll on him. He lost his ability to focus, he lost his joy in life and didn't know what to do with himself. Soon, he had very large bills due and a lot of money was going to be drawn from his account. As he was thinking of those depressing thoughts, his wife turned to him with a smile on her tear-streaked face and told him, “I just prayed Mincha and asked Hashem that you should be able to sell all of your mezuzah inventory today.” She was encouraging, but she sounded so far-fetched to him, like someone was telling him he would win the lottery that day. She asked him to make a hishtadlut and call a dealer with whom he usually does not do business with. He refused saying he didn't have the emotional strength to deal with another refusal. Later that day, a dealer that he had spoken to the previous week called him, asking if he still had mezuzot available. Yosef replied yes. Last week, that dealer did not want Yosef's mezuzot because his mezuzot were written in ketav Ari and the dealer needed ketav Beit Yosef. But today, someone just ordered a large amount of ketav Ari mezuzot , so this dealer bought every single mezuzah that Yosef possessed. Exactly what his wife prayed for is what happened. We should never give up on the power of tefila .
Recording Available Via Telephone Dial: (605) 475-4799 | Access ID: 840886# | Reference #: 1716 The Gemara tells us the first question a person will be asked after 120 is "נשאת ונתת באמונה?"- Did you act in your business dealings in good faith? Were you honest and straight? It's a test that we're confronted with on a daily basis. It's not a coincidence that Chazal use the word emunah to describe a person being honest in business, because to do what's right requires a tremendous amount of emunah to know Hashem is the one providing, and that a person will only gain by following halacha. So many times it will appear that by cutting corners we'll be gaining. But that's all part of the test. If we stay strong and turn away from the immediate gains to do what's right, we'll gain much more in this world and the Next. The Shulchan Aruch in Choshen Mishpat, (204:7) rules regarding a person who verbally agrees to make a deal, even if no funds are exchanged and no contracts are made, it is correct and proper for him to stand by his word. One who reneges on his word is called a מחוסר אמנה – someone who is untrustworthy and the Rabbis are displeased with his actions. It's very hard to stand by a verbal agreement when other opportunities present themselves that are more lucrative. But if the person will adhere to the halacha, in the long run, he'll never lose. We won't always see the connection between being honest and success. In fact, very often it will appear that we lose as a result of our honesty. It may take a month, it may take a year, but Hashem will ensure a person doesn't lose anything by following halacha. When we do see immediate connections between our deeds, choosing correctly and having success, it gives us chizuk for the times that we don't see it. A man told me his facility was booked by a small boys' camp for one afternoon, and he received a phone call from a girls' camp asking if they could come for the same time slot. He asked the girls' camp if they could come another day, but they said they couldn't. The girls' camp had 130 people coming while the first camp had about 40. It would be more than triple the business for him to take the girls' camp. He called back the first camp and asked if they had any flexibility in their scheduling, mentioning that there was a potential customer who would also want that time slot. They said, no, they did not have flexibility. So he told them, “No problem, my word is my word. We'll see you tomorrow.” And he told the second camp, “Sorry, there's no availability.” Then the second camp asked him, “What time is that other camp leaving?” He said, “At the end of the day, at 4:00 when camps are over.” They then said they decided they would make it a late night and come at 4:00. He was so excited. If he would have gone back on his word and told the first camp they couldn't come anymore, he would have lost out on all that business. But by being straight, he ended up getting both of them. The sefer Vaveh HaAmudim told a story of a Jew who lives in Israel, who we'll call Reuven, who borrowed a lot of money to marry off his daughter. He had no idea how he was going to pay it all back. His friend told him to go to America and collect funds from people who would be happy to assist him with the great mitzvah of hachnasat kallah. Someone arranged for him to stay by the home of a man who loved having guests who came from Israel. During Reuven's stay, there was another individual there who was also collecting for his needs. Reuven was set up with a driver who took collectors around to people who they knew would give. This driver did this as a service to help people who were not familiar with the area, but he also charged a fee, a small percentage of the money collected. One night, this driver was driving Reuven and two other people around and he stopped in front of the home of a wealthy man. He said, “This man gives very generously, but if he knows you're being driven around by someone like me, he won't give you anything.” Reuven said, “I'm sorry, I'm not going to lie no matter what.” The other two people in the car said, “Well, please let us go first. Don't ruin it for us.” They came out with $500 checks each. And then Reuven went in. The first question he was asked was how did he get there? Reuven didn't answer. The wealthy man told him, “If you don't tell me how you got here, I'm not giving you anything.” Reuven refused to lie and he walked out of there with nothing. $500 would have been a lot of money for him, and it was so easy for him to lie, but he knew he didn't have to be dishonest to get money. The very same night, when he returned to his host, the other individual staying there said he was at the home of a different wealthy man who gave him $500 and told him to please give out another $500 to someone that he knows is in need. He said, “Here, I'm giving it to you.” Reuven was so happy to see how Hashem immediately gave him the money that he gave up to be honest. Hashem sees everything we do. He's hoping, Kavayachol, that we make the right decisions so that He could shower us with blessings, both in this world and the Next.
This Tisha B'av, join Rabbi Breitowitz reading and explaining Kinnos followed by a day of Shiurim at ohr.edu. For dedication opportunities email email@example.com This episode is dedicated as a zechus for the health and well being of Yehuda Ben Miriam and Victoria 00:00 Why are Zimri and Cozbi only mentioned as an afterthought, and why is the vav of 'shalom' incomplete? 07:08 How would Jews calculate zmanim in a submarine, and if there had been Jews on the Titan, would their wives have been allowed to remarry? 14:28 Why is spirituality so delicate and vulnerable? 20:19 How could an entire species be forbidden because of idolatrous use, as in the case of cocoa when it was first discovered? 24:37 What is the story of the Ten Lost Tribes? 32:56 When the gemara says that nothing treif comes from heaven, does that include the creations of heaven? 34:03 What is a possible source for yoetzet halacha? 42:55 How could the Benjaminites take women from Shiloh and Yavesh Gilead? 46:52 Is it bitul Torah to travel, and will Jews in the Messianic Era take vacations? 54:04 How does the Ramban understand the gemara that Israel heard 611 mitzvos from Moshe? 58:35 Is one allowed to enter a Buddhist temple? 1:01:05 How were nusachot made, and can one do so today? 1:08:30 How did those at the time of Chazal know when the zmanim were? 1:11:11 Why not start our mourning period from the 9th of Tammuz? 1:15:35 What is the source for long peyos, and why do so many do it? 1:16:52 What is the heter for contraception? 1:20:50 How does one maintain kavana in our fixed davening? 1:23:27 Why do we use the word 'rabbi'? 1:24:42 Is it worth discouraging intermarriage if there's a 50/50 chance of acceptance? 1:25:42 Can we use the recent innovations in torat hanefesh that come from the non-Jewish world? 1:32:17 How does one capitalize on moments of inspiration, motivation, and connection to God? 1:34:15 Since there are so many opposing ideas in mussar, how do we know when to be pulled by one force and when to be pulled by its opposite? Dedication opportunities are available for episodes and series at https://ohr.edu/donate/qa Questions? Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org Yeshivat Ohr Somayach located in the heart of Jerusalem, is an educational institution for young Jewish English-speaking men. We have a range of classes and programs designed for the intellectually curious and academically inclined - for those with no background in Jewish learning to those who are proficient in Gemara and other original source material. To find the perfect program for you, please visit our website https://ohr.edu/study_in_israel whatsapp us at https://bit.ly/OSREGISTER or call our placement specialist at 1-254-981-0133 today! Subscribe to the Rabbi Breitowitz Q&A Podcast at https://plnk.to/rbq&a Submit questions for the Q&A with Rabbi Breitowitz https://forms.gle/VCZSK3wQJJ4fSd3Q7 Subscribe to our YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/OhrSomayach/videos You can listen to this and many other Ohr Somayach programs by downloading our app, on Apple and Google Play, ohr.edu and all major podcast platforms. Visit us @ https://ohr.edu PRODUCED BY: CEDAR MEDIA STUDIOS
Recording Available Via Telephone Dial: (605) 475-4799 | Access ID: 840886# | Reference #: 2398 Rav Chaim Zayid shared that he had been married for seven years without children. The holiday of Pesach was approaching and he knew it was going to be very difficult seeing everyone else at the Seder with children while he and his wife would be the only ones alone. He thought of an idea to help give chizuk to himself as well as all of the childless couples that he knew of. He called a rabbi, Rabbi Tehila, who he had heard in the past and was known to give very powerful chizuk . He asked the Rabbi if he would be able to give a shiur to help childless couples have the proper emunah going into the holiday of Pesach. This request was made just two days before the holiday and Rabbi Tehila said he was very busy. When Rabbi Zayid told him how important the shiur would be for all of those in attendance, Rabbi Tehila agreed. He said he would give the shiur in Bnei Brak at 10:30 pm after he finished doing his bedikat chametz . Rabbi Zayid invited ten couples that he knew of and went to sleep that night excited for the shiur. As he was trying to fall asleep, he remembered another childless couple from a different city who had been married already for twenty years. The next day, he personally went there to invite them. They were not really interested, but he convinced them to come. That night, Rabbi Tehila gave them a two hour class that was so uplifting, they all got so much chizuk . Then, at the end of the class, the Rabbi told them of the famous Chazal, whoever prays for someone else will be answered first, and he requested that they each pair up with a different couple to pray for. Rabbi Zayid was paired up with the couple he invited that morning, the ones who had been married for twenty years without children. And of course, after that, they each prayed very hard for each other. This episode took place thirty years ago. Since then, baruch Hashem, that couple was blessed with two children, both boys. And Rabbi Zayid and his wife were zocheh to have six children. This past year, on the exact same night that that class took place thirty years ago, lel bedikat chametz , Rabbi Zayid's daughter became engaged to that other couple's son. Amazingly, it was almost the exact same time that they had taken upon themselves thirty years earlier to pray for each other to have children. Their prayers not only helped each other, but helped themselves as well. Rabbi Zayid thought he was doing a chesed to help others, but little did he know, he was doing a chesed that was eventually going to help himself and his own daughter. The ways of Hashem are amazing. We have no idea how far reaching our deeds go. From one decision to try to give some people chizuk , many children came into the world and Hashem brought about a string of events that took thirty years to unfold to finally see a tiny glimpse of. Everything we do has ripple effects. Most of the time we don't get to see them, at least now in this world. In the future, Hashem is going to show each person what every one of his deeds accomplished and the person is going to be in awe. There is no such a thing as a small deed. Whatever we do in Torah and mitzvot always goes a very long way.