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11 Cheshvan 5773/October 27, 2012
Beit Midrash Zichron Dov
Toronto TorahToronto TorahToronto Torah
 
Parshat Lech Lecha
 
Vol.4 Num. 6
 
account, Noach makes no attempt toreach out to the people in hisgeneration. In this battle of the extrovertconcerned with the fate of humanity,and the introvert concerned with hisown survival, who is correct?Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (MiP'ninei
HaRav pg. 344) explains Noach’s
shortcoming as follows: Chazal expoundthat had Noach been as great a tzaddikas Avraham, G-d would surely haveentered into a covenant with Noach, likeHe did with Avraham (Bereishit 15). The
Rav explains that Noach’s shortcoming
was that he did not see the possibility of good in the evil people in his generation.Avraham, on the other hand, was ableto see the potential for good in thepeople of Sodom, even though they wereextremely wicked.Rabbi Soloveitchik suggests that thereason that G-d showed a rainbow toNoach after the flood was to tell Noachthat just as a person can see a ray of sun behind each cloud, and even arainbow can be seen in a somewhatcloudy sky, so Noach should haveattempted to seek out the potentialgoodness in the people of hisgeneration. G-d tells Noach, "You,Noach, did not trouble yourself to lookinto the depths of the hearts of thepeople in your generation; I am showing you a rainbow to teach you to lookdeeper into each person." Avraham doesnot need a rainbow to teach him thismessage.Concern for wicked neighbours appearsin the Talmud as well. In seferYechezkel (9:4), G-d tells Yechezkel todraw a letter on the foreheads of thepeople. A gemara explains (Shabbat55a) that G-d told the angel Gavriel tomake a letter with ink on the foreheadsof the righteous, and to use blood tomake that letter on the foreheads of thewicked, so that the angels of destructionwould know whom to kill. The Attributeof Justice objected to this distinction,and argued that the righteous couldhave protested against the wicked, sothey too should be included with thewicked. G-d answered that He knewthat their protest would not havechanged the wicked, to which theAttribute of Justice responded, "Youknow, but the righteous did not know." The righteous should have attempted toinfluence the wicked in the generationof Yechezkel, and were ultimately punished for their failure to do so.Certainly, Noach's own spiritual andphysical survival takes precedence overhis attempts to influence others, and hemay be justified in keeping his distance.However, there are ways to impactothers without even coming into contactwith them. One way to influence thosepeople is to daven for them. Beruriah,wife of Rabbi Meir, corrects herhusband and tells him that he shouldpray for sin to end, and not for thesinners to die. (Berachot 10a) Avrahamdoes not deal directly with Sodom; hedavens for them, and asks G-d to sparethem. One lesson to learn from thecomparison of Noach and Avraham isthat introvert or extrovert, one mustnever entirely give up on those aroundhim.
ymanas@torontotorah.com 
Avraham and the Rainbow 
 
Yair Manas
 
We welcome the shlichim of Torah miTzion visiting Toronto for the annual North American Convention!
Although he began his journey at theend of parshat Noach, we are
introduced to Avraham’s character in
parshat Lech Lecha. From multipleepisodes we see that Avraham deeply cares about the material and spiritualwell-being of those in hissurroundings. In the beginning of theparshah, Rashi (Bereishit 12:5) quotesa midrash telling us that Avraham andSarah brought those around them torecognize G-d. Next, Avraham turnsdown his share of the spoils from thebattle of the four kings and the fivekings, but he ensures that hispartners receive their share. (Bereishit14:24) A third example occurs whenAvraham corrects Avimelech, and tellshim to bless G-d
before 
blessingothers. (Bereishit 14:19-20, Nedarim32b) Finally, in parshat Vayera,Avraham argues with G-d on behalf of Sodom and Amorah. Avraham has theaudacity to negotiate with G-d over thefate of a city whose inhabitants aredescribed in Bereishit 13:13 as"extremely wicked and sinful to G-d."
Avraham’s concern for those around
him, and especially his arguments onbehalf of the people of Sodom, isfamously contrasted with what Rabbi
Michael Rosensweig calls Noach’s
"silent reaction to the doomed fate of an entire world." Based on the Torah's
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situations; even a
mamzer 
is obligated inthis mitzvah. However, some suggest thatthis obligation exists only after the parenthas repented. (Yevamot 22b; ShulchanAruch Yoreh Deah 240:18)It is worth noting that a parent isempowered to forgive his honour; forexample, a mother may permit her childto sit in her seat. However, a mother isnot entitled to permit her child to causeher pain or public disgrace. (MinchatChinuch 212:6)
torczyner@torontotorah.com 
2
 The Torah's thirty-third mitzvahrequires us to honour our parents,but the 212
th
mitzvah adds a
dimension, instructing, “A man shall
have awe of his mother and
father.” (Vayikra 19:3) Thus there are
two mitzvot: Awe and Honour. "Awe"refers to displays of respect; forexample, we don't sit in our parents'seats and we don't contradict them."Honour" refers to actions whichactively provide honour, such asproviding meals or dressing them. The mandate to act with respecttoward one's parents applies to all
613 Mitzvot: #212
 Awe for our Parents
 
Rabbi Mordechai TorczynerHitoriri: Jewish Spirituality
Value Life!
 
Rabbi Baruch Weintraub
 
A midrash elaborates upon Avraham's journey from Charan to Eretz Israel,then known as Canaan:As Avraham was walking in AramNaharaim and Aram Nachor, he sawpeople eating, drinking andcelebrating recklessly. He said, "I
hope my share won’t be in this
land."When he arrived at Tzur'smountains (the modern boundary between Israel and Lebanon), hesaw them busy with weeding at thetime to weed and hoeing at the timeto hoe. He said, "I hope my sharewill be in this land." G-d said tohim: "To your offspring I will givethis land" (Bereishit Rabbah 39:8)Why was Avraham so impressed by thesight of labour? Why wouldn't Avrahamchoose a richer land, where peoplecould indulge in eating, dancing andcelebrating? Even if Avraham didn't likethe celebrations of the non-Jews, hecould have chosen such a land, andtaught his family to use its resourcesfor Torah and mitzvot!It seems clear that Avraham did notonly oppose 'eating, drinking andcelebrating'; he positively appreciatedlabour and hard work. A reason mightbe found in an explanation given by Rashi to a mishnah in Sanhedrin (3:3). The mishnah states that a man whoengages in 'cube games' (i.e. gambling)and is doing nothing else to supporthimself, is unfit to testify in court.Rashi (Eruvin 82a) explains, "They arenot engaged in settling the world, sothey are not familiar with the labourand sorrows of men, and therefore they do not spare their friends from losingmoney." According to Rashi, a man whois not working for his living does notappreciate his own wealth, or that of hisfriend.Avraham wanted his sons to grow up ina place where life was valued. Thelabour and the work we put forth tosustain our life should remind us of theimportance of our lives, and theprecious nature of each minute.
bweintraub@torontotorah.com 
All is Well
 
Hillel Horovitz
 
' .  .   ,  . .
 
 (:  : , ,  .   (:  . ? , .
 
 (   ,: , ? , . :  .
 
, , , , . , ,  , .    .
 
hhorovitz@torontotorah.com 
 
-
  .   ( ,  . ,  ( ,   ( :, ,  , , ,  .
 
, .  (): , . . , : , :  , .   .
 
': ...  ( : ) ...
-
.
 
, ,  ? ' ,  , , , 
 
 
Thursday is the 16 
th 
of Cheshvan 
Between June 1949 and September1950, 42,862 Yemenite Jews werebrought to the newly establishedState of Israel. Families andindividuals were airlifted on Britishand American transport planes overthe course of approximately 380flights from Aden, a port city on theeastern approach to the Red Sea. The operation was kept secret out of fear that other Muslim nationswould object, but it was publicly announced on the 16
th
of Cheshvan. The origin of the ancient Jewishcommunities in Yemen is a highly contested topic, but everyone agreesthat they have been there for morethan a millennium. One theory suggests that Jews immigratedthere after they were exiled fromIsrael with the destruction of thefirst Beit haMikdash. Over thecenturies, the Jews spreadthroughout the country; by 1949,80 percent were living in smalltowns rather than urban centres. The situation for Yemen's Jewsbecame extremely hostile followingthe announcement of the 1947 UNPartition Plan; Muslim rioters killed82 Jews and destroyed many homes. This was part of the impetusfor the mass emigration. The Israeli government set up anencampment, entitled Geulah
[“redemption”], next to Aden. In
order to reach this city, thousandsof Jews travelled by foot and ondonkeys, vulnerable to robbers aswell as hostile local populations.
 This wasn’t the first time that Jews
had left Yemen for Israel; the firstsignificant departure of Jews fromYemen was in 1862. However, thisundertaking, officially calledOperation on Wings of Eagles,(taken from Shemot 19:4) and alsocommonly called Operation MagicCarpet, was the first mass exodus.
afrieberg@torontotorah.com 
Rabbi Elazar Spira was born in theAustro-Hungarian town of Strzyzow,into the rabbinic family which led theMunkaczer chasidim, in December,1868. He received the name "Chaim"during a grave illness at the age of three, on the instruction of his father'smentor, Rabbi Chaim of Sanz.Rabbi Spira was a child prodigy, writinghis first work of Jewish law at the age of 11. He became the head of the beit dinof Munkacz in 1903, serving alongsidehis father, who was the MunkaczerRebbe. When his father passed away in1913, Rabbi Chaim Elazar Spira becamethe new Munkaczer Rebbe. He was alsoknown as "Minchas Elazar", the title of his major work on Jewish law. The charismatic leadership of RabbiSpira spurred the growth of theMunkaczer chasidim. People came fromnear and far to seek his counsel and hisblessing, and he organized a network of tzedakah institutions to take care of social needs. His yeshiva, Darchei Teshuvah, attracted students from allover Europe. International leaders,including Czech president Edvard Benes
and Holland’s Queen Wilhelmina, visited
the sage. By the time of his passing, inMay of 1937, more than half of Munkaczwas Jewish. When Rabbi Spira'sdaughter Frima got married, Hungary,Poland and Czechoslovakia opened theirborders to permit visitors to attend thewedding without visa; more than 20,000guests attended.Rabbi Spira founded a tzedakah whichhelped support Jews living in then-Palestine, and he established a Jerusalem neighbourhood, BateiMunkacz. Rabbi Spira himself visitedIsrael in 1930. However, Rabbi Spirawas a strong opponent of Zionism,contending that Jews should not seek toestablish a self-governing state until themiraculous arrival of Mashiach. He wasalso militantly opposed to the formationof Jewish umbrella organizations,including Agudath Israel, contendingthat Jews should focus on theirpersonal relationships with HaShem.Broad scholarship and prolific writinghave kept Rabbi Spira's influence alivein the decades since his passing; hepublished more than twenty books on Jewish law, chumash, chassidut, liturgy and Jewish philosophy.
torczyner@torontotorah.com 
Regarding the Derech Chaim's statementthat one should not recite the
y'hi ratzon 
 printed in siddurim and machzorim betweenthe first sets of shofar blasts: He referencedOrach Chaim 592, but no prohibition isfound there. Just the opposite, the Ramathere said that prayers are not aninterruption between shofar blasts, only between the berachah and the shofar blast.For this, then, which is between the sets of blasts, one may interrupt with
y'hi ratzon 
,which is related to the shofar blasts. It isonly between the berachah and the start of the shofar blasts that it would constitute aninterruption. It appears that he meant toreference the Taz (592:1), who said that oneshould not interrupt until after the blasts
blown during the amidah…
 However, in the
y'hi ratzon 
one prays that theblasts should be accepted and desired. Thesages said that the first blasts are to confusethe Satan, as the Taz himself wrote (592:2),and so one needs to pray that they should bedesirable in confusing the Satan. This is certainly true given that the Ari z"lwrote that one should confess his sinsverbally, albeit silently, between the blasts!And it will certainly be no worse than one'sown prayers in musaf, and the added poemswhich do not constitute an interruption for
this issue…
 However, regarding the text of the
y'hi ratzon 
paragraphs between the blasts, my father'spractice is not to say them for a separatereason. There is concern for mixture of foreign ideas in the meditations upon theNames, which are not from the Ari z"l. Iwould be afraid to open my mouth regardingsuch issues, especially as these paragraphshave been printed and published in ancientas well as new siddurim. On the other hand,in my humble opinion, the obligation is uponeach individual to publicize and informpeople of this, to keep people from recitingthem and meditating upon them out of 
concern for these foreign ideas, Gd forbid…
 It is recorded in the
y'hi ratzon 
after tekiah-shevarim-teruah-tekiah, "And Yeshua theinternal celestial officer, and the celestialofficer Mt"t." We have not seen this name foran "internal celestial officer" angel anywhere;
only Mt"t is the internal celestial officer…
 This name Yeshua is like the name used by those who promote that known idolatry, Gd
This Week inIsraeli History
Cheshvan 16, 1949
On Wings of Eagles
Adam Frieberg
 
Torah in Translation
Y’hi Ratzon
 during Shofar
 
Rabbi Chaim Elazar Spira
Minchat Elazar 1:75
Translated by R’ Mordechai Torczyner
 
save us. This mistake was allowed due to
carelessness… and from there this
mistake was drawn into other siddurim,since no one pays attention to these
matters which are the world’s secrets…
Biography: Rabbi Chaim Elazar Spira
R’ Mordechai Torczyner
 
Visit us at www.torontotorah.com
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