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13 Av 5773/July 20, 2013
Yeshiva University Torah miTzion Beit Midrash Zichron DovYeshiva University Torah miTzion Beit Midrash Zichron DovYeshiva University Torah miTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov
Toronto TorahToronto TorahToronto Torah
Parshat Va’etchanan / Nachamu
Vol.4 Num. 41
Yet when we look at G-
d’s response, as
quoted by Moshe, we see that G-d tells
Moshe, “Enough; do not speak to Mefurther about this matter.” (Devarim
3:26) G-
d emphatically denies Moshe’s
request to enter Israel. Does this mean
that Moshe’s prayer failed?
 One way to answer to this question is toassert that even though G-d did not
listen to Moshe’s prayer to allow him toenter into Israel, Moshe’s prayer came
to fruition in a different time and place.Rabbi Baruch Simon (Imrei Baruch onDevarim, pg. 42) quotes a number of sources that indicate that no prayer istotally rejected; G-d keeps those prayersin abeyance until He decides to turn tothem. As the Sefer Chasidim (387)explains, prayers which do not lead to adesired outcome will surely work insome other case, either for the personwho prayed or for his descendants. There may be another way to answerthis question. By definition, failure isdefined as not achieving what one setout to accomplish. What did Moshe setout to achieve by praying to G-d to beallowed to enter Israel? Obviously,Moshe wanted to enter Israel. But didhe desire anything else?Perhaps Moshe wanted to verbalize hislove and desire for the land of Israel,and to show his yearning to live there.Moshe wanted to demonstrate that hewas a person who dreamed to live inIsrael, even though he knew that theodds for the success of his prayer wereslim. In his farewell address to the Jewish people, Moshe wanted to expresshis feelings and inform them that they,
too, must desire to enter Israel. Moshe’s
prayer to enter Israel is not only ameans to an end; it is an end in and of itself.In the beginning of our haftorah,
Yeshayah tells us, “Speak to the heartof Jerusalem, and call out to her” (40:2).
Rabbi Baruch Simon (Imrei Baruch onDevarim pg 37) quotes Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, the previous Satmar Rebbe,
saying that “heart” is a reference toprayer, prayer is referred to as “words of the heart.” (Rambam, Sefer haMitzvot,
Aseh 5) Thus this verse may now be
translated as “Pray regarding Jerusalem, and call out to her,” which
is precisely what Moshe does in ourparshah. The haftorah emphasizes thatwe must all strive to be people who callout for Jerusalem.
Moshe’s prayer did not fail; Moshe's
prayer taught us that having a plan tomove to Israel is vital to our Jewishidentity. Not only does a plan help forthe future, but it means that even in thepresent we have a connection to Israel.Having a plan and dreaming to move toIsrael is vital for all of us, because ourdreams become part of our identity.May we all be comforted for the loss of the Batei HaMikdash, and may the BeitHaMikdash be rebuilt speedily in ourdays.
A Failed Prayer?
Rabbi Yair Manas
In memory of our beloved father, husband and grandfather,
Mitch Greenberg, Refoel Yechiel Meir Shlomo ben Chaim Tzvi z”l, on his shloshim
 Aaron and Miriam, Amy, Elaine and Tzvi, Nediva, Ezra & Yair Greenberg
 The word “Va'etchanan” is difficult to
translate. In his second explanation,Rashi (Devarim 3:23) says that this
word means “And I prayed,” and is in
fact one of ten expressions of prayerthat are found in Tanach. Moshe praysto G-
d, “You have begun to show your
servant Your greatness and Yourstrong arm. Which god of the heavensor earth can perform Your actions andYour strength? Let me please pass andsee the great land that is in the otherside of the Jordan; the good mountain
and the Lebanon.” (Devarim 3:24
-25)Rashi (3:24) explains that Moshe tookadvantage of an opportunity andbegan beseeching G-d. Moshereasoned that even though G-d haddecreed that he would not be allowedto enter Israel, G-d had already taughtMoshe that he could pray to annuldecrees. After the sin of the GoldenCalf, G-d had provided Moshe with anopening to defend the Jewish people.Learning from this experience, Mosheprayed to G-d once again to annulG-
d’s decree that Moshe would not
enter Israel. Throughout these verses, Rashi
explains each of Moshe’s phrases as aform of prayer. For example, “Yourgreatness” is a reference to G
d’s traitof goodness, and “Your arm” is a
reference to G-
d’s arm that is
outstretched to all of His creations.
“The good mountain and the Lebanon”
are references to Jerusalem and theBeit HaMikdash. In fact, a midrash(Devarim Rabbah 11:10) tells us thatMoshe prayed five-hundred and fifteentimes (the gematria of the word
We are grateful toContinental Press 905-660-0311
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queen, while G-d is the King. The korbanmust first "see" the queen before it can bebrought to the King. (Tanchuma Emor 12)Similarly, a baby boy is only circumcisedafter eight days, once he has first "seen"the Queen.
Mitzvah 293 instructs us that we may not bring an animal as an offering toG-d unless the animal is at least eightdays old. The Sefer haChinuch explains thatone of the motivations of the korbansystem is that we demonstrate love of G-d by offering something we desirefor ourselves; therefore, the korbanmust be important to us. Until ananimal completes its first week, it isstill weak and therefore less valuable.Another explanation is found in amidrash: Shabbat is considered like a
613 Mitzvot: #293
8 Days: Korban and Brit Milah
Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner
Transmitting Tradition
Adam Frieberg
We are a people of tradition; viatradition we convey our narrative, ourcustoms and our laws. Fundamental tothis tradition is the task of transmission: it is my responsibility topass along my Judaism, in all of itsaspects, to the next generation. ThusPirkei Avot begins, "Moshe received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it toYehoshua; Yehoshua to the Elders; the
Elders to the Prophets…" Before
teaching us how to live ethical lives,Pirkei Avot teaches us that whatever welearn, we must pass on. The art of passing along our tradition isdepicted on a grand scale in the fifthchapter of Sefer Devarim. The Torahdescribes Moshe gathering the nationand reviewing the Ten Commandmentspresented at Sinai. On the opening
verse, “Moshe called all of Israel andsaid to them,” (5:1) Chizkuni explainsthat “all of Israel” means the majority of 
the nation, who had been born after thepresentation of the Torah. The goal is totransmit Torah to a new generation of  Jews, and Moshe proclaims to this new
generation, “Not with our forefathers
did Hashem seal this covenant, butwith us
we who are here, all of us
alive today.” (5:3) Moshe wanted to
make sure that the tradition would notbe viewed as the private property of itsoriginal recipients, but would instead bepassed down.But why was a gathering necessary?
Why wasn’t every child taught the Ten
commandments, and the covenant intowhich we had entered, by his or herparents, just as they would be taughtthe laws of Shabbat or kashrut?Perhaps Moshe's gatheringdemonstrates for us the important of choosing the right mode of transmission. The Jews needed morethan individual instruction; the newgeneration needed to see Torahpresented on a grand stage. Today, we don't necessarily have theability to recreate the Revelation atSinai, but we have other ways to convey  Torah, beyond simple instruction. Letus take Moshe's approach to heart, anddevise innovative, effective ways to passalong our tradition to our children.
The Day of Incomplete Unity
Hillel Horovitz
 (" , 
. , , ." , ? ?
., ,  , . " ,  , ! , , . , "  , , !
 , " ' ' ( "  ," ", , ", .  ,:
" '  ( ". '";  ".  , , "   ( ''  .
, ('  ' .  ( " ',  .' '  ,  (  . , .  (  ('"".) 
13 Av is Shabbat 
On the thirteenth of Av (August 18),1948, the Anglo-Palestine Bank, anarm of the Jewish Colonial Trust,began authorizing the PalestinePound or
Lira Eretz Yisraelit 
. Thename of the new coin was the sameas was used before, but nowresponsibility for currency mattersrested with the new Israeligovernment.Already before establishment of theState, Jewish institutions hadprepared to issue currency for thestate to be born. The Anglo-PalestineBank was the financial institution of the Jewish settlement, and itschairman, Eliezer (Siegfried) Hoofien,successfully convinced an Americancompany to print money notes for astate that did not yet exist, and as yet had no name. Indeed, the newcoins and banknotes were printedwithout the state's name, which wasadded later. The printing was donesecretly, as American laws forbadethe printing of foreign money withoutapproval by the Americangovernment. The coins and banknotes arrived inIsrael in July 1948. On theseventeenth of August the Israeligovernment issued a law approvingthe new currency, which enteredcirculation on the following day. The importance of this day shouldnot be underestimated, as the ability to issue currency which is respectedby the population is an expression of reliability and stability. As Rambamwrote, "When the coins issued by aking are the tender of the land, thisindicates that the inhabitants of thatland have accepted him and considerhim to be their leader andthemselves to be his subjects. If,however, the coins he issues are notthe tender of the land, he isconsidered to be a robber who takesby the force of arms. He and hisservants are like a band of armedthieves, whose laws are notbinding ." (Mishneh Torah, HilchotGezeilah Va'Aveidah 5:18)
[The following is excerpted from a longer
biography by R’ Netanel Javasky.]
 Rav Avraham Yitzchak haKohen Kookwas born in Latvia in 1865. Recognizedas a prodigy at a young age, he joinedthe famed Volozhin Yeshiva, and the young Avraham Yitzchak developed afond relationship with the RoshhaYeshiva, Rabbi Naftali Zvi YehudaBerlin (Netziv). His stay in Volozhin wasnot lengthy, lasting under two years, butthe Netziv is quoted as saying that hadthe entire Volozhin Yeshiva beenfounded just to teach Rav Kook, it wouldhave been a worthwhile endeavour. Hisbrilliance and inquisitive naturecombined to lead him to the study of subjects not commonly explored in thetraditional Yeshiva settings of the time,including Tanach, philosophy, Hebrewlanguage and mysticism. Becoming aRabbi at the age of 23, Rav Kook, in hisearly years, served the communities of Zaumel and then Bausk.In the early years of the 20th century,immediately before emigrating to Israel,Rav Kook published three articles on thetopic of Israel; the ideas in these articleswould form a basis for his philosophy onthis subject. In 1904 Rav Kook assumedthe position of Rabbi of Jaffa, and hisbroad impact was instantly felt. He hadgreat respect and love for all Jews, andconsidered them all as pioneers inushering in the spiritual redemption.Rav Kook explained that the Jew wasmade up of two components: the inner
 pintele yid 
and the route which he hasset out upon with his actions. Even if one was weak in the latter, there wasstill the heart and soul of a Jew thatcould be loved and encouraged. Rav
Kook’s love and affection towards the
secularists was often seen by hisopponents as compromising Halachah,supporting those who were anti-religion.Rav Kook was in Europe during theoutbreak of World War I, and he usedthe opportunity to spread his desire thatreligious Jews settle the Land andinfluence its development. Soon after hisreturn to what was then Palestine, hewas appointed as the first Chief Rabbi.Rav Kook wrote prolifically on Jewishthought and the development of the Jewish land, and new works of hiswritings continue to be published evennow. In 1924 he founded YeshivatMerkaz haRav - named posthumously inhis honour - known today as the bastionof Religious Zionism and as a placewhich has become synonymous with theteachings of Rav Kook. Rav Kook passedaway in 1935, but his influencecontinues to be felt to this very day.All of the justifications I will present on
behalf of our brethren… who depend upon
the permission and release [of the land]practiced in past sabbatical years from therulings of sages who found this appropriatedue to needs of that time, are only intendedto inform people not to equate theselabourers, who act based upon properrulings, with those who violate the laws of  Torah, G-d forbid.It is also to strengthen our brethren,scattered in the diaspora, who yearn to comeand settle in the desirable land and would doso if only they would be shown a way to besupported by the labour of their hands. They fear the halt of labour in contemporary shemitah, when the Divine blessing is stillhidden until its revelation, may it comespeedily. Especially those who desire toinvest large sums to establish orchards,vineyards, fields of grain and pleasant
gardens… As a result [of their fears] these
people withdraw their hands from the holy land and sink themselves into the lands of 
the nations…
 But it would be gravest desecration to deducefrom this any laxity in this holy and belovedmitzvah [of settling the land] on the part of one in whose heart G-d has placed a purespirit and sufficient courage and faith topractice the laws of shemitah fully! He will beblessed by G-d, who dwells in Zion, whowants the desirable land and the sanctity of 
her mitzvot…
  This requires no announcement, but noindividual or institution should use ourwords to compel work during shemitah, G-dforbid, even with the permission and release,on the part of these men of heart who havelove of G-d and desire for His mitzvot inthem. They desire with all their heart toguard and fulfill the mitzvah of shemitah asit is stated, without any of the lenienciesoffered due to contemporary difficulties. Andcertainly, these, too, in whose hands entersfull observance of the mitzvah, must judgefavourably, with total feelings of honour andlove of Israel, all those whose individual orcommunal circumstances compel them toconduct themselves with this permission andrelease. "Do not think evil of another in your
hearts… and love truth and
peace." (Zecharyah 8:17-19)
This Week inIsraeli History
13 Av 1948
Israeli Currency
Rabbi Baruch Weintraub
Torah in Translation
Shemitah, Truth and Peace
Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook
Introduction to Shabbat ha’Aretz
Translated by R’ Mordechai Torczyner
Biography: Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook
R’ Netanel Javasky
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