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25 Elul 5773/August 31, 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
 
Parshiyot Netzavim-Vayelech
 
Vol. 5 Num. 2
 
Having our curious children at
hakhel 
will inspire them to inquire and learn.However, a third benefit of bringingchildren may be linked to the practice of having the king conduct the publicreading. Rambam does not list
hakhel 
 as a king's mitzvah, and indeed the Torah does not identify the readerexplicitly. However, our sages (Sotah41a) took for granted that this shouldbe the king. [See also Yereim 233 and266, Tosafot Yom Tov to Sotah 7:8, andMinchat Chinuch 612:2.] Certainly,there is added splendour an gravitaswhen the king leads a ritual, but why this ritual, in particular?Every seven years, during the period of 
shemitah 
,
 
the normal rules of society cease to function: the fencessurrounding fields are broken, thetithes that support the kohanim andleviyim are neglected, the heirarchicalrelationship between employer andemployee is severed, hardworkingfarmers become men of leisure, andloans are forgiven and forgotten. Thiscan constitute a healthy break forsociety, and a community's rules can bestrengthened by this sort of periodicvacation. [See Jeffrey Rubenstein,
Purim, Liminality and Communitas 
.]However, with such a haitus we risk thepossibility that the community falls inlove with its lawless vacation, andforgets to return. This may be part of the role of 
hakhel 
: To remind the Jewish nation that itsexistence is still governed by the rulesand institutions of the Torah. Thus thenation reads key biblical passages: thefundamentals of our faith; the tithesgiven to the kohanim, the leviyim andthe needy; the monarchy; and thenational covenant into which we enterat the end of the book of Devarim.(Mishnah Sotah 7:8; Tosefta Sotah 7:17)We re-commit ourselves to theseobligations, and to our nationalstructure.Within this context, having the kingperform the reading is entirely logical;the king is the heart of the commandstructure we reiterate with
hakhel 
. Andbringing our children is its own reward,for even children who are too young tocomprehend the reading will realize thatthe entire community has assembled asone to hear the instructions of its king,and this will create a lastingappreciation for the honour of ourgovernment and society's institutions.In less than one week, we will perform aversion of 
hakhel 
as we gather to markRosh haShanah. Among the centralthemes of this day is the coronation of G-d as King, and this, too, is anecessary reminder. From Yom Kippurto Rosh haShanah there is very little inour lives that declares to us, "
HaShem hu ha'Elokim 
!" We can go through muchof our year, even while observingmitzvot, without devoting significantthought to the meaning andimplications of the Divine Throne. So itis that once each year we set aside timeto gather with the explicit aim of coronating our King. May we bepersonally and communally impactedby this grand celebration
 – 
and may weensure that our children participate inthe moment, so that they will beimpacted as well.
torczyner@torontotorah.com 
The King is in the Building
 
Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner
 
To sponsor an issue of Toronto Torah, please call 647-234-7299 or email info@torontotorah.com.
There will be no Toronto Torah for Rosh haShanah; please enjoy the Yeshiva University “To Go” booklets.
 
 The mother of all Jewish conventions,the septennial
hakhel 
gatheringfeatures an assembly of Jews of allages. As Devarim 31:12 recordsMoshe's instruction, "Gather thenation: men, women, children, and thestranger at your gates." After every 
shemitah 
 year, on the second night of Succot, all who call themselves by thename Israel must assemble and hearsections of the book of Devarim readaloud. Historically, this reading wasdone by the king, in an area of the BeithaMikdash. The Torah's demand that childrenparticipate in the celebration is uniqueamong our mitzvot; in no othercommunal mitzvah does the Torahexplicitly require their participation. The Talmud (Chagigah 3a) is sensitiveto this quirk, and it suggests that thereason to bring the children is "toprovide reward for those who bringthem." This seems circular, though;does the Talmud mean to say that G-dcreated a mitzvah solely for the sake of rewarding those who fulfill it?One might explain the Talmud to meanthat those who bring their children willbe rewarded by the very act of bringingthem. For example: Sefer haChinuch(612) contends that
hakhel 
increasesour love of Torah, through the glory of this gathering. Perhaps, then, havingour children at
hakhel 
rewards thebringers, by inculcating love of Torahinto those children.Alternatively, Ibn Ezra (Devarim 31:12)sees the benefit of 
hakhel 
aseducational; those who attend will beinspired to ask questions, and thereby to learn more throughout the year.
We are grateful toContinental Press 905-660-0311
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'And He said to me: You are My servant, Israel, by whom Iam glorified.'" There is some debate as to the breadth of the mitzvah of sanctifying G-d's Name; does this require us to spread thehonour of G-d's Name among non-Jews, or only among Jews? On one hand, the mitzvah of sanctifying G-d's Namecomes from a parochial verse, Vayikra 22:32, "And you shallnot desecrate My holy Name, and I will be sanctified in themidst of the Children of Israel." On the other hand,Yechezkel 38:23 speaks more broadly, "And I will beelevated and I will be sanctified and I will be known beforethe eyes of many nations." Likewise, the Rambam'sformulation of the mitzvah (Aseh 9) is broad, "We areinstructed to publicize this true faith in the world, and notto fear any harm." For more material related to thisquestion, see Sanhedrin 74b-75a and Yerushalmi BavaMetzia 2:5.
torczyner@torontotorah.com 
2
We are taught that Hashem created us so that we might bechallenged to grow spiritually, and part of that growth comesthrough aiding the spiritual development of the world aroundus. We are given two mitzvot in this regard: a prohibitionagainst doing anything to bring dishonour to G-
d’s Name
(#295), and an obligation to actively bring honour to G-
d’s
Name (#296).A Talmudic passage (Yoma 86a) definining desecration andsanctification of the Divine Name offers the followingpractical direction for us: "'You shall love HaShem, your G-d'
 – 
The Name of Heaven should be beloved because of you. Oneshould read, study and serve Torah scholars, and hisinteraction with others should be gentle. What will people say of him? 'Fortunate is his father who taught him Torah,fortunate is his rebbe who taught him Torah. Woe to thepeople who have not learned Torah. This person was taught Torah, and see how pleasant are his ways, how refined arehis deeds!' Regarding such a person Yeshayah 49:3 says,
Haftorah: Yeshayah 61:10-63:9
Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner
 
Who is the prophet of our haftorah?
Yeshayah (Isaiah) was a prophet in theperiod leading up to the exile of the tennorthern tribes of Yisrael by theAssyrians. He lived in the southernkingdom of Yehudah, and heprophesied during the reigns of KingsUziahu, Yotam, Achaz and Chizkiyahu.According to the Talmud (Sotah 10a),he was a descendant of Yehudah and Tamar.As the Talmud (Bava Batra 15a) informsus, the book of Yeshayah was compiledby King Chizkiyahu and associates of his. The prophecies of Yeshayah may beclassified in two categories, Rebuke andRedemption; the former dominates theearly chapters of the book, while thelatter occupies the latter portion. Thesplit is not clean, though; portions of the former include redemption, andportions of the latter include rebuke.
Concluding the seven Haftarot of consolation
We have mentioned the seven weeks of consolation,
shivah d'nichemta 
, running
from after Tisha b’Av until the week
before Rosh haShanah, in which weread special haftarot. R' DavidAvudraham explains that this sequenceof haftarot presents a dialogue betweenG-d and the nation of Israel, asexpressed in the opening phrases of each haftorah:1. The first message, "Be comforted,be comforted, My people," is aDivine address conveyed to us viathe prophets;2. To which the second haftorahreplies, "And Zion said, 'Gd hasforsaken me."' The nation of Israelseeks comfort from G-d, not fromintermediaries;3. The prophets convey our dismay to G-d in the third haftorah, whichbegins, "The distressed pauper isnot comforted";4. In the fourth haftorah, G-dacknowledges our request andsays, "I, I am the One whocomforts you";5. G-d expresses this consolation inthe fifth haftorah, "Sing, childlesswoman";6. And the consolation continues inthe sixth haftorah with, "Rise,shine!"7. The Jewish nation rejoices at thisDivine consolation, and respondswith the seventh haftorah, "I willcertainly rejoice."
What is the message of ourhaftorah?
 The prophet begins by speaking onbehalf of the Jewish nation, declaringour joy in Divine salvation.Immediately after that shortintroduction, the voice shifts to that of G-d, and His promise to act on behalf of the Jewish people. He makes threepromises:1) You will be restored to your glory,as a desirable city and a place of beauty;2) You will be protected from yourenemies, who will take advantageof you no longer;3) Even when you lack all humanallies, G-d will crush your foes.Our haftorah concludes with a brief declaration by Yeshayah that G-d hasalways been with us, His children. Forall eternity, He will carry us forward.
Getting married?
Historically, many Jewishcommunities recited our haftorah on aweek of an
aufruf 
; this was based onYeshayah 62:5, which compares the joy of a bride and groom with the joy of the reunion between the Jews andHashem.On 'normal' weeks, this haftorahoverrode the regularly scheduledhaftorah. On weeks which required aspecial haftorah, such as ShabbatRosh Chodesh, some communitieswould read both, while others wouldeliminate the
aufruf 
haftorah.(Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 285:7,428:8; Beit Yosef Orach Chaim 144
medalgin 
; Mishneh Berurah 285:20,425:12; Aruch haShulchan OrachChaim 285:13)
torczyner@torontotorah.com 
613 Mitzvot: #295-296
 
Bringing Honour to the Name of G-d
 
Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner
 
"You are all standing this day beforeHashem, your G-d."(Devarim 29:9) It iswritten (Devarim 5:5), " And I stoodbetween Hashem and you at that time,
to tell you the word of Hashem… and
 you did not go up on the mountain."According to what I received from ourteacher Rabbi Natan Adler zt"l, while theRav is alive, the student does not meritseeing the final pleasantness hedeserves. As Yehoshua did not merit toshine like the moon until after MosheRabeinu passed away, and as nomanifestation of the Shechinah ismentioned regarding Yitzchak untilAvraham passed away, after which itsays "and G-d blessed Yitzchak(Bereishit 25:11)". Also Yaakov - as longas he was in his father's home, the wordof G-d was not known to him, until heleft Beer Sheva, and then he dreamed adream in which G-d stood upon him.In the same way, I say that MosheRabbeinu, let peace be upon him, toldthem: At Mount Sinai I prevented youfrom drawing near, but today is my lastday, and "there is no authority on theday of death (Kohelet 8:8)," and youshall become very close. That is what hemeant by saying that at Sinai, Moshe"stood between you and G-d," as a
separating wall, "and you couldn’t
ascend to the mountain" to a level whichwould have placed you directly in frontof G-d. But today, in my last day, you allstand today before Hashem, without any wall or screen separating.In the same manner, another verseshould be explained: "And the heavensacknowledge Your wonder, Hashem, alsoYour faithfulness in the congregation of holy ones." (Tehillim 89:6) Our sageshave said that Hashem rejoices when arighteous person's soul comes to heaven, as one is happy with a new bride. Also,on earth there is an added light for those who remain behind. It is known that thepassing of the righteous is called 'wonder' (see Yeshayah 29:14). Thus Tehillim89:6 says, "And the heavens acknowledge Your wonder"
 – 
the passing of arighteous person is as the arrival of a new bride. And even on earth, "in thecongregation of your holy ones." All that I wrote as I received from our teacherRabbi Natan Adler z"l, and "the words of a wise man's mouth find favour."
Torah and Translation
The Passing of TzaddikimRabbi Natan Adler
recorded by his student, R’ Avraham Yehudah Schwartz
 Derech haNesher II, Parshat Netzavim
Translated by Rabbi Baruch Weintraub
Biography
Rabbi Natan Adler
Rabbi Baruch Weintraub
 
Visit us at www.torontotorah.com
 3
Rabbi Natan HaCohen Adler was born inFrankfurt, Germany, on December 16,1741. Already as a child, he was knownfor his special abilities. When he waseleven years old he met the Chida (RabbiChaim David Azulai), who was visitingFrankfurt. The Chida, deeply impressedby the child's wisdom, praised him,using Melachim II 4:9, "Behold, now Iknow that he is a holy man of G-d".Rabbi Natan became the disciple of Rabbi Yaakov Yehoshua Falk, author of Pnei Yehoshua, and Rabbi David Tebbly Katz, who later became the Chief Ashkenazi rabbi of London. Rabbi Natanfelt himself to be a son of Eretz Yisrael;he changed many of his customs fromthose of Ashkenaz to those of EretzYisrael, including using Sephardicpronunciation and the Halebi edition of prayer. He also encouraged kohanim tobless the people every day, as is done inIsrael. Rabbi Natan was also deeply engaged in Kabbalistic study and ritual,and is reported by his famous student,the Chatam Sofer, to have performedmiracles (Chatam Sofer, Orach Chaim197).All of these unusual behaviours alarmedthe Jewish leadership of the time, stilltraumatized by Shabbtai Tzvi's falsemessianism. Eventually, in 1779, thelocal rabbis and congregational leadersintervened and prohibited, under penalty of excommunication, assemblies inRabbi Adler's house. Rabbi Adler movedto Boskowitz, Moravia, but after a few years, in 1785, he was forced to leave hisnew city. He returned to Frankfurt, andin 1789 the threat of excommunicationwas renewed. The ban was repealed only a short time before his passing in 1800.Rabbi Adler left behind no children.After Rabbi Adler's passing, as the nameand greatness of his student ChatamSofer became known all over Europe, thedisputes were forgotten and RabbiAdler's Torah began to spread. This wasdone almost solely from his students'writing, as Rabbi Natan himself refusedto write down his novellae. He is reportedto have explained this recalcitrance by saying that writing Oral Torah was only permitted in order to prevent it frombeing forgotten, and he never forgotanything.Rabbi Adler's yahrzeit is 27 Elul, thiscoming Monday.
bweintraub@torontotorah.com  
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