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25 Shevat 5772/February 18, 2012
Beit Midrash Zichron Dov
Toronto TorahToronto TorahToronto Torah
 
Parshat Mishpatim/Shekalim
 
Vol.3 Num. 21
 
סבד
capitalizing on a momentary opportunity;Rebbe slaved away at his studies,canonized the mishnah, lobbied theRoman Antoninus on behalf of his fellow Jews, led the Jews of Tzippori and Israel.Rabbi Elazar ben Durdaya could havedone that, too
 – 
but only if he had wokenup much earlier, taking advantage of nota single Defining Moment but many.
Our parshah accentuates life’s series of 
opportunities. After we hear theintimidating voice of G-d boom out, "I amthe Lord your G-d who took you out of Egypt," after we witness a mountainshrouded in flame, shaking with thunderand illuminated by lightning, right after we receive instructions for constructingsacred altars
 – 
we receive a laundry listof economic minutiae, civil law on themost mundane level addressing violenceand property damage, economicrelationships and property ownership.And then, just as suddenly, the scenereverts to the awestruck nation coweringbefore its unfathomable Creator andKing. This juxtaposition of Divineencounter with the details of socialinteraction impresses upon us that life isnot a series of insignificant eddiesemanating outward from singular Sinaimoments. Life is a series of less-dramaticSinai opportunities, and any given day,however understated, harbors thebubbling potential of a Defining Moment.A sacred life should not revolve around asingle moment. Avraham faced tentests, not one. Yosef faced dailychallenges from the advances of his
employer’s wife. Rabbi Eliezer taught
his students to repent every day asthough it was their last, rather than wait for some seminal, dramatic,Sinaiesque moment. And we dare notprocrastinate in introducing the holyinto our lives and our homes.If single great moments should notdefine our identity, then single weakmoments should not define our identity,either. This point emerges from the startof our parshah, and the treatment of a Jew who steals, is sold as a slave for asix-year term to re-pay his debt, andthen decides to remain in his servitudeafter serving his sentence.During his servitude this slave receivesthe best bed in the house and the bestfood in the house. He cannot beassigned painfully difficult ordemeaning work, and he cannot bemade to work night and day. At the endof his term, the slave might well declare,"All things considered -
I’d like to
remain a slave." The Torah permits this
 – 
but then wepierce his ear. The Sages explain that we pierce his ear because he heard G-dsay, "Do not steal," and yet he stole. But why do this now, six years after thetheft? And why only if the thief choosesto remain as a slave?Rav Shimon Schwab explained that theoriginal theft might be excusable, as ahasty error or a product of circumstance; this is one moment, butit should not become his DefiningMoment. If the slave allows his theftfrom six years earlier to define him, if hefails to embrace his chance to chart anew path, then we pierce his ear andsay, "Learn from your mistakes
 – 
startover!" May we, too, learn to defineourselves by today rather than our past,seizing each opportunity to begin anew.
torczyner@torontotorah.com 
Parshah Questions
R’ Dovid Zirkind
 
(Answers for the questions are on the back page)
What can be learned from the expression in Shemot 21:1, “which you shallplace before them”? (Rashi, Seforno to Shemot 21:1, Kiddushin 35a)
 
Did Hashem give Moshe more than ten commandments at Har Sinai? (Rashi,Seforno to Shemot 24:12, Yerushalmi Berachot 6:1)
Why is “
ou shall not boil a kid in its mother
s milk” repeated three times in
the Torah? (Rashi to Shemot 23:19, Talmud Chulin 113b)
For children: Why is the penalty for stealing an ox different from the penalty forstealing a sheep? (Rashi to Shemot 21:37)
dzirkind@torontotorah.com 
Every Day is a Fresh Start
 
R’ Mordechai Torczyner
 
To sponsor an issue of Toronto Torah, please email info@torontotorah.com.
Elazar ben Durdaya, who lived over1800 years ago, immersed himself inimmorality until the day a partner in hissins told him that he could neverrepent. Her words, and the strong wayshe expressed them, penetrated hiscalloused soul; he fled into the wilderness and dramatically beseechedNature itself to pray on his behalf. "Youare consistent in your service
 – 
pleaselend the merit of that consistency tome!" Then, in a moment of sublimecontrition, Elazar wept with all of hisheart, and exhaled his final breath in astate of repentance.A voice emerged from the heavens anddeclared, "Rabbi Elazar ben Durdayahas earned a place in the afterlife!" AndRabbi Yehudah haNasi, a.k.a. Rebbe,exclaimed in tears, "One can acquire hisplace in the afterlife in just one moment
 – 
and the Heavens will even call himRabbi!"Rabbi Shlomo Eideles (Maharsha toAvodah Zarah 17a) explained that
Rebbe’s point was
not
that we can
correct our life’s errors in an instant.
Rather, Rebbe cried tears of frustrationand anger: Elazar ben Durdaya's life,and all of our lives, are filled withopportunities to build greatness, and weroutinely pass them by!Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi did not gain thetitle of Rebbe - literally, "my master" - by
 
תבשה,יא"ה,םילקש תשרפ תא ארקנ.יפכ הרורב הנשמה ריבסמש (הפרת,ב.) ךכל הביסה תעב םהילקש םורתל רוביצל האירקל רכזכ איהיונב שדקמה תיב היהש.אקווד התשענ האירקהרדא שדח שארל ךומסב,ןסינ שדח שארמש ןוויכהמורתה ןמ רוביצה תונברק םינקנ ויה ךליאוהשדחה,שארמ שדחכ עידוהל ךרוצ היה ןכ לעו, לקשה תיצחמ תא םורתל קיפסי רוביצהש ךכןסינ שדח שארל םדוק.
 
םיארוק ונא התוא האירקהש אלא,תשרפ ךותמאשת יכ,ןיטולחל הנוש ןיינע לע הרואכל תרבדמ: "ונתנו םהידקפל לארשי ינב שאר תא אשת יכדל ושפנ רפכ שיא'ףגנ םהב היהי אלו םתא דקפבםתא דקפב:םידקפה לע רבעה לכ ונתי הזשדקה לקשב לקשה תיצחמ".
 
רמולכ,תונמל הצור םדא הב תואיצמ לע רבודמלארשי ינב תא.ינב תא רופסל רוסאש ןוויכליגר ןפואב לארשי,הנוש הינמ תטיש תשרדנ –  דחא לכמ לקשה תיצחמ תחיקל.ןתינ םאהלקשה תיצחמ תתל הוצמ הנשי יכ ןאכמ דומללהנש ידמ?
 
רה"ואילריס ש,ימלשוריל ושוריפל המדקהב םילקש,וז הלאשל סחייתה: "ד ךורב םילקש תוצמ ראבא התעו,'השקד וז הוצמ אביתכ יכיה יל,בתכש המובמרה"ז ם"לע רבועה לכ ונתי הז ביתכד ל םידקפה,ןכ וניא,אוה ןינמ יבג ארק יאהד ביתכד...םילקש תוצמד יניעב הארנושיא לכ תאמ ביתכד ארקב הרותב הבותכיתמורת תא וחקת וביל ונבדי רשא"...רה"המורת תשרפל סחייתמ ש (הכ תומש,ב, לקשה תיצחמ תניתנ תוצמל רוקמה והז ותעדלו.
 
רוקמה תלאשל תניינעמ הנימ אקפנ,םבויח הניהי ינב לש"כ דע ג'לקשה תיצחמ תוצמב.ןכש,םא אשת יכ תשרפב אוה הוצמה רוקמ,ונמנ םש ירההלעמו הנש םירשע ינבמ קר.רוקמ םא ךאהמורת תשרפב אוה הוצמה,רמאנ םשש ירה'שיא,'י ליג תא רבועה לכו"בושח אוה ירה ג שיאכ.
 
םיקסופב הנודינ וז הלאש,תתל ונגהנמל רשקבםירופ ברעב לקשה תיצחמל רכז.מרה"א,ואב"ח א ףיעס דצרת ןמיס,קספ" :קר ונתיל בייח ןיאו הלעמלו םירשע ןבמ אוהש ימ".
Visit us at www.torontotorah.com
 
One purpose of this flame is to concealthe Divinely created flame that descendsfrom Heaven to consume our offerings,since it is not appropriate for people tolook directly upon that fire. The flamealso represents the human soul; theShelah reports that Rav MosheCordovero said that people should repeatthe Torah's instruction (Vayikra 6:6), "Aneternal flame shall burn on the altar atall times; it shall never be extinguished,"to keep their minds focussed on purethoughts.
 
torczyner@torontotorah.com 
 
2
רגה ידי לע העצוה תניינעמ הרשפ"א.יפ לע םילקש ימלשוריב ותסרג (ע ג"ב,ג הכלה א קרפ י ןבמ לח לקשה תיצחמ תתל בויחה םנמא"גהלעמו,כ ליגמ קר ךא'אלש םדא םינכשממ ונא םליש.
 
הארנ,רגה יכ"תולוכי תוישרפה יתשש ןיבה א לקשה תיצחמ תניתנ תוצמל רוקמכ שמשל,יכוינש םימייק וז הוצמבש ונתוא תודמלמ ןהםיניד.המורת תשרפב ורוקמ דחא ןיד,רקיעו שדקמבש רוביצה תונברק ןומימב וניינע.בויחי ליג לעמ לארשימ םדא לכ לע לח הז"ג,ירהש רוביצה תונברק תרפכמ הנהנ םדא לכ,אליממוםנומימב עייסל בייוחמ.אלא,םינכשממ ןיאש ולא תונברק לע,דיחי לכ לע הכלה יהוזש ןויכומצע תרפכל גואדל דיחיו,םיבייחמ ונא ןיאוומצע רפכל םדאה תא.וניצמש המל המודבורחא םוקמב –  ןיא תומשאו תואטח יבייח ןתוא ןינכשממ (אכ ןיכרע.) 
 
םייקתמה ףסונ ןיד הלוע אשת יכ תשרפמש אלאלקשה תיצחמ תניתנ תוצמב,המורתה אוהוהרבחל.ןושארה ןידל דוגינב,ופוסב ודקומ רשא  הרפכה ןמ הנהי רשא ומצע םדאה אוה רבד לש,םדא לכל םיסחייתמ ונא אשת יכ תשרפבש ירההרבחה ןמ קלחכ קר (עיפומ םש אקווד ןכ לעו טיעמהל וא תוברהל רוסיאה.) הניא ןאכ הניתנה לבקל תנמ לע,המצע םשל אלא.םדא לכ, הרבחה ןמ קלח ותויהב,לע םירבועה ןמ דחאםידוקפה,הרבחל םורתל בייוחמ.וז הניחבמ, ןברקל חרכהב תדעוימ הניא המורתה.ןכאו, במרה"רפסב אקווד םילקש תוכלה תא איבה םםינמז,הדובע וא תונברק רפסב אלו.המורת לע וז,םירשע ליגמ קר תבייחתמה,ליג אוה הרבחל האלמה הסינכה,ןכשמל םג ןתינ,ןויכ הרבחל הבוח איהש,הרפכל תוכז אלו.
 
םילקש תשרפ,תבשה םיארוק ונא התוא,םא ןכ,םעפ התיהש לקשה תיצחמל רכז קר הניא, הבושל םיללפתמ ונא תעכו.לכל האירק םג איהןיבהל ונתאמ דחא,ומצעל יח ונניא אוה יכדבלב – הרבחמ קלח אוה,תאשל ונתוביוחמו תמייק הבוח הניה ונירבח םע לועב,םא ןיבאל םא ןיבו ךכמ האנה ונל תעבונ.
 
bweintraub@torontotorah.com 
It’s hard to say that any tradition is
universally shared among synagogues,but one contender is the Ner Tamid(Eternal Flame). Why do we keep aflame burning at all times?Many believe the practice is linked tothe menorah which burns in the BeithaMikdash, but the actual sourceseems to be the flame that is keptburning at all times on the mizbeiach(altar). Mitzvah 132 instructs us tomaintain a burning flame on the altarat all times, day and night, andMitzvah 133 instructs us not toextinguish it.
613 Mitzvot: #132-133
The Eternal Flame
 
R’ Mordechai Torczyner
 Hitoriri: Jewish Spirituality
Patience!
 
Hillel Horovitz
 
הלימב הליחתמ ונתשרפ"הלאו",ו'רוביחה ינשרד תרמוא ומכ השרפה שארב העיפומש.וה תא שרוד אמוחנת שרדמה'ןיב רבחמו תאזהתשרפ לש התליחתל ורתי תשרפ לש המויסםיטפשמ.םילימב תמייתסמ ורתי תשרפ"אלו ךתורע הלגת אל רשא יחבזמ לע תולעמב הלעתוילע",שרדמה לאושו,םינהכ לש ןתורע יכו ויה תולוגמ?!רמאנ רבכ אלהו"םהל השעו דב יסנכמ!"בקה ריהזהש םשכ ךל רמול אלא
"
השדקמב תוסג תועיספ ועספי אלש םינהכה תא,תועיספ ועיספי אלש םיניידה תא ריהזה ךכןידב תוסג.
 
ורמואב שרדמה תנווכ המ ןיבהלו תוסנל ךירצתוסג תועיספ עוספל םיניידל רוסא יכ,ןכ ומכשדקמב הז רוסיא יוטיב ידיל אב ךיא?
 
וב םוקמ דוע ריכזנ וז הלאש לע תונעל ידכבתוסג תועיספ עוספל רוסא יכ רמאנ.ארמגה (גיק תבשתוסג תועיספ עוספל רוסא יכ תרמוא תבשב,םדאל רוסא לוחב וליפאש םירמוא שיוהסג העיספ עוספל.ונאש העיספ התוא איה המהנממ ענמיהל ךכ לכ םילדתשמ?במרה"ם תבש תוכלהב (דכ:דהעיספ רוסיא לע הרומ רוסיאכ הסג"גלדלו ץורל",לואשל ונא םיכירצו םיצור ונא ןיא שדקמבו ןידב עודמ ונמצע תאהסג העיספ התוא תא עוספל.
 
יהמ לש הנבהב הצוענ הארנכ ךכל הבושתההציר.הריהמה הרוצב עיגהל ןויסינ איה הצירהיינשל תחא הדוקנמ רתויב.טילחמה םדאץורל,ךרדה תא רבועו הרטמב ומצע דקממריהמה ןפואב ותרטמ ןיבל וניב הדירפמהרתויב.תונהיל םדאהמ תענומ וזכש הצירךרדהמ,ןיבהלו וביבס הרוקש המ תא תוארלותביבסב שחרתמה תא.ונאש םימעפ שיוזכש הציר םידדועמ,ארמגה (ו תוכרבתרמוא תוארהלו תסנכה תיבל ץורל דואמ בושח יכ ונלונלש שגפמל העגהב ילוכ לכ םיזכורמ ונאש ךכבבקה םע"ה.םהב םירקמ םנשי תאז תמועל םייחה לש ןיקתה ךלהמב תעגופ וזכש הציר.
 
םינידב ראשה ןיב הנד םיטפשמ תשרפ ונתשרפםינייד לש םינוש,ידכב יכ ונל הרומ שרדמהונל הרומש יפכ לועפל ךירצ אוה רשי היהי ןיידשתובא שירב הנשמה"ןידב םינותמ ווה",לוקשל בטיה וירבד תא,תחנב ןידה ילעב תא עומשלועגורבו (ןוקירטונב םישרפמה ונל םירומש יפכלאו"יטפשמה ה"ם.) תוסג תועיספ עסופש ןייד, םיבלש לע גלדמ,הסנמש ןהכ ותואל לושמחבזמה לא תולעל,השודקה לא,ץופיקב בלשל בלשמו הגרדמל הגרדממ.הרומ הרותהחבזמל היילעה יכ ונל,השודקל,הלוכי אל ריהמ סופיטו גוליד לש הרוצב עצבתהל.ךרדהךרד איה תמאה לאו השודקה לא עיגהל הנוכנהתיתטיש היילע לש דודמו ןותמ ךילהת.םדאהלועה ןהכה השועש יפכ תולעתהלו תוסנל ךירצחבזמה שבכב,תויתטישב,תוריהמו תושיחנ.
 
hhorovitz@torontotorah.com 
Part of a Greater Whole
 
R’ Baruch Weintraub
 
 
Biography: Rabbeinu Nisim ben Reuven
R’ Dovid Zirkind
 
Kochav HaShachar is a communitylocated about 18 miles north of  Jerusalem, in the eastern edge of the Judea-Samaria MountainRange. On a clear day, one can see Jericho, which is located to thesoutheast. The Yishuv (community)identifies itself as Dati Leumi Torani
 – 
religious, nationalist and Torah-oriented. The community was founded bynine couples in 1979 and has grownto about three-hundred and fiftyfamilies, totalling about 2700people. Many of the residents workin the Yishuv as carpenters,plumbers and electricians, as wellas in education, business, medicineand agriculture. Grapes grown inKochav HaShachar are sold to theCarmel Mizrachi Winery.About ten percent of the residentsare native English speakers, andthere is a mix of Ashkenazi andSephardi Jews. The RennertSynagogue complex, incorporatingboth Sephardi and Ashkenazisynagogues, is located in the centreof town. The Yishuv hosts visiting groups formany Shabbatot. The community isvery hospitable, and visitors arehoused and fed at different
residents’ homes. On a visit to the
Yishuv in 2004, I ate lunch at avegetarian family; when a differentfamily discovered this, they invitedme for a post-lunch chulent! Duringthis visit, I resided with fifteen other yeshiva students in a house whoseowners generously permittedvisitors to stay there while they wereaway. The Yesh Din Association hascharged that Kochav haShacharmay not mine stone from a quarryon its premises, arguing that thisexploits the natural resources of an"occupied territory". On December26 of this past year the IsraeliSupreme Court denied this petition,permitting the mining to continue.
ymanas@torontotorah.com 
Rabbeinu Nissim ben Reuven (known as"Ran") was one of the great Spanishsages of the 14
th
century. Born in 1320in Barcelona, Rabbeinu Nissim earnedrecognition as a physician, astronomerand public activist in addition to hisachievements in Torah scholarship.Although he never served formally as his
community’s Rabbi, Rabbeinu Nissim,
like many of his predecessors (i.e.Ramban and Rashba), filled that role forall intents and purposes.Ran was a great teacher of Torah, andhe founded a yeshiva which produced anumber of future leaders includingRabbi Yitzchak bar Sheshet (Rivash) andRabbi Chasdai Crescas. Interestingly,there is some debate as to the identity of 
Rabbeinu Nissim’s own teacher.
Scholars have suggested it wasRabbeinu Peretz the Tosafist, to whomhe refers with the words, "Our teacher,the Rav, the great Kohein." Ran wasfather to two sons, Chisdai and Reuven.Rabbeinu Nissim was a prolific authorand commentator; his works include acommentary to the Talmud, acommentary to the Rif and a collectionof derashot (see translation). It isestimated that he wrote more than onethousand responsa, although fewer thanone hundred have been preserved. Ananalysis of his contemporaries' writingsas well as later rabbinic literature showsthe weight assigned to his opinion onhalachic matters, and the influence ithad on future generations.
dzirkind@torontotorah.com 
Visit us at www.torontotorah.com
 3
 The Rambam’s opinion is that through the
performance of one mitzvah alone, whichever mitzvot it is, one will merit life inthe world to come. He writes this in hisCommentary to Mishnah at the end of Mesechet Makkot, on the mishnah which
states: R’ Chananiah ben Akashyah said,
"Hashem wanted to give merit to Israel,therefore He increased Torah andcommandments for them." These are themaster's words:Among the fundamental beliefs in Torah isthe idea that when man fulfills one of the613 mitzvot accurately and properly, and hedoes not join it with any worldly intent butrather he performs it with the properintention, out of love, as I have explained,then he has merited life in the world to
come. This is what he [R’ Chananiah] was
saying: Because there are so many mitzvot,it is impossible that man will not performone of them correctly and completely. Whenhe performs that mitzvah, his soul will live
on in that action. R' Chanina ben Tradyon’s
question [to Rabbi Yosi ben Kisma], "What will be of me in the world to come?" teachesus this. He was asked in response, "Has adeed (
maaseh) 
come to your hands?"meaning, "Have you had the opportunity toperform a mitzvah properly?" He [RavChanina] responded that he had been ableto perform the mitzvah of tzedakah to thebest possible degree, and so he merited lifein the world to come." (Avodah Zarah 18a)Although this principle is quite preciousand worthy of strengthening rather thandismissing, the proof which the masterbrings does not teach it at all. There is nodoubt that Rabbi Yosi ben Kisma did not wonder whether Rabbi Chanina ben Tradyon had fulfilled one of the mitzvot.Rather, he asked him to present the detailsof one of his deeds to demonstrate hispassion for mitzvot and his completeness inthe service of G-d. One detail reflects on theothers; surely, that detail was great proof of the good traits and praiseworthy qualities of Rabbi Chanina ben Tradyon.My view regarding [a basis for] the principle which the master raised is this: ThroughMoshe Rabbeinu, Hashem commandedIsrael to observe 613 mitzvot. For each oneHe designated reward, but there is no doubtthat the reward for each of them is notequal. Our sages stated, "Run for a minor
Ha’Aretz
 
Kochav haShachar
Yair Manas
 
Torah in Translation
The Hidden Valueof Mitzvot
Rabbeinu Nisim ben Reuven
Derashot haRan, Derush 6
Translated by R’ Dovid Zirkind
 
 
mitzvah like a weighty mitzvah, because you do not know the reward of mitzvot." (Avot 2:1) One or two or threeor more of the mitzvot bring reward which is equal to that of many otherscombined. The Torah did not wish toclarify this, lest everyone pursue thosemitzvot which bring great reward andleave aside those for which the reward isnot as great, as is mentioned in midrash.Because of this omission and sealing of the reason, there is a positive result.Since man does not know which of themitzvot provides greater reward, everyperson will run to each of them. He willsay, "Maybe this mitzvah is of greatervalue," and so one will acquire andachieve the completeness he is able toreach in fulfilling all of the mitzvot. This was the intention of the Lawgiver in thisomission.

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