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Max Glass לע”נ שמואל מרדכי בן שלמה זאב יוסף
In Memory of Mr. Jack Gindi לע”נ יעקב אליהו בן אליהו הכהן
Volume I : Issue VI
Editor-in-Chief: Asher Naghi ’14 Senior Editor: Micah Hyman ’14
A publication of YULA Boys High School
Rabbi Avner Shapiro
Parshat Vayikra and Pesach Cleaning
This year, Parshat Vayikra falls out on Hey Nissan. Most families are already fretting over Pesach cleaning before Shabbat, and they certainly are worrying afterward. While Parshat Vayikra does not deal directly with any Managing Editors: Ariel Amsellem ’15 Pesach related themes; however, the Parsha prohibits Chametz in Korban flour Eitan Meisels ’15 offerings: “Kol HaMincha Asher Takrivu L’Hashem, Lo Te’aseh Chametz” Different Meforshim offer varying explanations as to why a Korban Layout Editor: Yair Fax ’14 containing Chametz is considered unacceptable. The Sefer HaChinuch notes that since Chametz occurs while one is idle – the lack of activity allows the Marketing: dough to rise – Chametz is negatively associated with laziness. Therefore, the Jordan Lustman ’15 Torah eliminated Chametz from flour offerings to teach us that we should Distributors: Mitchell Silberberg ’14 eliminate laziness from our lives. Right now, as we focus on diligently removing Chametz from our Michael Lazovsky ’14 homes, the Sefer HaChinuch’s interpretation is very relevant. Just as we must Staﬀ Advisor: be industrious during our cleaning of the house for Pesach, we should be Rabbi Arye Sufrin just as hardworking in our service of Hashem throughout the year. The Flame of Unlike the Chinuch, the Klei Yakar, on the other hand, interprets Our Chametz in accordance with the personal prayer of R’ Alexandri, quoted in Ancestors the Gemara of Brachot: “Master of the world, it is revealed and known that it is our desire to “Give a man a fish do your will, and what prevents us? The ‘leavening agent’ of the ‘dough’.” and you feed him for R’ Alexandri saw the leavening agent creating Chametz as a metaphor a day; teach a man to for the Yetzer HaRa’s destructive ability within an individual. Deep down in fish and you feed him the soul, everyone wants to do the will of Hashem, but the Yetzer HaRa for a lifetime.” serves as a barrier to that true will of the Jewish Neshamah. This idea offers us food for thought as we clean during the days -Maimonidies leading up to Pesach. During this time, we remove the Chametz from our homes, and it may feel like trivial cleaning. We must keep in mind, however, that the removal of Chametz is a symbol for the removal of the Yezter HaRa so Teﬃlah Gems that we can be truly free men and serve Hashem better. The days before Yonah Hiller ’14 Pesach are ultimately days that should lead us to a true “Zman Cheiruteinu.”
Often, we forget that we have the power to make a difference in this world. Rav Soloveitchik Ztz”ll famously said in his “The Lonely Man of Faith” that “Human existence is a dignified one because it is a glorious, majestic, powerful existence.” The concept that man, a physical and material being, has the ability to speak personally to God, a “being” that is completely metaphysical and spiritual, astounds us with its miraculous nature. Davening is a wondrous gift that Hashem has granted to humans, creatures who, on the one hand, are “dignity”driven, yet, on the other hand,“faith” driven as well. He has blessed them with the opportunity to speak directly to their creator and to build a relationship with him. Along with this opportunity comes responsibility, however, and it is up to us, the human race, to make the most out of our daily prayers and to deeply connect to the Almighty.
Too Much of Anything is Bad
Raziel Kohanbash ’15
There is a portion in this week’s Parsha, Parshat Vayikra, that says the following: “No meal-offering, which ye shall bring unto the Lord, shall be made with leaven; for ye shall make no leaven, nor any honey, smoke as an offering made by fire unto the Lord.” As Hashem was going through the technicalities of the Korbanot, He explained that a Korban Mincha couldn’t be brought with honey or barley. Wait, but why? The Kli Yakar gives a possible explanation as to why Hashem excluded these two items from the Korban. Honey has a very sweet quality, but this sweetness can only last for so long. As one eats more and more of this delicacy, he or she begins to lose all the sweetness and delight that he would usually derive from this honey. This characteristic of honey is a direct comparison to that of humans. We tend to focus more on the physical pleasures of this world than on the world to come. Although focusing on this world has some benefits, like the honey’s sweetness, having too much focus on the physical world can impede our concentration on our our main goal, the world to come. So too, barley is often compared to the Yetzer Hara because it also shows man’s overbearing desires in this world. One can only have so much barley before it turns disgusting. In comparison, a Yetzer Hara is only good when used for marriage, building houses, etc., but when overused, it leads us to a point where the Yetzer Hara affects us negatively. In conclusion, the Kli Yakar emphasizes a general rule: everything is okay in moderation. According to the Kli Yakar, Hashem excludes the honey and barley to draw a comparison to the Yetzer Hara, so as to show us these items are like the weaknesses that all humans endure today.
From Rabbi Nachum Sauer
This past Purim, Jews around the world read Megillat Esther, a reading preceded by the Bracha of Shehecheyanu. Generally, Shehecheyanu is said when one buys new clothing, as buying new clothes gives one a certain sense of joy, and consequently, we thank Hashem by saying Shehecheyanu. The Shulchan Aruch Paskens, however, that one should only make a Shehecheyanu on clothes that bring a person joy. For most people, buying new socks, shoes, or ties does not bring a unique joy, so one would not say Shehecheyanu on those items. Buying a new suit does regularly bring one happiness, so one should say Shehecheyanu. People must judge for themselves whether the purchase deserves a Shehecheyanu. Similarly, if one buys a new expensive watch, one should say Shehecheyanu. One only says Shehecheyanu if the purchased item is ready to be worn with no further alterations; if the item needs alterations, such as a pair of pants, no Bracha is made until he actually wears the pants for the first time. The item must be in its final state when one says Shehecheyanu, so a Tallis that does not yet have the strings attached would not require a Shehecheyanu. If one forgot to say Shehecheyanu before putting on a new suit, and he remembered on the first day while wearing it, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav says that he can still say Shehecheyanu because he is still experiencing the initial joy. However, if he does not remember until the second time he wears the suit, he should not say a Shehecheyanu. The Bracha of Shehecheyanu teaches the Midah of HaKarat HaTov, as we thank Hashem for the joy of new items, reminding us not to feel entitled because everything is, in reality, a gift from Hashem.
Compiled By Your Senior Editor Micah Hyman
Hashem’s Personal Love
Michael Guenoun ’16
In this week’s Parsha, Parshat Vayikra, the Torah relates different methods of preparing the Korban Mincha, the flour offering. “And if you bring near a flour offering baked in the oven ... and if your offering is a flour offering baked in a pan ... and if your offering is a flour offering baked in a pot...” (Vayikra 2:4,5,7) Reb Chaim Shmuelevitz explains that there is great value in every single letter written in the Torah. To prove this point: we know that when Moshe wanted Yehoshua to be protected from the plot of the Meraglim, the spies, he added a "Yud" to the spelling of his name. This story exemplifies how great and powerful a letter can be. As such, we must ask why the Torah describes so many different kinds of Mincha offerings? Would not a single Mincha offering suffice? Rabbi Hirsch explains that the Mincha offering is brought in gratitude to Hashem for any happiness in one’s life. Since the Mincha offerings are personal – brought because of an individual’s personal joy – the Korban is flexible. The Mincha offering baked in an oven corresponds to bread, an ordinary food. This offering would be brought for the daily joys of life. Another baked Mincha offering corresponds to cake – a luxurious food – so the offering is given in response to luxuries. Lastly, the Mincha offering baked in a pot corresponds to specially prepared dishes, so the offering is brought for unique, unusual and temporary joyous moments. The lesson we can learn from these many kinds of offerings is that we must appreciate each and every thing in our lives, not simply as an impersonal gift from Hashem, but instead as an intensely personal gift from He who loves us!
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