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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 II : Issue I
Editor-in-Chief: Asher Naghi ’14 Senior Editor: Micah Hyman ’14 Ariel Amsellem ’15 Managing Editors: Eitan Meisels ’15 Michael Somekh ’15 Layout Editor: Yair Fax ’14 Marketing: Yosef Hier ’16 Distributors: Mitchell Silberberg ’14 Michael Lazovsky ’14 Jordan Lustman ’15 Staﬀ Advisor: Rabbi Arye Sufrin
The Pamphlet of Light
Rabbi Avner Shapiro
A publication of YULA Boys High School
The “Human” Mistake of the Levanah
The Flame of Our Ancestors
"A little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness" - Likutei Amarim
Yonah Hiller ’14
In this week’s Parsha, Rashi brings down a Gemara in Chulin, which describes the infamous creation of the moon. The Gemara relates how, at first, the moon was considered a Ma’Ohr Ha’Gadol, a great light, just like the sun. However, the moon complained to Hashem. It wondered why two luminaries were necessary for the same job: “It is impossible for two kings to have one crown!” Many commentators interpret this Gemara to mean that the sun and the moon were originally created with equal strength with regards to their abilities to provide light. In other words, the moon was just as “powerful” as the sun. The moon, however, wanted to be the only one with this capability; it was jealous even though it had everything the sun had. In response to the moon’s complaint, Hashem punished the previously prominent celestial body. Hashem disciplined the moon by confiscating its ability to shine. From then on the moon could only reflect the sun’s light. The Chatam Sofer has a different way of understanding this Sugya. He writes that the moon was originally created with the ability to provide light just like the sun. However, it was never able to shine as brightly as the sun radiated. Therefore, Chatam Sofer explains, the moon complained, and Hashem took away the moon’s ability to shine independently. The moon’s petition fits well thematically with the rest of the Parsha, for the jealousy displayed by the moon rears its ugly head towards the Parsha’s conclusion with the story of Adam’s children Cayin and Hevel. Both brothers offered sacrifices to Hashem, but only Hevel’s Korban was accepted, which disappointed Cayin and made him extremely jealous causing him to kill Hevel. Just like the moon, Cayin was punished. Hashem cursed him: “When you [Cayin] till the soil, it will not continue to give its strength to you; you shall be a wanderer and an exile in the land” (Bereshit 4:12). The stories of the moon and Cayin share many common characteristics. For one, the main characters in both stories envied their counterparts, and both were unsatisfied with their abilities and actions. Additionally, Hashem punished them both by taking away what they had. The moon lost its power while Cayin could no longer be in agriculture, the labor of his choice. Hashem is teaching us that jealousy of others’ abilities will ultimately debilitate our own strengths. The moon’s ignorance, as illustrated by both Rashi and the Chatam Sopher, can also teach us another lesson. The moon had potential and a chance to make a major difference in the world. However, it envied the sun and longed for more than it was capable of. People have the tendency to make the same mistake. While many individuals are blessed with talent and potential, only a handful actually appreciates what they have without being jealous of others. This sense of envy and lack of gratitude can result in a person’s unhappiness and discontent. We must always accept our lot with gracious arms, and we must appreciate people for their accomplishments and talents. If we are able to go through life with a positive and appreciative attitude, we can all make the most of our time in this world.
דבר אל בני ישראל ואמרת עליכם ועשו להם ציצית- Speak to B’nei Yisroel and tell them that they should make for themselves Tzitzit…” In this Pasuk, which we recite every day and night in the Tefillot of Shacharit and Arvit, the Torah instructs us to place the Tzitzit on the four corners of our garments. The Pasuk explains that the purpose of this Mitzvah is so that “ וראתם אותו וזכרתם את כל מצות ה- you shall see them and remember to fulfill all of the Mitzvot of Hashem.” The Tzitzit serve as a physical symbol and reminder of our spiritual connection with Ha’Kadosh Baruch Hu. The Mishna Berurah compares Tzitzit to a present that a king gives to someone who works in his palace. The recipient will constantly gaze at the gift and recall the festive day when he received it. We must exhibit the same level of joy in wearing our “gift” when we display our precious Tzitzit to the world.
Ma’aseh Avot Siman L’banim
Pinchas Gamzo ’17
In this week’s Parsha, Parshat Bereshit, the Torah describes the creation of the world. Most individuals accept that Hashem created the world in seven days, but some sources believe that each “day” was equivalent to millions of years. In fact, many point to these “days” as the answer to why science has calculated our Earth to be billions of years old. On the first of these days, the Torah writes that Hashem created a special light and darkness that was hidden away and saved for Mashiach’s epoch. On the second day, Hashem created the sky and then separated it from the water. On the third day, Hashem separated the land from the water and made plants. On the fourth day, Hashem formed the sun, moon, and stars. On the fifth day, Hashem created fish and birds. On the sixth day, Hashem created all animals and the first human, Adam. Finally, on the seventh day, Hashem rested, and this is why we are told to work for six days and rest on the seventh. Many ask why Hashem took off on the seventh day. After all, he is Hashem! He does not need to rest! Rashi answers that Hashem wished to convey an important lesson: there is no work, no quality work, without rest. Especially for us, people of flesh and blood, labor, no matter our talent or intelligence, will turn out subpar without an adequate respite. Hashem’s example demonstrates that we too must take a rest, a weekly rest, which we all know as Shabbat. In fact, many attribute our nations successfulness to our oneday-per-week break. Hashem’s rest on the seventh day designated an eternally valuable Miztvah for B’nei Yisroel. The Parsha continues in describing the life of Adam. Adam lived for nine hundred and thirty years! The Midrash writes that he was supposed to live for one thousand years, but he gave up seventy years of his life to King David. Adam’s generous gift led to one of the greatest time periods in all of Jewish history. Adam asked Hashem for a wife, and Hashem gave him Chava. Adam and Chava were supposed to live in Gan Eden forever, but the Nachash, the serpent, convinced Chava to eat from the forbidden tree. Therefore, Adam and Chava were banished from Gan Eden. Bereshit tells of the world’s formation and its earliest days. Many of the well-established values of our Torah and even modern society emanate from this era. We must look back at our history, no matter how far back, and learn from our ancestors’ righteous deeds and mistakes. As the old Jewish saying goes Ma’Aseh Avot Siman La’Banim – the actions of our father are signs for their children.
From Rabbi Nachum Sauer
The Mitzvah of the Sukkah is to sleep, eat, and drink in the Sukkah all seven days of Sukkot. The most important of these three commandments is sleeping. In fact, you cannot even take a short nap outside of the Sukkah. However, if sleeping in the Sukkah is particularly uncomfortable, for instance due to cold weather, one may sleep in doors. So too by eating, if the temperature is extremely hot and one is Mitztaer, extremely uncomfortable, one would not be required to eat in the Sukkah. One may drink any beverage, including wine, outside of the Sukkah as long as those drinks are not part of a meal. Once one washes for bread, everything that is part of that meal must be eaten in the Sukkah. Despite the fact that one does not need to drink wine in the Sukkah, one must still make Havdalah in the Sukkah because it is normally done in the house. Nonetheless, during Havdalah we do not say the Bracha of “Lei’Shev Ba’Sukkah.” One may eat Achilat Arai – fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, or cheese – outside of the Sukkah as long as they are not part of a meal. With regard to eating anything made from the five grains (barley, rye, oats, wheat, or spelt), the Mechaber holds that if one eats them as a meal, one must consume them in the Sukkah. The Mogen Avraham argues and states that if one eats more than a Kabeitza – an egg’s worth – of the five grains, he must consume it in the Sukkah. The Mishnah Brurah says that we follow the opinion of the Mogen Avraham and therefore if one is having coffee and a Kabeitza of cake or some other pastry, he must eat it in the Sukkah. Yet, he still would not make the Bracha of “Lei’Shev Ba’Sukkah.”
Compiled By Your Senior Editor Micah Hyman
This week’s Parsha, Parshat Bereishit, elucidates the construction of the universe and its amazing creations. On the fifth day of creation, Hashem formed the crawling beings, birds, fish, and “the Taninim” (Bereishit 1:21). What exactly were these Taninim? According to Rashi, these were sea monsters, one male and one female, which Hashem created. These humongous fish, or Livyatans, were large enough to procreate and take over the world if Hashem had not killed and salted the female. The Torah hints at the death of the second Livyatan by dropping the letter Yud before the Mem in Taninim. The pairing of these two letters at the end of a Hebrew word usually betokens plurality and the missing Yud signifies that only one of these creatures remained. What did these sea monstrosities look like? The Rambam explains that each Livyatan was several Parsahs long. A Parsah is approximately 2.5 miles – a mind-staggering size. Even the Greeks had records of these creatures, and, according to some accounts, they knew of some that were 500 parsahs long, resulting in a 1,250-mile long creature. Although such figures are most probably exaggerated, the point is taken that these beasts were exceptionally large. We learn in the Midrash that when Moshiach comes, the Tzadikim will sit and eat in a Sukkah made of the male Livyatan’s hide, and they will feast on the female’s flesh. While the Livyatan is nothing short of an enigma to us today, it is clear that we must focus on its implications and lessons. In a world where true belief in Hashem and all his glory is hard to come by, the Livyatan is there to testify on Hashem’s behalf. We should look at the Livyatan as a testament to Hashem’s ability to create anything. Hashem’s power is infinite and the Livyatan is an example that illustrates this idea. In addition, the missing letter Yud teaches us a lesson mentioned profusely by the Midrashim: Every letter has its importance. Additionally, like every Livyatan every Jew has its importance. Recently, we concluded the awesome Holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot when we tried to connect with Hashem. In times of such spiritual connection with Ha’Kadosh Baruch Hu, we often forget about the needs and struggles of our fellow Jews. However, what Hashem really wants us to do is bind together as a nation in complete Achdut. With the ability to recognize Hashem’s greatness and power and by connecting with our coreligionists, we will merit to eat with the Tzadikim under the Livyatan hide upon Moshiach’s arrival.
The Lessons of the Livyatan
Samson Karben ’16
YULA Boys High School Nagel Family Campus 9760 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035 Tel: 310.203.3180
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