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Volume II : Issue X
!di"r-in-Chief: #sher Naghi ’14 $enior Edi"r: %icah Hyman ’14 #riel Amse&em ’15 %anaging Edi"rs: !itan Meisels ’15 %ichael Somekh ’15 'ayout Edi"r: (air Fax ’14 %arke)ng: (osef Hier ’16 *is+ibu"rs: %itche& Silberberg ’14 %ichael Lazovsky ’14 Jordan Lustman ’15 $ta, Advisor: -abbi Arye Su.i/
The Pamphlet of Light
A publication of YULA Boys High School!
Rabbi Eliyahu Stewart
Inside the Head of a Tzadik
The Flame of Our Ancestors
“Better is he who is lightly esteemed but is a slave to himself than one who is honored but lacks bread.” - Mishlei 12:9
(onah Hi&er ’14
One of the most difficult issues in both Parshat Miketz and Parshat Vayigash is Yosef's treatment of his brothers upon their arrival in Mitzrayim. The Pasuk states: “And Yosef recognized his brothers, and they did not recognize him” (Bereshit 42:8). Certainly a man of Yosef's character and integrity should have let the brothers know immediately who he was, especially since he saw Hashem's hand in everything that had happened to him since he left Eretz Yisroel. He should have at least revealed his true identity to let his father know he was still alive. Indeed his whole course of action, which borders on harassment of his brothers, is truly perplexing. Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, the great 19th Century German rabbi, explains the issue beautifully as follows: had Yosef wanted to only remain the viceroy of Egypt without a relationship to his family, he would have simply revealed his identity to the brothers and said, so to speak, "I told you so. Look, I am now the ruler to whom you are bowing." However, that was certainly not Yosef's goal. His real purpose was to reconnect with his family in true love and friendship. In order to do this he had to a) change his own opinion of his brothers and b) make sure that the brothers changed their opinion of him. Otherwise, even if he was physically reunited with his family, the rekindled relationship would be worthless because of the previous dissensions. Only if Yosef was convinced that the brothers had a complete change of heart could the situation be rectified. Therefore, he felt it necessary to test the brothers and see if they would again be capable of depriving their father of a son. Only if they passed this test could he be assured of the change in them and thus erase his negative feelings towards them. Perhaps even more importantly, if the earlier tension between Yosef and his brothers was caused by intense envy, how much more would they have to fear him now since he was the viceroy. Indeed because of what they had done to him, he would have every reason to hate them and take revenge. In order to prove to them his true benevolent character, Yosef had to appear to them in his position of power. They had to realize that he could do with them whatever he pleased. If, nevertheless, he would be kind to them and repay their evil with good, he could hope to change their previous, erroneous assessment of him. When he would finally reveal himself as Yosef, their brother, they could then erase the past and forgive bygones. Only thus could Yosef truly be restored as a brother and son to Ya’akov and his family. Rabbi Hirsch further suggests, that it it is precisely because of this that Yosef did not tell his father of his existence earlier. What good would it have done to restore Yosef as a son, if all the brothers continued to hate, envy, and fear him? Thus we see the true wisdom of Yosef who, through all his machinations, restored the love and brotherhood of his whole family, which would ultimately lead to the great satisfaction of Ya’akov Avinu as well.
The first Bracha made on Shabbat, the holiest day of the week, is the Bracha of Hadlakat Neirot, the blessing a woman recites when lighting Shabbat candles.! The Mitzvah of lighting candles is filled with richness and deep meaning.! Rabbi Twersky explains this very meaningful Mitzvah beautifully, “Light cannot be confined…if you make a light for yourself others can benefit from it as well.! If you make the light for others, you, too, can benefit from it.! Light is therefore a symbol of mutuality and togetherness.” By Davening we create a light that illuminates the world and helps the Jewish people as a whole; simultaneously, we have the opportunity to build our own personal relationship with Ha’Kadosh Baruch Hu.!It is very important for us to realize the impact that our Tefillot have in Shamayim, the ethereal heavens, and the benefit they provide for K’lal Yisroel, the Jewish people. !The power that Tefillah holds is immeasurable, and we must therefore not waste the special opportunity that it presents. It is time for us to kindle our inner light.
How To Trust
Avishai Zarifpour ’16
At the conclusion of last week’s Parsha, Parshat Vayeshev, Yosef interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s two primary servants who had been imprisoned for the blunders they made while working for Pharaoh. One of the servants, the chief cupbearer who was in charge of the wine at the palace, was ultimately released, and Yosef Ha’Tzadik requested that the servant mention Yosef’s name to Pharaoh; however, when the time of his release came, the cupbearer did not remember to mention Yosef. Chazal teach us that because Yosef had too much trust in the servant, his sentence was extended by two years. What did Yosef do wrong? Are we not supposed to do our best to help ourselves and only then rely on Hashem? The Chazon Ish answers that there are many levels of Bitachon, trust, in Hashem. Yosef Ha’Tzadik, being so righteous among many sinful people in Egypt, was different from other people with regards to his relationship to Hashem. The reason he stayed a Tzadik was because he was always aware of Hashem’s presence; he never forgot. When it came to a Tzadik like Yosef, he should have relied on Hashem to bring him out of prison. In this week’s Parsha, Parshat Miketz, we see that Yosef does Teshuva, repentance, when Pharaoh asks him if he can interpret dreams. Yosef replies, “Not I; G-d will give an answer [that will bring] peace to Pharaoh” (Bereshit 41:16). It would seem that Yosef would have been liberated from his prison sentence had he not mentioned that his interpretations belonged to Ha’Kadosh Baruch Hu. However, Yosef wanted to show that the Ribono Shel Olam was the real interpreter of dreams. The Brisker Rav, Rabbi Yosef Zev Soloveitchik, achieved a very high level of trust in Hashem. When someone would come with a concern regarding financial problems, he would always answer, “When you really need it, it will be there.” At one point he was taking two medication pills a day, which came from the other side of Europe, and when he had only one left with the other pack coming in a few days he said, “Do not worry it will be here.” No matter what happens, one should have full trust in Hashem and feel Hashem’s presence at all times, and one should always have in mind Brisker Rav’s words: “When you really need it, it will be there.”
Jews are the perfect example of unity. Whenever a Jew is in trouble, the whole community, whether with Tefillah or money, rushes to help. Here follows multiple ways that Jews can help other Jews fulfill certain Mitzvot on Shabbat. If one wants to make Kiddush for a widow, it must be done within her house in the place where she will be eating afterwards. Therefore, one should allow the widow to fulfill Kiddush in her “Makom Seudah” – meaning that the Kiddush must be made where one eats the meal. The person making Kiddush does not have to eat in the widow’s house or even drink the wine; the widow, however, must do both. The concept of one making Kiddush and not drinking only applies to Shabbat evening and Shabbat day. During the week if one makes a Bracha to be Motzei someone else, he must eat or drink the item he made the blessing on. On Shabbat this changes because of the principle that Jews must help one another fulfill obligatory Mitzvot by token of the verse, “Kol Yisroel Arevim Zeh La’Zeh.” Kiddush is one such obligation of Shabbat. One would think that through the application of the above principle one could be Motzei someone for the Bracha of Ha’Motzei on the Challah without eating the bread, since Ha’Motzei is, as we know, a Mitzvah obligation. The Mechaber, however, reports that this is not so: one must eat bread to be Motzei others for the Bracha of Ha’Motzei. The reason for this is that on Shabbat, the primary reason for eating is pleasure, Oneg. The above concept does not apply to pleasure, so one must eat bread to be Motzei. We know that the main reason for eating on Shabbat is Oneg because if one derives pleasure from fasting, they are allowed to fast on Shabbat. Interestingly, one can make Kiddush on Challah, and can be Motzei others without eating the bread, because here, the bread’s purpose is to fulfill the Chiyuv of Kiddush, not for pleasure. We must all remember that a Jew must do his best to help another Jew.
From Rabbi Nachum Sauer
Compiled By Your Senior Editor Micah Hyman
Success is Worth the Wait
Joshua Partovi ’17
In this week’s Parsha, Parshat Miketz, Yosef rises to the luxurious position of second-in-command of Egypt. The name that he selected for his first-born son, Menasheh, reveals this sentiment of triumph. Yosef named his eldest so because “G-d had made me [Yosef] forget all my troubles and even my father's house” (Bereshit 41:51). Yosef, who is no longer forced to deal with his past conflicts with his brothers, has settled in a lush land; he has much to be thankful for. Yosef, however, also felt troubled. He named his second son Ephraim because "G-d has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering" (Bereshit 41:52). While Yosef possessed the outside appearance of a nobleman, on the inside he felt as though he was a peasant. He was alone, cut off from his family, and he deeply missed the traditions and comfort of his home in Eretz Yisroel. No amount of luxury, however great, could substitute for the great pain that living in Egypt, land of his suffering, made him feel. To top that off, Yosef appears to have little connection with his wife Asnat. She is only mentioned twice in the Chumash, once when Pharaoh gives her to Yosef as a wife and once when she gives birth to Yosef’s children. . Yosef was severed from his family and did not believe that there would be a place reserved for him in the future. He saw his role in life as embodied in the name that his mother, Rachel, gave him. As it is written, "G-d has gathered away [Asaph] my humiliation" (Bereshit 30:23). Rachel would no longer have to suffer the pain of being childless, which Yosef saw as his soul purpose in the world. But ultimately Yosef held on to his connection with Am Yisroel. As Yosef says, "G-d has sent me ahead of you [the rest of the Shevatim] to insure that you survive" (Bereshit 45:7). Unfortunately this came at a high price: Yosef never completely rekindled his close to his father, and he spent a minuscule amount of time with his family. Yosef lived so far away that special messengers were sent to him when his father, Ya’akov, was on his deathbed. We learn from Yosef that even a little glimpse of success is worth the wait. Those who can attain their goals and attain them while remaining true to their pasts are indeed very fortunate people.
(ULA Boys High School Nagel Family Campus 9760 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035 Tel: 310.203.3180
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