Parshat Bamidbar

At the beginning of the parsha, Moshe is commanded: "Take a census of the entire assembly of the Children of Israel according to their families, according to their fathers' house, by number of the names, every male according to their head count (l'gulgalosam)" [Bamidba r 1:2]. The expression l'gulgalosam is a rather peculiar expression. I would like to share with you a Maharam M'Pano from the Sefer – Asarah Ma'amoros. Maharam M'Pano writes that Moshe Rabbeinu looked at every single Jew and saw with Ruach haKodesh [Divine Inspiration] how many times each individual would have to return to this world as a "gilgul" (via the process of transmigration of souls). Usually, I do not like to delve into such matters because I really do not know what I am talking about and the rule of thumb normally is "we do not delve into hidden matters" (ayn lanu eisek b'Nistaros). But this fascinating comment of the Maharam M'Pano is a very important idea worth being aware of.

May 11, 2013 2 Sivan, 5773

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Bamidbar
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According to this mystic ideal of "Gilgul Neshamos", most people in this world have souls that are not visiting this world for the first time. Their souls have been here before in other bodies in previous ages. After they passed on from their previous visits to this world, the souls went to the "World of Souls" and the Almighty for some reason decided that they have to come back a second or third or whatever number of times it may be. Why do souls need to return? It is because each of us has a mission (tachlis) that we have to fulfill in this world. If we come down to this world and do not fulfill our purpose or we damage our souls, then the Master of the World will send the soul back into another body so that we may try to rectify the matter the next time around -- or the time after that – until we get it "right". This idea is hinted at by the use of the word "l'gilgulosam" – from the root "gilgul". Moshe looked at every individual and saw prophetically how many "gilgul"-iterations the soul would have to endure before it finally fulfilled its mission in this world. Why do I find it important to talk about this mystical idea involving the soul and the secrets of "Gilgul Neshamos"? The answer is that this concept sometimes can help us understand the incomprehensible. Unfortunately, there are many occasions in life when we do not understand "how such a thing can happen." We do not understand why such a tragedy should befall such and such a person. We do not understand why people should die young or as children, Heaven forbid. Why is this happening? There seems to be no rhyme or reason for it. Sometimes such events can be easier to understand if we believe in this concept of "Gilgul". That which happens before our eyes is part of a much bigger picture. The Maharam of Pano cites an example. The Talmud states in a portion that many of us study on Tisha B'Av [Gittin 58a]: There was an incident involving the son and daughter of Rav Yishmael ben Elisha, who were taken into captivity (around the time of the Destruction of the Second Temple) and sold to two different masters. The two Gentile masters met and were each raving about the exceptional beauty of their respective slaves. They decided to breed the two slaves together, have them produce beautiful offspring and the two masters would


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divide up the profits. They put the two young Jews -brother and sister -- in a room together at night, a room that was pitch black and they told them what they were to do with each other. Neither had any idea with whom he or she was sharing the room. The Talmud relates that each of them retired to opposite corners of the room, and sat on the ground weeping. The son thought to himself "I am a Kohen the son of High Priests of Israel. How can I have relations with a slave girl?" Likewise his sister said to herself: "I am the daughter of a priest, descended from the High Priests of Israel. Should I become married to a slave?" They each cried the entire night. When the dawn came they recognized each other. They embraced and cried at what had befallen them. They died crying upon one another. The Talmud concludes the narration by saying that the prophet Yirmiyahu referred this when he said "My eye, my eye, sheds tears..." [Eicha 1:16]

wealthy. As is many times the case, wealthy people can be terribly arrogant with people not of their means. This person was indeed arrogant and abusive to people of less stature. He offended many poor people in this world. He came up to Heaven and was chastised for never asking for forgiveness from all these poor people he offended. It was therefore decreed that he would have to revisit the world to make amends. The soul pleaded to the Almighty – "Please Hashem send me down the next time as a poor person, as a pauper." The Attribute of Justice responded: "No, that would not be a true test. Send him down again as a wealthy man!" But again the soul pleaded with the Almighty to be sent down the second time as a destitute and broken person. The Almighty in His Compassion granted the soul his wish and it came down as a pauper, a smelly nobody. He lived a miserable existence, but he rectified the sin of his soul and cleansed it. The Chofetz Chaim explains that this is the interpretation of the pasuk "The laws of Hashem are True, together they are just." We would look at this fellow and ask "Why is he unable How did such a tragedy occur to the children of Rabbi to make a living? Why is he so down-trodden? What did he do Yishmael? How did it wind up that they were sold as to deserve it?" We cannot understand it. But ultimately it is slaves and put into such a situation? The Maharam "Tzadku Yachdav". If we take into account the entire picture, M'Pano says an unbelievable thing: They were "Gilgulim" his earlier existence and sins in that situation, the fact that of Amnon and Tamar. Dovid HaMeleh fathered two he was here once before and had abused his privilege of children – Amnon and Tamar who were not halachic wealth...then the matter becomes clear and sensible. It only siblings. Amnon lusted for Tamar. He arranged a makes sense when the two things are taken together. situation where he would be alone with Tamar and he forcibly took her. [Shmuel II Chapter 13] Maharam That is why it is important for us to know this Maharam M'Pano states that as a result of that sin, the two of M'Pano. There are so many things in life that are inexplicable. them had to come back and be placed in a similar We cannot begin to understand them. Maybe the answer is situation where they would withstand the temptation that this is a Gilgul. It is a Gilgul that had to come down at a and sanctify G-d's Name, rather that participate in the certain time in a certain condition for a certain amount of desecration of G-d's Name that took place in the story in time. This time, the neshama might be able to do what it was the Book of Shmuel. We read about the situation supposed to do originally and then return to the World of the described in Tractate Gittin and ask how such a thing Souls and wait for the Resurrection of the Dead. The Ramban could happen to the children of Rabbi Yishmael. The refers to this secret many times in his commentary to answer, says the Maharam M'Pano, is "sod haGilgul" – Chumash. Again, we do not understand these things. We the secret of the transmigration of souls. We only see should avoid delving into the world of the mystical, but we half the picture. With the understanding that sometimes should at least be aware of the general concept. Gilgul is the we come back to this world to rectify something which great equalizer that can perhaps help give us insight and went wrong in a previous "cycle," things make a little understanding into matters that appear totally beyond our more sense. comprehension. The Chofetz Chaim once gave a parable to explain the expression "tzodku yachdav" in the pasuke "The laws of Hashem are True, together they are just" (tzodku yachdav) [Tehillim 19:10]: There was once a person who came down to this world and was fantastically

Great Neck Synagogue Shabbat Activities Program

Dale Polakoff, Rabbi Ian Lichter, Assistant Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Wolf ,z”l, Rabbi Emeritus Ze’ev Kron, Cantor Eleazer Schulman, z”l, Cantor Emeritus Rabbi Sholom Jensen, Youth Director Zehava & Michael Atlas, Youth Directors Mark Twersky, Executive Director Rabbi Avraham Bronstein, Program Director Dr. Scott Danoff, President Harold Domnitch, Chairman of the Board

Celebrating Shavuot, 5773
Tuesday Night, May 14 TIKUN LEIL SHAVUOT @ GNS
11:30 pm – 12:20 am - Ballroom Rabbi Dale Polakoff The Kedusha of the Kotel and Women of the Wall 12:20 am – 1:10 am - Ballroom Rabbi Yaacov Lerner "So What was the real reason why Hashem staged MaamadHar Sinai – the awesome Revelation at Sinai?” 1:10 am— 1:30 am -Gym Break and Refreshments 1:30 am – 3:00 am Rabbis Acobas, Ismach, Jensen, Lichter, Slomnicki and Dr. Atlas - Ballroom The Modern Orthodox Chinuch Roundtable This exciting panel will deal with many of the controversial issues relating to educating both children and adults and this year will focus on: Modern Orthodoxy From the Eyes of Our Children A part of the session will be dedicated to questions from the audience. 3:15 am—4:05 am - Ballroom Rabbi Ian Lichter “Karaoke and Kedusha – Secular Music in the Synagogue” 4:10 am—5:00 am - Ballroom Rabbi Shmuel Ismach “The Halacha and History of Drafting Yeshiva Students” Chevruta learning throughout the night in the Beit Midrash 5:05 am– Shacharit 5:37 am- Netz (Sunrise)

Thursday Afternoon, May 16 3rd Annual SHAVUOT BARBECUE & LEARNING @ GNS
This event and learning is sponsored by Rita Gordonson on the 3rd yahrzeit of her husband Lewis Gordonson,z”l. 6:00 – 6:45 pm Barbecue Dinner in the Gym 6:45 – 7:45 pm Child care and special programming for children in Braun Youth Center 6:45 – 7:45 pm Panel Presentation and Discussion with Rabbis Polakoff and Lichter Beit Midrash Shalom Bayit – the Seven Jewish Habits of Successful Families A part of the session will be dedicated to questions from the audience. 7:45 pm Mincha 8:10 – 8:50pm NEILAT HACHAG Learning with Rabbi Bronstein Gym (Mender Auditorium) “Gatsby and Gratitude: Celebrating God’s Bounty on Shavuot” 8:50 pm Maariv 8:57 pm Conclusion of Yom Tov

MEN’S CLUB UPCOMING EVENTS: May 21: Israel Bond Community Event at Temple Israel. Mon, May 27, Memorial Day 7:10PM: We invite you and your family to join us at Citi Field, Queens to see YANKEES vs METS. Discounted ticket price: $54.00 per person (adult or child). Please make checks to GNS Mens Club. If you are interested, please contact Jack Lipsky at 829-6187 or Hilly Milun 448-4890 We have a limited number of tickets available. Please order early. See page 2. June 12 & 13 Wed. & Thur., Defensive Driving Course: Reduce your auto insurance premiums by taking the Defensive Driving course, which will be held over two evenings from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. Limited seating. $17.00 for AARP members and $19.00 for non-members. Please make checks payable to AARP. Please call Al Leiderman 516-533-1018 for reservations. Sun. June 30: Annual Fishing trip. SHAVUOT FLOWER SALE Savuot flower sale from Great Neck Synagogue Sisterhood . Two choices available.1. $30 dollar beautiful table centerpiece or 2. $40 dollar beautiful double white orchid. Pick up or delivery for $5 dollars per stop. Pick up Monday May 13th between 11am and 6pm. Orders must be in by Friday May 10th, by 9am, while supplies last. Any questions please call Judy at 516487 6845 only until 9pm. SISTERHOOD THANK YOU Thank you very much to everyone who helped at the Antiques Roadshow Event! The kids made cute Torahs, and great spring centerpieces at the Children's Program, and much thanks to Cindy Hodkin, Judy Lillien, Vivian Kron, Chava Shalmon, Zahava Atlas, Nik Kron, Elliot Frumkin, Jill Swartz, and Bernado for making this event happen! SAVE THE DATE There will be a parenting lecture co-sponsored by the Great Neck Synagogue and Young Israel given by Mrs. Sharon Richter, Judaic Studies principal at SAR Academy Lower School. The lecture is entitled - Creating a Home Illuminated with Respect, Love, and Torah Values and will take place on May 20th at 8:00 PM at the home of Alana and Adam Gelnick - 55 Deepdale Drive in Great Neck Estates. GREAT NECK MEMORIAL DAY PARADE Monday, May 27, 2013 at 9:15 am We are looking for shul members of all ages to join us as we march behind our shul’s banner. To make our presentation even more exciting, those with convertibles, classic cars or motorcycles and scooters are encouraged to join with us as well. There will be T-Shirts and Flags for all. Sponsored by the Men's Club and Sisterhood. Any questions, please feel free to contact Alan Steinberg, our parade Chair at OHEL SHABBATON We are looking for host families for our next OHEL Shabbaton on June 1st. Host duties will include sleeping arrangements and Friday night dinner. All host families will be invited to spend lunch at GNS together with OHEL. If you are interested in housing, please contact Rabbi Lichter at


Mazal Tov to Beth & Mark Goldman on the Bar Mitzvah of their son Abraham. Mazal Tov to Mehri & Asher Davoudpour on the upcoming marriage of their son David to Leah Aaron daughter of Miriam Aaron.
NSHA– SHAARE ZEDEK WALKATHON SUNDAY MAY 19 The NSHA Middle School will host a Walk-a-thon to benefit Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem on Sun., May 19, 2013 from 10am-12 pm, the. The walk will begin and end at NSHA located at 26 Old Mill Road. All proceeds will be used to purchase a Neonatal Crib for the new Next Generation Children’s Facility that is opening at Shaare Zedek. Sponsorships are available at $36, $72, $100, $180, $360, and $500. Checks should be made payable to Shaare Zedek Medical Center- For further info, please contact Sharon Goldwyn 917 287 7334. Registration begins at 9:30am. ISRAEL BONDS The Great Neck Community Israel Bond event will take place on Tuesday evening, May 21, 7:30 pm , at Temple Israel in Great Neck. Our members Martin & Shoshana Sokol will be among the honorees. For more information and reservations, please contact Anne Bernstein, 212-446-5853 or see Tricia Moslin. SAVE THE DATE Mets vs Reds, Tuesday, May 21st @ Citified to support ISCD (Israel Sports Center for the Disabled) $50 Upper Deck; $100 Field Level; $150 Better Field Level.Price includes game (7:10PM), 4:30 tailgate BBQ and 5:30 mincha! Please contact or 516.297.9610 for information or group sales. PARLOR MEETING A wine and cheese parlor meeting for Uri L'Tzedek will take place on Wed., May 29, from 8:00 to 9:30 at the home of Rebecca & Nate Wiesel, 52 Radnor Road.

NSHA HS PTA SHAVUOT BAKE SALE Monday May 13 from 7 to 9 pm, at the home of Dina and Jonnie Ohebshalom, 121 Beach Road. If you are interested in baking please contact Beth Orbach at or (917) 885-5540.


Saturday, 2 Sivan Rita Litvin for Tsilya Marianovsky Sunday, 3 Sivan Adam Hutt for Frances Hutt Monday, 4 Sivan Irving Forman for Dora Gurian Trudy Jettelson for Jules Jettelson Goldie Lorber for Nathan Winter Tuesday, 5 Sivan Marc Gottlieb for Bernhard Gottlieb Edward Mazur for Rose Mazur Osnass Shein for Isaac Charchat Fay Smith for Ruth Brafman Robert Spitalnick for Oscar Spitalnick Wednesday, 6 Sivan Irving Forman for Muriel Brown Rita Gordonson for Lewis C. Gordonson Roselin Wagner for Fannie Tarnofsky Thursday, 7 Sivan Michelle Berman for Sara bat Moshe Aharon Sanford Brand for Aron Brand Friday, 8 Sivan Murray Frank for Meyer Frank Roselin Wagner for Anna Seider Jerrald Weinstein for Abraham Weinstein