Yeshiva University Torah miTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov

Parshat Vayetze 6 Kislev 5774/November 9, 2013 Vol. 5 Num. 9

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life, a manifestation of the promise given to Yaakov during the dream of the ladder, "Behold, I am with you, and I shall guard you wherever you might go." (Bereishit 28:15) Ramban explains these two meetings similarly, although with a slight difference. According to Ramban, the ladder represents the connection between heaven and earth, and the malachim are G-d's emissaries to actualize the Divine decrees. Hashem's position atop the ladder represents the direct providence of G-d over Yaakov; this responsibility is not assigned to any of the malachim. Ramban explains the closing story of our parsha to the same effect – the malachim there represent the Divine help promised to Yaakov, reassuring him before his fearful rendezvous with his brother Esav. Malachim represent Man's duty Rambam, in his Guide for the Perplexed (1:15), offers a completely different explanation for the dream of the ladder: ' Malachim of G-d' who ascend represent the prophets… The ascent is mentioned before the descent, for the ascent and arrival at a certain height of the ladder precedes the descent, i.e. the application of the knowledge acquired in the ascent for the training and instruction of mankind. Rambam explains that the Malachim seen by Yaakov in his dream are not spiritual beings, but ideal human b e i n gs: p r op h e ts. Th e i r asce n t represents their development of higher and purer understandings of Divine truths; their descent represents their duty not to remain locked in the ivory tower, but to return to this lowly world,


This issue of Toronto Torah is sponsored by Esther and Craig Guttmann and Family in honour of the yahrtzeit of Shimon Berglas ‫שמעון אריה בן חיים בערגלאס ז"ל‬

Of Malachim and Men
Malachim abound Our parshah is framed, in a very noticeable way, by two stories about the meeting of Yaakov with malachim (angels). Our parshah opens with the famous dream of a ladder on which "malachim ascend and descend." The second story, closing the parshah, describes tersely how Yaakov, on his way back to Eretz Yisrael, met with a camp of G-d's malachim, leading him to name the place Machanayim ('two camps'). Apart from this shared element of malachim in the two stories, the Torah adds a few shared words to emphasize the connection between the stories. In both stories the unusual verb paga ('met' or 'arrived') is used, and in both of them Yaakov names the place after his experience. But what do these two stories represent? And what are they supposed to teach us regarding the story they book-end? In the following article we will explore some of the interpretations suggested by the commentators. Malachim signal Divine intervention Rashi, commenting on both stories, sees similar roles for each set of malachim. According to Rashi, the malachim are there to guard and secure Yaakov. Usually, malachim are 'undercover' and do not reveal themselves to human beings, but as Yaakov leaves Eretz Yisrael and returns there, as the malachim of Eretz Yisrael and beyond perform a 'shift change', Yaakov is given a glimpse behind the scenes. According to Rashi, then, malachim represent Devine supervision and intervention over Yaakov's course of

Rabbi Baruch Weintraub
applying the knowledge they have acquired for the benefit of masses. Just as Moshe Rabbeinu is not allowed to stay on the mountain, delighting forever on his closeness to Hashem, but he is instructed to descend and teach the Torah to people, so any prophet must return to this world, to improve it to the best of his abilities. According to Rambam, then, Yaakov's dream does not represent G-d's Divine protection, but rather G-d's command to those who are strong: thou shalt always help the other. Two Camps, Two Yaakovs An interesting interpretation is suggested by Ibn Ezra. He explains the dream of the ladder in a manner similar to the approach of Ramban, as a symbol of Divine rule over this world, but regarding the name Machanayim for the camp of malachim in the second story, he writes, "Two camps for the two of them; one his, and one for the malachim." (Bereishit 32:2) It seems to me that this interpretation implies a sublime shift from the dream of the ladder. There, Yaakov lay on the ground, helpless, completely dependent upon Divine aid. In his return, though, Yaakov is in a wholly different situation. Obviously, the malachim are still needed and welcomed to stand by his side, but Yaakov is no longer a helpless nomad. From now on, Yaakov must add his human effort to realize the Divine plan. As Yaakov himself will put it in next week's parshah, "With my stick I crossed the Jordan; and now I have become two camps."


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Haftorah: Hosheia 12:13-14:10
Who is the prophet of our haftorah? After the time of King Solomon, the Jewish nation split into two kingdoms; the southern kingdom was Yehudah, and the northern kingdom was Yisrael. Hosheia was active during the last decades of Yisrael. These were days of unstable independence for the kingdom, as kings succeeded each other quickly through rebellion and murder, and the shadow of the empire of Assyria began to appear. The Talmud (Pesachim 87a) criticizes Hosheia for not pleading to Hashem on behalf of the nation. As a lesson, Hashem commands him to marry a woman who he knows will not be faithful to him, and to conceive children with her. Then G-d commands him to divorce her, and Hosheia pleads for his children's sake. Through this, Hashem teaches him that a relationship has power and endurance, even when one of the sides misbehaves. The Talmud concludes that Hosheia accepted the rebuke and repented. Indeed, Hosheia is the source of one of the most famous prophecies regarding teshuvah,'Shuva Yisrael', which we read on Shabbat Shuvah. What is the message of our haftorah? Our haftorah deals mainly with the grievous sin of ignoring Hashem. Hosheia describes vividly how G-d gave Israel everything they have, and yet the nation is immersed in idol worship, as though the idols could benefit them. The idols are of various types: religious idols, as in the Baal, and human idols, as in the king and his ministers, upon whom the people rely. They do not even understand, Hosheia cries, that this very king was given to them by G-d as an act of anger and distance. Further, this king will be removed by an even greater Divine anger, for he is corrupting the people into believing that he can help them. The haftorah ends with a note of teshuvah that addresses the fundamental problem of national distance from Gd, with a call to "Return to HaShem" (Hosheia 14:2). The answer to the stupefaction in which the people are gripped is a pain that will break through and wake them. After stumbling, they will remember G-d and return. What connects the haftorah with our parshah? As with many other haftarot, the connection to the parshah can be seen on two levels. On one level, the haftorah makes explicit mention of an event from our parshah. As part of the historical kindness that Hashem showed towards us, Hosheia mentions that Yaakov was impoverished and forced to flee his home and then to work in order to marry Rachel, and Hashem helped him through. Despite this kindness, Yaakov's descendants do not remember and respect Hashem.

Rabbi Baruch Weintraub
In addition, there may be another level of connection between the parshah and the haftorah. Right after mentioning Yaakov's work, the haftorah cites Hashem’s kindness in taking the Jewish nation out of Egypt and tending to them. There is a similarity between the phrasing in the two passages; the prophet seems to hint that Yaakov’s work for Rachel may be compared to the work of Hashem's messenger to the Jewish people. "Israel laboured for a wife, and for a wife he tended. Through a prophet Hashem brought up Israel from Egypt, and through a prophet it was tended." (ibid. 13:13-14) Perhaps Hosheia hides a small consolation in the middle of a harsh rebuke. Yaakov worked for Rachel, and when he was betrayed he worked further. So, too, Hashem, even when betrayed - G-d forbid - by us, will not neglect us.

613 Mitzvot: #310-311 Observing Rosh haShanah as a Yom Tov
In addition to Rosh haShanah’s status as the Yom haDin (Day of Judgment) and the day we blow shofar, Rosh haShanah is a Yom Tov, like Pesach, Shavuos and Succot. However, we do not see Rosh haShanah's identity as split; rather, the judgment aspect of the day is what we celebrate with this Yom Tov. The Sefer haChinuch explains, "Among the kindnesses of G-d for His creations is that He observes them, calling their deeds into account on one day each year, so that they will not increase their sins and so that they will have an opportunity for atonement. He is of great kindness and He inclines the verdict toward kindness, and since their accumulated sins are few [in the brief annual interval], He forgives them. If, perhaps, they need cleansing, He punishes them little by little… If he would not punish them until a longer interval had passed, their sins would increase to the point that the world would be almost liable for destruction, G-d forbid. This honoured day sustains the world. Therefore, it is appropriate to make this day a Yom Tov, counted among the precious special occasions of the year."

Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner

Because of this, we are instructed to create a Yom Tov atmosphere by abstaining from the actions labelled in the Torah as melachah; this involves an active mitzvah of creating a special Yom Tov atmosphere (#310) and a prohibition against melachah (#311). As the Tur writes (Orach Chaim 581, citing Talmud Yerushalmi Rosh haShanah 1:3), "What nation is like this nation, to know its G-d's ways! Normally, a person facing judgment wears black and cloaks himself in black and grows his beard and does not cut his nails, for he does not know how his judgment will emerge. The Jews are not like this, though; they wear white and cloak themselves in white and shave their beards and cut their nails and eat and drink and celebrate on Rosh haShanah, for they know G-d will perform a miracle on their behalf."


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Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Spira
Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner
Born in 1850 to the first Munkaczer Rebbe, Rabbi Shlomo Spira, and his wife Fruma Rivka, Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Spira served as a powerful member of a line of Hungarian rabbis which began with Rabbi Zvi Elimelech Spira (Bnei Yissaschar) at the end of the 19th century, and continues until the present day. Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Spira was born on the yahrtzeit of Rav Zvi Hirsh of Zidichov, himself a founder of a Chasidic dynasty, and was named for him. At the age of six, Rabbi Zvi Hirsh was betrothed to Esther Horovitz, who also came from a rabbinic family. They were wedded when he was just fourteen years old. Young Zvi Hirsh studied under Rabbi Chaim Halberstam (the Sanzer Rebbe), and Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga of Shinova. At the age of 31 he became head of the rabbinical court of Munkacz; twelve years later, upon his father's passing, he became the Chief Rabbi of Munkacz and the head of the Munkaczer chassidim. Rabbi Zvi Hirsh's leadership endured stormy times. At one point the Hungarian government deposed him due to his lack of familiarity with the Hungarian tongue; at other times he faced internal strife for his opposition to Zionism, as well as to the newly formed Agudas Yisroel organization. He did support Jewish life in what was then Palestine; in 1908, Rav Zvi Hirsh created a fund dedicated to supporting Hungarian émigrés to Eretz Yisrael, and this led to the establishment of Batei Munkacz in Jerusalem. Darchei Teshuvah, a commentary to Shulchan Aruch, is the best-known work of Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Spira, and he is often called simply "the Darchei Teshuvah". The volumes of Darchei Teshuvah are a mainstay in every serious study hall, and are consulted on matters of contemporary kashrut, in particular. He also wrote on chumash, mysticism, and the Jewish calendar. Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Spira passed away on the second day of Succot, 1913, and he was buried on Yom Tov. His son, Rabbi Chaim Elazar Spira, author of Minchat Elazar, took his place as leader of the Munkaczer chasidim.

Torah and Translation

Separate Bridgework for Meat and Diary?
Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Spira
Darchei Teshuvah Yoreh Deah 89:11
Translated by Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner

‫עיין בשו " ת שאילת שלום תנינא סי ' קצה‬ ‫שנשאל בדבר השינים הזרים אשר רבים‬ ‫יעמדו להם בפיהם ויאכלו בהם מאכלי חלב‬ ‫ וכתב שאין לההמיר דבודאי‬.‫ומאכלי בשר‬ ‫נעשו ממין דבר קשה ושיע שלא בלעו ולא‬ ‫ וגם המאכלים‬, ‫פלטו כמו כלי זכוכית‬ ‫שאוכלים על פי הרוב המה רק מכלי שני‬ .‫ואין היס״ב‬ ‫וכן כשהייתי בוויען שאלתי לרופא מומחה‬ ‫גדול ואומן בעשיית השינים מהו תוכן‬ ‫השינים הללו ואמר לי במסיח לפי תומו‬ ‫שהוא נעשה ממין א ' המובא מאמעריקא‬ ‫שבטבעו אינו בולע שום בלוע בתוכו כי כן‬ ‫יסדו הרופאים לעשותו ממין זה דוקא‬ ‫שהוא מההכרח שאם יהיה בהשינים איזה‬ ‫בלוע ממאכל הנה יבא מזה ענין העיפוש‬ ‫להבלוע וכשהוא בפיו יצמיח מזה חולאים‬ .‫שונים להגוף‬ ‫אמנם עכ " ז הנני מזהיר לכל שואל אותי‬ ‫דמהראוי לכל ירא שמים שיהי׳ לו שינים של‬ ‫בשר בפני עצמם ושל חלב בפני עצמם ומכל‬ ‫שכן לפסח שראוי להחמיר לעשות לו‬ ' ‫ וכן ידעתי מכמה אנשים יראי ד‬. ‫חדשים‬ .‫שנזהרים בזה‬ ‫אמנם כל זה הוא בהשינים שמשימים בתוך‬ ‫הפה שעשוים לחלצם ולהסירם בכל עת‬ ‫ אבל יש כמה‬, ‫שירצה ויכולין לההליפם‬ ‫אנשים שיש להם נקבים גדולים בשיניהם‬ ‫והרופא מדביק הנקבים במין דבק ולפעמים‬ ‫ על זה‬,‫הדבק הוא גדול בכמות יותר מן השן‬ ‫לא ראיתי ולא שמעתי שיזהר שום אדם‬ ‫למנוע שלא לתקן השינים מחשש תקלה זו‬ , ‫שאוכלין בהם פעמים חלב ופעמים בשר‬ ‫ובעל כרחך שסומכין על היתר זה שהדבק‬ ‫הוא דבר שאינו מקבל שום בלוע לתוכו‬ .‫וכנזכר‬

See Rabbi Shalom Taivish's Responsa She'eilat Shalom II 195; he was asked about the foreign teeth that many people place in their mouths, with which they eat dairy and meat foods. He wrote that one shoud not be strict, for they are made of a tough and smooth material, which neither absorbs nor exudes, like glass. Also, the food they eat is generally from a secondary vessel [a vessel which was not heated over a flame, but only holds contents which had been heated in a separate receptacle], and is not hot enough to scald. So, too, when I was in Vienna I inquired of an expert physician, great and trained in making these teeth, regarding the makeup of these teeth. He told me, unaware of the halachic significance of his words, that they are made of a material brought from America. The material, by nature, does not not absorb at all. The doctors insisted that the teeth be made of such material, specifically, by necessity; if these teeth held any absorption from food, that would lead to decay of the absorbed material. Having that in one's mouth would lead to development of various diseases of the body. In truth, despite the above, I warn all who ask me that it would be appropriate for every G-d-fearing person to have separate sets of teeth for meat and milk, and certainly for Pesach it would be appropriate to have new teeth. So I know that some G-d-fearing people do. However, all of this is only regarding teeth that one places in one's mouth, which one can release and remove at will, and which one can replace. However, some people have great holes in their teeth, and the doctor seals the holes with a kind of paste. Sometimes, there is more paste than there is tooth! For this, I have neither seen nor heard of anyone being careful to avoid repairing his teeth because of concern for the problem of eating milk and meat with them. They must depend upon the leniency that the paste is nonabsorbent, as we have mentioned.

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This Week in Israeli History: Kislev 7, 2000 The Pupils’ Rights Law
Note:In last week’s column, Givat Brenner was mis -named. The of Kislev is Sunday On the 7th of Kislev, 2000, Israel became the first country to establish a law delineating the rights of students. The purpose of the Pupils' Rights Law "is to establish principles for the rights of pupils in the spirit of human dignity and the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, while preserving the uniqueness of the types of educational institutions as defined in the Compulsory Education Law, the State Education Law, the Special Education Law, and in any other law." The law seems noble, especially considering the many minority groups who have complained about discrimination in Israeli schools. However, Member of Knesset Einat Wilf argues that the law makes it too difficult for teachers to control their students in class. "When teachers ask the pupils to move somewhere in the classroom or ask them to 7th

Adam Frieberg
leave the classroom," Wilf says, "the kids say that they have been humiliated and the law says that kids cannot be humiliated, and this is just an example of how very good intentions [don't always lead to positive results]." Wilf contends, "[This law] sends a message that in a complex system where you have teachers and parents and pupils, only the pupils are taking a part and they have rights. They do not have duties, they do not have obligations, they only have rights. So, first of all, the mere existence of this law as a separate law is something that I think should be ended and the important elements within the law, such as the elements that talk about forbidding discrimination against pupils or giving them the rights to get matriculation exams, these should be preserved and become part of Israel's general education law." (Much of this content comes from NTD TV,

Highlights for November 9 – November 15 / 6 Kislev - 12 Kislev
SHABBAT NOV. 9 Friday 8:00 PM Post-Hashkamah 11:15 AM Before minchah SUNDAY NOV. 10 8:45 AM 9:15 AM After maariv 8:00 PM MONDAY NOV. 11 8:00 PM 8:15 PM 8:15 PM 9:30 PM TUESDAY NOV. 12 12:30 PM 8:45 PM WED. NOV. 13 10:00 AM 12:30 PM 8:00 8:00 9:00 9:00 PM PM PM PM R’ Mordechai Torczyner R’ Mordechai Torczyner R’ Baruch Weintraub R’ Mordechai Torczyner R’ Yehoshua Weber R’ Baruch Weintraub Josh Gutenberg Jews & Clothes, 5 of 6 Ideal Tzedakah Prophecy for Our Time not this week not this week Chabura: Sanhedrin Intro to Introductions 5 of 5: Mishneh Berurah Learning and Latte Forensic Dentistry Chabura: Sotah BEBY York Univesity Hillel with Morasha Lunch Served; with JLIC Community Beit Midrash Night Maariv at 9:50 PM BAYT R’ Mordechai Torczyner Adam Frieberg Living Midrash Laws of Shabbat Shaarei Shomayim Shaarei Tefillah with Mekorot Rav Shlomo Gemara R’ Baruch Weintraub R’ Mordechai Torczyner R’ Baruch Weintraub The Prophets of Israel Parshah Medical Halachah Principles of Faith Bnai Torah Shaarei Shomayim Community Beit Midrash Night Maariv at 8 PM R’ Mordechai Torczyner R’ Baruch Weintraub R’ Baruch Weintraub R’ Baruch Weintraub Legal Ethics: Sharp Practice and Courtroom Ethics Parshah Revisited Principles of Faith Principles of Faith BAYT Zichron Yisroel Clanton Park 4 Tillingham Keep CPD Accredited; Open to Non-Lawyers Hebrew Hebrew Hebrew

Oneg Josh Gutenberg A Cast of Characters R’ Baruch Weintraub


39 Alexandra Wood

Special Notes
Open to All!

Shaarei Shomayim Shabbaton: Our Matriarchs Sheva Berachot in Charan Shaarei Shomayim After Musaf in the Main Shul

Shiur Theatre Shaarei Shomayim Religious Coercion: A Modern Defense of Rachel The Wives of Yaakov Shaarei Shomayim

Yeshivat Or Chaim

8:45 PM THU. NOV. 14 8:40 AM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM

R’ Mordechai Torczyner R’ Mordechai Torczyner R’ Baruch Weintraub

Ulpanat Orot BAYT Clanton Park


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