Toronto Torah
Beit Midrash Zichron Dov
28 Tammuz 5770/July 10, 2010 Parshat Matot/Masei Vol. I Num. 39 R’ Mordechai Torczyner
Certainly, defying so thoroughly an engrained family trait requires great strength and independence, but how did Aharon even know he was right in shattering this family mold? Where did Aharon find the courage to support his iconoclasm? Perhaps the answer lies in a brief comment by Ibn Ezra (Shemot 6:13). The Torah describes HaShem’s initial charge to Moshe and Aharon, ―‫,ויצום אל בני ישראל‬ He instructed them regarding the Jewish people.‖ Ibn Ezra explained, ― ‫יש אומרים‬ ‫ ,שצוה שלא יכעסו על ישראל, כי קצרה רוחם‬Some say that He instructed them not to be angry at the Jewish people, for the people’s spirits were limited.‖ In other words, HaShem warned Moshe and Aharon to recognize the shortcomings of their generation, and to govern with patience and understanding. Aharon accepted that the people for whom he was responsible were limited, tortured into smallness by their Egyptian masters and the suffering of exile. He resolved that despite the genefueled cauldron burning inside him, he would direct his energy away from the flames of outrage and toward finding creative ways to lead the nation positively, peacefully, and prosperously. This is the Aharon haKohen who was Miriam and Moshe’s complement in government for forty years, and whose passing we commemorate in the coming week. This is the Aharon haKohen for whom the Torah records (Bamidbar 20:29), ―They cried for Aharon for thirty days – the entire house of Israel.‖ This is the Aharon haKohen who offered korbanot to atone for a nation, and who kindled the lights of the menorah. ‫תהיה‬ ‫ ,נשמתו צרורה בצרור החיים‬may his soul be bound in the bond of life. Certainly, we need leaders of fire and strength, but in our own days of limited spirits may we also merit to be led by the students of Aharon.

Aharon the Iconoclast
Am I doomed to play out my family’s traits in my own life? Aharon haKohen, whose yahrtzeit is observed this coming Sunday night and Monday, Rosh Chodesh Av, is proof that I am not. We are familiar with the stories of peace and goodwill associated with Aharon. Avot d’Rabbi Natan 12 describes how Aharon involved himself in mediating people’s personal quarrels. Midrashic sources demonstrate Aharon’s conciliatory nature in dealing with the creators of the Golden Calf. Rashi (Bamidbar 20:29) states that every Jew mourned Aharon’s death because of his peace-pursuing traits. The purveyor of Peace and Torah described in Malachi 2:5-6 is said to be Aharon haKohen, who brought peace between individuals and between G-d and the Jewish people. And so on. What we often miss, though, is that Aharon’s pursuit of peace broke from his family’s dominant trend toward ‫ ,קנאות‬zealotry. Aharon’s great grandfather, Levi, responded with violent outrage to Dinah’s kidnapping and to Yosef’s presumption. Aharon’s e ld e r siste r Mir iam e xp re ssed indignation toward her parents and toward Moshe, and Aharon’s younger brother Moshe displayed outrage numerous times in his career. Aharon’s nephew Chur stood against the Golden Calf to the point of sacrificing his life; Aharon’s family rallied to Moshe’s call, executing the ringleaders of the Calf’s idolatry. Aharon’s grandson Pinchas crowned himself judge and executioner for Zimri; Aharon’s descendants, the Chashmonaim, did likewise against the Hellenists in the era of Chanukah. Eliyahu haNavi, who proclaimed, ―I have been zealous for G-d,‖ was a descendant of Aharon. Talmudic sources (such as Bava Batra 160b) identify a demanding nature – ‫ - קפדנות‬as an eternal hallmark of kohen conduct, such that the sages needed to create obstacles to prevent them from hasty divorce. The gemara (Sanhedrin 82b) depicts Aharon’s grandson Pinchas challenging Divine justice, and then HaShem justifying this hubris because it was the result of family influence. Aharon’s family was known for their fiery commitment to proper religious and social conduct, and for putting their lives on the line to defend those principles. Aharon held those same values, but he acted peacefully rather than with anger. Indeed, Ramban (Bamidbar 20:8) asserts, ― ‫אהרן לא כעס‬ ‫ ,מימיו‬Aharon was never angered.‖

Parshah Questions
(Sources are provided to help the reader research answers)

R’ Meir Lipschitz

 Why did ‫ יאיר‬call his city ‫?חוות יאיר‬

(Rashi and Ramban to Bamidbar 32:41) (Rashi, Malbim, Netziv, Chofetz Chaim to Bamidbar 31:8) (Rashi, Rashbam, Ramban, Seforno, Ohr HaChaim, Malbim, Netziv, Ma’ayan Beit HaShoeivah to Bamidbar 33:1 and 2, and Magen Avraham to 428:8) (Rashi to Bamidbar 31:2)

 Why is it important that Bilaam was killed by the sword?

 Why are all of the stopping points from the Jews’ desert journey recorded?

 For children: Why were we commanded only to attack Midian, not Moav?


Permission is not necessarily approval
After defeating Sichon and Og, the Tribes of Reuven and Gad request to inherit the land of Sichon and Og, the land on the East Bank of the Jordan, outside of Eretz Yisrael proper. Moshe Rabbeinu is upset with this request, and his response outlined three points: 1. (32:6) ―Shall your brothers go out to battle while you settle here?‖ Moshe Rabbeinu has a moral issue with their request; as part of Klal Yisrael, they are responsible to join their brethren in battle. 2. (32:7) ―Why do you dissuade the heart of the Children of Israel from crossing to the Land that Hashem has given them?‖ Moshe Rabbeinu, acting as a military general, has a morale issue with their request; if a portion of the army would break ranks and desert the camp, that would have tremendous repercussions for the rest of the nation. 3. (32:8-15) ―This is what your fathers did (with the Sin of the Spies)… Behold! You have risen up in place of your fathers, a society of sinful people, to add more to the burning wrath of Hashem against Israel. For if you will turn away from after Him… you will destroy this entire people.‖ Here, Moshe Rabbeinu is acting as the leader, the loyal shepherd of the Jewish Nation for forty years. He saw them reach great heights at Har Sinai, and he watched them fall to the depths during the Sin of the Spies. Thirty-nine years after their fathers were condemned to death for rejecting the Land, Moshe sees them repeating the fatal mistake. The Tribes of Reuven and Gad responded to Moshe’s invective by refuting his premise: Their love for the land has not diminished an iota; they are merely worried regarding the economic viability of living in the land of Israel. After setting up their homes, they will lead their brothers to war and remain until the land is conquered.

Russell Levy

the Land of Israel, the situation was not seen as ideal. It further seems that the Jewish people did not fully trust the claim that their choice of territory was based purely on economic considerations, rather than a desire to separate from the Land and the People. Fourteen years later, in the Book of Yehoshua (ch. 22), Yehoshua sends Bnei Reuven and Bnei Gad home once they have completed their end of the agreement. Immediately after returning, they build a large altar, visible to all, next to the Jordan River. Suspecting the worst, the other tribes rally an army and send emissaries to ensure that the tribes outside the Land will not attempt to create a new centre of worship. Pinchas, in a discourse reminiscent of Moshe’s described above, reprimands these tribes for following in their father’s footsteps in causing to bring a plague upon the Nation. The tribes respond that this altar was not meant to be divisive, but as a reminder for future generations that these tribes are part of the Jewish People, and that they believe in the One True G-d.

613 Mitzvot: Mitzvot 43-45 Treatment of a maid
As we have already discussed, Jewish slavery was usually implemented when a man decided that he could not make a living via standard work. A slavery contract bound the master to take good care of him, and so guaranteed a good standard of living in exchange for his freedom to seek work elsewhere. Women could only enter into such circumstances as minors; this generally happened if families were unable to provide for their daughters, and so they sought a home in which

Moshe seems to accept the clarification of their initial request: ―If you do this thing… you shall be clean before Hashem and Israel, and this land shall be your possession before Hashem‖ (32:22). However, the ambiguity of the word nekiim, ―clean‖, begs interpretation. Though the request of these tribes is granted, how do Moshe, and Klal Yisrael, view the result? Do they see living on the East Bank as the proper course of action? The fact that the nation did not follow the maxim of dan l’kaf zchut and did It would seem that, although Moshe not judge these tribes favourably from acquiesced and stated that they would the start seems to imply that their not bear any sin for living outside of original claims of innocence were not believed. Furthermore, even these tribes themselves recognized that living on the East Bank may lead, in the future, to a situation in which their association with the Nation and the Land would come into question; they knew that their situation was not ideal. their daughters would be nurtured until This could be the reason why Moshe they reached maturity. Once the maid said they would be ―clean‖ in front of reached maturity, she could marry the Hashem and the Nation, rather than master or the master’s son, or go free say that there was no problem with (Mitzvah 43). The master was not their plan. Moshe did not see them as permitted to sell his maid to another sinners, but they were not leading the party (Mitzvah 45). ideal life. If a maid became capable of buying May it be His Will that we all receive out the remainder of her contract early, the opportunity to achieve the ideals her master was required to accept her of Moshe and Pinchas, and prosper in offer (Mitzvah 44). the Land of Israel.




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Ha’Am V’Ha’Aretz
Rav Klonymus Kalman Shapira
R’ Meir Lipschitz

Tiberias (‫ ,)טבריה‬near the mid-point of the western shore of the Kinneret, is the largest city in the Jordan Valley. It serves as the administrative, cultural and mercantile center of the surrounding region. Built on a steep slope rising up from the lake, the city is spread over a relatively large area, with the highest point some 1,500 feet above the level of the lake. The city was founded nearly two thousand years ago by Herod Antipas, son of Herod, king of Judea, on the remains of the biblical city of Rakkat, and was named after thenreigning Roman emperor Tiberius. The city remained a Roman enclave until it was chosen by the Nasi and Sanhedrin as their place of residence in the second century CE. For hundreds of years thereafter the city played a central role in the development of Jewish culture and tradition. Tiberias remained the seat of the Nasi until the Arab conquest in the seventh century, and during this period the ―Talmud Yerushalmi" was composed there. In the seventh and eighth centuries, Tiberias was the home of the Masoretes, grammarians who established a definitive vocalization of the biblical text, and the earliest group of post-biblical poets, the paytanim. The city suffered greatly during the Crusades, but still attracted such a distinguished visitor as the Rambam, who journeyed there from Egypt during the last years of his life, and whose tomb can be seen there to this day. In the sixteenth century, Tiberias was given as a gift to Don Joseph Nasi by the Turkish sultan, and he attempted to re-establish a Jewish center there. However, more northerly city of Safed became the economic centre, and Tiberias did not thrive until the 19th century as a Jewish community. For a long time, Jews and Arabs maintained relatively cordial and tolerant relations in city, but during the 1948 War of Independence all of the Arab inhabitants fled. Since then, Tiberias has become a major center of absorption of new immigrants to Israel; today it has a population of about 34,000, including many from North Africa and Eastern Europe. Today, tourism and recreation ---particularly in the winter when the climate is warm and sunny ---constitute the principal economic foundation of Tiberias. Lake Kinneret, the nearby hot springs, Roman and Crusader ruins, and tombs of tzaddikim bring many visitors. Adapated from an article originally published by Torah miTzion.

Rav Klonymus Kalman Shapira was born in Grodisk, Poland in 1889. R’ Shapira Torah in Translation was the son of the Imrei Elimelech, greatAish Kodeshgrandson of the Maor VaShemesh, and he Shabbos Chazon 1942 could trace his family back to R’ Elimelech of Lizhensk (Noam Elimelech), the Chozeh of Lublin, and the Maggid of Let us understand why this Shabbat is called Kozhnitz. by the name of its Haftorah. There are other weeks that are called by the name of their Despite being orphaned at the age of Haftorot [such as Nachamu and Shuva] but three, Rav Shapira went on to great things that is because they are different from all of before he was murdered by the Nazis in the other Shabbatot of the year. If this week is 1943. He was appointed the Rabbi of the called by its Haftorah because it is part of city of Piaseczno at the age of 20, and he bein hametzarim and because it speaks of the opened a Yeshiva there before being churban, are not the Haftarot of the two taken to the Warsaw Ghetto, where he previous weeks the prophecies of Yirmiyahu, served as Rabbi for most of World War II. who lived long after Yeshayahu, at the time of Rav Shapira wrote several works, among the actual destruction of the Temple? And yet, them his Chovat HaTalmidim (A Student’s these are not called by the name of their Obligation), a series of essays with Haftorah. advice and lessons for Yeshiva students, According to the Midrash (Shir HaShirim and his most famous work, Aish Kodesh, Rabbah 3), prophecy is called by ten names which is a collection of speeches— and chazon is the harshest one, based on the h e a v i l y influenced by his verse, ―a harsh vision was told to me.‖ circumstances—delivered in the Warsaw Though we have no comprehension of Ghetto. The Aish Kodesh manuscript was prophecy, this point is obvious to us based on buried, and it was only discovered and our current situation, in which we now know published years after the war had ended. that speaking and hearing about suffering is barely comparable to witnessing it, let alone None of Rav Shapira’s children survived experiencing it. When we learned the words the Holocaust, but other members of his of the prophets and sages about the extended family, his writings, and his destruction in the past, we thought we legacy did survive and remain a strong understood what suffering was, and we may force in Jewish life and learning. His work have even cried over it, but now that we know has inspired the establishment of how distant hearing about suffering is from synagogue communities dedicated to his witnessing it, and certainly from teachings, in Israel and New York; these experiencing it, we know that we hadn’t truly synagogues are named Aish Kodesh. understood suffering until now. Therefore, [in when He said ―I have indeed seen,‖ gauging] the words of the prophets because He had seen that sight [the describing suffering, whether the message affliction in Egypt] and therefore ―I have had been communicated to them in speech known only of their suffering.‖ [It was as and Divine voice or through some other though] He did not see the good in the means, the harshest of all was when the suffering, He only saw the suffering, and suffering was actually shown to them in a therefore He said, ―I shall send you… and vision… you shall take out my people.‖ (Shemot [This is the meaning of,] ―I have indeed seen 3:10) the affliction of my people in Egypt… for I Shabbat Chazon, [on which we read] the have known their suffering.‖ (Shemot 3:7) On vision of Yeshayahu, is the most difficult of a simple level, why does it say, ―for I have them [the Haftorot read during this time known,‖ when it already said, ―I have indeed period] since it was an actual vision of the seen?‖ It is like a father who knows that it is suffering. It is for this reason that we read good for his son to undergo a surgery. this Haftorah on the Shabbat immediately Nevertheless, he cannot bear to watch the preceding Tisha B’Av and even call that surgery, for simply knowing about suffering Shabbat by the name Chazon. However, is not comparable to actually witnessing it; since HaShem on High has already seen even though it is for his [the child’s] benefit, the suffering of Israel, [it will be like His he [the father] is unable to watch because at statement in Egypt,] ―I have known of their that point the father’s knowledge of the suffering,‖ only the suffering and not of the benefits is nullified and all he can focus on is good contained within it. This will activate the pain and suffering of his son. The exile in the redemption. It will be in a manner Egypt, like all the other exiles and sufferings similar to, ―Open your eyes and [of the Jewish people], was for the benefit of see.‖ (Daniel 9:18) [G-d will open His eyes Bnei Yisrael. This is what HaShem meant and see our suffering and bring about the

redemption.] The Haftorah begins with vision—which is the harshest of all—and concludes with redemption: ―Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and her returnees with righteousness.‖


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Schedule for the Week of July 10, 28 Tammuz
Shabbat, July 10
7:50AM R’ Azarya Berzon: Ramban al haTorah, Or Chaim After Hashkama: R’ Azarya Berzon, Clanton Park After Hashkama: R’ Meir Lipschitz, Parsha, Shaarei Shomayim After Family Minyan: R’ Mordechai Torczyner, Renting to a Church, BAYT 6:45PM R’ Mordechai Torczyner: History and Halachah: Plagiarism in the Middle Ages, 57 Heatherton Way 1 Hr Before Minchah: R’ Azarya Berzon: Kiddushin, Mizrachi Bayit

Monday, July 12

7:30PM R’ Azarya Berzon: Hilchot Talmud Torah, Clanton Park 9:15PM R’ Azarya Berzon: Ramban al haTorah

Tuesday, July 13

Sunday, July 11

11:00AM R’ Azarya Berzon: Pesachim, Clanton Park Men 7:30PM R’ Azarya Berzon: The New Method of Rationalization of Mitzvot, BAYT, West Wing Classroom #1 8:00PM R’ Mordechai Torczyner: Minchat Chinuch, Clanton Park Men 8:30PM R’ Azarya Berzon, Shiur Highlights

9:00AM Russell Levy: Practical Halachah at the Cottage, Bnei Isaac, Baysville Restarting July 25 until Labour Day 8:45AM R’ Mordechzi Torczyner: Medical Halachah Series: Fasting and Pregnancy, BAYT 9:00AM Community Beit Midrash: R’ Netanel Javasky: Tisha B’Av Through the Eyes of R’ Akiva, Mizrachi Bayit 9:15AM Itamar Zolberg: Shiur b’Ivrit, Zichron Yisrael 7:30PM R’ Azarya Berzon: Masechet Kiddushin, Shaarei Shomayim

Thursday, July 15

11:00AM R’ Azarya Berzon: Masechet Pesachim (Advanced), Clanton Park 4:00PM R’ Azarya Berzon: Hilchot Muktzah (Advanced), Clanton Park Men 7:50PM R’ Azarya Berzon: Aveilut and Tisha B’Av, Clanton Park Men Mincha/Maariv will follow the shiur


We would like to thank koshertube.com for filming our shiurim!

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