Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev

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Volume XII - Issue 7
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The DRS Weekly Torah Publication
This week’s issue of The staff of ‫דברים היוצאים מן הל"ב‬ c"kv in ohtmuhv ohrc‫ד‬ is sponsored by the Scheinman family ‫בת‬all of‫אסתר‬readers a wishes ‫ פיגה‬its ‫לזכר נשמת‬ ‫ ,הרב משה זלמן ע״ה‬whose shloshim Freilichen Chanukah! will be completed on ‫.ט״ז כסלו‬

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True Satisfaction
By Rabbi Yechiel Weberman, 10th Grade Rebbe
Tosafos asks a fundamental question on Hilchos Neiros Chanuka: Why can one make a bracha upon seeing another person lighting a menorah, but one cannot do the same for other mitzvos, such as lulav or tefillin? Rabbi Zweig explains that the answer can be found upon the examination of a Rashi in this weeks Parsha. Rashi comments on the words in Paraoh’s dream “Yefos Mar’eh” and explains that the seven cows looked at each other with munificence. Rashi concludes that from these words, Yosef understood that there would be seven years of abundance. Yet, how did Rashi know that there was a relation between the cows’ goodwill and the upcoming plentiful harvest in Egypt? Perhaps Rashi was basing his conclusion on the way Yosef described the seven years of abundance. Yosef used the word Sove’ah, which is literally translated as satisfaction. However, satisfaction does not necessarily mean wealth or abundance. One person may be satisfied with the bare minimum, while another person may not be satisfied with even prodigious amounts. Rashi is informing us of the definition of satisfaction. Being satisfied means being happy not only when one succeeds, but even when others succeed. Now we may understand how Yosef interpreted Paraoh’s dream. Yosef knew that there would be great abundance and satisfaction in Egypt, because the cows were happy with each other’s successes.
(Continued on page 3)

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PARSHAS MIKEITZ 27 KISLEV, 5771 DECEMBER 4, 2010
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This week’s issue of ‫דברים היוצאים מן הל"ב‬ is also sponsored by Rabbi and Mrs Refoel Auman and family L’iluy Nishmas R’ Dovid Mendel (Dr. Donald) Kass, whose Yahrzeit is on Rosh Chodesh Teves.

Dreams
By Rabbi Shmuel Marcus, Rosh Kollel of the YU– DRS Kollel

Dreams figure quite prominently in the story of Yosef in Egypt. Yosef, the baker, the butler and Pharaoh all dreamed prophetically of future events – including those that ultimately played a pivotal role in the future of the Jewish nation. Yosef was perhaps the world’s first proven and most successful oneirocritic. Psychologists have studied dreams with great fascination for over a century. Freud viewed every detail of a dream as significant; to his mind, dreams were the expression of repressed emotions and feelings that Man buries in his subconscious. On the other extreme, J. Alan Hobson and Robert McCarley argued in 1977 that dreams are entirely insignificant. They are nothing more than the result of random sponsor an House The ToThisinOpenissue of is DRSweek’s issue of c"kv ohtmuhv stimulation of brain cells activated during REM sleep. c"kvthis ohtmuhv ohrcs in Sunday, ohrcs' is also sponsored by In contrast, the Talmud adopts a more nuanced approach. On the one hand, the email us at Gemara in Brachos (55b) tells us that dreams are simply a reflection of a person’s preoc- November 7th, at 1:30 DvarimHayotzim@gmail.com cupations during his waking hours – also known in psychology as the Continuity Princiin the afternoon GourmetGlatt.com • 516.569.2662 ple. Similarly, the Gemara states in Sanhedrin (30a) that dreams are insignificant with
(Continued on page 2)

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Torah Teasers By Rabbi Moshe Erlbaum ‫פרשת מקץ‬ Questions 1. Which two pieces of jewelry appear? 2. a) Where is something compared to the "sand”? b) Where else in ‫ ספר בראשית‬is there a comparison to the sand (2 times)? 3. What three vocations appear in the ‫פרשה‬ but nowhere else in the Torah? 4. What object appears in the Parsha 15 times but does not appear anywhere else in ‫?תנ"ך‬ 5. In what context are different types of nuts mentioned? 6. Among the gifts that ‫ יעקב‬sent to ‫ יוסף‬was the herb ‫ ,לט‬birthwort. In what context is that same herb found in ‫?ספר בראשית‬
(Rabbi Marcus — Continued from page 1)

‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
regard to Halacha. Even if one dreamed that his father told him there is a certain amount of money in a particular place which is ma’aser sheni funds – and the money was, in fact, in that very place, the money is nonetheless assumed to be non ma’aser. On the other hand, the Gemara in Brachos (57a) tells us that dreams are 1/60 of prophecy, clearly implying there is truth and perhaps even accurate predictions in dreams. Some have noted that the Hebrew word for dream appears in some form or another in Sefer Bereishis a total of 48 times and seven times in the rest of the Torah, perhaps alluding to the fact that dreams can be prophetic as the Gemara in Megilla (14a) teaches us there were 48 prophets and 7 prophetesses in Tanach. Clearly, some dreams are meaningful whereas others are not. The Gemara in Brachos (55b) indicates that some dreams emanate from angels and are meaningful; others emanate from shedim and are meaningless. Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto explains in his Derech Hashem (Part 3, Chap. 1, No. 6) that as one sleeps a part of his soul ascends and interacts with spiritual beings. Sometimes what it learns from those interactions is viewed in a dream. Depending on the nature of the interaction, those dreams may be significant or meaningless. Rabbi Asher Weiss (Minchas Asher, Parshas Vayeishev) cites a number of instances where dreams actually seem to have influenced the Halacha itself. For example, Hagahos Ashri (Avodah Zara 2:41) quotes Rabbenu Ephraim who permitted consumption of the Barbuta fish but later rescinded his permissive ruling due to a dream he had which indicated he had erred. Similarly, the practice we have to hold the lulav and esrog together when shaking them on Sukkos (as opposed to holding them apart from one another) appears to be based in part on a dream (see Taz, Orach Chaim 651:11 and Biur Hagra ibid.). As a general rule of thumb, however, the Aruch Hashulchan (Orach Chaim 220:4) cautions us not to live in fear of dreams and not to attach too much significance to them as most of them are insignificant. One who fears God need not live in fear of a dream. Have a good Shabbos and a happy Chanukah.

Answers .1 ‫ פרעה‬gave Yosef "‫“ ,"טבּ ְתּוֹ‬his ring” and ‫ַ ַע‬ placed upon his neck a "‫“ ,“ר ִד הָ ָב‬a golden ‫ְ ב ַ זּה‬ chain.” 2. a) The ‫ פסוק‬states that ‫ יוסף‬gathered so much food that it was as numerous "‫,“ ְחוֹל הָם‬ ‫ַיּ‬ ‫כּ‬ “as the sand of the sea”. b) In ‫,פרשת וישלח‬ Yaakov davens to Hashem to save him from ‫ .עשו‬In the ‫ תפלה‬he states that Hashem promised that his children would be as numerous as the sand of the sea. In ‫,פרשת וירא‬ Hashem promised ‫ אברהם‬that his offspring will be "‫“ ,“ ַחוֹל ֲשׁר ַל־שׂפת הָם‬like the sand ‫א ֶ ע ְ ַ ַיּ‬ ‫כ‬ on the seashore”. 3. In the Parsha, ‫ יוסף‬is called the ‫ ,שׁ ִיט‬the ‫ַלּ‬ ruler/viceroy and the ‫ , ַשׁ ִיר‬the provider. ‫מְבּ‬ Later on, a ‫ ,מ ִיץ‬an interpreter, translated the ‫ֵל‬ conversation between ‫ יוסף‬and his brothers. All three of these vocations are not found anywhere else in the Torah. 4. An ‫ ,אמתחת‬a sack in which the brothers carried back the grain to ‫ ארץ כנען‬appears fifteen times in the ‫ פרשה‬but nowhere else in the ‫.תנ"ך‬ 5. Pistachios and almonds were part of the gift that ‫ יעקב‬sent to Yosef. 6. In ‫ ,פרשת וישב‬the caravan of ‫ ישמעאלים‬that bought ‫ יוסף‬from his brothers were carrying various spices. Among them, was the herb ‫ ,לט‬birthwort.

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3

A Big Piece of the Puzzle
By David Freilich, Editor-in-Chief, 12th Grade
When looking over the parsha, one thing jumps out at you. After the brothers came to Egypt to buy food, Yosef recognized them, but they didn't recognize Yosef. Then, once the brothers bought food, Yosef tells them to bring Binyamin the next time they come. They therefore bring Binyamin the next time, and at the end, when they were about to leave, Yosef tells his servant to "place my silver chalice at the top of the sack of the youngest [Binyamin]…" Why would he have done this? Several commentators say that the whole point was that Yosef was testing the brothers, and watching their reaction to the distress of Binyamin. If they tried to protect Binyamin, it would show that they truly repented for their selling of Yosef. But this answer still seems a little weak. Yosef is called a tzaddik, and here he is causing his brothers tremendous grief at the horrendous thought that they would return home to Yaakov and not have Binyamin. A tzaddik should definitely try to avoid causing harm and grief to anything, whether animal and human, and therefore should be horrified at the thought of causing pain for sure his family. And even if this was really Yosef's intention, how is this test conclusive whatsoever? They had promised to bring Binyamin home to Yaakov, and maybe that would be why they defended him. In addition, he is causing his own father Yaakov much pain, as he has been worrying about the possible loss of yet another son. So what then was Yosef's reason for doing it? There is a very unique aspect of Yosef's relationship with the Shvatim. The Shem Mishmuel explains that Yosef was the reason the Shvatim were able to succeed in their designated roles. This is why after the Shvatim sold Yosef, Yehudah was no longer able to be king, as the brothers were only able to succeed with the influence of Yosef. With time, Binyamin took on Yosef's role, and allowed them to return. In the time between when Yosef and Binyamin took over, the Shvatim realized that they couldn't achieve what was necessary, but they didn't recognize why. If they had known about this, they would never have mistreated Yosef at all.
(Rabbi Weberman—Continued from page 1)

The Shem Mishmuel brings another example of something like this. This is like the relationship between the other Nevi'im of the time and Eliyahu. When Eliyahu was about to die, the other prophets came over to Elisha and told him "Do you know that today God will take away your master from your head?" The reason they said ‘Your master,’ was that they thought they were equal. Yet later, when Eliyahu was brought up to heaven, the same people came over to Elisha and asked him "Perhaps the spirit of God has lifted him up and sent him to one of the mountains or to one of the valleys…" Is it at all possible that one day they knew that Eliyahu would be taken by God, but the next day it is hidden? This shows that when Eliyahu was hidden away, the gift of ruach hakodesh was taken away from all of the Nevi'im, and was no longer so prevalent in Bnei Yisroel. While they knew their ruach hakodesh was lost, they did not know why this happened, because while Eliyahu was still with them, they thought they were his equals. The same applied by Yosef. While Yosef was with the brothers, they did not know that he was the reason and source for their success. They naturally assumed he was just like the rest of them, and when he was a threat, he was sold as a slave. Only after he was sold, did the brothers realize that there was some deficiency in them. The time had come for Yosef to show his true identity, and he wanted the reunion to be totally perfect, filled with unity and harmony. But the problem was that the brothers didn't realize that they needed Yosef to complete the family. They had Binyamin, who did the job for Yosef. If they had thought they didn't need Yosef, the reunion would have been pointless. Therefore, Yosef took Binyamin away, preventing him from influencing the brothers, and making them realize what happened. Only once they truly appreciated and realized this could Yosef reveal himself the brothers, as he was confident that they would understand that he was needed in order for the brothers to achieve their total perfection in their life's goals. Have a great Shabbos and a happy Chanukah!

On Chanukah we celebrate the perseverance of the values of Torah, which were not sullied by the humanistic values of the Greeks. The Greek’s philosophy emphasized competition, where individuals could only be happy through the defeat of others. The greatest example of this was the Greeks obsession with sports, and more specifically the Olympics. We, however, judge individuals based solely on their own efforts and accomplishments. For this reason when it comes to Chanukah, the celebration of the endurance of Torah values, we allow individuals to make brachos upon seeing others light. Through this we are showing that we are happy that our friend has something good and that we are joining in his celebration. Good Shabbos and Happy Chanukah!

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‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬

Pursue Your Dreams
Weekly insights by members of our Yeshiva Gedolah affiliate, Yeshivat Lev Hatorah Pure Faith
By Chaim Frankel, Member of Yeshivat Lev Hatorah
In the beginning of this week’s Parsha, ‫ יוסף‬is called into the palace to interpret ‫’פרעה‬s dream. However, before ‫ יוסף‬begins to interpret the dream he tells ‫ פרעה‬that Hashem will inform ‫פרעה‬ about his welfare, as he is incapable of interpreting dreams without Hashem. ‫ רש"י‬explains that ‫ יוסף‬meant that the ability to interpret was not his, he had no ‫ ,חכמה‬rather Hashem would help and send the message through ‫.יוסף‬ The ‫ ,שפתי חיים‬Rav Chaim Friedlander, explains that ‫יוסף‬ knew that interpreting this dream would put him in position to become part of ‫’פרעה‬s palace, since he knew ‫ פרעה‬would want him to be part of his counsel after seeing his brilliance. He knew that if put in this position he would be able to bring his family to Egypt during the famine and have them treated with great respect. Not only that, but taking credit for interpreting the dream would fulfill the words of his own dream, that his brothers would come and bow down to him. ‫ יוסף‬knew that taking credit for the dream’s interpretation would bring him all the advantages he could hope for. It would put him in position to be successful and to prove himself to his brothers. Despite all these seeming advantages ‫ יוסף‬accredited all the ability to ‫ .הק“בה‬He showed full and complete ‫ בטחון‬in Hashem. No matter how much taking credit for interpreting ‫’פרעה‬s dream would put him ahead of the game, he nonetheless knew that Hashem would take care of him no matter what. Had he taken credit ‫פרעה‬ would have rewarded him with great honor and wealth, but he knew that this might not be Hashem’s plan. He knew that if he adDreams are one of the most fascinating aspects of human life. It is truly amazing that we can experience such realistic and vivid dreams while in an unconscious state. However, most of the time we just forget about these thought provoking dreams without ever giving them second thoughts. What are dreams? Where do they come from? What do they mean? All these questions have a simple answer. Dreams are God’s way of communicating with us. In this week’s parsha, when Pharoh had his dreams and no one could interpret them for him, his wine officer told Pharoh how Yosef interpreted his own dream in prison. He said, “And it was that just as he interpreted for us so did it happen.” Everything happened exactly how Yosef said it would. From this, the gemara in Berachos learns out that dreams follow the mouth. This means that the interpretation of a dream depends upon the interpreter of the moment. Dreams only follow through if you speak about them, believe they are true, and act on them accordingly. On the other hand, if you forget your dreams they will slip away and never happen. The story of Chanukah was also a dream. Matisyahu spoke the words “Those of you, who are unto God, come with me.” These were the words of the dream that Matisyahu and his followers would stand up against the powerful Syrians and bring Torah back to all the Jews. Dreams are meant to be pursued, but they require our initiation and belief. Good Shabbos and happy Chanukah! Adapted from V'Shee-non-tom Vol III by Rabbi Elias Schwartz

By Marc Eichenbaum, 11th Grade

mitted that the power was not his own, rather it was bestowed in him by the Almighty, that Hashem would take care of him and he would be rewarded far more lucratively than the physical power and wealth he could get from ‫.פרעה‬ ‫ יוסף‬understood that regardless of how enticing the physical pleasures he stood to gain may have appeared, Hashem knew better. He trusted that Hashem would eventually give him what was most suited for him. Although the riches looked good, he trusted that Hashem would take care of him and eventually he would be able to attain everything that he could have possibly wanted or needed. Often times we are blinded, we think we know best, we see something we must have or we must do and we assume that Hashem will understand. ‫ יוסף‬KNEW that all the riches in the world would come from taking credit for the interpretation, and he was still able to put Hashem first, because he knew that everything is from Hashem and that He would take care of him. We could all take a page out of ‫’יוסף‬s book and always realize that Hashem will take care of us if we put Him ahead of what we think is best and He will take care of all of our needs. As an ‫( עניני דיומא‬seasonal theme), we can look at the ‫ נר חנוכה‬and realize all the miracles Hashem does for us. He has the ability to take anything out of its nature, the ability to take one days worth of oil and make it last for eight days. He can most certainly take care of us in the best way possible and provide for all of our needs in the way that He sees most appropriate and befitting for us. Have a great Shabbos and a happy Chanukah!

Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev

5

‫מאוצרות הרב‬
From the treasures of the Rav
The Rambam begins work of the blessing of thanks Hilchos Chanukah by telling (Bircas Hodaah) without going the story of the Macabbes vicinto all the details that are detory over their Greek oppresscribed in the Megillas Esther. sors and the Hellenizers among The Rav wanted to underthem, and how they entered the stand why the Rambam felt “Knowledge of the Mitzvah” temple sanctuary (Heichal) and compelled to recount the story found a single undisturbed jar of undefiled oil that burned for in the Mishneh Torah that is typically a book of laws. The 8 days. The Rav noted that when introducing Hilchos Megil- Rambam could have simply said something along the lines of: lah for example, the Rambam does not preface the laws with "the 8 days of Chanukah commence on the evening of the the story of the victory of Mordechai and Esther over Haman. 25th of Kislev. There is an obligation Mdivrei Sofrim to light Instead he begins with the laws concerning the reading of the and all that are obligated in reading the Megillah are obligated Megillah. Likewise, in Hilchos Chametz Umatzah, the Ram- in Chanukah". Apparently according to the Rambam, knowbam does not begin with the tale of the enslavement of the ing the story affects the fulfillment of the Mitzvah. If one Jews in Egypt or their redemption but instead he dives di- lights the candles, without knowing the reason for lighting, rectly into the laws of Pesach. In fact, Hilchos Chanukah pre- something is lacking. Even though we hold that Mitzvos do sents the only time that the Rambam introduces a body of not require Kavanah (specific intention), however they do laws with a historical story. Why? require Yediah (some knowledge as to what is taking place). One straightforward answer is that while Purim has Me- This Yediah is required on Chanukah, because Pirsumai Nisa gillas Esther and Pesach has the first chapters of Sefer is the main theme. Without knowing about the miracle that Shemos that describe the exodus and are part of Kisvei Hako- happened it is impossible to publicize the miracle and to offer desh, Chanukah does not have a sacred book that describes its thanks to Hashem for it. miracles. The miracle of Chanukah is described in Torah SheThe Rama says that the proper order for performing the bal Peh, and since the Rambam's Mishneh Torah was an ex- kindling of the candles is to recite all the blessings (3 on the tension of Torah Shbeal Peh, he presumably felt more com- first night, 2 on the subsequent nights) prior to the act of pelled to introduce the laws with the story. lighting. The Masechet Sofrim states that first one should reIt is clear that the Rambam based his description of the cite the first blessing, light the candles, recite Haneiros Hastory on the Al Hanisim that we recite in our Tefilos and Bir- lalu, then recite the final 2 (1) blessing(s). In fact the cas Hamazon on Chanukah. One proof of this is the way the Masechet Sofrim is our source for the Hanerios Halalu that Rambam describes the entry of the victors into the Heichal we recite. The MS is of the opinion that the Mitzvah Lhadlik, (Sanctuary). The Gemara in Shabbos mentions that the the obligation to light, is the technical Mitzvah that requires Greeks and Hellenizers placed an idol in the Heichal, but it an act of lighting the candles. However, Chanukah requires does not mention that the victors entered. How did the Ram- Pirsumai Nisa. In fact the second blessing of Sheasah Nisim bam know that they entered the Heichal? Perhaps they en- refers specifically to the Pirsumai Nisa which is a Kiyum tered the courtyard? However the Al Hanisim states that they Blev (an internal feeling of fulfillment). In order to fulfill the entered the Heichal (Bau Banecha Ldvir Beisecha Uphinu Es Kiyum Blev, you must first recite what the candles represent Heichalecha). The Rambam also says that the goal of their and why we are lighting them. Only then can you recite the enemies was to remove Torah from the people, which is also blessing of Sheasah Nisim. mentioned in the Al Hanisim (Lhashkicham The Rambam began Hilchos Chanukah with the story of Torasecha Ulhaviram Mchukei Retzonecha). the victory because of the role it plays in the fulfillment of the There is a difference between the Al Hanisim of Mitzvah of Chanukah. In order to fulfill the Pirsumai Nisa Chanukah and the Al Hanisim of Purim. The Al aspect, you have to know the story the candles represent. Hanisim of Chanukah tells the complete story of the victory while the Al Hanisim for Weekly D'vrei Torah on the Parsha Purim summarizes the events in the framefrom the Shiurim of HaRav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik

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‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬

Ner Chanukah—Beyond Normal Measurements By Avi Margulies, 11th Grade
We all know the famous halacha that if something assur, like pig, falls into something mutar, like chulent, the mixture is not automatically considered treif. If the ratio of mutar to assur is 60:1, the entire mixture remains kosher. If there is less than a 60:1 ratio, the entire cholent becomes not kosher. This 60:1 ratio is known in halacha as bittul b’shishim. Based on this halacha, the Shulchan Aruch in Yoreh De’ah (99:5) states a very interesting principle known Ein Mevatlin Issur L’chatchila. This means we can’t intentionally do an action that would bring about the need for bittul b’shishim. Therefore, both of the following acts would be problematic: 1) One purposely putting pig into one’s cholent with the knowledge that the pig will be less than 1/60 of the cholent. 2) If 1 ounce of pig accidentally falls into your 30 ounces of cholent, purposely adding another 30 ounces of cholent to the pot. This prohibition of Ein Mevatlin Issur L’chatchila is brought down in Yoreh De’ah 99:5. However in Yoreh De’ah 99:6 the Shulchan Aruch makes an exception. That which we said so far only applies to an Issur D’oraisa such as pig. By Issur D’rabbanan however, we are less strict. Our first intentional act of “Ein Mevatlin” would apply to Issurei D’rabbanan as well. Therefore, although a mixture of chicken and cheese is only rabbinically prohibited, one could not intentionally drop some cheese into the chicken soup, despite having a 60:1 ratio. On the other hand, the Shulchan Aruch says that the second intentional act of “Ein Mevatlin” does not apply to Issurei D’rabbanan. Therefore, if 1 ounce of cheese fell into 30 ounces of chicken soup, one could intentionally add another 30 ounces of chicken soup in order to negate the cheese, and this would not violate “Ein Mevatlin Issur l’chatchila.” (The Rama happens to disagree with this leniency by Issurei D’rabbanan, but this article will focus on the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch). So what does this have to do with Chanukah? We all know that the oil from the Chanukah candles is prohibited to use for other purposes like cooking, due its status of being set aside for the Mitzva of the Chanukah candles. What happens if one ounce of oil from the menorah accidentally spills into the frying pan of oil (which contains 30 ounces of cooking oil) that one is preparing to use to fry his latkes? At first glance, one would think that although you only have 30 times the amount of the forbidden oil, because Chanukah is only a Rabbinical holiday, therefore we should be able to intentionally add another 30 ounces of cooking oil and continue making our latkes. Unfortunately, things are not so simple. In Hilchos Chanukah, at the end of 677:4, the Shulchan Aruch says that you cannot intentionally add 30 ounces to be mevatel the oil from the Menorah. This seems to be an obvious contradiction, as Chanukah is a Rabbinically commandment and the Shulchan Aruch allows adding mutar ingredients to the mixture to reach a ratio of 60:1 by issurei D’rabanan Two answers are offered to resolve the contradiction: 1) The Magen Avraham explains that there is a concept known as Davar Sheyesh Lo Matirin. This means something that will eventually become mutar can never be batel – not in 60, not in 100, and not even with a ration of 1:1000. For example, if a chicken lays an egg on yom tov, that egg is muktzah on Yom Tov and therefore, prohibited to use until after Yom Tov (at which point it becomes completely mutar). If it got mixed with 1000 eggs on Yom Tov, it will still not be batel, because after yom tov, the mixture will become mutar automatically. Basically, we do not want to rely on bittul b’shishim when it will become mutar anyway, simply by waiting. So too, the oil mixture with the Chanukah oil is not assur forever! It will eventually become mutar again to use for lighting the menorah for next year’s Chanukah (as this was its designated purpose). Therefore, it cannot become mutar, even by adding mutar ingredients to reach 1:60 ratio. 2) The Shach offers another answer. He says, maybe we can differentiate between a regular case of issur d’rabbanan and the case by Ner Chanukah. By Chanukah we are extra strict because of the fact that the Chanukah oil is Huktza l’Mitzvaso - something set aside specifically for the purpose of a mitzvah. Therefore, we are very strict and don’t allow adding 30 ounces of regular oil for bittul b‘shishim, even though we would allow this by other issurei d’rabbanan. Based on the Shach’s answer we see a tremendous appreciation for our mitzvos. That which we set aside for holy activities has a special place in halacha. We can never ignore their presence nor attempt to negate them. As some of you may know, my gradfather, Menachem Mendel Ben Zev, passed away just a few weeks ago. He lived a tremendous life from the start to finish, whether it was escaping the Nazis when he was 11 years old, or living for 13 years with a cancer that the doctors said he would only be able to manage for 3-5 years. He was known as the 1% man. If there was even the slightest chance that he would survive or succeed in whatever he was doing, he would survive or succeed. He taught me many lessons throughout my life including one that the Shach hints too in the Shulchan Aruch. Our middos and the way we treat Hashem’s commandments, is extremely important. Hashem put us on this earth and specifically chose each
(Continued on page 7)

Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev

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The Message of Chanukah
By Yonatan Aivazi, 11th Grade

Hatred and its Consequences
By Yitzie Scheinman, 9th Grade
The Midrash relates that when the goblet was found in Binyamin’s sack, the shevatim pounced upon Binyamin, taunting him, “You are a thief just like your mother! You have brought disgrace upon us just like your mother disgraced our father by stealing Lavan’s idols!” According to another account of the Midrash, the shevatim even began beating Binyamin until he swore on Yakov’s life that he committed no crime. Two powerful lessons can be taken from this Midrash. One lesson is that even the holy shevatim were ready to instantly accept that their brother Binyamin was a thief. Why was this so? The Gemarah in Baba Basra 17a tells us that Binyamin was one of the four extremely righteous ones who never sinned, and he only died because it had been decreed so as a result of Adam HaRishon’s sin. Surely, then, he had never been guilty of any thievery before! However, the brothers looked at Binyamin and saw not a tzaddik, but a brother of Yosef. Their hatred for Yosef blinded them to the fact that Binyamin surely had not stolen the goblet. If even the shevatim could make such a mistake due to hatred, how much more so must each of us be on guard not to allow our dislike of people to blind us to their true character! A second lesson can be learned from the end of the Midrash, which details the reward Binyamin received for enduring those undeserved blows. Hashem paid Binyamin back for the blows upon his shoulders by declaring that the shechina would rest “between Binyamin’s shoulders” (Devarim 33:12). In other words, the Bais Hamikdash would be built in his portion of Eretz Yisrael. Therefore, the brothers lost their opportunity to be the hosts the shechina due to their unfounded accusation of Binyamin. This, too, should serve to caution a person never to be hasty in judgment of another, for the cost of making incorrect accusations may be high. Have a good Shabbos and an amazing Chanukah!

In this week’s parsha, when the brothers go down to Mitzraim to get food, they end up meeting Yosef. However the pasuk says that while Yosef recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. An obvious question that many mefarshim ask is how could the brothers not recognize Yosef? Although they hadn’t seen him for twenty years and Yosef now had a beard, his own brothers still should have recognized him? Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser answers that really the brothers did recognize him, or at the very least saw a similarity between this man and their missing brother. However the thing that stopped them from making a direct connection between this man and their missing brother was that this man before them was a powerful Egyptian leader and the brother that they lost was a religions Jew. The brothers refused to believe that their brother, who was Yaakov’s chavruta, could be this ruler before them, no matter how powerful the resemblance. In their minds it was impossible to remain religious and spiritual while holding a high and important job in this world. The story of Chanuka connects to this idea in the sense that the Hellenists thought that one cannot remain a Torah Jew to keep up with the world and survive. They thought that being a Jew was not needed and therefore they believed it was right to assimilate into the Greek world. However Yosef teaches us that we can be in the outside world; however, we must always remember to uphold and follow the Torahs laws because without that, we cannot survive. When we light the menorah, after coming home from a long day at school/work, we show that we continue to follow and believe in Hashem’s torah. Chag sameach and Shabbbat Shalom!! Adapted from “Something to Say”
(Avi Margulies—Continued from page 6)

one of us to be able to perform his mitzvos with a strong will to do the right thing. My grandfather took pride in his ability to always help another person no matter what it took. During the time of Soviet Jewry, when Jews were forbidden to leave Russia, my grandfather decided to take action. He contacted a German company that sold tools. My grandfather used to build awnings for people so he often needed new tools. He contacted this company and somehow was able to trade with them in order for the Germans to contact the Russians and free Jewish families to Israel. My grandfather never told anyone about this secret mission because if people found out, he might get in trouble. So he worked like this for a while, saving many Jewish families. That was his lifestyle, always giving to others and always saying thank you to anyone who helped him. The day before he passed away I went to visit him in the hospital with my father. He was very weak and barely able to speak or move. The nurse came in to take some tests on him. As she finished each test he would say thank you to the nurse. It was an unbelievable sight. Barely able to eat
(Continued on page 8)

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‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬

The Dual Victory of Chanukah
By Dani Scheinman 11th Grade

There are two distinct Mitzvos that we perform on Chanukah: the mitzvah of Hadlakas Neiros and the mitzvah of Krias Hallel. The reason Chazal instituted two Mitzvos is because we are celebrating two separate miracles that occurred. The miracle of the oil is commemorated by lighting Chanukah candles, whereas the victory of the battle against the Yeavnim is marked by reciting Hallel. Chazal tell us that we recite Hallel when we are saved through a miracle. As great as the miraculous events of the menorah in the Beis Hamikdash were, these events would not cause us to recite Hallel. Only the events of the battlefield should warrant the recitation of Hallel. Each day of Succos we complete the Hallel, whereas on Pesach we recite an abridged form on Chol Hamoed and the concluding days. Chazal in the Gemara in Taanis explain that this difference exists because the Yom Tovim of Succos and Pesach are fundamentally different. Each day of Succos is a separate Yom Tov, since the Korbanos that are offered each day differ from the previous day. On Pesach the identical korbanos are offered each day, therefore the entire week of Pesach is viewed as one Yom to. Therefore, once a complete Hallel is recited on the first day there is no need to repeat it on the rest of the days. Tosfos raises a difficulty with this explanation. Why do we recite full Hallel on all days of Chanukah; the same miracle of the oil burning is the one that we celebrate on all 8 days – complete Hallel on the first day should suffice? Tosfos answers this question by explaining that really the celebration of Chanukah is not one big miracle of the oil burning. In truth, each day is its own individual, renewed miracle. Since each day has its own miracle, each day we recite full Hallel. The solution of Tosafos seems difficult – as we already explained, the Mitzvah of reciting Hallel is to commemorate our victory on the battlefield. Why is the daily nature of the miracle of the oil relevant? Since we were only saved once, we should only recite full Hallel on the first day? Although it would appear that the two miracles of Chanukah are distinct from one another, Tosafos obviously viewed them as one. A deeper understanding of the battle between the Chashmonaim and the Yevanim will enable us to
(Avi Marguilies—Continued from page 7)

understand the relationship between the two miracles we celebrate on Chanukah. The battle between the Chashmonaim and the Yevanim was fought on two fronts. There was a physical battle fought between armies on a battlefield, and there was also a battle between two ways of life. The impure way of life personified by the Yevanim fought against the devotion of the Chashmonaim to the pure life of Torah. This dual battle is emphasized in Al Hanissim. We not only mention the victory of the few over the many, but also recognize the defeat of the impure and wicked at the hands of the pure and righteous. When the war ended, it was clear that the Chashmonaim were victorious on the battlefield. What was not clear, however, was who had won the spiritual battle; Torah or Yavan. Hashem therefore had to perform a second miracle to prove that the Chashmonaim had also won this battle. Chazal associate the light of the menorah with the light of Torah. If pure oil could burn for eight days amidst the destruction surrounding it, the pure light of Torah had emerged victorious from the darkness of Yavan. The miracle of the oil was not distinct from the miracle on the battlefield, but rather it was the completion of the physical struggle hat occurred. The Chashmonaim emerged victorious on the physical and spiritual battlefields. Lighting the menorah in the Beis Hamikdash was not just a mitzvah, but rather the victory in the spiritual war. Being saved in the war of spiritualism warrants reciting Hallel just as a physical deliverance does. Our reciting of Hallel on Chanukah celebrates both aspects of Chanukah. Although for the victory on the physical battlefield it would have sufficed to recite Hallel once, the spiritual victory was renewed each day of Chanukah, thereby requiring a new Hallel on each day. As we recite a new Hallel each day of Chanukah, let us focus on the victory of the renewal of Torah that is the true cause for our celebration. Have a great Shabbos and a Freilichin Chanukah! (Adapted from Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky)

or move or speak he somehow found the energy to show Hacaras Hatov to the nurse, to perform Hashem’s Mitzvos with the utmost respect, just the way Hashem wanted us to perform them. That is the message my grandfather left with me. When it comes to things we like to do we somehow come up with the energy to do it, therefore when it come to things Hashem commands us to do, we should surely be able to gather our energy and perform the mitzvos to the best of our ability. Have a good Shabbos and a Freilichen Chanukah!

Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev

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The Strength of Jews
By Dan Bamshad, 11th Grade

Is This Real or Just a Dream?
By David Beer, 11th Grade
In Pharaoh’s dream, he sees himself standing over the river. The passuk clearly states that Pharaoh was“‫ ”.על היאר‬But when Pharaoh relates his dream to Yosef, he describes himself as “‫ ”,על שפת היאר‬on the banks of the river. What is the significance of this discrepancy? Harav Yaakov Neiman gives the following analogy. In America, during the cold winters, the rivers and lakes freeze due to the subzero temperatures. When these rivers freeze they become rock solid. People can even drive over these frozen “highways.” Someone from a tropical climate won’t recognize that this “highway” is only ephemeral, so he will not think twice about building a house on this seemingly solid ground. If he does so, when the weather heats up, the ice will thaw and his house will be on water. This analogy can be applied to our situation. One who builds in this transient world is similar to one who builds on frozen water. When his time comes to leave this world, everything he has built will crumble and become evanescent. This world is only transitory, so whatever we invest in Olam Hazeh that lacks spiritual value, will dissipate with time. The Torah alludes to this in our Parsha. When Pharaoh slept, his dreams became confused with reality; he thought he was standing over the river. Everything is in his hands, he’s the boss. As soon as his “wake-up” call comes to prepare him to leave this world, he realizes that what he has is nothing more than a figment of his imagination. He has nothing! He is not over the river; rather, he barely touches the shore. In Mesilas Yeshurim, Rabbi Luzzatto quotes Chazal as saying “This world is like the shore and the World to Come like the sea..." (Koheleth Rabbah 1:36). When a man enters this world as a little infant, his hands are clenched as if to imply that he is poised to grab everything this world has to offer. When he leaves, his hands are wide open, demonstrating that this world contains nothing. He leaves this world emptyhanded. Only his deeds have enduring spiritual value. This lesson can be applied to Chanukah as well. The fundamental difference between the ideals of the Jews and Greeks was rooted in this. The Jews believe that the whole purpose of this world is to secure the means of acquiring a share in the next world. The Greeks are like Pharaoh in his dream. They are in charge. This is their paramount and apex. In their eyes, Judaism makes no sense. But this was their mistake. We must realize that materialism means nothing, because at the end of this temporary “hallway”, we reach the “palace” of Gan Eden. Have a great Shabbos and Chanuka.

Parshas Miketz begins with Yoseph being called up from prison to interpret Pharoah's dreams. The Parsha then says the story of his brothers coming down to Egypt and all the various tricks Yosef plays on them - keeping Shimon as a prisoner until they bring Binyamin with them, and then framing Binyamin for theft. The parsha ends with Yehuda stepping forward in Binyamin's defense. Next week’s parsha begins with Yehuda's impassioned cry which prompts Yosef to reveal himself. The haftorah for Miketz is the story of the wisdom of Shlomo Hamelech. However, it is never read, as Parshas Miketz always falls out on Chanukah, so we say the special Chanuka haftorah instead. There is a version of the Chanukah story based on the Book of Maccabees. The Greeks imposed all sorts of religious restrictions on the Jews. They took over the Temple and turned it into a temple for Zeus. Antiochus called a public meeting for all Jews, and required them to volunteer to make sacrifices to Zeus in the city of Modein. Matityahu watched with his sons as a Jew went up to the altar to offer a sacrifice. He became enraged, and ran to the altar, killed the Jew and the officer that guarded it. He then called for all those who would defend the Torah to follow him, starting the rebellion. In both the story of Chanuka and the story of Yoseph and his brothers, the implication is that when Jews are united they have tremendous strength. The brothers when talking to Yoseph were implying that they are not concerned with his threats. They were united and knew they could overcome anything he has in mind. In the story of Chanuka, Matityahu gathered a group to rebel, and they expressed their conviction that as long as they were together they could defeat the enemies they encountered. Shabbat Shalom and have a Happy Chanukah.

10 The Interpretation of a Dream
By Jeremy Bienenfeld, 10th Grade

‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬ Realism vs. Idealism
By Eli lonner, 11th grade

‫ְַ ִי ַבֹ ֶר ַתּפּ ֶם רוּחוֹ ִַשׁ ַח ִַק ָא ֶת ָל חרט ֵי מצרִם ְ ֶת ָל חכ ֶיה‬ ָ ‫ויּ ְ ל ויּ ְ ר א כּ ַ ְ ֻ מּ ִ ְ ַ י וא כּ ֲ ָ מ‬ ‫ויה ב ק ו ִ ָ ע‬ ‫ְַס ֵר פּ ְעה ל ֶם ֶת ֲלֹמוֹ ְ ֵין פּוֹ ֵר אוֹ ָם לפ ְעֹה‬ ‫ת ת ְ ַר‬ ‫וא‬ ‫וי ַ פּ ַ ר ָ ה א ח‬ “In the mourning he felt agitated, so he sent for and called all the sorcerers and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dream, but none could interpret them of Pharaoh.” Rashi comments that sorcerers did offer Pharaoh several interpretations of his dream, but he rejected them. For example one sorcerer predicted: “Seven daughters you will father, and seven daughters you will bury.” Pharaoh however, was not satisfied with this interpretation just as he was not satisfied with the others. The Dubno Maggid explained this with the following parable: There once was a king who wanted his son to gain wisdom and erudition. He therefore sent him to a far away land were he would receive guidance and instruction from the greatest scholars and sages in the world. The son spent several years under their tutelage until, one day, he sent a letter to his father requesting permission to return home. The king granted his permission, and some time later, his son returned to his native country. The king was overjoyed to see his son and, in his honor, arranged a lavish feast in witch he invited all of the kingdom’s noblemen. After becoming merry with wine, one of the king’s ministers decided to test the prince to find out whether he had truly grown wise in the faraway land. The minister placed a round ring in the palm of his hand. He then approached the prince and showed him his closed fist. “Tell me,” asked the minister, “what lies in the palm of my hand?” The son gazed at the minister’s hand and responded, “There is a round, hollow object in your hand.” “You are correct!” exclaimed the minister in amazement. “Perhaps you can tell me specifically which object it is I am holding?” “I’m afraid I cannot” replied the prince to the minister. ‘For a while the wisdom that I have been taught enables one to ascertain the shape of a concealed object.” So too, concluded the Dubno Maggid, was the case with Pharaoh’s sorcerers. While their sorcery gave them the ability to ascertain that that his dream was alluding to seven events that would transpire in the future, it did not enable them to discern exactly which events were going to transpire. They therefore simply guessed at what those seven events would be. As the verse tells us, none of their interpretations found favor in Pharaoh's eyes. Have a great Shabbos and a happy Chanukah. Adapted from "A Vort On the Parsha."

Throughout Jewish history there has been a struggle between idealism and realism. An idealist has dreams for the future and wants to improve the world in which we live. On the other hand, a realist is content with state of the world and finds no need for improvement. This struggle is apparent both in the story of Yosef that appears in this weeks parsha as well as in the story of Chanukah. What is it that the brothers found wrong with Yosef? Yosef never had hatred or bad intentions towards his brothers. In fact, he treated them like brothers in Mitzraim despite their hatred that was made obvious years earlier. Rather the real hatred was because Yosef was a dreamer. He was an idealist who wanted to become a ruler in order to spread the ideas of justice, equality, and morality. The brothers did not have great visions for the world, they were realists. They were fine with the ways of the world and they did not understand Yosef's ideas. In the end, Yosef prevailed as a result of this passion. He blazed a trail on the path of idealism for the Jewish people. This theme recurs in the events of Chanukah. Most of the Jews were realists and felt that there was no purpose to fight the Hellenists. They reasoned that it would be impossible to defeat the mighty armies, so they decided to comply with the Hellenists and save their lives. However, the Maccabees took the approach of idealism. They felt that if they could not serve Hashem then they did not deserve to be alive. The rest of the Jews saw the Maccabees as fanatic dreamers, much like the brothers viewed Yosef. Once more, the idealists were victorious. This struggle helps us understand many aspects of Jewish history. It helps explain why many of the prophets and leaders of the Jewish people had "unrealistic" dreams. As we see from the stories of Yosef and Chanukah, believing in reality alone causes society to become stagnant. Rather, idealism is necessary for society to progress on a productive path. Have a great Shabbos and a wonderful Chanukah. Adapted from a Dvar Torah in the name of Rabbi Bernard Klein

Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev

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By Daniel Stroh

The Message for Our Times

10th Grade

This week is Chanukah and it always is connected to the Parshas of Yosef in Mitzraim. At the end of each Parsha the Chumash includes a number of pesukim in the Parsha, but in Miketz it also says there are 2025 words. Why is this Parsha different and what does this signify? The gematria of Light “Ner” is 250, and we light for 8 days. So 250 x 8 = 2000 and we start lighting on the 25th of Kislev. So there are connection between Miketz, Yosef, and Chanukah. The Parsha we just read this past Shabbat says that Yosef was 17 years old when he was sold as a slave to Mitzraim – why is his age significant? The Torah doesn’t write anything that isn’t necessary. Our Rabbis say that a child should start learning Torah at the age of 3, so at 17 there were 14 years of Torah study after which he could start the descent to Galut Mitzraim. We have seen a similar 14 years of Torah study before. Rabbi Mansour quotes a chidush based on something the Belzer Rebbe and Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetsky said. We learned that Yaakov was perfect and learned Torah in the tents in the house of his father Yitzchak, and then he was sent to Lavan’s house. Rashi says that on the way he stopped off and learned at the Yeshiva of Shem V’Ever. Yaakov was 63 years old when he was sent away, and yet he felt the need to learn an extra 14 years (Shana Yud Daled?) at the Yeshiva of Shem V’Ever. Did you ever wonder why it was important to stop there and learn another 14 years at that particular Yeshiva after learning with Yitzchak Avinu, and it wasn’t just for a single shiur but took 14 years? The answer begins by remembering who these people were, Shem survived the Flood with his father Noach, so he saw a degenerate society that was so degenerate that Hashem decided to wipe out the whole generation, yet he was unscathed and survived. Ever lived in the generation of the Tower of Bavel, that was so degenerate and evil that they were split up and Hashem changed all of their languages. Both lived and survived defiant generations but were able to maintain Righteousness. Yaakov learned in Yitzchak’s Yeshiva how to live among Jews when living with Tzadikim. Now he had to learn how to

stay committed as a Jew in exile. That is the Torah that Yaakov needed to learn to survive in Lavan’s house, and it was this Torah that Yosef needed to learn in order to survive in Galut Mitzraim. That’s what Rashi means when he says Ben Zekunim – that Yaakov taught him the special Torah he learned from the Yeshiva of Shem V’Ever so that he would be ready for the long trip to Galut – that’s the same 14 years that he learned, and it was effective. The Torah says ‫ ְַ ִי כּ ַיּוֹם הֶה‬when Potiphar’s wife ‫ויה ְ ה ַ זּ‬ tried seducing Yosef to sin, at the moment of truth she grabs him by the shirt, when he runs and is framed. Rashi says that he saw an image of his father. He earns the title Tzadik from this story. When the Jews leave Egypt, the Gemara says as we say in Hallel ”‫“ ”,הָם ראָה ַָנֹס‬The sea ‫ַ יּ ָ ויּ‬ saw the coffin of Yosef and ran.” Vayanos is only written in the Torah regarding Yosef, that he left his garment just like the Vayanos it says when Yosef ran Vayanos. This was such a tremendous zechus that it lead to the splitting of the sea. This was a great spiritual accomplishment. She wore him down and he was resigned to the sin. But all of a sudden appeared to him his father’s image and he ran. He remembered the 14 years of Torah for this moment. This story with Yosef ends at the end of Vayechi. After Yaakov dies, they say to Yosef that we are to you like slaves. Yosef answers, don’t be afraid, you had bad intentions, but Hashem made it for good in order to bring us to this day, and in order to be in this situation. The power to become a Tzadik and protect us from the dangers of Galut from the Torah of Yaakov Avinu from Shem V’Ever was proven on that day. Now let’s see another connection to Chanukah. Gemarah Sotah daf 36 says that Yosef saw an image of his father appear to him from the window “Chalon”. Why add from the Window? Our Rabbis tell us this is also an allusion to Chanukah. How many candles to we light on Chanukah = 36 (skipping the Shamash). Those are the inside letters of Chalon “Lamed Vav” = 36. And what are the outer letters Nun Chet = Ner of Chanukah. Because that is the Tikun of Chanukah – When the Jewish people
(Continued on page 12)

12
(Daniel Stroh—Continued from page 11)

‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬

tion is being separate like the oil, and some Sefarim even can’t control themselves, we pray to see the image of Ya- quote a rare custom to put a little water in with the oil to akov in the Window to remind us of the 36 candles and show that separation because that was the miracle. miracle of Ner Chanukah. That’s when the Chashmonaim Rabbi Mansour says the connection is even eviwould reconstruct the walls that Yosef built to avoid sin dent in our prayers on Chanuka that we say this week. and maintain Jewishness in Galut. Pay close attention here. In Al Hanisim Bimei Matisyahu The Baal Migale Amukot writes that during the it says “Ufurkan Kahayom Hazeh” – the redemption was Greek occupation the Jewish people got punished for the tantamount to Kahayom Hazeh. And remember where sin of the sale of Yosef that was aroused until the Mac- have heard that phrase “Kahayom Hazeh” before in the cabim fixed it. What happened in that generation? Ram- stories I quoted regarding Yosef. Therefore the tikun of ban says that most of the Jews at the time of Chanukah Yosef is in Chanukah. became Hellenists and Judaism was about to be lost if not It sounds so easy but it is so relevant to us today for the Chashmonaim, who fought to continue Torah once again. The Satan never gives up when he loses a study as we say in Al Hanissim Bimei Mayisyahu. The battle; he makes a test after the test to try to win the war. Greeks wanted to replace Torah with Hellenistic princiHow ironic is it that on Chanukah that represents Torah ples. And they came close. values winning over Hellenism, that there is no Jewish The numerical value of Yosef is 156, as is Antio- holiday as secularized today as Chanukah! The whole leschus also 156, Antiochus was the antithesis of Yosef. He son of Chanukah is how not to be like the Greeks and Heltried to do the opposite of Yosef. Yosef got Jews to stay lenists, and where did it go wrong? We make Olympics by themselves and not assimilate. Antiochus wasn’t contests called Maccabee games when the Chashmonaim against the Jewish people; he just wanted to assimilate fought the Hellenist who participated in Olympics! There them. Most of the Jews became Hellenists and wanted to is a Maccabee beer! Every goy asks if we get gifts each of enter Greek culture. They joined the Olympics. They the 8 days of Chanukah! There is no holiday more secudidn’t want to look different from the other athletes so larized than Chanukah. The vast majority of Jews in they stopped Bris Milah. They would bow to images of America are Hellenized and secularized. We have more Zeus and other Avodas Zarah on entering the Coliseum. that 6 million Jews in America. Close to 5.5 million are And they even curled their hair like the Greeks (reference Conservative, Reform, modernized, non-affiliated, secuto Yosef as well). Ramban says Maasei Avot Siman La- larized, or Americanized. And even among the 500,000 banim. The Jews were oppressed by the Egyptians, and that check off Orthodox, how many learn Torah every day despite 2 centuries there was no intermarriage or assimila- and are not affiliated with an orthodox shul by paying tion between Jews and Egyptians except for 1 case of dues? Shulamith bat Divri. Except for that 1 case they avoided We are the Matisyahu in this generation. Our rethis trap. And they got this zchus from Yosef Hatzadik. sponsibility is for preservation of the Torah. May we be Once the Jewish people left the ideals of Yosef to like the small pach shemen with the seal of the kohen become Hellenists and assimilate they aroused the sin of gadol, a small area of purity amongst a world full of conYosef. He went to insulate us in Mitzraim from assimila- tamination. Chanukah is the time for us to redouble our tion, and now that the Jew doesn’t keep their distance and efforts to study Torah. As Rabbi Gifter said its not values it’s as if the sale was no longer justified and we enough to be an Orthodox Jew, we need to be Torah Jews were being punished until the Chashmonaim and Chanu- as well. Those are the ideals that made Yosef HaTzadik, kah story. There is even a hint in the strange law they and those are the ideals that will save us. Chanukah is the wanted Jews to write on the horn of an Ox that they had time that we are able to overcome assimilation. We need no share in the Hashem of Israel. In the Berachos of Yaa- miracles in this time as well as what we had that time. kov, Yosef is called Bechor Shoro. They were trying to Just like Yaakov and Yosef we need to study Torah, and especially the Torah of Shem V’Ever more than ever today defeat the ways of Yosef. to survive living in Galut. May we have the zchus to be The Chashmonaim rise up and save the day and victorious, may we see the “window” to remind us of our fight the Roman empire. The majority of Jews were gone. teachings if we are ever in “trouble”, may we learn the We celebrate the Miracle of oil. The midrash in Tezaveh lessons of Yosef and Chanukah and keep them dear to us says the reason oil is special is because all beverages mix to help us survive until Moshiach comes. with each other except for oil – oil rises to the top. So too the Jewish people don’t mix with the goyim. That’s why Good Shabbos and Happy Chanukah. the Greeks tried to contaminate all of the oil. Our salva-

Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev

13

Public Unity
By Aaron Joseph, 11th Grade

The Rambam introduces Hilchot Chanukah with a summary of the historical events that led to the miracle. He expands on the account found in Masechet Shabbat 21B describing both the spiritual and physical threats to the Jewish people from the Greeks and the victory of the Chashmonaim who then maintained Jewish sovereignty for over two hundred years. No other holiday has a similar introduction. The simple explanation is that Chanukah is the only Jewish holiday that originates after the period of Tanach. It is however likely that knowledge of the entire story is an integral component of pirsumei nisa (spreading the miracle). Supporting this approach is the fact that women are obligated in the mitzvah of lighting Chanukah candles because they are included in the miracle. Although women did not light the menorah in the Temple, they were part of the full story--the danger and the victory. In this context, what the Rambam omits from his account has significance. The struggle was not only against an external enemy. While fighting off the Greeks, there was an internal conflict against Jews who had adopted the lifestyle of the Greeks. Other sources indicate that the Chashmonaim were a minority within the Jewish people. Surely pirsumei nisa should require an accurate retelling of the full historical background of the miracle. The answer can be found in the Rambam, at the conclusion of Hilchot Chanukah (4: 12-14). The mitzvah of the Chanukah candle is described as exceedingly precious; a poor man has to sell his coat to purchase candles. Lighting candles has precedence over Kiddush because the Chanukah lights express the remembrance of the miracle. Yet the Rambam concludes that if a choice has to be made, the Shabbat candles are to be chosen over the Chanukah candles because shalom bayit (family harmony) is more important than pirsumei nisa. Apparently, what is true for the family unit is equally applicable to the Jewish people. Those Jews who were attracted by Greek culture or who were not strong enough to overcome the pressure from the surrounding society can be seen as additional enemies. Alternately, they may be viewed as early victims of the cultural, religious, and physical war.

From the perspective of Jewish history, maintaining harmony within the Jewish people is more basic than fully describing the miracle. This adds an additional perspective to Chanukah. Lighting Chanukah candles is unique in that it is general practice to fulfill mehadrin min hamehadrin, the highest level of observance of the mitzvah. We express symbolically the concept of maximal commitment. The heroes of the Chanukah story were people who did not compromise on principles and who risked their lives for Torah. The message of Jewish unity is not clear. It is implied by an obvious exclusion. On the surface the two messages are contradictory. Zealotry and tolerance normally do not mix. Balancing a total commitment to Torah and mitzvot with an inclusive love of the Jewish people is difficult. Tolerance is usually associated with moderation, reflecting a lack of passion. Truth is absolute; adherents of false values are wrong. A deeper understanding of halakha, however, suggests that there may be more than one truth. Even the mehadrin min hamehadrin comes in different versions. Devotion to one’s truth does not exclude respecting others even though we are sure that they are wrong. If we examine the later history of the descendants of the Chashmonaim we find that their religious commitments were not fully maintained and they fought amongst themselves. Our tradition is that it was their lack of unity that led to their downfall. The Second Temple was destroyed because of sinat chinam (baseless hatred). We live in a time when observant Jews are a minority and assimilation to the external culture threatens Jewish survival. We are challenged to strengthen our core; we must demonstrate a fierce loyalty to Torah and mitzvot. The Chanukah candles remind us of the miracle and of the Jewish spiritual heroes who withstood external and internal pressures. That is the open message. The hidden one is to treat our fellow Jews as an integral part of one people and not see them as additional enemies. Good Shabbos and happy Chanukah.

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‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬

HALACHA

VÉÜÇxÜ

The Unique Nature of ‫ הידור מצוה‬as it Relates to ‫נר חנוכה‬ (Based on sources compiled by Rabbi Avi Lebowitz) By Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz
Introduction. In this week’s column we will veer from our fulfilled the ‫ מצוה‬itself. usual format. Instead of focusing on a purely halachic issue A second possible source that may shed light on this question with some attention paid to the lomdut behind the ‫ ,הלכה‬we is the comment of ‫ פרי חדש )סימן תרעב(. פרי חדש‬discusses a will focus on the lomdut of an issue and while paying some case where one has become confused as to which night of attention to how it affects the ‫ .הלכה‬This essay, unlike our ‫ חנוכה‬it was. As a result he has lit six candles on the seventh other essays, is not meant as a guide to a particular area of night of ‫ .חנוכה‬When the person realizes his mistake and ‫ .הלכה‬Rather, it is intended to enhance our appreciation of lights an extra candle the ‫ פרי חדש‬questions whether or not some of the underlying themes and ideas behind the ‫הלכה‬ the person should make a new ‫ ברכה‬when lighting the ‫ רבי עקיבה איגר‬was posed with a question of a person who had seventh candle. The ‫ פרי חדש‬concludes that one would already lit his first candle on the eighth night of ‫ ,חנוכה‬and certainly not recite a new ‫ ברכה‬because it is obvious that we prior to lighting the remaining seven candles, realized that do not recite ‫ ברכות‬on what amounts to only a ‫ .הידור מצוה‬To he had not yet made a ‫ .ברכה‬The question was whether or support this contention ‫ פרי חדש‬cites a comment of the not the person can still recite a ‫ ברכה‬at this point. Perhaps (‫ אורחות חיים )הו"ד בבית יוסף סימן תרעב‬who states that if one one can argue that the ‫ מצוה‬has already been completed and lit one too few candles and subsequently lights the last canthe chance for a ‫ ברכה‬has been lost. On the other hand, it dle, he need not make a new ‫ ברכה‬because when he made may be argued that so long as all of the candles have not the initial ‫ ברכה‬he probably intended to include all candles been kindled, there is still time to recite a ‫ .ברכה‬The that he would light that evening in the ‫ .ברכה‬The ‫אליה רבה‬ primary ‫ מצוה‬has been fulfilled, but maybe one can also (‫ )סוף סימן תרעב‬however, arrives at the exact opposite conclusion from the statement of the ‫ .אורחות חיים‬While it is recite a ‫ ברכה‬on a ‫. הידור מצוה‬ At first glance, ‫ ,רבי עקיבה איגר‬points out, it seems that one true that the ‫ אורחות חיים‬rules not to make a new ‫ ברכה‬when should certainly still be permitted to recite a ‫ .ברכה‬After all, lighting the last candle, he explains by stating ‫כי הברכה‬ the custom in most homes is to have each person light their ‫ ,שעשה בתחלה על חיוב כל הנרות עשאה‬that the ‫ ברכה‬he had own ‫ מנורה‬and recite their own ‫ ברכה‬on the kindling of the initially recited was meant to include all candles that he ‫ .מנורה‬This is the accepted practice even though the actual would light. The implication of the ‫ אורחות חיים‬is that if one ‫ מצוה של נר חנוכה‬only requires a single candle per did not have in mind that his ‫ ברכה‬should include more household. Perhaps one can deduce from our practice that candles than were in front of him at the time of his initial ‫ ברכות‬may be recited even on a ‫ הידור‬alone. ‫ ,רבי עקיבה איגר‬lighting, he would certainly recite a new ‫ ברכה‬even on the however, rejects this proof on the grounds that one may kindling of candles that are done purely for the purpose of only recite his own ‫ ברכה‬when lighting his own ‫ מנורה‬after ‫הידור מצוה‬ somebody else has already lit, because he has in mind that Can one recite a ‫ ברכה‬on a ‫ ?הידור‬What emerges from this he is not interested in fulfilling the mitzvah with the first discussion is that there is a dispute between the ‫ פרי חדש‬and person to light. If that is the case, his lighting of the ‫ מנורה‬is ‫ אליה רבה‬whether or not one may recite a ‫ ברכה‬on a ‫פרי‬ not merely a ‫ הידור‬but part of the ‫ עיקר המצוה‬itself. Indeed, ‫חדש .הידור מצוה‬maintains that a ‫ ברכה‬is never recited on a we find precedent for the idea of having specific intention ‫ ,הידור מצוה‬while ‫ אליה רבה‬rules that a ‫ ברכה‬may be recited not to fulfill the obligation of ‫ נר חנוכה‬with the first person on a ‫ .הידור מצוה‬Perhaps we may adduce support for the to light in the '‫ .מגן אברהם סימן תרעז ס"ק ט‬In addressing the ruling of the ‫ פרי חדש‬from a comment of the ‫ משנה ברורה‬in case of one who is traveling and is unable to light at home, (‫ שער הציון )תרעו:יד‬who cites that ‫‘מהרש"ל‬s ruling that when ‫ מגן אברהם‬suggests that the person light while on the road, one places his ‫ מנורה‬on the right side of the doorpost, the and recite ‫ ברכות‬on this lighting. The recitation of ‫ ברכות‬is candle furthest to the right should be kindled first. The permitted even though his wife has most likely lit for him ‫ מהרש"ל‬explains that since only the candle that is closest to already, because he has specific intention not to fulfill the the door serves as a fulfillment of the ‫( עיקר מצוה‬while the ‫ מצוה‬with the lighting of his wife. Thus we see that it is others only serve as a ‫ )הידור מצוה‬one should be careful to entirely possible that one is not permitted to make a ‫ ברכה‬recite his ‫ ברכה‬on the candle that will be used for the (Continued on page 15) on a ‫ ,הידור מצוה‬and may only do so when he has not yet

Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev

15

HALACHA

VÉÜÇxÜ

Continued

primary ‫ .מצוה‬Apparently there is great hesitation to allow the additional candles, as they are clearly only serving the one to recite a ‫ ברכה‬on a candle that only functions as a function of ‫ הידור מצוה‬but do not relate at all to the actual ‫הידור מצוה‬ fulfillment of the ‫( .מצוה‬This is clearly the view of ‫משנה‬ ‫’רבי עקיבה איגר‬s conclusion. Relating to his original question ‫ ).ברורה תרעב:ו‬On the other hand, one may view the concept of the permissibility of reciting a ‫ ברכה‬on the remaining of ‫ מהדרין‬relating to ‫ נר חנוכה‬as an additional and enhanced candles after the initial candles had been lit, ‫ רבי עקיבה איגר‬method of fulfilling the ‫ מצוה‬of ‫ .נר חנוכה‬If this is the case, concludes that a ‫ ברכה‬may be recited for a combination of there is no room to distinguish between the first and subsequent candles, as all are now part of the enhanced ‫קיום‬ three reasons: As we have noted the ‫ פרי חדש‬and ‫ אליה רבה‬debate whether or ‫ .המצוה בהידור‬This may be the view of the ‫ אליה רבה‬who not a ‫ ברכה‬may be recited on a ‫ .הידור מצוה‬It is possible that permits a ‫ ברכה‬to be recited on the additional candles, as each of the candles is part of the ‫ .קיום המצוה‬If this the ‫ אליה רבה‬is correct that a ‫ ברכה‬may be recited. Generally speaking, one may recite a ‫ ברכה‬on ‫ מצוות‬that last a understanding is correct we can more readily understand long period of time well after the ‫ מצוה‬begins, so long as why the ‫ הדור מצוה‬of ‫ נר חנוכה‬is so vastly different from the ‫ מצוה‬is still in action. For instance the ‫ הידור מצוה רא"ש )פסחים פ"ק‬by other ‫ .מצוות‬For instance, generally we assume ('‫ סימן ג‬rules that if one has not yet recited a ‫ ברכה‬on his ‫( הידור מצוה עד שליש‬one need only spend a third more than ‫ ציצית‬or ‫ תפילין‬he may still recite the ‫ ברכה‬so long as he is the actual cost of the ‫מצוה‬to facilitate the beautification of still wearing them. Indeed, the very formulation of a ‫ ברכה‬that ‫ .)מצוה‬Yet by ‫ נר חנוכה‬we spend many times the cost of with the letter "‫( "ל‬i.e. ‫ להתעטף בציצית, להניח תפילין, לישב‬the original ‫ מצוה‬to facilitate the ‫ .הידור‬This may be so (‫ בסוכה‬suggests that the ‫ מצוה‬in question extends for a because the ‫ הידור‬is an entirely different method of period of time. Since ‫ נר חנוכה‬should remain lit until fulfilling the actual ‫ .מצוה‬Furthermore, this may explain “people are no longer walking from the markets”, it too is a why ‫ נר חנוכה‬is the only ‫ מצוה‬that we receive specific ‫ מצוה‬that extends for a period of time, and its ‫ ברכה‬may be instructions on how to fulfill the ‫ .הידור‬By most ‫ ,מצוות‬we recited so long as the candles remain lit. In reality, ‫ רבי‬beautify the ‫ מצוה‬to the best of our understanding of what is ‫ עקיבה איגר‬points out, one may question the inclusion of ‫ נר‬most beautiful. This too, makes sense if we understand the ‫ חנוכה‬in this category on the basis of the ‫ הלכה‬that a ‫ הידור מצוה נר חנוכה‬of ‫ נר חנוכה‬as an entirely different method of that became extinguished even a moment after it was lit performing the .‫מצוה‬ does not have to be rekindled, strongly indicating that the Based on the idea that ‫ הידור מצוה‬of ‫ נר חנוכה‬differs ‫ מצוה‬is complete upon the initial kindling. Yet, considering fundamentally from ‫ הידור מצוה‬by all other ‫ ,מצוות‬Rav that the ‫ רא"ש‬included ‫ נר חנוכה‬in this category, we may Shach ‫ ,זצ"ל‬in his ‫ ספר אבי עזרי על הרמב"ם‬explains that any parallels drawn between ‫ הידור מצוה‬of ‫ נר חנוכה‬and ‫הידור‬ rely on this factor to permit the delayed ‫ברכה‬ ‫ מצוה‬of ‫ ברית מילה‬are faulty. The Brisker Rav ‫ ,זצ"ל‬in a well The ('‫ ש"ך )יו"ד סימן י"ט ס"ק ג‬cites a ‫ מחלוקת‬relating to one who has already performed a ‫ מצוה‬and completed it, but has known comment attempted to link the two. The Brisker not yet recited a ‫ .ברכה‬In the view of the ‫ ,רמב"ם‬once the Rav had suggested that the Rambam’s ruling that one not ‫ מצוה‬is complete it is too late to recite a ‫ .ברכה‬However, in go back to cut away pieces that beautify a ‫ ברית מילה‬once the view of the ‫ הגהות אשר"י‬one who neglected to recite a the ‫ מילה‬was completed indicates that the ‫רמב"ם‬ ‫ ברכה‬prior to performing a ‫ מצוה‬may do so after completing understands ‫ הידור מצוה‬to apply only while one is still the ‫ .מצוה‬While the ‫ ש"ך‬ultimately sides with the ‫ ,רמב"ם‬one involved in the ‫ מצוה‬itself. Once the involvement has can rely on the opinion of the ‫ הגהות אשר"י‬in conjunction stopped, there is no fulfillment of ‫ הידורמצוה‬on its own. with the two factors previously cited to allow a person to This is why the Rambam maintains that even as we light recite a ‫ ברכה‬on the remaining candles in his ‫ מנורה‬after he many candles for ‫ הידור מצוה‬on ‫ ,חנוכה‬the ‫ בעל הבית‬must has lit the first few candles. light all of the candles. If he were to stop and allow others Understanding the dispute between ‫ אליה רבה‬and ‫ .פרי חדש‬to light, the opportunity for ‫ הידור מצוה‬would have passed. Perhaps the very dispute relating to reciting ‫ ברכות‬on the The ‫ ,רמ"א‬on the other hand, rules that ‫ הידור מצוה‬may be additional candles (lit for the purpose of ‫ )הידור מצוה‬is fulfilled even after the ‫ מצוה‬has been completed. That is contingent on how we understand the concept of ‫ .הידור מצוה‬why the ‫ רמ"א‬recommends cutting away extra pieces to On one hand one may view the additional candles as an beautify a ‫ ברית מילה‬even after the ‫ מילה‬has been completed. addition to the original ‫ ,מצוה‬with the first candle This is also why the ‫ רמ"א‬writes that when fulfilling the maintaining its identity as the candle of the actual ‫ הידור מצוה ,מצוה‬of ‫ ,נר חנוכה‬each member of the household should distinct from the other candles. This may be the view of the light their own ‫ .מנורה‬However, in light of the uniqueness (Continued on page 16) ‫ פרי חדש‬who maintains that one may not recite a ‫ ברכה‬on

16

‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬

HALACHA

VÉÜÇxÜ

Continued

of ‫ הידור מצוה‬as it relates to ‫ ,נר חנוכה‬Rav Shach suggests that the candles would be equally forbidden to benefit from. any comparison with ‫ הידור מצוה‬of ‫ ברית מילה‬is completely Practically speaking, the (‫ משנה ברורה )תרעג:ז‬rules that one off base. may not use the light of even the remaining candles, indicatThe (‫ שערי תשובה )ריש תרעא‬rules that if one initially only lit ing that they are separate from the original candle. one candle because he did not have enough oil for more, but The (‫ רמ"א )תרעד:א‬rules that one should not light the ‫נרות חנוכה‬ he subsequently obtained more oil, he may not recite a new from the first candle because it is inappropriate to light the ‫ ברכה‬when lighting the additional candles. This is in “extra” candles from the candle that is being used for the apparent agreement with the ‫ .פרי חדש‬The ‫ .מצוה מגן אברהם‬The strong implication of this ‫ רמ"א‬is that there is a (‫ )תרנא:כה‬disagrees and rules that even in this case one may distinction to be made between the first candle and the rerecite a new ‫ ברכה‬on the additional candles, in apparent maining candles, similar to the assertion of the ‫ פרי חדש‬that agreement with the .‫אליה רבה‬ the ‫ הידו‬is merely an “addition” to the original .‫מצוה‬ The (‫ כתב סופר )שו"ת או"ח סימן קלג‬was asked whether the Conclusion. We have presented a simple ‫מחלוקת הפוסקים‬ prohibition to benefit from the ‫ נר חנוכה‬applies only to the relating to the recitation of a ‫ ברכה‬on a ‫ ,הידור מצוה‬and have first candle that is lit for the basic requirement or even for demonstrated how the underlying theme of that ‫ מחלוקת‬may the additional candles that are lit for the purpose of ‫ הידור‬reflect a fundamental dispute relating to our understanding ‫ .מצוה‬It seems that this question too hinges on the ‫ מחלוקת פרי‬of the entire idea of ‫ מהדרין‬as it relates to the ‫ מצוה‬of ‫.נר חנוכה‬ ‫ .חדש ואליה רבה‬If one were to view the additional candles as It should be evident to us that analysis of the words of our purely a ‫ הידור‬one may assume that it is permissible to ‫ חכמים‬often reveals a depth to their words that may have benefit from them. If, however, the idea of lighting many gone unnoticed with a cursory reading. candles as an enhanced method of fulfilling the ‫ ,מצוה‬all of
(Stories of Greatness—Continued from page 18)

only way to make them do that, said this advisor, was to oppress them. The next day the king issued a public proclamation stating that if the queen was not blessed with a child within in the next three months, all the Jews would be expelled from his kingdom. With all the neighboring countries closed to Jewish settlement, the poor Jews had nowhere to go. Their cries and prayers rose from every synagogue in the land. A call resounded through the heavens for a soul willing to descend into the spiritually desolate environment of the royal palace in order the save the Jews of that land. Finally, one very holy soul agreed to make the sacrifice. Shortly thereafter, the queen became pregnant and soon gave birth to a son. The king was overjoyed and showered the Jews of his realm with presents and favors. At the age of two, the child could already read and write, and when he was five years old he had surpassed all his teachers and learned all they had to teach. A master teacher -- a priest whose fame as a genius and scholar had spread far and wide -- was brought from afar to teach the prodigy. This new tutor was of a different caliber altogether. It seemed that he had mastered every form of wisdom in the world and his very presence radiated a thirst for knowledge. The young genius could not get enough of his new teacher. He became attached to him more than even to his own father the king. He spent every moment of the day and most of the night with him absorbing more and more wisdom and learning; and the more he absorbed the more he desired. But the priest demanded his times of privacy. He had an agreement with the king that for two hours of every day he would lock himself in his room and no one, not even the King himself,

was allowed to enter or disturb him in any way. It was on this condition that he accepted the task of teaching the prince. But the prince was curious. He could not tolerate the idea that his beloved master was withholding something from him. He had to know everything! One day, the young prince managed to hide himself in his teacher's room before the priest's daily two hours of seclusion. The priest entered the room, locked the door securely behind him, and searched the room thoroughly. Somehow he failed to discover the prince's hiding place and he proceeded in his strange daily ritual. First he removed all the crosses from the walls and from around his neck, and put them in a box outside his window. Then he took out a large white woolen shawl with strings at the corners, wrapped it completely around his head and body, and began weeping like a baby. Then he took out two small black boxes with long black straps attached to them, tied one to his left upper arm and the other above the middle of his forehead. After that he began to pray, swaying, singing and crying for over an hour. Finally, he took out a large Hebrew text and began reading from it in a sing-song voice, swaying back and forth all the time. Suddenly, he stopped and listened intently. The faint but unmistakable sound of another person in the room had caught his ear. The priest was terrified. He jumped from his chair, hurriedly removed the black boxes and shawl, stuffed them in a drawer, and began to search the room. It did not take long for him to discover his young pupil, who had been observing everything with rapt fascination. The priest begged the boy not to reveal what he saw. If the king found out he would certainly be beheaded. But the
(Continued on page 17)

Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev

17

The Meaning of the Candles
By Benny Aivazi, 10th Grade
The holiday of Chanukah is a very symbolic time. Much of what we do should not be taken at face value, as many lessons can be learned from them, even from what we may consider “extra” stringencies. One example of this is that we add a candle on each night – symbolizing that we must grow in our mitzvot every day, constantly improving. What was acceptable today should not be our standard for the next. We should be better every day and we must remember that there is always room for improvement. Another example is that we light the candles at night. Through this, we show that even when there is darkness outside, the light of the menorah and mitzvot still illuminate the world. It also shows that the Torah and mitzvoth help to “light” up our lives – even when there is darkness outside. We have to light the candles in a place where they are visible from the outside – so too, we should also not confine our Torah observance to ourselves, rather, we should spread this light to others as well. This idea of the light being spread is shown in the following story. On the Chanukah of 1989, Jeffrey B. lit his menorah in the American Consulate in Warsaw, where he was employed as a high-ranking official. He was about to meet one of Lech Walesa’s top assistants – Jan F. Jeffrey was born in a Christian home, although his mother was Jewish. When he was in college, he witnessed the lighting of a giant menorah by one of the Orthodox Jews on the campus. The rabbi, Rabbi Chaim Capland, was present, and when he saw Jeffrey watching the ceremony, he asked him if he was Jewish. After the rabbi explained that if he had a Jewish mother, he too was Jewish, Jeffrey went home to spend the holidays (not Chanukah) with his family. As they were eating, he asked his mother what Chanukah was about. Tears welled up in her eyes and she said that she didn’t know much about it, but
(Stories of Greatness—Continued from page 16)

she remembered that her father, also irreligious, used to light a menorah every year, and when he would light it, he would gather together all of his children and tell them to never forget their Jewish identity. Since his death, she said, she never really paid attention to Judaism. When Jeffrey returned to college, he attended classes given by Rabbi Capland, and little by little, he became observant and started to keep Torah and mitzvot. After university, he got a job in the State Department in the Eastern European division. Back in the American Consulate, Jeffrey lit the menorah, and a few minutes later, Jan F. walked in. Instantly, his face turned white and he began to feel faint. Jan was born during World War II, to rich Catholic parents. Until he was in his twenties, his parents kept a secret away from him – he had been adopted. However, his parents never told him who his real family was, and they kept this from him until they died. Jan tried to uncover his past through various means, such as government archives and orphanage records, but to no avail. Later, he joined Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement, and rose in prominence. However, he had a fuzzy memory of his early childhood, but he could not place its significance. When he saw the menorah, everything became clear. He connected his memory with the flames of the candles, and realized that he had been adopted from a Jewish family, which had probably perished during the war. He too, began to learn more about Judaism, and although not fully observant, he was aware of his roots. The Chanukah Menorah, and all of its details are not meant to be taken merely as a memory of the Jewish victory over the Greeks. They have far reaching affects, some we can see, but others, we might never know of. Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach 
For several years they learned Torah together, until the boy announced that he wanted to convert to Judaism. His desire became so strong that teacher and pupil made up a story about going to Rome to further their studies and instead escaped to another country where the boy converted and never returned to the palace again. "The prince became a great and famous sage," the Baal Shem Tov concluded his story, "living a life of saintliness and good deeds. When he passed on from this world and his soul ascended to the heavens, it was the most luminous soul that had returned from earth in many generations. Only one blemish dimmed its shinning perfection: the lingering effect of the fact that it had been conceived, borne, and fed for two years in the spiritually negative environment of the royal palace. All it lacked to attain the true heights of its glorious potential was for it to return to earth and be conceived, given birth to and weaned in the holy atmosphere of a righteous home. "When I saw the depth of your holy desire for a child, I know that you were worthy parents for this righteous soul."

prince's curiosity had been aroused. He swore that he would never tell anyone what he saw in the room, but only if the priest would explain what he had just done and teach him what it was all about. So the priest had no choice but to reveal that he was a Jew, doing was what Jews have been doing for thousands of years: praying and studying the Torah and fulfilling its commandments. He had been compelled to hide his faith during one of the many decrees of forced conversions that Jews were subjected to in those times; now he was forced to assume the guise of a alien religion on the pain of death. "You must teach me your ancient wisdom!" the prince insisted. "I knew that you were hiding something from me. In everything that you taught me, I always sensed that there was something more there, something deeper and truer, that you were withholding from me!" In vain did the "priest" plead that he would be subjecting them both to mortal danger. "If you refuse to teach me," the prince threatened, "I'll tell everyone what I saw in this room."

18

‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬

STORIES OF GREATNESS
TOLD OVER BY: YEHUDA ISAACS
This week's story is very special not only because its two stories (one in another) but it relates the power of great tzaddikim in our world. Have an amazing Shabbos! Some three hundred years ago, the name of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov spread throughout Europe as one who was willing to do anything, even perform miracles like Elijah and Moses, in order to help another, especially a fellow Jew. One evening a middle-aged couple came with a desperate request; they wanted a child. Despite their prayers, good deeds and various remedies and treatments, they had failed to conceive a child in all the years of their marriage. The Baal Shem Tov closed his eyes, put his face into his hands, lowered his head to the desk before him and his consciousness soared to the spiritual realms. Minutes later he sat upright, looked at them sadly and said: "There is nothing I can do. Continue praying, continue your good deeds. May G-d have mercy. But it is beyond my ability to help you." The woman burst into bitter tears; her husband turned his face aside and wept silently, his body shaking. "No, no!" she cried. "I won't believe it. I will not accept no for answer. I know that when a tzaddik (righteous person) decrees, G-d must fulfill. I want a child!" Her cry pierced the walls and broke the holy master's heart. He lowered his head again for many long minutes then looked up and said: "Next year you will have a child." The couple was speechless. The man began trembling, took the BaalShem Tov's hand kissed it as his wife showered thanks and blessings. They backed out the door, bowing, weeping and praising G-d and His servant the holy Rabbi Israel. Sure enough, two months later the woman conceived, and nine months thereafter gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. The couple's joy increased day by day as the child grew. Their baby was beautiful! His eyes sparkled with life and his every smile filled their lives with warmth and happiness. At the age of one year, it was obvious he was something special; he was already walking and talking. As he approached the age of two they began looking for a tutor to begin teaching him Torah. They planned to take him to the Baal Shem Tov; they would show him what his blessing had brought. But on the morning of his second birthday the child didn't wake up. The neighbors came running when they heard the screams, but nothing could be done. As miraculously as the boy had come, so mysteriously and tragically had he departed this world. The funeral was enough to make the heavens cry. After the week of mourning they returned to the Baal Shem Tov to inform him of the tragedy. But the Baal Shem Tov understood better then they could possibly have imagined. "Your child," he said to the grieving parents, "contained a lofty soul which had made a huge sacrifice to save thousands of people. But this soul needed you to achieve its tikkun ('rectification') and become spiritually complete. That day, when you came to me, I looked into the heavens and saw that it was impossible for you to have children; but when I heard your cries and saw the depth of your pain, I realized that this special soul was destined to be yours for the short span of its return to physical life. Sit down, dear friends, I have a story to tell you." Several hundred years ago lived a king who was childless. He was rich and powerful, but he desperately desired a son to carry on the lineage. He ordered that all his subjects hold daily prayers in their houses of worship that G-d should grant their sovereign an heir. One of his advisors suggested that the reason the king was childless was because his Jewish subjects did not pray for him sincerely enough. The
(Continued on page 16)

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Editors in Chief David Freilich Yaakov Feldstein Associate Editors Judah Max Abittan Dani Scheinman Yitzie Scheinman layout editors Yechiel Auman rabbinic articles Adam Goldstein Avrumi Blisko student articles Andrew Mermelstein director of production Production Staff Nison Basalilov Jeremy Bienenfeld Benjamin Watman

‫/סופרים‬Authors
Benny Aivazi Yonatan Aivazi Ariel Bagley Dan Bamshad David Beer Marc Eichenbaum Jonathan Eidelstein Yered Elisha Ginsberg Yitzchak Ginsberg Shmuli Gutenmacher Yaakov Hawk Elisha Ishaal Aaron Joseph Yoni Kadish Barak Klammer Eli Lonner Avi Moisa Yonatan Mehlman Gavi Nelson Adi Pasternak Jonny Perlman Shmulie Reichman Shalom Rosenbaum Yigal Saperstein David Silber Alex Selesny Daniel Stroh Jesse Steinmetz Jeremy Teichman Benjamin Watman David Weitz Maggid of DRS Yehuda Isaacs Menahel Rabbi Y. Kaminetsky Faculty Advisors Rabbi E. Brazil Rabbi M. Erlbaum Rabbi A. Lebowitz

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