Archives for January 2017
Mazal Tov to Fran & Jerry Gil on the engagement of their son Jason to Chelsey Rosen, daughter of Elkie & Lee Rosen of Woodbury, LI.
Mazl Tov to our former rabbinic intern, Rabbi Michael and Yael Bleicher, on the birth of their son, a little brother to big sisters Meira and Tamar. The Bleichers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mazal Tov to Karen Lewkowitz Miller & Monte Miller on the engagement of their son Jeremy to Jordanna Imershein.
פ’ וארא תשע”ז
Volume 17, Issue 2
INSIGHTS from the SEDRA
Insights from the Sedra is a project of the Scholar’s Kollel of Great Neck. It aims to provide several questions and answers about the Sedra, culled from various commentaries, including the following: Baal Haturim, Darash Moshe, Vedebarta Bam by Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky, Torah Treasures by Dov Furer, Wellsprings of Torah by Alexander Friedman, and Kol Dodi by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Great Torah Lights by Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Goodman, Something To Say by Dov Wasserman, The Vilna Gaon, and Growth Through Torah by Zelig Pliskin.
ולקחתי אתכם לי לעם
“And I will take you to Me for a nation.” (6:7)
Rav Tzvi Elimelech Shapira of Dinov tz”l explains the first letters of the wordsולקחתי אתכם לי לעם – “And I will take you to Me as a nation” – are the same letters as in the word אלול – the month during which we become close to Hashem through our prayers and repentance. This alludes to the promise that Hashem makes that if we do sincere teshuvah, He will indeed take us to Him as His chosen nation. (Torah Tavlin)
ונתתי אתה לכם מורשה
“And I shall give it to you as a heritage.” (6:8)
The Hebrew term מורשה, heritage, appears twice in the Torah. It is first mentioned in this verse, in reference to the Land of Israel, and later in Sefer Devraim 33:4, in connection with the giving of the Torah. The Torah that Moshe gave us is a heritage, as stated in the expressionמורשה קהילת יעקב, the heritage of the Congregation of Jacob. The term מורשה is used in two places to teach us that the heritage represented by the Land of Israel can remain ours only if we commit ourselves to keeping the mitzvot of Hashem. (Torah Gems)
הוא אהרן ומשה
“These are Aharon and Moshe…” (6:26)
Moshe was the transmitter of the Torah that he received from G-d. The “Moshe” aspect of our lives is thus the study of G-d’s Torah and the performance of His commandments. Aharon was the first High Priest. The “Aharon” aspect of our lives is thus prayer, for prayer reaches up to G-d as did the sacrifices that were offered up by the priests.
The Torah sometimes mentions Moshe before Aharon and sometimes mentions Aharon before Moshe. This teaches us that sometimes we need to first study the Torah to fulfill some commandment in order to properly relate to G-d in prayer. At other times, we might need to connect to G-d through prayer before studying the Torah or fulfilling its commandments, in order to study or act in selfless devotion to G-d. (Likutei Sichot)
לך אל פרעה בבקר הנה יצא המימה ונצבת לקראתו על שפת היאר
“Go to Pharaoh in the morning – behold! He goes out to the water and you shall stand opposite him at the river’s bank.” (7:15)
Hashem purposefully sent Moshe to Pharaoh at the river so that Pharaoh would see, with his own eyes, the water turn to blood. Pharaoh would realize that Hakadosh Baruch Hu, not he nor anyone else, controls the river. (Alshich)
ויאמר ה’ אל משה השכם בבקר והתיצב לפני פרעה
“And G-d said to Moshe, ‘Arise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh.’” (9:13)
The Ohr HaChaim points out that G-d commanded Moshe specifically to stand before Pharaoh for, as we have learned, Moshe was a man of great humility and would normally bow in greeting to all people. Therefore, G-d told him, “Do not show Pharaoh respect by bowing to him.”
Rabbi Moshe Bick used to say, “The Torah tells us to be an anav (humble person), but not a zanav (tail)!” We should be humble, but we should not debase ourselves to the point that we become like the tail of an animal. (Something to Say)
ויאמר ה’ אל משה בא אל פרעה
“Hashem said to Moshe, ‘Come to Pharaoh…’” (10:11)
The ten makkos consisted of three sets of three makkos plus makkat bechorot, for a total of ten. Pharaoh was forewarned of the first makkah of each set at the Nile River, and the second makkah of each set at the royal palace. Pharaoh proclaimed himself as master over the Nile, which was the source of agriculture for Mitzrayim. Once he realized that he was no longer in control of the waters, he still felt that he had complete jurisdiction over the palace, his kingdom. However, then he encountered the next and final makkah in the set, which accentuated his complete loss of power. (Rabbeinu Bechaye)
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