Shabbos in the Parashah
This week is Chanukah, the festival when we commemorate the Jewish People’s victory over the Syrian-Greek army and subsequently, the miracle of the oil in the Menorah burning for eight days. Regarding Chanukah, the Arizal (Shaar HaKavanos Derushei Chag Chanukah Derush 1) mentions that the blessing that we recite over the Chanukah lights ends with the words lihadlik ner Chanukah, to kindle the candle of Chanukah. The Arizal notes that the first letters of these three words spell the word nachal, which means a stream. It is noteworthy that the word nachal is equal in numerical value to the word Chanukah (88-89) and furthermore, in the form of at bash, the word nachal equals the word Chanukah. The Arizal explains on a kabbalist level the association of Chanukah to nachal, but perhaps there is also an explanation on basic level. The word nachal means stream, and amongst bodies of water, a stream is unique that it is constantly flowing. In Parashas Toldos we learn about the wells that Yitzchak dug. It is said (Bereishis 26:15) vechol habieiros asher chafru avdei aviv bimei Avraham aviv sitmum Pelishtim vayemalum afar, all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Avraham his father, the Philistines stopped up, and filled them with earth. One must wonder why the Torah states that the Philistines stopped up the wells and filled them with dirt. It is not sufficient to state that they filled the wells up with dirt? It is interesting to note that later on in history, the Philistines are once again stopping up, as we read regarding Shimshon (Shoftim 16:21) vayochazuhu Pelishtim vayinakru es einav, the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes. Why are the Philistines constantly stopping up and gouging out eyes? When one scrambles the letters of the word Pelishtim, we find the words Yefes Mosheil, Yefes (
Shabbos in the Zemiros
Ribbon kol HaOlamim
Published in 5401 (1641)
Melech ram vinisa, King Who is sublime and upraised. The Gemara (Megillah 31a) states that wherever you find HaShem’s greatness, there you find His humility. One proof that is offered is because it is said (Yeshaya 57:15) ki choh amar ram vinisa shochein ad vekadosh shemo marom vekadosh eshkon vies dakah ushefal ruach lihachyos ruach shefalim ulihachayos leiv nidkaim, for thus said the exalted and uplifted One, Who abides forever and Whose Name is holy: I abide in exaltedness and holiness, but I am with the despondent and lowly of spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the despondent. Hashem is simultaneously exalted and humble. A human being certainly cannot exist in such a state of mind. We can either be arrogant or humble. It behooves us to choose humility, as HaShem, with all His greatness, still prefers humility.
Shabbos in Tefillah
Umeiir liolam kulo uliyoshvav bimidas harachamim, Who illuminates the entire world and its inhabitants, which He created with the attribute of mercy. Rashi in the beginning of Bereishis quotes the Medrash that states that initially HaShem sought to cerate the world with the Attribute of Justice, and when He saw that the world could not exist on justice alone, HaShem added the Attribute of Mercy so that the world could exist. Yet, here we declare that HaShem created the world with mercy. In Sifsei Tzaddikim (Rimanov, Apt, and other great Chasidic masters) to Parashas Vayishlach, there is a revolutionary explanation towards understanding the words of Rashi. It is written there that Rashi is not referring to justice in the sense of punishment. Rather, the word Elokim denotes manhig and dayan, i.e. HaShem acts as the conductor of the world. HaShem initially sought to conduct the world with the Attribute of Mercy and with the Name of Elokim in order to benefit His creations. Hashem foresaw, however, that man could not exist if he was constantly cleaving to the Living G-d, because man is prone to sin. For this reason HaShem adjoined the Attribute of Mercy to the Attribute of Justice, so that the mercy could precede the justice. Thus, the world was initially supposed to function with the Name Elokim, because the world cannot exist without a conductor. Based on the words found in Sifsei Tzaddikim, we can suggest that the passage here means that once HaShem foresaw that the inhabitants would not be able to exist with the Name Elokim alone, He preceded Elokim with mercy.
The world renowned Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisroel Meir (HaKohen) Kagan (1838-1933), had a rebbe who was not nearly well known as he was. His rebbe was a saintly man from the town of
Shabbos in Navi
Yehoshua Chapter 14
In this chapter the Navi describes the request of Calev Ben Yefuneh to Yehoshua for the
The Gemara (Shabbos 20b) states that we light candles prior to the onset of Shabbos, and Rashi (Ibid 25b s.v. hadlakas ner biShabbos) writes that the reason for this lighting is that one should not stumble in the darkness. This explanation is difficult to understand, as in earlier times, once it became dark, one would have to light a candle every day of the week so there would be light in the house. Why is Shabbos unique that the Chachamim necessitated the lighting of candles? The Maharal (Ibid) writes that the function of light is to distinguish between various items. When one can distinguish between various items, this is deemed to be peace. For this reason the Shabbos lights are referred to as peace. Perhaps based on the words of the Maharal we can interpret the words of Rashi homiletically. When one distinguishes between what is permitted to do on Shabbos and what is forbidden, he has attained true peace. Lighting the Shabbos candles itself requires knowledge of the laws of Shabbos, such as the earliest time to light the candles on Friday and until what time of the day one can light candles. HaShem should allow us to see the light and merit observing the Holy Shabbos so that we will have peace in our lives.
Shabbos in Halacha
When one replaces the cover on a pot of hot food (kli rishon), if the cover was left off long enough to cool, it is preferable that one shake off any liquid from the cover prior to replacing the cover on the pot. Wee will learn that a ladle cannot be used at all unless the pot is first removed from the blech.
It is said regarding Shabbos (Shemos 31:17) beini uvein bnei Yisroel os hi liolam, between Me and the Children of Israel it is a sign forever. The word liolam can be broken down as follows: The lamed and lamed in mispar katan, digit sum, equals six, and this alludes to the six days of the week. The letters ayin and mem in mispar katan equal 11, and 1+1=2. This alludes to the onset of Shabbos when we light two candles for Shabbos, and this also alludes to the idea that on Shabbos everything is double.
I will not be delivering a class in Navi this Friday night
Have a wonderful and delightful Shabbos and a Freilechen Chanukah
Prepared by Rabbi Binyomin Adler.
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