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Parshas Masei

Day of Compassion

Shabbos in the Parashah

The Gemara (Megillah 5b) states that when Tisha Baav once occurred on Shabbos, Rebbe sought to uproot the day of mourning, declaring that once Tisha Baav is deferred, it is deferred. The Chachamim, however, did not agree with Rebbe. The Koshnitzer Maggid (Parshas Masei) cites the Chozeh from Lublin who said that the explanation of this Gemara is that Rebbe desired to uproot entirely the distressed of Tisha Baav and subsequently to reveal the End of Days as Tisha Baav had occurred on the Holy Day of Shabbos. This is what Rebbe meant when he declared hoil viidchi idchi, once it has been deferred, it has been deferred. Yet, the Chachamim did not agree with Rebbe because one is prohibited from forcing the redemption to occur. The Koshnitzer Maggid, in a novel interpretation, suggests that the Gemara means that Rebbe sought to make Tisha Baav ikar, i.e. the essence, and to reveal the greatness of HaShem’s Kingship. Thus, although we are distressed because of the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash, we are strengthened and gladdened in the Holy Shabbos.

Furthermore, we are certain that HaShem will have compassion on us and gather in the exiles speedily in our days. HaShem has more joy on the day that Tisha Baav occurs on Shabbos than He does, so to speak, on the days when we rejoice because of the obvious good inherent within them. Thus, it was this essence and pleasure that Rebbe felt that he would be able to uproot entirely the day of Tisha Baav and to reveal the end of days. Nonetheless, the Chachamim did not agree with Rebbe. Based on the words of the Koshnitzer Maggid, we can explain a well-known verse that states (Tehillim 137:5-6) im eshkocheich Yerushalayim tishkach yemini tidbak lishoni lichiki im lo ezkireichi im lo aaleh es Yerushalayim al rosh simchasi, if I forget you O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill. Let me tongue adhere to my palate, if I fail to recall you, if I fail to elevate Jerusalem above my foremost joy. We compare Yerushalayim to our right hand, which cannot be forgotten.

Regarding Shabbos it is said (Shemos 20:8) zachor es yom haShabbos likadisho, remember the Shabbos day to sanctify it. We are required by the Torah to remember the Shabbos throughout the week. Shabbos is the essence of our lives. It is noteworthy that in Lecho Dodi we recite the words mikdash melech ir meluchah kumi tzii mitoch hahafeicha rav lach sheves bieimek habacha vihu yachmol alayich chemlah, O Sanctuary of the King, royal City - Arise and depart from amid the upheaval, Too long have you dwelled in the valley of weeping. He will shower compassion upon you. It is clear that we are comparing the arrival of Shabbos to the anticipated arrival of the Redemption. The Gemara (Shabbos 118b) states that were the Jewish People to observe two Shabbosos properly, they would be redeemed immediately. HaShem should allow us to recognize the essence of Shabbos in our lives and we will merit that the day of Tisha Baav will be uprooted forever and be transformed into a day of joy with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkienu, speedily, in our days.

Shabbos in the Zemiros Askinu Seudasa
Composed by the Arizal, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria
Nezamin la hashta bifsora chadata uvimnarta tavta dinahara al reishin, let us now invite the Shechinah with a newly-laid table And with a well- lit menorah that casts light on all heads. What does it mean that well- lit menorah casts lights on all heads? Perhaps the idea is that during the week we tend to be cloaked in darkness, as we are not prepared to bask in the Divine Presence. On Shabbos, however, when we have purified ourselves in preparation for this Holy Day, the well-lit menorah can cast light on our heads, as the splendor of Shabbos illuminates our beings.

Shabbos in Tefillah

Simicheim bitzeisam visasim bivoam osim bieimah ritzon konam, glad as they go forth and exultant as they return, they do with awe their Creator’s will. Why do we say that the heavenly bodies are glad as they go out and exultant as they return? The Malbim (Yeshaya 35:1) writes that Simcha is an internal joy and Sasson is the external manifestation of that joy. Thus, we can suggest that here we are declaring that the heavenly bodies go forth in a state of “internal” joy and when they return, their “joy” is externally reflected as they have accomplished their mission.

Shabbos Story

Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky writes: The story is told about the Toldos Aharon Rebbe. He was sitting at his table with one of his Chasidim. After a very long while, the sexton brought a bowl of beautiful fruit to the table. It was quite appealing and the Rebbe noticed the sparkle in the eye of the hungry patron. The Rebbe invited his disciple to make a blessing over the shiny crimson apple. The guest declared that such a beautiful fruit was worthy of a beautiful blessing and he resolved to make a blessing with all his heart one truly befitting this marvelous creation. The student stood up, held the apple in both his hands, and spent a few minutes contemplating the delicious fruit that Hashem had created.

His eyes sparkled in anticipation, which enthused him even more. Carefully he annunciated every word of the blessing. Swaying back and forth he began, “Boruch Atah, Blessed art Thou . . . “ After what must have been the most eloquent blessing the man ever recited, he bit excitedly into the delicious fruit, and after swallowing, he once again praised the beautiful taste and appearance. The man seemed to revel in his act of spirituality, and the Rebbe knew he had to explain something to him.

“You made a beautiful bracha my dear disciple,” he began. “Now I will teach you the difference between your blessing and the blessing of a complete tzaddik.”

“You saw the fruit. You wanted to eat it. But alas, one is not allowed to eat a fruit without a blessing over it. And so you made a most beautiful blessing. It is truly commendable. A complete tzaddik, however, does not have his mind set on fruit. He wants to bless Hashem for his beautiful handiwork. But alas, one is not allowed to make that blessing without partaking in the pleasure of His handiwork. And so he looks for a fruit. When he finds the fruit, he is now ready to make the blessing he had long waited to make.” [Reprinted with permission from torah.org]

The Admor Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Kopichnitz, zt”l was a peer of many of the Gedolim of the past century. He was close with Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, who lived in his neighborhood - the lower East Side. He also became close with Reb Yosef Shlomo Kahanamen when he traveled to America to raise funds for his Torah institutions in Eretz Yisrael.

This friendship eventually resulted in Rav Kahanamen matching up Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel’s granddaughter with the son of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt”l. When the Admor of Kopichnitz arrived in Eretz Yisrael to attend the wedding, he met Rav Shlomo Zalman for the first time, and developed a warm connection with him. After the wedding, when he was ready to return to America, the Admor went to Rav Shlomo Zalman to bid him farewell. When they heard a honk from outside, Rav Shlomo Zalman accompanied the Admor to the street. However, it turned out that it wasn't the car which was taking the Admor to the airport. Meanwhile, Rav Shlomo Zalman sent someone to bring a chair for the Admor, and urged him to sit. However, the Admor refused to sit down.

The Admor explained, “When I was young I once heard a wonderful yesod from my father, my teacher, the Admor Reb Yitzchak Meir of Kopichnitz. Before you take any action, imagine that a photographer is standing opposite you, and photographing your every move. Take out the pictures and examine them. If you’re satisfied with your appearance- you can carry out what you intended. If not -refrain!” “I carried out this cheshbon, and said to myself, ‘How will I be able to look at a picture of myself sitting, with Rav Shlomo Zalman standing next to me!” (Chaim Sheyash Bahem) [Reprinted with permission from revach.net]

Shabbos in Navi
Shmuel I Chapter 2

In this chapter we learn about the tragic punishment that HaShem imposed on Eli and his descendants who would all die young because of the misdeeds of Chafni and Pinchas, the two sons of Eli. It is mind-boggling that there could be Kohanim serving in the Mishkan and acting in such a sinful manner. Yet, were we to contemplate our own actions, we may discover that we are also guilty of such behavior. Every week we invite the Holy Shabbos into our homes, and we are required to respect the Shabbos with appropriate behavior. Yet, there are times when we will speak about matters on Shabbos that are forbidden or certainly not becoming of the spirit of Shabbos. Some people may even read literature on Shabbos that is forbidden on Shabbos and even forbidden during the week (See Orach Chaim 307:16). We have to realize that our homes are a bastion of holiness, and Shabbos is a time when we can enhance the holiness in our lives.

Shabbos in Agadah

The Gemara (Shabbos 119b) enumerates many reasons for the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash. One statement the Gemara makes is that Yerushalayim was destroyed because they desecrated the Shabbos, as it is said (Yechezkel 22:26) umiShabbsosai helimu eineihem vaeichal bisocham, they hid their eyes from My Shabbosos, and I became profaned among them. How does one hide his eyes from Shabbos? We always refer to the aura of Shabbos as the light of Shabbos. Thus, one who does not respect the Shabbos is in a sense hiding his eyes from the light of Shabbos. The way to rectify this sin is to open our eyes and allow the great light of Shabbos to permeate our homes. In the merit of allowing the light of Shabbos into our homes, we should merit the rebuilding of Yerushalayim and the Bais HaMikdash, with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkienu, speedily, in our days.

Shabbos in Halacha

Very often the need arises on Shabbos to remove a pot that is on a belch for the purpose of taking out food, and then afterward to replace the pot on the blech. On occasion it is also necessary to transfer hot food from one blech to another, i.e. taking the food to a different house within the eruv. These actions, referred to as chazarah, returning, resemble cooking and are thus only allowed under strict conditions.

Shabbos in Numbers and Words

In the past we have written that it is said regarding Shabbos (Shemos 31:16) vishamru vinei Yisroel es haShabbos laasos es haShabbos ledorosam bris olam, the Children of Israel shall observe the Shabbos, to make the Shabbos an eternal covenant for their generations. The first letters of the words laasos es HaShabbos equal in mispar katan, digit sum, 9, and the word Shabbos in mispar katan also equals 9. It is further noteworthy that that the first letters of the words vishamru vinei Yisroel in mispar katan equal 9. Additionally, the first letters of the words vinei Yisroel es haShabbos in mispar katan equal 9. The first letters of the words es haShabbos ledorosam in mispar katan also equal 9. Lastly, the first letters of the words bris olam in mispar katan also equal 9.


Text Copyright © 2008 by Binyomin Adler and Torah.org


 


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