Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Ki Sisa

No Contest

By Rabbi Raymond Beyda

"When you take a census of the Children of Israel according to their numbers, every man shall give Hashem atonement for his soul...” (Shemot 30:12)

The census in the Wilderness was taken using a half shekel coin from each party to be counted. Rich and poor alike were called upon to contribute the exact same amount towards the construction of the Tabernacle. The status of Israel is elevated by giving charity and that is why they were counted by having the entire nation join in contributing to this Holy cause.

The word “Shall give” in the Holy tongue is “v-Natenu”. The Baal Haturim points out that this word is spelled the same backwards and forwards. He suggests that the Torah would like to stress that when one “gives” charity one also “gets” in return.

Our sages teach that the Evil Inclination puts extra effort in his wiles to prevent a Jew from giving charity and learning Torah. He realizes the value of these two misvot and so he does his best to deter one from doing these two great commandments.

There was an incident that took place in a town in Poland. One morning while people were busy going about their business two armed Polish policemen appeared marching two trembling Chassidic Jews down the middle of the town’s main thoroughfare.

“Where are you taking them”, one brave townsman inquired.

“To be killed tomorrow at noon – dog”, one policeman rudely barked back.

The town Rabbi approached to plead for their lives only to find that the gangsters demanded an unusually large ransom for their freedom.

Determined to save them the Rabbi started his drive to collect “Pidyon shevuyim” Ransom money for their freedom.

First he and his gabai approached a successful merchant who sold carpets. “We need at least 50 rubles from a man like you”, begged the Rabbi.

“50 Rubles?,” The merchant retorted, “At that rate you will never get what you need in time. I will give you 150 rubles. That is triple what you asked.” He smiled as he handed over the money he had hidden under the counter.

Next they approached the Fabric salesman. He two was asked for a large sum of money.

“That is not enough to fill your needs. You won’t save anyone at that rate. I’ll give double.”

The third stop was no less successful with the prospective donor giving more than what he was asked.

The Rabbi stopped on a bench to rest for a few moments and to prepare for the pressure of the task that still lay before him. Suddenly he asked his gabai to take him to the local Yeshivah. Once there he asked the Rosh Yeshivah if he could have 20 of his biggest and strongest students for an hour. When the Head of School agreed he commanded the boys to go to where the captives were being held and to beat not only the captors and the captives as well. After their initial refusal the reluctant warriors went to fight in the captor’s lair. After a few moments the captives and captors were cowering in fear begging the yeshiva boys to stop their onslaught. At the Rabbi’s behest they continued the beating. Then - to their surprise- the beards of the captives started to fall off! It was then that everyone realized that the whole thing was just a plot to extort money from caring Jews.

The word spread and the Rabbi was held in awe and praised as one with the Holy spirit – ruach HaKodesh!

“No – it is not true”, explained the wise man. “I don’t have any special powers. I saw that the people were giving easily and more than what we asked. I know that when it comes to charity – the Satan fights extra hard to stop one from doing the mitzvah. When I thought for a moment I understood that there could not possibly be such a great mitzvah at hand and so little resistance from the Evil Inclination.”

Shabbat Shalom.


Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.


 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Light Up Right
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

To Fergin or Forget
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Fourteen Sleepless Years
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Influences
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Chanukah Oil: A Real No-Know
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Chanukah: Lights, Camera, Action!
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5768

ArtScroll

'Mehadrin' - An Understanding of the Concept
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

A Celebration of Spiritual Victory
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

It Can Only Hurt Not to Ask
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

> Accompanying Angles
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Hashem Must Play The Role of Our First Love, Not Our Second Fiddle
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Perseverence
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Tzadik Does Not "Flee" He "Leaves" (With Dignity and Confidence)
Rav Frand - 5768

G-d Willing!
Shlomo Katz - 5762

How Extrordinary The Result
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5761

The Kedusha of Galus - Thinking in Parallel
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information