Friday, June 12, 2009

Parsha Behalocha, Shelach Lecha, Parables

A Few Words about the first year of Marriage and mistakes in looking for a Shidduch
A young man was given a book called the “The First Year of Marriage” by Rabbi and Dr. Twersky Shlita. The psychologist not only tackles the problems of first marriages and wrong expectations but also second marriages and surprise upsets by children of one or both of the spouses. In the USA where things are more based on fairy tales and Hollywood romances it is not surprising that divorce rates reach 50 to 60% for first marriages compared with 2% a generation before mine.
The reason is over expectations of fantasy and not real people with daily compromises and adjustments to one another and the couple as a unit. I recommend it very highly for new couples and the Dr. recommends counseling for a second marriage even if everything appears right between the couple as aging parents, a sibling with a terrible disease, or children with needs can place an extra burden on the marriage before it takes off.
Of ten I ask people looking for on-line and not succeeding for a Shidduch to copy and paste their profile to me. Some people are not real about themselves.
For example a man 57 looking for a woman between the age of 25 and 30 – what does he think he is a Clint Eastwood? Or a woman at the age of 50 pretending to be 45 and looking for a man 45 to 53 – get honest. Or a woman 50 looking for a man 45 - 55 giving the right age – both these cases the first one is worst; the second is honest but not 100% realistic. My mother was 53 and she met a man who was 70 they lived happily together for 30 years and during the last couple months of his life had to be placed under care as he was too problematic for an 84 year old to handle. Older women don’t realize that it is rare that somebody their own age would want them but rather a man between 5 to 15 years older might be interested. Now combine a man or woman putting more physical requirements in the way. He must be over 180 cm = 6 feet or under 5 foot 8 or he must be an Olympic athlete or he must be a man who cooks, bakes, cleans, shops. She must be over 5 ft< /st1:metricconverter> 5 inches or 168 cm and she can have no physical defects whatsoever. She must keep the house like the clean room in a medical laboratory. She must rise at 4:30 AM and work until midnight, etc.
Dale Carnegie writes in his book basically if you want to sell yourself to others, you have to show them what you can do for them. The woman writes whether true that she cooks, irons, sews, knits, has a spic and span house, looking for a husband who likes to hug, likes photography, travel, hiking, has a good sense of humor, intelligent, has a good paying job, etc. – vs. the woman who just writes nice frum baalabatishe woman. Guess which woman if given the same age or height and perhaps religious philosophy to choose from – forgetting the physical picture for a minute whom would you choose. Or a man who writes I offer security, own a home, drive a Cadillac or Lincoln, love children, am active in sports, learn a Daf Yomi and Halacha Yomi, like to travel. Want to tour Europe, take cruises, want to give my wife the best dresses, and=2 0need a woman to be my companion, etc. vs. I’m a nice frum fellow who knows Gemara. Guess which one the women are going to go for. When looking for a Shidduch forget the “I” this and the “I” that and take about what you will get from me by dating and marrying me. But it must be honest because lying and cheating can lead to a quick divorce. It is hard enough for couples to bind into a family unit with the truth – lies can lead to a break up because if the personality is so deceptive that it will put mistrust into the forefront of the relationship.
Parsha Behaloscha and Shelach Lecha
This week, I am catching up to Eretz Yisrael. Our Parsha outside of Israel starts out with the light among the nations of the world emanating from the Temple or Mishkan and ends with a warning against Lashon Hara. The next Parsha continues with a worst Lashon Hara as the first was between two loving siblings about a younger brother. The second case is power brokers who are interested in their political status and thus spread false lies about a land that cannot defend itself verbally. The first was out of love and deserved punishment as Lashon Hara, the second was out of power and fear of losing it and other selfish interests. That fails miserable.
8: 1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Speak unto Aaron, and say unto him: When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the candlestick.' 3 And Aaron did so: he lighted the lamps thereof so as to give light in front of the candlestick, as the LORD commanded Moses. 4 And this was the work of the candlestick, beaten work of gold; unto the base thereof, and unto the flowers thereof, it was beaten work; according unto the pattern which the LORD had shown Moses, so he made the candlestick.
shall cast their light: The six on the six branches; the three eastern ones-that is their wicks-facing towards the center one, and likewise, the three western ones, the tops of their wicks facing toward the center one. Why [were the wicks facing inwards, thus giving off so little light]? So that [people] should not say that He [God] needs the light. — [Tanchuma Beha’alothecha 5]
Said Rebbe Yitzchak: One who wants to become wise should turn to the south [when praying], and one who wishes to become rich should turn to the north. Your sign for this is the Table was to the north, and the Menorah to the south. Said Rebbe Yehoshua ben Levi: One should always turn to the south, because through obtaining wisdom, he will obtain wealth. (Bava Basra 25b) This means if we are facing east, the left side of the Aron HaKadosh is for wealth and the right side is for wisdom. When I was young, I used to pray mainly on the right side but in FL I pray on the left side for leaving something for my grandchildren and my kollel to continue the Torah as is written “No flour no Torah, and without Torah there will be no flour.” * See parable below about charity.
Shemen Zayis (olive oil) is a symbol of wisdom and the extra-virgin olive oil used in the Temple for lighting is light for all mankind to the world for Torah. Thus the Menorah in the Temple represented wisdom for each day of the week generated 24/7 from the Beis HaMikdash.
5 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 6 'Take the Levites from among the children of Israel, and cleanse them.
In the same vein that the Mishkan and Cohanim had to be made ready and purified for the service of the L-RD so too the Leviim.

7 And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: sprinkle the water of purification upon them, and let them cause a razor to pass over all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and cleanse themselves.
Sprinkle0Athem with cleansing water: from the ashes of the red cow, so as to cleanse them from contamination by those who were in contact with the dead. and pass a razor over all their flesh: I found in the writings of R. Moses Hadarshan (the preacher): Since they [the Levites] were submitted in atonement for the firstborn who had practiced idolatry [when they worshipped the golden calf], which is called sacrifices to the dead-and one afflicted with Tzora’at is considered dead-they required shaving like those afflicted with Tzora’at. The whole process made sure that the Leviim were separated from the Bnei Yisrael in holiness.
8 Then let them take a young bullock, and its meal-offering, fine flour mingled with oil, and another young bullock shalt thou take for a sin-offering. 9 And thou shalt present the Levites before the tent of meeting; and thou shalt assemble the whole congregation of the children of Israel. 10 And thou shalt present the Levites before the LORD; and the children of Israel shall lay their hands upon the Levites. 11 And Aaron shall offer the Levites before the LORD for a wave-offering from the children of Israel, that they may be to do the service of the LORD. …
Being sinless after the offering was the culmination of the purification process which started with the mikvah, shaving and sacrifice.
9:15 And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, even the tent of the testimony; and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until morning.
the Mishkan which was a tent for the Testimony: The Mishkan served as a tent over the tablets of the Testimony. The cloud of glory defended the Bnei Yisrael from over-exposure to the sun, the effects of sunlight on their clothing20for 40 years and miraculously preserved their sandals for the long journey and wandering.
16 So it was always: the cloud covered it, and the appearance of fire by night. 17 And whenever the cloud was taken up from over the Tent, then after that the children of Israel journeyed; and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel encamped.
the cloud’s departure: הֵעָלוֹת. As the Targum renders, סְתַּלְּקוּת, departure. S imilarly,” the cloud departed” (verse 21). It would have been incorrect to write, וּלְפִי עֲלוֹת הֶעָנָן [and in verse 21] וְעָלָה הֶעָנָן, for that would not be an expression denoting ‘departure’ but sprouting forth or ascending, as in,” Behold a cloud, small as a man’s palm, rising (עֹלָה) from the sea” (I Kings 18:44). There have been those who suggested a volcanic cloud and fire but it makes little sense that it would last 40 years through out the travels in the wilderness. I suggest that it was more like the phenomena that Yechezkiel saw of light coming out of Shechina over the Aron HaKodesh between the two Keruvim (Cherubs).
18 At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the LORD they encamped: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they remained encamped.
This is Hashgacha before all with G-D directing the light. One as an outside observer would witness the Bnei Yisrael moving or staying in one place for a certain amount of time before the next movement. One can see this from 19 - 23
19 And when the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD, and journeyed not. 20 And sometimes the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle; according to the commandment of the LORD they remained encamped, and according to the commandment of the LORD they journeyed. 21 And sometimes the cloud was from evening until morning; and when the cloud was taken up in the morning, they journeyed; or if it continued by day and by night, when the cloud was taken up, they journeyed. 22 Whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, abiding thereon, the children of Israel remained encamped, and journeyed not; but when it was taken up, they journeyed. 23 At the commandment of the LORD they encamped, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed; they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses …
10:35 And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said: 'Rise up, O LORD, and let Thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate Thee flee before Thee.' 36 And when it rested, he said: 'Return, O LORD, unto the ten thousands of the families of Israel.'
The Parsha ends with this blessing which we use every time we open the Aron in the Synagogue.
Shelach Lecha
11:1 And the people were as murmurers, speaking evil in the ears of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and devoured in the uttermost part of the camp.
Last year I wrote: This was an unjustified murmuring against Moshe, Aaron and the Torah laws. It did come from delaying divorce cases for over four years, perversion of monetary justice or letting adulterous wives stay married because the husband had no pictures when he caught her or witnesses when he surprised her, her lover and himself so she could stay married until she wanted a divorce or death do they part or a Chillul HASHEM by Beis Din – no this was because the people were evil and did not want to follow the Torah not because the leaders were dense or corrupt. Rashi: They were seeking a pretext to turn away from the Omnipresent. Similarly, it says regarding Samson,” that he sought a pretext (Judges 14:4).
Like with most rebellions against G-D which in turn brings along the removal of the Shechina, delay of the coming of the Moshiach and perhaps speeding up war, famine, pestilence and poverty. These people got the wrath of HASHEM upon them instead of trying to observe and obey the DIVINE Laws.
2 And the people cried unto Moses; and Moses prayed unto the LORD, and the fire abated.
This fire is similar to the fires that abated after the Plague of Hail in Egypt where fire was mixed with hail.
3 And the name of that place was called Taberah, because the f ire of the LORD burnt among them. 4 And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting; and the children of Israel also wept on their part, and said: 'Would that we were given flesh to eat! 5 We remember the fish, which we were wont to eat in Egypt for nought; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic;
You bunch of darn fools instead of soaking in the Torah Learning without having to lift or lend a hand one started making trouble. They wanted a few vegetables like the nearly retuning fruit that are physical in nature. After you have finished the cucumbers and melons, you will not be satisfied with so few things. One should know that there are people wishing and praying for a speedy recovery.
6 but now our soul is dried away; there is nothing at all; we have nought save this manna to look to.'-- 7 Now the manna was like coriander seed, and the appearance thereof as the appearance of bdellium. 8 The people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in mortars, and seethed it in=2 0pots, and made cakes of it; and the taste of it was as the taste of a cake baked with oil. 9 And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.—
The people were bored. The same tasty food and the excess Torah learning. They yearned for being handed food and not having to answer with the responsibilities of a free man. This business about a blessing before and after, and other laws about drinking without getting drunk made them resent a lot of good. They could not adjust to the military training for all the Bnei Yisrael. Moshe had a to get some help from HASHEM YISBORACH.
10 And Moses heard the people weeping, family by family, every man at the door of his tent; and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; and Moses was displeased. 11 And Moses said unto the LORD: 'Wherefore hast Thou dealt ill with Thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favor in Thy sight, that Thou lay the burden of all this people upon me? 12 Have I conceived all this people? have I brought them forth, that Thou should say unto me: Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing-father carrieth the sucking child, unto the land which Thou didst swear unto their fathers? 13 Whenc e should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they trouble me with their weeping, saying: Give us flesh, that we may eat. 14 I am not able to bear all this people myself alone, because it is too heavy for me. 15 And if Thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray Thee, out of hand, if I have found favor in Thy sight; and let me not look upon my wretchedness.'
Moshe is so frustrated that he sort of wants to resign even though he knows that he is responsible and can’t.
The next section G-D provides Moshe with help of the Great Sanhedrin. Six people were chosen from each tribe. However that number would come to 72. They polled straws or in this case 72 pieces of paper or clay tablets two of which were blank and 70 with the word “Elder” on it. Eldad and Medad in their modesty so as not to affront the undeserving chose to exclude themselves. For this, they were granted the gift of prophecy and knew exactly what was going on in the Ohel Moed (tent of meeting) as if they were sitting and debating there.
16 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Gather unto Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people,
The people need not have been aged but those with knowledge and Yehus (family background) like the 18 year old Rabbi Eliezer ben Azaria who was made the head of the Sanhedrin after the rebellion against Rabban Gamliel for his over-authoritarian behavior.
and officers over them; and bring them unto the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with thee. 17 And I will come down and speak with thee there; and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. 18 And say thou unto the people: Sanctify yourselves against to-morrow, and ye shall eat flesh; for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying: Would that we were given flesh to eat! for it was well with us in Egypt; therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. 19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; 20 but a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you; because that ye have rejected the LORD who is among you, and have troubled Him with weeping, saying: Why, now, came we forth out of Egypt?' 21 And Moses said: 'The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand men on foot; and yet Thou hast said: I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month!
The vast amount of food needed to feed these people for one night with their great appetites would be like between half a chicken or more for everyman not counting the women and children. Assuming that these people were hungry enough to eat a pound of meat a piece multiply it by three with the women, elderly and children and you would be approaching 2,000,000 pounds a day or 30,000 tons a month! That is an amazing quantity for the desert to supply them with. I can’t figure out how many train cars or container trucks would be needed in a month a great number.
22 If flocks and herds be slain for them, will they suffice them? or if all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, will they suffice them?'
Moshe is stunned by the logistics involved and the unsatisfied appetite of these people and he being a leader in the desert: If sheep and cattle were slaughtered. This is one of the four cases in which R. Akiva expounded, and R. Simeon expounded differently. R. Akiva says, “Six hundred thousand people on foot, and You have said that I will give them meat, and they will eat it for a full month?”
23 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Is the LORD'S hand waxed short? now shalt thou see whether My word shall come to pass unto thee or not.' 24 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD; and he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the Tent.
A typical round table format so that each elder could view each other. Later during the days of trials in Yerushalayim, the elders gathered around in a semi-circle so that they could see the plaintiff and the defendant.
25 And the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and put it upon the seventy elders; and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, but they did so no more. 26 But there remained two men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad; and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were recorded, but had not gone out unto the Tent; and they prophesied in the camp. 27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said: 'Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.'
Note that by humbling themselves before G-D, their names got mentioned in the Parsha because they brought peace among the elders while the rest of the 70 remained anonymous.
28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the minister of Moses from his youth up, answered and said: 'My lord Moses, shut them in.' 29 And Moses said unto him: 'Art thou jealous for my sake? would that all the LORD'S people were prophets, that the LORD would put His spirit upon them!'
Like many Talmidim and Chassidim who honor their teachers or Rebbe more than all others, Yehoshua was jealous for Moshe’s sake. Moshe being humble and wanting all the help that he could get in prophecy was delighted to have the help.
30 And Moses withdrew into the camp, he and the elders of Israel. 31 And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought across quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, about a day's journey on this side, and a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and about two cubits above the face of the earth. 32 And the people rose up all that day, and all the night, and all the next day, and gathered the quails; he that gathered least gathered ten heaps; and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 33 While the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague. 34 And the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people that lusted. 35 From Kibroth-hattaavah the people journeyed unto Hazeroth; and they abode at Hazeroth.
< style="font-family: Arial; color: green;">I mentioned in the past that flying quails produce a chemical or enzyme combination in their wings can is poisonous to men after flight. The people were so hungry that many did not cook the birds but ate them raw immediately as they landed. The result was a quick death due to poisoning.
12:1 And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman. 2 And they said: 'Has the LORD indeed spoken only with Moses? hath He not spoken also with us?' And the LORD heard it.-- 3 Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men that were upon the face of the earth. 4 And the LORD spoke suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam: 'Come out ye three unto the tent of meeting.' And they three came out. 5 And the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the door of the Tent, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forth. 6 And He said: 'Hear now My words: if there be a prophet among you, I the LORD do make Myself known unto him in a vision, I do speak with him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses is not so; he is trusted in all My house; 8 with him do I speak mouth to mouth, even manifestly, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD doth he behold; wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against My servant, agai nst Moses?' 9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and He departed. 10 And when the cloud was removed from over the Tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow; and Aaron looked upon Miriam; and, behold, she was leprous. 11 And Aaron said unto Moses: 'Oh my lord, lay not, I pray thee, sin upon us, for that we have done foolishly, and for that we have sinned. 12 Let her not, I pray, be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb.' 13 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying: 'Heal her now, O God, I beseech Thee.' 14 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'If her father had but spit in her face, should she not hide in shame seven days? let her be shut up without the camp seven days, and after that she shall be brought in again.' 15 And Miriam was shut up without the camp seven days; and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again. 16 And afterward the people journeyed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.
This is private family loving Lashon Hara. Remember what happened to Miriam before you speak hatred Lashon Hara.
I wrote last year the following: Moshe did not consult HASHEM but t he people asked for spies to be sent to view the land. The original plan of HASHEM was for the Nation to march in and conquer the land. However, after Moshe liked the idea of the people, he sent out the spies. Sometimes HASHEM allows free will over anything else to teach us a lesson. Moshe and the people wanted to send out spies so G-D gave the OK retroactively and not for starters. The Chabad translation and their Rashi put the wording even better: Why is the section dealing with the spies juxtaposed with the section dealing with Miriam? Because she was punished over matters of slander, for speaking against her brother, and these wicked people witnessed [it], but did not learn their lesson. — [Midrash Tanchuma Shelach 5] Send for yourself. According to your own understanding. I am not commanding you, but if you wish, you may send. Since the Israelites had come [to Moses] and said, “Let us send men ahead of us,” as it says, “All of you approached me…” (Deut. 1:22), Moses took counsel with the Shechinah . He [God] said, “I told them that it is good, as it says, ‘I will bring you up from the affliction of Egypt…’ (Exod. 3:17). By their lives! Now I will give them the opportunity to err through the words of the spies , so that they will not inherit it.” - [Midrash Tanchuma 5]
13:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Send thou men, that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel; of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a prince among them.' 3 And Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran according to the commandment of the LORD; all of them men who were heads of the children of Israel. …
The spies had seen the miracles in Egypt and at the Crossing of the Sea and heard the voice of the L-RD on mount Sinai so that they should have had faith in the L-RD and not worried about giants and vast multitude but about the best route to conquer the land. Thus instead of doing just plain spying like how to get the fortified cities, their walls height, breath and population of the city, they began to observe that many people died. (This was to further disguise their purpose.) Instead they report Lashon Hara on a land “Eretz that gobbles up its inhabitants.”
16 These are the names of the men that Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun Joshua. 17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them: 'Get you up here into the South, and go up into the mountains; 18 and see the land, what it is; and the people that dwellsds therein, whether they are strong or weak, whether they are few or many; 19 and what the land is that they dwell in, whether it is good or bad; and what cities they are that they dwell in, whether in camps, or in strongholds; 20 and what the land is, whether it is fat or lean, whether there is wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land.'--Now the time was the time of the first-ripe grapes.—
All this was normal intelligence gathering. The 10 other spies were supposed to be able to check these items and that would suffice.
21 So they went up, and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehov, at the entrance to Hamat. 22 And they went up into the South, and came unto Hebron; and Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak,=2 0were there.--Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.-- 23 And they came unto the valley of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bore it upon a pole between two; they took also of the pomegranates, and of the figs.-- 24 That place was called the valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster which the children of Israel cut down from thence.
Gigantic pieces of fruit. This should have shown the people the blessing. Instead the Lashon Hara about things were controlled by giants in the land.
25 And they returned from spying out the land at the end of forty days. 26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 And they told him, and said: 'We came unto the land whither thou sent us, and surely it flows with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 28 Howbeit the people that dwell in the land are fierce, and the cities are fortified, and very great; and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 29 Amalek dwells in the land of the South; and=2 0the Hittite, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanite dwells by the sea, and along by the side of the Jordan.' 30 And Caleb stilled the people toward Moses, and said: 'We should go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.' 31 But the men that went up with him said: 'We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.' 32 And they spread an evil report of the land which they had spied out unto the children of Israel, saying: 'The land, through which we have passed to spy it out, is a land that eats up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.'
The enemy was taller and stronger in girth. This put panic into the hearts of these spies that had lost the fear of G-D and began fearing man.
14:1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.
The night of Tisha B’Av!
11 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'How long will this people despise Me? and how long will they not believe in Me, for all the signs which I have wrought among them? 12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and destroy them, and will make of thee a nation greater and mightier than they.'
This is another example of G-D becoming furious at Am Yisrael’s misbehavior.
Moshe began talking face to face with G-D to avoid the evil that HE planned for Am Yisrael. So Moshe prayed and the repentance prayer worked. …
19 Pardon, I pray Thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of Thy lovingkindness, and according as Thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.' 20 And the LORD said: 'I have pardoned according to thy word. 21 But in very deed, as I live--and all the earth shall be filled with the glor y of the LORD-- 22 surely all those men that have seen My glory, and My signs, which I wrought in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to proof these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice; 23 surely they shall not see the land which I swore unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that despised Me see it. 24 But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. 25 Now the Amalekite and the Canaanite dwell in the Vale; tomorrow turn ye, and get you into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.'
26 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: 27 'How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, that keep murmuring against Me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they keep murmuring against Me. 28 Say unto them: As I live, says the LORD, surely as ye have spoken in Mine ears, so will I do to you: 29 your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness, and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, ye that have murmured against Me; 30 surely ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I lifted up My hand that I would make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Yephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
The only spies that spoke the truth even if it would cost them their job in the future. The others liked their status quo in the desert. Now
43 For there the Amalekite and the Canaanite are before you, and ye shall fall by the sword; forasmuch as ye are turned back from following the LORD, and the LORD will not be with you.' 44 But they presumed to go up to the top of the mountain; nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. 45 Then the Amalekite and the Canaanite, who dwelt in that hill-country, came down, and smote them and beat them down, even unto Hormah.
After receiving a curse from HASHEM for their behavior, and now finally the internal affairs are finished. However, now they faced an external threat in the form of Amalek.
32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks upon the sabbath day. 33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto=2 0Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. 34 And they put him in ward, because it had not been declared what should be done to him. {S} 35 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.' 36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died, as the LORD commanded Moses.
This is an obvious violation of the Shabbos to show the people the public humiliation and punishment for somebody who violates Shabbos in this world. All the more so in the next world.
37 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 38 'Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them throughout their generations fringes in the corners of their garments, and that they put with the fringe of each corner a thread of blue. 39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye go not about after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go astray; 40 that ye may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy unto your God. 41 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of t he land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.'
My son Asher was about 4 years old when he said to me “Aba, you know that I can tell the real frum children from the externally religious children. The real ones are wearing Tzitzis and the not so religious ones without Tzitzis.” Therefore if a young child can see that all the more so the all-seeing Creator.
By What Right Israel? Written by Y. Rigler
Israeli ire over President Obama's historic address to the Arab and Muslim world in Cairo last Thursday centers more on what he didn't say than what he did.
At first hearing, Jews around the world should have been gratified by President Obama's strong repudiation of Holocaust-denial, which is rampant in the Arab world: "Six million Jews were killed -- more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful."
After alluding to Jewish suffering in the Holocaust, however, President Obama uttered four words that grated on Jewish ears. Those four words were: "On the other hand ..." President Obama followed his Holocaust statement with: "On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people ... have suffered in pursuit of a homeland."
Some Israeli columnists decried what they considered the moral equivalency of the Holocaust to "Palestinian suffering," but the juxtaposition of these two subjects points to a much more egregious -- and dangerous -- viewpoint. As almost all the Israeli media analysts point out, by mentioning the Holocaust while failing to mention the Jewish people's "historical and religious rights" to the Land of Israel, President Obama was swallowing whole the Arab narrative. The Arab version of the Jewish presence in the Middle East is that European guilt over the Holocaust prompted the Imperialists to give the Jews their own state. As Imperialists are wont to do, they gifted the Jewish people a chunk of land that the y had no right to give away because it really belonged to the Muslims.
If Muslims can claim that the Holocaust never really happened (Palestinian Authority head Abu Mazen wrote his Ph.D. thesis denying the Holocaust), one can imagine how insistent they are that a thousand years of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel in ancient times never happened. Once, as I passed an overlook with a view of the Temple Mount, I overheard an Arab tour guide telling a European tour group, "The Jews claim that their two temples stood on this spot, but there is no historic or archeological evidence to their claim."
Of course, the Arab tour guide (as well as the official websites of Egypt and other surrounding Arab states) was lying. Countless historical and archeological proofs bear witness to Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel from 1200 B.C.E. until the Roman exile in 70 C.E. (with a hiatus of 70 years during the Babylonian exile). Even after the Romans forcibly exiled most Jews, a significant Jewish population remained in norther n Israel until the Arab conquest of the 7th century. Only willful ignorance can deny the veracity of the Jewish people's history in the land of Israel.
Forcibly exiled from the land, at no point did the Jewish People relinquish their claim to the Land of Israel (which the Romans renamed "Palestine," referring to the Jews' ancient nemesis the Philistines, as a way of punishing the Jews for their rebellion). On the contrary, every day, three times a day for the last 2,000 years, Jews have prayed, "Gather us together from the four corners of the earth to our land," and "Return to Jerusalem Your city, as You have promised, and build it speedily in our days." Whether dining in London, Dallas, or Sydney, Jews conclude their meals with a grace that includes, "We thank You, the Lord our God, that You have bestowed on our forefathers the inheritance of the precious, good, and spacious land," and "Rebuild Jerusalem, the holy city, speedily in our days." Jews cannot snack on cookies without thanking God for the Land of Israel and pleading to r eturn there. And the Passover Seder, of course, ends with the plea: NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!
The entire Muslim claim to the Land of Israel is that they occupied it from the Arab Conquest in 634 through a succession of other Muslim military conquests (Syrian, Egyptian, Mamluk, and Ottoman Turks) until the British conquest in 1917 (except for the one century of Crusader rule). But the Jews, under Joshua, began the conquest of the Land of Israel in 1272 B.C.E., nineteen centuries before Islam even existed. For Arabs in 2009 to repudiate the Jews' right to the land because "we were here first" (meaning before the massive Jewish return of the 20th century) is ludicrous given the historical reality that we, the Jews, were definitely "here first."
As for the Jews' religious right to the land, it is clear-cut and simple: God bestowed the Land of Israel on the descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, a promise God repeats many times in the Torah. God's creation of the world means that He can give any piece of it to whomever He chooses.
In fact, this is how the famous commentator Rashi began his classic commentary on the Torah. Living in France in the 11th century, a millennium after the Jews had lost sovereignty over the Land of Israel, Rashi posed a question: Why did the Torah, which is a book of commandments, begin with the Creation of the world, when it should have begun with the first mitzvah? Rashi answered that the Torah begins with the Creation only to bolster the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel. He wrote: "If the nations of the world should say to Israel, 'You are robbers, because you have seized the lands of the seven nations [of Canaan], Israel should say to them: 'The whole world belongs to God. He created it and He gave it to whomever He deigned to give it.'"
This is the heart of the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel. This is why the post-Zionists, who have jettisoned Jewish faith, waffle in asserting Jewish rights to Israel.
The stark truth is that the=2 0Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people because God gave it to us. This is something that every believing Jew knows.
Had the Jewish aspiration for a homeland been based on the need to escape European anti-Semitism, as the Arabs claim, then one of the most extraordinary episodes in Zionist history would have ended very differently.
Theodore Herzl, who founded of the political movement of Zionism in 1897, was an assimilated Viennese Jew. Convinced that no amount of assimilation would assuage European anti-Semitism, he began to work fervently for a Jewish national homeland. Rebuffed by the Turkish Sultan who controlled Palestine, and by the German Kaiser, an ally of the Turks, Herzl turned to Great Britain. In March, 1903, the British government magnanimously offered Dr. Herzl the land of Uganda.
At first, Herzl rejected Uganda. But a short time later, on Easter, 1903, the Ch ristians of Kishinev, Russia, perpetrated the first pogrom of the 20th century. The attackers threw children out of upper-story windows, gouged out their victims' eyes, and drove nails into their heads. For two days the Czar's police allowed the carnage to rage. On the third day, the government in St. Petersburg ordered the slaughter to cease.
The Jewish world was severely shaken. Herzl, convinced that the Kishinev pogrom was the harbinger of even worse anti-Semitism, decided to accept Uganda as the Jewish homeland and refuge from anti-Semitism. At the Sixth Zionist Congress in August, 1903, Herzl rose and addressed the delegates: "I have a great surprise for you. His Majesty, Sovereign of the British Empire, is sending you a gift -- a gift called Uganda."
Salomea Levite, a young delegate at the Congress, described what happened next:
When he returned to his seat, there was unbelievable tension in the room, but total silence. Not a single voice was heard. Then, suddenly, it was as if the entire hall had stirred to life. Some people began shouting, "We don't want it! We don't want it!"
... [Dr. Herzl] didn't understand what had happened. He didn't understand it at all. He just couldn't digest how it was that such an unfortunate nation, suffering pogroms and denied all rights and privileges, could be offered an entire country and say, "No!" The Russian Zionists began to explain: "We don't want just any country! We want to return to our ancient, ancestral homeland."
Herzl was especially in consternation that the delegates from Kishinev, the survivors of the slaughter, chose to forego the refuge of Uganda because they wanted no place other than the Land of Israel.
These delegates were not religious Jews, but the religious and historic yearning of the Jewish people to return to Zion burned in their souls. As Max Nurock, a British Jew who served as Lieutenant-Governor of Uganda during the 1940s, would later say in an interview about the Uganda option: "It wouldn't do. It wouldn't do. You know, it hadn't got the spark of Divinity in it. Do you understand what I mean?"
Rising Anti-Semitism in the USA
Recently, I read about a schwastika being placed on a Chabad building site in Chandler Arizona, an attempt to target a Schul in Riverdale, NY and another place, a man arrested for attempted arson at a Schul in Miami and feces placed on the door knob and door of a Chabad Rabbi – Just think of the lowness of one to gather all the feces and collect it for the purpose. Last week came the murder and wounding of US Army guards stationed outside a recruiting office. This week a deranged Nazi lover of German background named Von Brunn killing Stephen Tyrone Johns because he was a black guard at a “Jew Museum” in Washington DC. My old engineering teacher of blessed memory David Isaac used to say, “Love begets love, hate begets hate.” It scares me think this but some crazed white supremacist or some baal teshuvah Moslem might want attack more Jewish Institutions in a copy-cat killing or assassinate the President for being a non-white or Afghanistan. Already a plot was foiled last summer by two wackos wanting to kill candidate Obama.
Parable Time

There is a story said about an extremely wealthy man who would become stingier the more he gained wealth. He did not give a penny to charities, did not lift a finger to help another Jew, did not donate to his synagogue, and never invited a poor man to his house. He used to say “I work hard for my money. So why should I share it with others?”

One day, he was sitting in his front garden and his servants were serving him with the best and tasty food. As he was enjoying his meal, a servant who was s erving him dropped a piece of red meat that was on a plate. The wealthy man got very angry at his servant. Meanwhile, a poor man appeared by his gate pleading for food. The wealthy man saw him and said to his servant, “what a great opportunity, give this poor fellow the dirty piece of meat that is on the floor!”

Extremely thankful, the poor man took it and left. The wealthy man started to praise himself about how generous he just was.

At night the wealthy man had a dream. That he was in a strange place and they were serving a meal. Many people were seated by the table. The waiters with trays on their hands hurried to serve everyone. The food smelled good. He also sat and waited, the waiters were passing right by him as if he was invisible. He motioned his hands to them, a waiter quickly came to him and said “one second please” and disappeared to the kitchen. He returned with a plate containing a piece of red meat, dirty and filthy with sand. “What is this?” the wealthy man was replied.

“This is your meal!” the waiter responded. “My meal?.. But this is dirty and filthy”. “Here is the world of receiving reward,” the waiter started to explain. “Over here you only receive what you gave to others down there (on earth).” “This is the exact piece of meat that you gave the poor man; we cannot give you anything else than that”.

=0 AWhen you care and go out of your way to help another Yehudi or when you talk good about and support another Yehudi, not only that’s how you’ll be treated in the world to come, measure for measure, the terrible decrees will only go away when we treat one another as a family. When the father comes home and the children are fighting and crying and one says that I hate my brother/sister, the father responds that “you’re not permitted to hate your brother/sister because you are one family.”

That’s what our father in heaven feels about us and wants us to behave.

Lets be a big family

Binyamin Jadidi - *HASHEM gives a person wealth as a gift or reward. That person is only a caretaker for G-D. I have watched my money decline from far plus to almost 50% of the value of the money and back to only minus 28% of my original investment in the course of the year from Shevous to Shevous. With money comes responsibility to provide for others needs. If one does this, happy is he in this world and the next. If not the next world will contain the gold coins that he was supposed to give to charity now bite into that!
A True Story and Miracle: It was Sunday morning and the buses in Israel were filled to the capacity. Yacov, a solider boarded the bus and squeezed in with the other passengers.

Yacov relates what happened: “I boarded the bus and sat down in the front row, I bent down to get my Mishnayos (words from the sages) from my backpack so I can learn a little. As my head was bent, I heard a loud noise. It took me a few seconds to realize what happened- it was a bomb, a bomb exploded on the bus!! After the explosion, I figured out what saved my life.

When I bent down to get my Mishnayos so I can learn- in the same exact second the bomb exploded. The Mishnayos saved my life

The fact of the matter is, that everybody in the world knows what Yacov and the whole country (Israel) are going through. And the interesting surprise that just popped out is a role model that is called "Obama's way". That we have to give the right and respect to cruelty, wildness, hatred, and terrorism and they (Arabs) should be free and comfortable to continue their way in a place that they desire that does not belong to them. "Lets make peace with the terrorists"

But for us Jews to know, that G-d is not going to let it happen.

I would like to see Hussein Obama make another powerful speech, when another 9/11 happens soon (Heaven Forbid).
Binyamin Jadidi
There was once a non-Jewish general who sent for Rabbeinu Yehuda HaNasi a gift .The gift was an expensive stone , a diamond and he expected the Rav to send him an expensive gift in return. The Rav sent him a MEZUZA: a piece of parchment inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah that is fixed to a doorpost.

The general extremely insulted asked him “I sent you an expensive stone that is worth millions and you gave me in return a mezuzah which is not even worth a penny???!!! The Rav answered him “You sent me something that I need to watch over day and night and I gave you something that watches over you day and night!!!!!!!

But don’t forget, what is inside is what that counts and not the cover. But unfortunately, we spend so much time to pick the exact nice cover we like for our mezuzah. This is the attitude that unfortunately we have towards almost everything. External beauty , attraction… and we forget what is really the main thing and worth spending time on.

If you have a kosher written mezuzah (written on a parchment) a nice cover will only add to the mitzvah, but if there is nothing inside or if the mezuza it is not kosher , your beautiful cover is useless and it won’t do anything for you.

As long as there is spirituality in observing G-d’s commandments in the house, community, city and country=2 0then the beauty and the comfort becomes a blessing. But otherwise, it is just a cover of a mezuzah with nothing in it.

Always first look for the kosher mezuzah (spirituality) and the nice cover (comfort and wealth) will be sent from heaven.

Then it will be everlasting and will protect you.

Binyamin Jadidi thanks to Gene Alberts for the postings.
In Parshat Beha’alothecha we read about Aharon-the-Cohen-Gadol being commanded to light the Menora daily. One may not have a Menorah identical to the one in the Bet Hamikdash:

- A seven branched Menorah is forbidden even if it's not made of gold, and even if it doesn’t have the "flower & cup" designs or the height of the Menorah described in Parshat Terumah. Reason: These details did not disqualify the Menorah in the Mikdash.

- One may have a 5, 6 or 8 branched Menorah.

- A circular candelabrum with 6 arms and a 7th in the middle is questionable. Since this is a Torah prohibition one should be strict and forbid it.

(Note: In Israel the big silver manufactures do not manufacture 7 armed candelabras in any configuration.) Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 168:5-6
In the end of Parshat Beha’alothecha we learn how Miriam-the-prophetess was punished for discussing her brother Moshe's life with her other brother; Aaron.
Miriam was punished with Tzora’at (something similar to leprosy), and she had to remain outside the Israelite camp for a week until she was cured.
The next Parsha - Shelach - starts with the sin of the spies who spoke evil about the Holy Land. The Torah prohibits us from tale bearing; telling one person what another person did, or what they said, or where they went. Tale bearing is forbidden even if the all the information is 100% true; the entire truth and nothing but the truth. Tale bearing is forbidden even if nothing derogatory is said. An extreme example of the destructive power of tale bearing is found in Shmuel-1 (Ch. 21 and 22).
Doeg told King Saul that Achimelech had given [future King] David supplies and a sword. Even though it was the truth - later Achimelech himself told King Saul about it - nevertheless King Saul ordered the city of Nov to be destroyed along with eighty five Cohanim and their families. One can never know the consequences of passing along seemingly innocent information. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 30:1
Parshat Shlach ends with the third paragraph of Shema which talks about the Mitzva of Tzitzit. Wearing Tzitzit is supposed to remind one of all 613 Mitzvoth - as it says "...make Tzitzit, and see them and thereby remember all the Mitzvoth of Hashem and do them". Once a boy is toilet-trained he should wear a Tallit Katan - a 4-cornered garment with Tzitzit from the time he wakes up until he goes to sleep. This is besides the Tallit worn in shul.

Women are exempt from the Mitzva of Tzitzit, as it's a time-bound Mitzva; it only applies during the day. When putting on Tzitzit in the morning, the Bracha cannot be made until it is light enough outside to recognize a casual acquaintance from 4 Amos (2 meters) away. This is about an hour before sunrise in Israel. Men must put Tzitzit on all 4-cornered garments they wear, including ponchos. Bed sheets do not need Tzitzit. Tzitzit may be worn even when going into a bathroom, however the Tallit used for Davening should not be taken into the bathroom. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 9:9-10
Rabbi A.L. wrote me about an outbreak of Swine Flu in a Chassidic School in Monsey, NY. He also sent me the following sites. A different Richard P. mailed this to the R’A.L. I was just on the phone with an ICU colleague of mine, and we have come to a scary conclusion:

We have had 4 cases of Influenza A patients, (some were H1N1 but no mention of swine flu) 2 did improve, but two are deathly ill in MMC ICU. It seems that the local DOH is not being truthful with the amount of cases of this deadly strain of Influenza A (Swine Flu) is causing. Perhaps because they don't want panic, or because they know that we don't have the resources to combat such an enormous amount of patients can become deathly ill.

It is not Flu season, yet we are seeing these cases over and over again. Conclusion, this is none other that the Swine Flu, starting to do the same thing the Spanish Flu did in the early 20th century. This was confirmed by an expert in ID medicine whose name I'm going to withhold, as per his request.

I can only say one thing, it is SCARY!!!

So, the reason for this e-mail: wash, wash, wash your hands at all times, and sanitize them with alcohol based solutions. Place them in every room, and use them constantly if you are shaking hands with people, or before you eat, or before you touch any mucous membrane in your body.
Deborah M. sent me this. It is historical but I call it the Iranian-Arab Peace plan backed by N. Korea:
Inyanay Diyoma

Since when do we ordain "Rabbis" on Shabbos Kodesh? My Rosh Yeshiva ordained over 40 years ago Rabbi Avraham Dean Shlita as a black Orthodox Rabbi. It is not a matter of color but a matter of the Holy Shabbos. The Reform don’t care for the Shabbos or Talmud or Halacha. Hence they ordain their “Rabbis” on Shabbos.

Hamas' reply to US president Barack Obama's Cairo appeal for negotiation and recognition. Orders from Tehran and Damascus, the Palestinian terrorists responded with a fresh round of armed violence. h ttp://

Clinton shreds Bush-Israel settlement understandings, fuels US-Israel row

The following blog describes how the Obama health care plan is much worst than our worst Kupat Holim in Israel – I received the site from the author:

Two radical M uslims identified on crashed Air France flight

The day after DEBKAfile's counter-terror sources' revelation of Tuesday, June 9, that French security was going through the doomed Air France flight's passenger list for suspected terror links, the Paris weekly L'Express reported a link had been found.
French security DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure) agents dispatched to Brazil identified two names on the passenger list which also appear also on highly-classified documents listing radical Muslims considered a threat to France. This link to the air tragedy was described as "highly significant."
The French agents also examined the security measures employed at Rio de Janeiro international port from which Air France A300 took off May 31 with 228 passengers and crew, never to arrive at its destination at Charles de Gaulle, Paris.
New York and Washington on September 11, 2001. The jihadis were bent on punishing president Nicolas Sarkozy for posting fresh French troops to Afghanistan.
Should further investigations connect the two Muslim passengers to this conspiracy, it would go far to indicate that the Air France flight was destined to crash over Paris - except that the plan misfired and the plane came down sooner than planned over the Atlantic.
According to our sources, the French flight crews warned of the plot might have succeeded into pre-empting it by an extraordinary act of bravery to crash the plane in the ocean before it reached France.
Alternatively, the two purported terrorists may have been on a suicide operation like the Egyptian Airline pilot who brought his Boeing 767 into the Atlantic off the US coast on=0 AMarch 31, 1999.

On Wednesday, WHO said 74 countries had reported nearly 27,737 cases of swine flu, including 141 deaths.,2933,525804,00.html

Now for M. Wolfberg's story "Home Run"
Good Shabbos Everyone. In this week’s portion Beha’aloscha Hashem commands Aharon through Moshe to light the large Menorah in the tabernacle. In commanding Aharon, Hashem uses the interesting word "Beha’aloscha." Rashi explains that the word “Beha’aloscha” contains the root meaning “to go up,” (as in “an aliyah to the Torah.”) Thus the Torah chose the term “Beha’aloscha,” to indicate that when applying fire to light the Menorah, one should make sure that the flame on the Menorah goes up -- “aliyah,” and burns on its own, before removing the source flame from the Menorah. If lighting a candle with a match, for example, one would leave the match burning on the candlewick until the flame of the candle burns high.
When we look deeper into the symbolic meaning of the verse, we begin to see a beautiful, spiritually uplifting meaning of “Beha’aloscha...” We read in Proverbs that “The soul of Man is the lamp of Hashem.”(Mishlei 20:27) We see that the soul is compared to a lamp. Similarly, the Talmud tells us that the soul of a man is called a candle. (Shabbos 30b) We can now begin to delve into a deeper mystical level of understanding of the verse “Beha’aloscha Es Ha-Neros...” -- “when kindling the lamp...”
Every Jew has a soul which is a spark of Hashem From On High. Hashem is the Origin of the Holy Fire, which is the Source of Life. Hashem keeps the pilot light of the soul alit as long as we are alive, however, we as individuals are responsible for making sure that the Holy Flame of the soul burns high. Let us now re-read the verse based on our new-found understanding... “when kindling the soul, you shall make sure that the flame of the soul burns high...”
Practically speaking, Hillel tells us in Pirke Avos “Do not believe in yourself until the day you die.”(Avos 2:5) The meaning of this teaching is the following: One should never be satisfied with his level of spirituality; one should always seek to grow in Torah and mitzvahs. One must actively pursue spirituality, seeking out more Torah learning, more meaningful prayer and more refined observance of Kashrus and Shabbos, for example. The following amazing true story will inspire us to seek more meaning and spirituality in life.
In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning-disabled children. At a Chush fundraising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered an unforgettable speech. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, “Where is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything G-d does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. He cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is G-d’s perfection?”
The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father’s anguish and stilled by the piercing query. “I believe,” the father answered, “that when G-d brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that he seeks is in the way people react to this child.”
He then related the following story about his son Shaya: One afternoon Shaya and his father walked past a park where some boys they knew were playing baseball. Shaya asked, “Do you think they will let me play?”

Shaya’s father knew his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But Shaya’s father understood that if his son were chosen to play it would give him a sense of belonging.

Shaya’s father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Shaya could play. The boy looked around for reassurance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, “We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him up at bat in the ninth inning.”

Shaya’s father was ecstatic as his son smiled broadly. Shaya was told to put on a glove and go out to play short center field. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shaya’s team scored a few runs, but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shaya’s team scored again. Now there were two outs and the bases were loaded. With the potential winning run on base, Shaya was scheduled to be up at bat. Would the team actually let Shaya bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shaya was given the bat. Everyone knew it was all but impossible to win because Shaya didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. As Shaya stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps forward to lob the ball in softly so Shaya could at least make contact. When the first pitch came in, Shaya swung clumsily and missed.

One of the other boys approached Shaya and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher, waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shaya.

As the pitch came in, they swung the bat together, and hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first basemen. Shaya would have been out, ending the game.

Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it in a high arc to the right field, far beyond reach of the first basemen. Everyone started yelling, “Shaya, run to first! Run to first!” Never in his life had Shaya run to first. He scampered down the baseline wide-eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman, and tag out Shaya, who was still running. But the right fielder understood the pitcher’s intentions, and threw the ball high and far over the third basemen’s head.

Everyone yelled, “Run to second, run to second!” Shaya ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Shaya reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, “Run to third!” As Shaya rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, “Shaya run home!” Shaya ran home, stepped on plate and all eighteen boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a ‘grand slam’ and won the game for his team.

“That day,” said the father softly with tears rolling down his face, “those eighteen boys reached their level of G-d’s perfection.” Good Shabbos Everyone.
Mr. Wolfberg’s stories are sponsored by: Refuah Shleima to Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta
In memory of Shosha Malka bas R' Avrohom 21 Cheshvan Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi
Have a wonderful Shabbos and I hope to get back on track and earlier in future weeks,
Rachamim Pauli