Friday, January 1, 2010

Parsha Vayehi, halacha, good Shabbos story

Tonight the blog is going out without spacing editted tomorrow I hope to edit the looks RP

I have neither heard about or seen on a Mishabayach List the name: Rafael Chaim Simcha Benyamin so I have removed him.


This week we finish up the first book of the Chumosh and say Chazak at the end of the Torah reading. Time flies and still no Moshiach yet we must wait everyday. The world is heading faster and faster in that direction with Iran doing their utmost to get an Atomic Bomb.5767:

47:28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were a hundred forty and seven years. 29 And the time drew near that Israel must die; and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him: 'If now I have found favor in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt.

I heard this from Rav Boyer Shlita and other Rabbanim when a person aka baby comes into the world, he comes in with a clenched fist to amass what he can. When he leaves the world, he leaves with his hands open or by his side as he takes nothing with him. For all of a man’s days he gathers and stores material things and wealth but when he leaves the world all he has at his side is Talmud-Torah and Mitzvos. Charity and goods deeds such a visiting the sick, burying the dead, making friends and family happy by rejoicing at their Simchas such as a Bris, Wedding, Bar Mitzvah, etc. These are things that a man carries with him in the next world. Either pleasure beyond comprehension or …

30 But when I sleep with my fathers, thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying-place.' And he said: 'I will do as thou hast said.' 31 And he said: 'Swear unto me.' And he swore unto him. And Israel bowed down upon the bed's head.

5767: Again the swearing on the holy Bris Milah and the symbol of anything coming out of Yacov’s loins can avenge himself if Yosef fails. Some say that it was already hard to leave Egypt because the commerce that the Bnei Yisrael brought in and they were a buffer against enemy invasion. If anybody remembers the Yom Kippur War upon crossing the Suez Canal our army was 101 kilometers from Cairo in the land of Goshen.

48:1 And it came to pass after these things, that one said to Joseph: 'Behold, thy father is sick.' And he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

Yacov being sick not in the normal manner but gravely ill this made it imperative to Yosef that he had to bring his sons for the blessing of Avraham to pass unto them – note that Yosef’s own blessing comes in Chapter 49 among his brothers.

2 And one told Jacob, and said: 'Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee.' And Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.

Yacov was contemplating his life, achievements and failures and preparing his Tshuvah before going into the afterlife. However, the interruption by his servants and his beloved Yosef coming to him made him sit up on the bed. The continuation of Rachel was before him.

3 And Jacob said unto Joseph: 'God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, 4 and said unto me: Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a company of peoples; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.

Yacov had just been contemplating this as the blessing had come true with all his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and perhaps even a fifth generation before him so the blessing was fresh in his mind.

5 And now thy two sons, who were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh, even as Reuben and Simeon, shall be mine.

Yosef was to get the inheritance in the land with two tribes and portions as the first born of Rachel even though Reuven was his first born. According to the Torah, Reuven should have received the first born status but since this is before the giving of Torah, Yacov was able to do this. 5. Who were born to you…until I came to you. Before I came to you, i.e., those who were born since you left me [and] I came to you. they are mine. They are counted with the rest of my sons, to take a share in the land, each one exactly as each [of my other sons]. — [from Baba Batra 122b-123a]
6. But your children. If you have any more [children], they will not be counted among my sons, but will be included among the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, and they will not have a [separate] name like [each of] the [other] tribes as regards the inheritance. Now, although the land [of Israel] was divided according to their heads (the population of each tribe), as it is written: “To the large [tribe] you shall increase its inheritance” (Num. 26:54); and each man received an equal share, except for the firstborn. Nevertheless, only these (Ephraim and Manasseh) were called tribes [regarding the ability] [to cast a lot in the land according to the number of names of the tribes and [regarding having] a prince for each tribe, and groups [of tribes in the desert] for this one and for that one]. [Note that the bracketed material does not appear in early editions of Rashi.]

6 And thy issue, that thou beget after them, shall be yours; they shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance.

Any more children that you might have shall be called on their brother’s name.

7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died unto me in the land of Canaan in the way, when there was still some way to come unto Ephrat; and I buried her there in the way to Ephrat--the same is Beth-lehem.' 8 And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said: 'Who are these?'

A few years ago Rabbi Davis Shlita commentated that Yacov was used to seeing the two dressed as Egyptian Noblemen but due to the haste, the young men were dressed only in their home attire and therefore without the make-up and jewelry, he did not recognize them.

9 And Joseph said unto his father: 'They are my sons, whom God hath given me here.' And he said: 'Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them.' 10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. 11 And Israel said unto Joseph: 'I had not thought to see thy face; and, lo, God hath let me see thy seed also.'

After having thought Yosef was dead for 22 years he thanks G-D for not only letting him see Yosef but also his grandsons from Yosef.

12 And Joseph brought them out from between his knees; and he fell down on his face to the earth.

People were supposed to be lower than Yosef because of his status and now Yosef was prostrating himself before his father so all in the room had to prostrate themselves.

13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him. 14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the first-born. 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said: 'The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God who hath been my shepherd all my life long unto this day, 16 the angel who hath redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named in them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.'

This is said in the blessing before going to sleep at night.

17 And when Joseph saw that his father was laying his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head. 18 And Joseph said unto his father: 'Not so, my father, for this is the first-born; put thy right hand upon his head.' 19 And his father refused, and said: 'I know it, my son, I know it; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; howbeit his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.' 20 And he blessed them that day, saying: 'By thee shall Israel bless, saying: God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh.' And he set Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 And Israel said unto Joseph: 'Behold, I die; but God will be with you, and bring you back unto the land of your fathers. 22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.'

49:1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said: 'Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the end of days. 2 Assemble yourselves, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father. 3 Reuben, thou art my first-born, my might, and the first-fruits of my strength; the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power. …

Since I covered the blessings in greater detail in previous years and the hints of redemption among them, I prefer to bring down commentary below that most of you will never receive which came from South Florida Rabbis.

50:1 And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. 2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. And the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him threescore and ten days.

State and professional mourning as opposed to Shiva which the brother’s sat before the final burial in a more kosher land than Egypt and it was to be so for the Shiva normally is after the burial but Yosef feared Pharaoh and he had strict orders to return immediately after the burial so because of this, The mourning started early – see 14 below.

4 And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke unto the house of Pharaoh, saying: 'If now I have found favor in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying: 5 My father made me swear, saying: Lo, I die; in my grave which I have dug for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come back.' 6 And Pharaoh said: 'Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear.' 7 And Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8 and all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house; only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. 9 And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen; and it was a very great company. 10 And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they wailed with a very great and sore wailing; and he made a mourning for his father seven days. 11 And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said: 'This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians.' Wherefore the name of it was called Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan. 12 And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them. 13 For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field, for a possession of a burying-place, of Ephron the Hittite, in front of Mamre. 14 And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.

Rabbi Yitzchak Salid Shlita said “One of the most famous Midrashim on the books concerns the funeral of Yacov Avinu. As his sons were about to bury him, Eisav arrived on the scene and claimed that the one remaining burial place in the Cave of Machpelah belonged to him. Eisav asserted that Yacov had used his own spot to bury Leah. The sons knew that this was false and that Eisav had sold his portion to Yacov many years before. They dispatched Naftali to Egypt to fetch the bill of sale. Meanwhile, the funeral procedure was forced to halt. Chushim, son of Dan, a deaf mute, noticed the delay and through sign language enquired about it. When he was informed of the reason, Chushim became indignant and said "my grandfather's burial is being delayed on account of this wicked man?!" Chushim then took a club and killed Eisav. Thereafter, Yacov’s interment resumed. The commentaries point out the irony that the only one who took proper action was a deaf mute. Because of his condition, Chushim could not be drawn into a conversation and give any credence to Eisav. This is a fundamental lesson for all of us. We have to know when not to have a discussion which will end up compromising religious principles. When we know through the Torah and the Sages that something is objectively wrong, we must not get fooled by debate, ostensible logic, or any other tool which may lower our defenses. FROM THIS WE LEARN that while we must be open minded and tolerant, with respect to others' personalities and eccentricities, we must be on guard not to be so liberal with our precious Torah and our Mesorah. The truest and best of us are those who can be courteous and respectful to every human being and at the same time be unyielding in our commitment to Torah. “ thanks to Menashe Frank of PATH.

15 And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said: 'It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully requite us all the evil which we did unto him.' 16 And they sent a message unto Joseph, saying: 'Thy father did command before he died, saying: 17 So shall ye say unto Joseph: Forgive, I pray thee now, the transgression of thy brethren, and their sin, for that they did unto thee evil. And now, we pray thee, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of thy father.' And Joseph wept when they spoke unto him. Rabbi Tzvi Nightingale Shlita wrote in his Drasha this week.

Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead and they said, "Perhaps Joseph still harbors hatred towards us and will return to us the evil that we did against him." So Joseph was told, "Your father gave orders before his death as follows: 'Tell Joseph to please bear the offense of your brothers and their sin, for they have done you wrong.'"

The brothers feared that Joseph had quietly kept his hatred of them all this time while their dad was still living, and now that Jacob had passed on, Joseph would finally exact his revenge. Their concern over this possibility was so great that they felt compelled to fabricate a story, claiming that their father's dying request was that Joseph should forgive them for selling him into slavery. Joseph readily does, and reiterates to them that it has all worked out for the best inasmuch as he can now sustain them in the land of Egypt.

According to Jewish tradition, as expressed in the Midrash, Jacob had made no such request before he passed on. In fact, there is no indication that Jacob even ever knew of the terrible behavior and misdeeds of his sons in their treatment of Joseph. Furthermore, if Jacob had indeed known about the incident, why would he not make that request of forgiveness directly to Joseph, why go through the brothers? And yet despite the transparency of this charade Joseph reacts in a most noble way:

Joseph wept when they spoke to him... (and) said to them, "Don't be afraid, for am I instead of God? Indeed, you intended evil against me, (but) God designed it for good, in order to bring about what is at present- to keep a great people alive. So now do not fear. I will sustain you and your small children." And he comforted them and spoke to their hearts.

This is one of the examples in the Torah where Truth is put aside for Shalom - Peace. Whereas we give a tremendous amount of weight to Truth, and indeed the Talmud says that God's seal is Emmet - Truth, there are times when we are willing to forego this essential quality for a greater good, and that is Peace. The brothers bent the truth, to say the least, for the sake of the family being together when they contrived this story. But an even greater expression of this principle is that Joseph goes along with it. Joseph most likely knows that the alleged wish of their dying father was bogus, but he does not let on, appreciates their efforts, and totally reassures his brothers that there is nothing more important than all of them getting along together.

That Peace should trump Truth is a crucial idea for differing parties to be able to live with one another, be they husband and wife, siblings, co-workers, co-religionists or any relationship. Too often people wrap themselves in the mantle of glorious righteousness, fight for it at all costs ("It's the principle of the thing!" is usually the rallying cry.) and eventually destroy everything in the wake of their battle. And this is when they really are right and correct; it is even more tragic when it is false righteousness that propels the destruction. Truth is always important, but often we have to take a step back, see the larger picture, and go along with some artificial scenarios for the greater good of the marriage, family, business or nation, as the case may be. We cannot always be 100% right, even when we are 100% right, but need to make the necessary compromise for the greater good.

To live in Truth is great; to live in Peace is even greater.

I say that Yosef wept for he knew that he was a Tzaddik and the fact that they suspected him was very hurtful to him. I have heard this again and again from Baalei Tshuvah and Gerim that suspicion of their background or abilities or Yiddishkeit hurts them. This hurts the righteous and the ‘born again’ Jew or the new convert more than anything else.

18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said: 'Behold, we are thy bondmen.' 19 And Joseph said unto them: 'Fear not; for am I in the place of God? 20 And as for you, ye meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Do not suspect a brother as I have never held hatred or a grudge against you. Just the opposite:

21 Now therefore fear ye not; I will sustain you, and your little ones.' And he comforted them, and spoke kindly unto them.

He provided for them and Yehuda and Levi could set up a Yeshiva for the young ones to learn and Levi was to be exempt from work and taxes in Egypt as a Priest.

22 And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father's house; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. 23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation; the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were born upon Joseph's knees.

The reward for struggling raising children are grandchildren.

24 And Joseph said unto his brethren: 'I die; but God will surely remember you, and bring you up out of this land unto the land which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.' 25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying: 'God will surely remember you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.' 26 So Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old. And they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Yosef transmitted to them Oral Torah of their redemption and also his request to be buried in Eretz HaKadosh – something that would not happen to the slaves. As I mentioned earlier the further one generation was distant form Noach the lower the life expectancy. The oldest brother and last survivor of Yosef’s generation was Levi and after his death, slavery began. Chazak – Chazak…

Mitzvos and Halachos from Danny Shoeman

One may not testify falsely. Included in this prohibition is to testify based on what one heard from others - even if the source of information is reliable. Hiring witnesses who weren't there (false witnesses), and refusing to testify, are also forbidden. Applies to all those fit to be witnesses, everywhere, always -
Verse: "Do not testify as a false witness against your neighbor" (9th of the 10 commandments.) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer haMitzvot haKatzar; Prohibition 39

One may not force other to part with their possessions. One transgresses as soon as one tries to actively gain possession of the article; be it through threats, persuasion or asking others to intervene on one's behalf. Even if one paid well above its worth one has still transgressed. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always… Verse: "Do not force other to sell their possessions (last of the 10 commandments.) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer haMitzvot haKatzar; Prohibition 40

One may not covet other people's possessions. transgresses whenever one thinks of ways to gain possession of the coveted article. Applies to everybody, everywhere, always - Verse: "Do not covet (last of the 10 commandments.) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer haMitzvot haKatzar; Prohibition 41

It's a Mitzva to be happy on the 3 Jewish Festivals. In the time of the Bet Hamikdash one was required to rejoice by eating meat from sacrifices. Nowadays one has to eat meat and drink wine. One has to make ones wife happy by buying her pretty clothes, the kids with treats and the poor with donations. One should not get drunk, since this rejoicing should be conducive to doing Mitzvot and serving Hashem with joy, not simply to be merry. Applies to everybody, everywhere, on Pessach, Shavuoth and Sukkoth. Verse: "and be joyous on your festivals" (Devorim 16:14) Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer haMitzvot haKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 21

It's a Mitzva to get rid of all Chametz in one's possession on Erev Pessach before midday.This includes destroying all Chametz one is aware of, and renouncing ownership of all Chametz one isn't aware of. By Rabbinic decree this includes searching for Chametz by candlelight the evening before Seder night, unless that is Friday night, in which case one searches on Thursday night. Applies to everybody Verse: "By the first day you shall have destroyed all Chametz" (Shemot 12:15)
Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer haMitzvot haKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 22

10 Tevet - we fast to commemorate the beginning of the siege against Jerusalem. In the year 3,338 the wicked King Nebuchadnezzar laid siege against Jerusalem which culminated in the destruction of the first Bet Hamikdash, a year and a half later. This is the King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in whose court Daniel (who survived the lion's den) served. The purpose of the fast is to awaken us to repent; if the Bet Hamikdash has not been rebuilt then we suffer from similar deficiencies that caused it to be destroyed. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 121:3

It's a Mitzva to visit sick people, irrelevant of the social standing of the visitor or the patient. /Close friends and family may visit immediately, but others should wait until the 4th day, so as not to aggravate his Mazal and give his the "sick" title. However, if a person becomes very ill very suddenly then all may visit immediately.
One may visit numerous times a day - as long as it doesn't bother the patient. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:1

The Torah gave permission to Doctors to heal and therefore someone ill may not rely on miracle, but must go see a doctor and follow his instructions. Somebody who ignores medical advice is not only endangering his life but is also considered to be arrogant; rather he should use the top expert in the field. That said, a person needs to realize that the actual cure comes from The One Above and should pray that his doctor be a successful messenger to heal him.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:3When visiting the sick one may not sit on a chair if he's lying on the floor, in deference to the Shechina (Divine presence) which is above the sick person's head. If he's in a bed, one may sit on a chair. The main point of visiting the sick is to find out if one can help him in anyway, so that he feels he has friends who care about him, and in order to pray for him. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 193:2-3 Dyeing is one of the 39 forbidden categories of work on Shabbat. If one's hands are colored from eating fruit on Shabbat, one must be careful not to touch clothes and make them dirty. So too, if one has a bloody nose, one should not use a cloth; especially a red one. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:42

Must we depend on miracles all the time?

The Talmud says, “Don’t depend upon miracles = be prepared”. On the other hand, G-D helps those who help themselves. It appears that the fact of the matter is that we have to prepare ourselves and be prepared to go on our own but we should also have faith that HASHEM is looking out for his beloved who loves HIM.

Strange things that one does not expect: Sandra Elmslie and I had 286 friends in common so without hesitation I approved her friend request a few days before her birthday and wished her a happy birthday. Somehow I was uncertain if she was the new person that I just approved, so I checked out her wall. Somehow she passed away so life is strange. Since one does not know the date of his death, he should be prepared to meet his maker at any time.

Friday, December 25 Merry Sol Invictus! In the late Roman Empire, December 25th was the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun, marking the Sun's survival past its seasonal dark decline with the promise of a new spring and summer to come. Along with other solstice-period celebrations (including the birthday parties of numerous pagan deities), the date and the symbolism were taken over by Christianity and officially set as Christmas in the 4th century. Carefully note the sunset point on your horizon from day to day. Can you see that it's already beginning to creep a little north?

December 25th was also the Saturna after the planet Saturn, you can check the encyclopedia for that. As for us we know that all birthdays follow the Hebrew date based on a Luna Calendar so even if in truth Yeshu was born on the Solar Dec. 25th, his real birthday would not be fixed in a Solar calendar. If one looks at how the Lubavitcher Chassidim celebrate the Rebbe’s birthday it is always Yod-Aleph Nissan and the previous Rebbe Yod-Bet Tammuz and no solar day is involved. The fact that Yeshu does not have a Hebrew Calendar birthday makes me suspicious of the dates. Note that Easter is always close to Pessach except in some leap years.

I thought that I would lay off of American Politics but this week, I blew a fuse. I am worried about a person whom I think was born a Muslim and learned in a Madras who talks about an Alleged would-be bomber on an alleged aircraft with 283 alleged witnesses. The same man blesses Chanucha by criticizing Israel and is weak on Xmas but very passionately warm on Ramadan. By the way for those who heaven forbid think that I am against BHO because of his color. I am a supporter of Pastor Bowden for Texas Senator, Corey Portlier in FL 17th and retired Lt. Col. Alan West in FL 22nd, and Randall for Senator in NC. I support candidates on Principles.

The CIA knew:

There was a pro-Israel and anti-terror rally near the Federal Court House this week in Broward. I took photos of who was there and I met a lot of Congressional Candidates. Noticeably absent were a few current Jewish Candidates like my own Congresswoman. She likes what BHO said about Israel on Chanucha and how he disgraced Benyamin Netanyahu. Not a peep was heard from her. Tom Trento one of the speakers posted on the internet his video of why the demonstration this year because of this:

The murderers are killed:

Israel now has the green light to attack Iran any time.

The Czar in charge of fighting anti-semitism is praising J Street the anti-Israeli group:

A hole in security he could fly to the USA but not right wing Knesset Members:

From Pamela – Just when the KKK was busy with a Nigerian Bomber Muslim anti-semites wake up:

Iran is prepared:

So is Gaza:,7340,L-3828182,00.html

Now for M. Wolfbergs, “The Inside Story”

Good Shabbos Everyone. It is said that the greatest Tzadikkim (righteous Torah leaders) in each generation possess ruach hakodesh, a divine inspiration, that enlightens them with an uncanny understanding of the past and makes them privy to many of mankind's secrets of the future. Using this power, the righteous can give blessings to those who come to them.
We see this concept in this week’s parsha Vayechi, in which we read about how Yakov blesses his children. Although the blessings seem somewhat cryptic on the surface, the blessings with which Yakov blesses his children contain some of the deepest mystical secrets of the Torah. We will focus our discussion this week more in general, on the power of the Righteous to give brochos - blessings to people who come to them for such.
There are those who say that the Chofetz Chaim, R' Yisrael Meir Kagan, of Radin, Poland, possessed the noble attribute of ruach hakodesh – a low level of prophecy. The story begins around the time after the First World War in Zhetel, Poland, the birthplace of the Chofetz Chaim.
In that town lived a certain R' Zalman who held a rabbinical position in the early part of his career. A citizen of the town, R' Asher, had a nineteen-year-old son who wished to settle in Eretz Yisroel. Aware of the economic difficulties there, R' Asher decided to teach his son a trade so that he could find work in Eretz Yisroel. He bought his son a car and taught him to drive so that he could be a chauffeur. He would pick up passengers from the railroad station in Zhetel, and take them to their destinations.
Soon enough, he became familiar with the various routes and back roads throughout the major cities of the region. One Friday afternoon, as people were going to shul, they noticed that R' Asher's son was still driving people from the station. It was just moments before Shabbos, and it was quite obvious that the boy, who came from a religious family, would not be home in time for Shabbos.
Although no one actually saw him driving after nightfall, it would have been almost impossible for him to get home before then. In shul, people told R' Zalman what they had seen. After davening, the rav had the young man summoned to his home and reprimanded him. The young man claimed that it was an accident, that he thought he could make it home before Shabbos, but there was traffic, he got lost, and so on. He assured the rav that it would not happen again.
A few weeks later, he was seen driving on Friday night. This time he was caught red-handed, and the witnesses were infuriated. They hurried to R' Zalman's home to tell him the news. Once again the young man was called in, harshly reprimanded and warned that the community would not tolerate his actions much longer.
The father had no control over his now independent son and soon it became common for the boy to be seen driving on Shabbos. The religious people in Zhetel felt outraged and affronted. They had seen this boy grow up and his open defiance was deeply felt by everyone. Additionally, they felt that such flagrant violations of the Sabbath by one of their own could have a harmful influence on the other young people in the community. They pleaded with R' Zalman to convince the father to send his son away from Zhetel at once. R' Zalman agreed to do so.
However, before R' Zalman had an opportunity to speak with him, R' Asher had a stroke and was rushed to the hospital. He lay there for some weeks, and although R' Zalman came to visit him a number of times, he felt that it was an inopportune time to discuss the doings of his wayward son. R’ Asher wanted to leave the hospital.
The doctors, however, insisted that he remain. One night, R' Asher's deceased grandmother came to him in a dream. She told him that he was foolish for staying in the hospital and that he should follow her advice and leave at once. "What you need," she said, "is a brochah from the Chofetz Chaim. Go to him and tell him that you are from his hometown of Zhetel. His brochah will do more for you than all the medications the doctors have been giving you for the last six months."
The next morning, R' Asher got out of his hospital bed unobserved, took his crutches and hobbled somewhat unsteadily down the back corridors of the hospital and made his way outside. He went home and began to prepare for his trip to the Chofetz Chaim. In a few days he was ready to begin his journey to Radin.
While R’ Asher was traveling on a train to Radin, the Chofetz Chaim himself along with R’ Zalman (the Rav from Zhetel who was supposed to encourage R’ Asher to send his son away) were traveling home to Radin from a rabbinic conference in Vilna. R’ Asher happened to meet up with R' Zalman in the train station. R’ Zalman directed R’ Asher to the Chofetz Chaim’s train car. R’ Zalman was hoping to reach the Chofetz Chaim before R’ Asher so that he could tell him about R' Asher's son. Perhaps, thought R' Zalman, if the Chofetz Chaim would admonish R' Asher about the matter, R' Asher would then try to influence the wayward young man. They entered the train and walked through the corridors until they came to the car where the Chofetz Chaim had just finished Shacharis and was putting his tefillin away.
Respectfully, they waited at a distance until he finished, and then R' Asher hobbled to the Chofetz Chaim and began talking before R' Zalman had a chance to say anything.
As R' Asher began talking to the Chofetz Chaim he burst into tears, describing his illness and lengthy stay in the hospital. "I am from Zhetel, your hometown," said R' Asher gasping from his exertion. "My grandmother, who was a deeply religious woman, came to me in a dream and told me that I should come to you for a brochah."
The Chofetz Chaim looked up at the man and said, "Yisroel Meir is not a brochah-giver. What can I do? How can I help you?" (The Chofetz Chayim often referred to himself by his first name Yisroel Meir.) The man pleaded and begged.
Finally the Chofetz Chaim said, "We say every Friday night: 'Let us go towards the Shabbos and welcome it, for it is the source of blessing.' If Shabbos, which is the source of blessing is happy with you, then I too can be happy with you."
"What do you mean, Rebbi?" asked R' Asher. "Well," said the Chofetz Chaim, "if Shabbos is observed in your home by the members of your family, then Shabbos will bless you. But if your son drives on Shabbos, and your daughter combs her hair in a manner forbidden on the Shabbos, then Shabbos is not happy with you. If so, what kind of brochah-giver is Yisroel Meir?"
The man was shocked by the insight of the Chofetz Chaim's words and he promised that he would make every effort to see that his children would become true Sabbath observers. How did the Chofetz Chaim know these details about R’ Asher’s family? (p. 171 Rabbi Paysach Krohn, The Maggid Speaks.)
Our righteous Torah leaders are conduits through which flows the divine goodness from above. By going to a Tzaddik, a righteous Torah leader, we can tap into this conduit and benefit from their blessings.
Let us all be inspired by this week’s discussion to seek out our Righteous Torah leaders and flock to them to seek their brochos. Then we will all merit living happy and healthier lives. Good Shabbos Everyone.

Mr. Wolfberg’s Shabbos sponsored by: Refuah Shleima to Mordechai Menachem Mendel ben Tziporah Yitta Refuah Shleima to Tsviah bas Bracha Leah

In memory of Shosha Malka bas R' Avrohom 21 Cheshvan Refuah Shleimah to Chana Ashayra bas Dodi

Have a great Shabbos. Be well,

Rachamim Pauli