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Rabbi Nosson Krausz | Rosh Chaburah of the Leeds Kollel
Here are four clues for you to figure out what am I talking about?
1. It occurs in this weeks Sedra and a previous one in Sefer Bamidbar.2. On this occasion Moshe used only a sixth of the people.3. This time he decided to only involve close family. 4. It was so successful his Talmid copied him in Nach using exactly the same people.
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North West Londons Weekly Torah and Opinion SheetsA Torah publication that enables local Rabbonim and Avreichim to share their insights and Divrei Torah on a variety of different levels, to provide something for everyone
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And Miriam died and was buried. There was no water for the congregation1.
With the passing of Miriam, the well that travelled with the Jews providing a constant supply of fresh water, dried up. Rashi points out that from here we see that it was in Miriams merit that Hashem provided the Bnei Yisrael with water.
... ... 2 And Aharon died And the Canaanites heard [that Aharon had died], and they waged war with Israel.
Rashi explains that with the passing of Aharon, the divine protection of the clouds of glory disappeared, offering the Canaanites the opportunity to fight with Israel.
The Gemara3 tells us that besides for the Manna that Israel received in the merit of Moshe, Hashem returned the well of water and the clouds of glory, in his merit. One can ask, if Moshes merit was enough for the well and clouds of glory, why did they at first disappear with Miriam and Aharons passing? The Maharsha explains that it was in order to bring the awareness to the Israelites that until today it was all in Miriam and Aharons merit.
In this vein, the pasuk in Koheles4 states ... , better is the day of death than the day
1 Bamidbar 20:1-22 Ibid 20:28, 21:13 Taanis 9a
4 Koheles 7:1
one is born. Rashi explains that this refers to Miriam, Aharon and Moshe. When they were born, nobody knew who they were. Whereas upon their passing, when the Israelites lost the well, clouds of glory and mon, they then realised how great Miriam, Aharon and Moshe were.
On this, the question is obvious. Did they not realise their leaders greatness until their demise? Everyone knew that this special trio were prophets and leaders, and of an extremely high spiritual level. So how do we understand that they were underestimated, and that true appreciation was only attained when they died, when these various gifts from Hashem were taken away?
The answer is simple, yet so profound. Of course they were all appreciated for their spiritual values. But, what was underestimated was the understanding and the merit of the leaders, in the merit of the righteous people of the generation, Hashem bestows upon Klal Yisrael, the basic mundane material necessities, such as water, protection and food. This appreciation was attained upon their passing when the various necessities ceased.
To the human perception it seems that material success is credited to those who are in the business world only, whereas those who are toiling in Torah all day, though they may know how to answer queries and guide us how to act in the Torah way, but with the material world, what is their connection? The above illustrated the true Torah perspective. It is actually in their merit that Hashem showers us with our materialistic needs.
That is why in Kaddish Derabanan, we ask Hashem to give peace and tranquillity to , to those in this town who toil in Torah. It is because they are the ones who provide divine protection to the entire town.
1. When else in the year do we read from Parshas Chukas?
T H I S P A G E I S K I N D L Y S P O N S O R E D
HINSIGHTS FROM THE MAHARAL from Sefer Tiferes YisraelRabbi Binyomin Marks | Golders Green Kollel
Torah SheBiksav and Torah SheBaal Peh - Why the Split?All the Torah was given to Moshe on Har
Sinai, yet it is split into two very distinct parts, Torah SheBiksav and Torah SheBaal Peh, each with its own halachos of interpretation and extrapolation. Asks the Maharal, why was it necessary for Hashem to do this - could they not both exist in the same format, either verbal or written? Furthermore, we find in the Gemara1 that there is in fact an issur to switch the format of transmission of one to the other
those written may not be transmitted orally, or vice versa. What is the significance of this?
The Maharal explains - first approach: We know that the Torah is perfect, Toras Hashem Temimah. Each part of the Torah, SheBiksav and SheBaal Peh has its own element of perfection. The written part of the Torah (Chumash and the rest of Tanach) is the foundation of all of the Oral Torah there is no halacha which exists which cannot find some manner of source in the written Torah. 2 The perfection of Torah SheBiksav is that it encompasses everything.3 Thus, its required state of being is in a written form a written text exists in a state of completeness. No word exists without the other, each word has its required place and is static in that position, with all words being equally accessible. When one speaks, on the other hand, the words are transient - they exist in the ether for a moment as sound waves, detectable to the human ear, and then they are gone, replaced by the next word. There is no state of wholeness. Therefore, one is required to maintain the state
1 Gittin 60b2 The discussions in the Gemora to discover a source for any
given halacha are often serving as a manner of verification of the correctness of that halacha for if one cannot be found it cannot be correct (unless it is known to be a Halacha Lemoshe MeSinai, which means that it has no source. See Hakdama to Sefer Kiryas Sefer on the Rambam).
3 This is true not just of the mass of halacha but of all elements of the world science, history etc
of perfection which reflects the nature of Torah SheBiksav , not to transmit it orally but to keep it in its written, and therefore whole, state.
Not so with Torah SheBaal Peh. The Oral law is what extends from the written, the branches, leaves and fruit which sprout from the roots, dividing and subdividing further and further into myriad details. There is no end to the minutiae of halacha. As life circumstances and events are endless, so are the possible manifestations of halacha.4 Thus the very nature of the Oral Law, is that it cannot be contained in any written form to write it down contradicts its inherent quality of endlessness. Only in a verbal form can it be passed on - in this form it is not being limited or contained. Thus the perfection of both chelkei haTorah is maintained only by maintaining the manner of transmission which reflects their nature.
Second approach: Any mitzvah of the Torah can be divided into two parts, firstly its fundamental obligation and secondly the details of how to adhere to that obligation. For example, there is a mitzvah to avoid eating chametz on Pesach. This is the general obligation. There are numerous halachos which comprise the details of how this must be kept, how to avoid making flour chametz etc. In broad terms the first component is what is written in Torah SheBiksav , and the second Torah SheBaal Peh. Says the Maharal, the section comprising the broad obligation is inherently imbued with divinely inspired purpose and meaning. Why do we refrain from eating chametz on Pesach? The Sefarim Hakedoshim deal with this issue at length. The details of how to keep the mitzvah however,
4 Gedolei Yisroel throughout the generations apply the same klalim of psak as given to Moshe to resolve any new shailos which arise.
are not necessarily themselves imbued with their own profundity their meaning is related and extends from the general mitzvah, of which they are products, without meaning inherent to themselves. Flour left alone with water for more than eighteen minutes can lead to chametz and must therefore be avoided this is a detail of the general mitzvah to avoid chametz - which of course has depth beyond imagination but that depth is to be attributed to the mitzvah, not the detail itself.
To give a mashal of the connection between form and purpose against detail picture a house. A house has walls and a roof to protect from the sun, the rain and to keep what is inside safe; this is the general form and purpose of a house. For the details of how to build a house speak to a builder! The walls must be so high, so thick etc. The form and function are conveyed without expression of the details.
The written word has the characteristic o