Oneg vaera

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  • OnegShabbosNorth West London's Weekly Torah Sheet

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    Now in London, Manchester, Hale, Gibraltar, Bet Shemesh, Yerushalayim, Baltimore, New York, Miami, Vienna, Toronto, Johannesburg

    Complacency, Defining, Belief And TrainingWe have all heard about the popular method of therapy used in

    psychology called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT. How many of us, however, have heard about the method of therapy called CDBT? This is a method which predates CBT by several thousand years in which The Torah outlines four stages of progression and development which, although begins with complacency, ends with a successfully rehabilitated person. This approach has been used to help thousands of people with their issues if done methodically and taken seriously. The stages are complacency, defining, belief and training.

    Initially, when one has an issue which is adversely affecting ones life, the tendency is to be complacent. One avoids any change or even clearly contemplating that they might have a problem. If that is their approach, it is virtually impossible to help them. The first thing they must do is to realise that something is very wrong and needs to be dealt with. The first stage is not to be Complacent.

    The next stage is for the person to clearly identify and define the problem. What exactly needs to be done? What is the area of weakness that I am susceptible to? This is a sobering experience in which a person must be critical and judgemental and focus on the area in need of repair. The famous maggid, Rabbi Sholom Shwadron would often comment on how peculiar it was to see intelligent, mature, religious people dash out of a chupa to go to the reception in order to start to indulge in the food. He once saw a man who did not receive his main course and literally ran half way across the room to remind the waiter of his oversight. Reb Sholom asked the man why is he so caught up in his meal that he was willing to belittle himself and run after the waiter. The fellows response was, Reb Sholom, it is a Seudas Mitzvah! Justifying faults is a common human defence mechanism as we dont like to admit that we have an area which requires hard work. Step number two, therefore is to Define the problem.

    Once this is achieved, a person is ready to act. They do, however need to believe in themselves and realise that they have the potential to succeed. It is not enough to define the problem unless one believes that they have the support, the tools and the capabilities to overcome their issue. This third stage is simply Believing in ones ability to fight and emerge victorious.

    The final stage is training and habituating oneself in their new regimen. Up until now, its all been theoretical. Henceforth, a person must continuously train themselves to behave in a new manner. Training.

    These four stages are, in fact, alluded to in the four expressions of redemption at the beginning of the parsha. Vhotzeisi, vhitzalti, vgoalti, vlokachti. The first stage is I will remove you from the burden of Egypt. The word connotes someone who has been afflicted with something negative and bears it. The first stage of the

    geula is to realise that I am bearing something negative. I cannot remain complacent and ignore this. This is something damaging and must be rectified. Hashem tells us, the beginning of redemption is to realise that there is a problem and decide to break free.

    After that has been established, I will save you from your servitude. I will save you from your unique, individual problem which you struggle with. What is your Avoda which brings you down? For the Bnei Yisroel it was their service of the Egyptian gods. Other people need to define their particular problem so they can attempt to remedy it.

    Next comes belief in oneself and ones ability to change. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm. say this is referring to krias yam suf which solidified our belief in Hashem and Moshe. According to our explanation, the pshat is, I will redeem you by showing you that you have power! Needless to say, belief in ones ability to succeed is synonymous with belief in Hashem as the source of this strength. With siyata dShmaya, you have an outstretched arm and you must believe in yourself.

    Finally a person needs to start to train themselves and act in the manner which they have outlined. I will take you for my nation. This refers to Matan Torah, where we received the which compels us to actually put everything into practice and habituate ourselves in a lifestyle which will lead to spiritual and emotional success and happiness.

    Toras Yakov Rabbi Yaakov HamerFinchley Central Federation/Shaarei Orah

    17th Jan 15

    ' " "-" " :

    London 4:06 pm Manchester 4:06 pm

    London: 5:20 pm Manchester: 5:23 pm

    Living with Emunah .................................................... 2

    Nefesh Hatorah ............................................................ 3

    Weekly Halacha Conversation .................................... 4

    Home Grown ................................................................ 5

    Weekly Nach ................................................................ 6

    The Davening Discussion ........................................... 7

    Memini Michoel ........................................................... 8

    Eretz Hatzvi .................................................................. 9

    Jewish Classics .......................................................... 10

    Rambam ..................................................................... 11

    Pachad David ............................................................. 12

    Quiz Time?? ??????? ????????????????

    Answers can be found on page 11. Information taken from The Jewish Fact Finder

    1. What do you make on lightning, shooting stars, exceptionally high mountains or great desserts?

  • 2Living with Emunah A Six Part Series Rabbi Yonason RoodynAish UK

    Mitzvah #1

    The first of the six constant Mitzvos is the

    foundation upon which everything else rests,

    yedias Hashem, knowledge and awareness of an

    Infinite Being who created and constantly sustains

    the universe.

    The first of the aseres hadibros, is according to most

    rishonim the the mitzvah of emunah in an Infinite Creator.

    As Chavakuk HaNovi1 says, tzaddik be emunaso yichyeh,

    the righteous one lives by his emunah. The famous

    Gemoro at the end of Makkos2 says that this principle is the

    foundation of all of Torah. Without this all of Yiddishkeit is

    reduced to mere culture and superficial ritual.

    The Rambam at the beginning of his Mishneh Torah3

    says that the foundation of all foundations and the pillar of

    all wisdom is to know that there exists a first Being upon

    Whom all of existence depends. If nothing else would exist

    He would still exist and if He did not exist then nothing

    else could possibly exist4.

    Existence cannot create itself and from nothing, nothing

    comes. As a result of this there must have been a first

    Being who created all of existence and is not limited

    by it5. Everything else only exists to the extent that the

    Creator wills it into existence6. This is why the first ani

    maamin refers to Hashem as both the borei (creator) and

    manhig (sustainer). When we make Kiddush on Friday

    night we affirm our belief in both these ideas. We refer to

    which is Hashem as the creator and

    where Hashem interfered with nature

    to take the Bnei Yisroel out of Mitzrayim, showing that He

    sustains and runs the world with hashgocho protis every

    moment of every day.

    ':' 1. ' 2

    ':' ' 3'-':' 4

    '' ' 5'' ' 6

    This isnt a matter of chakirah, or philosophical

    speculation about existence and nature of the Infinite

    being, which itself is the subject of a machlokes rishonim.

    This is a basic understanding of the existence or metzius of

    Hashem that is incumbent on every Jew. Not everyone can

    be philosopher, and the Torah does not demand that level

    of chakirah from us. We do not need to be able to grasp

    deep philosophical arguments to be considered maaminim.

    But at the same time, emunah peshutah doesnt mean that

    we ignore these ideas and just have blind faith7, rather we

    try to understand and internalise them to the best of our

    ability8.

    After yetzias mitzrayim the Bnei Yisroel encamped in

    Rephidim and are plagued with doubt, Is Hashem in our

    midst or not?9 Immediately afterwards we are attacked

    by our arch enemy and nemesis, Amalek. Amalek has the

    same gematriya as sofeik, doubt. He is the one who Rashi10

    says, cools things down. He is the one who sows seeds

    of doubt in our emunah, in order to justify a more chilled

    out approach to Torah and Mitzvos. Part of the mitzvah

    of erasing Amalek is to remove all such doubts from our

    mind, not through ignoring them, but through answering

    the sfeikos that the yetzer horo plants in our mind through

    Torah true mekoros.

    The six constant mitzvos are referred to as the

    the six cities of refuge. Through learning about,

    internalising and living with these ideas we are safe from

    the yetzer horo that seeks to kill us spiritually. The more

    we learn about and discuss these ideas, the more real they

    become for us, the start to affect our thought processes

    and ultimately our decisions and choices too.

    '' ' '' '' '' ' 7'' 8