Oneg vayechi

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  • OnegShabbosNorth West London's Weekly Torah Sheet

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    The Lone Wolf

    The Prophet Yeshayahu foretells of the glorious end of days when the wolf and the lamb shall feed together ( ).

    The Midrash explains that this refers to the coexistence of the tribe of Binyamin who is compared by his father to the wolf, Binyamin is a predatory wolf ( ), with the rest of the Jewish nation who is described by the Prophet Yirmiyahu as scattered sheep ( ) .( )

    The critical role of the tribe of Binyamin is evident in the fact that upon its unique stone on the Choshen Mishpat, in addition to his own name and the image of a wolf, the sentiment , The Tribes of Yeshurun, was engraved there as well. ( )

    Additionally, the colors appearing on his flag were similar to all the unique colors of all the other tribes. ( )

    The Midrash goes on to detail how periodically throughout our history the descendants of Binyamin would mimic the attribute of the wolf and snatch victory from the hands of our enemies. ( )

    Ehud, one of the earlier Judges, takes the initiative to go it alone and arrange an audience with Eglon the King of Moav, ostensibly to deliver a message from G-d. When Eglon stands up to greet the word of G-d Ehud stealthily withdraws a hidden sword thrusting it into him killing him and then locking the door behind him as he leaves, deceiving the kings servants into thinking the king is busy tending to his needs. In the interim Ehuds troops rout the Moavite army.( )

    Shaul the first Jewish king is valiantly described as the one who took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side ( ).

    Earlier the Prophet alludes to how after the Philistines captured the Holy Ark Shaul courageously runs alone a great distance and snatches the Two Tablets from the hands of Goliath.

    ( )

    In the days of Achashveirosh, Esther captures the heart of the king leading to the sequence of events that lead to the downfall of Haman.

    Each of these illustrious members of the tribe of Binyamin display the talent of the , the predatory wolf who can adeptly , snatch, his prey.

    Eretz HaTzviRabbi Zvi TeichmanCongregation Ohel Moshe, Baltimore, MD

    3rd Dec 15

    ' ''-' ' ' :

    London 3:47 pm Manchester 3:45 pm

    London: 5:02 pm Manchester: 5.04 pm

    cont. on page 2

    Eretz HaTzvi ......................................................................2

    Jewish Classics .................................................................3

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

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

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

    Guidelines ..........................................................................7

    Sparks of Chassidus........................................................8

    Parnassah Psychology ....................................................9

    Dr T .................................................................................. 10

    Memini Michoel ............................................................. 11

    Rambam .......................................................................... 12

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

    Answers can be found on the back page. Taken from the 1001 Questions & Answers Series by Rabbi Eli Brunner.

    Who was the mother of ?

  • 2Quiz Time?? ??????? ????????????????

    Answers can be found on the back page. Taken from the 1001 Questions & Answers Series by Rabbi Eli Brunner.

    Eretz HaTzviRabbi Zvi TeichmanCongregation Ohel Moshe, Baltimore, MD

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    Clearly this hereditary trait must have stemmed from their famed ancestor Binyamin. Yet in the portrayal of his life as detailed in the Torah nowhere is this skill evident.

    Rabbeinu Efrayim, one of the Tosafists, makes a startling claim regarding the nature of Binyamin.

    In his commentary on Torah he states: Benjamin was a predatory wolf, sometimes preying upon people. When it was time for him to change into a wolf, as it says, Benjamin is a predatory wolf, as long as he was with his father, he could rely upon a physician, and in that merit he did not change into a wolf.

    He goes on to explain that this was why Yaakov Avinu feared for Binyamin to leave, when Yaakov exclaimed, And he shall leave his father and die, namely, that when he separates from his father, and turns into a wolf with travelers, whoever finds him will kill him.

    In another place he elaborates with the following:

    There is a type of wolf that is called loup-garou (werewolf), which is a person that changes into a wolf. When it changes into a wolf, his feet emerge from between his shoulders, as it says, he dwells between the shoulders ( ). And likewise, Binyamin ate his mother, who died on his accord, as it is written, And it was as her soul left her, for she was dying, and she called his name the son of my affliction ( ).

    Perhaps we may suggest that the couching of his nature in this physical malady is actually a metaphor for the inner struggle Binyamin faced from birth.

    Binyamin entered this world without the warmth of a mother. He later lost a dear and devoted brother he cherished so much. During the years Binyamin went on to establish his own family, he names each one of his ten children in memory of his departed brother, each name emphasizing the difficult circumstances Yosef must have faced. ( )

    Perhaps Binyamin struggled with the trauma of pain he was born into and continued to experience throughout his life. The natural reaction when reliving trauma is to react violently and impulsively.

    Rachel his mother names him , son of affliction.

    Why would she give him a name that would accentuate the pain each time his name would be called?

    Maybe she sought to make others aware of his fragile nature in the hope that kindness and understanding would be exhibited toward him.

    His father Yaakov however calls him -, son of strength ().

    Yaakov Avinu wasnt negating Rachels intent but rather infusing within this traumatized child the belief that one can transform pain into strength. Ones plight should not defeat but rather compel one to find the inner-strength to go forward.

    The loneliness of pain allows one to focus ones energies in a way that comfort cannot. One must believe however that one possesses that ability to attain that goal.

    The word refers to pain as well as to strength. Rav Hirsch teaches that actually means to claim possession. When we suffer the pain of death it is the feeling of having a right to the possession of somebody of whom you have been robbed of. When one regains a healthy perspective on the situation at hand that is grounded in emunah, one becomes empowered with a greater strength, a greater resolve.

    The wolf is an animal that lacks the requisite strength to overpower by brute force alone in gaining its prey. He must utilize the element of surprise to snatch its quarry. At times it is the very lack of strength and its diminished size that deceives its target into thinking it is incapable of attack.

    The lone wolf is confident that in its limitation lay its greatest strength. The instinctive resolve the wolf possesses compels it to achieve its goal.

    Rabbeinu Efrayim describes the werewolf and its feet emerging from the shoulders.

    The shoulders represent burden, suffering. The feet imply mobility, going forward and taking that load and giving it feet.

    Each of these descendants of Binyamin stood isolated and alone against powerful enemies. These lone wolves however had that inner confidence that in their most difficult circumstance they would discover their greatest strength.

    Each one of us can easily transform into reactive werewolves if we permit self-pity to defeat us.

    If we maintain the legacy of Binyamin however, we can shackle the forces of defeatism transforming challenge into victory.

    May we finally reach that day when the force of the wolf within us will coexist healthily with the lamb and bring in its wake the final redemption.

    cont. from page 1

    2. Who said ?

    S P O N S O R E D

  • 3S P O N S O R E D

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

    Answers can be found on the back page. Taken from the 1001 Questions & Answers Series by Rabbi Eli Brunner.

    Jewish Classics: Mesillas Yeshorim

    Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene

    ''

    "

    BackgroundAuthor

    Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (1707-1746) known by his acronym Ramchal

    Historical Backdrop

    Forced to leave his Italian hometown of Padua because his kabbalistic teachings were considered suspect in the tragic aftermath of the tragedy of the false Messiah Shabsei Tzvi, the Ramchal settled in Amsterdam where this work on Jewish ethics was first published (5500/1740).

    Structure of Book

    Elaborating upon the Talmudic teaching of R. Pinchas ben Yair, this work records the spiritual ladder in a step-by-step progressive ascent towards the perfection of human soul and of closeness to G-d.

    The original version of this work was presented as a dialogue between a wise man (chacham) and pious man (chassid). The