6 Dec 14
North West London's Weekly Torah Sheet
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London 3:37 pm Manchester 3:36 pm
London: 4:50 pm Manchester: 4:53 pm
MiYemini Michoel ....................... 2
Eretz HaTzvi ................................. 3
Commuters Chavrusa ................. 4
The Halachic Conversation ....... 5
Journey through Nach ................ 6
Home Grown ................................ 7
Parsha Perspective ...................... 8
Positive Parenting ........................ 9
Rabbi Frand ................................10
Sparks of Chassidus ................. 11
2S P O N S O R E D
MiYemini MichoelRabbi Michoel JablinowitzRosh Yeshiva Ateret Yerushalayim
We read in this weeks parsha (Chapter 33, Pasuk 18) Vayavo Yaakov Shalem Ir Shechem Asher BEretz Canaan BVoo MPadan Aram, Vayichan Es Pnei Hair. Yaakov returned from Chutz LAretz and his years with Lavan and his encounter with Eisav, intact both physically and spiritually. He returns to Eretz Yisrael, to the city of Shechem, arriving right before Shabbos. Chazal teach that he arrived as the sun was about to set on Erev Shabbos, Nichnas BDimdumei Chamah, and established Eruvei Techumin. What is the significance of Yaakov establishing the seemingly obscure mitzvah of Eruvei Techumin?
The Gemarah in Shabbos 118A teaches in the name of Rabbi Yochanan that all who are Meaneg es HaShabbos, all who are festive on Shabbos, receive in return a Nachalah Bli Metzarim, a portion without borders. This is the portion of Yaakov Avinu who was told in last weeks parsha (Chapter 28, Pasuk 14), UFaratztah Yamah VKeidmah Tzafonah VNegba. And the reason that the one who keeps the mitzvah of Oneg Shabbos receives the portion of Yaakov Avinu is because Yaakov Avinu himself kept Shabbos. And this is derived from the pasuk quoted above, Vayichan es Pnei Hair, Mikan SheKavah Yaakov Techumin (see Rashi on sefer Yeshayahu, Chapter 58, Pasuk 13).
Rav Tzadok teaches the connection between the limitless portion of Yaakov Avinu and Eiruv Techumin in the following manner. Everyone knows that the kedushah of Shabbos is a kedushah of time. Shabbos has sanctity above and beyond the six days of the week and this kedushah is constant, occurring automatically every seventh day. Yaakov Avinu established the kedushah of Shabbos as being one of place as well. When one establishes before Shabbos a Makom Shevisah, a place where he will partake in the meals of Shabbos, he is extending the parameters which may be traversed on Shabbos. He is essentially extending the space of the holiness of Shabbos. This is why Yaakov received as compensation for keeping Shabbos and extending its parameters an unlimited portion.
There is another, seemingly antithetical, aspect to the mitzvah of Eiruvei Techumin as well. The Meshech Chachmah contrasts Yaakov Avinu with Avraham Avinu by the different mitzvoth they kept on Shabbos. Chazal teach that while Yaakov Avinu kept Eiruv Techumin, Avraham Avinu established Eiruv Tavshilin (though there is no specific Scriptural reference for it, which is why only Yaakov, who has a reference in the Torah, is considered the one who kept Shabbos). The reason for allowing Eiruv Tavshilin (according to Rabbah who holds Hoil) is because guests might arrive on Yom Tov. This is consistent with the trait of chesed of Avraham Avinu who was known for reaching out and inviting guests. This is why Avraham established Eiruvei Tavshilin.
Yaakov Avinu, in contrast, was not a man of reaching out. He kept a distance between himself and Lavan, and unlike his wife Rochel, couldnt understand a need to separate Lavan from his idolatry. He was a man of borders and distinctions. This is why he kept Eiruvei Techumin which clarifies the proper borders of Shabbos.
This midah of Yaakov Avinu is actually stressed elsewhere in the parsha as well. The pasuk tells us before Yaakov encounters the angel (Chapter 32, Pasuk 25), Vayivaser Yaakov Levado, Yaakov remained alone. The Sefarim explain that the midah of Yaakov is to be alone and separate himself from the folly of the outside world. He didnt mix with the other nations of the world. And this is the praise Bilam speaks of Bnei Yisrael (Bamidbar, Chapter 23, Pasuk 9), Hein Am Levadad Yishkon. It is a nation that dwells by itself. This is consistent with the notion of Yaakov establishing borders with the Eirvu Techumin. Yaakov separated himself from those around him.
Which idea is correct in understanding that Yaakov Avinu established Eiruv Techumin? Was it expansive, and thus he received a limitless portion in return, or was it a way of separating himself from those around him?
The answer is that both are true. Yaakov Avinu teaches us that one must first establish clear borders and distinctions between himself and those around him. This enables him to establish his identity and differentiate himself from the world around him. First there needs to be the element of Vayvaser Yaakov Levado. The Eiruv Techumin must first serve as a means of establishing borders.
After one clearly identifies himself, then he can reach out and expand his holiness. After the separation comes the expansion of kedushah. The Nechalah must first be established, and then it can become one without any borders, a Nechalah Bli Metzarim.
The Rosh HaYeshiva will be in London until Sunday afternoon 7th December
To arrange an appointment for yourself or someone you know who could benefit from the Yeshiva
call the Rosh HaYeshiva on his mobile on 07854-129-184
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3Eretz HaTzviRabbi Zvi TeichmanCongregation Ohel Moshe, Baltimore, MD
Who Is That Knocking at My Door?Esav is overwhelmed by his brother Yaakovs largesse. Seeking to respond in
kind he generously offers to escort Yaakov and assist him on his journey home. Esav even volunteers to slow down and travel at the family of Yaakovs pace.
( ) , Travel on and let us go- I will proceed alongside you.
Yaakov puzzlingly, responds by restating the obvious:
... ( ), My lord knows that the children are tender, and the nursing flocks and cattle are upon me; if they will be driven hard for a single day, then all the flocks will die.
Esav was quite aware of the nature of Yaakovs large and young family as well as his cumbersome possessions. It was precisely with that reality in mind that he preempted with the offer to proceed alongside Yaakov, intimating his willingness to walk at their speed.
How then did Yaakovs response convincingly deter Esav from participating in the journey?
The Midrash ( ) reveals that there was much more going on between the lines here.
Apparently already in the womb, Esav and Yaakov agreed to split the pot, with Yaakov taking , The World to Come and Esav , This World. Upon Esav having now discovered Yaakovs evident this worldly successes, he exclaims to Yaakov in bewilderment, Where did you get all these possessions from? It wasnt part of the deal!
The Midrash goes on to relate how Esav calculates to himself that if these physical benefits are what is in store for the one who rescinded the pleasures of this world, how much greater must be the reward in the world to come that was duly Yaakovs.
It was in this vein that Esav sought to accompany Yaakov. It wasnt merely a brotherly gesture of help, but rather Esav suggesting they now divide both worlds evenly.
The Midrash continues that Yaakov responded that the tender nature of the children disqualify them from undertaking the requisite suffering this agreement would entail.
It is not clear as to what suffering Yaakov is referring to. Certainly not having any entitlement to this world should be even more difficult and painful than having fifty percent rights to the benefits of this world?
The key to resolving this dilemma lies in a careful reading of Esavs initial inquiry as recorded in the Midrash.
Esav pointedly questions Yaakov , ?, Where did you get all these possessions to rejoice with?
Esav has plenty of material bounty, what he pines for however is happiness.
Esav considers the emptiness of a life in the pursuit of corporeal success alone. He wants meaning that only striving for otherworldly values can bring. He seeks this as an additional objective he believes can bring him joy.
What Esav fails to comprehend is that material gain is never an objective. It is a benefit that accompanies the goals of the spirit if G-d so deems it suitable for ones spiritual benefit. Only when the primary objective is closeness to G-d can it be possible to live happily with the gains G-d chooses to dispense to us on that journey.
One who views these two as separate goals will never be happy. When material wealth is perceived as an independent objective, it brings only misguided expectations, disappointments and ultimately frustration. One cannot devote oneself to a 50/50 relationship with G-d.
Esav is incapable of relinquishing his objective of success. He is ready to devote himself part-time to Heavenly service, but only as detached from his personal striving for success.
Furthermore, Esav sees a relationship with G-d as another worthwhile pursuit, failing to understand the value in the bond, not just in the value of future dividends.
Life is about seizing the moments we face. Happiness is not contingent on achieving objectives. We must certainly set real and meaningful goals and strive for them, but the joy lies in the pursuit as well. Every day is an independent adventure to gr