Monday, September 24, 2012

How Moshe Rabbeinu maintained his strength

Moshe Rabbeinu states that he has reached 120 years without any diminution of his strength and capabilities. However, on the last day of his life he suddenly states that he cannot continue to "go out and come in". Rav Shamshon Rafael Hirsch states that this shows that it was his position as leader that caused him to lose his strength so suddenly. While he was the leader, Hashem helped him maintain the strength to continue his duties. As soon as Yehoshua became the leader, the extra strength was transferred to him and Moshe was left only with the natural strength of his physical age.

We see this in the strength that many of the gedolei hador exhibit as they continue to serve Bnei Yisroel. The strength that they exhibit is given to them to serve Bnei Yisroel and is a measure of the hashgacha that Hashem shows to His people.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dip the Apple in the Honey

Dip the Apple in the Honey

Shana Tova U'Mesuka
שנה טובה ומתוקה

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How Lavan led to Mitzrayim

Rabbi Sorotzkin in אזנים לתורה points out that the ביכורים declaration begins in an interesting way.

ה. וְעָנִיתָ וְאָמַרְתָּ לִפְנֵי יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲרַמִּי אֹבֵד אָבִי וַיֵּרֶד מִצְרַיְמָה וַיָּגָר שָׁם בִּמְתֵי מְעָט וַיְהִי שָׁם לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל עָצוּם וָרָב
5. And you shall call out and say before the Lord, your God, "An Aramean [sought to] destroy my forefather, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there with a small number of people, and there, he became a great, mighty, and numerous nation.
This commentators stat that the Aramean was Lavan and that he sought to destroy Yaakov and his family by integrating them into the idol worshiping society of his day. That is why Yaakov had to flee with his entire family. Lavan laid claim to the entire family and was only stopped by an explicit command of G0d.

When the famine occurred in כנען, Yaakov could have gone to his family, just as he had when fleeing Esav. However, he knew that the influence of Lavan and his sons would have completed the destruction of his family. That is why he had insisted on an oath that neither side would cross the boundary line that they had set up when he was returning to כנען.

THus, the sentence in effect reads that because the Aramean (Lavan) tried to destroy "our father" (Yaakov), he went down to Mitzrayim. It was there that he was able to establish the family and begin turning it into a "great nation".