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FRUMToronto Articles Thoughts for the Week

Inspirational words of Torah from Gedolei Yisroel.

Blog Image: Hakhel.jpg
Individuals in a Group; Wondrous Event

We are all familiar with perhaps the most pronounced question in last week’s Parsha--why does the Torah spend so many Pesukim on the Karbanos of the Nesiim, when instead the Torah could have simply stated: “These are the Karbanos that each and every one of the Nesiim brought...”, and save scores of Pesukim?  After all, every tip of a Yud in the Torah requires investigation--all the more so an additional 65 Pesukim?!  An original and beautiful lesson is taught by the Alter of Kelm, Z’tl.  The Alter teaches that if a person does something together with the community, he may justifiably feel that he is simply part of a communal mitzvah, a most noble group effort, but that neither he, nor his mitzvah is separately identifiable within the Tzibbur’s wonderful actions.  However, the Alter teaches, this is not so at all.  While one may have performed a mitzvah in a more beautiful way by being part of a group, he, in fact, still retains his individuality in the mitzvah’s performance.  His mitzvah is not clustered together with that of others in a huge, undefined forest, but rather the tzibbur is viewed by Hashem as a gathering of distinctive trees making up a wonderful forest together.  Hashem does not only love the group as a whole for what they have done, but, the Alter says, **He loves each one individually** for his effort and participation.  To Hashem, it is not a large crowd, but a gathering of His “Ben Yachids,” who not only share Hashem’s love together, but get a full measure of it separately and individually.  Whether one davens in a Shul with 500, 100 or 10; whether one learns in a shiur with 20, or with 2, and whether one is part of a large Chesed organization, or has a Gemach in the privacy of his own home or with a friend or family member--Hashem identifies you and loves you for what **you** are doing.  Just as no one can hide from Hashem when doing an Aveira, for His glory fills the world, so, too, must one realize that his doing what other people are doing  together with him is clearly and uniquely recognized and cherished by his Father in Heaven.  Your Shemone Esrei counts, your staying up and thinking at a late night or early morning Daf Yomi shiur counts, the $100.00 that you put into your Shul’s Gemach all counts.  It is all individually treasured by Hashem.  And, if you think this is a small matter, the Alter of Kelm tells you that 65 Pesukim in the Torah teach you that it is something very important to remember.  We each receive unique and individualized attention, appreciation and love from the Master of the if we were His only son!

Special Note Two:  In the remarkable Haftorah of last week, we learn of the preparations that Manoach and his wife had to make to have a son like Shimshon, who was destined to be a Shofet BeYisroel.  The very obvious lesson is that we must all recognize that every person that we encounter has a specific task in this world, and, by virtue of Hashem having put us in contact with them, we should attempt to help them in fulfilling their life’s mission.  If it is not so clear to us as to what that may be, we can in all events help them perform Mitzvos in which they may need help, guidance or assistance--as Mitzvos are our collective duty--each person in his own way (as above).

We would like to briefly highlight another point, however.  Within the Haftorah, you may have noticed two words that are familiar to you, but in a totally different context.  The Pasuk states that, upon hearing the news from the angel that Shimshon would be born, Manoach brought a Korban.  The Pasuk continues “U’Mafli La’asos--and a wondrous thing happened,” as fire came out of a rock to consume the offering that Manoach had brought (Shoftim 13:19).  The Metsudos and other Meforshim there explain that the word Mafli is rooted in the word Peleh--an amazing and phenomenal event had just occurred--something shocking, astonishing and miraculous--fire out of a rock!!  Chazal then remarkably “borrow” this two word phrase “UMafli La’asos,” as the conclusion and climax of the Asher Yotzar Bracha, which we recite several times a day in recognition of Hashem giving us the capability to take care of our needs.  By using this phrase, Chazal may want us to understand that it is the same “Mafli La’asos” that Manoach and his wife witnessed as they saw fire coming out of a rock to consume a Karbon--as we witness every time we successfully take care of our bodily needs.  It is a Peleh--wondrous and extraordinary--like fire out of a rock!

We should not, chas veshalom, have to wait for an occasion when it is difficult or temporarily impossible for us to witness the daily Peleh we experience in ourselves in order for us to appreciate the miracles inherent in the Asher Yotzar.  Each and every time we conclude Asher Yotzar, it should not be with a feeling that we are just about ready to move on to something else...  Rather--it should be with a huge acknowledgment--with a climactic recognition and blissful declaration--“UMAFLI LA’ASOS!”

Special Note Three:  One other point in last week’s Parsha.  In carefully following the Kriyas HaTorah, one may have recognized that the Nasi of Shevet Gad was Elyasaf ben Deu’el (Bamidbar 7:42).  Elsewhere, the Torah refers to his father’s name not as Deu’el, but as Reu’el (Bamidbar 2:14)--with the Raish and Daleth being interchanged.  If one follows the Raish-Daleth interchange elsewhere--then what word would one discover within the word Torah?  Todah—Thanks--for ultimately the Torah teaches us the Great Thanks we owe to Hashem for each and every moment of opportunity in our lives--and for the Torah itself which guides us through each and every step of the way!

Hakhel MIS


Posted 6/8/2009 12:00 AM | Tell a Friend | Thoughts for the Week | Comments (0)

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