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FRUMToronto Articles Parsha Pearls

Devrei Torah relating to the weekly Parsha.

Blog Image: israelmeirlau.jpg
Parshas Bamidbar 5776 Erev Shavuos

What is meant by derech eretz kodmah l'Torah, that derech eretz is before the Torah?

Somebody told me that he couldn't find that statement; it's a Midrash Rabah in Vayikra. And it states, derech eretz, the way to live properly comes before the Torah. What does that mean? We're not going to wait until you learn how to live properly before you keep the Torah; it'll take too long. What it means is, in history it came first, because Bereishis came before Shmos. The Torah was given in Shmos but in Bereishis we learn derech eretz. You know what derech eretz is?

Derech Eretz is, "Sarah sho'maas", Sarah was listening, that's derech eretz. When Avrohom was talking, Sarah didn't stick her head out and say, "I know all about it!! You said it already to the guests that came yesterday." Sarah is listening, that's derech eretz.

When Avrohom saw wayfarers traveling on a hot day, he ran out in a terrible heat and he begged them to taste of his hospitality. That's derech eretz.

Derech Eretz is, when a strange man came with camels, an able bodied man came with camels, and said to Rivka, "Give me a drink," and she said "What do you think I am? Go yourself to the well." No. She said, "Yes my lord, shi'sei adoni, my master drink," that's derech eretz. And when she added, "Let me give water also to your camels," that's derech eretz.

When Yosef Hatzadik was a prisoner and he was down in the dumps because he was in prison for nothing, and he saw two of his fellow prisoners were glum, he didn't say, "What's it my business, I have my own worries." No, he said ma'duah pi'neichem roim, why do you look bad today? He interested himself in their welfare. That's derech eretz.

All these things and thousands like them are written in Bereishis to teach this is the way to prepare for Torah, good character.

When Yaakov Avinu said that he almost gave his life to take care of Lavan's flocks, by day and by night, in the heat and in the cold, he didn't forsake his charge, he was a loyal watchman...That's derech eretz.

When Yaakov Avinu went back to look for pachim ktanim, little things that were left over on the other side of the river, because he was a treasurer for Hakadosh Baruch Hu, he didn't waste. Don't waste! You can't waste things, it all belongs to Hashem, nothing is ours. That's derech eretz.

When Noach got drunk and he was lying on his bed naked, and his two older sons decided to cover him up. They took the blanket and they walked backwards not to see their father. That's derech eretz.

The whole Bereishis is derech eretz, and it's put there before kabolas ha'Torah to tell you, that's how to prepare for the Torah. That's whats meant by derech eretz kodmah l'Torah.

Good Shabbos and Gut Yom Tov To All
A Q&A from the archives
Question # 279

How can you make your work incidental (despite working eight hours a day) and your learning should be the main part of your life?

If a person really means business, he's going to utilize the spare time that's available, and it's remarkable how much time is available. Most people don't work on Sundays; but they don't work on Shabbos either. Now Shabbos is a glorious opportunity and it shouldn't be wasted. In winter time there's a long Friday night; in summer time there's a long Shabbos afternoon. Now people who climb into their pajamas Shabbos after the Seuda and they climb out just for Mincha, are people who are committing suicide; they're ruining their lives.

Motzoai Shabbos is an opportunity, don't just run around visiting relatives; forget about relatives. You have one relative you have to visit, that's yourself. It's not selfish, because life is only for the purpose of making something out of yourself. So you have Friday night, all day Shabbos; remember Shabbos morning before davening should be utilized. Shabbos afternoon, Motzoai Shabbos. If you don't work on Sundays, be a kollel man on Sundays. "Oh!" your wife will say, "at least one day a week you have to be home!" Answer is, say, "My dear, I am not in the Yeshiva now, Yeshiva people are going full speed ahead every day of the week, I have one day and that one day I should waste?" So Sunday morning say good bye to your family, take along lunch and you spend the day someplace else, don't go home until nighttime.

Now, when Hakadosh Baruch Hu sees, hamekabeil uhluv ol Torah, if a man takes upon himself the yoke of the Torah, he means business. You mean business? So Hakadosh Baruch Hu says, this man deserves more time, so they take off of him ol malchus v'ol derech eretz, and things start happening. You'll be amazed what will happen, some more opportunity will be presented to you to learn more and more.

But when a man looks for things to do on Sunday, Motzoai Shabbos he's busy? Sunday he's busy, he has no time? So Hakadosh Baruch Hu says, in your spare time you're making yourself busy? Shabbos after davening you run to this kiddush, this bar mitzvah, that bar mitzvah, this aufroof, whenever you have a chance you go and sit till two o'clock eating and stuffing yourself and wasting time? If that's the case, I'll see that you're kept busy all your life without any opportunity to achieve for yourself.

So the first step is, to make use of the time that you do have, you have plenty of time that's available. Shabbos and Yom Tov, if you use them right, Hakadosh Baruch Hu will reward you and give you some more time.

This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210

Posted 6/10/2016 12:23 PM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)

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