New Stories Beshalach 5776
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Beshalach 5776
Shabbos, Manna and Daas
In this week’s parasha we learn about the fascinating chapter of the manna that HaShem provided for the Jewish People while they sojourned in the Wilderness. The manna was miraculous in that it fell from heaven every day except for Shabbos and every Jew received exactly what he needed for sustenance. Furthermore, one who ate the manna did not need to relieve himself afterwards and the manna tasted like any food that one desired. There is one aspect of the manna, however, that is not as well known, and that is that the manna was not named by HaShem or by Moshe. Rather, it is said (Shemos 16:4-5) vayomer HaShem el Moshe hinini mamtir lachem min hashamayim viyatza haam vilaktu divar yom biyomo limaan anasenu hayeielch bisorasi im lo vihayah bayom hashishi viheichinu eis asher yaviu vihayah mishneh al asher yilkitu yom yom, HaShem said to Moshe, “Behold! – I shall rain down for you food from heaven, let the people go out and pick each day’s portion on its day, so that I can test them, whether they will follow My teaching or not. And it shall be that on the sixth day when they prepare what they bring, it will be double what they pick every day.” Further on it is said (Ibid verse 15) vayiru vinei Yisroel vayomru ish el achiv man hu ki lo yadu mah hu vayomer Moshe aleihem hu halechem asher nasan HaShem lachem liachlah, the Children of Israel saw and said to one another, “It is food!” – for they did not know what it was. Moshe said to them, “This is the food that HaShem has given you for eating.” One must wonder why the Jewish People referred to the food as manna.
Why did Moshe not inform the Jewish People regarding Shabbos?
Another difficulty that must be addressed regarding the manna is the fact that the manna did not fall on Shabbos. It is said (Ibid verse 22) vayehi bayom hashishi laktu lechem mishneh shinei haomer laechod vayavou kol nisiei haeidah vayagidu liMoshe vayomer aleihem hu asher diber HaShem Shabbason Shabbas kodesh laHaShem machar eis asher tofu eifu vieis asher tivashilu basheiulu vieis kol haodeif hanichu lachem limishmeres ad haboker, it happened on the sixth day that they gathered a double portion of food, two omers for each; and all the princes of the assembly came and told Moshe. He said to them, “This is what HaShem had spoken; tomorrow is a rest day, a holy Shabbos to HaShem. Bake what you wish to bake and cook what you wish to cook; and whatever is left over, put a way for yourselves as a safekeeping until the morning.” Rashi (verse 22) writes that the princes queried Moshe regarding the double portion of the manna and from here we derive that Moshe had not yet informed the Jewish People regarding the aspect of manna not falling on Shabbos and the receiving of a double portion of manna on Friday. Once the princes asked Moshe regarding this phenomena, Moshe informed them regarding Shabbos and HaShem chastised Moshe for this. This is difficult to understand, because Rashi writes earlier (verse 4) that the test that HaShem set up for the Jewish People was to see if they would be successful at not leaving over the manna and that they would not go searching for manna on Shabbos. It is said (Ibid verses 19-20) vayomer Moshe aleihem ish al yoser mimenu ad boker vilo shamu el Moshe vayosiru anashim mimenu ad boker vayarum tolaim vayivash vayiktzof aleihem Moshe, Moshe said to them, “No man may leave over from it until morning.” But they did not obey Moshe and people left over from it until morning and it became infested with worms and it stank; and Moshe became angry with them. It is clear that Moshe knew what he was supposed to inform the Jewish People regarding the manna. Why, then, did Moshe choose to not inform the Jewish People of the uniqueness of the manna with regard to Shabbos?
The double portion of manna on Friday was a prelude to attaining daas on Shabbos
Regarding the definition of Shabbos it is said (Ibid 31:13) viatah dabeir el bnei Yisroel leimor ach es Shabsosai tishmoru ki os hi beini uveineichem ledorseichem ladaas ki ani mikadishchem, now you speak to the Children of Israel, saying: ‘However, you must observe my Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you for your generations, to know that I am HaShem, Who makes you holy.’ Thus, the essence of Shabbos is daas, knowledge, which on a deeper level means a closeness that the Jewish People have with HaShem. The Gemara (Shabbos 10b) states that HaShem told Moshe, “I have a beautiful treasure in My treasure house and it is called Shabbos. Go and inform them.” What is the meaning of this statement? It would appear that Moshe wished that the Jewish People should be able to understand on their own the significance of Shabbos. How were the Jewish People to understand the significance of Shabbos on their own? They had experienced Shabbos in Egypt, and according to the Gemara (Sanhedrin 56b) Moshe had instructed them regarding Shabbos in Marah. This should have been sufficient for them to grasp the holiness of Shabbos. However, they were still lacking daas, as the Gemara states (Brachos 40a) a child does not begin to call “Abba, Imma, father, mother” until he tastes wheat. Thus, when the Jewish People saw the manna, they declared “man hu, it is food!” The Rashbam (Shemos 16:15) writes that the word man in Egyptian means “what.” It is said (Ibid) vayiru vinei Yisroel vayomru ish el achiv man hu ki lo yadu mah hu vayomer Moshe aleihem hu halechem asher nasan HaShem lachem liachlah, the Children of Israel saw and said to one another, “It is food!” – for they did not know what it was. The Torah specifically states that they referred to it as man because they did not “know” what it was. Had they understood what the manna was, they would have been able to attain the level of daas which is inherent in Shabbos. Since they had not attained this level of understanding, the princes approached Moshe on Friday to inquire regarding the double portion that they had received. It was only then that they were so close to Shabbos and Moshe informed them of the holiness of Shabbos. When HaShem chastised Moshe for not informing the Jewish People regarding Shabbos, it is said (Ibid 16:29) riu ki HaShem nasan lachem haShabbos al kein hu nosein lachem bayom hashishi lechem yomayim shevu ish tachtav al yeitzei ish mimekomo bayom hashevii, see that HaShem has given you the Shabbos; that is why He gives you on the sixth day a two-day portion of bread. HaShem was informing Moshe that in order for the Jewish People to attain the level of daas that one experiences on Shabbos, they would first have to see that HaShem had given them the Shabbos, and this was only manifest through the double portion of manna that they received on Friday.
The Shabbos connection
The Medrash (Bereishis Rabbah 11:2) teaches us that there are two aspects of Shabbos. One aspect of Shabbos is the blessing of Shabbos, which was reflected in the fact that the Jewish People received two portions of manna on Friday. The second aspect of Shabbos is that by the fact that the manna did not fall on Shabbos, the Shabbos was sanctified. Daas, closeness, and kedusha, holiness, are intertwined, as it is said ladaas ki ani HaShem mikadishchem, to know that I am HaShem, Who makes you holy. Thus, one must first, in a sense, experience Shabbos during the week in order to attain the level of daas that can be experienced on Shabbos. HaShem should allow us to be cognizant of Shabbos during the week and thus experience the closeness and holiness of Shabbos on Shabbos.
Shabbos in the Zemiros
Tzama Lecho Nafshi
This zemer was composed by the great medieval commentator and poet Avraham Ibn Ezra whose name is found in the acrostic of the verses
בְּלֵב יֵצֶר חָשׁוּב. כִּדְמוּת חֲמַת עַכְשׁוּב. וְאֵיכָכָה יָשׁוּב. הַבָּשָׂר הֶחָי, within the heart, inclination is considered as if it were a viper’s poison. So how can one repent, becoming healthy flesh? When one is cognizant of the fact that the Evil Inclination is constantly scheming to cause man’s downfall, it is much easier to contemplate repentance. HaShem creates the remedy before the wound, and for this reason He created repentance before He created the world and the Evil Inclination. Yet, only with HaShem’s help can one defeat the Evil Inclination.
Not worth sleeping a lot every night
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffman writes: The Rebbetzin of the holy Rebbe Reb Shmelke of Nikelsburg once came to her husband’s contemporary, the Rebbe Reb’ Elimelech of Lizhensk with a desperate plea: The doctors had warned her husband that he was sleeping far too little, and that his health was deteriorating as a result. Yet their warnings had fallen on deaf ears: Her holy husband absolutely refused to change his grueling schedule to allow for more sleep. It was a situation of pikuach nefesh, a question of life and death, she said. Perhaps, she pleaded, Reb Elimelech would be able to convince her husband to allow himself a little more rest!
Soon afterwards, Reb Elimelech arrived in Nikelsburg with a group of his disciples. They were told to go about arranging a seudah, a festive meal, in honor of the Rebbe Reb Shmelke. Reb Elimelech personally invited Reb Shmelke to the seudah, an honor which he could not refuse. At the meal, the Rebbe Reb Elimelech took out a bottle of very rare whisky, poured a glass for himself and for Reb Shmelke, and made a le-chaim. Reb Elimelech then seemingly sipped from his schnapps, as did Reb Shmelke. In truth, however, Reb Elimelech did not drink from his whisky, for it was spiked. Even a small amount was enough to put Reb Shmelke to sleep on the spot. Reb Elimelech had Reb Shmelke carried off to his home, where he was put to bed for the night.
The next morning, the Rebbe Reb Shmelke awoke, startled to have slept through the night, but with an invigorated spirit. Upon arriving in shul to pray, he was joined by a large group of Chassidim, who did not fail to notice the unusual energy of the Rebbe’s prayers. They too felt energized by the Rebbe’s powerful spirit, and that day’s Shacharis took on a special quality. Indeed, it is told that on that day, when the Rebbe reached the Shiras Ha-Yam, the Song at the Sea, the entire congregation was swept away by the powerful vision of the Jews crossing the Sea of Reeds with Moshe Rabbeinu at their helm, to the extent that Reb Shmelke actually picked up his bekitsche (traditional chassidic coat) as he stepped into the raging waters. The Chassidim too followed suit. This was not pretentiousness – that day they truly satisfied the obligation of our Sages that, “Each person should imagine that he himself was redeemed from Egypt.”
That evening, the Rebbe again sat with his disciples. When Reb Elimelech arrived, a place was made for him at the head-table, next to the Rebbe. Once seated, Reb Elimelech again took out his now infamous “bottle,” and poured a glass for Reb Shmelke. “Perhaps you think,” said the Rebbe, “that I am a fool? It was enough that yesterday you robbed me of my entire night. I can’t recall ever spending a whole night sleeping. Mark my word: I’m not going to make the same mistake twice!”
“But the Rebbe himself saw,” argued Reb Elimelech, “the power of his tefillos (prayers) this morning. We all felt as if we were truly traversing the Sea of Reeds!”
“Indeed,” said Reb Shmelke, “when Shmelke spends all his nights immersed in Torah study, and once in his life he sleeps through the night, that indeed was a wonderful experience. But can you imagine what would become of Shmelke if he will begin to allow himself ‘a good night’s sleep’ every night? Shmelke will become just another farshlufenne Yid (sleepy Jew)!” (www.Torah.org)
Shabbos in Halacha
מוליד – Creating a new Entity
- The Prohibition
The Accepted Ruling
Lechatchilah (before the fact), we abide by the stringent view. Therefore, one should not defrost liquids in a particularly hot area, i.e. near a stove or radiator, or freeze liquids on Shabbos. However, bidieved (ex post facto), if an object was caused to liquefy or freeze, and one cannot replace it with a similar item, one may rely on the lenient view and use that item on Shabbos. For example, one should not defrost frozen concentrate near an oven. However, if this was done and no other juice is available, one is permitted to use the melted concentrate. Similarly, one should not make frozen ices on Shabbos. If it was done, however, and no other is available, those ices may be used.
Shabbos Ta’am HaChaim: Beshalach 5776
Is sponsored in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of Aryeh Leib Adler from Chicago. May he be zoche to grow liTorah lichupah ulimaasim tovim and he should be a source of nachas to his parents and grandparents and all of Klal Yisroel!
Have a Wonderful Shabbos!
Prepared by Rabbi Binyomin Adler
For sponsorships please call 248-506-0363
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New Stories Beshalach 5776
Remembering Devorah Stubin
Devorah was the happiest person I knew. She will be sorely missed.
by Sara Cohen
“Baruch Dayan HaEmet. They found Devorah.”
The words burned through my phone as I woke up in the middle of the night hoping the text was good news. This was not the news I was waiting to hear. “No. It can’t be true. It must be a mistake,” I replied. “Are they sure?”
I sobbed loudly as the reality of the truth sank in. For 48 hours I had been fervently praying, crying for the safe return of my dear friend, and now I was crying for our loss. Devorah was found inside her car which was submerged in the Passaic River, a result of a tragic accident.
Devorah Stubin and I met when she moved to Passaic many years ago. Though we never attended the same school, somehow our friendship blossomed. We spent Shabbat afternoons together, family barbeques and became Sunday morning play date buddies. I was drawn to her sweet and fun nature and I quickly learned more about her and her hobbies as we got to know each other.
Always with a smile on her face, Devorah was the happiest person that I have ever come in contact with. No matter the situation or what life circumstance she was dealing with, she radiated joy. She was a pure soul, with the ability only to spread love and kindness to the people in her life.
I remember sitting in her room as a little girl and listening to her interesting stories that she would make up using her dolls as props. I was fascinated by my friend who had such a great imagination and happy nature, even at such a young age.
When Devorah came to wish me a mazal tov at my engagement party I felt her true expression of love through her words and her smile. She had no ulterior motives; no reason to be there other than to rejoice with me in my simcha. She hardly knew anyone that was there but she took time out of her day to let me know how happy she was for me. As a true friend, she wanted to share this special moment with me.
Devorah was always looking to help other people and make them feel good. People could always count on her for a smile, a kind word or a genuine “how are you?” to make their day just a little bit brighter. You didn’t have to know her to get a grin or a thoughtful blessing for a good day. There was no such thing as a stranger in Devorah’s book; she felt that all people were deserving of her warm wishes.
Devorah lived a short life when measured by numbers, but she lived an incredibly long one when measured by her acts of kindness and in the love and happiness that she spread. She left a mark on this world and her existence touched thousands of people’s hearts. Devorah accomplished more in her short life than many accomplish in four times the years that she had.
People who had the privilege of knowing Devorah experienced her warmth and were inspired by her. She was a role model for the rest of us.
In a world full of ersatz friends, Devorah was a true friend, a shining light of joy in people’s lives and a true example of a happy and fulfilled person.
We will miss you Devorah. We will miss your smile and your laugh and we will cry over the loss of your sincere and loving nature. We will attempt to spread your light and joy to the world and we only pray that we can successfully follow in your footsteps.
Dafna Meir: A Heartbreaking Farewell
Murdered by an Arab terrorist in front of three of her children, her family says goodbye to a special soul.
by Adina Hershberg
This past Monday night was the first time that I heard about a very special person named Dafna Meir. Tragically, it was due to her murder by an Arab construction worker employed at a nearby site in the community of Otniel, in the southern Hebron Hills.
An investigation revealed that Dafna had opened her front door to the terrorist while three of her six children were home with her. The terrorist stabbed Dafna and a struggle ensued in which Dafna attempted to close the door. Renana, Dafna’s 17-year old daughter described the horrifying event, “I saw the terrorist stab my mother and she struggled with all her might so he would not come into the house and hurt us. At one point the knife got stuck and the terrorist could not get it out. Our eyes met. He looked at me and I looked at him. He kept trying to pull out the knife and it was clear to me he wanted to come and hurt me too.”
Renana was screaming at the terrorist, and when he failed to retrieve his bloody knife, he ran away. After a two-day manhunt, police arrested a 16-year-old Morad Bader Abdullah Adais.
On the morning of the funeral I joined one of the vigils on Highway 60 waiting for Dafna Meir’s funeral convoy to pass by.
While the vigil was being held, many of the army personnel suddenly jumped into their vehicles and raced off with sirens blasting. A person near me asked a soldier what happened and was told that there had been a terrorist attack in Tekoa, a 20-minute drive from where we stood. (Please pray for Michal bat Esther, a young pregnant woman who was stabbed.)
Scores of vehicles with Israeli flags hanging from them started passing by, along with an ambulance which held 38-year-old Dafna’s body.
At the funeral, Atarah, the adoptive mother of Dafna, told the crowd that Dafna was up for adoption at a young age because her biological parents were not able to care for her. Despite the hardships, “She managed to build herself up, build a home and turn herself into a kind and giving woman.”
“No matter how many children we have, we will also foster children in addition to our own.”
Atarah spoke about Dafna’s decision to enlist in the IDF as well as Dafna’s decision to marry Natan. “Dafna told us that when Natan had proposed she said she only had one condition, ‘No matter how many children we have, we will also foster children in addition to our own.’ And that is indeed what happened. They accepted Yaniv and Yair when they were three and one and a half. It wasn’t simple to find an adoptive family that would accept two brothers together. They invested so much in both of those children and in their own children.”
An acquaintance of mine told me that both her son and Yaniv had been at a nursery school for children with special needs. On several occasions she had gotten a ride with Dafna and was impressed with Dafna’s friendliness and helpfulness. Yaniv and Yair had been born to a mentally retarded mother, and it was only after Yair’s birth that social services got wind of the fact that the mother was incapable of properly raising her children.
Dafna’s husband Natan was the last to eulogize her at her funeral. “We met as soldiers on the border with Lebanon,” he said with tears in his eyes. “It took us a moment to fall in love…I said to you then, ‘Welcome.’ I say to you now, ‘Farewell.’ We are thankful for every moment we had with you. You left me six treasures. I will guard over them for you.”
With eyes lifted to the heavens he stated, “Dear Father. I have no second thoughts about you at all. Give us strength, be present in our home and let us feel your warm embrace – your love.”
“My Dafna is one in a million,” Natan continued. “One in a million, who grew up in a troubled home and managed to rebuild herself and give kindness back to the world.”
Dafna had combined conventional medicine in her work as a nurse in the neurology department at Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva, and work as a natural therapist who specialized in the field of fertility. Many Jewish souls came down to this world due to Dafna’s loving guidance.
Dafna was a shining star whose contributions to the Jewish people, as well as to people from other religions, continue to light up the world. (www.aish.com)