Special Event: Holiday Crash Course, September 23

Special Event: Holiday Crash Course, September 23

The first in a series of educational events…

 Holiday Crash Course

 

Click Here To RSVP
or email malkytrav@gmail.com

Parshas Ki Tzaisai | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Ki Tzaisai | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

September 19, 2014 – Candle lighting 6:43, Shabbos Ends 7:50

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

We appreciate your comments and feedback.

The Kollel Connection is dedicated this week in honor of  the Bensalem Kollel members for all their help in putting our dinner together this week.  

This week we read Parshas Nitzavim.  Parshas Nitzavim contains one of the most famous verses in the Torah: “For this mitzvah that I am commanding you today, is not far from you, nor is it distant. It is not in the heavens that you should say who will climb for us to heaven to take it for us, and teach it to us so we will do it. Nor is it over the ocean to say, who will cross over the ocean to take it for us, and teach it to us so we will do it. Rather it is very close to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart to do it.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-14).

What mitzvah is the Torah referring to when it tells us that it is so close to us to be able to do it? Nachmanidies explains that the mitzvah referred to here is the mitzvah of Teshuva / repentance. The Torah is telling us that Teshuva is very close to us, and there is no excuse not to repent. The commentaries all raise the same question: How can the Torah tell us that Teshuva is so simple and so close to us? We all know how hard it is for us to change our habits or ways of life? Is it easy for someone who smokes to stop smoking? How many people try over and over, again and again, to break the habit? How many people try to go on a diet yet fail? Why are the life changes that come along with Teshuva considered “easy” to do?

There is a beautiful approach offered, that we would like to share today. The Talmud tells us, that our evil inclination, our temptations and desire to sin, is very powerful. In fact, the Talmud tells us that it is so powerful that we really would not be able to overcome it, if not for the fact that Hashem gives us help. If Hashem helps us with it anyway, then why is it even  regarded  as a challenge? Why should we get reward for overcoming it?

The answer is, that Hashem doesn’t just give us a “free ride”. We don’t just get an automatic pass to go to Heaven. Hashem says, “You make the first step! You open a hole the size of a needle, and then I will finish the job! I will open gateways the size of the doors of the Temple!!” What the sages are teaching us, is that our job is just to begin the process. If we begin with true sincerity – and really try to come close to Hashem – then we will succeed!! He will make it happen!! If we don’t succeed, there is only one reason – we really are not trying!! If we try – we succeed!

This is the difference between changing other areas of life, and Teshuva. In any other area of life, even if we succeed at first and really try, we may not find the strength to continue to succeed. Teshuva  is different. Teshuva is really close to us; It really is as close as our heart and our mouth. We can do it! If we try – we are guaranteed to succeed – as long as we really try!

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.

Parshas Ki Tzaisai | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Ki Tzaisai | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

September 5, 2014 – Candle lighting 7:06, Shabbos Ends 8:13

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

We appreciate your comments and feedback.

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.   We appreciate your comments and feedback. The Kollel Connection is dedicated this week in memory of Melvin Robbins, whose yartziet was this week.  

This week we read Parshas Ki Tzaisai.  Parshas Ki Tzaisai contains many varied commandments. At the end of the Parsha, the Torah tells us “A complete and correct weight shall be for you, and a complete and honest measure shall be for you … (Deuteronomy 25:15).  Rashi quotes the words of our Sages that the ending words “shall be for you” indicate that if we are honest, Hashem promises us that in return we will have something – a lot of material success. Indeed, the Sages teach us that when a person passes away, the first question he is asked in heaven is, “were you honest in business”?

The Chofetz Chaim adds, that when a person does what they are supposed to, blessing resides in all that they do. He explains that when a person does what Hashem wants, Hashem brings His Divine presence to be with him or her. Just as when a wealthy parent visits a poor child, they bring something along with them, so too when Hashem comes to us, He brings blessing to us. However, that’s only true if we are honest. Too often we get overcome with temptation, and end up doing something dishonest. In that case we are like a child whose parent comes to give him a present, but he slams the door and doesn’t let his parent in. The Chofetz Chaim explains that Hashem stands by a Jew’s door waiting to give him or her blessing and success. But instead of acting with honesty and allowing Hashem in, he or she does something dishonest, and Hashem removes the blessing He was waiting to give us. This is the power that being honest has, aside from the merit it carries in the world to come.

There is a story brought down of a time in the last two hundred years, when there was a drought in one of the Arab Lands. The local King summoned the Jewish Rabbis, and told them “I know that if you pray there will be rain. I am decreeing that if there is no rain within the next seven days, all the Jews in my Kingdom will be thrown into exile and banished from here.” The Rabbis declared public days of prayer and fasting. As the seventh day approached, they declared a special day of prayer, where every single man, woman, and child must appear in the main synagogue in town. The next day thousands of Jews gathered to pray. Suddenly, the entire crowd was silenced, as the Rabbi announced “whoever has the power to help now and doesn’t, will not have atonement for this.” Suddenly, a simple shopkeeper who sold vegetables called out “Wait for me!” he ran to his store, brought back his scales that he used to weigh the produce that he sold, and put them on the table. He then burst out in tears “Master of the world! In my entire life I was careful to give every single customer what they paid for! I never took money that I didn’t deserve! In the merit of my honesty, please have mercy upon your people that we won’t die in a drought, and we won’t be banished from our homes!

As soon as he finished speaking, the skies darkened, and rain came down.

This is the power of honesty and integrity that bring the greatest blessing from Hashem.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.

Parshas Shoftim | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Shoftim | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

August 29, 2014 – Candle lighting 7:18, Shabbos Ends 8:24

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

We appreciate your comments and feedback.

The Kollel Connection is dedicated this week in memory of Aharon Sofer, the young Yeshiva boy from Lakewood, who died this week while on a trip to the forest during his summer vacation. May Hashem bring comfort to his parents, siblings, and family among the other mourners of Israel and Jerusalem.

This week we read Parshas Shoftim.  Parshas Shoftim begins with the commandment to appoint judges in all cities of the Jewish community.  The wording that the Torah uses is, titen lecha – you should appoint for you (singular) as opposed to titen lachem (for you plural). The commentaries point out that the Torah is alluding by speaking in the singular that aside from the commandment to appoint judges for the community, there is another message that the Torah is giving us as individuals:

Shoftim and Shotrim – Judges and police refer to the power of the intellect (Judges) and the power of the emotion / heart (police). The Torah is telling us that we have to learn to be in control of both our intellect and our emotion. We have to develop the ability to tell ourselves “no” when we are not supposed to do something. Rather than to always give in to every urge and whim that we feel, even when it is wrong, the Torah demands that we must learn to control ourselves. The temporary feeling of hardship to control a desire, is followed by a most powerful feeling of satisfaction at having overcome it, and being stronger than it.

Immediately after this, the Torah tells us to be an honest judge, and not to pervert judgment. Continuing in the flow of the previous thought,  we are warned that when we have to make a decision, we have to weigh the factors influencing our thoughts with complete honesty. We have to recognize that when we feel inclined to take it easy, we may be influenced by laziness; when we are doing a mitzvah in public we may be pushed forward to do so by a desire for honor,…

As we read the Parsha, and look around the community seeing what effect powerful honest judges can have on the community, we also have to see what powerful effect being honest personal judges can have on ourselves. If we can push ourselves to think before we act, to retrain our deeds until we see if they are the right thing to do, we will certainly live happier lives, and be better servants of Hashem.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.

Parshas Devorim | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Devorim | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

August 1, 2014 – Candle lighting 7:55, Shabbos Ends 9:02

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

We appreciate your comments and feedback.

The Kollel Connection is dedicated this week in merit of all the soldiers who are fighting to protect the Jewish people in Israel. It is also in memory of the fallen heroes who gave their lives to save other Jews in Israel. May Hashem help and protect the entire Jewish people, and destroy all the wicked people who want to harm the Jewish people.  

This week we read Parshas Devorim. The Shabbos, which is the Shabbos before Tisha B’av,  (the fast day on which both the first temple and the second temple were destroyed), is also known as Shabbos Chazon, for the Haftorah of the week that begins with the words Chazon Yeshaya – a vision from Isaiah. In the haftorah, Isaiah laments how a cow knows its owner, and a donkey knows the feeding trough of its master. However, the Jewish people don’t recognize their master – Hashem.

The commentary Ubesoraso Yehege asks the following question: it is understandable that the prophet complains when a Jew doesn’t even act like a cow that knows its owner, while the Jew doesn’t know Hashem. However, what is the praise of the donkey that knows that trough of its owner? After all, it is simply looking for food for itself?

He explains that the point Isaiah was making, is that a donkey has total trust in the feeding trough of its owner. The donkey doesn’t think for a minute that it might have to find sources of nourishment. Rather, it relies on its owner. Isaiah demanded that the Jewish people also show their reliance on Hashem, and trust in Him.

This point is especially important in these days. As we join the entire Jewish world in praying for the success of the Israeli soldiers in Gaza, we must know that our success and safety is totally in the hands of Hashem. Let us unite in prayer and extra mitzvohs as a merit that no more Jewish blood be spilt, and that those who wish to harm Jews be totally destroyed. May we soon see the day of the coming of Messiah, the rebuilding of the Temple, and the ingathering of all Jews back to the land of Israel!!!

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.

Tragedy in Israel: Memorial Service and Video Presentation tomorrow evening

Tragedy in Israel: Memorial Service and Video Presentation tomorrow evening

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

This Thursday Night at 8 PM at
The Bensalem Outreach Center 2446 Bristol Road, Bensalem

BJOC: Memorial Service for Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel

Call Malky at 215-941-0351 for info or Click malkytrav@gmail.com to RSVP

Parshas Balak and the Tragedy in Israel | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Balak and the Tragedy in Israel | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

July 4, 2014 – Candle lighting 8:14, Shabbos Ends 9:22

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Welcome to the Kollel Connection.

We appreciate your comments and feedback.

The Kollel Connection is dedicated this week in memory of the three murdered Israeli boys – Naftali Frenkel, Eyal Yifrach, and Gilad Shaar. May Hashem comfort their families among all other mourners of Israel and Jerusalem. May their killers be quickly found and destroyed, and may Hashem wipe the tears of pain from all our faces with the coming of the final redemption, soon and in our days.

This week we read Parshas Balak. In the Parsha, the Torah tells us of the story of Balak the Moabite king, who invited Bilaam, the evil prophet, to curse the Jewish people.  Initially, when Bilaam was asked to go and curse the Jewish people, Hashem appeared to him and told him not to go. Bilaam responded to the messengers of Balak who had come to get him, that he can’t go with officials such as them – hinting that he could only go with more prominent officials – although this is not what Hashem had said. Balak proceeded to send more important officials to get Bilaam, and Hashem this time allowed Bilaam to go, as long as he would only say the things that Hashem instructed him to say. At first glance, this seems very puzzling. Why would Hashem suddenly allow Bilaam to go, after telling him just a few days ago not to go? The Talmud explains that this is one of the sources for the concept, “the way a person wants to go, is the way Hashem allows him to go”. Bilaam knew that Hashem didn’t want him to go. Nonetheless, he still tried to get permission to go. If a person actively seeks to sin, although he knows that it is wrong, Hashem will allow them to do so.

As Bilaam is traveling on his donkey towards Balak, the famous incident of the donkey talking to Bilaam occurs. Three times an angel appears to the donkey, and delays its trip. One time the donkey is forced to stray off the road, one time it crushes the foot of Bilaam against a wall, and one time it just stops in its tracks to avoid the angel. Bilaam gets angry, and starts beating the donkey. At that moment, Hashem makes a miracle happen, and the donkey  begins talking to Bilaam.

The commentaries ask, why did Hashem make such an unusual miracle occur, to have the donkey actually speak to Bilaam? The Seforno explains that the reason Hashem did this was to arouse Bilaam to repent, as he saw that Hashem controls the power of speech. Rabainu Bachya adds to this thought: “It would have been right for Bilaam to have wondered when he saw this amazing miracle, that the donkey spoke… He should have realized that this came from Hashem as a message that he should not go to curse the Jews. However, because of his evil nature and his burning desire to go, he ignored the miracle and just responded to the donkey as one who is having an everyday conversation…”

The obvious lesson is that if we don’t react to events that happen around us, if we just go on with life as if nothing occurred, we are following in the footsteps of the wicked Bilaam.

This past week saw tragedy occur that should have shaken each and every one of us to the core. Young Jewish boys, in the prime of their life, were murdered by wild, cold blooded animals. As the entire Jewish people responded to their capture with heartfelt prayers and  tears, we now have to also respond to their murder with action. We talk not of the knee jerk reaction of terror. Certainly it behooves us to recognize our enemies, to see the animals who rejoice at the cold blooded murders of Jews, to appreciate what the PA and Hamas are in reality.  This all is true – but not enough. As Jews, we are obligated to react to events that occur, not to be like the wicked Bilaam who just moves on with his life as if nothing as happened, but to find some area of life – or some mitzvah – that we will strengthen in their memory. If unity among Jews was achieved during the two weeks that their fate was unknown, let us strive to promote that unity. If prayers and sincere cries were uttered from the depths of our hearts during this time, let us continue them.  If Torah study, or lighting candles for Shabbos was initiated because of them – let that continue. Let us hope and pray that we will witness no more tragedy and pain, but the comfort and consolation that will accompany the coming of Moshiach, soon and in our days.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.


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