Yom Kippur 2014/5775 | The Kollel Connection

Yom Kippur 2014/5775 | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

October 3, 2014 – Candle lighting 6:20, Shabbos/Yom Kippur Ends 7:28

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.

This week we celebrate Yom Kippur –  the Day of Atonement. In a very beautiful statement in the mishna, Rabbi Akiva tells us “Happy are you, the Jewish people. Before Whom do you become pure, and Who cleanses you? Your father in heaven…” (Yoma 85b). At first glance Rabbi Akiva’s statement seems a little unnecessary. Certainly when we are given a chance to purify ourselves, and to start fresh, that is a cause for celebration. Why would it be necessary for Rabbi Akiva to point this out? Doesn’t everyone who gets a chance to start fresh feel joy?

The Nesivos Shalom offers a beautiful thought to answer this. Rabbi Akiva is not talking about the fact that we become cleansed. He is talking about how we become cleansed. After a Jew has become ritually defiled through a whole year, how can he or she suddenly become purified of all their sins? How can those spiritual impurities that separate between this Jew and Hashem suddenly disappear?

Rabbi Akiva is pointing out that the very fact that we are so close to Hashem, that is the very cause of the purity that cleans away the effect of sin. The more we feel and recognize the closeness we have to Hashem, the more we are purified from sin.

In another approach, the Nesivas Shalom suggests that the point of Rabbi Akiva is pointing to us to recognize the very source of our atonement is the joy that we feel knowing that we are a  child to the Master of the World, and that Hashem is our father. When we can feel it properly,  then that closeness to Hashem comes to us, and we stand much closer to obtaining atonement.

May this realization bring us closer to Hashem, and help us come back to Him, amongst the entire Jewish people!!!!

Wishing you and your family a Happy, Healthy and Sweet New Year!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

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

Holiday Crash Course, Part II – Yom Kippur – September 30th

Holiday Crash Course, Part II – Yom Kippur – September 30th

Join us tomorrow night for part II…

 Holiday Crash Course

 

Click Here To RSVP
or email malkytrav@gmail.com

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.


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