Parshas Tsav | The Kollel Connection
March 27, 2015 – Candle lighting 7:00 pm, Shabbos Ends 8:09 pm
Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.
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This week we read Parshas Tsav. In the parsha, we learn the details. of the various sacrifices that were offered in the temple. One of the sacrifices was a korban Todah, a thanksgiving offering. This sacrifice was offered by anyone who experienced any of the following four circumstances: A sick person who recovered from their illness, a person who was freed from incarceration, and a person who safely traveled over an ocean or through a desert. While these are the four cases that Jewish law requires to bring a sacrifice, the truth is that every person has to feel appreciation and express gratitude for every minute of life that they have. Our sages express this thought by saying the following: “For every breath of air that a person takes, he must thank G-d”. Rav Chiya bar Abba added, the soul of a person seeks to leave this physical world all the time, but Hashem does not let this happen. Rav Levi in the name of Rav Chanina explained, for every breath that a person takes, he or she must praise Hashem.
In the amida prayer that we say three times a day, we say the following words: ” Vchol Hachaim yoducha selah” – “And EVERY live person will thank you.” The commentaries explain that the word EVERY comes to stress that every single person, no matter what their circumstances, must thank Hashem for the very life that they have. Even a person who is going through trying times, must try to recognize and feel gratitude for the very life that they have.
There is a beautiful story told that illustrates this point in a most powerful way. A group of people got lost in Siberia, in the middle of a dark night. As the night progressed, they were feeling the bitter cold winds that seemed to affect every part of their body, with no idea where to go. To make matters worse, their provisions had run out, they didn’t have adequate clothing, and as the night went on they felt their very life ebbing from them. Just as time was about to run out, a person miraculously appeared, and took them into his warm house, providing them with food, drink and shelter. Is it conceivable that any of these travelers who were on the verge of dying, would be crazy enough to complain that his co-traveler got a bigger piece than he did? Would they say something about not having a big enough pillow? Certainly every person there would feel immense gratitude to their host for the selfless act he did in saving their life.
This is the feeling that we must have to Hashem. We have to feel gratitude to Him for every breath that we take, for the eyes that we can see with, for the ears that we can listen with, and all the other parts of our bodies that function. If the feelings of gratitude are truly felt, hopefully any feeling we had of jealousy, depression, and unhappiness will dissipate. Instead of complaining, we will feel true joy with what we have, and enjoy the great gifts that Hashem has given us to their fullest.
Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!!
Rabbi Moshe Travitsky
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