Parshas Matos/Masai | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Matos/Masai | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

July 17, 2015 – Candle lighting 8:08 pm, Shabbos Ends 9:14 pm

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 read Parshas Matos and Parsha Masai. In Parshas Masai the Torah lists off all the places that the Jewish people stayed in during their 40 year journey through the desert. The commentaries are puzzled, why did the Torah have to tell us all the places that the Jews camped in? Is there any difference to us today whether the Jews camped in Chatzairos or in Hong Kong?  Certainly the Torah is not a book written to tell us trivia. There must be a practical lesson from knowing the places where the Jews stayed?

The Alter of Kelm tells us a beautiful lesson from this. We think that when we travel somewhere, our goal is just to reach the place we are going to. The time we spend going there is just a necessary evil that we have to waste time on in order to get to the place that we are going to. If we don’t make it to that place, then we look at all the time that we spent trying to get there as a waste of time.  For example, someone travels cross country to go to California. He or she will spend days or maybe even a couple of weeks on the road, countless hours looking for lodging, and hundreds if not thousands of dollars on the cost of the trip to California. When they finally get there, if the person they went to see is not there, or the place that they went to see is closed, they look at all the time that they spent traveling as a total waste.

The Torah is teaching us another perspective. From a spiritual perspective, every step we take in life has significance and power. Wherever we are at a certain time, there’s a reason for us to be there.  Something in this world will be brought to its perfection by us serving G-d in the particular place that we are found.

We may not know why, but we must recognize that everywhere we find ourselves in life has a purpose and a goal. This is the lesson of the travels of the Jewish people. The Torah wants us to recognize that each of the stops the Jews made on their way to Israel were for a reason; each had a role in bringing them closer to perfection. Hopefully we can apply this to our travels in life, and find a sense of meaning and purpose in all the places that we stop by as we go through life.

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 Balak | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Balak | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

June 26, 2015 – Candle lighting 8:14 pm, Shabbos Ends 9:22 pm

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 this week is dedicated in memory of Joseph Levine, Yosef ben Laib Levine, late father of Adam and Alina Levine. Joe passed away this week, leaving behind an amazing legacy of doing and accomplishing many things for the Philadelphia Jewish community. May Hashem comfort Adam, his brothers Brian and Jonathon, and his sister Lindsey, amongst the other mourners of Israel and Jerusalem. May he be a good advocate above for Adam, Alina, Akiva, Aryeh, and all of his children and grandchildren.

This week we read Parshas Balak. In the Parsha we read of the episode of the  wicked prophet Bilaam, who had an amazing power and was able to curse those who he choose to, and inflict damage and even death to them. Bilaam tried to curse the Jewish people towards the end of their 40 year travel through the desert. When he came to do that, Hashem made a miracle, and instead of giving them curses, he actually ending up blessing them.

The Sages tell us that a person who has the following three characteristics is from the disciples of Abraham – a good eye (looking at people favorably), a humble spirit, and contentment with what they have. Whoever has three other characteristics is from the disciples of Bilaam the Rasha (the evil one) –  an evil eye, a egoistical spirit, and a desire for much more. (Ethics of the fathers, 5:23).

The words of our Sages are puzzling. Bilaam represents terrible immorality, hatred, attempting to annihilate the entire Jewish people, and even heresy in his relationship with Hashem. Yet, the Sages talk about flaws in his character. Isn’t this strange? Isn’t the point simple – the students of Abraham believe in Hashem, and serve Him, and the students of Bilaam are heretics and rebel against Him?

Rav Shlomo Heiman, the late head of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath in Brooklyn, explains a beautiful lesson from this. The Sages are trying to explain not only who these respective groups of people were, but what made these people into who they were. How could the students of Abraham, who lived in a world so full of idolatry, follow their teacher Abraham and cling to belief in Hashem? The answer, the Sages teach us, lies in the fact that they had good character traits. When a person has pure and good character, he will discover and live with the truth.

The same question applies in reverse. How could the students of Bilaam the rasha, who lived in a time when miracles were so open, the Exodus from Egypt and the ten plagues occurred, the parting and crossing of the sea, the revelation at Sinai, …. – how could they live lives so dedicated to immorality and wickedness? The answer, the Sages teach us all boils down to bad character traits.

The powerful lesson that we walk away with is the importance of character. The more we can perfect our character, the more we can address any flaws in it and perfect them, the closer we will become to Hashem , and the more loyal servants of Him we will become.

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 Chukas | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Chukas | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

June 26, 2015 – Candle lighting 8:14 pm, Shabbos Ends 9:23 pm

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 seventieth birthday of Mel Twersky. May his youthful vigor continue to bring joy to all those who know him, and a smile to all who meet him, as he continues his beautiful path of selfless kindness and concern for all around him!!

This week we read Parshas Chukas. In the Parsha we read of the episode of the death of the high priest, Aaron. The Torah tells us that when Aaron died, the entire Jewish people mourned for him (Numbers 20:29). Our Sages explain that the reason the words the entire Jewish people are used, is to include all Jews – even those who may not have appreciated the greatness of other Torah scholars such as Moses. Why did all Jews appreciate what Aaron was – even more so than when Moses passed away? The Sages explain that Aaron was a person who always made peace. Whether it was between a husband and a wife, between siblings, between neighbors, friends,… Aaron found a way to make peace between warring factions. The Sages tell us that when Aaron passed away, his coffin was followed by 80,000 young men, all named Aaron in his honor, all children from homes where the spouses were on the verge of divorce, and Aaron managed to make peace between them.

This is the meaning to the command that the Sages tell us, “Be from the disciples of Aaron, love peace, chase after peace, love people, and bring them close to the Torah” (Ethics of the Fathers)

In sefer Charaidim, the author writes that the reason our Sages told us to be from the disciples of Aaron, was because Aaron made this his way of life. He would take off time from his studies, and travel away to make peace whenever he heard that there was an argument. It’s said that in the city of Tzefas there was a great Sage named Rav Yosef Saragusi who was constantly involved in making peace among families, friends, and even among Gentiles. It is said that in this merit he was given the privilege to see  Elijah the prophet. This was such an amazing event, that he was buried in that place where he merited to see Elijah the prophet.

The wording used by our Sages when they tell us to follow in the footsteps of Aaron the priest and to promote peace, is hevai mtalmidav shel Aaron – be from the disciples of Aaron. The commentaries explain that the word hevai – does not really mean “you should be”. Rather, it means “you should become”. The commentaries explain that this is an instruction to each of us. We can never say, “He or she has the temperament for bringing peace. I just can’t do it!!” Our Sages, when they tell us “become” a disciple of Aaron, are telling us that even if today we don’t feel we are yet on that level, each and every one of us has that capacity if we try, to become a person who brings peace in this world. We can be a miniature Aaron, who helps lift people’s lives and promotes peace among our fellow Jews.

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 Shelach | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Shelach | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

June 12, 2015 – Candle lighting 8:11 pm, Shabbos Ends 9:19 pm

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 read Parshas Shelach. In the Parsha we read of the episode of the spies. Moses sent twelve men to spy the land of Israel before the Jewish people would enter to conquer it. All of these twelve men, the Torah tells us, were great leaders among the Jewish people. Tragically, as the episode unfolded, ten of these men turned against Hashem, and spoke against the land of Israel, discouraging the Jews from going there, and even doubting the ability of Hashem to give them the land.

There were two spies who stood firm in their loyalty to Hashem. They were Joshua and Caleb. When the spies initially came with their bad report to the Jewish people, they gave their damaging report, claiming that the land  could not be conquered by the Jews. After their report, Caleb countered with a claim that the land could be conquered. The Torah tells us that Caleb managed to silence the Jewish people, to listen to Moses. After Caleb did this, the spies countered and managed to frighten the Jewish people to the point where they began to cry and asked to return to Egypt. This tragic episode ended with Hashem’s decree that the Jewish people would spend forty years in the desert before entering the land of Israel.

Later in the Parsha, Hashem promises great reward to Caleb for what he did in opposing the spies (14:24). Rav Moshe Feinstien asks, why is it that Caleb gets this great reward? After all, he didn’t succeed in getting the Jews not to listen to the spies? In the end, the spies carried the day and the Jews did not want to go to Israel? One could say that Caleb gets reward for trying, but Rav Feinstien says that this certainly not the simple understanding of what the Torah is rewarding Caleb for.

Rabbi Feinstein answers with a beautiful and amazing point. Often in life, one manages to make an impact on others, or on oneself, but then later falls again. Did that time that they were uplifted count for anything, or do we say it was worthless since it didn’t last anyway? Rav Feinstien points out that we know that we are obligated to break Shabbos to save a life, even if it is only going to help for a few minutes. This is true in all areas of life. If we lift ourselves or someone else for any amount of time, we have done a great thing. Hashem will reward us for this for eternity.

This is exactly what happened with Caleb. The spies came and gave a terrible report. At that point the Jewish people were siding with them. Caleb came along, and convinced the Jewish people that Moses was right. At that time, the Jews were back on the proper path and siding with Moses. Afterwards, the spies came and convinced the Jews back to rebel against Moses. However, the fact is that Caleb did accomplish a major thing during that time that the Jews returned. For this he gets eternal reward. We must have this inspiration for ourselves. Whenever we do something good, not matter for how long, no matter if it lasts, we must realize that it’s a major accomplishment that will give us eternal reward.

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 Naso | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Naso | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

May 29, 2015 – Candle lighting 8:02 pm, Shabbos Ends 9:11 pm

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 read Parshas Naso. In the Parsha we read of the sacrifices offered the first twelve days that the Tabernacle was consecrated. Each of the princes of the twelve tribes offered a personal sacrifice to consecrate the alter when it was inaugurated. Hashem told Moses to have each prince bring his unique sacrifice on a separate day, so that the time needed for all these sacrifices stretched out for twelve days. Each of these great men proceeded to bring the exact same amount of the exact same material for his sacrifice.  In an amazing and unusual change, the Torah describes each of these sacrifices is great detail and at great length. Twelve times the Torah repeats the exact same wording of a sacrifice, in great detail, with the name of a different prince.  The commentaries are all puzzled by this, as we know that the Torah is always very careful not to use extra words or even letters. We are taught that the point here is a lesson for all of us for life – that Hashem does not look at the simple physical aspects of what a person offers to Him. Each human being has their own feelings and emotions. The mitzvah of each person has a different mix of love, fear, joy, and dedication. Although to the human eye two sacrifices may seem to be the same, to Hashem they are totally different.

There is a second lesson that is taught here in these sacrifices. When the Torah describes the sacrifice of Nessanel ben Tzuar, who was the prince of the tribe of  Yissacher, it says twice the words “hikriv es korbano – he brought his sacrifice.” Why is this phrase repeated twice only by the sacrifice of Nesanel ben Tzuar?

The Kesav Sofer explains this, based on the fact that our Sages tell us that Nessanel ben Tzuar was the one who suggested to all the other princes that they bring this sacrifice. If so, he had a share in the sacrifice of each and every one of the princes. On the day that he himself brought his personal sacrifice, he had a double mitzvah – both for being the one who suggested that this be done, and also for being the one who actually did it. Therefore it says the words “hikriv es korbano – he brought his sacrifice” twice. On the day he offered a sacrifice, he is credited for both aspects of the mitzvah, both for actually doing it, and for being the catalyst to make it happen.

The lesson that we take from Nessanel, which is stressed at great length in other commentaries, is the great reward for us when we cause others to do something good. On is own merit, Nessanel would have gotten credit for only one sacrifice. Because he suggested that others do it he got credit for 12 sacrifices!!!

This is the importance and power of trying to always help others do mitzvohs. By doing that, we ourselves become elevated and closer to Hashem – much more than if we just focus on our own personal mitzvohs and connection to Him.

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

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

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

Parshas Bamidbar | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Bamidbar | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

May 22, 2015 – Candle lighting 7:56 pm

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 upcoming marriage of Shabsi Travitsky and Bracha Pinter. May they built a bayis neeman byisroel, and special and amazing Jewish home, that will be a true source of nachas for their parents, grandparents, and all of Klall Yisroel!!!

This week we read Parshas Bamidbar. This Shabbos also marks the day before Shavuos, as we prepare to commemorate the holiday that changed the world, as Hashem gave the Torah to the Jewish people on this day. In the beginning of the Parsha we are taught a lesson that really ties in with the theme of the study of Torah that we focus on during the holiday of Shavuos. The book of Numbers begins by stating that Hashem spoke to Moses in the desert. The Sages explain that this is a statement meant to tell us more than a simple historical fact. They explain that one of the basic components necessary for the Jews to get the Torah, was that it be given in the desert. Why is that?

In truth, if we would be the ones deciding where the Torah should be given, would we pick the desert, or pick a beautiful oasis? Why was the Torah in fact given in the desert, in such an unattractive and unpleasant setting, when there are so many much more beautiful places where the Torah could have been given?

The commentaries tell us that there is most important lesson here. To acquire Torah one has to be ready to give of oneself and to sacrifice. If one feels they can only study if they have material wealth, financial success, or physical pleasures, they will never succeed in studying. There will always be distractions, and always be things that come up that they feel that they need. The ability to focus, to concentrate, and to try to really understand what they are learning, will be all but impossible. This lesson is the necessary introduction before beginning to study –  we must first really commit to giving it all it takes, giving it all we got, giving of our very fiber and essence to study and appreciate the great gift of the Torah that we were given on Shavuos. If we really learn from the lesson of being in the desert, we can then be prepared to truly apply ourselves properly in the study of Torah.

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

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

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

Thank You!!!

Thank You!!!

 

 Fundraiser Thank You

Moishe Travitsky

Bensalem Kollel and Outreach Center

2446 Bristol Road

Bensalem, Pa. 19020

267-228-8774


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