Posts Tagged 'Debbie Mindel'

Parshas Bo| The Kollel Connection

Parshas Bo | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

January 23, 2014 – Candle lighting 4:49 pm, Shabbos Ends 5:58 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 again dedicated in memory of  Debbie Mindel, who tragically passed away a few weeks ago. May Hashem comfort her husband Ray, her children Reva  and Simon, and the entire family amongst the other mourners of Israel.  

This week we read Parshas Bo. In the Parsha we read of the first mitzvah, the first commandment, given to the Jewish people. That is the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh, the mitzvah to sanctify the new month. Every month the Jewish court had to hear testimony from witnesses who saw the new moon, and sanctify it.  The Torah tells us that the month of Nissan, which is the month of the Exodus and the month in which we celebrate Passover, is the first month of the year.

Rav Moshe Feinstien poses an obvious question: Why is it that when counting the year we change the year from the month of Tishrai (Rosh Hashana), but when counting the months we change in Nissan? Wouldn’t it make sense to change both at the same point in time? Certainly in the secular calendar, we count both January as the start of a new year, and as the first month of the year. Why do we do it different in the Jewish calendar?

He explains that there are two separate lessons taught to us by these two countings. On Rosh Hashana we mark the creation of the world. We recognize Hashem as the Creator of the world, and acknowledge His Kingship over the world. This is done on Rosh Hashana, as this is the day the world was created. On Nissan, we focus on hashgacha pratis – on the lesson of Hashem’s involvement and direction in the world. The lesson of the Exodus , the ten plagues, the crossing of the sea,… was that Hashem is involved in this world to this day, directing what goes on in it. Whether we understand everything yet or not, He has a reason for everything that goes on, and directs all that happens in this world. In this lesson, Nissan is the beginning of the year.

            If we appreciate this, the mitzvah the Jewish people were given of marking Rosh Chodesh is much more than just marking the first day of the month. We are being taught that Hashem is involved in all aspects of this world. Rather than to worry about details of our life, about events in the world, about things happening around us, we are given the lesson that Hashem is watching over and directing all events in this world. Certainly Hashem asks us to make our effort. However, at the end of the day, He is controlling what will and won’t happen. The result of realizing this, the serenity that should be felt by a person who is aware of this, is something that hopefully will give a person much more calmness and pleasure in all aspects of his or her life. Frustrations, anxieties, and pressures can hopefully change to pleasure, happiness, and serenity. This is the power of this mitzvah we read of – the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh.

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.

Advertisements

Parshas Shemos| The Kollel Connection

Parshas Shemos | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

January 9, 2014 – Candle lighting 4:34 pm, Shabbos Ends 5:43 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 again dedicated in memory of  Debbie Mindel, who tragically passed away last week. May Hashem comfort her husband Ray, her children Reva  and Simon, and the entire family amongst the other mourners of Israel.  

This week we read Parshas Shemos. In the Parsha we read the episode of Moses and the burning bush. Moses was walking in the desert, taking care of his father in law’s sheep, when he saw a burning bush. The bush was on fire, but was not being consumed. Moses turned, and went to see this wondrous sight. In the medrash, there are two opinions of how far out of his way Moses went to see this. Rav Yochanan says he went three steps. Raish Lakish says he merely turned his neck to see it. When he did, Hashem said to him “You have pained yourself to see this, I will now reveal myself to you”. What does this medrash mean? Is the little effort of walking three steps, or of turning his neck, enough to give Moses the reward of being the redeemer of the Jewish people?

Rav Dessler explains in the name of the Alter of Kelm, that this is a classic fulfillment of what our Sages have taught us “If you open your heart the size of an eye of a needle, I will open it the size of the doorways of the temple.” Hashem waits for us to make that first step. When we do, he gives us the strength to see it through to the end. Moses made that first step – either walking three steps, or turning his head. Once he did, Hashem rewarded him with limitless success.

The famous commentator Rav Leib Chasman offers a powerful analogy to drive this point home. There was once a person who was starving, in dire need of food and drink. As he traveled and got weaker, he chanced upon a house that had a table laden with food and drink, available for anyone who wanted to come in and take it. The only problem was, that the door to the house was locked! The  traveler found a key ring full of keys, and tried every single one. Not one of them worked for this door!!! The only possibility he had left was to take a file and just file away one small tiny piece of metal on one of the keys, so it would work in this hole. Imagine the pain of this person if he does not have a file to do that!! All the wealth and success that he needs is waiting to be his, if he could just do the small task of removing one small piece of metal. If he doesn’t do it, he will end up dying on the doorstep of this house.

In our life, we have a similar challenge. We have to find meaning in life, find a connection to Hashem and feel our relationship with Him. It sometimes feels like a big challenge. The only difference is, we do have the  file and key to open the door to success. All we have to do is open our hearts a little bit – the size of the hole of a needle, and we will then find ourselves connected to Hashem totally. If we can use the key that we have – if we can make that first step with all our hearts, we can then be assured that we will find the connection to Hashem in all aspects of our life that we so desperately need.

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 Vayechi| The Kollel Connection

Parshas Vayechi | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

January 6, 2014 – Candle lighting 4:27 pm, Shabbos Ends 5:36 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 Debbie Mindel, who tragically passed away this week. Debbie was responsible, caring and always full of a special energy. In the year we had the privelege to know her, we watched her amazing growth along with her family.  She brought with her smiles and joy and made us feel uplifted every time we met her.  Her sudden untimely passing leaves a void that is impossible to fill.

May Hashem comfort her husband Ray, her children Reva  and Simon, and the entire family amongst the other mourners of Israel.

This week we read Parshas Vayechi. In the Parsha we read the blessings that Jacob gave to each of his sons before he died. In the blessing of Judah, we find a very interesting verse that it used, with a very uplifting and powerful message. When Jacob tells of the great success that will be the future of Judah, he says “Red eyed from wine, and lben shinayim maichalav – white toothed from milk” (Genesis 49:12). The simple meaning of these words is that Judah will have such an abundance of wine, that his eyes will look red, and such an abundance of milk, that his teeth will look white. This is a blessing of material wealth for the tribe of Judah.

Our Sages, in a play on the words, offer another thought. “Better is a person who whitens his or her teeth (lbun shinayim)  by smiling at someone, than one who gives them milk to drink (maichalav). (Talmud, Kesuvos 111b). The Alter of Slabodka points out an amazing lesson that we learn from this statement of our Sages. Imagine how much respect we would have for someone who schlepped every day to various hospitals and institutions, to give milk to the residents there who so desperately needed it. Words could not be enough to describe the kindness of this person. Yet, the Sages point out that even greater is one who smiles at another person and lifts their spirits. The wealth of opportunity that this opens up for us is indescribable. Throughout our day, as we come in contact with people from all walks of life, we have a constant opportunity to lift people’s spirits and to make them feel good – just by smiling at them. What a special opportunity!! The Sages instruct us “Accept every human being with a pleasant expression. This is to say, that if a person gives someone all the gifts that there are in the world, but does so with a sour face, it’s as if they have given nothing. However, if they accept their friend with a smile it is considered as if they had given them all the gifts of the world.” We have to realize the hundreds of opportunities that we have to do kindness in such a simple way, every day, and utilize them by giving people hope and  a good feeling – all with one friendly smile!!!

The Talmud tells us that one time the Sage Rav Broka Chuzaah was in a marketplace and met Elijah. He asked Elijah if there were any people in this particular marketplace who were assured a place in the world to come. Elijah pointed to two men. Rav Broka ran over to them, and asked them what they did. They replied, “we are jesters. Whenever we see someone who looks sad or depressed, we go over to them and cheer them up” (Talmud Taanis 22a). The clear lesson we are taught is how careful we must be to try to lift other people’s spirits.

We all mourn the loss of Debbie Mindel who lived a life bringing joy to others. She was a unique woman who lifted the spirits of all.  In the short time we were privileged to know her, she inspired us! May Hashem help us all follow in her footsteps and five strength to Ray, Reva, Simon and her entire family at this time.

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.


Follow BJOC

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: