Posts Tagged 'desert'

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.

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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.

Parshas Yisro | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Yisro | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

January 17, 2013 – Candle lighting 4:42, Shabbos Ends 5:52

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

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

This week we read Parshas Yisro.  In the Parsha, we read of the Revelation at Mount Sinai, when Hashem gave us the Torah and which forms the basis of the Jewish religion. If we want to find out exactly what it was that earned the Jewish people the right to this experience, the greatest and closest encounter with G-d that a nation ever had, we have to examine the events that led up to that moment. The Sages point to one particular verse in the Torah introducing that time period. The Torah tells us that when the Jews left the area called Rephidim to go to Sinai, “And they traveled (Vayisu) from Rephidim, and they encamped (Vayachanu) in the desert, and he encamped (Vayichan) over there, the Jewish people, opposite the mountain.” (Exodus 19:2)  The Sages ask, why does the Torah change from the plural (And they) to the singular (And he)?

The Sages tell us that the singular term, Vayichan, is used to indicate unity. Indeed, the Medrash tells us, that whenever the Jews encamped during the 40 years of their traveling through the desert, there was friction and argument. The only time that there was no argument, was when they came to Sinai. Because of this, Hashem said that “since there has come a time that the Jews hate to argue among themselves, and want to live with peace, I will give them the Torah”. This clear lesson teaches us the importance of promoting peace. If we want to have success and have Hashem care for us, we must make sure to have peace amongst ourselves.

Rav Yitzchok of Vorki says that the way to make peace among ourselves is alluded to in the very word “Vayichan” which he connects to the word “chain” which means grace. When we can find chain  – grace in our fellow Jew, when we can look at our fellow Jew and see the good in him or her, see the positive and appreciate it, then we can feel unity. When those feelings resonate among us, then Hashem also wants to join. In such a situation He is ready to share the Torah with us. If things are different, if we feel antagonism, friction, divisiveness between ourselves and other Jews, then Hashem wants nothing to do with us. In such circumstances, He is not ready to share the Torah with us.

Rav Shrage Moshe Kalmonovits, the late head of the Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, once added a little understanding to this relationship of unity among Jews and being able to receive the Torah. He explained, that Hashem is not ready to give the Torah to any individual. He will only give it to us as a people. As long as we stand by ourselves, we have no chance of ever getting the Torah. If we can remove friction, infighting, animosity, and marginalizing from our attitude, then we have a chance to get the Torah. If we can become people of unity and peace, then Hashem will allow us the privilege of that greatest gift mankind has ever received, His Torah to become ours and elevate us to the exalted title of being “The people of the book”!!

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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