Posts Tagged 'Isaac'

Parshas Vayishlach | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Vayishlach | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

December 5, 2014 – Candle lighting 4:16 pm, Shabbos Ends 5:24 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 in memory of the innocent victims of the barbaric terrorist attack that took place in Jerusalem this week. May Hashem bring comfort to all the widows and orphans caused by this tragedy, may He grant a speedy recovery to all those injured by these attacks, and may He avenge their deaths from the wicked animals who perpetrate such crimes.

This week we read Parshas Vayishlach. In this Parsha we watch the fascinating meeting between Esau and Jacob. After being  separated for over 20 years, Esau and Jacob finally met each other.  Before they met, Jacob prepared for the worst. Knowing of Esau’s deep hatred for him, Jacob separated his camp into two groups. At one point, as Jacob crossed them over a river, Jacob was left alone. The angel of Esau then came, and in a very famous battle, Jacob and the angel struggled through the night. In the morning, as the angel saw that he could not defeat Jacob, he asked to be allowed to leave. Jacob refused to let him leave until he gave him a blessing, an event that symbolizes the eventual triumph of Jacob over Esau.

The Chofetz Chaim asked a very obvious question: We have three patriarchs:  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Why is it that from all three, only Jacob is the one attacked by an angel. Why him more than Abraham or Isaac?

The Chofetz Chaim explains that Judaism is built on three pillars: Kindness (Chesed), Prayer (Avoda) and Torah study (Torah). Abraham was the patriarch that was the pillar of kindness. Isaac was the patriarch who was the pillar of prayer. Jacob was the one who was the pillar of Torah study. Indeed, tradition tells us that before going to the house of Laban, Jacob prepared by spending 14 years in a house of study, learning Torah.

The reason the angel fought with Jacob rather than with Abraham and Isaac, is the very reason that Torah is so much more powerful than any other commandment. Our sages tell us that  the Almighty says “I’ve created an evil inclination in man, and I’ve created the antidote for it – Torah” (Talmud Kidushin 39b). We can do many good deeds, but without the power of Torah, we are like an army fighting a war with no ammunition. While the evil inclination challenges all good things that we do, his greatest enemy is the study of Torah. This is why he came to fight Jacob, who represented the study of Torah, more than fighting the other patriarchs.

Often we find people who do many good things, helping people and even connecting to Hashem. Yet, for some reason, they find it hard to commit to study Torah on a regular basis. This is truly the battle of the angel with Jacob, being fought over again, thousands of years later. We have to learn from the strength that our patriarch Jacob showed, when he fought the angel and persevered over him.

Please join us here in the kollel, at anytime during the week. We offer all men and women in our community the opportunity to be modern day Jacobs, and to grow in their connection to Judaism with Torah study. Join me in my new class on the prophets – starting from the story of Joshua – on Tuesday nights at 8:00. Or come some other time. Any time, any subject – just KEEP CALM AND STUDY TORAH!!!

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 Toldos | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Toldos | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

November 21, 2014 – Candle lighting 4:20 pm, Shabbos Ends 5:28 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 in memory of the innocent victims of the barbaric terrorist attack that took place in Jerusalem this week. May Hashem bring comfort to all the widows and orphans caused by this tragedy, may He grant a speedy recovery to all those injured by these attacks, and may He avenge their deaths from the wicked animals who perpetrate such crimes.

This week we read Parshas Toldos. The Parsha begins will the story of the birth of Jacob and Esau. Isaac and Rebecca had been married 20 years, and they prayed that they be granted a child. Hashem heard their prayers and Rebecca became pregnant with twins. The Torah tells us that a very unusual thing occurred. There was a struggle in Rebecca’s womb. The Torah does not explain the nature of this struggle, but the Sages do. When Rebecca would pass by a house of Torah, Jacob would give her pain, as he strove to leave her womb. When Rebecca would pass by a house of idols, Esau would try to leave her womb. Rebecca was concerned with the opposite directions she was getting from her  children, and asked for an explanation from Hashem.

One of the most basic questions asked here, is to try to understand why Esau would  try to leave his mother’s womb when she passed by a house of idols?   After all, he was still a little baby in his mother’s womb. Our Sages teach us that when a child is its mother’s womb, it is the best time of its life. It need not do anything to support itself, yet it has the ability to learn the entire with an angel provided for this express purpose. Why then, would Esau want to leave his mother’s womb, and not experience the special holiness that was provided there? More than that, if Esau had not been born yet, how could he already have such an evil inclination to sin? Was he created with a handicap? Could he be held accountable for anything he did wrong?

There is a beautiful lesson here.  We often look around, and see a person who seems to have none of the challenges that we do. We get jealous of them, and envious. We feel like throwing up our hands and saying “it’s too hard!”. We have to realize, that this attitude is a mistake. Each one of us is born with a different challenge; Each one of us is created with a different situation – that will help us reach our perfection. The fact that Esau may have had a desire from the beginning of his being to go and to serve idols did not absolve him from his obligation to try to overcome that desire. Indeed, that was the very challenge that Hashem had created for him to overcome.  When we feel a desire to run after a sin, – even something as basic as running after our evil inclination away from pure goodness, we have to realize that this challenge was given to us to overcome it. Rather than giving in to it, as Esau did, we have to learn to rise against it, and to overcome it.

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 Chayai Sarah | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Chayai Sarah | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

November 14, 2014 – Candle lighting 4:25 pm, Shabbos Ends 5:33 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 upsherin (first haircut) of Zechariah Biron. Mazel tov to his parents, Naftoli and Tzirel Leah Biron, and to their entire family!!!

This week we read Parshas Chayai Sarah. In the Parsha will learn the story of the search for an appropriate wife for Isaac. The Torah tells us that Abraham dispatched his trustworthy servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Isaac. When Eliezer arrived in Aram Naharaim, the birthplace of Abraham, he waited by the water well to find a good match. The Torah then tells us that a girl came by to get water for her family. When she left from the well, Eliezer ran after her. The Sages ask, what made Eliezer run after this girl? They explain that when Rebecca came to the well, the water rose to her.  Eliezer saw this, and realized that she must be a special person, and therefore ran after her.

Where do the Sages see in the Torah that the water rose toward Rebecca? Nachmanidies explains that when the Torah tells us later that she fed all of Eliezer’s camels, it says “and she drew the water for all his camels” (Genesis 24:20). That clearly indicates that  Rebecca not only gave the water to the camels, but also drew it up from the well. When Rebecca took the water for herself, it just says “and she filled her jug” (Genesis 24:16). It does not say that she drew it,  and our Sages deduce from here that she did not have to draw it – as the water rose by itself. When Eliezer saw that miracle, he ran after her.

The commentaries ask, if Rebecca was so righteous, and the water rose to her so that she shouldn’t have to draw it when she took it for herself, why wouldn’t the water rise also when she had to give the camels to drink?

The Kedushas Levi offers a beautiful thought, that provides us with an amazing lesson and attitude for life. When Rebecca was drawing water for herself, Hashem made a miracle that the water rose, so she would not have to have the pain of drawing the water. Later, however, when she was drawing the water for Eliezer’s camels, she was involved in an act of chesed, an act of kindness. Doing that was a mitzvah. The more a person exerts themselves in a mitzvah, the greater the power of the mitzvah is. Therefore, Hashem did not make a miracle for the water to rise by itself, so that Rebecca would have to work on drawing the water and get a greater mitzvah.

The lesson we are taught is to appreciate any efforts that we expend for a mitzvah.  Rather than trying to lessen our efforts for a mitzvah, we must value them and appreciate them. They provide us a chance to make our mitzvah more powerful, and an opportunity for growth with them.

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.

BJOC on Twitter


%d bloggers like this: