Posts Tagged 'Moses'

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.

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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.

Parshas Vayikrah | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Vayikrah | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

March 20, 2015 – Candle lighting 6:54 pm, Shabbos Ends 7:53 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.

The Kollel connection this week is dedicated in honor of the birth of Bris of  Zevy Biron. Mazel tov to parents Naftoli and Tzirel Leah Biron, and to Grandparents Rabbi Asher and Chani Biron, and Rabbi Moshe and Malky Travitsky.

We appreciate your comments and feedback.

This week we read Parshas Vayikrah. The Parsha begins with the word Vayikra, (and He called), which means that Hashem called to Moses to tell him the laws that are discussed in the Parsha. In a most unusual change, the last letter in the word vayikra – which is an aleph, is written smaller than the rest of the letters in the Torah. The Sages ask, why is this written so differently than regular?   The Sages tell us, that Moses really didn’t want to write the letter aleph at all at the end of the word vayikra. If he would have left out that letter, it would have spelled the word vayikar – which means that Hashem chanced upon Moses. This wording would show much less importance to Moses – it would indicate that Hashem spoke to Moses when He “chanced” upon him, but not that Hashem specifically called him. Hashem wanted the idea that He called Moses, an expression of Hashem’s love and connection to him, to be used. Moses, in his great humility, wanted to write vayikar – which would have shown just that Hashem was not so close to him. The end result was that Moses did write the aleph, but was allowed to make it small.

The commentaries ask, if we are being taught the lesson of humility, why couldn’t Hashem allow Moses to leave out the letter  aleph all together and write vayikar? Would the lesson of the importance of humility be that much stronger if the vayikar (and He chanced upon) was used?

The late Torah Sage Rav Eliezer Shach explains, that there is a second lesson being taught to us here. If the word Vayikar (and He chanced upon) was used, a terrible mistake could be made. A person may think that there is such a thing as “chance” in the life of a Jew. In truth, nothing ever happens by chance.  There is no such a thing as “chance” in the life of a Jew.  A person must always realize that whatever is happening to them in life is happening for a reason. We can never feel alone or abandoned.  In order to reinforce this lesson the Torah used the word vayikra (and He called) rather then vayikar (and He chanced upon).

In this  one small aleph we are taught two huge lessons, the importance of humility and at the same time the importance of recognizing the hand of Hashem that guides every step of our everyday 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 Ki Sisa | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Ki Sisa | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

March 6, 2015 – Candle lighting 5:38 pm, Shabbos Ends 6:47 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.

The Kollel connection this week is dedicated in memory of Fraidy Malka bas Yitzchok Moshe Halevi, Mrs. Frieda Einfeld, a’h. 

We appreciate your comments and feedback.

This week we read Parshas Ki Sisa. In the Parsha, we read the episode of the golden calf, the tragic incident in which the Jewish people made a golden calf to replace Moses, who they believed had died. The Medrash tells us that when the Jewish men wanted to build the golden calf, they went to their wives to take their jewelry for this task. The women refused to give their jewelry, telling the men “How could we deny Hashem Who has done for us all these miracles, and make an idol”? When the men saw that they could not get the jewelry from their wives, they gave the jewelry that they themselves had, and built the golden calf from that, without the jewelry of their wives.

The Sages tell us that in the merit of their refusal to give their jewelry for idolatry, Hashem gave Jewish women a special holiday – the holiday of Rosh Chodesh, (the first day of every Jewish month), which to this day is considered a holiday for the women more than for the men. The Tur adds to this, that the three festivals of the year, Passover, Succos, and Shavuos, are related to the three patriarchs. The days of twelve days of Rosh Chodesh are related to the twelve tribes, the twelve sons of Jacob. When the Jewish men sinned with the golden calf, Rosh Chodesh was taken from them and given to their wives. Based on this, many women have a custom not to do various forms of work on Rosh Chodesh.

If we think about the sin of the golden calf, we can see a very powerful lesson here. The early commentaries (Nachmanidies, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra,… ) teach us that the Jews did not mean to serve the golden calf as a deity. No fool would say to a piece of metal that was just a few minutes ago jewelry on their face, “You are my G-d oh Israel”! Rather, the point of the golden calf was to appoint a leader who would lead them as Moses did. The Revelation at Sinai had left them with a picture of Hashem’s Throne, with the image of a golden calf.

If so, there was no deep philosophical battle going on between believers of different faiths. What was the issue between the men and women here, and what do we learn from the behavior of the women? The point is that the women simply did what they were supposed to do. Their belief in G-d was clear and simple: If we are not supposed to appoint an intermediary between us and G-d, than we won’t.  The men allowed the panic of the moment that they thought Moses died, and the desires they may have felt to be free of his leadership, to lead them in the direction that they took – to make a golden calf. The women taught us the power of what we call emunah peshuta – clear, unequivocal faith. When we have a situation that can be challenging, we must learn from these righteous women and muster the strength to simply stay the course, and do what we are supposed to.

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 Va’airo| The Kollel Connection

Parshas Va’airo | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

January 16, 2014 – Candle lighting 4:41 pm, Shabbos Ends 5:50 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 Va’airo. In the Parsha we read  many times that Hashem tells Moses that He is hardening the heart of Pharaoh. The commentaries ask, how could Hashem harden the heart  of Pharaoh? Is this not denying Pharaoh free will – the ability to choose whether to sin or not?

At the end of the parsha, we read of the plague of hail. The Torah tells us that the plague was so strong that it destroyed much of the crops of Egypt. Pharaoh was so overwhelmed by this plague, that he summoned Moses and Aaron and asked them to pray to Hashem that the hail stop, and he will then let the Jews go. ( Exodus 9:28). The Torah then tells us that Moses responded to Pharaoh,  telling him that he will pray that the hail stop,  but he knows that Pharaoh and his servants do not yet fear Hashem. The Torah then mentions that the hail had destroyed the flax and barley, but not the wheat and the spelt… The Torah tells us that they were not destroyed because they were afilos – which means that miracles (niflaos) happened to them. The Torah then proceeds to tell us that Moses went and prayed for Pharaoh that the hail should stop.

The Ohr Hachaim poses a simple question: Why do we have to hear about which crops were destroyed and which were not in the middle of the story? Isn’t that detail out of place? Why doesn’t it just say that Pharaoh asked them to pray, and they did,…?  The Ohr Hachaim answers that this fact – that some of the crops were miraculously spared from the hail – was what prompted Moses to say that Pharaoh would not really let the Jews leave. Once Pharaoh saw that there was a miracle and some crops survived, he let himself believe that there was more than one Deity in control, and that some other Deity prevented Hashem from destroying the crops under its control. That is why it is so essential for the Torah to tell us about this miraculous saving of the crops, to understand the hardening of Pharaohs’ heart.

Nachmanidies explains, this is really the explanation of why Hashem hardened the heart of Pharaoh. Once Pharaoh was under attack from the first few plagues, he would have given in just to escape them. Hashem made his heart harder, so that he will make an objective decision whether to return to Hashem or not.

Often we feel overwhelmed by a challenge that we face in life. If we can just bear this thought in mind –  if the Almighty picked a given situation for us, it’s because we can rise to that situation and overcome the challenges that face us from it, then we will have a much easier time dealing with it. This episode of Pharaoh has to teach us that all details of any struggle that we have are given to us with Divine providence, that will enable us somehow to shine from the circumstance that we have to deal with.

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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