Posts Tagged 'peace'

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 Chukas | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Chukas | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

June 27, 2014 – Candle lighting 8:14, Shabbos Ends 9:22

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 memory of Bart Cotler,  May his neshama – his soul – have an elevation through these words of Torah, and may her family be comforted among the other mourners of Israel and of Jerusalem

This week we read Parshas Chukas. In the Parsha, the Torah tells us of the death of Aaron, the high priest. The Torah says that “All the people saw that Aaron had died; and they cried for Aaron thirty days, the entire Jewish people.” (Numbers 20:29) Our Sages tell us that the words the entire Jewish people teach us an extraordinary fact. When Aaron died, even more people mourned for him than for Moses!! Since Aaron spent so much of his time making peace between partners, spouses, family and friends, everyone appreciated him and deeply mourned his loss. In an amazing statement, the Sages tell us that 80,000 young men all with the name Aaron followed him in mourning. They all carried his name,  since they were all born from a marriage that was on the verge of being terminated due to strife, and was saved through the efforts of Aaron. In a sign of gratitude, when each of these 80,000 couples had a son, they named him Aaron. This number is only from those homes that Aaron made peace and subsequently had a son. If we think of the amount of time this must have taken from Aaron, it becomes hard to imagine how he devoted such a huge amount of his life towards this goal of making peace among Jews.

The Sages tell us in Ethics of the fathers, “Hevai mtalmidave shel Aaron… – usually translated as “you should be from the disciples of Aaron, who loved peace and chased peace… “ The commentaries tell us that there is a slightly different translation, based on the word used “hevai”. Rather than meaning you should be, they tell us that hevai means you should become!” The Sages are teaching us that even if we don’t have an easy time being a peace maker, we can change and do it if we apply ourselves.

The Pelah yoetz offers advise for anyone who wants to try to make peace: “If you will say to someone who is involved in an argument “Don’t you know how great peace is, and how much Hashem hates arguments?” He will respond to you “I know, but how can I be in peace with those who constantly anger me…” You should then respond to him, “If peace would be so easy, Hashem would not give so much reward for making peace. In proportion to the hardship and challenge is the reward. Imagine if you were told by Hashem that if you make peace with your enemy, you will live for a thousand years, and if you make an argument with him you will die immediately. Would you then find it impossible to make peace? Certainly for the opportunity to live a thousand years, you would find the strength to make peace. Certainly if the product of your making peace will be eternal reward in the world to come, and nachas to Hashem, we must find the strength inside ourselves to make peace in all cases.”

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 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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