Posts Tagged 'poor'

Parshas Behar/Bechukosai | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Behar/Bechukosai | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

May 15, 2015 – Candle lighting 7:50 pm, Shabbos Ends 8:59 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 by Steve and Jane Levson, in honor of the birth of their new granddaughter,  Shoshana Bluma Levson. Mazel Tov to the parents, Scott and Miriam Levson, and to all the grandparents, Steve and Jane Levson, and  Cantor Aryeh and Adina Samberg. May they see only nachas from Shoshana Bluma, from all their children and all their grandchildren, ad bias goel tzedeck bemihairah beyamainu, until the coming of messiah soon and in our days!!

This week we read Parshas Behar and Bechukosai.  In Parshas Behar, one of the mitzvahs that the Torah tells us about is the mitzvah to help a fellow Jew if he becomes impoverished. “If your brother becomes poor, and his hand becomes weakened with you, you shall strengthen him…” (Leviticus 25:35) The commentaries ask, what is the meaning of the words  “with you”? Was the person who is helping out his brother also poor?

The Ben ish chai explains this with a most powerful story. There was a king once who was very wealthy and powerful. He decided that his son, the prince, should have a tutor who could teach him all the great wisdom of the world, so that one day when he would become the king, he would be knowledgeable and know all the things that a person had to know to be a good monarch. He hired the best tutor of the land, who spent many hours teaching the prince all the wisdom that there is to know.  When the prince was finished his studies, the king came himself to personally test him and to see if he had really learnt properly. The prince passed with flying colors. The king was so excited and happy, that he rewarded the teacher with over a hundred thousand gold coins from his treasure house, and gave him much honor.

A short while later, this wise man came to the king and told him, “I left out one thing that I did not teach your son. Can you send the prince to me for one hour for one final lesson”? Of course the king was very happy to do so.  When the prince arrived the wise man locked the doors and began to beat the prince up. For one hour, the prince suffered blow after blow. Finally, he was let out to go home, all battered and bruised. When the king saw what the wise man had done to his son, he immediately sent his soldiers to take the wise man and to hang him on the gallows. Before they hung the wise man, the king asked that he be brought to him. “Please explain to me, he said, why did you do such a crazy  thing and attack the prince”?

The wise man answered, “please understand, your majesty, I served you faithfully all these years. You asked me to teach your son all that he needed to know to be a good king. I taught him all the book knowledge that I could. Yet, one lesson he had not learned. When a case comes before him, and he sentences the criminal to lashes, how could the prince know the difference between giving 5 lashes, 20 lashes, or 50 lashes? He had never experienced a finger being lifted against him in his life!! Therefore, I felt he had to feel one time what the pain of getting lashes was, in order that he would be able to properly judge people when he one day is the king”.  When the king heard the wise man’s explanation, he immediately took off his death sentence, and sent him back home to his original position of honor.

This is the idea that the Torah is trying to convey to us. When we look at a poor person, it’s not enough for us to just want to help him. We must first feel what it’s like to be in his shoes, feel as if we were the ones who are poor, and what we would want. Only then can we really try to properly help our fellow Jew.

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 Emor | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Emor | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

May 8, 2015 – Candle lighting 7:43 pm, Shabbos Ends 8:52 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 Emor.  In Parshas Emor, the Torah tells us about the mitzvah of Peah, the mitzvah that every owner of a field had to leave the corner of their field for the poor people. Our sages tell us that the requirement is to leave it before the poor people is literally just that: we have to leave it for them to come and to take it. We are not allowed to help the poor people and to give it to them.  The commentaries ask, why is this? Wouldn’t it be very special for the owner of the field to go himself and help the poor people get the produce that the Torah has given them?

There are several approaches to this question, two of them that we would like to share with you:

1 – When the owner of the field gives out the produce, he feels that he is boss here, he is the one in charge, and he is the one distributing the produce to the poor people. The Torah didn’t want that, so the Torah insisted that the poor people take it themselves – it is their gift from Hashem , they are not beholden to any human being for this, only to Hashem.

2 – A person who has to take charity is embarrassed by this. That is why the Torah did not want the giving away of the produce that is charity to be given by the owner of the field. Rather, the Torah said that he should not even be in the field at all, when it’s given out. The lesson we take from this is, that it’s not enough for us to just say that we give, rather a person has to consider the way we give it. How we give charity – not just whether we give it, decides how special and valuable our mitzvah of giving charity is in the eyes of Hashem.

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 Behar | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Behar| The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

May 9, 2013 – Candle lighting 7:44, Shabbos Ends 8:53

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.

This week we read Parshas Behar. In Parshas Behar, the Torah tells us of the mitzvah to help a fellow Jew who has come upon hard times. “And if your brother becomes poor, and his hand (means) falter with you  (in your proximity), you shall strengthen him… (Leviticus 25:35) This is the basic commandment to help a Jew. The Torah uses seemingly extra words when it describes the situation of this Jew who is in need of help. It is described as he is poor “with you”. What is the expression of  “with you”? The Jew who is giving the help has not fallen upon hard times. Why would the Torah describe the person who is in need as being  “with you”?

The Ben Ish Chai offers an explanation based upon a story. There was once a king who had an only son. The King wanted his son to learn any type of wisdom possible, so that he would one day be fit to succeed his father, and to take over as king. He hired a very wise man to teach his son. The man trained the prince for a few years, and when they were finished, he sent him back to the king to be tested on what he had learnt. The king tested his son and was amazed with the amount of wisdom that he had been taught. He ordered that 100,000 gold coins be given to the wise man who had taught his son, and that he be treated with great honor and respect.

A little while later, the wise man sent a message to the king, asking that he send the prince back so that he could teach him one more thing that had been left out. When the prince arrived, the  wise man locked the door, and began giving the prince lashes. After whipping him 50 times, he sent the prince back home, bleeding and all bruised up. When the king saw what had been done to his son, he immediately dispatched his soldiers to bring the wise man to him, and to hang him on the gallows. Before the wise man was to be hung, the king asked him the obvious question: “Why did you do such a foolish thing? You were receiving the greatest honor and glory that anyone could get, why did you beat up the prince”?

The wise man responded,”Your majesty, I am an honest person. When you asked me to teach your son all that he would know to be able to be a good king one day, I had a dilemma. One day your son will be the king. As such, he will have to decide how to administer punishments to people who have committed crimes. How will he know how many lashes to give each person? If he has no clue what it feels like to get lashes, how could he decide how many lashes to give for each crime? Maybe he will give so many lashes, that he will kill someone; maybe he will let a criminal who has committed a serious crime escape with a relatively light punishment. I felt that the only way to solve this problem was to teach your son firsthand what it feels like to get punished. Now I can be assured that when he assumes the throne one day, he will punish his subjects in a fair way.”

The king was so impressed with the answer of the wise man, that he freed him and sent him back home with his reward.

This, the Ben Ish Chai explains, is the meaning of the word imach – with you. The Torah wants us not just to give money to a poor person. The Torah wants us to first feel the pain that the poor person has, and understand how he or she feels. Only after that, when we feel the pain of the poor person, can we really try to help him or her.

We so often have to deal with people who are in need. Sometimes it is financial need. Even more often, it is emotional need. Whether a person needs a boost to their morale, to their prestige, to their happiness, or any of the other many areas of life that a person may need help with – the first thing we must do is to try to understand and feel what they are going through. If we can stop before simply giving help, and just try to first feel what our friend is going through, then the help we can hopefully provide will be much stronger and more effective. This lesson, from this simple word  imach – with you,  can hopefully change the way we relate to all those who we try to help.

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: