Posts Tagged 'Succos'

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.

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Holiday Crash Course, Part II – Yom Kippur – September 30th

Holiday Crash Course, Part II – Yom Kippur – September 30th

Join us tomorrow night for part II…

 Holiday Crash Course

 

Click Here To RSVP
or email malkytrav@gmail.com

Special Event: Holiday Crash Course, September 23

Special Event: Holiday Crash Course, September 23

The first in a series of educational events…

 Holiday Crash Course

 

Click Here To RSVP
or email malkytrav@gmail.com

KC 369 – Shmini Atzeres | The Kollel Connection

KC 369 – Shmini Atzeres | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

September 25th    Candle lighting 6:33 P.M.

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.

We join the entire Jewish world in ushering in the Holiday of Shmini Atzeres and Simchas Torah. Shmini Atzeres is a short holiday, in Torah law only one day, celebrated after the Seven days of Sukkos. Outside of Israel we celebrate this for two days. On the last day of this holiday, we celebrate Simchas Torah, as we complete the yearly cycle of the reading of the Torah.  Our Sages teach us that Shmini Atzeres is not simply the last day of Sukkos, but in fact is a separate holiday from Sukkos. This is borne out by the fact that on Shmini Atzeres we say the Shehechiyanu blessing that is only recited on a new holiday, unlike the seventh day of Passover when the shehechiyanu blessing is not recited.  Yet, we are told in the Torah of three holidays a year that we go to the Temple, not of four. Why is this? We also find that for Passover, Shavuos, and Succos, we are given a reason in the Torah. For Shmini Atzeres no reason is given, other than the statement that it is an Atzeres, (an assembly) (Leviticus 23:36). Why is that? Another question that needs explanation is, why do we in fact celebrate finishing the Torah on the end of Shmini Atzeres? True, this may be when we finish the yearly cycle of reading the Torah, but that could have just as easily been arranged to happen at a different time of the year. Why did the Sages institute the reading of the Torah to be completed and celebrated at this time of the year?

In the classic work, Nesivos Shalom, the author offers a beautiful explanation for this. In Jewish thought, the number seven represents things that we can attain within the realm of nature, things that are attainable in the seven days of creation. Regarding holiness, the number seven represents the level of holiness that we can attain in this world. The number eight represents holiness that is beyond or above the natural world.

The Seven days of Passover and Succos are very holy days, days of spiritual awakening and special connections between the Jew and his or her Creator. Special mitzvahs help forge that connection, the matzoh, the maror, the lulav, the sukkah,…  Shmini Atzeres is a whole new level. After traveling through Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkos, a Jew is now at the level eight – at a level of connection so special that he or she finds themselves directly connecting to Hashem. The highest of levels – connecting with love rather than with fear – is now felt and experienced.

This is why we are directed to celebrate Simchas Torah, the joy of finishing the Torah and feeling our closeness to Hashem, on this day. The day that we feel love, closeness, and connection to our Creator is the perfect day to express the warmth and attachment that we have to His Torah and our joy in being the fortunate people who have received it.

Wishing you and your family a Happy, Healthy and Joyous Shmini Atzeres and Simchas Torah!!!!!!!!

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

To sponsor an issue of the Kollel Connection, please email BJOC@bensalemoutreach.org  Sponsorships are only $36 a week.

KC 368 – Succos | The Kollel Connection

KC 368 – Succos | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

September 18th    Candle lighting 6:53

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.  We appreciate your comments and feedback.

We join the entire Jewish world in ushering in the Holiday of Succos this Wednesday night. For the next Seven days the Torah gives us a mitzvah to dwell in the Succah. At the same time we are given a mitzvah to rejoice before Hashem on this Holiday. As Maimonides writes, “Although there is a mitzvah to rejoice on all Holidays, on Succos there was a special mitzvah to rejoice before  Hashem,…. “. This is clearly indicated in our holiday prayers, where we describe Succos as zman simchasainu, the time of our joy. Clearly, although all holidays have a mitzvah to rejoice, Succos has an extra level of this. Why is this so, and how does living in the Succah play into this?

Rav Chaim Erentrai explains that the three festivals of Passover, Shavuos, and Succos each represent one part of our basic belief in the Almighty. Passover is to show our belief in Hashem, who created the world and can change whatever He wants in it. Shavuos is to affirm our belief in the Torah being given to us from heaven. The third holiday, Succos, is to express our knowledge and belief that Hashem controls and directs every aspect of our life. To reinforce that, and to stress that we are not only remembering a time thousands of years ago when Hashem protected the Jews in the desert, but we are recognizing that to this very minute He directs our lives and watches over us, we leave the comfort and safety of our home, and stay directly under that protection of Hashem.

If we think about what can make us happy and what can leave us unhappy, one simple fact emerges. When we feel that we are dependent on the mercy and whims of others, we get frustrated and upset. As long as other people can affect our well being, we are nervous and can easily become disappointed. When we realize that no one can affect us, unless it is Divinely ordained to be that way, then we can feel calm and assured of ourselves.

This is the joy that the Torah wants us to attain on Succos, a joy of unparalleled levels that  can leave us constantly serving Hashem with joy. The Torah tells us to leave our permanent home, to stay in the temporary dwelling of a succah, and to feel that we are directly under the protection of Hashem. If we can feel that way, then we can find ourselves feeling true joy in our lives as we feel connected to Him.

Wishing you and your family a Happy, Healthy and Sweet Succos!!!!!!!!

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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