Posts Tagged 'Temple'

Parshas Devorim | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Devorim | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

August 1, 2014 – Candle lighting 7:55, Shabbos Ends 9:02

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 merit of all the soldiers who are fighting to protect the Jewish people in Israel. It is also in memory of the fallen heroes who gave their lives to save other Jews in Israel. May Hashem help and protect the entire Jewish people, and destroy all the wicked people who want to harm the Jewish people.  

This week we read Parshas Devorim. The Shabbos, which is the Shabbos before Tisha B’av,  (the fast day on which both the first temple and the second temple were destroyed), is also known as Shabbos Chazon, for the Haftorah of the week that begins with the words Chazon Yeshaya – a vision from Isaiah. In the haftorah, Isaiah laments how a cow knows its owner, and a donkey knows the feeding trough of its master. However, the Jewish people don’t recognize their master – Hashem.

The commentary Ubesoraso Yehege asks the following question: it is understandable that the prophet complains when a Jew doesn’t even act like a cow that knows its owner, while the Jew doesn’t know Hashem. However, what is the praise of the donkey that knows that trough of its owner? After all, it is simply looking for food for itself?

He explains that the point Isaiah was making, is that a donkey has total trust in the feeding trough of its owner. The donkey doesn’t think for a minute that it might have to find sources of nourishment. Rather, it relies on its owner. Isaiah demanded that the Jewish people also show their reliance on Hashem, and trust in Him.

This point is especially important in these days. As we join the entire Jewish world in praying for the success of the Israeli soldiers in Gaza, we must know that our success and safety is totally in the hands of Hashem. Let us unite in prayer and extra mitzvohs as a merit that no more Jewish blood be spilt, and that those who wish to harm Jews be totally destroyed. May we soon see the day of the coming of Messiah, the rebuilding of the Temple, and the ingathering of all Jews back to the land of Israel!!!

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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Parshsios Shemini/Parah | The Kollel Connection

Parshsios Shemini/Parah | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

March 21, 2013 – Candle lighting 6:54, Shabbos Ends 8:03

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 Shemini. It is also Parshas Parah, as we read of the purification that was done to the Jewish people, before they would enter the temple. This is read specifically before Passover, when all Jews had to be pure to enter the temple and partake of the special Paschal lamb.

In Parshas Shemini, the Torah tells us the laws of keeping kosher. The famous rule is given in this week’s Parsha, that in order to be kosher, an animal must have two signs: It must chew its cud, and it must have split hooves. (Leviticus 11:3) The Torah lists several animals that have one of the two signs, but not both. Most famous of these, is the chazir, the pig, which has split hooves but does not chew its cud. The overwhelming majority of animals have either both signs of being kosher, or none. Even among the few animals that have one sign, there is only one that has the sign of split hooves but does not chew its cud. That is the pig. The commentaries ask why is it that the pig, which of all animals of the world is the one most synonymous with something that is not kosher, should be the one animal that gives the outward appearance as if it is kosher?

One simple lesson is that we should never be deceived by external looks. A man could look pious or religious, yet be a total faker. A person may call themselves a “Rabbi”, yet tell people that they may drive on the Sabbath. My father advised me many years ago, that it would be better to be a plumber and be an honest Jew, than to be such a “Rabbi” and be a faker. The pig is exactly that type of fake “Rabbi”. It looks kosher from the outside, but is totally non-kosher inside of it. Desire for honor, money, or other things has caused many a person to say or do things that are not really true.

Another beautiful point is brought down by the Aron L’eydus. Often a person will feel that he or she is having a hard time in their service of Hashem. They may be having a hard time focusing on their prayers, or in doing any of the commandments. They feel as if they are being pushed away by Hashem, and as if their service of Hashem is not desired. They feel ready to give up. This is a terrible mistake, and a lack of understanding why we may find something hard.

A person must know that even in such circumstances, even when the going is tough and rough, we must push with all our strength to come close to Hashem. Any hardship that we have, we must know, is simply a test from heaven to see if we are ready to serve Him even when it is hard to. Perhaps this moment of challenge is precisely the moment in our lives that we were brought in to this world to overcome.

This lesson we learn from the chazir, the pig. The nature of the chazir is, that even when it is pushed away from the place it is in, it pushes itself back to its first spot. The very name for this animal, chazir, comes from the Hebrew word chazara – which is to come back. This is why it has signs of purity on its feet – to show that although its entire body is impure, what it does with its feet – to fight and go back to the place it was hard to stay in, and not to give up, is a good and positive character trait.

May we all find that strength to fight and meet the challenges that come our way and seek to push us down, as we rise to the occasion and  overcome 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.

Parshsios Tzav/Zachor | The Kollel Connection

Parshsios Tzav/Zachor | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

March 14, 2013 – Candle lighting 5:47, Shabbos Ends 7:56

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 Tzav. It is also Parshas Zachor, the Shabbos that we read in the maftir aliyah, the last aliyah on Shabbos morning, about the war that Amalek waged against the Jewish people when they left Egypt. In contrast to the Torah reading that we do every Shabbos, which is only Rabbinical, this Torah reading is a Torah commandment.

In the Parsha, the Torah tells us about the procedure for a sin offering – a Korban Chatas. The Torah tells us that the sin offering is to be slaughtered in the same place as the sacrifice of an olah (an offering that is totally burnt). (Leviticus 6:18)  The wording of this verse is rather puzzling. We know that the place for both a sin offering and an olah offering is on the North side of the Temple. Why does the Torah tell us that the sin offering should be in the place of the olah offering? Why doesn’t it just say that the sin offering should be on the North side of the Temple? Is there a connection between the fact that the sin offering is on the North side, and that the olah offering is on the North side?

The classic commentator the Kli Yakar, explains that in fact there is a connection between the place for slaughtering the sin offering and the olah offering. A sin offering is brought for an accidental transgression of one of the most serious of all sins – one that if done deliberately would carry with it Karais, an early death and the cutting of the soul from its source. An olah offering is brought for thoughts of doing a sin, certainly a bad thing, but not even close to the reasons for bringing a sin (chatas) offering. If the sin offering and the olah offering were made in different places, than it would be obvious to everyone watching when a person was bringing a sin offering for doing a most serious sin. This would cause the person a lot of embarrassment. In order to avoid this, the Torah said that a person should bring both offerings in the same place – so no one would realize whether a person was now bringing a sin offering or an olah offering. This teaches us the importance of making sure that there is no embarrassment caused to any Jew, even if he or she is a sinner.

This explains why the Torah connected the two offerings – for the reason that the sin offering is on the North side of the Temple is exactly because the olah offering is offered there also, and will thus save a Jew from being embarrassed.

Rav Chatzkel Levinstein, the famed Mashgiach of the Yeshiva of Ponovez, is quoted as having told someone “We have a tradition that if someone would have a chance to build the third Temple, it would come at the cost of causing someone to feel bad, they should refrain from building it.”

This lesson comes at a most appropriate time. Even as we prepare for the joyous partying and merrymaking of Purim, we must be careful not to cause any bad feelings or hurt emotions to another person.

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 Vayikrah | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Vayikrah | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

March 7, 2013 – Candle lighting 5:40, Shabbos Ends 6:45

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’s Kollel Connection is dedicated in Memory of Elsie Green, late mother of Steve Green.  May Hashem comfort Steve, his sister and their entire family amongst the other mourners of Israel.   

This week we read Parshas Vayikrah. In Parshas Vayikrah, the Torah tells us of various types of sacrifices that were offered in Temple. When the Torah talks of the sacrifice called a mincha offering, that consisted of flour without any animal involved, the Torah uses different wording than with the other sacrifices. “And if a nefesh (a soul) will bring a mincha offering to Hashem” (Leviticus 2:1). Our Sages ask, why is it that by all the sacrifices the word “nefesh” (a soul) is not used. Only by this flour offering is that word used. Why is the flour offering the only one that has this word describing the owner who is bringing the sacrifice as a nefesh – a soul?

Rashi quotes the words of our Sages, that a rich person will usually bring an animal as a sacrifice. Flour offerings are brought by poor people. When a poor person brings an offering to Hashem, it is a real sacrifice. Hashem looks at such dedication and considers it as if the person had actually sacrificed his or her own soul.

Rabbenu Yona expresses a similar thought in the following way: “Serving Hashem is not like serving a mortal king or leader. When a person wants to come close to a mortal king, he or she must go through the high ranking officials who are close to the king, and try to be allowed to get through to the king. Not so is serving Hashem. He allows any human being to serve him, and wants them and their service of Him. Hashem has no preference for the rich person over the pauper, nor for the wise man more than the simpleton, nor for the strong person more than the weak person. He just wants the person who is sincere in serving Him as best they can.”

The story is told of a taxi driver who once had the privilege to drive the Steipler Gaon the leading Talmudic sage of his time, on a trip. As they were traveling, the Steipler Gaon asked the driver if he sates aside time to learn Torah at night, after he finishes working. The taxi driver sighed and told the Rabbi that he does go to a Torah class every night, but since he is so exhausted after a full day’s work, he often falls asleep as soon as the class begins, and wakes up just as the class ends. He expressed his deep pain that he can’t stay awake for the class, and certainly doesn’t understand the subject matter. As the Rabbi got off the taxi, he told him “In this world you think that what you study is not worth much. In heaven, you should just know, they treat you like a great General. As long as you are doing what you have strength for, even if you fall asleep as you study, you are considered to be a great tzadik and a righteous person.”

The beautiful idea, that Hashem just wants us to use the talent and strength that He has given us to the best of our ability, is the lesson we learn from this special mincha sacrifice.

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 Pekudai/Shekalim | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Pekudai/Shekalim | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

February 28, 2013 – Candle lighting 5:32, Shabbos Ends 6:41

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 is dedicated this week in honor of the birth of a new baby boy to Tomor and Maital Tawil of Bensalem. Mazel tov, may the only have nachat from him and their entire family, and may the brit milah be on time!!!!!    

This week we read Parshas Pekudai.  It is also Parshas Shekalim, when we read of the yearly obligation that every Jew had to contribute a half shekel coin to the temple. This half shekel coin was given to pay for the daily sacrifice (Korbon Tamid) that was offered in the Temple twice a day. By having each Jew give a half shekel to this fund, each Jew had an equal share in the sacrifices in the Temple.

When the Torah tells us of the obligation to give a half shekel, the words “Terumas Hashem” – a giving to Hashem, are used three times. Rashi (Exodus 30:15) explains that there were three different donations that were given at that time. One was the yearly half shekel coin given to buy the animals for the daily sacrifice. Second was the general donations made to build the Tabernacle – which had no set amount. Each Jew would give the amount that they wanted to. Finally, there was a third donation – a second (one time) donation of a half shekel coin made by each Jew. This one time donation was used to make the adonim – the bases that held up the Tabernacle.

When we examine these three separate donations, a question emerges: We can easily understand the difference between the support given for the daily sacrifice, as opposed to the donations given to build the Tabernacle: When one builds a building, people are much more eager to contribute. The reality was that there was no need to tell each Jew to give a specific amount to build the Tabernacle. The Jews, in their excitement, gave so much to build the Tabernacle, that the appeal actually had to be stopped shortly after it began. Unfortunately, when it comes to ongoing expenses for Synagogues or yeshivas, this is not always the case. People are much less excited to donate money for a synagogue or Yeshiva’s utility bill, than they are to donate for creating a new building. Therefore, when it came to the money needed for the daily sacrifice, the Torah requires each person to give a set amount.

Based on this, we have to understand why the funds needed for the adonim, the bases, were given by the Jews with a set amount. Why couldn’t they just be donated by whichever Jews wanted to give for it, just like the rest of the Tabernacle was?

The Chofetz Chaim says a beautiful thought. True, the money for the adonim, the base that held up the Tabernacle, could have been raised by just asking for Jews to donate what they wanted to. Some generous philanthropists would have grabbed the opportunity and donated the whole thing. However, the Torah didn’t want that to happen. Hashem wanted every single Jew to have an equal share in the great cause of making the base, the very thing that held up the Tabernacle. Therefore, He instructed every Jew to give an equal amount to construct those bases.

The Chofetz Chaim writes, that the same concept exists in supporting Torah in our time. As we are approached by institutions of Torah to support them, we must appreciate that doing so is an opportunity for us to share in Torah study. Hashem wants every Jew to be able to share in the great mitzvah of Torah study. The merit is so great, that He does not want it to be left just to those Jews who are studying, but to give that opportunity to every Jew. Like the Jews who gave their half shekel coin to pay for the adonim, the base of the Tabernacle, when we help support Torah study we must appreciate that we are helping the greatest cause and the base of the survival of the Jewish people.

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 Tetzaveh | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Tetzaveh | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

February 7, 2013 – Candle lighting 5:07, Shabbos Ends 6:17

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 is dedicated this week in Miriam bas David (MomMom) Silverman, mother of Adrian Taylor. May she be an advocate before Hashem’s throne for her wonderful and beautiful family. 

This week we read Parshas Tetzaveh.  In the Parsha, we read of the special garments worn by the priests when they did the service in the Temple. Clear instructions  are given exactly how to construct each of these garments. Aside from the simple idea that when we serve Hashem we have to give His service the proper order and respect, in each of the individual garments there is an idea to learn from and a lesson. One of the special garments worn by the high priest was the meil, a special blue robe. On bottom of this meil, this robe, the Torah tells us that there had to be paamonim – bells, and rimonim “pomegranates” made of wool. They were placed on bottom of the meil in alternate order, and that “the sound will be heard when the High priest comes to  the Temple, (Exodus  28:35), so people will know that he is coming. The Talmud teaches from here that when we enter our home, we must not do so suddenly, and surprise or perhaps scare the people inside. Rather, we must knock, or make them aware that we are coming in, just as the people heard the noise of the High priest coming before he actually came.

The Talmud teaches us another lesson from this garment. The Talmud says that the meil would atone for the sin of loshon hara, of talking bad about someone else. (Eruchin 16a) The Talmud explains that the sound of the meil (the bells on the bottom) would come to atone for the sound of loshon hara, of bad mouthing someone else. The Chofetz Chaim asks, if the bells atone for loshon hara by making a good noise, then why do we have the woolen pomegranates that make no noise? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have only bells on the bottom that represent saying good things? Why do we need these pomegranates that make no sound?

The Chofetz Chaim answers, based on a teaching found in the Talmud (Chulin 89b). “What is the job of a person in this world? He should teach himself to act as a mute person. However, when it comes to words of Torah, he should speak them as it says,… The idea conveyed by the Sages is that we have two jobs to do with our mouth: When we are faced with the opportunity to use positive speech, we must speak up. However, when we are in situations of challenge, whether it is a temptation to bad mouth someone, a temptation to involve ourselves in an argument, or a temptation to hurt someone’s feelings, we must learn from the silent pomegranates and remain quiet. Indeed, the Sages say that Hashem keeps the world running in the merit of someone who is strong enough to remain silent even at a time of conflict. This beautiful lesson – how both using speech in a positive way, and refraining from speaking in a negative way, are such powerful weapons that we must use in serving Hashem, is one that every Jew is supposed to learn from the meil of the High Priest.

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 Mishpatim | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Mishpatim | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

January 24, 2013 – Candle lighting 4:51, Shabbos Ends 6:00

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 is dedicated this week in honor of the birth of a new daughter to Motti and Limor Foox. Mazel Tov to them and to their entire family!!!

This week we read Parshas Mishpatim.  In the Parsha, we read many of the Torah’s laws concerning financial obligations. The Torah tells us that if a person steals a cow or sheep and sells it or slaughters it, he has to pay five cows in place of the cow, or four sheep in place of the sheep. (Exodus 21:37) Why is it that for the cow one has to pay five times as many, while for the sheep it is enough to pay only four times as many? The Sages tell us, “Rav Yochanan Ben Zacai explained, Hashem cares about the honor of people. For a cow that walks on its own, and the thief didn’t have any embarrassment in getting it, he has to pay five times its value. For a sheep, that the thief had to carry on his shoulder and have embarrassment from it, he only needs to pay four times its value.”

The lesson that the Sages give us here in dealing with the honor of a human being is astounding. The person that we are talking about here in compensating for his embarrassment is a thief. The embarrassment he had was self inflicted as he perpetrated his crime. Nonetheless, Hashem has taught us to value even the embarrassment of such a person. Certainly, when we deal with our friends, family, and other people, we must be very careful with their honor.

The story is told of the late Rabbi Shalom Shwadron, who at one point was working in a Yeshiva that taught teenage boys. The Dean of this yeshiva had traveled abroad, and the boys of the Yeshiva asked Rabbi Schwadron if he could speak for them and offer thoughts about ethical improvement, as the Dean normally did when he was present. Rabbi Schwadron was uncertain what to do. On the one hand, it certainly would be beneficial for the boys to hear thoughts that encouraged them to grow in their ethical and moral behavior. On the other hand, if the Dean heard that someone else was presenting these talks to the boys, and they were enjoying them from him, the Dean would very likely feel very bad that he was not able to give these talks himself. He presented his dilemma to the famed Rabbi Chatzkel Levinstien, who served as the Dean of the Ponovez yeshiva in Bnai Brak. Rabbi Levinstein told him an amazing thought. “We have a clear tradition that even if we would have an opportunity to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, but it may cause bad feelings to someone, it is preferable to refrain and not build the Temple”!!!

The Torah here teaches us how careful we have to be to the feelings of others. Hopefully, if we can learn from this how to be sensitive even to the feelings of a thief, we will grow in being sensitive to the feelings of all other 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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