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Showing posts from February, 2021


  Rabbi Nachman once spoke about those who are religious for it while and then fall away. He said that even the short time that they are religious is very dear to God, no matter what happens later.   It is written, “You have heartened Me with one of your eyes (Song of Songs 4:9).” God is speaking to the Jewish people, recalling the time they accepted the Torah. The Midrash asks why the verse says, “with  one  of your eyes.” It answers that the other eye was already on the Golden Calf (Shabbat 88b).  Even when Israel accepted the Torah, they already had plans to stray. Still, the short time they were close to God was very dear to Him. He therefore said, “You have heartened Me with one of your eyes.” [Sichot haRan 123] Many of us hesitate when reciting the blessing of repentance in the Amidah because we wonder how long our repentance will last. It is appropriate to recall the above lesson that even a short period of repentance is very dear to God. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg


The 16th of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Pinchas Menachem (ben Avraham Mordechai) Alter, the Pnei Menachem of Ger (1926-1996). The fifth son of the Imrei Emes, Rav Pinchas   was born in the resort town of Palinitz, Poland when his father was 60 years old. Along with his father and other family members, he escaped to Erezt Yisrael during World War II. In 1946, he married his cousin, and two years later, his father passed away. Three of the Imrei Emes’ sons became Rebbe of Ger: Rav Yisrael (the Beis Yisrael, nifter 1977), Rav Simcha Bunim (the Lev Simcha, nifter 1992), and Rav Pinchas Menachem (the Pnei Menachem). However, Rav Pinchas Menachem was Rosh Yeshiva of Sefas Emes of Ger in Yerushalayim from the time he was 30, and was head of Agudas Yisrael after the petria of Rav Yitzchak Meir Levine. The Talmud teaches that God gives wisdom to those who are wise because the gift of wisdom would be misused if granted to one without an appreciation of wisdom. Wisdom must “land” in the right pl


The 19th of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Dovid (ben Tzvi Elimelech) of Dinov (1804-1874). Rav Dovid was the author of Tzemach Dovid and Divrei Dovid, and the son of the Bnei Yissoschar. He succeeded his father as Rebbe   in Dinov following the latter’s petira in 1841.   “This is the decree of the Torah, which God has commanded, saying, ‘ Speak to the Children of Israel, and they shall take to you a completely red cow’ (Numbers 19:2).” Since the secrets of the Red Cow are revealed only to you, therefore, “they shall take to you,” meaning, they should attach to you and trust in what you know and understand. (Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov; Iggra d’Kallah) Machberes Avodas Hashem : I’ve used this approach, of attaching myself to the wisdom of the teacher, when studying with my father zt”l, and, ybcl”c, my Rebbi shlit”a; I understand that they have access to wisdom far beyond mine, and attach to that wisdom so that I may tast of that higher wisdom. I also use this approach on  Shabbat Morni


Man’s excellence is to be found in, and achieved by means of, the very thing with which he is blemished. Thus, on the verse, “And they sewed fig leaves together (Genesis 3:7),” the Sages commented, “The very thing which brought   them ruin was the means for setting them right (Sanhedrin 70a).”   Similarly, our Sages state that “on the very day that the Temple was destroyed, the Messiah was born (Yerushalmi Berachot 2:4).” In this same vein they said, “Where in the Torah is the idea of the resurrection of the dead (Sanhedrin 91b)?” This also explains why the Red Heifer cleanses from the impurity caused by death. Our Sages commented, “Let the mother, and cleanse her son’s dirt (Bamidbar Rabbah 19:4).” The Heifer is the mother which gave birth to this; all comes from God; from Him all things emerged. Thus, the Red Heifer is the cleansing of the dirt. (Tzidkat HaTzaddik #70) The heifer, as stated, is the mother.  And in the Kabbalistic doctrine, the third Sefirah, Binah, is the Mother, the


The 21st of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of the Noam Elimelech: “This is the decree of the Torah, which God has commanded, saying, ‘ Speak to the Children of Israel, and they shall take to you a completely red cow’ (Numbers 19:2).”   It is incumbent on the righteous leaders of the generation, those who represent Moses in each generation, to transform the Attribute of Judgment, represented by the color, red, and make it whole, meaning, healed and healing for Israel. (Noam Elimelech) By:  Rabbi Weinberg, n''y 


The 23rd of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of the Divrei Binah of Bialah: “This is the decree of the Torah, which God has commanded (Numbers 19:2).”   Chukat , decree, but also used to describe a person’s portion of sustenance, is the Torah;   each of us must find our sustenance in and from the Torah. (Divrei Binah; Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov of Bialah)   “Help me find my portion of Torah, and help me derive my spiritual sustenance from my Torah study.” I also add this in the  Shabbat Prayer : in each Amidah when I say, “Give us our portion in Torah,”: We have our portion of Torah sustenance just as we have our portion of physical sustenance. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, n''y


  “For the conductor, on the   Ayelet ha-Shachar .” “ Lamnatze-ach ,” also means, “To the victory,” of Esther and Mordechai over Haman, that led to a new covenant with Torah, which is “ Emet ,” truth, 441 in Gematria, as is “ Ayelet. ”   The “ Ayelet ” also refers to the Oral Law, which is the most powerful expression of the Shechina, also called “ Ayelet .” Esther and Mordechai did not celebrate the victory as their own, but as an opportunity to conquer more of this world, with the light of the Oral Law.  Each time we apply the Oral Law and allow Her light to be expressed in the world, we win a great victory. We often feel that we constantly lose in our battle with our Yetzer Harah; when we sing this Psalm of Esther, we should celebrate our victories, and pray that we are as victorious as Esther and Mordechai. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, n''y

"My Lord, my Lord, why have You abandoned me?"-PSALM OF ESTHER: 22:2: ALSHICH HA-KADOSH“

“My Lord, my Lord, why have You abandoned me; why are You so far from delivering me and from my anguished roaring?” The repetition of the word “my Lord,” has been explained as reflecting Esther’s dismay that the Holy Spirit   had departed from her when she entered the king’s throne chamber with its idolatrous images.   Her anguish was expressed thus, “my Lord,” if You were my Lord before I was married to this uncircumcised person, You have still remained my Lord even though I have shared his bedroom which was surrounded by idolatrous images. Why, therefore, does Your Holy Spirit forsake me at this critical time? My outcry, was not concerned with my own safety . If the king refuses to extend his scepter to me and executes me, this is a relatively easy fate to bear. But, Your withdrawal from me makes my people’s deliverance distant, unlikely! Alternatively, Esther calls “my Lord” twice, to indicate her doubt if the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit is due to the impurity of the Kings quarte


In “ Consultations ,” we offered five views of Achashveirosh: Achashveirosh believes that his ascension to the throne was guided by the constellations, or, Achashveirosh as Bill Clinton, Achashveirosh who believes that he is a   man with a great destiny, a man determined that every decision be perceived as a ruling by the Supreme Court expressing his deep commitment to law and structure, and finally, who understands a king that for some reason he will need Jewish support to succeed as King. We will have to examine the sages’ decision to recuse themselves from the perspective of each of these descriptions of Achashveirosh.   The Midrash continues: The wicked Achashveirosh said to them, “Seeing that I ordered Vashti to appear before me naked and she refused, what is to be her punishment?” They replied, “Your Majesty, when we were in our own land, we used to inquire of the Urim and Tummim, but now we are tossed about,” and they quoted to him the verse, “Moab has been at ease from his yout


Thoughts that disturb your prayers can be an atonement for your sins. When you are not suspicious of God and believe that He certainly wants to draw you close and accept your prayers, that the only thing that brings about confusing   thoughts during your prayers are your own sins, when you are pained by these thoughts and flee from them with all your strength, this is an atonement for your sins.   If you were able to do this truly and fully, all your sins would be forgiven, and all troubling thoughts removed. This is alluded to in the Talmudic teaching, “One who sins and is ashamed of it, is forgiven for everything.” (Shivchei Moharan, Avodat Hashem 138) We were granted the gift of the Tabernacle despite our imperfections, even after the sin of the Golden Calf.   It is the place of atonement, and by understanding that this holy place for the Divine Presence is ours even in our imperfections, we can learn how to use the thoughts that disturb our prayers, as an atonement; the fact that I


The divine soul of man is transmitted and descends to this world to be clothed in a human body, through the mystery of speech. This is the supernal Breath, regarding which it is written, “And God breathed into man’s nostrils,   a soul of life, and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7).” Whoever exhales, does so from his innermost being.   It is also written, “For a part of God is His people, Jacob, the cord of His possession (Deuteronomy 32:9).” Jacob is compared to a cord, where one end is bound above, and the other end below. We can learn an important lesson from this simple meaning of the verse, “He breathed into his nostrils.” When a person blows on something, if there is a barrier or an obstruction separating the two, his breath cannot reach that place at all. The same is actually true when there is something separating and intervening between man’s body and the Supernal Breath. Of course, nothing physical or spiritual can actually act as a barrier before God’s Essence . It is t