Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
haaros

Haaros

Parshas Bo 5758 - '98

Outline Vol. 2, # 14

by Rabbi Yaakov Bernstein


Parshas Bo introduces us to the Avodas Hakorbonos -- the services. The Pesach Lamb was the sacrifice, the home was the altar, the blood on the door was the blood of circumcision, mingled with the lamb’s blood. (Medrash Rabah Rus, 6:1; see Pirke D’ Rebbe Eliezer at length.)

The mitzvos involving sacrifice are really mitzvos of giving. The Jew doesn’t merely give with his pocketbook -- he gives with his heart and soul, with his whole life. The sacrifice is the self, and the offering is the self.


Dedication

Rav Yerucham Halevi (Da’as Chochmah Umussar, vol. 1, #3) said that self-sacrifice is found in every aspect of the mitzvos. It is nothing other than the totality of effort.

Remember how Yaakov prepared for battle with his brother in three ways: He prepared to fight, he arranged to give a gift of appeasement, and he prayed. Don’t think that Yaakov tried different things, lest each on its own not be sufficient. Not so, said Rav Yerucham. Yaakov did everything with deliberation and certainty. Since we are not allowed to simply rely on miracles, Yaakov did EVERYTHING in his power; he left no stone unturned -- for to do so would show a lack of diligent effort.

A generation earlier, the Alter of Kelm expressed this idea (Chochmah Umussar, part one, “Hein Yatzil, Hein Lo Yatzil”). “One who relies on a miracle lacks the merit of self-sacrifice. Surely he is holding back from complete giving.” That is, one who dedicates himself -- but inwardly relies on miraculous salvation -- has not given sufficiently, has not exerted himself to his utmost.

The proof of this, writes the Alter, is the famous story of Rebbi Chaninah Ben Dosa. After receiving a golden chair-leg miraculously, he saw in a dream that his reward in Olam Habah (the next world) would be lacking. He then asked that the leg be returned, and, miraculously, it was taken back.

The meaning of this incident, is that one’s merit may be reduced by having received heavenly assistance, when one could manage without such assistance. In such a case, the acceptance of assistance shows a lack of perseverance.

This does not mean that we will always be successful in our endeavors. “Hein yatzil, hein lo yatzil” -- Whether we succeed or not, is not in our hands; only the exertion, the unstinting effort -- this is our job.

It is clear to us that this was the intention of Rav Yerucham Halevi in the words, “ ‘Don’t think that Yaakov tried different things, lest each on its own not be sufficient. No so,’ said Rav Yerucham Halevi. ‘Yaakov did everything with deliberation and certainty.’ ” Not that Yaakov was certain that he would succeed; he was certain that he was obligated to try with everything in his power. Only then -- whether he was successful or not -- would he feel that he had done his duty.


Chodshei Hashanah Vol. 2 # 7: Technical Corrections

The last issue included an error. There are 1080 divisions of the hour, not 1040.

Reb Mordchai Greenes pointed out that last week’s issue did not clarify that certain of the dechiyos (postponements of Rosh Chodesh) only affect Tishre (Rosh Hashanah time). He asked whether all of the dechiyos are so.

The point, and question, are well taken; only Rosh Hashanah is directly affected by the dechiyos. 1. That the first, fourth and sixth days cannot be the first day of the month was certainly only said for Rosh Hashanah. 2. The other rule mentioned last week -- if the Molad appears after noon, it is put off a day -- is an issue. From the Talmud it is not clear if this was only said in regard to Rosh Hashanah; Rambam, however, derived that each of the dechiyos only affect Rosh Hashanah. See Magid Harakiyah, pp. 338 - 340.


 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Of Threads and Shoelaces
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Learning How To Walk
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

The Perfect Covenant
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Looking for a Chavrusah?

An Uplifting Experience
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Redefining Pleasure
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Don't Walk in Front of Me (Anymore)
Shlomo Katz - 5763

ArtScroll

Emunah: Keeping the Faith
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5768

Bris Milah: Mark of Distinction
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Grace Saved
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

> A House or a Home?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

What Happened To Lot?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Lech Lecha
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Go to the Land of Canaan
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Avraham's Legacy to his Descendants
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Lech Lecha
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Suicide Moms
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information