Parshas Bamidbar/Shavuos - Clothe The Needy
"These are the generations of Aaron and Moshe on the day that HaShem spoke
with Moshe on Mount Sinai. And these are the names of the sons of Aaron:
Nodov the firstborn, Avihu, Elazar and Itamar." (Numbers 3:1,2)
Rashi quotes the Talmud that although the verse states that "These are the
generations of Aaron and Moshe", only Aaron's sons are listed. This teaches
us that whoever teaches one's neighbor's children Torah, as did Moshe, is
considered as if they had given birth to them.
The Chofetz Chaim cites this principle and writes that it is a very great
mitzvah to teach Torah to people who would not learn it otherwise. He also
cites the Tana D'vei Eliyahu: If you see people who have not studied Torah,
bring them into your house and teach them to recite the Shema Yisrael and
Amidah prayers. Teach them a verse or a law every day, and encourage them
to fulfill the commandments, for there is no person as "naked" as one who
does not possess Torah and the merit of fulfilling the commandments. The
Chofetz Chaim goes on to explain that we are obligated to clothe the needy.
All the more so are we obligated to supply spiritual "clothing" for those
who lack it. (Ahavas Chesed)
The school of Hillel taught: "A person should teach to everybody. For there
have been many who transgressed who were taught Torah and their descendants
were righteous and pious". That is, not only were they themselves
transformed, but their children and children's children were also
righteous. (Avos D'Reb Noson)
The proceeding portion of dvartorah was taken from the book _Love Your
Neighbor_ by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin.
We find ourselves on the launching pad to the festival of Shavuos.
Who wants life?....Guard your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking
falsehood. Turn from Evil and do good....(Psalms)
Shavous is the anniversary of the transmitting of the Torah from HaShem
through Moshe to the Jewish nation. It is the culmination of the exodus
from Egypt as the newly-freed nation turned from the evil that Egyptian
slavery and culture represented. Unhampered by the stresses of slavery and
the influences of a foreign culture, they were able to adjust their sights
to loftier tiers. They seized the moment and set their sights on the goal
at hand which was to use their freedom for spiritual elevation and put it
into action - to "do good".
Parshas Bamidbar is the perfect prelude to potential spiritual elevation -
Shavuos. It is therefore, an appropriate time to express our gratitude to
Rabbi Yaakov Menken of Project Genesis/Torah.org. Torah.org is Rabbi
Menken's baby, and what a wonderchild it has proven itself to be!
Torah.org is the very definition of teaching Torah to those who would not
learn it otherwise. How many Jews flung to the four corners of the earth
(and everywhere in-between) had little or no source of Torah learning
before the advent of PG/Torah.org? It is inspiring to read some of the
responses from both subscribers and mentors that tell of how Torah.org has
truly been a lifeline - "..a tree of life to those who cling to it" (keep
the electronic cards and letters coming!). Torah.org is the spring board
from which serious Torah learning has blossomed, exploding old myths,
inspiring new growth and enhancing already established commitments (not
unlike a landscaper's dose of "weed and feed"!)
It has been a privilege to teach through the venue of dvartorah for
Torah.org., a conduit through which we learn and teach, understand and
grow. May our good deeds be a merit for our children and our children's
Good Shabbos and chag samayach
Rabbi Chaim Dovid Green and Rabbi Label Lam
Text Copyright © 2000 Rabbi Dovid Green and
Project Genesis, Inc.