“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 children.
Good Shabbos and chag samayach
Rabbi Chaim Dovid Green and Rabbi Label Lam