Monday, June 19, 2017

Korach 5777

The Torah Portion of Korach 


Excerpted and Translated from the the Teachings of Rabbi Gershon Steinberg ztz"l
L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben Chaim ztz"l
L'ilui Neshamat R' Yochanan Yitzchak Ben Nachum z"l 
L'ilui Neshamat R' Yaakov Ben Matisyahu HaLevi z"l
L'ilui Neshamat Esther Mushka Bat Yaakov HaLevi z"l
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Malka Bat Rivkah Zlata
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Deena Bat Tzion Bat Zehava
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Chaya Basha Bat Esther
L'refuat Hanefesh V'lrefuat Haguf L'Etan Naphtali Ben Zehava
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Rivkah Goldah Bat Chaya Basha 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Shimon Ben Rivkah Goldah
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Simcha Pearl Bat Rivkah Goldah
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Moshe Shlomo Ben Rivkah Goldah
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Chaim Sh'muel Ben Rivkah Goldah 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Avital Bat Rut
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Eliezer Yitzchak Ben Bracha Devorah 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Michael Itzhak Nesshael Ben Avital 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Naomi Chana Bat Chaya Basha 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Refael Ben Masha Etel 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Rav Daniel Reuven Ben Esther and
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'kol Am Yisrael V'l'geulah Hashleima Bekarov


"And there took Korach the son of Yitzchar the son of Kehat the son of Levi." (Bamidbar 16:1)


The Chatam Sofer asked, how did the righteous sons of Levi name their son "Korach" which is a name of one the chiefs of Eisav (Breishit 36:5)? According to the Gemara (Yoma 38b) it is written that a man should not give his son the name of a wicked man, and we also see that he became a wicked man because they gave him this name. And the Chatam Sofer writes that perhaps the explanation of the verse "And there took Korach the son of Yitzchar the son of Kehat the son of Levi", is that he should have sanctified himself because he was the descendent of Yitzchar and Kehat and Levi, except that "there took Korach" , the name Korach took away all of the sanctity.

Rashi says "This Torah portion is expounded nicely." 


There are those that say, it's possible to give lectures on this Torah portion about Korach every day of the year, because throughout the year there are disputes. And it is also said regarding the verse, "and the sons of Korach didn't die" (Bamidbar 26:11), that dispute never ceases.

"And there took Korach." (Bamidbar 16:1) 


He took honor for himself. Honor is not something to take for yourself, but rather, others need to give you honor, and because Korah wanted to take honor before the right time, he therefore died before his time. (from Mayana Shel Torah)

Rashi says: "Korach, who was a clever man, what was it that he saw that led him to this folly?" 


It's said that Chana requested that she would have a son who would not be like his grandfather Korach, but rather he would be neither wise nor stupid, because one doesn't need to be too smart.

Just as there is a Kohen Gadol for the people of Israel, there should have been a Levi Gadol, and this appointment would have been designated for Korach, but because of the controversy Israel lost this thing. (from Imrai Emet in the name of the Zohar)


Korach asked Moshe, a house full of Seforim (Holy Books), does it need a Mezuzah? 


Moshe answered him, "Certainly". The teacher explained this to his students: that is just like if someone asks whether a store full of locks doesn't need a lock for locking the door.

Korach was jealous of the princely position of Elitzaphan ben Uziel.


The sons of Kehat in the order of their birth were: Amram, Yitzchar, Chevron, and Uziel. The sons of Amram were Moshe and Aharon, who received important appointments. Korach claimed that he was next in line after them, and that he deserved the position of prince, for he was the son of Yitzchar, the second son of Kehat, and it shouldn't have been given to Elitzaphan who was the son of Uziel -- the fourth son of Kehat.

"They gathered together against Moshe and against Aharon...And Moshe heard and fell on his face." (Bamidbar 16:3-4) 


The Ramban asks, behold,they gathered also against Aharon, and why didn't Aharon fall on his face? And he explains, that Aharon was so ethical and holy that he didn't answer a word during all this dispute, and it was as if he were silent and admitting that Korach's level was higher than his level, except that he was doing as Moshe said and fulfilling the decree of the King.

The teacher asked his students, how old was Korach at the time of the dispute?


The students answered, that the Sages say that Korach was one of those who carried the Holy Ark, and from that we know that he was not more than 50 years old and not less than 30 years old.

"...Riches kept by their owner for his harm." (Kohelet 5:12)


It is written in Kohelet, "riches kept by their owner for his harm" (Kohelet 5:12).  The Sages said, this is Korach.  There were three hidden treasures that Yosef hid in Egypt, and one of them was revealed to Korach, and one to Antoninus, and one is hidden away for the Tzadikim (Righteous Men) for the future - for the World to Come.  300 white mules were necessary in order to carry the keys and locks of the treasures of Korach.  The keys and locks were made of animal skins, and even though they were light in weight, in any event they needed 300 mules in order to carry them (from Sanhedrin 101a).  And in Targum Yonatan on the verse (Bamidbar 16:19): "Korach gathered the entire assembly against them at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of Hashem appeared to the entire assembly",  it is written that Korach gathered the entire assembly to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and he became haughty because of his riches, since he found two of Yosef's treasures filled with silver and gold, and he requested, by means of that wealth, to banish Moshe and Aharon from the world.  But, the glory of Hashem appeared to the entire assembly. 

"A righteous person like a date-palm tree will flower" (Tehillim 92:13)


The Ari HaKodesh used to say, that in the future to come there will be a correction for the soul of Korach, as it is said, "a righteous person like a date-palm tree will flower." (Tehillim 92:13) In the original Hebrew, this verse is: "Tzadik K'tamar Yifrach" . The last letters of these three Hebrew words are Kuf (end of Tzadik), Raish (end of K'tamar) , and Chet (end of Yifrach), and that spells the name "Korach" . In the end, also Korach will be thought of as being among the righteous people.

The Chozeh HaKodesh of Lublin was a descendent of Korach.


The Chozeh of Lublin said, that his grandfather didn't know that it's possible to serve Hashem from behind the stove (in a hidden, seemingly insignificant position) just like the Kohen HaGadol in the Holy of Holies.

"The wisdom of a woman builds her house" (Mishlei 14:1)


The wife of Ohn ben Pelet saved him. She said to him, "why are you getting involved in a dispute? Look, in any event either Moshe will be the leader or Korach, but you won't receive any position, so why should you get involved?" It is written in Mishlei (14:1): "The wisdom of a woman builds her house", and this refers to the wife of Ohn ben Pelet. Teachers of Ethics ask, how much wisdom does it take to look at the matter that way? Not much. But the explanation is, that at the time of a dispute, any straight thinking, even a little bit, is great deal of wisdom, because at the time of a dispute people lose their minds.

"The wisdom of a woman builds her house" (Mishlei 14:1)


That is the wife of Ohn ben Pelet. "And a foolish woman with her hands destroys it" (Mishlei 14:1), that is the wife of Korach, who said to him, "it's not enough that Moshe took for himself Kingship, and to his brother he gave the position of Kohen Gadol, and it's necessary to give him T'rumot (donations), but he also told the whole tribe to shave". Korach said to her, "look, also Moshe shaved himself" . She said to him, "that's like what is stated 'may my soul die with the Pilishtim' (Shoftim 16:30 -- which Shimshon said after he was blinded and chained to the pillars of a building filled with Pilishtim). It's worthwhile for him to shave himself, in order so that everyone else will need to shave". (from Sanhedrin 110a) 

"My two sons you shall kill" (Braisheet 42:37)


Because Reuven said to Yaakov, "My two sons you shall kill, etc." (Braisheet 42:37), there came out from him Datan and Aviram, and they died. This is because the curse of a righteous man is fulfilled even if it is made conditionally. (from Ba'al HaTurim on the Torah Portion Mikaitz)

It is written in Ethics of the Fathers (Chapter 5), "Every dispute which is not for the sake of Heaven, this is the dispute of Korach and his congregation" . 


It has been asked, why is it written "Korach and his congregation" and not "Korach and Moshe"? The explanation is, that Moshe did not participate in the dispute at all, but rather said to Korach, as far as I'm concerned take everything, but the Holy One Blessed Be He doesn't agree with it. And there are those that explain "the dispute of Korach and his congregation" , that there was also a dispute amongst them, between Korach and his congregation. 

"And Moshe got up and went to Datan and Aviram." 


(based Rashi's commentary on the verse in Bamidbar 16:12 -- "And Moshe sent to call Datan and Aviram") From here we learn, that we should not support a dispute (since Moshe went after them to restore harmony with them with words of peace).

"And he shall not be like Korach and his congregation. " (Bamidbar 17:5) 


Rav said, everyone who supports a dispute, transgresses a prohibitive commandment, as it is said: "And he shall not be like Korach and his congregation. " (Bamidbar 17:5) Rav Ashi says, it is appropriate that he should be struck with Tzaraat (a spiritual skin disease commonly translated as "leprosy" in English). (from Sanhedrin 110a)

Gehinom


The Sages say that every time that a person gets angry, "all kinds of Gehinom rule over him". The Ben Ish Chai explains that the Sages say there are 3 kinds of Gehinom: 1) fire, 2) hail, 3) smoke. The nature of a person when he gets angry is that at first he gets red, that is fire; after that gets pale, that is hail, which is white; and after that he steams from his nostrils, that is smoke. 

"And the sons of Korach didn't die." (Bamidbar 26:11) 


Rashi says that a place was set aside for them in Gehinom. It is said that the reason we say Tehillim 47, "Lamenatzayach L'vnei Korach..." ("To the conductor, a psalm of the sons of Korach") before the sounding of the Shofar on Rosh Hashana, is in order to awaken us to the fact that even though the sons of Korach repented only when they were already in Gehinom, their repentance was accepted, and so thus everyone of us who awakens himself before the sounding of the Shofar, will have his repentance accepted, and he doesn't need to give up hope.

Two men came before the "Ohr Sameach" for a judgment about an area of land. 


Each one claimed that the land belonged to him. The Ohr Sameach asked them, where are the witnesses, and where is the legal document? They said to him, we don't have witnesses or a legal document. He said to them that they should make a compromise between themselves, but they didn't agree to that. He requested to see the piece of land that was under discussion in the case. When he got there he bent down to the ground and acted as if he were whispering to it and then he turned his ear to the ground to hear its answer. They asked him, what was it that you whispered? He said to them, I asked the ground which one of you it belongs to, and the ground said that both of you belong to it, that is to say, in the end every person dies and is buried in the ground and will belong to it. The two men understood the hint and agreed to compromise, and now it is understandable why Korach was punished by being swallowed by the earth. If he had remembered where we all go at the end of life, he wouldn't have disputed with Moshe. Therefore he was punished by being swallowed by the earth when he was still alive. (from Kol Yehuda)

This is Shabbat Rosh Chodesh, and we say "Atah Yatzarta" during the Musaf Shmoneh Esrei.


The Torah Portion of Korach has 95 verses, 5 positive commandments, and 4 prohibitions. 

We take out two Torah Scrolls.  In the first, we read the weekly Torah Portion of Korach.  In the second, we read the Maftir for Shabbat Rosh Chodesh, in the Torah Portion of Pinchas from "U'v'yom HaShabbat" until "V'niskoh".Haftora: "Hashamayim Kisi" (Yeshayahu 66)


Pirkei Avot, Chapter 4 (second cycle).


The Hebrew letters that spell the name of the month of Tammuz are: Tav, Mem, Vuv, and Zayin.

These letters are the initial letters of two important messages:
1) "Z'manai T'shuva M'mashmashin U'va'in" (Note: Z'manai starts with Zayin, T'shuva starts with Tav, M'Mashmashin starts with Mem, U'va' in starts with Vuv)
In English that means: "The time for repentance is actualizing and coming."

2) "Z'rizin M'akdimin V'osin T'shuva" (Note: Z'rizin starts with Zayin, M'akdimin starts with Mem, V'osin starts with Vuv, T'shuva starts with Tav)
In English that means: "Alacritous people begin early and repent." 

May you all have a light-filled and happy Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh. 
Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov.

L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben R' Chaim ztz"l, Nilkach L'Bait Olamo Yud Gimmel Tishrei 5772

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Shelach 5777

The Torah Portion of Shelach 


Excerpted and Translated from the the Teachings of Rabbi Gershon Steinberg ztz"l
L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben Chaim ztz"l
L'ilui Neshamat R' Yochanan Yitzchak Ben Nachum z"l 
L'ilui Neshamat R' Yaakov Ben Matisyahu HaLevi z"l
L'ilui Neshamat Esther Mushka Bat Yaakov HaLevi z"l
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Malka Bat Rivkah Zlata
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Deena Bat Tzion Bat Zehava
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Chaya Basha Bat Esther
L'refuat Hanefesh V'lrefuat Haguf L'Etan Naphtali Ben Zehava
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Rivkah Goldah Bat Chaya Basha 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Shimon Ben Rivkah Goldah
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Simcha Pearl Bat Rivkah Goldah
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Moshe Shlomo Ben Rivkah Goldah
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Chaim Sh'muel Ben Rivkah Goldah 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Avital Bat Rut
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Eliezer Yitzchak Ben Bracha Devorah 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Michael Itzhak Nesshael Ben Avital 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Naomi Chana Bat Chaya Basha 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Refael Ben Masha Etel 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Rav Daniel Reuven Ben Esther and
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'kol Am Yisrael V'l'geulah Hashleima Bekarov



"For the tribe of Yosef, for the tribe of Menashe" (Bamidbar13: 11) 


Regarding Ephraim it is not written "For the tribe of Yosef, for the tribe of Ephraim" . The Daat Zekainim explains, that here Yosef received his punishment for speaking an evil report about the brothers. It is written "the tribe of Yosef" next to the tribe of Menashe, since there came out from that tribe Gadi ben Susi who was one of those sent by Moshe to spy out the Land (who brought up an evil report on the land of Israel), and it isn't written "the tribe of Yosef" next to the tribe of Ephraim, since there came out from that tribe Yehoshua bin Nun, who did not agree with the advice of the spies (i.e., the 10 spies who spoke an evil report on the land of Israel). 

"And you will look upon the land, what is it?" (Bamidbar 13:18)


3 times in the Torah it is written "And you will look", to hint about the statement (in Ethics of the Fathers, Chapter 3, first Mishna) "Know from where you came, and to where you are going, and before Whom in the future you will give a judgment and accounting" : 
1) "And you will look upon the birth-stool" (Shemot 1:16, regarding the order that Pharoah gave to the midwives), hints about the phrase: "from where you came". 
2) "And you will look upon the Land, what is it?" (Bamidbar 13:18, regarding Moshe's instructions to the spies), hints about the phrase: "to where you are going". 
3) "And you will look upon it and remember all the Mitzvot of Hashem" (Bamidbar 15:39, regarding the Mitzvah of Tzitzit), hints about the about the phrase: "and before Whom in the future you will give a judgment and accounting" . 

The Holy Ari says, that the bringing of the first fruits is an atonement for the sin of the spies. 


Rabbi Menachem Zambe ztz"l explains, for this reason it is written in the Mishna, "One who goes down into his field and sees a grape cluster which is a first fruit, a pomegranate which is a first fruit, a fig which is a first fruit, ties upon it a band, etc." In truth, for all of the seven kinds (for which the Land of Israel is praised) it is required to bring first fruits from them, but the Tanna in the Mishna emphasized these particular kinds, because it was these particular kinds of fruits that were taken by the spies, and in this way we repair the spiritual damage caused by that sin.

The spies went on the 29th of Sivan and returned on the 8th of Av.


On the night after that, they (all the people who believed the evil report of the spies) wept. Hashem said, you cried for nothing, I will fix for you a weeping for the generations, and this is the day of the destruction of our Temple on Tisha B'av.

The punishment of the spies.


The punishment of the spies was, that their tongues stretched out until their navels, and there were worms coming out of their tongues until their navels, and they were suffering like that until the 17th of Elul, and that day is their Yahrzheit; so it is written in the Shulchan Aruch, Siman 580. The Bait Yosef asks, why was the day of the death of the spies counted among the fast days for Tzaddikim (righteous people)? Isn't it written that "when evil people perish there is rejoicing song"? However, they probably repented, but did not merit to have their repentance accepted. 

Challah.


The word Challah is spelled with the Hebrew letters "Chet", "Lamed", and "Hey".  The numerical value of the letter "Chet" is 8, which represents the 8 days until a baby boy is given a  Brit Mila (Circumcision).  The numerical value of the letter "Lamed" is 30, which represents the 30 days at which a first born baby boy is given a Pidyon HaBen.  The numerical value of the letter "Hey" is 5, which represents the age of 5 years old, when a young boy starts learning Mikra (i.e., to read and study the Chumash).  

The Mitzvah of Separating Challah. 


Rashi explains that all of the Mitzvot that depend upon the Land of Israel, such as Terumot and Ma'asarot, were required in the Land of Israel only after 14 years, 7 years of conquest and 7 years of being apportioned among the tribes.  But Challah was required immediately upon their entry to the Land of Israel.

"The beginnnings of your kneadings you shall raise up a loaf as a portion" (Bamidbar 15:20) 


The word for kneading in Hebrew is "arisa" , which can also be understood as "bed" . Immediately when you get up in the morning from the bed, it is necessary to begin serving Hashem, and from that you will have a lot of success during the rest of the day. (from Mayana Shel Torah)

"The beginnings of your kneadings... " (Bamidbar 15:20)


There are people that say that at the time of their old age, then they will have free time to serve Hashem. And that is what the meaning of the words "the beginnings of your kneadings" refers to: during your youth, immediately serve Hashem, and don't wait for a later time. "Don't say that when I will have free time I will learn, for perhaps you won't ever be free". (from Mayana Shel Torah)

"On the corners of their garments" (Bamidbar 15:38) 


And why did it command to put the Tzitzit on the corners of the garment? It says in the Midrash and is brought by Rashi, this is in order to recall for us the goodness that the Holy One Blessed Be He did for them in the time that they went out from Egypt, for it is said "And I carried you on eagles' wings" (Shemot 15:4). (Note: The Hebrew word for corners and wings, which is "Kanfei" , appears in both of these verses.) And why does a Tallit of 4 corners require Tzitzit, and not one with 6, or 5, or 3? This is in parallel to the 4 languages of redemption which were stated in Egypt: "and I will bring you out", "and I will deliver you", "and I will redeem you", "and I will take you". (from Shemot 6:6-7) The torquoise wool is becasue of the plague of the first-born which was at night, because torquoise wool is simlar to the color of the sky when it is darkened at night. The 8 threads correspond to the 8 days that passed from the slaughtering of the Passover offering until the splitting of the Reed Sea.

Tzitzit.


The word Tzitzit has the Gematria (numerical value) of 600, and has in it 8 strings and 5 knots, together adding up to the number 613 (the number of Mitzvot in the Torah)

Tzitzit.


The Gr"a z"l wept before his death. His students said to him, behold, you have been serving Hashem all the days of your life, so why do you need to weep? Certainly you will merit the World to Come. He said to them, that he is crying because he is going away from such a world as this, in which it is possible to merit for a small amount of money, to fulfill the Mitzvah of Tzitzit which is weighed against the whole, entire Torah. (Note: see preceding paragraph, which shows how the Tzitzit stand for all 613 Mitzvot.) And there (in the World to Come) it is already impossible to fulfill this great Mitzvah. 

Mussar (Ethics)


There is a puzzling Midrash that says: "Tzaddikim (Righteous people) eat Cooked Food, enjoy Robbery, and say Chedolaomer (a word which is similar to Chedorlaomer, the name of one of the Kings in the war between the four kings and five kings in the days of Avraham Avinu)".  The Midrash can be understood by means of Roshei Teivot, the initial letters of the Hebrew words for "Cooked Food", "Robbery" and "Chedolaomer".  The Hebrew word for "Cooked Food" is "Mevushal", which is spelled with the Hebrew letters "Mem", "Bait", "Shin, and "Lamed".  These letters are the initial letters of the Hebrew words in the saying "Mistapek B'mah Sheyaish Lo", which means "He is satisfied with what he has", which refers to Rebbe Chanina Ben Dosa, who was satisfied with a small portion of Carob from one Shabbat to the next Shabbat.  The Hebrew word for "Robbery" is "Gezel", which is spelled with the Hebrew letters  "Gimel", "Zayin", and "Lamed".  These letters are the initial letters of the Hebrew words in the saying "Gam Zu L'tova", which means "Also this is for the good".  Thus, "enjoying Robbery", is a reference to Nachum Ish Gam Zu, whose favorite saying was "Also this is for the good".  [Note: there is a story told about Nachum Ish Gam Zu, in which some thieves robbed him.  They emptied out a box of treasures  that he was entrusted to carry and refilled it with seemingly worthless sand and dirt. Ultimately benefited because of that robbery.]  "Chedolaomer" is spelled with the Hebrew letters "Kaf" "Dalet", "Lamed", "Ayin", "Mem" and "Raish".  These letters are the initial letters of the Hebrew words in the saying "Kol Mah D'aveed Rachmana L'Tav Aveed", which means "Everything that the Merciful One (i.e., Hashem) does, is done for the good".  This is a reference to Rebbe Akiva, who frequently said "Everything that the Merciful One does, is done for the good".

The Torah Portion of Shelach has 119 verses. Haftora: "Vayishlach Yehoshua" (Yehoshua 2) 

This is Shabbat Mevorchim for the month of Tammuz.  Rosh Chodesh is on the following Shabbat Kodesh and Yom Rishon after that.  The Molad is during the daytime of Shabbat Kodesh at the hour 9:16 with 13 Chalakim.

Pirkei Avot, Chapter 3 (second cycle).


May you all have a light-filled and happy Shabbat.
Shabbat Shalom.

L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben R' Chaim ztz"l, Nilkach L'Bait Olamo Yud Gimmel Tishrei 5772

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Beha'alotcha 5777

Torah Portion of Beha'alotcha 


Excerpted and Translated from the the Teachings of Rabbi Gershon Steinberg ztz"l
L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben Chaim ztz"l
L'ilui Neshamat R' Yochanan Yitzchak Ben Nachum z"l 
L'ilui Neshamat R' Yaakov Ben Matisyahu HaLevi z"l
L'ilui Neshamat Esther Mushka Bat Yaakov HaLevi z"l
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Malka Bat Rivkah Zlata
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Deena Bat Tzion Bat Zehava
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Chaya Basha Bat Esther
L'refuat Hanefesh V'lrefuat Haguf L'Etan Naphtali Ben Zehava
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Rivkah Goldah Bat Chaya Basha 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Shimon Ben Rivkah Goldah
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Simcha Pearl Bat Rivkah Goldah
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Moshe Shlomo Ben Rivkah Goldah
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Chaim Sh'muel Ben Rivkah Goldah 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Avital Bat Rut
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Eliezer Yitzchak Ben Bracha Devorah 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Michael Itzhak Nesshael Ben Avital 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Naomi Chana Bat Chaya Basha 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Refael Ben Masha Etel 
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'Rav Daniel Reuven Ben Esther and
L'refuat Hanefesh V'l'refuat Haguf L'kol Am Yisrael V'l'geulah Hashleima Bekarov


Why was the passage about the Menorah placed after the passage about the Princes? 


Because when Aharon saw the inauguration of the Princes he felt mentally weakened because neither he nor his tribe participated in it. Then the Holy One Blessed Be He said to him, by your life "yours is greater than theirs, because you light and prepare the candles" (from Rashi) The Ramban says that this comes to hint to us that the Chashmonaim will be descended from him, and they will establish the Mitzvah of lighting the candles of Chanukah, and that is what is meant by "yours is greater than theirs" .

Rashi says "yours is greater than theirs because you light and prepare the candles" . 


It has been asked, didn't it need to say "because you prepare and light", since the preparation of the candles is before the lighting? Another question is, how did the Holy One Blessed Be comfort him by saying that, so that afterwards he no longer felt mentally weakened? The answer is, that there are rare Mitzvot such as the redemption of a first-born mule, and the like, and that when people do those Mitzvot they feel great enthusiasm, because they are not frequently performed, but for a Mitzvah which is performed on a regular basis there is not so much enthusiasm. And this is what the Holy One Blessed Be He intended when He said to him "yours is greater than theirs" : that you will light the Menorah regularly, and even so it will be with great enthusiasm. Therefore it is written "light and prepare" because that indicates the continuity "light and prepare, light and prepare" without stopping. (from Kol Yehuda)

"Toward the face of the Menorah they will cast light" (Bamidbar 8:2)


It is written in the Zohar, that the face of a man is similar to the Menorah. The 6 branches correspond to the 2 ears, the 2 eyes, the 2 nostrils, and the mouth, which is most important, corresponds to the "face of the Menorah" (Bamidbar 8:2). One needs to sanctify all of these parts of one's face, and then he will cast light upon the Torah with great success, and that is what is meant by the verse: "towards the face of the Menorah they will cast light" (Bamidbar 8:2)

"But a man who is pure and was not on the road" (Bamidbar 9:13) 


There are those who explain, that if someone wants to be pure, then he should not be on the road, he should not wander around outside and he should guard his eyes.

"According to the word of Hashem they would camp, and according to the word of Hashem they would journey" (Bamidbar 9:23) 


The Chida says, that we always need to mention the name of Hashem, at every place and in every matter that we turn to: Baruch Hashem (Bless Hashem), May Hashem be merciful, If Hashem wills it, etc., and we learn this from the verse: "according to the word of Hashem they would camp, and according to the word of Hashem they would journey" (Bamidbar 9:23)

"And when the Ark would journey... And when it rested, he would say..." (Bamidbar 10:35 - 10:36)


Regarding these two verses,  the Sages say that they have 85 words and that they constitute a  separate Chumash (book of the Torah) by themselves.  And these two verses are surrounded by a pair of symbols  that look like a backwards Hebrew letter "Nun", in order to make an interruption between one passage which deals with a bad event and another.  The first bad event is: "And they journeyed from the mountain of Hashem" (Bamidbar 10:33), like a young child who is running away from school.  The second bad event is the incident of the Mitonenim: "And the people were as murmurers speaking evil" (Bamidbar 11:1).  And why is the Hebrew letter Nun backwards?  The Ba'al HaTurim says that the Sages say that this is not the appropriate place for these verses, but rather 50 sections prior to that (since the numerical Gematria value of the Hebrew letter Nun is 50), before the verse  "And the Tent of Meeting will journey..." (Bamidbar 2:17).  And the Sages say that in the Future to Come these verses will move backwards 50 sections.  (from Shabbat 116)

"And the people took to seeking complaints, and it was evil in the ears of Hashem..."  (Bamidbar 11:1)


The man who has complaints, and is not happy with his portion, he is evil in the eyes of Hashem. 

"And the man Moshe was very humble, more than any other person" (Bamidbar 12:3) 


It has been asked, why isn't this written in the Torah Portion of Shemot, because also there the humility of Moshe is shown when he said "Who am I" (Shemot 3:11), "I am not a man of words" (Shemot 4:10), and "Please send by the hand of whomever you will send" (Shemot 4:13)? The explanation is that here in this passage, his humility is shown after they hurt him when they said about him "that he had taken a Cushite woman" (Bamidbar 12:1). This is a greater proof of his humility. 

Moshe prayed for Miriam "Please G-d, heal her now" (Bamidbar 12:13) 


In this verse the Hebrew word "Na" appears twice. Why? The Daat Zekainim says the translation into Aramaic explains the first "Na" as a language of request ("Please" ), and the second "Na" is translated as "now" . There are those that explain that a request which includes the word "Na" two times is a great Segula (that is, it is very effective method) for a prayer to be accepted. The word "Na" also occurs twice in the prayer "Please Hashem Save Now" (Tehillim 118:25, which we say during the Hallel). 

The Sages say that four categories (of sinners) don't receive the face of the Shechina (Divine Presence). 


These have the initial letters of Chashmal (the Hebrew letters Chet Shin Mem Lamed). Chet stands for Chaneifim (flatterers) , Shin stands for Shakranim (liars), Mem stands for Mesaprai Lashon Hara (speakers of Lashon Hara - derogatory speech), and Lamed stands for Laitzanim (scoffers). The Gr"a says that these four groups of sinners are the four legs of the throne of the chariot of impurity. And the Raishit Chachma writes, that he heard in the name of the Kabbalists that corresponding to these four groups of sinners are the four impure animals, the Shafan (rock badger) , the Arnevet (rabbit), the Gamal (camel), and the Chazir (pig). And in correspondence to these there are four Klipot (husks of impurity) in the upper realms to raise up the act of the sinner and punish him in Gehinnom. In addition he wrote that he heard that someone who sinned and was a member of one of the aforementioned four categories, in the future he will be reincarnated as one of these four impure animals, each one in the animal that is hinted at and related to the particular type of sin which he did.

The Torah Portion of Beha'alotcha has 136 verses, 3 positive commandments and 2 negative commandments. Haftora: "Rani v'simchi" (Zecharia 2) 

Pirkei Avot, Chapter 2 (second cycle).



May you all have a light-filled and happy Shabbat.
Shabbat Shalom.

L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben R' Chaim ztz"l, Nilkach L'Bait Olamo Yud Gimmel Tishrei 5772