Monthly Archives: 24 Nisan 5774

Parshas Kedoshim

(Based on Zera Shimshon Parshas Kedoshim pg 54 “daled“)

You should repeatedly rebuke (hochiach tochiach) your neighbor (VaYikra 19/17)

Chazal explain that the double wording of rebuke (hochiach tochiach) teaches us that if a person rebukes his neighbor and the neighbor doesn’t change and improve his actions, then he is required to rebuke him again and again (even a hundred times) until his neighbor finally changes .

Zera Shimshon gives another explanation. He explains that teshuva is a process. It is rare that a person is rebuked one time and immediately changes. Rather, the first time one hears that he is doing something wrong he begins to feel remorse for what he did. Only after he already feels bad in his heart does subsequent criticism have the power to cause actual change.

Zera Shimshon continues and maintains that to point out to a person his wrongdoings isn’t necessarily considered valid halachic rebuke. Halachicly, rebuke is only valid if it is appreciated by the one receiving the criticism.

It doesn’t end there, though. There is even a higher level of rebuke that causes him to love the criticizer!

The Gemora (Erchin 16/b) tells us that Reb Yochannan Ben Nuri said that Rabbi Akiva was often punished by Rabban Gamliel because he (Yochannan Ben Nuri) reported to him Rabbi Akiva’s misdoings. This, exlained Yochannan Ben Nuri, caused that Rabbi Akiva increased his love of him (Yochannan Ben Nuri)!

According to this, concludes Zera Shimshon we can understand the double wording of rebuke (hochiach tochiach). There are two stages in rebuking. Firstly, rebuke one time and check if the one who you rebuked appreciates it and shows you more love. Only then, since this was is halachik rebuke, can you rebuke a second time.

If you see, though, that he doesn’t appreciate your criticism then not only are you exempt from rebuking a second time but you shouldn’t do it! This is learned from the Gemmora (Yevomos 65/b) Just as there is a mitzvo to say something that will be heard, so too there is a mitzvo to refrain from something that will not be heard.

This d’var Torah is dedicated to Beracha Bas Menucha Shaina. In the merit of  the  learning Zera Shimshon’s divrai Torah, Hashem should answer her prayers and she should quickly find her proper match along with all the other members of Clal Yisroel who are also looking for their zivug hagun
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Hagadah Shel Pesach

Hagadah Shel Pesach

(Based on Zera Shimshon Vol. 1  pg. 352 “hay”. )

This is what has stood by our fathers and us! For not just one alone has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand! (Hagadah Shel Pesach)

The opening word “This” is referring to Hashem’s promise to Avraham Avinu at the Bris Bain HaBesorrim (The Covenant Between the Parts) mentioned in the previous paragraph.

At that time Hashem told Abraham that his descendants would be enslaved in a land not their own. Although they will suffer greatly, Hashem promised, they will not be totally wiped out but they will eventually leave.

In this paragraph the Hagadah tells us that in spite of Paroah’s intent to destroy us “this” promise protected us and continues to protect us from all nations that try to destroy us.

Zera Shimshon asks, Avraham was only promised that we would survive Mitzrayim. There was no promise, however, that H. would save us from all of the subsequent exiles. So how does the Hagadah know that “this promise” protects us in every generation?

His first answer is that even though that only Galus Mitzrayim is mentioned explicitly in the Bris Bain HaBesorrim there is also an allusion to the later exiles. Therefore the promise that we will eventually be saved also includes the rest of our exiles.

Zera Shimshon gives another explanation. At Bris Bain HaBesorrim Hashem decreed that our exile in Mitzrayim was to be 400 years. However after 210 years our suffering caused us to fall so deep into tummah that Hashem knew that if we would stay any longer in Mitzrayim we would “self destruct”.

Hashem therefore took us out 190 years early. However these years weren’t erased but rather we were still obligated to make up those 190 years through subsequent exiles.

Therefore, concludes Zera Shimshon, since the subsequent exiles are to complete the exile in Mitzrayim, the promise to protect us from annihilation in Mitzrayim  also includes all the subsequent exiles even until today.
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