Monthly Archives: 29 Kislev 5777

Parshas Mikaitz/ Chanukah

(ז) וַתִּבְלַעְנָה הַשִּׁבֳּלִים הַדַּקּוֹת אֵת שֶׁבַע הַשִּׁבֳּלִים הַבְּרִיאוֹת וְהַמְּלֵאוֹת וַיִּיקַץ פַּרְעֹה וְהִנֵּה חֲלוֹם:וַיְהִי בַבֹּקֶר וַתִּפָּעֶם רוּחוֹ וַיִּשְׁלַח וַיִּקְרָא אֶת כָּל חַרְטֻמֵּי מִצְרַיִם וְאֶת כָּל חֲכָמֶיהָ וַיְסַפֵּר פַּרְעֹה לָהֶם אֶת חֲלֹמוֹאֵיןפּוֹתֵר אוֹתָם לְפַרְעֹה: (בראשית מא/ז-ח)

.. and Paroah woke up and behold it was a dream. And it was in the morning; he was overcome with worry, so he sent and called all the sorcerers of Mitzrayim… (Breishis 41/7-8)

Zera Shimshon asks three questions on this possuk. Firstly, it seems from the possuk that even though Paroah woke up in the night he wasn’t overcome with worry until the morning. Why wasn’t he worried about his dream right when he awoke?

Secondly, why does it even mention that he woke up? It’s understandable why after the first dream it says that he awoke. This is in order to tell us that he want back to sleep and dreamt a second time. But here why does the Torah make any mention that he woke up?

Thirdly, the phrase “And behold it was a dream” seems to be superfluous.

He also asks another question; Why didn’t Paroah accept the interpretation of his sorcerers.

He answers in light of the Gemorra in Berachos (55b) that says that there are three types of dreams that are fulfilled; a dream that was dreamt in the early morning, a dream which a friend has about someone else, and a dream which is repeated.

According to this, he answers the three questions. After he dreamt the second dream, which was similar to the first one, he felt that this was a sign that something is going to happen. He didn’t yet know what this was going to be, but he felt that these dreams are telling hims something. This is the meaning of the phrase, “and behold it was a dream!”

After he realized that he dreamt this dream early in the morning (that we see from the phrase “And it was in the morning”), another sign to the validity of the dream, he become uneasy. He didn’t understand why he wasn’t shown the third sign of a valid dream. If there would have been only one sign, he would have been at ease and sure that something would be happening. However since, for some reason, one sign wasn’t enough he couldn’t understand why there weren’t all three signs.

Because he was waiting to see the third sign he didn’t accept the interpretation of the sorcerers who explained that the dream was referring to his daughters.

However, when Yosef interpreted that the dream had to do with the whole world, the third sign, he immediately accepted this explanation!

2

וַיְהִי מִקֵּץ שְׁנָתַיִם יָמִים וּפַרְעֹה חֹלֵם וְהִנֵּה עֹמֵד עַל הַיְאֹר:(בראשית מא/א)

And it was at the end of two years and Paroah dreamt and he was standing on the river. (Braishis 41/1)

The Yalkut Shimoni (remez 147) comments on this verse, “And Paroah dreamed… and why were two years added? In order that Paroah would dream and (Yosef) would be made great through this dream”.

Zera Shimshon comments that we learn from this Midrash that Paroah’s dream was meant to be at this specific time. In other words, Paroah’s dream was not only a way

that Hashem used to free Yosef from jail. .Rather it was the opposite: since Paroah was meant to dream at that time, therefore Yosef was freed from jail.

He asks, though, why was it so important that Paroah dreamed specifically at that time?

He answers this question in light of the Gemorra in Megilah that Yaakov had to suffer twenty two years as a punishment for the twenty two years that he left home and didn’t fulfill the mitzvo of Kibud Av V’aim.

Therefore if Paroah would have dreamed any earlier then the years of plenty would have been sooner, the years of famine would have been earlier, and Yaakov would have made contact with Yosef earlier before the twenty two years ended. Hashem therefore waited two extra years for Paroah to dream to finalize the twenty two years.

Zera Shimshon continues to ask that how can it be that Yosef stayed in jail for two extra years solely so his father, Yaakov, would recieve the punishment that he deserved? Where is the justice?

He answers this question by quoting Rashi in the end of last week’s parsha that Yosef ALSO deserved to be punished because he put his trust in the Saar HaMashkin.

He concludes that these two reasons don’t contradict each other but, on the contrary, they complement each other. Meaning, if Yaakov didn’t deserve to be punished for not fulfilling the Mitzvo of Kibud Av V’aim, then Hashem would have found a more lenient punishment for Yosef.

And if Yosef didn’t deserve to be punished then Hashem would have caused some other way to delay Yaakov’s coming together with Yosef.

It was only that they both deserved to be punished did Hashem keep Yosef in jail and delay Yaakov’s coming to Mitzrayim!

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The mitzvah of nair Chanukah (Chanukah candles) is to light at sunset. (Shabbos 21b) The mitzvoh of nair Chanukah is for each family to light one candle…(Shabbos 21b)

The Mitzvoh of nair Chanukah is to place in the doorway that faces the public street. If he lives in an attic… (Shabbos 21b)

The halacha is to put (the Chanukah menorah) on the left side of the door so that the nair Chanukah is on the left and the mezuzah on the right. (Shabbos 22a)

Simply understood, Chazal instituted the mitzvah to light candles or oil on Chanukah in order to commemorate the miracle that happened to Clal Yisroel after they won the war against Antiochous. After they consecrated the Bais HaMikdash and they came to light the Menorah they found enough oil for only one day. In the end though it burned for eight days, until they were able to produce pure oil.

Zera Shimshon asks that if this is the main reason for this mitzvoh then it is hard to under- stand the four halachos mentioned above.

Firstly, the daily mitzvoh to light the Menorah in the Bais HaMikdash was in the late after- noon (according to the Rambam it was also in the morning) and it was assur to light it in the night. This being so it would have been more appropriate to institute the lighting in the late afternoon, the time that the Cohanim lit every day and not after sunset when it was assur for them to light.

Secondly, the Cohanim only lit one menorah for all of Clal Yisroel. Therefore it would be more appropriate to light in Shul for the whole congregation, similar to the menorah in the Bais HaMikdash, and not each family in their own house.

Thirdly, why did Chazal institute to light in the doorway next to a public street. The menorah in the Bais HaMikdash was inside the haichal.

And fourthly, why did the Gemmoro mention the place of the mezuzah in connection with the place of the Chanukah menorah.

He answers in light of the Medrash that explains that Antiochous wanted to ìdarken the eyes of Clal Yisroelî with his decrees to prohibit making milah, keeping Shabbos, and Rosh Chodesh (and according to the Rambam, all of the mitzvos).

Since these decrees are described as darkening the eyes of Yisroel, then it stands to follow that the salvation is considered as giving light to Yisroel. In other words, the main reason for lighting the nair Chanukah, is to commemorate that we went miraculously from the darkness of not being able to do mitzvos to the light of doing mitzvos.

According to this we are now able to answer all of the questions that we asked.

We light the Chanukah menorah in the evening and not in the late afternoon because Shlomo HaMelech compares mitzvos to light. Chazal teach us that a candle in the day isnít noticeable (since there is sunlight), therefore we light only in the night so the light of the candles will be noticeable, similar to mitzvos.

The main place for people to do mitzvos in in the privacy of his house. Therefore Chazal in- stituted lighting in our houses. Since however a mitzvoh done in public has a special status therefore we also light in Shul.

We light in the doorway to remember that Antiochous sent his representatives to check that Clal Yisroel were not keeping the mitzvos.

Even nowadays, when Baruch Hashem, in most places in the world there are no decrees against mitzvah observance, we can still benefit from putting the Chanukah menorah in the doorway.

The Arizal explains that the mezuzah protects us from the yetzer hora. Therefore Chazal insti- tuted putting the menorah opposite the mezuzah so that we will be protected from the yetzer hora on the right and through the menorah on the left we will remember to perform the mit- zos. It is for this reason that Chazal mentioned the place of the mezuzah in connection with the place of the Chanukah menorah!HaRav Shimshon Nachmaini, author of Zera Shimshon lived in Italy about 300 years ago in the time of the Or HaChaim HaKodesh.

The Chida writes that he was a great Mekubal and wrote many sefarim including sefarim about practical kabbolo but asked that all of his sefarim be buried after he passes away except for Zera Shimshon and Niflaos Shimshon on Avos.

He had one child who died in his lifetime (hence the name Zera Shimshon) and in the preface he promises for people who learn his sefarim after he dies ... And your eyes will see children and grandchildren like the offshoots of an olive tree around your tables, wise and understanding with houses filled with all manner of good things and wealth and honor These d’vrai Torah are dedicated to Esther Yenta Bas Chana Chassia. In the merit of the learning Zera Shimshon’s divrai TorahHashem 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.

If you are interested in buying your own copy of the Hebrew version of Zera Shimshon

Call 05271-66-450 in Eretz Yisroel

or

347-496-5657 in the U.S.A.

You can now  HEAR shiurim of Zera Shimshon on Kol Halashon:

In E. Yisroel: 073-2951-727 or 03-617-1111 and then press 1,1,3,24

In U.S.A. (718) 395-2440 and then press 2,6,4,24

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Parshas VaYaishev

וַיֵּשֶׁב יַעֲקֹב בְּאֶרֶץ מְגוּרֵי אָבִיו בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן:(בראשית לז/א)

On the possuk “And Yaakov dwelled in the land….” Rashi explains, “Yaakov asked to live in tranquility, the troubles of Yosef sprang upon him. Tzaddikim seek tranquility. HaKodesh Baruch Hu said, “What is prepared for the tzaddikim in the world to come is not sufficient for them, that they seek [also] to dwell in tranquility in this world?!”

Zera Shimshon asks why did Hashem get angry at Yaakov for wanting to have his reward of Olam Haba in this world instead of waiting to receive it in the proper time; in the next world? We find in the medrash that Yaakov Avinu was so wealthy that it was as if he had a taste of Olam HaBa. We see from there that it IS possible to receive our reward for our good deeds in this world. Therefore why was it wrong that he wanted also to be tranquil in this world?

He answers that there is a difference between receiving reward and asking for it. For instance, it happens that sometimes a lender or worker will receive the money that is owed to him before it is due. When this happens obviously the lender or worker is very happy. Even though the one who owes the money sometimes does give it early, it is still improper for him to ask for it!

Therefore although Yaakov received wealth and he experienced a taste of Olam Haba it still wasn’t the right thing to ask for other sechar.

However the answer is still not complete. We still have to understand why Hashem got angry at Yaakov? He was upset with him to such a degree that He even punished him (with the troubles of Yosef). A boss (or one who borrowed money) doesn’t get angry when the one to whom he has to pay asks for the money owed to him before the due date, he just says that it is not possible.

He answers in light of a machlokes in the Gemrro Berachos concerning on who does Hashem bestow goodness in this world. RYochanan in the name of RYossi holds that Hahsem bestows good only on perfect tzaddikim. RMeir argues and holds that Hashem has mercy on people who he wants to be merciful towards them. We cannot understand the decisions and ways of Hashem and even absolute tzaddikim can suffer and absolute reshayim can enjoy life.

According to RMeir a person’s wealth and prosperity is no proof to his righteousness. It could be that even though that on the outside it seems that he is a great tzaddik, he is really sinful in his insides and Hashem has mercy on him and gives him a good life, independent of his true level. And a tzaddik who suffers could really be a total tzaddik who, for reasons known only to Hashem has a difficult life.

On the other hand according according to RYochanan a person who is prosperous and content with his life shows that he is a tzaddik and a person who suffers is certainly a rosho.

According to this, posits Zera Shimshon, a person who asks Hashem to give him his reward in this world is relying on RYochanan in the name of RYossi and he believes that he really deserves it. However Hashem is not content with this because if Hashem will grant him his request because of the reason of RYochanan, then people who will see other tzaddikim who suffer (because of the opinion of RMeir) will look down at them and think that they are not really tzaddikim.

Since his request causes a defamation of the character of the other tzaddikim it comes out that he is not an absolute tzaddik and therefore Hashem is angry at his request! 2

וַיֵּשֶׁב יַעֲקֹב בְּאֶרֶץ מְגוּרֵי אָבִיו בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן:(בראשית לז/א)

And Yaakov dwelled in the land of his forefathers. (Breishis 37/1)

On this possuk the Midrash comments, “And Yaakov dwelled”- It is written (in Yeshiya), ‘When you cry (to Hashem) your assembly will save you’-  the Rabbis learned, ‘your assembly and your children’s assembly saved you from the hands of Eisav‘ …”

In other words, it was the merit of Yaakov and the merit of his children that saved them from Eisav.

Zera Shimshon asks why does the Medrash mention the merit of his children. Why wasn’t his merits enough?

He answers in light of the Medrash (Yalkut Shimoni Shoftim remez 51) that says that Eisav will fall in the hands of Rachel’s children (Yosef and Binyamin) and not in the hands of the children of the other brothers. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, so that when they come to kill Eisav, he will not be able to persuade them that they have not right to kill him because they are no better than him. Just like he tried to kill his brother (Yaakov) so too they tried to kill their brother (Yosef). And secondly, Eisav can argue that he doesn’t deserve to be killed. He had a good reason to chase after Yaakov because Yaakov stole his birthright and the blessings that were meant for him. These arguments, however, are powerless against Yosef. He never tried to kill his brothers and even though that his brothers tried to harm him, he didn’t seek revenge.

There is, however, one argument that Eisav can use against Yosef; why doesn’t he have mercy on him like he had on his brothers?

In truth this argument is also weak because the brothers regretted that they planned to kill him. When Yehuda suggested that they sell him into slavery instead of killing they agreed with him. On the other hand, even after we are sold to Eisav as slaves he continues to persecute us.

According to this, concludes Zera Shimshon, we can now understand the reason that the Medrash mentions that we were saved from Eisav also in the merit of Yaakov’s children. It is to teach us that ALL the brothers were tzaddikim. We are saved not only in the merit of Yosef who never tried to take revenge and harm his brothers but also in the merit of the other brothers who although initially wanted to kill Yosef they eventually regretted their decision.

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וַיֵּשֶׁב יַעֲקֹב בְּאֶרֶץ מְגוּרֵי אָבִיו בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן:(בראשית לז/א)

And Yaakov dwelled in the land of his forefathers. (Breishis 37/1)

On this possuk the Midrash comments, “And Yaakov dwelled “: It is written (in the prophet Yeshiya), ‘When you cry (to Hashem) your gathering will save you’-  the Rabbis learned, ‘your gathering and the your children’s gathering saved you from the hands of Eisav‘ … (the posuk in Yeshiya concludes) ‘and those who trust in me will inherit the land’- this is refering to Yaakov (like it says) ‘And Yaakov dwelled’.”

In other words, in the merit that Yaakov and his children stayed together and didn’t run away from Eisav and met him and his troops, Yaakov and his sons were saved from Eisav’s violent plans and inherited the Land .

Zera Shimshon asks where did Chazal see that it was the fact that  Yaakov and his children stayed together caused them to be saved from Eisav.

Secondly, he asks, where do we find that Yaakov had trust in Hashem to such a degree that the Midrash concludes “and those who trust in M. will inherit the land”?

He explains that normaly people run away from  someone who wants to harm them. Why then did Yaakov “look for trouble” and meet with Eisav.

Even more difficult to understand is why did the children of Yaakov also “stick around” and not run away or hide?

For instance, Chazal (Megila 16/a) teach us that when Mordechai would meet Haman he commanded all of his talmidim to run away so that Haman would not harm them. Why then did the children of Yaakov not only not run away from Eisav but drew close to greet him?

The answer is that they had tremendous trust, bitachon,  in Hashem and therefore were not at all afraid of Eisav. They therefore felt no need to run away from him. (And even though it says that Yaakov was VERY afraid, this doesn’t mean that his fear took away from his bitachon in Hashem. Rather he used this fear to strengthen his trust in Hashem.)

This is meaning of the Midrash; that in the merit of their bitachon, which manifested itself by assembling and not running away, they were saved from the hands of Eisav.

A proof to this idea that having bitachon can save one from his enemies is found in the Gemorro (Menochos 29/b) Whoever puts his trust in Hashem, will have shelter in this world and in the World To Come.HaRav Shimshon Nachmaini, author of Zera Shimshon lived in Italy about 300 years ago in the time of the Or HaChaim HaKodesh.

The Chida writes that he was a great Mekubal and wrote many sefarim including sefarim about practical kabbolo but asked that all of his sefarim be buried after he passes away except for Zera Shimshon and Niflaos Shimshon on Avos.

He had one child who died in his lifetime (hence the name Zera Shimshon) and in the preface he promises for people who learn his sefarim after he dies ... And your eyes will see children and grandchildren like the offshoots of an olive tree around your tables, wise and understanding with houses filled with all manner of good things and wealth and honor These d’vrai Torah are dedicated to Esther Yenta Bas Chana Chassia. In the merit of the learning Zera Shimshon’s divrai TorahHashem 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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