Monthly Archives: 11 Kislev 5778

Parshas VaYishlach

וַיָּשֻׁבוּ הַמַּלְאָכִים אֶל־יַעֲקֹב לֵאמֹר בָּאנוּ אֶל־אָחִיךָ אֶל־עֵשָׂו וְגַם הֹלֵךְ לִקְרָאתְךָ וְאַרְבַּע־מֵאוֹת אִישׁ עִמּוֹ׃

It is written in the possuk (Breishis 32/7) “The messengers returned to Yaakov, saying, “We came to your brother Eisav; he himself is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.”

Rashi explains, “WE CAME TO YOUR BROTHER, TO EISAV — to him of whom you said he is my brother, but he behaves towards you as Eisav, the wicked — he is still harboring hatred”. The fact that the messengers told Yaakov that Eisav still hated him and not as he (Yaakov) said to them, implies that one of the reasons that Yaakov sent the messengers was in order to see if Eisav was still angry at him or not.

Zera Shimshon asks the following question. It says in the medrash (and Rashi also writes this) that the messengers that Yaakov sent were not regular mortal earthly people but they were “heavenly angels”. Therefore, he asks, why did Yaakov have to send these melachim to Eisav to see if he still hated him? They could have related this to him without their going there, just as melachim told Yosef what the brothers were thinking about him without Yosef sending them to the brothers to find out!

Zera Shimshon answers that the “heavenly angels” surely told him that Eisav was still angry with him but there was a different reason why he sent cattle, donkeys, sheep, male and female slaves. The medrash (Breishis Rabbah 75/11) explains that it was in order for him to do teshuva!

Yaakov wanted to show him that going in the ways of Hashem brings prosperity and therefore it is beneficial for him to leave his wicked ways of idolatry etc. and to return to the ways of his father.

Zera Shimshon adds that it is very likely that there were really two reasons for Yaakov to help his brother do teshuva.

The first one was simply that he wanted to help him gain eternal life. He didn’t want his brother to suffer for ever for his bad deeds.

The second reason can be understood according to a gemorro in Avodah Zarah (17A).

It is written in that Gemorra, “It is written in Mishlai (30/15) “None that go to her return, neither do they attain the paths of life”. (The Gemorra asks) since they do not return from her where could they attain the path of life? (The Gemorra explains that the “her” is referring to Avodah Zarah and heresy) (The Gemorra answers) that the possuk means to say that people IN GENERAL don’t give up this sin, and the few that are successful do give it up do not attain the path of life.” Rashi explains that they die because of the difficulty to suppress their yetzer horro.

According to this, explains Zera Shimshon, besides the fact that he wanted to save Eisav from eternal pain and suffering he also wanted him to do teshuva so that he would die (since he worshipped avodah zora as Rashi explains in a few places) and Yaakov would never have to worry that Eisav will try to kill him for buying the birthright.

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הַצִּילֵנִי נָא מִיַּד אָחִי מִיַּד עֵשָׂו כִּי יָרֵא אָנֹכִי אֹתוֹ פֶּן יָבוֹא וְהִכַּנִי אֵם עַל בָּנִים: וְאַתָּה אָמַרְתָּ הֵיטֵב אֵיטִיב עִמָּךְ וְשַׂמְתִּי אֶת זַרְעֲךָ כְּחוֹל הַיָּם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִסָּפֵר מֵרֹב:וַיָּלֶן שָׁם בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא וַיִּקַּח מִן הַבָּא בְיָדוֹ מִנְחָה לְעֵשָׂו אָחִיו: (בראשית לב/יא-יג)

And Yaakov said, “…. I have been diminished by all the kindnesses and by all the truth that Y.u have done Your servant…: (12) Save me from the hand of my brother, from the hands of Eisav, because I’m afraid of him…: (13) And Y.u said, “I will surely do good with you and I will make your offsprings….” (Breishis 32/11-13)

Zera Shimshon asks that Yaakov’s prayer to be saved from the hands of Eisav seems to be in the wrong place.

In the first of the above three possukim, Yaakov Avinu expresses to Hashem that he lost what Hashem promised him because of his sins.

In the next possuk he prays to be saved from Eisav.

In the next ax  possuk he reminds Hashem that H. promised to do good to him.

It would seem that the proper place to pray to be saved from Eisav is right after he mentions Hashem’s promise to be good to him and not after he expresses his fear that he has no merits!

He answers according to a concept set forth by Toras Chaim (Babba Metzia 106/A) that there are three types of miracles.

For a tzaddik there are open visible miracles that the person does nothing. Hashem takes care of it all.

For people with less merits there are two types of miracles. The first type is that the person participates slightly even though that the outcome doesn’t  really have too much to do with him. For instance, when a very weak person kills an attacking lion or conquers a whole army that is much stronger than him. In such a miracle the person recognizes that Hashem saved him.

The second type is a miracle completely clothed in nature or in common daily events. For instance, the enemy gets lost on the way,  or the animal finds another animal to quell his hunger. In this type  of miracle the recipient doesn’t even realize that a miracle was done for him!

According to this, Zera Shimshon explains the flow of the posukim.

Yaakov knew that Hashem promised to protect him but he was uncertain in which of three ways this would happen.  He was afraid that he sinned and therefore only merited a little miracle and was  only  worthy of protection clothed in nature etc.   This is what he thought in the first possuk, “I have been diminished by all the kindnesses and by all the truth that Y.u have done Your servant”.

He saw, though, that Eisav actually came and was ready to fight. He therefore thought that Hashem wants to perform a miracle for him in which he will pray and thank Hashem for it. He therefore  davvened, “Save me from the hand of my brother, from the hands of Eisav, because I’m afraid of him…”

On the other hand he might not have sinned and was therefore meritted a full miracle. To cover this possibility  he simply reminded Hashem of the promise, “And Y.u said, “I will surely do good with you and I will make your offsprings….”

————————————3————————————-

וַיְצַו אֹתָם לֵאמֹר כֹּה תֹאמְרוּן לַאדֹנִי לְעֵשָׂו כֹּה אָמַר עַבְדְּךָ יַעֲקֹב עִם לָבָן גַּרְתִּי וָאֵחַר עַד עָתָּה בראשית לב/ד-

And Yaakov sent (heavenly messengers) malachim before him to Eisav his brother… (Braishis 32/4)

On this possuk the Medrash comments, “Rav Chamma the son of Chanina said, ‘(We can understand why Yaakov merited to have heavenly messengers (malachim) assist him with the following logic) If five malachim appeared to Hagar (who was merely) the maid servant of Sarah, then it is certainly reasonable that they come to aid Yaakov who was a beloved family member. (Another proof) If Eliezer (who was merely) the servant of (Avraham’s) family, merited malachim (when he went to look for a wife for Yitzchok) then it is certainly reasonable that they come to assist Yaakov who was a beloved family member.'”

Zera Shimshon asks why does Rav Chamma the son of Chanina bring two sources to explain why Yaakov merited malachim to assist him when he met Eisav?

He answers that Hashem sent malachim to help Hagar and to help of Eliezer for two completely different reasons.

The malachim that appeared to Hagar came to comfort her and to relief her from the humiliation that she suffered under Sarah. Hashem wanted to comfort her, even though that she deserved to be humilited because she was very disrespectful to Sarah.

The ones that traveled with Eliezer served an entirely different purpose. They went so that, in the event that Lavan and Besuail would object that Rivkah marry Yitzchok, they would convince them to change their mind until they would willingly agree with the shidduch. In actuality this wasn’t so crucial. Firstly, Rivkah was willing to marry Yitzhok even if her father and brother didn’t agree (as Rashi writes). And secondly, even if she wouldn’t consent to go, Eliezer had the choice of taking a shidduch from Anar, Eshkol, and Mammre. Even though it wasn’t so crucial, Hashem still sent malachim to help him.

Yaakov hoped to gain these two very same things when he met with Eisav. Firstly, he wanted Eisav to stop humiliating him for taking the berochos and, secondly but more important, he wanted that Eisav will “scrap” his plan to kill him.

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......

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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To have new D’vrei Torah sent directly to your inbox fill in boxes below:



Parshas VaYaitzai

וַיַּחֲלֹם וְהִנֵּה סֻלָּם מֻצָּב אַרְצָה וְרֹאשׁוֹ מַגִּיעַ הַשָּׁמָיְמָה וְהִנֵּה מַלְאֲכֵי אֱלֹהִים עֹלִים וְיֹרְדִים בּוֹ: בראשית כח/יב-

He had a dream; a ladder was set on the ground and its top reached to the sky, and angels of Hashem were going up and down on it. (Braishis 28/12)

He had a dream; a ladder was set on the ground and its top reached to the sky, and angels of God were going up and down on it. (Braishis 28/12)

The Medrash Rabbah (68/12) comments on this:

behold, a ladder was set on the ground– (this is referring) to the ramp of the mizbaich (alter ) in the Bais HaMikdash

its top reached to the sky– (this is referring) to the sacrifices

and angels of Hashem were going up and down on it– this is referring to the kohannim

Rabbanin explain this possuk differently; that it is referring to Har Sinai at the time that we received the Torah:

behold, a ladder– (this is referring) to Mt. Sinai (Sinai and “sulam” (ladder in Hebrew) have the same numerical value of 130)

set on the ground– (is referring to) the Jewish Nation that stood on the ground underneath the mountain

its top reached to the sky– (is referring to) The mountain that was ablaze with flames to the very skies (at the time of the giving of the Torah) (Devorim 4/21)

Zera Shimshon asks how are these two ideas, korbonos and Har Sinai, even remotely related to Yakkov’s leaving Yitzchok’s house to go to Lavan’s that Hashem showed them to him in a dream?

He answers by first explaining a different Medrash.

It is written in the end of last week’s parsha right before Yaakov left Yitzchok’s house (Braishis 28/1), “And Yitzchok called for Yaakov to come and he blessed him…”. The medrash explains that the blessing that he blessed him was “the beracha of exile”. Zera Shimshon asks what does it mean “the beracha of exile”? Exile is usually a punishment and not a blessing!

He answers in light of a third medrash (Braishis Rabbah 44/21) that says that at the Bris Bain HaBesarrim Hashem gave Avraham the choice of how his future generations will be cleansed from their impurities and sins. He could choose that they will suffer in Gehenim or they will suffer bondage under the nations of the world. Avraham chose bondage which was more gentle than the punishment of Gehenim.

Besides showing Avraham these two things Hashem also showed him the Torah and korbonos and Hashem told him that although both gehimom and exile are very difficult if they learn Torah and bring korbonos, Hashem will lighten these punishments.

According to this, the meaning of “the blessing of exile” is that Yitzhok blessed Yaakov that they will suffer exile which is milder than Gehenim.

Zera Shimshon continues and explains that after Yaakov left Yitzhok and was on his way to Lavan’s house he was thinking about this “beracha” and became very concerned and distressed about the exile that his future generations will suffer.

Therefore, to console him, Hashem showed him in a dream that his children will not necessarily have to suffer in exile. It is not a “closed deal”. If they will bring korbonos and keep and learn the Torah then they will be spared the suffering of exile.

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וַיִּקַּח אֶת הָאֶבֶן אֲשֶׁר שָׂם מְרַאֲשֹׁתָיו וַיָּשֶׂם אֹתָהּ מַצֵּבָה וַיִּצֹק שֶׁמֶן עַל רֹאשָׁהּ.-בראשית כח/יח

On the possuk, “And he (Yaakov) took the stone that was under his head…” Pirkei D’Rebbi Eliezer comments, “What did Hashem do? H. stretched H.s right foot and sunk this stone into the depths of the earth and H. made it a part of the Earth just like a person makes a doorpost to support the lintel (a horizontal support of timber, stone, concrete, or steel across the top of a door or window). Therefore it (this rock) is called “even shesia” because this (stone) is the core of the world and from this stone the world expanded.

(On that stone) the Palace of Hashem (Bais Hamikdash) stands like it says, “… and this rock that I (Yaakov) made an alter, will be the Dwelling Place of Hashem.”

We see from the Pirkei D”Rebbi Eliezer that until Yaakov took the stone and placed it under his head, the foundations of the world were not yet complete.

Zera Shimshon asks why did Hashem put on the finishing touches of the world  specifically now, before Yaakov arrived at the house of Lavan? Why couldn’t it have waited until Yaakov left Lavan’s house with his wives and children?

He answers by first asking a similar question on a different Medrash. The Medrash says that Hashem first created the food for mankind and only after that did H. create people. He asks why was this order so important? Why couldn’t Hashem first create mankind and after that their food?

He explains in light of the halacho that a person is allowed to do whatever he wants to do on his own property even if his neighbor will eventually be damaged. (For instance, he can plant a tree in his yard even though that the roots will eventually spread and damage his neighbor’s field.)

However he is not allowed to do something that will cause immediate and direct damage. For instance, he is not allowed to  dig a pit in his field if the digging will weaken his neighbor’s wall. He can dig a pit on his own property only if he distances himself far enough away from his neighbor’s property not to cause any damage.

In actually, people and the physical world really damage each other. We damage the world by doing sins (like what happened at the time of the Flood in the days of Noach).  The world damages us by enticing us to do avairos through forbidden pleasures. However there is a fundamental difference between the way we damage each other.

The world damages us immediately. Almost involuntary, we see something and the heart yearns for it. However, our damage to the world doesn’t come right away. Hashem warns us and gives us time to do teshuva. Only then, if we don’t heed the warnings, does Hashem punish the world.

According to this, reasons Zera Shimshon, we can understand why Hahem created our food before H. created us.

The world needs both people and food for people in order to exist. If mankind was created first,  Hashem wouldn’t be able, so to speak, to create our food since the physical world directly and immediately damages us.

However since our actions don’t damage the world immediately, therefore there is no problem that Hashem creates us, just like it is permitted to plant a tree in your own property even though the roots will cause damage later on.

Yaakov Avinu didn’t just go to Lavan’s house. He went there to bring into this world the 12 tribes who’s existence is the basis and root of all of mankind. (This is symbolized by the fact that there are twelve tribes  which is parallel to the 12 Zodiac signs, the 12 months, and the 12 combinations of the name of Hashem).

If Hashem would have waited to finish creating the foundation of the world until Yaakov returned from the house of Lavan and after he gave birth the the twelve tribes, H. would not have been able to finish the creation of the world, since the world directly and immediately damages mankind.

Therefore right before Yaakov arrived at the house of Lavan and begot the Twelve Tribes, Hashem put on the finishing touches of our world.

—————————————-3————————————-

וַיִּפְגַּע בַּמָּקוֹם וַיָּלֶן שָׁם כִּי בָא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וַיִּקַּח מֵאַבְנֵי הַמָּקוֹם וַיָּשֶׂם מְרַאֲשֹׁתָיו וַיִּשְׁכַּב בַּמָּקוֹם הַהוּא:-בראשית כח/יא

On the possuk “and he (Yaakov) lied down in that place (Har HaBayis) because the sun set” the Medrash (Pirkei D’Rebbi Eliezer perek 35) comments that Hashem said to Yaakov that since he has enough to eat and drink he should now rest in this place (Har HaBayis). Yaakov replied that the sun has not completely set (it went down only 5 measures) so the time for him to sleep has not come yet. Hashem therefore made the sun go down. When Yaakov saw the sun in the west he went to sleep.

Zera Shishmon asks a number of questions on this Medrash.

Firstly, why did Hashem preface the request that Yaakov should sleep with the fact that he had enough to eat and drink? What does having enough to eat have to do with his sleeping?

Secondly, why did Hashem want Yaakov to sleep there specifically when it was still day?

Thirdly, why didn’t Yaakov immediately comply with Hashem’s wishes to sleep there? What did he see wrong in sleeping when it was still day?

Fourthly, if Yaakov didn’t want to sleep in the day why then did he sleep before sunset, when the sun was still in the west?

Zera Shimshon answers these questions in light of two ideas found in two different sources.

The Kli Yakar explains that Hashem showed Yaakov the Beis HaMikdash in his dream in order that in the merit of the Bais HaMikdash he would be saved from Eisav.

How is this?

Firstly, the fact that no metal was used in the building of the Beis HaMikdash counters Eisav’s strength which is connected to weapons. And, secondly, the fact that not only does the sun have no effect on the Bais HaMikdash but the Bais HaMikdash actually dimmed the sunlight! This therefore weakens Eisav since he lives under the influence of the sun (for instance, he counts his calendar according to the sun) and he gets his power through the sun.

The second idea is found in a Medrash in the beginning of Breishis. The Medrash asks why in the beginning of creation is the moon referred to as one of the “the BIG shining objects” (the other one is the sun) but it is later referred to as the “SMALL shining object? The Medrash answers that the moon was punished because it “entered into the domain of the sun” (the moon is sometimes seen in the day) and as a punishment was made small. Even though that it shines in the day with permission, it was still damaged.

According to these two ideas, Zera Shimshon explains the dialogue between Hashem and Yaakov.

Hashem wanted Yaakov to sleep in the place of the Bais HaMikdash only exclusively in the day when the sun shines because this is time when Eisav is strongest and it is when Eisav gets his power. Hashem wanted Yaakov to davven there and in the merit of the Bais HaMikdash which overpowers and dims the sunlight, Eisav’s strength would be weakened. Yaakov, however, was scared to trespass on Eisav’s domain for fear of being hurt (like what happened to the moon at the time of Creation).

To discredit Yaakov’s argument Hashem prefaced the request to sleep in the place of the Bais HaMikdash by saying that you already have food and drink. Hashem intended to point out to Yaakov that since this world is under the rule of Eisav by taking pleasure from this world which was given to Eisav he is already trespassing. Therefore there is no need to worry to weaken the influence of the sun.

Yaakov didn’t accept this argument. He held that since no one can live with eating and drinking “one cannot bring a proof from something that is impossible to something that is possible”

Hashem accepted Yaakov’s argument and therefore made the sun begin to set. After it was mostly all the way down Yaakov understood that it is alluding to the end of Eisav’s rule and was no longer afraid of trespassing and therefore laid down to rest!

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......
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......

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

_________________________
To have new D’vrei Torah sent directly to your inbox fill in boxes below: