All posts by shevach

Parshas VaYeshev

Parshas VaYeshev

ב) אֵלֶּה תֹּלְדוֹת יַעֲקֹב יוֹסֵף בֶּן שְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה הָיָה רֹעֶה אֶת אֶחָיו בַּצֹּאן וְהוּא נַעַר אֶת בְּנֵי בִלְהָה וְאֶת בְּנֵי זִלְפָּה נְשֵׁי אָבִיו וַיָּבֵא יוֹסֵף אֶת דִּבָּתָם רָעָה אֶל אֲבִיהֶם: -בראשית לז/ב

It is written in the parsha, “These are the chronicles of Yaakov… And Yosef brought the evil reports of them (of his brothers) to their father.

Rashi explains,”THEIR EVIL REPORTS- Whatever he saw wrong in his brothers, the sons of Leah, he reported to his father: that they used to eat flesh cut off from a living animal, that they treated the sons of the handmaids with contempt, calling them slaves, and that they were suspected of living in an immoral manner.

Hashem punished him for these three things in a way that was similar to what he said.

For his saying that they used to eat flesh cut off from a living animal; when they sold him, they slaughtered a goat and they did not eat its flesh while the animal was still living. For his relating to their father that they called their brothers slaves; (Tehilim 105/17) “Yosef was sold for a slave.” For his accusing them with immoral behavior (Braishis 39/7) “his master’s wife cast her eyes upon him etc.” ”

Zera Shimshon asks that it is easy to understand how Yosef’s being sold as a slave and his having to go through the test of Potiferra’s wife are considered to be a punishment for slandering them to his father. But, how is slaughtering and eating a goat a punishment for his blaming them for eating flesh from a living animal? How is it at all connected to him?

Secondly, why did they slaughter the goat to dip his garment in blood? Cows and most animals have much more blood than a goat has, so a much better choice would have been to slaughter some other animal (ref. to Aitz Yosef on the Medrash Rabbah)

Thirdly, Zera Bairech writes that the malach who watches over Mitzrayim holds a goat in his right hand to constantly remind Hashem the sin of selling Yosef. Zera Shimshon asks why did this malach choose specifically a goat as a reminder of the selling? Seemingly the slaughtering of the goat has no intrinsic connection to the sin but was only something needed in order to cover up what they did!

Zera Shimshon’s answer is based on two premises.

1. Eisav will eventually fall into the hands of the descendants of Yosef and not in the hands of the descendants of the other brothers like it is written (Ovadiah 1/18) “And the house of Yaakov shall be a fire, and the house of Yaakov a flame and the house of Eisav for stubble“.

2. The Medrash (Breishis Rabah 65/15) says that a goat symbolizes Eisav (goat in Hebrew is “Seir” and in Parshas Toldos (27/11)  Yaakov refered to Eisav as “Eish Seir”.

According to these two premises Zera Shimshon explains that Yosef would boast to his brothers that if it wouldn’t be for him then the other brothers would never be able to free themselves from Eisav. They would be under his control forever.

The brothers strongly disagreed and therefore right when they sold him they slaughtered a goat (which symbolizes Eisav) in front of Yosef to show him that he made a big mistake. They wanted to explain to him that they are able to overcome Eisav, even without his help, through the doing of the mitzvos (like slaughtering and animal in order to eat it). That just like through the mitzvo of slaughtering one kills the goat so to when we do other mitzvos we overcome Eisav!

This is also the reason that the malach of Mitzrayim holds a goat in his hand. It is as if to say that surely mitzvos have the power to weaken Eisav. That, however ,was only in the days of the Avos. However, after they passed away and we don’t so many merits as before, Eisav should control us!

————————————-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 no 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 they wanted to kill Yosef they eventually regretted their decision.
————————————3————————————-

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.
Dvar Torah

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 would like to automatically receive a d’var Torah of the Zera Shimshon every week send an email to Shevachp@gmail.com.

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 (Hebrew, English, Yiddish) 02-80-80-600

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:



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.

————————————2————————————-

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

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