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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!

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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 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.
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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.
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

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Parshas Chayai Sarah

וַתָּמָת שָׂרָה בְּקִרְיַת אַרְבַּע הִוא חֶבְרוֹן בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַיָּבֹא אַבְרָהָם לִסְפֹּד לְשָׂרָה וְלִבְכֹּתָהּ: -בראשית כג/ב

And Avraham came to eulogize Sarah and to cry. (Braishis 23/2)

Zera Shimshon asks that the words in this possuk seem to be out of order. Concerning the seven days of mourning the Gemorro in Moad Katan (27b) says that, “the first three days of mourning is for weeping and the next days are to eulogize.” First comes tears and then comes the eulogy.  Similarly, the eulogist usually cries before he gives his eulogy. Therefore, seemingly, it would be more correct to write, “And Avraham came TO CRY AND EULOGIZE Sarah and not EULOGIZE SARAH AND TO CRY. Why then does the possuk mention that Avraham came to eulogize before he cried.
Secondly he asks that the letter “chahv” in the word “lifkos”- to cry- is written smaller then other letters in the Sefer Torah. What is Torah coming to teach us with this?
He answers in light of an idea that the Sefer Maavar Yabok writes. He writes that the tears that are shed for someone who passed away are tremendously beneficial for the deceased person. They open up for him the “Gates of Tears” (Shaari Dimma) in heaven which is a place where people are judged very very mercifully. However the Sefer Maavar Yabok adds that not all tears are equal.Only tears that are shed for the benefit of the deceased’s nefesh (soul, spiritual part of a personO have the ability to open Shaari Dimma. Tears that are directed towards the deceased’s body, that is gone forever (or crying himself – how difficult it will be for him, his family, or his community without the deceased etc.- do not open the Shaari Dimma.
Eulogizes obviously focus on the deceased’s good deeds and his spiritual strengths. Therefore the Torah writes that Avraham first eulogized Sarah and then cried to show that Avraham weeped for Sarah nefesh and and not for the physical lose.
This is also the reason that the “chahv” is written small to show that although there were two reasons to cry, for her nefesh and for the lose of the body, his tears were directed only towards her nefesh and not towards her physical body or towards himself at all

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גֵּר וְתוֹשָׁב אָנֹכִי עִמָּכֶם תְּנוּ לִי אֲחֻזַּת קֶבֶר עִמָּכֶם וְאֶקְבְּרָה מֵתִי מִלְּפָנָי:בראשית כג/ד

On the possuk (Braishis 23/4), “I am a foreigner and a resident among you…” Rashi comments, “A Medrash Aggado explains, ‘If you wish I will act like a foreigner (and I will buy the Maaras HaMachpaila from you), but if (you will) not (sell it to me then) I will act as a resident and take it by rights since HaKodesh Baruch Hue said to me, “To your offsprings I will give this land.””
From this medrash we learn that Avraham Avinu was determined to bury Sarah Eimainu in the Maaras HaMachpaila and offered Bnei Chais to choose one of two options how it would become his; either he would buy it from them or he would take it because Hashem promised it to him and therefore it was legally his.
Zera Shimshon asks that if Avraham was really entitled to the land because of Hashem’s promise, then why did he offer to buy it from Efron like a foreigner? Why would Avraham want to pay for the land that is rightfully his?
He answers in light of a machlokos brought in Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 163/2). The halacha is that if a person buys a house in a city he automatically becomes a citizen of that city with all of its obligations and benefits. There is a machlokos, though, in which specific situation does this halacha apply. Some say that this is only if he bought the house in order to permanently live there. Others say that it applies even if he intends to live there for only a short period of time.
According to this, explains Zera Shimshon, Avraham didn’t want to take the Maaras HaMachpaila as a gift but he wanted to buy it. However he didn’t only buy a small plot but the whole field. Because he also wanted to buy the whole field he was concerned that Bnei Chaiss would think that he planned to permanently live next to his wife’s grave. Therefore Avraham was concerned that Bnei Chais did not want him to be a part of their city and because of this they would not let Avraham buy it.
To put them at ease he told them that if the custom in Chevron was like the first opinion in Shulchan Aruch, that only a person who plans to live in a city forever becomes a citizen, then he will buy the field and stipulate that he will continue to be a foreigner. If however the custom in Chevron was like the second opinion, that even one who buys a house to live there for a short period becomes a citizen, then he will take from his legal rights!

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Concerning Avraham’s burial of Sarah the Medrash comments: This is the meaning of the verse “Whoever runs after righteousness and kindness finds life, prosperity and honor.” (The possuk is referring to Avrohom)…Whoever runs after righteousness” … “and kindness” (is referring to when Avrohom) was kind to Sarah (at the time of her funeral).
The Zera Shimshon asks why is Avrohom described as someone who “runs after kindness” for burying Sarah? The halocho requires every husband to bury his wife! What then was so special about what Avrohom did?
He answers this question by first asking another question.
Right after Sarah passed away Avrohom spoke to B’nei Chais and asked them to approach Effron to ask him to sell Maaros HaMachpaila to him to bury Sarah. The Zera Shimshon asks why didn’t Avrohom speak to Effron directly? The normal reason that a person doesn’t directly negotiate is either to convince the seller, who is hesitant to sell, to sell or to bargain for a good price.
Concerning Avrohom, however, these two reasons weren’t relevant. Firstly, Avorohm specifically said that he didn’t care how much it cost. And secondly, we don’t find anywhere that Effron was hesitant to sell!
And even if he wanted a middle man for some other reason, why did he need a whole nation to be present? Why wasn’t it enough that only one person would speak to him?
He answers that the reason he called of B’nei Chais was not to mediate a good deal. Rather he felt that Sarah deserved a big funeral. The way he orchestrated this was by calling B’nei Chais to mediate the selling of the burial plot. Like this, Avrohom reasoned, since they were there, they would stay for the funeral and Sarah would have a big funeral that she deserved.
This, concludes the Zera Shimshon, is why the Medrash praises Avrohom for burying Sarah. Even though a husband is obliged to bury his wife he certainly isn’t required to go to great lengths to insure that a lot of people will attend. The only reason that Avrohom did do it was because he ran after kindness!

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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