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.

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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

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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

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