Friday, July 1, 2016

Shlach - Incomparable

Shallooooommm sweeeet friends!!!

This dvar Torah is dedicated to my beloved parents who celebrated their 50th anniversary this week. May they have many, many more. Now that they have a married grandchild I can also bless them with great grandchildren in addition to the many grandchildren with whom they have been blessed. I also bless them that their son "Ally" should do teshuva and return to the faith and practice of his fathers. There is always hope for all!

I also wanted to thank everyone who participated in body and spirit [and large, long term loans:-)] in my daughter Gila's wedding. It was very special Baruch Hashem! I especially thank my brother R' Yosef Tzvi, Uncle Fred, sister Rebbetzin Naomi Weberman and niece Esti Ehrman who came from overseas.

These words of Torah should be a zchus for my beloved friends:

Doniel Yaakov Ben Sara Liba
Fraida Shulamis bas Pessel Sara
Menachem Yitzchak Ben Fraida Shulamis
Michael Yehuda Ben Fraida Shulamis
Rochel Leah bas Fraida Shulamis
Limitless bracha to them in gashmiyus and ruchniyus.

This weeks Parsha is about Israel.

Ahhhh - Israel!

One day, some builders are renovating an old building in Jerusalem when Solly, one of the workers, falls through the rotten floor into a previously undiscovered cellar. As the dust settles, Solly sees to his horror a skeleton lying in the corner. The skeleton is wearing a blue and white sash with these words written on it: -

In Parshas Shlach we read that the spies came to Chevron [it was probably Parshas Chayei Sara....] and Chevron was built 7 years before Tzoan in Mitzraim [13/22].

Rashi explains that Chevron, which is a very rocky area and not the most desired property, was still seven times better than Tzoan in the beautiful Egypt. That is like saying that even a poor village in Israel is more beautiful than Beverly Hills [no offense Beverly! My Israeli hairstylist lives there. I own 3 mansions there and would live there if it were within walking distance of the kotel].

This was actually the root of the sin of the spies! As long as we view Israel as being "relative" to other places than we are missing the whole point. Israel is not relatively better but in a class all by itself.

Rashi notes at the beginning of the parsha that the parsha of the spies is juxtaposed to the story of Miriam's lashon hara about Moshe to teach us that the spies saw what happened to Miriam when she spoke lashon hara [she was afllicted with tzaraas] but didn't take the mussar. The mistake of Miraim and Aharon was the same as that of the spies. Moshe was not just any other prophet but in a class all by himself. They compared him to other, ordinary prophets. So too, Eretz Yisrael, is in a class all by itself and can't be compared to any other country. The mistake of the spies was comparing Israel to other places.

It might not be known by many outside of Israel but new immigrants can bring in normal household items duty free, but anything that looks like it could be resold in Israel is supposed to be subject to Israeli import duty.
Moshe Cohen, a new immigrant, arrived at the Port of Haifa to claim his household goods, which had just been landed by ship. However, when he turned up, he was immediately called into the Port offices because the excise officer had noticed on the manifest that Moshe had brought in seven refrigerators.
"Mr Cohen," said the officer, "one refrigerator is allowed duty free, but certainly not seven of them."
Moshe replied, "But I'm very religious. I need one refrigerator just for meat, one just for dairy, and one just for parve."
"OK," said the officer, "that makes three, but what about the other four?"
"It’s obvious," replied Moshe, "I need three for most of the year and another three, for meat, dairy and parve, for Pesach."
"That only makes six," replied the officer," What's the seventh one for?"
"So nu," replied Moshe, "What if I want to eat treif once in a while?"

Ahhhhh Israel!

We have to remember to look at things intrinsically and not as they relate to others. Our children are not valuable because they relate positively to others, because they get good grades, because they honor us. Our children are inherently valuable just by virtue of their existence. So too every Jew.

LIFE is not only valuable because it ends and we die but it has intrinsic meaning. We must never lose sight of that....

[Based on Rav Charlap, Rav Soloveitchik and more]

With much love and blessings for a sweet blissful Shabbos,