Shalooommm sweeeetest friends!!!!
A huuuuuge mazel tov to my beloved friends R' and Mrs. Daniel Simcha Bornstein on the birth of their first born baby girl!! May she grow up in good health happiness and prosperity! Being a "Chanuka baby" may she bring much light to the world!
A huuuuge mazel tooov to my beloved friends R' and Mrs. Jeremy Wernick on the birth of their daughter!! May this "Chanuka baby" be a source of light to the world and enjoy much success and happiness in her entire life!!
A huuuuge mazel tov to my beloved friend R' Michael Eisenberg who published his sefer "עיונים בתלמוד הירושלמי - מסכת ברכות"!!! WOW!! I know a lot of people who have been in kollel for years and never learn Yerushalmi [myself included] and my beloved friend [for 40 years!!] Reb Mike has a whole sefer of chiddushim on a maseches in Talmud Yerushalmi. And this is while he is the father of bli ayin hara 8, a CEO of great repute, an osek bi-tzorchei tzibbur, a baal tfilla, an ish tzdaka vi-chesed etc. etc. May he go from strength to strength together with his eishes chayil and children in good health and prosperity and hopefully soon publish his next sefer להגדיל תורה ולהאדירה!
This dvar Torah is the last of this calender year [even though it is 5777 the Goyim think it is 2016. Odd] and it is appropriate for me to dedicate it in the honor of those who supported the various Torah projects in which I am involved [such as the Skype Yeshiva, the sefarim I am writing etc. etc.]. I won't mention names because sometimes when I mention names I forget to mention people and they are offended. Other times, I DO mention people and they are offended. They like to keep incognito "shtil a heit" as they say in Greek. But suffice it to say that without their support, I would cease to exist and it would be a victory for the Yevanim and a loss for my parents and children! With much love, thanks and appreciation I dedicate this Torah to their hatzlacha and also daven for them all the time. May Hashem bless them that they continue being a blessing to the world.
Also, a refuah shleima to HaRav Zave Chaim ben Chaya Aidel בתוך שאר חולי ישראל . He should enjoy complete health and keep spreading his amazing torah to the world for many years to come in simcha and prosperity and have much nachas from all of his children and grandchildren.
In this weeks parsha we read of Shimon being held captive by the Egyptian ruler [who we know to be Yosef. Shhhh - don't tell the brothers. They don't know yet. They will find out next Shabbos morning at the hashkama minyan]. Yehuda wanted to convince his father to let him go back to Egypt to free him but he had to bring Binyamin along and Yaacov was afraid to send him. So Yehuda says כי עבדך ערב את הנער - Your servant will take responsibility for the lad. He promised Yaakov that if he doesn't bring his brother back then he will lose his portion in both worlds - even if he is אנוס [prevented due to extenuating circumstances] and can't bring Binyamin back through no fault of his own.
The question is - What will Yaakov gain if Yehuda doesn't bring Binyamin back despite his best efforts. He will lose Binyamin and Yehuda will lose both worlds. So what did the promise help? Sometimes we try and it's just not our fault.
The Holy Avnei Nezer [quoted in Shem Mi-shmuel Chaye Sara p. 247] answered with a GREAAATTTT lesson for life. When one is up against a wall, when EVERYTHING is at stake, when its the last minute of the fourth quarter [so to speak], people find hidden kochos, deep dormant strengths and capabilities. When Yehuda promised that he would bring Binyamin back and put EVERYTHING ON THE LINE, Yaakov knew that he could be trusted and there would be no excuses.
This of course is the story of Chanuka. There was really NO CHANCE that a tiny Army of Yeshiva Buchrim would defeat the Greek Empire but they did it. The proof is that we are here and they are gone. There was also no chance that one vial of oil should kindle for eight days but it did. When you have no choice - the impossible becomes possible.
That is IMPORTANT, HUUUUGE mussar. We often hear statements such as "I couldn't make it", "I didn't have time", "I forgot" etc. Those are all different ways of saying "It wasn't not important enough for me". If it really mattered - we would be there and make it happen. If I tell someone that he can finish all of Shas in a year, he will probably replay - "no chance, dude" [the "dude" if he is younger and his chevre speaks that way]. But if I sign a contract with him and guarantee him 15 Million American Dollars [in cash...:-)] he will find a way to finish - in under 6 months. One example of many. If we prioritize what really matters we will find capabilities within ourselves that we never knew we had.
With blessings for a blissful Shabbos, a reJEWvenating Rosh Chodesh, and a sweet, lichtige Chanuka,