Thursday, April 20, 2017

Shimini - Be A Beheima!


This dvar Torah is lzchus my grandfather R' Shmuel Pinchas ben R' Yaakov Tzvi whose yahrtzeit was yesterday. May his neshama have an aliyah. It is FLABBERGASTING to think of how much Torah his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have learned taught and $pread [myself not included. I just read the Wall Street Journal and the Sunday funnies most of the time. The rest of the time I sleep and eat brownies. That is why I am so well informed, well rested, fat and funny.] He was a little orphaned boy in Poland so poor he couldn't afford a normal complete pair of socks. He served in the Polish army, went through many many trials and tribulations but never abandoned our tradition. We had a very special moment together when he held me at my bris [there is a picture] but passed away shortly thereafter. He said "Elchanan, it might hurt a bit now but you will appreciate it later". And in fact, EVERYY TIME I BENTCH I thank Hashem for that bris. I am sure that his neshama is going higher and higher in the zchus of all the maasim tovim of all his family which is all in the zchus of his stubborn, unwavering commitment to Torah. 

The pasuk says זאת החיה אשר תאכלו מכל בהמה - This is the "chaya" that one may eat from every "beheima". The pasuk opens with the word חיה which includes all living beings or maybe a certain group of animals classified as חיות [as we find in Parshas Re'eh] and then starts talking about בהמות - other types of animals. Why does the pasuk suddenly go off course???

The gemara says on the pasuk אדם ובהמה תושיע השם - Man and animal Hashem saves. The gemara explains that this refers to man, homo sapiens, the thinking rational being - who makes himself into an animal. SUCH A PERSON is saved by Hashem. 

An animal? Why should we be like animals?? No - we should eat like human beings and act with complete mentchlichkeit. We should get dressed in the morning as human beings should [unlike many of the human race who neglect to do so in the summer...]. So how should we be like animals??

Explains Rebbe Leibele Eiger ztz"l: We should realize that we fully understand NOTHING. Only Hashem understands and only Hashem is in control. If a horse could talk we wouldn't assign any value to anything he says because he is a STUPID HORSE!!:-) The gap between the human intellect and Hashem's understanding is INFINITELY greater than the gap between our understanding and that of an animal. 

So when you have questions on Hashem - remember! We DON'T "GET IT". We are soooo limited in our scope. Be an animal with regard to your understanding vis a vis Hashem's. Then you deserve Hashem's salvation. 

The pasuk says זאת החיה אשר תאכלו - If you want to be a nefesh chaya [as it says in Bereishis ויהי האדם לנפש חיה] - a holy living soul, a kosher animal, then it is imperative to make yourself into a בהמה. 

This is a great lesson for life. Let Hashem run the show. He knows what He is doing. We carry out the tasks that are incumbent upon us and leave the results to Hashem. We are but mere animals in comparison to Hashem. We are sooooo tiny. He is HUUUUGEEEEEEEEE. Put Him in charge and you become great, too. 

The pasuk says about Egypt אשר תזרע זרעך והשקית ברגלך - You plant and then you manually walk around and water the crop. They don't need G-d. They do it all by themselves. They have the Nile and are set. 

Eretz Yisrael is different. למטר השמים תשתה מים - We need rain. We need to look heavenward. We realize that we are defenseless and helpless and totally at the mercy of Hashem. 

That is why a kosher animal's sign is מפרסת פרסה - split hooves. This contrasts the Egyptian notion of being self sufficient - והשקית ברגלך - they walk around and take care of things themselves. Our kashrus is SPLIT hooves. We can't just walk around and do it on our own.

Every morning we thank Hashem המכין מצעדי גבר. We thank Hashem that when we walk, we don't just fall on our face every time. Why not?? Because Hashem prepares the steps of man. 

Humility is a great trait to have and easy to attain. All we have to do is think for a moment about how limited we are in so many ways and are complete in no ways and PRESTO! Humility. Then we [as they say in Alcoholics Anonymous] LET GO AND LET G-D. 

Have a sweet delicious Shabbos beloved friends.

Love and blessings,


PS - I will be in NY for the next two weeks to learn and spread Torah. Hope to see you!