web analytics
July 22, 2014 / 24 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

‘From A Friend’


Staum-010314

Rabbi Binyomin Rabinowitz[1] related the following story about his father, Rabbi Yisroel Rabinowitz ztl.[2]

“During his adolescence, my father learned in the Lomza Yeshiva in northeastern Poland. When the Germans began bombing in 1939, the air-raid sirens immediately began blaring, and everyone in the town would immediately escape into the shelters.[3] The shelters were located in the middle of the street. Everyone would climb down a ladder into the shelter and tensely wait for the bombing to cease.

“During one such raid my father was with a large group of people in the shelter, where a baby kept crying. The relentless wailing intensified the already tense feeling in the shelter, but the baby could not be soothed. After some time my father approached the man holding the baby and asked him what was bothering the baby. The father replied that the baby was thirsty and they had no water to give him. My father turned around and started heading for the ladder leading to the street. The father called after him, ‘Where are you going? If anything I should be the one going to risk my life for my son.’ My father replied, ‘You have a family. If anything happens to you, you will leave behind a widow and orphans. But I am just a bochur. My parents are far away. If anything happens to me no one will have to cry for me.’

“With that my father climbed out of the shelter and began hastily running towards the nearest building. As he did so he noticed a German plane flying frightfully low.  As it neared him it let loose a barrage of bombs. One of those bombs fell directly into the shelter he had just departed from, instantly killing everyone inside.”Staum-010314-Table

The time of the redemption had finally arrived. Just as G-d had promised, the night before Pharaoh had aimlessly circulated the streets of Goshen desperate to locate Moshe.  When he found him, he begged him to leave the country immediately. The Egyptian pride had been shattered and the former captors hurried the Jews to leave their land.

The Torah then relates: “Bnei Yisrael carried out the word of Moshe; they requested from the Mitzriim silver vessels, gold vessels, and garments. G-d gave the people favor in the eyes of the Mitzriim and they granted their request; and they emptied Egypt.[4]

Rashi notes that they carried out Moshe’s earlier instruction to adhere to G-d’s command,[5] “Please speak in the ears of the people: Let each man request of his friend and each woman from her friend silver vessels and gold vessels.”

Truthfully, the verse seems to be redundant. If in fact the Torah already recorded that Bnei Yisrael solicited the gold, silver, and clothing of the Egyptians, why does the Torah repeat it again just prior to their hastened departure?

The Vilna Gaon explains that Rashi was bothered by the wording of the earlier verse, “Please speak in the ears of the people: Let each man request of his friend and each woman from her friend.” How can the Mitzriim be referred to as friends after all of the tormenting and oppression they had subjected Bnei Yisrael to?[6] Furthermore, why did G-d need to initiate this instruction by asking them to “please” do it? Wouldn’t they be more than happy to demand of the Mitzriim a small portion of compensation?

The Gaon answers that in order for Bnei Yisrael to be granted their request they had to merit it. First, they had to demonstrate selflessness and love to each other. That was G-d’s original request, that Moshe “please” speak to the people and request that they borrow and share with their own friends – their fellow Jews, and demonstrate fraternity and devotion. Because they did so, they were indeed able to ask the Mitzriim for their wealth. This is the deeper meaning of the latter verse, “Bnei Yisrael carried out the word of Moshe” i.e. which was to create a spirit of kindness and devotion, and therefore, “They requested from the Mitzriim … G-d gave the people favor in the eyes of the Mitzriim and they granted their request.”

About the Author: Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead in Monsey NY. He is also Guidance Counselor/Rebbe in ASHAR and Yeshiva Bais Hachinuch. His website is www.stamtorah.info. He can be reached at stamtorah@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “‘From A Friend’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Netanyahu tries to bring UN's Ban down form the moon in Tel Aviv Tuesday.
UN’s Ban on the Moon with ‘Stop Fighting, Start Talking’ Message
Latest Judaism Stories
PTI-071814

Perhaps, just perhaps, we can relate to this: whenever we feel distant from Hashem, that is the Churban.

Parshat Matot

Over the next 2 weeks covering portion Matot and Maasei, Rabbi Fohrman will bring order to confusion.

Lessons-Emunah-logo

Our home is in the center of the Holy Land, surrounded by (what else?) green hills and valleys.

Business-Halacha-logo

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

Question: I recently returned from a trip abroad and wanted to say HaGomel. When I mentioned this to the officers of my synagogue, however, they told me – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – that I would have to wait until Shabbos to do so. I was not given any reason for this and did not wish to display my ignorance, so I quietly acquiesced. Can you please explain why I had to wait?

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

We may not recognize the adverse affect of eating forbidden foods, but they leave an indelible imprint.

There are several rules that one must adhere to when making a neder.

Important message for Jews in the Diaspora: In times of need run to Israel rather than from Israel.

The negotiation between Moses and the tribes of Reuven and Gad is a model of conflict resolution.

Once again we find ourselves alone – a little lamb among wolves.

When we return to our routines, things don’t have to go back to exactly the way they were.

The Three Weeks determines the “who we are and how we live” as Jews.

Sometimes when Chazal say that two different people are really one, they do not mean it literally, but rather figuratively.

The midrash says that Pinchas, (this parsha), and Eliyahu, prophet of Kings, are one and the same.

More Articles from Rabbi Dani Staum
Staum-062714

After listening to the driver’s incredible story, Rabbi Levenstein asked him, “What about you? After seeing such a miracle why didn’t you became Torah observant?”

Staum-061314

Twelve of the greatest leaders of the nation, one from each shevet, were dispatched to survey the land. The results of that mission were catastrophic.

It is one thing to do a chesed for someone one time or when it is convenient. But for a person to go a few hours out of his way every year for a stranger demonstrates incredible selflessness.

Rav Pam said we must realize that God has no pleasure from such negative speech.

A friend of mine recently heard a comment that left him stunned. A colleague told him that his mother, a survivor of Auschwitz, who had recently lost her husband of five decades, told her son, “You should know, being alone is worse than Auschwitz!”

Even if he has committed sins that warrant his rejection from the community, he is never rejected by G-d.

Winston Churchill repeated a grade during elementary school. He twice failed the exam to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He later wrote, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to the convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up!”

That was G-d’s original request, that Moshe “please” speak to the people and request that they borrow and share with their own friends – their fellow Jews, and demonstrate fraternity and devotion.

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/from-a-friend/2014/01/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: