web analytics
August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Shabbos: A Day With Hashem: The Inside Story

Niehaus-121313

Lecha Dodi and an empty, grumbling stomach don’t really go together, do they? But in fact, the Avudraham, one of the famed Rishonim of Spain, writes that if Asarah B’Teves would fall out on Shabbos itself, we would fast. (According to the way our calendar is set up it never happens though.) So it is not surprising that many times, like this year, the fast falls out on Friday, causing us to enter Shabbos weak and hungry. But why is this so? If Tisha B’Av, when we mourn the actual destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, gets pushed off to Sunday, why does this fast, which commemorates merely the beginning of the siege, remain on Shabbos?

Let us first understand the reason for the fast. Many people do not realize that it is actually due to three different events, as stated in the selichos of Asarah B’Teves. On the eighth of Teves King Ptolemy forced Chazal to translate the Torah into Greek, and three days of darkness descended on the world. On the ninth of Teves, Ezra HaSofer passed away. And on the tenth, the siege on Yerushalayim began. These were originally three separate fasts, but were then combined into one fast on the tenth of Teves.

The fact that we mourn these events together tells us that there must be some connection between these seemingly unrelated misfortunes. What is that? Furthermore, the Rambam tells us (Taanis 5:1) that the public fast days were instituted so that we should realize that the reason we suffer from the same misfortunes as our forefathers is because we are repeating their misdeeds. It is hoped that this realization will arouse us to do teshuvah and mend our ways.  Which area in our lives are these misfortunes telling us to fix?

The Mashgiach of Yeshivas Toras Moshe, Rav Elchonon Meir Fishman, explains that the theme of these events is mourning the loss of pnimiyus, inner essence. When the Torah was translated, it became confined strictly to that translation. We know that the depth and wisdom contained in Torah is endless, and much can be understood based on how things are spelled and written. The thirteen rules of how the Torah is elucidated become ineffective when the words are “all Greek.” The Torah now took on a new form, one lacking its inner essence, without the ability to reveal the deeper meaning.

On the ninth of Teves Ezra HaSofer was niftar. The Gemara (Megilah 15a) tells us that Ezra was actually Malachi – the last prophet. With his passing, the glorious era of nevuah, prophecy, came to an end. Nevuah was not simply about knowing the future – it was Hashem’s way of conveying to us what our tafkid, our job on earth, was at any given moment. The Ramban (Vayikra 26:11) tells us that in those days if a person got sick, he didn’t need a doctor. Rather, he went to the Navi who told him why he was being punished. Once the person fixed the problem, his illness disappeared. The Navi was able to tell each person what his specific avodas Hashem was. And on a global level, Hashem sent us and the other nations messages regarding what needed to be fixed. With Ezra’s passing we were left to grope in the dark. Even though the Torah reveals the purpose of this world, prophecy revealed it to us in an even more precise manner.

On the tenth of Teves, Nevuchadnetzar began the siege around Yerushalayim. Until that day, Yerushalayim enjoyed an elite status world-wide. Everyone remembered how Sancheirev’s massive army was wiped out overnight when they attempted to attack the Holy City, and so no one even dared to try again. But now the world saw that this was a city like any other. While nothing physical was done to the city, the damage to its very essence was enormous.

About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus, raised and educated in Los Angeles and subsequently Yeshivas Toras Moshe in Yerushalayim, is the Rosh Kollel of the Zichron Aron Yaakov Kollel in Kiryat Sefer , Israel. He lectures for the public and is the director of the Chasdei Rivka Free Loan Gemach. He can be reached at kollel.zay@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 “Shabbos: A Day With Hashem: The Inside Story

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal in Gaza
Mashaal Vows Cease-Fire a Step to New ‘Resistance’ War against Israel
Latest Judaism Stories
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Questions-Answers-logo

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

More Articles from Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus

When a child needs encouragement whom can he turn to?

Niehaus-070414-Sitting

Is the fact that we can spend time with our families just a fringe benefit of Shabbos or an integral aspect?

Now that she has entered her husband’s domain, they become extremely close.

The more we are aware of Hashem’s involvement in our lives, the more we will act accordingly.

When Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim, we received not only a physical freedom but also a spiritual one.

Such a misunderstanding would render our words worthless, for we would not be declaring that Hashem is truly the Master of the Universe.

Friday night corresponds to Shabbos Bereishis – therefore we discuss the creation. Shabbos morning corresponds to the Shabbos when we received the Torah, so in Shachris we mention that. And finally, Shabbos afternoon corresponds to the Shabbos of the World to Come, so in Mincha we talk about the Oneness of Hashem, which will be clearly revealed at that time.

First let us explain what shira is. Rav Shimshon Pinkus zt”l writes (She’arim B’Tefila, page 65) that shira is when we relate praises in a detailed manner, as opposed to zimra, where we praise in a more general way.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/shabbos-a-day-with-hashem-the-inside-story/2013/12/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: