web analytics
May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Shabbos Mevorchim Teves

Seems like we just blessed the new month of Kislev. Yet, here it is still Chanukah, and we are about to bentch Rosh Chodesh Teves. Rosh Chodesh actually falls on the sixth and seventh days of Chanukah (Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 3 and 4). The Chanukah lights lit in Teves are intended to illuminate the month that has seen much darkness.

The tenth day of Teves, a fast day (Assara b’Teves), commemorates the beginning of the destruction of Jerusalem. On the eighth of Teves the Greeks forced seventy-two Sages to translate the Torah into Greek – a most unfortunate occurrence that brought spiritual darkness upon the Jewish people.

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, each month is associated with a letter of the aleph-beis. Teves was formed by means of the letter ayin, which has a numerical value of seventy – a number that figures prominently in Judaism. There are seventy different facets to the Torah and seventy ways to interpret them; seventy souls from the house of Yaakov descended to Mitzrayim; seventy elders were appointed by Moshe Rabbeinu, and there are seventy languages corresponding to seventy nations.

The literal interpretation of ayin is “eye” – the organ of the body that most influences the heart, for good or for bad. It is within the power of a human being to subdue his evil inclination, and to that end the flames of the fifteen candles lit on the last two nights of Chanukah come to suffuse us with holiness. The mispar katan of 15 (1 plus 5) equals 6. With the insertion of just that one letter (vav – six), the month of Teves is transformed to tovas (goodness).

The yahrtzeits of many tzaddikim are observed in Teves, notable among them Avrohom Avinu (1 Teves); Ezra HaSofer (9 Teves); Reuven ben Yaakov Avinu (14 Teves); R’ Yaakov ben Wolf Krantz – Dubna Maggid (17 Teves); Rabbeinu Moshe ben Maimon – Rambam (20 Teves); Shimon ben Yaakov Avinu (21 Teves; R’ Shneur Zalman of Liadi – Baal HaTanya (24 Teves); R’ Shmuel ben Avrohom Borenstein – Shem MiShmuel (24 Teves); R’ Shamshon Raphael Hirsch and R’ Pinchas ben R’ Chaim Hirschprung (27 Teves).

Since the Yom Tov of Rosh Chodesh has special meaning for women and the month of Teves has special significance to this columnist, I share with you the following…

Our parents/grandparents were raised in a simpler world, one devoid of luxuries that we take for granted. They didn’t know of automatic washing machines and dishwashers, food processors or blow driers. Shopping malls and designer clothes were foreign entities. Yet, in a simple but loving environment they learned early on to participate in, contribute to and appreciate the good life – one filled with meaning and value, commitment and devotion, and an innate recognition of having been sent down to earth with a divine purpose by the Master of the World.

In the spring of 1944, that purpose became murky in the minds of two young ladies – one married with an infant daughter, the other her visiting single 19-year old sister – when their idyllic existence came to a crashing halt.

Ordered to leave all their possessions behind, save for what they’d be able to carry in their hands, the armed soldiers who showed up suddenly at their door informed them that they were going to work. The filled-to-capacity bus they were made to board transported them to the ghetto of Kolosvar where, along with countless others, they were housed in squalid tents for several anxiety-ridden weeks – after which they were herded like cattle into over-crowded train cars.

The days aboard that train seemed like endless years. An elderly occupant of their car gave up her struggle to breathe and her lifeless form contributed to the already unbearable stench of human sweat and waste, intermingling with the searing tears of the suffering.

When it came time for them to disembark they were greeted by a lively band and a large banner that read “Arbeit Macht Frei.”

The two sisters clutching their meager belongings and holding on to one another dared to entertain the thought that this was but a temporary sojourn, and that they would soon be returning home. The younger of them carried her baby niece in her arms as they warily stepped off the train.

Soldiers with rifles and dogs at their sides stood by menacingly while the infamous and evil Dr. Mengele, stick in hand, barked orders at his captives. The single sister was told to hand the child over to the other, no question posed as to the child’s parentage.

They frantically begged to be allowed to go together but were forcibly separated. One was ordered to the left, the other to the right.

One perished in the gas chambers, the other survived.

Above the din of the blaring music (a twisted ploy by the Nazis perpetrated to confuse their captives), the newly arrived pathetic beings, barely able to stand straight after their grotesque confinement, were unable to discern the desperate shouts of those gesturing wildly from behind the barbed wire fence ahead.

“This must be where the mentally retarded are locked up and kept,” thought the younger sister as she beheld the bald-headed figures in their ill fitting smocks that hung from frighteningly thin frames. Little did she fathom then that among the “crazies” was another sister of hers who frantically searched each fresh transport for her younger sibling.

The two sisters miraculously thrown together in one barracks embraced and brought each other up to date, shared their fears, and protected one another with a fierce devotion during their two hellish years in Auschwitz. Together they came upon the horror of the fate that met their parents – when their cold-blooded overseer pointed to the distant chimneys and billowing smoke that emanated from them and exclaimed, “There they are! What’s left of them is what you see and smell drifting to the skies!”

Those who overcame the unspeakable savagery somehow emerged from the ashes to reclaim their rightful heritage and to resume productive lives. The two young single sisters who had leaned on each other for the duration of the war and gleaned chizuk from one another during incredibly harsh times, wept together as time lay bare the grim reality of the cruel fate suffered by their loving kin, including their parents and older, married siblings with their little ones.

In 1947, my mother (the younger of the two sisters) married my father. The war may have been over, but life in communist Hungary was no picnic for Jews who were under constant surveillance, had little freedom to move about and even less in rights and privileges. Before long, the young couple liquidated what little assets they had, strapped their six-month old infant to her father’s back harness-style and set out on their arduous journey in the dead of the night.

The danger lay in being discovered by Russian troops patrolling the grounds. As they trod for hours through the dark woods and unfamiliar terrain, what were the chances of their baby not uttering a peep? Miraculously she did not. (My parents claimed I was an angel; I rather credit an angel, dispatched by the Almighty to guide us to safety.)

Once they crossed into the borders of Czechoslovakia, a Jewish family helped them out, and from there they were able to arrange travel by sea to Israel.

Each of us has a unique and special mission in life. Every experience is a teacher and each struggle makes us stronger and brings us closer to our potential. We can choose to use our intelligence, abilities, talents and skills for the greater good… to improve ourselves, to help others and to enrich society.

As I will light a Yahrzeit candle for my dear mom, Sara bas Bentzion, a”h, on the 27th of Teves, I will express my gratitude to Hashem for having endowed me with the gift of parents who epitomized the noble characteristics of our elite ancestors. At the same time I will try to keep in mind that I have been entrusted to carry on a monumental legacy and hand it down to my own children and grandchildren.

Me’ayin yavo ezri… ezri me’im Hashem

About the Author:


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 Mevorchim Teves”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest Judaism Stories
Leff-052215

There is a great debate as to whether this story actually took place or is simply a metaphor, a prophetic vision shown to Hoshea by Hashem.

Staum-052215

Every person is presented with moments when he/she must make difficult decisions about how to proceed.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

One does not necessarily share the opinions of one’s brother. One may disapprove of his actions, values, and/or beliefs. However, with brothers there is a bond of love and caring that transcends all differences.

Torah

This Shavuot let’s give G-d a gift too: Let’s make this year different by doing just 1 more mitzvah

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if […]

God and the divine origin of His Torah are facts even though we do not fully comprehend them.

So if we basically live the same life, why should he get eternal reward and not me?”

The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?

In Parshas Pinchas the Torah introduces the Mussaf for Shavuos by describing it as Yom HaBikurim when we bring the new offering.

Rachel was thrown by the sight and began to caringly think whom this person might be.

The desert, with its unearthly silence & emptiness, is the condition in which the Word can be heard

The census focused on the individual, proving each is created as irreplaceable, unique images of God

Jewish survival in a dysfunctional world requires women assuming the role Hashem gave them at Sinai

The Honor Of Reading The Kesubah
‘Witnesses Sign Only After Reading…’
(Kesubos 109a)

Why does the Torah use two different words for “to count,” and what does each indicate?

From Bemidbar on and in Nevi’im, the nation is viewed primarily by its component parts, the tribes

More Articles from Rachel Weiss
Weiss-051515

“You do know that nothing occurs without reason. Can you think of something you might have done to bring on your malaise?”

Weiss-031315

It is no coincidence that Nissan marks the start of spring, when nature comes alive in all its glory.

Hashem placed Esther in the right setting at the right time.

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Hashem recalls everything – nothing is hidden from His eyes.

Just as the moon waxes, wanes and renews itself, so has the nation of Israel renewed itself through the millennia.

Known by all as a happy-go-lucky fellow, Yossel’s lackluster parnassah never got the better of him. His dejected-looking wife, however, hardly shared his simchas ha’chayim and Yossel would often attempt to cheer her with words of chizuk.

The girl who had remarkably survived the accident had previously not led a religious lifestyle – which unsurprisingly changed after this event.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/shabbos-mevorchim-teves-2/2013/11/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: