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April 1, 2015 / 12 Nisan, 5775
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The Beginning Of Anti-Semitism


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Pharaoh’s servants did as they were told and placed the staff in the treasures of the king. One day, however, Yisro, the priest of Midian, who was one of Pharaoh’s advisors, was walking about the palace and saw this magnificent staff.

Yisro Takes The Staff

He, too, was fascinated by the beauty of the staff, and seeing that it was momentarily unguarded, he took it for himself.

Bringing it home, he placed it in the middle of his garden. From that day on, no man could approach the stick, and anyone who tried was swallowed alive. There the staff remained until Moses came and took it.

The Beginning Of The End

With the death of Yosef and the passing of all his brothers and their generation, the Jews began to throw off the yoke of G-d as they grew fatter and richer.

“Let us go in the way of the people of the land,” they said. “Why should we be different? Let us refrain from circumcising our children in order that we be similar to them and more acceptable in their eyes.”

So speaking, they began their march to assimilation. But the Almighty saw this and grew angry.

“Because the Children of Israel have abrogated my treaty,” He said, “I will do away with the love and the friendship of the Mitzriyim toward them.”

The Mitzriyim Turn On The Jews

And so it happened. As the Jews mingled more and more with the Mitzriyim, they eagerly learned their ways and their customs. They filled the circuses, the theaters and all the arts until they outnumbered the Mitzriyim.

Slowly, the Mitzriyim’s love turned to hate as they saw the strong competition coming from Bnei Yisrael. Going to Pharaoh they cried to him:

“We are becoming choked by the presence of these Hebrews, these strangers in our midst. Do something for us, Pharaoh.”

Hearing this, Pharaoh ordered the Jewish leaders to come to him and he said:

“I hereby order you to cease competing with and annoying my people. Keep yourselves away from them and do not enter their areas.”

From that day on the Jews were doomed in the land of Mitzrayim. The Mitzriyim began to embitter their lives; they confiscated their fields and the vineyards they had worked so long to obtain. The handwriting was on the wall.

Thus were the Jews punished for breaking their covenant with the Almighty.

How Often

How often has this story been repeated in Jewish history! How seldom have Jews learned that they cannot assimilate and throw away their heritage! How much it has cost us in blood and lives to learn our lesson!

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The story of the Bnei Yisrael in the land of Mitzrayim is a tale that has become tragically repetitive in the history of our people. It is the story of a land which allows Jews to enter, devote their talents and energies to building that land and making it strong, only to have the inhabitants […]

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“I will tell you,” replied the rav. “I am very puzzled at why you suddenly desire to honor me and have me as your guest. What quality do you find in me that is new and worthy of merit?

“I wanted you to have a taste of the cold,” answered Rav Chaim. “This way, you too can feel the intense cold and realize the suffering of this man and his wife, who are now residing in a bitterly cold house.”

“Don’t worry,” said the king, “what could it be worth, two or three talents of gold? I’ll give you ten talents of gold, so you can forget about it.”

Shmuel HaKatan shook his head and said: “No, what happened here today is a sign not of great love. On the contrary, it is a bad omen.”

The arguments, however, could never appease his wife and one Thursday she came to him for money to purchase food for Shabbos.

He walked out of the room, making sure to leave the door ajar so that the two litigants could hear his voice.

Don’t you know Avraham, the famous dry goods merchant, who lives near the lake in a big mansion?

“What could I do? Your wife is hard of hearing,” whispered the poor woman barely able to talk.

“I would appreciate if you could give me some pointers on how to improve my wine,” said the wine merchant eagerly.

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The story of the Bnei Yisrael in the land of Mitzrayim is a tale that has become tragically repetitive in the history of our people. It is the story of a land which allows Jews to enter, devote their talents and energies to building that land and making it strong, only to have the inhabitants […]

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The man has been found guilty and his soul is bitter because of it.

But the words would penetrate their hearts and each would say to himself: “But I, too, am doing this terrible thing.” In this way Reb Elimelech would inspire the people to teshuvah.

“I will tell you,” replied the rav. “I am very puzzled at why you suddenly desire to honor me and have me as your guest. What quality do you find in me that is new and worthy of merit?

“I wanted you to have a taste of the cold,” answered Rav Chaim. “This way, you too can feel the intense cold and realize the suffering of this man and his wife, who are now residing in a bitterly cold house.”

“Don’t worry,” said the king, “what could it be worth, two or three talents of gold? I’ll give you ten talents of gold, so you can forget about it.”

Shmuel HaKatan shook his head and said: “No, what happened here today is a sign not of great love. On the contrary, it is a bad omen.”

The arguments, however, could never appease his wife and one Thursday she came to him for money to purchase food for Shabbos.

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