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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Lech Lecha’

Beyond The Matrix – Who is Really in Charge? [audio]

Friday, November 11th, 2016

It is election day in the U.S. and with hours before the polls close, Ira and Rod discuss who really calls the shots in this world. Interestingly, the Parsha that coincides with this day is “Lech Lecha,” and the guys discuss how this also plays into reality.

Beyond The Matrix 08Nov – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Happy Aliyah (Election) Day

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

What a strange coincidence.

As Americans go to the polls today to choose between bad and worse, Israel is celebrating Aliyah Day – if you don’t get the connection, don’t worry.

Enacted in June, today is the first Aliyah Day, which coincides with the day – the 7th of Cheshvan – when we actually begin praying for the rain to fall (the delay from when we should say the prayer is to give the pilgrims (olim l’regel) from Babylon time to return to Babylon – which seems somewhat contradictory for Aliyah Day).

But as it happens, in most years Aliyah day falls out in the week of Parshat Lech Lecha – when God tells Abraham to go to the Land of Israel.

That probably also happened on an Election Day in Ur Kasdim – “Vote for Nimrod or get the fiery furnace” – not much a great choice back then either.

JoeSettler

Spiritual Cafe: Lech Lecha – How Abraham Changes Yet Remains Perfect

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

The Jewish forefather Abraham has to leave his home in Charan and move to the Holy Land, he has to change his body, and even his name gets changed – all in order to get closer to God. But why does God need change – are His creations imperfect? And why do the Jewish people always struggle with evil and persecution? Rabbi Mike Feuer and Yishai sit down in Beit Midrash Sulam Yaakov in the heart of Jerusalem to discuss the amazing Torah portion of Lech Lecha.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Lech Lecha: The Most Important Lesson We Can Teach Our Kids (And Ourselves)

Friday, October 26th, 2012

The new Jewish year is still young. The new Parshas HaShavua cycle is but a few weeks old. It is indeed time for new beginnings.

This is part of the reason why we read about the birth of the Jewish nation and of the challenges and successes of the most important man, Avraham Avinu. Can you even begin to imagine the uphill battle he mounted – standing against the entire world and their pagan and polytheistic beliefs? One man against the world and Avraham succeeded beyond his wildest dreams – to this day most of mankind has monotheistic beliefs because of him!

The obvious connection of the haftorah to our parsha is the description of Avraham Avinu. Hashem calls him, “Avraham Ohavi, Avraham, The One Who Loved Me (Yeshaya 41:8).” Rav Yaakov Weinberg, ztl, my Rebbe and the rosh hayeshiva of Ner Yisrael in Baltimore, would often point to this pasuk as the most unique of phrases, a totally different way of portraying a tzaddik and leader of the Jewish people. No one else, not even Moshe Rabbeinu, merited being referred to in such a loving way by HaKadosh Baruch Hu.

Why did Avraham do to merit this highest of compliments? It was all due to his tireless efforts to fight for the belief in Hashem, the One G-d, Creator of the world.

Listen to a Rambam; actually, listen to two Rambams:

“Once Avraham was weaned, he, as a child, began contemplating and thinking day and night, and wondered how the world could follow a fixed path without being directed. Surely it would be impossible for it to rotate on its own! Avraham did not have a mentor, but was immersed among the foolish idolaters of Ur Casdim, where everyone, including his mother and father, served idols, as did he originally. In his heart, however, he continued to contemplate, until he realized the way of truth and understood the ways of righteousness from nature, and knew that there is a G-d who created the world, and besides whom there is no other god.

“He also knew that the whole world was erring . . . Once he achieved this, he began to reason with the inhabitants of Ur Casdim and to argue with them, saying that by serving idols they were not following the way of truth. He broke their images, and began to proclaim that it is not fitting to serve anyone other than G-d . . . Avraham also proclaimed that it was fitting to break and destroy all the figures, so that nobody will err on account of them . . .He went and gathered people together from cities and kingdoms, until he reached the land of Canaan, where he continued his proclamations . . .Since people were coming to him with questions about this matter, he would answer the people so that they would return to the way of truth, until thousands and tens of thousands came to him. These were the people of the house of Avraham. He placed this important principle in their way of thinking, wrote books, and taught it to his son Yitzchak.” (Rambam, Avoda Zara, 1:3, paraphrased)

What an amazing life Avraham lived! We don’t begin to truly appreciate what he accomplished!!

And now listen to the second Rambam (Sefer HaMitzvos, Mitzvah 3, Loving Hashem, paraphrased):

“Our Sages also said that this mitzvah includes calling out to all mankind to serve G‑d and to believe in Him. This is because when you love a person, you praise him and call out to others to draw close to him. So too, if you truly love G‑d, you will certainly spread this true knowledge that you know to as many others as possible.

“We see that this mitzvah includes spreading love for G‑d to others from the Sifri: ‘You shall love G‑d, meaning to make Him beloved among the creatures as your father Avraham did.’

“Avraham, as a result of his deep understanding of G‑d, acquired love for G‑d, as the verse [Ed: in our haftorah] testifies, ‘Avraham, who loved Me.’ This powerful love therefore caused him to call out to all mankind to believe in G‑d. So too, you shall love Him to the extent that you draw others to Him.”

Rabbi Boruch Leff

Menifa – Completion of The School Year

Friday, July 6th, 2012

“Every child is a flower that grew and will flourish and will succeed”

“You have all been through a long and difficult journey,” belted Rafi to the group of twenty-five boys at the end-of-year ceremony for Menifa’s Lech Lecha program in Gilo. “I remember the falls and climbs you each experienced.”

Menifa’s Lech Lecha program is located in the Eretz HaTzvi Religious Boys High School in Gilo, a suburb of Jerusalem. Lech Lecha is an alternative high school program for at-risk teenage boys who have dropped out of high school. The program is one of close to forty such programs that Menifa – Leverage for Life runs throughout Israel. Some of the boys in this program have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, others have emotional or psychological problems. There are boys with a history of crime, from broken homes and families with severe financial difficulties and then there are those who come from normative situations. The uniting factor for each boy who enters “Lech Lecha” is that he is unable to remain in a regular high school program and requires an alternative framework that will allow him to grow and develop.

The end-of-year ceremony was quite emotional, as it should not be taken for granted that twenty-five boys who were thrown out of multiple schools and spent time on the streets are now celebrating the completion of a school year. A big part of this success is the staff’s devotion. Rafi, the life coach, recalled some difficult times but emphasized that he never lost faith in any of his boys. “I would call five times and ten times and fifteen times and you would not come to school. You would say, ‘Nu, don’t you get it, I am not coming’. After twenty times, you walked into the door.”

Perhaps the most moving part of the evening was the distribution of certificates to the seven graduating seniors. Some of these boys spent three years in the program. Each graduate will be continuing in either military service, a pre-military preparatory academy or yeshiva study. This is certainly an accomplishment for boys who were thrown out of school and were wandering the streets.

Natan* will be going to a pre-military preparatory program next year. He came to Lech Lecha three years ago, after having been thrown out of multiple high schools. The first two years, he rarely came to school. It was very difficult for him to sit and learn. However, the staff did not give up. They encouraged him to stay in the program, even if it meant not showing up for classes. In the third year of the program, a revolution occurred and he began coming to classes and participating in field trips.

Roi* was chosen by the other graduates to speak on their behalf. “After three years, I learned a great deal. You helped me learn more than in any other school I was in. You enabled me to advance and to stand up.” Roi will be enlisting in the IDF in the coming months.

When the boys who will be remaining in the program were asked what they want to see next year, they responded almost unanimously, “a water cooler”- something so basic and essential, yet clearly missing. The “Lech Lecha” program is located in the basement of the Eretz HaTzvi school. There are no windows and the conditions are sub-par. The bathroom is in need of serious repairs and the boys do not even have a water cooler where they can take a break and get a refreshing drink. Due to limited funds, Menifa is currently not able to refurbish the center.

The parents left the ceremony with hope. The teachers left with pride. The graduates left with dreams. The younger students left with a promise, “By the start of the school year, you will have a water cooler.”

A water cooler costs $1,000. Donations towards this project can be made payable to the P.E.F. Israel Endowment Funds, Inc. 317 Madison Avenue, Suite 607 New York, NY 10017. Please make sure to write in the memo Menifa- Leverage for Life. For further information please contact Alisa Bodner: alisa.menifa@gmail.com or (561) 914-9482 or in Israel 052-7710135.

Alisa Bodner, Tazpit News Agency

Tibbi’s Roundup: ‘Asifa’ Organizers Snub Women, Lubavitch

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Happy New Week. I’m trying a topical approach to my roundup, so I went trolling for new, interesting things about Lag Ba’Omer (only a couple of days ahead), the ‘Asifa’ in Citi Field, and stam interesting Jewish tidbits. Let me know if this format works for you, I’m trying new things.

There’s a classifieds ad circulating the Israeli blogosphere which just has to be translated and shared as the most insightful sales pitch ever:

For sale, first owner! Encyclopedia Britannica, the complete set – 45 volumes! Bargain price, or to the highest bidder. I no longer need it. I got married last week – and my wife knows everything.

Is that deep, or what? And just in case you might actually be interested, since this year has seen the shutting down of the printed Britannica, the number for this wise seller is, in Israel, 03-576-9283.

Let’s blog.

LAG B’OMER, ANYONE?

Going to Meron. From Jerusalem people like myself including hundreds of thousands of Jews, are making their way to the Galilean city of Meron Wednesday night and Thursday 10th May, 2012, participating in the annual celebration of Lag Ba’Omer. Police in the quiet town situated just one mountain away from the mystical city of Tzfat are expecting half a million Jews to arrive, traveling in busses, private cars, and some even on foot.  As of 7:30pm Wednesday night, its expected for 20,000 people to have already arrived. Midnight Rabbi Inspires

First haircut & pe’ot shaping ceremonies for 3 year old boys are the highlight of Lag b’Omer for many families, as everyone gathers to help snip. Actually, everywhere in the world, Jewish boys born between Pesach and Lag b’Omer receive their first haircut and pe’ot on Lag b’Omer. Upon reaching the age of 3 (i.e., completing three years and beginning the “holy fourth” – see Lev. 19:23-25), a Jewish child begins to receive his or her official training in mitzvot. Rabbi Babs, Lech Lecha

Lag B’ Omer Picnic. The Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer is next Thursday, May 10. Since this holiday is celebrated with picnics, parades and bonfires there’s still time to grab these great picnic essentials: Fun napkins from Target, Crate and Barrel’s collapsible basket… Rita from Connecticut, Design Megillah

 

MORE ASIFA NOTES

The Internet Asifa @ CitiField. Some people expressed their frustration with the fact that women cannot attend, others blasted the rabbis for ruining the Jewish future. As I am female, I will not be able to attend the asifah (bummer, no inspiration for me), a male friend kindly offered to take his time and attend on my behalf, so hopefully, there will be more to discuss after May 20th. Tania, Thinking Jew Girl

Lubavitch not invited to “Internet” asifa. I’m sorry for doing this, for airing our “dirty laundry” here in public, and in English yet! but this charade has to stop. This week’s meeting with the Satmar Rebbe is only one example of the exclusionary tactics being used by the organizers of the Internet event. You can choose not to believe what I write here, if it makes you feel good, but I know it to be 1000% true. Many efforts were made to get the organizers to include Lubavitch in this asifa. They were all rejected. For all kinds of supposed reasons. All people involved got the run-around, and the end result was that we got the message. Even the Skulener Rebbe said it has nothing to do with him. Hirschel Zig’s Blog Mistaken Report Says Asifa at CitiField to Be Held on May 28. Matzav.com has confirmed that despite a report in the chareidi media this week indicating a change of date, the upcoming Ichud Hakehillos L’Tohar Hamachane gathering, otherwise known as the “Internet Asifa,” will be talking place on Sunday, May 20, at CitiField in Queens, as originally scheduled.

A report on the front page of the Brooklyn-based Hamodia newspaper on Monday stated that the event would be taking place on May 28. Organizers, though, tell Matzav.com that this is mistaken and that the original date, May 20, was never changed. Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter

Life Beyond Internet. On Monday, Paul Miller, a Senior Editor at a “technology-focused news publication” called The Verge, announced that he was quitting the Internet for a year. He’s switched to a “dumb” phone, and has pledged to neither use the Internet nor ask others to use it for him, if he can.

His reasons for this drastic move are informative. He hopes that “leaving the internet will make me better with my time, vastly more creative, a better friend, a better son and brother… a better Paul.” He said that he was spending an average of over twelve hours each day using some sort of device with an Internet connection, not even including his smartphone. Yaakov Menken, Cross Currents

Internet Asifa. While I often think that a stance may be valid even if I don’t agree with it, when it comes to the internet, I don’t even think the chareidi view is valid. I mean, let’s look at what happened. The internet comes out, and chareidi Rabbis decide it’s like TV. They assur it completely. Then, they see that some people need it in order to make money. Then they decide it’s still forbidden, but there are loopholes. You can show proof that you need it for work, and then you can have it – but only if the woman of the house has the password, and her husband is dependent on her to open it up. You also need a filter that meets chareidi standards. Proud MO, OrthoWatch

 

JEWS AT LARGE

Jewish leadership fails us again. The Netanyahu government keeps praising Obama and publicly smiling even though Obama keeps sticking the knife in. As a result American Jews maintain their support of Obama. Because Netanyahu doesn’t defend our right to build, they and even Israeli Jews, lose confidence in our rights. Many become ashamed of the “occupation” because our government gives the impression that criticism of us in this regard is well founded. Under these conditions we cannot win the PR battle. Ted Belman, Doc’s Talk

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Tibbi Singer

Did Avraham Own The Land Yet?

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

In this weeks parshah we read about Avraham’s purchase of Me’aras HaMachpelah. Prior to any negotiations Avraham said to the bnei Cheis, “Ger v’soshav anochi…” – I am a stranger and a resident… (Bereishis 23:4). Rashi quotes a medrash that explains the apparent paradox in Avraham’s words as follows: Avraham was telling the bnei Cheis to treat him like a stranger and sell the property to him, and, if not, he will be forced to act as a resident and take what is rightfully his – for Hashem has already said to Avraham that this land will belong to his children.

The meforshim are bothered by this interpretation and ask the following question: In parshas Lech Lecha we learned about the dispute between Avraham’s and Lot’s shepherds. The pasuk does not inform us regarding the details of the dispute – but Rashi does. Rashi says that Lot’s shepherds were resha’im, and would allow their animals to graze in private property. Avraham’s shepherds chastised them for this, as these were acts of stealing. In defense Lot’s shepherds responded that what they were doing was not stealing, since Hashem gave this land to Avraham and Lot was his only inheritor (at the time). Rashi concludes by quoting the end of that pasuk, …veha’Canna’ani veHa’prizi az yoshev ba’aretz – and the Canna’ani and the Prizi were still occupying the land), indicating that Avraham had not yet acquired the land and therefore allowing the animals to graze in private property was indeed stealing.

The two explanations from Rashi seem to contradict one another. In this week’s parshah he says that Avraham could take the land as its rightful owner, and in parshas Lech Lecha he said that Avraham had not yet acquired the land.

The Chizkuni and the Sifsei Chachamim both suggest the following answer: Hashem promised Avraham that his children would inherit the land of Eretz Yisrael. In parshas Lech Lecha, Avraham had not yet had any offspring; therefore Hashem’s promise did not come into effect. In parshas Chayei Sarah, Yitzchak had already been born. Thus Hashem’s promise was applicable, and Avraham could demand the land as its rightful owner.

My rebbe, Reb Shmuel Birembaum, zt”l, suggested another answer to this question, based on an explanation from the Malbim on a different point in this episode. The Malbim explains that Avraham Avinu intended to accomplish more than merely acquiring a piece of land; he wanted to teach the public that there was an afterlife. The general consensus of that time was that there was nothing after one dies, and Avraham wanted to use this opportunity to teach the people otherwise. With this the Malbim explains why Avraham informed them of his intentions with the field in the first place, and continuously stressed and reiterated several times that he is acquiring the land for a burial. Avraham attempted to instill in the bnei Cheis the belief that there is an afterlife.

Reb Shmuel proved from a Gemara (Gittin 47a) that there are two separate levels of acquisition: the monetary aspect and the level of acquisition that affects issurim and mitzvos. For example, if a non- Jew acquires land in Eretz Yisrael, he completely owns the land as far as monetary issues are concerned. This enables him to do whatever he pleases to the land. However, regarding terumah and ma’aser and other mitzvos, the land is not considered owned by a non-Jew, which would exempt him from those mitzvos. Rather the non-Jew is obligated in these mitzvos, since he cannot acquire the land on the level that affects mitzvos.

Now we can understand the seemingly contradictory explanations from Rashi. Regarding monetary issues, Avraham had not yet acquired the land. However, regarding mitzvos, Avraham had already acquired Eretz Yisrael. In parshas Lech Lecha, Rashi was addressing a monetary issue (i.e. whether one may allow his cattle to graze in someone else’s field. In that regard Rashi explained that the land belonged to the current residents of the land, as Avraham had not yet acquired the land.

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/did-avraham-own-the-land-yet/2011/11/17/

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