Posts tagged Shabbos.
פרשת וארא

This week’s Parsha begins with G-d telling Moses that He has heard the cries of His people and He will redeem them. In addition to this, at this point, G-d tells Moses that He will give the Land of Israel to the Israelites as their “inheritance” (also translated as “heritage”).

וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נָשָׂאתִי אֶת יָדִי לָתֵת אֹתָהּ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב וְנָתַתִּי אֹתָהּ לָכֶם מוֹרָשָׁה אֲנִי יְ־הֹוָ־ה

I will bring you to the land, concerning which I raised My hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and I will give it to you as a heritage; I am the Lord.’

(Exodus 6:8)

The only other time the word מוֹרָשָׁה is used in the Five Books of Moses is as a description of the Torah, just before the Israelites were to enter the Land of Israel.

. תּוֹרָה צִוָּה לָנוּ מֹשֶׁה מוֹרָשָׁה קְהִלַּת יַעֲקֹב:

The Torah that Moses commanded us is a legacy for the congregation of Jacob.

(Deuteronomy 33:4)

Rashi comments on this phrase and simply writes

אחזנוה ולא נעזבנה

We have taken hold of it, and we will not forsake it!

(Rashi on Deuteronomy 33:4)

Rasi’s commentary is written in relation to the actual Torah; however, as the word מוֹרָשָׁה is used only once previously in the Torah, a גזרה שווה (a parallel) between the two phrases exists and Rashi’s commentary on Deuteronomy can also explain the verse in Exodus. Therefore we learn, that  once we

"have taken hold of [the land of Israel] we will not forsake it".

We cannot give away or divide the Land of Israel, our “heritage” and “inheritance” which G-d Himself gave to us. In recent years, we’ve seen how the ‘land for peace’ strategy works - it doesn’t!

The גזרה שווה, the parallel, teaches us another lesson. Just as the Land of Israel is our “inheritance” so is the Torah. The Torah is meant to be kept in its entirety.  There are many Mitzvot that can be only completed in the Land of Israel. We’re supposed to observe our “inheritance” in the Land of Israel, which is also our “inheritance!” However, if we do not observe the Torah in the Land of Israel - the Land of Israel, we will no longer be worthy to live there.

ארץ ישראל בלי תורה היא כגוף בלי נשמה

The Land of Israel without the Torah, is like a body without a soul

The word מוֹרָשָׁה  has the root י.ר.ש. This root can can mean inherit, but in some contexts, it can also mean dispossess or remove. If we do not observe the Torah in the Land of Israel, we will be removed from the Land of Israel and we will dispossess her.

With the help of G-d, we will all soon make Aliyah and live in the Land of Israel, our inheritance whilst observing the laws of the Torah - also our inheritance. We are lucky to be living in the 21st century, where Israel is once again the centre of all Torah learning - for the first time since the Destruction of the Temple. There are thousands of Shules and Batei Midrash all over our tiny country and the words of Torah are always in the air.  However, we must remember that although the Land of Israel is our inheritance, we must hold on to her and never forsake her or divide her.

Have a good Shabbos and a hearty Mazel Tov, to one of my favourite cousins and her new son.

Jewbilation - “The Sound of Shabbos”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

This message on Arutz Sheva makes me so happy! :D

פרשת ויגש

This Dvar Torah is almost like a continuation or a Part 2 of my Dvar Torah from Parshat Vayeshev. The link is below, so you can read it, if you haven’t already.

In this week’s Parsha, 70 souls from the Jacob’s house go down to Egypt in what is considered the beginning of the first exile.This exile is foretold to Abraham, earlier in the Book of Genesis.

וַיֹּאמֶר לְאַבְרָם יָדֹעַ תֵּדַע כִּי גֵר יִהְיֶה זַרְעֲךָ בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא לָהֶם וַעֲבָדוּם וְעִנּוּ אֹתָם אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה:

And He said to Abram, “You shall surely know that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will enslave them and oppress them, for four hundred years

(Genesis 15:13)

The word used to describe Abraham’s descendants in exile is גר - “stranger” from the root ג.ו.ר . This root denotes temporary sojourning and is appropriately the base for the Hebrew word, stranger.

The exile in Egypt was supposed to be hard and uncomfortable. Abraham’s descendants were not to assimilate into Egyptian society, rather they would constantly have the stigma of being a Hebrew, they would constantly be different, be strangers. Egypt was not to be their home forever, rather, a stop-off on the way to the Land of Israel. Just as Egypt was a temporary living space, this exile, was also temporary.

This is seen even in the prophecy in Genesis, as the chapter continues

בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כָּרַת יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֶת אַבְרָם בְּרִית לֵאמֹר לְזַרְעֲךָ נָתַתִּי אֶת הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת

. On that day, the Lord formed a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your seed I have given this land,

(Genesis 15:18)

As seen above, immediately after being told of his descendant’s exile and status as “strangers” in Egypt - a temporary living space; Abraham is told that his descendants will be given a land which will be theirs eternally, permanently.

In this weeks Parsha, Joseph’s brothers approach Pharaoh and tell him

. וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל פַּרְעֹה לָגוּר בָּאָרֶץ בָּאנוּ

And they said to Pharaoh, “We have come to sojourn in the land,

(Genesis 47:4)

Here, the brothers use the same root ג.ו.ר, denoting sojourning, temporary living. The brothers did not intend to remain in Egypt forever, and were content to remain “strangers” in Egypt whilst living there temporarily. In response to the brothers’ request, they were given the Land of Goshen, a fertile, comfortable area where they would be able to shepherd easily.

Later on in the chapter, the narrative says

. וַיֵּשֶׁב יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בְּאֶרֶץ גֹּשֶׁן וַיֵּאָחֲזוּ בָהּ וַיִּפְרוּ וַיִּרְבּוּ מְאֹד

And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt in the land of Goshen, and they acquired property in it, and they were prolific and multiplied greatly.

(Genesis 47:27)

Two different verbs are used here י.ש.ב- denoting permanent living and א.ח.ז which also means settling and has a connotation of being tied to the land.

This verse shows us, that the group of 70 that came down to Egypt changed their intention of temporarily living there, and grew comfortable- wanting to live there permanently. Furthermore, they knew the Redemption would not be during their lifetimes, so they had no qualms about putting down their roots in Egypt.

Moreover, the second verb in the verse וַיֵּאָחֲזוּ  with the root א.ח.ז shows the connection that the Israelites had to the Land of Egypt. They felt like they were held to the land and bound to it - a feeling that should only be felt towards the Land of Israel which is our אחזה (contextually translated as portion, but has the same meaning as its root - being ‘bound’ to the land). As the Israelites settled in the Land of Goshen, they permanently endangered themselves. They set the foundation of the danger that their descendants would betray their heritage and forget their true ancestry.

Today, many of us in the Diaspora have seem to forgotten that our exile is only temporary.

Rather, we have placed down roots and have settled in our host countries, easily assimilating. 

Rather than being strangers and only living in the Diaspora temporarily, we have become comfortable, made these places our permanent homes and become “bound” to these foreign lands.

In the 21st century we not only still have the commandment and the responsibility to make Aliyah, but we have the opportunity and privilege to do so. Today, when the Land of Israel is in Jewish Hands after 2000 years of exile, we should be enthusiastic to become Israeli citizens, live permanently in our eternal homeland, be “bound to it” and contribute to our diverse society.

+ The Challot I baked for Shabbos.

The Challot I baked for Shabbos.

Shalom Aleichem - Fingerstyle Guitar by Shaï Sebbag

Shalom Aleichem - Traditionally sung on Friday nights

שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת‏‏ מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן
מִמֶּלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא

בּוֹאֲכֶם לְשָׁלוֹם מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן
מִמֶּלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא

בָּרְכוּנִי לְשָׁלוֹם מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם מַלְאָכֵי עֶלְיוֹן
מִמֶּלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא

צֵאתְכֶם לְשָׁלוֹם מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם מַלְאָכֵי עֶלְיוֹן
מִמֶּלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא

The words to the song translate as follows:

Peace upon you, ministering angels, messengers of the Most High,of the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.Come in peace, messengers of peace, messengers of the Most High,of the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.Bless me with peace, messengers of peace, messengers of the Most High,of the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.May your departure be in peace, messengers of peace, messengers of the Most High,of the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.
שבת שלום לכולם…ומזל טוב לושבו בנים
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