Beha’aloscha 5783: What Is Chareidi?

לעילוי יצחק מאיר בן לב בלוי

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Also see Part 2: Shabbos and Beis HaMikdash

What is a Kosher Complaint?

In this week’s parsha, we are told about an episode with a group of people who expressed their regret and pain over the fact that their impurity prevented them from bringing the korban pesach.  Their sheila was that if there was some hope for them not be left out from Klal Yisroel (Bamidbar 9:6-14). The emes is that this is a really strange episode because they understood that they were tamei, and someone’s who’s tamei cannot bring a Korban Pesach, so what were they asking? Did they think that Moshe Rabbeinui could provide them with a “new” Torah? Why did they even bother to come? Let’s say someone was in the hospital and couldn’t keep Shabbos, would he come to a Rav and ask if he can have Shabbos on Sunday? Of course not! Shabbos is not on Sunday. So the meforshim struggle with this question, but Chazal (Sifri, Bamidbar 68:1) tell us that these people who came forward with this question of לָמָּה נִגָּרַע – “why should we be worse than everybody else?” (ibid. 7) were בני אדם כשרים וחרדים על המצות (lit. “trembling” over mitzvos); they were kosher people and they were חרד על המצות.

What was the result of their request? The result was that after Moshe Rabbeinu asked Hakodosh Boruch Hu what to do, Hashem said, “I was waiting for this because now I am going to present them with the halachah of Pesach Sheni.” Now, I always found this episode very pertinent because one of the main subjects of this parsha is “complainers,” where people complained about the difficulties of their travels, about the Mann, about the lack of meat, etc. So, at first glance, it seems like their statement of “why are we worse than anybody else” was another complaint. Jews always complain: too many mitzvos, too little mitzvos, too much trouble, too little trouble. But we don’t find that this episode is recorded by Chazal as one of those complaints. If anything, this is a contrast – here we see a proper complaint from these people, the type of complaint that Hashem wanted to hear. Hashem didn’t say that “we can’t help you.” He said that because of your complaint – I will provide you with a new parsha of Pesach Sheni. That’s why Chazal point out that they were כשרים וצדקים – they were not bad complainers. These were good complaints.

What True Love Means

The Gemara (Gittin 81a), makes the following statement: שלא כדורות הראשונים דורות האחרונים, the earlier generations were not like the later generations.[i] What was the difference? It says the earlier generations used to bring their fruit and grain through the main door of the house in order to obligate their produce in ma’aser. By contrast, the later generations would bring in their produce by way of roofs and by way of enclosures – in an unusual manner – in order to exempt the produce from terumos and ma’aseros.

What is this Gemora pointing out to us by telling this to us? The Gemora is trying to point out to us that the earlier generations were not looking to absolve themselves from their obligations, unlike the latter generations who sought to absolve themselves. So what was the reason why the earlier generation didn’t absolve themselves of their obligations and the latter generations did? What was their motivation? The motivation is the person’s sense of love and appreciation of Hashem. Today, the word “love” is thrown about like the wind. Someone who says “I love you” – you know what that usually means? It means “I don’t love you.” How do you know if a child really loves his parents when he tells them he loves them? One thing you know. If he comes to his mothers and asks, “Ma, I need a few hundred bucks, I need a new piece of furniture, or I need to go on vacation ,” and he says “I love you,” then you know that this is far from true love. But when a child or someone says to a parent or to a spouse, “I love you” and this is followed by “what can I do for you?” So then you know this is true love; it’s not “what can you do for me,” but “what can I do for you.” Some of us have very loving parents and we owe them a great debt of gratitude.  When you love your parents you are supposed to want to do something for them. Selfish kids who have bad middos and don’t love their parents, don’t want to do anything for their parents. They have all kinds of excuses of why they can’t and if they think their mother or their father are going to ask them for something, they will avoid calling their parents! And when their mother is going to call them, they will put up a message, “I am very sorry, I am not available right now, please leave me a message. I will try to get back to you when it’s convenient for me. We do love you, but your message is very unimportant to us… I mean it’s very important for us” (with sarcasm).

A Litmus Test of  Your Love for Hashem

A person should ask himself the following question: “Do I ever feel a desire to do something that Hashem wants, even though I am not doing it for myself?” Now, we all desire to do things for ourselves, but do we ever desire to do something for Hashem? So you have to ask yourself why not? Didn’t Hashem take care of you for all these years and didn’t “hit the switch” and send you flying, in spite of all your “wonderful, great actions” that you’ve done? We owe Hashem a great debt of gratitude. I love when people tell me “I love Hashem.” Do you, really?!

I’ll never forget how years ago a young lady, a ba’ales teshuva, called me and asked if she could attend the wedding of her brother who was marrying a gentile. She gave me the whole hakdama (introduction) of how much she loves her brother and her brother loves her, and that he’s very respectful of Yiddishkeit, הנה מה טוב ומה נעים שבת אחים גם יחד, and how dedicated she was to her brother, and how she wanted to keep shalom bayis in the family, etc. I asked her, “Do you love Hashem?” She said, “Of course I love Hashem! There is nothing else I love more than Hashem!” I said to her, “Don’t take this personally, but that is not true.” She got really angry at me and she slammed the phone. A while later, I called her back and she said, “You know I was very disappointed. I became frum! You don’t think I love Hashem?!” I said, “Let me give you the following scenario. Imagine that you had an individual who caused you tremendous tzaros and he was out to undermine everything you did: he broke up your social relationships, he tried to kick you out of the stores and the clubs you attended. He basically became your worst enemy. And then one day your husband was invited to this person’s wedding and asked you if you minded if he attended his wedding. What would your reaction be? ‘What?! That’s my biggest enemy! How can I even think of going to my worst enemy’s wedding?!’ ‘Oh, it’s not personal,’ your husband tells you. ‘I have a friendly relationship with him and I want to attend his wedding.’ You would naturally ask your husband in amazement, ‘Do you love me?’ ‘But of course I love you!’ he would say to you.”

I said to this lady, “Do you think that husband loves his wife? No. So, how could you think of going to a ceremony that’s going to celebrate the greatest desecration of Hashem?! It’s not going to be done in private – there will be music, dancing, eating and drinking – how could you go to that wedding if you love Hashem?! Loving Hashem means: ‘I want to do what Hashem wants.’ It means that if I don’t have an opportunity to do what Hashem wants, I feel bad. That’s what loving Hashem means.”

Does the Love for Hashem Burn in Your Heart?

The earlier generation (Gittin, ibid) wanted to be obligated in terumos and ma’asros. They wanted to do the will of Hashem. In the latter generation, the love of Hashem became diminished, where they wanted to do what they “had to do.” So if they could become exempt, if they could find a way out, they’ll take it. Now, these people in our parshah who were tamei could have said to Hashem, “Listen, Hashem, we can’t bring a Korban Pesach this year.” The Korban Pesach is expensive, it has lots of halachos, lots of inconveniences, a lot of traffic, there’s big crowds over there, it could be very hot. You know what I would say to my wife, ‘Listen, this year I am tamei, so I will not bring the Korban Pesach this year.” And your wife will tell you, “Boruch Hashem, maybe this year we can go on a trip instead, somewhere else. Kineret maybe? You don’t have to be present there, right?” And the husband would say, “That’s right – I don’t have to be there. I am tamei. Sure, let’s go on a trip!” And here these folks come, and instead of saying this, they said למה נגרע לבלתי הקרב – “we don’t want to lose out.” They definitely demonstrated that they were כשר באותה שעה and they were חרדים על המצות, and that love of Hashem was burning in their heart!

How the Vilna Gaon Showed His Love for Hashem

There is a famous story about the Vilna Gaon (brought down in the Sefer Ma’asei Rav) when he was in jail on Sukkos one year. While in jail he tried with all his strength to stay awake: he ran back and forth and held his eyes open, he did everything he could in order not to sleep outside of sukkah. He did it until they finally put him in a sukkah. Now, was it assur? No, of course not. He was in jail – it was mutar gamur for him to sleep outside of the sukkah!  You don’t have to endanger your life! But do you know what the peshat is? The Vilna Gaon loved Hashem so much that he said, “I don’t want to be caught not sleeping in the sukkah, even though I am fully exempt. And I will ‘torture’ myself to show Hashem how much I want to do his mitzvos, so that I don’t feel lucky even for one moment not to be able to do His mitzvos.” That’s what a person has to realize. You have people, where opportunities to do mitzvos come their way, and things get a little difficult, and they decide that they are excused from doing the mitzvah.

What Kept the Chofetz Chaim Up at Night

A talmid of Radin, who later on became a Rav, told the following story. He was learning on Thursday night mishmor and he left the beis medrash very late. It was a very cold night and it was snowing very hard. As he was approaching the house where he was staying, he saw a figure pacing back and forth in the street. This scared him a little because he thought that maybe that person was waiting to assault him since it was not a normal time to be out and about, especially in such weather. He almost decided to turn around to go back to the yeshiva, but he kept on walking and when he approached the figure, he saw that it was none other than the Chofetz Chaim himself. When the Chofetz Chaim saw him, he got upset and said, “In the middle of the night?! In such cold weather?! Go to sleep immediately!” The bochur ran to the house where he was staying, which was the house of the Chofetz Chaim’s sister, who was supporting this bochur. In the morning, he told this story to her, with amazement. She listened to him and calmly replied. Listen to what she said.  “What are you so amazed about? It’s already been three nights that the bruder (brother) is going back and forth in the cold snow, waiting for the levana to appear in the sky so that he can say kiddush levanah.” Could you imagine the love that the Chofetz Chaim had for Hashem and His mitzvos, and the commitment that he had to follow Hashem’s will? Was he afraid of going to Gehenom for not saying kiddush levanah? No! He was patur 100% from saying kiddush levanah! So what drove him to do this and not to miss a little mitzvah like that?

Looking for a Window in a Hospital

I will never forget when my father (Rav Shmuel Elchanon Brog, 1928-2012) was undergoing a major heart surgery in Milwaukee. I was there with him. The night before the surgery, he was very weak, and he told me that he would like to say kiddush levanah. I asked him, “You want to go out of the hospital?” He was on a high floor. “No,” he told me, “I would like to say it from a window.”  The hospital was shaped in an octagon, so I went to look through some windows in the hallways, but I couldn’t see the levanah. Then my father asked me to go into the rooms. I was  knocking on patients’ rooms in the hospital – and these patients were either all pre-op or post-op. I would knock on their door and ask, “Could I look out of your window?” And they would ask me, in a confused and faint tone, “Sir, what do you need?” And I would say, “I am looking for a moon…” I was a little bit embarrassed to say the least. But my father asked me for it, and told me that this was something he wanted to do. I went from room to room, and everybody was nice and said “yes.” I finally found a room with the moon, on the other side of the hospital. My father got out of his bed and we shuffled him over to that room, where he looked out of the window and he said the brachah for kiddush levanah.

How to ‘Go Forward’ in Life

Suddenly the guy in the bed started to cry and, in a very weak voice, told his wife to leave the room. My father, wearing his hospital robe, walked over to his man’s bed. He told my father, “Rabbi, I am a Jew, and she’s not. She doesn’t belong here. But Rabbi – what were you doing?” My father explained, “I was saying a blessing over the new moon. Do you know what that means?” No. “It symbolizes hope.” The man asked my father, “Rabbi, are you here for an operation?” (My father was to undergo a quadruple bypass). My father answered, ‘Yes, I am here for a surgery.” The man continued, “Rabbi, do you have hope? How do you do it?” My father said to him, “I will tell you. Did you ever notice that when G-d created man, he created him in such a way that he can’t naturally see himself. Now, the most important thing, naturally, to a person is himself; a person always thinks about himself. And in order to see yourself, you have to have a mirror. You can’t see yourself directly without a mirror. However, I can see you. I can see another person much easier than I can see myself. Why did G-d make that way? You know why? Because G-d said, ‘You know how to go forward in life? By looking at somebody else – i.e. thinking about his needs and not your own. Don’t think about your situation, think about others. That’s the key to going forward in life and having hope.”

Bringing Nachas Ruach

Can you imagine what kind of nachas ruach you are going to bring Hashem if He sees that you were taka thinking about doing his ratzon and you asked yourself the following questions: “How can I please Hashem? What can I do to bring Him nachas?” Wouldn’t that be amazing? Could you imagine the nachas ruach as a parent, if you had a child who said (not in front of you), “I like to make my parents happy. I don’t want to do this because I don’t think my parents will be happy with me.” Are you afraid that your father will find out? “No, he won’t find out. But I don’t want to do it because I know that he wouldn’t approve of it.” Don’t you think that such a father would have nachas?

I will never forget being in Eretz Yisroel as a bachur, during my first few months there, when I was invited out with a couple of Brisker boys, from top yeshivos, to eat lunch in a restaurant (We ate out during lunch every day because the yeshiva didn’t have facilities). I said, “I cannot eat there.” They asked me why. I said, “I am not sure if my Rebbi would approve of that place.” They said, “But everyone eats there!” I said, “Yes, but I never heard him say that he approves of that place.” They said, “Brog, what’s your problem? Your Rebbi is not going to come here? Are you afraid of your Rebbi? What is he going to do to you?” I said, “No. I am not afraid of him, I just don’t want to do things that he’s not going to approve of.” Now, I don’t know how, but Hashem arranged that my Rebbi should hear this story. I didn’t think there was anything special about it at the time. A few weeks later, I was in my rebbi’s house and I saw that he was overjoyed, and I asked him why he was so happy. He told me that he heard the story about the restaurant and he said it over. Now, could you imagine if a person said, “I don’t think that Hashem would approve of this behavior. I think Hashem would want me to do this mitzvah.” Do you hear? In other words, instead of saying: “Ah, I don’t want to do this aveira,” one would say, “I don’t want to disappoint Hashem.”

Do It for Hashem!

My grandfather (HaRav Avigdor Miller)  used to always speak about loving Hashem. You should say that you love Hashem and think about all the kindnesses that Hashem gives you. Turn this into practice – this is only between you and Hashem. This is what you say, “Hashem, I would love to express my gratitude and do something for You, to make you proud that you chose me as your child.” So you may ask: “So what can I do for Hashem?” Here is the answer. Ask yourself: “Is there some mitzvah that I am exempt from right now, that I don’t have to do? It’s not the time for a seder right now, but I am going to say some Tehillim, Hashem – not to daven for myself – but just to connect with you, to give You nachas.” You know what that would do? Amazing. Instead of thinking of yourself, do it for Hashem. Say, “Hashem I am going to learn a few extra minutes of Torah,” or “I am going to give  extra tzedakah,” or “I am going to do a little extra chessed (that I could easily excuse myself from, and not feel guilty about it, but I am going to do it anyway) because I want to demonstrate my ahavah for You, Hashem.”

Could you imagine that Hashem would not be amazed and impressed by that? I can’t. So try it. Let’s see if you could feel bad if you don’t do a mitzvah properly or you could say, “I am sorry that I don’t have the opportunity to do this mitzvah.” If you do this, you will create a tremendous nachas ruach for Hakodosh Boruch Hu, and it will be a big zechus for yourself. Hashem should be with us and give us a chance to fulfill this opportunity.

The Bottom Line

Asking why some Yidden were tamei and were not allowed to bring the Korban Pesach in the midbar (“למה נגרע לבלתי הקריב את קרבן”), was not a complaint, but a sincere request that demonstrated their love and appreciation for Hakodosh Boruch Hu. Expressing love to Hashem means asking ourselves: “Do I have a feeling of desire to do something for Hashem, which Hashem wants me to do even when I am not obligated to do it?” The Torah is teaching us that the people who asked Hashem for Pesach Sheni had the love of Hashem burning in their hearts. It is true that none of us are expected to stay up all night so that we don’t fall asleep outside of the sukkah even if we can’t physically have one at our disposal (like the Gaon did), or be walking outside at 3 a.m., in the snow, for days on end – all to make a kiddush levanah (like the Chofetz Chaim did). But perhaps what we could do, is begin developing a  תְּשׁוּקָה, an inner desire, to connect to Hashem on a personal level – when we are not obligated and no one is looking – to maybe read some Tehillim, or learn an extra 5 minutes, or do a small chesed for a fellow Yid. That much that we can do. And in the zechus of taking these small steps, we will come closer to Hashem and will finally understand the true meaning of the word “Charedi” – not the common cliches that we hear from the velt around us.  

Part 2: The Connections Between Shabbos and The Beis Hamikdash (5770)

The Shuchan, The Neiros, The Begadim

Last week we spoke about how we are mispallel in the Lechah Dodi about the Beis Hamikdash, because when it comes to Shabbos, the Beis Hamikdash comes to mind.[ii]

There are many unique connections between the Beis Hamikdash and Shabbos. For example, one of the unique ofanim of avodah which are found in the Beis Hamikdash are also found on Shabbos. One example is: in the Beis Hamikdash there is a shulchan, there is hadlakas neiros of the menorah. In the Beis Hamikdash there are special begadim, bigdei kehunah. So too on Shabbos. On Shabbos there is a concept of special begadim. There is a concept of a shulchan of Shabbos, not the zelber shulchan and there is a concept of hadlakas neiros. We need to actually look in to see if this is just a coincidental shaychus (connection) or not.

The gemara in Shabbos (114a) asks: מניין לשנוי בגדים מן התורה – from where do you know that there is an inyan of changing begadim?[iii] Rashi says, “How do you know שהוא דרך כבוד לפני המקום – from whence do we know that changing begadim is considered kavod laMokom?” The Maharsha explains that the gemara’s shaila really is – from where do you know that on Shabbos there is a din of shinuy begadim?[iv] The gemara says: שנאמר ופשט את בגדיו ולבש בגדים אחרים – we learn this from the avodah in the Beis Hamikdash. In the Beis Hamikdash there were special begadim you had to wear for different melachos. So the pshat is that the din of shinuy begadim on Shabbos is learned out from the avodah in the Beis Hamikdash.

We find in the Beis Hamikdash there is a shulchan and there is a shulchan of Shabbos. So what is the geder of this shulchan? We find the following halachah for kohanim. We know that a kohen received a portion from the korbanos and then ate it. The gemara (Kiddushin 52b) says what if a kohen takes the piece of meat that he gets and he goes and he is mekadesh a lady with it. He says to her: “הרי את מקדשת לי, with a little holy bassar.” So he tries to make his own gezeiras shav and what happens. The gemara says: אינה מקודשת she is not mekudeshes. You know why? Because משלחן גבוה קא זכו. In the Beis Hamikdash the kohen eats from Hashem’s table. It is not his table. He is a guest of HaKadosh Baruch Hu and, if you want to be mekadesh a lady, you have to be mekadesh with your own meat.

On Shabbos We Eat Off Hashem’s Table

When the kohen entered the Beis Hamikdash – this was HaKadosh Baruch Hu’s house. Whatever was allocated to him and allotted to him was משלחן גבוה. Similarly, we find this on Shabbos. The shulchan of Shabbos is similar to the shulchan in the Beis Hamikdash. A well-know gemara (Beitzah 16a) says: מזונותיו של אדם קצובים לו מראש השנה עד ראש השנה.[v] That means Hashem allocates how much money is given to you for a whole year. When it comes to Shabbos, however, you know what Hashem says? Shabbos doesn’t go into the above cheshbon. What you eat on Shabbos you are not eating from your allotted chelek. What you are eating on Shabbos, you are eating from Hashem. That isn’t nichlal in the cheshbon.

The gemara says a very shtarke lashon. The gemara says, if you don’t have money for wine on Shabbos, לוו עלי – go borrow money on My account. Go make kiddush והאמינו בי and have emunah in Me ואני פורע that I am going to pay you back. It’s a gemara in Beitzah (15b).[vi] Azoy shtait in the gemara. Now there is an interesting minhag which many people have, especially the chassidim. Before they sit down to the meal they say a special Aramaic pizmun: אתקינו סעודתא דמלכא דא היא סעודתא, “this is the seudah of the melech.” We say this seudah we are eating now, is not stam a seudah. This is a seudah of the higher ups. A mentch has to see himself on Shabbos as eating by Hashem’s table. Not by Avraham’s table, not by Yitzchak’s table, not by Yaakov’s table. Shabbos is by Hashem’s table.

Standing Before Hashem for Kapparah

We see that there is a tremendous kesher between Shabbos and the Beis Hamikdash. Another moiradige dimyon is hadlakas neiros. An additional dimyon that we mentioned last week, was the tafkid of the Beis Hamikdash, which was לכפר על עונותינו, to be mechaper on our sins. This is also what Shabbos represents. Do you know what happens when a person comes to mekadesh the Shabbos? The gemara (Shabbos 119b) says that malachim are melaveh (escort) him and they say וְסָר עֲוֺנֶךָ וְחַטָּאתְךָ תְּכֻפָּר, “Your guilt shall depart and your sin be purged away” (Isaiah 6:7). You get kapparah, a tremendous zach![vii]

A mentch has to understand what the comparison of Shabbos to Beis Hamikdash is really all about. The fact that we have a comparison between Beis Hamikdash and Shabbos teaches us a moiradige lesson, which is, that when a person is omed in the Beis Hamikdash he is being ‘עומד לפני ה. That is what a person does in the Beis Hamikdash. You are doing an ’עמידה לפני ה which was fulfilled in the Beis Hamikdash. You have to know that Shabbos is also ‘עומד לפני ה.

Chazal tell us בקושי התירו לומר שלום בשבת, with great difficulty did Chazal permit us to turn to our fellow man and say “Shalom” on Shabbos.[viii] Most of us thought the ikar tachlis of Shabbos is to say shalom to everybody, “Shabbat Shalom, Shabbat Shalom, Gut Shabbos.” בקושי התירו לומר שלום בשבת because the matzav of Shabbos is the matzav that is mechayev shevisah. Shevisah doesn’t mean stam rest. Shevisah means everything ceases. The lashon of Chazal is כאילו כל מלאכתך עשויה, the matzav on Shabbos has to be like there is nothing else in my life.[ix] There is just one thing, that I am being omed in front of the shulchan of Hashem, lefanav. That’s what a mentch has to understand.

Being Aware of The Difference

So a mentch has to understand that Shabbos is a trip to the Beis Hamikdash. A person has to look at himself on Shabbos, feel his begadim and say, “Why am I wearing different begadim today? Are my other begadim not clean? They are clean. Why do I have to change every single beged?” You know why? Because on Shabbos you are being ‘עומד לפני ה.

There are many people who don’t understand this. “What do you mean, I’m not going to a wedding. What’s going on? You think for my gefilte fish I have to be dressed up in a suit?” They don’t chap it, they don’t understand. They don’t understand that eating gefilte fish is eating Hashem’s food. You are eating with HaKadosh Baruch Hu. You are eating with the Melech. You are lighting neiros, a whole matzav. Therefore, a mentch has to go through Shabbost, to feel and to train himself to think, “I am now sitting at the seudah of Hashem.”

Tonight we will walk home and we will think, “I am going to have a seudah lifnei Hashem.” Don’t think, “I’m going to my house to eat dinner.” That’s the nusach today, I’m going home to eat dinner. You never heard that in a yiddishe shtub. That’s the first sign that a guy has no shaychus, when a guy is a fresh BT. Such a person says, “I’m going home to eat Shabbat dinner.” You don’t eat dinner. On Shabbos it’s seudas Shabbos because it’s seudasah demalkah. On Shabbos you go to eat the seudah of HaKadosh Baruch Hu. A mentch has to understand this.

The Kodesh Kedoshim of Shabbos: Torah

On Shabbos, just like in the Beis Hamikdash there is a kodesh and there is a kodesh kadoshim. There are two sugyos. So too on Shabbos there is a kodesh and there’s a kodesh kadoshim. What is the kodesh kadoshim of Shabbos? The gemora in Yerushalmi tells us: לא נתנו שבתות אלא לעסוק בהם בתורה,  Shabbosos were only given to Klal Yisrael to learn Torah.[x] The Shabbos sleep is not the kodesh hakadoshim. The kodesh hakadoshim of Shabbos is the eisek haTorah on Shabbos. That has to be the mindset, to talk about Shabbos, to think about Shabbos, to think about Hashem, to think about Torah – this is what Shabbos is all about. And if a person does this, then the Shabbos is the kenissah, it becomes a  trip to the Beis Hamikdash.

On Shabbos, Everything Else Stops

There was once a maaseh with a fellow who was a big kamtzan, a very wealthy guy. People would come to his town when they needed to eat. They would come to his house and say, “We need to eat.” And it would bug the guy out of his kishkes when he saw these people eating. He couldn’t take watching people eating his food. What would he do? As soon as they served the food, they would serve him first because he was the baal habayis. He would eat up quickly and he would tell them to serve the other people slowly. And then as the food came out to the people, he would start asking them questions. “Where are you coming from? Do you know so and so?” And then the next guy, “Where are you coming from?” Then his servants would take the next course off before the people ate the food up. He would say, “Don’t worry, the next course is coming.” And so this guy did this shtick and made sure no one ate his food.

One day, he had a guest who was a chochom. The guy came, and he started eating. So the baal habayis says, “Where do you come from?” The guest says, “I come from Leipzig.” “Oh Leipzig? Kenst mein feter? You know my uncle?” He says, “Yeah, er geshtolben, he died.” He says, “What?!” The guy jumped out of his seat, and he went running to the kitchen to tell his wife. Meanwhile this guy is eating his soup. Then comes the next course. “You know my friend? I had a friend I grew up with. Vos iz gevorn mit yenem?” “Yener? Oich geshtolben. That guy also died.” Bekitzur, the guy is eating chicken. He ate the whole meal. At the end of the meal the guy asks him, “What’s pshat? Everybody I ask you about, you tell me he died?!” He said, “Reb Yid, you should know one thing, when I’m eating, the whole world is dead.”

The Real Shevisah of Shabbos

This is the pshat of shevisah on Shabbos. On Shabbos you are lifnei Hashem. There is no such thing as being Shabbos lifnei Hashem and talking about this and talking about that. I am lifnei Hashem right now. You want to talk about Hashem’s inyanim? Wonderful. You want to talk about inyanim that are not related to Hashem? Not so wonderful. That’s what we need to do, that’s what we need to think about on this wonderful Shabbos as we get closer to the end of the year.

This is the second to last Shabbos of the year. I want everybody to start it off strong.  Let us have a wonderful Shabbos and let us be mechazek one another. It’s a day that you chazer over everything you heard from us about Shabbos. Things you have heard over the past about Shabbos.

What do you remember about Shabbos? What can you talk about on Shabbos? What do you think about on Shabbos? You make the chazarah as the year comes to a close and you thank HaKadosh Baruch Hu for all the Shabbosos that HaKadosh Baruch Hu gave you this year. We need to have a tremendous hakaras hatov. For some of you, it’s the first time you even heard the word Shabbos. And for some of us, maybe you even actually kept a little Shabbos. And for some of us maybe we actually even spent some serious time on Shabbos, we tasted a shtikel the kenissah to the Beis Hamikdash, a tremendous zechus! We have to thank HaKadosh Baruch Hu for the tremendous chessed He does with us. We have to thank Hashem for that. And if you do that, then HaKadosh Baruch Hu says: “You will enjoy all the benefits of Shabbos.” You will be zoche ‘להתענג על ה – to enjoy what you have on Shabbos on Hashem’s account! And you will feel it in your guf, and you will feel in your neshamah a tremendous aliyah and you will be able to come to the yom hadin with a shtikel avodah of malchus. Have a good Shabbos!

[i] ואמר רבב”ח א”ר יוחנן משום ר’ יהודה בר אילעי בא וראה שלא כדורות הראשונים דורות האחרונים דורות הראשונים מכניסין פירותיהן דרך טרקסמון כדי לחייבן במעשר דורות האחרונים מכניסין פירותיהן דרך גגות ודרך קרפיפות כדי לפוטרן מן המעשר [רש”י: כדי לחייבו במעשר – דקיימא לן אין הטבל מתחייב במעשר עד שיראה פני הבית ודעייל ליה דרך שער לאפוקי דרך חצרות ודרך גגות דלא ויליף מואכלו בשעריך בב”מ בהשוכר (פח.)]

[ii] This shiur was said on 08-27-2010, Parshas Ki Savo.

[iii] מִנַּיִין לְשִׁנּוּי בְּגָדִים מִן הַתּוֹרָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וּפָשַׁט אֶת בְּגָדָיו וְלָבַשׁ בְּגָדִים אֲחֵרִים״, וְתָנָא דְּבֵי רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל, לִימְּדָה תּוֹרָה דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ: בְּגָדִים שֶׁבִּישֵּׁל בָּהֶן קְדֵירָה לְרַבּוֹ – אַל יִמְזוֹג בָּהֶן כּוֹס לְרַבּוֹ (רש”י: מניין לשינוי בגדים – שהוא דרך כבוד לפני המקום)

[iv] מנין לשינוי בגדים כו’. לענין שינוי בגדי שבת מייתי לה דה”נ בע”ש בגדים שבישל בהן כדכתיב את אשר תאפו אפו ואת אשר תבשלו גו’ אל ימזוג בהן כוס לרבו דהיינו כסא דקידושא במעלי שבתא וק”ל (חידושי אגדות)

[v] כׇּל מְזוֹנוֹתָיו שֶׁל אָדָם קְצוּבִים לוֹ מֵרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה וְעַד יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים, חוּץ מֵהוֹצָאַת שַׁבָּתוֹת וְהוֹצָאַת יוֹם טוֹב וְהוֹצָאַת בָּנָיו לְתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה, שֶׁאִם פָּחַת – פּוֹחֲתִין לוֹ, וְאִם הוֹסִיף – מוֹסִיפִין לוֹ. (רש”י:כל מזונותיו של אדם – כל מה שעתיד להשתכר בשנה שיהא נזון משם קצוב לו כך וכך ישתכר בשנה זו ויש לו ליזהר מלעשות יציאה מרובה שלא יוסיפו לו שכר למזונות אלא מה שפסקו לו; חוץ מהוצאת שבתות – אותה לא פסקו לו מה ישתכר לצרכה ומהיכן תבואהו אלא לפי מה שרגיל ממציאים לו לשעה או לאחר שעה; פוחתין לו – כלומר ממציאין לו שכר מועט)

[vi] מַאי ״כִּי חֶדְוַת ה׳ הִיא מָעֻזְּכֶם״? אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בְּרַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן: אָמַר לָהֶם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְיִשְׂרָאֵל: בָּנַי, לְווּ עָלַי, וְקַדְּשׁוּ קְדוּשַּׁת הַיּוֹם, וְהַאֲמִינוּ בִּי וַאֲנִי פּוֹרֵעַ

[vii] אָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא אָמַר מָר עוּקְבָא: כׇּל הַמִּתְפַּלֵּל בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת וְאוֹמֵר ״וַיְכוּלּוּ״, שְׁנֵי מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת הַמְלַוִּין לוֹ לָאָדָם מַנִּיחִין יְדֵיהֶן עַל רֹאשׁוֹ וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ ״וְסָר עֲוֹנֶךָ וְחַטָּאתְךָ תְּכֻפָּר״. תַּנְיָא, רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בַּר יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר: שְׁנֵי מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת מְלַוִּין לוֹ לְאָדָם בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת מִבֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת לְבֵיתוֹ, אֶחָד טוֹב וְאֶחָד רָע. וּכְשֶׁבָּא לְבֵיתוֹ וּמֹצֵא נֵר דָּלוּק וְשֻׁלְחָן עָרוּךְ וּמִטָּתוֹ מוּצַּעַת, מַלְאָךְ טוֹב אוֹמֵר: ״יְהִי רָצוֹן שֶׁתְּהֵא לְשַׁבָּת אַחֶרֶת כָּךְ״, וּמַלְאָךְ רַע עוֹנֶה ״אָמֵן״ בְּעַל כׇּרְחוֹ. וְאִם לָאו, מַלְאָךְ רַע אוֹמֵר: ״יְהִי רָצוֹן שֶׁתְּהֵא לְשַׁבָּת אַחֶרֶת כָּךְ״, וּמַלְאָךְ טוֹב עוֹנֶה ״אָמֵן״ בְּעַל כׇּרְחוֹ.

[viii] ע”ש באגרת הגר”א ג’, וז”ל: ובשבת ויום-טוב אל תדברו כלל מדברים שאינם נצרכים מאד. וגם בדברים הנצרכים למאד תקצרו מאד, כי קדושת שבת גדולה מאד, “ובקושי התירו לומר שלום בשבת” (ירושלמי שבת, וכן בתוספת שבת דף קיג). ראה, בדיבור אחד כמה החמירו. ותכבד את השבת מאד כאשר היה לפני, ואל תצמצם כלל, כי “כל מזונותיו של אדם קצובים לו מראש-השנה ועד יום-הכיפורים, חוץ מהוצאות שבתות והוצאות יום-טוב, וכו’. (ביצה טז, א).

[ix] ועשית כל מלאכתך. כשתבא שבת, יהא בעיניך כאילו כל מלאכתך עשויה, שלא תהרהר אחר מלאכה (מכילתא פ”ז) [רש”י על שמות כ׳:ט׳:א]

[x] רִבִּי חַגַּי בְשֵׁם רִבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָן. לֹא נִיתְנוּ שַׁבָּתוֹת וְיָמִים טוֹבִים אֶלָּא לָאֲכִילָה וְלִשְׁתִייָה. עַל יְדֵי שֶׁהַפֶּה זֶה (טְרִיח)  מֵרִיחַ  הִתִּירוּ לוֹ לַעֲסוֹק בָּהֶן בְּדִבְרֵי תוֹרָה. רִבִּי בְּרֶכְיָה בְשֵׁם רִבִּי חִייָא בַּר בָּא. לֹא נִיתְנוּ שַׁבָּתוֹת וְיָמִים טוֹבִים אֶלָּא לַעֲסוֹק בָּהֶן בְּדִבְרֵי תוֹרָה. מַתְנִיתַא מְסַייָעָה בֵּין לָדֵין בֵּין לָדֵין. כֵּיצַד הוּא עוֹשֶׂה. אוֹ יוֹשֵׁב וְאוֹכֵל אוֹ יוֹשֵׁב וְעוֹסֶק בְּדִבְרֵי תוֹרָה. כָּתוּב אֶחָד אוֹמֵר. שַׁבָּ֥ת הִוא֙ לַֽיי. וְכָתוּב אַחֵר אוֹמֵר. עֲצֶ֨רֶת֙ לַֽיי אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ. הָא כֵיצַד. תֵּן חֶלֶק לְתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה וְחֶלֶק לֶאֱכוֹל וְלִשְׁתוֹת. אָמַר רִבִּי אַבָּהוּ שַׁבָּ֖ת לַֽיי. שְׁבוֹת כַּיי. מַה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שָׁבַת מִמַּאֲמַר. אַף אַתָּ שְׁבוֹת מִמַּאֲמַר, וכו’. (תלמוד ירושלמי שבת ט״ו:ג׳)

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