Our view of the Galile

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Born Again-Tzaria-Chodesh 2016/5776

Insights and Inspiration
from the
Holy Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your friend in Karmiel"

April 8th 2016 -Volume 6, Issue 27 29th Adar II 5776
Parshat Tazria/Chodesh

Born Again

I’m writing this still before the wedding god willing. You still have time to come in. I figure I’m not sleeping anyways and afterwards I’ll probably be out like a log so I may as well get it in now. I mentioned in my Shul this past week how incredible it is that this whole engagement and wedding falls out when it does. The month of Adar is the month of happiness. The wedding date is the same as my wife and I, 22 years ago…I think. It worked out well for us. At least I think so. And it is right at the end of the 4 special Parshiyot that are read from the month of Adar until this week. The Parshiyot I believe really are a roadmap towards getting married. Tell me what you think.
The first parsha, aptly called Shekalim-is pretty much about collecting money to build a house for Hashem. Uhhhh… Israelis pretty much understand that is the first step before hiring yourself a wedding planner. But even fellow ex-pats know this is gonna cost them some heavy shekalim. The next step is Zachor- Remember. Every wedding is a time to remember the challenges and hurdles that it took to get us here. To remember that Hashem is watching over us and is there for us. Yet the life in front of each and every one us contains battles and challenges that only we can achieve. We must remember that we are here to make the throne of Hashem complete once again. Remember those that have fallen and come before us and those memories should guide us in our futures.
This past Shabbos we read Parshat Parah, the Parsha of the purification of the Jewish people. A bride and groom both go to the Mikva before they embark on their new life together. The stains and impurities of the past are only temporary. We return to our essence. We can start fresh. The mother cow will atone for the sins of the golden calf. It is read before Pesach as we get ready to bring our Pesach lamb and leave the bonds of Egypt that had held us back and restrain us from achieving the freedom, the object of our fulfillment, our return to Hashem. It is the last step before the wedding.
This Shabbos, the week after the wedding and the conclusion of the month of Adar, we start fresh with the first month of the Jewish months; Chodesh Nissan. The Parsha we read tells us about this first mitzva we were given as a nation. We are mandated to count the months starting from this month. The calendar and the year will revolve around the Jewish people sanctifying and declaring the month Rosh Chodesh. Time doesn’t control us, we have the ability to sanctify every moment. Each month we start anew. Each month is another opportunity to tap into the spiritual power of that season. Each month is a building block in bringing the Shechina down to this earth.
It’s a great time to get married. It’s a great process to embark upon a new life. But it gets even better. This week’s Torah portion Parshat Tazria begins with the laws and sacrifices of a woman that gives birth. Now I’m not rushing anything over here, don’t get me wrong. They’re not even married yet, although by the time you get this god willing they will be. But I’m just saying, it’s the weekly Parsha and what else is the father of the bride supposed to be thinking about…
There is a beautiful Mishna in Avot that describes one of the great Rabbis of the Mishna
Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai had five students and he sent them to find out what is the straight path that a person should cleave to
Rebbe Eliezer said - Ayin Tov/ A good eye Rabbi Yehoshua said chaver tov/ a good friend
 Rabbi Yose said shachein tov/ a good neighbor Rebbe Elazar ben Arach said Lev Tov/a good heart
The last one though is perhaps the most fascinating of all.
 Rebbe Shimon Ben Netanel said-“Ha’roeh et ha’nolad- He sees what will be born
For those of you that remember that old game from Sesame Street- which of these things is not like the other? You can start humming it now… OK. So now I can understand the first four Rabbis, but what does being able to see the future have to do with leading a straight life. I mean I can understand that someone that can predict the future might have a very promising career on Wall Street, or as a psychic or meteorologist-although I think they get paid to get it wrong, but it doesn’t necessarily seem like a significant moral trait.
The answer, Chasidim say, lies in the choice of words of Rebbe Shimon. He doesn’t say that the trait or the path one should pursue is one of seeing and predicting the future. Rather it is he who sees that which will be born. Imagine suffering through the pains of pregnancy, the achy back, the nausea, the morning sickness, the emotional roller coaster, and that’s just the husband, imagine what the woman goes through as well J. (Thank god my son-in-law can’t read English yet J). Forget about the actual childbirth which as our Lamaze teacher so beautifully explained to me was like trying to pull a watermelon out of my nostril. Ouch! How can you do it? How can Jewish women have more than one of these things-I mean kids. They answer is they see the nolad. They see what is being born. They don’t see the pain. They don’t see the hardship. They see that little blip on the ultrasound moving around. They see life. They see that they are partners with God in creation.
 They see it again and again. They see it through all the challenges of child rearing. I got a lot of ‘rear’ing-bet you never knew why they called it that. They see it through the diapers, the sleepless nights, the doctor appointments, the wonderful adolescent years or what they call in Israel Tipesh-esrey. We all can be a ro’eh es ha’nolad, in everything in life. We can look at each challenge, each milestone to be crossed as another opportunity to see something being born. A new chance, a new day fresh with potential that only we can realize. Our Parsha tells us that each Yoledet- each new mother brings a sin offering and an Olah- a totally uplifting offering to Hashem. The Chatas-sin offering, is because perhaps in the midst of the pains of childbirth she lost sight of the nolad, she took an oath that never again. It happens to all of us in far less painful circumstances. But she brings an Olah to remember that what she has undergone was totally divine. She became a Creator. She rose above time and the present and can and will live for that which is certain to come. The blessing, the good, the amazing and the awesome. It’s the straightest path. It arrives to the ultimate destination we are longing to achieve.
What an incredible perspective that is on life. What an amazing Torah portion week to get married. What an amazing outlook to start a marriage with. What an incredible way to finish off the month of Adar and get ready for Pesach. The redemption is right around the corner. Can’t you feel it? Can you see the nolad? I can. I’m already to sing and dance. Aren’t you?
Have as spectacular Shabbos,
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
This week's Insight and Inspiration is dedicated by my favorite weekly subscribers Ted and Havivah Goldsmith of Ramat bet shemesh ISRAEL  in honor of the wedding of their grandson Zacharia Kalman Haochen ben Binyamin Ron and Yael Margalit(Englander) to Yosefa Guttman daughter of Rick and Dorit March 27 in Miami Florida. (This was supposed to be sponsored two weeks ago.. but your humble writer had too much to drink on Purim and forgot…)
Mazal tov to grndparents Trudi and Shuli Englander of Cedarhurst New York and the entire Goldsmith, Englander and Guttman families
May the young couple build a beautiful homein Israel and always be a source of yiddeshe nachas and light to us and Klal Yisrael.
Mazal Tov!



https://youtu.be/uGWoChObb40Shine a little Light incredible music video with all the stars composed by Yitz Hurwitz who is battling ALS very moving

https://youtu.be/vpLawri0pOY – Story behind the above song…

https://youtu.be/ONi5t7eMpfE   Loving this song Rak Rotzim Lirkod-played by the wedding…

“Yeider tepl gefint zikh zayn dekl.”- “Every pot finds its own lid.”


“‘He who loves God loves His nation Israel, for the Mitzva to Love your friend like yourself and to Love Hashem your God are one mitzva”

“‘Why is Mashiach not here yet? The Rebbe of Berditchev said that when he wll die he will go up to heaven and turn it around and make such a commotion until they send Mashiach. Yet when he got there they revealed him great secrets and spoiled him with so many special things that delighted him that he forgot. I however will not forget.”- Right before his death.

Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apt- the Ohev Yisrael-5th of Nisan this Wednesday (1748 – 1825) - A scion of famous rabbinic families, on both his father's and his mother's side, Avraham Yehoshua Heshel showed great promise even at an early age. Acquiring fame as a talmudic scholar, he studied chasidut under the all-time great mastersRabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk and Rabbi Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov. Becoming one of the foremost spokesmen of the growing chasidic movement in Poland and Romania, he began his career a Rabbi of Kolbasov. In 1800 he accepted the post of Rabbi of Apta. Although he held many other rabbinic positions, to the chasidim he remained always the Apter Rav. In 1808 he was chosen as Rabbi of Iasi, Romania. In the wake of communal strife there he was forced to leave his post and settled in Medzibosh, the birthplace of the Baal Shem Tov and the cradle of Chasidism, where he devoted himself completely to the study and dissemination of Chasidut.
It was during this period in his life that he gained the veneration of thousands of followers, among whom were a number of the preeminent rabbis of the age. His outstanding character trait was his burning love of the Jewish people, which earned him the title of Oheiv Yisrael, Lover of Israel. Oheiv Yisrael became the title of his book, a collection of his thoughts arranged according to the weekly Torah portions. The work abounds with lofty kabbalistic insights and interpretations. It is one of the basic chassidic texts, and bespeaks the Apter Rav's passionate love of his fellow Jews. The Apter Rebbe is one of the most notable and beloved luminaries on the chassidic firmament. One of the most famous incicednts that took place was how the great dispute between two Chasidc paths was resolved at the wedding of his daughter when all the great Rebbes attended.The Apta Rav lived to the age of 77 and was considered the elder tzaddik of his generation.
The day before his petirah, Reb Avraham Yehoshua Heschel walked through his house, taking leave of every object. He kissed each sefer and took leave of all his talmidim. He was buried in Mezhbizh, near the Baal Shem Tov. An ornate stone ohel marks his grave in the old Jewish cemetery. According to one hasidic legend, angels subsequently carried his body and buried him in the Holy Land, and in the Jewish Cemetery in Tiberias
answer below at end of Email
Q. Hannah’s prayer is associated with:
A.    Shiloh
  1. Bethel (Beit El)
  2. Cave of the Patriarchs (Me’arat Hamahpela)
  3. Givah

A frog telephones the Psychic Hotline. His Personal Psychic Advisor tells him, "You are going to meet a beautiful young girl who will want to know everything about you." The frog is thrilled, "This is great! Will I meet her at a party?" "No," says his advisor, "in her biology class."

Breindy goes to see a fortune teller, who tells her "Two men are madly in love with me!" Breindy asks "Who will be the lucky one?" The fortune teller answers "Berel will marry you, and Shmerel will be the lucky one." 

The Golfer asks the Psychic, "Are there golf courses in Heaven?"
She replies, "I have good news, and I have bad news..."
Golfer, "What's the good news?"
Psychic: "The good news is that Heaven's golf courses are beautiful beyond anything you could imagine!"
Golfer, "How could there be any bad news with that?"
Psychic, "You have a game booked to start at 8:30 tomorrow morning."

Yankel had trouble eking out a living so he became a fortune teller. Eventually he became very successful until the King himself came to visit him and find out what he could predict about the future.
Yankel told the king that one of his wives would die that year. The king didn't believe him and went away laughing.
Later that year one of the king's wives died.
He remembered what Yankel had told him and thought that he had caused the death of his wife, and he decided to put him to death.
He ordered that he be brought before him.
When Yankel was before him he said to him, "A few months ago you predicted that one of my wives would die this year, and one of them has died. So you are a fortune teller. Now, tell me - when will you die?"
Yankel realizing that the king was planning to kill him, thought very carefully before answering, "I will die three days before you do, your majesty."

Answer is A – I miss visiting this place… Used to go all the time and tell the incredible story of Chana Mother of the prophet Shmuel praying in the Mishkan that was housed here in Shilo. She would daven without words coming out and Eli the High Priest though she was drunk. She rebuked him and promised that if God would grant her a son that she would dedicate him to the service of Hashem. Beautiful place. Too bad the animals are running too loose around that area for me to feel comfortable to go there. Too bad.. The other places Beit El is where Yaakov had his vision of the Ladder with angels going up and down. Giva is where Shmuel lived. And the Cave of the Patriarchs is in Chevron also not a fun place these days..sigh… 

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