SIMONSAYSInsights and guidance from the Torahby Rav Dovid Simon
Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                                           ...
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                                           ...
Parshah
Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                            Simon Says     ...
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                            Simon Says     ...
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                                        Sim...
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                                  Simon Say...
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                              Simon Says   ...
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                             Simon Says    ...
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                                  Simon Say...
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                                  Simon Say...
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                           Simon Sayseat kosher etc. When I speak to the la...
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                                  Simon Say...
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                                 Simon Says...
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                                 Simon Says...
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Holidays
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                               Simon Says  ...
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Rav Dovid Simon                                                                                                Simon Says ...
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Insights and guidance from the Torah by Rav Dovid Simon

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  1. 1. SIMONSAYSInsights and guidance from the Torahby Rav Dovid Simon
  2. 2. Rav Dovid Simon Simon SaysContentsParshah ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 5 Breisheit: Where Are You?...................................................................................................................................................................... 6 Noach: Protect from Inside and Outside ................................................................................................................................................ 7 VaYera: Youth.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 8 Toldot: Defined by Actions ..................................................................................................................................................................... 9 Vayishlach: The Promise Of Protection ................................................................................................................................................ 10 Vayeshev: Bonding ................................................................................................................................................................................ 11 Vayigash: On a Journey ......................................................................................................................................................................... 12 Mikeitz: A Greater Plan ......................................................................................................................................................................... 13 Vayachi: Yaakov & Yosefs Legacy ......................................................................................................................................................... 14 Shmot: Who We Really Are .................................................................................................................................................................. 15 VaEra: Showing Respect........................................................................................................................................................................ 16 Bo: To Serve Hashem ............................................................................................................................................................................ 17 B’Shalach: The Power of One’s Strengths............................................................................................................................................. 18 Trumah: Involved in Prayer ................................................................................................................................................................... 19 Tetzaveh: Multiple Opportunities......................................................................................................................................................... 20 Vayakhel: The Mishkan ......................................................................................................................................................................... 21 Pekuday: Look Inside ............................................................................................................................................................................ 22 Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 2
  3. 3. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon Vayikra: Sacrifices ................................................................................................................................................................................. 23 Tazriah: What is Holy ............................................................................................................................................................................ 24 Kedoshim: Wake Up! ............................................................................................................................................................................ 25 Emor: True Emunah .............................................................................................................................................................................. 27 Emor: The Beginning ............................................................................................................................................................................. 28 Bamidbar: Community .......................................................................................................................................................................... 29 Naso: Efforts Count ............................................................................................................................................................................... 30 Balak: Seeing Hashem ........................................................................................................................................................................... 31 Balak: Restraint ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 32 Ki Tetzei: Contemplate Our Actions ...................................................................................................................................................... 33Holidays ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 34 Rosh Hashanah: The Challenge of Parenting ........................................................................................................................................ 35 Rosh Hashanah: School is Back!!! ......................................................................................................................................................... 36 Succot: Puts Life Into Perspective ......................................................................................................................................................... 37 Chanukah: Today’s Battles .................................................................................................................................................................... 38 Chanukah: Great Potential.................................................................................................................................................................... 39 Purim: Power of Wine ........................................................................................................................................................................... 40 Pesach: Good Feelings .......................................................................................................................................................................... 41 Pesach: True Growth............................................................................................................................................................................. 42 Pesach: Reconnecting ........................................................................................................................................................................... 43 Shavuot: Signs ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 44 Shavuot: Togetherness ......................................................................................................................................................................... 45 Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 3
  4. 4. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says Tisha B’Av: Overcoming ........................................................................................................................................................................ 46Education .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 47 Respecting Property.............................................................................................................................................................................. 48 Davenning With Children ...................................................................................................................................................................... 49 The Power of Youth .............................................................................................................................................................................. 50 Letting Go .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 51 Disagreement with the Right Intentions............................................................................................................................................... 52 The Power of Speech & Silence ............................................................................................................................................................ 53About......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 54 Rav Simon.............................................................................................................................................................................................. 55 Kehillat Bnei Aharon ............................................................................................................................................................................. 55 Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 4
  5. 5. Parshah
  6. 6. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says ‫ – ”נאמנה‬how has the town turned into aBreisheit: promiscuous place? And Yirmiyahu said: “ ‫איכה ישבה‬ ‫ – ”בדד‬how is the city sitting all alone and desolate?Where Are All of these questions really mean: where are you and what has become of you? Moshe is saying: this nation that has worshiped theYou? golden calf is not the same nation of Matan Torah! I don’t recognize them! Where is the nation that IAfter ‫ אדם‬and ‫ חוה‬ate from the ‫ ,עץ הדעת‬they heard really know?Hashem coming and they went and hid. The Torah at Yeshayahu is similarly asking about the city ofthis stage writes: “ ‫ויקרא ה אלקים אל האדם ויאמר לו‬ Yerushalayim: where is the special city that used to‫ – ”איכה‬Hashem called out to Adam and said to him be so full of great things? All I see know is a“‫ – ”איכה‬where are you? promiscuous place!Many ask: Hashem didn’t know where they were that So too Yirmiyahu is asking: where is that city that Ihe had to call out? The Midrash explains that the knew to be the most beautiful place on earth andquestion really means: how is it that yesterday you know is so barren and desolate?were with me and now you with the ‫ ?נחש‬In other This is the question we have to be aware of. We havewords Hashem is saying to him: I don’t know you! a responsibility to our heritage and our uniqueness.Where is the man I created and formed? We have to ensure that Hashem never has to ask thatThe Midrash in Eicha writes that 3 people used the question: “‫ ”איכה‬because it is so clear who we areterminology of “‫ ”איכה‬while reproving Am Yisrael. and where we are holding.Moshe said: “‫ – ”איכה אשא לבדי‬how can I bear theburden alone? Yeshayahu said: “ ‫איכה היתה לזונה קריה‬ Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 6
  7. 7. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon where the animals lived. And the top level was whereNoach: Protect Noach lived with his family. We have to understand the different levels that exist in our lives and make tofrom Inside and sure to regulate them to their right places. It is not the garbage that should be on top nor the physical drives, rather it is the great spirituality of man thatOutside should be riding the crest. Just as Noach was commanded to put proofing on the outside and the inside, due to the power of theOne of the most challenging issues we have to deal water outside, so too we have to protect from insidewith is how to protect ourselves and our families and outside.from the negative influences around us. But most important we need vision, a guiding light toProbably, the single most important factor in our give us the direction we need, like the light in the ark.struggle is the way we structure and build our home We need the window to outside world, however weand environment. How to do so, maybe we can glean have to make sure that it only lets in the light and notsome ideas from this weeks Parsha. the damaging elements.First we find Noach is commanded to use “Gofer May we all merit to achieve these goals.wood”. What is unique about wood is that it is amateriel that can never become ‫ – טמא‬impure. Whenwe build our home we should make sure that theatmosphere is one of ‫ – קדושה וטהרה‬holiness &purity, and not ‫ ח"ו‬the opposite.The ark was built with 3 different levels. The lowestlevel was for all the garbage. The middle level was Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 7
  8. 8. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says The answer we see from another quote of Rashi. TheVaYera: Youth verse says: “‫ – ”וירא לוט וירץ לקראתם‬Lot saw them and ran towards them. Why did he run? Says Rashi:For one living in Sodom, there were a number of laws Because he had learned the art of hospitality in thethat had to be kept. Among them was the prohibition house of Avraham. We see from here how importantof taking in guests: “‫ .”הכנסת אורחים‬This was what Chazal call is: “‫ – ”גירסא דינקותא‬that which wassomething that was accepted and understood by learned in one’s youth. What a child sees andevery single person. As the verse states “ ‫ואנשי סדום‬ experiences in his youth, is embedded deep into the‫ – ”נסבו על בית מנער ועד זקן כל העם מקצה‬and the Neshama, and when the time comes will give himpeople of Sdom gathered around the house, from tremendous strength and energy to stand up to allyouth to elders, the whole city to its edge. challenges, even at the cost of his own life.In the words of Rashi: from on edge of the city to the Sadly many people switch things around and tend toother, they all gathered to protest this infringement mess about in their youth with the understandingof the law (of Lot taking in visitors). Lot we know has that “one day” they will become more serious. Onesomewhat “left the fold” when he left Avraham, as could not be more wrong. The success of anwe see in the fact that the place he chose to live was individual is with the tools and behavior he hasin Sdom. In addition it is clear he would have been acquired in his youth. And while this does notdestroyed together with Sdom if not for his exclude the ability of an adult to make substantialconnection with Avraham Avinu. changes in his life, they will always be subject toBeing so, why did Lot go out of his way to take care of those influences that affected him as a child.the guests knowing full well the consequences of his As parents our responsibility is to ensure that thoseactions? Even to the level of sacrificing his own two experiences and influences that affect our childrendaughters! are those that are going to have a positive effect on the life and not, has v’shalom, otherwise. Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 8
  9. 9. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon This is the great challenge of Chinuch. To understandToldot: Defined children when they are younger is an art, but this really is the crucial time to recognize, who they are,by Actions what could be the consequences of every action that they do. Therefore, instead of waiting for them to grow up and then having a relationship, rather spendThe Torah describes Yaakov & Esav growing up, and some time when they are younger, try to see whoEsav becoming a “Man of the field” whereas Yaakov they really are, and then you will be able to give themis a “Ish Tam” a complete human being. Rashi the proper direction and the tools they need tocomments on the words: “‫ – ”ויגדלו הנערים‬the boys continue on the proper path.grew up – that as long as kids are small theircharacters and morals aren’t clearly recognizable.Only once they have reached the age of 13, oneturned to idol worship while the other turned to theBeit Midrash.Therefore adds the Medrash: at the age of 13, afather says the blessing of: ‫ברוך שפטרני מענשו של‬"‫”זה‬In other words: even though as soon as they whereborn they clearly showed where their tendencies lay,it doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s what theiressence is. Only once, they are adults and theycontinue in that behavior, then they can be definedby their actions. Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 9
  10. 10. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says The Rosh Yeshiva understood that the danger wasVayishlach: The imminent and continued to ask: what would happen if ‫ ח”ו‬he managed to destroy European Jewry whichPromise Of constitutes the bulk and glory of the Jewish world? There will be no “other camp” left! To this responded the Chafetz Chayim: we find aProtection verse for this too in the words of the prophet Ovadya: “‫ – ”ובהר ציון תהיה פליטה והיה קודש‬In the Mount of Zion their will be an escape etc.In 1932 when Hitler (‫ )ימ”ש‬rose to power and tookcontrol of the government, the Chafetz Chayim was The Rav left shaking with the understanding thatasked by one of the Roshei Yeshiva in Radin: Since he while the fate of the European Jewry was at stake,had declared so openly and blatantly what his Eretz Yisrael would be saved. And so it was that theintentions were regarding the Jews and their might of the German armies started receding as theydestruction, what is going to be their fate? What is approached the shores of Eretz Yisrael.going to happen in Germany and Poland? In a time when our enemies are raising their headsAnswered the Chafetz Chayim: he will not succeed! again, may Hashem continue to protect his peopleHe will never be able to totally annihilate and restrict especially in the Land of Israel, and soon hasten thethe Yiden everywhere. And the source for this is the redemption.Pasuk in the Parsha that states:“ ‫אִם יָבוֹא עשָׂו אֶל המּחנֶה האַחת והכּהוּ והיָה המּחנֶה הנִּשְׁאָר‬ ַ ֲ ַ ַ ָ ְ ָ ִ ְ ַ ָ ֲ ַ ַ ֵ‫”לפליט‬ָ ֵ ְ ִIf Eisav should come and strike one camp, the othercamp will escape a similar fate. Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 10
  11. 11. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon himself praises them, he was already exempt fromVayeshev: teaching them. But then comes the story of Yosef and we see that a person is never finished with theBonding education of his children. Even great people like the sons of Yaakov, still needed their father’s direction on how to behave.The Parsha starts with the words: “‫– ”וישב יעקב וגו‬ As we come up to Chanukah this is the time toAnd Yaakov settled down etc. Why the emphasis on reiterate and strengthen that bond with our children,Yaakov’s settling down? Says Rashi: that Yaakov after and to understand how far our responsibility reallyall his troubles and issues with Eisav and Lavan, he goes.finally wanted to rest a bit and spend some time inpeace. However Hashem sees things differently andfeels that the Tzadikim are not her in this world to sitback and rest, therefore immediately the story ofYosef took place.What does this mean? Is it so bad if the Tzadikimwere able to have a bit of peace in this world in orderto focus more on their spirituality?No! there is no question that they too are entitled tohave a bit of peace of mind, however what Rashi isreferring to is the aspect of Chinuch and teachingtheir children. In this there is no respite.Yaakov thought that due to the fact that all hischildren where great people that even Hashem Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 11
  12. 12. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says explain: that implicit in the declaration is the ideaVayigash: On a that when a person leaves our house or goes on a journey we are supposed to accompany him part ofJourney the way. This gives him spiritual protection from the elements as if others are with him. Therefore, the Rabbis declare: in our town, we make sure thatAfter Yosef had revealed himself to his brothers, he people are accompanied and we had no hand in thissent them back to their father Yaakov, to bring him person going out to face the world withoutdown to Egypt. In order that Yaakov would realize protection.that it was really him, Yosef sent him ‫ – עגלות‬wagons If we think for a moment, the last time Yaakov andwhich as Rashi explains: was a hint to the last topic Yosef where together was when Yosef was sent bythat they had learned together, the issue of ‫עגלה‬ his father to his brothers. As Yosef is about to leave,‫ .ערופה‬The words ‫ – עגלה‬wagon, and ‫ – עגלה‬calf, Yaakov gets up to accompany him. As Yosef protests,both written the same way. Yaakov says to him: remember the law of ‫עגלה ערופה‬The obvious question is: where does Rashi get this that one should always accompany one who isfrom? There are plenty other things that he could be leaving! So obviously this was the last law theyhinting to? discussed together.‫ עגלה ערופה‬refers to the law, if a dead body is found When we send our kids out into the world, they areon the outskirts of a town and no one knows how he going on a journey with many perils and negativedied, the Rabbis from the closest town have to bring elements, and they need all the protection they cana calf as a sacrifice and say: our hands did not spill get. Therefore lets accompany them as they go outthis blood! on their way and ensure them the spiritual protectionDo we really think that the Rabbis did this that they during their journey.have to come to declare otherwise? The Sages Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 12
  13. 13. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon reverted back to its normal impoverished state. ThisMikeitz: A is what the verse means: “and they looked as bad as before.”Greater Plan Life is such that there are many up and downs, whether within our personal lives or in the interaction we have with others. We don’t know whyThe Parsha starts off with the dream of Pharoah Hashem gives wealth to some and poverty to others,giving a prediction about what is going to be joy to some and sorrow to others, nor what is thehappening in the future. In the dream he sees that main purpose of all that happens around us. We arealthough the seven thin cows eat the fat cows, it but like cogs in a big machine.makes no difference to their state of being. The versedescribes it thus: For us, what it means to be aware that everything we have is because of what we have done and the effort“ ‫וַתָּ ב ֹאנָה אֶל קִרבּנָה וְ�א נוֹדַ ע כּי באוּ אֶל קִרבּנָה וּמַראֵיהֶן רע‬ ַ ְ ֶ ְ ָ ִ ֶ ְ we put into it. Many times there is a greater plan. If‫”כּאשֶׁר בּתְּ חלּה‬ ָ ִ ַ ֲ ַ we understand this, then our perspective on life“- and they were swallowed up and it made no takes on a much healthier approach and gives us theimpression on them, and they looked as bad as ability to truly focus on what we can learn from life,before.” without getting caught up with life itself..Explains the Meshech Chochma: when things happenin the world we don’t necessarily know what themain purpose is behind it all. The fact that Mitzyarimwas not a wealthy place, rather on the contrary, andthe fact that there was time of plenty in Mitzrayimwas only for the purpose of Bnei Yisrael, andtherefore when they left after 210 years everything Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 13
  14. 14. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says For our children to sit between the walls of the BeitVayachi: Medrash and be well educated that is relatively easy. The challenge is that a person will be able take hisYaakov & learning and moral behavior and keep to it in all places, even amongst idol worshipers. What Yaakov had taught Yosef was that he had theYosefs Legacy image of his father in front of him at all times, so much so that not only Yosef couldnt do wrong as a result neither could his children.This week we will be leining the last parsha inBreishit. As the story of Yaakov comes to a close and Therefore Yaakov considered them as his sons " ‫לי‬he is about to give the final blessings to his sons, he ‫ – "הם‬since it was very apparent that they got tocalls Yosef and tells him: I am about to pass on and where they were, because of Yaakov himself.his two sons (Menashe & Ephraim) that were born in Whereas any other kids grew up with the rest of theMitzrayim before I came, they will be considered to Shvatimand therefore their behavior would be moreme like my own sons – the other Shvatim. expected and the greatness of Yaakov doesnt shine out.This language is very troubling. I would have thoughtthe opposite: those that were born after Yaakovcame should be more like his sons, verses those thatwere born before there was really little connectionbetween them until Yaakov came to Mitzrayim?Says R Moshe Feinstein Zt"l: we see from here howfar the obligation of education goes, and that wehave to ensure its quality. Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 14
  15. 15. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon wisdom understood the makeup of man & womanShmot: Who and put into place the structure that is required to raise the level of human intimacy to a much deeperWe Really Are and meaningful place, so we would be able to fulfill our true roles as examples to the rest of the world. This period is a reminder of who we really are, whereThe Parsha this week is the first in what is known as: we came from and what we became, and therefore“‫ ”שובבי"ם‬which is an abbreviation of the first 6 the most appropriate time to once again reassess ourParshiyot in Shmot: ‫שמות, וארא, בא, בשלח, יתרו‬ personal lives and evaluate what we can do to‫.משפטים‬ enhance them.There is an old tradition that this period is the time toreview once again and heighten our knowledge ofthose Halachot dealing with Family Purity and theholiness of the Jewish home, and encourage moreinvolvement of those whom until now hadn’tlearned.What is the connection? Why do we review theselaws specifically at this time?These Parshiyot deal with the process and growth ofAm Yisrael, all the way from being slaves in Egyptuntil finally receiving the Torah at Har Sinai andbecoming a special and unique people. To maintainthat uniqueness of a life of morality requires certainguidelines and parameters. Hashem in his infinite Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 15
  16. 16. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says they are in the land of their enemies I have notVaEra: Showing forsaken or despised them. Thus when a governing nation makes a decree against the Jews, it is only atRespect the behest of Hashem. Therefore the same words we would use to praise God are applicable here too. As hard as it might sound, when we show respect toThe Midrash tells us that when Moshe & Aharon conquering nations, essentially we are showingcame to Pharaoh they were commanded to treat him respect to Hashem. The Gemarah tell us to run towith respect (see Rashi). Even though he is not a show our respects to a king and make the brachaJewish king and a wicked one too, still they were told “‫ – ”ברוך שנתן מכבודו לבשר ודם‬blessed is he whomto treat him with respect. gave from his honour to flesh and blood. And byThe Gemarah in Masechet Shabbat describes that doing so “‫ – ”אם יזכה יבחין‬if one merits he will gaindue to the complexity of running a kingdom or perception. What does it mean: If he merits? To seecountry, it would be impossible to sit down and write an evil king?! Rather it means that if he meritsout all that had to be done and taken care of, even understanding that this king is no more then a miragefor the course of only one day! The Gemarah when of what the true king is, and an example that Hashemsaying this, even about non Jewish kingdoms, uses is showing him how to respect and honour a king.terminologies of praise comparable to the praises we Then when the time comes for Mashiach, he willuse for Hashem. The obvious question is: How could appreciate the contrast and what a true king really is,this be? and show the appropriately proper respect andThe truth us when Hashem has given a nation the honour.power to rule over Am Yisrael, they are not reallyruling. As the verse describes: “ ‫ואף גם זאת בהיותם‬‫ – ”בארץ אויביהם לא מאסתים ולא געלתים‬even when Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 16
  17. 17. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon From here, we see the basic fundamental differenceBo: To Serve between the way the world views serving G-d, verses the way of Am Yisrael. The Torah demand from a JewHashem to serve Hashem at all times, in all circumstances, every place and every age. Therefore there is no difference whether people are old, young, male orWhen Pharaoh was talking to Moshe about letting female, everyone has their part.the Jews go, he asked him: “‫ – ”מי ומי ההולכים‬whom Obviously, the responsibility of an older person isdo you want to go? When Moshe answered: “ ‫בנערינו‬ different from one who is young, it is however the‫ – ”ובזקננו נלך וגו‬children, elders etc. will go, Pharaoh responsibility of those who are older, to find andanswer was: no! Only the men will go since that is clarify the role of those who are younger. When eachwhat you really want. and every person is doing what they are supposed to,The question is, that Moshe never said only the men, altogether they make up that unique entity of Amso from where does Pharaoh get this idea that this is Yisrael, and then they are fitting for redemption andMoshe’s request? the right to live as a nation in Eretz Yisrael.The answer is that Pharaoh did not really hear it, onlyfrom his perspective he figured that the Jews weregoing to bring sacrifices and serve their G-d, and theones who normally do so are the men, not thewomen & children! So what he meant was: since youare ultimately asking to go and serve your G-d youare really only asking for the men, and you don’tneed anybody else! Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 17
  18. 18. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says battles, there was Chur, and he ultimately died tryingB’Shalach: The to stop the Golden Calf being built. Therefore the terminology “‫ ”אחד‬is used for both ofPower of One’s them, each one being a separate and unique entity. Moshe had the ability to merge and mesh these two strengths, however when he wasn’t around (duringStrengths the time of the Golden Calf) this ability disappeared which was when we saw the differences between Aharon and Chur.As Moshe Rabeinu was standing over ‫ עם ישראל‬whilethey were fighting their battle with Amalek, the When it come to Chinuch first and foremost we needTorah describes how Moshe’s arms became weary to know that every child is different and has theirand he sat down with Aharon holding one arm aloft unique and special gifts. If we take the time toand Chur the other. discern and clarify this uniqueness then we will be able to really give that special and focused energyThe language the torah uses is :” ‫ואהרון וחור תמכו בידיו‬ that our kids are entitled too.‫ .”מזה אחד ומזה אחד‬The question is - Why is itnecessary to emphasize that from each side their was Once we have explored and understood these“One” holding and not use the general statement: different strengths, then maybe we can begin to see“they held up his arms”? a way bring out all of a child’s potential, to make him realize what his capabilities are, and to drive himAharon and Chur were two very different people with forward to realize all this latent potential.very different personalities and characters. Aharon isknown as the “‫אוהב שלום ורודף שלום, – ”איש שלום‬‫ ,אוהב את הבריות ומקרבן לתורה‬whereas Chur was the“‫ – ”איש מלחמה‬when it came to fighting G-d’s Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 18
  19. 19. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon As we see in the Haftara: “This house that you areTrumah: building, if you go in my statues and keep my laws and guard the mitzvoth to walk in their ways, I willInvolved in keep all my promises…” The conditions for G-d presence are no more than keeping the basics. We see this in the terminology of the verse: “ ‫ושכנתי‬Prayer ‫ – ”בתוכם‬I will dwell in them while it should have U U said: “I will dwell in it”! We see from here, that just to be involved, every person at his/her level, thisPeople sometimes think that in order to truly elevate already brings Hashem’s Shechina into that persononeself spiritually and bring G-d into this world, you and they are considered like a mini Holy Temple.need to be involved in prayer, holiness etc. andsomewhat removed and disconnected from thephysicality of this world. As a source for thisbehavior, there is a verse quoted from the Parsha:“‫ – ”ועשו לי מקדש ושכנתי בתוכם‬Make for me a Templeand I will dwell amongst them. In order for G-d to bein this world, we need to be like a Mikdash.However, this is not the case. We do not need to gosearching for all types of “Holy” behavior; rather allwe need to do is to keep the Torah & Mitzvot as partof our regular life, and that in itself will bring theKedushah and Shechina to us. Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 19
  20. 20. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says to Chessed speak to them more, whereas for othersTetzaveh: they relate more to davening in Shul.Multiple In order that everyone will be able to find a Mitzvah that they can relate to, and dedicate themselves totally to it, Hashem gave multiple Mitzvot, multipleOpportunities opportunities to connect. No one can claim that they do not have a place toI heard a wonderful idea this week. After we learn, truly express themselves in Torah and Mitzvot. All itwe customarily say the words of Rabbi Chananya Ben requires is a bit of thought and introspection, andAkashiya: “ ‫רצה הקב"ה לזכות את ישראל לפיכך הרבה‬ then we can find our unique place in Avodat Hashem‫ – ”להם תורה ומצות‬Hashem wanted to look for more with a Mitzvah that is tailor made for us.merit for Am Yisroel, therefore he gave them muchTorah & Mitzvot. The question is asked: if Hashemwas looking for ways for us to get more credit, whynot just give more for the Mitzvot we do? Why do weneed more?The answer is: that every person is different anddifferent things speak to different people. In orderfor a person to really merit something, he has to putall his effort and energy into what he is doing, in atotal selfless way. Not everybody can apply that tothe exact same thing. For some people, acts relating Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 20
  21. 21. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon learn Torah at every possible moment: “and you shallVayakhel: The toil in it day and night”. Therefore Am Yisrael brought unlimited donations for the sake of the Torah whichMishkan is unlimited, until they were told to stop. This is what the Midrash means: Leave it for the ‫משכן‬ ‫ – העדות‬don’t use the rest! Leave it in the Mishkan asThe Torah in parshat ‫ ויקהל‬tells us that after ‫ בנ"י‬had testimony to the fact that the Torah is unlimitedbrought all the donations for the Mishkan, there was without restrictions, rather the source and basis forstill a lot left over. The Midrash tell us that Moshe whom we are and what we represent.turned to Hashem and asked him what to do with theleftovers? And Hashem answered him: leave it for This past week I took the 8th grade boys from thethe ‫ – משכן לעדות‬a Miskan for testimony. Chinuch Atzmai school for a test on 6 Daf Gemarah by Harav Shteinman Shlita. To see a person in his midWhere have we ever seen anything about another nineties who lives for Torah and is a living, breathingMishkan? example of Torah, dedicate an hour from his time forThe answer is that there is only one Mishkan, and it is kids, is the greatest testimony I could ever give tocall the “Mishkan Haeidut” because of the Aron that boys what the Torah is and what it brings to our lives.resides there which has the ‫ לוחות העדות‬inside. Inother words: the whole sanctity of the Mishkancomes about as a result of the Torah residing inside.There is a big difference between the Avoda –bringing of the sacrifices and the Torah. You can onlysacrifice during the day and there are clear rules andrestrictions on what, when, and how to bring.However Torah has no limits. We are obligated to Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 21
  22. 22. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says the ‫ לוחות‬in first and only then put the ‫ – כפורת‬thePekuday: Look cover on top. The question is: that is obvious! Why do we need theInside Torah to tell us that? The answer is: that without what is inside there is no purpose for the Aron and therefore we have toIn the Parshiyot that we read last week and B”H willread this week, the topic is the building of the emphasize he fact that we put the ‫ לוחות‬in and onlyMishkan and it’s ‫ – כלים‬vessels. then close it. The proof for this is: that in the 2nd Beit Hamikdash when we didn’t have the ‫ ,לוחות‬we didn’tWhile it seems to be that we are spending a lot of have the Aron either.time focusing on the external details: how everythingshould be made, what materials must be used etc., This idea is absolutely crucial in the world of Chinuch.we see from ‫ חז"ל‬that everything in the Mishkan and We tend to get caught up in what we see on theits contents in reality are coming to give us different outside: the behavior, the talk etc., and we forget tomessages for life. look inside of the children and see their special qualities and the true gems that they really are.This fact in itself: not to get too focused on theoutside and instead try to understand what really is Let us take a moment of thought before we decideimportant, is probably one of the strongest messages about others, and focus on the special Neshamaitself. inside, instead of getting caught up with the outside.We see this hinted over and over again in the verses.For example: if we take the Aron. The Torah tells usthat we are supposed to put the ‫ לוחות הברית‬into theAron. And then the Torah goes and repeats the exactsame thing again! Why? Says Rashi: to tell us to put Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 22
  23. 23. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon By a person fulfilling these two aspects to the best ofVayikra: his ability, he will then be considered as having brought a sacrifice, himself to Hashem.Sacrifices After having reached this stage, one could find it hard to bring himself to even speak to Hashem, therefore we start the Tefilah with words: ‫ה שפתי תפתח ופי‬The Gemara in Brachot brings the well known quote ‫ – יגיד תהילתך‬asking for the help and strength toin the name of Rabbi Yehoshu ben Levi that the actually pray.prayers we have today were enacted by the Rabbis inplace of the Korbanot – the sacrifices, more May Hashem listen to all our Tefilot and the Beitspecifically the Korban Olah – The Burnt Offering. Hamikdash rebuilt ‫.ונואכל שם מהפסחים ומהזבחים‬In describing the Korban Olah, the Torah tells us toskin the animal and cut it up into pieces, thereforethese aspects should exist in prayer too.The Shulchan Aruch talks about the true righteouspeople who would spend some time in solitude inpreparation for Tefila until they were able to as ifremove their outside skin and connect more so totheir true inner being.In addition, for a person to truly daven he is requiredto humble himself and understand that in relation toHashem he is insignificant and disinterred. Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 23
  24. 24. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says What is the connection between having children andTazriah: What is Havdalah on Motzai Shabbat? The answer is that on Motzai Shabbat every personHoly has to use their innate intelligence in order to see and appreciate the difference between the Holy and the profane in every facet of life (as we see in theIn this week’s Parsha we read about a woman who words of the Havdalah). Anyone who is able to dogives birth to a son: "‫."אישה כי תזריע וילדה זכר וכו‬ this is fulfilling the concept of ‫ = זכירה‬rememberingThe Gemarah in Shavuot brings two opinions as to one’s purpose. This is the idea of “‫– ”בנים זכרים‬what we can learn from the juxtaposition of the having the ability to know what is right and what isclosing verses of Shemini and the opening verses of wrong.Tazria. This is also the idea behind the use of wine. Wine,In Parshat Shmini we have the verses that discuss the Gemarah says, has the ability to open up lockeddifferentiating – Havdalah - between pure/impure, and closed hearts. Once a person opens his heartholy/unholy, closely followed by the verse in Tazria then he is truly able to see and understand when anthat discuss the birth of a male. action or deed is Holy or ‫ ח"ו‬profane.These two opinions are as follows; [This is the basis for a Jewish marriage. Knowing andOne who makes Havdalah on wine will have ‫בנים‬ using our capabilities to find the right and proper way‫ - זכרים‬male children. to build a home based on Torah and Mitzvot. If we do that then may we all be Zocheh to have ‫בנים זכרים‬One who makes Havdalah on wine will have ‫בנים‬ who can teach and transfer onwards through the‫ - זכרים‬male children who will be fitting to teach generations the power of ‫ – זכירה‬remembering toTorah. remember and take the time to ask: is this holy or not?] Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 24
  25. 25. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon Le’chayim with the grandfather, and he agreed.Kedoshim: Seeing a religious person the grandfather called him over and told him this story.Wake Up! I was living in Berlin before things deteriorated and the Jews were still living the good life. We were into the culture and atmosphere of revision that prevailedWhen one has to deal with a child who is in Germany at that time.misbehaving, before coming down too hard on him, itis usually preferably to somehow give the kid the One Shabbat the Karliner Rebbe came to town andmessage that he is not heading in the right direction. was slated to speak Friday night in the main shul.If he doesn’t get the hint and as a result somehow Since a Rebbe was a rare event in Germany, manymodify his behavior, then unfortunately he might came to hear him driving too shul the way they werehave to be dealt with in a harsher manner. used to.This is true with the way Hashem deals with us too. The Rebbe waiting to speak was very perturbed and when he got up to talk he said: this week is ParshatThere are those times in our life that maybe we are Kedoshim and we see different commands thatnot exactly doing what we should be, and Hashem Moshe is to tell Am Yisrael.sends us a hint to wake up and do something! Even if 1) ‫ – קדושים תהיו‬Be Holywe don’t completely mend our ways, we have tomake some change. 2) ‫ – איש אמו ואביו תיראו‬Be in awe of your mother & fatherThere was a religious Jew after surgery recuperating 3) ‫ – שבתותי תשמורו‬Keep my Shabbatat a certain Kibbutz. During one of his walks in the 4) ‫ – אני ה‬I am Hashem.fields a tractor pulls up and the driver asks him if hecan come and join a Minyan for a brit. Afterwards Said the Rebbe: when I speak to my Chassidim I say:they asked him if he would like to come and make a Be Holy! And they know that means to keep Shabbat, Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 25
  26. 26. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Sayseat kosher etc. When I speak to the lay people I haveto be more specific: Be in awe of your mother &father! When I speak to the more simple folk I haveto lower the expectations and say: Keep Shabbat!However to you here in Berlin I can’t even tell youthat, therefore my words to you are: I am G-d! Don’tever forget that! And the Rebbe gave such a clap onthe Bima that the windows shook.I came home said the old man and told my wife:that’s it! We are getting out of Germany.We left against all our friends’ advice and came toIsrael and I didn’t become any more religious.However since at least I did something I have meritedto see my grandson having a Brit in Eretz Yisrael. Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 26
  27. 27. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon as if he doesn’t belief in the creation either. AEmor: True creation without continued guidance is worthless. If the world is without guidance there is no need forEmunah keeping the Torah and Mitzvot, and if there is no need for Torah and Mitzvot there is no need for the creation. “ ‫מועדי ה אשר תקראו אותם במועדם...ששת ימים תעשה‬ This is the connection between Shabbat and the‫ – ”מלאכה‬What is the connection between Shabbat Chagim. If we ‫ ח"ו‬desecrate one, we are throwing outand the Chagim? Says Rashi: Whoever keeps the the whole package.Chagim it is as if he has kept Shabbat’ and whoeverdesecrated the Chagim it is as if he has desecrated Therefore the Parsha also writes the whole topic ofthe Shabbat. ‫ – מתנות עניים‬giving to the poor in the middle of the Chagim, in order to show us that this too is anWhat does Rashi mean? Keeping Shabbat is the essential part of our Emunah. If we belief Hashem isabsolute declaration of our trust and faith in the fact running the world, there will be no hesitation in ourthat G-d is the creator of this world, and therefore understanding to take care and give from our own toone who desecrates the Shabbat it is as if he has the poor. If we think it is all ours and we have nodenied all of the creation. The Chagin is a declaration obligation to give, or until we are convinced to give,of the fact the G-d runs this world, even to the level again we are denying our whole purpose for being inof changing nature in order to take care of Am this world.Yisrael. May we all merit to experience this true Emunah inComes along the Torah and says that these two every aspect of our livesthings are inseparable. We cannot believe in one andnot the other. Belief in the creation without thebelief in Hashem’s continued running of the world is Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 27
  28. 28. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says proper concentration during the 1st bracha in theEmor: The Amida he has fulfilled his obligation even if he didn’t on the rest. Whereas if he had the properBeginning concentration on the rest and not the beginning, he has not. We see where we are supposed to concentrate ourWhen bringing a sacrifice the Torah tells us to make efforts, both for ourselves and all the more so for oursure that at the time of Shechita it is done “‫.”לרצונכם‬ children. If we invest more in the beginning: rightRashi explains: make sure that the sacrifice will fulfill time, right place, right environment etc, then there isits purpose as atonement for you. How is this? As the a chance for our kids to make it and maybe for usnext verse explains: eat it only on that day – have in too.mind during the shechita process that you are onlygoing to eat it during the allotted time. Any otherthought differing from that invalidates the Korban.This is true for all other aspects of the Korban: makesure to be thinking and focusing on the right owners,right time, right place etc.We see that proper/improper thoughts at the outsetare what define the validity of our actions.This is the power of the beginning, the proper startone should make. Bris Mila being the first of thephysical mitzvoth is equated to all the mitzvoth.Shabbat being the first of the negative mitzvoth isequated to all the negative mitzvoth. If one has the Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 28
  29. 29. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon the middle of the Machane was the Aron and theBamidbar: Mishkan, therefore everyone surrounding that Mishkan are essentially all focused together to theCommunity same place. This is the key to who and what Am Yisrael are. Each and every tribe has their characteristics that areOne of the main themes in this week’s Parsha is that unique to them and therefore have to keep thatof the different flags and the tribes that they uniqueness. However that can only be if everyone isrepresented. Due to the length that the Torah goes focusing on ‫ .הקב"ה‬If we are all working to the sameinto to describe all the details obviously this is a very goal then the differences that we have don’t make aimportant part of the framework and structure of difference, rather on the contrary that shows the realBnei Yisrael. If so how come Hashem waited until greatness of a people. We can be different but innow to give over these laws, a year after they left reality we are really one.Mitzrayim, and not instruct them immediately assoon as they had left?If we think about it, all these different flags andcamps that were part of Am Yisrael in reality are acause for separation. Each group had their neighborsthat were separate from all the others. Why then didHashem want that this is the way the nation shouldcamp and travel?Yes, if the result of such encampment would be adistancing of the tribes from each other, then forsure that was not Hashem’s intention. However in Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 29
  30. 30. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says wasting time? Or the opposite: Im not going toNaso: Efforts manage in any case, so why bother? The answer is: that the effort one puts intoCount something is what makes it count. Not whether he actually succeeds or he can manage without it. This is what Hashem is coming to teach us. True weIn the listing of the sons of Levi, the Torah alsodescribes their responsibilities vis-à-vis what they are might not need the efforts of the sons of Kehat, butsupposed to carry of the Mishkan when it travels. they need to put in the effort or in real terms or in potential terms, in order for them to appreciate theirThe tribe of Kehat was responsible the Aron and the responsibilities. Therefore the verse emphasizes: notrest of the Holy vessels. We also know that the Aron only the sons of Gershon have to be in their prime ofreally carried those that seemed to be carrying them. life, but also the sons of Kehat.So in true sense, the actual work of Bnei Kehat is notso difficult verses the son of Gershon who had to Remember! Our efforts count, not the results!carry the wood beams from the walls.If so, how come the verse when defining the age ofthe working Leviim (30-50 = prime of life) says thatthe sons of Gershon where also strong, when itshould be saying that the sons of Kehat were of thesame age even though that their strength was notneeded! And why was that strength really needed?Many times we ask the question: if I can succeedwithout trying to hard, why bother trying and just Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 30
  31. 31. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon his question doesn’t mentioned G-d at all: “What isBalak: Seeing this work you are doing? Even though the question is the same, however one is prepared to see G-d isHashem what happens in this world and the other isn’t. So too with Yitro the verse describes what he heard that Hashem had done, whereas with Balak it onlyThis week’s Parsha describes how Balak seeing the refers to the fact that he saw what Bnei Yisrael did.aftermath of the battle between Bnei Yisrael and the No mention of G-dEmorites came to the conclusion that something hadto be done to get rid of Am Yisrael and therefore he When a person is prepared to see Hashem inwent and hired Bilam to curse them. whatever happens in this world, that is what clearly defines him as a descendent of Avraham Avinu.This is in stark contrast to what happened with Yitro. However one who persistently denies any GodlyWhen he heard what had taken place with Am involvement in whatever happens, is going with theYisrael, he decided to convert and join them. The behavior of Bilam.question is why? If anything, seeing is supposed tohave a much greater impact on a person then just May we merit to open our eyes and see thehearing, so why did they act so differently? greatness of Hashem in every small facet of our lives.In the Haggada for Pesach is seems to be that thequestion of the wise and wicked sons are the same:“Why are you doing all these things?” so why is onedefined as wicked and the other as wise? The Gaonof Vilna explains the difference. The wise son asks:What are all these things that Hashem our G-d hascommanded you to do” whereas the wicked son in Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 31
  32. 32. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says antagonism is ultimately what makes us great andBalak: Restraint more spiritual people. As we head out to the summer holidays and theOne of the hardest challenges in today’s society is the possibilities of more interaction with others areunwillingness to come out the underdog, or in the there, this is time to awaken ourselves to thosecommonly used phrased: I will not be Friair!! This is points which really show the difference between whothe underlying approach to life that if someone is a student of Bilam Harasha, and who is really a trueinsults me I cannot allow him to get away with it student of Avraham Avinu.without an appropriate response. If someone else isgoing to gain, why not me?This attitude permeates and affects all ages. As aprincipal when we try to educate the kids in school,many times they cannot even understand what iswrong. He insulted me! He hit me! She started! Towalk away is just unthinkable.However this is the way a Jew should behave. As theMishna in Avot describes to us the differencebetween those students of Avraham Avinu and thoseof Bilam Harasha, we see that the commondenominator between all the differences is thewillingness to humble oneself, not to expect thateveryone is going to bow down and kowtow to me!This is what is unique about Am Yisrael. We are still inGalut and the ability to not respond to every Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 32
  33. 33. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon consequently the disbanding of the Sanhedrin, thereKi Tetzei: are still the 4 death penalties in the world, only that they happen by what to us would seem naturalContemplate circumstances. Stoning would be equal to for example: falling of the roof4. Burning would be equal to getting burned or poisoned etc.Our Actions That is whar Rav Yonatan means: the concept of ‫בן‬ ‫ סורר ומורה‬he saw. He saw a grave of a child and he found out that he had behaved as a rebellious sonThe Gemarah in Sanhedrin states: that due to all the and consequently had died unnaturally. So too withrequired conditions there never was and never will the burnt city. But not that the process was actuallybe a case of ‫ - בן סורר ומורה‬the rebellious son. A carried out.similar statement is made regarding the ‫- עיר הנדחת‬a city that worships idols and consequently has to be This is the meaning of the sitting: he sat on the graveburned to the ground. However, then the Gemarah and the ruins and contemplated the situation and hequotes Rav Yonatan who claims to have seen a case came to the conclusion that G-d will was carried outof ‫ בן סורר ומורה‬and even sat on his grave, and to any case.have seen the burnt down city and sat on the ruins. While it is may be not our responsibility to stopHow is it that Rav Yonatan happened to be the evaluating why other people have died, it is ours toperson whom had the luck to see both these things thing and consider what is happening to us? Andthat the Rabbis claim couldn’t be? Furthermore, why what is Hashem’s message for us?the emphasis of sitting on the grave and the ruins? For this we need to take an example from RavMaybe we can explain based on another Gemarah, Yonatan: to take the time and effort to contemplatethat after the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash and our actions and our lives and then we will be merit a proper ‫.כתיבה וחתימה טובה‬ Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 33
  34. 34. Holidays
  35. 35. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon unattainable for children today, would be somewhatRosh foolish and asking for trouble. Just as we want our kids to realize that maybe whatHashanah: The they think or do might not be the correct way, so too we have to be open to the possibility that we too might be in the wrong and are willing to make theChallenge of necessary changes. This essentially is the basis for Teshuva. Only once a person realizes that maybe the life they have beenParenting living is somewhat flawed and that there is another possibility or approach to life, only then can theyOne of the greatest challenges we can have as begin the process of Teshuva, of change andparents or teachers is coming to the realization that reconsideration of ideals and values that we were somaybe the approach that Ive taken or the method convinced in their absoluteness.employed is flawed or even incorrect. May Hashem give us all the insight to see these otherMany of us are convinced that our "derech" is the possibilities and the strength to actually act on them.correct one, and while there might be a lot to be said A ‫ כתיבה וחתימה טובה‬to all of Klal Yisrael and mayfor such a derech, it doesnt necessary mean that it is Hashem bring peace and prosperity to all of Eretzapplicable under all circumstances. YisraelFor example: To lay down boundaries and limits isdefinitely something that is important to do (albeit intodays generation it seems somewhat forgotten),however to set limits that might be too hard or Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 35
  36. 36. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says If we try and analyze these different approaches, weRosh can take some very important messages for our own “New Year”.Hashanah: How we come into Shul and speak to Hashem, is totally depended on our attitude. If we come in as finalists and a feeling that we have done our part andSchool is now we are just finishing off, the chances are, just like we would waste the entire year with limited achievement, we will end up squandering ourBack!!! opportunity to meet and talk to Hashem with a result of limited achievement.From one aspect, the fact that the 1st of September However if we come in as 1st graders, with a it bit ofthis year is so close to Rosh Hashanah, it is quite hard shyness, with a bit of humility, a bit of uncertainty,on the teachers due to the fact that by the time the then the push to succeed will be much greater and sokids are a finally a little settled, they immediately go will our achievements.again on holiday. However from another aspect the May all of Am Yisrael have a Ktiva Vachatimah Tovawhole concept of starting a new year is directlyrelated to Rosh Hashanah.We see the different ages coming in. those who arein their last year have a certain attitude towardsschool, whereas those who are only starting in 1stgrade have a totally different attitude. Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 36
  37. 37. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon realizes that the pleasures of this world areSuccot: Puts temporary and aren’t around forever, only then can they truly begin to enjoy themselves. This is why weLife Into go out to the Succah. In order to tell ourselves that life overall is temporary and that at any given moment things can change. This is the message ofPerspective the temporary dwelling, the Succah. At this stage one learns to appreciate what they do have and really begin to enjoy every moment of it.The main idea behind the mitzvah of Succot This is what the Mishna in Pirkei Avot says: “ ‫איזהו‬according to the Rambam is to reach the highest level ‫ – ”עשיר השמח בחלקו‬who is true wealthy person? Heof Simcha – Joy that one could. Whilst every Chag has who is happy with his lot!an aspect of Simcha, Succot is very special in thisregard. This is why Succot is known as: “‫.”זמן שמחתנו‬ This doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy life. On the contrary! If Hashem has given it to us, it is there forThe obvious question is: why then do we leave the us to benefit and enjoy. However the true deepcomfort of our homes and go out to a place which is enjoyment of Zman Simchateinu” can only comeso much less comfortable? Shouldn’t we stay in the once we understand the proper balance of how thingnice air-conditioning fly free atmosphere and really stand in our world.enjoy ourselves?The answer is: that to enjoy true joy first we have toget our perspectives right. A person, who is whollyinto the physicality of this world, does not necessarilymean that he is happy. How many people who arewealthy but are still miserable? Only once a person Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 37
  38. 38. Rav Dovid Simon Simon Says into the hands of a few, impure into the hands of theChanukah: pure, wicked into the hands of the righteous, and those who turned against the Torah into the hands ofToday’s Battles those who guarded it". These are the miracles we should remember and take the message from them for today. We are stillAs we approach Chanukah and we begin to smell the battling those Greek forces and they are trying in allaroma of the sufganiyot and the latkes, it awakens ways to infiltrate into the very essence of the Jewishwithin us again, all the ideas that Chanukah people.represents. One of the most crucial battlegrounds is the area ofHowever, most of us focus on the miracle of the jug religious Jewish education. There is an ongoingof oil and the fact that we light the candles for eight infiltration of those Hellenistic ideas that the Greeksdays in order to commemorate that event and espoused, that we have are losing track of whatpublicize Hashems greatness. But in reality if we look Hashem really wants from us and from our children.a bit deeper, we see that the true miracle ofChanukah is much greater. This Chanukah we should take a moment to evaluate the true message of Chanukah and ask ourselves: areIn the tefilah of Al Hanissim there is very little we prepared to be like the Maccabees and take thosemention of the lighting of the candles at all and the steps that are required, for us and our families to livedirection on the tefilah is elsewhere. The tefilah the life of : "Mi Chamocha Baeilim Hashem".describes how we were put in spiritual danger by theGreeks: "To forget your Torah and to transgress yourwill" and then Hashem with great compassion andcaring went to battle and brought about greatmiracles of: "Brave into the hands of the weak, many Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 38
  39. 39. Simon Says Rav Dovid Simon deep inside themselves and realize the importance ofChanukah: the Torah and what it meant for the nation’s survival, with Hashem’s help and their willingness, all theGreat Potential barriers came down and they merited a great victory. B”H we also will take the Chanukah message to hearRecently one of my friends had a Down syndrome and together with our families, realize the greatchild, and he was describing to me how many people potential inside every single one of us.(out of the goodness of their hearts) were tellingthem about the different difficulties involved with A Freilicha Chanukahraising such a child. When he shared this informationwith his doctor, the doctor categorically disagreed bysaying: A child will be what we make him! How weperceive our children’s abilities and guide them toreach their maximum potential is what makes themunique, regardless of whatever seemingly limitationsthey might have.This is true for every single one of our children. Everyperson has their special talents and at the same timealso certain limitations. How we let those limitationsbecome handicaps, is entirely up to us.This is the message of Chanukah. The Jews werefaced with a tremendous danger of spiritual andphysical destruction, but when they were able to dig Kehillat Bnei Aharon www.kbaraanana.org 39
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