Zot Chanukah

Sunday, December 9, 2018 · Posted in , ,

Zot Chanukah!

THIS, THE EIGHTH DAY OF CHANUKAH – the fact that there are 8 days of Chanukah – ZOT CHANUKAH, this is what Chanukah means. It means EIGHT. EIGHT is our answer to the Greek challenge. They said nature is perfect. They said it is a mutilation of the body to be circumcised. And they forbid us to fulfill that great mitzva of ours, under pain of death. EIGHT represents the step beyond TEVA, beyond nature. MILA on the 8th day represents our challenge to go beyond how we were created and take charge of the completion of our physical and spiritual form. The Mikdash began to function on its higher spiritual level on the EIGHTH day. The Greeks tried to take that away from us too. Torah was given to us on the day following seven sevens. It is an EIGHTH too. And the Greeks tried to take that from us also. With G-d’s help, we prevailed over the Greeks and the triumph is celebrated with an 8 day holiday. This is Chanukah. ZOT CHANUKAH.


It is said in the name of the holy Rebbe, Rav Yisroel Rhiziner that “what the tzaddikim of the generation accomplish through their lofty Neilah prayers on Yom Kippur, a simple Jew can ask and accomplish with his prayers on Zot Chanukah, the eighth day of Chanukah”.

Vayeshev - Yirat Shamayim

Monday, November 26, 2018 · Posted in , , ,

Bereishit 39:2 "Hashem was with Yosef, and he became a successful man."

Harav Bunim M'Peshischa notes the Torah's emphasis on Yosef's "remembering" the source of his success. He realized that the success he had achieved was only because "Hashem was with Yosef." All too often, we pray to Hashem for various favors. Shortly after Hashem grants us His good will, we seem to forget the source of our benefaction.

Along these same lines, the Chofetz Chaim explains that in the tefillah that we say on the Shabbat prior to Rosh Chodesh, we implore Hashem to grant us a life replete with yirat Shamayim, fear of Heaven, and yirat chet, fear of sin. Once again, at the end of the tefillah, we ask for ahavat Torah v'yirat Shamayim, love of Torah and fear of Heaven. Why do we ask Hashem to grant us yirat Shamayim twice?

The Chofetz Chaim relates that after our first request for yirat Shamayim, we ask for a life of osher v'kavod, wealth and honor.  Once a person has "tasted" a life of wealth and honor, he seldom retains the yirat Shamayim he once had developed. Consequently, it is necessary to request yirat Shamayim a second time. (Peninim on the Torah)


Parashat Vayeshev

Vayeshev Pardes


Wednesday, November 21, 2018 · Posted in , , , ,

"The dust of their feet went up to the Divine Throne". (Chullin 91a) Midrash tells us that all Yaakov's gifts came as a result of this "dust." Furthermore, all the "gifts that Yisrael would gain in this world," "all the success they would have in business," "all the success they would have in battles" – all of it is "in the merit of Yaakov's dust"! Who was the mysterious "man" that wrestled with Yaakov? He was the guardian angel of Esav. (Rashi, Zohar, different Midrashim — see also Hoshea 12:4-5) Yaakov's wrestling with him all night symbolizes the struggle with materialism and evil that he and his descendants would have from this time forth during the night of "exile". (Ramban and Bachya on our chapter) Read more: The Dust of History ------------------------------------------ Parashat Vayishlach Vayishlach Pardes Vayishlach Haftarah

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