lluminations #31, Iyar 5775, Parshat Behar-Bechukosai

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lluminations #31, Iyar 5775, Parshat Behar-Bechukosai

Torah Gems

The first pasuk of parshas Bechukosai begins with: “Imbechukosai teilichu… (If you will go in my ways..).”

Rashi comments that this is a reference to toiling in Torah.

Commenting on this pasuk the medrash quotes David HaMelech who said, “I contemplated my path and my feet returned to your testimony.” The medrash is telling us that David HaMelech would always plan out his schedule for the day but his feet would end up leading him to the Bais Medrash. R’ Henoch Leibowitz points out that David HaMelech certainly didn’t plan to spend his day chasing worldly pursuits. As the king of the Jewish people, he must have had a myriad of tasks to perform on behalf of the nation. It was these important lofty tasks which were in his schedule. If so, why is David HaMelech praising himself for having relinquished his schedule for going to the Bais Medrash to learn? If he originally planned his day for these things then certainly it took precedence over Torah.

​R’ David Leibowitz answers that David HaMelech’s challenge lay in defining what was important and which task took precedence over Torah. The Yetzer Hara tried convincing David HaMelech that he had a myriad of tasks to perform and had no time for learning torah. But because David’s heart was in Torah, he was successfully able to sort out which priorities were of absolute importance and which tasks he could forego for the sake of learning Torah.

​We all have important things to get done in life which we could use to justify not learning Torah such as taking care of family, making a livelihood, etc. But if one truly loves Torah, he would be able to find the time for learning torah.

Parsha Pearls

The first pasuk of parshas Bechukosai begins with: “Im bechukosai teilichu… (If you will go in my ways..).”

Rashi comments that this is a reference to toiling in Torah.

​On the completion of a mesechta, we recite a short paragraph thanking Hashem for allowing us to be from those who merit to study Torah. We say, “We toil and they toil, we toil and receive reward and they toil and don’t receive reward.” The Chofetz Chaim asks, what does it mean that they toil and don’t receive reward? Have you ever seen a tailor who didn’t receive compensation for his work?

The Chofetz Chaim answers that there is a tremendous difference between learning Torah and business endeavors. In the world of business, a person a paid for the result of the final product. For example, if a tailor toils all day but fails to produce a suit, he will not be paid a cent for his hard effort. On the contrary, the study of Torah is the exact opposite. The main reward is for the toiling and effort put into the study. May we merit to be of those who toil in Torah.

Glimpse of Greatness

The Chazon Ish used to take a daily stroll as instructed by his doctor. Once R’ Chaim Kanievsky, a nephew of the Chazon Ish, was taking a walk with him when the Chazon Ish suddenly stopped and exclaimed, “I can tell on the air that today there were two bochurim who were walking here during their lunch break and were speaking words of Torah.”

Just the mere fact that bochurim walked by saying words of Torah left an imprint on the world. Imagine what effect there is when a person sits in the Bais Medrash and learns!

Halachah Weekly

Q: Is one allowed to put back a mezuzah that fell on Shabbat?
A: There are three cases:
  1. If the case is still standing but only the parchment fell, and if you can just put back the parchment without gluing the case or nailing it down, then you are permitted to put back the parchment.
  2. During the week if the mezuzah fell and you are putting it back you have to make a new berachah (blessing). However, on Shabbat when you are putting it back you do not make a berachah.  Even on Motzaei Shabbat you do not make  a berachah any more.
  3. If the mezuzah fell on Shabbat and you do NOT have a way of putting it back, then the question is are you allowed to sleep and stay in the house that does not have a mezuzah?  In a case that the person is anoos (in a situation which is being forced by circumstances out of his control), and it was out of his control that the mezuzah fell on Shabbat, one is allowed to stay in the house.  It is better, though, for the person to sleep in a room that has a mezuzah already.  During the week, however, if the house does not have a mezuzah and the house belongs to you, and you therefore have an obligation to place a mezuzah on the doorpost of the house and you failed to do so, then one is not allowed to stay in that house until you have put up a mezuzah.

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