lluminations #32, Sivan 5775, Parshat Bamidbar

KollelNerHamizrach__illumination logo

lluminations #32, Sivan 5775, Parshat Bamidbar

Torah Gems

Hakham Yosef Hayim, in his sefer on Pirke Avot, quotes the sefer Mishpat Tzedek, who  explains that although there is a great obligation to study Torah at all times, there is an even greater obligation at times when the majority of the world is not studying Torah. The times such as Friday after midday, Hol Hamoed, and bein hazmanim when the Yeshivot are off and people are busy doing thing, is when there is an even greater obligation for a person to study Torah. Additionally, his reward  for the study of Torah during those moments is much greater.

This is especially so because at that point the angels are idle in heaven as there is not much התעוררות, arousal from down in this world. With this, the Midrash Shemuel explains the Mishna that says: “And if you are idle from Torah there are those that are idle opposite you”. This refers to the angels that will be idle for there are a number of angels whose main sustenance is dependent on the התעוררות, arousal from below. With this the Ben Ish Hai explains the verse in Shir HaShirim “היושבת בגנים חברים מקשיבים לקולך השמיעיני” (The ones sitting in the gardens are listening to your voice).

The explanation is: the ones sitting in the garden refers to those sitting in the synagogues and batei midrashim. The “friends” are referring to the angels, who don’t have jealousy or hatred. “They are listening to hear your voice,” this refers to hearing the study of the Torah, for the main way they are sustained is through the Torah study.

Glimpse of Greatness

The Kotsker Rebbe once related a story about the author of the אבני נזר. One year on the day of Purim, at the exact moment which the entire world was occupied with the Seudat Purim and the other commandments of the day, the father of the Avne Nezer sat and studied Torah. At that point, there was a big commotion and noise in heaven. For if not for the Torah learning of this holy sage, the entire world would have been without Torah study. Therefore, he received from heaven a son that was a great Torah sage who merited to light the world with his Torah.

Halacha Weekly

Laws of Shavuot

On the night of Shavuot one should not make kiddush until 45 minutes after sunset. The reason for this is in order that the 49 days of Sefirah (counting the Omer) should be complete.
The custom is that one should stay up all night to learn Torah.  However, if one stayed up the whole night and did not learn, then one has not fulfilled the mitzvah and would be better off sleeping. It is said in the name of the Ari Z”L that if one stays up the whole night of Shavuot and learns without interruption, without falling asleep once, and refrains from speaking about other things aside form Torah, then that person will merit to have a very good year and his days will be fulfilled. it is said in the name of the Shelah HaKadosh that if one would like to say something other than Divrei Torah on this night, then they should say it in Lashon haKodesh (Hebrew).
There is a custom that people decorate their home with flowers and greenery, and some people do this at the synagogue as well..
There is a custom to eat dairy foods as well on Shavuot, but one should note that it is a mitzvah to eat meat meals on Yom Tov.  Therefore, one should eat dairy in the morning after Kiddush and then wait a while and start their meat meal for Yom Tov.  Note: According to Ashkenazic custom, if one eats a type of dairy for which it would be necessary to wait 6 hours before consuming meat, then they should take this into account before consuming the dairy.
During the day of Shavuot one should try to learn Torah. Some people have the custom to finish the whole book of Tehillim since Shavuot is the yahrzeit of King David.
There is a custom that people go to the mikveh for immersion before praying on Shavuot morning. Acccording to the Kabbalah this is an important mitzvah to do.
According to Sephardim, at night, after Chatzot (halachic midnight), one should say all the Birkat HaShachar (morning blessings), and in the morning, 72 minutes before dawn, one should say the Birkat HaTorah (Blessings regarding Torah leaning). If one slept for at least a half hour, then in the morning one should wash their hands, and say the blessing of “Al netilat Yadaim” as well. However, if one did not fall asleep, then one should not say the blessing of “Al Netilat Yadaim.” If one uses the restroom, then one should also say the blessing “Asher Yatzar.”
According to Ashkenazim, if one stayed up all night, then they should hear the blessing of Birkat HaTorah from someone else who slept that night. This also should be done for the blessing of Elokai Neshama and the blessing of Maavir Sheinah. All the other morning blessings one may say on one’s own.

לעילוי נשמת
אליעזר בן שבתאי
מאת משפחת ורון