Illuminations #167, Tammuz, 5778, Parshat Balak

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Illuminations #167, Tammuz, 5778, Parshat Balak

Torah Gems

“The whole earth is filled with His glory… blessed is Hashem’s glory from His place.”

It sounds as if the angels say these words. The Sefer Iyun Tefilla asks, “Since the angels say these words, why do the angels only say that the whole earth is filled with Hashem’s glory? Why don’t they mention that His glory also fills the heavens? After all, the verse says, ‘His glory is upon the earth and the heavens’.”

Perhaps, he answers, the angels mean that their actions do not reveal Hashem’s glory, because all their service of the Holy One is without free will. If a servant is compelled to be loyal to his master, it is less a sign of his master’s greatness than if the servant’s loyalty springs from free choice. Since the angels are compelled to serve Hashem, His glory and greatness is not evident through them. It is only evident through man, an earthly being, because man serves Hashem out of free choice. 

When a tzaddik freely chooses to experience pain and suffering in order to fulfill Hashem’s will, and is even willing to give up his life to avoid transgressing His will, we have a true sign of Hashem’s glory and greatness. 

For this reason, the angels specify, “His glory fills the whole earth.”

Parsha Pearls

The Midrash Aggadah (24:5) says: “How goodly are your tents, Yaakov, in the merit that Yaakov sat in them, as it says, ‘And Yaakov was an ish tam (a simple man), who dwelled in the tents’.”

The merit of Torah is what sustains a person, protects him, and gives him an abundance of blessing and success. There are all kinds of physical ailments, some of which a family doctor can heal. Other illnesses require a specialist, and some conditions are so terrible that only a professor who is an expert in the field can provide a remedy for them. One thing is clear: all these treatments can be effective only if the person is still alive. That is when the doctors can heal a person. But if, chas v’shalom, he has already passed away, no doctor in the world can restore him to life. However, the Torah is not like that. Even if a person has grown very distant from the Torah and his spiritual soul has departed, it is still possible to revive the soul through learning Torah and doing mitzvos

Glimpses of Greatness

A poor man once came to Rav Simcha Bunim of  Peshischa and asked him for a donation. Rav Bunim gave him a considerable sum of money. As the poor man started to leave, Rav Bunim called him back and gave him more money. Overcome with curiosity, the man asked the Rav why he had called him back. He answered,“The first donation was because I felt pity for you and the second donation was because I wanted to fulfill Hashem’s commandment to give tzedakah to the poor.

Halacha Weekly

Q.  Is a man permitted to wear accessories of a woman, or a woman accessories of a man? [1-YD 12-287)

A. . There is a Torah prohibition (Dev. 22-5)’Lo Yiyeh KeliGever al ishah vlo yilbosh gever simlat Ishah’-‘A woman shall not wear the ornament of a man, and a man shall not wear the clothing of a woman.’However, what is the case regarding accessories of the opposite sex?  Is there a prohibition, lo yilbosh, of using a cane, or wearing shoes of the other sex?

Vayishmah Moshe (2-201-rulings in the name of  R. Yosef Shalom Elyashev, Z”L)   writes about whether there is  a prohibition of wearing red shoes. He answers  the  issur does not relate to shoes.  Similarly,  Mishneh Halachot (10-115, R. Menashe Klein , Z”L) writes regarding a walking cane. See Binat Adam (74, R. Avraham Danzig, Z”L) that writes about this question, and he gives the ruling that a woman that goes out with a cane only for the purpose of preventing her falling down is permitted to do so. There is no suspicion that lo yilbosh [the prohibition for wearing clothing of the other sex being violated] because this is not clothing but rather a form of ornamentation instead.

Divrei Shalom (50-58, R. Shalom Sherabbi, Z”L) says that it is prohibited  for one to wear shoes of a woman. Similarly, the rule is the same for women [wearing shoes of men]. The prohibition of lo yilbash applies to everything that is for the sake of beauty. And Sheiltot HaRosh (75-5, R. Asher Ben Yechiel, Z”L)  speaks of a case of a husband that was commanded to give his wife [his] clothing, [and rules] a trouser, or cloak  is considered clothing [not ornamentation]. He answered that one knows  it is called clothing [versus ornamentation] because all things a man wears for the sake of covering himself are called clothing in the general usage of language of people. Rashba (3-184,  R. Shlomo Ben Aderet) [also] rules that shoes have  the ruling of clothing. And Yechave Daat (5-23,R. Ovadia Yosef Z”L )  and  Chaim Shaol) 1-76, R. Chaim Shaol Kereleitz, Z”L) write similarly.