Illuminations #120, Sivan 5777, Parshat Nosoi

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Illuminations #120, Sivan 5777, Parshat Nosoi


Torah Gems

With the induction of the Mishkan, the Nesiim, the leaders of each shevet, brought an offering. Each brought exactly the same offering. Yet the Torah spells it out in its full identical detail, twelve times. 

The Saba of Kelm writes that this episode of the Nesiim shows that each member of a crowd is viewed by Hashem with the love and joy normally directed to a unique and exceptional individual. The main idea of Kabbalas haTorah on Shavuos is that each and every one of us has a portion in Torah. Each person is a ben- yachid, only child. The others that join us in our avodah must encourage and energize us. They don’t detract in any form or shape from our significance. That’s how Hashem views it.

Parsha Pearls

In the Haggadah, we say that even if Hashem had brought us to Mt. Sinai but had not given us the Torah, it would have been enough for us. This is hard to understand. Arriving at Har Sinai is not an end in itself. The explanation is that if Hashem had brought us to Har Sinai and said, “I am giving you the Torah, but I am not bringing it down for you. You will have to go up to the heavens and get it yourselves,” this too would have been enough for us. We would have built ladders and let nothing stand in our way of receiving the Torah. Torah is our life, so no matter what obstacles are placed in our way, no matter how hard it might be to reach, we will get to it. Our sages say that every year, the Torah comes anew on Shavuos. New revelations in the Torah, insights that pertain only to the souls alive in our generation, come into the world at this time. Let us take advantage of such a precious time by putting in our share of toiling in learning Torah!

Glimpses of Greatness

A family member was once traveling with Rav Elyashiv when another passenger began smoking a cigarette. The smoke disturbed the Rav terribly, to the extent that he felt ill and almost fainted, yet he kept silent. 

“Why didn’t you ask the person to stop smoking?” his family wondered. Rav Elyashiv replied simply, “How could I ask him to stop? He’s used to it.”

Halacha Weekly

Q. Is Aliyah a mitzvah or hechsher (preparation for a) Mitzvah ?

A. Avnei Nezer (R. Avraham Borenstein Z”L, Orech Chaim 2-535-10) writes that aliyah (going up) to the Land of Israel is a mitzvah, and if it is not possible to dwell in the land, if it is possible for one to go up and visit the land then going up to visit the land is a mitzvah. Rashbash (R. Shlomo Ben Shimon Duran, Z”L) writes in Zohar Rakiah (226-76) in the name of his father the Tashbetz (R. Tzemach Duran, Z”L) that going up to the land of Israel is a preparation for the mitzvah (hechsher mitzvah), and dwelling in the Land of Israel is the actual mitzvah.

Tashbetz writes (1-21) that the mitzvah of aliyah, going up to the land of Israel, may be a greater mitzvah than the mitzvah of dwelling in the land itself.  A person who is outside the land of Israel whom the Sages [in the Talmud] have described as: “one who lives outside the land is as one who does not have a G-d.”