Illuminations #168, Tammuz, 5778, Parshat Pinchos

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Illuminations #168, Tammuz, 5778, Parshat Pinchos

Torah Gems

The passuk in our Parshah tells us that the sons of Korach did not die (26:11). Rashi explains that although initially they were involved in the machlokes, “They had thoughts of repentance in their hearts.” Therefore, unlike the others, a high place was made for them whereby they were able to escape falling deep into Gehinom. The Gemara (Berachos 10a) relates that when Chizkiyahu, King of Yehudah, was deathly ill, he told the navi Yeshaya: “So have I received the tradition from my great-grandfather, Dovid Hamelech: ‘Even if a sharp sword is placed on a person’s neck, one should still daven for rachamim.’” The same holds true with the sons of Korach, explains Rav Gamliel Rabinovitch, shlita. The children of Korach were already swallowed by the earth and on their way to Gehinom. At the very last moment before their neshamot left them, they had thoughts of teshuvah, and as a result, this tremendous miracle occurred and they left Gehinom! We can learn from here, he continues, the great power of “mere” thoughts of teshuvah! As Rashi stated, “They had thoughts of repentance in their hearts.” Only because of their thoughts of teshuvah [not even actually performing teshuvah], did such a tremendous miracle occur! It’s never too late!
May Hashem help all of us to return to Him through complete teshuvah, amen

Parsha Pearls

When Moshe Rabbeinu asks Hashem Yisbarach about appointing the new leader of Klal Yisrael, he mentions to appoint a man “who will go out before them and come in before them.…” (27:17) What was Moshe Rabbeinu referring to with these words? Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt”l, explains that when it comes to chinuch, students and children are very impressionable and are much more receptive to what they see their teacher or parent doing, as opposed to what their teacher or parents say to do. A true message is powerfully conveyed by one who practices what he preaches. Therefore, Moshe Rabbeinu was asking Hashem to appoint a leader who is himself meticulous in all his ways in bein adam lachaveiro and bein adam laMakom. This way Klal Yisrael will have an example of the proper way to serve Hashem. He asked for a leader who everyone would be able to learn from just by observing the way he “will go out before them and come in before them.” By practicing what we preach we will be a living example to our children and students. In this way we can have hope that they will follow in a wonderful way.

Glimpses of Greatness

In the beginning of his married life, Rav Shach and his family rented an apartment in Yerushalayim from Reb Alter Shub. Although Rav Shach paid rent for his living quarters, he nonetheless felt gratitude towards the Shub family for conferring this benefit to him. Rav Shach considered it his duty to treat the Shub family exceptionally well, even extending this treatment to the family’s offspring.Many years after Rav Shach moved to Bnei Brak, it happened that some of Reb Alter Shub’s grandchildren found themselves in Bnei Brak late one evening, without means of transportation available to take them home to Jerusalem.

Rav Shach was overjoyed to host them in his home for the night as a way of expressing his gratitude to his “landlord,” as he referred to Reb Alter.

Rebbetzin Guttel Shach later quietly told the guests that Rav Shach had been planning to go out somewhere that night, but because of the mitzvah of hospitality and Hakaras Hatov (gratitude) that had come his way, he had stayed at home.

Halacha Weekly

Q. Is it permitted for a man to shave excess facial hair?  [1-YD12-288]

A. Avneh Yishafeh (4-91 , R. Yisrael Pesach Friedhandler, Z”L) writes regarding a man who has hair between his eyebrows and shaves it, or on his hands and shaves it: is there a prohibition involved of lo Yilbosh gever simlat Ishah (That a man should not wear the clothing of a woman)? Is it permitted for him to shave trim the hairs? [He rules] there is no concern in this case  of there being a prohibition of lo Yilbosh gever simlat Ishah.

Similarly, Birchat Yehudah (2-9 YD, R. Aryeh Lev Baron Z”L), and Nishmat Avraham (Mahadurah Chadashah YD 182) in the name of R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach Z”L, permits an unmarried man to remove hair between his eyebrows because it is a physical defect  and there is no concern in this case [as well] of lo yilbosh gever  simlat Ishah.  See also Shevet Hakehati (1-231, R. Shamai Hakehat R. Shammai Kehat GrossZ”Lwho explains that it is prohibited to remove the white from the dark hairs [which is the practice of women when removing excess hair], rather one should shave all the hairs at once.