Illuminations #195, Adar A, 5779, Parshat Tetzaveh

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Illuminations #195, Adar A, 5779, Parshat Tetzaveh

Torah Gems

The Gemara in Yuma says that the incense in the Beis Hamikdash could be smelled as far as Yericho and it was so strong that the women there did not need to put on perfume.  How can this be understood?

In the outside world, everything is about exposure. In the 2012 presidential election, over one billion dollars was spent on advertising. Every action that the president would take would be carefully calculated to put him in the best light. The assumption is, unless you publicize yourself you can go nowhere and won’t have an effect on anybody. However, as Jews, we know this is not true. Our leaders sit in their homes without being interviewed or receiving publicity and affect our whole nation. For example, Rav Chaim Kanievsky has a very small apartment in Benei Brak, yet hundreds of people stream in to him every day. With this idea, Rav Moshe Feinstein explains how the incense which was done in private could be smelled so far away. Rav Moshe says that the Menorah also was lit in private and its light spread a great distance, too. One can say that it is possible that anyone who devotes himself to learning Torah can have a great effect on people without making great publicity.

Parsha Pearls

It is well known that Parshas Tetzaveh is the one Parsha that Moshe Rabbeinu’s name was left out. After the sin of the Golden Calf Hashem wanted to destroy the Jews and start a new nation. Moshe said, “If you do, erase me from your book.” The Baal Haturim explains that Hashem accepted Moshe’s argument, however in one parsha He left him out. This was based on the idea that the curse of a sage even made on a condition comes true. The question one could ask is, why did Hashem pick Parshas Tetzaveh? Rav Eliezer Simcha Weisz explains that Moshe’s name is only missing externally, however internally his name is really in the parsha. He brings a Medrash Tanchuma that the name a person acquires for himself is better that any other name given to him by his parents or what people call him. The name Moshe acquired was “You”, which appears when Hashem tells him to speak to Aharon and his sins about the Kohen Gadol’s clothing. This is an expression of humility because it doesn’t show any honor.

Glimpses of Greatness

There is a beautiful story of the Satmar Rebbe.  A man publicized lashon hara about the Satmar Rebbe in a newspaper. A while later, the man was marrying off his daughter and needed money. He approached the Rebbe and requested financial assistance. The Satmar Rebbe was a big Baal Tzeddakah (gave a lot of charity). After the man received a donation and left, the Rebbe’s students asked the Rebbe why he gave the man tzedakkah if he knew that he had spoken negatively about him. The Satmar Rebbe explained that he needed money and it was a mitzvah to help him.  Further, the Satmar Rebbe felt that perhaps he had not given him enough and called him back to give him more!

Halacha Weekly

Q. Why is it permitted for us to pray for the sick on Shabbat using Misheberach? [I-18-YD 384]

A. Beit Yosef (Orech Chaim 185, R. Yosef Karo , Z”L) brings the Yerushalmi (Shabbat 15-3) that since one cannot pray for his own needs on Shabbat he should grasp hold of the blessings (which mention his needs on Shabbat like birkat Hamazon, etc.) and say these with particular intent. He writes that it is implied from here that it is prohibited to say a blessing for a sick person on Shabbat . Maran (R. Yosef Karo Z”L],  however, in Avkat Rochel  (12, Teshuvot of R. Yosef Karo Z”L) retracts from what he said in Beit Yosef,  and says that for a sick person who donates charity, one should say misheberach and bless him that the Holy One should bring him [back] to complete health. This is regardless of whether the sick person’s life is in danger or is not in danger.

[He adds]… Such an action is appropriate and this does not detract from the words of the Sage’s who say one should not pray for the sick [on Shabbat]…This is because there is a concern that maybe this will stir the [heart of the] person [praying] and cause him to come to tears [which is inappropriate for Shabbat]. However, [this is not the case for] one who says the misheberach (public prayer for the sick on Shabbat) because he has the intention of the prayer [in a fixed formula of prayer which] actually prevents him [from coming to tears]. Rather, he says: ‘May it be the will of G-d in His righteousness [to bring healing]. This does not arouse anguish or tears, and instead it strengthens the hearts of the sick person and those who care for him ….[so they will come to hope for  Divine intervention which will] rescue him from sickness in the merit of the mitzvah [of tzedakah that is being done].  Even though the one blessing him [does so] in the form of a prayer, this does not matter since the text is fixed according to the formula said for all that give offerings [of tzekaka] for Hashem.