Illuminations #203, Nissan, 5779, Parshat Metzorah

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Illuminations #203, Nissan, 5779, Parshat Metzorah

Torah Gems

In a week from now we will celebrate the Passover holiday. We will spend the night with family and friends in appreciation to Hashem for taking us out of Egypt. One may wonder why we must thank Hashem. If the slavery would not have happened in the first place, we would not need to be saved and we would not thank Hashem for saving us.

It is a common misunderstanding as to why Hashem sends us challenges and suffering. Although it can serve as an atonement for our sins, it is also to lift us up to the next level in serving Hashem.  The ultimate reward for all we accomplish is in the next world. As a gift, Hashem sends us troubles to encourage us to increase our chesed, Tefillah, and Torah study. Hashem wants something from us. When faced with a challenge we do more. When we do more we earn more reward. With this in mind we can understand why we thank Hashem for our travails. Challenges are opportunities for growth; they are meant to build us, not break us. For this reason, we dip the bitter Marror into charoset.  By doing so we remind ourselves that although the frustration we may exhibit is real, we know there is something sweet that will come out of it. Let us take the messages Hashem sends us and becomes the people we can be.

Parsha Pearls

​The punishment of Leprosy is discussed in the tractate of Arachin. This tractate mainly deals with sins between man and his fellow as opposed to man and Hashem. Hashem does not like to see His children fighting. One of the sins mentioned in this week’s parsha is Lashon Hara. Lashon Hara is negative speech about a fellow Jew. What makes Lashon Hara so devastating? It betrays trust and causes you to focus on the negativity in another person. Hashem put us in this world to work on ourselves and help others. Instead we take the gift of speech and contaminate it through condemning others. Lashon Hara includes true statements and those that would be said even in front of the subject. Next time we are speaking with our friends let us choose subjects that put people in a positive light.

Glimpses of Greatness

The Chofetz Chaim once visited a doctor during a very difficult time for the Jews. The doctor asked how Hashem could let the Jews die. The Chofetz Chaim inquired as to whether the doctor had a certificate to be a doctor. When the doctor replied in the affirmative, the Chafetz Chaim asked how it could still be valid. The doctor was surprised and responded that he only needed certification one time. The Chofetz Chaim answered that Hashem also proved it to us one time when we were redeemed from Egypt. We can be sure that this is all part of the Master plan even if we don’t understand it.

Halacha Weekly

Q. How  can one say two berachot on the eating of matzah during the Pesach Seder? [II-2-15-hagdarah 8]

A. We do not perform two mitzvot at the same time (this is referred to as mitzvot chavilot chavilot). For example, we do not say Kiddush twice on the same cup of wine. Pesachim (102b)writes: one may not say two kedushot on one cup because one does not perform mitzvot in a wholesale fashion (mitzvot chavilot chavilot).  However, we do have cases where it is customary to do more than one mitzvah with the same mitzvah item.

Tosofot Berachot (39b ‘hakol’)  writes initially that [during the Seder] one should not make both a blessing of hamotzi and also a blessing on achilat Matzah (eating the matzah on one slice of matzah),  because if he does so, he is performing multiple mitzvot using the same mitzvah object (and this is a case of mitzvot chavilot chavilot).  Afterwards, however,  Tosofot writes: ‘… and it appears that this is a blessing for which one derives personal benefit (birchat nehenin) and it is therefore not called a case of chavilot  chavilot,since [we have for example] Kiddush on which we make the blessing on [both] Kiddush [itself] and on the wine [which is a blessing on receiving personal benefit from the wine].

For this reason, then (since the two blessings have separate distinct reasons), it is permitted to say the blessing of hamotzi, (which is a blessing of personal benefit), and achilat matzah, (which is a blessing on the mitzvah of eating matzah) on the same piece of matzah, and there is no concern of there being a prohibition of mitzvot chavilot chavilot.