Shabbos Shirah - Parsha Beshalach

Shabbat Shirah the name given to this Shabbos that includes Parsha Beshalach which means " The song at the sea " was the song the Jewis people sung upon their liberation from the Mitzrayim, when the Red sea split open and allow them to cross, but drowned the Egyptians. This is why this Shabbos 12 & 13 Shevat 5783 is designated as Shabbos Shirah, the Shabbat of Songs.

How hard life was on daily basis for the Jewish slaves, resulted from labour into horror steadily overnight. While physical labour was already backbreaking, the families were no longer to live together, as wives were separated from their husbands and were forced to work in fields far away from their homes. The Jewish people were so depressed and gradually the hopes for better days faded. The enslavement, made their heart and minds go mumb, and they were tired, but there was this group, who still had not last their optimism, that spark that encouring their families and other to continue to hope for better days, with trust together with prayer would be answered one day and that gave them strength.

The Jewish women were that group. Even after a long day of hard labour, they would clean and scrub the house  and made themselves beautiful for their husbands. They also took care of their husbands when wounded, bring them a hot meal, hot water to have a bath and this all happend in secret. The women also encourage their husbands not to lose hope as they would not be a slave forever, as they had HaShem's promis and they had trust and faith that He will have mercy and redeem them.

But how did these women do all this, in what it seems a hopeless situation?

The women had a leader, and her name was Miriam, she was the teacher of the women and they lead by her example. Miriam was born during a tremendous harsh periode of enslavement, while growing up she felt the pain and dispair of her people. Her earlier years were formed in this horrible reality of the Jewish exile. 

Having to witness murder and other kind of cruelty, she often cried with them, and there was no one who understood the tormenting life of the exile better than Miriam. How difficult times were, the oppression, the slave mentality, Miriam did rebel against it, she felt the pain, but brave enough she watched over their faith in the promis of Redemption.

The midwives who defy Pharaoh, (here is were we meet Miriam) he spoke to the Hebrew midwives, her name was Shifrah and the name of the other one was Puah. The Pharaoh said " When you act as a midwwife to the Hebrew women and you see them on the birthing stool, if it is a son you shall kill him, but when it is a daughter she shall live " but as the midwives feared HaShem, and did not as the Pharaoh commanded them. Yocheved, which is Miriam's mother was called Shifrah, because she was a expert in beautifying ( root of Shafar) and cleansing the new borm. The Pharaoh was furious with Miriam over a statement she made and wanted to have her killed, but Yocheved pleaded that Miriam was only a child, who didn't realize to whom she was speaking, as she was only five years old at the time, but despite her age Miriam stood up to the most powerful ruler of that time!

It was Miriam, when years later who watched over Moshe as she stood by the river, to see how her prophecy would unfold. She too felt heartbroken of her baby brother being torn away from her family, but at the same time she felt the spirit of rebellion deep inside her, and she would not give in to surrender to hopelessness.

Many decades later on the shores of the Red Sea, after hundreds years of exile, the Jewish ordeal in Mitzrayim was over, their enslavement had come to a end, and they were finally on their way to redemption. 

Standing at the shores of the Red Sea the Jewish peoples under leadership of Moshe began to sing, a song expressing so much love and gratitude to HaShem, and when Moshe and the Jews finised their song, something baffling happend. Miriam the prophetess took the tambourine, and all of the women took their tambourine's and went after her, and Miriam called to them,

" Sing to the Lord for very exalted is He, a horse and its rider He cast into the sea "

Moshe and the men sung their song, and then Miriam and the women to sing their song. With the tambourine and dancing, the women's hearts were full of joy and happiness.

After these hundreds of years of exile, after witnessing the most barbarism, after so many tears for their babies being torn from their arms and killed, after seeing their children being cemented into the walls, alive, to fill the missing quotas. 

What did these women prepare while stil being enslaved? 

What kept them going? What was on their minds after seeing so much horror, far beyond human breaking point?

What did these women, who were so fearful, worn and tormented phycially and mentally, still manage to carry themselves out of Mitzrayim. Despite all the horrors, the women didn't lose hope, while still mourning their children they found strength, to sing and to praise HaShem, for this miracle they knew it would come!

It was the inextinguishable flame, that spark, faith and trust. This made their lives as bitter, as it became their faith in HaShem that grew stronger.

As hard or even unbearable at times, as our own lives seems to be in our exile, we too must find the strength, faith and trust. Just like back then in Mitzrayim, our trust and prayers to HaShem shall lead us to our ultimate redemption, with the coming of the Moshiach, who will lead us out of exile.

 

 

 

Parsha Bo

Slavery ends, and new beginnings, when the last plague comes down on Mitzrayim, as the Pharaoh yet again refuses to allow the Jewish people to go. But as the final plague approaches, HaShem informs Moshe of the Exodus that is about to happen, and tells him to have the Jewish people  preparing their departure, to gather all the wealth from their Eyptian neighbours. HaShem then commands Moshe to set in motion the transmission of Jewish Law with the first Mitzvah of Kiddush HaChodesh, and to instruct the Jews the concerning of the Pesach offerings and the Pesach celebration.

Moshe brings the Jewish people the instruction HaShem given to them, to start preparing the rituals around the Pesach offerings. It was at midnight on the 15th of Nisan, and as the Jewish people sit in their homes and eating the Paschal Lamb, and at that same moment HaShem strikes Mitzrayim with the final last blow, the 10th plague of the plagues of the firstborn and finally the Pharaoh gave in by this adversity, the Pharaoh orders Moshe and Aharon to lead the Jewish people out of Mitzrayim and as they made their preparations to leave, the Jews fulfilled HaShem's request by turning to their neighbours, who willingly give them all their silver, gold and garments. At midday on the 15th of Nisan the end of centuries of slavery are finally coming to an end for the Jewish people, and they begin their journey in the events of surrounding the departure,the dough didn't have time to rise.

In this parsha HaShem transmits additional Laws concerning the Pesach offerings, the redemption of the firstborn son, put on Tefillin as a reminder of the Exodus and a sign of commitment to HaShem and the Pesach celebration.

HaShem's instruction to Moshe at this very powerful moment in time, are somehow deeply troubling. Wouldn't we not expect the birth of the Jewish nation to be indicated by more lofty principles and ideas?Why, then does HaShem specifically ask the Jews to mark the first steps of their national history with gathering of material wealth? Is this really what the Jewish slaves should be thinking of when they prepare for freedom?

The creation of people for whom spiritual search and the religious ideal, would that not be more important than material wealth? To make the problem worse, is the fact that the theme of wealth is apparently the foundation woven into the Exodus story.

Centuries earlier, during the first reference to exile in Mitzrayim, HaShem did promises Avraham that the exile will end and that his descendents will leave with great wealth. At the burning bush, during a conversation with Moshe, HaShem again predict that "each women will ask of her neighbour and the one that lives in her house, vessels of silver, gold and garments, and you shall put them on your sons and daughters, and you shall despoil Mitzrayim".

With the final plagues represent the fulfillment of the prophetic theme which is the fundamental theme for the Exodus. But asking again, Why is the gathering of wealth so critical to the Exodus and the birth of the Jewish Nation? When HaShem speaks to Moshe at the burning bush, and mention assets that will be directly transfered by the neighbours, and in return they will receive the silver, gold and garments.

It was a exchange for the possessions, as they had to leave their homes and many of their belongings behind, as HaShem told Avraham that his descendents would leave with great wealth and HaShem Himself could not physically give them wealth. This  had everything to do with their freedom, as most possessions they couldn't take with them.

As the Exodus approaches, a event takes place, HaShem begins with the transmission of the Mitzvot, (the divine commandments) to the Jewish people with instruction of Kiddush HaChodesh, this is the sanctification of the New Moon " This month shall be for you, the beginning of the month's of the year, the beginning of each month, the month of Nisan is to be the first month of the year.

Why did HaShem start the transmission of Mitzvot with Kiddush HaChodesh? Would it not been more meaningful to start with the commandment, as the observance of Shabbos, or even the Kashrut, or maybe Love your fellow Jew? The wisdom and the beauty of HaShem's descision lies just beneath the surface, waiting to be analyzed and to be studied. We will see that no other Mitzvah could have been more suitable choice of launching Jewish Law than with the Mitzvah of Kiddush HaChodesh.

The first Mitzvah given to the Jewish people rest upon the foundation of the relationship with HaShem. Kiddush HaChodesh is not just to sanctify the New Moon, this because the New Moon connects to direct cycle of every month, and determining the Holiday Calender. HaShem continues to direct the cycle of the moon in the heavens, through the Mitzvah of Kiddush HaChodesh, He then hands over the application of that cycle to men, from the very moment of the birth of our Nation, the control and determination of Jewish time.

This month shall be for you means " The determination of the New Moon given to you " Moshe was unable to understand the point in the moon cycle, at which sanctification should take place, HaShem turned to Moshe's attention to heaven and at the right time He says

"When the moon reaches this phase, see it and sanctify it " This day is sanctified by Beit Din as " Rosh Chodesh" but if so, when is it Rosh Hashanah? HaShem respons to this  " why are you asking Me"  if the earthly courts declares " Today is Rosh Hashanah" then I shall bless this day, as My children have decided that Today is Rosh Hashanah!!

HaShem's message to the Jewish people " See yourselves no longer as powerless slaves, but as an infinity powerful people whose reach extends to the heavens themselves, while still in the land of your enslavement, look up to the moon which seems so far beyond your grasp"

"As we have a partnership which grants you control " the moon " , so too, through our partnership, you will be granted the ability to exert control over every aspect of your lives and your world "

" No longer will others define your destiny, even other " Egyptians" in time to come and of great difficulty and persecution, you will ultimately determine the quality of your lives "

This message barely scratches the surface of Mitzvah's depth. It was not by accident, that the first Mitzvah given to our anchestors focus on time. On the eve of their release from exile, HaShem prepares the Jewish people for their spiritual transition to freedom.

"I grant you control over time itself. Your time will now be your own, to be used as you wish, recognize the resonsibity that this newfound control brings. As free men, endeavor to use your time wisely, fulfilling your live with meaning.

The liberation of time- awareness, as basis of the hypothesis written in the Pesach Haggada, " Yachol mei' Rosh Chodesh " the Mitzvah re- telling the story of the Exodus, and should begin with Rosh Chodesh Nisan, and not at erev Pesach.

What does this means for us in our time?

The story about a Jewish optician, who lived in Germany in the 1930s, leading up to WW2, when the event was taking shape of what to come, he decided to pack up and emigrate to Israel. He had to inform his patients, so he placed a sign outside his practice.

" For all you who are nearsighted, there is a doctor just around the corner, to all you who are farsighted, follow me "

While this a moving story, it is also superficial. How can we judge, from the comfort of our homes, from the safety of our own enviroment, like the issue that confronted the Jewish community of Europe leading up to WW2 and the Holocaust. Would we, if we been there, forseen the atrocities that where to come? Are we now so certain, G-d forbid, that something like that wouldn't happen again? Would we comfortably in our homes, just pick up and leave? Fact remain, we have to be more intuitive and listen very careful to what is being said. Are we prepared, are we listening when HaShem speaks to us? Would the danger on the horizon of our exile makes a difference? There are signs appearing, lets hope we are sensitive enough to open up to them. Or have we without noticing begun to worship the society Gods around us? We should do well to keep the image of the first Seder Night before us, as we continue our journey and that we will not forget the lesson's we learned from the Exodus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parsha Va'eira

When the Pharaoh again refuses to let the Jewish people go, as we learn in this weeks Parsha. The tide, however, is turning, when HaShem continues to encourage Moshe and instruct him to inform the Jewish people that their journey torwards redemption is so close and all in hand, but they are unable or maybe even unwilling to listen to Moshe' s words, this due to the burden of their enslavement.

In spite of Moshe's objections that he is not the person, not capable, HaShem then commands Moshe to return to the Pharaoh and demand the release of the Jewish slaves. Unfortunately Moshe's audience with the Pharaoh fails, when Moshe is standing in frustration before HaShem, complaning that his return to Mitzrayim  has only increased the suffering of the Jewish people. Hashem's respons he gave Moshe the assurance that the Exodus is about to unfold.

Hashem proclaims: " I am Adonai. And I appeared to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and to Yaakov as E-L shad- dai, but through My Name Adonai I did not make Myself known to them. And also I establised My covenant with them to give them the Land of Canaan, the land of their temporary residence, in which they had to stay!" 

Hashem then informs Moshe that He has heard the cries of His people and that He remembered His covenant. He instructs Moshe to tell the Jewish people that they soon will be redeemed.

Why did HaShem suddenly digress, in the mids of His reassurance to Moshe to discuss the quality of divine revelations to the Patriarchs? And why would this revelation be of any significance to Moshe at this critical moment in time?

The name Adonai was not known to the Patriarchs, but the divine aspect which the name represents was not yet realized in their time. With the birth of the Jewish Nation, its changes and E-L shad-dai became A- do- nai. The name E-L shad- dai refers to HaShem's role as " Promis Maker" while the name A-do-nai refers to HaShem in his role as " Promis Keeper" ( Midrash)

HaShem's message to Moshe at this critical moment is far from benign.

" Woe concerning those who are lost are no longer to be found!" 

Where is your faith Moshe? You perform poorly when compared to the patriarchs. How many promises did I make to them which remained unfulfilled? I commanded Avraham to walk the length and breath of the Land of Canaan, for it eventually would be his, but upon Sara's death, however, he was forced to buy a plot of land for her burial. I  instructed Yitzchak to dwell in the Land that would be his and his children's, yet he was forced to strive with those around him for water. I pledged to Yaakov that the Land upon which he lay would be given to him and his children, yet, he too, did not own the Land until he purchased a section from the sons of Chamos the king of Shechem.

But in spite of all these disapointments the Patriarch's never questioned My ways, or asked Me My name, you on the other hand, immediately asked Me My name, at the burning bush, and now with the first setback you experience, you doubt your mission? Your faith in comparison to the faith of those who came before you.

HaShem ten commands Moshe again to return to the Pharaoh and again demand the release of the Jewish slaves,and when Moshe objects, citing his speeche impediment, HaShem repeats His command and this time to both Moshe and Aharon.

When the pharaoh again refuses to let the Jewish people go, the punishment of the plaques was the first necessary step and HaShem inflicks the ten plaques upon the Egytians, one after another, the plaques of blood,Frogs,lice,wilde animals,pestilence,boil and hail rain,locusts, Darkness and the death of the fist- born upon Egypt.

1. The waters of the river Nile turns to blood, Moshe walks over to the brink of the river with Aharon, and raises his staff and stuck the water, the river turned to blood, and the fish died as blood flowed over the entire land, it was also impossible to drink from the water, it was very unfortuned for the Egyptians because it wasn't only the Nile, all waters in the entire country turned to blood.

2.The frogs, after warning for a second plaque, the Pharaoh still refuses to let the Jewish people go,  Moshe yet again puts his staff into water and a swarn of frogs covered every inch of the land, inside the houses, everywhere the Egyptians turned there where frogs.At this point the Pharaoh begins to take this serious and is afraid and asked Moshe and Aharon to pray to remove the frogs, and he promised he would let the Jewish people go. But as soon as the frogs where gone, the Pharaoh broke his promis.

3 Then HaShem ordered Aharon to strike the dust of the earth with his staff, and soon the whole of land, people and animals where infested with lice, it was a terrible plaque and everyone was suffering, the Pharaoh knew this was HaShem's punishment, but instead of letting the Jewish people go, he hardend his heart and remaines relentless not to let them go.

4.The fourth plaque was the wilde beasts,they were all over the country destroying eveything on their path, the part of the country that seems to be immune to the plaques was Goshen, where the Jewish people stayed. Again the Pharaoh promised faithfully this time to let them go, but as soon as Moshe prayed to HaShem and the wilde beasts disappeared, the Pharaoh withdrew his promis.

5. Pestilence was send by HaShem, which killed most of the animals, all the horses, which was the pride of Egypt, the cattle on the land died and yet the animals of the Jewish people alive and unharmd, this only hardened the heart of the Pharaoh even more en would not let them go.

6. When Moshes anounced the sixth plaque, which would be a very painful one and  would struck the people of Mitzrayim, the Pharaoh still refused. Hashem command Moshe to take soot of the furnaces and to sprinkle into the air towards heaven, and boils infected everyone throughout the Land.

7. Moshe anounced to the Pharaoh the hail storms would be so severe, that nobody would be able to escape this and weren't able to hide from it. Soms believed when they brought themsleves and their cattle into safety, they would stayed unharmed. But many believed that that nothing of that would happen en recklessly left the cattle with their servants in the field. When Moshe streches his staff forth in the air, hail poured down  violently and thunder and lightning struck the ground, the hail rain was so destuctive that whoever was exposed to the raging hail would die off it. Wind shattered the land, the only untouched piece to land was Goshen. The Pharaoh yet again declared his sinns to Moshe, your G-d is the righteous One, and I and my people the quilty ones. Please let this be enough.

Moshe replied: When we leave, I will spread my hand to G-d, and the thunder will ease, there will be no more hail rain, let it be known to you that this land is HaShem's land! The storm eased, but the heart of the Pharaoh remain hardened.

8. The next time Moshe and  Aharon appeared before the Pharaoh and ask who was to participate to worship HaShem in the desert, the Pharaoh said only the men should, women and children and all their possesions and animals should remain in Egypt. Moshe and Aharon told the Pharaoh that this was not acceptable. The Pharaoh told them to leave the palace, when Moshe warned him of more suffering, the Pharaoh remain adamant. As soon as Moshe was outside he raised his arms towards heaven and a swarn of locusts was brought into Egypt, covered everything  including the sun, everything saw green, there was no escape, it ruined Mitzrayim completely, again Pharaoh sent for Moshe and Aharon, and ask them to please pray to their G-d to stop the plaque. And Moshe complied again, after HaShem blew a strong wind over Egypt and all of the locusts into the sea, Pharaoh yet again refuses to liberate the Jewish people as promised to Moshe.

9.The next plague is darkness, their wasn't a glimpse of light, the Egyptians were grippeling with fear, they didn't move and remain where they where. Only in Goshen were HaShem's children where, was light, but unfortunately not all Jewish people were saved from the plague,  the ones who regarded themselves as Egyptians and didn't want to leave Mitzrayim and rather not be Hebrews anymore and these people died during the days of darkness. The Pharaoh try to bargain with Moshe and Aharon to take their people and leaving everything else behind, the herd and flock behind. Moshe and Aharon didn't accept this and informed the Pharaoh that complete freedom for their people meant is to let go men, women and children, and everything else that belonged to them. Unfortunately this made the Pharaoh angry and ordered them to leave and never to come back, he warned them when come back they would die. Moshe replied that this would not be necessary for them to see the Pharaoh, as HaShem would send one more plaque over Mitzrayim, this was after the Pharaoh would give this permission for the Jewish people to finally leave Egypt. Moshe continues exactly at midnight all first born, man and animal will die, of all of the Jewish people, no one would die. The Pharaoh would come to Moshe and Aharon and begged them to leave Egypt without any delay. And with these words they left the Pharaoh behind in rage.

10. Death of the first- born, midnight came and all first - born to the Pharaoh, and down to the first- born in the dungeon, and all the first- born of the cattle died, exactly as Moshe warned the Pharaoh, there was cries of devestation in almost every house were they lost a loved one. The Pharaoh called for Moshe and Aharon during the night and told them: leave, this land now and take the children of your G-d and serve your G-d, and as you said, with all of their belonings. 

Meanin while the Jewish people had made preparations to leave, the lamb was roated and has been eaten before midnight and the unleaven bread been taken out of the ovens, when the preparations where done, there was one last thing, and this was not without any danger, but they didn't forget the pledge given by their ancestors to take the remains of Yosef out of Egypt,

The whole Nation of the children of Israel, started finally on their journey to the promised land.

 

 

 

 

Parsha Shemot

After the death of Yosef's generation, the Pharaoh issued a persecution against the Jewish people, and ordered to enslave Hebrew midwives to kill all male babies at birth. When a baby boy was born to Yocheved, a daughter of the tribe of Levi, and her husband Amram, they hidden the baby in a basket and released on the surface of Nile river, while the baby's sister Miriam watched from a distance. When the baby was discovered by the daughter of the Pharaoh, she knew it was a Hebrew boy, but decided to raise him as her son and, she named him Moshe.

After years living in the palace of Pharaoh, Moshe one day witness the enslavement of the Jews and, when he observes a Epyptian beating a Jewish slave, he then stands up in defence of this man and kills the Egyptian and hides his body in the sand. The next day when he sees two Jews fighting and lecture them, they ask if Moshe is going to do the same thing to them as what they Witness the previous day. Moshe afraid of Pharaoh's retribution, flees to the land of Midan, where he meet and marries Tzippora, the daughter of Yitro, a Midanite priest, Moshe is serving as a shepherd for his father in-laws herd.One day, as Moshe is performing his duties, he is drawn to a sight of a bush, which is burning but not by fire, when Moshe went over to examine the bush, HaShem speaks to him from the burning bush and, charge him with the task of returning to Mitzrayim and leading the Jewish people to freedom. Overrruling all Moshe's objections concerning of his worthiness of leadership, HaShem then appoints Moshe's older brother Aharon to accompany Moshe as his partner and spokesman.

Moshe begins his journey to Mitzrayim, accompanied by his wife and two sons, Gershon and Eliezer. On the way when G-D threatens Moshe with his death, Tzippora performs a  circumcision on their younger son, Eliezer, and the danger passes. When Moshe arrives in Mitzrayim, and together with Aharon he gathers all the Jewish people, and informs them of the pending redemption.

When Aharon appearse before Pharaoh, and as G-d had instructed at the burning bush, he ask the Pharaoh to allow the Jews to leave Mitzrayim for a three- day period to worship their G-d, Pharaoh refuses and increases the burden of labor unpon the Jews. Moshe then turns to HaShem in frustration and guestions his own mission to Mitzrayim HaShem respons that Moshe soon will see the Exodus begins to unfold.

The Killing

And the Pharaoh said to the Hebrew midwives " When you deliver the Hebrew women, you shall see on the birth stool, if it is a son you are to kill him, and if it is a daughter, she is to live " 

But the Midwives feared HaShem, and did not as Pharaoh spoke to them! And the Pharaoh commanded his entire people, saying : " Every son that is born- into the river you shall throw them! And every daughter- you shall keep alive! The Pharaoh did not say " Every Hebrew son that is born- into the river you shall throw him! He says, " Every Son that is born " the hatred of the Jews is so great, that the Pharaoh is even willing to sacrifice their own children to the cause.

Only after the physical and psychological subjugation of the Jewish people has reached a critical point and Pharaoh embarks on his plan, the physical destruction of his fledgling nation. Murderes, however, and particular when carried out in a public area, must be perpetrated slowly and cautiously. Pharaoh therefore, opens the final devastation of his design against the Jews, in a manner that not only attacks the weakest among them, but can carried out secretly. He command the Hebrew midwives to kill all Jewish baby boys, in a way that even the birthing mother themselves remain unaware.

Pharaoh's actions, have even a deeper and more devious motivations, to protect himself he wants extermination of the Jews, to begin in territory that carries a degree of moral uncertainty.

The Talmud states that Pharaoh conveyed to the midwives a method of determining the gender of the Hebrew children before birth. As explaines, the Pharaoh deliberately commanding abortion rather than infancide.

" We are not killing the Hebrew male's, we are only preventing their birth "

What can we learn from the righteous midwives, they feared HaShem, they did not feared the Pharaoh!

Later in Parshat Shemot, after the Pharaoh has increased the burden upon the Jewish slaves in respons to Moshe inital demands for freedom, the Jews turn on Moshe  and say: 

"May G-d look upon you and judge, for you have made our very scent ahhorrent in the eyes of the Pharaoh and in the eyes of the servants, to place a sword in their hands to kill us."

Very astonishing, as the Pharaoh has subjugated the Jews,tormented them physically and psychologically, killed their children and, yet they now turn on Moshe, in effect, protest because of you, Pharaoh  and his servants won't kill us!

This uncanny ability of the Torah text to speak across centuries is nowhere more clearly, nor more frighteningly evident than the description of the enslavement of the Jewish people at the hands of the Egyptians. Here openly rooted at the dawn of our history, are the very methods used against us.

From cold calculating Nazi murders, to Zealous Islamic fundamentalist, willing to kill their own children in persuit of the destruction of Israel, now all of the western culture, in adversaries, deception and the teachings of hatred ramain the preliminary tools of the killing trade as, over and over again, words inexorably lead to deeds!!

 

" Peace will come, when the Arabs will Love their Children more than they Hate us "  ~ Golda Meir

Parsha Vayechi

The Fire of Geulah

Yaakov had a desire to tell Bnei Yisroel, when the time would come that made an end to Golus, and at the same time about the redemption, Yaakov felt that by telling them and knowing when it would happen, it would help getting them through Golus or maybe even possible that Yaakov felt that when they knew this, it would give them a glimps of Geulah, and this would make it a whole lot easier to challenge the difficulties of Golus.

When comparing this with the explanation of The Baal Shem Tov when the unborn baby is told the intire Torah in the womb, only to forget this straight after birth ( Niddah 30b) The Baal Shem Tov says  that it is just like when someone lights a candle and extinguishes it, then it will become easier to relight it again. This is much like the impression the child gets from the experience of learning the Torah later on.

What Yaakov wanted was to ignite the Neshama of Bnei Yisroel with the fire of Geulah,it would made life easier, while still living in Golus. But HaShem did not want this. Hashem did want Bnei Yisroel to go through Golus, without knowing what will happen or when it will end.

Therefore the fire of Geulah will not be ignited with the knowlegde of the end of Golus, but rather through Emunah and Tzipiach L'yeshuah, which means through "anticipation and salvation" and this is what we must hold on to as long as the end has not yet come.

With the conclusion of Parsha Vayechi, where Yosef has a message of redemption for bnei Yirsoel and tells them that HaShem will remember them and will take them out of the land, but not after the purpose of Golus finished and the task fulfilled.

The whole exile came about of Yosef and it is was he who could tell the Jewish people of the redemption, he was also the one to give them strengh to fulfill their purpose of Golus and to finishot  was the only way to redemption.

When we come to the final part of Parsha Vayechi, with a emotional moment when Yosef brings his two sons, one of the last times to their grandfather Yaakov, and they  received a final word of Wisdom and each of them a blessing. Yosef with both his sons  Menashe on his left and Ephraim on his right, according to the Torah the firstborn is the primary inheritor. When he blessed his two grandsons he stretches his hand and then criss crossed his hands until his right hand rest on top of his youngest grandson and his left hand on his oldest grandson, when Yosef sees this and trying to realign his hands, saying to his father, ' This is your firstborn grandson ' Yaakov looked at his son an said ' I know my son!'

Yaakov wasn't mistaken and as a prophet who visted thousands of pages of future history, he knew what he saw, his youngest grandson would be a great leader. Chassidic teachings shows us that each of them was right, Yaakov did not made a mistake, but neither did Yosef. Menashe was the right one  eventhough Yaakov objectives says Ephraim was more the desirable one. Way earlier yaakov dropped a hint ' When a Tzadik speaks, you got to listen!' To every word, every nuance, he told Yosef. Before the event with the criss crossed arms, Yaakov said:  'Ephraim and Menashe are mine ' he did mentioned Ephraim first

The next ten generations of leadership, Yaakov looked ahead all the way to redemptiom, as you read earlier redemption was Yaakov's mission, it was with him every step of way and evey move he made. He wanted to give Bnei Yisroel a message of the redemption, but HaShem didn't allow him to do this.

What can we learn from this in our exile? Menashe is a survivior, and in order to achieve growth, we need to lay a foundation to connect with our roots. But what is the ultimate achievement? The purpose of going into exile and to come away from it even on a highter level, to create more light and still in our exile to strive Yaakov's objective.With bringing the light of the Torah and the Mitzvot to the world and Only through Teshuvah with love can darkness be transformed into light.

When will we know what we truly have achieved in our exile, and is this enough for redemption?

Parsha Toldot

Toldot tells us about the two sons of Yitzchak, with both great potentials but very different in character. Yaakov was gentle and compassionate, his brother Esav was a hunter, a warrior, wilde and always seeking pleasure. Yaakov devoted himself to study the Torah, Esav on the otherhand had this great potential to become fearless, a G-dly warrior and dedicated to fight against evil, wat he also could have done, is to work on his own impulses and negative temptations, but Esav had no intention to change.

This Parsha is teaching us that each of us has unique talents and opportunities. HaShem tells us to develop our potential, to use these unique talents to transform ourselves and the world, instead of just reacting on impuls, rather than asking ourselves " What am I needed for?" This really helps us to live a life with purpose and to make a difference.

When we go through the proces of transforming ourselves, it will become second nature, which will be much more refined, this will help us to become who we are meant to be, and by doing our part in making the world a better place, and more G-dly, as HaShem asked each and everyone of us. We are here to improve the world and with the guidance of the Torah and living our life morally, we bring a lot of good and light into the world.

When we react to people or even in dificult situations with anger or blame, we have to challenge ourselves.

Parsha Lech Lecha

In Parshat Lech Lecha, the Torah choose to teach us the important lesson of " Staying on course " this is witin the context of Avraham's journey to the land of Israel, and it does influence that theme's are hardly coincidental, the message created could not be more relevant to our times.

Today's diapora Jewish community exits at a time it is possible, and yet a variety of reason's, and some are more convincing than others, in our personal journey to our homeland, this has been aborted voluntary, like Terach we have decided to remain in Charan at the time that other choices exist.

We do care about the Israeli's, we are concerned for their safety, but in our eyes the State of Israel has to a great extent,  lost its shine, the Israeli' existence no longer moves us any longer, so it seems.

This growing apathy is reflected in the mixed feelings of the " Yeshiva World " towards the State of Israel,  the declining spirit of the organized religious Zionist community in America, and in the growing support of the State of Israel conditional upon it adherence to our political positions.

Many resonse is when we demiss the importance of the State of Israel, it can't be so wrong for living in dispora, if Israel isn't a miracle, then we are not blind for ignoring it.

Finished and on finised journeys, is when HaShem appearse to Avraham and launches Jewish history with the commandment: Lech Lecha mei' artzecha, go for yourself from the land from you birthplace, and from the home of your father to the land that I will show you. Avraham responds by going on the journey to the land of Canaan, this is where the story of our nation begins.

When HaShem told Avraham " Go to the land of Canaan " how did Avraham know where to go?, could it be the land of Canaan was well known to him, as it was a land prepared for contemplation and the worship of G-D? The Sforno goes on to say  that Avraham left for Canaan on its own, he did not stop traveling until G-D appeared to him in the city of Shechem, this appearance fulfilled G-Ds promis: " The land that I will show you."

As we can read on the end of Parsha Noach, Avraham's father, Terach embarks upon a mysterious journey with his entire family, without indication why, the Torah simply states, " And they left from Ur Casdim to travel to the land of Canaan ", which means they left with Terach's family, this was including Avraham and his family.

Shortly before they reach their desination, the journey was aborted, as the Torah indicates " And they came to Charan, and  they settled there....and Terach died there.

What was the drive of Terach's journey towards Canaan and what was the purpose of the expedition? Why did they end up in Charan? The Torah gives no indication as to why Terach begins this journey, and it doesn't tell us why the journey ended prematurely.

Perhaps it is the very same fact of Terach's travels, proof of the Sforno's suggestion that the Land of Canaan was well known for its holiness, it also could be that as Torah is suggesting, that Terach a man identified within Midrashic literture as a purveyor of Idolatry and might have been searching for greater truth. Could it been that Avraham's father was not irredeemable, but acctually showed a spark of the spirit that would eventually burn force in his son's heart. We will never know for sure.

Terach may well have begun his journey with high hopes, but tragically it was to soon aborted.

The Torah's message is clear, succes in life depends not on only orginality and inventiveness, but also upon the often overlooked qualities of persistence and constacy. What did separate Avraham from Terach, on one level, Avraham finished the journey while Tenach didn't. How many individuals in history have made a real difference simply because they have been willing and able to finish the task?

Something to think about, " Ba'ma eida? How will I know when the time is right?

" It will not happen in your time, or in your childrens time, or in their childrens time, only after generations, only after exile, will your descendents conquer the Land. "

We are told that the Moshiach is destined to come, bringing with him the conclusion of our nation's story, how he comes, when he comes, how much difficulty or ease will come with his arrival, and which of us will be there to greet him are all issues that are determinded by our actions.