Rabbi Chaim Richman has been apart of my life since 2002, when I met him in Jerusalem, Israel, for the first time. To this day, when I study the Torah and look to it’s great insights, I find myself looking for my dear friend and his great insight into the Tree of Life. Come, and eat my friend’s, and hold on to her, for all her paths are peace.
Genesis 18 – 22
Exodus 6 – 9
ב וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֵלָ֖יו אֲנִ֥י יְהוָֽה׃
ג וָאֵרָ֗א אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֛ם אֶל־יִצְחָ֥ק וְאֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֖ב בְּאֵ֣ל שַׁדָּ֑י וּשְׁמִ֣י יְהוָ֔ה לֹ֥א נוֹדַ֖עְתִּי לָהֶֽם׃
ד וְגַ֨ם הֲקִמֹ֤תִי אֶת־בְּרִיתִי֙ אִתָּ֔ם לָתֵ֥ת לָהֶ֖ם אֶת־אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן אֵ֛ת אֶ֥רֶץ מְגֻרֵיהֶ֖ם אֲשֶׁר־גָּ֥רוּ בָֽהּ׃
(2) And God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him: ‘I am the LORD; (3) and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name ….a I made Me not known to them.
The words of Hashem as the “ וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֵלָ֖יו אֲנִ֥י יְהוָֽה׃ (3) וָאֵרָ֗א אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֛ם אֶל־יִצְחָ֥ק וְאֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֖ב בְּאֵ֣ל שַׁדָּ֑י וּשְׁמִ֣י יְהוָ֔ה לֹ֥א נוֹדַ֖עְתִּי לָהֶֽם׃ ” are a secret, that is revealed in the names of the El of Abraham, El of Isaac, El of Yaacov.
The world was built on love/chesed and brought into a place of chaos and then rectification. These three things are the foundations of the world.
So many of us are like a child of three years old and our love and faithful obedience toward those we love is blind and untrained. We see the world as a child. We are nieve and unable to see around the corners.
Many are like Yosef at the age of seventeen, immature and unable to be directed, because we know everything, and our goals and dreams must be first, and primary to all others wishes and objectives. Our careers are what we are chasing, and Hashem will have to wait, until I am ready, to hear from Him. The one chasing this world does not need direction from above, to find the way below. Do you remember seventeen and know everything?
Wo, are my grey hairs, for I am a man of eighty. With much strength, and wisdom, to bring stability, and balance to the world. But the world has passed me by because it has failed in its own self-portrait. Like Moses, sent at eighty to free a people that were destined to be great but had to be strengthened in the fire of Egypt, in that narrow place. Moses was eighty, you see?
The world has not given to those in need. The world has not helped the ones, who need help the most. The world has not forgiven the ones that need forgiveness, the guilty have lost hope of ever being forgiven. We all have sought honor for ourselves, and everything given, must have something in return, to give to me, or it is not worth my time or effort. There must be a reward for everything, I do.
Remember, that you were once in that same state, of not knowing. Like a child and then young, looking for a friend to help you overcome the ordeal you were standing in. Empathy was looking to find a home, but you were hurt, and offended, by someone’s words, and could not give, or share a kind word of support.
You see, loving kindness built this world, and judgment will one day have its place. Abraham taught us this lesson when asked Hashem, to save the wicked along with the righteous in that place. Isaac was not offended when the wells of his father were covered up and no longer provided living water to those who needed it. Great love, have they, who love your Torah and nothing shall offend them.
Can you not see, that the world is not a place of sin and punishment, but a place to grow, and to become like the El of Abraham, the El of Isaac and the El of Yaacov. A place of chesed, strength, and truth, all working together. Everyone working as a crew, together, to bring us to the mountain of Hashem to serve Him there. To do and to hear. That was the plan. On that day Hashem will be One and His name will be ONE.
Hashem gave Israel a free gift in Egypt. As He defeated the Egyptians through His ten emunations and then He took us out to the place of words, and then told us, now you must do it yourselves. You must defeat, this world.
Published on Dec 30, 2017
Published on Dec 31, 2017
Exodus 1 – 6
א וְאֵ֗לֶּה שְׁמוֹת֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הַבָּאִ֖ים מִצְרָ֑יְמָה אֵ֣ת יַעֲקֹ֔ב אִ֥ישׁ וּבֵית֖וֹ בָּֽאוּ׃
ברְאוּבֵ֣ן שִׁמְע֔וֹן לֵוִ֖י וִיהוּדָֽה׃
ג יִשָּׂשכָ֥ר זְבוּלֻ֖ן וּבְנְיָמִֽן׃
ד דָּ֥ן וְנַפְתָּלִ֖י גָּ֥ד וְאָשֵֽׁר׃
My thoughts this week in the Torah Portion comes from a lecture I heard from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks where he states ”
The Talmud tells the amazing story of Mar Ukva who would go everyday to the home of a poor man and slip cash into his door post. The poor man really wished to know who was doing this and decided one day to find out. On that day Mar Ukva and his wife made the trip to the poor man’s house together but just as they were opening the door post the poor man came running towards them. The two of them fled because they did not want to embarrass the poor man by him finding out that one of the greatest rabbis of the generation was coming personally to his home everyday to secretly help him. The Talmud says that the only way they could escape him was to jump into a hot oven where the coals had already been raked. Mar Ukva’s feet began to burn and his wife told him to put his feet on top of hers because her’s were not burning. The Talmud explains that her merit of charity was greater than his because, being in the home, she could offer the poor instant care with ready made food while her husband’s care was only in the form of money. What makes the story even more incredible is that the Talmud says that when Mar Ukva was about to die he had a ledger where every coin he ever gave to charity had been recorded. And even though the amount was amazing he said, “the road is long and my supplies are few” referring to his upcoming trip to the Next World. He then gave away fifty percent of all his holdings which was considered ten times what the Talmud normally considered to be exceptionally wealthy. From this story you see an outstanding Torah scholar, a leading rabbi and perhaps one of the wealthiest men of his generation who not only took time and money to personally care for the poor but dreaded the thought of being discovered and honored for his donations. Something for us to all think about next time we pledge donations for honor or we feel particularly holy because we slipped a small coin into a desperate person’s hand. Talmud Kesubos 67b
Understanding Halachah and the Minhag of Sukkot. This covers Mishnah Torah and Chazal. Biblical narrative and our traditions. The Babylonian Torah reading and the Triannual Cycle of Torah readings. Which is correct and which do we follow today? Are they both correct? Where does Hoshanah Rabah come from? How long has this practice been around?
Who do we serve? Do we serve Hashem or do we serve our selves? I love to ask questions and to argue to find the truth in life. Too often people are just going through life with no meaning or purpose. This was the question, Adam and Ḥawwāh had to ask and to determine for all of their future children. What is the meaning of life?
Aharon was Moshe Rabbeinu’s brother and served as the High Priest in the Desert Tabernacle.
What was Aharon’s greatest mistake and what should he have done differently? How was
Aharon partially responsible for the death of his two older sons? What made Aharon such a
great marriage counselor and how can that information help us today? These and many more
questions discussed in Rav Ginsburgh’s live broadcast for the month of August.