Yom Yerushalayim Torah

From our Brother and Teacher at Jawbonevalley:

COME CLOSE TO THE WALL: In Honor of Yom Yerushalayim by Rav Judah Mischel
June 1967:
Nasser, Egypt's President, declared his intention to lead the Jihad to destroy Israel and push the Jews into the sea. Militarily, the IDF was outnumbered by a ratio of 20:1, proportionally even a larger enemy than we faced in days of the Hasmonean revolt and the battle of Chanuka. The Chevra Kadisha (burial society) in Jerusalem prepared 10,000 body bags for the expected mass civilian casualties, and contingency plans were made for Jerusalem's parks to be turned into cemeteries. Animals in the city's zoo were put to sleep for fear that they might be set free and create chaos in the streets. The Knesset archives and artifacts in the Israel Museum as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls were secured underground, preserved in shelters.

Rabbonim instructed the Tnuva factory to remain open on Shabbos to make sure that they would produce enough milk to feed the population during war time. Thousands volunteered to fill sandbags; talmidim of the Mirrer Yeshiva were instructed by Rav Chaim Shmulevitz to leave the Beis Medrash to assist in the effort. Israel was in a state of emergency, understanding that the dire situation threatened the very existence of the State.

"Yeshuas Hashem k'heref ayin": What took Yehoshua Bin Nun months to accomplish, took only six days; Israel's size tripled, as the IDF miraculously and heroically recaptured Yehudah, Shomron, the Golan, Aza, the holy cities of Chevron, Beit Lechem and Shchem, and reunified Jerusalem.

In the wake of the awesome victory, the Jewish world was euphoric, sensing clear Divine intervention and incredible Yad Hashem.

In Shir Hashirim, Shlomo Hamelech describes how Hakadosh Baruch Hu will deal with our enemies who dare attack us at a time of favor (2:7-8): “You will become as defenseless as gazelles or rams in the field…behold it came suddenly to redeem me as if leaping over mountains, skipping over hills. In His swiftness to redeem me… I thought I would be forever alone , but behold He was standing behind our wall, observing through the windows, peering through the cracks of the latticework.”

Rebbe Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, the Kedushas Levi uses these two descriptions of the way Hashem watches over us to explain the different ways we perceive Hashem's presence in our lives. First, there are times when Hakadosh Baruch Hu observes us "through the windows": moments of clarity where we can "see" Hashem openly, as if on the other side of a glass window.

The awesome victory of the Six Day War 42 years ago was one of those times of clarity. Following the war, Southern front Paratroop Commander Rafael ("Raful") Eitan remarked that, "...Apparently someone in Heaven was watching over us... every unintended action they took and every unintended action we took, always turned to our advantage." There was no mistaking that victory was God-sent, that we were witnessing open miracles.

There are however, other times, where it is more difficult to sense the Ribbono Shel Olam. Nonetheless, explains the Kedushas Levi, it is upon us to remember that Hashem also “watches us through the cracks of the latticework”: we can not "see" beyond the wall, but are assured that Hashem is always there. In those times of hiddenness, when Hashem is "peering through the latticework" we remain under the constant watchful "eye"- we can't "see" Him; but Hakadosh Baruch Hu is always watching us.

It is easy to see someone though a window; one can even gaze from afar. But in order to see a person watching you through a "crack in the latticework", one must come up very close to the wall and look carefully into the crack. Only then, when we peer deeply into that space, can we see that there was someone on the other side of the wall, watching us the entire time...

Yom Yerushalayim is a day of celebration and thanks where we reflect on the miraculous salvation and open Hand of God. We are also able to strengthen our awareness of Hashem's presence in our lives, so that in times when we face difficulties- personally or on a National scale - we will remember and encouraged that we are under the constant Hashgachas Hashem. As the complicated and sometimes painful process of Redemption continues to unfold in stages, we must draw strength from the knowledge that Hashem is always with us, watching over us and directing the course of our lives, even within the confusion and concealment.

The Six Day War is not a distant historical event for us to 'remember' or 'commemorate'; it is a defining moment in each of our personal lives, where a major step toward the ultimate restoration of the heart and soul of our land and Nation took place.

On Yom Yerushalayim, when I stand at the Holy Wall after a long day of celebration, I rest my head in its cracks, and am able to see clearly that Hakadosh Baruch Hu is right there, "peering through the latticework." I feel blessed to have been born into the final generation of exile and the first generation of Redemption, and pray, that with Hashem's ever-present Hashgacha, we will merit the next stage of Mashiach, with the complete rebuilding of Yerushalayim speedily in our days.


Har'eini Na et Ruchaniyuti...

Finding one’s individual portion in Torah Despite the fact that the Torah speaks to each of us individually, addressing our every experience, every event to befall us, our every metamorphosis of being, not everyone is privileged to understand the Torah on such a personal level. Not everyone merits to recognize the way in which Torah speaks to his individual mind, heart and personality.

A person needs to recognize what belongs to him, which aspects of Torah are relevant to his life, which part he is to implement at any given moment. But not everyone knows this. Some individuals (even great ones) were said to have been told to concern themselves only with a aparticular aspect of the Torah and no other. It is told that following the death of Rabbi Moses Cordovero, Rabbi Joseph Karo went to learn Kabbalah from Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Holy Ari) and kept falling asleep when the Ari was speaking, until the latter told him that this was not his portion in the Torah, that the holy Ari’s kabbalah was not for him. The Ari is also said to have told Rabbi Moses Alshech that he should not involve himself in Kabbalah but in homiletic discourse, as this was his portion in the Torah, and Rabbi Alshech indeed wrote his book Torat Moshe in this genre of Torah learning.

Some explain the prayer, “grant us our portion in Torah,” as a request not only to be granted a portion in Torah but also to be granted the knowledge of which portion is ours. Every Jew can and must study Torah, but if he concerns himself with aspects of Torah that are not truly his, then, although he has certainly fulfilled the commandment to study Torah, he fails to realize the ultimate potential of his soul in regard to Torah study.

Rav Steinsaltz, Opening the Tanya, 28

Racing for Rebbe

Laag BeOmer Celebration

Join Rebbe on the Banks of the Deleware where he will lead us to simcha, ahavas yisroel, and achdus.

Rebbe Simchah!

Rebbe invites everyone to celebrate the engagement of his daughter Batya to Yosef Bronstein.

This Thursday night, 6 - 10pm at the Rubin Shul.

Mazel Tov!


Pesach Sheni Chizuk

Pesach Sheni is for people who are tamei or far away from the Beis Hamikdash, so that they get a second chance. But what about a person who spends all afternoon, and leaves without a kosher korban, because everyone has come out treif... it is to that heartbroken jew, who the Kohen whispers in his ear, brother, I'll see you next month.
A person believes that if "I've been trying to serve Hashem, but it doesn't work, that Hashem doesn't want me," to a Jew like this Pesach Sheni tells them that Hashem does want you, He just wants you next month, and want you to learn that living through that feeling is also serving Him.
“The time to eat is in one’s youth; the time to sleep is in the grave; for sadness and depression there is not time at all. You may call it depression, but I call it escape from obligation and a rejection of the yoke of heaven."

The Kotzker


"The trouble with all rational demonstrations of the existence of God, with which the history of philosophy abounds, consists in their being exactly what they were meant to be by those who formulated them: abstract logical demonstrations divorced from the living primal experiences in which these demonstrations are rooted…

Does the loving bride in the embrace of her beloved ask for proof that he is alive and real? Must the prayerful soul clinging in passionate love and ecstasy to her Beloved demonstrate that He exists?"

Rav Soloveitchik, Lonely Man of Faith