Avodah – Perek Shirah, 30th Tishrei, 5771

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Perek Shira

Perek Shirah: Rav Chaim Kanievsky – The Desert Is Hashem’s Showcase

The desert is hot, dry, and lifeless. Yet it takes up around one third of the Earth’s land surface. Why did Hashem make a world with so much “dead space”? Rav Chaim Kanievsky says that Hashem made the desert because from here we can understand that in the future Hashem will make the desert bloom. Obviously if Hashem made it, it will not stay barren forever.

The Radak says that Eretz Yisroel, Yerushalayim, and the Bais HaMikdash in their destruction are like the desert. They one time all bloomed, as the rain or Shefa from Hashem poured down on the world through this wonderful place. As the rain from Shamayim nourished our gashmiyos and ruchniyos, we grew to become big strong trees reaching the Shamayim with our avodah.

The desert says, “Yisusum Midbar V’tzia V’Sagel Arava V’Sifrach K’Chavatzeles”, the wilderness and the parched land shall be glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose (Yeshaya 35:1). Desert plants can survive through the harsh desert climate, but they do not grow very tall. The day will yet come when the Bais HaMikdash will once again bring the rains down on our dried out neshamos, which have managed to survive all these years on a few drops of rain. When that happens, Am Yisroel will once again stand tall, covering the land and reaching the heavens. We will be Hashem’s showcase.

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Avodah Perek Shira 7th Av 5769

 

Perek Shira – 7th Av, 5769

RevachL'Neshama

Perek Shira

Perek Shira: How To Get Rid Of The Flies From Your Table

The Isha HaShunamis, whose home Elisha HaNavi stayed at, commented that despite Elisha’s modest nature, she knew Elisha was a holy man. How? The gemara says (Brachos 10b) that she saw that there were no flies near his table. The Ben Yehoada explains the in Perek Shira it says that the fly says Shira when Bnei Yisroel is not learning Torah (The Yetzer Hara is compared to a fly). So the Isha HaShunamis concluded that since there were no flies on his table, he must constantly be learning torah.

This is why, says the Ben Yehoada, flies gravitate towards a table full of food. Since there is a special obligation to learn torah at the table during the meal, the flies come to see if the participants are discussing torah by the table. If they aren’t, the fly will have its opportunity to say Shira.

This would also explain the miracle in the Bais HaMikdash that in the place where they Shechted the animals, there were never any flies (Avos 5:5). Although MiDerech HaTeva you would expect the flies to swarm the freshly slaughtered meat since this was a Makom Kadosh of pure Deveikus to Hashem, the flies had no opportunity to say Shira there and therefore stayed away.

So If you are having fly problems, it may be worth adding a little more torah discussion to your table. There is plenty of upside benefit in any event.

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Avodah Ahavas Yisroel 6th Av 5769

 

AvodahAhavas Yisroel – 6th Av, 5769

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Rav Shlomo Volbe – A Smile Can Bring The Galus To Its Knees

The whole world exists, says Rav Volbe, on the smile of Hashem, His He’oras Panim. We say in Shmoneh Esrei, “B’Or Panecha Nasata Lanu Hashem Elokeinu… U’Bracha, ViRachamim, ViChaim, ViSholom”, with the light of Your face, kviyachol, You gave us… blessing, mercy, life, and peace. In Birchas Kohanim the brachos also revolve around this same theme, “Ya’er Hashem Panav, Yisa Hashem Panav…”. On the opposite side we know that when there is Hester Panim, when Hashem hides His face, our fate becomes one of terrible tragedy and misery beyond comprehension.

The same thing, says Rav Volbe, applies to people. Within a person lies a treasure house of Bracha that is given over to the next person through his smile. The main power of a person is to gladden and light up the people around him with his warm smile. From the earliest age a baby can discern between various expressions. Smile at a month old baby and it will coo in delight. Make an ugly face and the baby is sure to break out into tears. A child that is raised without a smile will not grow, just as a plant will not grow without sunlight. Who knows, asks Rav Volbe, if the smile is not more critical to its development than food?

A student needs the smile of his rebbe, and a child the smile of its parent. Every person needs the smile of his friend, neighbor, and acquaintance. Even parents and teachers are infused with life by the smile of their charges. This is all that we daven for from Hashem, and it is what we should give to others. Your neshama is a Cheilek Elokai MiMaa’al and your smile in a small way gives Hashem’s Heoras Panim to another. We all need to be on the receiving end of a warm smile to survive and to grow.

The Bais HaMikdash was destroyed because of Sinas Chinam, the terrible Hester Panim among people which led to Hester Panim from Hashem. Let us all try, during this terribly sad week as we see Hester Panim all around us, to shine some of Hashem’s light on the world. Let’s make a an extra effort to smile at our children, our friends, and people in the street even if it is totally out of character for us. From of all the ingenious schemes that our busy minds devise to try to bring the ultimate geula, who would of ever thought that we can melt the long, bitter, and cold galus with but a warm smile?

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Avodah Perek Shira 2nd Av 5769

 

Perek Shira – 2nd Av, 5769

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Perek Shira

Perek Shira: The Cows Also Miss The Bais HaMikdash

The Shira of the large kosher animals is “Harninu Leilokim Uzeinu Hari’u Leilokei Yaakov”, sing aloud to Hashem our strength; blast joyful sounds to Hashem of Yaakov. This pasuk is from Tehilim 81, and it is the Perek we say on Yom Chamishi as the Shir Shel Yom.

The Vilna Gaon writes in the name of the Zohar that the world will exist for 6000 years corresponding to the days of the week. The Shira we say each day of the week corresponds to those thousand years. That means that the Shir of Yom Chamishi corresponds to the Jewish year 4000-5000 (roughly from the years 240-1240 CE).

The Shiras Meir points out that these one thousand years were after the Churban Bais HaMikdash and there were no Korbanos. The gemara Taanis 27b says that Hashem promised Avrohom that when there will be no Bais HaMikdash, Hashem will accept our Tefilos in place of Korbanos.

Similarly say the Shiras Meir, the kosher animals are also missing out. During the time of the Bais HaMikdash they were brought up LiRatzon on the Mizbei’ach. In the 1000 years corresponding to Yom Chamishi there was no mizbei’ach. Therefore they sing to Hashem in lieu of being brought for a Korban.

May we be zocheh to Bi’as HaMoshiach and the Binyan Bais HaMikdash where both Am Yisroel and the kosher animals will once again participate in the Avodas HaKorban to Hashem.

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Avodah Perek Shira 1st Av 5769

 

Perek Shira – 1st Av, 5769

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Perek Shira

Perek Shira: Now The Birds Have Home And We Don’t

When you go to the Kosel HaMaaravi you will see an abundance of birds in and around the area. It wasn’t always so. The roof of the Bais Hamikdash had spikes to prevent birds from sitting on it. Now that the Bais HaMikdash is destroyed a bird, who can lay its eggs anywhere, can even make a nest on the Makom HaMikdash where the Mizbei’ach once stood.

The bird is a reminder of our fate in Galus. Klal Yisroel has only one place to serve Hashem. The Bais HaMikdash, our entrance way to heaven, is no longer accessible to us. Unlike the birds in galus we have no place to call home. (Mahari Ben Yichiye)

“Gam Tzipor Matza Bayis U’Dror Ken La Asher Shasa Efrocheha Es Mizbichsecha Hashem Tzivokos Malki Veiloikoi”; Even the bird has a home and makes its nest on the Mizbei’ach of Hashem.

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