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 Shirah, 20th Tishrei, 5771

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Perek Shira

Perek Shirah: Me-owch! The Galus is a Game of Cat & Mouse

The Knaf Renanim says that the cat is not a predator by nature. It is quite domesticated. The one thing the cat can’t stand is a mouse. This intense hatred towards a specific animal is unique to the cat among the animals. The mouse he says, although it seems like it only causes damage, that is only when it comes above ground to steal some food. However in its natural habitat below the ground, the mouse serves an important function in the world, even though we don’t know what that function is. Hashem created the cat’s ingrained hatred to keep the mouse where it belongs.

The Knaf Renanim says the Nimshal is Torah. The cat is the Yetzer Hara, the mouse is Am Yisroel and the ground is where the Torah is. I once heard a similar explanation with the Nimshal being the Galus. In Galus, Bnei Yisroel has been thrown to the ground. We are to remain there, absorbed only in Torah and Mitzvos. The big world out there with all its attractions is not for us. We are not invited to the party right now. If we stay underground and out of sight, we will remain safe and protected. When we become “curious” and venture out to enjoy the Gashmiyus the world has to offer, the cat or the “Umos HaOlam” become unhappy that we infringing on their turf. They are Hashem’s messengers to send us scampering back to where we belong.

Sometimes we venture out too far. The cat sees us and we run but we can’t make it back to our hole and we are caught. The cat mercilessly persecutes us and kills us with no chance of escape. The Knaf Renanim says that cat catches his prey batters it and then lets it go. The mouse thinks he has broken loose, but this is just a game. After a few feet he grabs him again and pummels him once more. After a few rounds of this game he finally eats him (I saw this with my own eyes once).

The cat says to the mouse, “Im Tagbia KaNesher V’Im Bein Kochavim Sim Kinecha M’Sham Oiridcha N’um Hashem”, if you choose to rise up to places you don’t belong, I will bring you down. “Erdof Oivai VaAsigaim V’Lo Ashuv Ad Kaloisum” I will chase my enemy and not return until I wipe him out.

When caught the mouse says, “V’Ata Tzadik Al Kol Haba Aleinu Ki Emes Asisa V’Anachnu Hirshanu”; you are justified in all you do. You are correct and we have been wicked.

It’s been a long galus with us buried in the ground. The times we’ve come up we’ve been hunted and killed. Hang in there and don’t leave your place. Our time will soon come and HaKadosh Boruch Hu will say, “Hisnari MeiAfar Kumi”; brush off the earth and rise once again. Bimheira Biyameinu Amein!

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Avodah Perek Shira 20th Av 5769

 

Perek Shira – 20th Av, 5769

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Perek Shira

Perek Shira: Me-owch! The Galus is a Game of Cat & Mouse

The Knaf Renanim says that the cat is not a predator by nature. It is quite domesticated. The one thing the cat can’t stand is a mouse. This intense hatred towards a specific animal is unique to the cat among the animals. The mouse he says, although it seems like it only causes damage, that is only when it comes above ground to steal some food. However in its natural habitat below the ground, the mouse serves an important function in the world, even though we don’t know what that function is. Hashem created the cat’s ingrained hatred to keep the mouse where it belongs.

The Knaf Renanim says the Nimshal is Torah. The cat is the Yetzer Hara, the mouse is Am Yisroel and the ground is where the Torah is. I once heard a similar explanation with the Nimshal being the Galus. In Galus, Bnei Yisroel has been thrown to the ground. We are to remain there, absorbed only in Torah and Mitzvos. The big world out there with all its attractions is not for us. We are not invited to the party right now. If we stay underground and out of sight, we will remain safe and protected. When we become “curious” and venture out to enjoy the Gashmiyus the world has to offer, the cat or the “Umos HaOlam” become unhappy that we infringing on their turf. They are Hashem’s messengers to send us scampering back to where we belong.

Sometimes we venture out too far. The cat sees us and we run but we can’t make it back to our hole and we are caught. The cat mercilessly persecutes us and kills us with no chance of escape. The Knaf Renanim says that cat catches his prey batters it and then lets it go. The mouse thinks he has broken loose, but this is just a game. After a few feet he grabs him again and pummels him once more. After a few rounds of this game he finally eats him (I saw this with my own eyes once).

The cat says to the mouse, “Im Tagbia KaNesher V’Im Bein Kochavim Sim Kinecha M’Sham Oiridcha N’um Hashem”, if you choose to rise up to places you don’t belong, I will bring you down. “Erdof Oivai VaAsigaim V’Lo Ashuv Ad Kaloisum” I will chase my enemy and not return until I wipe him out.

When caught the mouse says, “V’Ata Tzadik Al Kol Haba Aleinu Ki Emes Asisa V’Anachnu Hirshanu”; you are justified in all you do. You are correct and we have been wicked.

It’s been a long galus with us buried in the ground. The times we’ve come up we’ve been hunted and killed. Hang in there and don’t leave your place. Our time will soon come and HaKadosh Boruch Hu will say, “Hisnari MeiAfar Kumi”; brush off the earth and rise once again. Bimheira Biyameinu Amein!

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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 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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Avodah Perek Shira 29th Tammuz 5769

 

Perek Shira – 29th Tammuz, 5769

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Perek Shira

Perek Shira: The Camel – Searching For Moshiach, Oasis or Mirage?

The tall camel travels through the desert looking out and constantly searching the vast expanses in the hope of finding an oasis in which to quench its thirst. As the days go by and there is still no sign of water the camel can roar for a drink, which for him can consist of 46 liters of water.

So too says the Shiras Ariel, Hashem who sits on His throne high in the Heavens, travels through the years of Galus (kiviyachol) searching for the zchus of His beloved nation in order to be able to bring Moshiach and the Geula Sheleima.

The Camel says, “Hashem MiMarom Yishag Um”Mi’on Kodsho Yitein Kolo”, Hashem roars from on his above and from His dwelling lets out a noise. “Sha’og Yishag Al Naveihu”, He roars for His absent Bais HaMikdash.

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Avodah Perek Shira 28th Tammuz, 5769

 

Perek Shira – 28th Tammuz, 5769

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Perek Shira

Perek Shira: Me-owch! The Galus is a Game of Cat & Mouse

The Knaf Renanim says that the cat is not a predator by nature. It is quite domesticated. The one thing the cat can’t stand is a mouse. This intense hatred towards a specific animal is unique to the cat among the animals. The mouse he says, although it seems like it only causes damage, that is only when it comes above ground to steal some food. However in its natural habitat below the ground, the mouse serves an important function in the world, even though we don’t know what that function is. Hashem created the cat’s ingrained hatred to keep the mouse where it belongs.

The Knaf Renanim says the Nimshal is Torah. The cat is the Yetzer Hara, the mouse is Am Yisroel and the ground is where the Torah is. I once heard a similar explanation with the Nimshal being the Galus. In Galus, Bnei Yisroel has been thrown to the ground. We are to remain there, absorbed only in Torah and Mitzvos. The big world out there with all its attractions is not for us. We are not invited to the party right now. If we stay underground and out of sight, we will remain safe and protected. When we become “curious” and venture out to enjoy the Gashmiyus the world has to offer, the cat or the “Umos HaOlam” become unhappy that we infringing on their turf. They are Hashem’s messengers to send us scampering back to where we belong.

Sometimes we venture out too far. The cat sees us and we run but we can’t make it back to our hole and we are caught. The cat mercilessly persecutes us and kills us with no chance of escape. The Knaf Renanim says that cat catches his prey batters it and then lets it go. The mouse thinks he has broken loose, but this is just a game. After a few feet he grabs him again and pummels him once more. After a few rounds of this game he finally eats him (I saw this with my own eyes once).

The cat says to the mouse, “Im Tagbia KaNesher V’Im Bein Kochavim Sim Kinecha M’Sham Oiridcha N’um Hashem”, if you choose to rise up to places you don’t belong, I will bring you down. “Erdof Oivai VaAsigaim V’Lo Ashuv Ad Kaloisum” I will chase my enemy and not return until I wipe him out.

When caught the mouse says, “V’Ata Tzadik Al Kol Haba Aleinu Ki Emes Asisa V’Anachnu Hirshanu”; you are justified in all you do. You are correct and we have been wicked.

It’s been a long galus with us buried in the ground. The times we’ve come up we’ve been hunted and killed. Hang in there and don’t leave your place. Our time will soon come and HaKadosh Boruch Hu will say, “Hisnari MeiAfar Kumi”; brush off the earth and rise once again. Bimheira Biyameinu Amein!

Hassid bar

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