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 Shirah, 14th Tishrei, 5771

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Perek Shira

Perek Shirah: The Dog and Man – Who is Loyal To Who?

Ask your dog to retrieve something and it will rush to return it to you and then lick your feet waiting for his next opportunity to serve you. An intruder on your premises? Your dog will bark madly for him to leave. The Knaf Renanim says that while other animals like horses, donkeys, camels, and cattle show “Hakoras Hatov”, that is only while they are receiving your kindness but it doesn’t last beyond that. A dog will always be faithful, even after the death of its owner. Kelev he says is an acronym for “Kulo Lev”, all heart.

And for what? For the few scraps of dry bones you throw his way. Where does that leave us? Hashem provides for us everything from a to z 24/7 with the utmost forethought and kindness beyond our comprehension. What kind of Hakoras Hatov do we need to show? We need to do more than throw Hashem a few dry bones or watered down mitzvos.

The dog’s behavior is a lesson to all of us on the how to have Hakoras Hatov. When we hear the dog say “Boi’u Nishtachaveh V’Nicre’ah”, let us go bow down to our master, we need to respond, “Nivrecha Lifnei Hashem Oseinu”, we should have that gratitude to our Father our King in heaven and perform His commandments with enthusiasm!

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Avodah Perek Shira 20th Av 5769

 

Perek Shira – 20th Av, 5769

RevachL'Neshama

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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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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Avodah – Perek Shira – 24th Tammuz, 5769

 

Perek Shira – 24th Tammuz, 5769

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Perek Shira

Perek Shira: Roses Are Red, Dew is Free… If Hashem Sends You a Gift, Let It Be

Both dew and rain are essential for life as they nourish nature and help the crops grow. Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz points out that they have very different origins. Rain is condensation that goes up from the oceans and is purified in the sky. It is then sent back down in the form of sweet rainwater. Dew on the other hand originates in the heavens above without any involvement from the world below.

The Knaf Renanim explains from Chazal that in order to get bracha from the heavens we must initiate the process from below. We must initiate a relationship with Hashem by sending up Mitzvos and Ma’asim Tovim in order for Hashem to open up the heavens and pour abundant bracha on our lives.

In the history of the world, Hashem tells us, there will come a time that Bnei Yisroel will be so despondent and so disconnected from Hashem that we will not even be able to make this minimum effort to call out to Hashem. What will be? How will we merit salvation? To this Hashem answers (Hoshea 14:6) , “Ehehyeh KaTal LiYisroel”, I will be like the dew to Am Yisroel. I will send bracha that originates from me without waiting for their efforts from below.

There is only one condition that we need to fulfill in order to receive this free gift. We need to open up to able to receive this Bracha. “Yifrach KiShoshana” we must resemble a rose. Roses are known to get their beautiful smell by absorbing dew. The Rose with its head opened on top and its petal forming a cup around its head, catch more dew than other differently structured flowers.

Many times Hashem send bracha into our lives and we are too stubborn to even absorb it. We have our own visions of how our salvation should be played out and are too blind to see Hashem’s chesed. Open up your eyes and see the opportunity that Hashem is sending your way. Free gifts don’t come often so don’t let it slip away.

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Avodah – Perek Shira – 23rd Tammuz, 5769

 

Perek Shira – 23rd Tammuz, 5769

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Perek Shira

Perek Shira: The Rat Sings- Every Breath You Take

“Every creature on land has a parallel in the sea except the rat.” Chulin 127b. The rat is the only creature that is not worthy enough for Hashem to have a created a similar animal in the oceans. The Toras Kohanim in Parshas Shemini says “every creature that is Tamei on the land, its counterpart at sea is Tahor. That means that the rat is the only creature in the entire world is completely Tamei. It is further from Hashem than any creature on the planet.

Why is this? The Knaf Renanim explains that every creature has some redeeming feature from which people can learn from. The Gemara in Eruvin (100b) says that we learn Tznius from a cat, not stealing from an ant, etc. Each animal sings to Hashem thanking Him for its unique attribute. The rat doesn’t have a single unique attribute. It has nothing desirable in it character. What can we learn from the rat? We can learn that life no matter how worthless and how empty is a great gift in and of itself.

The rat sings, “Kol HaNeshama Tihalel Ka”, every neshama praises Hashem. Chazal tell us that the word Neshama in this pasuk can mean “Neshima”; breath. We thank Hashem for every breath he gives us on this earth. Whether life is good or bad; fulfilling or empty; whether we are capable of accomplishing great things or grounded by our handicaps; no matter what, we thank Hashem for life itself. Even is a person is unconscious and on a respirator he still thanks Hashem for every “breath” he takes. Each breath of life is a gift and its greatness should not be dismissed.

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Avodah – Perek Shira – 20th Tammuz, 5769

 

Perek Shira – 20th Tammuz, 5769

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Perek Shira

Perek Shira: The Wolf’s Heavy Price

The wolf is the shepherd’s worst enemy. He sneaks in under the cover of darkness and swipes some sheep for dinner. If and when a shepherd manages to catch a wolf he will beat him mercilessly taking out on him all his frustrations for all the sheep that have been lost to wolves in the past. Did this wolf necessarily steal all those sheep? Probably not but the shepherd doesn’t really care. To him this is payback for everything.

The Knaf Renanim adds that the reason why the Torah says that a thief who is caught pays double is because it is probably not his first time stealing. Therefore we make him pay back for the “other time” as well.

The lesson we learn from the wolf is that if you steal or cheat you may get away with it a few times. But if and when you do eventually get caught you will pay not only for what you were caught doing now but for all those who stole before you as well as for your own previous crimes. You will be the whipping boy who will pay the price.

The Wolf says, “Al Kol Dvar Pesha” we are punished not only for our own crimes but for all other crimes that our victim suffered from in the past. “Yishaleim Shnayim LiRei’ayhu”, we will pay double because we already got away with it once.

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