Friday, May 24
- 07:00 pm – Mincha
- 07:50 pm – Candle lighting
Saturday, May 25
- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 08:57 am – Latest time for Kriat Shema
- 10:30 am – Jr. Congregation
- 10:45 am – Toddler Group
- 11:15 am – Kiddush
- TBA – B’nos
- 05:00 pm – Ladies’ Class: Laws of Mukzteh
- 06:30 pm – Men’s Class: Nefesh HaChaim
- 07:25 pm – Mincha and Se’udah Shlishit
- 08:45 pm – Ma’ariv
- 08:59 pm – Shabbat Ends
May 26 – 31
- 08:00 am – Sunday and Monday (Memorial Day)
- 06:40 am – Thursday
- 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
- 07:55 pm – Sunday -Thursday
- 08:25 pm – Sunday -Thursday
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Weekly Words of Torah
Insights into Parshat Beha’alotecha of Mr. David Freilich of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.
Parshat Beha’alotecha is one that contains within it the contrast of tremendous heights shown by Klal Yisrael (the beginning of their journey toא”י), as well as a tremendous fall – so much so that Moshe Rabbenu cries out (במדבר יא:יד) “לא אוכל אנכי לבדי לשאת את כל העם הזה, כי כבד ממני”, “I alone can not carry the weight of this entire nation, it is too heavy for me”. Moshe, in a fit of despair at his apparent inability to lead the nation sufficiently, thinks that it is the time to give up, telling ה’ that (שם טו) “ואם ככה את עשה לי, הרגני נא הרג אם מצאתי חן בעיניך…!”, “And if you [ה’] continue to deal with me thus, kill me if I have found any favor in your eyes…!”
ה’ seemingly agrees with Moshe’s complaint, and commands him in the following פסוקים (במדבר יא:יז) to:
“אספה לי שבעים איש מזקני ישראל…ואצלתי מן הרוח אשר עליך ושמתי עליהם, ונשאו אתך במשא העם, ולא תשא אתה לבדך”
“Gather for me 70 men from the Elders of Israel…and I shall take of the spirit that is upon you and place it upon them, and they shall carry with you the burden of the nation, and you shall not carry it alone.”
Rav Chaim ben Attar, the אור החיים הק’ (ad loc) [as well as the חזקוני (ad loc)] was bothered by one aspect of the above פסוק – why, he asks, does הקב”ה specifically tell Moshe that he will take from the “רוח אשר עליך”, “the spirit that is upon you”? Why did הקב”ה choose to give the זקנים some of Moshe Rabbenu’s רוח הקודש; did God not have any other source to give them from?
The Ohr HaChaim explains that הקב”ה was giving Moshe Rabbenu a sharp point of rebuke through this phrase – signifying that he was being מייאש too soon, that he indeed had the ability to lead the nation alone. ה’ was explaining to Moshe that when He had initially given Moshe all of his natural abilities, He had given him the ability to lead the nation in all its wanderings and travels; even though Moshe had decided prematurely that he wasn’t capable of carrying the burden of the nation alone, he really had the ability latent within him. Moshe thought he wasn’t able – but, as ה’ pointed out to him, he failed to recognize there is so much more he could do, so much more he could accomplish!
Rav Moshe, in his Dorash Moshe (פר’ בחקותי, ד”ה והיה ערכך), discusses two different paths one can go through to donate money to the Bet Hamikdash – that of ערכין and דמים. The Torah (in בחקותי כז:א-ח) details what happens if someone declares that he is donating his “ערך”, his “worth” to the Bet Hamikdash, while the גמ’ מגילה (כג:) brings up a similar concept, where someone vows to donate his “דמים”, his “money” to the Bet Hamikdash. There is one large difference between the two concepts – that of the amount one is promising. When one pledges his “ערך”, he is pledging to donate a set sum of money to the Bet HaMikdash, depending upon his age, as detailed by the פסוקים in בחקותי; however, when one pledges his “דמים” to the Bet HaMikdash, it is a more personalized donation, where he is pledging his worth as evaluated on the slave market.
Rav Moshe explained, homiletically, that when one is striving to grow in his עבודת ה’, his “donation” to הקב”ה, there are two levels one can reach. There is one level that he can reach through some hard work, one where he is holding at a good place, where he can be considered a “good guy”, and then there is one higher still, one more personalized, where he really worked hard to maximize his potential and perfect himself in his own eyes, rather than in the eyes of everyone else. Very often, he pointed out, one is satisfied with reaching the basic “good guy” level of perfection, one where he’s doing the right thing most of the time; but there’s so much more one can reach, such higher goals one must have! It is easy to fall into the trap of satisfaction with one’s growth, where he’s considered to be within the upper echelon (and one should be happy with such a growth!), but that shouldn’t be the limit of his aspirations, and it definitely is not the limit of his potential. To stretch our abilities at times isn’t straining them, but is rather exercising and expanding their bounds, allowing us to grow to our full potential.