Thursday, March 20, 2008

13 Adar Links

As usual, A Simple Jew has several great postings today. Here are a few:

Reb Yaakov Kamenetsky Advice on Davening for the Terminally Ill

Reb Yaakov Kamenetsky zy'a said at the levaya of someone who died of a machlah that davening that a person with a machla that has no known cure be healed would entail a revealed miracle which we are usually not worthy of. A hidden miracle, however, we can be worthy of. Therefore, we should daven that a cure should be "found" and it will look "natural". Purim is the story of hidden miracles that looked "natural". The following is based on an email that a reader sent me regarding this.


In addition to learning Torah and the prayers we do on behalf of those in need of a refuah, let's Daven to Hashem that He reveal to us the cures for all the various diseases. "Hashem prepares a cure before sending a disease". (Megila 13b). Therefore a cure must already exist in nature and is just waiting to be discovered."

For example: Please Hashem, reveal to us a cure for colon cancer.


*Based on a thought brought down in "Reb Yaakov" (Mesorah Publications).


PURIM IS AN "Eis Ratzon" so if possible, please take a moment to put a pruta (25¢) into

Tzedakah and say a prayer that we should find a cure for all the terrible machlahs.

Noam Elimelech in English Now Available

Mipeninei Noam Elimelech

As the Rebbe of all Rebbes and the recognized third-generation leader of Chassidus, the Noam Elimelech is revered for his holiness and brilliance. His profound sefer of Torah elucidations has been diligently studied for centuries. But how many can truly understand his lofty teachings? In this groundbreaking, first-ever English rendition of selections from the Noam Elimelech's classic sefer, Rabbi Moshe Tal Zwecker has opened the world of chassidus - the world of the Noam Elimelech to the English speaking public. With essays based on the weekly parashah and various appendices, including his famous "tzeitel katan" and his stirring "prayer before prayer", every one will be deeply moved and inspired by this important and profound work.
It is available at a special discount now at Targum Press in honor of the yartzeit of the Rebbe Reb Elemelech of Lizensk.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Segula of Tanis Esther

The Kav Hayoshor (Chapter 97) brings down that the Magid revealed to the Beis Yosef (Magid Meisharim Vayakhel) an additional reason for Tanis Esther. There is a mitzvah to eat and drink on Purim, and all the drinking and merriment can cause one to sin if not done properly. Therefore, Hashem has us fast the day before Purim as a segula to protect us from sin, and the Satan and Lilis have no power to be mekatreg and bring us to sin. When one says in the selichos "shema tefila veha'aver tefila", he should have in mind that he shouldn't come to sin, chas v'Sholom through eating, drinking or Simchas Purim. May we all be zoche to real Simchas Purim.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Antidote to Amalek

The Maor Veshemesh teaches us how to destroy Amalek; through Ahavas Yisroel. He proves it from the encounter with Amalek. תִּמְחֶה אֶת זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק can be interpreted to mean: "erase זֵכֶר from עֲמָלֵק", meaning, take away זֵכֶר, which has the numerical value of 227, and subtract it from עֲמָלֵק, which has the numerical value of 240, and you get 13. Now, 13 is the numerical value of אהבה and אחד. When we are like "one" and have love for each other, then we can destroy Amalek. When there is "love" between 2 Jews we have אהבה twice, which equals 26, the numerical value of Yud-Kei-Vav-Kei – the Name of Hashem which represents Rachamim.


At the end of Parshas Beshalach, we have the story of Amalek attacking Klal Yisroel. It says:  וְהָיָה כַּאֲשֶׁר יָרִים משֶׁה יָדו וְגָבַר יִשְׂרָאֵל וְכַאֲשֶׁר יָנִיחַ יָדו וְגָבַר עֲמָלֵק- "And when Moshe raised up his hands, Israel was victorious, and when he lowered his hands, Amalek was victorious." The Mishna (Rosh Hashona Chapter 3) explains this means: כל זמן שהיו ישראל מסתכלין כלפי מעלה ומכוונין את ליבם לאביהם שבשמיים היו מתגברין – "all the time that Israel Upwards and concentrated their hearts to their Father in Heaven they were victorious." Why does it need to say מסתכלין כלפי מעלה "that they looked upwards" and ומכוונין את ליבם לאביהם שבשמיים - "they concentrated their hearts to their Father in Heaven"? When it says Moshe Rabbeinu raised his hands, it means he raise his "koach", which was his great humbleness and love for every Jew. (The Arizal (I think) explains that the value of the word יד, hand, is 14. Two hands would then be 28, the value of the word כח, strength.) So, the saw the nation saw this and wanted to emulate it. When it says מסתכלין כלפי מעלה it means that they looked at the מעלות, "the good points", of their fellow Jews, and then they were able to direct their hearts to Hashem.


By looking at the "Ma'alos", the good points, of Klal Yisroel, we have the "Ahava" and the "Echad" necessary to destroy Amalek.