Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tu BeShvat

The Bnei Yisaschor writes in the name of previous tzadikim that one should pray for a beautiful esrog on Tu B'Shvat. The Ben Ish Chai composed a tefila to say on Tu Beshevat for this. You can also find tefilos for this in Likutei Tefilos. (Pages 72-73 in this PDF) It is also a day to daven for livelihood, children and other things.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why Parshas Hamon is Recited on Tuesday of Parshas Beshalach

A few years ago, I wrote about Parshas Hamon. As is known, there is a segula from R' Mendel of Riminov ZY"A to read Parshas Hamon the Tuesday that Bashalach is read. I received the article below by email from DF, where he gives reasons why we read it on this particular time. As he explained to me in our correspondence: The Rama starts off Shulchan Aruch-Orach Chaim by saying:  "Shivisi Hashem Linegdi Tamid" – "I place Hashem before myself always". This is not easy for most to do. Perhaps this is one thing that a segula does. It gets us to realize that Hashem is always there. If one does any of the many segulas, they are merely reminders of "Shivisi". No one could have anything against doing something with the intention to remember "Shivisi". For those that just want to go through the motions and aren't interested in remembering that Hashem is the only One that controls everything, then …  Hopefully this will get us to think about what we are doing and bring us to real emunah.

The following was received via email from DF.

Reb Mendel Riminover's Segula

There is a well known minhag to say Parshas Hamon "shnayim mikra v'echad targum" this coming Tuesday of Parshas Beshalach. The source for this is Reb Menachem Mendel of Rimonov. (The author of Lechem Abirim heard this from the Paya Rov shlita, who heard this from his father, who heard it from Reb Sholom Shtropkover, who heard it from his father, the Shiniva Rov) Rav Gamliel Rabinovitz shlita says that just saying Parshas Hamon without having emuna is not what was intended. A segula for parnasa is supposed to bring us to increase our trust in Hashem. The Ramban at the end of Parshas Bo says that one has no share in the Torah of Moshe Rabbeinu until he believes that everything that happens is a miracle and there is no טבע - "nature". The Mechilta says: "the Torah was only given to those who ate mon". Based on the Ramban we can understand this to mean that through internalizing the message of Parshas Hamon we can have a share in the Torah.


Some people say: "what do you need this segula for; just daven to Hashem". On the other hand, others think they can just say this and will automatically get rich. It doesn't say anywhere that it's a segula to get "rich". Reb Nosson of Breslov explains that the main brocha of parnasa is when one accepts it from Hashem with ratzon tov, is someach bechelko and has emuna that this is the will of Hashem and it is all for his good. He says further that "only this is called ashirus and parnasa" and even if one has great wealth but doesn't have nachas ruach from it, always has worries about his money, is jealous of people who have more than him, etc., then that is not called ashirus. (Likutei Halochos, Netilas Yodayim L'seuda 6:85) Reb Nachman of Breslov teaches that one should ask Hashem for every single thing he needs; nothing is too great or too trivial to daven for. An אדם has to receive everything through tefila, otherwise, although he may get everything he needs without tefila, he receives it like an animal. (Sichos Haran 233) If we don't get what we want, we need to believe that Hashem is doing this for our best. So, really all we need is tefila, but if we don't fully believe that every minor item comes only through Hashem, then the tefila is not proper tefila.


The Mishna Berura (1:13) quotes the Yerushalmi Brochos that says one who recites Parshas Hamon every day will not be lacking sustenance. He says that the point is to bring us to the realization that everything comes about through hashgacha. This could help us understand why this segula is in the week of Beshalach. People are generally involved in studying the parsha of the upcoming Shabbos starting from the mincha of the previous Shabbos. Therefore, in the week of Beshalach one will be able to have a better understanding of the words of Parshas Hamon. But, why specifically Tuesday? Though the reasons of Reb Mendel Riminover aren't known, I would like to humbly suggest a few possibilities.


First, several pesukim before Parshas Hamon it says that Klal Yisroel went three days without water in the desert. Moshe davened and they got water. From here we see that you can even get water in a desert by davening. Therefore, saying Parshas Hamon on the third day of the week reminds us of this.


Tuesday is the day that vegetation was created. On this day, we remember that without Hashem creating what He did on this day, we wouldn't even have bread to eat. In the Shir Shel Yom of Tuesday, we say: שפטו דל ויתום עני ורש הצדיקו. פלטו דל ואביון מיד רשעים הצילו. We mention דל twice here. The Degel Machane Ephraim says that the word גד inכזרע גד לבן are the first letters of גומל דלים, teaching us that if we have pity on the poor, Hashem will have pity on us. It says אשרי משכיל אל דל ביום רעה ימלטהו ד׳ – "Happy is he who contemplates the poor, on the day of evil, Hashem will save him". (Tehilim 41:2) This posuk can also refer to one who contemplates that he himself is דל, meaning no matter how much he may have he acknowledges that he gets absolutely nothing  on his own; it's all 100% from Hashem. Then he will be happy (אשרי). Beshalach is always read in Shevat. The Bnei Yisaschor says that Shevat is the month of אשר and the letter "צ". It says מאשר שמנה לחמו, which can mean: "from happiness, one will have oil and bread". It will always seem as if he has everything. Oil refers to חכמה, which the Zohar Hakodosh teaches contains the words כח מה - the strength of the word מה. The letter "צ" is equal to מן. The first letters of משכיל אל דל spell אדם and the last letters equal מן. Together they equal 135, which is 3 times the word מה; the word מה is used 3 times in Parshas Hamon. Moshe Rabbeinu said ונחנו מה, meaning that we are nothing, which the Gemara in Chullin teaches shows the ultimate humility of Moshe Rabbeinu. The Degel Machane Ephraim, expounding on the words of his grandfather, the Baal Shem Tov, says that Hashem doesn't need a person to do any action to give him parnasa, but for whatever reason, Hashem wants to give each person parnasa in a particular fashion. He says that we need to also believe ונחנו מה, that we are nothing and no matter what we do we can't receive parnasa unless Hashem wills it. The Name of Hashem spelled out with alephs equal 45, יוד־קא־ואו־קא, and these Alephs remind us that it is the Alupho Shel Olam that controls everything; One to the exclusion of anything else. משכיל אל דל with the letters equals דעת, as that is what's needed to realize everything Hashem does is truly good.


By the third day of creation it says the words כי טוב twice. This teaches us that there is the "good" we understand and the "good" that we may not comprehend. But, nevertheless, we need to believe that everything Hashem does is truly good. 2 times טוב equals דל. כי טוב equals 47. The third day is connected to the third sefira, תפארת (the midah of אמת) which is connected to Yaakov. The Zohar Hakodosh calls the letter "ו" the אות אמת. There are 3 ways to spell the letter "ו": "וו", "ואו","ויו", and together they equal מ״ז - 47. מ״ז spelled out – מם זין – equals 147, the amount of years Yaakov lived. It also equals עין טוב, which is something we should have if we really have emuna. קמ״ז spelled out – קוף מם זין – equals של״ג - 333, which is 3 times 111 – the gematria of אלף. As mentioned above, the Name of Hashem spelled with Alephs has 3 Alephs. של״ג spelled out – שין למד גימל – equals בתפלה. Yaakov received the brocha of ויתן לך האלקים מטל השמים, and it says הקל קול יעקב והידים ידי עשו. This teaches that if we daven that is קול יעקב, but if we think כחי ועצם ידי, that is ידי עשו. The first letters of והידים ידי עשו equal הטבע – "nature". When we have קול יעקבtefila – we show that our own strength is really nothing. The first letters of קול יעקב equal נס – "miracle", showing that we believe "nature" is really miracles (as the Ramban says). Also, טל השמים equals דלת, and מטל השמים equals דעת.


The Name of Hashem י־ק־ו־ק spelled with Alephs equals מ״ה. The Bas Ayin says that מם הא equals 86 – equal to אלקים. פ״ו spelled out – פא ואו – equals 94, which is 2 times כי טוב. הטוב והמטיב is also equal to 94. Rav Yaakov Abuchatzeira says that יעקב is equal to 7 timesי־ק־ו־ק  (7x26=182) and the 147 years he lived is equal to 7 times א־ק־י־ק (7x21=147). (Pituchei Chosom, Vayechi) The Name י־ק־ו־ק is mentioned 21 (equal to א־ק־י־ק) times in Parshas Hamon. These two Names together also equal 47 - כי טוב. י־ק־ו־ק spelled with Alephs equals 45, and א־ק־י־ק spelled with Alephs - אלף־קא־יוד־קא – equals 143. 143+45=188 – the gematria of יעקוב (it is spelled like this 5 times in Tanach).


The "Yom" of Tuesday has 61 words, equal to היום. As is known, we learn out the 3 meals of Shabbos from the 3 times the word היום is mentioned in Parshas Hamon. It says in Tehilim (52:3) חסד קל כל היום. We can interpret this to mean that there is חסד for every mention of היום. 3 times חסד equals גבורה. We would now have the Name קל, which is חסד, and אלקים, which is גבורה. If you spell both of these Names out אלף למד אלף למד קי יוד מם, it equals 485, the amount of words in Parshas Hamon. Reb Naftali Ropshitzer explains that with pure חסד we cannot receive our sustenance because it is too powerful for us to handle. Therefore, it needs to have גבורה mixed with it, so it can be filtered down to an amount that we can handle. This is why the world had to be created with the Name אלקים. (Zera Kodesh, Noach) We can now understand why the number "485" is significant. As mentioned it is equal to the Names of Hashem that represent חסד and גבורה spelled out. The first posuk of the Yom says אלקים נצב בעדת קל, containing these Names, and then says בקרב אלהים ישפט. The wordבקרב  has the letters of בבקר (when the מן fell), and אלהים ישפט is exactly equal to 485, the amount of words in Parshas Hamon.קל בקרב   with the letters is equal to בשלח with the kolel.


As mentioned, Tuesday is connected to Yaakov Avinu. He was the one that went back to retrieve some small jars, because the possessions of a tzadik are valuable to him since they are earned honestly. That is when the Sar of Esav fought with him, teaching us how much that yetzer hora wants to trip us up when it comes to matters of money. This is yet another one of the many lessons that we can learn by reciting Parshas Hamon on the Tuesday of Parshas Beshalach.