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Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14-4:7

JUNE 13-14 2008 11 SIVAN 5768

Pop Quiz: For how long was Miriam inflicted with sara'at?


"Aharon did so…toward the face of the Menorah he kindled the lamps as Hashem commanded to Moshe" (Bemidbar 8:3)

Our perashah begins telling us of the misvah of the daily ritual of lighting the Menorah in the Mishkan. This ceremony was done daily by Aharon the Kohen Gadol. The verse states that Aharon did as commanded. Rashi explains that this pasuk is praising Aharon in his lighting of the Menorah, for complying completely and not changing in any way the will of Hashem. This is difficult to understand. Why should we assume that he would not listen?

The Hatam Sofer explains that there is a special benefit of lighting the Menorah. Our Sages teach us that whoever is careful to light a candle in a beautiful way will merit to have children who are pious scholars. When we light Shabbat and Hanukah candles, we have the opportunity to merit this great gift of children who are hachamim. Aharon was careful to always light the Menorah to have this great merit. However, there is another ritual in the Mishkan, the offering of the Ketoret, the incense offering on the Golden Altar. A Kohen that does the Ketoret will merit great wealth. The Ketoret was so desirable that the Kohanim had to wait to do it. No Kohen ever did it twice in order to give all the Kohanim the chance to do it at least once. When was the Ketoret offered? At the time when the Menorah was lit! This means that the Kohen who lit the Menorah could not offer the Ketoret. So now we understand the great praise of Aharon for lighting the Menorah and never deviating from that. He never lit the Ketoret to merit the great wealth. He didn't even give up the Menorah lighting even once to do the Ketoret because he didn't want to exchange the merit of a misvah which produces righteous and scholarly children for the wealth. It was that much more important to him.

My friends, there is no greater joy than having children who are scholarly Rabbis. Prayer and merit, and most of all craving it more than money, will cause Hashem to give them to us. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Reuven Semah

"Moshe heard the people weeping in their families" (Bemidbar 11:10)

When the Jewish people complained to Moshe about the mann, the Torah says that Moshe heard them crying "?????????????? - in their families." The Rabbis explain that in reality they were complaining about their family lives. They were really complaining about the fact that, after they received the Torah, their relatives had become forbidden to them to marry. But on the surface they were just using the mann as an excuse to be unhappy. That's why there were such devastating results in this episode. Because when one is bothered by something and yet uses something else as an excuse, we can never appease him fully, since we are only addressing the issue he mentioned and in reality the problem lies somewhere else.

It is always wise to remember this lesson when listening to complaints or criticism. We must learn to read between the lines and see whether there is some underlying problem rather than the one which is apparent. This applies both on a personal and on a communal level, and when addressed correctly, will provide a great chance of solving the real problem. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka


[The following information has been compiled by the Bais Havaad L'Inyonei Mishpat. All information is meant for educational purposes only and to heighten the awareness of Hilchot Hoshen Mishpat as they apply in everyday life. There are many details which contribute to the determination of the Halachah, many of which are beyond the scope of this selection. In all cases of practical application a Dayan must be consulted. The Bais Havaad offers the public a Hoshen Mishpat Halacha Hotline, Halachic Mediation, Estate and Business Review, Contract and Heter Iska Draft and many other services. For more information about services or to recieve their Hoshen Mishpat newsletter via email you may contact]

Rachamim was running late. His ride to the airport was coming in twenty minutes and he hadn't even finished packing his bags. He knew his friend Sammy, a car service driver, would be on time. He was lucky Sammy had agreed to take him to the airport on his day off in the first place. "Everyone knows not to call me on my day off, but because I've been having a small 'cash flow' problem lately, I'll take you for $75 plus gas and tolls," Sammy had said to him. Rachamim thought that was a bit expensive, but was happy to have found a ride and to help his friend Sammy with his livelihood.

As Rachamim closed his suitcases the door bell rang. 'That must be Sammy. Right on time! He's even two minutes early,' he thought to himself. When Rachamim answered the door he was surprised to see his habrutah (learning partner), Yaakob, at the door. Yaakob excitedly explained that he had just been asked to pick up the Rosh Yeshivah from the airport. "I know you have a flight this morning and I would be happy to take you there," Yaakob huffed. "But we have to go fast." Excited at the prospect of saving on his traveling expenses Rachamim quickly went to call Sammy and cancel the ride. Suddenly, as he dialed, Rachamim heard Sammy's distinctive car horn announcing his arrival. "Uh! Oh! What do I do now!" he thought. "I had better call my Rabbi."

While Rachamim waited for his Rabbi to answer the phone, his mind raced through a quick calculation of what Sammy's loss would be if he canceled the ride. Sammy probably didn't turn away any other jobs in order to take him. Didn't he say that no one calls him on his day off? Rachamim reasoned that since Sammy's only complaint could be that he had wasted his time coming to Rachamim's house, he would offer $10 to Sammy to compensate him for efforts. He felt badly about the trouble but then again, why should he pay an extra $65 for nothing?

Rav Greenfield answered the phone. "The answer can be found in the Shulhan Aruch, Hoshen Mishpat 333:2," he said after listening fully to the details. There it states that a worker is considered to have begun working for his employer as soon as he begins his journey to the workplace. Once the work has begun, the employer is obligated to proceed with the job at hand or pay adequate compensation to the worker for the entire job. Generally speaking, 'adequate compensation' is less than 'full compensation' because a worker is usually willing to take a reduced sum in order not to work. Thus, even though Sammy suffers no real loss if Rachamim cancels the ride, Rachamim remains obligated to pay the $75 to Sammy minus a small amount that Sammy would agree to forfeit because he is not actually working. In essence, Sammy acquired the right to earn his wages when he began to work for Rachamim.

Rachamim thanked his Rav for his time and counted his blessings that he had the good fortune of being connected with an individual so proficient in Jewish monetary law. (Rabbi Tzvi Price)

Answer to Pop Quiz: Seven days.

A quick tip to boost the power of your prayer. Hazal tell us (Masechet Baba Kama Daf 92A) that Hashem loves the tefilot of one Jew for another so much that anyone who prays on behalf of a fellow Jew with similar needs will have his prayer answered first. A special service has now begun to provide people with names of others who find themselves in a similar predicament. You can call with complete anonymity and get the name of someone to pray for and give the name of someone that needs our prayers. The name of the service is Kol Hamitpalel. Categories include: Marriage; Income; Health; To have children etc.

Call to 646-279-8712 or email (Privacy of email limited by the email address)

Please pass this message along. Tizku L'misvot.

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