JERSEY SHORE TORAH BULLETIN
MONEY MATTERS by Rabbi Reuven Semah
"And if you shall say in your heart, 'It is my strength and the power
of my hand that has made me this wealth'." (Debarim 8:17)
Our perashah continues with Moshe Rabenu rebuking and
enlightening the people before his death. The time will come,
Moshe Rabenu says, when people will say 'My own strength has
earned me my wealth.' Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch says that "kohi",
my power, means my natural abilities; "osem yadi", the strength of
my hand, means a person's ability to surpass his normal capabilities
with supreme effort. It is common to hear from people a certain
attitude when they are asked to part with some of their money for a
worthy cause. Basically, you might hear the following: "I have
worked very hard for my money. As a matter of fact, I have put so
much effort that I have even surpassed my own abilities to earn this
money. Why should I give to others? Let them kill themselves for
the money as I have!" This comment could even be heard when
that person's own children need help.
There is only one crucial element missing in that entire
statement. It wasn't you that made the money at all. It was from
Hashem. Hashem gives extra money in order to help others and
even more regarding one's own family. It is true that he made great
efforts to earn that money and Hashem demands that he does. But
bottom line, after all that required effort, Hashem gifts over to us
money to help others. May Hashem bless us all with a great
abundance of wealth and with a generous heart to use it wisely.
WHAT A GREAT IDEA! by Rabbi Shmuel Choueka
"And you will remember that it is Hashem who gives you the
strength to do this great deed." (Debarim 8:18)
Whenever a person accomplishes anything, he may be
tempted to think that he was responsible for his success, so the
Torah tells us that it is Hashem who gave you the strength to
succeed. The Targum adds a very important word to the verse. He
says, "You shall remember that it is Hashem Who gives you the
idea which leads you to succeed."
This teaches us an amazing lesson. Even the idea itself
which sets off an entire chain reaction, and ultimately leads to
accomplishments is from Hashem. How many times are we in a
tough situation looking for answers when all of a sudden, an idea
"pops into our head" which gives us a way out? Every time a
person thinks of something to do or remembers something
important, he should thank Hashem for the idea itself for it is He
who gives us the thought with which to succeed. Shabbat Shalom.
EAT, DRINK AND BE GRATEFUL
"And you shall eat and be satisfied and bless Hashem your G-d for
the good land which He has given you." (Debarim 8:10)
This pasuk implies that the Bircat Hamazon is not merely a
formal offering of gratitude for the meal which we have eaten.
Rather, it proclaims our acknowledgment that Hashem is the source
of all things. Indeed, we even submit our thanks to Hashem for
providing us with our land. This seems enigmatic. Imagine being
invited to someone's home for dinner and, after the meal, thanking
the host for the use of his furniture and home during the course of
the meal. This expression of gratitude is undoubtedly excessive.
Why, then, is it necessary to specifically mention the land during
Harav B.Z. Baruk offers the following analogy in response.
A person who was hunger stricken and thirsty is walking in the
desert, completely exposed to the elements. Suddenly, a plane
lands, as if from nowhere. A beautifully furnished home complete
with a table laden with various delicacies ready for his consumption
appears before him. Obviously, in such a situation, the individual's
gratitude would extend beyond a simple acknowledgment of the
delicious meal. He would indicate his appreciation for everything.
Similarly, we should acknowledge that every meal we enjoy is a
brand new creation, resulting from Hashem's beneficence. We have
fallen victim to the sin of complacency by taking everything for
granted. Regretfully, we reflect upon Hashem's favors only when
we are denied them. Increasing our awareness would neutralize
this apathetic attitude. (Peninim on the Torah)
Pop quiz: What did Moshe take with him when he went up to Har
Sinai after breaking the first Tablets?
Answer to pop quiz:Two new tablets on which the
Commandments would be engraved.