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Haftarah: Yeshayahu 54:1-10

AUGUST 20-21, 2010 11 ELUL 5770


AUGUST 20-21, 2010 11 ELUL 5770

"A perfect and honest weight shall you have…For an abomination of Hashem, your G-d, are all who do this, all who act corruptly." (Debarim 25:15-16)

Our perashah speaks about the importance of honesty and integrity. Rabbi S.R. Hirsch writes: A Jew becomes "an abomination of G-d, his G-d," if he calls himself a Jew and does not keep what is right and fair in his dealings with his fellow man. If Hashem despises those who act corruptly it follows that Hashem loves those who act honestly.

A true story is told by an administrator in a Brooklyn yeshivah. The city provided busing for the students. One year the city sent a bus driver named Richie. Richie was tall and strong and quickly became the leader of all the drivers. The administrator relates that he kept Richie happy by giving him a cup of coffee every afternoon before he drove the children home. One day Richie tells the Rabbi that he isn't a holy Rabbi. The Rabbi was surprised, so he asked Richie how he defined a holy Rabbi. He explained that he used to drive for Rabbi Mandel of Yeshivah of Brooklyn on Ocean Parkway and Avenue O. Rabbi Mandel used to give him coffee, but the Rabbi used to drink from a different milk. Richie thought that the Rabbi's milk was kosher milk, so he told the Rabbi he wanted kosher milk also. The Rabbi laughed and replied, "Richie, your coffee is just as kosher as mine. You see, the milk we have in school is provided by the government. It's for students, teachers, and bus drivers like you. But it's not for administration people like me. That's why I bring milk from home for my coffee."

"Yes, Rabbi Mandel is a holy Rabbi."

Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Reuven Semah

"Hashem shouldn't see your nakedness so that He should turn away from you." (Debarim 23:15)

If we wonder why the Divine Presence is so hidden in our times, this verse provides the answer. When G-d sees that the Jewish People are not conducting themselves in a modest way, He turns away from us, leaving us in the dark. Although it says in another place in the Torah that G-d dwells amongst us even if we are impure, this refers to other kinds of improper behavior. When it comes to dressing immodestly, Hashem chooses not to be revealed amongst us. In these days, when the whole society is overwhelmingly encouraging this kind of dress code, everyone who makes an attempt to dress properly will be truly bringing blessings on themselves and on their families. Indeed, we have seen some people accept upon themselves to be more modestly attired, with the merit going to bring a speedy recovery for those who are stricken with difficult illnesses. This is a remarkable zechut. It is written that if a person has a temptation to see someone immodestly dressed and overcomes it, he should, at that very moment, pray to Hashem for whatever he wishes, because he has created such a magnificent zechut by overcoming his temptations. Therefore, it becomes an opportune moment to pray. We see how much Hashem rewards those who make modest dress part of their lives because they are bringing Hashem back to the Jewish People. Let us merit to be those fortunate ones. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka


When someone wants to pursue an education with the goal of acquiring a profession, the two most frequently asked questions are, "How long is the course of study?" and "How mush is the tuition expense?" The answers will help the interested individual determine whether the investment of time and money will be worth the anticipated payback over time.

Similar calculations must be made when buying a home. Is it prudent to make a long-term commitment to a twenty- or thirty-year mortgage? Is it wise to use most of a monthly paycheck to cover the mortgage expense?

People will usually decide to proceed with their plans for home-buying and career-oriented education. The value of these long term investments is determined by how essential the end products may be to life. Choosing a home and profession are both very important life decisions.

Now, take the "investment vs. benefits" thought process one step further and consider physical well-being. What value can be placed on a heart or kidney transplant? How far is it worth traveling to get a healthy body to replace one whose failure might endanger life itself?

People are usually willing to expend much time and effort on improving the material and physical aspects of their lives. But what is most real and lasting in life is not the temporal side, but the spiritual pursuit of Torah and misvot in a quest to reach perfection. The amount of acceptable sacrifice - both in terms of finances and time - should be unlimited, because it stands to earn eternal reward. Eternity is a long, long time, and it is priceless as well. It is wise to apply long-term effort to where it will produce priceless results. (One Minute With Yourself - Rabbi Raymond Beyda)

* * * * *

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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