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Haftarah: Melachim I 18:46-19:21

JULY 2-3, 2010 21 TAMUZ 5770


"The daughters of Selofhad…son of Menashe of the families of Moshe son of Yosef drew near." (Bemidbar 27:1)

The daughters of Selofhad requested an inheritance in the Land of Israel. Their father had no son, so they asked Moshe Rabenu if they, as daughters, could receive the inheritance when the land is divided. Moshe asked Hashem and Hashem told him that they will receive a portion. Rashi wonders why the name Menashe was mentioned twice. He answers that it was mentioned again to say that Menashe was the son of Yosef. This was stated to tell you that Yosef loved the Land of Israel and commanded to bring his bones out of Egypt to be buried in Israel. So, too, the daughters of Selofhad loved the land as they said, "Give us a possession."

The obvious question is, how do we see from their request that they loved the land? Perhaps it was just a desire to have land for financial support? Rabbi Tzvi Feldman zt"l explains that the hint is in the wording that they used. "Why should the name of our father be omitted from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father's brothers." They said that if they don't receive a portion the name of their father will be missing from the land because he had no son. We see that they weren't concerned about themselves to have a portion, but for their father. Their father's name should have a place in the land and thereby give him a place in his family.

Rabbi Feldman explains that each Jew must have a connection to the Land of Israel because the essence of the observance of the Torah laws is dependent on one's connection to the Land of Israel. It is not for nothing that Hashem promised us this land over and over again. For just as Hashem gave us the Torah because He chose us from all the nations, so, too, He gave us the land that He chose from all lands. There is no Jew that does not have at least a small spot (four amot) in the land. The possession of that area in the land gives each of us his perfection.

Rabbi Feldman adds, after the Six Day War and all of its miracles, it resulted in us returning to the Kotel and the Old City of Jerusalem. We shouldn't be like all the nations that visit these places like tourists, just to see this beautiful place. The Torah Jew should come to the land with the feeling of holiness that he is making a connection between his soul and the land. Just as Hashem gave us the Torah, so, too, He gave us this land, because the Torah and the land are one. The essence of the Torah is in the Land of Israel. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Reuven Semah

"May Hashem, G-d of the spirits of all flesh, appoint…" (Bemidbar 27:16)

When Moshe asked Hashem to appoint the next leader, he described Hashem as G-d of all spirits of men. Rashi explains that Moshe was saying, just as mankind is made up of all kinds of people, each with their own mind and personality, You Hashem should find a leader who can relate to each one on his own level. This lesson is not only regarding leadership. We all know that no two people are exactly alike. What we don't realize is that since there are so many different kinds of people, we must have an enormous amount of tolerance and patience when dealing with others. This is where we tend to go wrong and what causes relationships to be strained. We expect others to know how we are feeling and what we need or want, and then we get disappointed when they don't come through. Very often, two people are in the same situation and one thinks it's a great place to be and the other is miserable. When we realize how we are all different from each other, we will be patient and tolerate each other's peculiarities. This will bring us peace and unity. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka


It is not easy to forgive someone who hurt you. Whether the damage was financial, physical, or emotional, the pain caused does not disappear totally. Even if you should decide to forgive, it is still very difficult to forget. Overcoming this difficulty is a requirement for good human relations, as expected by our Father in Heaven.

Even after being sold by his brothers into slavery, Yosef was able to forgive. Upon confronting his siblings years later when he was in a position of power, not only did he choose to refrain from inflicting punishment, but he consoled the brothers and assisted them. Where did he get the superhuman strength to decline the sweet taste of revenge? Our Sages use the following parable to answer this question.

There was a man who was annoyed by the barking of a dog. He picked up a stick and whacked the animal. The boisterous pup retreated to a corner whimpering softly. When the man discarded the stick and turned to walk away, the dog violently attacked the piece of wood, biting and growling. The man smiled at the creature which had failed to realize that it was the man, not the stick, who had struck him.

The connection is apparent. Hashem uses everything and everyone in Creation as His tools to mete out punishment, pay rewards, and bring justice to our planet. If you are struck, or hurt, look in the mirror and search for the true cause of the pain. You will see that the source is probably not what you think. Don't bite the stick; acknowledge the One Who hit.

Becoming adept at this technique will save you much anger and aggravation, and a great deal of misguided bad feelings towards others. The more you realize that Hashem is in charge, the more you can forgive and really forget. (One Minute With Yourself - Rabbi Raymond Beyda)

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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)

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