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Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table



"And Hashem spoke to Moshe in the Sinai Desert in the first month of the second year after they went out of Egypt saying, 'The Children of Israel shall sacrifice the Korbon Pesach in its time'" (Bamidbar 9:1). Rashi points out that this event actually occurred before the census, which is mentioned at the beginning of the book of Bamidbar. The census took place in the second month (Iyar) and the Korbon Pesach in the first month (Nissan). Why are they out of order? Rashi explains that this Korbon Pesach was actually a shameful event. This was the only Korbon Pesach that the Jewish people offered during the entire forty years in the desert. The Maharal explains that the Baalei Tosafos ask, "Why is this a humiliation?" They were not obligated to offer the Korbon Pesach until they came into the Land of Israel. The Jewish people were oness (unable) to offer the Korbon Pesach; therefore they were patur (not obligated to perform this mitzvah). Many Jews are patur from mitzvos for various reasons. Why is this called a humiliation? The Maharal answers that their sins caused them to miss the opportunity to do this mitzvah. This also caused them to lose the zechus (merit) of performing the mitzvah. Were it not for the Chet HaMeraglim (Sin of the Spies), they would have gone into the Land of Israel immediately. Therefore, their own sins caused them to lose the opportunity to do this mitzvah. To mention this is humiliating to the Jewish people.

Kinderlach . . .

The Jewish people had an opportunity to enter the Land of Israel and offer the Korbon Pesach only one year after they left Egypt. They lost their opportunity to perform this mitzvah and to earn the reward that goes with it. We have many opportunities to perform mitzvos. We see a friend who needs help. We see that Abba or Imma need help. We see a lost object. We can walk away from someone speaking loshon hora. These are all opportunities to do mitzvos and get reward. The reward can be bigger than you think. Rebbe says (Pirkei Avos 2:1), "Be just as careful in doing a mitzvah that you think is not important, as you are in doing one that you think is important, because you do not know which mitzvah will earn you a greater reward." Kinderlach, the rewards are great. Do not lose the opportunity.

Always At Home

"All aboard, train number 545, leaving in five minutes on track #3! All aboard!"

A mother stood with her infant baby, waiting for her husband to arrive on the next train. The noise of the busy train station frightened the baby.

"Waaaaa! Waaaaa! Waaaaa!"
"Sha baby. Sha, sha sha."

The mother lifted the baby out of her stroller and hugged her in her arms.

"Sha baby. Sha, sha sha."

The baby quickly quieted down, comforted by her mother's embrace.

"Upon Hashem's word they camped, and upon Hashem's word they traveled" (Bamidbar 9:20). Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz zt"l explains that the baby's home is in the mother's arms. He can travel to the ends of the world, however, if he is on his mother's arms, he is always home. Rav Beifus, Shlita, explains that the Jewish people trusted Hashem. They followed Him into the desert into an unsown land (Yirmiyah 2:2). Their trust was so complete that wherever they traveled, they always saw themselves in His presence.

Kinderlach . . .

Don't you enjoy coming home? It is cold and rainy outside, and the wind is howling. You open the door to the house and step inside the warm room. Imma's warm smile and the smell of delicious chicken soup on the fire greet you. It's great to be home.

We are always at home. Hashem is our home. Wherever we are, He is with us and we are with Him. When you feel lonely, open your Tehillim (Psalms) and call him. He will warm your heart. It's great to be home.

He Never Forgets

"When a war will come into your land against an enemy who oppresses you, you shall blow the chatzotzros (trumpets), and Hashem your G-d will remember you and you will be saved from your enemies" (Bamidbar 10:9). Hashem will remember you? Did He ever forget you? Can He possibly forget you, or anything? Hashem is All Powerful. Forgetfulness is fault that applies only to humans, not to Hashem. The Malbim zt"l explains that we use adjectives to describe Hashem, such as angry, merciful, and sad. However, these words do not reflect His true Attributes. They describe how we perceive the results of His actions in this world. For example, if the Jewish people turn away from Hashem and sin, He punishes us, or leaves us at the mercy of the forces of nature. It seems that He is angry with us, or forgetting us. When we do tshuva, He saves us from our enemies. So it seems that He remembers us.

How is this connected to blowing the chatzotzros? The notes that are blown are identical to those of the shofar: tekiya and teruah. Each one has its own special way of arousing our hearts to turn to Hashem. The teruah is a series of broken notes, which reminds us of a broken person, who fears punishment for his sins. The tekiya is a long, majestic blast. It was blown at the coronation of a new king. This arouses yiras ha'rommemus (awe of Hashem's Majesty). So we see, it is not the trumpets which save us, but the tshuva that they arouse. This "awakens" Hashem's Mercy and He saves us.

Kinderlach . . .

A war has come into our land. Our enemy oppresses us. What can we do? We have no chatzotzros in our days. However, we can still arouse ourselves to do tshuva. Cry out to Hashem in prayer. Open our hearts. Let Him know that we depend upon Him and only Him to save us. Increase our Torah learning and acts of kindness. This is the tshuva that He wants. He has not forgotten us. Don't forget Him.

Kinder Torah Copyright 2002 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman

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