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Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah
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Parashas Behaalosecha

Like Dreamers

"Abba, I had a wonderful dream last night!"

"Really, Avi? Please tell me about it."

"I dreamed that Moshiach came, gathered in the exiles, built the Beis HaMikdash, and restored the malchus (monarchy) of the house of Dovid."

"That is quite a dream, Avi. I hope it comes true today. Then all of our lives will be like a dream."

"Are you referring to Dovid HaMelech's words, 'Shir HaMaalos, when Hashem will return the captives of Zion, we will have been like dreamers'?"ii Tehillim 126:1

"Yes I am, Avi. A dream comes to us during sleep. The Gemoraiii Brachos 57b relates that sleep is 1/60 of death. Therefore, the 'sleepy dream life' that we are living now in the golus (exile) without Yerushalayim and the malchus of the house of Dovid, is not full living. The Yaaros Devash goes even further and declares that we are only 1/60 alive without the Beis HaMikdash! Therefore, the Jewish neshama (soul) is heartbroken over the memory of the churban (destruction) of Yerushalayim and the monarchy."

"Let us pray for its return, Abba!"

"We do, Avi, three times a day. The fourteenth blessing of the Amidah - 'Boneh Yerushalayim' identifies the Almighty as the Builder of Yerushalayim. When Shlomo HaMelech built the Beis HaMikdash, the angels declared, 'Blessed are You Hashem, Builder of Yerushalayim!' The Elders fixed our blessing with their words.iiii Levush It follows the blessing of the tsaddikim because the main restoration of the honor of the tsaddikim will be the rebuilding of Yerushalayim, as the verse states, 'Pray for the peace of Yerushalayim; those who love You will be serene.'"iiv Yalkut Shemoni (Tehillim 122:6) "I have a question, Abba. Why is the ending of this bracha written in the present tense, 'Builder of Yerushalayim,' instead of the future tense? After all, Yerushalayim is not yet rebuilt."

"Excellent question, Avi! The source of the wording is the verse, 'The Builder of Yerushalayim is Hashem, the outcast of Israel He will gather in.'vv Tehillim 147:2 The Dover Shalom delves into the subject and reveals that the geula (redemption) is a constant process. The tsaros (troubles) that we experience in the golus (exile) are not revenge for evil done (Heaven forbid) rather they are intended for the good. By way of these punishments, we come to the goal of the perfection of the geula. Therefore, the present tense is correct, for we are in the midst of the purification of the geula process. The Sifrei illuminates the subject with a spectacular thought. The third Beis HaMikdash will descend from heaven with walls of fire. These walls are formed from the sparks of the flames of yira (fear) that the servants of Hashem arouse when they learn Torah and serve the Creator. They combine to make a blazing wall. Therefore, Hashem builds Yerushalayim every moment by combining these sparks of fire into the walls of the third Beis HaMikdash."

"What an inspiration to learn Torah and serve Hashem with fiery passion!"

"Indeed, Avi. Let us close with an insight into the nechama (consolation) that will accompany the final geula. The Rambamvvi Hilchos Brachos 2:4 explains that the nechama will not be complete without the return of the monarchy of the house of Dovid. This concept is expressed in Tehillim (122:3,5) 'The built-up Yerushalayim is like a city that is united together For there sat thrones of judgment, thrones for the house of Dovid.' Both thrones are necessary to complete the rebuilding of the Holy City. Therefore, Yerushalayim cannot be considered rebuilt unless an heir of Dovid sits on the throne."vvii Rav Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik

"Speedily in our days, amen!"

Kinderlach . . .

Many of our fellow Jews acutely feel the tsar of golus. They shed tears for the rebuilding of Yerushalayim and the returning of the Davidic reign for this is the ultimate human perfection possible. If we do not have Yerushalayim and the monarchy of the house of David, what is there to live for? The heavenly angels cry day and night over the churban (destruction) of Yerushalayim. How can we not cry and not be concerned for the chilul Hashem (desecration of the Holy Name) in the loss of Yerushalayim and the monarchy of the house of David?vviii Yaaros Devash Kinderlach, Klal Yisrael beseeches Hashem, 'Behold Yerushalayim was already built and destroyed!' He replies, 'Aveyros (sins) destroyed it and you were exiled from its midst. In the future, I will build it, and I will not destroy it forever.'iix Medrash Tanchuma (Noach 17) As the verse states, "It will neither be abandoned nor destroyed again forever."xx Yirmiyahu 31:39

Your Name is Dear

"And I assigned the Leviim to Aharon and his sons from among the Bnei Yisrael (Children of Israel) to perform the service of the Bnei Yisrael in the Tent of Meeting and to provide atonement for the Bnei Yisrael, so that there will not be a plague among the Bnei Yisrael when the Bnei Yisrael approach the Sanctuary" (Bamidbar 8:19). This verse is unique in all of the Torah. The words "Bnei Yisrael" are repeated five times in one verse! Why? Rabbeinu Bechaye relates a parable from the Medrash Tanchuma.

A man once sent his young son away to school to learn. Later, he came to the school to inquire about the welfare of his son. "Did my son eat? Did my son drink? Did my son sleep? Did my son go to class? Did my son come back from class?" With every question he mentioned his son. Why? Because he loved him so much. So it is with us. Hashem mentions our name five times in this verse to show His great love for the Bnei Yisrael.

The Mishkan is also mentioned five times in the Torah. This too shows that it was dear to Hashem. Why does the number five show love? It corresponds to the five books of the Torah. This Torah was used to create the world, as the verse states, "B'hebaram" (Bereshis 2:4). The Medrash Rabba darshens, "With 'heh' it (the world) was created." The letter "heh" is also the number five, showing that the world was created with the five books of the Torah. The only nation worthy of receiving this Torah is the Children of Israel. Similarly, we exist only to keep its mitzvos.

This idea is also expressed in Pirkei Avos (3:18) in the name of Rebbe Akiva. (The Children of) Israel are dear (to Hashem); they are called Hashem's children. . . He gave them His precious vessel. As an extra sign of His love, He informed them that He gave them His precious vessel, with which He created the world. As it says, "For I have given you a good teaching, do not forsake My Torah" (Mishlei 4:2).

Kinderlach . . .

Hashem loves us. He mentions our name over and over again. He entrusted His precious possession, the Torah, with His favorite children, Bnei Yisrael. Only we are capable of keeping the Torah and sustaining Hashem's world. Let us live up to our greatness and not disappoint Him.

i Tehillim 126:1
ii Brachos 57b
iii Levush
iv Yalkut Shemoni (Tehillim 122:6)
v Tehillim 147:2
vi Hilchos Brachos 2:4
vii Rav Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik
viii Yaaros Devash
ix Medrash Tanchuma (Noach 17)
x Yirmiyahu 31:39

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