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Simcha Groffman

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

Parashas Behar/Bechukosai

Are You Listening?

"Mr. Pinney, your stockbroker is on the phone."

"Yes, Harry. Con-Am Inc. is up three points? Sell 20,000 shares."

"Mr. Pinney, your real estate broker is on the phone."

"Yes Jack. The building permit just went through? Build 1000 more units."

"Mr. Pinney, your attorney is on the phone."

"Yes Bill. They want a settlement? Okay. Nothing less than $250,000."

"Mr. Pinney, your son is on the phone."

"Yes Moishe. What?????"

Mr. Pinney grabs his jacket and flies out of the office. He drops all of his business matters to attend to his son.

"If you will follow My decrees and observe My commandments and perform them; then I will provide your rains in their time and the land will give its produce and the tree of the field will give its fruit . . . I will turn My attention to you, I will make you fruitful and increase you" (Vayikra 26:3,4,9). Rashi explains the words, "I will turn to you" as follows. Hashem will turn aside from all of His projects (so to speak) to give reward (bountiful blessings to His Nation, when we keep His mitzvos).

"But if you will not listen to Me and will not perform all of these commandments . . . I will do the same to you. I will designate terror upon you . . . I will turn My attention against you and you will be struck down before your enemies" (Vayikra 26:14,16,17). Rashi explains the words, "I will turn My attention against you" as follows. Hashem will turn aside from all of His projects (so to speak) to give punishment to the Jewish people. In our story, Mr. Pinney dropped all of his business affairs to attend to his son. This shows his great love and concern for his son.

Kinderlach . . .

This parasha illustrates Hashem's great love for us. He drops everything that He is doing (so to speak) to attend to us. We are more important to Him than all of His other affairs. Doesn't that make you feel great? You are so important, and Hashem loves you so much. With that privilege comes a responsibility. We must listen to Him. When we listen He showers us with blessings. When we don't listen, oy va voy. The Jewish people are now suffering at the hands of our enemies. Are we listening?

The Profits are Sky High

"Come, Dovie, let's go into this bookstore. Maybe we will find a gift for the cousins back home in America."

The man and his son entered the bookstore. Among the customers was a man who looked familiar. He decided to approach him.

"Excuse me, you look a bit familiar. Do I know you from somewhere?"

The other man recognized his old friend instantly.

"Avremeleh!!! It has been thirty-five years since we were roommates in Yeshiva! How are you?"

"Pinny!!! How could I forget that smile!"

The two old friends hugged warmly.

"What are you doing with yourself these days, Pinny?"

"I have a business, Avremeleh."

"Are you doing well? I hear that times are tough here in Eretz Yisrael."

"My business is fantastic. The profits are sky high - many times the investment."

Avremeleh's eyes opened wide.

"Do you have a couple of hours, Avremeleh? I will take you to see my business."

Avremeleh turned to his son.

"Do you want to go Dovie?"

"Sure, Abba."

"We're all yours, Pinny."

And so, they set out in the car, headed north. On the way, they passed beautiful wheat fields.

"My business produced these crops."

"You've really got our curiosity going, Pinny. What type of business do you have?"

"You'll see when we get there."

"I have another question. You were always the hardest working talmid (student) in the class. I thought you were destined to become a Rosh Yeshiva, not a businessman."

"I will answer that question in a few minutes. We have arrived."

The three got out of the car and walked toward a big building. Pinny put on his long coat, homburg, and walked in the front door. They entered a huge Beis HaMedrash, and everyone stood up for the Rosh Yeshiva.

"Pinny! You always had a sense of humor! You really did become a Rosh Yeshiva. Mazel tov. This is fantastic. But tell me something - why did you say that you have a business?"

"Look in the beginning of parashas Bechukosai, Avremeleh. 'If you follow my decrees...' (Vayikra 26:3). Rashi explains that following Hashem's decrees means omul (toiling) in Torah, like these talmidim (students). The Torah then goes on to list the great material blessings that come from omul biTorah. We usually understand that the blessings are a reward for the effort. The Meshech Chochma has a different look. The omul biTorah is what guides the laws of nature. The words of Torah that these talmidim are learning cause the sun to shine and the rain to fall. Blessing and prosperity come down to the world as a direct result of omul biTorah."

"I see. Therefore, these bochurim in your Yeshiva produce hundreds of millions of tons of crops each year. Their omul biTorah brings billions of dollars of profits."


"Rav Pinny, you are a brilliant businessman! I want to invest in your Yeshiva. I want a share in the great profits."

"Thank you Avremeleh. May Hashem bless you will all good things."


Kinderlach . . .

There are those who think that talmidim who learn Torah are unproductive, eating up resources and not giving anything in return. "Let them go to work and support themselves," they say. If they only knew the truth. Torah learners are THE MOST productive members of society. Their omul biTorah gives everyone parnassa (livelihood). They are the world's best investment. May their numbers increase!

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