Kinder Torah ©
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table
You Left Mitzrayim!
A book by Simcha Groffman
Kinder Torah for Pesach thru Shavuos
The Haggadah states, "In every generation one is obligated to regard himself as though he had actually gone out of Mitzrayim."
How can we possibly experience Yetzias Mitzrayim? The slavery and pain along with its cruelty and torture, the miracles of the plagues, the courage it took to sacrifice the Korbon Pesach, and the Divine Presence at the splitting of the sea. These were all awesome historic events. We sit comfortably in our homes. How can we transport ourselves back to Mitzrayim?
You Left Mitzrayim is a book for your family for Pesach thru Shavuos. It contains stories and Torah thoughts on the subjects of Kriyas Yam Suf, The Korbon Pesach, Shabbas HaGadol, Bedikas Chametz, matzah baking, Chol Ha'moed, Sefiras Ha'omer, Maamad Har Sinai, as well as many other topics to share with your children. It will help you capture and convey the special character of these miraculous days.
You Left Mitzrayim contains a special feature for your Pesach Seder - The Haggadah Companion. Our Sages praise the virtue of telling the story of Yetzias Mitzrayim at great length. This, in fact, is the secret of reliving Yetzias Mitzrayim. The Haggadah Companion contains selected Midrashim portrayed as stories, as well as original stories. They tell the story in vivid detail, putting yourself and your Seder participants into the events. You feel as if you were there. Using this book at the Seder table, will help the participants to fulfill the mitzvah, "In every generation one is obligated to regard himself as though he had actually gone out of Mitzrayim."
270 pages, 102 stories, 31 original illustrations by Tova Katz.
Available from the author - Simcha Groffman
$18.00 plus postage.
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All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman
An Historic Moment
The air was charged with excitement. This was the moment that they had all been waiting for. Months of preparation had gone into this day. It began with the command to build the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Everyone made their contributions of gold, silver, and other materials needed for the construction. They then contributed their labor and building skills. Headed by Betzalel, they worked through the winter building the Mishkan and its vessels. Now it was the end of the month of Adar. Each day for seven consecutive days, Moshe Rabbeinu assembled the Mishkan, sacrificed the burnt offerings, and took down the Mishkan. The Jewish people stood by the Mishkan, waiting for the Shechina (Divine Presence) to come down. "For today Hashem will appear to you" (Vayikra 9:4).
Rav Shimshon Refael Hirsch relates that the Kohen Godol brought his special offering. It was his means to recognize the significance of the moment. For he was entering into his new position as the spiritual leader of the people. The nation also brought their special offering. For they were also undertaking a new position in world history. They were set apart to be Hashem's Chosen Nation. From this day onward, the Shechina would dwell among them. In that holy place, where they were given over to Hashem and His Torah.
Which day was this? Rosh Chodesh Nissan. A day which garnered ten crowns (of glory) for all of its momentous events. An historic moment.
Kinderlach . . .
This week's parasha - Shemini - commemorates a special event. The day that the Shechina came to rest upon us. We became a special nation. We have never lost that position. Hashem still cherishes us. Kinderlach, don't ever forget who you are. You are a member of the greatest people who ever walked the face of this earth. Hashem's Holy Nation.
"What is that little black thing on the table, Abba?"
"It looks like an ant, Chaim. Yes it is. Let's get it off the table quickly. We surely wouldn't want it to wander into our food."
"Uch. How disgusting!"
"That is exactly what the Torah says, Chaim. 'Do not make yourselves disgusting with any creeping thing, and do not make yourselves tomei (impure) with them.' (Vayikra 11:43)."
"I have a question about that verse, Abba. The Torah just went into great details about the forbidden insects. Why does it add on this warning against creeping things afterward?"
"The Ohr HaChaim answers your question, Chaim. The verse states, 'Do not make yourselves disgusting.' When you eat something repulsive, you yourself become repulsive. Even if you accidentally eat a bug, you become tomei. Don't do it to yourself! The Torah repeats the warning to reiterate that we must take special care with this issur (forbidden thing). Why? 'Because I am Hashem, your G-d' (Vayikra 11:44). You are a holy and pure nation, the only one whom The Almighty chose to call His. 'Sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy, for I am holy' (Vayikra 11:44). The Ohr HaChaim explains that if we take special precautions to avoid eating insects, Hashem will make us holy by resting His Shechina (Divine Presence) upon us."
"Amazing. I did not realize how privileged we are, Abba."
"We are Hashem's holy nation. Remember it forever."
Kinderlach . . .
Just the thought of eating a bug is repulsive. However, there is much more to that little bug than meets the eye. He is a siman (sign) of the kedusha of Klal Yisrael. We are a holy nation. Our souls are capable of hosting the Shechina. The little insect can defile our soul, taking away from its kedusha. Guard your holiness, kinderlach. Keep your souls pure. Then you will continue to merit the privileges of the holy nation - Shechina.
"It was on the eight day . . ." (Vayikra 9:1). This was the eighth day after the seven days of miluim (inauguration) of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). For each of the first seven days, Moshe Rabbeinu single-handedly erected the Mishkan, offered the korbonos (sacrifices), and took down the Mishkan. Still the Shechina did not come down. Finally, on the eight day, Aharon HaKohen offered the korbonos and the Shechina came to rest upon the Mishkan. Then Moshe and Aharon blessed the people. "May the pleasantness of Hashem our G-d be upon us; and may the work of our hands be fixed upon us; and may He make the work of our hands permanent" (Tehillim 90:17).
The Malbim explains that Hashem (so to speak) has pleasure when His creations fulfill their intended purpose. We were created to perform His mitzvos properly. When we do that, He takes pleasure in us. He continues to explain that when a person builds a house, it may be beautiful, strong, and comfortable, but it is not a part of the person. It is outside of him. The blessing states that our handiwork should become a part of us. When a person does a mitzvah, it becomes fixed in his soul. It becomes a part of his character and is with him forever. Lastly, we are blessed that Hashem should make all of our handiwork a permanent part of us. All of our deeds should be good in His eyes; therefore, He will fix them within our souls.
Kinderlach . . .
People build all sorts of things. Some have hobbies building model cars, boats or planes. Some people build buildings. Some exercise to build up their bodies. The blessing of Moshe and Aharon tells us to build up our souls by doing mitzvos properly. Soul building is important for two reasons. Number one, it lasts forever. Longer than the biggest, tallest, strongest building. More importantly, it gives Hashem pleasure. That is the greatest thing that we can do.
What was the people's reaction to the Heavenly Fire that came down and devoured Aharon's korbonos? (10:24 and Targum Unkelos)
What was Aharon's reaction to the death of his two sons? (10:4)
Who must mourn for a talmid chochom's loss? (Rashi 10:6)
Which sheretz ha'of may be eaten? (11:21,22)
What is the difference between touching and carrying the carcass of a behama tomeia? (11:24,25 and Rashi)
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"SIMCHA'S TORAH STORIES"
A Children's book by Simcha Groffman
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