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.
Please send check to:
All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman
Put Away the Books
"Good morning my wonderful chavrusa Chaim!"
"Good morning, Simcha. I'm sorry that I'm late this morning."
"No problem, Chaim. Is everything okay?"
"Boruch Hashem, Simcha. It just took me five minutes to find a gemora."
"Did you look in the bookcase in the back of the Beis HaMedrash?"
"Yes I did. All of the volumes of Bava Kamma were missing from the shelves. I began to look around on the shtenders. After five minutes I finally found a Bava Kamma."
"I see. Okay, let's begin. 'There are four main categories of damages...'"
The two chavrusas learn strongly for a short while. Then they come to a passage that is difficult to understand.
"We seem to be stuck. Let's look in the Rishonim to see how they explain the Gemora. I'll get a Ritva and Rashba; you get a Meiri and Ramban."
After ten minutes of searching the bookshelves and the shtenders, Chaim and Simcha return to their seats.
"I could only find a Ritva, not a Rashba."
"You did better than I did, Chaim. I was not able to find anything. What is going on here?"
Just then, Chaim and Simcha see two chavrusas getting up from their seats, bidding each other goodbye, and walking out of the Beis HaMedrash. Piled up on the shtender next to them are eight sefarim that they were using.
"I see what is happening, Chaim. People are removing sefarim from the shelves and not returning them when they are finished."
"How can that be? There is a large sign in the back of the Beis HaMedrash stating that failure to return sefarim constitutes stealing."
"How true. We have spent a total of twenty-five minutes looking for sefarim. Time is the most precious commodity in the world. Money comes and goes. Lost objects can be replaced. Lost time is irreplaceable."
"So true. Especially time that we should have used to learn Torah. Who is responsible for those twenty-five minutes of bitul (idleness from) Torah? The ones who carelessly left out the sefarim."
"Oy va voy."
"These are the accounts of the Mishkan (Tabernacle)" (Shemos 38:21). The Torah proceeds to give an exact accounting of all the gold, silver, and copper that was used in the building of the Mishkan. Why was this accounting necessary? Rav Moshe Feinstein answers that the Torah is teaching us a very important lesson. A person must ultimately give an accounting of everything that Hashem has given to him. What did he do with the precious time that Hashem gave him on this earth? Did he learn Torah and do mitzvos? Or did he waste time chas v'shalom (Heaven forbid). This is a very important cheshbon (accounting). However, it is only one part of the cheshbon. There is another more subtle part. What did a person do with other people's time? Did he help them save time? Giving someone a ride in your car, running an errand for him, or bringing him something that he needs are all good ways to help another save time. These acts of chessed will be a big zechus (merit) on your time cheshbon. On the other hand, one can waste someone else's time. Taking out sefarim and not putting them back wastes other people's time. It wastes the most valuable time - time in the Beis HaMedrash, dedicated to Torah learning. Don't do it! Consider other people! Consider yourself! Save time and earn zechuyos!
Kinderlach . . .
Don't waste your own time! Don't waste other people's time! Put away sefarim when you are done with them. This is such a simple and easy thing to do. It takes hardly a minute. What a great investment! For a minute of your time, you can earn a zechus. If you don't take that minute, you stand the chance of running up a big chov (debt). You may be responsible for wasting minutes, and even hours of other people's time. Is it worth it? Make the accounting yourself. Keep your accounting books free of debt. Put away the books.
Bring It Back
"What about this gold bracelet?"
"Oh my dear husband. It is so precious to me. You bought it for our anniversary."
"I see. How about this necklace? Can we pawn it?"
"That is my favorite necklace. I can't bear to part with it."
"I understand. However, we will have to decide to part with something. Times are tough. Our fortunes have gone down. I bought all of this beautiful jewelry for you when we were wealthy. We had plenty of money too spare. Now we cannot make ends meet. We must pawn some of this jewelry to raise some money."
"I am afraid that I will never see these beautiful jewels again."
The wife begins to cry, her heart breaking
"Don't worry, my dear wife. We can always redeem them from the pawnbroker. When our fortunes turn around, we will get everything back."
Rav Zalman Sorotzkin uses this parable to describe the spiritual fortunes of the Jewish people. We enjoyed times of immense spiritual wealth: Yetzias Mitzraim (the exodus from Egypt), and Kabalas HaTorah (the receiving of the Torah) on Har Sinai. Every Jew received two crowns on his head: one for naaseh (we will do) and one for nishma (we will listen). Although we lost those crowns when we committed the chet ha'egel (sin of the golden calf), we later found favor in Hashem's eyes and he granted us another great spiritual fortune - the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Alas, we also lost this when the two Bottei Mikdashim (Holy Temples) were destroyed. However, these treasures are not gone forever. We only lost the physical Mikdash. Its spiritual counterpart rose up to heaven. It is waiting to return; descending in a splendor of fire. It all depends on us. We need to gather enough spiritual wealth to redeem it.
Kinderlach . . .
We are all yearning for that day when the Moshiach will come and the Third Beis HaMikdash will descend from heaven in a ball of fire. We hear many songs about Moshiach. Singing those songs will not necessarily hasten his arrival. Only spiritual riches can make him come. Mitzvos and maasim tovim (good deeds) are the currency that will redeem the Beis HaMikdash.
Where were the wings of the Kruvim? (37:9)
Which types of kelim were on the shulchan? (37:16)
How many pieces of gold was the menorah made from? (37:22)
What were the klei mizbeach made of? (38:3)
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"SIMCHA'S TORAH STORIES"
A Children's book by Simcha Groffman
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