Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Section: MOADIM Category:SHAVUOS Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Tue, 07 Dec 2021 03:00:00 +0000 240 Rav Chaim Zaitchek - Why Was the Satan the Only One to Miss Matan Torah?

The Medrash (Shmos Rabba 29:9) says that when Hashem gave the Torah the birds did not chirp, the oxen did not bellow, the Ofanim did not soar, the Serafim did not say "Kadosh", the waves of the sea did not crash, no creature spoke. The world was completely silent as Hashem said "Anochi".

The gemara (Shabbos 89a) says that after Moshe took the Torah from Shamayim, the Satan asked Hashem, where has the Torah gone. How can it be that the entire creation stood still as they witnessed the giving of the Torah, yet the Satan, who is a Malach and is privy to what is happening in Heaven, completely missed the entire episode? All the nations of the world heard it in four languages as the foundations of the world shook, and the Yetzer Hara didn't notice?

Rav Chaim Zaitchek elaborates on Tosfos's answer and explains that the Torah is light and during Matan Torah the light of the Torah flooded our otherwise dark world. The world shone like never before and never again. Every creature was exposed to this light and saw the truth for a single moment in time. However the Satan is the epitome of darkness, as that is his entire being. His purpose is to cast darkness on the world and cover the light of the truth. This being, so no light, however bright, can turn on the light for the Satan, for then he would cease to be.

When a person casts himself in the dark, even if the truth stares him in the face he won't see it. It is up to us to step out of the darkness and allow the light to shine in. Our goal on Shavuos is to open our eyes and bask in the beauty of the Torah, its commandments and its way of life. Once we see the light, we will think twice before turning back. דרכיה דרכי נועם וכל נתיבותיה שלום

Sun, 05 Jun 2016 03:00:00 +0000
Kli Yakar - Isn't Shavuos The Day of Kabalas HaTorah?

In Parshas Emor when the Torah discusses the Yom Tov of Shavuos, it makes no mention at all that we are celebrating the day that we received the Torah. All it talks about is the completion of the Sefira and the special Korban we bring that day. Why is this, asks the Kli Yakar?

He answers that Chazal tell us that Kabalas HaTorah should be daily event. Each day we should open up our Gemara, and we should learn with the enthusiasm of receiving a present for the first time and playing with it, "כאילו אותו היום קיבלה מהר סיני", as if that day we received it from Har Sinai.

The Kli Yakar says that although the Torah doesn't talk about Kabbalas HaTorah explicitly, the entire Korban of the day is all about this concept of Kabalas HaTorah. The Torah refers to the Korban Shtei HaLechem as "Mincha Chadasha", a new present, referring to the idea that the Torah is to be regarded as a new present each day.

Furthermore, says the Kli Yakar, although Chametz represents the Yetzer Hara, the Shtei HaLechem is made of Chametz. The reason is that when Moshe wanted to bring the Torah down to Am Yisroel, the Malachim did not let him. Moshe's winning argument was that since the Torah is the antidote to the Yetzer Hara as Chazal say, "בראתי יצר הרע בראתי לו תבלין", I created a Yetzer Hara and I created a remedy to protect people, therefore the place for the Torah is in this world where the Yetzer roams free, and not in Shamayim which is totally pure. So in essence, says the Kli Yakar, by not referring to Kabbalas HaTorah on Shavuos, the Torah is imbuing in us the real Kabalas HaTorah and the purpose of Kabbalas HaTorah.

Wed, 29 Apr 2015 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Aharon Kotler: Why Always "Zecher Yetzias Mitzrayim" and Not "Zecher Har Sinai"? We find in the Torah that many mitzvos are Zecher L’Yetzias Mitzrayim.  We don’t find mitzvos that are Zecher L”Maamad Har Sinai.  Rav Aharon Kotler asks, since the whole point of leaving Mitzrayim was to receive the Torah, aren’t we focusing on the wrong thing?  Mitzrayim is only a means to the end of receiving the Torah.  Shouldn’t we be concerned with remembering Har Sinai?

He answers that memories are needed for something that happened in the past and isn’t here right now.  We can’t move the past forward, so we take ourselves back in time.  This applies to Yetzias Mitzrayim where remembering is appropriate.  However says Rav Aharon, Ma’amad Har Sinai is something that can happen every moment of every day.  When a person learns the way he should, that moment itself is no less than when we stood by Har Sinai.  He proves this from the gemaros where we find Tanaim learning Torah and consumed in fire, such as Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua at the Bris Milah of Elisha ben Avuya (Yerushalmi Chagiga 2:1) and Yonason ben Uziel where birds flying overhead were burned by the fire (Succah 28a).

We see from hear that limud hatorah BiKedusha UB’Tahara can actually bring the same Kedusha of Ma’amad Har Sinai right here and right now.  Even people with short memories can constantly enjoy hearing the words of Hashem anytime anywhere! (Kol MeiHeichal - Shavuos 5766)

Tue, 31 May 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Shavuos: How Could the Bnei Yisroel Oversleep The Day of Matan Torah?

Our Minhag is to stay up all Shavuos night in order to make sure we don't oversleep on the morning of Kabalas HaTorah. Chazal tell us that the morning of Matan Torah the Bnei Yisroel were sleeping and Moshe Rabbeinu had to wake them up and bring them to Kabalas HaTorah. How could this be? Weren't they up preparing all night for this unprecedented historic event?

Reb Chaim Yaakov Safran, the Komarna Rebbe, in the Hakdama to the Chumash Heichal HaBracha, answers as follows. The Rambam says that there are many levels of Nevuah(prophesy). Typically, it is an out of body experience where the Navi's neshama reaches such a high level that it leaves his body, which remains in a trance, while the neshama receives the nevuah. The Rambam calls this "sheina", sleep. In order to prepare to hear Hashem's words at Har Sinai the Bnei Yisroel brought themselves to this state of "sheina". On the other hand, Moshe Rabbeinu who had purified his soul and body to a state of perfection, was the only Navi in history that was able to receive nevuah in a perfectly conscious state. This is called "Aspaklariya HaMeira".

This explains the midrash. Bnei Yisroel went to "sleep" or "sheina" to enable themselves to hear Hashem's words. Until, that is, Moshe Rabbeinu woke them up. He brought them up to his level of Aspaklariya HaMeira in order for the Torah to be given to humans and not angels. At Har Sinai we heard, for the only time in history, Hashem speak while we were fully conscious.

Tue, 18 May 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Shavuos: Azharos - Minhag to Say All Taryag Mitzvos

There is a Minhag to read the Taryag Mitzvos on Shavuos. This seemingly long ordeal was made easy by the numerous Rishonim and Acharonim who wrote piyutim, or Azharos, as they are called, encapsulating all the 613 mitzvos. Earliest known "Azharos" are mentioned by the Gaonim and were said during Mussaf on Shavuos. Rav Saadia Gaon mentions one commonly known as "Ata Hinchalta". Since he found it incomplete, he wrote his own called "Es Hashem Elokecha Tira". He also wrote another Azharos that relates each of the 613 mitzvos to one of the Aseres Hadibros.

Another early Azharos is attributed to Rav Eliyahu HaZaken, a brother in law of Rav Hai Gaon. The Ohr Sameach wrote a commentary on this version. A third very popular Azharos was written by Rav Yitzchok Albargoloni who lived in the times of the Rif. Azharos that were printed in Machzorim in France were written by Rav Yizchok Kimchi. These Azharos followed the order of the Mitzvos as written by the Rambam.

Another two that we have come across includes Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz Shirei Hamitzvos which we have posted on our site.  Also, there is one from Rav Chaim Kohen called Mitzvas HaMelech.  Rav Chaim Berlin, the son of the Netziv, chanced upon this sefer in someone's  library and praised it highly.

Tue, 18 May 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Shavuos: Rus - Embarrassing Expose' of Malchus Bais Dovid

Why would we read Rus on Shavuos? In fact why would we read it at all?? It reveals the humiliating story of the roots of our eternal kingdom. Elimelech should have been the father of the Melucha. Instead, due to his reluctance to deal with his people's plight, the entire Malchus Bais Dovid was handed over to a gentile woman who came from a people that were not even allowed to marry into our holy nation.

The Nachlas Yosef answers, that on the day of Kabalas Hatorah, Chazal are trying to teach us a valuable lesson. There is only one thing in this world and that is Chesed. "Olam Chesed Yibaneh". So, Chazal tell us, the Torah starts with Chesed (creation) and ends with Chesed (Hashem buries Moshe) and is Chesed through and through.

On the day of Kabalas HaTorah we read Megilas Rus to teach us two great lessons on Chesed --how far the great will fall without chesed, and how the low will rise to great heights through Chesed. Rus was the epitome of Chesed. She was the daughter of the king yet she followed her destitute, widowed mother-in-law to a foreign land, without any justification or motive. No matter who she was, or where she came from, she is the matriarch of all of Klal Yisroel's hopes and dreams.

Sun, 16 May 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Shavuos: Akdamos - A Song Al Kiddush Hashem

"Akdamos" is a "piyut," which was composed by Rabbi Meir B"R Yitzchak, the "Chazan" of the City of Vermaiza, during the time of Rashi.   On their way to the Middle East, the crusaders (1096) terrorized and wreaked destruction upon the Jewish communities. They tried to force their religion upon the Jews. Mock "debates" with the Rabbis forced participation were held. Juries of church officials were rigged against them and nothing they said had any effect upon their own fate.

The author of Akdamos, Rabbi Meir, was the unwilling participant in such a "debate." The Poem describes his words, disguised in Aramaic, as he "debated" the truths of Judaism to a hostile audience. Rabbi Meir died shortly after the "debate".

The practice is to say Akdamos with its unique melody, at the beginning of the Torah reading on Shavuos. Akdamos has ninety lines; the first forty-four begin with a double Aleph-Bais. The first letters of the next forty-six lines make up an acrostic with the authors name and a prayer for a blessing.

Each line of the poem ends in the letters "Tav," the last letter of the Aleph Bais and "Aleph," the first letter of the Aleph-Bais, to show that when one reaches the last letter, the "end" of the Torah, one immediately turns and restarts the Torah from its "beginning.

Special Thanks To Meyer Apeldorf for proving this information.

Sun, 16 May 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Shavuos: A Kabalas HaTorah Food Fest?

The Gemara in Pesachim says that on Yom Tov, Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua argue whether one is supposed to celebrate materially (i.e. eat) or one may spend the day solely involved in spiritual matters. However they both agree that on Shavuos one must indulge in physical pleasures and celebrate with food and drink. This begs the question, out of all the Yomim Tovim the one we would expect to be of the highest spiritual level and least material would be Shavuos, the day we received the Torah. Why do all agree that on Shavuos we must satisfy our earthly body?

The Baalei Mussar answer that when Moshe Rabbeinu went up to Shamayim to bring down the Torah, at first the malachim wouldn't let him. How can a mere mortal safeguard the Torah they asked? Moshe's response to this was to go through the Mitzvos and prove that the Torah not only was very appropriate for humans but in fact many of the commandments are only relevant to humans and not malachim. Do malachim have parents? Do they get angry? Do they work? Do they desire food and money? One needs to be human for these things to be applicable.

The whole point of creation is to elevate our earthly bodies to the highest levels of kedusha through Torah learning and performing the mitzvos; to enable our Neshama to reign supreme over our body. The gemara in Kedushin (30b) tells us "Barasi Yetzer hara U'Barasi Torah Tavlin", I created a the evil inclination and I created the Torah as an antidote against it. Therefore on Shavuos we need to recognize our body, since our bodies are the subject matter of the entire earthly challenge and the Torah is our ammunition.

Thu, 13 May 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Shavuos: Maharal - Bnei Yisaschar - Why Doesn't Shavuos Have a Date?

Shavuos is celebrated 50 days after Pesach but it has no specific date of its own. The Bnei Yissaschar explains this with the words of Maharal MiPrague in Nesivos Olam. The Maharal says that the mitzva of learning torah has no specific time because torah is above time. That is why the Pasuk says you must toil in it "day and night". During the Seven Days of Bireishis we see night comes before day, yet the pasuk of "V'Hagisa Bo Yomam VaLaleila" reverses the order to teach us that torah is above time and not bound by the physical creation of time.

Therefore Shavuos cannot have date on the calendar since the calendar is a function of time. Instead we count 50 days after Pesach, as the number 50 is known to be above time. Similarly explains the Bnei Yissaschar, that is why Pesach and Succos are celebrated for seven days. Each year these Yomim Tovim span an entire week and celebrate each day of the week because they are rooted in time. Shavuos however is only one day and it comes out on a different day each year because the celebration of the Torah is above and beyond time.


Wed, 12 May 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Why Did The Noise Of Matan Torah Scare The Other Nations? When the Umos HaOlam heard the powerful and frightening noises at the time of Matan Torah, the gemara in Zevachim (116a) says that they ran to Bilam and asked him "Hashem LaMabul Yashav", (Tehilim 29) is Hashem destroying the world?  He answered, "Vayeishev Hashem Melech L'Olam", Hashem promised never to make a mabul again.  Tehy replied in fear that He promised not to bring a mabul of water but not of fire.  Bilam answered "Hashem Oz L'Amo Yitein" and they answered "Hashem Yivarech Es Amo BaShalom".

Rav Yehuda Assad asks why were scared of the noise?  They knew Hashem was giving the torah since Hashem offered it to them first.  He answers that Moshe Rabbeinu on his own volition delayed the giving of Torah by a day, from the 6th day of Sivan to the 7th.  The reason, offers Rav Yehuda Assad, was because there were seven brachos Hashem had for Klal Yisroel, Toras Chaim, Ahavas Chesed, Tzedaka, Bracha, Rachamim, Chaim, and Shalom.  Each one was given on one day starting from Rosh Chodesh Sivan.  Had we received the Torah on the 6th we would have missed out on the bracha of Shalom.  Moshe delayed Matan Torah by a day so that our brachos would be complete.

Everyone knew that the world was created contingent on the fact that Klal Yisroel would accept the Torah.  They were all expecting this event to happen on the 6th.  It did not.  When they heard the loud booms on the 7th that sounded like destruction, they thought that the world was being destroyed because Klal Yisroel rejected the torah.  Bilam told them not to worry, "Hashem Oz L'Amo Yitein" the noise is that of Hashem coming to give the torah, referred to as Oz, our strength.  He explained to them the reason for the delay was that they wanted the bracha of Shalom.  To this they all answered, "Hashem Yivarech Es Amo BaShalom", may Hashem bless His nation with Shalom.

Thu, 21 May 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Shavuos: Rus Does Sefiras HaOmer and So Can We

Each day of sefira we work on one of the 7 times 7 middos of the sefiros (chesed, gvura, tiferes, netzach, hod, yesod, malchus). The counting of Sefiras HaOmer culminates on Shavuos, the day we received the Torah. We also read Rus on this day. What is the connection between all this?

Rus the Moavi who was as far removed from Judaism as possible. Marriage with a Moavi Giyores was seriously questioned. Yet she rose to become the Matriarch of the Jewish Kingdom and Moshiach. It started with Chesed to her Husband and Mother-in-Law. It then continued with the incredible courage and steadfastness (Gvura) to follow her destitute mother in law to a land foreign to her. Her beautiful middos quickly earned her a sterling reputation (Tiferes). She undertook full support of the aging Naomi (Netzach V'Hod). She married Boaz (Yesod) and ultimately gave birth the Malchus Yisroel.

Same story with the Torah and Am Yisroel. We started from nothing with Avrohom's Chesed. We proceeded with Yitzchok's courage at the akeida - Gevura. Yaakov's torah - Tiferes, Yosef's kedusha in fending off Potifar's wife - Yesod and Moshe and Aharon - Netzach and Hod. This culminated with Kabalas HaTorah on Har Sinai where Hashem calls us a Mamleches Kohanim - Malchus.

This is the roadmap for success in our personal lives as well. No matter where we stand today we can all rise to amazing heights. Start with Chesed and keep on going. The sky is the limit!

Sun, 08 Jun 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Shavuos: Will The Real Atzeres Please Stand Up?

The Yom Tov of Shavuos is also called Atzeres just like Shmini Atzeres. The Ramban explains that this is because Pesach and Shavuos are considered to be connected and they are one long Yom Tov.  The days between Pesach and Shavuos are considered like Chol ha'Mo'ed.  Matan Torah on Shavuos is the crown jewel of the entire Pesach just like Shmini Atzeres is the crowning day of Succos.  This also explains why Shavuos does not have a set date on the calendar, rather we relate to it as 50 days after Pesach.

Sun, 08 Jun 2008 03:00:00 +0000