Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Section: PARSHAS HASHAVUA Category:SEFER DANIEL Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Fri, 14 Aug 2020 03:00:00 +0000 240 Daniel Part 4 Perek 3: Big Idol, Hot Fire, Guards Die "King Nevuchadnetzer designed a tzelem of gold, its height was sixty amos, its width was six amos, and he erected it in the valley of Dura."

Nevuchadnetzer now took steps to nullify the message from his dream that his kingdom would eventually be dissolved.  He erected a tzelem which was similar to the one which he saw in the dream, except that it was formed entirely of gold.  He then commanded that all the nations bow down to it as if they were accepting Nevuchadnetzer's malchus which would exist forever.  Nevuchadnetzer believed that these actions had magical powers to nullify the Heavenly plan as expressed in his dream. 

According to Chazal, the valley of Dura was the same valley where the Dor Haflaga had gathered to build a tower.  Their intentions had also been to establish a malchus against shamayim which would exist forever.

"And King Nevuchadnetzer sent to gather all the officers of the countries to come to the dedication of the tzelem which he set up." 

The officers were then commanded to bow down to the golden tzelem when they heard the sound of music.  They were warned that whoever did not bow down to the image will be immediately thrown into a burning furnace.

"At that time Kashadim men approached and defamed the Yehudim." 

These men informed Nevuchadnetzer that Shadrach, Meishach, and Aved Nego did not bow down before the golden tzelem.  They were included among the officials of the medinos, since they had been appointed as officials of Bavel.  This answers the question which all the mefarshim ask, which is why didn't they inform on Daniel as well?  Daniel served as the advisor to the king; he was not an official over a city or country. 

Nevuchadnetzer called for the three men, and granted them a second chance to bow down to the tzelem, despite his threat that anyone who didn't bow down would be punished immediately.  This was because the informers had told him that the men refrained from bowing down because their religion prevents them from bowing down to idols.  Nevuchadnezer had granted religious freedom to the subjects of his kingdom, so he understood that they were not deserving of death.  He gave them a second chance, but this time he specifically commanded them to bow down to the tzelem.

"Chananya, Mishael, and Azarya answered and said to the king, "Nevuchadnetzer,  we are not interested in answering you on this matter, because there is a G-d Whom we serve, who is capable of saving us from the furnace, and He can save us from the hands of the king."

Chananya, Mishael, and Azarya said that even if Hashem does not save them, they will not bow down to the tzelem.  Nevuchadnetzer reacted with fury and commanded that the furnace should be heated to seven times its normal heat.  He then commanded his strong bodyguards to bind Shadrach, Meishach, and Aved Nego and throw them into the furnace. 

Nevuchadnetzer commanded them to heat up the kiln seven times its normal heat because ovdei avodah zara believe that G-dly power is limited.  Therefore, he reasoned that if the fire would be seven times its normal heat, Hashem may not be capable of overcoming it.  This also explains his command for strong bodyguards to overpower the three men; he wanted their strength to stand against the power of Hashem,

Nevuchadnetzer's commands were carried out so hurriedly, and the fire was so hot that the bodyguards who carried up the three men were killed when they reached the opening of the furnace.  Chananel, Mishael, and Azarya fell into the furnace as the bodyguards breathed their last breaths and lost their grips on them.

Sun, 30 Dec 2007 03:00:00 +0000
Daniel Part 3 Perek 2 cont': Daniel Interprets The Dream & Becomes A Star "You, king were watching, and behold, you saw one huge image.  This image, which was enormous and shined excessively, was standing before you, and its appearance was awesome.  Its head was of fine gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs were of copper, its legs of iron, and its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay.  You watched until a stone was formed without hands, and hit the image on its feet of iron and clay, and smashed them.  Then, the iron, clay, copper, silver, and gold shattered together, and were like chaff from summer threshing floors, and the wind carried them, until they could not be found anywhere. And the stone which hit the image became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.  This is the dream, and its interpretation will be told before the king."

"Its interpretation will be told before the king" refers to the fact that Daniel informed the king what he dreamt publicly, but he revealed its interpretation privately since it included the dissolving of Nevuchadnetzer's malchus.  Daniel explained to Nevuchadnetzer that since he was the king, he was shown a dream which related to kingship until the end of days.  Nevuchadnetzer had been wondering what his end will be, "the thoughts of his heart", and Hashem showed him not only what his end will be, but what will be until the end of time.

Daniel clarified to Nevuchadnetzer that the "tzelem" he saw in the dream represented all the kingdoms which will rule until the end of days when the kingship will return to Hashem. The tzelem was designed out of four types of metal, one more inferior than the other, and similarly Hashem will set up four different kingdoms one after the other.  Nevuchadnetzer, whom Hashem has given a strong kingdom, strength, and power is represented by the head of gold.  Another kingdom will arise after the kingdom of Nevuchadnetzer which will be less superior, and is represented by the silver chest and arms.  The next kingdom is represented by copper, and the fourth kingdom will be a divided kingdom, represented by the feet, and toes which were formed partially out of iron and partly out of clay.  Part of this kingdom will be powerful, and part will be broken.  G-d will then establish a kingdom that will never be harmed, which will destroy all these kingdoms, and will endure forever.  This was represented by the stone that was formed from the mountain without human hand, which shattered the iron, the copper, the clay, the silver, and the gold.

The Malbim says that the silver chest and two arms represent the dual malchus of Paras and Madai.  The copper belly and thighs represent the Greek kingdom, which will be extremely strong, and will fill the whole world.  The iron legs and the feet, which where made partially out of iron and partially of clay, represent the malchus of Rome. The malchus of Rome will initially be as strong as iron, and is represented by two feet because it will be divided into two kingdoms, Yishmael and Edom.  The feet are formed out of both iron and clay because when Yishmael is strong, Edom will be weak, and vice versa.  

The toes on the feet, which are the bottom of the tzelem hint to the last era of kingdoms.  At the end of the days, the kingdom of Edom and Yishmael will be divided into ten kingdoms, some of Bnei Edom and others of Yishmael.  These will be the last kings before the geulah, when Hashem will establish His malchus which will endure forever. These events will occur during the war of Gog and Magog when Bnei Edom will gather together to fight against Bnei Yishmael.  Each one will overpower the other as described in Yechezkal and Zecharia. 

"Then King Nevuchadnetzer fell on his face and bowed down to Daniel, and wanted to anoint him with sacrifices and incense."

Nevuchadnetzer now wanted to serve Daniel as a god, which is why he bowed down to him, and tried to anoint him with sacrifices and incense.  However, Daniel refused to be served as a god, which caused Nevuchadnetzer to become aware that Daniel's G-d was the true G-d.  This prompted him to say...

"I truly know that your G-d is the G-d over gods, Lord over kings, and the One who reveals secrets, since you were able to reveal this secret."

"Then, the king promoted him in the government and gave him many great gifts, and made him the ruler of the entire land of Bavel, and the main official over all the sages of Bavel." 

 "And Daniel requested from the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Avad Nego as officials of Bavel, and Daniel was at the king's gate."

 Daniel requested that his position as the official in charge of Bavel should be given to Chananya, Mishael, and Azarya, and he would instead be the king's advisor. 

Wed, 26 Dec 2007 03:00:00 +0000
Daniel Part 2 Perek 2: Nevuchadnezer's Dreams and The Mass Death Sentence "In the second year of Nevuchadnetzer's malchus, Nevuchadnetzer dreamed dreams.  His ruach was disturbed, and his sleep was interrupted."

Nevuchadnetzer called to all his astrologers and sorcerers, and demanded that they not only interpret his dreams, but they tell him what he had dreamt in the first place, since he had forgotten his dream.  They were unable to fulfill his request, and insisted that Nevuchadnetzer first tell them his dream, and then they would be able to interpret it. In a rage, Nevuchadnetzer ordered that all the sages of Bavel be put to death. 

Chazal say that Nevuchadnetzer's sages explained to him that the answer to his request was something that could only be answered through nevuah.  They admitted that Bnei Yisrael was able to attain nevuah in the past, but since the Churban Habayis, the Shechina has been removed, and nevuah is not possible.  Upon hearing this, Nevuchadnetzer became angry at his sages for having advised him to destroy the Beis Hamikdash, and he sentenced them all to death.  In his anger, he did not differentiate between guilty and innocent, and this death sentence included Daniel and his friends, who were not included among the sages of the king. 

"Then Daniel gave advice to Aryoch, the king's chief executioner who had gone to execute the sages of Bavel."

Daniel, whose life was now in danger, took steps to save his life.  He went to Aryoch and asked him, "Why is the king's decree so forceful?"  He acted as if he didn't know anything about the events preceding the decree.  This was because now that his life was in danger, Daniel hoped that Hashem would reveal the dream to him, but he needed an excuse why he did not come forward until now.   

"Daniel entered and requested of the king that he give him time and he will tell the interpretation to the king."

"Daniel then went home and told his friends, Chananya, Mishael, and Azarya, the story, and to daven to Hashem of Heaven for rachamim about this secret, so that Daniel and his friends should not be destroyed with the rest of the sages of Bavel."

Daniel went home to seclude himself to prepare to receive a neuva.  He told his friends that they should also seclude themselves, and prepare themselves for nevuah.  He also told his friends to daven for rachamim since the tefillah of an individual is not comparable to the tefillah of four.  They davened that they should not be killed together with reshaim - the sages of Bavel.

"Then in a chazon at night, He revealed the secret to Daniel.  Daniel then blessed the G-d of Heaven."
"Daniel then went to Aryoch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the sages of Bavel.  He went and said to him, ‘Do not destroy the sages of Bavel.  Bring me to the king, and I will tell the king the interpretation.'"

"Daniel told the king, ‘The secret which the king requested, no sages, astrologers, necromancers or demonists can tell the king, but there is a G-d in Heaven Who reveals secrets.  He has informed King Nevuchadnetzer what will be at the end of days.'"

"It was not because I have more wisdom than others that the secret was revealed to me, but in order to inform the king the interpretation so you will know the thoughts of your heart."

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 03:00:00 +0000
Part 11 Shmoneh Esrei: Bareich Aleinu - Stop Crime, Pray For Parnassa

One should daven for his sustenance, because one who eats before davening for his food it is considered corrupt bread ("lechem megoal"). Therefore it is fitting at least at shacharis to beg to Hashem that He provide you with your portion of bread in a permitted way (b'heter v'lo b'isur). Because if there is anything forbidden in the food it contaminates the whole body and there is no 'food' for the soul. But, if the food is entirely permitted, there is in it 'food' for the soul (see book: Shaarei Kedusha 1:1). Therefore one should daven with a lot of kavana that his food comes from the side of purity and this is the meaning of "v'sabenu mituvecha".

And there is good reason to daven that HaKadosh Baruch Hu should provide for the poor, and that He should give to each his needs so that poor Jews will not depend on others. In our many sins, the majority of sins of the Jewish people stems from lack of livelihood (parnasa). If people had proper parnasa, they would not sway from the straight path at all.

The main sustenance is in the morning. Then HaKadosh Baruch Hu is full of mercy for Yisroel in seeing the nations turning to their gods and Yisroel serving Hashem with full hearts. Then he sustains and provides for us. In truth, according to strict justice, one who is not completely meritorious does not deserve food. The main sustenance (for almost everyone) comes from mercy and not from justice.

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 03:00:00 +0000
Daniel Part 1 Perek 1: Nevuchadnezzar Quells The Rebellion In Yerushalayim and Brings His "Spoils" to Bavel "In the third year of the kingdom of Yehoyakim, the King of Yehudah, Nevuchadnetzer the King of Bavel, came to Yerushalayim and besieged it.  Hashem gave Yehoyakim the King of Yehudah, into his hand and some of the keilim of the House of Hashem..."

A rebellion was taking place in the city, and Nevuchadnetzer had to come personally to Yerushalayim to subdue it, and was only able to conquer the city after besieging it.  The Alshich comments that in light of such rebellion, Nevuchadnetzer might have been expected to destroy the whole city and murder all its inhabitants, but he only captured Yehoyakim and stole some of the keilim.  This made it obvious that Nevuchadnetzer's actions were a result of hashgacha rather than logical military actions, as the passuk says "Hashem gave Yehoyakim into his hand."  Bnei Yisrael were not yet deserving of the final destruction.

"The king told Ashpenav, the head of his officers, to bring from Bnei Yisrael, from the children of royalty and from the nobles, unblemished children, handsome, knowledgeable in all wisdom..."

Nevuchadnetzer was aware of Bnei Yisrael's superior wisdom due to the Shechinah and the nevuah among them, and he wished to take advantage of it.   

 "Among them, from the children of Yehudah, were Daniel, Chananya, Mishael, and Azarya."

They were the descendant of Chizkiyah, the King of Yehudah.  This was a fulfillment of the nevuah in Yeshaya "And of your sons that will stem from you, they will take away and they will be officials in the place of the king of Bavel."  Some say that only Daniel was a descendant of Yehudah.  Daniel was renamed Balshetzar, which was the name of a Bavli idol, and his three companions were renamed with typical Bavli names.  The Malbim says that the fact that Nevuchadnetzer named Daniel after his own god showed that he sensed his greatness immediately and discerned the spirit of Hashem within him. 

 "Daniel resolved not to be defiled by the king's food or by his wine and he asked the chief officer that he not be defiled."

Daniel did not want to defile himself with food prepared by ovdei avodah zara, and was moser nefesh to abstain from it.  He successfully avoided eating the king's food, and was rewarded by Hashem. 

"Hashem gave these four youths knowledge and skill in every sefer and wisdom and Daniel understood every chazon and dreams."

Hashem rewarded all four with knowledge and skill since they all avoided eating the king's food.  Daniel, however, was the one who initiated it and risked his life, and his reward was greater.

 "At the end of the years after which the king had said to bring them, the chief officer brought them before Nevuchadnetzer.  The king conversed with them, and of them all, none compared to Daniel, Chananya, Mishael, and Azarya."

Wed, 19 Dec 2007 03:00:00 +0000
Sefer Daniel Intro: The Galus Begins - The First Exiles Including Daniel Go To Bavel

The events in Sefer Daniel take place at the end of the era of the first Beis Hamikdash, which was built during the reign of Shlomo Hamelech. During the reign of Shlomo's son, Rechovam, the shevatim in the northern part of Eretz Yisrael seceded due to political dissent. Eretz Yisrael was now split into Yisrael, the northern kingdom, and Yehudah, which included the southern parts of Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalayim. This splitting of Yisrael weakened the nation, politically and spiritually, and led to its ultimate downfall.

Yeroveam ben Nevat, the king of the newly formed northern kingdom, feared he would lose political power as a result of his people's connection to Yerushalayim and the Beis Hamikdash. He induced Bnei Yisrael to serve avodah zara to keep them close to home, rather than lose political power. Many subsequent kings followed the path of Yeraveam; some were evil and corrupt and continued to lead the people to avodah zara. Eventually, after many warnings through His neviim, Hashem punished northern Bnei Yisrael through Ashur (Assyria), who conquered the land and sent the people into exile. The ten shevatim were lost until the end of days.

Yehudah, the southern kingdom of Yisrael, fared a little better than the northern kingdom; some of their kings over the years were actually righteous, one being Chizkiya Hamelech, who was a shining example of a righteous Jewish king. During his reign, Assyria, led by Sancheirav tried to conquer Yerushalayim, but was miraculously thwarted by Hashem.

Unfortunately, Chizkiya's son, Menashe, did not follow in the righteous ways of his father, and the sad fate of Yerushalayim and the Beis Hamikdash was mainly attributed to his evil ways. Menashe's son Ammon continued in the evil ways of his father, but Ammon's son Yoshia, was righteous. Yoshia strived to eradicate avodah zara from Eretz Yisrael and awakened Bnei Yisrael to teshuvah. However, upon his tragic death, Bnei Yisrael's spiritual decline continued. Yoshia's son, Yehoachaz ruled for three months before being deposed by Pharaoh Necho of Mitzrayim. His brother Yehoyakim, ruled in his place.

Nevuchadnetzer became the king of Bavel a few years after Yehoyakim became king. Shortly later, Nevuchadnetzer, whose aim was for Bavel to become the new world power, conquered Eretz Yisrael. Yehudah became a vassal state of Bavel, and 10,000 of the most elite Jews were taken into exile to Bavel together with the King Yechanaya. Daniel, Mordechai, Chananel, Mishael, and Azarya were among this group who were exiled eleven years before the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash. Ultimately, the exile of these 10,000 Jews, which was viewed as such a tragedy at the time, was a blessing in disguise. After the Beis Hamikdash had been destroyed, and the rest of Bnei Yisrael were exiled, Jewish life had already been established in Bavel. Bnei Yisrael was able to thrive there, and ultimately return to Eretz Yisrael and rebuild the Beis Hamikdash.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 03:00:00 +0000