Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Today's Revach Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Thu, 23 Feb 2017 03:00:00 -0800 240 The Problem With Money

In the short list of qualifications for judges that Yisro told to Moshe Rabbeinu, two of them seem to be in conflict with each other. A judge must be an "Ish Chayil", a man of great means and stature, and "Sonei Botza" a person who hates money. How can we reconcile these two traits?

In order to do so we need to understand why money is the root of all evil. We must figure out why man has such a great desire for money. Why does it drive so many people and their life's quest? And moreover why is it so bad? Why does the Torah tell us that money corrupts?

Imagine your seven year old child coming to you one morning and asking for ten dollars. Why, you ask? The child answers that he wants to make sure that he will have enough food to eat for the day. You give the child a pat on his cheek and tell him not to worry, you will provide him with food, just like every other day and he need not worry. The next day the child asks for $100. Surprised you ask what for this time. He explains that with rising medical costs he wants to be covered in case he needs to see a doctor.

While this scenario is preposterous, the same goes for us in our relationship with Hashem. Hashem is our loving father who provides us with everything we need. We don't need oodles of money sitting in our bank account. Sure we need lots of money to get all the things we need to get through life, but those things are concrete and have a price tag, however money per se is totally useless.

Just like your child can come to you and say, Daddy I need new books, and toys, and snack, and and and, so to Hashem waits for us to turn to him to ask him to give us all the things we need both big and small. You can ask Hashem for a nice clothing and a new car, and you know what, he even appreciates it and will reward you for asking. Do you know why? Because your request is proof that you recognize that Hashem is the source and the sole provider.

In contrast, money promotes the exact opposite feeling. Money is abstract and with money in the bank you have a feeling of confidence that whatever arises in life, your money can bail you out. The bigger your bank account the more confident and independent you feel. No matter what calamity arises, with money you will prevail. HaKesef Yaaneh Es HaKol, money is the answer to everything. We want money because we want independence, namely independence from Hashem! The idea of having money and being independent of Hashem is just as silly as the notion of our seven year old child being independent of us.

Interestingly if you look at the things we ask for in Shmoneh Esrei, none of them can be purchased with money. With money you can buy lots of books and have a huge library but you cannot buy wisdom. You can afford the best doctors and medical care but you cannot buy health or longevity. You can't even buy prosperity for the next year. You can buy access to Gedolim, but you cannot buy a true relationship. You can buy a big house but not a happy home.

The judges needed to be men of means and stature to garnet respect from the people. But they were all Tzaddikim totally devoted to Hashem and therefore hated money. We see from here it is possible you can still be very rich and not be affected by money. Go ahead and spoil yourself to all the good things in life (although that isn't too healthy either but that is a different story), just don't lust after money itself because that will totally destroy you. If you are fortunate to have some extra hanging around put into good use so that it can bring you up rather than drag you down.

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 03:00:00 -0800
Avraham's 10 Tests, an Approach to Life

Avraham was the father of our nation and Chazal teach us, "Maaseh Avos Siman LaBanim", what happened to our forefathers foretells what will happen to us. We put a lot of stock into every detail of Avraham's life as portrayed in the Torah, and we see how it is played out over and over again in our history. On an individual level Avraham instilled in our genes many wonderful traits. Most common among them is the Middah of Chesed and the ability to give our lives for our faith.

There is another aspect of Avraham's life that can give us the strength to pull through our darkest hours and biggest challenges in life. Avraham was given ten difficult tests and when he passed them all, Hashem declared that He now knows that Avraham is a Yirei Elokim. This was an amazing honor for Avraham to achieve.

Although I haven't seen it brought down anywhere, maybe as children of Avraham, in life we have ten tests we need to pass. When we pass those tests, Hashem will declare for all the Heavens and earth to hear that we, yes plain simple us, is a Yirei Elokim. While we are not Avraham Avinu, each one of on our own level faces many challenges in life. If we clear the hurdles, we made it!

We can't know what those ten tests are, and there are certainly many things we must do in between, but if we look at each big challenge we face in life as one of those opportunities to move to the next level, it will harden our determination as we don't want the opportunity to slip away.

We should all be zoche to answer Chazal's challenge to us, to ask ourselves, "Masai Higiu Maasai L'Maasei Avosai", when will my deeds reach the level of the deeds of my forefathers. When will we be confirmed as a Yirei Elokim?

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 03:00:00 -0800
Parshas VaYigash: Rav Moshe Shternbuch - The Open Truth Hurts the Most The Medrash says that when Judgement day comes, we will not be able to stand up to the "Tochacha" the rebuke from Hashem. We learn this from the Shvatim who couldn't bear the embarrassment of learning that Yosef was alive.

Rav Moshe Shternbuch says that we see from here that the most painful rebuke is not a good screaming at, but rather being forced to confront the truth. Yosef did not scream or threaten, rather he softly told them that he is their brother whom they tried to destroy. Upon seeing how wrong they were, they experienced the worst embarrassment of their lives.

Similarly says Rav Shterbuch in the name of the Baal Shem Tov HaKadosh,the pasuk in Tehilim says, "Kel Nekamos Hashem". At the end of time Hashem will avenge those who have sinned against him. How? The pasuk continues "Kel Nekamos Hofia". Hashem's revenge is simply to appear! After all of history when Hashem finally reveals Himself openly to the entire world, everyone will be be mortally embarrassed when they grasp the lowliness for each and every one of their sins.

Mon, 02 Jan 2017 03:00:00 -0800
The Chortkover Rebbe Sends Regards to Hashem in America

A man living in Vienna was struggling to support his family. He decided that his fortune lies overseas in the Guldineh Medina of America, so he bought a ticket travel there and start anew. While he was not one to run to Rebbes before making important decisions, he decided to heed his friends advice and go to the saintly Chortkover Rebbe for a Bracha before embarking on his new life.

He was greeted very cordially be the Rebbe who gave him a heartwarming bracha for his success. On his way out the Rebbe stopped him and said, "When you get to America please sends regards to Hashem." The man a bit befuddled turned to the Rebbe and asked, "Why? Is there a different Hashem in America then in Vienna?" The Rebbe then retorted and said, "If the same Hashem is in Vienna, why do you need to go America for Him to give you parnassa?"

[Ed. note the story as cited above is complete and nothing more needs to be added. For the sake of closure and for those who enjoy a good ending we will continue.] The man took the Rebbe's message to heart and decided to stay in Vienna, accepting the loss of the money he spent on the boat ticket to America. The name of the boat was "The Titanic".

Important Note: Stories are not checked for factual accuracy and are told as heard and remembered through the generations. It is the lesson that can be learned from the stories that we strive to pass on.

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 03:00:00 -0800
Rav Leib Chasman - Personal Requests on Rosh HaShanah

Rosh HaShanah is the day the world was created and Hashem became King. Every year on this day we coronate the King anew. Why is Rosh HaShanah a day of judgement? The pasuk in Mishlei says, "Melech BaMishpat Yamid Eretz", the main function of a King is to maintain order in the land. Therefore the first order of business is to see where each citizen stands and what will be his fate.

It is brought down in the Zohar and other places that one should not make personal requests on Rosh HaShanah, for it is a disgrace to the King. Our entire focus should be on the glory of the King and His coronation. We should concern ourselves with what we can do for Hashem, and not what we'd like Hashem to do for us.

Yet Rav Yisroel Salanter and most gedolim today say that we may make personal requests, for in our generation most of us are not on the level that we can truly say that we spend the day in awe of Hashem's glory. At least by asking for personal requests we show that we acknowledge that Hashem is the King, and to Him we turn for help.

Rav Leib Chasman explains with a Mashal. On the day of the King's coronation a royal banquet was held. All the ministers were present, and the magnificently decorated hall inspired awe, glory, and fear. During the ceremony a pauper dressed in rags, who somehow managed to sneak by security, runs up to the king and starts screaming that he has no food to eat and he is desperate for some potatoes for his family. The guards pounced on him at once and removed him. Yet even as the ceremony resumed the mood and atmosphere had soured and the prior glory was not restored.

In a similar but very different version of the story the pauper throws himself at the King's feet and says my master my king, my family has been impoverished and suffering for years. We have tried every avenue to extract ourselves from this situation to no avail. Your are the all powerful, and we know you to be kind and merciful. We are all your loyal subjects, and you and only you can help us. Our lives are in your hands alone, and we give our entire being to your service. Please have mercy!

Beyond all the glamour of the event, this moment is the true coronating moment of the king!

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 03:00:00 -0700
The Ponevezher Rov Teaches The Children How To Remember Their Name On Yom HaDin One time when the Ponevezher Rov, Rav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, came to visit the children of the orphanage, as they all gathered around him he asked them if they know why we say a pasuk with the first and last letter of our name at the end of Shmoneh Esrei.  One child raised his hand and answered that the Shela HaKadosh says it will help us remember our name, when they ask us at our Yom HaDin in Shamayim.

The Ponevezher Rov nodded his agreement and asked another question.  If our friends and teachers call us tens of times a day by our name and we still won't remember it while standing in awe and fear at our Yom HaDin, how can we expect to remember it because of a Pasuk that we say only three times a day? 

This the children could not answer.  "Listen carefully", said the Ponevezher Rov.  The fear of standing at Yom HaDin is so great that we will forget everything, even our own name.  The only thing w will remember are the things etched in our hearts and minds for eternity, and that is only Torah.  Even the pasukim that we say at the end of Shmoneh Esrei is Torah.  That will remain with us even during the mind blowing ordeal of Yom HaDin. 

During our lifetime when preparing for our Yom HaDin we should make sure to fill up our bags with things that will remain with us, such as Torah, even in the minutest pieces.  Everything else will not survive the journey no matter how tightly we hold on to it, even our own name.

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 03:00:00 -0700
Aleinu L'Shabeiach - Before it is Too Late!

In ten days from now we will standing in Shul at the pinnacle of Tefila of the year, Musaf of Rosh HaShanah. And what will we be saying with tremendous Kavana? None other than Aleinu L'Shabeiach! Yes, the tefila that ends every davening, which we usually say when we are physically or mentally halfway out the door.

Rav Hai Gaon writes that Aleinu should be said with your head covered because the praise of Aleinu to our Creator is unequalled among all other praises and is the greatest praise in the world. The Rokei'ach writes that Aleinu is the Shir HaShirim, the song of all songs and we should concentrate with our whole being when singing it to Hashem, for it is "Mifuar, uMihudar, uMiutar, uMikudash, uMirumam" glorious, beautiful, the crowning jewel, holy, and elevated. The Mishna Brura says that when we say Aleinu, Hashem stands with His entire Heavenly entourage and answer Ashrei Ha'am.." fortunate are the people!

A look into the history of each nation and each people will reveal that they were each built on corruption and immoral pursuits and ideals. Proof of this is each nation's ultimate demise. Their rotted foundation crumbled and left a pile of rubble with not enough true substance to recover and rebuild. A deeper understanding of history will make you feel truly privileged to be Jew, a servant of Hashem and an adherent to His Torah.

In Europe during the Holocaust there were Yeshivos who danced to their killing field carrying their Sefer Torah and singing Aleinu. Even as they were being marched out to their death by their bloodthirsty tormentors they felt like they were the fortunate and victorious nation.

The Ramban says our laxness in the way we say Aleihu is a prime example of what Chazal say that "Kol HaMikudash MeiChaveiro" anything that is holier than his friend, "Charev Yoseir MeiChaveiro" is destroyed more than his friend.

On Rosh HaShanah we will all daven with great Kavana and say every syllable of Aleinu with deep feeling. But what about today and what about Erev Rosh HaShanah, and even Maariv Rosh HaShanah night? If we disappoint the Malachim the entire year, three times a day, can we really expect them to show up and be impressed when we wake up on Rosh HaShanah? If we wake up a minute before it is too late, our Rosh HaShanah can be completely different.

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 03:00:00 -0700
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 -0700
Parshas Tazria: Rav Itzele Volozhin - Behind the Different Forms Tzoraas

Why must one go specifically to a Kohen when he sees a potential Tzoraas? Why can he not go to any Talmid Chochom who has mastered the halachos of Nega'im?

Rav Itzele Volozhin says that the five kinds of tzoraas is a result of five fundamental sins. Tzoraas on one's body comes from overindulging in bodily desires. Tzoraas of Begadim is a result being obsessed with external beauty and constantly running after new clothing. Tzoraas of the head is caused by bad character, corrupt thinking, and haughtiness. Tzoraas in the beard is for sins of the mouth such as Lashon Hara and mockery. Lastly Tzoraas on the walls of one's home, where one is required to remove all his possessions, and ultimately destroy the house, is a punishment for chasing after wealth and possessions.

A person afflicted with tzoraas does not need someone to treat his nega, he needs someone who can heal his mind and soul. While any expert can distinguish a tamei nega from a tahor one, only a Kohen, the Ish HaChesed and the embodiment of Ahavas Yisroel, can get into the head of the Mitzora and help him climb out of his misery and make him whole again.

Fri, 08 Apr 2016 03:00:00 -0700
Intro to Eishes Chayil Journey along with us on our tour of Eishes Chayil. We will explain each pasuk and the symbolism of the letter the pasul begins with. For full  hard copy version of the Eishes Chayil you can contact us.

Eishes Chayil intro

Thu, 18 Feb 2016 03:00:00 -0800
Personal Tefilos During Shmoneh Esrei - What You Should Know

There is a Mitzva to daven to Hashem for all your needs. The Anshei Knesses HaGedola created a standard Nusach for Shmoneh Esrei, to cover all the essentials. Nevertheless Hashem still wants to hear our personal requests from our heart, especially since Shmoneh Esrei, that is repeated three times a day is often said by rote.

How and when is this done? The Shulchan Aruch (OC 119) mentions three places in Shmoneh Esrei where perosnal tefilos can be added. First, and best, is during each bracha, where one can make a personal request which is related to that bracha. There are a few rules one should know before doing this.

- One must start with the Nusach of Chazal, and only then insert their personal tefila.
- The tefila should be personal and not for the Tzibbur.
- It is preferable to add things right before the Chasima (Boruch Ata) but then to add words after that match the Chasima.
- One should only add requests that are for now and not for the future. For example if a person needs parnasa he can ask, but a wealthy person should not ask Hashem to let his wealth continue.
- It preferable to add a Tefila in Lashon Kodesh, but the most important thing is that it should come from the heart, in any language he can communicate.
- The request should be succinct.
- One should not add a tefila that he says all the time, since it will look like he is adding to the Nusach of the davening. At the very least he should skip any additional tefilos once a week.

Although the best time to ask personal requests are during the relevant Bracha, during the bracha of Shomei'a Tefila one can ask whatever he wants, including request for the future and the tzibbur, but he should still keep it to a minimum. Lastly one may add personal tefilos after Yihiyu L'Ratzon and add as much as his heart desires!

Tue, 16 Feb 2016 03:00:00 -0800
Parshas Trumah: Rav Moshe Feinstein - Make Yourself Big, but don't Take up Space

Chazal tell us (Yuma 21a) that the Aron HaKodesh took up no space in the Kodesh HaKedashim. If you measured from each side of the Aron to the wall, you would get the total of the entire area, with no space left for the area the Aron sat on. This was a great Nes.

Rav Moshe Feinstein in Darash Moshe asks, if the Aron which held the Luchos took no space then certainly the Luchos themselves should warrant such a miracle and take no space. Yet the Gemara in Bava Basra (14a) tells us specifically that the Luchos filled up the entire space inside the Aron.

We learn from here, says Rav Moshe, a very important lesson. A person must be like the Aron Kodesh. He must fill up his entire being with Torah. If he leaves any part of himself lacking Torah and does not learn the Torah in its entirety, then he will be "missing something" and will be rendered incomplete.

However after he has filled himself with Torah he needs to act with total modesty. He needs to take the major heft that he has imbued himself with, and act as if he takes up no space. And on the flip side he must also realize that the precious Torah he has filled himself with, is "Kulo Ruchni" pure spirituality, and stands above any boundaries and space in this world.

Wed, 10 Feb 2016 03:00:00 -0800
Parshas Yisro: Hashem Killed Bnei Yisroel With His Voice

Chazal tell us that at first Hashem started to say the Dibros, but His voice caused the Neshamos of Bnei Yisroel to leave their bodies. Hashem then brought them back to life by sprinkling them with dew. Why did Hashem do this? He obviously knew they would not survive and would die at the foot of the mountain before Kabalas HaTorah.

When Hashem created the world he looked into the Torah which was the blueprint. All creation, all wisdom, and all morality come from the Torah. The world is simply an illusion meant to deceive us and tempt us away from the Torah. Any morality in the world not consistent with the Torah is not true morality but rather corruption cloaked in morality.

Any person raised on worldly values cannot truly embrace and fully embody Torah until he rids himself of his worldly values and begins anew. Rather than learn from the Torah how one should live his life, instead he will try to read his preconceived notions into the Torah. This would be not only a corruption of his own life, but he would corrupt the Torah as well in order to suit his needs.

Bnei Yisroel after centuries of Egyptian exile and absorbing their mentality, could not continue to exist in their current state when confronted with pure unadulterated Torah. After "dying" and eradicating their existing notions, Hashem sprinkled them with the "Tal Torah". He brought them back into existence with a clear slate, on the basis of Torah. Only then did Hashem hand over His precious Torah to the descendents of his beloved followers.

Sat, 30 Jan 2016 03:00:00 -0800
Rav Meir Chadash - Kavod, Giving Your Friend a Poison Pill?

Kavod, we know, is something to run away from. Kavod corrupts, the quest for kavod destroys everything. So how is it that not only are we permitted to give others kavod, but we are encouraged and even demanded to do so? What about Lifnei Iveir, is there a pill more poison than kavod?

Rav Meir Chadash the Chevron Mashgiach and Talmid of the Alter of Slabodka explains with a Mashal (not exact but this is the gist of it). A poor fellow approaches a wealthy member of the community and asks him for a loan to start a business. The rich man tells him that he'd love to help, but before doing so he needs to ask some questions. What will you use the money for? How can I be sure you won't use it for the wrong purpose? How will your business grow from it? After hearing his answers and being satisfied with them, the rich man writes him a check for the amount he requested.

Six months later the rich man calls the poor man and asks him how business is, and if he ready to repay the loan. "Baruch Hashem business is great and I have the funds to pay back the loan as agreed", replies the borrowers. "However" he adds, "before writing you a check I have a few questions to ask you. What will you do with the money..."

This is almost laughable! When you give someone something out of the generosity of your heart you can ask all the questions you want. But when you give something to someone that you owe him and it belongs to him, you don't ask any questions.

Kavod is not a treat you give your friend based on the generous spirit in your heart. You owe everyone Kavod! Everyone is a Tzelem Elokim and the Kavod is theirs. So when you pay your dues, don't be so brazen to start asking too many questions. Give it to them with a smile and move on!

Thu, 28 Jan 2016 03:00:00 -0800
Shiduchim, One of Life's Hardest Tasks

Marrying off your children is probably one of the greatest challenges a person goes through in this world. If you live in Eretz Yisroel and are looking for a top learning boy, it will require astronomical sums by any standards and certainly for the average member of the frum community in Eretz Yisroel, even if they are working baalei batim. Most people are lucky to earn enough to get through the month. Even if one can save, how much can they possibly save? This is the hurdle after the engagement, and of course there are no shortage of hardships and challenges finding a the right boy and getting everyone to say yes.

But that is not it! That is not the aspect of Shidduchim that is actually difficult. That is the easy part, since it really has nothing to do with us. This is Hashem's job. "Hakosh Baruch Hu Yosheiv U'Mizaveg Zivugim." Parnasa is not in our hands either, it comes from Hashem.

So what makes Shiduchim so difficult then? Aren't we on this world to be challenged and to grow? Why does Hashem make Shiduchim such an energy spending force in our best years? Why distract us from working on true growth? The answer is that Shiduchim poses great challenges to us, as one of life's most important missions is to develop emunah, to understand that we are not in control. Marrying off children is the perfect vehicle for Hashem to teach us this lesson. Only the most arrogant can come out of it still believing that their destiny, and the destiny of their children, is in their own hands. The lesson is not only learned on the way to the Chupah, but continues to reverberate for years afterwards, as you deal with your young couple and your Michutanim whom you were sure you checked out down to the last T. The lessons in emunah taught through this process can't be learned anywhere else.

When a younger person starting shidduchim for their kids asks an older person how he managed to marry off children, the answer is always the same. "Don't ask me how I managed. I did it somehow, but unfortunately, what happened with me is a crazy story and it is not relevant to you." Someone once asked Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman why don't see open miracles in our day. He responded by looking around the room and asking, "Has anyone here ever married off a daughter?" No one needed to raise their hand, his point was self understood!

Kasheh Zivugan Shel Adam K'Krias Yam Suf. Kashem Parnasa Shel Adam K'Krias Yam Suf. Splitting the sea, marrying off children, and earning a living are all so hard. Yes indeed it is hard to see bleakness before your eyes with no earthly way out, yet somehow believe in a Hashem who you cannot see or hear, who can't in your mind be smart enough to figure it all out, when you know you are at a dead end with no solution in sight.

No one escapes the challenge of Shiduchim. For those who have already bought into this reality it is an exercise to push them to their limits as they give their guts, and sweat out the long uphill road to its successful happy conclusion. For others it becomes a road littered with painful lessons, twisting and turning their world from side to side, as they endure hardship and bewilderment at every turn, until they too come to accept the truth that awaits them at the end of the road. Either way it's a road you have no choice but to travel, and it will take you to a beautiful place.

Hatzalacha & Besoros Tovos!

Sun, 17 Jan 2016 03:00:00 -0800
Rav Binyomin Finkel: Zchus Avos, Zchus Banim, A World Apart

Upon making a Shiva visit to the young orphans of a Chashuveh Rov, the scion of a prominent Rabbinic family who tragically passed away at a young age, the Tzaddik Rav Binyomin Finkel conveyed to them the following thought.

In this world, children of prominent people often get away with many things that other people do not get away with. They get a free pass on their father's coattails. This concept is called Zchus Avos, the prestige of the father covers over the wrongdoing of their children. But that is only in this world.

In the next world when a person comes before the Heavenly throne for judgement and is found lacking, if he dare argue that his father was a great tzaddik it will only incriminate him further. How can the son of a tzaddik, who should know better, act improperly?!

In the Olam HaEmes what carries weight is Zechus Banim, the merit that a father earns from the Mitzvos and Maasim Tovim of his child. Every mitzva a son does, elevates his father higher in Gan Eden, as he has a stake in all of his son's actions, since he raised him.

As we near the end of the Galus, and B'ezras Hashem we will merit Techiyas HaMeisim very soon, orphans will be united once more with their dearly departed parent. When father and son meet again, the father who was elevated in Gan Eden thanks to his son will embrace his son with tears of joy, while the son who disappointed his father and caused him pain in heaven will not be able to face his father.

Thu, 14 Jan 2016 03:00:00 -0800
Language From Mitzrayim all the way to Yeshivishe Talk

Chazal tell us that one of the reasons Bnei Yisroel merited to be taken out of Mitzrayim was that they did not change their language. What, however, was that language? The Otzar Pilaos HaTorah discusses this at length and brings various opinions.

The Maharsha in Megila 3a says that in Mitzrayim Bnei Yisroel spoke Aramaic, their mother tongue that was their inheritance from their youth spent in the home of their grandfather Lavan HaArami. Yet in Sanhedrin 21b the Maharsha says that they spoke Lashon HaKodesh and not Aramaic. Rav Yaakov Emden explains that Avraham spoke two languages, Lashon Kodesh when he spoke Devarim Shel Kedusha, and Aramaic for any mundane conversation that he needed to have. This dichotomy was followed by Bnei Yisroel in Mitztrayim, who did not change this custom and did not change their language to Egyptian. This would explain the Maharsha.

The Meor VaShemesh says that Bnei Yisroel did speak Egyptian in Mitzrayim, however they did not speak the foul language of the Mitzrim, and thus kept their language Holy.

The Chasam Sofer (Parshas Naso) says that when Chazal say "Devarim Hayotzim Min HaLev Nichanasim El HaLev", words that emanate from the heart have the ability to penetrate the heart, it refers only to Lashon HaKodesh. No other language has that ability to penetrate a heart. Nevertheless the Lev Ivri (on the Tzava'a of the Chasam Sofer) writes that this applies to Yiddish or any other language adopted specifically by the Jews. He adds that although the Arizal would not speak Divrei Chol on Shabbos, he would speak Divrei Torah in the adopted language of his time.

To corroborate this, the Chasam Sofer himself in his Drashos praises the Jews of Russia and Poland whom hundreds of years after being expelled from Germany, still spoke Yiddish and did not pick up the local language.

From these opinions we see that there are three aspects of language. First the intrinsic kedusha itself. Second, as a tool to keep ourselves separate and apart from the other nations. Third to keep it clean. May we be zoche for Chazal to say on us one day,that we brought the Geula because we did not change our language!

Tue, 12 Jan 2016 03:00:00 -0800
Nishmas Kol Chai: Sustaining Us Through a Bull Market

Shabbos morning we say the moving piece, Nishmas, where our hearts burst forth in appreciation for all Hashem does for us. Among other things, we thank Hashem for feeding us through famine, saving us from the sword, sparing us from plague and disease. Curiously we thank Hashem that "B'Sava Kikaltanu", for supporting us during times of abundance. Feeding us in times of recession is truly something to be thankful for, but how does sustaining us during boom times rival that?

A businessman was once on the way to the most important meeting of his life. The meeting was to be held in a fancy hotel in the middle of Manhattan. He knew parking would be a problem. He silently prayed during the entire drive that Hashem would help him find a parking spot and not cause him to be delayed. Just as he nervously pulled onto the block of the hotel, a parked car moved out of the spot directly opposite the hotel. As he triumphantly maneuvered his car into this premium spot, he looked up to Hashem and said thanks for Your ear, but I already found a spot myself!

Earning a living is gift from Hashem, even in times of prosperity. Each individual has his own fate and destiny, no matter how high the stock market rises. One must be thankful to Hashem for only he provides us with sustenance even in the best of times. If you don't believe me, surely you can ask the unfortunate, to whom the good times have totally passed them by.

No matter your plight and no matter the economic outlook, a Jew must always be thankful Bira'av Zantanu U'BiSava Kilkatanu!

Mon, 11 Jan 2016 03:00:00 -0800
Revach Tours Now in Eretz Yisrael!

Revach L'Neshama is proud to announce that we have started offerring tours in Eretz Yisroel. If you'd like to see the sites through the eyes of Revach, and have a great time doing so, join us on our enlightening, inspiring, fun and adventurous tours. Currently you can select from 8 different tours covering the entire country, including the Old CityGalilGolanMidbar YehudaNegevShfelaNew Yerushalayim, and the Mediteranean Coastal Cities. We always have more surprises up our sleeve.

See more details on our new site Revach Tours. Contact us for more details or any questions. We can also help you find the perfect Israel vacation apartment in Yerushalyim & Tzfas  as well as provide world class Shabbos and weekday food during your stay. And if you are bringing your Bar Mitzvah boy we can help you plan a truly memorable trip!

Wed, 11 Nov 2015 03:00:00 -0800
Kiddush on Shabbos: Forgetting the Wine During your Bracha Achrona If one drinks the shiur of wine during kiddush and then eats cake, the bracha achrona is Al HaMichya while adding Al HaGefen as well. What happens if he makes an Al HaMichya and forgets about the wine, must he make a separate Al HaGefen?

Rav Moshe Shternbuch (Tshuvos V'Hanhagos 2:147) says that the Be'er Heitev (OC 208:23) says that if you drink wine and make an Al HaMichya, it suffices for the wine as well, even if you didn't say Al HaGefen. This however is when you were aware you drank wine and mistakenly said the wrong Bracha Achrona. But if you forgot you drank wine, would Al Hamichya on cake suffice for the wine as well?

He says this is a machlokes between Hagr"i Zilberman and Rav Eliyahu Rom. In a similar case where someone makes a Borei Pri Ho'adama on a fruit, he is only yotzei if he clearly meant to make the Hoadama on the fruit he planned on eating. However says Rav Shternbuch this case is different since a Bracha Rishona goes on the food you intend to eat whereas Bracha Achrona goes on everything you have eaten, so specific intent is not necessary.

Rav Shternbuch says however that it seems from the Mishna Brura that even for Bracha Achrona you need to have in mind which food you are making the bracha on. The Piskei Tshuvos brings that most poskim hold like the Pri Megadim that you don't need to say Al HaGefen again, and you are yotzei with Al HaMichya. He adds that even if you only remember at the end, in the Chasima, it is good to end by saying Al HaMichya V'Al Pri HaGefen, even though you didn't mention Gefen in the body of Al HaMichya itself.

Important Note: We bring this tshuvah as a starting point for discussion and not to convey any halacha. We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation. Please understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

Wed, 16 Sep 2015 03:00:00 -0700
Parshas Bahaloscha: Chizkuni - Shevet Levi, A Family Tradition of Excellence

Hashem tells Moshe Rabbeinu to designate Shevet Levi for Avodah in the Bais HaMikdash. The pasuk (Bahaloscha 8:19) then says, "ולא יהיה בבני ישראל נגף בגשת בני ישראל אל הקודש", so that a death will not spread when the Bnei Yisroel approaches the Mishkan. Rabbeinu Bachaye and other Meforshim explain that the Levi'im will act as guards not allowing Bnei Yisroel to come too close, because a Zar who comes close will die.

The Chizkuni takes a unique approach in explaining this pasuk. He says that before Levi was designated as the overseers of the Avodas HaMishkan, the natural choice was the Bechorim. However, says the Chizkuni, that presents a problem. Since a bechor can be the son of a non-bechor and the grandson of a non-bechor, he would have no family tradition regarding the avodah. This can cause him to do the avodah in an improper way that would make him liable to death.

Because of this, Hashem in His mercy, designated a Shevet to be in charge of the avodah so that they would have a long and rich tradition of avodah, ingraining it in their family genes for generations, thus saving many casualties in this highly sensitive and dangerous workplace!

Sun, 31 May 2015 03:00:00 -0700
Parshas Naso: Kli Yakar - The Explosion of the Sotah's Stomach

If the Sotah is guilty of the crime she was accused of by her husband, then after drinking the Mei Sotah her stomach explodes. Why is this so?

The Kli Yakar answers that the Mei Sotah was very holy water. The water itself comes from the Kiyor in the Bais HaMikdash that is used by the Kohanim to purify themselves before Avodah, while the main additive is the Name of Hashem that is erased into the water. As this water is so holy, says the Kli Yakar, surely it is not fit to travel through the organs of intimacy in the usual manner that water is passed out of the human body. Since it is trapped inside the Sotah's body, her stomach blows up and then explodes.

However if the Sotah is innocent, and has been completely faithful in her relationships, then she reverts back to the Kedusha of Adam HaRishon before he sinned. At that juncture all the organs and limbs were holy and there was no shame, which is why they did not have clothing. That being the case, the holy Mei Sotah flowed right through her system and out.

Maybe this also explains why the innocent Sotah is blessed with children if she is still childless, or healthier and stronger children if she already has children. Since the Mei Sotah is pure Kedusha, it cures any of the woman's internal physical imperfections that it passes along its route out the body, and paves the way for beautiful, healthy, and holy children.

Thu, 28 May 2015 03:00:00 -0700