Keyword Browse           
Dec. 7, 2021 - 3 Tevet 5782
5470/1709  Rav Yaakov Gadisha - Me'il Yaakov

5739/1978  Rav Alter Chaim Shmuelevitz - Rosh Yeshiva Mir

bracha search
Recently Viewed Bracha
Croutons (Made from Bread)
Mashed Banana
Fish Sticks, Breaded
Fruit Leather
Milk Bag
Hashem's Name On Computer Screens
Laws Of Sefira
>>go to site
Revach Lists
Names Of Moshe Rabbeinu
7 Names Of Yisro
10 Reasons for Blowing the Shofar
5 Reason Why We Dip Apples In Honey
RN"K Who Is A Good Wife by Rabbi Mordechai Appel
Acharei Mos by Rabbi Mordechai Appel
Parshas Tzav/Zachor 5771 by Rabbi Mordechai Appel
>>go to site

Tehilim List
Submit names to be said at the Kosel HaMaaravi.  Please join us in saying Tehilim 32 for:

submit names

RSS Feeds
Today's Revach
Daf Yomi
613 Mitzvot
[view all articles in this category]

Section: Moadim   Category: Elul-Tishrei
Parshas Ki Seitzei: Elul, True Love vs. Tough Love

We can all picture the scene. A child has his eyes dead-set on something; say, a cookie, for example. The problem for him is that it is stationed too far for his reach. So he drags over a chair to aid him in reaching the item. Still too far, though. Maybe a telephone book or two might do the job. Yes, that is enough for him to touch the jar and dislodge it slowly off the shelf. But standing afar, we all know what’s coming. He repeatedly knocks at the glass jar and just as he is about to catch the falling jar and get to his cookie, the telephone book slips and he loses his balance, causing the jar to come crashing to the ground and break in a thousand pieces, sending cookies all over the floor and shards of glass in his knees and feet. What a shame – he really “loved” that cookie, but by trying to circumvent the conventional manner of getting a cookie – i.e. asking an adult – he acted inappropriately and caused much harm to himself. 

This is the story that is introduced to us at the beginning of the parsha. A man in war, clearly not his ideal battlefield, is caught up with his yetzer hara and a woman he claims he “loves”. The picture set for him is that there is nothing else in the world at that moment except for settling his desires. The Torah cannot tell the individual not to pursue it because he is caught up in that moment, alone. Instead, the Torah allows the individual to pursue the action he is seeking (with Halachic pre-conditions, beyond the scope of this article and writer) and then stands aside, so to speak, to watch the ramifications of those actions. “Oh, yes, you want a Yefas To’ar. Go ahead, have it. Be aware, though, that when one attempts to reach for something out of their realm of possible and permissible options, there is a fallout that goes with it. Family squabbles, marital discord, children leaving the derech and a life turned over and ripped asunder. It is your choice.”

The lessons of this inyan are plenty, but I would like to point out a message we can derive, albeit more subtle. The parsha of Yefas Toar illustrates what happens to love that is misguided and misdirected. What we need to develop is our true love, that of Ahavas Hashem, and this is specifically poignant for these days of Elul and Tishrei, referred to Yemei Harachamim V’harotzon. For while many of us put much effort into Yiras Hashem – being careful about mitzvah observance, keeping away from bad behavior, davening differently and better, etc., focusing on Yirah alone is a problem for two reasons.  

First, it is only half way up the ladder of avodah. The Ohr Hachaim explains that when the Torah says, “Mah Hashem Elokecha Shoel Meyimach Ki im Li’yirah”, it means to say that since Ahavas Hashem is the ultimate avoda but the more difficult one to master, Hashem “only” asks for Yirah, but to be used as a stepping stone to obtain Ahava. Once we mastered Ahava, we will realize that Yirah was small in comparison. That is one reason yirah alone is insufficient.
Secondly, we cannot have one battle plan in our arsenal. Fear alone cannot spare a person from aveira because there are times where there is no fear, as we see from this parsha of Yefas Toar. We can fight fear with fear but we must also fight ahava with ahava. We can combat the yetzer hara in his own snare, provided we have worked toward building that option. There is a reason that only Elul and Tishrei evokes a certain fear in us, save for a few select days spread out in the year. Elul itself cries out “Ani ledodi v’dodi li” which tells us to develop a loving relationship with Hashem, specifically in these days. That is why Succos, z’man simchaseinu, follows the awe of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, teaching us that we are to develop both those precious tools of avoda.

When we will declare Hashem to be the Ultimate King of the World, we can only do so if we are in fear and awe of Him and in love with His kindness. That way, our mouths and minds will be guided toward speaking His glory and asking forgiveness for the times we let Him down.  

If misguided ahava is that destructive, imagine what channeling it properly can affect in us!


<<Previous Article
Parshas Ki Seitzei: The Kotzker Rebbe Was In No Rush To Send Reb Leibele Eiger Back Home
 Next Article>>
Haftorah Ki Seitzei - The Happy Barren Women Watches the Mountains Tumble
send your commentsprintable versionemail to a friend

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 full story

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 full story

Innocent Observations
Leil HaSeder Alone in The Shadow of Corona
The Chasidim were stunned when the Holy Defender of the Jews, Reb Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev announced just a full story

Olam HaTorah
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 full story

The Donkey and the Dirt

A man came to his Rebbe crying that his donkey fell into a pit and he didn't know what full story

Chanoch L'Naar
Rav Zalman Sorotzkin - The Hardest Challenge in Chinuch, When Everyone Does It!

Parshas Emor begins with the prohibition of Kohanim to defile themselves to a dead body. Hashem tells this full story

Bnei Bayscha
Some Shidduch Questions From Rav Shmuel Rozovsky

One day a Yid from Yerushalayim traveled to Bnei Brak to ask the legendary Rosh Yeshiva of Ponevezh, Rav full story

Rav Yaakov Edelstein - The Two Words He Wanted to Be Able to Speak

The Gaon and Tzaddik Rav Yaakov Edelstein was one of the most uniques Gedolim of our generation. He was full story


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 full story

Likras Shabbos
Parshas Vayakhel: Sridei Eish - Building Shabbos & Building A Bais HaMikdash

Parshas Vayakhel talks almost exculsively about building the Mishkan, however the first few pasukim are about the Mitzva of full story

Lessons in Tzedoka

Parshas Vayakhel: Rav Chaim Soloveitchik's Long Wait

"K'chu Mei'itchem Truma" take from them donations (Vayakhel 35:5). The pasuk before says that Moshe spoke directly to full story


The Joy that Mourning Brings to a Wedding
Shlomo HaMelech tells us in Koheles (7:2) "Tov Lalaches El Bais HaEivel MiLeches El Bais HaMishteh", it is better full story

Ahavas Yisroel
Parshas Truma: Rav Moshe Shternbuch - Brilliant Colorful Diversity

Among the layers of the roof of the Mishkan was the Tachash. The Tachash was an animal with full story

Gedolim Biographies
Reb Dovid of Lelov - Is It A Crime To Favor Your Own Child?
Reb Dovid was born in 1746 and was a talmid of Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk and later of the Chozeh of Lublin. full story

Story Corner
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 full story

Chofetz Chaim - Will Your Plaque in The Bais HaMikdash Bring You Eternal Pride or Shame?

The Chofetz Chaim (Shem Olam 1:17) says that whoever helped build the second Bais HaMikdash is listed in Sefer full story

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 full story

Rav Chatzkel

Rav Chatzkel Levenstein - First A Smack, The We Can Talk

Chazal tell us "Oy Lani MiYom HaDin, Oy Lanu MiYom HaTochacha", woe is to us from the day of punishment, full story

Around The Year
Tu B'Shvat - The Tragedy Of The Free Leaf

"Ki Hadam Eitz HaSadeh", a person is like a tree in the field. There are many comparisons between full story

Shabbos is a Day of Three Kinds of Rest

By Mincha on Shabbos we say that Hashem gave us Yom Menucha, a day of rest. We then full story

Eretz Yisroel
Parshas Shlach: Kotzker Rebbe - Impressions Of Eretz Yisroel

"Uri'isem Es HaAretz Ma Hi... HaTova He Im Ra'a... HaShmeina He Im Razah" (Shlach 13:18-20). Moshe Rabeinu tells full story

Shaarei Tzvi - Unlocking The Best Kept Secret In Megilas Esther

Every now and theb there is a Chazal that drops a bombshell, which changes everything you everything. Its full story

Postcards From Kotzk
Kotzker Rebbe On The Dormant Monster Within

The Yehudi HaKadosh MePishischa was a Chosid of the Chozeh of Lublin, until one day one of the elder full story

Mitzva Opportunity
Parshas Re'eh: Netziv - Feeling Your Own Pain
The Torah forbids us to harm ourselves in any way when mourning over the dead because we are a full story

Ikvisa D'Mishicha
Reb Elchonon Wasserman's Last Drasha, We Are Saving The Yidden in America
Reb Elchonon Wasserman was one of the great pre-war Roshei Yeshiva in Europe.  He learned in Telz Yeshiva and full story

Perek Shira
Perek Shira: The Snake's Song - Taking a Plunge

No creature in history has taken a fall like the snake.  This once companion of man, with legs that full story

Tehilim Perek 49: Beis Yisroel of Ger - Even Some Mitzvos Won't Go With You

Dovid HaMelech tells us in Tehilim (49:18) כִּי לֹא בְמוֹתוֹ יִקַּח הַכֹּל, when you die you won't take everything full story

copyright © 2007 - 2010 Revach L'Neshama All Rights Reserved