Rabbi Silber shares some thoughts on the parsha from the Nesivos Shalom (Slunimer Rebbe). If we are proactive instead of only responding once we have been attacked we can overcome the challenges presented by our Yetzer Harah. Instead of a reactive response, our best posture in this constant battle is to take on offensive approach.
Rabbi Silber shares an idea from the Kotzker Rebbe that is echoed by R’ S. R. Hirch. K’lal Yisroel has a collective mission to serve the Ribono Shel Olam and stand as an ohr la’goyim, light unto the nations. However, as individuals we all have our own approach and unique way of connecting to the Torah and the Ribono Shel Olam. The torah is teaching us this ever important lesson in this week’s parsha. Re’eh -we each have our own approach within the framework of torah [even as]…nosein lif’neichem hayom – this gift was given to you collectively as a national imperative to carry out. The torah is a prism through which we carry out our mission, each of us reflecting our own wavelength of light into this world. The collective accomplishment is an array of beautiful colors that brings the greatest joy to our Father in heaven.
V’haya Eikev Tishme’un…Ushmartem V’asisem Osam…
Rabbi Silber shares a beautiful thought from Rav Levi Yitzchak. We know that the torah admonishes us to be mindful and conscious of the smaller mitzvos. Shabbos, kashrus, and taharas hamishpacha are not our greatest struggles, but we often overlook the smaller, less challenging mitzvos. Rav Levi Yitzchak sees another lesson that we can learn from the parsha. When Yosef tells the brothers about his dream, the torah tells us, V’aviv shamar es hadavar, and Yaakov watched the episode. Rashi tells us that shamar in this context means that Yaakov eagerly anticipated the moment that the dreams would become a reality. The Rebbe tells us that here also, the word ushmartem is to be understood in the same way. When we have opportunities to accomplish mitzos we should feel fortunate. However, when we do not have the time or opportunity to actively accomplish certain mitzvos, how to we respond? Rav Levi Yitzchak tells us that the torah is challenging us to yearn and eagerly anticipate the opportunities to fulfill the mitzvos even when we do not find the opportunities to accomplish them all. What is our underlying posture when we do not have the time, energy or resources to accomplish what we would like? It should always be a ushmartem – an eager anticipation and pining for those moments and opportunities even when we know full well that they may not materialize as we had hoped.
After Moshe petitions the Ribono Shel Olam for an opportunity to enter Eretz Yisroel, his request is ultimately denied. He will no longer plead his case and will ultimately die with only having caught but a glimpse of the Promised Land. Chazal see a tefillah paradigm in this exchange. But how, Moshe’s tefillos were not ultimately answered, G-d slams the door on him so-to-speak?
Rabbi Silber shares a beautiful message from Reb Levi Yitzchok. As Moshe stood with Klal Yisroel on the precipice of Eretz Yisroel he reviews with them the entire Torah. Reb Levi Yitzchok has a unique approach that sets the stage as we prepare to enter into Tisha B’av. While our spiritual framework has certainly been compromised with the destruction of the Temple, Moshe teaches us an important lesson of hope and confidence even as we experience golus and continue to yearn for the Beis Hamikdash.
Rabbi Silber shares a wonderful insight into the nature of the greatness of Yehoshua bin Nun. Chazal tell us that P’nei Moshe k’pnei chama (the face of Moshe radiated like the sun), p’nei Yehoshua k’pnei levana (while the face of Yehoshua reflected as the moon). The words of chazal bespeak a latent potential within all of us and how we CAN and SHOULD aspire for greatness.
A short message from Eretz Yisroel. Rabbi Silber shares inspiring words of Torah from the Lubliner Rav (R’ Meir Shapiro) discussing the amazing capacity and nature of water, how it plays an integral role in the Tahara process of the Metzorah, and the lessons we can learn and apply to our own lives.