Rabbi Reisman – Parshas Behaloscha 5782
1 – Topic – A Thought from Rav Hutner – Shabbos Tefillos
As we prepare for Shabbos Parshas Behaloscha. Marching B’ezras Hashem towards a summer of growth in Torah, Avodah and Yir’as Shamayim. Let me begin with the end of the Parsha. One of the Yud Gimmel Ikrim, one of the thirteen principles of Jewish faith, is taught to us at the end of Parshas Behaloscha. There we are taught that the Nevua of Moshe Rabbeinu was greater than the Nevua of any other Navi. As the Rambam says, She’ain Navi Kamohu. There is no Navi like Moshe Rabbeinu and Moshe Rabbeinu’s Nevua was unique. Lo Chein Avdi Moshe B’chol Baisi Ne’eman Hu. His Nevuah was a unique Nevuah and superior to all other Neviim. This is what we have as one of the Yesodos of Emunah taught to us in the Parsha of Miriam at the end of this week’s Parsha.
Where do we talk about this article of faith, where do we have this Yesod Emunah in our Davening? It is interesting, the one place and I think that it is the only place where this Yesod Emunah is mentioned in Davening is Shabbos morning in our Davening when we say in Shemoneh Esrei (יִשמַח משֶׁה בְּמַתְּנַת חֶלְקו. כִּי עֶבֶד נֶאֱמָן קָרָאתָ לּו). There we mention this praise from this week’s Parsha of Moshe Rabbeinu (כִּי עֶבֶד נֶאֱמָן קָרָאתָ לּו). The one place we mention it is by Shabbos Shacharis. Halo Davar Hu! There must be some sort of an explanation. Why is it placed in Shabbos Shacharis in particular?
Rav Hutner in the Mamarei Pesach, Maimer Lamed Hei, has a wonderful insight. We know that the Tur says that there are three Shabbasos that we remember. We remember Shabbos Kodesh on three levels. One is of course is Zeicher L’ma’asei Beraishis which is the original Shabbos, the Shabbos of the seventh day of creation. The second Shabbos is the Shabbos of Mattan Torah. The Gemara says (IN Maseches Shabbos) that (ודכולי עלמא בשבת ניתנה תורה לישראל) that the Torah was given on Shabbos. That is the second aspect of Shabbos. The third of course is the Yom Shekulo Shabbos, the Shabbos L’asid Lavo, the day of rest for the whole Bri’ya when Moshiach will come. These three Shabbasos explains the Tur are mentioned one in each of the three Shabbos Tefillos, the Shabbos Shemoneh Esrei. On Friday night, on Leil Shabbos (אַתָּה קִדַּשתָּ) referring to HKB”H creating Kedushas Shabbos at the Maiseh Beraishis, at creation. The second is Shabbos Shacharis when we say (יִשמַח משֶׁה בְּמַתְּנַת חֶלְקו. כִּי עֶבֶד נֶאֱמָן קָרָאתָ לּו. כְּלִיל תִּפְאֶרֶת בְּראשׁו נָתַתָּ. בְּעָמְדו לְפָנֶיךָ עַל הַר סִינַי. וּשְׁנֵי לֻחות אֲבָנִים הורִיד בְּיָדו. וְכָתוּב בָּהֶם שְׁמִירַת שַׁבָּת). So that, the Shabbos of Mattan Torah. Of course the Shabbos of Mincha is (אַתָּה אֶחָד וְשִׁמְךָ אֶחָד וּמִי כְּעַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל גּוֹי אֶחָד בָּאָרֶץ) is referring to the Shabbos of L’asid Lavo when the Achdus Hashem, the uniqueness of Klal Yisrael will be recognized with the (מְנוּחָה שְׁלֵמָה שָׁאַתָּה רוֹצֶה בָּהּ). These are the three Shabbasos.
Question – On the Shabbos of Mattan Torah we say (בְּעָמְדוֹ לְפָנֶיךָ עַל הַר סִינַי. וּשְׁנֵי לוּחוֹת אֲבָנִים הוֹרִיד בְּיָדוֹ) two Luchos of stone. The (וּשְׁנֵי לוּחוֹת אֲבָנִים) were broken, they were shattered. Moshe Rabbeinu broke the two Luchos. The two Luchos that replaced them were given on Yom Kippur not on Shabbos. Why do we mention the broken Luchos in our Davening?
The answer is that we are Muvtach, we feel certain that the day will come when the energy, the potential of the Luchos Rishonos will return. When the Luchos that were broken will come back. That level of serving Hashem will return. Why do we have such a Havtacha?
Moshe Rabbeinu broke the Luchos. Hashem did not tell him to. (עשה משה מדעתו). Moshe broke the Luchos. Could it be that we lost forever the Luchos because Moshe Rabbeinu chose to break them? The answer is (עֶבֶד נֶאֱמָן קָרָאתָ לּו). We have a faith that Moshe Rabbeinu was totally given over to HKB”H. Whatever he did was done with the full and correct understanding that HKB”H even if he did not command that it be done, would want that it be done. Therefore, when we remember the Shabbos of Har Sinai and we have a Kasha as the Luchos were broken we mention as an article of faith and Emunah that what Moshe Rabbeinu did was good. What Moshe Rabbeinu did didn’t prevent the eternity of Klal Yisrael from having Luchos Rishonos. Therefore, we have a right to celebrate the (שְׁנֵי לֻחות) that came down.
Incidentally, I want to mention something else. As you know the Choilam is pronounced Oy by most Ashkenazim who Daven Nusach Sfard and is pronounced as Oh by most of the Ashkenazim who Daven Nusach Ashkenaz. Oy or Oh. So that we say when we are Davening, Moideh Ani or Modeh Ani depending on how you express it.
As you know, (יִשמַח משֶׁה בְּמַתְּנַת חֶלְקו) is a poem. It rhymes. Every sentence fragment rhymes with the next one. (יִשמַח משֶׁה בְּמַתְּנַת חֶלְקו. כִּי עֶבֶד נֶאֱמָן קָרָאתָ לּו). (כְּלִיל תִּפְאֶרֶת בְּראשׁו נָתַתָּ לּוֹ. בְּעָמְדו לְפָנֶיךָ עַל הַר סִינַי). This seems to indicate that the one who wrote this pronounced Oy as Nusach Sfard does and not Oh as Nusach Ashkenaz does. Because you see if you say it as Nusach Ashkenaz you say (יִשְׂמַח מֹשֶׁה בְּמַתְּנַת חֶלְקוֹ, כִּי עֶבֶד נֶאֱמָן קָרָאתָ לּוֹ. כְּלִיל תִּפְאֶרֶת בְּרֹאשׁוֹ נָתַתָּ לּוֹ, בְּעָמְדוֹ לְפָנֶיךָ עַל הַר סִינַי). How does Sinai rhyme with Oh. Now if you say (בְּמַתְּנַת חֶלְקוֹ, כִּי עֶבֶד נֶאֱמָן קָרָאתָ לּוֹ. כְּלִיל תִּפְאֶרֶת בְּרֹאשׁוֹ נָתַתָּ לּוֹ, בְּעָמְדוֹ לְפָנֶיךָ עַל הַר סִינַי). Sinai and Oy are similar. It would seem to be an indication that at least the one who wrote this Nusach pronounced it Oy.
2 – Topic – A Thought for Weddings and Sheva Berachos
I would like to move on and share with you a totally separate Vort something that has absolutely no direct connection to this Parsha but this is the season B’ezras Hashem Yisbarach of weddings, of Sheva Berachos and I would like to share with you an absolutely wonderful thought I heard from a good friend who is Boruch Hashem celebrating the engagement of his daughter and shared with me the following thought. (Please forgive me as I don’t remember in whose name it was said).
When a couple gets engaged and married we wish them that they should have a Kesher Shel Kayama. It is interesting that even in other languages we say they tie a knot. We use a Lashon of Kesher, of a knot. Why a language of a knot? There are two ways to connect different threads. One way is through Oreg, through weaving. Another way is through tying. Kesher. On Shabbos there is a Melacha of weaving, there is a Melacha of Koisher, of tying. Kesher Shel Kayama, tying things together permanently.
A person might think that when a couple gets married they become woven together into a single fabric. That is a beautiful expression. But it is really not that way. Even after a couple gets married they remain separate people. It is not healthy and not even possible for them to actually be one. They are not one. Each one is its own unique human being.
I remember a dear friend in Shul Alex Gross Alav Hashalom, made a 50th Anniversary Seuda. He said then that for 49 years I tried to change my wife, tonight I decide let her be the way she is and I will be the way I am and we will live happily ever after. There is a lesson in that. Couples try to change each other. It is a mistake. Each individual is an individual. It is okay. Different people can do things differently. Even people who are married can do things differently. That is perfectly all right. We wish them a Kesher Shel Kayama. A Kesher, each string remains independent. But they are permanently connected. Not an Ariga Shel Kayama because we don’t become one, it is a Kesher Shel Kayama.
Now with that understanding we understand why we have during Sheva Berachos one Bracha that ends Sameach Chosson V’Kallah and one that ends Sameach Chosson Im HaKallah. Why? Simple. Because Chosson V’Kallah is one thing but it is Chosson Im HaKallah. They stay separate people. They remain individuals and that is the way a person is Zoche to his Hatzlacha.
The Chasam Sofer says this in Parshas Chayei Sarah. When the Shidduch of Rivka was proposed, and Lavan was asked by Eliezer, Nu what do you say? Lavan said as it says in Beraishis 24:50 (לֹא נוּכַל דַּבֵּר אֵלֶיךָ, רַע אוֹ-טוֹב). I can’t tell you it is no good, I can’t tell you it is good. What? You can’t tell me it is good and you can’t tell me it is no good? Tell me, are you for it then say it is good if you are against it say it is no good. Speak your mind. No!
Zagt the Chasam Sofer (לֹא נוּכַל דַּבֵּר אֵלֶיךָ, רַע אוֹ-טוֹב). Why? Because in Shidduchim people are looking for others that are similar to them. Oy, what a mistake. Now of course it is natural to look for people that are similar, but it doesn’t add anything to the marriage. If you have two identical people and they get married, so what do you have more than you had before? No! (לֹא נוּכַל דַּבֵּר אֵלֶיךָ, רַע אוֹ-טוֹב). When you are looking for a Shidduch and you are looking for similarities it is neither good nor bad. No! (לֹא נוּכַל דַּבֵּר אֵלֶיךָ, רַע אוֹ-טוֹב). Because he gives an example.
If a couple gets married and one likes to spend money and one doesn’t like to spend money. It is a very good Shidduch when they both don’t do the same thing. You know why? Because if they both like to spend money there would be no money in the house. If they both like to save money and not spend there will be plenty of money in the bank but the house would be a tense place. So G-d in his infinite mercy gave every couple a situation where the two of them, the husband and wife have different opinions on how much money to spend. I will not say which one wants to spend and which one doesn’t want to spend. It varies, it might vary or may not vary. But that is not the point. The point is that they are different for a constructive reason.
Therefore, we use the expression Kesher Shel Kayama. Sameach Chosson Im HaKallah. Because the joy of a Chosson is to realize and it shouldn’t take 49 years, it should happen a little sooner than that. The realization that people don’t have to be identical to be happy. As a matter of fact they are better off not being exactly identical. B’ezras Hashem if each accepts the other, not only that if each one compensates for the faults of the other, in such a case there will Taka be a Kesher Shel Kayama.
So this is not only a wonderful thought and a nice Vort but a tremendous point of foundation for all relationships, for all married couples, the foundation is the idea that you are not looking for a clone of yourself, you are looking for someone who brings other benefits to the marriage, to the home, other talents to the home and with the two talents G-d willing it will work as long as you respect each other. With that absolutely wonderful thought I want to wish one and all an absolutely extraordinary Shabbos Kodesh!