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WE - YUTorah.org
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev
Volume XII- Issue 22
 
The DRS Weekly Torah Publication
Chag Sameach
from the staff of
A Lesson from the ‫ד' כוֹסוֹת‬
By Rabbi Michael Finkelstein, 10th Grade Rebbe
he ‫ מׁשנה‬in (:‫ פסחים )צט‬tells us that every person should have 4 cups of
wine Seder night. The (.‫ גמרא )קח‬also tells us, that even though women
are normally exempt from positive time-bound commandments, they
are also obligated to drink the 4 cups of wine because they also were involved
in this miracle of the Exodus. (‫ ד"ה והיּו‬:‫ תֹוספֹות )קח‬quoting the ‫ ירּוׁשלמי‬explains
that since they were in danger just like the men, it makes sense that they should
take part in this ‫ מצוה‬which evokes feeling of freedom. In fact, Rav Moshe
Feinstein goes so far to say that one should specifically have wine and not
grape juice, as one is supposed to feel like a free person Seder night, and grape
juice does not bring on these feelings (there are those who argue with this and
permit grape juice). There is also a ‫ ירּוׁשלמי‬in ‫ פסחים‬that tells us that ‫ר' יֹונה‬
used to drink 4 cups of wine Seder night, even though it caused him to have a
headache until ‫ׁשבּועֹות‬. The ‫ רׁשב"א‬quotes this ‫ ירּוׁשלמי‬and based on this says that
even if a person hates wine, or if it even causes him minor pain, he must still
drink wine. The (‫י‬:‫ ׁשלחן ערּוך )תעב‬rules like this ‫רׁשב"א‬, although ‫ להלכה‬there
are still many who rule one does fulfill his obligation with grape juice.
12 NISSAN, 5771
APRIL 16, 2011
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(Continued on page 2)
What Do The ‫ עניים‬Have To Do With It?
By Yaakov Feldstein, Editor in Chief
he first passage we recite in ‫מגיד‬, ‫הא לחמא עניא‬, seems to make an irrelevant declaration regarding the ‫מצה‬:
the invitation of poor people to partake in its eating. Don‟t we have a ‫ מצוה‬to assist and support the
underprivileged on all ‫ ? יומים טובים‬After all, the Rambam explicitly states that we need to take special care
of the poor on ‫יום טוב‬, and there is even a ‫ פסוק‬in ‫ פרשת ראה‬which specifies not only the poor, but also others, ‫ושמחת‬
)16:11 ‫" (דברים‬.... ‫ והגר והיתום והאלמנה אשר בקרבך‬... ‫ אתה‬,‫“ – "לפני ה' אלוקיך‬And you shall rejoice (on the holiday),
before Hashem your G-d, you … and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst….” With
this in mind, why is it that we only present this invitation only on Pesach, but not on Shavuos or Sukkos?
Rav Zalman Sorotzkin answers this question by directing our attention to the very next ‫) פסוק‬16:12(: ‫"וזכרת‬
"‫ כי עבד היית במצרים ושמרת ועשית את החוקים האלה‬- “You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall
observe and perform these laws.” It is for this reason that the Torah stipulates not to overlook and disregard the
less privileged who live amid us: we can identify with their state of deprivation, based on our history. As we are
(Continued on page 8)
Torah Teasers
By Rabbi Moshe Erlbaum
‫פרשת אחרי מות‬
1. Where is dirt, ‫ עפר‬mentioned in the
‫ ?פרשה‬b) What other ‫ מצוה‬in the Torah
involves taking some dirt?
2. Where is the first time in the Torah
where ‫ עפר‬is mentioned?
3. Where in the ‫ פרשה‬is a ‫גורל‬, a lottery
4. Where else in the Torah is a lottery
5. As part of the ‫ יום כיפור‬service, the ‫כהן‬
‫ גדול‬sprinkled blood seven consecutive
times at various locations. Where is
the first time in the Torah that someone
performed an action ‫שבע פעמים‬, seven
consecutive times?
6. What person and object appear in the
same ‫ פסוק‬who are different only by
1. When a bird or a wild animal is
slaughtered, its blood must be covered
with dirt. b) In ‫ פרשת נשא‬the ‫ כהן‬takes
some dirt from the floor of the ‫ משכן‬to
mix with some water as part of the
recipe for the ‫מי סוטה‬, the waters given
to a suspected adulteress.
2. The first time where dirt is mentioned
is in the creation of Man. Hashem
took ‫עפר מן האדמה‬, dirt from the
ground and formed man from it.
3. A lottery was performed to decide
which goat will be brought as a sacrifice and which goat was to be used as
the ‫שעיר לעזאל‬, scapegoat.
4. In ‫פרשת פנחס‬, Hashem first commands
that the Land of Israel be divided up
among the tribes through a lottery.
5. In ‫פרשת וישלח‬, ‫ יעקב‬bows down to his
brother ‫ עשו‬seven consecutive times.
6. ‫ַאהֲרן‬, the High-Priest, and the ‫ָארן‬, the
holy ark, both appear in the second
‫ פסוק‬of the ‫פרשה‬. They are different in
their spelling by only the letter ‫הֵא‬
which has the ‫גמטריא‬, the numerical
value of five.
‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
(Rabbi Finkelstein — Continued from page 1)
The question is, why did the sages feel it is so important to
have 4 cups of wine? Why not 4 apples or 4 pieces of meat? In Rav
Shlomo Zalman Auerbach‟s ‫הגדה‬, he explains that the reason why we
have wine is because when one drinks wine it gets better and better.
If we were to have 4 pieces of meat, maybe you would enjoy the first
piece, maybe even the second, but by the third it is just not enjoyable
anymore. There is a dispute in the ‫ ירּוׁשלמי‬regarding the reason for
why we specifically have 4 cups. According to one opinion, the cups
of wine corresponds to the 4 different words the Torah uses to describe our redemption. First we were taken out of Egypt (‫ )הֹוצאתי‬then
we were saved from the Egyptians (‫ )הצלתי‬then we were redeemed (
‫ )גאלתי‬and then taken (‫ )לקחתי‬by ‫ הקב"ה‬as his chosen people. Rav
Shlomo Zalman points out how each of these 4 languages used in the
Torah get better and better, and therefore it only makes sense that we
should have 4 items that get better and better as you consume them.
There is another opinion in the ‫ ירּוׁשלמי‬that says we have 4
cups of wine because the words ‫ כֹוס פרעה‬were stated 4 times when the
‫ שר המׁשקים‬is telling ‫ יֹוסף‬about his dream. Rav Eliyahu Kalatzkin, the
Rav in Lublin, is puzzled by the fact that this episode in ‫חּומׁש‬
seemingly has nothing to do with the exodus of the Jewish people.
Why would anyone bring such a source for this Mitzvah?
He begins to answer based on the following question. How
was it that ‫ יֹוסף‬knew which one was going to be put back to work, and
which one would die; he told the ‫ שר המׁשקים‬that he would go back to
work and the ‫ שר האֹופים‬would be hung. How was ‫ יֹוסף‬able to figure
this out? He says that if you look very closely at the ‫ פסּוקים‬at the end
of ‫ויׁשב‬, you‟ll notice that the ‫ שר המׁשקים‬is constantly repeating the
words “‫( ”כֹוס פרעה‬4 times), while the ‫ שר האֹופים‬never talked about
‫ פרעה‬when he was telling ‫ יֹוסף‬his dream. The ‫ שר המׁשקים‬was putting
the emphasis on how he would like to get back to work for his master,
while the ‫ שר האֹופים‬was more focused on himself.
He answers that ‫ יֹוסף‬knew that the ‫ שר המׁשקים‬would get back
to his job because his heart was in the right place. All he wanted to do
was serve his master again. That‟s why he kept repeating the words
“‫כֹוס פרעה‬.” However, when the ‫ שר האֹופים‬was telling ‫ יֹוסף‬about his
dream, the focus was his food and not ‫פרעה‬. His heart was not in the
right place and that was how ‫ יֹוסף‬knew he was destined to be hung.
He explains that from this story in ‫ חֹומׁש‬we learn the lesson that if
someone genuinely performs acts for the sake of his master, he will
merit good things in the future. Now we understand why so such a
story would be a source for the 4 cups. On the Seder night we take
our 4 cups with the same intention as the ‫שר המׁשקים‬. We take the 4
cups to show that we want to serve our master. It‟s not necessarily
about the wine, but it‟s about being with our master once again, and
us wanting to serve him the way we used to serve him.
Just like the ‫ שר המׁשקים‬had the proper intentions and was
redeemed from jail, may we also have the right intentions this coming
‫ פסח‬and may ‫ הקב"ה‬shower us with ‫ ברכה והצלחה בכל מעשה ידינּו‬and send
us the 3rd ‫ בית המקדׁש‬speedily in our days. ■
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev
By Avrumi
The Korban Pesach
I would like to thank my night seder chavrusa, Elan
Segalman, for giving me the great Dvar Torah.
Let us discuss a few sources that will enable us to
better understand the nature of the commandment to eat
the ‫קרבן פסח‬. The ‫רמבם‬, in his ‫ (מ"ע נו) ספר המצוות‬lists the ‫מצוה‬
to eat the ‫ קרבן פסח‬as its own unique ‫מצות עשה‬. However,
when it comes to eating all other ‫קרבנות‬, he does not list the
‫ אכילה‬of each ‫ קרבן‬as its own ‫מצוה‬. Rather, he includes them
all together in ‫מצוה פט‬, the general ‫ מצוה‬to eat ‫קדשים‬. Why
doesn‟t the ‫ רמבם‬include the ‫ מצוה‬to eat ‫ פסח קרבן‬in that
overall ‫ מצוה‬to eat ‫בשר קדשים‬, rather than listing it as a
separate ‫?מצות עשה‬
There is another important question that will help us
understand the nature of ‫אכילת קרבן פסח‬. ‫רבי אלעזר בן עזריה‬
maintains that the ‫ מצות עשה‬of eating the ‫ קרבן פסח‬must be
completed by ‫ חצות‬and not ‫ עלות ;עלות השחר‬is the standard
timeframe one has to eat his ‫קרבן‬, and prevent it from
becoming ‫נותר‬1,2. However, it is clear from various sources
that even according to ‫רבי אלעזר בן עזריה‬, the ‫ קרבן פסח‬will not
become ‫ נותר‬until ‫עלות השחר‬3. Furthermore, if person‟s
intentions during the ‫ הקרבת קרבן פסח‬were that the ‫ קרבן‬is for
after ‫ חצות‬and before ‫עלות השחר‬, it would not render it invalid
because of ‫פיגול‬4. Why should this be? Why doesn‟t the ‫פסח‬
‫ קרבן‬become ‫ נותר‬immediately after the allotted time to eat it
just like other ‫ ?קרבנות‬Furthermore, if the ‫ קרבן פסח‬can only
be eaten until ‫חצות‬, shouldn‟t intentions for a later time be
considered ‫מחשבת פיגול‬, just like all other cases in ‫?קדשים‬
The ‫ בית הלוי‬explains that when the ‫ תורה‬commands
us to eat ‫בשר קדשים‬, what the ‫ תורה‬was commanding
precisely, wasn‟t that a person (“‫ )”גברא‬should eat the ‫בשר‬.
‫קדשים‬. Rather the commandment is that the object (“‫ )”חפצא‬of
the ‫ קדשים‬should be eaten5. Of course it is understood,
incidentally, that a person must eat the ‫בשר קדשים‬, as this is
the only way for it to become eaten. Nonetheless, this is not
what the ‫ תורה‬was precisely commanding. However, the ‫הלוי‬
‫ בית‬explains, this is not true by ‫קרבן פסח‬. With regard to ‫פסח‬
‫קרבן‬, the ‫ בית הלוי‬writes, the ‫ תורה‬was commanding precisely
that a person should eat the ‫קרבן פסח‬, and not that the object
of the ‫ קרבן פסח‬should be eaten.
Based upon this fundamental distinction of the ‫הלוי‬
‫בית‬, we can understand why the ‫ רמבם‬listed the ‫מצות עשה‬
of ‫ אכילת קרבן פסח‬as a separate ‫ מצות עשה‬from the general ‫מצוה‬
to eat all other ‫בשר קדשים‬. The ‫ מצות עשה‬that ‫ קדשים‬must be
eaten includes those ‫ קרבנות‬where the precise ‫ מצוה‬is on the
object of the ‫ ;קרבן‬the fact that the commandment was that
the ‫ קרבן‬should be eaten, the eating is considered as another
component in the ‫ קרבן‬procedure and therefore it is not listed
as its own ‫מצוה‬. Thus, the ‫ מצוה‬of ‫ אכילת קרבן פסח‬could not be
included in it, as the precise ‫ מצוה‬of ‫ אכילת קרבן פסח‬is not
incumbent upon the object of the ‫קרבן פסח‬, but rather upon
the person who eats the ‫קרבן פסח‬6; It is not merely another
step in the ‫ קרבן‬process.
Coming back to our second question: if the ‫קרבן פסח‬
cannot be eaten after ‫חצות‬, why then don‟t the laws of ‫נותר‬
and ‫ פיגול‬take effect right after ‫ ?חצות‬The Brisker Rav
answers that there are two aspects to the ‫קרבן פסח‬. On the one
hand the ‫ קרבן פסח‬has its own set of specific laws that do not
exist by other ‫קרבנות‬. On the other hand, ‫קרבן פסח‬, is still
considered to be a part of the broader category called “‫”קדשים‬
and also is thereby governed by the general ‫ הלכות‬of ‫קדשים‬.
The fact that the ‫ קרבן פסח‬can only be eaten in a certain
timeframe, it can only be eaten by certain designated people,
it must be roasted – are all functions of the unique aspect of a
‫קרבן פסח‬, or as the Brisker Rav refers to it, the “ ‫דין בקיום מצות‬
‫עשה של אכילת הפסח‬.7”
This unique aspect of the ‫קרבן פסח‬, though, does not
teach us that there is a law of ‫ נותר‬or ‫ פיגול‬by ‫קרבן פסח‬. The
second aspect to the ‫קרבן פסח‬, the fact that it is part of the
general category of ‫קדשים‬, or as the Brisker Rav refers to it,
the “‫דין קרבן שבו‬,” teaches us that there is a law of ‫ נותר‬and
‫ פיגול‬by ‫ קרבן פסח‬as well. Furthermore, since the laws of ‫נותר‬
and ‫ פיגול‬for ‫ קרבן פסח‬are functions of the general category of
‫קדשים‬, the timeframe which triggers the status of ‫ נותר‬and
‫ פיגול‬is the same by other ‫(השחר עלות) קדשים‬.
The ‫ אור שמח‬takes this idea of the Brisker Rav even
further and claims that the aspect of the ‫קרבן פסח‬, as being
part of the general category of ‫קדשים‬, teaches us that one
must eat it as well (and not just have the laws of ‫ נותר‬and
‫ פיגול‬applied to it). Therefore, the ‫ אור שמח‬argues, if a person
would continue eating the ‫ קרבן פסח‬after ‫חצות‬, although he
would not fulfill his ‫ מצוה‬to eat the ‫קרבן פסח‬, he would fulfill
a ‫ מצות עשה‬of eating ‫בשר קדשים‬8. It is clear that although the
‫ קרבן פסח‬is different and has its own unique laws, nonetheless
it is still included in general category of ‫ ;קדשים‬for that
reason, it is governed by both the specific laws of the ‫קרבן‬
‫ פסח‬along with general laws of ‫קדשים‬.■
1. :‫גמ פסחים קכ‬
2. There is a Biblical prohibition to leave over meat or sacrificial
parts past their prescribed time. These meats and sacrificial
parts leftover are known as ‫נותר‬
(Continued on page 4)
‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
Chasidic Views on the Parsha:
Avi Moisa, 12th grade
The following famous story demonstrates the
tremendous sensitivity that gedolim have for Klal Yisroel, as well as for each other.
In Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, in
1946, the Holocaust was still a searing scar in the hearts
of the Jewish people. The Skulener Rebbe, Harav
Eliezer Zusha Portugal, zt"l (1896-1982), the Chassidic
Rebbe from a small town, Sculeni, in what was then
northeastern Romania (now Ukraine), found himself in
Bucharest after the war. With Pesach only three short
weeks away, his thoughts turned to celebrating the Yom
Tov of geulah in a manner that had not been possible for
more than six tragic years. Although some Passover
foodstuffs were provided by charitable organizations,
the Rebbe sought to obtain wheat that he could bake
into proper, traditionally baked shemurah matzah. Despite the oppressive economic situation of the Jews, he
was able to bake a limited number of such matzahs. As
the only Jew in Bucharest to have handmade shemurah
matzah, he sent word to other Chassidic Rebbes in the
region, offering each of them three matzahs. He was
elated to be able to supply three matzos, and profoundly
saddened that he was not able to do more.
One week before Pesach, Rabbi Moshe Hager,
the son of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, came for the matzahs
that had been offered to his father, Rabbi Boruch Hager,
zt”l. After being handed the allotted three matzahs, he
said to the Skulener Rebbe: "I know that you sent word
that you could give only three matzahs, but my father
told me to tell you that he must have six matzahs."
When Reb Moshe was adamant that his father would
accept no less than six matzos, the Skulener Rebbe felt
that he had no choice but to honor the request, albeit
On the day before Pesach, Rabbi Moshe returned
to the Skulener Rebbe, saying "I want to return three of
the matzahs to you."
"But I don't understand. I thought your father
absolutely had to have six matzahs."
"My father said to ask whether you had saved
any of the shemurah matzah for yourself?"
When the Skulener Rebbe hesitated to reply, his
gabbaim were very puzzled.
"What is going on?" they asked.
Reb Moshe responded, "My father knows the
Skulener Rebbe. He knows what a generous and selfless
man he is. He was sure that the Skulener Rebbe would
be so generous with his limited supply of shemurah
matza that there would probably be none left for his
own Seder. My father therefore asked for a second set,
which he is returning for the Skulener Rebbe's use."
When the gabbaim investigated, they found the
Vizhnitzer Rebbe to be correct. All the matzos in the
Skulener Rebbe's possession had indeed been given
away! Not one remained.
Have a good Shabbos and a wonderful Pesach. ■
(Avrumi Blisko- Continued from page 3)
3. ‫ויקרא פרשת ספרא‬, ‫ושלמים ה“ד ט זבחים „תוס ע"ע‬
4. If a person performing the ‫ עבודה‬intends during the ‫ עבודה‬that the sacrifice be consumed beyond the time allowed for it, the sacrifice
is completely invalidated. This invalidation is known as ‫פיגול‬. It literally means rejected.
5. „‫ז ק”ס ב „ס א“ח הלוי בית ת“שו‬
6. Two ‫ מינות נפקא‬for this ‫חקירה‬are: 1. Must a ‫ כזית‬be eaten? According to the ‫בית הלוי‬, the ‫ מצוה‬of ‫ אכילת קדשים‬is that the animal should
be eaten; therefore he claims that there need not be a ‫ כזית‬eaten in order to fulfill this ‫מצוה‬. However by ‫קרבן פסח‬, where there is a
special ‫ מצוה‬to eat the ‫קרבן‬, a ‫ כזית‬is necessary - like all other cases of ‫ מצוה אכילת‬2. Does eating the ‫ קרבן‬require ‫ ?כוונה‬If the ‫מצוה‬
of ‫ אכילת קדשים‬is only in order for the animal to be eaten so then no ‫ כוונה‬is necessary (even according to those who hold ‫כוונה צריכות‬
)‫)מצות‬. However, by ‫ קרבן פסח‬where there is a special ‫ מצוה‬to eat the ‫קרבן‬, he claims that a lack of ‫ כוונה‬would be ‫ מעכב‬if you assume
that ‫ (ד ק”ס נא „ס ג“ח הלוי בית ת“שו)מצות צריכות כוונה‬.
7. ‫חידושי הגרי“ז זבחים דף ט‬
8. ‫אור שמח הל„ חמץ ומצה פ“ו הל„ א‬
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev
ni A
CONNECTING ‫ קריאת ים סוף‬TO ‫יציאת מצרים‬
The following story has happened to me many
times. Before ‫פסח‬, I rush around trying to help out with the
sedarim, trying to learn what I can on the hagadda and hilchos ‫ פסח‬in addition to staying on top of everything else I
need to do. Finally, after the sedarim, I finally have some
time to myself, notice a copy of Dvarim Hayotzim lying
around the house and start reading it, only to notice that all
the articles pertain only to the first days of ‫פסח‬, which are
basically already over! With that in mind, I will speak about
the neis that happened on the seventh day of ‫פסח‬, the ‫קריאת‬
‫ים סוף‬.
The pasuk in B‟shalach starts off saying: ‫ויהי בשלח‬
‫פרעה את העם ולא נחם אלוקים דרך ארץ פלשתים כי קרוב הוא כי אמר‬
‫אלוקים פן ינחם העם בראותם מלחמה ושבו מצרימה‬.” When ‫פרעה‬
sent out the Jews, Hashem took us the long way, because if
he took us the short way, we would get scared and return to
Egypt. However, at the end of the day, the longer commute
of the desert lent itself to giving us more opportunities to
turn back. In fact, we know that the Jews failed ten tests in
the desert, showing that their longer trip didn‟t turn out so
Another question comes about later on in the story.
The ‫ מדרש‬seems to show an incredibly expedited maturation
of the Jews that occurred concurrently with the splitting of
the sea. There is a d‟rasha in the pasuk of “‫”והמים להם חמה‬
that choma, which is written in an incomplete fashion, can
be read as cheima, anger, signifying that the Jews weren‟t
really much more pious than the Egyptians chasing them, as
they were both pagan groups. However, as soon as they
started singing shira after the Egyptians drowned, ‫חז"ל‬
explain that even the lowliest maidservants of the Jews had
the prophetic clarity of the great prophet Yechezkel. It is
clear that this was a moment of unfathomable inspiration,
but didn‟t they have similar experiences seeing the plagues
in Egypt? Even the ‫חרטומי מצרים‬, the Egyptian sorcerers,
were able to recognize that the plagues were “the finger of
There is one more question that usually comes up in
the period between the sedarim and the seventh day of ‫פסח‬.
Why is the ‫ קריאת ים סוף‬seen as an extension of the miracles
in Egypt, when it seems to have more of a connection to the
miracles of the desert? After all, the Jews had already left
‫ מצרים‬at this time, and though the Egyptians are the ones
who got defeated, is it really so different than the
Amaleikim who were defeated a few weeks later? Why did
the redactors of the hagadda feel an imperative to include a
reference to the splitting of the sea in the hagadda?
R‟ Y‟honasan Eibushitz, in his Tifferes Y‟honasan
has an interesting idea that the sefer Mishkan Betzalel expands upon to answer out questions. There is a story that '‫ר‬
‫ עקיבא איגר‬once summoned a man who refused to
halachically divorced his wife. He told the man, “The ‫משנה‬
in ‫ קדושין‬says that there are two ways a woman can return to
her single status after marriage, either through a divorce or
through the death of the husband. You have the ability to
become a messenger of heaven by freeing your wife, but if
you don‟t, they will have to take this matter into their own
hands!” The man left in a huff, and just after he walked out
of the house, he had a heart attack and died. The veracity of
the story notwithstanding, the take home message we learn
is that very often, there are two methods of an event occurring from heaven, one of them with the help of a human
messenger and one without.
We can say similarly in the case of ‫יציאת מצרים‬. Our
‫ חז"ל‬tell us in ‫ לך לך‬that the shibbud ‫ מצרים‬was meant to
atone for Avraham‟s lack of emunah in Hashem at the ‫ברית‬
‫בין הבתרים‬, which would have been magnified in his
descendants. Now that the Jews saw the ‫מכות‬, they had the
ability to either see the whole episode as the handiwork of
God using ‫ פרעה‬as a messenger, or a course of events where
‫ פרעה‬was coerced into letting the Jews out. Unfortunately,
the Jews chose the latter approach, signified by the pasuk
we mentioned above, which says, “.‫ויהי בשלח פרעה את העם‬.”
Because the Jews incorrectly attributed their freedom to
‫‟פרעה‬s emancipation, Hashem took the other method of
freeing them by killing off the Egyptians. Now, the Jews
had no choice but to recognize Hashem‟s hand in everything
that had occurred and it is now that the Jews attained their
radical transformation.
This is why it was so important for the Jews to
travel the longer route in the desert. Yes, there were more
opportunities to return to Egypt. However, in the desert they
were totally dependent on God, with no human being able to
take responsibility for their survival. It was this mindset that
the Jews needed to take with them when forming the foundation of their belief in God. This is the reason why ‫קריאת ים‬
‫ סוף‬is such an integral part of the story of ‫יציאת מצרים‬, and a
mindset that we should take as the message of not only the
first days of ‫יום טוב‬, but the entire holiday of ‫פסח‬.
Have an incredible Shabbos, and a great Pesach! ■
‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
Like WE Left
By Jeremy Teichman, 10th Grade
The Mishna in Meseches Pesachim on Daf 116b
teaches us an essential principle that we are obligated to
follow during the Seder. The Mishna says,“In each and
every generation, a person is obligated to view himself
as if he is going out of Egypt, because the Torah commands us to tell over to our sons on this day saying „in
this fashion Hashem take me out of Egypt.‟” However,
in the Gemara on that Mishna, we have an additional
statement made by Rava saying that we are obligated to
say “‫ואותנו הוציא משם‬.”
that the reason Rava made the added statement in our
Gemara is because according to him, it is not enough to
just say that Hashem took me out of Egypt, but rather
you have to also mention the purpose, the tachlis as to
why we were taken out of Egypt altogether. And that
purpose is in order for Hashem to take us into land of
Eretz Yisrael, as stated in the Devarim Perek 6 Passuk
23. This means to say that along with telling over the
story of our exodus from Egypt and viewing yourself as
if I was taken out of Egypt, you also have to mention
and tell over the reason why Hashem took us out of
Rava‟s statement seems very controversial. Egypt, which was in order to give us the Torah, give us
What is his intention to add to what we said in our Israel, and allow us to build the Beis Hamikdash.
Mishna and why does he hold that it is not enough to
just say the passuk of ‫ ?והגדת לבנך‬We are in our Mishna
An alternative answer given within the Hagadah
that in this passuk we are supposed to mention “in this of the Malbim is as follows. By saying ‫ואותנו הוציא משם‬
fashion Hashem took us out of Egypt”, as if to say, that we also derive that also the generations following the
even myself was taken out of Egypt. Therefore, it is just exodus from Egypt are obligated to view themselves as
about the same thing as saying ‫ואותנו הוציא משם‬, and if if they are leaving Egypt. Likewise, this idea is proven
that is so, why does it matter if I say it over in a singular by the passuk “‫כי ישאלך בנך מחר לאמור‬.” Rashi explains
tense and say ‫לי‬, rather than a plural tense and say ‫ ?אותנו‬that the word ‫מחר‬, refers to future generations, implying
As a matter of fact, it should be the opposite, because in that future generations are obligated in imagining thema singular language it would be putting more of an em- selves leaving Egypt as well. While this is not so by the
phasis on the fact that each and every one of us were passuk of “‫והגדת לבנך‬,” for that passuk, you would say,
taken out of Egypt, thus making us perform the obliga- only applies to the generation that was experienced the
tion to view ourselves as if leaving Egypt. So what is exodus themselves.
the reasoning behind Rava‟s seemingly additional stateA third answer could also be given to this quesment in the Gemara?
tion. From the passuk of “‫והגדת לבנך‬,” you would deduce
HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg z”tl ad- that a person is required to view himself as if he is leavdresses this question in his sefer “Tzitz Eliezer” ( ‫ א סימן‬ing Egypt, but not that you need to mamesh view your)‫יז חלק‬. Rav Waldenberg cites what Rav Alfasi says on self leaving Egypt. The extra statement of ‫הוציא משם‬
the gemara there. Rav Alfasi records Rava‟s statement ‫ ואותנו‬mentioned by Rava helps us fulfill our
as follows: Rava says that you are required to say requirement of literally viewing ourselves as being re„‫ואותנו הוציא משם למען הביא אותנו לתת לנו‬.‟ In other deemed because it is saying that it wasn‟t just our anceswords, Rava is telling us that we are obligated to say the tors who were redeemed, but rather we were redeemed
second half of the passuk as well, which says that we as well.
were taking out of Egypt by Hashem in order to be
Have a great Shabbos, and an awesome Pesach! ■
brought to the land promised to our forefathers.
It appears to be according to the text of the ‫ריף‬
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev
(Stories of Greatness- Continued from page 20)
Worse than Pharoah?
By Dan Bamshad, 11th Grade
Who was worse than Pharaoh? There is one character we
know from the Torah who is singled out by the Hagadah as being
worse than Pharaoh! It is Lavan. The question is, how can Lavan be
worse than Pharaoh?
Lavan was Yaakov‟s uncle. Yaakov had fled to him when
his brother Esav wanted to kill him. Lavan promised Yaakov one of
his daughters as a bride, then tricked him to marrying his other
So he wasn't very nice, but worse than Pharaoh? According
to the Hagadah, yes. Pharaoh only wanted to destroy the males. Lavan wanted to, "uproot everything." You may ask, why don't we
have a holiday about him? And, wait a second! I looked in the Torah
and didn't see anywhere that Lavan tried to kill everybody! What's
going on here?
The answer may be hidden in their names. Pharaoh comes
from the Hebrew root that means "to uncover". Lavan in Hebrew
means, "white." Pharaoh's hate towards the Jews was clear. He enslaved them, he oppressed them, he had their male children thrown
into the river. We knew where we stood with Pharaoh.
But Lavan acted in a "white" manner. White is the color of
purity, of innocence. Lavan made sure that his public image was one
of a kind person, a fair person. He wished no harm to Yaakov and
his family, at least publicly. But, he hoped that the family of Israel
would come to trust him. Then he could slowly spiritually destroy
That is what it means when it says, "Lavan sought to uproot
everything." He sought to uproot faith, which is the root of everything. We don't have a holiday for this struggle, because it still goes
on. The Hagadah introduces this statement with the phrase, "go forth
and see." The spiritual threats to the Jewish people are as strong, if
not stronger, than ever. By celebrating Pesach, we repeat our Jewish
identity and strike a strong blow against those who would destroy us
in any way.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Pesach. ■
the opportunity to truly demonstrate his love
and loyalty to G-d. He had removed all leaven
from his possession, as G-d had commanded
him. Of course, he had fulfilled
many mitzvot in his lifetime, but never at such
a cost -- none as precious -- as this one!
The eight days of Passover passed for
Reb Kopel in a state of ecstatic joy. Then the
festival was over, and it was time to return to
the real world. With thoughtful steps he
headed to his warehouse to look through his
papers and try to devise some plan to start his
business anew. Clustered in the doorway he
found a group of extremely disappointed gentiles.
"Hey, Kopel!" one of them called, "I
though you were supposed to get rid of your
vodka. What's the point of announcing that it's
'free for the taking for all' if you put those
watchdogs there to guard it!"
They all began speaking at once, so it
took a while for Kopel to learn the details. For
the entire duration of the festival, night and
day round the clock, the barrels and casks on
the riverbank were ringed by a pack of ferocious dogs who allowed no one to approach.
Reb Kopel rode to the riverbank. There the
barrels stood, untouched.
But he made no move to load them on
his wagon. "If I take them back," he said to
himself, "how will I ever know that I had indeed fully and sincerely relinquished my ownership over them before Passover? How could
I ever be sure that I had truly fulfilled
the mitzvah of removing chametz from my
possession? No! I won't give up my mitzvah,
or even allow the slightest shadow of a doubt
to fall over it!"
One by one, he rolled the barrels down
the riverbank until they stood at the very brink
of the water. He pulled out the stops in their
spigots and waited until every last drop of
vodka and beer had merged with the river.
Only then did he head back home.
Backround: One of the central figures
in the history of Chassidism was the famed
" S e e r
o f
L u b l i n , "
Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Horowitz (1745-1815),
who presided over the spread of Chassidism in
Poland and Galicia; many of the great Chassidic masters of the time were his disciples. This
story, however, is not about the "Seer" but
about his maternal grandfather, Rabbi Kopel
of Likova; in fact, it happened many years before the Seer's birth. ■
‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
The Response to the ‫רשע‬
The Same Story Every Year
By Shmulie Reichman, 10th Grade
By Jonathan Pearlman, 11th Grade
The ‫ אלשיך‬gives a nice ‫ פשט‬on the
response to the ‫רשע‬. The response that we give to the ‫רשע‬
is ‫ואף אתה הקהה את שינו‬. The simple meaning of these
words is that you should knock out the teeth of the ‫רשע‬.
However, the ‫ אלשיך‬gives a different interpretation of
this phrase. He says that ‫ ואף אתה הקהה את שינו‬means
that one should try to remove the evil behavior from the
‫רשע‬, without destroying him physically or spiritually.
This means that we want to remove his evil ways without
destroying him as a person.
The ‫ אלשיך‬also give a ‫ רמז‬to this idea. The
‫ גמטריה‬of ‫ רשע‬is 570. The ‫ גמטריה‬of ‫ שינו‬is 366. 570366=204. The ‫ גמטריה‬of 204 in Hebrew is ‫צדיק‬. So when
it says ‫ואף אתה הקהה את שינו‬, it means that you should
remove his evil behavior in order that he should potentially be able to grow and become a ‫צדיק‬. Although we
are not ‫רשעים‬, this should serve as a lesson to all of us,
and hopefully, we should all be ‫ זוכה‬to remove many, if
not all, of our evil ways in order that we should be able
to grow and reach new levels of greatness.
Have a great Pesach!! ■
Every year, we all gather together with family, make the
house clean as a whistle, and slave in the kitchen for hours preparing for the yom tov of pesach. After all our preparations have
been done, we sit down to have a meal full of special prayers and
customs to celebrate the joyous holiday. We all know that at the
seder, we tell over the story of the Jewish people leaving Egypt.
And every year we say the same story over, with no variations
and no new prayers to say. Why every year do we repeat the
same story that people have asked almost every question thinkable of? We all know the story inside and out. Why every year do
we repeat a story that everybody already knows?
The Maharal answers this question by saying that the
mitzvah is not just to say over the story of the Jews leaving
Egypt, but that we must relive it. We all must come to the seder
with enthusiasm, relive the events that took place thousands of
years ago, and make them real around our table. If we say over
the story with lots of chizuk and meaning, our children will pass
on the story to their children and we will forever be living the
exodus from Egypt with our families every year.
The Yaivitz gives an additional answer to our question.
Judaism itself is based on thousands of people witnessing G-d
giving us the Torah. We do not believe that one person may have
a prophecy and then becomes a new god. The seder itself is the
epitome of our religion. We pass down our tradition from parent
to child explaining our story of redemption, just as G-d passed
down the torah to His children.
Have a wonderful Pesach! ■
(Yaakov Feldstein—Continued from page 1)
humbled by the remembrance of our history, we become naturally inclined against superiority and the maltreatment
of others. True, the other ‫ יומים טובים‬are to some extent related to our Exodus, but Pesach is the only one that zooms
in on that motif, as it is known as "‫"זמן חירותינו‬, the time of our freedom, as opposed to Shavuos, ‫ תורתינו""זמן מתן‬, the
time of the giving of the Torah, and Sukkos, "‫"זמן שמחתינו‬, the time of our rejoicing. Thus it is imperative that
specifically on this ‫ חג‬, when we reminisce about the miracle of our redemption from Egyptian bondage, that we
remember the poor and unfortunate among us.
There is a possible hint to the ‫ חיוב‬of tending the poor better than the way we treat ourselves, in ‫שמות פרק י"ג‬
'‫ז‬-'‫פסוקים ו‬. The ‫ פסוק‬says, ".... ‫ מצות יאכל את שבעת הימים‬.'‫“ – "שבעת ימים תאכל מצת וביום חשביעי חג לה‬For a seven-day
period shall you eat matzos, and on the seventh day there shall be a festival to Hashem. Maztos shall be eaten
throughout the seven-day period; ….” In the first ‫פסוק‬, written as a direct commandment for us to eat matzos, the
word is "‫"מצת‬, written lacking a "‫"ו‬, implying that when involving ourselves in our food, our sustenance, we can
conserve. In the second ‫פסוק‬, on the other hand, when just stating a relative and generic command (implying that it is
not referring to our eating, rather the eating of others), the word is written "‫"מצות‬, with a "‫"ו‬, indicating that when we
are concerned about the welfare of others, we do not conserve. We see clearly from the ‫ פסוקים‬that there is a bigger
emphasis to be concerned about ‫ עניים‬than on the concern for ourselves.
Have an awesome and inspiring Pesach! ■
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev
‫מאוצרות הרב‬
From the treasures of the Rav
The mitzvah of Sippur
Yetzias Mitzrayim includes the
re-telling of the story of the exodus as well as the obligation to
learn the Halachos of Pesach. The Hagaos
Maymaniyos (end of Hilchos Chametz and
Matzah) says there is an obligation to learn the laws of Pesach
all night based on the Tosefta (Pesachim 10:8) that states that
Rabban Gamliel and the Chachamim that were in the house of
Bytis Ben Zunin and discussed the Halachos of Pesach all night.
(This is a variation of the story of Rabbi Eleazr and the other
Tanaim that spent the entire night discussing Sippur Yetzias
Mitzrayim.) The Vilna Gaon derives this obligation to learn the
Halachos of Pesach from the answer given to the Ben Chacham,
(which according to the Gaon was) we must teach him all the
Halachos of Pesach, UNTIL (Ad) Ayn Maftirin Achar Hapesach
receipt of the Torah on Har Sinai, was the ultimate goal of the
exodus. (The Chinuch says that
Sephira is intended to connect
Pesach and Shavuos, as the exodus was the
medium for Kabbalas Hatorah that was the
desired end. Shavuos is called Atzeres because it is the conclusion of the holiday of Pesach.)
The 4 Sons
The Parsha in Vaeschanan describes the answer given to the
Ben Chacham who asks what are the Aydos Chukim and Mishpatim that Hashem has commanded us: that we were slaves to
Paroh in Egypt (the Sippur aspect) and then that Hashem commanded us to perform all the Mitzvos (learning the Halachos) of
Pesach. The Rav noted that the Baal Haggadah only mentions
the second part of the answer given to the Chacham, that of
learning the Halachos of Pesach. Why don't we tell him the
complete response to his question as described in Vaeschanan?
The Rav explained that in Vaeschanan, there is only one child
being discussed, the Ben Chacham. The Torah gives him the
complete answer to his question, that of the story of the exodus
and the obligation to teach him all the laws we were given.
However at the Seder, all 4 sons are represented and must be
told the story of the exodus.
As mentioned above, Avadim Hayinu, the story of the exodus, is how the Torah begins the answer to the Ben Chacham. It
immediately follows the Mah Nishtanah. Who asks the Mah
Nishtanah at the Seder? The 4 questions are complex and beyond the capabilities of either the simple son (Tam) or the son
who is incapable of asking intelligent questions. The Rasha
scorns the entire process. It must be the Ben Chacham who asks
these questions at the Seder. We answer him initially with the
Avadim Hayinu as mentioned in the Torah, we quickly tell him
that we will complete the rest of the story of the exodus when
we involve the other 3 sons. We immediately involve the Ben
Chacham by giving him a halachic answer, and discussing some
of the Halachos of Pesach that apply to this night. "Had not
Hashem taken our forefathers out of Egypt we and succeeding
generations would have remained as slaves to Paroh in Egypt":
this is the Halacha of Bchal Dor Vdor Chayav Adam Liros Es
Atzmo K'ilu Hu Yatza Mi'Mitrayim, in each generation we must
see ourselves as if we personally were redeemed from Egypt.
We then say that as far as the Mitzvah of Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim is concerned, the more the merrier: this is the Halacha of
no upper limit for Divrei Torah. Next we read the Berysa that
shows that all are obligated in the Mitzvah of Sippur Yetzias
Mitzrayim no matter how learned one might be. Next, we talk
about the Halacha of Zechiras Yetzias Mitzrayim and discuss
when it applies.
The Baal Haggadah, in the response given to the Ben
The section of the 4 sons describes the Halacha that we
Chacham, wants to single out the uniqueness of the Ben
must relate and teach the Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim according to
Chacham by noting that in addition to the Mitzvas Sippur, he is
the sophistication of each child. The Chacham is to be taught
the one who is taught the Halachos of Pesach.
differently than the Tam and so on. The "4 sons" also instructs
In reality there are 3 Mitzvos involved in Sippur us that we can not dismiss any of these children from the Mitzvah of Sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim. We can't say that the child is
Yetzias Mitzrayim: 1) telling the story (Sippur);
either not interested or not smart enough to appreciate and there2) Singing praise to Hashem for taking us out of fore neglect that child. The Torah charged us with teaching 4
(Hallel V'Shevach) based on Hashir types of children, each according to his capabilities, even if it
Hazeh Yihyeh Lachem Klayl Hiskadesh Chag; 3) takes all night to get it across.
learning the Halachos of Pesach.
Have a good Yom Tov! ■
The third is the most important as the concept
of Vayetzavainu Hashem Laasos Es Kal HaWeekly D'vrei Torah on the Parsha
chukim Hayleh, the
from the Shiurim of HaRav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik
‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
Two Jews, One K‟zayis of Matzah
Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz
I. Introduction. Halachic discussions tend to be interesting for
one of two reasons. First, the nature of halachic discourse
lends itself to questions that directly affect behavior. When
dealing in the world of the practical, immediate relevance
piques our interest. Second, but no less significantly, there
are halachic discussions about situations that are unlikely to
occur with any degree of regularity, but are interesting in the
moral dilemma and/or intellectual challenge that they may
present. The nature of the question we will discuss in this
essay fits squarely in the second category, as current social
conditions would preclude the likelihood of our dilemma
The Sharei Teshuva (Orach Chaim 482:1) discusses a
case of two people who are in a desert or in a jail cell on
Pesach and have only one k‟zayis of matzah to share between
them. The mitzvah of eating matzah on Pesach entails eating
a full k‟zayis. Splitting the matzah between the two of them
would mean that neither fulfills the mitzvah properly. In this
essay, we will explore the various options that people in this
predicament would have. Should they split the matzah because that is the only equitable way to deal with the situation? Should each of them try to secure the matzah for himself? Should one of the people volunteer to give the matzah
to the other? Is one even permitted to give his share of the
matzah if that necessarily means that in so doing he is passing up on a biblical commandment?
It is difficult to discuss this question without relating
to the dispute recorded in Baba Metzia (62a) revolving
around two people walking in a desert with only enough water for one of them to survive. Ben Petura thought it is best to
split the water because it is better for both to die than for either person to witness the death of his friend. Rabi Akiva
argued that there is a biblical requirement to allow your
friend to live “with you”, clearly implying that your own life
takes precedence over that of your friend. It would seem that
our issue may relate to whether we would apply the principle
used in regard to one‟s physical well being to one‟s spiritual
well being. Would Rabi Akiva say that one should worry
about his own spiritual well being before that of his friend?
In this essay we will explore numerous sources that deal with
balancing one‟s own performance of mitzvos with the aid he
would provide others to perform mitzvos.
II. Considering the Issues. In order to arrive at a halachic conclusion we must first consider numerous issues. First, it is
important to determine if there is any halachic value in consuming less than the prescribed amount of matzah. Even if
we determine that there is value we would need to discuss
whether having two people gain this limited value would
outweigh the value of having a single person do the mitzvah
properly at the expense of the other. If we were to determine
that one of them should eat the entire k‟zayis we would then
need to determine how to make the decision as to who should
eat the matzah. If the matzah belongs to one of them it would
seem that he would have the right to eat it, but what if the
matzah is ownerless? Should the more righteous of the two
eat it? Should they fight for it?
A. Is there any value in eating less than a k‟zayis of matzah?
Whereas when it comes to the violation of negative commandments the gemara (Yoma 83b, Chullin 98a) clearly
rules that violation in an amount smaller than the minimum shiur would still be biblically prohibited, there is
no such rabbinic statement relating to eating less than the
prescribed amount for a positive mitzvah. The acharonim
debate whether a parallel rule does indeed exist in relation to positive commandments. The Mishnah L‟Melech
(Hilchos Chameit u‟Matzah 1:7) and Shevus Yakov
(II:18) assume that there is absolutely no value ineating
less than a k‟zayis of matzah. The Avnei Nezer (Orach
Chaim:383), however quotes acharonim who blieve that
there is a partial fulfillment of a mitzvah when one consumes less than a k‟zayis (though one would not be able
to recite the beracha of “al achilas matzah” because less
than a k‟zayis does not qualify as “achila”).
1. Proofs. Rabbi Asher Weiss (Hagadah shel Pesach
Minchas Asher, Chelek Hashu”t #12) suggests a variety
of proofs to each opinion. What follows is a sampling
of sources that may prove whether there is any value in
eating less than a k‟zayis of matzah.
a. The Mishnah (Shabbos 137b) states that one who
does milah without doing periah has not accomplished anything. Similarly, one who can only blow
the tekiah sound from a shofar but is unable to blow a
teruah sound should not blow shofar at all. Both of
these halachos seem to indicate that half a mitzvah is
no mitzvah at all. Similarly, eating a half k‟zayis of
matzah is the equivalent of eating no matzah at all.
i. Rav Weiss rejects this proof on the grounds that
there is an important distinction between half a
shiur and half an issur. In both of the above described cases, the person did not do all of the actions that make up the mitzvah. When, however,
one eats a half k‟zayis, he has done the entire action
that entails the mitzvah but only on half the necessary volume. The proper equivalent of one the case
of the bris and the tekiah would be one who puts a
k‟zayis of matzah in his mouth, chews it, but does
not swallow it. Such a half mitzvah would obviously be worthless.
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev
b. The Maharil Diskin (Teshuva 4) proves that eating
half a k‟zayis of matzah has no value from the halacha that we don‟t begin training a child in the mitzvah of matzah until he can eat the full k‟zayis. Apparently training him to eat a half k‟zayis has no
value whatsoever because even as an adult eating
such a small amount is not even a partial mitzvah.
i. Rav Weiss rejects this proof as well by pointing to
the unique nature of the mitzvah of chinuch. The
gemara (Arachin 2b) states that a child who
knows how to shake the lulav should be trained
in the mitzvah of lulav, a child who knows how
to protect his tefillin should be trained in the
mitzvah of tefillin and a child who knows how
to wrap himself in a talis should be trained in the
mitzvah of tzitzis. The Brisker Rav (chiddushim
to Arachin) points out that none of the described
activities are critical to the performance of the
mitzvah. One fulfills the mitzvah of daled
minim by merely lifting the lulav, even without
waiving the lulav (Sukkah 42a). One who wears
tefillin, even without protecting them properly
has fulfilled the mitzvah. One who wears a tallis, even without any special wrapping, has fulfilled the mitzvah of tzitzis. Evidently, argues
the Brisker Rav, the mitzvah of chinuch does
not begin when a child is old enough to perform
the mitzvah in a minimal way, but only when
the child is old enough to do the mitzvah in the
best way possible. Similarly, even if there is
some value in eating a half k‟zayis of matzah
the mitzvah of chinuch would only begin when a
child is old enough to eat the entire k‟zayis as
the mitzvah is supposed to be performed.
c. The gemara (Yoma 39a) reports that during the forty
years of Shimon Hatzadik‟s reign as the kohen gadol,
the lechem hapanim benefited from great blessings.
Any kohein who would receive a k‟zayis of the
lechem hapanim would be fully satiated. After
Shimon Hatzadik‟s death the beracha ceased and people would receive only a tiny amount of bread from
the lechem hapanim (less than a k‟zayis). When this
began to occur with regularity, the modest kohannim
would decline their portions in the lechem hapanim.
The Ritva (ad loc.) explains that these modes kohanim saw no value in eating less than a k‟zayis of
lechem hapanim since the mitzvah required that a
k‟zayis be eaten. The Tosafos Yeshanim (ad loc.),
however, writes that they declined their portions because eating less than a k‟zayis does not entail “the
complete mitzvah”. The implication of Tosafos Ye-
shanim is that there is some value in even less than a
k‟zayis of a mitzvah. Perhaps, whether one gains anything by eating less than a k‟zayis of matzah is subject to the dispute between the Ritva and Tosafos Yeshanim.
i. Rav Weiss points out, however, that the comparison
between lechem hapanim and matzah may not be
completely accurate. Whereas the mitzvah of eating matzah consists exclusively of each individual
consuming a k‟zayis of matzah, the mitzvah of
eating the lechem hapanim involves an additional
obligation to ensure that all of the lechem hapanim
is consumed. Perhaps the partial mitzvah in eating
a very small amount of the lechem hapanim that
the Tosafos Yeshanim refers to is not the mitvah
of eating lechem hapanim (which would require a
k‟zayis), but the mitzvah of making sure that the
bread becomes consumed (which has no given
shiur). [The Beis Halevi uses a similar idea to explain an unusual gemara.The gemara in Nazir 23a
states that although achilas gassah is generally not
considered to be eating (as stated in Yoma 80b),
when one eats his korban pesach as an achilas gassah he has done a partial mitzvah. The Beis Halevi
(III:52:3) explains that normally the mitzvah of
eating korbanos does not entail an obligation on
the individual to eat, but an obligation to ensure
that the korban gets eaten. The korban pesach in
unique in that there is a dual obligation – for the
individual to eat and for the korban to get eaten.
When one eats the korban as an achilah gassah he
has not fulfilled his obligation to eat, but has fulfilled the requirement to make sure the korban gets
eaten. (see Tosafos in Nazir for a different explanation)]
2. The issue of whether there is any value in eating less
than a k‟zayis of matzah (or any mitzvah of eating)
may depend on how we understand the prohibition of
eating less than a k‟zayis of a prohibited food (chatzi
shiur assur min hatorah – Yoma 83b, Chullin 98a). The
gemara (Yoma 74a) explains the reason that it is prohibited to eat less than a k‟zayis is that it is “chazi
l‟itztarufi” (can be combined with more to make up the
complete amount). There are three possible ways to
understand this concept, each has an impact on
whether we would assume there is value in eating less
than a k‟zayis of matzah:
a. The Tzlach (Pesachim 47a and in Noda B‟Yehuda
Tinyana Orach Chaim #53) understands that the
problem with eating less than a k‟zayis of a prohibited food is that one may easily eat a little bit more
(Continued on page 12)
‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
(Halacha Corner—Continued from page 11)
‫צא ולמד‬
In ‫ צא ולמד‬we discuss how much worse ‫ לבן‬was
than ‫ פרעה‬- ‫ לבן‬wanted to kill ‫יעקב‬, and thereby killing all
of ‫בני ישראל‬, whereas ‫ פרעה‬only made a decree against the
males. To illustrate this point we state that ‫ בני ישראל‬were a
“‫גוי גדול אצום ורב‬.” We then proceed to explain each word/
phrase or say their source. “‫ ”גוי‬means they were “‫“מצוינים‬
successful, “‫ ”גדול אצום‬is from the ‫ “ובני ישראל פרו‬:‫פסוק‬
”,)‫ שמות א‬:‫וישרצו… (ז‬, and ‫ ורב‬is from the ‫ “רבבה כצמח‬:‫פסוק‬
”.)‫יז יחזקאל‬:‫השדה נתתיך … (ז‬. Then, according to the ‫ארי‬
‫הקדוש‬, we go back and say the previous ‫ פסוק‬in ,‫יחזקאל‬
‫“ואעבר עליך ואראך מתבוססת בדמיך ואמר לך בדמיך חיי ואמר לך‬
‫ ”בדמיך חיי‬- an obvious question can be asked on this:
What is this ‫ פסוק‬doing here? It has nothing to do
with what we are discussing!
To answer this there are two fundamental questions we have to ask:
1) Why were ‫ בני ישראל‬taken out of ‫ ?מצרים‬You could
say it‟s because they kept their names, clothes, and language, but they were on the 49th level of ‫ טומאה‬and that‟s
not really enough to make „‫ ה‬change his mind and help
them escape captivity from the strongest world power at
that point in history. There must have been some mitzvah
that they were doing that „‫ ה‬decided would save them.
2) What exactly is going on in the ‫ ?פסוק‬The ‫מפרשים‬
explain that the blood that is being referred to in the ‫ פסוק‬is
the blood of the ‫מילה‬, which is supported by a ‫ פסוק‬in ‫יהושע‬
which says “)‫ ה‬:‫כי מלים היו (ה‬.” This helps explain what the
‫ פסוק‬in ‫ יחזקאל‬as well as the reason why ‫ בני ישראל‬were
saved from ‫ בני ישראל ;מצרים‬were suffering in ‫מצרים‬, then
„‫ ה‬looked for a reason why he should save them, and
when he saw that they were still doing the ‫ מילה‬he
decided to take them out.
Knowing this we can understand why the ‫ פסוק‬is there.
‫ בני ישראל‬were becoming part of Egyptian society; they
were successful, growing in population, and expanding. „‫ה‬
realized exactly this and wondered “what‟s going to happen to ‫ ?בני ישראל‬They‟re sinking lower and lower into
Egyptian society! If I can‟t find some merit for them to be
freed they‟ll be stuck in ‫ מצרים‬forever!” At that point ‟‫ה‬
passed over them and saw the ‫ מילה‬and said “ ‫ואמר לך בדמיך‬
”‫חיי ואמר לך בדמיך חיי‬.” “Because you are still doing ‫מילה‬
you will be saved from ‫מצרים‬.“
Have a Chag Koshur Vi‟Sameach!
(Heard from Rav Loike Shlita of West Hempstead Night
Seder) ■
and violate the prohibition. The gemara employs a
separate source to teach the prohibition of eating a
tiny amount of chameitz and does not rely on the
general rule that a chazi shiur is prohibited because
had we relied on the general rule of chatzi shiur, if
one were to commence eating chameitz at the very
end of Pesach, not leaving himself enough time to
finish eating a full k‟zayis before Pesach ends, he
would be exempt. Only once we have a separate
source to teach that even the smallest amount of
chameitz is prohibited, do we know that such last
minute eating would be prohibited. The clear assumption of the Tzlach is that eating a chatzi shiur is
only prohibited in as much as it can lead you to eat
the full shiur. There is no inherent problem with a
chatzi shiur. Applying this logic to mitzvos it would
seem that just as there is no inherent problem with
eating less than the shiur of a prohibition, there is no
inherent value in eating less than a shiur of a mitzvah.
b. The Yad Shaul (Hilchos Shvuos 234) cites the Rashba
to be in disagreement with the understanding of the
Tzlach. In the Rashba‟s view it is illogical for the
entire prohibition to only begin in the last drop that
completes the k‟zayis. It must be that the characteristics of prohibition are there all along, but the prohibition is only strong enough to receive a punishment for it when the amount reaches a full k‟zayis.
In the Rashba‟s view eating a small amount of a
prohibited item is a partial prohibition. Similarly,
one can surmise, eating a small amount of matzah
(or any other mitzvah of eating) would be considered a partial mitzvah.
B. Even if there is value in eating a chatzi shiur, is it better for
both people to eat the smaller amount of for one to eath
the full amount? Even if we assume that there is some
value in eating a half k‟zayis of matzah, we have still not
solved our dilemma. Perhaps eating half a k‟zayis is valuable, but the value of having one person eat a full k‟zayis
outweighs the limited value of having two people eat a
half k‟zayis each. The Ran (Yoma 83) discusses the case
of a dangerously ill patient who needs to eat meat on shabbos in order to live, only there is no slaughtered kosher
meat available. The options are to either feed him non kosher meat or to slaughter an animal on shabbos in order to
feed him kosher meat. The Ran suggests that although the
prohibition of slaughtering on shabbos is far greater than
the prohibition of eating non-kosher food, there may be
reason to argue that it is best to slaughter the animal: If the
man were to eat the non-kosher meat, he would violate a
separate prohibition with each k‟zayis that he consumes.
If, however, we were to slaughter the animal, it would involve only the one time prohibition of slaughtering the
animal. As such, the Ran suggests that if the patient will
need to eat a lot of meat it is best for him to have an ani(Continued on page 13)
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev
(Halacha Corner—Continued from page 12)
mal slaughtered instead of eating non-kosher meat. The
obvious implication of the Ran is that a greater quantity
of a lesser prohibition can outweigh a smaller quantity of
a greater prohibition. If one were to apply the same logic
to mitzvos, we might conclude that a greater quantity of
smaller mitzvos would be more valuable than a lesser
quantity of greater mitzvos. Perhaps one may then argue
that having two people eat less than a k‟zayis is better
than to have a single person eat a full k‟zayis.
1. Upon further analysis, however, it becomes clear that
the Ran‟s comment does not help us resolve our issue.
Even if multiple lesser mitzvos would outweigh one
larger mitzvah, it may be argued that this would only
apply to complete smaller mitzvos. All would agree
that even a single complete mitzvah would outweigh
multiple partial mitzvos. Eating a half k‟zayis of matzah is not a smaller mitzvah, but a partial mitzvah. It
would therefore seem clear that the best approach is to
have one person eat the entire k‟zayis, rather than splitting it amongst the two people.
C. Is one permitted (or obligated) to give up his half zayis to
allow his friend to eat the full zayis? If we were to assume
that there is absolutely no value in eating a half k‟zayis of
matzah, there is no doubt that one is permitted to give his
half k‟zayis away in order to enable somebody else to fulfill the mitzvah with a full k‟zayis. If, however, we assume
that eating a half k‟zayis is halachically meaningful the
question becomes whether one can pass up on a halachically valuable action in order to enable somebody else to
do a mitzvah.
1. A possible precedent to provide us with direction may be
found in the Mishnah Berurah (671:6) who rules that if
one has enough oil to light the most mehudar amount of
candles throughout Chanukah, but his friend has no oil at
all, it is best to sacrifice one‟s own hiddur in order to
provide his friend with the ability to do the mitzvah. Our
case, however, differs in a very fundamental way. By
Ner Chanukah, at the end of the day both people will
have fulfilled the mitzvah and the first person will have
only sacrificed a hiddur. In our case, the man who gives
up the k‟zayis of matzah is left with nothing at all.
2. Perhaps another possible source to clarify our issue is
the discussion amongst the Rishonim relating to a seeming contradiction between two passages in the Gemara.
On the one hand, the Gemara (Shabbos 4a) states that if
a person disobeyed the halacha and attached his dough
to the walls of the oven on shabbos, another person is
not obligated to remove the bread from the walls (in
violation of a rabbinic prohibition) in order to save the
original sinner from violating baking on shabbos. The
reason we do not allow anybody to remove the dough is
that we would never ask a person to violate a smaller
prohibition in order to save another person from a more
major prohibition. On the other hand the gemara
(Eruvin 32b) rules that if one furnished an am ha‟aretz
with untithed produce, he may tithe the produce from
other produce that is not near the original produce, in
violation of the rabbinic prohibition of tithing “shelo
min hamukaf” (from produce that is not adjacent to the
untithed produce). The gemara explains that we prefer
the educated Jew violate the lesser prohibition (of separating “shelo min hamukaf”) rather than allow the am
ha‟aretz to violate a greater prohibition (eating untithed
produce). The two passages seem to blatantly contradict
each other. Should one sacrifice his own spiritual well
being in the interest of helping to enhance his friend‟s
spiritual well being? How we resolve this contradiction
may be instructive for our case of personal sacrifice of a
mitzvah in order to enable somebody else to do a mitzvah.
a. Tosafos (Shabbos 4a) initially resolves the contradiction by suggesting that one would only sacrifice his
own religious obligations in order to help another
person when he is responsible for his friend‟s possible pitfall (as in the case of furnishing one‟s friend
with untithed produce). When one is not at fault for
his friend‟s problem (as in the case of the dough in
the oven) there is no reason for one to violate any
prohibition to save his friend. It would seem that if
we were to accept this answer, in our case one
should not sacrifice his own partial mitzvah of eating
a half k‟zayis in order to aid his friend in the mitzvah
of eating a full k‟zayis because neither person is responsible for his friend‟s situation.
b. Tosafos further resolves the contradiction by distinguishing between a case where one is saving his
friend from violating a prohibition that he had
brought upon himself with his own negligence (like
the case in Shabbos where the person has only himself to blame for putting the dough on the wall), and
a case where one is saving his friend from a prohibition that the friend did not bring upon himself (like
in the case of the untithed produce). It would seem
that if we were to accept this answer one should sacrifice his own half k‟zayis of matzah in order to enable his friend to eat a full k‟zayis because the
friend‟s failure to eat a full k‟zayis was not brought
on by his own negligence.
c. The Ritva suggests that the distinction may lie in the
relative severity of the prohibition. When the friend
will only be obligated a korban (as in the case of the
dough in the oven) there is no need to violate a prohibition to save the friend. When, however, the
friend is in danger of a violation that deserves the
death penalty (such as eating untithed produce) it is
worth violating a smaller prohibition to save him. It
would seem that if accept this answer, one should
not give up his half k‟zayis as he is not saving his
friend from a violation that carries a serious penalty.
d. The Ritva further answers that one would never be
obligated to violate a prohibition in order to save his
(Continued on page 18)
‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
Achdut—The Theme
of the Seder
By Benjamin Watman, 10th Grade
"‫דינו‬............................... ‫ ולא נתן את התורה‬,‫"אלו קרבנו לפני הר סיני‬
“Had He brought us to Mount Sinai, and not given us the
Torah, It would have been enough—Dayyenu”
Rav Eliyahu Kitov asks: What good would it have done us
to simply be at ‫ הר סיני‬if we had not been given the Torah? The
answer given by many is that our mere being there was like the giving of the Torah. How does this answer make any sense?
There is a story told of a convert who asked Hillel
Hazakein to teach him the whole Torah “standing on one leg.” Hillel‟s answer was, “Don‟t do to others that you would not do to yourself. This is the entire Torah. The rest is commentary. Now go and
learn!” Similarly, Rabbi Akiva said “Love your neighbor like you
love yourself- this is a guiding principle of the torah!”
The Chachamim teach us that the Jewish people who left
Egypt actually achieved this feeling for one another as soon as they
came to the foot of ‫הר סיני‬, and set up camp, even before they
received the Torah. Describing their progress, the Torah keeps saying the word “they”:“...‫ ַּב ִמדְבָּר‬,‫ וַיַחֲנּו‬,‫ וַיָּבֹאּו ִמדְבַּר סִינַּי‬,‫”וַיִּסְעּו ֵמ ְרפִידִים‬.
“And when they were departed from Rephidim, and they
came to the wilderness of Sinai, they encamped in the wilderness;”
However; at the end of the pasuk it says “and there Israel
encamped before the mount.” Suddenly, the Torah speaks in the
singular phrase. The Chachamim teach us that all the Jews had become “as one man, with one heart.” As soon as one‟s heart is full of
love and concern for one‟s fellow neighbor, and for the world at
large, the heart itself becomes the source of Torah. It is an overflowing spring of Torah, and it teaches the person the Ten Commandments, and from these he arrives at the Torah – all 613 mitzvos and
everything that the Rabbis taught, for everything is based on the
same principle.
Similarly, at the beginning of the Haggadah we have
“Karpas” which literally means silk. This is a remembrance to Yosef‟s coat. The act that began the descent in to Egypt was the selling
of Yosef and the tearing of his silk coat. The brothers did not have a
feeling of “as one man, with one heart,” thus leading the Jewish
nation down to Egypt. Also in Vihi She'umda it states:
“… for our fathers and for us, because not just one rose up
against us to detroy us. Rather, in every generation they
Rise up against us to destroy us, but the Holy One, blessed
is He, saves us from their hand”
We can learn form this that the only way we can overthrow
our enemies and reach the highest levels of spiritually is through the
development of the feeling of “as one man, with one heart.” Thus, it
would have been enough if God had brought us to ‫הר סיני‬.
Have a Good Shabbos and Yom Tov! ■
Shaking Off Our Charoset
By Jesse Steinmetz, 10th Grade
We know that charoset is meant to remind us of
the maror which we used to make bricks all throughout
our time as slaves in mitzrayim. We eat it to remind us of
our avdus to Pharaoh and of the hardships and suffering
we experienced through this maror. If this is so, why do
we dip maror, which we eat specifically to remind us of
the toil and bitterness of the slavery, into charoset, which
also seemingly has the goal of reminding us of our slavery, in order to neutralize the extra bitterness of the maror? How is the charoset accomplishing its purpose, reminding us of the pain of avdus, by dulling the bitterness
of another item aimed at reminding us of our shibud?
We know that at the time of yetziat mitzrayim,
four fifths of Bnei Yisroel did not leave with Moshe and
co. They had “gotten used” to slavery, convincing themselves that things weren‟t so bad in mitzrayim, they had a
good secure life, and there was no reason to leave. In a
sense, they were neutralizing the bitterness of the slavery
with their crazy rationalizations. They were institutionalized, afraid of change and unwilling to trust Moshe and
follow him to freedom, convinced that they were better
off where they were. It is for this reason that we eat charoset, to remind ourselves of the strength of the slavery,
that so many of our brothers were unable to leave the
“maror” of mitzrayim because they thought to themselves,
this isn‟t so bitter, we can handle this. This skewed rationalization was their charoset in a sense.
It is for this reason that when we eat maror, we
shake off the charoset, as a tribute to our ancestors who
“shook off” this way of thinking and followed Moshe to
freedom and kabalas hatorah. We know that there were
six hundred thousand Jews who left mitzrayim, “shishim
ribo”. What are you left with when you take the
“samech”, representing the “shishim ribo”, out of charoset? You are left with cheirus. Charoset is meant to
mask the extra bitterness, which is the exact opposite of
what we are trying to do on seder night, we must relive
the bitterness in order to appreciate the great miracle that
Hashem did for us by taking us away from that slavery.
May we all be zoche to live in Yerushalayim and shake
off all of our charoset together next year in the Beis
Have a good Shabbos and a Chag Kosher
V'sameach! ■
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev
he Glor
Of ‘
By Elisha Ishaal, 11th Grade
In the Hagadah, we say Rabbi Yehudah made an acronym of the 10 plagues: DTZA”CH ADA”SH BE-ACHA”V.
What is the purpose of this acronym (since the ten plagues are
generally known by many people)? Rabbi Yosef Chaim zt‟l
says in Od Yosef Chai (Parshat Yitro) that this is similar to
how Yisro viewed the 10 plagues. It says in Parshas Yisro that
Yisro heard of all that Hashem has done for us (Shemos 18:1).
Now there was a difference between how Yisro heard all the
miracles, and how the rest of the world heard them, because
for some reason the Torah singled out Yisro from everybody
else. The difference was that Yisro saw all the miracles as one
great piece of artwork by Hashem and not just a whole bunch
of cool miracles that any magician could muster. As the holy
Alshich writes, after the plague of the wild beasts some domestic animals were dead, but others were allowed to survive
so that they may endure the next plague of pestilence. Even
after that plague, some animals survived so that Pharaoh
would have what to chase the Jews with as we were leaving
Mitzrayim. Many people foolishly believed that for each of the
plagues, we had an impressive G-d who could do many great
things but was stopped by the deities of Egypt, and that is why
those animals survived. But Yisro looked at the whole series
of events and realized that, on the contrary, Hashem was carefully punishing the Egyptians in steps and He indeed is the
sole Master of the world. Similarly, Rabbi Yehuda put the
plagues in an acronym so that we may look at all the plague as
one series of events and as one masterpiece created by
Hashem. This teaches an impressive lesson which gives us the
ideas about many things in life which seem incomprehensible.
Rabbi Yochanan quotes R‟ Yosse on Berachos 7a,
that Moshe Rabbeinu requested three things from Hashem.
One of which was to know His glory (in His ways) (Shemos
33:18) meaning why some good people have an easy time
while others suffer and why some bad people have an easy
time while others suffer. One opinion as to Hashem‟s answer
is that Hashem does whatever He wishes and need not explain
Himself, rather Hashem would merely show Moshe Rabbeinu
His back (Shemos 33:23). My rebbi, Rabbi Erlbaum quoted
Rav Soloveitchik to explain this to mean that Hashem could
not show Moshe His front because Moshe Rabbeinu would
just see a tiny magnified portion of the full picture and would
not understand what he sees. Rather, Hashem would show His
back, meaning after the whole story has played out and all the
events have happened would Moshe Rabbeinu be able to understand why Hashem does whatever He does. How much
more so we, who are not at Moshe Rabbeinu‟s level, would
not be able to understand Hashem‟s true greatness in running
the world.
Furthermore, Rabbi Yosef Chaim (in Ben Ish Chai
section 1, 332) gives a parable as follows: there was once a
sparrow who boasted to a bat that he is as majestic a bird as
the eagle nearby. The bat mocked the sparrow who was nowhere nearly as large as the eagle. But when a gust of wind
blew the eagle took off and the sparrow followed. The bat who
was nearly blind could not see the sparrow could not reach the
same heights as the eagle and so falsely assumed that the sparrow was indeed powerful. So too, the joys of the wicked are
only temporary whereas the pleasures of the righteous are permanent- the problem is we cannot see far enough to realize
such. Additionally, Rabbi Chaim brings another comparison in
Ben Ish Chayil of two men, one strong and one weak. The
strong would always ridicule the weak who, as a reply, questioned whether he feared G-d would ruin his ego. Two other
men, a warrior and a doctor, wished to work for the forces of
the king. The warrior promised the king he could smite a
strong man with one hand and would even demonstrate such
with a chosen volunteer. The doctor said he can cure any illness granted he‟s given a patient. The king sent officers to find
two volunteers who turned out to be the strong and weak man.
The strong man suffered a fatal blow from the warrior while
the weak man benefited from the cure. This is analogous to the
wicked whose successes may even lead to their downfall and
the righteous who will only be raised through their lowliness.
In addition, Rabbi Chaim says in his commentary to
the hagadah, Orach Chaim, quoting other commentators that
in Chad Gadya there were many disciplinarians: the cat, the
dog, the stick, the fire, the water, the ox, the slaughterer, the
angel of death, and finally Hashem. But if the cat was wrong
to eat the kid then the dog was right to punish the cat, so the
stick was wrong, the fire was right, the water was wrong, the
ox was right, the slaughterer was wrong, and the angel of
death was right- so that should make Hashem wrong?! But
how can we say this, Hashem is perfect?! In truth all were
wrong for judging the other except Hashem Who knows the
full story of what happened and therefore can only be the sole
Judge of the universe. Though we are blessed with much
knowledge and should use it, Hashem has more knowledge
and whatever happens is by His understanding which is naturally greater than our own. It is thus impossible to prove Him
wrong since He actually gave us our own knowledge and
clearly knows more.
Shabbat Shalom! Chag Sameach! ■
‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
Torah Lishma
By Elisha Ishaal, 11th Grade
In the Hagadah we express gratitude to Hashem for the
many kindnesses He has done for us from Yetzias Mitzrayim till the
building of the Bais HaMikdash. In the thanks we first include Matan Torah then entering the land of Israel, which was the chronological sequence of events. However, asks Rabbi Yosef Chaim (in
Ben Ish Chayil), why didn‟t Hashem give us the land of Israel before giving us the Torah? In that way Matan Torah would have
been in grandeur and the Torah would have received greater respect
in Israel rather than in a mere desert!
He answers with a parable. There was once a young man
belonging to a prominent, wealthy family who wished for him to
marry a girl from another esteemed family. However, the man was
adverse to the girl‟s foolishness and, in order to the pressure his
family placed upon him, fled to a different town. There he met another young girl who impressed him with her grace and wisdom,
but she was destitute. He asked her father if he could marry her and
provide for her with his wealth but the father said that the boy‟s
family would abjure the marriage, disown the boy and leave him
poverty-stricken, which the boy would not be able to handle. The
boy said he could face such a challenge, to which the father replied
he‟d believe were he to witness such a phenomenon for one week.
The boy lived like a pauper for one week and on the seventh day
the father gave the boy a key to a safe which, when opened, revealed myriad jewels and treasures. The father admitted that in reality he was really rich but pretended to be poor so that no suitor
would marry the girl just for the money.
Similarly, Hashem wished to bestow upon us the Torah, a
source for much blessing. But Hashem wanted to see if we were
willing to receive the Torah for its own sake (Torah Lishmah) or if
we would just do it for reward which follows. Thus He gave us the
Torah in a lowly wilderness and only once we received the Torah
was Hashem willing to give us the blessings that follow, that is
Israel and all of the blessings it contains. Additionally the question
is raised in Chasdei Avot, why is it that Torah, if so precious and
amazing, is given as a gift and not given a price to match its value?
Perhaps the answer is also that Hashem wants us to learn the Torah
for its own sake, and had a price been given to the Torah, it would
have been no challenge for us to see its greatness, and we would
have done it more for the honor rather than for Torah Lishmah.
There is much greatness and benefit associated with Torah
Lishmah. As the Gemara in Maseches Taanis 7a quotes Rav Bana‟ah who says that Torah Lishmah is a sam hachayim- a drug of
life. Furthermore in Berachos 64a, R‟ Elazar said in the name of R‟
Chanina that talmidei chachamim bring peace to the world as
learned from Yishiyah 54:13. Perhaps this can be understood when
analyzing Rav Safra‟s additional prayer to the standard shemoneh
esrei recorded in Berachos 16b-17a. In it, Rav Safra prays for peace
amongst the nations of this world, the ministering angels over the
nations of the world, and the Torah students. He also prayed that
those who do not learn for the sake of Torah should learn for the
sake of the Torah. How is the prayer for peace connected to that for
learning Torah Lishmah? It says in this week‟s parsha “zos toras
haolah, hee haolah”- why does Hashem repeat that He is assigning
laws to the korban olah?
Rabbi Menashe, cited in Ben Ish Chai Derashot, brings a
story of a rabbi who walked into a Beis Midrash and witnessed
students demonstrating acumen, acuity, and expertise in the study
of Torah. However it soon became apparent to him that the students
were only displaying such signs of Torah greatness to show off
their genius and greatness. The rabbi therefore said to them that he
sees much Torah in the room. The students took the comment as a
compliment and so the rabbi elaborated: Torah is compared to fire,
and just as fire naturally rises so would Torah- only if studied for
its sake. This would explain the repition of the word “haolah”: zos
toras haolah means this is the best type of Torah which is hee
haolah that which can elevate by itself.
Once we understand this, perhaps we can explain Rav
Safra‟s prayer for all Torah erudition to be acquired lishmah and
would rise to the heavens by itself. Once Torah reaches the heavens
it would bring peace amongst the guardian angels of each nation
which would bring peace amongst the nations of the world. This is
as Rashi says in Berachos 17a, that when there is dispute between
the guardian angels, then the nations would be at war, which is
proved from Daniel 10:20. Therefore, if the angels are at peace
(because of the Torah Lishmah) then the nations would be at peace
(and that is how Talmidei Chachamim bring peace to the world). In
addition the Chasdei Avot answers his own question raised above
(about why the Torah was not given a price) by saying that the Torah is so great that no price can be placed upon it without disgracing its true value and greatness.
Perhaps the importance of Torah Lishmah could be understood once one understands the importance of the mitzvah of Talmud Torah. The study of Torah is indeed one of the most crucial
mitzvos we have, as Peah 1:1 states that the study of Torah is
equivalent to prestigious mitzvos such as respecting one‟s parents,
visiting the sick, hosting guests, arriving to shul early, reconciling
friends, and causing shalom bayis. In fact there is a concept that our
forefathers corresponded to the three pillars of the world: Avraham
Avinu corresponded to gemilus chasadim (kindness), Yitzchak Avinu corresponded to avoda (service\prayer), and Yaakov Avinu to
Torah. R‟ Elchanan Wasserman Hy”d says in his Kovetz Igoros
that the Satan never attempted to attack Avraham or Yitzchak but
did attack Yaakov (in Parshas Vayishlach) because Yaakov represented Torah which is the paramount mitzvah of Judaism. The Satan realized that Torah is an indispensable part of our life and that
to live without Torah would mean our destruction chas veshalom.
Understanding this one can now understand why R‟ Elazar (in Megilla 11a) began his lecture on Sefer Esther with mussar on the
study of Torah, because it was our lackadaisical attitude towards
learning Torah that put us into the debacle that preceded the miracle of Purim in the first place. R‟ Elazar was trying to teach us that
(Continued on page 17)
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev
(Elisha Ishaal—Continued from page 16)
True Emunah
By Yaakov Hawk, 10th Grade
Usually when you think of a state science fair, you think
of nerds, glasses, and complex equations that you'll never even
attempt to comprehend. But this year at NYSSEF (New York
State Science and Engineering Fair) there was a little twist. After
the two rounds of judging, generally, everyone goes off to hang
out with friends, mess around and have fun. In no ones wildest
imagination is this a place of Mitzvot and radical change. However, this year was different.
I realized we had about 4 hours to spend and that instead of hocking around, I could make a big impact and do a big
mitzvah. While I did have an Iggeres Haramban on me, I'm not
one to give a Shiur. So I took out my Tfelin and figured maybe,
just maybe, Hashem would help me find a Yid that hasn't put on
Tfilin yet today so that I can give that opportunity. Little did I
know that simple idea would change my outlook on Teffilin forever.
I got a friend to come with me, and we awkwardly went
around to social groups asking if anyone is Jewish. We got a lot
of no‟s and even some antisemitic comments but we took it,
smiled, and walked away, knowing that passing that Hashem
would surely give us a reward. We kept our hope up high and
when we started finding some of our brothers, we asked them to
put on Teffilin, an act which almost all of them had not done
since their Bar Mitzvah. Most of the Tfelin "ceremonies” went
relatively the same way.
When we got up to Sam* the story went a bit different.
Unlike many of the others, he had not ever even put on Teffelin
in his life and was a bit adamant to it, which is understandable.
After being prodded on by his non Jewish friends and still being
adamant, I told him perhaps if he does this Mitzvah Hashem will
help him win ( My basis for saying this was only to help out a
Jew, and I figured what‟s to lose?). He finally agreed, and for the
first time in his life he put on Tfelin and said "Va' ayrastich Lee
Le'Olam" (I will betroth You [Hashem] to me forever) and Krias
Shema. This was Sam's Bar Mitzvah and one of his first exposures to Orthodox Judiasm.
Around an hour later we were called into an auditorium
for the announcement of the winners, about 500 projects were
entered into the competition, and everyone was sitting nervously
thinking who will win? The director gave some nice words of
encouragement then the 1st winner called up, you'll never believe
it and to be honest, a week later, it is still surreal to me. It was
SAM!!! The one that just put on Teffelin for the very first time
and that belief, the true Emunah and Bitachon in the Teffelin, has
the potential to lead to greatness.
It just comes to show, its not just how much you do it,
its the quality of what you did, how much you believed in it, and
how much you cared. Lets take this message with us into Shabbos and think about the Aichus (Quality) not just the Kamos
(Quality) and if we believe in the Mitzvoth, hopefully we can
finally bring the Korban Peseach once again this year.
Have a great Yom Tov! ■
though we may have been the beneficiaries of Hashem‟s awesome
miracle we should have avoided the whole threat of a calamity in
the first place by not being dilatory in our Torah studies. And, in
fact, towards the end of Sefer Esther, in 9:27, the passuk says
“kiymu vekiblu”, which is explained to mean that the Jews once
again accepted the Torah, this time with love and completely of
our own free will (showing that the Torah was one of the reasons
we merited such a miracle of Purim).
There are many reasons why Torah study is important to
our lives. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, quoted to me by my rabbi Rabbi
Lebowitz, explained that at the end of Parshas Bo, when the Jews
have finally achieved emancipation and recognition as a respectable nation, Moshe Rabbeinu utilized the inspiring moment to
underscore the magnitude of the greatness of education. The reason Moshe Rabbeinu chose to emphasize education, which is Torah study, is that education is what keeps society alive. A key difference between humans and animals is that humans are able to
grasp intellect, thus allowing us to form ideologies which would
branch off into morals and expedient knowledge, which ultimately
enables us to live our lives in a systematic and methodical way.
Without Torah, without education we would lose our ideologies,
our morals and ultimately our identities. Torah contributes greatly
to our identity as Jews (since people are usually defined by how
they think and what they believe in) as is it is one of our two inheritances. If one was to study Torah not for its sake but for honor
or wealth then he would not be focusing on one of the main things
it has to offer (which is our identity) but the side benefits which
are subordinate to it.
Furthermore, if not for Torah we would not know how to
do any other mitzvah. Another one of my rebeiim, Rabbi
Klapholtz, quoted someone while explaining the passuk “Lev Tahor Berah Li Elokim Veruach Nachon Chadesh Bekirbi”. This
passuk in Tehilim shows that there are two reasons for why somebody would sin. One reason is that the person lacks discipline and
so unfortunately sinned out of self-control (this is seen from the
first clause of the passuk where David HaMelech asked for a pure
heart- a heart with discipline). The other reason one would sin is
that the person doesn‟t even know it‟s a sin and therefore wouldn‟t
even feel guity for doing something wrong (this is demonstrated in
the latter half of the passuk where David HaMelech asked for a
proper spirit- one with good reasoning). If one sins due to the former reason, then there might be a chance he would do teshuvah
and stop. But one who never learned would not even think to do
teshuvah; this type of sinning would most likely be common
amongst those who never bothered to learn Torah. Furthermore,
Rava says in Berachos 17a that the purpose of Torah is teshuvah
and ma’asim tovim (good deeds) - this is similar to the “vetofsei
torah lo yeda‟ooni”, in Yirmiyah 2:8, who studied Torah without
practicing it. Therefore, one should learn Torah Lishmah because
if he did not truly care for the actual content of the Torah then it
may come to be that he may not practice the Torah (even though
he learned it) which is detrimental and should be avoided.
Another reason for the greatness Hashem attributed to
Torah is that it is a perennial mitzvah. Rav Terrenbaum posed the
question: how could the Jews possibly commit the sin of the
golden calf only 4 months after witnessing yetzias mitzrayim (and
all of the open miracles that occurred there) and only 40 days of
Matan Torah (and all of its open miracles)?! He answered that
(Continued on page 19)
‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
itself by saving it for the most honorable person.
friend from a more sever violation, but one is perThe Beis Yehuda (18th century, #58) writes that the Mishmitted to do so. If we were to accept this answer,
nah (Zevachim 89a) clearly rules that when one is more
one may but is not obligated to give up his own half
holy than his friend, it takes precedence. Similarly it makes
k‟zayis in order to enable his friend to eat a full
sense to allow the more holy of the two Jews to perform
the mitzvah of eating the full k‟zayis of matzah. Aside
i. One may argue that the above four approaches
from the practical difficulty of determining which person is
have no relevance to our case. In the two passages
“holier”, the application of the Mishnah seems completely
in question (Shabbos 4a, Eruvin 32b), the personal
inaccurate. The Mishnah does not speak of two people, one
sacrifice one would make is an actual prohibition.
of who is holier than his friend, but of two mitzvos one of
In our case, the personal sacrifice isn‟t even a full
which has a higher level of sanctity. Furthermore, the
mitzvah, and one would therefore be encouraged
Mishnah does not speak of sacrificing one mitzvah in favor
to sacrifice his partial shell of a mitzvah in order to
of another, but of allowing one mitzvah to precede the
enable his friend to do a genuine complete mitzother (with both mitzvos ultimately being performed). One
can only assume that this suggestion of the Beis Yehuda
D. Should the mitzvah go to whoever can perform it better?
was meant as nothing more than a manner of speech, but
Now that we have concluded that it is best for one person
was never meant as an actual proof.
to eat the entire k‟zayis, the question arises as to how to III. The Practical Opinions.
determine who should have the opportunity to do the mitzA. The Beis Yehuda rules that it is best for each to try to get
vah. The Gemara (Kiddushin 29b) states that if one is able
the entire mitzvah for himself. Since the requirement to
to send his son to learn or can learn himself, but cannot do
eat matzah is a personal obligation, and not a goal oriboth, it is best for the person to learn himself. If, however
ented mitzvah (ensuring that the matzah get eaten) each
the son has a sharper mind, it is best to have his son learn
person should make every effort to be the one who fulfills
instead of him. The obvious implication of the gemara is
the mitzvah. Whichever one is stronger and able to conthat whoever can perform the mitzvah better should be the
vince the other to give him the entire k‟zayis should do
one who is awarded with the chance to do the mitzvah.
so. May the best man win!
Perhaps one may suggest that whichever person is more
B. The Sha‟arei Teshuva (482:1) rejects the Beis Yehuda‟s
capable of fulfilling the mitzvah of matzah in a more comapproach on the grounds that if one has to force his friend
plete way should perform the mitzvah. The difficulty with
to give up his half k‟zayis, the matzah that he is left with
this comparison is in determining how one can be said to
is stolen matzah which cannot be used for the mitzvah.
perform the mitzvah of matzah in a better way. Does a
The only way that the Beis Yehuda‟s approach is feasible
heightened sense of kavanah qualify one as more capable
is when the k‟zayis of matzah was ownerless to begin
of fulfilling the mitzvah? Whereas the ability of the student
with. In a case where the item is ownerless the Sharei Teto become fluent in the information is part of the basic
shuva would agree that each person should try to take the
mitzvah of learning torah, extra kavanos are not critical in
entire k‟zayis for himself. The logic is that if one were
the fulfillment of the mitzvah of matzah. Perhaps one who
permitted to take the last available water in a desert beis able to eat the full k‟zayis in the shorter shiur of k‟dei
cause his own life takes precedence over his friend‟s life,
achilas pras should be awarded with the mitzvah. The Beis
one would certainly be allowed to put his own mitzvah
Yehuda (#58) suggests that the case of torah learning is
needs in front of his friend‟s mitzvah needs. In fact, no
different in that he who supports others in torah receives a
less a figure than Yakov Avinu did whatever was in his
portion of the credit for the mitzvah (similar to Yisachar
power to take an available mitzvah (the blessings of the
and Zevulun, or women who support their husband‟s learnfirstborn) while it was available. The Sharei Teshuva deing – see Sotah 21a).
rives from the story of Yakov that while one cannot take a
There may be reason to argue that the mitzvah should be
mitzvah away from his friend, he may certainly resort to
awarded to the man of greater stature. The Tevuos Shor
any sort of trickery to obtain the rights to a mitzvah that is
(28:14) points out that there is a longstanding custom of
not yet claimed.
“honoring” a rabbi with the mitzvah of covering the blood
C. The Sharei Teshuva further argues that the best approach
after shechitah. This “honor” seems to be in direct violais to make a simple raffle to determine who gets the
tion of the gemara‟s requirement (Kidushin 41a) to do a
k‟zayis. Even if one were to believe that eating a half
mitzvah yourself rather than through a messenger. The Tek‟zayis has some value, there is no doubt that the value of
vuos Shor explains that the reason one should not leave his
one person doing the mitzvah properly far outweighs
mitzvos for a shaliach to do is that doing so insults the
whatever value there is in each person doing the mitzvah
mitzvah. When, however one tries to save the mitzvah for
partially. As far as the concern that it is prohibited to
somebody greater than himself to perform, it is a great
“give up” your own partial mitzvah in the interest of your
honor to the mitzvah. This may be the source of the custom
friend, the Sharei Teshuva argues that when you leave it
for people to provide the nicest available esrog to the rabbi,
up to a raffle you are not giving anything up willingly, but
as they are honoring not only the rabbi, but the mitzvah
(Continued on page 19)
(Halacha Corner—Continued from page 13)
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev
(Elisha Ishaal—Continued from page 17)
witnessing the awesome miracles when leaving Egypt and
Hashem‟s greatness at Matan Torah was good, but its best function
would only be to serve as an impetus to beginning a life devoted to
Hashem. Moments of inspiration last for a mere moment and their
impact is just as ephemeral; the true propensity to consistently
serve Hashem is investing one‟s greatest efforts into serving Him,
which can be achieved by the accomplishments of mitzvos. For
such a drive to be indelible (so that one‟s services to G-d would
remain untainted) one needs to be constantly immersed in mitzvos
and the mitzvah with which one can constantly associate himself
with (except in certain dirty places) is Torah to which the passuk
“Vehagita Bo Yomam Velayla” is applied. Furthermore, Torah is
always accessible since “Lo Bashamayim Hee” and since it is a
mitzvah one does with his mind one can remember what he has
learned so that he can study when resting at home or even while
walking outside, as long he puts in effort. Realizing that the study
of Torah is meant to keep one busy at all times, every person must
forever be assiduous in his studies (and can never be remiss in his
learning) which would also prove that serving G-d is his top priority. The continuous efforts one must put into Torah education can
be likened to the fire on the mizbeach, described in this week‟s
parshah as costant (Vayikra 6:6). This connection could be perhaps
strengthened by Yirmiyah 23:29, where Hashem‟s words (i.e. the
Torah) are compared to fire. As a side benefit to consistent growth
in serving Hashem, would be evading the disadvantages of wasting
time which a Mishnah in Maseches Kesubos says would be promiscuity and, according to Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, insanity. In
addition, Rabbi Lebowits quoted the Baal HaTanya who writes
that Torah brings a man closer to Hashem because by studying the
Torah one understand how Hashem thinks and the morals which
Hashem appreciates, not those which an imperfect man thinks of.
Therefore, one should learn Torah Lishmah so that his focus would
be on becoming closer to Hashem rather than becoming closer to
honor and wealth (which anyway come from Hashem).
Though Torah study may be difficult to commence, ceasing Torah study would be more difficult if one truly put work into
it [as seen in Parshas Beshalach when the bitter water (to which the
Torah is compared) became sweet when a bitter branch (more Torah- as Torah is called the tree of life) was added to it]. Furthermore, Tosafos in Ta‟anis 7a quote Pesachim 50b that in reality a
person should work for Torah Shelo Lishmah (not for its sake) for
that would lead to Torah Lishmah. And though Taanis 7a quotes
many sources as to how bad a person who learns torah Shelo Lishmah is- the Gemara is only reffering to one who tries to disprove
the Torah but not for other reasons such as honor or wealth. We
similarly find this by Ta‟anis 24a that when there was a drought
which even Rav couldn‟t turn over, an anonymous school teacher
was able to turn it over partly because he bribed his incorrigible
students with fish so that they would be willing to learn. Though
some of his students didn‟t really learn Torah Lishmah the man
was clearly highly regarded in heaven for his ability to make Torah
pleasurable to children. Though Torah Lishmah is clealy the best
way to learn, Torah is at first difficult to learn so one should still
try learning at least for another reason and then eventually he will
learn for its own sake. This may be why that though Hashem did
not give the Torah in the splendor of Israel He did give it with
much magnificence by Har Sinai. A person shouldn‟t either be
discouraged from studying Torah because he doesn‟t have the capacity to learn extraordinary amounts, because as the Rabbis of
Yavneh said (in Berachos 17a) “The one with a little (Torah) and
the one with a lot (of Torah) [are the same to G-d], as long as his
heart is to heaven”.
Good Shabbos and Chag Sameach! ■
gusting) but is the best of the available options.
committing to abide by the random outcome.
E. Rav Asher Weiss (Hagada Shel Pesach Minchas Asher
D. The Kesav Sofer (Orach Chaim #96) takes what can
Teshuva #12) writes that even if one person is in possessafely be described as the most creative approach to this
sion of the entire k‟zayis, it is best to give it to his friend
question. After proving at length that the primary mitzvah
to fulfill the mitzvah. Rav Weiss argues that passing up on
of eating matzah is not in the digestion of a k‟zayis of
the k‟zayis in this case is not the same as neglecting a
matzah, but in the swallowing of a k‟zayis of matzah, he
mitzvah because in any case only one person will be able
suggests the following solution: If each person were to
to do the mitzvah. Why should the person holding the
take a half k‟zayis, chew it, regurgitate it, and eat it again,
matzah be more entitled to perform the mitzvah than the
he will have eaten a full k‟zayis of matzah. We find
person not holding the matzah. Rav Weiss argues that a
precedent for this idea in the gemara (Chulin 103b) which
spirit of generosity when it comes to mitzvos is also a
states that if a person eats a half k‟zayis of forbidden
positive thing and should be encourage
food, regurgitates it and eat it again, he will be culpable as IV. Conclusion. The variety of halachic opinions and considif he has eaten a full k‟zayis (provided that the prohibition
erations involved in what seems like the simplest of halais in the swallowing and not the digesting). If this is true
chic questions demonstrates the complexity and beauty of
of violations of issurim it should be equally true of the
the halachic process. The variety of opinions we have experformance of mitzvos. The only proviso that the Kesav
plored should serve to highlight for us the importance of
Sofer adds is that one cannot eat a half k‟zayis that ancaring for the spiritual well being of others, the value of
other person has regurgitated because it would be comperforming mitzvos ourselves in the proper way, and the
pletely disgusting to him and therefore inadequate to fulnatural struggle in making difficult spiritual choices as we
fill the mitzvah with it. The Kesav Sofer acknowledges
try to serve our Creator. It is our hope that through the study
that his solution is not ideal (because neither person will
of the underlying principles of halacha we should always
be able to eat the entire k‟zayis at one time, neither will be
merit to perform mitzvos and help others perform mitzvos
able to digest the k‟zayis, one runs the risk of not being
in the most ideal way possible. ■
able to regurgitate the matzah and after all it is a bit dis-
(Halacha Corner—Continued from page 18)
‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
Editors in Chief
Yaakov Feldstein
David Freilich
Reb Kopel earned a living by purchasing
barrels of vodka and beer from the local distillers
and selling his wares to the taverns in and around
his native village of Likova. It was not an easy
life, with the heavy taxes exerted by the government and the hostile environment facing a Jew in
18th-century Europe. Yet his faith and optimism
never faltered.
Each year, on the morning before Passover, Reb Kopel would sell
his chametz to one of his gentile neighbors. What
about someone like Reb Kopel who deals in leavened foods and has a warehouse full of chametz?
For such cases (and for anyone who
has chametz they don't want to dispose of) the rabbis
of selling one's chametz to a non-Jew. Reb Kopel's
neighbors were familiar with the annual ritual. The
Jewish liquor dealer would draw up a legallybinding contract with one of them, in which he
sells all the contents of his warehouse for a sum
equal to their true value. Only a small part of the
sum actually changed hands; the balance was written up as an I.O.U. from the purchaser to the
seller. After Passover, Reb Kopel would be back,
this time to buy back the chametz and return the
I.O.U. The purchaser got a tip for his trouble -usually in the form of a generous sampling of the
merchandise that had been legally his for eight
days and a few hours.
One year, someone in Likova came up
with a novel idea: what if they all refused to buy
the Jew's vodka? In that case he would have to get
rid of it. Why suffice with a bottle or two when
they could have it all?
When Reb Kopel knocked on a neighbor's door on
the morning of Passover eve, Ivan politely declined to conduct the familiar transaction. Puzzled,
he tried another cottage further down the road. It
did not take long for him to realize the trap that his
gentile neighbors had laid for him. The deadline
for getting rid of chametz -- an hour before midday
-- was quickly approaching. There was no time to
travel to the next village to find a non-Jewish purchaser.
Reb Kopel did not hesitate for a minute.
Quickly he emptied the wooden shack behind his
house that served as his warehouse. Loading his
barrels of chametz on his wagon, he headed down
to the river. As his neighbors watched gleefully
from a distance, he set them on the river bank. In a
loud voice he announced: "I hereby renounce any
claim I have on this property! I proclaim these barrels ownerless, free for the talking for all!" He then
rode back home to prepare for the festival.
That night, Reb Kopel sat down to
the Seder with a joyous heart. When he recited
from his Haggadah, "Why do we eat this unleavened bread? Because the dough of our fathers did
not have time to become leavened before Gd revealed Himself to them and redeemed them,"
he savored the taste of each word in his mouth. All
his capital had been invested in those barrels of
vodka and beer; indeed, much of it had been
bought on credit. He was now penniless, and the
future held only the prospect of many years of
crushing debt. But his heart was as light and bright
as a songbird. He had not a drop of chametz in his
possession! For once in his life, he had been given
(Continued on page 7)
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