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Shevat 5765 – Internalizing Kedushas Eretz Yisrael

2 Shevat 5765
Internalizing Kedushas Eretz Yisrael
By Rebbetzin Kurland


Chodesh Tov Dear Seminary Alumnae!

Over six months have elapsed since the fresh mintages among you have acclimated to your home environment. Despite time’s passage, the cacophony of suitcase wheels scraping the pavement, muffled sobs, and the cab drivers impatient honking still resonates in your memory and in your neshamos. For those of you who wrote yourselves the letter to be sent in six months, I am confident that efficient Rav Nissel has mailed them by this point in time. Yet for those of you who didn’t, the question still gnaws, still grates upon our collective conscience: Am I presently the person that I was when I left seminary? Are my finely-honed ruchnius sensitivities still intact?

I’ve noticed a pattern of oscillation in girls’ readjustment to their homes/colleges. More accurately, I notice a pendular swing of extremes between I am never going to allow myself to be happy in Chutz Laaretz, I will retain my purity and insularity at all costs; versus I cannot lead a life to depression, of disequilibrium; if I have to make compromises in this compromising environment, it is worth it to save my sanity.

These themes can be explored, however subtly, as we mark the transition from Chodesh Teves to Chodesh Shvat. Teves conjures up the image of the Churban, of Nevuchdnezzar’s siege of Yerushalayim. We are reminded in Chazal (end of Megillas Taanis) that Tevet is the month wherein King Ptlomey forced 72 Chachamim to translate the Torah into Greek (each independently.) By exposing the Torah to the Goyim, by revealing its sublime message exclusively intended for Clal Yisroel, the Torah was divested of its reverence (Sefer Hatodaah), thereby bringing 3 consecutive days of darkness to the world (culminating in 10 Teves.) Yes, we do have depressing days, rabinically mandated times when we contemplate and mourn the chasm between the glory that was and the absence that is. Yet these are but fours days (fasts) on the calendar; what about the remainder of the year?

There is a fascinating interchange between Rabbi Yehoshua and the post-Churban ascetics at the end of Perek Cheskas Habatim (Bava Basra 60b). These people were indeed the personification of my first extreme. They would eat no meat shenitbatlu hakorbanos,; it was too painfully reminiscent of the now defunct sacrificial rites. They would drink no wine; it revived images of the wine spilled upon the now defunct Mizbeach. They would eat no bread, as the menachos, the meal offering could no longer be brought. They even contemplated not drinking water, as it recreated images of Nisuch Hamayim, the unparalleled Simcha of Simchas Beis Hashoeva.

Rabi Yehoshua answers them lovingly, but quite definitively: “Banai, ..lo lhisabel kol ikkar ee efshar; ulihisabel yoser midai ee efshar, sheein gozrin gezera ..ela im ken rov Hatzibbur yachol laamod ba”. My dear children, sensitive people who are in touch with their innermost emotions cannot help but mourn. Yet we cannot mandate excessive mourning because Klal Yisroel doesn’t have the capacity to comply.

Where does this leave us? How can the mourning, the longing, the yearning find its proper balance of expression?

Rabbi Yehoshua continues: When a man makes a scrumptious meal, one item on the menu should be left out. When a woman adorns herself according to the dictates of Jewish fashion, one adornment should be omitted. When a man builds a new home, a visible section of the wall should remain unplastered. When a chassan stands under the Chuppa, at the threshold of his Binyan Adei Ad, he should place ashes upon his head.

To me the message is clear. Hashem does not desire depression, dysfunctionalism, asceticism, or inactivism. Hakadosh Boruch Hu knows that to properly fulfill our Tafkidim, we need both Simcha and Yishuv Haddat (inner tranquility). Yet at the most significant moments of our life cycle a new spouse, a new home, and even for more conventional modes of gratification, such as food or dress, we are cautioned to be temperate: Im lo aale es Yerushalayim al Rosh Simchasi. Right when we think we’ve made it, right when we think that we’re on top of the world, right when complacency , or even arrogance encroaches upon our inner integrity, we are bidden to recall that our Simcha is in fact incomplete. “Az, (Then, only in the future) yimale sechok pinu”. There is no compromising to the point of complete harmony, of material or emotional shelemus; our personal Simcha is inextricably intertwined with the national Simcha of Clal Yisroel.

If Teves reminds us of the travails of Galus, then Shvat exhorts us to reorient our focus back to Eretz Yisroel. Tu Beshvat is but one of four new years mentioned in the Mishnah, yet it differs for example, from Rosh Chodesh Elul (also listed as a new year for Maissros, tithes) in that it is imbued with a festive character (No Tachanun, no Av Harachamim on Shabbos Tu BeShvat, no hespedim) Why is Tu Beshvat afforded greater prominence?

Because it bespeaks the praise of the land of Israel (Sefer Hatodaah.) Moreover, the Bach, commenting on the Tur on the words “Venochal Mepirya Venisboa Mituva” notes that the fruit of Eretz Yisroel is the conduit, the very pipeline through which the kedusha of Eretz Yisroel flows. By eating the fruit of Eretz Yisroel, we ingest and internalize this kedusha.

Tu Beshvat notwithstanding, Shvat remains a moth of renewed invigoration and inspiration. (As evidenced by the global minhag to give Shiurim during the weeks coined Shovavim, from Parshas Shemos until parshas Mishpatim, specifically with the focus to strengthen Jewish family life.)

Sefer Devarim was actually given over from Rosh Chodesh Shvat, culminating with Moshe Rabeinu’s death on 7 Adar. The Chachomim have said that the first of Shvat is comparable to the day of the giving of the Torah. Just as the 6th of Sivan on which the Torah was given to Israel remains forever especially suitable for the renews acceptance of the Torah, similarly is the heart of the Jew newly receptive to the influence of Torah on the first of Shvat, since the repetition of the Torah (Sefer Devarim) was given to Israel on the first of Shvat (Sefer Hatodaah.)

I’d like to conclude with the beautiful insight of the Bnei Yisasschar, Rav Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov. He cites the Sefer Hayetzira who notes that the Mazal for the month of Shvat is Aquarius, the water-bearer, or dli, the bucket. Although the axiom “Ein Mazal Leyisroel” implies that we transcend the jurisdiction of astrology, each of the signs still maintain unique applicability to Hashem’s Am Segula.

The Bnei Yisasschar notes: “Ki Dli asui lishov bo mayim veze peulato..veein mayim ela Torah..mazalo shel Yisroel hu eved meshamesh el Hatorah”. The bucket is a most relevant and appropriate sign for Clal Yisroel in that it is a utensil whose primary function is to gather water. Water, as we know, is the quintessential metaphor for Torah. Our function is to be Eved Meshamesh es Hatorah. We are meant to be the utensil which bears the water which is Torah.

“Vehaeved Ein lo Ratzon ki im Ratzon Haadon”. This indeed is the powerful message of the month of Shvat. As the pail has no ego, no self-interest, other than being a vehicle for the dispensation of water, so should we have no personal agenda other than being a vehicle for dispensation of Torah.

In America. In Israel. In happiness. In sadness. In optimal circumstances. In compromising situations. Throughout every precious moment of our lives.

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Teves 5765 – Fighting for Light

1 Teves 5765
Teves: Fighting for Light
By Rabbi Yosef Brown


“V’choshech al pnei t’hom”
Chazal learn from these words the third and fourth exiles that Klal Yisroel will be subject to. Darkness itself is a topic of many discussions. Is darkness merely an absence of light or is it something that has existence in and of itself?

“Yotzer ohr uvoray choshech” would seem to tell us that darkness too was created. What is the nature of this very different creation?

“Ki ner mitzvah v’Torah ohr”
Shlomo Hamelech is teaching us that ohr is Torah. Chazal call the Torah Orayaisah. What is the meaning of these ideas? Choshech is exile and Ohr is Torah. One would be inclined to say that the parallel to be drawn is that Ohr is redemption. If this is so then we must follow through and say that Torah is redemption.

Chazal teach us “Y’he Ohr” is the light of Moshiach our redeemer, the one who will remove us from exile. Malchus Yavan was a galus not only of Klal Yisroel but also of the Torah. The Torah itself was subject to exile. The Greek culture penetrated through the barriers that make us who we are and attempted to blur that separation, which is integral for our survival.

The Torah was translated into a “beautiful language” that dissolved the lines that surround it and now the Torah was among the many, a place where the Torah is no longer alone. Klal Yisroel are a light, The Torah is Light. Yavan are darkness, their “Torah” is darkness. Light enables us to relate to the things themselves. We are in contact in a full way when we “see” the light. Darkness separates us from the existence that is outside of us. In that darkness we are alone.

Yavan made the darkness into a “light”. They produced a counterfeit Torah, they lived in a counterfeit world, and they were a counterfeit people. Nonetheless their currency circulated around the world and changed the reality that everyone lived in. Their suggestions became facts, their theories became evidence and they proceeded to rule the world and everything that was in it, including Klal Yisroel.

The light was flickering. The darkness covered the earth. Once again Hashem’s nation was at a stage of finality that it had never reached before. Now the fight must begin. A war of Light must commence to reconcile reality with the truth, with the Torah, with the Light. Klal Yisroel with its deepest and most powerful talent must demonstrate that the light is with them.

Hashem created the world for us to bask in His light, to benefit from His presence, and to take pleasure in our relationship with Him forever. Darkness is transient, temporary and unfulfilling. Empty and alone we stand by ourselves separate from everything that is around us. These are the days of Teves, long dark nights, filled with emptiness.

What will we do with the darkness? What will we do with ourselves? The nissim of Chanukah spill into the month of Teves. They shower this dark time with penetrating beams of light that have overcome the darkness. The mesirus nefesh with which we fought the darkness then enables us today to fight our battles against the darkness. “Sh’uhsah nissim la’avosainu bayamim hahaim bazman hazeh”. Those nissim are with us today in as much as we too are willing to “fight for light”.

We are a separate people, we are Hashem’s nation, and we are the mekablei Torah in the world. Our battle cannot be fought by anyone other than ourselves, both on a personal and national level. The clarification of light, the purification of light, the victory of light is in our hands and only our hands. We must recommit to the exclusivity of the Torah. We must realize once again that there is no light other than the Torah. We are in absolute “choshech” if we are not fighting for an absolute light. “If we fight we light, if we don’t we won’t”.

“Hanayros halalu kodesh haym”
The light of these candles is special, this light is THE LIGHT. This is the light for which we have to fight.

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Kislev 5765 – Understanding Chachmas HaTorah

2 Kislev 5765
Not Just Knowledge:
Understanding Chachmas HaTorah
By Rabbi Borinstein, Sharfman’s


With the approach of Chanukah it’s important to step back from all the preparations and to take a few moments to analyze what exactly we’re celebrating. We often find ourselves involved with the external parts of the holidays and fail to internalize the meaning behind the days themselves. If all we take away from Chanukah is a memory of a pretty menorah, a few presents, and a stomach ache from too many oily sufganiot then we’ve wasted our week.

Rav Hutner, ztl, in his Pachad Yitzchak points out that only in Galus Yavan did our Beis HaMikdash remain standing throughout. If the Beis HaMikdash was our most important place in the world, the heart and soul of the Jewish people, why didn’t the Greeks destroy it? Wouldn’t that certainly cripple the nation?

Also, if the Greeks knew that we used oil for our menorah why just impurify it? Why not spill it out or, even better, use it themselves?

The gemora in Meggila (9a) also is difficult to understand. The gemora relates that King Talmai of the Greek Empire had seventy-two rabbanim translate the Torah into Greek. Chazal say that this was a terrible event in Klal Yisroel’s history. What was King Talmai doing? Why was it so important to translate the Torah? And, what was so terrible about it? In our own days we’ve translated the Torah into many languages with the blessings of the sages of our times!

One last question. It’s brought that Alexander the Great, upon conquering Eretz Yisrael, demanded that the Jews erect a statue in the Beis HaMikdash. With great diplomacy the Jews convinced him to agree instead to all legal documents and letters being dated according to the beginning of his empire. Instead of using our system of dating we would write what year it was in the Alexander kingdom. This is certainly very flattering but what does it have to do with putting a statue in the Temple? If one is coming in place of the other there must be some similarity between them.

To answer these questions we need to understand the Greek outlook on chachma, knowledge. There’s probably never been a people throughout history who’ve striven in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom as the Greeks. Whether in science, math, philosophy or any other field of education, the Greeks excelled, leading the other nations in the understanding of the world around them. The Rambam writes about the great knowledge of Aristotle and that he was correct in everything he wrote about science. Even much of today’s technology can find its earliest roots in the Greek culture. Their great thirst and love for understanding certainly made them the enlightened people of their times.

Yet despite all the chachma and great advances in the Greek society, one thing that did not grow was man himself. Although he may have understood nature, he failed to incorporate his vast knowledge into his own personal life. There was no idea of one G-d above and certainly no attempt to purify himself and connect with his Creator. Knowledge was in the head and had nothing to do with ethics or religion. As we see in our own days, it’s not a contradiction to be a world-renowned scientist or leader and still be an individual that you would never want your children to emulate. Brilliance and righteousness have very little to do with each other.

In this matter we clearly see how the chachma of the Greeks differed from the chachma of Torah. Torah comes from the word horaa, teaching. Torah learning must be accompanied with the understanding of how to teach oneself to become a better person. All the vast segments of Torah are for one purpose, to make the individual into a better person vis-à-vis himself, his fellow man, and Hashem. The most brilliant rabbi or teacher will be a failure if they don’t live what they’re teaching to the best of their abilities.

The Greeks weren’t against having a giant building in Yerushalayim. It was certainly one of the most beautiful structures in the world. Gold, silver, copper… why destroy such a fine edifice? Just don’t use it for this religion business. Knowledge is an end in itself, and besides what we can’t see or understand doesn’t exist anyway. Therefore the Greeks left the building and its vessels, simply impurifying them so that no religion should be practiced.

Talmai wasn’t against the Torah. It was the most knowledgeable book ever written. Therefore he had it translated to be just another library book on the shelves of the Greek universities. Come study Bible 1.1. Another philosophy book.

Alexander the Great didn’t care if the Temple was defiled or secularized, as long as we removed G-d and a divine creation from our lives. All that counts is that we use our brains and bodies for secular advancements.

Torah must never be treated as another subject. If a child grows up looking at his school curriculum being science, math, Chumash, halacha, and geography or his choices in the work world as being medicine, law, rabbanus, or computers then the Greeks have won. It’s just another subject.

Torah must be learnt and taught with enthusiasm and love, understanding that you’re creating a kesher with the Ribono Shel Olam. It’s not another subject to be studied. It’s our way of life. Whether you’re learning it alone, or with a chavrusa, or at a shiur, or even in a university setting the approach must be that chachmas haTorah is unlike any other chachma in the world. The Greeks didn’t win.

The Ramban writes that our Chanukah menoras are a continuation of the menora in the Beis HaMikdash. Just as the menora in the Beis HaMikdash represented chachmas haTorah so too the Chanukah lights. This year when we light our candles let us also light the candles in our hearts to strengthen our Torah learning and Torah observance. With Hashem’s help, through those lights we’ll be zoche to once again see the menorah in the Beis HaMikdash blazing, bimhaira biyameinu.

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Cheshvan 5765 – “B’cha Yivareich Es Yisrael”

2 MarCheshvan 5765
“B’cha yivareich es Yisrael…”
By Rav Hanoch Teller

“B’cha yivareich es Yisrael…”
Yaakov’s famous and poignant blessing of Efraim and Menashe has become the classic paradigm by which parents bless their sons. Many have questioned why we have so fastidiously adopted the formula of blessing our sons to emulate Efraim and Menashe when Tana”ch and Jewish history are filled with so many other exceedingly righteous and pious individuals?

There are numerous answers to this query, but the most fundamental seems to be the unique circumstances of Efraim’s and Menashe’s lives. They were raised in a thoroughly non-Jewish environment yet remained steadfast in their observance and commitment. The tenacity to uphold that which is sacred — under all circumstances — is a most worthy blessing to bestow upon our children.

There is yet a different difficulty in the above verse that has not been awarded much attention. The Torah begins by describing Yaakov blessing Yosef, “B’cha yivareich es Yisrael…” yet the blessing turns out to be directed to Yosef’s sons Efraim and Menashe and not to him!

The famous Ponevizher Rav, Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, points out this difficulty and the very question and his astute answer fit wonderfully into the inspiring persona that he was. It was Rabbi Kahaneman who had single-handedly built an unheard of Lithuanian village into one of the greatest Torah citadels before World War II. He opened a pre-school, yeshivah ketanah, a religious high school for girls, a kollel, a top-flight hospital and greatly strengthened the existing yeshivah. They used to quip in Ponevizh that it does not pay to pave the roads for the Ponevizher Rav will come and build a new building which will require asphalting the streets all over again.

One person labeled his accomplishments in that little town as the creation of a malchus fun kinder — an empire of children. He deeply loved the children that he educated and every one of 1000 youngsters enrolled in the Ponevizh network of Torah schools was intimately acquainted with their Rabbi.

Tragically, all of his tireless work was erased by the Nazi monsters. Each and every one of the schools and virtually all of the pupils including his own wife and children were murdered by the Germans and their iniquitous cohorts. Destroyed as well was his lengthy essay on shas that was stored in six cartons.

A lesser man — indeed any man — undergoing such colossal devastation could never be expected to bounce back and lead a productive life. The Ponevizher Rav, however, found solace and comfort in rebuilding Torah centers and fostering Jewish education. When he arrived in Israel during World War II he visited Bene Brak which was not much more than a desolate tundra of sand dunes. He looked up at the hill nestled in Zichron Meir and pronounced, “Here will be my yeshivah,” and forthwith went out and purchased the property.

People were reluctant to wish him mazal tov on the acquisition. It was the middle of World War II, Nazi forces were raging across Europe, and appalling reports were filtering in about atrocities and the mass murder of Jews. It did not seem to be the right time to think about, let alone build, new yeshivos. Furthermore, although no one wished to actually articulate the thought, the Nazi juggernaut seemed to be invincible, and Palestine was clearly on Hitler’s cross hairs.

The feeling that prevailed in Eretz Yisrael at the time was sinking despair. All were absorbed with the catastrophic losses in Europe, and the Ponevizher Rav was no less consumed than anyone else, but he was even more consumed with the necessity to rebuild.

His plan was to erect a building that could accommodate at least 500 students. Indeed as he would ascend the hill of the not-yet-built yeshivah he would declare, “I can already hear the sound of Torah that will emanate from this place!”

Nothing could have sounded more preposterous, for the youth in the country at the time were singularly focused upon finding employment. And whereas there may have been a few exceptions, they probably didn’t number more than a dozen. Five hundred students sounded no less absurd than 50,000. But the Ponevizher Rav was characteristically unfazed by the critique. “Days will soon come,” he predicted presciently, “when there will be millions and millions of Jews who will live in Israel. Then there will not be enough room for the students in the current yeshivos!”

The Ponevizher Rav’s outrageously unrealistic pronouncements raised some eyebrows, but none of this daunted him. In a sea of skepticism and despair, the Ponevizher Rav proceeded undeterred with his plans. No one could even dampen his enthusiasm.
When the Rav detailed his ideas to the Chief Rabbi, HaRav Isaac Herzog, the scholar listened patiently, thinking, perhaps ? like so many others ? that after all that this man had lost: his wife, children, yeshivah, novellea on the entire Talmud, nebach, the misfortune had affected his ability to reason. Yet the Ponevizher Rav contended with perfect clarity that with the A-mighty’s help he would indeed build an enormous yeshivah, and an educational infrastructure that surpassed the network that he had established in Ponevizh, Lithuania.

“You’re dreaming,” the Chief Rabbi said at last.
The Ponevizher Rav replied, “Yes, I am dreaming, but my eyes are open. This dream shall be fulfilled through days and nights of not sleeping!

Not long after this encounter, Reb Shneur Kotler, son of the Lakewood Rosh Yeshivah, Reb Aharon, visited Bene Brak. The Ponevizher Rav took him to the desolate hill upon which the yeshivah would be erected to give him, well, a scenic tour. At the very top of the barren knoll, Rav Yosef Shlomo cupped his hand in a gesture fraught with significance, and then whispered as if he was revealing the secret of the century, “Here, from right here, the Torah will emanate.”

Prodding him incessantly was the agonizing memory of the millions of martyrs who perished, including his own wife and children, the only exception being one son, Avraham. All his life, he kept a photograph of his children in his wallet, and engraved on his heart. These were not the only kindred that he deeply mourned: only a handful of over 1,000 students from the Ponevizh educational network survived the war, and nearly all of his rabbinical colleagues from Lithuania were sacrificed together with their flocks. The most meaningful expression he found for his grief was to build, and he had no doubt that he was spared in order to fulfill the Divine guarantee ki lo tishkach mipee zaro.

He was constantly uplifting the spirits of the downtrodden and saving them from despair in his inimitable way of revealing illumination in the heart of darkness. His message was that G-d was undoubtedly with them, and they must immerse themselves in Torah study so that the nation might heal itself. Together, they would be able to fulfill the prophecy of Ovadiah that not only b’har Zion tehiye pleitah [On Mount Zion there will be refuge] but also v’haya kodesh [and it will be holy!]. This is verse is hewn in large letters on the main yeshivah building.

This brief background helps us appreciate the cogent insight Rabbi Kahaneman had regarding Yaakov’s blessing of Yosef’s children. To the man committed to building the future, the dreamer whose eyes were always open, it was manifestly clear that the greatest blessing one can offer a father is that his children be worthy and productive. The greatest blessing for Yosef concerned his sons Efraim and Menashe.

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Tishrei 5765 – Yatzpin

Yatzpin
By Rabbi Dovid Oratz

This is the season of Elul, Rosh Hashanah, Asseret Yemei Teshuvah and Yom Kippur. Back in seminary, you would be hearing all sorts of divrei chizuk regarding Teshuvah, Bitachon, Emunah etc. But you’re not in seminary, you are back in the real world. Let’s talk about what counts in the real world; let’s talk about being rich. After all, this is also the season in which the decree for riches is issued.

The Gemara (Bava Basra 25b) states, “He who wants to be rich should face north (Yatzpin).” Rashi explains that when davening Shmoneh Esrei, turn [partially] to the north. Now what in the world does facing north have to do with being rich?

The Maharal (Nesivos Olam I, Nesiv Ha’avodah 3) points us towards an answer. He relates the direction, tzaphon, to tzaphun, hidden, by explaining that north represents the hidden power, since the sun is not revealed on the north side. Riches and blessings, he asserts, come from that which is hidden from sight. Now, via this explanation we are getting closer in our quest for being rich, but it still seems pretty far from practical advice.

Everybody knows that the Maharal was the rabbi of Prague in the latter half of the seventeenth century. Many do not know that the next rabbi of Prague was Rav Shlomo Efraim of Lunshitz, better known as the Kli Yakar. His commentary is of course studied in schools and seminaries, but the summer Parshiyos are generally less studied and thus less known. His commentary to Parashas Devarim has a powerful insight that ties together being rich, being hidden and the beginning of the twenty-first century. I will take the liberty of translating it here.

The Pasuk (Devarim 2:3) says, Pnu lachem tzafonah – turn towards the north. The Midrash (Devarim Rabah 1:19) expounds: “When the time of Esav comes, hide (tzafun) yourself.” The Kli Yakar explains this ‘hiding’: “If a Jew finds some success in this exile, he should keep it hidden from Esav. No nation is as jealous of the Jewish people as is Esav, for Esav maintains that any success is stolen from them via the blessing that Yaakov received from his father, when he cunningly took the blessings from Esav.

“Similarly, Yaakov tells his sons during the famine (Breishis 42:1), ‘Why do you make yourselves conspicuous’? Rashi explains that he asked them why they displayed themselves before the sons of Yishmael and Esav as if they are satisfied. These two maintain that Yitzchak stole the success of Yishamel, and Yaakov stole the success of Esav, through their [dishonest] endeavors.

“Thus, Bnei Yisrael were told to ‘turn to the north,’ i.e. hide themselves, from Esav, to avoid jealousy. This, however, is the opposite of what the Jews do nowadays in the lands of their enemies. Any one of them who has some money dresses himself in fancy clothes and lives in expensive homes as if he were a millionaire. In this way, they incite the gentiles against them and transgress the obligation to ‘turn to the north.’ This behavior is practiced by most of our people, and it is responsible for all the misfortunes that befall us. May the wise ones understand and learn a lesson.”

The French have an expression, La plus ça change, la plus ça, la même chose – the more things change, the more they stay the same (an update of Kohelet 1:9?). Isn’t it frightening how little things have changed over the past four hundred years?

Now back to being rich. The Kli Yakar does not directly relate to becoming rich. He speaks of the proper modest and hidden behavior to adopt regarding clothing, housing, transportation and whatever else, if one wants to avoid the jealousy of his neighbors. The Maharal however, asserts that riches and blessings come from that which is hidden from sight. Let us not make the mistake that the Kli Yakar attributes to “most of our people!”

Rabbi Dovid Oratz