Rabbi Binyomin Adler – Parsha Chukat

This week’s parasha tells us of the sin of Moshe Rabbeinu, where HaShem commanded him to speak to the rock and instead he hit the rock. HaShem was displeased with this contradiction of His instructions and HaShem informed Moshe and Aharon that they would not be allowed entry into Eretz Yisroel.
It is noteworthy that when Yaakov fled from his brother Esav, after fourteen years of studying in the Beis Medrash of Ever, he lay down to sleep. Prior to laying down to sleep, Yaakov gathered twelve stones and during the night, the stones began quarreling with each other, as each stone wanted the honor to have the Tzaddik lay his head on him. HaShem performed a miracle and all the stones united. The Mesilas Yesharim derives from this incident that when one is righteous, he can elevate the entire world, even the inanimate.
HaShem desired that Moshe, the most exalted human being, who reflected purity of speech and whose mouth presented a danger to the surrounding nations (see Rashi Bamidbar 22:4) elevate even the inanimate stone that would allow it to pour forth water. Moshe mistakenly hit the stone and this caused the מי מריבה, water of strife. Yaakov, on the other hand, broke up the discord amongst the stones with his righteousness. Moshe, unfortunately, caused strife by not following HaShem’s instructions regarding the stone.
It is said (Bereishis 49:24) וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֵיתָן קַשְׁתּוֹ וַיָּפֹזּוּ זְרֹעֵי יָדָיו מִידֵי אֲבִיר יַעֲקֹב מִשָּׁם רֹעֶה אֶבֶן יִשְׂרָאֵל, but his bow was firmly emplaced and his arms were gilded, from the hands of the Mighty Power of Yaakov – from there, he shepherded the stone of Israel. The Targum renders the words מִשָּׁם רֹעֶה אֶבֶן יִשְׂרָאֵל to mean דִּי בְמֵימְרֵהּ זַן אֲבָהָן וּבְנִין זַרְעָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל, with his (Yosef’s) word he sustained a father and his sons, the progeny of Israel. Thus, we see that the stone reflects unity, a passing of the torch from one generation to the next. The Medrash (Shemos Rabbah 1:32) states that Yaakov and Moshe were similar in that they both found their mate by the well. Yaakov met Rachel and with her and his three other wives, he built up the Jewish Nation for eternity. Moshe met his wife Tzipporah but ultimately separated from her. Moshe was not fortunate to have the Jewish People send from him. While Moshe was certainly the greatest man who ever lived, there was something in his psyche that did not allow for him to perpetuate the continuity of the Jewish People.
We have been learning in the past few weeks the power of discord and strife, from the Jewish People’s complaints about the lack of food to Korach’s struggle for power and this week’s unfortunate incident at Mei Merivah.
Let us strengthen ourselves in marital harmony, peace between brothers and sisters, and most importantly, peace between us and our Father in Heaven, and then we will merit the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, and the time of which it is said (Zachariah 2:15) וְנִלְווּ גוֹיִם רַבִּים אֶל יְ-ה-וָ-ה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וְהָיוּ לִי לְעָם, many nations will join themselves to HaShem on that day, and they will become a people unto Me.

A Proof That There Are Many Different Levels Of Gehenom

Rabbi Chaim Luzzato says, “Gehenom, Purgatory, is the places for souls that are suited for punishment, and there they receive pain and sufferings in relation to what is applicable to them, in accordance to their respective situations. And there are “different levels of pain” as there are different levels of pleasure, and with this pain, the sinners shall bear their iniquities. However, if they are worthy of reward, after this, behold they will be purified from their sin and go to rest. If not, they will be punished until they are obliterated. And this thing will not occur to a descendant of Israel, a Jew, except in the most infrequent of cases.”

The Way of G-d – Ma’amar Ha-Ikkarim B’gan Eden V’Gehenom

If one reads this paragraph closely, it says – there are “different levels of pain.”

We can say that the proof to Rabbi Luzzatto’s words are found in a Gemara that’s quoted in the Igeret ha’Ramban where he says:

“Our Rabbis taught (Nedarim 22a), whoever flares up in anger is subject to ‘all types’ of Gehenom,” as it is written: “Banish anger from your heart and remove evil from your flesh” (Ecclesiastes 11:10). The evil mentioned here refers to Gehenom as it is written: “And the wicked are destined for the day of evil” (Proverbs 16:4).

The Gemara uses the words “all types” clearly indicating there are different types, levels of Gehenom.

Lekavod Parasha Chukat – Torah From Rabbi Menachem Genack, Rav Avrohom Genechovsky Zt”l And Rabbi Yakov Nagen (Genack)


Take A Parah And Not A Raised Calf

The verse says by Parah Adumah, “Vayikchu eilecha para aduma –   And they shall take to you a completely red cow” (Numbers 19:2). The sifrei says that this taking is from the “ trumat ha’lishcha” (communal funds). In sifrei zutah it darshens “A cow, and not a calf” and therefore you don’t take a calf and raise it to be used as the parah adumah. The Rambam codifies this as Halacha (Halacha Parah adumah 1:1) when he says, “You don’t take a calf and then raise it because it says Vayikchu eilecha.” It can be extrapolated from here that the buying of the parah adumah with the money of the trumat ha’lishcha is an essential part of the mitzvah.

Rabbi Genack explains that the parah adumah came to atone for the sin of the golden calf. And by the golden calf it is written, “So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron” (Exodus 32:3). Therefore the giving of the gold was also part of the sin of the golden calf. A proof to this is that women are assur to do melacha on Rosh Chodesh and the midrash says (brought down in Rashi Megillah (22b) that this is a reward for the fact that they didn’t offer their gold jewelry to make the golden calf. Therefore the purchase of the Parah Adumah from communal funds of Klal Yisroel atones for the contribution of funds given for the golden calf

Birchat Yitzchak Chukat section 2 page 225

Rav Avrohom Genechovsky Zt”l

Is A Bracha She’ayna Tzricha Permissible When Your Fried Needs To Hear It

In a case where one had mezonos and drank wine and he now has to say an al hamichya and he wants to yotze his friend in al hamichya but he wants to drink more wine – and the friend can’t wait – should he say al hamichya and al hagefen and after say a new borei prei hagefen or should he just say al hamichya alone and after he finishes drinking the wine he says al hagefen. Either way there will be a bracha she’ayna tzricha. Is it better a borei prei hagefen she’ayna tzricha or an al hagefen she’ayna tzricha.  Rav Avrohom said that Rav Mordechai Venkin Shlita (often quoted in the sefer) says that the need of his friend for a bracha immediately makes it a need for the mevarech as well and it’s no longer a bracha she’ayna tzricha and therefore he said in a case where one only had mezonos alone and the friend needs to leave he should stop and make the bracha achrona for the friend and then return to mezonos.

And this notion would apply also when one wants to yotze his friend from a safek bracha. It would not be considered a bracha she’ayna tzricha because when his friend must go it’s as if the mevarech must go as well.

Sefer Bar Almugim Siman 159 Section 5 – Page 765-766

Story Of Rav Avrohom Zt”l

Mashiv Haruach U’morid Hageshem At Vatikin

On Simchat Torah, two days before Rav Avrohom passed, he was still involved in being mechadesh be’Torah. His grandson Rav Baruch Shlita, who was with him that day, said over that Rav Avrohom davened shacharit that day vatikin. When he reached mussaf he asked his grandson to exit the room and the grandson asked why. Rav Avrohom said that some hold when mashiv haruach u’morid hageshem is said it’s like an announcement, and then the grandson would have a problem in regarding what to say for shacharit. Rav Menas Shlita, Rav Avrohom’s talmid mentioned this at the hesped and said that in fact this is the opinion of the Tehilla Le’David. This Halacha is brought down in the biur halacha Siman104 s.v. lo yakdim that says an announcement at a minyan vatikin helps for the minyan after it.

Agan Hasahar Page 53

Rabbi Yakov Nagen (Genack)

Redemption Of The Past And Redemption Of The Present

Mishna Pesachim 3:1

“The law (prohibiting leaven to be seen or found in the house) on Passover is transgressed by the following articles: Babylonian Kuthach, Median beer (made of wheat or barley), Edomite vinegar (made by the fermentation of barley and wine), Egyptian zeethum (Mishna Pesachim 3:1). These items contain chametz according to Rav Bartenurah and we must destroy them on Pesach. The gemara (Pesachim 42a) explains that these four items refer to the four kingdoms of bavel, madai (and pras), edom and mitzraim that ruled over us in history. It seems the Mishnah picked these foods to hint that the burning of chametz is really a destruction of these kingdoms and points towards our redemption from the past and present (see Yerushalmi Pesachim 10 and Bavli 37:72-73 that according to one understanding the four cups represent the four malchiot that ruled over Bnei Yisroel. Usually the four malchios indicate ones that came after shibud mitzraim so under mitzraim is usually subsumed yavan – see Mechilta Yitro Parsha 9 s.v. Rebbi Amar).

Rav Yakov brings down his brother, Rav Donni Genack who also found a link between chametz and shibud malchiot based on a tefillah mentioned in the gemara (Brachos 17a), “Master of the universe, it is known before you that we want to do your will and what holds us back; the leaven in the dough and shibud malchiot.”

Nishmat HaMishnah Pages 156-157