Delray Orthodox Synagogue
DELRAY ORTHODOX SYNAGOGUE
"A Jewel of a Shul"
7319 W. ATLANTIC AVENUE
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA 33446
RABBI MENACHEM JAROSLAWICZ
HARRY LAZARUS, PRESIDENT
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New Torah Dedication
Click on the following link to view the article
on the dedication of our new Torah by Joe
and Judy Kaufer:
Last week’s Parsha ended with Yaakov departing from his father-in-law, Lavan, and going on his own merry way.
The Pasuk says:
“And Lavan arose early in the morning; he kissed his sons and his daughters and blessed them; then Lavan went and returned to his place. Yaakov went on his way, and angels of G-d encountered him.
Yaakov said when he saw them, ‘This is a G-dly camp’! So, he called the name of the place Machanaim.”
The storyline in this week’s Parsha, Vayishlach, begins in the middle of a preexisting, ongoing battle between Eisav and his brother Yaakov.
“Vayishlach Yaakov malachim l’fanav el Eisav achiv, [and Yaakov sent angels before of him to Eisav his brother].”
Rashi quotes a Midrash on this Pasuk that says, “malachim mamish.” One of the possible translations of the word “malachim” could mean “messengers.” Comes along the Midrash and notifies you; Do not think that Yaakov just sent plain run-of-the-mill messengers to confront his brother, Eisav. No sir, no way, no how! Yaakov sent REAL ANGELS to do the job for him. “Malachim mamish,” real angels to meet with his brother, Eisav.
Many of our Rabbis ask the obvious question. Says whom? Who told Rashi these were real angels? Perhaps, just perhaps, they, indeed, were nothing more than DSL messengers. How can you prove that we should take the word “malachim” so literally, rather than say that he sent “human messengers” and not angels?
I remember when I was a just a child in Yeshiva, someone once asked me the following question.
“How do we know that Moshe Rabbeinu wore a Yarmulka”?
The answer was:
“Could a person in his right state of mind possibly fathom the fact that Moshe Rabbeinu had the CHUTZPA to walk around without a Yarmulka? Of course not! So it must be that he wore a Yarmulka!”
The answer to the question on the Midrash has a very similar ring to it. The difference, I believe, is that the message goes much, much, deeper than what appears on the surface.
The Torah is teaching us one of the most amazing attributes of our father Yaakov.
It is incomprehensible to imagine that Yaakov Aveenu, the founder of our nation, would intentionally endanger the lives of other human beings by having them confront his enemy, whom he already knew plays dirty.
If he, himself, was afraid to go, he would never put someone else in that position. Such is the true character of Yaakov.
So, by default, it must be that he sent “ACTUAL ANGELS,” angels that could never get hurt in any way by their confrontation with Eisav.
Sensitivity for another human being!
Don’t treat others in a way that you would never want them to treat you!
We are living in an age where we are being required to create “malachim mamish” to fight our battles on the streets.
World opinion of the Jew will not change by mere human confrontation, and by us asking them to do so.
We need to channel the energy of Avraham, Yitzchok, and Yaakov. We need to create little angels -- through Torah, Mitzvot and Gemilus Chassadim -- who will fight our battles on our behalf.
The acknowledgement this week by John Kerry, when he was in Israel, saying that Israel has the right to defend itself and that no nation should have to live in fear of walking in the street, is, indeed, a step in the right direction.
I, for one, believe that this long-awaited statement from Mr. Kerry is a direct result of our Davening, our learning and our Gemilus Chassadim.
We celebrated Thanksgiving this week. Living in America, we have much to be thankful for. Jewish communities have flourished in America as they have in no other land before this.
But at the same time, so have intermarriage and the visible destruction of family values.
As Jews in the Diaspora we are always in need of a guardian angel.
It is only when Yaakov LEFT Lavan’s presence at the end of last week’s Parsha that the channels of communication between him and G-d opened up once again. And then Yaakov saw the angels.
The Torah says:
“Va’yohmer Yaakov ka’a’sher ra’am,” and Yaakov said when he saw them (the angels), here will be the “house of Hashem.”
The word “RA’AM” is spelled “Reish” “Aleph” “Mem,” which stands for the names of the angels, Rephael, Ohri-el and, finally, “Michoel.”
Just as the presence of Hashem returned to Yaakov after he separated from Lavan, the evil one, so, too -- by strengthening ourselves and separating ourselves from the wrong people and remaining strong and true to our fellow Jews – we, too, can use our angels and destroy our enemies.
Have a Great Shabbos
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