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Delray Orthodox Synagogue

"A Jewel of a Shul"



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This week’s Parsha, Lech Lecha, has a Pasuk in it that, at first glance, seems totally insignificant --  but, upon deeper perusal, packs a serious punch. Beraishis 13:7 tells us: "Vayehi riv bain ro'ai mikneh Avram u'vain ro'ai mikneh Lot, v’haKna'ani v’haPerizzi ohz yoshaiv ba'aretz. [And there was a quarreling between the herdsmen of Avram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock -- and the Canaanite and the Perizzite were then dwelling in the land.]"

Our Rabbis ask: What do these two seemingly independent statements, that of the quarreling herdsmen and that of the Canaanites and Perizzites living in the land, have to do with one another such that they are recorded in the same sentence? One struggles to see the immediate connection.

Avrom's response to Lot is, "Please let there be no strife between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are men who are brothers.” (Beraishis 13:8)

The lesson being taught here by the Torah is one that carries forth for all of time and not just for Avram and Lot. Unfortunately, we live in a time where the ramifications of this lesson are being experienced by all of Klal Yisroel on a daily basis.

While it is never acceptable at any time or in any place for brothers to quarrel, it is so much more dangerous for us to do so in the presence of and while living amongst our non-Jewish neighbors. Especially at times when these neighbors sit in waiting to take away our inheritance, the Holy Land of Eretz Yisroel. When we fight amongst ourselves, we feed right into their hands. Any lack of unity between Jews invites others to attract our enemies and join in with them as well. The Torah is telling us very clearly in the same sentence, when there is fighting between brothers, the direct cause is that the Canaanites and the Perizzites are dwelling in our land, and not us.

Anybody who read some of the articles in this week's Jewish Journal, articles written by Jews, Rabbis (supposedly) and seemingly-respected individuals, liberals and what nots, saw underlying themes of "Give back land. Give in to the Arab pressures and divide Jerusalem. Welcome the terrorist into our Homeland and we will have peace." You saw Jews preaching to the world that all of Hamas and ISIS violence would go away if only the Jews in Israel would stop acting so righteous and be good little puppies, roll over and play dead. Then we would have peace.

The Torah already warned us some 4,000+ years ago to beware of those who would create arguments amongst Jews in the presence of our non-Jewish neighbors. It is because of a lack of tolerance by brothers for each other’s religious beliefs --and the inability to accept anyone who is more or less religious than themselves -- that people have such a strong need to be accepted and admired by the non-Jewish sophisticates of the world. THEY, and only THEY, are the direct cause for the Canaanites and the Perizzites still dwelling in OUR land.

May Hashem grant us wisdom to follow the Torah's guidance of so long ago, and grant us clarity, unity and peace until the arrival of our final redemption in the immediate future.


Have a GREAT Shabbos.








This week's Parshas Matos begins with the Torah telling us that Moshe spoke to the Nesiyim, the heads of the tribes, telling them the laws of making and nullifying a vow.
Rashi tells us that Moshe gave Kavod, honor, to the heads of the tribes by telling them first, and then to the B'nai Yisroel. And why, asks Rashi, was it necessary to do it in this order? To teach us that a vow can be nullified by a "Yachid Mumche", a single individual that is an Halachic expert in this field.
Asks the Shem M'Shmuel.
Why are the Nesiyum mentioned in the beginning of this Parsha that discusses vows? The act of making a vow does not involve the Nasie at all. It is only with regard to nullifying a vow that the Nasie plays any roll what-so-ever?
In actuality, the entire concept of a Neder, a vow, a means by which a person can bring restrictions upon his or her self that were not commanded of them, comes into question. A self imposed vow seems comparable to a Torah restriction. How can a mere human being possibly create restrictions that are comparable to a Torah restriction imposed by G-d?
Obviously we must say that the making of a vow is NOT comparable to a Torah restriction imposed by G-d. How does it differ?
A Torah restriction can NEVER be nullified! The law is the law. Whereas a vow CAN be nullified by a Chacham, a Nasie, an expert in the laws of vows.
So, to answer our initial question. The reason that the "Heads of the Tribes" are mentioned at the beginning of the laws of "Vows" is;
If not for the fact that a Nasie could nullify a vow, making it different from a Torah restriction, one would never be allowed to make a vow in the first place. So indeed, even the Making of a vow, not just the nullification of a vow, is truly dependent on the Heads of the Tribes.
What we need to learn from this is the need to turn to our Rabbi's and Chachamim to answer questions for us and not just to assume that we can determine the Halacha for ourselves.
It is in the power of the Rabbi who knows the Halacha to nullify a vow, to allow a person to act within and outside the realm of a restriction. However, a person who is a G-d fearing Jew should not Paskin for his/her self, neither to restrict or to allow themselves any activity that involves an Halachic opinion.
A person must learn to trust that the Rabbi knows where they are holding, and that his Psak will be given accordingly, Halacha allowing.
Just as a person who kept kosher his entire life would not eat something questionable without checking if the kosher status meets with their own standards, so too a person should check with regard to the laws of Shabbos and other Halachos if certain lenienciThank you and Good Shabbos.


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Delray Orthodox Synagogue, more commonly referred to as DOS, is a vibrant Modern Orthodox Synagogue serving the spiritual and social needs of its members. DOS provides daily minyanim, Torah learning, and interesting lectures by guest speakers. The very active membership committee is always on the lookout for new members and interesting ways to provide learning in an interactive environment.

DOS serves a wide community area including Glen Eagles, Vizcaya, Valencia, Kings Point, Huntington Lakes and Towers, Huntington Point, Villa Borghese, and the Villages of Oriole. There is an extensive ERUV covering the entire Delray Beach area.
For ERUV STATUS, call 561-499-0970 after 2PM on Friday.

We hope you will come and join us for a Shabbos, a service, or one of our weekly lectures.We are confident you will find DOS a delightful and warm environment and one you will look forward to experiencing again and again.

To request info, a change or add something to the site, send feedback, send a message, or inform us of a condolence or a Mazel Tov, Email: Delray Orthodox Synagogue

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Fri, 31 October 2014 7 Cheshvan 5775