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  • Let us make man in our image

    And G-d said, Let us make man in our image... - וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה אָדָ֛ם בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ - Bereshit 1:26

    There are many explanations for this verse, such as who did G-d speak with, and who did He consult with? The Sages say that G-d has consulted with the angels, before creating a man... But maybe, it can also have a different meaning.

    Perhaps, it was not the angels that Hashem consulted with, but He consulted with the souls of the future rabbis and teachers of the Torah. Like for example:  Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aharon, David, Shlomo, Rambam, Rashi, the sages of the Talmud, Mishna, and the rabbis of every generation until our times.

    Why? Because these are the people that dedicate their lives to learn Torah, and as they do this, something happens to them. They become holy and their Tzelem Elokim or Divine Image is revealed to the world.

    So, Hashem was speaking to these great souls, or shall we say - instructing them: Let us make man in OUR IMAGE. What does it mean - in Our Image or Divine Image - it is a study of how to emulate Hashem - to be holy as Him, to do as Him, to live life according to His Torah, and His laws.

    Since Hashem is Holy, and the above souls already have the Divine Image which is revealed later because of their learning, and self-work to emulate Hashem - their congregants, and their followers that come to shuls, and places of study all across the globe, haven't yet acquired their Divine Image. So, this will be the job of the rabbis and the teachers of the Torah in every generation - to teach, to guide, and to help individuals to reveal their Divine Image while leaving their own Torah knowledge in the pages of the Talmud, in their students, and in their books.

    Shmuel Katanov

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  • The Inner Battle

    The Gemarah says that the First Bet Hamikdash was destroyed due to three sins - idol worship, forbidden relations, and bloodshed. The Second is due to one - Sinat Chinam or Baseless Hatred. The Chachamim say, that the sin of baseless hatred is equivalent to the three severe transgressions of the First Bet Hamikdash and was enough to destroy the Second. Today, I would like to concentrate on the issue of the Second Bet Hamikdash, since I believe there's a message that may be waiting for us to be discovered.

    Let's take for example the times of the Second Temple. The Gemarah tells us of a story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza, but I would assume you know the story, and I will not go into details. But imagine this - a person that has been thrown out from a party, and went through humiliation while witnessing the total silence from the rabbis and other members of his community present at the party, has assumed that they were OK with what was done to him. But the worst thing of all, is his next step - to frame the Country and I don't mean the host of the party or some of the members of his community that were present at the party, but a country where the ones who suffered were all the residents of the ancient Jerusalem, his parents, I assume his wife and children, neighbors and many other people unknown to him - millions were killed and taken into captivity.

    Till today, the Jewish nation has not recovered from this, and the exile has been going on for 1,954 years. Our nation says that we have suffered enough and we deserve redemption - but do we? Have we learned from our mistakes? Have we learned from the mistakes of the generation of the Second Bet Hamikdash? Do we know what this sin is - a baseless hatred?

    What moves the person to hurt someone else - jealousy...ego? Not being happy with his lot, not being happy with what Hashem has given him, and looking into someone else's plate and saying - that plate should have been mine, why he and not me, and going miles, doing and saying much - to destroy the good others have, just to have that feeling - that the other person no longer has more than him.

    That feeling of anger that lurks inside the person at those moments and the bleeding ego springs him into action. That desire to rip the other person's life apart, or simply as he thinks, to level the battlefield, or to totally level the other person to the ground - is an animalistic desire that stems from the other side of the human body. 

    But what is this desire to cause damage, or these traits - anger, ego and jealousy? These are traits that have led to the downfall of many over human history... but they are also the traits that go against G-d, against his decision, and His authority.

    When Adam and Chavah were just created and resided in the Garden of Eden, they were given only one commandment - not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. But as you know they did not pass that test, and the end result wasn’t that they have acquired all the bad character traits, but this also means that those bad character traits can now compete with the other traits - the good traits

    The human body has two spiritual forces - The Neshama and The Nefesh. The Neshama is the G-dly Soul that pulls the person to do G-dly work, and the Nefesh is an animal soul or an earthly soul that pulls the person to act in the physical world. There's a constant battle between these two souls. Who wins you ask? It depends, on what you fill yourself with.

    If you fill yourself with Torah knowledge, and good deeds then your Neshama becomes stronger and is able to fight off your animalistic soul. But if you indulge in this world, don't learn and transgress the laws of the Torah, and don't keep commandments - the animalistic soul wins every time and the person slowly changes into a different being.

    So, what is baseless hatred? It is a combination of several traits - anger, ego and jealousy of another human being, enough to move the person into action to set some goals for himself - goals not of his growth, but of bringing the other person down - to affect every area of someone's life and to bring him to the point of total destruction of the other's character, income, and social standing. Whether it may take months, or years he will be doing it constantly and will involve many others in this endeavor. And all of this is done, while totally ignoring the laws of Torah and Hashem's authority over his and other person's life.

    In the times of the Second Temple, the nation didn't have a tribe of Yehuda ruling the Jewish nation. Because of this one fact - as was declared by Yaakov Avinu, all other parts of the society were not aligned correctly, which led to many problems in the future, as we'll see.

    The position of the Cohen HaGadol was going to the highest bidder - since the people that were not cohanim were able to become one, even though they knew fully well, that they will die upon entry into Kadosh Kedoshim. And since the office of the King and Cohen HaGadol had problems, there was no system of checks and enforcement of the laws - no one demanded the Kohanim and Leviim to go out and to teach the nation. And since nobody learned, and no one demanded, but the few, the general population was busy hating, ridiculing, spreading lies, and framing others. People were coming to bring sacrifices to Hashem, but on the other hand, continued to hate and malign others. 

    In the Haftorah of the Parashat Devarim, in Shabbat Chazon, it says: "Why do I need your numerous sacrifices? - says Hashem - I am satiated with elevation offerings of rams and the choicest of fattened animals; and the blood of the bulls and sheep and he-goats I do not desire. When you come to appear before Me - who sought this from your hand, to trample my courtyards? You shall not continue to bring a worthless meal-offering - incense of abomination it is unto Me; New Moon and Shabbat, calling of the assembly, I cannot accept untruthfulness from society. Your New Moons and your appointed festivals, My soul hates; they have become a burden upon Me that I am weary of bearing. And when you spread your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you were to increase prayer, I do not hear; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves, purify yourselves; remove the evil of your doings from before My eyes; desist from doing evil. Learn to do good, seek justice, strengthen the victim, do justice for the orphan, take up the cause of the widow."

    The nation was deep in its evil ways, the hate flowed in all directions, along with animalistic behavior. People were killing others with their rumors and words, destroying livelihoods and families, while totally neglecting the sanctity of the place they were in. To Hashem, and to many others it seemed like a WILD JUNGLE in HIS own House - The Bet Hamikdash. And this Hashem did not allow to continue - thus blood flowed - many were killed and many were taken captive when Hashem destroyed the Second Bet Hamikdash.

    In Yerushalmi, Masechet Yoma 1a, the Sages teach, "Any generation in which the Temple is not built, it is as if it had been destroyed in their times". 

    And here we are today. Are we ready for redemption and the building of Bet Hamikdash, or are we in the process of destroying the one we were going to build?

    Not by coincidence, our shuls are called Small Batey Mikdashim. 

    Do we think twice before we malign, spread rumors, and act in an animalistic and hateful way toward others? Are the tefillin, daily prayers, and tzedakah held in high importance, while spreading lies, rumors, and hate is allowed? Do our shuls look like a Jungle in the eyes of Hashem and others, that try to stay as far away as possible from the places of Torah? Or do they look like a place that draws others in, to learn how to serve Hashem better?

    And maybe this is another coincidence, but since the destruction of the Second Temple, we say in the evening prayer of Aravit, in the Hashkivenu part - ...Shevor Ve Haser HaSatan Milefanenu U Meacharenu - Break and remove the Satan from before us and from behind us - could mean that those people with animalistic traits have graduated from an Animal level to a Satan level, and got really good at ruining people's lives - and here we ask for Hashem's assistance to deal with them?! Deal with them while they are in our presence, and deal with them when we are not around them, and they are out there spreading rumors and lies. 

    So, what are we doing with our Bet Hamikdash - building it or destroying it daily? Will it be the next generation that will succeed and build it, or will it be us? 

    For as long as we avoid Torah learning, we’ll repeat the behavior and the mistakes of the previous generations, since we'll think that everything we do is right and we have no need to change. The animal in us will strive and grow, and will take over our lives while trampling over others. We won't notice the bad we do, since we will feel that we are prospering and growing in life, but in reality, we'll be walking over the bodies of other people "to reach our goals" as it happened in the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza who achieved his goal of revenge, but had total disregard to the consequences of his actions.

    But then we realize, that we’ve ended up with nothing good, and have gained whole lot of bad - since we’ve been filling our souls with evil, lies and emptiness of this world while strengthening the traits of anger, ego and jealousy, and committing countless amounts of sins - by making the animal inside of us stronger and bolder every day.

    So, I ask you my reader - who do you give your strength to in your life - to your G-dly Soul or to your Animal Soul?

    Shmuel Katanov


    PS: Dedicated to B.S. & F.N.

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  • The Mystery of The Lit Candle

    Have you ever wondered why we light a candle during the Bedikat Chametz or Searching for the Leavened Bread? To the outsider, this looks like an ancient ceremony, but as always there may be reasons for it and it should be something for us to look into.


    On the night of Bedikat Chametz we use a candle and look for 10 pieces of bread that we hid before, and also let me mention here - that we use the lit candle on Motzeh Shabbat during the Havdalah. Why do we do that? Is there a connection between these two candles? I believe there's, so let's examine it closely.


    The first time the fire is mentioned is in the Midrash for Parashat Bereshit, when Adam and Chavah went out of Gan Eden. When the night has fallen it says, that Adam got scared, since this would be the first time he has experienced - the nighttime. Hashem told him not to worry since it is a normal occurrence. He taught him how to start a fire with stones, and this gave Adam peace of mind and calmed him down. But I believe there's more that could be added to this Midrash or may be explained from a different angle.


    Let's start with a question, how come Adam and Chavah ended up outside of Gan Eden?

    In Parashat Bereshit, right after Hashem created the world, Hashem has told Adam not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, in turn, Adam has told Chavah not to touch the tree. Later when Adam wasn't around, Chavah was approached by a nachash, a primordial snake. And this is when the snake persuaded her - by telling Lashon Hara or slander about Hashem - to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, and she fell for it. There are several opinions about the fruit that the tree had - apple, grape, bread, etc.., but I strongly believe this tree had a ready-to-eat bread growing as fruits. 


    So there was Chavah - she took the fruit of that tree - a piece of bread from the Tree of Knowledge, and right before she ate it - the snake placed his poison into it - and Chavah ate the poisoned bread. And at that moment, the Yetzer Hara went into her, and then she made Adam eat it as well, and there they were with Yetzer Hara also known as - the bad character traits - jealousy, hatred, dishonesty, rudeness, and more - deeply rooted in them, and which are passed on to billions of people throughout the generations until today all across the world.


    Hashem wasn't happy about this. He punished Adam, Chavah, and the snake, but humanity was still infected, and Hashem had to figure out a way to somehow cleanse the people from it.


    And this is what Hashem did.

    Remember the time when Moshe Rabbeinu came to Egypt and took the Jewish nation out of Mitzrayim? In Parashat Beshalach, Hashem has given us manna in the dessert - a pure bread - food for the angels. A bread that was digested by the body fully with no waste. There's a reason why Hashem has put millions of people in the desert on this diet - only one reason - to raise the nation spiritually to the level Adam HaRishon was at when he was in Gan Eden. 


    But later when we get to Parashat Shelach, suddenly the selected few get this idea of spying out the Land. Hashem is not so excited about this idea, but He still lets Moshe send out an expedition, which he does. After forty days when they come back, what do they do? They say Lashon Hara or slander only this time on the Land of Israel. Hashem tried to cleanse the nation from that original sin, and raise them to high spiritual levels, but they fell for the same sin again, and this time Hashem decided to kill the males between ages 20 to 60 of that generation, and their children went into Israel years later. 


    But the Yetzer Hara was still inside those people that went to Eretz Yisrael.


    So, in Parashat Bo 12:11 it says, "So shall you eat it: your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You shall eat it in haste. It is a Passover offering to G-d." It continues in 12:34 & 39: "The people picked up its dough before it could become leavened, their leftovers bound up in their garments upon their shoulders. They baked the dough that they took out of Egypt into unleavened cakes, for they could not be leavened, for they were driven from Egypt for they could not delay." 


    So, it was set as a Holiday of Pesach for generations till today, to eat the unleavened bread - matzah, a bread that is pure and has no chametz in it. The Sages teach us that we should celebrate the night of Pesach, and we should feel that we leave Mitzrayim. But I don't believe that by leaving Mitzrayim, they meant that we should leave any physical location. Our Mitzrayim is our OK with the current situation, our contentment with it, and our will to continue living in it. Because the moment we understand what happened, we understand that we have lost - and we have lost BIG.


    On Motzeh Shabbat when we make the blessing for a lit candle, we look at our fingernails, which reminds us of Adam HaRishon, since it says in the Midrash that his whole skin was covered by fingernails like skin, but now we have nails only on our fingers and toes. But this is not the only loss it should remind us of. It should remind us of the fact that we no longer live in the Gan Eden, we no longer have ready-to-eat bread growing on the trees, and we have to toil hard for a piece of bread daily. We no longer have a close relationship with Hashem and thus live in the darkness. No Bet Hamikdash, and no Eretz Yisrael, with wars, diseases, hunger, death, conflicts, and a whole lot of troubles across the globe.


    Therefore, while we look for chametz with a lit candle, and gather the pieces of chametz - the leavened bread, we realize: Chametz, it is because of you we have lost so much. The life we have, and the life the whole world has is not what Hashem initially intended it to be - and instead, we suffer today because of the poison the snake put into the bread - which is the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge - which in turn has infected us, humans, with the Yetzer Hara from which we suffer daily. We take that bread and we burn it, and with it, we annul all the chametz, that may be in our possession -- thus weakening its influence over us for the next 7 days


    And to all those that think, that G-d has abandoned the Jewish nation - should know that He has neither abandoned nor has given up on us.


    He has commanded us to celebrate the Holiday of Pesach for 7 days. And on this holiday we are commanded to eat the unleavened bread for 7 days. The bread that has zero chametz - the matzah. And when we eat the matzah - we grow in our belief in G-d, and most importantly we grow in holiness, which eventually will lead to the ultimate redemption, Mashiach, and Third Bet Hamikdash speedily in our days...amen.

    Shmuel Katanov

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  • 100, 20 and 7 years - why the Torah breaks down the years of the life of Sarah Imeinu?

    וַיִּהְיוּ֙ חַיֵּ֣י שָׂרָ֔ה מֵאָ֥ה שָׁנָ֛ה וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וְשֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֑ים שְׁנֵ֖י חַיֵּ֥י שָׂרָֽה׃ - Sarah’s lifetime—the span of Sarah’s life—came to one hundred years, and twenty years, and seven years. (Bereshit 23:1)

    Here Torah broke down the years of her life into the stages of 100, 20 & 7 years. This is what Rashi says on it:  ויהיו חיי שרה מאה שנה ועשרים שנה ושבע שנים And the life of Sarah was 127 years (literally, 100 years, 20 years and 7 years) — The reason the word שנה is written at every term is to tell you that each term must be explained by itself as a complete number: at the age of one hundred she was as a woman of twenty as regards sin — for just as at the age of twenty one may regard her as having never sinned, since she had not then reached the age when she was subject to punishment, so, too, when she was one hundred years old she was sinless — and when she was twenty she was as beautiful as when she was seven (Bereshit Rabbah 58:1).

    But my question, why would Torah break down her years and what is Torah hinting at?

    The Yalkut Shimoni (16:78), says Avraham Avinu was 25 years old and Sarai was 15 years old when they got married, this makes them as barren couple for 75 years.

    When Avraham Avinu and Sarah Imeinu got married they brought into their marriage their past experiences. On top of it, during their life together, Avraham Avinu went through many more trials in his life: being childless for 75 years and everything that comes with it, problems in the community, being singled out in his hometown for his monotheistic ideas, being thrown into a fiery furnace, and many other tribulations in his path of life.

    And during all of this, one thing we know for sure, Sarah Imeinu was there for him and with him all that time, feeling his pain and supporting him in all of his trials and endeavors.

    When the angels came to them in Parashat Vayera, she was there in the tent (Bereshit 18:9) working tirelessly doing the work to support Avraham's endeavor of hosting guests and spreading the faith of One G-d.

    When Hashem told him to leave his hometown in Parashat Lech Lecha, she travelled with him from place to place for many months, enduring much suffering during those travels. 

    When she gave Hagar to Avraham Avinu as a maidservant to have a child through her, and Hagar got pregnant from the first time, Sarah Imeinu suffered much from Hagar later since she started shaming Sarah, because she couldn't conceive.

    She was there when he was in trouble and in pain. She was there for him when he was bringing people back to Hashem, tirelessly doing the work needed to be done. And she was there when he was in triumph at the birth of his son Yitzchak.

    Sarah Imeinu didn't live her life - her life had a purpose, her life had a vision, she was part of something BIG, something that was driving her existence. She was like a moon reflecting the life struggles, accomplishments and the vision of Avraham Avinu. So when Avraham Avinu reached the age of 100 years old, it was her age and achievement as well, it was as if she reached that age, since she has been with him through the good and the bad together.

    So what are the 20 years? Shlomo Hamelech said in the song of Eshet Chayil, צ֭וֹפִיָּה הֲלִיכ֣וֹת בֵּיתָ֑הּ - She oversees the activities of her household. When Sarah Imeinu saw the behavior of Yishmael - shooting the arrows toward Yitzchak, as a play, she foresaw this as a future problem, so she asked Avraham Avinu to send Yishmael away, thus making sure Yitzchak would be the only heir through whom the nation will be build. Avraham Avinu did so, so the next 20 years she was raising Yitzchak in the way of Torah, instilling in him the values of Torah and the idea that he would be the next patriarch to build the future of the nation.

    The next 7 years, were the years where she worked on his love and full dedication to Hashem. When Yitzchak asked his father Avraham Avinu, where's the korban that will be brought when they get to their destination? Avraham Avinu answered him that Hashem will choose the korban, and this is when Yitzchak understood that it was him that would be the korban, and it says that they Vayelchu Shnechem Yachdav - And the two of them walked on together (Bereshit 22:7-8). He understood, and accepted that he will be the korban that his father will bring, and he walked together with his father to his death. He was not made the korban, they brought a sheep as a korban instead (Bereshit 22:13), but since he has accepted the decision of Hashem, he was elevated to the holiest level - worthy of becoming one of the Avot.

    Avraham Avinu came from the Akedah and saw that Sarah Imeinu passed away. Torah says that he didn't mourn for long (Bereshit 23:2-3). He needed to get up and do the things that needed to be done. Why? Because, remember they were on a mission - Sarah Imeinu and Avraham Avinu were a team and were together on this all along - working tirelessly day and night for years. Since in order to build the nation, and this nation should have a future, one needs to claim ownership of the land. So he purchased the land - which is a Maarat HaMachpela, where Adam and Chava were already buried. Right after that Avraham Avinu started looking for a wife, for his son Yitzchak.

    Avraham Avinu married Ketura and had children with her. Years later, he sent them all away to the East, thus to separate them from the future Am Yisrael and Yitzchak. Following their example, years later Rivkah Imeinu made sure that Yakov gets the beracha from his father Yitzchak Avinu, which made Yaakov Avinu the next patriarch of the nation.

    The last sentence in the song Eshet Chayil, written by Shelomo HaMelech says: תְּנוּ־לָ֭הּ מִפְּרִ֣י יָדֶ֑יהָ וִיהַלְל֖וּהָ בַשְּׁעָרִ֣ים מַֽעֲשֶֽׂיהָ׃ - Extol her for the fruit of her hand, And let her works praise her in the gates. The fruit of her hands - as Rashi explains, Glory and greatness, strength, beauty and the ruling power. I would like to also add wisdom and the loyalty to be by her husband's side, to stick to the goal of building the nation, to foresee the trouble that may lay ahead, and to raise the family in the values of the Torah. This is what Sarah Imeinu accomplished and this is what she has entrusted all the women after her - to follow in her footsteps and to continue her work and the work of Avraham Avinu. That is why all men sing to their wives every Erev Shabbat: אֵֽשֶׁת־חַ֭יִל מִ֣י יִמְצָ֑א וְרָחֹ֖ק מִפְּנִינִ֣ים מִכְרָֽהּ׃- What a rare find is a capable wife! Her worth is far beyond the gemstones.

    Shabbat Shalom,
    Shmuel Katanov

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  • The Shattered Dreams

    As you know in the Parashat Shelach, the nation asks Moshe Rabbeinu to send out the spies, to spy out the land, even though Hashem has told them to just go into the land. Moshe is not too excited about this idea, so he asks Hashem, and Hashem tells him to send them for himself -  Shelach Lecha Anashim in Parashat Shelach 13:2. We all know the end of this episode of the history - the meraglim come back with a bad report, and due to the sin of slandering the land, all the males ages 20 and up of that generation, were buried in the desert, and were not able to enter the Promised Land. 

    It seems harsh that due to some biased calculations of the few, so many people are punished. Here they are standing just a few days away from Eretz Yisrael, and about to enter the land. Suddenly people come, and ask Moshe Rabbeinu to send out the spies. This is something Moshe Rabbeinu doesn't want to do, since Hashem already told him to go into the land, since it is yours and Hashem is with the nation. But the few turn everything around, and put Moshe into a difficult position where he is forced to ask Hashem for permission to send people as spies, where he is risking a chance that something might go wrong. And something does go wrong - the meraglim come back with a bad report, slander the land and Hashem tells everyone to turn around and go back into the desert...

    Have you ever thought for a second how Moshe Rabbeinu felt?! When Moshe Rabbeinu watched those people slandering the land, and Yehoshua and Kalev defending it, Moshe Rabbeinu knew it was trouble, not only for those that slandered but for the whole nation as a whole. 

    The years of the work that he has put in, were crumbling right in front of his eyes. His dream to go into Eretz Yisrael, and to serve Hashem in the Holy Land was being taken away from him - right there in the broad daylight.

    Have you ever had that feeling? You worked on something for years and suddenly it is being taken away from you by some evildoers and by circumstances where you have no control over.

    Not a good feeling. 

    But, let's look into it from a different angle. 

    There's a mitzvah which is hard to understand and makes one wonder why Hashem has given it to us, but maybe in the light of the above explanation it will start making more sense.

    There are many explanations to the mitzvah of Shiluach haKen, but I would like to take Zohar's explanation and expand on that. The Zohar says that this mitzvah is meant to awaken and intensify Hashem’s mercy on His creations. The pain which the mother bird suffers when she is sent away and forced to abandon her young "awakens the forces of mercy in the world" and releases an outpouring of mercy from the Heavens above which alleviates all kinds of human suffering. 

    With your permission I would like to add to the above. 

    Not to go into the details of the mitzvah but to touch a bit upon it in general, if you ever performed that mitzvah - that feeling you left with after completing it, is not enjoyable. Besides the fact that you have made the mitzvah, you are left with an egg, and left the bird feeling bad - very bad. You have taken her egg or a chick and created that void in the heart of the bird - you have broken her hopes of building a family, and ruined her plans for a "bright birdie future".

    And here Hashem comes and gives us this, as a mitzvah.

    Moshe Rabbeinu worked hard in his 80s dealing with the nation, which was not easy to deal with. A stubborn nation with lots of demands and quarrels. On top of it, the leaders that worked under him ideally had to be on the same page with him, but for some reason had their own agenda which he never agreed on or was aware of. All this brought to one result - that generation never made it to Eretz Yisrael, Moshes' goal crumbled, and he had to witness the passing of all the males ages 20 and up. 

    The meraglim didn't just destroy the dream of that generation, they also destroyed the dream of Moshe Rabbeinu, they brought suffering to our nation till today, and they have totally changed the plans for the nation, and everything unfolded not as Hashem has envisioned.

    So, Torah tells us to go ahead and do the mitzvah, and to go through that uncomfortable feeling and to let it sink in - feel that bitterness of the committed act.

    When we send away the mother bird and take her egg - it may seem, like the meraglim behaved back in the day towards the nation, when they went to Eretz Yisrael, and brought back the bad report that caused a lot of people to suffer - and here we are, taking away the eggs from the shooed away mother bird thus causing her pain and suffering.

    As for the mother bird - whatever she is going through, it is like the feeling of what Moshe Rabbeinu and millions of other people not privy to the scheme of the meraglim felt - betrayal of the assigned mission, and shattering of the dream of entering the Eretz Yisrael

    And as we stand there with an egg in our hands, we need to understand one thing - whatever we do or say in our life, may be breaking the Divine law and order and hurting a lot of people around us - whether intentionally or unintentionally just by giving in to our biased desires and calculations as was with the case of the meraglim.

    Armed with the above understanding, it should bring us to pray to Hashem and to ask for forgiveness for the sin of the Meraglim, and for that whole generation. This would be the perfect time to ask for forgiveness for our own miscalculations, where we thought and said not in the best of intentions.  And this would be the best time to ask for forgiveness for our nation as a whole, and to ask for the full redemption and reunification with that passed on generation, so we can meet with Moshe Rabbeinu and other members of our nation of the past who were not able to enter the Land, due to the bad schemes of others.

    By fulfilling this mitzvah, one is rewarded with marriage, children, and a new home. But most importantly we are taking responsibility for the wrong committed in the past by others, by actively fixing the sin of the past which brings Hashem's mercy onto this world, that stops human suffering and brings the redemption closer.

    Shmuel Katanov

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    Let us make man in our image
    And G-d said, Let us make man in our image... - וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה אָדָ֛ם בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ - Bereshit 1:26There are...
  • The Inner Battle
    The Inner Battle
    The Gemarah says that the First Bet Hamikdash was destroyed due to three sins - idol worship, forbidden relations, and...
  • The Mystery of The Lit Candle
    The Mystery of The Lit Candle
    Have you ever wondered why we light a candle during the Bedikat Chametz or Searching for the Leavened Bread? To the outsider,...
  • 100, 20 and 7 years - why the Torah breaks down the years of the life of Sarah Imeinu?
    100, 20 and 7 years - why the Torah breaks down the years of the life of Sarah Imeinu?
    וַיִּהְיוּ֙ חַיֵּ֣י שָׂרָ֔ה מֵאָ֥ה שָׁנָ֛ה וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וְשֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֑ים שְׁנֵ֖י חַיֵּ֥י שָׂרָֽה׃ - Sarah’s...
  • The Shattered Dreams
    The Shattered Dreams
    As you know in the Parashat Shelach, the nation asks Moshe Rabbeinu to send out the spies, to spy out the land, even though...

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  • CoronaVirus or What Is G-d Trying To Tell Us?
    CoronaVirus or What Is G-d Trying To Tell Us?
    As you know more and more countries get infected with CoronaVirus and it is not slowing down. The World Health Organization has...
  • Modesty or The Holy Scroll
    Modesty or The Holy Scroll
    Modesty or Tzeniut... When one hears either one of these words, the first thing that usually comes to one’s mind is: Oh...
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    Why should I keep Shabbat?
    Shabbat or Shabbos... we heard it so many times, some heard it since birth if they were born into religious home, while others...
  • The Wisdom of the Jewish Sage
    The Wisdom of the Jewish Sage
    It's very puzzling how it all played out. The nation of Israel was three days away from the Land of Israel - just go in, and...
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    The Baseless Hatred Mystery Revealed
    Our Chachamim z"l tell us that the First Bet Hamikdash was destroyed because of three sins: Avodah Zarah/Idolatry, Shefichat...