Thursday, June 23, 2016

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated by Mr. Binyomin Philipson in memory of his late mother Mrs. Ellen (Elka bas Zisel) Philipson OBM

This week’s Torah portion Beha’aloscha (Bamidbor (Numbers)8:1 -12:16) tells the story of a group of men who were unable to bring the Passover offering on its appointed time, and approached Moses with a sincere request: "Why should we lose out?" It so happened that these individuals had been occupied with a good deed - according to some it was nothing less than carrying the remains of Joseph from Egypt en route to his final resting place in Shechem in the Holy Land - and because of their contact with the dead, they were "ritually impure" and thus unfit to bring the offering.

Moses consulted G-d and was told that, in fact, the men were quite right. Henceforth, those who were ritually impure or far away at the time the Passover offering was brought on the 14th of Nissan would be given a second chance exactly one month later, on the 14th of Iyar to make good their lost opportunity.

There are many important lessons from this law, known as Pesach Sheini ("the Second Passover"), such as "It's never too late." There are second chances in life for all of us. Or, that G-d sometimes waits to see if we really want something badly enough to demand it and only then does He give it to us.

What those men in Moses' day did was actually quite inspiring. You see, they didn't really have to come and plead with Moses for a second chance. After all, they had the perfect alibi. They could have simply said, "Sorry, we were busy with another mitzvah." They were spiritually unable to participate. They had no reason to feel guilty. They couldn't be faulted.

Yet, it did bother them. They felt left out and genuinely desired to be together with their brethren in the observance of another mitzvah, the Passover offering. People who had every opportunity to be free of obligation and willfully choose to actively seek obligation are indeed deserving of honorable mention. It is right that they should be singled out in the Torah for their sincerity and devotion.

We're all very good at making excuses: It's too cold, too hot, too expensive, too difficult etc, etc. Too many of us take the path of least resistance. "The difference between a success and a failure is that a failure makes excuses and a success makes a plan."

Let's not look for excuses. Don't opt for the easy way out. Let us learn from the men in the wilderness who could have had every excuse in the book and yet happily chose to look for a new mitzvah and to share in the good deed of their community.

(Excerpts from - from Rabbi Yossy Goldman)

May you have a meaningful and uplifting Shabbos!

Mega Hakhel Event in Monsey this Sunday

This Sunday, June 26, 2016 (20 Sivan 5776) our Monsey Anash community will IY"be joining Anash communities across the United States and Canada in a live interactive Mega Hakhel event. In Monsey, this event will take place from 1:45 – 3:15 pm at the Tzemach Tzedek Shul, 2 Langeries Drive for all men, women and children.

The Monsey Anash community is privileged to be hosting Rabbi Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia, who will be broadcasting live from Tzemach Tzedek in Monsey during this Hakhel special event!

This broadcasted program will feature music by Bentzi Marcus of the famous 8th Day Band, as well as a children’s boy choir of Pittsburgh. The twelve P’sukim will be recited by children from around the country.

A special video presentation will also be shown.

The Rebbe always encouraged, very emphatically, to have Hakhel events in the Hakhel year. The entire Monsey Anash community is therefore strongly urged to join in this mega Hakhel event, in a beautiful showing of Achdus of all the Chabad Anash in the greater Monsey area!

We thank all the sponsors of this program. To become a sponsor of this event or for further information, please contact Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman at 917 282 3505.