Friday, August 18, 2017

Parsha Perspective

By Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman

This week’s Parsha Perspective is dedicated in memory of Elka bas Zisel OBM

Dedicated in memory of Leah bas Rochel OBM

Dear Friend,                                                                                                                                                                                   
This forthcoming week we will PG be starting the Hebrew month of Elul, just a few weeks away from Rosh Hashanah and the High Holidays – a time of reflection, introspection and taking on new resolutions with which to enhance our lives, spiritually and meaningfully. 
Cheder Chabad of Monsey hopes that these weekly Torah thoughts will help inspire to achieve those goals. All the students, staff and administration of Cheder Chabad of Monsey wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. May this year be the year of the full and complete redemption with the coming of our righteous Moshiach - NOW! 

Two friends were walking when they saw a sign saying, "Your country needs you!"

"Hey, David," said one to the other, "what are you waiting for? It says that they need you!"

The first word of this week's Torah reading, Re'eh ("See!") (Devorim  [Deuteronomy] 11:26-16:17), is in the singular form, even though Moses was speaking to the entire Jewish nation.
The commentator Ibn Ezra (famous early Biblical commentator, Rabbi Avraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra) explains that this is so that people would realize that "he's talking to me," to each and every one of us on a personal level.

A rabbi once gave a brilliant, inspirational sermon. Afterwards, one of the congregants came over and said, "Rabbi, that speech was absolutely brilliant. If that doesn't get through to them, nothing will!"

Get through to them? What about you, sir!

It is too easy to think that they are talking to the next person, not to me.

Throughout our lives, we are being spoken to by different people -- a spouse, a family member, a friend, an employer, a Rabbi, maybe even G-d -- trying to give us a message. It is so easy to fall into the trap of looking to the person next to us and thinking that he is the one being spoken to. Isn't it worth considering that maybe, just this one time, they're actually talking to me, and to take it to heart? 

Let’s start with a Mitzva that the Talmud refers to as the Mitzvah, because of its importance: charity.

We'll read in the Torah this week, Re'eh  (Devorim  [Deuteronomy] 11:26-16:17), that we have the responsibility and privilege to support the poor. Especially at this time of year (the month of Elul, which PG starts this week and which is the lead-in month before the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) it is traditional to increase our charitable donations. Does it really work? Why tzedakah (charity) more than any other mitzvah?

It is traditional to increase in charitable giving at this time of the year and that is why we always read this parshah the week Elul begins. We're committing to change, to improve. We pray that G-d accepts us favorably, but who among us can be truly comfortable with the year that was? Ill decisions made, promises broken and wrong forks taken on the road of life. Our only hope is that G-d takes us back, warts and all, without examining too closely whether we deserve it. And, to set an example to G-d, we too hand out help and Tzedoka with an open hand to all, (and perhaps a bit more than usual!) and with the hope that, please G-d, this year we are blessed with good health and prosperity and we will all receive the greatest gift of all: the final redemption, with our righteous Moshiach.

(Excerpts from

May you have a meaningful and uplifting Shabbos!

If you would like to dedicate the weekly Parsha Perspective  in honor or memory of a person or occasion, please contact Rabbi Shusterman at

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