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Mishnah Series

Pirkei Avos ,
. , , , , ; . Antignos of Socho received from Shimon HaTzadik. He used to say: Do not be as servants who serve the Master to receive reward. Rather, be as servants who serve the Master not to receive reward. And let the fear of heaven be upon you.
Welcome to autumn! Its already raining, the clouds are grey, the days are short and our thick coats are on. On the plus side however, we are now in the middle of the football premiership, winter term exams are drawing ever closer, this Shabbos is my bar mitzvah anniversary and Chanukah presents are well in sight! What else could you ask for? The third mishnah of Pirkei Avos teaches us that we should be doing mitzvos lishmo, not to gain rewards or bargain with the Almighty. At the end of the day, He owes us nothing! In other words, we do our side of the deal and show Hakaras HaTov to the Ultimate Being for allowing us to do them. Three times daily in our shemoneh esrei we say the Modim Anachnu Lach tefilah of thanksgiving. Rabbi Zev Leff in his book Shemoneh Esrei the depth and beauty of our daily tefilah explains that thanksgiving is the recognition of receiving something undeserved and feeling indebted to repay the giver. The more one feels that what he received was earned or deserved, the less necessary the show of gratitude. For example, if one receives his normal pay check for a given month, he would not go over to his bosss office to offer thanks. Conversely, if there was a considerable and unexpected raise or bonus, there is no question that he will be the first person with the boss driving him mad with thanks. We are all observant Jews who serve Hashem as well as we can but lets be honest, we are lacking on the simplest of things. We miss out on Mitzvos by ignorance to learn about them or because they just dont fit in with the life we wish to lead. Or, worse, we do our mitzvos either because we want everyone to see us doing them or thats just how we have been brought up. But how much kavonah do you expect to have if you not really doing them to be mekayim the mitzvah. Furthermore, we expect the Almighty to answer our tefilos and supplications because we deserve it or we have done so much recently and havent received much in return. This is known as apikorsos! Every morning the Ribono Shel Olam puts our neshamos back into our bodies and flicks the power on switch. He helps us walk, talk, move, daven, sing, dance, love, embrace, the list goes on We even start of Amida with . Immediately prior to beginning our paramount prayer of the day we acknowledge that without G-d, we are not able to do anything. This autumn, lets get our mitzvah hats out. Not because we wish to look frum or just to go through the motions. This time, we gotta mean it! Dont daven because you really want arsenal to win the league (they wont!). Daven and show Hakaras HaTov to the Ribono Shel Olam. Show Him that we dont need much more than we have, otherwise we would already have it and we are forever indebted to Him for those things granted to us daily (e.g. LIFE!). Make the most of it and whatever you do, do it LeShem Shomayim because, we dont need anything in return. Wishing you a good Shabbos! By Daniel Salter

The Hasmonean High School Weekly Sedra Sheet Issue no. 383 Shabbos Ends @

- 5772

5th November 2011

' .... When Hashem first instructed Avram to do a Bris Mila, He referred to Himself as Kel Shakai. The says that one aspect of this name is: - I said to the world enough. But what connection does this have with Bris Milah? Why would Hashem specifically mention this aspect of His when He instructed Avram to do the Bris Milah?

The Unfinished Article

Editorial Team: Shmuli Margulies Yossi Prager Mikey Lebrett Avraham Grant Micha Athersych Contributors: Rabbi M. Cohen, Ariel Finn, Alex Jaffe, Daniel Salter Director : Rabbi D Meyer

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Hashem specifically used the name over here. When ' said enough when creating the world, this can mean quantitively in the size of the universe but also qualitatively in the stages of development. For example when wheat grows it begins with just a green stalk, the straw which will become animal fodder. Then the seed begins to develop, first the outer layers, which will become the coarse bran, and then finally the The explains this based on an incident inner kernel which will be ground into flour. related in the . Turnus Rufus the Roman Governor once asked R Akiva whose If we follow this line, then the wheat kernels works are more beautiful, G-ds or humans? could have developed further until they become ready-to-eat loaves of bread. In fact R Akiva understood where this question was the in : says leading, and that the Roman was hoping that in the future loaves of he would say G-ds works are more beautiful bread will be produced ready made from the in which case Turnus Rufus would say triumground. But at the time of creation Hashem phantly so why do you spoil G-ds creation by said the world has developed far enough I having a Bris Milah? So R Akiva replied dont want to create the finished article, it is Mans work is better and showed him some the job of Mankind to get involved and comwheat kernels and a loaf of bread. R Akiva plete My work. This is what Hashem was explained to Turnus Rufus that Hashem creat- saying to Avram in the same way that the ed the world in such a way that Man has a role world was left unfinished, to enable humans to play in developing the creation by taking to perfect, refine and complete the creation, the raw materials and refining and perfecting so too the Bris Milah represents this concept them. Its not so much that Mans works are that Humans must develop their potential better, but rather, that this is the Divine will, and refine and perfect themselves. that we take the world and develop it. By Rabbi M. Cohen Using this concept, the explains why


Dvar Torah

Holy Cow!
There was once a Jew who owned a cow with which he ploughed his field. Then it came to pass that this Jew became impoverished and was forced to sell his cow to a non-Jew. The new owner ploughed with the cow throughout the week, but when he took her out to the field on Shabbos, she kneeled under the yoke and refused to do any work. He hit her with his whip, but she would not budge from her place. to sell you, please, stand up and do the will of your master!" Immediately the cow stood, prepared to work. Said the non Jew to the Jew: "I'm not letting you go until you tell me what you did and what you said to her. Have you bewitched her?" The Jew told him what he said to the cow.

Parshas Lech Lecha

This weeks sedrah begins with HaShem commanding Avrohom Avinu to leave his homeland, his friends, and his family and resettle in an undisclosed location. The Medrash Tanchuma asks as to why Avrohom Avinu was not told where he was going. The Medrash answers that the reason HaShem concealed from Avrohom his destination was to intensify the test that he was being given. The exact loshon of the Medrash is, Is there a person who goes and doesnt know where he is going? Rashi comments that Avrohom was told that his relocation would be hugely beneficial towards him and through his blind faith in HaShem he would receive many Brochos. If this is true, then what is the great test in obeying HaShem? Rav Moshe Feinstein answers that although Avrohom knew uprooting his family would be beneficial to him, the great test lay in the way he refused to entertain any second thoughts about obeying HaShem even though there seemed to be no logical reason for his command. By refusing to entertain any of these thoughts and simply trusting In HaShem, Avrohom passed his test. This need for unwavering faith is expressed by HaShem, in the command, walk before Me even if you may not understand the need for what I tell you, do it just because I have commanded you. Avrohom underwent and passed a similar test at the Akeidah. When HaShem commanded Avrohom to tie his son down onto the altar, He seemed to be contradicting His earlier promise of continuing the Jewish people through Yitzchak's children. However despite this, Avrohom was fully prepared to carry out this action without once questioning HaShems reasoning. Dovid Hamelech once asked HaShem why we say, the G-d of Avrohom, the Gd of Yitchok and the G-d of Yaackov, why couldnt he also be mentioned in this passage. HaShem responded that He had tested all three of the Avos and they had passed. Dovid replied if this is so then test me. HaShem duly tested him with Batsheva and according to the Gemoro, Dovid actually did nothing wrong with Batsheva and passed this test. If this is so, why isnt Dovid mentioned? The answer is by definition a Nisoyon (test) is impassable. The root of the word is Neis meaning miracle, this means that whenever a person is faced with a Nisoyon he is forced to put his faith in a miracle in order to pass his test, as Avrohom did by the Akeidah and in his relocation. Dovid, by asking for a test failed it immediately as he displayed a level of haughtiness by implying he could pass the impassable test. This was the greatness of Avrohom, he was able to put his faith in HaShem even when logic demanded otherwise. By Ariel Finn

When this man heard this, he was shaken and amazed. He said to himself: "If this creature, which has neither language nor intelligence, So he came back to the Jew and recognizes her Creator, should not said to him, "Take back your cow! I, whom G-d created in His image All week I worked with her, but and likeness and imbued me with today I took her out to the field intelligence and understanding?" and she refuses to do anything... " So he went and converted to The Jew said to the cow's Judaism and studied Torah. He purchaser: "Come with me, and I became known as will get her to plow." When they Yochanan ben Torta. Yochanan arrived to the field the cow lay, the ben Torta was a Jewish Tanna of Jew spoke into her ear. "Oh Cow, the third generation - He was one Cow! When you were in my of the main opponents of Shimon domain, you rested on Shabbat. But bar Kokhba, and the revolt he led now that my sins have caused me against the Roman Empire. Gematria of the Week
In this weeks Parsha, Avraham Avinu is promised by Hashem that when his descendants leave the foreign country after 400 years of slavery, they would leave with great wealth: . As well as the gold and silver that the Bnei Yisroel took from Egypt, the posuk also hints at the spiritual wealth they received when they left Egypt the Torah. How is this seen in the words? If one takes the Gematria of, , it is equal to that of - this is the Torah. By Alex Jaffe

Saying of the Week

People often avoid making decisions out of fear of making a mistake. Actually, the failure to make decisions is one of lifes biggest mistakes. By Rabbi Noach Weinberg

Riddle of the Week

In what scenario can the possessions of a Tzaddik, who has never sinned and whose money has never been used for aveiros, be destroyed in accordance with Beis Din?
The first randomly selected correct answer emailed to hasmolivingtorah@gmail.com will have next weeks riddle dedicated to them and a limited edition copy of next weeks Living Torah signed by the editors. (editors decision is final!) (Answer in next weeks Living Torah)
Answer To Last Weeks Riddle:

Which Mitzvah in the Torah can someone only do when they dont want to do it? Leket and Shikcha (as answered by Dovi Lebrett)