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B"H

Shalom and Bracha!

May Hashem bless you, your entire family and all those who are dear to you with a healthy, happy, successful, joyous, fulfilling and prosperous New Year and may we see the redemption through the coming of Moshiach immediately!
 

The first verse in the portion begins “When you will go out to war upon your enemies and Hashem your G-d will place them in your hand. The usage of the term “upon” rather than “with” is unusual. As we approach Rosh Hashanah, we seek to improve ourselves and overcome our internal enemies. It is important to realize that all of the claims our negative nature have no validity or meaning and no status of equality with noble goals. Thus we are above our enemies (upon) rather than equal (with). When our initial attitude is that we are above our internal negativities, we are assured success.
 

In this week’s portion, Ki Teitzei, the Torah commands us to remember three things: the story of Miriam, that we were slaves in Egypt, and the story of Amalek. As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, the very concept of remembering has a special importance, as do each of the three specific remembrances.
 

The prayers of Rosh Hashanah are unique in that we say three special blessings. The middle of these three blessings is Zichronot (remembrances), in which we request that Hashem remember His covenant with the Jewish people and remember us in a positive light. We affect this through our remembering of Hashem. The Rambam writes in Hilchot Teshuva (3; 4) “Although the blowing of the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah is a divine decree, there is a hidden meaning: Sleepers! Awake from your slumber and return in Teshuvah and remember your creator! This refers to those who forget the truth through distraction throughout the year.” When we remember who we are and our role in the purpose of Creation, we return to Hashem and to the ways of the Torah. We remember to fulfill our good resolutions of the past and make even better resolutions for the future.
 

The Torah commands us to remember when Miriam was punished with leprosy for rebuking Moshe. Although her intent was good, her reproach lacked the necessary respect. This is a critical lesson as we approach Rosh Hashanah. Concern for each other is the pillar of our people. As such, while we seek to improve ourselves, we must also encourage others to become closer to Hashem. However, it is imperative that when we encourage others, we do so in a respectful manner. If not, we may be committing a grave sin rather than an act of good.
 

The remembrance of the Egyptian servitude is mentioned twice, once concerning the prohibition of taking a widow’s garment as security for a loan (24; 18), and once concerning the commandments to leave various parts of the harvest for the poor (24; 22). The underlying theme in both is remembering that everything in the world belongs to Hashem and we must use both share our possessions and use them respectfully towards others. As we seek to correct our ways, we are hindered by our love for our possessions. The remembrance that all belongs to Hashem allows us to overcome this nature. The remembrance that all belongs to Hashem allows us to overcome this nature. Further, the remembrance that we were slave teaches us to fulfill all commandments of compassion with empathy. This exemplifies Ahavat Yisrael, loving your fellow Jew as yourself.
 

Amalek is the first nation to have attacked the Jewish people and the Torah commands that we erase their memory. In describing Amalek, the Torah uses the words “Asher Karcha Baderech.” which means “who cooled you on the path.” By attacking the Jewish people after the Exodus, they cooled their enthusiasm. Each evil nation represents a negative trait. As we approach Rosh Hashanah, just as we begin to take real steps to improve ourselves, our Amalek comes to us and says wait! Take it easy! What’s the rush? You’ve been on the wrong path for so long and you’ve been just fine! Cool down! The Torah enjoins us to eradicate these thoughts and replace coldness with the fire within us.
 

The final war against Amalek will be in the times of Moshiach. May we merit his coming immediately!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Biggs
 

Dedicated to Marilyn Sitt and Jack Harary on the occasion of their wedding. My Hashem bless them with overwhelming joy and love and may Hashem’s Presence illuminated their home.

Rosh Hashanah is September 17th and Sukkot is October 1st. As the holidays approach, now is the time to make sure that all of your holiday needs are taken care of. If anyone needs a place to pray for the holidays or help attaining a Sukkah or Lulav and Etrog, please contact my office.


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400 East Shore Rd. Great Neck NY 11024

516 4874554 fax 516 4874807

If you wish to be removed from this list please contact me at rabbibiggs@gmail.com


 
   
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