-Every Detail is Important
NY City Candle lighting time 7:31
Shabbat ends 8:31
Shalom and Bracha!
This Shabbat we read the portion of Eikev. The portion begins
with the promise that for keeping the Mitzvot (commandments) in
a manner of Eikev, Hashem will fulfill his covenant with us,
bless us, show us His kindness, we will be blessed above all of
the nations and freed from all sickness and evil. The Targum
explains that the word Eikev means in exchange, meaning that as
a reward for studying and adhering to the Mitzvot, we will merit
all of the blessings.
general translation of the word Eikev is heel. (Eikev is the
root of the name Yaakov, who was so named because he was born
holding on to Esav’s heel.) The translation of the Targum is
related to the term “heel” and would mean in the heels of, i.e.
as a result of. As the Torah uses this specific term, there is a
lesson to be learned from the “heel.” Rashi therefore explains
that fulfilling the commandments in a manner of Eikev refers to
a level of observance where one keeps even those seemingly
insignificant Mitzvot that many people tread upon with their
heels. The Tzemach Tzedek explains that Eikev refers to the
final generation before Moshiach’s arrival which is referred to
as the “generation of the heels of Moshiach,” and that the verse
is assuring us that the generation of redemption will fully
return to Torah observance.
When the commentaries give varying explanations of one word,
there is a connection between them. As we stand imminently
before Moshiach’s coming, there is a greater need to fulfill
even the “insignificant” Mitzvot than previously for two
reasons. Firstly, the reason that this generation is referred to
as the heels of Moshiach is because we are less sensitive than
previous generations and if we try to approach Torah with our
own wisdom and rely upon ourselves to weigh what is important,
we will err. This is also alluded to in the term the “heels of
Moshiach”- the job of a heel is to walk, not to judge. Secondly,
as we make the final preparations for Moshiach’s arrival and the
world approaches perfection, even the slightest detail becomes
deeper meaning of fulfilling the Mitzvot in a manner of Eikev is
that the Mitzvot should permeate our total being until our
heels. Although the heels are very coarse, the excitement of the
Mitzvah must permeate our coarsest limbs. This comes through
diligent study of the deeper meaning of the Mitzvot. It is
therefore significant that the passing of the Rebbe’s father,
whose teachings in Kabbalah and Chassidut illuminate our
awareness of the deeper side of Torah, falls out on the
twentieth of Av, which is this Shabbat.
Rebbe has told a poignant story of his father, which
demonstrates fulfilling a Mitzvah to the utmost. Reb Levi
Yitzchok was a highly respected Rabbi. The communist government
wanted to make money by selling Matzot, and ordered him to give
his Hashgachah (supervision), knowing that people would trust
him. He responded that he would be happy to give his Hashgachah,
if in fact the Matzot were Kosher! He proceeded to tell them all
that was necessary. They responded that this would cost the
government too much money, and if he refused, he was hurting the
revolution and subject to imprisonment. He stood firm, and the
communist government was forced to produce true Kosher Matzot.
From the fifteenth of Av it is appropriate to express our good
wishes for the coming year. May Hashem grant each of you, your
family, and all of those who are dear to you a good and sweet
new year overflowing with joy, health, and happiness and may we
merit the to hear the Shofar of Moshiach this year!
In Memory of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Schneerson, the Rebbe’s father
whose Yahrtzeit is this Shabbat. May his teachings illuminate
our lives and his merit hasten the redemption and elicit
Hashem’s blessings for the entire Jewish people.
The Talmud teaches that from the fifteenth of Av and forward,
the nights get longer. Whoever uses the extra time to add in
Torah study will receive an extra measure of blessing. In this
vein this week is a double D’var Torah.
Mezuzah-the Ultimate Guardian
May Hashem grant you a wonderful new year brimming with good
health, good tidings, prosperity and fulfillment and May this be
the year of Moshiach’s coming.
of the Mitzvot in both in last week’s and this week’s portion is
the Mezuzah. The Mezuzah is placed on each of the doorposts of
our home and business and serves as a constant reminder to serve
Hashem with love and follow His commandments. The Mezuzah
contains the Shema, the unity of G-d and the V’haya im Shamoa,
the imperative to follow His commandments. It also reminds us of
Hashem’s constant protection. The Divine name Sha-dai on the
back of the Mezuzah, which means G-d A-lmighty, is an acronym
for Shomer Daltot Yisrael, the Guardian of the doors of the
Jewish people. Chassidut teaches that the Mezuzah symbolizes the
unity between Hashem and the Jewish people. The word mezuzah
contains the words Zu and Zeh, the feminine and masculine of the
word “this.” Zu refers to the Jewish people as we find in the
verse “Am zu yatzarti lee” (I have formed this people for
myself) and Zeh refers to Hashem as we find in the verse “Zeh
Ei-li v’anvahu” (This is my G-d and I will extol him.) This
unity as one has a special connection to the Shabbats following
the ninth of Av which represent the renewed bind after the
destruction. Another meaning represents the effort to bring
forth our Divine nature. M as a prefix in Hebrew means from.
Mezuzah means from Zu to Zeh: taking from the Jewish people and
making ourselves closer to Hashem
home is our private sanctum. We have the potential to illuminate
our surroundings and that the surrounding world will enrich our
lives. We also have the risk that the confusions of our
surroundings will disturb our sanctum and our inner treasures
will disappear. The Mezuzah guards the passage. When we
constantly remind ourselves of the unity of Hashem and that
through His directions we enrich our lives, we assure that the
passage in and out of our sanctum is directed in a manner to
elicit Hashem’s blessings. This awakens Hashem’s protection and
brings blessings into every aspect of our lives.
Gemarra relates an interesting story concerning the Mezuzah.
Onkelos, the author of the Targum, was a convert and was a
nephew of the emperor. His uncle was very upset at Onkelos’
conversion, and sent guards to bring him back. Having deeply
studied Judaism before he converted, he convinced the guards the
truth of the Torah and the folly of idolatry and they converted.
The emperor tried again, with the same results. He sent a third
group of guards with strict orders to take Onkelos and not to
speak to him. Ads they left Onkelos house, he kissed the
Mezuzah. The guards asked him what he did, and he explained that
the emperor needs guards outside his palace to watch him. My
King, Hashem, watches me by the door and protects me both inside
the house and when I travel. They asked him to explain, and also
converted. His uncle gave up.
Throughout Jewish history, it has been known that Kosher Mezuzot
increase Hashem’s protection. The word Mezuzot has the same
letter as Zaz Mavet, which means death moving away. Thousands of
people who requested blessings of the Rebbe were advised to
check their Mezuzot. When they corrected their Mezuzot, their
problems went away. It is a well-established custom to check the
Mezuzot before Rosh Hashana. This year, in order to overcome the
crises throughout the world and elicit G-d’s kindness for a
tremendous measure of blessings in the coming year, in addition
to assuring that you have Kosher Mezuzot, try to affect others
to put Kosher Mezuzot on all doors that require them.
Hashem open the Gates of Heaven to our prayers and the may we
see the Doors of the Holy Temple with the coming of Moshiach.
In Loving Memory of Rivkah Bas Avrohom Horetzky on the occasion
of her Yahrtzeit
Project of Chabad of Great Neck
East Shore Rd. Great Neck NY 11024
4874554 fax 516 4874807
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