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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
final war against Amalek will be in the times of Moshiach. May
we merit his coming immediately!
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.
Project of Chabad of Great Neck
East Shore Rd. Great Neck NY 11024
4874554 fax 516 4874807
you wish to be removed from this list please contact me at