This week's Parsha newsletter and more on Naaleh.com!

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Dear  Naaleh Friend,
 
Pesach is approaching and Naaleh is prepared!  View our homepage to see an assortment of Naaleh classes from our many Pesach series.  There is surely something for everyone!  This week we have featured a class on Pesach from the Naaleh.com series Pesach: Birth of a Nation.  The class is called Pesach Seder: Higher Order and is by Mrs. Shira Smiles.   In this Torah shiur (class) on the Pesach Seder, Mrs. Smiles discusses how, on a festival that represents an erratic type of movement, we call the first night of Pesach Leil HaSeder, the night of order. 

To watch this class now and learn more please click on the image below: 
 
 

This week's edition of our Torat Imecha Newsletter on Parshat Tzav and Pesach Edition is available on our Newsletter page
Click here for the printer friendly version, to share at your Shabbat table! Be sure to visit the homepage as well, for many more inspiring Torah classes! 
 
Shabbat Shalom!

-Ashley Klapper and the Naaleh Crew
Based on Naaleh.com shiur by Mrs. Shira Smiles 
 
 
The Kotzker Rebbe teaches that that the secret of Judaism can be found in the first five steps of the Seder . First,   Kadesh,   sanctify all your actions. Then   Urchatz wash away and purify your negative characteristics and impulses. Follow that with   KaRPaS an acronym for   Klal Rishon Peh Sagur , the first principle is a closed mouth. Then,   Yachatz ,,  cut in half the negative things you intend to say, and only then,   Magid speak. Perhaps this was the intention of Rabbi Yehudah in presenting the acronyms of   DeTZa " Ch, ADa " Sh, and BACha " V , to be circumspect in our speech.
The Netivot Shalom notes that the first three plagues were water based, the next three were land based, while the last four emanated from upper realms. This division corresponds to the levels of our own psyches, and represents areas we may need to focus on to become vessels for Hashem to rest within us. Are we caught up with our basest passions and desires that keep us from focusing on Hashem? Do we struggle with humility so that we find it difficult to accept God's will? Finally, do we misuse our intellect to undermine overwhelming evidence of God's existence and interaction with the world? If we are indeed conflicted in these three areas of our faith and observance, the three tiered makos remind us that we can work on them.
The Tiferet Shimshon discusses the symbolism of the three matzot at the Seder. The first matzah represents chochma, knowing that there is a God. The second represents binah, an understanding and emotional connection to God, and the third represents daat, integrating that knowledge into our essence. In fact, says the Yalkut Lekach Tov, we declare this belief twice daily. Shema Yisroelwe are aware of the existence of the God of Israel; He is also Hashem Elokeinu, our personal God; and Hashem EchadHe is One and unique.
Halekach Vehalebuv elucidates the episode in the hagadah of the five great rabbis in Bnei Brak. The Sages were experiencing the dark night of the Roman exile. By discussing the story of the exodus, they fanned the flames of their faith and achieved even greater clarity. As the Psalmist tells us, "To relate Your loving kindness in the morning and Your faithfulness at night." The Netivot Shalom reminds us that Pesach is the cornerstone of our faith, for it is absolute testimony of God's existence and of the individual providence with which He rules the world. 
According to the Tallelei Chaim, Adam's sin was not in eating the fruit, which some hold was wheat, but in the timing. God wanted man to use knowledge, but not before he tasted life. Tasting of the Tree of Life would have given mankind a base of unshakeable faith upon which to build his knowledge. Matzah represents that primal, simple faith, while chametz represents all the additions of knowledge. Faith must precede knowledge, or one's faith will be on shaky ground, always subject to question and doubt. The evil Haman descended from Amalek, the paragon of doubt. He is mentioned in one verse together with the mohn that nourished Bnei Yisrael in the desert. "Hamin haetz ... achalta, Did you eat ... of the Tree?" Before Bnei Yisrael could partake of the man, the most highly advanced form of nourishment, they had to live on the simple matzah of faith.
Similarly, continues the Tallelei Chaim, Pesach must precede Shavuot. The simple faith of following Hashem into the desert must precede the profound wisdom of the Torah. At the Seder, we try to rekindle this simple faith in ourselves as we tell our children about the wonders God performed for us as we left Egypt.
Rav Hirsch notes that when Hashem told Avraham Avinu about the exile in Egypt, He included three stages. "Your descendants will be strangers in a land; the people there will enslave them; and they will afflict them for 400 years." Whereas this exile was decreed, the level of cruelty exhibited by the Egyptians was not. The three categories of plagues reflect these three elements of unfair subjugation measure for measure. The first plague in each of the acronyms came to give the Egyptians the feeling that they were strangers in their own land, and to prove God's mastery over the land. Blood, wild animals and hail presented danger, and also challenged the very source of their lives, the Nile. Frogs, pestilence and locusts demonstrated God's power over all who inhabited the land, and made them feel subservient to Hashem. Vermin, boils, and darkness attacked their very body and demonstrated total affliction. The plague of the firstborn included all these elements in a final coup de grace.
The purpose of the plagues was not only to inflict punishment on the Egyptians, but also to purify our souls. In Kabalistic literature, there are five levels to the soul. Have we achieved purification on each of these levels? This is the heart of the discussion between the Sages as to how many plagues God inflicted. If we succeeded in purifying all five aspects of our soul, then indeed the plagues were successful and their power was increased fivefold to the equivalent of 250 plagues. If they did not purify our souls, they were potent to a lesser degree, to as little as 50 plagues. Perhaps this is the greater lesson of the Seder, suggests the Kotzker Rebbe. During the Seder we recount our physical redemption. It is also about the constant conflict between good and evil, of purifying ourselves and humbling ourselves before Hashem.
The night of Pesach was preordained to be a night of deliverance and connection to Hashem. Halekach Vehalebuv points out that Yaakov donned Esau's clothes and came to receive the brachot from Yitzchak on Pesach. This teaches us that on this night, we can purify even the wicked things in the world like the clothing of Eisav.
 
Pesach: Birth of a Nation- Egypt Part 4  
Based on Naaleh.com shiur by Rebbetzin Leah Kohn 
 
There are endless stories throughout Tanach of tzadikim who manipulated the laws of nature. Yehoshua commanded the sun to stop. Eliyahu Hanavi and Elisha resurrected the dead. The Jewish people live in a different realm and this phenomenon was proven on the night of Pesach.
 
The mitzvah of parah aduma is unique in that it is the quintessential chok that we cannot understand. But Rashi explains nonetheless, using an analogy of the mother who cleans up her child's mess. So too the parah, the mother cow, atones for the sin of the golden calf.
 
Why then do we say it is a chok ? Rav Gadol Eisner based on the Sefat Emet explains that we refer to the reasons for a mitzvah as a taamei hamitzvah , the taste of the mitzvah. You cannot fully explain the taste of a specific food until the person puts some of it in his mouth. So too everything that exists in this world has a hidden taste. When you look at an apple you don't see the taste, you have to actually taste it. The true reality of any existence is the spirituality that it contains and we can only access that via the mitzvot. When we want to fully taste something we cannot have other food in our mouth. So too in order to achieve a connection with Hashem we need to purify ourselves of sin. When you want to attach two things to each other, the surfaces must be clean. On the night of Pesach, Hashem bestows upon us incredible levels of spirituality. In order to really taste it, we must purify ourselves. That is why Parshat Parah comes before Pesach.
 
The mitzvah of parah adumah has the potential to connect us to Hashem fully. However, we are not capable of accessing it completely as a result of the sin of Adam and, subsequently, the sin of cheit haegel. Our reality changed. Before that we were immortal. Good and evil were separated. There was total harmony between body and soul. Now that we are mortal, our body is not fully pure and we cannot taste the full closeness of Hashem. When we bring the parah aduma we tell ourselves, "Hashem is ready to bestow upon us more spirituality than we deserve." He did this in Egypt when the Jews were at the 49 th level of impurity and He repeats this every Pesach. Hashem infuses us with higher levels of spirituality whether or not we prepared ourselves. There are Jews who don't even know what Judaism is about who also feel something on the night of Pesach. It's a holiday that is observed even by people who don't have a connection to Torah life. Hashem awakens our heart on the night of Pesach. Even if the person doesn't sense it, the kedusha is deposited in his soul. We have that capability to absorb spirituality beyond our level but we can determine how much we will receive according to how much we purified and prepared ourselves. This is why we read Parshat Parah before Pesach.
 
 
Featured Classes
The Decree Of No Rain Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller
A Woman_s Expectation Of Her Husband Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller
Making Pesach Meaningful
Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller
Please visit our Refua Shleima Page for a current list of Cholim.
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