Parshas Vayakel/Pikudei/Hachodesh 5777
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March 24, 2017
Volume 13 Issue 19
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Dvar Torah

Creating Worlds
 By Rabbi Yosef Prupas 

"Im tashiv m'Shabbos raglecha, asos chetzeicha b'yom kadshi... v'chibatito m'asos drachecha, mi'mtzoh cheftzicha v'daber davar, az tis'aneg al Hashem...etc." "If you restrain your foot on Shabbos; refrain from accomplishing your own needs on my holy day... and you honor it by not engaging in your own affairs, from seeking your own needs, or discussing the forbidden - then you will 'delight' in G-d." (Yeshaya 58:13 -14)
Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner asks why these laws were selected from the many laws of Shabbos to express the reward of "then you will delight in G-d?" These laws are not the fundamental 39 melachos (forms of labor) forbidden on Shabbos!?
To answer this question, Rabbi Hutner poses another: We find in the Mincha prayer of Shabbos the request "Yakiru banecha va'yeidu ki m'itcha hi menuchasam," "[May] Your children recognize and understand that from You comes their rest [on Shabbos]." We don't find such a request regarding any of the other mitzvohs in the Torah?
In many places in the Torah we find exhortations to act, that are not counted as "mitzvahs". For example, the Torah tells us "Sheishes yamin ta'avodu." "You shall work for six days" (Shemos 20:9). Yet, there is no actual mitzvah to work for six days. The commentaries explain that this "commandment" alludes to the concept of "B'chol darchecha da'eiu." "In all your ways know Him" (Mishlei 3:6)." This is expressed in the Mishna as "Kol ma'asech yiyu l'shem shomayim." "All your actions should be for the sake of heaven." The juxtaposition of "Sheishes yamim ta'avodu" and "v'yom hashvi'i Shabbos (and the seventh day is Shabbos)", hints to this lofty perspective regarding one's daily routine. Yet the fact that this lesson is not readily apparent, creates the need for further explanation.
The Mechilta teaches that a guiding principal when studying Torah is that all the commandments reflect the actions of G-d. Therefore, when the Torah commands us to "Rest on the seventh day," the definition of "rest" mirrors the "rest" of G-d. This task is quite difficult, for G-d rested from creating a world. The solution is found in the Mishkan. The common denominator between Mishkan and World, is that both were created as a place to serve G-d. Refraining from the "work" necessary in the building of the Mishkan is therefore a true reflection of G-d's "rest" from creating the world. This understanding results in another profound concept. The only way the world can be entirely similar to the Mishkan, is if the world too is viewed solely as a place to serve G-d. The solution to any disparities in the link between the Mishkan and the world, is through the lens of "B'chol drachecha de'iu - sheyiyu kol ma'asecha l'shem shomayim," "In all your ways know Him - all your actions should be for the sake of heaven." The startling ramification of this viewpoint is that the connection between Mishkan and Shabbos is entirely dependent on our understanding of the role of the seemingly mundane of this world. This also helps us better understand the "commandment" to work for six days of the week, as well as the six days being an introduction to Shabbos!
We can now explain the very unique request of "Yakiru banecha va'yeidu ki m'itcha hi menuchasam," "[May] Your children recognize and understand that from You comes their rest [on Shabbos]." We now realize that the whole world depends on this understanding. Lacking this fundamental concept, our service of G-d doesn't begin! Let us now revisit the question posed at the beginning of this essay. The Talmud in Tractate Avodah Zara states, "Mi shetarach b'erev Shabbos, y'ochal b'Shabbos," "one who exerts himself on the eve of Shabbos, shall reap its benefits on Shabbos." The quality of the honor given to Shabbos - on Shabbos, is entirely dependent on the work we put in before Shabbos. If we strive to maintain the understanding that everything of the mundane in "the six days" has one purpose - to be a part of serving G-d - than we can also understand this about the entire day of Shabbos. Everything included. The parts of Shabbos that seemingly have no spiritual relevance, the walking, talking, eating and thinking must also be devoted to Hashem's service.
The prophet Yeshaya tells us that to understand the world as a place solely to serve G-d, every part of Shabbos should be distinguished in its role of honoring Shabbos. Therefore, the prophet Yeshaya reveals to us the necessity to change the way we walk and talk, the time we eat, how we greet people, how we dress... all in the spirit of Shabbos. It is in this "minor" aspect of Shabbos, that the reward of "Az tis'aneg el Hashem," "then you will 'delight' in G-d," is entirely dependent on. For it speaks to the Jewish people's fundamental role in the universe. Recognition of this idea sets one on the right path of getting closer to G-d - the ultimate delight of this world and the next, a Shabbos Mei'ein Olam Habah!

Dvar Halacha
Laws of Arba Kosos
By  Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi

The Rambam [Hil' Chometz U'matzah 7:6-7] writes that each person is supposed to view himself as if he personally was a slave who has been freed from Mitzrayim.  Therefore, we are required to eat and drink while reclining to act like a free man (Shulchan Aruch 472:2).
The opinion of the Ravyah is that nowadays since people generally do not lean while eating, one is not required to lean (Mishneh Berurah 472:12).  L'halachah, a man is required to lean, however, women are not, for they rely on the Ravyah's opinion (Rama 472:4).  It is important to note, if a woman would want to lean, she may, and it is considered praiseworthy (Kaf Hachaim 472:28).  The Sefer Shloshim Yom Kodem Hachag [pg. 91 ftnt. 37] records, many wives of Gedolim [including the Chasam Sofer, Chazon Ish and Steipler Goan] did in fact lean.  A child who has reached the age of chinuch, should lean (Koveitz Halachos 21:12).
There are certain people who are not allowed to lean, for  it is not considered proper to lean in front of specific people.  This includes, a student in his Rebbe's presence, even if this is not his primary teacher (Shulchan Aruch 472:5), since he should have an awe of his Rebbe comparable to awe of heaven (Mishneh Berurah 472:15).  The same halachah applies if one is in the presence of a great Talmud Chacham even if he is not his Rebbe.  A son is required to lean in front of his father, even if his father is his primary teacher (Shulchan Aruch 472:5), since one's father most probably will forgo his honor (Mishneh Berurah 472:14).  The same applies for a son in the presence of his mother (Dirshu MB quoting Harav Y.S. Eliyashuv, zt"l)..
In order to be considered "leaning", a person needs to lean both his head and body towards his left side, on a pillow or bed (Mishneh Berurah 472:7).  If one does not have any pillows [e.g. a poor person] he should lean on what he is sitting on [e.g. a chair or bench].  A person should not lean on his right side (Shulchan Aruch 472:3), either because it is not considered cheirus to lean on your stronger side or out of concern that the food will go down the trachea and not the esophagus (Mishneh Berurah 472:10).  A left-handed person must also lean on his left (Rama 472:3). 
One is required to lean while drinking the daled kosos (Shulchan Aruch 475:7) eating motzai matzah, korech (Shulchan Aruch 475:1) and the afikomen (Shulchan Aruch 477:1).  There is a machlokes whether one needs to lean by karpas.  Most Poskim hold that one does not (Kaf Hachaim 473:114).  One is not required to lean while eating maror (Shulchan Aruch 475:1), since it is a remembrance of the slavery in Egypt, but if he wants to, he may (Mishneh Berurah 475:14).
The Rama [472:7] writes it is preferable to recline while eating and drinking during Shulchan Aruch.  The minhag nowadays is not to (Halichos Shlomo 9: Orchos Rabbeinu: 135) and this was the practice of many Gedolim of the previous generations, including Harav Moshe Feinstein, Chazon Ish, Steipler Goan and Harav S.Z. Auerbach, zt"l (Koveitz Halachos 21:ftnt. 5).
If one did not lean while drinking the second cup of daled kosos, he should drink another cup, without making the brachah.  If it happened on the third or fourth cup, one should not drink again (Rama 472:7).  Regarding the first cup [Kiddush], if he had in mind before drinking the first cup to drink wine in between the first and second cups, upon forgetting to lean during Kiddush, he should drink the cup again.  If he did not have this in mind, he should not (Mishneh Berurah 472:21).  If one did not lean when eating matzah, he must eat one kzayis (Mishneh Berurah 472:22) of matzah again without a brachah (Shulchan Aruch & Rama 472:7). 
If he did not lean by korech, he does not required to eat again (Koveitz Halachos 21:23).  Additionally, if he did not lean while eating the afikomen, according to many Poskim, he does not need to eat again (Aruch Hashulchan 477:4).  It is important to note, the opinion of the Mishneh Berurah in this situation is unclear (see 472:22 & 477:4).


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