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Parshas Ki Sisa 5774
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February 14, 2014
Volume 10 Issue 18
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Dvar Torah

The Bigger Picture


By Rabbi Yirachmiel Lichtman



                 After the sin of the Golden Calf, Moshe pleads for forgiveness on behalf of the Jewish people. At the end of the dialogue between Hashem and Moshe we find an interesting verse. Hashem says "And you will see my back, but my face may not be seen". (See Rashi for an explanation.) The Chasam Sofer explains that there are many times one may want to question Hashem and his judgment when things don't seem to make sense. We are at a loss for an explanation. Only down the road we will understand that everything that transpired was part of His master plan. It may take a day, a week, a year, or even an entire lifetime until we see how things fall into place.


A classic example is thePurim story. While the story was unfolding, it would have been impossible to see the grand scheme, but in retrospect we can see how the troubling events lead to the climax. Achashveirosh has Queen Vashti executed, which seems quite strange even for Achasveirosh. Esther, a Jewish girl, is taken as the new queen. How can this be a blessing? In hindsight, these are not even questions, since we already know the outcome and can see how all the "pieces of the puzzle" fit together. Only later did the Jews realize that this was all part of Hashem's master plan to save them from the evil decree of Haman.


Knowing that every aspect of our lives is part of our unique plan from Hashem can bring us to a greater level of emunah. The words, "Youwill see my back" conveyed this message to Moshe Rabbeinu. You will look back, and only then will you understand what my agenda really was. "My face you cannot see," alludes to the present, and tells us that we will not always understand.


There is a well known mashal about the simple man who once visited the big city and passed a tailor who was occupied with fine garments for the royal household. As the villager stood in the doorway he observed the tailor spread the expensive silk fabric on the table and lift a pair of scissors to cut the material. "Stop!" cried the villager. "You're destroying the silk!" The tailor, realizing this man's lack of knowledge of the basics of tailoring explained his actions, "I am not ruining the material, rather I am fixing it, making it fit for the royal family." The Dubno Magid explains that we too are common villagers. We have to have faith in our "Master Tailor" that what may seem like destruction is in fact the creation of something much greater. He is making improvements!


 King David says in Psalms, "Hashem protects all those who love him and the wicked he will destroy." The Chafetz Chaim points out that if one were to read only the first half of the passuk it would read: "Hashem protects those who love him and the wicked". The second half of the passuk by itself reads: "Those who love him and the wicked he will destroy". Only someone who reads the entire verse from beginning to end can interpret it properly. So too, no human being can begin to understand the ways of this world. Only the Master of The Universe, who has been around from the beginning of creation and continues to exist forever, knows the reason for everything.


Having this level of faith is no easy feat. The Gemara in Brachos tells us that a person should accustom himself to say that "Everything Hashem does is for the best". Rabbi Yissochar Frand asks, what does the gemara mean it uses the word accostom? He answers that Chazal are giving us practical advice. When someone has a minor disappointment, for example, one's toast burns, or one gets stuck in traffic, he should remind himself of this Chazal. Then when faced with a bigger challenge he will be able accept it with more emunah and with simcha, for he has already imbued himself with this outlook. May we merit the day that all hardships cease to exist and we see the ultimate glory of Mashiach speedily in our days!





Dvar Halacha

 Halachos of Basar B'Cholov      Part 4



By Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi



The Gemara [Chullin 105a] ateaches if one eats cheese [i.e. dairy] one is not required to wait before eating meat.  However, one is required to rinse off one's hands (Shulchan Aruch YD 89:2) even if they appear to be clean (Shach YD 89:9).  One must also wipe out and rinse out their mouth (Shulchan Aruch YD 89:2).  These halachos are only if after eating dairy one wants to eat meat.  If one wants to eat poultry, one is not required to do anything (Shulchan Aruch YD 89:2).  Additionally, one who ate with utensils and did not touch the food directly is not required to wash his hands (Aruch Hashulchan YD 89:8).


When rinsing one's hands, one should wash until the second knuckle.  It is preferable to position one's hands facing downwards, in order that any dairy foods that were on his hand will slide off.  Even if one has a chatzizah (separation) on his hands (e.g. a band aid), the washing is valid.  One is not required to use a kli (vessel) (Badei Hashulchan 89:45).


One may use any food to wipe out one's mouth with the exception of dates, flour, and green vegetables (e.g. lettuce), for these specific foods do not clean well (Shulchan Aruch YD 89:2).  Cleaning out one's mouth with modern hygiene (e.g. brushing or flossing one's teeth) would not help (The Kosher Kitchen pg. 126 ftnt.24).  If one soaked bread or cracker into a liquid, this would suffice for both wiping and rinsing one's mouth (Pri Megadim SD 89:11 & Aruch Hashulchan 89:9)  There is an opinion that disagrees, that it is preferable to wipe and rinse one's mouth separately (Levush YD 89:2).


There is a machlokes haposkim if one also needs to recite a brachah achronah after the dairy before eating fleishigs.  The implication of the Zohar [Mishpatim 125:1] is that one would be required.  This is the opinion of the Pri Megadim [MZ 89:3] and Igros Moshe [YD 1:16].  The Chochmas Adom 40:12, Magan Avraham 494:6, Mishneh Berurah 494:16 & Aruch Hashulchan [YD 89:9] disagree.


Even though the Gemara rules that one does not need to wait at all after eating dairy, many people have the minhag to wait 30 minutes.  The question is, where did this custom originate from?  The Zohar [Mishpatim ibid] says that one would be required to wait a full hour.  Some poskim explain the intention of the Zohar was not that one is required to wait the entire hour, rather one is required to wait a "significant amount of time" to create a separation between milk and meat (Shu"T Marshag 1:YD:13:1).  A half an hour is considered a significant amount of time.


There is an opinion that only if one ate a solid dairy food [e.g. cheese] one is required to wait.  However, if one drinks milk one would not be required to wait at all, and would only require rinsing out one's mouth (Darkei Teshuva 89:31quotingRa'shash Chullin 103b, Shu"T Teshuvos V'hanhagoas 2:390).



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