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Parshas Mishpatim 5773
Candle Lighting Time: 5:27 pm
February 22, 2013
Volume 9 Issue 17
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Dvar Torah

Kiruv Tools 

By Rabbi Yosef Prupas





                                In the world of Kiruv there are two areas which stand unique in their ability to draw Jews back to Judaism, and those are Torah and Shabbos. Experiencing Shabbos or learning a page of Talmud somehow makes something click in the minds of those being exposed to them for the first time, setting them on the path of Return. What is it about Shabbos and Torah that has this "magical" effect? Before we answer the above question we will ask two more. 


                                  In the last two weeks the Parshiyos discussed the building of the Mishkan. The building of the Mishkan was to serve as repentance for the sin of the Golden Calf. But the sin of the Golden Calf is not mentioned until later in the Torah.   So it seems that the discussion concerning the Mishkan is out of place.


                                  A similar question can be asked in respect to the sin of Adam. The sin occurred on the first Friday of creation, yet it is not mentioned until after the Torah writes about Shabbos. Why? 


                                  There is one answer to these two questions and with it we can address our initial inquiry. Rav Hutner explains why the events of the sins of Adam and the Golden Calf are listed in the Torah out of order. It is Hashem's way of telling us that He loves us. Hashem created for us literally sanctuaries from sin. There is no one who hasn't sinned. Therefore there is no Mitzvah that we perform whose sanctity is not affected by the imperfections of the person performing it. There are two exceptions, Shabbos and the Mishkan. By listing these Mitzvahs prior to the sin, Hashem is letting us know that these areas are not affected by sin. That is why Shabbos is called a "mattanahtovah," a good present, hidden away by Hashem from the effects of sin on the world, and given to us.     


                                 The same can be said of learning Torah. Torah preceded the Creation of the world, before the possibility of sin even existed. That clearly demonstrates that pure unadulterated Torah too remains above the effects of sin.


                                  Now we can solve the mystery that we started with. It is no wonder that Torah and Shabbos have this "magical" effect. Being exposed to Mitzvahs that forever retain the highest levels of sanctity has the direct effect of pealing away the layers of sin that dull the Jewish soul. It is specifically the doing of these Mitzvahs that can accomplish what seminars explaining why it makes sense to be religious cannot. These Mitzvahs reignite the Jewish soul, bringing a Jew closer to his Father in Heaven. May we all be affected by the blessings of Shabbos and Torah. As we reaccept the Torah on this Purim, may the effects of an unadulterated Torah permeate us, making us different then before. VenahapachHu!



















Dvar Halacha


The Laws of Parshas Zachor


By Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi


The Shabbos before Purim is called Parshas Zachor (the Parshah of Remembering).  Every Jew is obligated to remember that Amelek attempted to destroy the Jewish people.  It is essential to remember this during the time that is in close proximity to Purim, which involved Haman who descended from Amelek trying to destroy our nation (Mishneh Berurah 685:1).  There is a machlokes whether hearing Parshas Zachor is a chiyuv me'doraisa (Biblical commandment) or me'derabban (Rabbinical obligation) (Shulchan Aruch 685:7).


There is a machlokes if a person needs to hear each word or it suffices to hear the ikar ha'inyan (main idea of zichiras Amalek) in order to fulfill his obligation.  Reb Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt"l, [Halichos Shlomo Moadim 1:18:2] and Reb Moshe Feinstein, zt"l, [Shmaitza D'Moshe 685:6] hold the ikar ha'inyan is sufficient.  Reb Tzvi Pesach Frank, zt"l, holds one needs to hear each word (quoted in Sefer Shloshim Yom Kodem HaChag pg. 287 ftnt. 10).  Therefore, ideally one should hear and understand each word.  If he did not, he is nevertheless yotzei (Emes L'Yaakov OC ftnt. 597, Koveitz Halachos 1:8 & 9).


If one missed hearing the laining of Parshas Zachor, there is a machlokes if one can fulfill his obligation with hearing the laining on Purim morning [the Torah reading also mentions Amalek].  The Magen Avraham [685:1] holds that one is yotzei, however the Mishneh Berurah [685:16] & Aruch Hashulchan [685:5] argue.  Reb Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlit"a,paskins like the MG"A (Koveitz Halachos 1:2).  Therefore, if someone missed laining, it is preferable to fulfill one's obligation by hearing the laining on Purim morning, than to be yotzei on Shabbos Parshas Zachor as part of an additional laining which is exclusively for women (Koveitz Halachos 1:3).


The baal korei (person reading the Torah) needs to have in mind that he is fulfilling everyone who is listening's obligation, and each person needs to be have in mind to be yotzei (Mishneh Berurah 685:14).  It is important to note, that if he is being yotzei on Purim morning with the laining, he should tell the baal koreh beforehand to have him in mind [to be motzei him] (Koveitz Halachos 1:6).


There is a machlokes whether the proper pronunciation is "Zay'cher Amalek" or "Ze'cher Amalek".  Therefore the minhag is to read that Posuk two times, each time with one of these pronunciations, in order to be yotzei according to each opinion (Mishneh Berurah 685:18).


Reb Moshe Feinstein zt"l holds that one may be yotzei, even by hearing a different havara (pronunciation) that what his mesorah is.  For example, an Ashkenazi may hear a Sefardi pronunciation and vice versa (Igros Moshe OC 4:23).  However, Reb Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlit"a, disagrees (Koveitz Halachos 1:14).


There is a machlokes whether women are obligated to hear Parshas Zachor (see Sefer HaChinuch 603 who holds they are not obligated, however the Minchas Chinuch ibid argues).  Reb Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlit"a, holds that women are not obligated; however since the customis that many women do go to shul, women should go in order not to be poraish min hatzibbur (separate oneself from the group) (Koveitz Halachos 1:10).





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