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Parshas Tetzaveh 5775
Candle Lighting Time: 5:32 pm
February 27, 2015
Volume 11 Issue 16
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Dvar Torah


The Importance of Derech Eretz 
By Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi    


In this week's Parshah we learn about the different clothing that the kohanim must wear while preforming the avodah. One of the articles the Kohein Gadol must don is pa'amonim v'rimonim (gold bells and pomegranates) on the m'il (robe). The Torah states that these bells and pomegranates "must be on Aharon in order to minister; its sound shall be heard when he enters the Sanctuary before Hashem and when he leaves, so that he shall not die" (Shemos 28:35).


Ramban understands this posuk literally, that is, even if the Kohein Gadol is wearing all eight garments, if hedid not have bells on his robe when entering into the Sanctuary, he is liable for death. Why? The Torah says the bigdei kehunah were clothing of honor. Since it is not common for prominent people to have bells on their clothing the bells serve no apparent function. The reason why Hashem commanded that they be part of the Kohein Gadol's clothing is so that its sound will be heard as he is entering the Sanctuary, as if he is entering into Hashem's house with permission. We find this concept in the story of Purim. Even Queen Esther needed permission from King Achashveiroshbefore entering into the king's chamber, for it is not respectful to barge into a king without his specific permission. If one did, they would be liable for death.


Harav Chaim Shmuelevitz, zt"l, adds we see from this Ramban how important derech eretz is. One cannot walk into the Kodesh HaKodashim unannounced for it is a lack of derech eretz. The punishment for lack of common decency is the kohen is liable for death! Rav Chaim adds that we see from the Medrash (quoted in Rashbam to Pesachim 112a s.v. v'lo te'kanais) that this concept is not exclusively regarding the Bais Hamikdash. The Medrash relates that Rebbi Yochanan would knock before he went into his house each day, because the Torah states [Shemos 28:35] "Its sound shall be heard when he enters the Sanctuary before Hashem and when he leaves, so that he not die." The opportunity to act with derech eretz presents itself constantly in our everyday lives. May we act accordingly!



Dvar Halacha
The Laws of Purim  part 4


By Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi



The Posuk [Esther 9:22] says that the days of Purim [i.e. the 14th and 15th of Adar] are "Yemay Mishteh V'Simcha (days of feasting and joy)". Therefore, there is a mitzvah to have a seudah on Purim (Rama 695: introduction quoting the Tur).


Additionally, since the Posuk says "Yemei" (days), this teaches us that the meal needs to be during the day and not by night (Mishneh Berurah 696:24). Nevertheless at night, a person should have more than usual (Mishneh Berurah 695:3).


The minhag is to have a seudah after mincha on Purim and most of the seudah should occur during the day (Rama 695:2). According to Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlit"a, one may l'chatchila one can have the seudah anytime on Purim day, even in the morning. This is based on the Magen Avraham [695:5] who explains the reason the Rama said one should have a seudah after mincha is a practical reason that people are busy beforehand (Koveitz Halachos 18:3).


One should have the Purim seudah together with other people [family and friends], because it is impossible to rejoice properly when one is by themselves (Mishneh Berurah 695:9). While rejoicing, it is important to remember that the point of rejoicing is to get closer to Hashem and to work on ahavas Hashem (loving G-d), and not just to be involved in sh'tus v'hevalos (levity) (see Be'ur Halachah 695:2 s.v. ad).


It is a good thing to learn Torah before the seudah, because the Posuk [Esther 8:16] says "La'yehudim heisa orah v'simcha" and Chazal teach us that "orah zu Torah" (lit. "orah" [light]is referring to Torah [Gemara Megillah 16b] (Rama 695:2).


The Gemara [Megillah 7b] says M'chaiyiv inish l'vesumay ad delo yadah bein baruch Mordechai v'arur Haman. The literal understanding of the Gemara seems to say that a person is required to become intoxicated to a point that he does not know the difference between Mordechai Ha'tzaddik and Haman Ha'rasha. There are numerous opinions in the Rishonim whether this Gemara should be understood as is.


The Shulchan Aruch [695:2] seems to paskin like the literal explanation of the gemara. However, the Rama [695:2] argues that a person should drink more than usual and as a result of the extra drinking he should go to sleep. [Since when someone is sleeping he will not know the difference between Mordechai and Haman, he fulfills his obligation]. Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlit"a, explains that the Rama does not mean that one needs to go to sleep immediately from the drinking, rather as long as one drinks more than usual and eventually goes to sleep [because of the assistance of the wine] (Koveitz Halachos 18:12).


The Mishneh Berurah [695:5] rules that it is befitting to conduct oneself like the Rama. Additionally, the Mishneh Berurah [695:4] writes that someone who gets drunk needs to be careful to fulfill other halachos [e.g. making brachos, birchas hamazon, davening, netilas yadayim, etc. or who will come to a level to be nohaig kalos rosh (lightheadedness)]. Additionally, in the Be'ur Halachah [695:2 s.v. v'ad], the Chafetz Chaim zt"l writes that if a person knows himself that if by getting drunk he will be lax in other areas of halachah, it is better that he not get drunk (Also see Aruch Hashulchan 695:2-5 that holds one should not get drunk). Similarly, the Pri Chadosh [OC 695:2] writes, that even if we paskin l'halachah that a person is obligated to get drunk, that was in previous generations. However, because there has been a yeridos hadoros it is better just to drink a little more than usual.






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