Bride Sarah Litman and groom Ariel Beigel sing during the wedding ceremony at the Jerusalem International Convention Center on November 26, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
An Orphan's Wedding in Jerusalem
Hours before a Wedding, a Conversation on Despair and Hope
By: Rabbi YY Jacobson
The Litman-Beigel Wedding
As these words are being written, I am watching a live webcast of the wedding of Techiya Litman with Ariel Beigel taking place tonight in Jerusalem. Like many in the audience, I shed a tear when the crowd under the chupah sung the melody “If I forget you Jerusalem…”
Their wedding was postponed after Palestinian terrorists murdered the bride’s father and brother less than two weeks ago. The bride’s father, Rabbi Yaakov Litman, and 18-year-old brother Netanel were shot dead in a November 13 terrorist attack while driving to a celebration in southern Israel to mark the imminent marriage. (Other family members in the car — the mother, a 16-year-old boy and three young girls aged 11, 9 and 5 — were lightly wounded, suffering mostly from bruises and shrapnel injuries.)
Sarah Techiya and Ariel were due to be married on November 16, just four days after the attack, but the celebration was postponed as the Litman family sat shiva (Jewish mourning period) for Ya’akov and Netanel. Now, the bride invited the “entire world” to her wedding. The public wedding invitation, which the couple posted on social media, begins with the biblical quote: “Do not rejoice over me, my enemy, for I have fallen but I have gotten up” [Micah 7:8].
And as I watched the wedding, I could not help but remember a story about another wedding, that took place some two millennia ago, in the same land.
Today’s daily dose of emuna is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Chaya Leah Bat Baila and Baila Rachel Bat Chaya Leah, a mother and baby - both are experiencing serious complications after giving birth a few days ago. May Hashem send them a complete healing among all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’mheira, b’rachamim, Amen.
In Parshat Toldot [25:28] the Torah describes Eisav: “… Eisav, for game was in his mouth.” The Torah teaches that one dominant character trait of Eisav’s was his deception. Though he shows one thing on the outside, he felt something else on the inside.
The United Nations corresponds to the modern day Eisav, as they predominantly emanate from his lineage. Although the UN voted and passed a right for the Jewish People to establish the State of Israel, it nevertheless continues to side with the Palestinian right to establish a state on the same ground. By funding Israel’s enemies and painting Israel as evil wrongdoers, the UN are contradicting their original pledge and acting with deception.
The Divine master plan is unraveling, leading the world to the Final Redemption. B’H. The war of Gog and Magog is the final stage which will bring the Redemption to completion. There are five main reasons for the war:
All evil must be removed from the world in order for redemption to occur.
The entire world must openly come to know and serve Hashem and proclaim, Ata Hu HaMelech.
Hashem must avenge the suffering and blood of the Jewish people.
The Jewish people must receive their riches back, just as they did in Yetziat Mitzraim.
The war will spiritually refine those souls who merit witnessing the Geulah.
According to Masechet Brachot, this war of Gog and Magog will be different from all previous wars. The wonders and miracles will be indescribable and incomparable to any of those in the past. But we need to act now. We need to prepare now. We need to wipe away the falsehood now. And we need to daven for all the lost souls so that they too can merit experiencing the Geula.
Be proactive. Talk Geula. Think Geula. Prepare for Geula.
When G-d shows His kindness to a person, it brings that person closer to G-d, causing his feeling of self-importance to diminish, since "everything is like nothing before G-d".
Therefore, it was precisely due to the fact that G-d had been so kind to Yaakov that he became small in his own eyes - for the kindness brought him closer to G-d, and so he felt that he was not worthy of G-d's promise to be saved.
Source: based on Tanya Igeres Hakodesh ch.2
How could Yaakov the patriarch fear that "perhaps... I have become soiled with sin" [Rashi v. 12] when surely he was aware that he had not sinned?
A tzadik is not static - he constantly grows spiritually from one level to the next. After reaching a higher level, his previous actions are spiritually deficient compared to his current standing. They are thus considered as "sins", metaphorically speaking. [The Hebrew word for sin - chet - can also mean ''deficiency'' [see Kings 11:21] Thus Yaakov was worried that perhaps due to such ''sins'' he was not worthy to be saved.
"I have become unworthy through all the acts of kindness" [Vayishlach 32:11]
The Vilna Gaon was once asked to explain Chazal's statement [Sotah 5a] "Said R'Chiya bar Ashi in the name of Rav: A Talmid chacham must have one-eighth of an eighth [of haughtiness]".
Rashi explains that it is essential for a talmid chacham to possess this minute amount of pride in order to prevent those who are ignorant in Torah learning from making light of him and his words. Why did Chazal choose specifically the measure of one-eighth of an eighth?
The term "one eighth of an eighth" answered the Gaon, is not a reference to a particular measure. Rather it is hinting at the eighth verse of the eighth parsha of the Torah. The eighth portion in the Torah is Parshas Vayishlach, and the eighth verse of the parsha [32:11] begins with the word "katonti" - "I am very small".
While a talmid chacham must possess a certain amount of arrogance, it must be a "very small" amount.
The midrash refers to Reuven as "the first one to repent'' for his sin [of moving his father's bed]. G-d said to him ''No man has ever sinned before me and repented. You have opened the path of teshuvah.'' [Bereishis Rabah 82:11, 84:19]
Even though we find that Adam and Kayin repented before Reuven, nevertheless they did so out of fear of Divine retribution. Reuven however was the first one to truly return to God, because he realized that his sin was wrong.
For this reason, Yaakov is said to have a ''perfect complement'' of children, for not only did he have sons who were tzadikim [perfectly righteous], he also had a son who was a genuine baál teshuva.
Based on Likutei Sichos Lubavitcher Rebbe, Sefer Hasichos 5750]
If you are a Jewish woman in a physically abusive marriage, if you are searching online for Torah guidelines on Jewish domestic abuse, if you have been given bad advice by someone and told to keep quiet about it for the sake of ''Shalom Bayit'', if you are in any way doubtful of whether you should go to the police or not, then please watch this very short video from Rabbi Mizrach. The Torah does not condone violence by a husband.
And to anyone who wants to comment that in this day and age people should know this..... I'm here to tell you that they don't. Thank you Rabbi Mizrachi for speaking up.
We've been told that the way to avoid the chevlei Moshiach [birthpangs of Moshiach] is by learning Torah and doing good deeds. The other advantage of both these things is that when you do them, you create [good] angels for yourself, as Yaakov does in this week's Parsha.
Rashi comments: "And Yaakov sent angels - literally [mamash] angels".
R'Meir of Premishlan explained Rashi's words with the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos [4:13] : "He who fulfills one mitzvah gains one advocate for himself". When an individual performs a mitzvah, he creates an angel that speaks favorably on his behalf in Heaven.
The verse tells us that Yaakov sent angels as messengers to Eisav. Which angels did Yaakov send? Those angels that had been created through the mitzvos that he had performed.
This is what Rashi is alluding to when he says: "mamash angels". For "mamash" is the acronym of the words "malachim me'mitzvos sheásah" ["angels from the mitzvos he performed"].
The release of Jonathan Pollard is imminent, and we will be one step closer to Geula. The great mekubal Rav Mordechai Eliyahu zt''l added the letter hei to Jonathan's name because he saw that his soul contained a spark of Moshiach ben Yosef [first video].
".... Lavan was informed that Yaakov had fled. He took his relatives with him and pursued him"[Vayeitze 31:22,23]
The Maggid of Mezritch taught: "Yaakov had left behind letters from the Torah which he had not yet extracted from Lavan. This is why Lavan pursued him - to give him the letters which remained with him. An entire chapter was added to the Torah by these letters." [Ohr Hame'ir, beg. Parshas Vayeitzei, see Ohr HaTorah vol 5, p.869a]
The "letters of the Torah" which Yaakov left behind were "sparks" of holiness. In fact, Yaakov had spent twenty years in Lavan's house extracting whatever sparks of holiness he could find there, and when the process was complete, he left. At least he thought it was complete....
In truth, however, Yaakov had left some sparks behind, so Lavan chased Yaakov to give them to him.
Why did Yaakov leave sparks behind?
Chassidic teachings explain that, while most of a person's achievements in life come through his own conscious efforts, there are some "super-conscious" achievements that are so lofty they cannot occur intentionally. So, while we are usually the ones that choose our own paths in life - to find the sparks which we are destined to elevate - sometimes our "sparks" pursue us, because they are too sublime to be "extracted" solely by our own endeavors.
Source: Based on Likutei Sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Gutnick Chumash
I spend a huge amount of time maintaining this site.... and generally speaking it has no income whatsoever..... if you would like to help out ...... donate if you wish, but don't feel like you have to :) But right now it is sorely needed so Thank you.
End of Days Scenario as envisioned by the 15 year old Israeli boy during a Near Death Experience. Thank you to all the people who email...
This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."