Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010


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Jerusalem Post :: Friday, January 8, 2010

ALCOHOL AND THE JEWS :: Rabbi Berel Wein




The last number of decades has brought to light an increasingly difficult problem in Jewish life both here Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 in Israel and in the Jewish world generally. It is the rise of alcoholism and its related tragedies. There is also a considerable amount of drug use among Jewish youth and Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 it is not restricted to particular groups within that society. It would be simple to say that these problems are restricted mainly to the secular and non-observant Jewish society. But that statement Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 would not be a true one.

There was a time not that long ago – I recall it from my youth when Jews who were alcoholics or even regularly drunk were a rarity Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010. Jews drank on Simchat Torah and Purim but were sober the rest of the year. Jews prided themselves on their sobriety and scorned their Eastern European non-Jewish neighbors because Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 many of them were always drunk.

There were even Jewish folk ballads in Yiddish that highlighted this difference between Jewish and non-Jewish societies. It was not only that being a Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 drinker was dangerous to health, family and economic well being that prevented Jews from indulging in alcohol. It was because it was socially unacceptable in Jewish society.

A drunkard was never a hero or Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 a role model in the Jewish world. From the story of Lot and his daughters onwards the avoidance of the evil effects of alcohol became the norm in Jewish society. Though Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 Jews in Eastern Europe were heavily involved in the production and sale of liquor, Jewish society served as the social brake on drinking itself and thus the rate of alcoholism in Jewish society was Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 extremely low and far below the average of the general society in which they found themselves living.

All of that has changed dramatically in our time. While the advertising of liquor has Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 been severely curtailed and the harmful effects of the drink are spelled out clearly on every liquor bottle, drinking, like smoking tobacco, apparently has not been severely affected by Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 these warnings. This is especially true among the young who do not yet appreciate their own mortality and health.

The bar, the pub, even the Shabat kiddush are all the in-places in today Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010’s society to drink without social disapproval. Here in Israel, the traditional Friday night family dinner, observed for decades even in non-observant homes, has given way to the melees and Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 stabbings and drunkenness of the pubs and bars. Friday night and Shabat are the most horrendous times of the week for traffic fatalities here in Israel, many of them induced by alcohol.

Jews have Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 become experts in single malt liquors bought at outrageous prices and displayed as a sort of trophy testament to one’s success in life. The goal of twelve and Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 thirteen year olds at Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties is to drink hard liquor, and their parents indifferently acquiesce to this pending disaster.

Somehow the yeshiva world has allowed Purim to morph into Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 a drunken orgy which also has consequences later on and not only next day’s hangover. The rate of alcoholism in the Jewish world is now at an all time high, equal to Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 if not even higher than the average in many countries. It is one of the many unseen or purposely ignored elephants that now appear in our room.

Alcohol like drugs and tobacco Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 is addictive. Therefore alcoholism has to be defeated before it really takes hold. This can only be accomplished by a change in social society’s attitude towards drinking. As long as it is Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 viewed as being socially acceptable, nay even desired, all of the radio ads against drunken driving and all of the warnings on the labels of the liquor bottles will be of Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 little avail.

There are finally synagogues in the United States that ban liquor entirely from its premises even for catered affairs in their social halls. This was as a direct result Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 of the weekly drunken behaviors by teenagers and even pre-teenagers on its premises. It was at least a statement by the congregation that drinking is no longer socially acceptable behavior Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010.

Of course the rabbi of the congregation that initiated this action was roundly criticized for curtailing the private lives of others. However all of Torah is based on the necessity of curtailing imagined Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 private freedoms. The problem of alcoholism in Jewish society is not one to be ignored.

It is not only a personal problem; it is one that affects countless Jewish families and Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 Jewish society generally. Judaism is not for absolute prohibition of alcohol. Wine is an integral part of Jewish ritual. But like all matters in life, Judaism preaches good common sense, necessary restraints and discipline Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 and a social responsibility for the general welfare of all society. Alcohol has to fit in to that pattern.

Shabat Shalom







^ Weekly Parsha :: SHEMOT :: Rabbi Berel Wein



Shifra and Puah give Jewish Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 children life in this week’s parsha. Midrash and Rashi point out that Shifra and Puah were really Yocheved and Miriam. In God’s world where everything eventually evens out, Moshe, Yocheved’s son Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 and Miriam’s brother will be saved from the Nile and its tides and crocodiles by another woman who saved children, Batya, the daughter of the Pharaoh. There is a common streak that Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 runs throughout the Torah that goodness begets goodness and evil always will lead to other evil.

Saving children is the prime value in Jewish life. The emphasis on education in Jewish Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 life is part of this mission of salvation of the young. The enemies of the Jewish people have always concentrated on destroying Jewish children so that the Jewish future would Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 be bleak and non-existent. Pharaoh’s decree to cast Jewish children into the Nile was the first in a long line of such decrees.

The Germans and their evil cohorts destroyed one and Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 a half million Jewish children during the Holocaust. The absence of these children from the midst of the Jewish world is felt even today, seventy years later. Thus the supreme Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 act of kindness and risk taken by Shifra and Puah leads to their reward that the savior of Israel will also be saved from the Nile by a different, compassionate and risk Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 taking woman.

One never realizes how a kindness and good deed done to others can influence for good one’s own life and family circle. By saving other children, Shifra and Puah Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 saved their own little child and brother as well.

In the late 1940’s the Day School movement in America was barely on its fledgling feet attempting to somehow save thousands of American Jewish Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 children from the pits of complete assimilation and Jewish apathy and ignorance - the Nile River of its day, spiritually speaking. It faced overwhelming problems and fierce opposition from within the established Jewish Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 community itself.

Many felt then that somehow being intensely and proudly Jewish in a knowledgeable fashion was un-American. One of the major problems that the Day Schools faced was finding dedicated young Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 families willing to leave the imagined sanctuary of the New York area to become the teachers and administrators of these new schools in the hinterlands of America. They were justifiably Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 concerned about the future of their children growing up in a more difficult, Jewishly speaking, environment.

Rabbi Ahron Kotler, one of the driving forces behind the creation of these new day schools, boldly Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 announced to the yeshiva world that any young couples who would move to these “out of town” communities to help build and staff these schools would be personally guaranteed by him Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 to have success in raising their children as they wish.

His guarantee and prediction was fulfilled in dozens of families who have мейд a great deal of difference in rebuilding Torah life in America. Saving Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 others in essence, and in the long run, helps to save one’s own self. The redemption of Israel from Egyptian bondage is initiated by small acts of kindness Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010, sacrifice and goodness. Israel and Zion is redeemed by acts of justice and righteousness.

Shabat shalom.







^ TORAH WEEKLY :: Parshat Shmot

For the week ending 9 January 2010 / 22 Tevet 5770

from Ohr Somayach | www.ohr.edu

by Rabbi Yaakov Asher Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 Sinclair - www.seasonsofthemoon.com

OVERVIEW

With the death of Yosef, the Book of Bereishet (Genesis) comes to an end. The Book of Shmot (Exodus) chronicles the creation of the nation of Israel from Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 the descendants of Yaakov. At the beginning of this week’s Parsha, Pharaoh, fearing the population explosion of Jews, enslaves them. However, when their birthrate increases, he orders the Jewish midwives Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 to kill all newborn males. Yocheved gives birth to Moshe and hides him in the reeds by the Nile. Pharaoh’s daughter finds and adopts him, although she knows he is probably a Hebrew Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010. Miriam, Moshe’s sister, offers to find a nursemaid for Moshe and arranges for his mother Yochevedto fulfill that roleYears later, Moshe witnesses an Egyptian beating a Hebrew and Moshe Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 kills the Egyptian. Realizing his life is in danger, Moshe flees to Midian where he rescues Tzipporah, whose father Yitro approves their subsequent marriage. On Chorev (Mt. Sinai) Moshe witnesses the Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 burning bush where G-d commands him to lead the Jewish People from Egypt toEretz Yisrael, the land promised to their ancestors. Moshe protests that the Jewish People will doubt his being G-ds Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 agent, so G-d enables Moshe to perform three miraculous transformations to validate himself in the people’s eyes: transforming his staff into a snake, his healthy хэнд into a leprous one, and Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 water into blood. When Moshe declares that he is not a good public speaker, G-d tells him that his brother Aharon will be his spokesman. Aharon greets Moshe Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 on his return to Egypt and they petition Pharaoh to release the Jews. Pharaoh responds with even harsher decrees, declaring that the Jews must produce the same quota of bricks as before but without Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 being given supplies. The people become dispirited, but G-d assures Moshe that He will force Pharaoh to let the Jews leave.

INSIGHTS

Getting Smaller

^ Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010? (3:11)

It was David’s first flight in an aircraft. He could hardly contain his excitement. For although many times during his five tender years of life he had gazed skywards Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 at airplanes soaring into the blue, he had never actually мейд a journey in one of these wondrous flying machines.

Even though the thrill of the takeoff was extremely exhilarating, the moment Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 David was waiting for had not yet arrived. Expectantly he sat in his seat. He waited for ten minutes, for twenty minutes. It didn’t happen.

After half an hour he couldn Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010’t wait any longer and so he turned to his father and said, “Daddy? When do we get small?”

When you look up at an airplane in the sky it looks like a little toy Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010, so small and insignificant, even though it is immensely powerful.

From the Jewish point of view, few things are more flawed in a person’s character than conceit. The secular world Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010, however, preaches the reverse. If you’ve got it flaunt it.

The contorted face of jubilation when someone scores the winning goal, dropping to his knees, or punching the air with a victory Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 salute (always reminded me of the Third Reich), or showering the crowd with a bottle of Pernod-Ricard Perrier-Jouet after winning the Le Mans Grand Prix; the Grecian Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 world of спорт and performance loves the winner and the winner loves himself.

The Torah tells us that G-d chose Moshe because he was the most humble of all men (Vayikra 12:3). In this week Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010’s Torah portion, Moshe tries repeatedly to persuade G-d that he is unworthy of the task of taking the Jewish People out of Egypt.

The Chafetz Chaim once Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 selected one of his Torah scholars to be the Rabbi in a certain remote town. This fellow said to the Chafetz Chaim he didn’t believe himself to be adequate for the job. The Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 Chafetz Chaim asked him if it would be better to send someone who was convinced that he was adequate for the job.

G-d loves humble people and he hates bigheads.

Maybe David Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010’s question is something we should all keep in mind, “When do we get small?”

Written and compiled by Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair

© 2010 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.







^ Peninim on Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 the Torah by Rabbi A. Leib Scheinbaum

Parshas Shemos

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the first one was Shifrah and the name of the second was Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 Puah. (1:15)

Shifrah was actually Yocheved, and Puah was her daughter, Miriam. The alternate names were given to them as a tribute to their work. Shifrah denotes the fact that Yocheved beautified Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 the infant. Puah calls to mind the manner in which Miriam cooed, speaking to the child in a soothing manner. These are surely important and necessary qualities for a midwife Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 to possess, but Yocheved and Miriam were the two most prominent women of that generation. Is that the best way that the Torah can characterize them? Yocheved was one of the original seventy souls Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 to have arrived in Egypt together with Yaakov Avinu. She was certainly a distinguished woman. Miriam was a neviah, prophetess. Hence, the Torah should have referred to them by their birth names Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010, names of prominence. Furthermore, these names are simple names which identify how they interacted with the infants. These names certainly do not lend distinction to Yocheved and Miriam. It is as if the Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 Torah is describing two ordinary midwives. What about their courage; their heroism; their self-sacrifice; their fear of Heaven? Is that all secondary to their ability to coo and beautify Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 the baby's skin?

Horav Shimshon Pincus, zl, explains that, indeed, it is these seemingly mundane acts that bespeak the true eminence that characterized Yocheved and Miriam. Let us begin with an Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 analogy. A seriously ill young child is brought into the emergency room of a hospital. The child is surrounded by doctors and nurses, all working feverishly to ensure that his young life continues unhampered Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010. Nothing takes precedence when a child's life is in danger. If a spectator were to enter the ER and notice a woman talking soothingly to the child, even Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 singing a sweet melody, he would know for certain that this is the child's mother. The other people surrounding the child are too concerned with the child's immediate health to worry about his Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 emotional well-being, the fear he must be harboring in a strange place, inundated with people and machines. Only a mother's love focuses also on the little things, because that is Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 what a mother does. Her love is all-encompassing and all inclusive.

The fact that Yocheved and Miriam were prepared to risk their lives for the Jewish infants was not adequate indication Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 that they were worthy of achieving "mother" status. They were not yet to be rewarded with "batim," houses, of monarchy, Kehunah and Leviah. Only after they demonstrated that extra bit of motherly Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 care and love amid the terror of death that permeated the Jewish community at the time - when they showed that they also cared about the "little" things, such as smoothing the Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 infant's skin, beautifying it, cooing and talking softly - did they become eligible for this lofty reward.

I have always wondered why Rachel Imeinu was the one who was buried on the side Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 of the road, so that Jews being exiled from the Holy Land would go by her grave and pray to catalyze hope. Why is Rachel the one who is Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 the great intercessor for Klal Yisrael? Moreover, why does the pasuk refer to Klal Yisrael as baneha, her children? Rachel gave birth only to Yosef and Binyamin. If anything, Leah should receive Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 greater Matriarchal status. She gave birth to more children.

Perhaps the answer lies specifically in the fact that Klal Yisrael is referred to as baneha. Rachel views all of the Jewish People as Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 her children. She acts towards us as a mother and, therefore, has earned the title. The maternal instinct was an intrinsic part of her nature. She became the Matriarch to whom all the Jewish Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 "children" turn for solace, hope and prayer.

Horav Shlomo Heyman, zl, was Rosh Yeshivah in Vilna and later in Mesivta Torah Vodaath. He was a brilliant Torah scholar who was dedicated to Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 Torah dissemination, training students who later went on to become Torah leaders themselves. Every great man has a partner: his wife. Rebbetzin Heyman was just as busy as her husband Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010, with her constant involvement in all areas of chesed, acts of loving-kindness. She was especially devoted to marrying off orphan girls. Those who had no one knew that they had Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 Rebbetzin Heyman.

Once, the Rosh Yeshivah and his wife were preparing to go to a wedding which she had completely arranged. She had outfitted the bride and was even seeing to it that the expenses Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 for the wedding were covered. As they were walking out the door, Rav Shlomo turned to his wife and asked, "Did you order a corsage for the kallah, bride Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010?" The Rebbetzin replied, "I assumed that I did not have to go that far. I took care of everything else. The corsage was not something I felt was necessary - especially since the funds were Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 all provided from tzedakah, charity." Rav Shlomo disagreed, asserting, "No, no, it is not right. You must immediately go and purchase a corsage for the girl. She must have it Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 - just like everybody else."

Rav Pincus feels that the Rosh Yeshivah was intimating to his wife that a mother would not overlook her daughter's corsage, and his wife was in the role of mother Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010, since this girl was an orphan. If his Rebbetzin was going to carry out an act of chesed, she should do it the right way. In order for Yocheved and Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 Miriam to be worthy of the "houses" of royalty, Kehunah and Leviah, they had to act like mothers.

Horav Yitzchak Zilberstein, Shlita, relates that when he was sitting shivah, observing the seven-day Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 mourning period for his mother, he was visited by the present day Ozrover Rebbe, Shlita, who quoted the following Torah thought from his grandfather, the Eish Dos, Horav Moshe Yechiel HaLevi Epstein, zl Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010. On the first day of Rosh Hashanah, we read about Sarah Imeinu and the birth of Yitzchak. The Haftorah relates the story of Chanah and the birth of Shmuel HaNavi Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010. It is only on the second day of Rosh Hashanah that we read about Avraham Avinu's dedication at the Akeidah of Yitzchak Avinu. Why do we mention the merit of Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 the Imahos, Matriarchs, prior to that of the Avos, Patriarchs?

The Eish Dos explains that when a child falls, his father picks him up and makes sure that he is able to stand up Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 on his own two feet. His mother, however, is the one who is concerned that the child not fall in the first place. She protects. That is what mothers do, and, for Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 this reason, our prayer to Hashem in the z'chus, merit, of the Imahos precedes that of the Avos.

Many "mother" stories portray the singular devotion that the Jewish mother manifests Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 to her children. The following episode might be a bit unusual, but it certainly bespeaks a mother's devotion. In a small Egyptian village lives a young man who, for all intents and Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 purposes, appears to be an Arab. The features are all present. Surprisingly, on the inside of his хэнд is a tattoo of a Magen David, a Jewish star! Arabs do Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 not make it a practice to have Jewish stars tattooed into their skin - at least not if they want to have a normal lifespan. After investigation, it was discovered that this young Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 man is accompanied by an incredible story. He is Jewish, born to a Jewish mother, who - together with a number of Jewish girls - were kidnapped and forced to marry Muslims. His mother, albeit not observant Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010, knew that her son was Jewish and that Jews do not intermarry. To protect her son, she мейд an indelible mark on his хэнд that would be a constant reminder of his Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 holy pedigree. Until this very day he lives in danger, never exposing the inside of his хэнд, for fear of being discovered. His mother risked everything - even her son's life Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 - so that he would not intermarry. That is a Jewish mother. She may not have been observant, but she was acutely aware of the kedushah, holiness, which is part of every Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 Jew's DNA.

^ His sister stationed herself at a distance to know what would be done with him. (2:4)

One who studies the Torah must accept the following premise: The righteous individuals portrayed Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 in the Torah believed in Hashem with total conviction. They understood that regardless of how bleak a situation might appear, Hashem could alter its course at any given moment. In contrast Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010, the reshaim, wicked, who are mentioned in the Torah, were individuals who had an acute knowledge of the Almighty. He was not some abstract entity. He was real to them. They simply did Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 not care. They conducted their lives ignoring Hashem and His awesome power. In other words, the good and evil in the Torah represent two extremes, each totally the opposite of the other. In Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 the Torah, evil is abominable, and good is peerless. Let us see how this idea is reflected in the following two characters: the righteousness of Miriam HaNeviah, in contrast to the Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 evil of Pharaoh and his advisors.

Miriam represents bitachon, trust in the Almighty, at its zenith. At the young age of six, she contended with her parents, who were the leaders of Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 the generation, concerning deferring to Pharaoh's evil decree to kill Jewish children. As a result of the decree, Amram, her father, decided that the men should separate from their wives Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010. Miriam argued against this. Due to her indomitable bitachon, she was able to convince her father to rescind the protective decree. Live normal lives and trust in Hashem. What will be, will be. Afterwards, Moshe Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 Rabbeinu was born, and it was obvious that he was no ordinary child. Once again, Miriam's bitachon rose to the fore. When the critical moment arrived that her Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 mother could no longer hide him, she placed the infant Moshe in a basket in the water. Miriam stood and watched, believing with a deep conviction that her brother's life was in Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 G-d's Hands. If He wanted him to live, he would live. Nothing stands in the way of Hashem's plan. Miriam represented the "good" of the Torah. Her belief Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 in Hashem was real.

In contrast, we find Pharaoh and his advisors who were bent on destroying every Jewish child. The royal astrologers had seen that the Jewish savior would be born in Egypt and Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 that his ultimate failure would be associated with water. Therefore, they decreed that all Jewish children should be drowned. Later, we find that Shevet Levi, was the lone tribe Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 not to be enslaved. Why was this? The commentators explain that the Egyptians wanted to demonstrate that they did not denigrate all of the Jewish people - just most of them. Indeed, they felt that there Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 were "good" Jews and "bad" Jews. The tribe of Levi represented the good Jews; they would be free to go as they pleased.

Horav Yonassan Eybeshutz, zl, gives an explanation Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 that goes to the root of the Egyptian psyche, revealing their evil, despite their acute awareness of the Almighty. They postulated that a redeemer must be one who himself had endured Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 the trials and tribulations associated with slavery. Only one who had himself suffered could be sensitive to the needs of others who were in pain. Therefore, they did not enslave Shevet Levi, because Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 they had "seen" that the Jewish People's savior would descend from the tribe of Levi. Therefore, if he was not a slave, he wouldn't be able to become a leader. Moshe Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010, however, joined ranks with his brothers, because that was the kind of person he was.

Now, let us step back and consider the type of people Pharaoh and his henchmen represented. They knew Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 about Hashem, but they tried to "outsmart" Him. How utterly foolish they were! Nonetheless, we see that their evil was not simple mischief. They were thoroughly wicked, in full Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 knowledge of what they were doing and against Whom they were reacting. They did not care. They were conscious of the idea that a successful leader rises up through the ranks, fully Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 aware of the needs and wants of the average citizen. The leader of Klal Yisrael was no different. They predicted that Hashem would designate a scion of the Tribe of Levi who had Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 been enslaved. To "prevent" this, they removed the yoke of slavery from Levi. In this way they could circumvent the rise of the Jewish leader.

How absurd! Not only was the Jewish Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 leader from the Tribe of Levi; but Pharaoh's daughter raised him in the royal palace, right under Pharaoh's nose! They knew just what they were doing; their evil was real Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010. It was so malevolent that it caused them to make the foolish mistake of thinking that they could contend with the One Who created them. This has been the story throughout history, as one Weekly Internet Parsha Sheet January 8, 2010 despot after another thought that he was ultimately in charge. We are still here; they are not.

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