Bereshis 5782

Rabbi Reisman – Parshas Beraishis 5782

As we prepare for Shabbos Parshas Beraishis, we have the Yomim Noraim – Sukkos – Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah right behind us. Still tasting the flavor of these extraordinary days and hoping that the Hashpa will last a very long time. But at least will last 24 hours so that we will use our first Mishmar night just 24 hours after we proclaimed Simcha L’Torah to be in the Beis Medrash. In our Beis Medrash we will be beginning Masechtas Horayos tonight an Amud a week. If you are in the NYC area you are welcome to join us. If not, so join us anyway. Take a Masechtos Horayos an Amud a week and we hope IY”H to grow, taking something with us from this beautiful more than three week period which has just passed.

1 - Topic – Explanation of Sheishes Yemai Beraishis and Shivas Yemai Beraishis (A second approach).

Now let us turn our attention to Parshas Beraishis. At Kiddush, Jews the world over say ( יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, וְכָל-צְבָאָם). That expression is a corruption of the Pesukim. As you all know, (יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי) is the end of 1:31 which states (וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי) and it is the end of the Parsha. The next Parsha starts 2:1 (וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ), that begins to tell the story of the 7th day. When we stand up in front of our families and proclaim (יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ) that is not correct. Imagine, if someone would get up and say in front of his Talmidim, he would be teaching them and he would get up and say Yom Hash’lishi Vayomer Elokim (וְהָיוּ לִמְאוֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם). It was the third day and Hashem said let there be heavenly bodies, he would be teaching them incorrectly. It was the 4th day on which Hashem created the sun, the moon and the stars. It says in 1:13 (וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם שְׁלִישִׁי) and then in 1:14 (וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹקִים, יְהִי מְאֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם). For someone to get up and say (יוֹם שְׁלִישִׁי יְהִי מְאֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם) would be terrible, it would be Megaleh Panim L’torah Shelo K’halacha. It would be teaching Torah incorrectly. So why do we get up and say (יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, וְכָל-צְבָאָם) as if it is one Posuk. It is a Davar Pele!

It is an even bigger Davar Pele because we are told by those who Darshun Simanim, that (יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם) is Roshei Teives Yud Kei Vav Kei. (יוֹם) is (י), (הַשִּׁשִּׁי) is (ה), (וַיְכֻלּוּ) is (ו) and (הַשָּׁמַיִם) is (ה). So we are saying a Remez to Yud, Kei, Vav, Kei. What kind of Remez to Yud, Kei, Vav, Kei, the Yud & Kei is part of one Parsha of the Torah (וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי) and (וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם) is a new Parsha. What is the inherent connection between them as that doesn’t fill a Pshat at all?

While we are at it I would like to add a second point that needs explanation which I hope will be explained. I mentioned I believe in a past year (Ed. Note: see Parshas Yisro 5777 where Rebbi spoke out the Bais Halevi in the second piece in Beraishis starting with Vayichal) that sometimes we find that Chazal talk about Shiv’as Yemai Beraishis, the seven days of creation and sometimes Sheishes Yemai Beraishis, the six days of creation. Well is it six days or is it seven days. I understand the six days of the physical creation and Hashem created rest on the 7th day, however, it is interesting that Chazal use both expressions. Sheishes Yemai Beraishis and Shiv’as Yemai Beraishis. I would like to share with you a Yesod which I would hope would explain this.  

Over the Yomim Tovim someone sent me a Sefer Chesed L’avraham which collects Divrei Torah from Gedolei Yisrael and in there on Parshas Beraishis on (יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי) these questions are not asked but there is a quote from the Amshinover Rebbe. The Amshinover Rebbe says on (יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ) that the Tachlis of a person in this world is L’hosif Min Hachol Al Hakodesh. The Tachlis of a person in the world, Hashem created a physical world for six days and then He created a day that has Kedusha, Kedushas Shabbos. We know that we have a Mitzvah of Tosafos Shabbos of adding some minutes or hours of Friday and making them be part of Shabbos. L’hosif Min Hachol Al Hakodesh. He says that is not just an incidental part of the Mitzvos of the Torah it is the Tachlis Habriya, the purpose of the Briya is that a person should come to this world and be Mosif M’chol Al Hakodesh, a person should add from time that is not set aside for Kedusha, time that is Yemai Chol for ordinary things and take some of that time and set it aside for Kedusha, for Davening, for learning and for making it part of Shabbos.

The same thing with the physical things like money. Money is a mundane thing, it is a Davar Chol. When you use it for Kedusha, like Tzedaka, or use it to teach Torah, you use it for Chesed that is Mosif Hachol Al Hakodesh, you take from Chol and you pull it into Kodesh. When you are gifted, Hashem gave you a talent, you have an ability, you are a capable person. You can use it for manufacturing elevators or pocketbooks and that is fine, that is Chol. However, when you use your talents to help a Mosad, to help a Yeshiva, to help people who need help, individuals who need help, so then you are taking your Chol talents and you are using it for Kedusha, you are using it for a Davar Kadosh. Tachlis Ha’adam of the Briya is L’hosif Hachol Al Hakodesh.

We understand (יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ). (יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי) is inherently Chol, but when it becomes Shabbos we say that we connect (יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ). We connect the 6th day, the day of Chol and attach it to Shabbos to make it part of Kedushas Shabbos.

Chazal say that G-d’s name is Yud, Kei, Vav, Kei – 4 letters. Shemos 17:16 (כִּי-יָד עַל-כֵּס קהּ, מִלְחָמָה לַיקוָק, בַּעֲמָלֵק--מִדֹּר, דֹּר). Olam Hazeh when we don’t see Kedusha, Hashem’s name is just Yud and Hei. The Vav and Hei are hidden. (יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי) is an ordinary day. (יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ) We connect the Yud, Kei to the Vav, Kei so then we take it and we are Mosif the Chol Al HaKodesh and make a whole thing. Yud, Kei always has Kedusha but now it has an extra level of Kedusha. Someone who is Mosif Mai’chol Al Hakodesh.

In the 5th Perek of Pirkei Avos we are taught (עשרה דברים נבראו בין השמשות). Halo Davar Hu, it is amazing. I once heard and I don’t know if it is a Milsa D’biduchusa or a true Vort that every Erev Shabbos everybody is rushing. Why is everyone rushing? Because on the original Erev Shabbos Hashem went Bein Hash’moshos and told His Malachim hurry up we have 10 more things to create and it is only a few minutes until Shabbos and they created these last 10 things. (עשרה דברים נבראו בין השמשות) and these are some of the greatest things of Kedusha. The (פי הארץ), the (פי האתון), a Giluy of HKB”H’s presence in this world and many other things were created (בין השמשות). Not Kavayochel that G-d was in a rush, but HKB”H made that the (בין השמשות), the connecting minutes of the 6th day to the 7th day are days of intense power of Briya, intense energy of creation. A person takes those minutes that connect Shabbos to Chol and he goes to Shul early and he is there ahead of time, and he is Mavir Sedra or he is learning, or he is helping set up the Shul for Shabbos. He is taking moments of Chol and making them Kodesh, that is the (בין השמשות) when a person can connect. So it is a beautiful idea (יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם), we declare that there are Sheishes Yemai Beraishis and Shiv’as Yemai Beraishis. We declare that we see Shiv’as Yemai Beraishis, we see the day of Kedusha as being part of the first six days of creation and we look to pull from Kedusha to Chol. We get caught up too much in our Chol.


2 – Topic – Are we too steeped in Chol?

I would like to share with you a letter I received from somebody who grew up here in the Shul and today he is a Mechaneich in an out of town city. I don’t have permission to mention his name so I will leave out some of the details, however, I want to read to you what he wrote to me. He writes, as Rebbi knows, I run the girls high school here in the Midwest. The girls overall are sheltered and I believe that less than a 1/3rd of the girls in the high school own a smartphone. One thing that they unfortunately do read is the Jewish magazines. The constant ads and articles of people living lavishly takes its toll on the girls. They get the impression that it is proper to run after these things. I know that Rebbi doesn’t run these magazines, however, as a Mechaneich that deals with these questions I would love to know if I am missing the boat.

Is he missing the boat? Imagine, the girls are sheltered except they get Binah, Mishpacha, Ami magazines. Now, there is nothing wrong with the magazines, however, there is something wrong with the advertising that somehow appeals to us here in NY. To bring the Chol Al Hakodesh – we are steeped in Chol. We have to undertake, Yidden vote with their feet. The only reason stores have fancy ads and fancy products and upscale prices is because Frum Yidden go and shop there. If we would shop in the stores that aren’t upscale, if it would be the style that Frum Yidden don’t go to these stores, then the store owners would do what the people want. Hosif Chol Al Hakodesh. Don’t become steeped in Chol. Shop in stores that are K’fi Ruach HaTorah. Shop in stores that if the Chofetz Chaim walked in and looked around he would say this is a Yiddishe Platz? No. Go to places that are simpler if you can find some, but at least relatively simpler. These are the places. If Yidden will behave this way the store owners would as well. You can’t blame them as they do what sells. Let’s show what sells and what counts. It is a life that is connected to Kedusha, that is not overrun with all types of Devarim Shel Chol.

3 – Topic – Shemittah Halachos

Let me add to today for Parshas Beraishis 5782 Shnas Hashemittah a few points regarding Shemittah. In Eretz Yisrael I was there this summer Boruch Hashem. They are learning Maseches Sheviis and they know Hilchos Shemittah, they are learning it and they are into it in Eretz Yisrael. Here we are not exposed too much. I would like to just give you two basic Yesodos about Shemittah and maybe over the year to add to it. One Din D’oraissa and one Din D’rabbanan.

Starting today, after Sukkos, you have to be very careful in buying things like cherry tomatoes, peppers, dill because some of them come from Eretz Yisrael and the ones that come from Eretz Yisrael have a Shemittah problem. Let me explain why. There are three categories of products, there are Ilonos – things that grow on a tree, there are Yerakos, vegetables – things that grow on the ground, and then there is Tevuah – wheat and Zaisim which have their own category, Kitnios and beans which are a third category. The rule as explained by the Gemara in the first Perek of Rosh Hashana is the following. (אילן בתר חנטה). The Shemittah year of a tree is the year in which it buds. So that, if an Esrog was picked even after Rosh Hashana this year it is not a Shemittah Esrog. Why? Because the Chanata, the budding was in the 6th year.

Yerakos Basar Lekita, vegetables go by the time that they are picked, which is why the Kashrus organizations have warned us that tomatoes are vegetables and even if they grew before Rosh Hashana if they were picked post Rosh Hashana, Yerakos Basar Lekita and it is already considered to be a Shemittah product if it was picked, if it was harvested in the Shemittah year.

Tevuah and Kitnios, are Basar Shlish Gidulo. They go by a 1/3rd of their growth. If you want to know why it is so complicated you will learn the Sugya in Masechtas Rosh Hashana Daf Yud Gimmel – Tes Vav.

Now, it is very confusing, how is someone supposed to remember this. So years ago when I learned Maseches Rosh Hashana I made myself a Siman. The Siman has no Mekor except on this phone call. Ilan starts with an Aleph whose numerical value in Gematriya is one. Chanata, budding starts with a Ches and the Gematriya is eight which is also one digit. So Aleph and Ches (אילן בתר חנטה). Yerakos are vegetables. Yud is a value of 10, it is a two digit number. Yerakos Basar Lekita (ירקות בתר לקיטה) Lekita starts with a Lamed which is Gematriya 30 which is also a two digit number. (ירקות בתר לקיטה). (תבואה) Tevua is a Gematriya of 400 which is a three digit number. Kitnios, beans which is a Kuf is 100 which is also a three digit number. Tevua and Kitnios are (בתר שליש) Basar Shlish. Shlish starts with a Shin which is Gematriya of 300 which is a three digit number. This is how I remember it since I made this Siman for myself probably 40 years ago. (אילן בתר חנטה), (ירקות בתר לקיטה) and (תבואה בתר שליש). This is a Din D’oraissa that I want to share with you.

 I need to share with you a D’rabbanan. There is a Gezaira D’rabbanan of Sefichin. Vayikra 25:5 (אֵת סְפִיחַ קְצִירְךָ לֹא תִקְצוֹר). The Gezaira of Sefichin applies to all vegetables. Trees grow from year to year. A Shemittah fruit even if it buds in the Shemittah year is Muttar. If you are walking in Eretz Yisrael and there is an apple tree and you pick an apple and eat it, perfect. That is what you do on Shemittah. The Ramban holds it is a Mitzvas Asei to eat the fruits of Shemittah in Eretz Yisrael. However, by vegetables, vegetables should not be growing. Vegetables have to be planted every year and vegetables should not have been planted for this year because there is a Gizaira D’rabbanan of Sefichin. (I will not explain the Gizaira of Sefichin at the moment), however, suffice it to say that Chazal made Assur the eating of any vegetables that grew in the field of a Yid even if someone drops seeds by mistake and they grew. Someone planted before Shemittah and it grew in Shemittah. They are Assur and it is called Gezairas Sefichin which applies to all these vegetables that come from Eretz Yisrael. The Peiros have Kedushas Sheviis and you are not allowed to destroy them, but eating them is also Assur because of Gezairas Sefichin.

So, as we start a Shemittah year you have five minutes of information. The Din D’oraissa of Ilan Basar Chanata, Yerakos Basar Lekitah and Tevua and Kitnios Basar Shlish. The Din D’rabbanan of Issur Sefichin. Hopefully over the year we will be Zoche to learn additional pointers of the Shemittah year.

Wishing one and all an absolutely wonderful Mishmar tonight and of course a wonderful Shabbos as well for Parshas Beraishis. May Taf Shin Pei Bais be a wonderful year. T’hei Shnas Pandemic Battul. Let it be the year that we forget about the turbulence we have had these years and may we be well and return to a full Batei Medrashim learning Torah B’hasmada Gedolah. A Gutten Shabbos to one and all!