Rabbi Reisman - Parshas Eikev 5779

1 – A thought about Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalayim.

I am speaking to you from Yerushalayim Ir Hakodesh, from our home. The most beautiful city in the world. (יְפֵה נוף מְשוש כָּל הָאָרֶץ). Chazal calls it a beautiful city. The Gemara says that the word (נוף) was also used for a Kallah. Our Kallah, Yerushalayim (מְשוש כָּל הָאָרֶץ) absolutely beautiful.

I was learning Divrei Hayamim here in Yerushalayim, and I came upon a GRA in Divrei Hayamim. I believe that it is the first GRA in Perek Chaf Ches. The GRA says the following. He says that whenever it says the word Vayakam, and he got up. The posuk there says (וַיָּקָם דָּוִיד). When it says (וַיָּקָם) it doesn’t mean that he stood up from a sitting position to a standing position. The word for that in Hebrew is Va’ya’amod.

(וַיָּקָם) is when a person raises himself in expectations, in thought, in awakening. When a person raises himself from a lower level to a higher level as it says Beraishis 23:17 (וַיָּקָם שְׂדֵה עֶפְרוֹן) the fields of Efron stood up. Rashi says that it went from being under the ownership of Efron to being owned by Avraham Avinu. (וַיָּקָם) it moved up. It raised itself. (וַיָּקָם) is a sense of a spiritual elevation, of a mindset elevation. That is (וַיָּקָם) throughout Tanach. There are numerous places where this can be applied.

One example is one that is found in the Sefer Haksav V’hakabala by Yibum where it says that the M’yabeim is (קם תחת אחיו), he gets up in the place of his brother. (קם) what does it mean that he stands up?

No. He raises himself to do something for the honor of his brother. The Gemara says that if he marries the Yevama for himself (because she is beautiful, wealthy or he wants to start a family), it is no good. The (קם) he has to elevate himself. He has to be on a higher level when this takes place.

Zagt the GRA, with this I can answer a Kasha of the Magen Avraham in Shulchan Aruch. How so? In Siman Aleph, S’if Aleph of Shulchan Aruch, the Rama says that in the morning Yakam Biz’rizus, a person should get up in the morning Biz’rizus, quickly. The Magen Avraham asks that the Gemara says in Gittin that it is not healthy to jump right out of bed. A person when he wakes up should give his body a moment to gather composure to get out of bed. The Magen Avraham is bothered by that language that he should get up Biz’rizus.

Says the GRA it is not a Kasha. Yakam doesn’t mean to physically get up, it means that he has to go from a state of sleeping to a state of awareness. (וַיָּקָם) he has to raise himself when he wakes up. Throw off the lethargy of his sleep, but be awake. Kam is to get up, to really get up.

Devarim 17:8 (וְקַמְתָּ וְעָלִיתָ--אֶל-הַמָּקוֹם). When you come to Yerushalayim the Torah says (וְקַמְתָּ וְעָלִיתָ), stand up and go up. What does it mean to stand up and go up? You can’t go up sitting! Stand up (וְקַמְתָּ). When you come to Yerushalayim, (וְקַמְתָּ) you have to raise yourself, you have to raise your expectations. You have to raise your thoughts, you have to raise your feelings. It takes effort. It doesn’t happen by itself. (וְקַמְתָּ וְעָלִיתָ).

As the plane was landing and I had the Zechus to land here in Eretz Yisrael, I got the chills. I felt it. I felt that I am here. 20 minutes later as I was rushing off the plane and through the airport to get my luggage, I didn’t feel it anymore. I was too busy with all of the mundane things that were going on. You have to stop (וְקַמְתָּ וְעָלִיתָ) and pay attention and then you can raise yourself (וְעָלִיתָ--אֶל-הַמָּקוֹם) and come to this very holy place. What a Zechus to be in a place like this.   

There are two young men who traveled with me, Mesivta Bochurim. Wonderful young men. Through the good efforts of my dear friend Michoel Rosen of Chicago who has access to Rav Chaim Kanievsky, I was able to arrange for them to have a visit and he took a picture. He told them to smile when they were standing with Rav Chaim. The boys told me that it was hard to smile. With the awe, the intensity of the room, it was hard to smile.

Wow! I know people who go to Rav Chaim and have no problem smiling.  You have to stop and feel the awe, feel the intensity, and then you feel the Kedusha of where you are. That is true about Rav Chaim and it is certainly true about Yerushalayim. You have to stop, take the time, have the feelings, feel the awe.

In the Yom of the second day, Yom Sheini, we say (יְפֵה נוף מְשוש כָּל הָאָרֶץ). The Yom is about Yerushalayim. What do we say? (כִּי הִנֵּה הַמְּלָכִים נועֲדוּ. עָבְרוּ יַחְדָּו:

הֵמָּה רָאוּ כֵּן תָּמָהוּ. נִבְהֲלוּ נֶחְפָּזוּ). Yerushalyim has the ability to give people tremendous awe. (רְעָדָה אֲחָזָתַם שָׁם). A trembling that grips them. (חִיל כַּיּולֵדָה). Convulsions like a woman giving birth. Imagine having such feelings when you come to Yerushalyim. Such Hergeishim. Yerushalayim is beautiful. It is what a person makes of it. Such an opportunity to come, an opportunity to look out of the window. I am standing here looking out of the window seeing Yerushalayim and 100 years ago there were 50,000 Jews in all of Eretz Yisrael. From this window, I can see homes of more than 50,000 Yidden.

We live in incredible times of opportunity but they are lost by people who are just going jeeping, having fun. It is Eretz Yisrael. It is a place to learn, to feel a Hiskarvus. Children can have fun. But a Baal Madreiga has to feel a Hiskarvus.  

2 – A thought on the Parsha

We have to look at this week’s Parsha. I can’t talk only about Eretz Yisrael. So this week’s Parsha tells us that Yerushalayim, Eretz Yisrael is a blessed land. 8:8 (אֶרֶץ חִטָּה וּשְׂעֹרָה, וְגֶפֶן וּתְאֵנָה וְרִמּוֹן; אֶרֶץ-זֵית שֶׁמֶן, וּדְבָשׁ). It is a blessed land. It has wonderful fruits, the produce. That is the blessing of Yerushalayim, the fruit is good?

The Torah is telling that everything is here, you will be missing nothing. 8:9 (לֹא-תֶחְסַר כֹּל, בָּהּ). All you need is to come here with the right attitude, with the right Hergish, with the right feeling, with the right sense of where you are. If you are in that land, you will be missing nothing. We will be missing nothing. We should be Zoche.

Let me tell you Al Pi Pshat why does it say (אֶרֶץ) twice in the Posuk? Chazal has a Drasha. But Pshat. Says the Ksav V’hakabalah (page 378), it is a land that has two promises. It has a promise of blessing. (חִטָּה וּשְׂעֹרָה, וְגֶפֶן וּתְאֵנָה וְרִמּוֹן). These are things that grow on their own. That is one blessing.

(אֶרֶץ-זֵית שֶׁמֶן, וּדְבָשׁ). It is also a land that has (זֵית שֶׁמֶן, וּדְבָשׁ). Olive oil and honey don’t grow as olive oil and honey. Olive oil and honey had to be made into olive oil and honey. They don’t naturally grow that way. It is a land of two Berachos. It has a Beracha that is just natural, it is a Yid that is here is Gebentched. It also has a Beracha that (זֵית שֶׁמֶן, וּדְבָשׁ). It is a Beracha that it is a land that you can make the blessing have greater value. Make the blessing have greater meaning. Make it that it be something that really matters and really counts.

What a Zechus we have to be in Eretz Yisrael. We should be Zoche to keep our love for Eretz Yisrael, our Ga’guim for Eretz Yisrael, our desire for Eretz Yisrael, to keep it all in the presence of our mind. It doesn’t come naturally when people travel to Eretz Yisrael. So many times, Nebach. You should come. It requires effort.

May HKB”H give us all the Zechus to be here, to be here often and yet to feel a Hisorerus for the beauty, the beautiful Kedusha of Artzeinu Hakedosha. Speaking to you from the holiest city, in the holiest spot in the world. May HKB”H give me the Zechus to absorb.

How can someone go to sleep at night in Eretz Yisrael. How can you be unconscious when you are in Eretz Yisrael? It is like going to sleep on Shabbos. Shabbos the holiest day you go to sleep? It is a day to go to the Bais Medrash. So Bli Neder I am heading out to the Bais Medrash. Join me in whatever Bais Medrash you are in on Thursday night. It is all (לְמַעַן יִרְבּוּ יְמֵיכֶם וִימֵי בְנֵיכֶם עַל הָאֲדָמָה). In Chutz L’aretz the Batei Medrashim are the Eretz Yisrael. The Shiva D’nechemta. Let us try to feel the Kedusha. Feel the meaning. If you are not in Eretz Yisrael, miss it. A Gut Shabbos to one and all!