Thursday, February 5, 2015

PARSHAS YISRO 5775


“RABBI’S MUSINGS (& AMUSINGS)”
Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Yisro
17 Shevat 5775/ February 6, 2015

The wisest of men declared that there is a time and place for everything under the heavens. Therefore, there’s a certain thrill we enjoy when we feel like we “beat the system” by enjoying something out of its time/season.
Some people are willing to pay to enjoy a fruit that was shipped from an area with a different climate, because locally that fruit is ‘out of season’. It’s also a big part of why half the New York frum community invades Miami at some point during January. It’s a great experience to step off a plane into blinding eighty-degree sunlight, after being bundled up in a coat, scarf, and gloves in frigid twenty-degrees two hours earlier.
This week our family spent a few days in the Poconos. Although we enjoyed ice skating and snow tubing, it was especially fun to go swimming in an indoor heated pool as a snow storm walloped the area, blanketing the ground with ten inches of snow. After not having gone swimming since late August, it was enjoyable to do so as we watched the snow falling from the large windows.   
Rav Moshe Wolfson shlita, Mashgiach of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in Brooklyn NY, notes that whenever the Shabbos Torah reading contains the Torah reading of a holiday, or mentions the holiday, a certain level of the unique spiritual blessing endemic to the holiday mentioned is attainable to one who spiritually connects to that reading.
During each holiday we pray “V’haseaynu Hashem Elokaynu es birchas moadecha - Load us up, Hashem, our G-d, with the blessings of Your holiday.” Each holiday contains unique spiritual blessing and specific components of Divine Service that can be attained. When a weekly Shabbos Torah reading includes a discussion about a holiday, a “taste” of that holiday’s blessing is spiritually palpable in the holiness of that Shabbos.
During the week of Parshas Vayera one can “plug into” the light of Rosh Hashana, as the reading of both days of Rosh Hashana comes from Parshas Vayera. During the weeks of Shemos, Vaera, and Bo one can tap into the spiritual light of Pesach, with an added bonus that the house does not have to be cleaned of Chometz first. The week of Beshalach contains the reading of the seventh day of Pesach and the crescendo of the great holiday of faith, as well as the Torah reading of Purim morning. Parshas Yisro contains the reading of Shavuos, connecting its adherent to that seminal event without the cheese cake and the all-nighter.
The weeks of Mishpatim, Emor, Pinchos, Re’eh all contain a sampling of all the major holidays, and therefore contain a spiritual conglomerate of them all. This is especially propitious the Shabbos when Parshas Pinchos is read, which generally immediately precedes the Three Weeks of mourning for the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash and the loss of the festival pilgrimages.
Even as the snow and cold continue, we can tap into the spiritual warmth of the holidays throughout the year. And now that Purim is just beyond the horizon, we can begin to anticipate physical warmth and rejuvenation as well.

Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,
            R’ Dani and Chani Staum     


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