Parshat Yitro In This Issue February 5, 2015 YNA Newsletter Parshat Yitro

YNA Newsletter Parshat Yitro
In This Issue
Life Events
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Parshat Yitro
February 5, 2015
Sephardi Party Never
Ends-Check out the new
A Letter to Rav Bina
Open Houses with Rav
HaRav Nebenzahl on
Parshat Yitro
6 Weeks to the Shabbaton!
Staff Dvar Torah by Rav
Lipman Podolsky zt"l
The Story Of The Jewish
People by Rav Shai
Tehillim List
The annual alumni Shabbaton in Woodmere will be March 20-21, and
sign-up is open! So far the Rabbis coming in include Rav Bina, Rav Yoel
Rackovsky, Rav Amos Luban, and Rabbi Dr John Krug.
Ask Rav Nebenzahl
Sign Up Here
Suggestion Box
Alumni Update Form
Life Events
Contact Us
Rabbanit Malke Bina's
Glimpse on the Parsha
Mazel Tov
Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh would like to wish a mazel tov to:
Isaac Dayan (5769) on his engagement to Audrey Harary.
Rav Ami and Penina Merzel on the bar mitzva of their son Ezriel.
Baruch Dayan Emet
Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh regrets to inform you of the passing of:
Hillel Golberstein
Needs a Kidney (son
of Yosef Chaim
Our dear talmid Aaron Sichel (5759-60). The entire yeshiva and
staff attended the funeral in Israel. Shiva in Israel (2 days): 8
HaShoarim St.
Old City, Jerusalem. Friday: 8am until 2:30pm
Motzei Shabbat: 6:30pm until 10:30pm
Sunday: 8am until 6pm Shiva in America: Monday:
9:00am 18320 Georgia Ave, Olney, MD
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The father of Merav Kari (wife of our Director Uri Kari).
Join Our List
"Out" Shabbat Bar
Mitzva of Ezriel
4:42 PM
5:00 PM
Vatikin at the
5:55 AM
Shachrit and
bar mitzva
8:30 AM
4:35 PM
Rav Bina's Quote of the Week
It is written in the Chasidic sefarim that the time of the
parshiot of Vaera Bo Beshalach and Yitro (the whole
concept of yetesias mitzrayim) is more fitting for
miracles than the seder night. To all those who put
forth effort at this time HaKodosh Baruch Hu gives
tremendous Siyata Dishmiya.
Baruch Hashem the boys seem to be benefiting from the Heavenly help
and are doing amazing, learning with hasmada and shteiging - shelo
k'derech hateva.
Sephardi Party Never Ends
Check out the new where you can connect to your friends, Rebbeim, and see what's
happening on the Sephardi Party events calendar. Don't forget to sign up for Rav Darmoni's weekly
online shiur at [email protected]
YNA Newsletter Parshat Yitro
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Hakarat Hatov
Dear Rav Bina, shli'ta
Words cannot express my gratitude to you for allowing us to celebrate our Aharon's siyum of Shas
Mishnayos at Netiv Aryeh. I could not think of a better place in the world to celebrate this momentous
event. During my years at Yeshivat HaKotel, you always stressed the importance of family and raising
our children b'derech haTorah. You planted the seeds within us that we must dedicate ourselves to
Torah and create the right environment for our own children.
Our Aharon Betzalel is a very special boy. His siyum is not his only accomplishment. As he approaches
his bar mitzvah, he is now on his third cycle of shnayim mikra v'echad targum and he is working
towards making a siyum on Gemara Ta'anis.
While we are certainly very proud of him and his diligence, I want you to know that I truly believe that
the foundation for his accomplishments dates back to the years that I sat in your shiur in Yeshivat
HaKotel and the time I spent around your shabbos table. Your words of mussar and encouragement
still ring in my ears.
To conclude, we want to thank you again for granting us this incredible opportunity and we hope that
this moment brings you as much nachas as it has brought to us.
With much admiration and gratitude,
Daniel (5755) & Lea Price
Open Houses with Rav Bina
Open Houses for prospective students and their parents
with HARAV AHARON BINA, Rosh HaYeshiva,
Rav Natan Schwartz
Rav Chanan Bina
and with alumni of YNA
In Great Neck
When: Sunday, February 8th
Time: 7:00 PM
Where: The home of Shiffy and Rafael Yehoshua, 32 Hawthorne Lane, Great Neck , NY 11023
In The Five Towns
When: Monday, February 9th
Time: 8:00 PM
Where: The home of Dassy and Steven Kwestel, 42 Auerbach Lane, Lawrence, NY 11559
In Staten Island
When: Tuesday, February 10th
Time: 8:00 PM
Where: The home of Lisa & Shmuel Mozorosky, 240 Martin Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10314
In Chicago
When: Wednesday, February 11th
Time: 8:00 PM
Where: The home of Deva & Josh Zwelling, 4016 Enfield Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076
YNA Newsletter Parshat Yitro
In Teaneck
When: Thursday, February 12th
Time: 8:30 PM
Where: Elisa & Chaim Wietschner, 1335 Trafalgar St, Teaneck, NJ 07666-2856
In Los Angeles
When: Monday, February 16th
Time: 7:00 PM
Where: Nomi & Daniel Silverman, 1560 Reeves Street Los Angeles, CA 90035
Rav Nebenzahl on Parshat Yitro
HaRav Nebenzahl asks that his Divrei Torah are not read during Tefillah or the Rabbi's
Real Fear of Hashem
Yitro advises Moshe to appoint judges, outlining for him what he feels should be the criteria for who is
selected: "ve-ata techeze mikol haam anshei chayil yirei Elokim anshei emet sonei batza" "And you
shall discern from among the entire people, men of accomplishment, G-d fearing people, men of truth,
and those who despise money" (Shmot 18:21). In addition to the four qualities suggested by Yitro in
this pasuk, Moshe Rabenu adds his own criteria: "anashim chachamim unevonim viyeduim
leshivteichem" "distinguished men, who are wise, understanding, and well known to your tribes"
(Devarim 1:13).
Not all of these seven mentioned attributes were actually found. In this week's parsha we are told
"vayivchar Moshe anshei chayil mikol Yisrael vayiten otam roshim al haam" "Moshe chose men of
accomplishment from among all Israel and appointed them heads of the people" (Shmot 18:25). The
pasuk in parshat Devarim states "vaekach et roshei shivteichem, anashim chachamim viduim" "So I
took the heads of your tribes, distinguished men, who were wise and well known" (Devarim 1:15)
Chazal point out, that Moshe searched for seven traits but found only three. All the other attributes
were unavailable - even in the generation of Moshe Rabenu. This, probably does not mean that there
was not no one with these traits, however they needed an immense number of judges. If one were to
calculate how many judges were required it would come to more than eighty thousand! For we are told
that Moshe chose "sarei alafim sarei meot sarei chamishim vesarei asarot" "leaders of thousands,
leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, and leaders of tens" (Shmot 18:25). More than six hundred
thousand left Egypt. Therefore if there was one judge for every ten people, one for every fifty, one for
every hundred, plus one for every thousand that would total more than eighty thousand. Perhaps we
can explain that there were people during Moshe's time who had all these traits but there were less
than the number of people required for judges.
The Gemara informs us that many of the "nevonim" "the ones with understanding" were from the tribe
of Yissachar, as it says "uvnei Yissachar yodei bina leitim" "Of the children of Yissachar, men with
understanding for the times" (Divrei Hayamim I 12:33). This was insufficient for judges were required
from all the tribes, so Moshe had to settle for only three of the traits.
The Gemara relates how there is a difference of opinion regarding whether the incidents with Yitro
occurred before the giving of the Torah or after "deitmar bnei R' Chiya veR' Yehoshua ben Levi, chad
amar Yitro kodem matan Torah haya, vechad amar Yitro achar matan Torah haya" "The sons of R' Chiya
and R' Yehoshua ben Levi one says: Yitro was before the giving of the Torah and one says Yitro was
after the giving of the Torah" (Zevachim 116a). Rashi claims that even if we were to follow the opinion
that it occurred prior to the giving of the Torah, the appointment of the judges occurred afterwards.
This is evident in the pasuk "vayehi mimacharat vayeshev Moshe lishpot et haam" "It was on the next
day that Moshe sat to judge the people" (Shmot 18:13). The day following Yom Kippur, when Moshe
descended with the second set of tablets, was the first time Moshe was free to judge.
If the above is true, this begs a tremendous question. This occurred after the second tablets were
given, when Moshe repaired the damage caused by the sin with the golden calf. Those who worshipped
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YNA Newsletter Parshat Yitro
it were killed, and the remaining repented. We are told of their regret: "vayishma haam et hadavar
hazeh vayitabalu" "The people heard this bad tiding and they became grief stricken" (Shmot 33:4). The
final "tikun" will not occur until the future, but relatively speaking the Jews had repented and had a
tremendous commitment to the Torah at this point.
How can it be that Moshe did not find "yirei Elokim" "G-d fearing people"? The entire nation was
certainly G-d fearing at this point. The answer must be that our definition of G-d fearing was insufficient
for Moshe Rabenu. We use the expression G-d fearing to refer to anyone who observes some semblance
of Torah and Mitzvot. We use this description for anyone who does not rebel against the ways of the
Torah and to some extent follows the dictates of the Shulchan Aruch. He may stumble here and there,
but in general he has in mind to do as is prescribed by the Shulchan Aruch. This is our definition of
"yirei Elokim".
Moshe and Yitro had a different understanding of what the expression "G-d fearing" means. The way we
understand it, would be insufficient for the level required of a judge in Israel. The true "yirei Elokim"
"G-d fearing" are those who totally negate their own will and desires for the will of Hashem.
There is the notion of serving Hashem through love, thus desiring to do as He wishes. This is
insufficient, for in the event that there is a clash between the dictates of the person's will and those of
Hashem, he may follow his own desires. It may be praiseworthy to love Hashem and worship him as
such, yet without the requisite fear, a situation may arise where one succumbs to his own desires if
they are in conflict with Hashem's. One is required to totally negate anything which is in contradiction to
the will of Hashem.
Only one who views his own desires as insignificant when they conflict with Hashem's is fit to judge.
This person will clarify the situation based on the Torah, not based on the way he feels. He will decide
whether the borrower must repay the loan based solely on what the Torah says. A judge who has his
own agenda, who looks out for his own interest in judging the case, cannot judge, for he has not
negated his desires as he should have.
Even if we were to assume that he would not sit in a court when one of the litigants is a relative of his,
for that is forbidden, there are still many examples of a judge who may have interests of his own in the
case. Suppose the judge perceives himself as potentially having a similar problem. Let us assume that
the judge owned a flock of chickens. If he were to rule in a case involving a chicken who damaged
public property that the owner was liable, it may have personal ramifications. If sometime in the future
his chicken damaged property, his ruling would be used as a precedant to require him to pay damages.
Being that he does not possess an ox, he may end up ruling one way if the case involved an ox, and
more leniently if it involved a chicken (I am not going to discuss the issue of whether the owner of an
ox or chicken is liable, when you learn Baba Kamma, perhaps you can rule on this matter).
Another possible factor that may sway the judge's ruling, is wishing to keep good relations with the
litigant. The litigant may own a car, and give the judge rides many times. The judge may fear that if he
were to rule against him, he would no longer give him rides. This judge is not ruling according to the
dictates of the Torah.
The judge may wish to rule in favor of the litigant for more noble reasons. Perhaps the litigant is
destitute, and ruling that he owed money would only worsen his situation. The Torah warns against this
"vedal lo tehedar berivo" "Do not glorify a destitute person in his grievance" (Shmot 23:3). If after the
court case, the judge wishes to give him some charity that would be very praiseworthy, but a judgment
must be one of truth, without relating to the litigant's financial status.
One who is not completely G-d fearing, who does not negate his will completely for Hashem, is liable to
pervert the judgment for the above or any number of reasons. What Moshe required, based on what
Yitro said, is more than a simple Jew who puts on Tefillin and observes the Shabbat. What is required is
a Jew, who whenever his own desires are in contradiction to those of the Torah, follows the dictates of
the Torah. One who is not on this level cannot be called a complete "yerei Elokim".
The Torah describes Amalek as "velo yare Elokim" " and he did not fear G-d" (Devarim 25:18), the
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antithesis of one who fears Hashem. The Jew who observes the Shabbat and puts on the Tefillin is
clearly not on the level of Amalek, yet he lacks what is necessary to be considered one who totally fears
Hashem, for he does not totally negate his wishes for Hashem's.
This notion is seen clearly in Avraham Avinu. Prior to "Akedat Yitzchak", Avraham had passed nine
trials. Some of the trials were: being placed in a furnace for his beliefs, leaving his land and his father's
house, enduring a famine in Mitzrayim, Sarah being taken to the house of Pharaoh, having given
himself a Brit Milah even though Aner and Eshkol advised him not to, chasing away his son and
maidservant which was totally contrary to his nature of "chesed". After all Avraham did to prove his
devotion to Hashem, it was only following the Akeda that Hashem declared "ki atat yadati ki yere
Elokim ata" "for now I know that you are a G-d fearing man" (Bereishit 23:12).
We cannot, G-d forbid, claim that Avraham did not fear Hashem at all. We do see, however, that until
the Akeda, there was no proof that Avraham was what Hashem calls "yere Elokim" "a G-d fearing man".
It was only after this last and most difficult test, one that none of us should ever have to experience,
that Avraham merited being called a G-d fearing person.
Staff Dvar Torah by Rav Lipman Podolsky zt"l
Remember the Shabbos!
The "Ten Commandments" appear twice in the Torah with slight variations. With regards to the fourth
commandment, Shabbos, the Torah changes the chief verb. In our Parsha the verb is Zachor -Remember the day of Shabbos to sanctify it (Shmos 20:7). In Va'eschanan, the usage is Shamor -Safeguard the day of Shabbos (Devarim 5:11). Both were commanded simultaneously (Rosh HaShana
Shamor embraces all the passive aspects of the Shabbos, primarily the thirty-nine Melachos, the major
categories of forbidden labor. Zachor encompasses the positive, active facets.
Many contemporary Jews are surprised to hear that there is anything positive regarding Shabbos.
Never having had the opportunity to experience a real Shabbos themselves, these Jews have been
mercilessly misled by a hostile media to the point where they perceive Shabbos as a day of boredom
and denial. Those who have been fortunate enough to experience a real Shabbos, know well the beauty
and flavor it adds to life -- far more than mere Chicken Soup.
The mitzva of Zachor begins even before Shabbos itself. Kavod Shabbos, honoring the Shabbos,
includes anything one can do to prepare and aggrandize this special day. Rashi: "Be careful to
constantly remember the day of Shabbos -- if an attractive object presents itself to you, set it aside for
Shabbos." This Mitzvah is considered so important that even Torah scholars must temporarily interrupt
their Torah learning to make some preparation for Shabbos (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 250).
On Shabbos itself, Zachor includes Kiddush, Divrei Torah and Zemiros. One should not underrate the
power of singing Shabbos Zemiros. One of the great sages of our time, whose children did not follow in
his ways, blamed it on the fact that during the Shabbos meals, instead of singing, he would regularly
bury his head in his books.
Why did Hashem give us Shabbos? The Ramban explains: We should
forbidden labor] in light of the sanctity of the day. It is a day on which
preoccupation of mundane thought, of the vagaries of the world of Time; a
souls with spiritual pleasure, to walk the path of Hashem, to learn words of
view the abstinence [from
to cleanse ourselves of the
day on which to nourish our
No doubt about it, Shabbos is a special gift. It was not given to stifle or limit us, but rather to broaden
our horizons and allow us to breathe. Shabbos assists us in accomplishing our life-mission: To aspire to
a close, intimate relationship with our Creator. But this world is overwhelmingly physical. Only by
breaking out of the cocoon of physicality, can we free ourselves, stretch our wings and soar
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Hashem, in His limitless beneficence, gave us one day a week on which we can escape the gravitational
bonds of planet earth, a day that is akin to the World-to-Come. And although during the week, it is
difficult to penetrate the thick mist of corporeality and perceive Truth, on Shabbos the skies are clear.
Hashem imbues us with a Neshama Yeseira, an additional soul, an extra measure of spirituality (Beitza
Many have asked me how to remain a Ben- or Bas- Torah after one leaves yeshiva. My answer rarely
varies: A Jew must constantly recharge his batteries. To come home to yeshiva for a visit, to sit in the
familiar, warm Bais Medrash, to discuss with our rebbeim issues that inevitably arise, that is ideal. But
even a person who, for whatever reason, cannot come home frequently, there is another method of
recharging -- Shabbos.
Shabbos connects us to our Creator. Shabbos was not given merely to rest in the classical sense (i.e.
shluf), but to rest our souls from the incessant bombardment of physical stimuli, to give the cellphone
a much-needed rest, and to bask in a world of eternity, a world of Torah.
Thus, we are instructed to keep all the mitzvos of Shabbos. Shamor, the passive, safeguards Shabbos
from resembling the six days of labor. Zachor adds the spiritual spice. Both were uttered together
(Rosh HaShana 27a). One without the other doesn't work.
This is why it is so important to properly honor the Shabbos. The more we honor Shabbos, the more
Shabbos honors us. The more we put in, the more we get out. "No pain, no gain!"
Shabbos is so beautiful. But as with fine wines, a person must develop his spiritual taste buds so that
he can appreciate how delicious it really is.
NEW FEATURE!! The Story Of The Jewish People
The Torah-cycle finished and we start again with Bereishit. But the story of the Jews
continued. And thanks to Rav Shai Gerson, the story will continue in the newsletter as told by Tanach through the eyes of Chazal. We start with Sefer Yehoshua.
Yehoshua - chapter 7- III
Regarding the loot which Achan took from the cherem, we read "I saw among the spoils a lovely
Babylonian Garment, meaning a foreign product, valued at two hundred shekels of silver" (7:21).
This is the equivalent of twenty years of working (see the story of Micha where we are taught that the
salary of one year's work for a young man was valued at ten shekels per year). The pasuk continues
that there was one bar of gold fifty shekels in weight. Achan had hidden them in the ground in his
tent and revealed its location.
Yehoshua sent messengers to collect it and then: "vayatzikum lifnei Hashem" (7:23), the question is
what is vayatzikum?" One possibility is that the letter kuf should be exchanged for the letter gimmel
and thus it reads "vayatzigum", they displayed it. Radak explains that while it was spread out before
Hashem, there is a strong message here for the Jewish people regarding the power of the cherem.
We find in the name of Chazal that Yehoshua hit the ground with them and said: "is this worth the
human price paid in this war?"
An interesting point is the swiftness with which Yehoshua's messengers returned with the loot. Some
of the commentaries explains that it was in order to insure that Achan's relatives don't find it and hide
it elsewhere. Achan, his family, and the loot were taken to Emek Achor (named after him, see Divrei
Hayamim I 2:27). Rashi explains that his family members were not taken out in order to be stoned
but rather to observe his punishment. Metzudat explains that the family members were indeed stoned
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along with him and the loot was destroyed. This is measure for measure - he wanted the loot and not
only did it not aid him during his time of trouble but it was actually destroyed and became nothing
more than a mound of stones on top of it. Radak explains that the mound of stones is a sign, while
Ralbag explains that the purpose is to eternalize the event that while in the capture of Yericho only
one person was killed. There is measure for measure here - he wanted to take for himself a part of
Yericho, in the end it was a mound of stones like the stones from the walls of Yericho which fell.
Another important point regarding the capture of Yericho and the and the retreat from Ay - in either
case it did not follow the laws of nature. Yericho on the one hand required Hashem's Hand for it to
fall the way it did, Ay on the other hand should have been a straightforward military victory, but due
to their sin they had to retreat. The lesson is that it is not the power which wins out but rather
whether or not we follow the will of Hashem, it is the spiritual state which matters.
Tehillim List
The following members of our extended YNA family need our tefilot:
Yechiel Zalman ben Chana
Nomi Esther bat Tzipporah
Etel bat Yehudis
Daniel ben Tziporah
Alta Miriam Bracha bat Sara
Devorah bat Sarah Leah
Yaacov ben Baila
Nechama Mindle bat Liba
Chana Bat Rachel
Chaim ben Miriam
Kayla Rus bat Chaya Rochel
Yisrael ben Chaya Gittel
Shalom ben Shoshana Chanah
Alter Yosef ben Chaya Sarah
Uri ben Rina
Haziine bat Sarah
Ilana Raizel Bat Simone
Yaakov Kopel Ben Rivka
Moshe Tzvi Ben Freida Simcha
Shai ben Meital
Yaakov Kopel Ben Rivka
Ilana Raizel Bat Simone
Daniel ben Tziporah
David Edwar Ben Miriam
Rivkah Leah bat Sarah
Kayla Rus bat Chaya Rochel
Yenudah Pinchas Ben Osna
David Chaim Ben Toran
Boaz David ben Zippora Frei
Mordechai Noach Nissin ben Bracha Rochel
Esther Bas Yehudit
Aharon Ben Rochel Yehudis
Avraham Halevi ben Eidel
Yechiel Michel Natan ben Feiga Esther
Yitzchok ben Rochel
Rachel Yonina bas Leah Raizel
Zev Yisrael ben Esther
And of course we are always davening for the release of Jonathan Pollard
Yehonatan ben Malka
Submit Names to the tehillim list.
YNA Newsletter Parshat Yitro
Send Us Your Announcements
Please, if you have any smachot or chas v'shalom, less happy occasions, let our office know so we
can keep everybody updated.
Are you visiting Israel?- Let us know! We'd love to host you for a Shabbat meal, davening, a
shiur and would love for you to stop by.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rav Bina,
Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh
Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh | Western Wall Plaza | One Hakotel Street | POB 32017 | Jerusalem | 91319 | Israel
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