Pine Street Parsha 17 January 2015 26 Shvat 5775 Parashat Va-era SIDRA 318 HAFTORAH 1149 1st Aliya: The year is 2448 and Moshe had unsuccessfully confronted Pharaoh. The situation had gotten worse, not better, and Hashem (G-d) reassured Moshe that in fact the redemption was about to begin. The 4 statements of redemption are stated for which we have the 4 cups of wine at the Passover Seder. 2nd & 3rd Aliyot: Moshe's Yichus (lineage) is established. He is 80 years old and Aharon is 83. 4th Aliya: Moshe performed the miracle of the "staff turning to a serpent" and performed the first and second plagues. 5th Aliya: Moshe performed the third plague and forewarned Pharaoh about the fourth. 6th Aliya: The fourth, fifth, and sixth plagues were performed, and Moshe forewarned Pharaoh regarding the seventh. 7th Aliya: The seventh plague was performed and Pharaoh "hardens his heart" and refused to let the Jews go. 280 1097 This "gratitude exercise" will have a positive effect when you practice it at least 10 times a day. It is advisable to practice it at least once an hour for the first week. You'll be grateful you did. [Touch forehead] "I am grateful for my mind to think good thoughts." [Touch near eyes] "I am grateful for my eyes to see good things." [Touch ears] "I am grateful for my ears to hear good things." [Touch near mouth] "I am grateful for my mouth to speak good things." [Raise hands] "I am grateful for my hands to do good things." [Move feet slightly] "I am grateful for my feet to walk to do good." "I am grateful for all that I can be grateful for." Zelig Pliskin. Phone 011640 3101 fax 011485 2510 email [email protected] web www.pineshul.co.za Mazeltov to: Gaby and Fay Lazarus on the birth of a great grandson Mrs Pearl Tobias on the engagement of a grandson Gaby and Fay Lazarus on the engagement of a grandson Shiurim: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings – 7.15-7.45 Talmud Brachot and breakfast Refua Shleima to: Abe Lurner, Alvin Aarons, Dave Lubner and Denise Levitas Celebrating a Simcha – For only R540-00 you can have a plaque done for our Simcha Board. Please call Sue at the office for more details. Kiddush is being co-hosted by Joe and Charlene Tucker, and Gaby and Fay Lazarus. Seudah Shlishis is being hosted by Kevin Klaff We wish those families commemorating a Yahrzeit a long and good life Friday 16 January 2015 Sid Hirschowitz – Mother Shabbas 17 January 2015 Mary Kruger - Mother Bernie Galgut – Father Kevin Klaff – Illana Peter & Paula Durbach – Illana Jeanette Garlick – Father Sunday 18 January 2015 Rhona Galgut – Gila’s father Jonathan Davis – Father Monday 19 January 2015 Debbie Burgin – father-in-law Joy Hossy – Ian Tuesday 20 January 2015 Roy Friedman – Uncle Arthur Rosenberg - Jeffrey Wednesday 21 January 2015 Henry Cohen – Father Louis Cohen – Father Thursday 22 January 2015 Maurice Donninger - Father Ken Gruss – Mother Eleanor Goodman – Father Abe Lurner – Wife Sandra GRuss – Mother Susan Benjamin – Father Friday 23 January 2015 Peggy Cohen – Father Zelda Raff - Daughter The Haftorah for Parshat Va’aira Egypt’s punishment for betraying Israel in the time of the destruction of the 1st Temple (Ezekiel) 28:25-29:21 . The connection of the Haftorah to the Parsha: The Parsha and the Haftorah speak about the punishment of Egypt. The Parsha speaks about the plagues that befell the Egyptians in Moses’ time and the Haftorah predicts that Babylon will conquer Egypt in Pharaoh Chofra’s time. The difference in time of when the Parsha took place and the Haftorah is about a thousand years. • • • • • • The storyline of this week’s Haftorah: Yechezkel begins by telling Bnei Yisroel that Hashem will punish the Jewish Nation’s enemies. Then Hashem will permit the Jewish people to return to their homeland in the future. Yechezkel then has a prophecy that Bavel (Babylon) will conquer Pharaoh and Egypt. At the time of this prophecy, Jerusalem was surrounded by the Babylonians for approximately a year. The Jews were hoping to receive help from the Egyptians and Yechezkel’s prophecy shattered that dream. Hashem was trying to convey to the Nation of Bnei Yisroel that they should rely on Him, and not other nations. The Haftorah then explains that Egypt would be desolate for 40 years, and that the people will be scattered among the nations. Egypt deserves this punishment because the people of Egypt promised to defend Israel against their enemies, but when it came time to help, they did not keep their word. The Haftorah concludes with the idea that that Nebuchadnezzar, King of Bavel, was allowed to conquer Egypt because of their betrayal against Bnei Yisroel. Yechezkel ben Buzi’s Biography: The meaning of his name is “Hashem will strengthen.” He was a Kohen. He prophesied just before the destruction of Jerusalem on Tishah Be’av (The 9th of Av). He was exiled in 597 B.C.E. Some of his visions were while he was in exile. He was a major prophet that recorded the warnings to the Jewish captives of Babylon. He was among 8000 exiles taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon soldiers. He died in Bavel. He saw the divine vision of the Ma’aseh Hamerkavah (Hashem’s Throne). Yechezkel wrote his own book; his prophetic ministry lasted 20 years. I wish all the scholars and students every success in their studies this year. We are all appalled by the recent terror events in France. Please doven for those who were injured, consolation for bereaved families and for G-d to bring an end to this suffering. Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Gerson Havdalah 7.39 pm Harry’s Quiz Thursday 12 February 7.30pm AT Pine Street Shul Prizes Food and drinks All Welcome Rabbi Berel Wein on Parshas Vaera The extended, tension filled, confrontation between Moshe and Pharaoh forms the backdrop for the story of the plagues and the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt. Pharaoh, from the outset, is unwilling to consider the request of Moshe to allow the Jewish people a three day furlough to worship God in the desert. The commentators to the Torah differ as to whether or not this was a sincere request by Moshe or simply a negotiating gambit to loosen the grip of Pharaoh on the Jewish slaves. We do not find that God specifically endorsed or instructed Moshe to make such a proposal to Pharaoh. Nevertheless, all of these questions and difficulties are rendered moot by the fact that Pharaoh never for a moment really considered giving in to the demands of Moshe. Even later, after coming under the pressure of the plagues and the wishes of his own advisors, and after agreeing to the three-day sojourn in the desert, Pharaoh refuses to allow the families of the slaves to accompany them, thus obviating his seeming concession to Moshe. Pharaoh’s stubbornness, his intransigence in the face of the reality of the plagues is characteristic of people who view themselves as gods and superior beings. Pharaoh cannot afford any show of compromise or accommodation to the demands of Moshe. By so doing, he would admit to the fact that, in truth, he is not a god and thus his entire basis for rule over Egypt would be threatened. Complete dominion over others that is based upon a colossal lie of superhuman status eventually is doomed to collapse. It may take centuries for this to occur but history has shown us that it always does occur. It is Pharaoh’s false claim to superhuman qualities that motivates his stubbornness and is what will doom him and Egypt to defeat and destruction. Moshe, on the other hand, does possess superhuman qualities. But the one main quality that the Torah itself most emphasizes in its description of Moshe, over his decades of leadership, is a most human one – humility, modesty, and the realization of the difference between the created and the Creator. The opening verses of this week’s parsha teach us this lesson of humility. The Jewish people and Moshe himself complained to God that somehow things were not going according to the plan that they envisioned. God’s response is that one of the limitations of humans is that they can never truly fathom God’s will and His direction of human affairs. This is an important lesson that Moshe must learn and assimilate into his personality. As he journeys through life, it is this quality that will eventually make him “the most humble of all human beings.” Someone who is able to communicate with Heaven freely, almost at will, and who can perform miracles and bring plagues upon a mighty empire, can easily be seduced into believing in his own powers and abilities. Thus the opening sentences of this week's Torah reading are vitally important for they are the key to the humility of Moshe and thus to the salvation of the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage. We must always be wary of the great human being who slips into the belief that he is somehow superhuman. It is this issue that highlights and contrasts the two antagonists – Pharaoh and Moshe - in the drama of the Jewish redemption from Egypt.
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