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PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
ROSH YESHIVA
IN
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.

AND

MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL


Menachim Z. Shimanowitz

You too can dedicate a Parsha or any other section of Torah Tots in honor or in memory of someone close to you.
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PARSHA
FACTS

NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 6
2 MITZVOT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)
4 MITZVOT LO TAASEH (NEGATIVE COMMANDMENT - PROHIBITION)

NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 132

NUMBER OF WORDS: 1461

NUMBER OF LETTERS: 5773

HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
Yirmiyahu / Jeremiah 2:4 - 28 and 3:4 שמעו
Sepharadim: Jeremiah 2:4 - 28 and 4:1-2

The three Haftorot of the three weeks preceding the Ninth of Av, are called the — שלש דפורענותא - the "Three (Haftorot) of Punishment."

Shabbat Mevarchim Chodesh Menachem Av
Rosh Chodesh -
Monday, July 24, 2017


This week we study Chapter 2 of Pirkei Avot - "Ethics of the Fathers"


פרשת מסעי
THE
PARSHA
In our last episode Bnei Yisroel wiped out the nation of Midyan and wiped clean their dishes as Hashem taught them the Mitzvah of Kashering and Toveling utensils.

The Shevatim (tribes) of Reuven, Gad and half of Menashe got a jump on dividing the land, choosing to settle east of the Jordan River instead of Eretz Yisroel proper. That was okayed by Moshe on the condition that they fight alongside the rest of the Bnei Yisroel and help defeat the nations of Canaan.


MIDBAR
MEMORY
LANE

As our Parsha opens it is time to scroll down Midbar (desert) memory lane.

Hashem commands Moshe to write down the names of the places where Bnei Yisroel camped during the 40 year trek through the desert.

From the time the Bnei Yisroel left Mitzrayim (Egypt) until the spy fiasco the Bnei Yisroel camped at 14 locations.

The sin of the spies occurred in the second year after leaving Mitzrayim.

The Bnei Yisroel wandered through the Midbar for 38 years. During that time, they camped in 20 places for an average of 2 years apiece.

After Aharon died during the 40th year, the Bnei Yisroel were afraid that their enemies would attack them so they retreated back through eight former encampments.

Throughout all the years in the desert Hashem provided the Bnei Yisroel with Mann, Slav birds and running water from Miriam's well.


BLUEPRINTING
THE BORDERS

Hashem knows that settling in Eretz Yisroel means wiping out the seven Canaanite nations completely.

There's no room for compromise when it comes to the Canaanim - sharing the land is out of the question. The idol worship of the Canaanim is very catchy. The Bnei Yisroel are bound to imitate the Canaanite's evil ways if they are allowed to remain.

Hashem gives Moshe the precise boundaries of Eretz Yisroel so that the Bnei Yisroel will know where to apply the Mitzvot that are applicable only in Eretz Yisroel, such as Terumah, Maaser, and Shmita.


A PLACE
TO RUN

The Shevatim Reuven and Gad have settled east of the Jordan and are now building homes. Hashem commands that three Aray Miklat (cities of refuge) be built on this land. Once Yehoshua brings the Bnei Yisroel into Eretz Yisroel, they will build three more of these cities.

What is a city of refuge? Who lives there?

An Ir Miklat (city of refuge) is populated by Leviyim, since they inherit no land themselves.

Why are they called "cities of refuge?"

If one person kills another, purposely or by accident, he must run to one of these six cities before someone takes revenge and kills him. When he gets to a city of refuge the Sanhedrin (Jewish Court) brings him to trial to see what the cirumstances were in the murder. Is the person an axe murderer or did the axe accidentally fly off the handle?

If the person is indeed a killer, he is put to death. Of course, the conditions have to be just right. To convict a killer, the person has to be warned by two witnesses just before he kills. Even if only one witness was present the Sanhedrin could not put him to death. If the judges determine that it was an accidental murder, the person is allowed to return to the Ir Miklat.

Why doesn't this innocent man just go home? Because there's just one other little detail... the Goel HaDam (blood redeemer).

Who is this Goel HaDam? The closest relative to the dead man. This Goel HaDam has the right to kill the murderer anywhere except in an Ir Miklat. The refugee must stay in an Ir Miklat until the Kohain Gadol dies. Only the death of such a tzadik can atone for murder - even accidental.

In that case, wouldn't these refugees pray for the Kohain Gadol to die? After all, his death is the key to their freedom!

The Kohain Gadol's mother comes to the rescue...
She goes around to all the Aray Miklat handing out food and drinks, making the refugees comfortable so that they will enjoy their stay in the city and not pray for her son to die.

If a refugee dies in an Ir Miklat he must be buried there as well. Only after the Kohain Gadol dies can his body be transferred to another cemetery.

Hashem adds in a warning for Bet Din: Beware of the temptation to take a bribe from a convicted murderer who is to be executed.


LAND
OF THE
LEVIYIM

The job of a Levi is to serve in the Bait Hamikdash and to teach Torah to the Bnei Yisroel. They have no time to farm, fish or become merchants. Therefore, Leviyim are not given a portion of Eretz Yisroel. Instead, 48 cities are to be set up throughout Eretz Yisroel for Leviyim and their families to live. Six of these cities are the Aray Miklat. But in reality all 48 cities protect refugees from the Goel HaDam.

There are two differences. In the six special cities, the refugee lives rent free. He is protected from the Goel HaDam even if he doesn't realize he's in an Ir Miklat. In the other 42 Levite cities, the refugee must pay rent to the Leviyim and is only protected if he knows that these cities protect refugees.

A Levite city is surrounded by an open area of about 2000 feet. No planting can be done here. It is land set aside to beautify the city and honor these teachers of Torah. A second, larger open area surrounds this land, where Leviyim can plant and graze cattle.


DO I
HAVE A
SHIDDUCH
FOR THE
TZELAFCHAD
GIRLS!

Now that the Tzelafchad daughters have a piece of the Eretz Yisroel pie, they want to make sure it'll remain that way.

The heads of their Shevet (tribe) approach Moshe with a new question. It seems that if these five daughters of Tzelafchad marry men from other Shevatim, their sons will inherit their land. That means that their own Shevet, Menashe, will lose property to other Shevatim.

Hashem advises them, through Moshe, to marry within their own Shevet if this is their concern. Moshe sets a rule for all future cases: If a daughter inherits her father's property, she is only allowed to marry within her own Shevet so that the Shevet will not lose the land.

The Tzelafchad story ends on a positive note. These five sisters who are holding out for righteous husbands finally find those learned men within their own Shevet. Even though they are all over forty, Hashem blesses them with children to inherit their land.


THE
MIDBAR
FINALE

And now... here's a recap of the travels through the Midbar.

On the 15th of Nissan, 2448, the Bnei Yisroel gathered in the Egyptian city of "Ramses" to prepare for departure. Moshe led the Bnei Yisroel to their first stop, "Sukkot," in the desert. Here the Cloud of Glory descended upon Bnei Yisroel, protecting them from their enemies for the next 40 years.

Next they traveled to "Aisam" and cut back into Mitzrayim where they camped in "Pi HaChirot," an area near the temple of the Egyptian idol Baal Tzafon in a play to fool the Egyptian pursuants.

At "Mara," the Bnei Yisroel complained about the bitter water. Here, the Bnei Yisroel are taught the Mitzvah of Shabbat, among other Mitzvot.

Next the Bnei Yisroel traveled to "Eilam" where Hashem provides springs of water for each Shevet. The Bnei Yisroel traveled until they were trapped by the edge of the "Yam Suf." As the Egyptian army approached, Hashem split the sea and the Bnei Yisroel walked across the dry sea bed in safety. The Egyptian army followed in hot pursuit. But Hashem cooled them off with a swim under the sea. The water walls collapsed and the entire Egyptian army drowned.

The Bnei Yisroel now trekked through the wilderness of "Sinn" where they made a stop at "Dafka," which means "beat." Here the Bnei Yisroel's hearts beat fast when they panicked about their food supply running out.

Next at "Alush," Hashem providedMann for the first time.

At "Refidim," Amalek attacks, and the Bnei Yisroel win their first battle.

Next stop... "Har Sinai." At the foot of the mountain the Bnei Yisroel received the Torah. At this point the wilderness of "Sinn" was renamed "Sinai." Here they built the Mishkan.

At "Kivrot Hata'ava" the Eirev Rav incited Bnei Yisroel to complain about a lack of meat. Hashem responded with a thick flock of birds - Slav - which were eaten by the nation... All the complainers died horrible deaths. The Tzadikim, however, enjoyed Slav throughout the entire period in the Midbar.

At "Chatzerot," Miriam spoke Lashon hora about Moshe and was stricken with tzaraat, the Lashon hora disease.

"Risma" should have been the last encampment in the desert before entering Eretz Yisroel, but the Bnei Yisroel panicked and ask Moshe to send out spies to Canaan. The trek went downhill from here. After the bad report, Hashem sentenced this generation to die in the desert.

For the next 38 years the Bnei Yisroel spent an average of two years per encampment.

First stop is "Rimon Peretz," then "Livna, Rissa and Kehailasa," where Korach and 200 men rebelled against Moshe.

The next 13 stops were: "Har Shefar," named for a mountain of beautiful fruits, "Charada," "Makhelot, Tachat, Terach, Miska, Chashmona, Moserot, Bnei Yaakan, Chor Hagidgad, Yatvata, Avrona and Etzyon Gever."

At "Kadesh", where the Bnei Yisroel stayed for nineteen years, Moshe's sister, Miriam, died. The stream of water that had provided water for 40 years in the desert went dry. Hashem commanded Moshe to talk to a rock and ask it to spring forth water. Moshe hit the rock and was told that he and Aharon would not be allowed to enter Eretz Yisroel

At "Hor Hahar," Aharon died and Elazar, his son, became Kohain Gadol.

Next, the Bnei Yisroel camp at "Tzalmona." "Punon" was the place where the Eirev rav complained about the Mann. The rebels were punished with a swarm of snakes that bit them. Moshe's copper snake was the key to repentence and life in this case.

The next three stops were "Avot, Iyim and Divon Gad."

"Almon Divlasayma," (originally called Nachaliel), "Haray Ha'avarim" comes next. Finally the Bnei Yisroel travelled from "Bait Hayeshimot" to "Avel Hashittim" in the land of Moav.

Here the daughters of Midyan caused the deaths of 24,000 Bnei Yisroel in a terrible plague. It was also here that Midyan was wiped out and the Bnei Yisroel took possession of its first stretch of land.


In the book of Bamidbar, Bnei Yisroel has been forged into a well-oiled traveling body proud to serve Hashem and keep His commandments. The spies and the Eirev Rav have managed to set back the plan 38 years but Bnei Yisroel is finally ready to enter Eretz Yisroel.
As Bamidbar finishes, Moshe is preparing a twelve week speech... lots of Mitzvot... lots of reminiscing... lots of advice from the top beginning in the next exciting episode of:
Parsha on Parade

Midrash Maven
See the Midrash Maven on Masei


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