PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
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.
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
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NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 1
ONE MITZVAT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)
NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 146
NUMBER OF WORDS: 1931
NUMBER OF LETTERS: 7235
HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
Yeshayahu / Isaiah 42:5 - 43:10 (Ashkenazim);
Yeshayahu / Isaiah 42:5 - 21 (Sepharadim)
Shabbat Mevarchim Chodesh MarCheshvan
Rosh Chodesh - Tuesday & Wednesday - November 1 - 2
How do we know that they played baseball during creation?
Because it says "In
The 'Big Inning' Hashem created the heavens and the earth."
Well, every game has
its beginnings and the creation game begins 2000 years before
"The Big Inning."
There was once a king
who wanted to build a palace. Now what do you suppose he did first?
A palace needs bricks
so he called a mason, who asked "How many bricks do you need?"
The king did not know.
A palace needs windows.
But when the glass maker asked, how large, and where do they go,
the king did not know.
"How tall must the
ceilings be? How many stairs will there be?" The king did not
know what to answer.
Now the king realized
what he must do... He called an architect who then designed the
palace and drew it on a paper called a blueprint. Once the king
had the blueprint, he could see the entire structure before him
and answer all the questions that the builders had asked.
had a blueprint when He created the world - the Torah!
For each commandment
in the Torah, He has created a way to fulfill that Mitzvah!
He saw in the Torah the commandment to eat kosher so
He created kosher animals.
the commandment to "Honor Your Father and Mother" so He created
a world in which parents and children could live and follow His
the first day of creation Hashem makes a double play, creating
the "heavens" and the "earth." But there's chaos on the field! The
"earth" and "heaven" teams fumble around. Well, that's about to
be fixed. Hashem has just flipped the light switch with
the declaration "Let there be light!" Hashem calls the
light "day" and the darkness "night." And at the end of one inning
- Creation scores a first day!
the second day Hashem is the umpire, separating team "heaven"
and team "earth." The heavens head up, and the earth sticks to the
problem with earth is that it's all wet! Water, water everywhere!
Just when you think the game's
about to be rained out, Hashem makes a big splash with
dry land! That's right, the waters separate into oceans, seas,
rivers, lakes and streams.
With the water out of the way,
the earth sprouts grass and trees, and a personal favorite of
the Boss, Gan (the Garden of) Eden. And that's a wrap
of day number three!
fourth inning has creation seeing stars - up in the heavens, that
the sun, moon, planets and stars into the sky.
turns back to the field in the fifth, creating insects, birds and
makes a brief appearance, before being thrown out of the game for
hogging the field. But Torah fans can get a piece of it
at the feast for scholarly ticket holders in Olam Habah
(the world to come).
a six-inning game and at the top of the sixth Hashem brings
out the beasts. Lions, tigers, elephants and all! There's a population
explosion on the field as the cattle take a bite out of the asphalt.
In the bottom of the sixth
Hashem hits the big one - a grand-slam homer, creating
man from the dust of the earth.
| Now that the world
is created, Hashem huddles with the Malachim (Angels)
to discuss the "Piece de resistance," the highlight of all creation,
Man. The Malachim aren't too keen on the idea, though:
"He's not going to be perfect; you know he's going to sin and blow
the whole balance of the world; why make a bad investment?
But in this stadium, Hashem's
the umpire, and He makes the final calls. Man's the plan!
On the first day of Tishrei,
the sixth day of creation, Hashem forms man's body. He
gathers dust from all four corners of the earth and places it
on Har Hamoria. (Mt. Moriah), the future site of the
Mizbayach (Altar) in the Beit Hamikdash (Holy
Temple). The first man is named "Adam" from the word Adamah
Hashem breathes the
breath of life - a Neshoma (soul), - into Adam and the
still body comes to life. He is the first man, a perfect man.
Hashem places Adam into Gan Eden, where he will
live forever - if he can keep just one commandment!
LEARN ALL ABOUT
| For six
days Hashem creates the heavens and the earth. On the seventh
He rests. That's what the idea of Shabbat is all about.
days a week we go about our lives working and playing and doing
what it takes to live in this world. But by the time the sun sets
on Friday night, the hustle and bustle of the world is put behind
us and the Shabbat celebration surrounds us. On Shabbat
we don't perform any work. Instead, we proclaim that Hashem
is the master of all creation.
If you look carefully at the
Parsha you will find parts of the Kiddush that
we recite on Shabbat. This reminds us that Hashem
is the one true G-d, creator of the universe.
| In the Garden, Adam's
first job is to name all the animals. Two by two, the male and female
of each species passes before Adam. He names them, first in Lashon
Hakodesh (Hebrew), and then in all the other 70 languages of
the world. As he performs this monumental task, Adam realizes that
he is the only creature in the world missing a mate.
Good observation! Hashem
agrees: "It's not a good thing for man to be alone." Hashem
decides to give Adam a companion. So He places Adam into a deep
sleep. Now, giving Adam a companion has been Hashem's
plan all along. Here's the proof: Adam's got thirteen ribs; we've
only got 12. Hashem removes that thirteenth rib from
Adam and creates Chava, the first female, Adam's mate; his wife.
ALL IN A
| There is only one
Mitzvah for Adam to observe in the Garden: He is commanded
not to eat from the Eitz HaDa-at (the tree of knowledge)
of Good and Evil. If he can pull this off for one day, Adam and his
descendants will live forever! If he or Chava blow it, they'll die.
Simple enough, eh? Well, we'll see about that!
There's one more character
in the garden scene, the snake. This is no ordinary snake, though;
this snake can walk and talk. Why, he's walking up to Chava right
now! The snake plays it innocent: "Did Hashem tell you
not to eat any of the fruit of the garden?" the snake asks.
Chava responds, "We can eat
fruit from any tree but the one at the center of the garden. Why,
my husband, Adam told me we're not even allowed to touch it!"
That's the kind of intro the
snake's been waiting for. He knows that Hashem never
commanded Adam not to touch the tree, but Chava doesn't know that!
The snake shoves her against the tree of knowledge. It's a miracle....
she doesn't die! This doesn't make sense to Chava. If she didn't
die from touching the tree, maybe her dear husband was lying to
her about eating from the tree! Well, she'll just have to try
Chava picks a fruit from the
Eitz HaDa'at and bites into it. Then she runs over to
Adam and gives him a taste. As soon as they take a bite of that
forbidden fruit, Adam and Chava change. The Yetzer Hora
enters their bodies. They are now true human beings in the worst
way, no longer perfect. Their eyes are now opened. They realize
many new things. The first thing they realize is that they've
got to fire their tailor - they don't have any clothes on! Quickly
they cover themselves with fig leaves.
Suddenly, Hashem calls
out to the two - "Where are you?" Adam and Chava foolishly try to
hide among the trees. Of course, there's no hiding from Hashem.
Now Adam and Chava both know that they should never have eaten the
forbidden fruit. But instead of admitting their mistake and doing
Teshuva, they play "the blame game." Adam blames it all
on Chava and Chava blames the snake. Bad move! All Hashem
wanted was to hear "I'm sorry!" Now Adam, Chava and the snake will
be punished for their sin.
DO THE CRIME,
DO THE TIME:
| First the snake's
Next, Hashem turns to
Chava. For listening to the snake, eating from the tree of knowledge
and feeding the fruit to Adam, Chava's eternal life is taken away.
She will die like a mortal being. During childbirth, she will experience
great pain. Raising kids will also be a pain!
- Believe it or not, snakes
originally had arms and legs and could talk! Hashem
decrees that from now on all snakes will crawl on their bellies
and speak snake language.
- The original plan was for
the snake to be greater than all other animals. It was supposed
to be a servant to mankind. Now the snake would be lower than
all other animals!
- The snake's skin will shed
once every seven years - and oy, will it hurt!
- All food will now taste like
dust to the snake....even pizza!
- Man will have a natural hatred
toward the snake.
- The snake would become a
mortal being and die.
Finally, Adam is punished.
Of course, he loses his eternal life. Originally, all food grew
from the ground naturally. Now, man would have to till the soil
and sweat it out to earn his bread.
takes one look a the fig-leaf fashions that clothe Adam and Chava
and He decides that this just won't do! Hashem takes the
shedded skin of the snake and sews some nifty clothes for his two
fallen stars to wear. Then Hashem gives the two the boot!
Adam and Chava are forced to leave Gan Eden. From now on,
they're on their own! Two Malachim with flaming swords are
placed at the garden's gate to keep them out.
| A lot happens on
day number six of creation. Between being created and getting kicked
out of the garden, Chava manages to pop out five kids;
Kayin and his twin sister, and a set of triplets, Hevel and his
Since Kayin and Hevel are the
first siblings on earth, they are meant to marry their sisters.
Kayin and Hevel are as different
as day and night. Kayin likes the challenge of tilling the soil.
He becomes a farmer. Hevel becomes a shepherd.
On the 14th of Nisan,
Adam gathers up his two sons and explains to them that in the
future, the Jews will offer korbanot (sacrifices) on
this day. Kayin and Hevel each decide to offer a Korban
to Hashem. Kayin picks flax-seed. Now, out of all the
stuff that grows on the Kayin plantation, flax-seed is the most
inferior. When Kayin places the flax-seed on the Mizbayach,
the Heavenly fire is a no show.
Hevel, on the other hand, offers
up his best lambs on the Mizbayach. Poof! The heavenly
fire zaps the Korban and Hevel has scored big-time in
the Korban portion of the "competition" between the brothers.
Kayin is totally embarrassed by the situation. The brothers begin
to brawl. Kayin is so enraged that he hits his brother with a
rock until Hevel is dead!
Now Kayin is paranoid. What
should he do? Where can he go? Who can he turn to? Before he can
do anything, Hashem appears to Kayin. "Where is your
brother Hevel?" Hashem asks. Instead of admitting his
mistake, Kayin comes up with one of the top ten family quotes
of all time, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Good quote, bad move!
What does Kayin think, that Hashem doesn't see Hevel
lying dead on the ground?
Hashem explains to
Kayin that by murderering his brother, he not only killed Hevel
but he also killed all of Hevel's unborn descendants. As a punishment,
Kayin is doomed to wander the earth for the rest of his life.
The moment he settles, people will terrorize him until he is forced
to move on. Even the earth will quake beneath his feet. Furthermore,
when Kayin dies he will not be buried like a mentsch.
Kayin can't take the pressure!
He immediately does Teshuva, admitting his sin and asks
Hashem for mercy. Amazingly, Hashem accepts Kayin's
atonement and gives Kayin a little leeway. He places a sign on Kayin's
head - a warning to animals and people of future generations to
keep away from him. Additionally, Hashem promises not to
punish Kayin for seven generations.
| A seventh generation
great..great grandson, Tuval Kayin, son of the blind Lemech escorts
his father on a hunting trip.
He sees an animal in the distance,
and tells his father to draw his bow and shoot. Lemech shoots
in the direction his son tells him. When they approach the "animal"
they see that it is Kayin that is dead by an arrow. The blind
Lemech, in his anguish, claps his hands together, and kills his
son Tuval Kayin with the blow.
In this way Hashem
wipes out Kayin and all his wicked descendants.
| After Adam and Chava
sin, Adam takes the cue from Kayin and spends his time doing Teshuva.
130 years later, Adam and Chava have a third son they name Shait.
Shait grows up to be a righteous man. Over the years, as Kayin's descendants
go down the "idol highway," Shait's descendants manage to turn out
a few good children. Noach, who shows up ten generations after Adam,
however, is the real star. Until his time, life is pretty tough for
farmers. Even wheat grows with thorns attached! Imagine farm animals
constantly rebelling against their masters. All this changes with
the birth of Noach. Noach's name means "comforter." He is an inventor.
He builds the first plowshare, sickle and spade. He is a Tzadik
who stands out as the greatest man of his generation. But more about
him next week.
| Adam lives to be 930.
When Adam and Chava die, Hashem buries them in the Cave
of Machpailah. (More about that cave in Parshat Chayeh Sarah).
From Adam to Noach ten generations
pass, each generation brings the world down a notch:
- ADAM: He starts out as the
perfect man. He's built to live forever on the condition that
he keeps his hands off the forbidden fruit. But in a matter
of hours, Adam blows his immortality and every creature that
is born is doomed to die.
- SHAIT: As a saint himself,
he's okay. But he's surrounded by a generation of Kayin's descendants
who aren't exactly the best influence on mankind.
- ENOSH: His generation comes
up with the bright idea of worshipping the sun, the moon and
the stars out of respect for Hashem. Bad move! That's
idolatry. Hashem doesn't like that! As a warning, Hashem
floods one third of the world.
- KAYNAN: This wise and mighty
leader tries to put his generation on the right path, but it
- MAHALEL:He lives for 895
- YERED: Another tzadik
surrounded by an evil generation.
- CHANOCH: Chanoch separates
himself from the rest of the world. He concentrates on tefillah
and improving himself as a servant of Hashem. He is
one of a few people who enter Gan Eden - (Olam Habah)
- MESUSHELACH: He's the Tzadik
of his time, and the record holder for the longest lifespan
of all time - 969 years! He spends his life warning people that
if they don't make a major change a flood will wipe them out.
Of course, no one listens.
- LEMECH: (Not the same one
who kills Kayin). In his time a worldwide famine hits. But mankind
doesn't catch the warning. Hashem's patience is running
- NOACH: Finally, Hashem
decides that the people of the world are too corrupt to fix.
Only Noach and his family deserve to live. Hashem declares
that He will bring a flood and wipe out mankind. Only Noach
and his family will survive.
Tune in next week when Hashem
gives Noach the plans to build the largest floating wildlife conservatory
in history... in the next exciting episode of:
the Midrash Maven on Bereishit
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