Summary of Rabbi Reisman’s Divrei Tza’ar V’Aveilus and more

Re-Published from Hakhel for 4 Tammuz 5774


For those saying Tehillim, studying Mishnayos, giving Tzedaka, and/or performing a personal act of Teshuvah, below are the names of the bachurim H’YD, including their father’s names.


Yaakov Naftali ben Avraham

Gilad Michael ben Ofir

Eyal ben Uriel


For those who were not able to hear the moving Divrei Tza’ar V’Aveilus of Rav Yisroel Reisman, Shlita, on Monday evening, we provide just several basic points that he made:


1. The Torah describes the procedure for what was to be done when a person was found deceased in the field between two cities. The Sanhedrin had to come out and say: “Yadeinu Lo Shafechu Ed Hadam Hazeh.” Why would they have to do that? Who would ever suspect them? The answer, of course, is that the possibility existed that they had done something wrong which could have been a cause which ultimately led to the murder. In the situation we are in, every person should feel that he too has to do something.


2. Chazal teach that Lashon Hara can kill the one who speaks it, the one who accepts it, and the one spoken about. Over the past year some may have engaged in what they may have felt was acceptable speech or ‘shmoozing’ about different kinds of Machlokes and rife in Eretz Yisrael. It is especially not within the purview of those living in Chutz La’aretz to do so.If you hear two people speaking about something negative that is going on in Eretz Yisrael–say to them: “Say something bad about Iran or the Arabs–not about Eretz Yisrael or its inhabitants.”


3. Always remember–what you say and what you do matters!


4. We have to remember that we are one Mishpacha, and that we need to protect each other against the Bnei Eisav of all shapes and sizes all over the world.


5. We cannot replace lives, but something must result from what has happened. We must do more than be mechazeik ourselves–every person should feel a level of personal association and responsiveness.


Hakhel Note: Among the Tehillim recited after the Kinus were Chapter 16, 79 and 83, which are eerily related to the tragic events which have just transpired.


Rabbi Reisman’s entire message (approximately 30 minutes) can be heard by calling the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation’s Chazak Line (718-258-2008, followed by 5 and 4).



THE THIRTEEN ANI MA’AMINS: We are living in such a turbulent period, a time in which our Emunah Peshutah is certainly being tested. We must demonstrate our spiritual strength and resilience. Perhaps one way that we can do this and help ourselves is to recite the Thirteen Ani Ma’amins after Shacharis a little slower and perhaps with more Kavannah.



A READER’S ENLIGHTENING THOUGHT: “The word “Mishpacha” family, spelled -mem, shin, pay, ches, hey and the world “Simcha”, happiness, spelled -sin, mem, ches, hey, are different only in that the word “Mishpacha” has the letter Pay  (spelled pay-hey).  Namely, it is how we use pay-hey, our mouth, that will determine if our family is happy or not!”



THE CORRECT BRACHOS:  ThePaskesz Honey Nut Clusters cereal box lists two Brachos Rishonos on its side panel, which, according to the OU, are not correct. If one consumes the clusters as a regular cereal, according to the OU, the bracha combination on this cereal is Borei Minei Mezonos and Borei Nefashos.




Special Note One:  In last week’s Perek (4:1), the Mishna teaches “Who is a Gibor?  One who quashes his Yetzer Hara.”  Rashi to Sanhedrin (111B) provides a great insight as to the higher form of Gibor one should strive for.  Although one can simply deflect the Yetzer Hara–much like one distracts a baby in order to get him to stop crying, one can also channel the Yetzer Hara’s seemingly patented drive and desire to sin into zerizus and hiddur in the performance of a mitzvah–just as the baby may be led to stop crying not by a petty distraction but by giving it a challenging, new or more interesting or learning experience.  With this approach, the legs which are running to do an aveira– rather than simply stopping in their tracks– instead run to do a chesed or to get to Shul early; the tongue ready to speak sharp or biting words instead recall a d’var torah from the previous week’s Parasha or speak gentle and calming words; the mind pondering something waste-filled or evil instead contemplates redting a Shidduch or figuring out how one can best help a neighbor or friend in need with a thoughtful measure of dignity and respect.  In all of these circumstances, the vanquished Yetzer Hara is not merely put into prison to rot–but instead is used to build the very fort and castle of the Mitzvos and Ma’asim Tovim so necessary for one to realize his potential.  It’s great to beat the Yetzer Hara–it’s even greater if you take his assault and turn his plans into a part of your offensive and success!  If you are already ready to be a Gibor–why not try taking it to the higher level suggested by Rashi — not only subverting the sin– but converting it into your Neshama’s delight!


Hakhel Note:  Chazal taught us as well in last week’s Perek (4:21) that one hour of Teshuva and Ma’asim Tovim in this world is ‘yofeh’–better than all of Olam Haba.  Let us contemplate the awesome nature of this statement.  One hour of good deeds in this world is greater than the goodness of a World to Come that is so great that our corporal being cannot even fathom or imagine.  The Mishna does not qualify its reference as to an hour of good deeds by clarifying that it is referring to one hour of Rashi or the Ramban’s life, or the good deeds of Rebbi Akiva Eiger, the Vilna Gaon or the Chofetz Chaim.  Rather, it clearly refers to any one’s hour and any one’s good deeds.  Here, one is on common ground with the Gedolim of all previous generations and of his generation–he has the same potential to make the next hour shine more brilliantly than, using the Tanna’s words, ‘all of Olam Haba’.  We should each try to find at least one hour a day which we consciously choose to make more ‘yofeh’ –better than all of Olam Haba.  The greatness resounds within us –as we hoist up and elevate an Olam Hazeh that is sinking so low to all the world all around us to a very, very special place in the Highest of Heavens above.  When someone asks you– “Do you have the time?  You can answer–”I have even more than that–I have the hour!”



Special Note Two: We provide several pesakim from the Sefer Da’as Noteh (Volume 1), of HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita, as published by his son Rav Yitzchok Shaul Kanievsky, Shlita.  Every person should consult with his own Rav or Posek as to the application of these Halachos on a personal basis:


  1.  The Mishna Berurah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 90, seif katan 8) writes that if one finds that his Kavannah is faltering, he should raise his eyes to Shomayim (through the windows in Shul or at home) to arouse one’s Kavannah. May one also study an Adam Gadol (such as a Rav) while he is Davening, in order to arouse one’s Kavannah.  A.  This appears to be appropriate.


  1. What is the difference between the word ‘Elokeinu’ and ‘Elokim’?  A:  The Kavannah one should have when reciting ‘Elokim’ is explicitly stated in (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim Chapter 5).  When reciting ‘Elokeinu’ one should additionally have in mind that that we have accepted His kingship (Malchus) over us.  Similarly, when one recites “Elokai’ he should have in mind that he is accepting Hashem’s Malchus over himself.  Reciting “Hashem Elokeinu” in the first Pasuk of Kriyas Shema is Kabbalas Ohl Malchus Shomayim.  When we recite the words “Elokai Avraham, Elokai Yitzchak” (such as in the first Bracha of Shemone Esrei) we likewise should have in mind that they accepted Hashem’s Malchus as well


  1. Can one make a personal request two times in Shemone Esrei–for instance once in Shomea Tefillah and once in Elokai Netzor?  A:  It is not proper to do so, for one would not ask something of the King, and then go back and ask it again later in the same audience, however, within one bakasha, one can engage in continuous entreaty, just as Eliyahu HaNavi exclaimed “Aneini Hashem Aneini”.


  1. When reciting the word ‘Modim’ in Shemone Esrei what Kavannah should he have?  A:  The word ‘Modim’ indicates HaKaras Hatov, and this is the Kavannah one should have.


  1. When one recites Tehillim should he have in mind as if he is ,making personal requests, or that these are the words of Dovid HaMelech?  If a Tzibur is reciting Tehillim, is it better to recite with them Pasuk by Pasuk, or to recite another Pasuk on your own?  A:  He should have both his personal; requests, and that these are the words of the Mechabrei Tehillim in mind.  There is a special Ma’aleh when a Tzibbur recites a Pasuk together.


Hakhel MIS


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