Shabbat we read the portion of Masei, conclude the book of Bamidbar and
bless the month of Menachem Av.
portion this week is Masei, journeys. The portion begins with the words
“These are the journeys of the children of Israel exiting Egypt.” The
Torah then recounts all of the journeys until the Jordan River,
including the Sea of Reeds and Mount Sinai. Seemingly, only the first
journey was exiting Egypt. Thereafter, they were approaching Israel, but
not exiting Egypt.
teaches that the Exodus is a personal journey we all must experience.
Mitzrayim, the Hebrew for Egypt, means boundaries. Exodus is breaking
and escaping boundaries. Since Hashem is infinite, every step closer to
Hashem is breaking boundaries, a private Exodus. By referring to all of
the journeys as steps exiting Egypt the Torah gives us a deep
lesson. Yesterday’s Exodus is today’s Egypt. Stagnation is slavery.
While we must recognize and appreciate our progress, to the point of
experiencing an Exodus, we must know we are enslaved compared to our
potential achievements. This will lead us to the Promised Land with the
coming of Moshiach.
continues with the borders of the land of Israel and the commandment to
fully remove evil nations from around Israel. If not, the Torah warns
that they will be like thorns. Chassidut explains that evil nations
represent negative traits in our hearts. The Torah is warning us that if
we ignore our faults, they will haunt and cripple us. Any egotism,
selfishness, rebelliousness or other bad traits must be addressed. This
will grant us a good life.
finish a book of the Chumash, if is called Shabbat Chazak (strength). At
the conclusion of the reading, everyone calls out Chazak Chazak
V’nitchazaik (be strong, be strong, let us be strong.) This is because
the conclusion of every Mitzvah is a wellspring of strength and
encouragement. This Shabbat precedes and blesses the nine days when we
intensify the mourning for the destruction of the Temple. In this period
of adversity, the strength Hashem grants us this Shabbat Chazak is
sufficiently to allow us to change the negative to the positive.
means the comforting of the Father. May our Father comfort us this
Shabbat with the coming of Moshiach and the construction of the third
Shalom and Chodesh Tov,
Dedicated in memory of Shlomo Ben Yitzchock (Bob) Wax. May his soul be
bound in the bond of eternal life and may his family and friends be
comforted and inspired by his memory.
The Rebbe has stressed that studying the laws of the construction of the
Temple helps bring Moshiach and rebuilds the Temple. There is a great
website about the three weeks which includes a wealth of information
about the Temple and its construction at
Through studying the construction of the Temple, we help rebuild it.
of Chabad of Great Neck
fax 516 4874807