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Va'Etchanan |  16 Av 5776  |  Aug 13th, 2016  |  Issue 663

Mazal Tov to Rabbi Shai and Bilha Finkelstein (Memphis 2002-2005)
on the bar mitzva of their son, David
Mazal Tov to Rabbi Eli and Noa Lewis (Perth 2006-07) on the engagement of their daughter, Avital
Mazal Tov to Gili Friedman (Washington, 2004-5) on his marriage to Ayelet

ר   Rabbi David Kupinski


Former Rosh Kollel (Memphis, 2014-15)
Currently Dorm Manager and Social Coordinator in
'Levav Shalem' Yeshiva High School, Yerucham

G-d Who Created the World or G-d Who Took Us From Egypt?
 
One of the main symbols of Judaism are the Tablets of The Ten Commandments - עשרת הדברות. Each detail in the Torah has tremendous meaning and even more so in The Ten Commandments.
When we look at the first commandment (Deuteronomy 5, 6):
"אנכי ה' אלקיך אשר הוצאתיך מארץ מצרים מבית עבדים"
“I am the LORD thy G-d, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”

two questions arise:
1. What is the commandment?
2. Why is the basis for Hashem being THE G-d associated with the exodus and not with something much more basic that HE created heaven and earth?
 
Some commentaries say that the first commandment is not even one of the 613 Mitzvot but it is the basis for the acceptance of all the others. Without belief in G-d, there is no point in commanding anything else.
 
Other commentaries say that the commandment is to believe in G-d, but that does not explain why the exodus is associated with believing in G-d and not creation of the world.
 
I heard from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin a very insightful explanation. The commandment is much more than just belief in G-d. We are also obligated to emulate Him as the Talmud says (Tractate Sotah 14a):
R. Hama son of R. Hanina further said: What means the text: “Ye shall walk after the Lord your G-d”?  Is it, then, possible for a human being to walk after the Shechinah; for has it not been said: For the Lord thy God is a devouring fire?
But [the meaning is] to walk after the attributes of the Holy One, blessed be He.
As He clothes the naked, for it is written: “And the Lord G-d made for Adam and for his wife coats of skin, and clothed them” -  so do thou also clothe the naked.
The Holy One, blessed be He, visited the sick, for it is written: “And the Lord appeared unto him by the oaks of Mamre” -  so do thou also visit the sick.
The Holy One, blessed be He, comforted mourners, for it is written: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that G-d blessed Isaac his son” - so do thou also comfort mourners.
The Holy one, blessed be He, buried the dead, for it is written: “And He buried him in the valley” -  so do thou also bury the dead.

Following the same guideline, Rabbi Riskin taught that the message of the first commandment is that G-d took us out of Land of Egypt - The land of metzarim - the land of hardships. (מצרים from the root of צרה, tzoross...), and we need to follow in his path and always help others in their time of need. It is so important that it THE first commandment.
 
This is true regarding any Jew but even more so for a Shaliach. The best way to bring the word of G-d to the diaspora is to be there for others and “be the representative of G-d in this world.”
 
The Sefer Mitzvot Katan (“The Small Mitzvah Book” – a compilation of all the 613 commandments with short explanations written by Rabbi Yitzchak of Korbil from the 13th century) learns a very powerful message from the first commandment. In the first mitzvah in his book regarding the belief in G-d he brings the Talmud that says when we reach the day of judgment we will be asked “Did you await the redemption?”.
Rabbi Yitzchak asks: what is the source of the commandment to await Mashiach?
He answers: It comes from the first commandment. The same way we believe in G-d that he took us and redeemed us from the land of Egypt, He will also bring us the redemption in our times.

The more we follow in His path and are always there for those in need, the sooner that day will come and we will all be together in the Land of Israel with Mashiach and the Beit Mikdash.

במהרה בימינו אמן!


TMT Spotlight:
Lilmod - French Program

By the Numbers:
Semesters to date: 3
Courses per semester: 7
Shiurim to date: 300
Countries serviced: 10+
 
Lilmod is a Beit Midrash with shiurim offered in German, Russian and French – all via video-conference. After the success of Lilmod in German and Russian, Lilmod French began its first semester in the spring of 2015 with the support of the Pincus Fund.
We have participants from many different countries including France, Canada, Israel, Morocco, Dakar, and Mauritius. The topics range from Halachot of Shabbat and Taharat HaMishpacha to Tanach, Philosophy and even Geo-Political lectures about Israel.
 
Interview with Arik Speaker – Former Shaliach in Zurich, Currently Director of Lilmod and head of Torah MiTzion's European desk
When did Lilmod in French start? We started planning the French program in 2013. We worked on finding partners and finally received the support of the Pincus Fund, which also supported our German and Russian programs. The first French semester began in April 2015.

Who are the lecturers? Lilmod in French is the same concept as German and Russian – we offer semester-long courses in the evenings with some of the best French speaking lecturers from the Religious Zionist world, such as Rabbi Botschko, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Professor Picard, and more.

Why did you start Lilmod in French? In French speaking communities in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada there are a lot of local opportunities for Jewish learning. However, especially in France, there is a huge vacuum of Religious Zionist leaders and rabbis, most of whom left France during the 70s and 80s. There are almost no Religious Zionist leaders still in France. In Israel, there are very strong and outspoken French speaking men and women who can teach in all different Torah topics with Modern and Zionist values. In fact, some of the leaders of the Religious Zionist community in Israel are French speaking.  Lilmod serves as a bridge to close that gap, even if just a little bit, and is also a way for their voices to be heard abroad.

Who runs the program? The program is run by Yohan Botbol, originally from Paris. He coordinates the lectures, provides technical support, and manages the advertising geared towards French speakers.

What do you see for the future of Lilmod in French? More partnerships with local communities and organizations abroad to expand our reach. Our dream is for Lilmod to be both online and offline, which will spearhead French speaking religious Zionist Torah. We plan on starting real in-person events. Likewise, "Em HaBanim Smecha" has just been translated into French for the first time. We are organizing an event with the publisher in Israel that will have people attending in person with a simultaneous live broadcast.
Around The World
A sample of the teaser videos our bachurim prepared for their communities
Torah MiTzion Capetown 2016 2017
Cape Town, South Africa
KTM Memphis 2017 - The Amazing Race: Shlichut Edition
Memphis, Tennessee
ISRAtag

     Arik Speaker                                   In cooperation with:


'Lilmod' Coordinator and Head of  European Desk in Torah MiTzion

The Ariel Sharon Park, better known through its former informal name "Hiria" was until recently and for over 40 years non other than the garbage can of the Gush Dan area. It covers an area about half a million square meters and it is located between the airport and the Ayalon Highway.

After two decades the waste grew into a real mountain and created a serious environmental hazard. Attempts were made to cover the waste with soil but the site continued to be a serious hazard, especially for aircraft landing and taking off in the region because of the amount of the birds who constantly fly over the waste. In the 90's it was decided to cease the discharge of garbage in this manner. By that time the garbage mountain reached a height of 60 meters with approximately 20 million tons of garbage accumulated over the years.


In the early 2000's the government decided to make the bitter sweet and planned to revolutionize the area through the construction of park which now named after former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
The park covers an area of ​​approximately 8,000 hectares and includes, first and foremost, the new recycling center where today's garbage is brought, but undergoes a sorting and recycling process with the garbage that can not be recycled transported to the south for burial.

The park also includes a visitor center with a variety of tours, the ancient village of Bnei Brak, the southern Menachem Begin Park, agricultural areas and the agricultural school Mikve Israel.
Some 125,000 visitors come to the park annually.

This is another perfect example of the Israeli style - a lack of long-term planning which causes harm, but then improvisation and initiative that led to one the biggest environmental restoration project in the world.


Yasher Koach to
Dovi Weinberg

Who provided the correct answer

       Where was this photo taken?


Please send answers to -
 arik@torahmitzion.org

 

The answer, further information about this location, as well as the first person to recognize this site will be published 
                    in
 next week's edition.                                                           

Torah MiTzion was established in 1995 with the goal of strengthening Jewish communities around the globe and infusing them with love for Torah, the Jewish People and the State of Israel.

Over the past twenty years, Torah MiTzion's shlichim have inspired and enriched their host communities through high impactful formal and informal educational programs.

Like https://www.facebook.com/ShlichutTorahMitzion/?fref=ts on Facebook

In cooperation with :

Our friend Benjy Singer has a very useful website,  www.israelk.org, which contains accurate and fresh information of what's going on in the Religious Anglo Community in Israel.