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Devarim + Tisha B'Av | 9 Av 5782 | August 6th, 2022 | Issue 956
What is in this week's Sabbat MiTzion?
Dedicated in memory of Yaakov ben Avraham and Sarah Aharonov z"l
Dvar Torah - Devarim

How to Gain Superpowers

David Priel
Shaliach in Memphis (2021-22)

Click here for the PDF version

The book of Devarim is Moshe Rabeinu’s great conclusion speech. A detailed summary of 40 years of leadership from Egypt through the desert to the Jordan river. Starting "on the first day of the eleventh month" (1;3), Moshe's speech is given through five weeks and covering the highlights and struggles of the journey so far and preparations, warnings and blessings for the upcoming future in the Land of Israel.
The Torah declares that even in the age of one-hundred and twenty Moshe still had as power and energy as he ever had, but the midrash is pointing out a different issue that seems like a big deal in the matter of giving a month-length lecture.
In the 'recruiting meeting' of Hashem with Moshe from the bush in Chorev, Moshe is claiming himself as "slow of speech and slow of tongue" (Shemot, 4;10) and later again "me who gets tongue-tied" (6;12). The midrash explains it to be a physical challenge, and Rashi and other commentators as a struggle of expression. We also see that Hashem seeing it as a problem that need to be solved and sending Aharon to serve as the spokesman. So, what changed?
The answer the midrash give seems simple – since Moshe got the Torah, his was able to speak.
But how should we understand that? Was it a miracle? The Torah tell us that on Har-Sinai Moshe overcame some body needs as eating and drinking, and that his face projected a divine light, so we can also say that his mouth healed as part of that perfection. But if it's a miracle, why saying it's the Torah? Also, after claiming to be disabled Moshe hears that answer "Who gives humans speech? Who makes them dumb or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I – Hashem?!" (Shemot, 4;11), but Hashem didn't just fix his speaking. So why now and not then?
Other way to explain it can be in the practical sense. The task of teaching and explaining the Torah to Am-Israel during 40 years has the effect of healing Moshe's speak. I find it a little hard to connect to, as we don't see that great knowledge and even a teaching position guarantee someone the skills of a perfect TED-talker.
I think that the message of the midrash is different. I think that the saying that Moshe got the Torah, it's in a meaning of a mission, or if you'll like – a Shlichut. We refer to Moshe as Rabeinu, The Teacher. From Har-Sinai to Har-Nevo, his life is dedicated to bring the Torah to us. The kind of life that is dedicated to an ideal, to a big meaningful mission, can carry the person and give them new powers to act beyond what they knew they were capable of. Coming back from a year of Shlichut I think that me and my friends felt it on our level, and discovered that when you are on a mission for Am-Israel, you can do much more the you know.


Dvar Torah - Tisha B'Av
Tisha Be’Av: A Moed?

Rabbi Shlomo Sobol
Former Rosh Kollel in Detroit (2001-2005)
Currently Rav of Kehillat Shaarei Yonah Menachem Modiin and head of Barkai center for practical rabbinics

Click here for the PDF version

Although Tisha Be’Av is the saddest day of the Jewish year, it is nevertheless referred to as a “mo’ed” (a “festival”), as in the pasuk (Eichah 1:15): “He summoned a mo’ed (literally, a “set time”) against me.”

Tisha Be’Av’s categorization as a mo’ed is not simply a homiletic device; this classification has halachic consequences as well. For instance, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 559:4) rules that since Tisha Be’Av is defined as a mo’ed, Tachanun is not recited on Tisha Be’Av.

How can such a tragic day, on which five calamities occurred, culminating in the Destruction itself, be called a mo’ed?

A simple answer is that Tisha Be’Av is called a mo’ed based on the future – when the Beit Ha-Mikdash will be rebuilt and the fast days will become days of joys. As the prophet Zecharia said (Zecharia 8:19):

“The fast of the fourth [month], the fast of the fifth [month], the fast of the seventh [month], and the fast of the tenth [month] shall be for the house of Yehuda for joy and for happiness and for good mo’adim.”

Thus, Tisha Be’Av, “the fast of the fifth,” is referred to as a mo’ed in order to hearten and encourage us. Despite our current sadness and grief, we must recall that eventually the fast will be nullified and transformed into a yom tov.

However, there is a deeper explanation.

The kruvim (literally, cherubs) – which served as a gauge of Yisrael’s relationship with their Father in Heaven – were located in the Beit Ha-Mikdash, above the Aron HaKodesh. One kruv symbolized, kivyachol (as it were), Hakadosh Baruch Hu, and the other one represented Am Yisrael. When Yisrael would act in accordance with Hashem’s wishes, the kruvim would face each other and embrace. As the Gemara (BT Yoma 54a) describes:

“Rav Ketina said, ‘When Yisrael would ascend [to the Beit Ha-Mikdash] on the festival, [the kohanim] would roll up the parochet for them and show them the kruvim which were intertwined, and they would tell them: 'Behold your fondness before the Makom is like the fondness of a male and a female.'”

In contrast, when Yisrael did not fulfill Hashem’s will, the kruvim would face the wall (BT Bava Batra 99a).

We would naturally assume that during the Churban, the kruvim did not embrace. After all, Am Yisrael was being punished cataclysmically because they had not fulfilled Hashem’s will. However, astonishingly, we find that the Gemara (BT Yoma 54b) continues:

“Reish Lakish said, ‘When the foreigners entered the Heichal, they saw the kruvim were intertwined.’”

How is this possible?

Actually, the Gemara’s statement is based on a profound insight, which explains why Tisha Be’Av is called a mo’ed.

Hashem is teaching us – even at the moment when His anger seems to be at its peak and when the rift between Hashem and Am Yisrael appears to be insurmountable – His love for Am Yisrael is eternal. The terrible Churban was actually a result of this great love and Hashem’s desire for rectification. Contrary to other religions’ claims, the destruction of the Beit Ha-Mikdash was not, G-d forbid, the end of our relationship with Him. In fact, the reverse is true. The Destruction was a painful but necessary operation, which Hashem performed on Am Yisrael in order to fortify the relationship and to launch an even better, more secure and indestructible connection.

The destruction of the Beit Ha-Mikdash was not the “end of the story,” it was just the beginning. The commencement of a long road that leads from the Churban through the long exile and ends with the founding of the State of Israel, the establishment of malchut Beit David (the kingdom of the House of David), and the building of the Third Beit Ha-Mikdash, speedily in our days. Amen.


For more Divrei Torah on the parsha click here

'One Who Loves Tanach'

A short Dvar Torah for Parashat Devarim (5 min)
A Few Sentences About Sentences

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What's New in Israel?
Eitan and Shifra Maazari (Former Shlichim in Detroit, Michigan) were chosen this week for the position of Rosh Kollel and Rosh Midrasha in the Torah MiTzion Kollel in Montreal, and they are looking for Shlichim to go with them! If you are post Yeshiva/Mechina and are looking for a meaningful year spreading torah and zionism abroad, fill out an application at
The Memphis Shlichim of 5783 are getting excited!!
Making an Impact
Pidion HaBen of the grandson of Rosh Kollel in Moscow, Rabbi David and Ayelet Ushuvayev!
Cafe Ivrit - Hebrew learning with members of the Perth community!
Shmita Q&A
Shemitah Mangoes: Pits and Peels 🥭

I just bought my first shemitah mangoes. What do I do with the peels and pits?
Pit: The pit is not edible to humans or animals, however there is generally lots of fruit stuck to it. Try to eat as much off the pit as possible. After this point, the pit can be thrown away regularly.
Peel: People generally do not eat mango peels. However, again, there is often fruit left on the peels. Try to eat as much as you can from the peels themselves. You don't have to be OCD about it (the Torah was not given to angels 😇) but do your best. 
🥡 If there are significant amounts of fruit left on the peel or pit, put them in the shemitah bin. 
🤏 If there are only small, insignificant bits of fruit left on peels or the pit, they can be discarded regularly. 🚮
Enjoy! 😋
Our friend Benjy Singer has a very useful website,,
which contains accurate and fresh information of what's going on in the Religious Anglo Community in Israel.

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