Inspired Too, Kiruv Across America will be showing at Congregation Ahavas Yisroel in Kew Gardens Hills at 7:45 and 9:45 on February 17th. In addition, we’ll be holding a Kiruv Training Seminar on February 24th at 8:30. For other showtimes and locations, please visit www.kiruv.com.
On Monday February 19th, at 10:15 AM the Vaad L’Chizuk Hatorah will present a shiur in Congregation Ahavas Yisroel in Kew Gardens Hills. The shiur will be given by Rabbi Daniel Feldman on the subject of “Mishloach Manos”
Rabbi Michael Rosensweig on Naaseh ve-Nishma: The Cultivation of a Torah Personality:
In any case, it is this ideal approach of naaseh ve-nishma when truly internalized that allows for the vanquishing of the yetzer hara and that establishes Klal Yisrael’s status as “banim la-Makom” who are elevated beyond the angels. Furthermore, the singular character of halachic law, in contrast to other legal systems (“lo asah chein le-kol goy”) can be traced specifically to naaseh ve-nishma. Chazal indicate that the introductory words of the parsha – “ve-eilah ha-mishpatim” link even Jewish civil law with the event of mattan Torah and integrate the branch of halachah seemingly most common to other legal systems with the courtyard of the Beit haMikdash. Indeed, the naaseh ve-nishma-anchored “mishpatim” are “lo yedaum”-incomparable to secular law. We can now better appreciate the words of Avot de-Rabbi Natan- that the priority of naaseh to nishma demonstrates that wisdom that is accompanied with an even greater commitment to good deeds is truly enduring. Halachic wisdom that stems from striving to internalize halachic values requires the anchor and concrete application of mitzvot.
As a community and as individuals we face many challenges as we struggle to live a maximal halachic life in a world which exerts diverse pressures and influences, many of which are incompatible with our commitment. We also live in an era of great opportunity in which certain social, technological and economic forces may be particularly conducive to spiritual growth. It is important that we seek halachic and hashkafic guidance to determine how and when to integrate the world around us. Immersion in mitzvot and the internalization of its values is the vehicle that will provide us with direction. It is vitally important that we recognize that the formula of naaseh ve-nishma was not only a historical declaration articulated by Klal Yisrael at a particularly crucial moment. This timeless proclamation remains the foundation for spiritual growth as individuals and as a community.
Rabbi Noson Weisz on Dale Carnegie With a Jewish Slant:
We Jews share this need for human contact with the rest of humanity. But God gave us a better solution to solve the problem of casual conversation. If we all had the benefit of a basic Torah education, we would all be quite familiar with the basic Talmud tractates which focus on Mishpatim. The traditional wisdom of the ages has assured that it is this area of the Torah that we focus on during the basic education period.
Theoretically, in a properly arranged Jewish world, instead of discussing sports or the weather, or playing Jewish geography, we Jews would debate concepts in Mishpatim. Instead of having to conduct boring conversations, we would be in the enviable position of being able to engage in heated discussions about deep ideas affecting the human character with relative strangers. Instead of gossip, the air would be filled with the sounds of heated debate over basic human issues. If we were fortunate, we might someday be in a position to resurrect that much-ridiculed stereotype of the Talmudic scholar.
Jonathan Rosenblum on Israels Greatest Internal Threat:
Whereas the state’s founding fathers envisioned a Jewish state engaging in normal relations with the rest of the world, and creating an enviable society within — “externally normalized, internally exceptional.” But just the opposite has occurred — Israel’s existence is still not accepted as normal by the nations of the world, and meanwhile her internal society has turned out to be anything besides exceptional.
In the nature of their critique, the writers surveyed differed in many details. But they all agree on two key points. First, in light of the external threats it faces, Israel cannot survive without a great deal of internal cohesion and sense of national purpose. And second, these qualities are notable today primarily by their absence.
These forceful critiques also contain a powerful message for the Torah community of Israel. We must do everything in our power to create the type of society that can serve as a model to other Jews of what a Jewish society might look like. Only then will be able to convince our fellow Jews that the Torah offers the answers for all that threatens our ability to summon up the will power to survive and prevail in our rough neighborhood.