Young Israel of Great Neck
Rabbi Ismach in Israel
Rabbi Ismach at dinner with our Great Neck boys currently studying in Israel
The YIGN is a Modern Orthodox synagogue that was founded by six visionary families. They dreamed of a participatory minyan that would be welcoming to all. After multiple small temporary locations, we moved to our present, beautiful facility at 236 Middle Neck Road in Great Neck, New York. We are privileged to inhabit a newly constructed Beit Midrash and classroom building, as well as a full sized gym. Read more
Rabbi Lerner's Weekly Parsha Shiur
The Korban Minchah
Rabbeinu Bachya’s Introduction to Vayikrah: Mishlei 22:4: The result of one’s humility will be a blessing of fear of Hashem, wealth, honor and life. Shlomo said that if you strive on working on your humility, you will be rewarded with spiritual and physical benefits. There are four things in this world that humility gives one – Fear of Hashem, wealth, honor and a long life. It is an important character trait to enable one to function well in society. One should be modest, should be able to cope with things that are not ideal; one should know he is not perfect and swallow embarrassing comments – these traits will bring one to fear of God, wealth (not necessarily physical riches, but he will be one who is happy with his lot, he is content); he is honored because he doesn’t chase after lustful desires and will not get into embarrassing situations; finally, he gets a longer life since one who is constantly seeking physical abundance is always under stress, is never satisfied – therefore, this constant push for riches and the associated stress will lead to a shortened life – stress shortens life; he will not enjoy his life and it will be shortened. The trait of humility is balanced – there are two extremes that one must always try to balance – one can feel very lowly, that one is nothing – and on the other hand, one can think that one is high and mighty. Anavah is neither of these – it is a middle ground; one shouldn’t have a negative image of oneself or an arrogant feeling of being better than all others. It would be bad going to either extreme. It is difficult to achieve this middle road because the trait of arrogance is very enticing – success goes to one’s head very easily and many people can’t handle it. That is why it is important to follow the Rambam’s dictum that when drawn to one extreme, one must push towards the other extreme to achieve a middle ground. That is why it is important to try to strive towards humility because of the draw of arrogance.
The real anav in the Torah is Moshe Rabbeinu. At the end of Pikudei, pasukim 40:34-38, the cloud had covered the Mishkan, and God’s promise to dwell within their midst had come to fruition. Moshe could not enter the Ohel Moed because of the cloud and fire that was ever present. All could see it. Why couldn’t Moshe go in? It wasn’t the cloud or fire itself, it was the presence of the Shechina. Here in Vayirah Hashem calls out to Moshe to enter into the Ohel Moed – he was too humble to enter himself. Hashem had told him that he could enter anytime he wanted. But Moshe was so humble, Hashem had to call him to come in. He was so afraid that he would drift towards the trait of arrogance because of his special relationship with God and all of the miracles he had performed, and his being alone with Hashem on Har Sinai, etc, that Hashem had to pull him to come into the Ohel.
2:1-3: When a person (Nefesh) offers a Minchah to Hashem, his offering shall be of fine flour; he shall pour oil upon it and place frankincense upon it. He shall bring it to the sons of Aharon, the Kohanim, one of whom shall scoop his three fingersful (Kemitzah) from it, from its oil, as well as all its frankincense; and the Kohen shall cause its memorial portion to go up in smoke upon the Altar – a fire offering, a satisfying aroma to Hashem. The remnant of the Minchah is for Aharon and his sons; it is most holy (Kodesh Kadashim), from the fire offerings of Hashem. Is it more holy than an Olah? Why is it called holy of holies?
Ibn Ezra: the language of Minchah means it is a gift, a present. We see this when Yaacov prepares a gift for Esav – it was called a Minchah. Rashi: The pasuk says when a Nefesh offers the korban instead of a man bringing it; this is a voluntary korban that is not brought of animals – it is flour and oil. This is the only time where the word Nefesh is used with korbanos – it is not used for Olah, Asham or Chattos. Who is in the habit of bringing a Minchah, which is a the least expensive korban? It is usually a poor person – it is a pauper’s offering. This person is embarrassed by his offering; Hashem tells him not to be embarrassed – He views it as if the person is giving of his Nefesh, his soul. When the pasuk says he pours oil and incense upon it – it is not the kohain – it is the owner himself doing it; only then will he bring it to the kohain who will take the Kemitzah, the three-fingers-full measure and place it on the Mizbeach, making Hashem happy. Rashi: he pours the oil, puts on the incense – this teaches us that the pouring and mixing does not require a kohain – it is only presented to the kohain after the preparation – from the kemitzah and onward the kohain does the rest. Ramban: Rashi is not precise enough, something is missing. The mitzvah of the kehuna does not begin with the Kemitzah – the bringing near precedes it, and that must be done by the kohain. We see this in 2:8 where it says that You shall present to Hashem the Minchah that will be prepared from these; he shall bring it to the Kohain who shall bring it close to the Mizbeach. The owner is not allowed to go that far into the Azarah. Rashi says that the kohain does the Kemitzah in a place where the owner, a Zar, can stand; the Kemitzah can be done anywhere in the Azarah – a non-kohain can only go in ten amos into the Azarah – beyond that was off limits. The Kemitzah would be performed right at that spot, at the furthest point that the Zar can stand. Abarbanel: even if the Kemitzah is not being done at that spot and is done further in towards the Mizbeach, a more holy place, the owner still has to see it – the kohain should take the measure at the Mizbeach from what was given to him in the bowl, go back and show it to the owner, and then walk back to place it on the Mizbeach.
The word Nefesh implies that it is as if he is giving of himself because he is so poor. Ba’al Haturim – it is as if he is giving part of his life; he is straining himself to be able to bring it. He is embarrassed by the throngs of Jews bringing hefty animals, while he is bringing this small bowel of flour; he is embarrassed to bring it before Hashem. One would think that perhaps the kohanim should take it from him in a private way that would be least embarrassing – but the Torah deliberately says the kohain should take it – even a Kohain Gadol, like Aharon – because this person should not feel slighted – that is why it says Aharon, to tell us that even a busy, holy Kohain Gadol should take this simple korban because it is so meaningful to Hashem. Kli Yakar: The order of the korbanos here in Vayikrah shifts from animals to flour and back to animals. Hashem considers the Minchah of the pauper as if he had given his life. Based on this we can understand the order of the korbanos. Whichever korban comes first is indicative of a person who is more likely to fall into the clutches of sin – that is why it says in Ha’azinu, 32:15: Vayishman Yeshurun Vayivaut – Yeshurun became fat (wealthy) and kicked – this talks about the risks of wealth which lead to arrogance, Ga’avah, and rebelling. The greater the wealth and honor one has, the greater the Yetzer Harah. We see this in 4:22 when it talks about a nasi, a ruler, who must being a korban chattas – it doesn’t say if he will sin – im yechetah – but asher, when a nasi will sin – when one gets to be a ruler, one is more arrogant and more likely to sin. A pauper is less likely to sin. The first chapter of Vayikrah is about animal sacrifices, because a wealthy person can afford to bring it. The first korban the Torah starts with is a big animal, cattle, an expensive offering brought only be a rich person; if one can’t afford to bring that, he brings a sheep – this is brought by the middle class; if one can’t afford that, one brings a bird – this is brought by a poorer person. Once we go past those, we come to the poorest of the poor – the lowest level of society. The one more likely to sin, will be the rich, then the middle class – finally the least likely to sin is the poorest of the poor because he has no arrogance and doesn’t think much of himself. The korban Olah in the first perek of Vayikrah is brought because of from a bad state of mind, bad thoughts, and is a greater risk for one with wealth and honor. We see that this perek reinforces the value of anivus – while poverty is a struggle, a poor person is less likely to stumble and sin.
- Mazel tov to Debbie and Charlie Goldberg on the engagement of their daughter Nini to Joey Slochowsky.
- Mazel tov to Ruthie and Bob Dienstag and Stephanie and Ari Stavsky on the birth of their granddaughter and daughter.
- Mazel tov to Roya and Michael Samuels and Michelle and Greg Samuels on the birth of their son and nephew.
- Mazel tov to Ivan and Lisa Kaufman on the upcoming marriage of their daughter Lauren to Eric Nygaard.
Marvin Resmovits and family would like to thank the Young Israel members and friends for their outpouring of kindness following the loss of Marvin’s father, David Resmovits z.l.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS
Robyn and Mark Gelberg
We are now taking orders for shmura matzah which will be delivered shortly after Purim. The cost for a regular box is $27.00 and the cost for a whole wheat box is $33.00. Please call the shul office, 829-6040, with your order.
YIGN has established an account at Fidelity Investments to facilitate stock donations. You can pay your Shul dues, pledges, or any other obligation by stock, which may have tax advantages to you. For example, if you donate stock with a long term capital gain you may be able to avoid paying taxes on the capital gain while getting a charitable tax deduction for the full current value of the stock. Please call the Shul office for stock transfer instructions. Of course, you should check with your accountant to understand your specific situation.
Thank you to Ashira and Ryan Ostrow for sponsoring group snacks this week in honor of Sarah, Mason, and Daniella's birthdays.
PROJECT IDENTITY LECTURE
Mr. Charles Stein will be giving a lecture on “A Great Rabbi and Torah Scholar as Prime Minister and Military Commander of an Islamic Kingdom - The Remarkable Life and Times of Rabbi Shmuel Hanagid” this Sunday, March 9th. Breakfast 9:30AM and Lecture 10:00AM – at Young Israel of Great Neck
INSIGHTS ON ADAR-PURIM-MEGILLA
Ladies Night Out at Bistro Burger with Amit Yaghoubi – Sunday, March 9th at 8:30PM promptly – Lecture and Delicious Dinner – Lecture Topic: Insights on Adar-Purim-Megilla – Seating is limited at Bistro Burger, 605 Middle Neck Road – Reservations in Advance Only: MAMMYCW@GMAIL.COM
SAVE THE NEW DATE:
The North Shore Hebrew Academy Annual Journal Dinner celebrating its 59 year tradition of excellence will take place on Monday evening May 19th at Citi Field honoring Stephanie & Ruvane Vilinsky, Hannah K. Flamenbaum & Charles W. Segal and Sassoun Sassouni. Those wishing to place an ad, make a reservation or serve on the dinner committee, please contact Arnie Flatow at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Business Office at 487-868 ext 2.
The following donations have been made to the Young Israel of Great Neck:
-Barrie and Eliot Peyser in memory of David Resmovits; In memory of Gert Arkus’ brother
-Trudy and David Justin in memory of Nanette Ellenberg;In memory of Doris Ludwig; In memory of David Resmovits; In honor of Suri and David Kufeld’s 30th wedding anniversary; In honor of the birth of Barbara and Efraim Weinblatt’s granddaughter and grandson; In honor of the birth of Kate Everly and Benjamin Ethan Talansky
- Adele and Azriel Genachowski in honor of Eliot Peyser
- Sandy and Mark Gold in memory of David Resmovits; In memory of Arthur Rifkin; In memory of Arno Schallamach
- Rabbi Meir Mitelman for Ira Levine’s refuah shelemah; In honor of the birth of Roya and Michael Samuel’s son; In honor of the engagement of Nini Goldberg and Joey Slochowsky
- Saul Berkowitz in honor of Judy and Fred Lewis’ 50th wedding anniversary