Rebbi started off the Shiur with a Dvar Halacha that was mentioned in Parshas B’reishis in 5769. I have pasted that Dvar Torah here.
This week we learn about Maasei B’reishis. We learn in the Posuk (1:5), (וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם אֶחָד). That there was day and night even before the sun was created (the sun was created on the 4th day.) So does day and night depend on the sun or doesn’t it depend on the sun? Is the fact that the sun rises make it day (a Sibah), or no, there is a rotation of day and night that Hakodosh Boruch Hu set into the Briyah, and the suns synchronization to day and night is a Siman to that fact?
It would look like from (וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם אֶחָד), that the sun is a Siman L’dovor. If we allow such a chiddush, then what R’ Elchonon says in the beginning of Maseches Pesochim in Koivetz Shiurim, which is similar to this, would leave us with a Kasha. In the beginning of Parshas Vayeitzei 28:11, we learn (כִּי-בָא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ), that the sun set 2 hours early. Rashi says, (כי בא השמש: היה לו לכתוב ויבא השמש. כי בא השמש, משמע ששקעה לו חמה פתאום שלא בעונתה כדי שילין שם) that took place in order that Yaakov should sleep there. It is very shver. We are off by 2 hours. If the sun is synchronized to day and night, then Bishlomo that you learn that the sun is a Sibah, so then if the sun goes down 2 hours earlier, then it is night. However, if you learn that day and night are in the Briyah, and the sun is only a Siman L’dovor, so when Hashem made the sun go down early, Takeh Yaakov thought it was night, but we know it was 2 hours early.
This Kasha is not a Kasha, it is a Rayah L’dovor. In B’reishis Rabbah, the Medrash says, the 2 hours that the sun went down early in Parshas Vayeitzei, when were those 2 hours paid back? When Yaakov Avinu was limping from the Makah that the Sar Shel Eisav gave him, the sun stayed up 2 hours longer, which equalized for the hours it went down early. What is P’shat in the Medrash, why should there be a reason to GIVE back 2 hours? If a miracle happens, it has to be paid back?
According to what we are saying, it is Geshmak. Really, the sun is only synchronized to day and night; it is not Mamash day and night, so that is why the Medrash could ask when were those 2 hours given back.
In Yehoshua 10:12 it says, (יב אָז יְדַבֵּר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, לַירוָר, בְּיוֹם תֵּת יְרוָר אֶת-הָאֱמֹרִי, לִפְנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיֹּאמֶר לְעֵינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁמֶשׁ בְּגִבְעוֹן דּוֹם, וְיָרֵחַ, בְּעֵמֶק אַיָּלוֹן) he also held the sun up, (שֶׁמֶשׁ בְּגִבְעוֹן דּוֹם), and you may ask the same question, Ai it is not synchronized? Rashi in Yehoshua says, (שֶׁמֶשׁ בְּגִבְעוֹן דּוֹם), was a full 24 hours delay, so everything is still synchronized.
There is a strange din. You are allowed to Daven Maariv an hour and a Quarter before nightfall. This makes no sense as Maariv is a Tefillah for Laylah, so why would we have this exception? Maybe the Pshat is where do we learn about Tefillas Arvis?
From the incident of Yaakov Avinu at Har Hamoriah. The sun went down 2 hours early, he thought it was night, however, it really wasn’t night. How early did Yaakov Avinu daven? It is possible that the original Tefillas Arvis was Davened during the hour and a quarter before nightfall, which is commonly referred to as Plag Hamincha. Maybe this is the reason that for generations we can Daven Maariv earlier as well.
We learn that Asarah Nisyonos the greatness of Avraham Avinu is mentioned in a Mishna in Pirkei Avos 5:3 (ה,ג עשרה נסיונות נתנסה אברהם אבינו, ועמד בכולם, להודיע כמה חיבתו של אברהם אבינו). Why Avraham more than Yaakov? Yaakov had his on Nisyonos. He had with Eisav, Lavan, Elifaz, Dinah, Yosef… He had many many difficulties. As a matter of fact if you really want to add them up and you take the Midrashim too, you easily have ten. Why by Avraham Avinu it is called a Nisayon and by Yaakov we say he had Tzoros or difficulties? What marks a Tzoroh as opposed to a Nisayon?
Before this is answered, let me point out that every Tzorah really is a Nisayon. What we mean here is something that stands out as a special Nisayon. What is special about Avraham Avinu’s 10 Nisyonos and how does that influence our lives about when is something a Nisayon and when is something a Tzorah?
There is a Baal Shem Tov that is quoted in numerous places. The Chasam Sofer at the end of Parshas Vayeira says the same idea and Rebbi said it over in 5769 and I have pasted it here.
22:1 The Chasam Soifer in Toiras Moishe, on וְהָאֱלֹקִים, נִסָּה אֶת-אַבְרָהָם, addresses why Akeidas Yitzchok is a Nisayoin for Avraham, more so than a Nisayoin for Yitzchok Avinu? L’choirah, it was a Nisayoin for both of them?
The Pashuta Teretz would be that it is easier for someone to give his own life than his child’s life. The Chasam Soifer is still bothered why the Posuk only mentions that it is a Nisayoin only for Avraham. The Chasam Soifer answers, when Hashem gives someone a Nisayoin, part of the Nisayoin is a Hester Panim of Hakadoish Baruch Hu. Sometimes when we are in middle of a Nisayoin, it is hard for us to understand what Hashem wants from us. When the Posuk says וְהָאֱלֹקִים, נִסָּה אֶת-אַבְרָהָם it was a time that Avraham was Richuk from Hashem. It was difficult for Avraham.
The Chasam Soifer says this is P’shat in Maseches Sukkah 52b (third line from the top), “שנאמר (תהילים לז) צופה רשע לצדיק ומבקש להמיתו”and “ולא ירשיענו בהשפטו שנאמ’ (תהילים לז) ד’ לא יעזבנו בידו.” The Gemarah Darshuns, “ואלמלא הקב”ה שעוזר לו אינו יכול לו.” Which means when a person has a Nisayoin, he has to be Margish Hakadosh Baruch Hu, because if you are not Margish Hakodosh Baruch Hu, it is hard to get through a Nisayoin.
The Chasam Soifer says, that is P’shat in our Posuk, וְהָאֱלֹקִים, נִסָּה אֶת-אַבְרָהָם. Avaraham had the Nisayoin, Yitzchok didn’t have this Nisayoin. When Yitzchok understood that he was the Korban, it wasn’t so hard for him. He felt that if the Boirei Oilam wanted this from him, he would do it. However, the Posuk saying וְהָאֱלֹקִים, נִסָּה אֶת-אַבְרָהָם is Dafka telling you this idea, that for Avraham Avinu it was a Nisayoin.
One of the Chasiddishe Seforim Taitshes along these lines, the Posuk in 22:4, “וַיַּרְא אֶת-הַמָּקוֹם–מֵרָחֹק.” That Avraham Avinu saw Hamokoim (Hashem) as if he were distant. Our Avoidah when we have a Nisayoin, is to not view Hashem Mairachoik, it should be Maikaroiv, with closeness. As soon as the Nisayoin was over, the Malach calls to Avraham, as it says in 22:11, “יא וַיִּקְרָא אֵלָיו מַלְאַךְ יֶרוֶָר, מִן-הַשָּׁמַיִם, וַיֹּאמֶר, אַבְרָהָם אַבְרָהָם; וַיֹּאמֶר, הִנֵּנִי”. Rashi says (אברהם אברהם: לשון חבה הוא שכופל את שמו) it is a Lashoin Shel Chibah. However, in 22:1 at the Beginning of the Parshah Akeidah, it only says Avraham once (וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, אַבְרָהָם וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּנִי)?
The Lashon Chibah is when there is a Hiskarvus to Hakadosh Boruch Hu, so after the Nisayoin it was Avraham, Avraham. At the beginning of the Nisayoin it was B’davkah Avraham once. In יְשַׁעְיָהוּ 51:2 says, “הַבִּיטוּ אֶל-אַבְרָהָם אֲבִיכֶם, וְאֶל-שָׂרָה תְּחוֹלֶלְכֶם: כִּי-אֶחָד קְרָאתִיו, וַאֲבָרְכֵהוּ וְאַרְבֵּהוּ”. That Klal Yisrael should look at the example of Avraham and Sarah, כִּי-אֶחָד קְרָאתִיו. The Drush of that is, Hashem called Avraham once when he went through this Nisayoin. Then Hashem was Marbeh him and he was Zoiche to all the B’rachois because he was able to be Oimed in the difficult Nisayoin of Akeidas Yitzchak. The lesson to be learned is, every Nisayoin that comes up in life, the difficulty of the Nisayoin is equal to the distance that a person feels from the Boirei Oilam. The Avoidah is to feel a Hiskarvus which is always difficult.
Yaakov Avinu on the other hand, when he is heading to the house of Lavan, the Ribbono Shel Olam comes to him in a dream and says 28:15 ( וְהִנֵּה אָנֹכִי עִמָּךְ, וּשְׁמַרְתִּיךָ בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר-תֵּלֵךְ, וַהֲשִׁבֹתִיךָ, אֶל-הָאֲדָמָה הַזֹּאת: כִּי, לֹא אֶעֱזָבְךָ, עַד אֲשֶׁר אִם-עָשִׂיתִי, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-דִּבַּרְתִּי לָךְ) Meaning, I won’t abandon you. If a person has a sense of the Ribbono Shel Olam being with him it is a Tzarah, a type of Nisayon, however, it is not on the level of a Nisayon of Avraham Avinu.
It is an important Yidi’a to have. There are times that a person feels that Hashem is hiding from him and his unhappy with him, a time of (וַיַּרְא אֶת-הַמָּקוֹם–מֵרָחֹק). When it is that time you should know that it is a time that you can achieve greatness. This is because that is a real Nisayon like the Nisyonos of Avraham Avinu.
31:19 (וַתִּגְנֹב רָחֵל, אֶת-הַתְּרָפִים אֲשֶׁר לְאָבִיהָ) We know that Rochel stole the Avoda Zora of her father Lavan. However, instead of doing what we would do and throwing them in the ocean, she kept it with her. The Divrei Yoel (Satmar Rebbe) asks, why did she keep it with her? What did she want with the Avoda Zora, it is Assur B’hana?
He answers that Rochel knew how to be Metaheir the Avoda Zora. The Gemara in Maseches Avoda Zora describes a method in which an Avoda Zora can be made Muttar B’hana through Bittul, and she knew how to do it. This was her plan. This is why she held the Avoda Zora with her all along.
The question is, would we do that? Would we want to have benefit from an Avoda Zora? Isn’t it a little strange? The B’nei Yissaschar in Chodesh Av says regarding something Treif that falls into a pot of Kosher food in a matter which is Bateil B’shishim, it is Muttar. Let’s say a little milk fell into a Fleishig soup, if the milk was 1/60th of the total soup, the soup is Muttar. Is there an Inyan not to eat this soup as there is something non Kosher in the soup?
This is a Shaila in the Pischei Teshuva and he brings that it is good to be Machmir not to eat it. The Nesivos says on the contrary, the Torah says it is Muttar and you could eat it.
The B’nei Yissaschar goes a step further and says it is a Mayla for a person to eat something that was Treif and is Bateil. You are not allowed to do it deliberately because Ein Mevatlin Issur L’chat’chila. However, if it happened in a Muttar way that Issur became Kosher, that Kabbalistically is called Klipos She’toharu, things that were Tamei and now became Tahor. Under such circumstances, the item actually becomes better than if it never became Tamei. Therefore, a person should eat that type of food.
This would explain why Rochel would Dafka want an Avoda Zora, to be Metaheir the Avoda Zora and to thereby make the Avoda Zora into something usable. Klipos She’toharu is like B’makom She’haBaal Teshuva Omed Ein Kol Ha’adom Omed. Something that was on the other side and became Tahor is on a higher level.
This would explain what had occurred. I am assuming that Rochel understood that it was not a danger to hold the Avoda Zora. Even if Lavan had found it he would not have killed his children over it. I am not coming to answer the question of any type of danger, I am only coming to answer the question of why she would want an Avoda Zora.
The question of the week is: The Rambam in Hilchos Sechirus in Perek 3 Halacha 7 says the following which is connected to this weeks Parsha. He talks about the obligation of an employee to an employer that a person must work for his employer with all his energy. As it says in this weeks Parsha 31:6 (וְאַתֵּנָה, יְדַעְתֶּן: כִּי, בְּכָל-כֹּחִי, עָבַדְתִּי, אֶת-אֲבִיכֶן) where we have that Yaakov used all his energy to work for Lavan. Therefore, says the Rambam that is the way an employee has to work.
It is a Pele, Yaakov Avinu certainly did things Lifnim Mishuras Hadin. As a matter of fact the context of the Posuk is that Yaakov did something extraordinary. How can we learn from there that every employee has to work with all his Koach for his employer? Even the Halachos are hard to understand because an employee has to work normally, what does it mean B’chol Kocho? It seems to be a difficulty in the Rambam.