Saturday, June 16, 2007

Step 95 - Unique person

The second word
ShAdam - that a person.
The Rambam explains the signifigance of the word Adam in this formula.
People are the only species in the world who can think , choose & decide to do what's right. We have the priveleged gift of Free-will to choose to follow the path of virtue & perfection.
This principle is the great foundation of Torah & Mitzvos.
But the Rambam asks - How can a person choose to do something that Hashem does not want like a sin ?
The Rambam answers that is Hashems choice to allow & enable a person to make certain decisions & that is why he is held accountable for his decisions. There are rewards & punishments.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Step 94 - 7 Step Formula

We need to focus on Hashems seven- word Hebrew formula , program for success.
Baderech - on the Road or Path.
Look out the window at a road & think - am I on the pathway to serving Hashem ? Where do I want to go ? What do I keep on praying for the most ?
Do I strive daily to come closer to Hashem ?
The Rambam has two chapters on this topic in Hilchos Teshuva #5 & #6 where he says -
Every person has the power to choose the good path to be a tzadik & to avoid the path of evil which leads to wickedness.
He goes so far to proclaim :
EVERY person can become a tzadik like Moshe Rabeinu. !!
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 93 - shocking disclosure

What about a bully who seems to always step on peoples toes ?
How can we make progress on the PAtH if we seem to have opposition from an associate , a partner or a relative ?

There is a solution !
There is a verse in Mishlei 16:7 that may shock us & take a lifetime to digest & internalize.
When Hashem is pleased
With the ways of
A person ,
Even his
Enemies will
Make Peace with him.

Hashem may be testing us , guiding us , waking us up , or sending some punishments. Hashem is sending us a message or two , for our benefit.
We need to focus on a solution. Gam zu ltovah.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 92 - Serving Hashem

One who reviews a Torah lesson 101 times is called a Servant of Hashem. Chagiga 9b. Why is this ?
Rav Miller ztl explains in Rejoice O Youth p. 302 because the primary purpose of our lives is to develop our desire to serve Hashem. One who develops his free will to choose to master & perfect his thinking & learning is achieving true closeness to Hashem.
But how does one deal with others who seem to interfere with our growth , at times ??
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 91 - Is it true ?

Can I really learn how to learn a daf ( two sides of a pg ) of the Talmud ?
If I tried can I learn to be fluent in a Daf Gemara ?
See Megila 6b - If you toil in Torah Study , you will achieve !
On the path one is eager to go ...
The word Rotzeh is used for "desire " & "determination". Similarly we learn - Run to do even an easy Mitzva , the word for run is also rotz. (Avos 4:2).
Running indicates desire & eagerness. Why is it essential to run to perform Mitzvos ?
Ruach Chaim explains that to run is a mitzva in itself of showing that you appreciate the opportunity. As a reward for that Hashem will enable you to perform the actual mitzva as well.
The same applies to fleeing from a possible situation that might lead to a sin.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Blame Game

A persons foolishness corrupts his path , but he is angry at Hashem - Mishlei 19:3.
Hashem is waiting to help us more. He wants us to take the initiative to open the door a little bit & He will make things happen.
We need to clarify our objectives & commit all of our energy , effort & prayers to take the next step.
One should never slander Hashem by saying He is not helping me enough , when in reality your desire is inadequate.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

S. 89 - Come to Purify

One who comes to purify will be assisted - this Teaching is in Yoma 38b ( the bottom line ).

This is the same principle we have been learning all the time from Makos 10b. But how does this differ ? What is the unique nuance of this teaching ?
As a matter of fact the source we quote in Yoma is the third source of the 3 which are quoted in Makos.
Rashi explains that one who desires to join with the humble righteous will be granted favor & they will accept him as it says in Mishlei.
The gemara in Yoma continues to add
If a person sanctifies himself a small amount - Hashem will help him do a large amount.
If he sanctifies himself below - he will be helped above.
If he does so in this world - he will be helped in the world to come.
What are these three levels ?
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 88 - the Key

Do you have what it takes ?
Would you like to become a great Torah scholar ?
Do you want to be fluent in all of Shas ?
You may be thinking that of course you want it all , excuses crop up ... Difficulties , challenges etc. Many issues to deal with.
We need to realize that the root of the problem is lack of sufficent desire ...
On the path one is committed to Hashem will lead him. Hashem grants wisdom ( Mishlei 2:6).
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Step 87 - The Pathway

Are we searching for " shrt cuts" ?
One who is impatient to get rich will not succeed - Mishlei 28:20
Korach did not want to wait for honor & greatness ...
Are we seeking to " get rich quick" ?
This applies to financial , spiritual & all areas of life.
The Pathway is
Gradual , step by step.
Wealth gathered by hand will accumulate - Mishlei 13:11
Every verse of Chumash , every Mishna , every line of Gemara is a great accomplishment & a step of Torah greatness.
This is the pathway for a daily sense of fulfillment & the roadway to true , lasting greatness.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

S. 86 - Business 10

On the path one is determined to go - also means that each person has his / her specific path to follow.
This is one of the great lessons of the tenth commandment.
Don't be envious of others.
There are 3 things that can take a person out of this world ( Avos 4:21) - the first & the worst is Envy.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Monday, June 11, 2007

S. 85 - business 9

Don't speak falsely
When it says , On the path one is determined to go , it does not say
On the path one says ...

Pirkei Avos - Say little & do a lot.
Whatever we say , Hashem is listening & He follows up to see what we do with our words.
Another point - it does not say
" The goals one hopes to succeed at " but rather, the path...
Because you need to focus your determination to do what it takes to prepare to achieve.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

S. 84 - Business 8

Don't steal anything from anyone , especially don't steal anyones dream !
Hashem , the Creator & Manager of everything is the Owner of all things. Whatever a person acquires while following Hashems laws is a gift to that person by Hashem. One who takes something illegally has denied Hashems jurisdiction.
To become wealthy the Talmud teaches 2 steps :
- to be honest in Business
- to pray to the Owner of all wealth.

Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 83 - Business 7

Avoid all forms of adultery
The key to business success is caring for others & their relationships. Caring for others helps us provide for ourselves.

Hashem is the global matchmaker who provides a spouse for each person ( Moed Katan 18b ).
So too , He provides people with all of their needs.
When a person gives , he keeps getting back from Hashem.
When he gives more , in better ways , to more people , in a more wholesome way , the benefits increase.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Mitzva Count - 9 in Parshas Korach

5 - to gaurd the Bais Hamigdosh
- the Kohanim at their post
Leviim at theirs.
- a Yisroel may not participate
- don't stop gaurding
- Leviim do their tasks

2 - Mitzva to redeem a firstborn son from a Kohen
- a firstborn Kosher animal give to a Kohen

2 - give Maaser to a Leivi
- the Leivi gives a tenth of that to a Kohen

Overall Parsha message - avoid Korachs sinful approach.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 82 - Business # 6

Not to kill or destroy humans in any manner.
Be nice to people - is one of the greatest mitzvos & keys to success in life. Wealth is generally also a result of freindships. The same goes for good health.
Instead of harming people , assist them & your business will also prosper. The same word for wealth - osher , has another meaning eser which means give a tenth to charity. The Talmud says when you give a tenth Hashem will cause you to prosper.
One of the reasons for how this works is that when you look to help others , Hashem causes you to be noticed by others who happen to need to do business with you !
There is a significant lesson from the first murder in history. When Kayin killed Hevel one of his thoughts may have been , now I will acquire ( the meaning of his name ) more of the world. But Hashem sends him into exile to teach him - wealth comes from interacting & cooperating with many others , not by destroying them.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.