Saturday, June 23, 2007

Wonders 8 - White Teeth

Why did Hashem decide to paint our teeth white ?
The Talmud ( kesubos 111b) speaks about this. Why did Hashem also make milk white ?
There is a connection. White is a color that is symbolic of cleanliness , purity & gentleness. A pleasant , white SMILE relaxes people as it shows them that you care about them & are happy to see them.
Thus the gemara teaches that showing the white of your teeth to others in a pleasant smile is a greater kindness than just offerring someone a delicious cup of healthy , nutritious , white milk. Giving the milk is also a kindness but giving a smile is much greater because it demonstrates your thoughts & feelings a out that person. You care about them.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wonders 7 -Cutting Edge

Why does the same word for teeth (shinayim ) , also carry 2 more meanings :
Two & to sharpen as in
Veshinantom - you shall teach them sharply ?
Rav Miller ztl explains that it is all related when we chew our food again & again we enjoy it more , it is healthier & our teeth maintain their sharpness.
So too , we need to always keep on reviewing our Torah studies so that we understand them with more clarity , sharpness & depth.
The word shinui ( change ) is also used because the food is changed as one continues to chew it. In learning as well , we become different in an elevated sense as we progress in our studies.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wonders 6 -Sharp Edge

Why are teeth called "shinayim " ?
- one reason is because they come as a set of two ( shnayim ) as they function together. They serve to remind us that throughout life we should strive to work with teams. Two are better than one ( koheles ).
Marriage , our Sages teach , is actually two parts of One person functioning together.
- Another insight is that every person gets two sets of teeth , 20 baby teeth & then 32 for the rest of life. Why does Hashem make it this way ?
Furthermore , even the baby teeth do not begin to emerge until later when a baby begins to switch fron nursing to eating. Obviously , Hashem designs the initial mouth for sucking , not chewing.
One of the reasons only the mouth has a change of teeth is to teach us that throughout our lives we must remember to always gaurd our mouths & tongues.
- another reason is that the teeth cut the food into two.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Wonders 5- Teeth talk

Do you ever wonder why did Hashem create our teeth as 32 seperate units ? Why not in rows that are of one unit.
One benefit of this method is that each tooth is more indepedent so that a cavity on one is less of a problem to others.
We have 32 sophisticated , specialised cutting tools in our mouth in various shapes & sizes for unique functions.
Why 32 ?
One remez ( hint) is the gematria of 32 to remind us to be truthful - say what you mean & mean what you say. Keep your heart & mouth in line with each other.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wonders 4 -Dual purposes

Why did Hashem create the same mouth with the capacity to serve as a speaking machine & as an eating tool ?
There seem to be possible dangers in this arrangement if a person is not careful to fulfill the Halachic obligation
Not to talk while chewing food , for it could cause choking if food gets into the windpipe.
Why did Hashem position the windpipe next to the foodpipe in the first place ?
We can ask a question , which is more important eating or speaking ?
A person cannot live without eating , but what happens if we avoid speaking ? If someone refrains from eating for a day they would become weak , if someone refrains from speech they may become wiser.
The way the Talmud ( taanis 5b) puts it - one may not speak while chewing food because the windpipe may open & lead to danger.
We can say that Hashem did this to train & remind us - to always think before speaking - will these words lead to danger ??
Mishlei (18) teaches - life & death are in the hands of the tongue.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wonders 3 -Miracle Tongue

Loshon (tongue ) is from the word Losh which means to knead. The tongue serves to mash & knead food , Rav Miller ztl.
It is a muscular wonder which accomplishes many unique juggling movements & serves as a conveyor belt to deliver food into the foodpipe.
We need to thank Hashem regularly for a healthy tongue & commit ourselves to using it properly , only to mash food not people.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Wonders 2

From my body I can see & perceive my Creator - Iyov 19:26.
As we put food into our mouth ,we experience many programs that are activated by Hashems profound wisdom.
One process is called Saliva which provides many benefits , including :
- the mouth is always kept somewhat moist for many reasons.
- When food is put in to the mouth 6 salivary glands begin to produce & pump in a flood of saliva from 6 factories which produce the marvelous fluid.
( Why 6 ? Perhaps they correspond to the 6 constant Mitzvos which we should learn & keep fluent in our mouths regularly ).
- It breaks down starches to begin the digestive process.
- It makes food slippery so that it goes goes down smoothly.
- It also contains chemicals which destroy many germs to help us stay healthy.
- It also stimulates the taste buds to help us enjoy the food more.
- It helps us speak more clearly.
- It helps keep the mouth & teeth clean.
* the hebrew word Rok for saliva also means Rak , only because the saliva helps to isolate the food & purify it for our benefit.
Hashem who created all of this please heal a complete & speedy recovery to Ariel Lior ben Tuvya hakohen among others in need.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

New Series -Seeing Hashems World - w. 1

Raise up your eyes to see ,
Who created these ? Yeshaya 40:26

Secret of Survival
Fruit pits & seeds
Consider how can a person duplicate oneself so that you can continue even after 120 years ?
The obvious solution for people is to get married & have children , but what can poor fruit trees do who cannot even take a walk up the block ?
Hashem has a solution to tempt people to walk away with some delicious fruit , while hidden inside are some seeds.
But then a person might eat it all up ? Another clever solution - Hashem designed a rock hard peach pit to protect the seed. !
Ha ! People will throw them away as Hashem has planned. But how will the seed get out ?
Hashem made a superglue that keeps the seams of a pit together until it dissolves in the ground.
Wonders of Hashem - see them & thank the Inventor.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Step 101 - the Greatest Service

We have arrived , with Hashems help to the goal of 101 times of reviewing the lesson
On the path one is determined to go , Hashem will lead him.
The Talmud says that studying a lesson 101 times renders a person into a servant of Hashem. It ingrains the lesson to the point of this is what I want , this is who I have become.
Now we can start to review from the beginning to strive for even greater heights.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 100 - you

Seventh Word
Oso - him
We go back to the person who will succeed with Hashems help.
Dovid hamelech would always pray (Tehilim 27 ):
There is one request I have always asked of Hashem , that is what I will continue to seek -
This is a model of , On the path one is determined to go ,
He continues
I want to be in Hashems house all the days of my life -
Closeness to Hashem is the greatest goal in life...
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Divine Assistance - s. 99

Sixth Word
Molichin - they lead him
Without Divine help it is impossible to succeed , Kiddushin 30b.
* If I am not for myself who will be ?
When I am for myself , what value is it - without Hashems help ?
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

No Alternatives - S. 98

Fifth word
Boh - in it. Decide on the right way for now & focus without options.
The Chazon Ish writes in his letters ( 3:149) that one who does not want to observe Shabos may not be able to make ends meet without working on that holiest of days (G-d forbid ).
Rav Shteinman shlita explains that it is based on the principle of our book. In Heaven they deal with a person based on his behavior. As soon as he decides to keep shabos his income will increase to manage comfortably without any desecration of Shabos. On the path one chooses to go , he will enjoy Hashems help.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Mitzva Count - Chukas

There are 3 action Mitzvos
- Laws of processing a Red Cow

- Laws of tumah- ritual impurity caused by a dead body.

- How to purify with the sprinkling of water with ashes of the Red Cow.

Theme of the purpose of life to improve & purify oneself to always come closer to Hashem , His Torah & Mitzvos.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Action - Step 97

Fourth Word
Lelech - to go. Make a definite decision to get going now. Get on the road with your map of directions , ready to go.
* Say less & do more - Avos 1:15
* action is the ikor - the main ingredient. Avos 1:17.
If opportunities don't seem to be knocking , you may have forgotten to say your prayers.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Defining Desire - step 96

The Third Word
The key is to develop a burning , compelling desire. In Avos ch. 5 we learn " Run as a deer to fulfill the desire of your Father in Heaven.
What does this mean ? Can a person run as fast as a deer ?
The answer is a deer is completely focused on its goal to chase after food or to flee its enemy. It runs with a full , determined exclusive intensity which we can learn to develop & apply at our own pace.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.