Pasuk: (26:3)

"If you will follow My decrees and observe My commandments..."

Rashi on the Pasuk writes that if we follow Hashem's decrees by engaging ourselves in the study of Torah, with the goal of studying in order to keep all of Hashem's commandments, we will thus merit the blessings which follow.

There is more than meets the eye:

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Rav Henach Leibowitz explains that, the study of Torah is what brings one to the understanding of how to properly serve Hashem.

The Torah was given to us at Har Sinai, and it is a blueprint for the creation of the world, it is the guidebook of our lives.

The Torah contains much more than the "code of laws", it gives us the knowledge that we each need in order to perfect both our Mitzvos and Midos.

Each one of us has to spend time to get a greater understanding of the Torah, and to set aside the maximum amount of time that we can, to gain a better and greater understanding of the Torah.

If we put aside an hour a day, we have to make sure to get the most out of this time, and let at least this minimal amount of time, be qualitative. For even if a person will spend day and night studying Torah, and he wouldn't waste any of the time, one will be held accountable if he does not attain as deep as a level of learning or as profound an understanding that he is capable of attaining.

Share with others:

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Rav Chaim Shmulevitz writes that one is not only required to be concerned about his Torah growth only, he is also required to teach and learn with others to increase his friends growth also.

By learning with others such as a Chavrusa, each person gains a greater knowledge in Torah, which he himself may have not been able to attain before.

Be a part of it:

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Rav E. Dessler explains that this Pasuk is coming to teach us that when a person spends his time and puts his effort into something, one starts to feel connected to this thing, all according to the amount of effort one puts into it.

The more one puts into it, the more one feels closer to it.

When a person plants a tree, and than he constantly waters it and tries to put in all he can for the tree to grow, he becomes tied to this tree, and he feels pride and love for this tree.

For since he has invested his time and effort into this tree, he sees it as part of him.

If this is true in the physical realm, it is definitely true in the spiritual realm. The more one tries to reach a higher spiritual level, the more it becomes part of his soul, a part of him.

If one puts effort into his Torah learning, it becomes part of his life, and he then can live a Torah way of living.

Yeshiva - After sitting & learning one also has to know how to walk:

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When Bnei Yisroel said that they were willing to accept the Torah, they said "Naaseh V'Nishma". (we will do, and we will listen).

Rav Nebenzhal says that one's time which he spends learning in Yeshiva is the "Nishma" part of the Torah acceptance.

One must spend his time learning, trying to absorb as much Torah as he can. If one does so, he can then obtain also the level of "Naaseh".

Naaseh which brings one to be able to pass the Torah on to others, and bring others a taste of the Torah.

Rav Yakov Neiman (Sefer Darcei Mussar) writes in the name of the son of the "Sabba from Kelm", who gave a parable as follows:

There was a group of people sitting down together at a restaurant. They drank, ate, and talked together for some time.

They all seemed to be taking part in the conversation. Once they finished, they all got up to leave, except for one of the people in the group. He just stayed in his place.

They didn't understand why he didn't get up to leave, till they looked towards the floor, and realized to their shock, that this man had no feet.

When they were all sitting together at the table, no one realized this, till they got up to leave.

For when one sits and learns in a Yeshiva, all the Talmidim are learning together and they build an atmosphere of Torah learning. One sees all these Talmidim as a group, all involved in learning Torah.

However, when they get up, and go out to the "big world". Then one recognizes differences between one Talmid and the other. Then one realizes who has the feet to stand on, and who is the one who falls even from a light breeze.

Thus the Torah tells us in this weeks Parsha, "If you 'go' in my decrees", we are supposed to be able to 'go' with the Torah, and we should not be embarrassed by scoffers. One has to walk with the Torah, even when he leaves the four walls of his Yeshiva.

The Sefer Ohr Hachaim writes that the word "Teileichu" is used to show that one must learn Torah even when he is on his way, even when he is traveling.

One has many opportunities to open a Sefer and learn a bit.

For example, when one is standing in line in a supermarket, or waiting for a doctors appointment, or even waiting for someone to meet them.

It doesn't mean that one necessarily has to take a Gemarah with him He can take a Chumash, or a Mishnayot, which one can learn in a short amount of time.

Even when one is driving a car, he can still listen to a Torah tape while he is driving.

Each one of us can "Walk with the Torah", everyone at his own level.

Halacha Byte:

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Lag B' Omer:

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This year the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer, comes out on a Tuesday, the 18th of Iyar. Lag B'Omer can only occur on the following days of the week: Sun,Tue,Thur,or Friday. It occurs on the same day of the week as the day of Purim before it, fell out.

This day is considered a partial festival, and thus one does not say Tachnun on this day. The reason for Lag B'Omer being considered a partial festival, is because it was on this day that the disciples of Rabi Akiva stopped dieing(according to one opinion), also the Mahn started to fall for the Bnei Yisroel on this day.

And finally, this day is the day which Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai passed away, and it was made known that his will was that on this day we should have more Simcha (happiness). On this day, he gave over to his Talmidim, Kabbalistic secrets which were written down afterwards in the Sefer Zohar. This brought a lot of light to the world. This is also part of the reason that there are many people who make bon-fires and light candles on this day, to increase the light of the that day.

(Their are different opinions on the above)

What day is it today?

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What happens if you say on the 33rd night of the Omer, today is Lag bomer, before you counted the Sefira?

So if it was said in this manner without intent on counting the Sefira, one may still count with a Bracha.

The Sefer Piskei Teshuvos (pg 280) writes that it is best to make a condition before the days of Sefiras Ha Omer (or during), that each time one may mention the counting of that day, without the intent of performing the Mitzvah, his knowledge and will is not to be Yotzay with that counting.

Carob:

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There are those who eat Charubim (Carob) on this day.

Haircut at 3:

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There are also those who have the Minhag to cut the hair of little boys who have reached the age of 3, making sure to leave their Payos (side burns). In order to teach them about the Mitzvah of not cutting of Payos. This procedure is called "Chalaka".

Bow & Arrow:

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Where did the bow & arrow come from?

There are a few opinions for this Minhag, one of them is that it is a sign of remembering that this day is also the "Hilula" (the day he passed away) of Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai, for it is said that during his lifetime, there was no rainbow seen in the sky, through his merit (for the rainbow is a bad sign). (In hebrew "Keshet" - means rainbow and bow)

Restrictions:

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The restrictions of mourning which we have during Sefiras HaOmer, do not apply on this day.

Therefore, haircuts, weddings, shaving, music, are all permitted.

There are those who say that one must wait till the daytime, and not do these restrictions at night. (The above is only concerning Ashkenazim and not Sefardim. Others say that restrictions are only allowed the 34th day of the Omer and on).

The Ramah brings down, that if Lag B'Omer comes out on Sunday, one is allowed to shave already on Erev Shabbos, for the honor of Shabbos.

We don't say Tachnun from the Mincha before the 33rd of the Omer.

Thus already on Monday by Mincha we don't say Tachnun, also on Lag B'Omer, we don't say Tachnun.

(Sefer Otzar Taamei Haminhagim, Sefer Otzar Dinim U'Minhagim)