This Dvar Torah was prepared in the merit and memory of my grandfather: Rav Yitzchak Zev Ben Yisroel Mordechai HaKohen Solomon
This weeks Parsha mentions the commandment which
Hashem gave over to Moshe, about blessing the nation, Birchas
The Kohanim were given this special privilege, where
they blessed the nation in the Beis HaMikdash, and they continue
to bless the nation even today.
If we take a look at Rashi on the first part of the
priestly blessing, he explains this blessing as a blessing for
money, and that Hashem will protect our money from robbers and
The obvious question that one may have is, isn't
it preferable to first be guarded from dangers and than being
blessed with wealth?
So Rav Shimson R. Hirsch explains that the Sifre, which is who Rashi bases his explanation on, chose that the Pasuk here is talking about material blessing and not spiritual blessing, because of the fact that this Pasuk ends off that Hashem will protect us. Thus we are dealing with a blessing which needs protection even after it was granted to us.
When dealing with a spiritual blessing, the blessing
is only protected according to the spiritual worthiness of the
recipients, however material blessings are always subject to outside
dangers. (Stone Chumash)
The Divrei Yechezkel brings down that the order is the opposite than what we would expect, for the danger here is not specifically talking about a physical danger. Because when a person is blessed with wealth, one may find that this blessing may actually bring his downfall.
Thus the Kohen blesses us with money, but continues
in his blessing that we should not have any spiritual downfalls
due to the money.
It's the thought that counts:
Rav Leff brings the Gemarah, where there were 3 Tanayim
discussing about the Romans, if what they built (bath houses,
markets...) is a merit in their name, or not.
Rav Yehuda - Praised them for it.
Rav Yosi - was quiet.
Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai - said they don't get any
credit, since they did it for their own enjoyment.
Someone heard their discussion and reported it to
the Romans. The Romans wanted to punish Rabi Shimon for what
he said, therefor Rav Shimon went into hiding, in a cave for 13
years (12 +1).
Rabi Shimon was in this cave alone with his son.
He survived through miracles, where Hashem brought him food into
After he survived these 13 years through miracles,
he felt that he wanted to do something for the community. There
are different opinions as to what he did. Some say he built a
bath house, some say a market, some say a coin.
What is hapening here? Wasn't he the one who went
against the Romans for doing the same?
Rav Leff explains the point behind this.
One's intentions makes all the difference. The intention is what is decisive if one is doing a Mitzvah or Aveirah.
By the Romans, they had no good intentions, so even
if they did good things, that good was not part of them.
We are supposed to use our physical blessing which
we have and use it as a garment for holiness.
Thus the physical blessing can be good, only when
one uses it for the right purposes.
A heavy load:
Rabbi P. Krohn writes, that the Olelos Ephraim explains
that the word "Massa" (load), is an acronym for 3 words.
(1) "Mamon" - Money.
(2) "Smalot" - Clothing.
(3) "Ochel" - Food.
If someone is totally preoccupied by his personal
pursuit of money, or is overly obsessed by his clothes, or always
insistent that he eat only the best of foods, this person is carrying
a heavy load that will ultimately prevent him from reaching the
top of the spiritual mountain.
We all need money, clothing and food to live in our present day and age.
It is however, the way we pursue these necessities
that determines whether one is primarily living a spiritual or
Rabbi Pliskin brings down in his book, "Growth
Through Torah", that the blessings of the Kohen is in singular
form, rather than plural.
Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov said that this shows us
the greatness of being together, for when there is Achdus (togetherness)
this in itself is a great blessing.
A river, a kettle, and a bird:
The Ksav Sofer writes, on the verse, "VeiYaseim
Lecha Shalom", there are three types of Shalom.
1) Shalom Bekneesatcha (coming)
2) Shalom Beyetsiyatcha (leaving)
3) Shalom with everyone.
There is a Gemarah in Berachos which writes that
there are three types of Shalom which one may see in a dream:
If one dreams of a kettle, a river, or a bird, he
can expect peace.
The Ksav Sofer explains that these three Shalom's,
1) Shalom Bayis
2) Shalom with your neighbors in ones community.
3) Shalom with everyone that you meet in this world.
A kettle, is something that the whole family eats out of or uses to make food, "eating out of the plate" hints to Shalom Bayis.
A river, goes further than ones house, it goes around the city, this is the
Shalom in your city, which is greater than the first type.
While a bird, has no limits, it flies all around
the world, it has no enemies. This is what Hashem wants from
These are the actual three types of peace that we
first talked about.
Shalom in your coming, when you enter your house.
Shalom in your going, amongst the people you meet everyday in your city.
Shalom, with all humans.
The best way to have Shalom, is when you see someone,
feel good in your heart about this person. This raises ones spiritual
level, and brings him closer to the "true peace".
We are told in this week's Parsha, about the blessing
which the Kohanim give to the Bnei Yisroel.
When the Kohanim bless the nation, their back is
facing the Aron Kodesh, from here the Torah Temimah brings that
this is the source which the Chachamim and Darshanim rely on,
when they speak to the congregation and their back is facing the
This shows us the greatness of Kvod HaTzibur - the respect given to the congregation.