Parshas Bereishis:
 By: Yaacov Silverstein
e@mail: hm16@popeye.cc.biu.ac.il
HomePage: http://faculty.biu.ac.il/~hm16/webreb.htm

Parshas Bereishis:

Pasuk (4:2-4:24)

There is a Midrash Tanchuma that states that Havel, the shepherd brought a sacrifice to Hashem using wool of his first born sheep. While Kayin the farmer, brought flax.

We know that Havel's offering was accepted and Kayin's was not.

The Chizkuni explains that Hashem rejected Kayin's offering, for unlike Havel's, Kayin did not give his first grown produce. While Havel brought wool from his first born sheep.

By one bringing his first, he shows his faith in Hashem, that everything comes only from Hashem.

Hashem than asked Kayin why he was down, and Hashem hinted to Kayin that he can correct his ways, by bringing another offering to Hashem with the proper intentions.

When one has done a wrong or has made a mistake, he is not supposed to dwell on his mistake, but he should rather concentrate instead on how he can correct the wrong doing for now and in the future.

One has to make sure that he is not ruled by his passions, yet he must listen to his intellect. (Rav Michel Barenbaum)

Rav Dovid Povarski brings down that Hashem asks Kayin why he is down in spirit, yet asks Rav Dovid, there was good reason for Kayin to be down, for Hashem did not accept his offering?

So he explains that it depends why a person is down, if a person is down because he didn't reach a level that he wanted to reach, like when one learns Torah, than a person should be in sorrow and try to correct his ways.

Yet here by Kayin, he was down because his brothers offering was accepted, for this, there is reason to ask on Kayin why he was in sorrow.

As Rabbi Pliskin writes, that if one feels guilty when he makes a mistake, he should not wallow in his self-pity, yet the fact that he feels guilt, shows that one does have an idea how he should act, and he should try to correct his mistakes for the future.

Kayin was really the first to bring a Korban to Hashem, which is a very big thing. Yet since Hashem didn't accept his Korban, his face fell, therefore in this low state, the evil inclination was able to enter into him and push him to an extreme.

We should also be careful that when we do a Mitzvah, and it seems to us that Hashem did not accept our Mitzvah, or that a bad thing happened to us while doing the Mitzvah, we shouldn't be down.

We should ask ourselves, maybe I didn't have the right intentions in doing the Mitzvah, and if on had the right intentions, than he should accept his test that Hashem has placed upon him.

As Rav Chaim Shmulevitz writes, one must be very careful and constantly on his guard when he feels that since he is undergoing a period of spiritual descent, not to lose himself completely. One must catch himself on his descent downwards and not lose his self-control. By doing this he then has the ability to regain his former level, and maybe even climb to a greater height .

He brings the example of Shlomo Hamelech who fell from being king, to a simple pauper. Yet Chazal explain that Shlomo was king over his cane. Shlomo Hamlech was very wise, so he devised a way to cushion his downfall, and at the end he gained ruler ship again over Klal Yisroel.

The Midrash Tanchuma writes that since Kayin killed Havel out of jealousy, the mixture of wool and linen is forbidden. For Hashem said that it is not fit that the offering of a sinner (flax) should be mixed with a righteous person (wool).

Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn brings down an Arizal that discusses that the Torah does require that there is a person who is commanded to wear Shatnez. This is found by the Kohen Gadol. For the Kohen Gadol is like Ahron, who is known to have the special trait of "Ohev Shalom U Rodeif Shalom."

For the Kohen Gadol undoes that which Kayin and Havel came to represent.

Pasuk (3:19)

We know that after Adam and Chava sinned by eating from the "tree of knowledge", Hashem than told Adam that he will have to work the land "By the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread...".

This curse does not apply on Shabbos.

For we see a Rashi on the Pasuk (2:3) that Hashem blessed the 7th day.

Rashi explains this to mean that, Hashem blessed the Maan that fell in the dessert. And he writes that it is teaching us about the future.

Comes Rav Dovid Feinstein and asks, what does Rashi mean by the future, now we don't have Maan?

So he answers that Adam's curse does not apply on Shabbos, for as the Gemarah says in Beitza (16a) that no matter how much one spends in honor of the Shabbos, it will not be subtracted from what we are allotted on Rosh Hashana. Therefore this blessing of the 7th day still remains with us today, we work for six days, in order to earn food for 7 days.

Rav P.J. Krohn brings down a Michtav MeEliyahu (vol 1 pg 187), that each one of us has to work today to a certain degree, in order to sustain oneself in this world. We have to do this because of the eating from the tree. Yet we must still make sure that this punishment that we have, does not become the primary reason for our living.

For at times, ones means to reach the goal, turns into the goal itself.

Yet we must work just the amount that is needed, and spend most of our time learning Torah and in pursuit of Mitzvos.

Rav Yisocher Frand brings down an interesting perspective from my late Rosh Hayeshiva Rav Chaim Yakov Goldvicht zt"l, from Yeshivas Kerem B' Yavneh.

Rav Goldvicht zt"l, said that "The work that one must do does not have a direct effect on the bread that one may bring home.

A lot of times, one may toil endlessly on working or on a certain project, yet ones 'bread' that comes out of his toil (sweat), comes from a totally different source."

Each person must do his "sweat of the brow", yet it is through the independent blessing from Hashem that we eat our bread.



This weeks Parsha writes that in Pasuk(2:1) "Vayechulu Hashamayim Veh ha-aretz..." after the six days of creation, Hashem abstained from doing work.

I will discuss hear a few Halachos that apply to the repetition of Vayechulu on Friday night, after ones Shmonei Esrei.

* The whole congregation says it together in a middle tone (not loud and not in a whisper - Tsitz Eliezer).

* The reason for the repetition of Vayechulu, even though one already said it in his silent Shmonei Esrei, is because on Yom Tov that falls on a Shabbos, one does not say Vayechulu in the silent Shmonei Esrei, thus, because of this, we say it every Shabbos after Shmonei Esrei. (Mishneh Berurah.)

In the case of where Pesach falls out on Shabbos, and there are those that read Hallel at night, they are first supposed to say Vayechulu than Hallel, since it is more frequent.

There are those that explain that the repetition of Vayechulu is in order to be Motzei those that don't know how to say it by themselves.

* It is preferred to say Vayechulu standing, for it is like one is giving testimony. The Ramah brings down that one may lean on a table or bench, which one is not allowed to do when one is usually required to stand.

The Ramah explains that by testimony, one is allowed to lean on something, therefore the same applies here.

* One should try to say Vayechulu with the Tzibur, and if he is unable, he should at least try to say it with another person, for testimony is given with two people.

The Chazon Ish brings down that one does not have to look for a second person in order to say Vayechulu, for it may look like he is Ma-amid witnesses about the creation of the world.

He also says that one should not rush through his Tefilah in order to say Vayechulu with the Tzibur. However, he does write that when it comes to a Yom Tov that falls out on Shabbos, since one does not say Vayechulu in his silent Shmonei Esrei, he is not sure that if in this case one should Daven faster or not (he leaves it in "Tzarich Iyun").

There are those that say that if one missed the Tzibur and he can't find a second person, he should not say Vayechulu alone. So the Mishneh Berurah says that in this case it is best to say Vayechulu, yet he should not have in his mind that he is saying it for testimony, but as one reads the Torah. It is also preferred to stand (some seem to say that in this case one doesn't have to stand.)

* If one reaches Vayechulu in Shmonei Esrei, the same time that the congsays Vayechulu, he is allowed to say it out-loud with the Tzibur, yet he should still say Vayechulu after Shmonei Esrei. ( For the Mishneh Berurah brings down that one is supposed to say it three times.)

The above is not to be taken as final Halacha, yet only L'Hagdil Torah, for final Psak, please ask your Local Reliable Orthodox Rabbi.

The above Halacha Byte was taken from the Sefer "Ishei Yisrael", by Rav Avraham Yeshayahu Foyfer.