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Back in 1996, Rabbi Finman was asked to speak to the niece of one of his students. After spending many hours answering her questions, the woman gave Rabbi Finman her e-mail address. Rabbi Finman wrote the woman a note and included in it a short insight into that week's Parsha and a short Chasidic story.

Realizing that this was something no one was yet doing,, Rabbi Finman sent the missive to his mailing list of about 30 people. Requests from recipients friends came pouring in. The next week Rabbi Finman sent the e-Parsha to 100 people. Within a year more than 2000 people were receiving it. Today, more than 14,000 receive the e-Parsha weekly and the requests keep coming in.

Yisro 5778
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Beshalach 5778

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In memory of Bennie Magy - Bentziyon ben Avraham v Elke Magy, who passed away Menachem Av 22, 5749 - August 23, 1989 and Rose Magy - Rivka Rayzel Bat Chayim Yaakov v'Chaya Tertza Arbit, who passed away Tamuz 2, 5765 - July 9, 2005. May their souls experience a lichtiger Gan Eden - an illuminated Garden of Eden and may their family only experience Simchas from now on. Sponsored by their son Paul Magy - Birmingham, Michigan.

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This week's YouParsha Beshalach - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EACoRAxwpKk

Hashem is a Man of War

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This week's Parsha is B'shalach, Exodus 13:17 - 17. It features the continuing story of the Jewish people leaving Egypt, the splitting of the Reed Sea, the manna, the commandment of Shabbos, and the first war with Amalek. The Portion begins by specifically mentioning that the Jewish people left Egypt armed. Everything in Torah is exact and we can learn a valuable lesson from every detail of the Torah.

Rashi, the classic Bible commentator, explains that it was necessary to mention that the Jews were armed because they would later engage in wars against Amalek, Sichon, Og and etc. To preclude one from asking how were the Jewish people able to wage war, the Torah mentions, here, that they were armed. Other commentaries mention that the armaments of the Jewish people were the Aron Hakodesh - the Holy Ark, containing the tablets which Moshe received from Sinai and the coffin of Joseph for which Moshe was personally responsible.

These two boxes, the aron of the tablets and the coffin of Yosef, describe the Jewish people's relationship with the world. The aron was the epitome of holiness. Its very existence was miraculous. It was a simple cedar box overlaid with gold, yet it carried the sapphire tablets, which surely weighed several tons. This very heavy box was carried by four individuals; a physically impossible feat. Our sages tell us that the aron carried itself. The four individuals were to make it appear as though a natural occurrence was transpiring. This aron preceded the army of the Jews into battle. Hashem told Moshe, "Do not worry about the approaching Egyptian army. I will fight them for you, you be quiet."

Hashem fights our present day battles, as well. We, thank G'd, live in a world where it is possible to display our Judaism publicly by wearing a yarmulke, keeping kosher, Shabbos, etc. A person may feel intimidated by their surroundings, feeling embarrassed, overwhelmed and even safer if they hide their Jewishness. The Almighty informs us, "Be quiet, I will fight your battles."

Understanding that the coffin of Yosef was Moshe's responsibility is as follows: Yosef was called Yosef because, "I see that Hashem will add for me another son." Add and Yosef have the same Hebrew root. The job of Yosef was to convert the "another" of the world, meaning the forces of evil and those things antithetical to holiness into a "son" of Our Father in Heaven. Moshe, as leader, was responsible that the Jewish people maintained their strict level of holiness. Only then, were they able to be successful in their "battles". We too, must engage in this holy war. We are demanded to change the "another" within us, meaning our desires for the unholy to a "son", of our Father, our King.

The word used in the Parsha for armed is "chamushim". It is related to the word five. We are told that only one fifth of the Jewish population actually left Egypt. The rest died during the plague of darkness. The verse can be interpreted to mean that the Jewish people left Egypt "Fifthed". Chamushim is also related to the word Chumashim - Pentateuch. Only those prepared to act in accordance with Jewish demands were worthy of leaving Egypt and receiving the Torah on Sinai.

With the advent of Moshiach, all Jews will be redeemed from this exile. All Jews with be worthy of being included. There will not be one fifth, but five fifths, totally and completely "armed" and ready for "battle". Let us hope that his arrival is NOW!

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The Alter Rebbe was not given kosher food at the onset of his incarceration in 1796. After three days, the prison guards assume that their prisoner was engaged in a hunger strike. As prison mandates dictated, the guards attempted to force feed him on the fourth day, but were unable to open the rabbi's mouth. The supervisor was passing by the cell. Upon hearing the commotion, he entered the cell and ordered the guards to cease, as the Alter Rebbe was a distinguished prisoner.

The supervisor asked the Rebbe why he had undertaken a hunger strike. The Rebbe responded that he was not striking but had not been given kosher food. The supervisor made arrangements for food to be brought in.

The supervisor inquired of the Rebbe, "How is it possible that four burley Russian guards could not open the mouth of a 52 year old Rabbi?" The Alter Rebbe responded, "My mouth does not open for unkosher food."

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Tune into the JEWISH HOUR - Detroit's only Jewish radio program, with your host, Herschel Finman. Sundays 11:00 - Noon on WLQV 1500 AM - Detroit and www.faithtalk1500.com. Now available at the iTunes store (free of course) and on your smartphone - download the free stitcher app.

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