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.
Please click on the link below to receive the e-Parsha in the way cool HTML version right to your inbox. http://visitor.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?m=1103523647591&p=oi
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.
Don't forget the YouParsha for Yisro http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P22JFg5JhiI
The Altar Must Have a Ramp
Parsha Yisro, Exodus 18 - 20, features the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people on Sinai. The Revelation on Mount Sinai was the purpose for which the world was created. G'd descended on Mount Sinai and said, "I am (anochi) the L-rd your G-d," in front of every Jewish man, woman and child, to be born throughout the millennia, The Midrash points out a curious fact: The word "anochi" is not Hebrew--it is Egyptian.
The Ten Commandments are a condensation of all the guiding principles of the Torah. Of these, the first two commandments, "I am the Lord your G'd" and "You shall have no other gods," have an even greater measure of holiness, for they were heard by the Jews directly from Hashem and not through Moses. Why, then, did G'd choose to express the most lofty of concepts, the "I," the very essence of Hashem, in a foreign tongue? Why not the Hebrew"Ani"?
In order to understand this paradox, we must first examine the purpose of the Revelation on Mount Sinai. The Torah was not given to guard the holiness contained in the Hebrew tongue; for this, no G'dly revelation would have been necessary. The Almighty descended on Mount Sinai for one reason - to enable us to elevate even the lowest and most mundane aspects of our lives and of the physical world, including the Egyptian language, the spoken words of the most corrupt and abominable nation.
Holiness existed before the Revelation, and Jews had long occupied themselves with the Torah. The innovation of the Revelation was the ability to "fuse" holiness with mundane, to imbue physical matter with spirituality. Even things that were seemingly far removed from the realm of holiness could now be used to bring G'dliness into the world.
A Jew's daily life involves elevating the physical and transforming it into a vessel for G'dliness. Prayer and Torah study enable us to reach only a limited level of spirituality; elevating that which is base and seemingly trivial, by adhering to the laws of the Torah, enables us to attain even greater heights of holiness. When we fulfill G'd's will by elevating even the "anochi," as G'd Himself did, we fulfill the purpose of the Torah and carry out the world's Divine plan.
Dovid Tennenhaus came to Quebec before World War II. He was born in Romania and had a deep appreciation for Chasidus. Nine yeshiva students arrived in Montreal in 1942 from Chang Hai (many Jews escaped the Nazi, Um"Sh, first through Lithuania then to China) and Dovid became part of their group. They urged him to go to New York and speak with the Previous Rebbe - which he did twice. During those years, Rabbi Tennnenhaus became friendly with the Rebbe's son-in-law - who would later become Rebbe.
The group came from Montreal for the Rebbe's first Yahrtzeit in 1951. Many people received private audiences (the Rebbe did not accept the position of Rebbe until the following evening). Reb Dovid presented the Rebbe with a pan hiskashrus - a pledge of commitment to the Rebbe. He asked the Rebbe quite candidly, "What do you need this whole thing for? You can sit off in a corner unnoticed and learn all day?" The Rebbe responded, "There is a difference between Polish/Hungarian Chasidim and Lubavitchers. The Polisher Rebbes do all the work and his followers "hang on". In Lubavitch, the followers must do their own work and the Rebbe acts as a guide. If only but a few Chasidim work - it will all be worth it."
(Heard from Rabbi Rafi Tennenhaus - shliach in Hollywood, Florida and son of Dovid Tennenhaus)
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