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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.

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Vaera 5779

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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.


This week's YouParsha Vaera - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkrjshmwqfE Moshe as King


Parshas Vaera, Exodus 6-9, features seven of the 10 plagues. Hashem lifted Moshe above the heaven in order to bring about the plague of hail. Why specifically with this plague was Moshe lifted?

The hail in Egypt was unusual. Inside each giant hailstone was a flame. When the hail would hit the ground, it would break open and cause a fire. The heaven is comprised of water and fire as Rashi comments in the beginning of Genesis that the world Shomayim - heaven is a contraction of the words aish umayim - fire and water. The very existence of the heaven is a miraculous conjoining of two opposing forces. The hail, coming from heaven, was a physical manifestation of the miracle.

If the purpose of the hail was to destroy crops when it hit the ground, why was the extra miracle of fire needed? The plague was mida k'neged mida - a payback. The Egyptians were cold towards spirituality and hot towards physical pleasures. There were plenty of resources for their personal needs. When helping others, however, they were cold as ice.


By Chaya Sarah Silberberg

When the Russian Army approached Auschwitz in the beginning of 1945, the Nazis evacuated the death camp. The inmates were forced to march towards Germany, on what would become known as the Death March. The Nazis shot anyone who fell behind, could no longer walk (and there were so many) or just because. More than 15,000 are estimated to have died on this march.

A young girl from Auschwitz survived the march, and ended up in Neustat Gleve, near Frankfurt-on-Maine in Germany. It was officially a "work camp" but she was very sick, probably with typhus, running a high temperature and barely able to move, and certainly in no condition to work. The Jewish woman in charge of the barracks suggested that she go to the Infirmary; if she was registered in the Infirmary, she would be exempt from work.

The Infirmary was a distance of about three blocks from the barracks, but in her feverish and emaciated state, it took the girl almost two hours to get there. When she arrived, she saw the patients, half-dead, lying naked on the cots. When a patient came to the Infirmary, the doctors would take their filthy clothes and burn them. The girl had a nightgown in the barracks that she had somehow salvaged from Auschwitz. There was no way she would lie there naked, so she turned around and dragged her weakened body back to the barracks - another two hours - to retrieve the precious garment.

The barracks leader saw her and suggested that she lie down to rest a while before she returned to the Infirmary. Since the girl had no strength to move anyway, she took this advice. A short while later the barracks leader returned and told her that there was no longer any need to return to the Infirmary. The Nazis had taken out all the patients and murdered them.

Less than a month later, the girl was liberated. She lived to marry, have children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The girl is my mother, Perel Schulkind, may she live and be well.


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