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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.

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Behar 5779
Emor 5779
Kedoshim 5779
Acharei Mos 5779
Metzora - PEsach 5779

Metzora - PEsach 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 Metzora - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVbGo4rzq9k The Parsha of Purity


This week's Parsha of Metzora has been over shadowed by the upcoming festival of Pesach.

Matzah is referred to in the Zohar as the bread of faith. One's faith is increased when one eats matzah at the first seder. If one were to perform an analysis of matzah, utilizing various scientific methods, one would not find anything so remarkable about it. It is just flour and water. That however, is what makes it so remarkable. Bread contains many ingredients. These enhance the flavor of the bread. Matzah, on the other hand, either tastes like cardboard or wallpaper paste, depending on the brand. The sense of taste is rooted deep within the brain. The nerve sensors that pick up taste transmit impulses to the pleasure center. Taste therefore, relates to intellect. Matzah, having no taste, relates to a higher and deeper level of the subconscious. That level of psyche is the deep root source of our belief in G'd. By consuming Matzah, we nourish our id, or as I like to call it, our Yid.

Towards the end of the Hagadda, we describe the matzah and we ask, Matzah zu, al shum mah, literally, this matzah, why do we eat it? The expression can be translated, "This matzah is for the sake of Mah." The word mah in Hebrew is its own antonym. Mah means "what?" and also "that". The word mah is usually described in the Kaballa to refer to the faculty of wisdom. Wisdom is the initial flash of brilliance that is the beginning of every idea. It is in essence nothing more than a potential and therefore nothing - a what. Because it will eventually develop into a complete concept, it is therefore the totality of everything; the absolute something. The Almighty can be described as non-dimensional as well as infinitely dimensional. By eating matzah, which has no taste, we tap into that state. When one touches that quintessential level of mah, they have gone out of their personal Egypt.

Our sages tell us that every generation must consider themselves as having left Egypt. Egypt, Mitzrayim in Hebrew, means limitations. By touching the infinite, we achieve the ultimate exodus of our own limitations. Our personal Egypt is manifest when we say, "I can't do that." If a situation arises, the Almighty trusts us and, even more important, gives us the strength and talents to accomplish that feat. We just have to tap into those talents by overpowering our own shortcomings.


Rabbi Yitschok Vorst, now the head shliach in Holland, received a phone call from Lubavitch Headquarters some 40 years ago. Rabbi Hadokov, the Rebbe's secretary, informed him that the Rebbe want him to go to____________ and give shmura matzah, the special hand-made matzah, to the Jew that lived in that town. The young shliach asked the Rabbi the name of this Jew and was informed that the Rebbe did not mention any names. He assured him, though, that he would be able to locate him once he got to town. Rabbi Vorst attempted to explain to Rabbi Hadokov that that town was many hours drive from Amsterdam. He was busy making preparations for his first communal Seder in Holland. He was busy distributing matzahs and besides, he did not believe there were any Jews located there anyway. Rabbi Hadokov was adamant. The Rebbe said that he should leave tomorrow for this town. There was no choice.

Rabbi Vorst packed a lunch, checked the oil of his car and spent the day traveling to this secluded town. Once there, he spent hours looking, searching and asking for any Jews in town, all to no avail. He finally decided that the trip was a total waste of time and went to fill his car with petrol for the return trip. The gas station attendant asked the rabbi what had brought him to town. Upon hearing his story, the attendant replied that he believed that the local butcher was indeed Jewish. With nothing to lose, Rabbi Vorst made his way to the shop. As he walked into the butcher shop, the man took one look at him and fainted. When he revived, he told Rabbi Vorst the following story:

His mother and he were the only surviving relatives after the war. They moved to this secluded part of Holland to avoid further persecution. On her deathbed, his mother made him swear never to marry a non Jewish girl and always be true to his faith. That had been five years prior. For the last several months, the local priest had frequented his shop and began proselytizing him. They would enter into long discussions, but for this man, conversion was out of the question. One of the arguments put forth by the priest was that G'd had abandoned him. He was the only Jew left and should therefore convert. Finally, after several months the young man agreed to be baptized, but wanted three days to think it over further. He left the priest confused and depressed. How could he abandon his faith? How could he renege on the vow he made to his mother? He cried bitterly. Finally, he called out to the Almighty, "I will wait for you, dear G'd, to show me a sign that you are still watching over me. If I do not see anything from you by 6:00 PM on the third day, I will convert!"

Then the man cried. For three days, he became more morose. He found work impossible. The third day had arrived and still no sign. The man spent the day looking at the clock. He took a break at lunchtime and again beseeched Hashem. There was less than six hours before he would agree to convert. The man turned and prayed again during his 3:00 break. There was less than three hours. If he did not see some sign indicating that the G'd of the Jews still cared for him, he would be baptized. At the minute hand passed the 5:00 mark, the man was besides himself. Perhaps the priest was right after all. Maybe it would be better for him to convert. The minutes ticked on. Each one felt like an entire hour. As 5:45, he began closing the store. At 5:55 PM Rabbi Yitschok Vorst, the new shliach of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Holland, walked into this man's store.

After hearing this story, Rabbi Vorst begged the man to come back with him to Amsterdam and spend Passover. The man agreed. Every step of the way was a new beginning for this man. He had never been exposed to Judaism as his mother wanted to hide him from it. After Pesach, he thanked the Rabbi and left.

Twenty-five years later, Rabbi Vorst traveled to Jerusalem for the wedding of a relative. He was praying devoutly at the wall, deep in concentration when he heard his name called and felt a hearty slap across his back. He turned and saw a very large, burly man. The man asked him in Dutch, "Rabbi, don't you recognize me, I am so and so from the town of ____________. I spent Pesach in your house one year. Now I live in Jerusalem with my family. I owe everything to you."

Sometimes, it is possible to make a deal with the Almighty.


Tune into the JEWISH HOUR - Detroit's only Jewish radio program, with your host, Herschel Finman. Sundays 11:00 - Noon on WLQV 92.7 FM/ 1500 AM - Detroit and www.rabbifinman.com. Now available at the iTunes store (free of course) and on your smartphone - download the free stitcher app.

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