Archive for January 2013


by Rabbi Hirsh M. Chinn

It seems that only yesterday, the world came into existence on Shabbos Breishis. Our Avos and Ima’os “brought” Hashem into this world during the past nine parshiyos, and now we say farewell to Yaakov Avinu. We bring this first stage of our national development to a close. Vayichi-Chazak.

As Jacob nears his death, his son Joseph brings his children, Menashe and Ephraim to him for a blessing. וַיְבָרְכֵם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, לֵאמוֹר, בְּךָ יְבָרֵךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר, יְשִׂמְךָ אֱלֹהִיםכְּאֶפְרַיִם וְכִמְנַשֶּׁה And he blessed them that day, saying: ‘By you shall Israel bless, saying: G-d make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.’ The second half of the sentence is well known and often discussed. But what about those two words, בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא” – that day” ? Also, what does “לֵאמוֹר -saying” mean? Say what?

Rabbi Shlomo Leib of Lantshia ( student of the P’shischar), wrote that Yaakov blessed them with “bitachon”- trust in the Divine, to have security in Hashem’s care for each “today” without fear for tomorrow. “לֵאמוֹר -saying” that they should be accustomed to say ברוך ה’ יום יום, “Blessed is Hashem for each day”. So often we are so concerned about the future that we are unable to live in and appreciate the present, with the gifts that we have been blessed. What a wonderful bracha it is to be able to enjoy what I have, each “today” and to be appreciative for each “one day at a time”.

Chanukah – Miketz

by Rabbi Hirsh M. Chinn

In Parshas Miketz, the story opens with וַיְהִי מִקֵּץ שְׁנָתַיִם יָמִים “And it came to pass at the end of two full years” (literally : two years of days) Why the additional “of days”? Someone who lives a spiritually connected life tries to make each day constructive. Each day of connecting with a force and a source greater than ourselves, develops the person/mensch, one day at a time and these days add up becoming months and years. Yosef completed a period of two years – one day at a time.

This idea is reflected in the lights of the menorah that we light, following the opinion of Beis Hillel, 1,2,3 etc . We celebrate the days of miracles that we have experienced. We don’t light 8,7,6, etc. looking at the amount of miraculous days remaining. People living in recovery from any illness learn to celebrate the days that they “have” not what is ahead. Ask any “old-timer” in recovery and you will hear that all the “years” of sobriety are all made up of each “today”.

Perhaps this too is hinted to, when the Torah says that Avraham died וְאַבְרָהָם זָקֵן, בָּא בַּיָּמִים – And Avraham was old, (literally) coming with his days. Growing each day.