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M A Weekly Bulletin - PARACHAT VAÉRA - 25 JANVIER 2020/ 21 TEVET 5780

01/24/2020 12:08:39 PM

Jan24

M.A. WEEKLY BULLETIN  PARACHAT VAÉRA

SHABBAT TIMES
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havdalla 5:38 pm

 

 

 

PARACHAT VAÉRA ,25 JANVIER 2020/ 28 TEVET 5780
 
PÉTIHAT HAHÉKHAL : DAVID PISAREVSKY
 
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HAZKAROT :
Jamil (Gamliel) Sayegh (ZL)
Leah Romano bat Adele (ZL)
Moise Moralli(Z)
 
 
 
LA PARACHA EN BREF:

 

 

D.ieu se révèle à Moïse. Employant les « quatre expressions de délivrance », Il promet de faire sortir les Enfants d’Israël d’Égypte, de les délivrer de leur servitude, de les rédimer et d’en faire Son peuple élu au Mont Sinaï, suite à quoi Il les conduira à la terre qu’il a promise aux Patriarches en héritage éternel.

Moïse et Aharon se présentent à plusieurs reprises devant Pharaon pour exiger au nom de D.ieu « Laisse partir Mon peuple, afin qu’il puisse Me servir dans le désert », mais Pharaon refuse à chaque fois. Le bâton d’Aharon se transforme en serpent et avale les bâtons magiques des sorciers égyptiens. D.ieu envoie ensuite une série de plaies sur les Égyptiens.

Les eaux du Nil se changent en sang, des grenouilles envahissent le pays par millions, une vermine infeste hommes et bêtes. Des hordes d’animaux sauvages envahissent les villes, une maladie mortelle s’abat sur les animaux domestiques, de douloureux furoncles affligent les Égyptiens. Lors de la septième plaie, le feu et la glace se combinent dans des grêlons dévastateurs qui pleuvent du ciel. Toutefois, « le cœur de Pharaon s’endurcit et il ne voulut point laisser partir les enfants d’Israël ; comme D.ieu l’avait dit à Moïse. »

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Commentaire du Rav Sitruk zl sur la paracha Vaera
 

"Vaéra : les miracles de la sortie d'Egypte

Nous entamons dans la Torah la lecture des différentes plaies d’Egypte. Pharaon va endurcir le cœur de Pharaon et Hachem déploiera devant lui toutes les formes d’interventions pour le convaincre de laisser partir les béné-Israël de son pays.

A travers ces plaies, un des problèmes qui se pose est celui de leur caractère surnaturel, ou non. La question est de savoir : qu’est ce qu’un miracle ?

Je voudrais noter en passant qu’il y a une vingtaine d’années, des chercheurs non-juifs ont essayé de démontrer que toutes les plaies furent provoquées par l’émergence d’une île en mer ionienne (au large des côtes grecques) qui avait provoqué un mini ras de marée suivi d’un certain nombre de phénomènes : des animaux particulièrement excités, des bêtes sauvages qui se sauvent, des insectes, des sauterelles envahissant les régions humaines, etc. Il existe également des algues donnant à l’eau une coloration rouge... En d’autres termes, on tenta de prouver que toutes les plaies d’Egypte n’étaient en fait que des phénomènes naturels.
Sans le vouloir, ces savants nous ont rendu un immense service. Effectivement, la question pour nous n’est pas liée à l’aspect surnaturel du miracle. Hachem est Le maître du monde, et pour Lui, cela ne change rien d’utiliser un élément naturel ou de le transformer. Qu’est ce qu’un miracle ? C’est l’intervention de Hachem qui survient au bon moment.

Si on peut m’expliquer scientifiquement pourquoi la « mer rouge » s’est ouverte, la raison de la présence de sauterelles, de bêtes sauvages, de la grêle… cela ne me dérange pas. Parce que le miracle se place sur un autre plan : c’est le moment auquel il intervient qui compte. Lorsque Pharaon, incrédule, refusait de laisser partir le peuple juif, Moshé lui disait : « Voila ce que je ferai demain. Tu veux que cela cesse ? Ca s’arrêtera aujourd’hui si… »
En d’autres termes, le chef d’orchestre de cette mise en scène extraordinaire était Moshé Rabenou, ce prophète qui obéissait à Hachem. Le miracle est donc, par définition, un phénomène naturel qui intervient au bon moment à la demande d’un prophète. Que l’on vienne expliquer les 10 plaies d’Egypte comme étant des phénomènes naturels ne fait que conforter notre croyance.

En hébreu, le mot qui désigne le phénomène du miracle est : « pélé » (lettres « pé », « lamed », « alef »). Ces mêmes lettres, à l’envers, forment le mot « alef » qui signifie apprendre. L’essentiel étant d’apprendre, à partir d’un événement naturel, que D. seul en est l’instigateur. Il faut en avoir la conviction absolue.

Voila pourquoi aujourd’hui encore, selon nos maîtres, les miracles continuent de se dérouler sous nos yeux. Dans notre prière quotidienne « Modim », nous disons : « Nous Te remercions pour les miracles (al nisséha) que Tu nous fais soir, matin, et midi (erev, boker vetsaorayim) ». Nous avons tous les jours, dans nos vies, une quantité de miracles qui se déroulent sans que nous en soyons pleinement conscients. Finalement, nous remercions Hachem de cela : de Son intervention permanente autour de nous, quelque soit la forme qu’elle prend. Même dans un événement politique, militaire, scientifique, la main de D. est toujours présente. Il suffit d’en rechercher les implications et les conséquences.

 

 
 
Free Will

Although there are few if any direct philosophical statements in the bible regarding concepts such as free will, afterlife, providence, etc. Jews throughout the generations have tried to come up with what they believe is the proper way for a Jew to think about these and other philosophical issues. One such issue is that of free will. In this week’s parasha a classic question that is often asked is: If God hardened Pharaoh’s heart during the plagues, why was Pharaoh being punished, it wasn’t his fault that he didn’t let them go, since God affected his free will.

Many of the commentators address this question:

According to Midrash Rabbah God wanted to punish Pharaoh for the extra hard work and cruelty he imposed on Benei Yisrael. Therefore, He took away his free will.

Resh Lakish explains that when reading the Torah carefully, we find that in the first five plagues Pharaoh hardened his own heart, and only in the last five plagues, God hardens his heart. This is because God kept warning Pharaoh, and kept giving him the chance to repent. After Pharaoh refused to repent, God wanted to punish him so He hardened his heart. Accordingly, Pharaoh had free will to an extent and then lost his free will through his choices.

Ramban offers two explanations:

1) Pharaoh deserved all the plagues because of the sins he committed against Benei Yisrael, so God hardened his heart so that he would be able to strike him with all the plagues that he already deserved from before. (It is interesting to note that God tells Moshe from the very beginning to warn Pharaoh about the plague of the firstborns. This shows that all ten plagues were planned to happen from the very beginning, seemingly no matter what Pharaoh decided to do.) In this explanation free will was withheld similarly to the midrash raba above.

2) God wanted the Egyptians to recognize that God is God. When Pharaoh was begging Moshe to take Benei Yisrael out of Egypt and to stop the plagues, it was only because of the suffering he was experiencing from the plagues, not because he recognized God as the all-powerful God. So God made Pharaoh’s heart strong (courageous not stubborn) so that he wouldn’t simply crumble from the plagues. Accordingly, his free will was not taken away, he was simply given the encouragement to make those choices.

 

Shadal writes that the text does not mean that God hardened his heart rather, since it is difficult for us to understand how stubborn Pharaoh was (who would keep saying no under those circumstances), the text therefore attributes it to God even though it was in reality Pharaoh’s own free will (that was given to him by God). Pharaoh had complete free will.

 

Cassuto similarly writes that all ten plagues were the same, Pharaoh hardened his own heart. When the verse states that God did it, it is only because God set up the principle of free will in nature. So Pharaoh could only make the decision not to let them go through the free will that God gave him. Again we see here no change in free will.

 

 

LE MOIS DE CHEVAT

 

 

Chaque mois du calendrier hébraïque est porteur d’un message unique. Le thème de ce mois de Chevat est le renouvellement et la renaissance. Qui ne rêve pas d’une occasion de tout recommencer? Heureusement, c’est exactement ce que ce mois permet à chacun de nous de réaliser! Une opportunité fixée par Dieu d’opérer un rajeunissement dans notre vie.Chevat est une période unique: le processus de renouvellement est inhérent à l’essence même de ce mois. Pendant ce mois, l’eau des pluies de l’hiver commence son ascension dans les veines des arbres, leur redonnant vie. Nos Sages nous enseignent que ce processus atteint son summum le 15e jour du mois, lorsque nous célébrons la fête de Tou Bichvat (lit. “quinze Chevat”). Appelé “Nouvel An des Arbres”, ce jour véhicule un message extraordinaire: en ce jour, une vague unique d’énergie divine traverse toute la création, en précurseur de la restauration, du rajeunissement et de la renaissance du printemps. C’est du plus profond du monde naturel que les forces vitales de la vie commencent à s’élever, dans chaque arbre et chaque brin d’herbe, leur apportant le renouvellement. Ce jour illustre la promesse de renouveau et de renaissance au sein de la nature, mais évoque aussi le potentiel de renouveau au sein de chaque personne

C’est le premier jour du mois de Chevat que Moïse débuta la récitation du livre du Deutéronome à tout le peuple d’Israël – “sur l’autre rive du Jourdain, dans le pays de Moab, Moïse débuta l’explication de cette Thora…” (Deut. I,5).

Ce processus se poursuivit 37 jours jusqu’au jour de sa mort le 7 Adar

 

Va’era Quiz

1) Q. In telling the story of Moshe and Aharon, the Torah provides a genealogy to tell us how they were born and to whom they were related. Why is it necessary to trace and record their pedigree?

A. We are taught an important lesson through this description. A Jewish leader is not one who is born in a supernatural way. He is a normal person who has a father and mother and who has spiritually elevated himself to be worthy of his rank. Every Jew has the potential to become a Moshe Rabbenu - a leader of the Jewish people in his generation. This also explains to us why they are not infallible, and we often read of errors our leaders had made. The Torah does not try to conceal these errors or justify them.

 

2) Q. Why didn’t Moshe smite the water or the land in the first three plagues (Aharon did it)?

A. One possible explanation given is that when Moshe was a baby, he was saved by the water, and when he killed the Egyptian the land helped him by hiding the body, so in return Moshe did not smite them, Aharon did.

 

3) Q. “All the water in the river turned to blood, and the fish in the river died.” (7:20-21). Isn’t it obvious that the fish would die, because they can only live in water?

  1. . Midrashically, the plague of blood might have happened in one of two ways: a) All the waters might have become blood, turning back into water only when a Jew filled a glass. b) There could have been no change in the water except that when an Egyptian filled a glass, it would become blood. The midrash accepts the second option. Consequently, the Egyptians received a double punishment: The fresh waters turned into blood when used, and the fish died in fresh water. The reason it is explained in this way is because we are told that the Egyptians were compelled to purchase water from the Jews, who prospered thereby (Midrash Rabbah). If all the water had been transformed to blood, the Jews would have been unable to charge the Egyptians for water, because it is forbidden to derive benefit from a miracle. (Ta’anit 24a)

 

4) Q. How many frogs were there in the beginning of the plague?

A. According to the Midrash: One, and when an Egyptian would strike it, it would multiply. This Midrash is commenting on the description that “the frog” came up on the land. Since the Torah described “the frog” and not frogs, the Midrash makes this comment.

 

5) Q. Moshe said: “When shall I pray for you, your servants and your people, to rid you of the frogs?” Pharaoh answered: “Tomorrow.” (8:5, 6) Why did Pharaoh subject his nation to an extra day of plague by saying “Tomorrow?” Didn’t he want the frogs to go away immediately?

A. Pharaoh didn’t believe that the frogs were a plague from God. He preferred to believe that the frogs were a natural phenomenon about which Moshe had special knowledge. When Moshe asked “When shall I pray...?” Pharaoh thought Moshe was simply timing his question to coincide with the plague’s natural end, expecting Pharaoh to say “Right now!” By saying “Tomorrow” Pharaoh tried to trick Moshe and make him look foolish. (Ibn Ezra in the name of Rav Shmuel ben Hofni)

6)Q. How long did each plague last?

A. The midrash teaches that they lasted seven days. The frogs died in less than seven days but after they died, “The land stank” (8:10) to complete the seven days.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL PROVERBS

 

 

  1. friend's eye is a good mirror. Irish Proverb

lie travels round the world while truth is putting her boots on. French Proverb

  1. man does not seek his luck, luck seeks its man. Turkish Proverb
  2. monkey never thinks her baby's ugly. Haitian Proverb

A new broom sweeps clean, but the old brush knows all the corners. Irish Proverb

  1. penny saved is a penny gained. Scottish Proverb
  2. rumor goes in one ear and out many mouths. Chinese proverb

A son is a son till he gets him a wife,

  1. a daughter's a daughter the rest of your life. Proverb of Unknown Origin
  1. wise man hears one word and understands two. Yiddish Proverb

 

LE SOURIRE DU CHABBAT

 

 

Un fils demande à son père :

– Papa ! C’est quoi un alcoolique ?

– Ben un alcoolique c’est quelqu’un qui va voir les choses en double. Tu vois par exemple ces 4 arbres là bas ? L’alcoolique lui en verra 8.

– Mais papa il n’y a que 2 arbres !

 

 

Un homme entre dans un casino pour jouer au craps. Il voit une blonde au distributeur de boissons avec un sac plein de bouteilles de coca et remarque qu’elle en achète toujours plus ; il n’y pense plus et retourne à la table de craps. Plus tard, il va aux toilettes et en chemin il voit encore la blonde devant l’appareil avec cinq sacs remplis de canettes de coca. Quand il lui demande ce qu’elle fait encore là, elle répond : « C’est parce que je n’arrête pas de gagner ! »

 

Hannah comes home from her afternoon out with her boyfriend Arnold looking very unhappy.
"What’s the matter, Hannah?" asks her mother.
"Arnold has asked me to marry him," she replies.
"Mazeltov! But why are you looking so sad?" her mother asks.
"Because he also told me that he was an atheist. Oh mum, he doesn't even believe in Hell."
Her mother then says, "That’s all right Hannah, it really isn’t a problem. I suggest you marry him and between the two of us, we'll show him how wrong he is."

 

Benny is almost 32 years old. All his friends are now married but Benny just dates and dates. Finally his friend asks him, "What's the matter, Benny? Are you looking for the perfect woman? Are you really that fussy? Surely you can find someone who suits you?"
"No I just can’t," Benny replies. "I meet many nice girls, but as soon as I bring them home to meet my parents, my mother doesn't like them. So I keep on looking!"
"Listen," his friend suggests, "why don't you find a girl who's just like your mother?"
Many weeks go by and again Benny and his friend get together.
"So, have you found the perfect girl yet? One that's just like your mother?"
Benny shrugs his shoulders, "Yes, I found one just like mum. Mum , she acts and talks exactly like my mom and my mom loved her right from the start and they have become good friends."
"So, do I owe you a Mazeltov? Are you and this girl engaged yet?"
"I'm afraid not. My father can't stand her!"

 

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Sun, February 23 2020 28 Shevat 5780