Beshalach_5773: Emunah Peshutah, is it really so Pashut?

Taste of Parasha

Have you ever experienced an elevated level of connection to G-d?  Perhaps it was in Yeshiva or on a trip to the Holy Land.   May be it was a heightened awareness of your Neshama and your inherent good attributes.  Was this period of time followed by a sudden drop in spiritual awareness?  Do you wish there was something you could do, or an attribute you could latch on to, in order to make it last?   The Jewish nation found itself at such a crossroads.  A mere three days after leaving Egypt they faced the biggest challenge of their fledgling nationhood.  G-d in his great mercy lifted them as on the wings of eagles out of the morass of their Egyptian Exile.  This great act of mercy elevated them to great heights of spiritual awareness and devotion.  Then came the challenge.  With the sea before them and the Egyptians behind them they were challenged with a simple command:  Travel.  Um, did I hear you correctly; there is a sea in front of me?  Yes, G-d commanded Moses to tell the Jews, “go ahead,” put one foot in front of the other; follow my commands with pure trust and belief in G-d.  The Shem M’Shmuel explains that this pure belief, “Emunah Peshutah,” was and is the key to Jewish survival throughout the ages.  It was the merit that got them across the sea, and is the merit that will continue to carry every single Jew even after a momentary high has passed.

 Taste of Talmud

The Mishna in Nazir (29a) writes that a father may put the stringencies of a Nazir upon his son.  The Talmud asks: Why only a father and not a mother, why only a son and not a daughter?  The Talmud brings two different approaches to answer this question.  Rabbi Yochanan answers that this is the way the law was transmitted to us by our sages and although we do not understand the reason why the laws were enacted as such, we keep them nonetheless.  Raish Lakish (as quoted by R’ Yossi ben Chanina) answers that it is the father’s obligation to educate his son in the observance of Mitzvos.  Therefore, if a father deems it necessary and beneficial for this particular son to observe the laws of a Nazir for a short period of time, he may put those restrictions on his son.  According to Raish Lakish, a father is not required to go to such lengths to educate his daughter in the performance of Mitzvos.  Therefore, it is very understandable, according to Raish Lakish, why a father may not put these stringencies on his daughter. 

 Taste of Talmud

Is a family allowed to make tuition payments with the ten percent, Maaser, of its earnings that it sets aside in a charity account?  This question is based on the premise that one may not use charity money to pay for an otherwise binding obligation.  The above question was posed to Rabbi Moshe Feinstein Zt”l.  Rav Moshe begins by pointing out that a father is obligated to pay to educate his son in Torah and Mitzvos.  According to Rabbi Yochanan in Nazir (29a) a family is also obligated to educate its daughter.   He brings a proof to this from tractate Yoma (82a) where the Talmud delineates the age that a girl must be trained to fast on Yom Kippur.   Most importantly, Rav Moshe points out that a daughter must be taught the principles of Emunah, Yirah, and Ahavas Hashem; to have a pure belief and trust in G-d, to fear G-d, stay far from sin and to love G-d.  Therefore, Maaser Money may not be used to pay for even a girl’s tuition.  However, he notes, that one is only obligated to pay for tuition according to his means.  For that matter, he says, one is not even obligated to give a tenth of his earnings until after he is able to provide for his family.    We should all be blessed with health wealth and prosperity to provide for ourselves and for others an opportunity to learn and attain Emunah Peshutah.

This week’s issue is dedicated as a merit for a refuah shelaima for:Yoel Efraim ben Baila

Have A Great Shabbos!!


About tasteofyeshiva

RABBI YAIR FRIEDMAN teaches in Baltimore, and is the president of Visionary Reading. He was a Rebbi at The Torah School of Greater Washington, and a founding member of the Greater Washington Community Kollel he is the director of Yeshiva L' Baalei Batim and the owner of Camp Gevaldig LLC.
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