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What is the Reason? Assorted Topics Print E-mail

What is the ReasonDear Rebbi: In the final class of Knowledge Explosion (Hopefully just until after Pesach) you mentioned a number of things we did not have time to cover, (and we don’t have the 30 minutes of Open Questions at the beginning of the class): “The Bitachon Candle,” “The ‘New’ of Shehechiyanu and Hachodesh,” “The Wrong Ruling of the Chidah, Maharit Algazi, and the Rashash,” “No Service of God without joy,” “Picking up garbage from the ground as Loving others,” “Chi in Tanach,” “Be careful what you wear,” “Humility protects from destructive thoughts,” “Transforming Your food into Manna,” “Rashi and Animal Training,” “Rashi and the Phoenix,” and “The Gra & Aristotle.” The members of our class challenge you to respond on What is the Reason within an hour. We are also interested in seeing whether we can attract more people to this series. LS 2:50PM, Thursday, March 31, 2011


The Bitachon Candle

The Steipler is quoted (Kirnaya d’Igrata, Volume I, #334) as telling the following story: Rav Yosef Yozel of Novardhek locked himself in a small hut in middle of a large forest to work on himself without distraction. He was studying one night with great passion, and was so engaged in his studies that he didn’t realize that his candle had no more oil. There was no light, and he couldn’t see his sefarim, but he simply had Bitachon that there would be light in his hut. A man entered, placed a large candle on the table and left. Rav Yosef kept the candle for 20 years in his Beit Midrash as a sign of the power of Bitachon; the Bitachon Candle. A fire burned the building with the candle, and Rav Yosef said that the reason the candle was destroyed by Heaven was that we shouldn’t need Bitachon Candles to remind us of the power of Bitachon!

The “New” of Shehechiyanu

The Breslaver (Chayei Moharan #523) taught that you can see the excitement of the face of someone who wears a new garment, or experiences something new. That look on his face is an indication of a “new” part of him, a new experience, and it is on that we recite the blessing.

The Wrong Ruling

The Chidah (Chaim Sha’al, Volume 2, #19) writes: When I was in the Beit Midrash of the Rashash (Rav Shalom Sharabi), we were joined by the Maharit Algazi, and we approached by a Rabbi who had just married a woman who had already been widowed three times. Her first husband was a young man who died in a plague, the second was a much older man who died of old age, and the third was a holy rabbi. Three years after their wedding, this Rabbi (4th husband) dreamed that his wife’s first three husbands appeared. The old man was silent, the Holy rabbi ‘forgave him,” but her first husband summoned him to the Heavenly Court for marrying his widow. The rabbi was scared and asked the three great rabbis to impose a ban on the young man’s soul so that he could not hurt the Rabbi. The three rabbis told him that it was not possible, and that he need not worry. The Rabbi (4th husband) died the next day. The Chidah describes the terrible anguish of the three members of the court.


The Maor Vashemesh (Noach & Beha’alotecha) writes: The main ingredient of Service of God is joy. Sadness destroys one’s Service. Sadness leads to all sorts of sins.

Rabbeinu Yonah (Commentary to Mishlei (17:22) describes joy as the source of healing.

Loving Others

  1. Loving others enough so that they will not have to see garbage on the ground.
  2. Loving them enough so that they will not have to bend down to pick it up. (Taught in the name of the Chafetz Chaim)

Chi (Qi) in Tanach

Isaiah 33:21


The Chatam Sofer (Toledot, “hallo atzalta”) teaches that our clothes absorb our spiritual influence for good or bad, and we therefore should not wear the clothes of an evil person. (By the way; I use this as a Kavanah in “Malbish Arumim”) Sefer Chasidim (1014) teaches that one who wears thin clothes when it is cold and makes himself vulnerable to chills is violating, “Ba’al Tashchit,” not wastefully destroying things.


Ma’or VaShemesh, Mattot


Reb Tzaddok (Machashevet Charutz p.39a) One who recognizes that his food comes from God transforms it into Bread from the Heavens; Manna.

Animal Training

See Rashi on elephants and monkeys, Eiruvin 31b

The Phoenix

Rashi, Psalms 107:5

The Gra & Aristotle

The Introduction of Rav Meir of Sokolov to the Gra’s commentary to Avot: Aristotle was aware of God and intended to rebel! (For a slightly different perspective see: Noam HaMidot #15)

By the way: You missed some points mentioned! I challenge you to respond with the rest of the list within 24 hours! If you remember all the open topics; I will open the series to more people.

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