Torah Tidbits

18 April 2014 / 18 Nisan 5774
Issue 958
Issue 958 - Sh’lach - 19th Anniversary Issue
June 16, 2011

Lead Tidbit

Coincidence? Probably not!

Mid-June 1992, we printed 60 copies of a 2-sided A4 sheet of paper with the Israel Center schedule on one side and a D’var Torah, some statistics on the sedra, and a very primitive graphic of the Meraglim with the cluster of grapes on the other side. We called it Torah Tidbits, a name originally coined for short verbal Divrei Torah. Distribution was in two shuls that Shabbat Parshat Sh’lach. TT957, which completed 19 years of Torah Tidbits had 25 sheets folded to make a 68-page booklet containing a 32-page Shavuot pull out. Over 9200 copies were distributed in shuls and other locations all over Israel.
The first Lead Tidbit was based on Maayana shel Torah. It began with the ARI Z"L’s statement that Bikurim is a TIKUN for the sin of the spies. The Torah makes a point of telling us that the Meraglim were sent at the time of the ripening of the grapes - Y’MEI BIKUREI ANAVIM. Basically, the Meraglim brought fruits of Eretz Yisrael and declared that Israel was a nice place to visit, but who would want to live there. In sharp contrast, the Bikurim-bringer brings fruits of the Land to the Beit HaMikdash and declares his thanks to G-d for living in Eretz Yisrael. Bikurim involves bringing of first fruits AND a joyous declaration of being brought by G-d to
Eretz Yisrael - the sin of the spies was the bringing of fruit in order to discourage and panic the people from
going to Eretz Yisrael. Rav Menachem Zemba hy”d of the Warsaw ghetto, pointed out that the mishna in Bikurim that describes the process of designating one’s fruits as Bikurim, mentions three specific fruits as
examples - fig, grape, and pomegranate. The very three fruits that the Meraglim brought with them.
A message of Torah Tidbits that we’ve presented many, many times - in many different ways - is the need for each of us - wherever we live - to ask our- selves (and others) where we stand: Would we have been turned away from Eretz Yisrael by the ten spies or would we have rallied to the call of Kalev and Yehoshua to enthusiastically follow G-d’s Will for us to live in Eretz Yisrael.
This is not a question calling upon us to speculate on what we would have said and done over 3300 years ago. This is a question for TODAY.
Those of us who live in Israel have obviously chosen to follow the call of ALO NAALEH. But do we pro-actively continue the same rallying call with our relatives and friends who are not yet privileged to live in Eretz Yisrael.
If we do not yet live here, is Aliya on our agenda? What attitude do we have about living in Israel? How are we raising our children in this respect?
Torah observant Jews try to raise their children to love Torah and Mitzvot, to keep Shabbat, kashrut, and so much more. What are we teaching our children about Yishuv Eretz Yisrael?

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