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A Fuchs Mizrachi Stark High School Publication


Candle Lighting: 8:36
Note: The Halachic times listed here are from www.myzmanim.com.
Keeping the Flame Burning
By Tzvi Levitin, Class of 2012
This week's Parashah begins with
Hashem commanding Aharon, through Moshe,
to light the Menorah in the Mishkan. The
commandment then follows to gather the Leviim
and cleanse them to prepare them for their holy
work for the Mishkan. It is interesting that the
commandments for preparing the Menorah are
given even before the Leviim are gathered and
purified nothing can regularly happen in the
Mishkan until you have Leviim! So why is the
Menorah located here?
Perhaps if we take a look at the idea of a
flame in general, we can understand why the
Menorah is so important, and perhaps even get a
clearer understanding of Shavuot. The fifth
commandment of the Asseret HaDibrot, Shabbos,
says Lo Ta'Aseh Kol Melacha. A Melacha, as
we all know, is a productive action, like building,
writing, or planting. The Mishna specifies 39
Melachot that we learn from the building of the
Mishkan, but a few of them seem a bit out of the
traditional view of productivity. Perhaps the
most perplexing are the Melachot of Mechabeh
(to extinguish) and Mav'ir (to ignite). At first
glance, neither of these Melachot seem
productive. Fire is destructive, disintegrating
everything in its path. Shouldn't the creation of a
fire be a destructive activity? And putting out a
fire, if anything, seems to be simply preventing
further destruction, not productive in itself.
There is a famous story in the Gemara of
R' Yochanan and Reish Lakish. Before his rise to
prominence, Reish Lakish was a thief, and he
tried to steal from R' Yochanan. R' Yochanan saw
Reish Lakish's stength and told him that he
should use his strength for the Torah. Reish
Lakish replied that he saw R' Yochanan's beauty
and that he thought the gift of his beauty should


Shavuot
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 / ' "
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A Fuchs Mizrachi Stark High School Publication
have been used on a woman. R' Yochanan
promised Reish Lakish his sister as a wife if
Reish Lakish could repent and use his abilities
for good. Sure enough, Reish Lakish uses his
abilities to become a great Talmid Chacham, and
eventually marries R' Yochanan's sister. We see
from this story that even the most destructive
forces can be used for good with the proper
guidance. Reish Lakish's strength represented his
potential; so, too, a flame's heat and light
represent potential. It is for this reason that
lighting a flame is considered productive.
But what about extinguishing a flame?
Why is that a Melacha? The Gemara on Shabbos
explains that when a flame is put out, it produces
something called Pecham on the wick. Rashi
explains this as being Hivhuv, a charring of the
tip of the wick that makes it easier to re-light.
This is the productivity of extinguishing a flame
it makes it easier to light another flame. There
is a great lesson to be learned from this.
Sometimes as individuals and as a people, our
flames can go out. We can find ourselves
wandering with no direction, without even a
spark of inspiration in our lives. But we must
recognize and remember that the simple fact that
our flames have been lit before, makes them
easier to re-ignite. We have the Hivhuv necessary
to return to our glorious fire with even the
smallest of sparks.
As we come upon Shavuot, the holiday
when we received the ultimate gift from Hashem
and were re-established as the Chosen nation, it
is a good time to reflect on where we've been as a
nation. Bnei Yisrael had just left Egypt, where
they had virtually no national identity outside of
oppression, where they reached the lowest levels
of impurity. Their flames had been extinguished.
But because of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov
and because of Hashem's promises to them, the
wick of the Torah was ready and eager to be re-
ignited.
Perhaps this is why the Menorah comes
before the Leviim. The Menorah, and the flames
Aharon lit upon it, represent the potential for
holiness that preceded the Leviim working in the
Mishkan. With the assurance of the flame, the
future of Bnei Yisrael guided by the Torah looks
a whole lot brighter.
Everyone Counting or Counting Everyone?
By Batya Zemelman, 12
th
Grade
Much preparation is needed to be fully
ready for any major event. If a boy is having his
bar mitzvah, he must learn his parashah, send
out invitations, and purchase a suit. If someone is
leaving the country they might need to get
vaccinated for wherever they are going. Every
circumstance has its own type of preparation.
This also applies to high holidays like
Shavuot. In order to prepare for Shavuot, we
count the many weeks leading up to the holiday.
During these seven weeks of the Omer, we also
read Parashat Bamidbar, where a census of the
Jewish people is taken.
We prepare for Shavout by counting in
order to signify that during the Omer, every day
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A Fuchs Mizrachi Stark High School Publication
is held on the same level. In these seven weeks
there are seven Shabbatot, Pesach, Lag BaOmer,
and Rosh Chodesh. However, during the Omer
all of these days are intrinsically the same. Each
is just one more day that brings us closer to
Shavuot. While some days we may go to school
and serve Hashem by studying or working, there
are some days where we serve Him by taking a
break from work. Some days we serve Him by
eating Shabbat meals, and others we serve Him
by carrying on with our normal lives. By
counting all of these significant days, it helps us
see the bigger picture.
The same applies when Hashem counts
the Jewish nation. Each Jew has their own special
talents. Some Jews find it very easy to connect to
Hashem, while others experience a greater
struggle doing so. Everyone, however, serves
Hashem in their own unique way. The census of
the Jewish people demonstrates that just because
one person serves Hashem in a certain way does
not make their service any different than
someone elses, as long as their intentions remain
pure. Everyone is counted on the same level, and
at the end of the day, we all try to serve Hashem
in the best way we can.
All of this leads to the holiday of Shavuot,
which was the day in history that the Jewish
people were given the Torah. Hashem created
the Earth so that His creations could live in a
comfortable environment where He can share
His divine spirit. The Torah did many things for
the Jewish people, and each of the many
elements that it contained all served one purpose.
Every single Jew, creation, and day
counts. Every single thing in this world matters
and contributes in its own way, and makes up
the bigger picture. The Torah is what made this
possible. Without it, nothing would count.

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By Rabbi Dovale Shachor
In this week's Parashah, Beha'alotcha,
Aharon is instructed on how to light the
Menorah, and did as he was told, and "did not
deviate". Why were we told that Aharon did not
deviate? In order to understand this, we must
first appreciate what's been happening in
Aharon's life at the time: On the first day of
Nissan of that year, the Mishkan was complete,
Aharon gave the first public Birkat Kohanim and
each tribe's leader brought their own personal
offering in celebration.
The Medrash Tanchuma says that Aharon
was sad that his tribe was the only one that
wasn't able to contribute with his own Korban
offering. Still, Aharon accept everyone else's
Korban, as he was instructed, as well as
performing his role of lighting the Menorah also
as he was instructed.
It turned out that Aharon was given the
only commandment that would endure forever
(candle-lighting endures today as Friday night
candles, as lighting the Menorah on Chanukah,
etc). This was especially fitting for Aharon who
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A Fuchs Mizrachi Stark High School Publication
was described in the Midrash as a "man of the
people", for he would regularly walk among the
nation and mingle with them, looking to help
anyone, be it with teaching them Torah, how to
pray, or resolving arguments. Even after Aharon
was given the most prestigious task of lighting
the Menorah, he still "did not deviate", and
continued to mingle with the Jews. It is this very
Midda of guiding others that the lighting of the
Menorah represented! Aharon's actions beg the
question: Do we mingle and help others, or are
we too busy with our jobs and lives to bother?
After the Chag Shavuot, we will pray to
hashem that we will fill, everyone, the
of all Am Yisrael that saying to Hashem- we
want the Torah, and we want it in - All
together.




Shabbat Table Discussion Questions:
By Eli Meyers, 9
t h
Grade
1. Why is Pesach Sheni a whole month after Pesach if it only takes a week to become tahor? (9:11)

2. Why did the Torah pause the story of Channukat HaMishkan until now? (9:15)

3. Why does the Torah need to remind us the specific positions and leaders of the tribes? (10:14-28)

4. Why does the Torah repeat the phrase that Moshe took a Cushite woman? (12:1)

5. Why is only Miriam punished with Tzaraat if Aharon also spoke Lashon Hara? (12:10)
Email us at FMSshemesh@gmail.com with your answers or submit them on our website, fmsdvartorah.weebly.com, and you could be featured in
next week's edition!





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A Fuchs Mizrachi Stark High School Publication
Brought to you by:
Staff:
Editors in Chief- Ari Bar-Shain and Zev Karasik

Associate Editors- Eli Meyers, Etan Soclof, and Yosef
Coleman

Faculty Consultant-Rav Rick Schindelheim

Distribution Manager-Rivka Coleman

Faculty Manager-Yael Blau

Head Writers-Avi Hartstone and Zak Fleischman
Student Writers:
o Alan Soclof
o Ami Shamir
o Amital Haas
o Aviva Muskin
o Batya Zemelman
o Ben Jaffe
o Bentzion Goldman
o Ian Lorand
o Ilan Senders
o Jenna Fox
o Jennifer Brenis
o Joey Senders


o Lizzy Soclof
o Michael Brenis
o Miriam Pincus
o Mordechai Blau
o Sarah Pincus
o Seth Weiss
o Sonny Kugelman
o Talya Engelhart
o Yonah Bar-Shain
o Zach Zlatin
o Ziva Bibbins


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