This D’var Torah should be a Zechus L’Ilui Nishmas my sister, Kayla Rus Bas Bunim Tuvia A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my paternal grandfather Moshe Ben Yosef A”H, my uncle Reuven Nachum Ben Moshe & my great aunt Rivkah Sorah Bas Zev Yehuda HaKohein.
It should also be in Zechus L’Refuah Shileimah for:
-My father Bunim Tuvia Ben Channa Freidel
-My grandmothers Channah Freidel Bas Sarah, and Shulamis Bas Etta
-Mordechai Shlomo Ben Sarah Tili
-Noam Shmuel Ben Simcha
-Chaya Rochel Ettel Bas Shulamis
-And all of the Cholei Yisrael, especially those suffering from COVID-19 and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for an Aliyah of the holy Neshamos of Dovid Avraham Ben Chiya Kehas—R’ Dovid Winiarz ZT”L, Miriam Liba Bas Aharon—Rebbetzin Weiss A”H, as well as the Neshamos of those whose lives were taken by terrorists (Hashem Yikom Damam), COVID-19, and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for success for Tzaha”l as well as the rest of Am Yisrael, in Eretz Yisrael and in the Galus.


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Parsha Paradise/פרשה פרדס – Bereishis: How was Man Formed?

As you can see, I’m trying out a new Parsha project, Parsha Pardeis/Paradise, based on the four angles of understanding a Pasuk; P’shat (straight reading), Remez (hints), Drash (homiletical exegesis), and Sod (Kabbalistic secrets). Every week, be”H, I will pick a Pasuk or phrase from a Pasuk and give four different kinds of interpretations following the model of Pardeis.

(Although it is oxymoronic by nature, for “Sod,” we will not go in depth, but we will select “lighter” explanations and touch only the surface, as the secrets of Kabbalah are beyond us.)

Bereishis 2:7 – “Vayitzer Hashem Elokim Es HaAdam Afar Min Ha’Adamah…”-“And Hashem G-d formed man, dirt from the ground…”

Earlier, the Torah recorded that Hashem had “created” man (“Bri’ah”). However, now the Torah adds that Hashem formed man (“Yetzirah”). What does this Pasuk add to the initial creation of man?

R’ Shimshon Raphael Hirsch explains that Yetzirah refers specifically to a formation that is materialized in the physical world.
Even in English, formation is much more specific than creation. It is the precise molding of a mass of material.

Ba’al HaTurim highlights that the word “Vayitzer” appears only twice in Mesorah, once with a “double” letter “Yud” when describing the formation of man and once with only one letter Yud when describing the formation of the animals, explaining based on the Gemara that this textual discrepancy alludes to the fact that man has not one, but two inclinations, good and evil (whereas animals only have one animalistic inclination). This particular discrepancy is further hinted to by the fact that word for form, “Yetzirah,” is similar to the word for inclination, “Yeitzer.”

(Rashi takes a sligthty different Midrashic approach explaining that the additional Yud alludes to two formations of man, one in This World and one in the Next World. Several other such suggestions are offered by Chazal.)

The Gemara cited by Ba’al HaTurim, Brachos 61A, features a homiletical lesson in the name of R’ Shimon Ben Pazi, along similar lines, explaining that the word “Vayitzer” refers to two influences which we struggle to answer to simultaneously, our “Yotzer,” our Former or Molder, i.e. Hashem, and our “Yeitzer,” our inclination. (“Oy Li MiYotzri, V’Oy Li MiYitzri”-“Woe is to me from my Former, and woe is to me from my inclination!” Rashi explains that whichever influence we obey, we will be targeted by the other.)

In Ramban’s commentary to an earlier verse, Bereishis 1:26, Ramban uses our verse to provide a Kabbalistic explanation as to why, in the process of the creation of mankind, the Torah continuously switches off between referring to man in the plural and in the singular.
In short, Ramban appears to suggest, “Al Derech HaEmes” (“by way of truth,” his code words for a Kabbalistic approach) that man and woman were “created” (“Briah”) complexly as one singular entity, but which included both of their separate individual souls. In the “formation” or the “Yetzirah” of the individual bodies of man and wife, the molding of man (before the building of woman out of man’s rib), we find only the singular expression. This understanding of “Yetzirah” as a physically material formation aligns with R’ Hirsch’s explanation in accordance with the Pashut P’shat.

We should be Zocheh to dedicate our artfully formed material lives to Hashem, serving Him with both inclinations, allowing our souls to sanctify and redeem our physical existence with a full Geulah, Bimheirah BiYomeinu! Have a Great Shabbos!
-Yehoshua Shmuel Eisenberg