Hanna's Dvar Torah

Where does our food come from? - Beshalach

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Did you ever consider how many hours we spend dealing with our food? We buy it, we prepare it, we eat it, then we have to clean it all up… and of course we work a lot to have the necessary money for all of that.

Our ancestors during their years of wandering in the desert did not have to do any of it. Every day except Shabbat, Manna would fall down from the sky. The Manna was free, ready for consumption and nothing was left later to be cleaned. When eating it, everyone could taste any flavor that he wished. It was clear to the Jews that their existence depends on G-d.

What message can the Manna give us in our days?

Indeed, we must work in order to eat. But in essence, the reality of our existence is the same as the reality of the Jews in the desert. But this reality is disguised. Then, it was clear that the blessing and abundance comes from G-d. Now, G-d give it to us through our work. But the work itself is not the source of the abundance, but only the channel though which it arrives to us.

When we remember what is the source and what is the channel, we will not neglect the Source and focus only on the “channel”, our work. This means working honestly, without cheating. This means not working on Shabbat, the Day of Rest. This means devoting time in our day for spiritual matters such as prayer and study.  

Let us have in mind where does the blessing come from and act accordingly. May G-d bless all of us with abundance. And may we never forget where our abundance comes from.

Shabbat Shalom,


My aunt, a special person - Bo

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This week, we will celebrate my aunt’s 20th birthday. It is a very special moment, for a very special child, since she has Down Syndrome. We all love her in the family. We made an international party through Zoom, with a beautiful video of wishes from all the brothers, sister, nephews and nieces.

My aunt is not always an easy person… Taking care of her requires a lot of strength from my grandfather, my grandmother and myself, since I live in their home when I am in Israel for my studies. We need a lot patience, perseverance, calm and other various techniques which are not easy to apply every day - all day long…

Where do we draw the strength to continue to take care of her?

In this week’s Parasha Bo, we read about the ninth and next to last plague that G-d inflicted upon the Egyptians – darkness. For three days, the Egyptians could not see anything. The next three days, darkness became so thick that they could not even move. The Jews though did not suffer from darkness. Not only were the Jewish areas not affected by darkness but when the Jews went to the Egyptians areas, they could see and move.

The Jews took the opportunity to go inside the houses of the Egyptians. They did not steal anything, they just searched and checked carefully to see where the jewelry and other precious items were stored. When they would later leave Egypt, they would go the Egyptians by command of G-d and ask them to lend them their various treasures. If some Egyptian pretended not to have anything to lend, the Jews would remind him of where exactly they we hidden. This “loan” was not enough to compensate for the years of slavery, but it was important in order to fulfill G-d promise to our forefather Abraham. His promise that while his descendant will be slaves in a foreign land, they would also leave with great treasures,

In other words, the Jews were commanded to loan expensive items from the Egyptians. G-d made a special miracle during the Plague of Darkness, in order for the Jews to be able to fulfill this commandment. Even though they were still slaves and were not yet redeemed, they had G-d’s help and all the capabilities to do what was needed.

This can encourage us in difficult situations. G-d is always with us. Even when it seems that the light at the end of the tunnel is far away, G-d opens a light inside the tunnel. And if there is a need, G-d will even do miracles for us to be able to do what is needed.

I feel this with my aunt. Do you?

Shabbat Shalom,


To be or not to be... stubborn - Vaera

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In this week’s Parasha, Varea, Egypt goes through seven difficult and painful plagues, with the goal of convincing Pharaoh to free the Jewish people. But Pharaoh? Nothing. He remains stubborn and determined, even when his opinion doesn’t seem logical at all. Pharaoh continues to refuse to liberate the Jews, and there are three more plagues that await him in next week’s Parasha.

Being stubborn causes a lot of trouble and misery, to the stubborn person himself as well as to his surroundings, especially when his or her arguments have no logic. King David, in his Psalms, says: “A stubborn heart turns away from me; I will know no evil.” (101:4). This means that when someone frees himself up from his stubbornness, only good things will happen to him!

As much as stubbornness is something negative, many of us still possess that trait. G-d has given it to us so we can use in for the good. Yes, there is positive stubbornness. When we continue to observe G-d’s words, even if we don’t feel like it at the moment, even if it is difficult, even if it does not seem logical. Our history is full of our grandmothers and grandfathers who, despite the wars, antisemitism, difficult economic conditions, continued to keep the Commandments. Despite the hardships of life, they continued stubbornly to transmit the Jewish tradition to the next generations.

Next time that we will find ourselves being stubborn about something, le us think a little. Is it a positive stubbornness, in order to continue something right? If the stubbornness is balanced and we are certain that it is about something good, we can continue. But if it is a simple stubbornness, better to relax and let go. As King David promised, we have only to gain from it.

Shabbat Shalom,


The tribe that was not enslaved - Shemot

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Did you think that the entire Jewish people was enslaved in Egypt? You are wrong. Pharaoh was a civilized person and respected spiritual matters. He knew that every nation needs its leaders and its sages. Therefore, he did not enslave one of the Twelve Tribes, the Tribes of Levi, and let them free to study and teach.

But according to Pharaoh, the mandate of those sages was very limited.

When Moses and Aharon, from the Tribe of Levi, went to ask Pharaoh to free the Jewish people, Pharaoh dismissed them, saying: “"Why, Moses and Aaron, do you disturb the people from their work? Go to your own labors." (Exodus 5:4)

This is an ideological disagreement. Moses and Aharon demand freedom for everyone, so that all Jews can serve G-d properly. Pharaoh refuses. He argues that it is enough for the Tribe of Levi to study and serve G-d. As if he was telling them: “You, Moses and Aharon, go back to your books and do not interfere with matters that do not concern you.” In other words, yes, spiritual leaders are important, but they should not have influence outside the synagogue.

Moses and Aharon did not agree with Pharaoh and thanks to them, we are all here, free Jews. A people where spirituality, religion and study do not belong only to the leaders, but to each one of us.

It is not enough for the rabbi to pray; we need to pray as well. It is not enough for the Yeshiva students to study; we need to study as well. It is not enough for wealthy families and organizations to do philanthropic work; we also need to help our fellow people with the means that we do have.

We cannot leave the responsibility to the leaders and the rabbis. We all have a responsibility for the Judaism. Let us be free and active Jews.

Shabbat Shalom,


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