Hanna's Dvar Torah

The "parent" and the "children" inside us - Balak

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Is it good to be generous? Is it good to be sensitive and compassionate? Is it good to be altruistic?

Not necessarily. When someone gives and gives, without keeping anything for himself, it is not good. When someone pities its enemies during a war, he puts his country in danger. The mother of a child who cries because he wants to eat only chocolate instead of food, and she feels sorry for him and lets him eat whatever he wants, this is not good for the child. Even the good feelings need to be evaluated.

In this week’s Parasha Balak, we read about the magician Bilam and how he tried to curse the Jewish people. Since he was a real magician, his curses were very dangerous. He was looking for the bad elements in the people and when he outlined them, the curse could work out.

So Bilam tried to find something bad in the Jews, but he could not find anything. Instead of curses, he spurted out blessings. From the words he actually said, we can understand what he was trying to do, which is to curse them.

Bilam started by speaking about our Forefathers and our Mothers, thanks to whom we have a lot of powers. Not only were they significant, but they also influenced us.

The Kabbalists explain that we also have inside us parents and children. Our mind is the “parent” and our feelings are the “children”, since the mind “gives birth” to the feelings. Bilam was trying to find if the relationship between the mind and the feelings is right. Maybe the mind does not guide the feelings, defining its limits. But he did not find such a thing, and thus could not give out his curse. Because the Jews were not only following their feelings. For every action they wanted to do, even with a good intention, they carefully considered it with their mind, to make sure it is indeed good and appropriate.

We need to remember this as well. It is not enough for the feeling to be good; it also needs to be guided by the mind. Every action that sounds good is not necessarily actually good. If we are not sure, we may get advice from someone.

Thus, we will succeed in having our good intentions end up in good actions. We will fill up the world with good deeds and bring Mashiach now.

Shabbat Shalom,


Who got a miracle today? - Chukat

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In this week’s Parasha Chukat, we continue to read about the journey of the Jewish people in the desert. On their way, they had to go through a narrow path between two mountains. The problem was that their enemies knew that they had to go through there and prepared them an unpleasant surprise from the top of the mountains… It was a perfect plan, but they did not take into account G-d’s protection of His people. G-d caused both mountains to unite, crushing in between them the enemies who were waiting there. Then, the mountains went back to their place as if nothing happened.

When the Jews finally arrived at the pass between the mountains, everything was quiet and peaceful. Then, how do we know the story? It was important for G-d that we should know what He had done for us. So, He created a river that passed through there and carried away with it the bodies etc. of the warriors. The Jews then understood that they had once again been saved by G-d and started to sing and praise Him.

How does it all concern us?

First, it is always touching to think about all the miracles that G-d does for His people. How much He loves us, how much He cares for us! Sometimes, we do not even notice it because He protects us so well. And He continues to do so even when we do not behave exactly as He wishes.

Second, we realize how important it is to thank G-d for what He gives us. G-d made an extra miracle for us to learn what had happened, exactly for us to have the opportunity to express our gratefulness. When we thank G-d for everything we have, we gain double. We appreciate more what we have, and when G-d sees it, He wants to give us even more.

Let us thank G-d for everything that He gives us. We can every evening before going to sleep think about 5 good things that happened to us during the day and thank Him directly, in our own words. Or simply at various moments during the day, when we realize that something good happened to us, such as closing a good commercial deal, or just succeeding in making a recipe or crossing safely a busy boulevard. At this moment, let us just lift our eyes and say ‘thank you!’. Things may look calm and peaceful, but in life they are all small or big miracles.

Shabbat Shalom,


An instructive handwriting analysis - Korach

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Did you ever hear of the graphic analysis of Korach?

In this week’s Parasha Korach, we read about the rebellion that Korach led. Korach wanted equality among the people. Why should there be spiritual leaders, Moses and Aharon, who should be more important than the rest? We are all Jews, and we can decide what to do on our own. The Sages should not get involved in physical matters.

But Korach made a mistake. G-d wanted for the world to have harmony between the thought and the wisdom, and the actions. The spiritual leaders guide the people, actions are guided by thought and wisdom.    

We do not have in our hands a sample of Korach’s writing. But Kabbalah helps us analyst the letter of the name of Korach and learn a lot.

The right balance between thought and action appears in the letter Hey, ה. The line on top represents the thought, the right line represents the speech and the left one represents the action. The line of the action is a little shorter than the others, symbolizing that it obeys and follows them.

The letters of the name Korach קרח, all resemble the Hey, ה but there are a few differences which reveal his arguments.

ק – The line of action continues lower than the other lines. The people – action – do not follow the thought – the words of our Sages. This is what Korach wanted. But in this way, they are in the danger of falling very low…

ר – There is no line of action. Korach wanted spirituality to say away from action. Religion should be expressed only in the synagogue. The sages with their affairs, and the people with their own affairs.

ח – The line of action is equal to the others. In other words, action on its own is equal is equally important with the thought. Someone that deals with the world does not need to add spirituality in their life. Action is enough.

The story of Korach reminds us to keep the right balance between study-thought and action, between spiritual leaders and the people. We need it all.

Shabbat Shalom,

Based on the article of Rabbi Chaim Heber  

When to speak and when to keep silent - Shelach

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Dedicated to the full recovery
of Israel Yehuda Binyamin ben Dvora Dobra

If someone says the truth, why is there a problem to say it?

In this week’s Parasha Shelach, Moses sends spies to the Land of Israel. He asks them to tour the country and see how good the land is and how strong its inhabitants. The spies return and in front of the entire assembly of the Jewish people, they announce their conclusions: the land is good, but its inhabitants are very strong, and they will not be able to conquer them. The people panicked and started to cry and complain. G-d got angry with the Jewish people who do not believe in Him despite all the miracles He had performed for them. He decided that the people will wander 40 years in the desert and that only the next generation will enter the Land of Israel. The spies were also punished severely.

But what was the terrible sin of the spies? It seems that they did exactly what they were asked to do: bring back information about the Land of Israel.

The mistake of the spies was to whom they spoke to. Such information needed to be transferred personally to Moses and Aharon. Not publicly, causing panic and chaos.

In the same way, we have in our hands various pieces of information. They are true, they are important. But before we transmit them to others, we need to ask ourselves is this the right person to talk to.

Will our words help the situation? Is the person we are talking to the right person to receive this information? Will he be able to do something about it? If yes, we can say it. If not, we must hold them. Even true information must not always be published.

Shabbat Shalom,


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