Mazel tov to our dear friends Chana and Dr. Jay Fenster on the birth of a grandchild, their first, to their children Jamie and Mordy Fenster. Just yesterday, Chana was 15; where have the years gone?
A very hearty mazel tov to Dovid Tradburks whose aufruf will be celebrated this shabbis. He will be marrying Arielle Kestenbaum this coming Sunday; mazel tov to choson and kallah. We had the great pleasure of hosting Dovid on many a shabbis and Yom Tov and wish him well in his new life. Mazel tov to Dovid’s parents and family, Rabbi Reuven & Joyce Tradburks of Yirusholayim and to Alan and Debbie Kestenbaum and their family of Great Neck, New York. The Oisvorfer and entire mishpocho will of course be in attendance. A nicer and finer young man, zicher hard to find.
And a big mazel tov to Maxwell Perry Grossman, son of the Oisvorfer and eishes chayil, who graduated HAFTR High School mamish two hours ago; chazak!
And as we go to print……………..breaking mazel tov news. We are delighted to announce that mamish moments ago or maybe in a few moments, Leora Englard, beautiful daughter of Lemor and Murry Englard, did, or will be getting engaged to Josh Rosenwald, son of Rivki and Lindsay Rosenwald. The Oisvorfer has known both families for many decades. The Lechaim is taking place right now; all are invited.
Raboyseyee and Raboyseyettes:
The RBSO’s patience
Welcome to Parshas Koirach where the Yiddin are seemingly still not ready for prime time. Seemingly there are still too many of them and this week the RBSO will continue thinning out the population. In our parsha, nearly 15,000 Yiddin will die in a variety of ways. Koirach and his wife but not his kids, his cohorts and later in the parsha another 14,000 will go. That’s the bad news. The good news? The medrish quoting the heylige Gemora has the story of how another decent wife saved the life of her husband. We have previously covered the curious case of Oin ben Peles, but if you are first time readers of the Oisvorfer’s weekly parsha review- shame on you- click here www.oisvorfer.com
and check out the archives to this parsha for some givaldige details of just how Mrs. Peles saved her husband’s life. In short, she did it with 3 words: “are you crazy’? And ever since, women all over the world, have taken this phrase and turned it from a question to a statement when referring to their husbands. This week, Moishe is under attack as is his administration. And who else to lead the attack but a member of the mishpocho, a model copied by generations ad ahayoim hazeh (until today), especially if there’s money involved. Nu, azoy-geyt-iz (that’s how it goes.)
Was Mitzrayim (Egypt) the land of milk and honey? Soon we’ll address that ober ershtens (firstly), let’s say hello to two Toirah characters we might have first encountered back in parshas Shemois. Back then, they went unnamed, this week they are exposed. Let’s give a quick shout out to Doson (Dathan in the movies) and Aviram, the dynamic duo set of troublemakers who, according to some, popped up in Shemois, several times since, again in the midbar when they disobeyed the Munn collection rules, and are the main protagonists, along with Koirach, here in a parsha named after the scoundrel. The bottom line on them: they were bad guys, and this week the RBSO will finally dispose of them.
Ober if they were taka as giferlich as Rashi, the Medrish and others would have us believe, efsher you’re wondering why it took the RBSO all this time to eliminate these two characters? You are not alone! Doesn’t the RBSO typically deal with rabble-rousers instantly? Indeed He does! And it so happens that kimat all who dare antagonize Him are quickly eliminated. Weren’t the eygel participants gone in a flash? Just last week we met the mikoishesh-eytzim, the poor fellow who was doing something improper with his wood, if you chap. He was nebech dead a
few pisukim later. A few weeks back we met the mikallel (blasphemer) who angered the RBSO. As aside, he was a blood relative, according to some, of Shulamis bas Divri, about whom we will shortly be reading; halt kup. A few pisukim later in the narrative he too met an untimely and instant death. Bad guys don’t typically make it out of the parsha. The RBSO didn’t like two of Reuvain’s son’s; seemingly, instead of seeding Tamar, they were acting like high school boys, if you chap. They too were gone in but a few pisukim. Ober these two guys, Doson and Aviram, despite their long records, as we will soon read, seemed to have had good staying power. If the medroshim are correct, they were seemingly already senior citizens by the time the Koirach episode unfolded. What’s taka pshat? If they were taka the bad guys Rashi and others ascribe all this mischief to, why did they merit such long life? Did the RBSO treat them more favorably than others? Were they needed for their appearance in the film version of The Ten Commandments?
Ober before we answer that question, and that makes two that are now open – the first about Mitzrayim being the land of milk and honey – mistama you long forgot who Doson and Aviram were. Nu, lommer chazerim (let’s review), why not? We were first introduced to them following the incident where Moishe killed a Mitzri. That, after the minuvil raped a nice Jewish woman who some say was Shulamis bas Divri. Bikitzur (in short), Doson and Aviram witnessed Moishe slaying and then laying the guy to rest, threatened to, and in fact did rat Moishe out to Paroy (Pharoh). The misira (being ratted out) set off an entire chain of events including Moishe fleeing to either Midyan or Kush or both, getting married to either Tzipoirah or some tinkele mydel (kushite) or both and becoming a King for 40 years, or not, over Kush before his encounter with the RBSO at the burning bush.
Wow, a mouthful mamish ober does the heylige Toirah tell us that someone got raped? Of course not! Ober the heylige Toirah, as you’ve been told in the past has lacunas in the narrative. What’s a lacuna? Zicher not a word the Oisvorfer learned in yeshiva. A lacuna is, according to Merriam Webster, a blank space or missing part; let’s call it a hole. What to do when one encounters a hole? Not what you think, chazir that you are. We are to look at Rashi, the heylige Gemora or the Medrish or others; they loved filing holes and they came up with a mamish givaldige story. Halt kup (pay attention) as we listen to how mamish gishmak the medrish and others were and how they wove together the storyline of Doson and Aviram. Inspector Clouseau would have been proud.
Nu, it all started when the Yiddin were nebech enslaved in Mitzrayim. Shoin, one fine evening, one of the Mitzri guards laid eyes on Shulamis Bas Divri ober she had something that could knock his eyes out; a husband. What to do? Shoin, the Mitzri chazir summoned the husband to work the night shift; Shulamis was left alone in bed. The farbrecher snuck in, she seemingly didn’t know (lights-out), laid himself on her and and had his way with Shulamis. Which eishes chayil cannot tell the difference between her husband and a well-built goy, ver veyst. Shoin, he raped her. The husband returned, and epes sensed that something was wrong. He suspected the Mitzri, seemingly also confronted him and the Mitzri chazir beat the poor husband senselessly. Moishe came along, witnessed the beating, mistama chapped what had taken place and killed the Mitzri. And who should happen to be on the scene to witness the event? Says the medrish (Shemois Rabbah 1:29) as quoted by Rashi: the two guys were none other than Doson and Aviram who happen to have been in some argument of their own. Mistama one owed the other some money he promised to pay but didn’t, ver veyst. Seemingly, their argument was heading to fisticuffs when Moishe intervened and called one of them a Rosho (bad guy). Instead of a thank you, they got pissed off at Moishe, threatened to and then turned Moishe in. Nice to be ratted out by one’s brethren. Wait, the Medrish adds more color: Seemingly, the name of the man whose wife the Mitzri chazir had coveted (raped), and whose life Moishe had probably saved in the fight, was none other than Doson! Shoin, irony of ironies; no good deed goes unpunished.
Wait, there’s more. According to some, it was Doson and Aviram who seemingly had a record of stirring up trouble while still in Mitzrayim, and their errant behavior continued in the midbar; a few examples will further illuminate. Says the medrish: Doson and Aviram tried to instigate the Yiddin not to leave Mitzrayim. Ober when they witnessed that the RBSO was also eliminating Yiddin during the makoh (plague) of choishech (darkness), they switched tracks and began to proclaim their readiness to leave. And mistama again you’re asking yourself azoy. If the RBSO used that plague to eliminate 4/5ths of the Yiddin, the bad seed, why not use that opportunity to also get rid of these two shlechte (bad) guys? Of course, we are not the only one’s asking this question; several medroshim attack this issue.
Astoundingly another Medrish will have your hair standing on edge. Not just were they not eliminated or punished, they were instead redeemed, together with the Yiddin. It appears that the RBSO performed a special miracle just for them. He did? Of course only the medrish can imagine this story, let’s learn it. Being informants, they told Paroy that though the Yiddin only requested a three day holiday in the desert to worship the RBSO, they had no plans of returning as they initially said; they were fleeing. Doson and Aviram initially stayed behind when the Yiddin left. Sometime later they too left, arrived to the Red Sea only to find that the Yiddin had already crossed and that the Sea had already retuned to its natural state. They missed the miracle of the sea split. What did the RBSO do? Says the Medrish azoy: the sea split again, especially for them; they crossed safely and joined their brethren. OMG! Is this how the RBSO takes care of troublemakers? Is this a license for bad behavior? And again we ask, why did the RBSO afford them this special protection and privilege?
Ober wait, there’s even more. Avada you recall that the RBSO provided Munn for the Yiddin to eat in the Midbar. Says the heylige Toirah, the Munn fell each day anew and the Yiddin were required to collect their daily portion of Munn each morning. They had to consume the full portion each day, without leaving any leftovers for the next day. As expected not everyone followed the rules and says the heylige Toirah azoy (Shemois 16:20): “And people left over from it until the morning.” Says Rashi quoting the medrish (Tanchuma,Tetzaveh 10), who were the wisenheimers that disobeyed the Munn collections rules? None other than Doson and Aviram. In other words; they were associated with all troubled behavior.
Wait, we’re not done yet: another medrish tells yet another tale; of course it could be emes, ver veyst. Moishe advised the Yiddin that munn would not fall on the heylige Shabbis, Doson and Aviram tried to trick the people into thinking that the munn had fallen on Shabbis. How? They scattered some on the ground at sunrise (just before the hashkomo minyan). Ober birds came and ate all the munn they had spread before the Yiddin woke up. Had the people seen the munn on Shabbis following Moishe’s clear memo advising that no munn would fall; it could have been disastrous and likely would have had a deleterious effect on Moishe’s credibility and leadership. Of course, the revolt did eventually happen as we will learn mamish just below and of course we will soon learn that these same troublemakers, Doson and Aviram, were not only involved but efsher led the charges. Nu, believe it or not, to show gratitude to the birds for eating the shabbis morning munn, some Yiddin have the minhag of putting out bread for the birds during the week of Parshas B’shalach. This is emes.
Doson and Aviram are also implicated in the meraglim (spies) caper. We are told that they were the ones who, during the episode with the spies, announced (Sh’lach 14:4) ‘Let us appoint a leader’. Says Rashi, they wanted a new god. And finally we get to our parsha where Doson and Aviram were the ones who stood up to Moishe, and who, in a display of unprecedented arrogance, shamelessly denigrated him. They were mamish shlecht! How bad? Says the Yalkut that whatever evil one can ascribe to them, one should. In fact the Oisvorfer blames them, his rebbe in yeshiva that flashed the shtekin, if you chap, which he tried to do and his prichei leader for all his woes.
Nu, we’re still left with two open questions. Ershtens why didn’t the RBSO eliminate these two clowns much earlier? And was Mitzrayim the land of milk and honey?
Nu, let’s see what some had to say. According to some, including the Rashbam and even Rav Ovadiah Yoseph, the RBSO only killed the non-believers. Seemingly, Doson and Aviram, though confirmed troublemakers, were believers in the RBSO. Believing can save one’s life, who knew?
On the other hand, says the Mikdash HaLevi (p.235-236) farkert (the opposite): they were mamish giferliche people. How bad? So bad, they did not merit having their death and punishment in obscurity. Their evil was so giferlich; they needed a more public demise. They had sunk so low during their lives, the RBSO saw fit to have them sink further, into the ground this time, and waited for Koirach to come along; they were buried together.
On the other hand, said the Levush Yoiseph (BiShalach page 77) azoy: Doson and Aviram were saved from death in Mitzrayim because they were not black and white. While they were evil in Mitzrayim, they did have the zichus (merit) of being the officers over other Yiddin and that they themselves received lashes rather than being the cause of lashes toward other Yiddin.
Efsher we can also kler that maybe Doson and Aviram were not the two characters we met back in Shemois. Maybe that Medrish has it wrong. And taka had that medrish been correct; the RBSO would not have waited some 60-70 years to punish them, ver veyst. Seemingly this pshat is just as plausible as are others. Moreover, we just don’t know. If the RBSO wanted us to meet them by name in Shemois, He would have introduced them. He didn’t! Who are we to question whey these two lived and others were struck down within minutes? Ver veyst?
Ober Raboyseyee, the answer you’re about to hear is mamish givaldig and even more givaldig for giferlich sinners like many of you are. Seemingly, the RBSO “extends His hand to sinners.” The RBSO has endless patience and waits for the wicked to repent. Even the worst of us can come back. All one needs is a sincere desire to do tshuva. For a repenter, the RBSO is prepared to split the sea all over again. Not only would the sea be split for him, but it would split “only” for him, exclusively for him. Could the news be any better?
And the bottom line? In a few more weeks, the heylige Toirah (Bamidbar 21:9-11) will confirm their bad character traits.The Toirah itself, not Rashi and not the heylige Gemora or even the medrish, will, with some specificity, remind us about some of the trouble that these two guys caused and how their families died as a result. Says the Toirah: “… that’s the Doson and Aviram, appointees of the congregation, who incited the people against Moishe and Aharoin with Koirach’s group, when they rebelled against the RBSO. And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and Koirach, when the group was killed when the fire consumed the two hundred and fifty men, and they became a sign. But the children of Koirach didn’t die.” Shoin, case closed: Doson and Aviram are confirmed as being devoid of scruples. Whenever there was trouble, they were sure to be at the forefront.
Ober that’s still weeks away. What happened this week? Shoin, let’s quickly cover the attempted coup. In their final act of defiance, this week, these two troublemakers will team up with Koirach who may have been not such a terrible person compared to them and lead a rebellion mamish against an older and compromised Moishe. They had several complaints. Among those they were upset about having been led out of Mitzrayim which they referred to as the “the good land” to the Midbar where the RBSO, following the meraglim caper, sentenced many to die. Together these two led the revolt in a ‘midbar-spring’ when they ganged up on Moishe and Aharoin. It was a mutiny mamish. Said they “Is it not enough that you have brought us up from a land flowing with milk and honey…” Milk and honey in Mitzrayim?
Ober doesn’t the heylige Toirah tell us that it’s the land of K’naan, the Promised Land, the land we call Israel, which was and is the land of milk and honey? Indeed it does. Where? All over the place. In fact, according to some, there are as many as 20 such mentions and expressions in the heylige Toirah. 19 of those refer to Israel as being the land of milk and honey and 1, this one utterance by Doson and Aviram, refers to Mitzrayim as flowing with milk and honey. And if you add others found in the Novee (Yishoishua, Yichezkel, Yirmiyohu and Yeshaya) the number will grow to over 25.
Avada, you recall Moishe’s encounter with the burning bush (Shemois 3:8) during which the RBSO said azoy: ‘And I shall go down to save them from the hand of Mitzrayim, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to A LAND FLOWING WITH MILK AND HONEY….’ Who doesn’t recall such an encounter, if you chap?
Shtelt-zich-di-sheylo (the question arises), how could these two clowns now recall Mitzrayim, which was mamish a house of horrors, with such fondness? And if they did, why did the Yiddin listen? That being the case, what the hec were Doson and Aviram smoking when they suggested that Mitzrayim, where the Yiddin were nebech enslaved for 210 years, was the land of milk and honey? Were they thinking about the hot shiksa mydlich they were calling honey and efsher the milk they were trying to get off them, if you chap? It does seem that these two guys were nothing but a bunch of michutzofim (wisenheimers). Nu, efsher we can kler they were suffering from heat stroke over in the hot desert and became delusional, ver veyst. In every event, though bad guys, the RBSO kept giving them breaks. Their luck ran out this week.
A gittin Shabbis
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