Shavuos 5778
  Shavuos 5778  
In Today's Issue
Editor’s Note: Kabolas HaTorah b'Simcha ub'Pnimiyus!
Torah: Down for the Count
Rabbi Twerski: Bamidbar: Every Jew is a shiny diamond
Chizuk: Sh'vuos is for us and for Him
Torah: Being "a part of" rather than "apart from."
12 Step Attitude: Forced to persevere
Torah: Prerequisite for Kabbalas HaTorah: GUARD YOUR EYES
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Editor’s Note
Kabolas HaTorah b'Simcha ub'Pnimiyus!

Dear GYE family, 

please find in this issue a mix of essays for Parsha Bamidbor and for Yomtov Shvuos.

What a great time to get sober or to stay sober - 50 days after Pesach, on the verge of Matan Torah.

Enjoy the poetry and the prose below - all great insights, connecting the desease of addiction and struggles in Shmiras Einayim with a Torahdig perspective.

Gut Shabbos, Gut Yom Tov!

In the words of the gevaldige tzaddik, a true baal mesiras nefesh, Rebbe Yosef Yitchok of Lubavitch: Kabolas HaTorah b'Simcha ub'Pnimiyus. 


Down for the Count
By Bardichev

We are at the start of a new Sefer, a new Parsha and a new month.

A simple question: Why does Parshas Bamidbar always precede the Yom Tov of Shavuos?

The Medrash tells us that Torah needs three attributes: Fire, Water and "Midbar - a Desert"

Midbar signifies mesiras nefesh and total trust in Hashem. ("Lech Tech Acharay Bamidbar")

These two components are so necessary for Kabbalas HaTorah.

In order for us to have a fighting chance in this war against our evil inclination. We need these two elements, (1) mesiras nefesh (yes, self sacrifice), and (2) Complete Trust in Hashem.

Will we see immediate results? Maybe not. That is the reason we count Sefira, to remind us that it is a process - one day at a time.

And like the Jews in the desert, we "KEEP ON TRUCKING!".

Good Shabbos

Rabbi Twerski
Bamidbar: Every Jew is a shiny diamond
By Twerski, Rabbi Dr. Avraham

In instructing Moses to take the census of the Israelites, the literal translation of what Hashem said is, “Elevate the heads of the children of Israel.”

The parsha Bamidbar precedes Shavuos, when we commemorate the giving of the Torah at Sinai. Prior to that great event, Hashem said to the Israelites, ‘You shall be unto Me a nation of priests, a sacred nation. You shall be a treasure to me from amongst all peoples.”

Although a person should be humble, one should never lose one’s sense of dignity and significance. There is a natural resistance to damaging something that is beautiful and precious. If we are aware of our own great value, we will never do anything that detracts from our greatness.

In taking a census, counting each individual, Moses was instructed to elevate each person. Each individual is a precious diamond.

Sh'vuos is for us and for Him
By L C
By GYE Member

Entering Sheloshes yemai hagbalah

Closer to the Yom Matan Torah

Excitement and anticipation mounting

Ready to re-accept the Toras Chaim

Hashem chose us as His am segulah

What a magnificent privilege, what a simcha

The opportunity to connect to ruchniyus

Thereby live with a genuine chiyus

Naaseh V’nishma – we cried out earnestly

Accepted ol Torah eternally

At the same time, ‘kofar aleihem har kegigis’

Making keeping torah independent of abilities

Now that we’re forced as well

Hashem grants the strength always to fulfil

We were uplifted on this special day

To live a life above, in His way

We decorate our homes with flowers and greenery

Commemorating Har Sinai’s miraculous beauty

Of course, the cheesecake is there in abundance

In accordance with the many reasons for the dairy delectables

Torah is likened to chalav, the food of nourishment

Ki hatorah koleles kol hatoivos shebaolam – Torah is true fulfilment

In remembrance of the korban shtei halechem we eat

A separate loaf for the meals – milk and meat

Shavuos the yahrzeit of Dovid melech Yisroel

We read Megillas Rus, spend time with our tehillim’l

A day that we stay up learning with a bren

To draw close to Hashem with a craving like then

In touch with our neshama tehorah

Yearning to grow ever closer

Shavuos is chatzi for ourselves

For with Torah, even gashmi has purpose

Symbolised by a korban that is chametz once a year

And chag habikkurim – we celebrate the crops bounty

Kad yasvin Yisroel – the nachas we give Him, so precious

Through the effort despite the struggle that is continuous

Ahavas oilam ahavtanu – Hashem loves us unconditionally

We are His beloved children, always His am kadosh intrinsically

Being "a part of" rather than "apart from."
By An Honest Mouse

Rav Chaim Shmulevitz says in Sichos Mussar that we can learn a tremendous lesson from the fact that the Levi'im were counted separately. Rashi says (1:49) that H'shm foresaw that He would decree death against the 20- to 60-year-olds that were counted in this week's parsha and He wanted to count the levi'im separately so they shouldn't be tangled up in the decree. We see from this that when there is a gezairo against the tzibur it doesn't matter if people are righteous, there's no differentiation made and everyone is given the same treatment as the tzibbur.

Read more
12 Step Attitude
Forced to persevere
A vort from the Baal Shem Tov (Kesser Shem Tov, pg. 7).
By GYE Member

In the sugya of Matan Torah in Mesichta Shabbos there are (amongst many others) two mamorei Chazal: 1. The Yidden said Naaseh V'Nishman 2. כפה עליהם הר כגגית- the Eibishter held the mountain above the Yidden thereby forcing them to accept the Torah.

Read more
Prerequisite for Kabbalas HaTorah: GUARD YOUR EYES
By An Honest Mouse

This comes from the book called 'timeless seasons' by Rabbi Pinchos Roberts, but I figure most people haven't heard of it and it is SO relevant to us.

How come ALL the Jews, without exception, accepted the Torah at Har Sinai? In parshas Vo'eschanan (Devorim 4:35), Moshe reminds the people that they had been shown with their own eyes 'ain oid milvado'. Rashi explains that at Har Sinai, Hashem opened all 7 heavens and showed the people Malchus Hashem in all its glory. It was so pleasurable and wonderful that everyone wanted in.

It could be that this is what the nations of the world were complaining about, when they said that the Jews got special treatment. If they had seen how good it was, they would have accepted it as well! However, Hashem answered them to bring Him the book of their lineage. In other words, He was telling them that in order to see a Mareh Elokim, they needed pure eyes. This was an inheritance that we received from Shem (who didn't look at Noach), Avrohom (who wouldn't stare at Sarah - see megillah 15a), Yosef Hatzadik, and the people in the Midbar camped in a 'ma tovu' way for this very reason - i.e. not to see anything inappropriate.

In other words, the prerequisite for a proper Kabbalas haTorah is GUARD YOUR EYES!!! How can we daven every morning 'v'hoer eineinu besoirosecho' if those same eyes are tainted with shmutz? We have to make our eyes capable of becoming holy, before the Torah can do its work with them.

In conclusion, we need to guard our eyes becayse it's the only way we can truly connect with our special gift that makes us different from the nations (ve'hivdilanu min hatoyim - venosan lonu Toras emes). And we CAN do it, because we have the strength through our inheritance!

Do you think you may have a porn addiction?

Do you have a problem with obsessive and compulsive porn use? Have you seriously tried the tools on GYE and feel that you are not getting better? Maybe it’s time to consider joining a 12-Step program.

Porn Anonymous (PA)
If you’re compulsively acting-out with pornography and masturbation we suggest you explore joining Porn Anonymous (PA). If you need help deciding whether to join PA, call Michael at 347-699-2368, or email to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit (Hebrew: / Yiddish:

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
If your compulsive acting-out has progressed beyond the screen (with other people, paid sexual services, etc.) we suggest you explore joining Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). To figure out if SA is for you, call Dov at 917-414-8205, or email Dov at to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit

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