The First Pelta Bar Mitzvah In Israel — In 2,000 Years!

בר מצוה של יהודה אהרן פלטא

כ”ו סיון תשע”ז

שהחיינו וקיומנו לזמן הזה !  This is the first Pelta Bar Mitzva in Eretz Yisrael since the ..חורבן בית המקדש.

Like the Ramban I have a Iggeres or letter to my son.  Iggeres אר”י or אגרת ישראל, מאבא ארי.  I would like to discuss the significance of Yehuda Aharon’s names, being born on this specific date, and one understanding of a Bar Mizvah and not bar mizvos.  I will specifically talk about the mizvah of yishuv Ertez Yisrael and tie it all together.

Yehuda has the 4 letter name of G-d in his name ((יהו-ד-ה. He was born on the 26th of Sivan.  The number 26 is the gematria of G-d’s 4 letter name (י-ה-ו-ה). In addition, Sivan is the month that we received the Torah on Har Sinai.

The month of Sivan in Hebrew has the name Greek, yavan יון .  It’s a series of 3 lines: small middle length and very long.  This hints to the time of Chanukah when the Greek culture had the potential to start a small assimilation and then continue until Jews fell into abyss of full assimilation.  This month have the letter samech “ס” with yavan יון . The samech is a Hint to the secret to prevent assimilation and have protection or סמך support.  The Vilna Gaon reveals that there are 4 letters in the Aleph Beis where the numerical value, gematria and the revealed number equals the hidden number.

Name of Letter Initial

Letter

Revealed Initial # Remainder

Letters

Hidden Remainder #
סמ”ך ס 60 מך 40+20=60
יו”ד י 10 וד 6+4=10
ו”ו ו 6 ו 6
מ”ם מ 40 ם 40

These letters spell סיום as in סעודת סיום.  Both parties present have equal status.  The active partners who learned the mesechta and those attending the celebration are part of the simcha.  This is why we appreciate the presence of all our guests here today for this monumental occasion in the Pelta family.

We learn that in the merit of accepting G-d’s laws expressed the Gemara, תורה שבעל פה, the Jewish people will be returned to Eretz Yisrael.

ישעיה א:כז

ציון במשפט תפדה, ושביה בצדקה

Zion [Eretz Yisrael] shall be redeemed with justice, and they that return to her, with righteousness.  (Yishaya 1:27)

Zion also has the letters of Yavan ! It  has the letter “צ”, which represents serving G-d with righteousness, doing his will לחתחילה.  The mitzvos in Zion Eretz Yisrael are all לחתחילה and it is the רצון will of Hashem to serve Him here in Eretz Yisrael.

The words ציון במשפט תפדה, refer specifically to Yerushalyim.  These 3 words have the same gematria as תלמוד ירושלמי = 1,076.  The second half of the passuk, ושביה בצדקה, refers to the Olim to Eretz Yisrael, which have the same gematria as תלמוד בבלי = 524 (Vilna Gaon, Divrei Eliyahu).

Yehuda is an Oleh returning to Eretz Yisrael making a siyum on one of the 37 mesechtos of Talmud Bavli.

The way we acquire Eretz Yisrael and the Torah which are both our inheritance מורשה is through ניסיון (תלמוד ברכות דף ה. ).  Take the month of סיון and add in front of the “ס” the letters “נ” and “י” ;we now have the letters נ י + סיון ,  this is the word ניסיון !

תלמוד בבלי ברכות דף ה עמוד א

רבי שמעון בר יוחאי אומר: שלש מתנות טובות נתן הקדוש ברוך הוא לישראל וכולן לא נתנן אלא על ידי יסורין אלו הן:  (1תורה (2וארץ ישראל (3  העולם הבא…ארץ ישראל דכתיב, “כי כאשר ייסר איש את בנו, ה’ אלהיך, מיסרך” וכתיב בתריה, “כי אלהיך מביאך אל ארץ טובה”.

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai said: The Holy One, Blessed is He, gave three good gifts to the Jewish people, and He gave all of them only through suffering.  They are: Torah, The Land of Israel, and the world to come…The Land of Israel ]is acquired only through suffering [, as it is written: “Just as a father will chastise his son, so Hashem, your G-d, chastises you, and it is written immediately after that verse: “For Hashem, your G-d is bringing you to a good land”. (Devarim 8:5-7) (Talmud Bavli Berachos 5a)

נ”י is rashei teivos for Nachalas Yehuda נחלת יהודה , the inheritance of Yehuda.  This all spells out Nachalas Yehuda in the month of Sivan only through nisayon= .ניסיון= נ”י + סיון The way we get closer to Hashem is   by being challenged though ,ניסיון in this way we grow closer to Hashem.  This is similar to the pasuk “and G-d tested Avraham …..והאלקים נסה את אברהם.”  However, mitzvos are not a challenge until we have a יצר הרע to tell us otherwise.

תלמוד בבלי קידושין לא עמוד א

דאמר רב חנינא: גדול מצווה ועושה, ממי שאינה מצווה ועושה.

Rav Chanina said: One who performs a mitzvah having been commanded to, is greater, than one who performs a mitzvah without having been commanded to do so. (Talmud Bavli, Kiddushin 31a)

Based on the Zohar, at age 13, a boy is a חתן בר מצוה with a יצר הטוב.  One is born with a נפש, if his actions are appropriate, he will merit his רוח enter him at the completion of his 13th year when he is called an איש גמור (Sha’ar Hagilgulim perek 2).  Yehuda’s יצר הטוב is now revealed and increased in strength because he now also receives an equally powerful יצא הרע.  Today, on his bar mitzvah day, Yehuda החתן הבר מצוה, gets married to Torah and mitzvos.  As we said at his Bris with Rav Pesach Krohn, כשם שנכנס לברית, כן יכנס לתורה, ולחפה ולמעשים טובים””.

Why is this event called a “Bar Mitzvah”, a singular son of one mitzvah, and not “Bar Mizvos” plural?  This is because one mitzvah causes another mitzvah בן עזאי אומר: …שמצוה גוררת מצוה…   (Avos 4:2).  The bar mitzvah boy needs to learn to start keeping one mitzvah properly, this will lead to others.  Yehuda has already started with the mitzva of putting on tefilin in addition to Talmud Torah with a siyum in meseches Megillah.

There are certain mitzvos that are considered equal to all the mitzvos in the Torah.  Today many Jews only have the potential to keep 194 of the 613 mitzvos; however those of us who live in Eretz Yisrael can keep 194 + 26 = 220 mitzvos !

The Rambam and the Ran teach that if a person does one mitzva properly he is a בן עולם הבא.  The Ran clarifies that this type of mitzva must be equal to many other mitzvos.

ספרי, ראה נג

ישיבת ארץ ישראל שקולה כנגד כל המצוות שבתורה.

Living in Eretz Yisrael is equal in comparison to all the commandments of the Torah. (Sifrei Parshas Reah)

תלמוד בבלי קידושין לט עמוד ב

כל העושה מצוה אחת מטיבין לו ומאריכין לו ימיו ונוחל את הארץ.

Whoever performs one mitzvah is rewarded with good, his life is lengthened and he inherits The Land [Eretz Yisrael] (Talmud Bavli, Kiddushin 39b)

Thus, one is called a “Bar mitzvah” and not plural “Bar mitzvos” when one can chose to do one mitzvah properly in which to perform all the rest, in the best fashion.  If a Jew needs to pick one mitzvah, it might as well be one that represents or is equal to all 613 mitzvos (There are seven mitzvos that are considered equal to all the rest: 1) Bris Milah 2) Torah study 2) Tzitzis 3) Shabbos 4) Charity 5) Kindness 6) rejecting idolatry 7) Yishuv Eretz Yisrael) . Here, we can do ALL seven of the above mitzvos.  However, only Torah and Eretz Yisrael are called an inheritance מורשה.

דברים לג:ד, פרשת וזאת הברכה

תורה צוה לנו משה, מורשה קהלת יעקב.

שמות ו:ח, פרשת וארא

והבאתי אתכם אל הארץ אשר נשאתי את ידי לתת אתה לאברהם ליצחק וליעקב, ונתתי אותה לכם מורשה אני ה’.

An inheritance is from one’s family, it is forever and cannot be taken away. The Torah and Eretz Yisrael are inseparable. Yehuda is having a Bar Mitzva in the actual Land of Yehuda. The chasan bar mizvah puts on tefilin to show that he loves G-d with his heart and soul.  The mitzvah of tefilin is performed lechatchila only in Eretz Yisrael; Yehuda has this zechus to start the actual mitzva  here.  According the Ramban the mitzva of tefilin is primarily fulfilled only in Eretz Yisrael.

דברים יא:יח פרשת עקב רש”י ד”ה ושמתם את דברי אלה

אף לאחר שתגלו היו מצויינים במצות, הניחו תפילין, עשו מזוזות, כדי שלא יהיו לכם חדשים כשתחזרו, וכן הוא אומר “הציב לך ציונים” (ירמיה לא:כ, ספרי)

Even after you will go into Exile, be distinguished through performance of commandments; for example, put on tefillin and make mezuzos, so that they should not be new to you when you will return. And similarly it says, “Erect markers [Zionists] for  yourself.” (Devarim 11:18, Rashi)

The Maharam, Rav Moshe Cordovero (Or Ne’erav 5:4), teaches us that the עיקר place to fulfill the mitzvos of  the Torah is in Eretz Yisrael.  The foundation, יסוד of all the mitzvos apply to those who live in Eretz Yisrael.

אור נערב ח”ג פ”ה

נודה כי ארץ ישראל לה קורבה ויחס עם התורה כיחס החיות עם הלב…כאמורו “וחיי עולם נטע בתוכינו”…וכן ענין התורה עיקרה בארץ ישראל.

It is well known that the close relationship between Torah and Eretz Yisrael is parallel to the relationship between life and the heart…”and eternal life He has planted in our midst.”…The same is true of the Torah; it exists primarily in Eretz Yisrael.

Rav Aryeh Levine also asked the question, Why call the chassan a “bar” mizvah not “ba’al” mizvah?  He answers, that at age 13 the boy becomes liable for sins, a ba’al aveirah.  In Aramaic “bar” means son.  At this age, a boy becomes obligated to keep the mitzvos, so he is therefore called the “son” of mitzvah – because a son can never cut off his relationship with his parents.  Once he is born to them he remains their son forever.  Thus the link of a 13 year old Jew with mitzvos must remain forever!  On the other hand, “Ba’al” means owner, master, these types of relationships can be terminated.  So we call a sinful man a “ba’al aveirah”, implying that he can always terminate himself from his sins. (A Tzaddik In Our Time, pg. 454).

We are a family a survivors, physically and spiritually.  I was told by my grandfather that our family name Pelta originated in Cordoba Spain since our family profession has always been experts tailors in the Peltz or the fur coat trade which began when the Pelta family lived in Spain and continued on to Poland and San Franciso.  Our name can also mean Pleyta פליטהor escape, remnant, survivors as in שארית הפלטה.

ישעיה י:כ

והיה ביום ההוא לא יוסיף עוד שאר  ישראל ופליטת בית יעקב להשען על מכהו, ונשען על ה’ קדוש ישראל באמת:

It will be on that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the House of Yaakov will no longer rely on its attacker, but will rely on Hashem, the Holy one of Israel, in truth (Yishaya 10:20).

ישעיהו טו:ט

כי מי דימון מלאו דם כי אשית על דימון נוספות, לפליטת מואב אריה ולשארית אדמה:

For the waters of Dimon are filled with blood, for I will pour more [of it] into Dimon. Upon the survivors of Moav there will come a lion, upon the remnant of the land. (Yishayahu 15:9)

ישעיה לז:לא

ויספה פליטת בית יהודה הנשארה שרש למטה ועשה פרי למעלה.

And the survivors that remained of the House of Yehuda shall take root below and produce fruit above. (Yishaya 37:31)

יואל ג:ה

והיה כל אשר יקרא בשם ה’ ימלט, כי בהר ציון ובירושלים תהיה פליטה כאשר אמר ה’ ובשרידים אשר קרא:

And it will be that anyone who calls in the Name of Hashem will escape, for on the mountain of Zion and in Yerushalayim there will be refuge as Hashem said, and among the survivors whom Hashem summons. (Joel 3:5)

In these pesukim we have hints to Yehuda Pelta and his immediate family members: Yehuda Leib, his great grandfather, Yaakov his grandfather, Arie his father and even Joel his maternal grandfather!

Source of Names

Yehuda was named in 2004 during my surgical training at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.  Prior to his birth, we spent an entire night awake in labor, he was born Tuesday morning.  After that night I worked a full 24 hour surgical shift.  The next day I drove back and forth from Long Island to Queens NY in order to make a final bank payment at 5pm on our new house.  This was necessary in order to secure the closure on our first house purchase in West Hempstead.  I went for 48 hours with no sleep.

That Friday night I was also on call at LIJ for the surgical department and I thus was not able to attend his Shalom Zachor.  Rav Pesach Krohn was his mohel at  Rav Arieli’s Shul in Kew Gardens Hills.

He was named for 2 of his grandfathers who were Holocaust survivors.  My grandfather Yehuda Leib from Koinskie Poland, (the same town as the Chelkas Yoav, Rav Yoav Weingarten) died in 1983 Chodesh Tamuz  the same day that I had emergency surgery for appendicitis.  I was not able to attend his funeral.

My other grandfather Aharon Farkas or “Grandpa Mickie”, literally died in my arms in Chodesh Adar 2003, after I personally provided several rounds of unsuccessful CPR.

Thus he has the name of Yehuda and Aharon for both of his grandfathers who were Holocaust survivors and dedicated Jews.  Both of his grandfathers were dedicated to keeping alive our Jewish traditions and they were very makpid on daily tefillah.  I have vivid memories of  my Grandpa Leon putting on tefilin every morning and my grandpa Micky always being the first one present in shul.   You have in you the power of tefilla and emunah. Your grandfathers taught us to have a רצון; to do the רצון Hashem.

Yehuda was first mentioned in the torah when Leah said thank you to Hashem.

בראשית ל:לה פרשת ויצא

ותהר עוד ותלד בן ותאמר הפעם אודה את ה’ על כן קראה שמו יהודה, ותעמד מלדת:

She [Leah] conceived again, and bore a son and said, “This time I will give thanks to Hashem”; therefore she called his name Yehuda; then she stopped giving birth.

Giving Thanks to Hashem, All is for the Good “כל מה דעביד רחמנא, לטב עביד” –

Erev Shabbos 1944 a 17year old girl was taken with her family by cattle car to the Auschwitz concentration camp. She was standing in line with her parents and siblings waiting to be selected.  At the head of the line a monster named Josef Mengele grabbed the young girls face and stated “it’s a pity to waste such nice Aryan features” she was selected to go to the right – forced labor; her parents were sent to the left, certain death in the gas chambers.

Because of this selection I am here today and Yehuda is having his bar mitzvah.  This is the story of my Grandma Helen.

Like his great grandmother, Grandma Helen age 94 she should live until 120, he has blond hair and blue eyes ! Why was my grandmother chosen by G-d to live while others were not?  According to statistics Mengele sent 400,000 Jews to their deaths.  Death to the left, life to the right.  Yehuda is a leftie – he puts tefilin on his right arm. כי הם חיינו ואורך ימינו””

My Grandma Shifra from her childhood was always inspired about the dream of having Jews live in Eretz Yisrael. She would always sing songs about this idea.  It was her idea to run away from Poland prior to the Nazi advance.  She was single handedly responsible to bringing out of Poland my Grandpa Leon/Yehuda Leib  and other family members.  She was given a car ride, while escaping the Nazis, by a German officer and then got into a car accident and survived; she also survived traversing a mine field and several crossings over the heavily guarded border.  They eventually survived the war despite starvation conditions in Siberia and Uzbekistan.  Why did they merit to survive?

I have an answer.

Because G-d knew that there was potential, that one day, the Pelta and Farkas families would have a great grandson Yehuda Aharon Pelta who would make Aliyah and celebrate his bar-mitzvah in Eretz Yisrael in the land of Yehuda and fulfill our Jewish destiny to serve G-d in the Land of Eretz Yisrael “ להיות לכם לאלקים, to be for you a G-d”.

Rav Yisachar Shlomo Teichatal wrote in 1943 Hungary, Eim Habonim (pg.33) based on letter of the Tanya (Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi) when a Jew is in trouble, he can be saved through the merit of Eretz Yisrael.

…מאת ה’ היתה זאת לגלגל זכות על ידינו, בזכות ארץ הקדושה ויושביה, היא שעמדה לנו ותעזור לנו בכל עת להרחיב לנו מצר ולחלצינו ממיצר.

We are here on our ancestors and grandparents and parents zechus !  Those who serve G-d with מסירת נפש will be zoche to keep the mitzvos מצוה לדורות forever.  Keeping alive the practice of Torah and mitzvos with the goal to serving G-d in Eretz Yisrael, learning Torah in Eretz Yisrael is what has kept the Pelta family alive until this time שהחיינו וקיימנו לזמן הזה .  Why? As we say in maariv  prior to mentioning “שמע ישראל,Israel”- כי הם חיינו, ואורך ימינו.

Rav Teichtal, in Eim Habonim (pg. 325), connects our aliyah with our family’s past struggles in Chutz La’aretz:

ואם נזקה לקיבוץ גדול בארץ ישראל ויכון את לבנו לאהוב את השם יתברך ולעבדו בלבב שלם…אז נזכה תיכף לתחיית המיתים לאלו שנאבדו ונהרגו ומתו על ידי הגלות והם יקומו בראשונה…נמצא דבזה שנעזוב את ארצות הגלות פה ונשוב לארץ ישראל …שנתקן בזה נפשות אחינו בני ישראל שנהרגו ונפלו פה בגלות על ידי שבגרמתם אנו שבים לאחוזת אבותינו, עוד נקרב את תחייתם, אם כן ממילא לא היה לריק קדושתם שקידשו את השם במיתתם שמתו בתוך הגולה. (דף 211-212)

If we chose to make aliyah, then we will rectify the souls of the children of Yisrael who died in al Kiddush Hashem, sanctification of G-ds name, because they caused us to return to our forefathers inheritance…we will merit to see the resurrection of all those who perished in exile. They will arise first…we will even hasten their resurrection. [sic., maybe this is the reason we mention Zion in the mourners greeting]. Then, their deaths and the Kiddush HaShem that they caused will not have been in vain.

This is also my Bar Mitzvah.  I started learning the Daf Yomi in Talmud Bavli this past cycle, inspired by Rabbi Shalom Gold, with the goal to complete the siyum hashas as an oleh living in Eretz Yisrael. This is the 13th cycle or the Bar Mitzvah cycle of the Daf Yomi which was started by Rav Yehuda Meir Shapiro in 1923 .

Yehuda is living in Beit Shemesh in the Land of Yehuda.  Yaakov made a שבועה promise, to go into exile גלות and live with Lavan and then return to Eretz Yisrael where Hashem would be for him a G-d. I also had a vow of sorts at Yehuda’s bris – I made a siyum on meseches Shevuos.  We are now fulfilling and ancient promise to return to our ארץ הקודש of our fathers and serve our G-d here.

בראשית כח:כ-כא, פרשת ויצא

וידר יעקב נדר לאמר, אם יהיה אלקים עמדי ושמרני בדרך הזה אשר אני הולך ונתן לי לחם לאכל ובגד ללבש: ושבתי בשלום אל בית אבי, והיה ה’  לי לאלקים:

Then Yaakov took  vow, saying, “If G-d will be with me, and He will guard me on this way that I am going; and He will give me bread to eat and clothes to wear; and I will return in peace to my father’s house [Eretz Yisrael], and Hashem will be a   G-d to me. (Bereishis 28:20-21)

Here in Eretz Yisrael  the Chason bar mizvah goes his first week of being Bar Mizvah to daven at the Kosel to get strength and inspiration. This is to reconnect to the shechina itself, which we are taught, always remains in the kotel HaMaaravi.  We can learn this from the gematria of the word kotel .כותל The first letters כ”ו = 26 and final letters ת”ל=430. G-d’s four letter name י-ה-ו-ה = 26; whereas G-d אלוקים=86.  We multiply 86×5 and this equals 430.  Why do we multiply Elokim times five?  Five or the letter ”ה ”  represents Olam Hazeh this world, whereas the letter ” י” represents Olam Habah.  Thus, at the kotel we connect to the number 26 of Hashem’s name which is found in Yehuda’s name, and G-d Elokim in this world, gematria if 430  which is manifested here in  Eretz Yisrael, by the Kotel.

There will always be struggles in our life and service to G-d, but we always get up (Grandma Shifra always told me “chin up”) . This is the way of the tzadik to get up and survive. The Rasha gives up and stays down.  Mishlei teaches us that the Tzadik falls many times and despite all the challenges, like a boxer,  he still gets up.

משלי כד:טו

כי שבע פעמים יפול צדיק וקם, ורשעים יכשלו ברעה.

For though the righteous one may fall seven times, he will arise, but the wicked ones will stumble through evil. (Mishlei 24:16)

Simcha

Chasam Sofer mentions that the first mitzvah a Bar Mitzvah boy fulfills is – simcha. This is the reason we have party with food, music, and dancing.  The only way to have the tools to begin teshuva, return to G-d is having the quality of true simcha.

Shevet Yehuda is always first. First encamp in the midbar , first to travel in the midbar,  first to offer karbanos, first to go to war, first to receive the good news.  Rav Teichatal, points out that in a similar vein, that Yehuda will be the first to return to Eretz Yisrael.  Zecharia says flee from the land of the north, and come to Zion Eretz Yisrael. (Mezudas Dovid). In 2006 we left West Hempstead NY in the North and moved to the South in Atlanta GA. The 15th of Av 2013 we returned  Yehuda to Eretz Yisrael ,Zion.

זכריה ב:י-יא

הוי הוי ונסו מארץ צפון נאם ה’ ,כי בארבע רוחות השמים פרשתי אתכם נאם ה’ : הוי ציון המלטי, יושבת בת בבל:

Woe! Woe! Flee from the land of the North! the word of Hashem, for I have scattered you like the four directions of the heavens, the word of Hashem. Woe! O [exiles of] Zion, Escape, O you who dwell with the daughter of Bavel. (Zechariah 2:10-11)

Yehuda – What does Hashem ask of you?

What מה or מאה 100 ?

דברים י:יב פרשת עקב

ועתה ישראל מה ה’ אלקיך שאל מעמך, כי ליראה את ה’ אלקיך ללכת בכל דרכיו ולאהבה אותו ולעבוד את ה’ אלקיך בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך:

Now, O Israel, what does Hashem your G-d, ask of you? Only to fear Hashem your G-d, to go in all his ways and to love Him, and to serve Hashem, your G-d with all your heart and all your soul. (Devarim 10:12)

This reminds us of  Parshas לך לך , where the words also have the gematria of 100. Hashem told Avraham  to move to Eretz Yisrael. Why? He is told by Hashem: So that “I can bless you and make you great”.

בראשית יב:א-ב, פרשת לך לך

ויאמר ה אל אברם לך לך מארצך וממולדתך ומבית אביך, אל הארץ אשר אראך: ואעשך לגוי גדול ואברכך ואגדלה שמך, והיה ברכה.

Hashem said to Avram, “Go for yourself from your land, from your relatives, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  And I will male of you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. (Bereishis 12:1-2)

Yehuda Aharon, the first Pelta Bar Mitzva in Eretz Yisrael

You have the zechus avos to live and be settled in Eretz HaKodesh.  Serve Hashem lechatchila with all the mitzvos to the best extent possible and do it with simcha.  In this manner you are blessed are you will be great in Torah, mitzvos, and middos.

The 13th passuk in Tehillim 92 discusses flourishing like a tree.

תהילים צב:יג

צדיק כתמר יפרח

A Tzadik will flourish like a date palm…(Tehilim 92:13 )

This weeks parshas Korach refers to the staff of Aharon HaKohen, the chosen one, as sprouting.

במדבר יז:כ

והיה האיש אשר אבחר בו מטהו יפרח

חסד לאברהם, מעין שלישי נהר יב

וכל הדר בארץ ישראל נקרא צדיק

Yehuda Aharon – you are a Tzadik living in Eretz Yisrael and you shall sprout flourish grow and become great like your names, in your service of Hashem.

Mazal Tov on Your Chasson Bar Mitzvah and your first siyum of a mesechata in ShasMeseches Megillah. Like 36 candles on Chanuka, only 36 more mesechtos to go. So if you learn 3 mesechtos of Gemarrah a year, you will finish Shas Bavli by age 25.

The mitzva of Talmud Torah just like the mitzvah of yishuv Ertez Yisrael is sweet like milk and honey.

דברים יא:ח-ט ,  פרשת עקב

ושמרתם את כל המצוה אשר אנכי מצוך היום, למען תחזקו ובאתם וירשתם את הארץ אשר אתם עברים שמה לרשתה:…ארץ חלב ודבש:

So you shall observe the entire mitzva that I command you today, so that you will be strong, and you will come and possess the Land to which you are crossing, to possess it…a land flowing with milk and honey. (Devarim 11:8-9)                                                                                                         

Purpose of Torah study (Tanach, Mishan, Gemarah) is to strengthen the love אהבה between G-d and us, the Jewish people.  The purpose of the love is to bring us to attachment דביקות to the Shechina.  The body גוף of the Shechina is here in Eretz Yisrael (Rav Valli).

Rav Yechezkel Levenshtein (אור יחזקל, ח”א, מכתב יד ( taught that the mitzvah of learning Torah is equivalent to all the mitzvos שקולה כנגד כולם.  However, what is the purpose תכלית of our lives? הדביקות הוא התכלית.  You chose דביקות to Hashem and Hashem chooses you Yehuda, when you liver here in Eretz Yisrael.

זכריה ב:טז

ונחל ה’  את יהודה חלקו על אדמת הקודש…

Hashem shall take Yehuda as a heritage to Himself for His portion upon the Holy Land…(Zecharia 4:16)

You are named after Jews who were survivors and committed to Yiddishkeit.  You have all the tools and the potential.  You are in the right place and the right time to grow in your closeness to G-d.  The passive physical part of the גוף is turning 13 years old.  However, the active spiritual part you are doing today through the mitzvah of Talmud Torah.  You are not putting your emphasis on a bar mitzvah speech, a stam party or reading the torah portion. You rather have chosen today to make your עיקר emphasis on having a seudas mitzvah by making a siyum on a chelech of shas and thereby making a kinyan on Torah in Eretz Yisrael.

עלה נעלה  we made Aliyah, you now can get aliyos to the Torah.  Maybe this is why there is a minhag for the bar mitzva bochur to get an aliyah to the Torah –  in order to teach that making aliyah to Eretz Yisrael can give you the best כלים to get closer to Hashem – דביקות.  You now have the tools to grow in your ,עבודת ה’ .  You have a new סעייתא דשמיא here in Eretz Yisrael that suits your new spiritual opportunities   אפשריות הרוחנית החדשות (Rav Dessler Michtav MeEliyahu pg 196).

Acquire your ירושה of Torah and mitzvos, וירשנו אותה – you can do it! כי יכול נוכל לה .

יהושע א:ט

…חזק ואמץ אל תערץ ואל תחת, כי עמך ה’ אלקיך בכל אשר תלך:

Be Strong and courageous, do not fear and do not lose [your] determination, for Hashem, your G-d is with you wherever you go. (Yehoshua 1:9)

About the Author
Arie E. Pelta, M.D., a Board Certified General and Colorectal Surgeon from the USA , made aliyah with his wife and 7 children in 2013. He is also a active Medical Corps Officer holding the rank of Captain in the IDF Reserves. Currently practicing in Laniado Hospital in Netanya and at Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv, part of the Assia Medical group; speciaizing in the surgical care of all problems of the colon, rectum and anus.
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